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As President Obama (that's President Obama - a phrase I never tire of deploying) takes the stage tonight in Charlotte, the markets -- Dow, NASDAQ, S&P 500 -- have all posted huge gains today and ended the day at multiyear highs.  

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks surged Thursday, with all three major indexes closing at the highest levels in years, as optimistic investors went on a buying spree....
(cont'd)
On the domestic front, a handful of reports on unemployment and hiring showed an improvement in the job market. The latest week of jobless claims fell by more than economists had forecast, while companies expanded their payrolls more than expected in July.

Investors hope Thursday's data is a preview of what the U.S. employment picture looks like with Friday's monthly jobs report.

"We've been seeing incremental improvement in the U.S. economy, and it would be great to get two strong jobs numbers in a row," said Ablin.

 ("Ablin" is Jack Ablin of Harris Bank, quoted earlier in the article re: European central banks)

Sorry, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republicans.  Sucks to scheme and plot against the well-being of the United States of America.

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The Romney Tax Filings Flap shows no signs of abating.  Dana Bash (who somewhat-corroborated Harry Reid's claim**) just posted an article describing how Reid has really cornered Romney on this issue.

Update 2:30pm Eastern: CNN.com is, for the moment, promoting Bash's piece as their main story.  

**It's worth keeping in mind what Reid claimed and what he didn't.  Reid did not claim that he (Reid) knows that Romney paid zero taxes for 10 years.  He claimed that a well-sourced confidant called him and told him that he (the confidant) knows that Romney paid zero taxes for 10 years.  (UPDATE: DKos member zqxj, in comments below, notes that Reid later expanded his claim and said that multiple confidants, all credible, have told him (Reid) that Romney paid zero taxes for several years.)

Excerpts from the CNN article and other sources, below.  Plus, also below, the Guardian UK piles on!

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It's clear the prize is "10 full years of Mitt Romney's tax filings."  It is equally clear, no way no how: Mitt Romney will not release them.  He says now it's a matter of principle, but all parties know it's a matter of absolute political wipeout.  So we are pressuring Romney to do something that he has staunchly stated he refuses to do.  

So now what?

Harry Reid suggested something yesterday that I think is a smarter way forward.  Something for the Obama campaign, Reid and other Democratic leaders, pro-Obama PACs and many of us can focus on: what Mitt Romney did say he would do, regarding the tax filings controversy.  

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Just saw this news item that President Obama will be making an announcement today during his appearance in the Rose Garden.  Specifically: he will state his position on the Bush tax cuts which are up for extension debate once again.  Obama will state a one-year extension only at this time, and only for those making less than $250K a year.  

As we all know, Democrats and Republicans have been at loggerheads over whether wealthy Americans (those making more than $250K a year) should continue benefiting from the Bush tax cuts.  Democrats wearily and resignedly caved in to pass a two year extension on the Bush tax cuts in 2010 - it was somewhat a hostage situation, economically speaking.

President Obama's statement today will go over well with most Americans.  Shortly before the Bush tax cuts were extended for two years in 2010 (to 2012, which is why it's coming up again), CBS news took a poll and found that most Americans wanted the cuts to end for the wealthiest (those making $250K+ a year).  More recently a January 2012 poll from United Technologies led to this headline claiming that "everyone hates" the Bush tax cuts.

Looking forward to seeing Mitt Romney express his displeasure on this one.

Discuss

I know, I know: "PLEASE stop diarying about this person.  PLEASE make her go away."

But consider the upside (for Democrats) to such an ill-fated gambit on Palin's part.  And consider this a hint that she's possibly preparing to announce.  It's about that season: you'll remember that Clinton and Obama each announced in Dec/Jan about 23 months before the 2008 election.  

New York Times upcoming weekend magazine has a large piece on "The Palin Network" - and it contains this interesting bit:

"I am," Sarah Palin told me the next day when I asked her if she was already weighing a run for president. "I’m engaged in the internal deliberations candidly, and having that discussion with my family, because my family is the most important consideration here." Palin went on to say that there weren’t meaningful differences in policy among the field of G.O.P. hopefuls "but that in fact there’s more to the presidency than that" and that her decision would involve evaluating whether she could bring unique qualities to the table.

Good Lord.  More below.

Poll

Sarah Palin: Running?

61%101 votes
38%64 votes

| 165 votes | Vote | Results

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Mon Apr 05, 2010 at 10:01 AM PDT

Fit, Healthy, Strong... Vegan?

by Torta

I tried eating vegan 17 years ago, in response to reading John Robbins' Diet For a New America.  That first attempt didn't go so well, for reasons I'll explain in my diary below.

I tend to run very lean and underweight, and my longstanding fear of cutting out meat & dairy was that I'd become even skinnier and weaker.  Indeed, that was what happened the time before, so I wrote it off.  But in researching treatments and cures for various digestive and sinus issues, the recommendation to cut down on animal products (or cut them out altogether) kept popping up in front of me.

At the same time, I finally read Fast Food Nation* recently and it prompted me to want to give this another try, fortified with all kinds of new and good information.  (*For those who might say our food choices have nothing to do with politics, I say read that book!)  And I have to say, so far -- WOW.  I feel great.  

If you are eating a vegetarian or vegan diet for health or other reasons, and if it is working well for you, I'd welcome your tips and advice in the comments.  Thanks!

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Mindful of GrannyDoc's admonition, I'll try to build this up to be enough of a diary.

And yes.. sorry.. it's another Sarah Palin diary.

But seriously, something has been bugging me about Sarah Palin's brief bio.   In light of the GOP's anemic talking points about Palin's background as a governing executive, some things just don't look so impressive on closer inspection.

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Or so they claim.  How much of this is Keyboardist blustering, and how much of this is an authentic statement of conscience?

I have been pro-choice all my life - but I can totally see how someone whose mindset and value system literally equates abortion with murder, might say this and mean it.  

Following is a look through Wingnutlandia's reactions to news items today that McCain might pick a pro-choice running mate:

Poll

If McCain chooses a pro-choice VP, will that help him or hurt him all in all?

52%48 votes
34%31 votes
4%4 votes
8%8 votes
0%0 votes

| 91 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:35 AM PST

Obama's open letter to GLBT America

by Torta

Barack Obama has released an in-depth open letter to Americans who are anxious to know that he truly supports gay & lesbian voters and understands our concerns.

Full letter on the flip -

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Hi.  Live from Boston here.

I just voted!  If you did too, maybe you want to say something about it.  Let's have an open thread for those who want to to share.  Record turnout is expected across Super Tuesday states even despite the bad weather (it is cool and rainy here in MA)

I have a question about MA and ballot position... on my ballot Hillary had a good 2nd position and Obama had an unfortunate bottom one.  See below... anyone know if all ballots in MA are the same candidate order?

Poll

Are you voting today?

54%725 votes
5%76 votes
3%50 votes
0%9 votes
25%342 votes
1%22 votes
2%29 votes
0%6 votes
3%51 votes
1%26 votes

| 1336 votes | Vote | Results

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I am 40 years old and this is the first time ever in my life that my vote for president will actually MATTER.  In my life experience so far as a native Bostonian, Massachusetts has never had any real power to alter the presidential race (primary or general) until this moment.

A lot of us in Massachusetts are talking about this and, as my friend said the other day - "Stop!  I'm getting goosebumps!"  

Both of our front-running candidates are making a last pitch in Massachusetts today: Hillary is coming to Worcester at 11:30am, and Barack is coming to downtown Boston for what will be a huge rally 8pm tonight at the Seaport/World Trade Center.  His event is poised to eclipse hers as it carries Kennedy, Kerry, Gov. Deval Patrick, and the Boston location, not to mention the time of 8pm (working people can attend).  I'll be there!  

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Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 01:16 PM PST

One More: Moving from Clinton to Obama

by Torta

[Update:  Oh WOW.  Top of the Rec List?!  First time ever in 4.5 years!  Thanks!!!]

As my past comments and diaries over 2007 will indicate, I have been leaning toward Hillary Clinton for the nomination.

But my support has increasingly felt hollow over the past month or two.  Much of it was from a starting assumption of her strengths as frontrunner and her command of the issues at hand facing the next president.  But increasingly I have come to feel that all three candidates are quite well versed on the issues, and that Obama and Clinton are equally well funded and endorsed and supported by the voters as they compete for the nomination (and quite likely the Presidency itself).  Meanwhile, the attacks on Obama have started to turn me off in a "gut" way.  And so finally, Bill Clinton's "Jesse Jackson" comment after Obama's historic victory in South Carolina came to serve as the tipping point for me.

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