October 26, 2015

Election Edition (Not the US Election)



Six national elections that don’t involve Donald Trump happened this weekend (presumably to get them out of the way before Halloween).


Polish Elections Mark Turn To The Right

The refugee crisis claimed its first electoral victim yesterday as the right-wing, EU-skeptic Law and Justice party swept into power in Poland, kicking out the incumbent Civic Platform party. The conservatives attacked a decision by Civic Platform to accept 7,000 refugees (0.02% of Poland’s population), with the conservative leader, Kaczynski, saying refugees might bring diseases with them. What does this mean?  This is the first major election in Europe since the refugee crisis exploded in late August. The Civic Platform party had an impressive economic record and things were going quite well in Poland, which shows just how much the refugee issue can be ripe for populist pandering by far-right parties.

Don’t Cry For Me Argentina…

The truth is Peronism never left you. As of writing, Peronist presidential candidate Daniel Scioli was barely in the lead in Argentina’s presidential election. The race will go to a run-off on November 22, the first in Argentina’s history, between him and the centre-right candidate Mauricio Macri. Scioli is the handpicked successor of Christina Fernández de Kirchner, known for her offensive tweets and defaulting on Argentina’s debt. The election is seen as a referendum on her policies.    


Syria: Rebels Reject Russian Help

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered his very “generous” support to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other groups fighting ISIS in Syria. The only problem is that Russia has recently been targeting those same groups and those groups are mainly pre-occupied with overthrowing Russia’s ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Not surprisingly, the FSA rejected the offer. Apparently, there is a lack of trust… Shocking. 

 Pnut’s Nutshell: Syrian Civil War


China: Nothing To Worry About Here

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC aka China’s Fed) cut interest rates to 4.35% in an attempt to boost the weakening economy through looser monetary policy. China, which missed its 7% growth target for the first time in years, has been suffering from weaker domestic demand and a significant drop in its stock market. The PBOC has undertaken many unconventional actions over the past few months to grow the economy.

 Pnut’s Nutshell: China


Israel-Jordan Agree To Keep Everything As Is

US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Israel and Jordan agreed to, essentially, keep things exactly the same at the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary. Rumors have circulated in previous weeks that the status quo at the site, which is a holy site for Muslims and Jews, might change. Israel denies the rumors. Video cameras may be set up so everyone can see what is going on and, hopefully, calm down.

#pnut4prez: Sanders Is No Longer Mr. Nice Guy

Sanders seems to have shifted his campaign strategy from “oh no, I’d never attack Hillary” to “oh yes, I will.” At the annual Democratic Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Iowa, for which both candidates were present, Sanders attacked Clinton without mentioning her name. He criticized her for changing her stance on the TPP and for not being as consistently liberal as he has been on matters such as gay rights, the Iraq War and Wall Street regulation. It’s on Hillary…           

Keeping Our Eye On…

  • Guatemala: Jimmy Morales, a former comedian, won the national election in a landslide of 70% on a a campaign slogan of “neither corrupt, nor a thief.” Morales capitalized on being an outsider after his predecessor was arrested for corruption.     
  • Tony Blair: The former British PM finally got around to saying he is kinda sorry for the Iraq War. The war has killed hundreds of thousands of people and counting…
  • Haiti: The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere also went to the polls yesterday to pick a new president from 54 different options… Even Baskin Robbins only has 31 flavors.


Jimmy Carter Trolls Russia, Russia Doesn’t Get It

The 39th US President, Jimmy Carter, revealed that he had e-mailed his fly-fishing buddy, Vladimir Putin, offering detailed maps of ISIS positions. This was to ensure that Russian pilots would actually bomb the terror group (rather than bombing everyone else). This was obviously meant as a superb President to President prank but the Russians, not realizing this was Carter mocking them, responded with gratitude that Carter was joining their “fight against terror“. Russian humor is not always so subtle.
Helmet footage from a recent anti-ISIS rescue mission by Kurdish fighters and US special forces.
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