July 26, 2012

"As London prepares to throw the world a $14 billion party, it seems fair to ask the question..."

"What does it get out of the bargain aside from some shiny medals, pleasant memories, and an excess of David Beckham bobblehead dolls?"

58 comments:

MisterBuddwing said...

Well, for what it's worth, I've long thought of the Olympics as a white elephant that's not worth all the time, trouble and money that countries spend on it.

Perhaps they should consider building permanent facilities - one in Greece for the summer games, although the country's not in very good shape right now, and another for the winter games. (My only concern there would be making those sites ripe for terrorist attack.)

Holmes said...

When the rest of your country is crumbling- infrastructure, economy, values, character, liberty- it gives people a wonderful distraction and source of pride. It's difficult to put a price on distraction alone.

Paul said...

A fourteen billion dollar debt...

And with all the security the bill will be higher.

Sure some shopkeepers will make a buck, as will the airlines, but overall it will be an expensive party.

Cheers.

Methadras said...

14 billion returns how much more? Anyone know?

Lem said...

Are you saying that Obama's failure to get the 2016 Summer Games should be in his fund raising list of accomplishments.

Unbelievable ;)

AprilApple said...

Some infusion of tourism dollars and lots and lots of garbage.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

garage and company are making such a show of the fact the Romster did nothing but tell the truth (actually, it's worse, only 30% of Olympic security ever shows up on any given day).

There's a big difference between making an uncomfortable point and being intentionally rude the way Choom has been.

Which is the better foreign policy?

Shanna said...

I think the Olympics is a big advertisement for 'come visit our city'. I don't know how well it works, although the one a few years ago made me really want to visit British Columbia. (until the cracktastic closing ceremony thing)

traditionalguy said...

When Mitt Romney did the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and when Atlanta did the summer Olympics it was a big plus and did not lose money either place.

In Atlanta we got a new baseball stadium, the roads widened and scattered slum areas torn down and the residents from it sent out to a county south of the airport so no one would see them while driving into town.

It was great for PR that started a world immigration of wealthy educated folks headed here bringing their gold/capital with them.

The only draw back was in that county south of the airport which has never recovered from the sudden invasion of bad people.

Like the worst refugees from New Orleans slums that hit various southern towns after Katrina, the newcomers were a disaster bringing criminal skills and aggressive stupidity with them.

When London bid on these games the Euro and Europe were doing well and London really wanted the PR in hopes of regaining some world respect. They are now hedging their bets before the whole place implodes under Islamic invasion and a waive of Brits comes to America to tell us how we should live. Piers Morgan is already here.

rcocean said...

If my city wanted to bid on the Olympics I'd hope they failed. What did the average person in LA get out the '84 Olympics? Nothing, except traffic jams.

I wonder if we they should just hold the Olympics in one or two spots. Say Athens and Switzerland.

traditionalguy said...

rcocean...Atlanta volunteers as the permanent Olympics City. We will probably let Chick-Fil-A and Coca-Cola sponsor it.

The business of Atlanta is business. And sports is a mega business.

In 1996 Billy Payne was our Romney who headed the bid and the games. Maybe we can borrow him back from The Masters Golf Tournament that he now runs.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

I just watched a movie where, get this, a dog rode on the gas tank of a motorcycle across the desert in a 100 mile race.

On Any Sunday stars Steve McQueen.

I think Mitt Romney's troubles are over, unless Obama voters want to attack Steve McQueen.

Chip Ahoy said...

You get an amusing smackdown delivered by Cameron to Romney. That's worth something.

London is a little different from the middle of nowhere, to misquote, but still I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Almost worth it to me for London to pay a billion or so for a crack funny as that.

Joe said...

It's all about politicians buying themselves gifts and everyone else cashing in, usually at taxpayer expense.

Bender said...

So I just watched the last half of a documentary on the 1972 Munich Games. The ones that the present-day contemptible Olympic Committee says should not be mentioned.

It is pretty clear that, a mere 27 years after the German-inflicted Holocaust, perhaps the Germans were not officially part of the terrorist plot that killed several Jews, but they surely are complicit by their complete and utter and clearly intention failure to make any real and competent attempt to stop the terrorists. This is made especially clear by the untruths they engaged in initially claiming that all of the Israeli athletes had been unharmed (when they had all been killed), and by the later fraudulent "hijacking" of an airliner which led to the German government releasing the three terrorists who had been captured.

Disgusting.

rcocean said...

Cameron's exact Quote:

"The trouble with these international affairs is they attract foreigners."

DADvocate said...

London gets shiny medals. What for?

MayBee said...

One thing people won't be talking about is how London weather proves global warming is here.

Jake Diamond said...

Almost fell out of my chair laughing at this from Mittens:

"To look out of the back side of 10 Downing Street and see a venue having been constructed, knowing that athletes will be carrying out their activities almost in the back yard of the prime minister is really quite an accomplishment."

I guess Mittens doesn't realize that "backside" means "ass" in Britain, and "10 Downing Street" is generally used as a reference to the government.

Mittens is in over his head.

Fen said...

Jake doesn't realize how stupid he sounds saying "Mittens"

Such a nice disqualifier. Please continue to spotlight yourself as a partisan shill to be mocked and then ignored.

Michael Haz said...

Well, for one thing we get to watch tall, sweaty, lithe women wearing nearly nothing at all hug each other while jumping up and down.

Beach volleyball. Best. Sport. Ever.

Curious George said...

"Jake Diamond said...
Almost fell out of my chair laughing at this from Mittens:

"To look out of the back side of 10 Downing Street and see a venue having been constructed, knowing that athletes will be carrying out their activities almost in the back yard of the prime minister is really quite an accomplishment."

I guess Mittens doesn't realize that "backside" means "ass" in Britain, and "10 Downing Street" is generally used as a reference to the government.

Mittens is in over his head."

Did he say it in Austrian? From the Polish Death Camps?

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gerry said...

Mittens is in over his head.

Maybe.

Perhaps he's divesting himself of the laughable charges of racism after "an anonymous source" from Romney's campaign said Romney would better understand the Anglo-Saxon culture uniting the U.S. and the U.K. with a common heritage than Obama.

One might also observe that Obama policies have diluted and defanged the NATO alliance anyway, decreasing U.S. prestige according to a plan (hopefully), which included removal of Churchill's bust from the Oval Office and the ChoomSpouse's insulting and laughable gift to HRH.

Recalling those gems of diplomacy, accusing Romney of being in over his head reveals an astonishing lack of self-awareness. Is that really what you wanted to do?

Mitch H. said...

Ah, I see. The London justification for the Olympics is that they get a chance to replace existing urban blight with bright, new, modern blight.

Whenever I hear the phrase "redevelopment" I reach for my shotgun case.

Jake Diamond said...

Carl Lewis on Mitt Romney: 'some Americans shouldn't leave the country'

Mitt Romney has been rebuked by the US Olympic legend Carl Lewis after the presumptive Republican presidential nominee questioned whether London was fully prepared for the Olympic Games.

As Romney was mocked on US television and by the London mayor, Boris Johnson, in front of a crowd of 60,000 people, Lewis called on him to return home.

"Seriously, some Americans just shouldn't leave the country," the nine-times Olympic gold medal winner told the Independent.

Asked whether London was ready to stage the Games, Lewis said: "Of course London is ready."

Romney stumbled into a diplomatic disaster on the first stage of his first official overseas visit as the presumptive Republican nominee when he told NBC there were "disconcerting" signs that London was ill-prepared for the Olympics.

An irritated David Cameron slapped Romney down by saying that Britain was staging the Games in a "bustling" city and not "in the middle of nowhere". This was intended as a light-hearted reference to the Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games, which were famously rescued by Romney in 2002. Some in Whitehall said his performance on the diplomatic stage was more woeful than Sarah Palin's four years ago.

LULZ.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Did he say it in Austrian? From the Polish Death Camps?

From the Malvinas. Or the Maldives, as the case may be.

madAsHell said...

This is not a gaffe. This is much ado about nothing. This is the press behaving "stupidly".

B said...

Jake Diamond, Third Eye, said:

An irritated David Cameron slapped Romney down by saying that Britain was staging the Games in a "bustling" city and not "in the middle of nowhere".

You do realize that Cameron and Romney are friends and that this was lighthearted? Right? A smart fellow like you think you are would anyway. An intellectual fraud like you are actually perceived to be here wouldn't.

Some in Whitehall said his performance on the diplomatic stage was more woeful than Sarah Palin's four years ago.

'Some in Whitehall said...'. This is of course what a smart fellow like you swallows hook, line and sinker.

Let me ask you something, you being smart as a whip and all, even when falling off your chair.

Does Mr. Some of Whitehall have enough in the way of diplomatic chops to back up his or her assessment? (If it's Mrs. or Ms. Some I apologize for the assumption.) Is he or she related to Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous Source of Washington, DC? Because I always take his or her observations as gospel myself.

B said...

Oh, BTW, Jake. I do realize that the reference from Firesign Theatre I'm mocking you was their comedic invention of the pompous intellectual fraud Nick Diamond. Your invention of Jake Diamond is actually less believable.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I guess Mittens doesn't realize that "backside" means "ass" in Britain, and "10 Downing Street" is generally used as a reference to the government.

The Grauniad, from which Jake got this, is being silly here. "10 Downing Street", as they themselves observe, is used in the same way as "the White House" is: just because it can be a metonym for the head of government and his staff doesn't mean it isn't also used to refer to the actual building.

rhhardin said...

People paid to create it lobby politicians to get it.

It's a corruption marker.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Still, I can imagine how confused the Brits must have been to hear that Romney was looking out the donkey, or the foolish person, of 10 Downing Street.

Astro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Astro said...

I lived through the Atlanta Olympics. Anyone who wants them back here ought to have his head examined. Too damn hot and a total freakin' mess. Good riddance, along with that idiotic 'WTF izzy' mascot.

I volunteer Canada as the permanent site, Toronto for the Summer Games and Calgary for the Winter Games.

Roger J. said...

What Astro said--make a permanent home for the summer games in Athens--generally where they started, and Switzerland for the winter games. The greeks need the cash but the swiss dont.

As for having the Olympics in Chicago one can only imagine the level of graft and corruption for putting them in place. Chicago Alderman could retire even more wealther than they are with the kickbacks.

Jake Diamond said...

It's really amusing to watch Republicans try to talk themselves into believing that Mittens isn't simply the least objectionable of the collection of losers and lunatics competing in the GOP primaries.

Alex said...

It's really amusing to watch Republicans try to talk themselves into believing that Mittens isn't simply the least objectionable of the collection of losers and lunatics competing in the GOP primaries.

It's really amusing to watch liberals spin the idea that Obama hasn't been an utter disaster for our economy, not to mention adding $5 trillion debt and stoking the race wars. Obama already competing with Carter as worst President ever.

Jake Diamond said...

"President Obama ranks 15th out of 44 in a poll of the best and worst presidents while former President George W. Bush earns a place in the bottom five, according to the Siena College Research Institute's recent survey of 238 presidential scholars..."

Enjoy life in your bubble, Alex!

David said...

"Presidential scholars!"

Now Jake, that's some really compelling evidence. Thank God for experts. Otherwise how would you know what to think.

Sigivald said...

The modern Olympics are vastly stupid, and it's madness for a country to want to host them (on its own dime).

Methadras: I'd assume the net return is negative. Vastly negative.

Roger J. said...

Mr Diamond--if you are so foolish to believe that any "presidential scholar" can make an historical judgment without the passage of at least 50 years of history, you are one dumb fucking son of a bitch. Or a shill. I can only assume you have no concept of what the word history means.

machine said...

And let's not forget how much it took to host the Games in the middle of nowhere:

"The $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars that Congress is pouring into Utah is 1.5 times the amount spent by lawmakers to support all seven Olympic Games held in the U.S. since 1904—combined,"

...he didn't build that....

Alex said...

machine - it was wrong of Romney to lobby for government spending then and it's wrong now. That's why to me Romney is socialist-lite, while Obama is full-on socialist.

Jake Diamond said...

if you are so foolish to believe that any "presidential scholar" can make an historical judgment without the passage of at least 50 years of history, you are one dumb fucking son of a bitch.

Obviously your complaint is with the scholars. Why don't you write an angry letter to the survey participants, or go to their academic profile webpages and shake your fist and scream obscenities?

I have no doubt that a decent percentage of Althouse readers believe they are smarter and better informed than "scholars." Since you are apparently one such person, please explain in detail how you arrived at your 50 year waiting time. Why 50 years instead of 40 or 60? I'm really looking forward to reading your analysis. After all, a thoughtful poster like you wouldn't suggest that someone else is a "dumb fucking son of a bitch" based on a difference of opinion, right? You must have knowledge derived from objective data as the basis for the strength of your conviction.

Nathan Alexander said...

In any case, Jake, it is clear that President Obama is one of the worst 3 Presidents of the US, whereas George W Bush is clearly close to the top 10. He'd be higher except for his "compassionate conservatism".

Public approval of W has risen steadily since he left office, and more amazing in that it is already happening in such a short time since leaving office. That hasn't happened for a Democrat since Truman.

machine said...

"...whereas George W Bush is clearly close to the top 10"

WTH? Friday funnies, right?

So why does the current GOP shun him like the plague? Because he shines so bright?

He is not even invited to the convention...

Paul Zrimsek said...

Just when you think the liberals have finally figured out who Obama's actually running against, up pops good old reliable W.

machine said...

Nope we know...

--Romney’s overall favorable/unfavorable score remains a net negative – a trait no other modern presumptive GOP presidential nominee (whether Bob Dole, George W. Bush or John McCain) has shared.--

Just responding to the joke Nathan told...

traditionalguy said...

Astro must be afraid of a little mild global warming. The August temps in Atlanta are a mild mid 90F range (that's about 38 C. to you) Meanwhile Ontario is a frigid 68F ( or as they say, 20 C.)

It takes real Olympians to compete in Atlanta in August. Gatoraide to the rescue!

Alex said...

machine - guess what? Obama is negative 6 on latest Rasmussen approval poll!

Jane said...

Back to the original topic: for the foreseeable future, the Olympics will be held in countries with "something to prove" -- either tolitarian countries like Russia buying the Winter Games, or places like Rio wanting to prove themselves. Only these sorts of cities will be willing to spend the billions needed to construct new venues, new housing (Olympic Village), new mass transit, etc.

After these cities have all had their turn, then maybe the IOC will reduce their demands for newness and accept a practical, "budget" Olympics using existing venues. Sigh -- wouldn't it be practical to use a college dormitory closed down for the summer as an Olympic Village?

Bruce said...

Well, for one thing we get to watch tall, sweaty, lithe women wearing nearly nothing at all hug each other while jumping up and down.

Beach volleyball. Best. Sport. Ever.


It saddens me to tell you that the official uniform for Olympic Beach Volleyball is now shorts and full shirts. The bikinis/sports bras/swim bottoms/etc are no more. Sort of takes some of the fun out of spectating...

Joe said...

Incidentally, backside means the same thing in Britain as it does in the US. When referring to someone's backside, it means bum or ass else it means the back of.

Ctmom4 said...

@ Bruce - Actually, the shorts and shirts are optional. The US women say they will continue to compete in their bikinis. Cheer up!

Astro said...

traditionalguy said... Astro must be afraid of a little mild global warming. The August temps in Atlanta are a mild mid 90F range (that's about 38 C. to you) Meanwhile Ontario is a frigid 68F ( or as they say, 20 C.)

No, when is said I lived through them, I meant right here in Hotlanta. I watched the Olympic Torch go by about a mile from my house.
I proposed Canada because it's big, it English-speaking (more or less, ay) and they're so gosh-darn polite who'd want to terrorize a Canadian?

ed said...

All these liberal trolls amuse the heck out of me. The more vicious the funnier they are.

Why?

Because if Obama had done anything worth boasting of they would be talking about that instead.