The Wrath Of Khan

Only this Khan’s name is Wolfgang.

Khan

Maybe this Friedrich Merz has a chance of becoming head of the Christian Democrats (CDU) this Friday after all. Wolfgang Schäuble, the seventy-six-year-old CDU Urgestein (bedrock) who should have/would have been chancellor, is supporting Merz wholeheartedly. He is doing this out of conviction, of course, but he also has an ax to grind with Empress Merkel Herself (who wants Mini-Merkel to take over for her – and can’t stand Merz). Like Helmut Kohl before her, her rise to power came with a major political setback for Schäuble. Now it’s payback time. Better late than never.

“Of course! We are one big, happy fleet! Ah, Kirk, my old friend, do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold?”

Weil er Kanzler nicht werden konnte, will er jetzt, am Ende eines schier unglaublichen Berufslebens, wenigstens Kanzlermacher sein. Er nutzt, 76-jährig, seine wohl letzte Gelegenheit, auf die Geschichte der CDU und der Bundesrepublik entscheidenden Einfluss zu nehmen – und damit zugleich für die politische Zurücksetzung, die er erst von Kohl und dann von Merkel erfahren hat, Genugtuung zu finden.

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It Wasn’t Sabotage

I read half a dozen times today that no, it wasn’t sabotage that caused a forced landing of Angela Merkel’s plane on its way to the G20 in Argentina shortly after leaving Berlin.

Plane

Of course it wasn’t sabotage. It was a Bundeswehr plane, folks. That’s all you need to know. What’s interesting is how the first thing everyone thinks is that it could have, might have, must have been sabotage. Angie, maybe it really is time for you to go.

The plane’s communications system went down and the crew had to use a satellite phone to contact air traffic controllers, Germany’s Spiegel website reported. The problem is thought to have been with an electronic distribution box, which controls both the radio and discharge of aviation fuel.

The German air force denied suggestions that the plane’s electronics could have been sabotaged. “There’s is absolutely no indication of a criminal background,” a spokesman said.

Es ist dringend.”

Let The Christmas Cheer Begin!

New fortified security measures at Berlin Christmas market.

Christmas

All week, workers have been installing 160 giant, square, lattice-work frames on the perimeter of Charlottenburg’s Breitscheidplatz, the site of the fatal attack.

Enormous sand-and-stone-filled bags have been lowered into each frame, which have all been bolted to the next to form a long row. Narrow access points have been protected with extra bollards.

During the market, private guards will patrol the grounds, joined by a heavy presence of uniformed and plainclothes police officers.

The Berlin Senate has said the elaborate €2.5 million ($2.9 million) installation will provide “unprecedented protection” against trucks weighing up to 40 tons.

This reminds me of German oddity 234. Germany is a country that now places the ugly security controls, bollards and heavily armed police it used to have on its national borders at Christmas markets and Volksfeste around the country instead.

Conservative, Male, Wealthy?

What has this guy been smoking? How could anybody with credentials like that ever hope to become the chairman of Germany’s conservative party?

Merz

Conservatives don’t exist in this country. It’s against the law or something. And if they did, they would have to be liberal, female and have a very modest income. Germans also have a big Neid (envy) problem, you see.

German businessman Friedrich Merz, who is running to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel as leader of the Christian Democratic (CDU) party, disclosed for the first time that he earns about one million euros (S$1.57 million) a year, Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday (Nov 18).

Merz verrät sein gigantisches Einkommen, zählt sich aber nicht zur Oberschicht.

Shoot The Hoop

Better late than never. Actually, maybe never would have been better than late this time but you never know about never. Before it’s too late.

Hoop

Angela Merkel traveled to Chemnitz Friday to meet with residents, three months after the eastern city was the scene of violent, far-right protests that highlighted divisions in Germany — and the chancellor’s own party — on the issue of migration.

Merkel met with the Niners Chemnitz — a local basketball team — before heading to a town hall-style discussion with readers of the Chemnitz Freie Presse newspaper at which the recent unrest was expected to be a central issue.

The protests were triggered after the killing in August of a German man that authorities blamed on recent migrants. Far-right groups flocked to the city, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Berlin, clashing with counter-protesters in scenes that drew widespread condemnation.

Ludwig warf der Kanzlerin eine „praktisch seit drei Jahren währende Sprachlosigkeit“ vor, deren Folgen sich besonders beim Thema Integration zeigten. Die Debatte werde viel zu oft denen überlassen, die Ängste oder tatsächliche Probleme instrumentalisierten.

I Shall Call Her… Mini-Me!

‘Mini-Merkel’ calls for Syrian migrants to be returned home as CDU leadership rivals jostle for position.

Mini-Me

Heel, Mini-Me! Heel!

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said asylum-seekers whose claims are rejected or who commit crimes could be returned to the war-torn country…

Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer, popularly known in Germany as “mini-Merkel”, is widely seen as Mrs Merkel’s preferred successor. But she has been at pains to distance herself from the chancellor’s controversial migrant policy in her bid for the leadership of the Christian Democrat party (CDU).

“Certain regions of Syria could be secure enough in the foreseeable future.”

German Of The Day: Unerklärlich

That means inexplicable.

Islamophobia

You know, inexplicable like of all places on earth it’s inexplicable that Islamophobia and xenophobia could be on the rise in Germany. But it is. What could possibly be behind it?

Prejudice towards Muslims and foreigners is rising in Germany, a study has revealed.

More than 44 per cent of Germans believe Muslims should be banned from immigrating, compared to 36.5 per cent in 2014, the Competence Centre for Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research found.

The poll found more than one in two (55.8 per cent) said the number of Muslims made them feel like strangers in their own country, while 43 per cent gave the same answer four years ago, the Die Welt newspaper reported.

“We want a leader who governs the country with a firm hand for the good of all.”

Merkel’s Hand-Picked Successor To Introduce A New Era For The CDU?

Uh, OK. Boy, and it looks like she can hardly wait to start, too.

New era

She ought to adopt Merkel’s name while she’s at it, too. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is a real tongue-twister (say that ten times really fast).

Germany’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) must build on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s legacy but move on from her era, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is running to be CDU leader, said on Wednesday.

“This is the end of the era,” Kramp-Karrenbauer, presenting her candidacy for the CDU leadership, said of Merkel’s time as party leader.

Uh, no it’s not. Not with you it isn’t. Some call her Mini-Merkel.

Kandidatin Kramp-Karrenbauer – Für eine “neue Ära” der CDU.

This Guy Doesn’t Have A Chance

Of replacing Angela Merkel as the chairman of the conservative CDU, I mean.

Merz

1) Because Merkel doesn’t like him and forced him out of politics ten years ago, 2) he’s pro-business (and that’s a bad thing to be in German politics) and 3) he represents the conservative wing of a conservative party that stopped being conservative long ago. What’s the difference between the CDU and the SPD – or the Greens, for that matter?

I sure do wish this guy a lot of luck, though.

A former rival of Chancellor Angela Merkel who seeks to replace her at the helm of Germany’s conservative party said Wednesday he would aim to renew the party and establish close ties with Western democracies but wouldn’t push for a radical overturn of current policies.

Friedrich Merz, a corporate lawyer and former parliamentary floor leader of Ms. Merkel’s conservatives, said he could get along with the chancellor despite previous clashes that led to his gradual exit from politics nearly 10 years ago. A good working relationship with the chancellor would be crucial to ensure party backing for the ruling coalition’s political agenda.

“We need an awakening and renewal but not an overturn.”

German Of The Day: Vorsitz

That means chair (of a company). Or chairman. Or chairwoman in this case.

Vorsitz

And chairwoman of the CDU is what Angela Merkel now no longer wants to be.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Monday took her first concrete steps to move away from political life, saying she would give up leadership of her conservative party while vowing to finish out her term as chancellor until 2021.

Ms. Merkel made her announcement, in a meeting of conservative leaders, after two disastrous results in regional elections that saw her party and its allies slump to near-record lows.

“Zeit, ein neues Kapitel aufzuschlagen.”