“…the Obama strategy can… be seen, more charitably, as a prudent attempt to legitimate and thus strengthen the extraordinary powers that the president must exercise in the long war against Islamist terrorists. The president simply cannot exercise these powers over an indefinite period unless Congress and the courts support him. And they will not support him unless they think he is exercising his powers responsibly, under law, with real constraints, to address a real threat. The Obama strategy can thus be seen as an attempt to make the core Bush approach to terrorism politically and legally more palatable, and thus sustainable.”

— Jack Goldsmith

The picks of the week from around the web.

  • The New Republic. “The Cheney Fallacy” Former Assistant Attorney General in the Bush Administration and Harvard Professor of Law Jack Goldsmith analyses the Obama policies on terrorism and argues that they are closer to a continuation of the Bush policies of the president’s second term than a reversal, but crucially are presented much more convincingly to the public. Plus ça change…
  • The Atlantic. Inspired in part by the release of Eminem’s new album Relapse, three critics, Hua Hsu, Alyssa Rosenberg, and Gautham Nagesh discuss the state of hip hop music in this roundtable discussion, focusing on its cultural and political “relevance.” Problematic assumptions, but also a number of interesting points, are made about the onus placed on hip hop to have these qualities, while I think the fact that the music is suffering artistically more than anything else gets ignored. Still, worth reading, as is this smart review of Relapse in Norwegian Morgenbladet. Something entirely different, and old, but in many ways indirectly relevant is this 2005 interview with Doseone from The Believer, in which the MC presents a different perspective on the art form. Unearthed further to the recent news that Dose will be collaborating with Alan Moore on a multi-media project next year.
  • du9. Interview with JC Menu. Extensive quality interview with the co-founder and current sole publisher at seminal French comics publishing house l’Association, in which the publisher’s role and policy in the current French comics market, and in the broader comics culture, are discussed in detail.
  • “Cartoon Conservatism.” This interview with journalist, historian and Ph. D. student Jeet Heer on his current research on Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie and the development of his conservative ideology is fascinating reading and an interesting part of a broader integration of comics and cartooning into cultural studies these years. The recently released book on Superman creator Joe Shuster’s fetish art, edited by Craig Yoe, presents another interesting forgotten story about cartooning as a cultural phenomenon that has waited long to be told.