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Well, isn’t this a turn up for the books? Hopefully I’m not jinxing him, but it would seem that Obama is still making headway, towards becoming the next American president.

Barack Obama took a big step toward the Democratic presidential nomination with an easy victory in North Carolina on Tuesday, and Hillary Clinton vowed to keep her struggling campaign alive after narrowly winning Indiana.

The results helped Obama widen his lead over Clinton in the gruelling Democratic duel for the right to face Republican John McCain in November’s presidential election with just six nominating contests remaining.

Both candidates looked ahead to contests next week in West Virginia and May 20 in Oregon and Kentucky, but Clinton was nearly out of opportunities to change the course of the race.

“We have seen that it’s possible to overcome the politics of division and distraction, that it’s possible to overcome the same old negative attacks that are always about scoring points and never about solving our problems,” Obama said at a victory rally in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I’ve finally decided that he would be the better leader, not Hillary. Hillary would be far too divisive, and I think that if she won the Democratic race, Old Man McCain would be the next US president by default. Mind you, the same could happen with Obama, but I’m more certain it would happen with Clinton.

I know how shallow this is, but I think it would be hard to deny that his looks would be an asset. Don’t look at me like that, why do you think Bill Clinton did so well?

One of the reasons I voted for the Conservative representative in our recent local elections, is because I really don’t want Gordon ‘I’m not fit to lick Tony Blair’s boots’ Brown to represent my country. It would be like having John Major in office again. Dull, drab, and no personality. Blair had his faults, but at least he looked like a leader.

Shallow much? Hell yeah. They’re all much of the same muchness, but I’d prefer the prettier version, over the staid crusty number cruncher anyday.

So, these past couple of weeks there has been the customary to-do about who-saw-what-done-where-and-to-whom during the last RT in Pittsburg, and who-is-reporting-what-someone-else-says-that-a-third-party-told- them-happened-there.

Here at Karen’s the discussion devolved into “old vs young” rather soon, and then it became “prudes vs sluts”. Pretty soon after there was the whole “look what trash you are letting into the romance genre!” vs “stop pretending you are all so pure, sex sells!” over at Dear Author (otherwise known as “is this what we want the professional image of the romance genre as an industry to be?”).

There have been first hand accounts of some minor and some oh-my-God-not-minor-at-all incidents where the line between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour was carelessly crossed. I’m beyond furious about the abuse Kim was subjected to, and both Lori Foster and Shiloh Walker have shared some unpleasant experiences of their own.

Of course such things can, and sadly do, happen everywhere, not just at a romance readers’ convention, as Anya Bast points out in the discussion over at Dear Author. But that is not the point, really. The point (which GrowlyCub, and Jane and Robin and a few others, made quite eloquently over there) is that some environments are more likely to beget certain behaviours than others.

So far I had felt no overwhelming reason to comment, because people with different points of view and different agendas will have different opinions and perspectives, and they are all valid (duly noted exception for criminal behaviour, of course)

Then Emmy offers this:

Hate it when people make sweeping generalizations. What is romance? Does porn have to be two strangers oofing in a one night stand? Can’t two people in a monogamous relationship who love each other deeply have hot monkey sex too? Why can’t that be romantic?

And this:

Sex, as the cliche goes, sells. If people didnt wanna see or read about smexing, there wouldnt be this whole industry out there. The only way to get the romance industry more respect is to take the romance- and any overt/covert sexual references- out of it.

And Erastes adds,

Romance is not necessarily porn. But erotica can be and is, in a lot of cases. Romance is not heterosexual monogamous marriage, either, by the way.

Huh? Color me confused here. (more…)