“Point of Order on Telefónica-Abril”

“The Authoritarian Temptation: The PT’s attempts to monitor and control the press, television and culture.” Translation: “Dilma could decide those zero-down spectrum concessions we got were the fruit of a skeevy plundering of the commonwealth! Bork her with all you’ve got!

VERMELHO (Communist Party of Brazil) is following the development of a proposal to launch a congressional probe into business dealings of the Grupo Abril, even if the news media is not. See also

Todas as atenções da política e da mídia estavam voltadas para a sessão da Câmara para votação da CPMF, na tarde desta quarta-feira (26), quando o deputado Wladimir Costa (PMDB-PA) pediu a palavra para cobrar do presidente da Casa, Arlindo Chinaglia (PT-SP), a instalação da CPI da Abril-Telefônica.

On September 26, while political and media atention was focused on the House session in which the [extension of a really annoying little tax on bank transactions] was to be voted on, a PMDB lawmaker called for the floor to demand that the speaker of the house install the CPI of Abril-Telefônica.

The leftward portion of the leftward portion of the political spectrum was not too amused by the last Veja cover, on “the farcical legend of Che Guevara.” You can imagine why, of course. They’re Communists, after all, God love ’em.

Me, I was merely confused about why the corpse of Che Guevara — who has been dead longer than I have been alive, and I am old enough to start having to worry about baldness and gout — is even newsworthy or relevant at this point, what with the wealth of dramatic current events and all during the week.

Lapsing into its default hysterical Red-baiting mode — “The MST wants to BBQ your forcibly aborted white Christian babies and expropriate your VW Gol for the Revolution!” — for Veja, seems to be a way of drowning out all signal with a noisy insistence on the fact that “we have absolutely nothing meaningful to say, but want you to pay the cover price anyway!”

Which happens fairly often. I swear, you read this stuff — I try very hard not to — and you shed IQ points by the dozens.

O assunto, que está coberto pelo silêncio da grande mídia e o receio de muitos parlamentares, ganhou destaque na sessão, provocando discursos e debates.

The issue, which the major media has been silent on and which many lawmakers are leery of, became a major issue during the session, provoking speeches and debate.

True. Not a peep out of the major news media on this interesting subject, though I have not checked the trade press lately. There are some pretty good daily publications focusing on the content pipeline and infotainment sectors.

“Gostaria de fugir um pouco deste debate, indagando a V.Exa. algo que me tem deixado um tanto irrequieto. Eu gostaria de saber os motivos pelos quais a Presidência ainda não instalou a CPI da TVA, de minha autoria, que aguardo com muita expectativa”, disse o parlamentar.

“I would like to depart from this topic a little, asking you, Mr. President, about something that has me a little disquieted. I would like to know why you have not yet installed the congressional commission to look into the TVA deal, which I await with great anticipation,” the lawmaker said.

And the PMDB is the PMDB. I am not even sure what that means, really. Is anyone?

A resposta do presidente Chinaglia provocou irritação no parlamentar, que afastou a possibilidade de associação entre o pedido de criação da CPI e tentativas de retaliações à Revista Veja. “Não permito essa comparação. O Sr. Renan Calheiros é Senador e o Sr. Wladimir Costa é Deputado. Senado é Senado, Câmara é Câmara”, afirmou Wladimir.

Chinaglia’s reply irritated the lawmaker, who denied any possible assocition between the petition to create the CPI and an attempt to retaliate against Veja magazine. “I will not tolerate this comparison. Mr. Calheiros is a senator. I, Costa am a federal deputy. The Senate is the Senate, the House is the House,” he said.

A resposta de Chinaglia foi de que “tomei uma decisão pessoal e intransferível: enquanto não houvesse o julgamento do Senador Renan Calheiros, avaliei que não seria prudente contaminarmos ou deixar que interpretassem como contaminação uma interferência da Câmara na CPI, como observa a revista que fez reportagens acusativas”.

Chinaglia’s reply was that “I made a personal and irreversible decision: Until Calheiros’s proceedings are over, I judged it unwise to contaminate ourselves, or leave ourselves open to the interpretation that we are contaminated by, an interference by the House in this question, as the magazine that published the accusatory reports observes.”

Outros parlamentares reagiram à cobrança do deputado Wladimir Costa (PMDB-PA) ao presidente da Câmara, Arlindo Chinaglia (PT-SP), para instalação da CPI da Abril-Telefônica, na sessão desta quarta-feira (26). O oposicionista José Carlos Aleluia (DEM-BA) parabenizou o presidente da Casa por ainda não ter instalado a comissão. O líder do PDT, Miro Teixeira (RJ), cobrou resposta ao seu pedido de Questão de Ordem para suspender a CPI.

Other lawmakers reacted to Costa’s demand to install the probe. Opposition lawmaker Alelulia (ex-PFL, Bahia) congratulated the speaker for not having installed the probe yet. Leader of the PDT in the house, Teixeira of Rio, wanted an answer to his point of order, which would suspend the probe.

O presidente da Casa não respondeu a nenhum objetivamente, destacando que “quando a Presidência for dar resposta a todos os requerimentos referentes à CPI, avisarei antecipadamente, não haverá surpresas”.

The president of the house did not respond substantially to either, saying that “when the chair is ready to respond to all the motions with respect to this matter, I will let you know beforehand. There will be no surprises.”

O líder do PT, Luiz Sérgio (RJ), foi o único atendido por Chinaglia. Ele lembrou que as questões de ordem só podem ser feitas relativas a matérias da Ordem do Dia. “Estamos discutindo CPMF. Essas questão de ordem estão sendo protelatórias. Então, recorro ao Regimento Interno, e que nos atentássemos sobre a Ordem do Dia”. O Presidente da Casa encerrou o assunto, retomando as discussões sobre a CPMF.

PT floor leader Luiz Sérgio of Rio was the only lawmaker to whom Chinaglia replied. He recalled that points of order can only be made that are relevant to the business of the day. “We are debating [the extension of the transaction tax.] Points of order cannot be used as delaying tactics. So I cite the house rules and ask that we stick with current business.” The speaker closed the matter there, returning to the CPMF debate.

What does this tell you, kremlinologically speaking, about Abril’s political risk exposure at this point?

I have no idea. I merely translate.

The trend, on the other hand, is firmly against gabbling Lacerdist claptrap, I tend to intuitively sense. We will have to see how the October 5 day of protests over gabbling Lacerdist claptrap in the media goes.

All I know is that if you want to know who might win the Yankees-Mets game, you are not necesarily going to get the most objective take on the story from one of the Mets, or Derek Jeter.

I suppose that goes for the PCdoB as well, but what the hell? None of the big news outlets covered this interesting Brazilian C-SPAN moment, and the True Sons of Che covered it pretty straightforwardly.

You take good information where you can get it.

A decisão de Chinaglia mereceu elogios da oposição. Segundo Aleluia, Chinaglia está zelando “pelo prestígio da instituição”. E manteve a idéia de que o pedido de CPI da Abril-Telefônica é uma retaliação do presidente do Senado, Renan Calheiros (PMDB-AL) às acusações que sofreu da Revista Veja.

Chinaglia’s decision earned him praise from the opposition. According to Aleluia, Chinaglia is protecting “the prestige of the institution.” And he insisted on the idea that the request for a CPI of Abril-Telefônica is an act of retalation by the president of the Senate, Calheiros, over the accusations he suffered from Veja magazine.

Veja once charged a lawmaker with corruption, saying that a bank account of his contained US$1 mllion. As it admits itself.

At the last minute, its fact-checking department found that the account actually contained only R$1,000.

Rather than changing its cover story at the last minute to conform to the actual configuration of reality at that moment in time, Veja set out to find an (anonymous) source that would ratify the US$1 million meme.

It found one in a political opponent of the lawmaker to be borked.

It ran what it knew to be dubious information, on the say-so of an interested party. To whom it granted anonymity. See

Its original “exposé” on the sex Senator from Alagoas was also anonymously sourced. That single source turned out to have been the palimony lawyer of the Senator’s hotsy-totsy on the side and baby mom.

Which the reader has a right to know, I tend to think.

Alberto Dines — who seems to passionately (and often hysterically) want the sex Senator borked, as do many responsible adults whose opinion I follow — gave Veja a good tongue-lashing for muddying the waters in a case in which, he believes, there is actually clear and genuine evidence to be dug up that the gentleman deserves to be borked. See

You cannot argue with that reasoning.

As a Martian anthropologist with a burning curiosity about all kinds of weird things that go on in Alagoas — where they reportedly resolve “termite problems” involving electronic balloting devices that may be the subject of a technical audit by incinerating those devices in remote jungle locations — I, too, would like to know whether this Senator has broken the law.

Reading Veja is not going to inform me about that, however.

“Nesse caso, fez a interpretação correta de que os elementos não devem se misturar, investigação é uma coisa, o julgamento do Senador é outra. Aqui não é casa de vendeta”, disse Aleluia, parabenizando-o.

“In this case, he made the correct interpretation, that items of business should not be mixed up. Investigating is one thing, the trial of the Senator is another. This is not a house of vendettas,” said Aleluia, congratulating the chair.

Miro Teixeira aproveitou a discussão sobre o assunto para renovar o pedido à Chinaglia de resposta à sua Questão de Ordem. Ele engrossa o coro dos que são contrários à instalação da CPI. E pediu que fosse avisado em relação ao dia em que o Presidente da Casa “imagina estar em condições para a decisão em torno das questões de ordem que nós levantamos aqui”.

Miro Teixeira of the PDT used the debate to once again request a ruling on his point of order. He is swelling the chorus of those contrary to the installation of the CPI. And asked to be advised when the President of the House “imagines he will be ready to make a decision on the point of order we raised here.”
These commissions can be installed if one-third of lawmakers request them and the request is in order as to the statutory form. They must propose to deal with a “concrete fact,” for example.

Ele adiantou que dispõe “de outros pressupostos regimentais para recorrer da decisão da Mesa, se nos contrariar, para pedir a suspensividade”. Segundo Teixeira, “há Líderes em número suficiente para articular esse efeito suspensivo, de tal maneira que, na Comissão de Constituição e Justiça e de Cidadania, se trave o debate sobre a caracterização do fato determinado, porque essa é a questão”.

He warned that he has “other parliamentary measures available to appeal the decision of the chair, if he rules against us, to establish that the petition should be suspended.” According to Teixeira, “their are enough party leaders to get this suspension done, so that in the [judiciary committee] a debate is ongoing over the concrete fact to be investigated, because that is the issue.”


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