🎥 Happy Oscars day from L.A. ... President Trump, rebuffed in his quest for a military parade through Washington, tweets: "HOLD THE DATE! We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4th. It will be called 'A Salute To America' and will be held at the Lincoln Memorial. Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!"
- Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.
1 big thing: Global male leadership crisis
Males, forever the beneficiaries of systems and structures they built to sustain their power, are at the heart of self-inflicted crises in every part of the world:
- The Catholic Church's all-male leadership is mired in a growing, global scandal that includes mass abuse of kids, nuns and parishioners.
- After the first year of the #MeToo movement, the N.Y. Times counted 201 powerful men who lost their jobs after public allegations of sexual harassment.
- Media saw top CEOs (Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes, Les Moonves) and a shameful number of news stars (Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Bill O'Reilly) and entertainment stars (Kevin Spacey, Bill Cosby, Louis C.K.) go down after being accused of [Updated] creepy, predatory behavior in some cases — outright sexual abuse and rape in others.
- R. Kelly had bond set at $1 million yesterday on charges the R&B singer sexually abused young women for more than a decade.
- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged in Florida on Friday as part of an investigation into prostitution and human trafficking.
Power corrupts, and societal structures have so far granted men the most power.
- There are, of course, unscrupulous female leaders. But because there are far fewer of them, the reckoning for men is taking place on a far vaster scale.
Be smart, from managing editor Kim Hart: Abuse of power is nothing new. Now in the second year of #MeToo, women are feeling more empowered to call men out for abuse and discrimination.
- Despite this, the needle hasn’t moved far enough in business, Hollywood and the church. Globally, millions remain voiceless and victims are often discredited.
- The female victories in November's midterms look like the first big wave of a generation of women leaders to repair damage from the sins of the men. Despite record wins, women still make up less than a quarter of congressional seats.
- Even less progress has been made in the private sector where, for too many women, the price of having a career is keeping your mouth shut. The Times reported that of the 124 replacements for the men who had fallen in the first year of #MeToo, 54 were women and 70 were men.
The bottom line: Plenty of men do good things, and plenty of women do bad.
- It's the structures that allow people in power to oppress others based on race, gender or economic status that are at the core of the problem. Those structures, however, are very slow to change.
2.⚡Breaking: Pope vows to end cover-ups
"Pope Francis, ending a landmark conference on sexual abuse of children by clergy, called on Sunday for an 'all-out battle' against a crime he said should be 'erased from the face of the earth,'" per Reuters.
- He "vowed that the Roman Catholic Church would 'spare no effort' to bring abusers to justice and will not cover up or underestimate abuse."
"But his remarks were short on specifics and roundly criticized by victims of abuse, who said the four-day summit amounted to a training seminar that concluded with no concrete steps and advocated for behavioral changes that should have been obvious years ago," reports the Washington Post's Chico Harlan.
- "'I don’t think we can rely on the institution to clean up its act,' said Peter Saunders, a sex abuse survivor and former member of the pope’s commission on the protection of minors. He said the pontiff’s speech was 'lukewarm' and made points 'he has been talking about for years.'"
3. Venezuela standoff turns deadly
As expected, yesterday brought violent clashes on the Venezuelan border. The Venezuelan opposition head Juan Guaidó, whom the U.S. and some 50 other countries recognize as Venezuela's legitimate leader, led a massive effort to force humanitarian aid across the Colombian border into Venezuela.
- Vice President Pence plans to have his first meeting with Guaidó, in Colombia tomorrow, signaling support after the weekend violence. (Reuters)
- Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted last night: "After discussions tonight with several regional leaders it is now clear that the grave crimes committed today by the Maduro regime have opened the door to various potential multilateral actions not on the table just 24 hours ago."
Why it matters, from Jonathan Swan: Guaidó and his allies set up this moment to test the embattled dictator Nicolás Maduro — to see whether his troops, the key to his power, would obey his orders.
- Maduro had ordered his military to block the aid, but observers yesterday recorded a mixed picture. Some military officers defected, while other Maduro allies killed civilians and set fire to trucks loaded with aid. And in another act of insubordination, Venezuelans manning the checkpoints reportedly let Guaidó cross into Colombia in a caravan — defying a travel ban.
The bottom line: Maduro is rapidly isolating himself. He's shut down commercial airspace; he's broken diplomatic ties with neighboring Colombia; and the military still loyal to him are shooting Venezuelan civilians.
- The Trump administration — including President Trump, Pence, national security adviser John Bolton and the State Department — have been declaring their support for the aid effort and issuing warnings to Maduro.
- Bolton tweeted: "Masked thugs, civilians killed by live rounds, and the burning of trucks carrying badly-needed food and medicine. This has been Maduro’s response to peaceful efforts to help Venezuelans. Countries that still recognize Maduro should take note of what they are endorsing."
What's next? Maduro clings to power but is having trouble with energy and resources. The U.S. government already has broad sanctions in place. But senior Trump officials are now identifying individuals to sanction — they're going one by one through the senior ranks of Maduro's regime.
Bonus: Pic du jour
A 1923 Studebaker and a 1930 Chevrolet Paddy Wagon (that was really a thing) are exposed after a tornado hit Lawrence Motors in Columbus, Miss., yesterday.
4. Tonight's Oscars pose existential questions for Hollywood
"[T]his year’s Academy Awards could go down as one of the most consequential in the history of the entertainment business," The Wall Street Journal's Ben Fritz writes (subscription):
- That's because Netlix's "Roma," a made-for-streaming movie, is the leading candidate for Best Picture.
- Why it matters: "[T]he bright lines that long separated content intended to be seen in theaters from that meant for home viewing are evaporating."
- If "Roma" wins, "entertainment companies may no longer have to choose between the superior economics of digital streaming and the cultural cachet of the top Academy Awards. They’ll be able to have it all."
- "Most oddsmakers and Hollywood insiders consider ['Roma'] the favorite to win best picture in a tight race that also includes 'Green Book,' 'A Star is Born' and 'Black Panther.'"
Pull the camera back even more, WashPost movie critic Ann Hornaday points out, and Hollywood is asking: "What is a movie?"
- "For cinephiles, 'Roma' — a widescreen, black-and-white, subtitled portrait of [director Alfonso] Cuarón's childhood in Mexico City — is a masterwork of cinematography, sound, naturalistic performance and rigorously observational style. But, for those still making their living at analog-era studios, is a vote for 'Roma' a vote for their own extinction?"
- "And, on a more philosophical level: Should an art film like 'Roma,' which was made for the big screen but whose end use is home TVs, even be considered cinema? Should a cinematic comic book like 'Black Panther' be considered art? Should America’s most shameful history be processed through the ruthless reexamination of 'BlacKkKlansman' or the glass-half-full optimism of 'Green Book'?"
Tonight's Oscars presenters include (clockwise from upper left): Helen Mirren, Tyler Perry, Michelle Yeoh, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Keaton, Danai Gurira, Brian Tyree Henry and Paul Rudd.
5. Wealthy, successful — and miserable
Charles Duhigg, author of "The Power of Habit," writes in the N.Y. Times Magazine that when he attended his 15th reunion at Harvard Business School last summer, he found that even among his more optimistic classmates, "there was a lingering sense of professional disappointment":
- "They talked about missed promotions, disaffected children and billable hours in divorce court. They complained about jobs that were unfulfilling, tedious or just plain bad."
- "One classmate described having to invest $5 million a day — which didn’t sound terrible, until he explained that if he put only $4 million to work on Monday, he had to scramble to place $6 million on Tuesday, and his co-workers were constantly undermining one another in search of the next promotion. It was insanely stressful work, done among people he didn’t particularly like. He earned about $1.2 million a year and hated going to the office."
Why it matters: "Finding meaning, whether as a banker or a janitor, is difficult work. Usually life, rather than a business-school classroom, is the place to learn how to do it."
6. 1 teen thing: The A.P. government class that made history
"All the bill needed to become law was President Trump's signature. It would create a national archive of documents from civil rights cold cases. Students had been working on the project for years, families waiting on it for decades. But time was running out," AP's Lisa Mascaro writes:
- "Legislation dies in the transition from one session of Congress to the next, and unless Trump acted, it would be lost."
- "So the students at New Jersey's Hightstown High School did what teenagers do: They started tweeting at the president ... [and] his advisers, his staff and even Trump-friendly celebrities."
"The students' interest began in 2015, when teacher Stuart Wexler's Advanced Placement government and policy class at Hightstown High was studying the civil rights movement. They couldn't believe that in America, so many criminal cases involving racial violence and death could remain unsolved."
- "The students crowdsourced a list of cases, filed Freedom of Information Act requests ... They took bus trips to Washington to find supporters."
- Spoiler: Trump signed the bill, which focuses on unsolved criminal cases from 1940 until 1980.
Oslene Johnson, 19, who had managed the project’s Twitter account from under her blankets when she was supposed to be asleep, cried.