Tag: Armed Madhouse

Wilbur Ross: Heart of Coal

Greg Palast 

I’ve met Trump’s billionaire Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the one who forgot to sell his tanker partnership with the Russians before being sworn into office — a venture with Putin’s son-in-law, no less — as revealed by ...more

We have nothing to sell but fear itself

Greg Palast 

Fear is the sales pitch for many products: from war on the Euphrates to billion-dollar submarines. Better than toothpaste that makes your teeth whiter than white, this stuff will make us safer than safe. It’s political junk food, the cheap filling in the flashy tube.

True security for life’s dangers—from a real national health insurance program to protecting teachers’ jobs, would take a slice of the profits of the owning classes, the Lockheeds, the JP Morgans. The War on Terror has become class war by other means.

And who will get us next? Don’t assume they’ll be clutching Korans. Until September 11, 2001, the deadliest terror attack in American history was carried out by …more

No Child’s Behind Left

Greg Palast 

To celebrate Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s exit, I am re-publishing this investigation. – GP

Excerpt from Armed Madhouse

They take away your overtime, your 40-hour week, your regulatory protection against corporate marauders, your right to courtroom justice, your protection against unfair trade, even the right to get your ballot counted.

But there’s always hope.

Hope is the last thing to go. And your hope is your kids, that they’ll have an opportunity you didn’t have. On January 21, 2004, the President told you they’d have to take that away too. On that night, deep into his State of the Union sermon to Congress, when sensible adults had turned off the tube or kicked in the screen, our President opened a new front in the class war. And like the one in Iraq, it began with a lie. “By passing the No Child Left Behind Act,” our President told us, “We are regularly testing every child…and making sure they have better options when schools are not performing.” …more

Terror in Tiny Town

Greg Palast 

Greg Palast reporting from Southold, New York

Excerpted from the NY Times Bestseller Armed Madhouse.

In the War on Terror, we are all on the front lines. Now Southold has apparently been targeted by al-Qaeda. I’m not surprised.

Southold, if you look at a map, is situated at the ass end of nowhere. We are known for our Strawberry Festival and fire truck parade. According to the Census, this tiny place is made up almost entirely of inbred farmers, real estate speculators and volunteer firemen.

At one end of town is the “Brand Names Outlet Mall” and the water-slide park. At the other end, there’s a ferryboat that takes those who feel lucky to the Indian casino in Connecticut. And in between, there’s Main Street where we hold the Strawberry Festival. (The festival is a quaint and annoying white-folks’ ritual, an opportunity for backstabbing, petty infighting and all-American small-mindedness. But that’s another story altogether.)

Last month, Town Supervisor Josh, with powers granted him by the Department of Homeland Security, declared a “national security emergency.” …more

Stop Feeding the Vultures

Greg Palast 

 For In These Times

I get the idea that Eric Hermann doesn’t want to talk to me. When I came to his office suite, his hedge fund’s name plaque had been unbolted from the building’s wall, the suite number removed and all the employees locked in.

I’m not surprised. Hermann is a vulture, not the carrion-eating type, but the kind that prey on the financially wounded. “Vulture” is a hedge fund industry term for the financiers who buy up the right to collect old loans of the world’s poorest nations, and then use every trick in the book — from lawsuits to bribery to hiring Henry Kissinger’s lobby firm — to muscle destitute countries into turning over their meager foreign aid funds.

Vultures, whether of the feathered or speculator species, don’t like to talk to reporters.

On February 25, the day after BBC Television’s Newsnight ran my report from in front of Hermann’s locked office door, Britain’s Parliament voted to bar vulture funds from using Britain’s courts to grab the assets of poor nations. …more

We Kicked Butt
New Boots Needed

Greg Palast 

A week ago Friday, the day after BBC Television broadcast of our investigative report on Liberia vultures, Britain’s Parliament voted to put an end to the creepy business of financial “vultures” who siphon off aid money through manipulating Third World nations’ debt.

And our prior report on financial tricksters, on Democracy Now!, motivated two congressmen to confront the President personally, in the Oval Office with our findings. And now legislation has jets on in the USA.

We’ve kicked vulture butt, but now we need new boots.

This isn’t the easiest time to be an investigative reporter and I am damn sure it’s not the easiest time for you to be supporting folks like our tiny but tough Palast team. So, I wanted to be sure to let you know what YOUR support has accomplished.

These accomplishments are real, but so are the bills for airfare, for the car for the stake-out, for the special microphones, for the … you name it.

BBC TV is a wonderful and prestigious outlet for our work. But “Beeb” budgets simply can’t cover all our costs.
We can’t fly to Africa by flapping our arms.

Democracy Now! shows our stuff; we love them — but it’s you, our supporters, who pay our subway fares to Amy’s studio.

That’s why—for the first time this decade—I’m asking you to help keep our work alive with your financial support.

Here are a few ideas on how to do it:
If you can contribute $150 or more, I’ll send you signed copies of 5 great DVDs … perfect for Mother’s day, graduations, easter baskets, May Day celebrations, Bingo prizes, or better yet, to spread the word.

Click here, make the tax-deductible donation, and I’ll sign’em all.

When our investigative team pulled the pants down on Karl Rove’s vote “caging” scam, Congressman John Conyers, who made our disclosures central to Congressional hearings on Bush’s firing of prosecutors told our crew, “America owes you an huge debt of thanks.”

I appreciate that; but we still owe the credit card company for the dozen flights to get on the scene to film the Rove-bots.

New! We are now offering you, the option to donate by getting The Palast Gift Card. Redeemable at our store by the lucky recipient.

Available again! Joker’s Wild, my classic, tarot-size investigative playing cards. Beautiful and great fun.

Better yet for us and maybe a little less burdensome to you, sign up for a modest monthly pledge of as little as $10. You will receive all new Palast releases — books or videos, as they become available. I will also mention you as a supporter in my next book (you may, of course, choose not to).

Right away, as a thank you, I will send all new signees a signed copy of a DVD of your choice plus the Joker’s Wild card deck.

If you’ve beaten the odds and had a great year, consider becoming a co-Producer by making a donation of $1,000 or more. If you do, I will list your name in our next film’s credits. Wait until your friends see that on your Google profile!

Or simply make a donation of any size or visit our Store for other signed gifts and options.

We will spend your donation wisely.

I truly can’t thank you enough,
Greg

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Greg Palast is an investigative reporter for BBC Newsnight and the author of Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
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You Have Kept Me Alive

Greg Palast 
Greg PalastClick and hold to enlarge

When Bush’s lawyers came after me, when oil industry lobbyists threatened Harper’s Magazine and me, when Katherine Harris and her allies tried to bully me into withdrawing my reports on election theft, you saved my journalistic life – with your support, your electronic shouts and your funding.

From Florida, from the Amazon, from Caracas, this great experiment in citizen journalism has had an astonishing, outsized impact on public policy.

Now, for the first time this year, I have to ask you to keep my work alive with your financial support.

Our not-for-profit foundation is in serious need of your serious help to feed our skinny staff of investigators and to house our very fat file cabinets.

Please: If you believe my work is worthwhile and should continue, and you can donate $150, I will send you all five of my films on DVD, signed to you—the package includes my newest film, PALAST INVESTIGATES, from 8-Mile to the Amazon. (It’s a big pack – meant to encourage you to pass some on.)

Or donate at least $50 and get the Palast Investigates DVD on its own, signed. This film on DVD includes my latest reports for BBC Television and Democracy Now!

Palast Investigates brings you, literally, into our offices on New York’s Lower East Side, where you can see the tapes, the files marked ‘confidential,’ as I explain how our rare form of old-fashioned gum-shoe reporting is done. [Watch the trailer here.]

…more

Where’s Your Homework, Mr. President?

Greg Palast 

Greg Palast gets a lesson from super-teacher Bill Roney. Listen to the podcast on ActionPoint radio.

Click twice to enlarge

The Looney-Tunes Right Wing is all bent up that our President is planning to tell kids to do their homework in a broadcast to schools set for Tuesday. They’re panicked he’s going to “sell socialism,” says one, and apparently, encourage kiddies to join the military to marry someone of their own sex.

But the teacher does have a serious question for the President: Barack, why haven’t you done your homework?

That’s right, Mr. A Student. Where is it?

Teacher wants to know.

And not just any teacher. William (Bill) Roney has been Yonkers’ Teacher of the Year, recipient of a Disney national teaching award, recognizing him as one of America’s top classroom educators; he was even picked for Ronald Reagan’s teacher in space program until that idea, well, blew up.

The latest fad among politicians is to put our schools in the hands of “entrepreneurs” (as if coming up with a bogus derivative to sell to Iceland is preparation for teaching long division to fifth graders). But I’ve decided to commit a heresy by asking advice on fixing our schools from, heavens!, a teacher. And this one knows his stuff.
…more

The Day the President Turned Black
(But has he turned back?)

Greg Palast 

For the The Huffington Post

false hope nowHe’s in hot water now. For a moment, on national television, the President of the United States turned black!

Last week, when his buddy “Skip” Gates got busted for being Black in Boston, Barack Obama forgot his official role: to soothe America’s conscience with the happy fairy tale that his election marked the end of racism in the USA.

Instead, Obama, the excruciatingly middle-of-the-road President, was seized by Barack the militant State Senator from the South Side of Chicago, who reminded us that cops bust Black guys for no goddamn good reason all the goddamn time.

I’m reminded that it was not so long ago that we watched the vicious gang-beating by Los Angeles cops of a defenseless, handcuffed, Rodney King, an African-American. King’s beating was unusual only in that it was caught on videotape.
…more

How McNamara Lost World War II

Greg Palast 

It’s been a good week. Robert McNamara’s dead and my book, Armed Madhouse, was released in translation in Vietnam.

I don’t blame McNamara for losing the war in Vietnam. After all, the good guys won. I do, however, blame him for losing World War II.

In 1995, in Chicago, veterans of Silver Post No. 282 celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their victory over Japan, marching around a catering hall wearing their old service caps, pins, ribbons and medals. My father sat at his table, silent. He did not wear his medals.

He had given them to me thirty years earlier. I can figure it exactly: March 8, 1965. That day, like every other, we walked to the newsstand near the dime store to get the LA Times. He was a
Times man. Never read the Examiner.

He looked at the headline: U.S. Marines had landed on the beach at Danang, Vietnam.
…more

Damn that Lincoln: Abe’s to blame for Jindal

Greg Palast 

Exclusive to Buzzflash.com

Damn that Abe Lincoln. When Louisiana and Mississippi seceded from the Union, a sensible president would have sent them a box of chocolates with a note, “Goodbye and good riddance.”

Tonight, following Barack Obama’s budget presentation to Congress, effectively the president’s first State of the Union Address, the Republicans chose to give their party’s response, the governor of the state that wanted to leave the Union, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal.

Jindal told us that Barack Obama is a terrible President who passed a stimulus bill “larded with wasteful spending.”   Where’s the lard?  All week, Jindal has been screeching that Obama wants to require states like Louisiana to extend unemployment insurance to – get this – the unemployed!  (Technically, the federal government would pay 100% of the cost of reforming Louisiana’s and Mississippi’s Scrooge-sized benefit requirements.)A Year After the Flood

Jindal, and some other Republican governors, notably Haley Barbour of Mississippi, are actually turning down millions in federal funds for their own state’s unemployed out of fear that, four years from now, they may have to maintain full unemployment insurance like the rest of America.

Barbour’s excuse, parroted by Jindal, is that the Obama payments to the unemployed of their states would mean, when the economy returns to expansion, that their state would have to increase unemployment insurance taxes and payments to the US average, scaring away new employers. “I mean, we want more jobs,” says Barbour.  Um, this is the Governor of MISSISSIPPI talking.  Exactly what new “jobs” is he talking about? Is Microsoft is based in Gulfport?  Is Genentech opening its new headquarters in Moss Point?

As an economist, I can tell you that the only industry Mississippi leads in is deep-fried chicken-dog manufacturing.  I will admit that Louisiana and Mississippi can boast of growing employment at several …more

Bill Richardson – Kissinger-American

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast

excerpted from Armed Madhouse

Henry Kissinger and Bill RichardsonBill Richardson is out: Caught with his hand, if not exactly in the cookie jar, at least you could say his sticky finger were near it. I’m not surprised.

For years I’ve been investigating the second-most corrupt state in the USA (after Alaska). I like to check in on the enchanted state with my bud Santiago Juárez.

I knew it was not a polite question, but it was really bugging me, so I asked HIM, “Exactly how does a Mexican get the name William Richardson?”

Governor Richardson’s dad, Santiago explained, was a Citibank executive assigned to Mexico City. There …more