Foreign Intelligence Briefing #405: When Barack Obama Smoked A Shit Ton Of Weed

A new book called Barack Obama: The Story has the skinny on the President’s glory days as “that dude” at every party’s weed circle…

“Barry also had a knack for interceptions. When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted “Intercepted!,” and took an extra hit. No one seemed to mind.”

Moral: if you love freedom and hate terror, bogart that joint.

Foreign Intelligence Brief #370: The Details On The US Mission To Kill Osama Bin Laden

Obama and his national security team (also Biden & Clinton) inside the WH Situation Room during the mission.

by Andrew Morrison | Osama bin Laden is dead, apparently double-tapped on the left side of his face yesterday by a US Navy SEAL (my money’s on Demi Moore). What does the death of one man do except piss his people off and make others feel temporarily OK about being broke? I don’t know, but for many of our neighbours to the south – six years to the day after George W. Bush pre-maturely claimed victory in the wrong war – it’s finally Mission Accomplished.

And so…it was a unilateral, middle of the night raid on a mansion in Abbottabad, a suburban town of 90,000 just outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad and a stone’s throw from one of the country’s main military academies. The affluent area is also home to many retired Pakistani military and intelligence officials, which raises plenty of questions about Pakistani complicity in the harbouring of bin Laden, but that’s another story (seriously, though, how did they not know?). Still, I’m guessing former president Pervez Musharraf’s protestations today about “violations of Pakistan’s sovereignty” were received with a mocking “boohoo”.

The background on the assault reads like a Tom Clancy novel. After two “dress rehearsals” on a meticulously recreated facsimile of the compound at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, an undisclosed number of modified Black Hawk helicopters (shadowed by fighters and drones) took off from Ghazi Air Base in Pakistan and dropped some two dozen Navy SEALs from a special, some might say mythic team inside the “real” compound.

There are a variety of reports circulating about the oddity of the acreage in which they landed. It appears to be a significantly larger property than the others around it, with high walls topped with wire, two security gates, few windows and no internet or phone cables going in or out. It’s also butt ugly for a $1 million property, making it a total heat score. It was constructed in 2005, and it is thought that bin Laden moved in late 2010. Making it all the more attractive to the CIA was the fact that the residents only spoke Arabic and burned their own trash (perhaps they had uncommonly high hydro bills as well). Whatever: busted. Check the view from Osama’s window below. Beats a cave, no?

The SEAL team then moved in and initiated a firefight. This was a kill mission (there was no intent to capture). They identified bin Laden and shot him and three other men (two couriers and one of bin Laden’s sons), plus a woman who was apparently shielding one of the men (one report says bin Laden was using one of his wives as a shield). One other woman was wounded, and as many as 18 others in the compound were detained, though they did not make the trip out (reports suggest Pakistani intelligence officials were present in the immediate aftermath, though they were not informed before the operation took place).

After ransacking the house for whatever intel they could glean (hard drives, documents, etc.), they removed bin Laden’s body and got the hell out of Dodge. One of the helicopters they rode in on suffered some sort of a malfunction and had to be scuttled with explosives on site, but that was it for hiccups. No SEAL was hurt in the operation, which means the likelihood of a movie adaptation is slim. Hours after Obama’s speech and in the midst of all the spontaneous (some might say hideous) gloat-fests in Washington and New York (“U-S-A! U-S-A!”), bin Laden’s body was washed by Muslim men, wrapped in a white sheet and ceremoniously splashed into the Arabian Sea after Yemen and Saudi Arabia refused to take his body (nice).

While the foreign policy wonks ask what it all means, the little question that will shortly become a very big question is will there be a photo? Yes, and likely video, too, because 38% of Americans don’t trust DNA tests (unless they are conducted by Jesus) and facial recognition software is still the Devil’s work (the crazy birthers will require a long-format death certificate as well). Cue the inevitable Call Of Duty mod, and the Taiwanese recreation of the attack...

UPDATE: Apparently, the Obama administration could give a damn what 38% of Americans think (attaboy) and will not be releasing any photos of the deceased Osama bin Laden, saying there’s no need to “spike the football”.

Oh, I Get It…For A Second There I Thought You’d Gone Bonkers!

This morning’s announcement that US President Barack Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize made hot coffee come out of my nose. Appreciate his efforts though I most certainly do, the guy just hasn’t accomplished all that much to warrant any kind of recognition, lofty or low… Read more

Obama Inspires Change At Kelowna Restaurant

January 27, 2009 

This may well be the oddest restaurant press release that has ever crossed our Okanagan desk. It is well written yet totally bizarre, and easily breaks through “the clutter” like a hot knife through foie gras.

Chef Rod Butters, the opening chef de cuisine at The Wick in Tofino and long the co-proprietor of Kelowna’s Fresco, is rebranding and renovating his restaurant together with partner Audrey Surrao, saying the new concept was inspired by Barack Obama’s ascendancy to the American throne.

But they’re calling it RauDZ.

This is a play – I’m guessing – on the letters of their first names (RoD, auDREY, and “Rod’s”), so the Obama thing I just don’t get. Are they trying to trick Obama-crazed journalists to cover the change, or were they actually so sincerely moved by his election that they decided to limit his message to a press release?

Oops, I just used the word “change”. Damn. It’s totally working. Must. Eat. At. RauDZ.

I make no judgments, as I was inspired as well (to take the day off and drink beer in celebration of his predecessor’s exit). I will, however, say this to the editors, journalists, and bloggers who might be reading this tonight: I will put a penny toward a special pony for you if you can include the word “Obamanagan” in your headline.

Wait, that might be a good name for the restaurant instead of RauDZ. Bring on the extra change! Because RauDZ sort of sounds like something the visiting Albertans would want to put “Hot” in front of, and obtusely naming a restaurant after yourselves is a little 80′s (more Mr. Mikes and Mr. Sub than Daniel, Hawksworth, or Jean-Georges). Maybe retro is still that cool. Who knows if this is change we can believe in?

Either way, Obamanagan is my gift to you.

Click the ad above to enlarge and then read the release below in full:

Inspired by the inauguration speech of President Obama, Chef Rod Butters and Audrey Surrao have embraced the call to action from the Commander in Chief and said “Change…Yes We Can”. Rod and Audrey are changing their own professional world by closing their four-diamond, award winning Fresco Restaurant. But like the rebirth of the United States with Obama taking office, they too have a rebirth in their future with the opening of an exciting new upscale casual restaurant, RauDZ Regional Table.

Just as Rod and Audrey have blended their talents in the successful Fresco venture, RauDZ, a creative amalgamation of the letters in their names, is their latest brainchild. The restaurant will be the perfect place to get together after work for drinks & appetizers or before an evening out in Kelowna for a custom created seasonal fruit martini. There will be local beers on tap, and the regionally focused wine list will enhance Chef Butter’s seasonally inspired, comfort food. The restaurant will continue to focus on fresh, local ingredients, all delivered with the knowledgeable service and attention to detail that everyone has come to expect from the dynamic duo of Butters & Surrao.

Over the next few weeks, the elegant interior of Fresco will be turned upside down & inside out, morphing into a warm and inviting space filled with cozy banquettes and booths. A new eating bar, flat screen televisions and a large chalkboard with favorite quotes from stars of politics, sports and film will lend fun & playfulness.

Butters & Surrao are delighted to make this dramatic transformation while Fresco is at the top of its game. 2008, a year of stellar achievement for this dynamic team of restaurateurs, has included awards from EatBC! (Restaurant of the Year), Vancouver Magazine (Gold – Okanagan), and the Four Diamond Award 2009. On the heels of that success, Rod and Audrey will embrace their next adventure and, like Obama, say “Change…Yes we can” RauDZ Regional Table is the realization of their personal dream to have a contemporary restaurant filled with friends & neighbors enjoying fresh local dishes served in a comfortable, relaxed space.

In the words of food and arts critic Jurgen Gothe, “Butters is the consummate Canadian-born, Canadian-trained, Canadian chef, the kind that will… create what we’ll come to call Canadian cuisine.” And Rod is doing just that, one restaurant at a time.

Yes You Can.

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Andrew Morrison is a west coast boy who studied history and classics at the Universities of Cape Town and Toronto after an adolescence spent riding skateboards and working in restaurants. He is the editor of Scout Magazine, the weekly food and restaurant columnist for the Westender newspaper, a contributor to Vancouver and Western Living magazines, and a proud board member of the Chef’s Table Society of BC. He lives and works by the beach in Vancouver.

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The Lame Presidency of Dubya In 8 Minutes

January 19, 2009 

UPDATED: It’s 4:51am on Tuesday morning. History is stupid early.

I started blogging shortly after George Bush was inaugurated eight years ago this Tuesday. He was the reason. I kept a political site called Times New Roman and wrote about the excesses of his domestic policies and foreign adventures for a few years. I was away at school and thinking that maybe I could fathom it all and maybe distill something of whatever it was that I learned. Instead, I found myself getting more frustrated than properly informed, and I ended up shutting it down in disgust when he won again in 2004. I just couldn’t take investing that much time on someone who was guaranteed (short of impeachment) to continue to bug the hell out of me for another four years. So, on the bones of Times New Roman I started blogging about something that I’d been up to since the late Triassic, and that was working in restaurants. Shortly thereafter I got a job at the paper doing the restaurant review thing, and I’ve been writing for a living ever since.

So I guess I owe George Bush for whatever I’ve duct-taped into a career. it’s a very strange situation, like a bat biting your face and somehow making you taller. I’m grateful for the work and the path that he put me on, but it feels discomforting nevertheless, as if I made a Faustian bargain with a clown without knowing what happens once the show is over.

Everything that MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann lists off above in his “Special Comment” on the end of the Bush Presidency I either watched unfold in anger or dreamed in fear of it happening only to wake and see that it had. I assume some of you have felt the same oppressive weight on the mind, the same blanketing frustration at Americans for voting for him twice, and the same disgust that comes when something he has done is remembered. I’ve known such torment longer than I’ve known both of my children. When he hands over the reins I may have trouble knowing what to think, but I know what I will do.

I’ll be getting up at 5am this Tuesday morning to watch every minute of Barack Obama’s inauguration. I’m going to TIVO it and then watch it again when my kids get home from school, and then I’m going to open the first beer of the day, a day that will – regardless of how I spend it – go down comparably to one of absolute planetary alignment, with whipped cream clouds and minutes made of marshmallows. And then I’ll watch it again.

Christmas can’t touch this.

How will you celebrate the end of George Bush's presidency?

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Andrew Morrison is a west coast boy who studied history and classics at the Universities of Cape Town and Toronto after an adolescence spent riding skateboards and working in restaurants. He is the editor of Scout Magazine, the weekly food and restaurant columnist for the Westender newspaper, a contributor to Vancouver and Western Living magazines, and a proud board member of the Chef’s Table Society of BC. He lives and works by the beach in Vancouver.

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Obama Will Have A Better Wine Cellar Than Bush

January 16, 2009 

Slate’s Mike Steinberger thinks the Obamas will take the wine cellar of the White House a lot more seriously than the Bushes:

With the bitter taste of Shafer-gate lingering in the mouths of many Americans, Obama has a chance to take the White House wine program in a new direction. The need for a change of course was made shockingly clear in a recent interview that Daniel Shanks, who handles wine duties at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., gave to Bloomberg’s Elin McCoy. According to Shanks, the White House currently stocks around 500-600 bottles. That is pathetic and another example of how America’s infrastructure has been allowed to deteriorate. During his eight years in office, Thomas Jefferson amassed a 20,000-bottle collection, which he kept in a cellar that he had built under what is now the West Wing. Two centuries later, that space is being used for other purposes, and the president of the United States has less wine in his basement than I have in mine.

Even more dismaying, though, was what Shanks revealed about the process of choosing wines for state dinners. He told McCoy that because only 55 minutes are allotted for the actual meal, it is essential that the wines served on these august occasions “have presence.” And what did he mean by “presence”? “A perfectly aged cabernet may be great in the glass,” he explained, “but it can’t stand up to the intense atmosphere of a White House state dinner. You have to have something with youth and vigor.” Delicate wines will be overlooked; only strapping, assertive ones have what it takes to be “noticed in the context of the White House experience,” as Shanks put it. In other words, the desired effect is shock and awe, achieved not with cruise missiles but fruit bombs.

That sounds about right, and it brings to mind something former US ambassador to the UN (under Kennedy) Adlai E. Stevenson once said: “A diplomat’s life is made up of three ingredients: protocol, Geritol and alcohol”. True that. You’d probably want to slide some old Romanée-Conti in there, Barack. You’re going to win the electoral votes of California, Oregon, and Washington in 2012, so don’t sweat the locals.

He’s keeping Bush’s chef, though. What a bridge builder. Know hope.

How To Bid Adieu To The Worst Leader Ever

January 5, 2009 

George Lounge is having a party on the 20th celebrating the end of the Bush Era. So are many others around the world. I’m going to do something, but it’s too important a moment in my life to plan. What about you?

How will you celebrate the end of George Bush's presidency?

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Andrew Morrison is a west coast boy who studied history and classics at the Universities of Cape Town and Toronto after an adolescence spent riding skateboards and working in restaurants. He is the editor of Scout Magazine, the weekly food and restaurant columnist for the Westender newspaper, and a contributor to Vancouver and Western Living magazines.

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Twitter Is Totally Evil And It Must Die Now

December 21, 2008 

Appointments

With the huge exception of Hillary Clinton as SecState (still a choice that continues to bewilder me to no end), every hire has stoked me considerably (I even see the wisdom in Obama’s decision to have that colossal pinhead Rick Warren lead his inauguration invocation). His administration is shaping up to be a legion of geniuses, a huge contrast to that of George W. Bush’s, stuffed as it was with his Dad’s worst people and the ghosts of Texan anuses past. Case in point: look at his science advisors, just announced today (video above). After 8 years of EPA hijacking, stem cell politicisation, and climate change hucksterism, it looks like Science with a capital S is coming back to Washington.

The Coming Twitter Backlash

I’m still trying to decide whether or not I like Twitter or hate it and want to kill it dead. I loathe the terminology with a Ghengis-like fury (“tweet”, “re-tweet”, “twitterific”: are you fucking serious?), but etymological retardation is never grounds to despise the actual thing itself, right? MSNBC contributor Helen Popkin, however, is not so ambivalent:

Every generation must confront some change where the level of discourse is denuded. Twitter haters, for the most part, are the same people who defended violent video games, insisted that spell check doesn’t negatively affect spelling, and that IMing from your day job is no harm to productivity. Twitter is this generation’s movie of the book. And as every previous generation knows, the book is better.

And also, Twitter is stupid.

It really is. I mean, c’mon. You don’t have to get your bowels in an uproar to know that. Twitter is like an RSS feed to every boring aspect of your friend’s lives. And your friends are boring. How could they not be? Hourly updates on your best bud’s activities get dull pretty fast even if your best bud is Jack Bauer:

“woke up feeling all angsty…left arm tingly”

“oh noes…shot curtis today :-(”

“thinkin i gotta torture this guy. oh well”

“can’t remember last time i peed”

Yawn.

Yes, but if it can make for real snowball fights happen with just a few clicks…word. Sean Orr for Mayor of Gastown.

2012 Republicans = Awesome

Sarah Palin’s sudden (but totally holy) extended family is so damn entertaining:

Sherry Johnston, whose son is having a baby with the daughter of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was arrested Thursday on drug charges, Alaska State Police said.

Hoovervilles & Hummervilles

Whaaa? Harper is going to give $4 billion of our money to the Canadian subsidiaries of American companies that specialise in super douche-carts (like this). I understand the need to plug dangerous faults in our economy and actually do something to ensure that 400,000 Canadian jobs don’t just disappear, but I also empathise with those who are totally bumfuzzled as to why we’re lifting a finger to help companies that make stupid products that nobody wants to buy. GM and Chrysler cars just suck. Give it up.

Do This Now

Local architect Gregory Henriquez’ “stop gap” program would see modular structures temporarily housing Vancouver’s homeless. The new mayor, Gregor Robertson, says he’s “definitely interested”. From The Tyee:

Numerous studies suggest that this sort of housing would save B.C. taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year in police, ambulance, and health expenses.

And if built quickly, the modular housing plan even holds the potential to transform the 2010 Winter Games from an international embarrassment — during which the world would discover that British Columbia built multi-million-dollar condos for 5,000 Olympic athletes while doing nothing to house its legion of more than 10,000 homeless — into a showcase of Canadian compassion.

[snip]

“There are some major challenges, with finding the land and the funding being the two big ones. But I think that with both a provincial election and the Olympics coming, you’re going to see a growing urgency among senior levels of government to get housing built quickly, and this could be on the table,” Robertson told The Tyee.

Henriquez has been trying to do this for a few years now.

Leafs vs Canucks

Toronto Maple Leaf defenceman Tomas Kaberle upon learning Mats Sundin was signed by the Canucks: “Oh, he did, huh?” February 21st can’t come soon enough.

Film Wanking

Another Great Gatsby picture in the works? Another Jack Ryan film, too. Also, remember Blade Runner and the original Alien? Ridley Scott has a follow-up. And is this best scene in the baddest movie, ever?

No Words

Burger King launches beef-scented body spray for idiots. I shit you not.

The company describes the spray as “the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat.”

I just threw up in my own mouth.

Wonk Funny

23/6′s take on yesterday’s death of Mark Felt (95), better known as Deep Throat and the man that brought down the Nixon White House:

we can only assume that someone finally got to him and shut him up.

Giggle.

Sweet Shoes, Dude

And lastly, remember the shoes that the Iraqi journalist threw at President Bush the other day? Well guess what? The Turkish company responsible for them says orders for the exact make (“Model 271″) are going through the roof.

Who Is Cooking For The Next President?

November 11, 2008 

Via the Daily Beast we snag a CBS News report that says “Rick Bayless, chef at Chicago’s Frontera Grill and author of cookbooks on contemporary Mexican cuisine, may be the next chef-in-chief.”

The Riverfront Times has more on the Bayless rumour, too, and if you want to get really wonky Rick Bayless’ wiki-bio is here. It’s an interesting read, especially this dick moment he had back five years ago:

In 2003, Bayless courted controversy when he signed on to endorse fast-food giant, Burger King. In TV commercials, the grinning chef could be seen “mmm-mmming” over the fast-food chain’s line of “low-fat” chicken baguette sandwiches. Because of Bayless’ past advocacy of “slow food” and organic ingredients, many dedicated “foodies” were critical of what appeared to be a commercial endorsement.

Ka-ching. A good gig if you can get it (cough – White Spot! – cough).

According to a .gov fact sheet, the President (or the people) employ 5 full time chefs, and “the White House kitchen is able to serve dinner to as many as 140 guests and hors d’oeuvres to more than 1,000.” I assume that includes state dinners and such. There’s also the mess kitchen, which plates for West Wing staffers (more of a cafeteria, really).

Now, to really double down on the wonkiness, you’ve got to meet past White House chef Walter Sheib (1994-2005). He dished for Clinton and Dubya (read a Baltimore Sun interview), and was the fall guy in a French comedy show sting back in 2003. Via the LA Times:

President George W Bush’s personal chef has been humiliated by a team of French practical jokers who tempted him with a job offer to desert his employer and go to work for President Jacques Chirac.

The stunt, which is threatening to spiral into a diplomatic incident, happened when Walter Scheib visited Paris in his capacity as president of the Chefs des Chefs d’Etat, a club for those who cook for the world’s heads of state.

On Wednesday evening he was due to attend a party at the Elysee Palace given by the French leader’s wife, Bernadette. That afternoon a French television company dispatched a Mme Chirac look-alike to his hotel, the Plaza Athenee. The look-alike was accompanied by a producer, doubling as her secretary, and hidden cameras.

When they arrived, the supposed secretary asked Mr Scheib to go to the hotel lobby as Mme Chirac needed to see him urgently about a very delicate matter. Mr Scheib arrived and greeted the look-alike warmly.

M Chirac, she said, was sick of French food. He had once mentioned that he liked calves’ head and he had been eating snouts and lips at official dinners ever since. What he longed for was some good American cooking, hamburgers and barbecue. Would Mr Scheib agree to leave Mr Bush and come to work at the Elysee?

The jokers had been sent by We’ve Tried Everything, a daily early evening programme, which mixes interviews with pranks. Frederic Siaud, the editor-in-chief of the show, said Mr Scheib seemed overwhelmed by the offer. “He fell completely into the trap. He said, ‘I can’t leave George Bush just like that, I must think, this is a great honour for me’. But he did not refuse.” The phoney Mme Chirac pressed him, saying her husband wanted a reply at the party in the evening, in three hours’ time. Mr Scheib said he needed half an hour to think, if she could wait.

It gets better, so read the whole thing here.

Scheib was rumoured to have clashed plenty with Laura Bush, but he wasn’t the only White House chef to make headlines. A 2005 article in The Atlantic listed several doozies, among them an assistant pastry chef who sued alleging the executive pastry chef “punished her with menial tasks for refusing sex” and an assistant chef who threatened to poison the First Family.

Lesson learned: every kitchen is dysfunctional, so relax.

Did That Really Just Happen?

November 5, 2008 

Hard to believe it’s actually over. My electoral vote prediction was 353, but it appears I was selling the guy short. After they finally call North Carolina, he should have banked 364. Indiana? New Mexico? Nevada? Virginia? Ohio? Florida? That’s a real ass-whuppin’, considering they all went Bush in 2004.

Two things impressed me tonight.

First, I’m amazed at how well Obama did in the states that democrats usually get destroyed in. Having Montana and North Dakota in play was truly surreal. When you look at the results state by state and compare them to 2000 and 2004, it’s pretty clear that he reached into the GOP base some and really scored with independents.

Second, it’s hard not to view the results as a total and final repudiation of the modern Republican Party, the party that had been usurped by post Reagan puppeteers like Karl Rove, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh. The unholy alliance they slapped together from evangelicals, racists, xenophobes, and wedge issue fanatics has not been rent asunder, but man, is it ever wounded. If I were an American conservative, I’d be doing a lot of soul searching in the morning, wondering what’s next now that the politics of fear and division have been revealed to only work on a minority. It’s not very often that I feel proud of our neighbour to the south. But tonight I am. It feels kind of dirty.

I’m still trying to stay up as they tabulate the final results of some leftover Senate nail biters (hard to believe Stevens in Alaska – a convicted felon – and Coleman in Minnesota look to have won, ever so narrowly), but man am I ever beat. My shoulders feel like melted anvils, and my eyes like burned tortellinis.

Thanks for the memories, Palin. You betcha!

Watch his victory speech above and read the full transcript of his victory speech here.

UPDATE: My family signed up and donated to his campaign after the Iowa primary, so my inbox (like a gabillion others) gets daily, sometime hourly, spin-counter-spin emails that always end with an appeal for more money. This one just arrived shortly before the speech began:

Andrew –

I’m about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

We just made history.

And I don’t want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign — every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it’s time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.

We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I’ll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing…

All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,

Barack

That’s right. I did it, folks. Me and my $20 investment will likely earn me an ambassadorship to Togo. I can feel it. Know hope!

How did you spend election day?

Wassup! Eight Years Later

October 25, 2008 

Many of you will remember the Wassup guys from the old Budweiser commercials that were in heavy TV rotation eight years ago. Here’s what they’ve been up to…

I love the disclaimer at the end that says the video is not affiliated with Anheuser Busch at the end. It just so happens that John McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, owns over $1 million worth of stock in the company.

Powell’s Artful Coup de Grace

October 19, 2008 

This is the end of the beginning of the end for McCain. The end is still three weeks away.

From CNN:

“I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I’ll be voting for Sen. Barack Obama,” Powell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Powell said he was concerned about what he characterized as a recent negative turn of Republican candidate Sen. John McCain’s campaign, such as the campaign’s attempts to tie Obama to former 1960s radical Bill Ayers.

“I think that’s inappropriate. I understand what politics is about — I know how you can go after one another, and that’s good. But I think this goes too far, and I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It’s not what the American people are looking for,” he said.

Powell, a retired U.S. general and a Republican, was once seen as a possible presidential candidate himself.

The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and ex-Secretary of State (he of the dangling vial) just pounded a well-aimed nail in the coffin of the McCain campaign. While his endorsement is not a huge surprise, it comes at just the right time. Short of a complete meltdown of the markets tomorrow morning, this will own the news cycle through at least all of Monday with reactions leading into Tuesday, stealing yet another day from a Republican candidate who has very few remaining. McCain’s response, that he has the support of many past SecStates (he actually cites Kissinger!?) and a phalanx of retired generals, falls predictably flat. Powell is a rockstar with national name recognition, whereas McCain’s troop approximates a street gang of right wingers and antiques.

UPDATE: I was just talking to my neighbour, a total political junkiewonk. He mused that this will push other Republicans to come out and trash McCain’s negative campaigning and his choice of running mate so as to better position themselves as GOP kingmakers and candidates in 2012. Hmm. Let’s hope so.

Perhaps McCain will change his slogan from “Country First” to “Et tu, Brutus?”.

Obama Dominates In 2nd Debate

October 8, 2008 

Just…wow. With the polls showing McCain now having to play catch-up in just about every battleground state, his second debate (hosted rather shittily by NBC anchor Tom Brokaw) performance didn’t do him any favours. Some have been calling it a tie, but that’s not how I saw it. Obama had only to hold his own to come out on top, and he did much better than that. He crushed the old man on every topic from Pakistan to the bailout. Gut feeling? It’s over.