Left Now Right?

No, let’s call it Right Goes Left. How about Left Right Left?

Wagenknecht

This perennial leftist Frontfrau (lead singer) has just thrown up her hands in desperation about what to call her new collective (collectivist?) lefty movement of malcontents (there’s a big demand for movements like that these days) and finally settled for #aufstehen (stand up, rise up).

Leftwing politicians are singing the praises of border control while rightwingers call for expanding the welfare state. Old political certainties could be turned upside down in Germany this summer as the far ends of the country’s political spectrum both moot a “national social” turn.

A new leftwing movement soft-launching in Germany in August aims to part ways with what one of its founders calls the “moralising” tendency of the left, in an attempt to win back working-class voters from the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

SPD-Vize Stegner kritisiert das Projekt als “Egotrip notorischer Separatisten.”

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German Of The Day: Allzeittief

That means all-time low.

Trend

According to the “Germany trend” survey taken by the ARD, the popularity of Germany’s dominant sister party union of CDU/CSU (Angela Merkel/Horst Sehofer) has dropped to 29 percent, its all-time low. Meanwhile, the ostracized right-wing populist party AfD has climbed to 17 percent, its highest rating so far. If an election were held this Sunday, the union and the SPD (the current grand coalition government) would no longer have a majority and land at 47 percent.

Now I’m going to go way out on a limb here but I think all of this has something to do with Germany’s still unresolved migrant crisis.

Union sackt auf Allzeittief – AfD steigt auf Rekordhoch.

One Small Step For Europe

One giant leap for Europe-kind?

Migrants

An operation in which an Italian towboat rescued more than 100 people in the Mediterranean and returned them to Libya may have been in breach of international law, the United Nations has said.

According to the Spanish charity Proactiva Open Arms, the Asso 28, an oil rig support vessel, rescued 108 people from international waters on Monday and took them to Libya, their country of departure.

Die “Asso 28” hat Migranten in Seenot an Bord genommen – und nicht nach Italien gebracht, sondern zurück nach Libyen. Die Regierung in Rom jubelt, doch die Aktion war vermutlich illegal.

Germans Sitting Too Much – In Drafts

Whether at work or in front of the TV, Germans spend around 7.5 hours per day sitting, a study has found.

Draft

But worse still, much of that time these Germans are sitting in deadly German drafts (see German oddity 14).

14. A real German is a faithful practitioner of “Stoßlüftung” or inrush airing. This is when someone quickly rips several windows wide open for a few minutes to let some fresh, preferably ice-cold arctic air into what had been your warm and cozy apartment or office up until then. When it comes to leaving windows open for a longer period of time, however, Germans are clearly divided into two distinct ideological groups. The first group is the “shut the window right this minute because there’s a draft” faction (Germans are terrified of drafts). The second group is the “open the window again immediately because it smells like the cat house at the zoo” faction. Strangely, these two groups appear to be equally distributed in homes and offices across the nation so the fun with windows never stops here.

Fresh air or deathly drafts? Germans’ belief in the myth that breezes make you sick is completely overblown.

The Short Answer Is No

Not without nuclear energy.

If Germany Can’t Quit Coal, Can Anyone Else?

Coal

It would seem like a major step toward Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent of 1990 totals by 2020. But German utilities just can’t seem to quit burning coal. Some power plants are switching to cheaper imported black coal from the United States, Russia, or Colombia. And at the same time, Germany is also digging more lignite, or brown coal. Lignite is 50 percent water and yields much less energy than the shiny black anthracite. But lignite is easy to bulldoze from massive strip mines that dot Germany’s northwest and eastern border with Poland. Among Europe’s power plants, Germany’s brown coal stations constitute six out of 10 of the worst polluters.

“It’s like organizing your own funeral.”

 

When They Go Low We Go Lower

Support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc, trying to move beyond a bitter dispute over migrant policy that threatened the coalition, has fallen to its lowest level since 2006, a poll showed on Sunday.

Angie

But Angela Merkel keeps on smiling. I don’t know what they pump her up with but I want some of that stuff, too. Reality enhancement enchantment medication, I figure. “It’s good to be the Empress.”

The Social Democrats (SPD), who share power with the conservatives in Merkel’s coalition, failed to capitalize on those losses, also falling one point to 18 percent.

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) was unchanged at 15 percent while the Greens rose 2 points to 14 percent, their best showing this year, according to Bild am Sonntag.

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.

I Know Nothing

Nothing!

Winterkorn

Uh, yes you do. Former VW boss Martin Winterkorn has maintained from the start of the Dieselgate scandal that he knew nothing about the manipulative tricks going on in his company. But it’s now coming out that a high-ranking VW engineer who knows better is cooperating with the German prosecuting attorney’s office and spilling the beans on Winterkorn big time. This is going to cost VW a whole lot more than they figured on, I bet. Even the Germans are holding them responsible. Think of that. And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of guys. Talk about systematic criminal activity.

I mean, do these people really think they can get away with this stuff and nobody is ever going to squeal on them? I guess it’s too lonely up there at the top when you’re, well, on the top, in your little I know nothing dream world.

„Ich bin bestürzt über das, was in den vergangenen Tagen geschehen ist. Vor allem bin ich fassungslos, dass Verfehlungen dieser Tragweite im Volkswagen-Konzern möglich waren.”