Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Democrats need to confess

As any Catholic knows, our confessions are twofold. First, you tell the priest your sins, or “recount your tragedies” as we used to say in Catholic school. Second, the priest gives you a little homework, or a few prayers to say to move on.
Well, if the Democrats were confessing then it may go like this: “Father, I am really sorry that I’ve been looking down at all of those religious people or calling them racists if they disagree with Obama, or calling them homophobes if they believe in traditional marriage, or referring to them as fascists because they want the Ten Amendments on the courthouse walls.”
Father may tell them to say a few Hail Marys and Our Fathers.
On a real note, the Democrats have a religion problem, and Democrat Michael Wear is reminding them of it. In an exchange with Emma Green at the Atlantic, Wear said:
Green: Why is it, do you think, that some liberals — and specifically the Democratic Party — have been unwilling to do outreach to people who hold particular kinds of theological points of view?
Wear: They think, in some ways wrongly, but in other ways rightly, that it would put constraints around their policy agenda. So, for instance: You could make a case to evangelicals while trying to repeal the Hyde Amendment, [which prohibits federal funding for abortion in most circumstances,] but that’s really difficult. Reaching out to evangelicals doesn’t mean you have to become pro-life. It just means you have to not be so in love with how pro-choice you are, and so opposed to how pro-life we are.
The second thing is that there’s a religious illiteracy problem in the Democratic Party. It’s tied to the demographics of the country: More 20- and 30-year-olds are taking positions of power in the Democratic Party. They grew up in parts of the country where navigating religion was not important socially and not important to their political careers. This is very different from, like, James Carville in Louisiana in the ’80s. James Carville is not the most religious guy, but he gets religious people — if you didn’t get religious people running Democratic campaigns in the South in the ’80s, you wouldn’t win.
Another reason why they haven’t reached out to evangelicals in 2016 is that, no matter Clinton’s slogan of “Stronger Together,” we have a politics right now that is based on making enemies, and making people afraid.
Mr. Wear is right that our politics is vicious. I don’t know when it actually started but the attacks on Judge Bork in 1987 may be a good starting place.
Nevertheless, I would add a couple of personal observations to the Democrats’ religion problems.
The party is not just preaching separation of church and state, a concept that I support. Instead, they are hysterical about taking God completely out of the public arena.   
How else do you explain these fanatics who want to remove Nativity scenes from public places? Why can’t these people just walk by and go on with their lives?   
Or the insane reaction to having The Ten Commandments on the courthouse wall? What is wrong with a message that tells people not to kill and steal, and to respect their parents? When did that message move to the wrong side of history?
Also, many in the party continue to insult our intelligence referring to abortion as “reproductive rights”. Talk about a corruption of the language!  
Then there is the insane equivalence of illegal and legal immigration.
Yes, the Democrats would be well served to tolerate those of us who disagree with them. It would help if they would stop referring to us as racist, stupid, or whatever other insult they can come up with.
In the meantime, they will continue to lose elections if they don’t confess and change their ways.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter      Catch our show with Chris Corbett about religious freedom:

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Some thoughts about Gabriel Garcia-Marquez & Fidel Castro


Some thoughts about Gabriel Garcia-Marquez & Fidel Castro 04/22 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics Podcasts:

Victor Triay, author and college professor, joins me for a chat about the Latin American left. We will also hear from Michael Prada. We will look at the death of Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, the well known author of the Spanish language, who died in Mexico City. My concern is that Mr Garcia-Marquez is another one of those Latin American intellectuals who loved Fidel Castro more than the Cuban people. How else do you explain his fascination with Castro? 

Tags: Fidel Castro and Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Religious freedom in the US today


Religious freedom in the US today 12/30 by Silvio Canto Jr | News Podcasts:

Guest: Chris Corbett, North Texas conservative..........we will discuss the state of religious freedom in the US, from 'Merry Christmas' to school prayer to The Ten Commandments in the public square...............................

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A little ‘gas anger’ in Mexico

During my four years working in Mexico for a U.S. bank, I recall two interesting reactions when Mexicans visited their friends or family in the U.S.   
The first one is that they were overwhelmed by our interstate highway system. I remember a Mexican friend asking: “Who built the roads”? I explained the history of the interstates and he replied by saying something along the line that it’s nice to see your taxes doing something good.
The second was that they were impressed by the number of gasoline stations and how people actually shopped for price. The reason for this is that in Mexico there is no shopping for gasoline since all of the stations are owned by PEMEX, and they determine the price too.   
“Cambio” or change, is coming to Mexico, as they say.
Have you spoken with anyone from Mexico over the holidays? Well, it’s all about gasoline prices south of the border these days, as we can see in this report from Bloomberg:
Mexico will raise gasoline prices by as much as 20 percent in January, stoking inflation that’s already running at the fastest pace in almost two years.
A month after the increase is implemented, prices will start to adjust on a daily basis as the government loosens its control of the gasoline market, the Finance Ministry said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. 
January’s increase in unleaded gas will be the biggest since November 1998.
The jump in prices risks pushing up inflation at a time when a slump in the peso has already fueled concern about rising consumer prices and led the central bank to raise interest rates five times this year.
It is a risk Mexico is willing to take as the government gradually lifts controls over gasoline prices to open the fuel market to private development, a move made possible by a landmark energy overhaul in 2013.
Frankly, it had to happen, although I agree that it will hit consumers very hard and drive up the cost of anything that must be transported. The new price will be about 16 pesos a liter, or about 50 pesos a gallon, i,e, about U.S. $3. It could be higher than in the U.S.!
At the same time, Mexico can no longer subsidize gasoline, especially since a lot of it is refined in the U.S.    
Here is a dirty little secret that no politician talks about in Mexico: PEMEX sends oil up here and we send gasoline back to them. It is worth approximately US $15 worth of business to refiners such as Valero, Marathon Petroleum, and Citgo Petroleum. It happens because PEMEX spends too much of its resources on everything rather than drilling or refining.   
Of course, the solution is to privatize PEMEX and put that sacred cow away for good. Unfortunately, “vacas sagradas” or sacred cows have lots of friends in high places, so don’t expect that to happen.   
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thursday's show: Cuba 2017 , gasoline prices in Mexico & US-Israel rift gets worse

Tags: Israel and the US, Gasoline prices in Mexico, Cuba 2017  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

My parents were engaged many years ago this week

Image may contain: 2 people

According to all of those family stories passed down from parents to kids, the story goes like this.

Circa 1950, my future father was a very young banker in Sagua La Grande (near the Isabela Port).    He decided to take a little vacation and went to Ciego de Avila (close to Camaguey) to visit some family friends.

My future left the hotel and crossed Parque Marti, located in the center of the city.   

My father knocked on the door.  My future mother answered it!  (She happened to live next door and was visiting a friend who lived in that home!)

My future father took a look at my future mother and came back every weekend (and whenever else his work allowed him) until they got married.

I understand why my dad flipped over my mom. She was quite a "beauty" in her younger days!   I guess that it was that mixture of Asturias and Cuba, along with a Cuban accent!

My brother, sister and I came along in the 1950s.

Our family left Cuba in 1964 because my parents refused to live in a communist country. My brother, sister and I are so grateful that my parents sacrificed a great deal so that we may grow up in freedom.

Today, my father is gone and my mom is recovering from an operation.

Nevertheless, we remember that it all started many years ago in December.     

And you can read more in "Cubanos in Wisconsin".

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, click send drop a dime here.

2017: ‘Muy malo’ for Cuba

For 10 years, Raul has benefited a lot from having Fidel around. Fidel always showed up at the big celebrations or wrote a column.
Forget that. It won’t be pretty in 2017, as we see in this report from the AP:
Castro must manage these twin economic and diplomatic challenges during a year of transition. The 85-year-old general has promised to hand over the office in early 2018 to a successor, widely expected to be Miguel Diaz-Canel, a 56-year-old official with neither the Castro name nor revolutionary credentials. The change will occur without Castro’s older brother Fidel, the revolutionary leader whose largely unseen presence endowed the system he created with historical weight and credibility in the eyes of many Cubans before he died last month at 90.
“Even if those two events hadn’t taken place — Trump’s victory and Fidel’s death — 2017 was going to be a very difficult year for Cuba,” said Cuban economist Omar Everleny Perez, a visiting professor at Keio University in Tokyo.
Cuba publishes few credible economic statistics, but experts expect the country to end this year with gross domestic product growth of 1 percent or less. It maintained a rate close to 3 percent from 2011-2015.
By the way, it’s nice to see an analyst admit that Cuba produces very little credible economic data. This is why so many have been skeptical of health care or literacy gains boasted by Cuba.
Back to the economy.
Indeed, there are tourists but it does not seem to help the Cuban economy. This is because Cubans have very little to gain from these hotels or restaurants where tourists are spending their dollars.   
Add to this the mismanagement of Cuba’s economy and you have profits that end up in the Castro accounts rather than the pockets of the Cuban people.
We are not saying that this is new. Cuba has always been for the benefit of Castro and the gang that protects them. However, this is the first time that they are going to do without a USSR subsidy, EU loans, cheap Venezuela oil, or a U.S. president willing to go around the embargo. 
It will be Raul vs reality in 2017 and the Cuban elites don’t have a clue of what will hit them. There is no one waiting to bail them out anymore.   
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Israel and the US plus a look at the end of the Obama administration


Guest: Richard Baehr, political analyst and Chief Political Corespondent at American Thinker........we will look at the continuing crisis between Israel and the US over the UN resolution.......the US abstained and we left Israel to be can Mr. Trump reverse it? what consequences for the countries who voted for the resolution?........President Obama down to less than 30 days........what chance is there that he will pardon Mrs. Clinton? plus other stories.................

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1,030 reasons why President Obama failed his party

Over the holidays, I saw one of the many reviews out there about the Obama years, this one from Lisa Lerer of AP:
In boasting about his tenure in the White House, President Barack Obama often cites numbers like these: 15 million new jobs, a 4.9 percent unemployment rate and 74 months of consecutive job growth.
There’s one number you will almost never hear: More than 1,030 seats.
That’s the number of spots in state legislatures, governor’s mansions and Congress lost by Democrats during Obama’s presidency.
It’s a statistic that reveals an unexpected twist of the Obama years: The leadership of the one-time community organizer and champion of ground-up politics was rough on the grassroots of his own party. When Obama exits the White House, he’ll leave behind a Democratic Party that languished in his shadow for years and is searching for itself…
When Obama won the presidency, his election was heralded as a moment of Democratic dominance — the crashing of a conservative wave that had swept the country since the dawn of the Reagan era.
Democrats believed that the coalition of young, minority and female voters who swept Obama into the White House would usher in something new: an ascendant Democratic majority that would ensure party gains for decades to come.
The coalition, it turns out, was Obama’s alone.
Well, let’s say a couple of things.
Why did the voters want to talk about Mr. Obama rather than state issues, as the state legislator from South Carolina laments? Let me come up with an couple of answers: ObamaCare and a U.S. economy that did not create high-paying jobs.
The article also mentioned that President Obama accomplished his policy goals. Really? Did I watch the wrong movie? ObamaCare is a disaster and will likely collapse of its own weight. Illegal Immigration is chaotic with cities choosing to ignore federal law. And did we mention terrorism or the sense that we feel less safe today than when President Bush? Did the writer of the review check out the Middle East? What did President Obama accomplished there?
Yes, President Obama hurt his party a lot. However, it was not because he was too busy to build it or uncomfortable with legislating and negotiation. He destroyed the party by going too far to the left on social issues and being rather divisive, such as in issues of race.
Overall, President Obama never lived up to the hype. He was the articulate man who never articulated a message that brought us together. He was the thoughtful man who never thought through the consequences of ObamaCare or pulling troops out of Iraq without a plan.
Again, overall a C-minus, and that’s probably a bit charitable. It’s amazing how much better President Bush looks eight years after he handed the presidency to Mr. Obama,
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Tales from storyteller Tersi Agra Bendiburg


Tales from storyteller Tersi Agra Bendiburg 10/18 by Silvio Canto Jr | Culture Podcasts:

Guest: Tersi Agra Bendiburg, professional storyteller. She came to the US as a young girl and has grown into a professonal storyteller. 

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Israel & the UN resolution plus Democrats after Obama & a few other stories

Tags: Israel & the UN resolution, Democrats after Obama, Scotty Moore, Marion Pritchard To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Cuba, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil & other Latin America stories in 2016

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Monday, December 26, 2016

A couple of stories from Monday's front pages 12/26 by Silvio Canto Jr | News Podcasts


A couple of stories from Monday's front pages 12/26 by Silvio Canto Jr | News Podcasts:

We look back at President Truman and President Ford, who both died on December 26........two men from the Midwest who became president in unusual circumstances.......the UN vote on Israel has thrown US-Israel relations in disarray.........the Obama legacy is now the subject of much the 12-2 Cowboys keep winning.................................

Tags: Israel and the US at the UN, Truman 1972, Ford died in 2006, Cowboys 12-2, Obama legacy and many reviews To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

What about Mexico intervening in the U.S. election?

Back in 2006, Mexico had a very contested election. It went on for days. There were massive demonstrations about the results. In fact, president-elect Felipe Calderon had to be brought in through the back door to be sworn before stunned deputies. You can not make this up. It did happen amid what the NY Times headline called “catcalls”!
What would have been the reaction of Mexicans if a U.S. politicians (God forbid a former president) had made a video encouraging voters to go one way or another or calling the results illegitimate?
I know the answer. They would have screamed “intervention” and lots of other things. And they would have been right. No country should meddle in elections.
Now, let’s move to 2016 and all of the charges that Russia elected Donald Trump.    
First, it is interesting that the Democrats claim that Russia interfered in the election and then tell us that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Are they saying that the Russians only intervened in “swing states” like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin?   
Second, where is the Democrats’ outrage about a former president of Mexico making a video before and after the election?
Former President Vicente Fox (a man that I supported in 2000 as an agent of change) just released a videocalling Mr. Trump illegitimate. It goes like this:
Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico, shares his take on President-elect Donald Trump, and his threat to U.S.-Mexico relations. He says Trump is an “illegitimate president” who “didn’t win the general election.” Presumably, Fox is referring to the popular vote when he says “general election.”
“He’s got too many people against him and they have shown out on the street,” Fox said. 
He continued: “But anyway, in Mexico, we can be rude also. We are strong now. We’re going to defend our people wherever they are. Inside Mexico, or outside Mexico in the United States. We’re not going to let this guy to offend them anymore. To offend the dignity, and to deny the enormous contribution they make to the U.S. economy.”
Isn’t that sweet? “El seƱor Presidente” Fox needs a class on constitutional law. Maybe he can take one from soon to be retired President Obama, who I understand taught such subjects years ago.
We honestly don’t know just what Russia tried to do with respect to our elections. Let me add that I am not a fan of Mr. Putin and wouldn’t put anything past him. Nevertheless, I doubt that anyone has the ability to fix election systems in 50 states. Even Putin can’t do that.
At the end, Mr. Putin did not make a video but Sr. Fox did. I would love to see one of reporters ask Mrs. Clinton about Mexico’s efforts to influence our election. It would also be a wonderful idea for one of Jorge Ramos’ segments on Univision.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.     You can catch our shows here:

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A new book about Cubans in the US by Fernando Hernandez


A new book about Cubans in the US by Fernando Hernandez 08/06 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics Podcasts:

Guest: Fernando Hernandez, author of 'The Cubans'. You will learn a lot about Cubans in the US by reading this fun book. We also spoke with Betsy Gonzalez. 

Tags: Stories of Cubans in the US To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A 2016 Christmas message from me to you

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, click send drop a dime here.

The week in review with Bill Katz, the editor of Urgent Agenda


The week in review with Bill Katz, the editor of Urgent Agenda 12/24 by Silvio Canto Jr | News Podcasts:

Guest: Bill Katz, the editor of Urgent Agenda........we will look back at some of the stories that did not get a lot of attention, such as the chaotic state of colleges.......the PC thought police.........the left out of control as they try to explain Mrs. Clinton's loss.........VP Biden takes a shot at Mrs. Clinton's campaign, i.e. white workers problem.......and other stories of a most unusual 2016.......................

Tags: Israel and  the US at the UN, Trump transition, PC and colleges To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

They're not singing 'feliz anything' in Venezuela this Christmas

(My new American Thinker post)

Let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas.   

Please take a moment and think about Venezuela, where "Feliz Navidad" is not what they are singing.   

The latest nonsense from the Maduro government is sick and that's saying a lot about a pretty sick regime. This is a summary:

You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, let us tell you why: Santa Claus is coming to Caracas, and this year he’ll be bringing toys to all the pro-regime boys and girls -- and jailing those who get in his way.
Striking an almost comically Orwellian posture of Saint Nick meets Robin Hood, last week Venezuela’s consumer “protection” agency seized several million toys that will, ostensibly, be redistributed to the poor. 
The trinkets were confiscated from a toy distributor that had purportedly “committed fraud” against the country by selling the goods at unlawfully high mark-ups. Two of the company’s executives were arrested in the toy-taking. Agency officials say the toys will be sold at below-market prices. 
They haven’t said who will get to purchase the discounted dolls, but presumably being a supporter of President Maduro’s United Socialist Party won’t hurt one’s chances.

Yes, Santa is now a tool of the state and December 25th is another day to reward those who support the regime. Wonder what they are thinking about all of this at the North Pole? Who knew that Santa's red outfit was a statement of his socialist beliefs?    
What about the other children? Well, they won't get any gifts, unless their parents can go to the black market or cross the Colombia border and buy something.

This is what Chavez' revolution has brought to a beautiful country.    

It reminds me of how the communists in Cuba played dirty tricks with children. The teacher would tell a young student to ask for candy. Ask the revolution and the teacher would hand the young person a candy bar. Ask God and nothing would come down from heaven.

Yes, that's what communists do. Wonder if anyone told Bernie Sanders that true story?

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

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The Obama legacy: First it was the Cubans and now the Israelis

(My new Babalu post)
We would rather be talking about Nochebuena and the holidays. However, the Obama administration pulled an ugly one today, a very ugly one.
Sadly, it’s the Obama way. Yesterday Cuba and today Israel!
First, a little history. In 2012, President Obama ran for reelection on false premises. He took a hard line in public against the Castro dictatorship. In fact, he was negotiating with Cuba to put a US Embassy in the island.
I believe that Mr. Obama would have lost Florida if Cubans had known what he was doing in secret with the Castro dictatorship. After all, President Obama carried the state by 75,000 votes out of 8,5 million!
To date, the Cuba deal has been nothing but a legacy item. In other words, Cubans have no hope and nothing has changed.
Today, President Obama threw Israel under the bus at the United Nations: US abstains in key Israel vote, clearing way for condemnation of settlements.
Wonder how all of those Jewish voters in New York City and the US feel about that? Senator Schumer, the incoming US Senate Minority Leader, did not like it either, as we see in this tweet.
How much more can harm can this man do? He’s got 30 days left!
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Tags: Israel and President Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

How to say Merry Christmas to a Democrat

Let me be honest. I don't know who created this. Nevertheless, it is rather funny. This is what you need to write on the "winter celebration" card that you plan to mail to your Democrat friends:
"Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great.

Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere, and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishes.

By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms.

This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal.

It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting.

It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher.

This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher."
Of course, it's a simple Merry Christmas for all of your Republican friends!

Friday, December 23, 2016

The 2016 Christmas message

Dallas Cowboys NFC champs

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‘Austerity’ now comes to Brazil

Over the last 18 months, the Brazilian economy, one of the Top 10 GDPs in the world, has been in a “funk”, i.e. minus 3.8% growth in 2015 and about minus 3% is expected in 2016.     
Can you remember the last time that the U.S. economy had back to back declines like that? We would call it a very bad recession.
Add to that the political crisis and Brazilians are not a happy bunch.   
This week, President Michel Temer, who followed the impeached President Dilma Rousseff, announced some tough austerity measures
Mr. Temer insisted on Tuesday that the spending cap was needed to lift Brazil out of the country’s most severe economic crisis in decades. 
He called the Senate vote an “extraordinary victory,” though various senators from his coalition refrained from voting, diminishing support for the measure after a first round of voting.
The positioning against Mr. Temer comes as he grapples with claims that he solicited millions of dollars in illegal campaign donations from Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction giant. 
In addition, Mr. Temer is embroiled in a scandal over claims that he pressured a cabinet minister to assist an ally in a property deal.
President Temer is going in the right direction. His center-right instincts have my support and probably those of most business people. However, I am not sure that he will be around when the country reaches the intended destination of a more vibrant economy.     
At times like these, or when a president calls on his countrymen to make sacrifices for the common good, it is very difficult to have a leader under an ethical cloud. Fair or unfair, most Brazilians see him as another politician who needs to go through the “car wash” or the Brazilian expression similar to Mr. Trump’s “drain the swamp”.   
Brazilians just don’t trust anymore, an understandable position given everything that has come out about the people running their country.     
The good news is that stories of corruption and graft fill the pages everyday. In other words, a lot of cars are getting washed.    
The bad news is that the country is running out of leaders who are not stained by corruption or the crony capitalism made famous here.
An interesting sign is that an evangelical bishop just got elected mayor of Rio! He beat a socialist by 20 points in one of Latin America’s largest cities.    
So now it’s time for President Temer’s austerity. There are protests in the streets.   
Let’s see what happens in 2017. However, don’t be shocked if we are talking about a new president by next Christmas.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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