Various & Sundry 3/14/08
* Josh Marshall pegs the salient nature of the whole Geraldine Ferraro/Obama thing:
At a certain point I realized that for all the ancillary nonsense Ferraro is simply not capable of seeing Obama’s campaign as anything but an African-American favorite son candidacy. Once you get that everything seems to fall into place.
Yup. And it makes sense from Ferraro, who seems to be well aware that she was the Democratic VP candidate in 1984 because she was (and, well, is) a woman, rather than for her other qualities.
I also suspect it really is a generational thing. Nobody misses the fact Barack Obama is a black man, but I really do think most white voters under 40 don’t see it as the primary quality of interest about the man, whereas I think a significant portion of white voters over 40 do. I could be wrong about this, but this is the vibe I’m getting.
(Likewise, I suspect there may be the same schism over Clinton’s sex, but at this point, I’d hazard that the most salient potential aspect of Clinton, either positive or negative, is not that she’s a woman, but that she’s a Clinton.)
(Also, weird — I had the strangest sense of Deja Vu writing that last sentence.)
All of that said, Geraldine Ferraro is not doing herself any favors claiming, as she does now, that her being thumped for her comments was all part of a dastardly plan by the Obama people to discredit Hillary. Ms. Ferraro, you’re doing that well enough on your own, ma’am. You might wish to STFU now.
* An interesting photo montage of gun owners in the US. The impression one gets from it is that guns are like potato chips; it’s hard to stop with just one. Perhaps not entirely surprisingly there seems to be a number of folks in the montage who by personal appearance and their surroundings appear to be members in good standing of the geek tribe. Just in case anyone thinks the geeks will be easy pickin’s after the revolution comes.
* StarShipSofa has posted audio versions of all the BSFA short story award-nominated works for 2007. Should you decide you need some easy listening.
* The folks who posted this suggest it is in the running for one of the worst inventions ever, and I’m hard pressed to disagree.
* What? No link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda? Who knew? But then again, this report does come from those goddamned pinko liberals at the Pentagon, and it’s well known that they all like drinks with umbrellas in them, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. But, don’t worry — there’s certainly a link between Iraq and al Qaeda now.
If I remember the last few days correctly, this report is the one that the Bush administration decided not to release to the press, even though was available to anyone who requested a copy from the Pentagon. Congratulations, Dubya, you managed to delay its appearance in the press by, oh, six hours. Well done you.
* Apparently, we can keep our stinkin’ dollars; no one wants them anymore. I should be concerned about the dollar’s free-fall — and I am — but at least there’s a silver lining for me: it means that I’m getting paid more for my foreign sales, so long as those sales are denominated in Euros, which largely they are. To put it another way, I got paid in Euros the same amount for the German version of The Last Colony that I got paid for the German version of Old Man’s War, but thanks to the dollar’s precipitate decline, I’m getting paid like something like 40% more after the payment is converted to dollars. And our inflation here in the US is not at 40% yet, so I win. That is, as long as I don’t leave the US. Rumor is that it’s a big country.
If the dollar wants to stay hideously depressed through my next round of foreign sales, I guess I won’t complain. But in the long run it would be nice to have my home currency seen as stable and having value. The cynical part of me wonders how much the global perception of the dollar will change simply by having a new occupant in the White House on January 20, 2009. I guess we’ll find out.