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Rhode Island Tip Sheet: Compromise is MIA in DC

July 26, 2011

STATE OF THE NATION: There were countless Joe and Jane Sixpacks last night, contentedly watching The Bachelorette, when along came President Obama and Speaker Boehner, each insisting this whole debt ceiling mess could be settled if only the other side would listen to reason. The countdown continues . . . .  This New York Times chart (h/t Dan Kennedy) says President George W. Bush, not President Obama, is the one who ran up most of the spending . . . . For a different perspective, National Review Online says victory is within reach for Republicans.

GOT COMPROMISE?: Politics is said to be the art of compromise, but you wouldn’t know it from the politically-fraught drama playing out in DC . . . . Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, a student of the political middle, was wearing a “Civility” lapel pin when he joined WRNI’s Political Roundtable for a taping last Thursday. Many americans might want their elected leaders in DC to get along, but the feeding the base, at least for now, dictates otherwise.

HARVESTING BUCKS: Mitt Romney has a fundraiser in Newport tonight. The RI Democratic Party is using the occasion to charge that Romney “owes voters here an explanation of why he thinks the wealthy deserve tax cuts that are paid for in part by making Medicare beneficiaries pay more out of of pocket for the care they deserve.” . . . . RI GOP chair Ken McKay says such criticism lacks credibility, in part due to the Democratic-controlled General Assembly’s role in the state’s economic woes. McKay says it’s too early for him to endorse a candidate, although he says Romney’s experience in business underscores the candidate’s appeal in RI . . . .  McKay’s former boss, Don Carcieri, is among the hosts for Romney’s fundraiser.

CD1: The campaigns of Brendan Doherty and John Loughlin trade an early salvo . . . . David Scharfenberg says the Farrelly brothers will host a time for Doherty, and also that the GOP is looking to vote in October on closing its primary.

GREAT NORTH: Elizabeth Warren got shabby treatment from Congressional Republicans after setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in the view of Providence native Joe Nocera, but she remains a possible Democratic challenger to Scott Brown . . . .  AP, meanhile, reports that Brown has hired Jim Barnett, the former NH state director for John McCain, as his campaign manager.

TUESDAY WITH EDIE: Ocean State Action continues its speaker series this evening with House Judiciary Chair Edith Ajello.

REEFER MADNESS: Should a reporter smoke pot with a source to gain his trust?

STATE HOUSE: Speaker Gordon Fox backs the general concept of a employee classification plan for legislative hires, but not as a response to Ed Achorn‘s bete noire, Stephen Iannazzi.

RI IN DC: Former ProJo scribe Talia Buford’s new beat at Politico Pro includes the hot topic of “fracking.”

STREET BEAT: Ted Nesi wonders if there will be state banking crisis-style street protests if current pension recipients get their benefits chopped.

MEDIA: The Nieman Journalism Lab reports that Truthsquad, started last year as a pilot project, is the latest entry in media fact-checking.

BIRTHDAY: Bob Giusti (of the late, great Rash of Stabbings); Jhompy Ventura.

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