Three Phoenix police officers have resigned after a bizarre and disturbing case of abuse. Richard G. Pina, Jason E. McFadden, and Michael J. Carnicle are accused of making a 19-year-old Phoenix man eat marijuana found in his car after a stop — an act that left the man feeling ill. The resignations occurred just before the officers were fired, but there remains a couple of disturbing questions.
Sharon K. Bidell, 55, was pulled over in her car by police on suspicion of drunk driving. Those suspicions were not elevated when she objected to police that her 1965 Chevy Nova was “not my drinking car.” Perhaps but it turned out to be her impounded car.
Former congressman Anthony Weiner appears intent on showing that he is without a single redeeming quality. Long a favorite of liberals for his acerbic attacks on the right, Weiner lied when he was first accused of sending naked unsolicited pictures to women. He attacked the media and denied everything until the proof became insurmountable. He then professed shame, resigned from Congress, and promised to reform. Later he ran an embarrassing mayoral campaign, though not without liberal supporters who continued to defend him. He was then outed again as “Carlos Danger,” this assumed name in sending new texts. He again faded away with promises of reform. Friends gave him jobs as a political commentator and even a public relations expert. He was then shown to be again sexting this year, including pictures showing his infant son. After his wife (Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin) left him, it has now been revealed that Weiner has been sexting a 15-year-old girl and allegedly knew that she was a minor. In the most recent scandal, Carlos Danger has emerged as “T Dog.” On this occasion, however, Weiner could have crossed the line into criminal misconduct.
I have long been a critic of government bans on lawful products to prevent consumers from making poor health or lifestyle choices, including Michael Bloomberg’s failed effort to ban “Big Gulp” sodas. Now a group of African-American doctors are asking President Obama to ban the sale of menthol-flavored cigarettes because they are too popular with black smokers. We can certainly have a debate over a possible prohibition of tobacco products as inherently dangerous. However, if tobacco use remains lawful to smoke or sell (as I believe it should be), there are serious legal and policy problems with a ban on a product solely because it is too popular with one group.
The controversy over Donald Trump’s use of his charitable foundation is growing this week. Previously, Trump was fined $2,500 by the IRS for making a $25,000 gift from his charity to support the re-election of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. That donation occurred just a few days after Bondi said that she was considering joining the state of New York in a lawsuit against Trump University. It was a highly problematic use of a charity with obvious concerns over the timing. Now, there is an even more surprising disclosure that Trump used more than a quarter-million dollars from his foundation to settle lawsuits involving his for-profit businesses. That is a very serious allegation and I am surprised that, if true, legal counsel would have signed off on such an arrangement.
We recently discussed the dubious research grant on lesbian drinking habits. Now, researchers in Switzerland have used a research grant to establish what would seem the most obvious fact known to most anyone over 10: drinking a single glass of beer can make people more sociable. It turns out that Mackeson Beer was right: “It looks good, it tastes good, and by golly it does you good.”
Clinton lawyers must have been wincing yesterday as former President Bill Clinton sought to defuse the criticism of the Clintons in accepting money from a wide variety of businesses and foreign parties (including dubious donors) with interests before the State Department. Bill Clinton took to the airways to insist that it is perfectly natural for donors to seek favors at the State Department and that he and Hillary trusted government officials to do the right thing in dealing with such requested favors. That is hardly going to help. Even if you dismiss the controversy with an “everyone does it” defense, the problem remains that Hillary Clinton was not some politician but the Secretary of State and the donors were seeking official actions by the United States government. It sounds like an admission that some wanted to “pay and play” but the Clinton left it to others to refuse to play.