President Barack Obama

U.S. Labor Department

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will be the commencement speaker at Roger Williams University Law School commencement exercises on May 13th at the school’s Bristol campus.

Perez, the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, is no stranger to Rhode Island. He is a 1983 Brown University graduate, who later earned a graduate degree in political science from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a law degree from Harvard’s Law School.

    

Cumberland State Representative Karen MacBeth, who last week changed her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, announced Monday that she will run for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House in the First District, a seat currently held by Democrat David Cicilline of Providence.

President Obama intends to appoint Providence native Tom Donilon, the president’s former National Security Advisor, to be chairman of the federal  Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, according to a top White House aide.

Mr. Obama also intends to tap Sam Palmisano, former CEO of IBM, as the vice-chairman of the commission.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island is once again near the bottom in a national ranking of the 50 states.  Usually that’s a reason for concern, but in this case, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the bottom is a good place to be.

Elisabeth Harrison

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said Friday that President Barack Obama was "too slow" to recognize that Americans need to know more about what is being done to stop the Islamic State. 

"I think if you’re the president and you’re getting national security briefings every minute and your military are running a very complex program to try to deal with ISIS, it’s easy to think, okay, we got this," Whitehouse told RIPR.

RIPR FILE

Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, a Democrat, has joined mayors from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and 14 other cities in saying they are ready and willing to accept even more refugees than the Obama administration has proposed.

In a letter to the president, the mayors said, ``We will welcome the Syrian families to make homes and new lives in our cities.’’

Gregorio Borgia / AP

Sen. Jack Reed is accepting requests from Rhode Islanders for tickets to Pope Francis address to Congress on Thursday, Sept. 24. Pope Francis will be the first pope to ever address a joint session of the U.S. Congress.

The tickets are outdoors and standing room. Ticketholders will be able to watch the pope’s speech on outdoor Jumbotrons that will be set up. After the address, His Holiness is slated to make an appearance at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s two U.S. senators, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, announced today that they will be supporting President Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement.

In a joint statement, Reed and Whitehouse said the agreement is the best way to ensure that Iran does not manufacture nuclear weapons.

Reed said he supports the deal, ``because it cuts off Iran’s pathway to a nuclear weapon and gives international inspectors unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and supply chains.’’

The Elmwood U.S. Post Office in Providence is being officially named for the late Sister Ann Keefe, a beloved Roman Catholic nun who served for more than 30 years at St. Michael the Archangel parish in Providence.

Sister Ann, as she was universally known, died earlier this year after a long battle with brain cancer at age 62.

RIPR File Photo

Sen. Jack Reed has not decided whether he supports President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. On the one hand, Reed calls the agreement historic. On the other hand, he points out that failure would mean nuclear capabilities for Iran, which could spread to neighboring countries.

RIPR FILE

Work is the fulcrum of social mobility in our country. In Rhode Island, lawmakers have approved an increase in the minimum wage. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says that falls far short of what’s needed to help the working poor.

Democrats claim to be the party of working people. Come campaign season, Democratic candidates boast at every turn that they care about ``working families’’ more than Republicans, the party Democrats brand as the tool of the rich and the one-percent.

President Obama scored a victory for his trade plan today when the U.S. Senate approved a measure that would give the president the authority to negotiate international deals, but he did it without help from Rhode Island two Democratic senators, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse.

Reed and Whitehouse were on the losing end of a 60 to 37 Senate vote. Both Rhode Islanders cited concerns that trade deals hurt American workers. Thirteen Democrats joined with 47 Republicans to push the trade pact to a final vote, which is likely to occur tomorrow.

Rhode Island’s two U.S. House members, Democrats David Cicilline and Jim Langevin, will both vote against President Obama’s plan to `fast track’ the Trans-Pacific Partnership when the issue comes before the House, which  is expected this afternoon.

``Any agreement that promotes fast track trade to advance the TPP without through review and congressional input is a bad deal for Rhode Island  workers,’’ Cicilline said in a statement.

David Axelrod’s fine and quite well-written new political memoir entitled `Believer: My Forty Years In Politics’ has some interesting insights on Patrick Kennedy’s early career, in which Axelrod had a role.

In 1994, Axelrod, who would later become Barack Obama’s political consigliere, was the media consultant for Kennedy’s first campaign for Congress in Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District. Kennedy, just 26, had served five years in the RI House of Representatives as a rep from Providence’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood.

Keith Allison / via Flickr Creative Commons

The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will be honored at the White House by President Barack Obama on Thursday, April 23rd.

The White House said in a new release that the president will host the team at 2 p.m. to celebrate the Super Bowl XLIX victory.

``This visit will continue the tradition begun by President Obama of honoring sports teams for their efforts to give back to their communities,’’ stated the news release.

The president hosted s similar celebration for the Boston Red Sox after the team won the World Series in 2013.

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