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June 19, 2007

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I think the thing that both stories point out is that Giuliani is even more inept than Bush when it comes to picking people for positions. And that's a tall order.

Speaking of which: I just came upon this truly bizarre story about Kerik. It must be read to be believed -- it's written in a sort of 'Soap Opera Digest' style, and has content to match. Sample:

"Disgraced ex-NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik can't stop crying over his fizzled friendship with former BFF Rudy Giuliani.

"I accept the distance created by Giuliani. I understand it, but inside, it's killing me," Kerik said.

"It's like dying a slow death, watching him have to answer for my mistakes," the former top cop said of the ex-New York mayor-turned-presidential-candidate. (...)

"At least here in Jordan, I stand half a chance," Kerik whined.

"Back home, it's death by a thousand cuts - cuts to your emotions, finances, family and your life. Now is the darkest time in my life, and nothing I have been through has gotten me ready for it. I am truly f- - -in' afraid."

i still say : Rudy Wins It All

the press in in deep love with him. that's all it takes.

A co-worker in a local non-political volunteer effort and I have recently discovered how similar our politics are. Only yesterday we were sharing a hearty chuckle over what an accident waiting to happen Giuliani is as a candidate, and setting up an informal pool on how soon this will becomes understood. It was inconceivable to either of us that he'd get as far as being nominated.

Not even 24 hours have gone by....

Oh, cleek; you've got to work on your see-them-for-the-loons they are skillz. Weren't you the voice of doom just before the 2006 midterms, too?

The emperor has no clothes, and the media courtiers are nekkid too. Scornful amusement is a sanity-preserving, confidence-projecting state of mind. You don't need to be able to maintain it all day long, but practice for a few minutes at a time.

Weren't you the voice of doom just before the 2006 midterms, too?

yup.

the last time i was optimistic about politics and the chance that the rest of the country sees what i think is obvious was late winter 03.

The emperor has no clothes, and the media courtiers are nekkid too.

no argument there. but Rudy was still winning the polls, last i saw.

Anyone want to start a pool as to when the final meltdown for Rudy G will be? We'd need a judge to decide what it would be, cause I could see him soldiering on, saying 'it's only a flesh wound'.

a guy who pushes Bernard Kerik for Secretary of Homeland Security years after being briefed that Kerik is connected to the mob is really not someone you want to elect in order to keep us safe. He just isn't.

I’m not so sure… From what I understand, as long as you paid your protection money you were good to go. I’d say replace the border agents and TSA with the mob. Cheaper probably. As long as you slip the head guy a bulging envelope every Friday, no worries.

Snark aside, Giuliani’s behavior on that one day was nothing short of presidential. I agree that does not qualify him to be president, but I understand the thinking behind his campaign. (I don’t support him.)

OCSteve: yes, he was great on that one day. -- It just makes me realize once gain how completely differently the Republican base and I see the world. To me, the mistake about nominating Bush in the first place was that he was someone who only looked good on paper; who was all about appearance rather than reality. And to avoid that problem, I'd think you'd have to make actual competence, not the ppearance of competence, an absolute prerequisite, as far as candidates are concerned. In Giuliani's case, I would have thought the Kerik episode would raise such serious questions about his judgment that he'd just be out of contention.

Sadly, No...

I’d say replace the border agents and TSA with the mob.

I see a privatization opportunity. Somebody call Grover.

i still say : Rudy Wins It All

Speaking as a native New Yorker, I'll offer my opinion that the one thing that doesn't go over in the heartland is a loud, pushy, nervy, abrasive New Yorker.

Let Rudy do some up close and personal pressing of the flesh out in Peoria for a week or two, and I think we'll hear the fat lady singing.

Thanks -

…he'd just be out of contention

Hey – we’re desperate here. ;)

Don’t worry. There is no way he can win the nomination. Have to disagree with cleek here – he is way too (socially) liberal for the base.

Speaking as a native New Yorker, I'll offer my opinion that the one thing that doesn't go over in the heartland is a loud, pushy, nervy, abrasive New Yorker.

Yeah, as a non-native New Yorker born and raised in the heartland, I completely agree with this. Heck, they can't even stand New Yorkers in Albany, let alone in Peoria.

…the one thing that doesn't go over in the heartland is a loud, pushy, nervy, abrasive New Yorker.

They don’t go over that well in NYC. ;)

(Kidding, I have relatives there and on LI – I give them grief to their face about it.)

Giuliani’s behavior on that one day was nothing short of presidential.

So, I was going to put up a comment prompted by OCSteve's statement above (not a shot at him) of:

If only every day could be like that one day...

Which made me think - I wonder if the Bizarro-World/National Review/Glenn Reynolds axis wants another day like that, just to put the rest of us in our place. I think that they do, at least unconsciously, if just to justify, to themselves, all the bulls!t they've been spewing.

Thinking in terms of practicality, why is it bad to have somebody with mafia ties in for homeland security in NYC? We're talking about doing something with the ports, aren't we? How is anybody going to get anything done there *without* mob connections? Not to say that Kerik was a good choice, but just the fact he had mafia connections shouldn't be a disqualification for reality-based security. We can fight al qaeda or we can fight the mafia or we can fight them both at the same time. At least the mafia guys try to be patriotic. It's their country, after all.

And I don't see that it's great to see Giuliani get smeared. What it says to me is that the guys who pay the swiftboaters are still winning. They're swiftboating Giuliani now because he isn't their candidate. After their guy gets nominated then they won't have anybody left to swiftboat except the democratic candidate. They might go after some of the strongest democratic candidates to get them out of the way, and ignore one that's particularly easy to sink figuring they'll take care of him after he gets nominated.

I don't particularly like Giuliani but it doesn't look good to me that the same guys who swiftboated Kerry still have the media support they had then.

Let Rudy do some up close and personal pressing of the flesh out in Peoria for a week or two, and I think we'll hear the fat lady singing.

but he has been. he's been on-tour for the past two years. hasn't really hurt him yet.

Thinking in terms of practicality, why is it bad to have somebody with mafia ties in for homeland security in NYC?

Please, please, please, please, please tell me this is a joke. Please.

Please.

And I don't see that it's great to see Giuliani get smeared.

Swift boating is when they make stuff up.

Reporting that Rudy "I'll tear them limb from limb" Giuliani got booted off the Iraq Study Group because he couldn't bother to show up is not a smear, it's simple reportage.

Thanks -

J Thomas: any evidence that it is the same guys? Coming up with actual facts isn't their normal modus operandi.

[/placeholder]

This is the spot where I would go on a long tear about “Swift Boating”. But I know better.

See? I can learn…

Yes, Russell, that was a joke. While there's some reason to believe that the NYPD and pretty much all of NY government has extensive connections with the mafia and uses them, of course it's still scandalous when that gets exposed.

The swiftboaters both reported real things and made things up. Whatever worked. Was this one created by somebody different? Do you know who did it?

Our campaign has no information about the accusations pending against Mr. Ravenel. Mr. Ravenel has stepped down from his volunteer responsibilities with the campaign.

OK, where is the sex? We have drugs and the mob, surely there has to be sex in here somewhere. And a good soundtrack…

Yes, Russell, that was a joke.

Thanks, I'm glad to hear it.

While there's some reason to believe that the NYPD and pretty much all of NY government has extensive connections with the mafia and uses them, of course it's still scandalous when that gets exposed.

No doubt the NYPD and lots of NY government officials have connections with the mafia. Also no doubt, some of those connections are both legitimate and useful, and some less so. Contact with organized criminals is, I think, a common occupational hazard for law enforcement, and not just in the big cities.

It's been about 25 years since I lived there, but back in the day, if you had your garbage hauled, or operated, or for that matter ate in, a public food service establishment, you had extensive connections with the mafia. I think it's not quite so bad as that these days, but I'm sure it's still a fact of life.

In real life, the mob guys aren't as much fun as they are in the movies.

The swiftboaters both reported real things and made things up. Whatever worked. Was this one created by somebody different? Do you know who did it?

Looks to be an article in Newsday by one Craig Gordon. Both the paper and, from all appearances, the reporter are on the up and up.

Thanks -

It's been about 25 years since I lived there, but back in the day, if you had your garbage hauled.... you had extensive connections with the mafia.

was there the weekend before last. i can assure you, nobody's garbage is being hauled anywhere.

Hilzoy, didn't the swiftboaters come up with some facts mixed in with their other stuff? Like, wasn't it true that Kerry didn't ask for all his confidential military records be released? They acted like that meant he had damaging secrets there, and I assumed he did -- probably something like medical records showing he got gonorrhea, as so many servicemen did.

And didn't he claim to be in cambodia on christmas day, when there were official records that showed him somewhere else? Of course at the time we were saying we didn't have anybody at all in cambodia, and it isn't implausible there might be records showing him somewhere else, but they didn't just make the whole thing up.

And it's true that a lot of the people he worked with in vietnam were republicans who later were ready to publicly say they didn't like him. Some people got on that list who claimed they'd never put themselves on it, but most of them didn't.

They're calling it the Iraq Study Group, but what it was Giuliani quit was the Baker-Hamilton Commission, the guys who made the recommendation to negotiate with syria and iran and get out of iraq. Should Giuliani put his name on that report when he was completely opposed to its conclusions? I think he stepped on that landmine when he *joined* the commission, not when he resigned from it. Unless he decided to endorse the commission's results, which to my way of thinking would have been his best choice. Barring that, anything he did would be bad.

So why did the scandal break now instead of last spring? There might be technical reasons but the obvious possibility is that it makes more effective swiftboating now.

If it turns out it was democrats orchestrating this I'll be pleased. I'd much prefer that effective methods not be restricted to one republican faction.

OK, where is the sex?

Well there's Rudy's peccadilloes and treatment of his wife (probably the first time and last time I link to Townhall) There was also this in the paper of record.

One can't forget Kerik's love nest overlooking the WTC site.

Did I mention the cross-dressing?

Soundtrack, the floor is open for suggestions.

didn't the swiftboaters come up with some facts mixed in with their other stuff?

Yes, they did. It's a common rhetorical strategy for getting folks to believe lies.

The difference in this case is that there doesn't seem to be much dispute about the facts on the ground.

So why did the scandal break now instead of last spring?

Because he's running for President now. Prior to that, folks were far less interested in what Rudy did with his time.

Thanks -

Soundtrack, the floor is open for suggestions.

Hot child in the city
Runnin' wild and looking pretty
Young child, runnin' wild
Hot child in the city

LJ: Old news. This needs a new hot sex scandal. Soundtrack? That is tougher. I’m thinking Moody Blues for some reason.

I like Russell's though.

Speaking of soundtracks – HRC – “You and I” by Celine Dion? WTF?

More of my unsolicited political advise which is worth every penny I am paid for it: If you are running for president of the US, do not choose a campaign song written by a Canadian.

OCSteve,

Why? Choosing a song written by a Brit worked out OK for her husband.

Dantheman: True enough. But who do most Americans see as the “face” of Fleetwood Mac? I suspect that while most Americans know who Stevie Nicks is, few could tell you who Christine McVie is. And don’t forget that it was Stevie actually singing it.

Celine is very well known as a Canadian, the song was originally written for an Air Canada commercial, and it is Celine singing it. Very different situation IMO.

I could certainly be wrong, but I think this may be her first obvious gaffe. It might play well on the coasts, but I think that fly-over country may have issues with it. I think it is also a missed opportunity where the youth vote is concerned. We’ll see…

And don’t forget that it was Stevie actually singing it.

Don't Stop? That was Christie singing (with Lindsey), and Christie definitely wrote it.

s/Christie/Christine/g

And just to make Rudy's day a little bit worse: he may be having some competition he didn't expect.

Not that I think Mike Bloomberg really stands much, if any chance in the election: but having the spotlight turned on yet another NYC Mayor - and one who has done as good a job in that office as Giuliani without garnering anywhere near the negatives Rudy did - can't help his prospects.

I hate lacking blogohipness, so could you explain what "s/Christie/Christine/g" means? I understand the error being pointed out, but not the syntax used to do so.

so could you explain what "s/Christie/Christine/g" means?

that's the old-school vi way of doing a replacement. and 'vi' is a console-based text editor found on *nix systems. by today's standards, it's a clunky, difficult nightmare. back in the day, it rocked.

's' = 'substitute'

/first text / second text/ - obviously

the 'g' means 'global', replace all instances. without the 'g', it would only replace the first.

alternately , you can add things like 'i' (s/foo/bar/i) to replace while ignoring case.

i suppose i should add, that many other standard Unix apps, like sed and perl use similar substitution syntax.

(and, yes, my comma placement, is mostly random, today,)

Thanks. I figured it was something like that, though the answer was even more arcane than I expected.

It's not that she's Canadian that's the problem. It's that she's Celine Dion.

cleek: I was thinking of the inauguration – didn’t Stevie sang it there? Maybe not…

It's not that she's Canadian that's the problem. It's that she's Celine Dion.

It's not even THAT. It's that she's French-Canadian.

didn’t Stevie sang it there? Maybe not…

she sang it at the Clinton's farewell party. not sure about the inauguration, though (Google is stingy with that info).

The real reason Hillary's song is a bad choice is that it's a sucky song. I'm not a big fan of Don't Stop, but it doesn't suck nearly as hard and was done by not nearly as sucky artists. The Canadian thing is just what gets picked up on because of the suckiness of the song. If it were a good song, no one would care. If it were some other equally sucky song, people would find some other reason to pick on it. Think about high school. People with zits didn't get picked on for, say, having zits; they got picked on because people wanted to pick on them, and the zits were just a vehicle. Admittedly, the Canadian problem is a rather large zit, but still.

Yes, Don't Stop was sung at Clinton's inaugural ball, by the whole group, which reunited for the appearance. Don't make me do my Gary Farber imitation re: people not reading links.

The real reason Hillary's song is a bad choice is that it's a sucky song.

No, that's what makes it a good choice.

Seriously.

A "campaign song" is a song that, whatever it once meant, becomes a piece of white noise through repetition at too many crowded venues where all you wind up hearing are a few notes now and then. If it's a song you like, you'll come to hate it for being used like an advertising jingle.

Clinton picked a song that no one, SFAIK, ever had any deep affection for in the first place. Good for her.

So, hillzoy, I'm assuming because you linked to the New York Post's recapitulation of the Best Life Magazine article on Bernie Kerik, you didn't read the full, original, amazingly interesting article, available HERE, and you just paraphrased the Post's distorted adumbration, and used their description of it as "bizarre" to color your own conclusion "that it's written in a sort of 'Soap Opera Digest' style, and has content to match."

This is both unfair to Joseph Braude, the author of the article, who wrote a brilliant, well-researched, coherent, perceptive and thoughtful commentary on Kerik's life, past and present, and to Kerik as well, whose fall from grace isn't a bad soap opera, but a contemporary tragedy. The Post is notoriously sloppy in it's reportage: a newspaper that shouldn't be "read to be believed" - but read skeptically. If you had googled the original magazine article and read it, you probably would have abstained from posting the dialog you used in the comment, where Kerik is described as 'whining.' The copy actually reads: '"At least here in Jordan, I stand half a chance," (Kerik) says at the pit, as if to himself.'

Kerik's not whining, he's morbidly reflecting on his problems, on the way his life collapsed; nor is he anymore bizarre (as Braude presents him) then Hamlet musing: "When deep sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions." Kerik's got a lot on his mind. His world has spun out of control. It's a sad tale, really it is. Like Bill Clinton, he had a dysfunctional childhood - but with a far more horrendous outcome. He grew up in Newark, a working class neighborhood. His mother, a prostitute, abandoned him when he was young, and was murdered, probably by her pimp. A perennial truant, a brawler, a high-school drop-out, he joined the army, worked his way up the ranks in the military, afterwards as a corrections officer, then a NYPD narcotics detective, an undercover agent in South America, and eventually to head the New York Police department. It's all in the Braude article - a full, 3-D bio, not a smug cut-em-down-at-the-ankles niggling hatchet job for political advantage.

Kerik made some bad choices - no doubt about it; kickbacks are unethical and illegal, even though it's unclear who benefited from them, if anyone; but overall, he's not an ogre; he's a street guy who came up through hard times, rose high in the world, and fell hard. Before that, during the 9/11 disaster, he performed his job bravely, coolly, competently. All things considered, he would have been a better, smarter, more effective director of homeland security than the two other dweebs Bush appointed. He reminds me of one of the characters in George Pelecano's new novel, The Night Gardener -- a tough, boorish, conniving ex-cop who was forced to resign because of alleged unethical improprieties, but nevertheless is impelled to righteously hunt down a serial killer. This is an ethical tightrope many people of Kerick's background have navigated, some successfully, some not so. In the big picture, however, he's not much of a scoundrel. The money he manipulated to his advantage (a loan, and improvements to his house) are small potatoes compared to the money Hillary made 'with a little help from her friends' - and if the accusation that he had sex with a woman in an apartment overlooking Ground Zero is true, that's a good thing: sex banishes the blues, you know, and in a small way may have helped dispel some of the miasma of doom hovering there. The fact that he bopped some babe there shouldn't offend anyone anymore than Bill Clinton getting complimentary blow jobs under the desk in the oval office.

Anyway that's my take on it.

Jay Jerome,
If your view is the 'correct' one, than it puts Guiliani, the topic of Hilzoy's post, in an even worse light. One expects a leader to have an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the people he turns to for support, and it seems that Guiliani only liked Kerik for his resume rather than any of the qualities you suggests he has. Furthermore, he placed him in a situation where is weak points would be exacerbated and his strengths diminished. So your correction of hilzoy seems to only strengthen her main point.

Kerik made some bad choices - no doubt about it

Kerik was apparently a very brave cop, and was very effective in dramatically cutting down the level of violence at Riker's. All good things.

He took services from a company where his brother and best friend worked, and steered government work their way. That's illegal.

He lied to the FBI and recorded phone conversations without the consent of the other party. Also against the law.

I don't think the love vibes generated by his adulterous affair with conservative publisher Judy Nathan in an apartment reserved for 9/11 workers has really done much to erase the horror of Ground Zero. Just my opinion.

Character is fate. Bernie's problems are of his own making.

At any rate, he's got a great career in high-end security consulting ahead of him. He'll be great at it, and he'll make buckets of money. Many, many millions. At the end of the day, he'll come home to his 7500 square foot mansion in NJ, crack open a cold one, and kick back with his loyal dog Duke.

I'm sorry, but I don't see the tragic ending to his story. As far as I can tell, he's done well. Lots of folks have done time for lesser things than he's plead guilty for. He's sitting on top of the world.

And, for the record, I don't get how Bernie Kerik is any kind of big deal, or any kind of super 9/11 hero. As far as I can tell, he did nothing more than thousands of other folks did that day, and quite a bit less than quite a number of them.

Anyway, that's my take on it.

Thanks -

I don't think the love vibes generated by his adulterous affair with conservative publisher Judy Nathan in an apartment reserved for 9/11 workers has really done much to erase the horror of Ground Zero.

Agreed -- but the publisher was actually Judith Regan. Judy Nathan is Mrs. Rudy Giuliani No. 3.

Or maybe it was Judy Miller. These things all run together.

The Starr beauty is the one whether he's still sleeping with her or not, ...that Rudy should bring to the podium to introduce him. She is dynamically a First Lady in multiple ways of what he calls leadership. Seriously a leader of getting into the genuiness of mankind. Maybe they should do the cover shoot at the Peninsula NYC at Fives......they dine nicely there.

Rudy Giuliani...this man has no integrity, he is cunning and sly, he has friends and family in the mob, hes screwed innocent people over as a prosecutor, and he is absolutely no one we should be considering for such a high position as president of the United States. When I see the media in a frenzy and pushing a mobster on us like some drug, saying how he should be the president..its scary, I mean this is something too good for Hollywood. But of course, the media treat everything like some joke and game, I mean literally they announce the presidential race like its some ball game or something, this is serious serious stuff here! The media should be ashamed, as should anyone who supports Giuliani, or anyone besides Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich...candidates that stand for real change.

i am 99 years old and i think, that if you are going to go around putting shame to peoples name than you are not a very good sport in the presidential race. Rudy only declined the invitation... im sure you would NEVER have onther commitments and have to cancel on someone... RIGHT?

i am 99 years old and i think, that if you are going to go around putting shame to peoples name than you are not a very good sport in the presidential race. Rudy only declined the invitation... im sure you would NEVER have onther commitments and have to cancel on someone... RIGHT?

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