Roland Burris…It was George Bush’s fault that Chicago lost the Olympic bid.

Senator Rowland Burris of Illinois, the Senator who was appointed to fill President Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat, blames George Bush for Chicago not getting the Olympics in 2016. Burris stated in an interview, shortly after the announcement, that the image of the U. S. has been so tarnished in the last 8 years that, even Barack Obama making an unprecedented pitch for the games could not overcome the hatred the world has for us as a result of George Bush. Wow! When will the Democrats in Congress ever get off this “Blame Bush” syndrome. Burris even went on to say that this is just another way Bush is now hurting Chicago. Yes blame Bush, don’t mind all the crime and corruption that has come out of Illinois over the last year. This “Blame Bush” strategy is getting pretty old.

Burris was not the only one.
Swimmer Rowdy Gaines also blamed Bush after the rejection.

Oh but wait, it is because of Visas and we are not friendly, yada yada...

However,  the triumphant Chicago presentation–the culmination of a $48 million package–had cold water thrown onto it when Pakistani IOC member Syed Shahid Ali correctly noted the significant difficulties facing foreigners seeking entry into the United States. Obama failed to address Ali’s concerns, saying only that hosting the Games in Chicago would be “a reminder that America at its best is open to the world.”

America’s visa processing issues have been well-publicized throughout much of the world, with some tourists waiting six months or more to have a 10 minute appointment with a visa examiner in an embassy or consulate to visit America on a vacation. Business visas or those for cultural ambassadors, like artists and athletes, are similarly problematic. Many applicants complain that the system is opaque at best and a crap shoot at worst, with few guidelines provided for applicants and rejections issued pro forma.

The Wall Street Journal speculates that Chicago’s loss stems has more to do with the heavy European membership at the IOC and Latin American IOC members lining up behind Rio; however, the visa issue has been an growing problem since new requirements were issued after 9/11. Perhaps the Chicago loss will provide some much-needed political impetus to finally spur legitimate discussions of political reform.

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