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Sorry, Charlie...

Unbelievable. Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY), accused of a stunning array of corruption charges, involving lots and lots of money gained through illicit means (tax evasion, unreported income, unjustified benefits, and whatnot), showed up for his ethics hearing yesterday...

...pleaded poverty, and walked out.

Rangel has had literally months to prepare his defense. He managed to get the hearing postponed until after his re-election (he's already served 40 years in the House), and had a pretty decent legal team lined up. Then it turned out that he'd been paying his legal team with money from his Political Action Committee -- yet another ethics violation.

So his team quit (or Rangel let them go -- it's a little ambiguous), and Rangel had to go explain why he'd not bothered to report the rental income from his Caribbean beach house, how he scored four rent-controlled apartments in one building in New York, and a scad of other improprieties.

But Rangel is entitled to representation, so he decided to not bother to stick around after showing up and whining briefly.

There's an old saying that "justice delayed is justice denied," but in this case I'd like to see Rangel granted even more time to prepare for his defense. Let's push his hearing back for another 60 days or so.

When the Republicans take over Congress. Let their first order of business be to give Rangel his fair trial, and then expel him.

Rangel has pretty much two chances to keep his seat. The first is to get this whole matter wrapped up during the lame duck session, when he can count on the Democratic leadership of the House to give him a slap on the wrist. (They've certainly been content to turn a blind eye to Democratic corruption thus far, and there's no reason to expect them to change any time soon.) The other is to play the race card at the incoming Republican leadership -- and that card is a debit card on a severely overdrawn account.

So Good Time Charlie Rangel's got the blues. Well, I've got just the cure -- a couple months of bedrest and relaxation, followed by a long-overdue retirement.

Poor Charlie never learned the old lesson: pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.


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Comments (56)

Yet he keeps getting reelec... (Below threshold)

Yet he keeps getting reelected, over and over. Why it's almost as if his pilfering and cheating is a resume enhancer. Why aren't the people he's supposed to represent angry? Why aren't they angry that he misappropriates funds, hogs up 4 rent-controlled apartments for himself, dreams up new taxes for others then doesn't pay them himself, etc ad nauseum?

Actually, those are stupid questions when I think about it. Good ol' Charlie is part and parcel of the victim/entitlement crowd. It's seen as his reparations.

Sorry, but Charlie didn't p... (Below threshold)
Maggie Mama:

Sorry, but Charlie didn't plead "poverty." He just stated he wanted to set up a defense fund to pay for lawyers.


He pleaded poverty?<p... (Below threshold)

He pleaded poverty?


According to the NY Post, in his amended financial statements from last September, we find: "Among the assets he failed to list was a checking account containing somewhere between $250,000 and $500,000.

Right on, Jay. The only thi... (Below threshold)

Right on, Jay. The only thing worse than a black man is a black man that helps other black men. Won't you just be so excited when all of those white Rebumblekins get their forks into Charlie's ham? of course, those white boys will be serving up their own pulled pork sandwiches soon enough. They just can't resist.

barak2012, Thanks for the o... (Below threshold)
jim m:

barak2012, Thanks for the obligatory "you're only going after Charlie Rangel because he's black" leftie defense post.

I suppose that you would want to bother defending him on the actual basis of the charges? I'd love to hear you explain why it is that a man of his income and resources couldn't be bothered to follow the rules in the House or pay his taxes.

I'd also love to hear why it is racism to hold a black person accountable to the same rules that a white person is held accountable to.

Or maybe like other lefties you're just the racist who says that black people are incapable of following these rules so we should give them a pass as long as they are useful tools for the left.

Man up and tell us exactly why Charlie Rangel is innocent and if you can't do that then explain why anyone should let him off the hook. Maybe you could explain in a way that doesn't appeal to some illegitimate racial excuse. His skin color excuses him for nothing. Nor does it make him guilty of anything.

Oh, and pleading that other people are doing the same thing and not getting punished is no excuse. Let's bring them all forward and get rid of them. I don't care who they are or what party they belong to. It's time they all go.

I watched this circus yeste... (Below threshold)

I watched this circus yesterday - I couldn't believe it.
Even though I realize that this is not like criminal courts, the idea that he could just have everyone assembled (not at all an inexpensive proposition) and then walk out on them was mind boggling.

Grace, That's beca... (Below threshold)
jim m:


That's because long term incumbency breeds contempt for the government and the public.

These people really do think that they are our rulers and that the rules no longer apply to them. Sycophantic apologists like Barak2012 above defend them regardless of the evidence of their malfeasance.

They have such disdain for the rules that even though they know that they have broken them they do not care or understand why anyone else does care. They think that the rules are just for show and are not to be taken seriously. Their sycophantic supporters reinforce that belief because they are never held to account for their ethical lapses.

couldn't be bothered to ... (Below threshold)

couldn't be bothered to follow the rules in the House

Reminds me of the time I got out of jury duty by telling the judge that I can spot a guilty man just by looking at him when I was asked why I would be a good juror. Now I've met someone who actually has that gift...you.

Let's bring them all forward and get rid of them. I don't care who they are or what party they belong to.

Well, awright. But, I'll tell you now that you're not gonna like me when I throw these words back atcha when it's time. And I need to be liked.

Sycophantic apologists l... (Below threshold)

Sycophantic apologists like Barak2012 above defend them regardless of the evidence of their malfeasance.

There you go again, jim. The gift that keeps on giving, eh?

Don't flatter yourself that... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Don't flatter yourself that I won't want to get rid of unethical GOP leaders.

Again, you have avoided the actual substance of my post. You called everyone who wants Rangel removed for his ethical lapses a racist. Either withdraw that charge or defend it. Show us how a man with a Caribbean getaway home is incapable of providing the most rudimentary legal defense. Show us why he was incapable of paying his taxes properly. Show us why asking those question is racist.

Show us why this man seems incapable of following House ethics rules and present a legitimate argument why those rules should be ignored. Show us why we should not have those rules or why they should not be applied to people because of their race.

Or can you not do that? Are you just another ignorant leftist throwing out the race card because you are incapable of formulating a cogent argument for your position?

Show us why this man see... (Below threshold)

Show us why this man seems incapable of following House ethics rules and present a legitimate argument why those rules should be ignored. Show us why we should not have those rules or why they should not be applied to people because of their race.

Wow. I said all that? No, I inferred that he hasn't been found guilty, yet you're making all manner of wild accusation about Charlie Rangel thinking that he's above the rules. You said this:

They have such disdain for the rules that even though they know that they have broken them they do not care or understand why anyone else does care.

How do you know he has disdain? How do you know that he has broken rules?

Have you stopped hating the black man?

You called everyone who ... (Below threshold)

You called everyone who wants Rangel removed for his ethical lapses a racist.


Barack2012 sounds like Lee ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Barack2012 sounds like Lee Ward. Geez. We get rid of one idiot and another pops up to take his place. They are like tribbles, small, annoying and you just cant get rid of them.

As for the topic on hand. Rangel may lose his chairmanship but he will still be in Congress when all is said and done. Just another excuse for someone other than Congress to be on the congressional ethics committe.

Important Health Care Rule ... (Below threshold)

Important Health Care Rule often ignored at each thread's peril:

Starve a Troll, Feed Jim H.

Post #4 dimwit. If you are... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Post #4 dimwit. If you are too ignorant to see what you wrote was a charge of racism then there is no point in arguing with you.

I base my judgment of what he has done upon the evidence that has been reported. Just as you would do if it were a Republican. You wouldn't think twice about it. Based on the reporting that he did not declare his properties and that now he was using his PAC money to pay his legal team, if these allegations are true he should be out.

The presumption of innocence goes as far as allowing him to remain in his seat. Beyond that he needs to show reason why he did these things or why it is that he really did comply with the law. It seems unlikely that he will be able to show the latter. I am not asking for him to prove innocence, but to explain the evidence against him.

There has been real evidence presented to demonstrate his guilt. He now needs to show up and tell us why it is that that evidence is not what it seems. He's been given the benefit of the doubt as it should be, but now he needs to do his part. He does not get a pass because he is Black.

His disdain is evident by how he appears to have flouted the rules. His guilt is apparent by the evidence that has been brought forward thus far. To be sure he has not presented much of a defense yet, but he has had the same opportunities that his accusers have had to present his side of things. He has not covered himself in glory in that respect.

Oh. And I like your last question. I could ask you when you stopped raping your little sister.

Barak2012 is certainly not ... (Below threshold)

Barak2012 is certainly not worth the effort. He's just pissing on the carpet.

Barak2012 ...this ... (Below threshold)

Barak2012 ...

this is not a legal trial in a court of law ...

Rangel has already admitted that many of the charges are true ...

he is guilty by his own admission ...

the fact that they have not censored him and may not censored him doesn't change the fact that he is guilty ...

Starve a Troll,... (Below threshold)

Starve a Troll,

I'm getting it. Somebody who disagrees is a troll. Nice little club you got here.

Charlie Rangel is a glowing... (Below threshold)
Joe Miller:

Charlie Rangel is a glowing example of just how far we've come as a country. A black man, from humble beginnings, can raise himself up and become just as corrupt and venal as any white man. You go, America!

No fool, someone who leads ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

No fool, someone who leads with, "You're all just racists and you wouldn't care about Charlie Rangel's ethical lapses if he weren't black", is a troll.

You have lead several times on several threads with an accusation of racism. Try to learn something: It isn't racism to ask that all people be held to the same standard. It isn't racism to ask that people be measured on the deeds or rewarded based on merit.

However, it is racism to give people a pass based on their race. It is racism to act as though some people need a special hand up because of their race even though they come from an educated, middle or even upper class background. It is racism when you refuse to criticize someone because they are a minority when you would criticize them if they were not.

Those last are all facets of the left today.

"You're all just racists... (Below threshold)

"You're all just racists and you wouldn't care about Charlie Rangel's ethical lapses if he weren't black",

You've even quoted me? Oh wait. I din't say that.

I will say one thing: I haven't stooped low enough to call anyone here an idiot, a fool, or a dimwit. And I haven't questioned whether someone belonged here because of their IQ. So, now who's a troll?

No you have stuck with call... (Below threshold)
jim m:

No you have stuck with calling people racist. You should be smart enough to understand that it was not a direct quote but the quotes are there to demonstrate the attitude that comes from your posts. If you don't like how that attitude is received I suggest that you review your posts and try to see why it is that they are perceived as accusations of racism.

And no I do not hate black people, but I am still waiting for you to deny molesting little children. ;)

A black man, from humble... (Below threshold)

A black man, from humble beginnings, can raise himself up and become just as corrupt and venal as any white man.

Be careful, Joe. That's a nerve your touching. They're gonna start questioning your IQ.

Let the Republicans expell ... (Below threshold)

Let the Republicans expell him? That's exactly what Charlie and his Dem enablers want. Then they can revisit all those old Republican=Racist/Bigot charges. Make the Dems deal with this even if they only give Charlie a slap on the wrist. More campaign fodder in two years.

"Yet he keeps getting reele... (Below threshold)

"Yet he keeps getting reelected, over and over."

Just another example of "Yeah, he's a crook, but he's OUR crook!"

The funny part is that he got elected to replace another crook, Adam Clayton Powell.

Then you have others in Congress like Alcee Hastings - a disbarred federal judge.

It's time to stop giving cr... (Below threshold)
jim m:

It's time to stop giving crooks a pass because other crooks have gotten a pass in the past.

It's time for Charlie to go. The racism charge is meaningless through over use.

Of course blacks will perpe... (Below threshold)

Of course blacks will perpetually re-elect Charlie as they frankly couldn't care LESS how much of "whitey's" money he steals. As long as their own welfare checks keep on a-comin' they'll be happy as clams. And don't for ONE MOMENT think republicans will have the GUTS necessary to expel the much deserving, thoroughly corrupt Rangel. The race card will have them bowing and scraping as usual. Should the wrist slap actually be delayed until the republican majority takes over, we'll see our newly elected band of "tigers" apologizing to RANGEL for the extraordinary inconvenience he has been put through!!! Think that's impossible??!! Just wait for it. It'll happen.

Wonder if Charlie and Maxin... (Below threshold)

Wonder if Charlie and Maxine have had discussions on who should play the race card. It's been watered down so much that it has little meaning any longer. If both use it, all it will provide is a snicker.

"I'm getting it. Somebod... (Below threshold)

"I'm getting it. Somebody who disagrees is a troll. Nice little club you got here."

Trolls don't disagree. They make baseless accusations, build strawmen and attack them, change the subject, refuse to answer pointed questions and basically just stop by to pee on the carpet. So far, you've lived up to every description.

can this trial result in th... (Below threshold)

can this trial result in the same punishment I would recieve if I did what he's accused of?

why do black politicians co... (Below threshold)

why do black politicians commit more crimes than their white counterparts?

Because they can.

"can this trial result in t... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"can this trial result in the same punishment I would receive if I did what he's accused of?"

Um. No. Mainlly because it isn't a criminal trial. You or I would go to jail for tax evasion. Because Rangel is a member of the ruling class he won't even be given a slap on the wrist by comparison.

The best we can hope for is removing him from Congress. The GOP removed Senator Bob Packwood for trying to kiss a female staffer who then claimed sexual harassment. The dems have people who have actually committed acts that could land them in jail and they won't do a thing. Hell, the dems won't get rid of their own even if indicted and convicted.

it is now safe to say Range... (Below threshold)

it is now safe to say Rangel is guilty without being chastized by trolls ...

But what will the 'punishme... (Below threshold)

But what will the 'punishment' be?

In short, nothing. Lose his position on the House Commitees? With the new GOP majority, he'd likely lose much of his clout anyway. Expulsion? Yeah, like Pelosi will let that occur, especially since she still wants the Minority Leader post.

Even if Rangel leaves the House, he leaves with wads of cash in his personal control.

"I will say one thing: I ha... (Below threshold)

"I will say one thing: I haven't stooped low enough to call anyone here an idiot, a fool, or a dimwit. And I haven't questioned whether someone belonged here because of their IQ."

Typical liberal response "I'm a VICTIM!"

Hey Barack. No PC here. You act the fool, you're called a fool. You don't like it? Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

So, where's Barak2012 now t... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

So, where's Barak2012 now that Rangel's been convicted on 11 of 13 counts by a DEM controlled committee????

Is that committee racist? Must be...

Obama has been asking Range... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Obama has been asking Rangel to go, to end his career for months, albeit "with dignity" as in the code of Japanese sumari, but Rangel and Pelosi refuse.

The only thing dignity and ... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

The only thing dignity and Democrat have in common is that they start with the letter D.

The CBC is going to be in a... (Below threshold)

The CBC is going to be in an uproar. Nancy throws Spitball Clyburn down to make room for a WHITE guy. Now the Ethics Committee convicts a BLACK man of ethics violations.

Wonder if Nancy is still counting on those 42 BLACK votes for minority leader?

Before wizbang conservativ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Before wizbang conservatives get too sanctimonius, don't forget that the GOP house leadership has promised to close the Office of Congressional Ethics,(which brought to light charges against Rangel), in the new session in January.

Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute... is skeptical of the reform plans, said at a recent briefing hosted by Common Cause, largely because party leaders have "made it very clear" that they plan to eliminate the Office of Congressional Ehics Ethics. "There is no pledge here to deal with ethics issues in a positive way, period," he said.

Reform advocates plan a Capitol Hill press conference this week to call on Boehner and his colleagues not to shut down the OCE, but few expect it to stay open. Boehner and most of the other House Republicans voted against the OCE's creation two years ago. Anticipating its closure, the office's staff director and chief counsel, Leo Wise, has announced that he is leaving for a job with the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland...

GOP leaders probably won't vote publicly to kill the OCE but will simply quietly defund it next year, said John Wonderlich, policy director of the Sunlight Foundation.

Not to burst your bubble St... (Below threshold)

Not to burst your bubble Stevie, but OCE has no subpoena powers. And if you look at who is on the OCE board - all life members of the 'feeding at the public trough'.

Steve,OCE is a too... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:


OCE is a toothless waste of money, put forward to make it look like congress was "doing something" about corruption.

It has no subpoena power. Nor can it issue verdicts or punishment. All it can do is recommend that the House Ethics Committee look into allegations further.

Try again...

Steve supports the OCE beca... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Steve supports the OCE because he never questions his dem masters. Of course the dems want the OCE because it can create the impression that everything is OK with Congress. They want a fig leaf that allows them to claim purity.

Poor Charles. You can fool... (Below threshold)

Poor Charles. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time...........

Even without supoena powers... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Even without supoena powers, the OCE has incurred the wrath of many representatives, Dem and Republican, particularly the former. Of course the group that has wanted to neuter the OCE the most apart from Boehner and many of his colleagues, is naturally the Congressional Black Caucus. I wonder why?

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), joined by 19 other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, last week introduced a resolution that would essentially neuter the ethics board, making it more difficult for OCE to launch investigations and inform the public of its findings.

Great company, jim m , Sheik and GarandFan are keeping. It seems that the last three wizbang conservative commenters and the black congressional caucus have more in common than one would think.
The last <a href="http://ww... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

The last link.

I'm not as much against the... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I'm not as much against the OCE as I am against the nothion that we need multiple bodies doing the same function. Either we have the OCE with real ability to investigate and hold hearings and find guilty, congressmen who violate ethics rules or we have the Ethics Cmte. There is no point in spending my tax dollars to pay two sets of people to do the same job.

It's just one more example of waste as far as I am concerned, and it provides deniability for all involved to claim that they don't have responsibility to do anything about any specific complaint because the other group is investigating.

Enough is enough. Choose one body and put the investigation and enforcement powers there. Right now that is the case with the committee.

Sounds reasonable jim m but... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Sounds reasonable jim m but why didn't Rangel's and other black congressional reps unethical behavior come to light before until the OCE started studying this?

It did, Steve. You just wer... (Below threshold)

It did, Steve. You just weren't paying attention.


I doubt if one commiteee ca... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I doubt if one commiteee can handle all the corruption in the Black Congressional Caucus in paticular or the whole House in general. I think we need at least three committees, that would send a message.

Rangel WANTS this to drag o... (Below threshold)
Just the Fax:

Rangel WANTS this to drag out into the next Congress. He wants to claim racism when the GOP musters up the guts to expel him.

Get it? Race card.

My meu culpa, Jay. I knew h... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

My meu culpa, Jay. I knew he was corrupt, but not so lavishly. Of course the more senior and powerful, he became, the more corrupt. "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts".

Absolutely...If Dems don't ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Absolutely...If Dems don't disown him completely. we/they are in trouble. This is more than just a wide stance in a public toilet.

In reality I think it might... (Below threshold)
jim m:

In reality I think it might be reasonable to refer ethics violations to the FBI and let them investigate. That way if there is any criminal liability they are forced to turn it over for prosecution.

It's ridiculous to expect Congress to investigate itself. It's also troubling to give the executive branch the threat of investigation. I guess it depends how bad things are. Right now the need to clean up Congress makes me inclined to give some power to the executive to get these jerks in line.

Of course, right now our executive is so corrupt that they can't prosecute crimes anyway so maybe it is all moot.

Tried that, jim m. Remember... (Below threshold)

Tried that, jim m. Remember William "Cold Cash" Jefferson? Another distinguished member of the CBC who hid the evidence in his Capitol Hill office and cowered behind the Separation of Powers. The FBI's attempt to search it damned near triggered a Constitutional crisis.

I dunno what the answer should be.


In retrospect it wasn't Oba... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

In retrospect it wasn't Obama. Of course, this has been going on a long time before Obama even came on the scene.

Wasn't Rangel an ardent supporter of Hillary? That should have been a tip off. That was when we had hope that Obama would be more intolerant of skulduggery.






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