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It is probably not an MT and a paid blogger. sm

Posted By: LVMT on 2009-06-01
In Reply to: Watch out, Marmann, here I come kissing your butt again! s/m - the truth is out there

They are on all the political boards. The first hint was CV. You brought up some topics that are a no-no. I know it is hard, but try to ignore and not respond to posts attacking you. People need to question. I hope people do their research and there is some discussion on these topics. It is crucial that everyone understand the monetary system.

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I_Rhyme blogger

She is Sarah Palin.
She don't have to talk to you.
Just replay her Big Convention Speech
If you want her point of view.

Her new pals from dear John's campaign
They said she should lie low.
It's not to their advantage now
To compare her with "that Joe".

Why should she answer questions
When it's already been made clear.
She's for guns and nuns and moose in buns
No choice, No voice, No fear.

Don't ask her about the Middle East.
Don't ask her about Tibet.
Don't ask her about the housing crisis
Don't ask her about the Debt.

Don't ask her about the Shiites
Don't ask her about the Sunnis.
From her personal perspective
They are all a bunch of loonies!

Don't ask her who world leaders are.
It's hard to keep them straight.
Is that cute Tony Blair still there somewhere?
Isn't Putin a head of State?

Yes, she is Sarah Palin!
She need not be interviewed.
She's just much more content you see
To be cheered rather than boo'd !

Independent journalist/blogger in Iraq....

I don't know this guy's politics and I don't care.  He is imbedded with the 82nd Airborne.  At any rate, it seems to be just the unvarnished truth with no slant in either direction that I can see.  There is a bit of language because he directly quotes some of the soldiers...but I think this is a positive story and I am sure there are many like it that never see the light of day.  Thanks in advance for looking at it.

July 24, 2007

In the Wake of the Surge

By Michael J. Totten


BAGHDAD – 82nd Airborne’s Lieutenant William H. Lord from Foxborough, Massachusetts, prepared his company for a dismounted foot patrol in the Graya’at neighborhood of Northern Baghdad’s predominantly Sunni Arab district of Adhamiyah.

“While we’re out here saying hi to the locals and everyone seems to be getting along great,” he said, “remember to keep up your military bearing. Someone could try to kill you at any moment.”


I donned my helmet and vest, hopped into the backseat of a Humvee, and headed into the streets of the city with two dozen of the first infantry soldiers deployed to Iraq for the surge. The 82nd Airborne Division is famous for being ready to roll within 24 hours of call up, so they were sent first.

The surge started with these guys. Its progress here is therefore more measurable than it is anywhere else.

Darkness fell almost immediately after sunset. Microscopic dust particles hung in the air like a fog and trapped the day’s savage heat in the atmosphere.

Our convoy of Humvees passed through a dense jungular grove of palm and deciduous trees between Forward Operating Base War Eagle and the market district of Graya’at. The drivers switched off their headlights so insurgents and terrorists could not see us coming. They drove using night vision goggles as eyes.


Just to the right of my knees were the feet of the gunner. He stood in the middle of the Humvee and manned a machine gun in a turret sticking out of the top. I could hear him swiveling his cannon from side to side and pointing it into the trees as we approached the urban sector in their area of operations.

This was all purely defensive. The battalion I’m embedded with here in Baghdad hasn’t suffered a single casualty – not even one soldier wounded – since they arrived in the Red Zone in January. The surge in this part of the city could not possibly be going better than it already is. Most of Graya’at’s insurgents and terrorists who haven’t yet fled are either captured, dormant, or dead.

A car approached our Humvee with its lights on.

“I can’t see, I can’t see,” said the driver. Bright lights are blinding with night vision goggles. “Flash him with the laser,” he said to the gunner. “Flash him with the laser!”

A green laser beam shot out from the gunner’s turret toward the windshield of the oncoming car. The headlights went out.

“What was that about?” I said.

“It’s part of our rules of engagement,” the driver said. “They all know that. The green laser is a warning, and it’s a little bit scary because it looks like a weapon is being pointed at them.”

We slowly rolled into the market area. Smiling children ran up to and alongside the convoy and excitedly waved hello. It felt like I was riding with a liberating army.

Graya’at’s streets are quiet and safe. It doesn’t look or feel like war zone at all. American soldiers just a few miles away are still engaged in almost daily firefights with insurgents and terrorists, but this part of the city has been cleared by the surge.

Before the surge started the neighborhood was much more dangerous than it is now.

“We were on base at Camp Taji [north of the city] and commuting to work,” Major Jazdyk told me earlier. “The problem with that was that the only space we dominated was inside our Humvees. So we moved into the neighborhoods and live there now with the locals. We know them and they know us.”

Lieutenant Lawrence Pitts from Fayetteville, North Carolina, elaborated. “We patrol the streets of this neighborhood 24/7,” he said. “We knock on doors, ask people what they need help with. We really do what we can to help them out. We let them know that we’re here to work with them to make their city safe in the hopes that they’ll give us the intel we need on the bad guys. And it worked.”

The area of Baghdad just to the south of us, which the locals think of as downtown Adhamiyah, is surrounded by a wall recently built by the Army. It is not like the wall that divides Israel from the West Bank. Pedestrians can cross it at will. Only the roads are blocked off. Vehicles are routed through two very strict checkpoints. Weapons transporters and car bombers can’t get in or out.

The area inside the wall is mostly Sunni. The areas outside the wall are mostly Shia. Violence has been drastically reduced on both sides because Sunni militias – including AL Qaeda – are kept in, and Shia militias – including Moqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army, are kept out.

Graya’at is a mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhood immediately to the north of the wall.

We dismounted our Humvees and set up a vehicle checkpoint on the far side of the market area. Curfew was going into effect. Anyone trying to drive into the area would be searched.

Dozens of Iraqi civilians milled about on the streets.

“Salam Aleikum,” said the soldiers and I as we walked past.

“Aleikum as Salam,” said each in return.

They really did seem happy to see us.



Children ran up to me.

“Mister, mister, mister!” they said and pantomimed the snapping of photos. I lifted my camera to my face and they nodded excitedly.



A large group of men gathered around a juice vendor and greeted us warmly as we approached. A large man in a flowing dishdasha spoke English and, judging by the deference showed to him by the others, seemed to be a community leader of some sort.


Kids pulled on my shirt as Lieutenant Lord spoke to the group about a gas station the Army is helping set up in the neighborhood. Gasoline is more important to Iraqis than it is to even Americans. Baghdad is as much an automobile-based city as Los Angeles. They also need fuel for electric generators. Baghdad’s electrical grid only supplies one hour of electricity every day. It is ancient, overloaded, in severe disrepair, and is sabotaged by the insurgents. The outside temperature rarely drops below 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, even at night. Air conditioners aren’t luxuries here. They are requirements. No gasoline? No air conditioner.

“The gas station on the corner should be opening soon,” the lieutenant said to the group of men. “Do you think the prices are fair?”

The fat man understood the question. Our young interpreter from Beirut, Lebanon, who calls herself “Shine,” translated for everyone else.


Most gasoline in Iraq has to be purchased on the black market for four times the commercial and government rate partly because there is an acute lack of proper places to sell it. A new gas station in this country is actually a big deal.

The men thought the price of gasoline at the station was reasonable. The conversation continued mundanely and I quickly grew bored.

Everyone was friendly. No one shot at us or even looked at us funny. Infrastructure problems, not security, were the biggest concerns at the moment. I felt like I was in Iraqi Kurdistan – where the war is already over – not in Baghdad.

It was an edgy “Kurdistan,” though. Every now and then someone drove down the street in a vehicle. If any military-aged males (MAMs as the Army guys call them) were in the car, the soldiers stopped it and made everybody get out. The vehicle and the men were then searched.


Everyone who was searched took it in stride. Some of the Iraqi men smirked slightly, as if the whole thing were a minor joke and a non-threatening routine annoyance that they had been through before. The procedure looked and felt more like airport security in the United States than, say, the more severe Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank and Gaza.


“What are you guys doing out after curfew?” said Sergeant Lizanne.

“I’m sorry, sorry,” said a young Iraqi man in a striped blue and tan t-shirt.

“There is no sorry,” said Sergeant Lizanne. “I don’t give a s**t. The curfew is at the same time every night. I don’t want to have to start arresting you.”

“Why are you stopping these guys,” I said to Lieutenant Lord, “when there are so many other people milling around on the streets?”

“Because they’re MAMs who are driving,” he said. “We’re going easy on everyone else. We’ve already oppressed these people enough. They have a night culture in the summer, so if they aren’t military aged males driving cars we leave them alone. We were very heavy-handed in 2003. Now we’re trying to move forward together. At least 90 percent of them are normal fun-loving people.”

“Do they ever get p****d off when you search them?” I said.

“Not very often,” he said. “They understand we’re trying to protect them.”


“This is not what I expected in Baghdad,” I said.

“Most of what we’re doing doesn’t get reported in the media,” he said. “We’re not fighting a war here anymore, not in this area. We’ve moved way beyond that stage. We built a soccer field for the kids, bought all kinds of equipment, bought them school books and even chalk. Soon we’re installing 1,500 solar street lamps so they have light at night and can take some of the load off the power grid. The media only covers the gruesome stuff. We go to the sheiks and say hey man, what kind of projects do you want in this area? They give us a list and we submit the paperwork. When the projects get approved, we give them the money and help them buy stuff.”

Not everything they do is humanitarian work, unless you consider counter-terrorism humanitarian work. In my view, you should. Few Westerners think of personal security as a human right, but if you show up in Baghdad I’ll bet you will. Personal security may, in fact, be the most important human right. Without it the others mean little. People aren’t free if they have to hide in their homes from death squads and car bombs.

In another part of Graya’at is an area called the Fish Market. Gates were installed at each entrance so terrorists can’t drive car bombs inside. The people here are extraordinarily grateful for this. Businesses, not cars, are booming now at the market. Residents feel free and safe enough to go out.


“The kids here do seem to like you,” I said to Lieutenant Lord.

“They do,” he said. “In Sadr City, though, they throw rocks and flip us off.”

The American military is staying out of Sadr City for now. The surge hasn’t even begun there, and I don’t know if it will.

I wandered over to the man selling juice at a stand. An American soldier bought a glass from him.


“Have you tried this juice?” the soldier said to me. “It’s really good stuff. Here have a sip.”

He handed me the glass. It was an excellent mixture of freshly squeezed orange juice and something else. Pineapple, I think.

The kids kept pulling my shirt.

“Mister, mister!” they said, wanting me to take their picture.


The same kids kept pestering the soldiers, as well. They seemed to get a big kick out of it.


A small group of soldiers continued talking to the locals about community projects they’re helping out with.


I tried to listen in but the kids wouldn’t leave me alone. Finally one of the adults took mercy on me and shooed the children away so I could listen and talk to the grownups. The conversation, though, was mundane. The soldiers were talking and acting like aid workers, not warriors from the elite 82nd Airborne Division.

“Man, this is boring,” one of them said to me later. “I’m an adrenaline junky. There’s no fight here. It won’t surprise me if we start handing out speeding tickets.” So it goes in at least this part of Baghdad that has been cleared by the surge.

“When we first got here,” said another and laughed, “s**t hit the fan.”

It was all a bit boring, but blessedly so. I knew already that not everyone in Baghdad was hostile. But it was slightly surprising to see that entire areas in the Red Zone are not hostile.

Anything can happen in Baghdad, even so. The convulsive, violent, and overtly hostile Sadr City is only a few minutes drive to the southeast.

“Want to walk past your favorite house?” Lieutenant Lord said to Sergeant Lizanne.

“Let’s do it,” said Sergeant Lizanne.

“What’s your favorite house?” I said.

“It’s a house we walked past one night,” said Sergeant Lizanne. “Some guys on the roof locked and loaded on us.”

Gun shots rang out in the far distance. None of the Iraqis paid much attention but the soldiers perked up and stiffened their posture like hunting dogs.

“Gun shots,” Lieutenant Lord said.

“I heard,” I said. “You going to do anything about it?”

“Nah,” he said and shrugged. “They were far away and could be anything, even shots fired in the air at a wedding. A lot of these guys are stereotypical Arabs.”

The gun shots were a part of the general ambience.


We walked along a narrow path along the banks of the Tigris River in darkness. “The house,” as they called it, where someone locked and loaded a rifle, was a quarter mile or so up ahead.

“What will you do when you get to the house?” I asked Lieutenant Lord.

“We’ll do a soft-knock,” he said. “We’re not going to be dicks about it.”

I couldn’t see well, but I could see. Even my camera could see if I held it steady enough.


The soldiers had night vision goggles. They could see perfectly, if “green” counts as perfect. One of them let me borrow his for a few minutes.


Putting on the goggles was like stepping into another world. The soldiers’ rifles come with a laser that shoots a light visible only to those wearing the goggles. It helps soldiers zero in on their target. It also lets them “point” at things in the terrain when they talk to each other. Some used the green rifle laser to point out locations in the area the way a professor points at a chalk board with a stick.


We walked in silence and darkness toward “the house.” I could just barely make out the silhouettes of the soldiers’ helmets and rifles and body armor in front of me.

“Where should I be when this goes down?” I quietly said to the lieutenant.

“Just stay next to me,” he whispered back.

We stopped in front of the house. It was shrouded in total darkness on the bank of the river.


Lieutenant Lord quietly signaled for half his platoon to go around to the other side of the house. I scanned the roof looking for snipers or gunmen, but didn’t see anyone. Still, I still decided to step up to the outer wall of the house so no one could shoot me from the roof.

We waited in silence for ten minutes. The area was absolutely quiet and still. The curfew was in effect and we were away from the main market area where pedestrians were allowed out after dark.

Feeling more relaxed, I stepped away from the house and toward the river. Once again I checked the roof for snipers or gun men. This time I saw the black outlines of two soldiers standing up there and motioning to us below.

It was time to walk around to the other side, to the front door, and go in. I stayed close to the lieutenant.

The other side of the house, the front side of the house, was lit by street lights. Children laughed and kicked around a soccer ball.

Gun shots rang out in the night, closer this time.

“Take a knee,” Lieutenant Lord said to one of his men.

The soldier got down on one knee and pointed his weapon down the street in the direction of the gunfire. The children kept playing soccer as though nothing had happened. I casually leaned against the wall of the house in case something nasty came down the street.

We heard no more shots. It could have been anything.

A soldier pushed open the gate and moved up the stairs toward the front door. I followed cautiously behind the lieutenant to make sure I wouldn’t get hit if something happened.

Up the stairs was an open area in the house that hadn’t yet been finished by the construction workers.


Lieutenant Lord had gotten far ahead of me. I found him speaking to an old man and his family. He, his military age son, his wife, and some children were herded into a single small room where everyone could be watched at the same time.


“We’re not going to be dicks about it,” he had said, and he lived up to his promise. The family was treated with utmost respect. The old woman blew kisses at us. The children smiled. This was not a raid.

I stepped into the room and noticed a picture of the moderate Shia cleric Ayatollah Sistani on the wall. It suddenly seemed unlikely that this family was hostile. Still, someone in the house had locked and loaded on patrolling American soldiers.

“We have tight relationships with some of the people whose sons are detainees,” Lieutenant Colonel Wilson A. Shoffner had told me earlier. “They don’t approve of their children joining Al Qaeda or the Mahdi Army. The support for these groups really isn’t that high.”

Perhaps the man’s son was the one who had locked and loaded.

The old man handed Lieutenant Lord an AK-47. The lieutenant pulled out the clip.

“Do you have any more guns,” he said. Our Lebanese interpreter translated.

“I have only one gun,” he said. “I am an old man.”

“I have a pistol,” said the man’s son.

“If you go down into Adhamiyah do you take your pistol with you?” said the lieutenant. Adhamiyah is a Sunni-majority area, and this family was Shia.

“No,” he said. “Of course not.”

“Someone here locked and loaded on me when we did a foot patrol along the river a while ago,” Lieutenant Lord said. “Who was it?”

The old man laughed. “It was me!” he said and laughed again. He couldn’t stop laughing. He even seemed slightly relieved. “I thought it might have been insurgents! It was dark. I couldn’t see who it was. All Americans are my sons.”

Lieutenant Lord looked at him dubiously.

“What did you see?” he said. “Tell me the story of what you saw.”

“I heard people walking,” said the old man. “I did not see Americans. I looked over the roof and heard who I guess was your interpreter speaking Arabic.”

“Sergeant Miller,” Lieutenant Lord said.

“Sir,” Sergeant Miller said.

“Does that sound right to you?”

“Sounds right to me, LT,” he said.

“If this is a nice neighborhood,” Lieutenant Lord said, “why did you lock and load?”

“I thought maybe there were insurgents down there,” the old man said.

Are there insurgents here?”

“Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t think here, no.”

“Then why lock and load?”

The old man mumbled something.

“Sergeant Miller, I want to separate the old man from his family,” Lieutenant Lord said. “Keep an eye on them.”

The lieutenant walked the old man to the roof. I followed.

“I’m very concerned about what you’re telling me,” he said. “Who is making you live in fear?”

“I’m a good guy,” said the old man.

“I’m not saying you aren’t,” said the lieutenant. “I’m just very concerned that you are afraid of somebody here.”

“It was the first time. It was dark. I couldn’t see. I’m very sorry.”

“It’s okay,” said the lieutenant. “You don’t need to be sorry. You have the right to defend yourself and your home. Just be sure if you have to shoot someone that you know who you’re shooting at. Thank you for your help, and I am sorry for waking you up.”

The old man hugged the lieutenant and kissed him on his both cheeks.

The family waved us goodbye.

“Ma Salema,” I said and felt slightly guilty for being there.

We walked back to the Humvees.

“Do you believe him?” I said to the lieutenant. I have no idea how to tell when an Iraqi is lying.

“I do,” he said. “I think he’s a good guy. His story matched what happened.”

“He didn’t want to answer your question, though,” I said, “about who he is afraid of.”

There are terrible stories around here about the masked men of the death squads. Sometimes they break into people’s houses and asking the children who they’re afraid of. If they name the enemies of the death squad, they are spared. If they name the death squad itself, they and their families are killed. It’s a wicked interrogation because it cannot be beaten – the children don’t know which death squad has broken into the house.

“He didn’t want to say who he’s afraid of because he’s afraid,” Lieutenant Lord said. “If the insurgents find out he gave information to us, or that he helped us, he’s dead.”

I was particularly impressed with the fact that this battalion had suffered no casualties, even wounded, in 7 months.  That is an improvement, no matter how you look at it, and there are obviously Iraqis who are still glad we are there.  That is what I meant in previous posts.  The plain old everyday Iraqis like you and me; not the militants, the insurgents, the militias...just everyday folks like you and me.  Those are the ones who will suffer most if we pull out en masse, too quickly.  That is all I was ever trying to say.


Anti-choice movement gets duped in a Blogger Baby Hoax

The unmarried mother's story about giving birth to a child diagnosed as terminally ill in the womb hit a major nerve on the Internet.

Every night for the last two months, thousands of abortion opponents across the nation logged on to a blog run by the suburban Chicago woman who identified herself only as "B" or "April's Mom."

People said they prayed that God would save her pregnancy. They e-mailed her photos of their children dressed in pink, bought campaign T-shirts, shared tales of personal heartache and redemption, and sent letters and gifts to an Oak Lawn P.O. box in support.

As more and more people were drawn to her compelling tale, eager advertisers were lining up. And established parenting Web sites that oppose abortion were promoting her blog -- which included biblical quotes, anti-abortion messages and a soundtrack of inspirational Christian pop songs.

By Sunday night, when "April's Mom" claimed to have given birth to her "miracle baby" -- blogging that April Rose had survived a home birth only to die hours later -- her Web site had nearly a million hits.

There was only one problem with the unfolding tragedy: None of it was true.

Not the pregnancy, and not the photos posted on the blog of the supposed mother and Baby April Rose, swaddled in white blankets. The baby was actually a lifelike doll, which immediately raised the suspicion of loyal blog-followers.

"I have that exact doll in my house," said Elizabeth Russell, a dollmaker from Buffalo who had been following the blog. "As soon as I saw that picture, I knew it was a scam."
She had expected only a handful of friends to read it, but when her first post got 50 comments, she was hooked.

"I've always liked writing. It was addictive to find out I had a voice that people wanted to hear," Beushausen said.

"Soon I was getting 100,000 hits a week, and it just got out of hand," she said. "I didn't know how to stop. ... One lie led to another."

So the lie isn't the problem, but the fact that she got addicted to blogging made her continue on. What a sad and disgusting tale. Using a phony story to whip up the anti-choice movement is pretty vile. A woman has the right to choose in this country, but the religious right will do anything it can to try and take that right away. You never hear them talk about the mother in any of their debates. It's like the woman is only a "vessel" to carry a child and doesn't exist in any other manner. "Bring the vessel here." "How dare the vessel speak out."

True to their newest stand, right wing blogger smears family of murdered soldier.

Predictably, falling right in line with Tony Snow and his *2,500 is a number* statement on June 15, followed one day later by the fiercely *patriotic* Rush *I'dLoveToServeMyCountryButCan'tBecauseOfThisPimpleOnMyButt* Limbaugh, reminding them that aborted fetuses are more important than murdered American soldiers (as was posted on the *other* board on June 16), all the while publicly declaring that all liberals who post on this board don't care about our troops.  *Profound* indeed.


The Horse's Mouth
A blog about the reporting of politics -- and the politics of reporting. By Greg Sargent

« | Main | »

WINGNUT JOHN HINDERAKER SMEARS DEAD SOLDIER'S UNCLE. A couple of minutes ago I came across this Associated Press story saying that the uncle of Kristian Menchaca -- one of the U.S. soldiers who was missing and is now said to be dead -- criticized the United States for Menchaca's disappearance and death. My first thought was to do a post asking how long it would take before the wingnuts started smearing the grief-stricken uncle.

Alas, I'm too late. Over at Powerline Blog, John Hinderaker has already cranked up the slime machine and let fly:

In a sick coda, Menchaca's uncle, Ken MacKenzie, appeared on the Today show and recited weirdly inapplicable Democratic Party talking points in relation to his own nephew's death...No shame.

I've asked this before, but what is it about the relatives of people killed by terrorists that these wingnuts hate so much? Recall that Ann Coulter smeared the widows of 9/11 victims and that many righty bloggers smeared the father of Nick Berg, who was beheaded in Iraq. Their sin, of course, was that they criticized America and George Bush.

Let me put this as clearly as I can: To the likes of Hinderaker, the pain of those who lost loved ones to this war only matters to the extent that the bereaved allow their grief to be used to prop up the war effort and Bush himself. If the bereaved relatives don't allow their grief to be used in this fashion, their sacrifice and loss no longer matter a whit -- they're not to be pitied or empathized with, but scorned and humiliated as brutally as possible. Despicable.

--Greg Sargent

That's right. He was paid but he
drove a used car and made about 10K a year.  Apparently, he didn't do it for the money, so what's your point?
And those that do less, get paid less....
And you really think HE paid for them?
Hate to break it to you hun, but in the end, we still paid for them. He works in the GOVERNMENT. Meaning he is paid with TAX dollars. OUR tax dollars.

They are running a campaign. Obviously, image is everything. Otherwise you all wouldn't be hating on the fact that John is an old man or that Sarah is a beauty pageant winner.

I'm so glad this is an important issue. If you want something donated to charity, contact O and tell him to sell his jet and give the money to hungry children.

You PAID them? Gee, let's put you in DC
No stress here. If anyone is getting paid here...
it would seem to be the dem attack machine. thanks for your concern tho.
She paid for the tanning bed herself...
not the taxpayers. Maybe we should go in all the gov mansions in the lower 48 and see who installed what. Sheesh! lol.

As to the rape kit thing...you act as if Wasilla, Alaska is the only city who did that. It is common practice in the lower 48 as well. That does not make it right, but it is not isolated to Sarah Palin. And it you look closer, the Wasilla Police Department AND the State police (not under her jurisdiction) were actually paying for the testing, and then passing the cost on to the patient, which prompted the STATE, because of the state troopers billing as well, to ban the practice. So if you are going to take Wasilla to task for it, add several towns in the lower 48 to the list.
Yes, and the devil will be paid. n/m

It's not about what she wears. It's about who paid
of the populist appeals to the no frills, no elites allowed "working folks" who they are trying to dupe into believing they give a rat's butt about. If they are so cavalier with their campaign contributions, no telling what they would be willing to do if they ever got their hands on taxpayer money.
I am not b*tching about how little MTs are paid....
and we the people DO pay for union contracts with higher prices on goods. Union dues DO NOT pay for their benefits. Employers DO, who pass that on to consumers. I know you know that.

You don't have to tell me about Sam. I grew up in Sam country. I know a few blue haired ladies who started in the first store built in my little town who are rich today because of the profit sharing.

Yes, I shop at Wal-Mart. As do many millions of Americans. And not all their products are cheap knock-offs.

Oh I see...doesn't matter who someone associates with or what he does, or what a union does illegal or not, as long as it benefits the union members. I can see why Obama is not a concern to you.

Wonder how much Google is getting paid
Now that Google is tracking your search of symptoms put in by those who think they might have flu, they will send that info to the government and let them know where flu outbreaks may be?   Now, of course, there will be those that think that is wonderful but those of us who do understand our privacy should be a freedom in this country, we know this is an out and out invasion of our privacy.  Google has no privacy safeguards in place, so if Google is giving the government information on things we google, as they already have, you still think your government is wonderful and looking out for you?  Google should be ashamed.......they are selling us out.   There will be more and more companies invading our privacy as the government invades more of our private lives and these companies do their bidding....... 
It probably will not be paid back.
Besides, we already owe China and now more? We still need to pay back the first debt. Looks like United States will be sold soon.
I think that if you truly paid attention

to the complaints on this board, you would realize that what we are complaining about is not the fact that our money is going to government programs to help people who need it.  Most of us are upset because these government programs are being abused and misused by dishonest people who would much rather not work and be lazy just to receive government assistance.  I have no problem helping people who need it.  I think Clinton did a good thing by reforming welfare and I think it is a shame that Obama is undoing that.  Welfare is supposed to be a hand up.....not a hand out.

Not wanting to help people in need is not the issue here and I wish that you guys could understand that.  We aren't being heartless here.  We are just sick and tired of people mooching off of the government when they could work and make a living for themselves.

If the dishonest people who are abusing the system could be taken out of the welfare equation, just think of the extra money we would have to really help those in need.  Think about it.

Maybe if they ALL paid their taxes....
instead of hiding money in their freezers, offshore accounts and various tax shelters.......THEY ARE ALL GUILTY IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.
He was paid, the firm wasn't. SM
Either way, he could have said no and he didn't.  Mind you, I have a limitation on what I think gay rights should extend to, but I won't go into that here because I will get slaughtered.
He paid with his own earnings? Oh how awful.
And what was your point? Wouldn't you tend to trust a candidate more who paid for his campaign with his own money, rather than taking bribes from special interests that he has to pay back later by stealing more freedom and cash from you?

And if your point was that his take on the case was so high that he could finance a whole campaign with it, again, so? - A jury of your peers made that award and likely you would have too had you been on the jury and had a chance to hear the facts. If he had been representing you in a case in which your child was disemboweled by a defective piece of equipment which the manufacturers knew full well tended to disembowel children but they sold it to you anyway, would you think the jury awarded too much or the lawyer might get paid too much?

Or instead of actually thinking about the need to have lawyers represent people who have been egregiously harmed by incompetent and negligent companies, and the need to have juries hear the facts and make appropriate awards when justified, is it just easier to nod at the bullcrap propaganda which says you don't NEED to be protected because look how much money the lawyer makes?

When it's your turn you're going to want that lawyer and you're going to want that jury to hear your story. So what is the problem you have with holding villains accountable and seeing other people get the settlements they deserve?
Yeah, I forgot, he never paid
*No child left behind* either....remember that...Yeah, silly me, he would never do that. My sincere apologies....javascript:editor_insertHTML('text','');
again...as usual...paid no attention...
The taking one more shot post appeared LONG before your cease fire....you just had not seen it yet. But it would not have mattered. I didn't read this latest diatribe...too tired and really don't give a darn. And I will give you a clue dear, one of those 4-letter words...I did not say the GOP then does not resemble the GOP now....in fact I agree whole-heartedly. The GOP has turned into Democrat lite. Which is why I don't belong to the grand old party anymore. Only register as Repub in primary years because if I didn't, I couldn't vote, and I want to have a say, no matter how small. You should really ask questions before you jump off the deep end...but you don't care, because you are always right, aren't you? Speaking from that high horse of moral authority. You must have the word "bigot" in your shortcuts, you sure invoke it enough. LOL. Really too bad that just you typing it here doesn't make it true....or maybe it is, the gospel according to Globetrotter....LOL geezzz.
If we were being paid bloated wages, maybe, but
if they want to go any lower than they already have gone (I had a truly insulting offer a few weeks back of 0.0625 cpl with 30 years experience), I say let India have it. MTSOs need to be going in the opposite direction and MTs might want to look into unionization themselves. Peronally, I think we are also worth $28/hr and do not consider that to be an exorbitant for MTs or for auto workers, given the COL. JMHO.
I paid attention and I ain't even republican
Now that your hope for racist remarks have no doubt been proven unfounded, you gotta start grasping at anything you can find, because those "racial" remarks were really all the democrats had going for them. Those mean 'ole republicans.

Are you really so racist that you don't think a black man may actually like McCain instead of Obama? Are you that deluded in your thoughts?

I have several black neighbors and they have made it quite clear they will never vote for Obama. They work their butts off and don't believe anyone has the right to their money!
I don't care where they came from, as long as he paid for them - nm
If she paid a lot of money for the B-52's hair
Palin's stylist paid twice as much as



they went out to people who paid taxes, too.
on-call is paid time
you do realize they would be paid to be on call. So they could be on call at home or on call at the facility. they would be paid either way. Are you familiar with on-call pay?
union people will still get paid for doing nothing.

Apparently you have paid NO attention.
This talk about NWO has been out there since Bush 41, almost two decades.  Where have you been?  But if it makes you feel better to blame Obama, have at it.
This election was bought and paid for by

P.S. We paid off our mortage last year
and DH's truck is free and clear also. It took us 15 years to pay the mortage and 4 years for the truck. If we want something, it will be in cash. We bought and paid for our cars and pickup truck with cash. We haven't had car payments since I was stupid enough to buy a brand new car back in 1985. If we can't afford a car with cash, we would wait. We're waiting now. I would love to have a newer car and DH really should have a newer truck because it's part of his business, but that's not in the cards. Maybe next year (saying this for 3 years now).
Maybe if the O appointees paid their taxes.....sm.

This is from the Washington Post. The name of the article is titled: Federal Insider: Staffing Shortage Hinders Treasury's Progressþ


You're right - look elsewhere! I paid cash for my car
the current recession. (Also a nice used car.) I test-drove the car, talked them into letting me 'vet' it at my own mechanic, and when it passed, I showed up at the dealership with a cashier's check for $1.5K less than their 'bottom line'. I told them it was all I had. (It was the truth). The salesman went and talked to the manager, came back, and said 'You've got a deal.' (Also asked me 'where did you learn to buy cars?) I also talked them into a free extended warranty, radiator flushing and new coolant.
Most beneficiaries draw out FAR more than they ever paid in.
I don't have time to hunt down the information, but I've heard for many years, from many different sources, that the average beneficiary collects every cent they ever paid into the system within something like 5 years, and every penny paid after that is a freebie from you and me, the folks currently paying into the system. Frankly, it's one great big inter-generational pyramid scheme.

In fact, when the retirement age was originally set at 65, way back when, the average life expectancy was UNDER that by a few years, so the system was designed for people NOT to collect from it.

My mother retired at 65, and she's going to be 88 next week. So that's something like 18 years the rest of us have supported her. She might also be getting some sort of widow's benefits; not sure about that, but if my dad were still alive, he'd be 96 (he died 15 years ago), and anything he paid into the system would have been paid out LONG before he died.

So, do I want to take away people's benefits, even if they're getting a freebie? No, of course not. They were promised this, and they're getting it, albeit at our expense. What I would like is for the rest of us to be given a choice to opt out, either entirely or for at least a percentage, because at this rate, my money would do better for me stuffed under the mattress than entrusted to the greedy hands of the politicians in Washington.

(And no, I don't stash cash in my mattress, so don't be coming over here to hunt for it! I'll sicc my psychotic killer gecko on you!)
I paid attention during history lessons. sm
El Duce and Fat Moose were Mussolini's nicknames. I would love to discuss the facts, not debate (argue) political viewpoints because it distracts everyone away from reality and the facts. That is precisely what they want us all do.
Bullhockey, illegals are paid in cash, there is NO tax being taken out. nm
sounds like your vote is 'bought-and-paid-for'.

The amount of $$ paid out in benefits to smokers
the amount of tax revenue generated by the sale of tobacco. You don't seem to protest too loudly when it comes time to spend it and waste no time marginalizing and bashing people with an addiction. These are tired tactics designed to take the focus off of the REAL issues raised in this thread with regard to the economy and differences between party platforms, policies and plans. Just how long do ou think pubs can run and hide from the fact that what they have to offer is EXACTLY the same thing as what we all are running fast and far away from? Careful, your desperation is showing.
Senator Obama was a paid employee,
community organizer. He did not do this on a volunteer basis.
and don't forget, he paid the gov't back in something like 7 years? sm
Gourdpainter, you and I must be about the same age. I remember Lee Iacoca. He borrowed millions of dollars to bail out Chrysler. AND HE PAID IT BACK!! Before the note was due. That's the kind of person we need in Washington. A no-nonsense type of guy. One who will take it to the fat cats in their Armani suits and Gucci shoes and tell them..WE ARE FED UP AND PO'D AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE.

Ok, off my soapbox.
Right on! We paid off our modest house/cars. We
Not if they paid me could I watch that liberal garbage
Just for you GP...I am not a paid "sm" I am an MT...and if you would have bothered to read...
the links I provided you would have understood why I said it is not over:

Curt Wrotnowksi's case, Wrotnowksi v. Connecticut Secretary of State, has been denied by the U. S. Supreme Court.

Docket #08A469 -- The application for stay and/or injunction addressed to Justice Scalia and referred to the Court is denied.

Update: Judicial review is allowed only after the Electoral College vote and Congressional Certification.

The Justices denied the "stay' but have retained the "certori." It isn’t dead. They’re waiting for the Electoral College to actually elect him. Obama is not President Elect until after the Electoral College "elects" him. Then Congress must approve the Election. Only one senator AND only one representative are needed to stop Obama’s election approval.

Mechanisms exist under the Twelfth Amendment and 3 U.S.C. 15 for any challenge to any candidate to be ventilated when electoral votes are counted, and the Twentieth Amendment provides guidance regarding how to proceed if a president elect shall have failed to qualify.

Issues regarding qualifications or lack thereof can be laid before the voting public before the election and, once the election is over, can be raised as objections as the electoral votes are counted in Congress.

Therefore, this order holds that the challenge presented by plaintiff is committed under the Constitution to the electors and the legislative branch, at least in the first instance. Judicial review, if any, should occur only after the electoral and Congressional processes have run their course.

The federal government does not take official notice of the presidential election until the current Vice President opens the ballots on January 8th; the court is simply acting on this legal fact.

the double whammy just paid 65% of my COBRA.....yee haa! nm
I agree - paid last card off today
The same thing here - my rates got raised on all my cards as of April, for no reason at all.  I'm a good customer too, never late, never over limit.  I'm going to try to live within my means, and let the banks live without my interest payments.  As more people do that, maybe the banks will see that we are tired of being punished for playing by the rules so that the incompetent and unscrupulous can profit!
Sorry, these aren't bought and paid for crowds!!
The reason "they" have their houses paid off - sm
is that they worked hard, were frugal, did not use credit cards unless they could pay the balance each month, did not buy a car for everyone in the family, did not have a TV in every room, did not have cell phones, their kids did not have all the latest "toys", and, yes, "they" are eligible for Medicare because they EARNED it. And they did all this on salaries that were just enough to get by on. How do I know this? My parents are a shining example.
So are you saying the company took the case pro bono, but paid Roberts.
If he wasn't paid, he did the work pro bono.
you're wrong, S. FLA the illegals paid on the books
at least the ones I know.....the ones who did arrive with at least a visa.....and who get paid off a company payroll and not off the books or in cash is what I mean....
It has always been customary for the nominee to help the loser get their debts paid - this is not a