2023 Too Late for 20-20 Hind Sight

On January 3, 2023, the U.S. Congress will convene for the first time after redistricting from the 2020 Census, and Rhode Island will likely have an at-large seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. It will be the first time since the 2nd Congress (March 4, 1791 – March 4, 1793) that RI will only have only a single seat, joining consistent at-largers like Alaska, Delaware, Vermont, Wyoming, and the two Dakotas.

But who will the solitary U.S. Congressman from Rhode Island be? Will it be David Cicilline? In 2023, Cicilline will be 61 years old and possibly have represented RI-1st for 12 years. On the other hand, Jim Langevin will be 58 and have possibly represented RI–2nd for 22 years. Will these two mainstays of RI politics be forced to run against each other? 20-20 hindsight won’t help determine the RI Congressional delegation in 2023.

A lot may depend on the two United States Senators: In 2020, Jack Reed will be 73 years old and will have served in the U.S. Senate for 26 years, while Sheldon Whitehouse will be 67 years old and have served in the U.S. Senate for 16 years. However, as the U.S. Senate Election of 2020 is a Class 3 election, it is not an election year for either Senate seat.

It’s unlikely that any of the four legislators will lose their seat; the last sitting members of the RI delegation to lose an election were Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) 2006, Freddie St. Germain (RI-1) in 1988, and Eddie Beard (RI-2) in 1980. Retirement is also unlikely as John Chafee (R-RI) died in office after 23 years at the age of 77, and Claiborne Pell (D-RI) served 36 years before retiring age the age of 78.

Pell’s successor, Jack Reed, however, is a perennially mentioned as a Secretary of Defense nominee or as a Democratic candidate for Vice President. Perhaps if the Democratic nominee for president needs a seasoned partner to balance the ticket as Barrack Obama chose Joe Biden, the bottleneck of RI politics will be lessened. Otherwise, a fraternal fight is brewing among RI Democrats in 2020.






Ron Robert and RI Sports

Hello! And Welcome to this Day in Today

Today’s theme is going to be on Rhode Island sports history, specifically, the weekly sports show Lil Rhody Sports Show on 89.9 The Juice every Saturday from 10 to Noon. I want to shout-out and thank Ron Robert and his co-host Eric “E” Levy for taking my call today and allowing me part of the show. We talked a little bit about this week in RI sports history, but I want to go back and look at the previous week as well as the upcoming week in RI sports history…

Earlier this week, June 3, 2018, Chris Iannetta went 0-4 against the Dodgers at Coors Field. I know that because I watched the game! Two Rhode Islanders at the game, though I think Chris had better seats! Iannetta was born, April 8, 1983, in Providence, Rhode Island, and named Christopher Domenic Iannetta. He went to St. Ann’s School in Providence, Rhode Island, and attended St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He played in college for the North Carolina Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He previously played for the Rockies, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Seattle Mariners, and Arizona Diamondbacks. Currently, Iannetta is an American professional baseball catcher for the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball (MLB).


Also this week, on, June 5, 1987, Cody Wild was born in Limestone, Maine, however, he grew up in North Providence, Rhode Island. He attended LaSalle Academy and graduated from North Providence High School. Wild was selected in the 5th Round (140th overall) by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Wild played college hockey for three years for the Providence College Friars until he left after his junior season to sign with Edmonton Oilers. He last played in the 2015 season for the Nottingham Panthers in the UK.


But the best story this week is that on this day, June 7, 1884, Providence Grays Pitcher Charlie Sweeney struck out 19 batters in a nine-inning game, a record that would stand until broken by Red Sox Pitcher Roger Clemens 102 years later. He is also quite famous for the rivalry with fellow Gray pitcher, and future Hall of Famer, Old Hoss Radbourn.


On this day, June 8, 1939, the Sakonnet Yacht Club was formed as a Rhode Island non-business corporation. Of course, Rhode Islanders have been sailing Narragansett Bay for hundreds of years before that, especially those little schooners that, on this day, 246 years ago, June 9, 1772, the disgruntled people of Warwick burned the Gaspée off the coast of Warwick, Rhode Island.

Looking ahead this week

On this day, June 10, 1923, Howard Shannon was born in Manhattan, Kansas. Shannon (June 10, 1923 – August 16, 1995) was an American basketball player and coach. Shannon was the first overall pick in the 1949 BAA Draft, selected by the Providence Steamrollers. Shannon averaged 13.4 points per game during the 1948–49 BAA season and was named the league’s Rookie of the Year.


On this day, June 12, 1969, Mathieu Schneider was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York. He lived with his family in West New York, New Jersey until moving to Woonsocket, Rhode Island, for his high school years. In Woonsocket, Schneider attended high school at Mount Saint Charles Academy. Under coach Bill Belisle, Schneider and his team won three of the school’s 26 straight Rhode Island state hockey championships. Schneider left Mount Saint Charles after his junior year and joined the Cornwall Royals of the Ontario Hockey League. Later, he was drafted in 1987 by the Canadiens and won the Stanley Cup with the team in 1993. He was also a member of the 1996 World Cup champion Team USA squad.


On this day, June 13, 1999, the Providence Bruins defeated the Rochester Americans four games to one to win the first Calder Cup in team history.


On this day, June 17, 1880, John Montgomery Ward pitched the second perfect game in MLB history.


On this day, June 12, 1987, The Witches of Eastwick was released. The Witches of Eastwick is a 1987 American comedy-fantasy film based on John Updike’s novel The Witches of Eastwick (1984). The film stars Jack Nicholson, alongside Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Susan Sarandon as the eponymous witches.


On this day, June 15, 1775, the United States Continental Navy acquired the USS Providence sloop. Originally chartered by the Rhode Island General Assembly as Katy, the ship took part in a number of campaigns during the first half of The American Revolutionary War. It was destroyed by her own crew in 1779 to prevent her falling into the hands of the British after the failed Penobscot Expedition.


On this day, June 16, 2010, Deer Tick made their network television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman. Deer Tick perform a song from their debut album, “Baltimore Blues No. 1.” Deer Tick is an American alternative rock band from Providence, Rhode Island composed of singer-songwriter John J. McCauley, guitarist Ian O’Neil, bassist Chris Ryan and drummer Dennis Ryan. John McCauley is the son of former RI State Representative John J. McCauley, Jr., is also the husband of singer Vanessa Carlton; the two were married on December 27, 2013, in a ceremony officiated by none other than Stevie Nicks.

Can we afford gas, Can we afford no gas?

Regarding the article “Plan to cut R.I. gas tax receives sluggish response” (9/15/05), what are the long-term plans for our state’s budget? After all, many people, organizations and the governor have rightfully called for more fuel efficient cars. This is not a partisan or political letter-to-the-editor, but an open question that affects us all. If, as the article stated, “Rhode Island relies heavily on the $142.8 million” which we receive from the gas tax, then what will we do as more and more people buy hybrid-cars and engines hopefully become more and more efficient. Consumers will need less and less gas, and the state will collect less and less taxes. Compounding the problem, the state also receives a hefty income form the cigarette tax. Many call for people to stop smoking, but what happens to state revenue when a critical mass of people do, in fact, stop smoking and stop buying as much gasoline?

Almond’s Hypocrisy

According to the article in Saturday’s Providence Journal (pgA3), former Governor Lincoln Almond “decries ‘special-interest groups'”? If that’s true, then why is he joining the special-interest group Gildea, O’Connell and Darlington as well as Progress for America? People need to stop making blanket attacks against these so-called special-interest groups; everyone vilifies the one’s they don’t like and lavish the one’s they like. As a result, all we’re left with is hypocritical politicians and a disconnected electorate.

M.D. : Medical Degree or Mass Deception?

In regards to Karl F. Stephens rant against “liberals” and Bob Kerr (“On Bush and WMD, Kerr’s still in dark,” May 28, 2005), could you kindly explain what the “M.D.” at the end of Mr. Stephens name is? Is it a reference to the (W)MD’s that were allegedly in Iraq is 2003? Of course, Mr. Stevens’ erroneously states that everyone thought the weapons were in Iraq in 2003. Oh, people worldwide knew the weapons were there….since we ourselves armed Saddam with them in the 1980s under the Reagan Administration. However, not everyone necessarily knew they were in Iraq in 2003 [see Ambassador Joe Wilson‘s comments on nuclear arms and WMDs from BEFORE the war].

So have (W)MD’s become a faddish suffix? Or is the signature a reference to President Bush’s “Mass Deception”? I ask, of course, because one’s degree in medicine has nothing to do with the politics of the war in Iraq. By signing his name “Karl F. Stevens, M.D.” the author has merely communicated his allegiance to Bush by tax-bracket. I hope all readers keep that in perspective while reading the attacks on journalists and the unabashed praise for an administration of lies. These lies have manipulated the media and the release of information (re: the Pat Tillman’s tragic death for one). Should I sign my letters with suffixes identifying my two bachelor degrees and two post-graduate degrees? No, I will let my words and the facts stand on their own.

On Bush and WMD, Kerr’s still in dark
01:00 AM EDT on Saturday, May 28, 2005
Since the false Newsweek story and its tragic aftermath, I have been skimming Bob Kerr’s columns, anxious to see how he would manage to make President Bush responsible.

Unfortunately, for my reading pleasure, he must not be in a creative streak at the moment; he merely resorts to regurgitating the liberal talking point: It’s no different from Bush lying about weapons of mass destruction (“We might never know the real reason,” May 18).
Last November’s presidential election showed that most Americans “get” the weapons-of-mass-destruction issue, but evidently it needs to be explained again, for those who don’t:
— Bush didn’t “lie.” The intelligence services of not only the United States and Britain but also France and Russia believed the WMD were still there, and no responsible president would ever ignore so many experts.

— All agree that Iraq had them at one time. And even though the delays caused by the French and Russians, trying to protect their oil deals, allowed Saddam Hussein to temporarily (he thought) get rid of them — apparently by sending them to Syria, dumping them in the Tigris, or some other means — no sane person doubts that the minute we turned our backs, he’d have been making them again.

“Chronic and Delayed-Onset Mustard Gas Keratitis,” in the April issue of Ophthalmology (aaojournal.org), presents vivid photos as evidence that Saddam possessed — and used — WMD. They also make one realize that any leader who does not take every step necessary to spare his populace the agony of these individuals would truly be criminal.