Year: 2015

Alabama Gov. Fixing Mansion with BP Fund Money

Greg Palast 

 

The Governor of Alabama has decided that instead of using BP’s cleanup money for restoring the lives of those affected by one of the worst man-made disasters in history, he’s using it to rebuild a mansion.Alabama_Governor's_MansionOwned by the State of Alabama the million dollar beach residence of the Governor has been closed for 18 years since Hurricane Danny damaged it. The fix-up is “estimated at $1.5 million to $1.8 million” and will be done by May according to the Associated Press.

A million and a half bucks could pay for a lot of beach cleanup, something that’s still needed in the Gulf. But as with everything associated with this deal the money goes to the top – and then trickles down to the bottom. Just like the oil in the Gulf.

The BP settlement has been a disaster since the beginning, as I reported back in 2012:

The lawyers for 120,000 victims of the Deepwater Horizon blow-out cut a deal with oil company BP PLC which will save the oil giant billions of dollars. It will also save the company the threat of a trial that could expose the true and very ugly story of the Gulf of Mexico oil platform blow-out.

I have been to the Gulf and seen the damage — and the oil that BP says is gone.  Miles of it.  As an economist who calculated damages for plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case, I can tell you right now that there is no way, no how, that the $7.8 billion BP says it will spend on this settlement will cover that damage, the lost incomes, homes, businesses and boats, let alone the lost lives — from cancers, fetal deformities, miscarriages, and lung and skin diseases.

In 2010, President Barack Obama forced BP to set aside at least $20 billion for the oil spill’s victims.  This week’s settlement will add exactly ZERO to that fund.  Indeed, BP is crowing that, adding in the sums already paid out, the company will still have spent less than the amount committed to the Obama fund.

There’s so much corrosion, mendacity and evil covered up by this settlement deal that I hardly know where to begin.

Read the rest: BP Settlement Sells Out Victims – Deal buries evidence of oil company willful negligence

Download the investigation, Vulture’s and Vote Rustlers here.

Will you walk with me?

Greg Palast 

A personal note from Greg Palast

We’re close, so very close to finishing our new movie The Best Democracy Money Can Buy—A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits (out in 2016) but I urgently need your help to get us over the finish line.


You can truly make a difference by making a tax-deductible contribution to The Palast Investigative Fund and lend your vitally needed support for any amount, large or small.

You can also donate to get a Screen Credit as a Producer ($1,000), Co-Producer ($500) or Supporter ($100), or how about getting the name of one of your loved ones up on the screen as a Christmas Gift?

Can you help me make this film an event, a cause, and weapon for the new civil rights movement?

So what’s the story causing me to beg you to come to our aid?

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Chavez wins in Venezuela — No kidding

Greg Palast 

The fact that the party of the late Hugo Chavez lost two-thirds of the seats in Venezuela’s congress puts a lie to the canard that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as created by Chavez is some kind of dictatorship, a nasty bit of propaganda long pushed by the US mainstream press.

For BBC, I covered Venezuela elections. There, they count the votes—unlike in the Third World dictatorships of Florida and Ohio.

I know the leader of the opposition, Julio Borges, just as I knew Chavez and the current President Nicolas Maduro.

Borges is no right-wing fascist. It’s important to note that the opposition did not run against Chavez or his legacies and policies. Rather they ran against a sclerotic government, too long in office, petty corruption—and the crushing reality of oil income cut by more than half.

Chavez’ revolution is permanent. The redistribution of wealth and power to the Black and Indian population from the white “Spaniards” is irreversible.

Chavez is gone but Chavismo lives despite the crying and moaning of the world financial elite.

Ironically, Chavez’ socialist party is the victim of the success of its policies: young people, who did not know the crushing poverty and hopelessness that reigned before Chavez, are now college grads, clamoring to maintain the middle-class lives they’ve come to expect.

Chavez would be pleased with the triumph of the real democracy he created.

In honor of this affirmation of democracy, our foundation will offer a free download of “The Assassination of Hugo Chavez.”

And next year, may democracy return to the USA.

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We have nothing to sell but fear itself

Greg Palast 

Fear is the sales pitch for many products: from war on the Euphrates to billion-dollar submarines. Better than toothpaste that makes your teeth whiter than white, this stuff will make us safer than safe. It’s political junk food, the cheap filling in the flashy tube.

True security for life’s dangers—from a real national health insurance program to protecting teachers’ jobs, would take a slice of the profits of the owning classes, the Lockheeds, the JP Morgans. The War on Terror has become class war by other means.

And who will get us next? Don’t assume they’ll be clutching Korans. Until September 11, 2001, the deadliest terror attack in American history was carried out by …more

Big Oil Threatens Academia, Again

Greg Palast 


This week on Democracy Now, 350.org’s Bill McKibben was on the program to discuss Exxon’s “thuggish” attempt to threaten Columbia journalism students after they published an investigation into Exxon’s climate lies.

It’s not news to anyone who follows my work that big oil likes to use their financial sway in higher education. Back in 2009 I wrote about the Deputy Director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, Ivor Van Heerden who was pushed out of his job when he started talking too much about how Big Oil helped drown New Orleans.

I don’t get to use the word “heroic” very often. Van Heerden is heroic. It was van Heerden who told me, on camera, something so horrible, so frightening, that, …more

Jefferson Davis and me in Montgomery

Greg Palast 

It’s been 60 years since Rosa Parks took a stand here in Montgomery. The journey has been long—and we still haven’t arrived. I stopped by the State Capitol, with Jefferson Davis in front, while investigating the latest Alabama outrage against Black voters.

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Who Hatched Rubio?

Greg Palast 

The news media was abuzz when Marco Rubio received what likely is the most important endorsement of the 2016 political season. Courted by Bush, Christie, and even ‘The Donald,’ the man known by his colleagues as “The Vulture” was circled by many, but eventually he swooped in on Rubio.

So who is this… Vulture?

He was the man behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the man behind Mitt Romney, and the man that chose Paul Ryan for Vice President.

The Vulture is well known for all of this, but the real reason why Paul Singer is important can be found here on GregPalast.com.

Watch our first ever investigation into this financial bird of prey below, and read more on how Singer has built his empire on the ruins of nations, the Congolese, and union workers.

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