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I Hate Linux

Friday, October 02, 2009

See ya in Rio!

Given the recent failure of President Obama to secure the 2016 Summer Olympics for his home town of Chicago and the growing realization that the President is not as competent as people once thought, after seeing this image on the New York Times website, only one thing could be done with it:

We no an has Olympics?

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  • How is this a failure of President Obama?

    The bid for the Olympics is submitted by a country as a whole - not by its leader.

    Hosting the Olympics is a great honor and an economic boon.

    Why are people joyous that the U.S. failed at something?

    By Anonymous Dan, at 12:23 PM  

  • >How is this a failure of President Obama?

    It is a failure of President Obama because he thought that his presence and presentation would be enough to put the Chicago bid over the top.

    >The bid for the Olympics is submitted by a country as a whole - not by its leader.

    Half true, while the United States Olympic Committee did pick Chicago as their bid for the games, it was the leader of this country that decided to inject himself into it and add his credibility and his bully pulpit to our bid... all the while largely continuing to ignore Afghanistan, pose hollow deadlines on Iran, and watch as unemployment continues to rise (just to name a few issues).

    >Hosting the Olympics is a great honor and an economic boon.

    Partially true. While it is certainly a great honor to host the games and can be an economic boon, given the corrupt political machine in Chicago, it's not exactly a system that I would be eager to have benefit from such a boon.

    >Why are people joyous that the U.S. failed at something?

    Depends on what they are failing at.

    If we fail in the war on terror... that would be bad. If we fail at nationalizing our healthcare system... that would be a good thing.

    And in this case... failing at securing the games for a city with a well known history of corruption is a good thing, especially when we lose out to a far more exotic and scenic place.

    By Blogger Brendan, at 12:34 PM  

  • The four finalists were Madrid, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, and Chicago.

    Spain was represented by King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia and Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

    Japan was represented by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

    Brazil was represented by President Lula da Silva and Pele.

    Who would you have chosen to represent the U.S., Brendan?

    By Anonymous Dan, at 1:38 PM  

  • And if all of the other world leaders decide to jump off a bridge... our President should as well?

    It's interesting to have you point out all of the other governmental leaders representing their home countries as an excuse as to why our President was effectively forced to represent Chicago... as it just goes to prove just how weak this President is. Rather than being able to send an underlying or other representative (or stay out of it himself), he is forced to become involved directly... much the same thing we saw when he recently talked with General McCrystal... but only after being guilt tripped into it.

    The fact of the matter is that the clout and weight of the President of the United States does not equal that of the leaders of other countries, even if their positions are roughly equal on paper and such direct comparisons only diminish the Office of the President of the United States. As the (former*) leader of the free world, the President has far more important things to deal with, like rising unemployment in this country which his polices and words are only making worse... on second thought, let's send him on more foreign trips. The less time he spends domestically, the less time we have to hear him lecturing us on our failings and the less time he has to push for transformational programs that will only harm this country even more.

    As for who I would send (not that it is my job, nor that of the president to send anyone, despite already having an Czar for job already), this was the perfect sort of job that an American President sends their first lady on (which was already on the case (oh the sacrifice))... and Oprah being involved was also a good thing given her influence.

    * I say ‘former leader of the free world' as given his display at the UN last week, it is clear that the President has given up that title which has now been claimed by Benjamin Netanyahu.

    By Blogger Brendan, at 5:30 PM  

  • You have a highly suspicious pessimistic view of President Obama and all that relates to him.

    I see his trip to Denmark as necessary. It shows respect to the IOC, the selection process, and the leaders of the other candidate countries - whether or not all or none deserve it, and whether or not the outcome was predetermined.

    It's a tactic known as diplomacy - something that has been missing from the U.S. for some time.

    I'm certain that you would have damned him much in the same manner if he didn't make the trip.

    By Anonymous Dan, at 6:49 PM  

  • Not one Olympics has been an economic boon, at least to the host. The hosting agreement always says that the host city has to pay the IOC for all the cost overruns (and the host city almost always turns to its taxpayers for that). In related news, every Olympics has had massive cost overruns. The Olympics are nothing more than a way for the IOC to siphon money from the taxpayers of a city every 2 years.

    I'm glad that the people of Chicago won't have to support that enormous tapeworm, not out of schadenfreude regarding Obama.

    By Anonymous Zach, at 8:55 AM  

  • Just one correction on the statement that "Not one Olympics has been an economic boon, at least to the host."

    The most recent games hosted by the US were the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Mitt Romney was the CEO of the games.

    Yes, hosting costs money. A lot of it. Billions of dollars are spent.

    But it isn't like the host city let's people get tickets for free, stay in hotels for free, fly to their airport for free, buy local food for free, or allows the events to broadcast for free. The structures weren't built by volunteers and the materials weren't donated - payroll taxes, sales taxes, building permit fees, property taxes, etc were all collected. Tens of thousands of people were employed (temporarily).

    For the 2002 games, taxpayers kicked in nearly $2.1b. This was spread over direct infrastructure spending ($1.3b) and soft costs ($800m) from federal departments like DoD, DoJ, HHS, DOT, etc. Private businesses and individuals also kicked in another $2.3b in spending.

    The SLC area also got several new sporting arenas, upgrades to their mass transit system and surrounding freeways, and the local tourism market benefited from massive improvements and upgrades. And I would be shocked if the local hotels, restaurants, retail stores, cabbies, and event vendors actually despised having an influx of hundreds of thousands of people dropping money on them.

    A 2006 report commissioned by the governor of Utah concluded that the entire event which spanned from 1996-2003 netted the state over $76 million dollars (gain). That's just what the state netted on tax revenues from the games. The private sector share would be much larger. Of course, there is no long term boost to the local economy because the games do eventually end and people go home. But the infrastructure remains for decades.

    So at least one Olympic games made money. But let's just say it didn't. Let's say it "lost" $100m. If a city the size of Salt Lake City got numerous sporting complexes, mass transit infrastructure (new and upgraded), and a tax payer funded construction boon for their local tourism industry, most would say that was a bargain.

    Compare the Olympics to any other city hosting a professional team. The cost to build a stadium is in the hundreds of millions and teams take decades to pay off the cost. The cities that apply for hosting the Olympics understand the risks and financial commitments, so let them deal with it.

    By Blogger Jim Jones, at 3:10 AM  

  • I'd also point out that Chicago's bid for the Olympics started long before President Obama was president or even in the running.

    Chicago, IMO, is not an ideal place to host the Olympics. It is a very densely built city with few areas for new construction. I saw a pitch that a Chicago games spokeswoman gave on TV and basically admitted that they'd reuse much of the existing infrastructure (ie - Soldier Field) and would rely on existing transit and hotel networks. That's a really weak pitch. And then you've got the crime rate, local turmoil, party politics, etc. The IOC wants the host to nation to be united in sponsoring the games and basically bend over backwards to build all sorts of new things.

    South America has never been a host. From what I've read, Rio put the full weight of their city behind the bid... and their country put a massive amount of resources to secure the nod. Brazil's president had been working on this for more than a year. America's president spent a couple hours on a plane.

    I'm also of the opinion that the 20hrs or so spent on the trip was shared with other work. Air Force One has phones, computers, Internet, meeting rooms, etc. I don't think Iraq, Afghanistan, health care, or the economy would have been solved had he spent those 20hrs in DC.

    While Ron Paul was my first choice last year, I'm not one of those quasi-Libertarians that refuse to accept the good in any Dem or GOP leader. I do feel that Obama takes his job seriously and engages in an aggressive schedule. He seems capable of multi tasking, has a generally good scheduling of priorities, is responsive, and is intellectually curious. He has his drawbacks and policies that I don't agree with, but on the whole, he's shaping up to be a pretty decent executive.

    And I don't feel like we should view the presidency with such reverence often reserved for royalty. When it comes down to it, the President is our employee. He is supposed to work for us. And I expect him to answer to us, just as I expect my Congressman to respond when I write in. Obama has a full schedule, he's working like a dog, and he'd better continue to do so.

    By Blogger Jim Jones, at 3:48 AM  

  • To Dan: I think you need to recognize that the hoopla is just politics. If Salt Lake failed in their 2002 bid while Clinton was in office, he would have been hit in the press for a while (when he wasn't hittn' interns). If McCain were president and Rio got the bid, he'd get hit in the press for a while. The party out of power will typically try to bring down the opposing leader in any way they can because it helps their politics. Both parties do it.

    Brendan: I caution those who categorically oppose anything and everything Obama does. That is a failed strategy because that person eventually gets boxed into to defending things they don't like - just as the GOP has been out defending Medicare during this whole health care debate. The GOP has historically opposed Medicare and made several attempts to dismantle the program...

    Uniform opposition failed for the liberals when they didn't like Iraq and called GWB dumb. It wasn't until they had a cohesive strategy to share with the American people that they got back in power. That's also how, if you recall, the GOP surged back into power in 1994 with their "Contract with America."

    The GOP will get back in power once the wingbats pipe down and the true leaders emerge with calm and rational plans to turn America around.

    You should also study the intraparty primary battle that the Dems had last year. While ol' Hilldog was out playing the role of "Hare" to Obama's "tortise", we saw a microcosm of the fight between a party out of power (Obama) and a party losing power (Clinton).

    By all accounts, Hillary was expected to be the next president as soon as John Kerry lost in 2004. And she acted like it. She was arrogant, presumptive, and fully believed that she would walk right in (and projected all those adjectives on her opponent).

    Obama was calm, plodding, methodical, and happened to also be energetic, new, and inspiring to the Dem base and disaffected independents. Obama's campaign studied the primary rules, mapped out a strategy, stayed disciplined, and ended up beating Clinton at a primary battle that her own campaign advisors designed.

    Now, forget the policy differences for a moment and just focus on the approach Obama took to dismantle the Clinton machine.

    Give the Dems a few more years in a power and they should be in that same "Hillary" position again. A savvy, poised, and intelligent GOP candidate could step up and change the game pretty quickly.

    But as long as the GOP continues this mindless banter about birth certificates, Palin adoration, NOBAMA OSAMA HUSSEIN name calling, hitler comparisons, constantly mixing accusations of socialism with accusations of fascism (two completely opposing ideologies), and sprinkling in a call to violent revolution if we don't give the GOP back some power... as long as this continues, the GOP will not resonate with a majority. You will see the GOP, Libertarian, and Neo-Conservative movements split tickets and possibly lead to further Dem gains in four years.

    My advice to you and those like you, Brendan, is to start thinking critically about real solutions. Curb the use of inflammatory imagery and language that appeals to the worst instincts. That's one key way that Obama defeated the Clinton machine and handed the GOP a big loss last year.

    The way to beat Obama and the Dems in this new political climate is not to be more Clinton-esque (just say whatever crazy sh&t sticks). Obama's weakness is the "empty suit" and "can't close the deal" claims. You don't need to match the charisma, you just need to match the competency and calm while you exceed his party in depth of experience and track record.

    By Blogger Jim Jones, at 4:14 AM  

  • Sources for the data in my first post:



    By Blogger Jim Jones, at 4:15 AM  

  • you should start a ihateobama blog.

    come on admit it you are so over linux

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:44 PM  

  • Yay olympics here in Brazil *-*
    Rio de Janeiro, cidade maravilhosa. =D

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:15 AM  

  • Actually, the Olympics is a money drain on the city "awarded" it. It's like being "awarded" with a massive fine. Better that Rio de Janiero got "awarded" with the drain on its money supplies. If you live in Rio, evacuate before your taxed climb like a rocket plane on steroids!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:21 PM  

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