Sunday, 13 September 2009


Ken Berwitz

Is charles rangel the single most corrupt politician in America?  If he isn't, he sure is giving whoever is #1 a run for his/her money.

Over recent months, I have chronicled the astonishing list of frauds and cheats Rangel is neck-deep in.  But there is even more.

Here, from the New York Post, is the latest rangel scandal that has been uncovered:

Charlie in rental di$order

Fails to report Harlem-pad income

Last Updated: 7:13 AM, September 13, 2009

Posted: 3:28 AM, September 13, 2009


Rep. Charles Rangel reported no rental income for eight years on his rundown Harlem row house, even though public records show tenants were living there.

The powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said he received nothing from 1993 to 2000 on the six-unit building, according to federal financial disclosure forms.

But one current tenant told The Post she had lived at the building for 20 years -- and paid rent during that period. Another said her former boyfriend called 74 W. 132nd St. home for many years, paying about $500 a month in rent.

While Rangel claims to have taken in not a dime in eight years, at least four tenants lived in the building during that time, The Post found.

His nephew, Christopher Rangel, still lives there.

The Democratic lawmaker, who is being probed by the House Ethics Committee for a laundry list of alleged financial misdeeds, has had a hard time keeping his story straight on the apartment building.

Rangel's grandfather bought the red-brick house in 1923. Rangel's sister transferred the property to the congressman's wife, Alma, in 1973 for $10,000, city records show. Rangel sold it in 2004 for $410,000 -- a hefty profit -- to the First AME Church Bethel.

He filed amended disclosure forms last month showing that in 2004 he failed to reveal between $500,001 and $1 million in capital gains and rent from the building.

Rangel's reporting of his yearly rental income for the building has swung widely -- from nothing to up to $50,000, the federal disclosure forms show.

* In 1987, he claimed the building brought in between $5,001 and $15,000.

* In 1991, he amended his 1990 form to say the property produced a loss.

* Less than a month later, he said the gross rent was between $15,000 and $50,000, the same amount he reported in 2002.

* In 1993 and 1994, he failed to enter anything about the property's income.

* From 1995 to 2000, he checked a box to show he earned no income.

* In 2001, Rangel claimed income for the building, reporting between $2,501 and $5,000 a year. He did the same in 2002 and 2003, then amended the reports to show income between $15,000 and $50,000.

Even if expenses on the building brought his take to nothing in certain years, he was required to report the gross rent.

A Rangel spokesman did not directly address the apparent lapses in the congressman's rental record, saying the lawmaker had taken care of any mistakes on his disclosure forms by filing amendments last month.

But the amendments covered only 2002 to 2006, not the eight years when he claimed no rent. The amendments revealed his failure to report millions of dollars in assets.

Last year, The Post revealed Rangel's failure to declare $75,000 in rental income on his villa in the Dominican Republic.

The Ethics Committee is also taking a hard look at Rangel's claim on a 1989 mortgage document that the row house was his primary residence.

As The Post reported last month, Rangel was then living across the street in at Lenox Terrace. He also, at that time, claimed a primary residence in Washington.

Why is this man still chairing the House Ways & Means Committee?

Why is this man still allowed to be in congress?

Why isn't this man in jail?

Why is the same house of representatives that is about to censure Joe Wilson for yelling "You Lie" at President Obama - while he was lying, and just after he called his opposition a bunch of liars - looking the other way for the incredibly corrupt charles rangel?

This is our fault.  We elected what amounts to one-party government and there are no checks and balances on what a one-party government does.  charles rangel belongs to the party in power and, evidently he can do whatever he damn wants to.  No punishment forthcoming.

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough.


Ken Berwitz

Is this a coincidence?  Or is it Chicago being Chicago?

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Key Blagojevich adviser Christopher Kelly dead

September 12, 2009



The man federal prosecutors pressured to cooperate in the corruption probe of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich died of an apparent aspirin overdose on Saturday, law enforcement sources said.


Christopher Kelly, 51, of Burr Ridge, was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital at 10:46 a.m. An autopsy is scheduled for today, a Cook County Medical Examiners Office spokeswoman said.



Kelly pleads guilty to kickback scheme Bank forecloses on Kelly home Gambling adviser a high-roller


Kelly was Blagojevichs go-to guy who once was the mastermind of the ex-governors lucrative campaign fund.


Kellys death comes just four days after he pleaded guilty to a scheme involving $8.5 million in fraud at OHare Airport. It was the second conviction this year -- he still faced trial along with the ex-governor, in June. Kelly had been indicted three times since 2007 but refused to become a cooperating witness. When he pleaded guilty to the OHare scheme Tuesday, Kelly spoke of feeling intense pressure by prosecutors to abandon his loyalty to Blagojevich and cooperate with the feds.


Chicago police are investigating Kellys death. A source familiar with the investigation told the Chicago Sun-Times that Kelly, who is married, called a woman identified as his girlfriend and told her that he took some pills and was going to kill himself.


The woman picked up Kelly near 170th and Cicero in Country Club Hills, where Kelly reportedly vomited. Police were taking samples of the vomit and searching for evidence, the source said.


The girlfriend then drove Kelly to Oak Forest Hospital, dropped him off and called police to report she did so, the source said.


Oak Forest Hospital does not have a trauma unit and was unable to treat Kelly, who then was rushed to Stroger Hospital in an ambulance.


Blagojevich released a statement through his publicist.


I am deeply saddened to hear that Chris has died. My heart goes out to his wife Carmen, his three daughters Grace, Jacqueline and Claire and his entire family. They are in our prayers, Blagojevich said.

Yes, it could be just happenstance. 

But somehow I can't help thinking that all this story is missing is a voiceover by Walter Winchell, and Billy Flynn being Kelly's lawyer.


Ken Berwitz

That Andrew Sullivan smokes pot, and was caught doing so, is neither surprising nor important.

That Andrew Sullivan had charges dismissed is not surprising either.  But the reasons they were dismissed make this extremely important.

From John Hinderaker, at  The bold print is mine:

September 12, 2009

Sycophancy Has Its Rewards

September 12, 2009 Posted by John at 6:22 PM

No one has been a more uncritical cheerleader for the Obama administration than liberal blogger Andrew Sullivan. Now, Sullivan has gotten his reward, courtesy of Obama's Department of Justice.

Sullivan was caught smoking marijuana in a National Park and was prosecuted, consistent with the usual policy of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. But Sullivan's pull with the Obama administration got him a sweetheart deal: the U.S. Attorney decided to drop the charges, even though there evidently is no doubt about Sullivan's guilt. The issue here isn't whether marijuana possession should be illegal, or should be prosecuted. It is illegal, and the U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts does routinely prosecute such cases. But not Sullivan: Barack Obama and Eric Holder paid him off for his slavish devotion.

The U.S. Attorney's action in dismissing the case against Sullivan was so extraordinary that it prompted this stinging rebuke by United States Magistrate Judge Robert Collings, who presided over the case:

When the case was called, the Court expressed its concern that a dismissal would result in persons in similar situations being treated unequally before the law. The Court noted that persons charged with the same offense on the Cape Cod National Seashore were routinely given violation notices, and if they did not agree to forfeit collateral, were prosecuted by the United States Attorney. In short, the Court explained that there was no apparent reason for treating Mr. Sullivan differently from other persons charged with the same offense. In fact, there were other persons who were required to appear on the September 2nd docket who were charged with the same offense and were being prosecuted. ...

[T]he Court would not be concerned with any exercise of discretion by the United States Attorney not to prosecute the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The United States Attorney certainly has discretion to determine how best to allocate the resources of his office and could, if he deemed it appropriate, elect to focus those resources on more serious crimes while declining to prosecute the type of violation which Mr. Sullivan faces. However, from all that appears, the United States Attorney has not taken the position that persons who possess marijuana on federal property will not be prosecuted; rather, those persons are prosecuted routinely. ...

In the Court's view, in seeking leave to dismiss the charge against Mr. Sullivan, the United States Attorney is not being faithful to a cardinal principle of our legal system, i.e., that all persons stand equal before the law and are to be treated equally in a court of justice once judicial processes are invoked. It is quite apparent that Mr. Sullivan is being treated differently from others who have been charged with the same crime in similar circumstances. ...

In short, the Court sees no legitimate reason why Mr. Sullivan should be treated differently, or why the Violation Notice issued to him should be dismissed. The only reasons given for the dismissal flout the bedrock principle of our legal system that all persons stand equal before the law.

What is going on here is that Barack Obama's Justice Department is rewarding a faithful political supporter by quashing a criminal prosecution that could adversely affect Sullivan's application for U.S. citizenship. In less than eight months, President Obama has corrupted the Department of Justice to a degree that has not been seen in our lifetimes, if ever. In Obama's Justice Department, the type of justice you get depends on how valuable you are to the Democratic Party.

This is the same eric holder -run justice department that vacated charges of voter intimidation against three Black panther thugs in Philadelphia, despite massive video evidence, and even though they did bother to dispute the charges.  If these thugs were working on behalf of John McCain instead of Barack Obama, would the charges have been dropped? 

And who is investigating the the free pass given to people who intimidated voters on behalf of Mr. Obama?  Why, the justice department, that's who.  They are literally investigating themselves.  How do you figure that's going to turn out?

And our wonderful "neutral" media are not outraged at all.  Where are the demands for an independent investigator?  Nowhere, that's where.

So, while, under normal circumstances, I would not much care if Andrew Sullivan got off on charges of smoking marijuana, the actual circumstances - i.e. because he sucks up to President Obama - send cold chills up my spine. 

We did this to ourselves.  We elected what amounts to one-party government, and there are no checks and balances on what a one-party government does.  Who will stop eric holder from running the DOJ any way he damn well wants to?  Who will stop any Barack Obama sycophant from doing whatever he or she wants to?

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough.


Ken Berwitz

I'll make this short and sweet.

I picked up my copy of the New York Times today and looked to see how it covered yesterday's Tea Party march on Washington (and the marches in other cities throughout the USA).

I expected the article to be on page 1, and to downplay how many people attended.  But I was wrong.

The article was buried on page 37. 

The headline said that "Thousands" attended, which suggested that it was nothing with nothing.  But, buried in the middle, was this:

The demonstrators numbered well into the tens of thousands, though the police declined to estimate the size of the crowd. Many came on their own and were not part of an organization or group. But the magnitude of the rally took the authorities by surprise, with throngs of people streaming from the White House to Capitol Hill for more than three hours.

In other words, unless you read the article thoroughly, you wouldn't have any idea of anywhere near how many people participated in the tea party event.  But the Times can say "hey, we told our readers, didn't we?"

When someone makes the argument that The New York Times is no longer a newspaper, it is a propaganda sheet, look for them to point to this "coverage" as evidence. 

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