That's OK -- You can have the Olympics

Last year, Passport made the case for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hosting the 2016 Olympics over closest rivals Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid.

Today, one Chicago website is making that same case.

"It would be exciting to host the Olympics here in Chicago," says. "But you know what would be even better? Rio de Janeiro. Just let Rio host the 2016 Olympics. We don't mind. Honest."

Just eight days until the announcement of the winner, Chicagoans for Rio break down some reasons Brazil would host the games better. For instance: 

Statues. Rio has Christ standing. Chicago has Lincoln sitting. (To be fair, Chicago also has statues of Lincoln standing.)

Signature events. Rio has naked people dancing. Chicago has chubby people eating.

Nickname. Rio is the "Marvelous City." Chicago is the "Second City."

The site also points out Chicago has a budget deficit of nearly $220 million; they claim Rio has a $0 budget deficit because, "If you're a Chicagoan, Rio's budget deficit does not matter."

They also say 21 of Athens' 22 Olympic venues remain unused.

It appears the latest victim of recessionomics is the ambition to host the world's second most important sporting event.



Hu Jintao's disappointing speech

Yawn. Opinions differed on whether Hu's climate speech yesterday was a sign that he was running circles around Obama, or just overhyped. For anyone hoping for China to assert itself as a global leader, this afternoon's address was a letdown. 

Hu'sspeech was organized around platitudes like "we should prupse cooperation with a more open mind" and "we should be more tolerant to one another and live together in harmony."

When it did get down to pledging action, it was mostly about continuing to support the Millennium Development Goals and climate agreements that China is already signed on to.

Barack Obama's speech may not have been heavy on specifics. (These types of addresses rarely are), but there was at least a clear signal that he aimed to take the U.S. and the U.N. in a new direction. Obama also showed, as he often does, a willingness to acknowledge mistakes of the past and negative perceptions of U.S. action. From Hu's speech, you would never know that China's relations with the world had ever been anything but harmonious. 

As Obama said, "speeches alone will not solve our problems," but to the degree that they signal the kind of role the speaker is looking to play in the multipolar world that nearly every speaker today has insisted we are entering, the American president looked a lot more like a leader.