tough without a gun

David Maraniss, as a takeaway in his biography of Obama, sets the context for an implied view of Obama as a man who operates on the premise that there are no inner core values to be disconcerted about. In this respect, he resembles the profile of Bill Clinton, the same absence of strong belief, principles, and anything else that could go terribly wrong; not even an aggressive indifference to speak of. The who is Obama really discussion can almost come down to the debate over whether a copy of an original work of art,a forgery as opposed to a genuine are identical, even with all the moral issues of dishonesty and deception. After all, getting to those so-called core nut and bolts of the president is something intrinsic to the man: philosophical issues relating to aesthetic value, that a forgery has been foisted and peddled, hawked onto the public in a disingenuous  presentation of originality and creativity that failed thus far to offer compelling evidence based on the “hope” and “change” mantra, that Obama encompasses all those qualities lacking in forgeries; whether this does or does not make a difference is something akin to the art forgery analyses of Lessing and Koestler which would indicate a fraud and sham president makes no difference. This in turn, can lead to Walter Benjamin and his mechanical reproduction analysis of culture in that turning out fraud copies en masse may have emancipatory qualities! with the original returning to the murky waters of myth….

The other argument is there is a difference in the aesthetic value of the work, though an Alfred Lessing would term this as pure snobbery; The  kind of originality, the creative process and baggage, the sweat to churn out inspiration, which is absent in a forgery would be the antithesis of the  ”spirit of art” and is what makes a copy lack integrity, in the same way that endless repetition in the presidency of gesture and pose without any real effort to break out of he box is the equivalency of maintaining bourgeois political hegemony, a continuation of drab Salon  Art when put in aesthetic terms without being punctured by an Edouard Manet or Picasso…

—Obama’s most recent budget speech, in which he adopted some of the populist rhetoric about raising taxes on the wealthy, didn’t impress Hedges. After all, it was Obama who extended the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy. “To watch him sort of talk out of both sides of his mouth is a little disconcerting,” says Hedges. “I fear, like most people, that not only are we going to see an extension of those cuts, but they’ll be cemented into place permanently.” Like many in the liberal class, Hedges says, Obama “speaks in the rhetoric of traditional liberalism, but every action he takes defies the core values of the liberal tradition.”—Read More: image:

This is all pertinent since it looks like Obama will walk into the end zone standing up on this election. Munching on Hummus and claiming he stopped Iran’s nuclear program 48 hours before voting is brinkmanship of the sleaziest variety, but it is America, and the snake oil salesman tradition and charlatanism runs deep….

(see link at end)…Still, Mr. Romney’s campaign is making a late play for Pennsylvania with advertising dollars and a visit there on Sunday.

That is probably a reasonable strategy, even though Mr. Romney’s chances of pulling out a victory in Pennsylvania are slim. What makes it reasonable is that Mr. Romney’s alternative paths to an Electoral College victory are not looking all that much stronger.

Wisconsin, for instance, is one of the states where Mr. Obama has shown the sharpest rebound in his polling. Another issue for Mr. Romney is that Wisconsin allows voters to register on Election Day, which may make it one case where the likely voter models that pollsters apply are too restrictive. Polls put out by two Wisconsin-based universities, St. Norbert College and Marquette University, show a larger lead for Mr. Obama than those produced by national polling firms, which may not account for these nuances. (Democrats slightly outperformed the polling average in Wisconsin in both 2004 and 2008.)

Nevada is problematic for Mr. Romney because perhaps 65 or 70 percent of its vote has already been cast — and because Democrats have roughly a 50,000-ballot lead there based on the votes that have been collected so far. The better news for Mr. Romney is that Democratic margins in the early vote count are down from 2008. But Mr. Obama carried Nevada by more than 12 percentage points that year, so he could lose a significant amount from his margin and still win….

Within these constraints, Maraniss still pulls off an impressive book. The reader is never in doubt about the importance of Obama’s biracial identity to the making of the man and his political persona. Nor is there any question that Obama agrees. “The only way my life makes sense is if, regardless of culture, race, religion, tribe, there is this commonality … [and] that we can each reach out beyond our differences,” Obama tells Maraniss. “If that is not the case, then it is pretty hard for me to make sense of my life. So that is at the core of who I am.”
Some of the most telling passages are where Maraniss finds fault with Obama’s autobiographical memory, as he frequently does. Composite people populate Obama’s memoir, from his best friend at high school in Hawaii, who was an amalgam of several characters, to his girlfriends in New York and in Chicago (ditto) before he met Michelle. Maraniss gently debunks one scene in which Obama catches his besuited reflection in the elevator doors of his employer’s office and sees a future on Wall Street stretch out before him. In overcoming his own “temptation of Christ”, Obama spurns wealth for principle. Maraniss quotes Obama’s sceptical former colleagues to conclude that he never wore a suit. Nor did the elevator offer any reflection.
With the same light touch, Maraniss punctures the notion that a three-and-a-half-year-old Obama could have advised his mother on her second marriage
—Read More: image:

Democrats also have about a 63,000-ballot lead in Iowa based on the early vote. That is down from an 87,000-ballot l

for Democrats in 2008. Still, as in Nevada, this is a state where Mr. Obama can afford to lose something from his 2008 margin, when he won Iowa by about 10 percentage points.

Ohio is another early-voting state. The most recent figures in Democratic-leaning Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, suggest that about 236,000 votes have already been cast there, representing 35 percent of 2008 turnout….

…Unlike in Iowa and Nevada, where the early-voting numbers favor Democrats but are down from 2008, the statistics in Ohio could wind up being quite similar to those from 2008 once the last two days of early balloting are concluded on Sunday and Monday….

The early-voting figures in these states tell a story that seems to be consistent with the polling. In contrast to Iowa and Nevada, where Mr. Obama will almost certainly underperform his 2008 margins, the polls anticipate less of a decline for Mr. Obama in Ohio, which he won by five percentage points four years ago.

My inference, then, is that Mr. Romney’s campaign may be thinking about a map like this one, in which he wins Pennsylvania in order to claim 273 electoral votes. If Mr. Romney did so, he could win the presidency despite losing Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nevada.

Mr. Romney could not afford to lose Virginia, where he is narrowly behind in the polling average, or Florida, where he is narrowly ahead. He could also not afford to lose Colorado, unless he won New Hampshire.

But Florida, Virginia and Colorado are traditionally slightly Republican-leaning. If Mr. Romney overperforms his state polls across the board — something he will need to do anyway to win the election — they may come along for the ride.

Is Mr. Romney likely to flip enough votes in Pennsylvania to win? Probably not. Pennsylvania has historically had quite accurate polling, with the final polling average missing the eventual margin there by just one percentage point on average between 1996 and 2008. It is also a relatively “inelastic” state, meaning that there are relatively few swing voters who make up their minds at the last minute — perhaps part of the reason that the polling has normally been accurate.

Given the number of unappealing options for Mr. Romney, however, it may be worth a try. Pennsylvania still ranks seventh on the FiveThirtyEight list of tipping-point states — and that is without considering the mechanics of early voting. Pennsylvania has little early voting, meaning that a larger share of the vote there is still in play.

…On Sunday, Mr. Obama led by an average of about one percentage point among seven national surveys. That is not much of an edge, but better than had generally been the case for him just after the Denver debate.

What Mr. Romney will want to see are national polls showing him a point or so ahead in the race, as was the case just after Denver.

If the national polls show a tie on average, then Mr. Romney will be more of an underdog than you might think, since that is when Mr. Obama’s Electoral College advantages will tend to give him their greatest benefit. In the FiveThirtyEight simulation on Saturday, Mr. Obama won the Electoral College about 80 percent of the time when the national popular vote was tied. Read More:

Arthur Koestler gave the case of “Catherine” who adorned he staircase with a Picasso print,  but after finding out it was a genuine Picasso line drawing and not a commercial copy, she removed it and hung it in her drawing room/salon. Koestler called this snobbery; but presidential politics, the Axelrod, Alinksy strategy has always been to forge an Obama as the formerly “back door man” and place him in the main entrance like Catherine who now knows it is a Picasso, she sees it differently even though nothing as actually changed regarding the colors, etc. Koestler makes a good point in asking how she can now understand this to be so. How can Catherine view the work differently when in fact the look is exactly identical? The counter argument is that the electoral voter has a synthesis of private experience and knowledge to differentiate between the apparent qualities of a candidate and their extrinsic projection. As the campaign propaganda unfolds, particularly the marketing might of Obama’s crew, there is that dark horse third type of property, which in aesthetics is called “emergent properties” which fits nicely into that American idiom, the classic “re-invention” of the individual in the New World..

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