Wane’s World

Normally I’d say don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Angie but the Germans have this saying: Totgesagte leben länger: Those reputed to be dead live longer.

Wane

I don’t think this woman is ever going to leave.

Merkel’s political twilight sees Germany’s influence wane – As the chancellor’s final term ticks away, her ability to set the political agenda is diminishing fast.

… For some in Berlin, the French leader’s gambit reflected a broader trend — Germany’s waning influence on the international stage. There was a sense that Paris had simply stepped into a diplomatic vacuum once occupied by Berlin. “Macron can only be this active because Germany has become so passive,” says Omid Nouripour, foreign affairs spokesman for Germany’s opposition Greens.

Ms Merkel, in her twilight as chancellor, embodies this perception of decline. As her last months in power tick away, her ability to set the political agenda appears to be diminishing fast.

“We live in an age when people want someone to give them direction, and they won’t get it from her.”

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Illustrious? At Risk?

What Germany are these journalists writing about?

Merkel

Merkel’s illustrious reign is at risk of being tarnished. Huh?

That nobody really much cares about or follows what is going on in Germany is one thing but to start churning out science fiction about a parallel German universe is simply irresponsible.

There is nothing “illustrious” about Angela Merkel’s “reign” and there is absolutely, positively no risk that it could become tarnished. It already is tarnished. It can’t get more tarnished than it already is, in fact. Ask any German on the street and he/she will tell you. The journalists at CNBC ought to consider giving that a try.

Sakrileg, the German word for sacrilege: the violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred. I’m about to go there. Has German Chancellor Angela Merkel been a disaster for Europe, and is her prolonged tenure at the Federal Chancellery extending the region’s problems rather than holding them back?

I Got The Power

Electricity bills, actually. Big ones. And talk about renewable. These bills just keep on coming and coming and growing and growing…

Power

Voter support for Angela Merkel’s long-standing pledge for climate protection risks being undermined by stubbornly high pollution levels and power prices.

Average retail power costs are set to climb 111 percent since 2000, when guaranteed subsidies for wind, solar and biomass power first started being added to consumers’ bills, forecasts from the BDEW utilities federation showed last week. Germany may for the first time move up a notch to share with Denmark the highest household energy bills in the EU.

It’s more evidence that gains in wind and solar power competitiveness have yet to trickle down to consumers, frustrating the aim of keeping Merkel’s green energy transition affordable.

“I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

Too Big To Fail

And I’m not talking about her weight or anything, OK?

Merkel

No Plan B, no competitors in sight (who she hasn’t already crushed politically, I mean) and in power since 1953, Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold a news conference this weekend during which she will announce whether she will run for another term as chancellor or not. Or for Mutti, if you prefer. Many smart politico types here think that the chances are relatively high that this might just maybe be the case.

Der vielbeschworene “geeignete Zeitpunkt” scheint gekommen: Im Rahmen einer Parteiklausur dürfte Angela Merkel am Sonntag ihre vierte Kanzlerkandidatur bekanntgeben.

Angela Merkel Now More Powerful Than Barack Obama?

Like, duh. So is my Briefträger (mailman).

Merkel

Now for my money the real most powerful and toughestest muckahumma von Welt is Bad Vlad Putin HIMSELF.

Bad Vlad is so tough he eats his steak with a straw. You want power? This guy can ski up a mountain. He went skydiving once and his parachute failed to open, so he took it back the next day for a refund. Vlad is so tough his cowboy boots are made of real cowboys. And yes, just in case you were wondering, he CAN talk about the fight club.

“Putin beweist weiterhin, dass er einer der wenigen Männer in der Welt ist, die mächtig genug sind, um zu tun, was sie wollen – und die damit durchkommen.”

PS: Before going to bed, the Boogeyman always checks his closet for Bad Vlad Putin first.

The Next Thing You Know They’ll Be Selling These On Ebay

Germany’s utilities, battered by the country’s shift to wind turbines and solar panels, would be glad to sell you a power plant on the cheap. They’ll even pack it up and ship it to another country.

Power Plant

The two largest power producers, RWE AG and EON SE, are especially keen to sell their gas-fired plants, rendered uncompetitive by the rise of renewable energy on the one hand and record low coal prices on the other. It’s a relatively easy task to take them apart, move them by truck and ship and reassemble them elsewhere.

“There is a liquid global market for gas turbines. Transport costs are entirely marginal.”

“It can’t work without Russian gas”

The German energy turnaround can’t, that is. And that’s why the way things look right now, the turnaround is about to get turned around – yet again.

Power

If Germany makes its goal of having 80 percent of its power come from renewable sources by 2050, there is no question it will add to the country’s energy security. But along the way, as it takes nuclear power plants offline and builds up its renewable network, the country remains reliant on fossil fuels – and that means Russia.

Germany gets some 35 percent of its natural gas and oil from Russia, as well as significant quantities of coal, a dependency that weakens Germany’s energy switchover plan, according to Hans-Werner Sinn, a prominent economist.

“Es wird eine neue Betrachtung der gesamten Energiepolitik geben”

Germans Tired Of Being Cast As The Euro Zone’s Scapegoats

But once they take a nap and rest a little bit, they won’t be so tired anymore.

Scapegoats

Sometimes Germany was too weak, sometimes too strong. Or, as Henry Kissinger, a former American secretary of state, put it, referring to Germany just after unification in 1871, it was “too big for Europe, but too small for the world”. Today, Mr Simms (Cambridge University) argues, “it sits uneasily at the heart of an EU that was conceived largely to constrain German power but which has served instead to increase it, and whose design flaws have unintentionally deprived many other Europeans of sovereignty.”

The question is whether Germany can use its power by unapologetically leading. Given Germany’s past, its political culture militates against even trying.

“It’s nice to go to a conference of ‘young leaders’, but you don’t want a conference of ‘junge Führer’.”

Die Lötzsche geht von Bord

Germany‘s Left Party was shocked or something yesterday by the surprise resignation of one of its top two fearless leaders, Gesine Loetszch.

I thought she’d never leave – but I’m going to miss her anyway. Really. She clearly said and did everything wrong you could possibly say and do (it must be hard being a communist who has to pretend not to be), but she still couldn’t get her leaky little Linke ship to sink. Sure, it’s run aground and all that and won’t be sailing anywhere ever again (not that it was ever going anywhere in the first place), but the damned thing just won’t go under.

I guess it’s time to bring in the demolition crew and scuttle this puppy for good.

Der Napoleon von der Saar, die schöne Kommunistin aus Berlin.

Our Holy Hymnal Election Video, Amen

Wow. If anyone appreciates good propaganda, it’s these guys. The Der Spiegel clearly, if not accidently, got this one right: Obama, Amerikas Supermann.

“Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim directed it, Oscar winner Tom Hanks narrated it: Barack Obama’s election strategists have released a 17 minute promotional film. It stylizes the US President as a lonely hero who has single-handedly led his country out of crisis.”

Coming soon to a living room near you.

“Dieses Video ist für die Fans, und ihr wisst, wer sich angesprochen fühlen sollte.”