The recent rush to adjourn the 2010 General Assembly session on the arbitrary date of June 10 was an affront to the Rhode Island citizenry and a low mark for the state’s politicians. We would say it is an embarrassment to all who are elected to serve under the eye of the Independent Man atop the State House, but the majority of our hind-legging pols don’t know the meaning of shame.
It was bad enough when the old House and Senate leadership pulled the plug close to June 30, so as not to piss off the wife/hubby and kids counting on that Fourth of July weekend getaway and other bought-and-paid-for vacations.
But this year there was no such sword of Damocles with a beach umbrella attached. Rather it was a totally arbitrary decision, designed for the most part to get the legislators home safe during an election year without having to face real debates over important bills that might come back to bite them in their substantial asses in November.
State Representative Rod Driver, that aging renegade, had it right when he called the House and Senate leaders on this ploy, noting that even a speed reader — never mind the many at Halitosis Hall whose lips get tired after perusing more than four pages of print — could not possibly digest the hundreds of pages of legislation that made their way to the floor during the last three days of the session.
Anyone who claims they do read all this stuff, P+J declare, is an outright liar and, ergo, a betrayer of the faith his constituents have in him. J’accuse, mon amis.
A media friend of P+J’s, who has worked the State House on and off for years, recently railed to us about the blatant “Silence of the Lambs” kowtowing to the leadership on Smith Hill. The person said that if even a half-dozen members in each chamber had the guts to raise holy hell and call their masters on this blatant chicanery and manipulation, there was a chance for ethics and integrity to prevail. Looks like we are a week early and 12 cojones short once again.
An utter disgrace. Sleep tight, Roger Williams.
TRY IT, YOU’LL LIKE IT
Phillipe and Jorge rely on good tips from our friends to seek out fun times, so here are a couple of activities for you to check out that come highly recommended.
• An old pal going back to college days, Jim Celenza, top dog at the Rhode Island Commission on Occupational Safety and Health, but also part of the Providence Playwrights Festival and Think Tank Festival, is taking part in the BarPlays Festival, being staged through June 27 at venues around Our Little Towne, and Jim sez be there or be square. More than a dozen plays and other short performance pieces are on tap, all of which are set in bars. Some have even been written not just for the festival, but for specific bars involved. Participating venues include some of P+J’s favorite watering holes, such as Trinity Brewhouse, the Red Fez, Everyman Bistro, the Wild Colonial, E&O Tap, Abe’s, AS220, and Nick-a-Nee’s. All of the plays stay under the half-hour mark, and some will take place right in your lap. The program for most nights consists of a longer one-act play paired with a couple of shorter pieces. There will also be a variety of half-time entertainment to give everyone a chance to get another round. For info, go to barplays.com.