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  • Why are so many Americans of Italian descent leaning rightward toward the candidacy of Donald J. Trump for the most powerful position in the world --- the Presidency of the United States of America? It's one of the many things about Italian Americans that makes little sense to most people, including other full and half-Italian Americans. What follows are some pretty solid speculations, and a reminder of the left-leaning history of Italian American political history.
  • Op-Eds
    (June 20, 2016)
    Elections in key Italian cities have sent an electric shock throughout Italy. In Sunday's run-off in Rome, Virginia Raggi of the Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S), who won just over one-third in preliminary elections two weeks ago, was elected mayor with a stunning two-thirds of the vote. "We're in charge, we punished them!" crowed a delighted Beppe Grillo, founding father of the M5S.
  • Italians went to the polls on Sunday to elect seven regional governors and city counselors for 742 townships, including Venice, Mantua, Arezzo, Chieti and Agrigento. Premier Matteo Renzi’s Partito Democratico (PD) fared better than predicted: the center-left coalition came first in five regions, winning on average 37% of the vote in all seven. The center-right triumphed in the Veneto and Liguria
  • The twelfth president of the Italian Republic is Sergio Mattarella, 74, constitutional court judge and former cabinet minister. The victory of this former Christian Democrat (DC), who won by 665 votes after only four ballots, brings to a felicitous end a political battle that had presented grave risks. Of 1,008 possible electors (deputies, senators, lifetime senators, regional representatives), 995 took part. The first telegram of congratulations arrived within minutes from Pope Francis.
  • On Day One of the election for the twelfth president of Italy, the polling opened in the Chamber of Deputies at 3 pm. Four hours later the vote is still being counted, but results show clearly that no one was elected today. The two parties of a pre-election pact, Premier Matteo Renzi’s Partito Democratico (PD) and former Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI), had agreed to vote blank ballots today, and did. But tomorrow is another day, and the voting continues.
  • It was night in Rome’s down-market suburb of Infernetto, and to show that immigrants are unwelcome there, rightwingers fashioned gruesome mannequins clothed all in white, and hanged them from bridge rafters over a main road. This was a local protest, but the wave of anti-immigrant feeling shows signs of penetrating into the wider population, with fallout in this weekend’s regional vote in Emilia-Romagna and Calabria
  • Andy, the least lovable Cuomo is in deeper stuff than usual. The New Times reported recently that he “hobbled” investigations by the Commission he established when it got too close to home. There are two different ways to think about his current troubles. The first is that he is especially corrupt. The second is that Andy is a “normal” politician, making decisions based on how they will affect his more and (now) less rosy future.
  • Most of the pundits and pollsters got it wrong - seriously wrong. Not one had hazarded that Premier Matteo Renzi's Partito Democratico (PD) would walk away with almost 42% of the vote for a new European Parliament, and - even more startling - that his blustering arch-rival Beppe Grillo of the Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S) would manage to lose some 2.5 million voters, claiming at best 21.6% of the electorate. (The figures are not definitive because they do not include the overseas vote and some outlying Italian districts.)

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