Presidential Debates Can't Hack It? 'Hack the Debate' Instead


Think the presidential debates can't hack it when it comes to informing the electorate? Well now you can turn the tables and "hack the debate ."  

Taking Beyoncé's Picture, as Told by Kevin McCarthy

McCarthy gave some Instagram advice Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of Congress looking to boost their Instagram followers might want to take a page from Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's book and snap a picture of Beyoncé.  

At the second congressional hackathon Friday morning, the California Republican described how he exponentially increased his followers after posting a photo of the singer and her husband, rapper Jay Z, at President Barack Obama's 2013 inauguration. McCarthy was explaining the value of members using social media themselves, rather than having their staffs manage the postings, when he recounted that fateful shot.  

The Creamery Lives on as Hill Networking App

Hill staffers lamenting the loss of the Longworth Creamery can take solace on their smart phones, where the popular Capitol Hill haunt will live on through a networking app.  

The brains behind the anonymous gossip app for Capitol Hill known as Cloakroom have developed a new mobile app called "The Creamery" for Hill staffers to connect with each other and discuss their next career moves. The app's namesake is the coffee shop/ice cream parlor in the Longworth House Office building, which is set to transform into a Dunkin' Donuts in August. Swing by the Creamery during the day and you'll be sure to see Hill staffers outside in the hallway, scrolling through their phones, waiting for their counterparts to grab a coffee and partake in a Hill networking staple: the informational interview .  

Thomas Massie Talks Tesla

Massie is seen in a reflection on the back of his Tesla pointing to his "Stand With Rand" magnetic sign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Rep. Thomas Massie drove up to the Capitol to support his Kentucky GOP colleague Sen. Rand Paul's bid to halt provisions of the Patriot Act, the congressman's car turned heads.  

Massie drives a sleek black Tesla — the electric car from entrepreneur Elon Musk's automaker. He explained that unlike traditional gasoline-powered automobiles, his transportation of choice will effectively run on coal, a natural resource that has long driven the Kentucky economy.  

Existentialists Watch, Wonder in Digital Cloakroom

The Senate's real-life waiting rooms have gone digital with the Cloakroom service. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Capitol Hill can be a confusing place, even for insiders.  

Just ask the growing army of perplexed public servants trying to figure out what it’s all about on the nascent sounding board/app Cloakroom.  

Pwning a Piece of Presidential History

Following Monday’s conservative pep rally down at Liberty University, it’s obvious that 2016 GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz believes in himself. Personally investing in said product — or, at least, his online persona — is something entirely different.  

The tea party favorite might be the first far-right candidate to officially call dibs on moving into the Oval Office post-44, but as Web watchers were quick to point out, he’s way behind the curve when it comes to staking out online positions.

Staffers Can Let It All Hang Out in Pseudonymous Cloakroom

Recovering Hill staffer Ted Henderson wants to liberate congressional aides from the specter of having their deepest, darkest work gripes traced back to them via pre-existing communication platforms.  

His solution: the identity-eschewing Cloakroom.  

Congress Before the World Wide Web

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, takes a break from arranging his office to work on his computer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With computers in every congressional office and smartphones attached to lawmakers' and staffers' hands, it might be hard to remember what Congress was like before the Internet.  

But for former Rep. Jim Coyne, it feels like yesterday. The Pennsylvania Republican reminisced about the early stages of computer technology on Capitol Hill during a conversation with WAMU's "The Kojo Nnamdi Show." During a Tuesday segment of the show's weeklong stint on Capitol Hill in partnership with Roll Call, WAMU’s Metro Connection and the Folger Shakespeare Library, Nnamdi was discussing how the Internet has changed how Congress operates. That's when Coyne was compelled to call in and bring a "historical perspective" to the discussion.  

OK Go Aims to Help Drone Lobby Take Off

Is your office abuzz about unmanned aircraft systems? Allow OK Go to set your mind at ease about making the most of miniature flying contraptions during a pro-drone tutorial at the 9:30 Club (815 V St. NW).