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Hard Hitting Headlines: Perhaps Ms. Gaga should resurrect the meat suit

Big News

If the pandemic hasn’t worn you down and depressed you entirely by now — and what did happen to winter? — perhaps looking at what news is attracting attention will be further numbing.

As Phillipe and Jorge went to press on February 26, the top news story was Mr. Potatohead succumbing to political correctness of the lamest kind. Coming in a close second was Lady Gaga’s two prized French bulldogs being kidnapped and her dogwalker shot by the thieves. Now those are vitally important tales that should alarm the nation.

Little Rhody’s prize of the toy industry, Hasbro, announced they will brand the legendary Mr. and Mrs. Potatohead simply “Potatohead” on their packaging, a tip of the plastic hat to those easily gender-offended. We’re sure the kids of America will be proud they aren’t insulting anyone.

It’s a shame to play around with icons, especially our icons. Hasbro did a famous PR trick years ago when they placed a number of giant Mr. and Mrs. Potatoheads at sites around the state. It caught a great deal of attention from the media and public, and we didn’t hear any calls for gender-neutral statues. But that was then, and it’s our “woke” now that we guess forced Hasbro’s hand. Pretty sad, but it did get the company another media blitz.

Meanwhile, Gaga hit the headlines in La-La Land, despite being in Rome filming a movie when her dogs and their handler were attacked. The situation was as bizarre as some of Lady Gaga’s outfits, and fortunately, the dogs’ longtime walker survived the assault. You or I could have our car stolen and get shot in the process, and it would merely warrant a one-inch mention on page 13 of the newspaper. But the rich are different from you and me, so we are supposed to weep for Gaga, never mind the dogwalker and her pets. That’s the curse celebrities inflict upon us. You can bet the California Highway Patrol is on full alert.

But let’s all be happy they didn’t shoot Mr. or Mrs. Potatohead. Now that would be a tragedy.

Legal Briefs

It was enlightening to see Donald Trump’s initial legal team bail out on him just prior to his impeachment trial. The Donald’s camp said it was because they had conflicting strategies for fighting the case, and hey, would the Orange Menace ever lie to the public?

Instead, informed sources said that our cheapskate former President was balking at paying his legal counsels what they wanted. Trump was renowned during his developer days for stiffing his contractors, so his scumbag antics came as no surprise. But it appears he discovered it is harder to cheat a white shoe law firm than it was the average working man. With the Donald facing a shower of lawsuits for his past illegal tricks, it will be very interesting to see what he comes up with to plead his innocence.

Paging My Cousin Vinny.




Who Was That Masked Man?: The looey guv steps out of the shadows

P&J reckon that eight put of 10 Vo Dilunders could’t tell you the name of our looey guv, while nine out of 10 couldn’t ID him in a police lineup. Not that being mayor of Cumberland for 12 years is small change for Daniel “Who He” McKee; most non-native residents could find it on a map of the state.

This is due in part to Governor Gigi putting Who He in the shadows for most of her terms; he shouldn’t be expecting a Christmas card from DC anytime soon. But to his credit, he comes across as experienced and intelligent, and we wish him best of luck when he moves into the governor’s office. But may we suggest he wears a “My Name Is” sticker for the first couple of months?




Golden Couple Tarnished: Jared and Ivanka expected to receive a less-than-warm welcome

Sins of the Father

It appears that the 2020 presidential election has come to a relieving public posturing end — except for Donald Trump’s diseased mind — as even supporters of the barking mad Donald (save for the eternally inebriated Rudy “Nosferatu” Giuliani and his greedy lawyer cohorts) are finally tired of arguing that the reptile has a chance of winning in the courts, and it is time to press a pillow down on the fat blowhard’s face as he sleeps.

P&J cannot get enough of Walking Eagle’s self-inflicted spin in the wind as he frantically dances on air, but we took special joy in Gina Bellafante’s delightful “Big City” column in the New York Times of November 22.

While we may be tired of flogging the dead horse that is Trump the Magnificent, Bellafante focuses on his famous child and marital in-law, and really couldn’t do all of that pond scum justice in her limited space.

Citing a CNN headline, “Big City” begins: “Jared and Ivanka are poised to return to a Manhattan social scene that no longer welcomes them.” Ah, good riddance to bad rubbish.

For those of our readers who have recently been released from prison and are trying to catch up, Ivanka is The Donald’s daughter by some marriage, known for turning out tasteless crap “fashion” clothing made in Chinese sweatshops, and worn by no one not in an institution (although they could make handy hospital scrubs for many).

Her hubby, the unspeakable Jared, is, like his father-in-law, the son of a wealthy, crooked Big Apple developer who was also born on third base and thought he hit a triple. Such is his kowtowing to his own Daddy (who has actually done jail time for his lack of ethics) that evidently, when he said that if Jared married a shiksa, he would forfeit his ill-gotten inheritance, Jared forced Ivanka to convert to Judaism, which must make Jews worldwide quite proud.

That they were “advisors” to The Donald while he has been in office (quite a scam, eh?) has had the Founding Fathers spinning in their graves. Meanwhile, Ivanka was her father’s prop master, while Jared was charged with bringing peace to the Middle East and procuring PPE for frontliners when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. How’d those work out, big guy?

To cut to the chase, the members of New York’s cultural high society that Bellafante interviewed suggested rather bluntly that Jared and Ivanka would be welcomed nowhere, from fashion events to art galleries to the opera to coop boards of luxury apartments, being walking kisses of death within that sphere to even those who did concealed business with them.

The Kushner/Trumps needn’t go apartment hunting, since they will doubtless hole up in Trump Tower in midtown. But if this becomes an extended stay, look for the Trump home base to become an urban version of “Grey Gardens.”

Being ostracized couldn’t happen to a better couple. And Daddy will no doubt beat feet to his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, home of greed merchants and exotic Eurotrash. So Phillipe and Jorge can only offer this sage and caring advice to any and all members of the Trump tribe: the elephants’ graveyard is two blocks down on the left, in the alley right after the Dunkin’ Donuts.

Kudos and Congrats

…to all those Vo Dilunduhs helping to feed others. Especially to Dana Heng and the other folks behind the “Refri PVD” community refrigerator project, a refrigerator located on 705 Westminster Street, outside of the New Urban Arts building and to Tameka Eastman-Coburn and others involved in another grassroots food pantry at 335 Wickenden Street at the Small Format cafe and art gallery on the East Side of the capital city. 

Many thanks to Jenna Pelletier of The ProJo whose article on food insecurity provided us with many of these details. 

Passages

Retired Vo Dilun jury commissioner, Henry G. Vivier, Jr., who served in that position for many years, passed away on November 22. Jorge remembers meeting Henry when he was on jury duty in the 1990s and instantly liking him. So long to Henry, a fine public servant.

Another fine public servant, David Dinkins, the first (and, so far, only) African-American mayor of New York City, passed away on Monday, November 23. Dinkins served as mayor from 1990 to 1993 but prior to that had received a Congressional gold medal for his service in the US Marine Corps, and he was also a cum laude graduate of Howard University.

And on the international stage, vaya con Dios to Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona, who died at age 60. Known in his post-playing years for some questionable behavior and unquestionable addiction to cocaine, Maradona was nonetheless rightfully deemed one of the greatest players in the sport’s history. Although in typical overreaction upon his demise he was quickly dubbed the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), he is undoubtedly in the discussion for that title along with Alfredo DiStefano, Pele, Johan Cruyff and possibly two current players: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. (Note: Phillipe is a former high-level player of “the beautiful game,” and covered it as a reporter for decades, so his assessment carries a bit of weight.) The “Hand of God” will now move on.




Exorcise the Right: Don’t make your superior correspondents beg

As Tears Go By

If there is one thing about the presidential elections in the United States that sets Phillipe and Jorge off like Fourth of July fireworks, it is the fact that today, barely over 50% of our eligible voters have actually voted in our presidential elections. At best this is maddeningly selfish and stupid, and at worst it should be criminal to not take advantage of an opportunity to guide the nation using the basic principal of a democracy and, arguably, our liberties.

To that end, here is a story that P&J have told before in this space, but still should resonate in everyone’s soul. It certainly holds a special place in our memory.

Back in the early 2000s, Indonesians were given their first opportunity to vote for their president, among other local offices. Indonesia was then ruled by President Suharto, a soulless dictator who could teach Donald Trump a few tricks about aberrant, greedy behavior that enriched himself and his cronies. The Indonesians called Suharto’s system “Kah-Kah-En”: Corruption, Collusion and Nepotism. (Say hi Jared and Ivanka Kushner, and Donnie Jr. and Eric Trump.)

A year or two after the Indonesians’ first vote, which ousted the abhorrent Suharto, a friend and colleague of Phillipe’s from Jakarta came to Rhode Island to work on a project in which they were both involved. During one informal session of chit-chat, the talk turned to politics, with P and another of his American partners.

We told our Indonesian friend that just over 50% of our eligible voters had voted in the last presidential election. This fact was received by a man who had seen 98% of his fellow countrymen and women go to vote for the first time, often under the intimidating presence of Suharto’s fully armed stormtroopers. That took more courage than we would hope none of us will ever have to muster, all in the name of the freedom they craved after years of unspeakable cruelty and poverty visited on them by a string of strong-arming martinets. 

When we told our friend from Jakarta this, he started laughing. When we didn’t join him, we told him in as serious a tone we could muster, that this was no joke, simply a fact. After looking at us in silent disbelief, he began crying. He was saddened to the core by this flagrant ignorance and rebellion against an opportunity that many Americans had fought for − and died for − in an egregious display of arrogance and disregard of the heart of our democracy. This after having proudly watched his fellow Indonesians stand up to gun-toting members of their military who had no qualms, and an impressive track record, of jailing or shooting their fellow citizens if so ordered.

For Phillipe and his American colleague, our friend’s tears were a reaction that made them ashamed, embarrassed and deeply wounded, and that it made a man from the opposite side of the world break down and cry because of our lack of appreciation for what we take for granted, while Indonesians had celebrated their chance to have their voices heard and toppled a brutal tin pot authoritarian.

If this sounds overly dramatic, tough shit. And in that angry vein, if you don’t vote in this year’s election that may define what our country stands for around the globe for years to come, go fuck yourself. You are nothing less than a traitor to the ideals on which this country was founded, and you are abhorrent to us. Selah.

The Not So Great Debate

Although Phillipe & Jorge already voted, we dutifully watched the second Trump vs. Biden television event on Thursday, October 22. We have a difficult time calling it a debate since we are both old enough to recall the Nixon/Kennedy debates of 1960. While technically not “debates,” at least they were examples of intelligent discourse and well mannered comportment, compared to the World Wrestling Federation-level atmosphere we have come to expect from Trump events, which inevitably bring everyone involved down to the gutter.  

Compared to the first meeting, this one was marked by controlled behavior on the part of the Orange Menace. Perhaps some of the improved behavior can be credited to moderator and former local WLNE Channel 6 reporter Kristen Welker, who kept things under control.

One other observation: While Trump is fond of comparing himself favorably to past Republican presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, your superior correspondents feel a stronger comparison could be made between Trump and veteran game show host, Wink Martindale.

Please Stop 

While the “debates” have as much truth in their selling points as anything uttered by Donald Trump, P&J are having their minds numbed by television ads, which seem now to be limited to a handful of products and services: ambulance-chasing lawyers, insurance companies, fast food joints, hygiene products and last, but nowhere near least, pharmaceuticals (which we believe are even more necessary to ingest to be able to suffer watching 90 percent of the shows on TV).

P&J have to stifle screams whenever the obnoxious Flo from Progressive, Limu Emu or “Heavy Hitter” spots run. (A tip of the beret and sombrero to GEICO, which at least has a rolling number of different ads, some of them actually good. But bring back the Hump Day camel spot, pretty please.)

And we can be certain that our parents would have been appalled by ads for toilet paper and especially female products, which help with problems “down there,” not to mention the new ads for crooked penises. “Hey Dad! Whip it out and make sure your Johnson is still straight as an IRS accountant.” Have you no shame? Might P&J suggest that to acknowledge the way this country is heading, the airwaves be filled with more ads for assault rifles and Everclear whiskey, otherwise know as moonshine, which comes in at 90% alcohol (read: 180 proof) and can strip the paint off a Humvee? 

So go out and get some quack doctor with a degree from a Mexican medical school to write you scripts for drugs you see on the boob tube, which may have the announced side effect of causing you to die, which we understand to be a health risk, or to which you are allergic, which actually makes P&J laugh out loud, because you need to try the drug before you know if you are allergic to it, and can bypass that death side effect before the drug’s verdict comes in.

Hail, Mammon!




Down with COVID: Walking Eagle’s a super spreader, absolutely tremendous, everybody’s talking about it

We Told You So

Just as Phillipe and Jorge went to press, we learned that President Walking Eagle (he’s so full of shit he can’t fly) and his First Lady, Melorderbride, have tested positive for the coronavirus. Gosh, we immediately put on black snoods and worried our prayer beads. Walking Eagle has since flown to Walter Reed.

That the ignorance and arrogance of The Donald was put on full display and highlighted by COVID-19 was no surprise. He who called the COVID pandemic a hoax and refused to wear a mask despite all the best medical advice – even mocking his presidential election opponent Joe Biden for wearing one – and completely lying about his abysmal and ultimately fatal reaction to warnings about the coronavirus that has the US with ticking up to more than 200,000 deaths, now has the chickens coming home to roost.

The visual image of the Orange Orangutan that immediately comes to P&J’s mind is that of him shuffling down a hospital corridor, naked under a backless johnnie, looking for a comb and some hair spray while alternately berating or trying to hit on the female nurses. Tres presidential, n’est-ce pas? How would you like to have this bloviating blowhard as your patient?

There are a number of reasons P&J can think of as to why this biological avenging angel struck our commander in chief:

–       He didn’t take the advice of the best healthcare professionals in the world

–       He refused to wear a mask until he was publicly shamed into it, and allowed his staff and political appointees to play to his vanity by not wearing them either

–       He brought together cheek-by-jowl crowds at his rallies in open defiance of the social distancing being put into force by any municipality or state with a leader who possessed an IQ over 50

–       God just got fed up by sending all the warning signs anyone other than a self-centered idiot could figure out, and decided to smite him personally, muttering, “Get it now, asshole?”

–       – Etc, etc, etc.

At least this overweight, 74-year-old insane stable genius who may as well have a target for COVID-19 painted on his back for becoming infected will now have an excuse for his daily mindless and knowingly misinformed comments and decisions. Meanwhile, the American public can just stand by and watch as Walking Eagle melts into a puddle a la the Wicked Witch of the West, shrieking, “I’ll get you my pretties, I’ll get you,” leaving only whatever of his hair is actually a rug atop the mess.

We expect that if worse comes to worst (and of course P&J would never hope that The Donald pops his clogs due to COVID-19), Fox News will have exclusive rights to his post-mortem events, with Sean Hannity presiding over his memorial service. And we assume all his enablers will be given day passes from whatever white-collar prisons they are in to attend. Wearing masks, thank you very much.

Sideshow Don Meets Joe B

Your superior correspondents, along with millions of others, dutifully tuned in to what was billed as a presidential debate on Tuesday evening, September 30. What we got instead was a childish display of ill temper by the sitting president of the United States, while Joe Biden and moderator Chris Wallace tried, but failed, to make things at least appear civil. 

The “debate,” or whatever you would call the event that was televised from Cleveland that evening, would have been better suited to the moderator skills of the late Don Rickles than Chris Wallace. Subsequently, it was announced that Steve Scully from C-Span would moderate the next debate. What no one can apparently figure out, however, is how to control the behavior of the President of the United States in order to have the semblance of an actual debate. The suggestion of muting one’s mic while his opponent has the floor would be a good first step. 

We would hope there are enough voting citizens out there watching this who are mentally stable enough to see that the current president is dangerously unstable and another four years of his lunacy will sink our country into further despair. (To that end, P&J will be wearing our official New Orleans-certified “Geaux Jeaux” t-shirts right up to November 3.)

Wit Will Win Out

Prior to the Trump/COVID news, which will doubtless prompt a tsunami of editorials and op-eds about Walking Eagle’s getting what he deserves, the best column on Massa Trump came from Nicholas Kristof in the Sunday New York Times of September 27, titled “To Beat Trump, Mock Him.”

Bullies, impostors and liars hate to be exposed and tweaked by someone with a grin on their face. Yet Americans who are horrified by the thought of another four years of this dangerous clown play into his hands by rearing up on their hind legs and shouting back at him, while looking at the public and essentially blaming them with an undertone of “Why can’t you morons understand?” That’s no way to sway people to your cause.

Kristof hit the nail on its head by writing, “I suggest that Americans aghast at Trump absorb a lesson from abroad: Authoritarians are pompous creatures with monstrous egos and so tend to be particularly vulnerable to humor. They look mighty but are often balloons in need of a sharp pin.”

Kristof gives examples from Serbia to Malaysia about some of the slyly humorous public stunts pulled off by opponents of the corrupt and (sometimes murderous) dictators of their countries. There are no people more adept at this than the Brits, and we should follow suit. It was they who greeted Trump on his official visit to England with the famous Macy’s parade-style giant balloon accurately portraying The Donald whining and crying and wearing diapers. The Big Baby, which is exactly what our president is with his often-childish vocabulary and nicknaming penchant, had to piss him off more than someone screaming at him from beyond a barricade while wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Che Guevara on it.

P&J have attempted to take this road of death by a thousand absurd cuts for 40 years, with admittedly at times too-strident screams for justice from people to whom we – and you, boys and girls – are looked upon with disdain and whose views matter not at all. Unless you stick them in the ribs with a stiletto rather than bash them on the head with a sledgehammer. So go for the funny bone, where you will find more effect. And as Kristof points out through a brilliant and inspiring 1945 quote from George Orwell: “Every joke is a tiny revolution.”




Keep It To Yourself: P&J endorse drinking at home — and also Stycos

Professional Drinking in the Time of COVID-19

Phillipe and Jorge are glad to see Governor Gigi “Knock it Off” Raimondo continuing to take tough stances on people and businesses from saloons to schools that are not engaging in best practices to thwart the eruption of more cases of COVID-19.

The one that has attracted a good deal of attention and Gigi’s wrath are maverick bars and restaurants whose management is paying no attention to crowding and masking in regard to their patrons’ drinking.

Now P&J are hardly new wave Carrie Nations (although we adored how she modeled the bonnet and axe stepping-out combo). We have enjoyed plenty of nights rendering ourselves legless in any manner of watering holes, from the Ritz to dive bars, despite having to pay the price the next day when we would awaken feeling like all our teeth have fallen out. But now with the Get Out of Jail Free card known as “working at home,” you have enough time to swallow some hair of the dog and let it move you toward feeling like all your birthdays have come at once without having to fake good health and good cheer at the sweatshop.

But we are a bit baffled at how many people feel the need to get up close and personal in bars and eateries despite the new restrictions and the threat of contracting the potentially fatal coronavirus. What’s the need? Who among us hardy sots can’t just wet — if not drown — their whistles at home? God knows that professional drinkers are already using the front-loading technique in which they have a drink or twain prior to heading out on the town, so P&J suggest they just carry on in the safety of their homes watching reruns of “Family Guy” and “Murder, She Wrote,” rather than sashay downtown for an abbreviated stint at the rub-a-dub.

And if it comes down to the need to possibly meet their soulmate while standing up sans mask at the brass rail? May your superior correspondents suggest that hooking up with someone you just met with no idea of their personal COVID rating makes previous worries that whoever (or whatever) you convince to go home with you may have an STD look like Chicken Little alarms.

Which brings us to the issue of package stores. If you simply need to get stonked on a regular basis, just stock up the wine cellar, beer cooler and/or liquor cabinet, hit the couch or recliner, and see what’s on Netflix. The authorities have done a very good job of quietly putting packies and wine shops into the “essential services” category, but don’t expect the guv to be touting that little end run in any upcoming press briefings. For those who see alcohol as the elixir of life, this is throwing a rope to a potentially drowning person. So stay at home, keep track of your inventory, and in most cases, you’ll not even need a mask.

So let’s keep weekly trips to the corner liquor store an “essential service,” and back up Gigi’s mandates by working at home. It’s the patriotic Little Rhody thing to do, and maybe you’ll get an honorary plaque from the Centers for Disease Control.

Un-Conventional Coverage

Phillipe and Jorge can proudly announce we watched not one minute of the live TV coverage of both the Democratic and Republican Parties’ national conventions. If we want to see self-important hacks read scripts off a teleprompter, we’ll watch Conan O’Brien’s nightly show, all of which is guaranteed to make your skin crawl.

P&J did pick up a few items of interest from the local daily news coverage of the conventions, as well as the usual follow-up insanity of President Walking Eagle (he’s so full of shit he can’t fly).

The first post-convention tweet from The Donald was challenging Joe Biden to take a drug test prior to their first debate. Naturally the media gave it big play, as they were obviously too busy to give time to other topics like why Walking Eagle still hasn’t released his tax returns (as promised four years ago) and continues to lick the buttocks of his murdering friends in Russia and Saudi Arabia like an attention-starved golden retriever.

P&J suggest that the candidates instead take a junior high school-level civics test. We can just see the Orange Orangutan chewing on his pencil as he tries to name the three branches of government after deciding that Moe, Larry and Curly, his first choice, might not be the answer.

But enough of buying into the President’s daily distraction. What P&J really enjoyed was the media savaging of Donald Jr. and his current main squeeze, former Fox News “personality” Kelly Guilfoyle. Stephen Colbert was the not the only one to suggest Donny Jr. was coked up for his appearance. As Colbert said, “he looked like he snorted a key (as in kilogram).”

But even with that possibly cocaine-energized appearance, he couldn’t top the performance of Ms. Guilfoyle, who came across with all the restraint, class and intelligence of a drunken high school cheerleader. What was most troubling about the Guilfoyle train wreck was that she was now an “advisor” to Walking Eagle. We won’t even go into the controversy surrounding her evidently ugly departure from Fox News prior to becoming part of the president’s “brain trust,” along with towering geniuses Donny Jr., Jared and Ivanka. (Insert pee-in-your-pants laughter here, along with a clip of Harpo Marx honking his horn. Or let out a horror movie scream.)

Nuf sed on politics at this point, since President Bone Spurs will undoubtedly suck in the media with another of his insane pronouncements. Yeah, Walking Eagle, the vote will be rigged. Christ, spare us.

Taking Sides with Stycos

Your superior correspondents on rare occasion endorse political candidates (because we can’t stand most of them). However, P&J heartily support our old colleague from the Providence Phoenix, Steve Stycos, who is running for mayor of Cranston. Steve has been on the Cranston city council for many years, has a very strong working knowledge of the city’s schools, and is a man who isn’t afraid to take on tough problems.




Phillipe & Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: Nailed it!: Your superior correspondents know food when they see it

Out-thunk

During the COVID pandemic, no governor has surpassed Gina Raimondo or New York’s Andrew Cuomo in carrying out hard-assed plans. We are all familiar with Gigi’s now-famous “Knock it off,” and Cuomo seems to take some of his better moves from Raimondo’s playbook.

Cuomo is also far from shy. In a recent article, one of Cuomo’s aides said of his heavy-handed approach to governing that he saw himself as the hammer, and everyone else as nails.

But like the Orange Orangutan in the White House, Cuomo moved a little too fast with not enough thought. When Cuomo acted with too heavy a hand after lifting some restrictions on bars and restaurants, the bars were crowded and not self-distancing. So Cuomo did a quick U-turn and put out an edict saying only bars that served food could stay open. But one clever bar owner at an upstate New York pub started selling “Cuomo chips” for a dollar when the customers bought their beer, wine or drinks — a small bowl of potato chips that qualified as “food.” Cuomo’s gang then had to rush through another set of rules, describing what “food” would be interpreted as, essentially sandwiches on up.

Too clever by half, Andy. That was one nail that wasn’t going to be driven.

Sweet Lou

There was sadness at P&J’s Casa Diablo home when we learned of the death of the legendary former Pawtucket Red Sox veep and general manager Lou Schwechheimer due to COVID-related illness. Along with Ben Mondor and Mike Tamburro, this troika rescued the PawSox from the jaws of death and turned the team and McCoy Stadium into must-visit Little Rhody. (This will end in the next year when they move to Worcester, thanks to our politicos in one of the most clueless and boneheaded moves ever seen at the Smith Street legislative castle, and boy, is that a crowded field.)

Lou was one of the sweetest, nicest men we’ve ever met, and talented as well. He was a two-time Executive of the Year for the Pawsox’ International League, and was inducted into its Hall of Fame last year. He also treated P&J magnificently, having tapped Jorge to sing the national anthem at one game and letting Phillipe throw out the first pitch on a long-ago Memorial Day.

You put wonderful memories in countless fans, Lou. There is no measuring their impact on future baseball players and fans. Salud!

They All Look Alike

Following the George Floyd murder atrocity and the death of Rep. John Lewis, a race and social equity pioneer, white folks who aren’t actively protesting for causes like Black Lives Matter are finding it difficult to explain their support for racial equality without uttering the dreaded words, “Some of my best friends are Black.”

President Walking Eagle (he’s so full of shit he can’t fly) was too busy tweeting out lies and misinformation to attend any of the many services for Lewis. (The idea of The Donald even mentioning George Floyd is laughable.) Simply disgraceful.

This is called a dog whistle in politics. You can’t hear it, but the mutts in Walking Eagle’s base heard his message loud and clear: Trump has no respect for people of color, and has delivered to the MAGA Cap morons a concept that leaves them giddy.

Since Lewis was a member of Congress and there was a tribute to him in Washington, you can bet many pols were slicing onions under their noses and eyes to bring forth the expected tears. But Republican Senators Marco Rubio (retch!) and Dan Sullivan wanted to give a visual salute. So they posted photos of themselves with a Black man, who, unfortunately for them, was Rep. Elijah Cummings, who popped his clogs last October.

Meanwhile in Hollywood

Olivia de Haviland, one of the last surviving major stars of filmdom’s golden age, passed away at her home in Paris on July 26 at the age of 104. She is now indeed Gone With the Wind. Also, so long to Annie Ross, the great jazz singer from Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. She also appeared in a few films.

Let the People Be Heard

Now that the former Washington Redskins have finally dumped the “Redskins” from their name because it was deemed offensive, they need a new moniker. May Phillipe and Jorge suggest they do not consult the general public?

P&J point to the British Natural Environment Research’s Internet poll of the Great Unwashed to name their new polar research vessel. Through some high tech, big laughs trickery, the winning entry was “Boaty McBoatface,” hands down winner over the runner-up.

This obviously did not sit well with the stuffy, brass-necked British government, who wasted no time in getting their science minister to scuttle any hopes of a Boaty McBoatface cruising arctic waters. Sad.

But c’mon Washington football team. You have enough political lunatics in DC to warrant a new name like the Washington Fat Cats or Washington Money Grubbers, which we are certain would at least lead to a presidential endorsement. You’re speaking his language, folks.




Eyes on the Prize: Is Gina looking toward Washington?

Gina Is Tops

Biggest Little governor, Gina Raimondo, has been doing a fabulous job of leadership during the coronavirus crisis. Earlier challenges like the Blizzard of ‘78 and the banking crisis pale in comparison. Governors Garrahy and Sundlun both performed well, but this is a health pandemic of epic proportion. 

Your superior correspondents are deeply impressed with how Gina is handling this. 

Veep?

While we are discussing Ms. Raimondo, P&J hope you saw the op-ed piece in The Urinal by moderate conservative journalist and occasional TV commentator — but diehard Republican — George Will, endorsing Our Gina as a potential running mate with Joe Biden this fall.

Biden has promised to pick a woman for the veep slot, so that has narrowed the field. And it must have delighted Governor Gigi, as she has been quite obvious about her aspirations to continue her political career on the national stage — a good bet if the Dems take back the White House. While vice president may be a reach, a Cabinet post is not inconceivable, and given the shower of assholes and incompetents President Walking Eagle (he’s so full of shit he can’t fly) has blessed us with, it is likely Biden would clean the Cabinet house, opening up a ton of possible high-falutin’ jobs.

What Is Irony?

Here is what is irony. President Walking Eagle going after Twitter, which he uses along with Fox News as his personal PR firm. Twitter actually dared to challenge claims he made online that were so false as to be laughable. This demented, lying blowhard who somehow became our leaderless leader has made a second-rate social media outlet his main form of communication for announcing policy decisions. Now they dare question his pathological reworking of the truth, if not inspiring violence? How dare they?

Fireside chats? Sleep tight while spinning in your grave, FDR.

How Low Can You Go?

We thought The Providence Urinal could not crawl further into the basement by turning their once estimable rag into a car ad shopper, but they have managed to do so by now eliminating their editorials.

Executive editor Alan Rosenberg, who P&J have long liked and admired, was sent out by his bosses at Gannett to shill for the corporate owners and offer a lame and pathetic explanation of the decision, which held no more water than a shot glass.

Wonderfully, former Urinal publisher Howard Sutton wrote an op-ed eloquently and pointedly attacking the decision, that resounded like a virtual but audible face-slap following the decision by Urinal higher-ups to bend over and take it with a smile. (Credit to the corporate whores who actually allowed it to be published.)

The Urinal’s $3 a day newsstand price for a paper that could be used as a fly swatter were it not so lightweight is embarrassing. P&J love our talented friends at The Urinal who do a marvelous job of providing good quality journalism. But the current situation of big biz manipulation and arm-twisting in defiance of good news reporting is shameful.

Note: In major elections, for many years The Urinal’s decision on whom to endorse for president and national was generally decided by the upstairs execs anyhow. So look for them to demand all employees wear MAGA hats this November.

Comic Book World

The latest examples of how we’re turning into a comic book world are stories about the proposed US Space Force. It’s an idea that sounds like it comes out of a comic book. The outfits current astronauts are wearing (not unlike what the original astronauts wore) are highly influenced by science fiction and old comic book illustrations. So not much has changed in that department. Unfortunately we now have a president whose reading of choice seems more along the lines of comic books. 




Tone Deaf Dictator: Walking Eagle should be called out on his lies

Wuss Words

One of the most outrageous and laughable untruths of all time was the legendary report from North Korea in which the Pyongyang media claimed that their leader, Kim Jong Un, had played golf for the first time and had 18 straight holes-in-one. Doubtless sent out with the muzzle of a Glock pressed against their temple. This is a signature move of the blatant lying by a Third World dictatorship and a controlled media.

Unfortunately, in its own way, the United States has been inching down this deplorable path, led by the administration of President Donald Trump, offering blatant lies and misinformation.

Since our president has a predilection for giving people nicknames, let Phillipe and Jorge join the fun: Trump will be known as Walking Eagle; because he’s so full of shit he can’t fly

Yes, the prior ruling administrations have been lying to the American public for decades. (A wave from the grave, Pat Tillman. And we’re winning that Afghanistan/Viet Nam – pick one – War! And Saddam has WMDs, Saudi leader Mohammed Bin Salaam knows nothing about the murder and dismemberment of a journalist, Jared Kushner is qualified to be a presidential advisor, etc, etc.)

There is an old expression that a lie goes around the world while the truth is getting its pants on. In which case Walking Eagle has more lies circling the globe than US satellites.

What is more disturbing to P&J is the reluctance of the media and politicians to call Walking Eagle out on his more preposterous statements, like injecting disinfectants into our bodies to fight CODIV-19. Even hardcore junkies would steer clear of that kind of advice for a fix.

The only politician we can cite for confronting the duplicity of Walking Eagle is Bernie Sanders, who said Trump was “a pathological liar.” On the nosey, Bernie.

But most politicians are tragically born without spines — and we’re talking hundreds of US senators and representatives plus state governors — who tiptoe around actually calling Walking Eagle a liar in public. This is some sort of warped  “conduct code for gentlemen.” Instead, they hide behind the wuss word of “pushback” instead  of simply calling out Walking Eagle for his blatant misinformation. Push this back, you gutless, self-serving bastards.

Likewise the media. If Walking Eagle says something you know to be total bullshit, call him on it then and there. Don’t say there was some”pushback” about any number of the howlers this idiot spews with his brain (for what it’s worth) disengaged from his mouth.

Politicos, face the fact: Donald Trump lives in the sewer. And you are going to have to do anything possible to stay out of it while he’s trying to drag you down to his level. But do not forget your duty to demand truth, accountability and honesty from the White House. To date, 90% of the politicians and media have been first class wussies.

Oh, and it’s about releasing Trump’s tax returns. Or is that too much of a heavy lift for you while you’re making phone calls to potential campaign contributors? Disgraceful.

The Untouchable

One of most interesting and sure to get even more coverage is the relationship between President Walking Eagle and one of his expert health care advisors, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Fauci has stolen a march on Trump by not only seemingly defying Trump’s uneducated and completely absurd public comments, but has caught the imagination of the average American. Jeez, he has his own bobblehead doll and coffee mug, fer Chrissakes.

Fauci is now untouchable and Walking Eagle knows it, and you can bet the big crybaby goes nuts realizing his hands are tied. If Walking Eagle were to fire Fauci now, it would be a public confirmation of the fact that The Donald cares not a whit — what is already obvious to anyone paying attention — about expert healthcare advice or scientific data related to the coronavirus. He’s not a doctor, but he plays one on TV. But he is a gold-plated asshole, that he plays in real life.

Hold the Mayo

Perhaps the greatest example of how tone deaf the Trump administration is about coronavirus was Vice President Mike Pence, yeah, the guy with dead, hollow black eyes, showing up at the Mayo Clinic to meet with COVID-19 patients without wearing the mandatory face mask. Great message to send, you gormless numbskull.

But the humorous side of this — if there is one — was Little Mikey’s explanation for his blatant disrespect of everyone from victims to doctors and nurses. Not that Pence could give a damn.

Walking Eagle’s lapdog explained he wanted to be able to look the patients in the eye. (Honk!) This appears to show that he has no clue as to what the masks cover on one’s face. Perhaps he thought the masks were like the Lone Ranger’s, designed to retain anonymity. Uh, hey Mikey, get a clue, kemosabe.

So as Pence exited, leaving a trail of astounded and righteously pissed-off front-liners in his wake, we hope he picked up the COVID-19 bug with what he thought was the macho man posturing.

Hi-yo Silver, Pence, you moron.

Internet and Other Issues Due to the Virus?

P&J have been experiencing serious issues with their internet (and especially email) connections. We’ve been speculating on whether that has to do with a great increase in internet use due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Since no one seems to know anything definitive about much having to do with the pandemic, your superior correspondents have also been wondering if there is some relationship between the many grammatical and spelling errors we constantly see these days in reputable newspapers. A perfect example is a photo caption appearing in late April on the front page of the Pawtucket Times, identifying Mayor Donald Grebien as Donald “Green.” One way or the other we seem to be getting turned into morons in this increasingly “Cruel, Cruel” World.




Nice Goin’, Gigi!: The gov’s daily briefings tell it like it is

Permanent Press

While Phillipe and Jorge have been critical of Governor Gigi Raimondo in the past for her imperious attitude, we must give her tons of credit for how she has handled the coronavirus pandemic here in Little Rhody through her daily press conferences. And while time-consuming, we urge her to continue her daily briefings because they do provide a sense that everything is going to be alright — eventually — and a little bit of hope goes a long way these days.

Gigi has exhibited a deft mix of recognition and gratitude for those on the front lines, with a thinly veiled threat to everyone else of, “Get with the program or we will come to your home or business, smash all the windows and burn it to the ground.” (Slight exaggeration, admittedly.) But that “speak softly but carry a big stick” approach is just the ticket for those who are not taking the COVID-19 pandemic precautions seriously.

There is a bizarre sense of third-world life with the use of the National Guard and other government agencies screening anyone getting off a plane, train or bus. P&J have flown into places like Sri Lanka during its civil war, and Indonesia, at any time, where you had better be on best behavior or you will be paying a visit to the local filthy hoosegow for an indeterminate time. This is brought home quite vividly when you see armed guards patrolling the airline terminal, or the route to the airport lined with teenagers with machine guns in pillboxes that conjure up countless war movies. (Although P&J do perversely love the idea that anyone in a car with New York plates is going to be pulled over and grilled. Sorry, folks, but this our state.)

So keep those daily press conferences coming, Gigi. It is definitely tough love these days, but it’s the only language the public understands.

Sign of the Times

As effective and compelling as Governor Raimondo’s televised briefings have been, it is difficult to watch them and not focus on the sign-language interpreters standing next to her.

Urinal columnist “Pinky” Patinkin did an excellent piece on interpreter Arkady Belozovsky, who remarkably is deaf himself. It showed not only the skills Belozovsky employs, but also the creativity he uses in overcoming this seemingly impossible task.

But for P&J’s money, the hardest working man in sign language showbiz is Belozovsky’s colleague, whose name we were unable to discover, who is most often employed, and identifiable by his distinctive goatee and ponytail, and puts out an effort of which James Brown would have been proud.

Since many of the press conferences last close to an hour, our ponytailed friend goes through a workout that would kill a normal human being. But it is fascinating trying to identify the signs that correspond to what Gigi is saying. Suffice it to say we are not doing so well in that regard.

So we tip our beret and sombrero to these incredible interpreters, especially since P&J often find it hard enough to speak English intelligently on occasion, never mind sign.

Heroes

With all this COVID-19 horror surrounding us, there are plenty of heroes among those who go out every day to work. Grocery store and pharmacy workers immediately come to mind as well as the truck drivers who bring supplies to everyone. And of course, all the nurses and other health service workers. P&J would also like to single out Dr. Fauci on a national level and here in the Biggest Little, RI’s health director, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott. They all have served with distinction.