October 03, 2020

We should wish Trump well. But hes been astoundingly irresponsible at every turn
Concern for a person’s health should not suppress debate about their conduct. And Trump’s policy choices have been disastrousA veil of solemnity descends upon the land at times like this, when elected officials or public figures get sick or die.We wish them speedy recovery, or extend sympathies, as we should. We ignore their faults and failings, as we would want our own ignored.These are the norms of politics and public life. Established norms, like behaving with dignity and self-restraint in a presidential debate, or condemning racist terrorists and murderers.For the record, we should all wish Donald and Melania Trump a full and speedy recovery. But that does not answer the fundamental question this president will leave behind when he leaves office. What norms survive a man who takes pleasure in destroying norms?First, let’s place the current norms in context. Concern for a person’s health – or respect for their death – should not suppress an honest discussion about their own conduct.You can’t ignore a smoker’s choices as you lament their lung cancer. And we can’t ignore the president’s choices in a pandemic, even as we wish for his recovery from Covid-19.From the beginning, Trump has been wrong about almost everything to do with the Coronavirus. Even as he knew about the pandemic’s dangers, his policy choices were recklessly, dumbfoundingly, disastrously wrong. At every turn.The pandemic didn’t disappear like a miracle, or with the summer. It couldn’t be treated with an injection of disinfectant or bright light. It wasn’t halted by banning some air passengers (but not all) from China. Testing, tracing and mask-wearing has never been established on a national basis to stop the national spread of the disease.For months, Trump claimed that cases were only rising because testing was rising. So now he knows, as he has all along, that his own case exists regardless of testing.Which brings us to the most damaging impact of all, beyond the physical damage to the body of a 74-year-old man who makes mysterious trips to hospital.Trump’s infection with Covid-19 destroys what’s left of his credibility as someone who can lead a nation through the pandemic. If he can’t protect himself, how on earth can he protect American citizens?This is essentially the same question that destroyed what was left of George W Bush’s credibility when Hurricane Katrina submerged New Orleans. If you can’t protect an American city, how can you protect American forces in Iraq or the American people against terrorists?Looking back at what may well be the first and last presidential debate in this election, it’s hard to see Trump’s argument about mask-wearing as anything but suicidal – both personally and politically.“I put a mask on when I think I need it,” said our now-infected president. “Tonight, as an example, everybody’s had a test and you’ve had social distancing and all of the things that you have to. But I wear masks when needed. When needed, I wear masks. I don’t wear a mask like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from me and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”Trump was speaking in a room that included his family who, naturally, were not wearing masks, despite the entreaties of a physician from the Cleveland Clinic. There’s a chance he was already infected at the time he was explaining why he didn’t need to wear a mask.“Masks make a big difference,” said Biden. “His own head of the CDC said if we just wore masks between now, if everybody wore a mask and social distanced between now and January, we’d probably save up to 100,000 lives. It matters. It matters.”One of those lives may, or may not, include his debate opponent, who disputed that idea on Tuesday.“They’ve also said the opposite,” Trump heckled.“No serious person has said the opposite,” replied Biden. “No serious person.”> Trump could emerge as a changed man. Pigs could also grow wings and begin service from New York to LondonTrump is not a serious person. Not for the last four years, and especially not now. His entire re-election campaign hinged on his promise that he could rebuild the economy – his economy, he claims.But his own infection means that promise looks even less serious than it did before his Covid test. When asked why voters should trust him to handle the pandemic at Tuesday’s debate, Trump blamed China, attacked Biden, and said: “We’ve done a great Job.”Quite possibly a heckuvajob.There are moments in almost every presidential cycle when you know the die is cast: a point of no return where the momentum pushes the contest beyond anything the candidates – or external events – can influence in time for the election.In 2008 it was the combination of the financial crisis and the first debate, when the McCain campaign self-immolated and Barack Obama sailed through his final test unscathed. In 2016, it was a final weekend bookended by James Comey’s unprecedented opening and closing of an email investigation into Hillary Clinton.This 2020 contest was already mostly baked. Early voting has begun across the nation. Trump’s disastrous first debate served to dig a deeper hole for a president who has lagged far behind Biden all year.The most recent polling averages give Biden an eight-point lead nationally, and similar leads in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania – three states that Trump narrowly won to give him an electoral college majority four years ago.Now, with Trump’s infection, you can stick a fork in it. There are unlikely to be any more presidential debates, even if the veep candidates meet next week. There are no more Trump rallies worthy of the name. Nothing to change the dynamic of a blowout Trump defeat.Trump himself could emerge from his bout of Covid as a changed man, ready to take the pandemic seriously and scientifically. Pigs could also grow wings and begin passenger service from New York to London.Alternatively, he could emerge as an entirely unchanged man, dismissing it as a case of the sniffles. That’s if he can escape the intensive care experience that his young friend Boris Johnson suffered.With so many septuagenarian and octogenarian members of Congress within a hug’s distance of a White House official, it’s entirely possible that Capitol Hill shuts down for the remainder of this election.Despite Mitch McConnell’s insistence, Trump’s Covid infection could effectively suspend his own Supreme Court nomination. McConnell will then be forced to make this confirmation a life or death issue for those who say they support the right to life.For a political party that has proudly undermined any reasonable policy response to the pandemic, this turn of events is as ironic as it is irresponsible.In the words of the classic bumper sticker, their karma has finally run over their dogma.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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