Friday, October 02, 2009

Chicago being told to savor shit sandwich 

Sorry to be redundant, but I don't think it's my fault. More of the same from Osama:

Dave Zirin:

...the very idea that Chicago could be an appropriate setting for the Olympics might have been hatched by Jon Stewart for a four-year supply of comedic fodder. To greater or lesser degrees, the Olympics bring gentrification, graft and police violence wherever they nest. Even without the Olympic Games, Chicago has been ground zero in the past decade for the destruction of public housing, political corruption raised to an art form, and police violence. Bringing the Olympics to this town would be like sending a gift basket filled with bottles of Jim Beam to the Betty Ford Clinic: over-consumption followed by disaster.

It's also difficult for Chicago residents to see how this will help their pocketbooks, given that [Mayor Richard] Daley pledged to the International Olympic Committee that any cost overruns would be covered by taxpayers. This is why a staggering 84 percent of the city opposes bringing the Games to Chicago if it costs residents a solitary dime. Even if the games were to go off without a hitch - which would happen only if the setting was lovely Shangri-La - not even half the residents would support hosting the Games...

The Obamas, former Chicago residents, should be standing with their city. Instead, we have the sight of Barack, Michelle, and Oprah trying to outmuscle Pele and Brazil for a place at the Olympic trough.... [Osama] wants the glitz, glamour, and prestige of the games and he wants it for the Daley machine. What the people of Chicago want doesn't seem to compute.

...No Games Chicago organizer Alison McKenna said to me, "I oppose the Olympics coming to Chicago because instead of putting money toward what people really need, money will be funneled to real estate developers who will be tearing down Washington Park and other important community resources. I oppose the Olympics coming to Chicago because the nonprofit child-welfare agency that I work for had to sustain budget cuts and layoffs, while Chicago has spent $48.2 million on the 2016 Olympic bid, as of July 2009."

There is an urgency to building resistance to these kinds of priorities. Right now, the right wing is shamelessly adopting populist rhetoric and the power of protest to sell an agenda of racism and fear wrapped in taxpayer protection... Now is the time to build a pole of attraction on the left for people furious at corporate greed amidst a recession...

More big show fraud, with Osama at the center of the spotlight making grave, grandiose, and self-aggrandizing pronouncements that mean shit.

Update: I may be wrong on this. According to TPM, Chuck Todd of NBC "is saying that as recently as a few weeks ago, the White House had been resisting pressure from Chicago friends and supporters who were pushing for Obama to make a big push for Chicago."


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