charlie rangel

Rangel’s Birthday Party ‘Damn Sure Ain’t No Funeral’

Representative Charles Rangel celebrated his 80th birthday on Wednesday night, an event that many New York Democrats did their best to avoid due to the ethics charges against him. Chadwick Matlin was there.

A black man gets out of a car in front of the Plaza Hotel. An onlooker, unaware that this man is not Charlie Rangel, screams, “Happy Birthday, Chucky Boy!” It would be a sweet gesture if moments earlier he hadn’t also yelled, “Happy Birthday, Crook!”

Inside, Chucky Boy is the center of attention, making his way through the grand ballroom’s cherubs and crystal. As he approaches the stage, more supporters swarm, and he can only be seen by tracking the path of the flashbulbs.

Onstage, he grabs a microphone. “Yo!” he says. The crowd won’t shut up, so he shushes them repeatedly. Then: “I’ve been to a lot of funerals lately, but this damn sure ain’t no funeral!”

That gets him everyone’s attention, but he quickly loses it by name-checking every old friend in the room. After running out of individuals, he turns to ethnicities. “Are the Koreans in the house?” Soon after, Congressman Joseph Crowley introduces David Paterson, the evening’s master of ceremonies, as “a man who’s known trials and tribulations himself.” Embattled politicians from Harlem are not in short supply this evening.

For the next 45 minutes, Paterson invites nearly every politician in the house to get up and say a few words. The only big names who abstain are former mayor David Dinkins, who earlier in the evening fended off a heckler with some sign language, and current congressman Anthony Weiner, who made a surprise appearance after suggesting he might not make it. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: “Charlie has lived the old adage better than anyone. When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” Mayor Bloomberg: “A few people couldn’t be here tonight because, as they tell it, either they had to get a haircut unexpectedly, or they were sure they’d have a headache.”

Al Sharpton, speaking to the media, says, “You have started and executed the political crucifixion. But stay tuned for the political resurrection. Charlie Rangel will rise from the ashes.”

By the time Dionne Warwick gets onstage, the crowd is restless. But the first note out of her mouth puts an end to that. The cameras are rolling, and soon she has the entire room singing.

For good times, and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for.

Afterward, Rangel stands center stage while the crowd sings “Happy Birthday,” arms outstretched like a bird stretching his wings for the first time in weeks. He bows, stands up straight, and clasps his hands to his chest. Then, with his family by his side, he walks over to his birthday cake, bends over the candles, and takes a deep breath. Out go the lights.

Update: Rangel is a hell of a dancer.

Rangel’s Birthday Party ‘Damn Sure Ain’t No Funeral’

Good news for Biden, Warris, and Yang. Bad news for Harris.

NEW: NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll:

- Biden: 31% (+5 since July)
- Warren: 25% (+6)
- Sanders: 14% (+1)
- Buttigieg: 7% (even)
- Harris: 5% (-8)
- Yang: 4% (+2)
- Klobuchar: 2% (+1)
- Booker: 2% (+1)

BUT only 9% say their minds are definitely made up.
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De Blasio polling at a cool zero percent in NYC

Biden 24%
Warren 15%
Sanders 14%
Harris 6%
Buttigieg 1%
Gabbard 1%
O’Rourke 1%
Yang 1%
Booker 0%
Castro 1%
de Blasio 0%
Klobuchar 0%@SienaResearch 9/8-12

De Blasio’s presidential run does not appear to be bolstering his popularity at home

I’d like you to tell me whether you have a favorable opinion or an unfavorable opinion of … Bill de Blasio:
Favorable 25%
Unfavorable 57%
(Siena College Poll, RV, 9/8-12/19)
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Cokie Roberts dies at 75

Renowned ABC News journalist and political commentator Cokie Roberts has died at the age of 75.

Roberts won countless awards, including three Emmys, throughout her decades-long career. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting. She was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress in 2008.

“We will miss Cokie beyond measure, both for her contributions and for her love and kindness,” her family said in a statement.

Her death was due to complications from breast cancer.

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In two separate Taliban suicide attacks, in Kabul and Parwan, overall 48 people were killed and 80 others wounded that includes security forces, women and children. President Ghani & aides are unhurt during his election rally in Parwan when the Taliban bomb went off.

The bomber missed the Afghan president, but inflicted a grievous toll

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Kabul police say 22 killed in Taliban suicide bombing in Afghan capital, bringing death toll in today’s attacks to 46.

After everything that’s gone on, Boris Johnson is still quite a bit more popular than Jeremy Corbyn

NEW: YouGov

Boris Johnson’s latest favourability rating *up* in the last three weeks

Boris Johnson
Favourable 38 (+2)
Unfavourable 54 (+1)
DK 9 (-2)

Jeremy Corbyn
Favourable 21 (+2)
Unfavourable 70 (+2)
DK 10 (-3)

1,575 GB adults
Sept 16-17
(compared to Aug 26-27)

The first official outside review of Boeing 737 MAX’s certification is expected to criticize the FAA’s approval processes

A panel of international air-safety regulators is finishing a report expected to criticize the initial U.S. approval process for Boeing Co.’s 737 MAX jets, according to people briefed on the conclusions, while urging a wide-ranging reassessment of how complex automated systems should be certified on future airliners.

As part of roughly a dozen findings, these government and industry officials said, the task force is poised to call out the Federal Aviation Administration for what it describes as a lack of clarity and transparency in the way the FAA delegated authority to the plane maker to assess the safety of certain flight-control features. The upshot, according to some of these people, is that essential design changes didn’t receive adequate FAA attention.

The report, these officials said, also is expected to fault the agency for what it describes as inadequate data sharing with foreign authorities during its original certification of the MAX two years ago, along with relying on mistaken industrywide assumptions about how average pilots would react to certain flight-control emergencies. FAA officials have said they are devising new pilot-reaction guidelines after two fatal crashes.

After a day of deriding the New York Times over the Kavanaugh debacle, Trump repeated his attacks before a live audience

President Trump paused, letting the chorus of boos reach a crescendo at his campaign rally in Rio Rancho, N.M., on Monday night. Trump had been railing against Democrats, accusing them of trying to “blacklist, coerce, cancel or destroy anyone who gets in their way,” when a timely example came to mind.

“Look at what they’re doing today to Justice Kavanaugh,” he said, referencing Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and drawing jeers from the rally’s attendees. “Did you see the New York Times?”

… For a president who regularly goes after the media, the controversy — a reminder of one of the most divisive moments in his term — has provided Trump with red-meat attacks against the Times and the journalists involved.

“I call for the resignation of everybody at the New York Times involved in the Kavanaugh smear story,” Trump said Monday as the crowd cheered. “The Times is dead, long live the New York Times, and I do want it to live, but they have to change their ways.”

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