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Paraguay: First TREP Results

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Click to zoom.

First TREP (electronic quick count) results from Paraguay’s TSJE shows Lugo with 39% and Blanca Ovelar with 32%, with some 18% of the precincts counted. Not much data is provided. Certainly nothing like the live data feed provided in Mexico in 2006.

The Colorados are calling the results of a number of exit polls, reportedly indicating a Lugo victory with 41% to 43% of the vote, “a tecnical tie.”

But is the margin of error of the exit polls really 8% or so? A “technical tie” is a result in which the difference is less than the polling margin of error, right?

The Lugo coalition, I believe I read (DCI/Agência Estado) has said they will not rely on the TREP results for any decision-making, whether to claim victory or concede defeat.

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Rio: “Title Insurance Comes From the Barrel of a Gun”?

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Bat macumba oba: The Batman shield marks militia-protected homes and businesses in Rio’s Western District — and appears on the campaign advertising of two local candidates. See Rio: “Armed Groups Interfere With Freedom of Association” for the paramilitary element in local politics … in regions where you either watch Rede Globo on GatoNet or somebody shoots you.

Associação de Moradores fazia o registro irregular de terrenos em loteamento clandestino de milicia: O Globo reports on an alleged scheme to falsify title to public property misappropriated by armed “vigilante” groups in the Western Zone of Rio de Janeiro.

A follow-up to

And you thought New York real estate was a cutthroat market?

The black-market in real estate is a central motif in Globo’s current prime-time soap opera, weirdly.

The scheme was reportedly denounced by a rivial militia leader who is also a political rival of the current (alleged) militia leader.

RIO – A Associação de Moradores de Rio das Pedras (Amarp) está envolvida na ocupação de áreas públicas loteadas por integrantes da milícia que controla a favela, de acordo com reportagem publicada no jornal “O Globo” desta quinta-feira. Lotes vendidos pela imobiliária Betel foram registrados na entidade mediante o pagamento de uma taxa de R$ 150. A descoberta foi feita nesta quarta-feira durante uma operação da Coordenadoria Integrada de Combate aos Crimes Ambientais (Cicca), da Secretaria estadual do Ambiente, que demoliu nove casas construídas na faixa marginal de proteção da Lagoa da Tijuca, na localidade da Areinha. As invasões começaram há dois meses, após outra intervenção do estado que retirou os chiqueiros que ocupavam a área e terrenos vizinhos.

The Rio das Pedras Residents’ Association (AMARP) is involved in the occupation of public land squatted by members of the militia that controls the community, according to a report in O Globo on Thursday. Lots sold by a real estate brokerage known as Betel were registered with AMARP in return for a payment of R$150. The discovery was made during a raid by the environmental crimes unit of the state secretary of the environment, which demolished nine residences constructed on the banks of the Lagoa da Tijuca inn Areinha. The invasions began two months ago, after another state intervention dislodged squatters that were occupying that area and neighboring tracts of lands.

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The Gray Lady on Weaponized Fake News

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The plausibly deniable punditry corps: Major Bob Bevelacqua on Fox News

Stealth marketing harms, I argue, by degrading public discourse and undermining the public’s trust in mediated communication. Doubt that an editor has an authentic voice leads to an overgeneralization of distrust as audiences come to believe that mediated speech is inauthentic or untrue even when it is not. The law of bribery as well as public discourse theory helps to show how such distrust corrupts the kind of communicative public sphere that a democracy needs.Stealth Marketing and Editorial Integrity, Ellen P. Goodman. Texas Law Review. Austin: Nov 2006. Vol. 85, Iss. 1; pg. 83, 70 pgs.

Behind Military Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand: Top headline in the New York Times today addresses undisclosed conflicts of interest.

File under

“Stealth Marketing and Editorial Integrity”

As you know, I have been closely following efforts here in Brazil to out these sort of practices, with which the Brazilian news media is absolutely lousy.

But I would not want Brazilian friends to think I am pointing out the mote in their eye while ignoring the beam in my gringo gaze.

Brazil is a young democracy making an effort to rid itself of the disease of banana-republican black propaganda and jabaculê. But we are Fortress Democracy, right? So what’s our excuse?

Gist: Independent “military analysts” who serve as network talking heads do not disclose their vested interest in the analysis they provide.

Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air. Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves. But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. The companies include defense heavyweights, but also scores of smaller companies, all part of a vast assemblage of contractors scrambling for hundreds of billions in military business generated by the administration’s war on terror. It is a furious competition, one in which inside information and easy access to senior officials are highly prized

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Softballs and 8-Balls: The WaPo Interviews Uribe

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CSIS: “Colombia has successfully avoided the Apocalypse.” But see also Colombia: Uribe Warns of the Apocalypse.

A Conversation With Álvaro Uribe (Washington Post):

President Álvaro Uribe of Colombia is in a corner. A staunch U.S. ally in a region where anti-American sentiment is fashionable, Uribe has successfully fought the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which the United States considers a terrorist group, and has combated drug traffickers. But his attempts to secure a free-trade pact with Washington have recently been stymied. Last week, at a World Economic Forum meeting in Cancun, Mexico, Uribe talked with Newsweek-Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth.

It’s amazing to me that the Washington Post could sit down with President Uribe to discuss progress, or lack thereof, toward a U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement without once mentioning the fact that Uribe’s political base has been pretty much devastated by accusations that it practiced “parapolitics.”

Or the allegations that continue to dog Uribe, according to which the Uribe clan itself ran marching powder from Tranquilandia to Gringolandia in its time.

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Paraguay: Election of the Living Dead?

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Froilán Galeano Noguera, born 1868, will vote in the Guajayi district today, claims ABC.

ABC Digital (Asunción, Paraguay) complains that Paraguay is about to have an election that makes the skulduggery presided over by Katharine Harris of Florida and Ken Blackwell of Ohio look like the tenure of Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis as commissioner of baseball during the Black Sox scandal.

Opposition parties are refusing to recognize the results of the TREP electronic quick-count system that will be broadcast today — including by CNN, I believe I read. Let me check that.

Globo (Brazil) is reporting on the morning news that the vote will be recorded with paper ballots rather than the Brazilian voting machine.

Globo also manages to illustrate the statement that “the climate is tense” with several man on the street interviews with people saying that things seem clam and that they do not expect any disturbances or trouble.

Ecce Globo. It has apparently bungled its use of personagens — in order to promote a specific interpretation of a situation or event, you put on two or three very brief vox populi interviews that tend to support it.

These sorts of quick counts did not go well in Mexico and Ecuador in recent years.

And in Honduras as well, where, as in Ecuador, technical assistance from the Brazilian consortium used by Brazil’s own election authority failed to produce a count.

Officials hoped that the system, known as the TREP (Transmission of Preliminary Electoral Results), could offer an accurate picture of the standings by 6:00 on election night. These hopes quickly unraveled on election night however. With only 40 of the 1,618 TREP stations reporting (less than 3%) by 10:00 PM, four hours after the time when initial figures were slated to be released, it was clear that the count was not going smoothly. With the TREP clearly non-functional, the TSE turned to reporting the results of a backup system for a preliminary tally, which relied on a quick poll rather than hard numbers, an action which “provoked tension and uncertainty,” according to the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal.

In Mexico, the company hired (without competitive bidding) to conduct the “PREP” quick count belonged to the brother-in-law of one of the candidates (the one later declared the winner, and whose party was caught in illegal possession of the voter database, in the Hildebrando117 case.)

On the bright side, Paraguayans can access the voter registry with their cell phone! If they have one.

ABC is also reporting that it will be charged with violating electioneering laws with its front-page editorial cartoon today — which shows Lugo winning the race (see below).

A follow-up to Democracy of the Dead: Eyes on Paraguay’s Election Day.

Personas de 140 años que votarán, cédulas clonadas, electores que fueron dispersados, vivos que aparecen como muertos y muertos que aparecerán como vivos son algunas de las graves irregularidades del padrón con el que Paraguay votará hoy. Este registro beneficia al partido gobernante que maneja el aparato estatal y posee infraestructura asegurada para llevar a votar a su gente.

140-year-olds who will vote, cloned ballots, voters dispersed to distant precincts, living voters recorded as dead and dead voters recorded as alive — these are some of the serious irregularities in the voter registration database with which Paraguay goes to vote today. This registry benefits the ruling party that runs the machinery of state and has the infrastructure to deliver the vote to its own people.

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