Jason Dick

These Democratic women don’t want to be ‘show ponies’
Political Theater: Episode 73

Five Democratic freshmen, all women with military or intelligence backgrounds, are banding together to help each other fundraise for their 2020 races. They all flipped Republican districts in 2018, and they know winning districts like theirs is the key to holding and expanding the House majority in 2020. 

After a few months in Congress, they’ve figured out who are the “workhorses” and who are the “show ponies,” in the words of Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin, and they’re tired of the latter getting all the attention. Along with Slotkin, Reps. Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey and Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania are fighting to hold the majority.

Who’s afraid of political gerrymandering?
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 71

Political gerrymandering is losing friends fast, at least in the courts. Ohio and Michigan recently got smacked by federal judges for rigging the maps in favor of Republicans. At the same time, the Supreme Court could decide next month whether Maryland and North Carolina drew unconstitutional gerrymandered maps to favor Democrats and Republicans, respectively.  Why all the interest all of a sudden in such an esoteric part of politics? CQ Roll Call campaign reporters Simone Pathé and Stephanie Akin are our guides through the maze of maps on the latest Political Theater podcast. 

Movie Night: “Hail Satan?”
Political Theater Bonus, Episode 70

Penny Lane’s documentary “Hail Satan?” is among the most entertaining civics lessons to come around in a long time. Chronicling in jaunty manner the origins and growth of the Satanic Temple, which the IRS just recently recognized as a bona fide church, Lane’s movie shows how the Temple has enforced the First Amendment’s separation of church and state across the country. Lane, the director of “Our Nixon,” and “Nuts,” discussed her new...
No holds Barr as Democrats grill attorney general
Political Theater, Episode 69

Congress got its first crack at questioning Attorney General William Barr about his conclusions on the Mueller Report on May 1 in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room. As if that didn’t create enough drama, three of the members of the committee are running for president and looking to stand out. Read more...
Movie Night: “Knock Down the House”
Political Theater Bonus: Episode 68

If you listen to this podcast, you know Jason Dick loves movies, especially if they relate to politics. So on occasion, we’re going to bring you conversations with directors and actors — and even some movie reviews — for all the political movie-lovers out there. In this episode, we talk with Rachel Lears, director of the Netflix documentary “Knock Down the House,” which profiles four congressional challengers in 2018 and how they fared (spoiler alert: one of th...
Ellen Tauscher, former House member and diplomat, dies at 67

Ellen Tauscher, a Democrat who represented the eastern San Francisco Bay area in the House and later served as a senior diplomat at the State Department, has died at age 67.

Tauscher was among the more influential House Democrats outside the leadership circle during her time in Congress, as head of the New Democrat Coalition and a respected voice on arms control from her perch atop the Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee. 

Why a crowded 2020 ‘knife fight’ is good for Democrats
Political Theater, Episode 67

Democrats continue to throw their hats into the 2020 presidential race, and veteran strategist Rodell Mollineau thinks that’s a healthy way to work out the party’s message during a “once in a generation time” for them. “I’m all for this,” he says. Mollineau, a founder of American Bridge and Rokk Solutions, and previously a staffer for Senate majority leaders Tom Daschle and Harry Reid, discusses with Jason Dick and Nathan Gonzales the burgeoning field, what an ideal ticket would look like and learning from 2016’s mistakes.

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.