In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Among the theories Hillary Clinton put forward at Monday's debate as to why Donald Trump was resisting releasing his tax returns was the possibility that in some years he paid no federal income taxes. Trump, in his response to the claims, did little to put that notion to rest. At first, from the debate stage, he bragged when she made the claim and later he seemed to concede her allegation by saying his taxes would have been squandered by a spendthrift government had he paid them.

In the spin room after, he waffled even more when reporters asked him what he meant. On one hand, he said he hadn't, in fact, admitted to not paying federal income taxes. However, presented with multiple opportunities to say definitively that he has and is paying income taxes, he appeared to dodge the questions. Only once did he say he had paid federal taxes.

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Hillary Clinton invoked the name of a former beauty queen during Monday night's presidential debate and for good reason.

"One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest -- he loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them -- and he called this woman 'Miss Piggy,' then he called her 'Miss Housekeeping' because she was Latina," Clinton said Monday toward the end of the debate, as she ran through a list of things Trump has said about women. "Donald, she has a name. Her name is Alicia Machado. And she has become a US citizen and you can bet she is going to vote this November."

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Hillary Clinton pounced on Donald Trump at Monday's presidential debate for saying he would only release his tax returns if she released missing emails from her private server, and speculated that his refusal to release them because he is not as rich or as charitable as he claims.

"You have got to ask yourself why won't he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he is not as rich as he says he is. Second, maybe he is not as charitable as he claims to be," Clinton said. "Third, we don't know all of his business dealings, but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks."

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For months, a theory has been floating around the conservative fringes of the Internet claiming that President Obama's administration is working feverishly to grant citizenship to immigrants in order to sway the 2016 elections. The allegation got a push into the mainstream last week, with two Republican senators writing the Department of Homeland a letter that accused the agency of sloppily rushing through citizenship applications ahead of the election.

Their smoking gun? An email to low-level staffers sent by am immigration field office supervisor encouraging them to work overtime to process applications.

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A federal appeals court Monday blocked the move earlier this year by a federal election official to approve a proof-of-citizenship requirement on the federal voting registration forms in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama.

Brian Newby (pictured above), the executive director of the Election Assistance Commission who was formerly a local elections official in Kansas who worked under Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, had approved of the form change over the objections of other members of the commission. He had become the commission's executive director after the Supreme Court had refused to take up a case brought by Kansas and Arizona to force the EAC to change the voter registration form.

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The Texas Attorney General's office on Friday asked the Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision striking down its voter ID law.

The appeal will not affect the November election, during which non-ID carrying voters will be able to sign an affidavit to vote, per a court-approved agreement between the state and the challengers who brought a suit against the 2011 voter ID law.

In Friday's petition, Texas asks the Supreme Court to reverse the opinion of the majority of the full U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals -- considered the most conservative court in the country -- which said that the law violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it had the effect of discriminating against minority voters.

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Donald Trump’s practice of using money from his charitable foundation for his personal benefit are obvious violations of the law and even have the potential of getting the Trump Foundation shut down, charity law experts told TPM.

One non-profit attorney said that Trump was “flirting” with violating an IRS regulation that would, in effect, terminate the foundation. Another lawyer – a former chief of the Charities Bureau in the New York State Attorney General's office – said it was “conceivable” that an attorney general could seek to dissolve a foundation for self-dealing, if they can prove “it’s not really acting like a charitable foundation.”

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The historic gains Republicans made in North Carolina in 2012 -- capturing both chambers of the legislatures as well as the governorship for the first time since 1870 -- have come with a cost.

The lurch to the extreme right the state took in the following years has given Gov. Pat McCrory (R) a tough reelection battle, as the sharp partisan split in the state means that it would take only a small electoral shift to flip the governorship back to blue. The irony of McCrory’s current conundrum is that he won the governorship on his reputation of being a pragmatic problem-solver, but now is contending with a record that reflects a social conservative, hard-line agenda.

The drag of the anti-transgender legislation known as HB2 on his campaign is perhaps the greatest example, with a solid plurality voters in a recent poll saying his support of it makes them less likely to back him.

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