Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 20, 2014

April 15, 2013

Lugar’s Knight Moves

Former Sen. Richard G. Lugar should probably go ahead and update his résumé on Tuesday. That’s when the Indiana Republican will be dubbed an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire during a semi-private ceremony at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.
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Take Five With Rep. Chellie Pingree

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another Take Five, HOH’s chance to get to know a member of Congress a little better by asking five fun questions all relatively unrelated to their legislative work. This week Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, tells us what’s on her playlist and who she’d want to play her in a movie of her life.

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No Separation of Church and State When Tragedy Strikes

The twin blasts that rocked the Boston Marathon Monday sparked an outpouring of support from suddenly somber and reflective pols. The one thing they almost all defaulted to was prayer:

No Separation of Church and State When Tragedy Strikes



No Separation of Church and State When Tragedy Strikes



No Separation of Church and State When Tragedy Strikes



No Separation of Church and State When Tragedy Strikes



No Separation of Church and State When Tragedy Strikes



No Separation of Church and State When Tragedy Strikes



No Separation of Church and State When Tragedy Strikes



No Separation of Church and State When Tragedy Strikes


We hear ya.

At Long Last, Spotify Returns to the House

The kinks blocking House members and staffers from accessing the popular music-streaming website Spotify have finally been ironed out, officially ending the two-month-long Spotify drought plaguing the House side of the Hill, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office told HOH on Monday.

Those on the House side of the Capitol looking to listen to some tunes can access Spotify via the application’s Web client at, Cantor’s Deputy Digital Director Connor Walsh said.

Access to Spotify was blocked on the House network earlier this year due to concerns that the website could pose cyber-security threats.

After working to address the security concerns with the House Chief Administrative Officer, the House announced last week that staff could once again use Spotify to stream music while at work.

But staffers reported that access was still spotty, with many staffers still receiving the dreaded “WEBSITE BLOCKED” message that they’d received during the two-month Spotify ban. Full story

North Korea Has Some Growing Up to Do

World leaders might be getting worried about what North Korean leader Kim Jung Un is up to.

North Korea Has Some Growing Up to Do

(Courtesy Facebook)

But some conservatives seem to believe wreaking global havoc remains just out of reach for the nascent despot.

Billy Long Wields Knife at Taste of the South

Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., waved the 8-inch blade of a the handmade custom chef’s knife before his eyes on Saturday night and whistled, attempting to command the attention of Taste of the South’s VIP crowd at the gala’s inaugural live auction in the lower level of DAR Constitution Hall.

Each of Long’s feet was planted on the squishy seat of a dining chair, and beads of sweat rolled from his forehead as he hollered for bids on the stainless steel “Tyger,” one-half of a set of knives valued at $1,000.

“I thought falling off the chairs is one thing, the knives are another, but the knives and the chairs together — probably not a good idea,” Long told HOH after the auction, with a hearty chuckle. Full story

April 14, 2013

Overheard on the Hill

“I’m going to take a nap. I was up late last night.”

Rep. Steve Cohen, at the news conference explaining his latest Twitter adventure, wherein he tweeted to singer Cyndi Lauper that she was “hot.”

Spotify Access Is Spotty

The House is alive with the sound of music — well, almost.

Last week, staffers and members of Congress rejoiced to learn that they would regain access to Spotify, a popular music-streaming program, on the House network.

They would return to Capitol Hill from a two-week recess ready to pick up where they left off before the House computer overlords blocked the program for fear it would expose government computers to cyberattacks.
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Monday Beer Gathering for Everyone!

Home-grown beer producer DC Brau celebrates its two-year anniversary Monday at Meridian Pint, an opportunity to thank the brew gods for two of Washington’s sudsiest local firms.

The DC Brau catalog of drafts and casks — everything from its everyman Public ale to its eclectic The Stone of Arbroath 2012 — will be $5 all night.

The anniversary party comes on the same evening that the National Beer Wholesalers Association is hosting its own beer celebration — Cheers: The World of Beer Delivered by America’s Beer Distributors — in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building.
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By Jason Dick Posted at 7:30 p.m.

The Funemployment Chronicles

Rather than cry about the nonprofit post quashed by sequester-mandated budget cuts, an ex-House staffer has decided to seek his entertainments elsewhere.

His current happy place? Think tank luncheons.

The Panel Crasher blog, a virtual soapbox set up by D.C.’s self-described “equal opportunity, bipartisan moocher and offender,” went live April 3, just days after its founder got bounced from a recent gig funded by government grants. With three years of congressional experience (one year as an intern, two years as paid committee staff) under his belt, the rudderless — at least until graduate school starts later this fall — wonk decided to milk the situation for all it’s worth.
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Capitol Quip: Ready, Aim …

Capitol Quip: Ready, Aim ...

The Senate continues to debate gun legislation, which means there should be plenty of ammo for this week’s Capitol Quip caption contest.

Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson has another cartoon for your quippy consideration this week. Submit your caption in the comments section below. Editors will pick five finalists to go before readers for a vote. We’ll let you know the five finalists Wednesday afternoon, and readers will have until 5 p.m. EDT Thursday to pick their favorite.

And when you sign in to the comments section, make sure to leave us a way to get in contact with you, be it email, Twitter or Facebook. If your caption wins, we’ll need to be able to get you your signed copy of the print!

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:15 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Capitol Quip: This Caption Had Just The Right Bloom


Capitol Quip: This Caption Had Just The Right Bloom

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.

April 12, 2013

Rob Lowe to Narrate the 1980s

Fire up the Hot Tub Time Machine!

It’s the event every Gen-Xer has been waiting for: Affirmation that the 1980s gave birth to every culturally significant trend of the next 30 years.

And who better to guide us through this than the National Geographic Channel’s three-night, six-hour mini-series, “The ’80s: The Decade That Made Us,” narrated by Rob Lowe, he of “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Class” and “About Last Night…”

Long before Lowe played the noble Sam Seaborn on “The West Wing,” Lowe was starring in hard-R comedies in the era of leg warmers, Aqua Net and Ronald Reagan — a time we were all duly reminded of with this week’s death of another 1980s icon, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Thatcher.

“Despite its reputation for bad hair and loud clothing, the ’80s was a big, bold time, and just about everything about the era, from the politics and technological innovations to the blockbuster movies, TV shows and ‘to the max’ fashions, continues to shape the world we live in today,” a release from National Geographic Channel pants.

Even Cyndi Lauper is back, thanks to the latest Twitter misadventure of Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.

That’s what we’re talking about! Those of you who want to remember, it all starts on National Geographic Channel at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday night.

Obama Wears Things on His Head

President Barack Obama said Friday that presidents don’t wear hats. But we see plenty of evidence that he’s willing to make an exception, if the chapeau is right.

Let’s start at the beginning. Earlier in the day, Obama became the second politician to be offered a helmet in the past several months.

In January, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was presented with a football jersey and a helmet after she returned to work following a fall and subsequent concussion.

On Friday, Obama presented the Navy Football team with a trophy. Two players then presented “44″ with a helmet, and, according to the pool report, “[s]omeone in the crowd shouted ‘put it on.’” Obama demurred.

“Here’s a general rule,” the president replied. “You don’t put stuff on your head if you’re president. That’s politics 101. You never look good wearing something on your head.”

He seems to have learned this great lesson from two politicians from Massachusetts and Democratic presidential candidates, Gov. Michael Dukakis and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Still, our current commander in chief has worn several things upon his head. Don’t believe us? HOH has gathered eight pictures of Barack Obama wearing, holding and regarding hats and helmets and one painting of the president with a pancake on his head.

Choom Gang Panama Hat

Obama Wears Things on His Head
(Photo courtesy of Lisa Jack)

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