Phillipe & Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: Politicians, a Bishop and a Good Friend

Urinal Rises from Dead

As Vo Dislunders slip a mirror under the nose of The Biggest Little’s organ of record, The Urinal, to detect any signs of life, the Old Lady of Fountain Street staged a comeback of Lazarus proportions with its Saturday, July 30 front page.

Under a bold headline saying, “Four years later, 38 Studios probe produces this:”was a huge frame with nothing in it. The caption and subhead underneath this read: “Yes, this is blank because there were…No charges. No documents. No new details.”


Well, way to grow a pair, Urinalists!  That is the most brazen middle finger salute to our hapless state government P&J can recall seeing from you.

This was immediately reminiscent of the last issue of what used to be the URI student newspaper, The Beacon. Back when Jorge was a freshman at URI (1968-69), there was a major uproar at the newspaper when the then-student editor, Bruce Daniel, was overthrown as head ramrod of the paper and he had an edition published of all blank pages with the headline: “The Nothingness you deserve.” Within a short time, the “radical” scribes at the paper finished the coup with the emergence of “The Good 5 Cent Cigar” and that has been the name of the paper ever since.

The front-page stunner from The Urinal was prompted by the fact that after years of investigation by the state police and state prosecutors, the whole 38 Studios affair resulted in zippo indictments. Sound a lot like the Wall Street Whitewash after the 2008 Great Crash, boys and girls? You betcha.

The result is that state police Col. Steven O’Donnell and Attorney General Peter Kilmartin look like gold-plated wussies or total incompetents, and Kilmartin should have recused himself from any participation in the investigation since as a state legislator he voted for the 38 Studios loan, and he wouldn’t want to be implicated for being a sheep who went along with his corrupt leaders at the time. The shrinking violets also said that some of the people they interviewed essentially took the Fifth, but they would not release their names because there were no indictments.  How effing hard is it to indict someone who is refusing to testify because he might incriminate himself?

At any rate, good to see that The Urinal is not quite on life support  and still has some piss and vinegar running through its veins.  Let’s not have this be the last time the lion roars.

Carnevale Clown

While Jorge has endured Phillipe’s taunts calling him “Wink Martindale” in honor of his new and dazzling choppers, J was the only one with the fortitude to follow the GOP and Dem conventions on TV over the past two weeks.

Instead, P has immersed himself in the wonderful controversy over Rep. John Carnevale’s questionable Providence residence, which qualifies for a gold-plated “Full Rhode Island” designation.

A few observations and questions have come to P&J’s minds in this hilarious case of voter deception, one of which is not, “Does he really live in Providence?” That query failed the laugh test with flying colors, even before the Boards of Canvassers and Elections hopped into the fray, when Channel 12 filmed him spending an inordinate amount of time with his family at his “non”-house in Johnston, culminating in video of him wrapping a t-shirt around his face like a bandit in a Roy Rogers movie to disguise himself (well done indeed, Johnny) after he evidently picked up on the WPRI surveillance. He claimed it was due to his allergies, which must include honesty and being caught red-handed and red-faced.  (This reminds P&J of a story told to us by a London newspaperman who covered Dublin in the 1970s and was once stopped at an IRA roadblock outside of the city, one member of which was an obvious dwarf wearing a hood over his head. “Hi, John,” he said to the masked dwarf, knowing it was a well-known drinking buddy from a local pub. “Damn! How’d ya know it was me?” was his reply.  Hey, our man wasn’t an investigative reporter for nuthin’.)

Carnevale — who, as P&J goes to press, has been taken off the primary ballot to represent his purported District 13 Providence constituency by the Board of Canvassers, subject to appeal ­– also claims he lives in the cozy 200-square-foot extension of his Providence abode (honk!) that is leased to two other tenants, and then was exposed for calling the Providence police and asking that they ticket his car outside the sham shack, obviously to show he was spending time enough there to draw attention to the fact. To their credit, the local gendarmes refused and leaked the story to the media. Wa-ha!

House Speaker Nick Mattiello was finally shamed into saying Carnevale, who Thick Nick had put into place as vice chair of the powerful House Finance Committee, would be removed from his leadership cabal if the non-resident charges were proven true. But P&J would be astounded if Mattiello didn’t know Carnevale was running this political scam, as that kind of prurient information is both gold and widely known at Halitosis Hall. Either that, or like the Speaker’s claim to know nothing about the 38 Studios scandal when he was House Majority Leader, he was too stupid to see it, or lying through his teeth.

Another tip of the beret and sombrero to The Urinal, who since their coverage of Carnevale has begun, continues to run a photo of him that greatly resembles Homer Simpson. While our friend Mr. Etchells claims that in person Carnevale looks more like a shaven-headed Arnold Horshack from “Welcome Back, Kotter” (yes, we date ourselves), we much prefer the Simpsons analogy, complete with requisite “Doh!”

Question of the Carnevale Carnival week: Just what claim is Johnny the Bandit’s policeman’s disability pension based upon? Inquiring minds want to know.

We Own You

The leaking of the Democratic National Committee emails that showed premeditated favoritism of Hillary Clinton was a shock moment worthy of Capt. Louis Renault in Casablanca. Sure, Bernie was right, but who didn’t know that? At least it served to jettison DNC Chairwoman Deborah Wasserman Schultz, perhaps one of the most obnoxious, arrogant, conniving individuals you will ever come across.

But what caught Phillipe and Jorge’s eye was the email that carried the heading “Re: Problem brewing in Rhode Island.” The substance was about the number of polling places for the primary. In it, a DNC staffer wrote, “We might want to get out in front of this one with an inquiry to RI Gov, even though she’s one of ours.”

Now to P&J’s highly tuned and nuanced sensibilities, being known as “one of ours” is not a desired description. It is not like the somewhat innocuous “She’s on our side.” It is a bit more like “we own her” and associated with nefarious plants like people controlled by the mob, undercover cops or embedded international spies. Sounds like the Hillary strategists view Governor Gigi as working for them in deep cover for more sinister work behind the scenes rather than just being in the tank for the new Democratic candidate for president.

As they say in politics, “Perception is reality.” And it is likely perceived by Vo Dilunders that the leash from Camp Hillary to Governor Gigi’s neck became quite evident, especially when she was named a co-chair of the Democratic National Convention, not just for her tireless employment of her Wall Street investment friends, but for her backroom work for her owner and proprietor, Ms. Clinton.

Dem convention question of the week: “How many fundraisers did Guv Gigi hold in the Philly area last week?”

RIP, Mark Weiner  

Much sadness at Casa Diablo when we learned that Mark Weiner, a longtime Democratic activist and fundraiser for the party, friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton and lifelong friend of former Providence mayor and Ambassador, Joe Paolino, passed away after a long struggle with leukemia. Your superior correspondents knew Mark for many years, first meeting him when he invited us to lunch at the “Capitalist Grille” with him and David Preston who were working with new Governor Bruce Sundlun. We figure that the two political operatives wanted to soften up Phillipe & Jorge so that we wouldn’t be so harsh on Captain Blowhard. Not a chance.
But over the years we learned to respect Mark, David and the Captain. We gave Mark a hard time throughout our lunch (not the least of which for bringing in his own protein drink and spending the entire hour spying on all the other pols eating lunch there).
Years later, when Bill Clinton got into a bit of a snafu in the “Monica blew him-ski” affair, Mark contacted Jorge to ask if he could ghostwrite an op-ed piece defending the President. Jorge told him that he agreed that it was way out of bounds to try and have Clinton impeached, but that he was pretty certain that he was guilty of misconduct with the intern. Mark said, “No, I don’t think he did it.”
Jorge insisted until Mark finally said, “You really think so?”
“Yes, but I’ll write it because I don’t think he should be impeached by a bunch of jackals who are probably just as guilty of similar behavior.” Well, we all know how that ended. (Minor footnote: President Clinton called Mark to thank him for the article.)
As time went on and Mark faced a serious health crisis, you could see the true colors of the man as his philanthropic generosity and kindness increased exponentially (and usually, anonymously). We will miss you, Mark Weiner. You were a good man.