Rachel Maddow’s Belly-Flop

From Slate.com:

Rachel Maddow Turned a Scoop on Donald Trump’s Taxes Into a Cynical, Self-Defeating Spectacle

At 7:36 p.m. Tuesday, Rachel Maddow tweeted, “BREAKING: We’ve got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC. (Seriously),” sending the internet into a frenzy of theorizing. Did Maddow have Donald Trump’s tax returns or just one of the Trumps’ tax returns? Could this be it, the tax return that would bring down the Donald? If this was it, why wasn’t MSNBC cutting into its programming, instead of running a countdown clock to Maddow’s show? By 8:24, Maddow was tweeting that the tax return in question was Donald Trump’s 1040 from 2005. By 8:30, still half an hour before Maddow started airing, the White House had responded to the MSNBC report, saying that Trump had paid $38 million on income of $150 million that year. An hour later, about 20 minutes after The Rachel Maddow Show started, Maddow would confirm these numbers, turning her big scoop about Donald Trump’s long-missing tax returns into a cautionary tale about overhype. Rachel Maddow, you played yourself—and us too.

[…]

The longer Maddow went on, ever deeper into a conspiratorial thicket, the clearer it became that whatever tax returns Maddow had, they weren’t as juicy as the ones she was talking about. If she had anything that damning, she would have shared them from the start. TV is a ratings game, but an entire episode about highly damaging tax returns is just as likely to get you great ratings as milking the possibility that you have highly damaging tax returns and less likely to get you compared to Geraldo. Maddow even went so far as to hold the tax returns back until after the first commercial break, as if we were watching an episode of The Bachelor and not a matter of national importance—because we weren’t, in fact, watching a matter of national importance, just a cable news show trying to set a ratings record.

After the first break—at which point the tax returns were already available on the internet and glossed by the Daily Beast—Maddow was joined by Johnston [the person who obtained the return], and she began by asking him how he knew Trump hadn’t sent the returns himself. Johnston said that he could have. A few hours after Maddow finished airing, this has become a popular conspiracy theory, simply because, if Donald Trump were to share any of his tax returns, the 2005 1040 seems like a good candidate. Trump paid taxes at a rate of around 4 percent, but because of the alternate minimum tax, he also paid an additional $31 million. The form revealed that, rather than not paying taxes and making no money, Trump paid $38 million on $150 million in income. Maddow promised to pull a sordid revelation out of a hat and instead plucked out … Trump’s credibility? Maddow was soon parsing, asking Johnston to explain that Trump is currently trying to do away with the AMT, which, unfair as it may be, still wouldn’t change the amount he paid in 2005.

It’s hard to discern just what Maddow had hoped to prove with this dud of a story. As sister network CNBC opined, “Donald Trump just got a nice victory, thanks to, of all people, Rachel Maddow.” Perhaps Maddow jumped the gun when she heard that Johnston would share the return with her. If so, she only exemplifies the sorry state of the MSM. Their obsession to derail Trump prevents them from behaving responsibly. Look for the MSM to blame Russia in the next round of reporting.

America's Fossil Fuel Feast
EPA's Scott Pruitt Flubs Answer To Carbon Dioxide Question
  • yetanotherjohn

    I like the latest idea from the left that somehow Trump is the one who caused Rachel to belly flop by mailing the return himself. I like the idea of a president who can cause the left to be-clown themselves for the cost of a first class stamp.

  • Tom Higgens

    Notice when Trump leaked his return, he didn’t leak the full return which, shows where his money came from (likely Russian Oligarchs.) He also didn’t release anything in the last ten years which probably shows how broke he is. Anyone who doesn’t think he is hiding something is very, very, very, dumb.

    • Retired military

      Geez. Remember that Trump is responsible for the artic ice caps melting too. And the ozone depletion. And the rise of STDs in Florida. The Japanese nuclear meltdown. The Hindenburg crash. The rise of Hitler and last but not least Daylight Savings time.

      • Tom Higgens

        He’s dirty. That is why he is letting Steel from Russian Oligarchs on the pipeline. You know the exception to the whole made in the U.S. thing.

        • Retired military

          Yeah yeah. He is so dumb that he leaked his tax returns knowing that Maddow would make a big deal out of it and wind up making herself look stupid as a result.
          You may want to adjust the reception on your tin foil hat.

          • Tom Higgens

            Tin foil hat. is that for when Obama spies on me with a microwave, like our best good friend KellyAnne said?

            Why won’t he release his taxes like every other Modern president. He is dirty.

          • Retired military
          • Tom Higgens

            So you admit, you can’t give a reason other than corruption and the likelihood of his needing money from the Russian Oligarchs as reason he is scared to release his full taxes in the last decade. Thanks for playing.

          • Retired military

            LOL. I didn’t admit squat. I have no clue why he doesn’t release his tax returns. How about he didn’t want partisians digging through a 1000 page document to pick out one thing that they will then twist to try to make him look bad.

            Using your logic Obama didn’t release his transcripts due to the fact that he got all Fs. See how that game goes.
            BTW is that Rachel Driving? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8fa733992ac533168d75b8d00fd7dcfe81fa39026a6bd4404f8b57676d984fc7.jpg

          • Tom Higgens

            presidents don’t release college transcripts. They do release taxes. Nice try. And thanks for admitting that you didn’t know that. Along with admitting Trump is likely dirty because you can’t think of a reason he isn’t following precedent.

          • Retired military

            Didn’t you get the news from Obama’s NIE. There was no collusion between the Russians and Trump. Not a smidgen of evidence anywhere.

            Funny that a quick google would show links to stories about Bush’s college transcripts, Bush Gore SAT scores and a whole host of links about Obama’s sealed records. Why are they sealed again?
            LOL
            Again I didn’t admit anything. I made a statement of fact. You are making shit up out of thin air.
            But according to your other posts on different sites Hillary won the election. SO why isn’t she in the WH?
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ec2cc4f03ae5d0a4cfc57e5b1387b98e2c7f3af8aa48c2a6b408bb575fc1cb2f.jpg

          • Retired military
          • Retired military

            Here you go Tom. Remember that this is Obama’s Director of National Intelligence

            http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/top-spy-chief-evidence-trump-campaign-aides-recruited/story?id=46013305

            ‘No evidence’ Trump campaign aides recruited by Russia, former spy chief says

            Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told ABC News he did not see anything to suggest that Russia successfully infiltrated Donald Trump’s presidential campaign or recruited any of Trump’s advisers — at least as of Jan. 20, when Clapper left office.

            “There was no evidence whatsoever, at the time, of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” Clapper, a retired three-star general and career intelligence officer, told ABC News’ Brian Ross in an interview Monday for “World News Tonight.”

          • If so, aim low…

          • Tom Higgens

            Other than the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA, saying Russia hacked the elections. Other than Flynn resigning or sessions recusing, or Multiple meetings with Russian ambassador other than Donald Jr. Saying the bulk of their money comes from Russia, and of course other than the fact that he is HIDING his tax returns nothing. Thanks for admitting that.

          • Retired military

            LOL.
            The Russians said that Hillary’s campaign team met with the Russian ambassador many times. And the CIA, FBI and NSA reported to the NIE director under Obama who specifically stated that there was no evidence of collusion and that all 3 of those agencies reported to him.

            What about Clintons flying on the pedophile’s plane? There are records of that.

          • Tom Higgens

            I forgot to Mention Order of Putin winner Tillerson Manafort and Roger Stone.

            And of course Hillary released her taxes showing she wasn’t being propped up by Russian Oligarchs. Nice try changing the subject though.

            Trump is dirty.

          • alanstorm

            Drop the hallucinogenics, Tom. They aren’t helping.

            Idiot.

          • Tom Higgens

            Hmm, you didn’t manage to make an argument. We’ll take that as a sign how weak your case is. Also let’s be honest, we both know you haven’t read a book in your life.

          • Looks like Alco’s doing pretty good since Tom got on.

            He must be stocking up!

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9037a1b1e5b6aec1a41de00a59fc2ea37d8389477f5065eefaf7777e93557382.jpg

          • Retired military

            You also forgot to mention Podesta’s brother who has ties with the Russian banks and got almost $200k from them. That has been proven unlike any of the BS you have spouted.

          • alanstorm

            Tom, you appear to be what sane people term an “idiot”.

            Have your medications adjusted.

          • Tom Higgens

            Ahh another one who can’t think of a reason to justify Trump’s hiding his taxes.

          • alanstorm

            He is under no obligation to release them.

            Idiot.

            Get those meds adjusted.

          • Tom Higgens

            No, but their is a precedent he broke, because he is hiding something most likely. You can’t come up with another reason because deep down you know I’m right. If you allow yourself o think a moment. I’m sure it’s uncomfortable but give it a try.

          • Retired military

            The word you are looking for is
            THERE
            not their

          • Tom Higgens

            Does this feel safer, than defending Trump hiding taxes, or fighting the Russians?

          • Retired military
          • Tom Higgens

            Aww. Did my mean words about Trump’s taxes trigger you? It’s okay. Donald won’t release them You don’t have to worry about mean liberals proving he is in the pocket of the Russians.

          • Retired military

            LOL
            The day your words trigger something other than me having to take a crap is the day I check out of life.

          • Red Five

            Precedent is not the same thing as law. There is no legal force requiring Trump or any other president to release their tax records.

          • Because his Tax Returns are private and personal and his business, and no one else’s business.

            HETL

          • Tom Higgens

            Every other modern president managed to get over that. to prove they were honest. Must have something to hide.

          • He just overturned a piss poor precedent. Expect to see a lot more of that.

            Now have your mommy wipe your chin.

          • Tom Higgens

            What is piss poor about it? It shows transparency to the american people. I can see why you’d be against that. Might force you to think.

          • Got links to Obama’s transcripts?

            Oops. I meant ‘taxes’.

          • Retired military

            Watch out Alan he will be claiming you are admitting to stuff you didn’t even know you were saying.

            BTW looking at other comments that Tom has made

            “I like Putin better than people that serve America so I agree with you.”

          • Tom Higgens

            Sad. Maybe you can change the subject to Bill Clinton, obviously you can’t defend Trump not releasing his taxes.

            Or better yet. Maybe you can post another picture. It’ll keep you from thinking and might make you feel better.

          • Scalia

            You’ve made your point repeatedly, so continuing to make it renders you a troll. Trump is under no obligation to release his tax returns, and we are not obligated to speculate why. You have every right to speculate which, again, you have done here. But as your charge is baseless, you will either prove your assertion or you will not be allowed to continue making it here.

          • Retired military

            He made a point? Other than he is a dumbass? You mean I missed it? Damn.

          • Retired Military(Cannon Fodder

            Of course you missed it. You’re not exactly bright.

          • Retired military

            But still a lot smarter than you.

          • Retired Military(Cannon Fodder

            Oh come on now. I’m a java programmer, I’m not a cannon fodder. I can think of better ways to make a living than getting shot at. Of course maybe that is why you sold out to Putin.

          • Exceedingly low bar.

          • Scalia

            His point was that given the precedent of previous presidents and presidential candidates submitting their tax returns, Trump’s refusal to follow suit proves he has something nefarious to hide. As you know, he made that point repeatedly and criticized others for their inability to prove a negative (or refusing to play his game). Stupid? yes, but it was nonetheless his point. I warned him, but he wouldn’t listen.

          • Retired Military(Cannon Fodder

            Changed my name to finish my point.

            Hmm let’s think about this logically. If asserting a position over and over like say, Retired Military has done in responding to me, makes one a troll then Everyone who has attacked me is a troll. Of course maybe the taunting pictures don’t compute as trolling in your world. I guess troll equals clear thinking liberal. So yes, I must be a troll.

            You are right though that pointing out the idiotc nature of your position over and over isn’t going to force your side to think about it. I suppose in me their is a glimmer of an optimist that thinks this time your side might think instead of trying to change the subject to the Clinton’s.

            I guess I won’t be allowed to continue under this account though because I certainly intend to keep responding to the many taunts from the idiots defending Trump’s hiding.

          • Retired Military(Cannon Fodder

            Also I can see the appeal of banning me. It requires no more uncomfortable thoughts on your part.

          • Retired military

            1. Responding to a troll isnt trolling

            2. Posting pictures which depict the truth isnt trolling

          • Retired Military(Cannon Fodder

            That’s why I’m not trolling I just responded to you calling people names because my logical post triggered you.

          • pennywit

            I have three theories about why Trump’s not releasing a comprehensive accounting of his taxes, actually.

            First, a lot of Trump’s personal brand is built on mystique — the idea that he, personally, has more money than Lex Luthor, C. Montgomery Burns, Bruce Wayne, and Tony Stark combined. As long as his personal fortune is kind of amorphous, he can keep selling the Trump mystique. When he releases tax returns, the public finds out Trump is “only” worth a certain amount of money, and that erases some of his mystique.

            Second, Trump strikes me as a pretty private man. Yes, he lives a fairly public life of luxury, big personality, blah, blah, blah, blah — but that’s all showmanship. It’s a public persona he chooses to share. His tax info is really his business, and he probably balks at the idea that he’s supposed to share it with the public.

            Third, if Trump is like any other wealthy individual, he uses a LOT of accounting wizardry (EXPECTO DEDUCTO!!!) to knock his tax burden down as much as he can. This isn’t a bad thing, per se. However, a couple things happen if this all comes out. First, you end up with cable talking heads picking over the minute details of the tax returns. There’s no telling what deduction, if any, might ignite a populist outrage (or, at least, a cable-news outrage) that will lead to image headaches for Trump and, possibly, for a move to close off a particular deduction. Second, the use of accounting wizardry can damage Trump’s overall image as a populist champion. So, naturally, he doesn’t want to let it all out there.

            These reasons aren’t necessarily good or bad reasons. They’re just reasons.

          • Retired military

            Actually your income tax returns CAN give very little clue as to your total net worth.

            In fact, one reporter stated that since Trump only made $150m in 2005 it showed proof he wasnt a billionaire, when in fact, it doesnt show anything of the sort. One can be a billionaire and make zero dollars in a year.

          • pennywit

            Actually your income tax returns CAN give very little clue as to your total net worth.

            But it can foster assumptions. That’s why I think it’s about mystique and image control. Trump wants to project the image that he’s this really, really filthy rich and successful guy with a luxe lifestyle and that you can have that lifestyle too. Put the real numbers into the mix — whatever those numbers might be — and you damage the mystique.

          • Retired military

            Tom
            Your mother wants to talk to you about that poster hanging above your bed. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/05faa768a78811dac3299024a02edbb509179c17bf1d6613fd2dfef3d436ee9e.png

          • Jwb10001

            Why does anyone here have to defend anything Trump does? Are you going to defend all the underhanded nastiness that is Hillary? Do you have responsibility for the lies and corruption that is the Clinton machine? Why is it that Trump pays twice the tax rate as Sanders what is Bernie hiding how is he getting away with such low taxes, why is he not paying his fair share? Why are you not outraged at the injustice of Bernie paying a lousy 13% tax rate? If he’s not willing to pay his fair share maybe the state should take one of his houses? Why are you not outraged that Bernie pays only 13% in taxes and yet has 3 houses, I demand to know how Bernie Sanders got those houses, did the Russians have anything to do with it? I’ve never seen the like of that. FYI this is how you sound to sane people.

          • pennywit

            Why are you not outraged at the injustice of Bernie paying a lousy 13% tax rate?

            In Bernie’s defense, that was the tax rate when he started paying in 1887.

          • Retired military

            Actually the income tax started I believe around 1908 or a bit later. 🙂

          • Tom Higgens

            Look at the comments retired military made: “As a gutless coward I’m afraid of the russkies so I sold my country out.”

          • Retired military

            Clicking on my name will show you no such link. Clicking on your name and going about halfway down your comments will show that you said

            “I like Putin better than people that serve America so I agree with you.”

            Now do everyone a favor https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/59ebc41351d7bcd01eeae3511291b94c2be424d1e2c8886f5cfa671b2071b18f.jpg

          • pennywit

            I would call Retired Military many, many things — a lot of them unprintable — but I wouldn’t call him a “gutless coward.”

          • Got any links to Obama’s taxes?

          • Retired Military(Cannon Fodder

            They were released use the google.

          • pennywit

            Yeah, my form 1040 for the past eight years.

          • Red Five

            How long do IRS audits take? Do you think their audit of Trump is still going on? And don’t audits usually cover several years’-worth of taxes?

          • EricSteel

            Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it say that a candidate for president has to release his tax records. However, federal laws specifically 26 U.S. Code 6103 protects the confidentiality of every American’s tax records.

        • That steel was bought long ago for the pipeline, when Obama was doing his “I’m gonnaaaa approve it… Nope! Fooled ya again!” bullshit.

          No point in buying your pipeline twice.

          • Retired Military(Cannon Fodder

            Got any proof from a reputable news source? Or is this like The microwave spying on Trump?

      • “And the rise of STDs in Florida.”

        Crap. And here I thought it was just Florida Man sharing everything he had…

        • Retired military

          You picked that one?? I thought that someone would at least say something about daylight savings time. I mean who would have thought of that one?

          • Oh, I KNOW who to blame for that one.

            Obama. 😉

    • Brett Buck

      The quality of leftist nitwit trolls has really fallen off recently.

  • Retired military

    Next week Maddow will open Al Capone’s vault and find Trump’s 2006 Tax returns.

    • alanstorm

      That would be my explanation.

    • Tom Higgens

      She won’t open Trumps full taxes from 2005 or in the last decade either, because the dirty crook is hiding them.

  • Hank_M

    And Maddow is supposedly an intelligent person.
    Then again, they said the same about Obama.

    • Scalia

      Maddow is an intellectual lightweight. She relishes lampooning the likes of Gingrich or Cruz, but she’ll never have them on her show. She once made the mistake of sitting down at the same round-table with Rich Lowry; he peeled her.

      • Scalia,

        Please educate and moderate fool Higgens before I break out the ban hammer.

        • Scalia

          You caught me just as I was about to warn him. Coming up shortly…

        • Retired Military(Cannon Fodder

          I’m a little unclear on the definition of trolling. It’s not insulting people as you ignored all the people insulting me. It’s not posting the same thing over and over. as Retired Military did. Because you clearly allow that. I guess it’s making a fool out of a conservative using logic and reason. That and responding to insults. Yeah by that criteria, I’m a troll.

        • Retired military

          So he made a dummy account trying to imitate me. Isnt that a banable offense?

      • Retired Military(Cannon Fodder

        She sure made of fool of our best good friend KellyAnne though didn’t she.

  • Tom Higgens

    Why not just admit. You guys don’t care if Trump is dirty. You’d rather not know so you support his hiding his taxes. I get it you’d rather be complicit in his crimes than help America. That’s your business I suppose.

  • Gotta get those clicks somehow! Now she’s got another six months to hopefully find some juicy scandal that can be pinned on Trump.

    If not – well… there’s alway someone else looking for their chance in Prime Time.

  • Retired military

    Tom Higgens shows us why Maddow is a darling of the left.
    They make her look brilliant because they are so damn dumb.

  • Retired Military(Cannon Fodder

    Well, this has been stimulating(okay not really) I’m sorry I triggered you guys by reminding you delicate snowflake Donnie is too afraid to release his taxes, most likely because he is dirty. Don’t think about that whatever you do. Anyway. Unlike the rest of you I have a job that doesn’t involve being cannon fodder. I’ll be back another day.

    • Retired military

      Thanks for the warning.

      Scalia can you use some toilet paper and wipe that idiot’s posts off of the site?

      • Scalia

        I see that kind of garbage on other conservative blogs, and I can’t stand it. These liberal trolls, some of whom are paid, have nothing better to do than to gum up boards with their tripe and ad nauseam repetitions.

        His dummy account has been banned and all his posts here have been deleted, but I’ve kept his posts under his original account on board so others would know what the fuss is about.

        • Brucehenry

          Guess ol’ Bruce is starting to look pretty good, huh?

          • Nope. Just protected by the Proprietor.

          • Retired military

            Unlike others I have little issues with your posts Bruce. I dont agree with 95+% of what you say but I can live with that. You definitely are better than the idiot that was here earlier. He was worse than Chico on a very bad day.

          • Brucehenry

            LOL thanks. I hope I don’t come off looking like that guy. Nobody is more anti-Trump than I am but I hope I don’t sound as unnecessarily unpleasant as he did. Plus “cannon-fodder’?? That’s just disrespectful and antagonistic.

            But it looks like he may have followed you here from this “DU” place you’re always talking about, which I have never heard of except from you.

          • Your “hope” is unfounded on both grounds.

          • Brucehenry

            Oh, okay, whatever.

          • Retired military

            DU = democraticunderground.com
            Talk about tin foil hats. Geez. I don’t post there. Just go to laugh at some of the threads they have.

          • Scalia

            As I have deleted very few of Bruce’s posts, I too don’t have issues with his opinions insofar as posting on these boards is concerned. Neither disagreement nor personal disdain is sufficient to ban a person (in my book). I have always opposed banning Bruce, and so long as he continues as he is, I will continue to oppose it.

          • Nope. Just protected by the Proprietor.

  • LiberalNightmare

    Dan Rather is laughing his ass off right now.

  • Brucehenry

    Well, on the actual topic, I wouldn’t go so far as to call Maddow’s big story a belly-flop, or as some on the left and the squishy middle are calling it, a “nothing-burger.”

    The return does illustrate how much he is acting in his own self-interest when he advocates for the abolition of the Alternative Minimum Tax, which, if it had not been in effect in 2005, would mean Trump paying less than 5% in taxes on $153 million. Most regular folks who have to work at regular jobs every day pay something more like 15 or 20.

    No, it doesn’t prove anything about Russian meddling or crooked business dealings, but it does point out that he advocates for himself and his ilk paying less than what is currently considered their fair share.

    • I have had to pay AMT more than once myself, and for what is a middle class income in my area. It needs to go.

    • Vagabond661

      Like Bernie. And Hillary. And Sharpton….wait a minute. He doesn’t pay taxes.

      • Brucehenry

        The difference, of course, being that neither Bernie nor Hillary advocate the AMT’s repeal.

        As for Sharpton, does Franklin Graham pay taxes? They are both called “reverend,” so… Honest question, I haven’t looked it up.

        • Vagabond661

          The point being the Looney Left is squealing like a pig about Trump’s taxes but ignore tax issues of their own.

          Why? Because the y love it when their own gets away with stuff then dishonestly and hypocritically demonize Republicans.

          That’s why we are unimpressed.

        • Retired military

          How many things have Hillary and Bernie advocated for that would help them? A lot more than the AMT.

    • Retired military

      The question is did he do anything illegal ?
      Like committing perjury?
      Like selling influence using your govt position?
      Like deleting govt documents from a private server you were using for govt business?

  • Paul Hooson

    He didn’t yet release his total taxes, but just a portion that he wants the public to see. He’s still playing games by not being completely honest and upfront with the public, congress or media to address those stories that he has close and conflicting business interests with Russia which have already caused two of his close advisers or staffers to quit or to asked to leave. If he wants to put to rest those stories that he has conflicting business interests with Russia, then he would be upfront with his taxes and his total business interests. Instead, the facts that the FBI and intelligence forwarded to the congressional investigators is that a Russian bank owned by Putin made no less than 2,800 Web surfing attempts to possibly contact the Trump Campaign and other evidence indicates some possible electronic fingerprints between Putin, front businesses operated by him, and officials in the Trump Campaign or possibly more.

    Mr. Trump cannot count on Republican Party loyalty to rescue his presidency if the congressional investigators find evidence of some wrongdoing and the White House or the Trump Campaign.

    • Ha, ha!

      • Paul Hooson

        You are aware of the FBI investigating 2,800 Web surfing efforts between a Russia bank owned by Putin and the Trump Campaign. Congressional investigators certainly are. What’s your spin on that? http://www.salon.com/2017/03/10/trumps-alleged-computer-server-connection-with-a-russian-bank-continues-to-be-investigated/

          • Paul Hooson

            You might choose to ignore it, but facts related to the ongoing investigation of the Trump Campaign by the FBI have left a long and suspect trail of electronic fingerprints connection between the Trump Campaign and Russia’s Alfa Bank in addition to campaign officials such as Paul Manafort and other Trump election officials. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/03/connections-trump-putin-russia-ties-chart-flynn-page-manafort-sessions-214868

          • Scalia

            Scalia makes some absurd point that somehow Trump has come clean of matters by releasing only a portion of his taxes as a form of “show and tell”, when the FBI and other investigators certainly beg to differ.

            I quoted from Slate and CNBC. Maddow was the one that made this a big story, nobody else. I know you’re probably ignorant of this, but Slate isn’t a right-wing website, and CNBC is a sister operation to MSNBC (Maddow’s employer).

            You’re still stuck on stupid, Paul. You really, really need help. I’m not using hyperbole to make a point. You have to lack basic reading/comprehension skill to so completely flub my post.

          • Paul Hooson

            I understand that news is a commodity for the news business where news drives ratings. Maddow oversold this story as an exclusive, although the Trump taxes were anticlimatic and avoided listing business income from specific sources and most notably from foreign business interests. Trump was not trying to be open here as questions swirl about his foreign business ties to Russia, with so many figures in his cabinet, his campaign, his family, his son-in-law, with some business or other dealings, where Vladimir Putin is not far removed.

            After Putin belittled the independent media in Russia and then took over TV as a state-run propaganda tool, the Trump election was cheered in Russia as being good for Putin. Now, Russian comics go on Putin’s state-run media portraying Trump as a damn fool, a clown https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e3036da732eceb6a963cde400eec1f897451d057e83ebd75810e800b6026eee7.png and klutz, while Russia is covertly placing special forces troops in Egypt disguised as businessmen and making plans to intervene into Libya, and spread Russian influence while the Trump foreign policy largely ignores foreign policy and putting the brakes on Putin spreading his sphere of influence through many oil rich states in the Middle East. If the U.S. is not completely energy and natural resources self-sufficient, then Russian attempts to spread influence over oil rich states and natural resources should be a huge American national security concern.

          • Scalia

            Paul’s deleted post reads, in part:

            I understand that news is a commodity for the news business where news drives ratings. Maddow oversold this story as an exclusive, although the Trump taxes were anticlimatic and avoided listing business income from specific sources and most notably from foreign business interests.

            Everything else is off-topic.

          • Stupid and ill educated are who he is and how he has lived his life.

    • Scalia

      He didn’t yet release his total taxes, but just a portion that he wants the public to see.

      Please re-read the lead post. Rachel Maddow isn’t part of Trump’s administration. She’s the one that built expectations over the president’s tax return, but when it came time for the presentation, she revealed nothing of significance. That’s not my word, that’s the word of liberals.

      Your other comments about Russia are off-topic. I’ve posted several open threads lately. If you want to talk about Russia, take it over there.

      • Paul Hooson

        No. His foreign business dealings are an important and missing portion of this small portion of his taxes made public and should be part of this tax discussion.

        • Scalia

          I’ve warned you that you were off-topic. I repeat: I have several open threads for discussion. Feel free to post about Russia over there. This discussion is about Rachel Maddow’s gotcha on Trump that turned out to be a dud. If you’d like to discuss that, you may do so here. Other topics are off-limits.

          • Paul Hooson

            i understand that you only want to hear the sound of your own voice or others that live in a vacuum that only reflect your own opinions and want to censor my discussion that reflects any discussion point in the media over this partial tax release. Certainly, Rachel Maddow hyped this tax release to draw ratings, however the partial tax release raised many more questions than it did answer. It proved that taxes were paid, but did not prove where the income came from or foreign business dealings, especially from the ALFA bank of Russia, which is a subject of FBI investigation right now.

          • Scalia

            i understand that you only want to hear the sound of your own voice or others that live in a vacuum that only reflect your own opinions and want to censor my discussion that reflects any discussion point in the media over this partial tax release.

            You understand nothing. I’ve told you more than once that you are free to discuss Russia on the various open threads recently posted. If I recall correctly, you chose not to post there, except maybe a time or two. That’s nobody’s fault but your own.

            Moreover, your either deliberate misreading of my post or your inability to comprehend basic English provides me no inclination to cut you any slack. You know good and well that I’ve repeatedly invited the community to comment on any topic of their choosing. You don’t get to hijack threads, Paul. I had no idea this post would take off like it did. I thought I’d get 10-15 posts, tops. When I saw what that Higgens kook was doing, I had to intervene, but I didn’t want to delete everybody’s posts in reaction to him. That doesn’t mean I’ll tolerate thread-jacking thereafter.

            Again, it’s your choice. Take the Russia topic to an open thread, post something relevant, or quit posting.

  • Brucehenry

    So just so it’s clear to everyone, on this thread, discussion of Obama’s college transcripts, Bernie’s vacation homes, and Hillary’s general nastiness is “on” topic, but discussion of Trump’s suspected business ties to Russia, which could quite possibly be illuminated by the release of his complete tax returns from the last 10 years, is “off” topic.

    • LiberalNightmare
      • Brucehenry

        That’s a pretty good likeness of me, how’d you get it? Through my microwave?

        • Retired military

          It showed up in the same mailbox that Trump’s tax returns did. Only it got forwarded to Liberalnightmare by mistake.

        • LiberalNightmare

          i googled cry-baby and there it was.

          • Brucehenry

            Of course it was a few years ago but I still have the cheekbones.

    • Vagabond661

      This from the guy who sees no voter fraud.

      Again, this is why we don’t believe a word the Looney Left says.

      • Retired military

        In Bruce’s defense I don’t believe he has ever said no voter fraud. He just doesn’t see it (as I understand it) as a big a problem as most on the right do.

    • Retired military

      Any proof you may have will be illuminating.
      Are you saying that Clinton’s suspected business ties to Russia could be illuminated through full release of all her emails?

      • Brucehenry

        No. Are you saying that her emails shouldn’t be looked at?

        • Retired military

          Considering Clinton’s emails belong to the govt as they were produced as her job of SoS then I think they do need to be looked at.

          • Brucehenry

            And they are, and they have been.

          • Retired military

            Funny how I dont believe that all her emails were looked at. In fact, the NSA offered the emails to the DOJ who turned the chance at looking at them.

    • Jwb10001

      Well Bruce when someone comes here to pound on us demanding we answer for Trumps actions we question whether or not he’s willing to answer for the actions of his preferred candidates. So it’s more a response to a lunatic ranting his one sided, fact free, all speculation “argument” by pointing out that there is plenty of hypocrisy on display.

      • Brucehenry

        I was snarking about the “editing” of Paul’s allegedly “off-topic” comment, not the shooing away of that nutty Tom dude.

  • LiberalNightmare

    Note to Rachel:
    If your going to illegally release a document on TV. Read it first.

  • Retired military

    Bruce and Paul
    When you guys have some proof of Trump’s tax returns showing ties to Russia or breaking the law please present it.

    All you have is speculation right now. Period. Trump is under no obligation to publish his taxes. They have no relevance as far as his holding the office of the President. If he has irregularities or violated the law I am quite sure that the IRS will address the issue with the same fervor that they violated the rights of conservatives who were applying for tax exempt status for their groups. Notice I have mentioned things that have been proven and not just suppositions such as the ones the left has about Trump’s taxes.

    I can remember the howling of the left about Obama’s birth certificate. A birth certificate which BTW is needed to show proof that he was in fact eligible to be President of the US since you need to be a natural born US citizen to be eligible to run for President. And please remember on at least one of Obama’s book bios it mentions that Obama was born in Kenya.
    In short, right now you have nothing but the left’s hopes and dreams.

    If Trump is ever removed from office then the left will start in on Pence’s tax returns, or birth certificate or whatever they can use to try to discredit him.

    • Brucehenry

      No one can prove anything about Trump’s tax returns since no one can see them. This is legal, and Trump indeed has no legal obligation to show us. He got elected without showing them. Fine.

      But we are all free to arrive at our own conclusions as to why he is so reluctant to show them, unlike every serious candidate for president in the last 45 years. Given the questions (and the facts!) about the ties to Russia of guys like Flynn, Stone, and Manafort, and given that the Russia pretty obviously preferred Trump to his opponent in the campaign, and given the fact that the platform plank at the GOP convention regarding Ukraine was changed at the behest of Flynn and Trump, and given the fact that Trump has many times gone against decades of party orthodoxy to make kissy noises to Russia and Putin, curiosity about tax returns that may show us WHY he keeps making those kissy noises is natural.

      If Trump had actual evidence that he was wiretapped by Obama he should have given it to the Senate Intelligence committee, which today said there is none.

      Re the AMT: it’s Trump who has a problem with it and wants to repeal it, which, if that had been done before 2005, would have resulted in Trump paying 5% on income of $153 million.

      • We can prove Madcow conspired to break the law by publicly revealing them.

      • Retired military

        Bruce
        Ref AMT
        Do you think that Obama never did anything in office that benefitted him? How about the restructuring of GM when he closed dealerships that were in competition with donors of his? About the DOJ slush fund that was helping liberal causes? and the list goes on.
        Trump cant change this without congress sending the bill to his desk. When that happens I may actually care about it.

        In ref to Russia. You have declined to speak of Tapper’s statement as Obama NIE that there was no evidence of Russian collusion. I have also mentioned Podesta getting 190k from the Russians for dubious reasons. Also Putin’s spokesman has alleged several meetings with Clinton staff. Yet another fact that you have not acknowledged. We can also discuss the China connection to Bill’s campaign if you like. Or the fact that donations have dropped to the Clinton foundation by about 95% since the election took place. Funny how noone wants to pay Bill or Hillary 300k to talk for an hour at their companies anymore since the election. Also I heard that the Russian bank has claimed it was hacked to make it appear that it had communications with Trump and has asked the US intelligence services to look into it. Now if that is true that who would gain by trying to set up a connection with Trump and a russian bank. Hmmm now let me see.

        Trump said that he would provide evidence on the wiretap claims. Lets see what he comes up with. Also it seems that Obama has allegedly asked the British to spy on Trump both before and after the election.

        Wnat to talk about another coincidence? Obama showes up in Hawaii unplanned just 2 days before the immigration case gets heard there and 2 hours after the gavel has banged the judge comes up with a 43 page decision. That doesnt sound suspicious at all.

        On top of all that you seem to have no problem with someone breaking the law by disclosing Trump’s tax returns or at least you havent said anything against this illegal act. Do you condone this illegal action?

        • Brucehenry

          Allegations about closed GM dealers and “DOJ slush funds” are talk radio boilerplate mythology as far as I know.

          I don’t think there needs to be any evidence of Russian “collusion” in order to want to see Trump’s tax returns. There were raised eyebrows about his refusal to release them way back BEFORE there were any signs of smoke from a Kremlin fire. There is a reason every serious candidate since 1972 has released his or her returns and that reason is so that Americans may see how the people who aspire to lead make their money. Where does it come from? How is income sheltered? Is it in legitimate, non-shady investments or slimy money-laundering schemes?

          Trump has chosen not to give the American people that information, as is his legal right, and managed to get elected without doing so. Bully for him, but that choice leaves him vulnerable to speculation about his sources of income and questions about his business acumen and integrity. That is the consequence of his choice, just as Obama chose not to divulge his college transcripts and had to suffer the consequence of speculation about what he may have been hiding. Trump can stop all the silly hair-on-fire liberal speculation by releasing the tax forms, if he wants to. Until he does I’m afraid he’ll have to put up with some grief from time to time. Tell him to man up.

          Trump has said he would provide evidence but 13 days later has not provided any. His spokespeople say Congress should investigate, and the appropriate committees haven’t come up with anything either. Nunes said the other day that if you take Trump’s words literally, “Clearly, he was wrong.” Face it dude, Trump pulled the whole thing out of his ass.

          It looks to most observers as if Trump himself provided the 2 pages to David Cay Johnston. (There was a stamp on them that said “CLIENT COPY”) I don’t think that’s illegal, but if he’s the one who leaked them, nobody did anything illegal, neither Trump nor Johnston nor Maddow. I’ve seen speculation that he sent those two pages because they were the damaging pages he could find.

          • Retired military

            I remember the GM dealership news articles Bruce. Do you doubt me or should I link a few?

            “I don’t think there needs to be any evidence of Russian “collusion” in order to want to see Trump’s tax returns.”

            Yeah but just because you want something doesnt mean you get it. I want to see quite a few things regarding Hillary’s business but I cant. As for Trump’s tax returns as I said before if he did something illegal I am quite sure the IRS will find it and report it to the appropriate parties.

            “Trump can stop all the silly hair-on-fire liberal speculation by releasing the tax forms,”

            Actually he would only inflame it as people who dont have a clue on how to understand the complexities of his business would be looking at them and running around with their hair on fire. Even the IRS has trouble with their own rules and regulations much less Joe six pack who apparantly goes through life with ID cards to vote.

            “It looks to most observers as if Trump himself provided the 2 pages to David Cay Johnsto”

            Well lets go by the golden rule that Liberals used with Obama. Prove it. See how that works. RUles for radicals. Make them live up to their own rules. But lets say that he sent them to the reporter himself. Did he give permisson for that report to post them online? If not then that is a felony. Dont believe me? Read the IRS statue.

            http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-14/rachel-maddow-claims-have-trumps-tax-returns-will-reveal-9pm
            As the Hill reminds us, the release of an individual’s unauthorized tax returns is a felony.

            Neither the Hill nor zerohedge is a friend of Trumps

            You failed to answer my question Bruce Do you condone the commission of a felony?

          • Brucehenry

            If Trump DID send the reporter the 2 pages good luck getting a prosecution much less a conviction. If you send a reporter, whom you know is a reporter, confidential information you will have no expectation of privacy. The act of sending it is implicit permission to publish it.

            If a bank is robbed and the money shows up in a reporter’s mail box he can’t keep it. But if a bank mails a reporter an unsolicited check he can indeed keep it.

            I wouldn’t want my tax forms published, no. Yet another reason I would never run for public office. If I was running for president, though, I’d feel like I had to release them, just as every other candidate since 1972 has. That way, see, the voters can tell if I can be trusted with the stewardship of their tax dollars. Or at least, that’s one piece of information they can take into account.

            I’m not alone in wanting to see the tax returns of presidential candidates. Which is why every recent serious candidate, win or lose, for the presidency has provided them. Romney, if I recall, resisted for a time providing his, and suffered the consequences of his integrity and business acumen and credibility being called into question, until he acquiesced. Why Trump was able to pull it off is a mystery — oh wait, no it isn’t he over and over PROMISED HE WOULD RELEASE THEM but then reneged right after being elected.

            If Trump wants to continue to hide them it’s his prerogative but the result will be more and more speculation and rumor. Up to him.

            As for the GM dealership articles, sure I remember the allegations. The same came of them as will come of the Moscow pee-hooker allegations. Nothing.

          • Retired military

            “The act of sending it is implicit permission to publish it.”

            Is that a legal opinion? Please give me a link or something that proves it. Otherwise I am afriad you are just guessing.

            Ref the bank. Afraid not. THere have been many instances of bank mistakes and the people had to pay back the money.

            “If I was running for president, though, I’d feel like I had to release them, ”

            Good for you. Fortunately Trump is under no such constraint. But thank you for answering the question.

            Trump stated he would release them after the audit was over. Is the audit over? Last I heard it wasnt. So that one is up in the air still.

            “If Trump wants to continue to hide them it’s his prerogative but the result will be more and more speculation and rumor. ”

            Lets see. The left is calling him Hitler and Stalin now. I dont see how more speculation could hurt him in the eyes of the left. You see when you start off with the Hitler comparision you have kinda shot your wad when trying to make someone look bad. A lesson that the left has yet to learn apparantly.

            Agreed on the dealerships.

            You missed the question about the Clinton Lynch tarmac grandchild discussion. I know it was a last minute edit but I am interested in your thoughts on the matter.

            Last word from me on Trump’s returns. I dont think he will release them as I said above due to their complexity and the fact that the left will use anything to blow out of context for a gotcha. That is politics. He doesnt have to legally release them and if he does or doesnt is up to him. If he doesnt then he may feel the wrath of the voters but this matter doesnt really matter to those who voted for him and to those against him it is just something they want to beat him over the head with. So far Trump has been making fools of his opponents. I for one, enjoy the show. If hillary had been elected we would be reading her praises every day in the MSM and talking about her latest scandals here on wizbang. Ancient chinese curse. May you live in interesting times.

          • Brucehenry

            Yes just my opinion on the probability of a conviction on the tax reveal. No jury would convict a reporter for publishing a tax return the target sent to him.

            Not talking about a mistake. If Trump sent the reporter the return it wasn’t a mistake. If a bank sent a reporter a check and it wasn’t a mistake — they just sent it on purpose without an explanation as to why — he can keep it.

            Calling one’s opponent Hitler and Stalin seems to be de rigueur these days. Certainly we’ve seen it here, especially from our friend Jim, for 8 years. His favorite word for both liberals in general and Obama in particular is “fascist” is it not? And he’s not been alone in that view.

            Speaking of the dealerships and similar nonsense I’m afraid the theory of Obama swooping into Hawaii to influence the judge all Deep-State-y has been hilariously lampooned by my favorite comedy site Wonkette:

            https://wonkette.com/614310/stupidest-man-on-internet-obama-made-hawaii-judge-kill-the-muslim-ban-impeach

            But we agree that Trump can do what he wants with his taxes. Looks like we agree that he will face whatever consequences ensue as well.

            EDIT: I’m not sure Trump has been “making fools of his opponents” in the way his supporters wishfully think he has. His approval numbers suck, especially when people are asked about specific policies:

            http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/15/fox-news-poll-trump-approval-slips-even-as-more-feel-economy-improving.html

          • Retired military

            Bruce

            Ref the Judge in Hawaii. It would leave no email trail or phone call trail, both of which we know is prevelant nowadays. We also know the NSA keeps everything electronically transferred.

            As usual we will have to agree to disagree. Shake hands, shake our heads and walk away.

            However, before we go.

            You missed the question about the Clinton Lynch tarmac grandchild discussion (3 times now). I am interested in your thoughts on the matter.

          • Brucehenry

            Well it seemed a kind of a funny place to hatch a plot. Usually conspirators don’t conspire right out in front of God and everybody. But maybe they did. Bill’s pretty cocky.

            I’ll look at the caption contest.

  • That bar is below grade level.