We’re Not Putin You On

A new survey indicates that the vast majority of Germans hold Russia’s Vladimir Putin to be more trustworthy than US-Amerika’s Donald Trump.

Putin

In fairness to Donald Trump, however, these Germans also found Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un more trustworthy, too. Or so I assume.

Please note: These are people who even find Germany’s Angela Merkel more trustworthy. For crying out loud already.

The disparity in favor of Putin over Trump was most stark in Greece and Germany, where he outscored the US president by 31 and 14 points, respectively. In Germany, around a quarter of respondents said they had confidence in Putin, while only 11 percent said the same of Trump.

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German Of The Day: Schlecht

That means bad. Or böse. That means worse. You know, like in “bad, very bad.”

Trump

President Donald Trump has reportedly reignited tensions with his EU counterparts after calling the Germans “very bad” for their trade surplus with the U.S. The president vowed to block German car exports to the U.S. during a meeting with top EU leaders on Thursday, according to German news magazine Der Spiegel.

I don’t know, folks. Whether this is true or not, I have a very böse feeling about all of this. Not.

“The Germans are bad, very bad. Look at the millions of cars they’re selling in the U.S. We will stop that.”

It’s Not Just About The Two Percent We Promised To Spend On Defense As A NATO Country

And still aren’t spending (1.3 percent the last time I checked), Angela Merkel explained to Donald Trump.

Trump

It’s also about “what a country makes available to NATO and what capabilities we have,” whatever that means. The Oktoberfest and world class table tennis talent or what?

Citing this week’s attack in the English city of Manchester, Trump told fellow alliance leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel that NATO should focus its efforts on combating terrorism. Yet of the 28 member nations, 23 “are still not paying what they should be paying and what they’re supposed to be paying for their defense,” he said.

“Wir freuen uns auch, dass in Zukunft nicht nur gefragt wird, wie viel wird für Verteidigung ausgegeben, sondern auch, was stellt man als Land der Nato zur Verfügung, welche Fähigkeiten haben wir und welche Beiträge leisten wir. Ich glaube hier kann sich Deutschland sehen lassen, und das werde ich auch hier deutlich machen.”

A German Nuclear Bomb?

I have, let me say, strong doubts here. A renewable, green energy bomb of mass destruction? OK. But a nuclear one?

Sun

Germany’s most obvious response (should US-Amerika say Auf Wiedersehen! to NATO) would be to approach France and Britain, NATO’s other two nuclear powers, for a shared deterrent. But their arsenals are small. France, moreover, has so far been unwilling to cede any sovereignty over its nuclear arms and has always been sceptical about shared deterrence. Britain, as its prime minister, Theresa May, has already hinted, might make its nuclear shield a subject of negotiation during the upcoming Brexit talks.

It’s a question of how to deter whom with what.

Living Up To Contractual Obligations Causing Angst

Concerned about possibly turning Germany into a military superpower again by raising its defense spending from 1.3 to 2 percent of its gross domestic product (as agreed to by Germany many years ago in NATO), Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) says that this could cause angst elsewhere in Europe, and most certainly at the German ministry of finance, and therefore maybe ought to be put off for an other 10 to 15 years or so. Or maybe longer. It all depends.

Gabriel

Angst is a terrible thing, people. And so is Verarschung (being bullshited). But angst is worse, I guess.

“Für Deutschland unrealistisch.”

This War On Journalism Must Stop

Here in Germany, I mean. It is outrageous, unacceptable behavior and is damaging press freedom in Germany and abroad.

Monitor

Like I said, outrageous. So where’s the outrage, folks?

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND, apparently spied on large numbers of foreign journalists overseas over the course of several years, including employees of the BBC, Reuters and the New York Times. Critics see a massive violation of press freedoms.

Nero Was The Guy In The Matrix, Right?

More cool Spiegel stuff, folks.

Trump

Trump as Nero: Europe Must Defend Itself Against A Dangerous President.

It is literally painful to write this sentence, but the president of the United States is a pathological liar. The president of the U.S. is a racist (it also hurts to write this). He is attempting a coup from the top; he wants to establish an illiberal democracy, or worse; he wants to undermine the balance of power. He fired an acting attorney general who held a differing opinion from his own and accused her of “betrayal.” This is the vocabulary used by Nero, the emperor and destroyer of Rome. It is the way tyrants think.

I feel your pain, buddy. It literally hurts me to read this about how it literally hurts you to write this. Let’s both of us stop all this hurting, literally, and move on already. Please.

Shocking?

Trump

Not wirklich (really). OK, maybe a bit. But it’s certainly not anything new.

Spiegel

It’s one of this magazine’s major obsessions (US-Amerika and the bashing thereof), something that defines what it is and ensures its continued popularity. Popularity? No, it’s more like the party line. Somebody told me that every German household could once boast of having a copy of Mein Kampf, know what I’m saying? But don’t take any of this personally because, as their editor-in-chief says about this latest cover: “Der Spiegel does not want to provoke anybody.”

Now if that’s not the Lügenpresse (lying press) I’d like to know what is.

Enjoy Your Super Bowl Commercials Responsibly

“In this polarized world, it could easily upset half the country and be seen as political and stepping into something they don’t want to get into.

Der Spot sorgt trotzdem für Aufregung. Viele sehen in ihm einen direkten Angriff auf die Migrationspolitik von US-Präsident Donald Trump.