Debra Bruno

Black Calls for ‘New Approach’ to Prosperity

Rep. Diane Black called on President Barack Obama to create a "new approach" to improving the country's job situation by cutting "unnecessary spending."

The Tennessee Republican, delivering the GOP's weekly radio address, said that "the American people want to keep the government running while cutting its cost." She pointed out that it has been "just two weeks since the House passed H.R. 1, a bill that makes much-needed spending cuts and keeps the government running through the end of the fiscal year. Unfortunately, the Democrats who run the Senate haven't allowed a vote on this bill or any other bill that would cut spending and keep the government running long-term."

Portman Slams Obama’s Budget

Sen. Rob Portman said Saturday that it was not the Republicans’ goal to shut down the federal government but to cut spending and improve the climate for job growth.

The Ohio Republican, in the GOP’s weekly address, also took on President Barack Obama’s proposed budget, saying that it avoided tough choices for the coming year.

Nothing ‘Easy’ About Show on Life and Death

Arena Stage has packaged a powerful one-woman play as an extended discussion about health care policy.

But don’t let that stop you. Anna Deavere Smith, in “Let Me Down Easy,” lures the audience into a moving examination of life, death, human existence, suffering and pain — and just about everything in between. It’s anything but easy.

Pitts Honors Service Members, ‘Simple Acts of Kindness’ in Weekly Address

In the weekly Republican radio address, Rep. Joe Pitts honored American service members “who raise their hands and volunteer for extraordinary tasks in the defense of freedom.”

“To those wearing the uniform in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world at this hour, know that we are behind you and we join your loved ones in praying for your safe return home,” the Pennsylvania Republican said.

McConnell Calls on Congress to Halt the Expiration of Tax Cuts

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called on Congress on Saturday to halt the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts.

In the Republicans’ weekly radio address, the Kentucky Republican said that “the single best thing we could do in Washington” to create jobs and stimulate the economy “is to prevent a tax hike that’s about to hit every taxpayer and hundreds of thousands of small businesses” on Dec. 31. 

Kyl, Obama Recall Somber Anniversary of 9/11
On the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Americans must distinguish between a "militant Islamist ideology" and "the Muslim faith practiced by over a billion people all around the globe," Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) said in the weekly Republican radio address. President Barack Obama also used the anniversary of the attacks as an opportunity to remember those lost and honor "those who died so that others might live." Kyl said that on 9/11, &q...
Hill Bookshelf: Addams Was a One-Woman Reform Machine

In an era when women rarely went to college and were expected to be obedient and quiet, Jane Addams never quite fit the mold. Born in 1860, Addams was a headstrong girl in a prosperous family, encouraged by her father to think for herself and always ready to right wrongs and speak out.

And now, a new biography of the reformer — who, of course, grew to be a headstrong woman — brings us a full portrait of one of the more transformative characters in American history. "Jane Addams: Spirit in Action," by Louise Knight, details the life and times of the woman best known for founding Hull House, the country's first settlement house. Addams had a résumé that seemed to encompass several lifetimes; she was also a suffragist, a peace activist, a founding member of the NAACP and a labor reformer. The list of organizations she founded and led is too long to mention.

Put Away the Beach Books: Fall Brings Serious Reads

Publishers often use the months of late summer and fall to roll out their serious books, pushing aside — at least temporarily — the fluffy beach reads. This autumn will see no shortage of political books, history books, policy books and, of course, pre-election screeds. Here's a selection of what's in store.

• "More Davids Than Goliaths: A Political Education," by former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr., chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, is a mixture of Ford's personal history, political narrative and "an audacious and heartfelt articulation of the values and principles by which Ford lives his life." (On sale Aug. 10.)

A Monumental History of D.C. Neighborhoods

Most of the world knows the federal city side of Washington, D.C. — the Capitol Dome, the Washington Monument, the National Mall, the Smithsonian. But the city is also a collection of vibrant neighborhoods, many of them having the feel of small-town Southern communities, with front porches and neighbors who take the time to chat.

A new edition of the book "Washington at Home: An Illustrated History of Neighborhoods in the Nation's Capital," edited by Kathryn Schneider Smith, proves this perfectly. At nearly 500 pages with hundreds of historical and contemporary photos, the book reveals a tapestry-like portrait of the city so many of us call home. It digs deeply into 26 very different neighborhoods, from Capitol Hill to Shepherd Park, from the Palisades to Barry Farm.

Ginsberg Captured the Best Minds of His Generation

Those angel-headed hipsters, the Beat poets, reset the sound of poetry in this country, leaving behind a legacy in language that resonates even today.

But for the most part, it was a legacy built on words: Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl," Jack Kerouac's novel "On the Road" and William Burroughs' "Naked Lunch" portrayed the verbal landscape equivalent of the far side of the moon, upending the literary world of 1950s America in a way that this country hadn't seen since Walt Whitman sounded his barbaric yawp.

Granholm Says She'd Be an ‘Unconventional' Supreme Court Pick

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) refused to comment directly Sunday about whether she was on the short list for President Barack Obama's next appointment to the Supreme Court, although she did acknowledge that choosing someone like her would be "unconventional."

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley, Granholm said, "I think it's a very wise decision to move to consider experience that's not from the judicial monastery" of federal judges and that candidates like Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano, who have applied the laws of the land, would be important to consider.

Muybridge Captured a World of Rapid Changes

The first thing viewers see as they enter the magical new Eadweard Muybridge exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art is a film showing an endless loop of moving images: boxers pummeling each other, men running, horses galloping, cows loping, pigs strolling, each shown for a few seconds before the shot moves on to the next set of images.

It's a window into a living, moving 19th century, shot years before moving pictures seemed possible, and the accomplishment for which Muybridge is probably best known.

How Christo Fenced Us In

For two weeks in 1976, a billowing white fabric fence traced the hills of Sonoma and Marin counties in California, following the rise and dip of its arid land for 24.5 miles until it finally slipped into the sea.

Detractors said artist Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude, creators of the fence, were Soviet spies who wanted the fence to serve as a target for intercontinental ballistic missiles. Others said they were tools of real estate developers who would attract foreigners to the ranch land to buy up property.

DeMint and Bachmann Press Case for Repeal of Health Care

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) restated their calls for repeal of the health care bill this morning on "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer.

President Barack Obama "burned a lot of bridges on health care reform," DeMint said. "To give up on repealing this bill will be giving up on this country." He added, "The president is mocking the Americans who continue to be against this bill."

Get a Foot in the Door With No Stubs

This is the season for summer internship applications. And like job applications overall, the competition is fierce around Washington, D.C., for coveted, albeit temporary, spots at newspapers, Capitol Hill offices, businesses and nonprofits. And when the internship happens to come with a salary, the competition heats up even more.

We here at Roll Call offer two summer internship spots in the newsroom and have been receiving a number of strong applications for those two spots. But what is fascinating about some of the applications is what they lack. In a tough job market, some young people seeking a foot in the door are doing more to stub their toes than putting their best foot forward.

Government's Role in Happiness is Focus of New Book

The country of Bhutan started it.

Deciding that happiness was a better measure of government success than economic indicators, the leaders of the South Asian country created a "happiness index" that included the four pillars of "gross national happiness" — democracy, economic growth, environmental protection and cultural preservation.

Chesapeake's Hidden Treasure
St. Michaels Charms Visitors

St. Michaels, on Maryland's Eastern Shore, is the kind of town that could almost be called too cute if it wasn't actually an authentic shipbuilding and fishing village with a storied past.

Today the village has fewer than 2,000 permanent residents, but on sunny weekend days, its sidewalks are filled with tourists wandering in and out of the shops that line Talbot Street, the main drag. Beyond shopping, though, visitors can learn much about the history of the Chesapeake Bay, boating and wildlife of the area by exploring the town.

A Diamond-Hard Ceiling
When Will Women Reach the Top?

Remember 1992? Dubbed the “year of the woman,— it was supposed to signal a turning point for females in higher office, with five women newly elected to the Senate — more than ever before ­— and 24 new women in the House.

But, as Washington Post White House correspondent Anne Kornblut tells us in her comprehensive new book, “Notes From the Cracked Ceiling: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and What It Will Take for a Woman to Win,— it turns out that 1992 was “just a flash in the pan.—

Gift Books Offer A Local Flavor

We love holiday gift books — they allow us to take a peek into the pages of something that we might not buy for ourselves but could be perfect for someone else on our list. Here are a couple of options for those who love the idea of pretty, gift-worthy books with a local connection.

• “Dining on the B&O: Recipes and Sidelights from a Bygone Age— provides a powerful dose of nostalgia for the days when travel involved dressing for dinner, relaxing in a comfortable setting and sitting back while others solved any minor inconveniences that you might anticipate. (Yes, Virginia, believe it.) The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which at its peak ran from New York City down to D.C. and then stretched west to Chicago and St. Louis, was noted for its dining cars and its service, with white-jacketed waiters serving meals on tables set with linen tablecloths. Rolls and bread were baked on board these trains, and each dining car had as many as eight waiters. Service in the dining cars ended with finger bowls, and meals were multicourse affairs with appetizers, soup, entrees, vegetables, dessert and beverages.

A Planner’s Reading List for 2010

So many books, so little of anything approximating time. Nevertheless, 2010 promises to deliver a fresh batch of reading material, some of it illuminating and some of it not. Here are a few to look for in the months ahead.

• “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime— by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin looks at the main presidential campaigns using interviews and their own firsthand reporting experience. Release date: Jan. 11.