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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, November 24, 2014
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 7/24/2012 3:47pm PT  

Last night we offered some very encouraging news about an apparent federal challenge, in the works by the U.S. Dept of Justice, against the state of Pennsylvania's disenfranchising, GOP-enacted, polling place Photo ID restriction law. Today's news is even more encouraging!

The Commonwealth of PA and the plaintiffs in the state challenge to the law have filed a remarkable one-page, 6-point stipulation [PDF] in advance of the trial in that case which is set to begin tomorrow.

The stipulation agrees, in plain language, that there has never been a known case of in-person voter fraud --- the only type of voter fraud that can even possibly be deterred by such restrictions --- in the history of the Keystone State, or even in other states, for that matter...

STIPULATION

Petitioners and Respondents, by and through their undersigned counsel, hereby stipulate as follows:

1. There have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states;

2. The parties are not aware of any incidents of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania and do not have direct personal knowledge of in person voter fraud elsewhere;

3. Respondents will not offer any evidence in this action that in-person voter fraud has in fact occurred in Pennsylvania or elsewhere;
...
5. Respondents will not offer any evidence or argument that in person voter fraud is likely to occur in November 2012 in the absence of the Photo ID law.

I don't think it can be stated any plainer. The GOP's polling place Photo ID restriction, which they have passed under the guise that it is needed to prevent "voter fraud", is, itself, a fraud.

Of course, we've been arguing this point for some time (going on 10 years, in fact). In state after state where these laws have been passed by Republican legislatures and signed by Republican governors on the basis that they are needed to curb "voter fraud", the proponents of the laws in every state have been unable to offer even a single historical case of voter fraud in their state which would have been prevented by these measures.

In other words, these laws are not meant to curb "voter fraud", they are meant to curb voting --- specifically, by people who don't have the type of state-issued Photo ID required under these new laws. In the case of PA, that amounts to some 750,000 legally eligible voters, by the state's own numbers --- more voters than Obama won the state by in 2008. The voters most effected by these laws, as study after study have shown for years, are far and away more Democratic-leaning than Republican.

That's the entire story on these purposely disenfranchising voter suppression laws. Period. Always has been, always will be. That, despite the unforgivably poor reporting by many in the corporate mainstream media suggesting there is some legitimate reason to enact these laws. There isn't. There never has been. And it is that poor reporting which has allowed the GOP to keep this issue alive, as if it is anything but a blatant attempt to suppress the Democratic-leaning vote...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 7/24/2012 3:14pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Deadly floods in China, drought in Europe - global food prices rise as extreme weather hammers crops across the planet; Germany warns time is running out to cut emissions; EPA to pull back on new mercury pollution standards?; PLUS: Mutants in Florida: pushing back against the Franken-skeeter! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): BC premiere criticizes tar sands pipeline; "Experts" wrong again on renewable energy predictions; "Perfect storm" on Gulf dolphin deaths; Michael Mann threatens to sue over conservative media's Sandusky comparison; Fukushima: workers' radiation levels faked? ... PLUS: Fossil fuels and global warming's terrifying new math ... and much, MUCH more! ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Ernest A. Canning on 7/20/2012 1:19pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

This week, the Minnesota Supreme Court heard the League of Women Voters' argument against language set to be used in a ballot initiative this November which, if passed by the electorate, would amend the state's constitution to require that valid, Government-issued Photo ID be presented at the polling place before voters are allowed to vote.

The initiative was placed on the ballot by the GOP majority in the state legislature, but, as we detailed earlier this month, the League has filed suit charging that the language used in the ballot question is extremely deceptive and that it fails to accurately explain how the constitutional amendment would change the voting system in Minnesota, while putting the legal rights of voters at risk.

During oral arguments (video clip posted below) in League of Women Voters of Minnesota v. Ritchie [PDF], veteran MN Supreme Court Justice Paul H. Anderson suggested that the issue before the Court, of whether the ballot question was misleading, was more profound than even the League's attorney, William Pentelovitch, was characterizing it.

The hearing produced the following remarkable colloquy...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
'Hot Town Summer in the City' Edition!
By Desi Doyen on 7/19/2012 2:14pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Hot town, summer in the city --- and in the country, and in the mountains, and on the farms, and in the desert; GOP goes to bat for Monsanto; FDA bans BPA - sort of; Greenland calves new iceberg; PLUS: Australia's new carbon tax FAILS... to cause economic catastrophe ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): GOP Seeks to Kill Black Lung Reform; Tea Party Blocks Pact to Restore a West Coast River; Appeals Court Upholds EPA Air Quality Rule; White House Weakened EPA Soot Proposal; Geo-Engineering Experiment to Trap Carbon Deep in the Ocean; Climate scientists call for 'serious' Keystone XL review; Oil jumps on Mid-East worries; Climategate investigation closed; Smart meters bad for your health? ... PLUS: “You can’t run your SUV on cute. Let’s Go.” ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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By Brad Friedman on 7/18/2012 9:04pm PT  

After all these years writing about him here at The BRAD BLOG, it was fascinating, to say the least, to finally try and get some direct answers from the nation's most notorious former GOP lobbyist, Jack Abramoff.

Now that he's completed three and half years in the federal penitentiary; after pleading guilty in 2006 to charges of conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion; cooperating with federal prosecutors to help net some 20 other convictions or guilty pleas from former Bush Administration officials, one member of Congress and a number of other lobbyists and congressional aides; becoming an anti-corruption blogger; and writing a book (Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America's Most Notorious Lobbyist) about it all to help pay off some $44 million in court-ordered restitution to his victims, Abramoff joined me for a very lively, and at times feisty interview today on KPFK/Pacifica Radio's The BradCast.

Topics in the live, 30 minute interview include:

  • Abramoff's take on the lack of morality at the heart of his crimes (he agrees to the failing, but seemingly only in part.)
  • His belief that details of his story have been misreported (such as his attempt to take out life insurance policies on the lives of tribal elders to help cover the lobbying debts of tribes he represented and/or mis-represented.)
  • His response to allegations of forced abortions and sex slavery in the sweatshops of his clients, the Northern Marianas Island (he denies knowledge of it having happened, and believes the claims were politically motivated.)
  • What disgraced former and alleged election fraudster Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) was doing on Abramoff's lobbyist junket to play golf in St. Andrews, Scotland ("He was not supposed to be on that trip...he may have done something for us, but I can't remember what it was," claims Jack.)
  • Whether he has done enough to tell the public the criminal truth about his former friends, colleagues, and highly placed elected officials who were the recipient of his bribes in the Bush Administration and the U.S. Congress, and whether he needs to do so before the lobbying reforms he claims to seek can ever come to pass.

I am only sorry we didn't have more time, as I had so much more to ask about, and there were several topics I would have liked to have drilled down into much more detail in hopes of holding feet to fire. But he had another interview commitment at the bottom of the hour, I had promised in advance to get him off air in time to make it, and he committed (yes, it's all on tape, Jack!) to come back and continue the discussion in the future. I'll look forward to holding him to that.

After he left, for the second part of the hour, we continued with listener phone calls, and their take on whether Abramoff's purported conversion from infamous criminal to hopeful reformer can or should be trusted, or whether this is just the latest "con" by "Casino Jack". The caller responses were very interesting, and I'll welcome yours as well, in comments below...

Download MP3 or listen online below (whole show, appx 58 mins.)...

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ALSO: Court challenges heard on similar restrictions in MN, TX, as new report finds some 10 million eligible voters disadvantaged by the Republican-supported polling place schemes...
By Brad Friedman on 7/18/2012 12:05pm PT  

If there was any doubt before, after several findings by several courts that the Wisconsin GOP's attempts to institute polling place Photo ID restrictions were in strict violation of their state Constitution, yesterday's verdict ought to (but probably won't) put a hard end to that question...

A Dane County judge on Tuesday permanently barred enforcement of the photo identification requirements of Wisconsin's voter ID law, saying that it imposes too great a burden on voters in Wisconsin than the state constitution allows.

Circuit Judge David Flanagan ruled that Wisconsin Act 23, the voter ID law, "tells more than 300,000 Wisconsin voters who do not now have an acceptable form of photo identification that they cannot vote unless they first obtain a photo ID card."

That requirement, he wrote, imposes a "substantial burden" upon a significant proportion of state residents who are registered or eligible to vote because of the cost and difficulty of obtaining documents needed to apply for a state photo ID. That creates a "substantial impairment" to the right to vote guaranteed by the Wisconsin Constitution, he wrote.

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 7/17/2012 3:17pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: It's official: US drought is now declared a natural disaster; Massive anti-nuke protests in Japan; Kalamazoo River tar sands pipeline spill was entirely preventable; PLUS: Shell Oil's excellent adventure in the Arctic gets off to a rocky start ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): BLM gives away US coal, subsidizes China; GOP obstruction threatens coal miners; Koreas in worst drought in 100 years; Romney supports end of wind tax credit that would kill thousands of jobs; Greenland calves another massive iceberg; EPA drops CAFO reporting rule; FDA spied on scientists; Food safety inspection cuts; PG&E 'downgraded' pipeline safety probs to save money ... PLUS: Apple rejoins green registry, admitting its exit was a mistake ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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By D.R. Tucker on 7/17/2012 12:31pm PT  

Guest editorial by D.R. Tucker

As a disillusioned conservative, what I wouldn't give to have someone who could make logical, fact-based arguments from the right. How interesting would it be to have someone just as intellectually skilled as MSNBC's Chris Hayes, just as sharp as him, just as devoted to sound logic as him-but coming from the opposite perspective?

Where the hell are the public intellectuals on the right, anyway? It used to bug me that Fox "News" Channel would promote Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity as the main faces of their network. I never had the sense that O'Reilly was actually a conservative, merely someone who knew that repeating conservative memes over and over again would be lucrative. As for Hannity, he lost me back in 2001 when I tuned into his radio show and heard him declare that he would condemn his kid if he decided to get an earring. What is this, I thought to myself, 1978?

One can debate when the right stopped investing in its intellectual infrastructure, but one cannot debate the reality of this phenomenon. Oh, wait --- the right debates the reality of certain phenomena all the time. Look at global warming, for just a start...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Ernest A. Canning on 7/13/2012 8:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Ah, what more can you say about those "small government conservatives" as they once again attempt to place the big government they claim to despise between citizens and their doctors by taking away more rights and freedoms?

In Mississippi, the Jackson's Women's Health Organization --- which operates the only remaining clinic to offer abortion services in the entire Magnolia State --- filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block enforcement of a state law meant solely to shut them down and nullify the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade.

The new law requires any physician who performs an abortion to be both a board-certified OB-GYN and have admitting privileges at a local hospital. According to MSNBC's James Eng, this would almost certainly force the clinic to shut down because most of their physicians "live out-of-state or because local hospitals are reluctant to grant such privileges to physicians who perform abortions." That closure would "lead some to consider unsafe and illegal alternatives that pose grave risks to [women's] health, lives, and reproductive future," according to Nancy Northrup of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

On July 2, Reuters reported that "U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Jordan issued a temporary restraining order," stating that "plaintiffs have offered evidence --- including quotes from significant legislative and executive officers --- that the act's purpose is to eliminate abortions in Mississippi." On Wednesday, in a hearing on the Jackson Women's Health Organization's motion for a preliminary injunction, Judge Jordan, who was nominated to the federal bench by George W. Bush, extended his TRO pending his ruling. So the clinic stays open for the moment.

Meanwhile, Republicans in the Michigan legislature silenced a female colleague, Rep. Lisa Brown (D), when she responded to their anti-women's reproductive rights measure last month by stating: "And, finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no'."

At least in that instance, the GOP "War on Women" produced an hilarious segment on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart entitled "The Vagina Ideologues". If you missed it a few weeks ago, have a look...

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Or, 'Still Whistling Past Democracy's Graveyard'...
By Brad Friedman on 7/12/2012 3:55pm PT  

In case you're wondering, it's not just The BRAD BLOG trying to warn folks on the Right, Left and everywhere in between of the pending disasters of our oft-failed, almost always wholly-unverified and quickly disappearing system of once-overseeable, theoretically-democratic system of electoral self-governance.

As Steven Rosenfeld, veteran journalist of the 2004 Ohio mess, writes this week at Alternet in "Not Again! How Our Voting System Is Ripe For Theft and Meltdown in 2012" [emphasis added]:

"We need good technology and we need good laws," said Barbara Simons. The retired IBM computer scientist and nationally known expert on voting technology is co-author of a new book, Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count? which details America's history of voting machinery and election administration, and concludes that many states have neither good technology nor good vote count rules.

"We are running elections in this country as if we are still in the 19th century," she said. "The results are announced and there is no verification. At minimum, we should be doing manual post-election ballot audits for all major elections whether or not the results are close, because there even could be a major problem with an election with a wide margin."

Rosenfeld covers a lot of ground in his piece, so you should read it in full.

That said, as much ground as he covers, he and the experts he quotes still manage to understate the concerns, while failing to define what, in nearly a decade on this beat we have found, so far, to be the only apparent solution: Hand-marked paper ballots counted publicly, by hand, on Election Night, at the precinct, in front of all parties, observers and video cameras, with decentralized results posted at those precincts, before ballots are allowed to move anywhere.

You have been warned. Again.

Now back to your bickering about off-shore bank accounts and "socialism", or whatever it is you feel your time is better spent on between now and November 6.

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 7/12/2012 3:18pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Corporate media finally covers climate change and extreme weather; Global warming making intense heat waves more likely; Dude, we are seriously stressing out the world's coral reefs; Climate change denial industry going after science journalists; PLUS: Mad scientists in Canada are revolting ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): US Navy's ‘Great Green Fleet’ Sails; NTSB blames Enbridge, ‘weak’ regulations in Kalamazoo oil spill; Studies Tie Human Bladder Infections To Antibiotics In Chicken; Texas judge rules atmosphere, air to be protected like water; GOP Doubles Down On ‘Pants On Fire’ Claims About Clean Energy; BP halts offshore Alaska project; MA Power Companies To Bill Customers For Lost Service ... PLUS: Climate change skepticism could wipe out rural towns in Australia ... and much, MUCH more! ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 7/10/2012 2:49pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Baby, it's HOT outside: the hottest 12 months on record; "Corn growers in Hell," melting runways, and more impacts of extreme weather; Better late than never: More Americans believe in science again (But not ABC's George Will!); PLUS: ExxonMobil CEO admits climate change --- but, conveniently, he's not concerned about it ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Conservation groups sue over Arctic spill plans; BP Gulf Oil Spill has lasting impact; Building costs rise at US nuclear sites; Canada's scientists revolting; UK: Freak storms, flash floods, record rain; GA lawmakers overturn fracking veto by 1 accidental vote; Ocean acidity major threat to coral reefs; Copper pollution hurts salmon ... PLUS: What happens when we can't stop 10 degree warming? ... and much, MUCH more! ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Enabled by inaccurate coverage, state officials continue to mislead public about knowingly 'flawed' program...
By Ernest A. Canning on 7/9/2012 1:19pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Only a handful of Americans understand what really took place inside a Tallahassee, FL federal courtroom on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, thanks to the skewed reality presented by mainstream corporate media coverage of the latest ruling to affect Florida's attempted purge of alleged "non-citizen" voters.

The extraordinary misreporting subsequently enabled top Florida officials, including Republican Gov. Rick Scott, to continue what has become a reliable pattern of public deception and disingenuous spin in its wake.

What happened, in short, on June 27, was this: The attorneys for FL Sec. of State Ken Detzner (R) walked into the federal courtroom, threw-up their hands and surrendered. There was no need for Judge Robert Hinkle to issue the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) sought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) in order to stop what the DoJ described as an illegal, systematic purge of "potential non-citizen" voters. Detzner voluntarily suspended the purge and promised the court it would not resume.

Accepting Detzner's surrender, Judge Hinkle denied the federal government's motion for a TRO, finding it unnecessary, but cautioned that the DoJ could revisit the issue if Detzner or any of Florida's county Supervisors of Elections resumed what he described as a flawed voter removal program that "probably ran afoul" of the National Voting Rights Act (NVRA).

Subsequent misreporting by the corporate mainstream media succeeded, however, in turning that reality upside-down. The failure comes courtesy of an MSM that has not so much as mentioned Scott and Detzner's documented mendacity, revealed by The BRAD BLOG's exclusive investigation of public records last month, concerning the alleged "refusal" by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide FL with access to a federal immigration database for use in its attempted voter purge.

The headlines written in response to the June 27 court hearing expose a classic MSM failure. "Fla. Judge Won't Halt Voter Roll Purge", CBS Miami dutifully reported immediately after Judge Hinkle's bench ruling. Yes, concurred Fox "News", "Judge refuses to block Florida voter purge", in a headline that would be repeated by the Huffington Post and again at ABC. Agreed, wrote Bloomberg, "Federal Judge Rejects U.S. Bid to Block Voter-Roll Purge".

At the Chicago Tribune we find "Judge Rejects U.S. request to stop Florida voter purge". Indeed, from the Miami Herald, we learned "Judge halts federal attempt to block Florida's voter purge". In fact, in perhaps the most twisted headline of all, the Orlando Weekly (mis)informed its readers, "Federal judge OKs Florida voter purge".

Trouble is, each and every one of those news organizations got it wrong, just as CNN and Fox "News" got it wrong when they initially filed erroneous reports claiming that the Supreme Court had struck down the Affordable Care Act.

What the media and the Governor depicted as a FL victory, one that would permit his attempted purge to continue, was, in fact, an abject capitulation by the authors of an unlawful voter roll purge...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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ALSO: AP finds hundreds of legal voters, R and D, who've already lost right to vote under similar laws in other states...
By Brad Friedman on 7/8/2012 12:14pm PT  

Unless civil rights groups suing, incredibly enough, for the right of legal voters to cast their legal vote in Pennsylvania this year are successful in blocking the new GOP law, hundreds of thousands of voters --- of all parties, but disproportionately Democratic-leaning --- could be disenfranchised in the Keystone State alone this November, under the Republicans' new polling place Photo ID restriction.

The estimated 750,000 voters who do not have state-issued IDs in Pennsylvania surpasses President Obama's margin of victory in 2008. Many of the voters without ID are in poor and minority communities - typically blocs that vote Democratic. Democrats' worst fears appeared to be confirmed when the Republican leader of the state House, who helped shepherd the legislation onto the books, recently boasted that it will "allow" Mitt Romney win the Keystone State.

Democrats now have to make sure voters are aware of the law, know whether they comply, know how to meet the requirements if they don't already - and do it all before Election Day. This could be a steep climb. Only one of five voters approached by TPM at Obama's Pittsburgh rally Friday knew the law existed.

"I heard about it in Florida but not here," said Martin Hoberman, a voter from the Pittsburgh area.

At the same time, AP reports today that based on its study of recent elections in Indiana, Georgia and Tennessee --- states where GOP-backed polling place Photo ID restrictions have already been in effect for some time --- "legitimate votes rejected by the laws are far more numerous than are the cases of fraud that advocates of the rules say they are trying to prevent."

That, of course, is the point.

As the AP story points out in its opening grafs, perfectly legal votes of Republican voters will also be tossed out (in the story they mention a 90-year old WWII veteran and his wife who had no idea their votes for Romney in this year's Indiana primary were never counted) along with the disenfranchisement of untold numbers who don't even bother to show up to vote at all because they don't own one of the very narrowly defined state-issued Photo IDs approved for use under these new voter suppression laws.

And, yes, when Republicans lose their right to vote, it pisses us off just as much as when Democrats lose their right to vote, even when it happens under voter suppression laws passed by Republicans.

We can think of little that is more blatantly and appallingly anti-American than what the GOP is now doing in hopes of purposely and systematically undermining the very core of democracy in this nation.

* * *
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By Brad Friedman on 7/6/2012 6:35am PT  

Far be it for me to call TPM's Josh Marshall "stupid". It just makes a more eye-catching headline in this case. And it also happens to be a fact, as I see it, that Romney's refusal to release his tax returns from any year prior to 2010, and especially his local state return from 2010, is about hiding evidence of a felony crime, as much or likely more than it is about hiding embarrassing details of off-shore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Switzerland, etc.

Josh argued yesterday that the latter is the reason for the presumptive GOP nominee's continuing refusal to publicly disclose those tax returns. It's almost certainly a part of the campaign's calculations and, as he posits convincingly in his blog item headlined "Kryptonite", hard visual confirmation of Romney's foreign tax shelters would be difficult to shake off with explanations to Mr. and Mrs. America.

But the use of legal off-shore tax shelters can be massaged through the "conservative" "messaging" machine with a legitimate-sounding case that avoidance of federal taxes is somehow a patriotic "conservative" duty and/or otherwise yet another example of Romney's keen business insight and smart, fully legal fiscal discipline which every American should someday aspire to.

What cannot be so easily brushed off or propagandized away --- not without completely undermining the current culmination of the GOP's nearly-decade long effort in creating the imaginary notion of massive Democratic "voter fraud" which must be rectified immediately with polling place Photo ID restrictions (actually little more than the GOP's attempt to suppress the legitimate Democratic-leaning vote while preventing almost no existing voter fraud) --- is the likelihood that those tax returns would reveal indisputable evidence that this year's GOP standard-bearer is an actual voter fraud felon himself...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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