Excuse me, but did Mr. Markey just make a joke that says OBAMA is a 53D: President whose initials "stink?" Funny (-ish), but so wrong.
You can put me down as a non-fan of puzzles where four clues are given as "[ ]," and while I certainly didn't love this one, I didn't hate it either. There were a couple that I thought were borderline - ARC (4A: Go ballistic?) and NEE (24A: Formerly). I guess when you work with ballistics, you chart trajectories, which are arcs… that's what they're getting at, right? I like cryptics and all, but that seems a little beyond the pale. And "née" does, I guess, indicate a former name, and you wouldn't get any complaints if you said, "Mrs. Darcy, formerly Miss Bennet," but I don't love it. And then there's all that UAR, BAIN, ABA, LOD…
On the bright side, however, ORANG (10D: Malay for "human") was interesting (I feel I've heard that before, but I never would have remembered it), and giving SIRI's birthday was cute (66A: Her "birthday" is Oct. 4, 2011). The Siri in my iPad has never been activated, so does that mean that when I do (if I do) activate her, that my Siri's birthday will be a date now in the future? No, probably not. I'm not even sure why I thought of that… or why I bothered to type it out.
Many things in this one had me stumped for a while, like COPYEDIT (52A: Ready for publication), and ESP (72A: Head-to-head contact, for short?) (nice!). It's that tricky verb/adjective thing for the first one, and for the second, well, I would have had it sooner if I hadn't errantly entered "Samoa" for 56D: Aegean island" (SAMOS). I know, I know… it's no where near the Agean, but I think I just saw "island" and went for it.
I liked how hard it was (at least for me), but I didn't particularly love much else about it.