The Curse of the Cubic Zirconia

A mostly political Weblog.
Dec. 20 2004 3:09 AM

The Curse of the Cubic Zirconia

Baubles and Bangle too.

(Continued from Page 6)

I Want to Spend More Time With My Nanny: Everyone ( WaPo, NYT, LAT, Polipundit!) suggests that Bernard Kerik's problem with "the immigration status of a person who had been in my employ as a housekeeper and nanny" was not the full reason for his withdrawal from Bush's cabinet. Is "I have a nanny problem" the new resignation smokescreen of choice, replacing "I want to spend more time with my family"? The latter phrase has become such an implausible cliche it's lost all utility--it's practically a red flag signalling "I have a big problem I'm not telling you about." Use it and people will laugh at you--and immediately start digging. But the Nanny Excuse is perfectly calibrated to the times: Employing an undocumented nanny isn't a big sin--not serious enough offense to derail your career in the private sector. Yet it's still regarded as a plausible and sufficient reason for abruptly abandoning a government position. No need to look any further! Just another nanny problem! 'Joins a long line of nominees, starting with Clinton appointee Zoe Baird ...'--you know the drill. ... P.S.:WaPo, it should be noted, hints Kerik's problems did center on his nanny, but more on his failure to play it straight with the Bushies than the mere fact that he had employed her:

A Republican source said some White House officials found it highly suspicious that Kerik was not aware of a potential problem with a nanny who left the country very recently.

Update: Hosenball moves the story in Newsweek. He suspects the ...er, arrest warrant was the final straw for the White House. ...More: Kerik-backer Rudolph Giuliani highlights the probe-stopping virtue of the Nanny Excuse in the NYT:

"Whenever this happens, there is always the idea that it must be something else, it must be something else," Mr. Giuliani said. "But that is when there is not a good reason. This is a good reason."

Every public figure should keep at least one illegal housekeeper around, just in case! ... 1:55 A.M.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Thanks to Josh Marshall for drawing attention to Ed Kilgore's sharp New Donkey blog, which today chops up American Prospect's latest call for "class-based populism." ... 12:48 A.M.

The "30-year tradition" of Iowa's first-in-the nation caucuses is in jeopardy! That can't be. After all they've done for the party. ... 12:37 A.M.

Thursday, December 9, 2004

It's Solutions Week at kausfiles! ... Problem: Hamid Karzai may be the new elected president of Afghanistan, but much of his country's economy is based on cultivating opium poppies for the illegal heroin trade. Various warlords (and, apparently the Taliban) are using drug profits to in effect challenge Karzai's government. ... Development: New strains of genetically modified poppies produce medicines, not opium. Other strains produce non-opiate painkillers. ... Solution: Get the Afghan farmers to plant these kinds of poppies. Duh! ... 8:48 P.M.

Forget Hoy! The L.A. Times becomes a free paper--almost: I just subscribed to the "prize-winning" Los Angeles Times for $1 a week (for 20 weeks) ... "Holiday Special" ... At least they're not desperate! ... 2:04 P.M.

  Slate Plus
Slate Archives
Dec. 22 2014 3:01 PM Slate Voice: “Santa Should Not Be a White Man Anymore” Aisha Harris reads her piece on giving St. Nick a makeover.