Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama

While much of the news coverage of the opening night of the Democratic National Convention focused on the “usual virtual showcase” aspect of the event and the lack of “convention atmospherics,” Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders stole the show.

The former First Lady turned the tables on president Trump during her 18-minute pre-recorded speech.

In his interview with Axios, Trump displayed a total lack of empathy for the American families who lost loved ones to COVID-19. “It is what it is,” the president said.

Obama said: "Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is."

She also used the word “empathy” five times during her heartfelt talk. And that includes this gem: “Because whenever we look to this White House for some leadership or consolation or any semblance of steadiness, what we get instead is chaos, division, and a total and utter lack of empathy.

While the Wall Street Journal declared that Obama brought “star power” to the convention, it said the night belonged to Sanders.

The Journal got that right.

The Vermont Senator and pride of Brooklyn said the upcoming election is about preserving America’s democracy and then eloquently set up the argument against Trump.

Sanders said:

“During this president’s term, the unthinkable has become normal. He has tried to prevent people from voting, undermined the U.S. Postal Service, deployed the military and federal agents against peaceful protesters, threatened to delay the election and suggested that he will not leave office if he loses. This is not normal, and we must never treat it like it is.

"Under this administration authoritarianism has taken root in our country. I, and my family, and many of yours, know the insidious way authoritarianism destroys democracy, decency, and humanity."

Sanders rapped the president's rejection of science that puts lives at risks. “Trump has attacked doctors and scientists trying to protect us from the pandemic, while refusing to take strong action to produce the masks, gowns, and gloves our health care workers desperately need.”

And then Bernie delivered the zinger: “Nero fiddled while Rome burned; Trump golfs. His actions fanned this pandemic resulting in over 170,000 deaths and a nation still unprepared to protect its people.

Out of focus… White House trade advisor Peter Navarro is hopping mad over the the possible insider trading by Eastman Kodak executives ahead of the announcement that Uncle Sam was giving a $765M loan to the beleaguered company.

It's “probably the dumbest decision made by executives in corporate history,” said Peter Navarro on August 17. “You can’t fix stupid,” he told CNBC’s Squawk Box. “You can’t even anticipate that degree of stupidity.”

Irate Navarro though is washing his hands of the matter because he says he has a lot of things on his plate and the Securities and Exchange Commission is already probing Kodak’s disclosure of the deal.

That’s too bad. Many are perplexed why down-and-out Kodak, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2013, got the loan to finance the launch of Kodak Pharmaceuticals in the first place. It was a bolt out of the blue.

The company, which blew the shift from film to digital, already tried its hand at becoming a drug company. It paid $5.1B in 1988 to buy Sterling Drug. We know how that turned out. Kodak flopped.

The company amassed $211M in second-quarter 2020 revenues. Traditional/digital printing accounted for 81 percent of total revenues.

Inquiring minds want to know why a money-losing company (e.g., $5.1M in Q2) got a $765M loan, which is now on hold. Something just doesn't smell right.

Those inquiring minds may want to consult the July 28 press release from the US International Development Finance Corp., which says the loan was made “at the direction of President Donald J. Trump.”

To paraphrase Navarro, the $765M loan is “probably the dumbest decision made by officials in US federal government history.”