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

May 3, 2013

Derby Day Addendum

We here at HOH consider our editorial mission to be, partially, one of public service. And what better way to convey that than to give our loyal readers a few ideas for how to spend the upcoming weekend.

Start it off right Friday afternoon with the grand opening of Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue pop-up at the National Building Museum. Starting at 4 p.m. on the west lawn of the museum at Fifth Street Northwest between F and G streets, the HC crowd will serve up smoked meat, beer and tunes.  Full story

Franken Releases Hotdish Cookbook

If you missed the Minnesota congressional delegation’s annual “Hotdish Cook Off” last month, now you can try some of the recipes at home.

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., released a full-color cookbook of recipes from the 2013 hotdish contest Friday. Hotdish casseroles are a Minnesota tradition. HOH covered the contest, including reactions from some staffers to the abundance of calories.

The recipes include the contest winner, “Hermann the German Hotdish” from Democratic Rep. Tim Walz. Walz’s dish features brats, beer and tater tots.

Full story

Fictional Franchise: Children’s Novel Edition

In the latest edition of HOH’s Fictional Franchise, in which we examine fictional characters and the real-life people who represent them in Congress, we took a look at our favorite heroes and heroines from childhood.

And in what is probably one of the greatest thrills to be had in life, a special celebrity guest contributed to this column (via her assistant): Judy Blume.

The rules go like this: We decide where a fictional character lives and then look up who represents them in the House. (See more here.) We welcome any dispute with our assessments in the comments section below.

We must … we must … we must … start with:

Margaret Simon
“Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” by Judy Blume
Farbrook, N.J., Republican Rep. Leonard Lance

There is no more iconic young adult character than the pre-teen sensation that is Margaret Simon.

Full story

May 2, 2013

Hipsters to Celebrate Derby Day on Capitol Hill

Derby days are upon us, and all of you Capitol Hill denizens won’t have to look far to take part in a derby-themed festivity.

In honor of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, Brightest Young Things, our favorite hipster party planner, is hosting “Prancin’ – A Derby Day Party” at the Hill Center near the Eastern Market Metro. Full story

Bienvenidos Arizona Street Art Endures in D.C.

Give credit to street artist Yote, whose Bienvenidos Campaign — stickers, signs and paintings of the Spanish word for “welcome” superimposed over Arizona’s state flag — keeps popping up years after he started it.

The artist developed Bienvenidos in 2010, during the height of the debate over Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration crackdown law. It offered a counter-narrative to the heated anti-immigrant rhetoric of the day as it popped up amid election-season signage.

Bienvenidos Arizona Street Art Endures in D.C.

Street artist Yote developed the Bienvenidos Campaign in 2010. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

And it appears to have made its way to Washington, D.C., as evidenced by this sticker’s placement on a newspaper box on the National Mall.

Bienvenidos Arizona Street Art Endures in D.C.

Yote’s Bienvenidos street art project keeps popping up, years after he started it. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)


The Unfriendly Skies — No More Capitol Bird Attacks, So Far

Apparently, even angry birds need a break from their dive-bombing activities every once in a while.

On Wednesday, HOH reported that an unfriendly crow was swooping down on Capitol Police officers, tourists and neighborhood types on the block of Second Street and Constitution Avenue NE.

We are happy to report that there have been no bird attacks at the intersection in question today — yet.

“Nope, not so far today,” a Capitol Police Officer told HOH, chuckling when he was asked if he had been attacked yet by the foul fowl. He added that he had not seen anyone else attacked by the crow, either today or previously.

HOH will continue to monitor.

Artichoke Week Proceeds Apace

Count HOH among the skeptical about how delicious an artichoke-based or artichoke-inspired cocktail could be.

But we have to hand it to the folks at Boundary Road (414 H St. NE). They can mix it with the best of them.

Artichoke Week Proceeds Apace

The Cynar Spritzer is a cocktail of Cynar, maraschino and grapefruit. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Full story

May 1, 2013

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler Is Expecting

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler knows what’s coming for her new kid: a lifetime of correcting people that “No, no, it’s pronounced ‘Butler.’”

That was how the Washington Republican announced on her Facebook page today that she and her husband, Dan, are “expecting a baby.” This will be the couple’s first child.

Herrera Beutler’s Evergreen State colleague, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, was the last congresswoman to give birth while in office, in 2010. McMorris Rodgers is also the first woman to give birth twice while a member of Congress. Her first child was born in 2007.

Other congresswomen who gave birth in office? Rep. Linda T. Sánchez, D-Calif., in 2009. Then-Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., in 2008, and then-Rep., now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., in 2008.

By Jason Dick Posted at 5:47 p.m.

Five Captions Cleared for Takeoff | Capitol Quip

Five Captions Cleared for Takeoff | Capitol Quip

Five finalists for this week’s caption contest are looking for liftoff. Now it’s your turn to vote.

Using the comments section below, vote for your favorite caption until 5 p.m. EDT Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • Recess, need you to hold — looks like you’ve clipped Sequester Airways right wing.
  • Thank you for flying Hot Air. Please remain comfortably seated in your congressional districts. You may return your rhetoric to its uptight and locked position.
  • This is your captain speaking. The country has informed us that must cut your recess one minute short for every other program you don’t fix.
  • And they call us the do nothing Congress? We showed them!
  • Thanks for the warning, Tower. Will try to avoid stated danger. This is the Titanic. Over and out.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on May 6 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.

By Jason Dick Posted at 5:02 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Bird Terrorizes Tourists, Capitol Police Officers

For the past two weeks, Capitol Police officers stationed at a post on the outskirts of the Capitol Complex have known what Tippi Hedren went through.

A tipster alerted HOH that a large bird has been acting out its own version of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” swooping down and hitting officers, tourists and others on the back of their heads on the corner of Second Street and Constitution Avenue NE.

An officer stationed at the post confirmed that a crow has been terrorizing tourists and others from its tree across the street from the Veterans of Foreign Wars building.  

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 3:58 p.m.
AwesomeSauce, HillSide

Mini-Golf Returning to National Building Museum, With Barbecue

The National Building Museum is bringing back one of its most popular exhibits, air-conditioned mini-golf courses, from Memorial Day, May 27, to Labor Day, Sept. 2. And it’s bringing along some smoked meat and beer.

This year, the exhibit has been expanded to two nine-hole courses and will again be designed by leading architects. This year’s theme will be “Building the Future” and draws inspiration from things such as green urban planning, the reality of our office space, pinball and others. Full story

April 30, 2013

Larry Flynt Endorses Mark Sanford — Because it Wasn’t all Weird Enough

Because things weren’t weird enough in the special election for South Carolina’s 1st District House seat, what with satirist Stephen Colbert’s sister taking on the world’s foremost Appalachian Trail hiker, now Hustler publisher Larry Flynt has entered the picture.

On Tuesday, calling former Gov. Mark Sanford the “sex pioneer of our time,” Flynt endorsed the one-time Republican House member who in 2009 disappeared for several days for a tryst in Argentina with his then-mistress, now-finacee María Belén Chapur. Sanford’s aides at the time said the governor was hiking the Appalachian Trail, providing generations of comedians and political writers a ready-made euphemism.

“Sanford’s open embrace of his mistress in the name of love, breaking his sacred marriage vows, was an act of bravery that has drawn my support,” Flynt said in a release on his website. It was an endorsement, though, that the smut peddler and free-speech activist made with a few reservations. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 6:38 p.m.

April Is the Cruelest (Rainiest) Month

Pity the tourists who made this week their preferred time to visit the nation’s capital:

April Is the Cruelest (Rainiest) Month

Tourists donned plastic parkas on Monday for their tours around the capital. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Artichoke Week! Not Kidding!

Perhaps there just aren’t enough artichokes in your life.

Thankfully, HOH is here to direct you to friendly neighborhood restaurant Boundary Road (414 H St. NE), which is letting loose with Artichoke Week. Through Friday, drop by for artichoke inspired food, cocktails and wines.

And if an artichoke inspired libation isn’t enough for the artichokiphiles out there, just sample some of Boundary Road’s stock of Cynar, the artichoke liqueur. (We couldn’t make this up if we tried.)

Artichoke Week! Not Kidding!

Boundary Road will sell you Cynar, an artichoke liqueur. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Discerning HOH readers will recall that the Boundary Road gang has kind of thing for challenging drinks. At their one-year anniversary party in February, they offered $5 shots of Becherovka, a mysterious Czech herbal liqueur.

Congressional Women’s Softball Game Rosters Made Public

After months of taunts, bragging and cryptic tweets, the member and press softball teams have finally released their rosters, with lots of new blood on both sides this year.

Female Washington reporters and members meet each June in a softball game that raises money for the Young Survival Coalition, a charity that supports young women diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Each year, when practices begin, I bounce out of bed, bright and early, ready to go, and this week was no exception,” the game’s founder, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said in a release. She went on to note that this year will be both the fifth anniversary of the game and of her own breast cancer survival.

“I cannot imagine a better way to celebrate either accomplishment than by breaking our game’s fundraising record for the Young Survival Coalition and taking the trophy back from the Bad News Babes,” she added.

To which any self-respecting Texan would say, Come and Take It.

The game this year will be June 26. Full story

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