September 28, 2019
Watergate brought down a second-term president. If Trump survives and wins the White House again, all bets are offComposite of Richard Nixon and Donald Trump Composite: GettyAmid the impeachment furor, don’t lose sight of the renewed importance of protecting the integrity of the 2020 election.The difference between Richard Nixon’s abuse of power (trying to get dirt on political opponents to help with his 1972 re-election, and then covering it up) and Donald Trump’s abuse (trying to get Ukraine’s president to get dirt on a political opponent to help with his 2020 reelection, and then covering it up) isn’t just that Nixon’s involved a botched robbery at the Watergate while Trump’s involves a foreign nation.It’s that Nixon’s abuse of power was discovered during his second term, after he was re-elected. He was still a dangerous crook, but by that time he had no reason to inflict still more damage on American democracy.Trump’s abuse has been uncovered 14 months before the 2020 election, at a time when he still has every incentive to do whatever he can to win.If special counsel Robert Mueller had found concrete evidence that Trump asked Vladimir Putin for help in digging up dirt on Hillary Clinton in 2016, that would have been the “smoking gun” that could have ended the Trump presidency.> William Barr is working for Trump, just like Rudy Giuliani and all the other lapdogs, toadies and sycophantsNow Trump is revealed to have asked Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, for dirt on Joe Biden in the 2020 election, who’s to say he isn’t also soliciting Vladimir Putin’s help this time around?The Washington Post reports that Trump told two Russian officials in a 2017 meeting in the Oval Office he was unconcerned about Moscow’s interference in the US election because the US did the same in other countries. This prompted White House officials to limit access to Trump’s remarks.Trump is in a better position to make such deals than he was in 2016 because as president he’s got a pile of US military aid and international loans and grants that could make a foreign rulers’ life very comfortable, or, if withheld, exceedingly difficult.As we’ve learned, Trump uses whatever leverage he can get, for personal gain. That’s the art of the deal.Who can we count on to protect our election process in 2020?Certainly not William Barr. We’ve seen the transcript of Trump’s phone call where he urges Zelenskiy to work with the attorney general to investigate Biden – even telling Zelenskiy Barr will follow up with his own call.We also know Barr’s justice department decided Trump had not acted illegally, and told the acting director of national intelligence to keep the whistleblower complaint from Congress.This is the same attorney general, not incidentally, who said Mueller’s report had cleared the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russia when in fact Mueller had found that the campaign welcomed Russia’s help, and who said Mueller had absolved Trump of obstructing justice when Mueller specifically declined to decide the matter.Barr is not working for the United States. He’s working for Trump, just like Rudy Giuliani and all the other lapdogs, toadies and sycophants.Fortunately, some government appointees still understand their responsibilities. We’re indebted to the anonymous intelligence officer who complained about Trump’s calls to the president of Ukraine, and to Michael Atkinson, inspector general of the intelligence community, who deemed the complaint of “urgent concern”.But if the 2020 election is going to be – and to be seen as – legitimate, the nation will need many more whistleblowers and officials with integrity.All of us will need to be vigilant.Over the last two and a half years, Trump has shown himself willing to trample any aspect of our democracy that gets in his way – attacking the media, using the presidency for personal profit, packing the federal courts, verbally attacking judges, blasting the head of the Federal Reserve, spending money in ways Congress did not authorize, and subverting the separation of powers.He believes he’s invincible. He’s now daring our entire constitutional and political system to stop him.The real value of the formal impeachment now under way is to put Trump on notice that he can’t necessarily get away with abusing his presidential power to win re-election. He will still try, of course. But at least a line has been drawn. And now everyone is watching.Regardless of how the impeachment turns out, Trump’s predation can be constrained as long as his presidency can be ended with the 2020 election. If that election is distorted, and if this man is re-elected, all bets are off.
Trump can do more damage than Nixon. His impeachment is imperative
* Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. He is also a columnist for Guardian US
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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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