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Why a–holes are always in charge
Tiny Tim Geithner is the Wrong Choice

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast

John ThainJohn Thain is the guy that looks like a Clark Kent doll you saw grinning from page one of your paper Friday morning. Thain was just fired by Bank of America because the square-jawed executive demanded a $30 million bonus after losing $5 billion in just three months at the bank’s Merrill Lynch unit. In addition, Thain spent over a million dollars redecorating his office while, at the same time, the U.S. Treasury was bailing out his company with billions in aid. Thain’s office re-do included the installation of a $35,000 toilet bowl.

Thain was robbed. He shouldn’t have been fired; he should have gotten a $60 million bonus — and Obama should immediately hire him as Secretary of the Treasury in place of that tax-dodging lightweight that’s been nominated, Timothy Geithner.

Here’s the facts, ma’am. …

For the remainder of the story on Thain’s toilet and the economic crisis, go to www.SuicideGirls.com. Palast’s investigative reports for BBC TV, Rolling Stone and others can be seen at www.GregPalast.com …more

Obama Doesn’t Sweat. He should.

Greg Palast 

In swing-state Colorado, the Republican Secretary of State conducted the biggest purge of voters in history, dumping a fifth of all registrations. Guess their color.

In swing-state Florida, the state is refusing to accept about 85,000 new registrations from voter drives – overwhelming Black voters.

In swing state New Mexico, HALF of the Democrats of Mora, a dirt poor and overwhelmingly Hispanic county, found their registrations disappeared this year, courtesy of a Republican voting contractor.

In swing states Ohio and Nevada, new federal law is knocking out tens of thousands of voters who lost their homes to foreclosure.

My investigations partner spoke directly to Barack Obama about it. (When your partner is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., candidates take your phone call.) The cool, cool Senator Obama told Kennedy he was “concerned” about the integrity of the vote in the Southwest in particular. …more

Chewing the Buddha – Bush at the Olympics

Greg Palast for  Tricycle: The Buddhist Review

Lhasa, Tibet – China’s secret police are just terrible at keeping themselves secret.

The detective, dressed in her business suit and pumps appropriate to urban Lhasa, did not expect to be trailing my wife and me up the steep hillside to a monastery 15,000 feet up an ice-crusted ridge. Even at 200 yards behind us, I could see her shivering in the thin, frozen air, trying, absurdly, to look like just another hiker on the barren slope.

But then, she really wasn’t trying to hide. Her presence was meant to send a message of fear and intimidation.

I got the point earlier when a photographer we’d helped sneak into Tibet was arrested, her film of protesting Tibetans seized and her camera smashed as she was hustled onto the first plane leaving the country.

When my police shadow looked away, I snapped a photo of the long boxes below me, roofs of the prison complex. It housed more Buddhist monks than any monastery.

At a hermitage carved into the summit rock I found my host sitting cross-legged under an ancient tapestry depicting a monster ready to devour quiet souls.

The holy man had questions for us:

Does Christianity have a god? (Answer: “Sometimes.”)

What is a President‘?

It was 1993. I told the monk the new President, …more

José Can You See? Bush’s Trojan Taco

Greg Palast 

Monday, April 21, 2008

(For TomPaine.com)

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Psst! George Bush has a secret

While you Democrats are pounding each other to a pulp in Pennsylvania, the President has snuck back down to New Orleans for a meeting of the NAFTA Three: the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of Mexico.

You’re not supposed to know that – for two reasons:

First, the summit planned for the N.O. two years back was meant to showcase the rebuilt Big Easy, a monument to can-do Bush-o-nomics. Well, it is a monument to Bush’s leadership: The city still looks like Dresden 1946, with over half the original residents living in toxic trailers or wandering lost and broke in America.

The second reason Bush has kept this major summit a virtual secret is its real agenda – and the real agenda-makers. The names and faces of the guys who called the meeting must remain as far out of camera range as possible: The North American Competitiveness Council.

Never heard of The Council? Well, maybe you’ve heard of the counsellors: the chief executives of Wal-Mart, Chevron Oil, Lockheed-Martin and 27 other multinational masters of the corporate universe.

And why did the landlords of our continent order our presidents to a three-nation …more

God Damn America
Especially Pennsylvania

Greg Palast 

Sunday, March 23, 2008, Forest City, PA

Listen to the audio podcast here.

The kids were snoozing so I drove along the back roads skirting the Lackawanna River on a dawn hunt for black coffee and aSheriffs Notice by Greg Palast newspaper.

I think even Norman Rockwell would have found this place too sticky sweet, too postcard: the weathered barns, the fallow fields perfectly snow-frosted; red, white and blue flags already up on the clapboard farmhouses and the white-washed church in the valley already full for Easter prayers.

At a gas station, I scored the paper and coffee, spilled some on the front page – the closest thing I’ve got to a religious ritual – then parked in front of a row of insanely pretty salt-box houses shining like mad teeth on the river bank.

One was missing …more

Eliot’s Mess

Greg Palast 

The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked

 

While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an escort $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush’s new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.

Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd. But there’s a BIG difference. The Governor was using his own checkbook. Bush’s man Bernanke was using ours.

This week, Bernanke’s Fed, for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure.

Up until Wednesday, there was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers bordello: Eliot Spitzer.

Who are they kidding? Spitzer’s lynching and the bankers’ enriching are intimately tied.

How? Follow the money.

The press has swallowed Wall Street’s line that millions of US families are about to lose their homes because they bought homes they couldn’t afford or took loans too big for their wallets. Ba-LON-ey. That’s blaming the victim.

Here’s what happened. Since the Bush regime came to power, a new species of loan became the norm, the sub-prime mortgage and its variants including loans with teeny “introductory” interest rates. From out of nowhere, a company called Countrywide became America’s top mortgage lender, accounting for one in five home loans, a large chunk of these sub-prime.

Here’s how it worked: The Grinning Family, with US average household income, gets a $200,000 mortgage at 4% for two years. Their $955 monthly payment is 25% of their income. No problem. Their banker promises them a new mortgage, again at the cheap rate, in two years. But in two years, the promise ain’t worth a can of spam and the Grinnings are told to scram – because their house is now worth less than the mortgage. Now, the mortgage hits 9% or $1,609 plus fees to recover the “discount” they had for two years. Suddenly, payments equal 42% to 50% of pre-tax income. The Grinnings move into their Toyota.

Now, what kind of American is sub-prime. Guess. No peeking. Here’s a hint: 73% of HIGH INCOME Black and Hispanic borrowers were given sub-prime loans versus 17% of similar-income Whites. Dark-skinned borrowers aren’t stupid  hey had no choice. They were steered as it’s …more

Exxon suxx. McCain duxx.

Greg Palast 

for TomPaine.com and OurFuture.org


Nineteen goddamn years is enough. I’m sorry if you don’t like my language, but when I think about what they did to Paul Kompkoff, I’m in no mood to nicey-nice words.Chugach Native 'Bear' of New Chenega, Alaska

Next month marks 19 years since the Exxon Valdez dumped its load of crude oil across the Prince William Sound, Alaska. A big gooey load of this crude spilled over the lands of the Chenega Natives. Paul Kompkoff was a seal-hunter for the village. That is, until Exxon’s ship killed the seal and poisoned the rest of Chenega’s food supply.

While cameras rolled, Exxon executives promised they’d compensate everyone. Today, before the US Supreme Court, the big oil company’s lawyers argued that they shouldn’t have to pay Paul or other fishermen the damages ordered by the courts.

They can’t pay Paul anyway. He’s dead.

That was part of Exxon’s plan. They told me that. In 1990 and 1991, I worked for the Chenega and Chugach Natives of Alaska on trying to get Exxon to pay up to save the remote villages of the Sound. Exxon’s response was, “We can hold out in court until you’re all dead.”

Nice guys. But, hell, they were right, weren’t they?

But Exxon didn’t do it alone. They had enablers. One was a failed oil driller named “Dubya.” Exxon was the second largest contributor to George W. Bush’s political career. Enron was firstr. They were a team, Exxon and Enron.

To protect their corporate backsides, Enron’s Chairman Ken Lay, prior to his felony convictions, funded a group called Texans for Law Suit Reform. The idea was to prevent consumers, defrauded stockholders and devastated Natives from suing felonious corporations and their chiefs.

When Dubya went to Washington, Enron and Exxon got their golden pass in the appointment of Chief Justice John Roberts. On Wednesday, as the court heard Exxon’s latest stall, Roberts said, in defense of Exxon’s behavior in Alaska, “What more can a corporation do?”

The answer, Your Honor, is plenty.

For starters, Mr. Roberts, Exxon could have turned on the radar. What? On the night the Exxon …more

Oily Lies in Alaska

Greg Palast 

Shannyn Moore of Air America Alaska interviews Palast on the Valdez Court Case – KUDO 1080am

George of Arabia:
Better Kiss Your Abe ‘Goodbye’

Greg Palast 

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bend over, pull out your wallet and kiss your Abe ‘goodbye.’ The Lincolns have got to go – and so do the Hamiltons and Jacksons.

Those bills in your billfold aren’t yours anymore. The landlords of our currency – Citibank, theBush & The King national treasury of China and the House of Saudi – are foreclosing and evicting all Americans from the US economy.

It’s mornings like this, when I wake up hung-over to photos of the King of Saudi Arabia festooning our President with gold necklaces, that I reluctantly remember that I am an economist; and one with some responsibility to explain what the hell Bush is doing kissing Abdullah’s camel.

Let’s begin by stating why Bush is not in Saudi Arabia. Bush ain’t there to promote ‘Democracy’ nor peace in Palestine, nor even war in Iran. And, despite what some pinhead from CNN stated, he sure as hell didn’t go to Riyadh to tell the Saudis to cut the price of oil.

What’s really behind Bush’s hajj to Riyadh is that America is in hock up to our knickers. The sub-prime mortgage market implosion, hitting a dozen banks with over $100 billion in losses, is just the tip of the debt-berg. …more

President Correa- Chavez Boy Toy
or New Revolutionary Hero?

Greg Palast 

Thursday, December 27

Palast on Democracy Now!

Greg Palast gets the exclusive interview with President Correa of Ecuador only on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman. From the makers of The Assassination of Hugo Chavez, Greg Palast and cameraman Richard Rowley.

Check your local listings for channels and stations here or listen streaming by clicking here. You can also sign up for the Democracy Now! video and audio podcast here– Make sure you sign up for ours at www.GregPalast.com

Have a Happy New Year from everyone in the Palast Office!

Fear of Chavez is Fear of Democracy

Greg Palast 

Bush: If it’s our oil, why do Venezuelans get to vote on it?chavezwtext.jpg
GOP panicked that counting votes in Venezuela will spread to Florida

Monday December 3, 2007

The Family Bush can fix Florida. They can fix Ohio. But it’s just driving them crazy that they can’t fix the vote in Venezuela.

[Note: Watch the reports taken from the Palast BBC investigations in Venezuela in the newly released DVD, “The Assassination of Hugo Chavez.“]

The Bush Administration and its press puppies – the same ones who couldn’t get enough of the purple thumbs of voters of Iraq – are absolutely livid that this weekend the electorate of Venezuela had the opportunity to vote.

Typical was the mouth-breathing editorial by the San Francisco Chronicle, that the referendum could make Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s President, “a constitutional dictator for life.” And no less a freedom fighter than Donald Rumsfeld, from the height of the Washington Post, said that by voting, Venezuela was “receding into dictatorship.” Oh, my!

Given that Chavez’ referendum was defeated at the ballot box, we now know that, as a dictator, Chavez is a flop. Of course, without meaning to gainsay Secretary Rumsfeld, maybe Chavez is not a dictator.

Let’s get clear exactly what this vote was about. Firstly, it was a referendum to change the nation’s constitution to end term limits for President.

fdr1.jpgOh, horror! Imagine if we eliminated term limits in the US! We could end up stuck with a president – like Franklin Roosevelt. Worse, if Bill Clinton could have run again, we’d have missed out on the statesmanship of Junior Bush. While US media called Chavez a “tyrant” for suggesting an end to term limits, they somehow forgot to smear the tyrant tag on Mr. Clinton for suggesting the same for the America.

We were not told this weekend’s referendum was a vote on term limits, rather, we were told by virtually every US news outlet that the referendum was to make Chavez, “President for Life.” The “President for Life” canard was mis-reported by no less than The New York Times. …more

Cranks and Kooks: Kerry Won in ’04

Greg Palast 

Armed Madhouse, the new book by Greg Palast

Listen to the audiobook
THE CON

Kerry Won. Now Get Over It . . .

…because they’re putting ’08 in their pocket. Republicans just seem to have that winning spirit. They also have caging lists, felons of the future, rotting ballots, snuffed canaries, and a lock on the votes of Kissinger-Americans and the undead.

WARNING! There are cranks and kooks and crazies out there on the Internet who say that George Bush lost the 2004 election, like one titled, “Kerry Won” published on the TomPaine.com web site two days after the election. I wrote it.

On November 11, a week after TomPaine.com published it, I received an e-mail from The New York Times Washington Bureau. Hot on the investigation of the veracity of the vote, The Times reporter asked me pointed questions:

Question #1: Are you a “sore loser”?

Question #2: Are you a “conspiracy nut”? …more

The Tears of a Clone

Greg Palast 

Conyers Closes in on Karl and his Rove-bots …

Special to The BRAD BLOG
June 17, 2007

(Listen to the podcast of this article here)

Boo-hoo! I made Tim Griffin cry.

He cried. Then he lied.

You remember Tim. Karl Rove’s right hand (right claw?) man. The GOP’s ragin’ cagin’ man. …more

RFK: Rove And Rove’s Brain, ‘Should Be In Jail,’ Not In Office

Greg Palast 

NEW YORK — Monday, May 7, 2007RFK Jr and Greg Palast discuss Rove and the Missing e-mails -Photo by CS Muncy
Voting rights attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has called for prison time for the new US Attorney for Arkansas, Timothy Griffin and investigation of Griffin’s former boss, Karl Rove, chief political advisor to President Bush.

“Timothy Griffin,” said Kennedy,”who is the new US attorney in Arkansas, was actually the mastermind behind the voter fraud efforts by the Bush Administration to disenfranchise over a million voters through ‘caging’ techniques – which are illegal.”

[Hear Kennedy on Griffin, Rove and ‘caging lists’ below or here]

Kennedy based his demand on the revelations by BBC reporter Greg Palast in the new …more