Your weekly dose of Obama-love
Friday, February 29, 2008 | Author: Mad Typist
A quick article of a speech Obama gave to a Beaumont, Texas audience:

Full story here

That tingling feeling you're getting on the back of your neck? That's inspiration, baby. Ah, a return to the days when politicians could lift us up with their rhetoric, instead of just tearing other down.
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I *heart* Team Fortress 2
Friday, February 29, 2008 | Author: Mad Typist

So my newest gaming obsession (I've plowed through most of BioShock, but am taking a bit of a break) is Team Fortress 2. TF2 is an online FPS where players choose from a variety of classes in order to either 1) capture the intel (a.k.a. "the flag") or 2) capture control points. The class system is what makes this game much more than your average frag-fest. It forces players to consider what their team is doing - if you've got everyone playing as a heavy, but no medics, you're going to get slaughtered. Also, it allows non-violent players more interested in strategy and/or cooperation to play a vital role in the team's victory.

It's seriously the most fun I've had in a long time. I love the team aspect of the game, and the colorful cartoon renderings are just hilarious. Right now I've been playing as the soldier, though on certain maps I enjoy the scout and sniper as well. The spy is the trickiest role, so I've been shying away from it so far. I've been posting/lurking on the Team Fortress 2 Fort site, and there are some good strategy threads in there, so I may take another crack at the Spy class eventually.
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Thursday, February 21, 2008 | Author: Mad Typist
Jumping on to provide links to a couple of good sites...

Recently Chris Matthews made news by catching one of the Obama surrogates off guard during an interview. He pressed Texas State Senator Kirk Watson to name some of Obama's achievements (thus dragging out the old claim that "Obama hasn't done anything" that has dogged him). Watson pretty much froze, which made him look like a chump and made it seem like Obama really doesn't have anything of note to bring up.

In rebuttal, here's a great post on Obsidian Wings talking about Obama's experience and the qualities he brings to the table: Obama post

Kirk also posted a great bit on his website explaining how it all went wrong.

Look, the man was an Illinois state senator before he was a US Senator, so it's not like he's a junior legislator. He's been involved with the study and practice of law for a long time. He is a constitutional law scholar. He has experience and training on this presidential stuff, folks.

However, Obama reps and surrogates need to anticipate this question and have responses prepared ahead of time. Preferably written down, so that they don't have to rely just on their memory to recall their talking points.

So...for the Obama camp, in the future, have rebuttal points to the following questions that you may be asked:
  1. Does he have enough experience?
  2. What legislation has he gotten passed?
  3. Isn't it true that he's all rhetoric and feel-good sentiment, versus substance? Isn't his policy rather vague?
  4. Doesn't his grand plan for America lack detail?
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After much soul searching and researching of the issues, I've picked the horse I plan to back this primary season: Barack Obama.

You may wonder why I've chosen him, and not my long time favorite Wellesley sister, Hillary. Here's a list of some of the reasons I'm supporting Obama:

1) He had the courage to say that he would meet with leaders from countries such as Iran, North Korea and so forth. The days of burying our heads in the sand and pretending that ignoring these guys is some how punishment for them are over. Open dialogue and diplomatic channels are critical if we want to sincerely combat global terrorism. The Straits of Hormuz almost resulted in another Gulf of Tonkin incident, largely because of our self-imposed diplomatic silence with Iran. I want our leader to acknowledge the power of diplomacy and pledge to use it, not our military, to restore America's power in the world.

2) I'm not a big fan of playing the "electability" game, since I think that's how we got stuck with a milquetoast candidate in 2004. However, it's foolish to think that a Hillary nomination (fairly or not, since "fairness" has never had much to do with American politics) won't mobilize and energize the conservative base. I think Obama has more appeal with "purple people" (a.k.a moderate independents), and this base will be key in winning the election. You have to win in the purple states. McCain has the potential to steal these states if we aren't careful.

3) On most of the major issues - universal health care, the environment, economic stimulus, education, women's rights, etc - he's right where I want to be. I also support Hillary's positions, but think that on these issues, they're close enough to each other that it sort of negates my preference for one or the other. However, this will become more relevant when we go to the general election and the policy differences of the candidates becomes more pronounced.

4) Less established with The Party. I cautiously hope that he will be inclined to enact true reform in the Beltway, since he's less beholden to lobbyists and the Establishment party members than Hillary, who is the definition of an old school insider. I'm hoping this translates to a break from the "same old politics as usual".

5) I want to believe in a better America. Obama gives me that hope. I want a candidate to inspire me. I want the feeling that this video makes me feel.

All of this is not to say that these are the only high points I see. Nor is it to say that I've rejected Hillary completely. Like I said, many of their differences in their policies are largely semantic. I'd be thrilled to support Hillary. I just feel more strongly about Obama right now.
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