Thursday, April 23, 2015

Y, Carly?

Via the Orange Juice Blog.
Just shoot me.
Republican voters aren’t yet excited about their candidates because not one of them has broken out with a lead in the polls. Considering this, counting out Carly Fiorina would be pretty stupid.
And why, A.B. Stoddard at The Ineffable Hill, would I want to not count out old Demon Sheep?
if Fiorina, who will announce May 4 that she is running for president, continues to perform well — and she has — much could change and this cycle might surprise.
Her ability as a woman to attack Clinton alone places her on any short list for vice president. So far, Fiorina is standing out as a woman and as a great speaker. On policy, however, she blends right in with the men in the race. She is not going against any GOP grain on issues and, so far, hasn’t been directly or indirectly critical of the other contenders the way Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have.
Like Clinton, Fiorina has made history, rising to great heights at HP in an industry dominated by men. Like Clinton, as global chairwoman of Opportunity International — one of the world’s largest microfinancing organizations — she has a long record of helping women and girls. Like Clinton, she is a woman, and therefore neutralizes Clinton’s glass-ceiling-breaking advantage.
Rose to heights, that is, where she was unable to function and could not survive. So she needs to try higher still?

I really want to say from a feminist standpoint: it's undoubtedly true that Fiorina's treatment at HP was influenced by the fact that she was a woman. I am sure that there are many male CEOs at major corporations who are just as disastrously incompetent as she was. Thing is, that doesn't mean she should be president; it means those other guys should also get fired. Firing her was a great idea, which deserves to be tried more often, not less.

Of course Stoddard and the Ineffable Hill aren't interested in the vulgar question of whether she should be president but the more amusing and upper-class question whether she might be. Or rather—since they know perfectly well it won't happen—whether they can persuade some unwary reader that it could, and give them a little frisson of imagining they just read something interesting.

Does she really have a long record of helping women and girls as global chairwoman of Opportunity International? I'm having a hard time finding out when she attained that status. In February 2013 she was appointed Global Ambassador to Opportunity International, from her own principality of the One Woman Initiative, though it also appears that OI was sort of absorbing the One Woman into its empire at the same time, and by May 2014 she had been promoted to Global Ambassador from Opportunity International but had still not been appointed to the chair, so it's definitely less than a year.

Opportunity International is a charitable organization that the GiveWell organization has been unable to recommend to donors since they reviewed it in 2009 because of its inability to answer a number of key questions about its work, like what interest rates do its partner institutions charge or how do they know whether they are successfully targeting the very poor. Hugh Sinclair in 2012 thought they were probably not profiteering and that they might be the "least evil MIVs in the sector" but also noted their "ability to generate astonishing levels of hype and spin". Speaking of which, Wikipedia's editors suspect that they have written their own article, which they complain lacks documentation and "contains content that is written like an advertisement." In short it is clearly better than Pierre Omidyar's approach (speaking of Hugh Sinclair), but that's setting the bar pretty low.

I am really annoyed speechless by her complaint to Sean Hannity about Hillary Clinton:
I must say, as a woman, I find it offensive that Hillary Clinton travels the Silicon Valley, a place where I worked for a long time, and lectures Silicon Valley companies on women’s rights in technology, and yet sees nothing wrong with taking money from the Algerian government, which really denies women the most basic human rights...
WTF does she have against Algeria?
During the 1962 Algerian War of IndependenceAlgerian women fought as equals alongside men. They thus achieved a new sense of their own identity and a measure of acceptance from men. In the aftermath of the war, women maintained their new-found emancipation and became more actively involved in the development of the new state. Algeria is regarded as a relatively liberal nation and the status of women reflects this.[2] Unlike other countries in the region, equality for women is enshrined in Algerian laws and the constitution.... Algerian women can inherit property, obtain a divorce, retain custody of their children, gain an education and work in many sectors of society.[3] Women make up 70 percent of Algeria’s lawyers and 60 percent of its judges.[3] They also dominate the fields of medicine, healthcare and science.[3] Increasingly, women contribute more to household income than men.
Algerian women have lots and lots of problems but they aren't the fault of a rights-denying government (indeed their respect for women's rights was a huge cause of the Islamist insurgency that nearly destroyed them in the 1990s).

She has also called out Clinton and Apple CEO Tim Cook for their tolerance of Saudi Arabia, which is far worse on all those parameters for women than Algeria could hope to be, and yet she calls for
more military support for Arab allies in the Middle East [against] Tehran’s flaunting of inspection regimes and destabilizing the Middle East through proxies like Yemen’s Houthis.
like she has no clue who those Arab allies might be. In short she is as much a gasbag as any man ever, which is a remarkable distinction but not the right kind.

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