Occasionally, representatives of Germany’s Left party (Die Linke) will complain about being tagged as the successors to East Germany’s communist party. Well.
As part of the German parliament’s debate about the budget and foreign police, Gregor Gysi, parliamentary leader of Die Linke, spoke out forcefully against further sanctions against Russia. He called them “absolutely counterproductive.” He added that they provoked Russian countermeasures and hurt the economy. Rational policy, in his view, would be to lift the sanctions immediately.
Not to be outdone, Sara Wagenknecht, Gysi’s first deputy, said that economic warfare with Russia was damaging and “playing with fire.” She added that NATO maneuvers and EU sanctions were making the implementation of a ceasefire in Ukraine difficult.
Russia and the Russian government are, of course, utterly blameless in all of these events.
Not coincidentally, the party’s history as recounted on its English-language web site begins in 2007. If I had their background as the unreformed heirs to the Kremlin’s stooges, I’d keep it off the web site, too.
If the Russian grandmothers don’t win it, something’s wrong. That is all.
Update: Wall St. Journal is liveblogging. Sign of the end times? Also #eurovision on Twitter is home of the best commentary.
“We [Eurozone] all have to become more competitive” — Jens Weidmann, Bundesbank President, in a FT interview.
Alice in Wonderland, Chapter III:
â€˜But she must have a prize herself, you know,â€™ said the Mouse.
â€˜Of course,â€™ the Dodo replied very gravely. â€˜What else have you got in your pocket?â€™ he went on, turning to Alice.
â€˜Only a thimble,â€™ said Alice sadly.
â€˜Hand it over here,â€™ said the Dodo.
Then they all crowded round her once more, while the Dodo solemnly presented the thimble, saying â€˜We beg your acceptance of this elegant thimbleâ€™; and, when it had finished this short speech, they all cheered.
There doesn’t seem to be any limit as to who they spied on. But now that more and more stories are coming out, is there any stopping point? I’ve seen indications that executives could also be liable to US prosecution under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. And of course the parade of arrests under UK law. Is this the end?
Winning Eurovision 2011. Apparently the AFOE crew was too sober to liveblog the festivities. In any event, one member of the collective has already observed, “That’ll put off any war over Nagorno-Karabakh for at least a year.”
Eurovision previously at the Fistful:
2009 Slightly depressing follow-up relevant to this year’s winners.
2007 Bonus 2007
Thoughts? Or is Eurovision simply beyond thought?
Dear Socar, Socar Public Relations and Socar of Georgia (if your website is working),
Normally when I put 50 lari worth of gasoline into my car, I get about half a tank. Earlier this week, I visited one of your affiliates in Tbilisi, paid for 50 lari of gas (the price per liter did not seem significantly different from the other filling stations nearby) and drove off. The needle eventually showed that I had gotten about a quarter of a tank of gas.
If I could remember exactly which affiliate I had this experience at, I would be able to avoid it. But it may just be easier to avoid Socar stations entirely. And to share my experience.
First, Scraps of Moscow has had some good coverage of the Moldova elections. If you’re interested, check out some of the recent posts over there.
Second, my recent post on Vladimir Voronin neglected to mention one of the most obnoxious aspects of his regime: his useless and disgusting son Oleg. I should correct that.
So: Oleg Voronin has used his position to become one of the richest men in Moldova; depending on who you talk to, his fortune is estimated at tens of millions, hundreds of millions, or “over a billion” dollars. One analysis suggests it’s around $600 million, which would be roughly 10% of Moldova’s GDP. (Keep in mind, this is a country whose per capita GDP is lower than the Philippines or Mongolia.) Whatever the amount, it’s pretty impressive for a podgy fortysomething guy who, up until the collapse of Communism, was a biologist working for a milk cooperative. Continue reading
Suddenly, an event manager in London is having a very bad night. Fifty sold-out shows to refund.
Just at this moment, the O2 Arena page reads, “Michael Jackson – THIS IS IT!” I bet it won’t for much longer.
From Brad DeLong:
The key irrationality [causing the present crisis] was a private-sector failure on the part of the shareholders and top managements of the banks to make sure that their traders had an appropriate stake in the long-run survival of the bank and not just in constructing a portfolio that would be marked-to-market at a high valuation on Dec. 31. And the government needs, for all our sakes, to compensate for this private-sector irrationality.
That’s the conclusion of a very interesting argument.
It’s that time of year again, and this time all of Europe — except plucky Georgia! — turns to
the Third Rome Moscow, home of Eurovision 2009.
In years past, we’ve amused ourselves to no end with the song contest. Here are posts at least as good as some years’ winning songs:
Eurovision: The Quickening
Zombies Finnish First (As a bonus, this post links to an article containing the clause “naked people running through streets of Helsinki, according to magenta-haired Finnish journalist.”)
Andorre, null point (Also? Follow the links to the shoeblog, and then search that site for Eurovision. Captions such as “The Norwegians and their golden camel toe” or “Georgian sword yodelling” only begin to describe the fun.)
Europe Unites in Song
Just in case we’re too
drunk stunned busy to liveblog the event itself, consider this an open Eurovision thread.