Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 22, 2014

July 24, 2013

Anthony Weiner’s Wide World of Aliases

Ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., is back in the news again after yet another online paramour came forth with tales of social-media-enabled sexy talk and for-your-eyes-only crotch shots.

And while no one should be shocked to learn that Weiner, who is attempting a comeback by running for mayor of New York, was unable to keep it in his pants after resigning from Congress/begging his terribly put-upon wife, Huma Abedin, to stick with him, the latest fun from his adventures in infidelity is that Weiner conducted this round of skeevy activities under the pseudonym “Carlos Danger.” (Subconsciously want to get caught, much …)

Don’t get us wrong: Carlos Danger is a pretty rad alias.

Cartoony as hell. But definitely fun.

Still, we couldn’t help wonder what other identities Weiner could have adopted for his digital dalliances.

Anthony Weiner’s Wide World of Aliases

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call photo illustration)

The New Band Name Generator (pictured above) — which we set to “hardcore” (‘natch) — coughed up some amazingly apropos options, including: “Weiner Dagger” (too easy), “Breaking the Scarred Weiner” (give it time) and “Weiner Event” (come one, come all). Full story

Caption This: Cain-Bachmann Smile High Club

We don’t pretend to know what, exactly, former GOP presidential hopefuls Herman Cain and Rep. Michele Bachmann were actually discussing in this candid shot of the two during presumably better days.

Caption This: Cain Bachmann Smile High Club

(Screenshot)

We’d like to believe that the “Herminator” — seen here sporting a sly grin, so it’s likely this was before he bailed out of the race amid a growing chorus of sexual-harassment allegations — just finished asking the stewardess something saucy like, “Wanna bone?”

Bachmann also seems to be in high spirits. Guess the crushing weight of bowing out of politics/having to dismiss a sticky-fingered senior aide were still too far off in the distance to spoil this mid-flight feast of fried chicken.

Perhaps we’re overthinking things.

What do you imagine was being said/going on?

Fire away in the comments section below.

July 23, 2013

‘March’ Got John Lewis All Choked Up

SAN DIEGO — Any autobiography should be expected to make the author a little misty-eyed about days gone by.

‘March’ Got John Lewis All Choked Up

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

But as Rep. John Lewis learned after working on “March,” the graphic novel chronicling his civil rights era activities, comic books can also pack a seriously emotional punch.

Per Lewis, staring at the artfully arranged way his collaborator, Nate Powell, depicted a silly anecdote about a wayward hen the Georgia Democrat once tended to really struck a chord.

While at Comic-Con 2013, Lewis also shared the fascinating trajectory that took from seminary student to civil rights leader to comics scribe — a totally new experience the seasoned pol thanked Powell and Andrew Aydin, his staffer and “March” co-author, for weaving into his incredibly multilayered life.

Congressional Newbies Storm the Links

Monday’s Roll Call Cup not only featured late drama, with Republicans retaining the trophy in a tie match, but also four freshman House members who can now tout their experience on the greens.

Democratic Reps. Patrick Murphy of Florida and Scott Peters of California and Republican Reps. Roger Williams of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida navigated through Columbia Country Club’s narrow trees and 6,500-yard plus terrain at Monday’s competition. All strong golfers, veteran golfer Dan Tate Sr. noted the skills of Murphy and DeSantis, in particular, on the course.

Murphy, who faced off against fellow freshman Williams in the 4-ball and alternate shot morning rounds, was unable to find his groove for much of the day. He was didn’t get to finish his practice round Sunday thanks to lightning, and he could not overcome the course that once hosted the 1921 U.S. Open.

Williams played well, garnering 1.5 points in the morning rounds for the Republicans. He lost his final 9-hole match play to Peters.

DeSantis, who played baseball while studying at Yale University, lost 2 points in the opening two nine hole rounds before bouncing back in the afternoon to steal a point from Rep. Albio Sires, D-N.J. in the final nine holes.

House to Assess State of the Black Union

Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin, the African-American teen slain in Sanford, Fla., by acquitted gunman George Zimmerman, will address members of Congress on Wednesday, sharing his thoughts on the black experience in the United States at the inaugural meeting of the Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys.

The group discussion on “The Status of Black Males: Ensuring Our Boys Mature Into Strong Men” is scheduled to take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 2737 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Ex-Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-Md., Georgetown University sociology professor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Obama administration aide David J. Johns are also expected to weigh in on the challenges facing today’s young black males.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., couldn’t get away from the topic even at Comic-Con, alerting those assembled to hear him speak about “March,” the graphic novel detailing his own rites of passage in the segregationist South, that post-racial America is still a ways off.

Full story

Chuck Grassley Would Have Hated Comic-Con

Chuck Grassley Would Have Hated Comic Con

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

We grabbed the teaser comic for “Vikings” — The History Channel’s none-too-veiled ploy to tap into the burgeoning “Game of Thrones” viewership — while out at Comic-Con, thinking it might be right up Sen. Charles E. Grassley’s alley.

The Iowa Republican is, after all, a rabid history junkie.

Chuck Grassley Would Have Hated Comic Con

(Screenshot)

But nothing brings out the curmudgeonly programming critic in Grassley — his beef with the network runs so deep, the solon is now giving interviews exclusively about the dearth of backward-looking shows — faster than flipping on The History Channel and finding nothing but “reality”-based ratings bait.

Except maybe cosplay.

Full story

July 22, 2013

Comic-Con Sticks It to the Man

Comic Con Sticks It to the Man

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

SAN DIEGO — As magnetic a draw as he proved to be during a 48-hour swing through town, Rep. John Lewis hardly cornered the market on political speech at this year’s Comic-Con.

Per the show’s handlers, the Georgia Democrat’s visit marked the first time a sitting politician had come to mix and mingle with the make-believe obsessed. Lewis made the trip to promote the first volume of “March,” a retelling of the civil rights leader’s career of nonviolent protest lovingly rendered in graphic novel form.

If one needed any proof that Lewis’ life lessons are not just still culturally relevant, but perhaps more important than ever in today’s troubled world, art posted all around the fantasy fest suggested that the struggle for equality rages on.

Comic Con Sticks It to the Man

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Comic Con Sticks It to the Man

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Posters used by the anti-corporate Occupy movement echo the very strategies Lewis advocates in the new book.

Comic Con Sticks It to the Man

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

One attendee became his own billboard, urging others not to forget the horrors of Hurricane Katrina.

Comic Con Sticks It to the Man

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Some egged comics fans to stay forever vigilant, think for themselves and, above all, “read irresponsibly.”

Comic Con Sticks It to the Man

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Comic Con Sticks It to the Man

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Comic Con Sticks It to the Man

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Comic Con Sticks It to the Man

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Others openly scorned elected leaders — some real (Ronald Reagan) some totally imagined (A “Planet of the Apes” version of Che Guevara) — taking creative license with many of the qualities (strength, aggression) demonstrated by the modern ruling class.

Whether thumbing their nose at the tea party:

Comic Con Sticks It to the Man

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Or throwing bruise-purple street knowledge in the faces of the rose-colored-glasses-wearing set:

Comic Con Sticks It to the Man

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The message came in loud and clear: We know what you’re up to.

Comic Con Sticks It to the Man

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

And we’re not going down without a fight.

Republicans Hold Off Democrats to Retain Roll Call Cup

A missed 12-footer on the final hole by three-time Democratic captain Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky created only the second tie in the 12-year history of the First Tee Congressional Challenge.

Per rules, the Roll Call Cup must be “taken” from the other party, and the 10-10 tie created when Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., took the final match point from Yarmuth on the 18th hole gave the Republicans their second-straight cup, after Democrats won the previous six.

Republicans Hold Off Democrats to Retain Roll Call Cup

Reps. Ander Crenshaw, left, and Mike Doyle walk off the 10th green Monday at Columbia Country Club. (JM Rieger/CQ Roll Call)

“I got in a position where I had to pitch back to the fairway and had about a 12-footer to halve the match, which would’ve ended up being the half-point that would have won the match for us, but Trey played great,” Yarmuth said. “This is one of the nicest experiences. There is so much partisan rancor; it’s a way to get to know members and to generate respect.” Full story

Take Five: Susan W. Brooks

It’s time again for Take Five, HOH’s opportunity to get to know a member of Congress better through five fun questions. This week, freshman Rep. Susan W. Brooks, R-Ind., talks about her zeal for equestrianism, Sugarland and “leaning in.”

Q. What have you enjoyed most about your term in Congress so far?

A. I’ve enjoyed meeting and working with so many smart and patriotic people who care so much about our country. Our members are so knowledgeable and have such diverse life experiences. It gives me a lot of optimism that Congress can actually make a difference. Everyone I’ve met here — staff included — is incredibly sharp, dedicated and kind.

Q. What music helps you unwind?

A. I listen to Jason Mraz a lot. I really like his live album, “Beautiful Mess,” that was recorded in Chicago. I also enjoy Sugarland quite a bit. I’ve been lucky enough to watch both Jason Mraz and Sugarland play live.

Q. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

A. I’m a trail rider and have ridden horses for 30 years both in Indiana and out West. I think it’s a character-building activity.

Q. What was the last book you read and would recommend to someone?

A. “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. She did a great job talking to so many women about their experiences. A lot of people don’t realize that the book is about more than just her story. It’s about a huge cross section of women from around the country. She gave a voice to a lot of perspectives that I can relate to. Sandberg’s view is that there are not enough women in positions of authority helping to make decisions that impact our lives. She thinks we need more corporate and government female leaders, and I feel the same way.

Q. What is your favorite place to frequent in Washington, D.C.?

A. The monuments are still powerful to me every time I visit them. They’re great reminders of the sacrifices so many people have made to keep our nation strong. Art and Soul and Cuba Libre are two favorite restaurants that I’ve visited so far.

This Has Been a Test of Comic-Con’s Zombie Alert System

SAN DIEGO — Just a little warning we spotted while shambling around Comic-Con:

This Has Been a Test of Comic Cons Zombie Alert System

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Guess the lesson here is: Keep Calm and Consume Brains.

July 21, 2013

Stand by Your Man | Capitol Quip

Stand by Your Man | 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. And check out our past winners on Pinterest.

Sneetches 2, the No Labels Sort | Capitol Quip

Sneetches 2, the No Labels Sort | Capitol Quip

We find ourselves occasionally thinking of Sneetches. Wait! Did we say Sneetches? Yes! Will Democrats and Republicans have anything to do with the No Labels sort?

Let us know in the comments section of our Heard on the Hill blog. Editors will pick five finalists on Wednesday, and everyone can vote for the winner until Thursday evening on the HOH blog. The winner gets a signed print from illustrator R.J. Matson.

To check out past winners, go to Pinterest.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:30 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Comics Vets Rally Around John Lewis

Comics Vets Rally Around John Lewis

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

SAN DIEGO — Socially conscious collectors weren’t the only ones psyched to commune with newly minted graphic novelist Rep. John Lewis, who traveled here to Comic-Con 2013 to promote his groundbreaking project, “March.”

Aaron Haaland, owner of the Orlando, Fla.-based A Comic Shop, billed the Georgia Democrat’s appearance at the fabled pop culture mecca as a potential turning point for the traditionally under-the-radar medium.

Rich Koslowski, author of the politically themed “BB Wolf and the Three LPs,” was just happy about having Lewis finally join the club.

John Lewis’ Arresting Life Advice

SAN DIEGO — In town to celebrate the highly anticipated debut of his graphic novel, “March,” an illustrated account of the civil rights movement in the early 1960s, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., also laid bare at Comic-Con the grim realities of a life often lived in direct opposition to the status quo.

Speaking with the utmost conviction, with nary a hint of contrition, the veteran activist urged others to bravely speak out and act up — cultural defiance he dubbed “good trouble” — against all manner of injustice.

‘Senator Cash’ Campaigns at Comic-Con

SAN DIEGO — A faux politician, displaying the savvy of Willie Sutton and showmanship of P.T. Barnum, this weekend threw a little cold water in the faces of the sea of humanity gleefully floating around Comic-Con.

The theatrically inclined protestor — in reality a fed-up 99 percenter — adopted the graft-friendly persona to lobby in support of the electorate-splitting Keystone XL pipeline.

Senator Cash Campaigns at Comic Con

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Senator Cash Campaigns at Comic Con

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The veteran rabblerouser even papered passersby with buck-shaped leaflets bearing revelatory quotes from real-life Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., and former Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, about the congressional need to continually fill campaign coffers.

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