Category Archives: jack conway

Weekly digest: more Berlusca, the seriousness of ‘bunga-bunga’, more rain, and more Republicans

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday

It’s been awhile and no updates. Yet, in the US we’ve had the midterms, which happened pretty much as predicted, and here in Italy Berlusconi again dominates the headlines with another sex scandal. At this point I’m so fatigued by his scandals that I’m withholding comment until I figure out just how much of a survivor he is. Needless to say it’s hard for me to imagine a gulf of power any greater than that between the Prime Minister of a G7 nation and an undocumented 17-year old immigrant. It remaines whether Italians will let this distract them from the many economic and domestic crises that threaten the bel paese or whether this will galvanize them into action. Of course my weariness is probably not atypical.  American writers often assume that the next scandal will be the last straw —  wouldn’t it be at home? — but only a few seem to understand the lack of clear alternatives and the cynicism that has permeated Italian politics for the last twenty years.  British writers, however, often do.  The Telegraph has all you really need to know to understand the events of the last week.   And if reading an Anglo-Saxon male writing about the Italian politics seems odd to you, then the Guardian weighs in as well with the powerful voice of Maria Laura Rodotà of the Corriere.

As a side note, I’m thrilled to hear that the unctuous Lele Mora is under investigation.  No one who has seen the scenes in Videocracy in which Mora, puffy and dressed all in white, in an all-white room in an all-white house, celebrates Mussolini with a fascist cellphone ringtone and introduces his young musclebound brainless tronisti proteges, would disagree.

Of course, as a longtime Italian-observing friend of mine quipped, if Berlusca had sprung for the quick release of a Moroccan man from jail, then his popularity might really flag. But the PM is hasty to admit that hey, at least he didn’t do that.  His exhortation that loving “pretty girls [is] better than being gay!” got the headlines and got people out to protest as well.  And produced a spew of plays on words: “better gay than Berlusconi,” “better gay than fake daddy” (playing on the nickname that the previous sex scandalizer Noemi had for the PM).

On the upside for happenings meneghine, I was pleased to see on a recent walk down via Manzoni that La Scala is doing Lulu this season. Now how can I get to it?

And in happenings Venete… wear your rainboots, avoid back roads, and keep your livestock on high ground.  Rural areas experienced terrible flooding this week, not as far south as Rovigo, but around Padova and Vincenza.  Bertolaso, seeming to be in both Naples and the Veneto at the same time, is on the scene.

A picture of future as imagined by Rand Paul

“Always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever.”

And so we have… the Tea Party in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

I do find MoveOn imminently annoying. But there’s no excuse for such thuggery. Not even Conway’s fairly low-blow striking ad. It doesn’t exactly bode well for free expression, especially when coupled with Rand Paul’s extremist beliefs in virtually every other area. Let’s help this will help ruin him. If he wins after this and the Maddow debacle, it will say something about Kentucky. A very negative something, along the lines of “what a bunch of hicks.”

Rand Paul in the Corriere

This time I’m not writing to encourage you to vote for an artist. This is for real.  Or as real as it gets with opposing the Civil RightsrejectingAmero-believing regressive lunacy that will become our state’s cross to bear.  Yes.  A man only an alien could love…

Kentuckians, get out there and vote. I realize that outside of Louisville and Lexington things don’t look too good, but we have to defeat this fool Rand Paul.  Or at least try. The race is not only being closely watched outside of KY, but outside of the US. Here’s an observation from the Corriere — an aside in an article about Joe Miller that caught a bit interest in the country of Berlusconismo.

The headline reads, “Fights, insults, handcuffs, threats.  The U.S. and the ‘politics of rage.'”

It is the latest in a series of examples of the “politics of rage”as it’s called by the influential U.S. website the anger of the electorate (or more correctly the extreme frustration according to some polls) that is finding more expression than ever in a bad attitude and is ready to be used in the struggles of both Republican and Democrat politicians, as is clearly visible from the red faces and eyes bulging in clashes performed on television and in relationships with journalists.

Other examples: last Sunday in Kentucky, Republican Rand Paul was so offended when his Democratic opponent accused him of being “a member of a group that insulted Christianity and Christ” that he declared: “Have you lost your sense of decency?” He may refuse to appear at the next televised debate.

Do your part to crash the tea party/teabag the teabaggers/piss in the teapot/your insult of choice here.  I for one am filling out my absentee ballot tonight.

Rand Paul


A quick weekend roundup: in my home state, Rand Paul debated Jack Conway, and some coverage — inasmuch as Kentucky has become a major political battleground, is worth reading.  I wonder how the legions of Tea Party supporters riding around on scooters will like being told that they have to work longer before drawing some of those socialist benefits they like to carp about.  But Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone tells you why that doesn’t really matter, in a long, thoughtful, righteous analysis of how Rand Paul ended up doing Mitch and Rove’s bidding and why the tea party is more of a tempest in a tea pot, or destined to end up as one.

UPDATE: read the New York Times‘ coverage here.