Home » Vultures Picnic

Tag: Vultures Picnic

Palast & Badpenny: An Announcement

Greg Palast 

High in the thin, cold air where the ridge of the Alps marks the border with Italy, by local tradition, weddings are announced by leaving a small purse of candied almonds with the names of the betrothed at the doors of village homes. ...more

The Show Girls Club, Fairbanks, Alaska

Greg Palast 

Etok [1943-2015]
His “American” name was Charles Edwardsen Jr.
He died this week, whaling.

I didn’t have any trouble picking him out, even in the pumping lights of the Fairbanks strip club where we were supposed to meet: the leather-dark face, a wolverine pelt sewn into his parka collar with its vicious fangs still attached, and, around his neck, five huge claws of the last polar bear killed by his father. Eskimo bling.

While I’d heard that Eskimos kiss by rubbing noses, the look in Etok’s eyes suggested I wasn’t going to get the nose rub.

“Mr. Palast, we are the last of the Pleistocene people,” he told me. “It would be an honor to help you fuck up …more

Steven Cohen Can’t Make His
Mommy’s Monkey Jump

Greg Palast 

For Truthout

[New York] Billionaire Steven A. Cohen’s marriage was in hot water because his wife wouldn’t tolerate the “other woman.”  The other woman was Steven’s mother.

This week, Cohen’s hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors will plead guilty to criminal charges of insider trading and pay $1.2 billion in fines and forfeitures.

Cohen says he’ll pay the $1.2 billion from his own pocket – but it’s a pretty big pocket.  His net worth just hit ($9.4 billion).  It would have been an even $10 billion, but last year he coughed up over half a billion for his company’s illegal trades.
…more

Naughty Nuns, Bad Bankers
and Ballot Bandits

Greg Palast 

For Truthout

On May 6, 2008, twelve fraudulent voters, dressed as nuns, attempted to cast ballots in the Presidential Primary in Indiana.

Luckily, ten of them were caught, stopped cold by Indiana’s new voter photo ID law.  The law had been found to be constitutional by Federal Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

It turns out the nuns that Posner’s ruling turned away were, in fact nuns.  All the sisters had photo drivers licenses, but they had expired (the licenses, not the nuns).  The Sisters of the Holy Cross, had, mercifully, given up driving (they were pushing 90 years of age.)

It was a cute story that ran nationwide.  What wasn’t so cute, and ran nowhere in the US press, was that 72,000 Black voterswere blocked at the polls by this Posner-blessed photo ID law.

It was Posner’s decision that first allowed …more

The Golden Dawn Murder Case
Larry Summers and the New Fascism

Greg Palast 

For Truthout

On September 18, hip-hop artist Pavlos Fyssas, a.k.a. Killah P, was stabbed outside a bar in Keratsini, Greece.

Larry Summers has an air-tight alibi.  But I don’t believe it.

Larry didn’t hold the knife:  The confessed killer is some twisted member of Golden Dawn, a political party made up of skin-head freaks, anti-immigrant fear-mongers, anti-Muslim/ anti-Semitic/ anti-Albanian sociopaths and ultra-patriot fruitcakes.  Think of it as the Tea Party goes Greek.

Following Fyssas’ killing, other groups of dangerous psychopathic misfits, namely the European Union and Greece’s governing coalition, moved to ban Golden Dawn.

Over the weekend, Greece’s rulers arrested six members of Parliament who belong to Golden Dawn.  Apparently, Greece’s political leaders prefer …more

My Big Fat Greek Minister

Greg Palast 

For Vice Magazine

It wasn’t too difficult picking out the Fat Bastard in the crowd of Russian models, craven moochers and media mavens. Besides, Fat Bastard and I were both desperate for coffee and heading for the same empty urn.

(We’d both signed on for Kazakhstan’s annual Eurasia Media Forum, a kind of Burning Man festival for Eastern oilgarchs and their media camp followers.)

Now, it is my policy never to mention an interlocutor’s weight, nor question the legitimacy of their birth, given my own vulnerabilities. (A would-be groupie told me, “You could do a few sit-ups, you know.” Yes, I know.)

But this particular Fat Bastard is asking for it. I had tried to put the belly of this beast out of my thoughts, but I still had a New York Times story folded in my pocket that begins:

ATHENS – As an elementary school principal, Leonidas Nikas is used to seeing children play, laugh and dream about the future. But recently he has seen something altogether different, something he thought was impossible in Greece: children picking through school trash cans for food; needy youngsters asking playmates for leftovers; and an 11-year-old boy, Pantelis Petrakis, bent over with hunger pains.

Fat Bastard – or Theodoros Pangalos, thinks the little Greek kiddies should …more

“Now that the SOB is Dead…”
A Novel Idea: Asking an Afghan about Afghanistan

Greg Palast 

For Vice Magazine

“Now that the sonovabitch is dead, why is the US still angry with us?”

“Us”, in this conversation, are the Taliban. The SOB in question is Osama bin Laden.

The Taliban’s frustration was relayed to me by Yahya Maroofi, Counsellor to Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai – Karzai’s Kissinger, if Kissinger had a soul.

The Silk Road nation of Kazakhstan is an excellent place to encounter the dervishes of the Great Game for control of the camel-and-pipeline routes of the Central Asian steppes. Here we can witness the diplomatic-military idiocies of new empires pathetically attempting to ignore the dried skeletons of the imperial forces that went before them.

Maroofi was spending the day in Kazakhstan’s capital on his way to little-noticed peace negotiations – little noticed because neither Uncle Sam nor Great-Uncle Britain were invited. Attendance is limited to those frontline states that will be left holding the grenade when the US and UK pull out the pin with the removal of their troops in 2014. The lineup includes Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan (birthplace of the Boston Bombers) and the big new swinging dick on the block, Turkey, as well as Iran, the nation most feared and despised by the Taliban. The unannounced guests, of course, are the Taliban themselves.

I am moved to recount a bit of my lengthy talk with the Afghan minister after reading reams of meretricious bunkum about Afghanistan from the pens of US propaganda repeaters pretending to be reporters. My favourite is, “Hope Seen for Afghanistan After Coalition Leaves,” in the New York Times. To give us an expert view, two American reporters used their 20-column inches to take down the words of General Joseph F Dunford Jr, commander of all “international forces” in Afghanistan.

Dunford just arrived in Afghanistan for the first time about 12 weeks ago. He may not know a Tajik from a camel fart, …more

Fukushima: They Knew

Greg Palast 

“Completely and Utterly Fail in an Earthquake”
Two years later, the Fukushima story you didn’t hear on CNN

An excerpt from Vultures’ Picnic

I’ve seen a lot of sick stuff in my career, but this was sick on a new level.
Here was the handwritten log kept by a senior engineer at the nuclear power plant:

Wiesel was very upset. He seemed very nervous. Very agitated. . . . In fact, the plant was riddled with problems that, no way on earth, could stand an earth- quake. The team of engineers sent in to inspect found that most of these components could “completely and utterly fail” during an earthquake.

“Utterly fail during an earthquake.” And here in Japan was the quake …more

Advisory: UAW files ethics charge on Romney auto bail-out profiteering

Greg Palast 

WASHINGTON - A coalition of community, labor and good-government organizations is calling on the U.S. Office of Government Ethics to investigate GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for noncompliance with the Ethics in Government Act and compel him to either disclose his investments or divest them. “The American people have a right to know about Gov. Romney’s potential conflicts of interest, such as ...more

A Hostile Takeover of our Country
Treasonous, Noxious, Thieving, Tyrannical

Greg Palast 

by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., for EcoWatch
from the foreword to
 Billionaires & Ballot Bandits

American democracy is under assault.

In one super-PAC alone, Karl Rove and the Enron grifter Ed Gillespie, have assembled $200 million from big polluters and Wall Street moguls to buy the 2012 election.

Two of the Koch Brothers, Charles and David, pledged $130 million to elect candidates who favor unrestrained corporate profiteering.

The senators and congressmen they fund and elect are not representing the United States-they are representing Koch and its oil industry cronies, Big Pharma, and the Wall Street banksters currently mounting a hostile takeover of our government.

I have no problem characterizing these corporate-centric super-PACs as treasonous.  We are now in a free fall toward old-fashioned oligarchy; noxious, thieving and tyrannical.

…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

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.

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

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