Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 27, 2015

February 23, 2014

Congress Hath No Fury Like Voters Scorned | Capitol Quip

Congress Hath No Fury Like Voters Scorned | 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.

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

February 21, 2014

Ex-Rep. Mel Reynolds Ducks Zimbabwean Porn Charge

Former House lawmaker Mel Reynolds has been kicked out of Zimbabwe due to immigration issues but will not have to stand trial on since-dismissed pornography charges.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, the trouble-prone pol — who was arrested earlier this week — pleaded guilty Feb. 21 to overstaying his welcome in the African nation and was subsequently ordered to leave the country. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 3:58 p.m.
Reps, ScandalFaced, Whuck

Fact-Checking ‘House of Cards’ and Its ‘Senate of Cards’ Sequence

By now, most binge-watchers have at least gotten through the first portion of the new season of the Netflix series “House of Cards.”

While we’ll steer clear of too many spoilers here, one particular sequence in the third episode caught the attention of parliamentary experts everywhere.

“We have to get medieval,” said the fictional Democratic Vice President Frank Underwood before a stint presiding over the Senate, twisting arms to get a deal with enough of the Senate’s GOP majority to keep the government from a shutdown while raising the retirement age.

Could the Senate really direct the sergeant-at-arms to arrest absent senators? Yes, of course.

Roll Call was there in 1988, when, acting on the direction of Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., and an order of the Senate, Sergeant-at-Arms Henry Giugni set off from the chamber to arrest missing senators:

A Russell Building cleaning lady told Giugni that Sen. Robert Packwood (R-Ore.) was in his personal office. Using a pass key, Giugni opened the door just as Packwood tried to block it with his arm. Packwood ended up reinjuring a broken finger.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 2:31 p.m.
TV Land

Brothel Responds to Reid’s Prostitutes/2016 GOP Convention Remarks

One of Nevada’s legal brothels is rebutting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s argument that the state’s prostitution industry could be a reason Las Vegas loses out on hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Sheri’s Ranch Brothel points to the rates of sex trafficking in Tampa, Fla., as not exactly a disqualifying factor in the city’s hosting of the 2012 Republican convention.

“These serious prostitution-related issues didn’t seem to bother Republicans when they considered Tampa, so why would they have an issue with a state that enforces legal prostitution? After all, Nevada’s licensed brothels only allow safe sex between mature consenting adults in a secure, STD-free environment,” the brothel said in its response. “Sex trafficking and child prostitution are abhorred by representatives of the legal Nevada sex work community.”

Full story

Beware the Facebook Conversation That Spurs Birther Debate

An incredulous Redditor is trying to wrap his head around how anyone can so loathe President Barack Obama they would consciously — and deliberately — choose to cling to outright fabrications rather than cut 44 some slack.

Conversation starter Bleach3825 suffered the jarring revelation after confronting, initially on Facebook, a high-school acquaintance about her seemingly rabid disdain for POTUS.

After presenting her with what he apparently believed was adequate proof that Obama is a native-born American and questioning her unwavering allegiance to the citizenship-denying camp, the dissenting party only dug in deeper:

Beware the Facebook Conversation That Spurs Birther Debate

(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)

“Don’t really care if it is accurate or not at this point. Interesting fiction is still entertaining,” the die-hard detractor declared on Facebook.

How can you argue with that?

Not sure if there’s any room in your echo chamber for a little theme music, but this one’s for you, Madam Hater:

Rock. On.

Digesting News a la Spike Mendelsohn

Restaurateur Spike Mendelsohn doesn’t just make headlines in this town, he now also serves them up to those plugged into the gastro-themed feeds he’s created for news-sharing upstart Trove.

Digesting News a la Spike Mendelsohn

Mendelsohn, center, is sharing his interests via Trove. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The media aggregating service tapped the reality-TV-star-turned-culinary-empire-builder — Good Stuff Eatery, We, The Pizza and Béarnaise have all taken root on Capitol Hill — to serve as one of its featured curators. Mendelsohn has, so far, carved out three dedicated channels: Full story

February 20, 2014

Paul Broun To Tailgate Before Saturday Senate Debate

Come Saturday, Georgia Republican Paul Broun will once again face off against the cadre of aspiring Hill climbers eyeing the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

Except this time, he plans to feast before leaping into the rhetorical lion’s den.

The Broun for Senate campaign is still putting the finishing touches on a planned pre-debate tailgate, dangling complimentary fried chicken, potato salad, coleslaw and sweet tea for those willing to huddle with the candidate ahead of the Georgia GOP Debate scheduled to take place Saturday from 4-6 p.m. at Brenau University in Gainesville, Ga.

Paul Broun To Tailgate Before Saturday Senate Debate

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

A campaign aide told HOH the tailgate concept was a first for Team Broun, but noted that the boss had distributed hot chocolate — “It was cold outside!” the aide shared — to those who waited patiently in line to watch local pols mix it up Feb 1. at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga. Full story

February 19, 2014

Vote for Your Favorite Capitol Quip

Vote for Your Favorite Capitol Quip

The five finalists for this week’s caption contest are ready for your votes.

Using the comments section below, vote for your favorite caption until 5 p.m. ET Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • Do you think closing the government for the day will help?
  • I knew there was something wrong when the SuperPAC “Committee Against Elected Federal Officials” gave us this free ski trip!
  • At least something is moving on Capitol Hill.
  • “Only a flurry of voter fury,” you said?!
  • Quite frankly, I don’t think it cares about the Red-Blue construct.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on Feb. 23 and in the following print edition of Roll Call. The contest winner will receive a signed color print of his or her Capitol Quip cartoon from the cartoonist, R.J. Matson.

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:31 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Rose’s Luxury Puts Barracks Row on National Dining Map

Capitol Hill diners, your secret’s out.

If anyone thought scoring a table at critical darling Rose’s Luxury (717 Eight St. SE) was crazy hard before, good luck snagging a seat now that chef Aaron Silverman is in the running for a prestigious James Beard Foundation Award.

The captivating locale, which debuted last fall, is one of 30 semi-finalists vying for the coveted Best New Restaurant prize. The winner will be revealed in New York City on May 2 and 5.

Other D.C.-metro entities in contention for the nationwide honors include:

  • The Columbia Room – Outstanding Bar Program
  • Rogue 24 – Outstanding Bar Program
  • Neighborhood Restaurant Group pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac – Outstanding Pastry Chef
  • Jaleo – Outstanding Restaurant
  • Vidalia – Outstanding Restaurant
  • Knightsbridge Restaurant Group founder Ashok Bajaj – Outstanding Restaurateur
  • Komi – Outstanding Service
  • Marcel’s – Outstanding Service, Outstanding Wine Program
  • CityZen – Outstanding Wine Program
  • Ripple/Roofers Union chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley – Rising Star Chef of the Year
  • Restaurant Eve chef/founder Cathal Armstrong – Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
  • Iron Gate chef Anthony Chittum – Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
  • Proof chef Haidar Karoum – Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
  • Patowmack Farm chef Tarver King – Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
  • Mintwood Place chef/founder Cedric Maupillier – Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
  • Rasika chef Vikram Sunderam – Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic

Congrats to all the nominees.

Best of luck in the finals!

February 18, 2014

House Staffer Stuck by Bony Lunch Surprise

Congress may be absent this week, but Restaurant Associates’ devoted personnel remain — tirelessly seeding staff meals with new and exciting mystery ingredients.

Last week there was the vanishing catfish sliders conundrum. Earlier this month, someone fished a garden dweller out of their soup. And then there was that whole, mind-bending “vegetarian” cod thing.

Today, at least, the offensive material was properly identified.

House Staffer Stuck by Bony Lunch Surprise

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

Our poor lunch-deprived tipster plucked this bony mass from the heart of the chicken etouffee served in the Longworth Cafeteria. “I’m learning not to go downstairs and order things that look opaque,” the startled diner told HOH. Full story

Cochran’s Catfish Crusade

While we consider ourselves the de facto congressional lunch monitor, it’s tough to sneak anything by eagle-eyed seafood champ Sen. Thad Cochran.

The Mississippi Republican spotted a catfish special Wednesday that immediately sparked a bit of Southern pride.

 

 

When we quizzed Cochran about the availability of his home state’s main catch here in the Capitol, the seasoned pol gave D.C. high marks. Full story

Former Rep. Mel Reynolds Arrested in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean authorities on Tuesday arrested former congressman and convicted felon Mel Reynolds under suspicion of possessing pornographic material and violating immigration protocol.

Reynolds’ diplomatic problems, first reported by The Associated Press, are just the latest embarrassment in a short-lived political career dominated by scandal.

The Illinois Democrat was elected in 1992 to the House and re-elected in 1994 but never completed his second term, resigning in 1995 following a conviction on sexual misconduct charges stemming from an affair with an underage campaign aide. Reynolds was found guilty of misusing campaign funds and bank fraud two years later. He spent a couple of years in prison but was pardoned in 2001 by President Bill Clinton.

Former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., who last fall was sentenced to 30 months in prison for helping himself to $750,000 in campaign funds, had replaced Reynolds after his initial fall from grace. Democratic Rep. Robin Kelly won a special election to succeed Jackson in the 2nd District in early 2013.

Reynolds unsuccessfully attempted to mount a comeback in 2004, vying to unseat Jackson, and again last year, in an attempt to succeed his successor.

“The bottom line is my past is my past,” Reynolds assured Roll Call a decade ago. “I don’t wear mistakes that I have made as a badge of shame, just as I don’t wear all of my accomplishments as a badge of confidence.”

Staff Assistants Warned: No ‘House of Cards’ Spoilers

Staff Assistants Warned: No House of Cards Spoilers

(JB Lacroix/Getty Images)

If there’s any truer maxim on Capitol Hill, it is this: Don’t mess with the staff assistants. Especially when it comes to “House of Cards” spoilers.

On Friday when federal government workers were ordered to work, on a delayed start, at least one junior staffer was none too pleased about the circumstances. The aide issued a stark warning at 12:23 p.m. to colleagues on the infamous White House Tours Listserv: leak any details about the Season Two Netflix release and get the boot.

Here’s the full text:

I know a lot of us are excited for the new season of House of Cards and due to Snowchi being fickle with additional snow we can’t watch the new season at home.  So this is just a warning, anyone who mentions House of Cards spoilers in their emails will be automatically kicked off the list.

Officially, the Listserv is a means for office White House Tour coordinators to communicate and trade tour slots for constituents.

So, all of this begs the question: Did anyone spill the beans?

February 16, 2014

A Snowball’s Chance on Capitol Hill | Capitol Quip

A Snowballs Chance on Capitol Hill | Capitol Quip

The public’s opinion of Congress is about as popular as the thought of another massive snow storm on the East Coast. Oh, and it’s an election year! Who is going to be able to dodge the voters’ ire? That 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 Wednesday, and everyone can vote for the winner through Thursday.

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

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

How Far Can John Boehner Be Pushed? | Capitol Quip

How Far Can John Boehner Be Pushed? | 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.

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

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