The Biden-Harris ticket is 'DNC approved.'
Yesterday, Joe Biden officially accepted the Democratic party's nomination for president – more than 30 years after his first run for it. He said the US was facing "four historic crises" – the coronavirus pandemic, the economic crisis, racial injustice, and climate change. But that the country can "overcome this season of darkness." And promised a new plan to fight COVID-19 on day one of his presidency – including a national mask mandate. He also said character, compassion, and science are "on the ballot." Biden, who would be the oldest president to take office if he wins, was introduced by his children Hunter and Ashley – and clips of his son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015. His acceptance capped off night four of the DNC, which showed there's no party like a virtual party:
The memorable…as in, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) broke the political glass-ceiling when she accepted her VP nomination. The roll call took viewers on a cross-country trip – reminding us that calamari is making a comeback. The Obamas went "high" in their pitch for their "friend Joe." Hillary Clinton said leave the "woulda coulda shoulda" at the door. And AOC was still 'feeling the Bern.'
The former rivals...as in, former Dem candidates came back for a virtual class reunion. They rallied behind Biden, showing unity and leaving the primary season (including the 11 debates) in the rearview mirror.
The guest appearances...as in, it wouldn't be a DNC without a reminder that many celebs are Democrats. There were also stories from people all over the country, including Republican voters who are for Biden. And a teenager who struggles with a stutter shared how Biden (who's had to deal with a stutter of his own) gave him advice on overcoming it. Plus, lots of (slightly delayed) enthusiasm from the Zoom applause.
Republicans and Democrats were challenged this year to each hold a virtual convention to formally put forth their nominee and make a big pitch for November. Dems used this week to make the case that they're the party of unity and diversity – and can help the country get through these unprecedented times. Next week, President Trump and Republicans have the mic at the RNC.
Uber and Lyft. Yesterday, the two ride-hailing services were given a reprieve to keep on keeping on (for now). They were preparing to suspend operations in California today because they were facing a court order to reclassify their drivers as employees instead of gig workers. But hours before the deadline, an appeals court said 'don't hit the brakes just yet.' Reminder: the state's accused Uber and Lyft of violating a new law – which took effect in January – that looks to give gig workers protections like minimum wage, overtime, and other benefits. And claims the companies "exploited hundreds of thousands of California workers." But Uber and Lyft have said complying with the law would mean raising fares – and laying off drivers. The case will be back in court in October.
Psst...here's how gig-economy laws like California's could affect your wallet.
Steve Bannon's. Yesterday, President Trump's former adviser pleaded not guilty after New York federal prosecutors arrested and charged him – and three others – with wire fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors said Bannon ripped off donors to an online fundraising campaign to pay for the southern border wall. Bannon said it was a "volunteer org" but he allegedly took more than $1 million of the donations for himself. He was busy living his best yacht life when authorities took him into custody. President Trump distanced himself from his former aide, saying he hadn't spoken to Bannon for "a long period of time." Bannon's the sixth person with ties to the top of Trump's 2016 campaign who's faced federal charges.
...Oh and speaking of court cases, yesterday a federal judge said that Manhattan's top prosecutor has the right to access Trump's tax records – the latest in his tax returns saga.
Unemployment. Yesterday, the Labor Dept said new unemployment claims last week jumped back up above 1 million after two weeks of declines – raising concerns about the economy's recovery. Meanwhile, 19 states have applied for at least some of the extended federal unemployment benefits under President Trump's executive order. But Congress and the White House appear no closer to a broader stimulus package – and the weekly $600 bonus is still under debate.
The Kansas City Chiefs. Yesterday, the Missouri NFL team announced it's banning fans from wearing Native American headdresses and face paint that appropriates Native American culture. The team said it had "discouraged" fans from doing that for years, but it's now officially prohibiting it. And that it'll continue to work with Native American leaders "to gain a better understanding of the issues facing American Indian communities."
Skimm’d by Maria del Carmen Corpus, Mariza Smajlaj, Ellen Burke, Niven McCall-Mazza, Clem Robineau, and Julie Shain
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Jul 31 | Election Day is still on for November 3rd.
Jul 30 | Nearly 12,000 US troops are saying 'auf wiedersehen' to Germany.
Aug 19 | The US Postal Service is suspending its controversial changes.