July 05, 2020

Weve got to do something: Republican rebels come together to take on Trump
A slew of organized Republican groups have sprung up to do all they can to defeat Trump in November. Will their effort work?Just like in 2016, a faction of the Republican party has emerged to try to defeat Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election.But unlike the last presidential race, where the effort never truly took off, this time those rebel Republicans have formed better organized groups – and some are even openly backing Trump’s Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.In 2016, as Trump steamrolled his way through the Republican primary, some Republican lawmakers and operatives tried to mount an effort to stop him. Elected officials and veterans of previous Republican administrations organized letters, endorsed Hillary Clinton, and a few set up meager outside groups to defeat Trump.That’s happening again – but there are differences. The outside groups are more numerous and better organized, and most importantly, Trump has a governing record on which Republicans can use to decide whether to support him or not.“I think it’s qualitatively different,” said Republican operative Tim Miller, who co-founded one of the main anti-Trump organizations. “A lot of people who opposed [Trump] did the whole, ‘Oh, Hillary’s also bad, and Trump’s bad, and everybody can vote their conscience’ kind of thing.”Miller said that 2016’s effort was far more of a “pox on both your houses” phenomenon versus 2020’s “organized effort to defeat him”.The latest prominent Republican anti-Trump organization made its debut in early July. It’s a Super Pac called 43 Alumni for Biden, and aims to rally alumni of George W Bush’s administration to support the Democrat.The new Super Pac was co-founded by Kristopher Purcell, a former Bush administration official; John Farner, who worked in the commerce department during the Bush administration; and Karen Kirksey, another longtime Republican operative. Kirksey is the Super Pac’s director.“We’re truly a grassroots organization. Our goal is to do whatever we can to elect Joe Biden as president,” said Farner.The Super Pac is still in its early stages and isn’t setting expectations on raising something like $20m. Rather, 43 Alumni for Biden is just focused on organizing.“After seeing three and a half years of chaos and incompetence and division, a lot of people have just been pushed to say, ‘We have got to do something else,” Purcell said. “We may not be fully on board with the Democratic agenda, but this is a one-issue election. ‘Are you for Donald Trump, or are you for America.’”> This is a one-issue election. Are you for Trump, or are you for America?> > Kristopher Purcell43 Alumni for Biden is new compared with two other larger anti-Republican groups.The best-knownis the Lincoln Project, a political action committee founded in 2019 by Republican strategists who have long been critical of Trump.The Lincoln Project has made a name for itself for its creative anti-Trump ads. It has also brought on veteran Republican strategists like Stu Stevens, a top adviser for now-Utah senator Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. George Conway, the husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, is also a co-founder of the group.Unlike other anti-Trump groups, the Lincoln Project has weighed in to Senate races and has begun endorsing Senate candidates. It has backed the Montana governor, Steve Bullock, in his Senate bid against the sitting Republican Steve Daines.Then there’s Republican Voters Against Trump, a group led by Bill Kristol, a well-known neoconservative and former chief of staff to then vice-president Dan Quayle, and Republican consultants Sarah Longwell and Tim Miller.That group is focused on organizing anti-Trump Republicans.“Lincoln is doing two things really well. One is narrative-setting, and just beating Trump over the head with hard-hitting attacks,” Miller said. “And they’re also working on Senate races, which we’re not doing. I think that, frankly, they’re bringing the sledgehammer and working on Senate races, and we are elevating these peer voices in a way to persuade voters.”A set of Republican national security officials has also emerged in opposition to Trump.That group hasn’t given itself a name yet, and includes the former Bush homeland security adviser Ken Wainstein, and John Bellinger III, who served in the state department. The group is looking to rally national security officials away from Trump – either by supporting Biden or writing in someone else.Even with all the organizing by these groups, there’s still the persistent fact that swaths of former Republican officials and operatives methodically endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016, and since then Trump has enjoyed sky-high approval ratings among the Republican party electorate.But these groups say that was a result of Americans having not yet experienced a Trump presidency. They also say that the reason elected officials aren’t coming out to support Biden is because they’re worried about the blowback.Colleen Graffey, part of the national security group of Republicans opposing Trump, said the reason some elected Republican officials aren’t coming out to oppose Trump publicly is because they’re scared.“They’re worried they’re going to be primaried,” Graffey said. “They’re worried they’re going to be tweeted, if that can be a weaponized verb.”Asked what his big fear is now, Farner said it’s that Republicans won’t come out to vote at all.“My fear is that they will not come out and vote. And we’re here to say that it’s OK. We’re putting ourselves out here too,” Farner said. “It’s OK.”
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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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