“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, August 31, 2009

Charlie Rangel, tax-writing Kingfish of Democratic Ways and Means, don't speak no Spanish.

Just another day in the life of our esteemed Masters and Rulers, who en masse should be dragged out of their offices, waterboarded for good measure, put in orange jump suits, and replaced by citizen legislators.

The Absent-Minded Chairman

When normal people happen to “find” their own money, it might mean a twenty left in a winter coat, or discovering change beneath the sofa cushions. But if you’re Charlie Rangel, it means doubling your net worth.

Earlier this month the Chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. Congress "amended" his 2007 financial disclosure form—to the tune of more than a half-million dollars in previously unreported assets and income. That number may be as high as $780,000, because Congress's ethics rules only require the Members to report their finances within broad ranges. This voyage of personal financial discovery brings Mr. Rangel's net worth for 2007 to somewhere between $1.028 million and $2.495 million, while his previous statement came in at $516,015 and $1.316 million.

When you're a powerful Congressman and working diligently to increase tax rates to pay for President Obama's health-care plan, we suppose it's easy to lose track of one of your checking accounts. That would be the one at the federal credit union with a balance somewhere between $250,001 and maybe as high as $500,000. And when you're crunched for time and pulling together bills to pass in a rush, we guess, too, that you might overlook several other investment accounts, even if some of them are sizable, such as the ones Mr. Rangel missed at JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Oppenheimer and BlackRock.

Oh, and those vacant properties in Glassboro, in southern Jersey? Everybody in Manhattan tries not to think much about New Jersey, so those lots and their as-much-as-$15,000 value must also have slipped down the memory hole. (The New York Post reported yesterday that Mr. Rangel failed to pay property taxes for two of the lots, according to the county clerk's office.)

The Chairman probably isn't doing a lot of dining at KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell or Long John Silver's, either, which may explain why he didn't disclose the $1,001 to $15,000 in stock he owns in Yum Brands, the conglomerate that runs those chain restaurants. Compared to his undisclosed portfolio stake in PepsiCo—$15,001 to $50,000—that's practically a rounding error.

All lawmakers amend their financial reports from time to time, though rarely are the errors this extensive. Via email, a Rangel spokesman declined to offer details about how the errors occurred, noting that "Once the Ethics Committee completes its work, then we can answer questions in more detail." He added that Mr. Rangel is now "confident that his records have been subjected to an exhaustive and complete review, and that the amendments accurately reflect his financial interests."

Among other issues, Mr. Rangel is currently under investigation regarding his use of four rent-stabilized apartments at New York City's tony Lenox Terrace and soliciting donations with his official letterhead for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York, which was itself built with a $1.9 million earmark. Yet another part of the probe is his failure to report $75,000 in income from a rental villa at the beachfront Punta Cana Yacht Club, in the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Rangel blamed that last one on the language barrier because he doesn't speak Spanish. We can only imagine what language he speaks with his accountants and tax attorneys.


  1. Meanwhile, Duke Cunningham rots in disgrace in prison for pennies on Charlie's dollars.
    Good that W was so compassionate.

    Turns out the 60 percent increase in federal spending for Ted's no child's behind left alone has produced Zero results.
    More love from the compassionate one.

  2. TV, cellphone signals from Mt. Wilson at risk

    "A lot of people think of an observatory as one dome, but Mt. Wilson Observatory is actually a 40-acre tract of land with 50 to 60 buildings on it," McAlister said. "None of that stuff is portable, and to move telescopes out of there takes many weeks. We're strictly at the mercy of nature and the great competence of the firefighters."

    The observatory was founded by George Ellery Hale in 1904, and its first telescopes were transported up the nine-mile Mt. Wilson toll road on the backs of burros in pieces that weighed hundreds of pounds each. Now, the observatory lets visitors view space through its 60-inch telescope, which has been in place since 1908.

    The observatory was also a home to Edwin Hubble, who used the famed 100-inch Hooker telescope in the 1920s and recognized that the faint smudges in the sky called nebuli were in fact distant galaxies. Observing that these galaxies were moving away from one another, he determined that the universe was expanding. Hubble's theory, combined with Einstein's theory of relativity, concluded that the universe was created at a specific point in time, later called the Big Bang.

    Mt. Wilson 150-Foot Solar Tower Current Towercam Image

  3. (Looks like the fire's already there, but that's just lights and smoke)
    Sky does seem to be getting brighter, tho.

  4. A whimper of wimps.

    Our House of Lords is thinking about establishing Vickie Kennedy as the new Regent of Largesse from the Peoples' Commonwealth of Massachusetts to replace the entombed Earl and Hero of Chappaquiddick.

    The real Trickie Dickie, recently dead, recently sanctified as a Hero Lion by the One, is deemed irreplaceable by a mere mortal citizen.

    Too bad, too many of our lard assed, showered clogged fellows are so dumbed down, so ignorant of their legacy, that there will barely be an audible whimper.

  5. ahahahaha...The Golden Age of TV--I always loved Amos and Andy.

    Where in hell did you come up with that one, deuce?

    There should be a bullet with your name on it, Charlie Rangel. And half the rest of Congress.

    Thanks for the laugh, deuce, that was a great one.

  6. You'd think all the fuel around those buildings and TV antennas would have been cut away long ago, out to about a couple hundred yards.

    Greenies probably said no.

  7. They should have entombed the Oldsmobile Chappaquiddick (a no longer produced model) with the Earl and Hero of Chappaquiddick, to transport him through the Sun Door to his proper place in Eternity.

  8. As we suspected, The BP and UK sliming with Libya, has shot right up to the creepy left stepping Gordon Brown. Now there, suppose Gordy had a heart to heart with Brother Barack, put a word in his ear so to speak about UK intentions over the Lockerbie ass-stabbing.

    No wonder Obama needs another vacation to get over the trials of Martha's Vineyard, hiding out in Camp David for the week.

  9. Guy on Bennet show says BHO got Big Pharma to spend 160 Million on pro Obamacare advertising.
    A cheap lay behind closed doors.
    More transparency from the Change Agent.

  10. Cartoon shows Ted's Hearse driving off the bridge!

  11. Just sent the bar an MP3 of hilarious tribute to Ted by Terry Anderson.

    Terry is a black guy in LA who has a weekly one hour show Sunday @ 9 Pacific on KRLA

    870 KRLA AM Los Angeles

    Maybe Deuce or whit can make it available to patrons.

  12. The other bomb, near the border crossing, ripped through a line of NATO fuel trucks backed up by a two-day closure resulting from a dispute over fruit inspections. At least one driver was killed and 16 trucks destroyed on the Pakistani side of the Chaman crossing, police official Gul Mohammad said.

    The border crossing reopened Monday, he said.

    Chaman is one of two main crossing points for supplies for American and NATO troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. The foreign troops get about 75 percent of their supplies through Pakistan.

    Pakistani customs officials said their increased and lengthy inspections of Afghan trucks carrying pomegranates and grapes prompted Afghan officials to close the border.

    Officials had warned the closure was a security risk because it left nearly 1,000 trucks, many of them carrying supplies to international troops, exposed. The Taliban's Afghan heartland of Kandahar is just across the border.

    Customs and security officials from both sides agreed to end their dispute today, Mohammad said.

    Peace Reigns Again!

  13. 3. Lifeofthemind:

    The great American Odd Couple. Obama is an artificial projection of his follower’s dreams who concealed every fact about his past and who has almost never done anything that could be called work. Emmanuel from the little we know of him is also a self reinvention. The former ballet major, with a physical defect (he lost part of his finger), according to the wiki both his first and last names were chosen to honor members of fringe terror groups from Israel’s War of Independence. At the same time he has put forth a story of having served as a civilian volunteer with the IDF, which grossly overstates a few days cleaning truck brakes while he was stuck in Israel during the first Gulf War.

    There is something about Emanuel that comes across as infuriatingly wrong. To me it is his assuming the cloak of jewish orthodoxy and ethics while confronting the world with unremitting hostility and abuse...

  14. Lifeofthemind must be, by allen's standard, an anti-Jew, so we must discount his opinion of Emanuel.

    I mean, saying that there were Zionist terrorists operating in what became the State of Israel. What bigotry!?!?!?

    A bigoted point of view, many tell US, to view history without that Zionist can do no wrong filter on the aperture.

  15. desert rat said...
    Lifeofthemind must be, by allen's standard, an anti-Jew, so we must discount his opinion of Emanuel.

    another post...

    another rant about jews or israel by dr...

    one MUST wonder about DR addiction to all things jewish or israeli that can be spun into some sort of fecal encrusted statement....

    dr, get a life...

  16. Fresh off of dropping charges against his homies the Black Panthers for voter intimidation, Eric Holder has decided to go after CIA patriots who have protected us from terrorists. On September 12th, 2001, nobody would have believed we would fall so far in less than 10 years. Angry White Dude still has a hard time believing it now! President Hussein Hopenchange and his henchman Eric Holder have proven themselves to be petulant, revenge-seeking haters of America.
    NY Republican Peter King recently said, “you have to wonder which side they’re on” speaking about the Hopenchange administration. I don’t have to wonder. They are nothing more than political activists from the anti-white, anti-America ilk. Every policy they have is designed to weaken the United States. From the massive borrowing in the non-working Stimulus Bill to the sky-high taxes that would be imposed under the Cap and Trade to the lunacy of ObamaCare. Now they are going after the nation’s intelligence apparatus! Our enemies could not be more content.
    Obama and Holder are wildly overplaying their hand. Americans are tired of the madness of the Obama administration. After eight months of his presidency, we know we do not want his vision of a socialist, weak, bankrupt America. We do not want his borrowing and spending and we definitely do not want the CIA to be investigated on how they gathered intelligence from savage Muslim terrorists! By the way, the info gathered from enhanced interrogations on Khalid Sheikh Muhammad resulted in turning him from a sulking murderer to teaching classes to the CIA on Al-Qaeda techniques while providing information that stopped two terrorist attacks in the United States.
    Holder is a anti-white racist. He is a corrupt activist who was behind the pardons for cash of Marc Rich and the Puerto Rican terrorists under the Clintoon administration. His dropping charges of the Black Panthers shows he is not for enforcing the law…but pursuing an agenda. His investigation of the CIA is for political revenge for the America-hating left…of which he is proudly a member.
    I say go ahead Obama and Holder. Go ahead and do what you want. Obama’s numbers are tanking and Americans anger is rising rapidly. Enjoy your power while you have it. AWD hopes our next president will also investigate the Obama administration’s policies and procedures. I bet Holder looks good in stripes! Eric Holder, enjoy your Libtard of the Week award…you deserve it!

  17. Ted's hearse driving off the bridge, heh, that's good!

    gotta run

  18. If you've got a couple of hours to spare, I highly recommend renting a movie called "Taking Chance."

  19. WiO,

    Our duty is to respond to lies, ignorance and propaganda with truth. The rest is out of our control.

    We should consider ourselves blessed. Can you imagine living the tortured, twisted lives made evident here. Ultimately, a fool will boil in his own bile.

    We come from noble stock.

  20. I fear WIO's hope of future prosecutions is unlikely to occur.
    My first post here provides the more likely format.
    Rangel, Murtha, and the Sock Stuffer being current examples.

    Ousted Ill. governor explains himself in new book

    Ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says in a new book that White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel wanted his help in arranging to leave the Obama administration after two years to reclaim his seat in Congress.

    Blagojevich writes in "The Governor" that Emanuel spoke with him about whether it was possible to appoint a "placeholder" to the congressional seat Emanuel was giving up so that he could win back the seat in 2010 and continue his efforts to become speaker some day.

    "As we have done for many months, we will continue to decline comment," Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg said in an e-mail Monday.

    Blagojevich also admits that he wanted something in exchange for appointing President Barack Obama's replacement in the Senate, but it wasn't the deal described in federal corruption charges against him.

  21. Must remain fair and balanced:

    30. whiskey:
    Re: Jim Webb.

    He is as deeply feminized and robotically SWPL Obama worshipping as the rest. He in his heart believes that a good round of groveling and kumbayah and throwing Jews worldwide (here in this country, not just Israel) to Muslim slaughter will make “Muslims love us.” He is as rotten as Emmanuel or Barney Frank.

  22. Shadow Inventory Proof and Banks Delaying Losses for another Day. Banks Employing the Stick Your Head in the Sand Solution for the Financial Crisis.

    “Deferring foreclosures could have bottom-line benefits experts say. With fewer foreclosed properties hitting the market, housing prices have rebounded slightly. Moreover, properties might recover more of their value later on, so by waiting, banks may be able to cut their ultimate losses.

    “Everybody is waiting to see what the market is going to do from a property perspective,” Volez said, “At some point, they have to liquidate these assets.”
    That is the main issue right there. Here in California, many of those Alt-A loans will never recover.

    A property that sold for $400,000 in the Inland Empire

    “Deferring foreclosures could have bottom-line benefits experts say. With fewer foreclosed properties hitting the market, housing prices have rebounded slightly. Moreover, properties might recover more of their value later on, so by waiting, banks may be able to cut their ultimate losses.

    “Everybody is waiting to see what the market is going to do from a property perspective,” Volez said, “At some point, they have to liquidate these assets.”

    That is the main issue right there. Here in California, many of those Alt-A loans will never recover. A property that sold for $400,000 in the Inland Empire that is now going for $150,000 is going to cause the bank a loss no matter what. At a certain point, having so many borrowers not paying is going to cause massive cash flow problems. This will drain your capital as well. Some think that by delaying foreclosure that banks are being creative and smart. They are basically trading a sudden punch to the head with death by a thousand mortgage payments. That isn’t a solution. That is praying the government and the taxpayer bail you out once again. And then what? The government owns these toxic mortgages? At a certain point the home has to be valued at non-bubble prices. In places like California with an 11.9 percent unemployment rate, prices may not recover for a decade.

    Let us look at another prime location to see some more shadow inventory if you still have some doubts. Many are itching to buy in Culver City so we’ll use that as an example:

  23. 31. steeple:

    But wait everyone, we’re having foreign policy success. Everyone loves us again, or maybe not:

    : 08/31/2009 SAUDI ARABIA – $2 BILLION RUSSIAN ARMS DEAL IN THE WORKS (AUG 31/AFP) AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — Saudi Arabia is close to finalizing a $2 billion arms deal with Russia, according to a defense source cited by Agence France-Presse. Up to 150 helicopters — 30 Mi-35 attack helicopters and as many as 120 Mi-17 transport helicopters — more than 150 T-90S tanks, around 250 BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles and “several dozen” air defense systems are expected to be purchased, the source told Interfax. “For many of these contracts, all the technical and financial details have practically been agreed, for others work is still ongoing,” he added. The contracts for the tanks and helicopters could be signed before the end of this year, according to the source.

    Not very sporting of Pootie Poot not to go along with
    New Age "Reality" of DC Today.

  24. It's a noble sentiment, allen, but at some point - like, yesterday - common sense would seem to whisper something about teaching pigs to sing.

    (Don't make me mail you the Pig Identification Playing Cards.)

  25. Soybeans generate a measly 60 gallons of biodiesel annually from an acre of land and has an energy balance of 2.5. Corn generates about 300-400 gallons of ethanol per acre and has an energy balance of 1.3. Sugar cane can generate 600-800 gallons of ethanol per acre annually and has an energy balance of 8. Sugar cane unfortunately is very labor intensive to cultivate and could contribute to deforestation.
    Sugar is completely mechanized here.
    You wouldn't get those agave yields out in 'Rat's Desert.
    That's Desert Rat's Desert, fwiw.

    Energy Cost of rounding up agave on millions of acres of desert?
    ...not to mention propagating it.

  26. One of the things I remember from reading about "Taking Chance," Trish, was the obvious tremendous respect given by all the airline employees.

    Hope that got some attention in the movie.

  27. That aspect comprised perhaps a good third of the movie, Doug. Not surprised it stuck very close to the book, as its author also wrote the screenplay. It was really in all ways outstanding.

  28. We come from noble stock.

    So does the pimple on my ass; but, it's "still" just a Pimple on my Ass.

  29. "The necessarily hazardous practice of goodness."

    Such a marvelous, and marvelously useful, passage (via Wolcott)
    from Robert Grudin's Time and the Art of Living:

    The Ancients weighed the achievement of an individual by the sum and substance of his actions. Most of Plutarch's biographies--for example, of Themistocles, Alcibiades, Pompey, and Antony--are heroic assortments of virtues and vices, clear renderings of the psychological diversity and paradox which seem almost indispensable components of historic greatness. We moderns, on the other hand, influenced by our religion, qualify all our estimation with a surgical standard of moral purity. For the ancients, virtue was action, accomplishment, contribution; for us it is an essence so pure and fragile in nature that a beaker of goodness can be ruined by a dram of sin. Dante makes his beloved teacher, Brunetto Latini, a sufferer in hell, because all his memorable virtues were combined with a single serious vice. Francis Bacon is almost never mentioned as a historical figure without reference to the single act of malfeasance which, deftly exploited by an enemy, ended his political career. The grievous and numerous faults of Winston Churchill are expounded upon interminably by the beneficiaries of the free institutions he fought to save. And this stubborn altruism, often so extreme as to constitute a conspiracy against nature, extends beyond our histories into our daily lives. Shunning peccadillos, we suffer infamies. Anxious to avoid even appearing to do harm, we lose touch with the necessarily hazardous practice of goodness. We use rectitude to mask our envy of achievement.

  30. No, we don't....:)

  31. "So does the pimple on my ass; but, it's "still" just a Pimple on my Ass."

    Well said!

  32. I'm not aware of the good Colonel doing any professional writing prior to his posting "Chance" on the internets.
    Quite a rocket ride.

  33. 37. luddy barsen:

    steeple/31; well that’s about the worst news i can imagine. In a one or two day period, Japan elects for the first time post ww2 what we will soon see is an anti-American party, and American ally Merkel loses badly in the regionals, NATO southern line makes pro-Russian deal with Armenia (hugely important re azerbaijan’s world-major oil terminus at Baku, Nagorno-Karabakh, the Caucasus in general, the entire Caspian Basin and the pipelines to Europe and the proposed southern route toward Israel), and now, the only counterbalance to the Caspian Axis’ control of oil allocation –that is, OPEC swing-producer Saudi Arabia, is by a military purchase throwing in with the powers they alone have been balancing ? And we need –what –a Constitutional Amendment to drill Alaska and the OCS –which we’d never get anywhere NEAR in time now, anyway ? All in the same time period that Brazil has moved to nationalize Petrobras’ ops and within a week of Chavez’ seizure of communications.

    –man alive USA is turning turtle FAST –folks who’ve been railing against the oil industry are getting their wish –next they’re gonna learn that that KSA and China are not under their Dollar-reserves’ control after all. Find a place to plant some taters, folks.

  34. Pootie just won't play fair!

  35. Wish we could leverage anything like that with something like their sorry-ass military.
    Must be something about attitude.

  36. You better try it again, Doug. We didn't get the email. If you click on the link remember to remove the three x's. also, remember otherwise a restaurant will get your email.

  37. I don't know him or know of him, Doug. But it's a helluva piece of work.

    Russian helo's are extremely popular. Hell, we have 'em. They'll fall apart in no time flat, but they're affordable and, just as importantly at this point in time, the spare parts and maintenance are available. The Colombians are buying their shit. It flies. Til it doesn't.

    The Russians have been picking up our business here and there since, it seems, time immemorial.

  38. Final-Recipient: rfc822;
    Action: failed
    Status: 5.2.2
    Diagnostic-Code: smtp;552 5.2.2

    This message is larger than the current system limit or the recipient's mailbox is full. Create a shorter message body or remove attachments and try sending it again.

    1 hour show, mp3, 13 Megs (13,000 KB)
    Is the Elephant Full?

  39. Do we keep the safety of the Ruskie Helos up w/maintenance?

  40. No Doug, the file is too large for email systems.

  41. Do we keep the safety of the Ruskie Helos up w/maintenance?

    Mon Aug 31, 09:04:00 PM EDT

    Yes. We do our own.

  42. A little off topic, Guys... I have a question. Two days ago I saw this site:
    [url=] - Wii Live Tournaments[/url]
    They say you can play online Fight Night game tournaments on any console for cash... had anyone tried that before? Looks like a cool idea...
    Are there any other sites where you can play sports games for real moneys? I Googled and found only and but it looks these guys don't specialize in sport gamez. Any suggestions?

  43. In case you wish to play Madden, NCAA Football, FIFA, NHL2K and Fight Night games on your Playstation 3 or Xbox console online for money - we are looking for QA testers ASAP. Become our fan on Facebook before end of March and you can receive $2,000 in cash:

  44. Hails all! I have a budget tattoo salon in New York. I used to buy all tattoo equipment at bulk prices but my supplier committed suicide (believe it or not) so I'm trying to find a good tattoo supplies firm (preferable online) to buy tattoo stuff from. Here is an example of what I need: Tattoo Supply. Thanks in advance for all tips guys! PM me or send me an email: