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Conflate not

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Of course

“[I]t is more than likely that the transition report’s main theme would be:  ‘It’s worse than we thought.’ ” — MV editorial, Dec. 9, 20...

Cue the trumpets

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CNMI Labor’s urgent tasks

UNDER the new administration, workforce development will remain one of the top goals of the local labor department. To ...

Good luck

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Good choice

ON Monday morning, just before he was sworn in,  the CNMI’s 10th governor made one of his first crucial decisions as chief executive....


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THE local spending measures signed into law last week by the outgoing governor will fund a municipal scholarship program, other government ...

New year, old issues

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Government is to public funds as gasoline is to fire

THE fatal “defect” of the BOOST program is that while everyone can apply, not everyone will ...

Merry Christmas!

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LIVING in a democratic society is one of the greatest blessings known to humanity, but it is usually taken for granted by many of us who ...

Don’t hold your breath

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Legislation and governance

ACCORDING to one of its members, the incoming Legislature wants to “fix” the CNMI’s “problems.” Sure. After all, that’...

Carry on

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As old as new

NOW that the election year’s political argument has been settled by voters, we expect the incoming administration to retain its pre...

Easy does it

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In praise of the election commission

COUNTING the votes cast in a democratic election should be quick and easy especially in this high-tech world...

Tell it like it is

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Now or never? Not really.

IF you know who to vote for, and why, then you don’t need a reminder to “go out and vote.” However, if you don’t want t...


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Not the first time

 UNDER current law, the Independent group led by the Palacios-Apatang tandem is not a “recognized political party.” Hence, the...

Ah, democracy

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All together now

IT was, generally speaking, a smooth election. As usual, there were long lines on Election Day, but imagine how longer they coul...

As usual

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Words, words, words

 IN an election year, many politicians will say many things that many voters want to hear. Hence, many candidates are “for” t...

Beyond blah

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Stick to the subject

THE controversy over the date and venue of the governor’s State of the Commonwealth Address is a distraction from the truly ...

No doubt about it

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‘There will be furloughs’

REGARDING the governor’s State of the Commonwealth Address, Rep. Ed Propst on Tuesday said:

“To pretend that we’r...

A thousand times no

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Here we go again

THE proposed tobacco (and sweetened beverages) tax hike is unlikely to raise additional revenue or improve public health. Moreov...

Small mercies

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No to tax hikes

THE fiscal year 2023 budget law does not include the tobacco and sugar-sweetened beverages tax hike provisions offered by the Hou...

Politics and other calamities

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Budget bunkum

HOW can you as a lawmaker assure “the people” that you “work for them” when you can’t or are unable to prevent a partial government...

Flying by the seat of their pants

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Who’s to blame? Who else!

LAWMAKERS have seven days to pass the fiscal year 2023 budget bill. Ideally, the bill should have been on the governor’...

Let them drink beer

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Progressive regression

IT seems that all elected officials and candidates for office are “pro-business,” especially small businesses. (Incidental...

‘Business’ as usual

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Can kickers

 THE fiscal year 2023 budget bill passed by the House includes a provision that would increase the tobacco tax to $4.75 from $3.75, a...

Show us the money

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To the rescue!

ACCORDING to the Office of Personnel Management’s desk audit, the Department of Corrections needs more personnel. Corrections, whi...

Good news and not so good news

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Don’t just say it; do it

GOOD news for the CNMI:

• a new inter-island airline, Marianas Southern Airways, has launched its inaugural flight...


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AFTER noting that the CNMI government remains largely dependent on ARPA funds (which will be depleted soon) and has to, once again, spe...

Promises, promises

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Finding funding

ELECTED officials have been making donations to the youth and the elderly while implementing village projects that will benefit c...

Some of this, some of that

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Cricket sounds

OVER two years since its outbreak, Covid-19 is still a global pandemic and a major public health concern. Government-imposed restr...

'No mas'

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Can you legislate ‘action’?

SEVERAL years ago, a Koblerville resident complained about “unruly” juveniles who “hung out” in abandoned homes some ...

A case of the blahs

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Third stage of grief

FOLLOWING  a series of fuel and electricity price hikes, many of us have quickly gone through the first two stages of grief ...

No kidding

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No fuel, no power, no rate hike

A LAWMAKER says CUC should be “creative” and “avoid any utility rate increase every time fuel costs go up.”

The bad and the good

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A CNMI lawmaker said people are “suffering” from high prices, but their salaries “have not been raised.”

Let’s — to quote a former gov...

True story

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Lesson learned? Don’t count on it

ASKED why the Saipan delegation acted on the e-gaming fee hike bill without a public hearing and without commen...

Money, money, money

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The lay of the land

AT a recent House budget hearing, a lawmaker complained about appropriated public funds that had not been disbursed to the in...

Plenty to be proud of

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Go get ‘em

PEOPLE can — and they usually do — complain about many things regarding life in these small remote islands scattered in the Pacific’s ...

Dying to know

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Kick the can…

THE 179-page House committee report on the “health network” (medical referral) bill includes the following ominous phrase:



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Politicians giveth and politicians taketh away

IN January 1984, the CNMI government enacted legislation that, among other things, imposed a 1% “O...


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And that’s a wrap (for now)

FINALLY, it’s over. Well, sort of. We’re referring to the impeachment phase of a political feud that has been raging ...


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2011 again?

RECENTLY, lawmakers have passed several spending measures funded by fees and/or taxes paid by IPI which is now buried in debt — and l...

A solution in search of a problem

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It is so easy to be wrong – and to persist in being wrong – when the costs of being wrong are paid by others.

 —Thomas ...

And the blah goes on

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POLITICIANS, more often than not, say the darndest things. Recently one of them stated that the “will of the people…elected a new majorit...

Do no further harm, please

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A wage hike, of course

PROPONENTS of the House wage-hike measure, H.B. 22-98, are concerned about the rising cost of living in the CNMI. Hence, t...

On and on

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For courtroom dramas, see Netflix

THE justice system in a democracy is not as exciting or dramatic as it is often depicted in movies or TV shows....

He said, she said, they said

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It’s one darn thing…

HERE’S how retirees can finally receive their Christmas holiday bonuses in April: the House and the Senate should pass the r...

Eight more months

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Forward, ever forward

 THE Senate has approved the impeachment trial rules. What’s next? The rules say the Senate president may refer the article...

Dramatis personae

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Don’t do this at home

THE scene in the Senate chamber on Monday afternoon could have been a sight to behold  if only the protagonists were arguin...

And we’re rolling

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THE House session on Tuesday once again reminded “The People” (i.e., voters) that all lawmakers support giving retirees a bonus —  that l...

More or less

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The nerve

LAWMAKERS opposed to the governor “investigated” his public expenditures, which the same lawmakers believe are excessive. Result? His o...