Editorials: Assigning blame; and the GOP sinks into violent madness again

Panamanian political culture
Blocking the road in Pueblo Nuevo. Photo from several spots on Twitter, nobody credited for the photo.

Uh huh…

Many households in Panama City’s Pueblo Nuevo had been without electricity for five days, so some of the residents began to block traffic.

The electric company said it was a blown transformer, and blamed the people who live in the neighborhood.

Perhaps the ASEP utilities regulator, as it now is on the PRD shift, will buy that excuse. It’s very much the style that the anointee in the PRD primary, Vice President Gaby Carrizo, behaved during last year’s militant strikes.

In case you haven’t noticed, this kind of stuff is no way to run a country.


          Ted Nugent’s homophobic pro-Putin rant in Waco. The MAGAs applaud.

GOP madness

Uh huh. The Donald held a rally in Waco, commemorating the uprising led by a religious fanatic in 1993, wherein 86 people, many of them children, were killed. But of course, to the gun nuts among the MAGAs, David Koresh’s rifles were supposed to protect against a raid by the AFT or any other act deemed to be government repression.

As the rally opened, Trump saluted the flag. But rising above the flags, behind the former president a large screen showed images of the January 6 Capitol riot, in which Trump’s forces tried to stop the orderly succession of power, in accordance with US laws and the will of the voters. For the background music, Trump played a song recorded by a choir of men who were jailed for participation in that riot.

Back in 2016, Trump led people in “Lock her up!” chants. In Waco in 2023, he screeched like a wounded bird about the possibility of he, himself, being locked up. He threatened death and destruction.

You know what? Trump SHOULD be indicted, convicted and sent to prison, for any of a number of serious crimes. Paying off a hooker to stay silent and keep his 2016 campaign on track was one of his lesser offenses.

It’s not in the public eye right now, and there would be problems because a principal witness is awaiting trial on Odebrecht bribe charges, but when Trump tried to thwart the ruling of a US bankruptcy court AND of the former Trump Ocean Club condo owners by leaning on former Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela, he was obstructing justice and also trying to extort an emolument from a foreign potentate, which would have been a violation of the US Constitution had it been forthcoming and accepted.

It’s not just a matter of the sovereignty of the American people to bring Donald Trump to justice. It’s also a matter of righting a wrong in US-Panamanian relations. And would Uncle Sam be left with only tainted evidence? It would seem likely that US intelligence agencies would have electronic communications intercepts and other proofs to bolster the case.

There are other cases with priority. Perhaps the biggest investigation, not yet concluded, is about whether the classified documents that Trump stole were passed on to any foreign powers.

Yes, Trump has violent neofascists, “patriot” militias and other flavors of gunmen on his side. Maybe he can get Marjorie Taylor Greene to whip out her machine gun and join in the fray. None of that should be allowed to stop or delay the due process of law.

Many Republicans look on with dismay and search for an alternative. Maybe a Ron DeSantis book burning would be more fun for them.

Not to say that everything blue is perfect, that the Democrats have all the correct answers. But today’s Republican Party is a disgraceful mess. They’re “conservatives” running on pure hatred, not to actually conserve anything.

Not since the run-up to the Civil War have the choices that US voters will face next year been so stark.


Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor. Shutterstock image.

           To know another language is to have a second soul.


Bear in mind…

The world won’t give you any gifts. If you want to have a life, steal it.

Lou Andreas-Salomé


The thing I remember best about successful people I’ve met all through the years is their obvious delight in what they’re doing, and it seems to have very little to do with worldly success. They just love what they’re doing, and they love it in front of others.

Fred Rogers


A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.

Virginia Woolf


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