Jason Dick

What’s not part of the shutdown? 2020 Senate campaigns
Political Theater, Episode 52

Politics never sleeps, not even during a government shutdown. That is especially true of Senate campaigns, because the unique nature of that chamber and its election cycle means folks need to be on their toes. Nathan Gonzales, the publisher of Inside Elections and Roll Call’s elections analyst, discusses which senators are the most vulnerable as the 2020 cycle ramps up, and how things like the current shutdown factor into political positions. 

Show Notes:

3 yards and a cloud of shutdown
What’s next in the partial government shutdown border wall standoff? Who knows?

Three yards and a cloud of dust was how Ohio State University coach Woody Hayes described his style of football, a steady, if unglamorous and gritty, progress toward the goal line.

The negotiations over the partial government shutdown — although the term negotiation is used loosely here — could be described as minus-three yards and a cloud of dust. Instead of progress, the president and the Senate Judiciary chairman say a national emergency should be invoked, despite the legal tenuousness of such a move.

Congress for newbies: practical advice from a pro
Political Theater, Episode 51

 “Decide what kind of member of Congress you want to be,” says Tom Davis, the former congressman from Virginia. “Voters see through phoniness pretty quickly.”

The 116th Congress and the week of the woman
Elizabeth Warren on Monday, Nancy Pelosi on Thursday, and record number of women sworn in

We’ve had a couple of Years of the Woman — 1992 and certainly 2018 could be classified that way. But this week has been a week defined by women. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren kicked it off on Monday when she announced she was running for president, and Nancy Pelosi on Thursday made history again, reclaiming the speaker’s gavel after eight years in the minority, becoming both the first and second woman to lead the House. Oh, and a record number of women will serve in the 116th Congress, 24 percent of the House, 25 percent of the Senate.

In this week’s Political Theater podcast, we discuss the new Congress and what to expect from it: A record number of women in the House and Senate, new ethics rules, divided government, maybe even hats on the House floor! And amid it all, the 2020 presidential race is already well underway. 

What to Expect as the New 116th Congress Gets Underway
Political Theater, Episode 50

If it’s a new year in an odd-numbered year, then you’ve got yourself a new Congress. As the 116th Congress is sworn in, things are going to look and operate differently: A record number of women in the House and Senate, new ethics rules, divided government, maybe even hats on the House floor! Also, amid it all, the 2020 presidential race is already well underway. Roll Call staff writer Katherine Tully-McManus breaks down the biggest changes for Political Theater. 

Show notes: 

Man Charged in Eastern Market Suspicious Powder Incident
Camera footage showed individual sprinkling white substance around metro station

Updated 2:43 p.m. | A suspicious powdery substance at the Eastern Market metro station on Capitol Hill prompted a huge emergency response Monday, including road closures and transit service changes.

Around 8:45 a.m. a man sprinkled an unknown white powder on the platform and tracks at Eastern Market, before exiting the station via train. The same man also sprinkled power in the elevator at the Metro Center station, where he exited the metro, according to WMATA spokesperson Dan Stessel.

Congress, Trump Basically Give Up on Ending Partial Shutdown Until 2019
Negotiations stalled as Senate, House only schedule pro forma sessions until New Year

Congress and President Donald Trump are basically giving up on reaching a deal to end the government’s partial shutdown for 2018, throwing in the towel until the New Year and a new Congress. 

The White House and Senate Republican leaders on Thursday signaled it will then be up to Trump and the likely incoming Democratic speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to find a solution.

The Most Listenable Political Theater Podcasts of 2018
The year in review, sort of, of some of our favorite talks

On Roll Call’s Political Theater Podcast, you won’t always get what you want. You won’t always get what you need. But you’ll never be bored. We hope. With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite podcasts from the year that was, which just happened to be our first.

[Subscribe to Political Theater at RollCall.com]Matt Bai, Jason Reitman and Jay Carson talking about Gary Hart and their film “The Frontrunner.”

Congress and Tax Cuts, A Love Story
Even amid the Christmas shutdown showdown, more talk of tax cuts

Despite the looming Christmas holiday, and despite an intractable fight over government funding and a border wall, and despite the unpopularity (and blow to the deficit) of the last big tax cut last year, it’s still raining tax cuts, or at least the politicians who love them. 

Witness the House taking time Thursday to push through a package of tax cuts that the Senate has shown no interest in taking up as the legislative calendar ticks down to zero. 

Paul Ryan Runs Through the Tape as Lame-Duck Congress Limps to Finish Line
Wisconsin Republican departs on own terms, with share of wins and losses

Paul D. Ryan is leaving his time as speaker of the House where he started it: in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress, in a speech outlining his principles and showcasing his personality, and during a time that encapsulates the challenges any serious lawmaker faces.

“I leave here as convinced as I was at the start that we face no challenge which cannot be overcome by putting pen to paper on sound policy. By addressing head-on the problems of the day,” the Wisconsin Republican said on Wednesday amid colleagues and assorted allies and dignitaries across the street from the Capitol. “The state of politics these days, though, is another question, and frankly one I don’t have an answer for,” he added, emphasizing that re-engaging in the process, with humility and an exchange of ideas, as unlikely as that might sound today, was the way back to reclaiming public service’s luster and dignity. 

Did Tax Reform Scrooge the Holiday Party Spirit?
Political Theater, Episode 49

Whether it was a cramped schedule, the funeral of a president, changes to the tax code or overall crankiness, the holiday party scene this year seemed a little, um, meh. CQ Roll Call's Niels Lesniewski, Kate Ackley and Peter Cohn crash the party that is Political Theater to discuss the wine, song and tax deductions of the Washington holiday party circuit. 

Cindy Hyde-Smith Sworn in for Second Time This Year
Appointed Mississippi Republican won special election in November

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith was sworn into office for the second time in 2018, the result of having won a special election runoff for the seat she had been appointed to earlier this year.

On Monday afternoon, as the Senate started its workweek, Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin G. Hatch administered the oath of office to the Mississippi Republican. In March, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant appointed her to replace Republican Thad Cochran, who resigned. She took the oath of office on April 9 and immediately went about the business of running in November’s special election to fill out the remainder of Cochran’s term. 

It’s the Most Shutdown Time of the Year
There’s even a Washington Redskins angle to the shutdown showdown

It’s beginning to feel a lot like

a partial government shutdown.

House Schedule for Next Week ‘Fluid and Subject to Change’
Absent deal, partial government funding ends Dec. 21

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. 

Library of Congress Adds More Classics to National Film Registry
‘Brokeback Mountain,’ ‘The Shining,’ ‘The Lady From Shanghai’ are among selections

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.”

The Political Football That is Washington Redskins Football
Political Theater, Episode 48

There might be no better example of “political football” than what the Washington Redskins are doing by working with Congress, the White House and the D.C. City Council to secure a new stadium in the capital. And that’s just one of the political issues facing professional football, says Brandon Wetherbee, managing editor of the culture website Brightest Young Things and host of the podcast You, Me, Them, Everybody.  ...
Roger Ailes, the Connection Between Bushworld and Trumpworld
The 41st and 45th president had in common the legendary GOP fixer and Fox News boss

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.

For Riverby Books, a Time to Close
For owner Paul Cymrot, decision was personal, based on several factors

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.

Roger Ailes 'Was Never Sorry About Anything'
Political Theater, Episode 47

 

Sweet Smell of Succession, House Democrats Edition
The upward mobility of people who played the leadership game

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.