Barack Obama

U.S. Capitol

President Barack Obama delivered his sixth state of the Union address last night.  His main focus was the middle class, as the nation continues to recover from an economic downturn.  

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse says the new climate change deal between the U.S. and China is good news for Rhode Island.  

The U.S. is committing to reducing carbon emissions 28 percent by 2025.

Whitehouse sais though Rhode Island is not a major carbon polluting state, it’s already feeling the effects of climate change. “Particularly with rising sea levels, Narragansett Bay is 3 to 4 degrees warmer, the winter flounder catch has virtually collapsed,” said Whitehouse.

It's almost all over but the crying. After years of run-up, Rhode Island's 2014 election is at hand. So thanks for stopping by, and feel free to drop me a line (idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org) and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

During a Friday morning speech at Rhode Island College, President Obama touted economic improvements during his administration and called for enhanced efforts to help women at home and in the workplace. The president didn't mention Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo during his speech, although he did treat her to lunch afterward at the Gregg's restaurant on North Main Street in Providence.

Obama began with some Halloween-related humor and a recognition of Rhode Island's congressional delegation before pointing to a series of economic indicators:

After cancelling a trip several weeks ago, Rhode Island College will finally get a visit from President Barack Obama. The president is expected to discuss women in the workplace and the economy.

He is likely to tout new data showing an increase in Gross Domestic Product, which is seen by many analysts as an encouraging sign of growth in the U.S.

RIC officials say classes will go forward as scheduled, although some locations had to be changed to accommodate security for the president.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is slated to return to Rhode Island to campaign Tuesday with Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung.  First Lady Michelle Obama is expected here later in the week.

Christie stumped for Fung in Johnston earlier this month, and pledged to return. Plans call for Christie to visit some Federal Hill merchants this afternoon and to tour businesses in Cranston. An advisory says reporters will be able to speak with Christie, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, only at the second event.

New Governor's Race Poll Results Out Tomorrow

Oct 14, 2014
Catherine Welch / RIPR

A new poll in the governor’s race comes out Tuesday from The Providence Journal and WPRI.  It’s the second poll in the governor’s race since the primary. It comes with just three weeks remaining before the general election.

The first poll came out in late September, and showed Democratic state treasurer Gina Raimondo with a slight lead over Republican Cranston Mayor Allan Fung. 

For some indication of what Sen. Jack Reed’s reelection campaign will look like: Today’s  announcement of top Obama Administration officials who will be visiting Rhode Island in the coming weeks.

On Monday, August 18, Jane Chu, chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts will touch down in Pawtucket, Providence and East Providence to meet with non-profit and community leaders and local artists.

The website Politico reports President Barack Obama is scheduled to be in the resort town on August 29th. 

He's expected to be at a fundraising event in Newport for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 

The site reports that though the president's approval rating remains rather low, he's still a big draw on the fundraising circuit.  As mid-term elections approach, Obama has attended 16 fundraisers this cycle.

Aaron Read / RIPR

UPDATE: This was approved: Rhode Island’s low-skill minimum wage workers will very likely get a wage increase under legislation that the Rhode Island House is poised to approve before the end of the current legislative session.

The measure would jump the state’s floor wage for workers from the current $8 per hour to $9 on January 1, 2015. Such legislation has been approved by the state Senate and the House Labor Committee and has been posted for action by the full House tomorrow.

Providence is Rhode Island’s most diverse municipality. The capital city is home to just about every segment of  Rhode Island’s rich ethnic, racial and socio-economic  mix.

Thus Providence is a reliable prism through which to view the never-ending debate over the master lever. What the data show is that the some of the proponents of abolishing it have, as  Ricky Riccardo used to say to Lucy on the old Lucille Balll Show, ``some 'splanin to do.’’

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee is among the New England governors who plan to join President Obama in Connecticut Wednesday to call for raising the minimum wage.  Democrats are emphasizing the minimum wage as part of their election-year strategy.

Chafee will join the governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont for a mid-day event at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. The governor said he plans to emphasize how boosting the minimum wage is a way the government can help the middle class.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Senator Jack Reed says the United States needs to send Syria a clear message that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated. Reed’s comments came one day after Secretary of State John Kerry said there was – quote – “undeniable” proof that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own citizens last week, killing hundreds of civilians. 

Rhode Island’s congressional delegation helped launch Monday an effort to encourage participation in the federal healthcare overhaul known as Obamacare.  Nine community health centers around the state will play a role in the campaign.

President Obama praised former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy for his support of legislation that made mental health coverage mandatory on health insurance policies.

The president’s remarks came Monday at the White House National Conference on Mental Health. In his opening remarks, the president praised several individuals, including Kennedy, who struggled with bipolar disorder and substance abuse during his years representing Rhode Island.

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