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Thread: German Federal Election 2017

  1. #106
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    i wonder how the recent fracas regarding the tone-deaf US Ambassador to Germany will play out politically over there.

    http://thehill.com/policy/internatio...ering-european

    this man doesn't have the brains that God gave to a rock.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  2. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    i wonder how the recent fracas regarding the tone-deaf US Ambassador to Germany will play out politically over there.

    http://thehill.com/policy/internatio...ering-european

    this man doesn't have the brains that God gave to a rock.


    Absurd. I condemn those comments completely. Don’t put words in my mouth. The idea that I’d endorse candidates/parties is ridiculous. I stand by my comments that we are experiencing an awakening from the silent majority (?) - those who reject the elites & their bubble. Led by Trump.
    Wants to have his cake and eat it to. Yes, you did say those words in a very roundabout way, just enough, so now you can play the aggrieved

    “There are a lot of conservatives throughout Europe who have contacted me to say they are feeling there is a resurgence going on."

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    this whole thing is incredible. why is the US Ambassador to Germany talking to Breitbart at all? what's the purpose? just think if the Obama-era Ambassador to Germany decided to talk to Jacobin.

    not sure how this advances the foreign policy interests of the United States.

    even in his "apology" he plants a big arse-kiss to Trump. this whole thing of total abasement and veneration of Trump is really something to behold...and conservatives were scared of an imperial Obama Presidency, lol.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  4. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    i wonder how the recent fracas regarding the tone-deaf US Ambassador to Germany will play out politically over there.
    It plays out at the highest levels already. Grenell is meeting the State Secretary for Non-European Politics on Thursday, with press leaks along the lines that the talks will be "about the habitus of diplomatic relations in line with the Vienna Convention". Said state secretary deputizes for the foreign minister for things deemed not important enough yet, but overall that's a pretty straightforward warning shot that says "this things goes a single step up and we'll use the Vienna Convention to throw you out of the country". Grenell is coming to a preplanned "initial visit" to the foreign ministry on wednesday, where according to the foreign ministry "he'll have the chance to clarify his statements". That also plays into the warning, along the lines of "we're keeping it at this level yet, but the next time we'll 'invite' you to come for a clarification".

    The SPD wants the issue raised with Pompeou right away, the Left wants Grenell deported without any such foreplay, the Greens basically just want to ostracize and isolate him. The CDU is wavering, mostly because after all Grenell is trying to drive into the wedge between Merkel and Spahn. Some have more leeway, especially their EU parliament group, where the EU Parliament Spokesman for Relations with the USA (...CDU) is publicly commenting about how the governments explicitly endorsed by Grenell are the same ones "taking money from Putin".

    There's a government meeting (today?) where we'll probably afterwards see Merkel and Spahn with a consolidated public line on Grenell. Or at least Spahn heavily reined in compared to now, partly also for coalition pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Yes, you did say those words in a very roundabout way, just enough, so now you can play the aggrieved
    In my opinion that's an attempt at answering to certain other things. For example, Grenell also endorsed the FDP's leader Lindner in his tweets; since then the FDP's grey master Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (nephew of former minister Otto Graf Lambsdorff, son of a ambassador himself and former vice president of the European Parliament), has risen and given a not-quite-subtle warning that the GAO might be interested in how Grenell is mixing party politics and his office - and, if there's any half-way capable experienced people in the background with Grenell they would have told him that if Lambsdorff says that he means to convey that he has the contacts to get that ball rolling.

    He hasn't answered to Martin Schulz yet. He's called Grenell a "rightwing-extremist colonial officer".
    Last edited by kato; 05 Jun 18, at 10:41.

  5. #110
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    Merkel faced the parliament directly for the first time since 2005 today.

    The Bundestag has a weekly item called "questioning the government" in which - under Merkel - usually some state secretary would answer questions of representatives to the government for an hour. After the last election SPD and Left both demanded that Merkel should do that personally at least four times per year. The coalition treaty, i think, boiled it down to one questioning per year.

    That said, Merkel did that today. First she has to hold a short introduction speech to set the topic at the beginning. Her choice was to basically summarize the upcoming G7 summit, stretching it out with quaint details such as which side topics will be discussed and which non-G7 heads of state were invited in outreach forums at the summit. Then she basically showed people how to give a one-minute answer - the time limit - without giving an answer. Thirty times in a row.


    First five as examples, a bit summarized:

    1. (AfD)
    Q - Will you continue running the current destructive American-lapdog course or reorient towards President Putin?
    A - I've spoken with Putin.

    2. (SPD)
    Q - What will you do in the next few months to increase European Cohesion in the face of the US leaving the Western World?
    A - I plan to speak with the new Italian prime minister.

    She also wants to "Europeanize" "our seats" "after we're elected" to the UN security council next week. Whatever that means.

    3. (FDP)
    Q - When will we get to vote on CETA?
    A - The coalition treaty says that we plan to ratify CETA.

    4. (CSU)
    Q - How do the other six G7 states deal with the US leaving the Paris Accord?
    A - We have a lot to do to fulfill our Paris Accord commitments.

    5. (Left)
    Q - What do you plan to do to improve living conditions in Germany for the working poor?
    A - We're at the lowest unemployment numbers since reunification. And have introduced a minimum wage.

    Question also entailed something about trade... and Russia... and general opposition to TTIP and CETA. Though i stopped listening after he mentioned Trump announcing his trade war in Playboy 28 years ago.
    Last edited by kato; 06 Jun 18, at 19:19.

  6. #111
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  7. #112
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    Full article: http://www.dw.com/en/bavarian-conser...icy/a-44221670

    Bavarian conservative CSU defies Angela Merkel on migration policy

    Germany's conservative bloc may be coming apart at the seams, as its Bavarian wing lines up behind Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and against the chancellor. It's the greatest challenge ever to Merkel's authority.

    Speaking to reporters after separate emergency meetings of Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU and the Bavarian conservative CSU, regional CSU leader Alexander Dobrindt was "100 percent" in support of Interior Minister Horst Seehofer's so-called master plan for migration. That includes turning away some people at Germany's nation border – something Merkel has explicitly ruled out.

    "As we discussed, parts of the master plan are the direct responsibility of the interior minister, who comes from our ranks," Dobrindt said, adding that the CSU was intent on turning migration policy "upside down."

    Dobrindt also said that while the CSU still supported efforts to deal with migration on a European level, Bavarian conservatives felt that the time for action was now.

    "It cannot prevent us from acting right now and doing what we are allowed to do legally," Dobrindt said.

    Later on Thursday, the Chancellor downplayed the rumblings of a breakdown on the issue, saying that she was "sure we will all work together," on the problem, "and that includes the federal government."

    A collision course

    The CSU statements came after both that party and the CDU withdrew for separate emergency consultations on refugee policy. Normal parliamentary business went on hiatus, and emissaries shuttled backed and forth between two parties that normally are mirror images of one another.

    As Merkel was initially quiet on the issue publicly, the head of the party's youth wing, Paul Ziemiak, said that the party was firmly behind Merkel and that he hoped the two sides would agree a joint policy by the beginning of next week. Dobrindt reportedly also began consultations with CDU Parliamentary Leader Volker Kauder.

    When Merkel did offer a statement later, she reminded the public that immigration was one of the biggest challenges facing the European Union, not just Germany: "Therefore I believe that we should not act unilaterally, that we should not act without a vote, and that we should not change our position in the third act."

    But barring a breakthrough, Seehofer and Merkel — and with them the CSU and the CDU — are on a collision course. Seehofer meets with the leadership of the CSU on Monday in Munich, where he is expected to announce the institution of border checks on the basis of his authority as interior minister.

    If that comes to pass, Merkel faces the difficult choice of backing down or either overruling or perhaps even firing Seehofer.

    An unprecedented rebellion against Merkel

    In one sense, this is a clash over policy. But on a deeper level it is nothing less than a struggle for control of conservatism in Germany.

    Seehofer, who is also the CSU chairman, and Bavarian State Premier Markus Söder may argue that tighter migration policies are a necessity if the CSU wants to preserve its absolute majority in October's regional Bavarian election. But the many conservatives from Bavaria and beyond have also long been unhappy about Merkel's welcoming stance toward migrants and chafed under the political predominance of the four-time chancellor.

    Seehofer reportedly threatened to use his position as interior minister to order border checks, if necessary, over Merkel's opposition, even before Thursday's impasse. Merkel is said to have asked for two weeks' time in the hopes that she can negotiate an acceptable alternative, perhaps by enhancing the EU's Border Control Agency, Frontex, when EU leaders come together in Brussels on June 28 and 29.

    But thus far there has been no sign that the CSU is willing to give Merkel the leeway she desires.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

  8. #113
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    Full article: http://www.dw.com/en/bavarian-conser...icy/a-44221670

    Bavarian conservative CSU defies Angela Merkel on migration policy

    Germany's conservative bloc may be coming apart at the seams, as its Bavarian wing lines up behind Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and against the chancellor. It's the greatest challenge ever to Merkel's authority.

    Speaking to reporters after separate emergency meetings of Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU and the Bavarian conservative CSU, regional CSU leader Alexander Dobrindt was "100 percent" in support of Interior Minister Horst Seehofer's so-called master plan for migration. That includes turning away some people at Germany's nation border – something Merkel has explicitly ruled out.

    "As we discussed, parts of the master plan are the direct responsibility of the interior minister, who comes from our ranks," Dobrindt said, adding that the CSU was intent on turning migration policy "upside down."

    Dobrindt also said that while the CSU still supported efforts to deal with migration on a European level, Bavarian conservatives felt that the time for action was now.

    "It cannot prevent us from acting right now and doing what we are allowed to do legally," Dobrindt said.

    Later on Thursday, the Chancellor downplayed the rumblings of a breakdown on the issue, saying that she was "sure we will all work together," on the problem, "and that includes the federal government."

    A collision course

    The CSU statements came after both that party and the CDU withdrew for separate emergency consultations on refugee policy. Normal parliamentary business went on hiatus, and emissaries shuttled backed and forth between two parties that normally are mirror images of one another.

    As Merkel was initially quiet on the issue publicly, the head of the party's youth wing, Paul Ziemiak, said that the party was firmly behind Merkel and that he hoped the two sides would agree a joint policy by the beginning of next week. Dobrindt reportedly also began consultations with CDU Parliamentary Leader Volker Kauder.

    When Merkel did offer a statement later, she reminded the public that immigration was one of the biggest challenges facing the European Union, not just Germany: "Therefore I believe that we should not act unilaterally, that we should not act without a vote, and that we should not change our position in the third act."

    But barring a breakthrough, Seehofer and Merkel — and with them the CSU and the CDU — are on a collision course. Seehofer meets with the leadership of the CSU on Monday in Munich, where he is expected to announce the institution of border checks on the basis of his authority as interior minister.

    If that comes to pass, Merkel faces the difficult choice of backing down or either overruling or perhaps even firing Seehofer.

    An unprecedented rebellion against Merkel

    In one sense, this is a clash over policy. But on a deeper level it is nothing less than a struggle for control of conservatism in Germany.

    Seehofer, who is also the CSU chairman, and Bavarian State Premier Markus Söder may argue that tighter migration policies are a necessity if the CSU wants to preserve its absolute majority in October's regional Bavarian election. But the many conservatives from Bavaria and beyond have also long been unhappy about Merkel's welcoming stance toward migrants and chafed under the political predominance of the four-time chancellor.

    Seehofer reportedly threatened to use his position as interior minister to order border checks, if necessary, over Merkel's opposition, even before Thursday's impasse. Merkel is said to have asked for two weeks' time in the hopes that she can negotiate an acceptable alternative, perhaps by enhancing the EU's Border Control Agency, Frontex, when EU leaders come together in Brussels on June 28 and 29.

    But thus far there has been no sign that the CSU is willing to give Merkel the leeway she desires.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

  9. #114
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    The underlaying reason for this is that Bavaria is holding state parliament elections in four months and the CSU in the last surveys was polling at 42:45 vs everyone else with a chance of making it into parliament. What they're trying to do is present a conservative hardline in order to minimize AfD votes and possibly bowl the Free Voters Union and FDP - as the other two conservative parties - out of parliament in order to keep their absolute majority.

  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    i wonder how the recent fracas regarding the tone-deaf US Ambassador to Germany will play out politically over there.

    http://thehill.com/policy/internatio...ering-european

    this man doesn't have the brains that God gave to a rock.
    As much as I love working in the private sector, I'm grudgingly willing to serve my country as the new US Ambassador to Germany.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

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    Germany's AfD rebuffs Steve Bannon plan to unite European populists

    AfD co-leader Alexander Gauland said the interests of Europe's far-right parties vary too much to fit under the tent Steve Bannon is staking out. The former Trump adviser has plans to undermine the EU.


    A plan by Steve Bannon, a former political adviser to US President Donald Trump, to unite Europe's populist, far-right parties ahead of European Parliament elections in May was spurned by Alternative for Germany (AfD) co-head Alexander Gauland.

    "We're not in America," he told the Funke Media Group newspaper chain in an interview published on Saturday. "The interests of the anti-establishment parties in Europe are quite divergent."

    Bannon announced in July that he created a Brussels-based organization called The Movement to advance a bid by nationalist and populist party supporters to undermine the European Union from the inside.

    While the AfD's other co-leader, Alice Weidel, met with Bannon, Gauland said he did not see a way for Germany's far-right populists to cooperate with an EU-wide movement.

    The AfD currently maintains close contact with Austria's right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ). Former AfD leader Frauke Petry attempted to forge ties with France's Front National, led by Marine Le Pen, and Geert Wilders' Dutch Freedom Party. Those alliances, however, did not pan out, and Petry has since left the AfD to form her own political movement.

    AfD: Not just an opposition party

    The AfD is currently the largest opposition party in the German parliament, and a poll commissioned by public broadcaster ZDF and published Friday showed it enjoys 16 percent support. Gauland said that number could go much higher than 20 percent and put the AfD in a position to take part in a government coalition.

    "I think we should take on that responsibility in the medium-term," he said.

    Read more: Far-right AfD increasingly radicalized by its grassroots, experts warn

    The party won 12.6 percent of the vote in national elections last September, making it the third-largest party. Some observers believe the AfD could become the strongest party in the eastern German states of Saxony and Brandenburg in regional elections next year.

    sms/cw (Reuters, dpa)
    https://www.dw.com/en/germanys-afd-r...sts/a-45043205

    In other news Gauland has now admitted that he met with BfV* chief Maaßen concerning a possible Russian agent within the staff of the AfD Bundestag faction, something which was plastered across the news a few months ago; the person concerned was a Russian-German assistant to a Kazakh-German AfD delegate who organized anti-immigration rallies - with other Soviet immigrants - over the "Lisa F." case a few years ago, a context that was basically a Russian-controlled and -steered propaganda campaign.

    It's per se not unusual that Maaßen meets with politicians; since taking his office in 2012 he has met politicians from literally every party in parliament about once per week on average on "estimations of endangerment" and "general talks". The meetings with AfD politicians - Gauland this spring and more so former AfD chief Petry three years ago - are somewhat special as there are claims by former AfD members that Maaßen gave Petry some hints on how the AfD could avoid being placed under BfV surveillance, and that he suggested the AfD should kick out Björn Höcke to that end. Of course both sides deny those allegations.

    * Federal Agency for Constitutional Protection, also responsible for counterespionage.

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