Der Spiegel Analyzes The “Kavanaugh Disaster”

As only Der Spiegel can. And oddly, they almost got it right.

Kavanaugh

For one thing, they were honest enough to admit that it was a disaster – for them, of course – because “the President and the Republicans achieved a great victory.” And then they continue  on with their five-point explanation of why this is such an awful, terrible and unspeakably bad thing.

1. Trumpism reigns. They got that right, too.

2. The Kavanaugh nomination was a farce. They almost got that right. The nomination itself wasn’t a farce, of course, but the freak show that accompanied it most certainly was.

3. Consensus culture is a foreign word. Absolutely correct. Take Germany, for instance, where they call it Konsenskultur. Every German knows that there is no consensus when it comes to Angela Merkel’s migrant madness meltdown, for example, but the difference between Germany and US-Amerika here is that the Germans behave as if there is. Germans normally being the all too direct ones, it is the Americans this time who make no qualms about how divided they are in Trump America.

4. There are no clear rules for dealing with accusations. Not true. Making false accusations, like the ones made against Kavanaugh here, is against the law. American laws allow those falsely accused of a crime to pursue a course of action in court, generally based on defamation of character. And this, I believe, needs to be done here.

5. The Supreme Court is now in a real mess. Well, they got the mess part right, I guess. But the Supreme Court mess is now in the process of being cleaned up, although there is certainly still quite a bit of work yet to do.

All in all, a solid job, Spiegel journalists. I’ll give you a seven for your five points this time. Keep the change.

Mit der Wahl von Donald Trumps Kandidaten Brett Kavanaugh zum Richter auf Lebenszeit am Supreme Court haben der US-Präsident und die Republikaner einen großen Erfolg errungen.

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The Natives Are Getting Restless

The Empress of Germany/Europe is getting headwinds from members of her own party. Of all mere people.

Empress

Two relatively unknown CDU politicians are planning to challenge Angela Merkel for the position of party chairwoman of the CDU during the party’s conference this coming December. Only the winner would then be referred to as the party “chairman” if elected. But still.

How rude. She’s only been in the highest echelon of the CDU for eighteen years (and chancellor since 2005). More respect, please. She’s like, I dunno, the Robert Mugabe of Europe. Never touch a running system and all that. Not even when they’re non-running ones.

“Mir ist bewusst, dass es keine Wahl auf Augenhöhe sein wird. Dennoch ist dieser Schritt notwendig.”

They Used To Call It Inner Emigration

Now Germans do their inner emigration openly.

Exile

Peter Fitzek rules over a kingdom, and he has the passport to prove it. 

Bound in white, the passport gives Mr Fitzek’s name only as Peter I. His title is boldly stated: “King of Germany”. The issuing authority is the Kingdom of Germany, a pseudo-state founded by Mr Fitzek in 2012 that claims to have more than 250 citizens.

The kingdom is near the eastern German city of Wittenberg, and covers only a hectare. Mr Fitzek insists it meets all the criteria of an independent country, and that neither Germany’s law nor government hold sway within its borders. The kingdom has a flag and crest, a constitution and bank, a separate health insurance and pension system, and even a currency: the E-Mark…

Political analysts argue that the movement, whose members are usually referred to as Reichsbürger (citizens of the Reich) or Selbstverwalter (self-administrators), is a symptom of the same political malaise that has fuelled the rise of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the far-right party that won 13 per cent of the vote at last year’s general election.

“What you see is a deeply-rooted dissatisfaction that becomes so radical that people want to drop out of the federal republic altogether.”

Another German Initiative Bites The Dust

Although they moan the loudest about it, Germans and other vocal continental moaners have finally succeeded in doing away with that awful, terrible and truly horrible daylight savings time nonsense – an idea that they introduced in the first place.

Time

The German Empire and Austria-Hungary organized the first nationwide implementation, starting on April 30, 1916. Many countries have used it at various times since then, particularly since the energy crisis of the 1970s.

A European Union online survey has concluded that a vast majority of the bloc’s citizens are against switching between summer and winter time. All signs point towards the EU now putting a stop to changing the clocks.

More than 80% of respondents to the largest online survey in EU history are in favour of abolishing changing the clocks in summer and winter, German newspaper Westfalenpost reports, citing well-informed sources in Brussels.

Es wäre sinnlos, die Bevölkerung erst zu einem Thema zu befragen, und dann, wenn es einem nicht passe, dem nicht zu folgen.

PS: Of the roughly five million Europeans who actually took part on the online survey over three million of them were German.

Not One

Not one balanced, objective review anywhere. Much less a friendly one. Everything negative and hysterical, as usual. But that was to be expected before this book was even published.

Sarrazin

Thilo Sarrazin, the man German Gutmenschen (do-gooders) absolutely love to hate (and he’s SPD, for crying out loud), has done it again. His latest book, entitled Hostile Takeover, is another attack on Islam in Germany. Needless to say, everyone is enraged and outraged and every other kind of rage there is to be about it.

To sum it up (according to the article I linked to) he maintains: Islam is a backward religion incapable of reform, inherently violent (the step from Muslim believer to Islamist terrorist being merely one of degree), intolerant and xenophobic and that the Muslims in Germany are openly attempting to out-populate the Germans, which of course isn’t terribly hard to do. So… Where’s the controversial part of this book that everybody is all upset about? I mean, what if any of this didn’t we already know?

Vom gläubigen Muslim zum islamistischen Terroristen ist es für Sarrazin nur ein gradueller Unterschied.

Soyprise Soyprise

Just when you thought they soyrendered… The trade relationship between the United States and Europe is improving, German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner said on Saturday, but there is no guarantee the bloc will buy the quantity of soybeans that Washington expects.

Soy

U.S. President Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, struck a surprise deal on Wednesday that ended the risk of an immediate trade war between the two powers.

After the talks, Trump highlighted benefits for U.S. farmers. “The European Union is going to start, almost immediately, to buy a lot of soybeans,” he told reporters.

Kloeckner, speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, said the amount of soy Europe will import is yet to be determined.

“Will we be able to do whatever President Trump wishes for? I don’t know. Let’s see whether this will be the case or not,” she said.

Soy its back to the drawing board, folks. We’ve got another European insoyrection on our hands. Yup, another resoygence of European protectionism. But if they want a trade war then their destruction is assoyed. We’ll see who has the better chance of soyvival.

Robust Export Growth?

German exports rebounded in May, providing more evidence of a strengthening of the economy in the second quarter.

Export

Yeah, I guess that’s true. If you forget the exports last month to one particular country. Those have dropped 10% for some inexplicable reason. But I’m sure that will pick up again real soon, right?

Despite ongoing trade tensions, German exports did what they normally do: grow. In May exports increased by 1.8% MoM, from -0.3% in April. At the same time, imports increased by 0.7% MoM, from 2.6% MoM in April. As a result, the trade surplus narrowed somewhat, from EUR20.1bn to EUR19.7bn.

“Die Verunsicherung durch die Einführung von Importzöllen seitens der USA und die Gegenmaßnahmen der EU und Chinas machen sich direkt bei den Unternehmen bemerkbar.”

When Had We Left The Jungle?

I wasn’t aware that we had.

Jungle

WTO Faces Existential Threat in Times of Trump -U.S. President Donald Trump has set his sights squarely on the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Even its critics are worried that without the organization, the world of trade would revert to the law of the jungle.

The U.S. and other industrialized nations made several concessions to developing economies when the WTO was founded in 1995 and significantly reduced their tariffs. In return, they were able to push through stronger protections for intellectual property. They hoped that the strategy would help slow China’s rise.

But from the U.S. perspective, the system has not been beneficial. And once China joined the WTO in 2001, that dissatisfaction only grew, partly because the Chinese proved adept at taking advantage of the rules. Even today, there is significant dissent within the WTO because the economic superpower China is still classified as a “developing nation” by the organization, which gives it certain privileges. On the other hand, China is fighting for recognition as a market economy, to which both the U.S. and the European Union are opposed because it would mean they could no longer defend themselves against state-subsidized Chinese exports with anti-dumping duties.

On top of all that, the WTO is facing a more fundamental problem: its size and its sluggishness. Negotiating rounds focused on removing tariffs have become increasingly complex. And because everything is up for negotiation at the same time, every member state can paralyze the process by simply exercising its veto. The Doha Round, launched in 2001, is a perfect example: It never achieved any results and has become symbolic of the WTO’s failure.

“The problems are coming from the behavior of a single country that would like to return to the jungle.”

Social Democrats Using The F-Word Again

You know, Fascism? As in everybody I don’t agree with is Hitler?

Schulz

Whenever other folks see things differently than they do (this time it’s Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini who is hard on migration) the Enlighted Left get all excited and squirrly. German Social Democrats are no different here.

This time it was Martin Schulz (remember the Schulz Effect?) who did the name-calling, labelling Salvini’s views “near-Fascism.” Italians and Fascism fit particularly well together, see? Today’s Italian politicians, is the implication, are “radical authoritarian ultranationals, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.” Like breath in and out slowly a few times and take a chill pill already, Martin.

„Was wir erleben, ist eine Brutalisierung der politischen Sprache, bei der jede Form der Solidarität, des Respekts und der Würde zerstört wird. Das bedeutet das Ende der Demokratie.“