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Heard on the Hill: When Congress Bogs Down, Bored Legislators Get Weird

Exhibit A: Oscar the Moose is the newest addition to the Washington office of New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R).

Until recently, the famous moose, which belongs to Orford, N.H., farmer Tom Thomson, has been happily hanging at the New Hampshire governor’s mansion since the mid-1990s.

However, according to a statement released by Ayotte’s office, Oscar the Moose became “[i]ncreasingly frustrated by business as usual in the nation’s capital.”

So he moved to D.C., probably because if you want something done right, you gotta do it your own dang self.

“Oscar’s presence in my Washington office will bring some of the spirit of New Hampshire to Capitol Hill,” Ayotte said.

The Senator was clearly stoked for Oscar’s arrival because she gave him a personal send-off back in the Granite State and then had a wee soiree for him when he hung on her office wall in D.C.

Exhibit B: Rep. Tim Walberg has been a Harley-Davidson man for years. During last year’s election, the Michigan Republican blazed the campaign trail on his motorcycle.

Constituent Mary Smith saw him riding his Harley during the campaign. Walberg promised he’d take Smith — “a longtime friend and good Republican,” a Walberg spokesman said — for a ride if he were elected.

A couple of weeks ago, he made good on his promise while he was back in the district. A photo on Walberg’s website shows the two astride the Harley with the caption, “Rep. Walberg, fulfilling a promise to take Mary Smith, 94 years young for a ride on the Harley Davidson.”

This was the first time the Congressman took a constituent for a ride, Walberg’s spokesman said. When HOH wondered if many more constituents might get a ride on his hog, the spokesman laughed and said he wasn’t sure. Gotta check his liability insurance, we assume.

Exhibit C: Alaska Sen. Mark Begich (D) tried to sink Washington Post reporter Ed O’Keefe’s battleship Wednesday via the Twitter machine.

O’Keefe wrote that Begich had been trying to get the Coast Guard to sink the illegal fishing vessel Bangun Perkasa, which was discovered in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

The ship was “discovered [with] 30 tons of squid and 30 shark carcasses,” Begich wrote in a letter to Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp. “Worse, the vessel was infested with rats in violation of a state law barring ships with rats from entering Alaskan waters.”

(Sixty tons of dead seafood? The rats are the only part of this story that makes sense to us.)

Sink this ship! Begich demanded.

“It will prevent this rust bucket from ending up back on the market where it most likely would only fall into the hands of some other pirate,” he wrote.

Brandishing only his pen, Begich has pretty much persuaded the Coast Guard to poison the rats and sink the ship.

“[T]his might not be a good week to challenge Begich to a game of Battleship,” O’Keefe quipped in the piece.

After reading the story, Begich tried to get the reporter to play the classic board game with him on Twitter.

“B – 2. Hit or miss? #battleship,” Begich tweeted at O’Keefe.

“Miss!” O’Keefe replied, dodging the challenge.

Guys! Come on, we wanna play, too!

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