Five Best Tuesday Columns

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Dana Milbank in The Washington Post on the fallout from Cain's accusations When Sharon Bialek came forward yesterday with more accusations that Herman Cain had sexually harassed her, she was met with supporters and skeptics. "It remains to be seen where this coming out by Bialek, the first Cain accuser to go public, will take the harassment scandal and Cain's quixotic candidacy," Milbank writes. He details the "ribaldry" of the scene in which Bialek's "ubiquitous scandal lawyer" Gloria Allred introduced her client. He notes the "seediness" of Bialek's tale, and her seemingly genuine nature. Some conservatives questioned Bialek's story, and Milbank notes that the previous accusations against Cain haven't hurt him much in the polls. Of course, Cain should already have been an unlikely contender, having "demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the skills and organization to make it to the nomination," Milbank writes, "But for now, unfortunately, the issue at hand is where Herman Cain's hands have been."

Jeffrey Goldberg in Bloomberg View on using force against Iran The International Atomic Energy Agency will release a report today arguing that Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons. While the stakes are high for Israel, there are costs to a military strike, making action from the United States the more likely outcome, Goldberg writes. Goldberg notes the reasons Israel believes an Iranian regime that sees Israel as a "cancer" cannot be allowed nuclear weapons, but he also details the difficulties such a raid would pose for their Air Force and the threat of retaliation against their citizens it would create. He then argues for his belief that President Obama would use force. A preemptive strike would maintain U.S. power in the region, meet with support from our allies, and promote Obama's vision of a nuclear weapon free world. "If Iran's leaders feared there was a real chance of a U.S. attack, they might actually modify their behavior," Goldberg writes. "I believe Obama would use force -- and that he should make that perfectly clear to the Iranians." 

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Jonathan Turley in the Los Angeles Times on videotaping the police Availability of cell phone video cameras has made it easier to record and prosecute instances of police abuse. "With that change, however, has come a backlash from officers who, despite court rulings upholding the right of citizens to tape police in public, have been threatening or arresting people for the 'crime' of recording them," writes Turley, a law professor at GWU. Turley details several recent cases in which police have arrested and sometimes prosecuted bystanders for recording them. The cases are often dismissed, he says, but some federal judges, like Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago, have expressed suspicion of those interested in "telling the police how to do their business." "Actions against citizen videographers run against not just the Constitution but good public policy," Turley writes. "Yet, without a videotape, Rodney King would have been just another guy with a prior record claiming abuse, against the word of multiple officers." 

Frank Bruni in The New York Times on the child molestation claims at Penn State On Saturday, Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, was arrested for allegedly abusing eight boys over fifteen years. The accusations "bring to mind many proven cases in which a molester occupied a position of trust, identified and gravitated to children who were especially vulnerable, made them feel special and was by all outward appearances their champion," Bruni says. Bruni details a case he covered as a newspaper reporter to note how regular these patterns can be. He argues that institutions often fail to police themselves by comparing the apparent complacency of Penn State officials to cover up attempts by leaders of the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church. Though officials should have taken earlier warning signs about Sandusky more seriously, they probably "just couldn't envision someone like Sandusky -- a distinguished professional, a seeming do-gooder -- as a molester," Bruni says. "But it's important that we all do." 

Sally Satel in The Wall Street Journal on opening up organ donor markets Bans on the sale of organs to those in need of a donor have led to a worldwide black market with many instances of crime and abuse. "The only solution is more organs. In the U.S., we need a regulated system in which compensation is provided by a third party (government, a charity or insurance) to well-informed, healthy donors," writes Satel, herself the recipient of a kidney and editor of a book on organ donor markets. She recounts cases in which those who want to enter organ markets have been prevented or even prosecuted under U.S. law. Regulation could eliminate obvious complications, she says, for instance distributing organs not to the richest person but to the neediest. "Here's hoping that Congress will soon demand innovation to our transplant system so that sick people are not driven to such desperate cures," she writes.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.