Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Valentina (@valzarya) here, filling in for Kristen for the next few days while she soaks in some much-needed Mexican sun. First, as many eagle-eyed readers alerted us, I want to point out that we goofed in yesterday’s Broadsheet. Emily’s List supports pro-choice Democratic women, not pro-life candidates. Apologies for the error! On to the news: Senate’s silencing of Elizabeth Warren backfires big time, President Trump takes on Nordstrom on his daughter’s behalf, and you’ll never believe how much “Instamoms” make. Enjoy your Thursday.
• Liz is just getting louder. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) dominated the headlines yesterday after an attempt to silence her during Tuesday night’s Senate debate over Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-Ala.) confirmation as attorney general snowballed into a discussion about free speech and feminism. The ordeal began when Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) invoked an arcane rule against “impugning the motives” of a fellow senator to shut Warren out of the debate. The Massachusetts Senator had started to read a letter from civil rights activist Coretta Scott King that dated to Sessions’ failed judicial nomination 30 years ago. King wrote then that when acting as a federal prosecutor, Sessions used his power to “chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.” Sessions was confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
The attempt to shush Warren backfired, however, and she read the letter anyway, right outside of the Senate floor, via Facebook Live. The stream garnered at least 5.2 million viewers. Senate Democrats and onlookers quickly rallied around the Senator, using hashtags like #LetLizSpeak and #ShePersisted. The latter is a reference to McConnell’s words: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” While the Kentucky Senator used them to justify his actions, social media users saw them as representative of the feminist struggle. (“The history of progress for women, summed up in 11 words,” as Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards put it.)
Political commentators joked that McConnell has essentially made an in-kind donation to Warren’s potential 2020 presidential bid, but, as Fortune‘s Claire Zillman points out, the waves Warren is making are serious. Not only will her actions help win over liberals who have been frustrated by her committee vote in favor of Ben Carson’s nomination for secretary of Housing and Urban Development, but they may resonate with female and African American voters (since Warren was cut off while reading a letter from a civil rights icon, during Black History Month, no less.)
This isn’t the first time Warren has been mentioned as a Democratic contender in the 2020 presidential contest, but we’ll likely have to wait for months to know whether she’s going to make a serious attempt to break that highest of glass ceilings.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Playing the King card. Not everyone was on board with Warren’s use of King’s letter as a bargaining chip. The activist’s niece, Fox News contributor Alveda King, felt that the Massachusetts senator was playing the “race card.” She told Fox Business Network: “It’s almost like a bait and switch. Stir up their emotions, use the name of King…” She also told the network that, if Coretta Scott King were still alive, she would endorse Sessions’ record for having worked to prosecute the Ku Klux Klan and desegregate public schools. Fox Business
• Dad to the rescue. In the wake of Nordstrom’s announcement that it will stop carrying Ivanka Trump’s brand due to poor sales, President Trump hopped on Twitter to call out the retailer, claiming that it has treated his daughter “so unfairly.” Interestingly, his tweet also says that Ivanka is always “pushing [him] to do the right thing,” suggesting that she continues to exert her influence behind the scenes. Meanwhile, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls have also pulled away from promoting Trump’s brand. Fortune
• Not good with rejection. A study of more than 10,000 senior executives who were competing for top management jobs in the U.K. found that while women were generally less likely than men to apply for top leadership jobs, they were even more hesitant to apply if they had been rejected for a similar job in the past. Men were also less likely to apply if they had been rejected, but the effect was much stronger for women—more than 1.5 times as strong. Harvard Business Review
• 20K by 2020. In a bid to hit a 50-50 gender ratio in its technical entry-level workforce, General Electric has announced plans to hire about 5,000 more women in STEM positions by 2020, bringing the total number of female engineers at the company to 20,000. The company also released a video featuring Millie Dresselhaus, a physics and engineering professor who won a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014, that asked the question: “What if female scientists were celebrities?” Fortune
• Bloody bad lab report. Theranos’ Arizona lab failed to ensure that some patients who got potentially inaccurate diabetes test results were notified, according to a federal inspection report obtained by the Wall Street Journal. The report also revealed that the Elizabeth Holmes-led blood testing company performed tests on a machine its staff had configured improperly. WSJ
• Carly’s comeback? Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and 2016 presidential candidate Carly Fiorina told a local Virginia radio show this week that she’s considering a run for the Senate in 2018. A Virginia Senate bid means a challenge to Sen. Tim Kaine—Hillary Clinton’s running mate—in the Democrat’s reelection bid. “Look, I’m certainly looking at that opportunity,” she said, though she acknowledged that it would be a “very, very tough race.” CNN
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Silicon Valley executive Molly Graham has been hired as VP of operations at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Graham’s most recent job was as COO of Quip.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Is that an apology? During a televised interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday, presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway semi-apologized for attacking the media for not covering the—fictional—Bowling Green massacre. She said she was “trying to reach out” to the media and “put out the olive branch.” In the same interview, however, she seemed to say that misstating facts is forgivable. “Are they (falsehoods) more important than the many things that [President Donald Trump] says that are true that are making a difference in people’s lives?” she asked Tapper. CNN
• Trust me with your trust fund! In other Ivanka news, it appears that the first daughter helped oversee a nearly $300 million trust fund on behalf of the young daughters of Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng. Trump stepped down from the trustee board in December, pre-empting suggestions of any improper association with the powerful media mogul. Fortune
• I’ll drink to that. Queen Elizabeth II has an unexpected side hustle: sparkling wine. In 2011, a British wine retailer was given the go-ahead to construct a seven-acre vineyard near one of the Queen’s official residences. More than 16,700 vines—chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier—were planted at the time, and then harvested in October 2013. Three months ago, the sparkling wine was released for the first time, selling out promptly. But don’t fret: a new batch will be out this fall, selling for about $44 a bottle. Vanity Fair
• She makes how much? Amber Fillerup Clark used to be a broke student in Provo, Utah. Today, at age 26, she is “the equivalent of internet royalty: a relatable influencer, someone whom hundreds of thousands of women trust as a friend and whom companies pay handsomely to name-drop their products,” according to The Atlantic. In other words, she is a mommy blogger—which sounds trivial until you realize that bloggers at Fillerup Clark’s level can earn between $1 million and $6 million a year. The Atlantic
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