THE CARNIVAL OF GERMAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS IS UP: But the real story has to do with German-Russian financial relations:

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder faced criticism Friday over plans to take on a leading position at a consortium building a gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

As chancellor, Schroeder enjoyed a close personal and professional relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But now critics question the ethics of him standing to gain personally from a major financial deal that he supported in his role as chancellor.

As one of the critics says, it stinks.