12/30/2015

Notations on Our World: Final Thoughts On #2015 (On US, #Iran & Other Thoughts)




KAL reflects Upon the State of Affairs in the United States (Source: http://www.economist.com) 


It has been quite a year in our World.

The most vibrant engagement we've been witness to has been the US Election Scene.   As we were gearing up to go to Press, we received reports here at our Virtual World Headquarters that George Pataki, the former Governor of New York, annouced that he was "Suspending" his Presidential Campaign effectively ending his campaign--then there was 12.

The battle between Donald Trump and the Clintons is statring to heat up.   Trump has said that he would go after Hillary Clinton, "Hard", by focusing on Bill Clinton's indiscretions.  He also just came out and noted that he would be spending 2 Million Dollars per week on Ads on the eve of Iowa and New Hampshire.     This is also as Jeb Bush cancelled Ad Buys and retrenching for trying to save what is clearly a campaign in trouble.   With less than 30 Days to Iowa, Trump dominates as exemplifed by this from the Washington Post's Dave Weigel:


As Trump attacks, conservatives hope to turn women against Clinton
Trump has hit on the growing conservative desire to portray the Democratic front-runner as the sort of person feminists should run screaming from.
By David Weigel  •  Read more »

The best defense is a good offense and Mr Trump is truly the Master at the "Art of the Deal" although there is no concerted effort to truly push back on the substance of his analysis.      The closest thing our team saw was this on Israel's Haaretz available by clicking here. 

It was also of note how the Washington Examiner touted the surge and actions of Senator Cruz as noted in this "snapshot" we received here:


Ted Cruz plans action on multiple fronts in first day as president

Ted Cruz plans action on multiple fronts in first day as president

Surging Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz described what would be the most aggressive first day in office ever for a new president, starting with the elimination of "every single illegal and unconstitutional" executive action taken by President Obama. The Texas senator also said that he would rip up Obama's controversial deal with Iran, open an investigation into Planned Parenthood's "abortion practice," and shift the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
  

The total lack of regard for the realities in that part of the World is quite concerning especially as his campaign gathers apparent steam in anticipation of an apparent win in Iowa.    It is also of note that this is the standard "stump speech" he makes all the time. This is also as the Examiner noted this with this very interesting image of Hillary Clinton and her Chief Aide, Huma Abedyn:  


Year of outrage: Top 15 scandals in 2015

Year of outrage: Top 15 scandals in 2015

The past year has not been pretty and the Washington Examiner's Sarah Westwood has been paying attention. Here's a sampling from her list of top 2015 scandals: 1) 100,000 tax-delinquent feds cost taxpayers $1.4 billion; 2) Hillary's email-gate involved multiple falsehoods but failed to thwart her campaign; 3) Clinton Foundation foreign donors also did business with the State Dept. under Hillary Clinton; 4) Obamacare lost track of $2.8 billion in insurance subsidies; 6) VA refused to fire two officials who stole $400,000 from the agency and blocked benefits to thousands of veterans . . .



 It was also of interest as we recentlly saw a number of columns Professor Jonathan Turley published in his blog about what Obama taught Trump.   Professor Turley's view is interesting in that he's lead Counsel for action against the Obama Adminstration as the former Speaker decided to sue the President on some of the very Executive Actions that was prompted due to House inaction.     We found this depicted on the state of the Campaign by our favorite cartoonist, the Economist' KAL, ever so pivotal and timely.  

As we went to press with this final retrospective, it was of interest that there were discussions on a Post-Assad era that was reported by the National Interest recently with Iran making moves.  It is also of note that Iran is gearing up for a pivotal election for Parliament and the Assembly of Experts.    Some 12,000 candidates had filed to run--but who knows who's approved by the time the Guardian Council is done with them.    All will again be subject to an intense process with one key provision being whether they were part of the Green Movement of 2009.        As this continues, Iran is faced with a profound challenge on the Economic Front with no apparent moves having been made by the Rouhani Adminstration.      We have also been assessing the on-going state of the Environment in the Country as two of the largest cities, Isfahan and Tehran, were on lockdown as schools were ordered closed due to the intense pollution in the City.     Iran has tried to adjust to the "new normal" in Oil Markets by adjusting its' budget based on  $ 35/Barrell as it tries to increase its' Oil Sales despite the profound challenges it faces right now.    All the key countries also faced profound challenges--including Saudi Arabia that is facing a $ 98 Billion Dollar deficit.

Beyond the Americas and the Near East area of  Asia (which we will refer to as the Middle East going forward), there is the Americas.   Brazil is in deep trouble which in our view does not bode well for the "BRICS" organization and some of the iniatitives including the AIIB.    Venezuela is facing profound political headwinds as Maduro's party was handily defeated because the people simply have gotten tired on the mismanagement and the corruption.   There is also one of the members of the proposed "NASSIM" clan , Malaysia, that has its' own share of challenges.      We will be working on all these initaitives as we look to a very busy & engaging 2016.  This is also as the IMF came out with a very pessimistic outlook on the World Economy in 2016.

As we finished off the year throughout #Outsiders, it was also of note that the City of Brussels cancelled year-end celebrations as other cities throuyghout the world have increased security.   It is right now December 31 in Sydney:


Current time in Sydney, Australia ‎(UTC+11)‎ 
2:28 PM
Thursday, December 31, 2015







The Countdown to the New year has begun as we leave you all with this siimple sentiment to add a bit of "fun" to the celebrations--We look forward to the opportunity to serve in 2016:

    






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