Obama and the Chicago Olympics

With 16 days left until the International Olympic Committee chooses a host city for the 2016 Olympics, President Barack Obama stood on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday and made a pitch for Chicago’s bid to win those Summer Games.

…“It was pathetic.” and not sure how relevant the Chicago Cubs attendance records are to funding Olympics: Michelle Obama said Chicago was the “ideal home for the 2016 Games,” not just for its landscape, infrastructure or resources, but also for its people and their love of sports.

Chicago Olympics = Unmitigated Disaster

There will be massive cost-overruns; historic displacement of working class black families from the South and West side*; abuse of the homeless and indigent**; brutal police crackdowns; privatized security armies on the streets of Chicago; an unceasing stream of conflict-of-interest and contracting scandals; there will be gigantic budget shortfalls that will force more layoffs, more shutting down of social services like the mental health centers, more labor disputes. We know why the Mayor and his people are pursuing this: it’s a distraction from the problems in the city, it wipes clean what is now approaching a decade of scandals and bad news for the Mayor, and pumps enormous sums of money into the pinstripe and identity politics patronage that has protected the status quo for a generation.

Trump Promotes Arming Teachers

President Idiot’s latest suggestion is the suggestion of someone who gets most of his information from television or movies. Most veterans I’ve heard discuss this seem to universally think it a horrid abomination of an idea. Trained professionals hit the target 30% of the time or less

Sharron Angle will be fun to ridicule

theory that Angle simply came to us after accidentally stepping in to a time machine in 1932 has been disproved. It turns out that Angle also staunchly opposed fluoridation, because she’s at least strongly influenced by the Bircher conspiracy theory about how fluoridation is a communist experiment in mind control. This conspiracy theory dates back to the ’50s and ’60s, when the government mandated fluoridation.

Unions Push to Finish Tallest Tower in Chicago

Click to continue reading Push to Finish Tallest Tower [ Non-WSJ subscribers use this Digg-enabled link ] The Chicago Spire website is a flash-centric p.o.s., but if flash annoys you less than it annoys me, browse the Chicago Spire website here for lots of photos, descriptions and the like. and the failed Olympics bid continues to have a ripple effect on the Chicago economy: The Spire got an unlikely break in early October with the demise of Chicago’s hopes to host the 2016 Olympics. … After cranking out an average of 4,500 new condo units a year downtown for the past four years, Chicago developers expect to complete 900 units next year and fewer than 100 in 2012, said Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago appraisal and consulting firm.

Illinois Bridges near collapse

[Congress Parkway Bridge] Ever since the 2007 collapse of an interstate highway spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Illinois officials have kept quiet about the deteriorating condition of many bridges here, citing security concerns in an era of terrorist threats.

…Rod Blagojevich’s administration cited homeland security concerns, saying terrorists could potentially use the information to blow up major bridges in Chicago that carry thousands of vehicles each day, including the Congress Parkway bridge feeding traffic onto the Eisenhower Expressway ( Interstate Highway 290) or the double-deck Wacker Drive winding through downtown.

Terrorism Theater Cost Chicago 2016 Bid

Nobody will exactly say this was the one thing, but it doesn’t surprise me one bit that the out-of-control US airline security theater was a large factor in the decision to award Rio with the 2016 Games.

…“When IOC members are commenting to our President that foreign visitors find traveling to the United States a ‘pretty harrowing experience,’ we need to take seriously the challenge of reforming our entry process to ensure there is a welcome mat to our friends around the world, even as we ensure a secure system.”

Reading Around on October 1st through October 2nd

A few interesting links collected October 1st through October 2nd: – The whole Olympics is going to be like this–a game in which Chicagoans will be made to feel like they should be emotionally invested when the real players will be behind the scenes: the guys with contracts waiting to be signed, and properties on the Olympic venue Monopoly board … Maybe the games will lose money on the whole, but some people, people on the inside, are going to make Benjamins by the bagful. These are the people who exaggerate the benefits, who make it sound like Chicago needs the Olympics more than the Olympics needs Chicago (a dubious claim if only because the IOC stands to make another half billion or so in television rights for summer games on US soil) so that you’ll support an endeavor that will line their pockets. Senator Helped Mistress’s Husband, Raising Ethics Flags – NYTimes.com – A Republican Senator and an ethical scandal?

Rio Wins 2016 Olympic Games

While Los Angeles stews and spends for the next 30 months until the International Olympic Committee choose a host city, Chicago can get on with the business of building and improving this region for people who live here rather than in preparation for a momentary burst of tourists, athletes and reporters nine summers from now. an insider wrote into Talking Points Memo, one possible reason for Chicago not being chosen, the bad reputation the US Immigration policies have: Id prefer to not have my name published if you post any of this, but I wanted to give you some inside perspective on the Olympic planning as I had the privilege to work and help with some of the architecture and planning proposal for Chicago’s Bid. … A few months ago, (getting back to the Olympic selection) it was made clear to us that Chicago was going to have some difficulty in gaining the selection for a number of reasons including that we have had a large percentage of games hosted here, but most importantly, that we do not have the best international reputation at this time, and it is well known that it is a frustrating and difficult process compared to the other host countries for travelers to gain admittance into the US .

Mayor Daley Places Olympian Bet on Chicago 2016

Mayor Daley has famously only lost four votes in the City Hall rubber-stamp room called the City Council, but the residents of Chicago are less sanguine about the economic benefits of hosting the Olympics.

…Obama changed his mind and decided to take a gamble no other American president has taken at the urging of his close friend and senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, who has been deeply involved in promoting Chicago’s bid.

Reading Around on September 18th through September 21st

In defense of ACORN | Salon – To claim that the stupid behavior of a half-dozen employees should discredit a national group with offices in more than 75 cities staffed by many thousands of employees and volunteers is like saying that Mark Sanford or John Ensign have discredited every Republican governor or senator. … Nobody is cutting off their federal funding. freedarko.com: A Significant Bullet – From the press kit for Herzog’s new film Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans: “I call upon the theoreticians of cinema to go after this one.

Fifty Million Dollars Just to Sit At the Table

((the guy’s sign reads No Money; No Jobs; No Green Games; No Community Benefit; No Pride; They Play You Pay )) ] After spending $50 million showing off Chicago and circling the globe to hobnob with the world’s sporting potentates, civic boosters pursuing the 2016 Olympic Games are fretting over one last detail: Will Chicago’s First Citizen, President Barack Obama, travel to Europe next month to make the final pitch to the International Olympic Committee?

…Toronto was thought to be a robust candidate for the Games, until the city’s mayor, speaking before a trip to Africa, said he feared ending up in a pot of boiling water, surrounded by dancing natives.


I might even watch an episode or two – especially if Chicago is the central character in the drama. ((television shows don’t really hold my interest, with a few notable exceptions)) Fox has given a put pilot order to “Ridealong,” a Chicago-set cop show from “The Shield’s” Shawn Ryan. … “It’s a city I’m very familiar with, and one I haven’t seen photographed much, at least on TV,” Ryan said, “In my opinion, Chicago has become the center of the universe: It’s the place that Barack Obama comes from, it’s a candidate to host the Olympics, and it’s where Oprah dispels her wisdom.