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Look Who Voted to Punish Rep. Charlie Rangel

Five Republicans sided with Democrats Thursday in defeating a GOP attempt to strip ethically embattled Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) of his chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. But none of them are among the Republicans who themselves are facing ethics investigations and charges.

The motion, brought by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) was handily defeated, 226-176. Backing their leader in trying to punish Rangel were the following embattled GOP lawmakers: Don Young of Alaska, Tom Feeney of Florida and four California members who are under ethics clouds - Ken Calvert, John Doolittle, Jerry Lewis and Gary Miller.

All six Republicans made this year's "most corrupt members of Congress" list published by the ethics watchdog group CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. You can read about each member's specific ethics woes by clicking on the link to the list.

Also notable for his vote today, Rep. Bill Jefferson (D-La.), who was indicted in June on 16 counts of bribery and other corruption charges (and forced to give up his committee assignments), sided with the majority and voted to protect Rangel from punishment. And yes, the Democratic congressman is also a member of the most corrupt club.

Rangel is under intense scrutiny for a series of alleged ethics lapses, including failure to disclose income on real estate property and raising money for an educational center bearing his name.

Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, a Democratic who is under federal investigation for alleged earmarking improprieties, also voted with his colleagues to help Rangel retain his chairmanship and avoid an ethics investigation.

Among those who simply didn't vote were troubled Reps. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.), whose drunken driving arrest last Spring revealed he had a secret mistress and child, and Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), who was indicted on 35 counts of public corruption charges in February.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  September 18, 2008; 6:16 PM ET
 
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Comments

This UPPITY "BOY" and the rest of the

CORRUPT SCUM should be HUNG!!!!!

Posted by: Joe Blow | September 18, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Washington is nothing but one big circle jerk, no wonder this country is in so much trouble.

Posted by: Average joe | September 18, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

This is so beyond the pale.

The Democrats are so corrupt that they've literally transcended the cliche and truly are "beneath contempt" at this point.

One wonders what the Dream Prophet Obama has to say on this matter.

Posted by: Michael | September 18, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

And the great Profit say's, It must be all Bush's fault because we Democrats will help the poor people and steal the money from the rich to do it.
We are your saviour...but behind your back we are just as crooked,egotiscal,elite and lie as just like those mean old Republicans that we so dearly hate while blaming everything on them.

Posted by: JOHN SPENCER | September 18, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Since when is language like that used by Joe Blow anything other than racist? Particularly when directed at a person who has spent his life serving his country, in Congress and valiantly on the battle field in Korea. SHAME ON YOU AND SHAME ON THE POST for permitting such outrageous and despicable comments.

Posted by: Ed in California | September 18, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

If any of these people, Democrat or Republican, have committed a crime that can be proven, they need to be given the punishment prescribed by law.
Until then, Democrat of Republican, they are innocent under the laws of this nation, and each and every one of them should be treated as such.

Posted by: Sternberg | September 18, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I am glad there is finally some accountability toward Rangel! Finally!

Posted by: Matt C. | September 18, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Too bad the plane that landed on the Pentagon didn't hit the House Of representatives. What a bunch of crooks, liar and cheats.

Posted by: Kitty Little | September 18, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Mary Ann, your picture is the most awesome of any reporter at the Post!

Posted by: E. | September 18, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

I think I will run for office
I can be bought
I will lay down with the dogs
Get up with fleas
Hey I would be a great democrat/republican ( for the right price)
p/s I will have black-white -yellow-pink
children
Join my campain for only $1,000,000.00
cash only

Posted by: rwknotts | September 18, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Agreed Sternberg, but if convicted of a felony they should at least be stripped of their lifelong pensions, I would think.

Posted by: djj | September 18, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

This why I wonder about all this change we hear about. It seems Obama has voted in lock step with the current Democrats in congress. So who exactly are the members of the old politics he seems to say he wil change?

He seems to vote with some of the longest serving members of Congress! Yet to listen to him speak these same people are the problem!

So, I really do not understand what change it is he is talking about!

Posted by: Heather | September 18, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Michael | September 18, 2008 7:36 PM

If you read the article again, you'll see that it is both Dem and Repubs that are corrupt. It's always been that way and I don't see it changing anytime soon no matter who takes the White House. Pick another issue and vote based on what we can change.

Posted by: PleaseChange | September 18, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Joe Blow: "UPPITY 'BOY'?" UPPITY? Crawl back into your hill billy swamp and don't come back.

Posted by: PleaseChange | September 18, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me there's one thing all those you noted in your column share in common - see "It's always the little things" at http://writingfrontier.com/

Enjoy.

Posted by: Writing Frontier | September 18, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Mary Ann Akers, what a bad joke you are. This is really a bad effort to try and distract from the main issue. Yes the Democrat Rangel in one of the powerful positions as the the Chairman of Ways and Means and who is part of Obama and the Democrats big effort to significantly raise taxes on Americans is caught CHEATING ON HIS TAXES. ROFL Just another Democrat hypocrite.
Let's see then there's Pelosi the new and improved ethical Queen who appointed the felon William Jefferson to the Office of Homeland Securty.
Mary Ann Akers is it fun being in bed with the Democrats and Obama? Don't let those skinny legs tickle your nether regions...
maybe its the only fun you have.

Posted by: Mike | September 18, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Liberal Democrats want only YOU to pay taxes and NOT them. Ain't that right Charlie?

Posted by: James Ziolkowski | September 18, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Charlie, didn't you know that paying high taxes is patriotic? Ask Joe Biden and Obama.

Posted by: James Ziolkowski | September 18, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans have finally found a Democrat that they think is open to charges of corruption because he messed up reporting income on property in the Dominican Republic. Now they want to make a public spectacle of stripping him of his ranking and ruining his reputation. What a joke. The party of liars, cheaters, war criminals, torturers and homophobic sex perverts want to punish an 80 year old Korean war hero who's served his constituency with faith and honor for decades. If we New Yorkers want to punish Rangel we'll do it ourselves, at the voting booth. No outside help from dumb crackers needed.

Posted by: Bob | September 18, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

As time goes on and more corruption within the Democratic party is exposed, it's becoming easier to understand why the party backed Obama , (the "corrupt politician" from Chicago) during the primary. Birds of a feather flock together....

Posted by: thinker08 | September 18, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Typical republican pile on, used to distract from their own 8 years of corruption, war profiteering, theft, lies and immorality. typical Republican hate, name calling, lies and half truths.

The difference here is that Rengel asked to be investigated and has cooperated fully. Very unlike Rove, Plain, Bush, Vitter, Ginrich, McCain, Palin, etc, etc., etc.

Once again, the Republicans prove to the world why they are not fit to hold office. Once again they display their hate for Christ. Once again they prove that they are small minded hateful people. And Rengel, by his stepping forward to cooperate and ask for investigation, shows us how an office holder should act. Not like Republicans who hide, manipulate the law, even ignore the laws and the Constitution, stall, lie, some more, spy, anything to avoid facing their corruption.

Posted by: billybob | September 18, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

You know, it doesn't matter who votes for what, in Congress. The main problem is that the American voter will vote the same way in November as they have in every other Election.
When will you all realize that America is responsible for these people being in power. I believe that is YOU and I, we are responsible for voting for deadbeats and we get a deadbeat Congress, and then we complain bitterly. Change or be damned!!

Posted by: Anthony Hawkins | September 18, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Don't like your reps in Washington? This is called participatory democracy. How are you doing?

F: Complain, but don't actually vote [may be registered]
D: Vote, but never think to take the perspective of the other side.
C: Vote, and keep yourself actively informed on issues that concern you by talking to people about how politics affects those issues: agree and disagree.
B: Vote, and support a candidate who represents your interests with money and (or) volunteer time.
A: To get an A, you must run for public office: can be local school board or library board, but you have to stand up for the approval of people and make the system work first hand.

Posted by: Jeremy | September 18, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Did no one else notice that the lead sentence of this article does not match anything else in the rest of the text? I would like to know the names of the worthless six who voted to shield Rangel from the consequences of his tax evasion. It's bad enough that the Democrats protected Rangel, but no Republican should have joined in this abortion. To change the subject to Republicans who are under investigation is a distraction.

For example, the accusations against John Doolittle, which remain unproven, pale in comparison with what Rangel has had to admit. As chairman of the committee that writes the tax laws the rest of us must comply with, Rangel's conduct in this area should be above reproach. That 226 members of Congress have voted to keep him in place is a national disgrace.

Posted by: Richard Bassett | September 18, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Rangel and his party lose all credibility when they ask americans to pay more taxes to be patriotic while they turn around don't pay the taxes they are legally required to pay and give so little to charity in the case of Biden. This is why Congress is so out of touch with average americans who are living pacycheck to paycheck. All we ask is honest government and we can't even get that from Rangel who has no fear of losing his job because his district is ALMOST 100% Democratic. We don't have Democracy when these guys run unopposed in primaries and are in a district which is 100% there own party. Amazing that Congress has a low approval rating, yet majority of them will return next year. If this country really wants change, they would stop sending crooks back year after year.

Posted by: John | September 19, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

A 15 term member forgot what the duties were he serves?

The Committee of Ways and Means is the chief tax-writing committee of the United States House of Representatives. Members of the Ways and Means Committee cannot serve on any other House Committees, though they can apply for a waiver from their party's congressional leadership. The Committee has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs and other revenue-raising measures, as well as a number of other programs including:

Social Security
Unemployment benefits
Medicare
Enforcement of child support laws
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a federal welfare program
Foster care and adoption programs
The U.S. Constitution requires that all bills regarding taxation must originate in the House of Representatives, and House procedure is that all bills regarding taxation must go through this committee. These stipulations make this House committee particularly powerful, especially in comparison with its Senate counterpart, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.

The Ways and Means Committee in the 110th Congress is chaired by Representative Charles Rangel of New York.

Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)
Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) is 15th-term member of the House of Representatives representing New York’s 15th district. Rep. Rangel’s ethics issues stem from leasing rent controlled apartments, improperly using congressional stationary and failing to disclose rental income on his personal financial disclosure forms.

Improper Rental Arrangement

Rep. Rangel rented three apartments at Lenox Terrace, an apartment building in New York City owned by the Olnick Organization, and combined them into one large unit, which he uses as his residence. Rep. Rangel paid a total monthly rent of $3,264 for the three units: $1,329 for a two bedroom unit, $1,329 for a one-bedroom unit, and $606 for a studio. For new tenants, such apartments would rent for approximately $2,600, $1,865, and $1,300, respectively, for a total of $5,765. In addition, Rep. Rangel’s campaign committee and political action committee jointly rented another one-bedroom apartment in the building for office use at a cost of $630 a month.

Under New York state and city rent regulations, tenants can continue renewing stabilized leases in such apartments only as long as the apartments are used as their primary residences. Landlords routinely require tenants who have more than one rent-stabilized apartments to give up additional units. Because Rep. Rangel was able to maintain at least two apartments in addition to his primary residence at rent-stabilized rates, by failing to pay fair-market rent on these apartments, Rep. Rangel may have violated the House gifts rule.

Violation of Campaign Finance Law

Renting a rent-stabilized apartment for use as an office by campaign and political action committees raises federal election law issues because the committees did not pay fair market rent. The difference between the fair market value of the apartment might be considered an in-kind contribution made by the owners of Lenox Terrace, the Olnick Organization, but neither the campaign committee nor the political action committee reported receiving such in-kind contributions. In addition, given that Rep. Rangel’s campaign and political action committees rented the apartment at below market rates for many years, they likely received excessive in-kind contributions. Finally, if the Olnick Organization is a corporation, the campaign and political action committees may have received illegal corporation contributions.

Improper Use of Congressional Stationary

Beginning in 2005, Rep. Rangel solicited funds for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York using his official congressional letterhead. Rep. Rangel confirmed that he sent at least 150 letters on the stationary to individuals and foundations asking for support for the center. Officials at the City College acknowledge that Rep. Rangel has assisted them in rasing funds for the center.

House rules prohibits the use of congressional letterhead for any mailing paid for with non-appropriated funds. As a result, by sending out letters on his official letterhead on behalf of City College of New York, Rep. Rangel likely has violated House rules.

Dominican Republic Villa

Rep. Rangel owns a beachfront villa on a Dominican Republic resort that rents for between $500 and $1,100 a night. Although Rep. Rangel’s villa is generally booked solid in the high season of December 15 through April 15, Rep. Rangel did not declare any rental income on his personal financial disclosure forms for the years from 1996-2000 and in 2006 and 2007, though he did declare income in other years. In total, Rep. Rangel failed to disclose $75,000 in rental income since 1988.

When Rep. Rangel purchased the villa in 1988, the company developing the resort gave him the mortgage, to be paid back over seven years at a rate of 10.5%. In 1990, the interest was waived for seven early investors including Rep. Rangel because the resort was generating less income than projected. Rep. Rangel has claimed he was unaware that he was not paying interest on the mortgage.

By failing to include the rental income on his personal financial disclosure forms, Rep. Rangel may have violated the Ethics in Government Act and House rules. In addition, if when the interest was waived on his loan for the property, Rep. Rangel received better terms than others similarly situated, the loan may have violated the House gifts rule.

EXCUSE ME???
HE ADMITTED WRONG DOING!
WHAT ELSE HAS HE DONE!!
REMOVE HIM---------N O W!!!
DUH..... GET OFF THE COMMITTEE.
YOUR PART OF OUR CORRUPT CONGRESS!!
STEP DOWN CHEATER!! NOW!

Posted by: Watcher1 | September 19, 2008 2:31 AM | Report abuse

When you stand up for admitted crooks,
you are then no different, Ms Akers.

The media is a joke.
You dont represent the people.
Maybe the crash will cause some companies
to re-evaluate their employees, and you'll
be in the chop list. You should be ashamed,
crap nevermind, I'll just be ashamed for you.
Dont miss those little yellow pills to often,
it shows in the work you do these days.

Posted by: WE THE PEOPLE | September 19, 2008 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Remember these words:

"No people in history have ever survived, who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves inoffensive to their enemies." - Dean Acheson

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent".
- Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: Truth is POWER | September 19, 2008 2:41 AM | Report abuse

The criminal sleazy bottom -feeding REPUKES will all be out on their butts come NOVEMBER.They have driven this country into the ground for the last time. Since most all of them are very old ,they will be extinct very soon. thank GOD

Posted by: John Q | September 19, 2008 3:42 AM | Report abuse

Unhappy with all the corrupt politicians and this do-nothing congress? One way to register your protest is at the voting booth. Vote against EVERY incumbent. Toss the bums out! I know I will.

Posted by: Independent | September 19, 2008 6:21 AM | Report abuse

IF THIS WAS THE OTHER WAY AROUND, YOU WOULDN'T YADDAYADDAYADDA.

Look, just stop being hypocritical and the problem will dift away into the ether.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

WOW: When the democrats and Nancy Pelosi came to power this is the kind of stuff they were going to clean up.
Sorry I changing my vote to republican

Posted by: Frenchy | September 19, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Going after Rangel is like the cops scouring a village for a guy who stole a nickel while the other guy goes to the bank and cleans it out(Wall Street)

Posted by: majorteddy | September 19, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Guys like "Joe Blow" only talk like that because they are anonymous. They would never dare to stand on a soapbox in public and spew their ignorance. I am not defending Rangel's actions, just "joe blow's" ugly racism and lack of intelligence.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Guys like "Joe Blow" only talk like that because they are anonymous. They would never dare to stand on a soapbox in public and spew their ignorance. I am not defending Rangel's actions, just "joe blow's" ugly racism and lack of intelligence.

Posted by: ARepublican | September 19, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Jeremy,

You make the grade with a good, positive comment with sound advice.

Also, F-minus: don't complain, don't care, don't even pay attention.

Posted by: Mike K | September 19, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Mary Ann Akers calls a vote of 226-176 "handily defeated"? Clearly this "journalist" is a lefty pimping for the Democrats. Do yourself a favor, cancel subscriptions to these propaganda machines and look elsewhere for news.

Posted by: Frank | September 19, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Garsh, the question needs to be asked. Obama how about that sweeping ethics bill you supposedly wrote all by your widdle self? The dumocraps are a joke.

Posted by: Adrian | September 19, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

if you read the comments you can CLEARLY see why this country is so messed up ! how can you republicans after 8 years of supporting george bush LYING us into a war and all the other crimes be so hypocritical ? amazing !

Posted by: goldenrulejoe | September 19, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Ahah! This forum is finally devolving to the desired point - blame Bush for everything.

Yes, stupid, Bush LIED us into a war because he believed the same intel all of the Dems believed who voted FOR the war.

But if it was so easy for stupid, clumsy, inept, fumbling, dopey Bush to fool these highly principled and superbly intellegent legislators - then they really are a bunch of idiots after all, aren't they?

Can imbeciles like goldenrulejoe CLEARLY see the problem here? Either those who claim that Bush lied us into the current situation are really pretty dumb, or they are lying now.

Can you have it both ways? Answer for you so you don't hurt your head: NO.

Posted by: Uno Thinksogude | September 19, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Pretty cool that 14 of the top 20 most corrupt are republican and 3 of the 4 dishonorable mention are also republican. Guess it is all the democrats fault.

Posted by: minndonn | September 19, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Frenchy,
I implore you not to vote for a Repug, even though I think they should be made to clean up the mess they made. However, the country can't take 4 more years of Republican bungling and fear-mongering. Vote for another party whenever you vote, but not for a Repug. You'll be sorry if you do.

Posted by: NeedABailout | September 19, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Here is a new joke of being in Congress too long: "elect me because I went to Harvard or some elite Ivy League school...."

Posted by: Al | September 20, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Here is another joke in being elected President: "Elect me because I am a POW"

Posted by: Neil | September 20, 2008 6:10 AM | Report abuse

Please...I didn't see this type of article when they were voting on Rep Cunningham. Play it straight for a change Akers.

Posted by: Falls Church | September 20, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse


"The Republicans have finally found a Democrat that they think is open to charges of corruption because he messed up reporting income on property in the Dominican Republic. If we New Yorkers want to punish Rangel we'll do it ourselves, at the voting booth. No outside help from dumb crackers needed."

i think i could stick a pin into a list of democrats in congress and be assured that they were crooked. new yorkers are just to dumb to vote them out. so the cycle goes on......

Posted by: merv | September 20, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday this pig Rangel called Sarah Palin disabled. He is the first one to play the race card if anyone says anything he doesn't like. He live in the "safe" district of Harlem. Safe for him but not for many who have to go out at night. He should go asap.

Posted by: Charlie Brown | September 20, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Congressman Rangel is unpatriotic. Because he's in default of his taxes, Sen. Biden's new definition, linking taxes to patriotism, frees me to question Rangel's patriotism.

Posted by: Jack | September 21, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

But it's ok to "Elect ME because I'm black."

Posted by: Obammunist | September 21, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Elect me because I'm a muslim and you feel guilty for being white.

God this obama is a lying scumbag.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 21, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

"This is so beyond the pale.

The Democrats are so corrupt that they've literally transcended the cliche and truly are "beneath contempt" at this point.

One wonders what the Dream Prophet Obama has to say on this matter.

Posted by: Michael | September 18, 2008 7:36 PM"

Ummm, Michael. Apparently you did comprehend this article because I am counting more corrupt GOP members than Democratic members. And they failed to list the many GOP Senators to prove which is more corrupt.

That said, I think we both know that it doesn't matter whether Congress takes the red pill or the blue pill. In order to get anywhere there they have to turn to the dark side. Because that is where the money is. And power comes with money. It's been that way for over 200 years and no one is about to change it now. The corporations, lobbyists and the rich elite won't let it happen. I believe that is what JFK tangled with and got popped.

How can we Americans fix this? Start voting for anyone with values that is NOT a purchased Democrat or Republican. It's not hard to figure out each candidate's background. We need to get RID of this two party corporation monopoly that has it's red and blue strangle hold on the federal govt and our land!

Posted by: Ed | September 22, 2008 6:49 AM | Report abuse

yep, here you go again mary, you are so part of the problem, we all know you suport the black guy, sayes a lot for you anyway, do you pay your taxes? ask joe biden if you should pay taxes or shoud charlie not have to pay because he is black and a dem, sounds fair to me,,,,,

Posted by: frostwhite | September 22, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Joe Blow should blow off. What racist remark. the Post should bar such statements as highly offensive and abusive. If you can't make logical, intelligent comments, go blow. As for Bob, you said it. Growing up in WV, I've seen my share of corrupt politicians. We put Arch Moore (a friend of mine, btw) in jail for his abuses. Let the states handle their corrupt politicians and wait for someone to be proven wrong before acting to strip him/her of any rights. Only the Bushies want to punish folks with no proof or verdicts. If you believe in the constitution, hold your rancor for those who are proven guilty. I, too am tired of corruption - it's a lot worse than having sex in the White House, yet Clinton was crucified for it (of course, he lied; what man doesn't when caught with his pants down). I was dissapointed in Clinton, but he didn't deserve impeachment. The Repubs love to jump on anything they can that takes away from their own bad guys. Sarah Palin is under investigation; are you a$$es going to hang her high too? Obama has no allegations against him, thinker08, what lies have you been swallowing? Thinker, hah. It's amazing how nasty some of you folks are - must be repubs. Jesus was a liberal and He is my guide in this and any other elections, so as a real thinker, I'm voting for the candidate that cares about people and has a proven record of it. I VOTE FOR KIDS!

Posted by: childrenfirst | September 22, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The fact that Charlie Rangel is corrupt is not new. The Democrats have been shielding him and others for decades. For the poor, disenfranchised, what a joke! The Dems have been pulling this scam for decades. They pretend they are for minorities but in the end skewer them example Hillary and the so called savior. It is time to clean out the rats nest and get rid of the left!

Posted by: get over yourself! | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The fact that Charlie Rangel is corrupt is not new. The Democrats have been shielding him and others for decades. For the poor, disenfranchised, what a joke! The Dems have been pulling this scam for decades. They pretend they are for minorities but in the end skewer them example Hillary and the so called savior. It is time to clean out the rats nest and get rid of the left!

Posted by: get over yourself! | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Rangel Rescue:

It isn't Charles Rangel's fault about overstaying in
automobile parking lots, and not having a familiarity with
Spanish and related income problems with his villa in
the Dominican Republic: no, because overstaying is a
affectation once an innocent Congress person is taken
into the Club of Congressional Overstayers.

And then there is the Congressional Travel Club. Congress
persons are encouraged, rather enticed, to take cultural-get-to-
know-you-trips throughout the world for free, yes for free;
and not having to account to the IRS. Naturally, Congressman
Rangel wanted to make the Dominican Republic a specialty ..
and the for free travel precedent was sort of imposed on him
by being a member of the CTC.

With the imposed precedents, it is no wonder the short-stayers
are seeking change, ha-ha. Congressman Rangel may be
considering taking up French for visits to across-the-border,
Haiti.

Posted by: 3rd-Party Advocate | September 22, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

For John McCain, the panel discussion on This Week with George Stephanopoulos could not have been more brutal.

Minutes after conservative columnist George Will declared that the Senator was decidedly un-presidential is his unexpected call for the firing of SEC Chairman Chris Cox, Sam Donaldson, the long-time ABC hand, said that McCain's erratic message on the economy again raised questions about his age.

"I suppose the McCain campaign's hope is that when there's a big crisis, people will go for age and experience," said Will. "The question is, who in this crisis looked more presidential, calm and un-flustered? It wasn't John McCain who, as usual, substituting vehemence for coherence, said 'let's fire somebody.' And picked one of the most experienced and conservative people in the administration, Chris Cox, and for no apparent reason... It was un-presidential behavior by a presidential candidate."

Donaldson then jumped in: "It was two days after the he said the fundamentals of the economy were strong. His talking points have gotten all mixed up. And I think the question of age is back on the table."

It should be noted that McCain's call for the firing of Cox was dismissed right off the bat, as the president does not have the authority to axe an SEC chairman. The criticisms that Donaldson raised concerned the fact that McCain started the week by touting the fundamentals of the economy, before pivoting into fits of populist mantra and calling for increased regulation of the markets - position at odds with McCain's traditional economic philosophies.

"When I say age," he explained, "I don't know the difference between finding your talking points and not delivering the right ones, we have seen him do this frequently but this last week was the worst. Between two stops in Florida, as you say, he had to revise his thinking about what he wanted to say about the economy, wanted to feel the pain suddenly than say everything is great."

The whole, painful, episode crested with Will leveling an even harsher blow.

"John McCain showed his personality this week," said the writer and pundit, "and made some of us fearful."

Posted by: AlexP1 | September 22, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Our Republic sometimes reminds me of the last days of ancient Rome...anyone else?

Posted by: Soonerthought.blogspot.com | September 22, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

If they are indicted they need to relinguish their chairs and anyother positions pending the outcome of the prosecution. Rep - DEM or IND

Posted by: JWin Georgia | September 23, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Mary honey...you madam are an idiot.

Posted by: DCMOM | September 23, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

This is just one reason to have term limits for congress as well as the president. These congressmen and women get in there and set up their own form of dictatorship in their home state. Term limits should be put on the ballot for the public to vote on and not left up to congress to vote on the idea of term limits. Their raises should also be tied to the general election at a minimum of every four years and let the people from their state decide if they deserve a raise or not based on how they have performed. Wouldn’t everyone like to be able to vote on getting their raise whenever they feel like it and get it like members of congress do? They get the raise even if they do not vote for or against the raise, as long as it passes by the majority.

Posted by: Rick | September 23, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

This whole 2 party system is broken. I will not pay 1 cent more in taxes if anymore fat cat banks and their cohorts are bailed out. The gov't can do whatever they want with me, at least in jail I'll get my meals and healthcare supplied. Though, big tax cheats like Wesley Snipes never go to jail and skate the system. Let the free market govern itself and fail. Buying worthless paper and bailing out foreign banks is utterly insane. Let them lick their wounds and move on. They made plenty of money in good times, now they can close their doors and go back to Europe or Asia!

Posted by: Sean P. | September 23, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I AM NOT A CROOK!

Posted by: RICHARD NIXON (R) | September 23, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I AM NOT A CROOK!

Posted by: RICHARD NIXON (R) | September 23, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

i actually know a guy named joe blow but, i doubt if he's the guy that fired you that e-mail. NOW! the important stuff . . how long are we going to allow guys like rangle and barney frank get away with playing fast and loose with the truth AND our money? maybe this will be the good thing that comes with this financial fiasco . . if we just get mad enough!

Posted by: tballbill1 | September 23, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

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