This time, from Alaska's own Anchorage Daily News:
Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand. The same cannot be said of Sen. McCain.
Sen. Obama warned regulators and the nation 19 months ago that the subprime lending crisis was a disaster in the making. Sen. McCain backed tighter rules for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but didn't do much to advance that legislation. Of the two candidates, Sen. Obama better understands the mortgage meltdown's root causes and has the judgment and intelligence to shape a solution, as well as the leadership to rally the country behind it. It is easy to look at Sen. Obama and see a return to the smart, bipartisan economic policies of the last Democratic administration in Washington, which left the country with the momentum of growth and a budget surplus that President George Bush has squandered.
What's next, Obama winning Arizona?
In a separate endorsement, the Financial Times writes:
Obama is the better choice
...a campaign is a test of leadership. Mr Obama ran his superbly; Mr McCain’s has often looked a shambles. After eight years of George W. Bush, the steady competence of the Obama operation commands respect.
In responding to the economic emergency, Mr Obama has again impressed – not by advancing solutions of his own, but in displaying a calm and methodical disposition, and in seeking the best advice. Mr McCain’s hasty half-baked interventions were unnerving when they were not beside the point.
On foreign policy, where the candidates have often conspired to exaggerate their differences, this contrast in temperaments seems crucial. For all his experience, Mr McCain has seemed too much guided by an instinct for peremptory action, an exaggerated sense of certainty, and a reluctance to see shades of grey.
John Hodgman -- you may know him as "PC" from the Apple commercials -- raises some excellent points in an interview over at The A.V. Club:
JH: The thing that I find so compelling is that right now Obama's whole campaign strategy is simply [to] speak to people as though they were adults and trust that the truth of the world situation will be evident to them. For him to be attacked as a friend of a terrorist, for "palling" around with terrorists and to simply go back and say, "No, I'm not"? That was such a refreshing political moment. It's like he's saying, "Oh, you know that's not true. You know what's happening here." So much of the past eight years in politics, whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, you have to acknowledge is based on what the Bush people to themselves have described outside the reality-based community. That the words they were speaking had no basis in reality and they felt no compulsion to exist in a real world. They were creating a world of their own imagining.
Do I think that his candidacy is historic? Sure, that's exciting too, but what I think it's really amazing that he exists in the same world that I also inhabit and no other political candidate lives in that world right now. They live in a made-up world that is not reality. I think that that's why you see Obama surging right now. It's that the people like the fact that Obama lives in the world that they live in.
I think the keyword is "reality". Hodgman hits it on the head with regards to why Bush has failed and why McCain has also failed to deliver (so far) in this campaign. Neither man seems to be comfortable embracing reality.
An excellent interview that's worth a read.
Also, two of my favorite images from this election:
Check out the official flickr photostream for more good stuff.
I played the game for about 6-7 hours yesterday. I wasn't immediately smitten with it, but once I got into it, I couldn't put it down.
I was thinking about it this morning as I was taking a shower and I've personally come to some conclusions about why this game is so awesome:
1) The enemies actually have resistance/weakness attributes and it actually matters. In the CVs that I've played (AoS, PoR), you could hack your way through the game with one of the more powerful weapons against nearly every single enemy. For example: Claimh Solais. Once you obtained this weapon, you basically didn't need to use anything else and all strategy -- for most of the game -- was thrown out the window. The same is also true for the soul system as well: it didn't really matter which soul you used once you found a powerful one.
In OoE, you are constantly switching glyph sets, even when you revisit parts of the game which should be a cakewalk. Of course, the beautiful part of this is that they put in a very simple - yet powerful - system to set up sets of glyphs. The sleeve system empowers the player and makes the experience fun, strategically. If they had forced players to go into the start screen (i.e. no sleeve system), this game would not be as enjoyable. As an example, I always thought that one of the shortcomings of MGS3 was that it could have played up the role of camo a bit more and made it more strategically fun if it wasn't such a pain in the ass to keep switching camo by going into the menu.
There's also some variety in how dual wielding stacks. As I said: this game empowers the player through the superb control system and introduces an element of strategic action, but in a way that doesn't punish the player by having to take the experience out of the action and into the menu system. It makes it a joy to play.
2) The glyph union system, while limited, is pretty awesome. I would have liked to see more distinct combination types. For example, if you combine a non-weapon type glyph with a weapon type glyph, you get the same animation and same attack characteristics, regardless of which weapon type you combine it with. It would have been cool if you ended up with a greater variety of combinations to experiment with. For example, combining the ice glyph with a sword type glyph would yield a different result than combining the ice glyph with an ax type glyph.
But still, while it's not very deep, it's deep enough that it adds variety to how you configure your glyphs.
3) While the game is not "OMG I'M GOING TO THROW THIS ACROSS THE ROOM IF I DIE ONE MORE TIME" hard, it's definitely not as easy as the other CVs I've played. The key is that it's not hard in a cheesy way. At all times, you feel that Shanoa is sufficiently powerful; I would summarize it as "it's hard in terms of strategic action". It's not mindless hack-n-slash.
Also, the item system is very limited (in a good way). There aren't absurdly powerful items in the game (yet) that nullify the need for player skill. This is a good thing. Healing items are VERY weak, in general.
4) As an extension of (3), I think they did a good job balancing the game. Shanoa's life meter isn't absurdly high to the point where she can just take damage and slash her way through bosses. Also, using MP for attacks adds to that sense of balance: you can't just slash your way through with your most powerful glyph. You need to consider strategy. The glyph union/heart system is also a nice touch since it means you can't just spam your most powerful attacks and expect to win. At least to this point, at every boss encounter, I've run out of hearts long before the battle has been over.
Conclusion: this game is solid, fun, and ultimately very satisfying. It's everything that's right about gaming. If you have a DS, you owe it to yourself to get this game.