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  • Dominic M. Recchia is trying to fill the somewhat dirty shoes of incumbent Congressman Michael Grimm. However, I must warn him that strange things have happened to those elected to represent Staten Islanders (and South Brooklyner’s) in Congress ever since la famiglia Molinari abandoned it. It’s like someone has cast an evil eye (malocchio) on the most conservative seat in New York City.
  • There have been so many complaints about Bill De Blasio’s inauguration in the right-wing (di destra) mass media and apologies in the left-wing (di sinistra) mass media that I thought I should take a look/listen at his speech.
  • Bill De Blasio I believe has the best chance among real progressives to win the mayoralty and to take New York City in a different, more hopeful direction. It’s time for New Yorkers to take back THEIR city from those who have used it to enrich themselves at our expense. Bill de Blasio can help us put the Statue of Liberty back on its pedestal in New York politics. He also just happens to be Italian.
  • Local administrative elections this past Sunday and Monday in Rome and other key cities throughout Italy caught observers by surprise. The turnout was 20% lower than the last round five years ago, as nearly half those entitled to vote in the cities, which included Rome, Ferrara and Siena, stayed home or abstained. Whereas the left-leaning Partito Democratico (PD) made a surprisingly good showing. Berlusconi's Partito della Liberta' (PdL) slumped behind the PD, and Beppe Grillo's Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S, or Five-Star Movement) just dropped a few stars. For them, no one had predicted a debacle on this level.
  • New York City and Italy have a great deal in common, starting and ending with self-destructive electorates; voters who are intent on putting into office people who, in one way or another, hold them in contempt. In both electoral democracies, We The People are generally too ignorant and self-absorbed to notice that the pain we feel is self-inflicted. How does this happen? Again and again....
  • The famous Ides of March of ancient Rome fell on March 15, the day when the tyrannical Julius Caesar was assassinated in the building where the Senate was meeting. His assassin was Brutus, acting on behalf of a group of conspirators known as the "Liberators." By coincidence, Italy's neo-deputies and senators take their seats in Parliament and the Senate on that very day. Among them, the largest single political party - 109 members of the Chamber of Deputies (25.5%) and 50 Senators (23% ) - is led by Beppe Grillo, whose weapon of choice in trying to liberate the system from itself is rhetoric.
  • Facts & Stories
    Judith Harris(February 26, 2013)
    In a globalized world, the gigantic wave laps on distant shores, and never have Italian voters generated so much outside interest as during the two days of national general elections Feb. 24-25. For their part, Italian commentators have borrowed the phrase "Tsunami Tour", as actor-politician Beppe Grillo dubbed his campaign, as a larger metaphor for the stunning results.
  • As Leonardo Sciascia once said, it is easy to manage wealth, but hard to manage misery. These are tough times for Italy as elsewhere, and the sight of shops shutting down and factory closures is the elephant in the room of the national general elections just three weeks away. All this is serious enough, but is further aggravated by the daily revelations of the financial shenanigans at the world's oldest bank, the Monte di Paschi (MPS) of Siena, where huge losses were craftily concealed while managers are under investigation for allegedly enriching themselves (the scandals refer to the previous, not the present management, in office just one year).
  • Facts & Stories
    Judith Harris(November 26, 2012)
    Over 3.1 million turned out to vote, with many waiting hours in line. Some of the 9,232 improvised polling stations, all staffed by volunteers, remained open into the late evening to allow as many as possible to vote. It was, in the end, a vote for democracy itself, and not only PD party leaders and activists rejoiced at this.

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