Harlem's longest-serving congressional representative, Charles Rangel has had a disastrous 2010. In July, after two years of questionable actions, the House ethics committee charged Rangel with 13 counts of violations. Two of the more prominent charges were mired in the business world as much as the political sphere: Rangel allegedly solicited funds for his Rangel Center from groups that had pending business before his own Ways and Means Committee. Four more charges were about using congressional letterhead to do so. Even Rangel's showy villa in the Dominican Republic came into play (he failed to pay taxes on the property).
On November 16, the media sharks got their meat: Rangel was found guilty of all but one count, and officially censured by the House. His embarrassing punishment was the inevitable cap to a dumb year. And we haven't forgotten how, when the charges were announced, Rangel reminded us a bit of Tony Hayward. He told reporters that previously, his last bad day had been way back in the Korean War, but, "today I have to reassess that." Cue the sad violin.