Nowruz in the Senate Draws Bipartisan Group

From left, Dean, Chao and McCain attend a celebration of the Persian New Year, Nowruz in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Washington network of Persian-Americans celebrated Nowruz — the Persian New Year — on Wednesday and took the opportunity to discuss human rights and democracy and Iran.  

In the Senate and paired with a luncheon of Persian cuisine, the Iranian-American Cultural Association of Missouri and the Organization of Iranian-American Communities sponsored a bipartisan panel of speakers discussing the situation in Iran. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said, “Iranian culture’s beautiful, the country’s a beautiful country."  

Rep. Honda Fundraises to Celebrate the Lunar New Year

Honda is chairman emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michael M. Honda, D-Calif., is hosting his annual Lunar New Year party on Thursday; the soiree traditionally serves as a fundraiser for his re-election campaign.  

The Lunar New Year marks the first day of the year in several East Asian cultures and is celebrated for the whole month of February.  The Lunar New Year began on Feb. 8.  

Congressional Dinner to Feature Graham, Boxer

Boxer and Graham are speaking at the Congressional Dinner on Feb. 25. (Roll Call File Photo)

It’s that time of year for politicians from both sides of the aisle to take a break and share a laugh. The 72nd Annual Congressional Dinner, the long-standing Capitol Hill tradition of a light-hearted evening, is on Feb. 25.  

Amid partisan battles over filling the Supreme Court vacancy, bipartisanship will come alive at the Mandarin Oriental. Hosted by the Washington Press Club Foundation, the event will feature members of Congress, senators and of course, the press.  

Puppymonkeybaby, Andy Harris Style

Harris turns 59 on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As if Mountain Dew’s Puppymonkeybaby commercial during Super Bowl 50 didn’t haunt us enough, a pro-marijuana group has adapted it with the likeness of Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., to make a political point.  

“We thought it was something young people would get,” Adam Eidinger, chairman of the pro-cannabis DCMJ group, told HOH. Harris’ character is PoopyMonkeyBaby, which DCMJ created especially for the lawmaker who led the charge to block the relaxing of marijuana laws in the District, despite an initiative voters approved in 2014 and that went into effect in February 2015. The punch line: “He always dances after he poops on D.C. voters.” DCMJ thought Harris' birthday was the perfect time to roll the character out.  

It’s 'Paws for Love' Time on Capitol Hill

Dole at the ASPCA's Fourth Annual Paws for Celebration pet adoption event in July (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Valentine’s Day animal adoption event on Friday will bring adorable pets in need of a home to Capitol Hill. Hosted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, “Paws for Love” features 11 animal rescue groups from the surrounding area.  

The fourth annual “Paws for Love” will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday in Cannon 345. Longtime advocates for animal welfare issues, such as former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., and his wife, former Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., will be there. Also advocating for dogs and cats to be adopted for Valentine’s Day are co-chairmen on the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Michael G. Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.  

Mardi Gras on the Hill

Stop by the offices of Vitter and Cassidy for king cake. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of the Louisiana delegation will celebrate Fat Tuesday with traditional Mardi Gras king cake in their offices.  

King cake is eaten to celebrate the beginning of Lent (and the end of Mardi Gras). A small plastic baby, representing Jesus, is hidden inside the cake and whoever gets the piece with the figure in it receives good luck for the year. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., is providing king cake in his office for constituents who are in D.C. and other visitors, according to his staff. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and his staff are celebrating with Abita root beer and king cake. Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., is back in Washington after celebrating with friends and family at home and will also have king cake in his office.  

'City of Conversation' Illuminates Political Stage

Colin, left, and Hewitt, right. (C. Stanley Photography/ Arena Stage)

Arena Stage's production of "The City of Conversation" tells the story of national politics through the confines of Georgetown's elite salon culture, traversing three distinct recent eras.  

“I’m interested in D.C. politics in that this is where the rules are made that shape our lives,” Margaret Colin, who plays the main character, Hester Ferris, told HOH. “So I’ve been down here for protest marches since Roe v. Wade, I’ve been down here for my son, who went to Catholic University, so I’m familiar with D.C. But I’m here because it’s a really great part and I was invited to do it by a really great director.” The play opens in 1979 with Ferris working to procure the Democratic nomination for president for Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. Hester prefers Kennedy over the incumbent, President Jimmy Carter whom she describes as nothing more than a "seat warmer President."  

Fat Tuesday, Polish-Style

Rep. Debbie Dingell is carrying on the tradition started by her husband, former Rep. John Dingell (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Look out for Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., carrying pastries through the Capitol on Tuesday. Paczki Day is a Mardi Gras tradition, also known as Fat Tuesday, for Polish Lent celebrators.  

A paczki is a fried dough ball filled with anything from the traditional filling, rose-hip, cherry and prune, to more modern ingredients like custard, chocolate, jam or jelly.  

'Courting Des Moines' the Night Before the Iowa Caucuses


The feature film is "a fake story about the real Iowa caucuses" and is the brainchild of writer/director and Roll Call contributor Brent Roske. The movie, a sequel to Roske's "Chasing the Hill" series, follows the fictional presidential campaign of Rep. Samantha Clemons, played by Melissa Fitzgerald, as well as real-life candidates as Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and other public officials who traipse through the Hawkeye State in the lead-up to the first-in-the-nation caucuses.  

The show starts at Des Moines' Varsity Theater at 9 p.m., and will be followed by a question and answer session with Roske, former Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and the film's co-star Catherine Urbanek. Invitation follows the jump: Roll Call, former Sen. Tom Harkin and Brent Roske invite you to the premiere of the new political feature film "Courting Des Moines" on Sunday, Jan. 31st - the night before the Iowa caucuses - at the Varsity Theater in Des Moines at 9 p.m. Harkin and writer/ director Roske will be at the Q&A following the film, moderated by Roll Call's own Jason Dick and actress Catherine Urbanek. The Wrap premiered the movie's trailer last week featuring cameos from Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and more.  

A Sprinkling of SOTU Watch Parties

Where to socialize through Obama's last State of the Union (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Washington comes out for the State of the Union, and HOH has compiled some of the better-sounding watch parties for those who like to talk back to the screen. Washington Examiner SOTU Bingo Where : 201 Bar, 201 Massachusetts Ave. NE When : 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Host : Washington Examiner Perks : “Your first drink is on us and we'll have many prizes for SOTU BINGO winners and runners-up. This is one political contest where there are no losers,” organizers brag.  

#SOTUPROGRESSPARTY: Mixer & President Obama's FINAL State of the Union Address Where : Local Sixteen, 1602 U St. NW When : 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Host : Network for Progress Perks : Pay $5 cover online for drink ticket, food and one raffle ticket or pay $10 cover at the door for drink ticket, food and two raffle tickets.