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Year: 2012

Latinos-too lazy to vote?

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 …more

Jose Crow: Arizona Fights Aliens
(aka Democrats)

Greg Palast 

An excerpt from Billionaires & Ballot Bandits (now The Best Democracy Money Can Buy) by Greg Palast for Cold Play.

“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, Jose 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. …more

What the Hell Happened?

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?

Dear Mr. President:  As a journalist I don’t take partisan sides, but I do take America’s side.  And as Commander-in-Chief, you simply cannot fall asleep in the saddle.

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? …more

7 Ways to Beat the Ballot Bandits

Greg Palast 

From Billionaires & Ballot Bandits:
How to Steal and Election in 9 Easy Steps

Your Ballot Condom for safe Voting

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. …more

Even Karl Rove couldn’t purge us
from THIS list

Greg Palast 

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?).

And just a couple of days ago Arianna’s Huffington Post called it “The Most Terrifying Book a Democrat Could Read” and they meant that in a good way. “Billionaires & Ballot Bandits delineates the potential theft of democracy. For me, as a Democrat, it was terrifying.”

While it’s great to get reviews from the Times and HuffPost, I want to hear what you think. Please go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads and write your review.

The mainstream media is finally paying attention to the work that we do at the Palast Investigative Fund – coverage of voting hijinks is starting to make the front pages of newspapers, headlining the evening news.

But we still have a long way to go to stop the Ballot Bandits.

As Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says in the book’s foreword:

“Remember, this is YOUR democracy. Voter suppression is real. It’s often a crime. And it’s happening to YOU. But there is something that you can do to prevent it. That is the message of Palast’s book.

Read our book… Pass on the link, www.BallotBandits.org. And get the word out! There’s still time to steal back your vote.”

As a thanks to everyone who picked up the book, we’ll send you a free download of our film Election Files.

Don’t have the book yet? Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound on the NOOK or the Kindle.

– Greg

* * * * * * * *

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and Vultures’ Picnic.

Palast’s brand new NYT bestseller Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps, is available from Barnes & Noble, Amazon or Indiebound and on the NOOK and Kindle.

Author’s proceeds from the book go to the not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund for reporting on voter protection issues.

Donate and can get a signed copy of the book or make a contribution of any amount to support our work.

MEDIA REQUESTS: For interviews, review copies and excerpts contact us.

Subscribe to Palast’s Newsletter and podcasts.
Follow Palast on Facebook and Twitter.

Bad Habits: Nuns Nixed Over No Voter-ID

Greg Palast 

With Supreme Court blessings, voter ID laws are taking the nation by storm, or storm troops.

For The Progressive

An excerpt from Greg Palast’s brand new book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits 

How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps.

Stop me if you heard this one. See, these ten nuns walk into a polling station in Indiana and the guy in charge says, “Whoa, Sisters! What do think you’re doing?”

“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 …more

Tales from the Crypt of Democracy

Greg Palast 

Pow! Zap! Full color investigative comics by Ted Rall:

Tales from the Crypt of DemocracySoul Crushing Political Terror.

Out Today!

This astonishing 48 page graphic expose is wrapped inside the new eBook edition of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits (now renamed The Best Democracy Money Can Buy), the 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.

Now available for your Kindle, Nook, iPad and other electronic toys. Dangerously digital, with all illustrations in color. …more

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: 2012

Greg Palast 

I can’t believe that I had to write the sequel.

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.

I want you to get this book right now because I can’t stand the idea that you will walk to the polling booth innocent and unarmed, about to be swallowed. …more

Romney’s Breakfast of Billionaires

Greg Palast 

For Dollars & Sense Magazine

On Friday, Governor Mitt Romney had breakfast with billionaires.

JOHN PAULSON, Paul Singer and Ken Langone have dropped more than a million dollars each into the Romney “Super-PAC” Restore Our Future. As Butch said to Sundance, “Who ARE these guys?”

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  now renamed The Best Democracy Money Can Buy): 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 …more

This is it, folks…

Greg Palast 

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.

We need to put this book up on #1 on Amazon and B&N and the Times list as we did with The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. If we slam the the NY Times Bestseller list again, they’ll have to talk about it; the peacock, the eyeball and at the fox will have to take notice.

Let’s make sure the media can’t ignore our book.

When they see a hit, that allows me and Ted Rall (who wrote the killer comic book inside) and Bobby Kennedy (who wrote the intro and key chapter), to get on the air to blow the whistle.

The book, say 50 reviewers, is funny. But vote theft is no joke, and as Kennedy says, “IT’S A CRIME.”

Stealing elections is an ugly business–and for the Kochs, the Ice Man, the Vulture, the Snake and the other billionaires, vote theft is a profit center.

So when I say, This is it!” I mean it. This is OUR moment. If you’ve ever donated to the Palast Investigative Fund, shared my work on Facebook, tweeted a link – yelled at your friends about voter caging, oil spills, vultures – then you’re part of my team – and I thank you.

People are already calling Billionaires & Ballot Bandits the sequel to The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (“Palast’s best”- Pacifica) – but I don’t want to make it a trilogy.

Let’s put the vote-rustling trickster out of business right now. We helped put the voter ID horror show, illegal “felon” and “alien” purges and the whole issue of ballot banditry into the mainstream media conversation. Now, let’s get the rest of the story out there of the other 6 ways they steal the vote (purging, prestidigitizing, blocking, caging…well, read it yourself.)

Billionaires & Ballot Bandits is an experiment – I receive no money from it – all my proceeds go to the a 501c3 not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund.

If you already bought it THANK YOU. Really, we can’t thank you enough.

But we’re going to ask one more thing, spread the word. Get your printer warmed up and print out this leaflet it’s from Billionaires & Ballot Bandits and it’s your front line defense document. Make 20 copies and hand it out at your college, your nursing home or wherever people congregate these days in real life.

If you read my columns, watch my BBC or Democracy Now! reports, you’re just getting the news appetizers. The whole enchilada, the whole book, is tastier than you can imagine.

Go to Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble right now and write a review – then get it out to your mailing lists, your yoga studio, your sleeper cells and on your facebook page.

We don’t have the budget to advertise like the 1% do.

But we have YOU – we the army of un-billionaires – to go to Facebook, Twitter, google+, whatever to spread the word about Billionaires & Ballot Bandits – send your friends the excerpts here, here and here .

Thanks for everything – and remember you’re the reason why we can do what we do – you’re our Peoples’ Mic – now move your fingers and spread the word.

Karl Rove, the Kochs and their buck-buddies have a plan to swipe 5.9 million votes. Now you know it, now you need it. Today makes the difference, so please order.

And note: Whether you get the book on line, from a bookstore or from BallotBandits.org, the proceeds support our not-for-profit fund for investigating the billionaires and the ballot bandits that are threatening our democracy.

See you in our funny papers,

Greg Palast

 

*************************************

Greg Palast is the Author of the recently published, acclaimed book Vultures’ Picnic and the New York Times Bestsellers Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Palast has investigated US election irregularities since 2000 where he first uncovered Katherine Harris’ purge of thousands of innocent black Floridian voters from the voter rolls, thus handing the White House to George W. Bush.
Palast has since reported extensively on election issues for BBC Newsnight, the UK Guardian papers, Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, Democracy Now! and Rolling Stone.

Palast’s brand new book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps, will be out on September 18. You can pre-order Billionaires & Ballot Bandits from Barnes & NobleAmazon or Indie Bound. Author’s proceeds from the book go to the not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund for reporting on voter protection issues.

Or donate and can get a signed copy of the book.

MEDIA requests (Interviews, Review Copies, excerpts etc.) contact us.

Follow Palast on Twitter | Like Palast on Facebook
Subscribe to Palast’s Newsletter | Podcasts

“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: …more

The Worst Teacher in Chicago

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.

It’s Back to School Time!  Time for the editorialists and the Tea Party, the GOP and Barack Obama’s Education Secretary Arne Duncan to rip into the people who dare teach in public schools.

And in Arne’s old stomping grounds, Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is stomping on the teachers, pushing them into the street.

Let’s stop kidding ourselves. This is what Mitt Romney and Obama and Arne Duncan and Paul Ryan have in mind when they promote charter schools and the right to fire teachers with tenure:  slash teachers salaries and bust their unions.


Greg Palast is the author of the new Book Billionalres and Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps.  For two decades, Palast was an investigator for Chicago-area unions, including the Chicago Teachers Union.


They’ve almost stopped pretending, too.  Both the Right Wing-nuts and the Obama Administration laud the “progress” of New Orleans’ schools – a deeply sick joke.  The poorest students, that struggle most with standardized tests, were drowned or washed away.

One thing Democrat Emanuel and Republican Romney both demand of Chicago teachers is that their pay, their jobs, depend on “standardized tests.” Yes, but whose standard?

Here are an actual questions from the standardized test that were given third graders here in NYC by the nation’s biggest test-for-profit company:

“…Most young tennis stars learn the game from coaches at private clubs.  In this sentence a private club is….”   Then you have some choices in which the right answer is “Country Club – place where people meet.”

Now not many of the “people [who] meet” at country clubs are from the South Side of Chicago–unless their parents are caddies.  A teacher on the South Side whose students are puzzled by the question will lose their pay or job. Students on the lakefront Gold Coast all know that mommy plays tennis at the Country Club with Raul on Wednesdays. So their teacher gets a raise and their school has high marks.

And while Mayor Rahm promises kids in “bad” schools new teachers (the same ones at lower pay) at high-score schools, in fact, they are never actually allowed in.

But Rahm, after all, is just imposing Bush education law which should be called, No Child’s Behind Left.

You want to know what’s wrong with our schools?  Benno Schmidt, CEO of the big Edison Schools teach-for-profit business is a creepy, greedy privateer.  But he told me straight: that before Hurricane Katrina, his company would never go into New Orleans because Louisiana spent peanuts per child on education.  He made it clear: You get what you pay for.  Not what you test for.

So the charter carpetbaggers slither in, cherry-pick the easy students, declare success. The tough cases and special ed kids are left in the public system so they can claim the public system fails.

Here’s what the teacher who was terrible at $70,000 but brilliant at $41,000 told me:

“They’re not doing this in white neighborhoods.  And they want to get rid of the older, experienced teachers with seniority who cost more.  Get rid of the teachers and, ultimately get rid of the kids.  And the charter school gets to pick the kids who get in.”

It’s simple.  When you look at the drop-out rates in New York (41%) and Chicago (44%), the solution offered is to pay teachers less. They punish those who dare to work in poor schools where kids struggle and you can bet that “washing away” half the kids in our schools is, in fact, exactly what they’ve planned.

It’s notable that, when he lived in Chicago, Barack Obama played basketball with city school chief Arne Duncan, but Obama sure as hell didn’t send his kids to Arne’s crap public schools. Those are for po’ folk.

His kids went to the tony “Lab” School in Hyde Park.  Obama knows what Duncan knows and what Romney knows:  there’s no money and no need for universal education.  Yes, they like to say that “children are our future.”  But they mean the children of China are our future, the Chinese kids who will make the stuff we want and the children of India who will program it all for us.

After all, how much education does some obese kid from Texas need to stack boxes from China in a Wal-Mart warehouse?

Education is no longer about information and learning skills.  It’s now about “triage.”  A few selected by standardized tests or privileged birth will be anointed and permitted into better and “gifted” schools.

The chosen elite are still very much needed:  to invest in India and Vietnam, to design new derivatives to circumvent the laughable new banking laws, and to maintain order among the restless hundred-million drop-outs squeezed out of the colon of our educational system.

Democrats’ Bantustans, Republicans’ Value-less Vouchers.

The Obama/Duncan/Emanuel plan is to create Bantustans of un-chartered, cheaply-run dumpster schools within a government system.  But Romney and the GOP would give every child a “choice” even outside government schools with “vouchers.”

Of course, the “vouchers” don’t vouch for much.  Romney’s old alma mater, Cranbrook Academy, runs at $34,025 a year, not counting the polo sticks and horse.  The most generous voucher program is Washington DC’s, beloved of the GOP, which pays about $7,500, or if the student’s “choice” is Cranbrook, about 2 months of school.  Hyde Park Day School Chicago is $35,900.  To give each kid a real choice, not just a coupon, means a massive increase in spending per pupil.  I didn’t see that in the Republican platform, did you?

The experienced teacher in Chicago who took the pay cut was offered one consolation.  She was told she could make up some of the pay loss by quitting the union and saving on union dues.

So that’s the program.  An educational Katrina: squeeze the teachers until they strike, demolish their unions and drown the students.

Chicago’s classroom war is class war by another name.

Class dismissed.

* * * * * * *

Greg Palast is the Author of the recently published, acclaimed book Vultures’ Picnic and the New York Times Bestsellers Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

Palast’s brand new book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps, will be out on September 18.

You can pre-order Billionaires & Ballot Bandits from Barnes & NobleAmazon or Indie Bound. Author’s proceeds from the book go to the not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund for reporting on voter protection issues.

Or donate and can get a signed copy of the book.

MEDIA requests (Interviews, Review Copies, excerpts etc.) contact us.

Subscribe to Palast’s Newsletter and podcasts.
Follow Palast on Facebook and Twitter.

GregPalast.com

Cartoon Car-Jacker
Gives $1 Million to Romney PAC

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. …more

FireDogLake Book Salon: Billionaires & Ballot Bandits

Greg Palast 

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)

Because Americans aren’t anxious enough, forced to digest anemic monthly jobs numbers, an economy teetering on the precipice, the steady stream of illegal home foreclosures, a Democratic President poised to shiv Social Security and Medicare, and the country’s insidious metamorphosis into a security state, they also have to worry about something so basic as the right to vote. That’s because über-bully Karl Rove, not content to have put the Dauphin of Dumbfuckistan in the White House, decided that controlling the Executive Branch wasn’t enough. Like his Machievellian comrade and patron, Charles Koch, he “want[ed] his fair share – and that’s all of it.” Hey, if that means depriving American citizens of their civil rights, well, so be it. There are always going to be winners and losers, amirite? Whaddya gonna do about it?

Enter Greg Palast. Let me rephrase: ENTER Greg Palast. Many of you may already be familiar with Palast’s investigative reports on everything from our decaying democracy to the looting of African economies that have appeared in The Guardian, the BBC, Rolling Stone, Harper’s and The Nation, among others. The author of New York Times bestsellers, he’s a muckraker of the best sort, nonpartisan and intrepid, digging for information while our lazy, turgid American media gets its information from PR flaks and cocktail weenie gossip.

Palast recognizes that the greatest threat to the survival of the American Experiment is the silencing of our collective voice. So he set out to follow the money behind the Koch-and-Rove Show’s organized effort to “shut it down” if I may paraphrase Todd Akin [R-Ignorant Dipshit]. The result? Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps. With comics by the irrepressible Ted Rall, Palast’s lastest outlines precisely how these sociopaths (I know, I use that word a lot, but hey, shoes that fit”¦) have begun to dismantle the voting process and what we, the people, can do to repair the damage and take back our country from these arrogant plutocrats. And yes, it’s up to us, because we can’t rely on the bought-and-paid-for government to do it for us.

I wanted to note that these two pertinent stories hit the wires on Friday:

GOP efforts to purge the voter rolls in Florida and Colorado have so far come up with almost no noncitzens, NPR reports. The two states fought to gain access to an immigration database compiled by the Department of Homeland Security to compare against their voter rolls. Armed with this federal database, Florida claims the purge has identified “several” noncitizens out of 2,600 names, while Colorado admits they have “no confirmed noncitizens.”

And this:

After previously trying to restrict early voting, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) today reversed course on his decision to block county boards of elections from setting their own early voting hours in the days leading up to the November election.

It’s something, but we need more. Much, much more. And with that, I want to welcome Greg Palast and Ted Rall to Firedoglake’s Book Salon!

Colonels in Mirrored Sunglasses

Greg Palast 

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 …more

Billionaires & Ballot Bandits

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. …more