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My Predictions for 2012

1. Germany's Federal President will resign after less than two years in office. Christian Wulff will be the second head of state in a row who resigns because he does not like what the press writes about him. Germans will get new president. Again without the opportunity to vote.

2. Americans will vote, but they won't get a new president. Obama will win in November because the economy improves, unemployment goes down and the Republican base does not care enough for Mitt Romney to do intensive door-to-door campaigns.

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Drezner: GOP Abandons Italy

Dan Drezner

While Rick Perry's major league gaffe will command all the headlines, I thought the most reealing answers were given to the first question of the night -- what to do about Italy?  Here are the responses of the co-frontrunners:

HERMAN CAIN:  "There's not a lot that the United States can directly do for Italy right now, because they have -- they're really way beyond the point of return that we -- we as the United States can save them."

MITT ROMNEY:  "Well, Europe is able to take care of their own problems. We don't want to step in and try and bail out their banks and bail out their governments. They have the capacity to deal with that themselves."

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Romney's Foreign Policy Team

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney published his foreign policy strategy: "An American Century -- A Strategy to Secure America's Enduring Interests and Ideals."

James Joyner has read it and says "Romney's Realist Foreign Policy Is a Lot Like Obama's": "Like Romney himself, it's not particularly exciting. Nor, thankfully, is it frightening."

Meanwhile Rachel Maddow looks at his newly announced team of foreign policy advisors and concludes "Romney Gives Bush Neocons Another Chance". That is frightening.

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Today is World Teachers' Day

Why do public school teachers have such a bad reputation in the US and get little pay?

That's one of the things I don't get. It's quite different over here. The job is well paid and respected by most folks. As a country with little natural resources, Germany depends on innovation and a smart work force. Education is good for democracy, happiness etc. The children are our future, yade, yade.

The US has more natural resources and is better than Germany (Europe) in attracting the smartest brains from all over the world, but still it needs a well educated general population to compete in the 21st century.

To improve the level of education in the US requires many reforms (as it does in Germany), but it seems quite elementary that more pay and more appreciation is necessary to encourage smart, talented, creative and committed young people to choose the profession of a teacher and then to stay motivated in this tough job to provide excellent education.

Since today is World Teacher Day, here is a shout out to teachers world wide!

Watch the trailer of the new documentary American Teacher below:

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Schwarzenegger as EU President


Terry Tamminen, who headed California's Environmental Protection Agency before serving as Schwarzenegger's cabinet secretary, has told him that he should be president of a newly reconstituted European Union.

"In the next few years, the EU will be looking for a much more high-profile president-somebody who can unify Europe," Tamminen says. "The French won't want a German, and the Germans won't want an Italian. How about a European-born person who went off to America and ... could return to be the Washington or Jefferson of a new unified Europe?"

I am not sure, if Tamminen is joking or has no clue about European politics. IMHO it is more likely that Terminators from the future will travel back in time than Schwarzenegger becoming EU president.

I have a much more urgent and important job for Schwarzenegger. He has to get in shape and fight against Skynet. After all, as The Guardian points out, today, April 21, 2011, is the day when Skynet, the villainous super-computer from the Terminator films, is due to launch its assault on mankind. Terminator director James Cameron tweeted: "Instead of machines taking over, we have the very real threat of global warming."

America's Political Hypochondriacs and Nazi Party People

Although FOX News often describes the United States the greatest, freest, bestest, and wonderfullest country in the world, some crazy FOX News moderator declares "What happens in Egypt could happen in America." This lets Jon Stewart's Daily Show to rant "Conservatives have turned into political hypochondriacs, and no one is more neurotic than the Woody Allen of Fox News." See video after 40 seconds:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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State of the Union: "We Revitalized NATO" and "We Do Big Things"

"With our European allies, we revitalized NATO and increased our cooperation on everything from counterterrorism to missile defense.  We've reset our relationship with Russia, strengthened Asian alliances, built new partnerships with nations like India." declared President Obama in yesterday's State of the Union Address (Enhanced video).

The focus of his speech was of course domestic rather than foreign -- "and perhaps properly so, given Americans' continuing preoccupation with the economy. Even in that context, though, President Obama's portrait of U.S. engagement in the world was thin -- and weak. By Obama's account, the most important American foreign initiatives in 2011 will be retreats," comments Jackson Diehl in the Washington Post.

Still, I very much like his speech. I felt inspired afterwards, and I assume the speech moved many Americans as well. An optimistic yet realistic message during tough times.

My favorite quotes:

This is our generation's Sputnik moment.  Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven't seen since the height of the Space Race.  And in a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal.  We'll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology -- (applause) -- an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people. (...)

That's what Americans have done for over 200 years: reinvented ourselves. (...)

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USA Still "a Light to the Rest of the World"?

Sarah Palin responds with an 8-minute video statement to the criticism that has been leveled at her after the Arizona shooting. She claims:

Our exceptional nation, so vibrant with ideas and the passionate exchange and debate of ideas, is a light to the rest of the world.

Is the US still a light to "the rest of the world" or is that just arrogant and self-congratulatory wishful thinking?

Comedian Lewis Black addressed this boasting of American exceptionalism/superiority/etc. in 2008.

Related post on Atlantic Review:
Arizona Shooting Victim Was a 9/11 Baby

Endnote: Interesting statistic quoted in the Washington Post:

According to the Brady Campaign, an advocacy group, "more Americans were killed with guns in the 18-year period between 1979 and 1997 (651,697) than were killed in battle in all wars since 1775 (650,858)."

Fellow citizens are a bigger threat to Americans than the world is? Okay, not really comparable, but still interesting.

Antibürokratieteam presents NY Times bias.