a word from slick9

by Slick9

As a lurker here and definitely not a lawyer I have one piece of info to add regarding yesterday’s hearings. There was a time when I had to make a difficult decision, I was running out of legal options to remain in the US, I could simply go underground as an illegal alien, I could file for citizenship through my fiancée (after we were married) or I could go to court and challenge the Immigration and Naturalization’s deportation orders. I chose to go to court even though it was frickin’ expensive as hell, and that was for a lawyer who would take the case only if I did the leg work and the research. Because of a civil war where I came from I was seeking asylum.

Fast forward to the court date. We walk into court and my lawyer mentions that there is one particular judge he is hoping will not be the one to hear my case. Sure enough as we turn the corner, my attorney goes “shit”, it is him. So from the start a situation that I was incredibly nervous about has just taken a turn for the worse. As the hearing is called to order, the government presented its case first for about 20 minutes. Then my attorney presented my case and I was put on the witness stand. Then I realized why my attorney did not want this judge.

My attorney questioned me for about a half hour, and then I started to get up from the witness stand (without being dismissed – wasn’t familiar with courtroom etiquette), the judge goes “young man please remain on the stand, I have questions for you.” The judge then proceeded to question me for 3 hours. 3 hours of intense, in depth grilling. As the grilling goes on from time to I would glance at the govt attorney and seethe inside as he sat there with a smug look on his face.

Finally, the govt delivered its closing argument, during that time, my attorney glances over at the notes I have prepared and asks me if he can use my notes for the closing argument as they state the case better than his own notes. By this point I figured I would be lucky to just be denied asylum, a more likely scenario might involve the judge personally driving me to O’Hare airport and deporting me himself. After my attorney presented his closing arguments the judge adjourned court for 2 hours.

During the break my fiancée asked my attorney what he thinks the chances are that we would win the case. He somberly told us – we were more than likely looking at a denial of asylum in this case, he said given the many times he had argued before this judge his experience was telling him, the ruling would probably go against us. When we returned to the court and the judge began to read his ruling, we all figured we had lost. The judge basically was saying that in so much as there was a civil war raging in my country, the entire country was not engulfed by war, so in theory I should be able to return there and find somewhat of a safe haven.

Then he said, “In conclusion, while I had not proven that my life was in imminent grave danger, he was extremely satisfied that I was being a very productive member of society, and the government had not proven sufficient cause for him to deny me asylum, so he was in fact granting me asylum.”

My whole point for rambling on here is that Jeff Toobin and the other sensationalists out there who already know how the court is going rule need to sit back and shut up. We need more reporting and less sensationalism. And to those who are disheartened, it is not over by far, keep the faith, there will always be twists and turns, that is inevitable, but you must keep the faith.

I would bet you Mitt Romney’s $10,000 that everyone of the doomsday predictors would have also predicted that there was no way in hell a black guy, with the middle name Hussein who was only a state senator in 2004 would ascend to the presidency in 2008, and execute the duties of said office in a manner that in my opinion puts him in the top 5% of POTUSes this nation has had.

PS A quick update to the story, it’s been about 16 years since that court hearing and the fiancee and I got married two years later and now have two boys 11 and 9, and I am a citizen. It took 14 years to get my citizenship and even then, as I said, there will always be twists and turns – during the swearing in ceremony a fire broke out in the building and we had to leave the facility for about and hour while the fire dept fixed things. But it all worked out.

219 Responses to “a word from slick9”

  1. 1 Carol
    March 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    encouraging words.

  2. 8 Liberal Librarian
    March 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    To reinforce Slick’s comment:

    Some of the first reaction is in following the third and final day of Supreme Court oral arguments on President Obama’s health care law – primarily on the issues of severability and Medicaid. According to the AP, at least five justices seemed receptive to letting the entire law stand should they rule the mandate unconstitutional:

    In their questions, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg – and even conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia – seemed open to the idea that the wide-ranging law contains provisions that can be saved – even if the mandate for Americans to have health insurance is struck down.

    Many of the law’s provisions “have nothing to do with any of the things we are” talking about, Chief Justice Roberts said.

    • 9 amk for obama
      March 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      So if the mandate is stuck down, wouldn’t the insurance companies go belly up ? How come they’re not influence peddling their sc brethren ?

      • 10 Liberal Librarian
        March 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

        Exactly. Without the mandate, but with the rest of the law in place, the feds would HAVE to take over. Wheels within wheels.

        • 11 amk for obama
          March 28, 2012 at 12:34 pm

          So you think Obama placed this poison pill knowingly and thus put the rethug dominated sc in a bind ? Like the perpetual millionaires tax-cut that shrub and his team enabled ?

          • 12 Liberal Librarian
            March 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

            You know, people make fun of us Obots because we always think he’s playing “11th dimensional chess.” Of course, we think that because he IS. If he had turned his hand to chess rather than politics, he’s probably be world champion right now. I think he saw the mandate as a win-win: if it survived, then the private insurers would survive a while longer and everyone would have health care. If it didn’t, then the ultimate result would be Medicare for All. Much different than Fineman’s “lose-lose” scenario from yesterday.

            • 13 vcprezofan2
              March 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm

              I like your thinking LL; your ‘win-win’ take seems to gel with the Admin asking for this to be decided before the election, rather than having it hang on and the GOP types going on and on with their one-point plan of repealing it. To me it shows a certain amount of confidence on the part of the Administration.

            • 14 57andfemale
              March 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm

              Not one of my always-favorites, but James Carville had a rather astute observation: Republicans will own the horrors of health care if this bill goes down. It will be their efforts and their efforts only to deny Americans health care.

              The worse possible scenario for them is if the provisions stay and the mandate goes. Costs will skyrocket and far more people will be without care.

              • 15 Liberal Librarian
                March 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm

                Obama and the Dems would obviously prefer that the law pass Constitutional muster and then campaign on it. But I’m sure they’re also relishing the fight that would ensue if parts of the law were struck down. The GOP is walking into a trap as blindly as a badger.

            • 16 Cha
              March 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm

              I feel sorry for those who don’t see President Obama’s “11the dimensioal chess” moves.. they’ve got to be really obtuse!

          • 17 Debz
            March 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

            amk, OT but here’s a link to Dahlia Lithwick


      • 20 Liberal Librarian
        March 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm

        And, also, my guess is that the mandate will stay 5-4 or 6-3. The problem that Kennedy and Roberts have is that Congress forcing private citizens to buy a product is a slippery slope without some limiting mechanism. My feeling is that the majority decision will write a limiting mechanism which makes health insurance special, and so that Congress can’t force people to buy a private product willy-nilly without meeting stringent tests. Those tests will be written into the decision, and in such a way that the mandate passes those tests.

        • March 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

          I agree. Robert’s comments about everybody participates in the market whether they have insurance or not, and that a person without insurance impacts the costs to others, is what leads me to believe he will go with it. But it will be based upon the uniqueness of the health care market as opposed to the non-uniqueness of the broccoli market.

          • 22 Liberal Librarian
            March 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm

            Exactly, the “limiting mechanism”. The government has an interest in everyone participating in the health system so as to control cost and provide access. The only interest government has in broccoli is making sure it doesn’t have E. coli; your choice whether or not to buy it.

            Scalia is a lost cause. He has a visceral hatred towards the commonwealth. I understand the reasoning behind the Founders giving judges life-time appointments—especially in a time when lifespans were much shorter; but now I feel like it’s a brake on democratic progress.

      • 23 nathkatun7
        March 29, 2012 at 12:00 am

        In my opinion, I don’t think this corporate/big business friendly court will only invalidate just the mandate and leave the rest of ACA. They know that Insurance companies would not go for that. I think, right now, they are groping for a rationale to invalidate the entire law. I especially think Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy will not forsake their business buddies to please the extreme wing of the tea bag movement; unless of course they conjure up some legalese to invalidate the entire ACA, which will please the Insurance companies, Wall Street and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

  3. 25 Frenchie08
    March 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Wow! Just wow. Slick 9 your comments are not only riveting, but soooooo inspiring. I felt like I was right there with you. Thank you sharing this personal story with such a universal message for all of here at TOD!

    • 26 Mel
      March 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      Slick9 excellent and congrats that you are with us in our country you are very welcome!!!!

      • 27 David C
        March 28, 2012 at 8:43 pm

        Slick9, we need more (ex-)illegal aliens like you. I can think of a few native-born citizens that America could do without, if we could just find a country willing to make a trade…

  4. March 28, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I’ve been wondering about this—-and media’s role

    • March 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      Good point. I’ve been ignoring the media circus around the hearings as much as possible, but we can’t ignore the implications of politicians trying to sway SCOTUS, especially since SCOTUS has already proven they can and do act politically, *against* the current President.

    • 30 Linda
      March 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      ok….can you translate that please ?

      • 31 amk for obama
        March 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm

        yeah, it’s horrible english. twitter has dumbed down people.

      • March 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm

        Senior Democrats worry that the media making so many claims that the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) will throw out the law will make it easier for them to do so. (I don’t happen to agree.)

        • 33 Linda
          March 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm

          I wonder who these ” Senior Democrats ” are….

          • March 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm

            Regular people like us but they get paid to be Democrats and we don’t. They are people who have relationships with the media. Basically that reporter went fishing for comments from Democrats what would prove the meme of the ACA being struck down…find the worry-wort like James Carville to fill in the blanks.

        • 35 nospin
          March 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm

          I don’t agree either Tien Le. I am confident the law will be upheld and that the judges are not paying the least bit of attention to the media circus.

  5. 37 politicaljunkessa
    March 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Again, thank you, slick, for sharing. I am happy for your personal outcome, fellow American! I applaud your perseverance and courage in pursuing your case. Perhaps that was the deciding factor for the judge as well. 🙂

    I also appreciate how your case illustrates the reality of what goes on in courts and other legislative bodies all around this country. Often, the sausage-making is ugly, but a surprisingly satisfying decision is reached at the end of the day. This is very common. Law-making and judging is not an exact science, so people who are listening to one day of arguments and trying to extrapolate the ultimate outcome without understanding the history of constitutional law or Supreme Court precedence need to be taken with a grain of salt.

    Pundits do what they do — talk out of their asses for money. The real work is going on behind closed doors, in chambers, with clerks trading briefs, and old cases being researched and cited. The arguments play a part, but not the huge part the alarmists would have you believe.

    We shall see.

  6. 38 Judith Fardig
    March 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you Chips and Slick 9 for a voice of reason. This whole Supreme Court case has my blood pressure rising and my nerves on edge. The outcome makes a difference for so many families like mine. Thanks for a safe place to go. I’m not even reading my daily newspaper until the oral arguments are finished and the sensationalism dies down. We won’t know the ruling for weeks, anyway. Wish I could trust that the rule of law would prevail.

  7. March 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I’m trying to remain calm with this encouraging post, japa’s earlier, and remembering my dad’s advice—-that 99% of the things we worry about are for naught. But yikes, the article I just read on Chgo Trib site was dismal. I’m hoping that the prospects are not as bad as being reported, that this interim noise is not always indicative.

  8. 42 utaustinliberal
    March 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Thank you so much Slick 9 for these pragmatic words of wisdom. I wish members of the TOD community would take a leaf out of your playbook and quit the panicking. Quit the unnecessary “Jeffrey Toobin said this and Jeffrey Tobin said that.” Quit the “Well Ezra Klein is so smart so if he says ACA will be repealed, by Jove then it must be so” Quit the “well I’ve been reading articles on TPM by legal scholars and wannabe legal pundits who say that ACA is doomed. Doomed I tell you!” We’re tired of that CRAP. I’m tired of that CRAP. We’ve been through this over and over and over again. When ACA was going through the slug of congress and the public option was cast aside, people began wringing their hands and proclaiming ACA dead. Fast forward: we have a healthcare reform law. When the contraception rule was enacted in ACA, people began wringing their hands and declaring PBO’s re-election chances doomed. Fast forward: a Federal Judge threw out a suit against the Obama Administration brought by the U.S. Catholic Bishops. When the Democrats lost the majority in the House in the 2010 mid-terms, people began panicking and saying once again that PBO was doomed. Fast forward: He repealed DADT, passed a payroll tax cut, extended unemployment benefits, passed the healthy hunger-free child nutrition act, and granted even more powers to the EPA and FDA. When the battle over the debt ceiling raged, people began panicking and saying PBO had been bamboozled. Fast forward: PBO actually got more stimulus injected into the economy, prevented a government shutdown, and obtained continued funding of Planned Parenthood.

    There is so much precedent for the constitutionality of ACA and the individual mandate. If it gets upheld, we WIN. We’ll campaign on that victory. If the individual mandate gets thrown out, we still WIN. Why? Because with Citizens United and Bush v. Gore we’ll have pertinent irrefutable evidence that the Roberts court plays unjust partisan politics. We will go round the country and we will fire our base up. We will talk about ACA and explain it brick by brick. We will show evidence of the benefits of such a historic law. We will sweat, we will roll up our sleeves, we will volunteer, we will march, we will protest, we will organize, we will get into that mud and come out swinging and fighting like crazed banshees. Yes. I said crazed banshees. The underlying point is WE WILL FIGHT. I don’t have time to waste fretting and worrying over what silly pundits and legal wannabes think we should be freaking out about. I intend to enjoy the 8 years of the Obama Presidency. I intend to soak up every high and low. I intend to bask in the joy that is President Obama. I intend to fight for him when he needs our help as he does with ACA and other matters. Bottom line, I intend to have a spine of steel and not be the weather vane that abandons this President everytime the going gets tough. He has proven himself over and over and over again. What fuck more do you want? It boils down to this: Are you IN or OUT? I’m IN and I’m not looking back. The Supreme Court and the GOP want a fight? Heck yes we’ll give them a fight!

    • 43 amk for obama
      March 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      Preach it, ut.

    • 45 Ladyhawke
      March 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Me too…..

      I intend to bask in the joy that is President Obama.

      • 46 HZ
        March 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm

        That is a great message Ut. Thank you. This is one thing that I have told people who approach me all the time,” I am going to enjoy and bask in the space that President Barack H. Obama has created for us to enter into with him.”

        If is so important to remember that so many of us worked in our own way to get him elected, so now we have a choice to stand with him, and by him through the ups and downs.HZ

    • March 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Brilliant. I love your passion.

    • March 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Wow, ut, just wonderfully and beautifully amazing. I wish I could express myself with the honest fervor/passion with the right amount of critical thinking. At times, I’ve wished to express the same thing here only to be accused of ostrich behavior. When I want to say as you have: I am no ostrich, still if you want to drop a turd in the punchbowl at least proffer a call to action…whether it’s iwithin or the the outside world. (Preferably both). Other wise it’s just a chicken-little turd dropped in our punchbowl…

      Have I mixed my metaphors with ostriches and chickens; both are fowl?!

    • 52 politicaljunkessa
      March 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      Yep. As i say all the time: I am determined to enjoy this Presidency.


    • 53 vcprezofan2
      March 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks, UTAL! Such a LONG,successful history you have highlighted! I second every word….well, except the sentence with ‘colourful’ language. 😉

    • March 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Masterful UT, masterful.

    • 55 ber6964
      March 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Standing Ovation over here UT!!!
      Right on …………….We Press On……………..

    • March 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      OHHH UT- you said it all my friend.. Exactly how I feel- standing strong right there with you 🙂 Well Said!

    • 57 MsKitty (@michelec64)
      March 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      Yep. There will be a lot of twists and turns between now and November 6, and I fear that some folks here will be burned out long before then because they fret and wring their hands over every setback real or perceived. It’s gonna be a fight all the way so we need to focus our energies on doing what we can to push Obama/Biden over the top.

      If I ruffled anyone’s feathers, sorry about that but it’s just really, really frustrating to see this over and over and over….

    • 58 lmrj
      March 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      ABSOLUTELY UT!!!!!!! PRESSSSSSS ON!!!!! He does it every day. We should be pressing with him!

    • 59 CEB
      March 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      You have so righteously stated what I have long felt.

      Thanks, much.

    • 60 jackiegrumbacher
      March 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      UT, I’m in and always have been and and now I’m here cheering your words and spirit. This case won’t be decided until June. The oral arguments will be over today. We can’t afford to waste three months stewing about a possible outcome. There are primaries to fight for down ticket Democrats, voters to be registered, volunteers to be recruited and millions and millions of people to get to the polls. Everyone one who sets himself up as a prophet of doom on tv, twitter, newspapers, or any other medium is there to sap our strength and energy. They want nothing more than a deflated Democratic base. Well to hell with that. We have the best president in generations and we have a to do EVERYTHING to make sure he gets four more years to serve our country. The task is to great to waste any time on fretting. No matter what comes our way, PBO will handle it and we will help him the most by pressing on.

    • 61 prettyfoot58
      March 28, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      Bottom line, I intend to have a spine of steel and not be the weather vane that abandons this President everytime the going gets tough. He has proven himself over and over and over again. What fuck more do you want? It boils down to this: Are you IN or OUT? I’m IN and I’m not looking back. The Supreme Court and the GOP want a fight? Heck yes we’ll give them a fight!




    • March 28, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      “Are you IN or OUT?…”

      Very wise young one, I’m IN… 😉

      For me, there’s only HOPE(mongerin’) over fear(mongerin’).

      And, as I have said before, I TRUST AND BELIEVE IN PBHO….Obamacrat/Obot, over here!


      YES.WE.CAN…DO.(Much)More, Together – WE MUST!
      YES.WE.CAN, Again…Obama/Biden 2012!
      PRESS ON!

    • March 28, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      Ut…I have always admired your brilliance and eloquence. You have done it again. Thank you for this.
      I am IN all the way and am prepared to fight with all the strength I can muster to get PBO re-elected.

    • 64 nathkatun7
      March 29, 2012 at 12:06 am

      Bravo, UT! Exactly my sentiments! (see my comments in reply to Japa and slick 9 on the previous thread)

  9. 65 Slick9
    March 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Wow Chipsticks, what an honor you have done me. I am truly humbled!! Thanks to all for the kind comments. A quick update to the story, it’s been about 16 years since that court hearing and the fiancee and I got married two years later and now have two boys 11 and 9, and I am a citizen. It took 14 years to get my citizenship and even then, as I said, there will always be twists and turns, during the swearing in ceremony a fire broke out in the building and we had to leave the facility for about and hour while the fire dept fixed things. But it all worked out. I just want to say you Chips, a huge thank you for the effort you expend here. I’m a trader and as can be expected most of my co-workers and cutomers are hard core “if you don’t have healthcare, die!!!!” Republicans. This site has been an oasis for me. Peace y’all!!

    • March 28, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      Thanks slick for stepping forward and for the update. And I understand completely about finding an oasis here, away from the closed minded haters in our midst. TOD is a soul-saving tonic.

    • March 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Ah, the honor’s all mine, Slick, I really appreciate you posting your story here – like Frenchie, I was riveted, and let out a loud hoot when I came to the judge’s decision! Completely inspirational, and, as you said, a reminder not to make assumptions about the outcome of any case. We’ll wait and see – and hope. Thank you again Slick.

    • March 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      Aaahhh – a truly happy ending! Bliss.

    • March 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Slick9, your personal story is so compelling and now this update – it’s really so gratifying to know that you are now a citizen of our country, a place where immigrants have contributed so much of what is productive about our society. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!!

    • 70 a4alice
      March 28, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      Slick9 Thanks for your testimonial. I will really take heart in what you have said and will not listen to all the fast talking folks out there who really? are just trying to make a buck. trying to boost their ratings. they care not a whit for reporting facts. I’m going to keep my eyes on the prize.

      thanks again

    • 71 0388jojothecat
      March 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Welcome Slick9, it’s a great pleasure reading your story. I love hearing stories about those that CHOSE to become a citizen of this great country. I and many who were born here sometimes take her for granted and it’s people like yourself who come here, become good citizens, and remind us through your eyes as newly minted citizens what a great country we have and how we must fight to keep it that way. That means voting, not letting anyone ever to take away our right to vote, electing people who will fight for the least of us and not for their own interest and those that only want to gain the system.

      • 72 HZ
        March 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm

        Oh my goodness, what a beautful story. Thanks your Slick9 for sharing it with us. You made me joyful by coming out of your lurking position and sharing this jewel with all of us. This is so moving. May happiness continue to be with you. Thanks for the positive lift for this day.HZ

    • 73 vcprezofan2
      March 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      Slick9, now I feel even better reading your update. I always like to know ‘what happens next’ when reading stories. 😆 Now you are one of the team fighting for the future for your boys, and it feels good having you on the ‘right’ side of history. GOP always talk about leaving a future for children and grandchildren but we all know from their actions that the only offsprings THEY care about are their own.

    • 74 lmrj
      March 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      Thank you Slick9. Wonderful personal story. So many of us can relate. Congratulations. I wish many of us who were born in this country would take our residency and our citizenship as seriously. Too many take it for granted. Thank you Chips for all that you bring us on this wonderful blog.

    • 75 jackiegrumbacher
      March 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      Slick–thanks for the update. Your experience 16 years ago also shows how impressively you must have presented yourself to the judge. It looks as if you’ve had a lot of personal and career success since then, so he was right. Thanks for such a compelling story.

    • March 28, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      Slick9….thank you for you for your wonderful and inspirational story. I was intrigued from begining to end.

  10. March 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    This should be unconstitutional!

  11. March 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm

  12. 80 collegekay
    March 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    thank you for sharing, slick. I continue to be optimistic about ACA. Tough questions are apart of the process.

  13. 82 amk for obama
    March 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    • 83 0388jojothecat
      March 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Toobin’s been wrong about a lot of things. Besides, I don’t see the Justices bankrupting the Insurance companies, their republican Corporate benefactors, do you? I am not worried because our energizer bunny President will work hard to fix whatever ruling the five corporate justices hand down.

    • 84 Cha
      March 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      Toobin may be smart but not everyone who is smart uses it to their advantage. Something else takes over..like mediawhoredom on ‘roids.

  14. 85 amk for obama
    March 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    what a fucking idjit.

    • March 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Good on those unnamed republicans for breaking with Romney over his Russia labeling. Romney was just trying to feed the “gaffe” narrative. Instead, it may well be percieved that he is the one who gaffed again! Thanks for sharing this tweet, amk.

    • 89 Cha
      March 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      I knew it..willard’s robot a$$ mouth brought PBO’s hot mic right down on his $tupid waxy robot head.

  15. 90 Tally
    March 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Can I get a HELL YEAH?!?!?!

    Awesome stuff slick9!!! Now get your citizenship so you can VOTE (unless you have, and have already mentioned that, then, MY BAD….. just got up, drinking my Yorkshire tea… brain just turning on…..only read your AWESOME STELLAR PIECE and no commentary….. )

    😀 😀 😀

  16. 91 Dakota
    March 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Thank you Slick9 for your comments and insights.

  17. 92 Ladyhawke
    March 28, 2012 at 12:53 pm


    The Then “What” Debate

    By Ed Kilgore


    Some Democrats actually think it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. James Carville can see a campaign issue in the most abject policy defeats:

    “I think this will be the best thing that has ever happened to the Democratic Party,” Carville said Tuesday on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

    He added: “You know, what the Democrats are going to say, and it is completely justified, ‘We tried, we did something, go see a 5-4 Supreme Court majority’.”

    Carville, who gained fame working on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, predicted health care costs will only increase in the future, in which case Republicans will be to blame for leading the drive to expel a federal program designed to help Americans cover those costs.

    “Then the Republican Party will own the healthcare system for the foreseeable future. And I really believe that. That is not spin,” Carville said.
    Since conservatives cannot go back to what they were proposing just a few years ago—you know, a competitive system of private insurance options complemented by an INDIVIDUAL PURCHASING MANDATE and federal regulation of coverage denials and rates—they may have problems responding to this scenario.



    • March 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      Carville focuses on the political game, and ignores the fact that while he’s gleefully thinking of years of Democratic campaigning on a juicy topic like health care, there are millions who will suffer and die as a result of not having health care. President Obama said something in one of these video clips from a documentary (can’t recall which one – I think it was the “President’s Photographer”) where he said, “you don’t become President to BE something, you become President to DO something”. Well, he DID something. He got healthcare done. And the emoprogs spit on that achievement, and punished the Democrats who voted to bring relief to millions of families and health security to all the others.

      UTAustin said above so eloquently and passionately that if things go south, then we’ll continue to fight. Yes, I believe that’s true. But, people fought for 100 years to get a crack open for health care reform; one which would provide for further progress and change over time after the initial hurdle was passed. It’s galling to hear people like Carville talk so flippantly about how overturning this momentous and historic and life-changing achievement may be the “best thing that has ever happened to the Democratic Party”. It makes me wonder just why they are Democrats – is it just to compete and win, or to actually DO something to change people’s lives for the better. Is there any meaning behind the campaign slogans and promises, if the goal isn’t to actually keep those promises and effect those changes?

      These political “strategists” and pundits are so cynical – they forget there are real lives at stake; real people who need help and support. They are empty.

      • 94 vcprezofan2
        March 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm

        ‘!s there any meaning behind the campaign slogans and promises, ..? Your answer ‘Carville focuses on the political GAME’.

        IMO for the vast majority of politicians politics IS a GAME, a game that really does not affect their lifestyle because they generally always win in their own personal lives. Pres O, VP Biden, and a very few others have been seriously underlining the fact that there are real people out there who are looking for true representation. Though the media will not admit it, I do believe that this Admin HAS already changed the political landscape. They are showing us the selfishness of the old facade as well as what real leadership can accomplish, and they NEED the extra 4 years to continue to reroute the Ship of State.

    • 95 nathkatun7
      March 29, 2012 at 12:39 am

      I rarely agree with James Carville, but I totally agree with him on this issue. If the Court dares to invalidate the ACA, Democrats should copy a page from the Republicans of 1858 and 1860 who run against the obnoxious, and now infamous, Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision and won impressive victories. Democrats must not make two mistakes: First, we must not be complacent if the Court rules to up hold the ACA, because I am certain that would energize the tea baggers to work to defeat the President. Second, and most important, we must not act defeated if the Court strikes down the ACA. Rather, we should be more energized to ensure that we elect Democrats across the board, local, state and national; but especially Congress and the Presidency. It’s not hard to make the Court that defied the will of the voters by electing George W. Bush, and declared that a corporation is person, the villain if it strikes down the ACA. If Republicans complain they will only sound hypocritical because they demonize judges they disagree with all the time. Of course, the biggest obstacle is the so called mainstream media who, for the most part, are carrying the water for the Republicans. The challenge is how to effectively go around mainstream media frames and filters to effectively communicate with the vast majority of Americans. Sites like this one help a great deal; but to be honest they have no where near the rich of mainstream media. The other alternative left is going door to door educating and mobilizing voters by equipping them with the TRUTH.

  18. March 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I freaked out yesterday, but today I’m calm. I don’t see any way in which this Koch-Brothers corrupted court will uphold the law, so i rather try and think about what we need to do on the day after. Honestly, I don’t know why the WH pushed for this decision to be made before the election. PBO knows better than everyone how rigged this SCOTUS is, and how much half of them hate him on a very personal level. My hope is that the WH is ready for the day after.

    Sorry to be on the negative side, but this is how I feel about it. Still, thanks for this excellent post and I hope to be proven wrong.

    • March 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      His advisers advised wrong. Would not be the first time.

      • 98 anniebella
        March 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm

        Are you saying POTUS didn’t have anything to do with the decision. Maybe POTUS was for going before the Supreme Court now. Maybe it was his decision.

    • 99 Brit
      March 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      The SC is very conservative, so I am unsure how the WH thought the decision to go to the SC to argue the law would turnout.

      • 100 anniebella
        March 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm

        Someone ask the other day was there a plan B? I don’t know, but I believe the President and his people thought about how this could go, for them or against them. And I believe the President know exactly what he will do either way. So I don’t know what the Supreme Court will do, but that will not change my confidence in the President. He is a smart man and he knows how the SC is, he knows those justices could vote against the ACA, and I’m sure he has some plan as to what to do.

        • 101 anniebella
          March 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm

          How he will handle things.

        • March 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm

          This has nothing to do with the confidence in the president, this is simply a radical and highly corrupted court and that is why I’m surprised the WH was so eager to have that decision now.

          But, I might be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time. 🙂

        • March 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm

          Totally agree. Given that the President was initially opposed to the mandate, I have to believe that he had some other viable options under consideration even before the mandate came into question. Besides, the Administration has seen the opposition and they knew this thing was going to court. They seem like a well prepared, practical bunch – so they are probably not surprised by all the hand-wringing.

        • 104 nospin
          March 28, 2012 at 6:07 pm

          There is no need for a Plan B anniebella. It will be just fine. Much ado about nothing.

      • March 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm

        Maybe they thought they didn’t want to go right up to the election with this thing being argued back and forth. This way if we win, it’s a win – it’s constitutional and the Republicans will have to shut up a little bit. If it goes down, the Republicans own it and all the strong feelings that will come when people realize they are worse off.

  19. March 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    But but but Jeffrey Toobin said…

  20. 107 JER
    March 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Vice President Biden discusses the U.S. economy at a campaign event in Davenport, Iowa. http://edition.cnn.com/video/flashLive/live.html?stream=4

  21. 109 debbyeOh
    March 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Thank you, Slick9, for reminding us that those “analysts” need to report more, and analyze less. It ain’t over, til it’s over! Oh yeah, “hi”, TOD family!:)

    • 110 lmrj
      March 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      “It ain’t over, til it’s over!” ….. and then it still may not be over. PBO has “GOT THIS!”

  22. March 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I don’t know enough about law investigations to know if this is common, but it seems odd to me.

    “Source: Sanford police chief, state attorney made Zimmerman ‘no charge’ call in person”


    A source with knowledge of the investigation into the shooting of Trayvon Martin tells theGrio it was then Sanford police chief Bill Lee, along with Capt. Robert O’Connor, the investigations supervisor, who made the decision to release George Zimmerman on the night on February 26th, after consulting with State Attorney Norman Wolfinger — in person.
    Wolfinger’s presence at the scene or at the police department in the night of a shooting would be unusual, according to the source. On a typical case, police contact the state attorney’s office and speak with an on duty assistant state attorney, and they either discuss the matter by phone or the on duty assistant state attorney comes to the crime scene – but rarely the state attorney him or herself…

  23. 112 amk for obama
    March 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm

  24. 114 vcprezofan2
    March 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Good afternoon, Chips & TODvillle!

    I’m here to check if you are all having a lovely Wednesday, and to confess that I’m theorizing that @TODville migraine is ‘contagious’. 😉 Someone here had an episode recently and I remember feeling quietly sorry for them. I haven’t had an episode in ages, so imagine my feelings when I got up, turned on my internet and my laptop, ready to rise and shine with you all and felt an aura starting! Ugh! Anyway, I rushed back upstairs, hastily took my Naproxen, ate something, turned off the laptop etc and went back to bed with a sheet over my eyes. The tablet plus several hours of lying still in the dark seems to have done the trick so here I am, .. for now… but you better not come too close in case my theory is correct! 😉 😉 😆

    • March 28, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      Aww (((((vc))))) twas me with the migraine yesterday… I am so very glad you’re better now.. they really can be very dibilitating. I take sumatriptan, which really does work very well and quick, when I take them right away. Best wishes & soft hugs to you 🙂

      • 116 vcprezofan2
        March 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm

        😉 Sheri, I remembered it was you but didn’t want to use your name in case that would bother you. 😆 Migraines are a relatively recent addition to my life and while I have yet to figure out definitively what triggers mine, they do seem to start with an aura. This gives me time to take the tablet (with food) and yes, if I am quick I only get the edges of the headache and a woozy head which sleep helps. My very first experience sent my blood pressure through the roof, me to the Emergency via ambulance (I was at work and frightened the boss), and took me out of commission for two days. Now the aura alone scares me into rushing for the tablet! 😆

        • March 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm

          They are pretty new for me also vc, so I understand completely what you’re feeling. I can’t always take a pill immediately because my son is home all day with me- and even though I only take a half pill, it makes me sleepy.. anyway mine began when I got very sick 6 yrs ago and for most of that time I got by w/ excedrin migraine.. until they no longer worked and my doctor prescribed the other stuff- that really works well. Anyway, my heart goes out to you- take care 🙂

      • March 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm

        Good Afternoon VC. I was about to say it was sherijr. I send warm and gentle ((((((((((((((( HUGS 2 Both of you))))))))))))))))))HZ

        • March 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm

          Oh HZ.. (((((((hugs))))))))))) right on back for you always- thank you so much for your kindness & sweetness ~

        • 120 vcprezofan2
          March 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

          Hi, HZ! I feel okay, just a little light-headed like I imagine people feel when they have too much to drink. Thanks for the hugs; sending some your way too as I hope all is well today. {{{HZ}}} You take care too, {{Sheri}}. 😆

    • 121 jackiegrumbacher
      March 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      Glad you’re better vc.

      • 122 vcprezofan2
        March 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm

        Thanks, JG. I got so caught up going back and forth between here and Twitter that I haven’t been paying any attention to my head, other than staying close to the bed all afternoon.

  25. 123 Liberal Librarian
    March 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    More on ACA from TPM:

    TPM Reader PM checks in with a smart take on the HCR oral arguments:

    I’m sure you’re getting a ton of comments from lawyers, and I don’t want to add to that deluge except for two short points:

    1. You’re right to point out that the argument sounded like a Federalist Society meeting. Of two hours of argument, less than 10 minutes was spent on controlling precedent. And well over 90 minutes was spent on the parade of horribles that Congress might be able to legislate if it can impose a health care mandate. But, ultimately, I think that is unlikely to lead to the law’s demise, because:

    2. The only problem that Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy expressed with the mandate is the lack of limiting principle on Congress’s ability to mandate the purchase of privately-made/issued products. If that’s really the concern of each Justice, and it sure seemed that it was, neither man is lacking in the self-regard and intellect necessary to craft such a limiting principle. And that’s where my money remains. The Government didn’t make their jobs easier, but it’s one thing to fault the Government for failing to articulate a limiting principle and quite another to overturn momentous legislation on that basis. Because to do the latter is to say that the Justices can’t craft such a principle either. Here’s betting both can, and Roberts will.

  26. 125 Liberal Librarian
    March 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm

  27. March 28, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Also, seeing how the right will now suit everything, the President needs to find out if the Dream Act is legal, if his energy policies are legal, if everything is legal…
    Just saying!

  28. March 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I just thought of something. If you stop paying your Car insurance, (which is an individual mandate), and your license gets suspended.
    You could site the Supreme Court ruling on individual mandates being unconstitutional.
    Because, federal law supersedes State law…

    • 142 0388jojothecat
      March 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Good one Jovie…..also, were there any “limits” on automobile insurance? If I remember correctly, the cost of auto insurance went down drastically especially for those that were put in a “high risk” pool. I was one of those “high risk” drivers, I had an accident, no liability insurance, new and young driver under 25yrs old. Prior to being in the accident, I could not afford the $2000 a yr insurance back in 1980 after the accident and being in a high risk pool, it was only $600 a yr. Even to this day, auto insurance is very reasonable especially for an older car. Wished that worked the same for health insurance, older person cheaper insurance, oh well.

    • 144 politicaljunkessa
      March 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Not quite.

      The counter-argument is that the FEDERAL (not STATE) government should not mandate the purchase of health insurance. It is the mandating by the FEDERAL government that the plaintiffs are saying (in part) that is unconstitutional — not the idea of an mandate itself. Right-wingers are all about States Rights — that is part of Romney’s disingenuous flip-flop: mandates are good for Massachussetts, but not for everyone. Although, he has in fact said that it would be a good idea for the country, but that’s another story. 🙄

      • March 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm

        If people were only allowed to get sick in their own states, then this would make sense. But, if I cross a bridge into another state, get hit by a bus – does that mean that the emergency room doesn’t have to care for me, or the people of that state don’t have to pay my bill if I’m uninsured? And what about the fact that the President has granted a waiver for the states if they can come up with another plan that will cover everyone and cost no more than the Federal plan? I think if the states were interested, they’d have jumped at that offer.

        • 146 politicaljunkessa
          March 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm

          That is exactly the defendant’s (government’s) argument, or at least part of it: that Congress has the power to make this law mandating insurance coverage because of the legal power of Congress to legislate regarding activities related to “interstate commerce,” and therefore federal interest should trump so-called “states rights” in this instance — therefore a federal mandate is constitutional. That is the argument.

          • 147 politicaljunkessa
            March 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm

            Yikes! That was very legal-easey of me. But basically, Congress has the power to make laws that deal with people moving from state to state and their economic impact as they do so. That is partly what ACA’s legal foundation rests on when it comes to the individual mandate.

    • March 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      When we boil it all down, that is the argument. This is all fluff and bluster. We have to have auto insurance to drive on public roadways and we are required to carry homeowner’s insurance because it protects the asset. This is all crazy politics.

    • 149 nospin
      March 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Jovie – that has always been my perspective. Why in the heck is it mandatory to have car insurance but not health insurance?

      the law WILL be upheld.

  29. March 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Congratulations on your citizenship Slick.. thank heaven we have folks like you here in America.. and right here at TOD 🙂

  30. 151 vcprezofan2
    March 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience, Slick9! It is encouraging to hear that despite a nail-biting beginning, your court case ended positively. ! particularly agree that we need more REPORTING and less sensationalism. IMO real life experience trumps journaIistic hype every time. Thanks.

  31. March 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Oh good Lord. I’m as cynical as the next person but even I never envisioned this, this is ridiculous even for the NRA.

    NRA Begins Selling Hoodies With Pocket To Conceal Handguns

    ETA: Seriously guys this is a REAL you can click on the product page from the Think Progress article.

  32. March 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Gooood Day all my O’s!!!!! It’s a great windy getting up day in the windy TOD city. Listening to the SCOTUS and came in on the tail end of Justice Breyer doing a smack down of the guy representing the states to knockdown the entire bill, rather than just the mandate. This guy seems to have come with Lutz talking points and not a basis for legal interpretation. Wow, this stuff will give you ulcers, high blood pressure, or the heebie jeebies. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

  33. March 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Scalia asks to the laughter of the crowd if they should read 2007 page bill. Kegan gets more laughter when she says it should be easy for him or his clerks to read it. I’m thinking, well what else do you and your clerks get paid to do? Am I now learning in my old age and after many episodes of Schoolhouse Rock, that these folks aren’t expected to read the laws that they rule on? #oveyandsmh….

  34. 161 edwina3
    March 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Completely O/T but this video about a blind dog being rescued just got to me, and probably I just needed to cry but for all the animal lovers here at TOD, enjoy. Know hope, everyone.


  35. 164 Bobfr (aka Our4thEstate)
    March 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Comments that I made yesterday don’t need repeating so I’ll just add this …

    Bring it, SCOTUS!


  36. March 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm


    What a great story. Happy for you and grateful for your calm head and clear reasoning. We have been freaking out here, and this post has been oh so soothing.

    I don’t believe this law will be struck down,no matter how much they may want to.

    This morning my faith begins to be vindicated. Read this from The Dish. Andrew titles it, The Mandate Lives


    • 168 Liberal Librarian
      March 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      Hah! God, I can’t remember a time when Congress was held in any esteem, but the GOP has just destroyed its credibility utterly.

    • March 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      Sorry, the thread just went crazy

      Slick9, thank you for your encouraging post. We need to have faith in our justice system, though imperfect. I trust we will prevail. Working for lawyers, I have learned over the last 30 years that they are full of words which are used to compartmentalize their thoughts, but in the end, the good ones make good decisions.

  37. March 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm

  38. 172 Tally
    March 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Chips – check your email. 😀

  39. 173 Liberal Librarian
    March 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Well, Israeli politics will remain, well, Israeli politics.

    Polls show that toppling Netanyahu would be an uphill battle: Kadima, currently the largest faction in parliament, is losing support to the centrist Labour party and the dovish Meretz. Kadima would also be expected to lose seats to the television personality Yair Lapid, who has not yet formed a political party.

    Story here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/28/israel-kadima-shaul-mofaz-leader

    • March 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      The Likud Party wins by putting everybody into submission. Fear mongering. It’s their version of GW!

      • 175 Liberal Librarian
        March 28, 2012 at 2:25 pm

        The thing is that if Kadima, Labour, and Meretz can win enough seats, they can form a coalition government. Israeli politics is famously fractured. I have to find polling on where the various parties stand with the Israeli electorate. So here’s to hoping.

  40. March 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    TOD Family: I love you all so much. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your lives each day. Coming here give me courage to keep moving not matter what is going on in my life. Now ,I am going to go downstairs and get something to eat, and try so very hard to tackle this paperwork for my tax-preparation appt., so that I will be ready for next week. I hate this stuff. Pray for me please.

    But let me leave these for our TOD family today:

    ” The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt.

    “Courage doesn’t always roar.
    Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
    “I will try again tomorrow.” Radmacher

    Let us dream big and with much beauty within those dreams. We believe in the beauty of all of us coming together and making 2012 a great victory for not only making sure POB is back in the Oval Office, but millions of people will continue to see their dreams move forward for a better place in this world.

    And let us take the courage to not be distracted with the “noise makers”, but stay focus and listen to those ‘quiet voices’ and pray for grace to get up again tomorrow and try it again until we make certain to our capacity to make a dream come true for :

    that college grad who just wants a chance to make it in this country,

    or that homeless veteran who will be able to not have to sleep on the cold ground when they kept us safe and warm in our homes for so many nights.

    Or maybe that little child in the inner city who will get to see a great teacher stand before him/her next year because POB made sure that the funds for those schools were kept in place.

    Or my seniors friends will not have to take a pill one morning and skip a meal the next.

    That is the courage and quiet dreams that we move on with focus, calmness, and action as our POB does each and every day that he goes to that Oval Office. He told us so, so why not believe in him.

    I love you Chips and my most precious TOD family(((((((((( I Love You All))))))))))HZ

    • 177 Tally
      March 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      Beautifully said HZ!!!


    • 178 politicaljunkessa
      March 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      Amen, HZ. Good vibrations! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    • 179 0388jojothecat
      March 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      We are so lucky to have your wisdom HZ, we love you too. I am thankful for Blackwaterdog who through her site made it possible to find Chipsticks and The Obama Diary and the wonderful people that come here like you HZ. I hope no matter what comes down, please believe NOTHING WILL STOP PBO and NOR SHOULD IT STOP US. We must continue to PRESS ON, take off your bedroom slippers and start marching, volunteering, for this President and for our country.

    • March 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      Back at ya, HZ ❤❤❤ You are the best.

    • 181 jackiegrumbacher
      March 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      Thank you, HZ, you always make the day brighter and the path clearer,

    • 182 meabloom
      March 28, 2012 at 6:39 pm


  41. March 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    From what I gather, the Conservative judges are concerned about the insurance industry and wants to protect them.
    Thus, only throwing out the individual mandate concerns the Conservative Justices, Scalia is arguing if I find the Mandate illegal, then the whole thing should go.

    Just saying!

    • 184 0388jojothecat
      March 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      He’ll be in the minority with his sock puppet clarence.

      • 185 Liberal Librarian
        March 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm

        Again, the Kremlin has nothing on SCOTUS in terms of opaqueness; but from the reports I’ve read today, ACA is on, dare I say it, a firm footing. As Benen noted in his blog, the justices are not at all sanguine about Congress being able to resolve the issue if the mandate is stricken down.

  42. 186 Ladyhawke
    March 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Briefing with Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest will be starting shorting.

    I trust the jackals have formulated all of their questions from GOP talking points, complaints and criticisms of the administration as usual. The jackals are unable to think of pertinent questions on their own.

  43. 187 Ladyhawke
    March 28, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Josh (with that great voice) Earnest is at the podium now…..

  44. 188 edwina3
    March 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    OH, how totally funny. Every year the WaPo has their peeps contest and someone made a peep show with Romney’s dog!


  45. March 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I’m just thinking how when I first used FB, barely no one was on it and my only friends were mostly high school…now look at it. I feel the same way about twitter. I barely used it a year ago, but now if there are 2 things I always check when I’m on the internet, it’s FB and twitter…Follow me on twitter @psddluva4evah

  46. March 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Workers are one year into constructing an Army hospital to replace an aging facility that was never intended to handle as many patients as it does today.

    The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, slated for a 2015 opening at Fort Hood in Texas, is both the largest Pentagon contract funded by the Recovery Act – $530 million – and the largest medical facility project in the military.

    The original Darnall hospital opened in 1965 to serve 17,000 soldiers; an addition in 1984 expanded capacity to 39,000 troops. Today, the hospital serves roughly 45,000 soldiers as well as nearly 125,000 family members and retirees within a 40-mile radius.

    The new medical center will be nearly 60 percent larger than the current facility and will include a six-story hospital, three out-patient clinic buildings, and three parking garages.


    So far, Recovery Act has 750 billion out the Door. With about 30 billion left and 1 billion out the Door per week, the Recovery Act will be finished right before the Election. Coincidence?

  47. March 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    okay I’ve just got to share this.. PM David Cameron just began following me on Twitter.. I admit I get a little tingle when folks I follow follow me back 🙂

    On another note, what is your opinion (the general TOD your) of candidates who don’t proclaim their party? Heidi Heitkamp running for US Senate for ND is endorsed by the Dem party here, but no where on her site do I see her proclaim herself other than “Independent for ND”. She sent out emails the other day giving support for the violence against women act being renewed.. and mentioned that Congress needed to act on it- stating that members of Congress were dragging their feet- not mentioning at all that those feet draggers were Republicans. In my mind, the type of ‘independent’ candidates are playing both sides of the street.

    With that note I also received an email from Gen Wesley Clark via VoteVets.com giving his support for candidate Richard Carmona from AZ running to replace Kyl… again no mention of which party he hails from, since he was apparently appointed by GW Bush as Surgeon General- my first guess is republican… but isn’t Wesley Clark himself a Dem.. one assumes he’d endorse another Dem.. this ticks me off.. stand up and state what you believe in.. pick a party for heaven’s sake and then stand up for it… just my wee opinion 😉

    • March 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      Ha! okay I admit I’m a dufus.. NOT the REAL David Cameron.. which is fine, because ultimately he’s prolly way too conservative for my tastes 😉

    • March 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      For the record, Carmona *was* an Independent, but has joined the Democratic Party.

    • March 28, 2012 at 4:03 pm

      I can answer your question about Richard Carmona. He was appointed by George W. Bush to the post of Surgeon General, but after seeing the dysfunction of Washington and the Republican Party, he is a democrat. President Obama asked him to run. He had a dem challenger too, Don Bivens, but Bivens is withdrawing and supporting Dr. Carmona. He came to a fundraiser last week, and he is very well-spoken and impressive. He is hispanic, is fully supportive of the Dream Act and supports ACA. He appeared on Rachel Maddow last week.

  48. March 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I’m still not a fan of David Frum but you can sometimes find agreement with people you dislike…rarely, but sometimes. Frum’s reasoning kinda reflects some of my own in regards to the possibility that SCOTUS strikes down ACA still being a win/win situation for the White House

    Yglesias Award Nominee

    “[If the ACA is struck down,] Republicans will need a Plan B. Unfortunately, they wasted the past three years that might have developed one. If the Supreme Court doesn’t rescue them from themselves, they’ll be heading into this election season arguing, in effect, Our plan is to take away the government-mandated insurance of millions of people under age 65, and replace it with nothing. And we’re doing this so as to better protect the government-mandated insurance of people over 65—until we begin to phase out that insurance, too, for everybody now under 55,” – David Frum.

  49. March 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    It is a Frderal law, that if people do not have Health insurance, then Hospitals have to treat them, even if they are insolvent.
    So, if somebody suits that law, under these Justices, that will be found illegal.
    They are going to go back, and see what they can strip out of the Federal Government, through Court proceedings.
    Basically, our whole system is at risk. Now, the Court has the ultimate power over the people.
    That is Seperation of Powers and Pay Leahy should hold impeachment hearings on all of them!

    • March 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm

      A quick clarification. Numebr one, hospitals only have to treat people in ERs if they are medically unstable, and then only to the point that their condition is stabilized.

      Secondly, there is a difference in telling a hospital what it must do as opposed to telling people what they have to do. I don’t think that throwing out the madate (which I still don’;tthink will happen) would provide precedence to throw out this law.

  50. 202 nintendowii10
    March 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I’d like to add my own words of wisdom.

    Going back into 2008, Barack Obama was the “underdog.” He had to first fight the Clinton machine, and he did it in a calm and respectful manner. Meanwhile, Hillary took bad advice from Rovian Democrats, and Obama outsmarted and outplayed her to win the Democratic nomination. Then fast forward to 2008, Barack Obama has to campaign against John McCain, and the poll comes out after Palin gave her speech at the RNC, and polls came out showing McCain ahead. CUE EMOPROG PANIC!!!! But Barack Obama did NOT panic, he continued to run his campaign the same way he did in the primaries, and he WON!!! He defeated a senile old man and his pitbull with lipstick.

    Cue 2009, He’s inaugurated into office, and he has to fight to pass the American Recovery Act to stabilize the economy. He succeeds, amongst Republican obstruction and with TWO empty Senate seats. The next major fight is the healthcare fight, and we had big pharma AND the stupid emoleft BOTH fighting against it. Come 2010, most of the media had written the healthcare fight and said that the American Care Act would NOT happen, and yet it happened. Then 2011 rolls in and the President hunts down and executes Osama bin Laden and a bunch of Al Qaeda leaders, but all the emoleft can do is snivel about “Why didn’t he capture Osama bin Laden alive?” and whine about the use of drones.

    My point in bringing up all of this is to demonstrate that Barack Obama is NO idiot. Both the emoleft and the hard right have created their own caricatures of President Obama. The emoleft caricature is that Obama is a right wing Republican who has “caved” to the Republicans and DESTROYED liberalism. The hard right caricature is that Obama is a left wing Marxist Socialist dictator who has apologized to the Muslim world too much and was not even born in America. The emoleft and hard right both need to be ignored, the fact that President Obama has outsmarted and outplayed them is driving them crazy, and yet President Obama continues to push along because he is a fighter.

    I’d encourage everyone to ignore the media noise/pundits with regards to this healthcare fight. Their main job is to piss people off with absolute bullshit. The hearings on the American Care Act have just begun, yet we have Toobin and a few others in the media saying that the American Care Act will be defeated. That would be just like saying that the New England Patriots were going to win the SuperBowl because they had the lead by the end of the first half. If it helps, think of these hearings as a football game, and it’s the first quarter. Don’t listen to these quacks that seem to know it all.

    PRESS ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. 205 57andfemale
    March 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I didn’t even read replies to my comments yesterday. When I get scared I get yelled at, and although I did my damnedest to keep the iceberg of my fear from view, I was plenty scared. I literally cried myself to sleep over the SC yesterday, and the many assaults against this great President and the specter of an America I never fathomed I would see in my lifetime.

    I’m still scared. I still want the health care law to be upheld. I’m hoping that the Roberts Court understands that if it does, with one significant case, march us back to, as Dahlia Lithwick said, 1804, that nothing they do or say throughout Roberts’ tenure will be taken seriously by history. To undo the 20th century may be even more than they can stomach (although they are fully capable of doing so and they may very well choose that path).

    But in its worst case scenario, is this a gift to liberals? Is this a gift to the nation? Is it not more effective to have the actions of Republicans prove PBO’s stark choice about the vision of America and what has made us great? Were we a great nation because we worked the Chinese to death building the railroads? Are the robber barons our heroes? Is slavery our greatest legacy to a modern world? Or is it our pulling together for the greater good — a concept that is enshrined in the Constitution as the over-arching purpose of our government? What makes us great?
    Who wants to rob us of that greatness? Certainly not Barack Obama. Certainly not the Democrats. Republicans, who fought this bill in court, and the ultimate decision of the Roberts Court — will make that choice clear.

    America realigned after the Civil Rights Act. Could this be our moment of realignment back to the goodness and fairness and common sense rules of the New Deal? This isn’t just PBO giving a speech — this is a direct consequence of Republican actions.

    Now, I still wish there was a groundswell of support for ACA — I still believe the administration blew it on this but they are fighting mightily to do the best job they can do now. It’s a bit of catch-up.

    This is truly a moment when the soul of this country makes its choices. I’m terrified, at 62, with no health care. I’m terrified for my goddaughter and the choices she will face concerning her reproductive freedom. I am terrified for the EPA, Medicaid, regulation of the banksters, the warmongers. This feels to me like a pivotal moment unlike anything I’ve seen since the Civil Rights Act realigned the country.

    We have no better messenger than Barack Obama. I wish his path were easier, because we would all be better off if it was. But thank God he is our President.

    Okay, off my soapbox now.

    • March 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      I can understand the worries especially after 8 years of Bush-Cheney but being terrified is not going to do anything but keep you in despair. Change as The President says is hard. It always has been. Believe me as an African-American I really do understand where you’re coming from but you and I don’t have a choice. We have to press on. If they block us one way then we have to find another. And we will find another way because we are made of sterner stuff.

      I know this part of corny but it’s heartfelt:

    • 207 purpleshoesla
      March 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      57, no yelling here. To answer your question, unequivocally yes we are at that moment. IMHO, we’ve been moving to this pivotal moment ever since PBO was elected. I acknowledge your terror. I’m terrified as well. But my question to you is, now that the terror and fear has been articulated, now what? Is the terror/fear going to be a paralyzing force or a galvanizing force for you? I don’t know what people do once they leave this site and go back to their real life. I can surmise from their posts, but I don’t really know. All I know is that at least for me, this terror that you’ve articulated has galvanized me to action; to FIGHT, not take flight. I am glad and eternally grateful that TOD serves a virtual oasis where we can all collectively learn, empower, commiserate, debate and share our fears with each other. Yet there’s so much more that needs to be done above and beyond posting comments on a site with like-minded folks.

      Whether or not the Administration dropped the ball on past ACA messaging is irrelevant at this point. What WE do going forward to spread that groundswell is where the focus must be. Yes PBO is our messenger for the times. But WE make his path easier by joining him with 1000% percent of our energy–whether the genesis of that energy is terror or hope—and FIGHT to ensure that the soul of this country makes the right choice. Forgive my crudeness, but let’s get off our collective asses, pull yourselves up out of whatever funk you are in, and let’s get to work.

      Off my soapbox now. Inhale, exhale, breathe. 🙂

      • 208 Diane
        March 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm

        Thank you so much purpleshoes. I have been in a horrible funk. After years and years my husband has been finally able to get insurance (pre-existing condition) and I was able to relax that if he got sick we wouldn’t lose everything we have. He got hurt once ( a deep and long gash on his arm) and we could not afford for him to go to the hospital. So instead of an emergency room visit, stitches and antibiotics. We used bandaids, topical antiseptics, loads of aspirin, and prayer. The thought that we might have to go back to that horrible limbo turned last night into long and sleepless night. Sometimes the best thing a friend can do is kick you in the pants. Thanks for the kick in the pants. I do not operate well on fear–Better to give it my all and leave the rest to God. Fight or flight? No contest–fight like hell!

      • 209 amk for obama
        March 28, 2012 at 9:26 pm

        Nice soap box you got there. 🙂

        well done, purple. What people do off-line matters the most. Contribute to the campaign in whatever way possible, time/money/energy, anything.

  52. 210 purpleshoesla
    March 28, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Afternoon TOD, breaking for lunch here on the West Coast, to catch up on what’s happening at midday.

    Slick9, thank you so much for your story and becoming a citizen of our country. Makes me proud!

    HZ, once again you are a soothing balm on this site. Thank you.

    Tally, how is that epic t-shirt of yours coming along? 🙂

  53. 212 sjterrid
    March 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Slick9 thank you for telling us your story. Congratulations on becoming a citizen. I hope you post more often.

  54. 213 Pamela
    March 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Driving in to work earlier, thinking “Life is a pre- existing condition”… Right?

  55. March 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Beautiful, thoughful post slick9, thanks for sharing.

  56. 215 meabloom
    March 28, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Great piece slick9! Very encouraging and also very true.
    Thanks for sharing

  57. 216 yardarm756
    March 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I like this Dude. Stop lurking Slick. You obviously have something to say.

  58. 217 Walking_on_ Sunshine
    March 28, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks slick9. Love your attitude and your story.

  59. March 28, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you for that inspiring writing.

  60. March 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    thank you for telling your story

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