U.S./D.C. Week in Review: DNC 2016 Edition

29th of July – U.S./Washington Briefing: Extended Democratic National Convention Coverage

|   #DNC2016 #DemsinPhilly #DemConvention #DNCinPHL

Day 1 DNC Highlights

For Lima Charlie’s Official coverage of #DNC2016, check out our on-the-ground reporting from US Army Veteran Correspondent Don Johnston and Editor-in-Chief Anthony LoPresti:

Bernie Fringe Vows To Smash The System: Hillary Clinton Nomination Official

Veterans & Military Families Council Stumps For Hillary

On July 25th, the “Stronger Together” #DemocraticNationalConvention gaveled in at 4 PM, kicking off with a unique combination of historical firsts, heightened anticipation, and uncertainty.

The first night of the #DNC2016 carried the theme “United Together,” but from the early start of the day, tensions ran high. The spillover effect from Sunday’s WikiLeaks release of nearly 20,000 emails from top DNC officials was undeniable. The emails—released on the eve of the opening of the convention—seemed to show DNC officials, who were supposed to remain neutral throughout the primary seasons, had engaged in a coordinated effort to push back against stories which portrayed the Clinton campaign in a negative light. The email cache competed with the Clinton campaign’s big reveal of Virginia Senator #TimKaine as the Vice Presidential running mate.

As a result, Sunday afternoon’s announcement by RNC Chairwoman #DebbieWasserman Schultz—that she would effectively step down from her position following the convention—was expected.

As Monday began, Schultz was, nevertheless, slated to gavel in the opening night of the DNC. By 1:55 PM that day—as many anticipated—she announced that she sought to refocus the spotlight on #HillaryClinton and away from herself, effectively relinquishing the gavel. The news came in the wake of a Florida delegation breakfast, at which Schultz was speaking, in which Sanders supporters held up signs reading “Emails.” Chaos erupted, with loud boos and protests from the audience, enduring for the duration of Schultz’s speech.

Many US officials and cyber security experts believe that state-sponsored Russian hackers are behind the email dump, leaked just in time to cause a commotion on the floor of the Democratic National Convention. According to investigators, the hackers left an obvious digital fingerprint—one written in Russia’s #Cyrillic alphabet—and a previous related June email hack was carried out under the proxy names “COZY BEAR” and “APT 28.” While the findings haven’t been corroborated, many pundits believe that the motive met the opportunity—perfectly aligning for a shakeup of the DNC on the weekend before the convention.

Sanders, who has been highly critical of the former DNC Chair before, responded to the news with the reminder, “I told you a long time ago that the DNC was not running a fair campaign, that they were supporting Secretary Clinton,” on ABC’s This Week, before calling on air for Wasserman Schultz’s resignation. Rep. Marcia #Fudge, D-Ohio will step in as the Chair of the Democratic National Convention.

With an ouster of the party’s chair, vigorous protests launched by the Sanders base, and a torrential downpour, the 2016 Democratic National Convention had officially begun.

With this backdrop of heightened tensions, big-name Democrats took to the Wells Fargo stage to try their hand at mending a fractious Philly convention.

These headliners of night one included former Democratic presidential candidate Vermont Senator #BernieSanders, First Lady #MichelleObama, and Massachusetts Senator #ElizabethWarren. All three speakers conveyed a message of “putting families first,” as they expressed their support for the Democratic nominee-in-waiting. Warren’s foundational theme sought to juxtapose Donald Trump’s campaign, run by, as she called it, “a man who cares only for himself,” with the message of unity embodied in Clinton’s “Stronger Together” slogan. She pivoted to Sanders followers, encouraging them to rally behind Clinton by adding, “When we turn on each other, we can’t unite to fight back against a rigged system.” At times, it appeared that Warren’s role at the DNC was meant to counterbalance that of former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani at the RNC. Whereas Giuliani depicted an unfit candidate who would pose a threat to national security, Warren endeavored to offer the economic doppelganger, portraying Trump as a catastrophe of a candidate for the economy.

Once Michelle Obama took the podium, she opened her speech with a vital reminder: “This November when we go to the polls,” she said, “what we’re deciding [is] not Democrat or Republican, not left or right. No, this election and every election is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives.”

The first lady rooted her rhetoric in the notion, “I want a leader who is worthy of my girls’ promise and all our kids’ promise, a leader who will be guided every day by the love and hope and impossibly big dreams that we all have for our children.”

“Our friend Hillary Clinton,” she continued, “is a true public servant…advocating for kids with disabilities as a young lawyer, fighting for children’s health care as a first lady, and for quality child care in the Senate.” On the topic of national security, both foreign and domestic, she added, “Heroes of every color and creed who wear the uniform and risk their lives to keep passing down those blessings of liberty, police officers and the protesters in Dallas who all desperately want to keep our children safe…leaders [must] show our kids what decency and devotion look like.”

Making the case for a Hillary Clinton presidency, she closed with:

“So in this election, we cannot sit back and hope that everything works out for the best. We cannot afford to be tired or frustrated or cynical. No, hear me. Between now and November, we need to do what we did eight years ago and four years ago. We need to knock on every door, we need to get out every vote, we need to pour every last ounce of our passion and our strength and our love for this country into electing Hillary Clinton as President of the United States of America!”

Elizabeth Warren, the evening’s keynote speaker, had a high-profile primetime spot in the night one lineup. Warren is just the third woman to deliver the keynote address at a DNC, in history. While she was largely neutral for the majority of the Democratic primary, Warren eventually endorsed Clinton on June 9 and many believed she would be tapped as a likely running-mate. The Massachusetts senator was repeatedly heckled from the audience, with Bernie supporters screaming, “We trusted you! We trusted you!” and “Goldman Sachs!” “Goldman Sachs!”

Bernie Sanders closed out DNC night one, an evening filled with boos from his supporters at virtually ever mention of Clinton’s name.

By the time the Vermont Senator took to the stage, the room was aglow in blue lighting and signage—a sea of signature “Bernie” placards and banners. It was several minutes before his supporters quieted down, giving Sanders the opportunity to begin his speech.

“I understand that many people here in this convention hall and around the country are disappointed about the final results of the nominating process,” he began, “I think it’s fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I am. But to all of our supporters – here and around the country – I hope you take enormous pride in the historical accomplishments we have achieved.”

Sanders reminded supporters, “Election days come and go. But the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent…that struggle continues.”

Striking a similar chord to that of the First Lady, he contextualized the election as one not guided by partisan division, but the promise of a bright future: “Let me be as clear as I can be. This election is not about, and has never been about, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders or any of the other candidates who sought the presidency…It’s not about all the things the media spends so much time discussing. This election is about – and must be about – the needs of the American people and the kind of future we create for our children and grandchildren.”

As Sanders closed his speech, the optimism he projected was not met by the reactions of his loyal followers. With tears in their eyes and many feeling a sense of betrayal by the party bosses, much of the “#BernieorBust” crowd refuse to get behind Clinton. However, the monumental influence of Sanders is not lost on many who begrudgingly admitted they will eventually coalesce behind the former #SecretaryofState.

Sanders—and his self-described political revolution—is responsible for the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. In his speech, he cited “it now calls for breaking up the major financial institutions on #WallStreet,” “the passage of a 21st century Glass-Steagall Act,” and “It also calls for strong opposition to job-killing trade agreements like the #TPP.”

In the end, however, he turned his message around, reminding even the staunchest of his raging coalition of liberals and anti-Hillary supporters to “take a moment to think about the #SupremeCourt justices that Donald Trump would nominate,” concluding, “I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her, as you do, as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care. I served with her in the #UnitedStatesSenate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children, for women and for the disabled. Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight!”

Even as Hillary supporters endeavored to drown out cries of “Lock Her Up” and “Hell no, D.N.C., we won’t vote for Hillary,” with chants of their candidate’s name, the Bernie movement could not be silenced. They marched on #ThomasPainePlaza. On the fringes of the #WellsFargoArena. And, for some, on the convention floor. It seemed that even Sanders couldn’t channel the flames of political revolution he had ignited. The anger and determination of his coalition had grown bigger than him.

Noticeably absent from the speeches of the 61 individuals who took to the podium on Monday night—including DREAMer #AstridSilva and New Jersey Senator #CoryBooker—was any mention of terrorism or ISIS, a fact which drew sharp criticism from GOP candidates and pundits alike. Donald Trump, the official GOP Presidential Nominee, quipped, “We need to change our foreign policy to focus on defeating and destroying ISIS, a word you didn’t hear last night at the Democrat convention. You didn’t hear it. They don’t want to talk about it. Because in a very true way, they really established ISIS because of weakness.”

Instead, Sanders, Warren, and Obama each dug deep on Monday night—using their unique positions within the Democratic Party to attempt to unite a fractured party contingent. While they chose different words to convey their message, all three stressed the consequence of the election on future generations of American children.

Day 2 RNC Highlights

The night’s theme, “A lifetime of fighting for children and families,” featured primetime speakers, Bill Clinton, Former President #JimmyCarter (via video message), and “The Mothers of the Movement.” The evening was hosted by actress #ElizabethBanks with other public figures, notably, #CecileRichards, President of Planned Parenthood, and former Vermont governor #HowardDean also making appearances.

On Tuesday evening, Bill Clinton gave a historic speech, one unlike any of his previous seven. A skilled orator with a signature delivery, he cast his wife as a “change maker,” seeking to expose the distinction between the Hillary Clinton portrayed by the RNC and what he relentlessly termed “the real one.”

“She is still the best darn change maker I have ever known,’’ he said. “You could drop her in any trouble spot — pick one — come back in a month … and somehow she will have made it better. That’s just how she is.’’

No President in US History has ever taken to the convention floor to speak in support of a spouse running for the nomination. Bill Clinton began his speech on a soft note. He said, “In the spring of 1971, I met a girl.” The Former President went on, however, bolstering his rhetoric with the former First Lady’s resume, while still inserting anecdotes of personal value. “The real one,” he said, “did more before she was 30 than most public officials in a career…has friends who fight for her… calls you when you’re sick, when your kid’s in trouble, or when there’s a death in the family.”

Clinton delivered his words with candor and flare, closing with the impetus for his presence on the Wells Fargo stage and taking a not-so-subtle jab at the Republican nominee:

“Hillary,” he said, “sent me to tell you that if you really think you can get the economy back you had 50 years ago, have at it, vote for whoever you want to. But if she wins, she is coming back for you to take you along on the ride to America’s future.”

As Jimmy Carter’s address was broadcast live to DNC attendees via video satellite, he began with a simple introduction: “Good evening, democrats. 46 years ago, I stood before you to accept your nomination as president.” He praised both Hillary and Sanders, adding, “Our two democratic candidates, who competed throughout a long primary season, comported themselves with midi, talked about issues that matter, and presented a vision.” He went on to speak of his relationship with the soon-to-be Democratic nominee, noting another historical first that may have escaped the minds of many, a precedent for which he was directly responsible: “I have known Hillary Clinton for decades. When she was a young attorney, I appointed her to the legal services corporation, where she became the first woman chair.” In the end, the oldest living former Democratic president endorsed Hillary, offering, “Hillary Clinton has my support, and I know she has yours.” He galvanized the infamous Sanders base of millennials, calling upon them directly, adding, “young Americans, stay engaged, involved, and be sure to vote this November.”

The night witnessed LA mayors of past and present, addressing the nation. Mayor #EricGarcetti and former Mayor #AntonioVillaraigosa spoke of the thriving Latino population in LA, noting that on immigration, voters this election season “have a voice in our party and our nation.”

As the party has been famous for, the night presented a slew of Hollywood A-listers, amongst political giants, including #MadeleinAlbright, #CecileRichards, #MerylStreep, #SarahSilverman, #AmericaFerrara, and #LenaDunham. Amongst the political heavyweights was former Attorney General #EricHolder, who boasted Hillary’s plans to tackle the criminal justice system with “As a presidential candidate, she has talked about systemic racism in ways no one else has.” New York Senator #CharlesSchumer, who noted, “Hillary got tough. She read the corporate honchos the riot act until they agreed to keep their plant open, saving his job and many others.” Ex-NYPD Det. #JoeSweeney, who said, “Within 48 hours of the towers falling, Hillary introduced a bill, signed into law, that helped first responders get the benefits they earned easier and faster.”

Mothers of the Movement,” mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Jordan Davis, and other African Americans whose lives have been lost to incidents linked to police or gun violence, also gathered at the Wells Fargo Arena to put their support behind the soon-to-be nominee. “I am here with Hillary Clinton tonight because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children’s names,” said Sandra Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, whose daughter died in a jail in Texas after being arrested during a traffic stop.

Eagle Academy students ended the speech by performing the poem, “Invictus.”

In what was, unarguably, the culmination of the night and the entire Democratic Primary season, Bernie Sanders stepped in at the end of the roll call vote to suspend the rules on the convention floor and call for the official nomination of Hillary Clinton by unanimous acclamation to the Democratic candidacy for President. The South Carolina delegation had, just moments before, cast 13 votes for Bernie Sanders and 46 votes for Hillary Clinton, officially putting the former First Lady over the top for the Democratic Nomination.

“I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States,” Senator Sanders declared, in a display of unity that drew a striking parallel with Clinton’s decision 8 years ago, to take to the microphone of the Dallas convention floor and make the nomination of Barack Obama official.

Senator Sanders’ brother even appeared with the Democrats Abroad delegation, speaking with tears in his eyes when he cast his vote for his younger brother and invoked the memory of their parents, Eli and Dorothy Sanders: “They did not have easy lives and they died young,” he admitted. “They loved the New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt and would be especially proud that Bernard is renewing that vision. It is with enormous pride that I cast my vote for Bernie Sanders.” The Vermont Senator was brought to tears by his older brother’s testimonial to the influence he has left on this election.

The night ended with a slideshow of US presidents and ended with a simulation of shattering glass—Clinton appeared as the glass began to clear, purporting, “if there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say: I may become the first woman president but one of you is next.”

The Republican DNC chairman Reince Priebus issued a statement, responding, “Tonight Democrats formally nominated the most scandal-plagued and disliked candidate in the history of their party… Simply put, Hillary Clinton cannot escape the fact Americans overwhelmingly regard her as dishonest, hypocritical, and completely out for herself,” he said. While both candidates for President have astronomically high negatives, Trump leads Clinton with 42% unfavorable, compared to Clinton’s 33%. The only former presidential candidate who comes close to either is Barry Goldwater in 1964, with a 26% unfavorable percentage.

DNC Day 3 Highlights

Wednesday evening of the DNC, carried by the “Working Together,” theme, featured some of the heaviest hitters of the convention, including #PresidentObama, Vice President #JoeBiden, and Hillary Clinton’s VP pick, Senator #TimKaine. But equally important were the lesser-known figures, who took to the stage in earnest support of their candidate. Among these were US Representative #GabrielleGiffords of Arizona, a survivor of an assassination attempt, who made her first appearance without the assistance of a cane on Wednesday night; #ChristinaLeinonen, mother of one of the 49 victims who was slain in the Orlando Pulse nightclub, delivered an unforgettable speech, celebrating her son’s life.

“It takes about five minutes for a church bell to ring 49 times,” she opened. “I know this because last month, my son Christopher, his boyfriend Juan, and 47 others were murdered at a club in #Orlando.” She described the moment she went into labor with Christopher and how the hospital put her off-duty gun away safely in a locker. “I’m glad common-sense gun policy was in place the day Christopher was born,” she said. “But where was that common sense the day he died? I never want you to ask that question about your child.” In a beautiful tribute to those impacted by gun violence, Broadway stars #IdinaMenzel, #AudraMcDonald, and dozens of figures from the theater world banded together to perform their rendition of “What the World Needs Now.”

Many of the night’s speakers also came from key swing states, including Nevada Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who slammed the GOP real estate mogul as a “con man” and was met with cheers of “Harry! Harry!” Other speakers from battlegrounds included California’s Lt. Governor #GavinNewsom and New York City Mayor #BilldeBlasio. Former California Governor #ArnoldSchwarzenegger even delivered a video speech to DNC attendees. Even Michael Bloomberg, sporting a neutral purple tie—a member of the #RepublicanParty but now an #Independent—made a case for Clinton, admitting, “I know Hillary Clinton’s not flawless, no candidate is. But she’s the right choice and the responsible choice in this election.”

Governor Martin O’Malley of #Maryland also delivered one of the more memorable lines of the night, invoking Trump when he said, “It’s time to put a bully in his place, and a tough woman in hers…the White House!”

Former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, took to the podium, and was greeted by chants of “no more war,” from a crowd of unruly delegates, resulting in convention organizers shutting out the lights in their section. “In this election, there is only one candidate for president who has the experience, temperament and judgment to be commander-in-chief, and that is Hillary Clinton,” he said. Panetta was clearly taken by surprise, following the protests, but once he exited the stage, the lights were turned back on in the Ohio delegate section.

However, President Obama’s speech and signature oratory finesse stole the night and made modern history. In a highly unusual alignment between an incumbent president and his potential successor, President Obama took to the campaign and convention stages to stump for Hillary. In 2008, McCain stayed away from the same opportunity for George W. Bush and in 2000, Al Gore did the same for the scandal-ridden Bill Clinton. After all, sitting presidents in modern US history are normally unpopular by the close of their terms that nominees seek to distance themselves from the existing presidents as much as possible. In 2008, McCain said, “I am not George Bush.” Tonight was a rare exception.

President Obama celebrated his legacy and American exceptionalism, but also reminded voters, “It’s been you who’s fueled my dogged faith in our future, even when the odds are great; even when the road is long,” to the tune of a thunderous applause from convention-goers. “You got to get in the arena with her,” he continued, “because Democracy isn’t a spectator sport. It’s not about yes he will, it’s about yes WE can.” He spoke of his head-to-head competition with Clinton 8 years ago, noting, “She was doing everything I was doing, but just like Ginger Rogers — it backwards in heels.”

The President did not spare any jabs at the GOP nominee, quipping, “America is already great. America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump.” As Obama delivered his message, the Trump campaign emailed reporters with a statement whose subject line read, “Owning the 3rd Term: Violent Crime Rising Across the Country.”

“Dont boo,” the President said in response to a chorus of resentful anti-Trump audience members, “Vote.”

In the end, President Obama channeled his star-power into a glowing endorsement of presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, “There has never been a man or woman, not me, not Bill (Clinton)—nobody more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States.”

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, took a no holds barred approach to attacking his opposition. Received with eruptive laughter from the crowd, he said, “He never tells you how he’s going to do any of the things he says he’s going to do. He just says, ‘believe me,’ impersonating Trump. “So here’s the question. Do you really believe him?” Kaine spoke Spanish frequently during the speech, noting that he and Clinton are “companeros de alma,” soul mates.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who called Trump a “homegrown demagogue,” delivered perhaps the most memorable line of his speech, in saying, “Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his businesses? God help us.”

Joe Biden, who entered to the “Rocky” theme, was greeted by delegates waving orange signs with “Joe” printed across and blue counterparts that read “Scranton,” the city from which he hails. After sending his love to his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, who spoke just before him, he said, “We’re family,” describing the relationship he and Jill have cultivated with President Obama. He then assured viewers, “I know Hillary!,” emulating the tone of Michelle Obama’s speech just two days earlier and offering a powerful defense of the middle class and Clinton’s ability to champion their interests.

While, for many, the memories of Biden’s possible run against Clinton during the primaries still lingered, on Wednesday, Biden sought to mend a fractured party and throw his support behind the former #SecretaryofState: “I know Hillary. Hillary understands. Hillary gets it… Ladies and gentlemen, we all understand what it will mean for our daughters and granddaughters when Hillary Clinton walks into the Oval Office as president of the United States of America. It will change their lives.”

Seeking to quell the tides of anger from resentful Bernie supporters, he took shots at GOP Nominee Donald Trump, saying, “Just listen to me a second without booing or cheering. I mean this sincerely. We should really think about this. His cynicism is unbounded. His lack of empathy and compassion can be summed up in a phrase I suspect that he’s most proud of having made famous: “You’re fired.” He invoked his signature word in the process, adding, “He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class? Give me a break. That’s a bunch of malarkey.”

On night 3 of the DNC, as #Biden and #Obama gave what is likely to be the final widely viewed political speeches of their administration, they elevated America as a country of virtue, optimism, and hope.

Furthermore, the night proved a powerful testament to families—and a nation—ripped apart by gun violence. The speakers cast Donald Trump as the greatest threat to the American Dream and Hillary Clinton as the country’s only hope to preserve it. Two icons of the Democratic Party—the President and his number two—sought to pass the baton to Clinton, who surprised the audience with her appearance at the podium, following Obama’s words. The once-rival 2008 presidential candidates embraced on stage after President Obama’s speech.

As the evening drew to a close, the excitement in the air and eager anticipation of the historic Thursday night to follow was as palpable as ever.

DNC Day 4 Highlights: Clinton Accepts Historic Nomination

Shortly before 11 PM EST, Hillary Clinton ushered in a historic nomination as the first woman to accept the presidential nomination of a major political party in US history. While it is difficult to view this nomination without the prism of a nation amidst a cultural and political divide—media, state leaders, and constituents both nationally and internationally took stock as history was made.

Before the official #Democratic Nominee took the stage, however, the evening’s theme, “Stronger Together,” heralded an impressive list of moving speakers from the military, sports, political, and civil rights worlds.

Among them, were Khizr Khan, Kareem Abdul Jabar, Florent Groberg, Nancy Pelosi, Dolores Huerta, Tammy Duckworth, Andrew Cuomo, and Retired Four-star General John Allen.

As General Allen took to the stage, flanked by a platoon of retired military leaders and recent veterans, he declared, “She has been training for this moment for decades. In the Senate, she worked across the aisle to support wounded warriors and our families. As president, she’ll reform the VA, not privatize it. And as commander in chief, she will defeat ISIS.”

He spoke of Clinton’s intentions to “strengthen NATO…and stop the spread of nuclear weapons,” attacking Trump by adding, “With her as our commander in chief, our international relations will not be reduced to a business transaction.” For the second time at the DNC, however, protesters in the convention hall shouted “No more war!” throughout General Allen’s speech.

Andrew Cuomo reminded voters, “Fear is a powerful weapon. It can excite and motivate. But, fear will never build a nation.”

Khizr Khan, the father of Army Captain Humayun Khan, a Muslim immigrant who died in the line of duty in Iraq while protecting his unit from a car bomb, delivered a moving, unforgettable tribute to his son.

“Like many immigrants,” he began, “we came to this country empty-handed. We believed in American democracy; that with hard work and goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings.”

He launched a sharp attack toward #DonaldTrump, continuing, “Humayun…sacrificed his life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son ‘the best of America’. If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America. Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities; women; judges; even his own party leadership.”

Mr. Khan pulled out a copy of the #Constitution from his jacket pocket, looking into the camera and directing his question at Donald Trump:

“Let me ask you: have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy…In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law’.

Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one. We cannot solve our problems by building walls, sowing division. We are stronger together. And we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our President. In conclusion, I ask every patriot American, all Muslim immigrants, and all immigrants to not take this election lightly.

This is a historic election, and I request to honour the sacrifice of my son – and on election day, take the time to get out and vote. And vote for the healer. Vote for the strongest, most qualified candidate, Hillary Clinton, not the divider. God bless you, thank you.”

A few Republicans even took to the stage, to make the case, as to why they joined the Democratic frontrunner. One representative from Republican Women For Hillary said, “I campaigned exclusively for the GOP until this election,” calling many of Trump’s actions “too crass to repeat but too important to ignore.” Doug Elmets, a Republican public affairs consultant from #Sacramento, added, “I knew Ronald Reagan. I worked for Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump, you are no Ronald Reagan.”

A short video detailing Clinton’s life and career played next, produced by #ShondaRhimes—known for her casting of empowering female leads on the ABC Primetime lineup—and narrated by #MorganFreeman.

“Everyone already knows the powerhouse ― now, with this piece, everyone will also get to know the person,” Rhimes said of the video.

Hillary Clinton was introduced on stage by her daughter, Chelsea, who conveyed a deeply personal portrait of her mother’s legacy and persona. As a former and possibly-future first daughter, Chelsea offered a window into her mother’s softer side, reminding America that she has always fought for children and families:

“And I’ve seen her at the low points, like the summer of 1994. Several people this week have talked about her fight for universal health care. I saw it up close. It was bruising. It was exhausting. She fought her heart out and as all of you know, she lost. For me, 14 years old, it was pretty tough to watch. But my mom, she was amazing. She took a little time to replenish her spirit… And then she got right back to work. Because she believed she could still make a difference for kids.”

She reminded voters, “Come this November, I’m voting for a woman as a role model and a mother. A woman who has spent her entire life fighting for families and children… To everyone watching here at home, I know with all my heart that my mother will make us proud as our next president.”

As Hillary Clinton took to the podium, she embraced her daughter with tears in her eyes, and began her almost hour-long speech by thanking “the man from Hope, Bill Clinton” and “the man of hope, Barack Obama.”

She then turned her attention to the Bernie campaign which, as she noted, “inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary.” To these young progressives, she said, “Your cause is our cause.”

Clinton reminded voters of the “moment of reckoning” before us, making an important pivot to Donald Trump and his candidacy. She compared the country’s motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” to Donald Trump’s at last week’s convention, in which he remarked, “I alone can fix it.”

As she described it, America is a country “Where you can get a good job and send your kids to a good school, no matter what ZIP code you live in. A country where all our children can dream and those dreams are within reach, where families are strong, communities are safe and, yes, where love trumps hate.”

She also acknowledged that she is no outsider to politics, noting, “Now, sometimes — sometimes—the people at this podium are new to the national stage. As you know, I’m not one of those people. I’ve been your first lady, served eight years as a senator from the great state of New York, then I represented all of you as secretary of state.”

More important to Clinton, however, was not the “what” behind the positions she has held, but the “why”: “I get it that some people just don’t know what to make of me,” she said. “So let me tell you.”

She went on to describe the lessons her mother taught her, which she incorporated into her work at the Children’s Defense Fund, in the White House Situation Room, and in her primary season battle with Donald Trump: “The lessons she passed on to me years later stuck with me. No one gets through life alone. We have to look out for each other and lift each other up.”

Clinton announced plans to “appoint Supreme Court justices who will expand voting rights, not restrict them,” “to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United,” “to create millions of clean-energy jobs,” and to “protect a woman’s right to make her own health-care decisions.”

On the topic of voting rights, if elected, Clinton would be in office for the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

As she closed her speech on Thursday, she echoed the theme of unity for future generations of Americans, as shared by President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden, urging:

“Let our legacy be about “planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”

That’s why we’re here…not just in this hall, but on this Earth. The Founders showed us that. And so have many others since. They were drawn together by love of country, and the selfless passion to build something better for all who follow. That is the story of America. And we begin a new chapter tonight. Yes, the world is watching what we do. Yes, America’s destiny is ours to choose. So let’s be stronger together. Looking to the future with courage and confidence. Building a better tomorrow for our beloved children and our beloved country. When we do, America will be greater than ever.”

With the US Presidential Primary Season officially complete, the first presidential debate is scheduled for September 26. Stay tuned for Lima Charlie’s coverage of the 2016 Presidential #GeneralElection.

#Election2016

On JUL27, Republican presidential candidate #DonaldTrump encouraged #Russia to intervene in American politics, with a recommendation to uncover and make public hacked emails that might damage his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Shortly after Trump’s remarks, his running mate, Indiana Gov. #MikePence, took a much different approach and warned of “serious consequences” if Russia interfered in the election.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday, “I will tell you this. Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” He was referring to emails on Clinton’s private email server that she deleted because she said they were private before she turned other messages over to the State Department. The FBI declined to prosecute Clinton over her email practices. The Clinton campaign called Trump’s statement the “first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against a political opponent.”

The comment occurred after President Barack #Obama identified #Russia as almost certainly responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee. WikiLeaks published on its website last week more than 19,000 internal emails stolen from the DNC earlier this year. Trump’s controversial comment raised the specter of whether he was condoning foreign government hacking of U.S. computers and the public release of information stolen from political adversaries — actions that are publicly frowned upon across the globe.

On JUL26, A new poll gave Clinton a big lead in Trump’s must-win #Pennsylvania.

#SuffolkUniversity polled Pennsylvanians this week to find out their preference in the presidential general election. Hillary #Clinton leads Donald Trump by nine points, both in a one-on-one contest and when the field is expanded to include Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s #JillStein. These findings are consistent with an #NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken earlier this month. Pennsylvania, however, is important to Trump because it is the best example of a state that Trump says he should win: blue and with a lot of working-class white voters and blue-collar #Democrats.

#Clinton gets 83 percent of the votes of #Democrats, losing 13 percent to #Trump. The latter is still abnormally large. Losing 1 of every 10 members of one’s own party is out of step with recent presidential results. Trump loses slightly fewer, 11 percent. But he gets only 76 percent of Republican votes, likely due to poor polling with women.

#ForeignRelations

On JUL29, #USStateDepartment spokesman and retired Rear Admiral John #Kirby announced that Afghanistan has become an official member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) after #MeshranoJirga, the Upper House of the Parliament, approved the necessary legislation for membership. This makes Afghanistan the 164th member of the WTO. Its membership aids the country in bringing reform to the trade, business, and transit sectors, as well as laying a healthy foundation for economic growth and transparency. Kirby welcomed the country into the WTO, saying, “we welcome the finalization of #Liberia and Afghanistan’s terms of accession to the WTO on the 16th and 17th (December), in #Nairobi, #Kenya.”

On JUL28, the #USStateDepartment released the 2016 Fiscal Transparency Report, adhering to section 7031(b) of the 2016 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act. In a press release, the report found that 76 of 140 governments reviewed by the Department do, in fact, meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. The report “fosters greater government accountability by providing a window into government budgets for citizens, helping citizens hold their leadership accountable, and facilitating public debate.” The #StateDepartment has conducted these reviews since 2008 and, since 2012, the Department has published an annual fiscal transparency report to help citizens consider their government’s level of fiscal transparency as it ranks against that of other countries.

The Department assessed the following governments as meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency for 2016: #Afghanistan, #Albania, #Argentina, #Armenia, #TheBahamas, #BosniaandHerzegovina, #Brazil, #Bulgaria, #CaboVerde, #Chile, #Colombia, #CostaRica, #Côted’Ivoire, #Croatia, #CzechRepublic, #DominicanRepublic, #ElSalvador, #Estonia, #Fiji, #Georgia, #Ghana, #Greece, #Guatemala, #Guyana, #Honduras, #Hungary, #India, #Indonesia, #Israel, #Jamaica, #Jordan, #Kazakhstan, #Kenya, #Kosovo, #Kyrgyzstan, #Latvia, #Lesotho, #Lithuania, #Macedonia, #Malaysia, #Malta, #MarshallIslands, #Mauritius, #Mexico, #Micronesia, #Mongolia, #Montenegro, #Morocco, #Namibia, #Nepal, #Panama, #Paraguay, #Peru, #Philippines, #Poland, #Portugal, #Romania, #Rwanda, #Samoa, #Senegal, #Serbia, #SierraLeone, #Singapore, #Slovakia, #Slovenia, #SouthAfrica, #SriLanka, #Thailand, #Timor-Leste, #Togo, #TrinidadandTobago, #Tunisia, #Turkey, #Uganda, #Uruguay, and #Zambia.

Of the eight governments which did not meet minimum requirements, these countries still made significant progress toward meeting that minimum: #Azerbaijan, #CentralAfricanRepublic, #Iraq, #Mali, #Nigeria, #Somalia, #Tanzania, and #Ukraine.

 On JUL28, #US and #Indian officials met in Washington D.C. for the 14th US-India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group. The Indian delegation was led by Ministry of External Affairs Additional Secretary Ravi #Thapar . The US Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism Justin #Siberell led the US delegation, including members of the Departments of #State, #Justice, and #HomelandSecurity. The meeting provided a much-needed opportunity for the two countries to broaden their counterterrorism exchanges and deepen their partnership.

This relationship between India and the US was cemented in 2015, through the “U.S.-India Joint Declaration on Combatting Terrorism as agreed upon by #SecretaryofState #JohnKerry and Indian Minister of External Affairs #SushmaSwaraj on the occasion of the inaugural U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.”

Amongst the stipulations, both parties agreed to the following key goals:

Reaffirm the commitment of India and the United States to combat terrorism in all its forms, which constitutes a profound threat to global peace and security, and to uphold our common values of democracy, justice, and the rule of law;

Reiterate the threat posed by entities such as Al-Qa’ida and its affiliates, Lashkar-e-Tayibba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, D Company, and the Haqqani Network, and other regional groups that seek to undermine stability in South Asia;

Strongly condemn the July 27, 2015 terrorist attack in #Gurdaspur,#Punjab, and August 5, 2015, attack in #Udhampur, #Jammu and #Kashmir;

Progress toward India’s entry into the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Global Entry Program;

Progress toward a Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian National Police Academy (#Hyderabad) and the #NewYorkPoliceDepartment;

On JUL27, top US diplomat #SecretaryofState #JohnKerry attended a lunch with Philippine president Rodrigo #Duterte, in the wake of The Hague South China Sea Ruling against China’s territorial claims in the region. The two met at #MalacañanPalace to also discuss how to strengthen ties between #Manila and #Washington. Also discussed were the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (#EDCA) and the Paris climate change deal. Kerry is the highest-ranking US official to visit the country under Duterte’s new administration.

Duterte has publically criticized the #US, blaming US intervention for the bloody conflicts in Iraq and other countries in the #MiddleEast, in early July.

In the talks, however, Kerry offered Duterte 32 million dollars in aid for local law enforcement training, given that the meeting was held to discuss issues of terrorism and national security, as well. The money would likely go toward the ongoing illegal drug wave in the #Philippines.

On JUL30, #SecretaryofState #JohnKerry will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud #Abbas in #Paris, to “talk about the prospects toward helping us create conditions for a two-state solution.” Kerry’s #Philippines stop was meant to be the final destination on his trip, but he will now be returning to #Washington on Sunday. The Obama Administration had hoped to restore the Israel-Palestine peace process before the end of his term, but prospects for such a deal are slim now. The EU, Russia, the UN, and the US—known as the Middle East diplomatic quartet—warned #Israel to stop making settlements and Palestine to stop provocations of violence in a July report.

On JUL26, the US participated in a trilateral meeting with Russian officials, convened by the UN Special Envoy Staffan De Mistura, in the Palace of Nations in #Geneva. During the talk, the UN Special Envoy updated both chairs of the International Syria Support Group (#ISSG), the #US, and #Russia, on the current status of his consultations with the participants and the next steps to take in #Syria.

From the Russian and US perspective, both parties encouraged the UN to ready a proposal for political transition based on relevant #UNSecurityCouncil resolutions and feedback from #Syrian parties in previous rounds of intra-Syrian conversation and technical consultations. The US stressed the importance of restoring compliance with the stipulations of the cessation of hostilities in #Aleppo city, in addition to bettering humanitarian access in the region.

During the April round of intra-Syrian negotiations, no tangible results were produced and plans have been put in place to resume negotiations between Damascus and the opposition at the next meeting in August.

On JUL26, the US announced an expansion of its Central American Minors program, which presently provides children in #ElSalvador, #Guatemala, and #Honduras with a safe and orderly alternative to the dangerous, irregular journey that many children face to reach the United States. The US currently receives more than 9,500 applications for the program which “allows a lawfully-present parent within the #UnitedStates to request refugee status for their children located in one of these three countries.”

On JUL26, the Government of #CostaRica announced it has successfully entered into a protection transfer arrangement (#PTA) with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (#UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to assist in addressing the migration challenge. Through coordination with IOM and UNHCR, the US will now pre-screen at-risk applicants seeking protection from the region. In just the last year, the US has taken action to combat the continued humanitarian challenges in Central America and promote safe migration and border security.

On JUL27, Dr. #JillBiden, wife to Vice President Joe #Biden began the final leg of her three-country Africa trip. Dr. Biden visited the Marie #Stopes International Clinic, a partnership launched between Marie Stopes International and the United States Agency For International. She met with four Diffa residents who have been the victims of violent extremism, such as that of #BokoHaram, and even attended a meeting with members of the US Embassy community in Niamey. Dr. Biden later met with female members of the Nigerian parliament to discuss ways for women in the country to throw their hat into the political ring. Finally, she attended a #Nigerian entrepreneurs events, highlighting the importance of strengthening men and women in Niger to launch small businesses in their communities. Before returning to the US, Dr. Biden greeted US troops at the United States Exercise Relief Facility in #Niamey, #Nigeria.

#NationalSecurity

On JUL27, the #FinancialCrimesEnforcementNetwork, within the #TreasuryDepartment, announced its crackdown on money laundering in US real estate, with a plan to expand the order governing all-cash purchases of high-end homes via shell companies, according to a FINCEN release. Just 4 months ago, the Treasury Department required disclosure of the names of people behind anonymous LLC’s, limited liability companies, in all-cash real-estate transactions conducted in #NewYorkCity and #Miami. On JUL27, the list was extended to all of New York City, #LosAngeles, #SanDiego, #SanFrancisco, and two counties north of #Miami. The order goes into effect on August 28th and will continue for 6 months.

On JUL29, the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a document titled, “Joint Operating Environment 2035,” which lays out the potential threats the #Pentagon will face in 20 years, in order to help allocate its resources today. Among the challenges are those which relate to power competitions, insurgencies, and mass migration. Also included is the spread of technology. Another theme, one which #DefenseSecretary #AshCarter has woven into also every speech he has given, is that defense technologies are likely to emanate from the commercial sector and not the other way around.

In the Foreword to the document, Vice Admiral (US Navy) #KevinScott, notes, “Looking into this future is challenging. However, the difficulty in looking ahead does not excuse the military professional from considering the demands of future war. As the ultimate guarantor of the safety and security of the United States, the Joint Force must simultaneously adapt and evolve while neither discounting nor wishing away the future reality of strife, conflict, and war.”

The document’s writers delineate 6 broad geopolitical challenges that the #JointForce will face 20 years from now:

Violent Ideological Competition: irreconcilable ideas communicated and promoted by identity networks through violence.

Threatened US Territory and Sovereignty: encroachment, erosion, or disregard of US sovereignty and the freedom of its citizens from coercion.

Antagonistic Geopolitical Balancing: increasingly ambitious adversaries maximizing their own influence while actively limiting US influence.

Disrupted Global Commons: denial or compulsion in spaces and places available to all but owned by none.

A Contest for Cyberspace: a struggle to define and credibly protect sovereignty in cyberspace.

Shattered and Reordered Regions: states unable to cope with internal political fractures, environmental stressors, or deliberate external interference.

#Military

On JUL27, the #UnitedStates and #SouthKorea inaugurated a forum devoted to expanding military technology collaboration, particularly on the project to create the Korean Fighter Experimental (#KFX) aircraft. According to the South Korean Ministry of National Defense (#MND), the first ever bilateral Defense Technology Strategy and Cooperation Group (#DTSCG) was conducted Wednesday in #Washington, overseen by David Shear, the US Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy and Visiting South Korean Vice-Defense Minister Hwang In-moo. During the meeting, “South Korea explained its defense technology protection policy and the need for bilateral defense technology cooperation to the U.S., while Washington outlined its trade policy for conventional weapons and basic rules and principles it follows in the defense trade,” according to the statement published. Last year, the US provided approval to export 21 core technologies necessary for the KF-X project, but the delivery of the materials is expected some time later this year.

On JUL26, The #USAirForce Eglin’s Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force reported they had successfully carried out a historic test mission on an aircraft system to enhance the life and lethality of the F-15. The flight was the first of its kind to be equipped with the Advanced Display Core Processor II, providing a higher level of processing power to cope with evolving offensive and defensive systems. The processor is likely to extend the lifetime of Eglin’s 30-year-old F-15’s through 2040.

On JUL26, #USArmy Secretary #EricFanning visited the Pacific Manned-Unmanned Initiative training site in #Hawaii, as a part of his trip to #USPacificCommand. During the training exercise, over the course of two weeks, soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division tested and operated new robotic prototypes created to give them the ability to gain a bird’s eye view of the battle field and even move assets by remote.

Soldiers also had the opportunity to operate unmanned aerial vehicles like the Net Warrior Future Initiative, a small unit mission command system with ground and air asset control, and unmanned ground vehicles such as the Multipurpose Unmanned Tactical Transport (#MUTT) vehicle to execute training scenarios.

On JUL29, the #USNavy Naval Air Systems Command (#NAVAIR) marked its first successful flight demonstration of a flight critical aircraft component constructed using 3-D safety-critical printed parts. The MV-22B-Osprey completed a test flight equipped with titanium, 3-D printed link, and fitting assembly for the engine nacelle, using additive manufacturing (AM) techniques. The components were constructed in layers of metal, plastic, and other materials and printed at Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, #NewJersey.

While Naval aviation has used additive manufacturing as a prototyping tool since the early 1990’s, its use was reserved for non-flight critical parts. Today, this demonstration is the first time a US Navy aircraft with an AM part deemed essential to maintaining safe flight has been employed.

On JUL26, The #USAirForceSpaceCommand created the “Space Mission Force” to train soldiers to operate military satellites in response to threats. “Adversaries have developed and fielded capabilities to disrupt and deny the space systems we operate on behalf of the United States and our allies,” stated US General John #Hyten. “Consequently, [we] must organize, train and equip our space forces in a way that maintains our vigilance.” The Air Force already has Space Command squadrons to defend and attack military satellites, but wants to increase the number of personnel, providing airmen with up to six months of training. The trainees would work four to six months with experienced Space Command personnel. “Our space forces must demonstrate their ability to react to a thinking adversary and operate as warfighters in this environment,” says Hyten.

This week, studies show that military bases along the #East and #GulfCoast are at risk of losing large pieces of land as rising sea levels from man-made climate change swamp installations from #NewHampshire to #Florida according to The Union of Concerned Scientists on Thursday. The increase of water will come from, they stated, both tidal flooding and hurricane storm surge and could cause a 2,600% increase in the number of annual flooding events on several bases in the U.S. in coming decades, according to a report released Wednesday by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Sea level increases — already up 8 inches globally since 1880 — are the result of warming temperatures and ice melt caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases. The phenomenon, which scientists say is primarily caused by global warming, doesn’t occur evenly worldwide. The East and Gulf Coasts in the U.S. experience some of the fastest rates of sea-level rise, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Union of Concerned Scientists found that by 2050, half of the 18 East and Gulf Coast military installations it analyzed would experience 270 or more flood events per year — up from just 10 events annually today.

According to Erika Spanger-Siegfried, lead author of the report, four bases in Florida, Virginia and South Carolina could lose 20% or more of their land in the same time period. The report continues, “Military bases and personnel protect the country, often providing rescue services in dangerous floods and other natural disasters.” It continued, “Our defense leadership has a special responsibility to protect the sites that hundreds of thousands of Americans depend on for their livelihoods and millions depend on for national security.”

On JUL25, the U.S. military denied reports Monday that #ISIS militants had downed a warplane in Iraq’s Anbar province. The terrorist group claimed it killed all U.S. crewmembers abroad the plane. The plane was allegedly operating near the Ain Al-Asad air base, which is run jointly by Iraq and the #Pentagon. The #DefenseDepartment called the claims baseless and said there was no evidence of a missing warplane. The U.S. military carried out 73 airstrikes in Iraq last week under Operation Inherent Resolve. ISIS brought down planes last week, however. #Amaq, an agency linked to the group, released video footage that showed plane wreckage and parts of a corpse in a military uniform and a white helmet in Syria.

On JUL27, #USAirForce airmen innovated a remotely-piloted aircraft (RPA) Electronic Combat Officer course, in an effort to neutralize the enemy and its influence on combat operations. The ECO course focuses on training aircrews of MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 remotely piloted aircrafts to nullify potential signal interruptions and possible risks to RPA’s. Airmen from the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing have just graduated the first #ECO course, this week.

#ClimateChange

On JUL27, #SecretaryJohnKerry assisted in launching #1KOceanActions, an initiative created to protect our oceans, as a function of global accountability. The #USStateDepartment and Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. have partnered for the project to create a “public visualization of the most successful solutions, inspirational stories and significant innovations powering positive change in our seas.”

The initiative will feature major local achievements from NGO’s, schools, and local government to drive the necessary change. The main areas of focus will be on marine protected areas, climate, sustainable fisheries, and marine pollution. #TheOurOceanConference will launch in the fall, with foreign ministers, #NGO leaders, and high-profile philanthropists present.

During the week of JUL29, a #California Wildfire near #BigSur, California has destroyed 34 homes and killed a bulldozer driver working to contain the massive blaze. It is 10 percent contained as of Thursday and should be contained by August 31st. Another 10 outbuildings were gutted by the blaze that has charred 37 square miles (93 sq. kilometers) of dry brush. It is reported to be growing, but more slowly, as of Thursday.

The operator of a bulldozer was killed when it rolled over during the firefight. Another operator escaped injury when a second bulldozer rolled over and sustained minor damage. At least 2,000 structures are currently threatened. The blaze could crest a ridge and make a run toward campgrounds, lodges and redwoods closer to the shore, officials said.

Eight men who had been working on a marijuana field were rescued near the fire lines Tuesday after spending days wandering smoky trails with little water or food. No serious injuries were reported according to sheriff’s spokesman John Thornburg.

To the south, firefighters stopped the spread of a huge wildfire that destroyed 18 homes in mountains and canyons outside #LosAngeles. The blaze that charred nearly 60 square miles (154 square kilometers) of dry brush near #SantaClarita was 65 percent contained Thursday, according to the fire command.

#NationalMilestones

On JUL26, the US celebrated the 26th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, a landmark law signed by President George H.W. #Bush.

The act “prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. It also mandates the establishment of TDD/telephone relay services.”

Honoring the bill’s historic anniversary, the bill’s Senate sponsor, #TomHarkin, took to the podium at the #DemocraticNationalConvention on Tuesday to teach the audience—and all those watching at home—a poignant sign in #AmericanSignLanguage. He instructed audience members to entwine their fingers upright and put their hands out in front of them, then to circle their joined hands in a clockwise motion.

“That is the sign for #America. Think about it, that is a beautiful sign. Think about it. We’re all together. No one is left out in this constant circle of life that is America,” he said.

He added that #Congress should integrate more people who are disabled and ensure that they are compensated fairly for their work. “We still have a way to go before we can build a truly inclusive America,” he added.

On JUL20, the day marked NASA’s 47th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, as people around the globe reminisced on the moment that #NeilArmstrong and #BuzzAldrin landed on the moon aboard lunar module Eagle in 1969.

Just seven years prior, President John F. #Kennedy addressed a Rice University audience when he announced his plans for the upcoming decade:

“But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun–almost as hot as it is here today–and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out–then we must be bold.”

Kennedy’s dream came to fruition, indeed before the decade had elapsed and the trio—#NeilArmstrong, #MikeCollins, and BuzzAldrin—returned to #Earth as heroes of an iconic mission.

#NationalNumbers #StockExchange

On JUL29, #WallStreet turned positive in afternoon trading, with the S&P index reaching a record intraday high for the seventh time in a row this month. The stocks provided the biggest boost to both the #NASDAQ and the #S&P, but the Dow was dragged down by a 2% drop in #Exxon.

On JUL29, by midnight, the #DowJonesIndustrialAverage was down 11.6 points at 18,444.75, the S&P 500 was up 4.4 points at 2,174.46, and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 14.92 points at 5,169.90.

On JUL29, old prices finished the US day session at a moderately high level, though down from the session high after reaching a two-week high overnight.

On JUL29, #silver prices saw solid gains, as a lower US dollar index assisted in lifting the precious metals markets. August #Comex gold was last up $5.50 an ounce at $1,332.20 and September Comex silver was last up $0.225 at $20.22 an ounce.

On JUL27, the #FederalReserve held open the possibility of a second increase in interest rates later this year, given that near-term risks to the US economy had diminished and the job market recovery had increased in momentum. At its latest meeting on Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee maintained its target range for federal funds at 0.25% to 0.5%, as referenced in its press release. The Committee did not refer to the June 23 BREXIT referendum explicitly, but noted, “Near-term risks to the economic outlook have diminished.

On JUL29, the #DollarIndex showed the greenback had fallen 1% to 86.75, dropping against both emerging-market currencies and major counterparts, experiencing its largest declines against the #Japanese yen by 2.5% to ¥102.64.

On JUL29, according to a #CommerceDepartment report, the US economy grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.2% in the second quarter, much below the 2.6% growth economists had forecasted.

+++ End

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