Kathryn Lyons

Bad News Babes defeat Congress for fourth year in a row

The forecast that called for rain Wednesday evening cleared out to make way for another, much fiercer storm: the D.C. press team.

The Bad News Babes crushed the members’ team for the fourth year in a row at the congressional women’s softball game. It was a 10-3 blowout.

There’s no crying in baseball … or congressional softball
Congressional women’s game pays homage to ‘A League of Their Own’

It was a blast from the past at Wednesday’s congressional women’s softball game as the teams paid all kinds of tribute to one of America’s classic sports comedies, “A League of Their Own.”

Players sported red hats with the letter “R” in a nod to the Rockford Peaches, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League team started during World War II. A fictionalized version of the Peaches featured in the 1992 movie starring Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Geena Davis and Tom Hanks. Director Penny Marshall, also famous for her role in the sitcom “Laverne and Shirley,” died late last year.

Have the flood Gaetz been opened?
Hannity offers Florida congressman an opportunity to host his show

If being a member of Congress wasn’t enough of a platform to voice ardent opinions and loyalties, Rep. Matt Gaetz might get an hourlong window of opportunity on America’s most-watched cable network — that is, when Sean Hannity takes a night off.

The conservative talk show host offered the congressman an invitation to “fill in” after the Florida Republican joked that he was “the only one on the show not getting paid” during an appearance on Hannity’s Tuesday show where he discussed President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign relaunch in Orlando. Hannity jabbed at the representative’s decision to appear on “fake news CNN,” where, the television host claimed, nobody watches Gaetz and is a waste of time and energy. Gaetz agreed.

This senator lost one son, but gained another
Death and murder shook his family, but Father’s Day is still a time of joy for Kevin Cramer

Father’s Day at Kevin Cramer’s house is “wonderfully chaotic,” as the senator puts it, even with grief still fresh. It’s not much different from any other weekend: Four kids and five rambunctious grandchildren running around, plus a big piece of meat on the grill — maybe a burger, maybe moose.

“You can eat moose?” I ask skeptically.

Her antidote to Trump: A greeting card company
Veteran operative Jill Rulli left politics to get into the card business. Hallmark it is not

Are you (financially) smarter than a sixth-grader?
Watch out, Warren Buffett — there are middle schoolers on the Hill after your job

Words such as “portfolio,” “investment” and “diversify” echoed in the Rayburn foyer and flew way over my head as winning middle and high school students from 10 congressional districts gathered on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. The kids were there to claim bragging rights and offer a crash course in Economics 101.

When it comes to the stock market, “start as early as you can and pay attention to what you’re investing in, and make sure it’s a long-term investment,” advised Raylee Stopka, a sixth-grader from Texas. (Sound dating advice for anyone looking for a soulmate as well.)

Reps. Jason Crow and Michael Waltz re-enact D-Day parachute drop into Normandy
The bipartisan parachuters’ 75th anniversary commemoration was next level

Why fly to France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and stay within the safe and comfortable barriers of the plane, when you can instead jump out of a plane and re-enact the original mission completed by allied paratroopers into Normandy in 1944?

That’s likely what Reps. Jason Crow and Michael Waltz would say. The bipartisan pair were the only members of Congress who, this past Sunday, took the same leap that troops from the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions took 75 years ago. You could barely even tell decades have passed by the looks of the near-identical World War II uniforms donned by the fearless 21st century parachuters aboard “That’s All Brother,” the original C-47 that carried the 101st Airborne into Normandy.

Are you Shakespeare or Tim McGraw? Your Hill horoscope
What’s happening around D.C. the week of June 10–16

“Friends, Romans, congressmen, lend me your ears.” Members of Congress and Washington influencers will come out Monday to recite the words of the most influential writer and lyricist of all-time: Drake, er sorry, William Shakespeare. The event, hosted by the Shakespeare Theatre Company, kicks off at 7:30 p.m., and proceeds support the company’s educational, artistic and community engagement initiatives.

If you see lights glowing from the National Mall Tuesday night, don’t worry, the aliens haven’t arrived … yet. It’s “Glow Yoga on the Mall,” a vinyasa flow session hosted by D.C. Fray and other District yogis. The child’s poses and downward dogs begin at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $25.

Kristin Lynch is working the tie — and putting in the work
‘I feel pretty strongly about my identity as a lesbian,’ says Cory Booker staffer

There was a time when Kristin Lynch wore a dress to her job in politics, or one of those blouses that could be described as “flowy.” Now she wears a suit and tie, plus a crisp button-down shirt.

It’s not so much a fashion statement as a reminder that you need to be yourself, even in the halls of Congress.

Sen. Chuck Grassley announces he’s running ... 3 miles a day, 4 days a week
The Iowa Republican prefers to go it alone — and you won’t catch him with ‘plugs’

Keeping Instagram abreast of the latest #CornWatch developments happening back at the family farm in Iowa isn’t the only responsibility Chuck Grassley prioritizes on a regular basis. When he’s in D.C., the 85-year-old senator dedicates four days a week to running 3 miles — rain or shine.

“I just wanna get out and do something so I don’t get fat, I guess,” the matter-of-fact lawmaker tells me. (Don’t we all?)

Pride and Elmo sightings: Your Hill horoscope
What’s happening around D.C. the week of June 3-9

June is Pride Month, and Nationals Park is celebrating all things LGBTQ at Tuesday’s game as part of their 15th annual Night OUT. They even have cool shirts to go with Chicago’s White Sox.

The 7th annual Taste of Adams Morgan is Tuesday, which means your dinner plans are set for this food festival that begins at 5 p.m. You’ll need $35 tickets to fill up on some Ethiopian, Mexican, American and Italian cuisine, among (many) other options, but don’t worry, you can get them day of.

2,226 stairs can’t keep double amputee Rep. Brian Mast from reaching the top
It was the Florida Republican’s first Tunnel to Towers Climb

Imagine climbing an arduous 2,226 stairs up 104 stories of a soaring New York City skyscraper — one step at a time, legs locked at the knee with only your hips to advance your lower body while your shoulders pull the rest of you up along the hand rail.

“Sore” and a few hand blisters is what Rep. Brian Mast has to show for conquering One World Trade Center this past weekend. The double amputee, who lost both legs in an IED blast while deployed in Afghanistan back in 2010, took on a challenge that required more resilience than strength.

A mysterious illness killed their son as the AIDS crisis raged
These grieving parents decided to ‘do something’

Just a few years after losing her son, Vicki Modell found herself in front of a microphone, staring down a group of senators.

“It was such a welcoming environment.” That’s how she recalls the political climate of Washington in the early ’90s. “The Appropriations Committee would actually sit there and listen to people like us who were advocating for our cause.”

Union Pub is like the ‘Matthew McConaughey of Capitol Hill’
Through renovations and name changes, beery refuge on the Senate side keeps staying the same

Settled on the Senate side, a couple of blocks northeast of the Capitol, and nearly centered between the Hart Building and Union Station, sits a beery refuge that seems miles away.

“We’re in the business of hospitality and having a good time. We’re not in the business of trying to extend any kind of political discourse or our political feelings,” says Union Pub owner Matt Weiss.

From intern to ‘win’-tern: How to finish your Capitol Hill internship on top
Don’t sweat the small stuff while you’re sweating in the D.C. heat

Congratulations! You are minutes away from finishing your summer internship on Capitol Hill. Not only have you woken up at ungodly hours after too many margs at Tortilla Coast, but you’ve managed to beat everyone to the office by 30 minutes. You’ve mastered the fastest route between the House and Senate office buildings, and you’ve crushed coffee orders like the barista you could’ve been if it weren’t for this internship.

So, what’s next, you ask? You mean... you don’t have it figured out?

Try a little fake blood with your Jazz in the Garden
If it looks, tastes and smells like meat, it might not be meat

Granite and concrete edifices aren’t the only art on display this summer at the Sculpture Garden. When you head to Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery on Friday, look for a trendy, glistening newcomer: the Impossible Burger.

It looks like meat and smells like meat. The middle is convincingly pink. Bring a bib: It bleeds a little.

Bend it like Bacon
Members face off in the 7th annual soccer match

I’m no soccer expert (believe it or not), but I know enough to know that when someone in the United States gets excited about “football,” it’s rarely over a little leather black-and-white ball getting kicked around.

So when I saw the announcement for this year’s Congressional Soccer Match, I felt bad. Bad because I had forgotten there was a congressional “soccer” game — which, by the way, has its very own Wikipedia page.

The Bachelorette and football: Your Hill horoscope
What’s happening around D.C. the week of May 20-26

Republican players are low, but camaraderie is high ahead of Congressional Softball Game
Lawmakers and press corps unite to fight against breast cancer

The official list of players in this year’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game is OUT! (to be read in an umpire’s voice) and we have just over a month before members of Congress and the D.C. press corps face each other on the field again.

The members team, which is historically composed of a bipartisan bunch of female lawmakers, has seen a decreasing number of Republican players over the years, one of them being last year’s MVP, former Rep. Mia Love. This year Sens. Joni Ernst and Shelley Moore Capito, Res. Cmmsr. Jenniffer González-Colón and Rep. Martha Roby make up less than a third of the team.

Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix recalls her ‘most terrifying days’
Felix testifies on maternal health and mortality on Capitol Hill

Allyson Felix, the most decorated female track and field star in American history, was on Capitol Hill on Thursday — not to discuss the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, or preach about fitness, or boast about her gold medals, but to speak to the rising maternal mortality rate in the U.S.

The six-time Olympic gold medalist began her statement humbly: “I’m Camryn’s mom.” The testimony that followed was birthed from her own personal experience. When Felix was 32 weeks pregnant, a prenatal doctor’s appointment and common case of “swollen feet” led to bedrest and the discovery of preeclampsia, which put her and her unborn baby at risk. Doctors then scheduled an emergency C-section.