Accountability, But At What Cost?

The Washington Post, which opposes investigations into potential war crimes committed by the Bush Administration, is gung ho on getting Charlies Rangel tossed as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

Their calculus is easily understood - war crimes are just too divisive, but omissions on financial reports are trivial enough for one to actually care about. I mean, this is the same Washington Post that called for the removal of a President because of private consensual sex.

Let's face it, who really gives a damn what the Washington Post thinks about anything? I promise to ignore Fred Hiatt and his minions from now on.

Speaking for me only

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    Well (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:28:44 PM EST
    If we don't police our own, then we can't demand accountability from the other side.

    Of course, even if we do police our own, apparently we still can't demand accountability from the other side.  But never mind that.

    Police then (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:30:13 PM EST
    What is the significance of the omissions?

    Rangel understated his net worth. And?


    Sigh (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:34:44 PM EST
    Can't a guy just make an ironic comment around here?!?

    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:43:49 PM EST
    I logroll for Rangel generally (don't trust me when I write about Rangel) so this little but of WaPo BS bothered me.

    Is that the same as understating (none / 0) (#8)
    by oldpro on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:40:41 PM EST
    your income?  Because, THAT is likely to acquire the notice of the IRS, since one would have also likely underpaid one's taxes, no?

    In addition, the WSJ noticed:

    "Mr. Rangel had other reasons for wanting to hide income. As the tenant of four rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem, the Congressman needed to keep his annual reported income below $175,000, lest he be ineligible as a hardship case for rent control. (He also used one of the apartments as an office in violation of rent-control rules, but that's another story.)"

    The 4 rent-controlled apartments are a bit much, in my book.  But that's just me.


    No (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:42:58 PM EST
    Apparently he paid his taxes.

    Uh huh. (none / 0) (#12)
    by oldpro on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:47:01 PM EST
    Of course, it doesn't really matter, does it, for like ACP, his constituents will reelect him anyway.

    True (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:48:26 PM EST
    this is less abut that. Rangel is not losing his chairmanship and he ain't losing any election.

    It is WaPo's BS that bothers me.


    Yes. It's annoying...on so many (none / 0) (#14)
    by oldpro on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:50:27 PM EST
    fronts.  On any given day, it's hard to know where to start.

    I know where I want to start (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:59:14 PM EST
    Charlie needs to tell us all about these mutual funds he has made tens of thousands of dollars on lately.  Which ones Charlie?  He probably didn't report that because who the hell made any money on mutual funds lately?

    Go get 'em, tiger! n/t (none / 0) (#21)
    by oldpro on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:23:07 PM EST
    Understated net worth... (none / 0) (#29)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:50:21 PM EST

    ... and income.  The new statement of net worth was about double the previous.  This is not a small mistake by any standard other than Obama appointee standards.

    Well put (none / 0) (#31)
    by Slado on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:08:38 PM EST
    Why do dems seem to have so much trouble with taxes and republicans with sex?

    Melanie Sloan (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:57:22 PM EST
    Says that sloppy bookkeeping is not a valid excuse for a sophisticated Congresscritter and I can't help but die laughing.  I think Rangel is more about work than details.  He just exudes a sort of blowing off what he considers silly details persona to me. I spent this morning watching my spouse receive an award from the post General for his efforts to improve teaching methods at Fort Rucker.  God my spouse is a workaholic.  He can't just stick to teaching his classes, but then he has to run around and help others learn better teaching techniques that he self researched and employed himself.  All these other commanders were there....big ole hoopla.  Nobody wants to see his bookkeeping.  It causes fights.  His filing system outside of work looks more like a good place for a fire to start.

    At least my disdain for CREW (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:01:42 PM EST
    is consistent. Never liked them. Especially the silly Melanie Sloan.

    No logrolling there.


    The Post needs to go Enron. (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by AX10 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 04:16:44 PM EST
    The Washington Post supported the Iraq War too.
    The Post has a history of apologizing for the most
    horrid crimes of the Republicans but coming down
    on the most minor offenses from Democrats.

    I don't believe you (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by msobel on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 04:25:47 PM EST
    I will bet a $25 contribution to Act Blue that you can't go without posting a mention of "Fred Hiatt and his minions." for two weeks.

    They're just too juicy.

    Oy (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 04:37:28 PM EST
    It will be hard I admit.

    How well I remember (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Steve M on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:48:47 AM EST
    when Chris Dodd was guilty, guilty, guilty and anyone who dared to express doubt was just a partisan hack sticking their head in the sand.  Funny how that one turned out.

    Now, Rangel is guilty, guilty, guilty.  Yeah, we'll see how the process plays out.  The ability to admit that Scooter Libby committed a crime should be the price of entry into any discussion of this sort.

    I stole Broder's title (none / 0) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:27:38 PM EST

    I was just about to ask (none / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:29:12 PM EST
    how you could leave Broder out today.

    Stop reading it (none / 0) (#5)
    by koshembos on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:34:15 PM EST
    If you stop reading the WaPo and many of the current readers will stop reading too, there will not be a WaPo.

    if (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:40:22 PM EST

    The post is actually a great paper (none / 0) (#36)
    by samtaylor2 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:16:13 PM EST
    Just ignore the opinion pages

    He's untouchable (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:41:51 PM EST
    so long as the demographics of his district don't change too much. I think he'd have to die or go to prison to lose his seat.

    I like Charlie, wish he represented me (none / 0) (#15)
    by vicndabx on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:55:43 PM EST
    The appearance of impropriety for someone so powerful doesn't look good tho.  Noone was hurt by his omissions however.  Let the man pay any back taxes/fines and move on.  I mean don't we all try to pay as little taxes possible?

    Re: the Washington Post, did they have the same outrage at Dashcle or call for him to withdraw?

    What impropriety do you (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:02:48 PM EST
    see? Explain what the non-disclosure means to you please.

    None, and not a damn thing (none / 0) (#20)
    by vicndabx on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:10:28 PM EST
    which is why I said "I like Charlie."  I personally believe there's a certain amount of perks that go w/every job.  As long as he's been in the house he's supposed to get french, er, fringe benefits.

    How do you "misreport" (none / 0) (#34)
    by Slado on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:39:42 PM EST
    1million dollars.

    If your argument is, well it's easy when you rich then how rich is he and how did he get that way being in congress for so long?

    Why don't dems have to pay taxes?


    Yay! (none / 0) (#22)
    by NealB on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:51:38 PM EST

    That's The Ticket (none / 0) (#25)
    by pluege on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 04:27:53 PM EST
    Let's face it, who really gives a damn what the Washington Post thinks about anything? I promise to ignore Fred Hiatt and his minions from now on.

    the indisputable reality is that we have a media establishment that is at best biased far to right and downright subversive at worst (the latter being the far more likely). For 30 years Big Media has worked hand in hand with republican/conservatives to turn the US into a plutocracy by misinformation, outrageous promotion of the right, distortion of facts, and neglect real news.

    The options for changing the dynamic are:

     1) get Congress to breakup Big Media, preventing the control of most information Americans receive to be concentrated into very few mega corporations.

     2) subvert Big Media's influence by communicating via alternate communications

    Since all republicans and at least half of Democrats are corporatists eager and willing to sell their services to the highest bidder, accomplishing (1) seems remote. That leaves (2) as the best means of wrenching the truth from the the plutocrats and delivering it to the people. And part and parcel to that is to stop patronizing and reacting to the manipulations of Big Media. Just forget them and move on.

    People who win wars (none / 0) (#27)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 04:59:54 PM EST
    dont commit war crimes anyway. And to push the issue runs the risk of being publicly accused of "hating the American military" by the various and sundry pedestrian minds with Post envy.

    Sincere question (none / 0) (#28)
    by Spamlet on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 05:18:37 PM EST
    Why do you believe that people who win wars don't commit war crimes?

    Obama (none / 0) (#33)
    by Slado on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:37:53 PM EST
    commits "war crimes" every day when he bombs villages in pakistan and Afghanistan with missles fired form remote control airplanes.

    At least Cheney is up front about it.

    All wars result in war crimes.  No matter if it's a democrat or republican running it.

    I find it humorous that dems get all worked up about giving terrorists extra mouth wash while the chosen one has his military act as judge and jury with missles fired by remote control killing women and children along the way.


    Meaning that (none / 0) (#38)
    by cal1942 on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:45:10 AM EST
    the victor is prosecutor, judge and jury.

    Court in the Hague? (none / 0) (#30)
    by diogenes on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:58:28 PM EST
    Isn't there a court in the Hague that is held to have jurisdiction over war crimes (as in Slobodan Milodevec)?  I hardly think that Dick Cheney is tremendously loved over there; let them do the indictments if there is any basis for them.

    Doesn't the Hague (none / 0) (#35)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:03:07 PM EST
    need personal jurisdiction?  Isn't Rumfeld unable to leave the country because he will be arrested & sent to the Hague for trial?  This happened a while back, & my memory's gettin fuzzy.

    BTD, really? (none / 0) (#32)
    by Slado on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:34:52 PM EST

    A sitting congressman hides, doesn't report, lies about 1million in extra assests and we're supposed to ignore it because Bush isn't in jail for toture?

    Ted Stephens was almost sent to jail (saved by a crappy prosecuter) because he lied about $250K.  

    Rangel is in for up to $1million in unreported income going back almost a decade.

    Grabbing for another percieved injustice to justify looking the otherway when a congressman on the house ways and means committe somehow misplaces 1million is crazy.

    We can agree to disagree about civil suit perjury (none / 0) (#37)
    by JPB on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:43:17 PM EST
    But on a law blog, let's not say WJC was impeached for "private consensual sex." Sure, it was played up in the media that way, but had he lied under oath about taxes, or his whereabouts at a certain time, or whatever, the Republicans would have (politically) strung him up anyway.

    It was convenient in the "family values" era of the GOP to play it that way, but the Clinton resentment ran much deeper than jealousy of his libido. The fact that he broke the law was the reason he was impeached, not a cigar and a bj.

    You overarching point about WaPo is well-taken, and, frankly, almost irrefutable on many issues, but let's not downplay the fact that his actions were--in part--an effort to deliberately deny due process to a separate woman, regardless of the merits of her case. THAT is why he was impeached.

    He should have settled and have been done with it.

    If WaPo's impeachment rationale was different, then I will stand corrected. But if this is a comment on the greater impeachment process generally, it is a poor characterization of the issues regardless of the sensationalism that surrounded it.