Heard on the Hill: Too Hot for TV?

Posted May 1, 2009 at 6:43pm

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) doesn’t mind if couples use medication to help revitalize their love life.

He just doesn’t want to hear about that medication when he turns on his television.

[IMGCAP(1)]Moran teamed up with Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) last week to introduce legislation placing restrictions on when advertisements for erectile dysfunction medication can be broadcast on TV or radio.

With their often sexually themed messages — think “ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex— or “call the doctor if you experience an erection lasting longer than four hours— — Moran thinks the ads just aren’t appropriate during family viewing hours.

“They tend to not-so-subtly emphasize certain side effects’ that can make for awkward moments, say when watching the Super Bowl with your adolescent son or daughter,— Moran spokesman Austin Durrer told HOH. “The Congressman has no problem with the drugs, just their ads.—

The Families for ED Advertising Decency Act would prohibit radio or TV ads promoting erectile dysfunction treatment from airing between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Stations would treat such ads as indecent, and the Federal Communications Commission would revise its interpretations and enforcement policies regulating the ads.

Joke’s on Schumer. We don’t imagine that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) often has moments of self-doubt. But an exception may have come the other night, when he walked into a room and everyone burst out laughing.

According to an HOH spy who attended a fundraiser for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) at the Capitol Hill townhouse of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) on Wednesday night — an event that was co-sponsored by every Democratic woman Senator — a speaker was comparing the relatively harmonious relationship between Gillibrand and Schumer to the considerably more complicated relationship between Schumer and Gillibrand’s Senate predecessor, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The observation ended with a joke whose punchline went something like this: Who needs nuclear combustion when you have Chuck and Hillary?

It was moments later that, quite coincidentally, Schumer walked in, the spy reports. And the crowd ate it up.

Young Falls Victim to Twitter Theft. The growing problem of identity theft (via personal networking sites) hit the halls of Congress last week.

Fox News reported Thursday that an imposter had created a Twitter account pretending to be Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska). Spokeswoman Meredith Kenny confirmed to HOH that the faker had managed to post roughly 30 tweets (all inaccurate) over the course of the work week, including one that Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) planned to introduce articles of impeachment against President Barack Obama.

Young’s office contacted Twitter, Kenny said, and by Friday the company suspended the account.

The Congressman now has full ownership of the Twitter page, Kenny said, adding that it is “to be determined— whether Young actually will start posting tweets.

Young, of course, isn’t the only famous person ever to have a Twitter imposter.

Condoleezza Rice, Bill Gates, Osama bin Laden and even Keshia Knight Pulliam (who played Rudy on “The Cosby Show—) all have been victims of Twitter theft.

Congressional Baby Boom. Could hearings soon be held studying the serious problem of diaper rash? Or will there be a legislative push to prohibit tummy kisses?

That’s what HOH wondered when we heard that Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) had sent out a “Dear Colleague— letter Thursday announcing the formation of the Congressional Baby Caucus.

But alas, it seems there will be no floor speeches over the benefits of naptime.

Rather, the bipartisan group will concentrate on public policy development for infants and toddlers, focusing on how scientific research on child development can help develop better policy.

While politicians certainly know how to use babies as a political prop — who hasn’t kissed one in a campaign photo? — the youngest Americans are among the most ignored demographic when it comes to policy making, according to DeLauro.

“[T]here is a disconnect between what we know is good for America’s children and families versus what we as a country do about it,— DeLauro said. “Our goal is to focus on the opportunities for Congress to use science to dramatically improve the public policy opportunities for children in this country.—

It’s Hard Out There for a Pig. With all the talk of swine flu these days, pork is getting a tough break — even when it’s used to remind people the value of financial planning.

The Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus sponsored the Financial Literacy Day Fair on Thursday, promoting ways that Americans can make sound decisions when it comes to personal finance (something we all could probably learn a thing or two about).

HOH hears fair organizers served pulled pork at the event and piggy banks were spread throughout the Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room as a way to remind people to save their extra money.

Both are appropriate metaphors for financial decision making, of course. There’s continual criticism of the “pork— in government spending, and it’s clear that Americans need to save more.

But with all the hysteria over the swine flu (sorry, the H1N1 flu), might pig-themed materials (and meals) have been a poor choice?

“Given how fast attendees ate that pork, I think flu was the last thing on their mind,— said Teno Villarreal, a spokesman for caucus Chairman Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas). “Hopefully, they took a break to learn a little about the importance of financial literacy.—

Wining and Dining. Rep. Jason Chaffetz sure loves his Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

An HOH spy spotted the Utah Republican chowing down at the popular burger joint’s Chinatown location Thursday night. HOH hears that Chaffetz’s wife, Julie, his sisters-in-law and his mother-in-law were in town, and the Congressman took them to the popular D.C.-area chain for dinner.

Chaffetz is a big Five Guys fan — he confirmed to HOH back in March that he followed up the formal National Republican Congressional Committee dinner with a snack of Five Guys’ little burger with bacon and mushrooms.

“It hits the spot every time. That and a good cup of fries,— he said.

In other politicians-dining-out news, HOH hears that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel spent part of his Wednesday evening at the Democratic Club, the same night that President Barack Obama gave his televised press conference.

Josh Kurtz, Jude O. Marfil and Niels Lesniewski of GalleryWatch contributed to this report.

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