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  • This is it, folks...

    A personal request from Greg Palast
    Saturday, September 16, 2012

    Today, our foundation releases my investigation/comic book, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps.

    I am asking you to order it today, right now, on Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble or Indiebound.org or, bless your heart, from your local bookstore. You get it Tuesday when it also hits the shelves.

    (Show me more...)

    “Why Obama Is Likely to Lose in 2012”

    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...)

    The Worst Teacher in Chicago

    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.

    (Show me more...)

    Cartoon Car-Jacker
    Gives $1 Million to Romney PAC

    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.

    And maybe they have.

    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...)

    FireDogLake Book Salon: Billionaires & Ballot Bandits

    Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps book chat at FireDogLake has finished but check out what was said at here.

    Read the first chapter before you chat 'Colonels in Mirrored Sunglasses'

    Host Watertiger (Dependable Renegade)

    (Show me more...)

    Colonels in Mirrored Sunglasses

    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.

    Here are the facts, ma'am:

    In the 2008 election, no less than:

    • 767,023 provisional ballots were cast and not counted;

    • 1,451,116 ballots were "spoiled," not counted;

    • 488,136 absentee ballots were mailed in, but not counted.

    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...)

    Billionaires & Ballot Bandits

    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.

    But I don't like guns, I don't have a TV network, I just have this:  A book.

    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...)

    RNC Opens with Pol who
    "Should be in Jail"

    by Greg Palast
    for Truth-out.org

    "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.

    But Griffin's not in jail: he's in Congress. And Tuesday, he'll be the first Congressman the Republicans have chosen to bring to their convention podium.

    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...)

    7 Ways to Beat the Ballot Bandits

    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...)

    Why We Occupy - Greg Palast Live!

    "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.

    Get the signed DVDdownload the film or download the audio.

    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:

    (Show me more...)

    Fukushima: They Knew

    "Completely and Utterly Fail in an Earthquake"
    The Fukushima story you didn't hear on CNN

    by Greg Palast for FreePress.org

    I've seen a lot of sick stuff in my career, but this was sick on a new level.
    (Show me more...)

    Congo Vultures Bagged

    Vulture fund's $100m DR Congo claim blocked
    By Meirion Jones
    BBC Newsnight

    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.

    Pursuit

    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...)

    Fracking: New Dangers

    by Greg Palast for No Fracking Ireland

    Greg Palast Interview from DCTV on Vimeo.

    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.


    What do these deaths have to do with plans for “fracking” for natural gas in Ireland?

    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...)

    Can we list your Group
    in our Election Guide?

    A Request from Greg Palast

    We need you to join Operation PUSH, Rock the Vote, People for the American Way, League of United Latin American Citizens, Bobby Kennedy Jr., Thom Hartmann Show, Occupy.com and 150 other organizations.  Add your group's name to our book, website and film, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps.

    What do you do?  Just hit 'reply' and say "YES, add us."

    (Please respond by Monday, July 16.)

    Then we'll send you a letter to confirm how you'd like to be listed (example: Presente.org), with your website, public contact and other info about your group you'd like to share with concerned voters.

    [Yes, individual supporters can join in:  click here.]

    In 2008, Bobby Kennedy and I wrote a voter protection comic book, Steal Back Your Vote. Over a quarter million copies were distributed to activists and in communities where voters are most vulnerable.

    In 2012, we're back, because they're back:  the vote rustlers, with their caging, purging, blocking, spoiling, vote-tossing ballot banditry.

    And we need your group to add its name as an ACTION RESOURCE (Show me more...)

    Warren Ellis: "Money is Fictional"

    Warren Ellis, author of Transmetropolitan, Crooked Little Vein and yet to be released Gun Machine gave the opening remarks for me last night in London for my UK release of Vultures' Picnic. Thankfully he posted them this morning, here's a bit of them, the full text can be found on his website www.WarrenEllis.com.

    Special thanks to Ollie and Anna for organizing an amazing evening, and to Laurie Penny, Nick Dearden and John Hilary.  

    I’m a writer of fiction. It’s fair to wonder why I’m here. I’m the last person who should be standing here talking about a book about real tragedies and economics. I come from a world where even the signposts are fictional. Follow the white rabbit. Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning. And a more recent one, from forty years ago, the fictional direction given by a mysterious man to an eager journalist: follow the money.

    (Show me more...)

    The Euro is a Big Success - No Kidding

    by Greg Palast | The Guardian USA

    The idea that the euro has "failed" is dangerously naive. The euro is doing exactly what its progenitor – and the wealthy 1%-ers who adopted it – predicted and planned for it to do.

    That progenitor is former University of Chicago economist Robert Mundell. The architect of "supply-side economics" is now a professor at Columbia University, but I knew him through his connection to my Chicago professor, Milton Friedman, back before Mundell's research on currencies and exchange rates had produced the blueprint for European monetary union and a common European currency.

    Mundell, then, was more concerned with his bathroom arrangements. Professor Mundell, who has both a Nobel Prize and an ancient villa in Tuscany, told me, incensed:

    "They won't even let me have a toilet. They've got rules that tell me I can't have a toilet in this room! Can you imagine?" (Show me more...)

    How Bain Capital helped BP
    blow up the Deepwater Horizon

    A Book Review by Greg Palast, for FireDogLake.com
    on Poisoned Legacy: the Human Cost of BP's Rise to Power (St. Martin's Press) by Mike Magner.

    Here's my bead on Magner's book....

    I almost fell off the barstool when I read that it was Bain Capital (Mitt Romney, former CEO), that told oil giant BP it was a good idea to cut costs. (Show me more...)

    Billionaire Ballot Bandits - I've caught'em

    Karl Rove has you by the ballots.  With a $200 million war chest from a coven of billionaires, don't count on getting your vote counted.

    There's only one thing to stop him:  A COMIC BOOK.

    Please help us raise the cash to get this printed. The nation’s top elections-heist investigators can publish our new voter-protection comic book, BILLIONAIRES & BALLOT BANDITS.

    Donate $99 today and we'll list your name in the special thanks of the book for the 99% - plus a signed copy!

    Or, if you can't swing that, at least get a signed DVD which you can pre-order. (Show me more...)

    Killings, cancer, corruption and Azerbaijan:
    Eurovision in the Islamic Republic of BP

    by Greg Palast for Left Foot Forward
    Saturday, 26. May, 2012

    Palast's book Vultures' Picnic will be released in Britain June 26. Catch Palast with Special Guest Warren Ellis.
    More info here.

    Will “Beyond Petroleum” oil giant BP pick the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest today in Baku, Azerbaijan? If so, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    When I was arrested by the military police of Azerbaijan during my investigation of BP for Channel 4′s Dispatches in 2010, one of the cops who surrounded our crew in the desert told us, with great pride:

    “BP drives this country.”

    Indeed it does.

    In 1992, the newly independent former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan elected a kindly Muslim Professor, Abulfaz Elchibey, as President.

    But the voters had made an error: (Show me more...)

    Vote like an Egyptian?

     
    by Mark Bebawi
     
    It’s rare for us to have guest articles, but Pacifica Radio host of The Monitor, Mark Bebawi, has insight into an issue where to be dumb is to be deadly.  Mark, born and raised in Cairo, wrote his master’s dissertation at Oxford on the Egyptian Brotherhood.  George Bush sent me his copy.  (Or was that The Pet Goat?)
     
    So, to cut through the crapola about doings in Cairo, I’ve asked Bebawi to write a short “Egypt for Idiots” about the election today, a special for our readers.  

     
    For all the talk of revolution and the Arab Spring, what happened last year in Egypt was not regime change. It was more of a clothing change – a suit was removed and a military uniform was donned in a country that went from a nominally civilian dictatorship to a military council. But fundamentally the same people are in charge now as were during the Mubarak presidency.
     
    In spite of this, the presidential election in Egypt is historic. It is the first time the outcome is not predetermined.  There are 13 candidates on the ballot and none of them will get a Mubarak-like 90 plus % of the vote. So who will people be voting for (Show me more...)

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