Latest Articles

The Pitfalls of the "Social Host"

Golocalprov's piece on underage drinking at Providence Police Chief Dean Esserman's home has focused attention on the state's "social host" law, which imposes penalties on...
By David Scharfenberg  |  June 13, 2011

Reed Draws Line on Medicare

Senators Jack Reed and Tom Harkin demanded in a conference call with reporters this morning that the GOP take Medicare reform off the table in the debt-ceilings negotiations. From The Hill:...
By David Scharfenberg  |  June 03, 2011

Oh, Barry

Sheldon Whitehouse must be smiling. Barry Hinckley, the Republican challenging Rhode Island's junior senator, is attacking the incumbent for voting against Congressman Paul Ryan's budget,...
By David Scharfenberg  |  May 31, 2011

In Woonsocket, questions for a questionable doctor

There's a name for that ailment seen in news photos of rail-thin Third World kids with protruding bellies. It's called "kwashiorkor," and it's seldom ever reported outside famine-stricken regions.
Billing Dept.
By JOHN LARRABEE  |  May 20, 2011

NY Times on Rhode Island's Medicaid Experiment

The New York Times had a piece this weekend on Rhode Island's Medicaid experiment - and the GOP's push to trumpet it in the sale of...
By David Scharfenberg  |  May 16, 2011

Report: RI's US Attorney Central to Google Probe

Rhode Island's US Attorney Peter Neronha is remaining mum. But a Wall Street Journal story suggests his office has played a central role in a Google...
By David Scharfenberg  |  May 13, 2011

The Phoenix's Awards Haul

The Providence Phoenix gathered a nice little clutch of awards at this weekend's New England Newspaper & Press Association's annual fete - this one covering work from...
By David Scharfenberg  |  February 14, 2011

In This Week's Phoenix: Marijuana Goes Mainstream

I've got a cover story in this week's Phoenix, due to hit the newsstands tomorrow, on the medical marijuana movement's liminal moment. The arrival of compassion centers...
By David Scharfenberg  |  February 09, 2011


Am I the only one looking forward to Patrick Lynch, candidate for governor in 2014, answering questions about his brother's medical marijuana operation? This should...
By David Scharfenberg  |  January 18, 2011

Carcieri Joins Pawlenty in Health Care Suit

Governor Don Carcieri has joined Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, a likely 2012 presidential candidate, in a legal challenge to the cost of President Obama's health...
By David Scharfenberg  |  November 12, 2010

R.I. Makes a Cameo in Mass. Governor's Race

A sleepy race for months, the Massachusetts gubernatorial contest is finally picking up steam, with incumbent Democrat Deval Patrick facing an increasingly tough challenge from...
By David Scharfenberg  |  September 29, 2010

What Snowe really wanted was ... more debate?

The New Republic has a running series about how health-care reform was ultimately passed in the form we got. Today is part four of the...
By Jeff Inglis  |  May 25, 2010

WaPo on Medical Marijuana

Interesting piece in the Washington Post today, featuring a Rhode Island doctor, on the conundrum that medical marijuana presents for physicians. An excerpt: For doctors...
By David Scharfenberg  |  May 05, 2010

The little P meets the big O

Portland welcomed President Barack Obama today, with Liberty Bells ringing from protestors across the street, and chants and cheers of all kinds ringing up and...
By Jeff Inglis  |  April 01, 2010

Suing Over Healthcare

The health care debate was, of course, saturated in political posturing. And passage of the bill has done nothing to sate the appetite of a...
By David Scharfenberg  |  April 01, 2010

All Hail Health Care

This week's Phoenix editorial hails a mighty Democratic victory. An excerpt here: The Democrats won and the Republicans lost. That, in a nutshell, is the...
By David Scharfenberg  |  March 25, 2010

Health-care reform at last!

The Phoenix's editorial this week discusses the passage of health-care reform. At the end, it makes observations about various Massachusetts politicians. To that, I add:...
By Jeff Inglis  |  March 24, 2010

Kennedy's Message to Obama

The late Senator Ted Kennedy spent decades fighting for health reform. And yesterday, at the signing ceremony for the health overhaul bill, Representative Patrick Kennedy gave...
By David Scharfenberg  |  March 24, 2010

At His Father's Grave

From the Washington Post, Patrick Kennedy leaves a graveside note for his father after passage of health reform: The political odyssey of health care reform...
By David Scharfenberg  |  March 23, 2010

Obama's sense of humor

We've all seen Barack Obama's smile. We've even heard him laugh as others poked fun at him, or as he poked fun at others.But on...
By Jeff Inglis  |  March 22, 2010

Langevin Announces Support for Health Reform

In a letter to supporters, Representative James Langevin confirms what he has long telegraphed - he will be a vote in favor of health reform....
By David Scharfenberg  |  March 19, 2010

Langevin Continues to Signal Support for Health Care

With the House expected to vote on the health care reform bill as soon as Sunday, pro-life Democrat James Langevin continues to send strong signals that he'll...
By David Scharfenberg  |  March 18, 2010

The Whip Count

For the political junkie, a fascinating "whip count" over at DC publication The Hill, running through the House Democrats who will be key votes on...
By David Scharfenberg  |  March 17, 2010

Langevin and Health Care

The Providence Journal has a story today suggesting that Congressman James Langevin could be a pivotal vote on health care reform, given the thin margins...
By David Scharfenberg  |  February 25, 2010

Pushing the public option

US Representative Chellie Pingree is trying to revive the public option, in the face of Senate Democrats' defeatism on health care reform.
By Jeff Inglis  |  January 27, 2010

Politics of Health Care Reform

Union leaders, progressive activists and officials from the AARP will rally outside Representative Patrick Kennedy's office today at 2 p.m., pressing the Congressman and Representative...
By David Scharfenberg  |  January 12, 2010

Wait - now SNOWE is the defender of health-care affordability?

The Associated Press reported late Friday that Senator Olympia Snowe still wants to be involved in crafting health-care reform in Congress.In part, she's objecting to...
By Jeff Inglis  |  January 11, 2010

Kennedy and the New Health Care Reform

Not quite tired of New Year's related top-10 lists? Well, Margaret Anderson over at the Huffington Post has an interesting look at the Top 10...
By David Scharfenberg  |  January 07, 2010

Our senators on health care reform

(Um, yeah, they both voted no. Here's what they had to say for themselves. And no, they're not likely to vote for it in the...
By Jeff Inglis  |  December 29, 2009

Whitehouse's Excoriation

Sheldon Whitehouse's speech on Republican obstruction of health care reform this weekend makes some powerful arguments about a GOP trading in wanton mistruths and willing, even, to...
By David Scharfenberg  |  December 21, 2009