I'm off on vacation next week. But a few media notes on the way out the door:
I was talking with former Brown University political science professor Darrell West a few days back when hopes for a grand debt-limit deal, if dimming, were still alive. He offered, perhaps, the best explanantion I'd heard to date for Washington's failure to go big. And now, with the capital's ambitions shrinking by the day, that explanation seems even more insightful.
The sniping continues between the camps of GOP Congressional rivals John J. Loughlin II and Brendan Doherty, vying for the chance to unseat Congressman David Cicilline - or defeat any Democrat who takes down Cicilline in a primary.
Loughlin lined up 16 city and town GOP chairs for a fundraiser in September. And Dante Bellini, a Doherty spokesman, issued this statement yesterday in reaction:
As N4N reported last week, Republican Congressional candidate John J. Loughlin II's campaign has organized a fundraiser in September that will feature 16 different city and town GOP chairs - from Burrillville to Newport - as sponsors, under the handle "city and town chairs for Loughlin."
Dante Bellini, a spokesman for Loughlin's Republican rival Brendan Doherty, has issued the following statement in response:
There's something about Brendan.
Filmmakers Peter and Bobby Farrelly, who hail from Cumberland, have agreed to host a fundraiser for Brendan Doherty, the retired police superintendent running for Congressman David Cicilline's seat.
Doherty, a Cumberland Republican, has long been friendly with the family. But sadly, he doesn't have any juicy Three Stooges gossip.
Republican Congressional candidate John J. Loughlin II, who is serving overseas in Iraq, has fallen behind GOP rival Brendan Doherty on the fundraising front. Doherty, the former state police superintendent, raised an impressive $250,000 in the last quarter.
But Loughlin's supporters are holding a fundraiser for him in September.
Former Governor Donald Carcieri and his wife Suzanne will co-host, along with Carol and Les Ballard, a fundraiser for presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Ballards' Newport home on Tuesday.
The host committee includes former Congressman Ron Machtley and last year's GOP gubernatorial nominee, John Robitaille.
In a move that could have implications for the looming Republican Congressional primary between Brendan Doherty and John J. Loughlin II, the Rhode Island Republican State Central Committee is set to vote, in October, on a controversial proposal to close GOP primaries to all but registered Republican voters.
At present, the state's Democratic and Republican parties both allow independents to vote in their primaries.
The Rhode Island Democratic Party has hired Jonathan Boucher, a Warwick native who served as deputy field director for Frank Caprio's gubernatorial campaign, as its news field director.
Boucher, who was also a regional field director for the state party's coordinated campaign in 2010, last worked in New York on a campaign to eliminate budget cuts to education.
Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, was among a handful of governors nationwide who backed off their states' medical marijuana programs for a time in the face of tough-on-pot rhetoric out of the Obama Administration this spring. But today, he announced that he will get to work on implementing the program right away.
As Washington lurches inexorably toward a lesser budget deal, Congressman David Cicilline must be thanking his lucky stars.
The broader deal that President Obama and Speaker of the House Boehner were discussing not long ago called for substantial cuts, including some in entitlement programs like Medicare, in exchange for a significant but far smaller growth in tax revenues.
The political set's focus, in recent days, has been on Sheldon Whitehouse's fundraising totals and those of Congressman David Cicilline and his would-be opponents. But don't forget Congressman James Langevin. His haul: almost $150,000 for the quarter. He's got just over $225,000 on hand. Not overwhelming numbers, but for a Congressman with no apparent threat on the horizon, it's solid.
The US Department of Defense released the beginnings of a new cybersecurity policy yesterday. The aim, as Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said, is to deny hackers "the benefit of an attack" - to quickly neutralize the assault and identify the attacker. Identifying hackers is one of the most confounding challenges in cybersecurity.
A few weeks back, I wrote a cover story on Rhode Island Republican Party Chairman Ken McKay, who managed Governor Carcieri's two campaigns, served as Carcieri's chief of staff for a time, and served as right hand to former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.
A lot of good stuff landed in my notebook that didn't make it into the story.
I'll have a piece in tomorrow's Phoenix about the state of Rhode Island's "compassion center" program.
The Obama Administration has warned officials here and across the country about a possible crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries. US Attorneys have sent sharply worded letters to governors and state legislators to that effect.