If The Lawsuit Fits, Wear it

I’ve got your unresolved emissions issues for you right here, pal.

VW

But what’s $48 billion to Volkswagen? Wait a minute. Actually, wow. That’s quite a bit.

Remember when Germans used to be greener than green?

Although such U.S. lawsuits are typically settled at a fraction of the theoretical maximum penalty, analysts said the size of the claim meant Volkswagen (VW) could face a larger bill than previously anticipated.

Then We’ll Send Our Better Half

Syria conflict: Half of German Tornado jets ‘not airworthy’

Tornado

Ain’t no big deal, as German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has stressed, because Germany only needs to send six Tornado jets for the proposed mission against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria. Six that maybe ought to be halfway operational, she means.

This German war machine, she is stll broken, señor (thank goodness weapons exports are still A-OK, though).

“Die Lage der fliegenden Systeme bleibt unbefriedigend.”

When In Doubt Just Say No

Nein, nein, nein, already. Nolympics in Hamburg, either.

Nolympics

As you can see up there, Hamburgers were too afraid that the Olympics they decided not to bid to host for yesterday would have brought more police brutality, more barbed wire fences, more school crossing cops escorting people to airports, more big nasty retro surveillance cameras and more US-Amerikan Yankee dollars coming out of the chimney of some Hamburger’s house in a really weird surrealistic fashion (causing particularly nasty air pollution, I assume?).

Put in that light I think it was the sound decision to make.

Let’s see, Munich said no, Berlin said no and now Hamburg says no. I think a pattern is starting to develop here. Boston, too, said no, of course (are there really that many Bostonians of German extraction?). What a minute. Has hosting the Olympics now become some new form of cruel and unusual punishment or something? Maybe we could get ISIS to put in a bid.

“Die Menschen sehen, dass es Sachen gibt, wo das Geld besser angelegt ist.”

Germany Increases Its Pressure On China

This time by selling the Chinese 130 Airbus aircraft for $17 billion.

Airbus

And two pandas were also included to sweeten the deal. For Germany, I mean.

“Generally speaking, … in all our meetings with Chinese officials, human rights, rule of law and democracy issues play a role but I won’t go into specifics here.”

China’s communist authorities have launched a crackdown on elements of the country’s burgeoning civil society, jailing dozens of activists.

German Of The Day: DFB

That stands for Designed for Bribery.

DFB

No, wait. Deceit, Fraud and Blackmail? How about Deception, Fleece and Breach of Trust? Duped, Framed and Bamboozled? OK, OK. DFB stands for Deutscher Fußballbund or the German Football Association. Whichever comes first.

The German Football Association (DFB) is investigating whether a €6.7million payment made to FIFA in 2005 was mis-used. The issue came to light as part of an internal audit carried out by the DFB into the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

Der Deutsche Fußball-Bund gibt bekannt, dass eine Zahlung in Höhe von 6,7 Millionen Euro an die Fifa im Jahr 2005 womöglich zweckentfremdet worden sein könnte.

50,000 Demonstrators Expected!

Tens of thousands of Germans are ready to demonstrate in Berlin on October 10. Ready to demonstrate against their country being inundated by what will now be over 1.5 million refugees (this year), you ask? Nah. Langweilig (boring).

TTIP

They’re foaming at the mouth about TTIP, that insidious US-Amerikanische “free trade” conspiracy that – according to leading Rosa Luxemburg lookalikes everywhere – will invariably lead to “lower standards of consumer protection, environmental protection and social standards on both sides of the Atlantic.” And it would also to more free trade, of course, which would be like the way grossest thing of all.

“I think someone wants the issue of the TTIP agreement to disappear from public view,” the politician said, referring to polls, according to which residents of those European countries where public debate on this issue is less intensive than, for example, in Germany or France, are less in favor of rejecting the contract.

VW Too Big To Fail?

Then it’s too big. Think GM (Government Motors). Only different. As in much worse.

VW

At Volkswagen AG, political connections come already fitted.

When it comes to Volkswagen, German chancellors don’t intervene in company decisions. But the unique arrangement in Lower Saxony (it holds 20 percent of the company) has spawned alumni in high places with an interest in the boardroom, including Merkel’s Social Democratic predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder. Schroeder, who sat on VW’s supervisory board for eight years as state premier, was known as the “auto chancellor” when he led Germany from 1998 to 2005 because of his perceived closeness to the car industry.

Following him to Berlin after serving at his side in Lower Saxony was Frank-Walter Steinmeier, now in his second stint as Merkel’s foreign minister. Sigmar Gabriel, who succeeded Schroeder as state premier — and VW board member — is now vice chancellor and economy minister. He also heads the Social Democratic Party, Merkel’s junior coalition partner. Christian Wulff, a Christian Democrat like Merkel who succeeded Gabriel in the state capital Hanover, made it all the way to the German presidency, before resigning in 2012 amid a legal probe.

Im Abgas-Skandal, dessen Auswirkungen noch unübersehbar sind, rückt die Frage nach der Mitverantwortung der deutschen Politik in den Fokus. Und weil die politischen Spitzen der Republik wie geschockt schweigen und selbst die sonst geliebten Talkshows meiden, werden Vorwürfe laut, die Bundesregierung habe mit Volkswagen gekungelt und möglicherweise sogar von den Manipulationen gewusst.

And You Thought Your Government Wastes Money

And it does. But the German state can burn the stuff up pretty good, too – at any level.

Waste

The German Federation of Tax Payers just came out with its latest “Black Book” of government waste, a breathtaking collection of 133 of the most impressive cases of abuse it found. Some are quite imaginative, I must say.

The city of Bergen on the island of Rügen, for instance, ordered 200,000 earthworms from a special firm in Holland for a sports field there – for over 7,000 euros. These special  „Dutch Nightcrawlers“ were supposed to loosen up the hard playing field. They failed at that but made the field so “soiled” with worm Dreck (filth) that it couldn’t be used anymore.

Or how about the five manhole covers in Osnabrück with the colorful LED lamps on the side? They only cost 10,000 euros a shot. They sure are purty, though.

Then there’s the State Ministry for Culture boss who felt the need to have a “cemetery app” developed that would show its users where over 1,000 famous graves are located. It was called “Where They Rest” and all it did was redirect these users to the website with the same name. It only set tax payers back some 548,000 euros, however.

Nicht kleckern sondern klotzen, I say. Don’t take anything halfway.

City Of Berlin To Be Torn Down And Moved To A Functioning Airport Somewhere Else

Well, not quite yet. But that would certainly be cheaper in the end.

Airport

Here’s the latest on Klaus Wowereit International:

Plagued by a series of construction problems, the Berlin Brandenburg Airport is years behind schedule and billions of euros (dollars) over budget. Lawmaker Jens Koeppen said in an interview published Sunday that all options should be considered, including building an entirely new airport.

“If there are problems that can’t be solved, and that’s clearly the case, then one needs to admit defeat and get off the dead horse.”

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