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The Rangel diversion: Hypocrisy in action

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 12:37 AM
Original message
The Rangel diversion: Hypocrisy in action
Edited on Sat Nov-20-10 12:38 AM by Hannah Bell
It would require an army equipped with shovels and gas masks to dispose of all the hypocritical horse manure pumped out by American politicians and the media over the past several days concerning the case of Congressman Charles Rangel.

The case dominated news coverage this week in both New York City, where Rangel has represented a Harlem district for four decades, and in Washington DC.

Both the facts of the Rangel case and its outcome demonstrate the degraded and false character of the official two-party political system in the United States. The charges range from the minor (failing to pay taxes on a vacation home in the Dominican Republic, using a rent-controlled apartment in Harlem as a campaign office) to the obscure (using official franked mail to solicit contributions to a non-profit college center named after himself) to the ludicrous (bringing the name of Congress into disrepute.)

One could legitimately ask whether it is even possible to commit the last-named offense, in view of the low public standing of the institution. In the same vein, one might question the contradiction in terms posed by the very existence of a body called the House Ethics Committee, given the bought-and-paid-for character of the entire US Congress.

More than $4 billion was raised and spent on the 2010 congressional elections, an amount that, if divided evenly among the 36 Senate seats and 435 House seats at stake, would make the average price tag of more than $8 million per seat. The giant corporations and wealthy individuals who bestowed the bulk of these thinly disguised bribes, in the form of campaign contributions, get what they are paying for: tax breaks and lucrative government contracts worth tens of billions, and an overall policy in defense of wealth and privilege. In that context, Rangels personal peculations hardly rate a second glance.

Moreover, the chief counsel of the House Ethics Committee, Blake Chisam, conceded during the hearing that there was no allegation that Rangel had profited either from his fundraising for the Rangel Center at City University of New York, or from his failure to report rental and investment income on disclosure forms filed with the House of Representatives.

The World Socialist Web Site has unbridgeable political differences with Rangel, a liberal Democrat who has been a fervent supporter of the policies of the Obama administration, including the Wall Street bailout. But there is a demeaning element in the spectacle of the public humiliation of an 80-year-old man who has not become a multimillionaire in the course of his long political career, although his years as chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee provided ample opportunity to do so.

Rangels conviction and exemplary punishment will now be used to demonstrate that, in the wake of the election, both parties are cleaning house on Capitol Hill. What a farce!

The corporate lobbyists for the oil, banking, health insurance and other industries will continue to rule the roost in the new Congress. They will enjoy even greater access under the speakership of Republican John Boehner, who once hand-delivered checks from the tobacco lobby to favored congressmen on the floor of the House.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/nov2010/rang-n20.shtm...
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 12:47 AM
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1. Well Put !!!
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 01:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. Holy crap
More than $4 billion was raised and spent on the 2010 congressional elections, an amount that, if divided evenly among the 36 Senate seats and 435 House seats at stake, would make the average price tag of more than $8 million per seat.


:wow:

K&R

Good article
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 01:52 AM
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3. K&R
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 02:11 AM
Response to Original message
4. Having found that minor matters appearing on C Span often allow me to get some needed sleep, I
Edited on Sat Nov-20-10 02:17 AM by truedelphi
Attempted a nap the other day while the Charles Rangel Affair was being videoed.

What a telling and sad commentary. Being a fan of Autorank, Girl gone mad and Dixie Grrrl over on the economic forum here at DU, I keep hoping that at some point, the larger players of the Eleven trillion dollar (and counting) Give Aways to the Banks and other Financial Institutions will come to thirteen charges filed against the unholy Trio of Ben Bernanke/(Paulson)/Geithner. After all, this trio has managed the biggest single heist of monies and the largest economic destruction ever accomplished in a span of only 2 years and two months.

However, the sight I saw on C Span was that of eighty year old Mr Rangel. He has had thirteen counts piled up against him, with as this article above duly notes, one charge that anyone who is paying attention would surely question - that Rangel has single handedly led to bringing Congress into disrepute. ("How could we tell?" would be most people's question on that issue...)

But the whole purpose in bringing about thirteen counts against him is that that is MORE counts against him than any one else has ever managed to have accumulated. He could be expelled on that point alone!

How come we have no similar scandals occurring from the bowels of the Senate? Hmm, let's think about this one. Diane Feinstein, she of the noble vote for the Iraq War which allowed her husband to collude with Big Business Interests and receive some 27 million dollars in contracts within six weeks of our going to war - she never has to worry about such a terrible thing happening to her. She managed to have the entire rule of ethics prevailing in the Senate RE-WRITTEN, so that the notion of conflict of interest is seriously hard to even consider, couteesy of Di Fi's new definitions. And she also oversees who complains to whom about what.

If only Rangel had had that sense to see to it that the House re wrote their rules of ethical conduct. But since he didn't there is hell to pay. And some two million dollars in attorney fees that he has already racked up!

Eleven of the counts against him are completely bogus. Examine, for instance, Rangel's use of Congressional stationary for the purpose of seeking funding for a worthwhile charity that he has set up for disadvantaged youth. This charge has been labelled as "solicitation" so anyone casually glancing att a newspaper might easily be led to beleive of Mr Rangel what we came to know about Eliot Spitzer.

The whole bloody affair is truly sickening. And all I can say to those who allowed this to happen is BEWARE! If you are a Democrat walking the halls of the House, and you participated in this: Beware beware beware. The slightest thing you do wrong can be examined and blown out of proportion. And if you cry that "No, my offenses are minor, this shouldn't happen to me," you will only have your willingness to join in the lynching of Rangel as a reminder of the fact that sometimes we face karma a lot sooner and in a much harsher way that we ever thought that we would.

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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thank you for an excellent explanation and your POV on the matter. n/t
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-21-10 10:58 PM
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6. Failing to pay taxes is minor?
This is a rich guy renting out a vacation home and pocketing the income with no bother to report it to the IRS.

And the IRS isn't even dragging him into court and threatening him with jail over it.

One law for the ruling class, one law for the rest of us.
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