political-theater

Senate Busies Itself, Plus Chuck Norris and Some Cactus
The one-day work week is something we can all get behind

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor on Thursday for the final vote of the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

The Senate convened around noon on Wednesday. The Senate adjourned around 4:33 p.m. on Thursday. Now THAT is a work week!

Primary Elections? Sure, We Got ’Em
August might be a sleepy time for some, but not for the midterms

These folks, Public Advocate of the U.S. Inc, cannot wait for the Senate to come back and get to its hearing on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. On Wednesday, they hosted a live performance by the “Kavanaugh Singers” in front of the high court to promote the judge’s confirmation. The group sang “Confirm Brett” to the tune of Mary Poppins’ “Chim Chim Che-ree.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

August might be a sleepy time for legislation, the Senate’s capital busy-work period notwithstanding (See The Kicker below). But this is a midterm election year, and we are still in the thick of primary season.

Why West Hollywood Hates Trump’s Walk of Fame Star
Local city council voted Monday to call for the star’s removal

President Donald Trump walks from the West Wing to Marine One on his way to Joint Base Andrews Friday, July 20, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The West Hollywood city council stirred up renewed controversy Monday over President Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The star, installed nearly a decade before Trump’s presidential run, has become a target of animus against the president among his detractors in the famously liberal enclave. 

From Oakland to Birmingham, and Everything In Between
Deaths of two very different members of Congress highlight dynamism of the legislative branch

Rep. Ronald V. Dellums, D-Calif., right, talks with Ren Cooper of The Washington Post at the Democratic National Convention on July 15, 1992. Dellums died on July 30. (Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

The deaths of two very different former members of Congress this past week is a reminder of what a dynamic place Capitol Hill can be. Rep. Ronald V. Dellums, D-Calif., and Sen. Maryon Pittman Allen, D-Ala., did not have too terribly much in common. But they became a small part of the whole that is the American experiment.

Podcast: Left to Its Own Devices: Medical Tech, Congress and the Public
Political Theater, Episode 30

Director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering discuss their movie "The Bleeding Edge" with Political Theater podcast host Jason Dick and CQ Health Editor Rebecca Adams. (Bian Elkhatib/CQ Roll Call)

Better Off Now — So Much Better Than ‘Better Off Dead’
GOP hoping the sequel business is good for them

Expect to see more of this: Speaker Paul D. Ryan brandishing the GOP’s Better Off Now talking points in the run-up to the November election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

“Better Off Now.” No, it’s not the sequel to “Better Off Dead,” the classic surrealist teen comedy starring John Cusack.

Can You Tell August Recess (Kinda Sorta) Is Almost Here?
Messaging votes, floods in the Capitol, stinky gas and boatloads of cash

Rep. Steve Knight, R-Calif., leaves the House after the last votes of the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

It’s almost time for the kinda-sorta August recess (with the House leaving after next week for a month, and the Senate, not so much) and that means there will be no shortage of messaging votes set up by Republican leaders so their members can head back to the hustings and brandish their votes before November’s midterm elections. 

Start With Stormy, End With Strzok
Summer in the Capitol reaches peak tension

Senator here, farmer there. Montana Democrat Jon Tester is in a competitive re-election race back home. He also has a star turn in the new political documentary “Dark Money.” Listen to our Podcast about the movie. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

There’s nothing like a good knock-down, drag-out hearing about — what else? — THE 2016 ELECTION. The House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees had a good old time Thursday calmly discussing whether there was bias in the FBI’s investigation of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In the hot seat was FBI special agent Peter Strzok, who gave as good as he got about text messages with a woman who was not his wife that were about politics. Griffin Connolly and the Roll Call video team had a good time cataloguing the seething emotions at the hearing, which featured a healthy dose of questions and allusions to infidelity. 

Podcast: When Political ‘Dark Money’ Rode to Town
Political Theater, Episode 27

Political Theater

Filmmaker Kimberly Reed grew up in Montana with little anticipation her home state would be ground zero for a massive fight over money in politics. But her new documentary, “Dark Money,” tells a tale worthy of any Western, as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle fight for their own prerogatives in the face of out-of-state interests gunning for them.

With the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the high court’s role as the ultimate referee over money’s role in politics is back in focus. Reed and Campaign Legal Center founder Trevor Potter and CQ Roll Call campaign finance reporter Kate Ackley discussed the film, money in politics and the campaign landscape on this week’s Political Theater Podcast. 

‘I’ll Go Somewhere Else’ — Roll Call Photographers Under the Lens
What makes a good Capitol image? Knowing where not to go sometimes

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, demonstrates his hula hoop abilities in front of the U.S. Capitol during the National Women’s Law Center and Mom’s Rising event calling for Pre-K education for all on Sept. 18, 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It could be the unofficial motto of Roll Call: Photos of powerful people don’t have to suck. 

“I’ll go somewhere else and kind of take my chances,” says staff photographer Tom Williams, referring to the times when he sees a group of photographers gathering in the Capitol, even when they might have the best angle for a shot.