Ask a Hill Staffer: Afterparty at the Members' Gym
This week, after sorting through your questions on drinking and sex, our Anonymous Hill Staffer had an epiphany: "the Hill is a great place for post-college slackers to conglomerate and do nothing for a few years but drink and get high. Now that's something Democrats and Republicans can agree on -- if that's not bipartisanshipfulness, I don't know what is. Staffers on both sides are very pro-inebriation and anti long-term goals."
So next time you wanna blame your Representative for the whole do-nothing Congress thing, remember that it's actually his or her staff who are responsible. Snappy answers to your brilliant questions, after the jump.
Do legislative staffers hate other branch employees? Do you roll your eyes when you see some White House brats come down to the Hill for the afternoon?
I hate to admit this, but in the pecking order of government staffers, I'd say Hill staffers are somewhere near the bottom. Probably somewhere just above FEMA staffers and just below GAO staffers. Those White House staffers come down here and roll their eyes at us. Well you know what? Fuck 'em. If they want to detain prisoners and monitor phone calls, they have to talk to Congress first. HA. So when they come down here with their panties all in a bunch because they have to be on the Hill, we get the satisfaction of knowing that it's the Hill that's standing in the way of them doing whatever they want. Roll your eyes all you want, White House, because you're still Congress' bitch. Wait, what? They can do that shit without asking Congress first? Well, fuck me...
Why don't they keep the House Member's gym open at night? I read it had something to do with all the scandal... (note: this question was summarized because it was like 300 words long).
It doesn't have to do with scandal so much as it has to do with it turning into a bathhouse after hours. You give a secret knock, and Barney Frank opens the door. They keep all the lights out...a little creepy, but that way a Rep. like John Peterson can say "it's not gay if I don't know it's a man!" They have to do it this way now because of Barney getting busted in the 80's. I mean, it's not for everybody, which is why they close the gym. Phil Gingrey would flip his shit if he saw what was going on there, but since Drier is the Chairman of the Rules Committee, he has to go along with it. Governing is all about compromise, see? Politics in action!
Do you staffers get some sort of a meal stipend? What's the deal with those special cards people use in the Hill cafeterias?
We used to get a meal stipend that was known as "free lunch with lobbyists," but thanks to the Republicans, we can't really do that anymore. Seriously, assholes. It used to be that you could call up a lobbyist, pretend to be mildly interested in some inane issue like animal rights, and get taken out to the Caucus Room while they "talked" to you about it. But now, no -- all the offices around the Hill are clamping down on free meals. I'm actually pulling for that bullshit Republican lobbying bill because it lets staffers take meals and baseball tickets. All the offices are scared shitless right now, so I've been paying for my own lunches for the better part of this year... and those cards aren't anything special, unfortunately. Just debit cards like you use at your college dorm. And yes, we have to pay for them; and no, lobbyists don't give us any. Jesus I'm sick of ramen and Easy Mac.
Any thoughts on dollar beer night at the Pour House?
Not really, because usually I'm so wasted by the end I have no idea what the fuck is going on. But seriously, who doesn't like dollar beers? Even though I don't really care for Hill bars, you can't beat the value. Given the shitty pay as a Hill staffer (and recent dry spell with free meals), dollar beers go a long way towards supporting my functional alcoholism. So yes, you will see me at dollar beer night at the Pour House from time to time. Want an even better deal? Dollar pints of Bud Ice down the street at Hawk and Dove. If you can choke them down, a pint of that shit will really get you the most booze for your buck. And remember, rehab's for quitters. You hear that Kennedy? Quitters.
Get any propositions after last week's column?
Thanks for asking, but unfortunately the answer is no. However, somebody asked for a picture and somebody else asked me how often I get laid. And you asked if I got any. That's a start, at least. I'm thinking I'm going to try to get a CIA job so I can get invited to some of those poker parties over at the Watergate. Hookers with the Duke-Stir would have been a hell of a party. I bet he was blowing rails off of hookers' asses, which would cross a few items off my "things to do before I die" list: rails off of hookers' asses and doing drugs with Congressmen. Too bad the liberal press had to go poking around where they shouldn't be poking. Now nobody's going to be doing drugs off of anybody's ass.
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