For sure we understand…

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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Blog, USA


“Donald, This I Will Tell You” by Maureen Dowd

Like many of you I am in shock of the stupidity that our “liar-in-chief” is emanating each and every day. It’s for sure a bigger than TV reality show but I prefer the ones that I have the choice to avoid by turning off the TV. But unfortunately this one is seeping through every cracks of defense you want to use for your sanity protection. This week’s health insurance debacle proved how clueless our moronic Donald is and also confirmed what Ryan said that is easier to keep quacking while in opposition that do something for real. I was in the process to write a post about it when a friend sent me a link of the NY Times columnist Maureen Down’s opinion from the today’s edition. So I scraped my writing and decided to post hers because it’s worthwhile for everybody to read. For the suckers who still somehow are spellbound and think that Donald is the big deal they imagined when they threw a vote off the window going for him, it may be painful, so please read it with caution. But for sure, it’s just fake news of the “enemy of the people”, the American press.

WASHINGTON — Dear Donald,

We’ve known each other a long time, so I think I can be blunt.

You know how you said at campaign rallies that you did not like being identified as a politician?

Don’t worry. No one will ever mistake you for a politician.

After this past week, they won’t even mistake you for a top-notch negotiator.

I was born here. The first image in my memory bank is the Capitol, all lit up at night. And my primary observation about Washington is this: Unless you’re careful, you end up turning into what you started out scorning.

And you, Donald, are getting a reputation as a sucker. And worse, a sucker who is a tool of the D.C. establishment.

Your whole campaign was mocking your rivals and the D.C. elite, jawing about how Americans had turned into losers, with our bad deals and open borders and the Obamacare “disaster.”

And you were going to fly in on your gilded plane and fix all that in a snap.

You mused that a good role model would be Ronald Reagan. As you saw it, Reagan was a big, good-looking guy with a famous pompadour; he had also been a Democrat and an entertainer. But Reagan had one key quality that you don’t have: He knew what he didn’t know.

You both resembled Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloons, floating above the nitty-gritty and focusing on a few big thoughts. But President Reagan was confident enough to accept that he needed experts below, deftly maneuvering the strings.

You’re just careering around on your own, crashing into buildings and losing altitude, growling at the cameras and spewing nasty conspiracy theories, instead of offering a sunny smile, bipartisanship, optimism and professionalism.

You promised to get the best people around you in the White House, the best of the best. In fact, “best” is one of your favorite words.

Instead, you dragged that motley skeleton crew into the White House and let them create a feuding, leaking, belligerent, conspiratorial, sycophantic atmosphere. Instead of a smooth, classy operator like James Baker, you have a Manichaean anarchist in Steve Bannon.

You knew the Republicans were full of hot air. They haven’t had to pass anything in a long time, and they have no aptitude for governing. To paraphrase an old Barney Frank line, asking the Republicans to govern is like asking Frank to judge the Miss America contest — “If your heart’s not in it, you don’t do a very good job.”

You knew that Paul Ryan’s vaunted reputation as a policy wonk was fake news. Republicans have been running on repealing and replacing Obamacare for years and they never even bothered to come up with a valid alternative.

Instead, you sold the D.O.A. bill the Irish undertaker gave you as though it were a luxury condo, ignoring the fact that it was a cruel flimflam, a huge tax cut for the rich disguised as a health care bill. You were so concerned with the “win” that you forgot your “forgotten” Americans, the older, poorer people in rural areas who would be hurt by the bill.

As The Times’s chief Washington correspondent Carl Hulse put it, the G.O.P. falls into clover with a lock on the White House and both houses of Congress, and what’s the first thing it does? Slip on a banana peel. Incompetence Inc.

“They tried to sweeten the deal at the end by offering a more expensive bill with fewer health benefits, but alas, it wasn’t enough!” former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau slyly tweeted.

Despite the best efforts of Bannon to act as though the whole fiasco was a clever way to bury Ryan — a man he disdains as “the embodiment of the ‘globalist-corporatist’ Republican elite,” as Gabriel Sherman put it in New York magazine — it won’t work.

And you can jump on the phone with The Times’s Maggie Haberman and The Washington Post’s Robert Costa — ignoring that you’ve labeled them the “fake media” — and act like you’re in control. You can say that people should have waited for “Phase 2” and “Phase 3” — whatever they would have been — and that Obamacare is going to explode and that the Democrats are going to get the blame. But it doesn’t work that way. You own it now.

You’re all about flashy marketing so you didn’t notice that the bill was junk, so lame that even Republicans skittered away.

You were humiliated right out of the chute by the establishment guys who hooked you into their agenda — a massive transfer of wealth to rich people — and drew you away from your own.

You sold yourself as the businessman who could shake things up and make Washington work again. Instead, you got worked over by the Republican leadership and the business community, who set you up to do their bidding.

That’s why they’re putting up with all your craziness about Russia and wiretapping and unending lies and rattling our allies.

They’re counting on you being a delusional dupe who didn’t even know what was in the bill because you’re sitting around in a bathrobe getting your information from wackadoodles on Fox News and then, as The Post reported, peppering aides with the query, “Is this really a good bill?”

You got played.

It took W. years to smash everything. You’re way ahead of schedule.

And I can say you’re doing badly, because I’m a columnist, and you’re not. Say hello to everybody, O.K.?

Sincerely, Maureen

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Posted by on March 26, 2017 in Blog, USA


Late snow

Avenues and side streets were blocked by snow removal vehicles working round the clock to clean up

The late snow storm that came on Monday night, way late and for sure way stronger in the season, paralyzed the traffic in the city. The commuter lines, if they run, had heavy delays and the elevated subways were closed. The next morning the city looked like under siege with huge trucks rolling on 5th Avenue caring the snow away or blocking the side streets where bulldozers were packing the snow to be removed. The traffic was jammed for the entire 5th Avenue in a frantic effort to clean up for the Friday’s St Patrick Day parade. The amount of snow clogged the sewage and created unusual large pools of melted slush at each intersection, making the walk in the city extremely annoying in trying to avoid the swim through the pools. The parts of the avenues that were not critical were left covered in snow like the entire pedestrian area of Broadway.

Broadway covered in snow

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Posted by on March 18, 2017 in Blog, USA


Toni Erdmann

I don’t remember writing about a movie for a while but the German comedy by Maren Ade deserved to be the darling of the last year Cannes Festival. It made such an impact that, if I understood correctly, Hollywood is planning a remake of the movie. The movie touched a painful chord, the dehumanization of people working for large and high demanding corporations, impersonal monster companies that treat people just like bodies that have to perform. The movie is shot in Bucharest, a perfect setting in a country where the “multi-national companies”, as they call there the corporations, make the law facing a series of corrupt governments and muscle flexing policies of Brussels or Berlin.  Ines, a consultant for a large global marketing consulting firm, does not smile the entire movie because her life is so focused on the job and screwed up chasing an elusive career, in meeting with boring executives, living alone in impersonal hotel rooms or apartments, incapable of having sex, with no time for herself while accompanying  boring diplomats’ wives to the “one of the best malls in Europe where no Romanian affords to buy anything”. Ines’ life so well resembles the life of a Manhattan employee in high demanding job, living in luxury apartments but with no life of their own, except going to bar at night, so well portrait also in “margin call”. They work just to be thrown out as a rotten tooth when the company does not need them anymore or they get burned out. However in the movie, the relentless pursue of her father, Toni Erdmann, eventually soften her, breaking her insane bubble, realizing her conundrum and decides to quit just to get hired by the competition.

Of course, watching the movie from the New York’s perspective, is hard to avoid thinking of the American Republican politics that try as much as possible to disposes the middle class, lowering the taxes for the rich and eliminating a well fought medical insurance. The spineless Republicans, fully responsible for the conundrum of the current Administration, in bed with large corporate donors who hate even the idea of portable medical insurance, are the main architects of blocking all the measures that would empower the middle class in America, a country where the taxes that you pay are buying exclusively more planes and bombs to kill people around the world.

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Posted by on March 16, 2017 in Blog, Germany, USA



…for a date or just checking Facebook?

Bucharest, Romania

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Posted by on March 1, 2017 in Blog, Romania



Art exhibit, Bucharest

Bucharest is an artsy town and each and every time I visit is almost impossible not to get to an opening of any sort. The exhibits happen in beautiful houses renovated by their owners or by investors. Because the rents are low and rentals are in low demand, some of these houses get converted in art galleries to the delight of a vibrant art community.

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Posted by on February 15, 2017 in Blog, Romania


“We will remove the “traitor” Trump”-Keith Olbermann


Watch here the emotional speech by Keith Olbermann apologizing to the world for Trump’s actions against immigrants that are a disgrace to this country. All of us, immigrants, descendants of immigrants and refugees, built this great nation that was known to the world for its goodness and generosity and not the bigotry and intolerance that pervades the current republican administration.

In London Review of Books, Sydney Blumenthal writes a short history of the Trump family that is worth reading for those who do not know the character except of what transpired recently. For us living in New York, the article describes exactly the character we always knew since the 80s and whom we never paid too much attention simply because it was taken in consideration only by the tabloids.

At an event hosted by Texas Patriots PAC in April 2015, Donald Trump said the following: “Everything’s coming across the border: the illegals, the cars, the whole thing. It’s like a big mess. Blah. It’s like vomit.”

If all these are like vomit, what actually are you, Donald?

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Posted by on February 12, 2017 in Blog, USA