January 28, 2012

A Week of Thoughts

Patrick Laverty

Oh, what to lead off with?

This week, Bishop Tobin agreed to open a daytime homeless shelter in South Providence, as a condition of the Providence Occupiers leaving Burnside Park. So how do they thank the clergy? A day later, they crash a Right to Life rally at the State House and shout down a Catholic priest from making a final prayer blessing. I'm not sure if that's the Occupiers' way of saying "thank you" or another phrase that ends with "you".

I wasn't living in Rhode Island during his tenure, but Governor Garrahy sounds like he was a good guy. God bless.

The A&E TV network wants to pay the city of Providence to film its Parking Wars TV show in the capital city. How does the City Council react to the idea of free money? The show “makes the city look stupid,” Well, to quote a former local football coach, "You are what you are."

Even if I never agree with a single thing he says, I will admit that State Rep. Scott Guthrie has an outstanding moustache.

State Rep Charlene Lima wants to overturn the state voter ID law, just a year after it was passed, calling it "Jim Crow." When are we going to get beyond such racism? When can we get past the silly rhetoric? It would seem the point she's trying to make is one of economics, not skin color. So why is she bringing skin color into it? Are all Rhode Island African-Americans poor? Are there no poor Caucasian or Latinos or Asian-Americans in Rhode Island? Let's move away from the race issues and simply talk about what we mean. It really cheapens the discussion.

According to WPRI.com, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras said the city is supposed to have an actuarial study done on its pension system every five years. The last one was due in 2009. None has been done since then. He's doing one now. First, let's look at the silliness in today's market of doing one every five years. A lot changes in that amount of time. Second, can I just ask who was the mayor of Providence in 2009? Oh that's right. The man who left the city in a strong economic condition, David Cicilline.

With all the flap this week about Mitt Romney's effective tax rate in the 14 percent range, it's funny that no one really took notice of it a few years ago when John Kerry's effective tax rate was 13 percent. The same year that George Bush paid 28 percent and Dick Cheney paid 20 percent. It's great to see that this argument works for the Democrats when the numbers are in their favor.

I was happy to read today that Dwarf Tossing may become legal again in Florida. Who knew that the little people getting thrown could make six-figure salaries?

President Obama said that he might restrict federal funds from colleges and universities that don't stop increasing their tuition every year. Hmm. I got a deal for you Mr. President. I'm going to restrict my tax dollars to you if you don't stop increasing the size of the federal government every year. Deal?

Speaking of budgeting and taxes, there's a bill at the State House again this year by Rep. Daniel Reilly that would require zero-based budgeting for the state. He would phase it in over five years, starting with the smaller departments. Doesn't that seem to make sense? Rather than assuming everything you paid for last year is necessary next year, you have to actually justify the tax dollars you're spending. If they're necessary, it should be easy, right? Unfortunately, I think it got "held for further study" even before he submitted it.

Surprisingly, Speaker Fox offered a flat "No." when asked on Newsmakers last week about taxing high income earners in the state. How's that sitting with his progressive supporters?

Ding, dong, SOPA's dead...but so is Megaupload. So what's the point of SOPA again?

I find it interesting that Buddy Cianci is the one who gave Providence retirees their 6% COLAs, yet he uses his soap box to rail against the damage Cicilline did to the city. Why does it seem that Buddy gets a pass on the Providence mess?

On Friday, Justin was questioning whether the state's pension system is capable of reaching its expected 7.5% return rate. Providence claims it can do even better. It was the only municipality to not send a representative to a conference on local pension systems this week and Ted Nesi reported: "The city has defended that 8.5% target, saying it will be able to earn more than the state." Anyone want to take bets on that happening?

Scott McKay announced this week that on Feb. 23, Vice President Joe Biden will come to Rhode Island for a Sheldon Whitehouse fundraiser. I wonder if Biden will announce to the audience that the Yankees will win the World Series.

Nesi had an interview with State Treasurer Gina Raimondo about whether she'll run for a higher office in two years. It's good to see that she's trying to get back to her stated Democratic roots by blaming Republicans for being anti-government. She already alienated the left, so why not go for the right, too?

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Overzealous parking enforcement is a huge mistake by any city. The idea that it helps businesses by "creating parking turnover" is total nonsense - people usually have legitimate, pro-business reasons for parking on streets for extended periods of time. Having to constantly monitor and pay the meter and move your car, and especially getting a ticket, can totally ruin somebody's otherwise positive experience in the city. Combine it with all of the idiotic "25 feet from corners" and "8 feet from fire hydrants" laws, and it's a gigantic hassle. I stayed away from downtown Providence when I was living in the area and the parking enforcement really got insane, and I know many people who would stay in or go elsewhere because of it as well. It's short-term, small-minded thinking that it ends up being counterproductive most of the time. City's should be doing everything in their power to make people's experiences pleasant - not extort them for short-end cash and get a bad reputation.

Posted by: Dan at January 28, 2012 8:49 PM

Buddy Cianci got a pass?He went to prison on a case that rested on precarious evidence-the appeal was not denied unanimously if I recall.
That said,I believe Cicilline's lies and raiding of thwe "rainy day fund"and the incredible situation concerning his brother and the bounced checks was pretty bad.
FWIW Cianci didn't necessarily play giveaway with public employees-he fired the sanitation workers and privatized garbage collection-that was before I moved to RI 28 years ago.
I was neither a supporter nor detractor of Cianci while he was Mayor-I liked Paolino as Mayor pretty well.
Cicilline was a lying,duplicitous creep as an attorney and as a politician-how anyone votes for him is a mystery.At least with Patrick Kennedy there was
the "name"and a sympathy factor from many admirers of the Kennedys.
I just don't get it with Cicilline.

Posted by: joe bernstein at January 28, 2012 11:01 PM

Joe, Buddy didn't go to prison for giving a 6% COLA. I didn't say he gave away the store, I'm just wondering why Buddy can complain about all the damage that Cicilline did while he is the one that gave the 6% COLAs. I'm not saying that what Buddy did was worse than Cicilline (maybe it was, I don't know), I'm just asking why Buddy can sit there and talk about how Cicilline ruined the city financially when there's the 6% COLA issue. That's all.

Posted by: Patrick at January 28, 2012 11:36 PM

I think you're giving VP Biden too much credit. He's more likely to cheer on the Yankees in their pursuit of the Stanley Cup.

Posted by: Andrew at January 28, 2012 11:52 PM

“I get really upset when I hear people – particularly Republicans – saying government is the problem,” Raimondo said. “All the time – ‘government is the problem,’ all this anti-government sentiment."

On behalf of the Republican party: thank you, Madam Treasurer, in all sincerity. In view of the public's opinion of government, can we ask you to repeat that statement (you can condense it to "Republicans are anti-government") ... oh, say, once a week between now and Election Day?

Posted by: Monique at January 29, 2012 8:52 AM

"He's more likely to cheer on the Yankees in their pursuit of the Stanley Cup."


Posted by: Monique at January 29, 2012 8:56 AM

*I was happy to read today that Dwarf Tossing may become legal again in Florida.*

Just in time for the primary election there. Do you think Romney may have some plans for Newt in that regard or is it that any of these candidates more than just meet the definition and all make 6 figures and will be tossed in Nov. by all the voters.

Posted by: Phil at January 29, 2012 9:25 AM

the Occupiers' way of saying "thank you" or another phrase that ends with "you".

LOl. The hard core organizers of this group, scum like Jared Paul and Shaun Joseph are hard core 100% communists.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at January 29, 2012 10:15 AM

I don't know much about Jared Paul,but Shaun Jospeh is most definitely a communist agitator.He is involved in every subversive activity that pops up.
I think he runs the ISO at Brown,or at least he did at one time.

Posted by: joe bernstein at January 29, 2012 12:52 PM


A few years ago I had a black Lincoln, I never got a parking ticket in Providence.

"When are we going to get beyond such racism?"
Never, it makes a good argument out of a non-argument. Why do you think it is called "playing the race card"?

Posted by: Warrington Faust at January 29, 2012 6:41 PM
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