February 15, 2016

Pure Applesauce






Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day to all our loved ones. We hope your weekend was filled with heart emojis, Tinder matches, Netflix, and chill (although, we hope you weren’t within earshot of a SmartTV).



Antonin Scalia Death Puts US Election Into Over Drive  Antoin Scalia, the most conservative Justice on the US Supreme Court known for obstructing gay rights and inserting great one-liners into his legal arguments, died on Saturday at the age of 79. His death gives President Obama the opportunity to nominate his third Supreme Court Justice and flip the nine-person Court to a liberal advantage (prior to Scalia’s death, the court was 5-4 in favor of conservatives). 
Why is this important (even if you aren’t American)? The direction of the court is a large part of the President’s legacy. Liberal control of the court will ensure friendly rulings on abortion, labor and environmental regulation. Already the Senate has said it will block any nomination by Obama to replace Scalia (in the hope that a Republican becomes the next President), threatening to make US politics even more dysfunctional and raising the stakes in the presidential election. The resulting gridlock on the nomination will distract from pressing foreign policy and economic issues in the country. 

GREAT READ: Interview With Justice Scalia (via New York Magazine)
Syria: Let’s Have A Ceasefire Where We Don’t Cease Firing?
Less than a week after the international community announced a Syrian ceasefire, things reached a new level of violent complexity: 

  • Turkey began shelling the Kurds (and some government forces), telling them to withdraw from territory they recently captured from Turkish-backed Islamists.
  • Saudi Arabia said it would conduct a joint ground invasion with Turkey to “combat ISIS,” but experts suspect they will be supporting their proxies against the government instead. 
  • Russia and Iran promised they would retaliate if that were to happen.  
Great ceasefire guys… 


EU To Greece: Get Your Act Together In Three Months… Or Else We Give You Another Three Months The EU declared that it has almost run out of patience with Greece again, and this time it has nothing to do with debt. The EU gave Greece three months to “figure out the border situation” (sounds vague) before it risks being kicked out of the visa-free Schengen zone. They state that Greece isn’t doing enough to stop refugees from flowing through its border, although it is unclear what can be done (short of shooting or deportation) to prohibit people from taking the very short boat rides between Turkey and Greece.

#pnut4prez: Republicans Debate (Best One Liners Yet)South Carolinians are a lively bunch. Thanks to the energy from the audience–which often came in the form of booing– Republican candidates gave us some of the best election entertainment to date. The GOP circus, err debate, included Sideshow Donald Trump collecting boos, Mystic Ben Carson using a fake Joseph Stalin quotation and Comedian Ted Cruz yelling at Marco Rubio in Spanish. Here’s a recap of their best lines: 

Donald Trump: [To Cruz] “You are the single biggest liar. You probably are worse than Jeb Bush!”

Jeb Bush: [To Trump] “You want to talk about weakness? You want to talk about weakness? It’s weak to disparage women. It’s weak to disparage Hispanics.” 

Ben Carson: “Joseph Stalin said if you want to bring America down you have to undermine three things: our spiritual life, our patriotism, and our morality.” (Joseph Stalin never said this.) 

Marco Rubio: “I don’t know how [Ted Cruz] knows what I said on Univision, because he doesn’t speak Spanish.” (Not sure how you say MIC DROP in Spanish, but Rubio probably muttered it under his breath.) 

Ted Cruz: [Yelling at Rubio in Spanish] “That’s how you want it? Right now, say it in Spanish! If you want!” 

John Kasich: “I gotta tell ya, this is just crazy. This is just nuts! Jeez, oh man.” (It’s sweet how he want’s to be everyone’s pal.) 

CBS Moderator John Dickerson: [To Trump and Cruz] “Gentleman, I’m going to turn this car around.”

Keeping Our Eye On..

  • Kanye: After multiple album name switches, listening parties and Martin Shkreli trying to buy exclusive rights to the latest album, “The Life of Pablo” is finally out. 
  • Deutsche Bank: Shares are down 40% since the beginning of the year, falling below their price at the time of the 2008 financial crisis. Although German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble dismissed concerns, some expect the bank to admit insolvency. 
  • Popes: Popes Francis and Russian Patriarch Kirill had an historic meeting on Christian unity over the weekend. This was the first time these two figures met since the two Churches split more than 1,000 years ago. 


Samsung Gives Whole New Meaning To ‘Netflix And Chill’ Korean electronics maker Samsung warned customers against “discussing personal matters” in front of their smart TVs as, it turns out, those TVs are listening in on you. At first we couldn’t tell if the warning was real or a passage from George Orwell’s 1984. Other things that are probably listening to what you say in the privacy of your living room include your smartphone, Amazon echo and your mother-in-law. 


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