We frequently think that Governor Donald "Laughing Boy" Carcieri is an ideologue who uses data merely to confirm his already strongly held reactionary views. (Actually, when it comes to social issues, his wife's strongly held reactionary views.) The "PolitiFact" item in Sunday's BeloJo only tends to support that notion. It revealed the shaky math and loosey-goosey evidence Laughing Boy has employed to argue that "over 2000 little companies," 7000 jobs and $2 billion in sales activity were "spawned" by the creation of a tax exemption for boat sales.
While P+J agree with the governor that the boat-tax repeal has been a worthwhile and successful initiative we wonder why he must exaggerate and invent a "cause and effect." As reporter Cynthia Needham writes, "it is impossible to know how precise those numbers are and the governor should have offered that caveat."
Note how Laughing Boy refrains from using loosey-goosey standards for evaluating the film industry tax credit. We suspect Laughing Boy likes certain industries and not others. After all, Films = Hollywood = Liberals = Bad while Yachts = Wealthy Titans of Industry = Conservatives. And, of course, GOP Jock Curt Schilling, let's favor him despite all odds.
COME BACK, TONY
Your superior correspondents have never been big fans of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's judicial philosophy or court opinions, but there is no doubt that he is a brilliant jurist. And now we know something else about the eminent Mr. Scalia — he knows where to go to get a first-rate Italian meal. Yes, Judge Scalia was "up da Hill" this past week, enjoying what you can be sure was an excellent repast. At least this means that he can't be accused of spending the weekend doing bong hits with Rand Paul. Unfortunately it wasn't all pasta and good times for the Justice.
It was reported that, upon leaving one of the fine dining establishments on DePasquale Square, Judge Scalia slipped and fell on what we will assume was a loose cobblestone (no reports so far that a gaggle of local liberal attorneys led by stalled federal judiciary candidate, Jack McConnell, were seen fleeing the area in ski masks).
Ever the gracious hosts, P+J would encourage Justice Scalia to take the long rest he so richly deserves. Why not retire from the Court, move to Our Little Towne and enjoy the fine dining? After all, wherever it was that you ate, we can assure you that there are at least a dozen more great Italian restaurants within blocks. (And we haven't even spoken of Cranston.) A move, of course, would have a pleasant side effect: President Obama could choose another justice and we might avoid more court decisions along the lines of Bush v. Gore or Citizens United.
WHAT WOULD ROGER THINK: THE BLOODY TENENT, 2010
The Biggest Little's all-time Head Ramrod, Roger Williams, championed what was an incredibly unpopular and disturbing idea at the time — separation of church and state. And here at Casa Diablo, we're mighty proud of that heritage.
So deep depression sets in when we see stories like "Across Nation, Mosque Projects Meet Opposition," a feature by Laurie Goodstein that appeared on the front page of Sunday's New York Times.