Friday, December 2, 2016

Greg Palast and the Presidential Recount
The No-BS Inside Guide to
the Presidential Recount

Sorry, no Russian hacker hunt

by Greg Palast for Truthout

Greg Palast investigated vote suppression in the 2016 election for Rolling Stone.  The film of his investigation, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, was released by Cinema Libre Studios in September.

There's been so much complete nonsense since I first broke the news that the Green Party would file for a recount of the presidential vote, I am compelled to write a short guide to flush out the BS and get to just the facts, ma'am.
Clip from The Best Democracy Money Can Buy by Greg Palast

Nope, they’re not hunting for Russian hackers
To begin with, the main work of the recount hasn't a damn thing to do with finding out if the software programs for the voting machines have been hacked, whether by Putin’s agents or some guy in a cave flipping your vote from Hillary to The Donald.

The Green team does not yet even have the right to get into the codes. But that's just not the core of the work

The ballots in the electoral “dumpster”
The nasty little secret of US elections, is that we don't count all the votes.

In Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania—and all over America—there were a massive number of votes that were simply rejected, invalidated, and spoiled. They were simply, not counted.  Officially, in a typical presidential election, at least three million votes end up rejected, often for picayune, absurd reasons.

The rejects fall into three big categories:  provisional ballots rejected, absentee and mail-in ballots invalidated and in-precinct votes “spoiled,” spit out by a machine or thrown out by a human reader as unreadable or mis-marked.
So, as Robert Fitrakis, lead lawyer for the recount tells me, their first job is to pull the votes out of the electoral dumpster—and, one by one, make the case for counting a rejected provisional, absentee or “spoiled” ballot.

Spoiled:  over-votes and under-votes
How does a vote spoil? Most fall in the categories of “over-votes” and “under-votes.”

In Michigan, the Green team has found a whole lot of people who voted for TWO candidates for President.  These are the “over-vote”—votes that will count for neither candidate.

How odd.  While the schools in Detroit are not stellar, its graduates do know that they can only have one president.
Then, some folks didn’t vote at all.  They are the “under-voter.”

But, Fitrakis and team suspect, many of these under- and over-voters meant to vote for a candidate but the robot reader couldn’t understand their choice.

Here’s how it happens.  Voters in Michigan and Wisconsin fill in bubbles next to their choice.  The cards, filled up with darkened bubbles for each race, are gathered and fed through an “optical scanner.” These robotic eyeballs mess up all the time.

This is what Fitrakis, an old hand at vote-machine failures (both deliberate and benign), calls “the calibration problem.”

Are machines calibrated with a Republican or Democratic bias? No, that's not how it works. But just as poor areas get the worst schools and hospitals, they also get the worst voting machines.

The key is an ugly statistic not taught in third grade civics class:  According to the US Civil Rights Commission, the chance your vote will be disqualified as “spoiled” is 900% more likely if you’re Black than if you’re white.

So the Green Party intends to review every single one of the six million bubble-filled cards. They’ll use the one instrument that can easily tell one bubble from two, or one bubble from none: the human eye.

As you can imagine, This will require several thousand eyes.  The good news is, Fitrakis reports, that well over a thousand volunteers have already signed up.  Training by Skype begins Tuesday morning. 

Support the 2016 Stolen Election Investigation
The team and I are off to Ground Zero:  Michigan. Wisconsin. Pennsylvania. To report the REAL story of the recount.
I’m also responding to urgent requests in the recount states for our technical files and analysis. And then it’s on to Washington—to the Department of Justice—while there’s a bit of Justice left.
Join us by
Supporting the Stolen Election Investigation
Last stop for Democracy

Provisional or “placebo” ballots
According to the US Elections Assistance Commission (EAC), Americans cast 2.7 million provisional ballots in the last presidential election.  About a million were simply discarded.  What?!

Yes.  Discarded, not counted.  You show up at your normal polling station and they can’t find your name, or they don’t like your ID, or you’re supposed to vote in another precinct.  Instead of letting you vote on a regular ballot, you fill out a “provisional” ballot and place it in an envelope, sign your name, and under penalty of jail time for lying, affirm you’re a properly registered voter.

The polls close
then the magic begins.  It’s up to highly partisan election officials to decide if your vote counts.  Hillary Clinton only won one swing state, Virginia, notably, the only one where the vote count was controlled by Democrats.  She lost all swing states—Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arizona, North Carolina and Florida—where the GOP set the rules for counting these ballots and their hacks acted as the judge and jury on whether a ballot should be counted.

Wisconsin generally rejects votes cast in the wrong precinct, even if they’re legal voters—and, says Fitrakis, “even if their official precinct was just another table in the same high school gym—and they were mis-directed by poll workers.”

(That’s why I sometimes call “provisional” ballots “placebo” ballots.  They let you feel you’ve voted, even if you haven’t.)

In Wisconsin, provisional ballots were handed to voters—mostly, it appears, students—who didn’t have the form of ID required under new Wisconsin law. These ballots were disqualified despite zero evidence even one voter was an identity thief.

Fitrakis says the Stein campaign will fight for each of these provisional votes where this is clearly no evidence the vote is fraudulent.

Mail-in, Early and Absentee Ballots go Absent
If you’ve gone postal in this election, good luck!  According to EAC data, at least half a million absentee ballots go absent, that is, just don’t get counted.  The cause: everything from postage due to “suspect signature.” Fitrakis told me that in his home state of Ohio, you need to put your driver’s license number on the envelope, “and if you don’t have a driver’s license and leave the line blank—instead of writing ‘no driver’s license’—they toss your ballot.
From Palast's book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits by Ted Rall

It’s a “gotcha!” system meant to knock out the ballots the officials don’t want to count.  (Remember, your mail-in ballot is anything but secret.)  Team Green will try to fight for each absentee ballot rejected for cockamamie reasons.

If the recount doesn’t change the outcome, can we feel assured the election was honest?

Sadly, no.  As Fitrakis says, “If a student is given a provisional ballot because they didn’t have the right ID, or the state simply lost their registration, we can fight for the ballot to be counted.  But most students who voted off campus didn’t know their right to get a provisional ballot and most probably didn’t get offered one.

Students and others were discouraged from voting because they lacked the proper ID (300,000 by the estimate of the experts with the ACLU—that’s thirty times Trump’s plurality).  But if you didn’t cast any ballot, provisional or otherwise, no one can fight for it.

And final decisions may come down to the vote of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, God forbid.  As Norman Stockwell, the editor of Madison-based The Progressive explained to me, formerly, elections law adjudications were made by a panel of non-partisan judges.  These were replaced by this new commission of partisan shills appointed by GOP Governor Scott Walker.

Trump says millions voted illegally. Is he crazy?
Crazy like a fox.  There’s a method in his madness that affects the recount.

While the media dismisses Trump’s claim that there are "millions of people that voted illegally," they have not paid attention to the details of his claim.  Trump explains that millions of people are “voting many, many times,” that is, voting in two states in the same election.

Trump’s claim is based on a list of “potential duplicate voters” created by his operative, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.  Kobach (a top dog in Trump’s transition team)  directs a program for hunting down fraudulent voters using a computer system called, “Crosscheck.”

It’s quite a computer:  Crosscheck identified a breathtaking 449,922 Michiganders who are suspected of voting or registering in a second state, a felony crime, as are 371,923 in Pennsylvania.

I spent two years investigating the Trump/Kobach claim for Rolling Stone.  We obtained the “confidential” suspect list of several million citizens accused of voting twice.  In fact, it was no more than a list of common names—Maria Hernandez, James Brown, David Lee—that is, common to voters of color.  Read: Democrats.  A true and typical example: Michael James Brown of Michigan is supposed to be the same voter as Michael Kendrick Brown of Georgia.
Page from The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (FREE) Comic book penned by Keith Tucker

About 54,000 voters in Michigan, five times Trump’s plurality, lost their right to vote based on this nutty double-voter accusation.  In Pennsylvania, about 45,000 were purged.

The problem for Fitrakis:  While he eventually plans to file suit against Crosscheck purges, in the meantime, it’s not clear he can challenge someone whose lost their vote because of a false accusation of double voting.  And those who found their names missing and didn’t demand a provisional ballot—there’s no hope at all of recovering their vote.

Is Jill Stein going to get rich?
Fitrakis laughs at this one.  “The FEC [Federal Elections Commission] has very strict rules on recounts. The donations for the recount are sequestered in a specially designated account and all spending is restricted to the recount.” 

The big problem is that the cost is somewhat out of Stein’s control.  Each state will bill the campaign for the “pro-rated salaries and benefits” of its county and state officials working on the recount.

To add to the cost and just plain drive the Green team crazy, the Wisconsin Election Board announced on Monday that each separate county elections clerk will decide if they’ll even let the Green volunteers directly view the ballots.  Fitrakis and partners will have to get a court order to get into each county.  How does one recount ballots without seeing them?  (Hmm, is the Wisconsin board, stooges appointed by the GOP Governor, fearful that the viewing the ballots will expose the game?)

Hillary joins the fray
What will the Clinton camp add to the recount? “Lawyers,” said Fitrakis, though he’s yet to see them.  The Clinton campaign is apparently helping find one voter in each Pennsylvania county, as one is required in each jurisdiction to file for a recount of that state.

And what about that hack job?
While Fitrakis is not looking for Russkies in the computer code, he says, “We’re more concerned with the private companies that control the keys to the kingdom—to match what’s on paper to the official count.”  The “keys” are the little machines, memory cards and other electronic gewgaws that are used to suck the data from the voting machine—which are carried off to another state for tabulation by a private contractor.  Will these tabulations at each step match what the volunteers find in the on-the-ground recount?

One problem is that the tabulation software is “proprietary.”  A private company owns the code to the count—and the privateers will fight fiercely, with GOP help, to keep the ballot counting code their commercial secret.

Push and Pray Pennsylvania
In the end, the single biggest impediment to a full and fair recount is that 70 percent of Pennsylvania voters used what are called, “Push and Pray” voting machines—Direct Recording Electronic touch-screens.  Push the screen next to your choice and pray it gets recorded. Pennsylvania is one of the only states that has yet to require some form of VVPAT (“vee-pat”) or voter-verified paper audit trail that creates an ATM-style receipt.

Therefore, the Keystone State recount will have to rely on hopes of access to the code, statistical comparisons to counties that used paper ballots—and prayer.

Maybe it IS the Russians
The possibility that a Putin pal hacked the machines was championed by University of Michigan computer sciences professor J. Alex Halderman who proposed, “The attackers would probe election offices well in advance in order to find ways to break into their computers…and spread malware into voting machines.”

I imagine some squat, middle-pay-scale civil servant in chinos and a pocket protector who works in the Michigan Secretary of State’s office approached, one late overtime night, by some FSB agent in high heels and a slinky dress split halfway up her thigh. The svelte spy would lean against the bureaucrat provocatively and whisper, “My handsome dahling, would you mind sticking this little thumb drive into that big old computer of yours?

Professor Halderman, if you want to help the recount, put down the James Bond novels and pick up some Opti-Scan ballots.  We’ve got a lot of bubbles to read.  End
  • PLEASE, say, "Count me in to count the votes" by supporting the 2016 Stolen Election Investigation for a donation of any size no matter how small or large

  • Stay informed and get a signed DVD of my film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, a signed copy of the book with the same title or better still - get the Book & DVD combo

  • Be listed as a producer ($1,000) or co-producer ($500) in the credits of the broadcast version of the updated, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy:  THE THEFT OF 2016.

Greg Palast (Rolling Stone, Guardian, BBC) is the author of The New York Times bestsellers, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, now out as major motion non-fiction movie.

Support The Palast Investigative Fund and keep our work alive.

Download the FREE Movie Comic Book.

Rent or buy the film from Amazon or Vimeo.

Or support the The Palast Investigative Fund (a project of The Sustainable Markets Foundation) by shopping with Amazon Smile.
AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your purchases to the Palast Fund and you get a tax-deduction! 
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Copyright © 2016 Greg Palast, All rights reserved.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This is not normal...

From Melissa McEwan at Shakesville.

This is not normal.

It is not normal for a president to use his social media account to tweet chilling opinions about Constitutionally-protected rights.

It is not normal for a president to suggest it is reasonable to have one's citizenship revoked or to be jailed for doing something legaljust because he finds it distasteful.

It is not normal to imply that a "year in jail" could be remotely equivalent to being stripped of one’s very citizenship, to be permanently exiled from one's home.

None of this is normal. It is profoundly troubling. And we cannot become inured to such egregious democratic transgressions. This cannot be normalized.

Actually, this is monstrous.  Just about everything he does is monstrous.  His Cabinet picks, in fact all of his choices are monstrous.  He is not a normal human being.  He's a monster.  If you think that's too strong, then I think you need to take another look, a closer look, because there is no other word that describes our next president!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Boycott Trump App

It's difficult to know exactly how one person living in the hinterlands can show his/her displeasure with the orange-headed monster soon to take up residence in the White House.

But there is something we can do with relative ease.  There is now an App for iPhones and Androids that lists all of the businesses that supported Trump's candidacy for prezident.

Go to your phone's app store and enter "Trump Boycott" in the search box. Hopefully, you will find it possible to boycott a number of these businesses and if you do, let them know what you're doing and why.  There's power in numbers and the more people involved, the more effective the boycott will be.

A Tale of Two Presidents

Our current president and his family spent Thanksgiving handing out turkey dinners to retired war veterans, all the while making friendly with these former warriors.

Our prezident-elect had a huge dinner set up in his plush, over-the-top resort, Mar-A-Lago, in Palm Beach, with a 24-course dinner, enough food for a small nation.

150 Secret Service personnel were needed to guard those in attendance.

The cost to the U.S. taxpayer was $7 million!

Thanks to Crooks & Liars for this.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

To All My Friends Before The Rise...

Reynard Loki, writing at Alternet, describes how sea rise will have a monumental impact upon our planet.  "And one dramatic effect is going to force humans to relocate."  From 1880 to the present, the seas have risen about 8 inches.  But that's just the start.  From now until 2100, a mere 84 years away, the seas are predicted to rise an additional one to four feet!  And they will continue rising as time goes on.

But I live in Florida and that is the focus of my concern in this essay.  Ben Strauss, "A vice president at Climate Central, which spent two years analyzing the specific threat to the Sunshine State," said "'Rising seas, a population crowded along the coast, porous bedrock, and the relatively common occurrence of tropical storms put more real estate and people at risk from storm surges aggravated by sea-level rise in Florida, than any other state by far.'"

Strauss goes on to note "that in Florida, around 2.4 million people live within just 4 feet of the local high tide line.  That's almost half the national risk right there. In Miami-Dade and Broward counties alone, there are more people below 4 feet than any other state, except Florida itself and Louisiana [...] ...After the Sunshine State, the next three states that will most likely be overcome by rising ocean water are California, Louisiana and New York.

The map above shows dramatically what Florida will look like with a mere one meter rise in sea level.  Everything in red will be under water!

And the Trump administration, built on ideology and not science, plays down climate change and rising seas and is considering dropping out of our international agreements to take action to reverse this situation!   

Please read Loki's entire article HERE.

American Nazis And Fascists and Racists Will Be Defeated

American Nazis and Fascists have finally gotten a place at the table, thanks to Prezident-elect, da Trump.

Trump's senior advisor is a Nazi who for years has operated a white-supremacist/Nazi website.

The Klan is marching again.  Swastikas are appearing all over the country, on signs and banners and defacing public and private buildings.

But, we beat the bastards once, and we'll beat them again.

Other notes this Thanksgiving which, due to Trump's election, there is little for which to be thankful:

* It's costing American taxpayers $1 million per day to provide security for Trump and his family in New York City.

* Rumors are that Ben Carson has accepted or is considering the office of Secretary of HUD. Carson has absolutely no experience in public housing or urban planning and has shown no interest in it. And from what we've seen during the 2016 when he was running for the Repuglican nomination, he's pretty much an ignorant, bumbling fool.

* Trump has chosen Betsy Devos to head up the Education department.  There couldn't be a worse choice.  She and her husband, a billionaire, have devoted their lives to the destruction of public education in favor of privatization and charter schools.  She is an ultra-right wing fanatic Christian who fails to understand that public schools are the foundation of our democracy.

* Trump is a congregation of messes.  His business entanglements make it impossible to function as prezident.  He has business connections in many shaky countries which will definitely compromise his ability to deal properly with their needs or desires.  He owes hundreds of millions of dollars to banks in China and other countries.  The other day while speaking with President Erdogan of Turkey, Trump promoted his business partner in that country, a clear abrogation of his presidential responsibilities!

* Trump's advisor on "Space" wants to defund NASA's climate, i.e. global warming work.

* Although Trump knows nothing about foreign affairs or even how our country works, he is blowing off the daily intelligence briefings offered by our intelligence community.  He's attended two such briefings in the past two weeks. But then he has been busy twitting about his dislike of the cast of "Hamilton," and Saturday Night Live's caricature of him on that show.

* Trump appointed Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, as the U.S. Ambassador to the UN.  Haley, is an ultra-right wing politico with no experience or expertise in foreign policy, the United Nations, or anything else of importance.

* Last, but far from least, is Trump's appointment of Jeff Sessions, the Alabama crackpot, as Attorney General.  Sessions was rejected some years back as a federal judge because of his racism.  He is a bigot extraordinaire and an out-and-out racist.

Enjoy your turkey if you can!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Waiting for the Apocalypse

This is you know
Not a time for
For fireworks
Explosions in the sky
Or dry Champagne
It is a time when
Winds of war
Hate and terror
Sweep across
Planet Earth
When compared to
Yesterday nothing
Is the same.

Ironically, crime is down
From Florida to Maine
And all the way to
That is if we believe
The media, the police and
The politicians
Not that they would ever
Lie except in an
Emergency or perhaps
If they had a growing need
To put more feathers
In their nest.

One might say
It all began
In the days of Reagan
When a B-grade actor
Became president and
Gave weapons
To our friend
bin Laden so
He could fight the Russians
In Afghanistan
And send them running back
To Russia thereby
Freeing up the land.

Then George the First
Called up the troops to
Fight Iraqis even
Though they'd been our friends
In their fight against Iran
But now he said
They're our enemies
And a danger to Kuwait
Bush owed the
Saudis big time so
He sent our troops to die
To save Kuwaiti oil.

But he left Iraq too soon
Before the job was done
Which left a lot to be desired
And old Hussein in place
Which George the Younger
Thought was bad
And made him
Very mad though it is said
That he was mad
From his youth
And seldom gave a thought
To reason or to
Common Sense.

So George the Younger
Went to war but sent
The young and bold and those
Who had no other options
To spill their blood again
So he could at last avenge
His daddy's dithering
Although he lied of course
About everything
Which wasn't strange at all
To those who knew him when.
Today Iraq's a hole in hell
The Middle East aflame
It might have happened anyway
But Bush is much to blame
For thousands lost their
Homes and lives
Many went insane.

And in the good ol' USA
Instead of going to jail
Bush is given accolades
A "fare thee well" and "Hail"
Sadly too
George left a mess
A country deep in debt
His tax cuts made the rich
Even richer yet
And most folks struggling
To survive.

Then Obama came along
Couldn't catch a break
When he tried to do
The things he couldn't do
With a Congress full of fools
People jeered
Called him a Muslim
And a Marxist too
Republicans attacked
Fought him tooth and nail
While they left the country
To fester and to fail
So they could blame
The president
And set a precedent
Which would get them

But now we've got to deal
With Trump
That lying hairy burly lump
Who claims that can change
Our fate and somehow
Make our country great
But he's too little, too crazy
And way too late
To turn this thing around
There's just two minutes left
On the Doomsday Clock
Most folks don't really
Seem to care
Politicians run and hide
When asked what they have done
To stop the seething searing
Heat that's scorching
Mother Earth.

The Second Coming you should know
Is nothing but a myth
And Armageddon
Mere nonsense
But don't take that to mean
That we'll survive or
Make it through
The earth's Apocalypse!

New Amazon Prime Commercial 2016 – A Priest and Imam meet for a cup of tea.

The Story of the Theft of the 2016 Election

Here’s what we do now – a personal note
by Greg Palast

Being right never felt so horrid.
“This is the story of the theft of the 2016 election.
It’s a crime still in progress.”
So opens my film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
And on Election night I waited for the returns to make a fool of me.

Instead, the returns made the fool a President.

And so, my vacation’s cancelled.  My life’s cancelled; that is, a life of anything but sleuthing and exposing the details of the heist of our democracy.

What’s at stake?
No way around it, this is one frightening moment.

Decades of progress created with sweat and determination face destruction.  Within the next six months, we may see the Voting Rights Act repealed—and civil rights set back 50 years; the entirety of our environmental protection laws burnt in a coal pit; police cruelty made our urban policy; the Education Department closed to give billionaires a tax holiday; and a howling anti-Semite as White House Senior Counselor.

But the horror we face is countered by this one hard and hopeful fact:  Donald Trump did NOT win this election.

Trump not only lost the popular vote by millions — he did not legitimately win the swing states of the Electoral College.

Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Ohio:  every one was stolen through sophisticated, and sickeningly racist vote suppression tactics.

If you saw my report for Democracy Now! on election morning, it revealed that Ohio GOP officials turned off anti-hacking software on voting machines, forced Black voters to wait hours in line (while whites had no wait).

And, crucially, I confirmed that purged tens of thousands of minority voters on fake accusations they’d voted twice.  I first exposed this bogus double-voter blacklist called Crosscheck, in Rolling Stone. It’s the sick excrescence crafted by Kris Kobach, the Trump transition team's maven who also created the Muslim-tracker software he’s bringing to the Trump administration.

What can we do now?
I have been INUNDATED with requests for my factual reports and findings by media and, most important, the front-line activist groups preparing for the fierce fight to protect our votes.  Some examples:
  • Rev. William Barber of the NAACP filed a suit based in North Carolina,  hoping to overturn the Trump "victory" — and protect the tiny margin of the Democrat’s win of the Governor’s mansion.  The NAACP cites my discovery of "Crosscheck" — in which North Carolina removed upwards of 190,000 voters on false charges they voted twice.
    They now need my facts.
  • Congressmen Keith Ellison and Alcee Hastings of the Congressional Black Caucus, personally presented Attorney General Loretta Lynch with my investigative reports and demanded investigation — "and indictments."  That investigation must kick off immediately.
    They now need my facts.
  • The Asian-American civil rights group 18 Million Rising has gathered 50,000 signatures to push the Justice Department to investigate my evidence of a massive attack on the Asian-American vote.
    They now need my facts.
  • In Michigan, the ACLU is ready to take action on the purge scheme I uncovered, "Crosscheck," that wrongly gave the state to Trump. In Ohio, voting rights attorney Robert Fitrakis is going into court with evidence, much that I uncovered, of racist voting games — from 5-hour-long lines in Black precincts to shutting off ballot security measures on the voting machines.  
    The team need my facts.

I expect to be in Washington at the Justice Dept and meeting with civil rights groups in December before the Electoral College meets.

Information—plus film, video, investigative reports
And beyond the voluminous files and confidential documents my team has uncovered, we are deluged with requests for our film, videos, writings and more.

    And now we have US networks, even major comedy shows, asking for our material and, of course, new investigative findings.

Information and facts make a difference
With our investigative reports, with our hard and unassailable evidence, we can challenge the legitimacy of the Trump "election."  Most important, we must begin the difficult but necessary work of protecting and restoring voting rights.  The 2018 Election — and the threat of more stolen elections — is upon us.

What we need to keep going...  
Your extraordinary support and faith in our work funded my film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, which is now more relevant than ever and being seen by ever more audiences.

Now we need your financial support again to keep this fight going. We just did not budget for the GOP's in-your-face steal of the Congress and White House.  All our resources went into raising the alarm before the election. 

So, now, I have to re-hire the staff, hit the road again. Ohio, North Carolina, Washington DC and who knows where, retain attorneys—and retain our team of technicians from cameramen to outreach organizers.

Can this new work be done?
Is there any choice?

Honestly and personally, I was hoping for some rest and time off.

But a lifetime of your work and mine is now in the balance.

  • PLEASE, say, "Count me in to count the votes" by supporting the 2016 Stolen Election Investigation for a donation of any size no matter how small or large

  • Be listed as a producer ($1,000) or co-producer ($500) in the credits of the broadcast version of the updated, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy:  THE THEFT OF 2016

  • Stay informed and get a signed DVD of my film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, a signed copy of the book with the same title or better still - get the Book & DVD combo.
  And does an angel have the $8K needed for our Washington work and filming?  If so, flap your wings.

I can't thank you enough for all the years of support. Alas... our work is not done.

Greg Palast

and the Palast Investigations Team


Greg Palast (Rolling Stone, Guardian, BBC) is the author of The New York Times bestsellers, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, now out as major motion non-fiction movie.

Support The Palast Investigative Fund and keep our work alive.

Download the FREE Movie Comic Book.

Rent or buy the film from Amazon or Vimeo.

Or support the The Palast Investigative Fund (a project of The Sustainable Markets Foundation) by shopping with Amazon Smile.
AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your purchases to the Palast Fund and you get a tax-deduction! 
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Copyright © 2016 Greg Palast, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this Newsletter because you are a subscriber.

Our mailing address:

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Memo: Palast Fund

Greg Palast
3357 Cahuenga Blvd W, #13
Los AngelesCA 90068

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Evangelicals and Evil

The word, evangel, comes from the Greek euangelion, which means "good news."  In the Christian New Testament it refers to the gospel of Jesus Christ which is supposed to be "good news" to the world.

Evangelicals, therefore, are bearers of this Good News.  It applies to all those who claim the title, Christian.  However, some years back it was co-opted by "conservative" Christians who stressed the infalibility of the Bible and certain doctrines which they cherry-picked to suit their inclinations. For example, they chose John 3:16 to be their rallying cry:  people must be "born again" in order to get into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Conservative Christians thus distanced themselves from more traditional Christianity by giving this verse extraordinary power in their theological tradition.  All persons who have not had a "conversion" experience and been born again are suspect and not "real" Christians.

They also co-opted the term, evangelical.  Because, unlike other traditional Christian groups, they stressed the need to convert everyone and ensure everyone has a born-again experience, they decided that they, alone, were the true evangelicals bringing good news to the world.

And that's why people like Billy Graham and other hucksters travel around the world holding huge rallies designed to do only one thing - convert people to "evangelical" Christianity.

Somewhere along the way, evangelicals became puffed up with pride believing that they alone were doing God's work.  As they became more numerous, they began to force their beliefs on other people.  The more power they had, the more successful they were.

Years ago, I confronted a public middle school principal in Texas about his insistence on reading the Bible during the morning announcements.  When I suggested this was illegal and unconstitutional, he proudly stood his ground as an evangelical Christian and told me to "jump in the lake" or something similar.

I've thought for some time that the good news brought by evangelicals wasn't very good at all.  It was totalitarian, disdainful of other people, and quite often disregarded the rights of non-evangelicals.

According to the latest statistics, 81% of evangelicals in this country voted for da Trampf.  In other words, a huge majority of people who identify as conservative Christians, true Christians, voted for a thrice-married sexual predator, a con man and grifter who is a pathological liar, a man with no government experience, a man with an ego the size of Russia, a man with strong ties to Russia's leaders, a man whose word cannot be trusted, a man who lives his life to make enormous sums of money but gives away very little, a man who is, in every respect, the antithesis of what a Christian should be and who stands firmly opposed to the teachings of Jesus.

Evangelicals today are not bearers of good news; they are the epitome of bad news.  We can understand the 81% voting for da Trampf when we realize they operate and believe the same things da Trampf does.  They are hateful and dismissive of people different from themselves. They are wrapped up in fear of homosexuals, Muslims, liberals, blacks, latinos, and the way the world is moving which they perceive as the wrong direction.

Unfortunately, for Christianity, the evangelicals have despoiled the "evangelical" name and the Christian faith.  They have proven they are not "born again" but are self-serving political creatures who will sell out their Lord for a bigger piece of the pie or for the pie-in-the-sky promises of a fascist demagogue.

They remind me very much of the story in the Christian Bible, where Jesus' favorite disciple, Peter, denies knowing his Lord three times, because he was afraid.

Evangelicals today have lined up with Peter, not with Jesus.  Their shame is palpable and their recovery is doubtful.  Traitors are generally greeted by the words, "Go to hell!"

The Nazis Crawl Out From the Slime

The following is from a New York Times article by Joseph Goldstein; it is his report on an alt-right conference in Washington, D.C.

By the time Richard B. Spencer, the leading ideologue of the alt-right movement and the final speaker of the night, rose to address a gathering of his followers on Saturday, the crowd was restless.

In 11 hours of speeches and panel discussions in a federal building named after Ronald Reagan a few blocks from the White House, a succession of speakers had laid out a harsh vision for the future, but had denounced violence and said that Hispanic citizens and black Americans had nothing to fear. Earlier in the day, Mr. Spencer himself had urged the group to start acting less like an underground organization and more like the establishment.

But now his tone changed as he began to tell the audience of more than 200 people, mostly young men, what they had been waiting to hear. He railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun,” a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were “awakening to their own identity.”

As he finished, several audience members had their arms outstretched in a Nazi salute. When Mr. Spencer, or perhaps another person standing near him at the front of the room — it was not clear who — shouted, “Heil the people! Heil victory,” the room shouted it back.

Please read the entire article HERE.  Then weep.  

It is time, I think, for our corporate media to call a spade a spade.  It is time to give up the term, "White Nationalists," which may be correct, but is lacking in its essence.  Let's call these scum what they are, Nazis!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

No Admission of Guilt

Da Trampf has settled the lawsuit against his Trump University.  You may remember what that was all about - it seems people who paid thousands of dollars to learn something about real estate, etc., from "professors" chosen by da Tramp himself, were defrauded.

Da Trampf did not choose the teachers.  In fact, the whole thing was a massive fraud.

Now Da Trampf, being non-elected prezident by white folks, decided it would not look too good for someone of his perspicacity (that means "Acuteness of perception) to be shown to be a fraud in court.  He proved that on the campaign trail, but things have changed and he's busy filling his administration with Nazis and racists and over-the-top bigots, and ignorant non-scientists.

Thus, Da Trampf decided to cut his losses and settle for a mere $25 mil.  With no admission of guilt.

OK, stop laughing.  It is funny, though.

He must have been very afraid because we know Da Trampf doesn't take lightly to people calling him a fraud.  He gets up in the middle of the night to twit away on twitter to castigate people who suggest that his hair is made up of squirrel tails.  Today he whined that the cast of "Hamilton" harassed his VP choice, the patsy named Pence, by asking Pence to ensure just treatment for all people. Whine, whine, whine.  Not very presidential in the least.

But for Da Trampf to give away $25 mil ... well, that settlement is, in itself, an admission of guilt!

I can see him in my mind's eye:  He's sitting in his silk PJ's in his bedroom in the Trump Tower in the dark.  He's fidgeting and shaking and gets up to pace the floor.

"What am I gonna do?" he asks himself.  "They're going to find out that I am, indeed, a fraud and I might get impeached and I haven't even been inaugurated! I've got to settle, but with no admission of guilt.  That will fool people so they won't think I'm at fault.  I've been fooling them for years so no problem."

Unfortunately, Da Trampf is probably right.  The fact that he is, indeed, guilty of fraud will make no difference to his supporters.  Hell, they'll probably cheer him just as they cheered him for gaming the system so he had to pay no taxes.

Which brings up a final question/comment:  When is Da Trampf gonna show his tax returns?

My guess, never.  Those tax returns would prove without doubt he is a Yuge fraud!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Billboard Ad in Montenegro

Is this real or Photoshopped?  Don't know.  It's from  The link is HERE.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Welcome to the World of da Trumpf

This ought to tear your heart apart.  Spotted in downtown Tampa, it's a fitting reminder of what Donald Trump has brought to light.  The kind of people behind this have always been around, of course, but like the cockroaches they are, they usually hid from sight because they knew the United States stood for something far different.  In fact, pre-Trump, this would probably be considered a hate crime. Though we have a long way to go, we have taken major steps toward becoming an inclusive and just country even as racism has continued to pervade certain areas with its stench.

You might have seen something like this back in the 60s in the south but it would be highly unlikely in recent years.

The damage Trump has done in his campaign is monstrous.  He gave the crazies and the haters "permission" to unleash their insanity and hate upon the nation.

It's not going to get any better if the past few days are an indication.  The comparison of Trump's presidency with Hitler gets stronger every minute.  He has appointed a white supremacist (Nazi) as his senior advisor and among other things he intends to "register" all Muslims in this country. The German Nazis, similarly, in the 30s "registered" all Jews in that country which turned out to be a prelude to the Holocaust.

Hopefully, there are enough decent people left in the U.S. to fight Trump and his minions, to stand for what is true and right, to continue the struggle to ensure all of our citizens equal treatment, equal rights, equal respect, irrespective of their race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, religion or any other "thing" that people use to discriminate.

Note:  The photo above is from Stogie's fine blog which you can check out HERE.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Our "Prezident," First Lady, & Other Ladies

Don't these photos make you proud of our country?  Don't you get so choked up inside you just want to cry?  Don't you want to throw up?

[Note:  Photos from]

Monday, November 14, 2016

There is no god!

It is true that Donald Trump was elected, in large part, by Christian "evangelicals" who claim they were motivated by their concern that the United States should be a Christian nation.

Evilgelicals (a much more appropriate term) believe that we need their god's blessing as a nation in order to prosper.  Thus, they ignore the fact that over the past 8 years, Mr. Obama has brought us back from the brink of another serious depression, has wound down some of our war-mongering, has taken steps to halt the destruction of our environment and global warming, has shrunk our national debt substantially, has helped to ensure that the rights of LBGT persons are respected, has helped to authorize a health-care bill which, while not perfect, has provided insurance for 20 million Americans, and that overall Obama has helped the United States reach a higher level of prosperity.

But the evilgelicals don't care about any of that.  There are two issues of importance for them: abortion (which includes contraception), and homosexuality.  Obama, they believe, is anti-god because he supports a woman's right to choose as well as the right of all Americans to buy and use contraceptives, and he actually wants to protect the rights of LBGT people.

In a previous article, I argued that no Christian could have voted for Donald Trump.  It would be impossible for that to happen because Mr. Trump is diametrically opposed to all of the teachings of Jesus.  So, all those people who call themselves Christians and voted for Trump are not Christians at all, but merely hypocrites and will, in the end, face the full wrath of the biblical god!

The evilgelicals, however, ignore that argument.  Somehow, because of Trump's current position on abortion and LBGT issues (a position that may change at any moment), he was god's choice for the presidency.

Now, this approach has born another, related, stream of thinking.  Rob Boston, in an article at Talk To Action, notes that a number of evilgelical leaders are proposing the notion that god actually got off his heavenly throne and intervened in the election to ensure Trump's success.

They're not too sure how he pulled it off, though...

One group called The American Pastor's Network claimed there is "No Other Explanation - God Worked a Miracle..."

The American Family Association, (designated a hate group by those who know) published an article by Michael Brown, which said, in part, "I believe Trump has been elected president by divine intervention."

We can't forget the Southern Baptist evilgelicals.  Richard Land, a high-placed poobah with the SBC, had a slightly different tack.  God is really pissed at America, but Trump's election "headed off divine judgment."

Let's consider a couple of theological items.  Christians consider their god to be all about truth, justice and mercy, and that he or she (most evilgelicals are adamant that their god is a HE) is omnipotent (all-powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing).

If that is true, then god knew beforehand that Trump would be elected and thus wouldn't have had to intervene.  So, it wasn't god's intervention that got Trump elected but god's non-intervention

(Or, of course, if god is omnipotent, he/she could have simply switched all the votes for Clinton in the ballot boxes with one little zap from a nearby cloud.  Not too hard for an all-powerful deity!  And what a great ploy!)

But we still are left with the problem of god's concern for truth, justice and mercy.  Why wouldn't god intervene to ensure Trump was NOT elected?  That would make more sense because Trump is a pathological liar, who has no taste for either justice or mercy.  Trump is a narcissistic businessman who cares only about financial profit for himself.

If god was real and truly about truth and all that other stuff, then surely it would behoove him (or her) to intervene and make damn sure Trump got nowhere near the White House (where, it turns out, he doesn't want to live anyhow ... evidently he needs his own bed and comforter ... both of which are located in New York).

But god did not do that and now we're stuck with this damnable demagogue, this fascist, would-be dictator, this goof-ball who doesn't have a clue what to do next so he hires some of the worst actors on the American political scene to help him try to figure things out.

Ergo, there is no god.

America Has Fallen!

A chilling encounter with a German student left me shaking...

As a part-time Boston Uber/Lyft driver, conversing with the many international students filling our many colleges and universities can sometimes proved quite the eye-opener. But no encounter has ever left me as shaken as my Saturday ride with a German student coming home from a goodbye party. His parents came to the painful and hard decision some grandparents did not make 80 some years ago. He departs for home on Monday, without finishing his semester because fear is spreading across Germany.
I was honestly and sincerely just stunned speechless to hear that his parents screamed at them, "the unthinkable has happened and America has fallen, you need to get OUT NOW before it's too late."
Not will fall.
Not is falling.

Please read the entire article at Daily Kos HERE.

100,000 March to Protest Trump in Los Angeles

One Hundred Thousand people got off their duffs and marched the streets of Los Angeles to show how the feel about the fascist Trump.

Read the article and watch the video at Daily Kos HERE.