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Archive for May 2017

Is another Brazilian President going down?

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It’s been a year of scandals and more scandals down in Brazil. As you may a recall, the president reelected in 2012 was recently removed over corruption.    

It appears that the new guy may be facing a load of problems as well. Corruption is knocking on his door, too.

To make matters more complicated, President Michel Temer ordered troops to put down a protest:   

Besieged by protests, Brazil’s president on Wednesday deployed federal troops to restore order in the capital, Brasília, after demonstrators calling for his ouster clashed with security forces.

Defense Minister Raul Jungmann went on national television on Wednesday afternoon to insist that President Michel Temer was only trying to restore calm in the capital by calling in the troops to patrol some areas. One of the city’s iconic modernist buildings, the Agriculture Ministry, was set on fire, and other government buildings were vandalized during the mayhem. Regional officials in Brasília put the number of protesters on Wednesday around 35,000.


“A protest that was supposed to be peaceful deteriorated into violence, vandalism and disrespect,” Mr. Jungmann said.

While supporters of the move say the capital must remain calm and functioning, the use of the armed forces in Brazil touches a nerve among critics of the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985, a period known for human rights abuses and the restriction of civil liberties.

Jairo Nicolau, a professor of political science at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, said the move to call in the armed forces was a “mistake.” 

It is probably a mistake, indeed.    

First, it is irresponsible for crowds to get out of control and attack property or security forces. So I understand the show of force to maintain order. 

Second, people in Brazil are frustrated with the corruption. It seems like a new scandal hits the front pages everyday.    

Third, the anger is also driven by a terrible recession, the worst in decades.     

As a Brazilian friend said: “It’s one thing to have corruption when the country is booming. It’s another thing to have these people steal money when the rest of us are suffering.”

So Brazil floats along but the anger is getting worse. Don’t be surprised if Brazil has a new president soon!  

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk), (YouTube) and follow me on Twitter.


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Written by scantojr

May 26, 2017 at 6:35 am

Star Wars 1977 and a look at the front pages

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Guest: Frank Burke, author, businessman and contributor to American Thinker………We will look at the state of politics in Washington, from the trip to Europe, the Manchester terror act and Star Wars was released in 1977……plus other stories….

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Source: Star Wars 1977 and a look at the front pages 05/25 by Silvio Canto Jr | News Podcasts

Written by scantojr

May 25, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Isn’t Senator Kaine a bit late talking to the middle class?

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Not long ago, Senator Tim Kaine was the kind of Democrat who could win a district between the coasts.  After all, he was pro-life and pro-traditional marriage, and he went out of his way to remind everyone that he was not a liberal.  Listen to his radio ads from yesteryear.

In 2016, Senator Kaine became the other half of the Clinton-Kaine ticket.  He bombed, to be polite.  He did not deliver anything to the party.  The left saw him as a phony, and the right did, too.

Now Senator Kaine is calling on the Democrats to talk to the middle class:

If you ask regular folks what Democrats want to do to the economy, not many will mention growth as the goal. (This is partly due to broad anti-business rhetoric that is directed toward Wall Street or multinationals but manages to scare off entrepreneurs and small businesses too.) 

The Democratic economic goal is more likely to be described as about fairness, regulation, taxation or redistribution.


And if you ask folks how the Democrats plan to accomplish their economic goal(s), you often get a blank look. We are wonky people and usually have a ten point plan with multiple sub-points about jobs and the economy. 

Complexity doesn’t communicate well and we seldom deliver an economic message that really sticks.

My 23 years in state, local and federal politics have convinced me that Democrats will always lose on economic messaging unless we have a simple and compelling growth strategy. If the Republicans pitch growth and we pitch anything else, we lose.

We can sometimes make it up on other issues, but why start behind on people’s key concern?

Question for Senator Kaine: Why do most people describe the Democrats’ message as about fairness, regulation, taxation, or redistribution?

Answer: Because it is about fairness, regulation, taxation, and redistribution.

This is what Senator Kaine, and others trying to recover from losing 1,000 seats in the Obama years, is missing.

Senator Kaine chose the wrong train when he dropped his conservative roots in exchange for identity politics.  He has to live with that decision.

Yes, there is room for a Democrat who rejects the status quo.  Sorry, but Senator Kaine is not the one!

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk), (YouTube) and follow me on Twitter.


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Written by scantojr

May 25, 2017 at 6:38 am

Terror in Manchester, Trump overseas and other stories

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We will look at the Manchester terrorist attack…..can governments in Europe protect their people anymore…….President Trump doing well overseas, from Saudi Arabia to Israel to the Vatican…….where is the crime in the Russia collusion story…….are Democrats walking back the impeachment talk…… Bob Dylan is 76 today……plus other stories…..

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Source: Terror in Manchester, Trump overseas and other stories 05/24 by Silvio Canto Jr | News Podcasts

Written by scantojr

May 24, 2017 at 2:00 pm

They want to kill us all

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What more do we need to know about these people? Can their intentions be more clear? What else do they have to do? Blow up teen girls at a pop concert?

As Roger Simon wrote:     

If you think what happened in Blighty can’t happen here — 19 killed, 59 injured — you’ll  have to excuse me if I say “You’re out of your bloomin’ mind.” Did you already forget 9/11/2001?  Or the Boston Marathon? Or San Bernardino? Or the Orlando gay bar attack less than a year ago that killed 49?

Oh, yeah.  Seems so long ago, doesn’t it, even that last one? The “new normal.”  We put these things out of our minds the week after to deal with the next trivial Washington scandal or go about our petty lives.  

Our culture lives in a self-destructive willful blindness, refusing to see the obvious even though it happens again and again across the globe.  

Radical Islam, Islamism, or whatever you want to call it has been at war with us since the Twin Towers came down and even well before.  And they have no intention whatsoever of stopping.

Nevertheless we respond in the most perfunctory manner, nattering on about how Islam is a”religion of peace,” criticizing ourselves and others for “Islamophbia,” or dismissing it all as a police matter.

My guess is that we will react decisively in the US.  We’ve had a much more realistic view of terrorism over here.  As a last resort, we believe in self defense and allow some citizens to carry guns and serve as a line of protection.

However, I’m not very optimistic about Europe. For example, Salman Abedi, the alleged terrorist, was known to British authorities prior to the attack. Wonder how that makes any parent feel about the next concert that their teens want to go to? Or the next time that there is a big soccer event? In other words, would you attend a concert in the UK any time soon knowing that  people under the eye of the police will join you for the proceedings?

Most of all, it makes President Trump’s realism about terrorism and uncontrolled immigration really stand out.   

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk), (YouTube), and follow me on Twitter.


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Written by scantojr

May 24, 2017 at 7:06 am

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A chat with Leslie Eastman and Dawn Wildman

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Guests: Leslie Eastman and Dawn Wildman……we will hear about the Mom’s March for America that is slated for Sept. 23rd……….see Leslie’s post for full details about the march…… other stories, from a gasoline sales tax in California to President Trump in the Middle East……..

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Source: A chat with Leslie Eastman and Dawn Wildman 05/23 by Silvio Canto Jr | News Podcasts

Written by scantojr

May 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm

NAFTA back to the table

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Eight years ago, then-senator Obama called for a renegotiation of NAFTA.  We understand that Mr. Obama did it in 2008 to beat up Mrs. Clinton, who had supported the trade agreement.

Nevertheless, this is where we are today:

The Trump administration gave Congress official notice on Thursday that it plans to renegotiate Nafta but provided only the vaguest of hints about modest changes President Trump would seek to an agreement that he has called “the worst trade deal ever.”

In a brief letter to lawmakers, Robert Lighthizer, the newly confirmed United States trade representative, said the administration aimed to support economic growth and better-paying jobs through unspecified improvements to Nafta that would modernize the 23-year-old agreement. But the notice — a drastically scaled-back version of a draft the administration circulated this year — promised no major modifications of the sort that the president has hinted he will seek.

Mr. Trump had threatened to withdraw completely from the agreement, only to relent in late April when the leaders of Canada and Mexico, the other parties to the deal, called and asked him to renegotiate instead. Sonny Perdue, his secretary of agriculture, also presented Mr. Trump with a map illustrating the potential negative consequences for American farmers if the deal were shut down.


We will see where it goes from here.

As a supporter of NAFTA, I welcome the review.  After all, 23 years is a long time, and some adjustments may be in order.

On the Mexico side, NAFTA is controversial.

On the one hand, professional and well educated Mexicans love the fact that they can work in all of those multinational companies that headed south.  By the way, I am not talking only about U.S. companies.  Go to San Luis Potosi in central Mexico or Queretaro, about two hours north of Mexico City, and you will see an amazing display of international operations.  These companies are using cheaper labor but rely on very well paid professional Mexicans to work in accounting, quality control, and general management.

On the other hand, talk to small retailers or grocers, and they will tell you that NAFTA, and all of those cheap imports, put them out of business.  They correctly point out that Mexico’s GDP has not kept up with other countries.

So my guess is that a NAFTA renegotiation will get a thumbs-up south of the border.  I remember all of the rhetoric of 1993, or how NAFTA would pull Mexico out of the Third World.  Yes, you can see all of those modern plants all over Mexico, but there is no sense, fair or unfair, that the workers or farmers have benefited at all.

Let the talks begin.  NAFTA is probably going to be a huge topic in Mexico’s 2018 presidential elections.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk), (YouTube) and follow me on Twitter.

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Written by scantojr

May 23, 2017 at 7:18 am

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