TPM News

After accusing the House ethics committee of denying his right to a lawyer, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) threatened to leave the hearing.

Rangel parted ways from his lawyers last month. He told the committee today that they quit, not sure he could pay the already $2 million legal bills he had racked up over the committee's two-year investigation. He also claimed the committee told him only two weeks ago that he could set up a legal defense fund to pay his lawyers, and that he didn't have enough time to create such a fund and hire counsel.

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By Sebastian Rotella, ProPublica

This article was co-published with the Washington Post. This is the first of two parts.

On a November night two years ago, a young American rabbi and his pregnant wife finished dinner at their home in the mega-city of Mumbai.

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Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is indeed representing himself during his ethics committee hearing.

He blamed the panel for him not having lawyers. He said the long investigation leading to the hearing -- two years -- racked up big legal bills for him, to the tune of $2 million. His lawyers, Rangel said, quit because they didn't think he could pay the increasing bills.

Rangel also claimed that the committee informed him that he could set up a legal defense fund only two weeks ago.

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Joe Miller has a new advisor to help him with his war on spelling in the Alaska Senate write-in count -- and it's Floyd Brown, the infamous conservative strategist behind the "Willie Horton" TV ad in the 1988 presidential campaign, the co-founder of Citizens United and the birther-friendly blogger.

Miller beat Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary, but now appears to trail her write-in campaign in the general election. Write-in ballots are currently being examined to see how many are for Murkowski.

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Last week, we noticed Fox News discussing the possibility of gold making a comeback as an everyday currency. Not the return of the gold standard, or investing in gold, but gold in your pocket, used to buy groceries or tip bartenders. You see, a quick switch back to the gold standard might be improbable, host Stuart Varney said, but what about the "creeping use of gold as a medium of exchange?"

One point of evidence that Varney pointed to in support of his pet theory is the impending arrival of gold vending machines to U.S. shores. Gold vending machines? Varney must have been referring to Gold to Go, gilded contraptions made by a German company named Ex Oriente Lux AG.

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Rep. Charlie Rangel's hearing before the House ethics committee begins today, two weeks after he overwhelmingly won re-election from his district in Harlem.

Rangel (D-NY) is charged with 13 ethics violations over allegations that he: (1) used official Congressional stationery and other resources to raise money for an educational center that bears his name; (2) that he made big mistakes on his financial disclosure statements; (3) that he illegally used a rent-controlled apartment for his campaign; and (4) that he failed to report taxable income from a rental villa in the Dominican Republic.

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Sen.-elect Rand Paul (R-KY) is not backing down from his claim that President Obama was too hard on BP back during this summer's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. On the campaign trail in March, Paul took heat for his statement that Obama's rhetoric toward the energy giant in the wake of the disaster off the Louisiana coast was "un-American." In what appear to be his first public comments about the spill since being handily elected Kentucky's new Senator, Paul took a similar line to the one he did as a candidate.

"I didn't like the language," Paul said in an interview on CBS' Face The Nation this morning. "I didn't think the president or his people should say something like 'putting a boot heel on the throat' of a business. I didn't like that."

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On Friday, the Tea Party Patriots lived up to just about every stereotype about the movement that its critics have about the tea party insurgency. In a single email, the Patriots acted paranoid, attacked fellow conservatives, alienated Republicans, sounded unhinged, got their facts wrong and had to sheepishly apologize to all involved. They also dished out the personal cell phone numbers of many incoming freshmen -- leading to a bombardment of calls from angry tea partiers.

Truly, it was a spectacular thing to behold. Suffice to say, it was probably not the way the tea party hoped to roll into DC.

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House Democrats will begin the next Congress with a leadership team that looks much like the one they have now if a deal struck between Nancy Pelosi and Jim Clyburn last night sticks. The essence of the plan: Pelosi will become Minority Leader, current Majority Leader Steny Hoyer will become Minority Whip and Clyburn -- the current Majority Whip -- will take a new number three job in the minority. Current Caucus Chair John Larson can remain in the Democrats' number four job in the new Congress.

Clyburn will take a newly created position called "Assistant Leader," according to a letter Pelosi sent to Democratic members today. As Roll Call reports, it's "unclear" what exactly the new position entails, or "whether the job is different from the Assistant to the Speaker position currently held by Rep. Chris Van Hollen."

The deal brings to an end a fight between Hoyer and Clyburn for the Whip job that threatened to mar Pelosi's expected transition into the House Democrats' top job when the Republicans take over in January. The final round of the Hoyer-Clyburn struggle came late last night when Pelosi threw her support behind Clyburn for the number three job.

"Without Jim Clyburn's determination, we would not have expanded college opportunities for millions of students, improved community health centers, or promoted jobs through investments in infrastructure, including rural broadband," Pelosi said.

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1||On November 13, 2010, TPM marks its 10th anniversary! Here's a look back through the years from our humble beginnings at a D.C. Starbucks, to our humble middle years in a small New York City office, to our...humble present-day digs in a shower in D.C. (see slide 32). Thanks to all TPM staffers current and former!

Pictured: Election night 2008, in New York City.||TPM&&

2||The first TPM office -- A Starbucks in Washington, D.C.||TPM&&

3||Reporter Paul Kiel.||TPM&&

4||Associate Editor Ben Craw.||TPM&&

5||Rachel Weiner, Associate News Editor. ||TPM&&

6||Editor-at-large Matt Cooper.||TPM&&

7||Greg Sargent, TPM reporter.||TPM&&

8||Managing Editor David Kurtz "interviews" San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom at the Netroots Nations conference in Austin in 2008.||TPMTV&&

9||Election night, 2008, in New York City.||Kate Klonick&&

10||Reporter Zack Roth.||Kate Klonick&&

11||Lila Shapiro, Associate Editor.||Kate Klonick&&

12||Then-intern and current Reporter Rachel Slajda.||Kate Klonick&&

13||Associate Publisher Andrew Golis (left) and Josh (right) look over Associate Editor Justin Elliot's shoulder.||Kate Klonick&&

14||Reporter Eric Kleefeld.||Kate Klonick&&

15||In the spring of 2009, TPM relocated to a new office in Chelsea. Justin Elliot, Designer/Developer Al Shaw, and Ben Craw (front) pack up the old office.||TPM&&

16||Josh Marshall in the new office.||TPM&&

17||Josh Marshall and Millet Israeli, his wife and TPM's General Manager & General Counsel, celebrate in the new office.||TPM&&

18||Al Shaw and Lila Shapiro celebrate as well.||TPM&&

19||TPM's new sign.||TPM&&

20||Al Franken and Eric Kleefeld in Madison, Wisconsin in 2003. ||TPM&&

21||Associate Publisher Versha Sharma and Meghan McCain, Halloween, 2009 in New York City.||TPM&&

22||Stephen Colbert and Josh Marshall quarrel before a June, 2009 taping of the Colbert Report.||TPM&&

23||But in the end all was well.||TPM&&

24||Josh Marshall speaks at Columbia Journalism School's 2009 Journalism Day ceremony.||TPM&&

25||TPM says goodbye to Publisher Andrew Golis (second from the right) in the fall of 2009.||TPM&&

26||Reporter Rachel Slajda, reporter Christina Bellantoni, News Writer Jillian Rayfield, and Associate Publisher Versha Sharma at Josh's 41st birthday party in February, 2010.||TPM&&

27||Designer/Developer Al Shaw, Reporter Evan McMorris-Santoro, and intern Sean Farrell. ||TPM &&

28||Associate Editor Ben Frumin and Christina Bellantoni.||TPM&&

29||Managing Editor David Kurtz and his wife Elaine.||TPM&&

30||Jillian Rayfield, Evan McMorris-Santoro, and Versha Sharma in New York City in July, 2010.||Talia Benamy&&

31||David Kurtz and his standing desk in the new D.C. office.||TPM&&

32||Evan McMorris-Santoro, Christina Bellantoni, and Reporter Brian Beutler in the new office bathroom.||TPM&&

33||Reporter Ryan J. Reilly, Evan McMorris-Santor and Brian Beutler rock out on Karaoke night in D.C.||TPM&&

34|| ||TPM&&

35||TPM Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons, NATO Ambassador Ivo Daalder and Josh Marshall.||TPM&&

36||Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons and Josh Marshall host NATO Ambassador Ivo Daalder for a TPM roundtable discussion.||TPM&&

36||A New York Times Magazine profile of Josh Marshall.||TPM&&