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Congress: Rangel's last stand

“Representative Charles Rangel is ready to make a last stand to salvage his reputation and tell the House that a censure should be reserved for politicians who are crooked,” the AP writes. “He will argue that he is not one of them. The 80-year-old Democrat from New York’s Harlem neighborhood wants his punishment for ethics violations downgraded to a reprimand, according to congressional and nongovernment sources who are in touch with Rangel but are not authorized to be quoted by name… Rangel plans to argue that censure has been imposed for violations including bribery, accepting improper gifts, personal use of campaign funds, and sexual misconduct; none is present in his case.”

Oh, not passing START is Harry Reid’s fault? Here’s John Kyl on Meet the Press, per Roll Call: “’It is more the view of reality rather than policy’ that the treaty will not be ratified in the next month, Kyl said, arguing that if Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) provided him with three weeks to debate the treaty, it could be finished. ‘He has made it clear he has a different agenda in mind,’ Kyl said, pointing to Reid’s decision to pursue other legislation during the lame duck, including a repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay service members and the DREAM Act immigration bill. ‘Harry Reid, the leader of the Senate, can bring up the START treaty any time he wants to. But he has a different agenda.’”

John McCain doubled down on his opposition to repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and he’s making it personal. “We should remember where this all started,” he told CNN, per Roll Call. “There was no uprising in the military. There were no problems in the military with ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ ... It’s called ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ OK? If you don’t ask them, you don’t ask somebody, and they don’t tell. The fact is, this was a political promise made by an inexperienced president or candidate for presidency of the United States. The military is at its highest point in recruitment and retention and professionalism and capability, so to somehow allege that this policy has been damaging the military is simply false.”

Here was another presidential candidate in 2006 -- John McCain: "And I understand the opposition to [DADT], and I‘ve had these debates and discussions, but the day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, senator, we ought to change the policy, then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it, because those leaders in the military are the ones we give the responsibility to."