Welcome Greg Palast (GregPalast.com), Ted Rall (Rall/RallBlog.com) and Host Watertiger (Dependable Renegade)

Billionaires & Ballot Bandits:  How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps

Because Americans aren’t anxious enough forced to digest anemic monthly jobs numbers, an economy teetering on the precipice, the steady stream of illegal home foreclosures, a Democratic President poised to shiv Social Security and Medicare, and the country’s insidious metamorphosis into a security state, they also have to worry about something so basic as the right to vote. That’s because über-bully Karl Rove, not content to have put the Dauphin of Dumbfuckistan in the White House, decided that controlling the Executive Branch wasn’t enough. Like his Machiavellian comrade and patron, Charles Koch, he “want[ed] his fair share–and that’s all of it.” Hey, if that means depriving American citizens of their civil rights, well, so be it. There are always going to be winners and losers, amirite? Whaddya gonna do about it?

Enter Greg Palast. Let me rephrase: ENTER Greg Palast. Many of you may already be familiar with Palast’s investigative reports on everything from our decaying democracy to the looting of African economies that have appeared in The Guardian, the BBC, Rolling Stone, Harper’s and The Nation, among others. The author of New York Times bestsellers, he’s a muckraker of the best sort, nonpartisan and intrepid, digging for information while our lazy, turgid American media gets its information from PR flaks and cocktail weenie gossip.

Palast recognizes that the greatest threat to the survival of the American Experiment is the silencing of our collective voice. So he set out to follow the money behind the Koch-and-Rove Show’s organized effort to “shut it down”–if I may paraphrase Todd Akin [R-Ignorant Dipshit]. The result? Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps. With comics by the irrepressible Ted Rall, Palast’s latest outlines precisely how these sociopaths (I know, I use that word a lot, but hey, shoes that fit…) have begun to dismantle the voting process and what we, the people, can do to repair the damage and take back our country from these arrogant plutocrats. And yes, it’s up to us, because we can’t rely on the bought-and-paid-for government to do it for us.

I wanted to note that these two pertinent stories hit the wires on Friday:

GOP efforts to purge the voter rolls in Florida and Colorado have so far come up with almost no noncitzens, NPR reports. The two states fought to gain access to an immigration database compiled by the Department of Homeland Security to compare against their voter rolls. Armed with this federal database, Florida claims the purge has identified “several” noncitizens out of 2,600 names, while Colorado admits they have “no confirmed noncitizens.”

And this:

After previously trying to restrict early voting, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) today reversed course on his decision to block county boards of elections from setting their own early voting hours in the days leading up to the November election.

It’s something, but we need more. Much, much more. And with that, I want to welcome Greg Palast and Ted Rall to Firedoglake’s Book Salon!

[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]

246 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes Greg Palast and Ted Rall, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps”

BevW September 9th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Greg, Ted, Welcome back to the Lake.

Watertiger, Welcome back, thank you for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

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Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 1:59 pm
In response to BevW @ 1

I’ve got my retriever under my feet. He’s not exactly a Fire Dog. More like a Snoozing Dog. That OK?

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Welcome, both of you!

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

You know, when Anne Romney talked about living in the basement apartment with Mitt and using an ironing board for a desk, all I could think was, “So, where’d you put the horse?” In the car
elevator, I suppose.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

And yes, the retriever counts, Greg.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Hi there, thanks for inviting me back.

Elliott September 9th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

watertiger – so lovely to see you here again.

Mr Rall – love love your work.

Mr Palast – What’s the first step toward restoration?

dakine01 September 9th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Good afternoon Greg, Ted, and WT and welcome back to FDL!

Greg and/or Ted, I have not had a chance to read your book but do have a question. How do you respond to those folks who state that voting is a waste of time given all the voter suppression efforts? Is it the suppressors just trying to make sure they “cover all the bases?”

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:02 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 4

LOL! I guess they’re getting some flak for her tall tales – she backpedaled on that story this morning on the bobblehead shows.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

According to my book, there’s 9 ways to steal this election. All without Vaseline. There is no mercy.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I’m actually quite happy that God is a Republican.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Okay, let’s get serious for a moment: Greg, first off, I want to thank you for getting a “Cantinflas” reference in a book about voting theft. Not everyone can pull that off.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:03 pm

You show that in 2008, 2,706,275 ballots were cast, but weren’t counted. That’s like telling the population of Chicago that their votes didn’t count. How much greater do you think the theft will be this time around?

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Thanks thanks thanks Eliott!

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Greg Proops sent me a text that Rachel Maddow says that Obama’s balls smell like raspberries. That’s the kind of comment that brings down the discourse of political commentary and makes me laugh until the milk comes out my news. How about you?

marymccurnin September 9th, 2012 at 2:06 pm
In response to watertiger @ 13

I wonder how many votes were stopped from being cast. Not just through voter ID bullcrap but by not enough machines in Democratic areas and police barricades (2000 election in Florida) and poorly written ballots.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:06 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 14

TEd just thanked a commenter. That’s pandering, Ted. Rise above it, man!

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, with Ted’s illustrations, really clarifies just how these corporate kleptocrats are stealing the country out from under us (fracking aside). I’ve asked Ted this, so now I’m asking you, Greg: How do we motivate people to get the hell out and demand their rights back?

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

It’s tough for cartoonists these days, Greg. We need friends.

Ruth Calvo September 9th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Thanks, Greg Palast and Ted Rall. I listened to Mr. Palast recently on the radio and was appalled at the way the Kochs made small change by stealing from low return pirate wells on tribal reservations, as you were telling us. That they declared ‘they just want their fair share’ of stolen profits was incredible, think the pups here would want to hear about that.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:09 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 17

He’s running for office, no doubt.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:09 pm
In response to watertiger @ 13

This election will be the ugliest since 1956. With Rove and his “DataTrust” machine (chapter 2) and the Kochs with their “Themis” data mine, the number of voters and ballots challenged and blocked should rise easily from 5.9 million in 2008 to 11+ million. That should make you sick to your stomach and your soul retch.

eCAHNomics September 9th, 2012 at 2:09 pm

It occurred to me recently that electing POTUS is too cheap. If it costs $6 billion in 2012, that would be 0.03% of GDP and 0.5% of [reported] corp profits. The RORs on campaign contributions are in the range of several hundred percent to thousands of percent.

I watched Craig Unger interview by Hartman recently, on Unger’s new book about Rove. Rove apparently just asks for billions (or whatever the magnitude of the ‘ask’ is) and promises he’ll get a good return on it.

What’s so brilliant about that? My Q is: what took some one so long to think of doing it? Rove just seems to have a somewhat above average command of the obvious.

Palast or Rall: Comments?

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:10 pm
In response to marymccurnin @ 16

It makes me want to punch out anybody wearing Brooks Brothers, that’s for sure.

GeorgeJohnston September 9th, 2012 at 2:10 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 4

If they had put the horse on top of the car…

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:10 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 20

Yes, Charles Koch, when asked why he was stealing $30 from some Osage Indian family, said on a secret tape recording, “I WANT MY FAIR SHARE….AND THAT’S ALL OF IT.”
=

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:12 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 23

Yes. Ken Langone, the billionaire behind the Florida purge of Black voters in 2000, said he looked at giving millions to Romney as as an “investment” not a donation. At least he’s upfront, the little shit.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Also, Mary, according to the book, 320K properly registered voters were turned away from the polls, because their IDs didn’t meet the requirements of arbitrary poll workers.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Indeed, it always amazes me how cheap our politicians are. They’re not call girls, they’re crack hos.

eCAHNomics September 9th, 2012 at 2:14 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 27

So we can expect the campaign donations to increase by orders of magnitude until the ROR=cost of capital?

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:15 pm
In response to marymccurnin @ 16

Votes lost through poorly written ballots is called “Spoilage.” One of the nine ways they steal the vote.” Give me a moment so I can look in the book. Here it is on page 17> 1,451,116 ballots “spoiled” in 2008.
But here’s the trick. the chance of ballot getting “spoiled” is 900% higher if you’re Black than if you’re white. Different machines, different ballots in those poor precincts. God bless America.

bluewombat September 9th, 2012 at 2:15 pm

These days, we hear a lot (at least those of us in Left Blogistan hear) about Republican-controlled states pretty much saying you can’t vote unless you drive up to the polling place in your chauffered Rolls-Royce.

But I haven’t heard much lately about the electronic, easy-to-manipulate voting machines made by Diebold (or whatever Diebold is calling itself these days) and a few other companies connected to the Republican Party, with their oh-so-secret proprietary software.

Bev Harris in Washington, David Dill at Stanford, some guy at Johns Hopkins whose name escapes me at the moment and (from a media point of view) Brad Friedman have done good work on this issue. Do you deal with this in your book? How much of a threat do we face in this election from voting machines which can be made, if you don’t mind the turn of phrase, to whistle Dixie?

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Greg, Ted, how do we convince people to register to vote? I mean, if their registration is going to be challenged, or completely disregarded…(I ask this for my mother, who, at 81, still sets up her card table outside the library and hounds people to sign up)

eCAHNomics September 9th, 2012 at 2:16 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 29

0.1%ers have bought every institution in the U.S.: Universities (Harvard’s endowment is only $25 billion [heh, down from $35 billion in 2007, thanks Larry Summers, heh heh]), every think tank, both political parties, green orgs, human rights orgs, etc.

September 9th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Greetings to Mr. Rall from Sylmar, CA. I still get a real kick out of the image of Generalissim El Busho. For that, you go to heaven.
Mr. Palast – always good to see you at the Lake. Kinda funny today, aren’t ya?
Thanks to you both for this book. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:18 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 30

Yes, this election will officially involve spending about $4 billion according to my partner Bobby Kennedy.
But I think it’s going higher because Citizens United allows foreign money into US campaigns for the first time (see chapter in Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, “Manchurian Candidates.”)
The $10 million supposedly from Sheldon Adelson is, Sen McCain pointed out, money indirectly from the Chinese Politiburo. They like Romney.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:20 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 36

“They like Romney” and his “Made in China” campaign buttons.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:20 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 34

so what’s new? the rich buy what they can’t screw. Nothing new under the sun. The 1% own Amnesty International and the Environmental Defense Council. So what? Do you just give us and play with yourself while looking up women’s skirts at the Museum of Modern Art? (Vito Aconci did that as a performance piece. Loved it.)

bluedot12 September 9th, 2012 at 2:20 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 36

Well then how can they complain if we send a few drones their way?

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Watertiger, if people want to vote, they shouldn’t let voter suppression stop them. Greg offers many specific suggestions about how to make sure their vote counts. On the broader side, just because a fight is a challenge isn’t a reason to throw up your hands and walk away.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:21 pm
In response to watertiger @ 37

One of my favorite illustrrations in Billionaires & Ballot Bandits is the Republican Party Flag pins with the “made in China” label on it.

marymccurnin September 9th, 2012 at 2:21 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 36

Chinese Politiburo

Holy Crap, that is scary and odd and totally believable.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Thanks, Demi. That was kind of an accidental thing that worked out well.

GeorgeJohnston September 9th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

In Washington State we’ve gone to vote by mail exclusively and it makes me nervous. Under the old system I was relatively certain the ballots got to the counting machine.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:22 pm
In response to demi @ 35

Hey, Demi, I grew up near Sylmar. Sun Valley=Pacoima, the ass end of LA. Fooled them: I got out alive.

Watt4Bob September 9th, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Greg, what do you know about Chuck Hagel?

I wish someone would write the story of Hagel, lobbyist, election machine CEO, won elections by landslide on machines supplied by his company, and in staunchly democratic districts.

Hagel ended up at odds with ‘W’ and didn’t seek re-election.

I get the feeling he got religion. or got disgusted with the system he helped put in place.

If only he would talk.

Have you got any insight into his interesting career?

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:23 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 40

Amen! I especially like the “Arrive with Five” idea. There’s power in numbers.

eCAHNomics September 9th, 2012 at 2:24 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 36

I’m predicting a Romney win. My metric is campaign contributions. He’s outdistancing Obama by increasing amounts each month.

I used $6 billion in my back-o-envelop calc bc it’s higher than others I’ve seen, to show that even that amount is puny.

Wonder what the figures are for other countries.

Oh, silly me. In other countries, Goldman Sucks just gets its alum appointed head of state or in charge of ECB. That doesn’t cost much at all.

bluedot12 September 9th, 2012 at 2:24 pm

So Obama is campaigning in front of the whole world? Someone should tell him. It’s the only decent thing to do.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:24 pm
In response to GeorgeJohnston @ 44

Yes, mail-in voting sucks big time. VERY important, then, to go to http://www.BallotBandits.org and get “the 7 WAYS TO BEAT THE BALLOT BANDITS.”
check out #2: re-register. Make sure your name is correct and sign your ballot EXACTLY as you registered. Don’t fuck this up.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:25 pm
In response to GeorgeJohnston @ 44

I want NY’s old clunky voting machines with the metal toggle thingies back.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:26 pm
In response to bluedot12 @ 49

It would be nice of victims of cholera in Africa could fund obama. Instead, it’s the Vulture who took the cholera medicine money, Paul Singer, who’s the most important donor the the Republican Party.

eCAHNomics September 9th, 2012 at 2:26 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 38

I’m straight, so I look for men who forgot to zip.

My point is that it’s gotten a lot worse and quickly and the purported lefties are still in the kumbaya singing phase.

One cannot counter the opposition until you understand it thoroughly.

September 9th, 2012 at 2:27 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 45

I know.

bluewombat September 9th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

* Clears throat and repeats question asked at 32 *

These days, we hear a lot (at least those of us in Left Blogistan hear) about Republican-controlled states pretty much saying you can’t vote unless you drive up to the polling place in your chauffered Rolls-Royce.

But I haven’t heard much lately about the electronic, easy-to-manipulate voting machines made by Diebold (or whatever Diebold is calling itself these days) and a few other companies connected to the Republican Party, with their oh-so-secret proprietary software.

Bev Harris in Washington, David Dill at Stanford, some guy at Johns Hopkins whose name escapes me at the moment and (from a media point of view) Brad Friedman have done good work on this issue. Do you deal with this in your book? How much of a threat do we face in this election from voting machines which can be made, if you don’t mind the turn of phrase, to whistle Dixie?

mafr September 9th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

why spend so much money, when there isn’t a “dime’s worth of difference” between the two parties?

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:28 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 53

From your lips to Obama’s ears.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I would encourage everyone to check out http://www.BallotBandits.org. Vital, vital information there.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:29 pm
In response to mafr @ 56

Greg, you should address this. From what I recall you saying, the Democrats are the party of old money, big banks, etc., and the GOP is the party of the barbarians at the gates, the hedge funds, etc. There’s a lot at stake, but it’s not about us. It’s like watching two monsters in one of those old Japanese movies.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:30 pm
In response to mafr @ 56

Don’t give me that shit, mafr.
There’s a HUGE difference. If you read Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, you’ll find that Obama is backed by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Citibank while Romney is backed by Ice Man Simmons, Paul The Vulture Singer and John The Snake Paulson. You need to know the difference because as I say at the end, “Every four years, we get to choice our nightmare.” Learn which ghoul is chewing which corpse. There really is a difference.

bluedot12 September 9th, 2012 at 2:30 pm
In response to mafr @ 56

Good question there. Indeed the parties are realtively close so why do the Kochs spend so much money on electing their guy?

eCAHNomics September 9th, 2012 at 2:31 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 57

Obama doesn’t have any opposition.

He just has diff supporters than Romney.

Knut September 9th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Mr. Palast, American elections are now like wars. Do you think that the publicity surrounding the billionaire’s funding of Romney is a feint? The real action nowadays seems to be in Congress. Could this be a way of diverting Democratic money into a race that’s already won, at the expense of Democratic seats (especially the Senate)? The Republicans have enough money to attack on several fronts. Now that Obama has effectively castrated the unions, the Democrats can defend only on the Presidential front.

bluedot12 September 9th, 2012 at 2:32 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 60

LOL. Still don’t know why the fuck bother/

September 9th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Greg -
I heard you speak a number of years ago, after Best Democracy, I think, and you said that you investigate and then draw the dots, but that people should think and make the connections.
It sounds like you have connected the dots for us on this issue. Thank you.

Watt4Bob September 9th, 2012 at 2:32 pm
In response to bluewombat @ 55

I’ve had the suspicion lately, that the parties must have to ask permission from the MOTU before they use their voting machines to steal elections.

You know;

“Mitt, this ain’t your night. We’re going for the price on Obama.”

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:33 pm
In response to watertiger @ 58

Yes, anyone who doesn’t go to http://www.BallotBandits.org will never get laid. I made that up,though I( suspect it’s true. Why? Because you can get “7 Ways to Beat the Ballot Bandits” gratis and real info. And order the book. By the way, I’m making one dime on this. All proceeds to our not-for-profit fund for investigative reporting. I’m not saying I’m a Man for All Seasons or deserve the Nobel Prize like Al Gore, but I’m trying to save that little light called Democracy because its weaker than Tinkerbell.

eCAHNomics September 9th, 2012 at 2:33 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 60

Two nonvoters.

1. William Lloyd Garrison, until slavery was abolished.

2. W.E.B DuBois.

“No ‘two evils’ exist. There is but one evil party with two names.”

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:34 pm
In response to demi @ 65

Demi, Greg is one of the few journalists willing to connect the dots. The rest are too busy lying for their corporate sponsors.

bluewombat September 9th, 2012 at 2:34 pm
In response to Watt4Bob @ 66

Thank you, Watt4Bob. Greg and Ted, what say you?

Ruth Calvo September 9th, 2012 at 2:35 pm
In response to bluedot12 @ 61

This reminds me of a firm I worked with that had a particularly nasty agent in an associated insurance firm they favored, because, in the lead attorney’s words; ‘she’s a bitch, but she’s our bitch.”

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:35 pm
In response to Knut @ 63

Knut: you obviously know too much so we will have to kill you.
Yes, the real game is seizing Congress. The Vulture billionaires are locking that up. the DNC has said it will supply no money to congressional candidates, it all goes to Obama. That’s why Democrats deserve every beating they get. Unfortunately, the blows fall on us, the working class.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:36 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 71

Yes, it IS a bitch. I think Ted Rall would have something brilliant to say about this.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:37 pm
In response to bluewombat @ 70

The parties collude, mainly to make it impossible for third parties to gain traction. But they really are attacking each other. That part isn’t fake. Whether either of them gives a damn about you and me, well, I think we know the answer.

bluedot12 September 9th, 2012 at 2:37 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 71

That’s got to be the reason.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:39 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 73

The duopoly is like a restaurant where the only two dishes on offer are pee or poo. And waiters are all rude.

I’d rather eat elsewhere. But there are many–they’ve told me–who still pick pee.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:39 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 68

That was easy for them to say. ObamaCare is a piece of shit, but I can get insurance despite having asthma. Yes, it’s cute to say we shouldn’t choose between the lesser of two evils, but when you live in Hell, you still have to pick the mayor.

The choice is yours, but nevertheless, you must make a choice. And then you die.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Do either of you think the American people are finally getting wise to the kleptocracy? And should I invest in pitchfork futures?

I’m just itching for a fight is all. These people really piss me off.

bluewombat September 9th, 2012 at 2:39 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 74

Indeed we do. But to what extent do you think the election results might be skewed by easy-to-manipulate voting machines?

maadcet September 9th, 2012 at 2:40 pm

How you cope or handle the stresses of threats from the establishment of writing so much about them. Character assassinations, fear of hacking into your computer,… you name it. and you still keep going

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:40 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 76

Urine Therapy! (This exists, by the way.)

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:40 pm
In response to watertiger @ 69

Actually, I DON’T connect the dots. I unearth the dots and let you connect them. And Noam Chomsky.

bluedot12 September 9th, 2012 at 2:41 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 74

How and when the fuck did it get to this or was it always this way and I was just sleeping through it all? Fuck I shoulda got laid, at least.

Ruth Calvo September 9th, 2012 at 2:41 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 76

Simple. The other restaurants are nothing but fronts, you walk in the door and you’re out in the alley.

RevBev September 9th, 2012 at 2:42 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 77

Speaks for itself: Lesser is still lesser, and that seems like a good thing.

Watt4Bob September 9th, 2012 at 2:42 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 84

Very good!

Exactly!

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:42 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 82

Heh. A reader’s gotta be pretty effin’ stupid not to see the picture.

Or a tribalist.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:43 pm
In response to bluewombat @ 79

Voting machines can screw you. That’s one of the nine ways they steal elections in our book. I call is “Presdidigitizing” But there can be too much focus on voting machines — takes us away from the bigger Jim Crow machine: purging legal votes. Giving the registration lists an enema. Example: In California, the GOP Sec of State rejected 42% of voter forms for “suspicious” signatures. Like “Mohammed.”

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:43 pm
In response to watertiger @ 78

These things take time. But the Tea Party and Occupy movements show there is politics in the streets again, for the first time since the 1970s.

September 9th, 2012 at 2:44 pm
In response to watertiger @ 69

Interesting, like Ted Rall spoke about accidents happening. That Greg had to go across the pond to get his stories out, he ended up in a position less likely to have to sell his soul to write.
Whether it’s an accident or a plan, I like it when things work out.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:44 pm
In response to maadcet @ 80

Can’t live in fear. That’s lame.

sadlyyes September 9th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

was it always thus? did we ever have a democratic republic?

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:44 pm
In response to bluedot12 @ 83

Um, both? Yeah, it’s always been this way. But it’s getting worse.

perris September 9th, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I spoke to a close friend, right wing in politics but close friend otherwise, he actually considers himself center but admits “he gets both sides from fox news”

I swear he actually says and believes that

anyway, he asked me how I feel about voter registration, he was sure he was on the right track

I simply asked him;

“if a new voter registration law disenfranchises more voters then it prevents voter fraud, are you still for that law

to which he hawed a lot but I told him;

“no scrambling, if the law disenfranchises more legitimate voters then it prevents voter fraud, is the law good or bad

he actually agreed with me when I put it that way, then I showed him the numbers

bluewombat September 9th, 2012 at 2:45 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 88

Wow. Secretary of State must be the only statewide office the R’s have in California (come back, Debra Bowen!) and they can still use it to tamper with what’s left of our democracy.

Ruth Calvo September 9th, 2012 at 2:46 pm
In response to Watt4Bob @ 86

Thanks, wish it weren’t true.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:46 pm
In response to bluedot12 @ 83

Yes, America was stolen while you were watching “Hell’s Kitchen.” As I say in my other book (Vultures’ Picnic which is coming out next week also in Paperback which I need to mention for crass commercial reasons and because my pig publisher Penguino is trying to screw me for writing about the Kochs), doing the right thing might not get you rich but it might get you Ms. Overby. You’ll have to read the book to get the reference. How’s that for trouble?

sadlyyes September 9th, 2012 at 2:47 pm
In response to bluedot12 @ 83

sorry i asked the same question…deluded i guess forever

perris September 9th, 2012 at 2:47 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 76

but what if you went to every restaurant and there was the same two choices?

this is what they did with limpburger, they put him on every station they could in every market so there was no choice but listening to his rubbish, and then they claimed he had a national following

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:47 pm
In response to bluedot12 @ 83

Take Greg’s advice – check out http://www.BallotBandits.org. You might get laid!

/insert usual disclaimer here

sadlyyes September 9th, 2012 at 2:47 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 97

your tops

Ruth Calvo September 9th, 2012 at 2:49 pm
In response to perris @ 99

You listened? most of those of us here did not.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:49 pm
In response to perris @ 94

As to your friend in the Fox hole… only SIX voters a year have been convicted of voting fraud. And to get those six, we have taken the vote away from SIX MILLION. Does he/she really want to have a president elected by the votes blocked at the door or by the votes?
There is a problem with those who don’t get the votes getting the presidency — Iraq.
Apartheid voting systems can kill you.

sadlyyes September 9th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

you too Ted

bluedot12 September 9th, 2012 at 2:50 pm
In response to watertiger @ 100

I bookmarked it. Look later. thanks

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:50 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 101

Tops? I like that. You single? or just trouble?

Knut September 9th, 2012 at 2:51 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 91

Sometimes you don’t have any choice

sadlyyes September 9th, 2012 at 2:51 pm

have any of these sociopaths ever had a redeeming thought or notion…..nah

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I’d kind of love to see Karl Rove’s name purged from the voter rolls.

bluewombat September 9th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Greg, could you talk a bit about how you had to leave the United States to be able to work as an investigative journalist?

sadlyyes September 9th, 2012 at 2:52 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 106

both,one of my favorite Cole Porter songs…you have so much courage!

perris September 9th, 2012 at 2:54 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 102

I had to listen so I could explain to people who quoted him

maadcet September 9th, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Mr. Palast
Are you keeping an eye on Chevron and Ecuadorean law suit and how Chevron is involved in entrapment of the judge and attorney in questions, Steven Dongziger

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:55 pm
In response to perris @ 99

I’d burn them all down and eat bugs. But I’m spiteful like that.

sadlyyes September 9th, 2012 at 2:55 pm
watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I mean, that no one (except maybe David Iglesias) challenges the wholesale disenfranchisement of minorities – the chapter about what these fuckers did to the predominantly Democratic Native American population in New Mexico…splutter!

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 2:56 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 92

did we ever have a democratic republic?
No, but it doesn’t matter. Jefferson lost the presidential vote but slave owners were allowed to cast votes for their slaves and have it could 3/5 of a white vote. So Jefferson became president. We do our best. And that can often be beastly. But it’s amazing how history gives us those few moments of joy and victory, from the civil rights movement to Lula’s election in Brazil when you say, “well, it’s not so bad.”

bluedot12 September 9th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

OK so it’s f’d up. What do we do? Would OWS help? (if we could find it.)

applepie September 9th, 2012 at 2:57 pm

So, if things are as bleak as you say they are (and i tend to agree with your assessment), then what of the future?

There was an interesting article today in what used to be called the paper of record, America Losing sight of the Future. Are we becoming nothing more than a third world republic? Have the animosities of the present overwhelmed any potential vision of a future?

I’d appreciate your feedback on this cynical malaise, you both are imaginative guys, and it does seem our culture is at (perpetual) war…

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 2:57 pm
In response to bluedot12 @ 118

It has already. But Occupy needs to evolve into something more aggressive.

sadlyyes September 9th, 2012 at 2:58 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 117

we are destroying the planet anyway,before we can even improve,sad that

cmaukonen September 9th, 2012 at 2:59 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 120

Hi Ted…Question: More aggressive. Such as ?

bluedot12 September 9th, 2012 at 2:59 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 120

Yeah I remember. Not much traction so far.

bluewombat September 9th, 2012 at 2:59 pm
In response to applepie @ 119

Are we becoming nothing more than a third world republic?

As a proud American citizen, I resent that question. We’re becoming a Third World Republic with a bloated military! That’s a lot different (sort of).

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:00 pm
In response to maadcet @ 113

Yes, I’m keeping track of Chevron — and they’re keeping track of me. Chevron just filed a complaint against me at BBC TV for exposing their destroying evidence in the suit by Cofan Indians for their ill pollution. Donziger, the Indian’s lawyer, is a giant. PBS and Pro Publica, however, says that Chevron is a wonderful corporation that would have never let the Deepwater Horizon happen. They know that because Chevron is the Number One corporate sponsor of PBS.
So if you want to stop this sh*t, get a copy of Vulture’s Picnic, which has a section on Donziger and Ecuador, and send it around. That’s your dharmic responsibility and don’t run from it.

sadlyyes September 9th, 2012 at 3:00 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 120

it would be met with rabid opposition

September 9th, 2012 at 3:00 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 120

I’m guessing you’re saying not more physically aggressive, but more strategic, maybe? Say more.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 3:00 pm
In response to bluewombat @ 124

With colonels in mirrored sunglasses!

sadlyyes September 9th, 2012 at 3:02 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 125

need to get an electric car

cant buy Chevron
Royal Dutch Shell
or
BEE Pee

applepie September 9th, 2012 at 3:02 pm
In response to bluewombat @ 124

sounds like a black and white jungle movie coup is brewing?

JeffCO September 9th, 2012 at 3:03 pm

The billionairians at the gate are engaged in both nonstop skirmishes plus efforts to breach and also the longer term siege. They’ve got the resources to outlast us and they’ve convinced a sizable number of inhabitants that the real enemy is within (those damned DFHs and womens and such that keep stabbing society in the back).

Of those who do see where the real threat lies, a majority seem to think that supporting the internal leader who wants to let them in a few at a time is the only choice, given that the alternative wants to throw open the gates and declare game over, man.

Is there a difference between the two? Sure, sort of. But let’s not forget that in 2008, the largest number of eligible voters were under Abstain/Gave Up (37%). Other drew at most 1% (with Team O and M drawing roughly 33% and 29% respectively). It seems to me the place to pull voters from to effect any kind of change is that first group, but I’ll be damned if I have any solution to doing so.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:03 pm
In response to applepie @ 119

Yes, we’re losing sight. Neil Armstrong died for our sings. Instead of colonizing the moon, the moon colonized us: we’re a moonscape of dusty rocks. We sit in our capsules, our home entertainment theaters and “work stations” looking at images supplied by robot eyeballs and never leave without the air supply of anti-depressants and a mobile phone to stay in communication with other desperate Earthlings. America is over. One small step for a man and one giant leap to oblivion. And then we vote.

cmaukonen September 9th, 2012 at 3:03 pm
In response to demi @ 127

Think I’ll pour some acid on this. I believe that physically aggressive is going to be required at some point unless you want to spend time hiding under your bed.

applepie September 9th, 2012 at 3:04 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 132

Thank you! Where’s my chicken in a pot?

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:06 pm
In response to cmaukonen @ 122

Direct confrontation. Massive protests. Incessant disruption.

September 9th, 2012 at 3:06 pm
In response to cmaukonen @ 133

Them are fightin’ words. Put up your dukes, bud. :)

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:06 pm
In response to bluewombat @ 110

About my having to leave the USA to report the news.
I’m the mainstream: top of the nightly news BBC TV and front page of the Guardian.
In the US I’m some type of weird internet ghost dismissed by the Paper of Wreckers and MSDNC.
So I have you, my friends. I can only speak to my home country through the crack in the electronic Berlin Wall supplied by FDL.com and other portals of where the truth worms through and squeaks to the attentive.

jeffc September 9th, 2012 at 3:06 pm

In 2000, the theft was mainly due to the 60k(?) Fla. dems of color that were caged/purged by Jeb Bush and which only Greg Palast reported on before the election. In 2004, the election machines were routed to a Chatanooga, TN, basement where BushCo manipulated the total by millions to steal another. Right after a key witness (name escapes me now) came to DC to start testifying, his small plane crashed before landing back in Ohio. In 2008, I thought their theft plans were simply overwhelmed by the huge turnout for Obama. But everyone went to sleep re: electronic voting/tabulating simply because a third election in a row wasn’t stolen.

As if the $$$ and multi-state efforts at restrictive voter ID by the GOP aren’t enough this year, it seems not a thing has been done about the electronic voting machines and scanning tabulators. Are all those equipment/software companies still headed by Republican owners? And more importantly, what are some of the new tricks in their arsenals this year that we may not be aware of?

maadcet September 9th, 2012 at 3:06 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 125

dont you worry about distributing it. I wish some folk on FDL write about the Chevron’s tactics. It would be a great service to the FDL members. There is counter suit by Stenven. Where there is lot of juicy stuff about the telephone tape recording where the entrapment guys tells his friend that he he got “stuff” on Cheveron,blah blah. If interested I would be honored to pass to you. interesting crap

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:06 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 126

So…?

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:07 pm
In response to demi @ 127

Don’t want to get off-topic. You can check out my Anti-American Manifesto and Book of Obama for more details about that stuff.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 3:08 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 135

Would that we could organize general strikes. I may have asked you this before, but do you think the country is physically too large something like this?

sadlyyes September 9th, 2012 at 3:08 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 135

sounds like the French underground in WW2…me likey,its a noble cause

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:09 pm
In response to watertiger @ 142

No, I don’t. But you need a really big organization to make it happen.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:09 pm
In response to cmaukonen @ 133

No. No physical force. I despise violent “revolutionaries” like that poseur Che Guevarra. Another rich dick who thought working class people should die for his beliefs. No violence. Once we let out the dogs of war the rabies in our DNA becomes President. I’m not a pacifist, I’m just a scared father.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 3:09 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 131

Maybe clapping louder? /runs out of the room

Suzanne September 9th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

watertiger! greg! ted! i gotta say i forking loved this book. i kept having to put it down and walk off my anger and then scurry back to read more.

thank you.

bluewombat September 9th, 2012 at 3:10 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 137

Well, that makes me feel at least somewhat useful (did buy “Best Democracy,” by the way).

Inasmuch as UK is a colony of ours, why are you so big there? Is it that Brit overlords can say “Look at all the problems Greg Palast finds in U.S.! That shows how much better you have it here!” ?

sadlyyes September 9th, 2012 at 3:11 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 140

you are correct…im not brave anymore, i rescue animals,and must stay alive as long as possible,but i was very brave once

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:11 pm
In response to jeffc @ 138

What are the new tricks? There are Nine. That’s why Billionaires & Ballot Bandits is subtitiled How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps. If this sounds like a commercial well, damn, I wrote the book and Ted penned it, so we can learn it. But I appreciate that you’ve got your eyes open — versus most of the sleepwalkers in the USA.

bluewombat September 9th, 2012 at 3:12 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 144

you need a really big organization to make it happen

I was going to say the Democratic Party, but then I got struck by a reality meteor.

September 9th, 2012 at 3:13 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 141

Understood, and thank you. You are now on a post-it note on my desk and you’re going to heaven twice.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 3:13 pm
In response to Suzanne @ 147

I know. I’d be laughing one moment, and screaming, “WTF?!” the next. My downstairs neighbor thinks I’m insane.

cmaukonen September 9th, 2012 at 3:14 pm
In response to demi @ 136

And to Greg as well. We already know where this eventually leads and if anyone is not comfortable with this, then why bother.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:15 pm
In response to Suzanne @ 147

Suzanne, you shouldn’t get angry reading Billionaires & Ballots. It’s a COMIC book. Laugh–at the demolition of our democracy and the billionaire pirates’ cove we call Free Enterprise. Coming back from the Congo and cholera clinics where Romeny’s top billionaire had stolen the medicine, I thought, DAMN, if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry until I’m dry.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:16 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 145

Certainly there’s no place for violence at the beginning of the struggle. Much later, it is necessary to close the deal (c.f. Egypt). Much, much later.

sadlyyes September 9th, 2012 at 3:17 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 155

oh Jeeeeebus on a missle!never heard that one

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Funny you should bring up the Kent State shootings. (And don’t forget the Black students gunned down at Jackson State just a few days later.) Just this morning, Graham Nash asked if he could help get the word out about Billionaires & Ballot Bandits. Because he knows, it’s Tin Soldiers and Nixon Comin’.

cmaukonen September 9th, 2012 at 3:18 pm
In response to cmaukonen @ 154

Just want to through some reality in here. This is no game and (to the other side at least) it’s deadly serious.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I must say, I was surprised to read that Rick Santorum stood up for the rights of ex-cons to vote.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:18 pm

True, the book is damn funny. Greg points out so many absurdities in such a funny writing style that you have to laugh.

Watt4Bob September 9th, 2012 at 3:18 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 145

Once we let out the dogs of war the rabies in our DNA becomes President.

Exactly, violent revolution would really bring the idjits to the fore.

We don’t need more stupid, more violent leaders.

JeffCO September 9th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

What I’ve found sort of surprising is that with some notable exceptions (e.g., Cheney the Daywalker), the forces of anti-democracy seem still to want to maintain the appearance of representative government. Sure, they are becoming more and more brazen in their theft of elections (and attempted theft, like the effort smacked down in Ohio last week), but most of them still seem to value having the banana republic look official on paper.

I don’t know whether that is because it is easier to keep real uprisings from starting that way or there is some part of them that hasn’t quite given in to the Dark Side, or what, but it seems to me any place they feel vulnerable is a place worth exploiting. Which I guess is a part of that being discussed. Maybe the efforts to convince people to choose Coke over Royal Crown cola would be more effective fighting tooth and nail with every elected official over the voting access and security issues.

Suzanne September 9th, 2012 at 3:20 pm
In response to watertiger @ 153

same here! tis a great mix of snark and totally piss ya off – i forking loved it. tis the kind of book that i can read and re-read over and over again and continue find more to laugh and cuss about.

if anyone is still sitting on the fence about buying this book, get down and get this book!

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:20 pm
In response to bluewombat @ 148

I’m allowed on BBC in the UK because the ruling class there is so strong they couldn’t care less what I do. They’re amused, really. In the US, viewers actually get ANGRY when they see they’ve been fooled again. Remember, in World War I, the British officers shot their own men; in Vietnam, Americans shot their own officers.

jeffc September 9th, 2012 at 3:21 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 150

Can I rephrase the Q to: what is the newest or most curious method we may be unaware of? That way, I’ll still have to buy the book to get the other eight, haha.

And if my eyes are open, a large chunk of that is your last 3 books and being lucky enough to also have heard you speak 3x in the DC area over the last 6 years, most recently in Silver Spring for Vultures book tour.

cmaukonen September 9th, 2012 at 3:21 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 158

Thanks Greg. Just want to make sure everyone here was aware that they know they can do this and get away with it scott free. Because they already have twice.

As as a Vietnam vet said at a rally I was at, If you aren’t prepared for that eventuality, you are wasting your time.

September 9th, 2012 at 3:23 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 158

Oh, man. You’re taking me back to the semester after high school.
So many issues we fought for, including women’s rights, and look what we’re facing. It’s enough to make me…wait, I’m trying to keep my blood pressure down. I’ll just pout and stamp my foot. Hard.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 3:23 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 161

Like I said: Cantinflas. I was hooked with the Cantinflas reference.

JeffCO September 9th, 2012 at 3:25 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 158

There’s a case to be made for voting for Nixon’s head over the two guys running to his right.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 3:26 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 163

Pretending democracy still exists probably does help to prevent the rabble from rousing. But woe to those who continue to disenfranchise whole swathes of populations. It can’t end well.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:27 pm
In response to jeffc @ 166

The latest problem: digitizing all nine methods of vote theft. Rove has a new data mining system called “DataTrust” under contract to the RNC. The Kochs have created a competitor data mining op called, “Themis.” Paul The Vulture Singer is getting them to work together. This will increase the challenges to registrations and ballots by millions. Meanwhile, while these guys are at the 189th generation of computations vote-jacking, the Dems are playing with their floppy disks.
Not that I trust the Dems to protect your vote. Look out for Colorado–and Florida which is already highjacked.

maadcet September 9th, 2012 at 3:28 pm
In response to watertiger @ 171

According to Chomsky, we in delusion because we think we have a democracy

cmaukonen September 9th, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Not all the rabid foxes came from violent revolution. Quite a few came peacefully and were voted into power.

Just saying.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:30 pm
In response to cmaukonen @ 174

Hitler, for example.

cmaukonen September 9th, 2012 at 3:31 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 175

Yep…good example.

JeffCO September 9th, 2012 at 3:31 pm
In response to watertiger @ 171

As I noted earlier, the largest bloc of eligible voters in 2008 were the self-disenfranchised (even if you assume some of those tried to vote and were somehow discounted). I guess we’ll find out soon whether one of the (intended?) effects of Obama’s rick-rolling of hope and change voters, especially young ones, was to shift more of them into the “What’s The Point” party.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:32 pm
In response to cmaukonen @ 167

Yes, they have gotten away with stealing it twice in the last twelve years. And Nixon took it from Humphrey through vote spoilage. And Jefferson took it from Adams. So that’s why, under, “7 Ways to Beat the Ballot Bandits” at BallotBandits.org, #7 is “Make the Democracy Demand.” It’s the DAY AFTER that counts- to demand the count. Al Gore grabbed his ankles, so did Kerry. Lots of reasons for that. Kerry said my analysis that he’d won in Ohio was correct but did not challenge the Ohio/New Mexico/Iowa counts. (Gore simply hates me.) In Serbia, Peru and elsewhere, the demand to count the votes when they announce the steal has made a difference.

September 9th, 2012 at 3:33 pm

I want to understand how this mess works so that I can help in the healing.
But, yes, it is so depressing and mind numbing. I’m thankful for opportunities to serve others and I’m thankful for FDL for providing a forum for all of the many writers here, to share the OWS, to look at issues that are the most important, and for having guests like Palast and Rall.
We will connect the dots. Or, we will pop trying.

jeffc September 9th, 2012 at 3:33 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 172

Jaw-dropping, sinister and brazen. Thanks for the divulge; -it sounds like a 10th for the next edition!

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:35 pm
In response to demi @ 168

Yo, Demi, you DID win many rights for women. the idea that movements are just a bunch of wasted shouts and slogans is bullshit. We do win some: 99% is bigger than 1% — and we ourselves forget that. I know that sounds really cornie, but I have to tell my daughter there’s more to do in this life than shop.

JeffCO September 9th, 2012 at 3:35 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 172

Once in office, incumbents of every stripe seem to realize that it’s to their advantage to do absolutely nothing about these voter suppression efforts, because they’re still far more likely to retain office with a smaller voting pool. I don’t know how to get them to act on it.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:35 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 178

I think demanding real democracy can be very powerful, because it demands something that even the corrupt system’s leaders have to pretend to respect, one person one vote, and thus exposes the nature of our so-called leaders.

Also it could conceivably lead to third parties having a real chance to emerge, transforming the US into more of a parliamentary democracy, and perhaps abolishing the electoral college, etc.

Dearie September 9th, 2012 at 3:35 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 178

But, but….. Gore’s election was his to lose, and he seemed to do it with verve. Kerry just stood by and got pummeled. What was THAT about? Was the fix so in that neither of them had any reason to stand the fuck up?

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:36 pm
In response to demi @ 179

Yes, thanks…not too many liberal blogs have been as open. DailyKos, for example, censors my work.

Ruth Calvo September 9th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

The overthrow was done non-violently, by taking over the local courthouse and minor boards/offices in my area, Grayson Co, TX. Since then an intelligent liberal has run against Big Oil tool Ralph Hall twice, and we who have good intent worked for the liberal for House. Both times, he lost with the same percentage of the vote in every polling place. He has stopped wasting our time and money and his. I know we’re peculiarly vulnerable and the office particularly important. But we need to learn by those tactics, not the stealing, but the dominance in small office holding.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 3:36 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 178

Kerry’s concession was so fast it made Usain Bolt blush. While he never answered the question, to whom do you think he was indebted that made him give it up to Bush so quickly?

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:37 pm
In response to Dearie @ 184

It would have taken some serious stones for Gore to challenge the election results in a principled, i.e. long-term way. Can you imagine what he was threatened with?

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

By the way, we have a poster: “7 Ways to Beat the Ballot Bandits” that you can get through BallotBandits.org. Or just copy and print it yourself and get it around. Will it make a difference. I have to pretend it does or I’ll go mad.

JeffCO September 9th, 2012 at 3:39 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 183

But how does that square with our need to look forward, always forward, and the fact that the Village Punditry just can’t stand protracted fights?

Though I would guess that dumping the electoral college would have huge majority public support. Then again, so did a public healthcare option.

hackworth1 September 9th, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Will they count the votes for the 3rd Party Candidates? Or do they give those to the Republicans?

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:39 pm
In response to watertiger @ 187

I think these establishment pols are terrified of winding up like John Edwards–marginalized, ridiculed, unable to find decent work as an MSNBC commentator. Believe me, even I’m tempted to sell out and become one of them—and I’m only losing a fraction of what those guys would be risking.

Dearie September 9th, 2012 at 3:40 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 188

That’s my question: What was he threatened with…. and how is that he’s never talked about it. What was Kucinich threatened with in re Health Insurance Company Security Act? What was Kerry threatened with? Does the “left” need to develop its own shadow CIA….. or is it really over? In which case, why bother?

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:40 pm
In response to Dearie @ 184

Dearie: Al Gore’s net worth now exceeds $100 million and he has a Nobel prize. Not bad for going to the mat, eh?

hackworth1 September 9th, 2012 at 3:40 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 192

You could be the Dennis Miller of cartoons.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:41 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 190

We need to redefine the terms of the struggle, and to make the establishment play on our turf, which is out on the streets of America’s cities.

hackworth1 September 9th, 2012 at 3:41 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 194

Is Gore draining capital with Current TV?

Dearie September 9th, 2012 at 3:41 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 194

And, yay for Gore/s. But, then, tell me again what the point is????

September 9th, 2012 at 3:41 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 181

I’ve been frustrated with the system. Period. I even got frustrated with the system volunteering at a Food Bank and Kitchen because of the system. Instead of giving up, I’ve made a point of getting to know several groups of homeless in my neighborhood. So, there’s trust. I bring them food. I do one guys laundry. This is the only way I can help right now.
But, I try to stay current with what’s going on with the all the Big Stuff.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:41 pm
In response to Dearie @ 193

I think they get threatened with the Big Freeze.It’s hard to pay the bills when that happens.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:42 pm
In response to hackworth1 @ 191

Third party candidates are the lollipop in the drawer you left in your bedroom as a kid and you come back years later and it’s covered with ants. They put those choices on the ballot to pretend you have a choice.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:42 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 194

Heh, exactamente.

jeffc September 9th, 2012 at 3:42 pm
In response to Dearie @ 184

That was mind-numbing, wasn’t it? 2 elections stolen right in front of us. Kerry even said on Election Tuesday night that he was going to fight, then we all awoke Weds a.m. to him conceding in Boston. Unreal.

JeffCO September 9th, 2012 at 3:42 pm
In response to watertiger @ 187

And he was sitting on somewhere between $15M-$20M in unspent campaign funds on election day. No doubt to keep those planes full of lawyers he promised ready to go.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:42 pm
In response to hackworth1 @ 195

Boy, wouldn’t that be swell.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:43 pm
In response to hackworth1 @ 195

Whatever happened to Dennis Miller? I used to go on his show. I think we’re both off the air — and in America, that’s electronic death.

Dearie September 9th, 2012 at 3:43 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 200

And so the point of voting, rallying the crowds, etc., etc. is what????

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:43 pm
In response to jeffc @ 203

I think the point is, we’ve been in bed sleeping for four decades.

It’s not up Gore or Kerry or Obama to fight for us. It’s up to us to force them to do what we want.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:44 pm
In response to Dearie @ 207

You’re demanding something so reasonable everybody will agree it should be granted. Then the system refuses. Which exposes them for what they are. Which then creates the political space to argue that they suck.

hackworth1 September 9th, 2012 at 3:44 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 196

They (Obama admin Homeland Sec) seriously maligned those youngsters in Chicago for protesting. Infiltrated, set them up (gas cans?) and ruined their futures. Labelled as terrorists in the MSM.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:45 pm
In response to demi @ 199

YOu do his LAUNDREY??? Damn, I wish I were going to Heaven so I could meet you.

JeffCO September 9th, 2012 at 3:45 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 196

Given the reactions to Occupy by the $aires (as detailed by Jeff Greene in NY Magazine, Fear and Loathing, perhaps in equal measures), and the nonstop corporate media efforts to downplay, mock and ridicule the movement, I think you’re spot on.

Dearie September 9th, 2012 at 3:46 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 208

A little help with that, please. If not pitchforks, then what? Believe me, Obama does not read my letters or emails! And I’ve backed off because I really do not want to be meeting the Secret Service at my door in the middle of the night.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 3:46 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 206

He should hook up with Victoria Jackson. It’ll be just like the old days at SNL, only this time, Charles Koch signs the paychecks.

jeffc September 9th, 2012 at 3:46 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 188

I’m guessing he (Gore) was threatened with more than W’s “personal grievous harm” or whatever wording he used in his SC case, lol.

JeffCO September 9th, 2012 at 3:47 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 201

Suckers!

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:48 pm
In response to Dearie @ 213

Read my Manifesto…

Dearie September 9th, 2012 at 3:48 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 216

/:)~

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:49 pm
In response to jeffc @ 215

Gore wants money, power, fame. All they had to do was threaten those.

JeffCO September 9th, 2012 at 3:49 pm
In response to Dearie @ 213

When Ken Salazar was my Senator, I let him know of my displeasure with his signing on to the Gang of 14 that gave us Alito. I explained just what was wrong with what they were doing, and I got a very nice email response from him or someone in his office, telling me very politely that I should go fuck myself.

applepie September 9th, 2012 at 3:49 pm
In response to hackworth1 @ 210

‘They’ have done far worse than that.

The worst thing they’ve done to us is to steal our hope. See how far they’ve marginalized the envmntl and anti-war grassroots movements? We are as close to irrelevant, in terms of the national holovid, for any time that I can remember.

hackworth1 September 9th, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Dennis Miller went to the Dark Side, hitched his wagon to Dubya Bush and went down with the mixed metaphors.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 3:50 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 220

“And don’t forget to vote for Senator Salazar in November!”

cmaukonen September 9th, 2012 at 3:51 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 196

However that once you start taking it to the streets as you say, it will get very, very messy. We already know that from NYC and Calif. and other places. The PTB do not play nice like they do in France or Spain or Greece.

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:51 pm
In response to hackworth1 @ 210

I was surprised that the kids in Chicago were surprised. Didn’t they read about ’68? Our photographer Zach was there. I was happy to see, though, that kids were in the streets. In NYC, he got our camera smashed by the pigs. Cost $600. Should have docked his pay. Zach got lumps on his skull big as golfballs. It’s an instant Ph.d in political science.

Dearie September 9th, 2012 at 3:51 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 220

Well, at least they were polite!

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:52 pm
In response to cmaukonen @ 224

That’s a given.

So?

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:53 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 225

You gotta buy Zach a nice strong helmet.

JeffCO September 9th, 2012 at 3:53 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 225

“Look out, Haskell, it’s real!”

Peterr September 9th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Greg and Ted — great book.

I laughed up the thread as Watertiger described what her neighbors thought of her. I was reading the book at home, and made some kind of loud and angry outburst (probably starting with “You’ve GOT to be kidding . . .”) and then heard my kid call out “What?” [He's getting to that age where he's probably guilty of something, and wondered what he was going to get in trouble for.] Before I could answer, Mrs Peterr replied “Your father is reading a book about nasty politicians”

Says the Kid: “Oh, that explains it. Is it a big book?”

BevW September 9th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

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

Greg, Ted, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book and the Ballot Bandits.

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

Everyone, if you would like more information:

Greg’s website and books (GregPalast.com)

Ted’s website and books (RallBlog)

Watertiger’s website (Dependable Renegade)

Thanks all, Have a great week.

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

Greg Palast September 9th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I’m signing off: I have a hot hot hot tip on Romney’s money. Keep an eye on http://www.BallotBandits.org and GregPalast.com. It will go there–and Ted will draw it. Remember: if we keep voting, we might end up with a candidate. g

cmaukonen September 9th, 2012 at 3:56 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 227

Well that’s the point I’m trying to make. And I’ll be blunt here. There WILL come a point when the bullets will not be rubber and the canisters will not be tear gas.

I hope I have been as clear as the button hook in the well water.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I’d like to thank Greg and Ted for their excellent adventure (oof) and I really recommend that if you don’t have the shekels for the book, go to the website and read, read, read!

You guys are great. Thanks again!

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Awesome, thanks, everyone, especially Greg and Watertiger and Bev! I’m at rall.com if anyone cares. Read political cartoons now, they won’t be around at all in 5 years!

Dearie September 9th, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Great hosting, watertiger!

September 9th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Thanks Bev, WaterTiger (really good job), Ted Rall, and to Greg Palast, you are all fantastic. Inspiring. Fun People. (Double points for Fun.)

jeffc September 9th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Ted and Greg, thanks for your time, good luck with the book.

watertiger September 9th, 2012 at 3:58 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 235

We CARE! http://www.Rall.com. Go there.

tuezday September 9th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Thanks Greg and Ted. Can’t wait for the book to arrive.

Ted Rall September 9th, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Me too!

Publisher never sent me one lol

sadlyyes September 9th, 2012 at 4:04 pm

thanks for inspiration

holeybuybull September 9th, 2012 at 4:34 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 185

DailyKos isn’t a liberal or progressive blog. It’s a corporatist Democratic blog for faux liberals/progressives.

holeybuybull September 9th, 2012 at 4:39 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 206

He’s the go-to “comedian” for FOX.

holeybuybull September 9th, 2012 at 4:42 pm
In response to hackworth1 @ 210

DHS coordinated the militarized police attacks on the Occupy movement nationwide.

nixonclinbushbama September 10th, 2012 at 4:47 am

Republicans will steal elections as long as Democrats let them–and Democrats seem willing to let them.

Oh, and vice versa.

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