Much attention being paid this week to Secretary of State Ralph Mollis's push to open a visitors center and gift shop at the State House, and Phillipe and Jorge are right on board with the idea — passed along to Ralphie Boy by the governor's office.
We can definitely see a natural market for snow globes featuring replicas of the iconic Capitol dome and Independent Man and bumper stickers with the state motto, "Mobsters and Lobsters." But P&J have in mind another extremely popular Smith Hill item already up for sale: legislators' votes.
We are sure that local lobbyists would appreciate the ease and convenience of one-stop shopping for critical yeas or nays from select solons and reps. This way, they won't have to hang around hallways for hours, skulking about until no one is watching when they pass along backhanders in unmarked brown envelopes.
In fact, might we humbly suggest that the new shop be staffed by two people very accustomed to selling goods: former Senate President Billy "Little Napoleon" Irons and ex-state Senator John "My Sharona" Celona — provided, of course, the latter can do this as a prison work release program. If they're on the job, you can bet that the shelves won't be short of health care products.
Buyer beware, though: all sales final, win or lose.
Phillipe and Jorge are "in for a penny, in for a pound" kinda guys who like to go see great ideas pushed to limit. And we see, on Smith Hill right now, an inspired concept that needs to be taken to the max.
P&J are referring to the bill introduced into the House (once again) by Representative Karen MacBeth of Cumberland — a hideous, oppressive piece of legislation that would require physicians who perform abortions to do an ultrasound, then discuss it with the patient, going so far as to point out "external members and internal organs if present and viewable."
Why stop there? How about adding an amendment to the bill that would require the woman to actually name the baby upon viewing the ultrasound? If the sex isn't evident, what the hell, pick both a boy's name and a girl's name. And why not offer up a list of potential appellations? We're sure Representative MacBeth would be happy to suggest Mary Magdalene, Mother Teresa, or Bernadette for girls, and perhaps Pius, Innocent, or John Paul II for the boys. (Sorry, no "Jesus" — they might end up calling him "Hay-soos," fer chrissake, and we can't have that.)
We would urge the unladylike MacBeth to check out P&J's ultrasound. We are sure she will be able to ascertain one finger raised in her direction quite clearly.
CLUELESS IN CENTRAL FALLS
More controversy in Central Falls, as the Rhode Island branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit against state-appointed receiver Bob Flanders, alleging he is illegally delegating his powers to his chief of staff, Gayle Corrigan.
ACLU attorney Jennifer Azevedo told the RI Future blog that Flanders is, in essence, "stepping in for the mayor and city council. If he is going to do that he should have to do what mayor and council do. He has no authority to pass off his duties to a third party."