Your superior correspondents were listening to Dan Yorke on WPRO last Friday afternoon when news broke that former State Senate President Joseph Montalbano was being nominated for the state's Superior Court. Immediately, Dan started putting the pieces together.
The speculation goes like this: the recent passage of marriage equality was the linchpin for this new development. Historically, the marriage equality issue has been hamstrung in the Senate, where the current president, Teresa Paiva-Weed, was an opponent. Thus, in order to get the bill through, there would have to be some horse-trading among the pols. Although Paiva-Weed voted "no" on the bill, she could have been a lot more of an obstruction.
This, we suspect, was where the horse-trading took place. Joe Montalbano, who had a fairly serious ethics charge lodged against him leading up to losing his Senate seat in a major upset back in 2008, was set up to finally get his reward, with the pols hoping that everyone had forgotten about the ethics charges.
We have no animus against any of these people, but P&J have a strong suspicion that Yorke has it mostly right. And that is how "the system" works in the Biggest Little. It is also why many knowledgeable people who follow local politics closely are so frustrated and disgusted.
Phillipe and Jorge didn't really take the threat of sequestered funding by the federal government too seriously, figuring that it was just another scare tactic being used by DC blowhards to force Obama to look bad.
Looks like we were wrong.
The latest victim is Save The Bay's traditional Swim the Bay event from Newport to Jamestown. This year the Navy can't afford to let participants depart from Coaster's Harbor Island where the swim usually begins. Instead, in what is now being called the "Sequester Swim," organizers have set a triangular, 1.7-mile course in the Potter Cove area of the bay, doubtless lacking the majesty of the sight of hundreds of swimmers and accompanying boats crossing Narragansett Bay beneath the Newport Bridge
Swim the Bay, which benefits one of the state's great causes, is the second high-profile event to take a sequester hit this year. The first was the Quonset Air Show, which was canceled after the Blue Angels and other military participants had to bail once their funding was cut.
P&J are meeting more and more people who are feeling the effects of the sequester, and they are not amused. And it's all so that a bunch of clowns and losers in Washington can try to prove their manhood. This is government at its worst, folks.
It's that time of year again when we celebrate the peerless Bob Dylan's birthday. Although Bob's actual birthday is May 24, this year's annual celebration at Patrick's Pub on Smith Street in Providence will take place Friday, May 17. As usual, there will be a video, a quiz, and dedications sandwiched around live music performances. "But this year," organizer Jim McGetrick says, "there could really be something with the addition of a second band, the ZimmerMen."
The event's regular band, the BusKings, will be alternating with the ZimmerMen, which features Rick Bellaire, Nick DiBiasio and Fred Wilkes. Patrick's first started having these celebrations in 1998 and the ZimmerMen, according to McGetrick, "have been doing something similar in northern RI for just as long."