Is Jeff Cogen Portland's Weiner or Portland's Ford?1:59 PM, Nov 11, 2013 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
It’s a pity that there’s no Portland, Oregon, edition of the New York Post. After all, one can only dream of the headlines the wags at the Post would come up with to describe the ongoing travails of (now former) Multnomah County (home of Portland) Commissioner Jeff Cogen.
To review: Earlier this year, Cogen was riding high atop the county in his powerful elected office, overseeing a $1.5 billion budget and more than 4,000 employees. The Democrat was even frequently talked about as a potential future candidate for Portland mayor.
But then, in late July of this year, news broke that Cogen had had an eighteen-month affair with a subordinate, a health department official named Sonia Manhas. (They were outed by an anonymous email from someone working for the county.) What’s worse, Manhas had been promoted while the two were having the affair, spurring allegations of impropriety. Moreover, it soon came to light that Cogen had used public money to pay for a hotel room for a tryst with Manhas.
Cogen stepped down in disgrace shortly thereafter, but the hits keep coming. Late last week, reports surfaced that Manhas told prosecutors that throughout their affair, Cogen frequently smoked marijuana and dabbled regularly in cocaine. Indeed, Manhas says that Cogen even performed some of the more laborious functions of his job–attending community parades, for example–while under the influence of marijuana. The whole thing is positively Toronto-esque.
There are a few details that make the sordid story uniquely Portland, though. The person who sent the email publicizing the affair has been identified as David Hudson, who was then a colleague of Manhas’s in the county’s health department.
What moved Hudson to publicize the affair? The Oregonian has the details:
Hudson had planned a September 2011 event . . . featuring superintendents of all the county's school districts plus an out-of-state expert on comprehensive school health as a keynote speaker.
He said that less than two weeks before the event, Manhas told him should find another speaker because county leaders wanted to showcase experts who were not white men. He was upset because she raised the issue at the last minute, after the event had been publicized and the keynote speaker's plane ticket paid for.
Jeff Cogen and Sonia Manhas: two more victims of affirmative action.
12:50 PM, Nov 5, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Toronto mayor Rob Ford told reporters, "Yes, I smoked crack cocaine. Do I, am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors--probably, approximately, about a year ago."
"I've made mistakes," said Ford.
Lou Reed went down and found a song that will survive.1:03 PM, Oct 28, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
Lou Reed died yesterday in Amagansett, N.Y., thus ending his life on the same island, Long Island, where it began more than 71 years ago in Kings County, better known as Brooklyn.
10:18 AM, Sep 18, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
CBS reports this morning that Walgreens is altering its health care plan for 160,000 workers due to Obamacare:
The plan, as CBS explains, is to protect the company from rising health care costs. Now who will cover the costs? The employees.
8:15 AM, Jun 5, 2013 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
Socialists around the world have their own traditions for celebrating “International Workers’ Day,” and Evo Morales is no exception. Each year, the Bolivian leader uses May 1 to make a big announcement, typically regarding the military-backed seizure of a given industry or company. In 2006, during his first May Day as president, he nationalized his country’s enormous natural gas reserves. Since then, he has grabbed control of telecom companies, energy companies, and more. On May 1, 2012, he had Bolivian troops seize an electricity firm (owned by the Spanish multinational REE) that operates most of his nation’s power lines.
Colombia vs. Honduras. Jun 10, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 37 • By MAX BOOT
If you want to see both the potential and the peril in Latin America, you could not do better than to visit Honduras and Colombia, as I did in mid-May: The former is Exhibit A for all that is wrong with the region, from drug trafficking and violence to governmental corruption; the latter a showcase of what can be done to bring even the most embattled country back from the brink.
7:52 AM, Apr 9, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
A list of rappers and stars, including Russell Simmons, LL Cool J, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Kim Kardashian, and many more, have written an open letter to President Obama to ask that he ease the nation's drug policy. They also ask that prison policy be changed, too.
3:44 PM, Feb 22, 2013 • By EMANUELE OTTOLENGHI
For years, Iran has marketed itself as a frontline state in the war against the drug lords. Recently the New York Times even described the regime in Tehran as the “West’s stalwart ally in the War on Drugs.” The problem is that while the Iranian regime is fighting drug lords on its eastern borders, much of the drugs it seizes are being sold by the Revolutionary Guards to the same people they are asking for additional funding to fight the drug trade—the Europeans.
4:11 PM, Feb 19, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden was asked today whether a "ban on guns" would be more effective than outlawing drugs. "Are you suggesting that we have no -- we just legalize all drugs?," the vice president asked.
2:50 PM, Feb 14, 2013 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
About two years ago, a senior Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official said that a certain Latin American country was becoming a veritable “United Nations” of organized criminal activity, attracting gangsters from such diverse and faraway places as Albania, China, Italy, and Ukraine. He was not talking about Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, or Brazil. No, Jay Bergman, the DEA’s Andean regional director, was describing Ecuador, a small nation of 15 million people that is tucked between two of the largest cocaine-producing countries on earth. “If I’m an Italian organized drug trafficker and I want to meet with my Colombian counterpart,” Bergman told Reuters, “I would probably prefer to meet in Ecuador than to meet in Colombia.”
10:57 AM, Jan 14, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The son of Congressman John Barrow, James Pentlarge Barrow, was arrested on drug and DUI charges on Saturday morning, the Athens Banner-Herald reports. James Barrow is 18 years old.
8:01 AM, Dec 12, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
When asked whether he favored legalizing marijuana, former president Jimmy Carter made clear that he did.
8:15 AM, Nov 29, 2012 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
When Mexican president Felipe Calderón leaves office on December 1, his successor, Enrique Peña Nieto, will inherit a country with rampant corruption and high levels of drug-related violence. Of course, when Calderón entered the presidency six years ago, he himself inherited a country with rampant corruption and high levels of drug-related violence.