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We arrived in Paris early Monday after a sleepless night.  I  took a hard spill on an slanted moving walkway at CDG, and eventually  arrived at our hotel, bruised and ready for a good day's sleep. Lunch intervened, a  nap sufficed and I,  my obsessive self, having voted absentee,  tuned in the Obama-Romney Debate at 3 a.m. Paris time.

That was not hard, most French hotels carry several English channels. Most carried the debate including France 24's English Channel. Obama more than lived up to my expectations and before I went to sleep I heard the early polls giving him a clear victory.

But it's worth remembering that the French have a far higher interest in foreign affairs than the average American. And it is probably good for Romney's case that he did not wake up to French front pages about Romney's weaknesses and the poverty of Republican foreign policy.

More below the fold.

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Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 10:54 PM PDT

Nate Silver's 538 big change

by bamjack

We're all a little hyper about this election with good reasons. Romney's future is not one I want any part of. But the period since the first presidential debate at Denver has been tough on us minute by minute diehards.

And, Nate Silver, appears to have picked the worst night to take a break from the number intensity so he could spend an evening flogging his book with John Stewart. That's all right Nate, things are looking up.

more below the fold


Is Obama setting off on another strong uptick

66%570 votes
3%32 votes
29%252 votes

| 855 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 09:45 PM PDT

Mitt's Lying Eyes - Caught Out

by bamjack

There was a deer in the headlights moment for Mitt Romney during Tuesday's debate, his anger at being trapped in a stupid failure of fact, putting his mouth well ahead of any known facts.

Whatever you could see it in his eyes.


I'm a retiree who manages our mostly bread and butter investments myself.  I also prepare and file my own tax returns including Partnership K1s  which gives me a perspective, however limited, on the Mitt Romney's returns  -- and why he hasn't released more.

The conclusion I've reached is that there is far more buried in those earlier returns than just low taxes and tax avoidance schemes, and that there are important nuggets of information that we can see but interpret with difficulty. We know that he deliberately overpaid his taxes for political reasons. It's not quite as obvious, but his taxes aren't finished. He states that he intends to take a (very large) foreign tax credit against his 2011 taxes at a later date. That will further reduce his tax rate. More below the squiggly.

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Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 08:37 PM PDT

Where Has (Bill) Clinton Been?

by bamjack

I don't mean by that to find any fault with former President Clinton who delivered a masterly lesson to people across the political spectrum. Afterward, he was factchecked by all manner of Politifact, etc.... and anyone with a brain scored him highly.

So why is he not heard from until Thursday night, i.e. tonight, on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. There are commenters who point out the activity they've seen or know about and that's terrific, but then I live in a Connecticut where we're too blue to draw Presidential money this year. But, seriously, I love the rapid response and despise the media neglect.

 More, but not a lot below the fold.

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Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 08:23 PM PDT

Romney - Loose Lips

by bamjack

This is a very short diary, an image of what's been at work for the last few days. Perhaps it will get serious -- almost any day. As it is, we've got a good candidate at the top of the ticket and good ones below.

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Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 06:54 PM PDT

Paying your dues: Funding Blue

by bamjack

I've been around for a while, rarely writing diaries, but a diehard progressive dating back to before most of the young group was born. I'm trying to back up my political beliefs with a bit of money. Consider the effectiveness of supporting campaigns now. More below the fold.

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How do Rush Limbaugh and Clear Channel Broadcasting get off howling about threats to their First Amendment rights to free speech. Clear Channel and Limbaugh are entitled to free speech. So are all of us. Clear Channel and Rush Limbaugh seem to feel that only they have free speech -- and that they have the right to dictate to use what free speech is. Given their attitude, we shouldn't be surprised. It isn't one of them, it's both. It isn't just Rush Limbaugh who operates as a Republican front. So is Clear Channel. And both amount to an equivalent to an enormous contribution directly to the Republican Party as the most Super of all PACs. Why buy ads when you have Clear Channel propaganda.

Clear Channel and Rush Limbaugh are outrageous and notorious enemies of free speech. It's a matter of well established history. Will cowardly MItt Romney bite the hand that feeds him, i.e. Clear Channel. Has anyone forgotten all the previous abuses of free speech at Clear Channel, the Limbaugh-Clear Channel efforts to shut down the free speech of anyone who's not a Republican. Romney is on the receiving line of the Clear Channel gravy train. Maybe Romney would feel differently if he had a daughter who planned to go to college.

Maybe Romney doesn't exercise management over Bain Captal, but he sure as hell benefits from contributions to his PAC by Bain executives and from the millions and millions of dollars Bain pays him every year as his "share." He's also tied directly to Clear Channel.  Is he trying to help keep Clear Channel out of another bankruptcy by keeping quiet about Limbaugh's foul mouth? But after Limbaugh's Sandra Flake craziness, he has to follow it up with an abusive rant on Tracie McMillen, an author and another young educated woman he doesn't know.


I'll get to the pimp business below the fold of this very long diary:


Is Rush Limbaugh?

29%8 votes
3%1 votes
14%4 votes
3%1 votes
3%1 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
11%3 votes
18%5 votes
11%3 votes

| 27 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 11:39 PM PDT


by bamjack

Bloomberg wants people to love him. He doesn't really want to shut the people down in the park. That's the message that's gotten from all the protests.

Write Bloomberg a short note NOW and tell him not to evice the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Don't give him a hard time. Appeal to his better angels to let the people protest if they wish. Give him a reason to leave them alone and pay for it, which isn't much, an dot stop the Police Commissioner Kelly from shutting it down.

See below. Make your voice heard now. The regional protests are important. But it would be a big deal to get the Mayor of Wall Street, in effect, to say the people have something got say. Let's hear it. Below the Jump.

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Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 06:22 PM PDT

Reagan -Truth and GOP Nuts

by bamjack

Truth is usually a good weapon against black propaganda from Republican extremists and few bits of fact have been more timely than the recent referral to Reagan's recorded comments on why Congress needed to stop screwing around and raise the Debt Limit. As they did repeatedly during his two terms in office.

But Republicans can't stop themselves from using the far right wing's peculiar embellishments of the mythological Ronald Reagan without ever realizing that they are damaging the very real human being who was Reagan.

Not always loved by the progressives, Reagan still left office with a great deal of respect from liberals and in more than a few a genuine appreciation for his qualities as a man. You don't have to share those beliefs to enjoy this repudiation by Reagan of virtually every proposal we've heard from Boehner, Cantor and the Tea Party extremists. more below the fold.  

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Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 09:39 PM PDT

Krugman on means testing benefits

by bamjack

As someone who receives Medicare and Social Security, I've tried and usually failed to adequately explain why I'm opposed to any form of means testing on either Social Security or Medicare. Fortunately Paul Krugman can do it quite well.

Reducing the subsidy is a fancy way of say we're going to collect more from you for something you paid for through your career ... so we can convince you that Medicare is welfare.  In other areas, user fees are collected for basic government service. Consider it the Republican sick phobia about honesty in calling a tax a tax.

Krugman hits out of the ballpark again with his blog entry on Means Testing, noting that "if you want the well-off to pay more, it’s just better to raise their taxes." more below the fold.

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Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 11:33 PM PDT

Cut, Cap, Balance and Laugh

by bamjack

Sometimes it's worth the time to read legislation, before it's passed and after it's passed. Cut, Cap and Balance gave me a belly laugh, but only because I thought  234 clones of The Three Stooges had taken over the House of Representatives.

I quickly realized that was unfair to the obvious  intelligence of the Stooges compared with the subversive extremists who now tyrannize the House of Representatives. Even the Stooges would have difficulty lampooning Kantor's Idiots given what they do themselves and to us.

If the requirements could be taken seriously, there isn't time to get the legislation passed and avoid default because it isn't one step debt limit solution. And if you want to take national suicide seriously, you should at least think it over before you pull the trigger. Laugh or cry about this legislative waste of time, more below the fold.

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