gilly-cake.JPGDear Readers:

Yesterday was arch-blogger Steve Gilliard’s forty-third birthday. Unfortunately, he’s no longer on the planet, but somewhere his spirit must be having one heck of a laugh over the ginormous birthday prezzies he’s received, courtesy of Bernie Kerik, Judith Regan and Rudy Giuliani.

Let’s start with Ms. Regan, shall we?

Judith Regan, the former book publisher, says in a lawsuit filed today protesting her dismissal by the News Corporation, the media conglomerate, that a senior executive there encouraged her to lie to federal investigators about her past affair with Bernard B. Kerik after he had been nominated to become homeland security secretary in late 2004.

Wham! Ah, but it gets better:

Ms. Regan had an affair with Mr. Kerik, who is married, beginning in the spring of 2001, when her imprint, ReganBooks, began work on his memoir, “The Lost Son.” In December 2004, after the relationship had ended and shortly after Mr. Kerik’s homeland security nomination fell apart, newspapers reported that the two had carried on the affair at an apartment near ground zero that had been donated as a haven for rescue and recovery workers.

Mr. Kerik, who said he had withdrawn his nomination because of problems with his hiring of a nanny, was indicted last week on federal tax fraud and other charges.

Ah, yes, Mr. Kerik. Such a charming, upstanding guy.

It’s so funny to see Rudy scrambling to distance himself from Bernie, when he was once so tight with the guy he named a jail after him:

First, Giuliani made Kerik – who used to drive him around on weekends – correction commissioner in New York, after Kerik had run one jail in his life, in Passaic County. Then Giuliani made him police commissioner, though Kerik had just a total of eight years on the books as a cop.

So there was Bernie Kerik in charge of the NYPD when the planes hit on Sept. 11, and suddenly he was perceived to be almost as brave and noble as his boss just by standing there next to him. Suddenly, there was this idea that the two of them had somehow looked terrorism in the eye and stared it down, when neither one of them did anything of the kind. All they did was help pick up the pieces along with everybody else.

Three months later, The Tombs became the “Bernard B. Kerik Complex.” The first city jail ever to be turned into a shrine. For Bernie Kerik. Who now gets indicted for conspiracy and mail fraud and wire fraud and filing false tax returns and making false statements to the government and putting phony information on a loan application. Tammany Hall produced cops like this.

Which of course brings us back to Rudy:

t is worth noting that these indictments run through Kerik’s career working alongside the current front-runner for the Republican nomination for President like a broken-field back in football. Run from the time when Kerik was Giuliani’s correction commissioner, through his time as police commissioner, through the time when Kerik went into business with Giuliani in his security firm, Giuliani Partners.

The government’s book on Kerik, the one U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia officially threw at him the other day, goes right through the time when Giuliani picked up the phone and called President Bush and did everything but nominate Kerik as secretary of Homeland Security all by himself.

When Giuliani is questioned about all that now, he sounds so weak you can imagine him blowing away in a strong wind, making it sound as if everything he missed on Kerik was some slight “vetting” problem.

If Giuliani couldn’t see whom he had riding in the car with him, backseat or front seat, then what does he see when he looks around at the people closest to him?

Corrupt gunsels? Or is that just when he looks in the mirror?

That sound you hear is Giuliani’s campaign circling the drain.

Oh, and because Gilly the Mets fan would insist: Bleep the bleepin’ Yankees!

(Graphic adapted from this original photo by spcummings, published under a Creative Commons license.)