More video from today in Tehran. This gives a much better representation of the scope and magnitude of it all. And also the possible repercussions when millions go to the streets in protest.
Howard Dean does a great job on MSNBC shooting down every Republican talking point on health care reform that Norah O'Donnell throws at him. Here are the questions she asked him.
- Is a public option a stalking horse for this government control?
- Doctors don't support this plan--then proceeds to read a quote that doesn't say doctors are against a public plan.
- Medicare and Medicaid waste money.
- Doctors don't like it because they only get 80% of what they would under private insurance plans.
- How do you stop employers from dropping employees from their coverage?
As Media Matters has reported, this is nothing new for Norah O'Donnell: Hardball for Dean, softball for Allen: MSNBC's O'Donnell echoed Republican attacks, misleading statements
As Think Progress noted, Dean also did a good job of explaining why Kent Conrad's co-op proposal is a really bad idea and won't work:
He’s wrong about this. The co-ops are too small to compete with the big, private insurance companies. They will kill the co-ops completely by undercutting them, using their financial clout to do it. In the small states like mine and like Senator Conrad’s, you’re never gonna get to the 500,000 number signed up in the co-op that you need to in order for them to have any marketing [power].
This is a compromise designed to deal with problems in the Senate. But it doesn’t deal with problems in America. And I think it’s time for the Senate to stop playing politics, do what has to be done. … If the Republicans don’t want to get on board, then we can do this without the Republicans.
We need more voices like Dr. Dean and Sen. Sanders talking honestly about this issue as long as the media is going to continue repeating the Republicans talking points for them.
Hundreds of thousands are now marching in the streets of Iran against the election results. They're headed toward Revolution Square, perhaps literally.
UPDATE: The BBC is now saying the rally was 1-2 million. The video above was from earlier. The picture below was from later today when the crowds really began to swell.
(Sky News) Tens of thousands of supporters of Iran's opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, have defied a ban to attend a rally in Tehran after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a landslide victory in the presidential elections. Sky's Tim Marshall reports
Okay, in what world is it ever a good thing to ever have an election stolen? Joe Scarborough seems to think the ayotollahs rigged the election because Obama's Cairo speech scared them into over reaching and making sure he didn't get credit for the reformers winning in Iran, but if they did, it's a good thing in the long run for the United States.
If they rigged the election Joe, it's likely for the same reasons the Republicans have rigged elections in the United States...to stay in power. Not because they're worried about American politics.
GREGORY: Let's just also address what is the still breaking news out of Iran, and the fact that there is belligerence coming out of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian regime.
GREGORY: And this administration has a real delicate balance here...
GREGORY: ...which is are you going to engage? And how do you do it now?
SCARBOROUGH: Right. And how fascinating; we heard the vice president--I mean, they've been looking at the numbers. Did you hear the old, the old Irish pol looking at us, saying, "You know, 70 percent of the vote came from urban areas. That's not Ahmadinejad's strong suit." They know these numbers don't add up. I mean, that's a very--I think that's the strongest message this morning. Joe Biden suggested this morning the numbers just don't add up in Iran.
GREGORY: Right, that Iran is not an actual democracy here.
MURPHY: Well, and I hope that's not news to them.
MURPHY: I mean, behind the--he kept referring to the supreme leader, the Grand Ayatollah, who really pulls the strings there. And now the Iranian democracy, the legitimacy is out the window in the eyes of the world.
MURPHY: So these are bad guys of no good faith. How do you engage with them if obviously they don't mean much of what they say?
Vice President Joe Biden told NBC's David Gregory that he questioned former Vice President Dick Cheney's judgement for criticizing President Barack Obama policies on national security. Biden seemed to pull his punches when asked about Cheney's motives. "Never question another man's motive," warned Biden.
Mitt Romney, ever the proud champion of the private insurance companies did his best to spread some more fear on This Week about the United States ever getting a single payer health care plan, or even, heaven forbid, that "Trojan Horse" public option. George Stephanopoulos actually hits Romney with a good question about just how well his MA plan has worked out and why.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Except, Governor, you bring up the Massachusetts plan. And you're exactly right. And most studies have shown that Massachusetts has done a very good job of expanding coverage with this plan but has not done as good a job of controlling costs.
And some say that's because of the absence of a public plan. Alan Sager, professor of health policy at Boston University has said that health spending per person in Massachusetts has increased faster than the national average in seven of the last eight years.
ROMNEY: Massachusetts is an expensive state to do a lot of things. But the key thing I can tell you is this. What's happened to the health insurance premium for people buying insurance in Massachusetts? It's been cut in half.
For an individual, a young male, let's say 35 years old, buying insurance in Massachusetts for themselves, the premium has been cut in half since our plan went in place.
So Mittens quotes one of the least expensive groups to insure's premiums going down as an example of just how swimmingly the Massachusetts plan is working out. How about this instead Mitt? From the report:
By mandating that uninsured residents purchase private health insurance, the law reinforced the economic and political power of health insurance firms. Thus, the reform augments the already high administrative costs of health care. Moreover, the agency that administers the new law (the “Connector”) adds an extra 4 to 5 percentage points to the already high overhead of private health insurance policies.
The reform failed to reduce overreliance on expensive, high-technology services. Indeed, some of its provisions such as changes in Medicaid rates and cuts to safety-net providers (who do more primary care) have further tilted health spending toward expensive, high-technology care.
A single-payer system of non-profit national health insurance could save about $8-$10 billion annually in the state through reduced administrative costs. This money could be used to cover all of the state’s uninsured residents and to improve coverage for those who now have insurance, without any increase in total health care costs.
The Massachusetts reform law is not providing universal access to care, even in a state with highly favorable circumstances, including previously high levels of spending on health care for the poor, high personal incomes, and low rates of uninsurance. It is not a model for the nation.
You can read the rest of the report here: Massachusetts’ Plan: A Failed Model for Health Care Reform
Romney also seemed to have a little bit of trouble telling the difference between Medicaid and Medicare. Leave it to someone who doesn't want to give an honest answer about anything to try to conflate the two. The country needs single payer, no matter how badly the Mitt Romney's of the world want to try to terrify everyone about it.
Full transcript below the fold.
Sen. Bernie Sanders on The Situation Room discussing his recent article at The Huffington Post, Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege. From the article:
Let's be clear. Our health care system is disintegrating. Today, 46 million people have no health insurance and even more are underinsured with high deductibles and co-payments. At a time when 60 million people, including many with insurance, do not have access to a medical home, more than 18,000 Americans die every year from preventable illnesses because they do not get to the doctor when they should. This is six times the number who died at the tragedy of 9/11 - but this occurs every year.
In the midst of this horrendous lack of coverage, the U.S. spends far more per capita on health care than any other nation - and health care costs continue to soar. At $2.4 trillion dollars, and 18 percent of our GDP, the skyrocketing cost of health care in this country is unsustainable both from a personal and macro-economic perspective.
His interview with Wolf Blitzer below the fold where the good Senator showed just exactly how any question that is prefaced with "here's what Karl Rove writes", should be answered.
Vice President Joe Biden expressed doubt as to whether Ahmadinejad had been re-elected as President of Iran. "We don't have all of the details. It looks like the way they're suppressing speech, the way they're suppressing crowds, the way in which people are being treated there is some real doubt about that," said Biden.
Well, right now it looks like they may have gotten their wish. From The Young Turks before anyone knew the "outcome" of the election. Cenk takes the war mongers to task for hoping Ahmadinejad wins the election, because they want war with Iran.
As Cenk pointed out over at Daily KOS after he recorded this segment, the Iranian Elections Were Obviously Rigged.
It's going to be interesting to say the least to see how the neocons are reacting to the election "results" on the Sunday shows. As Spencer Ackerman points out though, the last thing the United States needs to be doing right now is getting into the middle of this, regardless of whether we agree with the election outcome or not.
As usual the blogosphere has done a better job of following this story than our sorry excuse for a "main stream media" in the United States. Example one being Andrew Sullivan , among others, who has done a very good job of following the events that have occurred over the last few days, and Tweets coming in from Iranians who were watching the events first hand.
I think democracy in Iran would be a wonderful thing, but I'm worried about what type of bloodshed may occur there in order for it to happen. My heart goes out to all of those young people there who are trying to do what they can to bring change to that country. I think in the long run even if they don't win this battle, the younger generation in Iran is going to bring change there eventually as long as the neocons don't get their way.