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War on Christmas (decorations) comes to Capitol Hill
The 'Cold War' is heating up

Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., poses with the inflatable snowman outside his office on the second floor of the Longworth Senate Office Building on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. A friendly holiday decorations rivalry with his hallway neighbor Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo. has evolved into a floor-wide contest. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Val B. Demings was overheard this week telling a reporter she felt “pressure” to step up her office’s holiday decorations after fellow Florida Rep. Charlie Crist displayed a quintessential light-up palm tree and flamingo outside his.

The 7.5-foot inflatable holiday Mickey Mouse (she represents the Orlando area, home to Disney World) that guards her door declined to comment on the matter — perhaps because he heard about the unfortunate fate of one of his nearby air-filled brethren.

As Super Bowl LIV draws near, Congress still tackling one of the event’s biggest problems
Florida Rep. Donna E. Shalala leads human trafficking hearing ahead of the big game in Miami

Katherine Fernandez Rundle, state attorney for Miami-Dade County, flanked by Rodney Barreto, chairman of the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee, and Kathy Andersen, executive director of The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade, addresses the media in Miami on Nov. 6 as they unveil a campaign by local, state and federal agencies and partners meant to combat sex trafficking leading up to and beyond Super Bowl LIV. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

The question of whether the Super Bowl attracts higher volumes of human trafficking in its host city has long been debated. At the least, it provides a megaplatform, and opportunity, for awareness.

“We do have a comprehensive approach for Miami-Dade, and that’s been put together over the years, but the advantage of the Super Bowl for us is to educate the entire community,” Rep. Donna E. Shalala told HOH.

Latest additions to National Film Registry a political smorgasbord
From ‘The Fog of War’ to ‘Before Stonewall,’ list provides vivid backdrop for contemporary issues

Errol Morris’ 2003 documentary “The Fog of War,” with former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, was among Wednesday’s additions to the National Film Registry. (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The 2019 additions to the National Film Registry, unveiled Wednesday by the Library of Congress, provide film buffs with a wide array of works with contemporary political relevance — spanning from 1903’s “Emigrants Landing at Ellis Island” to 2003’s “The Fog of War.”

“The National Film Registry has become an important record of American history, culture and creativity,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement announcing the list. Not everything is political, of course, and some of the movies are there simply because they found a way into the public’s imagination, like Kevin Smith’s 1994 slacker day-in-the-life comedy “Clerks,” or recorded a singular moment, like Martin Scorsese’s 1978 concert film “The Last Waltz,” which chronicled The Band’s final performance in San Francisco.  

Ivanka Trump’s paid leave summit marks turning point in long battle to get Republican buy-in

Ivanka Trump is scheduled to host a White House summit Thursday on paid parental leave. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ivanka Trump’s White House summit on paid family leave marks a significant turning point in her quest to get Republicans on board her pet issue. 

Soon after Donald Trump arrived at the White House in 2017, some skeptics comforted themselves knowing that the first daughter and adviser to the president would be there to sand down some of her father’s rougher edges. But so far, Ivanka has been one of the quieter voices in an administration driven by hard-liners such as immigration specialist Stephen Miller.

Rapinoe doubtful on Capitol Hill visit, won't seek office (for now)
The USWNT captain says U.S. Soccer wants the women to visit the White House, too

(Photo illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Those hoping to find the world-conquering U.S. women’s soccer team roaming the halls of Congress may be disappointed. Despite an invitation from congressional leaders, it appears the U.S. Soccer federation doesn’t want to arrange a team trip without the team going to the White House as well.

Megan Rapinoe. the team captain, said she would like to “visit Congress with her team, but she doesn’t think U.S. Soccer is willing to organize a trip that skips the White House, with the World Cup coming to the U.S. in 2026,” according to an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine. The 2026 World Cup has nothing to do with the visit, according to U.S. Soccer.

Bill Huizenga: Our beer is better than your beer
Michigan Republican touts Grand Rapids brew over Asheville, N.C.

Is Rep. Bill Huizenga, right, talking about beer, Harry Potter or campaign finance with Capitol Hill personality Rick Hohensee? Perhaps we'll find out more as the ethics investigation into the congressman unfolds. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Bill Huizenga’s interview with the Office of Congressional Ethics regarding an investigation into whether he complied with campaign finance rules yielded some other interesting insights about his diet at Harry Potter World and whom he trash-talks with about beer.

During his July 10 interview, the Michigan Republican was asked by OCE what happens when a member of Congress is invited as a special guest to support a colleague’s fundraiser and who benefits from the funds donated.

Denny Heck really wants a cookie
Washington Democrat’s scheduler sounded the ‘sugar zone’ alarm

Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., really needed a cookie. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Denny Heck was in dire need of a cookie, so much so that his scheduler emailed a group of Democratic staffers to ask if anyone had a “cookie source.”

In late October, the Washington state Democrat’s scheduler, Lauren Meininger, sent the email to her Democratic colleagues with the subject line “A single cookie??”

Trump could make WNBA ownership tricky for new Georgia senator
Incoming senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia is co-owner of the Atlanta Dream

The WNBA is 83 percent players of color, and has a relationship with Planned Parenthood, characteristics that might strain the relationship President Donald Trump has with incoming Senator and Atlanta Dream owner Kelly Loeffler. (Tony Quinn/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The WNBA has a frosty relationship with Donald Trump.

That’s not exactly surprising. After all, the demographic makeup of the women’s basketball league is 83 percent players of color (two groups Trump could charitably be described as “struggling” to win over), according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

Booker’s CROWN Act would ban discrimination against black hairstyles
Federal initiative is part of state-by-state push by group that includes Dove products

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., is among those calling for more federal protections against discrimination of hairstyles commonly worn by African Americans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nappy. Kinky. Too curly. These are adjectives sometimes used to describe natural black hair. While they can be insulting, some lawmakers say these perceptions also lead to discrimination against African Americans.

Several recent high-profile incidents involving discrimination and racial insensitivity have convinced lawmakers that more federal protections need to be put in place to prevent prejudice against hairstyles associated with black culture.

Ted Cruz pays off World Series bet with Texas barbecue and beer
Senator wore a Washington Nationals jersey for the occasion

Sens. Ted Cruz, left, and Tim Kaine take a photo together Thursday at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, where Cruz provided a Texas-themed buffet for his and Kaine’s staffers after losing a World Series bet with Kaine. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Ted Cruz repaid his World Series bet in style Thursday with a feast of Texas barbecue and Shiner beer.

“I agreed to go full bore, so I am painfully going to deliver, although I continue to wave my 2017 rally flag,” the Texas Republican said at a luncheon with Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine and New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, their staffs and other invited guests.