The Wider World

Democrats urge vote vs. Trump

FORMER President Barack Obama (YouTube).

The Democratic Party brought out its team of heavy-hitters and all-stars on Wednesday night to drive home its two principal messages: vote, and vote out President Donald Trump.

On the third night of this virtual convention, viewers and listeners heard from former President Barack Obama, 2020 Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and others.

Obama spoke in favor of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, saying, “He’s got the character and experience to make us a better country.”

Further, he slammed Trump for having “shown no interest in putting in the work, no interest in finding common ground, no interest in using the awesome power to help anyone but himself and his friends, no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

Harris said the nation was an “inflection point,” arguing that that the nation was in “chaos” and “the incompetence makes us feel afraid. The callousness makes us feel alone.”

Clinton said, “This can’t be another woulda-coulda-shouda election. If you’re voting by mail, request your ballot now and send it back as soon as you can. If you vote in person, do it early. Bring a friend and wear a mask. Become a poll worker.”

On Thursday, Biden will make his acceptance speech to close the first online convention.

Apple, Target S&P are riding high

The coronavirus pandemic and the economic strains it brings has been a burden to many Americans, but it’s proven to be a time of boom for some big corporations.

TARGET reported huge second quarter profits (Flickr).

The S&P 500 hit an all-time high on Wednesday, as did Nasdaq. The former stock index is especially significant because many personal retirement investment returns are based on the rise and fall of that market.

Apple, the high-tech giant that produces the popular iPhone and iPad devices, has now hit $2 trillion in “market capitalization,” the highest ever for any publically listed American stock.  In recent months, the value of its stock has increased 60 percent.

Target, the popular discount department store, reported profits up 80.3 percent for the second quarter to $1.7 billion. The Minnesota-based retailer – like its chief competitor, Walmart – benefited from the fact that since it sells food and pharmacy goods it remained open as an “essential service” when many other stores were closed for weeks and months.

Lightning, heat sparking NorCal fires

LIGHTNING is one of the causes of the NorCal fires (Flickr).

Over 140,000 acres in Northern California have been claimed by wildfires through Wednesday morning with over 40 separate blazes burning, according to the Associated Press.

Fires are moving toward Vacaville, a city of about 100,000 people, and residents there are being urged to evacuate. Smoke from the many blazes has cast a gray pall over San Francisco.

According to United Press International, the causes of the fire are the high heat and numerous lightning strikes. Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency and – so far – 50 buildings have been destroyed an as many as 1,900 more are in danger of being consumed.

The counties most directly affected are Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Stanislaus.

Weather: The thermostat is stuck on 90

The West Orange County area is continuing to sweat under high temperatures this week. Wednesdayevening’s low is predicted by the National Weather Service to be 71 with clear skies. On Thursday, the outlook is sunny with a high of 90, with the same on Friday. Lows will remain around 71 degrees. As usual, highs will be lower near the coast. Huntington Beach, for example, is predicted to have a high on Thursday of 79 and on Friday, 79 also with some patchy clouds.

Dodgers, Angels, Clippers lose

Here’s the schedule for area pro sports teams in action on Wednesday. All times are local. Scores will be posted when they are available.

  • Seattle Mariners 6, Dodgers 4 (final).
  • San Francisco Giants, 7, Angels 2 (final)
  • Dallas Mavericks 127, Clippers 114 (final)
  • Sparks 83, Phoenix Mercury 74 (final).

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