The two Brazils

The two biggest countries in the Western hemisphere have similar leaders. Dumb, pro-torture, dishonest, corrupt, misogynist, authoritarian, disdainful of scientific expertise, etc.

Now both are trying to cover up corruption:

“Moro abandoned a 22-year career as a federal judge to become justice minister and one of the highest profile members of Bolsonaro’s government when he took office at the start of 2019. He quit on April 24 publicly accusing Bolsonaro of attempting to interfere with police investigations by firing the nation’s top cop, allegations the president dismissed as baseless.

In an eight-hour testimony to prosecutors on Saturday, the former judge expanded on his allegations of presidential meddling in the federal police. According to court documents leaked to the press, he described how Bolsonaro asked him to also replace the regional police chief in charge of Rio de Janeiro — the state where the president began his political career and where some police probes may potentially involve his family.”

Moro had led the investigation into corruption in the Lula administration.

In America, Trump is gradually getting rid of any official willing to blow the whistle on corruption:

“I have learned that the Office of the Inspector General had opened an investigation into Secretary Pompeo,” Mr Engel added. “Mr Linick’s firing amid such a probe strongly suggests that this is an unlawful act of retaliation.”

Last month, Mr Trump fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community’s inspector-general, who had a pivotal role in his impeachment proceedings last year. Mr Atkinson told lawmakers about a whistleblower complaint regarding the president’s dealings with Ukraine, which sparked the impeachment probe.

The president has also removed other officials involved in his impeachment, including Alexander Vindman, a former National Security Council official, and Gordon Sondland, the former US ambassador to the EU.

Trump also gets rid of cabinet ministers that have quaint ideas about personal integrity, and replaces them with the likes of Barr and Pompeo.

People used to wonder if Brazil could ever become like the USA. Alas, I believe they’re almost there.

PS. Off topic, I like this National Review article:

Trump has remained completely undomesticated in the White House. The idea that he has now, as some of his supporters imply, been seduced, bullied, or otherwise manipulated by a mild-mannered, nearly 80-year-old doctor is bonkers.

The reason Trump issued his shutdown guidance was that the prospect of uncontrolled spread of the virus was too risky to contemplate.

Since populist critics of the shutdowns don’t want to criticize Trump, let alone say that they think he blew one of the most consequential decisions of his presidency, they focus their ire on the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases instead. . . .

This is what we elect presidents, governors, and mayors to decide. It’s their responsibility to balance the competing considerations, and if they are found wanting, they lose their jobs.

Anyone in this position obviously wants to hear from experts, though. Which is why if Trump really did fire Fauci, some other meddlesome epidemiologist would emerge soon enough. If Fauci didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him.

Trump says that Sweden blew it when they didn’t adopt his “shutdown guidance”. We shall see.