Kathryn Lyons

D.C. is over the moon about 50th anniversary of Apollo 11
The week’s events are out of this world

Fifty years ago, two Americans, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, made history as the first people to ever step onto the surface of the moon (or onto a movie set, depending on which side of the conspiracy spectrum you fall on). This week our nation’s capital is siding with space and celebrating the lunar mission that took place in July 1969.

In honor of the milestone anniversary, the National Air and Space Museum is projecting a 363-foot image of Saturn V, the rocket that launched the Apollo 11 crew, onto the east side of the Washington Monument. On Friday and Saturday, the museum will host even more theatrics, recreating the Kennedy Space Center countdown clock on the National Mall. 

Rep. Will Hurd ‘honored’ to shave constituent’s head
Lisa Sanders, who lost her daughter in 2007 to a brain tumor, ‘braved the shave’ for cancer research fundraiser

Rep. Will Hurd helped a hometown hero “brave the shave” Tuesday at a fundraiser for childhood cancer research.

The Texas Republican shaved the head of Lisa Sanders from Helotes, Texas, at a “46 Mommas” event hosted by St. Baldrick's Foundation — a volunteer- and donor-powered charity focused on curing childhood cancer, according to its website.

Why Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has hope for the GOP
Party becoming ‘more tolerant and more accepting,’ says former congresswoman and mom of transgender son

“Oh, a leaf blower? I’m gonna be right there!” Ileana Ros-Lehtinen shouted cheerfully. She wasn’t hollering at her husband or a sales rep at Home Depot, but at her 3-year-old grandson Dustin, who sounded like he had something very important to show her.

I caught up with the former congresswoman Friday by phone while she was vacationing in the North Carolina mountains with her stepson, daughter-in-law, a handful of grandkids and, of course, the family dog. (By the sound of a bustling full house on the other end of the line, I doubt there would’ve been room for me in person anyway.)

Rep. Thomas Massie TBTs to his summer fling
Kentucky congressman won the internet on Thursday

There are two kinds of TBTs: the kind that we pause to view ever so quickly, perhaps give it a double tap, and then continue the scroll through the rest of our feed. And then there’s the kind that stops us cold, takes hold of our vision and raise questions faster than we can raise our eyebrows.

This morning, Rep. Thomas Massie blessed us with the latter.

‘I learned to inject oranges with insulin syringes’: Victor Garber on Type 1 diabetes
Familiar face from ‘Titanic’ urges Congress to renew research funding

If you ever went to the movies in the ’90s or the early aughts, you may recognize Victor Garber as the “bad guy” from “Legally Blonde” or “the ship designer” from “Titanic,” but on Wednesday the award-winning actor came to Capitol Hill with a script that was a little more personal.

Garber says he’s lived with Type 1 diabetes for nearly 60 years. Joined by kid-advocates with the disease, he urged Chairwoman Susan Collins and ranking member Bob Casey of the Senate Special Committee on Aging to renew the Special Diabetes Program at the National Institutes of Health.

How long is 4 miles in the shadow of the Capitol?
Horton’s Kids brings Congress east of the river, but gap still remains

Nathan Woods can still hear the gunshots outside his D.C. home in the early ’90s. He grew up in Wellington Park, a neighborhood less than four miles from the lobbying and lawmaking of Capitol Hill.

When he was a sophomore at Woodberry Forest High School, an all-boys boarding school down in Virginia, he got the call: His oldest brother, Errick, had been shot in the head. By the time he got to the hospital, his brother was dead.

Rep. Josh Harder’s Fourth of July plans are anything but humdrum
California Democrat is celebrating with a bang (on the drums) with MoBand

While many of you brush off your grill grates ahead of Thursday’s Fourth of July celebrations, Rep. Josh Harder will be dusting off the ol’ snare drum. It’s been fifteen years since the freshman Democrat from California played percussion in high school, and he has no problem admitting his skills might need a little fine-tuning.

“I’m a little rusty,” Harder laughed, when reached by phone Wednesday.

Urine trouble: Rep. Matt Gaetz receives apology from Buttigieg campaign staffer
Everyone needs to just relax and have a drink

Rep. Matt Gaetz says he received a phone call from Samantha Lillian Elaine Pollara, a campaign staffer for Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, after she posted a Facebook comment aimed at the Florida Republican that read, “Please, please let it be urine next time” followed by three “fingers crossed” emojis.

The plea for pee was in reference to an incident that took place last month in Pensacola, Florida, when Gaetz was struck by a drink cup, allegedly thrown by Amanda Kondrat’yev as he left a town hall. Gaetz has since said that he plans to press charges against Kondrat’yev, who briefly ran against him in 2016 before withdrawing from the race.

You may now Kinzinger the bride
Illinois congressman liked it so he put a ring on it

Rep. Adam Kinzinger kicked off the weekend ahead of the Fourth of July with his own set of fireworks. Per his latest Instagram post, the Illinois Republican is engaged.

“She said: yes!” reads the caption.

AOC chimes in on Florida debate from other end of the East Coast

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spent her evening in New York City exchanging pleasantries with Stephen Colbert while some of her congressional colleagues spent theirs down in Miami, well, not exchanging pleasantries.

Ten Democratic candidates for president fought for airtime Wednesday to prove they deserve the desk in the Oval Office, and also that they could speak Spanish.

Diamonds are Reps. Linda Sánchez and Nanette Barragán’s best friend
Female lawmakers take the baseball field following Title IX anniversary

Even though Reps. Linda Sánchez and Nanette Barragán will be the lone female lawmakers at Nationals Park, surrounded by more than 70 male colleagues and coaches, the only thing that might give it away is their ponytails. Sporting cleats, batting helmets and their favorite jerseys, they’re just some of the guys.

“They treat us like equals. They make us work just as hard,” Barragán told me of her male teammates after one of their last practices before Wednesday night’s Congressional Baseball Game.

King of the road trip: Maine senator treks home after canceled flight
Angus King went to bed while you were waking up

Angus King stayed up way past your bedtime Thursday night. He wasn’t out partying (though he’ll tell you he had a great time) — he was road tripping from D.C. to Maine. The nearly nine-hour trek was a result of storms in Portland and a canceled flight out of Washington.

After sitting on the runway at Reagan National Airport for at least an hour waiting for skies to clear, the plane’s captain came over the intercom to give already annoyed passengers even worse news: They’d have to find another way home.

Is Tim Kaine a Swiftie? Senator signs musician’s petition to pass Equality Act
Tim Kaine is the latest lawmaker to sign her Change.org petition

Tim Kaine is the latest politician to hop on board the Taylor train which, I might add, is moving quite swiftly.

The Democratic senator joined his colleagues (and presidential candidates) Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker in signing Taylor Swift’s Change.org petition, which urges the U.S. Senate to pass the Equality Act. The bill, passed in the House last month, would bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Ghirardelli chocolate and Napa Valley wine: Pelosi pays off Warriors-Raptors bet to Trudeau
Consolation prize: Canadian prime minister gives speaker a Raptors championship t-shirt

If there wasn’t enough salt in Nancy Pelosi’s wounds after the Toronto Raptors defeated her Golden State Warriors for this year’s NBA championship, she can just steal some from the pistachios she gifted Justin Trudeau. Oh wait, never mind — those are salt-free.

The Speaker held up her end of a “friendly” wager with the Canadian prime minister Thursday when she gave him the basket of all baskets, chock-full of some of California’s finest:

Bad News Babes defeat Congress for fourth year in a row
Charity game sets record by raising $365,000 for breast cancer charity

The forecast that called for rain Wednesday evening cleared out to make way for another, much fiercer storm: the D.C. press team.

The Bad News Babes crushed the members’ team for the fourth year in a row at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game. It was a 10-3 blowout.

There’s no crying in baseball … or congressional softball
Congressional women’s game pays homage to ‘A League of Their Own’

It was a blast from the past at Wednesday’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game as the teams paid all kinds of tribute to one of America’s classic sports comedies, “A League of Their Own.”

Players sported red hats with the letter “R” in a nod to the Rockford Peaches, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League team started during World War II. A fictionalized version of the Peaches featured in the 1992 movie starring Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Geena Davis and Tom Hanks. Director Penny Marshall, also famous for her role in the sitcom “Laverne and Shirley,” died late last year.

Have the flood Gaetz been opened?
Hannity offers Florida congressman an opportunity to host his show

If being a member of Congress wasn’t enough of a platform to voice ardent opinions and loyalties, Rep. Matt Gaetz might get an hourlong window of opportunity on America’s most-watched cable network — that is, when Sean Hannity takes a night off.

The conservative talk show host offered the congressman an invitation to “fill in” after the Florida Republican joked that he was “the only one on the show not getting paid” during an appearance on Hannity’s Tuesday show where he discussed President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign relaunch in Orlando. Hannity jabbed at the representative’s decision to appear on “fake news CNN,” where, the television host claimed, nobody watches Gaetz and is a waste of time and energy. Gaetz agreed.

This senator lost one son, but gained another
Death and murder shook his family, but Father’s Day is still a time of joy for Kevin Cramer

Father’s Day at Kevin Cramer’s house is “wonderfully chaotic,” as the senator puts it, even with grief still fresh. It’s not much different from any other weekend: Four kids and five rambunctious grandchildren running around, plus a big piece of meat on the grill — maybe a burger, maybe moose.

“You can eat moose?” I ask skeptically.

Her antidote to Trump: A greeting card company
Veteran operative Jill Rulli left politics to get into the card business. Hallmark it is not

Are you (financially) smarter than a sixth-grader?
Watch out, Warren Buffett — there are middle schoolers on the Hill after your job

Words such as “portfolio,” “investment” and “diversify” echoed in the Rayburn foyer and flew way over my head as winning middle and high school students from 10 congressional districts gathered on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. The kids were there to claim bragging rights and offer a crash course in Economics 101.

When it comes to the stock market, “start as early as you can and pay attention to what you’re investing in, and make sure it’s a long-term investment,” advised Raylee Stopka, a sixth-grader from Texas. (Sound dating advice for anyone looking for a soulmate as well.)