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 9 a.m. EDT Friday.
Here are this week’s finalists:
The administration did promise to listen to the people …
No more dome tours then?
Richard Nixon, eat your heart out.
I still can’t get a signal for ESPN.
Who says government doesn’t listen to what its citizens have to say?
The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog June 17 and in that day’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.
Domestic squabbling spilled into the halls of Congress this week, after one House staffer, perturbed at his roommate, attempted to draw co-workers into the fray by airing their dirty laundry in a nasty email.
The caustic communication hit Capitol Hill inboxes around 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday; that’s when legislative assistant Oscar Urteaga loosed his screed against new-media aide Jeff Leieritz.
An HOH tipster forwarded the expletive-filled rant, which purportedly stunned Small Business Committee aides before trickling out to less-than-amused K Street contacts.
And it’s that overreach that appears to have earned Urteaga his walking papers.
“Our office has always upheld the highest of standards for personal decorum and professionalism. Introducing personal problems into the realm of one’s professional duties is inexcusable and will not be tolerated,” Urteaga’s supervisor explained after terminating the loose cannon.
As is often the case between feuding bros, the source of the intrahousehold friction appears to be a woman: a newly minted fiancee, to be exact.
In the Twitter age, apparently lawmakers don’t even need to wrap up their hearings before responding to news reports they don’t like, as BuzzFeed reporter Rosie Gray discovered Wednesday.
Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., spent much of a hearing Wednesday trying to steer the proceeding back to its original intended purpose — evaluating the U.S. cybersecurity budget — rather than what it was turning into, a grilling of Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the National Security Agency director and head of U.S. Cyber Command, about government surveillance programs. Several times, she reminded panelists that the Intelligence Committee has a Thursday briefing planned to discuss surveillance.
More than an hour and a half into the hearing, though, Mikulski interrupted the proceeding for a different purpose: answering a tweet from Gray saying she was “interfering” with an interesting line of questioning. Full story
Updated 3:45 p.m. | An effort to pass a campaign finance overhaul bill gets racy in its most recent move to get money out of politics.
In a YouTube video published this morning, the Represent.Us campaign to “end corruption” and “get America back” portrays a fictional senator stripping down to his Old Glory underpants and allowing a pack of lobbyists to jam dollar bills just about everywhere, right up to where the sun don’t shine.
That’s a flag we don’t need waved. As our pals at sister blog Political MoneyLine wrote, “Members of Congress will not like it. Most viewers will not like it. But that may be the point they are trying to make about soliciting campaign funds.”
Randy Hackett, the ad man behind the video, produced it pro bono, Represent.Us Director Josh Silver said. “He cares so much about the issue.”
For his part, Hackett said he wanted to make sure the video would get people’s attention.
“Did it turn you on?” he asked HOH. “It’s not supposed to,” he added — but only after we conceded that yes, it did, just a little. “It’s supposed to repulse people,” he said.
Peak Kwinarian, the actor who plays the salacious senator in the video, said he was taken aback by the pseudo-patriotic drawers the creators asked him to wear for his role.
“When I originally saw them, I did have a moment there,” he said. “[But] it’s not the actual flag. … I wasn’t desecrating the flag.”
Kwinarian said this was his first foray into exotic dancing, though he said he did once wear high heels and play a woman in a musical called “Zombies From the Beyond.”
“It was a campy piece,” he clarified.
The video is only the most recent move in the campaign to get a draft of legislation known as the American Anti-Corruption Act a vote in Congress. Former Federal Election Commission Chairman Trevor Potter drafted the act. Its website says the measure would transform how elections are financed, how lobbyists influence politics and how political money is disclosed.
To those who were wondering if Rep. Ralph M. Hall, R-Texas, was, in fact, lost while hanging at a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender soiree in Rayburn, the answer goes both ways.
“Last week, due to a scheduling error, I entered an ongoing reception, accompanied by staff, in the belief that we were attending a reception to honor a fellow congressman. One of the sponsors immediately greeted me, courteously welcomed us and offered refreshments,” Hall told HOH about the warm reception he received from Victory Fund folks June 5.
At some point, the worm turned.
“When I inquired about the congressman being honored, the sponsor did not know anything about that reception and presented his card. At that moment I realized that this was not the reception I intended to attend, and I put down my glass, thanked the sponsor, and told him we would be leaving,” Hall explained, adding, “Many of those in attendance probably were surprised to see me walk in, but were not surprised to see me leave quickly.”
Though not quite conceding that his long-shot bid to become the next governor of Virginia is all but officially over, tabloid vet Tareq Salahi is now eyeing one of the Old Dominion’s congressional seats.
A more cynical journalist might suggest that, based solely on the handful of gawkers (think: polo buddies and long-lost acquaintances) present at his campaign rollout last fall, Salahi’s political career seemed doomed from the start. Naysayers might also bring up that follow-up events, including one-off wine tours through the Virginia countryside and a NASCAR-themed stunt in Las Vegas, fizzled out rather quickly.
But, we here at HOH are more interested in what Salahi might bring to the table today.
“My political goals are not about me, not about publicity, but about serving the hard-working people of Virginia,” Salahi asserted in a combo release advocating a write-in effort for the governor’s race while also floating the idea of giving Congress a go in 2014.
During a brief break from trying to wrap his head around the PRISM-related madness currently gripping Capitol Hill, House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., managed to squeeze in a shoutout to the ultimate local businessman: a food trucker who caters to the Michigan statehouse.
“I didn’t come to the Senate to sign on to a bunch of letters and give a speech once a week on the floor.” — Florida Republican Marco Rubio pauses, during a heated defense of the immigration overhaul, to explain that he didn’t battle his way into the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body just to sit idly by on the sidelines.
(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)
But while he is here, might as well unload a few custom water bottles, right?