magazine for culture, politics and life from a transatlantic perspective

The Obama Check Vol. 5 – Angela Merkel

With only ten more days until the grand election, it’s time for our equally grand finale of the Obama Check. Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democrats (CDU) will have the honor of being the final checkee.  As a fellow head of government, Merkel deals with Barack Obama on a regular basis. Did those interactions leave a mark on the German Chancellor? Find out after the break and see the final score of our series.

Angela Merkel. Photo by א (Aleph), released under CC-BY-SA-2.5

[Read more]

The Obama Check Vol. 3 – Renate Künast

Good Day and welcome to the third installment of our five-part series the Obama Check. Today it’s Renate Künast’s of the Green Party turn. She, as the previous checkees Guido Westerwelle and Oskar Lafontaine, will be tested in five categories, the rating criterias of which you can read here.

Picture by Ingrid Strauch, released under CC-BY-SA-2.5

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The Obama Check Vol. 2 – Oskar Lafontaine

Welcome to the second instalment of the Obama Check, where we test German politicians’ Obamaness. In our inaugural edition we checked Guido Westerwelle, today it’s Oskar Lafontaine’s turn. The chairman of the Left Party will be rated in five categories, you can read the criteria here.

Oskar Lafontaine, photo by Gunther Hißler, released under GFDL [Read more]

The Obama Check Vol. 1 – Guido Westerwelle

In the Superwahljahr 2009 and with only four months to go till the election to the Bundestag, tapmag brings you a special new series, the Obama Check.

German politicians craving for voter attention hope to get at least some of that Obama-glamour for themselves. We will test how obama (new adjective!) the candidates of the five major parties really are.

Barack Obama, portrait of the Obama-Biden Transition Project [Read more]

An Investment Banker for Germany

Several sources report that U.S. President Barack Obama will anounce Phillip D. Murphy, a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs, as the new U.S. Ambassador to Germany.

Murphy, 52, has been in charge of the Democratic Party’s finances, after he left Goldman Sachs in 2006. As an investment banker, Murphy has headed the German branch of Goldman Sachs in the 90s, and was involved in several deals with the Treuhand-Anstalt.  He will replace William R. Timken, who has left Berlin in January.

Atlantic Review points out that the new man in the American embassy is a board member of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, which sounds like he might enjoy a smooth start in Berlin.

The “Other” Affirmative Action

Just around the 100-day-mark of Barack Obama’s Presidency, he is faced with a great challenge and opportunity: naming a new justice for the Supreme Court. Of course, everyone wants to have a say in that.

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OMG! She’s Wearing a Cardigan!

This isn’t a new episode of The Hills or Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten, but these days it seems professional journalists have all caught some of that exasperated, gawking and driveling tone usually confined to fashion (or rather, pre-teen) magazines. The object of this circus: Michelle Obama.

The First Ladies of Fashion - Screenshot from vanityfair.com

The First Ladies of Fashion - Screenshot from vanityfair.com

[Read more]


The CDU has a new website up for its 2009 campaign called teAM Deutschland. AM stands for Angela Merkel, which is about as clever as playing “Angie” by The Rolling Stones at every campaign rally.

But, the creative minds of the CDU didn’t not stop there. tapmag can’t help but recognize the new logo from some other quite successful campaign…

The new Team Deutschland LogoThe Obama Logo

The German election 2009 might look just like the US election 2008—literally.

(via Subjektivitaeten)

A Blueprint for Intelligent Government

Virtually all university students know about the pains of procrastinating. Why start with the assignment right now instead of in a couple of minutes? Nonetheless, we do it all the time and get ourselves in considerable trouble most of the time. Suddenly, time is short and deadlines approach sooner than we anticipated. Sounds familiar?

There is help to make the right decision. One solution is to pledge to deliver your next paper on time. If you fail, you will donate a significant sum to charity. In this scenario, the short-term incentives to keep delaying are contrasted with the somewhat clearer long-term consequences of loosing money. The question remains—why do we fail to make the right choice so often, and how can we improve?

[Read more]

What to do about “these people”?

“These people” are Guantanamo inmates, and Berlin’s Senator for the Interior, Ehrhart Körting, is not a fan. They went to Afghanistan believing it to be the promised land, the Social Democratic Senator told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, at a time when the stoning of women was a common occurrence. “It speaks volumes as to  mindset of these people, even if you can’t proof they’ve engaged in terrorist activities.” Körting added himself to a growing list of German politicians who debated whether to admit some of the soon to be released Gitmo detainees into Germany.Boarding a flight to Berlin?

[Read more]


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