December 30, 2019

Can the Democrats Avoid a Circular Firing Squad This Primary Season?
So 2019 was pretty terrible. And yet we all know that 2020 could easily be worse.Much worse.Donald Trump could win. We all know that. It’s not hard to imagine at all. If you’re a liberal and you didn’t have to entertain Trumpy Uncle Joe for Christmas but instead enjoyed the relief of being surrounded by a like-minded group who shared outrage at Trump outing the whistleblower and sarcastically marveled at how you had to flush the toilet only once—yes, even then, you spent part of the last few days in the pits of despair.“I’m convinced he’ll win, by hook or by crook.”“I love Elizabeth, but I just worry they’ll destroy her.”“OK, I’m making my peace with Biden, but he worries me too.”Yep. Yep. And yep.Trump could win because he’ll run the most dishonest campaign in the history of the country. There is no checking conscience, no superego whatsoever, in Trump himself; among his supporters, who think it’s either Trump or cultural surrender; or among elected Republicans, with a tiny number of essentially meaningless exceptions. And then there’s Fox News, which will devolve into full-on Big Brotherism by October.But before we even get to all that, we must contemplate the possibility that the Democrats will tear each other apart during the upcoming primary season.I go through scenarios in my mind, and almost all of them carry a high risk of intraparty strife. Consider these three:1. Pete Buttigieg wins Iowa, Elizabeth Warren wins New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders wins Nevada, and Joe Biden wins South Carolina. Entirely plausible scenario. Then it moves from there to Super Tuesday, but the storyline will be about a totally unsettled, up-in-the-air race. It will drag into April, May, June.2. Biden performs respectably in the first two states and then wins Nevada and South Carolina. Also entirely plausible. In that case, he’s probably cruising toward nomination (although he must beat Sanders in California, where it’s a very close race). Right now, he has leads in most polling in all the major later states: Michigan on March 10, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio on March 17, Wisconsin April 7, New York and Pennsylvania on April 28. So he’ll probably win those states, but Sanders isn’t going anywhere (he’ll have the money to stay in and will do so), and neither are his people. And this sets up a kind of repeat of 2016, when Sanders had no real mathematical shot at overtaking the frontrunner, but stayed in until the convention and hurt the party’s nominee.3. Sanders wins all four of the first contests. Yes, this is plausible, too. This will put the party people, both big fish and little fish, who believe he’s too left-wing to win and who don’t want the Democratic nomination to go to someone who won’t call himself a Democrat, in absolute freak-out mode. Then they’ll start attacking him in ways that will hurt him if he should be the nominee. But more likely they’ll just do whatever they need to do to make sure he isn’t the nominee, and the recriminations will be hideous to behold.Those are surface summaries. But just imagine the days and weeks of March and April if any of these scenarios takes hold. Imagine the attacks. Imagine the cable-news fights. Imagine Twitter. Imagine how bitter and brittle it’s all going to be. And then imagine Trump, sitting off to the side gloating, acquitted by the Senate, holding his rallies, preparing his voters to refuse to accept a result in which he is not the victor.And, of course, this could all start before anybody caucuses or votes at all (Iowa is Feb. 3, New Hampshire Feb. 11). I’m especially interested to see if anyone attacks Sanders. He’s been gliding along under a protective cloud of pixie-dust since 2015. No one has ever attacked him for anything. Oh, Hillary did a little bit, on his opposition to gun manufacturers’ legal culpability for mass shootings, but she didn’t put much elbow grease into it.Hillary Clinton Puts Bernie Sanders on Blast Over GunsSanders has always been in this special position for two reasons: One, no one has taken really seriously the idea that he’d win; and two, no other candidate has wanted to offend his easily offended legions so as not to alienate them. But if people start thinking that he can win, someone—I’d wager not Biden but maybe Buttigieg, or maybe even Amy Klobuchar—is going to start having at him. We’ve never seen him truly on the defensive. The next debate, to be held in Des Moines, is scheduled for Jan. 14. There may be only five or six people on the stage, which means everyone can get their digs in.Is there any way to avoid these messes? It will depend on the restraint of the candidates and their campaigns. A dicey proposition. But is it too much to ask, given the stakes here, that one of them step forward and take the lead in committing to some sort of concordat by which they all agree not to cross certain lines in their sparring—for example, not to use lines of attack that would obviously help Trump in a general election? Yes, it can be fuzzy trying to figure out exactly where those lines are. But the voters will render their verdict on that.Or could Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, as the party’s living ex-presidents, issue some joint statement laying out a few broad principles the candidates should adhere to as the primaries heat up? That would be without precedent. But the stakes are without precedent. The Democrats need desperately to avoid repeating 2016. They risk doing even worse. They owe it to us to behave more responsibly this time.
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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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