Welcome Greg Palast investigative journalist, author, (GregPalast.com), and Host Diane Wilson, author, environmentalist and activist (Code Pink)

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions. Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores

To be frank with you, I was rather surprised when Bev at FireDogLake asked me to be the host for Greg Palast’s latest book, Vultures Picnic; In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores. There were lots of reasons why. First, I am not that savvy on the computer and my son had to put in a new hard drive to just get it working; then second, although I had heard of Greg Palast and knew he was one of the good guys, I hadn’t read any of his books. So why was I picked to host? I could think of at least a hundred other writer/activists a lot better than me. Then I read his book.

Oh ho, I read his book. Let me tell you, I am not a newbie in this corporate malfeasance business by a long shot. I’ve been jailed for civil disobedience fifty times, sunk my own shrimp boat on top of an illegal toxic discharge into the Gulf of Mexico, scaled chemical towers, and barged into two Senate hearings on the Deepwater Horizon to: 1) do a citizens arrest of Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, and 2) pour a half gallon of oil on myself. So I thought I had heard and seen it all—up close and personal. Nothing could surprise me. Wrong wrong. I was just seeing my little snapshot of heartache (particular to shrimpers from the Gulf Coast) but Greg Palast’s book gave me the front row seat in the motion picture version of “The 1%” featuring yours truly, BP.

The Vulture’s Picnic is a hefty book, almost 400 pages and I read it start to finish in two days. It was like nothing I had ever read. I have an injured workers group consisting of tossed out, sick, disposable workers from the oil and chemical industry on the Texas Gulf Coast and often they show up at my front door carrying documents and a gun. It’s a scary business telling tales. But Greg Palast’s book is like the president of the corporation settling into my couch and spilling his guts. And sitting next to his shiny boot is a briefcase of confidential documents.

Palast takes us on a fast paced, kick ass narrative that globe trots from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, to the coast of Alaska, to New Orleans, to Liberia, to Azerbaijan, to Fukushima, Japan. It’s the real-deal investigative reporting of corporate irresponsibility. As Greg Palast said himself in an interview,” This book is a story of the 1%. It’s why we occupy.”

If you have ever despaired that justice can always be perverted by those with the fortunes to buy whatever they want, even governments, then read this book. Palast may not deliver justice (unless you believe that recording truth serves justice and in this book, there is that) but at the least this book will fill your belly with fire for the long fight into the night.

165 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcome Greg Palast, Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores”

BevW January 22nd, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Greg, Diane, Welcome back to the Lake.

Diane, Thank you for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

RevBev January 22nd, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Not sure who is here…What was the most surprising thing you learned about the BP spill? Including what was the most significant cover up?

dakine01 January 22nd, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Good afternoon Greg and Diane and welcome back to FDL this afternoon.

Greg I assume you saw the Op-ed from the Keystone Pipeline Inspector a couple of weeks ago.

Have you seen the trial balloon floated by TransCanada to “just” build from within the US?

Any thoughts on that and the moves by Republicans to pass legislation forcing it to be built?

Seems to be a combo of corporate and political irresponsibility there

dakine01 January 22nd, 2012 at 2:00 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 3
Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Greg Palast here. BTW, you can get the films that go with the book (a two-minute video for each chapter) at VulturesPicnic.org.

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Hi Greg and everyone! first, Greg: why the hell do you do what you do?

BevW January 22nd, 2012 at 2:04 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 5

Website – Vulture’s Picnic

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:05 pm

If you read my new post at FDL (mirrored at http://www.gregpalast.com/), “The PIG in the XL Pipeline,” there’s even bigger problems with the Pipeline they’re using threats to cover up: the main piece of safety equipment’s software has been jacked with.

ThingsComeUndone January 22nd, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Oil is toxic at 11 ppm while Corexit 9500 is toxic at only 2.61 ppm; Corexit 9500 is four times as toxic as the oil itself.

http://www.protecttheocean.com/gulf-oil-spill-bp/

Any word on how toxic gulf fish are also Taco Bell is offering Shrimp tacos now lots of places have specials on shrimp they all swear its not gulf shrimp but I don’t trust them. Has there been any independent testing of Gulf fish?

SouthernDragon January 22nd, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Greetings Diane and Greg. If I weren’t already a big Palast fan (saw you in Tampa for WMNF on a book tour) the intro would make me want to really find out who this dude is.

Haven’t read the book yet but the interviews I’ve heard Greg do on it are mind blowers unto themselves.

BevW January 22nd, 2012 at 2:07 pm

As a technical note,
there is a “Reply” button in the lower right hand of each comment. Pressing the “Reply” will pre-fill the commenter name and number you are replying to and helps for everyone in following the conversation.

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Diane,
I do what I do because I grew up at the ass end of LA (just blocks from that scene in Pulp Fiction where they dump the body) and I decided that since I can’t gun down all the rich pricks that put me there, and kids like me, at least, as a reporter, I could expose them.

Phoenix Woman January 22nd, 2012 at 2:07 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 4

If they want to get it across the border, they need to submit it to review. They can’t “bypass” it, they can only delay it. But that fact’s placed three paragraphs in the story:

TransCanada’s $7 billion Keystone XL proposal to bring crude from Canada’s oil sands to the Gulf was rejected yesterday by the Obama administration. The project required U.S. approval because it crossed the border with Canada. The company may seek that approval after it builds the segment from Montana to the Gulf, Pourbaix said.

The whole point of getting into the US was to get the sludge to Houston and to the supertankers waiting to take it to Europe and China once it was refined. But this is all predicated on oil prices staying above $90 a barrel, which won’t happen if we have another worldwide economic meltdown. Europe, thanks to austerity measures, is hurtling back towards the abyss, and China’s efforts to pop its real estate bubble is slamming the brakes on its economy as well.

The Keystone XL’s profitability window is closing even as we speak.

David January 22nd, 2012 at 2:08 pm

As crazy as it sounds, Mr. Palast, your book has been giving me a reflexive desire to go back towards journalism…if only it could be this insane and rewarding for all journalists. We need the truth, crazy as it is.

I couldn’t get away with some of this stuff in my fiction…!

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I work with fishermen and activist community groups on the gulf coast and they are having to resort to doing their own testing. One just happen several weeks ago.

Phoenix Woman January 22nd, 2012 at 2:09 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 12

Nice to have you here, Greg!

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Here’s the real question on why the push for the XL Pipeline…
We need residual heating oil in the New England, a bit in the Northwest … why the hell a pipeline slashing down our entire nation, across our biggest aquifer, to send oil … TO TEXAS?

January 22nd, 2012 at 2:10 pm

((drummerboy))
Greetings and Welcome to this Salon.
The people here welcome the truth.
So, keep tapping that drum, and we’ll all do what we can.
Fedoras, live on!

joebinns3 January 22nd, 2012 at 2:10 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 5

you kick butt

David January 22nd, 2012 at 2:10 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 17

Because there’s profit in that thar crap oil, to be made by refining and *exporting* it (so much for US “energy independence.”)

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 2:11 pm

hey Greg, which revelation in your book is getting you the most heat?

hpschd January 22nd, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Greg,

I read “Vulture’s Picnic” a few weeks ago. I was surprised that I could still be amazed, shocked, disgusted, revolted, sickened, etc, by the machinations of those monsters.

“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.”
John Maynard Keynes

Thank you for your work and your excellence (and a really great read – a real horror story)

David January 22nd, 2012 at 2:12 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 17

In the end it’s all about power, and money (in that order because the 1% and the true power brokers have enough money for what they want to do, so it’s now down to jockeying to rule.)

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Phoenix Woman is correct about the oil going to Europe, not to the US for “energy independence” as Romney says. (Hey Mitt, Canada is not a suburb of Seattle).
Here’s the untold story: It’s going to Texas because the Houston Ship Channel refineries are designed almost exclusively for very heavy oil ONLY … which comes from Venezuela. The program is to replace (or at least threaten) to replace oil from Hugo Chavez. Exxon is at war with Chavez at the International Commercial Court because he took back Venezuela’s oil for Venezuela’s people.

January 22nd, 2012 at 2:13 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 17

Because they want more, don’t they?
What is the new bone that has caught your attention?
The research for Vultures sounds kind of scary.
Can you tell us the moment in which investigation that you have felt the most personally threatened?

AitchD January 22nd, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Hi, welcome, & thanks, heroes Greg and Diane,

BP may pay up to $25 billion in oil spill settlement

http://www.insidecounsel.com/2012/01/19/bp-may-pay-up-to-25-billion-in-oil-spill-settlemen

Is this good news? It’s the BP settlement with DOJ.

Phoenix Woman January 22nd, 2012 at 2:14 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 17

Because Houston has supertanker-capable ports that ship to Europe and the Far East, and the only way to ship this expensively-produced sludge (it costs nearly $40 a barrel to extract!) and still turn a profit even at $90 a barrel is by supertanker.

That’s why this stuff isn’t going out via BC ports — even if the First Nations people would allow a pipeline to be cut through thousands of miles of boreal forest, no BC port is capable of handling supertankers. Regular tankers, yes; supertankers, no.

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:14 pm

David,
Yes, the book, as Bobby Kennedy calls it, is “pulp non-fiction.” And you’re right, no novelist could get away with it. It’s too damn weird.

ThingsComeUndone January 22nd, 2012 at 2:15 pm

With the PIG calibrated to the danger sensitivity required by law, oil and gas companies would have to dig up, inspect and replace pipe at a cost of millions per mile. That’s not what the oil companies wanted from their contractor that designed the PIG program.

The programmers’ bosses took no chances. “We had to sign nondisclosure agreements.” They were required to conceal “any problems of this sort or the nature of the software we worked.” It could not “be made public at all. Under threat of lawsuit.” Nice.

http://www.gregpalast.com/the-pig-in-the-xl-pipelineinsider-reveals-concealed-“error”in-pipeline-safety-equipment-that-could-blow-away-the-gop’s-xl-pipe-dream/

The oil companies would rather let oil leak than fix the cracks in the pipe pigman finds? Can we get somebody to independently check pigman?
Did Obama cancel the pipeline at least for now because of this problem or are other factors also involved?

joebinns3 January 22nd, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Greg-I’m only half way through Vultures so forgive me but I just read the part about Katrina and wetland erosion and was wondering if you had any encounters with the Houma Indian Nation? Those folks really got the short end of the stick.

ThingsComeUndone January 22nd, 2012 at 2:15 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 15

Could you please share the results of those tests and are those results online?

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 2:16 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 24

Have you heard anything about railways being used to transport the oil down from Canada to the Gulf Coast refineries now that Chavez is weaning the US?

jo6pac January 22nd, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Yes please share if you can.

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:17 pm

What was most scary in the investigations?
1. When I was under arrest in Azerbaijan, the “Islamic Republic of BP.” It’s only funny later. I had that camera hidden inside a pen and it would have been deeply unpleasant if they caught me.

2. When my investigator Ms. Badpenny hit me with the right hook and dragged me to the top of the stone stairs. I was sure she was going to throw me down and break my neck.

Tammany Tiger January 22nd, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I really enjoyed your last book, Armed Madhouse, and passed my copy along to a friend, who also enjoyed it.

I’m curious about your disbelief in “peak oil.” It seems to contradict the fact that world supply of oil is finite, demand is increasing, and that we’re going to more and more remote places to find it. Are there vast reserves of oil somewhere that no one wants us to know about?

BevW January 22nd, 2012 at 2:19 pm

As a technical note -
there is a “Reply” button in the lower right hand of each comment. Pressing the “Reply” will pre-fill the commenter name and number you are replying to and helps for everyone in following the conversation.

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Yes, I did have some contact in the Gulf with the Houma Indians hit by BP’s oil in the Gulf. The Chugach Natives in Alaska shot down there (2 days), experts in clean-up after Exxon Valdez … and arrived a hell of a lot faster than the US Navy (5 days) and BP (??? days).

January 22nd, 2012 at 2:19 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 34

Well, thank Gawd for Ms. BadPenny!
Worse than being arrested in Brazil, was it Brazil, sorry?

greenwarrior January 22nd, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I love you, Greg. And I love that you’re doing what you do – and doing it so well. I’m deep in Chapter 3 of the book in Etok’s sovereign nation. Thanks for the tip that there are videos on your website to go with each chapter.

David January 22nd, 2012 at 2:21 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 34

Ms. Badpenny sounds like both of my ex-wives. Sock to the jaw either for my own good, or because they were pissed at me, the latter usually because I was doing something shit-headed.

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Some of those tests are online, especially regarding testing of the workers that were diving and doing cleanup. They are doing more of communities worse hit by the sludge. Wilma Subra, a great hero in these parts, is doing the analysis. And yes, i will make sure those results are posted so folks can see. at the moment they are on websites of environmental groups in louisiana.

realitychecker January 22nd, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Greg, I just could not pass up the chance to say that you have been a major hero to me for many years now. Bless you and the fabulous work you do. The truth may not set us free, but at least it will bring us closer to a successful, necessary revolution. ;-)

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:22 pm

As to the revelations of “Pig Man.” His info on the dangers of pipelines in the US was independently verified by two other insiders. More to the point: my British TV network confronted BP with the info. They denied nothing (not about the pipeline dangers, not about bribery, not about the cover-up of the oil platform blow-out in the Caspian Sea). We got blather, but not direct denial.

They know.

Unfortunately, they don’t know in the Obama Administration … this information was all over prime time TV … in Europe where I report. In the USA, nada. The networks XL Pipeline ad bucks taped to their eyes.

Phoenix Woman January 22nd, 2012 at 2:22 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 24

A-yep. Gotta shake the fist at the Commie, they do! But they gotta strike while the iron’s hot, as oil prices worldwide are about to tumble along with demand.

The austerity madness (driven by the Germans, who are strangling their own economy to make a more than slightly racism-tinged attack on the Greeks and Italians and Spaniards et al) is sending Europe down the tubes, and China’s economy is being propped up by its real-estate bubble, which China is in the midst of popping to prevent a worse catastrophe down the road.

US gas consumption dropped drastically when the 2008 crash hit, and while it’s started to creep upwards, the increasing numbers of hybrid and electric vehicles on the roads means that we’ve only got back to 2004 demand levels — and that may level off or crash again soon should the US follow the world economy back down into the crapper.

Zach Roberts January 22nd, 2012 at 2:23 pm
In response to David @ 40

This is Zach, one of Greg’s producers – Heh, she’s not that bad… and Greg deserved it, as he explains in Vultures Picnic…

ThingsComeUndone January 22nd, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I thought Hugo through CITGO owned those heavy oil refineries. Does Exxon perhaps want to seize those refineries as leverage to get Venezuelan oil?

The proven oil reserves in Venezuela are claimed to be the largest in the world, according to an announcement in early 2011 by President Hugo Chavez and the Venezuelan government. The reported proven reserves reach 297 billion barrels (4.72×1010 m3), surpassing that of the previous long-term world leader, Saudi Arabia.[1] OPEC said that Saudi Arabia’s reserves stood at 265 billion barrels (4.21×1010 m3) in 2009.[

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves_in_Venezuela

Thats heavy oil and needs special oil refineries like the refineries CITGO has in America.

greenwarrior January 22nd, 2012 at 2:24 pm

My guess is that Obama wants to try and make the environmentalists happy this side of the election. After the election will be a whole ‘nother story.

David January 22nd, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Greg — one of my honest-to-god fantasies is you doing some investigating here in Arizona (land of the crazy rightwingers; I think this is their spawning ground.) I just quail to think of what sort of virulent horrors you’d find. On the other hand, you might have the entertainment of having to wear pink jail clothing in Arpaio’s Tent City Jail….

Scarecrow January 22nd, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Greg and Diane — welcome. A questin about the PIG — have you ever gotten a reaction from US regulators about why they don’t take charge of setting the screening criteria for the pipe safety checks?

BevW January 22nd, 2012 at 2:25 pm
In response to Zach Roberts @ 45

Zach, Welcome back to FDL.

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Hate to tell you this, and no surprise, but i work with an injured workers group in texas and they are from the oil and chemical industry on the gulf coast and this is a common problem. i get lots of workers who talk about the nonexisting wields on all those tanks you see out there. Chlorine, vinyl chloride. its bad

Phoenix Woman January 22nd, 2012 at 2:25 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 43

Indeed. One of the favored laments around these parts is “funny how we have to go to a foreign source to find about some very important thing happening in America”.

joebinns3 January 22nd, 2012 at 2:26 pm
In response to David @ 40

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo reminded me of the Palast/Badpenny combo.

Zach Roberts January 22nd, 2012 at 2:27 pm
In response to David @ 48

David – check out the link here – back in 08 we spent some time in Sheriff Joe’s prison –

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Glad you brought up “austerity” in Europe brought on by the euro crisis.
The Euro is a weapon and Europe is a crime scene as I explain in Chapter 12.
The Euro did not fail – not at all. It did what it was supposed to do. I knew the “inventor” of the euro (Robert Mundell) who also invented Reaganomics.
The purpose of the euro was to do exactly what it’s doing: end the european welfare state; smash unions, force mass privatizations and have a currency and central bank more powerful than voters.

January 22nd, 2012 at 2:28 pm
In response to joebinns3 @ 53

Greg knew that author….
It’s on his website somewhere if you want to take a gander.

David January 22nd, 2012 at 2:28 pm
In response to Zach Roberts @ 45

Well, to be honest, in at least one case, so did I.

Scarecrow January 22nd, 2012 at 2:29 pm

It was depressing to read about PBS and Frontline coverage or coverup of the BP Gulf disaster — the whole meme that this was just BP’s “culture,” not the entire industry framework failing. Is there anything happening since to suggest anyone in the US regulatory system or current administration is catching on? Fighting this?

David January 22nd, 2012 at 2:29 pm
In response to Zach Roberts @ 54

Oh, cool, hadn’t realized you guys had done that.

January 22nd, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Palast -
Who don’t you know, heh, heh?

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:30 pm

David,
Your fantasy of my investigating in Arizona … I’ve already done it, haven’t reported it yet. I was at the Tent City prison. The real issue there is wholesale elections theft. I’ll be writing about that.

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Citgo in Corpus Christi got hit big big time by the EPA and state enviro agencies and the lawyer involved said it was all because it was Hugo’s. Otherwise, our little polluters keep on ticking..

Zach Roberts January 22nd, 2012 at 2:31 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 62

Finally found the original story we did for Truthout –

jo6pac January 22nd, 2012 at 2:31 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 63

Wasn’t Hugo trying to sell that plant?

January 22nd, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Shutting up now. Thank you for being here. And, there.
Keep the faith.

ThingsComeUndone January 22nd, 2012 at 2:32 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 63

Hugo is allied with Iran I wonder if hassling Hugo sends a message to Iran?

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 2:34 pm
In response to Scarecrow @ 49

I can tell you my experience of fighting chemical and oil industry for twenty years on the gulf coast is that NOBODY is interested in hearing complaints. NOBODY. I’ve talked to criminal invesigators from the EPA and they said if they’re going to waste time on a long report it will be on DEAD workers. like in an explosion. they wouldnt waste their time on safety issues.

hpschd January 22nd, 2012 at 2:34 pm

There are thousands of supertankers and container ships using the nastiest, dirtiest diesel fuel. They are the worst polluting vehicles on the planet. Many countries have required that the ships switch over to lighter, cleaner fuel inside the 250 mile international waters line.

Is this actually enforced or even enforceable?

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Diane, As to poisoning Gulf clean-up workers … yes, on my investigation for Chapter 4, I watched a line of Black men with kitty-litter popper-scoopers on broom handles (I kid you not) picking up hardened, toxic crude while wearing T-shirts and sneakers. I wanted to vomit: you shouldn’t get NEAR that shit without a complete haz-mat suit. When I was with the Natives in Alaska seven YEARs after the Exxon spill, they continue the clean-up in head-to-toe protection.
I asked the workers if they’d been tested or offered tests for toxins. No way.
The white supervisors drinking Cokes in their tents were mostly concerned that the workers didn’t too deep and expose the oil under the sand.

ThingsComeUndone January 22nd, 2012 at 2:35 pm

China is moving forward with plans to construct a refinery that will process the heavy Venezuelan crude that, until now, has largely been sent to specialized refineries in the United States that are designed to handle it. In 2008 Venezuela exported 120 kbd of oil to China (out of a total of 1.89 mbd, of which the USA imported 1.19 mbd).

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7342

Is America just bluffing while they can before China gets a heavy oil refinery?

Scarecrow January 22nd, 2012 at 2:38 pm

With every chapter we get another set of horror stories about the degree of corruption, so we have to ask, is there an edge between civilization and the corruption you find, where the battle is being fought?. E.g., how far away from La and Miss politics do you have to get before you begin to find honest government? Or does that place not/ no longer exist?

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Diane,this is sorta in your backyard…did you know thatCarlyle Group was trying to get a master lease on the port of Galveston,last year. The deal fell through when their Chinese partent-Hutchison Whampoa-pulled out at last minute.

In that SAME time fram, Carlyle was investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Chinese built Panamanian tankers . These are some of the world’s largest and deepest draft vessels..and Panama is the hive where all the bees are buzzin’ now.

Greg,any thoughts on Pananma and it’s role in replacing US ports?

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:39 pm

response to question: What revelation in book gave me most heat?
Romney’s number one donor, the billionaire uber-Vulture Paul Singer, had his goons call my bosses at BBC Television in London and say, “We have a file on Greg Palast.” They want to smear me and destroy my work – it keeps it out of the USA. They are threatening to sue under British law which is worse than Saudi libel law.
Well, f-’m.
Romney’s Vulture has made his money off the blood of asbestos victims and the poorest people on the planet, the Congolese. That’s the grease in Romney’s wheels.

AitchD January 22nd, 2012 at 2:39 pm

(C&P from my @26 above)

Hi, welcome, & thanks, heroes Greg and Diane,

BP may pay up to $25 billion in oil spill settlement

http://www.insidecounsel.com/2012/01/19/bp-may-pay-up-to-25-billion-in-oil-spill-settlemen

Is this good news? It’s the BP settlement with DOJ.

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 2:41 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 70

yep and i think you commented in your book about wearing masks. The shrimpers who were hired to do cleanup on the oil spill were told they would be fired if they wore masks while skimming that oil sludge. So they didnt wear them because all the gulf was closed down to shrimping. Only way to bring in a dollar.

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Answer to Scarecrow’s question: how far away from La (Louisiana) and Miss politics do you have to get before you begin to find honest government?
About 6,000 miles to Ecuador. President Correa has cojones the size of grapefruits. He’s told the IMF, Occidental Petroleum, Chevron and Bush to jam it. One of the most impressive men I’ve ever met. (Though I’m sure he’ll go rotten too. They always do. Never make a politician your hero.)

Zach Roberts January 22nd, 2012 at 2:44 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 77

The scariest thing about the lack of the cleaners wearing masks to me is the long term effects of corexit, or as they call it in Alaska – hidezit.

greenwarrior January 22nd, 2012 at 2:45 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 78

Greg,
To answer anyone’s question, just hit the Reply button in the lower right hand corner of their comment. That’ll make it easy for everyone to follow what’s a reply to what.

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:46 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 78

Answer to AitchDee note that “BP may pay up to $25 billion in oil spill settlement”

No way. Not a chance. BP won’t end up paying more than half the $20 billion fund Obama set up. That’s because BP and Obama’s back-room deal included using Ken Feinberg, “Mr. Fairness,” as the Settlement God. As I explain in Chapter 11, I know Ken well. As the great public interest lawyer Victor Yannacone said of Ken, “I used to think that Ken was a lying sack of shit – but that was his GOOD side.”

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 2:46 pm
In response to AitchD @ 76

its pretty much across the board that the communities and activists groups supporting them are requesting that the fees paid by BP go into a Gulf Restoration Plan and that there is a committee of local folks overseeing. it remains to be seen if this will happen. The head of the epa sent down by Obama to talk with the communities about restoration told an executive director of a major environmental group that he had told (by BP?) that the fishermen were nothing but lazy people looking for a hand out.

econobuzz January 22nd, 2012 at 2:47 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 78

Though I’m sure he’ll go rotten too. They always do. Never make a politician your hero.

x2

Scarecrow January 22nd, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Greg — have you been surprised by the Gingrich attack on Romney-Capitalism — followed by the party funders telling him to knock it off!! because the media were starting to ask about the looting claims. How do you interpret that strange opening of that can of worms? Does that story have legs?

AitchD January 22nd, 2012 at 2:49 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 82

Thanks, though I’m not sure the DOJ lawyers in the BP suit care what the EPA says or thinks. :)

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 2:50 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 74

Here’s a couple of links to flesh out some background on my upthread comment @#74.

Yet More Proof Big Business Is Unamerican | emptywhe

http://www.emptywheel.net/…/yet-more-proof-big-business-isnt-american-...
Aug 1, 2011 – The group will invest up to $5 billion to buy dozens of containerships and tankers in … Carlyle Group Debuts New DIFC Funds Regime – LCG … NOTE: It would be well to note that the operator of the Panama Port is Hutchison …

Bill would let private investors set dock rates

galvestondailynews.com/story/218410

Mar 17, 2011 – Port attorneys fearing a decades-old court ruling could cause a … increased container traffic expected when expansion of the Panama Canal is complete in 2014. … The Carlyle Group has keen interest in investing in ports.

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Chavez’ alliance with Iran. I know Chavez pretty well and he doesn’t care about Iran more than a can of spam. It’s about the oil and the power split in OPEC. Venezuela needs Iran’s vote to keep the Saudi’s from opening the spigots and letting the price of oil drop to $20 a barrel as they did in 1998 to blow out the oil market. At $20, the Saudi’s live off their bank reserves while Venezuela goes bust and can’t sell heavy crude (costing $30/barrel to pull up). When something seems puzzling, just assume: it’s the oil.

juliania January 22nd, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Wow, the two of you together, what a fantastic team! Great introductory essay, Diane. And Greg, you opened my (and those of many here) eyes to my alma mater’s rightwingedness when they churlishly cancelled your scheduled appearance at the last minute years back – can’t wait to read Vultures Picnic, sounds par for your mighty stellar course so far.

A question: the intro mentions attention to Fukushima in the book – in light of attention paid to that unfolding disaster here (as well as insidious Frontline report on the marvels of nuclear energy, do you think the latter is dead in the water as far as this country is concerned? I would sure hope so. And do you think those nuclear fires in Japan are as ‘out’ as they are saying?

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:53 pm
In response to Scarecrow @ 84

Newt’s attack on Romney’s Bain vulture capitalism …it’s pretty mild stuff. But Bain money doesn’t fund Romney nor the GOP. The big funder as I mentioned, is Singer – and ALL the GOP candidates are zipped-lip about that guy because they’ll count on the uber-Vulture to fund them for the general.

AitchD January 22nd, 2012 at 2:54 pm
In response to juliania @ 88

Great introductory essay, Diane.

X2

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 2:54 pm

hey Greg, how do you have the resolve to carry on? I know lots of activists and they are so disheartened and scared.

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 2:56 pm
In response to AitchD @ 90

thanks, it was easy given Greg Palast’s subject and his kick butt style of writing!

AitchD January 22nd, 2012 at 2:57 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 87

[removed by author]

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 2:57 pm
In response to juliania @ 88

ON nukes: the big danger is the “greening” of nuclear power. It’s not green to the folks in Niger where uranium is mined. Conditions would make King Solomon cry. As I note in the Fukushima chapter, plant builders Stone & Webster knew their designs would “completely and utterly fail in an earthquake” (their engineer’s notebook, 1986). It’s simply too crazy expensive to build a safe plant, too much loot to be made in lying. Motive and opportunity and radiation are a bad combination.

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 2:59 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 75

The grease in Romney’s wheels…Mormoney.

Diane, I remember your last Salon here…and Greg, you have been the voice in the wilderness for a long while now.

May I ask how you both keep your edge in fighting the endless battle against those who would treat us as “mushrooms” i.e.,(keep em in the dark and feed em s–t!)?

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 3:01 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 91

How do I carry on without getting disheartened?
I don’t. I sometimes curl up in a ball screaming at the shit-ugly world to go away and die, just leave me and my hat.
I have a Pulitzer Prize in Dispair.
But what the hell else am I going to do? You’ll see in the book that I meet a Native chief in the Amazon whose son died leukemia from Chevron’s oil toxins … another went swimming in a watering hole with unseen contaminants … came up vomiting blood and died on the spot. What am I supposed to do? Quit? I am OBLIGATED to tell these stories because the victims can’t.

pdmikk January 22nd, 2012 at 3:03 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 94

Thanks for taking the time to come to fdl.
Have you investigated the nuclear waste repository industry?
Is there hope for safe deposition of the waste we already have?
Where does France’s waste go? Africa?

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 3:03 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 95

Well, i stay edgy because some of what Greg wrote about is happening right in my home town. our fishing town is over 100 years old and 12 years ago we had 120 shrimp boats, now we have two and all of the shrimp fish houses have been bulldozed. makes me sick and makes me mad.

marymccurnin January 22nd, 2012 at 3:04 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 70

I was in Grand Isle watching the clean up and saw the same thing. Reminded me of the chain gangs I saw as a child.

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 3:06 pm
In response to pdmikk @ 97

Yes, I’ve been looking at nuke waste disposal. There’s a scene in the book in a dirt-poor Black township in Louisiana that was offered a nuclear waste site by British Nuclear Fuels. The township had no running water nor electricity but the town matriarch organized against the site telling BNF, “If it’s such a wonderful thing, why’d you come all the way over from Europe to give it to us poor Black folk over here? Why didn’t you keep it for yourself?”

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 3:08 pm

hey Greg, can you expound on why Coca Cola has all those white can save the polar bear?

greenwarrior January 22nd, 2012 at 3:08 pm
In response to pdmikk @ 97

We have Waste Disposal Specialists here in Texas and a little bit over the state line into New Mexico. At a slide show intro they did the other day that I was invited to they said the waste can’t pollute the Ogallala Aquifer because there was a hill on the surface of the land between their facility and the Aquifer.

Um, and the water that moves underground in the aquifer and under the facility?

On edit: Sorry, that’s Waste CONTROL Specialists

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 3:09 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 98

How odd that the Occupy movement has not made its way to the Gulf Coast refineries.

greenwarrior January 22nd, 2012 at 3:10 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 102

What could possibly go wrong?

juliania January 22nd, 2012 at 3:11 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 94

Nor to the Navajos. Thanks.

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 3:11 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 102

No doubt the Corps of Engineers has given it’s seal of approval,already. (Snark!)

pdmikk January 22nd, 2012 at 3:11 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 100

Ha! It sounds like shades of Yucca Mountain… at least, everywhere people understand the issues of half-life and earthquakes and floods.
Which is why I wonder about what’s been and is being dumped in Saharan Africa…

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 3:11 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 102

ha, those specialists must be the same guys who say a 10,000 lbs of hydrochloric acid wont burn your kid’s lungs because it wont go beyond industry’s fence

Zach Roberts January 22nd, 2012 at 3:12 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 102

Well the Palast team was under a FBI investigation due to us filming NEARBY a refinery – so I’m not sure that it would be a great idea for the Occupy movement… – http://www.gregpalast.com/18-missing-inches-in-new-orleans/

marymccurnin January 22nd, 2012 at 3:12 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 103

I guess they can’t be everywhere. Plus, they would be in much greater danger. Given the power the BP was allowed during the murderous spill can you imagine what they would have done to protesters?

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 3:13 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 82

BP exec’s comment that Gulf fishermen are lazy and looking for a hand-out.
That’s the great corporate line: the victim’s are scamming it. It’s what Romney’s big funder Singer used to make his first billion. He bought a bankrupt asbestos company which had agreed to pay all it’s profits to its dying workers. Singer mounted a “tort reform” campaign and a series of attacks claiming that 90% of asbestos victims were faking it. Asbestosis is a nasty way to die: your lungs turn to mush and you slowly drown in yourself. The dying workers took 20 cents on the dollar because they had no choice.
And the Settlement Master in that case? Why, Mr. Fairness, Ken Feinberg, on top of the Gulf fund.

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 3:13 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 103

oh it has. we have an Occupy the Machine and the machine to occupy is……..?????? Developing as we speak

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 3:14 pm
In response to Zach Roberts @ 109

Well I suspect much of the Occupy movement is already under observation,don’t you?

Certainly would garner some press buzz,though,wouldn’t it?

greenwarrior January 22nd, 2012 at 3:16 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 106

Most importantly, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has given it their love stamp. (The name does not mean they care a rat’s ass about the environment. On the contrary. Their previous name’s acronym used to be called TrainWreck by environmentalists.)

The facility is built and ready to start accepting waste. I’m sorry to say.

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 3:17 pm
In response to marymccurnin @ 110

There ARE protests in the Gulf areas including toxic sites; it’s just not covered in the US media. Part of the genius of the Occupy locations is that it’s right in the face of the 1%, below their office windows. The other protests are there, but invisible. BTW: after I broadcast one of the stories about finance Vultures hitting the Congo on Democracy Now, a group of Congolese began a series of demonstrations in front of the Vultures home (the multi-millionaire put his office at his home address, the schmuck). Note: it was covered in The Guardian in Britain. In the US, nothing.

greenwarrior January 22nd, 2012 at 3:17 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 108

I just knew you’d recognize them!

Zach Roberts January 22nd, 2012 at 3:18 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 113

Absolutely no doubt it is under watch – just worry for the safety of the protestors – I was actually detained for an hour by exxon mobil security on a separate incident in New Orleans…

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 3:19 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 111

The title of your book reminded me of a saying I had read some time ago:

“Vultures are the fattest where the carrion is most plentiful.”

BTW, I just recently learned that Ben Franklin did not want the American Eagle as our emblem because he said it was a vulture ,and of ignoble character. Smart fella, that Benny.

SouthernDragon January 22nd, 2012 at 3:21 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 118

Franklin wanted it to be the wild turkey. Hunter S Thompson would have approved.

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 3:23 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 115

I am relatively new to the Internet,compared to most here,and I am completely gobsmacked at how very little news is actually on the news programs.

I learn more from BBC, Guardian and der Spiegel about the US than I do from US media.

greenwarrior January 22nd, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Greg, have you started your next book? Do you know what it’ll be about?

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 3:23 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 101

Why does Coke have polar bears on its cans?
I was suspicious … the Coke site says that when you buy a can and donate a buck, they’ll match it … for a polar bear sanctuary. But polar bears HAVE a sanctuary: the polar ice. I flew to the arctic for the book and the Eskimo leader Etok was telling me they were tagging polar bears to move them …because they’re on top of oil that Shell wants.
I didn’t believe him until I read a statement by the Nature Conservancy that , “we can and we should consider actively moving species” in the way of development! The Coke money will go to … the Nature Conservancy. Oil company rent-a-greens.
Nothing new under the sun.

Zach Roberts January 22nd, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Having wild turkey’s running around outside my window right now (I’m in Upstate NY) I’m not sure I could agree with Hunter or Ben on that one… of course with the amount of drugs Hunter was usually on…

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Make it Wild Turkey 101 and I will concur!*G*

Mod Note: please return to the topic of the book

Teddy Partridge January 22nd, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Were Paul Singer’s efforts on behalf of same-sex marriage in New York last year — iirc, he told GOPs he would fund them if they crossed over to vote YES on equal marriage rights — his attempt to inoculate himself from the kind of progressive criticism his record, as you demonstrate, clearly deserves?

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 3:27 pm

One of my biggest beefs, and being a woman shrimper in a mostly male profession it is no surprise, is how women are treated. I am almost always supportive about women breaking through barriers, but i drew the line with sarah palin. ive got a wonderful woman publisher, Margo Baldwin, that cranks out my books at Chelsea Green and i’d support her staying there even if i didnt draw a dime. It’s important to have very real role models for women instead of that cat walk tv aspires to.

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 3:29 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 68

I always wonder about the insurance angles involving issues such as these-refinieries, enviro polluters.

Do you or Greg have any info on who underwrites the insurance on these refineries?

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 3:29 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 122

I don’t start books – books start ME. First, I’m not done with Vultures Picnic … I am continuing to add material to the “File Cabinet” at http://www.VulturesPicnic.org which we’ll be making public soon. Get the follow-up on each chapter.

Second, we’re working on a comic book version of Vultures Picnic – by the guy now doing the Batman series – the genius of graphic books, Derek Robertson.

Third, I’m obligated to jump back into the elections theft story. They’re stealing 2012. It’s not about re-electing Obama, it’s about preventing our elections from imitating Iran’s. The story is really about race: they have to stop the Hispanic vote surge. Did you know that in swing state Colorado fully 1 in ten votes has been purged from the rolls?

I can’t let that do unreported.

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 3:30 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 123

oh i know Nature Conservancy, I barged into one of their big shindigs giving the new head of Dow Chemical a big prize and i barged in with the survivors of Bhopal, the city of the world’s worst killing of people by corporations.

greenwarrior January 22nd, 2012 at 3:34 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 129

thanks for the update info for vulture’s picnic.

and a BIG THANKS for going to work on elections theft. it’s been and still is a huge problem here. there’s purging the rolls and then there’s hacking the results. and then there’s broken down scant voting machines in minority districts, etc. well, you know.

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 3:34 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 130

And Faux Snooze’s Greta von Susteran’s husband was the first corporate litigator there. Bhopal Al, I think they called him.

Greg, do you address in your book the role of Fox and the Murdoch machine regarding these issues ?

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 3:35 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 128

Well, I cant speak to the insurance companies on refineries but i can speak to the insurance companies of chemical plants. I found out one insurance company was suing Alcoa Aluminum because Alcoa was responsible for the biggest mercury underwater superfund site in the USA and alcoa was trying to get the insurance company to pay the fines and the insurance company said no way, you knew exactly what you were doing. So there was a big trial, but it was up in seattle washington and nobody around here (Texas) knew about it but me because i talked with the investigator, somebody like Greg here.

hpschd January 22nd, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Greg at #75

Canada is an exporter of asbestos, from one of the deadliest mines. Former Harper minister, Charles Strahl, is suffering from “incurable lung cancer – mesothelioma – believed to be triggered by breathing asbestos when he was younger.

Yet he supports the mine and the export of asbestos. “He said it’s not fair to deny a Canadian enterprise export markets for a product that’s in demand elsewhere.” Mostly India where it is often handled by unprotected workers.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/canada-labeled-immoral-asbestos-pusher-as-harper-visits-quebec-mining-town/article1999035/

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Sharp eye, Teddy! Yes, the NY Times has had several glowing profiles of Singer as the compassionate conservative who funded the same-sex marriage lobbying, guaranteeing unlimited funds to Republicans who voted for it. Progressives should not applaud Singer for purchasing the NY State Legislature.

He also bought some other laws that went unreported that lined his pocket with undeserved millions – way more than he’ll donate for gay marriage.
And Singer, an ultra-right ideologue billionaire who heads the Manhattan Institute, only went progressive on the gay marriage issue because his son wanted to marry a man. In other words, it was an exercise in big-money lobbying for a personal privilege.
“The last temptation is the greatest treason/ to do the right thing for the wrong reason.” – TS Eliot

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 3:40 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 133

Now see, that’s the kind of thing I’m talkin’ about. WHen the big dogs go after each other,you don’t here it referred to as a frivolous suit,like if it was Joe Six Pak…and those depositions could be a goldmine for a reporter ….and future litigation.

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 3:40 pm
In response to hpschd @ 134

Asbestos is made in death factories. Vulture capitalists are thrilled that in the current world workers will beg for jobs that will kill them.

SpiderJerusalem January 22nd, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Any chance of a status update on the comic book advertised at the end of Vulture’s Picnic?

Margot January 22nd, 2012 at 3:43 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 129

I’ve heard it called EZ Voting. If your name ends in EZ, you’re off the voting rolls.

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 3:44 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 132

No, I DON’T go after Fox and Murdoch. They’re too easy a target. I am far more worried about Petroleum Broadcast System and National Petroleum Radio – because their endorsement of their sponsors’ evils (See Chapter 5), whether BP or Chevron or Archer Daniels Monopoly is far more insidious than anything Fox can do.

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 3:44 pm
In response to Margot @ 139

Can I steal that line?

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 3:47 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 136

Well I did manage to get most of those files before the court slammed them shut. Some of those documents were quite interesting. One document stated that by Alcoa’s own estimate they ‘lost’ over 1,200,000 pounds of mercury. Losing 100 lbs of mercury into the air per day from ONE source. And that superfund is in Lavaca Bay, Texas and guess who shrimped on top of it? Vietnamese shrimpers. NObody but nobody did a health study.

juliania January 22nd, 2012 at 3:47 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 129

Yes, I would think you must wake up every day to a new unfolding of this feast. Do you have the sense that any of this, blatant as it has become, is sowing the seeds of its own destruction?

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 3:49 pm

The comic book of Vultures Picnic. I intend to unleash the brilliant pen of Robertson as soon as we can sit down and go over the selection of stories. I see from your moniker that you’re a fan of his Transmetropolitan, also about an investigative reporter. That’s what intrigued me … but I insist, and Derek is happy, with the idea that this will be completely non-fiction, every frame the truth. That’s a challenge for him, because I’m a very UN-super hero.

Diane Wilson January 22nd, 2012 at 3:51 pm

hey Greg, what do you think is the solution to our problem with corporations? Work inside the box or outside the box ?

Zach Roberts January 22nd, 2012 at 3:52 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 144

Our first comic still can be downloaded for free at StealBackYourVote.org

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 3:52 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 140

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to remark on Cerebus-a literal,penultimate bloodsucking high finance carnivore. Wonder if you mention them:

Cerberus Capital: Literally Blood-Sucking the Poor to Make Their …

http://www.alternet.org/…/cerberus_capital%3A_literally_blood-sucking_th...

Jan 9, 2010 – How one company made $1.8 billion by paying peanuts to human plasma donors , and then manipulated the market by restricting supply to the …John Snow..

Mystery Company Buying Up US Gun Manufacturers

readersupportednews.org/…/8736-mystery-company-buying-up-us-g…
Dec 4, 2011 – From its headquarters in Manhattan, Cerberus has assembled a …. Very interesting read: Cerberus Capital: Literally Blood-Sucking the Poor to …

BevW January 22nd, 2012 at 3:54 pm

As we come to the end of this lively Book Salon discussion,

Greg, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book and the Vultures out there.

Diane, Thank you very much for Hosting this great Book Salon.

Everyone, if you would like more information:

Greg’s website and books

Diane’s website and books

Thanks all, Have a great weekend.

If you want to contact the FDL Book Salon: FiredoglakeBookSalon@gmail.com

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 3:55 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 125

With due respect to the mod … Wild Turkeys (both 101 proof and the feathered ones running around outside Zach’s window) are part of the book – or how I have decided to write books from now on. We are a all a bag of confused and conflicted thoughts, urges and distractions. That’s why I included my own stories of bottles, babes and my own professional and personal chaos in the book. I decided not to edit nor censor out the life as I live it.

juliania January 22nd, 2012 at 3:55 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 140

Oh, bravo!

bgrothus January 22nd, 2012 at 3:57 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 149

Hola from NM, Greg, sorry I missed the book fun today.

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 3:57 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 142

I was wondering if they were sealed. These are the filings that need to be made public-on a regular basis.

For all the bad press that lawyers get, they do a helluva lot of good,too,sometimes.

(A lawyer is like a husband or a watchdog,you don’t particularly want one, but they come in damn handy when you need em.)

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 3:57 pm
In response to Diane Wilson @ 145

Work within corporations or outside them? I think it’s difficult to say you won’t sell your soul to Mammon – but rent it out 8 hours a day. Once you put on the corporate mask, it’s difficult to see out the narrow eye-holes.

bgrothus January 22nd, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Oh, snap, hola to Zach, too! Have been enjoying your photos! Keep the faith.

Zach Roberts January 22nd, 2012 at 3:59 pm

If you haven’t liked our facebook page already please do – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Greg-Palast/87777747127 About once a month we run some sort of give-a-way (books dvd’s etc…) and of course we have some lively discussions on Greg’s stories…

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 3:59 pm
In response to bgrothus @ 151

New Mexico? I’ll be returning there for my elections investigation. Another swing state in which votes are stolen wholesale – by Democrats. (All politics is local and Dems block voters to win primary fights. The GOP reaps the reward when the Prez votes are counted – or NOT counted.) Keep me informed of what you see there. Go to GregPalast.com/contact Greg

greenwarrior January 22nd, 2012 at 4:00 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 149

Excellent! It makes for a much more human story. In closing, you’re one of the few who can write about hideous subjects in a way that’s entertaining. I very much appreciate it.

bgrothus January 22nd, 2012 at 4:01 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 156

I mentioned to MAD that you would be here today, but I think she is not into the online dialog.

Greg Palast January 22nd, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Bye all. See you at VulturesPicnic.org
And giant thanks to Diane and FDL. I could camp there forever.

Gitcheegumee January 22nd, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Thanks to all for an informative,entertaining and inspiring interlude… most especially to Diane and Greg…and ofcourse as always,Bev.

Zach Roberts January 22nd, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Thanks everyone! And thanks bgrothus for the help with the White House e-mails back in 2007 (assuming you’re the same…bgrothus ;)

GlenJo January 22nd, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Thank you, Diane and Greg!

Margot January 22nd, 2012 at 5:35 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 141

Greg, I got that line from Susan DuQuesnay Bankston, she’s a very funny writer from Texas. I had to go look up her blog: http://juanitajean.com/

johnnysaynever January 22nd, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Late to the party but thanks for this. Good discussion.

darms January 22nd, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Greg & Diane, thanx for doing this and I know I’m too late but Greg, love your work & how your preliminary sources check out but you never seem to be able to produce the definitive ‘smoking gun’ documents in any of your cases although you always promise them. Any late comments?

Sorry but the comments are closed on this post