1. Not sure how the EU works or what institutions are involved? -> Just write "Brussels".
2. Germany is generally seen as important in EU politics and journalists know how to frame it:
If Germany is active in a certain policy domain just write something about "German dominance" and if you work for British newspaper add some subtle references to the war.
If Germany is passive in a given policy area just write that Germany abandons the EU and it clearly adopted a unilateral strategy, if you work for a British newspaper you could add something about the war.
Terry Tamminen, who headed California's Environmental Protection Agency before serving as Schwarzenegger's cabinet secretary, has told him that he should be president of a newly reconstituted European Union.
"In the next few years, the EU will be looking for a much more high-profile president-somebody who can unify Europe," Tamminen says. "The French won't want a German, and the Germans won't want an Italian. How about a European-born person who went off to America and ... could return to be the Washington or Jefferson of a new unified Europe?"
I am not sure, if Tamminen is joking or has no clue about European politics. IMHO it is more likely that Terminators from the future will travel back in time than Schwarzenegger becoming EU president.
I have a much more urgent and important job for Schwarzenegger. He has to get in shape and fight against Skynet. After all, as The Guardian points out, today, April 21, 2011, is the day when Skynet, the villainous super-computer from the Terminator films, is due to launch its assault on mankind. Terminator director James Cameron tweeted: "Instead of machines taking over, we have the very real threat of global warming."
About three decades ago, German diplomats were apparently capable of having clear goals and executing ambitious plans by choosing on-target measures, as this chipper "thank you"-note from Marilyn Monroe to then-Consulate General in Los Angeles, Volkmar von Zühlsdorff sufficiently illustrates. Even if the mission allegedly wasn't successful (and hasn't been within the realm of diplomatic duties anyway), the attempt at least left the target audience happy.
What a difference to the quagmire German diplomacy finds itself in nowadays! Especially the German antics with regard to Libya have lead to a lot of raised eyebrows, to say the least.
When I read the final paragraph of Charlemagne's blog post on the "Return of the Afrika (aid) Korps",
It would be a cruel irony if Germany, in its attempt to restore its battered credibility among its allies, were to expose its forces to greater danger on the ground in Misrata than if it had taken part in the air or maritime operations to begin with.
I couldn't help but think of one of the corner stones of German humor, which might serve as an outlook as to what German diplomacy under Guido Westerwelle is headed.
Although FOX News often describes the United States the greatest, freest, bestest, and wonderfullest country in the world, some crazy FOX News moderator declares "What happens in Egypt could happen in America." This lets Jon Stewart's Daily Show to rant "Conservatives have turned into political hypochondriacs, and no one is more neurotic than the Woody Allen of Fox News." See video after 40 seconds:
As a blog dedicated to transatlantic relations, I guess we are obligated to promote this book: The Single Girl's Guide to Meeting European Men Amazon.com, Amazon.de: "This book offers single girls forty proven tips for meeting and interacting with European men - in a frank, energetic voice that twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings alike will love. Katherine Chloe Cahoon then guides readers through the hottest man-meeting spots in Europe country by country - including phone numbers and addresses of the establishments where single girls have the best chances of meeting Europe's hottest males."
Here is one of the many favorable (and totally serious) reviews on Amazon.com:
So good I might switch teams! I'm a guy. I had absolutely no interest in this book, but my wife did. After she read it, she told me it was the greatest piece of 21st century literature. Naturally, I dismissed the notion of a manual to pick up men actually being a worthwhile read, but she insisted, so I gave it a shot. Imagine my surprise when I went to get a drink and saw that I had been reading for 9 hours straight! It was such a compelling page-turner that I somehow unwittingly finished the whole book and convinced myself to start over twice! Never in the course of human history has so much been owed by so many to one author. There are, as advertised, great tips for getting yourself in with some Euro spice, but they feel like an extra gift included with the deftly woven narrative. I only regret that I fell so in love with this book that now I, too, want to fly to Berlin and try to land one of the beautiful young men so well-described in these pages. My wife regrets it, too, but you won't! Read this book today!
The author seems to be serious and has produced a large number of videos to promote the book.
Jon Stewart is getting better and better. He is going to stage a rally in Washington DC against extremists on both sides of the political spectrum. And Stephen Colbert wants to keep fear alive. Very funny video below, after about the first minute of blabla.
I am quite excited that Germany participates in the Eurovision Song Contest with an original, charming and funny artist, who can actually sing and is a bit crazy and therefore represents the new Germany very well. Lena Meyer-Landrut will perform the song Satellite at the Eurovision Song Contest, which was written by an American-Danish duo.
Although for the first time in years, Germany deserves "douze points," I don't think Lena Meyer-Landrut will get them from the other European countries. Animosities against Germany are too strong. Most Europeans have stronger emotional ties to other countries.
And Germany's current economic and fiscal policies make us the new bad boy. The NY Times writes "Germany Begins to Shed Its Role as E.U. Integrator":
Resisting a bailout for Greece, digging in over economic policy and opposing parts of a strategy for Europe's growth, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany will arrive Thursday at a European Union summit meeting ready to play an unfamiliar role: the bloc's naysayer. Once the invisible glue that bound the Union, German policy is now being dictated by less idealistic priorities rooted firmly by national interests.
I guess, we act now like a "normal" country. Well, so be it!
Germany's previously strong monetary and political support for EU integration did not make us popular enough to win the Eurovision Song Contest either. It just paved the way for German unification, but we got that now and have to focus on bigger national interests, like the Eurovision Song Contest and the Soccer World Cup.
My statements to the Russian English language TV station Russia Today probably cost us a few votes from Greek's Eurovision Song Contest community as well. The 10 minutes live interview took place last Friday. The video clip is from a weekly round-up and mentions just a few short statements of mine:
The election campaign in Germany was pretty boring, but it got a bit more interesting in recent weeks as the opinion polls show some movement. Merkel will most likely remain chancellor, but its open whether she will govern with the Liberal Democrats, or have to continue to work with the Social Democrats. The latter gained a few percentage points in the polls in recent weeks.
And now, a German "Obama girl" has appeared. She sings that she has a crush on German Foreign Minister Steinmeier ("Steini") from the Social Democrats. Will everything change now? Is Steinmeier going to become chancellor after all? Nah, I doubt it. It's just funny that pretty cheap versions of Obama type campaigning are appearing now in Germany.
For a bit more seriousness have a look at the The Obama Check by the TapMag blog ranking German politicians' Obamaness.