It’s Friday again!
And if you do not recognize the man in the photo above, that’s OK. We forgive you. You are reading this to find out, after all.
What a week! After a few fortnights of political apathy and a plethora of uninteresting stories (seriously, no one cares about the blue dollar anymore), now it’s all about the candidates, their parties, their running mates and the fact that in less than six months Argentina will have a new president.
In other words: shit just got real.
So grab some a hot cup of chocolate, some churros and read on. Because the presidential elections are right around the corner and you need to look like you know what you’re talking about next time your parents call and ask if this is Venezuela yet.
This is what you need to know.
- The wait is over! We finally know who the two main presidential contenders in Argentina have selected to be their running mates, and at least one of them was kind of predictable. Kirchnerite Daniel Scioli (FPV) has selected Carlos Zannini (pictured above), the architect of Kirchnerism, the man behind the curtain, and a political figure not a lot of people are acquainted with. Zannini, a man who stood right by Néstor Kirchner on the very first day he took office back in 2003, is without a doubt largely responsible for everything the FPV party stands for today. In fact, our very own Colin Docherty wrote a piece today in which he compares him to Karl Rove, an infamous strategist that worked alongside George W. Bush during the 00s and got him elected back in 2004. This afternoon, Scioli published the first photo of them together on Twitter.
— Daniel Scioli (@danielscioli) June 19, 2015
- The other main contender, Mauricio Macri (PRO) announced today that his running mate was Gabriela Michetti, who many of you may already know since she was deputy mayor of the city of Buenos Aires during Macri´s first term as mayor. The leader of the PRO party first made the announcement via Twitter and later this afternoon was seen with her on television.
- So who are we forgetting? No, not Sergio Massa, since clearly no one cares about him anymore (and in case you’re wondering, he said today he will announce his running mate tomorrow afternoon, since that is the deadline for parties to sign up their official candidates for the upcoming elections). No, we’re talking about another popular political figure that had its fair share of groupies: Interior and Transportation Minister Florencio Randazzo. You see, Randazzo hoped he would make it to the primaries and compete with Daniel Scioli in the August primaries. But alas! This week President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, AKA the boss, told Randazzo that she wanted him to run for governor of the Buenos Aires province instead and clear the road for Scioli to be the only Kirchnerite candidate in the primaries (thus rendering the primaries completely useless since their whole purpose is to help each major party pick a presidential candidate). But what do I know, right? Randazzo, who was probably not amused by this whole political maneuvering, decided to oblige and quit the race, but at the same time he kindly declined Cristina’s suggestion to run for governor via email saying he had to stay true to his word.
- VIA EMAIL?! YOU ADDRESSED THE PRESIDENT VIA EMAIL?! Oh, no you didn’t! *snaps fingers*
- Since his frustration was palpable, the political opposition immediately jumped to defend Randazzo, lauding his decision and for standing up to the President, a rare sight within the extremely verticalist Victory Front party.
- Not so fast, though! After Macri, Ernesto Sanz (UCR) and Elisa Carrió (CC) highlighted Randazzo’s alleged gesture of humility, the minister was quick to speak up again to say he remained 100 percent committed to Cristina and her political project.
- Oh, and in case there was any doubt, Cabinet Chief Aníbal Fernández was very clear about it: the one calling the shots here is Cristina. She decides who’s running and who’s not. Because democracy is awesome but when it comes to selecting who’s going to be your political heir, you better remember that we’re living in a society with strong charismatic leaders who leave power but somehow not really. So take it or leave it, fool!
- Some Kirchnerite poor devils who were still hoping for Randazzo to run were not happy about this whole thing and decided to organize an impromptu demonstration in support of the minister. Unfortunately it didn’t take.
- Yup, there was another Cadena Nacional this week, and this time the President announced that she was increasing the Universal Child Allowance on a 30 percent and that she was going to send a bill to Congress so that the welfare program is automatically adjusted twice a year after she’s gone.
- The province of Santa Fe held gubernatorial elections last Sunday and the race was so close to call that they will have to hold a recount, reminding us all of Bush v. Gore in the year 2000. Except this time, if Miguel del Sel wins he certainly won’t invade Corrientes.
- Ah! This is probably my favorite story of the week. One that highlights the seriousness of the political world and the dangers of the times we’re living in. As you know, candidates and parties are always researching for new ways to reach the electorate that contribute to critical thinking and address voters with the solemnity they deserve. So after careful consideration, the PRO party’s think tanks decided that there was only one thing with the necessary gravitas to reach people’s hearts: OH MY GOD, A PUPPY!!!!!!!!
Hola Mundo! ; )
— Balcarce PRO (@ElPerritoDelPRO) June 15, 2015
- IT’S A PUPPIE NAMED BALCARCE! And he belongs to Mayor Mauricio Macri, who decided to call it Balcarce because that’s the street where the Casa Rosada is located. I mean, if Obama can have his dog Bo running around the White House, why not doing the same here? And his Twitter account is already exploding with super useful information. Like, here’s Balcarce sleeping. And that’s hilarious because that’s something that puppies always do! Best. Idea. Ever. I dare say I already know who will be president in December. *wink, wink*
TRANQUI. Durmiendo una siesta en el PRO pic.twitter.com/sZdfL1vm1K
— Balcarce PRO (@ElPerritoDelPRO) June 16, 2015
- You know I’m being sarcastic, right?
- Oh, but that’s not the end of this. You see, Argentina is well known for being a country of 40 million creative smart asses. So as soon as the PRO party’s puppy became an internet sensation, if was time to create a left-leaning, worthy antagonist. Yup, you guessed it… OH MY GOD, A KITTEN!!!!!!
Buenas noches, perros capitalistas >;D
— El Gatito Del FIT (@ElGatitoDelFIT) June 16, 2015
- “Good night, you capitalist dogs”. While not an official account created by the leftist FIT party, the mischievous feline immediately managed to get a lot of press coverage, mostly because it started trolling Balcarce on Twitter.
- This is the best country in the world.
- The new Metrobus Norte corridor is fully functional, which means that now avenues Cabildo and Maipú (in Vicente López) have been linked. Over 20 bus lines will be using it everyday and, in theory, it should help commuters reduce up to 20 percent of their travel time. The City Government released a drone video of the corridor, for some reason, and it looks pretty.
- The Geographical Nazis that pullulate around the internet were outraged this week after some Chileans in some conference in God knows where – I believe it was in France, but I refused to read the article again out of fear of losing a few more neurons – displayed a map that showed the province of Tierra del Fuego, home of Ushuaia and a lot of penguins, as part of Chile.
- Mon Dieu! I know, right? Fortunately social media was at the ready to virtually protect our borders and soon such a travesty went viral, prompting an unmasked hero to teach them a lesson by proudly writing our name on their disgusting cartographical insult. That will teach them! Our treacherous neighbors quickly took down the map as they shamelessly said that it was simply the result of an honest mistake and apologized. You know who also made an honest mistake? Judas. Look how that turned out for him.
- According to a new study, Buenos Aires is now the most expensive city in Latin America and the 19th most expensive city in the freaking world. Let that sink in for a second. In. The. World. So you know how you feel your savings keep being eroded month after month? Well it’s not you. It’s the country.
- Remember last year’s incredibly original reimagining of the Game of Thrones intro sequence that featured the city of Buenos Aires? Well, the geniuses behind it are back with the Conurbano or Greater Buenos Aires version. And it’s just as mesmerizing.
- In news that I’m not really sure are relevant but sure are hilarious: Did you know that there was an Asado World Championship happening in Sweden? And did you know that, with 53 countries competing, Argentina finished last? “Impossible!”, says you. “Argentine asado is great!” Well, yes. Argentina’s asado is certainly delicious and the beef is to die for. However, this was a problem of semantics. Because while here in Argentina we may call this finger-licking event the Mundial del Asado, the truth is that it’s called the World Barbecue Association’s World BBQ Championship. Barbecue. Have you ever been to a barbecue, my friend? Because it certainly doesn’t look like an asado to me. In fact, I hate barbecues exactly because they are not asados. So turns out that when the Argentine team Fuegos de Oktubre was suddenly told to cook their meat BBQ style, they collectively dropped their monocles and decided to start a one-team revolution against the tyranny of the majority. They lost, obviously. Because while they bravely defended their decision to go against the rules and cook an Argentine asado, the truth is their mutiny was lost in translation. An asado is simply not a barbecue. It’s like showing up at the World Cup with Tom Brady and complaining every time he gets a red card for grabbing the ball with his hands or pushing the other players around. “What! This is football!”. No, it’s not. So while many are now praising the cooks for their “unwavering spirit” and for defending Argentina’s tradition from a horde of ignorant, nordic assholes who had the audacity to tell this country how to cook an asado, many others are saying that the “rebel without a cause” attitude doesn’t help. Even Hellmann’s mayonnaise tried to score some points on social media by praising them on their Facebook page and resorting to some cheap nobody-tells-us-what-to-do nationalistic crap and the result was, well, not good.
- By the way, Natura is Hellmann’s direct competitor.
- Great news for fans of paleontology! During an excavation in a construction site in downtown Buenos Aires today, workers came across the bones of a giant sloth, a herbivore mega-mammal that went extinct 10,000 years ago and that apparently roamed the Pampas and hung out with people and stuff. True, a giant sloth is in no way as exciting as a T-Rex, and the eventual creation of a Pliocene Park featuring a bunch of cloned animals that sleep all day and move at a glacial pace is not exactly my definition of adventure. But it’s always good to know your history. And not to get your hopes up, but science says cloning dinosaurs could be a reality in just a few years. Yay, chaos and mayhem! Because you know that’s exactly how it’s all going to end.
- Oh and the Jinkis brothers, the Argentines suspected of being involved in a series of illegal activities through FIFA that remained at large finally turned themselves in. Not that I care anyway.
Enjoy the weekend, kids.