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My favorite part of the ethics report on Charlie Rangel involves his efforts to “close” a $10 million gift “to create AIG Hall” as part of the Rangel Center at the City College of New York. Yes, that AIG.
At a meeting in April 2008, the New York Democrat, then chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, “asked AIG, at least twice, what was necessary to get this done,” according to the report. The insurance giant wasn’t so sure about writing the check, citing the “potential headline risk.” When AIG — the company that paid out hundreds of millions in bonuses after being rescued by a government bailout — recognizes an appearance issue, you know you’ve got a problem.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”