Guatemalan Election Shenanigans Has Leftists and Libs on Same Page - The Wednesday AM Quickie 7/5/23

I’m back on my Duolingo grind as many of the jobs I want require some Spanish. Glad to know some of the language stuck despite my lackluster study habits in highschool. If anybody has any cool Spanish learning resources, envíame esos por favor. (I don’t know if that’s right. I had to use Google Translate. Send help.) - Robert

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Guatemalan Elections Suspended After Dubious Fraud Allegations

After anti-corruption candidate Bernardo Arévalo unexpectedly placed second in the first round of Guatemalan presidential elections, scoring him a spot in the run-off election against former first lady Sandra Torres, the Supreme Court of Guatemala suspended the results in response to legal challenges from Arévalo’s opponents, per the Financial Times.

Arévalo, a self-described social democrat, is saying the suspension is a “conspiracy” from political elites who “refuse to lose control of the system.” According to the FT piece, the business elite opposes his candidacy and favors Torres. But Arévalo, who came to prominence in the “Guatemalan spring,” a social movement against corruption, is getting back up from some interesting corners that don’t often agree.

The Organization of American States, which had falsely claimed election fraud in the 2019 Bolivian election, facilitating the military coup that ousted President Evo Morales, has found no evidence of irregularities large enough to affect the overall result, the suspension had no basis in Guatemalan election law, and expressed concern of “extreme judicialization” in the process. Likewise, American Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington was “deeply concerned” about the apparent election interference from the opposing parties and the courts.

Meanwhile, Progressive International, a leftist organization which tracks assaults on democratic institutions, called the suspension “legal warfare.”

It’s unclear who the winner will be in the eventual second round. Guatemalan politics appears to be in a state disarray right now, even beyond the judiciary chicanery. Per AP:

While there were an incredible 29 candidates, the biggest winner was null or voided votes, at about 17.3%. The null votes were widely seen as a protest against the current state of Guatemalan politics, and the fact several candidates were kept out of the race.

(Interesting side note: Arévalo’s father was president of Guatemala from 1951-1954. He appointed Jacobo Árbenz as his defense secretary, who would later be ousted in a CIA-backed coup less than a year into his presidency in 1954.)

El Niño Emerges in Pacific, Expected to Bring the Heat With It

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) spotted the El Niño weather pattern in the tropical Pacific on Tuesday, the first time the weather system, associated with extreme weather, has appeared in seven years, according to Reuters. The hottest year on record, 2016, also coincided with El Niño and the warm waters it brings, and the WMO said there is a strong likelihood that the record will be broken in at least one of the next five years. The World Health Organization has also warned that El-Niño-linked viral diseases like dengue, Zika and chikungunya are likely to spread. Perhaps it's time to invest in some good mosquito nets.

Judge Orders Feds Not to Collaborate with Social Media Companies to Combat Disinformation

Trump-appointed judge, Terry A. Doughty, has sided with Republican attorneys general in a lawsuit against the federal government over its collaboration with social media companies in attempts to stem the tide of disinformation and misinformation. Per the Washington Post:

[The attorneys general of Mississippi and Louisiana] allege that government officials went too far in their efforts to encourage social media companies to address posts that they worried could contribute to vaccine hesitancy during the pandemic or upend elections.

The judge’s injunction would prevent the Department of Justice, State Department, Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from coordinating with companies like Google, Meta (Facebook), and Twitter. Meanwhile in the UK, organizations are suing regulators for not doing enough to prevent vaccine misinformation.


  • UK Plans to Drop Its Cornerstone Climate Pledge The 11.6 billion pound pledge ($14.7 billion) to fund climate and nature restoration efforts is being dropped from British government plans, according to a leaked briefing. via the Guardian.
  • Cocaine Found in White House The nose candy was found in a common room accessible to tour groups. Though we all know whose it was. via Salon.
  • Mass Shooting in Philadelphia Leave 5 Dead This is the 339th mass shooting this year. via Axios.
  • Driver Rams Pedestrians in Tel Aviv The Palestinian driver stabbed by-standers before being shot by an armed civilian, according to Israeli police. The incident happened on the heels of the largest military operation in the West Bank for two decades. via FT.
  • Joey Chestnut Wins 16th Nathan’s Famous Hotdog Eating Contest Chestnut may have rallied the rest of the contestants to participate after the event was on the verge of canceling due to thunderstorms. I find the whole thing still gross though. via Yahoo News.


By 1/2

That's how much Toyota is saying it can reduce the size, cost, and weight of batteries for its electric vehicles in breakthrough in its solid-state battery technology. It plans to mass-produce these batteries for its EVs by 2027 or 2028. via FT.


7/5: The MR Crew are still off after July 4th so we're coming to you with another mid-year Best Of! This one, from late November 2022, is with Dale Kretz, visiting assistant professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to discuss his recent book Administering Freedom: The State of Emancipation after the Freedmen's Bureau.


Tax The Rich? Corrupt US Supreme Court Could Make It Unconstitutional

If there were no billionaires, who would send the justices on free vacations?

How White Supremacists Recruit Latinos And Hispanics

Hatred is insidious and self-destructive.


“We are, quite literally, gambling with the future of our planet for the sake of hamburgers.”

-- Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, in an excerpt from his book Animal Liberation Now where he discusses the destructive impact of beef consumption on the climate. via Salon.

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