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About BansheeOne

  • Birthday 07/24/1972

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  1. Both lost their direct district races and entered the Bundestag via the CDU's Saarland state list, the makeup of which voters have no say in. Of course list candidates are commonly still considered representatives of "their" district by locals, but the Saarland has only four districts. In 2017 the CDU won three, this time none, and the proportional vote only left them two seats to fill. Altmaier and Kramp-Karrenbauer got lots of official respect for making way, and I suspect many voters feel the same as it runs counter to the common image of politicians clinging to power and benefits at all cost. Mind, neither will go poor after long political careers as MPs and ministers at the state and national level, an EU official in Altmaier's and Saarland state premier in Kramp-Karrenbauer's case.
  2. https://m.dw.com/en/germany-begins-new-parliamentary-era/a-59626756
  3. That's so 2010s. What we need is a Neupfalz (Republik Texas) thread.
  4. The new rides taken for a spin off road:
  5. In large part because of these guys, who brought about 8,000 there in the 1840s. It was the single biggest German settlement initiative in the (eventual) US, though in the end it failed economically. Then there were others like the group of intellectuals from Gießen, Hesse, who formed a short-lived commune in today's Llano County in 1847. The first German settler in Texas was however a bog-standard fugitive from justice at home who went there in 1831. Imperial Germany wasn't choosey about what bits it got to satisfy the demand for some trophy colonies; they laid claim to part of New Guinea and sundry Pacific islands because there were a couple German companies mostly trading in palm oil there and freaking that the British were outhiring them in the regional labor pool. But I agree Alaska would have been a long shot, particularly because it would probably have gone to either Britain or the US either way things turned out by the 1880s when Germany might become interested. Though again, either course would have seen a delay in territorial expansion vs. historic development, probably more so if the US never emerged, due to reduced incentives for immigration and less government support. My guess is we'd finally see full coverage of the continental territory around 1900, concurrently with the Second Boer War, but possibly still with less overall population and more sovereign Indian homelands.
  6. A 49-year-old man who attempted to come to the aid of victims on Breitscheidplatz but was apparently hit in the head by a falling beam has died five years after the 2016 Christmas market truck attack. He had required constant care and finally succumbed to a related infection. Some of the relatives of other victims have petitioned the Berlin administration to have his name added to those of the twelve who died in the attack and are commemorated on the steps of Memorial Church at the square.
  7. Oh well, never mind. https://m.dw.com/en/turkey-erdogan-walks-back-threat-to-expel-western-diplomats/a-59621772
  8. To their credit, there are still institutions which resist public pressure to cancel folks even if it was a really easy choice to go along. That includes inter alia German public broadcaster ZDF which has held on to its existing, though much less prominent working relationship to aforementioned journalists Nemi el-Hassan after her past vis-a-vis Israel cost her the science host gig at WDR; it is part of life's complications that both decisions may very well be correct at the same time. A much more notable case are the organizers of the Frankfurt Book Fair though. https://m.dw.com/en/controversy-over-right-wing-publishers-at-frankfurt-book-fair/a-59572287
  9. Yo, ma girl Yvonne Magwas is gonna be a vice speaker of da house. We were both staffers for MPs on the defense committee before she ran on a bottom place of the CDU's Saxony state list in 2013 and suddenly found herself elected the morning after due to the better-than-expected result of the party combined with the Bundestag growth. By the next election the local district chapters had dumped her old boss to nominate her as the direct candidate. Realized only now she beat her AfD contender by less than one point to defend her seat this time, bucking the state trend which saw the AfD emerge as the strongest party in Saxony. Looks to me like her nomination as vice speaker for the CDU is part of a rejuvenation drive as the party realizes they have to push the next generation in their decimated Bundestag group. Notably, both outgoing defense minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and minister of economy Peter Altmaier resigned their seats after being re-elected so that younger members of their already-small Saarland state chapter could keep theirs.
  10. The major change in EU rules since the Great Eastern Expansion of 2004 was the 2009 Treaty of Lisbon, which took the place of the failed attempt at a European Constitution in 2005. It gave EU and EC a single legal character; extended the common legislation process including participation of the European Parliament to the pillar of Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters, and conversely provided for greater participation of national parliaments in said process; made the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights legally binding; gave more competence to the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; and introduced the office of the President of the European Council, the instrument of the European Citizens' Initiative, the common European External Action Service, and the provisions for leaving the EU which later were the legal basis for Brexit. In the case of Hungary, consent to ratification was pretty clear, and first among all member states. Parliament voted 325 in favor, including Orban's then-oppositional Fidesz, with five against and 14 abstentions. Poland was more convoluted, with Donald Tusk's PO government for it and PiS president Lech Kaczyński opposed. Eventually there was a compromise with Poland opting out of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the government agreeing to not change the latter or consenting to a modification of the rules about minority rights in the European Council in the future without being authorized by the Sejm and president. On that base, the Sejm ratified the treaty with 384 in favor, including the PiS, 56 against and twelve abstentions. Kaczyński subsequently signed it into national law, but put off doing the same with the instrument of ratification. After the initial Irish referendum on the treaty failed, he said it had become moot anyway, but later agreed to sign the instrument if all other member states ratified. He eventually did so after the successful second referendum in Ireland.
  11. https://m.dw.com/en/washington-says-russians-seeking-us-immigrant-visas-must-travel-to-warsaw/a-59613384
  12. https://m.dw.com/en/amnesty-international-says-will-close-hong-kong-offices-over-security-law/a-59614145
  13. https://m.dw.com/en/germany-armin-laschet-steps-down-as-nrw-state-premier/a-59614339
  14. Speaking of which, the weakness of a position tends to be directly measurable from the hystery of the argument. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-25/polish-premier-warns-eu-against-starting-world-war-iii-ft-says
  15. The affair over the Polish constitutional court is indeed a textbook case of political hypocrisy, by both domestic sides involved, and also for the warnings that if you play with the law to get your way, the other camp may use the change to their own advantage next time they're in power (see the American debate about the "nuclear option" in the Senate). The fact that the PiS dropped their constitutional complaint against the stacking provision as soon as they won the election because they wanted to use the precedent while the PO promptly sued against their own law tells you as much. It's pretty clear that the latter infringed upon the right of the next Sejm to chose the two judges whose positions opened up at the start of their term. Filling the three opening after the election, but before the new Sejm convened had a smell of opportunism to it, but was legal on the face of it; the constitutional court itself eventually ruled along the above lines. Of course by that point the new Seijm had already voted to fill all of the five positions with new candidates after various additional quick changes of laws and and procedures, aided by the PiS president refusing to swear in the earlier candidates, the new government refusing to publish the court's finding for it to take effect, etc. It's really a lesson on what may happen when partisan polarization meets insufficient formal or informal democratic safeguards, and makes you think about procedural loopholes in other countries which may be filled by precedent one way or other. There was a long-standing convention in Germany that candidates for the Constitutional Court are proposed by both major parties in turn, so half of the judges rode on one of either camp's ticket regardless of election outcomes. That's not written down anywhere though, and in 2016 it was agreed that every fifth candidate would be proposed by the Greens, because they had gained more than a third of the votes in the Bundesrat, the assembly of the states, which fills every other slot by voting with a two-thirds majority. But if a party gained sufficient majorities in both houses, there's really nothing to prevent them from filling positions coming up with whomever they like because "the judiciary must follow the will of the people" and open the way to eventual retaliation, politicizing the court. With the ongoing fragmentation of the party scene the train is of course actually rolling the opposite way, but it gives you pause.
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