TagBarack Obama

The Onion: Obama’s Weekly Video Addresses Becoming Increasingly Avant-Garde

Obamas's dead dog

Obama’s early pieces primarily played with structure: Our Long-Term Strategy In Afghanistan employs Brion Gysin’s cut-up technique to reorder the words in a major speech on foreign policy, eventually creating a shocking sound collage that, according to the White House, reveals “a truth previously buried beneath layers of intent.” […]

Nonetheless, a number of critics have embraced Obama’s edgier productions. Artforum magazine referred to Obama’s oeuvre as “a winking indictment of the institution of the presidency from none other than the president himself,” and cited in particular his wildlife conservation video Meat Play as “the direction the office needs to go in if the executive branch is to remain relevant.”

The Onion: Obama’s Weekly Video Addresses Becoming Increasingly Avant-Garde

(Thanks Jillian!)

Despite Obama admin’s promise, DEA continues raids on medical marijuana growers

Chris Bartkowicz

On Thursday, a Denver news station interviewed Chris Bartkowicz about his medical-marijuana operation in the basement of his home. Bartkowicz, confident of his compliance with state laws, boasted of its size and profitability.

“I’m definitely living the dream now,” he told 9News.

The following day, the dream was over.

Drug-enforcement agents raided his home, placed him under arrest, and carried off dozens of black bags of marijuana plants and growing lights.

The Obama administration promised in October that the federal government would respect state laws allowing the growing and selling of marijuana for medicinal use, but the Drug Enforcement Agency sent a loud message with the arrest of Bartkowicz.

Read More – Raw Story: Despite Obama admin’s promise, DEA continues raids on medical marijuana growers

(via Disinfo)

Matt Taibbi: Obamania

I was particularly struck by his analysis of the now-infamous video of Sarah Palin book-buyers explaining to a snarky interviewer how they support her despite the fact that they can’t really identify any of her positions. Greenwald notes the obvious parallel:

“The similarity between that mentality and the one driving the Obama [supporters] is too self-evident to require any elaboration. Those who venerated Bush because he was a morally upright and strong evangelical-warrior-family man and revere Palin as a common-sense Christian hockey mom are similar in kind to those whose reaction to Obama is dominated by their view of him as an inspiring, kind, sophisticated, soothing and mature intellectual. These are personality types bolstered with sophisticated marketing techniques, not policies, governing approaches or ideologies.”

I completely agree with Greenwald and I know that what he’s saying is true because I did exactly the same experiment the Palin interviewer tried — at Obama’s inauguration. I interviewed dozens of people and almost without exception the answers to the question “What specific policies do you expect the new president to enact?” were of the following character:

“I think he’s going to bring people together.”

“He really cares about us.”

“I believe that he’s going to help people.” […]

Anyone who wonders why the Obama administration seems to be bending over so far backwards to appease conservatives and industry leaders in the health care debate and Wall Street in the financial regulatory reform debate can find their answer there: those groups make Obama pay for their financial/political support with real actions and policy concessions, while Obama’s “base” will continue their feverish support in exchange for mere gestures and marketing hocus-pocus, for news about the new family puppy or an appearance on Jay Leno.

Matt Taibbi: Obamania

I suspect it runs a bit deeper than this – that everyone, including Taibbi and including me, chooses their politics based not on reason but on some calculus of social and cultural influence, personal preference, and individual psychological eneds and rationalizes it later (“what the thinker thinks, the prover proves,” as Bob Wilson said).

Glenn Greenwald: The strange consensus on Obama’s Nobel address

Reactions to Obama’s Nobel speech yesterday were remarkably consistent across the political spectrum, and there were two points on which virtually everyone seemed to agree: (1) it was the most explicitly pro-war speech ever delivered by anyone while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize; and (2) it was the most comprehensive expression of Obama’s foreign policy principles since he became President. I don’t think he can be blamed for the first fact; when the Nobel Committee chose him despite his waging two wars and escalating one, it essentially forced on him the bizarre circumstance of using his acceptance speech to defend the wars he’s fighting. What else could he do? Ignore it? Repent?

I’m more interested in the fact that the set of principles Obama articulated yesterday was such a clear and comprehensive expression of his foreign policy that it’s now being referred to as the “Obama Doctrine.” About that matter, there are two arguably confounding facts to note: (1) the vast majority of leading conservatives — from Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich to Peggy Noonan, Sarah Palin, various Kagans and other assorted neocons — have heaped enthusiastic praise on what Obama said yesterday, i.e., on the Obama Doctrine; and (2) numerous liberals have done exactly the same. […]

Much of the liberal praise for Obama’s speech yesterday focused on how eloquent, sophisticated, nuanced, complex, philosophical, contemplative and intellectual it was. And, looked at a certain way, it was all of those things — like so many Obama speeches are. After eight years of enduring a President who spoke in simplistic Manichean imperatives and bullying decrees, many liberals are understandably joyous over having a President who uses their language and the rhetorical approach that resonates with them.

But that’s the real danger. Obama puts a pretty, intellectual, liberal face on some ugly and decidedly illiberal polices. Just as George Bush’s Christian-based moralizing let conservatives feel good about America regardless of what it does, Obama’s complex and elegiac rhetoric lets many liberals do the same. To red state Republicans, war and its accompanying instruments (secrecy, executive power, indefinite detention) felt so good and right when justified by swaggering, unapologetic toughness and divinely-mandated purpose; to blue state Democrats, all of that feels just as good when justified by academic meditations on “just war” doctrine and when accompanied by poetic expressions of sorrow and reluctance. When you combine the two rhetorical approaches, what you get is what you saw yesterday: a bipartisan embrace of the same policies and ideologies among people with supposedly irreconcilable views of the world.

Glenn Greenwald: The strange consensus on Obama’s Nobel address

See also: Matt Taibbi: Obama’s Big Sellout

Obama LSD blotter art

lsd blotter obama

(via Erowid)

See also: Alex Grey Obama Portrait

Also: Barack Obama ecstasy tablets

obama ecstasy pills

links for 2008-09-04

Political poll results

Ron Paul (36%)
No one/I don’t vote (20%)
Unsure (14%)
Barack Obama (12%)
Other Democrat (4%)
John Edwards (2%)
Mike Gravel (2%)
Other Republican (2%)
Third party candidate (2%)
Bill Richardson (1%)
82 total votes

Anarchist (19%)
Libertarian (11%)
Left-Libertarian (11%)
Other (9%)
Liberal/Progressive (8%)
Anarcho-Capitalist (8%)
Constitutionalist (5%)
Conservative (4%)
Anarcho-Primitivist (4%)
Socialist (3%)
Social Democrat/Democratic Socialist (3%)
Fascist (3%)
None (3%)
Anarcho-syndicalist (1%)
Communism (0%)
84 total votes

FWIW, I’m leaning towards Bill Richardson (even though I agree more with Mike Gravel) and my politics are probably closest to social democratic (but I don’t really fit neatly into that category).

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