Wednesday, March 27, 2019

World Leader Power Rankings

Here's the new power rankings of world leaders. The last one was posted on March 3.

Rank Leader Country Previous Rank
1 Xi Jiangping China 1
2 Kim Jong-un North Korea 2
3 Vladimir Putin Russia 3
4 Jacinda Ardern New Zealand 8
5Leo Varadkar Ireland Not Ranked
6Abiy Ahmed Ethiopia 5
7Sauli Niinisto Finland Not Ranked
8Lars Lokke RasmussenDenmark 7
9 Mokgweetsi Masisi Botswana Not Ranked
10Donald Trump United States Not Ranked

1. Xi and China continue to replace American influence as the latter's foreign policy becomes increasingly insular and erratic.

2. In his recent summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, Kim again came away looking like the proper statesman. Trump later eased some sanctions on North Korea. It's quite the feat to make the homicidal Kim look dignified.

3. The true winner of the Mueller Report was Vladimir Putin. He influenced an American election and suffered virtually no consequences. His influence over Trump contnues to leave Americans to scratch their proverbial heads.

4. Ardern showed how a real leader is supposed to act int he face of tragedy. She stood with the victims and stood up to the murderer.

5. Varadkar didn't do what most world leaders do when in meeting with other world leader with whom they may disagree. Varadkar, who is gay, recently met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who is anti-gay, and delivered a pointed message about tolerance to the bigoted veep without being rude.

6. Ahmed continues to reform his country economically and politically. There is talk among pundits that Ethiopia could be Africa's new powerhouse if Abiy's reforms are allowed to take hold.

7. Niinisto heads the happiest country in the world. His citizens don't really agree, but that's only because they don't realize how depressed everyone else is.

8. Rasmussen not only leads one of the least corrupt countries in the world, but also one of the happiest. This despite depressingly cold and dark winters.

9. Masisi has broken with his mentor, Ian Khama, the son of Botswana's founding father. Masisi had been Khama's chosen successor. A little dissension within the ranks never hurt no one as long as it's int he best interest of the country.

10. Trump reenters the list because the Mueller Report turned out to be the best thing that has happened during his presidency. Not a great sign when the best part of your reign is that you didn't corrupt the the American government by conspiring to steal the presidential election with the aid of an adversary. And the report didn't draw a conclusion on the president obstructing justice. Trump's gloating shows how hard wins have come by since he took office. But it looks like he'll stay in charge longer than Theresa May in Great Britain and who would've though that a few months ago.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

World Leader Power Rankings

Here's the new power rankings of world leaders. The last one was posted on December 16.

Rank Leader Country Previous Rank
1 Xi Jiangping China 1
2 Kim Jong-un North Korea 2
3 Vladimir Putin Russia 7
4 Recep Tayyip Erdogan Turkey Not Ranked
5Abiy Ahmed Ethiopia 5
6Ivan Duque Marquez Colombia Nor Ranked
7Lars Lokke Rsamussen Denmark Not Ranked
8Jacinda ArdernNew Zealand Not Ranked
9 King Mohammed VI Morocco Not Ranked
10Sultan Qaboos Oman Not Ranked

1. China will determine the fate of our planet. Responsible for building Asia's and Africa's infrastructure, China will decide if climate change wipes us all out or if we can somehow stem the tide (literally). China is fast becoming the leader in electric cars as well.

2. Kim came out the winner of another summit with disgraced U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump was convinced of Kim's sincerity by a flowery letter he wrote to Trump and not by U.S. intelligence assessments of Kim's deceit in nuclear negotiations.

3. This is certainly the age of the strong man. Putin at least pretends to have elections even as he meddles in those of other countries. The U.S. stymied a Russian attempt to hack the 2018 midterm election. But Putin still has his puppet in the White House, so it's not all bad.

4. Erdogan has single-handedly managed to turn Turkey from a European-looking bastion of democracy in the Middle East to an economically-failing autocracy. But Erdogan has called out Saudi Crown prince MBS and Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi recently for their human rights abuses. So there's at least something redeeming about Erdogan.

5. Ahmed continues to reform Ethiopia. Recently, he has tried to open up the economy and make it easier to run a business. Previously surviving assassination attempts, Abiy is one of the few leaders in the world putting his life on the line and making the tough choices to help his country's future.

6. President Marquez comes out looking good in the Venezuela crisis. Trying to help usher in food to their collapsing neighbor, Venezuelan (ex-?)president Nicolas Maduro shut down the border with Colombia. You have to be terrible to make Colombia look like the stable nation in the region.

7. Prime Minister Rasmussen oversees the least corrupt country in the world. Apparently it's too cold for officials to ask for bribes. They're too busy rushing inside to sip some hot cocoa by the fire under a blanket.

8. Prime Minister Ardern is a rising star on the international stage and heads the second least corrupt country in the world. Northern Europe shouldn't even count, they always dominate lists like these, so let's go ahead and say Prime Minister Ardern heads the least corrupt country in the world.

9. King Mohammed VI met with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently and Markle curtsied appropriately. I can't believe I even know anything about this shit. It just goes to show you how big these reality show characters are. And the king gets a boost by proxy.

10. Sultan Qaboos led Oman to the biggest increase in decreasing corruption from 2017 to 2018 if that makes any sense. My mom once sailed on his yacht. He was not aboard, so the sultan better not leave any mama jokes in the comments section.