BrainBust News




                  That Flinty Taste: The Economist brings us a little history to the tragic story unfolding

                     in Flint, Michigan: All 9,000 of the struggling city's children have been exposed to lead

                     through the drinking water. The troubles began in 2014, and State Lawmakers in

                     Michigan ignored the work of a local pediatrician documenting a massive increase in

                     lead found in the blood stream of kids living in Flint. The sudden spikes in lead

                     coincided with a decision by state officials to safe money by changing the city's water

                     supply to a local river. The governor of Michigan has yet to resign, but did offer the

                     following: "I am sorry, and I will fix it... You deserve better." Gee, that's swell.  


                   • Donald Trump and Ted Cruz Duking it Out: Ted Cruz is attempting to narrow the gap

                     between himself and "The Donald" as they both head into the first Iowa caucuses on

                     February 1st. Trump took a swipe at Cruz during the last Republican debate over

                     whether or not the Senator is, indeed, an American citizen (he is). Although Ted

                     handled it perfectly on the debate, he is still faced with an uphill battle if you pay

                     attention to the polls. Trump is the front-runner in several polls for the Iowa caucuses

                     and the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. Love him or hate him, Trump

                     has a lot of momentum right now.


                   • Panda Watch 2016: Here's how has the rest of the candidates

                     shaking out:


                                                        Democrats                                            Republicans

                    Iowa:                         Sanders 47%; Clinton 46%                Trump 39%; Cruz 34%; Rubio 13%

                    New Hampshire:   Sanders 57%; Clinton 38%                Trump 31%; Cruz 14%; Rubio 13%

                    South Carolina:     Sanders 38%; Clinton 60%                Trump 40%; Cruz 21%; Rbuio 13%


                   Politico Slams the Iowa Caucuses: Jeff Greenfield, we doff our cap. He put together a

                     fine piece outlining how Iowa became the first (and increasingly more important) stop

                     on the road to the Oval Office. How is a state that is 92% white, with shamefully

                     pathetic voter turnout and a massive evangelical population an accurate representation

                     of the entire country? The Democratic Party looks especially bad, as they do not even

                     tally up the actual number of votes for a given candidate. Instead, they rely on

                     arbitrarily assigning "state delegate equivalents," based on what sounds like perceived

                     popularity. Fantastic.



     What’s Relevant?

                   Now that we've gone over how terrible the Iowa caucuses are to the democratic process,

                     allow me to mention that they will be driving the headlines going into the February 1st

                     kick-off. I would like to take a moment to mention that Bill Clinton lost in both Iowa

                     and New Hampshire on his way towards a two-term presidency. Unless something

                     cataclysmic happens, it will still be anyone's race heading into South Carolina. Watch

                     out for increasing attacks from Team Hillary aimed at Bernie Sanders: they have

                     recently tried to call him out on his position on guns and healthcare. The recent up-tick

                     in attacks leads me to believe that the Hillary camp is on their heels. Trump continues

                     to defy the laws of political campaigning. Sarah Palin endorsed him last week, and the

                     question of whether or not he is attempting to TNT his chances is a valid one, indeed.

                     Then again, who knows. Stay tuned, folks.  



Middle East



                   • China-Egypt relationship will see best period of all time: China continues the trend of

                     making friends and bolstering relations with West African nations. They currently

                     have economic ties with Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, and Egypt. These ties are used

                     specifically for export purposes. As Russia has a monopoly on arms sales in the Middle

                     East, China would like to get its knock-off Russian arms machine running as well.

                     West Africa is a relatively untouched market compared to the Middle East and Europe.

                     Additionally, as South Sudan stabilizes, they will need to export the large amount of oil

                     that they are sitting on. Since South Sudan is land locked, the surrounding coastal

                     nations are premium real estate for economic ties, China continues to exploit these



                   • Daesh Barbarians Destroy 1,400-Year-Old Christian Monastery in Iraq: ISIL continues

                     to inflict morale damage. Conducting attacks like this gets maximum media attention

                     and is an ultimately small expense for IS. It also is a hard blow to morale when

                     historically significant targets are attacked. This comes only a week after attacking 10

                     different mosque locations throughout Iraq. Expect to see these attacks against

                     historically and religiously significant targets to continue in not only Iraq but also other

                     countries such as Turkey and Egypt.


                   • Israeli Forces Arrest 20 Palestinians in West Bank: In case you are sick of hearing

                     about ISIL, this just in: Israel doesn’t like Palestinians.


                   • Intelligence Report Reveals IS Plan to Poison Water: The report claims that ISIL is

                     targeting Turkey's water sources -- which would be a new tactic for the group.

                     Questions still linger over the validity of this report -- it is difficult to believe that IS

                     could pull of an operation of this size; however, the goal of terrorism is fear, so even the

                     rumor is enough for them to complete their mission. Hopefully their ability to execute

                     something like this is a long way off.



     What’s Relevant?

                   •  ISIL is still the major focus for media in the Middle East. Although strikes continue,

                     the only way that ISIL can be effectively dealt with is through the intervention of

                     countries like Iraq, Egypt, and Syria. They need militaries who can effectively fight

                     against threats daily without outside support. Until that occurs, I do not believe stability

                     is possible no matter how accurate coalition bombing strikes are.


                     If China were not so difficult, they would make a good ally. With the expansion of their

                     influence into the South China sea and ties with West African nations, soon they will be

                     an even larger economic force (assuming they don't have a financial collapse). Also they

                     are key to dealing with North Korea. Too bad they can’t get their shit together.


                    -Mr. "X"



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Something in the Water

The Weekly Bust

Jan 24 2016

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