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Heard on the Hill: Harry Reid Takes On a New Role — Literary Promoter

While HOH’s summer reading list mainly consists of a tall stack of tabloid magazines, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants his colleagues — especially Republicans — to pick up something a little meatier.

The Nevada Democrat has plugged the Michael Lewis book “The Big Short” at least three times in the past two weeks while discussing the financial reform effort on the Senate floor. The latest best-seller from the author of “The Blind Side” and “Moneyball,” studies Wall Street’s role in causing the financial crisis.

Speaking on the floor April 26, Reid said “The Big Short” is “stunning in describing what they do with our money on Wall Street.” The next day, Reid said he “would direct everyone within the sound of my voice to read the book, the best-seller — and it is a best-seller for a good reason.” And on Tuesday, Reid said the book “was really a revelation to me to read” and added: “This book is good.”

Spokesman Jim Manley tells HOH that Reid picked up the book a few weeks ago and has read it on at least one airplane flight. “He keeps on giving it a plug because he’s hoping the Republicans will read it … and realize the reckless policy choices they’ve supported,” Manley tells HOH.

Hairy Business at Tides Salon

Usually a hairball is something that one fishes out of a clogged drain or cleans up after a cat. But one man’s trash is another’s environmental savior: The House salon and barbershop are now saving the clippings from their floors to help mop up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tides, the salon in the Cannon House Office Building, is participating in the charity Matter of Trust’s “Hair for Oil Spills” program. The organization accepts split ends from all over the country, and then — in a move surely Heloise would approve — it stuffs the hair into nylon pantyhose to form “booms” that soak up spilled oil.

The organization’s site does have one warning: “Every type of hair is fine (straight, curly, all colors, dyed, permed, straightened…) but only HEAD hair, please!”

Tides expects to collect four or five boxes of tresses in the next two weeks.

The salon got into the hair-brained scheme through Ruth Hupart, the environmental legislative assistant to Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), who approached the salon after learning about the charity.

Here’s hoping the spill is hair today and gone tomorrow.

Do You Want Fries With That, Senator?

Sen. John Thune is arguably the fittest guy in Congress — not only did he place first among Members at last week’s ACLI Capital Challenge three-mile race, but the South Dakota Republican also maintains a famously swoon-worthy physique.

But even the most fitness-minded among us need a treat every once in awhile.

Thune is slated to hold his third annual “All You Can Eat at Five Guys” fundraiser on June 8 at the burger chain’s Chinatown location. For $100 a person (or $1,000 per political action committee), guests can chow down on unlimited burgers, fries, peanuts and soda.

No word on what the Senator likes on his burger … a campaign spokesman declined to comment to HOH.

A Happy Campaign Distraction

Former Rep. Pat Toomey is taking some time off from his Senate campaign, but the Pennsylvania Republican has a good reason: He and his wife, Kris, welcomed a son on Tuesday night.

Duncan Olin Toomey was born at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, two weeks before his mom’s due date, the campaign announced.

Duncan, who weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces, is the third child for the couple, who also have a 9-year-old daughter, Bridget, and an 8-year-old son, Patrick.

Toomey, who’s aiming to nab Sen. Arlen Specter’s (D) seat in the upcoming election, canceled all his Wednesday events and “will be taking a short respite from the campaign trail” to spend time with his family, his campaign said.

Overheard on the Hill

“I would have Tasered him myself.”

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), telling Phillyburbs.com what he would have done if his son had run onto a baseball field like the teen who stormed the Phillies game on Monday night, only to be zapped by police.

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