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…About Those Jokers You Elected August 18, 2009

jokersNewsflash, the artist behind the Obama “joker” images turns out to be a Chicagoan. No it is not me. I promise.

Los Angeles Times

Obama Joker artist unmasked: A fellow Chicagoan

August 17, 2009

By Mark Milian

When cryptic posters portraying President Obama as the Joker from “Batman” began popping up around Los Angeles and other cities, the question many asked was, Who is behind the image?

Was it an ultra-conservative grassroots group or a disgruntled street artist going against the grain?

Nope, it turns out, just a 20-year-old college student from Chicago.

Bored during his winter school break, Firas Alkhateeb, a senior history major at the University of Illinois, crafted the picture of Obama with the recognizable clown makeup using Adobe’s Photoshop software.

Alkhateeb had been tinkering with the program to improve the looks of photos he had taken on his clunky Kodak camera. The Joker project was his grandest undertaking yet. Using a tutorial he’d found online about how to “Jokerize” portraits, he downloaded the October 23 Time Magazine cover of Obama and began digitally painting over it.

Four or five hours later, he happily had his product…

Alkhateeb says he wasn’t actively trying to cover his tracks, but he did want to lay low. He initially had concerns about

… connecting his name with anything critical of the president — especially living in Chicago, where people are “very, very liberal,” he said.

“After Obama was elected, you had all of these people who basically saw him as the second coming of Christ,” Alkhateeb said. “From my perspective, there wasn’t much substance to him.”

“I abstained from voting in November,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Living in Illinois, my vote means close to nothing as there was no chance Obama would not win the state.” If he had to choose a politician to support, Alkhateeb said, it would be Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Although Alkhateeb claims he was making no political statement with the artwork, he’s plugged into the Washington debate. Though born in the United States, his Palestinian family closely follows Middle Eastern politics.

“I think he’s definitely doing better than Bush was,” Alkhateeb said of Obama. Alkhateeb’s views on foreign relations align with the Democrats, he said, while he prefers Republican ideals on domestic issues.

Alkhateeb’s assessment of Obama: “In terms of domestic policy, I don’t think he’s really doing much good for the country right now,” he said. “We don’t have to ‘hero worship’ the guy.”

Firas Alkhateeb, the artist.

Firas Alkhateeb, the artist.

Speaking of jokers, have you seen the you tube video circulating of Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) admitting that his vote in Congress will not reflect the concerns of his constituents?

Image by Jest Designs

Image by Jest Designs


MASSA: I’m not going to vote for 3200 as it’s currently written.  Step one, I will vote for a single payer option or a bill that does have a medicare coupled public option, which we don’t have right now.  If my town hall meetings turn into the same media frenzies and ridiculousness, because every time that happens we lose. We lose another three million people in America.  They see that happening and negate us.

PARTICIPANT: It changes America.

MASSA: Every time that occurs.  So what happens in my town hall meetings frankly is important, because I am in one of the most right wing Republican districts in the country, and I’m not asking you guys to go back to wherever and send people to me.  This is a generic statement of what can I do?  Well that’s one thing we can do.

PARTICIPANT: So if we got your meetings to sixty forty, you’d vote…and there was single payer in a bill you would vote for it?

MASSA: Oh absolutely I would vote for single payer.

PARTICIPANT: If there was sixty forty sentiment in the room?

MASSA: Listen, I tell every audience I’m in favor of single payer.

PARTICIPANT: If there was eighty twenty in the room?

MASSA: If there was a single payer bill?

PARTICIPANT: And there was a single payer….

MASSA:  I will vote for the single payer bill.

PARTICIPANT: Even if it meant you were being voted out of office?

MASSA: I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful.

MASSA: I will vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them.

Well isn’t that lovely? This is proof that the current members of congress are there to serve themselves and not the people. At least Massa is being honest about it and I have to respect him for that. Note to New York voters: kick this donkey’s ass out in 2010.

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15 Responses to “…About Those Jokers You Elected”

  1. Bellamags Says:

    Unbelievable. Its taxation without representation. Completely sickening. We need to start from the ground up – with our children – and teach them the constitution and what it stands for. That is the only way.

  2. José Cañusí Says:

    “This is proof that the current members of congress are there to serve themselves and not the people.”

    No. Actually, this is proof that he’ll vote against his own interests when he thinks that the popular opinion is wrong.

    • afrocity Says:

      I see the moby factor is strong today.

    • wmcb Says:

      No, it’s proof that he has substituted voting his own judgement for representing his district.

    • jbjd Says:

      If he ‘thinks’ his constituents are wrong, that is, if his opinion differs from the opinions of his constituents then, his Constitutional role is to represent with his 1 (one) vote, the ‘votes’ or opinions of his constituents. If based on his superior access to information unavailable to his constituents, he concludes his views are consistent with their best interests then, he needs to share that information and attempt to change his constituents’ minds. Failing that, his Constitutional role is to represent with his 1 (one) vote, the ‘votes’ or opinions of his constituents.

  3. bob Says:

    Well, he might not be voting much longer.

    • afrocity Says:

      Toss him out on his arse. I love seeing liberals dig a hole for themselves 2010 will be interesting.

  4. Peter Says:

    So, Afrocity is one black American that does not have to say “yes Massa” anymore.

  5. wmcb Says:

    I like Massa, and do appreciate his honesty, but he’s wrong. He’s not wrong because he disagrees with me (I’m for some form of single-payer), but because he disagrees with his constituents. That is NOT representative government, period. And I’d say the same thing if a Republican in a very liberal district tried to vote extremely conservative (let’s say anti-choice) knowing that that did not reflect the will of his voters.

    If we don’t have representative government, we have nothing. If Massa believes in single payer strongly, then the thing to do is to MAKE THAT CASE to his constituents, argue for it, and try get them on his side. He doesn’t have to check his own views at the door – he’s allowed to espouse and and try to convince others of their soundness. But for a representative to say “I’m going to do what I think is best, no matter what the people who put me in office say” is flat-out WRONG.

    Sorry, but that’s not the way it’s supposed to work. Our entire system is meaningless if we do that. I have BIG problems with anyone who does this – whether it’s a D flouting his voters for liberal bills, or an R flouting his voters for conservative ones.

    What part of REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT do they not understand?

  6. lincolntf Says:

    I think the fact that the Joker artist turned out to be who he is (demographically speaking) is kinda hilarious. I mean, really. A Kucinich supporter from Chicago? That’s just too rich.
    How many pixels died so that hysterical Leftists could proclaim it the work of racist right-wingers?

    • Ha – couldn’t agree more. I think this revelation is great.

      I thought it was going to be Bristol Palin with all the hysteria it created on the left, but whatever.

      Guess “evil-mongers” can come in lots of forms…

  7. johninca Says:

    I think Massa said that at a netroots (Kos?) convention.

    It’s the old syndrome– “we’re here to serve the people, and if the people don’t like it they can go to hell.”

    • afrocity Says:

      Until we vote your ass out of office. Democrat or Republican, what Massa said was disgraceful.

  8. Sammy Says:

    All obama will do is outsource anyways. Just think about the all the lobbyists flocking to Washington DC because of obama’s reckless over-spending of $2 TRILLION in just 6 months, which alone is increasing the National Debt by 20%.

    Politicians take people’s money and reward the large corporations, in this case companies in the health care industry, since they have the money to more effectively lobby politicians. In the end smaller businesses will be hurt.

    Politicians will only reward companies that will be in their best political interest. Honestly, when can you really trust politicians since they are basically professional liars, and being president just means you are the best liar of the time. Why not just give the money directly from the people to the companies and take politicians in government out of the equation?

    obama is going to recklessly spend TRILLIONS of tax payers’ money just to give insurance to about 25% of those who do not have it. Over 50% of people’s income go towards taxes, just imagine how many more people will afford health care insurance if their income is almost doubled because of dramatic tax cuts.

    Competition is what is needed. It lowers prices of products and services, along with developing new innovations. All of which will benefit consumers. You need to remember that monopolistic tendencies can also apply to government.

    The reason why the cost of insurance is high is because politicians in government mandate insurance companies to increase their premiums to pay for ridiculous things. In addition, politicians put up regulations so that Americans are not allowed to get insurance from another state and use the coverage in their own state. This reduces competition making it more expensive for people to get insurance. On top of that medical professionals are not allowed to freely practice their profession in any US state without taking a long and tedious licensing process. This again increases the cost of medical insurance.

    In the end, the problem with most economic issues is too much government intervention of the economy by politicians, who will only tend to do things for political self interest. Just like how obama nationalized GM to pander to its unions. Politicians can barely run government, yet people think they can run a multi-national auto manufacturing company?

    The solution is SMALLER government, LESS spending, and LOWER taxes.

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