January 06, 2020

Maybe Pelosi’s Impeachment Delay Is Working
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- One striking thing about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to delay sending articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate is that she doesn’t actually have any real leverage. Senate Republicans are free to ignore the articles passed by Democrats in the House of Representatives on Dec. 18. Indeed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that’s exactly what he’s doing. Pelosi’s move calls to mind the threat by Sheriff Bart in “Blazing Saddles” to kill himself when he’s about to be lynched.And yet … that’s not quite the end of the story.What Pelosi and House Democrats (plus independent Representative Justin Amash, the Michigan libertarian who left the Republican Party last July) want is to use the Senate trial to force new information about Trump’s actions to be revealed. They are convinced that such information would be incriminating and would harm Trump and his supporters. Delaying the trial, which might have started this week had Pelosi acted promptly after the impeachment vote, might achieve that in two ways. One has little to do with the Senate trial itself: It’s simply that the investigation is continuing, and that time will allow more information to surface in various ways. That’s already happened a bit, with reporting on how Trump operatives engineered a freeze on military aid to Ukraine last summer as a maneuver to pressure that country’s government to investigate the son of former vice president and Trump rival Joe Biden, and on Pentagon concerns that the freeze was illegal. On Monday, former National Security Adviser John Bolton said for the first time that he would testify in a Senate trial if subpoenaed. Perhaps all of this would have happened anyway, but then again it’s still possible that a continued delay would drum up further revelations. And yes, perhaps this is also a sign that the House did in fact rush the impeachment process, as Republicans like to charge.(As for Bolton: If he really wanted to do the responsible thing and tell everyone what he knows about Trump’s guilt or innocence, he wouldn’t put any conditions on his willingness to testify. To the contrary, instead of insisting on a subpoena from the Senate that may never arrive, Bolton could offer to brief the House impeachment managers once they are named — or he could simply give an interview somewhere. An offer to comply with a lawful subpoena may look good and may in fact increase pressure on Senate Republicans, but it’s still far short of what he should be doing).Another possibility is that Pelosi’s ploy might work exactly the way Sheriff Bart’s did: by confusing the White House into self-destructive behavior. Trump could certainly just call Pelosi’s bluff and ignore impeachment, but he also could, and so far has, blustered about it in ways that are not likely to win new support for him.Against all that is the question of what individual senators make of the delay. McConnell doesn’t get to decide trial procedures in the Senate; any majority of 51 senators can request or deny witnesses, documents and anything else. If marginal Democrats such as West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and marginal Republicans such as Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski are more likely to vote for the kind of trial Pelosi wants, then the delay is sensible; if they’re more likely to see the whole thing as a partisan gimmick and therefore support McConnell’s idea of a trial, then holding on to the articles is a mistake.My guess is that the standoff won’t go on much longer — that the risk of a backlash from marginal senators is too high to make benefits from delay worthwhile. But that’s just an outsider’s guess, and I’d temper it with quite a bit of history demonstrating that Pelosi knows how to count votes and act based on solid information. Then again, in this case most of the votes are in the other chamber and the other party, so it’s not quite the same as moving a piece of legislation to the House floor. Overall? I’m not quite willing to say that if Pelosi is doing something it must be sensible. But on a tactic like this one for which success depends on accurately understanding insider information, I think there’s a pretty good chance that she’ll get it right.To contact the author of this story: Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Landman at jlandman4@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering politics and policy. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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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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