Editorials: Another misnamed monologue? and Disbar Rudy

Nito & Genaro
President Cortizo and leaders of the militant CONUSI labor union confederation meet to talk about the possible “Bicentennial Pact.” Photo by the Presidencia. 

Turbulent times

Is some sort of revolutionary millennium at hand across the Americas?

Even if there can be such a thing, demonstrably it’s not scheduled for the day after tomorrow in Panama. However, a lot of incumbent politicians and parties might think that. The world is hurting from a pandemic and associated economic woes. Those leaders so stuck on old priorities and arrangements that they can’t lend a hand to the many who are suffering can play all sorts of finger-pointing and fear games to save themselves, but mostly it doesn’t work. Incumbents are endangered across many a political spectrum. Conditions vary by country, but Latin America in general is unstable.

The combination of corruption and austerity is, as we just saw in Guatemala, an incendiary mix. Governments of leftist, rightist and centrist hues have been offering that up, sometimes along with raw repression. It rarely works.

The problem is that almost every country in the region has gone way into debt and seen its informal and small business sectors devastated. The hardships will last beyond when we can get enough people vaccinated to get COVID-19 under control. The old arrangements and commitments just don’t address the situation. Neoliberal globalization on corporate terms is discredited and moribund, even if people can’t agree on something to replace it. Leaders who inspire us to pull together, share the burdens and benefits and get through these difficult times are the hard to find platinum standard.

Is Nito about to convene a monologue among the usual PRD heavies, business organizations and illustrious families, buy off the rabiblanco press with huge ad buys, and present us with a rise in the retirement age, a write-off of the education of hundreds of thousands of kids and a diminished public health care system? Notwithstanding any and all endorsements, influencers and ad agencies, it’s likely to derail some so far well guarded gravy trains if that’s the “Bicentennial Pact.”



Disbar Giuliani

Here in Panama, it all may seem a bit strange. As a practical matter, there is no disbarment of unethical attorneys here.

What’s more, not only are there are judges who will ALLOW an argument against a Panamanian citizen of an ethnicity sought to be defamed to the effect that “he can move to some other country,” there are judges who will ACCEPT such an argument without fear of being removed from the bench for it.

US Representative Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) has filed complaints against Rudy Giuliani in five jurisdictions where the former New York mayor and federal prosecutor is licensed to practice law, citing Giuliani’s presentations of palpable lies in courts as an unethical practice for which he should lose his license to practice law. Pascrell also names 22 other Trump lawyers for similar offenses.

Yes, the ultra-right calls Pascrell “unhinged,” because everyone “knows” that anything goes in US courts. But many state bar associations do try to maintain some ethical standards in the legal profession.

Pascrell’s point is well taken. He calls the campaign of misrepresentations aired in courtrooms “sinister arson [that] is a danger not just to our legal system but is also unprecedented in our national life.” In fact, what Giuliani et al did was a violation of the canons of legal ethics.

As to the argument in Michigan, what Giuliani did is yet more incendiary. He in effect argued for the mass disenfranchisement of black people. He would revive a whole history of racial violence in the state, which decent citizens in both major political parties fervently hope is behind us.

Lawyers should be kicked out for making factually unsupported and unconscionably aimed racist arguments. Wherever that worm raises its head.


The company said they were prepared to offer me three million dollars. If they had offered me two Miss Universes, who knows?

Omar Torrijos
on rejecting an offer

Bear in mind…

The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it’s just sort of a tired feeling.

Paula Poundstone

Prisons are built with stones of Law, brothels with bricks of Religion.


In Washington, we know that there’s a huge difference between a prostitute and a politician. There are some things a prostitute won’t do.

Claire McCaskill


Contact us by email at fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

To fend off hackers, organized trolls and other online vandalism, our website comments feature is switched off. Instead, come to our Facebook page to join in the discussion.