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

March 25, 2013

SCOTUS Campers: A Tarp-Side View

For Supreme Court campers, some big lessons have been learned since the last big SCOTUS stake-out, for health care in June 2012.

The high court will hear two cases related to same sex marriage starting Monday, and this time around, according to Virginia resident and SCOTUS camper Andy Bakker, “the line is smaller, but we came out earlier.” Bakker and several of his friends are among the dozens of people who have been hanging out at the Supreme Court since Thursday.

“I think the line will keep growing,” he said Monday morning. “We have 50 [people] now. There’s probably 100 seats.”

Unlike the 2012 health decision vigil, Bakker says, this group of folks, whether they are for or against same-sex marriage, isn’t going to suffer line-cutters. These guys are making friends and keeping cordial. Full story

Tweeted: Stockman Takes On Rich, White Things

“I don’t like this coffee. If this cream were any richer and whiter it’d be carrying a liberal protest sign.”

— @SteveStockmanTX

By Emily Pierce Posted at 1:28 p.m.
Overheards

Query Us Behavior

If you are reading this, then you are, presumably, interested in HOH’s signature brand of political commentary (read: congressional navel-gazing).

But as the Internet gods have recently made terrifyingly clear to us, some of you probably have no freaking clue how you landed on this particular page.

Thanks to a recent retooling of the virtual passageways that make the global dissemination of ad hominem sniping/bumbling animal GIFs/shoddy Twilight fan-fiction happen with just a few keystrokes:

HOH has learned that, sometimes, new friends come to the table for totally whacked out reasons. A review of this blog’s latest site stats revealed that not everybody arrived at their final infotainment destination via a direct route.

Full story

Monday Morning Quarterbacking: The RGIII and Elephants Edition

We’re trying to be wry and cynical about Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III’s Sunday visit to the circus, but we just can’t be and we blame that smile.

On Sunday afternoon, Griffin took his family to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s “Dragons” at the Verizon Center. 

According to the release, RGIII and his family enjoyed “the acts of circus performers from the farthest reaches of the earth.” After the show, which explores “dragon lore,” RGIII and his family got a tour of the circus, snapped pictures with the performers and threw a football to an elephant.

Normally, this type of publicity tour would make us roll our eyes, but check out the pictures after the jump. RGIII is so excited and pleased and good and pumped to be at the circus. It makes us smile. Full story

March 24, 2013

Capitol Quip: Hunting for a Caption

Capitol Quip: Hunting for a Caption

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 on Wednesday afternoon, and readers will have until 5 p.m. EDT Thursday to pick their favorite.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:45 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Capitol Quip: Budget Bracket Winner

Capitol Quip: Budget Bracket Winner

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 CQ Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:44 p.m.
Capitol Quip

March 22, 2013

New Elephant Habitat to Open at National Zoo Saturday

If there wasn’t enough elephantine excitement in the capital with the pachyderm parade through Capitol Hill this week, the National Zoo has another surprise for lovers of large mammals.

The public opening of the zoo’s Elephant Community Center on Saturday is the final part of Elephant Trails, a $56 million expanded home for the zoo’s herd of Asian elephants, according to a statement.

Elephant Trails also facilitates animal enrichment, according to the release, the effort to stimulate zoo-kept animals with textures, foods and other things reminiscent of their natural habitats.

Asian elephants Ambika, Shanthi and Shanthi’s 11-year-old son, Kandula, are members of an endangered species that the zoo has been working to conserve and protect, and they are sure to be pleased.

Starting Saturday at noon, visitors are invited to experience the sights, sounds and smells of being close to the three gigantic quadripeds, though it’s hard to imagine wanting to get close enough to know where those smells are coming from.

March 21, 2013

Waiter Turns Tables on Ron Johnson

Remember the Sheboygan Falls food server who tweeted that Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is “kind of a jerk”? As it turns out, the author of that tweet thinks Johnson is an OK guy. He even voted for him.

“Mr. Johnson was nothing but polite and professional when serving him,” Greg Scheidt wrote to HOH on Tuesday. Scheidt waited on Johnson and friends at the Bull at Pinehurst Farms golf course and restaurant.
Full story

By Neda Semnani Posted at 6:40 p.m.
FightingWords

Dating App Rates Capitol Hill as Pretty Attractive Place

Online dating app Hinge declares the Senate’s workforce more attractive than the House’s, but both employ some of the most attractive people in the District, according to user ratings.

The dating app aims to connect single young people by allowing users to rank Facebook friends-of-friends on a scale of 1-5. Hinge users have accumulated more than 1 million ratings, and the site claims to have had its “nerds sift through all the data” to see which local companies employ the highest-rated D.C. workers.

Full story

Cherry Blossom Festival Opens to Cool Temps

The Cherry Blossom Festival officially began Wednesday, marking the unofficial start of tourist season in Washington, D.C.

But festivalgoers were greeted not with blooming blossoms, but with an arctic chill that blew across the region.

Visitors who made plans for this weekend based on the initial peak-bloom dates of March 26 to 30 shouldn’t get their hopes up, as the cold weather in March has pushed the peak bloom dates back to April 3 to 6.
Full story

Dragons, Warriors, Acrobats, Predators

The circus is coming to town!

No, not the media circus covering Capitol Hill, but the actual Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus!

On Tuesday night, the “pachyderm parade” – or a band of the circus’ elephants – stomped through Capitol Hill, starting at the Capitol Power Plant and passing by the Capitol complex en route to the Verizon Center.

The stunt was in preparation for the circus’s show “Dragons,” which opens Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Verizon Center.

The show honors the Chinese Year of the Dragon – which wrapped up at the beginning of February – and features martial arts, fire, tigers, acrobats and, of course, elephants.

Prior to Thursday’s opening night performance, the circus will host a VIP party from 6  p.m. to 7 p.m. for all ticket holders. The party features “Asian-inspired drinks and activities.”

“We will have a number of DRAGON-inspired elements at the opening night VIP receptions, including dragon facemasks for the kids, red lanterns, dragon garnishes and trinkets,” circus spokeswoman Becky Brand said.

Brand added that Washingtonians who would like a sneak peek of the circus show can head to the Renaissance Hotel Plaza in Chinatown on Friday night, where the Chinese Shoalin Warrior Troupe will perform some of the martial arts moves from the show.

The circus will play nine shows at the Verizon Center. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com or at the Verizon Center box office, and cost between $15 and $35.

March 20, 2013

Cheer Up, Staffers! We’ve Got the Campus NCAA Channel Guide

Dear Hill creatures: Don’t feel guilty about wanting to watch March Madness on Thursday. Just be informed on how to, care of your friends at HOH.

Let’s be honest, your bosses will be watching basketball. Why should they have all the fun just because they were elected to do the people’s work and you were merely hired at a low price? Read further for the lowdown on which channels around campus you can find virtually every game. And don’t forget to fill out your Roll Call men’s and women’s NCAA brackets!

Full story

A Crapo Fundraiser’s Interesting Optics

Not quite four months since Sen. Michael D. Crapo was arrested in Virginia and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, the Idaho Republican apparently feels right at home heading to a fundraiser at a private townhouse owned by a liquor conglomerate.

Crapo — who was pulled over on Dec. 23 in Alexandria, Va., and failed multiple sobriety tests — is hosting the event Thursday afternoon for his Freedom Fund PAC at the privately owned Diageo Townhouse at 310 Sixth St. SE.
Full story

Satirist Spooked By Would-Be Watchdog

Satirist Spooked By Would Be Watchdog

Satirist Spooked By Would Be Watchdog

Political pot-stirrer Norm Augustinus, who has long enjoyed the role of finger pointer, recently learned what it’s like to feel persecuted courtesy of a threat against his livelihood lodged by shadowy figures.

The high drama developed after Augustinus, a seasoned journalist-cum-illustrator, uploaded his animated indictment of President Barack Obama’s terrorist-targeting drone program on March 8. Although far less graphic than the multitude of his explicit sexually oriented materials, the roughly 30-second .GIF shows Obama, Michelle Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi D-Calif., “getting it” via a laser-packing dirigible.

Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 6:32 p.m.
FightingWords

‘Shahs’ Star to Host D.C. Persian New Year Bash

A new personality on Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset” reality show is bringing a taste of Beverly Hills fashion sense to Persian New Year celebrations in the nation’s capital this weekend.

Neelufar Seyed Ghalichi, better known as Lilly Ghalichi, joined the cast of Near Eastern descendants in the show’s second season, which just wrapped up this February. In honor of the Persian New Year, which Persianate cultures the world over begin celebrating on the spring equinox, she’s hosting a fashion show and dance party at The Park at Fourteenth, a swanky restaurant-bar-lounge downtown.
Full story

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