What Comes after Roe? how we can make our country more welcoming to children and more supportive of families, an essential task if we want to make abortion both illegal and unthinkable, if we want to end abortion in a sustainable way. .......... abolition of abortion through both law and culture, a world where abortion is both illegal and inconceivable. ........ Pro-lifers can hold a range of views on, for example, paid family leave or child tax credits. We should debate these policies on the merits and keep in mind that ending abortion will require a “both/and” approach in many areas, not an “either/or.” We need plans for shifting our laws and our culture, efforts to care for babies and mothers, work from state and federal governments — and all of these efforts should aim at ending the supply of abortion and the demand for it.
Leaving Wish Lists at the Door, Senators Found Consensus on Guns The bipartisan gun safety legislation that cleared Congress on Friday was the product of weeks of fraught negotiations that started with both sides acknowledging what had to stay off the table. ....... Instead of a wish list, he came with a blacklist. ........ sending Mr. Murphy to the floor to beg his colleagues to end a vicious, decades-long cycle of inaction on gun safety and finally do something. .......... Now, sitting with his fellow Democrat, Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and two conservative Republicans, Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, to try to hammer out a compromise, he did not even bother mentioning the sweeping gun control measures he and his party had long demanded. .......... the first substantial step in nearly three decades to toughen gun laws. ........ The National Rifle Association was deeply involved in drafting the bill, although the gun rights group ultimately opposed it, as was Everytown, the nation’s leading gun safety group. Their improbable pairing mirrored the unlikely bipartisan coalition of senators that forged the compromise, beginning not with lofty hopes of a historic deal, but by checking their respective priorities at the door. ......... “There’s a couple of ways to do things around here: One is if you want a result; the other is if you just want to make a political statement,” Mr. Cornyn said this week. He added, “I think the Democrats wanted to get a result and we wanted to get a result, so this is what we came up with.” ......... Then Mr. Murphy texted Ms. Sinema after seeing her quoted saying she wanted to talk with Democrats and Republicans to see if there was anything Congress could do to protect frightened children nationwide. ........ “Are you serious?” he typed out on his phone. Ms. Sinema responded that she was. .......... Republicans made sure the N.R.A. was involved, knowing that while the group was unlikely to back any compromise, its vocal opposition could quickly kill any hope of a deal. ...... Mr. Murphy and Ms. Sinema were simultaneously meeting with a broader group of senators in both parties, cobbling together eight other centrists and veterans of past failed efforts at gun safety deals. None of the Republicans was facing re-election, giving the group more political latitude to act without fear of retribution from voters in November’s midterm elections. .......... Senators wrestled with an array of sticking points, sometimes over Thai food or wine Ms. Sinema brought from a Texas-born winemaker. ....... A week earlier, he and Mr. McConnell had commissioned a poll of 1,000 gun-owning households across the country and found that most supported the key elements of the emerging bill. A solid majority backed increasing federal funding for states to maintain or implement red flag laws, and more than 80 percent supported closing the boyfriend loophole and allowing law enforcement to have more time to examine juvenile and mental health records.
Decades Ago, Alito Laid Out Methodical Strategy to Eventually Overrule Roe A slow-burning hostility to constitutional abortion rights runs through the career of the author of the Supreme Court opinion overturning them......... how he slowly and patiently sought to chip away at abortion rights throughout his career before demolishing them in the majority opinion on Friday. ......... “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Justice Alito wrote. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.” ........... Even “abortion supporters have found it hard to defend Roe’s reasoning,” he wrote. “One prominent constitutional scholar wrote that he ‘would vote for a statute very much like the one the Court end[ed] up drafting’ if he were ‘a legislator,’ but his assessment of Roe was memorable and brutal: Roe was ‘not constitutional law’ at all and gave ‘almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.’” ........... In a memo on the cases, Mr. Alito displayed not only tactical acumen but personal passion, taking umbrage with a judge’s objection that forcing women to listen to details about fetal development before their abortions would cause “emotional distress, anxiety, guilt and in some cases increased physical pain.” ........ Good, he wrote: Such results “are part of the responsibility of moral choice.” ........ “I personally believe very strongly,” he wrote in an application, that “the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.” ........... But in 2016 and 2020, just as in 1985, a new frontal attack on abortion rights would have failed. With Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg still on the bench, there were not five votes to overturn Roe. This year, there was no longer need for a restrained, slower-burning approach. ......... “Abortion presents a profound moral question,” Justice Alito wrote. “The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each state from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”
In Unusually Political Speech, Alito Says Liberals Pose Threat to Liberties The conservative justice’s pointed remarks, which he made in a speech to the Federalist Society, reflected thoughts he has expressed in his opinions. ........ Legal experts said there were few clear lines governing what justices may say off the bench.Credit... ....... that liberals posed a growing threat to religious liberty and free speech. ........ While Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has tried to signal that the Supreme Court is apolitical, Justice Alito’s comments sent a different message. ....... “Justice Alito’s speech Thursday was more befitting a Trump rally than a legal society” ........ Mr. Trump has repeatedly credited the Federalist Society with helping draw up his lists of potential nominees to the Supreme Court. All three of his appointees — Justices Barrett, Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh — appeared on those lists. ......... Public appearances by justices before friendly audiences are commonplace, and several of the court’s more liberal justices have appeared before the American Constitution Society, a liberal group. But the comments they make on such occasions are generally anodyne. ......... Justice Alito’s comments were more pointed, and they were consistent with his sense that his views have not been given the respect they deserve. He felt bruised by some of the questions at his confirmation hearings in 2006 .......... He was not pleased when President Barack Obama criticized the court’s Citizens United campaign finance decision at the State of the Union address in 2010 with six justices present. Mr. Obama said the decision had “reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.” ......... Justice Alito responded by mouthing the words “not true.” He has not attended another State of the Union address. ......... “I am not diminishing the severity of the virus’s threat to public health,” he said. “All that I’m saying is this, and I think that it is an indisputable statement of fact: We have never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive and prolonged as those experienced for most of 2020.” ......... The state treated houses of worship less favorably than it did casinos, he said. Casinos were limited to 50 percent of their fire-code capacities, while houses of worship were subject to a flat 50-person limit. .......... The Nevada decision was based in part on a 1905 Supreme Court decision concerning an outbreak of smallpox in Cambridge, Mass., the home of Harvard University. “Now I’m all in favor of preventing dangerous things from issuing out of Cambridge and infecting the rest of the country and the world,” said Justice Alito, who attended Princeton and Yale Law School. “It would be good if what originates in Cambridge stayed in Cambridge.” ............ “Tolerance for opposing views is now in short supply at many law schools and in the broader academic community,” he said. ......... “You can’t say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman,” Justice Alito said. “Until very recently that’s what the vast majority of Americans thought. Now it’s considered bigotry.”
Arlan Hamilton Went From Homeless to Running $20 Million in VC Funds. Here's How She Did It Arlan Hamilton was homeless and sleeping on the floor of the San Francisco Airport in 2015, when an investor wrote the first check that set her on the way to becoming a venture capitalist. ......... Hamilton, then 34, hadn’t attended college and had been working in the music industry. But she read about venture capital and decided that she needed to break into the elite and largely white and male corps of investors funding startup companies. ............ Now, six-and-a-half years later, Hamilton’s VC firm, Backstage Capital, has invested about $20 million in nearly 200 companies, and is in the process of raising a new $30 million investment fund. Backstage has focused on underrepresented founders, including women, people of color, and LGBTQ entrepreneurs. ......... Companies with only women founders received just 2% of venture capital funds invested last year, according to PitchBook. Investments in Black and Latinx female founders represented just 0.64% of VC investment since 2018 ........... “I want to share this journey,
not because I think I’m exceptional, but because, like many people, I have been exceptionally underestimated”............ To help finance her firm’s operations and open up access to returns from venture capital investments, Hamilton last year raised about $5 million using a new crowdfunding model. ......... I didn’t know what a venture capitalist was in 2010. .......... I didn’t have much money and I didn’t have any connections in that world, but I knew it was for me. .......... 90%-plus of all venture funding and angel funding goes to white men in a country where they make up one-third of the population. That caught me off guard as a gay Black woman in the South with no connections. I thought, ‘That doesn’t seem like that’s going to end well, if that stays the same. ......... I taught myself how to raise money for a fund by diving into any book I could get my hands on and any interview I could get my hands on. I started making phone calls, sending emails in the dozens at a time and little by little started making breadcrumbs and finding my way. And then, you know, an overnight five years later I got a check for $25,000 that would kick off my investing career. ......... 6,500 people invested approximately $5 million over an eight-day period in Q1 of 2021 to now become partial owners of Backstage Management Co., which shares in any upside that we have as a fund across any investment we’ve ever made in the past and will ever make in the future, as long as they hold that stock. .......... when it comes to institutional investors and corporate investors who are throwing money at one company at a time, in some cases that fail, in my opinion it’s insulting that we have to scrape for so little. .......... we’ve only raised $6 million of our $30 million raise. And there are white men who use our thesis and get $200 million, $300 million to start a new fund because they worked at Facebook for two years. But they haven’t done the work that we’ve done for the past decade, I’ve done for the past decade and our team has done for the past six, seven years. ............ So Microsoft, with Satya Nadella at the helm, they invested in our accelerator four years ago. We didn’t have a relationship with them post-George Floyd. .......... with Bank of America, every single person I talked to was Black, who had the decision making ability. On PayPal, nobody was Black and they passed. JP Morgan, Black person was going to say, yes, white person said no. I just recognize patterns. ............. One is the lottery is really risky, but this country has no problem letting Black and brown people spend half their paycheck on the lottery in certain states, casinos, et cetera. ........... My activism is in being successful, wealthy, and also opening up access for others who look like me to do the same. .......... There are people who will chain themselves outside of government buildings, or so they don’t knock down this building, don’t do this pipeline. They’re risking life and limb. They’re risking reputation. They’re risking livelihood because they believe in something so strongly. That is what I’m doing by being so brazen in public, and being so non-humble in public. And also I’m being called a key maker, not a gatekeeper. So I’m throwing open the gates for others to follow me and in doing so I risk life and limb, reputation, livelihood every single day, because I want it to change something in the future, whether I see it or not. I want it to effect change. ........... I will be one of the richest Black women in America, probably in the echelons of Oprah and Beyonce and Rihanna and Serena and all them.
Backstage reflects after reaching 200th investment “Meaning that in 2014 and ’15, when I was telling anyone who would listen that I would invest in 100 companies by 2020, I never imagined we’d be at 200,” she told Green Room. “It was my moonshot idea. One hundred was my moonshot idea. It also signifies and reconfirms what I knew a decade ago, which is that women, people of color, LGBTQ+ founders and others who are underestimated are simply that, are underestimated. And we’re always here. We were always building and innovating and being simply overlooked. So, this means a lot for the ecosystem.” .........
the brilliant underestimated founders building companies......... “They believed in us and the market for digital nomads before a lot of other people did,” Carriman said. “And here we are today. The entire world is now working remote. And as a result, the work from anywhere digital nomad lifestyle has gone mainstream and is expanding.” ........ Moving forward, Backstage also plans to focus more on follow-on investments rather than first-time investments in startups. What hasn’t changed, however, is Hamilton’s gut instinct that she continues to use to this day ........ “Somewhere around 60 investments,” Hamilton said, “I stopped trying to predict the future and figured out that trusting my instinct and trusting the founders and where they would lead me was the best strategy.”
How Backstage Capital is creating the next generation of venture capitalists
Venture capital is still mostly pale, male and stale.......... The idea is to invest in “the future of firsts” by investing in first-time founders, first-generation individuals and early stage startup ideas with an emphasis on underrepresented founders. ........ The pilot program taught 21 apprentices how to evaluate potential deals, identify trends, build a fund from scratch and more. Apprentices also made deal recommendations to the Backstage Capital investment team. ......... Deal warehousing entails investing in a handful of companies before forming a fund to show traction to potential investors. ......... “What’s ‘fun’ for emerging managers is it’s this catch 22 that if you don’t have money, you can’t invest in anyone,” Heyman said. “And if you can’t invest in anyone, you can’t show traction.” ........ Part of achieving those goals entails raising $50,000 through a regulatory crowdfunding campaign. Johnson said he was inspired by Backstage’s Reg CF campaign where the firm raised $4.7 million in one week.
Backstage Capital receives $1M investment from Comcast Backstage has been investing in underestimated founders since 2015. Since then, the firm has built one of the largest portfolios of underrepresented founders in venture capital by investing in nearly 200 startups to date. ......... Backstage Capital made its first investment in Career Karma back in 2018 with a $25K check from a $1.25 million fund. Its latest raise, which Backstage participated in, returned two-thirds of Backstage Capital’s fund. ........... As Backstage Capital founder Arlan Hamilton previously said, the exits from Backstage Capital’s portfolio companies “will be like popcorn, with an exit here, then a few weeks later, there, etc.”
“There are Black people in the future.” It’s time to invest in them. Julia Collins, founder and CEO at Planet FWD, says the lack of equitable access to capital for Black founders is “connected to the core of what’s broken in our country.” ......... the data that diversity is good for business and key to maximizing returns has been out for years. Still, in the first half of 2021, Black founders in the U.S. raised just 1.2% of all venture dollars raised by U.S. startups ........
the lack of funding that goes to Black founders is deeply connected to white supremacy, structural injustice and systematic marginalization.......... The reason why [access to capital] is such a sticky problem is because it’s connected to the core of what’s broken in our country.” .......... “I would argue access to capital is the only issue that Black founders have to deal with,” Brackeen said. “The real problem is even with the right traction, they can’t get the capital they need. So you get into this truly mathematical conundrum where the better the startup does, the more cash it needs and the less cash that is available, the riskier the business becomes. There’s nothing more dangerous than scaling without the money you need. It can all come crashing down quite quickly.” ............ Part of what led Brackeen to start Lightship Capital was to be the investor he never had. ....... “Arlan, though she tries, can’t fund every single Black company ever,” Brackeen said. “She’s like carrying America on her back. So yeah, there’s got to be more and I wanted to be part of that solution.” .......... LPs are the ones that provide the capital necessary for funds to invest in startups. Typically, LPs are institutional investors, such as pension funds, family offices, college endowments and trusts. ...... That theory aligns with anecdotes of Black firm managers who receive early-stage meetings with investors, but fail to receive the necessary funding. ......... “LPs have created this wild Hunger Games scenario where they’re asking all of us to beat each other to the death. And they won’t adjust for stage.” ......... Andreessen Horowitz, with $12 billion in assets under management at the time, announced an initial $2.2 million to go into its Talent x Opportunity initiative. Array VC, which recently closed a $56.1 million fund, set aside $1 million for racially diverse founders in 2020. And, SoftBank, which operates the $100 billion Vision Fund, set aside $100 million to go toward Black, Latinx and Native American founders............ Increasing access to capital for Black founders is as easy as making the hire and sending the wire .... and as hard as changing the entire fabric of our society ........... And, as we’ve seen throughout the entire existence of America, racial equity across any facet, whether that’s housing, education, employment and so on, is hard to achieve. ....... “If we could just get our fair share based on population of venture capital, you would see the most prosperous country in the world” ....... Black people are “keenly aware of all the ways the system doesn’t work.” ........ she recognizes the system doesn’t work for her and has no allegiance to it
Venture capital is a black box. Backstage Capital’s Christie Pitts wants to make it more transparent.
how pale, male and stale the venture capital world is......... Given that women hold the majority of spending power in the U.S. and that people of color will soon make up the majority in the U.S., Pitts assumed those folks would receive a large share of the venture capital funding that goes to startups. ......... I rarely have an opportunity to research the company ahead of a meeting.
Blockchain. Or, The Chain. Like, the Net.— Paramendra Kumar Bhagat (@paramendra) June 27, 2022
Yelp CEO: Hybrid is the 'worst'
Anatomy of a Product Placement As consumers skip ads and streaming content balloons, brands aim to be everywhere all at once. ....... When Larry David casually opens the door in “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” those shelves need to be full of food and drink, and each one of those items is likely to have a brand: Perrier sparkling water, Pacific chicken broth, Clover cottage cheese. Maybe there will even be a box of Cheerios on top of it, as in a recent episode of “Euphoria.” The fridge itself will have a brand, too, of course. All of this must usually be negotiated through carefully considered placements that give these products their 15 seconds (or less) of fame. ............. The first documented example was in 1896, when the Lumière brothers, often credited as the earliest filmmakers, agreed to feature soap in their film “Washing Day in Switzerland.” .........