Opinion

Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool Cool World: Greta changes in climate & deforming RI schools

Out of the Mouths of Babes…

We all now live in The World of Lies. Past and recent exemplars of this are: “The check’s in the mail”; an extremely obscene promise concerning oral sex; anything issued by the Pentagon; and, of course, anytime Donald Trump’s lips are moving. 

But right up there are the most disgusting, shameless, and bloviating pronouncements put out by the recent United Nations climate change summit following their vacuous meeting in Glasgow. False claims of mighty success towards halting climate change were issued by more empty suits than you would find at a Brooks Brothers fire sale. (The U.S. “ambassador” to this farce was John Kerry. Say no more.)

People serious about changing the way we live saw no real progress except for absurd promises. These were essentially broken before the delegates boarded their planes, laughing all the way. 

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Hey, Californians, still toasting marshmallows over your fires? What’s the swimming like in your basements and down Main Street, you Midwest and Southern riverine dwellers? And how ‘bout them twisters in Texas and Oklahoma? Yeah, everything’s bigger in Texas.

This Glasgow summit was the fitting equivalent of what is known in Great Britain as a “Glasgow kiss.” That’s a head butt to the face of the person you are squaring up to, designed to break the nose of your opponent. Oopsy-daisy.

The quote of the week came from Greta Thunberg, the famous 18-year old climate change crusader for sanity and the future, who has more guts and brass balls than any of the UN and national government delegates. She spoke her mind to 100,000 demonstrators, “We say no more ‘blah, blah, blah.’ No more whatever the fuck they’re doing in there.”

Out of the mouths of babes…

The Ticking Bomb

Keep your eye on the potential political explosion over the awarding of a $5.2 million contract to the neophyte consulting firm ILO Group for education reform and school reopening strategies. As far as scandals go, this is a full Rhode Island. (And huge kudos to WPRI Channel 12 for uncovering this farrago and continuing to pursue it.) And we’ve only had a peek under the tent flap so far, it appears.

ILO was not formed until after Governor Dan “Who He?” McKee took office from Gina Raimondo.  And ILO was not only full to the rim with McKee acolytes and backers, but was given the hands-on guidance of his staffers on how to submit the bid for the contract. WPRI discovered that ILO’S actual bent windfall was millions more than other more established firms. Experience? We don’t need no steeenking experience… especially when it involves the future of Little Rhody’s children, right?

At issue was the governor’s staffers involvement with ILO as a bidder, likely to craft the Request for Proposals (RFP) to their specs. P&J have had experience in issuing RFPs, and if you do a crooked one, you are able to make sure it has elements in it that favor a particular firm. To be a bit over the top, if Firm X has three albinos in upper management who speak Kiswahili, that requirement will be deftly hidden in the RFP, but can essentially screw other bidders who lack the Kiswahili-speaking albinos in their executive suite. “Sorry, we really needed to see that diversity for you to get hired.”

Because this RFP looked like a real hummer, the bid was turned into a Master Price Agreement, in which the state threw a bone to the firm WestEd, which has worked with state educators in the past and undercut ILO’s bid by what is surmised to be about $1 million, while making baby ILO rich.

The Department of Education and statehouse legislators have looked at this deal with raised eyebrows and sideways glances, but they know just what went on between ILO and McKee’s crew. Now the state police and attorney general Peter Neronha have also started looking into this rotten fish. You can expect our poised and persistent secretary of state, Nellie Gorbea, to keep this issue in the fore of the public eye and tear Who He? a new one, as she will likely face him in the 2022 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

You sleep with one eye open, Danny Boy.

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