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GZERO Top 5 political animals of 2023

GZERO End-of-the-Year lists: Top 5 political animals of 2023


1. Sally the Sea Lion

Sally the Sea Lion | GZERO 2023 Political Animals

If there haven’t already been children’s books written about Sally the Central Park Sea Lion’s grand day out, there soon will be. In September, unusually heavy rains and flooding helped Sally escape her enclosure to explore other parts of the Central Park Zoo, a favorite for the city’s kids. As zoo workers watched over her, Sally then took a self-guided tour of her surroundings. Sensibly, she decided that Central Park itself is better suited for joggers, cyclists, and weirdos than for sea lions, and she returned to the comforts of her enclosure and the companionship of the other two sea lions who lived there.

​2. Cocaine hippos

Cocaine hippos | GZERO 2023 Political Animals

Less adorable – and far less trustworthy – are the late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar’s “cocaine hippos.” Before his predictably violent death in 1993, Escobar had acquired zebras, giraffes, hippos, kangaroos, and rhinoceroses as pets. After his death, most of the animals perished or were moved to zoos. But hippopotamuses are not so easy to handle, so four of them stayed put. By October 2023, they had multiplied, as hippos do, to about 170 roaming freely in the countryside. Colombian officials recently announced plans to sterilize and cull some of them and relocate the rest to sanctuaries overseas. And no, unlike their infamous owner, these hippos aren’t in the drug game — they’ve just won a narcotic nickname.

3. ​First Dog

First Dog | GZERO 2023 Political Animals

Unlike Escobar’s largest pets, President Biden's dog Commander will not be allowed to roam the countryside unattended, but the German shepherd was evicted from his home at the White House in October for attempting to answer an age-old question: Do all Secret Service agents taste the same? In less than two years, Commander has bitten about a dozen people – that we know of. Another Biden family pet, Major, was exiled to Delaware following a number of biting incidents. Commander, like Major, has now retreated from public life.

4. ​Panda-monium

Panda-monium | GZERO 2023 Political Animals

Escalating tensions between the US and China led Beijing to take back its pandas Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and their cub Xiao Qi Ji from their home in the National Zoo in Washington, DC. The move marks the beginning of the end of Panda Diplomacy between the two countries, with the Atlanta Zoo’s pandas (the last in the US) expected to be returned to China next year. Panda diplomacy began with President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China and Chairman Mao Zedong’s gift of two giant pandas to the United States as a sign of warming bilateral ties. The “gift” agreements, however, stipulate that Beijing still owns the pandas and any of their offspring, which they can take back at any time.

5. Humpback harassment

Bolsonaro whales | GZERO 2023 Political Animals

Finally, former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is enjoying his court-ordered hiatus from politics with a new hobby: Jetskiing around whales. “Captain Chainsaw,” the nickname Bolsonaro earned for his anti-environmental policies and devastation of the Amazon, was spotted on his Jet Ski close to a humpback whale that was showing signs of distress. Adding to his long list of misdeeds on land, Bolsonaro is now under investigation for allegedly harassing a surfacing cetacean.

Kids, it's time to party with.. Jair Bolsonaro!!
Kids, it's time to party with.. Jair Bolsonaro!! | PUPPET REGIME

Kids, it's time to party with.. Jair Bolsonaro!!

The former Brazilian president now sells Bolsonaro-themed birthday party packs -- in real life! But what happens when Puppet Regime invites him to host an ACTUAL party?

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Argentinian presidential candidate Javier Milei attends a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Oct. 11, 2023.

REUTERS/Agustín Marcarian

Who the heck is Javier Milei?

Perhaps you’ve heard about Argentina’s new presidential frontrunner. His name is Javier Milei, and his raucous political rallies feature him as a ranting, raving, rock star who wants to “blow up” the country’s political lethargy.

His charisma approaches the level of Donald Trump, a leader he says he admires. He wants to make the US dollar Argentina’s legal currency, close down the country’s central bank, and legalize the sale of human organs without government interference. He has argued that sex education in Argentina’s schools is part of an elite plot to destroy the traditional family.

Milei’s campaign style suggests he’s usually the last to leave the karaoke bar.

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Bolsonaro banned from flying too!
Bolsonaro banned from flying too! | PUPPET REGIME | GZERO Media

Bolsonaro banned from flying too!

The Brazilian president gets some bad news at the airport, and can't understand why.

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Israel/Palestine one of the few Middle East areas getting less stable
Israel/Palestine one of the few Middle East areas getting less stable | World In: 60 | GZERO Media

Israel/Palestine one of the few Middle East areas getting less stable

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Israel launched its biggest military operation in the West Bank since 2002. How will it impact Israeli-Palestinian stability?

Well, I mean, pretty badly. The problem is that Israel has no interest in reopening talks with the Palestinians on a potential two-state solution. The country has moved towards the Right on that issue, and the Palestinians don't have effective governance, for the Palestinian authority in the West Bank is increasingly weakened and in Gaza, it's really a matter of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. So, there's no movement towards talking. Instead, it's the Israelis taking more territory, building more settlements, and the Palestinians getting angrier and more desperate. And no surprise that you're going to see more military confrontation on the back of that. Having said that, it's one of the few areas where things aren't getting more stable in the Middle East, almost everywhere else, the Gulf, Iran's relations with the GCC, Qatar and the GCC, Assad getting normalized, Yemen with a ceasefire, most of the Middle East actually looks more stable.

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Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro talks with media

REUTERS

Bolsonaro gets benched

Brazil’s electoral court has forbidden former President Jair Bolsonaro from running for public office until 2030. The decision takes a top contender out of the 2026 presidential race after finding Bolsonaro guilty of violating election laws and undermining trust in the country’s electoral system.

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PUPPET REGIME: the Really Bad People song
The Really Bad People Song | PUPPET REGIME | GZERO Media

PUPPET REGIME: the Really Bad People song

Exciting update - GZERO has won the Gold Telly Award for this Puppet Regime episode in the category of “Craft-Use of Comedy.” Thanks to all of our viewers!

With everyone focusing on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, bad people in other parts of the world are having a moment, as Mohammad Bin Salman, Modi, Bolsonaro, and others are here to explain.

Did you miss the performances from the PUPPET REGIME's MBS? Well, he's back. Sing along, and add it to your playlist: you too can #BeBadPeople!!

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Tucker Carlson out at Fox News
Tucker Carlson out at Fox News | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Tucker Carlson out at Fox News

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hey everybody. Ian Bremmer here, a Quick Take to kick off your week and well, you know what the hell? I'll respond to the Tucker Carlson news since it's pretty significant. He's out all of a sudden, a very sudden and very terse statement being made by Fox. They have agreed to part ways. Kind of statement that usually makes you think that there is more news that is going to be coming out relatively soon that they wanted to get ahead of. But let's leave that aside. This is the guy that was driving an extraordinary amount of revenue, most popular show on cable, and also now is driving a lot of losses because of the Dominion settlement, which Tucker Carlson played a significant role in being responsible for promoting a lot of fake news while also being caught in text messages saying that the election grievances and being stolen, "Stop the Steal" was all a lot of BS.

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