Read Palast's Election 2008 stats that begin the book, which counts nine ways to steal an election and only seven ways we can steal it back--the Vultures are always two steps ahead of us, the author quipped. Six million votes effaced in 2008 by various means and more predicted this time around. Read about the proliferation of voter ID laws that have lassoed up maybe a dozen justifiably in the preceding ten years (and six more this year!) and countless innocents otherwise. Read about registration and absentee ballot corruption and other forms of victimization of minorities, other poor people, senior citizens, college students, ex-felons (the largest category, per Palast), and the military, especially African Americans. That adds up to millions. The largest category disabled by the ID requirement is, believe it or not, women, who comprise 70 percent of victims!
Palast first entered this blighted scenario that kicked off the worse decade in this country's voting history in 2000, with his discovery and revelation of Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush's plot to eliminate enough alleged ex-felons from Florida's voting rolls, 94,000 the latest figure, 54 percent of whom were black, to decisively hand brother GWB the Sunshine State's electoral votes, and hence the election. Never mind that the New York Times took four years to publish this abomination.
Never mind that that huge number exceeds Bush's supposed margin of 537 votes. Never you mind. Few others did, even though the suppressed news was published more than a week before 12/12, a tragic day for this country, the day SCOTUS handed it over to two wars and a killer recession now blamed on Obama-Atlas. Here he deserves our compassion.
Palast visited Harris, wondering why those 94,000 ex-felons weren't imprisoned for registering to vote while black or other ignominious statuses. No reply.
Bush reoccupied the White House in 2004 thanks in part to his supposed win of Florida by five thousand votes while thirty thousand ballots were discarded.
Meanwhile a good friend of Palast set up a website Georgewbush.org just for fun, and the next thing he knew, some dim-witted Bush operative named Tim Griffin mistakenly sent some of Karl Rove's emails to it, all focused on caging, ways to eliminate vulnerable citizens--here black college students and Jewish senior citizens--from voting. Palast brought these emails to Bobby Kennedy Jr., who said the culprits should be jailed.
Griffin was instead rewarded with a congressional district.
This year Florida's Governor Scott in this new Dr. James Crow era counted 182,000 "illegal aliens" registered to vote. The number shrank almost immediately. Palast vowed to devour the governor's underwear in the Capitol rotunda if the initial figure was accurate.
Such hair-raising facts march through Billionaires and Ballot Bandits in droves, hard to sum up in an hour, though Palast spoke nonstop attempting to tell us all without even becoming hoarse.
"They need to cheat," he said of the Vultures and their friends. They're only one percent of us all. "We are the battlefield on which they play."
Vote early. Don't go postal unless there are no alternatives. Follow the seven steps to steal back your vote--he gave out posters detailing the steps and gave away his CD The Election Files: The Theft of 2008.
Busboys and Poets, a large restaurant with a huge separate room for activist events and a store with activist books, is not-for-profit, attracting and educating thousands each year. This is one proliferating business venture to patronize and enjoy with a free conscience, concluded Palast.
The event was filmed by C-Span. Palast plugged my history of the EI movement from 2000 to 2008, Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols (CICJ Books, 2012) also--fifteen seconds of fame for another important book to which he has donated a brilliant Foreword.
Read that, too, but first read the Palast book. It's more timely.