Grapevine: Foreign diplomats owe NYC big dollars

Millions owed for unpaid parking tickets


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

One More Thing

Outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai used his farewell speech today to tell us how he really feels about all of us -- the U.S. 

He accused the U.S. of never wanting peace in his country in the first place and starting the war in Afghanistan -- quote -- "because of its own interests...If America and Pakistan really want it, peace will come to Afghanistan."

Karzai thanked eight other countries by name for helping Afghanistan rebuild.

He failed to mention the United States or the $100 billion in aid the U.S. has poured into that country to build schools, upgrade hospitals, and train Afghan security forces.

He also did not refer to the more than 2,200 U.S. service members who have died fighting in Afghanistan or the thousands of others who were wounded there.

The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan called that speech ungracious and ungrateful.

Ticket Scofflaws

As world leaders gather in New York for the United Nations Summit, we are once again finding foreign diplomats owing the Big Apple millions in unpaid parking tickets.

The Wall Street Journal reports cars with diplomatic plates have racked up more than $16 million in fines.

The majority of that debt dates back to before 2002.

The biggest offender -- Egypt with almost $2 million owed.

Close Shave

And finally, a harsh rebuke from a federal appeals court to a Florida sheriff's department that used a SWAT unit to check on barber shop licenses.

It happened in Orange County, Florida.

Officers raided the barber shop, guns drawn, demanding to see the hair cutting credentials pointing guns at patrons and handcuffing several barbers.

Four of them are suing claiming the raids violated their rights against unreasonable searches.

A judge ruled the lawsuit can proceed.

Quote -- "It was a scene right out of a Hollywood movie...Teams...descended on multiple target locations.
They blocked the entrances and exits to the parking lots. With some team members dressed in ballistic vests and masks, and with guns drawn, the deputies rushed into their target destinations, handcuffed the stunned occupants."

Eventually, finding no violations, the officers removed the handcuffs and left.

The judge says the force used was -- quote-- "constitutionally unreasonable."