Charlie Rangel Has Feelings, Wants to Get This Over With

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While the House was temporarily back from its recess today for a special one-day session to pass an emergency state financial-aid bill, Charlie Rangel took to the floor — against, he says, the advice of his lawyers and friends — to defend himself against alleged ethical violations, and to argue that the Ethics Committee should just hurry the hell up and start the trial — which isn't set to begin until sometime after the House returns from its summer recess — so he can either clear his name or face his punishment. "Don't leave me swinging in the wind," he pleaded, later adding, "For God's sakes, just don't believe that I don't have feelings, that I don't have pride." Rangel was in turns defiant, irritated, apologetic, nostalgic, and hilarious. When it was all over, he received a standing ovation from the Democrats in attendance. Rangel spoke for nearly half an hour, but here are a few choice bits.