Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 6, 2015

Posts in "Weekly Calendar"

April 27, 2015

Senate Leaders Are Sports Throwbacks

Columnist George Will, left, Reid and Bryce Harper, right, hang out at Nationals Park. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Columnist George Will, left, Reid and Bryce Harper hang out at Nationals Park. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A couple of generations ago, America’s top sports were baseball, horse racing and boxing. Times change, but the Senate’s top two leaders love to kick it old school.

Look no further than the upcoming Friday, when the chamber won’t be in session, providing valuable travel and hang-out time in Kentucky and Nevada for two marquee events. Full story

April 22, 2015

Guest-List App IDs D.C.’s A-List Venues

D.C. loves itself a party. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

D.C. loves itself a party. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Of course there’s an app for checking in to a guest list, and for those heading to the MSNBC after party on Saturday after the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, you’ll be checked in using zkipster.

Now that we’re on the countdown to Saturday’s goat rodeo, zkipster released a list of what it considers the top venues in D.C. to “witness political and social power.” Drumroll, please. 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

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

January 30, 2015

Kojo, Will and Roll Call on the Hill

The Folger will host Kojo at the Capitol (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Folger will host Kojo at the Capitol: In Partnership with Roll Call, WAMU’s Metro Connection, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If the voice of Kojo Nnamdi sounds different starting Monday, it could because be he’s channeling the Bard.

Kojo, who once upon a time covered Capitol Hill for WHUR, will helm Kojo at the Capitol: In Partnership with Roll Call, WAMU’s Metro Connection, and the Folger Shakespeare Library amid the Folger’s dark wood, thousands of manuscripts, vivid oil paintings and stained glass. Full story

Port City Brewing Celebrates Four Years

Port City Brewing Co.’s magic number is “four.” Starting Friday, the Alexandria, Va.-based beer maker is celebrating its fourth anniversary of operations, complete with the release of a Belgian quad-style beer, “Colossal IV.”

The brewing vanguard kicks things off at 3 p.m. at its “World Headquarters” (3950 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria) with the Colossal Four Anniversary and Release Party. That will be followed by a host of other events through Feb. 6, including a Saturday pub crawl, Sunday brunch at Sixth Engine in D.C., tap takeovers and other merriment. For more details, go to portcitybrewing.com.

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

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January 23, 2015

Americana on Display: Meat and Cars

A BIG red Corvette at the 2014 Washington Auto Show. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A BIG red Corvette at the 2014 Washington Auto Show. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Meat and cars. There’s the potential for a lot of macho.

The Washington Auto Show has rolled into town at the same time thatcarnivore restaurants are sponsoring Meat Week. It’s likely unintentional. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be related. What could be more American than checking out the latest muscle car from Detroit, then heading to Hill Country for some delicious brisket? Full story

December 15, 2014

Calendar: ‘Through a Lens Darkly’ Illuminates Screens

Protesters march in the "Justice for All" march on Dec. 13 in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Protesters march in the “Justice for All” march on Dec. 13 in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Thomas Allen Harris worked on his latest film project, “Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People,” for years, and it was released in Washington on Dec. 12.

The timing, while entirely coincidental, comes during a period of renewed discussion of race as grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y., continue to reverberate and demonstrations sweep through the halls of power, including at Capitol Hill. Full story

December 5, 2014

Hill, K Street: Grab a Drink, Get Your Party On

Time to sort through your holiday party invites. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Time to sort through your holiday party invites. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If you’ve been stuck in the Capitol cramming on the “cromnibus” and missing the whole holiday mingling circuit, then it’s time to grab a drink and get your party on.

Some of the hottest December shindigs are still to come, offering a rare respite from the partisan vitriol and legislative gridlock. These are opportunities for some serious bipartisan collaboration, though the invites — or lack of — can be challenging to navigate. Full story

November 24, 2014

To Trot or Not to Trot

Ready for Turkey Day? (CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Ready for Turkey Day? (CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Staying put in Washington for the Thanksgiving holiday has its perks. No airport waiting lines. No captivity on I-95. A relaxed, convivial atmosphere. That’s good to keep in mind when arriving amid the forecasted snow and cold at Freedom Plaza for the 2014 Trot for Hunger 5K race.

The footrace, put on by So Others Might Eat, raises money to provide food, health care and clothing for the homeless. The D.C. trot, SOME’s 13th annual, is expecting more than 10,000 runners for an 8:30 a.m. start time for the kids’ 1-mile fun run and 9 a.m. for the 5K. SOME aims to raise $525,000 in its effort to feed the hungry and help the homeless.

To register for the event, go to SOME’s sign-up site at soome.convio.net. It’s $30 for an untimed run and $35 for a timed one. A hyper-competitive environment this is not. Ridiculous costumes are welcome, particularly of the avian variety. Ability is not an issue. Case in point? Your Roll Call After Dark columnist himself will be participating, rehabbing torn MCL and all.

SOME’s downtown D.C.-centered trot is just one of many in the area. Still, there’s something about seeing thousands of people running around in the cold, amid the Capitol Dome. The political world can cast a dark tone on Washington, and given congressional approval ratings, not too many folks view Capitol Hill in a positive light. Showing there’s more to D.C. than Republicans and Democrats trading potshots starts with events like this.

But surely there must be easier ways to get out of helping stuff the turkey on Thursday morning? SOME is more than eager to shoot you in the right direction for volunteer opportunities on Turkey Day and beyond. Drop them a line at some.org.

Among the many other places to volunteer are DC Central Kitchen, Bread for the City, Food & Friends, the Capital Area Food Bank, take your pick. If you want to volunteer, there’s a spot for you.

Something to keep in mind is that while Thanksgiving and the upcoming Christmas holidays are good motivators for community service and volunteerism — and charitable organizations are eager to accept goodwill during such busy times — the need doesn’t end with the holidays.

Roll Call Results Map: Results and District Profiles for Every Seat

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November 19, 2014

Decoding the Sometimes Mystifying Vocabulary of Politics

Have you ever found yourself walking back a dog whistle on the basis of a Washington handshake? Sometimes the political world’s vocabulary is otherworldly. In those cases, “Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs & Washington Handshakes: Decoding the Jargon, Slang and Bluster of American Political Speech,” is here to help.

This new book, the product of veteran political journalists Chuck McCutcheon and David Mark, provides a breezy guide to the arcane shibboleths employed by the lawmakers, journalists, staffers, fixers (defined on p. 13) and other citizens primarily of the Acela Corridor (defined on p. 70). Its fun tone belies its utility, as even the most seasoned D.C. sherpa (p.25) or graybeard (p. 34) may not know the ins and outs of each and every term. Want to know the genesis of some of the budgetese (p. 102) thrown around in the coming weeks? This is the place.

This is no goat choker (p. 189), and given how often, and for how long, some of the terms have been bandied about, will likely be no snowflake (also p. 189). If you can carve a little time out of this week’s lame-duck nut-cutting time (p. 116), McCutcheon and Mark will be discussing their book tonight at the Northeast D.C. Library on Capitol Hill at 330 Seventh St. NE at 7 p.m.

As for the title? Turn to pages 136, 200 and 97, please.

Roll Call Results Map: Results and District Profiles for Every Seat

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November 7, 2014

Party Like It’s 1844

An ambitious Kentucky lawmaker. A president mistrusted by his own party. Texas taking on an outsize role in Congress. Is this 2014, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell  waiting gleefully to seize the majority, President Barack Obama under withering criticism from Democrats marooned in the minority and Lone Star Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz ready to take up spheres of influence in the Senate?

Nope. It’s 1844, when Henry Clay of Kentucky dethroned President John Tyler as standard-bearer for the Whig Party in that year’s presidential contest. It was a year when Tyler bet his political future on annexing the Republic of Texas, risking war not just within Congress; but also with Mexico, which was still smarting from Texas’ secession. It was a year when religious fundamentalism was on the rise, with Mormonism in its ascent and other Christian sects predicting the second coming any day now. It was a time of economic uncertainty and hardened debate about the future of the country.

This journey into Antebellum America is brought to you by John Bicknell, a CQ Roll Call alumnus whose new book, “America 1844: Religious Fervor, Westward Expansion, and the Presidential Election That Transformed the Nation” is the latest selection for Roll Call Book Club. Full story

October 6, 2014

Green Hat Gin’s Cotton Anniversary Party

(JasonDick/CQ Roll Call)

(JasonDick/CQ Roll Call)

For anyone bummed that the Russians are buying All-American beer Pabst Blue Ribbon, fret not. There’s plenty of home-grown beer and booze right here in the nation’s capital.

It’s even a kind of anniversary season for the growing list of D.C.-based craft alcohol outfits. Atlas Brew Works, which joined the D.C. beeraissance last year, celebrated its one-year anniversary last month with a shindig at its Ivy City brewery. And on Wednesday, local bistro Boundary Road will fete New Columbia Distillers to celebrate the second anniversary of Green Hat Gin, the first legal distiller in Washington since Prohibition.

Boundary Road Owner/Chef Brad Walker and his merry crew focus not just on seasonal and local foods and drinks, but also on local talent and businesses. In this case, the New Columbia folks will trundle over from their Ivy City digs (sensing a trend here), with some of their choicest hooch. That will include some of their seasonal gin batches, such as their memorable “Ginavit” 2013 winter offering, which incorporated spirits genever and aquavit. Full story

October 2, 2014

Take a Trip Down Baseball Memory Lane

Things weren't always so merry with Washington baseball. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Things weren’t always so merry with Washington baseball. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the Washington Nationals open the National League Division Series on Friday, their second post-season appearance in three years, it’s easy to forget Washington baseball teams have frequently sucked.

Fred Frommer, author of “You Gotta Have Heart:  A History of Washington Baseball from 1859 to the 2012 National League East Champions,” never forgot. His book will make any Nat fan appreciate what they have now, and he’ll be discussing it at the National Archives on Friday at noon in the William G. McGowan Theater with his frequent discussion sidekick, former Senators announcer Phil Hochberg. It’s a nice way to prepare for the 3:07 p.m. game against the San Francisco Giants at Nationals Park.

Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney wrote about some of the Senators’ woeful ways in today’s Post. The upshot? To be a Senators fan back in the day, one had to have real guts. “In my childhood, the whole point of rooting for the Senators was to affirm one’s fortitude in the face of cellar-dwelling finishes. Show loyalty and optimism despite setbacks and disappointment. ‘We grew up not expecting much. That’s not a bad lesson for life,’ said Hank Thomas, 68, of Arlington, who cheered for the Senators as a child in the late 1950s,” McCartney writes.

And the first few seasons after the Montreal Expos moved here to become the Nationals were no picnic either. Remember when Nook Logan started in center field? It’s best not to.

If you can’t make it to the Archives, Fred and Phil will be live on YouTube.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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September 29, 2014

‘Fort Bliss’ — A Grounded Movie Gets Theatrical Run

Call it the little movie that could. “Fort Bliss,” a feature film about an Army medic/single mom returning stateside after a tour in Afghanistan and struggling with re-entry, is enjoying an extended theatrical release in Washington, continuing its rise from festival favorite and video on demand to big screens, thanks largely to grass-roots support.

The movie, directed by Claudia Myers and starring Michelle Monaghan, focuses on the challenges Monaghan’s character, Maggie Swan, has reconnecting with her young son and simply adjusting to not having bullets flying overhead. It’s a timely film, particularly as the country continues to grapple with questions about U.S. troops’ presence in Afghanistan and calls for more investment of blood and treasure in Iraq and possibly Syria get louder.

That doesn’t mean it was an easy sell. Josh Levin, general manager of the West End Cinema, said, “I originally turned it down. I turned it down cold,” when contacted by distributors about a run at his Foggy Bottom theater. He said it was an easy call “without any editorial comment about the films,” because he’s seen over and over again that when it comes to movies about Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s just no audience. “I just dismissed it out of hand.”  Full story

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