It’s beginning to feel a lot like
a partial government shutdown.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy stated the obvious on Thursday when he noted that the chamber’s schedule for next week remains “fluid and subject to change.”
Outside of the big remaining item of business — a deal to extend government funding for nine departments and assorted agencies amid the congressional standoff with President Donald Trump over funding for a border wall — there is a dwindling list of legislative business for the chamber to attend to before the adjourning of the 115th Congress.
The Library of Congress has added a wide range of movies to the National Film Registry, announcing on Wednesday the selections of contemporary films that helped smash stereotypes, such as “Brokeback Mountain,” and thrillers like “The Shining.” Also new are classics such as “Hud” and documentaries like “Hearts and Minds,” as well as rarities like “Dixon-Wanamaker Expedition to Crow Agency.”
“The National Film Registry turns 30 this year and for those three decades, we have been recognizing, celebrating and preserving this distinctive medium,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement announcing the selections. “These cinematic treasures must be protected because they document our history, culture, hopes and dreams.”
For all of the contrasts drawn this week between President Donald Trump and President George H.W. Bush, and there are many, the two chief executives did share one thing in common that helped assure their electoral successes: Roger Ailes.
This week’s tributes to Bush, with their emphasis on his gentlemanly public service, optimism and affability, diverge sharply with the current president’s dark, transactional demeanor and outlook. But for all their superficial and substantive differences, they both were aided greatly by Ailes: Bush as an employer of his skills as a strategist and political ad man in the 1988 race and Trump as a recipient of his authority to provide a ready platform on the country’s premiere conservative news channel: Fox News.
The closing of Riverby Books’ Capitol Hill location brings with it all the hallmarks of the great literature that animated its business: a sense of place, change, ambiguity and loss.
“I love the way it looks. I love the way it feels. I have a lot of memories here. It’s a neighborly place,” owner Paul Cymrot said of what he will miss most about the store he opened at 417 East Capitol St. SE in 2001 with his father, Steve.
For those House Democrats frustrated that Nancy Pelosi won’t provide them (Seth Moulton, Kathleen Rice, Tim Ryan) with a succession plan that entails her leaving and someone, anyone else taking over, consider — wait for it — this week’s House Democratic Caucus leadership elections.
Let’s back up for a second.
Despite Senate Republicans’ hopes they would fill it this week, the nation’s oldest judicial vacancy will get a little older after they push consideration of Thomas Farr to be a district judge in North Carolina until next week. The delay also highlighted the degree of opposition to Farr, because it was necessary due to the unexpected absence of one GOP senator.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said Thursday a final vote on the nomination of Thomas Farr to be a federal judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina was postponed because Sen. James M. Inhofe had a death in the family. An aide later clarified it was a family emergency.
Tributes to the late Librarian of Congress James Billington have touched on his transformational role at the institution, his scholarship of Russian and intellect. But he also brought ice skating, yes ice skating, to the institution's Great Hall.
On Oct. 25, 2012, the nation's repository of knowledge rolled out not exactly ice but an acrylic surface for “ice dancers” to perform in a winter wonderland for the Role of the Arts in International Relations, an event sponsored by American University’s Initiative for Russian Culture and the Mariinsky Foundation.
Former Rep. Mac Collins, a Georgia Republican who represented parts of the Peach State for 12 years, died on Nov. 20 and was buried in Milner, Ga., on Sunday. He was 74.
The owner of a trucking company, Collins came to Congress after stints in the Georgia state Senate from 1989 to 1993 and the Butts County Commission from 1977 to 1981, where he served as a Democrat before switching parties to the GOP. Collins was elected to Congress in 1992, defeating incumbent Democrat Richard Ray.
Every lame duck session of Congress is special in its own way, and the current one, operating alongside the orientation session for newly elected members of Congress, has its share of oddities and weirdness.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan swore in new members of the House on Tuesday, those who won special elections to fill out unexpired terms, Joseph D. Morelle, D-N.Y., and Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa. Oh, and also an “appointed” member, Republican Kevin Hern of Oklahoma.
What’s my Representational Allowance? Why can’t I take pictures on the House floor? Where are the bathrooms? Newly elected lawmakers are participating in freshman orientation this week, and while it has a first day of school vibe, they should pay attention. It could save them some embarrassment, and maybe even avoid getting into hot water with the Ethics Committee or even federal authorities. Roll Call Staff Writer Katherine Tully-McManus runs down what the members-to-be are doing during freshman orientation, and why it matters.
In the immortal words of the future Sen. John “Bluto” Blutarsky: “Over? Did you say over? Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?” And the 2018 campaign season ain’t over yet, not with a recount in, wait for it, Florida, as well as the terminally slow counts taking place in California and other places.
While control of the Senate and House won’t be affected by whomever prevails in these races, it can certainly be aggravating to not be playing with a full deck (not that Congress has a full deck at any given moment anyway, what with the trickle of resignations and the like).
Every campaign season is defined by moments when the big picture starts to come into focus. A parade outside Kansas City where Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder is confronted about gun violence. A pizza parlor in New Jersey becomes an overflow town hall. Roll Call politics reporters Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman and elections analyst Nathan Gonzales discuss such moments during the 2018 midterms, as well as how to address the dreaded election hangover we’re all suffering.
The American election system has become its own version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Presidential elections every four years used to be the tentpole movie that everyone went to see. Midterms, off-year special elections, primaries — those were for the real political geeks out there. Not anymore.
“I think fear comes later, when it’s all over.” Those are the words that frame “A Private War,” Matthew Heineman’s new film about the late war journalist Marie Colvin. They’re spoken first by Rosamund Pike, the actress portraying Colvin, then over the end credits by Colvin herself, a poignant bookend to a film about the courage required to seek the truth in the world’s most dangerous places. At a time when journalists around the world face threats in and out of combat zones, and are characterized as the enemy of the people, Heineman’s movie arrives at a delicate inflection point. The director, nominated for an Academy Award for his documentary “Cartel Land,” and Pike discuss their picture on the latest Political Theater Podcast.
The question has come up a lot since pipe bombs started showing up at the doorstops of prominent critics of President Donald Trump: How will this affect the midterms? Leaving aside the fact that millions of people have already voted in key states, there is really no way to know. One thing is for sure though: This isn’t the only thing on people’s minds as they cast their votes.
Just ask Martha McSally.
Praising violence against reporters. Sending pipe bombs to public figures. Threatening political opponents. The fiery rhetoric is in full swing as the nation enters the homestretch of the 2018 midterm election. Is any of it changing voters’ attitudes or behavior? Roll Call Senior Political Writer Simone Pathé and Inside Elections Editor Nathan Gonzales discuss the effect of all the bad vibes on the electorate.
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