November 11, 2015

Who Won?



Do you know anyone named Alice, Lauren, Elaine, Sandy or Maya? Well their names may very well be banned in Saudi Arabia. Wait… you can ban names?


#pnut4prez: Fourth Time Is The Charm As Candidates Actually Address Policy

The fourth GOP debate was by far and away the most substantive yet (low bar). The candidates focused on the issues and what it meant to be “conservative” (in part thanks to the Fox and WSJ moderators who kept them in line). We even heard about the economy, immigration and a little bit of foreign policy. Jeb was not quite as awkward (also a low bar), and Trump’s boxing gloves rarely came into use. Hillary bashing nonetheless served as a uniting force among the motley crew.
  • Marco Rubio: He wants more vocational schools to train welders, because they make more money than “philosophers.†He also thinks Putin is a gangster.
  • Ben Carson: He was just happy no one asked him about what he said in the 10th grade… true story.
  • Donald Trump: He talked… a lot, but was baffled by how much Carly Fiorina talks. He also claims to know Putin well because they were “stable mates†in the “60 Minutes†greenroom. He’s all for Putin going into Syria and knocking out ISIS… and implied the US should do the same.
  • Jeb Bush: He was not quite as awkward. Sigh. He was also vehemently against Trump’s position on ISIS, declaring that “we’re not the world’s policeman.â€
  • Carly Fiorina: She wouldn’t talk to Putin for “a while†because she thinks we’re in a position of weakness. But she did want everyone to know that she has in fact met him.
  • Rand Paul: He wants a government so small you can “barely see it.â€
  • Ted Cruz: He goofed… he said he wanted to do away with five government agencies, but he listed the Department of Commerce twice… oops (think: Rick Perry, election 2012).
  • John Kasich: He got into a heated fight with Cruz over the banks and then got booed after saying he’d bail ’em out.
It was nice to finally get a serious look at the different ideological camps within the Republican party (isolationism vs. global leadership, pragmatism vs. brinkmanship). Hopefully, this keeps up!


Britain Announces Detailed Plan To Annoy EU

British Prime Minister David Cameron has set out four key areas (trade, red tape, national sovereignty and EU migrant access to benefits) that he wants to reform ahead of a planned UK referendum on EU membership. He was immediately attacked by everyone. The UK has a long history of annoying Europe, but negotiations/arguing with EU leaders (EU leaders = Angela Merkel) will now begin in earnest.      

Portugal: A Greek Wannabe

Portugal’s center-right government collapsed as part of an ongoing race for who will be Europe’s next Greece. The communist, socialist and radical-left parties were able to stay united long enough to knock out the pro-austerity government of Pedro Passos Coelho. Socialist leader Antonio Costa, of partial Goan descent, former Mayor of Lisbon and son of a renowned Communist writer, is expected to lead the next government. This is going to a political street-brawl.

New York State Clamps Down On Fun/ Fantasy Sports

Fantasy Football (that thing that allows grown men to pretend that they are Mark Cuban) came under fire yesterday when the two biggest “players,” DraftKings and FanDuel, were ordered to cease and desist. New York’s Attorney General considers Fantasy Football to be “illegal gambling.” The move follows a ban by Nevada last month and will likely result in bans by more states. Look’s like the fun is coming to an end.

Syrian Army On The Move

Russian airstrikes emboldened the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad whose troops lifted a siege on a government airbase in Aleppo Province. This comes on the back of a series of victories by government forces in the area surrounding Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, as they prepare to attack the city. Rebel forces struck back, shelling the pro-government seaside town of Latakia.
 Nutshell: Syrian Civil War

Keeping Our Eye On…

  • Gitmo: Remember when Obama wanted to close Guantanamo Bay? Well, it just got more complicated when the Senate voted to block Gitmo inmates from being transferred to the US.
  • Free Press: Egyptian investigative journalist Hossam Bahgat was released by the Egyptian government one day after his arrest. Egypt isn’t doing so hot on freedom of the press these days.
  • Hacking: The US government charged three Israelis for a massive cyberattack, which hit JP Morgan Chase and made hundreds of millions of dollars for the hackers through at least 75 shell companies. The attacks were so big, it’s almost impressive.  


Russia + Doping Allegations = One Giant ‘Meh’

What do you do when a 323-page report accuses you of widespread doping and threatens you with suspension from the Olympics. Not much actually. The head of the Russian Athletics Federation said, “We don’t have any corruption now” (maybe before, though) and Putin’s spokesperson has responded to allegations from the World Anti-Doping Agency by calling for “particular” evidence and “real facts.” So thousands of emails, documents, witness statements and photos aren’t enough? 
Did he get into WestPoint? Was his childhood violent? Who knows?
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