Kaine Prepares to Defend Spelling Bee Crown

Kaine cramming for the spelling bee? (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lawmakers are of very different minds as to what’s going to help them carry the day Wednesday, when they face off against political scribes at the National Press Club’s biennial spelling bee.

The “Politicians vs. Press ” showdown, the third such meeting of its kind, is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at the club's downtown headquarters.  

Ben Cardin, Mike Castle Merge Into One

Maryland Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin marked his 72nd birthday Monday by incorporating himself into where the rubber officially meets the recreational road along the Easter Shore.

The Best Congressional Tweets on #Popeapalooza

After rolling into town late Tuesday in an armor-plated Fiat, Pope Francis made his public debut Wednesday via an early morning visit to the White House and a carefully choreographed lap around the Ellipse.  

Lawmakers from across the political spectrum seemed thrilled to have the head of the Catholic church around, sharing candid pics and heartfelt observations about the momentous occasion on social media. One-time seminarian Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., appeared to take the whole two-worlds-colliding thing in stride.

Tim Walz Tickled About Appearing With T2P2

Staff said Rep. Tim Walz is psyched to reconnect Thursday with one-time aide Tane Danger when he finally hooks up with The Theater for Public Policy.  

Danger told HOH that while still in college he briefly interned for the Minnesota Democrat.  

Improv Troupe Aims to Milk Political Dysfunction for Laughs

The Theater of Public Policy is bringing its civic-minded brand of comedy to the District for an extended stay during which the performers look forward to having their way with all three branches of government.  

Michigan Debbies to Tag Team Shinola D.C. Debut

Michigan Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell and Sen. Debbie Stabenow are expected to help roll out the welcome mat Wednesday in the District for Shinola’s official arrival.  

The Detroit-born operation is attempting to revitalize U.S. manufacturing by cranking out collectibles ranging from dress watches and high-end leather goods to fixie bikes and dog beds.  

The Unbearable Likeness of Pete Olson?

House staffers marveled at the unbearable likeness of beings that paraded across their TV screens as Rep. Pete Olson took to the floor Thursday to rail against the administration’s proposed nuclear agreement with Iran.  

Amid the pre-gaming for the GOP’s bicameral effort to stymie President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, the Texas Republican unveiled a visual aide that caused some mischievous folks to do a double take. Olson reminded colleagues about the evil men often intend to do by bringing up would-be terrorist Manssor Arbabsiar, the Iranian-American citizen convicted in 2013 of attempting to liquidate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. — and anyone else unfortunate enough to be in the surrounding area — by blowing up Café Milano in Georgetown.  

Congress, Between a Sausage and a Veggie Burger

Rep. Doug LaMalfa goes all in on a corn dog. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Dietary allegiances were tested on Capitol Hill Wednesday, as the meat lobby and vegetarian-friendly toque Todd Gray squared off in a culinary tug of war for control of the hearts and minds — and mouths — of the legislative branch.  

The North American Meat Institute and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine arranged for the widely attended free lunches, with each group courting its specific constituency with custom touches. Meat and Greet In addition to fielding a cornucopia of pork products (we spotted at least two different cheese-spiked bratwursts, a handful of Italian-style sausages, a kielbasa and plenty of traditional wieners), the annual hot dog lunch was serving up some noteworthy extras.  

Sporty Pols to Partake in Charity Tennis Match

Around a dozen intrepid lawmakers have agreed to prove their worth on the tennis court Wednesday by participating in the rapid-fire Washington Kastles Charity Classic.  

Tickets to the fourth annual fundraiser, scheduled to take place at Kastles Stadium at the Charles E. Smith Center (600 22nd St. NW) beginning at 7 p.m., start at $10 per person and climb to $50 for VIP amenities. Per organizers, all proceeds are expected to flow through to Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, DC Public Education Fund or Food & Friends, with attendees deciding which group should benefit from each ticket purchase.  

New Site Makes Sport of Sizing Up Pols

Lawmakers looking for a little pick-me-up (or, possibly, some of the most depressing news ever) need look no further than the completely inane “Sexy Congress” selection tool.  

The nascent time suck functions on a basic premise: Pick the pol(s) you find most attractive.