Sochi Olympics put spotlight on Russia's flaws
And the gold medal for espionage goes to . . . definitely not the Russians. Today's dimwitted Sochi spies can't install a shower cam without soaking themselves!
Vladimir Putin has been working diligently to make his nation seem like a superpower again -- beefing up the Russian army, investing in high-tech espionage gear and reminding gay people who's still in charge. Securing the Winter Games for his beloved Black Sea resort was going to be the Olympic achievement of Putin's bring-back-the-glory campaign.
Ah, maybe nyet!
The athletes are wonderful, of course. They always are. Whatever stupidity or worse surrounds them, they find fresh ways to soar.
But the early Sochi tally so far reads like this: Warnings of "black widow" Chechen terrorists. Threats of airborne toothpaste bombs. Mismanagement and exorbitant cost overruns.
Stray-dog street-corner roundups. Full-press laptop hack-a-thons. Rooms without running water and hotel toilet seats installed upside down.
Oh, and more pictures of Putin with his shirt on -- for now.
The Olympics often present a golden opportunity to highlight the host country's culture and traditions. Sochi is no exception. Only this time, the spotlight has fallen harshly on all the worst things about modern Russia. And no vaunted Ring of Steel can keep the world's prying eyes away.
is like "some Third World country" (thank you, Joe Biden), where does that leave ISP? Like a vast, empty prairie with a talk-radio station and a couple of flights coming in? . . . Amagansett's anti-franchise purists are upset that a 7-Eleven is going in downtown -- between the IGA complex and the Shell station? How mom-and-pop are IGA and Shell? Reflect on that over your next cherry Slurpee . . . A backdrop for CBS' "The Good Wife"? Is that the best use for Long Beach Medical Center? Who's serving all the hospital's "good" patients, left high and dry since Sandy? . . . Now that the Huntington Town Board is back on the warpath against accessory apartments, has anyone thought to ask: Would these illegal conversions be in such hot demand if the board weren't so suspicious of legitimate multifamily projects? . . . Doesn't anyone want to rent the third floor of the newly renovated Southampton Town Hall? Anyone thinking "summer-share cubbies"? . . . Pat Vecchio isn't really the Smithtown supervisor because he failed to file his oath on time? Where did Town Clerk Vincent Puleo come up with that technicality? Section 25 of the New York State Town Law? Hmm, is Pat's job in genuine peril here? . . . Amityville and Comsewogue high school athletes: How could two teams have such different recollections of the same game? Where's the ref when we need him? . . . A hit-and-run driver struck a 14-year-old girl on busy Hempstead Turnpike near Shelter Lane in Levittown -- and sped promptly away? What's the driver's excuse for that, even if the girl was crossing against the light? . . . Where's the snow? Don't we get snow every weekend? Come on, there has to be some snow. It's coming, right?
THE NEWS IN SONG: So let's raise the bar and our cups to the stars: Real Russian police cover Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," tinyurl.com/sochiluck