Online Gambling

Barack Obama vs. Wayne Allyn Root, Live at Caesar's Palace


Looks like I have to explain the joke, so here goes: The president is talking trash on Vegas, again, in a way that plays to the stereotype of a high-rolling, blingtastic town. By posting an image of him dressed as the embodiment of bling (the site that creates this image is called "Blingee"), I am making an ironic commentary, roughly akin to posting a pic of Tipper Gore wearing an Ozzy Osbourne shirt. The use of Blingee on political figures was popularized by the humor site Wonkette (, which is not generally racist against black people. Neither am I.

You may have heard the exciting news that President Barack Obama has once again SLANDERED the great American city of Las Vegas. Well, sorta:

During the president's town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire, he discussed the need to curb spending during tough economic times.  "When times are tough, you tighten your belts," the president said. "You don't go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college."

The real two-fisted outrage here, obviously, is that A) the president keeps talking fiscal rectitude in one breath while expanding government spending to commanding new heights in the next; and B) if you're gonna analogize federal spending to the mythical "family budget," at least acknowledge that 40 percent of your money this year is coming from history's largest credit card, and those rates are bound to go up. Oh, and some of us did go to Vegas while saving for college, a practice that in California is known as "being in college."

The Vegas flap has already provoked the usual recriminations, including one from the reliably entertaining mob consigliere-turned Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman–"he's not welcome in my city, as far as I'm concerned." And the president has issued his ritually insincere apology. But more importantly, what's the reaction from bookie-turned 2008 Libertarian Party vice presidential candidate and Vegas patriot Wayne Allyn Root?

Son of a butcher!

America loves Vegas. Just mention the word and watch their eyes light up. It's the way they used to feel about you—Vegas makes them feel young, fresh, fearless, sexy and ready for action. When you think of Vegas you want to take on the world. You and your Obamanation make them feel old, stale, frightened and weak. When you think of Obama's economy you want to get in bed and hide under the covers. The more you attack Vegas Mr. Obama, the more you remind Americans of what they love (Vegas)…and what they don't (you).

Pretty much every hard-working, taxpaying, money-making male in this country has recently visited Vegas…is planning a visit to Vegas…or desperately wishes they could visit Vegas. Every time you denigrate, insult or castigate Vegas, it makes them remember the way things were…before you came along. It makes them remember "the good old days" when they had the money for a trip to Sin City. It makes them long for the "good old days" when they actually had the freedom to do what they wanted with their own money. When progressive politicians or government know-it-alls didn't try to micro-manage every decision, every move of their life. Last I checked Mr. Obama, this is America and we can all go where we want; do what we want; spend our money however we please. Smell that desert air Mr. President? That's the smell of freedom. Your lectures and scolding about Vegas are enough to bring out the rebel in all of us…to unite us to collectively scream "WITH ALL DUE RESPECT MR. PRESIDENT, SCREW YOU."

Whole thing here. I interviewed America's first Libertarian Party president during the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and for ReasonTV last summer:


NEXT: The Macchiato Militant

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. He better not fuck up my mgm stock dammit!

  2. I think I might go blow a couple hundred dollars on the tables tonight just to show I am a patriot!!

    1. I had the same thought but going to have to settle for putting down a Super Bowl bet with one of the local gaming entrepreneurs.

  3. Maybe I’m having a bad day today,but mr. Root just comes acrossed here as a giant bloviating douchebag.

    1. brotherben, I must be having a good day because I am pretty sure this is the first time that I agree with you.

      1. I have never seen a human being more obnoxious than Wayne Allen Root. The real clincher for me was when he proved that Obama was a black nationalist because Wayne was friends with every white person at Princeton, and the only people he wasn’t friends with were those black people who all sat together at lunch and didn’t talk to white people, so Obama must be one of them. Oh, and he must not have gotten as good of grades as Root, because he was black. The fact that Obama was never Wayne Allen Root’s friend is one of the biggest marks in his favor that I am aware of.

        1. but mr. Root just comes acrossed here as a giant bloviating douchebag.

          I thought the same at first, but then I noticed he said “with all due respect”

        2. Just to pick a nit, it was Columbia, not Princeton. Besides that your point is still accurate.

      2. Isn’t “giant bloviating douchebag” the definition of politician?

    2. That’s because WAR is a giant bloviating douchebag.

    3. I would rather vote for that degenerate gambling bloviating douchebag than most of the other cocksuckers that I will be given the “honor” of having the opportunity to vote for.

      1. Then you deserve what you get~ what are you complaining about~ go on admit it You voted for Obama You drank the Kool-aid, And admit it Obama Ran up the Deficit in 6 months time over and above that of any President even in War Time !!!

    4. That’s because he is a bloviating douchebag.

    5. Yes, but he’s OUR giant, bloviating douchebag.

  4. He won’t make a dent. “Pretty much every hard-working, taxpaying, money-making MALE in this country has recently visited Vegas…is planning a visit to Vegas…or desperately wishes they could visit Vegas.” He just threw away the female vote.

    1. Really? Maybe the women are heading out for some dangerous fun after some hard stripping in Vegas . . . Faster Pussycat! Kill! KIll!

    2. That rubbed me the wrong way too. Then again, Wayne Allen Root is a rub the wrong way machine.

      1. rub the wrong way machine.

        There’s a Steve Smith for that.

        1. Dagny wins the thread and the daily In-Joke award.

          1. The Dagster done good.

    3. RCTL,

      Up until his comment, you saw him as an option?

  5. What is with the racist “Bling” picture? Obama suggested saving your money, how does that translate to bling?

    BTW, Vegas is for amateurs. It is the St. Patrick’s day of cities.

    1. Alt text updated to answer your question.

      1. Awesome alt-text. Simply awesome.

        1. I concur about the alt-text. I was floored.

        2. That alt-text is longer than the article.

      2. Matt, I know you’re not racist against black people, but the “gangsta” necklace is, I believe, a little tone deaf. It’s sufficiently gratuitous and stereotypical to draw attention away from your main (and justified) point. Even the word “bling,” while used clumsily by white folks all the time, is still a word that originated in the black community. There was no reason you couldn’t have made a picture which makes the same point without distracting black stereotypes.

        I mean, you’ve already had this problem before, you know how overly sensitive they are. And while the last time (your Snoop quote) was just silly, I can see how someone could sincerely feel how this picture is just racially insensitive.

        If you wanted to make sure that anyone who supports Obama ignores your valid point, you couldn’t have picked a better picture.

        1. “Even the word “bling,” while used clumsily by white folks all the time, is still a word that originated in the black community.”

          Just how many words do black folk own? Can you provide a list?

      3. We’re just lucky that there’s no website that automatically photoshops the President into a jockey holding a lamp outfit.

        BTW, if you steal that idea for a website, you owe me $1.

          1. Damn, now that’s racist.

            But it is funny to see Bill waiting for his coffee.

            1. When did lawn jockies become racist? You people need to stop changing the rulse on me without adiquate notice.

      4. Good to see reason dedicating some resources to mocking pictures of Dear Leader.

        He is much, much, much more deserving of the mockery than Ayn Rand.

    2. When did bling become racist?

    3. Oh, it’s “ironic” racism. That picture has no logical relation to the story at all. I am not familiar with Wonkette so perhaps that background would have made this all clear, but the explanation you offer is a pretty tortured one. Obama endorses prioritizing spending, gives trip to vegas as example of bad priorities, so you put him in stereotypical ghetto wear and have Snoop dancing around him while Obama gives a jive quote. Sure, that makes perfect sense.

      1. The only proper response to perceiving any sort of racism is to stomp off in a virtual huff and never post here again.

        Really. It’s the only way we’ll learn.

        1. That is just what the guys at Stormfront said too! Nobody wants me.

          1. Yes, because a mocking picture of Obama is exactly the same as wanting to exterminate other races. Why didn’t I see that before?

            Thank goodness you set us on the right path. You’ll get no more trouble from us, that’s for sure.

            1. Considering a post talking about the racism in a minstrel show would be followed here by a Racist! post, I am not shocked you wish to minimize the superfluous use of a racist picture. Yes, I was kidding about Stormfront, but your personal acceptance of racism doesn’t change the fact that this post used a racist image for no real reason. I accept Matt’s statement he did not intend it to be a racist statement, but you would have to be blind to not realize you are using a racist image and think about whether the connection to the story was strong enough to overwhelm the dominant racist message.

              1. I don’t think that Matt should have used it either. It detracts from the story and gives ammunition to whiners.

                I don’t want to minimize anything, except you.

                1. Calling a comment asking WTF about the needless use of a racist image whining is the definition of minimizing.

                  1. Stop your crying and cash your welfare check.

                    1. I’ll cash it and give the money to you to upgrade that painfully bad website you have. I just wrote a 80k check to the IRS, so I am the guy paying your welfare, middle class and otherwise.

                    2. Fine. Here’s your anti-racism cookie. (#)

                      I’m sure there are other dark corners of the Internet that could benefit from your enlightened omnibenevolence. Go! I hear an Asian kid being told he’s good at math!

                    3. Math is so hard!

                    4. That web site is intentionally minimalist. If you want to see fancy and bloated, click through to Amazon and order something.

                    5. I didn’t realize minimalist was a synonym for poorly designed. I can only hope your Suki novels show the same good taste. The cover art would suggest they do.

                    6. Since when did minstrel shows become racist? I take your juvenile criticism of my covers and web presence for what it’s worth. That an $5 will get me a Starbucks.

                    7. “I just wrote a 80k check to the IRS”

                      That’s “I’m too stupid to hire a good tax attorney” in ebonics.

  6. I didn’t know Obama had two right hands as is illustrated in that picture.

    1. man that is creepy

      1. Hey!

    2. It is an administration planted picture to make him appear less Leftist.

  7. My last trip to Vegas was a lot of fun. I spent most of my time floating in a lazy river while drinking beer in 90 degree weather. I really haven’t had the urge to back, though…yet.

  8. Matt-I understand what you’re doing with the pic. But it still comes across badly. Honestly, I recommend taking it down.

    1. My recommendation is: Add an Escalade with lots of gold trim.

      1. It isn’t fer real without givin the man a grill.

        1. “THABOSS” fits the 7 char limit on a vanity license plate. +1 for the graphics guy.

    2. Some guy, If they took everything down that was racist or sexist they would have to rename this site. How does Blank Minimalist

      1. There’d still be plenty of whiny posts like yours left.

  9. Jeez. I know you were a shitbag Root. But Hooters Casino? Why not Excalibur? Some thing with a little more class?

  10. Bill O’Reilly will interview Jon Stewart on tonight’s O’Reilly Factor.

    1. Holy shit! You just *doubled* my apathy!

  11. W.A.R. may be a blowhard, but I do love me some Vegas. The key is to go with a group of all girls (preferably only hot chicks, but one slightly chubby girl won’t ruin it). We get in for free and drink for free and have a ridiculously good time.

    1. Do you have to dodge W.A.R. every time you’re there?

      1. Really… what is it good for?

        1. Check with Tolstoy and get back to us on that.

        2. Suge,

          War, huh, yeah
          What is it good for
          Absolutely nothing
          War, huh, yeah
          What is it good for
          Absolutely nothing
          Say it again, y’all

      2. Him, and the inevitable convention of orthodontists or similar that is in town.

    2. You do know that they hand out free drinks to everyone in the casino so long as they are actively gambling, right?

      1. “OMG, OMG, we are hottiez they totally let us in that buffet for like um… $2.99”

        Sorry Dagny, had to.

  12. Speaking of long alt-text, Steely Dan were the most underrated band of the 70s.

    1. Part of that was from their not touring well. I really liked their studio work.

      1. Wasn’t it really just Becker and Fagen, and a bunch of studio guys? Also, how were they underrated? I can’t remember seeing a critical evalutaion of them that was brutal.

        1. Include Becker and Fagen in with the studio guys, but all very accomplished studio guys.

          Was reminded this weekend when they tried to tour that they just sat around and played on stage. Pretty boring even for that era.

          I can’t remember seeing a critical evalutaion of them that was brutal.

          They were even greater than that!

  13. As someone who loves Vegas and has probably knocked a good decade off his life expectancy with trips there, I don’t see what was wrong with the Obama quote. When you’re in college, you sleep a half dozen guys in one hotel room off the Strip or in the Excalibur (which is worse) to save money. You play at $5 tables instead of the $10 – $25 ones. That’s hardly evidence of “blowing a bunch of cash”.

    Guess what, Vegas is expensive and most of the draw of Vegas costs money. If it was cheap, the people wouldn’t be “desperately wish[ing] they could visit Vegas,” to quote W.A.R., they would just visit Vegas.

    What’s offensive about stating the fact that people don’t go on expensive vacations to Vegas when times are tough? It looks like people are actually doing that.…..statewide/

  14. If no one ever mentions Wayne Allyn Root again, it will be too soon.

  15. Is Root a progressive mole in the libertarian camp? It’s like he’s made of straw.

  16. It’s like he’s made of straw.

    If he burns he is made of straw. Let’s test this in my hottest incenerator!

  17. I interviewed America’s first Libertarian Party president…

    Presidential candidate?

    1. This is one of those have-to-explain-the-joke days, innit?

      1. Just better to never make jokes, Matt. The “no sense of humor” crowd is always vigilant.

      2. Maybe that should give you pause about the quality of your jokes.

        1. Or the setting on your whiny little bitch meter.

          1. His whiny bitch meter is stuck on 11.

      3. Matt, if you have to explain the joke, then the joke has failed. In this case, it’s done worse than fail, it’s distracted from a valid point. Please, please, lose the picture.

        1. If Matt accepts the corrections made by me an others on this (the general) thread they you should be positively giddy about the new work. His army of graphics interns in the attic of the Los Angelas office are at the ready.

  18. I can’t believe no one has pointed out yet how racist that picture is.

  19. I don’t see how this is in any way offensive to Las Vegas. Las Vegas is not a good place to go if you want to avoid spending a lot of money. “Las Vegas” is also nearly synonymous with gambling in this country, and gambling in a casino is a very bad idea if you don’t want to throw away money.

    1. It isn’t offensive. Root’s just being an asshole.

  20. This: The real two-fisted outrage here, obviously, is that A) the president keeps talking fiscal rectitude in one breath while expanding government spending to commanding new heights in the next;
    Is the best commentary on what the prez said, IMO.

  21. Expensive trips to Vegas means people to work the poker, roulette, etc tables, people to clean and change your hotel rooms, people to cook and serve food… which are all jobs for people in Vegas. Boats means jobs for boat builders, people who build/maintain marinas, people who supply food, gas, etc for boats, etc… which all mean jobs for people who live near large bodies of water.

    Maybe Obama doesn’t want Las Vegans and waterside dwellers to have jobs…

    Obama took our jobs!

    1. That’s the stupidest picture I’ve ever seen, by the way.

      A better one might be Obama as someone who had luxuries they denied to other people, like Marie Antoinette.

      1. I always thought of Marie Antoinette as a liability rather than a luxury. Might be from all those revisionists writing history.

      2. Shit! I get it now, Obama needs to be with a rich white liberal chick. [smacks forehead]

  22. Anyone who declares the article image as racist is a racist for automatically linking gangster culture with Black people.

    You make me sick.

    1. Any die-hard Beastie Boys fan would agree with this.

    2. Luckily, they put a dancing black guy in the corner to make sure you knew the context.

      1. What is wrong with dancing black guys? They can dance without your permission, like it or not.

      2. Black people are very gifted in what we call worship and celebration. A lot of us like to dance, and if you go to black churches, you see people jumping up and down, because they really get into it.

  23. He’s obviously supposed to be done up as Vanilla Ice.

    Anyhoo, this gives me an opportunity to link again to one of the greatest covers in history, The Gourds doin’ Gin & Juice

    1. Vanilla Ice, Beastie Boys, I just can’t tell these new artists apart any more.

    2. That’s just brilliant. Thanks.

  24. I wouldn’t want to live in a country where we couldn’t parody Obama as a gangsta, any more than I’d want to live in one where we couldn’t parody Robert Byrd as a KKK-hooded moonshine-swilling hillbilly.
    Oh, wait. Byrd actually did wear the hood. Never mind.

    1. Last week got a copy of the local paper and on the front page was a headline that read, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘Robert Byrd; 230 years and still fighting’. Fighting for what, segregation?

      Same paper runs puff pieces for Mary Beth Buchanan, go figure.

  25. I agree that there shouldn’t be any law against gratuitous racial parody, insult, etc. Of course, that has no impact on asking someone why they used a racist image. I didn’t call for it to be taken down, I was just curious if there was some reason Matt used it. He gave his reason. It took quite a bit of explaining and it wasn’t very convincing, but he gave it.

    1. Yes, nebby, but he didn’t owe you anything. He wasted his time on a non-issue.

  26. Root is a repulsive, loud-mouthed, con man, a libertarian in name only. I wish people would stop libeling douchebags by associating him with them.

  27. It’s long past time to flush the turd that is Obama down the toilet.

    Obama is a failure. How long before black people start disowning his black half and calling him white?

    1. As soon as he really outlaws SUVs.

  28. The picture is racist and I demand an apology to the pimps of the world Mr. Emanual Welch.

    1. Worst alt text ever. Wasn’t funny or witty.

      1. Reported to for misinformation. Obama is a White Sox fan.

  29. Ain’t that the guy that plays Bill Clinton on SNL?

  30. Matt, you’re kind of notorious for being rude and inappropriate. Aren’t you the one who conflated Glenn Beck with crying and gay anal sex? I seem to remember that. In any case, I’m very disappointed that you felt you had to explain your joke, whether it was funny or not. A more appropriate response to the PC honeys in the house would be, “Yo, nigga, suck it.” Or have I crossed the line? I am half black so I have permission* from the World Blackness Society to use that word (looking at you, nebby).

    * My quadroon children, however, will have to type out “n***a” or face a stiff fine.

    1. Aren’t you the one who conflated Glenn Beck with crying and gay anal sex? I seem to remember that.

      I bet you have a problem with KMW’s black leather jacket too.

  31. Personally… I thought the whole thing was full of hilarious, performance art win.

  32. So I just stumbled across this article and I need to say I was a bit disappointed with the image that has raised such a heated debate here in the comments.

    Here is my issue with it. This website (which I love btw) has always been a great resource for us libertarians to show irresponsible conservatives and liberals a better option to the countries problems and public debates than what their respective parties offer them.

    When an image like the one above is used it sends an instant wrong message. Being a graphic/web designer I will tell you that the majority of people don’t read alt tags and that visual images register faster and stronger in peoples minds than a long winded article (or even longer comments section debate).

    Now, the comment section is filled with a slew of people who take the “if you don’t like it get the ‘f out” philosophy. Although I agree with this in most situations, on a web site entitled ‘REASON’, a photo like this loses the reasonable argument and instead ends up making libertarians look bad.

    Yeah, I know all of you guys bashing nebby prob. don’t care about your appearance but if you ever want our core beliefs to be adopted by more people you have to use your heads a little bit.

    Tell you what Matt, the next time you want to make an ironic image to illustrate a point, send me an email and I’ll photoshop you something that makes your point without losing it in potentially offensive imagery. It’s always better to have a hand crafted image than to use those goofy websites anyways.

  33. Interesting that this man espouses libertarianism. I would not vote for this man, for he would lose any money left by Obama in Vegas gambling….

  34. bestpriceforsales powershot s90 Tell you what Matt, the next time you want to make an ironic image to illustrate a point, send me an email and I’ll photoshop you something that makes your point without losing it in potentially offensive imagery. It’s always better to have a hand crafted image than to use those goofy websites anyways.

  35. I must be late for this here bus, it ’bout left the station without me. Am I the only person who thinks this guy is a bigger idiot looser than most politions? I dont mean to sound mean, but he sounds to me to be everything your mother warned you about, be it ln a male or female, agree? I’m just sayin….Would you honestly buy a used car from this ‘RACIST?’ And HONESTLY, not kool for the PREZ of USA be hangin’ out with the dogs in his old hood. So, somebody aughtta undress the man. (this is from a grown woman’s view)

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.