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Brief asides


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POSTED: Monday, October 05, 2009

CHICAGO BLUES

Chicago's loss to Rio is a loss for Obama

Perhaps if Barack Obama had cast his adopted hometown as the underdog in its quest to host the 2016 Olympic Games, its fourth-place finish in a vote that gave the games to Rio de Janeiro would seem less humiliating. Sending his wife, Michelle, to lobby the selection committee and even showing up in Copenhagen himself, made Chicago seem like the front-runner. But Rio was always the more obvious choice, given that South America has never hosted the international competition. Obama's Chicago pride got the best of him, and he'll pay a price for the political miscalculation.

 

HIGH GOAL

Long life unattractive if in pain

Researchers predict that most babies born in rich countries this century will live to be 100. Advances in the treatment of heart disease, diabetes and cancer have greatly extended human life and that trend is expected to continue. But let's hope that before those babies grow up there are better treatments for the devastating ailments that plague too many people late in life, such as dementia and painful arthritis. Quality of life, not simply longevity, should be the goal.

 

NOT SO FAST

Latest jobless data casts pall on recovery talk

The U.S. government confirmed what any unemployed person already knows: The recession killed more jobs that even previously acknowledged.

The U.S. Labor Department is revising its unemployment figures downward, subtracting 800,000 jobs it had wrongly estimated were filled. Now the department says that overall, there are 5.8 percent fewer jobs in the United States than there were at the end of 2007; the picture is even bleaker looking at only the private sector, which has 7 percent fewer positions.

Economic analysts who predicted a jobless “;recovery”; to the worst recession since the Great Depression unfortunately seem to be correct.