Everybody. Get up, dance and sing. Everybody. Get up, do your thing.
You will note, dear and gentle reader, that there are Pajamas Media buttons and ads aplenty, finally, on this site.
Go forth ye, and clickety-click, so that the advertising revenue will multiply. Amen. Look at the sidebar on the right. Click. Click again. Rinse, lather, repeat.
Of the four countries that registered an outright decline in status, the most significant was the Philippines. The decision to downgrade this country from Free to Partly Free was based on credible allegations of massive electoral fraud, corruption, and the government’s intimidation of elements in the political opposition. (Click here for tables from the report, and click here for a lengthier explanation of the report).
Naturally, the Daily Tribune gleefully reports the, well, report.
On another note, the President has appointed Artemio Panganiban as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The scuttlebutt, until shortly before the President finally made her announcement last night, was that the chief executive was unable to make a decision at all; in fact, the President should have announced her choice at the testimonial dinner for Hilario Davide. Further scuttlebutt had it that her choices were limited to Justices Panganiban or Puno, but that Puno had threatened to quit if he wasn’t selected (when told this, I replied that there might be initial fallout from a Puno resignation, but it was a silly threat to make, if true: the President could easily say, fine, quit, and I’ll have the pleasure of appointing a Chief Justice and a brand new Justice, too).
To lift a line from Casablanca, Ricky Carandang is shocked, shocked, that no reforms took place in the Constitutional Commission! I’m not; in my Arab News column for this week, I suggest the report has Deafening Echoes of the 1972 Constitutional Convention (just read it to find out why). Ellen Tordesillas describes the absence of any redeeming features in the proposed Constitution as hubris. My Liberal Times points out something I pointed out months and months ago too, on TV: the President manages to wield the agenda-setting power of the presidency most effectively.
Click above to hear “Im shocked, shocked, to find out that gambling is going on in here!” (Courtesy of Vincent’s Casablanca Home Page).
On a related note (the ConCom dropped Federalism), Abe Margallo recounts pro and con exchanges he’s had concerning Federalism. This column by Emil Jurado reminds me of a discussion I had the other night with some friends. I said, the best argument against Federalism is the failure of the MMDA and the complete selfishness of Metro Manila mayors. Federalism at its worst, I thought, would resemble Metro Manila: a kind of Federal body devoid of meaningful authority, with local governments running amok.
Are we closer to finally opening the NAIA III airport terminal, and getting rid of the original? Will peasants get their little piece of Hacienda Luisita?
katataspulong discusses the history of the concept of having an Ombudsman, past Ombudsmen, and what to expect from the new Ombudsman (will Merceditas Guiterrez take a dive, or become a cleaner-upper?).
Newsstand wonders if subtracting negative from positive survey ratings is misleading; it might be better to simply report both figures.
Overseas, Pajamas Media does a roundup report on the controversies surrounding election results in Iraq (I can’t resist resorting to that classic Casablanca line, for the 2nd time in this post: “We’re shocked, shocked, that cheating is going on here!”). Slate Magazine does a roundup of blogosphere comments as well. The brouhaha is due to the winning faction resembling the Iranian way of thinking, while America’s boys seem to have done pretty badly. Here’s a sober view from someone in the region.
Richard Gott of the Guardian says the new President of Bolivia may be a symbol of a Socialist renaissance in Latin America (the author is an admirer, it seems, of Hugo Chavez).
Here’s something oddly familiar: India worries it won’t be able to fill call center jobs soon. (But I guess Indian children aren’t instructed to color clouds blue!)
Flagrant Harbor dissects a manifesto on the Siege of Wanchai.
BuzzMachine unleashes a rant about the New York City transit strike.
Intriguing new site: [[ok!]]