Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dems to Rangel: all is forgiven, give us a hug

Dana Milbank at the Washington posts notes the real reason why the public doesn't approve Congress: zero accountability and very little integrity. Representative Charlie Rangel--after being the first Congressman censured by the House since 1983--held a fundraiser and received all the support he could handle:
“Last night marked a momentous evening in my campaign for re-election,” Rangel wrote Thursday in a letter to supporters. “At a special event in Washington, Democratic leaders including Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, James Clyburn, Sandy Levin, John Con­yers, Emmanuel Cleaver, and Steve Israel stood by my side and pledged their unwavering support on my behalf. I am so humbled and grateful for their involvement.”
This a man that--less than a year ago--had been censured by the Pelosi-led house for a litany of violations:
With 170 Democrats joining all but two Republicans, the chamber approved the condemnation for 11 rules infractions that included 17 years of unpaid taxes on property in the Dominican Republic, more than $500,000 in undisclosed financial assets and inappropriately raising millions of dollars for a New York City college from corporations with business before the Ways and Means Committee.
Let's think on the tax issue for a moment. He failed to pay taxes for seventeen years. And for every one of those years, he was a sitting Congressman. For every one of those years, he was on the House Ways and Means Committee, the group responsible for writing the tax code. For three of those years, he chaired Ways and Means. For four of those years, he served on the Joint Committee for Taxation. For two of those years, he chaired the Joint Committee. Yet, he didn't pay the taxes that he owed and actually had the audacity to claim it was because the tax code was "confusing."

Even after the censure, Rangel insisted he had done no wrong. And apparently he hadn't, at least as far as the rest of the Dems in the House are concerned. Because they seem to have no problem standing up for him, now. If a censure meant anything, Rangel would be a pariah, given his total lack of contrition. But clearly, it's no better than a trip to the penalty box in the NHL.

Consequences? We don't need no stinkin' consequences!

Cheers, all.


  1. I have average intelligence. I am a veteran of the United States Army. I have an earned Master's Degree from Indiana University and passed a post grad course at the University of Michigan. I taught public school for twenty years and retired as a public librarian. Frankly I do not understand the United States tax code nor do I understand all of Medicare Parts A,B,C and D. Maybe you do. When you get a free minute maybe you can explain it to me.

  2. In other words. I do not know all of the details in the case of "Representative Charles Rangel Verses The People of the United States. If I knew more about exactly what he did and when he did it, I could comment intelligently regarding the case. I have read some parts of the current tax code and some parts of Medicare but I don't understand it. I am not a Philadelphia lawyer. The language in those documents is rather complex in my humble opinion.

  3. Thanks for the comments, Felix. Two points: 1) pretty much the entire House agreed that Rangel had made this violations, some just wanted to give him a reprimand, rather than a full-on censure; 2) As I noted, Rangel is one of the guys responsible for wrting the tax code. So, if it's so complicated that he can't figure out when he had taxes due--for 17 straight years--then hasn't he absolutely failed the people that elected him, at the very least? Fiduciary obligation. It used to mean something.