Friday, October 4, 2013


I feel like crap.  It seems everyone in the fly-over zone has caught this thing.  Low grade fever, shortness of breath, strength of a 2-year old and a penchant for falling asleep if one stays in the same position for 30 seconds.  Fortunately, everyone recovers so we carry on regardless.

Well, stage 1 is over.  The Italian Senate voted Berlusconi out this morning.  Thus endeth a 20 year -long reign over Italian politics and begineth the soap opera as to whether the disgraced old man, now stripped of his immunity, heads off to jail.  My money is on the side that he doesn't for two reasons.  First, he's 77 years old.  What's the point?  To have him die in jail?  Second, and more importantly, to punish and humiliate the old man after the humiliation he has just suffered would undoubtedly cause a push-back from his party's members who, after they themselves administered this humiliation themselves reaction would probable be, "Basta, we did it to him, now no more." A functioning government cannot be achieved without this mob, and without one Italy faces collapse.

The restructuring of the state must also be achieved and there is ZERO chance of that occurring without the input from Berlusconi no matter whether it is from outside the nick or will just be a hell of a lot easier if he is out.  After all, he and his gang probably control half the things that need to be restructured and while there is going to be some serious horse trading, it can get done if there is a will to do so.  Italy is not like the U.S. in these matters.  They have been doing this sort of thing for 700 years and while outsiders may not understand a thing that is going on, most of the time it has worked with varying degrees of least as far as the Italians are concerned.  It's going to be very interesting to watch.

And speaking of such things, Over Here the popular wisdom is that the Repubs are losing the battle of the shutdown.  At least that's what the markets seem to be saying according to the talking heads as bonds are stable and stocks are up.  The talking heads, being part of the mainstream media, have--shall we say--a certain bias about these matters but they may well be right or it may be that nobody gives a damn.  Now two weeks from now may be a different thing with The Leader and the lap dogs proclaiming more horrors than befell the Pharaoh when The Big Trader put in a bid on the side of Mo and the Hebrews unless he gets all the money he wants.  That's shaping up to be a pretty good game of chicken and right now it's a push.  Ideology against ego.  Zowie!  I hope I'm fully cured to witness that one closely.  Just remember Johnny Cash, boys, before you make total fools out of yourselves.

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