The Democrats also had a band that played a variety of pop anthems, whereas the Republican hall has been filled with a mix of country music and mellower harmonies. Delegates in both cities have occasionally broken into dancing, and rhythm's challenge has appeared bipartisan.
That's right. A club where dancers generate power to light the floor, drinks come in recyclable cups and toilets flush with rain water. The club named WATT opened in Rotterdam today, reports Reuters. Clubbers tested out WATT's main showpiece, a dance floor where the disco lights become more dynamic as more people grooved around on it. It's done with a spring-loaded platform that compresses crystals to generate current through the piezo-electric effect, the same as push-button lighters and grills. In WATT, a meter shows how much power is being generated—generating even wilder revels.
Just because you don't love Sarah Palin doesn't mean Republican National Convention-goers don't. Watch our fearless reporter Jonathan Stein's RNC video dispatch [below] as he meets the many fans of McCain and Co.
To see MoJo Video's DNC dispatches, click here and here.
Vanity Fair added up the value of all the parts of Cindy McCain's ensemble Tuesday night and came up with this:
Oscar de la Renta dress: $3,000
Chanel J12 White Ceramic Watch: $4,500
Three-carat diamond earrings: $280,000
Four-strand pearl necklace: $11,000$25,000
Shoes, designer unknown: $600 Total: Between $299,100 and $313,100
Why is Cindy McCain's $300,000 outfit relevant? Because just one day later the GOP spent the evening slamming Barack Obama as an out-of-touch elitist (using, ironically, former CEOs Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and Mitt Romney to make the case). For reference, here are some things you could do with the money it took to buy Cindy McCain's outfit.
Look, there's nothing wrong with being rich. But there is something wrong with the party that has been in bed with the super-rich and with Big Business for decades, and has consistently pushed policies that benefit those interests, claiming to know the pulse of the working man. The price of Cindy McCain's dress isn't relevant because of Cindy McCain, the woman can wear what she wants. It's relevant because of what it illustrates about the Republican Party.
Proving Sean at fivethirtyeight.com correct, Barack Obama has raised around $8 million since Sarah Palin's speech last night. Better than the $7 million McCain got after the Palin pick was announced. Democrats I've spoken to since the speech have had two reactions, sometimes simultaneously: (1) anger about the fact that their guy got roughed up pretty bad, and (2) fear that the GOP has a new super-effective and super-likeable surrogate. Both emotions lead to the opening of wallets. Maybe Obama doesn't want people to calm down?
For the record, Obama has responded to the beating he took last night. It's after the jump.
Last night at the Republican National Convention, both Rudy Giuliani and McCain veep choice Sarah Palin mocked Barack Obama's work as a community organizer in Chicago two decades ago. Comparing her experience to Obama's, Palin said "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer—except that you have actual responsibilities." Despite the fact that organizers do have responsibilities, Palin's derision was echoed by the delegates in the hall, who roared with laughter at the idea that "community organizing" is real work.
But in guffawing at Obama's work, the GOP was mocking the efforts of an important group: the Catholic Church. Obama's community work was part of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a project sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Campaign for Human Development has been the church's main anti-poverty and social justice program in America since 1969. Do Palin, Giuliani and all those GOP delegates really believe that bishops' effort to improve the lot of the poor and jobless is a laughing matter?
Mocking church-sponsored community organizing also undermines the right's case for faith-based initiatives and so-called compassionate conservativism. Under the conservative model, a caring citizen doesn't wait for the government to help; he raises himself and his community up—sometimes with the help of community (but non-governmental) groups. It's hypocritical for Republicans to make fun of people for doing what Republicans are always saying they should do—lifting themselves up by their bootstraps. If you want government to to do less, you ought to want community organizers to do more. And as Roland Martin pointed out yesterday on CNN (video below), community organizers are the people assisting Americans hit by the housing crisis and the sputtering economy:
Palin and Giuliani got a good laugh from a friendly crowd, but a lot of Americans won't be in on the joke.
Listening to Palin's speech, I was a little awed by how far she stretched, or outright obliterated, truths about herself and Obama. One example: "In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change." Did she forget that she ran both her mayoral and gubernatorial campaigns on being different from the incumbent? Here's a nice summary of other untruths Palin broadcast to the nation last night. For the convention crowd, Palin's speech may have been a "home run," but from a fact-checker's perspective, it was a strikeout.
I don't disagree with Stephanie often, but I guess there's always a first time, and I really don't think it's any of our business how long Sarah Palin chose to take off after giving birth. Who knows what the circumstances were? Whether she was able to bring the baby to the office? What other reasons there might have been for why she felt compelled to do what she did? Can't we hold more than one idea in our heads at the same time: Disagree with Palin's choices in politics (including the ironic choice to deny women a choice... but I digress), without taking issue with her decisions as a person? Can't we fight for every woman's and every man's right to family leave (and flex time, and job-sharing, and the whole work-life agenda that dropped out of the national discourse sometime in the 80s thanks in large part to GOP culture warriors--but I digress again) without worrying that one very prominent working mother's choices will undercut our whole argument? (If our argument is that weak, we have other problems.) For an example of how to do all this better, let's see how France's Minister of Justice works it out--as a single mom, no less.
Oh, and while we're at it: When Emily Bazelon and Dahlia Lithwick wonder, in their otherwise excellent Slate piece: "Is it passing judgment to observe that for most mothers, a pregnant teenager is a sign of parenting gone awry?" all I can say is, um, my first assumption would be birth control gone awry. I know it's not going to happen, but I really, really wish we'd just focus on stuff like Palin's global-warming denialism.