VW Too Big To Fail?

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


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.

The Mood Keeps Getting Better

Not. Here’s the latest Germany refugee crisis update:


The European Union has criticized Germany for being much too lax with refugees who are seeking asylum in Germany. Not enough are being rejected (only one in six).

Nearly a third of migrants in Germany claiming to be Syrians aren’t from Syria.

Mass brawls are beginning to break out at German refugee centers.

Germany property is now being confiscated by the government to make it available for migrants.

An imam at a refugee camp refused to shake hands with the visiting CDU party boss in Rhineland-Palatinate because she is a woman.

And chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity ratings are dropping sharply over her handling of the refugee crisis, two polls showed this weekend.

Other then that, though, everything is working out just fine.

Germany in a state of SIEGE: Merkel was cheered when she opened the floodgates to migrants. Now, with gangs of men roaming the streets and young German women being told to cover up, the mood’s changing

German Media Giving Germans A Distorted Image Of The Migrant Crisis?

No way. Or way?


The German language website Frankfurter Allgemene has reported on how the British media “reports on the crisis differently than the German” media.

The newspaper explains: “When it came to clashes between Hungarian border guards and refugees, the BBC showed young men who threw stones.”

The rioting, fit young men were of course described as “hungry”, “desperate” and “defensive,” but at least the images were shown. The suggestion that such a key part of the developing story was omitted on German TV is a startling one.

“On [German channel] ARD Tagesschau,” Frankfurter Allgemenie reports, “the most dramatic pictures could not be seen – instead, women and children, fleeing the tear gas by security forces [was shown]… German television suggesting disproportionate action by Hungary, however the BBC reported of the “defense of the borders…””

Flüchtlinge sind eine Chance, heißt immerfort. Und das entspricht der Wahrheit. Gleichzeitig jedoch stellen uns die 800 000 Flüchtlinge vor Integrationsprobleme, die offen anzusprechen ein Tabu ist. Menschen, die dies trotzdem tun, werden unbedarft rechts verortet, teils sogar medial beleidigt. Dabei muss das Stellen von Fragen erlaubt sein: Wenn so getan wird, als gäbe es bei hunderttausenden Flüchtlingen keine oder kaum Probleme, können diese auch nicht bekämpft werden.

Germans Outraged Over Russian Air Force Support For Assad

And they’re demonstrating accordingly. No, wait. I got something mixed up here. Now I remember: They’re outraged about American plans to upgrade its nuclear presence in Germany and are demonstrating accordingly about that (the United States intends to place 20 B61-12 nuclear bombs at the Büchel Air Base later this year).


And set your watches on this one because it won’t be long before they will also be loudly supporting Putin’s “counter measures to restore the balance of power in Europe.” It’s like tradition or something.

Die Bundesregierung fordert seit langem einen Abzug der Amerikaner.

I Got Your Green Credentials For You Right Here, Pal

“It’s ugly, but it gets you there.” But it’s ugly. And it’s getting uglier by the minute.


The timing of the scandal could not be worse for the government.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to travel to New York on Friday to persuade fellow members of the United Nations to adopt climate goals ahead of a UN climate conference in Paris in December.

Merkel sees herself as champion of climate issues and would like to see Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power and the transition to renewable energy as one of her most lasting legacies.

In June, she helped draw up ambitious carbon emission reduction goals adopted by the Group of Seven (G7) countries.

At the same time, she has always robustly defended the interests of her country’s automakers and postponed the implementation of European emission limits.

German Of The Day: Dreck Am Stecken

That means there is dirt stuck (to you) somewhere or you have dirt under your carpet – as in having done something wrong or illegal.


You know, like Volkswagen has/does in US-Amerika? The company inserted a device into almost 500,000 cars meant to trick emissions testing, the EPA says. Volkswagen is not denying this.

So the next time Germans begin those tiring lectures about doing more for the Umwelt (another German word meaning environment), remember to make sure and check if their emissions are make-believe or not.

There are almost 500,000 vehicles on American roads with the devices installed, according to the EPA. Volkswagen must now pay to repair the emissions systems in affected cars. The government may also fine the company as much as $18 billion.

Migrants To Crash The Oktoberfest ITSELF?

Of all fests? Is nothing heilig anymore? Some folks are already referring to number 182 as the Krisen-Wiesn (crisis Oktoberfest). In your neighborhood tomorrow. If you live in Munich, I mean.


On Munich’s main shopping street on Tuesday, women in abayas—the long robes worn by some Muslim women—were studying lederhosen and dirndls—the revealing shorts and dresses traditional in Bavaria—in the shop windows.

“Asylum seekers in particular from Muslim countries aren’t used to encountering heavily drunk people in public. It could get out of hand.”

Are We Having An Ugly American Border Wall Yet?

Sooner or later reality gets up in your face.


Germany has introduced temporary controls on its border with Austria to cope with the influx of migrants, the interior minister has said.

Politically this is a shrewd move by Thomas de Maiziere. His announcement comes just a day before he travels to Brussels to meet other EU interior ministers to discuss the migrant crisis. The measure will help him put pressure on other European countries to do their bit. It highlights just how much Germany is struggling to cope.

The move could also serve as a useful threat; after all, Mr de Maiziere said Germany was controlling the border with Austria “first”, the implication being more could follow. The possibility that Germany might suddenly decide to control its other borders could well help jolt EU partners into action.

The Donald’s 15 Minutes Threatening US-Amerika’s Once Proud Democracy

Here’s this here way sophisticated high-brow Spiegel article in a nutshell like.

Donald Trump

The American Dream is broken (again).

The super-rich are the only people who have profited from the considerable economic growth in the US in recent decades (the plain old filthy rich were left out in the cold this time, I guess).

The shifts in income that have taken place in recent years are destroying the moral fabric of society (maybe, but it’s a fabric still made in the USA, pal, so deal with it).

Not a single one of the current candidates for president is willing to call for an increase in taxes (this is a very, very Bad Thing for some reason).

The super-wealthy are against anything that might help the bottom 90 percent to rise (that is one heavy bottom, isn’t it?).

America is just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president (quoted form someone who should know: Jimmy Carter).

But is it really any more democratic that a billionaire can buy his own election instead of allowing himself to be bought by others?


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