“I’m going to sue La Prensa. They are going to respect me in this country.”
Carlos “Tito” Afú
What, a complaint about his 2014 campaign gets referred to the Supreme Court and nobody gets to mention it?
And Toro Pérez Balladares, who made an ass of himself and made himself a lame duck president with an ill-fated ballot proposal to allow himself to seek re-election, now feels the political winds and declares himself in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban the re-election of legislators?
And the vulgar demagogue whom the legislators have chosen to head the committee that considers appointments and possible impeachments, Sergio Gálvez — the self-proclaimed “Sexual Buffalo — goes off on an incoherent and mendacious rant against a television journalist from the National Assembly floor. Then, when anti-corruption czarina Angélica Maytín asks for more information about deputies putting their relatives on the legislature’s payroll, he leads a movement to call her on the carpet over travel to other countries to collect information about the Brazilian company Odebrecht’s crimes committed in Panama or against the Panamanian people.
And the yeye contingent weighs in with Katleen Levy’s complaint that the hashtag, slogan and popular demand #NoALaReelección ought to be banned by the Electoral Tribunal. The nation was mercifully spared, unless perhaps someone running for office actually spends some money on that.
The thrashing death agony of a disreputable caste that has gone too far? The logical reaction of a nation that has been told that its pension fund has been stolen and its health care system has run out of medicines even though it had a budget for that, and that nobody is going to lose his or her job, let alone anyone going to prison?
Are you a Panamanian citizen? Do not mourn. Help to hasten this miserable caste’s demise.
Are you a foreigner? You should beware the rich and powerful to whom some will advise you to suck up.
There was once a perilous time in which guys who ran with Jesus Christ would not admit to knowing him. (He didn’t have that problem with the women who followed him, if the scriptures are right.) Are those who followed yesteryear’s advice that what’s most important is who you know, not what you know, about to deny knowledge? Worse things could happen.
New faces, fresh ideas in the Democratic lineup
The primary season is about over. Mostly but not always Democrats have chosen to return incumbents. Progressive strains have made progress against establishment types, but it’s a shifted balance rather than a turning of tables. To survive a lot of centrists have had to shift their center. There are very real differences among Democrats. As always. Civil rights, labor rights, foreign policy principles — these questions tend to be fought out within the Democratic Party, after which the nation tends to follow or react. It’s a big tent with a lot of different sorts of folks under it. What we see now is generational change, not just younger faces but responses to demands and opinions that were not so urgent in the public mind in decades past.
There are a few more primaries and there will perhaps be a few more upsets. But when the nominations are set, Democrats and independents who care about America need to close ranks. There is a dangerous maniac with malicious intentions in the White House, and he has a cast of acolytes in control of the Congress and the Supreme Court.
It’s not that Democrats lack a positive message. On the campaign trail most of the Democratic candidates are talking about health care, education, jobs, rebuilding the nation’s infrastructures for the industries of tomorrow, justice and human rights. But there are obstacles to remove before any such talk can rise above mere brainstorming.
Perhaps you, as an American citizen, disagree. That’s your right.
But whatever you think, now is the time for US citizens living abroad to register to vote and order their November ballots. Those two steps can generally be done online via votefromabroad.org OR fvap.gov OR overseasvotefoundation.org. The general rule is that adult US citizens living abroad get to vote absentee at the last place they resided in the USA. US citizens living abroad who have never resided in the USA — there are a bunch of these in Panama, the children of US citizens living here — can in all but a few states vote in the place where an American parent last resided in the USA. Time runs short to register, and the challenge to our nation and its voters is great. Register and order your ballot now.
Bear in mind…
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