Most of our readers would not believe how frequently your superior
correspondents are "tipped off" to scurrilous goings-on and other low crimes
and misdemeanors. We're aware that most of these tips emanate from someone's
personal agenda (although they can still be true and relevant), but you don't
put this stuff out there unless the facts have been nailed down.
This brings us to the current case of Pucky, the legislative researcher, and
the revelation that the state paid $75,000 to settle a claim made against
either the speaker or his office. Nobody knows all the details because the
whole thing has been buried. It was kept secret thanks to the Puckster and our
casual governor, the Missing Linc. But we know a little bit about it, thanks to
the Drudge-like efforts of John "The Journalist" DePetro. Following P&J's
ancient playbook, The Journalist, frustrated by his inability to verify the
tale, put out a half-story, we assume, in an attempt to shake out the full
The strategy has worked so far. Gubernatorial candidate Tony Pires called for
an investigation into exactly what went down, and the Urinal picked up on this
aspect of the story, running it on page one. They needed Pires' cover because
they'd look pretty shabby and Drudge-like themselves if they put out the same
thing as DePetro.
Is John the Journalist hanging himself out there for a potential libel and
slander suit? Probably not, because there appears to be a distinctive odor
about this thing. And if Pucky pursued court action against DePetro, it would
give the story new life, which might ultimately lead to greater revelations. So
it looks like a calculated move has worked out thus far. We agree with M.
Charles on this, though. The behavior of Pucky and Bigfoot, who has necessarily
been involved in keeping this story under wraps, is an embarrassment.
Young men on parade
If one looks back on the most recent Providence mayoral election when a new boy
came into office, of which this is only the second time since Buddy "Vincent
A." Cianci began his reign (of terror) in 1974, Providence voters don't mind
pickin' them young. (We are discounting the 1990 election when the prodigal
Bud-I returned to power)
Buddy was elected for his first term at the precocious age of 34. Paolino, who
succeeded Cianci at 29 after hizzoner's unfortunate incident with Raymond
DeLeo, was even younger, making him the youngest mayor of a major US city at
So this should bode well in the present race for David Cicilline, who is
clocking in at 41 years of age. While opponent David Igliozzi is also a
relative lad at 42, P&J doubt he can muster the votes to win, but he could
be a real spoiler. The former Boy Joe is now a ripe 47, while the final
candidate, Kenny McKeven, is 92. If one is to believe in omens, we have to
believe Cicilline likes what he sees, so why, P&J wonder, would he leave
his age off the bio of his Web page. Ah, vanity fair.
(Note: Since Jorge is in the employ of the Paolino campaign, Phillipe wrote
this item in its entirety.)
It was so torrid this past weekend that Phillipe almost couldn't perform his
now-daily ritual of slipping on the same style bikini worn by Kate Bosworth in
the nouveau no-brain classic Blue Crush, hanging 10 from the diving
board over the pool at Casa Diablo and pretending to be surfing. Our cabana
boys, Sven and Bambang, throw buckets of water over his head to simulate
shooting the curl in the Pipeline, while Jorge applauds wildly from poolside
with a frozen Pernod and grapefruit at hand. Who says blondes have more fun?
Despite the heat wave and drought, the coolest place P&J have been in the
past couple of weeks was The Towers, where we emceed a benefit show for
Narragansett's most stunning architectural feature, featuring figuratively hot
international designer Liz Collins's fall collection. (The Coast Guard House
next door would also rate a mention for its unique atmosphere, but once you've
seen one mobster eat a lobster, you've seen them all.) Hats off to Ms. Collins,
a former RISDoid, for helping to turn out a nice-sized, fragrant and
well-heeled crowd to help keep The Towers as impressive as when first built in
1885, despite a past pair of devastating fires.
No surprise that your superior correspondents were asked to host the event, as
we enjoy modeling expertise of our own, even if we couldn't match for looks the
drop-dead beautiful Elite models on hand that night. In high school, P was once
featured in a Tampax ad in American Girl magazine (hey, we're having fun
even when it's that time of month!), while Jorge so realistically portrayed a
burglar in a TV spot being filmed in Barrington that the police were called.
But we spurned what would have been supermodel status to selflessly inform our
faithful readers whose what is where, when, and how often on a weekly basis.
The fashion industry is obviously the poorer for it.
Read any good jokes lately?
A recent Associate Press story on the reading habits of our presidents
described a recent attempt by Dubya the Dumb's handlers to make him look less
of a disengaged airhead. This presented P&J with our laugh of the week.
With tongue obviously deep in cheek, trying so hard not to laugh that he
couldn't type, AP reporter Hillel Italie wrote "Among the recent converts to
the highbrow is Bush, who has evolved from calling the Greeks `Grecians' to
reading the Greeks himself. An official recently told reporters the Bush's
influences included Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, along with Alexis de
Tocqueville, Adam Smith, and Cicero."
Right! Boy George probably thinks that Aristotle's last name was Onassis, de
Tocqueville was a heavy marijuana smoker, Adam Smith played Batman on TV, and
he's still looking on a map for Cicero, Illinois. (That's in New England, right
Condee?) And he is no doubt as familiar with ethics as he is with Socrates.
Good one, guys, we love it.
Speaking of Dubya and his literature-enlightened policies: In case you didn't
catch it, Poppy's Boy displayed his sensitivity to women by cutting $34 million
in US aid to the United Nations Population Fund, using the pretense (driven by
his right-wing buddies) that the money was used to fund forced abortions in
China under that country's abhorrent one-child policy.
But this also canceled plans for an emergency obstetric plan in Burundi, where
one woman in eight will die in childbirth due to lack of proper care; nixed
plans for midwife training in Algeria; and ended a maternal mortality reduction
plan in India. There are other cuts in the Population Fund and Bush
administration pullbacks, with women in mostly developing countries taking a
direct hit. As the New York Times' Nicholas Kristof bluntly put it in
his column, headlined, "Bush vs. Women", "Only Washington could come up with a
solution to Chinese problems that involves killing teenage girls in Burundi."
This issue was violently brought home to P&J last week when we learned
that a good friend of ours in Tanzania lost his 24-year old daughter due to
complications during a miscarriage. She was sent home from a Dar es Salaam
hospital after treatment and things went completely downhill from there.
This occurs in a country where you can become a doctor by going to just four
years of "hospital school." Tanzania and Burundi are not the US, and the level
of obstetric care we afford to a large portion of our women (though still too
few) would be mind-boggling to a normal African or Asian woman, who's lucky to
have a doctor or a highly-skilled midwife. All that goes by the boards when a
smirking corporate fraud cuts funding to save women's lives, to appease his
twisted conservative financiers. Your mother, wife, and daughters (when sober)
must be quite proud of you, Georgie. Compassionate, indeed.
Has anyone noticed that every time the Pope appears at a major event, a bunch
of folks will tell you how great he looks and what surprisingly good health
he's in (given the fact that he's quite old and infirm). This might resonate a
bit more strongly with people if the Pope were somehow able to keep his head
Meanwhile, a few public statements (believed by virtually no one), as reported
by the Other Paper's Web site in the wake of the settlement between McLaughlin
& Moran Distributors and the Teamsters Union: "Charles Borkoski,
vice-president of McLaughlin & Moran, said he believes the strike brought
the company closer to its customers -- liquor stores and restaurants and bars
-- because it saw that deliveries continued throughout the strike."
"[Stu] Mundy [secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 251] said he believes
public pressure and the boycott [a union-inspired plan to encourage people not
to buy Budweiser] helped lead to the agreement. 'The pressure was on both
sides,' he said. The boycott 'may have been what brought us back to the table.'
" 'We're going in there being optimistic and the company has indicated to us .
. . there will be no retaliation,' Mundy said. `There's a willingness among all
parties to put this behind us.' "
. . . Supreme Court Justice John Bourcier, a brilliant and fair jurist, and
all-around class act.
Send auto fluff and Pulitzer-grade tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issue Date: August 23 - 29, 2002