Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 16, 2014

April 7, 2013

Capitol Quip: Your Chance to Blossom

Capitol Quip: Your Chance to Blossom

The cherry blossoms might be late in blooming, but Capitol Quip is right on time!

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!

April 5, 2013

Senators Appreciate Mike Tyson’s Support

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have picked up a curious ally in their push to secure a presidential pardon for boxing legend Jack Johnson.

The two lawmakers have been joined by former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson to encourage President Barack Obama to posthumously pardon Johnson, a black man who was arrested for violating the Mann Act for “transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes.” Tyson started the Jack Johnson petition on

“Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion of the world, is long overdue a pardon,” Tyson writes on the site. “Johnson paved the way for black boxers like me.”

Pardoning Johnson has become a cause celeb in recent years, complete with a YouTube plea:

And a Ken Burns documentary:

Full story

By Neda Semnani Posted at 5:02 p.m.

Mitch McConnell Plans Final Four Trip

It’s a good thing the Senate called off an evening vote on April 8, because the chamber’s minority leader expects to have other plans.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a Friday radio interview that he planned to be at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for Monday night’s NCAA men’s basketball national championship game to root on the team from his beloved alma mater, the University of Louisville Cardinals. Full story

Food Court: Hawk ‘n’ Dove

Hear ye, hear ye: Food Court is now back in session.

Our latest case: the thoroughly sanitized Hawk ‘n’ Dove.

Food Court: Hawk ‘n’ Dove

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

As far as general hygiene and structural integrity are concerned, the recently renovated Hawk ‘n’ Dove has to be considered a resounding success.

The previous iteration of the establishment — which shuttered in late 2011, changed ownership and lay dormant for 15 months before returning to operation this January — was about as dank and lived-in as they come. Natural light (the so-called disinfectant, not the economy brew) was virtually nonexistent, malodorous scents waylaid the uninitiated at every turn and the intentionally greasy grub was best categorized as “edible.”

Yet for all its faults, the place had character. And one could forgive certain quirks in return for knowing that each visit (beers: cheap, cold, domestic; food: deep-fried, messy, fattening; service: gruff but dependable) would play out exactly like the last.

Fast forward to today, when absolutely everything is a tossup.

Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 3:28 p.m.
Food, HillSide

Will Colorado Remove Restrictions on Cheeba and Voting?

With the news that Kentucky had repealed a law that prohibited alcohol sales on Election Day, we at HOH couldn’t help but spin the story forward, turning our thoughts to other illicit substances and electioneering.

Can Colorado, which decriminalized marijuana last year, be far behind in removing barriers to mixing bud and the ballot box?

April 4, 2013

Capitol Quip: Five Captions Waiting for Entry

Capitol Quip: Five Captions Waiting for Entry

Here are the five finalists for this week’s caption contest. Now it’s your turn to vote.

Using the comments section below, vote for your favorite caption until 10 a.m. Friday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • Uncle Sam sort of wants you!
  • Turns out Lady Liberty was only here on a temporary work visa!
  • Limited time offer: If we don’t start seeing your votes we close the fences back.
  • “We ask you please bear with us ’til we remove the barbed wire.”
  • Don’t stop here. Canada has plenty of room.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog April 8 and in Monday’s 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 3:32 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Chez Gipper Gets Berlin-Walled

It would appear that no one at the University of Chicago got the memo that real Americans don’t destroy the “Great Communicator’s” hangouts.

If they had, the university would have known better than to sign off on leveling the boyhood home of former president and conservative poster-boy Ronald Reagan to make way for a couple of hundred parking spots:

According to WGN, the university plans to commemorate “40’s” connection to the Hyde Park ‘hood by erecting a plaque at the currently rubble-y scene.

Should that not be enough to sate political road-trippers, there are five Reagan-branded structures to visit (thanks, Grover!) a mere two hours away in scenic Eureka, Ill.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 3:08 p.m.

April 3, 2013

Mark Sanford Teases MSNBC About Prop Pigs

Dry those tears, Mika Brzezinski.

Contrary to the fiery end you were told befell scene squealers “Pork” and “Barrel”:

An aide to South Carolina hopeful Mark Sanford assured HOH the former and would-be congressman merely lost touch with the famous stunt swine.

“He was joking. We don’t have a clue what happened to those pigs,” Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer said of the unknown fates of the bacon-in-training.

According to Sawyer, Team Sanford borrowed the photo-op-friendly oinkers from a Lexington, S.C., farmer for its famous May 27, 2004, presser shaming Palmetto State lawmakers about runaway spending. He said the duo was dutifully returned to the contributing farmer the same day.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 6:38 p.m.

FLOTUS Rehashes Kiddie Recipe Contest

FLOTUS Rehashes Kiddie Recipe Contest

(Courtesy the White House)

First lady Michelle Obama is soliciting a fresh batch of healthy-eating ideas from America’s youth, calling on kids to send in signature snacking suggestions for the second annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kids’ State Dinner initiative.

The inaugural Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, which falls under the umbrella of FLOTUS’ ongoing “Let’s Move!” program, culminated in a cookbook composed of 54 chef-approved dishes and a kid-friendly feast hosted by the White House on Aug. 20, 2012. This year’s honorees should expect to be feted at a similar shindig in July or August.

Locals who made the cut for the 2012 challenge — would-be recipe writers must be 8 to 12 years old — include D.C.’s own Iliana Gonzales-Evans, 11, who submitted turkey bacon-filled tacos dubbed “Mexican Delight”; Marylander Samuel Hightower, 10, who made his case for tofu squares sauteed with scallions and sugar snap peas (“Sizzling Tofu”); and Old Dominion resident Madeline Steppel, 9, who pointed to Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner’s creamless asparagus soup contribution to the “Celebrate Virginia Cookbook” as the inspiration for her own fish chowder creation.

Recipes may be submitted online or by snail mail. Send to: The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge c/o, 1166 Avenue of the Americas, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036 until May 12. Winners will be notified before the end of June.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:37 p.m.

New Nat Is All Over D.C.

New Nat Is All Over D.C.

(Courtesy Twitter)

Denard Span, the one-time Minnesota Twin and shiny new Nationals center fielder, is sliding right into home here in the District, taking in historic sights and enjoying the proximity to power.

Just a day after his club’s 2-0 Opening Day win over the visiting Miami Marlins — game two of the home stand gets under way tonight at 7:05 p.m. — number “2” ventured over to the Library of Congress to get an eyeful of “16’s” personal belongings.

“Just leaving the library of congress. I saw what Lincoln had in this pocket the night he died,” Span tweeted out after inspecting Honest Abe’s personal effects.

Full story

April 2, 2013

Mark Sanford’s Argentine Love At Victory Celebration

Former South Carolina Gov. and Rep. Mark Sanford continued his comeback from the Appalachian Trail on Tuesday with his onetime mistress, now fiancée, at his side.

On Tuesday night, as Sanford was celebrating his victory in South Carolina’s 1st congressional district runoff election for the Republican nomination, María Belén Chapur congratulated him at the watch party, and took her place to his right when he spoke to the crowd.

In 2009, Sanford made headlines, and put the final nail in his marriage’s coffin, when he went missing for several days. Aides were stuck telling the press that the then-governor was hiking the Appalachian Trail. He was actually in Argentina with Chapur, whom he later described as his “soul mate.”

After returning from his South American tryst, Sanford gave an infamously honest press conference wherein he admitted the infidelity and proclaimed his love for Chapur. The couple announced their engagement in August 2012.

Several weeks ago, Scott English, Sanford’s former chief of staff, tweeted a joke about the pope in which he referenced the ex-governor’s disappearance. The Internet laughed out loud.


NRA Rolls With Well-Armed Detail at Press Club Event

Does ex-Rep. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., know something we don’t?

The former lawmaker, Drug Enforcement Agency director and Homeland Security undersecretary brought several armed guards and a bomb-sniffing dog to the National Rifle Association’s School Shield Program press conference at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

Bags were searched as the members of the media were filed into the room. Water bottles were confiscated. However, when a reporter asked the current leader of the NRA’s School Shield Program why there were so many armed guards, she was ignored.

Then another reporter asked the question again: Why the excessive security detail?

“As you go into a mall there is security,” Hutchison said. “So there is security here at the National Press Club.”

“We come here a lot,” yet another reporter returned. All of the reporters HOH spoke to could not recall seeing this level of security at a press conference held at the press club.

Is Hutchinson afraid of something? The reporters wanted to know.

No, he said, he was “not afraid” and he was “wide open.” Although just how “wide open” a person surrounded by a dozen armed guards actually is is up for debate.

Hutchinson’s security detail at the event was not contracted by the press club, said Bill McCarren, executive director of the National Press Club. The security measures at the event were provided by the NRA for the NRA. Full story

By Neda Semnani Posted at 4:37 p.m.

Crash Davis’ Congressman and Other Useful Information

In the spirit of baseball season, HOH is kicking off a new series that examines the congressional representation of our favorite fictional characters in television, literature and the movies.

The rules go like this — we decide where a fictional character lives and then look up who represents them in the House.

We will make the best guess we can with analysis based on shooting locations, historical data, creepy Internet stalker websites, the creators of these characters when available, sources familiar with the region, obsessive friends, thinly-veiled locations and textual geographic references.

We welcome any dispute with our assessments in the comments section below.

And even if the characters are hundreds of years old, we’re only dealing with modern members of Congress. Because, after all, a truly great hero of fiction lives forever.

“Major League”
Pitcher Ricky Vaughn (Charlie Sheen)
Cleveland: Democratic Rep. Marcia L. Fudge

We are not even certain if Vaughn’s criminal record qualifies him to vote, but if he could, he would have Fudge on his ballot, according to Ohio-native Christyn Keyes, communications director for Ohio Republican Rep. David Joyce.

“Rick ‘The Wild Thing’ Vaughn lives on West 6th in downtown Cleveland,” she wrote in an email. “Close proximity to two of his favorite things: the baseball stadium and the bar scene.”

That puts him smack in Fudge’s 11th District.

Keyes and Joyce outreach director Kevin Benacci said that it is their belief that third baseman Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernsen) lives in Gates Mills, Ohio, and is one of Joyce’s constituents.

Oh, Wild Thing, you make our hearts sang.

Full story

April 1, 2013

Capitol Quip: The Elephant in the Room

Capitol Quip: The Elephant in the Room

CQ 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 Thursday afternoon, and readers will have until 10 a.m. EDT Friday to pick their favorite.

By Jason Dick Posted at 6:02 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Capitol Quip: Easter Egg Rolling to Victory

Capitol Quip: Easter Egg Rolling to Victory

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: “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their dyes!” The winner, Sarah Crim of Bowie, Md., will receive a signed color print suitable for framing from CQ Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson.

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