Hey Look - It's the No-lympics
- In two weeks Chicago would be hosting the world if it had won its bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Instead, the city lost to Rio de Janeiro, which some are saying is a victory in and of itself.
Rio's governor has declared a "state of calamity," a financial emergency, ahead of the games. A promised subway line isn't complete. There are major concerns about crime and health.
It could have been Chicago. In 2008 there was enthusiasm in the city, as even the newly-elected President Obama campaigned on behalf of the bid.
[...] That energy and enthusiasm would be snuffed out in a stunning first-round defeat just months later. The bulk of Chicago's Olympic bid was paid for with private money and Mayor Daley promised no taxpayer money. But there was one glaring exception that remains an eyesore to this day: the Michael Reese Hospital campus.
The campus would have become an athletes' village if Chicago had won the bid. The city hasn't been able to sell it in the past eight years. Mayor Daley put taxpayers on the hook for $91 million and it won't be paid in full until 2024.
Daley's buddies still made a bunch of money, even as pension funds and other non-connected types took a bath. You can re-live the moment Chicago dodged most of the damage here:
That was a particularly amusing day seeing Daley realize he got played by people he considered amateurs. Those yokels took his gifts, political capital and dignity, and then pants-ed him on international television. Poor Richie thought that when people got bought, they stayed bought. He forgot that there were three other kleptocracies with far fewer scruples competing for the same corrupt pie.