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  • Street Art. With Silvio Berlusconi, Matteo Salvini
    President Sergio Mattarella appoints Senate President Maria Elisabetta Casellati to conduct exploratory negotiations for a new government. By way of light relief, in a street art cartoon copying Caravaggio's famous painting politicians are satirized as cardsharps.
  • Dario Franceschini (blue tie), heads of state museums
    In trying to compile a list of the best and worst of Italy in 2017, the criteria is that both good, bad and ugly selections should reflect those happenings likely to bring lasting consequences.
  • Movimento Cinque Stelle leader Beppe Grillo during the demonstration in Rome last week
    When Beppe Grillo, Movimento Cinque Stelle leader, took a tumble into one of the myriad Roman potholes, the sarcastic chortles of his opponents echoed all over Italy. Why? Because the mayor, who is expected to fix up Rome and its streets, is from his party.
  • 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.”

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