Stockpiling, Week 1–aka, Cheerios 4/$1

littlemissknowitalld1.jpgEvery day I tell someone new about stockpiling. Stockpiling is the only way to save large amounts of dollars with coupons. If you aren’t buying the deals in amounts that will serve you for months to come, then you are only casting pebbles into the ocean. When you start stockpiling, you are throwing boulders! There is no sense in clipping only one or two coupons–the amount of time it takes is too large for that minimal of savings. To save large amounts of money each month with coupons, you must start redeeming coupons in larger amounts. I’m not talking about clearing shelves–but I am talking about working up to a 6-12 month supply of your most commonly purchased goods.

Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes storage. Clean out linen closets and under beds. We have lined our laundry room with wire shelving to make more room. We have even converted an old, unused shower in the basement into a storage area. But its worth it! I have enough food and goods to last for months to come! If we were suddenly hit with a financial crisis, we would be able to survive for at least 6 months.

So, the number one question I hear is “How exactly do I get started?” Well, step in here. I’m going to spend the next 6 weeks posting the stockpiling deals I find. I will let you know where to get the coupons–online printables, ebay, coupon services, or out of your paper. I will tell you what stores to go to, how many to buy, and what to expect your end price to be!

So, for this week’s stockpile:

1. All 3x concentrated detergent. Free with coupon at Walmart and Target stores.

-In this weekend’s paper there was a coupon for $1 off ANY All 3x detergent. Target and Walmart carry this in their trial section for .97 a bottle. Go to eBay or a coupon clipping service (thecouponclippers.com) and buy 20-60 of these coupons. (They should be about $3 for 20 of them.) All runs this q every 6 weeks or so–so don’t panic if you can’t get 60 bottles. It will come around again. Each little bottle is 2 loads. So if you do a load of laundry a day, and you buy 30 bottles, that’s two months worth of detergent for the price of the coupons!

2. Scotch Brite toilet cleaners. I’ve had this one on here before, but its worth sharing again! This is a free coupon on Scotch Brite’s website. Its a printable without limits, so print many and stock up!

3. Ronzoni Pasta is on sale at Meijer this week for $1 a box. This is whole wheat pasta, so its actually good for you! And, this week its great on the pocketbook as well. Go to ebay or another coupon clipping site, and buy 10-20 coupons for this product. They are $1 off 1 box, making each box free! Even better, its buy 10 get the 11th box free! Meaning, use 10 coupons, get 11 boxes free! Now, who couldn’t use 11 free boxes of pasta? Even if the coupons cost $2, can you really beat that deal? Personally, I have purchased 60 of these coupons. Yes, 60. Over the next week I will go to Meijer and get 10-15 boxes at a time. (I never clean out shelves unless its the last night of a sale.) The pasta does not spoil quickly, and I will use a box or two a month for the next several years!

4. General Mills Cereals at Kroger are on sale this week. They are 4 for $10 with $4 off at the register. This means that you buy 4 cereals for $6! (The Betty Crocker fruit treats are too.) Now, make the rounds at the printable sites:

http://www.boxtops4education.com/coupons/

http://www.eatbetteramerica.com/Coupons/

The eatbetteramerica coupons are for .50/1 Cheerios, which doubles, and you can print many, many of these. Using four of these with four boxes means you get 4 boxes of Cheerios (Honey Nut and Fruit Cheerios too) for only $2. Want to save more? Head over to Shortcuts.com and register your Kroger card. Add Honey Nut Cheerios to your card, and it will come off on top of any coupons you use. That means I paid $1 for all 4 boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios!


Visions of Guatemala

I’ve been home a month now, and I’m finally coming to the place where I can talk about Guatemala. It was an amazing trip,2-10-2008-076.jpg in the roughest sense of the word. Amazing people–I met gentle, generous, kind-hearted people everywhere I went. I met children who had the most beautiful smiles. I was captivated by the people of Guatemala. The countryside is rugged but beautiful–I saw smoking volcanoes and dust devils swirling in the fields. I saw gorgeous flowers and beautiful weather–it was 72 degrees in the city and in the upper 80’s in Coatepeque. But the poverty–that was what broke my heart. To see them living like that–these gorgeous souls, living without clean water, schooling or any resources to bring themselves out of their situation. And they were gorgeous souls. These were not people living in poverty out of choice. It was life as they knew it, and there was no other choice.

2-10-2008-180.jpgThis was not my first trip to Guatemala, but it was the most powerful. I met so many people. I met Linda, who is working her way out of poverty, working her way up the ladder at Pollo Campero (think KFC) as a waitress. She has her sights set on management, and is training for it. The only problem is that she’s a single mother, who must leave her kids at home while she works. They do not go to school. She has a 5 year old, and an 18 month old. The 5 year old watches the 18 month old every day while she works. We saw that multiple times in Coatepeque and Guatemala. I met Pilar, so beautiful, such faith, such a gorgeous soul. Her smile lit up the room. Yet when we visted her home, we found a simple wooden shack in the middle of the city, with two roosters, but no hens. Why no hens? Her grandsons or neighbors would steal them from her. Why roosters but no hens for eggs? The grandson would use them for cockfighting, his only source of income. He was 20 and would not work. Not ‘did not work’ but ‘would not work.’ Any time Pilar would get some money for food, her sons and grandsons would come around and steal it from her for drugs or other activities on the streets. (Again, a common sight.)

We heard the stories of how homes are built–each year a family would take a little money, whatever small amount it could2-10-2008-145.jpg save, and buy concrete blocks and concrete, and add them to the home. Most of the time this was 1-2 layers of blocks per year. Most families spent 15 years building a small 12′ x 12′ home for 4-10 people to live in. Their ‘kitchens’ were usually a rough fireplace of bricks with a kettle or pot over it–burning 24 hours a day, and under the same roof as the rest of the home. There was no venting of the smoke. Toilets and running water were virtually non existent in the poorer neighborhoods–and where there were pit toilets, they were often built within a few feet of the water well. And we all know what happens to the well water when its within 10 feet of the toilet. The city water was so bad no one could drink it. Everyone had to have bottled water. Those who did drink it had to boil it for 30 minutes first–and even then, there was a very high incidence of bladder and kidney infection from the poor water supply.

Most of the kids had never had their picture taken, and many of them did not have a mirror in 2-10-2008-274.jpgtheir home. How can you have good self-esteem (a key factor to developing the drive to rise out of poverty) if you don’t know what you look like? Their clothes were clean and in good condition, but a large portion of the population can’t afford school. Our host family works to make a difference, but even they are limited in what they can do.

We investigated the idea of starting a microfinance program in Coatepeque, and found that a mere $24 would impact the life of a Guatemalan. $24. We spend more than that on our cell phones each month!

We saw pigs and chickens running around at many homes–a constant reminder of where their food comes from. Even the middle class often keeps pigs and chickens–remembering the hard times of the civil war. They never want to be caught without again.

We’re going back–how could we not go back? We’ll be going back in the fall to begin work on clean water systems for many of the people we met. Take a look through the photos and say a few prayers for them. 2-10-2008-265.jpg

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Menu Planning and Budgeting

littlemissknowitalld1.jpgPlanning out a monthly menu is the very first step to saving lots of $$ every month! Without this step, coupons are useless. You will not save big $$ until you learn to make up a monthly (or weekly) shopping list! Think of all the times you walk into your pantry, looking for something to make for dinner. How many nights a week do you want to make something, but don’t have enough ingredients? How many times do you run to the grocery for only one or two things? And how often do you actually succeed in coming out of the grocery with only those items? The stores count on that! Its a huge hit to our budgets–the constant running to the store. Even worse, how often do you just get tired and give up, instead grabbing fast food? Oh, and one side benefit to a monthly menu–most people lose a pound or two since they eat at home more and tend to eat healthier!

So how do you do it? Its very simple!

Step 1: Sit down and write a list of every single meal you know how to make. Break it down into breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Step 2: Now go back and highlight the family favorites.

Step 3: Pick 5-7 breakfast and lunch items to regularly stock up on. Write down the ingredients for these on a separate shopping list.

Step 4: Now, take a blank month calendar and write in the dinners your family loves. Break them up. Think about days of the week that are always hectic, and a night a week when you’d like some time off from cooking. For example, around the KnowitAll household, Saturdays are Pizza nights. We have take and bake pizzas in the freezer. Sunday nights are COYF–Clean Out Your Fridge night. Meaning–Mommy isn’t cooking. Get some leftovers! I know that Wednesdays are church group, and we have little time for dinner. So its something quick and filling, but won’t give us heartburn if we eat and run. Mondays are family time–so we have a larger dinner. I mix each week so that we have some pasta, some beef, some chicken, some fish. There’s a good sampling each week.

Step 5: Now add in one or two dinners you’ve always wanted to learn how to make! Then, fill in the blank days with other meals that are cheap and easy, but aren’t necessarily family favorites. Don’t forget to add in the Chef’s favorites too!

Step 6: Now, sit at your computer, and begin a Word or Excel document. Make a shopping list of all the ingredients of these meals, including the breakfasts and lunches.

Step 7: Add in a list of the basic items you buy each month–toilet paper, shampoo, dog food, cat food, etc.

Now, before you shop, survey your pantry. Check off the items you need, print, and go shopping! You’ve got a ready-made shopping list, and you know you won’t forget the bread crumbs or cream of mushroom soup! Every night, instead of coming home, opening the fridge and standing there staring at it blankly, wondering what the heck you’re going to have for dinner, you can look at your menu, and pull out all the ingredients! Dinner is at hand!


How to Save Big $$ on Groceries and More!

littlemissknowitalld1.jpgI think I get the most hits and questions on saving money at the grocery. People are always astounded at how little we spend here in the KnowitAll household on our basic supplies. Which puzzles me, because its really not that hard!

So, I decided I would put together a tutorial–How to Save Big $$ on Your Everyday Expenses!

So, why are people so astounded? Well, the average american household with 2 parents and 2 kids spends approximately $700-$800 a month on groceries and toiletries. I spend about $150-$200 a month–that’s two adults, two kids, one cat. That’s pretty much three meals a day, seven days a week. And 90% of the items in our home is not generic–it is all name brand!

So here are the basic steps, which I will expound on in individual posts:

1. Make a monthly menu and shopping list. This will cut about $100 of wasteful spending out of your budget.

2. Begin cooking in bulk. This will cut another $50-$100 out of your budget, just in eating out costs alone!

3. Stockpile–when you find something on sale at a more-than-average savings, buy a healthy supply of it. This is the biggest money saver of them all–saving us around $200 a month!

I am not some sort of super woman. I am not more organized than the rest of the population! (Just ask Mr KnowitAll about this and you’re likely to get an essay!) This is not brain surgery! YOU, yes YOU, You can do it!!


Are We Supporting the Troops?

I don’t know about you, but this isn’t my idea of supporting the troops.  All talk, no walk.  I want someone who will do what they say they are doing!

 

From the AP today:

 

Military Denied Benefits to Surviving Son

By GARANCE BURKE,

AP

Posted: 2008-04-17 12:26:22

Filed Under: Nation News, Politics News

FRESNO, Calif. (April 17) – Forced to leave the combat zone after his two brothers died in the Iraq war, Army Spc. Jason Hubbard faced another battle once he returned home: The military cut off his family’s health care, stopped his G.I. educational subsidies and wanted him to repay his sign-up bonus.

Photo Gallery

Robyn Beck, AFP / Getty Images

Fighting to Change
The Military’s Rules

1 of 5    

Army Spc. Jason Hubbard helps carry the casket of his brother Nathan Hubbard on Aug. 31 in Fresno, Calif. Military rules forced Jason Hubbard out of the service after both his brothers died in Iraq. Then the military cut off his family’s medical benefits, stopped his education subsidies and tried to force him to repay his $6,000 enlistment bonus.

It wasn’t until Hubbard petitioned his local congressman that he was able to restore some of his benefits.

Now that congressman, Rep. Devin Nunes, plans to join three other lawmakers in introducing a bill that would ensure basic benefits to all soldiers who are discharged under an Army policy governing sole surviving siblings and children of soldiers killed in combat. The rule is a holdover from World War II meant to protect the rights of service people who have lost a family member to war.

“I felt as if in some ways I was being punished for leaving even though it was under these difficult circumstances,” Hubbard told The Associated Press. “The situation that happened to me is not a one-time thing. It’s going to happen to other people, and to have a law in place is going to ease their tragedy in some way.”

Hubbard, 33, and his youngest brother, Nathan, enlisted while they were still grieving for their brother, Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Hubbard, who was 22 when he was killed in a 2004 bomb explosion in Ramadi.

At their request, the pair were assigned to the same unit, the 3rd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, and deployed to Iraq the next year.

In August, 21-year-old Cpl. Nathan died when his Black Hawk helicopter crashed near Kirkuk. Jason was part of the team assigned to remove his comrades’ bodies from the wreckage.

Hubbard accompanied his little brother’s body on a military aircraft to Kuwait, then on to California. He kept steady during Nathan’s burial at Clovis Cemetery, standing in dress uniform between his younger brothers’ graves as hundreds sobbed in the heat.

But Hubbard broke his silence when he found his wife, pregnant with their second child, had been cut off from the transitional health care the family needed to ease back to civilian life after he was discharged in October.

“This is a man who asked for nothing and gave a lot,” said Nunes, R-Calif., who represents Hubbard’s hometown of Clovis, a city of 90,000 next to Fresno. “Jason is one person who obviously has suffered tremendously and has given the ultimate sacrifice. One person is too many to have this happen to.”

Hubbard went to Nunes, who began advocating for the former soldier in December, after hearing the Army was demanding that he repay $6,000 from his enlistment bonus and was denying him up to $40,000 in educational benefits under the GI bill.

After speaking with Army Secretary Pete Geren, Nunes got the repayment waived, and a military health policy restored for Hubbard’s wife.

But the policy mandated that she be treated at a nearby base, and doctors at the Lemoore Naval Air Station warned that the 45-mile trip could put her and the fetus in danger. Hubbard said doctors offered alternative treatment at a hospital five hours away.

Meantime, Hubbard and his two-year-old son went without any coverage for a few months.

The Hubbard Act, scheduled to be introduced Wednesday, would for the first time detail the rights of sole survivors, and extend to them a number of benefits already offered to other soldiers honorably discharged from military service.

The bill – co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. – would waive payback of their enlistment bonuses, allow them to participate in G.I. educational programs, give them separation pay and access to transitional health care.

Meanwhile, Hubbard, his wife Linnea and his son Elijah, have permanent health coverage now that he is once again working as a Fresno County sheriff’s deputy, the job he left in 2004 to serve in Iraq.

The Army will adopt to any changes in policy springing from the legislation, said Army spokesman Maj. Nathan Banks.

“Foremost the Army itself sympathizes with him for the loss of his brothers,” Banks said. “We will do everything within our means to rectify this issue. He is still one of ours.”

Hubbard’s father, Jeff, said that resolving the family’s bureaucratic difficulties would provide some comfort, but would not help lessen their pain.

“We’re still very much deeply involved in a grieving process. We’re pretty whacked,” he said. “This doesn’t relate back to the loss of our boys, it can’t, but we would consider it a positive accomplishment.”

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

2008-04-17 07:27:02


China and the Olympics

The past two weeks we’ve heard a lot about China hosting the Olympics and what we should or shouldn’t do to protest their human rights abuses.  Everyone has an opinion.

 While I’d like nothing more than for the IOCC to rip the games from them and set them up somewhere else, its just not possible.  Too much logistics, travel planning and other things go into this decision.  The fact that China won the games in the first place is ridiculous–but that’s another conversation altogether.

 So, the candidates, the pundits and protestors all weigh in on whether or not President Bush should attend the games, the Opening Ceremonies, how the US should express their displeasure.

Only problem–we can’t.  We are so indebted to the Chinese, we can’t afford to offend them.  It disgusts me that we are in this far to the Chinese.  However, they are in a place to make us dance for them, not the other way around.

Who is our second largest trade partner?  China.  Who owns our national debt?  China.  If not the majority, they hold the notes to a significant chunk.  A significant enough chunk that we could not pay back if they called it in.  In fact, if not for China our economy would be much, much worse.  And that scares me–they are buying up our dollars, now holding over $1 trillion dollars in reserve.  Economists cite that as one of the main reasons inflation has not risen much faster. 

China has us by the balls.  We have nowhere to go.  We cannot risk upsetting them.  If we do, we’re in deep trouble. 

*hangs head in shame that we are in this place*

Its sickening to think about, isn’t it?


More Deals!

I keep finding new deals to post!

Bath and Body Works–get a free product up to $11 when you buy any item in the store. Many are reporting across the country that you can buy something for $1 and get an $11 bottle of lotion! Free!

3M toilet scrubbers–free with coupon! This is an unlimited print, as most 3M coupons are!

As for yesterday’s post on the General Mills at Meijer–I’m hearing from some that a coupon prints at checkout for $2 off another box! So stock up on cereals!

Last, for all of you who can’t get enough printable coupons. Several have discovered that if you have Vista, simply close the site you were printing on, open again and voila! It prints more coupons!  Now to find a coupon for more printer ink….


Deals and Politics

I’m done writing about politics until there’s something to write about. I mean, really. How many conversations can we have over “Can Hillary Win?” before we all start beating our heads against the wall? Day 356 of the seige (I exaggerate) by talking heads who don’t seem to have anything else interesting to talk about. Obama can’t get enough delegates to win without Superdelegates. Hillary can’t get enough delegates to win without Superdelegates. Okay. Seems to me that its pretty even. He may be ahead, but not by enough to actually WIN. And as Jon Stewart and Howard Dean have both pointed out, the Democratic Party is not going to be destroyed by too much democracy! How great is it that KY and IN actually have candidates visiting us? Its unheard of. I’ve had enough of morning after morning of waking up to urgent news–Can Hillary Win? Its the same thing every day! There are weeks until the next primary, and I’m soooo tired of hearing it!

And no, Mark Penn leaving Hillary’s campaign is not worth my breath. That stuff happens daily in the political world. He makes more at his day job. Case closed.

Okay, so onto the deals! Late last week I stumbled on a Pantene deal at Target. I wish I’d known sooner, I would have shared it with all of you. Essentially, Target paid me $90 in gift cards to buy a gazillion bottles of shampoo. The little Know it All’s will both graduate high school before we run out. And if you know us, you know that’s a long, long time!

But on to this week’s deals.

Kroger–Kroger continues to be the place where its at. They have too many deals to list them all here, but I will highlight my favorites. This week continues the $5 off 10 items marked with the special yellow tags. This is a mix and match sale. My favorites? Goldfish crackers on sale for $1 a bag. Buy 10, get the $5 off and pay only .50 a bag! Same for Kroger Toaster Tarts, Pillsbury rolls and cinnamon rolls. I also love the Kraft cheese deal. Buy 10 bags at $2 each and get $5 off. If you look online, on ebay at Danica’s store you can often find Kraft coupons. I have them for $3 off right now. I’ve also heard there are $1 off 2 packages in blinkies at Kroger stores. Now, if you don’t have coupons, that’s 10 packages of Kraft cheese (singles, bars and shredded) for only $15, or $1.50 each. If you have any coupons, they can be anywhere from $1 each to as little as $.00!! Needless to say I’m stocking up! Two more at Kroger–Healthy Choice Pizzas. $1.50 a box, mix and match 10 for $5 off. In my Kroger are blinkies for .50 off 3. That doubles, to $1 off 3. Use 3 coupons, those come down to $ 8 for 10 boxes. Not bad! Lastly, Eggo’s are $2.50 a box (an inflated price from normal) but there are .55 cent off coupons in the paper, which double to $1. Add in the $5 off 10, and they come out to $1 a box. Same as generic or store brand, but my kids love those Eggo muffin tops and waffle sticks!

Meijer–Meijer has a great deal on General Mills and Cheerios cereals. They are 4 for $10, with $4 off at the register. Print two coupons for $1 off 2 cheerios, and these are now 4 boxes for $6! Also, I see Aunt Millie’s Whole Grain breads are on sale for $1 each–an excellent buy. These are true whole grain without a lot of corn syrup and other additives! I can’t find any q’s for them, but if I do, I’ll post them here. I also see Rice a Roni for $1 each. Go to Smartsource.com and Coupons.com and print off q’s for Nature’s Way Rice a Roni to make them free! Meijer also has the Eggo’s on sale, 4 for $6, so if you use your .55 off q here, which doubles up to two coupons, that brings the boxes to .50 each, an even better price than Kroger!

Target this week has Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Crunch for $2.50 each. Go to coupons.com and smartsource.com and answer their questions (answer both with “D”) to get a coupon for either $3 off 2 boxes or $3 off 3. If you’re lucky enough to get the $3 off 2, that’s $1 a box for Raisin Bran Cruch, normally $3 a box!

If you live in Boone or Kenton County, consider stopping by the brand new Kroger Thursday through Sunday of this week. Why? Not only do they have the $5 off 10 items sale, but they have 1/2 gallons of milk for $1! Can anyone say “time to clean out the freezer?” Let’s hope they don’t put a limit on them!

Last, Walgreens is at it again! Last week I had reports (and experience) with the free ink refills deal. Some of it went well, some not so well. One store I went to its machine was down completely. This week Walgreens is offering free 1 hour photo development! So go dig out those old rolls you’ve got lying around, waiting to be developed, and drop them off at Walgreen’s. Wednesday only!

Oops, one more! I haven’t confirmed this myself, but I read over at HotCouponWorld.com that Kroger is giving away free Glucerna again! Go to Glucerna.com, print out a $1.50 off coupon for Glucerna products. Go to Kroger, buy Glucerna cereal, and it will print out a coupon for a free box! This rolls, according to those who have done it. Again, I haven’t tested it so I won’t speak on whether or not it works, but I will be trying it out tomorrow!

Good Savings!

ETA:

Wow, the savings keep adding up!  I’ve just found that Walgreens is selling Honey Bunches of Oats for $2 a box.  Well, go to this site and print out a plethora of coupons for $2 off any box.  (yes, it says chocolate, but it works on any.)  Free cereal!


Savings Adventures

Wow, is it a great week to go Krogering! I’m working out specific deals, but check out this ad: http://cincinnati.inserts2online.com/customer_Frame.jsp?divID=014&drpStoreID=00434

Kroger has a HUGE, absolutely HUGE selection of foods on sale this week. Using Kraft, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Kellogg’s and more, buy 10 items get $5 off your total purchase. That’s BEFORE coupons. So all you coupon queens, get to work!

Now, I’d also like to recommend another deal site–www.moneysavingmom.com. She’s a great resource for CVS, Walgreens and Kroger deals, along with advice on printable coupons, freebies and more. In fact, she posts how she feeds her family of five on $35 a week. Yes, that’s right, she feeds a family of five on $35 a week! Her tips are great and she really breaks it down for you. I recommend all you deal hunters check her out!

Last, here’s my freebie tip of the week–free Hefty ziploc bags at Walmart, Target and more! Check the trial/travel size section of your local store–if you find a travel package of Hefty ziplocs (7 per bag, quart sized, zipper lock and TSA approved), pick up a few. At my stores they are .97. Let the cashier ring them up, then turn them over and rip off the coupon on the back of the box! Yes, you will look like a total loon, but there is a method to the madness! On the back of the box is a coupon for $1 off ANY Hefty product. So when you hand over those coupons, your Hefty ziplocs will be FREE! But please, don’t clear the shelves–leave some for your neighbors and fellow deal shoppers to find!

Oh, I almost forgot! Stop by Walgreens tomorrow with your empty ink cartridges. For tomorrow only, they will be refilling one ink cartridge per customer for FREE! Color or black ink, doesn’t matter! Go get those refills!


The “new” Democrat?

Last night and this morning I’ve been having some interesting conversations with some nice ladies on a discussion board I belong to.  And I wanted to bring this discussion here to ask you, my friends and readers, about it.

Last night and this morning I was being accused of being a Republican in sheep’s clothing.  That is, of being a republican pretending to be a democrat.  Their reasoning?  Because I asked serious questions, repeatedly, about Obama and Hillary on the message boards.  And oh yes, because I used the term Democrat instead of Democratic–somehow I was a republican operative using the word Democrat to surreptitiously suggest that Democrats were rats.  Yes you see, we now parse words and are so afraid of the Republicans that “Democrat”=Rat.  :shakes head unbelievably:

Now, never was I rude.  Never did I once spout anything even close to a Republican belief.  But because I questioned Obama (mainly) on his connection with Wright, or Rezko, or wanting to know about his history to back up his credentials, I’m supposed to be a republican?  I’ve spent much time posting there, and here, and linking the two places, about my beliefs and my concerns.  So my beliefs have never been hidden, nor have my concerns.

When exactly did we become the party that can’t tolerate a good debate?  When exactly did we become the party that must fall into lock-step and agree with each other 100%?  Why is it such a bad thing that we have two extremely good candidates that are really energizing the electorate far into April and May?  Why is it such a dire thing that we ask questions of them, that we have an open debate about our beliefs, our failings, our heartbreaks and our hopes for the future?  Why is this primary such a bad thing for us?

Isn’t this what we’ve always said we are?  A party of inclusion, a party that wants to discuss the issues and backgrounds substantively?

Or is it just that we’ve always wanted it, but haven’t experienced it in a long, long time?  Do we not remember how much fun this is?  Are we so afraid of the Republicans that we can’t be who we are, for fear they might ‘get us’?

Who cares what McCain is doing right now?  Right now the fun, the best part of political life, is in the Democrat Tent.   We haven’t had this much fun in a long, long time!  We have two great candidates!  Both have their failings, both have their strengths.  But right now, the focus is on us, we are drawing millions of new voters into the process, and we are having a great time at it!  Why all the hand wringing, head holding, worry and consternation?

Look, if you doubt my credentials or my beliefs, take a gander through the pages here.  There’s 16 months of my ramblings to let you know just where I stand.  I can’t do anything more than stand on my record.


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