the Olympics

Has Obama Stopped Saying 'Iraq'?
December 02, 2009

Over the past few months, all eyes have been on Afghanistan, with the long policy review culminating in Obama’s speech last night. What that means is that Iraq, that other war, often seems like an afterthought in our national discussion. (Nevermind that we still have 124,000 troops on the ground there.) In light of all this, we thought it might be interesting to see just how many times Obama has used the word “Iraq” (and derivations like “Iraqi”) since being inaugurated, as compared to his usage of “Afghanistan” (also including “Afghan” and “Afghani”).

The Right Reacts To The Prize
October 09, 2009

Taking a quick look around the right-wing fever swamps this morning, it was possible to form the opinion that the Nobel Prize Committee had honored Barack Obama with its peace prize in order to confuse and enrage American conservatives. The Right clearly did not coordinate its talking points.  There was in fact a breakfast buffet of reactions. Dismissal of the prize as "anti-American" was one approach.  At The Corner, Andy McCarthy suggested it be renamed the "Yasir Arafat Peace Prize," and denounced the award as a "symbolic statement of opposition to American exceptionalism, American might, A

Today at TNR (October 6, 2009)
October 06, 2009

How Conservatives Can Demagogue Health Care and Still Feel Good in the Morning, by Jonathan Chait Dispatch from Afghanistan: A War That Can Be Won, by Bernard Henri-Levy Handicapping the Five Senators Who Now Hold the Key to Health Care Reform, by Jonathan Cohn A Revelation out of Nigeria: The Novels of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie by Ruth Franklin Relitigating Summers: Should the Government Have Nationalized the Banks? by Noam Scheiber How the Olympics Will Create More Misery for Rio’s Poor, by Suzy Khimm Chait: Are Liberals Ignoring Income Inequality?

Could the Olympics Mean More Misery for Rio's Poor?
October 05, 2009

There’s no doubt that the IOC’s decision last week marks a huge symbolic victory for Brazil, South America, and the rest of the developing world. But could the arrival of the 2016 Olympics do more harm than good for Rio de Janeiro’s poorest residents? It could depend, in part, on how the Brazilian government plans to beef up security in advance of the Games. Security crackdowns in Rio de Janeiro have often amounted to police raids on the sprawling shantytowns, home to a third of the city’s population, where  drug traffickers have ensconced themselves.

Rio, 1 -- Chicago, 0. The Politics of Narcissism and General McChrystal
October 04, 2009

Frankly, I don't care that Chicago lost its bid for the Olympics.  Really, I don't. But maybe the president's trip to Copenhagen was useful since his top battle commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, traveling from England to Denmark, had the opportunity to meet Barack Obama on Air Force One.  Their talking with each other is, after all, a rarity.  In fact, Obama and McChrystal had spoken but once since the general took on AfPak as his turf in early June 2009. With whom, then, is Obama conversing? And how independent of mind on military matters are they?

The Power of O
October 01, 2009

Yet one more reason Obama shouldn't go to Copenhagen to lobby for the Olympics: Chicago doesn't need him, since, judging from this report, it looks like Oprah's got things under control: ``Everyone is mesmerized by Oprah,'' said Charmaine Crooks, an Olympian and former International Olympic Committee member from Canada. One of those taking a picture of Chicago's queen - of talk - was Maria Celeste Pedroso, secretary to the leader of Rio 2016 bid chairman Carlos Nuzman. ``So they love Oprah in Rio, too?'' Pedroso was asked. ``Like all the world,'' she said, with a smile. Is all of this starting

Is Obama Setting Himself Up for the Agony of Defeat?
September 29, 2009

Okay, I'll admit that I have some issues with the Olympics, but I think that even Mary Lou Retton should be outraged over Barack Obama's decision to fly to Copenhagen later this week to lobby for Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer games. First of all, consider the optics: the fate of comprehensive health care reform is hanging by a thread up on Capitol Hill and the Pentagon is awaiting the commander-in-chief's word on the way forward in Afghanistan, and Obama's going to take time out of his busy schedule to schmooze with the Princess of Liechtinstein and the 105 other worthies on the I.O.C

The Shame Of The Olympics
July 29, 2008

The Olympics specializes in two rough categories of shameful behavior:  in what it doesn't allow and in what it does.In a barefaced and biased political decision, it denied credentials to  the qualified Olympic teams from Iraq to come to Beijing and  participate in the 2008 games.But it hasn't so much as taken notice that national Olympics  authorities in both Saudi Arabia and the Emirates have prevented women  from competing.I don't how long the sham of the Olympics goes back.

The Veep Timetable
July 21, 2008

Mulling it over, First Read writes: Turning back home, all indications are pointing to Obama's veep pick getting announced in the 10-day window after he gets back from Europe and before the Olympics. (Maybe, given the calendar, we're stating the obvious at this point, but everything is about timetables in the Obama campaign, right?) These guys are better-sourced than I am, and generally more familiar with how campaigns think this stuff through, so I suspect they're right. But I guess I don't see the unassailable logic of announcing the pick before the Olympics.

The Olympics Have Taken China Down A Notch
May 01, 2008

  At the start of the Tibet uprising, I mused that the Olympics--far from being a Chinese propaganda coup, as envisioned by Beijing--might actually wreck China's image abroad. Now, John Pomfret at PostGlobal thinks this is indeed happening (it's worth reading the piece): Move over ugly American, make room for the ugly Chinese. ... For the past decade, China's "soft power" has helped fuel Beijing's rise by attempting to assuage fears of an expansionist China. ... But now across the globe China is dropping in the polls. It's true.