Playing to our strength

Nothing like a mass bust for a sense of old-time mobbed-up Rhode Island
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  November 19, 2008

Well, despite the fact that Little Rhody has become the poster child for the national recession, leading all states in statistical categories like unemployment and debt per capita, it is nice to know that we are able to deflect public attention from our economic crisis by playing to our traditional strength: organized crime.

Forget all that yammering from "Neutron Jack" Welch and the Urinal fuddy-duddies about our high tax rates and toxic small business climate. Let's talk about where the hell "Joe Onions" is buried! Now that's the way to turn attention from the fact that our state is being run by political financial wizards who know less about money and markets than any teenage drug dealer.

Our law enforcement officials have even given this reemergence of Vo Dilun's grand tradition of lobsters and mobsters a headline-grabbing title that we can expect to see everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to Access Hollywood: "Operation Mobbed-Up."

It's exciting enough to give Eliot Ness and J. Edgar Hoover woodies in their graves. We bet even Raymond would be proud. (And if you don't know who Raymond is, you're still wet behind the ears as a loyal defender of the Biggest Little's reputation as a bygone hub of organized crime. Go read some Robert B. Parker books or watch The Departed, fer Chrissakes.)

Yes, Vo Dilun is bringing back all the notorious stereotypes, including a legitimate star, the legendary Gerald Tillinghast, who was accused of involvement in the famed Bonded Vault heist (again, RI Mob Lore 101), and who got out of the can last year after spending 30 years at the state's pleasure for knocking off a bona fide loan shark.

Ah, sweet memories of when "The Moron" and "Bobo," ruled the earth, and you would try to sneak a peek inside at your peril to spot Raymond when you walked past Coin-o-Matic on Atwells Avenue.

Keep the stories coming, boys — it may even bail the BeloJo out. What recession?

Quote of the week comes to us via our friends at the Urinal's Political Scene, from Representative John Loughlin of Tiverton, one of only six Republican candidates for the House who survived the November election.

In discussing the upcoming House GOP caucus, Loughlin quipped, "We could have had the meeting in my Crown Victoria and everyone would have had seatbelts and cup holders." (Note: Despite the obvious alarm that goes off when he mentions driving a Crown Vic, Loughlin is not a cop.)

On the Senate aide, P+J believe it is time to get involved in the GOP's affairs.

With only four GOP senators left in the chamber, Leo Blais is fighting current minority leader Dennis Algiere for his position. Both men have the support of one other senator, leaving them deadlocked at two in this battle of the superpowers.

P+J therefore offer to serve as the GOP Senate minority leader and whip in absentia, ex officio, or pro tem, or whatever the hell, just so the Republicans can avoid getting their knickers in more of a twist than they are now. Hey, with June Gibbs and Nicky Gorham gone, you've got to do something for some chuckles up on Smith Hill.

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  Topics: Phillipe And Jorge , Barack Obama, Politics, John Loughlin,  More more >
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