How Mitt and Ann made millions–and Mitt's hedge fund donors made billions–from the auto-industry rescue that he condemned.
By Greg Palast for The Nation Magazine
Mitt Romney’s opposition to the auto bailout has haunted him on the campaign trail, especially in Rust Belt states like Ohio. There, in September, the Obama campaign launched television ads blasting Romney’s November 2008 New York Times op-ed,“Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”
Elements of this article appear in Palast’s brand new NYT bestseller:
Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps
Watch Palast talk about this exposé on Democracy Now!
But Romney has done a good job of concealing, until now, the fact that he and his wife, Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment. (Show me more...)
by Greg Palast for FireDogLake
Here’s an easy way to spoil a vote: digitize it . . . then lose the digits.
Following what the media called the “Florida debacle,” the winners of the debacle agreed to “reform” the voting system. So the Bush administration proposed and Congress passed the Help America Vote Act.
The best way to prevent voting reform is to pass a voting reform bill—especially if it’s written by the folks that helped themselves to your vote in the first place.
The Help America Vote Act is not the most Orwellian named, satanic law ever passed by Congress, but it tries. To avoid ballots with hanging chads, the law simply does away with ballots, providing about $4 billion in subsidies for Direct Recording Equipment (DREs), (Show me more...)
by Greg Palast for Utne Reader
It’s lookin’ bad for the old white guys. Eleven million Hispanic citizens remain unregistered, Americans all, and 15 million kids between the ages of 18 and 24 who can’t be pried away from Facebook long enough to register—at least so the tally of vote registries say.
Now, add to that 16 million ex-cons who can vote but think they can’t. (It’s only in three states in Old Dixie where those who’ve served felony sentences are barred from voting.)
All these un-voters, if they suddenly registered, could rock the planet.
You think the Old World Order hasn’t thought of that?
So, then, how do they stop Americans from taking over America? Easy: first, make registering voters a crime.
In a swing state like Florida with its huge new Hispanic population (no, not Cubans, Puerto Ricans), you make it illegal to register citizens at welfare offices, churches, or voter-registration drive meetings. (Suggestion: sneak voter registration forms into handgun barrels. Guns are allowed at all these locations.)
Second, make registering voters as risky as a derivative from JPMorgan. In Florida (I love using Florida for vote suppression examples, don’t you?), Governor Jeb Bush made it a crime, with vicious fines, to turn in voter forms more than forty-eight hours after they were gathered, or with itty- bitty errors in them. He successfully put the League of Women Voters out of the registration business (Show me more...)
“There is a massive effort underway to register illegal aliens in this country!”
– Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce
The Arizona Republican hunt for "aliens" from Uranus to the Rio Grande has led to the removal of over 200,000 citizens, overwhelmingly Latino, from the state's voter rolls. There's more than an even chance that vote "suppression" - the polite word for racist, José Crow racial tactics - will result in the Democrats losing an open seat in the U.S. Senate where Democratic Hispanic Richard Carmona is pulling ahead of Republican Jeff Flake.
But I don't think Carmona wants to win with illegal alien votes. After all, an alien voting has committed a crime- yet no one was arrested. Why? I flew out to Phoenix to investigate–and ended up in jail. That is, I visited the infamous tent prison of Sheriff Joe Arpaio who has led the alien hunt in his state.
But before I broke into Arpaio's prison, I called his political ally, Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, who sponsored one of the nation’s nastiest ID laws, Prop 200. It requires all new voting registrants to prove they are US citizens.
“How many illegal aliens have actually been registered?” I asked.
Pearce’s PR flak told me, five million. All Democrats too. (Show me more...)
by Greg Palast for The Mudflats.net
What the hell happened? Did Barack have a fight with Michelle? Was it nicotine withdrawal? Do really rich guys just scare you, Mr. Obama?
I mean Commander-in-Chief in the Class War. The war of the billionaires against the rest of us.
You were asked, “What is the role of government?”
You seemed stumped. Lost.
Well, here’s three, Mr. President:
1. Issue Social Security checks. Checks for cash money. Not some bullshit voucher.
2. Save General Motors and Motor City.
3. Kill Osama.
Maybe you should have written those on your palm.
When Mr. PBS Bumblebrain asked you the difference between your views and Gov. Romney’s on Social Security, you said, “You know, I suspect that, on Social Security, we’ve got a somewhat similar position.”
Really, Mr. President, REALLY? (Show me more...)
by Greg Palast from Billionaires & Ballot Bandits:
How to Steal and Election in 9 Easy Steps
Right now, the Koch Gang and the Rove-bots have 9 sick, illegal ways to steal this election: More than 5.9 million votes are at risk. It could be yours.
Click on the Poster/flyer to download it, then send it around, email it, Facebook it, sky-write it – or click on the color poster and print it out. Stick it up at your Zumba class, your Tea Party sleeper cell tree-house, and your church.
[You can also make a small donation to get these hot-looking 11"x17" posters in packs of 10. We'll use the funds to ... print more posters for our voter protection partner groups!]
Here's your ballot condom for safe voting ...
7 Ways to Beat the Ballot Bandits
by Greg Palast
1. DON'T GO POSTAL!
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. (Show me more...)
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...)