Wow, Mexico’s Ken-doll president, EPN sure knew exactly how to celebrate their third capture of pint-sized drug lord El Chapo:
Remind you of anyone?
Given that El Chapo has already “escaped” from prison twice, it’s hard for me to see what mission has been accomplished in Mexico. If the mission was to arrest him, it’s been “accomplished” 3 times now. If the mission is to have him serve a long prison term, vamos a ver.
I really would have thought that the Shrub made this phrase toxic to all politicians, but clearly not.
This news piece on China is almost stranger than fiction.
First, a gigantic (121 feet tall), gold plated statue of Mao appears in the empty farm fields of Henan. This is terrifying and bizarre in itself. Imagine seeing this every morning on the way to farm your crops:
Second, what a spectacular waste of money. Who in the world, besides a corrupt government, would spend almost a half a million dollars on such a monstrosity? It’s so bad that I think we should rename the term “white elephant” to “gold Mao”.
The AFP reports that it was local entrepreneurs! Seriously. This is funny in a couple of different ways: (a) how did said local entrepreneurs make so much money if this is the way they think is a good way to spend it; (b) Henan is the “the centre of a famine in the late 1950s resulting from Mao’s economic policies estimated to have killed as many as 40 million people.” Hmm, maybe the entrepreneurs are trolling the Chinese public?
Lastly, the Chinese government just decided to demolish the statue and the reasoning is awesome: “Mao’s likeness was not registered or approved” by the local government. It took 9 months to build the frickin monstrosity! You think the local government might have made their decision before now. Obviously we are not getting the full story but I’d love to hear it. Sounds like a good one.
If you guessed a conference at Japan’s Gender Equality Bureau, then you are either (a) Noah Smith; (b) a deeply cynical person; or (c) both.
Thanks to Noah for the tip.
Ah, Harvard. The holy grail for Mexican politicians. From 1982 – 20012 4 out of 5 Presidents went to Harvard (de la Madrid, Salinas, Fox, and Calderon). The 5th, Zedillo, slummed it down at Yale. It says something about the parlous state of Mexican politics that current president EPN got his degree from ITAM in Mexico city.
So when Ivan Garza ran for mayor of Monterrey , a big part of his campaign was that he had the intellectual chops to have attended prestigious universities, Harvard chief among them.
He actually campaigned in a Harvard “varsity” jacket:
Would it surprise any of you to learn that Garza’s total exposure to Harvard consisted of a 4 day course on executive leadership? In effect, Garza paid $9,500 for his sweet jacket.
I am happy to report that Sr. Garza lost the election, to Adrian de la Garza of the PRI who earned his degree at the autonomous university of Nuevo Leon.
If you forgot to get a Christmas gift for that friend who has everything, don’t despair, there is a calendar I’m sure they don’t have.
It’s the Vladimir Putin 2016 calendar. CNN reports that each month includes a fabulous photo and quote of the great man himself. Apparently “the calendars have been a big hit and are already selling out.” Hmm, cult of personality anyone?
Here’s Pooty-poot contemplating the ides of March:
and what could be more inspiring than a beefcake Vlady fly fishing in July:
and lastly, there is this mysterious photo of VP trying to go all “blue steel” up in here: