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Maddow explains how Trump’s attempt to keep his tax returns under wraps is crumbling

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President Donald Trump’s desperate quest to keep his tax returns hidden from the American public, even as House Democrats invoke federal law to demand the Treasury turn them over is failing, said MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Tuesday evening.

“We got another crack in the dam in another part of the Trump Administration,” said Maddow. “This happened last night when someone leaked to the Washington Post the internal legal guidance that had been prepared at the IRS, making sure that the IRS itself knows that under law it must hand over President Trump’s tax returns to the Ways and Means Committee. The IRS’ own legal analysis says this is not a discretionary thing. This is not a judgment call for the treasury secretary or for anyone else. There is no wiggle room here. This is mandatory.”

Maddow noted that the memo “has not yet resulted in the IRS actually handing over the president’s tax returns, as required by law,” but “the IRS and the Treasury Department are now defying a subpoena to hand over those tax returns. That means their defiance of that subpoena will soon land them in court. It will not help them in court that the agency itself turns out to have put in writing that they know they need to hand over those tax returns. I mean, incidentally it will not help them that there are people inside the IRS who are willing to provide that kind of utterly damning material to reporters in order to blow the whistle on their own bosses.”

“And meanwhile, the dam is still cracking, including in new and exciting places,” said Maddow. “Today in Albany, New York, the state legislature in the state where the president lived his whole life and where he headquartered his business interests, today the state legislature in New York voted that they would provide the president’s state tax returns to Congress if the tax-related committees in Congress believe they need to see them.”

“Now there is no sign yet that the Democrats in Congress will take up this offer from New York state, which is offering to give them the president’s state tax returns,” Maddow continued. “But if the Democrats in Congress do ultimately decide to go that route, it is expected that those state tax returns would likely contain much of the same information as the president’s federal tax returns, which he is fighting so hard to keep secret.”

“And all that has happened in less than two weeks,” Maddow added. “And it’s just the start.”

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Chuck Todd’s terrible interview with fabricator-in-chief Trump snapped the tether: From here on out there’s no truth

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Nothing will ever be the same again. Donald Trump’s unwavering disregard for reality and his acts of violence against the truth are rapidly metastasizing into the marrow of the national debate. I'm not sure we have enough heroes in this country to successfully extricate Trumpism and toss it into the biohazard waste bin of history, along other embarrassments in America's mixed record.

The very fabric of right and wrong in America is disintegrating as one of our two major parties, with some crucial help from Russia, has convinced four out of every 10 voters that verifiable truth is nothing more than a fake news plot against them and their beloved Fifth Avenue Clampetts. As a result, half of the political debate, from the local level on up, is built exclusively on wrongness — on total nonsense, invented by Trump himself along with his propaganda cable network.

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Commentary

New York’s legislature gives landlords a lesson in democracy

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The knockout punch that the New York State Legislature just landed fighting landlords over spiraling rents ought to be attracting wider attention.

Just as with healthcare access or prescription drug prices, the cost of rent increases that mostly benefit big apartment owners is a challenge to the income-gap society that are at the heart of the national political debate. Every urban center in the country is having housing problems, and rents, like mortgages, are a subject at every kitchen table.

For once, the New York Legislature, whose Democrats overcame internecine divisions this session, has abolished rules that let building owners deregulate apartments, and closed loopholes that have permitted landlords to raise rents. And the changes for better tenant protection were made permanent, eliminating the recurring drama over these issues.

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DC Report

Trump’s EPA wants minimal limits on poison in drinking water

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The Trump EPA calculated recommended limits of a dangerous chemical sometimes found in drinking water that can harm babies’ brain development that were more than 9 times higher than those imposed by a few states by fudging a key number in the calculation.

The Trump recommended a limit for perchlorate, which can harm infant brain development, of 56 micrograms per liter, far above the limit of 6 that California imposed and 2 that Massachusetts set, more than a decade ago.

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 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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