Archive for Greg Palast

Peace & Palast

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Nicole Sandler


What a difference a day makes!

The protests last night in Ferguson, MO were of a much different tone - because the police that were present actually joined with the people of the community, marching with them, listening to them.

In the photo above, the uniformed man marching next to a woman carrying a sign is Captain Ron Johnson, the head of the Missouri State Troopers, now charged with heading up the law enforcement effort in Ferguson. The day began with more of what the people were asking for: the name of the officer who shot Michael Brown: Darren Wilson.

Apparently Officer Wilson has been with the department for six years, with no disciplinary record. Unfortunately, the other thing they did at the presser in which Wilson's name was divulged was to blame the victim.

Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson then distributed a 19-page incident report about a "strong arm robbery" that happened moments before Brown was killed, in which Brown is alleged to have stolen some cigars from a convenience store.

Ferguson Incident Report

The report was accompanied by this page of still photos from the convenience store surveillance video, identifying someone alleged to be Michael Brown, as tweeted by Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly

Even if Michael Brown did commit a robbery, that's no justification for a police officer to shoot him dead.

Stay tuned... and let's hope the calm holds tonight...

Today on the show

It's always great to hear from Greg Palast, but especially great to hear him so fired up not long after he had quadruple bypass surgery!

As he's been doing for a while now, he's got his sites set on Paul "the vulture" singer, a truly evil hedge fund billionaire/crook who brought down the nation of Argentina!  Follow the link and read the story, and listen to our conversation on today's show. Learn more by reading Greg's New York Times bestsellers Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and the must-read story about Singer's criminal activities that reads like a crime novel, Vultures’ Picnic.

Flashback Friday

We end each week with a blast from my music radio past. Today, we ventured back to June 19, 2000 for a session with Shivaree, a great band fronted by Ambrosia Parsley- years before she sang the news on Air America Radio's Unfiltered with Rachel Maddow and Lizz Winstead.

And from July 20, 1999, my conversation with -and performance by Chrissie Hynde and Adam Seymour of Pretenders.

And with that, it's the weekend. We'll be back Monday with Howie Klein and another installment of The Steve Israel Hour, sponsored by Little Debbie. Plus Nicole Belle returns to talk about the end of the David Gregory era at Meet The Press.

Keep the peace... radio or not!

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VIDEO: United Auto Workers, 6 more organizations file ethics complaint against Mitt Romney

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In a previous post, "UAW Charges Romney With Profiteering From Auto Bailout," Greg Palast's report that Romney secretly made millions, and his biggest donors billions, off the taxpayer funded auto bailout got some attention.

Palast had written about how Mitt and “Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment.” And the UAW and others listened.

Bob King, President of the United Automobile Workers pointed out that Mitt Romney was busy writing op-eds opposing the Detroit auto rescue, but was even busier making money with his Delphi investor group “off the misfortunes of others.”

In the video below, you'll hear King's first hand account of how the UAW and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) “have filed a formal complaint with the US Office of Government Ethics in Washington stating that Gov. Romney improperly hid a profit of $15.3 million to $115.0 million in Ann Romney’s so-called ‘blind’ trust.”

Here is Ed Schultz interviewing him on last night's "The Ed Show":

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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UAW Charges Romney With Profiteering From Auto Bailout

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Greg Palast previously reported that Romney secretly made millions, and his biggest donors billions, off the taxpayer funded auto bailout. He wrote about how Mitt and “Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment.”

As Bob King, President of the United Automobile Workers pointed out, Mitt Romney was busy writing op-eds opposing the Detroit auto rescue, but was even busier making money with his Delphi investor group "off the misfortunes of others."

Greg Palast now has a follow-up at Truthout:

[Mitt Romney] has just learned that tomorrow afternoon (November 1) he will be charged by the United Automobile Workers (UAW) and other public interest groups with violating the federal ethics in government law by improperly concealing his multi-million dollar windfall from the auto industry bailout.

King said that the UAW and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) "have filed a formal complaint with the US Office of Government Ethics in Washington stating that Gov. Romney improperly hid a profit of $15.3 million to $115.0 million in Ann Romney's so-called 'blind' trust."

The UAW complaint calls for Romney to reveal exactly how much he made off Delphi -- and continues to make.  The Singer syndicate, once in control of Delphi, eliminated every single UAW job --25,000-- and moved almost all auto parts production to Mexico and China where Delphi now employs 25,000 auto parts workers.

More details here.

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Romney secretly made millions, and his biggest donors billions, off taxpayer funded auto bailout

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Bain Capital photo via Boston.com

One of my favorite investigative reporters is Greg Palast. He's got a new piece up at The Nation that is a must-read. For that matter, let's hope the so-called mainstream (corporate) media reads it and blows this story up (or maybe we'll have to do that for them), because it could make a difference in the election.

It turns out that the father of the angry young man who fantasizes about slugging our president made a whole lot of money off the the very auto bailout that he objected to (remember the November 2008 New York Timesop-ed, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”?):

In fact, as Greg writes, Mitt and "Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment."

Please read the whole thing, but in the meantime:

One of the hedge funds profiting from that bailout—
$1.28 billion so far—is Elliott Management, directed by 
Paul Singer. According to The Wall Street Journal, Singer has given more to support GOP candidates—$2.3 million—than anyone else on Wall Street this election season. [...]

One of President Obama’s first acts in office, in February 2009, was to form the Auto Task Force with the goal of saving GM, Chrysler, their suppliers and, most important, auto industry jobs. Crucial to the plan was saving Delphi [Delphi Automotive, a former General Motors subsidiary whose auto parts remain essential to GM’s production lines], which then employed more than 25,000 union workers.

Obama hired Steven Rattner, himself a millionaire hedge fund manager, to head the task force that would negotiate with the troubled firms and their creditors to avoid the collapse of the entire industry. In Rattner’s memoir of the affair, Overhaul, he describes a closed-door meeting held in March 2009 to resolve Delphi’s fate. He writes that Delphi, now in the possession of its hedge fund creditors, told the Treasury and GM to hand over $350 million immediately, “because if you don’t, we’ll shut you down.” His explanation was corroborated by Delphi’s chief financial officer, John Sheehan, who said in a sworn deposition in July 2009 that the hedge fund debt holders backed up their threat with “an analysis of the cost to GM if Delphi were unwilling or unable to provide supply to GM,” forcing a “shutdown.” It would take “years and tens of billions” for GM to replace Delphi’s parts. At that bleak moment, GM had neither. The automaker had left the inventory of its steering column and other key components in Delphi’s hands. If Delphi laid siege to GM’s parts supply, the bailout would fail and GM would have to be liquidated or sold off—as would another Delphi dependent, Chrysler.

Rattner could not believe that Delphi’s management—now effectively under the hedge funders’ control—would “want to be perceived as holding GM hostage at such a precarious economic moment.” One Wall Street Journal analyst suggested that Singer was treating Delphi “like a third world country.” Rattner likened the subsidies demanded by Delphi’s debt holders to “extortion demands by the Barbary pirates.” [...]

In their 2011 and 2012 Federal Financial Disclosure filing, Ann Romney’s trust lists “more than $1 million” invested with Elliott. This is the description for all of her big investments—the minimal disclosure required by law. (Had Romney kept the holding in his own name, he would have had to reveal if his investment with Singer had made more than $50 million.) [...]

To invest in Elliott is essentially a “Delphi play”: that is, investing with Singer means buying a piece of the auto bailout.

Please share this one with everyone you know.

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How Bain Capital helped BP blow up the Deepwater Horizon

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Today's Quickie comes from Greg Palast, a wonderful investigative reporter:

A Book Review by Greg Palast, for FireDogLake.com
on Poisoned Legacy: the Human Cost of BP's Rise to Power (St. Martin's Press) by Mike Magner.

Here's my bead on Magner's book....

I almost fell off the barstool when I read that it was Bain Capital (Mitt Romney, former CEO), that told oil giant BP it was a good idea to cut costs. The cuts would lead to death, mayhem and the destruction of the Gulf Coast (not to mention BP’s poisoning of Alaska, Africa, Central Asia and Colombia).

Please read more here.

All our BP posts are here (scroll).

That was today's Quickie. Was it good for you?

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Arizona Immigration Law: A GOP Game to Swipe the November Election

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By GottaLaff

In my previous post, I made the point that the recent outbursts of racism were all about voter intimidation.

Greg Palast agrees, but he says it way better than I did:


What moved GOP Governor Jan Brewer to sign the Soviet-style show-me-your-papers law is the exploding number of legal Hispanics, US citizens all, who are daring to vote -- and daring to vote Democratic by more than two-to-one. Unless this demographic locomotive is halted, Arizona Republicans know their party will soon be electoral toast. Or, if you like, tortillas.

This is not unlike the Republican attitude toward unions.

Hey Greg Palast, tell us something we do not know about Jan Brewer:

Brewer, then Secretary of State, had organized a racially loaded purge of the voter rolls that would have made Katherine Harris blush. Beginning after the 2004 election, under Brewer's command, no less than 100,000 voters, overwhelming Hispanics, were blocked from registering to vote. In 2005, the first year of the Great Brown-Out, one in three Phoenix residents found their registration applications rejected. [...]

Did she turn over even one name to the feds for prosecution?

No, not one.

After over 100 complaints, and a 2 year investigation, the prosecutor, David Iglesias, couldn't find one voter fraud case. Of course, Karl Rove saw to it that he was fired.

But what’s wrong with requiring folks to prove they’re American if the want to vote and live in America? The answer: because the vast majority of perfectly legal voters and residents who lack ID sufficient for Ms. Brewer and Mr. Pearce are citizens of color, citizens of poverty.

According to a study by prof. Matt Barreto, of Washington State University, minority citizens are half as likely as whites to have the government ID. The numbers are dreadfully worse when income is factored in.

Leave it to Palast.

Please go read his entire piece here.

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