Heard on the Hill

The Bachelorette and football: Your Hill horoscope
What’s happening around D.C. the week of May 20-26

The rosé will be flowing at Stoney’s “Bachelorette” watch party. (CQ Roll Call)

Photos of the Week: Protests, celebrities and even some cute ducklings
The week of May 13 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

A protester with the group By The People is arrested by U.S. Capitol Police in the Cannon House Office Building rotunda on Tuesday. About 20 protesters gathered to occupy the rotunda to call for the House to initiate Impeachment hearings. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican players are low, but camaraderie is high ahead of Congressional Softball Game
Lawmakers and press corps unite to fight against breast cancer

Florida Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor waits for her pitch at last year’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game. This year’s game is scheduled for June 19. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The official list of players in this year’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game is OUT! (to be read in an umpire’s voice) and we have just over a month before members of Congress and the D.C. press corps face each other on the field again.

The members team, which is historically composed of a bipartisan bunch of female lawmakers, has seen a decreasing number of Republican players over the years, one of them being last year’s MVP, former Rep. Mia Love. This year Sens. Joni Ernst and Shelley Moore Capito, Res. Cmmsr. Jenniffer González-Colón and Rep. Martha Roby make up less than a third of the team.

Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix recalls her ‘most terrifying days’
Felix testifies on maternal health and mortality on Capitol Hill

Allyson Felix, U.S. track and field Olympic gold medalist, testifies Thursday during a House Ways and Means hearing in the Longworth Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Allyson Felix, the most decorated female track and field star in American history, was on Capitol Hill on Thursday — not to discuss the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, or preach about fitness, or boast about her gold medals, but to speak to the rising maternal mortality rate in the U.S.

The six-time Olympic gold medalist began her statement humbly: “I’m Camryn’s mom.” The testimony that followed was birthed from her own personal experience. When Felix was 32 weeks pregnant, a prenatal doctor’s appointment and common case of “swollen feet” led to bedrest and the discovery of preeclampsia, which put her and her unborn baby at risk. Doctors then scheduled an emergency C-section.

The political gospel of Karamo Brown
Can the ‘Queer Eye’ star’s message of inclusiveness succeed in polarized times?

“Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown visits Capitol Hill on Wednesday to push for legislation that would prohibit LGBTQ parents from being discriminated against in the adoption and foster care process. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

Karamo Brown talks like a man who has spent many hours in introspection. His speech is steeped in the language of therapy, peppered with words like “trauma” and “healing” and “boundaries.” He wants people to live their truth and accept who they are so they can be better for the people around them.

It should come as no surprise that the former social worker talks this way — especially to anyone who watches Brown on Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” a runaway television hit that preaches inclusion and asks its audience and subjects to accept people who are different from themselves.

Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell eulogize Richard Lugar with Capital Challenge memories
Vice president and Senate majority leader were among dignitaries in Indianapolis for Lugar’s funeral on Wednesday

The late Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind., was a regular participant in the ACLI Capital Challenge (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo).

It was fitting that Sen. Richard G. Lugar’s funeral service would take place the same day as the ACLI Capital Challenge race, and both Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took full advantage of the fortuitous timing.

Pence, the former Indiana governor and congressman, and McConnell, from neighboring Kentucky, were among the dignitaries who made the trip to Indianapolis for the Wednesday afternoon funeral. The group traveling aboard Air Force Two included other lawmakers, as well as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Kyrsten Sinema and Mike Gallagher are still the fastest members of Congress
Arizona senator and Wisconsin rep repeat in ACLI Capital Challenge

Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Wisconsin GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher were the fastest members of Congress in Wednesday’s ACLI Capital Challenge. (Kathryn Lyons/CQ Roll Call)

The chill in this morning’s air wasn’t enough to give runners cold feet at the annual ACLI Capital Challenge.

The race, in its 38th year, pits members of Congress, high-ranking political appointees and judges, and members of the media against each other in a 3-mile race to see who’s the fastest — and fittest — in D.C.

How Father Ted outdid Forrest Gump
Notre Dame president popped up everywhere in the 20th century, says director Patrick Creadon

The Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, center left, joins hands with Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights protesters in the 1960s.(Courtesy O’Malley Creadon Productions)

As the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh was taking the reins at the University of Notre Dame in 1952, I was being born less than a mile away at St. Joseph’s Hospital, just off Notre Dame Avenue in South Bend, Indiana. And while my mother was starting me off in the world, her sister, my Aunt Helen, was beginning what would be a 35-year career as Hesburgh’s personal secretary, for his entire tenure as university president.

So for me, watching “Hesburgh,” the new documentary from ND alum and award-winning filmmaker Patrick Creadon, was like zooming out on the familiar. It was an emotional journey back through not only my own life, but also a tumultuous period for our nation — one that isn’t over yet.

Sen. Ron Wyden has a surprise prediction for the Portland Trail Blazers
Enes Kanter could be the series X factor, Wyden says

Sen. Ron Wyden high-fives fans after the final buzzer in Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals in May. (Courtesy Ron Wyden)

Last time Heard on the Hill caught up with Sen. Ron Wyden, the 2016 NBA Finals were underway. Asked which team would take home the championship that year, the Oregonian ran with his fellow West Coasters, the Golden State Warriors, over the Cleveland Cavaliers. (LeBron, however, had other plans.)

Now, as the 2019 Western Conference finals tip off Tuesday night in Oakland, the longtime Portland Trail Blazers fan has a more black-and-red choice of a champion.

Stoney’s turns up as former Hill staffer Luke Stone makes ‘Bachelorette’ debut
Stone, who was once a staff assistant for Rep. Brad Sherman, overcomes cringeworthy first impression

Former Hill staffer Luke Stone’s “Bachelorette” appearance stopped some Stoney’s patrons in mid-bite. (Kathryn Lyons/CQ Roll Call)

D.C.’s own Luke Stone cleaned up last night on “The Bachelorette” and scored himself another shot on his quest for Hannah B’s love.

As you can see from “chicken wing guy” in the above photo, he had viewers uncertain of his fate up until about the last 10 minutes of the season premiere.

What’s that thing crawling over my hand at the spy museum?
Newly relaunched, $162 million International SpyMuseum in L’Enfant Plaza doesn’t ‘tell people what to think’

D.C.’s revamped spy museum opened last weekend. Above, the “Finding Bin Laden” exhibit.  (Courtesy International Spy Museum)

The woman encouraged the visitor to slip his hand into the mystery black box. “You should feel a tarantula or spider,” she explained.

He couldn’t feel it, so Jackie Eyl, who helped design the exhibit, plunged her hand in. “Ooh! It just touched me!” she exclaimed, somehow still surprised despite her familiarity with the contraption.

The sportsmen of Congress will name their next Top Gun
They’re looking sharp on the range, fresh off a legislative win

Rep. Collin C. Peterson loads his gun at 2004’s competition in Glenn Dale, Maryland. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican and Democratic lawmakers will hit the gun range today for a (friendly?) sharpshooting competition to determine yearlong bragging rights over who is the best at blasting objects out of the sky.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus’s annual clay shoot (formerly known as the Congressional Shootout) is a chance for lawmakers to kick back in an atmosphere of loud bangs, where gun smoke permeates the air and the scent of rotten eggs tickles the nostrils.

AOC: ‘So sad’ over ‘RuPaul Drag Race’ decision
Congresswoman vents her frustration with Nina West’s elimination

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., walks to the Senate floor with other House members on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Tom Williams/ CQ Roll Call)

You’re sitting at home watching one of your favorite reality television competition programs when the moment of truth arrives. Will the contestant you root for receive a rose/save/winning house vote or be sent home, relegated to the dustbin of reality TV history?

[Ocasio-Cortez tells Bobby Berk of ‘Queer Eye’ to swing by her ‘bach pad/warehouse type’ office]

Katie Porter receives the gift of poetry for Mother’s Day
Hallmark may have found its next card writer

California Democratic Rep. Katie Porter’s son honored his mom on Mother’s Day with a poem paying homage to her profession. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

These days, moms are lucky to get a text from their own offspring wishing them a “Happy Mother's Day!” If they’re really lucky, they’ll get a post on Instagram (that they may or may not see). If they’re REALLY lucky, a FaceTime (lookin’ at you, Mom).

Rep. Katie Porter received the gift of poetry.

Car-free streets and cheese in a box: Your Hill horoscope
What’s happening around D.C. the week of May 13-19

Imagine this scene without any cars. Saturday’s “D.C. Bike Ride” will deliver. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rapper Common takes over the Kennedy Center tonight at 8 p.m. for “an intimate evening that will feature songs, conversations and insights” from his new memoir, “Let Love Have the Last Word.” After launching his career in the 1990s, the Grammy winner from Chicago is now best known for acting, advocacy, beefing with Drake and being in literally ever TV commercial. Tickets range from $45 to $75.

The National Zoo hosts “ZooFari: Bite Night,” its annual fundraiser, on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. Expect food from dozens of D.C. restaurants (including Pinstripes, Radiator and Rocklands Barbeque), regional beers and wines, live entertainment and a silent auction. Tickets are $175 for members (Friends of the National Zoo) and $225 for non-members. Meanwhile, VIP packages run up to $10,000 if you’re feelin’ baller.