Paging Inspector Clouseau
If you are like Phillipe and Jorge — or most residents of the Biggest Little — you consider the star of the 38 Studios debacle, Curt Schilling, to be a flatulent, bloviating, self-absorbed moron with the business acumen of a chimpanzee. (Our apologies to chimps everywhere.)
But the fat fraud got it right when commenting on the almost comical state police “investigation” into the 38 Studios deal (from which no criminal charges were brought). When told that the mastermind of the corrupted deal, then-speaker of the house Gordon Fox (now in prison on other charges), and his attorney, another former speaker, Bill Murphy, didn’t have to answer any questions about the deal that cost Little Rhody taxpayers millions, essentially because they “don’t wanna,” Schilling told The Urinal, “Here’s where (the investigation) goes off the rails. Are you fucking kidding me that Gordon Fox and Speaker Murphy weren’t interviewed? I was interviewed by the state police, I was told in no uncertain terms that there was no doubt there was criminal activity … but they couldn’t find it.”
Well, Curt, that’s right. Tough to find something when you’re not looking for it or have principals in the affair blow you off with what amounts to a legal “kiss my ass, suckers.”
Now the reckoning, or lack thereof, has blown up in both the state police and Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s faces because of the state police’s tippy-toeing and Kilmartin’s refusal to release the grand jury testimony. Even the new state police colonel Ann Assumpico has called out her predecessor, Steve O’Donnell, who nominally led the investigation, for doing what appears to be a half-assed job all the way around. In the code of omerta that rules in law enforcement as much as it does in the Mafia, and especially with the tight-knit staties, this is breathtaking.
(The controversies over who was interviewed are too long to list here, but one telling note was that no interviews of state senators were released, except to note that only Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed was aware of 38 Studios interest in scarfing up the state’s ill-fated loan, which in itself seems worth pursuing further.)
AG Kilmartin is now backpedaling faster than Ginger Rogers in full dance mode, and O’Donnell is still adopting the righteous indignation pose, but at least Governor Gigi appears to be growing a spine and mooting calls for an independent investigation. From what P&J have observed about 38 Studios, Fox should be getting even more time behind bars and should be joined by his house finance committee chair, Steve Costantino, for a few years of living indoors at the government’s pleasure. If this sordid scandal, which has made Rhode Island look like they have a state house full of chumps, is allowed to slip into that abyss where all incidents that have stunk to high heaven have been allowed to slip, then it is as much our fault as it is that of the crooks who pulled off this stunt.
Have a nice day, Roger Williams.
The new wild child of Halitosis Hall, Rep. Moira Walsh, grabbed national headlines last week when she said on radio that an “insane amount of drinking” takes place at the state house. True Vo Dilunders doubtless thought with a shrug, “Well that explains a lot.”
Although fellow lawmakers were not amused, both House Speaker “Thick Nick” Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Pavia Weed stayed mum. Must have been too busy putting out their recycling bins full of empty beer cans and bottles of Crown Royal and Jim Beam.
While P and J doubt that representatives and senators have the “file cabinets full of booze” Rep. Walsh claimed, there certainly is enough of a history behind her accusation that you can bet they won’t be whipping out breathalyzers on the house and senate floors anytime in the near future. This is especially true of what goes on at the third floor of the state house, where the leadership has their fortress of solitude. In P&J’s long memory, if you couldn’t stop by the speaker’s or senate leader’s office for a sharpener or twain before, during or after legislative sessions, you must have been a pariah (see: Walsh, Moira).
Your superior correspondents point to a story we did ages ago, when Matty Smith was speaker of the house, one that resulted in his gaining the moniker in this space of “Milkshake Matty.” It was provided to us by an unimpeachable source, who actually took part in the shenanigans.
In those days, as the summer loomed and sessions dragged on until the wee hours in the hideously un-air conditioned state house, you could see lawmakers ready to quickly vote for every bill that they were offered just to get out and grab a cold one before closing time. But Matty, presiding over his flock, would send one of his aides out to the Newport Creamery up the street to buy a famous “Awful Awful,” the restaurant’s legendary giant, ne plus ultra milkshake. When it arrived, the aide would empty the contents, fill the milkshake container with a couple of cold beers and deliver it to Milkshake Matty on the podium so he could sit back and relax with some chilled neck oil while his minions sweated it out below. Everyone, of course, including reporters and TV crews, were under the impression that the speaker was merely enjoying one of Little Rhody’s signature drinks as the hours wore on.
Needless to say, don’t believe everything you see on Smith Hill, but Milkshake Matty will never be accused of not being one smart sonuvabitch, and P&J have to give the clever little martinet credit where credit’s due.
As a favor to our loyal readers, here’s the drinks menu for your favorite leadership pubs: Speaker Mattiello – warm ‘Gansett tall boys and cheap scotch from the rack; President Paiva Weed – communion wine; Governor Gigi – Manhattans or anything with a cute little umbrella in it.
What’s Brewing at WBRU?
The venerable FM radio station WBRU is seeking a buyer for its license, according to numerous media reports. The station manager, Kishanee Haththotuwegama, says that the station hopes to “shift its focus to a new form of ’emerging media.'”
So what does this all mean? Your superior correspondents have no idea. But suffice to say, the WBRU you have known all these years and that Phillipe and Jorge first listened to back in the late 1960s does not look long for this world. One feather in the station’s cap was their early and fervent support for local music and local bands.
A number of BRU alums have been working with BRU students and the university on an alternative plan, according to a post on Facebook by station manager from over 30 years ago, Patty Galluzzi.
This week’s tip of the beret and sombrero go to a couple of prescient people who couldn’t be more dissimilar, but perfectly described the folks who have been named to the most uninformed, clueless and positively vile cabinet, and the walking unfunny and unhinged joke of a man who put them there.
First, from Roman Hruska, late Republican senator from Nebraska, who said in 1970 of Supreme Court justice nominee Harold Carswell (who was deemed “mediocre” and whose nomination was eventually defeated):
“Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they, and a little chance?”
Take a bow, know-nothing, buy-yourself-a-job Betsy DeVos; barking mad Ben Carson; inbred, lying little cracker Jeff Sessions; “I hate science” Michael Pruitt, et al.
And from the late noted acerbic journalist H.L. Mencken, who gave America as rough a ride as anyone with the darkest humor available, and who was an inspiration to Phillipe and Jorge (but hold the racism and anti-Semitism, please) noted in 1920 (and embarrassingly recently dredged up first in an English magazine):
“As democracy is perfected, the office (of president) represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
On the nosey! Sleep tight, America.