Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 29, 2014

July 7, 2013

Edward Snowden’s Excellent Adventure | Capitol Quip

Edward Snowdens Excellent Adventure | Capitol Quip

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. And check out our past winners on Pinterest.

July 5, 2013

While You Were Away …

Congress might have left Washington for the Independence Day recess but HOH stayed the course to keep an eye on things over the hot, humid and patriotic week. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorites bits of gossip and observations while you were away.

Grassley Makes History

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, who over the past couple of years has taken shots at the History Channel for what he says is an inadequate amount of historical programming, declared recent efforts to his satisfaction. On his Twitter account, the Iowa Republican praised programming on Attila the Hun and Cleopatra.

An ‘Insane’ Workout

The man behind the Insanity workout, Shaun Thompson, punished lawmakers before they headed home for the recess, stopping by the Capitol to lead Republican lawmakers, including P90X acolyte Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., and Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich. Twitter hashtags that followed the getaway day sweat-fest included “#gradeAbuttkicking” and “#can’tmove.”

Republicans Snap Pix

Some House Republicans decided to chronicle their day-to-day activities this month via the #CongressionalPhotoADay project, a social-media experiment that yielded results that ranged from still-life shots in district flower gardens to inflammatory, damn-the-torpedoes political rhetoric.

Early adopters included Reps. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., Sean P. Duffy, R-Wis., and Austin Scott, R-Ga.

Elizabeth Lauten, spokeswoman for Fincher, told HOH, “I’m hoping this encourages members to stay consistently engaged on Instagram and to continue to push themselves to find creative ways to reach their constituents on platforms we know that they’re using.”

How People Find HOH

And finally, every once in a while we look backstage in our Internets to see just what search terms people are using to find their way to HOH’s little slice of blog heaven. As usual, we were delighted and confused. Here were some of the top, fully formed questions people plugged into their search engines to find us on the Web:

  • Who says government doesnt listen to what its citizens have to say
  • What religion is nancy pelosi?
  • Why barney frank is an idiot
  • Who picked the gang of eight
  • Is that a tarp over the supreme court building
  • What is a roll call in the air force

Vegetarian Staffers Foster Capitol Hill CSA Growth

Members of the Congressional Vegetarian Staff Association have put their proselytizing into practice, convincing a Pennsylvania-based farming cooperative to deliver loads of healthful organic foodstuffs to a hush-hush pickup spot within striking distance of the Capitol.

Vegetarian Staffers Foster Capitol Hill CSA Growth

(Courtesy Shelby Boxenbaum)

Shelby Boxenbaum, an aide to Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., estimates nearly 40 people have elected to feast on the bounty provided by Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, including several members of Team Cartwright, other House staffers and some Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee operatives.

The events follow Restaurant Associates’ recent decision to put the kibosh on a nascent “Meatless Mondays” offering at the Longworth cafeteria.

Lancaster delivers its raw materials — a payload that has, to date, included: kale, beets, potatoes, zucchini, pickling cucumbers, fennel, broccoli, chard and mini carrots — every Thursday to a home just a few blocks from the Capitol South Metro stop. The homeowners, whom Boxenbaum believes to be ex-Senate staffers with possible ties to the office of Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., have not only signed off on allowing staffers to use their front lawn as a grocery depot, they also purchased a full vegetable share for themselves.

Lancaster, which has a handful of drop-off sites — including a pre-existing Capitol Hill spot (Washington Community Fellowship at 907 Maryland Ave. NE) — around the city, originally wanted the House-led group to guarantee at least 40 new full-share purchases, but it has plowed forward with the pilot project even though the newcomers have fallen somewhat short.

“We haven’t quite made it to 30 yet … but we’re super close,” Boxenbaum told HOH.

Full story

July 3, 2013

Five (Cartoon) Options for Edward Snowden | Capitol Quip

Five (Cartoon) Options for Edward Snowden | Capitol Quip

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:

  • I can’t help but feel bad for this guy. He’s already beaten Angry Birds twice.
  • He can start his Rosetta Stone Russian course right here at the airport!
  • Let’s see William Shatner negotiate his way out of this!
  • Your frequent flyer miles have apparently expired, sir.
  • Let’s not tell him his flight to Ecuador changes planes in Washington.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog July 7 and in the next 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 5:35 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Anti-NSA Demonstration Ready to Roll

We Act Radio personality Kymone Freeman has cued up the playlist and plotted a route for his inaugural “NSA Mixtape Bike Ride,” a rolling protest of widespread government surveillance practices poised to take place Thursday.

The 13.5 mile trek will depart from the W.A.R. station (1918 Martin Luther King Ave. SE) at 5 p.m. Thursday, leading participants from Anacostia through Capitol Hill and Bloomingdale, down U Street Northwest, looping around Dupont Circle and barreling straight down Seventh Street Northwest before filing into Freedom Plaza.

Freeman’s ride playlist features a number of thought-provoking tunes threaded by media clips of President Barack Obama, administration officials and members of Congress weighing in on the whole government eavesdropping vs. personal privacy brouhaha.

The songs that most resonated with us include:

Imagination – “Just An Illusion” Full story

Dem Interns Chillax in Longworth

What’s a recess week without a little socializing?

Dem Interns Chillax in Longworth

(Courtesy Office of Zoe Lofgren)

Summer interns in the employ of Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., decided to make the most of this week’s downtime, hitting up the boss for permission to host a delegation-wide mixer.

A Lofgren aide said the party, which kicked off around 4 p.m. Tuesday in Lofgren’s congressional digs, included more than 70 interns — the invite was “green-badges only” — from fellow Democratic offices.

Staff supplied chips, salsa and soda (booze was verboten), while the new arrivals supplied the ear candy via their personal music players.

Lofgren spokesman Duncan Neasham praised the new recruits for showing some initiative — “It’s a cool idea these guys had for some esprit de corps,” he said — and seemed to leave the door open to future soirees.

“This is the first time I believe that we’ve held such a mixer,” Neasham told HOH. “But from the turnout, I wouldn’t say it is the last.”

July 2, 2013

GOP Photo Project Off to a Wildly Divergent Start

A handful of House Republicans have committed to chronicling their day-to-day activities this July via the #CongressionalPhotoADay project, a social media experiment that’s already yielding varied results.

Elizabeth Lauten, spokeswoman for participating Rep. Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, said the snap-happy plan was hatched in her office a few months back.

“We had tried this back in May but got pretty bogged down with the House Digital Challenge, so [we] decided to try it again,” she told HOH. “I’m hoping this encourages members to stay consistently engaged on Instagram and to continue to push themselves to find creative ways to reach their constituents on platforms we know that they’re using.”

Lauten recycled about 40 percent of the assignments from May for the latest go-around, though she also axed several images — “district dish” and “can’t live without” sounded promising — we’d like to have seen.

Full story

July 1, 2013

Sink Your Teeth Into This Winner | Capitol Quip

Sink Your Teeth Into This Winner | Capitol Quip

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. Check out past winners on Pinterest.

Edward Snowden in the Russia House | Capitol Quip

Edward Snowden in the Russia House | Capitol Quip

The saga of Edward Snowden, the former national security contractor on the lam from U.S. authorities for leaking classified information, keeps getting weirder.

After arriving in Russia from Hong Kong with a revoked U.S. passport, Snowden found himself marooned in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo Airport, a man without diplomatic privileges and someone who is most definitely a person of interest to foreign authorities. So what’s on the mind of the Russian intelligence service FSB as Snowden continues his Russian adventure?

Readers of Capitol Quip want to know.

Leave us your caption in the comments section below. Editors will pick five finalists on Wednesday, and then everyone can vote for the winner until Friday morning. The winner gets a signed print from illustrator R.J. Matson.

Looking for guidance on what makes a good caption? Check out past winners on Pinterest.

By Jason Dick Posted at 3:08 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Original Tortilla Coast Launches MYO Bloody Mary Bar

Original Tortilla Coast Launches MYO Bloody Mary Bar

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Whether Congress folks really needed another reason to drink is debatable.

What is not up for debate is that the flagship Tortilla Coast on Capitol Hill is primed and ready to help said constituency wash away their workweek woes with its new Weekend Fun Bar.

The setup is simple enough: A $5 investment gets you a pint glass prepoured with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, plus access to a treasure trove of gourmet garnishes, including:

  • Basics: celery stalks, horseradish sauce, lemons/limes
  • Dry: Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning, Old Bay, celery salt, Lawry’s seasoned salt, Morton & Bassett chili powder, bacon salt, pepper mill
  • Wet: A1, Liquid Smoke, Worcestershire, soy sauce, Maggi liquid seasoning, beef broth
  • Stuffed: pimento-, blue cheese-, garlic- or peri peri pepper-packed olives
  • Brined: dill pickles, pickled okra, pickled green beans, pickled asparagus
  • Cured: beef jerky, crisp bacon, Slim Jim beef sticks
  • Fiery: Tortilla Coast Original Habanero, TC Original Jalapeno, Tabasco, Cholula, Tapatio, Original Juan Jalapeno Harissa, Dave’s Ghost Pepper, Slap Ya Mama, Captain Redbeard Savina Habanero, El Yucateca, Double Bastard Double Burn Habanero, Bacon Hot Sauce, Melinda’s Naga Jolokia, Crystal, Sriracha, Texas Pete, Valentino

The make-your-own mayhem is available from the opening bell until 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Steve Stockman’s Semi-Automatic Happy Hour

Steve Stockman’s Semi Automatic Happy Hour

(Screenshot)

Working for Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, means not just talking the right-of-Ronald Reagan talk. You’ve got to walk it, too.

Which is why it should come as no surprise to anyone that members of Team Stockman — the man is raffling off a Bushmaster AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, after all — recently shared some bonding time at a local firing range. Full story

Austin Scott’s Plea for Photo Requests Not What He Pictured

Nothing like kicking off a recess week with a light, breezy photo project.

Austin Scotts Plea for Photo Requests Not What He Pictured

(Screenshot)

We imagine that’s what Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., had in mind when he tweeted out plans to bring his constituents behind the scenes of a congressional office. The monthlong #CongressionalPhotoADay will offer snapshots of life in the legislative trenches.

Whereas he was no doubt envisioning a low-key slideshow of noncontroversial moments — “fireworks,” “selfie with a staffer,” and “something funny” are all on the to-do list — his Facebook followers seem to have a completely different agenda in mind. Full story

June 28, 2013

‘Insanity’s Shaun T Puts Republicans Through Getaway Day Sweat Ringer

Insanitys Shaun T Puts Republicans Through Getaway Day Sweat Ringer

(Courtesy Shaun Thompson)

“Insanity” creator Shaun Thompson stopped by the Capitol this morning to make sure GOP lawmakers got in one final workout before heading home for the week-long July Fourth recess.

It remains unclear who organized the sweaty bonding session, but P90X enthusiast Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was obviously there. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., partook as well, tweeting out some words of warning — “#gradeAbuttkicking, #can’tmove,” he shared  — after the fact.

Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 3:01 p.m.
Celebs, HillSide

Grassley and The History Channel, Back Together Again

Peace is at hand between Sen. Charles E. Grassley and the History Channel.

For the past 18 months, Grassley repeatedly aired anger at the channel for not showing enough historical programming. On Friday afternoon, he got his wish:

Grassley and The History Channel, Back Together Again

A little under an hour later he followed up with another tweet:

Full story

Query Us Behavior: The Jeopardy Set

Won’t you join us on our semi-regular swan dive into the pool of bizarro search terminology that somehow directs web crawlers to our virtual doorstep.

This week’s band of befuddled brothers:

Those who came a-knockin’ with fully formed questions in mind:

  • Who says government doesnt listen to what its citizens have to say (They heard that);
  • What religion is nancy pelosi? (Devout chocafarian);
  • Why barney frank is an idiot (Draw us a picture, maybe);
  • Who picked the gang of eight (destiny);
  • Is that a tarp over the supreme court building (a rainbow one, at that);  and,
  • What is a roll call in the air force (we’re lovers, not fighters)

Till next totally confusing time…

 

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...