Jason Dick

The Mueller report gets a 9:30 Club kind of debut
Key questions as the hype around the Russian interference probe gets release

Coming to a Justice Department near you: The most highly anticipated investigative report in at least a generation, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, gets some pre-release hype at 9:30 EDT on Thursday in Washington before its wide release later in the day. 

Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be on hand at the Justice Department to deliver the (perhaps heavily redacted) goods. So as one of the few events that could preempt “Today” and “Good Morning America” gets underway, here are some of the key questions surrounding the report. 

When Fritz Hollings ‘made the turn’ as a Southern politician
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 66

Before the late Sen. Ernest “Fritz” Hollings was elected to what would become a distinguished congressional career, the South Carolina Democrat reversed himself on the defining issue in Southern politics: segregation. 

Running for governor in 1958, Hollings opposed integration, a keystone battle in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision desegregating public schools. But by the end of his term, he said it was time for the South to change, taking a step out of line with many of his Democratic colleagues in the region. 

Why ‘Queer Eye’ stormed Capitol Hill
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 65

Washington might be Hollywood for ugly people, but every once in a while Hollywood pretties the place up. That was certainly the case when the cast of “Queer Eye” came to the Capitol to advocate for the Equality Act, to the delight of many staffers, members and tourists. Jennifer Shutt discusses how the celebrity advocates used their powers for policy purposes. 

Dear senators: More conflict please

The Senate pushed the nuclear option, again, to change its rules so judicial and executive nominees are subject to less debate. With a debate that featured Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivering such eloquent bon mots as “He started it!” at Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, it’s fair to ask what it will take to restore the chamber to a place that looks like it’s populated with adults. 

“Ironically, I think it’s going to take more conflict,” says James Wallner, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, former Senate aide and all-around procedural badass.

Why we should care that the Senate will debate less
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 64

The Senate has changed its rules again, and it will result in less debate on many judicial and executive nominations. Who cares? The public should, if it wants a responsive government at least. James Wallner of the R Street Institute and Roll Call’s Niels Lesniewski discuss the ramifications. ...
Will Mueller matter in 2020?
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 63

Roll Call senior political reporters Bridget Bowman and Simone Pathé explain the political ramifications, if any, after the conclusion of the Russia election interference report of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III....
The Papadopoulos Tapes: Long live LinkedIn!

Oh, the things you learn from reading the transcript of House investigators’ interview with George Papadopoulos, the former campaign aide for President Donald Trump who spent time in federal prison for making false statements to the FBI. 

The House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees interviewed Papadopoulos on Oct. 25, 2018, and current Judiciary ranking member Doug Collins released the transcript of the interview this week. It’s kind of fun, amid the serious legal and ethical issues that we at HoH are happy to hand off to someone else.  

‘The River and the Wall,’ a journey down the wall’s path
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 62

When Ben Masters began the 1,200-mile journey along the Rio Grande to film his new documentary “The River and the Wall,” he had no idea the border wall would dominate politics the way it does today. Nor did he think, as he spoke with such locals as Beto O’Rourke and Read more...
Not green with envy: People who missed Friends of Ireland lunch

Regardless of how you spend your St. Patrick’s Day, it’s not likely to be as awkward as the Friends of Ireland luncheon at the Capitol this year.

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar found himself Thursday in close quarters with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump, one day before the president vetoed a resolution Congress passed to terminate his national emergency declaration on the southern border. Amid all that, Trump found time to discuss Brexit, which the Irish are concerned will erect a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. 

Why Trump, in the era of fake news, is fueling journalism majors
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 61

When the president of the United States labels you the enemy of the people, what’s a young, aspiring journalist supposed to think? While recognizing that journalism is in a crisis, Christina Bellantoni, a professor of journalism at the University of Southern California and a former editor of Roll Call and at the Los Angeles Times, says the era of fake news is actually bringing out the real value of journalism and helping to motivate the next generation to seek the truth. “It&...
Reactions to Senate GOP 2020 hype video: ‘I’m ready for the cycle’
 

They may not be trapped by mad scientists and forced to watch b-movies with their robot friends, but Roll Call's political wonks have spent their fair share of hours watching campaign Read more...
When you want to HR 1 but have to anti-hate first
Podcasts for all the news, plus marijuana and daylight saving too!

Not disrespect intended to the Senate, but the action was in the House this past week, dominated by debate about a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and bigotry and passage of a sweeping overhaul of campaign finance, election and ethics laws. And we have a podcast for each topic! We also have a cool story and video about pot and more. 

HR 1. Democrats love it. Republicans hate it. K Street really hates it. The White House wants to veto it. 

Why everyone wants to talk about HR 1
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 60

Democrats love it. Republicans hate it. K Street really hates it. The White House wants to veto it. Everyone’s talking about HR 1, House Democrats’ overhaul of campaign finance, election and lobbying laws.

Things that go boom: Michael Cohen, Apollo 11 and this week
“Says who?” guy from 2016 dropped in on Capitol Hill

There was so much political theater this week, it wouldn’t fit into just one podcast. So we did two! 

Michael Cohen, who will forever, at least to Political Theater, be the “Says who?” guy from the 2016 campaign, dropped in on Capitol Hill this week for a round robin of testimony with multiple committees about his fixer-for-Donald-Trump days. Sturm? Meet Drang. 

How the National Archives helped ‘Apollo 11’ get a fresh look
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 59

The Apollo 11 Moon landing is one of mankind’s iconic stories. So how, with the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing coming up, does the documentary “Apollo 11” tell the story in a new way? For director Todd Douglas Miller and his team, it started with archival footage, some of it never seen, at the National Archives and other audio and visual files around the country. Miller discusses his new film, how it came together, both in middle of the politically tumultuous 196...
Does Michael Cohen testimony change political strategies?
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 58

Sure, as one cable news talking head says, Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony on Wednesday is “very, very explosive” and spread out over “several, several hours” but does it change the political parties’ 2020 strategy? Roll Call political reporters Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman discuss. 

From silent to millennial, generations of the Democratic presidential field
The growing primary roster now ranges in age from 37 to 77

Say this for the Democrats, they are multigenerational. 

Their presidential field continued to swell as Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who affiliates with Democrats, announced he was running and promptly raised millions of dollars to show his campaign apparatus was doing just fine. 

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the most presidential of them all?
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 57

Take one congresswoman from Hawaii, one tech entrepreneur and one South Bend mayor, add in 7 percent of the U.S. Senate and you still don’t have even half of the potential Democratic field of presidential candidates. Why is everyone running for president? And what kind of effect will that have on down-ballot races for Congress, state houses, and governor’s mansions, not to mention the legislative agenda on Capitol Hill? Inside Elections Reporter/Analyst Leah Askarinam helps us sort...
The state of lobbying is, well, pretty darn good
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 56

Last year, Julian Ha of Heidrick & Struggles said the swamp was “constipated,” as the lobbying world continued adjusting to the Trump administration and Congress. And now? Things are starting to flow again. Ha and CQ Roll Call lobbying reporter Kate Ackley discuss the state of lobbying, 2019 edition. 

Is 2019 over yet? It kind of feels like 2020 already
At State of the Union, it felt like half the room was raring to take Trump on next year

Is it 2020 yet? Sure feels like it. When President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union, it only felt like half the room was raring to take him on next year (looking at you, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Sherrod Brown, Tulsi Gabbard, Eric Swalwell …) And that’s not even counting other 2020 considerations, like how many claps the president might get from senators in potentially tough races like Democrat Gary Peters of Michigan. We look at the politics of what has basically become one big campaign pep rally in the latest Political Theater Podcast.

John D. Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress, died Thursday at the age of 92. He was quite a guy. Niels Lesniewski and David Hawkings, now at The Firewall, did the obituary for Roll Call, which is awesome and details the Michigan Democrat’s power, influence and personality over a 60-year career in the House and time on Capitol Hill as a page and student. And then there is this photo from the Roll Call archives, which is just, I don’t know, it’s just …