Han Solo peeks at lawmakers’ finances

Han Solo peeks at lawmakers’ finances

As his finances have come under increasing scrutiny, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) has had to deal with House Republicans and the editorial pages calling for his head. But he may have a new irritant now: Han Solo.

Someone identifying himself as the swashbuckling space hero from the film classic “Star Wars” was peeking at the New York Democrat’s financial disclosure forms this July, according to records available in the House’s Legislative Resource Center.

It’s not likely that Harrison Ford was passing by the archive this summer. Anyone can identify himself however he likes when perusing the reports. And though the computers ask one for a place of employment, the galactic pirate simply said he was working on behalf of “STAFF” or “self.”

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Rangel was not the only member of Congress to gain Han Solo’s attention. A number of other current and former lawmakers cropped up in his searches, starting from 2008. For example, Reps. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) were under the character’s prying eyes, as was former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), who is on trial fighting corruption charges.

Juicy tidbits  from Blago’s The Governor


A campaign manager by any other name would be just as sweet. Apparently that’s what indicted and impeached former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) thinks.

In his new book, The Governor, which is more manifesto than mea culpa, Blagojevich associates himself closely with (read: name-drops) key members of President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaButtigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa The shifting impeachment positions of Jonathan Turley Kerry endorses Biden in 2020 race: He 'can beat Donald Trump' MORE’s inner circle, including the president’s campaign manager, David Plouffe.

According to Blagojevich, Plouffe turned down a chance to be his first congressional chief of staff, and probably for good reason: Blagojevich doesn’t even spell his name right in the book.

“Plough,” “Plouffe,” what’s the difference? Clearly not much for Blago.

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Blagojevich goes out of his way to share thoughts on everyone in Illinois politics — his father-in-law, Chicago Alderman Richard Mell, apparently once threatened to kill him; Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSupreme Court poised to hear first major gun case in a decade Protecting the future of student data privacy: The time to act is now Overnight Health Care: Crunch time for Congress on surprise medical bills | CDC confirms 47 vaping-related deaths | Massachusetts passes flavored tobacco, vaping products ban MORE (D-Ill.) “fears” state House Speaker Mike Madigan, the Rev. Jesse Jackson is “shameless”; and Madigan and his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

For a person with such strong opinions, you might think Blagojevich would make it easy for readers to find specific passages. But Blago likes to swim upstream. In a major Washington faux pas, there’s not even an index, which renders Washingtonians unable to give the book what’s known widely as a “Washington read,” in which the reader picks up a book and flips directly to the index, hoping to find his or her own name.

ITK supposes Shakespeare never had an index either, and Blagojevich is clearly a devotee of the Bard. At one point, he claims that he once wowed precinct committeemen during his first race for the Illinois State Legislature by reciting the speech by Henry V to his troops before the Battle of Agincourt (“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers”).

The comparisons aren’t limited to the battlefield. Writing about his first term as governor, Blagojevich calls it “a story that has elements found in some of Shakespeare’s tragedies. I see my political rise with the help of my father-in-law as having elements of Henry IV, Part Two and Henry V, culminating with my own personal battle of Agincourt: winning the gubernatorial election. What happened after I became governor is a story filled with elements from Othello, King Lear, and Julius Caesar; a story of intrigue, of jealousy, of manipulation, of unnatural familial behavior, and of betrayal.”

Pawlenty, Klobuchar to John King: More pork!


CNN’s John King was in a tough spot on Sunday during a live broadcast of his morning show, “State of the Union,” filmed on location at the Minnesota State Fair: Would he accept Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharCastro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Klobuchar lauds power of free press in post about her father The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi says House will move forward with impeachment MORE’s (D-Minn.) offer of chocolate-covered bacon?

“I’d like you to eat it on the air,” said the senator, handing King a chocolate strip.

“I’m not going to eat it on the air,” he replied. “I can assure you I’m not going to eat it on the air.”

Apparently Klobuchar isn’t nearly as picky about whether (or when) she’ll eat exotic pork: An ITK spy reports that the senator tried deep-fried pigs’ cheeks earlier in the week — at 6 in the morning.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) had another porcine present for King: bacon-flavored lip balm. “Even after the bacon is eaten, the flavor endures,” said the governor. “So maybe you can bring that back to Washington, D.C., and as you talk about pork, you can get a little lasting flavor there on your lips.”

The lip balm is manufactured by J&D’s Bacon Salt and available online. Sadly, it contains no actual bacon.