Well, no, your government won't. But in the end, you will. Or your kids will. As The Washington Post reports:

The Pentagon has prepared an unprecedented emergency spending plan totaling nearly $100 billion-as much as $30 billion more than expected as recently as October--say senior defense officials and congressional budget aides. About $14 billion of that would go to repairing, replacing and upgrading an increasingly frayed arsenal.
This is, of course, "new" money, on top of the $80 billion already spent. Meanwhile, seven Marines died yesterday--a number that would have raised an eyebrow a year ago. We have all but given up looking for Osama bin Laden. Afghani opium crops are at record levels. And if the "wrong" kind of Muslims win the Iraqi election next month--if it is, indeed, next month--Iraqi women can expect the new Spring fashion to start with the burka.

Before we leave this topic, a shout-out to the patriots at Armor Holdings, who unblinkingly told reporters they would happily increase production of armor kits for Humvees if the government would ask. Guaranteed these guys are going to take a hit for opening their mouths. I fully expect to read--and quite soon--that other companies have stepped forward to manufacture these kits.

And a giant raspberry for Fox News, which had only one interest in this story-- attacking the reporter who encouraged the soldier to confront Rumsfeld.

Homeland Security: The Meaning of Bernie Kerik


Most of you don't live in New York City, so you may be forgiven for thinking that Rudy Giuliani is some kind of hero--"America's Mayor." Too bad I can't turn the calendar back to 9/10, so you could see him as we did: a loser, liar and a philanderer. As Jimmy Breslin recalled:

As the mayor, he had a detective driving one of his girlfriends out of the Gracie Mansion driveway while another detective was arriving with another girlfriend and was waved off to prevent a domestic riot. All the while upstairs there were his wife and children.
Bernie Kerik, who last week withdrew his name from consideration for Homeland Security Secretary, did not escape Breslin's attention:

Giuliani also had a flunky, Bernard Kerik...Kerik was a Giuliani campaign chauffeur who became police commissioner. How marvelous! At the World Trade Center, Kerik was in the back of his car dictating the last part of a book that was going to appear under his name. It had him writhing with delicious excitement. It was about his mother being a prostitute.

"That's what's going to make me all the money," he told a friend of mine.Kerik and Giuliani used public service to bully underlings and--just for the hell of it--abuse the privilege of office. Once in the private sector, they set about lining their pockets, their reward for decades of government-grade pay. Kerik made millions in a stock deal in which he put up no money. He is alleged to have taken cash from a pal who is described in some circles as "mobbed-up." And, like Giuliani, he found one--or even two--women insufficient. From The New York Daily News:

Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik conducted two extramarital affairs simultaneously, using a secret Battery Park City apartment for the passionate liaisons, the Daily News has learned.

The first relationship, spanning nearly a decade, was with city Correction Officer Jeanette Pinero; the second, and more startling, was with famed publishing titan Judith Regan.As for his "patriotism"--Kerik went to Iraq to train police last year--Newsweek reports:

On his screen saver, Kerik had a photo of a big house he had just bought in New Jersey that he said was across the street from former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms's. Kerik told his colleagues he planned to be in Baghdad for three months while the house was undergoing renovations. "So," the official says he told Kerik, "you're here because you needed a place to go while they're doing renovations on your house." Kerik grinned and cocked a finger as if to say, "You got it." A spokesman for Kerik said that story was "absurd."
Now, what is the point of discussing this on a spiritual site?

One, because morality and spirituality are first cousins, if not brother-and-sister. We want our public officials to be like our clergy: models of probity. They're role models, we look up to them. Yes, we know they're human, but for the period they hold office, we expect them to be governed by their higher angels.