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Brazil | Clicktivism and the Impeachment Question


It is being reported widely here in  Brazil that turnout for this past weekend’s pro-impeachment demonstrations was markedly lower — by  200% or more in the most visible of urban congregations — than that of the March impeachment rallies, themselves inflated by fancy  camera angles from news photographers.

Some 500 marchers turned out to call for the downfall of the Rousas much asseff government in Salvador, Bahia, for example — an electoral redoubt of the Workers Party since the defeat of Carlismo — a sort of regional Brazilian version of Mexico’s PRI — in recent elections.

The Radar column of Veja magazine suggests that this lack of activism be weighed against what is treated as a significant volume of supporting «clicktivist» chatter on «the social networks» …

But beware the clicktivist fallacy: the notion that computer and network users represent a segment of the population proportional to support for a given proposition.

Factor in the digital divide, in other words.

For example, if 52% of the population uses the Internet, including mobile Internet — 103 million Brazilians — and 48% does not, how representative are half a million Internauts discussing impeachment for good or ill?

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King Momo and the Car(nival) Wash


Viva o Zé Pereira,
Que a ninguém faz mal,
Viva a pagodeira,
Nos dias de Carnaval

As the annual revels get underway, the mighty Rooster of the Dawn, like most carnival societies, is not shy about lampooning its betters.

Bakhtin, after all, was right about the Carnivalesque and the four modalities of the WUD, or “world upside down.”

But not everyone is convinced. One the key figures in the Car Wash case is attempting — apparently successfully — to quash distribution of a mask depicting his face, exposing him to ridicule on national TV.

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PT | Sue You Too


Source:  PT (Brazilian political party)

The national president of the Workers’ Party,  Rui Falcão, announced today (February 11), that the party will sue former Petrobras manager Pedro Brausco, who accused the finance secretary of our party, João Vaccari Neto, of acting as a go-between in illegal fundraising for the party, without presenting any proof of this accusation.

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Car Wash Witness | Contrary to Fact Conditional Parole?

"They knew everything"

“They knew everything”

I was leafing idly through the news coverage of Operation Car Wash — a megascandal with dozens of suspects of operating illegally inside Petrobras — thinking of doing a coverage timeline of the scandal,  when I came across a surprising statement.

TV Globo said that its sources did not confirm the version published by Veja, and described the Folha article as “distorted.”

It is very rare to see these particular establishment media outlets criticizing one another in this way.  Normally, stories like this are handled as a three-man tag-team match.

According to Valor, however, the naming of politicians involved in the case will not occur until February — Ash Wednesday, when people finally get back to work.

A tropical W$J or FT in incubation, Valor has published as a joint venture with O Globo and the Folha de S. Paulo — odd bedfellowssince May 2000. With the demise of the Gazeta Mercantil, it represents a relative concentration of the market shared with Brasil Econômico — a cousin to the Rio daily O Dia — and the business pages of the Estado de S. Paulo, along with the weekly Exame (Abril).

Bloomberg, Reuters. AFP, Yahoo News and others add a foreign flavor to the mix. The flow of information from various sources cannot but encourage the market observer.

Rumor and leakage in the Petrobras case do appear to have died down since mid-December as defendants — and officers of the court, including the federal police  — honor the gag order, in the case of defendants on pain of losing their plea deal, and leaky civil servants suffering administrative punishment.

Backgrounders [+]:

  1. Car Wash | Big Brother Is Watching
  2. Nassif on Car Wash | The Tipping Point?
  3. Watergate Braziliense: The Leaky Police on the Leaky Police

Source: CartaCapital (October 30, 2014):

Correction to Youssef deposition is a “lie,” attorney says.

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Lies, Damned Lies and Infographics? | Folha de S. Paulo


Item: Blog da Cidadania |

This is how it works: the passerby reads only the front page headline and skips the article to which it applies. In this way he forms his “opinion” based on a short, snappy phrase and goes around parroting the headlines of these news media, which, as a rule, distort the reporting of the top story.

For this reason, other news outlets — even more tendentious than the others — place their faith in the sale of short, stereotyped ideas which in a manner of seconds implant theses of all kinds in the mind of these consumers of  “fast-food information”.


Such was the case of the notorious election-eve campaign of Veja magazine, which throughout the most recent election campaign, distributed giant banners to newsstand vendors, free of charge, containing accusations against Dilma Rousseff and the PT which, if you actually read them, are obviously nothing than insinuations.

In today’s example, the headline is grounded in an infographic purporting to support the headline that “Dilma is responsible for the Petrogras scandal” according to 63% of survey subjects.

“Brazilians [ the common Brazilian ] blame(s) Dilma for corruption.”

Do they? The juggernaut of a recent march calling for the impeachment of Rousseff swelled to an amazing 500 to 300, and at some point the event turned into a free for all between the two groups of Potemkin villagers.

datafolha-41 (1)

The infographic reproduced on the front page does not assist the reader much in understanding the situation. What registers most is the negative headline about Dilma.

Notice, dear reader, how the phrase is perfectly comprehensible even in the miniaturized version between the top headline and the fold on the front page. Turning to the inside pages, we will begin discovering facts that the headline obscures.

And although the subhed underneath the headline reveals that an overwhelming 46% of those interviewed by Datafolha believe Dilma has done more to fight corruption than her predecessors — more than Lula, even — her party maintains that her popularity has weathered the storm of political attacks against her since her second-round victory.

What is more, the graphic displays an extremely negative fact about the PSDB: ex-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso appears to have been extremely lenient in the fight against corruption. Only 4% of those surveyed believe corruption was combated during his government, second only to Fernando Collor, believed by 11% to have done most against corruption.


This would make a good critical reading exercise for a Brazilian high-schooler, studying up for his ENEMs, but I will simply cite some of the conclusions of Edu Guimarães, with right of reply assumed by the Estado de S. Paulo from today’s editorial page.

As you can see, the Folha shied away from publishing on the front page the fact that only 43% believed Dilma behaved in a corrupt manner while in charge of Petrobras, and that 45% considered her responsibility for the scandal negligible to none.

And so the Folha and Datafolha plot the intersection of the 43% who accuse Dilma with involvement with that of the 25% who, in answering other portions of the survey, indicate that Dilma is less responsible because of anti-corruption efforts that exceeded those of her predecessors.

The Folha has produced another farce based on market research that, though the bombastic headline suggests otherwise — that there exists a steep decline in confidence — actually shows that most of the population with an opinion on the Petrobras case are supporting Rousseff’s actions against corruption.


Some 75% of Brazilians find their government excellent or acceptable as of December 3

Brazilians apparently recognize that there is institutional progress in the investigation of wrong-doing. Only the PT militants incapable of their removing their blinders will fail to notice that only a few attribute this progress to the president herself — on the contrary, 43% believe she is greatly responsible for corruption.

It is not that Brazilians have a high tolerance for criminality; it is more likely that gratitude for social programs realized over the past 12 years is a determining factor.

But let Dilma beware, because her popularity owes more than her political capital can repay. This capital will dry up as soon as taxpayers suffer the harsh measures that mismanagement during her first mandate become inevitable.

The ESP is a conservative paper with a generally admirable track record of loyalty to the Empire of Fact.

The Numbers

No fewer than 85% of Brazilians surveyed in 173 townships say they are convinced that there was corruption in Petrobras, the scandal of the moment. Worse: 68% believe the president has some involvement in the case.

It cannot be pleasant for the current government to see that it loses only to the Collor government (1990-92) as the government with the most corruption, a proposition believed by 20% and 29% of those surveyed.

There is a certain confusion in all these surveys as to whether the survey is meant to measure the (mostly media-driven) perception of corruption and opinions about actual, proven cases of corruption.


A more telling statistic is the number of  Federal Police  operations during each presidential term. Under Lula, operations realized starting in 2003 outgrew police investigations by FHC by a factor of 50, and white collar crime was a significant new priority.

After the political defenestration of Paulo Lacerda from the PF and ABIN (the Brazilian CIA), the numbers have fallen off a bit, it seems, but there are a number of major cases in the pipeline.

Despite this, 42% assess the Dilma government as excellent or good. This is the same index announced on October 20, just before the second round. It appears that the intense revelations about wrongdoing at Petrobras has not been sufficient to undermine her prestige.

Media Blitz 2014: Coffee, Cream and Sugar at Presidential Debates

A report on the current incarnation of the hoary old Café com Leite economic and political movements — a phrase used to describe the ideological dichotomies of the Old Republic of the late XIX Century.

(Milk stands for agricultural Minas Gerais while São Paulo still embraces the ways of  the fantastic, legendary coffee bubble.

The old coffee exchange still stands in the vicinity of Wall and Pearl Streets, I think. I just remember being surprised to come across an almost identical building in the port of Santos, with the same title.

Northeastern sugarcane completes the picture and I sigh after taking a cautious slurp.

My translation, with minor corrections to preserve the flow.

During the second round of elections,  (PSDB) will rely on support that far exceeds the numbers of its campaign supporters and militants.

According to the  Manchetômetro [Headline Watch],  which monitors  election media coverage  on a daily site, in a typical week has yielded a wealth of stories and articles contrary to reelection of Dilma. The group recently counted 79 negative headlines about Dilma and only 10 (ten) about the center-right Toucan candidate, Neves.

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Globo | «Tax Cheat Case Remains Active »


Source: Barão de Itararé

We now have a number and a name: [Federal Police] Investigation 926 / 2013 will be commanded by federal police officer Rubens Lyra.

The headquarters of the Federal Police’s tax enforcement division, Fabio Ricardo Ciavolih Mota, confirmed to a group of Barao reporters who went to interview him: A police investigation of tax and financial crimes allegedly committed by Globo in 2002, is formally underway.

TV Globo’s financial crimes in the Virgin Islands were initially identified by an international cooperation agency. TV Globo had used a front company to acquire the rights to broadcast the 2002 World Cup, without paying taxes.  Continue reading