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Stories by Julie Ershadi:

Rainn Wilson's Baha'i Background and Iran's Prisoners of Conscience

May 7, 2013

Hollywood actor Rainn Wilson, best known for bringing life to the aggravating geekery of Dwight Schrute in the NBC sitcom “The Office,” is using his celebvocat status to advocate for the release of seven religious leaders currently imprisoned in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Rep. David Cicilline | Shelf Life

May 6, 2013

Shelf Life is back to hear from another Washington insider about his favorite books and inspirational reads.

George Gekas | Life After Congress

May 6, 2013

The same men George Gekas knew in grade school are the ones who lobbied him when he was a public servant, first in the Pennsylvania General Assembly and then in the House of Representatives. Today, they all play golf now that he’s returned to the quiet life of an attorney handling cases in Harrisburg, Pa.

Barr: My Newborn Girl Owes $53,000 to the Man

May 6, 2013

Rep. Andy Barr and his wife, Carol, welcomed their newborn baby girl to the world last week. In a Sunday newsletter, the Kentucky Republican called little Mary Clay “a beautiful gift from God” — and then quickly tied the news to his concerns about the national debt.

Panetta's FleishmanHillard Gig 'Not a Massive Commitment'

May 6, 2013

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has rejoined the advisory board of global communications giant FleishmanHillard, but the new gig isn’t expected to be terribly taxing.

Take Five: Rep. Steve Chabot

May 6, 2013

It’s time for another Take Five, HOH’s chance to get to know a member of Congress with five fun questions relatively unrelated to the business of legislation. This week, Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, breaks down his love of history, Cincinnati and dogs over cats.

Booze in the Rayburn Basement

April 26, 2013

Uh oh … look what HOH found in the basement of the Rayburn House Office Building on Thursday afternoon:

The Cold War Gets a Warm-Up

April 19, 2013

Ahead of negotiations between their countries’ heads of state, former Rep. James W. Symington, D-Mo., and Sergei N. Khrushchev, son of the late Soviet leader, provided some context on the Cold War and the relationship between the United States and Russia.

Bipartisan Anti-War Lawmakers On Board at New Ron Paul Institute

April 17, 2013

Reps. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., and John J. Duncan Jr., R-Tenn., and ex-Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, will help steer the direction of the newRon Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity as members of its board, they announced Wednesday at a Capitol Hill event.

Hill Climbers: Cantor's Floor Director Keeps a Low-Key Profile

April 16, 2013

Believe it or not, the guy who painstakingly helps negotiate the House’s daily agenda is hardly the hobnobbing busybody one might expect.

Activists Protest RNC Rules Change

April 16, 2013

Conservative activists protested the Republican National Committee Monday for approving rules guiding the presidential primary process.

Awkward? Jane Harman and Mark Mazzetti Together Again

April 12, 2013

In a potentially awkward encounter, former Rep. Jane Harman had nothing but warm praise this week for a new book by Mark Mazzetti, the New York Times reporter who once reported on her alleged collusion with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Rand Paul Finds Protests and Skeptics at Howard University

April 10, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul’s charm offensive to minority communities took him to Howard University on Wednesday, where the historically black school’s students met him with skepticism and the occasional jeer.

Iranian Iconoclasts Bring Glitz to D.C.'s Persian New Year Scene

April 2, 2013

Iranians both at home and abroad have been reveling since mid-March in the weekslong Persian New Year celebrations, which wrap up Tuesday in outdoor festivities known as sizdah bedar, or 13 days after New Year.

Afghan Women's Photo Exhibit Comes to Capitol

March 22, 2013

International advocates for women and girls are bringing an exhibit of telling photographs to the attention of lawmakers from countries that have been coalition partners in the decade-long war in Afghanistan, including the United States.

New Elephant Habitat to Open at National Zoo Saturday

March 22, 2013

If there wasn’t enough elephantine excitement in the capital with the pachyderm parade through Capitol Hill this week, the National Zoo has another surprise for lovers of large mammals.

Life After Congress: Mel Martinez

March 14, 2013

Since playing a key role in an immigration overhaul effort that failed in 2007, former Sen. Mel Martinez said the biggest change in the debate since then is a shift in rhetoric.

#Filiblizzard Spurs a Tweetstorm

March 6, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has been filibustering the nomination of John O. Brennan to head the CIA for hours now, and neither he nor the commentators on Twitter have stopped for so much as a drink of water.

Exhibit Connects Peace Corps' Mission and Ties to South Korea

March 6, 2013

Former Peace Corps volunteers are reminding lawmakers of the program’s value this week with an exhibit in the Russell Senate Office Building’s Rotunda of vintage photographs they took while working in postwar South Korea.

Banned in the District: Fun License Plates

March 3, 2013

If you’re getting a new car and were hoping to show the town your personality via your license plate, think again.

Hill Climbers: Shira 'The Hammer' Lahav Keeps Her Member's Office Running Smoothly

Feb. 28, 2013

Believe it or not, scheduling a day in the life of a House freshman is more demanding than arranging activities for 500 summer campers and camp counselors.

Friday Is End of the Line for Union Station Barnes & Noble

Feb. 28, 2013

A day before its Union Station outpost permanently shuts the doors, Barnes & Noble Inc. reported earnings dragged down by promotional allowances and touted its e-reader’s ability to pull traffic into brick-and-mortar stores.

Senate GOP Goes Full Shutterbug

Feb. 24, 2013

As part of their latest attempt at social media supremacy, Senate Republicans broke the seal on a new Instagram account — with a haunting snapshot of the eerily vacant Capitol.

A Little Love Goes a Long Way for Neugebauer Staffer

Feb. 20, 2013

Valentine’s Day isn’t over in some corners on the Hill, even as lawmakers spend this week’s recess back in their districts.

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