You remember our pal Rubbers, don't you? Well, in case your memory is becoming a bit Swiss cheese-like, or you are new to Little Rhody, let us fill you in on the travails of this noble servant of the people. In 1990, state senator Ruggerio was arrested in a Cranston CVS store for shoplifting. It seems an employee saw Rubbers stuffing condoms into his socks. Unfortunately, he was not prosecuted, which deprived P+J and a breathless public of what might have been the most entertaining trial in the state's sordid history. Even under this cloud, Rubbers was of course reelected by his loyal constituents in the North End of La Prov.

P+J's only annoyance with "Political Scene" is that the reporters didn't bring up this laughable and lewd story in their piece about him potentially rising to the leadership. Shame on you, Kathy and Randy.

Sleep tight, Roger Williams. And alone, please.


CRY TO ME

A sad day at Casa Diablo as we learn of the death of Solomon Burke. The big man from West Philly, where P.'s father grew up, sang such classics as "Cry to Me," "If You Need Me" and "Got to Get You Off My Mind." The best way to judge the man's talent is by listening to what his peers in the music industry have had to say about him over the years. They all sung his praises whenever his name came up, calling him one of the best R&B singers in the land — if not the best. He just never achieved the public fame of the singers he inspired, like James Brown and Al Green. The "king of rock and soul" was 70 and the father of 21 children. And we never gave up on you, Solomon.


JOCKULAR

From the sporting world, a couple of items for your amusement and edification.

First, is Bill Belichick's credibility approaching that of Pentagon p.r. flack? In the wake of the Randy Moss trade, Silent Bill has issued some stock lines about how Moss was no problem and got along fine with each and every one of his Patriot teammates. And when it was reported that Moss actually got into it with Tom Brady in a locker room argument that descended into junior high-level insults, Belichick said he knew nothing about that incident.

Please. You can bet your Gino Capelletti-autographed pigskin that a gold-plated control freak like the Pats head coach knew all about the incident between the two future Hall of Famers and that he also considered Moss a "distraction," which means "loudmouthed pain-in-the-ass diva" in English. Former Pats Tedy Bruschi and Troy Brown have said as much publicly.

Second, although it is now long over, a hard word for Corey Pavin, captain of the US Ryder Cup golf team that lost to Europe awhile back in that showcase event in Wales. Pavin put his wife Lisa in charge of the team's playing and practice apparel. This bit of nepotism resulted in the embarrassing sight of America's finest linksters swanning around Celtic Manor in do-or-die competition wearing totally out-of-place and "Glamour don't" lavender sweaters and striped pants that you wouldn't be caught dead in — even at the Reading Room in Newport.

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