All I can tell you is that when I saw five upside-down artichokes sitting on a platter with their chokes clipped off, glistening in oil, my night was made.  We were among the last to the restaurant, so I figured everyone else had ordered and received their artichokes . . . but by the time our waiter came by it looked to me as though there were only two left so I used all my Italian skill (which consists of speaking English very slowly and distinctly) to indicate that we wanted them both — please save them for us! — and got an enthusiastic “Si!  Si!  Artichokes!  Multabene!” and we said still water would be fine, plus a liter of house wine.  It came.  We ordered.  I was as excited as I get — and you know I get excited.

Three minutes later, our waiter returned to announce “artichokes end.”  Would I like something else?

Yes.  World peace, aggressive action on climate change, and a massive blue wave in 2020.

Some further items for your consideration:

> Bankrupt and corrupt?  Last week’s New Yorker report, if you missed it: Secrecy, Self-Dealing and greed at the N.R.A.

> Unfair? Profitable Giants Like Amazon Pay $0 in Corporate Taxes. Some Voters Are Sick of It.The New York Times

> And have you read the Mueller report?

> And have you read The Fifth Risk?



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