Healthcare Passes, Madoff Beaten, Iranian’s Continue Their Fight For Freedom

The Senate has passed its healthcare reform bill, which, if you believe what the President has to say, is much better than the Republicans think it is.   You may want to listen to Mr. Obama’s interview on NPR.

It’ll be interesting to see what’s still there when the bill emerges from conference committee.   It’s a safe bet the public option will be gone.  And forget about expanding Medicare to cover a greater number of the nation’s elderly.  The 60-39 vote makes one wonder if everything these people do in the foreseeable future will encounter the same kind of gridlock along party lines with a few moderates and smilin’ Joe Lieberman in the middle, holding the country hostage while they play the game for all it’s worth.   So many of our esteemed senators have been bought off by the insurance and pharma industries, and the lies and innuendo have been so numerous and thick, that it’s difficult to get a real handle on what’s actually happening and who the winners and losers will be once this thing is signed by the President.

In Iraq, 26 people have been killed in explosions at various locations.  Weren’t we recently told things were getting better,  that the country was becoming more stable?

Just next door, the fascist regime in Iran has banned demonstrations honoring recently deceased Grand Ayatollah  Hossein Ali Montazeri, after days of memorials/demonstrations that have both honored the Grand Ayatollah and protested the recent re-election of  Iranian President  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.   Iran’s ruling theocracy pronounced Ahmadinejad the winner before all the votes had been tallied.  Cute trick.  When you’ve got a theocracy,  you don’t need a Supreme Court to shut down the vote count to seal (steal) the deal for you.   Sounds like things remain very nasty with gangs of government backed Basij militia zooming around on motorbikes beating the hell of women and kids.  

“In another sign that Tehran is trying to stamp out dissent, a former Iranian government spokesman who joined the opposition movement was sentenced to six years in prison, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Abdullah Ramezanzadeh, who backed opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in the disputed presidential vote in June, was charged with fomenting unrest. He was found guilty of “acts against national security, propagating against the Islamic establishment and keeping classified documents”, according to Fars.

The trial of Ramezanzadeh, who served until 2004 as spokesman under reformist President Mohammad Khatami, was part of mass proceedings under way against more than 100 leading moderates, opposition figures and supporters who have challenged President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad‘s disputed re-election in June.

More than 50 people were arrested earlier this week in a mosque in Isfahan, Iran‘s second biggest city, reformist websites reported, as police fired pepper spray and teargas at mourners paying their respects to Montazeri, who died on Sunday.”  -The Guardian

It’s difficult for our diminished media to keep track of what’s going on with the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom as most of the major media in the U.S. have shuttered their overseas bureaus in recent years and journalists who can remember the Shah and the revolution have been fired or retired.  Joe Stalin would have loved the current Iranian regime. 

Reuters is reporting that 71 year old Bernard Madoff has been badly beaten.  According to a North Carolina tv station, the disgraced financier was admitted to the hospital ward of the prison he’s visiting for the next 150 years (or until he expires) with injuries to his face, ribs and a collapsed lung.

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