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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.
  • An important three-way summit brings together Matteo Renzi, François Hollande and Angela Merkel, meeting on board ship Aug. 22 off the isle of Ventotene. On the storm-tossed agenda: Brexit and the Italian economy.
  • Donald trumping all in the Republican race is only possible thanks to an undemocratic system. Disguised in the public eye as the ultimate democratic institution, the primaries actually tend to impose minority decisions, nullify political parties, and ultimately destroy democracy and accountability as we know them. These problems are peculiarly American. They are hardly found in other Western democracies in Europe, Canada or Australia.
  • In a case described here as "dynamite," Rosa Capuozzo, mayor of Quarto near Napoli elected on the M5S ticket, received threats from local organized crime bosses, but failed to inform police. As a result, Beppe Grillo has expelled her from his M5S party and demands her resignation. Mayor Capuozzo refuses to quit.
  • Italian American politicians adhere to a corollary given by the 6th century BCE Chinese general Sun Tzu who wrote the Art of War. It was uttered by Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974): "My father taught me many things here — he taught me in this room. He taught me — keep your friends close but your enemies closer." My mother-in-law Rose Jordan-Nicoletti’s version of this Italian American proverb was “Don’t apologize! Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it.”
  • Forty-one years ago Indro Montanelli, that late lamented grand guru of Italian journalism, opined sardonically that what Italy needed was a “Ministry of Scandals” to regulate the “atavic” Italian sin of corruption. With the past six years of a severely weakened economy, corruption has grown, but also brought the problem into the open as rarely before.
  • 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.
  • In a turbulent session late Wednesday Premier Matteo Renzi’s labor reform bill known as the “Jobs Act” was passed in the Senate. Accompanying that passage was a successful confidence vote, 165-111, for his harried government. Although Jobs Act ratification is yet to come in the Chamber of Deputies, EU leaders were already congratulating Renzi for the success of the bill, whose aim is to introduce flexibility into the Italian labor market.
  • 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.

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