Since the late Friday night media dump announcing Kerik's withdrawal as DHS head, several articles have been written about the reason.
The official story, that the NYTs keys on, in this front page, above the fold story is that Kerik had a nanny problem. The details has presented by the Times makes it clear that he lied about this to the WH. Equally clear is that this was about much more than a nanny problem. Regarding all his problems, the Times gives us this,
One Democratic Senate staff member, who has been following the nomination process closely and asked not to be identified because of the political sensitivity of the matter, said he was convinced that the nanny question was not the sole reason that Mr. Kerik had dropped out. "Multiple media organizations were pursuing multiple stories" that would be potentially damaging to Mr. Kerik, he said. Because many of these questions had not yet been answered by the administration, the staff member said, "fundamentally, he was a bad pick."The fact is that Kerik is a very dirty, and perhaps nutty, politician who should never have been nominated. Rudy is embarrassed and he should be. But you won't learn much about this from the Times piece. He has a warrant issued for his arrest a few years back in NJ, he has taken thousands of dollars in unreported gifts from those who did business with NY City, he spent 200k of City money for security doors unusable and then got a job with the company that sold them. He had a sex scandal that he just gave a civil deposition in, yada, yada, yada. The guy is a crook and Josh Marshall has done a good job of keeping up with it. Go read Josh for more.
And why did I say he is a little nutty?
On Saturday morning, Mr. Kerik emerged from his two-story yellow house in Franklin Lakes, N.J., and spoke to reporters in his driveway, flanked by two security guards.....This guy wants two body guards to speak to reporters on his front lawn? Imagine what a department as sensitive as Homeland Security would be like with this kook at the helm.
Here is a $9.5 Billion fiasco that the Rs are trying desperately to prevent from being disclosed.
A highly classified intelligence program that the Senate Intelligence Committee has tried unsuccessfully to kill is a new $9.5 billion spy satellite system that could take photographs only in daylight hours and in clear weather, current and former government officials say.Can't afford body armor for every soldier but for this, the even the sky is not the limit. Of course, the bigger scandal is that this isn't even close to being the biggest R boondoggle. We have a $30 billion dollar missile defense shield that doesn't work.
The cost of the system, now the single biggest item in the intelligence budget, and doubts about its usefulness have spurred a secret Congressional battle. The fight over the future of a system whose existence has not yet been officially disclosed first came to light this week.
In public remarks, senators opposed to the program have described it only as an enormously expensive classified intelligence acquisition program without specifically describing it as a satellite system.
We think our politics is blood sport?
LONDON, Dec. 11 - Tests done at a hospital in Vienna confirmed that Viktor A. Yushchenko, the Ukrainian opposition candidate, had been poisoned with dioxin, doctors there said Saturday, providing an explanation for a broad array of painful and disfiguring conditions that plagued him during the last three months of the presidential campaign.
There is "no doubt" that Mr. Yushchenko's disease "has been caused by a case of poisoning by dioxin," Dr. Michael Zimpfer, the head of the Rudolfinerhaus hospital, said at a news conference on Saturday. He said that Mr. Yushchenko's blood dioxin level was "more than 1,000 times" the upper limits of normal and that his initial severe abdominal pain suggested that he had eaten the poison.
"We have proved the source of his problem, and we clearly suspect third-party involvement," Dr. Zimpfer added in a subsequent interview. But he said law-enforcement authorities would have to determine when and how the poisoning occurred.....
WEEK IN REVIEW
Inside, Eliot Spitzer announces (sorry, no open link) his run for Governor of NY. Their gain is our loss. As the NY AG he was often the only one who would take on corporate crime that he DoJ just ignored. And he often embarrassed them in the process.
Marines in Harm's Way: With 25 Citizen Warriors in an Improvised War. An excellent piece that puts a face on the reservist sent into harms way without the proper gear.
You need to read this article,
While statistics are hard to come by, anecdotal evidence gathered by reporters in the field suggests that the old complaint of reservists - that they are often the last to get up-to-date equipment - still has some validity, even though Pentagon officials tend to deny it.Friedman: Iraq, Ballots and Pistachios. Friedman points out that NATO and the Arab League to take little steps that would make a huge difference is securing the elections in January. Here is a taste,
A week with the 2/24 Marines at their bases 15 to 30 miles south of Baghdad, in the heart of the area known as the Triangle of Death, was a window on the demands being made of reservists, and on the resourcefulness and resilience they bring to the challenges. There is little they cannot do, with hard work and improvisation, the battalion's officers say, reflecting the widely varied backgrounds of the men in the Chicago-based unit - doctors, policemen, engineers, teachers, carpenters, truck drivers, lawyers, computer specialists, community counselors, college students, to name a few.
These marines' tasks are as tough as any in Iraq, with the battalion's 1,200 men cast as spear-carriers for the new, more aggressive war-fighting, which found its starkest expression in the battle last month to recapture Falluja. The 2/24 has had no such concentrated target, but its men have been fighting a classic counterinsurgency war, carrying out nighttime raids and creating a permanent American presence.
Let's see, there are now 26 countries in NATO. If each NATO country contributed just 100 soldiers, roughly speaking we could have five NATO soldiers guarding every polling station in Iraq for the January election. That would be a huge help. After all, what does NATO stand for today if not for helping to protect a free and fair election in Iraq that is being opposed by a virulent minority whose only motto is: "You vote, you die - elections must fail." Is it so much to ask that each NATO country contribute 100 soldiers for a long weekend to advance the prospect of Iraqi elections?THE BOOK REVIEW
The Arab League has been sniping at the U.S. from the minute it toppled Saddam's tyranny, constantly barking that the Iraqi government there was not representative. Well now we're trying to help elect one that would be the most representative in the Arab world, and what is the Arab League doing? Virtually nothing. Why couldn't it offer to send some Arab and Muslim soldiers to protect polling places in the Sunni towns of Iraq?
If only we could call the Iraqi election, "A Seminar on the European Defense Initiative: Why NATO Is passé and E.D.I. Is the Future"; then we could get thousands of Europeans to take part. If only we could call the Iraqi elections, "A Seminar on George Bush and Genghis Khan: Why Bush Is Worse"; then the Arab League would send so many people, we'd be turning them away. We'd be talking pay-per-view on Al Jazeera....
The 10 Best Books of 2004. I love books and especially fiction. If you love books, check this out.