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Roll Call

Heard on the Hill: Hall and Wonder, Separated at Birth?

Has Rep. Ralph Hall, normally a distinguished, silver-haired gentleman, gone all Hollywood on us? It certainly seemed so on Tuesday, when the Texas Republican was spotted around Capitol Hill wearing a dark pair of sunglasses — even indoors during meetings.

Perhaps his future was so bright that he had to wear shades? Maybe, but the official reason for the cool-guy specs was medical: Hall told colleagues that he was recovering from an elective eye procedure that necessitated the glasses.

Nevertheless, “Hollywood” Hall took some ribbing for his new look. Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) suggested during a Rules Committee hearing that Hall resembled Stevie Wonder.

But Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) — wisely, HOH thinks — begged to differ, telling Hall that he didn’t really see the resemblance.

But maybe if Hall broke into a rendition of “My Cherie Amour,” we might see the similarity.

While Rome Burned

Rep. Rosa DeLauro typically isn’t afraid of a little incendiary speech or fiery words. But those metaphors turned quite literal on Wednesday morning when the venue where the Connecticut Democrat was holding a fundraiser quite literally caught fire.

Holy smoke!

HOH hears that DeLauro had arrived at a downtown office building where she was scheduled to give a fundraising speech.

But as she was heading into the building, a fire marshal ordered the Congresswoman off the elevator, and she was forced to decamp to the sidewalk outside the building.

By then, the attendees who had been waiting for her upstairs had been evacuated as well, and the impassioned DeLauro proceeded to deliver her health-care-focused speech on the sidewalk, as fire officials walked by and sirens blared.

The Congresswoman seemed unfazed by the excitement (and it turned out that no one was harmed in the fracas).

“In all honesty, this is not the first fire we’ve had to put out in this health care fight,” she tells HOH.

Phone Sex, Not Budget-Slashing

Note to GOPers looking to brand a clever slogan: 1-800-CUT-GOVT, which certainly sounds like a Republican spending-slashing enterprise, is actually a phone-sex line.

A call to the number (which an HOH tipster pointed out sounds a bit like the “YouCut” initiative that House Minority Whip Eric Cantor rolled out Wednesday) is greeted with a breathy message. “Ooh, baby,” a woman’s voice intones. “Want to play with me and my hot friends?”

Clearly, she’s not hot for fiscal conservatism either, judging from the rest of the message. Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the Virginia Republican, gamely pointed out to HOH that the YouCut initiative has nothing to do with the sexy dial-in service — even though they both deal with hot issues.

“With record deficits and Democrats refusing to write a budget, cutting government spending is clearly exciting to everyone but Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and [Majority] Leader [Steny] Hoyer,” he tells us.

On the phone-sex line, the woman eventually instructs you to enter a credit card number, which, we have to say, doesn’t sound like the most fiscally conservative choice.

Intern-al Investigations Resume

In case the sound of flip-flops swacking against the sidewalk hadn’t clued you in, here’s another sign that Intern Season is upon us: The website Spotted: DC [Summer] Interns is firing up again.

The site, which allows people to anonymously share their favorite stories of interns behaving badly, has resumed posting after a cool-weather hiatus, again providing HOH with one of her favorite sources for intern humor. Perennial themes include fashion no-nos and interns who wear their Congressional badges everywhere.

On Monday, a story labeled “Interns, Welcome Back!” relayed an incident in which a young man who fancied himself to be a “Super Intern” stopped by a Hill office to collect a signature and proceeded to wander around the office like he owned the place.

Last year, HOH interviewed the website’s founder, a former House staffer who wanted to give Washingtonians a chance to share their intern gripes. The founder has remained anonymous, much like those who post on the site. (A disclaimer promises to scrub identifying information, stating “many offices are concerned about anonymity and poor reflections upon them — please be assured that no office or individual will ever be singled out.”)

Here’s to another summer to remember, interns.

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