By Dan Yorke, WPRO
WE’VE DIPPED BELOW 10% UNEMPLOYMENT
And you can feel the excitement in the air...well, look, while the glass may not even be half full, it's not completely empty either.
The latest Brown University poll shows some interesting numbers. 94% say the state economy is not so good or poor, but 56% say they're personally OK. As long as that kind of disconnect exists there won't be much pressure on state government for a game changing move.
The poll also reflects absolutely no confidence that state government will lead us to anything better. Democrats have a 70% negative rating and the state GOP has a 90% thumbs down review. Good news for the party in a phone booth is that the only way to go is up.
Governor Chaffee fails to inspire. Providence mayor Angel Taveras has the highest approval rating closely followed by Treasurer Gina Raimondo – doesn’t look like either of those two Democrats will say “chicken” in the 2014 race for governor.
And same sex marriage continues to poll in the 60% range. Doesn't mean the state senate will cave right away. But, if the right deal comes along for the Senate President, Teresa Paiva-Weed, watch the principled opposition cave quickly.
THE DWINDLING EDC
The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation board is down to four appointed members. The slow death after the 38 Studios debacle continues. What busy talented business guru wants to pick up those pieces and volunteer for the cause? An agency in listless limbo, reflecting the entire state leadership starting at the top.
THE CLASS OF 2014
The graduating class has a unique challenge. For the first time, 4,000 high school juniors face a possible (not probable) problem graduating due to poor performance on the NECAP test. This is a good thing. It's called accountability, it is not discrimination. Already over half are working to tutor themselves into shape. And the bar is just too low not to try.
WELCOME TO THE FIRST DAY OF SEQUESTRATION
The sun came up, we’re OK. Now most economists say the $85 billion in cuts won't throw us back into recession. Come spring they’ll work a Washington deal, and this time the GOP won't give on any new "revenues." Taxes, Mr. Obama, they are called taxes.
POPE BENEDICT RETIRES
Strange but beautiful send off. Cardinals will convene and we’ll see the smoke by Easter. Quite the mystery, the politics of the Holy Spirit.
Basketball season heads to March Madness. Great time of year. Locally, Bryant is the buzz. What a scene last night on campus with fire marshals monitoring the sold out crowd in the biggest game in the history of the school. The Bulldogs fell just short, but what a one-year turnaround. Meanwhile, PC is quietly making headway in the late season. And Rhode Island College is in the NCAA division three tournament for the 7th straight year, having won the Little East tournament at home last weekend. Check them out on campus Saturday night.
The open state high school tournament is great drama. Just wish some of these coaches would calm down. It's not about them.
Meanwhile, PC and Brown are playing some serious hockey.
The snow is melting; I can see a part of my lawn. Might even swing a club in the backyard this weekend!
Thanks for listening.
One of the “Top 100 Talk Show Hosts in America” by Talkers Magazine for 9 consecutive years & awarded “Talk Show Host of the Year” by the Associated Press. Hear Dan weekdays Noon-3 on WPRO.