Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, August 23, 2020
ISSUE #1025
Democratic Convention, Post Office and Indy 500

No sooner did the country survive one political convention, we’re getting hit with another.  This was the first time for a Virtual political convention, with only two hours each night for four nights. The TV networks said viewers will watch a 3-hour football game, but 2 hours is the limit for political games.

The Democratic Convention was different than the usual rip-roaring dog fights we’re used to.  It was mainly pre-recorded speeches, entertainment and “crowd” reactions. Without delegates in a big convention center there was no applause, laughter or boos. Every evening had an Emcee who is a Hollywood star, all women. Wednesday night when Comma-la Harris accepted the nomination as the first woman of color for VP, I think only women were included in the broadcast. (I might have missed a couple of men.) Even at the end of her speech, a big screen showed about 30 images (like a Zoom meeting) of people applauding, all women.

There was no opportunity for a reporter to corner Bernie Sanders and John Kasich, who both spoke the same night, and ask how they could give opposite descriptions of what a Biden Administration would favor.

Thursday night Joe Biden gave a concise acceptance speech. The theme of the entire convention was “Vote early, Vote Democrat.”  His theme was light over darkness.

California agrees. They are tired of darkness, from electricity shutdowns. When it’s 105 degrees a Californian might manage without light, but not air-conditioning.  California is showing the rest of the country our future of solar and wind energy, with fossil fuels eliminated by 2035. They are learning that when the sun goes down and the wind stops blowing there’s not enough power plants left to keep them cool.

At the other end of the temperature scale, Bernie Sanders is well-prepared for freezing temperatures in  a “solar powered” Vermont. He spoke in front of a big rack of firewood.

I don’t know if it is in the final Platform, but Democrats want to build 500,000 charging stations for electric vehicles. Maybe that’s a reasonable proposition. But, back in the 1920s, can you imagine President Coolidge saying, “With Henry Ford selling so many Model T’s, the government had better build 500,000 filling stations?”  Of course, they didn’t have to because John D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil companies had already put one on every corner.

You may have noticed a couple of things left out of the convention. They did not invite the mayors of Portland, Seattle, Chicago or New York to speak. And no one mentioned the riots and shootings in those cities. My guess is we’ll hear plenty about them from the Republicans.

In conclusion, if Harris gets all the women’s vote, and Biden gets the men, Trump may just pack up Nov. 4 and head to Florida.

Speaker Pelosi and the House sent a bill to the Senate asking for $25 Billion for the USPS. I haven’t seen the bill, but I’m guessing it includes a lot for overtime pay so the mail can get delivered, even if it takes till midnight. As I wrote last week, the Post Office might have to handle 300 million ballots if all states use mass mailing to everybody. That sounds like a lot, with most of those in October. But guess how many pieces they deliver at Christmas time? I bet you’re not even close. It’s 500 million per DAY. A few pieces of mail get stolen, trashed, lost, or delivered 6 months late, but not many. In case you’re wondering, the package I mailed to San Francisco last Saturday arrived in 4 days.

The Indy 500 today was won by a great driver from Japan, Takuma Sato. Interestingly the car owner is Bobby Rahal, who’s son Graham Rahal finished third.  (Rahal Letterman Racing is headquartered about 4 miles from my house in Hilliard, Ohio.)

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“[The Platform] favors fixing everything the Republicans have ruined, and keeping everything that they haven’t.” Article #7 Democratic Convention, June 29, 1924

“I am being paid to write something funny about this Republican convention.  That’s funny. All a fellow has to do to write something funny on a Republican convention is just write what happened.” Article #1, Republican Convention, June 1920

“There is no reason why other people from neighboring states shouldn’t know of our [California] climate. Why keep it hid? It’s here. We got it.  Of course I will admit that we have done a little good in a small way with picture post cards. [A farmer visiting from Iowa] sent a picture post card back with the picture of a man picking oranges off the trees in January, and told them how fine it was and everybody that read the post card, including the postmaster, come on out. So when they came they sent back picture post cards to all their friends who like oranges, and in time they came, too, and so on, each newcomer bringing out just as many more as he could afford post cards.” WA #47, Nov. 4, 1923

“[Carl G. Fisher] built the Indianapolis Speedway, a place where if Motorists didn’t like the fast driving on the roads or streets, they could go in there once a year and kind of take their time and slow down.” WA #148, Oct. 4, 1925

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