January 29, 2016

Election Season!






We want to apologize in advance for all the US election coverage coming up but the US does have the most nukes and the biggest economy in the world and, well, it is shaping up to be a very interesting election cycle.



#pnut4prez: Here Is What You Should Expect In Iowa On Monday

The revolutionary John Adams once described the caucus as a smoke-filled party for drunken political banter. While it hasn’t gotten more sophisticated, it sadly got more complicated. The Iowa caucus on Monday will be the first major event in the process of electing the US President, and it’s a poorly quantified circus that could seal the fate of the presidential hopefuls.

While it’s projected that Donald Trump will win the GOP caucus and Hillary Clinton will sweep the Democrats, the Iowa caucus is famous for changing the political discourse, often at the expense of the once leading candidates. To better understand the convoluted world of Iowa’s electoral system, check out our “Guide to the Iowa Caucus.”

#pnut4prez: Republicans Have Calm, Orderly Debate Without Trump
For the seventh GOP debate, seven presidential hopefuls (minus Trump of course) descended upon Des Moines, Iowa, to convince the country –and Iowans in particular– to vote for them. With Trump leading the polls in Iowa, this could have been Cruz and The Gang’s moment in the sun, but the conversation was overshadowed by what moderator Megyn Kelly referred to as “the elephant not in the room.”

  • Ted Cruz kicked things off with a joke about Trump, setting a tone that reminded viewers of a playground when the school bully was absent. “Let me say I am a maniac and everyone on this stage is stupid, fat and ugly,” he began. After a dramatic pause, he delivered the punchline: “now that we’ve gotten the ‘Donald Trump’ portion out of the way.” At least he won a laugh tonight.
  • Jeb Bush, seeming more relaxed with Trump on hiatus, poised himself as the consistent candidate despite his drop in the polls. While Cruz and Rubio competed for who sounded tougher on immigration, Bush countered with a path to legalization, reminding us that “we should be a welcoming nation. Our identity is not based on race or ethnicity, it’s based on a set of shared values. That’s American citizenship.”
  • Chris Christie is one tough Jersey boy. When asked to name the one thing the Federal Government is doing that he would change, he opted not to mention his popular budget cuts or his usual Hurricane Sandy shuffle, and instead targeted women’s health. “Yeah, you want one? How about one that I’ve done in New Jersey for the last six years: get rid of Planned Parenthood funding from the United States of America.” It was the most applause he got all night.
  • Marco Rubio used his air time to remind us of how tough his foreign policy measures would be, even when foreign policy was unrelated to the question. “If we capture any of these ISIS killers alive, they are going to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and we’ll find out everything they know.” Megyn Kelly later grilled him on his inconsistencies regarding immigration, while playing a video montage of some of his contradictory statements. 
  • Ben Carson not only appeared to be falling asleep throughout the debate, but he would sometimes become disoriented during his own answers. That being said, he gave us the best line of the night: “Putin is a one-horse country: oil, and energy.” Continuing on the theme of defying the odds and the dictionaries, he decided that his closing statement would be the right time to offer a preamble, and so began reciting the preamble to the Constitution.
  • John Kasich is too polite for this scene. Attempting to jump in on a foreign policy question, he was immediately cut off by Megyn Kelly reminding him that it wasn’t his turn. “Okay. I’ll always listen to you, Megyn,” he replied. “You’re a good man, Governor Kasich,” she responded. He never got to finish that thought on foreign policy.
  • Rand Paul gave one of the more direct answers tonight when asked about what can be done to improve police accountability and public safety. Paul quickly reminded the audience that the War on Drugs unfairly targeted black communities and called for criminal justice reform. Discussing how police engage with their communities, he said “I’ve been to Ferguson. One thing I discovered in Ferguson was that a third of the budget for the city of Ferguson was being reaped by civil fines. People were just being fined to death.”


Zika Virus: It’s Worse Than We Think? The World Health Organization warned that the Zika virus might affect up to four million people in the Americas in 2016, although, luckily most will not develop symptoms. While the US steps up vaccine efforts Brazil has promised to deploy 220,000 troops next month to spread awareness about the virus. Brazil is trying to get a grip on Zika before the Olympic games begin this summer in Rio.

Iran Goes On Champs Elysees Shopping BingeIranian President Rouhani continued his “Tour d’Europe” with a visit to France yesterday, inking ~30 billion euros worth of deals (apparently they had to skip lunch as the French insisted on serving wine). He put a downpayment on 116 airbus planes, a new terminal in Tehran and a new car factory by Peugeot. Meanwhile, other investors are already clamoring to start Iran-focused private equity funds. Another frontier market opened for business. 

Keeping Our Eye On…

  • Migrants: It seems that Sweden might be finally saying enough. The country threatened to deport 80,000 people who weren’t granted asylum last year in order to make room for people it deems as refugees. 
  • Cuba Libra: The Obama administration continued easing trade restrictions with Cuba while patiently waiting for Congress to get around to lifting the decades old embargo.
  • Pablo: Founder of Chicken Kitchen, who recently bought a Miami home formerly owned by Pablo Escobar, says he found a locked safe in the basement that might belong to the dead drug king-pin. Question is: can he keep it? 
  • Negative Rates: The Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced negative interest rates today in an attempt to finally end more than two decades of stagnant growth. The BoJ has adopted a series of unconventional measures over the past 18 months to jump start the economy. 


The Russian AK-47… Now Proudly Made In The US of A The Russian Avtomat Kalashnikova (AK -47) will be manufactured in Florida in a big win for the US manufacturing sector. The company’s US arm was forced to stop importing the gun from Russia due to Crimea-related sanctions so it decided to manufacture them domestically instead. The company claims this is an ideal gun for you whether you are a “sport shooter, hunter, protecting family,home and country.” So many fun uses for it… 

Weekend Reads:

The legend of Bernie Sanders.

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