Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – As the Curmudgeon mused slightly less than twelve months ago, “O tempora! O mores!” (“Oh the times! Oh the customs!”) was the tag line for a speech by Cicero in the Roman Senate which began with “How long, o [prominent Senator] will you continue to abuse our patience?

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

Fearless as ever, the Curmudgeon will now reflect upon the predictions he made eleven months ago for how Brazilian’s patience would be abused in 2017. First the prediction. [Then, in brackets, 20/20 hindsight]:

1. President Temer will be removed from office by the TSE for having participated in illegal campaign financing activities in 2014, as part of the Dilma/Temer ticket. [The TSE, to its eternal shame, voted 4-3 NOT to remove Temer.]

2. In the subsequent indirect election for President, Congress will elect as interim President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who has been openly campaigning for this position for the past year. [Not applicable.]

3. The economy will worsen in Rio—essential service workers like police, firefighters, and orange-clad “garis” will all go on strike because they haven’t been paid. [Rio State’s economy has worsened, but the service workers have been bought off with inflationary wage rises.]

4. Carnival will happen, as usual … because Carnaval is run by bandidos and nobody wants to commit a crime when they’re having fun. [The City of Rio is cutting its financial contributions to the bandidos — Hallelujah!]

5. The “jogo do bicho” numbers racket that finances Carnaval will be legalized and (theoretically) taxed, as will gambling casinos; Rio will try to compete with Punta del Este, Mar del Plata and Aruba. [Brazil’s Congress is very close to legalizing gambling in 2018.]

6. Marcelo Crivella will be a good Mayor, as he is one of the few politicians alive in Brazil who does, in fact, care about poor people. [Boy, was that ever WRONG! Crivella has been an absentee mayor, spending more time abroad than in his offices.]

7. Outgoing Mayor Eduardo Paes will become the leading candidate for President of Brazil in the 2018 elections, because in his eight years in office, he transformed the city of Rio de Janeiro. [Wrong, because Paes is running for Senator, if he’s not tarred with the Cabral corruption brush.]

8. Lula will be indicted for having masterminded criminal schemes (Mensalão, Petrolão) that succeeded in buying the votes of the “300 picaretas” in Congress. [YES! One for the good guys! Lula was indicted and convicted, and awaiting confirmation of the sentence. Hallelujah!]

9. Lula will become the presidential candidate most feared by all, because his crooked schemes resulted in 20 million voters entering the real economy, after centuries of marginalization. [Lula is, sadly, now the front-runner for President, for the reason the Curmudgeon pointed out.]

10. The Supreme Court of Brazil (STF) will become enmired in scandals, as it enters the political thicket and attempts to substitute Congress as the ultimate Legislator. [STF has definitely gone into complete and total breakdown, with most Justices showing no respect for their fellows, nor for the law.]

O tempora! O mores!


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