More Sex Senator Fallout: The Hard Men Howl of Hogs

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Mercadante explains his abstention. “You cannot receive this information unless Bill Gates makes money in the process.”
Ecce Globo.

Item: Quem com porcos se mistura… (“if you lie down with dogs …”)

Col. Paulo Carvalho Espíndola (ret.) comments on the vindication of the “sex senator” for TERNUMA, or “Terrorism Never Again.”

TERNUMA is an NGO organized by military men “in pyjamas” (retired and in the reserves) as a retort to “Torture Never Again,” an organization seeking to hold the military to account for torture, murders and disappearances during the military regime of 1964-1985.

Sort of a “My Lai Veterans for you want the truth? You can’t HANDLE the truth!”

More commentary on the impeachment proceedings against the President of the Senate — I like to call him, tongue in cheek, “the sex senator” because of the lurid circumstances of the “exposé” that kicked off the campaign to bork the guy:

I should add Mino Carta’s brief commentary on the incident — “hot off the old Olivetti” — and Mainardi’s, just to complete the set and win the free steak knives.

IstoÉ magazine reports, in a political gossip item this week, by the way, that “journalist” Mônica Veloso, who bore the senator a son while reportedly recording their pillow talk, then had her palimony lawyer tell her side of the story to Veja magazine (anonymously) is now worried about the fate of her cross-promoted Playboy Brasil pictorial spread.

Mônica reveals all!

She was slated for the September issue but did not appear, in all her botoxed and bikini-waxed glory, as scheduled. (The world-famous Brazilian bikini wax is also popularly known down here as  a “Hitler.”) Without explanation. Veja and Playboy are both owned by the Abril publishing group.

Sort of an anti-Scheherazade, Mônica — in that conjugal bed, the mad king was the one doing all the talking, apparently.

Mais quarenta quadrilheiros apareceram, mesmo que ainda acobertados pelo anonimato do voto secreto. Isso me faz lembrar a sabedoria do meu saudoso pai, que dizia: “quem com porcos se mistura, farelo come”.

Another forty gangsters appeared, though under the cover of the anonymity provided them by the secret ballot. It reminds me of the wisdom of my sainted father, who used to say, “If you mix in with pigs, you wind up eating pig-slop”

Something like “he who lies down with dogs wakes up with fleas.”

O Ali Lulalá – o grande mudo desde que o escândalo Renan Calheiros aflorou na mídia, em maio do corrente ano -, diante da obscena absolvição do presidente do Congresso, prontamente se manifestou, dizendo que “o problema está restrito ao Senado Federal, que agora pode trabalhar em prol de projetos da mais alta relevância do país, como a CPMF e a reforma tributária”. Existem coisas mais importantes para o Brasil do que a ética, a probidade na acepção da palavra e a aversão do povo brasileiro ao que aí está?

Ali Baba-Lula-Allah — who has been mute since the Calheiros scandal flowered in the media since May — in the face of the obscene absolution of president of the Congress, immediately stated an opinion, saying that “this problem is the Senate’s alone, which can now return to working on bills that are of the highest moment to Brazil, such as the CPMF [tax extension] and tax reform.” You mean there are more important things in Brazil than ethics, than keeping your word, than the revulsion of the Brazilian people at what we are witnessing?

It is a common error of literary allusion to refer to thieves as “Ali Baba,” as in “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.”

But Ali Baba himself is actually a victim of thieves, who triumphs over them in the end. Gorily. With the help of God. Because he is righteous man who repents of his own immorality.

I happen to know there is now a very good Portuguese translation of the 1,001 Nights based on the Haddawy edition. You should read it.

Pior do que o voto secreto dos quarenta comedores de farelo foi a abstenção de seis senadores. Tratava-se de mero plebiscito entre pares. Nesse caso, abster-se, para mim, significa conchavo dos bastidores imundos da politicalha, que vive e sobrevive com os votos de brasileiros enlevados pelos cantos de sereia dessa gente.

Worse than the secret ballot of the forty eaters of pig-slop was the abstention of six senators. This was nothing but a referendum among fellow club members. In that case, abstaining, to me, means caving into the filthy back-rooms of political wheeling and dealing, which lives and survives by the siren song these people sing to the voters.

Ah, so the other overarching literary allusion here is to the Circe episode in the Odyssey, apparently. In which men are transformed into beasts and the hero is delayed on his quest by a bewitching sorceress.

Emblemática foi a abstenção de Aloísio Mercadante, que manifestou a sua falta de voto por não ter convicção da culpa de Renan. Ora, se não tinha, por que se absteve, ao invés de votar na absolvição? Se não tinha, por que agora defende o licenciamento do absolvido presidente do Senado? Será que não é para que assuma o vice, político do PT? Realmente não tenho agudeza para entender coisas assim. O que me parece é que existe muito mistério por trás disso tudo.

Emblematic of this was the abstention of Mercadante (PT-SP), who announced that he did not vote because he was not convinced of Renan’s guilt. But hey, if that is true, why abstain instead of just voting to absolve him?

I believe Mercadante actually said he thought the evidence, though troubling, was not up to the appropriate standards of proof.

Let me see if I can dig up that quote.

Weird.

As I google the story up, no one seems to have quoted the actual words of his explanation.

And his Web site is currently down.

There is a Globo video of him explaining the decision, but Globo.com considers any non-Windows system to be “substandard,” so I cannot view it.

Nope. Cannot find those verbatim words.

I do, however, find the words of a pro-impeachment senator who said that abstaining was “the civic equivalent of being gay.”

Say what?!

If that was true, why does he now argue that Renan should step down? Could it be because he wants the vice-president, of his own party, to take over? I am really not sharp enough to understand such things. All I can say is that it seems to me there is a lot of mystery behind all this.

More things. Heaven and earth. Dreamed of. Philosophy. Horatio. Yada yada.

Enquanto isso, Lulla viaja pela Europa garimpando apoio para o álcool – aliás, do que gosta muito – e alheando-se neste momento importante. Espicaçado pela imprensa, entretanto, pondera que não tem nada com isso, uma vez que os três poderes da República são independentes e soberanos. Todavia, como ele explica os mensalões que enlameiam o Legislativo e as sete nomeações de ministros do STF, em um concerto de onze, o que sugere garantia de obediência e subserviência ao Executivo? Nada demais, certamente, pois que eles teriam que ser nomeados por causa da rotatividade natural do Supremo…

In the meantime, “Lulla” is traveling in Europe, scrounging up support for alcohol — which he is very fond of, by the way — ..

The double-l in”Lulla” is a reference to a mass-produced noise-machine talking point: Lula = Collor!

For “Lula is a drunk,” see the life and works of Larry Rohter of the New York Times.

Baited by the press, however, he wants us to believe he had nothing to do with this, given that the three branches of government are sovereign and independent.

Actually, I think under the Brazilian constitution, technically speaking, only the People are sovereign.

They cribbed that idea from US, the little sneaks.

Still, how can he explain the “big monthly” schemes that have besmirched the name of the legislative branch, or the seven Supreme Court justices he named, out of 11, which suggests a guarantee that the court will be obedient and subservient to the executive?

The court actually did vote — overwhelmingly — to put some of Lula’s closest political allies on trial in that case, note. 28 counts against 4 petistas. But no indictments for misuse of public funds, interestingly.

But no big deal, because they were scheduled to be nominated by the natural rotation of the court …

No fluxo e refluxo dessa maré negra, a maioria do povo brasileiro cada vez mais se emporcalhou, sem reação e aparvalhado, tão-somente interessado pelos jogos de futebol de ontem – o fatídico 12 de setembro de 2007. Afinal, o Flamengo afastou-se da zona de rebaixamento e a seleção de Dunga ganhou do poderoso México. Nada contra o meu Mengão…

In the ebb and flow of this black tide, the majority of the Brazilian people have gotten stupider and stupider, cowering and failing to fight back, only interested in yesterday’s football matches on the fateful day, September 12, 2007. After all Flamengo fought its way out of the lower bracket and Dunga’s squad defeated powerful Mexico. (I mean no disrespect to my beloved Big ‘Mengo.)

The 3-1 victory avenged a shut-out suffered earlier this year against the scrappy sons of the Aztec Sun.

Clamor? Só de uns poucos, que têm bílis injetada na corrente sanguínea, por tanta ignomínia.

But making noise? Very few did: only those who have bile in the bloodstream over such ignominy.

Os telejornais, sem nenhum comentário, mostraram líderes da oposição, “generosamente” cumprimentando Renan Calheiros pela sua vitória.

The TV newscasts, without any commentary, showed opposition leaders “graciously” congratulating Calheiros on his victory.

É muito descaramento!

It’s too shameless to take!

Um certo petista anônimo acusou-me de escrever artigos chulos. Ele deve admirar o “preparo” intelectual dos líderes do seu partido, que só lêem Trotski, Marx, Lênin, Gramsci e, até, Florestan Fernandes. Trajados de finíssimos ternos Armani, adquiridos não sei com quais dinheiros, esses representantes das “causas populares” são legítimos representantes de uma burguesia porco-capitalista a que juram odiar com sua retórica cínica.

A certain anonymous PT supporter has accused me of writing articles that are coarse and crude and low-brow. He must admire the intellectual “preparation” of his party leaders, who only read Trotsky, Marx, Lenin, Gramsci and even Florestan Fernandes. Dressed in top of the line Armani, acquired with God knows what money, these representatives of “popular grievances” are the legitimate representatives of the same pig-capitalist bourgeoisie they say they hate, with their cynical rhetoric.

Continuo com a minha chularia, sem comer farelo, graças a Deus.

I will continue with my low-brow crudeness, but without stooping to eat pig-slop, thanks be to God.

No doubt many, many Brazilian military men conducted themselves properly through the dark years, and after, but there were undeniably some startling exceptions. See for example

By the way, I thought I read somewhere that our gringo West Point cadets actually do read all those authors (except maybe the Brazilian sociologist), along with their counterparts in various competing global intellectual traditions.

The theory being that it is hard to fight a 21st-century war of ideas without first getting checked out rigorously on all the ideas that might be coming at you.

That West Point is not exactly a party school, they say.

I had a high school buddy who tried out for West Point and got in. He practiced up for the fitness portion by working out with the us guys on the track team — in combat boots.

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“Shame! How the Senate buried ethics and saved the sex Senator!” Please. Veja setting out to lecture anyone on ethics is like philanthropist Bruce Wayne leading the crusade against vigilante caped crusaders driving illegal jet-powered hot rods on Gotham City streets.

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