Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: 38 Studios, Political Shuffle, and Barbara Meek

They’re All Guilty

Since the release of virtually all of the behind-the-scenes documents, emails and depositions involved in the making of the 38 Studios scandal (bless you, Judge Michael Silverstein), we have seen more backpedalling than a unicycle parade and more lying than in Tinder profiles.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of having the documents released is that while residents of The Biggest Little generally knew their government was corrupt, they get to see just how the game is played, always behind closed doors at the State House, lawyers’ offices and fine local restaurants. Anyone who has ever had to do business at Halitosis Hall knows how the House and Senate leadership and their committee chairs keep a stranglehold on the short hairs of the legislature, with power brokers drifting in and out of the fourth floor offices where the real business gets done, barely managing to keep from laughing at the riff-raff who think they have any voice in the ultimate decision-making.

While at least one culprit in the 38 Studios screwing of the public (that would be you and us, dahlings), disgraced former House Speaker Gordon Fox, is now in prison (comically for charges that had nothing to do with 38 Studios, if that doesn’t tell you the scenario of ubiquitous abuse of power), it wouldn’t hurt if a few more self-important people on Smith Hill followed in getting their just desserts.

Chief among them are current Speaker Nick “Sgt. Schultz” Mattiello, who despite being house majority leader at the time, now says in desperation, “I know noss-sink! I see noss-sink!” Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, who held her same position during the scandal, also claims to be oblivious, and not very convincingly. If you believe from their lofty perches those two didn’t know (and would have demanded to know) every little detail about a bill targeting $125 million to local businesses you were indeed born this morning. (And Mattiello’s laughable House Oversight Committee investigation, with half the members of the team having voted for the 38 Studios bill, including Rep. Lady Macbeth who is leading it, is guaranteed to produce an ass-covering whitewash. Out, damned spot!)

The one culprit you should really keep an eye on is Steven Costantino, who is trying to slink away into the shadows regarding his involvement. Costantino, to put it nicely, is an arrogant punk, and headed the House Finance Committee in 2010 when the deal went down, a position he used to play political god in cahoots with his bosom buddy Fox.  He now claims he was just being a good German and following the orders of his “superiors.” But as Kathy “Faster, Pussycat, Kill, Kill” Gregg reported in The Urinal, “The (released) documents reveal that it was Costantino who, unbeknownst to most of his colleagues, recommended that the (economic loan program in the legislation then before House Finance) be bumped up from $50 million to $125 million to induce Schilling and his co-investors to move his fledgling company, 38 Studios, from Maynard, Mass. to Rhode Island.  Guess Stevie just plucked that $75 million figure out of the air, right boys and girls? What promises to 38 Studios? Never heard of it. (Honk!)

Costantino got a plum state job (sur-prahz, sur-prahz, Gomer!) when he left the House as secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, and has since moved on to become Vermont’s Health Access Commissioner. But there would be nothing that would please P&J more than to see this oily little weasel perp-walked from Montpelier to the ACI in the near future after one of his rats-off-a-sinking-ship former colleagues rolls him to save their own skin.

As P&J always say, ‘They’re all guilty.”

The Speaker’s Gotta Speak

The U.S. House of Representatives was thrown into chaos this week as the leading candidate for speaker of the house, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, suddenly announced that he was pulling his name from consideration. This could be the result of McCarthy’s sudden realization that the speaker of the house may have to speak — a proposition that he has some trouble with. A few recent quotes here from McCarthy illustrate the point: “We must engage this war of radical Islam if our life depended on it.”  “This safe zone would create a stem a flow of refugees. …” “Unlike during the surge in Iraq when Petraeus and Crocker had an effective politically strategy to match the military strategy. …” “We have isolated Israel, while bolding places like Iran. …” “The absence of leadership over the past six years has had a horrific consequences all across the globe,” and, most astutely, “In the past few years alone, I have visited Poland, Hungria, Estonia, Russia and Georgia.”  The people of “Hungria” were said to have breathed a sigh of relief.

The alternative explanation for McCarthy’s move could be that, after noting that the Benghazi Committee that he presides over was created to “drive down Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers,” he blurted out a couple of days later, “I do not intend to imply in any way that the work of the Benghazi Committee was political.”

(Your superior correspondents attempted to reach former U.S. Representative from RI, Patrick Kennedy, to see if, in the past, he had supplied McCarthy with medication, but we were unsuccessful in reaching him.)

Mr. McCarthy seems to make a good point about the “absence of leadership,” but looking at the other legislators who have expressed interest in the speaker’s post does not exactly fill us with hope that appropriate leadership is on the horizon. Sleep tight, America (not to be confused with Hungria).

Th-th-th-that’s Wrong, Folks!

P&J thank all gods that America’s organ of record, The New York Times, is eternally vigilant about getting their facts right.  (Although P&J still aren’t sure about how they missed that Tom Brady-Gisele Bundchen break-up shocker, where we are still waiting for the other fashionable high heel or Ugg to drop to prove it correct.)

In the September 20 edition of the Times, the Gray Lady of 42nd Street bravely admitted a mistake in their reporting that we believe could have had a serious impact on currently chilly U.S.-Russia relations. To wit:

“A news analysis last Sunday misstated the name of a cartoon character displayed at a Moscow diner. He is Porky Pig, not Porky the Pig.”

Or Putin the Pig, for that matter.

Barbara Meek

In Our Little Towne, all those folks who have spent their lives working in the arts knows everyone else who works in the arts so, it wasn’t a great surprise one day about 20 years ago when Jorge got a call from Barbara Meek who asked Jorge if he could help out with an ACLU initiative that she was working on. Of course, Jorge readily agreed.

Barbara Meek had a regal voice and perfect diction. She was a great and inspiring actress, first in a line of gifted African-American women actresses at Trinity Rep (Rose Weaver, Viola Davis). But, more than that, she was a kind and generous human being who deeply touched everyone she met with her joy for life. Barbara passed away, unexpectedly, on October 3. She was still acting up to the very end, with a role in Trinity’s current production of Julius Caesar. All of Vo Dilun mourns the passing of this great woman, as do Phillipe & Jorge. Rest in peace, Barbara.


3 responses to “Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: 38 Studios, Political Shuffle, and Barbara Meek”

  1. Judi Zimmer says:

    Let's not forget that Lady MacBeth is much more concerned with dictating what women should do regarding their own health care choices than she is with any kind of political ethics (an oxymoron in itself, for the most part). She's telling young women simply not to screw, while screwing over all the citizens of of Rhode Island.

  2. Rob Goldman says:

    The political leadership of RI is stupid and corrupt because the people of RI are stupid and corrupt. In their tiny little minds it's still Quebec in 1878 or Sicily in 1896 or the Azores in 1951 or DR in 2000. They think like peasants from Catholic, authoritarian, mysoginistic, cultures. Their mottoes are, "Honesty is for suckers." "You gotta know a guy." "Don't get caught."

  3. John Palumbo says:

    here here RIP Barbara Meek a true jewel in the TRC crown

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