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.
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 realclearpolitics.com has the rest of the candidates
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
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
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Something in the Water
The Weekly Bust
Jan 24 2016
We're pretty convinced our democracy isn't working that great, and we have reason to believe that these problems are systemic. We will be covering a lot of these topics in our news updates. The recent spending bill passed in December was stuffed full of unwanted legislation. There's a major trade deal in the works -- the Trans Pacific Partnership. It would make private tribunals for corporations, allowing them to circumvent national laws. Help us get the word out.
A number of us have spent time on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq. We've been at war for over a decade. New threats have emerged from the Islamic State, with a growing number of attacks taking place throughout the world. Mr. "X" brings his intelligence experience to bear by keeping us all up-to-date.
We're very concerned about the effect technology has on society and government. With the latest passing of a hush-hush Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act in the U.S., we grow worried. The fine line between security and liberty is getting blurred. France now faces renewed uncertainty as they grapple with a recent terrorist attack. And Edward Snowden is still seen as a traitor in the eyes of many in Washington. Jeff is our guy.
Dan lived through the financial melt-down of 2008, and although markets have rebounded in spectacular fashion, there is plenty to address. Recent tremors in Chinese markets have been felt in the U.S. Income inequality has become a major buzzword, and the prospects of a $15 minimum wage pose questions. We think there is a lot to talk about, and we'll be digging through the sludge in search of what's relevant. For Dan's latest article, click here.
A lot of our key themes have within them inherent questions of constitutionality. The 1st and 2nd amendments are a constant talking point. Blake cuts through the noise to give you an independent view of the issues and their standing with the constitution.
Middle East & ISIS
Tech & Privacy
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