Our wonderful Christmas Eve party at Casa Diablo was spoiled only by Governor Donald Carcieri’s demands that Phillipe don a fake tattoo on his chest (showing Lieutenant Governor Charles Fogarty looking like Herman Munster), and that all the guests be photographed with him bare-chested, while his wife, Sue, did the shots.
This, of course, outdid P&J’s old friend, Weldon Shitehouse, spiking Secretary of State Matt Brown’s Pernod and grapefruit with a double shot of Ex-Lax. But we did consider it unexcusable that Matt would kick down the bathroom door while GOP doyenne Eileen Slocum was applying Botox to her face with a mason’s trowel after already having put on enough lipstick to cover a billboard. Fortunately, Ms. Slocum had left her Derringer on her home night table, lest any of the duskier Newporters break in during the wee hours.
Perhaps the worst part of the evening was having to keep Urinal sportswriter Bill Reynolds from drowning former Governor Bruce “If this is Tuesday, I must be in Belgium . . . or somewhere” Sundlun in the powder room loo. Bill’s relentless attacks on Captain Raccoon in his Saturday column are legend, although we do consider Ed DiPrete’s Dumpster-diving antics much more worthy of media attention.
P&J must admit it has been a hard year. As we have mentioned in this space, at times we feel like weary obituary writers, one of the most recent to fall being Charles Rocket, our respected and beloved friend. We wish all our pals only the best for the years and years of love and care you have given P&J in what will be our 27th year of writing this wiseass doggerel. And many thanks to the intrepid and forgiving Stephen Mindich, ne’er-do-well best buddies Steve Brown and Peter Kadzis, the indefatigable genius Lou Papineau (who should be in the RI Journalism Hall of Fame), and the man of constant patience who puts up with our bullshit, news editor Ian Donnis. And thanks to everyone else behind the scenes at the Phoenix who contributes to making this rag — in Phillipe & Jorge’s eyes — one of the best contributions to life in the Biggest Little.
Selah, Mr. Thompson.
Pump this up
In case you missed it, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s name has been officially removed from a soccer stadium in Graz, Austria. This was not because his father was a Nazi or due to how his hideous wife, Maria Kennedy, is a professional clown. Instead, Governor Skullhead lost his standing because of Arnie’s fascination with death sentences, like the one he imposed on the creep “Tookie” Williams, the former Crips kingpin who was aced last week for killing four people. It must be said that Tookie — what a cute name, sort of like “Scooter” Libby, another despicable enemy of the people — deserved his fate. But in Austria, a country where murderers and torturers like Dubya Bush and “Big Time” Cheney are not tolerated, Skullhead’s death trip didn’t play too well.
Hopefully, the Skullheads will soon be departing from the governor’s mansion on the Left Coast, primarily because he s an oafish, muscle-bound girl-groper, and she is an anorexic harridan who has compromised her family’s good name as Democratic leaders. (Of course, we will never forgive Teddy Kennedy’s blatant contribution to the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, which many would describe as being an accessory to murder.)
Sieg heil, Arnold. Perhaps you won’t be back. Blessedly.
Why we torture
Your superior correspondents were intrigued last week to see a headline on the front page of the Life section of USA Today that read, “Films show terrorists as people,” with the subhead, “Stance might reflect anti-war sentiment.” At Casa Diablo, the thinking was, “Stance might show grasp of reality,” as it has always seemed clear to us that the people with whom we are war are actual human beings.
The story notes: “To the dismay of some critics, several films are offering humanizing portraits of extremists, including suicide bombers.” Since the article mentions and quotes only the archconservative Michael Medved, we assume he is the “some critics.”
Naturally, Medved thinks it’s a bad idea for films to portray our enemies as actual human beings. Hollywood left-wing bias, he speculates, is making filmmakers so dastardly that they would portray enemy terrorists as something more than cartoons or vermin. There was also a dissenting perspective on the motivation for this dangerous new trend. Randy Roberts, a history professor from Purdue, sensing the USA’s increasingly negative view of the war in Iraq, was quoted as saying that the filmmakers’ motivation might actually be “profit.” Who ever heard of such a thing!
A cautionary tale
An article in the December 21 Other Paper, by veteran reporter Gene Emery, illustrated the notion that drugs will make you stupid. Police in Somerset, Massachusetts, were alerted about a potential “bear attack.” Dispatched to the scene, officers spoke with Joseph and Christine Crawford of Albany Street, who claimed that three bears had been in their backyard and had attacked several deer.
Searching the area, the police found no evidence of deer or bears, so they left. A half-hour later, a woman called 911, screaming that the bears were back and trying to get into the house. The officers rushed back to the scene and found the Crawfords in their vehicle. The couple announced they were getting their kids and hitting the road to escape the bears (which were still MIA).
It was then that one of the officers, Lance Mello, had a stroke of genius. He asked Mr. Crawford if he had taken any drugs recently. Yes, Joe allegedly said, he and the wife had been inhaling cocaine all night long. Officer Mello asked if he still had any. Joe said, why yes, I still have a bag right here in my front pocket. Apparently Joe’s ability to identify cocaine far exceeded his ability to identify members of the ursine community.
A small measure of common sense
A measure revising the language of the provision in the Higher Education Act (enacted in 1998), which denies federal financial aid to students with drug convictions, was included in the Senate’s “budget reconciliation bill” (S.1932) last week. The change allows students with past convictions to receive aid, but students convicted while in college will still be stripped of their aid eligibility. The folks at the Students for a Sensible Drug Policy say the partial reform will help some of the more than 175,000 students affected by the law, but that tens of thousands will still be left behind without aid. Students are now working with the ACLU to file a lawsuit alleging that the penalty is unconstitutional.
A recent SSDP press release notes that the congressionally created Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, which was created in January 2005, has recommended complete removal of the drug conviction question from the financial aid application. The committee also stated that the drug question’s mere presence on the form deters some students from applying. Under the change approved last week, aid applicants will still have to answer a drug conviction question.
This little issue may not be at the top of your agenda, but the total dunderheadedness of HEA’s Drug Provision is nonetheless breathtaking. Not only is it next to useless as a deterrent to drug use, but its application and efficacy have been shown to be inherently discriminatory. Let’s get rid of the whole damn thing. Aren’t kids who may have once gotten into trouble due to drugs the ones who would most benefit from educational opportunities?
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