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Montevideo, February 19th 2019 - 15:01 UTC

Construction executives confirm bribe payments in exchange for contracts under Kirchner governments

Tuesday, August 7th 2018 - 07:01 UTC
Full article 24 comments

Argentine prosecutors questioned a construction executive related to President Mauricio Macri on Monday as part of a sprawling investigation into bribe payments made to the former government. Angelo Calcaterra, the former head of construction company Iecsa and Macri’s cousin, told prosecutors he was told by officials in former President Cristina Fernandez’ administration to pay cash in exchange for public works contracts. Read full article


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  • falklandlad

    The net is set, get ready to sweep. Harvest in sight!

    Aug 07th, 2018 - 11:59 am - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Enrique Massot

    “To big problems, big solutions,” seems to be the motto of the current Argentine government.

    The “notebook case” has pushed aside news that thousands of Buenos Aires province citizens had been falsely recorded as contributors to the election campaign of governor Maria Eugenia Vidal.

    It has also pushed aside a string of bad news about Argentina’s economy as well as the resulting unrest.

    It has reduced the impact of news about a gas explosion in a school in Buenos Aires province that killed the assistant principal and a janitor after gas odour complaints addressed to authorities went unaddressed.

    It may help Macri, whose freefall in public opinion polls intensified as recessive measures required by the IMF begin to show their effects.

    The ultimate target of ongoing judicial action is Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the only opposition leader with chances in the October 2019 election.

    As they say in Brazil, the best way to win an election is to cage your opponent.

    Aug 07th, 2018 - 06:25 pm - Link - Report abuse -5
  • Chicureo


    It sincerely breaks my heart that your dear Cristina may be taking an ignominious trip to prison, instead than a glorious return the Casa Rosada. And it is all thanks to the ex-wife of a driver at a government ministry thirsting for revenge.
    ...The scandal is better than watching any Argentine telenovela...

    Aug 07th, 2018 - 08:07 pm - Link - Report abuse +4
  • DemonTree

    “the only opposition leader with chances in the October 2019 election.”

    Now what makes you think that? Wasn't Macri's win over Scioli pretty damn close last time? And Macri is a lot less popular now.

    People aren't just going to forget that they weren't happy with CFK's government, even if they believe Macri turned out worse. I would have thought someone new, if they could get the backing of a decent sector of the Peronists, would have more chance.

    Aug 07th, 2018 - 08:33 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Enrique Massot


    It is not confirmed at this point whether CFK will run or not, and yes someone else may run, but that is not the point I was trying to make.

    At this time, CFK is the member of the opposition with most vote intentions and the notebook affair may be a move to eliminate her as a candidate.

    In any event, this latest move of a government in crisis may have unintended consequences for Macri and his witch apprentices.

    Aug 08th, 2018 - 06:39 pm - Link - Report abuse -3
  • DemonTree

    Okay. I don't don't like this idea that 'X' is the only one who can win an election; if a party has good policies shouldn't people vote for it anyway? (Or at least, there should be multiple people who could be the leader.)

    As for this notebook affair, there are already 4 cases against CFK, and unless she's convicted of something, she could still run, right? Do you think this case would be easier to get a conviction on?

    And the case could certainly have consequences for Macri's cousin. What makes you think they may extend to Macri himself?

    Aug 09th, 2018 - 09:06 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Jack Bauer

    Cont. of “support for 2nd Brexit..”
    “..think you share Brzln disregard for laws”. Not by a long shot. Despite not liking int’l law interfering with internal issues, wasn’t aware BZL had incorporated the UN protocol into domestic law ; On the other hand, if signed in ’67, high time it was updated, a lot has changed in 50 years.
    But talking of local laws, never seen a country with so many, 1000s conflicting, ‘n such little respect for them.
    Most people on BF probably have little/ no skills, so (re-)training is fundamental…time wouldn’t be an obstacle. Building infrastructure, as well as civil construction – largest employer of people with few skills - would help, but it’s the area most affected by crisis.
    Re Mercosur, believe a defective agreemt is better than none, as theoretically could be the basis for improvement. Cannot disagree tt LatAm, generally speaking, and in particular Brazil, needs drastic reform, in just about everything, but neither the right, nor the left, have ever addressed the root causes of poverty /backwardness…Lula was no exception : promoted the BF as the salvation, but it took no one ‘out-of-poverty’, simply fooled many that he was doing all he could while he filled his pockets ;
    Most politicians never get even close to delivering on their campaign promises ; a good ex: Boulos’ (MTST leader, fm upper middle-class ‘n prez candidate for PSOL, radical left) govt program states will expropriate all land that does not fulfill its ‘social’ function (defined as what ?...but, considering there’s no shortage of land in Brazil, why does the MST always target only productive farmland ?), or does not comply with environmental and/or labour laws, as well as the land that has debt with the Federal government ; just one question, after expropriating ‘half’ of Brazil, what’s he going to do with it ? hand it over to the MTST & MST? for them to disrespect the law even more than the previous owners ? What good has ‘leftie’ concentration in S.America done?

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 04:23 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Enrique Massot

    The notebook affair is taking a life in itself and looks more like a Pandora box each passing day.

    It's threatening to reach big entrepreneurs such as Macri's cousin Ángelo Calcaterra, Javier Sánchez Caballero, Juan Carlos de Goicoechea, Aldo Roggio, and one of the men who won more than any other under Macrism: the owner of Pampa Energía, Marcelo Mindlin.

    In the meantime, the peso begins its downward spiral with the US dollar reaching 30 pesos in some banks. Some economists are partially blaming the notebook affair as one of the factors in investors' increasing distrust -- similar to the tempest that the Lava Jato caused in Brazil, scaring investors away.

    No matter, Macri says. One day of turning the attention away from the economy is a won day.

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 08:58 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Jack Bauer

    Noticed you believe “big entrepreneurs such as Macri's cousin Ángelo Calcaterra, Javier Sánchez Caballero, Juan Carlos de Goicoechea, Aldo Roggio”, are crooks, favoured by the Macri government....they probably are, I don't know......but to be fair, would you care to comment on Lázaro Báez, businessman and associate of both Kirchners, and who was (or still is ?) a person of interest in the scandal known as “The Route of the K-Money”, aka “Lázarogate” ?

    Aug 11th, 2018 - 07:22 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    You mentioned the notebook affair is threatening to affect Macri's allies and relative. Does that mean you now believe the notebooks are real and not fakes designed to implicate CFK?

    To be fair, I didn't know whether Brazil had incorporated it into domestic law, but sure enough:

    A lot of people here complain about how unreliable Argentina is, and condemn them for not sticking to their international agreements, from defaulting on the debt to tearing up the deals Menem signed with Britain. Do you disagree, since internal matters are more important and that was what the people wanted at the time?

    And I agree it may well be time to revisit and if necessary revise the rules on asylum, but that's very different to unilaterally ignoring them.

    I'll write more later if you can give me some space...

    Aug 12th, 2018 - 02:28 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Jack Bauer

    Thanks for the link...kinda long, so just read the summary.

    I think that the problems which have caused the Mercosur to fail - relatively speaking - between Brazil and Argentina, are not only the different stages of stages of development of their industrial parks (before, and now), but the knowledge of this without any real intention to close the gap, and to an extent resorting to protectionist measures to get around it...

    Then again, the 'people' have little say in trade agreements, which on the one hand look promising to the extent that their market gets bigger, but on the other, internal competition becomes greater. Makes you wonder how prepared Argentina really was, and how earnest they were in complying with their obligations....not saying Brazil, generally speaking, is any better, it's just that Brazil, being bigger, went to the negotiating table in a more advantageous position to get what it wanted....but, Argentina did agree, didn't they ?

    “And I agree it may well be time to revisit and if necessary revise the rules on asylum, but that's very different to unilaterally ignoring them”.
    To put it simply, if the rules on asylum were updated on a regular basis, to reflect current reality, they would probably be more respected...

    Aug 13th, 2018 - 04:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I only skimmed the link, but it makes my point; the laws on asylum weren't just imposed on an unwilling people from on high. The nations in the UN had people involved in the debate, and countries agreed to sign up to them. It's not like you personally get to choose what laws you live under in Brazil, and most people never swear to follow them, either. Though maybe you did, when you got citizenship?

    I agree, laws need to be updated and stay relevant if you want people to respect them. However, IMO the asylum laws are based on certain principles, and these should not be too hastily changed, even if the laws implement them differently.

    And I believe in sticking to your agreements, unless they are doing serious harm. If nothing else, it means people continue to trust you, and it's one reason Britain pays less interest than Brazil, despite having a higher national debt.

    “the 'people' have little say in trade agreements”

    Very true, and they are not uniformly good. It's not necessarily due to trade deals, but it's generally agreed that when manufacturing moves from a developed country to a poor one, it makes both countries richer as a whole, but certain groups lose out. Medium-to-lower skilled workers in the richer countries have seen their incomes fall as jobs move abroad. Besides that, each country has their own rules on product safety, treatment of animals, intellectual property, etc, which must be harmonised, and often these seem to come out favouring the multinationals, not ordinary people. Its why many people objected to the TPP and TTIP.

    Argentina had many governments that radically shifted the direction of the country, which may explains some of their inconsistency towards Mercosur. And you are right that Brazil has an advantage, being bigger. Brazil is Argentina's biggest trade partner, but Argentina is only 3rd or 4th on the list for Brazil. And despite all the talk of brotherhood, I don't think the two countries have quite forgotten their old rivalry.

    Aug 13th, 2018 - 07:16 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    “It's not like you personally get to choose what laws you live under in Brazil,...”
    You can say that again....but in the last 2 or 3 years, some project-laws being discussed in Congress, were abandoned due to public pressure, which to a point means politicians sometimes DO listen to the streets...specially at election time..

    “...most people never swear to follow them, either. Though maybe you did, when you got citizenship?” When I received my certificate of citizenship, I was obliged to take an oath to uphold the law etc, but nothing fanatical . Funnily enough, it's usually the naturalized citizens and foreigners who are more law-abiding.

    “IMO the asylum laws are based on certain principles”.....agree, maintain the principles but adapt them to each country's reality, 'n update them when they become incompatible with local conditions.

    Well, the TPP and the TTIP are infinitely larger than the Mercosur, besides bringing together countries that generally speaking, are more 'serious' about their commitments than Mercosur members. And there wasn't all that much in the way of 'transferring' production from one country to another, nowhere near NAFTA or the US/China deals.

    The Plano real (1994) had a sobering effect on Brazilian governments, when they realized the advantage, economically speaking, of having inflation under control, and to avoid changing direction every time a new Finance Minister took over.

    Brazil x Argentina rivalry goes back to 19th century, when both started fighting for regional leadership, much like Spain and Portugal before them, in the River Plate...and more recently, soccer has done little to reduce it.

    Aug 13th, 2018 - 08:36 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “abandoned due to public pressure”

    I guess the UN is a lot less responsive to public opinion, though that isn't always a bad thing. Look at those Muslim countries where they want to kill anyone who draws a picture of Muhammad, or the Cultural Revolution in China.

    RE the asylum laws, there needs to be some agreement on what they are. Otherwise if one country bans them, it will redouble the pressure on others, potentially leading to a viscious cycle.

    “it's usually the naturalized citizens and foreigners who are more law-abiding.”

    Yes, there have been studies in several countries showing that. In the US they found that if you discount crimes like working illegally, the illegal immigrants are also more law abiding than the natives. Probably they are afraid of being deported if they are caught, but that doesn't explain why legal immigrants are so well behaved. Maybe it's because the kind of people who emigrate are more ambitious and sucessful without turning to crime, or because the countries are fussy about who they will accept.

    TTIP may not have done much to transfer production, but it did have all the other probems I mentioned. Not sure about TPP. Mercosur had the problem, that the left-wing governments mosty esposed nationalist, protectionist policies, and were not interested in free trade. They tried to turn it into a political union instead, which was probably never going to work without more economic cooperation.

    What does the average Brazilian think of Argentina? I've heard jokes from both sides but I don't know how far they reflect reality.

    Aug 13th, 2018 - 11:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot


    It's difficult to reach a conclusion on whether the notebooks are authentic.

    According to stories, they were lent to a La Nacion reporter, who read, scanned and returned them.

    Problem was, the notebooks then disappeared, and their author Mr. Centeno hinted he “may” have burned them.

    Without the originals, a forensic analysis determining how old the ink was, there is no way to verify their authenticity. Some have speculated they could have been written by intelligence services.

    I believe their use at this particular time, however, show desperation on the part of the Macri government to cover increasingly bad news on the economic front. With the dollar now breaking the psychological barrier of 30 pesos and the increasing reluctance of investors to keep Argentine bonds, some economists said not even the agreement with the IMF will suffice to contain a payment crisis.

    Of course, now the day-to-day life of the Argentines is taking a hit, and the reference interest rate, which was 40 per cent and went up to 45 per cent two days ago is strangling not only my much-named small and medium-size enterprises -- it is now reaching big businesses too.

    The problem is not the U.S. interest rates, or Turkey or the notebooks -- the problem is the current vulnerability of a country that, in less than three years, has been reduced to a status of international beggar.

    But who cares! Those on the know have already stashed their earnings away, far from the approaching debacle.

    Aug 14th, 2018 - 04:17 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Burned the originals! That's certainly suspicious. However, if someone close to Macri had faked them, they'd be unlikely to implicate his allies and even his cousin (unless Macri secretely hates Calcaterra ;) ). It is somewhat plausible that Macri's 'team' was sitting on the notebooks, to be used only if things got bad enough, since although they would be a good weapon against CFK, they would also damage their own side. I suppose the other option is that they were faked, but not by Macristas. There must be groups who would like to prevent CFK winning the next election and don't care about the collateral damage to the current government (and the economy)? Not sure where La Nacion fits into this.

    “Those on the know have already stashed their earnings away”

    I suppose that is a big reason for the fall versus the dollar. Everyone wants to buy dollars to protect their savings.

    From your earlier post:

    “why does the MST always target only productive farmland”

    Seems obvious to me. It's a movement to give land to small farmers, no point giving them land that's mostly useless for farming, which is a lot of Brazil. You don't want them chopping the rain forest down trying to make a living, either. I just looked it up on Wikipedia, and it says this social function stuff is in Brazil's constitution, and it's pretty vague there too. Seems designed (by the landowners, presumably) to make it easy to ignore, but also means it could be abused depending who was in power.

    “What good has ‘leftie’ concentration in S.America done?”

    It appears many people have seen an improvement, that's why they kept voting for them. For people on the upper end of the scale, the right-wing governments were mostly better, but not so for those at the bottom. Why should they care if the country as a whole is better off if the benefit never reaches them?

    “neither the right, nor the left, have ever addressed the root causes of poverty /backwardness”

    Maybe so, but what would address it?

    Aug 14th, 2018 - 03:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Can't see UN decisions having any effect in Muslim countries (or their communities in Europe), or in countries relatively 'closed' to the outside world..

    No country should have the obligation to accept asylum rules beyond what's drawn into domestic law, and neither should int'l rules be applied equally to all, across the board....not all have the same capacity, not to mention their own social problems.

    Presuming that most people who emigrate, do so to find better work and to improve their lives, it's understandable they'd be better citizens....and those that are illegal but work hard, would try to avoid attracting attention to themselves....that's why the few who do turn to crime, or just want to sponge off the host country, should be weeded out and deported.

    The trade deals that involve the transfer of production overseas usually occur between countries are in different stages of economic development, 'n with enormous differences in production costs. But you're right, the Mercosur unfortunately also became a political forum, and has not progressed as it could/should have.

    What does the average Brazilian think of Argentina ? Not so sure how many “average” brazilians bother to follow what goes on in Argentina, but presuming that those who do, and actually go to Argentina, belong mainly to the A and B classes, and love it. Favourable exchange rate, good dining, and Buenos Aires, a European-style city totally different to any in Brazil. Don't think that those who do travel there, are particularly interested in the soccer rivalry, which IMO, is for idiots.
    There are jokes, like the Brazilians taking the piss out of the Portuguese, the English and Americans out of the Irish and the Poles, quite funny as based on percieved typical national traits, and not particularly offensive.

    Funny you should think the K notebooks, from the Kirchner era, implicate Macri, but not come? and when challenged, why don't you defend yr broad statements abt Lula?

    Aug 14th, 2018 - 05:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    This UN resolution had a big effect on a Muslim country:

    It was used as justification by the US and allies - including the UK - for invading Afghanistan. More commonly, countries impose sanctions on those who break international laws - the UN doesn't rely on goodwill alone.

    And the countries who signed up to that treaty do have a legal and moral obligation to accept the rules. If they only had to follow their own domestic legislation, what would be the point of having a treaty at all?

    It's true the costs (not just monetary) of hosting refugees most often fall on poorer countries, but it seems to be the richer ones who want to change the rules. Your argument suggests you think the US and Europe should be taking more asylum seekers, since they can better afford it?

    “the few who do turn to crime”

    That was Obama's policy, to focus on deporting criminals. I guess it wasn't reducing the numbers enough for Americans though.

    The EU had a rather different effect on production compared to most trade deals, because of the Euro. It made the poorer southern countries less competitive by keeping their currency artificially high, and Germany more competitive by keeping their currency artificially low. So production didn't move south but increased in Germany instead, leading to the current unstable situation.

    Sounds like ordinary people in Brazil and Argentina don't have any animosity, but how much political cooperation they'd be interested in is another question. Is São Paulo not a European-style city?

    Aug 14th, 2018 - 09:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Re UN decisions affecting Muslim countries....was referring to their governments respecting the decisions, not abt other nations using the decisions as a reason to invade them, but in the case of 9-11, I feel it was fully justified to go after Bin Laden. Again, sanctions imposed by the UN, or individual countries with the power to do so, not the governments of Muslim countries voluntarily yielding to UN pressure or listening to reason, such as to stop financing terrorism.
    The point of having a treaty ? it is only as good as long as all countries are willing to go along with it....the day something “reasonable” deserves to be re-discussed, why not ?...Note that I said something “reasonable”, not when one party doesn't do its homework and expects the others to bend....
    If you are going to consider that “those who can better afford it, should take more asylum seekers”, as the only factor that counts, it's one way of looking at it, but unless they have previously agreed to do so, why should they feel obliged to, other than undertaking the responsibility freely, as a matter of human solidarity, taking each situation and its implications into account ?
    Ok, BO's policy / approach was more reasonable....provided he enforced it. What I disliked was /is the democrats insistence on allowing illegals to vote....If they are truly prepared to work and to integrate (pay their way), then let them go through the correct channels to legalize their status...
    Right, agree the Euro had a bad effect on some, while favouring others, but that is the problem of accepting a done deal without much flexibility to accomodate the different stages of economic/industrial development.

    Don't thinks there is really any animosity between South Americans, although they can get heated up over a soccer match, and be kinda stupid...

    São Paulo's architecture & infrastructure, and atmospshere is very different to that of European cities....a result of bad planning - if any - and far too many people....

    Aug 14th, 2018 - 11:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “was referring to their governments respecting the decisions”

    I know, but often they do respect them, even if only to avoid sanctions. For example, Saddam dismantled his chemical weapons program, and let the UN inspectors in, and there were no WMDs to find. The fact the US invaded anyway, against international law, unfortunately will make future despots more likely to ignore the laws themselves.

    As for refugees, many oil-rich countries in the Middle East have taken none at all, while Turkey has 3.5m, Jordan between 600,000 and 1.4m, and Lebanon nearly a million. Even Egypt, which doesn’t border Syria, has taken 130,000. I think most of the countries that signed up to the UN convention on asylum are still following it, more or less, so there is less pressure on any one country. I agree about renegotiating, as I said. And “one party doesn't do its homework and expects the others to bend” is exactly how I think of Trump.

    If not the rich countries taking more responsibility, then what did you mean by saying the rules should not be applied equally to all?

    ”If they are truly prepared to work and to integrate (pay their way), then let them go through the correct channels to legalize their status”

    AFAIK there are no such channels, for two reasons: firstly it would reward people who broke the law (by entering or staying in the country illegally), and secondly might encourage even more illegal immigration. And I do think they have a point. This is why most of the focus is on the 'dreamers' who were brought to the US as children and have not done anything wrong themselves. A majority of Americans think they should be allowed to stay and get green cards, but Congress are still fighting over terms.

    “the democrats insistence on allowing illegals to vote”

    Who is suggesting that? I know many Democrats oppose voter ID laws, but that is because the people most likely to have no ID - the elderly, the poor, students, people in urban areas - are all groups who generally vote D.

    Aug 15th, 2018 - 04:53 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    My comment re Muslim governments taking little notice of UN resolutions, is based on my general impression of the MEast, but does not apply to all....but how about Iran and UN pressure to end its nuclear programme ? Iran only accepted to stop it after a 'juicy' treaty (and the efforts to monitor it, are no guarantee they'll comply). Sure, Trump put his foot in it...instead of at least trying to modify/improve it - which IMO would be very difficult 'n highly unlikely to succeed - he withdrew from it. And Libya, Syria,, can't remember which specific UN resolutions were ignored, but presumably contributed to the general chaos in that region.
    On the other hand, most western (democratic) governments are more likely to accept UN resolutions/ act in a more responsible way towards the rest of the world...because they are not run by dictators.

    “...unfortunately will make future despots more likely to ignore the laws themselves”
    Despots are despots because they ignore the law and make their own as they go along, and don't think their behaviour will be affected by past, present or future events.

    Think the above discussion has drifted away from the refugee issue, as well as away from 'trade' deals. Anyway, regarding “rich countries taking more responsibility” (re refugees) , by 'equally' I mean the responsibility (if accepted) should be 'proportional' to each country's ''capacity to absorb them' in a rational manner.

    “AFAIK there are no such channels....” I'm talking about the correct channels, like
    following the immigration laws, not just appearing on some country's doorstep and demand to be let in...but those that are already in and are productive, should be allowed to request temporary residency and be safe until the decision - one way or the other - is made.

    “the democrats insistence on allowing illegals to vote”...... Try googleing “DNC Chairman Led Soros Group Lobbying for Illegals to Vote” was even an issue in the 2016 elections.

    Aug 15th, 2018 - 07:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Yeah, Iran doesn't pay much attention to the UN, and nor does North Korea (or Israel, but they have America on their side). Just like ordinary criminals, it's what they can get away with, and what they are willing to put up with (sanctions, or going to jail).

    As for Western governments, yes they're more likely to accept UN resolutions, but they're not perfect. And 3 of the countries have the power to veto anything.

    “don't think their behaviour will be affected by past, present or future events.”

    Oh come on; they're evil, not stupid. Saddam gave up his WMDs and ended up with a noose around his neck, Kim Jong-un kept developing his and got a meeting with the US Pres as a reward. Which option would you choose if you were a despot?

    ”the responsibility (if accepted) should be 'proportional' to each country's ''capacity to absorb them' in a rational manner.”

    Sounds like what the EU tried to do; move the migrants from Greece and Italy and spread them according to each country's capacity, but many countries (esp. E Europe) refused to take them. Besides, how do you judge capacity?

    “I'm talking about the correct channels”

    I think you either need a family member or else an employer to sponsor you, which means a skilled job. I have friends who moved there on work visas, but it's not really possible for the average C American. And if you're a genuine asylum seeker, turning up at the border and asking to be let in IS the proper method.

    ”DNC Chairman Led Soros Group Lobbying for Illegals to Vote”

    Seems like a storm in a teacup. It's not a Democratic policy, it's one guy who thinks giving non-citizens the right to vote in local city elections is a good idea, and it wasn't even the major part of what this organisation did. As for Soros, he's trying to promote certain policies, and he donates money to organisations that fit that. The right are obsessed with the guy, they think he's the Koch brothers, the Illuminati and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion all rolled into one.

    Aug 15th, 2018 - 09:35 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot


    ”The right are obsessed with (Soros) they think he's the Koch brothers, the Illuminati and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion all rolled into one.”

    Ha ha! That's a great one, DT. Loved it!

    Just for the record, we Argentines are crazy about Brazilians. They are joyful and their language is nice on the ear. Brazilians also have a wonderful sense of music and dance that we lack, exception made of our rather melancholic but sensible tango.

    Aug 16th, 2018 - 03:39 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    You :“...unfortunately will make future despots more likely to ignore the laws themselves”
    Me : “Despots are despots because they ignore the law etc..'and don't think their behaviour will be affected by past, present or future events' ”.

    We're talking of 'despots' right ? I never said they were stupid, and I agree they are evil....and will usually ignore the the point of carrying on with their policies until the last minute...some get to reap benefits (temporary) from their insistence (N.Korea), others get the message too late (Saddam)...
    What would I do if I were a despot ? imagining myself in that position, reckon my typical behaviour would be to push the limits as far as I could, while not forgetting my basic instincts for survival. Most probably think they are untouchable, that's why they get screwed.

    “Besides, how do you judge capacity?”......the same way that you measure an economy's strength.....

    “if you're a genuine asylum seeker, turning up at the border and asking to be let in IS the proper method”........perhaps, but definitely not by sending your kids in ahead of you and trying to get around the basic rules to get into any civilized country. And just because, or even if, you do follow the proper channels, what gives you the automatic right to enter ?
    I have a friend, an engineeer, who tried to move to Canada for years....he applied several times, through the Consulate, filling in all the necessay forms. .but still wasn't accepted. He was never told why.

    “Sounds like a storm in a teacup”...
    Tom Perez is chairman of the ”Democratic National Committee (DNC)“....not exactly a nobody in the party structure.....his previous posts and efforts got him where is today…and “the push is now folding into the mainstream national Democrat talking points as Perez heads the DNC” forgive me if I think it's a bit more widespread than ”just one guy trying to give non-citizens the right to vote...etc”

    Seriously....they love each other ?

    Aug 16th, 2018 - 11:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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