"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


Wackos of the day

The United States of Earth.

Thursday hate

Baristas with no sense of humor.

Erik and I stopped by the Starbucks at Central and Devon for a rare mid-commute espresso. Standing at the counter, Erik tried his “is it Free-coffee-for-cyclists day?” angle out the wearers-of-the-green-apron, but the girl at the register looked at him as though he’d asked for a stray cat corn dog or if she liked it in the back door. I think she actually thought he was serious, from the way she looked at the other guy, making coffee. You are serving caffeine to red-eyed grumpy people before 7am – crack a smile, at least.


Shortly after, while changing Erik’s tire on the sidewalk just outside, a big white SUV pulled up too fast to the curb and hit a big puddle of standing water, splashing both of us and a little old lady with drawn-in eyebrows. The driver literally waited until we rolled away to get out, avoiding the inevitable confrontation; although she was another little old lady wearing a fur coat, so that wouldn’t have been very sporting.


Jesus CHRIST, people. Even if it’s a green light, it is illegal to proceed into the intersection if traffic isn’t moving.

Because then the light turns red, and the people who’ve been waiting patiently for their green are now blocked by your cell-phone-using-while-driving, inconsiderate ass. This is called a “gridlock law.” Last night coming south on Elston, the drivers in the west bound lane of Irving Park were just driving brainlessly into the intersection causing each set of cars waiting at the light to sit through at least two cycles. Once the honking started, the offending assholes would just raise their hands as if to say, “What can I do?” I swear to God, so few people are capable of having a single, proactive thought it’s a wonder they can even operate a car without killing themselves at all. I am calling my alderman’s office today about that intersection, but there has got to be a better way to enforce this law, including some creative, science-fiction-y Mr. Gadget-type robot arms wielding Mickey Mouse gloves with shotguns and explosives, and trap doors in the middle of the intersection.


There are way too many hyphens in this post.


Hump day

First, some early Hate. It’s things like this that bring out the fascist in me:

Why the fuck does a guy with six DUI, not to mention mental instability (which should’ve become obvious by – oh, I don’t know - the third instance?) still possess a drivers license? Because nobody took the responsibility to make sure he didn’t, a 20 year-old molecular biology student from Winnetka is dead. And the most this guy will face is a six year prison term as punishment. There are no are no charges of manslaughter or vehicular homicide. At my new job at the DMV, I would clear several other pre-lunch “appointments” to devote my full morning to this guy.

Cycling tip of the day: ride “hub to hub.” One of the things that makes a group ride – even just two of you – so enjoyable is the rambling conversation that makes the miles melt away. At least three times a week I ride to work with Diddy Kong, aka The Bike Destroyer, and we cover any number of subjects, from bike gear (mostly gear) to cooking to last night’s 30 Rock episode. It can be very hard to have a conversation, however, when riding single file, especially in any kind of wind, which is almost always the case. Where allowed, riding two abreast is much more conducive for a fun ride.

However, problems can arise when the two riders are not riding at the same speed. Inevitably, one rider is going just a bit faster, causing the other to constantly have to play a mini-game of catch-up…or visa versa: the ride gets too slow. Whichever the case, the constant fluctuations in speed will make the ride a constant battle, robbing it of enjoyment.

The pro’s solution to this – utilized on infinite low-level recovery and base mile rides - is to imagine an invisible line between the front wheel hubs, perpendicular to your direction of travel. By each rider keeping the line straight, only miniscule adjustments are needed to keep the speed constant, allowing for a steady, low-level endurance effort at which a conversational pace can easily be maintained.


I think this picture by Luke should get a Pulitzer:


I’m going to Jinglecross this year!


Yo, Adrian!

It was tough to get out of bed this morning. Tougher still go through my race-day regimen and pack the messenger bag. I wanted to do nothing else than sleep in until 9, drink coffee until I got the shakes, and listen to NPR and watch football. Looking out the window sucked the motivation out of me; the thinning leaves – now dull and robbed of their once fiery color – were stark on their skeletal branches against the slate grey sky.

I felt fat and stiff. It is getting late in the year. Fitness is waning, darkness is coming earlier, and Halloween candy and cookies are taunting me at every turn. Only four races remain before training completely goes off the rails in a head-on collision with the month-long holiday party of December. What harm could it do?

But Jack needs the exercise and socialization (so do I), he’s always dead tired after a day pulling on the leash, peeing on bikes, and snarling at little kids. The day was soon sunny and glorious mere minutes after arriving in Bartlett, and the Bears ended up laying an egg, as well, losing 45-10 to Cincy. Upon returning home with William – and Jack passed out cold in the back seat - I was really glad I had gone and done two races.

The 30+ was a flat out joke, flat on my back. I had the wrong tires and the wrong fork for this race. I am clueless when it comes to road gear, so with a loaner cross bike, I just show up and ride no matter what.

“Dude, why are you using file treads?”

In the muddy turns, the shallow tread filled up with mud quickly, and I rode as though I were in a Three Stooges short. I also got my first road rash of the entire year, losing my back wheel coming back out onto the pavement before the hill at the end of the lap. I was up quickly and the skinsuit was fine, but that was going to be a big strawberry on my ass; added injury to the insult of being covered in mud.

The fork clearance above the tire is less than a centimeter, and I’d pick up about half the forest floor each time to and from the back section through the trees. The rider in front of me would hear a loud buzz/whir from the woodchips, leaves, mud colleting behind my tire, and then I’d fade out, slowing to grab handfuls of gunk adding handfuls of watts to my race effort.

I was mercifully euthanized by the two lead riders Tom Burke (Lathrop/Giant) and Scott McLaughlin (SRAM) passing me at the end of my fourth lap, their bell lap, and I pulled over to find I was riding on a flattening tire and broken spoke. Thankfully, someone – I didn’t get his name – from Rhythm Racing loaned me a wheel, even changing out my 8-speed cassette so I could ride later in the 4Bs race. The tire on the back was also much better suited for the course conditions. Huge thanks to you.

I got through the first two turns sitting top 6th or 7th and stayed top ten for 2.9 laps out of three. Race winner Jake Teitelbaum (Spider Monkey) blew past halfway through the first to catch the leaders 100 meters in front of me to drop them all on his way to a solo win. I was never alone however, a few other riders right on wheel, including teammate Dave Hudson. They all passed me on a catastrophically bad uphill remount after the last barrier early-on in the last lap. Both muddy shoes zinged off the muddy pedals and I nearly crashed the bike. I had slow down for a second to get it together, consciously clipping in. Then I was hanging on to 10th.

(photo by Liz Farina Markel, Tipping Point Photo)

In the backside, heading back to the trees for the last third of the lap, I hear behind me, “I’m coming for you, Morrissey!” It’s Adrian Redd, my old mechanic from Boulevard Bikes, racing for Pegasus and closing fast. I am already on the edge of redline and vomit, and I try mightily to add watts and increase the gap. But as we approach the hill, he is on my wheel. A tight u-turn, and then you are looking straight up.

On any other day of the week, this place would be an inconsequential bump in the terrain of a boring, suburban park.

Sunday, it was as big as Alp d’Huez. Slick and treacherous, a deafening echo-chamber, a gauntlet of screaming mouths, hunched bodies extending clenched fists carrying hideously contorted faces; megaphone sirens; all of it willed into pure energy – quashing the doubts of lost momentum and thrown down to the pedals to wrench yourself to the top. At the crest, the roar rose to absolute cacophony.

(Photo by Newt Cole)

I could see a wheel in my right periphery as Luke scrambled out of the way, camera in hand (I hope it’s a good one!) and then Adrian passed me. Three turns to go his gap seemed to grow and I stamped down the sense of futility as I took the corners as fast as I dared. Through the last turn I was closing. The finishing straight opened up, closing. The catch, the pass, the throw. 10th place.

How unbelievably fun to finish this race in a two-up sprint, let alone against a friend of mine? I pulled over on the grass to dry heave three times in front of five or six complete strangers – thanks for the water! – as Adrian rolled back, hacking up chunks of lung. We chatted and relived the last half-lap. Cross Cup director Jason Knauff may be joking as he calls us to the line, but the 4Bs really are the main event and such a carnival because everyone who raced earlier makes it so. That’s the kind of enthusiasm and spirit that makes cyclocross so much fun, and makes the curmudgeonly whiner I was back in July totally unrecognizable. It’s the reason I am now a confirmed cross maniac for as long as I breathe, no matter how laughably bad I race.

Because cross-racers know that it's good to be alive:

(Photo by Luke Seemann)


Bonus hate

Yesterday, an uninsured driver with a revoked license ran a red light at Kostner going eastbound on Washington and collided with another vehicle, killing a pregnant woman, and sending other three pedestrians to the hospital. Doctors were able to deliver the woman's baby in critical condition, yet it died sometime later.

The driver was cited. No word on whether he was dragged by the hair into a police station storage room and beaten until half-dead with rubber hoses and baseball bats, or if he was tasered in the genitals until he lost all control of his bodily functions.

Thursday Hate

A recent entry from the Freakonomics blog sparked my thoughts on fascist tendencies earlier this week...

The new book Superfreakonomics was released yesterday, and their chapter on realistic solutions to climate change and global warming is drawing fire from the left. This is extremely ironic since Levitt and Dubner's last book was a target of the right for exposing the flaws of No Child Left Behind and their theories regarding legalized abortion and violent crime.

"One of the saddest things for me about climate science is how political it has become," writes guest blogger Nathan Myhrvold. "Science works by having an open dialog that ultimately converges on the truth, for the common benefit of everyone. Most scientific fields enjoy this free flow of ideas."

Indeed. I wrote elsewhere discussing this topic that "the evolution versus intelligent design debate is where this is most evident. The whole argument is pointless, because one is fact, the other is philosophy. Neither is wrong. They are mutually exclusive - not even competing ideologies. Instead we waste precious time and resources trying to put philosophy in our science classes while quashing transcendent thought."

Teaching "why" has no place in the lab. "Why" belongs in the philosophical round table; in theology class. "Why" can't be tested, proven, or further defined. Leaving "why" out of the labratory frees up our time to answer "what" and "how?" And all the while those still-forming student brains are churning and whirring, asking "why?" silently to themselves. And "why" will be discussed in church, at the family dinner table, and in the basement with friends while passing a bowl. And the most important facet here is that "why" is asked and answered as freely as possible.

This is the reason why others want - not to ask, but to tell - our young minds what "why" is. Why they want to teach intelligent design in our science classrooms. To replace fact-finding and the art of deduction with blind faith - the complete anathma to the scientific process. And in doing so waste all our efforts to boost our national science and math scores, which include taking a bloody scythe to art, music, physical education, and even recess.

What kind of an example is that while trying to teach our students to adhere to strict scientific principles in order survive in an increasingly competitive world? Why would someone actually want to teach blind faith in that which cannot be proven?

Because fascists can't stand independent thought, on the left or the right, regarding climate change or the freedom to have a legal abortion, or to have sex at all. How can you control everyone else otherwise?


Hump Day - Costume Ideas

Looking for a costume to wear at the Cross Cup #5 in Bartlett this weekend? Take a look at some of these ideas and show up Supergirl for at least one weekend...

The Halloween Cyclocross Crusade in Astoria, OR seems to be quite a party...

Oooooh, nurse?!

This one from PDX Cross is just creepy:

And from Surf City, CA (make sure you can actually see in case you get the hole shot):


Chubby Spud

(Photos by Ed White and Sandra Samman)

Race #4 in the Chicago Cross Cup series brought the bike party out to Carpentersville, Ill, northwest of the city. The course took up the entire park, save for the northeast corner where the Oktoberfest party was.

Easily the most technical race of the series so far, the race was full of switchbacks and off-camber turns and creative barriers, both manmade and natural. A small creek ran through the park and the course crossed it at least twice; North Branch Cycling also included a set of "pumpers" - speed bumps, essentially - which require you to pump your bike while taking them at speed. If you keep your weight back and body relaxed, you go over them with ease. If not it's not pretty...here's me barely making it through the first lap of the 4B race after coming in way to hot and out of control:

Here's how to do it right:

The first race for me was the Master's 30+...probably the most broad range of experience and talent of the day. The leaders of the 1/2/3 field were in this race, as well as dudes who've never raced in their lives - which probably the best thing about Cyclocross, and what keeps everyone's sense of humor at the front the entire day.

It was five or six laps, I can't remember which. I lost track after three. But it was all of them. I narrowly avoided being lapped by the leaders. I watched them come up behind me and I was not going to let it happen, securing myself the moral victory of getting do the final lap, while people warmed up behind me. And I finished 30th out of about 60. Which meant over half the field did get lapped, and they finished with the leaders in front of them. Lucky me.

In between races, I thought I'd give the food vendors a visit, and came away with this, the "chubby spud":

A potato pancake, swiss cheese, ham, bratwurst, with kraut and spicy mustard. A gut bomb if ever was one. I inhaled it. Thank God it was four hours til my next race.

The last race of the day, the 4Bs, the "beginner's" race (it's not sandbagging until you win it, I tell myself - besides, until I can stay with the leaders, I don't need to move up), it is truly the main event. The spectators make sure of that. All the day's racers are now here, and they relish every second to urge us on, heckle us, and tempt us:

After the hole shot, I hear Luke yelling at me that I'm the last of the lead group of riders. My technical skills are sorely lacking and through each of the tight switchback turns - while Kirby dropped down through each section of tape to heckle me further: "WHY ARE YOU SO SLOW?!" - the gap between us grew. By the first barrier and my poor - to put it nicely - remount, all hope was lost. It was then two laps with a Project 5 rider glued to my wheel.

I didn't dare turn around, just listening to his breathing and whiring chain, he didn't pass me until about a half-lap to go. I left him go around me after the tricky barrier, but he slowed down. He must've just been hanging on, and I became worried as the riders behind us were gaining. Some where between the sand pit - "Come on, Morrissey! He's on a mountain bike!"...

and the hill...

...I repassed him. At this point, the expression on my face is in reaction to a) Jeff Holland screaming at me that I am in 8th place, and b) knowing that the chubby spud is definitely on its way back to freedom at some point in the very near future.

I completely buried myself and kept the gap open, nearly losing it crossing the creek. I saw I wasn't going to get caught, and drilled it to the end back on pavement, crossing the finish line 8th. I sat up, blinked, and thought to myself, "yep, here it comes..." and my stomach lurched and tossed up a mouthful of lunch onto the pavement. I had to pull off on the grass and grab my knees for a second and let the moment pass.

The "bucket award" as Coach Randy says. First time I've puked. I think I can check a Rite of Passage off my list.

The best part is, I got 26 points and moved into 10th place in the series, which means I get a call-up this Sunday in Bartlett.

Bring the bucket.


Are Limbaugh and Sharpton having cocktails together right now?

I may be the last person to have figured this out...

But Rush Limbaugh never wanted to buy an NFL team. Rush Limbaugh wants people to talk about him.

"Selectively leaked?"

Uh huh.

This is all part of Premiere Radio Network's strategy to raise the advertising rates on his show.

Rush isn't a racist. He's a blowhard. And a smart one at that. He makes money when people are pissed off at him. And so do the people who are "pissed off" at him, supposedly. But how can they really be pissed off at him when they're getting such great stage time being pissed off at him...

Rush isn't a racist, he's an ego maniac. Just like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, speaking of whom. The NFL wouldn't want either one of those two guys as owners either.

Rush isn't a racist, he's just an asshole. And the NFL certainly has enough of those, too.


Had enough today

My friend Steven took this picture last night, at the corner of Halsted and 17th St:

Sorry for the shock value, but there it is. And yeah, that's her liver lying a few feet away. She was hit by a blue or purple 4-door, and then the #18 bus. The bus stopped. The driver is still at large.

It is a fantasy of mine that apprehended hit and run drivers be sentenced to go car-less, with the knowledge that they will be randomly run down at high speed by a Hummer in a state-sponsored execution. Or, I s'pose a pack of drunk hipsters on tall bikes would be more poetic justice. But knowing that the last conscious thought to go through this perp's mind as his liver leaves his body is, "oh, this is what she felt," would be somewhat satisfying.

Also yesterday, this happened in New Zealand.
"All you could hear was the sound of carbon and bodies falling everywhere ... they were crashing all over the place..."

I couldn't get any of these images out of my mind today as I left work from the parking lot on my ride home. The brushed steel weather of October must gnaw on people's patience. Not even 100 meters onto Milwaukee Avenue some self-entitled blond was yelling at me to "get in a bike lane."

"What bike lane?" I asked as I rolled past her, stopped at the red light she was in such a hurry to get to seven seconds later. "Can't I turn left like everyone else?"

Eyes roll up with her window.

Buzzed three times on Lake by probably a combined 12 inches of passing space. Trying to pedal into a 20 mph headwind, I was getting it from all sides.

Honked at twice on Lehigh between Touhy and Devon.

By time I was on Elston I was convinced I was being tailgated by some phantom SUV. That was completely in my head.

I was in no shape to then get on my cross bike and head down to Cricket Hill for practice, no way I was then biking through the madness that is Uptown during rush hour. I just wanted off of my bike, period. To be inside, locked behind a door.

I've had it with mouthbreathers. Empty heads. People who act like I'm not even there. Snobby Mercedes drivers. Shaved-head "husky" guys who fancy themselves UFC stars but get out of breath walking from their car into the Burger King. Empty Chevy Suburbans, save the driver's seat. People who act as though there is no law at all. People who don't give a shit about anyone but themselves.

Oh man, I've had it today. Had it with this city, had it with this culture. I've had it with this mean-spirited, selfish, indulgent, me-first, obsessive, angry way of life. I want to move far, far away. To Amsterdam. To Copenhagen. To Mackinac Island. To Denali National Park.

To a place where no one is in a hurry, everyone savors the moment, and no one has a sense of entitlement the size of their car.


Rites of Passage

Bicycling has published another Cosmo-esque list: 109 Rites of Passage for the cyclist.

Sometimes insightful, sometimes cheesy – even downright maudlin, and towards the end, truer than a handmade wheel, read them here, and cross-reference with my indexed commentary…on the ones I care to note.

1. I found this link on the Bike Commuters blog, and Elizabeth notes that (read in Yakov Smirnov’s voice), “in Chicago, wind rides you!”

3. I’ll never forget the first time I shaved my legs. I did it with my regular razor without clipping it first – and it took forever, and my girlfriend at the time nearly broke up with me. And yeah, the first time under the sheets felt totally weird.

7 and 8. At Asheville this year, Day 3 was Mt. Doggett day, a route the locals refer to as the Doggett Fat Burner, 103 miles (of which I rode 89 of) through constant rain. Mist, a downpour, pissing, didn’t matter. It was wet the whole time. On the last big climb of the day, JT dropped everybody, and then we started breaking apart – with me falling further and further back, and soon got dropped by a guy who I always outclimbed. I felt like lead and as though I was moving in slow motion. I always think I am eating enough food, but when riding long in the cold and rain, your body is burning more calories just to keep the core temperature up. My muscles felt tingly and exceedingly weak. I could fall over at any time. I reached into my back jersey pocket and started putting whatever food was in there into my mouth. Shot Bloks, half a Clif bar, and then the fruit slices. The change could not have been more dramatic. (Popeye music>) Within seconds, I was back out of the saddle and roaring up the hill to catch Grant, and very nearly Peter at the summit. I then forgot to close my rain jacket on the decent, and quickly went hypothermic. Nothing is worse than a shivering, already shaky descender. in the rain. My brakes began to make phantom noises, and I had a line of impatient drivers behind me. I got in the van. The body count reached 7 that day: only Randy, JT, Jacques, and Grant rode the entire route.

10. My first century was Peachy Canyon in 2008. My feet had hot spots so bad I could barely pedal and I started dry heaving when I got back to my room.

19. I will always have chain grease on my right calf. And my left. Shit, I think I got it on my arm once.

22. Read the poems published here and here.

32. I taught myself to do this on the rollers last winter.

33. Please God let me do this on the road and not the rollers.

36. There is nothing like it, because you're likely puking during an interval or sprint session, as well.

41. Always a very personal and supremely satisfying moment.

45. You’re always terrified of it until it finally happens, and when everyone keeps their cool, you realize it’s not such a big deal.

52. At 32 mph. And riding home from it while a friend is on the way to the hospital with a summer off the bike to look forward to. I didn’t feel lucky. I felt guilty.

54. Just imagine an invisible hand inside your chest grabbing your heart and squeezing. Now think to yourself, “oh SHIT.”

56. The holy grail of winter riding. Live it: one extra layer – beneath your wind protection - for every 10 degrees below 50. Always include a thermal layer. 30 degrees = wind protection, thermal layer, and 2 t-shirts, preferably tech tees that have wicking capability.

60. Wow. Noted.

64 -65. Just want to point out the irony of these two being together.

69. A great confidence builder.

71. And the beginning. And the end. And around the corner from home…

74 and 75. “Ride lots.” “But not too much.”

Now they start getting good…

81. This really brings out your sense of humor.

84. Or driving someplace you’ve always ridden.

85. See 7 and 8. This happened to me twice on this day, about 5 minutes apart. The first dog was kinda funny, really loud and just look happy. The “oh shit” sprint came as the second dog shot around the end of the fence at full speed without making a sound. Scared the hell out of me. I would’ve won my first race with that sprint.

86. Never been to France, but anyone who’s climbed Black Mountain near San Luis Obispo can attest to the feeling at the top. Through tears.

87. We’re a testy bunch, aren’t we? I hate to say it, but there are some days, if you wearing the Bert and Ernie Primalwear, with hairy legs, and visor on your helmet, I’m not waving back.

89. This is a big one, being confident enough to holster that shit on a rest day, when the guy in the Bert and Ernie Primalwear, with hairy legs, and visor on his helmet passes you.

94. Coworkers. Every day.

97. Ride the North Shore Century and experience this feeling for 6 straight hours.

98. Sigh.

99. Ironic.

100. Thanks, Luke.

105. When you come out of the slipstream, you know it.

106. Sad trombone sound.

108. When I got my first aerowheels with tubulars, my first race I discovered the valve stem clicked with every revolution. I soon got very tired of, “nothing’s wrong with it, it’s just the valve.” Solution, a piece of grass used as a shim.


Olympic-sized hypocracy

I was not a fan of the Olympics coming to Chicago.

Firstly, I believed it was a waste of time to try and beat the odds of a foregone conclusion that the IOC would remedy the fact that the Games had never been hosted in South America. The Olympics have been hosted in North America - including the Winter Games - seven times in the last 40 years. And they're back again for Vancouver in 2010.

Secondly, they have devolved into nothing more than a two week party for the rich at the expense of the poor and working class, those who can't afford even a $15 "Chicago-style" hot dog sold at Olympic Stadium, much less a ticket to the venue itself, those who would be most adversely affected by construction - either by outright displacement or the disruption of the city services and infrastructure they use every day.

I'm not against the spectacle of the universal drama in human endeavor the Games bring, of course, please don't confuse the vessel for the content. I have friends who competed in Beijing, and will do so again in London in 3 years. I just don't think it is right for Chicago now, and in fact, many things need to be fixed to bring the Games' mission back on track with the projected athletic ideal.

Do you think Rio de Janeiro is any less crime-ridden than Chicago? Any less corrupt? Does that city have its infrastructural, educational, and social priorities in order to be able to justify the $4 billion it plans to spend on the 2016 Olympic Games?

Matt Drudge apparently thinks so.

By reading his spin-zone page in the past two weeks, you'd have thought Chicago was the murder capital of the world, that Barak Obama and Mayor Daley made Third World dictators look like Eisenhower in comparison, and that Rio had solved universal healthcare and hunger, while Chicago's children ran thought the streets naked with swine flu, killing each with two by fours and automatic weapons.

For those of you not familiar with Drudge, he is merely a very biased right wing spin-artist who posts cherry picked articles to twist the street's view of the political and social landscape. His links in the weeks prior tried to get you to believe that Obama was misusing his power to selfishly influence the IOC on behalf of his corrupt hometown for his corrupt friends and cronies, such as Mayor Daley and Rod Blagojevitch.

He posted links highlighting Chicago's crime wave and the Mayor's declining approval ratings.

Conversely, pathetically - and hypocritcally - on Friday morning last week he posted a link that spoke of Rio making impassioned pleas as Madrid tugged on the heartstrings of the IOC.

Pardon me while wipe the vomit off my keyboard.

Even this weekend as I related my relief to my family members about the Games not landing here, some of the more conservative ones spoke hautily of Obama's "comeupance." I saw the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol try to make this point in a TV round table as well.

My ass.

Spain sent not only its king and queen but their prime minister as well. And Brazil and Japan sent their heads-of-state, too. If Obama had stayed home, they would've skewered him for not going to Copenhagan to promote Chicago's bid - and the United States. They'd have tried to claim he was appeasing the world with a multilateralist agenda by lessening America's stature in the world.

And now Obama and Daley are trying to shirk the "blame" by laying it on the USOC...

...which is exactly where it belongs. A relationship gone awry, and Daley's own tunnel vision, were what doomed this bid from the start. Start by blaming those two. Don't blame Obama for promoting his own country when he didn't really have a choice not to.

As well, don't blame Chicagoans for not supporting the bid. The city council voted unanimously to place the burden of any cost overruns directly on the tax payers despite the fact they were overwhelmingly against it. 45% may have supported the bid, but 84% didn't want to pay for them with public funds. This is because the city couldn't build a park for less than 4 times the budget, and sold its parking infrastructure for about a quarter of its worth. They know a raw deal when they see one.

Chicago may have it's problems, but it's no Rio, and it's heartening to see priorities still in the right place.

May God bless Brazil.


We interrupt this hate...

Today is a holiday for TCW, and your regularly scheduled vitriol will not be seen today. We will return to Thursday Hate on October 8th.