magazine for culture, politics and life from a transatlantic perspective

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.

A Pop Icon Takes Office

If it wasn’t shiningly clear before, being in the midst of the streets of Washington DC on Inauguration Day firmly established one thing: Barack Obama has become a cult personality and, as a consequence, the world’s hottest commercial brand.

Hope is not Soda Pop by Steve Rhodes/Flickr

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Where to Watch the Inauguration in Berlin – UPDATE

Photo by flickr.com/photos/megpi

As the days of George W. Bush as President of the U.S.A. draw to an end, every part of the transition process takes on historic proportions. Nobody knows how many people will turn out on January 20 to see Obama take over the White House. It will probably be the biggest crowd ever at any Presidential Inauguration, which will also make it the costliest Inauguration ever. We tell you where to watch the celebration in Berlin!

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Top Ten Palin Videos of the 2008 Election

Excited Palin crowd in Freedom Hills, MI. Photo by Tim Schubert

In the good tradition of lists at the end of the year, we bring you the most memorable moments of the already historic 2008 US Presidential election. One media phenomenon was especially salient—Sarah Palin, who will be remembered for putting both hockey moms and Wasilla, Alaska on the political map.

She also sparked a movement of Sarah Palin lookalikes and video spoofs, that succeeded to push the frenzy of Obama music videos from the youtube agenda. The magnitude of her online appeal is so great that after the election, American video websites like Hulu.com have seen their traffic drop due to a post-Sarah-Palin slump.

So, without further ado, our ten favorite videos with or inspired by the moose hunter of the year. Tell us about your favorites and suggest more videos in the comments. Merry Christmas everyone!

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Unsuitable Material

With his election for President of the United States, Barack Obama has again given proof to the notion that if you are willing to work hard and dream big, you may be able to fulfil those dreams one day. Now, the number 3 through 300 spots are up for grabs. And to qualiy for those, dreaming big is not enough.

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Reclaiming the Promise

November 4th, 2008. What better place to be on Election Day, than the place they promise to change: Washington, D.C.?

Mural on 14th St in D.C.

At U Street Corridor, Reps Won't Find Rest

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What’s Next?

After following this election campaign closely for what seems like forever, we woke up this morning wondering… what will we do with all this newly free time? Suggestions after the jump.

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Your options in Berlin on November 4th

This headline appeared in the New York Times on November 7, 1908. The paper had organized an election watch party (watching people read telegrams that is, of course) at Hotel Adlon. Around 200 American ex-pats partied the night away. When at 2 in the morning the victory of William Howard Taft was announced, a giant American flag was lowered and enthusiasm among the apparently heavily Republican crowd “rose to fever heat”. “Such scenes had never been witnessed in the memory of the oldest Berlin inhabitants,” the Times proclaimed. [Read more]

Debate Night in Berlin

Last Monday, the debate circus hit Berlin. Granted, actual presidential candidates had scheduling issues, but worthy proxies showed up at the Amerika Haus on Hardenbergstraße.

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Chomsky: “The European reaction to Obama is a European delusion.”

Grand seigneur of the intellectual left in the US, Noam Chomsky has given the Spiegel an interview. He makes it pretty clear that Europeans shouldn’t hope for much from a possible President Obama.

SPIEGEL: “Change” is the slogan of this year’s presidential election. Do you see any chance for an immediate, tangible change in the United States? Or, to use use Obama’s battle cry: Are you “fired up”?

Chomsky: Not in the least. The European reaction to Obama is a European delusion.

SPIEGEL: But he does say things that Europe has long been waiting for. He talks about the trans-Atlantic partnership, the priority of diplomacy and the reconciling of American society.

Chomsky: That is all rhetoric. Who cares about that? This whole election campaign deals with soaring rhetoric, hope, change, all sorts of things, but not with issues.

He has more to say about the state of American democracy and the 2008 elections. Chomsky touches upon the role religion plays for campaign managers, the narrow spectre of choices voters are given and McCain’s honest suggestion that this election really is about personality and not issues, as the Obama campaign claims. The full interview is here.


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