Of vice and incompetence

The ruling class is imperious and oblivious, as it leads us to ruin

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Charlie Rangel embodies absolutely everything that is wrong and repulsive in Washington.

The lame-duck session of Congress, and the president's deficit commission debacle, illustrate what happens as a result of such vice and incompetence.

In short, they're flying this plane into the sheer cliffs of a mountain of debt -- sure to bail out themselves before impact.

A 40-year New York congressman, Rangel, as of Thursday only the 23rd member of the House of Representatives in history to be shamed by a formal censure from his colleagues, represents all the toxic elements of a careerist Congress: limitless self-aggrandizement; nest-feathering and profiteering; imperiously living above the rules they set for others; skirting tax laws and more.

Until recently the influential chairman of the all-powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Rangel evaded taxes for 17 years on rental income from property in the Dominican Republic; he lied about his assets in congressional disclosure forms for 10 years; he used congressional resources to solicit "donations" to a center at the City College of New York named after him; he sought "donations" from businesses and foundations that had congressional business before his committee; and the list goes on.

Yet, even after the remarkable but mostly symbolic censure -- and despite the fact that an ordinary citizen might be in prison for such behavior -- Rangel, like the sovereign he believes himself to be, posed as a victim, a good guy, an innocent man who was "found not guilty of corruption and self dealing."

Rangel's alarming self-delusion could be fodder for both political science and psychological text books.

Here is your poster child for term limits, friends.

And Mr. Rangel is not alone. The level of naked corruption in Washington is matched only by the arsenic upon which these life forms draw sustenance for precious self-perpetuation. In some cases, entrenched members of Congress must be carried out on a gurney.

In the meantime, the damage from a self-serving ruling class continues to mount.

The lame-duck session of Congress is fiddling while our economy burns: Democrats' insistence on tinkering with other major social issues (without so much as an evidentiary hearing or two), and their lust for class warfare (in proposing huge tax increases on the job-creating class) is putting us all at risk.

U.S. News and World Report warns that Congress' continued failure to decide whether to extend the so-called Bush tax cuts "will spark a stock market sell-off starting Dec. 15 as investors move to lock in gains at a lower rate than the 20 percent it would jump to next year ...

"While it is unclear how bad the sell-off could be, it could wipe out the year's gains, (analysts) warn."

If some in Congress are thinking they can avoid the problem by passing retroactive legislation in January, after procrastinating now, they're mistaken: Experts say investors won't wait for the hope of belated tax cuts next session; they'll sell now.

More bad news: The president's 18-member blue-ribbon deficit commission failed Friday to reach the 14-vote threshold needed to send its ambitious deficit-cutting package to Congress for one-vote approval. Website Politico.com warned of the failure in advance, notably citing the intransigence of commission members who were appointed by current members of Congress. Former politicians, business people and others on the commission were much more courageous.

That -- and Charlie Rangel -- tells you everything you need to know about the state of leadership in this country today.

Comments (35) Add comment
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gaspringwater
3
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gaspringwater 12/03/10 - 10:13 pm
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Good show Chronicle! You

Good show Chronicle! You whipped up on old corrupt Democrat, Charlie Rangel of New York but you never wrote a word about old corrupt Republican, Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. Out of respect for the dead I guess.

dichotomy
37614
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dichotomy 12/03/10 - 10:57 pm
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How about old corrupt Harry

How about old corrupt Harry Reid. This just in: "Reid pushes bill to allow for online gambling". Seems Harry is working the back rooms trying to do his mafia buddies back home a favor while the Democrats are still in power. Now we know where is campaign money came from.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 12/03/10 - 11:16 pm
0
0
dichotomy - Gambling is

dichotomy - Gambling is hallowed where Harry Reid comes from. They probably have Sunday morning services in the casinos. And Harry Reid is not the only politician that'll have to deliver for his lobbyist, southerners too. It's the way the game is played!

dani
13
Points
dani 12/04/10 - 02:04 am
0
0
I would think by now the

I would think by now the Democrats would see that their economic plan (IF they actually have one) is not working. Unemployment was expected to drop with the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays but instead has gone up to the highest since the early '80's.
This can't go on with so many non-productive people drawing government (taxpayers) money.
All those millions in stimulus dollars didn't work, so what now.
You won't get an answer from Obama-he will tell you things are looking up, that you just aren't intelligent enough to understand.
He seems to think if he says it enough times it will become facts.
Yawn...time to turn in.

ReformedRepub
0
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ReformedRepub 12/04/10 - 02:19 am
0
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The very same Republicans

The very same Republicans that vowed not to take ear marks, including Tea Partiers, have added over a billion to the budget. Wonder what they cut to pay for them....nothing. They aren't any better than those they oppose.

carcraft
28588
Points
carcraft 12/04/10 - 06:17 am
0
0
Grouse- Sorry the Republicans

Grouse- Sorry the Republicans disappoint you...but I am very happy with what they are doing. Obamanomics-often tried never successful! We have the longest, highest sustained unemployment since WW II! Obama PROMISED, read that PROMISED unemployment would not reach 9% if we passed the stimulus package adding a TRILLION in debt to the American people.. We are now at 9.8% and it rose 0.2% this month. SIEU has had to cancel health insurance for children of members in the largest chapter because of Obama care, but hey, those are poor people who cares?

Ga Values
27
Points
Ga Values 12/04/10 - 06:56 am
0
0
Out soon to be Governor, Raw

Out soon to be Governor, Raw Deal along with Rangel was named 1 of the 15 most corrupt Washington Politicians.

slippery 25
0
Points
slippery 25 12/04/10 - 07:28 am
0
0
What is sad is that the

What is sad is that the crooked slimball was not thrown out of congress.

Sandpiper
0
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Sandpiper 12/04/10 - 07:31 am
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The corruption in D.C.

The corruption in D.C. politics has run rampant for decades and any changes will take a while to implement. No improvement can be made before Jan. 20, 2013. Pointing out the multiple problems is a good starting point, but must be kept up until the next national election to help insure a positive change.

Mad Hatter
0
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Mad Hatter 12/04/10 - 07:35 am
0
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Reformed....none of the "tea

Reformed....none of the "tea par tiers" have taken office yet. How could they have added to the budget?

ozarkalien
0
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ozarkalien 12/04/10 - 07:58 am
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they won't talk about how

they won't talk about how some senators like airport bathrooms to meet friends.
Even Ronald Reagan's budget advisor say this tax break for the rich will not create jobs and is a terrible thing to do with two wars which weren't paid for. The republicans under Bush passed a pharm bill that cost billions which wasn't paid for. It's great that under Bush none of you ever voiced a concern of the deficit until Obama was elected. Bush almost tripled the deficit and Chenney said deficits don't matter. I'm all for getting our spending under control but to blame only the democrats is just ridiculous.I would think when our country is in two wars which again is not paid for and was not included in Bush's budget that the rich would be willing to support our country and our troops by paying 3% more in taxes. After we get on a road of less spending and the wars end then deduce taxes. But hey, that wouldn't be nearly as much fun or make for good copy. The republicans are blocking everything and it doesn't matter it it hurts or country.
Where is the concern for the workers that lost their jobs, where is the concern about the manufacturing and jobs that have left our country mostly in the name of greed and where is the anger over wall-street and the banks that brought this country to it's knees. The past administration is one of the main reason we are in this mess.

southernguy08
532
Points
southernguy08 12/04/10 - 08:11 am
0
0
GAS, you conveniently forgot
Unpublished

GAS, you conveniently forgot that the corruption charge conviction of Ted Stevens was OVERTURNED because of mistakes from the federal attorneys prosecuting him. The mistakes were so serious, the judge had the attorneys representing the government held for contempt. If you want to look at members of congress who got away with criminal behavior, how about old drinkin and drivin Ted Kennedy? As for Charlie Rangel, this "censure" is nothing but a slap on the wrist. It carries no real punishment, as evidence by the continued presence of Barney Frank, who was censured many years ago. No, I'm sure Charlie Rangel's district thinks he's a hero, holding up a fist in the white man's face. Term limits will NEVER happen!

southernguy08
532
Points
southernguy08 12/04/10 - 08:13 am
0
0
MAD, good post.
Unpublished

MAD, good post.

Mad Hatter
0
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Mad Hatter 12/04/10 - 08:32 am
0
0
Why is it the only thing the

Why is it the only thing the liberals do is try to point out other's bad behavior in an attempt to rationalize their own?

Mad Hatter
0
Points
Mad Hatter 12/04/10 - 08:33 am
0
0
Reformed....care to comment

Reformed....care to comment on how you think the "tea partiers" added to the debt without even being in office yet?

Mad Hatter
0
Points
Mad Hatter 12/04/10 - 08:34 am
0
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OMG. Retired, surely you

OMG. Retired, surely you aren't trying to make this a racial thing. Good lord, please stop playing that tired old card.

55 F-100
1
Points
55 F-100 12/04/10 - 08:48 am
0
0
Rangel has the same voting

Rangel has the same voting base as John Lewis. They will be in office as long as there is breath in their bodies, because their voting base believes that Rangel and Lewis are entitled to their positions.

chascush
0
Points
chascush 12/04/10 - 08:54 am
0
0
MAD Hatter, ‘OMG. Retired,

MAD Hatter, ‘OMG. Retired, surely you aren't trying to make this a racial thing. Good lord, please stop playing that tired old card.’
Very typical, when claiming that the repubs did the same thing does not work play the RACE CARD.

southernguy08
532
Points
southernguy08 12/04/10 - 08:55 am
0
0
MAD, with RETIRED, its ALWAYS
Unpublished

MAD, with RETIRED, its ALWAYS about race. But, Retired, you're right, Delay was convicted. So was Barney Frank, James Traficant, Dan Rostenkowski, and Bill Clinton just missed by the skin of his teeth. Where's your editorial about those? Notice I didn't mention that the white community views you with suspicion. Yeah, I'm laughing.

Mad Hatter
0
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Mad Hatter 12/04/10 - 08:57 am
0
0
Also, when Republicans get

Also, when Republicans get arrested, they are voted out by their people. Dems keep on re-electing criminals.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 12/04/10 - 09:04 am
0
0
It appears the liberal
Unpublished

It appears the liberal mentality is "Let's fund that pregnant, drug addicted 17 year old mother of four, until SHE decides to clean up her act". rangel deserves the same fate as tom delay.

carcraft
28588
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carcraft 12/04/10 - 09:30 am
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0
Ozarkan- I am not just

Ozarkan- I am not just blaming Democrates but the Democrates have gone at spending money like a drunk salior at a house of ill reput- The stimulus package, almost a trillion dollars, is running out of money and no jobs and the Democrates think this is a success and the way to continue this success is to keep writing checks for unemployment! The Health care bill is already over budget, increasing deficit and missing dead lines..Obama has added more deficit to the economy than any president that has existed, more in two years than Bush in eight- The Democrates have done nothing about the deficit dispite having The House, The Senate and the Presidency! Pelosi passed a resolution saying every thing must be payed for and hasn't lived by that. Obama said all bills would be posted and hasn't lived by that...So they get a bunch of blame..

dichotomy
37614
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dichotomy 12/04/10 - 09:30 am
0
0
Delay was tried, and

Delay was tried, and convicted. Rangel got a PASS. And yes, a lot of Republicans help get us in this mess. We got rid of a lot of them in '08 by voting for Democrats. That didn't work out too well so we got rid of some Democrats and a few old Republicans in '10 and replaced them by what we hope will be a new breed of Republicans. And we will keep doing this until the spending gets cut and the budget balanced each year including deficit payments. The difference is that Republicans will attempt to clean their cage but the Democrats just keep the same old crap.

Many GA Republicans were not happy with Deal as a candidate but when presented with a choice between Deal and Barnes......well you see from the results that most people knew Barnes was a failure coming out of the chute so they bet on the crook. It was a regrettable but logical choice. I'm sure you would not be any happier if we had elected Handel.

Mad Hatter
0
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Mad Hatter 12/04/10 - 09:49 am
0
0
No, Retired....you are not

No, Retired....you are not the only one who sees racism here. There are other racists, just like you who see the same thing.....racism where there is none.

southernguy08
532
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southernguy08 12/04/10 - 10:21 am
0
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RETIRED, I don't write the
Unpublished

RETIRED, I don't write the editorials either. As for racism, well, let's see, Tom Delay was convicted, and now faces criminal sentencing. Charlie Rangel was convicted of something that would land the rest of us in prison, and not only was he re-elected by his district, he faces, let's see, oh yeah, that nasty word..."censure." Let's see, that carries, what penalty? Let's ask Barney Frank, who is STILL IN OFFICE, about that. As for YOUR skin color, I don't care if you're purple.

Mad Hatter
0
Points
Mad Hatter 12/04/10 - 11:33 am
0
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I can't explain it,

I can't explain it, Retired....and neither can you without making racist assumptions that you can't prove...........can you?

Mad Hatter
0
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Mad Hatter 12/04/10 - 11:38 am
0
0
And just to show how little

And just to show how little RetiredArmy DOES know....the Chronicle is owned by Morris Communications Company....a publicly traded company...not "white owned."

ameliaf
0
Points
ameliaf 12/04/10 - 12:13 pm
0
0
Well, it would be good to

Well, it would be good to also take a look at Deal's deals while he was a Congressman. But, despite all his shenanigans, he got elected governor.

Well, the point about term limits is well taken. There is a slow rot that sets in as the newly elected gets more and more enured to the lure of power and the money of lobbyists that can get them reelected. Pretty soon, they don't really represent us, they represent the lobbyists.

That is where the real danger lies.

Mad Hatter
0
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Mad Hatter 12/04/10 - 12:52 pm
0
0
No...this financial mess has

No...this financial mess has been made worse by Obama........the exact opposite of what he promised to do. BTW...when did the economy take a turn? If I'm not mistaken it was about 2006 when it turned down. Hmmmmmmm.........what happened in 2006? Oh yeah! The Democrats took control of spending.

southernguy08
532
Points
southernguy08 12/04/10 - 12:53 pm
0
0
RETIRED, do we know each
Unpublished

RETIRED, do we know each other? I ask because you seem so comfortable judging me, and anyone else who doesn't agree with you. Also, as for white defendents convicted, are you kidding? Tom Delay, Eliot Spitzer, and yes, Ted Stevens made front page news. Try reading a newspaper once in a while before you, once again, judge it. You can "take note" of that.

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