Washington, D.C. – Time and again, at meetings of the National Governors’ Association (NGA), there is one recurring issue that’s always on its agenda: the continuing gridlock in Washington, D.C. and the ineffectiveness of the U.S. federal government to meet the needs of the 50 states of the union.
“Americans — Democrats and Republicans alike — are fed up, and are now ready to turn their backs on the Washington government,” according to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R), chair of the NGA. In a hastily-called press conference today, the NGA revealed that all 50 states will have a ballot initiative during the mid-term elections this November that would authorize the governors to officially secede from the United States. If voters pass each and every one of the ballot initiatives, the federal government will, in effect, be abolished, along with all federal laws including those on immigration, taxation and defense. While the states will still be collectively identified as the United States, the state governments will have full control and authority over all affairs.
According to a poll conducted by Gallup, and released during the NGA press conference, there are at least 10 states in which the secession initiative has a majority of voter support. These include Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan and Kentucky. Only two states seem to be against the initiative — Utah and California. The initiative is a toss-up in all the remaining states.
Meanwhile, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) said that the Aloha state has a second ballot initiative that would make Hawaii a totally independent Pacific Island nation.
Manila, Philippines – In the U.S., the First Family will host the 136th annual White House Easter Egg Roll on April 21 which is expected to draw 30,000 people to the South Lawn of the presidential residence. Those in luck will be able to take home keepsake eggs in bold colors stamped with the signatures of President and Mrs. Barack Obama.
In the Philippines, President Noynoy Aquino, in his bid to bring Malacañang Palace (the presidential residence) closer to the people, has announced the first ever “balut hunt” this coming Easter Sunday. He hopes to make this an annual tradition even among his presidential successors. This new tradition, cooked up by Aquino’s brilliant press office staff, will feature a hunt for red, white, blue and yellow- painted balut with Aquino’s thumb print on them, hidden in the unkempt lawn of the palace. Those are the colors of the Philippine flag. The event will be open to a maximum of 1,000 children of families who must pay a registration fee of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (in excess of $2,000) per attendee.
The deadline for registration has been set for April 18, Good Friday. No checks or credit cards accepted. Cash only.
Balut is a Filipino delicacy of boiled duck embryo (see photo).
New York, New York – The Pulitzer Prize Board announced today that The Onion has been awarded a 2014 Pulitzer Prize, joining other winners from The Washington Post, Boston Globe, Oregonian and Detroit Free Press all of which were revealed yesterday. The board said that it specifically delayed the announcement of the award to The Onion to generate more attention to the new award category of “Amazing News.”
The Pulitzer Prize has been awarding excellence in journalism and the arts since 1917.
Champagne flowed at the undisclosed offices of The Onion as the publisher and editors made the announcement to their staff.
Unlike the other prizes, the category of “Amazing News” is not awarded to a single story, series or work. Rather, it is an encompassing recognition of “a consistent and trademark news coverage that always catches the attention of readers,” according to the Pulitzer board.
The 2014 Finalists for the “Amazing News” Pulitzer included ‘The Andy Borowitz Report’ published by The New Yorker, and the independently-published The Adobo Chronicles.
Manila, Philippines - President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to the Philippines later this month is being described as an effort to seal the friendship between Uncle Sam and Juan dela Cruz. Negotiations are underway to finalize a bilateral agreement that would increase U.S. military presence in what America considers as a strategic stronghold in the Asia-Pacific region. Obama and Philippine President NoyNoy Aquino are expected to sign the agreement while Obama will be in Manila.
Not so fast. Senator Nancy Binay, daughter of incumbent Vice President Jejomar Binay, and sister of Congresswoman Abigail Binay and Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay, has filed a Senate bill calling for the secession of the Philippines from the U.S. The senator says she believes the Philippines will do just fine without the U.S. “After being colonized by Spain for hundreds of years, occupied by Japan during the last world war, and imperialized by the U.S. and Hollywood for decades, it is time we stand on our own two feet,” Binay told reporters at a press conference at The Manila Hotel, just blocks away from the U.S. Embassy.
Obama is faced by secession threats in his own country, with several states wanting to sever their ties from the Union. The latest state to give notice of secession is Wisconsin.
One critic of Binay was quoted as saying, “I think what the senator really meant was a ‘cessation’ of the negotiations on the bilateral agreement.
PACMAN VS. TAXMAN: INTERNAL REVENUE CHIEF FLYING TO LAS VEGAS TO PERSONALLY COLLECT TAXES FROM PACQUIAO
Manila, Philippines – The Commissioner of the Philippines’ Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is flying to Las Vegas today to personally collect taxes on Manny Pacquiao’s earnings from the latter’s latest championship fight. Pacquiao on Saturday regained the WBO welterweight title from American Timothy Bradley. Pacquiao, who won by a unanimous decision, is expected to pocket some $20 Million in prize money, in addition to an unspecified percentage of receipts from Pay Per View’s cable coverage of the event.
In recent months, Commissioner Kim Henares has been after Pacquiao and other high-profile celebrities in what many believe is her personal crusade to prevent her tax agency from bankruptcy. She believes her policy of going after the “big guns” will salvage the BIR from total collapse.
In a statement made to reporters at the Departure VIP Lounge of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Henares said she wanted to witness first hand how much the boxing promoter will give to Pacquiao as his prize money. She plans to demand immediate payment of taxes from Pacquiao while she is in Las Vegas.
Henares admitted that her trip to Las Vegas is funded by taxpayer money but insisted that the expense is well worth the tax that will be collected from Pacquiao.
Tel Aviv, Israel - As the Office of the Philippine Ombudsman prepared to indict three senators for their alleged role in the 10 Billion-peso pork barrel scam, most Filipinos went about their usual traditional Lenten season rituals – fasting, abstaining from meat, visiting churches, praying the rosary, going through the stations of the cross (via crucis) and giving alms to the poor. There is much anticipation for Easter Sunday, which Catholics know to be the day that Jesus Christ resurrected following his death on the Cross.
The three senators – Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla – are about to face plunder and graft charges for allegedly pocketing their pork barrel funds in an elaborate scheme supposedly masterminded by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles who is now in detention.
Senator Revilla is on a different level of Lenten tradition, one that low to medium-income people don’t usually get the chance to experience. Revilla, his wife and children, are in the Holy Land on a religious pilgrimage to what is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus.
In a skype call with Revilla’s wife, Cavite Representative Lani Mercado-Revilla, she indicated that immediately upon their arrival in Jerusalem, she saw a transformation with the Senator. “His physical appearance and demeanor totally changed. He seemed like he was at peace, like he just came out of the confessional box. In fact, throughout our flight from Manila to Tel Aviv, Bong was very calm and kept on listening to a video recording of “My Way,” sung by Rose Fostanes, the Filipina caregiver and winner of the first “X Factor Israel.”
Mrs.Revilla denied that the family was planning to seek political asylum in Israel, adding: “when we return to the Philippines after the pilgrimage, Bong will make an important announcement.” She didn’t say whether that announcement would be “guilty” or “not guilty.”
Meanwhile, Senators Enrile and Estrada, appear to be observing the Lenten season in solitary confinement in their respective mansions, perhaps praying for divine intervention.
Las Vegas, Nevada – Manny Pacquiao won a 12-round unanimous decision over Timothy Bradley on Saturday to avenge his controversial 2012 loss to the previously unbeaten American. But that was not the big news.
Moments after losing the WBO welterweight crown to the Filipino boxer and congressman, Bradley accused Pacquiao’s mom Dionisia, popularly known as Mommy D, of voodooism. Bradley claims that Mommy D cast some witchcraft on him, causing him to be disoriented in the last few rounds of the title fight at the MGM arena in Las Vegas.Mommy D was caught on camera, clutching a rosary and a tiny missalette, uttering unintelligible words while pointing at the American boxer.
It is believed that witchcraft is still practiced in parts of the Philippines and there still exist some occasional witches, locally known as mangkukulam.
The Pacquiao camp, however, simply dismissed Bradley’s accusation as “sour grapes.”
Manila, Philippines - Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay said yesterday that as a nation “we are ready to die up to the last blood” in defending our territories. The warning was directed at China with whom the Philippines is engaged in a territorial dispute over the Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
Today, the 50 Million-strong Filipino National Coalition for Good Government (FNCGG) distanced itself from the vice president’s statement, saying that Binay should speak for himself. An FNCGG spokesperson said that Filipinos “have enough problems just surviving from poverty, natural disasters, political corruption and social ills, and we are not about to give up our lives over some corral reefs in the West Philippine Sea.”
Embarrassed by the FNCGG statement, Binay backtracked and clarified he was merely referring to the Philippine military which is committed to defend any unwarranted attack by the Chinese on Filipino naval ships and Filipino fishermen’s boats in the disputed area.
But the joint chiefs of staff of the Philippine military also distanced themselves from Binay’s warning to China. “The vice president is not even our commander-in-chief so how can he commit military personnel and resources to fight China to the last drop of our blood?” a top-ranking general said.
Political observers surmised that Binay was trying to project an image of a tough leader with a no-nonsense foreign policy as he positions himself for the 2016 Philippine presidential elections.
The Adobo Chronicles just learned that the vice president has fired his speech writer.
Manila, Philippines - The embattled general manager of Manila’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) may have the last laugh despite calls for his resignation for the problems that have been plaguing the light railway system in the populous metropolis.
Activist groups have demanded that Alan Vitangcol III step down from his post for mismanagement of the transport system that millions of residents depend on for their daily commute to and from their work places. Vitangcol is also accused of allegedly extorting $30 million from a Czech train car builder in exchange for being awarded an MRT expansion project contract.
Today, the International Association of Light Railway Systems (IALRS) announced that Manila’s MRT has been unanimously chosen to receive the prestigious 2014 Most Popular Transport System Award. The annual award is given to the railway system that has the largest patronage.
The international body said Manila’s MRT won the judges’ nod hands down, after they saw photos of the long lines of commuters waiting to board the commuter trains. “We haven’t seen such massive popularity among MRT systems anywhere in the world,” one of the judges commented.
This prestigious award adds to the long long list of international recognitions recently awarded to the Philippines. Last month, the Philippine cities of Makati and Pasig were named the selfie capital of the world.
Las Vegas, Nevada – The Clintons, without any doubt, have great talents outside of politics. Saxophone is to Bill Clinton, and Twerking is to Hillary Clinton. The former Secretary of State surprised her audience when she displayed her twerking abilities on stage during a speech at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries conference on April 10, 2014 in Las Vegas (see photo).
Twerking is a type of dancing in which an individual, usually female, dances to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low squatting stance. Introduced in the late 1990′s, twerking gained new popularity during last year’s MTV Video Music Awards in which Miley Cyrus twerked to the music of ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke.
Unlike Cyrus, who basically stripped down to flesh-colored underwear during her MTV performance, Clinton maintained her class by wearing her infamous pant suit.