January 17, 2021

GERMANY: German Chancellor Angela Merkel Is Stepping Down After 16 Years In Office. Her Political Party Chose Her Preferred Candiate To Succeed Her On Saturday. Elections Held In Sept.

written by Matthew Karnitschnig
Saturday January 16, 2021

Armin Laschet’s election as CDU chief ensures chancellor’s legacy will endure.

BERLIN — Game, set and match, Merkel.

Angela Merkel’s name was not on the ballot at the convention of her Christian Democrats (CDU) on Saturday. She didn’t even make a cameo appearance on stage. And yet, her presence hung over the event like a velvet curtain.

The party’s decision Saturday to endorse her preferred candidate — Armin Laschet, the affable premier of North Rhine-Westphalia — was more than a signal that the CDU will stay Merkel’s course in the short term. It amounted to formal recognition that Merkel has left an indelible stamp on Germany’s largest political party, one that will likely define it for years to come.

Many German conservatives object to Merkel’s policies on refugees, the economy and even the pandemic. Over the past two years, they have been handed not just one, but two opportunities to put an end to the Merkel era, failing on both tries.

Given the opportunity to turn back the clock and renew the CDU’s traditional conservative approach to matters both social and economic, party delegates opted instead to stick with Merkel’s inclusive centrism.

Even if Laschet, who faces the challenging task of uniting the party behind him ahead of a slew of upcoming regional elections, has to stand aside and make way for popular Bavarian premier Markus Sรถder in the race for chancellor, Germany’s conservative bloc is unlikely to abandon Merkel’s playbook.

One look at the chancellor’s record explains why. For 16 years, she has succeeded in dominating German politics by straddling the ideological divide. While her approach cost the party the support of some conservatives, many of whom drifted to the far-right Alternative for Germany, it also broadened the Christian Democrats’ appeal, especially among women, the key to electoral success.

Saturday’s vote was a recognition by the CDU that if the party wants to maintain its dominance, it needs to evolve with German society by embracing a more flexible, liberal approach to many issues, a strategy many would call Merkelism.

First Merkel, then the party

At first blush, Laschet’s victory over Friedrich Merz, the traditional conservative who was the favorite of the CDU’s right wing, was hardly commanding. Laschet won 53 percent to Merz’s 47 percent. But in this age of fractured politics, where some national elections are decided by a handful of votes, a five-percentage-point lead is practically a landslide.

What’s more, Merz, a Merkel rival going back decades, was not just bested by Laschet. He also lost out two years ago to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the chancellor’s original pick to succeed her.

In other words, the debate over the direction of the CDU has been decided for the foreseeable future.

Merkel left little doubt on that point Saturday. Merz, just a few hours after his loss, offered to join her Cabinet as economy minister, a post currently held by Merkel confidant Peter Altmaier. Merkel, through her spokesman, quickly shot the idea down, saying she had no plans for a reshuffle.

Merkel is now poised to pull off the rarest of political feats for leaders in a parliamentary democracy, by determining not just the time of her exit from power, but the identity of her successor and her party’s long-term agenda.

Whether the issue is foreign policy or the economy, Laschet made no secret of his intention to pursue similar policies to Merkel’s.

Even Laschet’s pitch to delegates was perfectly Merkelian: “I may not be a great showman, but I’m Armin Laschet and you can trust that,” he told the convention.

Laschet also encouraged his fellow conservatives to face a rarely spoken reality.

“Many people are attracted first to Angela Merkel and then to the CDU,” he said, adding that the trust and credibility Merkel enjoys at home and abroad can’t simply be transferred from one leader to the next, but must be “earned.”

History judges political leaders not just by what they achieve in office, but by the lasting power of their influence. On Saturday, the CDU took a big step towards including Merkel in the pantheon, alongside the likes of Helmut Kohl and Margaret Thatcher.

That’s why the Merkel era is not just far from over. It may be just beginning.

๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿ‘‡ BONUS ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿšจ
It's not a lie folks.
Don't believe the media who have been lying to us for years.
Notice how they promoted their friends for job well done.
David Bui published November 29, 2020: Gen. Thomas McInerney says US Special Forces attacked CIA server farm in Germany, 5 soldiers killed
The Marshall Report
written by Staff
November 21, 2020

President Trump’s Forces used a military unit attached to USEUCOM (United States European Command) to get a CIA computer facility to hand over evidence in Frankfurt Germany. By using this method, with U.S. law enforcement present to take custody of the evidence, that evidence is now under the control of the Department of Justice through US Attorneys. Because of the way it was obtained, it can all be used in court or other judicial proceedings.

Both the head of the CIA, Gina Haspel, and the head of the FBI, Christopher Wray were not informed of the operation taking place in advance. Both of them had been aggressively working to undermine and sabotage the Trump Administration. Time will tell what happens to them. Meanwhile, the raid was led by the U.S. law enforcement agency (e.g., US Marshals, DEA, Secret Service, etc) and they successfully collected the evidence.

The servers belong to the CIA, not Dominion or Sctyl, therefore the U.S. military had full authority to do this because any CIA activity in the European theater is being conducted using military cover. In other words, CIA officers would be identified to the German government (and anyone else asking) as military employees or consultants.

The appropriate documents required to affect that kind of seizure were put in place, signed off on, and it appears there was also US military support in this operation but not leading it. This explains why Mark Esper was fired and Miller and Kash Patel were put in place — so that the military would not interfere with the operation in any way.

By obtaining the server, they now have the direct evidence of when they were instructed to stop counting and who gave the order to stop counting along with who initiated the algorithm that started switching the votes. The CIA was completely excluded from this operation.
written by Emily Czachor
Monday November 16, 2020

Peter Neffenger, a retired vice admiral of the U.S. Coast Guard and experienced national security official, was recently added to the roster of individuals tasked with supporting President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as they transition into office. He served as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) chief from 2015 until 2017 under former president Barack Obama. Neffenger received the Department of Homeland Security's Distinguished Service Medal twice during his time with the Coast Guard.

The Biden-Harris transition team member could become subject to a new lawsuit discussed by Donald Trump's legal representation over the weekend. In the aftermath of his general election loss to Biden, the sitting president has failed to concede and, instead, is continuing to pursue court actions that he hopes might "overturn" the election's results, as one lawyer said on Sunday.

Sidney Powell, an attorney representing Trump as he attempts to discount ballots that gave Biden his victory, explained Neffenger's involvement in a potential suit targeting ballot-scanning and tabulation machines during an interview Sunday with told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo.

Powell suggested that electronic tabulation software operated by Dominion Voting Systems manipulated votes originally cast for Trump to ultimately support Biden, an unsubstantiated accusation that Trump shared on Twitter last week. The social media platform flagged his tweet with a label notifying users that the claim is disputed, as it does whenever the president shares comments about election fraud that are not supported by evidence.

On Sunday, Powell cited Neffenger's name while discussing the legal team's accusations against Dominion Voting Systems because he is chairman on the board of directors at Smartmatic, another company that designs electronic voting systems. Smartmatic released a statement clarifying that it is not associated with Dominion Voting Systems, and that in fact "the two companies are competitors in the marketplace."

Neffenger joined the Biden-Harris transition effort as a volunteer. Alongside about two dozen others, he will support one of the incoming administration's agency review teams, specifically assigned to the Homeland Security Department. Review teams delve into their designated agency's current operations and relay information collected to the president-elect and vice president-elect. Teams are appointed to all major federal agencies. They are meant to prepare the next administration for its responsibilities upon assuming office and, more generally, help facilitate a smooth transfer between White House leadership.

The Biden-Harris transition team declined to comment to Newsweek on the matter.

Newsweek also reached out to Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems for comments but did not receive replies in time for publication.

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