A Positive Development

But nowhere near what the Germans pledged to do long, long ago.

NATO

Germany to match US contribution to NATO budget – From 2021, Germany will increase its contribution to the NATO budget to be in line with what the US pays. NATO officials hope the move will diffuse tensions surrounding the cost of maintaining the military alliance.

Gee. I wonder what – or who? – finally got the Germans to act?

Starting in 2021, the share of the NATO budget covered by Germany will increase from 14.8% to 16.35%, while the share covered by the US will decrease from 22.1% to 16.35%…

NATO officials hope the new agreement will alleviate some of the tension around the topic of NATO financing. US President Donald Trump has complained that the US covers more than its fair share of the costs for the alliance. He has demanded that other member states make good on their pledges to increase their NATO contribution to 2% of GDP by 2024 (pledged nearly twenty years ago), a goal that Germany will not reach.

Merkel on Wednesday vowed to reach the 2% mark by the “early 2030s.”

More Like A Stepfather

Who beat you like a red-headed stepchild.

For Germans, Losing the U.S. to Trump Is Like Losing a Father – The 30th-anniversary celebration of the Berlin Wall’s collapse comes with grief over the end of a special relationship.

Trump

I don’t know if I can hold back the tears but give me a second or two. There. I’m much better now. Thanks. But this massive output of cheap emotion has a heavy taste of déjà-vu in it for me, folks. The Germans already had their hearts broken and lost their special relationship back with W., didn’t they? And we don’t even want to talk about how heartbroken they were with Ronald Reagan HIMSELF. They don’t even want to have to think about him today. Some thirty years later. You know, thirty years after he made possible the fall of the Berlin Wall? Wait a minute. I’m chocking up again…

Berlin gets unwanted Ronald Reagan statue – Ronald Reagan is already an honorary citizen of Berlin, so city authorities have always deemed a statue inappropriate. Nonetheless, a bronze replica of the former president is set to be inaugurated at the US Embassy.

Reagan

That Didn’t Take Long

But, then again,  it never does.

Trump

#TrumpNotWelcome trends in Germany after Trump says he’d like to visit ‘soon’ – Merkel couldn’t contain a surprised smile at Trump’s announcement, but social media users weren’t so gracious. The mayor of Trump’s grandparents’ hometown shrugged at the news.

Speaking of Donald Trump’s roots, I really love this little documentary (too bad it’s in German for ya’all). It was filmed before he ran for president and none of today’s  toxicity is there yet. The film makers even treat him like, I dunno, friendly or something (start viewing around minute 47:00). Refreshing, to say the least.

“We’ll be there … we’re very honored by the invitation — and that’s true — and we will be there. Maybe soon. I have German in my blood.”

Donald Trump Threatens Germany With Visit

Clearly worried about his health after confiding to Angela Merkel  during G7 talks that he “has German in his blood,” President Donald Trump announced that he will be coming to Germany “very soon.”

Trump

To seek medical attention, I assume. German doctors probably know best when it comes to getting  “German” out of the bloodstream and why take any chances with a threatening ailment like this.

Let’s just hope it won’t be too late because worrying signs of the blood illness appeared during said talks when Trump grew delirious and called Merkel “a brilliant woman” at one point.

“Ich habe Deutsches in meinem Blut.”

And What’s The Problem With That?

German-U.S. Ties Are Breaking Down – Never since the founding of postwar Germany have relations between Berlin and the United States been as fragile as they are today. There is virtual radio silence between Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Donald Trump and U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell is doing more to agitate the situation than to mediate.

Germany

It’s quite easy to explain, really: “I’m making them pay their bills” and the Germans don’t want to pay these bills. They’ve never paid them in the past, they’re thinking, so why should we pay them now? If there’s anything else I can do to straighten any of this up for you here, just ask.

“There is no understanding, but there are also no misunderstandings.”

A Meating Of Minds

Meat

President Donald Trump just announced a new deal under which the EU will accept a high number of American beef exports, a move that will surely increase profits for US farmers and related industries. The EU will accept 45,000 tons of hormone-free beef from foreign countries every year, and America will be allowed to fulfill 35,000 tons of that quota after seven years — roughly 80 percent of the total.

“America has great beef. We’re selling more.”

#IchbinAntifa

“I am Antifa?” Then you might just be a “terrorist” soon, too.

Antifa

The hashtag #IchbinAntifa (“I am Antifa”) began trending on Twitter in Germany on Sunday after US President Donald Trump said he was considering labeling the group a terrorist organization.

Antifa, which is short for anti-fascists, is a loose network comprised of radical left-wing activists that confront right-wing extremists, neo-Nazi groups and white supremacists.

On Saturday, the US president said that the new classification “would make it easier for police to do their jobs,” and dubbed the anti-fascist group “gutless radical left wack jobs.”

Well, these anti-fascist folks might not be terrorists but they certainly have major issues (their obsession with violence, for one thing). I like what author Douglas Murray has to say about them: The demand for fascists vastly outstrips the actual supply. The further fascism recedes into history the more self-proclaimed anti-fascists call people fascist who aren’t fascist, a cost-free exercise bringing personal and political advantage.

Siggi Has A Blackout

Clearly still under shock after his party’s latest crisis, the SPD’s ex-boss Gabriel just accidentally praised Donald Trump.

Siggy

Needless to say he was immediately rushed to the nearest hospital and is currently under observation – and very strong medication.

German center-left SPD’s ex-leader Gabriel gives Trump praise – The US president is right to criticize China and to negotiate with North Korea, according to left-of-center former Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel. Gabriel also warned against seeing Trump voters as “dummies.”

“His criticism of China is justified, and so is his courage to negotiate with North Korea. And he is also right when he calls on Germany and Europe to get their terror-supporting citizens out of Syria and Iraq and put them on trial, instead of letting the Kurds deal with it.”

A Standing Ovation For An Anti-Trump Speech?

At an American University? Wow. Now that’s news-worthy.

Merkel

Or at least the Germans seem to think it is. Yawn.

Angela Merkel urged Harvard graduates Thursday to “tear down walls of ignorance and narrow-mindedness” in a speech laced with apparent jibes at Donald Trump and his policies.

Though she did not name the U.S. president, the German chancellor devoted much of her Harvard University commencement speech to attacking major pillars of Trump’s presidency: protectionism, trade wars and building walls.

Merkel in Harvard: Für die Anti-Trump-Rede gibt es Standing Ovations

Shame On Him!

Trump treats Germany like ‘America’s worst ally.’

Worst

Especially because, well, like, you know… They are.

North Korea, China, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela: America currently has disputes with a lot of countries. Europeans, meanwhile, have done quite well at keeping their heads down. A US-EU trade truce is still holding. And Nato’s 70th anniversary festivities in Washington came and went in early April without tweet fireworks from the president threatening US withdrawal.

There was one notable exception to this queasy peace, however: Germany.

At a think-tank event during the Nato celebrations, vice-president Mike Pence castigated Germany for its inadequate defence spending and for being a “captive of Russia”. A few weeks later, presidential daughter-in-law Lara Trump opined on Fox Business that Angela Merkel’s welcome of refugees in 2015 had been Germany’s “downfall” and “one of the worst things to ever happen” to the country.

Germany is, in fact, having a bit of a moment in the roiling imagination of the Trumpian nationalist right. It has been denounced as “selfish” and “America’s worst ally” by Ted Bromund, a scholar at the Heritage Foundation. Jakub Grygiel, until last year a member of the State Department’s policy planning staff, called it “a source of fear and resentment”. And Michael Anton, a former senior White House adviser for strategic communications, just published an essay on the “Trump Doctrine” which contends that the EU is “a fraud” and Germany “treats the EU as a front organisation”…

Like I said. All of this is outrageous. And, well, I dunno, like, how should I put it? True. It’s actually much worse than all of that but nobody wants to hear it so, shame on you, President Trump!