August 19th, 2009
09:40 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 8/19/09

Tonight, security remains a top concern as Afghanistan holds its second-ever presidential election against a backdrop of escalating violence. President Hamid Karzai is competing with more than three dozen challengers–including two women– for the votes of 17 million registered Afghans. The polls open just hours from now, at 10:30 p.m. eastern.

Health care reform is also a major storm on our radar. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs today denied reports that the Obama administration is considering pushing health care reform through Congress without any Republican support—the so-called nuclear option. Tonight, we’ll try to get a firm handle on a simple question: Is there any chance, at this point in the bitter debate, of bi-partisanship?

Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. David Gergen

    Hello everyone - good to rejoin you on the AC blog site tonight. Very much agree with the thrust most of you are expressing about Barney Frank - he was right to respond so forcefully. To Lori, you may be right that a great number of people want the Democratic health reform to pass, but I think it is important to pay attention to polls - and the latest from NBC (out tonight) says that a plurality (40%) think the proposed reforms would hurt the health care system and a much smaller group (24%, as I recall) say they would help. The President has an uphill road in persuading a majority to support the proposed reform.

    p.s. completely agree with those of you arguing that we need to understand the idea of health care cooperatives a lot better than we do!

    pps - hope you will join us Friday night for an Anderson special on health reform!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  2. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    Hello, Everyone!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  3. andersoncnn

    evening everyone, sorry im late...

    August 19, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  4. Andre, Lauderhill, FL

    If being Obese hinders them from performing the job that the employer wants, then i believe they should be denied the job based on that alone.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  5. Dominique Anna, Kuala Lumpur

    It's really interesting but as well shocking to see how scared people are of a health care system and how far behind America is with its system compare to european countries were u have a universial public health care system. It is very sad

    August 19, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  6. gayle mccauley malden,mass.

    My heart sank when I heard about doctor Murray today.It just made me feel so bad that this is how Michael Jackson left this world.Gross medical negligence. Such a waste.....

    August 19, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  7. starr, formerly known as vincent

    God Bless Mayor Barrett. He is a hero in my eyes!

    The family apparently thinks that their son would not have been arrested if he had beat somebody else. I doubt that very much.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  8. Heather - Spokane, WA

    Im glad that mayor Barrett is doing better.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  9. Wanda Hatfield

    Anderson, you didn't show that the girl asking the question of Barney Frank was holding up a picture of the President made to look like Hitler......which is why Rep. Frank responded to her as he did......lest anyone think he was being too dismissive of a legitimate questioner.
    She wasn't at all interested in health care, but, just wanted to make a statement. "Hooray" for Barney!!!!!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  10. Lisa A. Philadelphia, PA

    Wait, did Anderson just say that some company was not going to allow smokers to get a job? How can they discriminate like that? What's next, drink coke – which is bad for you too – and you can't get a job? If it's not illegal then they have no right.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  11. Don, WA

    Go Levi!! – if the jeans fit – wear'em!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  12. Jana

    I have a problem with the Congress and the Senate mandating a health care policy when they will not be participants themselves. As I recall, the government has no money. Will federal employees be on the same insurance as the private sector or will they continue to have better insurance and better retirement when the private sector, who pays for their salaries, is continually trying to make ends meet?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  13. Barbara A. Marion, IA

    Why are they being compassionate toward the Lockerbie bomber. Was he compassionate when he killed all those people. Who cares if he has cancer. Maybe it is payback! I know that sounds awful but I cannot feel sympathy for him!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  14. Angela - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

    Oh hurricane Bill go away!!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  15. Kelly - Harrisburg, PA

    Okay, I see it now, Levi Johnston putting out a rap album...

    August 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  16. Gail in SC

    Co- ops are for commodities. I am a human being and I want a public option. Use Reconciliation and get it done.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  17. Carrie, Pennsylvania

    It is clear that town-hall meetings are not effectively educating the public as to the reality of health care reform. How can we get accurate, non-partisan information to those who want to thoughtfully consider this plan? It is apparent that even our congressmen and women do not have a firm grasp on the details of the proposed plans. In this age of information it is startling that so many are so ill-informed.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  18. Dulcie - Denver

    I'm very tired of the argument based on 'I don't want to pay for a dead beat's' health insurance. You know what? I pay property taxes. I pay for the school, teachers and bus drivers to educate your kids even though I have none myself. We ALL pay to provide quality of life for society.

    Secondly, everyone has to pay for the uninsured anyway and for much more care than they would require if they were able to get regular check-ups, etc.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  19. Lori, IL

    @Erica - will the MJ news ever end?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  20. LorenaR

    @Heather Spokane WA, yes agree with you, i have never heard such a bunch of misinformed people getting so agitated by hysteria, they're going to kill Grandma, they're going to steal our bank accounts,the country is gonna turn socialist, and now the latest, they're going to force us to go blind in one eye before we can get treated for macular degeneration. what exactly is it about the president that frightens them so?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  21. Robin, Seattle

    I heard a comment today that if a health care bill goes to reconcilation, the public option cannot be part of the package due to senate rules. Any truth to that?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  22. BobB

    On health care, it is good to see the media start to report lies as lies.

    Opinions need to be respected, even weird opinions. But when a leader or media person says something that is provably false, it needs to be reported as a mistake or a lie.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  23. Gail in SC

    @ Mike
    David Gergen may be right , but when you deal with people that are actually lying about wanting bipartisan ship then it kind of hard to do. Just today Orrin Hatch said that co- ops are the same as the public option and he can't support it. Everything that the President says he is for or even offhandedly says he could be for the Republicans are against. I say the time has come to say get on board or get the heck out of the way, obstructionists. Period. There is no interest by the Republicans in bipartisanship , they just want the President to fail. Republicans are rooting against America and hoping for failure.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  24. Greg, Austin Tx

    I agree with Marilyn .. going Nazi is going a bit too far. However, look at the publicity that was generated by her doing that. It seems like news-cycle generators (such as the lady with the Nazi reference) are exerting more and more control over public opinion.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  25. Rainer Oberndorfinger

    Michael Ware has to be an icon by now. Only through this unbelievable insight in politics as it happens, where it happens, can one be an actual journalist today. Good. Very good.
    Another icon, Barney 'The Frank' Frank. What would we really do without him? Today's townhall thing...another classic.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  26. Barbara A. Marion, IA

    When will Michael Jackson's family be able to get on with their lives? Is it going to take as long as Anna Nicole Smith? Not that I was a huge fan of either of them!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  27. Isabel • Brazil

    MJ investigation seems like a neverending story!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  28. starr, formerly known as vincent

    @ Frank Brown, in Afganistan at the Kabul Airport. Nice to see you on the blog! Stay safe.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  29. David

    How about having the congressmen and senators give up their special gov't heathcare plan and have the same one they are proposing for the American people.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  30. Bill (Toronto, Canada)

    I'm Canadian. We have a health care system and it works.
    Pres. Obama said last week that he wants an all-American plan and doesn't want to take any component from Canada or Britain. So my American friends, help me understand... your Pres. wants a plan and to date as I understand hasn't shared details.
    We have a plan and it works, you don't have a plan yet your Pres. wants nothing to do with it.
    Why is he trying to reinvent the wheel?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  31. Ana Maria

    I don't think we have any information on Co-ops; and if this theory is all we have to go by, I don't think our legislators are being fiscally responsible.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  32. Sabrina in Los Angeles

    Reality contestants are chosen because they will be dramatic/unstable.

    It is very sad that he did this too her...scary.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  33. ericacnn

    A new day, a new tidbit in the MJ investigation...

    August 19, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  34. Jen NY

    when i hear the term "co-op" i don't think of health care. i think of farmers selling veggies or people selling crafts! probably shouldn't admit this... i have no idea how this applies to health care!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  35. Isabel • Brazil

    @ David, Indiana

    Security is a necessary condition for free and fair elections.
    Afghanistan election is worrying! Let's hope that everything occurs within the normal range.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  36. Barbara A. Marion, IA

    I like how Barney Frank thinks. People have their minds so set on being mad that they are not even trying to understand the healthcare plan. Where are all the people who voted for Obama at these meetings?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  37. Kathy Chicago

    I sat at dinner listening to a loud table beside me talk about Obama. They complained that he is talking out of both sides of his mouth and making empty promises. No one trusts what the govt wants to do to their insurance.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  38. Debbi C

    Why do does no one ever discuss the amount of contributions that senators and representatives are receiving from the health care sector that are likely tilting their opinion of the health care reform ?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  39. Angela - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

    Are the results of MJ's authopsy out yet?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  40. betty little

    I don't believe Obama can pass a bill without the Republicans because that would mean ignoring a lot of americans.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  41. starr, formerly known as vincent

    The panel discussion was excellent. David Gergen as always made so much sense.

    I understand the confusion about the health care plan, because there are so many different ones.

    However, i do feel the Pres. has made his principle of what he wants to see in health care reform. I continue to hope for a bi-partisan solution, but if the Dem's have to, they should move forward to pass a reasonable, doable plan.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  42. bill bush

    I challenge the conservative lady to say with a straight face that Grassley is working with Obama. He has made it clear that he will not vote for the reform without a majority of Republicans. Won't happen! She is not for real.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  43. Ana Maria

    I was glad someone actually put a stop to the absurd . Good for Barney Frank!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  44. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    David Gergen is right, any bill needs to be bipartisan.

    Barney Frank needs to go away. After his role in the mortgage meltdown he has zero credibility.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  45. Bill-Taiwan

    co-op plans have been proven to be non-sense

    August 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  46. Dulcie - Denver

    I'm just so incredibly disappointing how so many people are behaving in the health care issue. Republicans are completely refusing to compromise on anything. What else can we do?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  47. Lisa A. Philadelphia, PA

    These town hall meetings, are they all going badly? Or are there some that are actually going well? I would like to see the #'s of the people to passionately oppose, those who passionately agree and those who are neutral/on-the-fence.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  48. Bill-Taiwan

    How much money has Baucus received from big insurance?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  49. lew

    is there something wrong with having a national referendum on the public option for health care??

    August 19, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  50. Lori, IL

    I kind of disagree with David Gergen - I think many more people than most realize do want this bill. The naysayers are the ones speaking out, trying to doom Obama's presidency - I don't think the attendees at the Town Halls are representative of all voters.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
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