Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 30, 2015

March 27, 2015

West End Cinema Preps Its Own Last Picture Show

Alas, it’s not just a flesh wound. This weekend is it for the West End Cinema in Foggy Bottom, and owner Josh Levin is going out like a true cinephile.

Something old, something new, something indie, something French. Full story

Senate Loses Top Baseball Nut (Video)

Reid and Harper share a moment at Nats Park. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reid and Harper share a moment at Nats Park. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated Monday 2:30 p.m. | With Harry Reid’s retirement, the Senate is not just losing its top Democrat. It’s losing its foremost baseball fan.

Over the years, the Nevadan would wax about the nation’s pastime on the floor, going so far as to say he and arch-frenemy Mitch McConnell were on the same page. “Mr. President, the Republican leader and I don’t agree on — everything. But we do agree on some things. And there is one thing no one can dispute we agree on. And that’s our love of baseball,” he said on the floor last year. Reid has particular affection for the Washington Nationals, whose season starts on April 6 with their Opening Day game against the New York Mets. For those who can’t wait, the Nats are playing the New York Yankees in an exhibition on Saturday at Nats Park.

Even though he was a fan already, Reid seemed to go into overdrive when the Nationals scooped up Nevada phenom Bryce Harper, bringing the brash slugger up to the big leagues in 2012 for their playoff run. Full story

March 13, 2015

A Documentary Looks to Influence Legislation, NFL Draft

When a documentary comes around that might influence legislation in Congress, a few people might raise their eyebrows. But when a documentary comes around that might influence the NFL draft? That’s how you get attention.

Such is the potential of “The Hunting Ground,” a film about sexual assault on U.S. universities and the follow-up for director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering after their 2012, “The Invisible War.” Full story

March 9, 2015

The Last Days of the West End Cinema

The West End Cinema will close out its nearly five-year run as the redoubt of art house film in Washington this month with the cult and documentary classic, “Grey Gardens.”

According to West End owner Josh Levin, it’s purely serendipity that the last regularly scheduled feature for his theater will be “Gardens,” the touchstone film of Albert Maysles, the giant of documentary filmmaking who died March 5. It will serve as more than a coincidental tribute to Maysles, though. The film is just the kind of stuff that made watching movies at the West End such a great experience. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 3:47 p.m.
Movies

March 5, 2015

VICE Prepares for End of the World With a Stiff Drink

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“I suggest we all go get drunk now,” Shane Smith, the high priest of smashmouth journalism outfit VICE said.

That seemed about the most appropriate thing to do after watching the season three premiere of “VICE” on HBO Wednesday night at the U.S. Institute of Peace. The episode takes Smith, correspondent Vikram Gandhi and the VICE crew to Antarctica and Bangladesh to see the rapidly mutating effects of climate change, and it has a pretty simple, bleak message. Full story

Rolling With the DC Brew Crew

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“By the end of the day, we’ll all be drinking buddies,” DC Brew Tour Guide Max Moline pledged as he pulled away from the curb and began inundating those of us who’d signed on for a mid-day swing through the various beer-making operations that have bubbled up across the area with trivia about barley- and hops-related beverages.

Moline’s curious career was made possible by visionary Chad Brodsky, the founder and CEO of a budding tourism experience that caters to folks who never balk at a chance to bend the elbow.

“D.C. has incredible breweries and we love to showcase them in different ways,” the entrepreneur said. Brodsky began shuttling beer fans around Burlington, Vt., in 2008, and later expanded to Boston. He set up shop in the nation’s capital last fall.

At the heart of each five-plus hour pleasure cruise is beer — a dozen (or so) tastings, to be exact — plus a custom designed meal pairing conducted at a participating location. Full story

March 2, 2015

Issa Rae: A Relatable Star in the Making

Devoted fans gathered at the historic Sixth & I Historic Synagogue on a cold night recently to hear author — and YouTube sensation — Jo-Issa “Issa Rae” Diop discuss her new book, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.”

Throughout the evening of Feb. 24, Issa Rae displayed her trademark wry sense of humor while touching on a range of topics including her path to stardom, portrayals of black women in media and the challenges of writing such a candid collection of personal stories. Full story

February 27, 2015

What to See and Do in Selma

The city of Selma prepares for the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The city of Selma prepares for the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SELMA, Ala., — Every year, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., makes a pilgrimage here to walk the Edmund Pettus Bridge, tracing the fateful steps he took on March 7, 1965, when he and others marching in favor of voting rights were savagely beaten by state troopers and thugs.

Friends, activists and fellow members of Congress have frequently joined him over the years, but not in the numbers expected for the upcoming 50th anniversary, when about 100 of his colleagues and President Barack Obama are expected to help him mark the half-century mark since “Bloody Sunday.” If you’re heading there yourself, here are a few things to check out, including places where the Selma to Montgomery March was planned, as well as a great spot for a proper Southern breakfast. Full story

February 26, 2015

The Selma to Montgomery Bicycle Ride: Civil Rights and Bamas

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

LOWNDES COUNTY, Ala. — A partial list of things not present at the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march: A drone mini-copter, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” Viola Liuzzo’s roadside memorial.

As Alabama, and the country, prepares to recognize the 50th anniversary of the 50-plus mile voting rights march, as well as the tragic events such as the March 7 “Bloody Sunday,” when protesters led by now-Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Hosea Williams were beaten by state troopers at Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, the Montgomery Bicycle Club did its part by sponsoring a Feb. 21 ride traversing the march route, which is now a national historic trail. Full story

February 25, 2015

Touring Tastemaker Wants D.C. in His Regular Rotation

While dazzling patrons with mind-blowingly fresh ingredients is certainly part of his master plan, dining impresario Michael Stember is currently most obsessed with making his traveling food show self-sustainable.

The world-class athlete (a record-setting track and field star, Stember represented the United States at multiple Pan American Games and the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney) hasn’t given up running around since founding Upstream Foods. If anything, he’s more on the move than ever. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:52 p.m.
Drink, Eat

February 24, 2015

The Democrats’ Lost Opportunity in Birmingham

Wallace and Bentley adorn booth B-4 at Carlile's BBQ. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Wallace and Bentley adorn booth B-4 at Carlile’s BBQ. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Walk into any barbecue place in the South and you’re pretty certain to find walls of fame and photos of the area’s local sports heroes. Dine at Carlile’s BBQ here in Magic City and you’ll see prominent politicians, mostly rock-ribbed Republicans, interspersed among the likes of Joe Namath, Bart Starr and Bear Bryant.

Booth B-4 provides the most vivid illustration of Carlile’s political tone. A contemporary photo of the current governor, Republican Robert Bentley, hangs just below a black and white photo of the late Democratic Gov. George Wallace, the long-time segregationist who recanted his views late in life but was for years a symbol, along with Police Chief Eugene “Bull” Connor, of white resistance to civil rights. (Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” immortalized Wallace’s status for fraternity party singalongs with the lyrics, “In Birmingham they love the governor.”)

By the cashier counter, former GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus gets a place of honor, next to a photo of singer Lyle Lovett, a Texan.

The city once dubbed “Bombingham” because of its Civil Rights Era violence was passed over last year in its bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Alas. And Carlile’s isn’t on the list of many Democrats here — “It’s usually not in my repertoire of where I take my visitors,” Rep. Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala., told CQ Roll Call recently, rattling off other ‘cue joints such as Dreamland and Jim ‘n Nick’s and Lannie’s in Selma. But imagine a gaggle of Democratic activists descending upon Carlile’s to eat pork butt and lemon ice box pie among the mugs of Wallace, Bentley and Bachus. Bipartisan barbecue!

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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By Jason Dick Posted at 4:54 p.m.
Eat, Museums, The Sights

February 20, 2015

A Scientist Grows Art in NoMa at Gallery NK

Gallery NK on K Street Northeast. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Gallery NK on K Street Northeast. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Tucked away amid the rowhouses of NoMA is a once run-down warehouse transformed into a clean modern contemporary art gallery. The quaint studio, Gallery NK, is the creation of Turkish born artist Nihal Kececi.

With true Turkish hospitality, Kececi and her daughter Julie welcomed this reporter into their gallery with coffee, tea and desserts. There, we chatted and I learned of her journey from Turkey to K Street, and more specifically, 321 K St. NE. Full story

February 17, 2015

Washington Jewish Film Festival Casts Wide Net

The Washington Jewish Film Festival gets underway on Thursday, an 11-day showcase for the global tapestry of Jewish life. What you’ll see — a range of films that includes repertory classics like Francois Truffaut’s “The Last Metro” and Louis Malle’s “Au Revoir Les Enfants” to contemporary Israeli selections such as Nissun Dayan’s “The Dove Flyer” — is by turns dark, funny, religious, secular, musical and everything else under the sun. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 2:55 p.m.
Movies

February 13, 2015

David Carr’s Raspy Voice Lives On in ‘Page One’ and ‘Night of the Gun’

For those still processing David Carr’s sudden death, The New York Times scribe lives on in two great works he left behind, the 2011 documentary “Page One: Inside the New York Times” and Carr’s memoir, “Night of the Gun.” Full story

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