Free Speech TV & MNN Presents… Elections 2018: Voting Rights Under Attack

http://www.gregpalast.com/free-speech-tv-mnn-presents-elections-2018-voting-rights-under-attack/

http://www.gregpalast.com/?p=15545

By Greg Palast

"The American voting system is busted. It’s shattered. They’re trying to take away your vote by saying you’re not a citizen, by saying you voted in another state, by giving you provisional ballots for some cockamamie reason, by purging you from the voter rolls. These obstacles are put in the way of mostly voters of color — that’s the real issue. We have an apartheid election system in the United States.” — Greg Palast, Free Speech TV, May 10, 2018

On May 10, 2018, I participated in a broadcast and companion Twitter chat hosted by Free Speech TV and MNN entitled, "Elections 2018 — Voting Rights Under Attack.” The opening featured an interview with me and clips from the updated edition of my movie, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Case of The Stolen Election, which served as a springboard for a panel discussion on voting rights — and the lack thereof — with Arthur Eisenberg (Legal Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union - NYCLU), Donita Judge (Senior Attorney and Co-Program Director, Advancement Project (DC)'s Power and Democracy Program) and Deuel Ross (Assistant Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense Fund). The panel was expertly moderated by Laura Flanders of The Laura Flanders Show. You can view the entire show here or in the player above. Questions and answers from the companion Twitter conversation — which took place under the #ProgressivePath18 hashtag — have been collated below.

Q: Interesting way to put it, Greg. Apartheid at the polls.

A: Yes, I’m very concerned that some groups and politicians are talking about vote suppression but seem to avoid the issue of race.

Q: Do you think that's out of fear, obliviousness, or something more sinister?

A: The Democratic Party was the party of Jim Crow. It’s in its DNA. If everyone got to vote, the party’s elite would be out on its ass — right, Bernie?

Q: What can we do about gerrymandering?

A: The U.S. Supreme Court just decided that it’s perfectly OK to gerrymander districts for strictly political purposes — destroying the 14th Amendment’s promise of one-person one-vote. That decision was a Trump-court evil. If you didn’t vote in 2016, you have a lot to answer for.

Q: Would restoring the Voting Rights Act help?

A: One reason the Voting Rights Act "pre-clearance" provisions were killed by the courts is that the Obama Justice Department refused to extend the VRA to ALL states — and insisted it only apply to the South — which they knew it would not survive. So Obama went to the mat. Sorry to break that to you.

Q: The courts have had problems ruling against gerrymandering because they’ve had problems legally defining it. Is there is clear standard to determine if there is gerrymandering?

A: Yes. Statisticians have now come up with a simple, unassailable mathematical method of measuring it. That’s what moved the Pennsylvania judge to throw out the GOP’s gerrymander.

Q: How likely do you think it is that other cases will have the same outcome is the one in PA?

A: No question that other federal district and state courts will overturn gerrymanders — but the Supreme Court will quash these pro-democracy actions. Sorry. However, some STATE constitutions prohibit gerrymanders, i.e. California.

Q: Given the current composition of Congress (and SCOTUS), what hope do you have for the restoration of the Voting Rights Act?

A: No damn chance with this court or Congress. So, we have to change the Congress.

Q: If the courts can't see a legislative fix, then what methods remain open to voters who want their democracy to be representative?

A: First, stop the spread of Kris Kobach’s Crosscheck — at least two states have pulled out this year. But 29 states — three of them Democratic! — still use this nasty trick.

Q: Kris Kobach has been quiet lately. What swamp is he swimming in as he takes away votes?

A: Kobach has not been quiet, it’s just that the lame-stream media is letting him work in the dark. His latest trick is to demand proof of citizenship… but we aren’t Red China, we don’t have citizenship cards — only passports and original birth certificates. The result of this rule is to knock off 1 in 7 new (young) voters!

Q: Weren't other methods used in the 2016 Election? Like vote flipping, which can be done with electronic voting by a Governor or Secretary of State. Also ballot stuffing or misreporting final vote tallies, right?

A: In The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, we go over 10 ways the vote was stolen in 2016. In Michigan, machines didn’t have to ‘flip’ votes. 75,355 ballots were simply NOT COUNTED because the machines broke down in Detroit and Flint — Black (i.e. Blue) cities. That’s how it’s done.

Q: What about vote tampering?

A: The real way vote tampering works is called "spoilage." A vote is cast and not counted — for some bullshit technical reason. In other words, the vote is not changed from one candidate to another, it simply isn’t counted at all. A Black voter is 900% more likely to have their ballot "spoiled" than a white voter.

Q: Do you think our national "electoral dysfunction" is built on the assumption that voters aren't smart enough to know what's being done to suppress the vote?

A: Yes. Exactly. And the media amplifies the sound of stupid.

Q: Does vote suppression and the media’s coverage of it serve to further alienate voters and make people feel like “voting doesn’t matter?” — something many voters claimed they felt around the 2016 elections.

A: Yes, the Lazy Idiot Party in America is huge. If someone steals your car, do you call the cops or just say, "Shit, I just won’t drive anymore"? No sympathy for those who give up.

Q: How can we convince people to get out and vote when often their votes don’t count? Do you think the 2016 election outcome will deter people from voting this year?

A: 2016 should get asses off couches and into voting voting booths. If Agent Orange doesn’t scare you, what will? A University of Wisconsin study said 50,000 in that state (which Trump "won" by 29,000) didn’t vote because Bernie wasn’t on the ballot. "Bernie or bust." So, how’s “bust" working for you?

Q: With regards to felon voters — who can vote in many states but often don’t realize it — is this a question of education? Letting people who think they can't vote know that they CAN?

A: Yes, it’s a failure of education for our elite. For example, Hillary Clinton called for restoration of felon voting rights in states where they already have the right! So, stay away from the Ivy League… Most politicians are ignorant of the law (except the weasels working on suppression). Mitt Romney said he wouldn’t allow felons in the presidential debate. Yet, his own state of Massachusetts allows felon voting — even many in prison. This is why I’m concerned that the discussion of "restoring" felon votes misleads the overwhelming number of ex-cons (in 40+ states) who CAN vote despite records. They hear discussion of “restoration” and assume that they can’t vote, so they don’t.

Q: What can voters do to fight back?

A: We do need legal action against this voter-snatching voter-trickery. [Next week I’ll have an announcement on that.] But the truth is that the people can win by OVERWHELMING THE STEAL.

Q: Can you say more about what you mean by "overwhelming the steal.”

A: You can’t win with 51% of the vote… you need 56%. Just out-vote ’em. Don’t expect fairness. In 2008, 5.9 million votes were stolen from Obama (see my book, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits). He just got millions more than that.

Q: In a town in PA where I used to live my new neighbor (who was Black) had to get registered in her new location. I took her to get registered. On the day of voting she and us (hubby and I) had to fight to get her the proper ballot. She voted and it counted.

A: You bring up a vital point: when they try to deny you a ballot, or try to give you a provisional “placebo” ballot, RAISE HELL, demand adjudication by a polling judge. It really works.

Q: Some states do have automatic voter registration, a la "Motor Voter" laws, like Laura Flanders is discussing in the UK, where she received voter ID on her 18th birthday. Is this a path forward?

A: Yes. In Oregon, you are registered when you get a Driver's License unless you opt out. Also, many states have same-day registration. That’s just as good. California has same-day registration in the law, but the Secretary of State blocked its implementation to prevent Sanders from winning the primary in June 2016.

Q: Would making Election Day a public holiday help?

A: We DO have a day off for voting: it’s called Early Voting. The problem is the GOP to cut it back.

Q: Any closing thoughts?

A: The weekend’s coming. Get drunk, get laid — and get informed. My recommendation, sign up at GregPalast.com/subscribe for latest info on the fight for the vote.

(NB: Some questions have been edited for length and clarity.)

* * * * *

Before turning to journalism as an investigative reporter for The Guardian and BBC Television, Greg Palast was an investigator of fraud and racketeering for governments and labor unions worldwide. Known as the reporter who exposed how Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush purged thousands of Black voters from Florida rolls to steal the 2000 election for George Bush, Palast has written four New York Times bestsellers, including Armed Madhouse, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, now a major non-fiction movie. The post-election update of the movie, subtitled The Case of the Stole Election, has just been released on Amazon — and can be streamed for FREE by Prime members!

Stay informed, get the signed DVD of the updated, post-election edition of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Case of The Stolen Election, a signed copy of the companion book — or better still, get the Book & DVD combo.

Visit the Palast Investigative Fund store or simply make a tax-deductible contribution to keep our work alive! Alternatively, become a monthly contributor and automatically receive Palast's new films and books when they're released!

Or support the The Palast Investigative Fund (a project of The Sustainable Markets Foundation) by shopping with Amazon Smile. If you use Smile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases to the Palast Fund — and you get a tax-deduction! Click here for more info.

Subscribe to Palast's Newsletter. Follow Palast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

GregPalast.com

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Elections 2018: Voting Rights Under Attack
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Paul “The Vulture” Singer Targets Hyundai

http://www.gregpalast.com/paul-vulture-singer-targets-hyundai/

http://www.gregpalast.com/?p=15533

By Greg Palast

While Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are playing double-or-nothing with the survival of Koreans, Trump’s billionaire sugar-daddy is taking advantage of political upheaval to attempt a seizure of one South Korea's major employers: Hyundai Motor. Paul Singer, known as The Vulture, is mounting an attack on the auto-maker known for providing life-time union-wage employment for workers. Putting worker welfare on a par with profits infuriates Singer. He sees them as fat targets ripe for takeover and tearing apart.

In our film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, we explain how Singer, his Vulture Fund called "Elliott Management," and Singer’s cronies took over the General Motors auto parts operation (Delphi) — then closed almost every factory, ended all union jobs, and reopened the factories in China.

Here is my interview with Korea’s main newspaper, Chosun Ilbo.

Singer’s goons have said they, "have a file on Greg Palast." As you can see, I have a file on HIM…

U.S. Hedge Fund Raiding Hyundai Accused of 'Vicious Tactics'

By Ryu Jung

A veteran U.S. investigative reporter has accused the hedge fund currently assailing Hyundai Motor of "vicious tactics" to make a fast buck. Greg Palast (66), who has spent more than a decade reporting on Elliott Management, warned about Paul Singer, the head of the US$34-billion fund.

"There are other vulture funds that operate like Elliott, but few in the finance industry can match the ruthless reputation of Singer funds," Palast said.

In his books, "Vultures' Picnic" and "Billionaires & Ballot Bandits," Palast describes how Elliott's investments into Argentina were related to its bankruptcy and how some of the international aid money intended to bring clean drinking water to children in the Congo went to his fund.

According to Palast, Elliott bought US$100 million worth of sovereign bonds issued by Argentina in 2001, when the country was nearly bankrupt, and sold them for $2.4 billion in 2016. Elliot also invested in distressed bonds issued by Congo and pursued full payment through the courts.

Elliott likes to portray itself as an advocacy group that merely wants to improve "shareholder value," but Palast refers to it throughout as a "vulture fund."

The Chosun Ilbo asked Palast about Elliot's motive in pushing against planned corporate governance reforms at Hyundai.

"Singer believes in getting into a company (or nation) quickly, and leaving as quickly as possible with a massive cash gain," Palast said. "I would ask Koreans to look at what he did to Delphi auto workers in America — because that is the future of Hyundai under Singer's control."

According to Palast, Singer and his partner acquired a controlling stake of 18 percent in Delphi in 2009, when the car parts maker was in financial trouble, only to get rid of the company's labor union, move 35,000 jobs to China and scrap workers' pensions. The number of Delphi's plants in the U.S. and Canada shrank from 45 to four, and only 1,500 part-time workers were left in North America. In just one year, Elliott made a W1 trillion profit from the raid (US$1=W1,081).

"Singer despises labor unions and long term guarantees of employment," Palast said. He predicted that if it gains control of Hyundai, Elliott will move its factories to China and Vietnam and dismantle its labor union.

"He doesn't care if the company (or nation) that remains is now wrecked, cash-short and unable to operate or withstand future shocks. And he certainly doesn't care whatsoever about the workers and communities affected by his stripping his targets of cash," he added.

When asked why he thinks Elliot is targeting Hyundai after failing to get hold of Samsung in 2015 and 2016, Palast said, "Singer particularly finds Korean chaebols a tempting target. They are fat with cash held for the long term, protected by government, generally have well-paid union workers and have deep connections to Korean society."

In other words, the fund might ride a wave of anti-chaebol sentiment among Koreans to justify its maneuvers to make profits out of the automaker.

"It is true that Hyundai and other chaebols have been corrupt, bribe government, unfairly enrich founding families and ignore common shareholders," Palast said. "On the other hand, Hyundai's management and founders are committed to maintaining high-paid union employment in Korea and act fairly to workers in the U.S. and other major markets."

"I do not think that Koreans should adopt to the 'global standard' which now is too close to Singer's standard -- profits must always come first," he said. "Look what happened to Detroit, the car-making center of America, after Singer and his vulture friends seized the city, its auto factories and its housing market: it is devastated, massive unemployment, empty destroyed houses, bankrupt cities."

Regarding Elliot's lawsuit against the Korean government demanding W700 billion in damages for supporting the merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries that handed control to heir Lee Jae-yong, Palast said, "Paul Singer is a lawyer -- and he loves to use frightening litigation as a hammer." The National Pension Service, the largest shareholder at the time "acted in the best interests of your nation in the face of Singer's history."

Palast warned that Elliot's money could be used to Korean politicians. "Singer believes in using political pressure and large donations to politicians and political organizations to get his way," he said. "Be careful of Singer funds entering your political system directly or indirectly."

When asked how Korea could defend itself against attacks by vulture funds, Palast advised, "Expose Singer and vulture history and operations... While Korean shareholders deserve democratic rights, your nation is entitled to have jobs guarantees written into company charters."

Read this article in Korean.

* * * * *

Before turning to journalism as an investigative reporter for The Guardian and BBC Television, Greg Palast was an investigator of fraud and racketeering for governments and labor unions worldwide. Known as the reporter who exposed how Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush purged thousands of Black voters from Florida rolls to steal the 2000 election for George Bush, Palast has written four New York Times bestsellers, including Armed Madhouse, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, now a major non-fiction movie. The post-election update of the movie, subtitled The Case of the Stole Election, has just been released on Amazon — and can be streamed for FREE by Prime members!

Stay informed, get the signed DVD of the updated, post-election edition of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Case of The Stolen Election, a signed copy of the companion book — or better still, get the Book & DVD combo.

Visit the Palast Investigative Fund store or simply make a tax-deductible contribution to keep our work alive! Alternatively, become a monthly contributor and automatically receive Palast's new films and books when they're released!

Or support the The Palast Investigative Fund (a project of The Sustainable Markets Foundation) by shopping with Amazon Smile. If you use Smile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases to the Palast Fund — and you get a tax-deduction! Click here for more info.

Subscribe to Palast's Newsletter. Follow Palast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

GregPalast.com

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Lee Camp and Greg Palast Los Angeles, Thursday 7:30pm

http://www.gregpalast.com/lee-camp-greg-palast-la-thursday-730pm/

http://www.gregpalast.com/?p=15496

Greg Palast and Lee Camp in LA
This Thursday night, May 17, at 7:30 PM Greg Palast will be Camping Out with Lee Camp in Conversation Unredacted.

At a secret Studio City home location, only 25 political guerillas will be lucky to witness BBC and Rolling Stone investigative journalist GREG PALAST and the great political warrior comedian LEE CAMP spew truths that will make the ruling elites cry.

Lee is the head writer and host of the national TV show Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp on RT America. He’s a former contributor to the Onion, former staff writer for HuffPo and his web series Moment of Clarity has been viewed by millions who crave his fierce brand of standup comedy.

Train those stomach muscles and get ready for laughter and guffaws.

Donation to KPFK Radio required. $20 for Ticket only - $50 gets you admission plus Lee’s book Moments of Clarity and Palast’s book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy - both autographed to you.

The post Lee Camp and Greg Palast
Los Angeles, Thursday 7:30pm
appeared first on Greg Palast.

Mom’s Last Message For You

http://www.gregpalast.com/greg-palast-moms-last-message-for-you/

http://www.gregpalast.com/?p=15475

Mom (1921-2018)

Look at the photo, her last one, taken a couple weeks ago.  A few days before she died.

There’s a message for you there.  And it’s way bigger than the IMPEACH TRUMP T-shirt she’s wearing.

What message?  It begins in Chicago.  1920s.  Her dad, Grandpa Alex, was a milkman, schlepping milk cans by horse-drawn cart.

At the time, a kid could get into the movies for ten cents; and her mother gave her the dime to go every week.  For 10 weeks straight, my mother went to the movies, but didn’t go in. For 10 weeks she saved the ten cents, and looked for a warm place in the Chicago snow to wait for her brothers and sisters to come out of the theater.

Until she had a dollar to get her mom a birthday present.

In 1943, during World War II, Gladys Palast was the first woman to enlist in the US Coast Guard.

I wish I could say Mom signed up to lick Hitler. But, truth is, she did it to get out of a wedding engagement to Lou Wishman — because she was really in love with my father.

That year they got married before he was shipped to the Philippines.

But don’t get me wrong:  My mother was a super-patriot.  Mom liked to wear goofy red, white and blue outfits for public events.

In the military, my mother became a fashion model, showing off their new Chanel dress suit uniforms —  then a Chorus line girl for Sid Caesar’s USO show.

She loved showbiz.  But she didn’t want to be in movies or in theaters.  She thought life gives you plenty of opportunities to make you a star, a star in the lives of the people you know.

Not that she didn’t have her 15 minutes of fame now and again.

In 1988, Mom was a delegate to the Democratic Party Convention in Atlanta.   But the maids and janitors at the Atlanta Marriott were on strike.  My mother donned her red-white-and-blue outfit, added a mop and bucket – dressed union pickets with the same outfits — and challenged the Democrats not to cross the picket line.  It put her and her mop on the cover of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

This wasn’t noblesse oblige for the poor little janitors and maids.  These people were Mom’s people. Her mother, was a maid her entire life.

*

But Mom’s main political cause was her children.

Mom and journalist 1953

She’d do anything to get us a break.  She loved our simple tract house – next to the city dump and sewerage plant. But she wanted us to do better — the wish of every good parent, and she was the best parent.

She just wanted my sister and me to be successful — to perform on a bigger stage.

(She got a little carried away with that. Well, that’s what therapy is for.)

*

In her campaign to give my sister and me an edge, Mom lied to get us into the Wilshire Boulevard Temple—where all the Hollywood hotshots went.

We didn’t have the money for it, which was true. But then she added that my father, who sold furniture, had been laid off.  Which was a lie.  A lie told to a rabbi. I’m sure he knew it, but he let us in anyway.

*

My mother worked in our school cafeteria—and that was the limit of her cooking expertise.  Hot dogs and cans of creamed corn.

Then, at the age of 47, when we left for college, mom enrolled in college herself.  It took her ten years, but at the age of 57, she moved from the cafeteria to the classroom as a teacher — so she could love some more children.

And what this teacher taught me more than anything, is to love your children and teach them to love THEIR children, and eventually with all these children loving their children and all their children spreading this love, the world is transformed.  The world can be healed.

She also knew you can’t love children and hate their teachers, as politicians do.  She organized the first teacher’s assistant’s union in Los Angeles – now part of the SEIU.

*

Look at the photo. Her message.  It’s more than the Impeach Trump T-shirt she’s showing – it’s her big-ass smile through the oxygen tubes.  No anger, no bitterness, no despair; up to the last, optimistic, sure that perseverance can defeat cruelty.

Her motto was, “Make noise, make trouble and make a difference — YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.”

I knew that once Mom put on that T-shirt, Trump didn’t stand a chance.

*

The Jewish religion is a tough religion, difficult, because we don’t have a heaven or hell. We don’t get another life on a cloud somewhere.

But we do have an Afterlife. We live on in the memories of those we loved, those we touched and affected.

And this: I happen to believe that years from now, centuries from now, when her name and my name and all our names have been forgotten, I know that someone will be protesting for justice for those who have less and hurt more.

They won’t know it but there will be a crazy lady in red, white and blue with a mop and a bucket marching beside them.

*

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.


 
* * * * *

Before turning to journalism as an investigative reporter for The Guardian and BBC Television, Greg Palast was an investigator of fraud and racketeering for governments and labor unions worldwide. Known as the reporter who exposed how Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush purged thousands of Black voters from Florida rolls to steal the 2000 election for George Bush, Palast has written four New York Times bestsellers, including Armed Madhouse, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, now a major non-fiction movie. The post-election update of the movie, subtitled The Case of the Stole Election, has just been released on Amazon — and can be streamed for FREE by Prime members!

Stay informed, get the signed DVD of the updated, post-election edition of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Case of The Stolen Election, a signed copy of the companion book — or better still, get the Book & DVD combo.

Visit the Palast Investigative Fund store or simply make a tax-deductible contribution to keep our work alive! Alternatively, become a monthly contributor and automatically receive Palast's new films and books when they're released!

Or support the The Palast Investigative Fund (a project of The Sustainable Markets Foundation) by shopping with Amazon Smile. If you use Smile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases to the Palast Fund — and you get a tax-deduction! Click here for more info.

Subscribe to Palast's Newsletter. Follow Palast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

GregPalast.com

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