Rep. Charles Rangel, who is currently on track for a public House trial over numerous ethics violations, is discussing his troubles with the man upstairs. Or at least that's how Rangel explained it to a hometown crowd: The Democrat spoke at a Harlem Week event and said, "How lucky you are when God tells you that you don’t have to take a plea. That you can tell them to let the facts speak for themselves. And if you’re afraid of the facts then it means that I can afford to be defiant." Did God also tell him to take the three extra rent-stabilized apartments?

However, when asked if God really told him not to plea bargain, the longserving Congressman told reporters, "I exaggerated. I really didn't talk to God…I said that in the heat of the campaign but no, she hasn't spoken to me recently." But Rangel added, "In America, I just always thought that unless they readjust the accusations, that a person was entitled to be heard, and really heard by their peers... If they changed that rule, then perhaps you wouldn't run around asking, you know, 'Why don't you retire? Why don't you get away? Why don't you go away?' I mean, after all, I'm pretty proud of the record I've established in over 50 years of public service."

In other Rangel news, some politicians aren't attending his big birthday fundraiser bash—the list is of confirmed guests is small and the NY Times reports, "One New York representative said he could not make it because he had to march in a local firefighters’ parade. Another said that, as much as she wanted to go, she had to visit family out of town. Yet another just sent his regrets, saying he would be traveling that day — in Connecticut."