Philippe & Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: Don’t Bet on it, Gigi!: They can’t help the scheming — it’s cultural

Keeping Tradition Alive

Kudos to Governor Gig Raimondo for keeping the grand tradition of sleaze in Little Rhody politics alive and well.

Gigi’s attempted 20-year, $1 billion casino deal with IGT is a tribute to the worst aspects of local political scheming. It features all the hallmarks of the corruption that is The Biggest Little’s continuing legacy: hidden backroom deals, last-minute backdoor legislation and kowtowing to a big corporation that just happens to be a huge donor to one of Gigi’s favorite causes. And the cherry on top? It all revolves around a no-bid contract of a preposterous amount of funding and two-decade length. Hats off, governor, the outright audacity of trying to push this through on the next-to-last day of the legislative session, keeping most legislators and certainly the public and most possible competitors totally in the dark until then, requires total brass balls.

Fortunately, legislative leaders were having none of it, nor were the locked-out potential bidders for our casino gambling services. While quickly and publicly slapping Gigi down, the politicos on Smith Hill served the public well. And since the deal was exposed to sunlight, other betting entities cannonballed into the pool with an enormous splash. This has proved a windfall for The Urinal, as both the main dogs in the new fight, IGT and Twin River, are having a war using full-page ads, nicely boosting revenue on Fountain Street.


This IGT deal Gigi tried to strong-arm into acceptance with little or no review, never mind public input, is both shameful and outrageous. It certainly does not serve Vo Dilunders well, but P&J are sure that Gigi had her future political prospects at the forefront of her thinking, not the common weal. Nice try, honey, but you got caught and exposed in the full glare of the spotlights.

Awful Tower, Cont’d.

How many red flags have to go up around the $250-million Hope Point Tower proposed for I-195 redevelopment land before someone in government decides this idea for a Jetsons-style monstrosity might not become, as the developers have claimed, the “Eiffel Tower” of Little Rhody? More like “Awful Tower,” and the folks who have hoodwinked the locals into approving it are raising questions and lowering estimations of their competency every day.

The developer, Jason Fane, and his organization have repeatedly missed deadlines and failed to produce documents the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission has requested. But the I-195 Commission continues to bend over and give Fane extensions to the various missed deadlines. Might someone realize that if your planning work is shoddy, the actual construction may be just as flawed? Hey, we got this really good deal on cheap cement! Let’s use it on this 46-story building. What could go wrong?

Jason Fane is described as a “New York developer.” Let’s see who else fits into this category. Uh, Donald Trump and his father, who in the past got caught silently banning blacks from renting their properties and setting new records for bankruptcy declarations. And add little Donnie Jr, a vile, greasy little bastard, to the family developers tree. Oh, and there is boy genius Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and “advisor” to the president, whose father is a convicted criminal for various misdeeds, and who himself has used questionable tactics in receiving government grants, despite supposedly being a billionaire himself. And in a flagrant display of nepotism that would make a banana republic dictator whinny, he’s also married to Trump’s first lady, Ivanka. (Sorry, Melania, but it’s obvious. Go back to where you came from.)

The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission should pull the plug on this snake oil-selling city slicker Fane ASAP; if you think that things are going to get smoother down the road, you are dreaming.

Look Behind You!

It is easy for P&J to find fellow travelers in The Biggest Little who despise and loathe our lying, philandering racist President Donald. Yes, we agree that he is already the worst commander-in-chief in US history, which must give immense pleasure and a huge sigh of relief to Dubya Bush, who was the titleholder. But this is just mental political masturbation.

While we all know The Biggest Little will go for whoever runs against the Orange Orangutan in 2020, P&J worry that out there in the flyover states there is someone lurking behind a doorway with a baseball bat in their hands. It is similar to watching a horror movie at the theater; as the hero and heroine walk through a dimly lit and frightening house, the audience begins screaming, “Don’t go in there!” as the deranged ax murderer hides unseen in the darkness. This lack of knowing what is hiding in Midwestern states, and even some along the Atlantic seaboard, makes what we all think here not very powerful or persuasive when it comes to tallying up votes from the public and electoral college.

These waters are muddied further by the fact that polls will become meaningless as the 2020 Armageddon approaches. That is because as we saw in 2016, many people who will vote for Trump are so ashamed they will not admit it — especially to the “fake news,” which includes people doing surveys of voter tendencies.

So if it comforts you to hang with kindred spirits and marvel at how low The Donald can go, keep your eyes peeled and ears open. And when you hear a strange noise coming from the heartland, just don’t put it down to the cat.

Spelling Revolution

Recently. P&J noticed a sign on a storefront at 250 Main Street in downtown Pawtucket heralding the arrival of a new restaurant, Handheld Food Revolution. It noted that the restaurant would be offering “artisean” empanadas and “Brookly” style “Dely” sandwiches. 

Your superior correspondents are not sure what this means and are somewhat reluctant to eat at Handheld Food Revolution until we are certain that their food is better than their spelling.