Bye Bye Bernie

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In a two-sentence e-mail released at 10 p.m. Friday, the White House announced that Bernie Kerik won't be the next Homeland Security chief after all. Doug Ireland has a roundup of reasons why.

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  1. Dude,
    There is nothing wrong with hiring an illegal immigrant as a maid. I would do it if I had the chance.

  2. Um, maid, nanny, whatever.

  3. I can think up three reasons not having to do “the immigration debate” why Kerik continuing to have an illegal alien nanny would be a bad idea. Can you do better?

    Doesn’t Doug Ireland write for the L.A. Weekly or something? Couldn’t you find a better link? It was certainly action-packed, but surely a few links with the similar information from other sources might be a bit more credible.

    As for Kerik’s possible replacement, let’s hope Asa Hutchinson is no longer in the running.

  4. I don’t think the immigration/nanny issue disqualifies anyone from heading DHS, the LoneWacko contingent aside, any more than infidelities or not-inhaling disqualified Clinton from being the President.

    However, If even half of the other reasons Ireland listed are true, then the question isn’t why Kerick can’t head Homeland Security, the question is why the Bush Administration would nominate him in the first place. What a blunder!

    If the Administration was so incompetent about vetting this nominee, it very well may have been equally incompetent in vetting others. So my next question is: Does Gonzales have any skeletons in his closet?

    …other than the obvious Torture Memo, that is.

  5. Zoe Baird, thou art avenged!

  6. Ken,

    “If the Administration was so incompetent about vetting this nominee, it very well may have been equally incompetent in vetting others. So my next question is: Does Gonzales have any skeletons in his closet?”

    Good point. That was my first thought — what a miserable job of vetting. How could they have missed all of those issues? They must have been banking on the Giuliani recommendation preempting any detailed examination of his past.

  7. the question is why the Bush Administration would nominate him in the first place

    Presumably because Rudy Giuliani lobbied hard on Kerik’s behalf, and Bush owes Giuliani for his support during the campaign.

    The deal-killer was the nanny, which would make it hard for Bush to keep his party’s Lonewackos on board. Kerik could have weathered the other scandals easily enough.

  8. Great job of vetting. Might I suggest this guy for the post. He couldn’t be any less appropriate a choice.

  9. I thought Zoe Baird got her “revenge” when Bushs first Department of Labor appointee got similarly torpedoed.

  10. How do all these people have illegal immigrant maids and nannies? Heck, how do they have maids and nannies in the first place? I just have a messy house.

  11. I love this. Kerik has a resume mired in petty scandal after corrupt scandal, an abandoned Korean love child, dealings with the Saudi Royal Family, allegations of police brutality, and on and on. Its almost a joke just how self serving and corupt this guy is. I can only think that Bush picked him for reasons of personal affection, and didn’t bother to check with the FBI or his political advisors before nominating him.

    Yet Kerik goes on TV and says he is withdrawing because of his poor undocumented Nanny who loves his children. Now the Right in this country is screaming about the left wing hate machine tearing down a devoted public official. Unbelievable.

  12. Yeah, great choice on that link, Jesse

  13. The deal-killer was the nanny, which would make it hard for Bush to keep his party’s Lonewackos on board.

    I don’t often stand up for the Lonewacko, but this characterization is a crock. He’s up to head the department charged with overseeing not only all immigration but all movement into and out of the United States; even if it were not a woefully dysfunctional department that recently detained an 81-year-old Baptist minister with a valid visa until he died, the DHS needs an unimpeachable hand at the top. It doesn’t take an anti-immigration wacko to perceive that Kerik’s failure to follow the rules with an out-of-status employee is a straightforward dealbreaker. If the head of the IRS cheats on his taxes, you don’t need a debate about the rightness or wrongness of the income tax to understand that he shouldn’t be holding that job.

  14. Perhaps I’m desensitized. In large swathes of LA, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach for instance, there aren’t many multi-child households that don’t have an illegal immigrant as a nanny. Indeed, the view from here is that having a Homeland Security chief with an illegal alien as a nanny is no worse than having a police chief with a traffic ticket.

    Once again, I’m willing to admit that this view may be skewed.

    However, I would also reiterate that having cheated on his wife, Bill Clinton, in spite of the “family values” theme, didn’t have to go the way of Gary Hart. Likewise, ‘fessin’ up to having smoked a little ganga didn’t stop Clinton from becoming the person responsible for setting and enforcing the nation’s drug policy.

    If Clinton had abandoned a love child in Korea, on the other hand, all my bets would have been off.

    P.S. I think it was Feinstein who had the same problem at one point–I forget. I know that Feinstein isn’t up for Homeland Security chief; my point is that, for most of the people here in California, havin’ an undocumented nanny is no big deal relative to the other charges.

  15. How hard would it have been to get a legal nanny? Do people not want the job because they can make more money doing something better? Is the cost of labor so high that a nanny is just not affordable? I really don’t care about him breaking a few senseless laws, but it is interesting that the labor market is so tight that people can’t find a good nanny for a reasonable price.

  16. Indeed, the view from here is that having a Homeland Security chief with an illegal alien as a nanny is no worse than having a police chief with a traffic ticket.

    Yeah, that’s pretty much how it seems to me too. His nanny problem is only a “dealbreaker” for the people who feel strongly about keeping illegal-immigrant workers out of the country. Most of those people, it seems to me, are Republicans, which is why (IMO) the nanny issue was the deal-breaker for Kerik. Yeah, he might also have been crooked or incompetent, but he had the Rudy Seal of Approval, which counts for quite a lot in political terms.

  17. I’d never even considered the possibility that the nanny excuse was genuine until Tim’s post. Kerik was just such an awful choice, with such a dreadful backstory, that I just assumed he was walking through the first door he passed. But that opens up the possibility that they knew about the other stuff, and decided to put him in charge of Homeland Security anyway.

    Bush’s willingness to nominate this dud demonstrates the importance he attaches to Homeland Security. Kerik was a good choice to be a cabinet secretary, Bush stated openly at the announcement, because of the imagery associated with him. And they expected everyone to say ok.

  18. Ken,
    I think it was Pete Wilson you are thinking of. I lived in CA at the time (early 90’s) And Pete was thinking of running for president. One of the things that came out about him was a whole troop of illegal immigrants that worked for him.

    At the time I believed that illegal immigration was a bad thing.

    Now I am with Highway.
    I have a messy house. (when I go back home it wll most likely become messy)I will know I have finally made it, when I have an illegal alien maid. Preferably a hot one.

  19. (I am not saying that Highway wants to hire an illegal immigrant, just that my house is messy like his, for want of a maid)

  20. Homeland Security Dept… or how to turn a tragedy, motivated by an interventionist government foreign policy, into an excuse for another needless, wasteful government rip-off of the taxpayers. See the thread above: “New Yawk as Porkopolis–and Typical, All-Too-Typical”

  21. I don’t often stand up for the Lonewacko, but this characterization is a crock.

    I thank you for your support. However, perhaps you might want to a) do some research on my positions, and b) read my comment again. The head of the DHS employing an illegal alien is only part of the problem. As I alluded to, there are other problems with such a scheme not related to ethical problems or hypocrisy.

    It doesn’t take an anti-immigration wacko to perceive that Kerik’s failure to follow the rules with an out-of-status employee is a straightforward dealbreaker.

    How so am I “anti-immigration”? Perhaps you should spend some time reading some of my posts on immigration matters.

  22. Lonewacko,

    I’m too effing lazy to read your entire blog but a Google search on “star.cde.ca.gov lonewacko” comes up empty. You’re blog doesn’t have ‘search’ button I could find it that way.

    I think that a look through the referenced CA test results reveals that the massive immigration coming from Mexico is creating major social problem, and a more ominous gene pool problem.

    The CA test results reveal the opposite effect WRT immigration from Asia.

    I don’t see how anyone could be either pro-immigration or anti-immigration and ignore this information.

    D’nesh Dsouza correctly and succintly calls this evasion (from memory) ‘playing around the corpse on the tennis court’.

  23. What if you’re pro-legal-immigration and anti-illegal-immigration? Does that make you a wacko? What if you oppose immigration because you know that most immigrants have a lot of kids that citizens are forced to support using their tax dollars?

    Maybe I’m a wacko, but this describes me. I don’t mind immigrants. Actually, I’ve known and liked many. (My wife is a LEGAL immigrant.) I like hispanics a lot. I’m a native Californian and hispanics seem to belong here. But I do oppose having to pay for the education and health care of immigrant children (as well as the children of citizens, to be fair). I firmly belive that if you have a child and cannot FULLY support that child, you are a thief. This is no different than expecting people to support themselves and pay for their own health care and retirement. If you can but don’t take care of yourself, thus making yourself a burden upon others, you are a scumbag thief. Period!

  24. I don’t think you qualify as an anti-immigrant wacko Bill. You don’t like payin’ for other people’s kids regardless of their race, creed, color or national origin. Besides, there are other qualifications. I think you have to propagate something virtually indistinguishabe from xenophobia week after week or, maybe, you could just suggest that standardized test scores show that certain immigrant races are geneticaly inferior.

    …But I don’t know; I’m certainly not an expert on the subject.

  25. I assume the next nominee will be much better at not getting caught.

    I wonder what impact, if any, this might have on Giuliani’s credibility.

  26. Isn’t there anyone from Boston they could nominate? That’s a pretty clean, good government, no corruption kind of city, isn’t it?

  27. I am thinking that the ideal next candidate would be Lieberman. Because he agrees with Bush in the GWOT, and he is a big Israel supporter.

    Also, him leaving what he does and going to the cabinet would be a chance to get another R legislator. And who would go after him about his past? Not the democrats, and not the republicans.

    Whenever I eventually get nominated for something big. I am going to flaunt the illegal immigrant that by then hopefully I will have employed

  28. The local news here in CT seemed to be all over the idea that Lieberman would be the best choice for Bush…..

  29. Judith Regan!!??!!

    My Man!!

  30. Ken Schulz to Bill:

    “or, maybe, you could just suggest that standardized test scores show that certain immigrant races are geneticaly inferior.”

    There is nothing to ‘suggest’ here. Screw political correctness.

    Asian immigrants just plain clobber Hispanic (which is not a racial designation) immigrants across the board on standardized tests.

    Yes, unless you have some other long-winded explanation, the set of recent Asians who immigrate to the US, are, in the area of intelligence, genenetically superior to the like set of Hispanic immigrants.

  31. Judith is another right wing Fox Network hypocrite. She called Clinton and Lewinsky “amoral”–now she’s caught doing the same thing. Here are quotes she said a few years ago:
    ………………………………

    “Here’s Hillary standing by her man all these years and allowing him to behave in this reprehensible fashion.

    “Look at Monica Lewinsky talking about being suicidal, being on antidepressants, gaining this huge amount of weight. This is a woman who has suffered because she has no depth of feeling and no morality whatsoever.

    “It’s alarming to me that the country is not concerned about having an amoral man in the White House.

    “The thing that’s missing from “Monica’s Story” is deep thinking about her own amorality, which we saw — was in ample evidence during the Barbara Walters love fest the other night. Here’s a woman who clearly knows a lot about sex, but knows nothing about right and wrong.

    “One thing remarkable is her utter lack of sincere remorse. I would say she is a true soulmate of Bill Clinton

    “I think that we are in terrible shape. That has to do with male behavior.

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