Michelle Obama is a National Treasure. Her speech was the best ones if not the best of the night. The speech from the young lady who recently lost her father to COVID-19 was very powerful. Her father believed it was OK to go out, because Donald Trump said it was. The line "Her father's only preexisting condition was believing Donald Trump" brought it home. Looking forward to night two. This week I am participating in Watch Party with a dozen like minded friends. Last night was a blast.

Expand full comment

Michelle Obama's speech was eloquent and powerful. It left me a bit misty, I'm not going to lie. (And it wasn't just the complete sentences and proper grammar.)

Expand full comment

Let’s Give Women’s Equal Rights the Anniversary Present It Deserves

On August 18th, 1920 the 19th Amendment was ratified after Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the Amendment. Passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote was the capstone of a long and difficult struggle that began in the mid-1800s. Achieving passage and ratification required decades of activism and protest commencing with the first public demand for women’s suffrage at the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. Even following the Amendment’s first introduction to Congress in 1878, several generations of women supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many considered a radical change to the US Constitution.

Alice Stokes Paul (January 11, 1885 – July 9, 1977) was an American suffragist and feminist who was one of the main leaders who fought for the 19th Amendment. In 1923 following its ratification she continued the fight for full Constitutional recognition of equal rights for women with the drafting, proposal, and presentation to Congress of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). 100 years after ratification of the 19th Amendment women are still waiting for formal ratification of the ERA.

In the early 1940s, both the Democratic Party and Republican Party added passage of the ERA to their Party Platforms. Yet it failed to pass Congress until its Congressional approval by first the Senate and then the House on March 22, 1972. 22 states quickly ratified the Amendment leaving it short of the required 38 ratifying states needed. 8 ratification followed in 1973, 3 in 1974, and 1 in 1975. In 1977, Indiana became the 35th state to ratify the ERA. As the original 1979 deadline for ratification approached the ERA remained 3 states short of the 38 required. Following an organized march on Washington by over 100,000 women, Congress passed a ratification extension to June 30, 1982, when it remained 3 states shy of ratification.

It has been reintroduced in every Congressional session since 1982. In March of 2017, Nevada became the 36th state to ratify the original ERA. Illinois followed in April 2018. On January 27th, 2020 Virginia became the 38th state necessary to reach the required ratification threshold. Shortly thereafter on February 13, 2020, the House passed HJ Res 79, the joint resolution to remove the original time limit assigned to the ERA. HJ Res 79 now awaits a vote in the US Senate.

On the 100th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, it seems not only time, but way past time to allow full Constitutional recognition of equal rights for women. Let’s finally give women’s rights the Anniversary present it deserves.

Expand full comment

The most heartening thing for me about Michelle Obama's speech was her line about bringing picnic baskets and picnic chairs to the in-person voting lines on election day, if, as seems increasingly likely, Trump is at least partially successful at kneecapping the Postal Service. The threat represented by Trump is serious enough that people need to be willing to risk their lives from COVID, if necessary, to prevent his re-election. If soldiers in wartime risk their lives to prevent some extreme danger, then, much as it shouldn't be so, voters need to contemplate taking this smaller risk.

The efforts by Nancy Pelosi to force Republicans to do right by the Postal Service may provide a potent political kick for Democrats, and that's enough reason to do it. But we shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking the sabotage can be stopped in time for voting by mail everywhere. In some places, it may work, but in others, it won't, and those will probably be the places where it is most critical. It isn't right that Trump has done this, but then, it wasn't right that Hitler invaded Poland either. I have been waiting for someone to point out the stakes involved here, and hats off to Michelle Obama for being the one to do it!

Expand full comment

"Leftwing fascism" is an oxymoron. "President Trump" is as well.

Expand full comment

I find it interesting to talk to Trump supporters (when I have the strength to endure the conversations) that when asked about "what," not who but what, they are voting for the answer is invariable simply "Trump."

When I press, "Yes I understand that you support him and are voting for him. But what is it exactly you are voting for? What is it you expect from him? What policies or accomplishments is it you expect him to deliver that will benefit you? What positions does he have that motivate you to vote for him?"

After the typical "build the wall and secure our borders" answers that are often offered the remainder of their answers seem to get lost in the typical Trump "word salad" he offers at his rallies but have little actual policy substance.

Perhaps this is why the Republican Party actually lacks a 2020 Party Platform and has simply reverted to rolling over the 2016 Platform for 2020. Trump actually lacks any real policy positions or vision for a second term agenda. He honestly believes in little more than an ad hoc response to whatever he needs to do in order to remain in the spotlight.

Trump supporters likewise have no real agenda other than returning Trump to the White House. They ask very little from him, expect little of him, and simply want to dominate liberals. They just wish, like Trump, to be the center of attention.

All in all that is a pretty vacuous aspiration.

Expand full comment

No matter how riveting the speeches and testimonials of the Convention last night, they have done nothing to allay my anxiety about this coming election. I cannot stop recalling how the polls and media were mistaken about the 2016 election; their best tools told them that Clinton would win. Yet, she didn't. (Now, her excellent career has been tragically overshadowed by the fact that she lost to a fool like Trump.)

I sense a large, shadowy mob of American people who don't listen to news, aren't on the internet, and only learn about the world through rumor, exhortations by preachers and local leaders, and alcohol-driven conversations with their peers. They don't trust pollsters. They don't trust government. They don't use or trust higher education, or the people who have it. They don't really trust rich people, although they admire and envy them. They only trust their guns, and assertions of people who look and sound just like themselves. Their presence skews all of the calculations in unknown ways.

Because they vote.

Sometimes I feel like I'm on a long camping trip with friends. At night, even though we are gathered around our campfire, taking comfort in each other and in the warm light, from the darkness around us, invisible, comes the sound of things moving, and the occasional scream.

(Ooo! I think I gave myself goosebumps!)

Expand full comment

It's a beginning....and they're getting it right!

Expand full comment


Restore America's Decency:


Climate Action

Love all Life




I welcome anyone's thoughts on making this list stronger.

Expand full comment

Again, thank you for the concise overview of a pivotal day in both politics and history. Michelle Obama hit it out of the park and I couldn't possibly be happier.

Expand full comment

"Trump made clear his message for the election. He repeatedly insisted that Biden “is the puppet of leftwing extremists,” who will “replace American freedom with leftwing fascism.”

Just turn that inside out, and we have Trump, puppet of Vladimir Putin, who will replace American freedom with Soviet style dictatorship and ruin.

Trump is the master of projection (as are the GOP), so I've learned to reverse whatever they say their goal, etc. is, and that will be the truth. If they say, "Look up!", look down. If they say we're for deficit reduction, look for more tax breaks for the rich. You get the idea..........

Expand full comment

Thank you for a great summary of the day's events. The contrast between the voices of the people on the Democratic side vs. OOO-45 could not have been more clear than they were today, could they?

Expand full comment

"He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.” I loved how Michelle turned his words around on him. Beautifully, artfully done.

Expand full comment

It may be a while before I can comment here again. trump was in my state yesterday. So all of Minnesota in general (and Mankato, MN in particular) is now waist deep and rising in disinfectant. As he boarded his plane before soaring away to plague other states, the buzz among the onlookers was this: "Who was that unmasked man?!?"

Expand full comment

I love it that Michelle Obama only mentioned tRump once by name, but clearly referred to his inadequacies throughout her "speech". (I put speech in quotes because it felt more like a fireside chat.) I believe this week will help us feel a very little bit more together as a party, and it will be a very different convention than what the repubs will put on next week. I imagine that will be full of hate and division....just like the party itself.

Expand full comment

Nick Sandman and the McCloskeys as featured persons at the Republican convention. If that isn't a clear statement of who and what the RNC and the Republican Party hold dear I don't know what is. Trump's disdain for the American people is palpable. It's like hot tar, toxic and burning. After all the speechifying, civil, reasonable people need to make sure that we face this election as a unified front against Trump's poisonous plan for the nation. Hideous and frightening.

Expand full comment