Julie Ershadi

Moran Celebrates Central Asian Culture in Rayburn

Not done partying, even though St. Patrick’s Day has passed? Worry not: It isn’t the only holiday taking place this week.  

Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., celebrated Persian new year with a group of Tajik-Americans in Rayburn House Office Building Friday night, but noted that the less well-known holiday might be overshadowed. “Unfortunately you’re coming here kind of at the same time as another tradition: The Irish-American celebration of St. Patrick’s Day,” he told the crowd.  

Iran's Epic Poem Continues to Resonate With New Translation

Hamid Rahmanian was convinced the modern Western world was missing something big about Iran.

Living in his adopted home of New York City with his American wife, the acclaimed Iranian visual artist had come to see a certain weirdness in his world: Young English-speaking Westerners in recent years had become enchanted with stories of grand, dynastic power struggles.

Lincoln, Alive and Sweating

What you see here is the face of patriotism.

It's the prize awarded for tooling around outside the White House in the dead of a sweaty afternoon. This young man, who identified himself to HOH only as "Wayne or Abe," is set to spend his summer walking back and forth on Pennsylvania Avenue, passing out coupons to the White House Gifts souvenir store.

'Senatorial' Actor No Virgin to Political Roles

The lead actor in a political video caught our attention with his saucy moves as a salacious senator who strips down to his red, white and blue underwear and pole dances for a pack of lascivious lobbyists.

An advocacy group for changing the role of money in politics, Represent.Us, posted the stripping ad on YouTube recently and is currently pushing to get it on national television.

Skating Apparently Is a Crime!

Mary M. Thompson, 42, pleaded guilty on Thursday to spending more than $16,000 of federal money on personal items while working for the Health and Human Services Department, including roller skates!

According to a Justice Department statement, Thompson worked for HHS from 2010 to 2012. During that time, she was issued a government credit card and at some point started buying all kinds of goodies, including an iPod, pool cues and the roller skates.

Frederick Douglass Ceremony Brings Pomp, Politics

The unveiling of the Frederick Douglass statue in the Capitol on Wednesday drew a rich cross-section of American society as dignitaries and descendants gathered to commemorate the storied abolitionist’s legacy, as well as throw in a little politicking.

“Frederick Douglass is a great Republican, and one of my favorite Republicans,” Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said to laughter from an estimated audience of 600 guests gathered in Emancipation Hall.

Life After Congress: Rod Grams

Though he’s a long time gone from the political fray, former Sen. Rod Grams keeps a close watch on the goings-on in Washington from his place on the family farm and the familiar confines of the media world he was in before being elected to Congress.

A Minnesota native, Grams grew up on the same farm his father was born and raised on. He came to Capitol Hill as a Republican member of the House in 1993, and after serving one term he was elected to the Senate, where he served until 2001. He lost his re-election bid to Democrat Mark Dayton, who is now governor.

Before the Storm: Highlights Leading Up to the Congressional Baseball Game

Standing at the entrance to Nationals Park on Thursday evening afforded sightings of the big names and big quirks that convened for the 52nd Annual CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game. Just a few highlights for the HOH reader's viewing pleasure are below.

First off, don't think for a second you can break out of the two-party system. It's Republicans or Democrats all the way:

The Baby-Faced Assassin | Overheard

"Raul Ruiz: The baby-faced assassin!"

– Unidentified staffer at Thursday's 52nd Annual CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, enthusiastically assessing the freshman California Democrat.

'Senator' Strips for Cash in Campaign Video (Updated)

Updated 3:45 p.m. |

In a YouTube video published this morning, the Represent.Us campaign to "end corruption" and "get America back" portrays a fictional senator stripping down to his Old Glory underpants and allowing a pack of lobbyists to jam dollar bills just about everywhere, right up to where the sun don't shine.

Former Staffer Unwinds at Unwined | Hill Climbers

Holly Feraci, a seasoned political professional who’s worked as a former aide to Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, and ex-Rep. Ernie Fletcher, R-Ky., as well as high-powered firms Greenberg Traurig and MS&L, has traded pushing policy for crushed grapes.

The Rhode Island native wrote in an email that she always felt that work got in the way of her true passions, among them wine and food. That’s why she’s left the world of marble hallways and white papers to serve as the marketing director for UnWined Wine & Gourmet (3690 King St.), a specialty wine, craft beer, gourmet food and cigar shop based in Alexandria, Va.

NSA Is 'Aware' of Impending Trolling

Hours after his testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee this afternoon, National Security Administration Director Keith Alexander might have to answer to a much more formidable force: a legion of ticked-off netizens who will be sending deliberately loaded messages to test the NSA's capabilities. But according to the NSA's press flacks, the agency is "aware" of the situation.

"If millions of us, all at the exact same time, call or email someone with our keywords-of-terror-filled script, we can give our nation's impressive surveillance apparatus the kind of test it deserves," the Troll the NSA website reads.

'Dirty Wars' Director Dishes About Tight-Lipped Members of Congress

LOS ANGELES — Interviewing Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., about drone warfare was both frustrating and enlightening, the director of the new documentary "Dirty Wars" told a sold-out screening here about talking to the member of the Senate Intelligence Committee about classified targeted-killing campaigns.

"It was completely comical sitting down there in that interview," Richard Rowley told an after-film discussion audience on June 7 about his visit with Wyden.

John Yoo on Rice Pick: 'I Just Don't Get It'

LOS ANGELES–The former Justice Department official who formulated the Bush administration's legal justification for torture diverted a panel discussion here on drones and due process to slam Susan Rice's appointment to be national security adviser.

"I have to say, I'm very surprised that the president would pick someone who's so embroiled in a current congressional investigation to be national security adviser," John Yoo, now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said Wednesday. "I just don't get it."

D.C. Log Cabin Republicans Fete Ex-Rep. Jim Kolbe

The Washington, D.C. chapter of organized gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Republicans hosted former Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., and his husband at a small mixer Wednesday night.

The D.C. Log Cabin Republicans convened the event at the Roosevelt Camden apartments on 16th Street Northwest to discuss the Senate immigration bill and Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick J. Leahy's withdrawal of his amendment to include consideration for LGBT families in the bill's provisions at this week's markup.

Veteran National Security Staffer Gordon Lederman Mourned

The national security community on Capitol Hill continues to mourn the recent passing of one of its steadiest hands.

Gordon N. Lederman, a longtime Senate staffer and well-regarded 9/11 commission staffer, died May 10 after a battle with cancer.

Take Five: Sen. Christopher S. Murphy

It's time again for Take Five, HOH's opportunity to get to know a member of Congress better through five fun questions. This week, Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., discusses Senate hazing rituals, pizza and memories of Tom Petty.

Q. How does it feel to be the youngest current senator? [Murphy turns 40 on Aug. 3.]

Bob Kasten Works Internationally in D.C. | Life After Congress

Years after leaving Congress, former Sen. Bob Kasten, R-Wis., has kept his eye on the issues he focused on while he was a member.

Kasten’s two Senate terms provided him time to focus on foreign aid, particularly during his tenure on the Appropriations Committee. He lost his bid for re-election in 1992, but he still lives in Washington, D.C., where he operates an international banking and business consulting group, Kasten & Co.

An Insourcing Sauce-Fest at Sonoma

Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar made for a fine setting for the Organization for International Investment's annual Capitol Hill Insourcing Reception.

The staffers and business representatives who attended the Thursday night affair had the second floor lounge Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar largely to themselves.

Library of Congress Hosts Ode to Copyright

Lawmakers and their spouses sat down to a performance of well-known hits at a Tuesday night concert in the Library of Congress.

"We love music," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said of he and his wife, Kelley, who was also present at a reception before the concert. "I think one of the amazing things is to see the writers perform their own songs."