A Special note from Greg Palast
I'm happy to be able to announce today that our book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits has made it guerrilla combat style onto the New York Times Best-seller list in its debut week, coming in at number 10.
Two weeks ago I wrote and said "This is it..." Well - what I should have said is - this is just the beginning...
Thanks to you, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits went viral, people are chattering about it on Reddit, Facebook, and even that old bastion of journalism–print.
Thanks to you, we've got the grey old lady's attention. The New York Times says that I write "prose [that] has a zippy, breathless quality that might put you in mind of Michael Moore." Coming from The New York Times, I guess we'll take it as a compliment ('zippy' is a compliment… right?).
For The Progressive
An excerpt from Greg Palast's brand new book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps.
“Voting,” says Sister Mary.
“Well, not here, ladies; not without your ID!” He demanded their driver’s licenses, but the ten quite elderly Sisters of the Holy Cross, including a 98 year-old, had long ago given up cruising.
“Scram, Sis!” said the man, and kicked their habits right out of the polling station.
I may not have gotten the dialogue exactly right, but I got the gist of it and the facts: the ten nuns who’d been voting at that station for decades were booted out in 2008, just after the state of Indiana’s Republican legislature imposed new voter ID laws.
The reason for nixing the nuns? To stop voter identity theft. There wasn’t exactly a voter identity crime wave. In fact, despite no photo ID requirement, there wasn’t a single known case of false identity voting in the state in over one hundred years.
About four hundred thousand voters (9 percent of Indiana’s electorate) are African American. Nearly one in five (18.1 percent) lack the ID needed to vote, according to Matt Barreto of the University of Washington.
That’s twice the number of whites lacking ID. Therefore, as many as 72,000 black voters will get the boot when they show up to vote this November. Coincidentally, that’s three times Barack Obama’s victory margin in that state in 2008. Coincidentally.
And who are the white folk lacking ID? The elderly, like the sisters, and students like Angela Hiss and Allyson Miller, whose official state IDs don’t list their dorm room addresses and so can’t be used to vote.
Black folk, the elderly, students, poor whites blocked from registering and (Show me more...)
Pow! Zap! Full color investigative comics by Ted Rall:
Tales from the Crypt of Democracy - Soul Crushing Political Terror.
This astonishing 48 page graphic exposé is wrapped inside the new eBook edition of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, the hot new book by Greg Palast with Bobby Kennedy Jr.
The number one book in elections in America in which Greg Palast investigates Karl Rove, the Koch gang and their buck-buddies.
by Greg Palast
When I wrote The Best Democracy Money Can Buy after the 2000 swipe by Bush and his Ballot Bandits, I thought America would clean up its damn act and start counting ALL the votes. Boy, am I a schmuck.
Just when you thought it was safe to return to the polling booth - the Rove-bots, the sharks and the vultures and the billionaire vote busters, ballot benders and defilers of democracy are back at it big time with 9 ways to steal your vote!
So here's the sequel to The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, but funnier, more desperate, more informative, more important than the first time - and this time with a comic book inside.
Here it is, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps.
"Palast's funniest and Palast's best" says Pacifica Radio
"Palast's amazing, mind-blowing, literate and disturbingly funny account of what has happened to this country has left me dizzy. Meanwhile, thanks for f$%king up my life." - Jason Alexander aka George from Seinfeld.
by Greg Palast - Dollars & Sense Magazine
On Friday, Governor Mitt Romney had breakfast with billionaires.
Singer's known as "The Vulture" on Wall Street. Langone's database company came up with the list of innocent Black voters that Katherine Harris wiped off the voter rolls of Florida in 2000. But who is Paulson, a guy so dark and devious he doesn't even have a nick-name?
I tried to join them ("Sorry, sir") just to ask why Romney was chowing down with the nation's most notorious billionaires and ballot bandits.
Here is just a bit about Breakfast Billionaire #3: John Paulson from my new book, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps—An investigation of Karl Rove, the Koch Gang and their Buck-Buddies. There's a comic book inside by Ted Rall with an introduction by Bobby Kennedy Jr. Get it here now.
It was just released today and already hit NUMBER ONE NON-FICTION PAPERBACK in the USA. (Barnes & Noble)
In August 2007, billionaire John Paulson walked into Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, with a billion-dollar idea. Paulson’s brainstorm had all the elements that Goldman found enchanting: a bit of fraud, a bit of flimflam, and lots and lots of the ultimate drug: OPM—Other Peoples’ Money.
Paulson’s scheme was simple. Paulson, a much followed hotshot hedge-fund manager, would announce that he was betting big on the recovery of the U.S. housing market. He was willing to personally insure that (Show me more...)
Today, our foundation releases my investigation/comic book, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps.
Greg Palast, The Nation of Change
An excerpt from Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps
“Why Obama Is Likely to Lose in 2012” is the title of a column Karl Rove wrote in the Wall Street Journal in June 2011.
It’s not Rove’s prediction: this is his plan to make sure Obama will lose. That’s fine with me—if Rove prefers vanilla to chocolate, hey, it’s a free country. But how Rove plans to take Obama down is contained in the subhead, and it gives me the chills:
“even a small drop in the share of black voters would wipe out [Obama’s] winning margin in North Carolina.”
Here, Rove is not talking about winning by convincing black voters to vote Republican. The key to victory is preventing the black vote. Period. Rove suggests, with a wink and nudge, the Game Plan: (Show me more...)
by Greg Palast | For the Occupied Chicago Tribune
This is a true story.
CHICAGO. In a school with some of the poorest kids in Chicago, one English teacher–I won't use her name–who'd been cemented into the school system for over a decade, wouldn't do a damn thing to lift test scores, yet had an annual salary level of close to $70,000 a year. Under Chicago's new rules holding teachers accountable and allowing charter schools to compete, this seniority-bloated teacher was finally fired by the principal.
In a nearby neighborhood, a charter school, part of the city system, had complete freedom to hire. No teachers' union interference. The charter school was able to bring in an innovative English teacher with advanced degrees and a national reputation in her field - for $29,000 a year less than was paid to the fired teacher.
You've guessed it by now: It's the same teacher.
by Greg Palast for Truthout
An excerpt from Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps. Greg Palast investigates Karl Rove, the Koch Gang and their Buck Buddies. Includes a comic book by Ted Rall and an introduction by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Charles Manson can’t vote, but Manson Inc., al-Qaeda LLC, and Putin & Co. can run negative campaign ads on the Fox network.
In ancient times, before the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United, the maximum amount you could give a candidate for president, legally, was two thousand dollars. And, until 2010, to legally donate to a candidate, you had to 1) have a first and last name, 2) be a citizen of the United States, and 3) breathe oxygen.
Then, in 2010, the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision (followed by a lower-court decision, SpeechNow.org v. FEC) blew the doors off the limit on secret political campaign contributions. “Unnatural” persons—headless, heartless creatures called corporations—could now spend in election campaigns. And, unlike us mere mortals, these corporate creatures are not limited to two thousand dollars. (Show me more...)
An excerpt from Greg Palast's Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps with comics by Ted Rall and an introduction by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
In the 2008 election, no less than:
Add it up: in the last presidential election, no less than 2,706,275 ballots were cast—and never counted. I have not included a quarter million (251,936) provisional ballots counted only in part (that is, for some offices).
That's the official number I've calculated (Show me more...)
by Greg Palast
If you're not sick and outraged and ready to vomit, then don't talk to me.
When I see a cruel bucket of garbage and winky-winky racism and bullshit and venom like Paul Ryan talk to America like he's some kind of Boy Scout, I want a gun, or a TV network where I can tell the truth or a giant washing machine to dunk America and rinse off the crud of lies and pure manipulative evil that they're feeding us.
It’s called Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps.
An investigation of Karl Rove, the Koch Gang and their billionaire Buck-Buddies. The guys who bought Ryan.
It's the most important bullet I've ever fired.
I watch these smug jerks at the Republican Convention and I'm ill ... because I know something they won't tell you on CNN or CBS, let alone Fox. And here’s the facts, ma'am:
In 2008, no fewer than 2,706,275 ballots were cast—and never counted.
It didn't make a difference then, but it will make a difference now.
And, in 2008, no fewer than 3,195,539 legal voters were denied the right to vote. Told to get the hell out of the polling station.
Add it up. That's at least 5,901,814 legitimate votes and voters tossed out of the count.
So God Bless America. By the way, these numbers are from the raw data supplied to me by the US Elections Assistance Commission.
It's official. It's in your face. It's sick. It's unreported. (Show me more...)
by Greg Palast
"Tim Griffin should be in jail." That's the conclusion of civil rights attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. after going through the evidence I asked him to review.
Predictably, I haven't seen one US press report noting that in 2007, Griffin resigned from the Justice Department in disgrace, ahead of what could have been (should have been), his indictment.
Kennedy thought a couple of other characters should join Griffin in the lock-up: first, Griffin's boss, the man whom George W. Bush gave the nickname, "Turdblossom": Karl Rove.
And there's yet another odiferous blossom, Griffin's assistant at the time of the crime: Matt Rhoades. Rhoades isn't in jail either. He's the (Show me more...)
by Greg Palast
Click me, Print me out, use me, spread me around!
From Greg Palast's new book:
Billionaires & Ballot Bandits:
How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps
1. Don’t Don’t DON’T Mail In Your Ballot
For those of you who mailed in your ballot, please tell me, what happened to it? You don’t know, do you? I can tell you that in the last election, half a million absentee ballots were never counted, on the flimsiest of technical excuses. And when they don’t count, you don’t even know it. Worse: Tens of thousands of ballots are not mailed out to voters in time to return them - in which case you’re out of luck. Most states won’t let you vote in-precinct once you’ve applied to vote absentee. Every time I hear of a voter going “absentee” to avoid computer screens, I want to “go postal.”
2. Vote Early – Before the Ballot Bandits Wake Up
Every state now lets voters cast ballots in designated polling stations and at county offices in the weeks before Election Day. Do it. Don’t wait until Election Day to find out you have the wrong ID, your registration’s “inactive,” (9.9 million of you) or you’re on some creep’s challenge list. By Election Day, if your name is gone or tagged, there’s little you can do but hold up the line. Demand a paper ballot.
3. Register and Register, then Register Again
Think you’re registered to vote? Think again, Jack. With all this purg’n going on (13 million and counting), you could be x’d out and you don’t know it. So check online with your Secretary of State’s office or call your (Show me more...)
"The first thing that the military police say is, 'Give us your film.' They had real weapons and I had a fake press pass, so it was an easy choice. They let me keep my pen -- but they didn't know it was one of those Austin Powers jobs with the video camera hidden inside."
For donors to the Palast Investigative Fund only:
"Why We Occupy": Greg Palast LIVE.
In an extraordinary talk mixed with live, undercover footage from his investigations from around the globe, Palast rips the sheets off the One Percent, exposing the Koch Brothers, Chevron, BP, Goldman Sachs, the IMF, WTO—the bribers and billionaires in stories that grip you, scare you—and make you laugh.
Check out the trailer:
Vulture fund's $100m DR Congo claim blocked
By Meirion Jones
Bid to block $100m 'vulture' debt
The Privy Council has ruled that a "vulture fund" cannot collect $100m from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The award was against Congo's state-owned mining company Gecamines who successfully appealed to the Privy Council in London.
FG Hemisphere deny any wrongdoing.
Nick Dearden, Director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign, said: "We welcome the fact that these funds will not flow into the coffers of a secretive vulture fund which tries to unfairly profit from the past debt distress of impoverished countries.
Vulture funds, also known as "distressed debt" investors, buy up the debt of poor nations cheaply when it is about to be written off and then sue countries such as Zambia or Liberia or DRC for the full value of the debt plus interest which can be ten or 100 times what they paid for it.
They pursue any companies which do business with their target country in courts around the world and try to force them to pay money to the fund instead of the country.
Critics say this holds poor countries to ransom and prevents them trading their way out of poverty rather than relying on aid. Until 2010 they often sued in the UK but Britain effectively made vulture funds illegal that year after the Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson (Show me more...)
by Greg Palast for No Fracking Ireland
On the 20th of April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oilrig blew out in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven men instantly, then destroying 600 miles of coastline. On 9 September 2010, a natural gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno, California, burning eight to death, one of several recent pipeline explosions in the USA. In 1992, in Chicago, a gas pipe leaked and 18 houses exploded, incinerating three people.
Everything. It was my job to investigate these three explosions, the Deepwater Horizon and California explosions as a reporter for the UK Channel 4's Dispatches, the earliest as a US government investigator. In all three cases, the deaths were preceded by the same reassurances about the safety of drilling and piping that I read now in the debate about fracking in Ireland.
First, the Deepwater Horizon. Eleven men died when the ‘mud’ - drilling cement meant to cap the wellhead - failed and methane gas blew out the top of the pipes and exploded. The Shannon Basin is not the Gulf of Mexico, but your safety will be just as dependent on Halliburton’s mud. (Show me more...)