Trump Administration Proposal Could Threaten Transgender Healthcare Protections

A new Trump administration proposal introduced on Friday could threaten healthcare protections for transgender people, advocates say.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule would change how nondiscrimination protections define “sex.” Discrimination on the basis of “sex” would no longer include protections specifically for transgender and gender non-conforming patients, and instead leaves the term open to interpretation.

“This proposed rule, thus, seeks to amend regulations that identify sexual orientation or gender identity as prohibited bases for discrimination for certain Department funded or administered programs,” the draft rule states.

Under the Obama administration, HHS redefined nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sex to include a broader definition of “gender identity.” The Obama-era regulation prevented healthcare providers, hospitals, and insurers from discriminating against transgender patients seeking medical care.

Advocates argue the proposed regulation puts transgender people at greater risk of discrimination.

A survey conducted by The National Center for Transgender Equality in 2015 found that nearly a quarter of transgender patients did not see a doctor when they needed to due to fear of being mistreated.

The HHS regulation would be especially harmful to the most marginalized people, including “trans people living with HIV, Black transgender people and people of color, trans people with disabilities, and rural and Southern trans folks,” said Kris Hayashi, the executive director of the Transgender Law Center.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

The HHS proposal is the third regulation to target protections for transgender people this week.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration finalized the “Conscience Rights in Health Care” regulation, allowing healthcare workers to refuse medical treatment–including procedures like abortion and sex reassignment surgery–on religious grounds.

Another draft rule proposed on Wednesday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development would allow federally funded homeless shelters and housing programs to bar transgender people from entry, also on the basis of religious freedom.

The HHS proposal is part of a broader conservative effort to restrict definitions of sex and gender, which has sparked a national debate in recent years.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration even tightened its definition of “biological sex” as based on a person’s “chromosomes, gonads, hormones, and genitals.” The policy came as the Department of Defense sought to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

HHS’s director of the Office for Civil Rights, Roger Severino said Friday that “discrimination on the basis of sex does not include gender identity or termination of pregnancy.” The regulation would also undo protections for people who have had abortions, a right that has been under attack this year as conservative lawmakers seek to ban the procedure altogether.

In a press release, Severino added: “When Congress prohibited sex discrimination, it did so according to the plain meaning of the term, and we are making our regulations conform.”

But trans rights advocates are prepared to fight the regulation.

“Predicated on little more than prejudice, this proposal will abandon 2 million Americans who already face significant barriers to accessing adequate and life-saving health care,” said Mara Keisling, the executive director for NCTE.

More must-read stories from Fortune

Nike, Adidas slam tariffs in open letter to Trump

–Can Roe v. Wade be overturned?

Breaking up Facebook is quickly becoming a 2020 campaign issue

–What’s behind the U.S. legal immigration slowdown?

–Listen to our new audio briefing, Fortune 500 Daily

Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune‘s CEO Daily newsletter.

Charges Against Julian Assange Violate First Amendment, Advocates Say

The Espionage Act charges levied against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange yesterday are attracting scrutiny from free press advocates who believe the United States is violating the First Amendment by charging a person they consider a publisher.

“Put simply, these unprecedented charges against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are the most significant and terrifying threat to the First Amendment in the 21st century,” Freedom of the Press Foundation executive director Trevor Timm said in a statement. “The Trump administration is moving to explicitly criminalize national security journalism, and if this prosecution proceeds, dozens of reporters at the New York Times, Washington Post and elsewhere would also be in danger.”

The Freedom of the Press Foundation, The Committee to Protect Journalists, and famed Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg were among many groups and individuals expressing concerns about what the charges could mean for press freedom.

Assange, who was expelled from his longtime residence at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, has been held in custody by British officials since April, fighting extradition charges from the United States and Sweden. In the Department of Justice’s 18-count indictment released Thursday, Assange was accused of conspiring and aiding and abetting former intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in the release of classified information that was published by WikiLeaks in 2010 and shared with major news organizations, including The New York Times and The Guardian. The indictment states he helped Manning leak the information.

Prosecutions under the Espionage Act for leaking information to journalists have been rare. The Committee to Protect Journalists placed the number at 12 in 2017, and eight had come during the Obama Administration. No journalist or publisher has ever been charged under the Espionage Act. But the Justice Department doesn’t believe Assange fits either of those categories.

“The department takes seriously the role of journalists in our democracy, and we thank you for it,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers told reporters. “It is not and never has been the department’s policy to target them for reporting. But Julian Assange is no journalist.”

WikiLeaks proclaimed on Twitter, “This is madness. It is the end of national security journalism and the First Amendment.”

Ellsberg, who faced charges under the Espionage Act in 1973, called the charges unprecedented and unconstitutional in an interview with The Real News Network. He warned that the actions of Assange were not much different than the work of any other reporter.

“Let me tell you, I can’t count the number of times I have been asked and urged to give classified information to the responsible press,” Ellsberg said. “The Times, the Post, AP. Anything you can name.”

Term Sheet — Friday, May 24


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

America’s student loan debt problem is nearing a full-blown crisis.

Outstanding student debt hit $1.5 trillion for the first time ever in 2018, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. In fact, it appears that the trend is only accelerating when you consider that student debt accounted for $600 billion 10 years ago.

In a 2017 commentary piece for Fortune, veteran investor Jim Rogers and former academic dean Robert Craig Baum said the higher education bubble, which is one-sixth (!) of the U.S. economy, “will likely burst with the force of all previous catastrophes combined.”

As people who love running toward large, terrifying, and thorny problems, venture capitalists are eyeing a new model. This morning, I read a New York Times piece by Andrew Ross Sorkin on a company experimenting with an intriguing new education model.

You may have seen online learning startup Lambda School popping up in the Term Sheet venture section below over the course of the last year, and it’s gaining more steam. Today, it raised $30 million in funding from investors Geoff Lewis (founder of Bedrock), GV, GGV Capital, Vy Capital, Y Combinator, and Ashton Kutcher. The new round values the startup at $150 million.

Lambda uses income share agreements — rather than charging students tuition, students attend school for free and are required to pay back a percentage of their income after graduation, but only if they get a job with a good salary.

From Sorkin’s article on how the model works:

At Lambda, students pay nothing upfront. But they are required to pay 17 percent of their salary to Lambda for two years if they get a job that pays more than $50,000. (Lambda says 83 percent of its students get a job with a median salary of $70,000 within six months of graduating.) If they don’t get a job, or their salary is lower, they pay nothing. Payments are capped at $30,000, so a highly paid student isn’t penalized for success, and if a student loses a job, the payments pause.

For now, Lambda has focused heavily on subjects like coding and data science, but it will use the new funding to expand into other subjects that could lead it to become a full-blown university in its own right.

Income share agreements have long been criticized for being modern-day forms of indentured servitude and even described as predatory and discriminatory if taken to the extreme. (Some will argue that Lambda’s 17% of the salary for two years is high.) And of course, there are more high-level questions such as — if we do hit a recession in the near future, how will that affect Lambda’s demand? Will students agree to commit full-time for 30 weeks to the school when money becomes tight?

Needless to say, I’m watching this one closely and thinking more about the looming student debt crisis that has the potential to do irreparable damage if left unaddressed.


[ts_bullet_primary] Uber Won’t Allow Stock Market Woes to Slow Down Its IPO (by Don Reisinger)

[ts_bullet_primary] AMD CEO: Security Flaws ‘A Wakeup Call’ for Chip Makers (by Eliot Brown)

[ts_bullet_primary] The Gig Economy Never Really Happened, Say the Economists Who Predicted It (by Erik Sherman)

[ts_bullet_primary] Intel and Facebook Teaming Up to Create New AI Chip (by Hallie Detrick)


SoftBank scraps $16 billion plan to buy most of WeWork. Goldman bet on women-run startups takes shape with $100 million. Seven charts that show Elon Musk on firmer footing. Tax refunds will be paid during shutdown. Connecticut has among the lowest growth in the nation — can links to Silicon Valley help?


[ts_bullet_primary] EarlySense, an Israel and Massachusetts-based provider of continuous monitoring solutions for the healthcare industry, raised $39 million in funding. Investors include Hill-Rom, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, BlueRed Capital, Israel Innovation Fund, Argos Capital, Hotung Capital, Pitango Venture Capital and JK&B Venture Capital.

[ts_bullet_primary] Humatics Corp, a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of microlocation systems and analytics software, raised $28 million in funding. Investors include Blackhorn Ventures, JCI Ventures, Fontinalis Partners, Airbus Ventures, Lockheed Martin Ventures and Presidio Ventures.

[ts_bullet_primary] Headset, a Bellevue, Wash.-based provider of data and analytics to the cannabis industry, raised $12.1 million in Series A funding. Investors include Poseidon Asset Management, AFI Capital Partners, and Canopy Rivers Inc. (TSXV: RIV).

[ts_bullet_primary] Grabango, a Berkeley-based provider of checkout-free shopping technology for existing stores, raised $12 million in Series A funding. Propel Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Ridge Ventures, Abstract Ventures, Commerce Ventures and Founders Fund.

[ts_bullet_primary] LendingFront, a New York-based small business lending software provider, raised $4 million in Series A funding. Information Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Newark Venture Partners, Revel Partners, Contour Venture Partners, Struck Capital, ValueStream Ventures and Las Olas VC.

[ts_bullet_primary] Carson, creators of an integrated technology platform and service for unstaffed residential buildings, raised $3 million in seed funding. BuildingLink led the round.


[ts_bullet_primary] Cabaletta Bio Inc., a Radnor, Penn.-based biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of T cell therapies for B cell-mediated autoimmune diseases, raised $50 million in Series B funding. Investors include Deerfield Management Company, Boxer Capital of Tavistock Group, Redmile Group, Cormorant Capital, Adage Capital Management, and 5AM Ventures.

[ts_bullet_primary] Frequency Therapeutics, a Woburn, Mass.-based clinical-stage biotechnology company, raised $42 million in Series B funding. Taiwania Capital Management and Axil Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Yonjin Capital, DF Investments, Polaris Founders Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, CoBro Ventures, Korea Investment Partners and Emigrant Capital.

[ts_bullet_primary] Apic Bio Inc, a Cambridge, Mass.-based gene therapy company developing novel treatment options for patients with rare genetic diseases, raised $40 million in Series A funding. Morningside Venture Investments Ltd led the round, and was joined by investors including The Alpha-1 Project, A1ATD Investors and ALS Investment Fund.

[ts_bullet_primary] Exscientia, a U.K.-based AI-driven drug discovery company, raised $26 million in Series B funding. Investors include Celgene Corporation, GT Healthcare Capital Partners and Evotec AG.


[ts_bullet_primary] Dynamic Quest, which is backed by Spire Capital, acquired Carolina Networks, a Greensboro, N.C.-based managed service provider. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

[ts_bullet_primary] Trive Capital made an investment in California Brazing, a Newark, Calif.-based maker of components for space, aircraft connectivity, specialty electronic and various defense applications. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


[ts_bullet_primary] Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI) acquired VaaS International Holdings, Inc, a California and Texas-based data and image analytics company, for $445 million in a combination of cash and equity.


[ts_bullet_primary] Alector, a South San Francisco-based biotech building therapies for neurodegeneration, files for an IPO of up to $150 million. The firm posted revenue of $18.5 million in the nine months ending September, and loss of $34.9 million. Merck’s Venture fund (6% pre-offering), OrbiMed Private Investments (21.4%), and Polaris Venture Management (21.7%) back the firm. Morgan Stanley, BofA Merrill Lynch, Cowen, and Barclays are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “ALEC.” Read more.


[ts_bullet_primary] Plaid acquired Quovo, a market platform for wealth and brokerage data. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Quovo had raised approximately $21 million in venture funding from investors including Salesforce Ventures, Portag3 Ventures, IGM Financial, FinTech Collective, F-Prime Capital Partners, and Napier Park Global Capital.

[ts_bullet_primary] ClassPass agreed to acquire GuavaPass, a Singapore-based fitness platform. Financial terms were not disclosed GuavaPass had raised approximately $5 million in venture funding from investors including Vickers Venture Partners. [This item has been updated.]

[ts_bullet_primary] TriArtisan Capital Partners is in talks to buy P.F. Chang’s, a Chinese food restaurant, for as much as $700 million, according to Bloomberg. Centerbridge is the seller. Read more.

[ts_bullet_primary] Healthgrades acquired Influence Health, a Birmingham, Ala.-based developer of customer relationship management for hospitals. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Influence Health had raised approximately $11.5 million from investors including Eastside Partners.

[ts_bullet_primary] Deltek acquired Avitru, a collaborative software platform, from Alpine Investors. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

[ts_bullet_primary] Transom Capital Group acquired SemiTorr Group, Inc, a Tualatin, Ore.-based distributor of high purity products, from Riverlake Partners. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

[ts_bullet_primary] Gladson, which is backed by The Jordan Company and Wicks Capital Partners, acquired Edgenet, a Nashville-based product content management software provider. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

[ts_bullet_primary] Lovell Minnick Partners acquired ATTOM Data Solutions, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of national real estate data and analytics. The sellers were Renovo Capital and Rosewood Private Investments. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


[ts_bullet_primary] Madryn Asset Management, a New York-based alternative asset management firm, raised $289.65 million for its new healthcare fund, according to an SEC filing. The target is $500 million.


[ts_bullet_primary] Hamilton Robinson Capital Partners promoted Lane Carpenter to vice president.


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Polina Marinova produces Term Sheet, and Lucinda Shen compiles the IPO news. Send deal announcements to Polina here and IPO news to Lucinda here.

The Best Business Documentaries to Watch This Weekend

If you’re like me, there’s nothing you enjoy doing more than drinking a fine glass of wine while watching your favorite business documentary.

Two that I’ve seen recently seen and enjoyed include Panic and Minimalism. (As my editor said, “Polina, you need a hobby that doesn’t involve financial services…”) ?_(?)_/? (As my editor said, “Polina, you need a hobby that doesn’t involve financial services…”) ?_(?)_/?

I recently asked Term Sheet readers for their recommendations of the best business documentaries, and they did not disappoint. If you don’t have plans for the long weekend, these are excellent choices:

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

This documentary details the fall of the Enron Corporation, which became one of the largest business scandals in American history.

“Kind of obvious, but I’ll send it anyway.” — Everett

“Best business documentary.” — Frank D.

[The film was based on the best-selling 2003 book of the same name by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. Read McLean’s feature from 2001 that was the first to raise serious questions about Enron’s opaque accounting.]

General Magic

In 1990, a new company called General Magic spun out from Apple. It took Silicon Valley by storm, but the mid-’90s tech landscape wasn’t ready for an innovation so far ahead of its time.

“Cautionary tale of the most influential startup to fail — only to have housed and incubated future creators of all our digital gadgets: iPhone, Android, iPod, iPad, eBay and more. Lessons learned from early 1990s Mac/Apple folks. Can apply to the people of now like Tesla, Uber, Lyft, and then some. Entertaining, celebratory and cautionary.” — David M.

“General Magic is not only a remarkable story of innovation but a story of innovators/entrepreneurs that have forever changed our world as we know it. Powerful footage that will change how you look at Silicon Valley. It gives you chills, makes you think, and leaves you with a different take on failure and societies readiness for new technologies.” — Elise H.

Something Ventured

The film investigates the emergence of venture capital by following the stories of the earliest investors who backed companies like Apple, Intel, Genentech, Cisco, Atari, and Tandem.

“Investigating the emergence of American venture capitalism in the mid-20th Century, Something Ventured follows the stories of the venture capitalists who worked with entrepreneurs to start and build companies like Apple, Intel, Genentech, Cisco, Atari, Tandem, and others. Something Ventured is a full-length independent film which includes interviews with prominent American venture capitalists and entrepreneurs of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, as well as archival photography and footage. — Brad S.

The Men Who Built America

Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and Henry Ford are names synonymous with innovation and big business in America. This series profiles the lives of the businessmen who transformed the U.S into a global superpower.

“This series may be classified by some as a historical documentary but it presents important lessons on the driving forces behind successful business, enterprises, explaining the role of risk taking, capital, innovation, management, labor and customer relations and regulations in a historical context.” — John L.

“It shows the risks taken and the near defeats of four men who, in their day, were richer than the 40 richest people in the world today — combined.” — Stanford C.

Art of the Steal

This film examines the controversy surrounding the art collection of Dr. Albert C. Barnes, a millionaire who amassed a remarkable selection of significant works during the early 20th century.

“Art of the Steal: How a small college, powerful businessmen, “charitable” foundations and politicians conspired to effectively steal the a $25B art collection from the estate of a leading art collector.” — Bob L.

The Pixar Story

The story of the pioneering computer animation studio Pixar, featuring contributions from the studio’s bosses and a host of actors who have lent their voices to their creations.

“Amazing look at organizational behavior and how to accommodate and manage a company that is both creative and technical.” — Phil P.

The documents the rise of the Internet investment frenzy and the subsequent burst of the dot-com bubble.

“This was a thoroughly enjoyable documentary about a group of ambitious 20-somethings going for it during the early 2000s tech bubble. It has it all — equity buyouts, leadership change/arguments, meeting with Kleiner Perkins, etc. Although it’s from two decades ago, a lot of the same principles are generally still applicable now.” — Owen L.

Other honorable mentions:

Inside Job: A deep look into what led to the global financial meltdown that took place in fall 2008 and plunged the United States into a deep economic recession.

Requiem for the American Dream: Using interviews filmed over four years, Noam Chomsky discusses the deliberate concentration of wealth and power found in the hands of a select few.

The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley: Elizabeth Holmes became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, heralded as the next Steve Jobs. Then, just two years later, her multibillion-dollar company was dissolved.

Betting on Zero: The film chronicles Bill Ackman’s crusade to expose global nutritional giant Herbalife as the largest pyramid scheme in history, while Herbalife executives claim Ackman is a market manipulator out to bankrupt them.

Want more? Check out more documentary recommendations here.

Trump-Pelosi Feud Hits New Lows With ‘Doctored’ Video

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday night to tweet out an edited video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stumbling over her words.

The 30-second video featured clips from a news conference Pelosi held Thursday. The full briefing as it appears on C-SPAN lasted around 20 minutes. However, the 30-second clip Trump shared was edited to highlight only the instances in which Pelosi stumbled, in rapid succession. It includes several instances when she hesitated, and another where she refers to “three things” and holds up two fingers. Another moment is also repeated several times. The content does not appear to be otherwise altered.

The edited clip first appeared on Fox Business’ “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” which Trump shared on Twitter after it aired, with the caption, “PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE.”

Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff called the video “doctored” on Twitter.

This is the second misleading video of Pelosi that circulated Thursday. The first, which was initially reported by The Washington Post, allegedly slowed down part of a speech Pelosi had given at the Center for American Progress on Wednesday in such a way to give her the appearance of being drunk and slurring her words. The video appears to have been removed from YouTube, but copies continue to circulate.

Trump and Democrats have been trading blows since Trump stormed out of an infrastructure meeting with Democrats on Wednesday. The edited clip of Pelosi’s speech was just the latest in a series of jabs by the president–earlier in the day he had called her “crazy” and claimed that “she is not the same person. She has lost it.”

More must-read stories from Fortune:

–Can Democrats’ calls for bipartisan unity be authentic in the Trump era?

–Why 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are flocking to Fox News

Progressive millionaires might sound like an oxymoron–but they’re not uncommon

–Private insurance would not be eradicated under Medicare for All–but it would take a huge hit

–A Women’s New Deal? Supermajority hopes to create one

2020 Candidate Pete Buttigieg’s Marriage Is Giving Dating App a Boost

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has quickly risen to become a top 2020 presidential contender in the Democratic primary since his campaign launch in January, representing an intelligence, youth, and calm many progressive voters wish to see in the White House. His popularity, however, has had an impact on more than just politics.

Buttigieg, 37, has been very open about his sexuality since coming out as in a 2015 op-ed for the South Bend Tribune. He’s been happily married to Chasten Glezman, a junior high school teacher he met on the dating app Hinge, since 2018. Their successful love story has, apparently, inspired other gay men to seek relationships via the same platform.

According to Hinge, there’s been a 30% increase in profiles created by gay, male individuals since April 1, roughly the time when “Mayor Pete” became a household name. The growth in other demographics, meanwhile, has remained mostly stable.

As the only openly gay presidential candidate, Buttigieg brings representation of an often underrepresented minority to a major stage. He’s spoken out on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community, once saying that if Vice President Mike Pence has a problem with his sexuality, “Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”

Still, Buttigieg hasn’t always been comfortable with his sexuality. At a LGBTQ Victory Fund Brunch in early April, he recalled times in his life “where if you had shown me exactly what it was inside me that made me gay, I would have cut it out with a knife.”

Glezman came out earlier, at the age of 18, but he, too, struggled. Unaccepted by his family, Glezman couch-surfed and lived in his car for a period of time before being invited back home.

Their stories are not unlike many young LGBTQ+ individuals–except that if you fast forward more than a decade, Buttigieg is a top 2020 contender, and Glezman could become the first “First Man” to live in the White House.

Like many millennials, the Buttigieg-Glezman love story began on a dating app. Glezman told The New York Times in an interview last year that he joined Hinge in hopes of finding a long-term relationship.

“I wanted a platform where you’re not necessarily inundated with hookup culture and sex,” he told the Times.

Buttigieg and Glezman met in August 2015; their first date was attending a minor league baseball game in South Bend. By the end of 2016 they were living together, and in June 2018 they married at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. James in South Bend.

The story is, in a way, the perfect example of what Hinge aims to do. The dating app uses more in-depth profiles than other available platforms, aiming to spark relationships that last. With this in mind, Hinge advertises itself as “designed to be deleted.

“We’re proud of all of the relationships we’ve helped set up–including Mayor Pete and Chasten!” Hinge founder and CEO Justin McLeod told Fortune. “We’re happy to see that their love story has inspired even more members of the LGBTQ community to find their person on Hinge.”

As Buttigieg wrote in his coming out op-ed (before he met his husband), being open about his sexuality “could do some good” by bringing visibility to the community.

“I hope that when my children are old enough to understand politics, they will be puzzled that someone like me revealing he is gay was ever considered to be newsworthy,” he wrote at the time. “But the true compass that will have guided us there will be the basic regard and concern that we have for one another as fellow human beings–based not on categories of politics, orientation, background, status or creed, but on our shared knowledge that the greatest thing any of us has to offer is love.”

Theresa May, Beth Ford, The View : Broadsheet for May 24

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Theresa May resigns, The View’ becomes an essential campaign stop, and we parse the bounty of policy proposals being put forth by the women running for U.S. president. Enjoy the long weekend if you’re in the U.S. or U.K. We’ll see you on Tuesday.


[bs_bullet_primary] Of women and wonks. As we reported earlier this week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is the latest Democratic 2020 hopeful to launch a major policy proposal–her “Family Bill of Rights,” announced Wednesday, would invest in maternal and child health, adoption and in vitro fertilization, paid family leave, and universal pre-k. But she’s not alone in focusing on policies that would have a massive impact on women. In fact, she’s wasn’t even the only presidential candidate to do so this week–just days earlier, Sen. Kamala Harris announced a proposal aimed at closing the pay gap.

As you’ve likely noticed, recent editions of the Broadsheet have been full of policy proposals from the women running for the Democratic nomination–particularly Gillibrand, Harris, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, all of whom have been cranking out detailed plans at an impressive rate. What’s more, a fair number of them are tackling issues that are particularly relevant to women, including pay equality, paid leave, childcare, and reproductive health.

So, how about the male candidates? While many of the Democratic men do touch on these issues on their campaign websites, I think it’s fair to say that they haven’t yet given them the same level of attention. (This Vox explainer on the where the various Dems stand on “family issues” speaks volumes.)

Perhaps it’s not surprising that female candidates would be out in front with fleshed out policies relating to women. But that doesn’t mean it’s not significant. Consider how much more progress we might have made on these issues if more women had run for president–and put such concerns front and center–in the past.

And what should we make of the fact that the female candidates seem to be putting forth so many policy plans of all types at this stage of the race? One thing I hear from female executives is the confidence they find in being prepared–in some cases even over-prepared. And certainly the stereotype of women is that we do our homework, while men are more likely to feel secure winging it. Is that’s what’s at play? Or perhaps it’s the suspicion that a female candidate has a harder time passing the ‘would I have a beer with him/her?’ standard that some voters apply to presidential races. If you can’t skate by on “likability,” wowing them with your ideas is really the only option.

[ceo_attribution author=”Kristen Bellstrom” email=”” twitter=”kayelbee”]


[bs_bullet_primary] Mayday. After a turbulent three-year tenure, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced this morning she will step down as party leader, effectively resigning her premiership, on June 7. She said serving as PM was “the honor of her life,” but “[i]t is and will alway remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.” [bs_link link=”” source=”Guardian”]

[bs_bullet_primary] Harvey held accountable? Harvey Weinstein and his former studio’s board have reportedly reached a tentative $44 million deal to settle lawsuits filed by women who accused the disgraced producer of sexual misconduct and by the New York state attorney general. As the New York Times notes, “the outcome of the settlement talks will be especially notable because the lawsuits are one of the main avenues by which Mr. Weinstein could be held responsible for his alleged actions.”[bs_link link=”” source=”New York Times”]

[bs_bullet_primary] Meating of the minds. In a new interview, Beth Ford, CEO of diary producer Land O’Lakes, said the meatless movement does not pose a threat to the meat and dairy industries. She says such offerings prove that “consumers are willing to try things, it’s exciting.” But has she herself eaten a meatless Impossible Burger? No, but she says she’s open to it. [bs_link link=”″ source=”Wall Street Journal”]

[bs_bullet_primary] Double-teamed. Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, asking questions about his time on Sears Holdings’ board of directors and his relationship with former CEO Eddie Lampert. The letter comes on the heels of lawsuit filed by Sears, alleging that Lampert, Mnuchin, and other past board members stole billions from the retailer. [bs_link link=”” source=”CNBC”]

[bs_bullet_primary] Not lovin’ it. Protests against alleged sexual harassment of McDonald’s employees took place in 13 cities yesterday. Workers filed a total of 25 sexual harassment complaints against the company this week, adding to the total of more than 25 similar complaints filed against McDonald’s in the past three years. [bs_link link=”” source=”NPR”]


[bs_bullet_primary] What a View. The New York Times digs into how The View, the all-women panel TV show invented by Barbara Walters 22 years ago, has become an essential stop for any politician–Democrat or Republican–seeking office. “They thought we were a bunch of ladies who lunch,” says Joy Behar, the show’s longest-tenured host. “Now they come on because we’re influential.” [bs_link link=”” source=”New York Times”]

[bs_bullet_primary] Goals. U.S. soccer star Alex Morgan gets the Time magazine cover treatment this week. Dubbed “the most marketable American star since Mia Hamm and the linchpin of Team USA’s bid to clinch a second consecutive World Cup title this summer,” Morgan is also leading her team’s charge off the field as it fights for equal pay. [bs_link link=”” source=”Time”]

[bs_bullet_primary] Charges filed. Disgraced celebrity chef Mario Batali is facing a criminal charge for allegedly groping a woman in Boston in 2017. Batali denies the charges and is expected to be arraigned today. Since being accused of sexual harassment by several women, Batali left his daytime talk show, saw the Food Network postpone plans to add him to its programming, and cut ties with his restaurant group. [bs_link link=”” source=”CNN”]

[bs_bullet_primary] Emma at 60. Actress Emma Thompson has a refreshingly frank take on aging and acting in this new profile. “The denial of aging is unhealthy,” she says. “It’s always been bollocks.” [bs_link link=”” source=”New York Times”]

Today’s Broadsheet was produced by Emma Hinchliffe. Share it with a friend. Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


Stripped of women’s records, transgender powerlifter asks, ‘Where do we draw the line?’[bs_link link=”″ source=”Washington Post”]

Tennis star Sloane Stephens: ‘You should be scared of the living, not the dead’ [bs_link link=”” source=”Guardian”]

How one Hollywood producer is trying to change the boys’ club from within [bs_link link=”” source=”Fortune”]

When I couldn’t tell the world I wanted to transition, I went to Dressbarn [bs_link link=”” source=”Vox”]


[bs-quote link=”” author =”Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix, the latest athlete to speak out about pregnancy and her Nike sponsorship.”]You can’t change anything with silence.[/bs-quote]

Data Sheet—What’s Wrong With San Francisco

It is open season on the technology industry and its capital city. And not without reason.

The behemoth tech companies that created so much excitement, value, and utility for consumers everywhere have worn out their welcome for the time being. Facebook abetted the ruination of democracy. Twitter has helped foul the national discourse. Apple has made tech addicts of its users, young and old.

As for the city tourists love to think is charming, quirky, and beautiful, it isn’t much of any of those things lately. Homeless people litter its feces-strewn sidewalks. Rich and entitled techies hide in its nicer neighborhoods and sterile skyscrapers. Traffic is so snarled that it’s difficult to get to the gorgeous nature that surrounds the city.

The world has noticed. The New York Times profiled a man who hunts for treasure in Mark Zuckerberg’s trash. The Washington Post accuses San Francisco of breaking America’s heart. Breakingviews helpfully suggests tech companies pay an employee bounty to attend civic meetings in the hopes of making citizens out of workers. (A glimmer of hope: Google says it wants to help save a comedy club after it was revealed to be the next tenant of the club’s space.)

Then again, this is nothing new. I wasn’t here when the Hippies ruined San Francisco. But I was when the precursors to brogrammers, late 1990s MBAs, spoiled the neighborhood. That was before they all lost their jobs. What’s quaint about San Francisco, despite the smell of urine in the streets, is the city’s ability to reinvent itself.

It will happen again.

Adam Lashinsky


Don’t fence me in. You’ll be shocked to learn that Mark Zuckerberg thinks breaking up Facebook is a bad idea. Facebook also revealed that it removed 2.2 billion fake accounts in the first quarter, almost topping the 2.4 billion legit accounts on the service.

What’s in your wallet? Last week, we brought you news that Whole Foods and some other popular retailers started accepted a mobile payments app called Flexa that allowed customers to pay in digital currencies like bitcoin. On Thursday, wireless giant AT&T joined the party, saying it would accept cryptocurrency payments via the BitPay app. Meanwhile, Square is looking at getting into a much more chill payments segment, with a pilot program for sellers of cannabis-derived CBD products.

Hangry. Trying to remain at the center of everything, Google said it was integrating food delivery services DoorDash and Postmates into several of its services, including Maps and Search. Users will also be able to ask Google’s digital assistant to re-order past delivery orders. Perhaps not coincidentally, DoorDash raised $600 million of private backing that valued the company at $12.6 billion, almost 10 times its valuation a year ago.

One small step for man. After multiple postponements, Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Thursday finally launched the first 60 operational satellites for its Starlink broadband service into orbit. That’s 60 down, some 11,940-ish to go. But the initial commercial service will start when just a few hundred satellites go up, the company says.

Virtual light. This freaked me out. Researchers at Samsung developed a new way to produce completely fake videos of people talking. In the creepy video demo, you’ll see Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein and even the Mona Lisa.

Straight from the gut. In not-terribly-flattering profile of Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Bloomberg scrutinizes his acquisitions. And not just for the business. The article claims a seemingly ancient carved statue the CEO bought for $7.5 million at auction may be a recent creation worth less than $5,000.


A few longer reads that I came across this week that may be appealing for your weekend reading pleasure:

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Ultimate Preview (Vanity Fair)
After four decades, Star Wars is drawing to its epic conclusion. Lev Grossman goes behind the scenes with director J.J. Abrams and the cast for the inside scoop on The Rise of Skywalker. With exclusive photographs by Annie Leibovitz.

The Night the Lights Went Out (Deadspin)
I am the least reliable narrator when it comes to the story of my brain exploding. This is because, from the time right before I suffered a freakish brain hemorrhage last year to the time I regained full consciousness roughly two weeks later, I remember nothing. My mind is an absolute blank. It’s like the fabled pause in the Nixon Tapes. I was not here.

The Spycraft Revolution (Foreign Policy)
A cover identity that would have been almost bulletproof only 20 years ago can now be unraveled in a few minutes. For a start, facial recognition software–mostly developed by Israeli companies and widely deployed in China and elsewhere–allows governments and law enforcement agencies to store and search vast numbers of faces.

New York’s Vanishing Diners (The New York Times)
The death of diner culture has been predicted for years, but there’s still some life remaining.


Coal dominated the 19th century and oil the 20th. If renewable energy is to move to the front for this century, one other key technology needs to make a huge advance: energy storage. In a story for Fortune, writer Jeffrey Ball looks at where U.S. and Chinese companies-from small startups to larger energy players-are placing their bets to build the next great battery. To tour one Boston-area startup called Vionx Energy, Ball hangs around with director David Vieau.

Vionx contends its technology offers one possible answer. At three government-funded test sites in Massachusetts, Vionx has deployed prototype collections of shipping containers that house its flow batteries. They’re mazes of pumps and pipes, of plastic and metal, that Vieau himself describes as “Rube Goldberg.”

In Shirley, Mass., a Vionx battery is waiting to be hooked up to a field of Chinese-made solar panels. When it’s up and running, it should be able to store enough energy to power about 160 homes. I visit the site on a late afternoon so cold my fingers, as I scribble notes, feel numb. To my eyes, accustomed by now to lithium-ion batteries that would fit in my backpack if not in my pocket, the system looks gargantuan. Not to Vieau. Vionx’s systems, he says, need to be the size of power plants to be viable. “Otherwise, it’s a joke.”


As you ease into the long weekend, some upcoming “teaser trailers” to stoke your interest for projects coming out this fall. There’s a new Terminator movie, with James Cameron in the producer chair, called Terminator: Dark Fate. It looks super fun, with both Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger reprising their famous roles. I’m even more excited for CBS’s new Star Trek series following the later years of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Looks like they’re still making wine, even in the far future.

This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Aaron Pressman. Find past issues, and sign up for other Fortune newsletters.

Pelosi Has Plenty of Reasons Not to Impeach Trump

Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump spent much of the week goading each other with increasingly direct insults, but the House Speaker has many reasons for resisting what could be her ultimate weapon: impeachment.

Pelosi is watching more than just the national polls that show most of the public doesn’t support impeachment. She is also wary of animating the president’s voter base for the 2020 election and opening a trial that would give the Republican-led Senate the chance to acquit him.

Even while Pelosi urges restraint, she has sharpened her response to questions about impeachment, saying Trump is “obstructing justice,” and “engaged in a cover-up.” She said at a Thursday news conference that Trump, for political reasons, actually wants Democrats to try to impeach him, and she characterized him as frustrated that they are not yet “on the path to impeachment.”

These mixed messages from Pelosi — urging caution and recognizing that impeachment could be “unavoidable” — reflect the delicate job of balancing aggressive congressional oversight with the need to preserve her majority in the House and deny Trump re-election in 2020.

Faced with resistance from the Trump administration to committee probes, some Democrats are increasingly looking to an impeachment inquiry as the legal justification to enforce subpoenas, pushing Pelosi to begin the process despite the political risks.

“Ignoring subpoenas, obstruction of justice — yes, these could be impeachable offenses,” Pelosi said Thursday. “How we deal with it is a decision that our caucus makes, and our caucus is very much saying, whatever we do, we need to be ready when we do it.”

In a series of press statements, public letters and an aborted meeting this week, Pelosi and Trump, two of the most powerful people in the U.S., traded taunts and questioned each other’s sanity. They faulted each other for abandoning bipartisan negotiations on infrastructure and trade. Trump called Pelosi “a mess” and “crazy.” She said she prays for the president and suggested his family or staff should have “an intervention.”

Trump also tweeted a video clip that had been altered to exaggerate stumbles in Pelosi’s speech.

While she has long questioned Trump’s fitness for office, for almost two years Pelosi said Democrats should withhold judgment on impeachment until they saw Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Yet that report, released in a redacted form last month, failed to give Democrats a clear path forward by neither conclusively clearing Trump of wrongdoing nor providing irrefutable examples of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” the Constitution says would merit removal of a president.

The Mueller report did provide various strings to pull in probes led by Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, who have subpoenaed administration officials like Attorney General William Barr, former White House Counsel Don McGahn and former communications director Hope Hicks. Those efforts join other investigations of Trump’s administration and businesses, led by Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings and Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, all of which Pelosi has praised as responsible fact-finding.

Two court decisions helped Pelosi make her case in favor of these investigations, when federal judges swiftly and decisively moved in favor of committee demands for Trump-related financial records.

“Two in one week!” Pelosi told reporters. She said the judges “resoundingly affirmed” the legislative authority to seek Trump-related financial records from Deutsche Bank AG and other financial records from accounting firm Mazars USA LLP.

The Intelligence Committee this week also reached an agreement with the Justice Department to begin turning over some counterintelligence and foreign intelligence materials from the Mueller investigation.

Pelosi often highlights the need to bring public opinion along with whatever action Democrats take. While one Republican, Justin Amash, a Michigan representative who often bucks the party, says Trump has committed impeachable offenses, most GOP politicians and voters continue to defend Trump, with little indication that uncovering more facts would change their minds.

“But facts can be inconvenient things,” Virginia Representative Gerald Connolly, the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, said in an interview. Though he is himself reluctant to embrace impeachment, Connolly said it “gets harder by the day, because I face facts with this president and this administration that push me to the impeachment process as part of my oversight and constitutional duties.”

The Democrats who are clamoring for impeachment argue that weighing politics in the calculation to not impeach Trump would be an abdication of their constitutional duty. Progressives like Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan say Trump’s alleged offenses and continued stonewalling provide more than enough reason to begin the process.

Yet they and other progressives are not the ones whose re-election is at risk should Democrats appear to be overreaching. One House Democrat close to Pelosi said the speaker worries that a rushed impeachment resolution would put some of her 40 freshmen at risk in next year’s election. At least 33 of those members — part of the New Democrat Coalition — are mostly business-friendly, pro-trade progressives, many from areas in which Trump has at least some popularity.

They are the ones studying lessons from 1998, when Democrats picked up five seats after Republicans impeached President Bill Clinton.

Some of Pelosi’s closest lieutenants worry that the day will never come that Republicans would convict Trump of anything.

“There’s a valid argument that if you fail to bring an impeachment, what does that say about this president’s conduct and whether he’s fit for office?” Schiff said at a public event Wednesday. But, he added, “that has to be weighed against the other concern, which is, what does an acquittal say? Because then you have an adjudication” that Trump’s conduct is not impeachable.

James Clyburn of South Carolina, the House Democrats’ top vote counter, backs Pelosi’s go-it-slow approach. Still, he acknowledged Thursday that dozens of his colleagues joined calls for impeachment in the weeks after the Mueller report’s release, though he has not taken an official count.

Some Democratic presidential candidates have also called for impeachment.

Echoing Schiff’s concern, Clyburn said it is likely Trump would be acquitted by the Senate.

“So we’re supposed to impeach, which is an indictment. The Senate, two-thirds of the Senate, will never agree to convict,” Clyburn said. The results, he said, would be to “leave Trump waving a non-conviction in front of the voters next year, simply because a political group decided he wasn’t convicted.”

At least one senior Democrat, Jackie Speier of California, suggested that House Democrats should open an impeachment inquiry and avoid the risk of acquittal by not sending any findings over to the Republican-led Senate.

“It’s all about laying it out for the American public,” Speier, a Pelosi ally, said in an interview Wednesday.

Asked if that would amount to a show trial, she said no, suggesting not many people have read the Mueller report and an impeachment inquiry would bring its findings to light.

But using impeachment for advancing investigations and how the public would perceive the process, are two very different things, according to Ross Baker, a political scientist from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

“I understand the value of the impeachment process as a exercise in fact-finding,” says Baker. “But it will also give a boost to Trump’s claims of victimhood and ‘presidential harassment.'”

Despite the pressure to begin impeachment, a House official familiar with Pelosi’s thinking said no one is going to move forward with a process the public doesn’t want. And for now, the official said, Pelosi knows the public simply doesn’t want impeachment.

More must-read stories from Fortune:

–What would impeachment look like in Trump’s America?

–Bernie Sanders has a message for Trump on trade

–Trump keeps alluding to extending his presidency. Does he mean it?

–Meet the Republicans likely to challenge Trump in the 2020 primary

–Is the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization? Trump thinks so

Theresa May Is Quitting Britain’s Top Job. Business Won’t Like What Comes Next.

The British prime minister, Theresa May, is finally falling on her sword. On Friday morning, she announced her imminent resignation as Conservative Party leader on June 7th.

A leadership contest will formally begin on that date, though in reality it has been underway for weeks already. Tory members of Parliament will need to come up with two names that will then be put to the party’s membership. The favorite to become the next party leader, and therefore the next prime minister, is former foreign secretary and enthusiastic Brexiteer Boris Johnson.

There’s no reason to pretend otherwise: May has not been a good leader.

Despite having been anti-Brexit before the fateful referendum, once she became prime minister she adopted the cause with such fervor that she made no real attempt to reach out to the 48% who voted against the U.K.’s divorce from Europe. Instead, she tried to steamroll her parliament with repeated, failed attempts to get a majority of MPs to vote for her negotiated Brexit deal. Rather than trying to heal the divides running through the country, she kept coming up with proposals that pleased no-one.

But May’s failure to win a majority for any proposed outcome was not all down to her lack of flexibility and personal charisma, major problems though those have been. She was always playing a rotten hand, and in a couple months her successor will be holding the same cards.

Nothing’s simple

There was never any way to push through Brexit in a way that leaves Britain better off than before, so MPs who oppose it because they want to protect their constituents will continue to do so. There is certainly no majority of MPs who back the dreaded no-deal Brexit, though that remains the default outcome once the latest deadline runs out on Halloween. But there is also no majority of MPs who back holding a second referendum, or simply cancelling Brexit.

And although the hardcore Brexiteers have long waffled on about getting the EU to agree to better terms if only they talk loudly enough at them, that isn’t going to happen. The EU side has been adamant that they won’t reopen negotiations; they certainly will not do so when dealing with radicals who are only interested in playing to their audience at home, rather than coming up with a practical plan.

So what happens now? If one of those radicals takes over from May, as is likely to happen, then more centrist Tory parliamentarians will probably quit the party. The Conservatives are only clinging on to power with the support of the small Northern Irish DUP party, and the government could easily lose its ability to govern at all (though cynics may argue this has been the case for months.)

That would mean a general election, and none of the big-ticket options would be appealing to the business world.

Degrees of bad

The Conservative Party is likely to choose a hardcore Brexiteer as its new leader because that is the best way for the party to fend off the new threat of the Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage, whose two-month-old party is on track to score the most British votes in the European Parliament elections that are currently underway, with most of its support coming from former Tory voters. It remains to be seen whether such a choice would save the Conservative Party from oblivion in a national election, or whether it might have to go into an alliance with the Brexit Party to stay in government.

Whether it’s Prime Minister Johnson entering 10 Downing Street on his own, or with Farage’s support, the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit is likely to go up dramatically–remember, all that is needed for that outcome to become reality is for nobody to agree on an alternative arrangement. That would be catastrophic for industry, and Johnson has put his foot in it before: last June, when asked about worries from the business community, he reportedly replied, “Fuck business.” (Yes, he said that.)

The other plausible general election outcome is that Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn becomes prime minister. It’s not clear whether Corbyn, who is often accused of being pro-Brexit despite having professed otherwise during the referendum campaign, could manage to wrangle a better deal out of the EU than May did–but at least he has no enthusiasm for a hard Brexit, unlike Johnson and Farage. Theres another reason a Corbyn victory might not be popular with business: Corbyn comes from Labour’s hard left, and has big plans to renationalize British utilities–plans that are popular with voters, but less so in the markets.

The only possible electoral outcome that could see a tempered Labour victory would involve Corbyn’s party falling just short of a majority and the business-friendly Liberal Democrats agreeing to join a governing coalition with Labour. But although the avowedly anti-Brexit Lib Dems are currently polling well for the European elections, it’s far from certain that they could translate that into serious support in a national election, or that they could come to an agreement with Corbyn.

For the business world and the British economy, there is probably no happy ending in store here, just varying degrees of bad. Perhaps history will judge May’s dismal tenure more kindly in retrospect.