Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 23, 2014

December 1, 2013

Watch for Nuclear Fallout | Capitol Quip

Watch for Nuclear Fallout | Capitol Quip

We are now living in a post-”nuclear option” world, at least in the Senate. Will this be the end of the world’s greatest deliberative body? Will it mean the Senate will confirm more judges and executive nominees? What will it mean that some of the world’s chattiest people can’t talk until the cows come home now? This all brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip.

Send us a caption for this week’s contest by leaving it in the comments section. Editors will pick five finalists on Dec. 4, and everyone can vote for the winner through Dec. 5.

To see our previous winners, check us out on Pinterest.

November 27, 2013

Heritage Thankful for Political Targets

It’s the holidays.

Heritage Thankful for Political Targets

(Screenshot)

Why not take a little time off from battling partisan foes and let The Heritage Foundation handle the cyber-feuding for you?

The conservative think tank has created a half-dozen e-cards poking fun at the administration for everything from first lady Michelle Obama’s healthy-eating efforts to the polarizing Affordable Care Act:

Heritage Thankful for Political Targets

(Screenshot)

Now, let’s all be thankful for the common-sense rule that NO ONE should be wasting time checking their email at the Thanksgiving table.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:40 p.m.
FightingWords, FLOTUS, Food

Nationals’ Franchise History With Roofs Is Not a Happy One

Maybe it’s best the Washington Nationals franchise stays away from retractable roofs.

Tuesday’s news that the baseball team had approached D.C. government officials, including Mayor Vincent Gray, about the possibility of retrofitting a retractable roof onto Nationals Park at the city’s expense generated widespread scorn and comparisons to the somewhat different situation playing out in Atlanta, where the Braves are planning to move outside the city limits to nearby Cobb County. In doing so, the Braves will vacate Turner Field, an outdoor ballpark which was constructed as the Olympic Stadium for the 1996 summer games.

Of course, the team now known as the Nationals used to have a retractable roof on an old stadium, though one might not know it because it seldom, if ever, functioned. That was in the 1976 Olympic Stadium in Montreal, the home of the Expos from 1977 until they departed for Washington following the 2004 season. That stadium, known to Montrealers as “The Big O”, opened for the 1976 Olympics without a roof, although it was supposed to have one.

Nationals Franchise History With Roofs Is Not a Happy One

The Big O, as it’s known in Montreal, has seen its share of heartache when it comes to its roof. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

ESPN compiled a list of Olympic Stadium failures and cost overruns back in 2003, many of which related to the retractable Kevlar roof (yes, the material most notable for use in bulletproof vests). Full story

Overheard: Neil Cavuto’s Fascinating If/Then Statement

“By the way, if I had a dime for every time my wife was reassessing everything I decided, I could write Encyclopedia Britannica, but I digress.”

— Neil Cavuto, in the midst of interviewing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Fox News on Tuesday.

By Jason Dick Posted at 10:59 a.m.
Overheards

November 26, 2013

Murkowski, Fellow Alaskans Give Thanks

With the holiday season in full swing, Sen. Lisa Murkowski is using social media to poll those in the Last Frontier about that which they are most thankful for.

The Alaska Republican launched her #AKThanks campaign Nov. 22, urging her Web-connected constituents to share snippets of what makes their home state so great. The project will culminate today with the release of the “Appreciating Alaska” mini-documentary Murkowski is producing in conjunction with the Alaska Channel.

She got the ball rolling late last week with a video valentine to the frozen stuff that’s already threatening to paralyze the Mid-Atlantic region over the next few days:

“As an Alaskan, I am always thankful for winter,” she notes on YouTube before launching into a rundown of the meteorological hits Seward’s Icebox has already sustained this year — slipping in what would seem to be a prescient dig about the District’s precipitation-based mania.

“I’ve got this little motto: Keep calm and think snow,” she quips.

Her fellow Alaskans, meanwhile, have expressed love for all kinds of stuff, including:

 

The Affordable Care Act Full story

Radel Press Crew Jumps Into Kurt Bardella’s Waiting Arms

As Mark Leibovich wrote on Twitter in response to the news, “#ThisTown writes itself.”

Indeed.

Radel Press Crew Jumps Into Kurt Bardellas Waiting Arms

Bardella, right, has some company in his communications startup. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As if the cocaine-busted Rep. Trey Radel needed another problem, he now has an empty press shop to deal with.

His communications director, Amanda Nunez, and a press aide, Caitlin Rush, announced Monday that they were leaving the Florida Republican’s office to join Endeavor Strategic Communications, the public relations shop headed by Kurt Bardella, former press aide, most famously, for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. #ThisTown

Bardella started Endeavor in September as a PR firm that “specializes” in a number of image management fields, including “crisis communications.”

All three players have some experience in that one field.

Full story

Senator Wants Chatty Future Air Travelers to Get Off His Lawn

Bad news potentially promiscuous air travelers: Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., doesn’t want to know about your “last night’s love life.”

Senator Wants Chatty Future Air Travelers to Get Off His Lawn

Alexander: Not a fan of cellphone use on planes. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Alexander issued a statement on the eve of one of the busiest air travel days of the year urging Federal Communications Commission heads to ban phone calls on planes, even as the Federal Aviation Administration announced it would ease its cellphone policy.
The old-man statement — which this HOH scribe endorses and thinks you will, too — is too good not to publish in its entirety: Full story

Overheard: Obama’s Genuine Beliefs

“I think he genuinely believes in dialogue.”

— Rep. Peter T. King, speaking on Fox News today about President Barack Obama and the Iran nuclear deal.

By Jason Dick Posted at 12:03 p.m.
Overheards, POTUS, Reps

November 25, 2013

Turkey Hill Farm Prepares to Welcome Presidential Birds

Turkey Hill Farm Prepares to Welcome Presidential Birds

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

LEESBURG, Va. — Franklin, the one-and-a-half-year-old Bronze turkey who currently has the Morven Park staff all to himself, will be getting some high-profile roomies early next year. That’s when the gobblers President Barack Obama is scheduled to pardon Wednesday afternoon in the Rose Garden will make their way west to their new home, Turkey Hill Farm.

The reprieve for the twin birds coming from Badger, Minn., will mark a quarter-century of forgiveness handed down by consecutively sitting presidents.

Turkey Hill Farm Prepares to Welcome Presidential Birds

(Courtesy Pete Souza/White House)

Previously pardoned presidential birds have been retired to local sites including Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Va., and, most recently, Mount Vernon estate. Of course, being pardoned doesn’t prevent the grim reaper from eventually coming a-calling.

Morven Park spokeswoman Teresa Davenport and the rest of the staff that tends to the sprawling Leesburg estate once owned by the late Virginia Gov. Westmoreland Davis are hoping this year’s turkeys will thrive in their new facility. Full story

McMorris Rodgers Gives Birth to Her Third Child

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave birth to her third child, Brynn Catherine, early Sunday morning.

McMorris Rodgers Gives Birth to Her Third Child

(Courtesy Cathy McMorris Rodgers)

The Washington Republican’s latest bundle of joy, who clocked in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces, arrived at 6:19 a.m. Sunday — slightly earlier than her December due date.

“Nothing compares to the miracle of bringing a new life into the world,” McMorris Rodgers said alongside a photo posted on her Instagram account Monday afternoon. “She’s beautiful and seems to be taking it all in stride. Our hearts are full.”

All three of McMorris Rodgers’ children were born while she was serving in Congress. She and her husband, Brian, welcomed Cole in April 2007 and Grace in December 2010.

The new addition to the McMorris Rodgers family continues the recent House baby boom. Fellow Republicans Kevin Yoder of Kansas and Brad Wenstrup of Ohio both became fathers earlier this month.

Stocking Stuffers Galore in House Gift Shop

Still wrestling with what to get loved ones mildly liked ones this holiday season?

Stocking Stuffers Galore in House Gift Shop

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Has the House Gift Shop got a deal for you!

On Dec. 2, nearly everything in stock will be 10 percent off. That’s right, bargain hunters, 10 percent off almost everything awkwardly stamped with a congressional seal. Staff said the discount does not apply to any of the Tiffany & Co. items (the sterling silver collection ranges from an $80 necklace with House seal-emblazoned charm to a $300 bracelet with a similar charm), 2013 holiday ornaments or special orders.

Stocking Stuffers Galore in House Gift Shop

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

This year’s official holiday ornament features a mini Statue of Freedom purportedly carved from pieces of marble removed during a previous restoration. Full story

Tortilla Coast Caters to Black Friday Crowd

We’ve already laid out a cornucopia of options for those who prefer to let others do the cooking on Turkey Day. Now the Clover Restaurant Group wants to take care of those in need of sustenance during the most hectic shopping day of the year.

In a bid to woo Black Friday bargain hunters (and folks who might already need a break from leftover bird), the proprietors of the Tortilla Coast and Café Deluxe chainlets have decided to serve brunch at all their restaurants on Nov. 29.

The flagship Tortilla Coast (400 First St. SE) — aka Texas Republican Ted Cruz’s clubhouse — will dish out brunch specialties from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Featured items include: short stacks of buttermilk pancakes, fajita steak and eggs, Captain Crunch-studded brioche French toast, huevos rancheros, chorizo-laced breakfast burritos and spinach-mushroom omelets.

The Logan Circle Tortilla Coast (1460 P St. NW) will offer its brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Featured items include: scrambled-egg-filled enchiladas, short rib breakfast tacos, chilaquiles, cornmeal-banana pancakes and Mexican toast (corn flake-crusted brioche, sweet crème fraiche, assorted berries, orange syrup).

No doubt the signature frozen margaritas will also be flowing like water.

November 24, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving From Capitol Quip!

Happy Thanksgiving From Capitol Quip!

Happy Thanksgiving from Capitol Quip! So as not to force any readers to vote for their favorite Capitol Quip caption in a tryptophan-induced food coma on Thanksgiving Day, this one’s on us! We’re going to let the image speak for itself.

We’ll be back next week with a brand-new Capitol Quip on Dec. 1 on this blog and in the following print edition of Roll Call. Until then, have a safe and happy Turkey Day!

To see our previous winners, check us out on Pinterest.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:05 p.m.
Capitol Quip

A Kick and a Miss | Capitol Quip

A Kick and a Miss | Capitol Quip

Thanks to the many readers who contributed captions for last week’s Capitol Quip contest. Here’s the winning entry, as voted by readers of Heard on the Hill.

The winner will receive a signed color print suitable for framing from Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson. Check out our past winners on Pinterest.

November 22, 2013

On Reddit AMA, Niels Lesniewski Discusses Nuclear Option, Movember

Roll Call’s own Niels Lesniewski took to Reddit Friday to field questions about what happened in the Senate Thursday in the wake of the nuclear option being triggered.

On Reddit AMA, Niels Lesniewski Discusses Nuclear Option, Movember

Lesniewski with his favorite reading material, Riddick’s Senate Procedure. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

His “Ask Me Anything” thread is still live on the site.

“Democrats seem to have decided that being able to get President Obama’s nominees confirmed outweighed the risks of the next Republican president doing the same,” he wrote of the historic change to the Senate’s rules.

Redditor arrggg asked what the most monumental rules change was previously.

“This was probably the biggest change since 1975, when they reduced the number needed to break most filibusters from two-thirds to 60 votes,” Lesniewski responded.

But not all the questions were so serious.  Full story

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