Momma Mia: Italy is rocking & reeling …

It started when old Benedict become the first pope in over 600 years to resign.

Before the College of Cardinals could puff out some white smoke, the Italians flocked to the ballot boxes to do some damage.

Headline in the Washington Post: “Berlusconi revives political career in chaotic Italian election”

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More from the Post …

“Silvio Berlusconi, the three-time Italian prime minister, onetime cruise ship singer, billionaire playboy and perpetual criminal defendant who was all but counted out of Italian political life when a debt crisis forced his resignation in 2011, shocked the country Monday by shooting back into a position of influence. Even by the chaotic standards of Italian politics, the resurgence of Berlusconi’s People of Liberty party has cast the Italian government into confusion.

The story gets even better …

Consider the rest of the cast of characters:

  • Beppe Grillo, “a seething ex-comedian who was convicted of vehicular manslaughter, made an astonishingly strong showing for his naysaying protest party.”  Grillo’s “Tsunami Tour” campaign consisted largely of his repeatedly screaming “Thieves!”, railing against tax collectors, vaccines and the euro,  and bemoaning the country’s myriad woes.
  • Pier Luigi Bersani, a mild-mannered former industry minister, appeared likely to barely win the lower house of Parliament because he was weighed down with far-left partners such as …
  • Nichi Vendola, a gay, ex-communist southern governor that the Italian press once dubbed “the white Obama.”  and who assessed himself to The Washington Post as “beloved.”
  • Mario Monti, the country’s caretaker prime minister,who was advised by David Axelrod …  an international darling for his technical government’s emphasis on responsibility and personal austerity, but political flop at home. Monti’s campaign amounted to “putting up posters” and the chilly economist trying to warm his image by adopting a dog named Empathy.

Berlusconi , who compares the Italian judicial system to the Sicilian mafia, had promised to pay about 4 billion euros worth of property taxes for Italian citizens.

Hard to beat somebody who’s offering lots of free stuff, right?

Holy Ravioli: Here’s a link to a photo collection of Berlusconi’s many women

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