Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Last week, in a move designed to promote her desire to do something to keep the proverbial cow from meandering even further into the economical morass, President Dilma announced her “reformation” of her Cabinet. She reduced the total number of ministers reporting to her to a mere 31!

Michael Royster, aka The Curmudgeon.
Michael Royster, aka The Curmudgeon.

Most of the changes involved PMDB getting more and PT getting less (except for Lula’s claque within PT). The changes were designed to ensure that Congress would not override her vetos of several measures in the “pauta bomba” (“Bombs Away!”) agenda which would explode any hope of austerity.

Congress, however, is so splintered that there is still no guarantee this can be done. One reason is that “lesser” parties in the coalition got no scraps thrown to them; they’re hurt and hungry and so won’t show up at sessions; no quórum, no vote.

The other reason the Chamber of Deputies won’t bring the “pauta bomba” up for a vote is that its President, Eduardo Cunha, won’t do that unless Dilma’s veto of the law permitting political contributions by corporations is also available for overriding.

No matter that the STF has already declared these contributions unconstitutional, Cunha wants a vote, and he wants even more the money he and his colleagues receive from corporations to finance their campaigns – and their friendly votes on legislation.

In the meantime, TCU is about to review Dilma’s 2014 accounts (all phonier than US$3 bills) and TSE is about to review her 2014 campaign (mostly underwritten by illegal “contributions”). Realizing that her political survival is in question, and that her bribe-like offering of ministries to PMDB may not save her from defenestration, Dilma has now gone to court (the STF) to try to stop both TCU and TSE from investigating or deciding anything.

So far, at least, STF has supported the due process of law and allowed both TCU and TSE to continue doing their jobs: oversee government accounts and elections. So far, so good.

The Curmudgeon lives in hope but still writes dismal Smidgens.


  1. When First World Democracies form governments in accordance to parliamentary representation per party, its called democracy,

    When Brazil does it its “bribe-like”? Yes, capitalist democracies ALL look like plutocracies more and more everyday, but that’s far from being a brazilian feature, specially when they are finally trying to do away with corporate election funding here.


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