Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sochi 2014 - A Crony Capitalism Showcase: “The $51 Billion Xanadu”

You know how it is: once one thing goes wrong it just seems like everything else goes wrong too.

Take Sochi for example. It started with the dangerous face water, and the “pee with a friend” toilets for two (my guess is they forgot to order and/or install the stall walls, butt who knows).

water toilets

Soon journalists began complaining about more dangerous traps that were being laid for them: coverless manhole traps and elevator-less elevator shafts.

Screenshot Studio capture #1731

As a rule western journalists aren’t a demanding lot, having turned a blind eye to Russian leaders’ proclivity for whacking their enemies and otherwise violating human rights. Butt mess with their accommodations, and you’ll never hear the end of it:

German photographer Joerg Reuter arrived in the mountains and found the first room offered to him to be full of construction debris, with yellow-brown water and appliances that didn’t work. The next room had construction workers still sleeping in it. The third room had a stray dog in it.

Still, the show must go on: NBC’s breathless awe of Mother Russia’s hand in “one of modern history’s most pivotal experiments” (absent comment regarding its complete and utter failure) led some pundits to wonder if Russia had paid for product placement in their coverage.

gary kasparov

Yet right from the start, there were signs this whole thing was going to spiral completely out of control.  It started when that winking snowflake went rogue: deciding to follow its bliss rather than simply become another cog in the wheel.

snowflakes to rings

Then there was the mascot bear that bore an uncanny resemblance to BHO, during his bob Costas interview:

Screenshot Studio capture #1728

And then, the PR nightmare with one of Putin’s torch lighters turning out to be a “racist hater” - which is code for Republican. How did that happen?

Meanwhile, across town, a persnickety Norwegian team complained that the cross-country/biathalon course the Russians constructed was too short. Turned out they were right: 130 feet short to be precise, if precision happens to be your bliss, which it obviously isn’t if you’re a Russian contractor. Don’t worry, they fixed it, busting right through that snow:

whoops add 130 feet to biathalon track

Which actually proved harder work than busting out of a bathroom which inexplicably self-locks from the inside butt only unlocks from the outside. Thankfully the door appears to be constructed out of drywall and corrugated cardboard:

johnny quinns

Screenshot Studio capture #1727

Because how else do you save money when you only have $51 billion to spread around to your friends and political backers?

Screenshot Studio capture #1720

Well, let’s wrap up this analysis of what can go wrong once one little thing goes awry. After all, it could happen anywhere there is a major transformation underway; anywhere the principles of free market are set aside in favor of the “economics of favours and you end up with capitalism without capitalists. I tell you it’s an ugly, ugly thing; and once it starts, there seems to be no bottom.

It appears that you can go from the sublime to the ridiculous in seemingly the blink of an eye.

olympic teamsTeam USA, left to right: Lake Placid (‘80), Albertville (‘92), Nagano ('’98), Atlanta(‘96), Salt Lake (‘02), Turin (‘06)

…you can see where the transformation begins, in Vancouver, 2010:

team usa 2010 vancouver

…culminating in this year’s metamorphosis. Just a word of caution for future transformers, not every transformation results in a beautiful butterfly (just ask the Russians about that). Sometimes you get moths that are only good for eating your clothes – which in this case might be a blessing.

team usa3If you’re getting an ugly Christmas sweater vibe going with Team USA’s Olympic costumes, you are not alone.

I’m not saying this mess is Big Guy’s fault.

poloIt’s just that Team USA Olympic uniforms never used to look like you grabbed your Aunt Kate’s sweater to throw on with your jammie bottoms.

I think it’s just that BHO is used to delegating the details of his transformational projects to contractors who used to be roommates of Lady M. And he’s not familiar with the management convention of following up on them to ensure they are actually doing what they’re supposed to do. That’s what all the other functionaries are for.

Like I said, don’t you just hate it when something goes wrong, and then – like the proverbial dominoes - everything else follows suit? I think we should keep a close eye on things around here because otherwise things could turn very ugly, just like they did in Russia.

I’m talking about the Team USA sweaters at the Sochi Opening Ceremonies of course.


Why? What are you talking about?

Screenshot Studio capture #1723

Did I already mention that the Salt Lake City Olympics that Mitt Romney saved was one of the few Olympic venues that ever make money on the games?  Oh yeah, I guess I did.


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Cross-Posted on Patriot Action Network