Republican Convention at The White House

It is important to headline the location of the convention for several reasons.  The White House, known as the people’s house, is where the president and his family live on the second floor.  The  Oval Office on the first floor is the center of the Executive Branch of our government.  It is where the president does his work.  Adjacent offices house important staff members.

When planning took place, Donald Trump decided the four night Republican National Convention should take place on the White House lawn.  This has never happened since The Hatch Act was passed in 1939 and amended in l993.  The Hatch Act makes clear that The White House should not be used for political purposes.

Thus, four nights of a thousand people crammed together on the lawn should not have occurred. We do not know whether the Hatch Act was discussed in the planning process.  We do know that what Donald Trump wanted to happen did happen.  There were several comments in the media when it was announced about The Hatch Act, but they apparently had no effect.

During the convention,  Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo appeared virtually  from Jerusalem, Israel, definitely with a political purpose of support for the president’s  re-election.

A second serious concern about choosing  the White House lawn was that it was a dangerous place to seat the audience for the four nights. Only the people coming for the first two rows were tested for the Corona virus.  Very few people were wearing masks.  The results of this experience on their health are not known at this time.  We do  remember the effect of the Tulsa rally for Trump  when people were seated this way. Herman Caine is the most well known person who died afterward from the virus among others who became ill.


Content and Design of the four nights

The focus was completely on Donald Trump and the Trump family throughout the convention.   The president and first lady walked slowly down a curved staircase to applause to open the events.  Each of his adult children took part during the days that followed.   They  spoke on different topics about his  achievements during the first four years. Those in the audience as well as TV viewers  would have to weigh the accuracy of their speeches.   Certain newspapers did fact checking on their speeches as well as the final hour and a half speech Trump gave accepting the nomination.

The president’s speech pulled out all the stops , attacking his opponent Joe Biden as a far left Socialist who would harm America with similar themes to the ads that are running on TV.  He warned of chaos in the streets of the cities in Biden’s America.  It was ironic that his descriptions were of the scenes that are happening  right now in his  America.

At one point, he said he favored a woman some day for vice president but  “ Kamala Harris was incompetent.”  He suggested Ivanka Trump would be a good choice.

The final night of the convention brought fireworks that spelled out  TRUMP  in the dark sky.  The spectacle was over.  In the final days of August , polls showed that Donald Trump did not get a bounce from the Republican convention.  In fact,  Joe Biden’s lead had increased in National Polls and Swing States as well.

……………………………………………..Joyce S. Anderson

Snapshots From The Two Conventions

Democratic Convention

First Night

When Michele Obama spoke at the 2016  Democratic Convention, she introduced the phrase,  “When they go low, we go high”.  She told this convention that she had not changed her mind.  She said, “ After four years of President Trump, some might ask ,  Does going high  still really  work?”

“My answer –Going high is the only thing that works, because when we use those  tactics of degrading and dehumanizing others, we just become part of the ugly noise that is drowning out everything else.”

Senator Bernie Sanders  also ran for the Democratic presidential nomination as he had with Hillary Clinton in 2016 .  At this convention, although he did not agree with Biden on some major policies, he urged his supporters to support Joe Biden and be sure to  vote.

Kristin Urquiza, a woman whose father died from the Covid 19 virus. electrified the Convention and all of us who heard her that night.  She was quoted in newspapers and on Cable TV  for days.  She said, “ My father, Mark Antony Urquiza . sixty five year old  had no underlying health problems  had voted for Mr. Trump and went out  one day  because he believed the pandemic was under control. “ She said he died isolated from his family.  She  added. Her father’s “only pre=existing  condition was trusting Donald Trump.  For that, he paid with his life.”


Second night

Sally Yates, the former Acting Attorney General listed the norms Trump had broken before and after she refused to defend his ban on Muslim people. “His constant attacks on The F.B.I. ,  the free press, inspectors general . They all have one purpose, to remove his abuse of power.  Put simply, he treats our country like it’s his family business— this time, bankrupting our nation’s authority home and abroad. But our county doesn’t belong to him. It belongs to us.”

Formal normination of  Joe Biden to be President  was done with a virtual roll call of the fifty states.  Each state cast ballots and he was officially the choice of the Democratic Party.   His speech was a block buster hard hitting presentation.   Not the  “sleepy Joe”  Trump attacks.  Joe Biden   has the years of experience  as Vice President with Barack Obama to draw upon.

Dr. Jill Biden, his wife gave the keynote speech at the close.  She gave it from a classroom where she used to teach ar Brandywine Highschool in Delaware.   She told the story  of Joe Biden’s life and his resilience in times of  personal tragedy when his young wife and daughter were killed in a car accident.   He was a young newly installed senator at the time.  His two sons Beau and Hunter were at home and he commuted each day from D.C. to Delaware to be there in the morning when they awoke and at the close of the day, returning  on the train to be there when they went to bed..  He became a legend on the train.

She spoke of their meeting and life together.  She also spoke of  Beau Biden who became Attorney General of Delaware and who died of brain cancer when Joe was Vice President.  The book “Promise me Dad” is about his plea to his father to run for president.

Jill Biden drew a comparison between  Joe making a family  whole again and  his qualities to make a nation whole again after the pandemic and Trump’s divisive years.  She stressed that people know Joe as a decent man who can be trusted.


Third Night

Barack  Obama  broke a tradition of former  presidents not criticizing their  successors by name when he said, “President Trump has abused his power and shown no interest in treating the presidency as one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

“I did hope for the sake of our country that Donald Trump might shows some interest in taking the job seriously – that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care –but he never did.  Donald Trump hasn’t gotten into the job because he can’t”

Obama’s searing denunciation of Trump was followed by  Kamala Harris entering the stage to address the virtual audience of millions watching on television.  She walked confidently to the podium and began a memorable speech as the first woman of color to be chosen to join a major party’s  presidential ticket.

She recalled her mother, a cancer researcher, who died of the Corona Virus in 2009.  “ I keep thinking about that 25 year old Indian woman, all of five feet tall, who gave birth to me at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland California .  On that day, she would never have imagined that I  would be standing here before you now, and speaking these words.”

She then paused,– and said with confidence and passion, “I accept your  nomination for Vice President of The United States of America.”

Hillary Clinton,  winner of the popular vote for president in 2016,  had a warning for the viewers.  She said, “Remember,  Joe and Kamala can win three million more votes and still lose – take it from me.  We need numbers so overwhelming Trump can’t  sneak  or steal his way to victory”.Like Obama, she said she had hoped Trump  would rise to the job and she urged people to vote as early as possible.  People have told me, “I didn’t realize how dangerous he was. I  wish I had voted.   Look. This can’t be another woulda,  coulda shoulda election.”

Former Representative Gabriel Giffords speech was an emotional high point for listeners.   She has become  one of the most dedicated advocates for stricter gun control  laws after being shot in the head  in 2011.  Her husband, Mark Kelly , running for the senate seat in Arizona , has worked for years with her to restore her speech.   She still has difficulty speaking from the brain injury  and her speech  was the longest she has ever given.

She said, “I put one foot in front of the other.  I found one word and then  found another.  My recovery was a daily struggle but fighting makes me stronger.  Words once came easily. Today I struggle with speech.  But I have not lost my voice.  America needs all of us to speak out,  even when you have to fight to find the words.”


Final Night

The first hour presented the Biden-Harris policy agenda , the programs they would emphasize and others they would bring back after Trump cut them.  ElizabethWarren  spoke about child care from a preschool classroom.  She gave her personal experience as a young working mother when her aunt moved in to help her.   Climate change was discussed by several young activists  in response to Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Pact.  A third area was Immigration policy.  An eleven year old girl,  Estela Juarez whose mother had been deported  told  Mr. Trump in that segment,  “Instead of protecting us, you tore our world apart.” Biden=Harris would insure DACA  would be safe.

Seven former presidential rivals spoke about Joe Biden in the next hour with Cory Booker as host. They gave examples of Biden reaching out to people in need,  his empathy for the millions of families that have lost a member to the Cororna virus, and his “decency”  and  moral character traits.    The contrast with Trump was evident.

Mayor Keisha Bottoms of Atlanta paid tribute to John Lewis of Georgia.  She said, “ The Civil Rights leader’s passion for making “good trouble”  is what  the Democratic Party has been reaching for this past week.”

He walked gently among us not as a Civil Rights icon but as a God fearing man who did what he could to fulfill the unfulfilled promise of America. “

Joe Biden’s  acceptance speech was the finale of the Convention.  He spoke in clear strong words of his goals and plans for the nation.  His tone was positive throughout.   His speech was a direct contrast with current speeches of Donald Trump’s  emphasis on law and order  to control the Black Lives Matter protests occurring after the death of George Floyd.

…………………………………………Joyce S. Anderson

Note:  The Republican Convention will be covered separately .  I am working up to it.  Sincerely, JSA

Harris Joins Biden on Democratic Ticket: A First!


Three other women were chosen by Democratic Presidential contenders to be their running mates. Kamala Harris, daughter of a Black father and mother of Indian descent is the first woman of color.  Both parents are immigrants who came to the United States before she was born in Oakland , California 55 years ago.

Joe Biden announced his selection in a text message and in an email to his supporters. “Joe Biden here. Big news.   I’ve chosen Kamala Harris as my running mate.  Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump.”   This happened on  Tuesday , August 11. Biden had said he would pick a woman and interviews of qualified women had taken place.   Susan Rice,  Karen Bass,  Elizabeth Warren, Val Demings and Gretchen Witmer  had been finalists.

Harris has a formidable background  that led to her entry into the 2020 Presidential race in Oakland when 20,000  excited people gathered to cheer her first official speech.  It is ironic  that  Donald Trump ,who is fixated on numbers in crowds commented at the time about her crowd size being amazing.

As a child,  Kamala rode a school bus during  Civil Rights Movement activities.   She grew up learning history first hand and attended Howard University, a leading Black college for her bachelor’s degree.  She earned a law degree and became a prosecutor , developing formidable  questioning skills in courtrooms.  Next, she decided to seek a political career and ran against  the District Attorney  in San Francisco who was her boss.  Kamala won that race  and built a reputation  as knowledgeable , fair and tough on criminals.  Kamala finally  sought the top legal position in California,  Attorney General and won.  During her years as Attorney General of California she became friends with the Attorney General of Delaware,  Beau Biden,  son of Joe Biden.

Kamala Harris finally ran for the United States Senate and won.  Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey who has known her for over two decades, said,  “ There was no path laid out  for her.  She had to be savvy to find her way through the set of obstacles  that most people in the positions she’s held have not had to deal with.  Cory Booker, who served as the Black mayor of Newark, New Jersey, the largest city in the state, knows exactly what those obstacles are:  racism and prejudice.

As a senator, Harris serves on The Intelligence Committee as well as The Judiciary Committee.  Different important hearings were held when her questioning skills became known to the American public during televised hearings.   William Barr the Attorney General of  the United States was questioned by her  about his introduction of Robert Mueller’s  400 page Report about Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.  He had submitted a four page cursory overview and she asked him if he had read all of it including footnotes.  He hemmed and hawed and finally said he had not read everything.  She had cut him down to size before millions of viewers.  Some of us never forgot that.

Kamala also was a fierce questioner of Brett Kavanaugh when he was Donald Trump’s second nominee to the Supreme Court.   When Joe Biden introduced her, he said “She is the best person to take the fight to Donald Trump.”

Now, we see that Donald Trump  has created a second Birther Lie…..   He is saying that she was not born in the United States.   Her mother was born in India, NOT KAMALA…. GOT THAT DONALD….. Your grandfather was born in Germany… not Sweden as you lied for years.   Stop creating BIG LIES ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>     Joyce S. Anderson.

The President is Not Above The Law


On  Thursday,  July 9,  Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in a 7-2 decision, “No citizen, not even the president,  is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding.” The court’s four liberals voted with him as well as Donald Trump’s two conservative appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.  Justices  Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.

Trump immediately attacked the decision on Twitter, “ This is all a political prosecution. I won the Mueller Witch Hunt and others and now I have to  keep fighting in a politically corrupt New York . Not fair to this Presidency or Administration.”

Justice Kavanaugh had said it a different way, “In our system of government, as this court  has often stated,  no one is above the law. That principle applies, of course to a president.”

Trump had claimed “absolute immunity” from investigators seeking his tax returns.   For years, he had said that he was under audit, therefore he could not give his tax returns.  That tired excuse no longer was valid.

He also had boasted at the failed Tulsa rally that he had appointed two “great justices to the Supreme Court”.    Their votes with the majority made clear that they were independent in their new positions.  In recent weeks, the court defied the president in  cases on gay rights, DACA  immigration, and abortion.  Two years ago,  Roberts rebuked Trump by saying there were “ No Obama judges and Trump judges” .

The landmark 7-2 decision was Trump  v.  Vance that New York prosecutors  could seek Mr. Trump’s financial records.

……………………………….Joyce S. Anderson