Not using his last name, for reasons that may become evident, but the breakfast where we’re staying is free, included in the price of the room, and today is our last day here — I have learned to say “you only live once” in Italian — at a resort so fancy it sports a Michelin-starred restaurant we have not tried — I can’t afford even the peanuts above the minibar — “DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT THOSE PEANUTS,” I have gently urged Mikey (who is trying to figure out how to get the light in our private pool to work) — converting from grams and euros, the 2.88-ounce jar of peanuts cost $8.28 — so here is what Mikey ate just now for breakfast (after a large dinner at Tito’s the night before): two glasses of fresh-squeezed orange juice, one mimosa, a pot of coffee; salmon, tomatoes, and bruschetta from the buffet; an order of French toast; an order of poached eggs with large strips of bacon; which he liked so much he got a second order of poached eggs with large strips of bacon. Overlooking the Mediterranean. Si vive solo una volta. And it was free. La dolce vita. (See? Italian’s not so hard.)
Meanwhile, back in America, Rome burns.
Trump is hard at work wrecking the health care system — which could make sense if he had even a notion of what he’d like to see in its place. (Could his secret plan be “great, great health care for everybody at a tiny fraction of the cost” — which is not too much of an exaggerated description of what they already have in Canada and throughout Europe, Great Britain, Singapore and Japan? No, I don’t think so. He has no idea what he’s doing.)
Trump is treating the Puerto Rican crisis as if, well, let’s face it, Puerto Ricans were not real Americans — a view many of his faithful probably share.
And then there’s his work to undermine the State Department, t0 undermine our moral leadership in the world, to undermine the agreement that brought Iran back from the brink of nuclear proliferation; to undermine trust in the free press, undermine environmental protections, undermine respect for the judiciary.
How did we get here? Read this long, really interesting piece in the Atlantic: Facebook changed the world. Vladimir Putin seemed to grasp aspects of this before, even, Mark Zuckerberg.
Tomorrow we see the Last Supper. Not the one we already saw in Rome — the real one. No disrespect, but in terms of the menu, at least, and quantity (!), I’m not sure it can compare to Mikey’s breakfast.
Quote of the Day
In 1800, 75% of [an American's] working man's expenditures went for food alone. By 1850, that had dropped to 50%. Today it is a little more than 11%.~The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 1996
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