Armed Madhouse

If you're a bluish blogger, I probably don't have to promote the BBC's Greg Palast, one of the few investigative journalists left in this country. His reports on BBC's Newsnight have revealed how the last two presidential elections were stolen, that Al-Qaeda investigations were stymied from the top down before 9/11 (he even predicted the stealing of the 2004 election a week or so beforehand) and the two plans (both Foggy Bottom and Hell's Bottom) for divvying up Iraq's resources. Oh, and how George Bush, Jr. avoided the draft and went AWOL--reported in 1999, long before Rathergate. The NYT and 60 Minutes both have killed stories that Palast fed them. So no, if you don't know where to look (per usual), you wouldn't know 99% of the biggest stories in American journalism, all brought to you by a fellow citizen broadcasting across the pond.

The point? This: Palast's last book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (available on DVD as Bush Family Fortunes), was revealing enough. But if you want to know what the American lapdog media didn't tell you for the last five years, read Armed Madhouse. Like the NYT's David Cay Johnson's Perfectly Legal, it's extremely disturbing and well-researched. But unlike Johnson's revelations about the corruption and dismantling of the US tax system, Palast's book is incredibly funny. Although it reveals how wrong things have gone in this country, it doesn't leave you feeling empty and angry; it leaves full of laughter-induced endorphins. Frankly, that's how to make the most troubling news you haven't heard palatable.

Read Armed Madhouse. But only if you want to know the truth and not live in denial.

BONUS: Palast, a former economist who studied under Milton Friedman, gives the skinny on Tom Friedman's disastrous "globalization," showing which "protectionist" countries have the smallest gap between rich and poor and which world leader has led the charge for social welfare and proper use of gov't oil revenues.

SUPER HAPPY BONUS: It's no coincidence that I posted this after quoting Ned Beatty's speech in Network. In the middle of Armed Madhouse, Palast deconstructs and interprets Beatty's speech to show just how wrong the fact-averse Tom Friedman is when he lavishes his "expertise" on globalization to NYT readers. What a fucking hack.

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