Phillipe & Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: She’s Flying at Half Mast

gina3Negative Space

The old expression “conspicuous by its absence” was on display last week thanks to the separate lame and disgraceful efforts of President Pussy-Grabber and Providence Bishop Tommy Tobin.

Our mentally ill, hypersensitive, congenital liar-in-chief, with all the morals, ethics and respect for the law of a career criminal, embarrassed himself — and the nation — when he refused to lower the White House flag to half-staff to honor John McCain. The Donald is still piqued over the beating he took for insulting McCain’s service to the country, which appalled practically everyone with an ounce of compassion and/or brain cells. Also very audacious coming from someone who never provided his many talents (honk!) to the military. Add in McCain’s dramatic thumbs-down vote on the Senate floor on repealing Obamacare, and he became an eternal adversary for our petty president.


It was nice to see Trump’s furious backpedaling as he lowered the flag after his infantile gesture.

Also running from the spotlight was Providence Bishop Tommy Tobin, who was on the defensive over Pennsylvania’s scathing report on pedophile priests in the Catholic Church over the past decades and the cover-ups that go all the way up to the Vatican. Turns out Tommy was an employee of the archdiocese of Pittsburgh when many of the crimes were committed on his home turf. Tommy’s defense: It was not his job to oversee clergy, and he knew nothing about it while it was taking place right under his nose.

To suggest the men in dresses swanning around the diocese didn’t gossip about what some of them were doing behind closed doors is laughable. But not too funny to the young priests and seminarians being preyed upon. Tobin’s Sgt. Schultz impersonation (“I see nossink…!) is very apt, as the Nazis also have a copyright on the notorious “I was just following orders,” implied by Tobin’s arguments of his ignorance, which we suspect would be Tommy’s next excuse for his purported non-involvement in what was swirling around him.

The Gloves Are Off

Governor Gigi Raimondo’s campaign fund dwarfs those of her challengers — notably her main rival, Matt Brown. That should breed confidence for our guv, but the folks at “Friends of Gina Raimondo” are noticeably nervous about the September 12 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

How do P&J know this? Because we are savants and private eyes, of course. But that claim is probably a case of truth not being truth, with a tip of the hat to Rudy “Nosferatu” Giuliani.

Gigi’s ads to-date have been the quite well-done TV spots, trying to make the Queen Bee of Wall Street hedge fund managers appear to be a “normal” person. And while she does have a good track record in some areas, she is reaching a bit  in making claims in the ads that she created all the job training programs in The Biggest Little (sorry, a bit of an alternative fact, dearie) and that she “passed” the legislation preventing violent abusers from purchasing guns. No, Gigi, the General Assembly passed the legislation. You merely signed it into law.

But P&J were surprised to receive a glossy, high quality, 16 x 10” folded flyer that turned out to be an attack ad against Matt Brown, connecting deeds of bankruptcy/money laundering/fines and debt/stiffed workers to a silhouette of Donald Trump running through the pages, in one case putting Brown’s picture inside the silhouette. When campaigns start to get into attack ads — and linking a local politician to the Orange Orangutan is the ultimate slur — it is often a sign of desperation by that politician. The flyer says, “Paid for by Friends of Gina Raimondo,” and if it was produced without her approval, we would be astounded.

Matt Brown causing you sleepless nights, Gigi? We don’t know why he should, so calm your “friends” down, because attack ads invoking the scumbag Trump don’t become you or befit a governor.

Not So Green  

ecoRI News recently sent a questionnaire to all the gubernatorial candidates asking for their positions on a range of environmental issues. Tellingly, neither Allan Fund nor Governor Gigi responded. It’s always easy to force your way into a PR photo op when those who did all the heavy lifting announce a success or new project, but having real goals and being outspoken about such travesties as the underfunding of the Department of Environmental Management, a pernicious way to undermine enviro protection, seems to be non-existent in either camp. Actions speak louder than words, kiddies, whether spoken or unspoken. (Full disclosure: Phillipe is a former president of the board of ecoRI … and proud of it.)

Upside Down

It’s not just the US of A where things seem to be going haywire, as humans all over the world seem to be behaving with little concern about our planet’s future. Recent reports from Germany tell of far-right protesters demonstrating in the streets of the east German city of Chemnitz, giving Nazi salutes and yelling, “Foreigners out!” while counter-protesters chanted, “Refugees welcome.” Needless to say, violence ensued as Chancellor Merkel decried the “hate in the streets.”
Meanwhile in the South China Seas, a rebuilt Chinese Navy is becoming more active while the American fleet remains a powerful presence. None of this feels good to all of us who long for peace and cooperation among nations. Perhaps the world has been in a holding pattern for decades, but the current situation seems particularly dire to your superior correspondents.
Of course there is trouble in many other corners of our world, and our only thinking on this is to spread love and search for sane and responsible solutions as best we can, starting in our own communities.

Phillipe and Jorge are book lovers and voracious readers, and so we were greatly saddened by the recent death of our favorite bookman, Michael Chandley, owner of Cellar Stories in Providence.

P&J first met Mick, as he was known to many, at the late, lamented Leo’s, where we would share a sharpener or twain after work and talk about our reading experiences. We could never, of course, top Mick’s incredible knowledge of the book world. He also had a fine outlook on life, and a sly grin that made you think he knew everything you were up to.

Cellar Stories was a rare and used book heaven, with selections ranging from the Hardy Boys to Thomas Hardy, with only new releases by local authors (and in many cases Mick’s friends) being sold at the front desk. For a bibliophile, being surrounded by the racks of floor-to-ceiling books was a bit of heaven. (And, no, the shop wasn’t in a cellar, but rather a second floor space right on Mathewson Street.)

It is always painful to hear of the death of such a Rhode Island original, but uplifting to think about all the joy and good times he brought to others.