London gets 2012 Olympics...
or Being mayor ain't easy when your President's a moron
[Posted 6 July 2005]
Today the Olympic Committee awarded London the 2012 Olympics. I was only a little surprised that Paris didn't win the games, considering that many countries with a vote had strong sentiment against the Iraq war, and Great Britain clearly is part of that illegal war for oil. France seemed a more logical choice, but Britain pulled at everyone's heart strings by targeting poorer neighborhoods for improvement as a part of their proposal (and by "improvement," I hope they don't really mean gentrification of the poorer areas).
I'm sure Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City was disappointed, but his problems were partly his own doing. He had tried to dump billions of government dollars into constructing an unpopular and PRIVATELY OWNED stadium for the Mets -- in MANHATTAN. Building a new stadium with public money is controversial enough, but in Manhattan? Anyone who's been to the Big Apple can understand how much congestion that would cause. Traffic would come to a standstill on surface streets whenever the stadium was in use, and the already-packed subway would become the only choice. There just isn't room for something that big anywhere on New York's prime business district island. And how would he move people to and from the stadium? New York's commuter rail system is strained enough, with its overcrowded, filthy subways and train cars falling into disrepair.
All the while, Bloomberg tells the MTA to "do more with less." That'll really expand the crumbling subways enough to handle a new stadium. Well, this all started when New York had another Republican mayor prior to Bloomberg -- Rudy Giuliani. Aside from frequently shooting off his mouth & sounding crazy, Giuliani felt that benches should be ripped out of subways, just in case homeless people wanted to sit on them. That means mothers carrying children, the disabled, senior citizens, and even exhausted commuters can now only find a couple of benches on each subway platform. Comfort or even relief is no longer an option. Thanks to crazy Rudy's negligence over the years, New York's subway is falling apart, but at least homeless people won't be annoying commuters by using the benches. That's really "cleaning things up," as trash accumulates over drainage grates and massive sheets of paint peel from the ceilings.
So then Bloomberg, ever cheap except in cases of private business ventures like the
stadium, takes office and says "do more with less," and oh yeah, he wants
the Olympics to show up in the year 2012 despite the city's dilapidated and
filthy appearance. I suppose he'll have the sidewalks swept, potholes fixed,
subways pressure-washed to clean up the peeling paint and moldy smells, and the
trash, rats, and roaches removed. Perhaps another 'Little Gitmo' to
spruce up the joint and tie up the legal system for years to come. Then of course everything will all fall back into decay the minute the games are over -- after all, keeping up a city as big as New York costs lots of money. Bloomberg doesn't like spending on the city's upkeep or expansion. Any sensible man would see that the system needs more to make up for past deficiencies, not less to bring it further to the brink of failure. He must have other designs for the massive tax money collected from people living and doing business in New York.
So the city looked like a hellhole after years of Republican rule, and Bloomberg
really seemed to think that the Olympic committee wouldn't notice. Or perhaps he
was too cheap to care, only pretending to make a serious bid for the games.
Finally, funding for the new stadium was rejected by more sensible politicians
from the state of New York. So Bloomberg had to go to a backup plan of a new
stadium in Queens. Incidentally, New York City already has at least two stadiums
that I know of -- Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, and Shea Stadium in Queens. There
could be more that I don't know about. Needless to say, the insensitivity of
forcing a new stadium on unwilling inhabitants and commuters of overcrowded Manhattan, at the expense of taxpayers overall, was another issue that the Olympic Committee couldn't have missed.
Those were shortcomings of the Mayor of New York City. Then New York's bid had to get past the image of... that's right -- George W. Bush. Oh yes, like it or not, the entire country is now identified with Boy Moron.
Just this morning, Bush was on the news yet again, telling an audience that prisoners are treated WELL at Guantanamo Bay prison camp. (This was the camp originally drawing the Red Cross' attention, with its warnings of Geneva Conventions violations.) His facial expression and tone of voice were amazing -- it seemed he was genuinely surprised that people didn't appear to believe him. This issue of misleading people for his own motives hasn't escaped the notice of the international community, and I'm sure that includes the Olympic Committee.
In addition to Bush's lack of credibility around the world, there's the issue of an illegal war and blatant war crimes. Pictures and reports of U.S. war crimes have been broadcast around the globe, verified by reputable long-standing organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Amnesty International. Because no one has taken action to remove Bush from office or at least correct this deviant behavior, our country's image is now tied in with the class of sub-humans running the White House. Bush's current Attorney General Alberto Gonzales drafted memos approving torture, using logic similar to those sentenced to death for war crimes at Nuremberg. House Negro Extraordinaire Condi Rice lies on command, having no self-respect or any other shred of dignity. Donald Rumsfeld evades responsibility, despite having complete responsibility, for widespread policies of torture and murder in U.S. prison camps. Dick Cheney's company Halliburton and its subsidiaries milk the country's treasury dry. And the list goes on.
Did Bloomberg really expect to live this all down, thinking the Olympic Committee is immune to world opinion? Any businessman would know better. Businesses can reinvent themselves after a catastrophe through new management, sales and mergers, and so on. At the governmental level, this would translate into a change of leadership. Like it or not, as long as Bush is in office, the world now sees America as modern Nazis, but still too powerful to seize its leadership for
war crimes tribunals. At least for now. (Notice that Rumsfeld has to make prior arrangements when he travels to Germany, requiring assurances that he won't be arrested for war crimes before he'll agree to show up.)
And on top of it all, there's the image of George W. Bush's lack of intelligence. And I'm not talking about his "southern drunk" accent. The fact is, the man can't even utter a few sentences without using the wrong words. He has no command
of the English language -- his first language, aside from some crude street Mexican he learned from prostitutes south of the border -- and no desire to learn the words he's scheduled to use prior to making a speech. Bush is a rare and arrogant variety of stupid, something that just doesn't "resignate" with men intelligent enough to be world leaders, or even his own countrymen over the age of 10. There's no escaping his moronistic image -- not for us, and not for Mayor Bloomberg.
I have trouble believing that Bloomberg -- a man at least smart enough to make it in business -- would have thought that the U.S. had a shot at the Olympics. The country just isn't going to recover from world opinion of George W. Bush -- not for decades, perhaps longer. Why is that so difficult for people in Bush's own party to see? Do they really believe their own lies and spin, or are they plodding forward anyway, having nothing better to do with their lives and hoping for a lucky break someday?
Regardless of how Bloomberg managed to delude himself, the fact remains that everyone could see that he just wasn't getting the Olympics. New York wasn't even considered a "front runner." He just hadn't done the work, and anyway, damage control is well beyond any Mayor when his President is a moron.