Category Archives: Politics

“That language is not going to further your cause. If anything, it will do the opposite. Good luck with the new job”

The Washington Post: Hours into his new job, Trump’s ambassador to Germany offends his hosts.

“In a tweet after President Trump’s announcement to leave the Iran nuclear deal, Grenell wrote that “German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately.”
“It’s not my task to teach people about the fine art of diplomacy, especially not the U.S. ambassador. But he does appear to need some tutoring,” said Andrea Nahles, the leader of Germany’s mainstream Social Democratic party, striking a sarcastic tone. The Social Democrats are part of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government and are in charge of key responsibilities, including the Foreign Ministry.
Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told Germany’s Der Spiegel newsmagazine that the tweet was an “impertinence.”

“This man was accredited as ambassador only yesterday. To give German businesses such orders … that’s just not how you can treat your allies,” Asselborn said.”

Link via MetaFilter.

Point and counter-point Pulitzer-winning reporter David Cay Johnston: “The evidence suggests Trump is a traitor”. “Investigative reporter who has covered Trump for 30 years dares to imagine impeachment — and President Nancy Pelosi”

“If the overwhelming conclusion of the Mueller report is that the Russians put Trump in the White House, then you face a second terrible problem: What do you do about Mike Pence, who is also the beneficiary of Russian interference?

If the Congress impeaches and removes Trump and Pence, it will only be because the Democrats control Congress. So unless something else changes, we get President Nancy Pelosi. You can just imagine the people who will be in the streets screaming coup d’état if she’s president. I think the only way to address that is for her, or whoever is speaker, to announce they will be a caretaker president who is not going to do anything extreme.

There is no good ending to the story. America will survive this, we’ll get past it, but whenever Trump leaves, there’s no good ending. If Trump is removed by impeachment or by the voters, whether in a Republican primary or a general election, I know what he will do. He’s already told us what he will do by his actions. Trump will spend the rest of his days fomenting violence and revolution in this country.
At an absolute minimum, Donald Trump has divided loyalties, and the evidence we already have suggests that Donald Trump is a traitor. In fact, I would say that the evidence we already have, the public materials such as emails for example, strongly indicate that Donald Trump is a traitor. However, I don’t even think he understands what he’s done.”

The New York Times Opinion: America Abhors Impeachment. By Charles M. Blow.

“Gallup reported: “Bill Clinton received the highest job approval ratings of his administration during the Lewinsky/impeachment controversy. As the Lewinsky situation unfolded, Clinton’s job approval went up, not down, and his ratings remained high for the duration of the impeachment proceedings.”

It is quite possible that trying to impeach and remove Trump could have the opposite effect than the one desired: It could boost rather than diminish his popularity and an acquittal by the Senate would leave an even more popular president in office.

The very thought of a possible impeachment is already being used to inject some needed enthusiasm into the Republican base ahead of the midterms.

Liberals have a tremendous opportunity this election cycle to fundamentally transform the topography of the political landscape and send a strong and powerful signal to Washington that the Resistance is a formidable force.

But that only works if success is not restricted to and defined by Trump’s removal.”

Links via MetaFilter.

“Deutsche Absurdität”

Die Zeit: Der Schleier in der Schultasche. “Was in Österreich und Nordrhein-Westfalen diskutiert wird, gilt in Frankreich schon seit 15 Jahren: ein Kopftuchverbot an Schulen. Was hat es bewirkt?”

“Die Äußerungen von Bundesinnenminister Horst Seehofer (CSU), der Islam gehöre nicht zu Deutschland, findet [der französische Islam-Experte Olivier] Roy allerdings alarmierend: “Zu sagen, man sei ein christliches Land, weil es christliche Feiertage gebe, ist absurd. Die meisten Menschen denken bei Pfingsten an ein langes Wochenende im Frühling, nicht aber an die Entsendung des Heiligen Geistes”, sagt Roy. Wenn der Innenminister wirklich ein christliches Land wollte, dann müsste er sagen: Weil wir Christen sind, öffnen wir unsere Grenzen für Flüchtlinge, wie es der Papst eingefordert hat. “Aber da hört das Christentum dann schnell auf.” Über diese deutsche “Absurdität” kann Roy schmunzeln, wird aber ernst, wenn es um die Kopftuchdebatte geht. “Es kann nicht um ein Verbot für eine bestimmte Religion gehen. Alle religiösen Symbole müssten gleichermaßen in Schulen verboten sein.””

“The legislation is four to five times more complicated than existing law”

The Economist: The joys of data hygieneEurope’s tough new data-protection law. “Complying will be hard for businesses, but it will bring benefits too.”

“The new law was mostly written by privacy-conscious Germans. Consent to collect and process personal data now has to be “unambiguous” and for “specific” purposes, meaning that catch-all clauses hidden in seldom-read terms and conditions, such as “your data will be used to improve our services”, will no longer be sufficient. “Data subjects” can demand a copy of the data held on them (“data portability”), ask for information to be corrected (“right to rectification”), and also request it to be deleted (“right to be forgotten”).

The GDPR is prescriptive about what organisations have to do to comply. They have to appoint a “data-protection officer” (DPO), an ombudsman who reports directly to top management and cannot be penalised for doing his job. They also have to draw up detailed “data-protection impact assessments”, describing how personal data are processed. And they have to put well-defined processes in place to govern the protection of personal data and to notify authorities within 72 hours if there is a breach. Companies that persistently ignore these rules face stiff fines of up to €20m ($25m) or 4% of global annual sales, whichever is greater.

As a result the GDPR ensures that all organisations which collect and keep data will take their use (and abuse) much more seriously”

The GDPR will have effects on my weblog as well. See

GDPR Compliance Tools in WordPress.

“GDPR compliance is an important consideration for all WordPress websites. The GDPR Compliance team is looking for help to test the privacy tools that are currently being developed in core.
What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and is intended to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union. Its primary aim is to give control back to the EU residents over their personal data.

Why the urgency? Although the GDPR was introduced two years ago, it becomes enforceable starting May 25, 2018.”