Rangel

I may not have all the facts, but from where I am sitting, things are starting to stink:

Most recently, Rangel restated his legally required personal financial disclosure, showing an asset range that jumped from roughly $500,000 to $1.3 million to $1 million to $2.5 million.

That was the latest in a string of incidents that have shined the spotlight on the Rangel’s personal and political conduct. He has admitted to failing to report income from a Dominican vacation home, and he has been accused of breaking New York City rules by maintaining multiple rent-controlled apartments, including a campaign office.

He also has come under fire for allegations that he used official letterhead to solicit private funding for a City College of New York Center created by an earmark and named for him and that he helped retain a tax break for a donor to the center. The New York Post reported Wednesday morning that Rangel secured a $3 million earmark in the House’s Defense Appropriations bill for another arm of CCNY.

These are the kinds of things that make really good election year commercials all over the country. Culture of corruption, anyone?






93 replies
  1. 1
    Balconesfault says:

    Been something that I don’t like about this ever since it started up. Most right wing hackery you can slap away really easy, but this just didn’t look like it could be brushed off.

  2. 2
    linda says:

    sigh… i’m actually kind of the fond of charlie; but i have no doubt he’s one crooked sob.

    you know, at some point, i honestly am hoping for a citizen’s uprising against these thieving, lying, selfish assholes.

    but i really came here to share this little tidbit via gawker :

    The Newseum will display Russert’s office “reassembled to look as it did June 13, 2008, the day Russert died of a heart attack at age 58,” beginning in November.

    http://gawker.com/5376587/the-.....of-buffalo

  3. 3
    Derelict says:

    I have despised Charlie ever since I watched him “debate” the issue of decriminalizing pot possession back in the 1990s. His “argument”–repeated throughout the debate–was “So, who will get to decide how much pot we give to children?” That was his word-for-word argument. He had no other points to make, facts to add, or opinions to offer.

    That level of cheap, intellectually bankrupt nonsense turned me off to him permanently. If he goes down for corruption, great! It’s just a shame that he will be used as a bludgeon against every other Democrat–and especially against every black Democrat.

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    @linda: Funny, since it was some jackass at Gawker who called me an asshole for noting the Russertpalooza was over the top.

  5. 5
    dothehop says:

    I have been thinking seriously about how most of the politicians in this country become corrupt, especially those that become entrenched in DC. The US put time limits on how long Presidents can serve, and I think it is about time that we started thinking about the same for Congress. My vote would be a max of 12 years.

  6. 6
    BombIranForChrist says:

    Yeah, it’s time for these corrupt assholes to go. Seriously. I don’t care what party they are in. I want them out.

  7. 7
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @John Cole:
    OT:We are missing the ornery awesomeness that is Tunch. Can we have a live action Tunch Cam, pretty please? He is so much more interesting than Rangel or the assorted wingnuttia we discuss.

  8. 8
    Fleem says:

    I read in that nasty Salon article that Alan Grayson is worth something like $300 million.

    Assuming that’s a true fact, it makes me sad to conclude that you have to be a zillionaire to be

    1) Principled
    2) Honest

    People with bills to pay are susceptible to all kinds of tempting shit because they are so close to the butts of their financial patrons.

  9. 9
    Fleem says:

    @Fleem:

    That’s not to say that there isn’t a bunch of garden variety greed and vice going on as well.

  10. 10
    Balconesfault says:

    Assuming that’s a true fact, it makes me sad to conclude that you have to be a zillionaire to be

    1) Principled
    2) Honest

    Whaddaya think Paul Wellstone was worth before he died? How much do you think that Bernie Sanders is worth?

    I reject your conclusion.

  11. 11

    It isn’t just the right wing hacks. CREW has the goods on him right here and they are the watchdog group I trust most when it comes to those thieving bastards in DC. Charlie Rangel should step down as chairman of his committee. If he doesn’t then Pelosi should remove him. Period.

  12. 12

    @The Grand Panjandrum: Bill Ayers ghost wrote that comment for me.

  13. 13
    AhabTRuler says:

    I would say that I want the Ethics Committee to issue its report, but that presumes that it won’t be more Ethics Committee partisan hackery.

  14. 14
    ironranger says:

    There’s also no shortage of investor/banker/ceo fat cats for whom no amount of money is ever enough.

  15. 15
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @ironranger:
    Hey don’t call Tunch names.

  16. 16
    D-Chance. says:

    IOKIYAD… because I’m sure Bush did it, too.

  17. 17
    linda says:

    @John Cole:

    lol…i actually got banned from there for my notsofond remembrance of st timmeh…i very definitely recall them warning that all derogatory comments about him would be deleted.

  18. 18
    Alan says:

    OT: A new South Park is on tonight on the Comedy Channel.

  19. 19
    ironranger says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    I would never call Tunch fat. He’s just fluffy…very fluffy.

  20. 20
    Ailuridae says:

    @Balconesfault:

    Also, Joe Biden.

  21. 21
    sistermoon says:

    What’s really both hilarious and ironic is that the Rethugs’ inherent Negrophobia has rendered them totally incapable of taking advantage of what appears to be Charlie’s self-destruction.

    An organized, inclusive party would have begun searching for a viable opponent when all these rumors began, quietly grooming him/her and gradually testing the political waters in Rangel’s district.

    Alas, the GOP must settle for the likes of Hip Hop Mike Steele and Crazy Al Keyes – both of whom would be laughed out of Harlem

  22. 22
    Joshua Norton says:

    Any politician who gets firmly ensconced in their seat election after election starts to think they’re bullet proof. Repig or Dem, they tend start to let greed take over after 3 or 4 terms if it’s in their character to do so.

  23. 23
    David says:

    He’s presumably making money off of his influence and office. Not good.

    However, from what I understand in reading the article, he isn’t selling his office to the highest bidder, either. Seems to me that there should be a distinction between selling votes via contributions (such as what the corporatist Dems (e.g., Hoyer, Murtha) and Republicans do regularly) and profiting from the office (i.e., Rangel).

    I really think that the description of culture of corruption fits better for the first than the second type.

  24. 24
    Calouste says:

    @Fleem:

    I read in that nasty Salon article that Alan Grayson is worth something like $300 million.

    Assuming that’s a true fact, it makes me sad to conclude that you have to be a zillionaire to be

    1) Principled
    2) Honest

    People with bills to pay are susceptible to all kinds of tempting shit because they are so close to the butts of their financial patrons.

    ——————————— end blockquote fail

    Mitt Romney is worth roughly the same amount as Grayson and I don’t think anyone would ever accuse him of being principled and/or honest.

  25. 25

    D-Chance.

    IOKIYAD… because I’m sure Bush did it, too.

    Who are you arguing with? You’re the only one on the thread to defend him, numbnuts. What part of “things are starting to stink” don’t you understand?

    You see how this works on the left side of the aisle? Democratic figure screws around, and Democrats denounce him. I know, it’s crazy! It’s like a completely different planet! So completely outside your wingnut, Wonderbreadville, teabagging experience that you didn’t even bother to read anything anyone has written, since you were just so totally sure the blogosphere would be full of people defending him – after all, it’s what you would have done if a Republican had been accused of wrongdoing.

    But – ohnoes! – you were completely wrong! No one could have predicted! Why, it must be some kind of Jedi mind trick!

  26. 26
    Alan says:

    @linda:

    you know, at some point, i honestly am hoping for a citizen’s uprising against these thieving, lying, selfish assholes.

    I think the uprising would accomplish most if it took place on ‘K’ Street and in the home offices of the major investment banks. Someone needs to design a homemade trailer-hitch guillotine that can be pulled to places where it’s most needed. Wolverines!!! also.

  27. 27

    Dennis Kucinich lives in what looks like half a 1970s split level, and he’s as honest as his wife is hawt.

  28. 28
    mogden says:

    Why should anyone be surprised? Don’t tell me you guys still think Democrats are clean. Here’s a hint. ALL POLITICIANS ARE DIRTY.

  29. 29
    schrodinger's cat says:

    What can be done to make congressional elections more competitive? I think the danger of being booted out would keep more congress people in line. Right now it seems once you get elected, you are in for life.

  30. 30
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @ironranger:
    I thought he was big boned. I love Tunch because he is the linear combination of my two cats, I have an regular sized ornery tabby cat and Tunch sized orange cat, who is not ornery.

  31. 31
    chuck says:

    No love lost on my namesake in congress. Let’s have a twofer and take down Murtha with him. In this climate, cracking down on corruption is electoral gold.

  32. 32
    linda says:

    @Alan:

    i actually consider them all one and the same — enemies to the middle and working classes. i swear, the final straw re congress was reading that latimes article about the sweet healthcare provided all members and staffs — routine medical care to surgeries at the best hospitals in the country. and they pay $500+change for that privilege. no wonder those mofos don’t give a shit about the lack of access to healthcare in this country; they are so completely isolated and sequestered from the real experiences of most americans.

  33. 33
    bob says:

    One of the few recent honest politicians was Nader, and he wasn’t really a politician. And look what the country did to him. Mostly the “new progressives” actually.

    We basically deserve the leaders we have, sad to say. Not everyone is responsible, but we are all on the ride.

  34. 34
    linda says:

    it wasn’t the latimes, it was abc that has that story about congress’ sweet perks,

    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCa.....id=8706655

  35. 35
    MikeJ says:

    Let’s look at the charges and see how horrible his crimes are:

    1) not reporting rental income from a vacation house.
    Possibly fraud, possibly an oversight. It would be helpful to know if his vacation house is rented out every second he’s not there and not only pays its own mortgage but generates significant income or if he once got a couple of thousand for renting out for two weeks. Without some idea of the scale, it’s hard to tell if this is any kind of outrage at all.

    2) Maintaining more than one rent controlled apartment.
    A bad thing to do, but I don’t know if it’s criminal or not. Sounds like a cause for action in a private suit from his landlords.

    3) Using official letterhead when sending a private fundraising letter. he shouldn’t have done it, but I’d be interested in seeing if a)anyone turned him down and b) if the people who did donate felt as if they were being forced to by an elected official. Congressmen solicit donation on the part of charities all the time and unless there was compulsion or promise (even hint) of tit for tat, I can’t see it rising to the level of a criminal act.

    4) Getting earmarks for colleges and universities in New York state.
    This is his job.

  36. 36
    Demo Woman says:

    Rangel has been under investigation for a year. In fact the NYTimes did a story on him about a year ago. It is now only being noticed by the GOP to take the heat off of Ensign. It’s the way the game is played.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    CalD says:

    In addition to creative accounting Charlie Rangel has a strong tendency to be a walking, talking sound byte for Republicans. But I’m trying to think of something he could possibly do that would be far enough beyond the pale to get himself unelected in his district… I got nothing.

  39. 39
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @bob:

    One of the few recent honest politicians was Nader, and he wasn’t really a politician. And look what the country did to him. Mostly the “new progressives” actually.

    True, but let’s not act like Nader hasn’t pull a few dick moves of his own over the past few years.

  40. 40
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @MikeJ:

    A bad thing to do, but I don’t know if it’s criminal or not.

    I think that’s pretty much the thesis of your entire post.

  41. 41
    CalD says:

    Also, if it’s possible for Rangel to do anything so far over the line for the CBC to be un-enraged by any attempt to demote him, it’s yet to be found. And it isn’t like he hasn’t been trying.

  42. 42
    Demo Woman says:

    @Midnight Marauder: No SHIT. Nader said Gore was no different than Bush and we know how that turned out.

  43. 43
    LD50 says:

    One of the few recent honest politicians was Nader, and he wasn’t really a politician. And look what the country did to him. Mostly the “new progressives” actually.

    True, but let’s not act like Nader hasn’t pull a few dick moves of his own over the past few years.

    We don’t want to get into a discussion of the little favors Nader has done for this country in the last 10 years, do we?

  44. 44
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @LD50:

    We don’t want to get into a discussion of the little favors Nader has done for this country in the last 10 years, do we?

    Well, the night is young…

  45. 45
    Joel says:

    CCNY was rocked by a point shaving scandal back in the heyday of the NIT….

  46. 46
    Zifnab says:

    @dothehop:

    The US put time limits on how long Presidents can serve, and I think it is about time that we started thinking about the same for Congress. My vote would be a max of 12 years.

    See, this sort of thing tears me up. On the one hand, I’m totally with you. It seems like adding term limits would potentially handicap guys like DeLay or Rangel, who just infect their offices and never seem to go away.

    On the other hand, I look at Senators like Kennedy or House Reps like Nancy Pelosi or Robert Wexler, who generally do a good job year after year and avoid the stink of corruption. Good leadership is hard to find. I’m not sure if I’m so eager to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    And if you’ve looked at the White House since 1951, when the 22nd Amendment was ratified, what were we spared? An extra term of Eisenhower, Reagen, Clinton, and Bush II? Boy George wasn’t winning a second term, and I honestly wouldn’t have seen the harm in another Eisenhower or Clinton term. Reagen’s VP walked into office after the Dukakis debacle. I’m not really sure what we were spared for our troubles.

    Likewise, if you look into the districts where bad apples have been ousted – DeLay in Sugar Land, for instance – who replaced him? Pete Olsen, another die hard winger.

    And all this is setting aside the entire Congressional hierarchy, which hinges on seniority. Functionally, a shake up like that could be good or bad. But passing legislation that effectively targets all high ranking politicans for removal from their perches strikes me as… unlikely at best.

  47. 47
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Zifnab: I agree term limits is a bad idea, even for the President. Our one term limit on the governor in Virginia drives me crazy.

    But we do need to figure out how to reduce the power of incumbency.

  48. 48
    Beauzeaux says:

    “Culture of corruption, anyone?” would be a great tag line for an election year commercial.

  49. 49
    Zifnab says:

    @Demo Woman:

    No SHIT. Nader said Gore was no different than Bush and we know how that turned out.

    Gore was playing the same shitty triangulation game that Clinton had embraced. He lost votes in key states in part because of electioneering, but also in part because he wasn’t a very inspirational candidate.

    If the Al Gore of 2004 had run for President in 2000, we wouldn’t be hearing about this bullshit false-equivalence. And, because Democrats are nothing if not slow learners, John Kerry pulled the EXACT SAME CRAP 4 years later. When the entire netroots community was fired up about a passionate and policy-minded Howard Dean, Kerry ran off into Dean Broder’s back yard and played boring bipartisan shmoe.

    At a certain point, these yahoos DESERVED to lose. Did you see how Barack Obama walked into office in 2008? That should have been Gore in 2000 with room to spare, and Gore again in 2004 in a fucking landslide. Watch Jim Webb win his race in freak’n Virgina. Watch Dole get ousted in North Carolina. These goons can be beaten. All the FOX Newses in the world don’t save them.

    And even then, there’s a huge difference between Al Gore and Ralph Nader. That difference stems from the fact that Al Gore has actually been elected a few times. From an electioneering standpoint, Ralph Nader is everything wrong with the far left. They can’t get votes to save their god damn lives, even when they’ve got some of the most intelligent and integrity-clad people working for them.

  50. 50
    geg6 says:

    Fuck Charlie Rangel (and seriously fuck Ralph Nader). He should step down from his chairmanship. His constituents will decide what to do about his seat and I have no doubt that he is pretty well untouchable in Harlem. It doesn’t sound like much more than petty thievery, but I hate this shit. As a bit of an antidote to that, I recommend that anyone who has OnDemand and the Sundance Channel should watch “Brick City.” It’s a minseries about Newark, the people there, and the city government and Mayor Corey Booker. Very, very good. Also, OT, KO is doing a one hour special comment on health care. Oh, and the Pens are on, too. Also.

  51. 51
    Origuy says:

    @dothehop: Yeah, because term limits have made the California Legislature so much more effective!

  52. 52
    geg6 says:

    Ok, why am I in moderation? Seriously?

  53. 53
    Makewi says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    A massive increase in the number of representatives coupled with putting the job of ethics committee in the hands of a grand jury type system whose members are secret and serve terms of a year or less.

    Throwing corrupt politicians into the river in a bag with a wild animal worked for the Romans.

  54. 54
    PanAmerican says:

    Payback’s a long time coming.

    Charlie was the party hack they used to replaced Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. under similar low grade scandal heat.

    Charlie should understand. Nothing personal, just business.

  55. 55
    The Other Steve says:

    I’m looking at these accusations and if Rangel was really corrupt I think I’d find something more substantial. Not saying these are nothing, but being too aggressive at fundraising for the City College is hardly something that is going to upset his constituents.

    But it seems like the first thing, the Dominican rent not reported which if I recall was found and corrected by Rangel himself has resulted in something of a scavanger hunt to try to find something else to accuse Rangel with. As lose as the standards seem to be in Washington for proper behavior it’s not surprising they’ve found a few things. It just strikes me that if Rangel was really corrupt, there’d be a lot more there for them to find.

    Compare this with Murtha for instance, or even Ensign’s latest shenanigans.

    The thing is, this doesn’t appear to be enough to convict on, and it’s definately not enough to hurt Rangel in an election. So I don’t really see where this will go. Unless there’s something more here.

    I think the GOP is a bit out of touch with this notion that Pelosi and Rangel and Reid and such are so scarey that people won’t want to be associated with them. I’m just not seeing that out in the real world. I don’t think this strategy is going to help hide the fact that the Republicans have no plan.

  56. 56
    The Other Steve says:

    @PanAmerican: Wow what a memory… Interesting point.

  57. 57
    Demo Woman says:

    @Zifnab: So true but if Nader had not been campaigning actively and touting his opinion that Gore and Bush were both the same, it would be a non issue.

  58. 58
    Anne Laurie says:

    The US put time limits on how long Presidents can serve, and I think it is about time that we started thinking about the same for Congress. My vote would be a max of 12 years.

    Without anyone to act as an institutional memory, the lobbyists get to tell all the elected n00bs how to vote and who to support. (I understand the California state Lege is a heartbreaking example of this.) The cure for entrenched politicians who start to mistake their district for a barony is an electorate with sufficient time, energy and interest to keep an eye on their “reps” and eject the degraded specimens. The current system has many rich, powerful supporters — not just the politicians, but the corporations who pay the lobbyists to corrupt those politicians — because it greatly reduces the cost of buying whatever legislation Halliburton, Cargill or Microsoft wants.

  59. 59
    LD50 says:

    @Demo Woman: Also, the fact that when pressed, Nader admitted he’d rather see Bush win rather than Gore didn’t exactly make him more cuddly, either.

  60. 60
    AhabTRuler says:

    I can’t help but think that publicly funded elections would help somewhat.

  61. 61
    Fleem says:

    @Balconesfault:

    Reject away. Re: Mitt Romney — I didn’t say that rich people couldn’t be corrupt, only that being rich sure makes it easier to be honest, or at least less of a toady.

    See: Ted Kennedy

    Re: Wellstone and Kucinich — I know nothing about either’s finances.

    Wellstone is dead, presumably by accident.

    Kucinich is clearly NOT living above his means. Good on him.

  62. 62
    The Other Steve says:

    On Term Limits…

    Read up on the Reapportionment Act of 1929. I call for it’s repeal, and it’s not an Amendment. It’s just an Act of Congress.

    The Reapportionment Act of 1929 is the root of our complaints.

  63. 63
    geg6 says:

    Ahab T. Ruler: I totally agree. I’d also like to see the sort of limits on the canpaigns like they have in Britain (I believe, not sure they still have them). And everybody gets a certain amount of free tv time to get their message out and that’s it. Would completely change the political calculus.

  64. 64
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AhabTRuler:

    I can’t help but think that publicly funded elections would help somewhat.

    Yes it would. But will never happen. Too damn many wingnuts in this country to pull off a constitutional amendment, which is what it’ll take. And with the winger SCOTUS getting ready to throw open the cash spicket with, what I think as do others, a broad and sweeping rebuttal to campaign finance laws via the current case before them, we haven’t seen anything yet. 2010 will be round the clock horror show of vicious ad wars right up to election day.

  65. 65
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Also, IRV.

  66. 66
    AhabTRuler says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: Yes, well, I do spend an awful many days thinking that we are naught more than yet another fading empire, and that we should really be preparing ourselves to welcome our new Chinese, or possibly Indian, overlords.

    I call those weekdays.

  67. 67
    LD50 says:

    we should really be preparing ourselves to welcome our new Chinese, or possibly Indian, overlords.

    Well, if nothing else, the food should be pretty good.

  68. 68
    DougJ says:

    These things aren’t that terrible. Murtha is much worse if you want a poster boy for corruption.

    But, yeah, he deserves a lot of shit for this.

  69. 69
    JGabriel says:

    The Other Steve:

    I’m looking at these accusations and if Rangel was really corrupt I think I’d find something more substantial.

    Yeah, I’m having a hard time getting worked up over someone whose wealth has increased from the high six figures to the low seven figures in New York City. It’s one of the most expensive cities in the country.

    If his assets went from high six figures to somewhere in the 8 figure range, then I might have some more concerns, but this looks like pretty small potatoes, by NY standards.

    .

  70. 70
    schrodinger's cat says:

    If they feed us, that is. We may have many problems, but our problems pale in comparison to the magnitude of problems facing both India and China. I don’t about China, but India has its own wingnuttia, in some ways worse than ours.

  71. 71
    LD50 says:

    I don’t know about China, but India has its own wingnuttia,

    China does too. Witness all the patriotic young Chinese computer programmers who can be relied on to hack pro-Tibetan websites for free.

  72. 72
    stickler says:

    Zifnab:

    The architects of that Amendment were the Republicans, desperate that FDR not rise from the grave and kick their asses for the FIFTH time. And then in 1960, they were already slapping their foreheads.

    Although, to be fair, it’s not clear that Eisenhower was in any shape to run again in 1960, or would have chosen to even if he was. He’d had a couple heart problems by then and was spending a hell of a lot of time golfing. This was actually one of Nixon’s claimed advantages: he’d stepped in while Ike was ill or indisposed. But he made the claim a little too openly, and Ike, during a 1960 press conference, famously “forgot” what sorts of things Nixon had accomplished as VP.

    Even Ike recognized Tricky Dick as a snake. Eight years too late, sure, but still.

  73. 73
    stickler says:

    And since we’re talking about Charlie Rangel, from New Yawk Cittie, I’d be remiss if I didn’t cite the Grand High Poobah of “Honest Graft,” George Washington Plunkitt:

    EVERYBODY is talkin’ these days about Tammany men growin’ rich on graft, but nobody thinks of drawin’ the distinction between honest graft and dishonest graft. There’s all the difference in the world between the two. Yes, many of our men have grown rich in politics. I have myself. I’ve made a big fortune out of the game, and I’m gettin’ richer every day, but I’ve not gone in for dishonest graft – blackmailin’ gamblers, saloonkeepers, disorderly people, etc. – and neither has any of the men who have made big fortunes in politics. There’s an honest graft, and I’m an example of how it works. I might sum up the whole thing by sayin’: “I seen my opportunities and I took ’em.” Just let me explain by examples. My party’s in power in the city, and it’s goin’ to undertake a lot of public improvements. Well, I’m tipped off, say, that they’re going to layout a new park at a certain place. I see my opportunity and I take it. I go to that place and I buy up all the land I can in the neighborhood. Then the board of this or that makes its plan public, and there is a rush to get my land, which nobody cared particular for before. Ain’t it perfectly honest to charge a good price and make a profit on my investment and foresight? of course, it is. Well, that’s honest graft.

    It goes on. For a couple hundred pages. And it cost Plunkitt his re-election bid in 1905. For what that’s worth…

  74. 74
    Mrs. Peel says:

    We should limit most politicians to two terms: one in office and one in jail.

  75. 75
    AhabTRuler says:

    Aren’t all politicians small potatoes as crooks when compared to the banksters and the other (I love this term) plutocrats?

  76. 76

    I wouldn’t defend Rangel on the other stuff, but I’m not clear what’s wrong with supporting the City College of NYC, an institution that zillions of poor people have gotten a fine education from. Getting your name stuck on a piece of it is egocentric, but hardly crooked. If that were crooked, most of the Senate would be in jail.

  77. 77
    mai naem says:

    @Fleem:
    I looked up Grayson’s background when his “Republican’s want you to die” bit was going around. He actually grew up poor, got the highest score in the state in some standardized test, went to Harvard, worked through Harvard undergrad and Law School. Did all that fast, practiced as a lawyer and then was involved in the founding of a telecom company. Comparing him to the Mittster is hardly fair.

  78. 78
    AhabTRuler says:

    Getting your name stuck on a piece of it is egocentric, but hardly crooked. If that were crooked, most of the Senate would be in jail.

    Christ, Byrd would’ve gotten the death penalty by now.

  79. 79
    gwangung says:

    @mai naem: So basically, an entrepreneur/dot com millionaire the Republicans were celebrating oh so enthusiastically over the past ten years.

    Heh.

  80. 80
    PanAmerican says:

    The GOP is banking on a rehash of 1994. Rosty and so on.

    Disastrous projections of past glories onto the current political climate is an all to familiar “strategy” in American politics.

  81. 81
    Fleem says:

    @mai naem:

    I wasn’t comparing Grayson to Romney; I was responding to someone who was (Calouste@24). I failed to blockquote.

    And you’re right — no comparison. Grayson is not an entitled scumbag and actually seems to give a crap.

  82. 82
    mai naem says:

    @AhabTRuler: But they are the ones who a lot of times make the stuff legal that the bankers use to get away with murder.
    @gwangung: And lookey here, he votes against his own interests. This is something that Tom Coburn, Bill Frist and Bob Corker would neve understand.

  83. 83
    gwangung says:

    @mai naem: ‘Cause no matter what the Republicans or the lobbyists say, he still goes home a rich man.

    Must drive them nuts.

  84. 84
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Mrs. Peel: Ha. Good one.

  85. 85
    dothehop says:

    @AhabTRuler:
    Public funding being mandatory would help, but we still have the problem of the nice corporations giving money to these other groups to fight by proxy. Maybe term limits is not the answer, but individual yearly contributions to political persons or entities is definitely in order.

  86. 86
    Elizabelle says:

    Somebody else might have put this up earlier. Here’s Gail Collins’ NYTimes column on Rangel, “The Lion King in Winter”.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10.....ef=opinion

  87. 87
    Dave_Violence says:

    Ya’ll are a day late, dollar short on the “Hon” Mr. Rangel. but that’s OK, soon enough the NYT will really start leaning on him and the liberal sheep will see him as those of us non-sheep have seen him for years.

  88. 88
    thomas says:

    this is the kind of stuff that put Rostinkowski in the graybar hotel. it’s basically arrogance of office.
    I don’t think politicians should take a vow of poverty but chasing G. W. Plunket’s ‘honest graft’ does their constituents no service.

  89. 89
    LD50 says:

    but that’s OK, soon enough the NYT will really start leaning on him and the liberal sheep will see him as those of us non-sheep have seen him for years.

    ‘Sheeple’ is traditional wingnut jargon. Do try harder.

  90. 90
    liberal says:

    @David:

    However, from what I understand in reading the article, he isn’t selling his office to the highest bidder, either. Seems to me that there should be a distinction between selling votes via contributions (such as what the corporatist Dems (e.g., Hoyer, Murtha) and Republicans do regularly) and profiting from the office (i.e., Rangel).

    Agreed, and well put. Not excusing what Rangel is doing, but selling the office is much worse than profiting from it.

  91. 91

    The only infallible, unstoppable, guaranteed way to get a truly new Congress is :
    NEVER REELECT ANY INCUMBENT! AND DO IT EVERY ELECTION!

    The American voter must IMPOSE term limits by NEVER REELECTING ANYONE IN CONGRESS, AND DO IT EVERY ELECTION! In other words, don’t let anyone serve more than one term. That’s the only way to teach them that the voter is boss! The “one term limit” can be eased AFTER citizens get control of Congress.

    Congress will never allow us to constitutionally term limit them by an amendment. Our only choice is to NEVER REELECT them. All of them!

    The number of ‘good guys’ left in Congress is negligible, so if we threw ALL 535 members out, we wouldn’t do as much damage as the good we would gain by by turning Congress into a bunch of honest, innocent freshmen.

    Some of the reasons in favor of this approach:

    • It gives us a one-term, term limited Congress without using amendments
    • It would be supported by 70% of the country who want term limits for Congress
    • It is completely non-partisan
    • If repeated, it ends career politicians dominating Congress
    • It opens the way to a “citizen Congress”
    • It ends the seniority system that keeps freshmen powerless
    • It doesn’t cost you any money…but you MUST vote, just NOT for any incumbent
    • It is the only guaranteed, infallible, unstoppable way to throw them ALL out”
    • It takes effect immediately the day after Election Day
    • If it doesn’t work, do it again and again! It will work eventually, I promise.

    NEVER REELECT ANYONE IN CONGRESS. AND DO IT EVERY ELECTION!

    Nelson Lee Walker of tenurecorrupts.com

  92. 92
    Deborah says:

    It’s not like the Dems couldn’t get a different Dem elected in that district; I don’t understand why they aren’t more ready to dump him.

  93. 93
    Elizabelle says:

    I’d put the Collins column link up last night without reading it.

    It’s a good one. Rangel should at least step down from the chairmanship, and maybe aside for good.

    This is a distraction that Obama and the Democrats do not need, and even the appearance of impropriety — and there is plenty of that — will get through to the public. (Even the non Foxbot segment.)

    You all had some good comments on how to clean up the system, since elections at present cannot.

    Getting rid of political gerrymandering, public financing of campaigns — maybe we should own these weasels and NOT sell them to the highest bidder, making our public airwave using networks cough up TV time for campaign ads, reducing the overwhelming advantages available to incumbents — which favors them, and not the public.

    Public servants need to serve the public interest. Period.

    Balloon Juice is my favorite blog. Really enjoy your comments and discussion.

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