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Palasthenics: Greg Palast's Billionaires and Ballot Busters: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps

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They will chuckle and smirk their ways to hell on Earth, for no riverieras will survive as their playgrounds and their mansions sink into the earth as if they had been built in quicksand.

Enough of Revelation and Jeremiah.

The book is structured in a way that envelopes the catalog of the international crimesters with the particulars of their drowning of this country's underclasses--our voting rights, in particular. Other perspectives might be as compelling (people's health insurance and their right to union pay scale, and their pensions)--this Titanic is almost sunk--but voting embraces the bottom line of our democracy, the first modern democracy that has spawned so many successful offspring. As long as its smallest tip is visible above the Corruption Ocean, the battle must persist.  

And so atrocities that have so mangled our voting rights (effects) surround discussion of the causes (the bad billionaires).

The transition from effects to causes of this miasma is campaign finance--who's working so hard backstage to finance all of these operations ("These operations"--undermining of our electoral system--cost money, manhours, and ingenuity)? Well, Citizens United in 2010 freed all of those billionaires to heave as much as they wanted into political campaigning. And who allowed that? The Roberts-run Supreme Court.

Then there are those Kardashians of the underworld, the Koch Brothers, becoming more and more notorious as the effects of their activities multiply exponentially. It was their corporate lawyer, Ted Olson, who took some time off to argue before the Supreme Court on behalf of Citizens United, which represented all that is reprehensible about the human race, as it drove through this epic overturning of limitations on campaign finance, known as the McCain-Feingold Act. Russ Feingold was turned out of office thereafter and McCain abandoned his morals to join new compadres. So it went.

Most charitably, the bazillions these compadres amass don't all go to line their pockets. Some of it goes into corrupting elections among other forms of skullduggery, which inflates their power, and this in turn amasses more money. You know the drill.

Palast exposes their machinations--only some of them, alas, for there are so many--zeroing in on characters we have met in his previous publications, including Armed Madhouse and Vultures' Picnic. Remember the top Vulture, Goldfinger Paul Singer? Revered among his crooked colleagues for buying up third-world debt, inflating it, and then inflicting his bill collectors on collapsing economies like Greece and, even worse, the Congo? This "corpse chewer" also thrives on an asbestos manufacturer he purchased and salvaged by reducing compensatory payments to the multitude of asbestosis patients the industry generated.

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Blocked from devouring Argentina's economy in one gulp, "undermining the safety of the entire world, financial system, destabilizing every financial rescue mission from South America to Greece to the Congo," by Obama, Goldfinger salivates for this kill as even UBS, JPMorgan, and Citibank chieftains have allied themselves with Obama and Clinton.

Like Cheney, Goldfinger does have a soft spot for gay marriage in that his son wanted to marry his partner, so Dad bought out the New York state legislature to guarantee the nuptials, all the while collaborating with radical reactionary colleagues throughout the country who block this leniency in other states.

Remember Ice Man Simmons? That government manipulator who spins his way through government regulations to build toxic waste dumps that infect, for example, the Ogallala aquifer, the gigantic reservoir that provides drinking water for eight states? Obama managed to steer the XL pipeline away from it. But the King of Filth couldn't care less--he amassed the billions to build the dumps by   manufacturing paint that has led-poisoned countless public school students.

Oh, God, and how did Larry Summers and Tim Geithner receive the keys to our economy under Obama? Through a nice lady, Penny P., who introduced him to Paul Rubin, responsible for raining the "pennies from heaven" on O's 2008 campaign that helped win him the White House. So pour a bit of dust on the Donkeys' halo, alas. Palast even catches them compromising with the pachyderms to avoid massive criminal indictment--oh, celebrate post-partisanship!

"It's billionaire banking-powers versus billionaire hedge-fund speculators," writes the Truth Sleuth.

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"Here is the real battle of 2012--a winner-take-all war over the control of the world financial system. . . .  

"The trillion-dollar high-stakes showdown between these finance superpowers, the billionaires versus the bankers, will be played out in 2012 and beyond, with super-PACs, supercomputers, voter-roll purges, senators, congressmen, and the White House as the pieces on the chessboard moved by the invisible hands."

Don't forget the Koch brothers, who would receive a Nobel prize for gutter sliming if such a thing existed. Whistleblower Senator Dennis DeConcini of Arizona reported their theft of "tens of millions worth of oil snatched from Indian and federal lands, possibly over $100 million pilfered altogether" and subsequently lost his job. They have a grand interest in the future of the XL pipeline, in that they own an oil refinery in Texas where it would terminate its sinuous trek from Canada.

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A jack of some trades, writing and editing among them, Marta Steele, an admitted and proud holdover from the late sixties, returned to activism ten years ago after first establishing her skills as a college [mostly adjunct] professor in three (more...)

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It's strange major media has not picked up on Pala... by Gustav Wynn on Saturday, Aug 11, 2012 at 12:06:37 PM
Gustav,Thanks for the comment. Conyers tried twice... by Marta Steele on Saturday, Aug 11, 2012 at 2:33:52 PM