Charlie Rangel Admits to Another $650,000 in Undisclosed Assets

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) filed new financial disclosure reports showing that he failed to report more than $660,000 in assets during 2007, a potential violation of House ethics rules.

Rangel, Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, also had previously stated that he sold a Florida condominium in 2007, but an amended report covering that year – filed in mid-August – now makes no mention of that transaction.  It appears that Rangel no longer owns the condo as it is not listed on his 2008 financial report, filed last month.

The House Ethics Committee is already looking into Rangel’s use of several rent-stabilized apartments in a luxury Harlem apartment building, his failure to fully pay taxes on a vacation home in the Dominican Republic, and the lawmaker’s fundraising on behalf of the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College in New York City.   The committee recently broadened the Rangel investigation to include Caribbean trips taken by Rangel and four other lawmakers.

Rangel has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, but the new financial-disclosure reports for 2007 show at least $662,000 in previously undeclared assets held by the lawmaker.   These assets include several “empty” lots in Glassboro, N.J., valued at more than $3,000; a stock fund worth at least $250,000; an IRA account with more than $250,000 in assets; and investment fund account worth between $50,000 and $100,000.

Rangel also downgraded – without explaining why – the value of his Dominican Republican vacation home. In his original version of the 2007 report, Rangel declared that home was worth between $250,000 to $500,000, while in the lasted version, it was valued at between $100,000 to $250,000.

I’m certainly glad that Speaker Pelosi has cleaned up that “culture of corruption” she referred to upon becoming Speaker.  One has to wonder when the ethics charges in this case should become criminal charges.

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Main Stream Media and Bloggers’ Desire to Attack Palin May Have Killed Health Care Bill

As late as August 6th, I’m sure the White House and the Democratic leadership in Congress were confident of passing a health plan. There were some problems, of course, with Republican and Blue-Dog Democrats talking about the cost of the plan and House members were already being attacked in their districts about the bill.

Then came August 7th and Sarah Palin wrote a few comments on Facebook. This would likely have gone rather unnoticed had it been anyone else making the comments. There was no major speech by the former governor. There were no television or radio appearances and she hadn’t written it as an Op-Ed for a major newspaper. A single comment on Facebook was all there was. She had written, “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care.”

The anti-Sarah bloggers and the major news media jumped on the opportunity for yet another “isn’t she ignorant” rampage. After all, if you scan HR3200, you will not find one reference to the words “death panels” and it was going to be another great weekend of Palin-bashing.

If you listened to the mainstream media which eagerly picked up the story, you would have certainly believed that Sarah Palin must have fallen off the fishing boat and hit her head. She was making up total falsehoods about what the Obama health plan contained. The President himself jumped into the story on August 11th with a denial that his plan contained anything that would result in pulling the plug on Grandma.

On August 12th, Governor Palin fired back, again on Facebook, this time citing specific sections so there could be little doubt about what her concerns being addressed were coming from. Unfortunately for the Democrats, her arguments sounded quite convincing and both of her articles were footnoted with references giving the articles a legitimate-looking argument.

It became even more clear that the people going to the Town Hall meetings to oppose the plan were much more aware of the actual wording of the bill than the Congressmen and Senators trying to defend it.

The more the press tried to provide cover by showing angry crowds at town hall meetings, the more America has discovered what is actually in the bill and it continues today.

The mainstream media and the left wing bloggers, in their continued effort to destroy Sarah Palin by any means possible have caused more attention to what is actually in the bill to the American public than would have otherwise happened.

The Republicans had hoped they might somehow find a way to stop the bill from passing, but they did not have the votes. The only way possible would be to get the American people informed about what is in the bill, but they did not have the press coverage.

Still one Republican Senator had said that if this bill could be stopped it could be President Obama’s Waterloo. If the recent polling trend continues, it looks like the train might be arriving at the station in Waterloo…and the mainstream media and liberal bloggers have been driving the train!

Obama’s Green Jobs Czar – Van Jones

The appointment of Van Jones as a White House environmental adviser was announced March 10, 2009. Jones’ official title is Special Advisor on Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation for the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Born in rural Tennessee, Jones graduated in 1990 from the University of Tennessee and, in 1993, from Yale Law School. Jones, a civil-rights lawyer, is founder and executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a nonprofit agency for justice, opportunities, and peace in urban America. Located in Oakland, California, the Center focuses on campaigning to reform California’s abusive and costly youth prison system, creating opportunities in the “green” economy for poor communities and communities of color, supporting victims and survivors of police abuse and their families, and uplifting young people and addressing Bay Area violence with a mix of activism and street culture.

The Ella Baker Center was connected to STORM (Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement), a “multi-racial activist collective with Marxist influences” with which Jones was involved.

While never large, STORM was one of the most influential and active radical groups in the Bay Area, controlling numerous front organizations including Bay Area Police Watch, one of several anti police activities, which Jones founded in 1992.

Other STORM fronts included a Marxist training organization, the School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL) and an unemployed rights group, People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER)

Speaking to the East Bay Express in 2005, Van Jones said he first became radicalized in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King riots, during which time he was arrested.

“I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th,” he said. “By August, I was a communist.”
“I met all these young radical people of color – I mean really radical: communists and anarchists. And it was, like, ‘This is what I need to be a part of.’ I spent the next 10 years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary,” he said.

Jones has lead many campaigns including Books Not Bars, an advocacy program for parents/grandparents of incarcerated youth in the United States. It has been credited with a 30% drop in the total number of youth incarcerated in California. Additionally Jones sits on numerous governing boards, and following Hurricane Katrina co-founded the largest online activist community addressing Black issues (ColorOfChange.org).

Color of Change has led a campaign prompting major advertisers to withdraw from Glenn Beck’s top-rated Fox News Channel program.
In recent weeks, Beck has done several critical segments about Van Jones, and other members of President Obama’s administration.
Jones was also on the board of the Apollo Alliance, a hard-left environmentalist group that is now running large chunks of the Obama administration. Beck pounded away at the Apollo Alliance and Jones on a recent show.

Immediately following a News Busters report, Colors of Change scrubbed its site of any mention of Jones. The site used to say, “James Rucker and Van Jones came together in the wake of [Hurricane] Katrina to use the organizing power of the Internet to give Black Americans and our allies a renewed and strengthened political voice.”

But now it doesn’t.

After News Busters pointed out the deletion, Colors of Change added Jones back to its site but now claims “Van hasn’t been active in the work of ColorOfChange in recent years.”

“After helping ColorOfChange get started in 2005, Van moved on to other pursuits,” the website now claims.  Previously, the site simply listed Jones.

It is difficult to believe that Jones’ connection to Color of Change has nothing to do with their attacks on one of the few outspoken critics of the Obama Administration and the appointment of high-level advisors who are responsible only to the President.

Given his admission of being a Communist and with a felony criminal record, Van Jones would have had trouble being confirmed to a cabinet level postion even with the Congress being in Democratic control.

Rep Massa to Vote Against the Will of Constituents

Democratic Congressman Eric Massa was elected to represent New York’s traditionally Republican 29th Congressional District by 2 percentage points in 2008.

Earlier this month, while addressing the Netroots Nation gathering in Pittsburgh, Rep Massa re-iterated his support for a single-payer health care bill stating, “I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful.”

Unfortunately, there is entirely too much voting “adamantly against the interests” of We the People in Washington these days.  Mr. Massa should be defeated when he comes up for re-election in 2010.  I urge support of his yet unnamed opponent in that election.  I only wish his constituents would have the ability to vote to deny any benefits he will receive after having served a single term in Congress.  I guess we can’t have everything!