Friday, July 17, 2009

Update Iran – 07-17-09 - Tehran: Huge Crowds Amassing Across Iran –Police Force Refusing Orders – It is a Full Revolution 6:30 PM Tehran

Addendum CNN World is reporting that Rafasnjani has called for release of Prisoners.

New reports (unconfirmed) protestors hold both of Tehran's Airports.

There reports that huge crowds amassing in Iran, marching towards the State Run Television Station and Evin Prison. It has now been confirmed that Mehdi Karroubi was attacked by regime forces as he was trying to get to prayers today, and there is an unconfirmed report circulating in the country of Mousavi’s impending arrest. Reports that the Interior Ministry is surrounded and a general strike are rampant.

Unlike previous protests, there is no coverage of these events on U.S. News outlets or Arab Stations (perhaps they are waiting for confirmation that power has indeed changed hands) – News is starting to come in via the British Press and NPR has some coverage maintaining that these are renewed protests – That said, there are over 60 videos of the "protests" available now on outlets such as Facebook and YouTube – the most recent: protestors at the University of Tehran is shown below. For updates on what is occurring in real time: Twitter is an excellent source. There is a constant stream of videos of the revolution being uploaded here on YouTube

Today, the people of Iran are standing up for Freedom – Free Iran!

Iran Update 07-17-09 - Tehran Protests Erupt After Friday Services

Protests have errupted after Rafsanjani delivered a pascifist speech during Friday's Sermons. A YouTube Clip below: Perhaps, unlike the decade plus, it took for the United States to gain independence and form an initial government, the Iranian's are better equipped to move more switftly - that said, those original colonists did not live under the severe suppression that the Iranian Poeple have had to endure.

Iran Update 07-17-09 - Emotional Rafsanjai Sermon - Regime viciously Attacks Those Outside Listenning to Sermon

Friday Prayers in Iran have ended - a live transcript of the prayer can be found here

Rafsanjani, (Heads the Guardian Council which can remove Khomeini), spoke at length regarding the people and their relationship to the power of the government – the transcript follows:

13:51 He begins (as is the custom) by mentioning the upcoming religious dates of significance (e.g., the death of the seventh Shi’a Imam)
13: 52 May all the oppressors who make innocent people bleed be a witness to eternal condemnation
[the chants begin again]
13:53 I asked you, I pleaded for you to let me speak.
[more chants]
13:54 Rafsanjani condemns China. People chanted “Death to China” . He asks that people stop their chants.
13:55 China has a rational government. It must look at how it can benefit from its relations with the Islamic world. We hope that we will no longer be witness to such atrocities towards Muslims in China or anywhere else in the world.
13:55 But coming to our own problems. We started off very well in the competition. Everything went well and smoothly.
13:56 People became very hopeful. Everything was set for a glorious day. This glory was due to the people. They were the ones who went to the ballot box. And we must be grateful to them.
13:57 I so very much wish that that path had been continued. But unfortunately, that was not the case. I will now elaborate. We must first see what we [probably the ruling establishment] were after. This is coming from a person who was always by the Imam[Khomeini’s] side [he is referring to himself]. For 60 years. The Imam was always after the people. After getting their approval and their participation. This was the art of the Imam which made him so successful. It took the Imam less than 20 years to get the people to come to the streets.
13:58 These people, the ones who were behind the Imam, broke the back of the Shah and brought him to his knees.
13:59 After the victory of the revolution too, we worked on a daily basis with the Imam. Imam would always say that if the system is not backed by the people, nothing would stand.
14:00 The Imam would always quote the prophet [Muhammad] who would say to Ali [Mohammad’s successor]: leave the people if they do not want you.
14:02 He is speaking of the Imam’s command to Bazargan to form a temporary government. But the Imam tells him to keep it short to pave the way for the constitution.
[loud chants]
14:03 We agreed that you will stop chanting. If we do not have the votes of the people behind us, we will have nothing. The guardian council, the expediency council, EVERYONE gets their le14:04 Without Islam, without a republic, we have nothing. Ali [Imam Ali, the prophet’s successor] waited 19 years until the people came for him.
[more chants]
14:05 Stop chanting.
14:06 Why did the elections come to this? Before the election, near the end, some people doubted what was going to happen. Maybe because of the way the broadcasting corporation behaved.
14:07 Rafsanjani: Some are chanting and I can’t make out what they say. But I am speaking what you want to hear. I want unity too.
14:08 I have never acted across party lines, and now too we must search for unity to find a way out of our quandary.
14:09 I have some suggestions. I have spoken to some members of the the expediency council and the assembly of experts about them too.
14:10 We must bring back the trust of the people. First of all, everyone must accept the law. The people, the parliament, everyone.
14:11 We must create a condition so that everyone can speak. We must speak logically. And a part of this is on the shoulders of the broadcasting corporation.
14:12 The guardian council did not make good use of the extra fives days given to them by the leader.
14:13 We do not need people in prison for this. Let’s allow them to return to their families.
[More chants of Allah o Akbar]
14:14 We must join hands with those who have incurred great loss and try to lesson their pain.
14:15 We must give freedom to the press within the confines of the law.
[not a word of the government]
14:15 We are all members of the same family. We must remain friends and allies. Why have we gone so far as to pain some of our marajeh [top religious leaders]?
14:16 I hope this sermon will pave a way out of this current situation. A situation that can be considered a crisis.
14:17 The sermon is finished.
14:18 Two chants can be heard: the blood in our veins is a gift to our leader and Hashemi, Hashemi, may god keep you safe.

Outside the University (where the prayers are held) Khomeini supporters were chanting “Death to America”, with opposition voiced countering “Death to Russia” – Tear gas was fired, and Khomeini forces hit those listening to the prayers service and protesting with batons and pipes – Crowds were chanting: "Hashemi- SOKOOT koni Khamenei" (Hashemi if you remain silent you are like Khomeini) as the prayer has finished, those who are protesting are leaving messages via social networks such as Twitter – it is apparent that, although Rafsanjani may have placed the cards on the table against Khomeini, he did so with the thought in mind that the Ayatollahs might still control the country –that said, those inside the protest, are seeking freedom from the Theocracy, and the establishment of a secular, Democratic Iran (this has been trending for weeks).

It is as if many of those outside the university (where the attacks continued), were looking for Rafsanjani to take more action against Khomeini, rather than discuss the situation (as is the case in most revolutions), that said, the process of revolution and reform of a government is a slow process - Rafsanjani understands this – which may be why he was attempting to assuage the people – while scolding the regime – with visible emotion – the end of the Imams Revolution brings the beginning of the Persian Revolution for a free, secular, Iran. Those protestors in Iran are young, educated, and come from a variety of Religious Backgrounds (extremley important) - therefore, they are not as easy to "lead" as those in many neighboring Islamic states who have been brainwashed for years to the point where they will strap on a bomb for a Religious Cause.

Date to watch 30 Tir.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Senate Democrats Consider Taxing Health Insurance Carriers – Fees to Cover Costs of Health Program will be Passed on to the Consumer

SenateFinance Committee Democrats, are seeking ways to fund the proposed Health Care Reform – the target – health insurance carriers. To date, the hospital and pharmaceutical industries have pledged $235 billion dollars towards the program, with no pledges from the insurance industry. Schumer (D-NY) and Rockefeller (D-WV) feel that the insurance carriers enjoy too much of a profit, and have portrayed them as the villain of health care:

Schumer and Sens. John Rockefeller (D-WV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) pounded the insurers, who they portrayed as unwilling to help pay for reform even while they have enjoyed exploding profits

Assuming that the insurance industry is assessed fees of over $100 billion dollars; one has to expect that these companies, already burdened by increasing regulation and mandated state and federal benefits, will ultimately pass that increase onto the consumer. Case in point: Massachusetts.

When the State of Massachusetts adopted the trail version of Universal Health Care coverage, known as “Commonwealth Care”, originally designed to increase competition among insurers, and offer low-cost health insurance coverage to uninsured in the Bay-State, up to 26 mandated benefits were added by the State Legislature. Mandated benefits, are those that the insurance company must include in reimbursements to hospitals and other health care providers, some of the Commonwealth mandated benefits include procedures that, in the past, were normally considered “elective”, (not medically necessary or experimental), which would be the patients reponsibility. One of those that makes up over 80% of the cost to insurers is the addition of the treatment of infertility, which costs the State approximately $687 million annually. In addition, the result of adding mandates has caused private insurance health premiums to rise up to 56 %.

The suggestion to those even contemplating the addition of a national health care program - look to the Massachusetts product, one which when managed by a majority Democrat Legislature, with a State bureaucracy that is one’s worst DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles, pick a State) nightmares has consistently run under-budget, and is a major burden on the remaining taxpayers in the Commonwealth – it is simply a badly implemented and managed program. Nationally - the Republican House has produced a chart (here)that shows the planned bureaucracy – which would even make the Massachusetts Legislature blush. It appears that the Federal government has taken the Bay State Model and adjusted it somewhat.

It is a fact that there is a need to cover the uninsured, which is why there is a Medicaid program – or, in other words, government run universal healthcare – already in place. Making adjustments to the existing program, by offering benefits to the working uninsured at a lower premium, would, in effect, to do the trick. It is simple math at this point; as unemployment rises, with no end in sight, (see Stimulus), the Federal and State governments will continue to lose income, and turning to the private sector, which is caring for the remaining tax base, by assessing additional fees, is merely a band aid – not a cure.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

07-15-09 Iran Update – Rafsanjani to Lead Friday Prayers, Mousavi to Attend, Ahmadinejad Absent – Iran: “70 milion people are in the greatest prison"

FormerPresident and current Chair of the Experts Assembly will deliver Friday Prayers, which may spell the end of the current regime. An analysis of Rafsanjani’s power to remove Khomeini can be found here at Tehran Bureau, and an analysis of the 30 year history of clerical power struggles are available here at Etemaad(Farsi).

What may be most interest is the attendance of Oppostion Leader Mousavi, at the service and the absence of the contested President, Ahmadinejad, who will be attending prayers in Mashhad. The significance of main opposition leader, the absence of the contested president, and the presence of the one person in Iran that has the ability to remove Khomeini, speaking to the Iranian Nation (the services are televised) will no doubt herald a change in the political landscape of Iran.

Additionally, through social network such as Twitter and Facebook, calls for additional protests tomorrow, as well as a call for large attendance of Mousavi supporters at the Friday service (note: it is now being suggested that the Iranian Government is limited attendance), are increasing as of today.

Below is an excerpt of an exchange between an Iranian inside Iran and an American via social media chat: Names have been removed, as well as some specifics regarding communications that have recently been established which are allowing reports to come out of Iran. The determination and faith of the Iranian People, to free themselves of the tyranny that has had them shackled for over 30 years, is apparent – “70 milion people are in the greatest prison”:

so I couldnt answer u on time as I hadnt access to
360 all websites here r filtered
islamic rejime had a Coup
and suprem leader choiced Ahmadinejad as the president with the fraud
till now we r trying to collect the name
of the people who died
and we r sending them to the Amnesty International
we dont know the exact number
but it is more than 150
all the channels satelite web sites were filtered
we just could send some films through you tube and twitter
but there is no journalists here from west
all reformist and western media are banned
guess what??!!
there is a way to have access to the internet and run away from rejim filters
so we can run from filters
as the prisoners, 70 milion people are in the greatest prison
no life no happiness no freedom nothing
( well they can't keep everyone controlled for long)
they are just fashist and dictators
Lisa did u see some of the films??!!
u could see how they shout to the people
how they attack to the young kids with blade and chain and batons
I mean shoot not shout
and tomarow the rejim is gonna to hang 14 people
for the people to be afraid
all of them are young

u will see the pictures too

pray fro us today
( you will triumph over the government)
we will, sstrong will and unity

It is now only a matter of time before a new order is established in Iran and the Terrorist reign of Khoemeni is ended.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rob Simmons raises $750,000 in first quarter to run against Incumbent Chris Dodd

The Hartford Courantis reporting that Republican, Rob Simmons, has raised $750,000 in the first quarter in his quest to unseat Senator Christopher Dodd (D), of mortgage and other financial disasters fame. Simmons, a former U.S. House member from Connecticut’s 2nd District, is well-qualified to unseat Dodd, who has fared poorly in polls to date. The Courant's article also points to the two other candidates who are seeking Dodd’s seats:

The total is higher than those of Simmons’ main rivals, Greenwich millionaire Tom Foley has raised $530,000 and state Sen. Sam Caligiuri has raised about $125,000.

Dodd, according to the Chicago Tribune has raised approximately $1.2 million dollars, thus far.

The lyrics from the Beatles’ Tune may fit this particular race, as well as other challenged Democrat incumbents around the country: “Money can’t buy me love”. (i.e. votes) Polls suggest this may be the case - and now Dodd is bringing in the very senior Senator from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy to help him win back the hearts and minds of the Connecticut voters - . One will have to see how much of an impact that the Kennedy brand will have upon Dodd’s numbers, not in terms of cash on hand, rather in terms of re-branding. Should Dodd’s numbers continue to falter (and one can hazard to bet that his numbers may receive a slight improvement among “party committed” (faithful), but not those moderate Democrats and Unenrolleds (the later quickly becoming the majority non-party), it will spell trouble for the Democrats nationwide. Understandably that’s a lot of pressure to put on the aging Kennedy, but without the machinations of Kennedy and Kerry, Obama would still be the Junior Senator from Illinois, something that is not lost on a good percentage of the electorate who are now experiencing “buyer’s remorse.

That particular breed of electorate, are not only living inside the State of Connecticut, but in every state of the union that has tagged Dodd as responsible (in part) for the financial mess, and they are so committed to seeing certain sitting Democrats ousted, they are sending cash to opposition candidates they can find, and this is coming in from every state in the union. There are certain races, across the nation, that are garnering national attention and Dodd is a natural, along with Barney Frank, (D-MA), Harry Reid (D) Nevada, and yes, even Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The two key “Public Enemies”, however, remain Dodd and Frank, as far as economics are concerned – with Reid and Pelosi, it goes to policy and the perceived inability to govern effectively.

The myth that Cash on Hand will automatically equal a win, has been dispelled in recent history by a Republican Match-up in the 2008 general election. Recall Iowa and the extremely well funded Republican, Mitt Romney up against the former Govenor from Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, who had support but little cash on hand. The Iowa Caucus is a blueprint for those who want to understand how to beat the almighty dollar on a shoestring. Romney poured millions into the Iowa Caucus, while Huckabee spent under $100,000. If one were to believe the media mantra - cash equals a win, then Mitt Romney by those standards should have had the Republican nomination in 2008. Apparently, one can have all the money in the world, but without the support of the people on the ground, it is just so much paper. Therefore the candidate who has the most credibility and grassroots support, and some cash on hand will triumph over the well-funded opponent. When one adds an overall distaste for the incumbent, as in Dodd’s case, the incumbent becomes the long-shot.

So what is a Senator, who is looked upon by most constituents as “most likely to be unemployed” to do? Practice a concession speech.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Polls Suggest Continual Decline in Approval for Obama - How this Impacts the 2010 General Election

Barack Obama with Reid, Frank and Dodd - image Zimbio, Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

Poll data released yesterday by Rasmussen, shows a continual decline in the Presidents’ “Strongly Approves” – he is now at 28% - (voters who strongly approve) – down from a high of 45% on January 21, 2009. The strongly disapproves has risen from a low of 14% on the 22nd of January to 35 and 37% in the past week. There is no indicator of the somewhat approves and disapproves ( total percentage) that is factored into the final results – however, once the number of strongly approves falls below 35% (estimated number of enrolled Democrats nationwide), it is evident that Obama has lost some of his base, and it goes without saying that he has almost no support from conservatives (Republican’s, Libertarians) and may have already lost the all –important “unaffiliated” vote.

Of more import to trends, the Presidents falling approval is impacting the 2010 election - In a generic congressional poll released on 7-July, 41% of those polled would support a Republican, compared to 38% who would support the Democrat running in any particular district. What this tells us, historically, is that Barack Obama is to incumbent Democrat Congressional Leaders, what George W. Bush was to his party members in the 2006 general election – resulting in a sweep of the congress and senate. It is not necessarily true that the burden alone falls to the man at the top of the Party (note: citing presidents are the head of their party, essentially above the party chair - see Republican Chair Michael Steele, who was elected to the position vacated, in essence by President George Bush. ) it is the fact that the entire “brand” becomes tarnished over time, be it through a hostile media (as in the case of George Bush), or through programs and policies that run contrary to the majority of the populace (which is moderate – trending conservative but not extreme to either party ideology).

Therefore, regardless of the pollster, there will be seats that are now considered “safe” that may end up being held by a different party. Some of the more interesting races in the nation (those drawing interest from outside their own states – are the architects of the financial crisis, Barney Frank, Congressional Representative, 4th District Massachustts, and Chris Dodd, Senator, Connecticut. Harry Reid has also seen a decline in the polls in his state, and is considered vulnerable – the reason being, these three in particular have received an unusual amount of “negative” press in general – with the exception of Frank who seems to sit on the board of all news organizations in the 4th district. (Note: it is not unusual for a congressional representative or Senator to meet with an editorial board and give them their “talking points”.) Although for the most part, these seats are considered safe due to the ability of the incumbent to amass a large “war chest” in comparison to the challenger, one must understand that as this is a national race, funds to challengers are on the rise, and early in the game. As an example: in Frank’s case, the challenger, Earl Sholley is receiving help from people outside the state who view Frank most unfavorably. Sholley has been on the campaign trail early, being invited to take part in events both inside and outside the Bay State – the fact that these invitations are early and this campaign has gotten off the ground this soon in the general scheme of things, is telling. (Although, one should wait for defined polls of the 4th Massachusetts district, which will not be available until 2010, (Polls released earlier will automatically show incumbents as “Safe Democrat” - based on Massachusetts historical voting trends.) to understand the nature of branding a candidacy. It is safe to say, at this point, the likelihood of that scenario being played out across the nation is more probable than not. 2010 will also be the point in time when some indications of which candidates will be interested in seeking the job in the White House will begin to take shape. Those names that are bandied about this early in the game, historically, do not either appear on the stage in 2011.

As far as Obama’s poll numbers are concerned, he is almost in line with former President Jimmy Carter, whose approval ratings showed a steep decline after 18 months in office – primarily driven by the economy and bailout of auto makers and yes, a stimulus program which resulted in rather large deficits. Therefore it is no wonder that the phrase “Republicans smell blood” is fitting, in an historical context.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Update Iran 21 Tir, (7-12-09) Leading Clerics Continue to Call Election a Fraud – New Face of the Revolution - Date to Watch 30 Tir

The New York Times is reportingthat one of Iran’s most senior clerics, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, has stated the current Leaders are unfit to rule. This comes on the heels of the clerics of Qom’s denouncement of the elections. Although the clerics that oppose the regime appear to be considered “dissidents” by left of center Press such as the Times, the growing opposition to Khomeini in clerical circles is apparent. This may be spurned on by rumors that Khomeini intends to establish his son, Ahmed Khomeini as his successor, thereby establishing a dynastic theocracy.

Ahemed Khomeini has played a key role in the brutal crackdown of protestors - like father, like son.

There is another face of the revolution which has been added to that of the young woman, Neda, killed in the early stages of the protest. Arabi Sohrab, was a high school senior who was imprisoned, beaten and finally executed, 4 days after his mother put up bail for his release. The story here, translated from Farsi courtesy of Google Translation.

As a result of this latest atrocity, there are several (unconfirmed) protests that will take place in Iran within the coming weeks: The most telling is that the demonstrators have gathered a 2 million strong force to counter attack the 300,000 strong dictators special guards. The interesting part of this statement is that it is being documented that individuals who are entering Iran (expatriates) are being detained and questioned and passports held.

Protests said to be planned: A boycott of all products shown on State Sponsored Television and a large protest planned for 30 Tir (July 21st).

Those fighting for a free Iran have taken a more pragmatic approach as of late, from Twitter:


Regardless of when, in terms of months or years, those that are fighting for a free and secular Iran, are not allowing for defeat.

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