The real problem with the last 20 years in Italy is in fact the decadence of public morality, the lowering of the bar of what is considered acceptable and what is not.
A guy on my right approached me and asked if I was a U.S. citizen. I said, "Yes." Upon my confirmation, two other men came over to sit at my small table as four more people at the bar, three men and a lady, turned around to listen.
With the federal government shut down, you can enjoy the silence by relaxing and taking our Week to Week news quiz and see if you know what's been going on.
Things certainly look bleak in Washington as an extreme right-wing rump caucus has closed down our government all because a law was passed in the exact way prescribed by the Constitution, but all is not lost.
In her first speech as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power criticized the inefficiency of UN bureaucracy. Probably it would have been a good idea to send her to Italy, instead, rather than to New York: changing Italy appears to be a harder task than reforming the United Nations.
What is it that makes some men think that if a woman accepts their Facebook friend request, she's ready for Sexy time, Borat-style? Terminal optimism? An embrace of the precious moment? Does playing Whack-a-Mole with female sexuality allow some men to achieve the Power of Now?
Aside from the unsettling use of a divisive language with its war metaphors, a fundamental question emerges: Are these just delusional words or do they have an actual impact and credibility in the Italian society?
On June 24 former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in jail for having paid a minor for sex. The day after, in the heart of Rome, a pro-Berlusconi demonstration took place under the unsettling banner: "We Are All Whores."
The Supreme Court says we can continue testing your knowledge of the news, at least for now. So it's time to take our weekly news quiz.
All I see is my screen go blank, after which I deposit my card with some church volunteers who place it on an open stack and hand me an "I Voted" sticker. Did I really?, I now wonder.
After a two-months stall, in only two days Enrico Letta presented Italy with its best government ever. Enrico Letta has no easy task in front of him, but the brilliant way he quickly passed the first test gives good reasons to hope.
Italian politics has become a shadow-boxing contest between the clownish populist Grillo, the maestro of Internet politics, and the clownish television mogul Berlusconi, who still looms large in Italy despite his many legal cases and his appalling personal life.
We have no one like the Pope to take pride in and it's hard to match Berlusconi. This all came to mind while watching the Italian Parliament try to elect a president and undertake other legislative tasks. Comparisons to the U.S. Congress invited themselves to the viewing.
The 46-year old Mr. Letta would be the nation's second youngest prime minister if confirmed by parliament. In theory, it marks a generational change but not one of substance.
Italy is thus at a crossroads. Between operetta and drama, let's hope Italian leaders opt for the first and finally give Italy a happy ending.
Previously published in Metro http://www.readmetro.com. Until recently, Beppe Grillo was simply a successful comedian. But these days, the powerful i...