Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
Good morning. Just how much of ourselves can we give to make our societies fairer? How about pointedly selling major companies to minority founders? Join us today for bold new ideas that could significantly reduce inequality in just a decade, after meeting the college basketball stars who could dominate this month’s March Madness. Ahead of Sunday’s Grammys, get familiar with some of the award night’s biggest past surprises and bake some phallic bread.
The Democrat-led House of Representatives has passed a historic labor rights law that could strengthen the ability of workers to unionize, but it’s unlikely to clear a divided Senate. What is poised to clear all hurdles is President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus package, including checks of up to $1,400, with a final vote in the House expected today. (Sources: NYT, CNN)
2. Private Investigations
Queen Elizabeth II has responded to Sunday’s dramatic interview of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, saying the royal family was “saddened” to hear of the challenges the young couple had faced while in Britain. She called Markle’s racism allegations — that a family member had been concerned about the skin color of the couple’s son — “concerning” and promised to address them “privately.” (Source: Guardian)
3. Fly Me to the Moon
And set up a base among the stars. That’s what China and Russia plan to do, announcing a joint lunar research station that could set off a fresh race to take control of the moon and its resources. Should the U.S. set up a permanent base on the moon? Vote on Twitter or here. (Sources: DW, Ars Technica)
4. Local Olympics?
Japan might bar all foreign spectators from the Tokyo Olympics later this year to safeguard the games from a fresh COVID-19 outbreak, especially as new research shows that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are less effective against the South African strain of the virus than previously thought. (Sources: Bloomberg, Business Insider, Nature)
Scientists are studying relationships among Madagascar’s lemurs— which are genetically close to humans — to decode one of humankind’s great mysteries: the roots of monogamy. Scientists though are yet to find a definite answer: Love’s complicated, even for lemurs.
Going to the store and blindly choosing a wine because you’re charmed by the label feels antiquated now, thanks to our friends at Bright Cellars. These MIT grads created a custom algorithm that finds the perfect wine for you. Just take their palate quiz and you’ll get wine selected just for you delivered to your doorstep. Sign up now to get $45 off your first order of six wines.
“Ayo” means “go forward with joy” in the Yoruba language. And joy’s exactly what Ayo Dosunmu brings to Illinois basketball fans, as they relish their best season since the Deron Williams era. In February the son of Nigerian immigrants became the first Fighting Illini player in two decades to register a triple-double … then notched a second one days later. Now he’s driving Illinois toward its first NCAA Final Four appearance since 2005. But what makes Dosunmu even more exciting to Illini fans is that he’s born and bred in Chicago, so he’s one of them.
2. The Next Cheryl Miller
The highlights tell the tale: Kentucky Wildcats junior guard Rhyne Howard has a talent that jumps off the screen. The 6-foot-2 guard, who puts up 20 points a game, shows off a crisp jumper, stops on a dime and can finish in traffic. Some say she’s the best player in women's college basketball, and her trophy case — she was 2019’s national freshman of the year and is SEC Player of the Year two years in a row — backs it up. Now she’s hoping to lead Kentucky to its first-ever women’s Final Four.
3. Fundamental 2.0
If Tim Duncan is the Big Fundamental, Iowa senior center Luka Garza is the second coming. The 6-foot-11 nearly 300-pounder is the rare four-year starter in an era of one-and-done, and he has powered Iowa into national contention with his strong post play. The Washington, D.C., native is putting up 24 points and eight rebounds per game and shooting above 55 percent from the field, The grandson of a Bosnian soccer star, Garza may not be flashy but the big man knows how to go to work.
THIS WEEK ON ‘THE CARLOS WATSON SHOW’
We're highlighting pioneers who’re changing their field and are blazing their own path. Shunned by both the left and the right, Megyn Kelly joins Carlos to discuss her decision to speak out against Roger Ailes and why she thinks the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements are ineffective. Is a political run in her future?
KILL INEQUALITY BY 2030: HERE’S HOW
No meaningful change has ever come without provocative, bold debates.
Business owners often struggle to find suitable heirs for profitable firms . Governments should create programs to exclusively pair proven, entrepreneurial members from disadvantaged communities with owners looking to exit. That organic form of reparations could redistribute wealth, and is a model that has already seen success in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Get Violent About It
Much as we despise it, what if violence is the only fix for inequality? That’s the conclusion from Austrian historian Walter Scheidel, who argues that painful actions are critical to any meaningful form of resource redistribution while outlining four avenues: war, revolution, state collapse and deadly pandemics.
The U.N. should require that the political leadership of all participating members actually reflects their citizenry. Only three countries — Rwanda, Cuba and the United Arab Emirates — have women in more than 50 percent of the seats of their directly elected legislature. And only Rwanda among them has a multiparty democracy. The lack of equal representation is also hurting the world economically: research has proven that gender equality leads to greater economic growth.
Got any bold ideas to significantly cut economic inequality in the next decade? Do tell us.
The year was 2011, and a certain, swishy-haired teen heartthrob was poised to win Best New Artist at the Grammys. Then, out of nowhere, Esperanza Spalding won the award. Though less well-known than Justin Bieber, the remarkably talented musician was headlining sold-out shows and breathing new life into jazz. It was a reminder that the Grammys can reward craftsmanship as much as popularity.
Long before former President Barack Obama won his two Grammys, his disgraced predecessor Richard Nixon was nominated for one in 1979 for his television interviews with David Frost where he admitted his role in Watergate and issued a personal apology to the American people. While he didn't win the Best Spoken Word Album award, he definitely delivered quite the performance.
What if we told you we found a pair of jeans so good, you’d never need another pair for the rest of your life? Outerknown’s S.E.A. JEANS are unbelievably comfy and of unmatched quality. These versatile jeans are designed for everything and anything: from lounging around in quarantine to seizing new adventures. Best of all, the S.E.A. JEANS have a life-long guarantee so you’ll never need new jeans again (though you’ll definitely want to come back for another pair!). OZY readers get 20 percent off by using the code OKOZY — check out Outerknown now!
The pan de muerto or “bread of the dead” isn’t just food: it’s a sacred ritual in Mexico. Now one baker is making cupcake versions of the sweetened bread. And though not to everyone’s taste, the treat is taking off.Read more on OZY.
2. Ballsy Bread
Try baguette balls in your coffee instead of whiskey today. At Legay Choc boulangerie pâtisserie, in the heart of Paris’ Marais district, windows filled with penis-shaped confections might catch your eye. Read more on OZY.
3. Saharan Bake
You don’t need fancy ovens to bake great bread. The nomadic Tuareg community of Tunisia cooks its bread — called taguella — in the sand, spiced with sesame and fennel. And all of this near the Matmata caves where Star Wars was filmed. Read more on OZY.
I've been extremely busy working to execute our 2021 strategy to prevent Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression! I'd love to tell you all about it -- but if you don't have time to read this whole email and would like to make a donation now, you can do that here.
So what have we been up to? First things first: Redistricting has begun. That means everything we've done for the past four years has led up to this moment. Let's recap some of that work: We helped Democrats win elections in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 to make sure they get a seat at the table for redistricting. We helped ensure that, unlike in 2011, Republicans don't have a lock on the entire process.
We also supported several states in passing redistricting reforms, which will mean more fairness in the next decade's worth of elections. I couldn't be prouder of everything we've accomplished together with the help of this community.
Here's where we are now. We know that despite our achievements, Republicans are eager to manipulate the maps again. In a number of states (like Texas, for example) they think they'll be able to get away with it. Our job is to prove them wrong. And to do that, we're working across the country and honing in on 15 battleground states where we will work diligently and carefully to get the fairest possible maps. Help us out with a donation if you can.
There are a couple of extra challenges. First, this year the redistricting process is likely to be truncated because of COVID-19 related delays in getting states the census data. That means we have to be even more vigilant to prevent Republicans from pushing through manipulated maps without any accountability or transparency.
At the same time, GOP legislators are working overtime to pass harmful voter suppression bills -- we have to call attention to this coordinated campaign to block access to the ballot box. Finally, there's action on the federal level, too: The democracy reform For the People Act just passed in the House and we need to get it through the Senate.
Is it a lot of work? Yes. But hard things are hard. When A.G. Holder launched the NDRC with the support of President Obama, he knew there would be obstacles. So far we've overcome every one of them with your help -- and I know the same will be true in 2021.
Sula, if you believe in the work we're doing to restore our democracy and make sure everyone has an equal say in the direction of our country, I'm asking you to make a donation today to support the NDRC. Will you pitch in?
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Since 2017, the NDRC has executed a comprehensive redistricting strategy that shifts the redistricting power, creating fair districts where Democrats can compete. Our victories have been made possible by our strong community of grassroots supporters.
If you want to receive periodic updates from the NDRC on our fight for fair maps, text MAPS to 36787. Text HELP for help, STOP to end. Msg & Data rates may apply.
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