Heard on the Hill

They wear tiaras and sashes. But don’t call it a beauty pageant
Senate staffer hopes for luck at Ireland’s Rose of Tralee International Festival

Molly Eastman was selected to represent Washington, D.C., at Ireland’s Rose of Tralee International Festival. (Courtesy Molly Eastman)

Molly Eastman is not competing in a beauty pageant. “That would very much be the American take on something like this,” she laughed over the phone from the Hart Senate Office Building. 

Eastman is representing Washington, D.C., this weekend in Ireland’s Rose of Tralee International Festival. Don’t get too caught up in the polished tiaras and evening gowns — “It’s basically a big celebration of Irish heritage,” the staffer for Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo told me.  

See the Iowa Caucuses early on Aug. 30!
Iowa Cubs baseball team renames itself after home-state political process

The Iowa Cubs will rename themselves the Iowa Caucuses for their Aug. 30 game against the Memphis Redbirds. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

DES MOINES, Iowa — If you just cannot wait until Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses on Feb. 3, 2020, then consider visiting here on Aug. 30, when Minor League Baseball’s Iowa Cubs rebrand themselves for the night as, yes, the Iowa Caucuses. 

“I absolutely love it,” said David Redlawsk, chairman of the political science department at the University of Delaware and author of “Why Iowa?: How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process.”

Roy Blunt pitches Negro League coin idea
Congress has authorized more than 150 commemorative coins since 1892. Will this be the next?

Sen. Roy Blunt pushed for a new commemorative coin as he visited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in his home state of Missouri this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Roy Blunt wants a commemorative coin to honor Negro League Baseball when it celebrates its 100 year anniversary in 2020.

The Missouri Republican talked about his coin push during a tour of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, this week.

It’s moving day at Liberty University for two Budds and a Brat
Rep. Ted Budd could’ve used Dave Brat’s help with the “heavy boxes”

Rep. Ted Budd moved his son Joshua into his Liberty University dorm on Wednesday (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s that long-awaited time of year when parents get to kick their kids out of the house again. August is back-to-school month, and for some lucky parents, “school” means “college.”

That’s the case for North Carolina Republican Rep. Ted Budd, who’s sending his son Joshua off to Liberty University’s School of Business. The father-son duo tag-teamed the move into Joshua’s dorm room with help (or lack thereof) from an old colleague, former congressman and tea party favorite Dave Brat.

Rep. Espaillat ‘grateful’ A$AP Rocky is home and detention ordeal is over

Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., has said he believes race played a factor in A$AP Rocky’s treatment in Sweden. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The winding saga of rapper A$AP Rocky’s Swedish detention has finally come to an end, but not before Congress, President Donald Trump, the State Department, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian all had a chance to weigh in.

Swedish authorities said the Harlem rapper and two of his associates are guilty of assault but will face no further jail time after spending almost a month in confinement.

Mother of Rep. Bill Huizenga dies at age 88
Michigan Republican credits his mother, Ann, for instilling in him a love of dancing

Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga lost his mother on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The mother of Rep. Bill Huizenga has died.

“Our family is saddened at the loss of our mother and grandmother, Ann, who went to be with our Lord on Monday,” the Michigan Republican tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “Mom was a strong and determined woman who fought through difficulties growing up in Depression-era Flint, MI. She loved music, dance, art, and travel but most of all her family.”

Twitter seeks to identify ‘hat’ involved in Elijah Cummings burglary
One sleuth suggests bringing in Chrissy Teigen to crack the case

Rep. Elijah Cummings said he scared a burglar away before he could enter his Baltimore home in July. His wife is trying to crowdsource information to identify a suspect. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

People often say “don’t read the comments,” but in Maya Rockeymoore Cummings’ case, that’s precisely what she wants to do.

The wife of Maryland congressman Elijah Cummings took to Twitter over the weekend in hopes of identifying the man who broke into their West Baltimore home in July.

Sen. Mike Rounds says wife’s chemotherapy has shrunk tumor in half
Jean Rounds had been diagnosed with a “high-grade, aggressive tumor near her sciatic nerve”

South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds, left, here with North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr in the Capitol in 2018, announced some good news about his wife’s cancer treatment this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Mike Rounds said there’s been a positive development in his wife’s cancer treatment.

“After multiple rounds of chemo treatment, we’re pleased to report that not only has Jean’s tumor shrunk in half, a Computerized Tomography (CT) scan showed no signs of the tumor spreading or metastasizing,” the South Dakota Republican said in a statement. He added that “the chemo is working as intended and Jean continues to handle the treatment well.”

Former Rep. John Sweeney is ‘optimistic’ amid cancer diagnosis
‘I’m a resilient guy and I’m not dying,’ New York Republican says of current battle

New York Rep. John E. Sweeney talks to reporters at a news conference on Capitol Hill in 2001. The former congressman is battling cancer. (Jeff Wolfram/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former New York Rep. John E. Sweeney has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“I’m optimistic,” he told the (Albany) Times Union. “I have faced challenges in the past.”

Ugly Gerry wants you to know the ‘ugly’ truth about gerrymandering
Two guys in Chicago are drawing their weapons in D.C. politics

Gerrymandering activists gather on the steps of the Supreme Court as the court prepares to hear the Benisek v. Lamone case on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ben Doessel is “not a huge picture guy,” he told me when I asked if he had any photos with his creative partner — and the other guy behind Ugly Gerry — James Lee.

But pictures of oddly-shaped congressional districts? He has twenty-six of those.