Charlie Rangel, oleaginous octogenarian extraordinaire, put on a press conference at lunchtime on Friday that was such a master class in shifty-eyed flimflam that no one who watched it can have left its Harlem venue (or their TV screens) unconvinced that he is, by some great distance, the most knavish congressman in Washington.This is worth your time, but I don't have time to read the whole thing. I do plan to read it however. This is a rather surprising development to be sure.
There can be little doubt that Rangel—who has served a mind-boggling, and, for those concerned with standards of official conduct, depressing, 20 terms—is not going to be able to run for a 21st term. His career is now over.
I predict that he will resign by, or on, Thursday of next week, the day on which the House Ethics Committee lays formal charges against him, charges which—if he contests them—will go to public trial. (The charges are, by now, so well known that they scarcely bear repeating: undeclared taxes on income from a beachfront villa in the Dominican Republic; the securing of four luxury apartments at a heftily subsidized rent; and the granting of lucrative favors to a donor. Read a detailed account here. (Rangel has, predictably enough, protested his innocence all along.)
ALSO, I want you to note a video I posted here last year about Evan Coyne Maloney talking to Harlem, NY residents.