Le News dall’Italia; Mega-kudos to Hank Plante


FLORENCE — The Calbuzz Bureau of Cappuccino, Grappa and Proscuitto, always on the lookout for the local angle, didn’t catch Snooki’s crash here in the Medici stomping grounds, but did find protesters angry about cutbacks to the local polizia — another precursor to the kinds of protests we can expect in California if an all-cuts budget gets passed by the genisusi in Sacramento.

“We’re angry that the money for the police is not there,” one picketer (sorry, no cab drivers available) told us on the street outside a government office, where protesters were being interviewed for the local TV.

Just wait until the cops in Lodi and Montebello get slashed — we’re betting folks are going to take to the streets to complain. The only question will be who gets the blame. If the protests in Spain are any indication, it may be the “in” party that eats it — just because they’re there.

ROME — With Vice President Joe Biden here in the Italian capital for big meetings with various heads of state, especially the Russians, and to celebrate Italy’s big national holiday, your Calbuzz correspondents were right on the spot.

We were just a bit too busy checking out the water quality at the Trevi Fountain and the air quality at the Borghese Gallery to waste a lot of energy tracking Joe B (face it, if it’s something they send the vice to, how big a deal can it be?), but as you can plainly see, after leaving the Borghese estate, we did catch the important action as Joe’s motorcade went by.

AIDS 30 years later: For an old retired guy, our friend Hank Plante sure seems to be awfully busy. Plante churned out some terrific work, both in print and TV, on the 30th anniversary of the onset of the AIDS epidemic, starting with a Chron op-ed (it was the Old Chronicle that led the national reporting on the subject, thanks to  the incomparable Dr. Dave Perlman, the late Randy Shilts and, just as important, to Keith Power, their editor on much of the early stuff,  who never gets mentioned). Plante writes:

In Washington, the silence was just as deafening as it was in the national media.

I was there the night of May 31, 1987, when President Ronald Reagan gave his first speech about AIDS to a large public audience. His friend Elizabeth Taylor had urged him to finally speak out. The night of that speech, hearing Reagan say the word “AIDS” for the first time at such a forum, I made a note in my reporter’s notebook that at that moment 21,000 Americans had already died from the disease.

ICYMI, here’s the link to his 30-minute special for KPIX-TV, his old station, where he became the first TV reporter in the country covering the story; nice commentary near the end when Hank talks about what it was like to report on AIDS as an out gay man in the old days.

Calbuzz sez check it out.

We read this stuff so you don’t have to:

Why isn’t Paul Krugman Secretary of Treasury? 

More must-read stuff on pensions, from Mathews, Mendel and the SacBee’s op-ed page.

We’re kind of intrigued by Jon Huntsman, who’s probably doomed as a GOP presidential because he’s a grown-up.

Only Rick Perlstein would remember Hubert Humphrey’s birthday – his “Nixonland” remains the best volume about politics in the ’60s.

We can’t stand snarky columnists ourselves, but once in a while Milbank gets it right.

Jimmy Fallon – just because.

In life – and journalism – timing is everything.

A don’t miss update on reality denial.

Ruth Marcus is completely wrong about Power Point.

What’s a day without Jezebel?

Is there a better sports columnist than Bruce Jenkins?

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There are 2 comments for this post

  1. avatar Hank Plante says:

    Your reference to me as “an old retired guy” was, unfortunately, true. But I feel better knowing that Jerry & Phil seem to be as Openly Gray as I am.

    • avatar Roberts and Trounstine says:

      As far as those two guys are concerned: I’ve seen younger faces on cash.

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