Testy Rangel Disparages MSNBC After ‘Dumb’ Ethics Questions

After being charged with violations of House Rules by the House Ethics Committee today, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) got downright testy with MSNBC reporter Luke Russert when asked if he was going to keep his job. Rangel asked him who he was with and then disparaged the network by saying “it just shows what happened to a channel that did have some respect.”

Because we exposed it, we were happy to see Russert also ask Rangel why he failed to report taxable income from rent on his Dominican Republic house.

Related:

House Ethics Committee Charges Charles Rangel

Is Rangel Detached From Reality?

Photo Casts More Doubt on Rangel Claims

Flaherty: Rangel Had to Know of Junket’s Corporate Sponsorship (Fox News Channel video)

Rangel Scandal Timeline

Flaherty: Rangel Dirty Even After Coming Clean (CNN/Anderson Cooper video)

Flaherty: Rangel is ‘Serial Offender’ (CNN/Anderson Cooper video)

NLPC Alleges Charles Rangel Hid More Income Read More ➡

House Ethics Committee Charges Charles Rangel

Rangel photoThe House Ethics Committee announced today that its subcommittee investigating allegations against Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) has “transmitted a Statement of Alleged Violation” to the Committee Chair and Ranking Republican, and formed an “adjudicatory subcommittee” to consider them. In other words, they have alleged that Rangel violated House rules, and now another subcommittee will try Rangel and determine guilt and the penalty, if any.

NLPC is the source of the most damaging allegations against Rangel, particularly his failure to disclose or pay taxes on rental income from his beach house in the Dominican Republic. Rangel has admitted that he did not report or disclose $75,000 but we have alleged in Complaints to the IRS and U.S. Attorney for D.C. that the total is likely much higher. NLPC is also the source of the information on which the Committee admonished Rangel earlier this year for accepting corporate-funded Caribbean junkets. Following his … Read More ➡

CNBC: Flaherty Slams GM Aquisition of AmeriCredit

General Motors will acquire auto-finance company AmeriCredit for $3.5 billion. I discuss the deal with Rebecca Lindland of IHS Automotive, and CNBC hosts Melissa Francis, Larry Kudlow and Amanda Drury. Here’s a transcript:

Melissa Francis:  All right, it is time for our viewer outrage segment.  General Motors, back on the acquisition trail, agreeing to buy auto finance group, AmeriCredit for three and a half billion dollars, this with taxpayer money.  GM’s CFO Chris Liddell defending the deal on Squawk on the Street earlier this morning.

Chris Liddell:  We thank that it helps in a responsible way to increase lending to increase leasing and therefore increase sales.  You know, by definition that makes the company more attractive.  So it helps from a valuation point of view. 

Melissa Francis:  So, not surprisingly, we received lots of emails on this question.  Should GM be allowed to buy AmeriCredit with your … Read More ➡

New York Papers Scrutinize Meeks Loan Scandal Figure

Meeks photoEdul Ahmad, the Guyanese-born businessman who made an unsecured $40,000 loan to Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), is today scrutinized by the New York Times and New York Post. Reporters started digging on Meeks after NLPC raised questions about the Queens congressman’s finances, beginning in January.

According to the New York Times piece by Danny Hakim:

The generous terms of the loan have raised questions about Mr. Ahmad and his political relationships. New details about Mr. Ahmad’s past emerged after The New York Times submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the New York Department of State, which investigates improprieties by licensed real estate brokers. Mr. Ahmad has been the defendant in five cases investigated by the department involving allegations of fraud and predatory lending.

From the same Times article:

State records lay out a variety of allegations against Mr. Ahmad. In one case he was accused of

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‘Struggling’ Businessman Gave Rep. Meeks $40K Loan

Meeks photoAt the same time that Guyanese-born businessman Edul Ahmad gave Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) an unsecured $40,000 personal loan, he was pleading poverty to state authorities who had suspended his real estate license, according to Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein in yesterday’s New York Post.

Meeks failed to report the 2007 loan on his annual financial disclosure report, that all member of Congress are required to file, until June of this year after the FBI reportedly started asking questions about the loan. Meeks has repeatedly referred to Ahmad as his “friend,” but when asked by the New York Post last month what his relationship was with Meeks, Ahmad said, “I have none.”

Yesterday’s Post story paints a picture of Ahmad as a “shady” operator, with real estate dealings in Queens, and a variety of other businesses. According to the Post:

Ahmad lives the high life in a McMansion

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Ex-Rep. Eric Massa Continues to Loot Campaign Fund

Massa photoBrian Tumulty of Gannett reports that former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) put his wife on his campaign payroll after he resigned from Congress and after he ceased to be a candidate for re-election. According to Massa’s quarterly report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Beverly Massa received $34,214 for April through June for serving as campaign treasurer, even though she was not paid for previously serving in the position.

Tumulty also reports that Massa paid for airfare, hotels, and meals at restaurants like Morton’s out of the campaign fund. Massa’s continued looting of leftover campaign funds is baffling given the scrutiny he is already under.  As Tumulty reports:

The National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, filed a complaint in April because Massa’s campaign committee paid $31,896 to GMAC for a leased vehicle two days before Massa announced he would not seek re-election.

Massa purchased the vehicle

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CNBC: Punish BP Shareholders?

Today I discussed BP’s capping of the well and whether BP shareholders should be punished with Dan Weiss of the Center for American Progress, and CNBC hosts Larry Kudlow and Trish Regan. Here is a transcript:

Larry Kudlow:  All right, President Obama speaking out on BP’s latest attempt to stop its oil leak, adding that the problem would not be fully resolved until relief wells have been completed.  Now BP says it is encouraged by early tests that show it has stopped the flow.  Two hundred million gallons have spilled into the Gulf.  In our viewer outrage segment, Andy from Florida says, BP knew that they had problems and still drilled.  I want to see people go to jail.  People should be selling their stock, not buying.  So we ask, should BP shareholders be punished for BP’s actions?  Joining us now, is Peter Flaherty, President of National Legal and … Read More ➡

Goldman Sachs Got Off Easy

Lloyd Blankfein photoGoldman got to keep 100% of what it really wanted, namely the ability to cling to its claim that if did nothing wrong. 

It did acknowledge a “mistake” for not telling CDO buyers that hedge fund operator John Paulson helped booby-trap the security before it was sold. It is common for the SEC settle Wall Street cases without an admission of guilt, but is not typical for it to allow the accused party to do but at the same time admit to a “mistake.” That’s how it works when your political influence permeates the government. You get to deny wrongdoing at the same time you admit to wrongdoing.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ballyhoos that the $550 million settlement is the largest ever, but is likely viewed by Goldman as the cost of doing business. Goldman will pay the fine and move on.

In this case, Lloyd Blankfein and … Read More ➡

Scott Brown Sells Out

Scott Brown photoOn the evening of Scott Brown’s election, I wrote that among the reasons for his victory was resentment of “a host of actions to prop up Wall Street firms at the expense of taxpayers.”

Who would have thought that less than six months later Brown would cast the decisive vote in favor of legislation that institutionalizes Wall Street bailouts, and whose sponsors — Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank — played key roles in bringing on the meltdown, not to mention representing everything that is sleazy and corrupt about Washington. If Brown wasn’t running against Barney Frank when he railed against the “machine,” then what was he talking about?

I can only assume that even though Brown knew how to ride the wave that swept him into office, he now fails to understand it. He seems to have reverted to the traditional strategy of “moderate” Republicans in Massachusetts, which is to … Read More ➡

Meeks Defends Secret Loans, Blames NLPC for Controversy

Meeks photoOn Saturday, Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) made the following statement:

Beginning at the height of the selection process for Aqueduct Racino development investors as I fought for local participation, and for the past several months, right-wing interest groups such as the National Legal and Policy Center and sensationalist media outlets have lodged unfounded attacks against me and other respectable members of the Queens community related to my family home and my involvement with New Direction Local Development Corporation.

While speaking out against these baseless allegations, I felt it was important to confirm that I have been in full compliance with the House of Representatives’ financial disclosure requirements.

Accordingly, prior to the May 17, 2010 filing deadline, I requested a one month extension, until June 16, 2010, to file my 2009 House of Representatives financial disclosure statement so that I could undertake an extremely thorough review of my finances and previous

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