The Republican Mainstream Strikes Back

Last night was a bad night for the Tea Party. From Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky to Congressman Mike Simpson in Idaho, mainstream candidates prevailed over Tea Party challengers in a series of closely watched Republican primaries across the U.S.

One can almost hear the champagne corks popping over at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as at the Republican Main Street Partnership in downtown Washington, DC. Both organizations had spent heavily against candidates they thought of as unelectable – and that meant taking on their powerful moneyed backers: outfits like Club for Growth, the Heritage Action Fund or the Koch brother funded outfit Freedom Works. Continue reading

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Return of the Flying Carpet

The Flying Carpet Blog is back after a long break. But that doesn’t mean that time has stood still. Let me give you a tour of where my professional life has taken me – including links to my work. I will also backdate a few blog entries in the coming weeks.

Transatlantic Trade

I followed the TTIP negotiations throughout 2013. Today, I am proud to announce that I will receive a media award from the Johanna Quandt Foundation for a story about a steak’s journey from a Nebraska ranch to a Berlin steakhouse table. I’ll share the award with co-author Christian Salewski who tracked a Volkswagen from the Wolfsburg factory to a New York dealership. The parallel articles were published with a very innovative layout in the August 2013 issue of Capital magazine. Here is a link to my English summary on this blog and one to the original steak article in German.

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The Transatlantic Journey of a Steak

When it is EU slaughter day in Omaha, Dan Morgan hits the road. He sets the cruise control to 65 miles an hour and follows the straight lines of Nebraska’s highways, two hours East and then two hours South. At 5.30 am the next day he will be at the packing plant to inspect the meat before its long journey overseas. A week or so later, places like Berlin’s Grill Royal will serve Rib Eye steaks from the Morgan Ranch to their guests.


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When It Comes to Trade, Transatlantic Values Have Their Limits

This commentary was first published on June 19 on the Atlantic Council’s New Atlanticist blog.

8a135476-5e8f-4f8f-bf79-ee475f0df956wallpaperWhenever American and European politicians and members of their business communities talk about the plans for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement (TTIP), they wax lyrical about an economic zone consisting of Western democracies. The message to their citizens sounds compelling: “We share the same values, and we will now set standards for the rest of the world.” Continue reading

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Easter Special: The Holy Sites of DC

Happy Easter! It is time to get holy – or at least to explore the Holy Sites of DC. This tour has become a favorite among visiting family and friends. The American capital is not only blessed with monuments and world-class museums, it is also a showcase of the amazing religious diversity of this young nation. Continue reading

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Breathless in Chicago: Two days with Rahm Emanuel

It is hard to keep pace with Rahm Emanuel. When we followed him through his city for a profile in the April issue of Capital magazine, it seemed as if the days did not have enough hours to pursue all the projects President Barack Obama’s former chief-of-staff had set out to do as the mayor of Chicago. Continue reading

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Lost in America’s health care jungle

My Valentine’s Day gift, a lovely wisdom teeth removal surgery. It all went well apart from a headache the next day. But when it comes to medical treatment in the U.S. the real headache starts weeks later – when the bills start arriving and when you start to haggle with your insurance. In the distorted economy of America’s health care system, you are forced to buy services before learning the cost. Continue reading

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Ten Years FT Deutschland. Part 10 (b): Obama’s World

Washington, DC often has a provincial feel to it, but every four years, it gets a dose of glamour. Hundreds of thousands (including yours truly) will watch President Barack Obama’s second inauguration ceremony on the Mall this Monday. The city’s buttoned down movers and shakers will shine in festive outfits at the inaugural balls. And just like four years ago, people all over the world look to the U.S. capital and speculate about what another four years of Obama as President means for them. Continue reading

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Ten Years FT Deutschland. Part 10 (a): Obama’s America

Apart from the crazy campaign year of 2008 and my occasional exotic adventures in other parts of the country, I spent most of my time in Washington, DC. From my leisurely neighborhood in the city’s newly gentrified North East, I can run or bike to the Capitol where most of the political drama of the last four years unfolded.

The Capitol is all set for the next inauguration

The Capitol is all set for the next inauguration

When I went for a jog this past Sunday, army regiments practiced for next week’s parade on Pennslyvania Avenue and a choir sang on the steps in front of the Capitol where the stage for Obama’s second inauguration on January 21st was already set up. Continue reading

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Ten Years FT Deutschland. Part 9: The Wild West

Enos Poor Bear greets visitors at Pine Ridge

Enos Poor Bear greets visitors at Pine Ridge

Every morning, Enos Poor Bear Junior pulls up two flags at the entrance to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation: the flag of the Oglala-Lakota nation, and the star-spangled banner representing the United States. For the rest of the day he waits for the occasional tourist at the visitor center. On a wall hangs the uniform of the U.S. National Park Service that he refuses to wear. “We are a sovereign nation,” he explains. “We are the first Americans.” Continue reading

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