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Wednesday's Mini-Report, 9.21.16

09/21/16 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Charlotte: "The armed man fatally shot by North Carolina cops Tuesday was given multiple warnings to drop his weapon, police officials said in the wake of violent late-night clashes between law enforcement and protesters."

* Climate crisis: "A global climate agreement moved closer toward taking effect by the end of the year, as 30 more nations ratified it Wednesday during a special meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly."

* Syria: "Secretary of State Kerry said he sometimes feels like he's living in a 'parallel universe' to his Russian counterpart on the subject of Syria. During an impassioned address at a United Nations Security Council briefing on the five-year civil war Wednesday, he also argued that a cease-fire deal brokered by the U.S. and Russia on September 9 could be saved in spite of a string of violations."

* ISIS is facing the prospect of losing Mosul -- and as a consequence, it's lashing out in desperation.

* A divided Federal Reserve today "left its policy rate unchanged for a sixth straight meeting, saying it would wait for more evidence of progress toward its goals, while projecting that an increase is still likely by year-end."

* Quite a scandal in Iowa: "A staffer from Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign is headed to prison for his role in a conspiracy that falsified Federal Election Commission reports. Unlike his two co-defendants who only got probation, Dimitri Kesari will serve three months behind bars."

* EpiPen: "Lawmakers chastised EpiPen's chief executive for amassing an $18 million salary during a contentious congressional hearing Wednesday afternoon, as she evaded questions about how much profit the company made off the lifesaving allergy drug."
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This photo taken March 22, 2013, shows the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington.

House Republicans' IRS hearing doesn't go as planned

09/21/16 04:00PM

Far-right House Republicans, ignoring their own congressional leadership, haven't given up on their crusade to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Their efforts don't make a lot of sense, and there's absolutely no way the impeachment drive will have any practical effect, but several GOP lawmakers see this as a useful electoral and fundraising tool -- and so the gambit continues.

Last week, with the far-right threatening to force an impeachment resolution onto the House floor, Republicans reached an intra-party agreement: the House Judiciary Committee would hold a big hearing; the far-right would spend a couple of hours treating Koskinen like a rhetorical punching bag; conservatives would send out some fundraising letters; and the political world would move on.

And for a while, everything was going according to plan. Koskinen appeared on the Hill and explained that there's no sane reason to impeach him, while assorted Republicans complained incessantly about the IRS controversy that was discredited years ago.

But the twist came when Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee made clear that this hearing could serve their political purposes, too.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, asked if people under IRS audit are free to release their tax returns, a situation [Donald Trump] has asserted in refusing to release his forms. Koskinen said such taxpayers can release their returns.

Nadler also asked if someone can use money from a charitable foundation to buy a portrait or a football helmet autographed by former quarterback Tim Tebow or to pay fees from legal disputes. Reports have said money from the Donald J. Trump Foundation has been used for those purposes.

Koskinen said, generally, charitable money shouldn't be used to benefit someone who runs a charitable foundation.
Remember, this was supposed to be the far-right's show trial -- right up until those rascally Dems took advantage of the opportunity.
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About The Rachel Maddow Show

Launched in 2008, “The Rachel Maddow Show” follows the machinations of policy making in America, from local political activism to international diplomacy. Rachel Maddow looks past the distractions of political theater and stunts and focuses on the legislative proposals and policies that shape American life - as well as the people making and influencing those policies and their ultimate outcome, intended or otherwise.



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