Feature

Last-Minute Gifts for Wonks: 2016 Edition

Here are some gifts from around the world, fit for even the most insatiable global affairs glutton.

US President Barack Obama speaks with children dressed as elves, who are or were patients at Children's National Medical Center as they present donated gifts to the Obamas to give to children at the hospital, as they attend a taping of TNT's Christmas in Washington at the National Building Museum in Washington on December 15, 2013. The annual event, hosted by actor Hugh Jackman, features performances by the Backstreet Boys, Anna Kendrick, Sheryl Crow, Janelle Monae and Pat Monahan, and airs on the TNT television network on December 20.    AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama speaks with children dressed as elves, who are or were patients at Children's National Medical Center as they present donated gifts to the Obamas to give to children at the hospital, as they attend a taping of TNT's Christmas in Washington at the National Building Museum in Washington on December 15, 2013. The annual event, hosted by actor Hugh Jackman, features performances by the Backstreet Boys, Anna Kendrick, Sheryl Crow, Janelle Monae and Pat Monahan, and airs on the TNT television network on December 20. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Having trouble finding the right Chrismukkah present for an international news nerd? We’ve got your back. Here are some gifts from around the world, fit for even the most insatiable global affairs glutton.

A piece of the “squid”

Give the gift of a share of Goldman Sachs. The Dow Jones index cleared all-time highs after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election. The “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money” drove nearly a quarter of those gains. Trump’s method of “draining the swamp” seems to entail building a brain trust of Goldman alums. Good for business! Only $470 for a share, a certificate, and on top of that, a premium frame.

Cuban cigars

John F. Kennedy may have smoked them in the White House, but now that sanctions have been lifted, you can smoke them in your wonk house. R.I.P. Fidel. Only $11 for a “Montecristo No. 2” — if you buy it in Havana.

The CIA’s official history of the Bay of Pigs invasion, Volume V

Changes to the Freedom of Information Act this year finally compelled the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to release the fifth volume of its internal history of Bay of Pigs, despite arguing for years that the documents would “confuse the public.” This one’s free — print it out for your favorite wonk.

 Emergency survival food supply kit

“Until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” wonks are right to worry. Prepare for the worst by stocking up on shelter rations. $97.95 at your neighborhood Walmart.

Foraging lessons 

When your emergency supplies run out, be prepared to hunt and gather. Farm to bunker table. For a price listing, ask Matt the forager.

A box of Russian ice cream

If it’s good enough for Russian President Vladimir Putin to give Chinese leader Xi Jinping, it’s good enough for your favorite wonk. “Xi isn’t the only one who thinks Russian ice-cream rocks!” Russia Today reported. The cherry on top: It will only set you back 360 rubles per kilogram.

Trump and Putin matryoshka

What better way to commemorate 2016’s most endearing friendship? $36.99 for a lifetime of fun.

Drawings by Ronald Reagan

W.’s self-portraits are so 2012. Reagan found time in the White House to doodle a recurring cast of characters, including himself as a cowboy and a “monocled gentleman.” Get your Gipper nostalgia on for a cool $7,000.

Paintings by Paul Bremer

Bremer led the occupation of Iraq after the 2003 invasion. He also paints mediocre pastoral scenes, ideal to round out the decor in a refined guest bathroom. Prices on request.

Tupac’s passport 

The only document that guarantees visa-free travel across any international border and an indefinite stay in any country. Price on request.

Learn to code

Wonks will be poor wonks indeed if they cannot participate in the economy of the future. $29 for a month won’t seem like like much after you make your millions.

Brain zapper

Shooting electricity through your head to improve its performance is no longer science fiction. For just $699, a home system for zapping your brain can be yours. Begin neurostimulation or be left behind.

A puppy

The conventional wisdom on giving pets as gifts is: Don’t. But sometimes nothing but a puppy will do. The president of Bulgaria certainly thought so when he gave President George W. Bush a small Bulgarian sheepdog, which caused consternation by “running amok in the National Security Council,” NPR reported. Bush tried to send the puppy to the National Archives, but dogs are difficult to archive, so it had to be placed with a family instead.

And, of course, a subscription to Foreign Policy 

For the rare wonk who doesn’t already subscribe.

Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Benjamin Soloway is an associate editor at Foreign Policy. @bsoloway

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