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*** UPDATED x2 *** OK, this is really starting to creep me out

Thursday, Jun 17, 2010

* Through the looking glass, straight into the Twilight Zone.

As the New York Times reports today, Congressman Mark Kirk has long talked about his experience as a teacher…

In a speech on the House floor on Sept. 19, 2006, as he talked about school safety, Mr. Kirk spoke about “the kids who were the brightest lights of our country’s future, and I also remember those who bore scrutiny as people who might bring a gun to class.”

Kirk’s campaign told the NYT that the congressman’s school safety floor speech referred to his one semester working at a nursery school at Forest Home Chapel in Ithaca, N.Y.

Forest Home Chapel is not exactly in a crime-ridden ghetto where nursery school kids regularly tote AK-47s…

Ithaca’s crime rate is pretty darned low, in fact.

Perhaps even worse, nobody from Kirk’s staff could provide documentation that he actually worked at the nursery…

The campaign did not provide verification, and it could not be independently confirmed. A longtime member of the church who had a son in the nursery around the same time said she did not recall any male teachers.

The conservatives are gonna love this one. The chapel appears to be a very liberal house of worship. From its “Who we are” page

We joyfully receive for ourselves and others the blessings of community, sexuality, marriage and the family.

We commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, and people with disabilities; the improvement of the quality of life; and the rights and dignity of racial, ethnic and religious minorities.

We believe in the right and duty of persons to work for the glory of God and the good of themselves and others, and in the protection of their welfare in so doing; the rights to property as a trust from God; collective bargaining and responsible consumption; and the elimination of economic and social distress.

* And then there’s this

In a House Budget Committee hearing five years earlier, shortly after Mr. Kirk arrived in Congress, he talked about his time as “a teacher, both nursery and middle school.” He added, “I did leave the teaching profession, but if we had addressed some of the teacher development issues, which I want to raise with you, I might have stayed.”

Mr. Kirk left Milestone College in 1983 and began working on the staff of an Illinois congressman, John Porter, the following year and did not return to teaching.

Milestone College, a prep school, was in London, England. Not in the United States. He worked there a year after he finished his master’s degree.

* We are now in some very bizarre, dark territory in this US Senate campaign.

Mark Kirk is an accomplished, decorated Naval veteran who blew that reputation out of the water with unfathomable exaggerations about his military record. He’s an intellectual graduate of the London School of Economics who lied about his experience with liberal nursery school students carrying guns.

These accusations against Mark Kirk are no longer about mere “embellishments” or “exaggerations.” This campaign is now about whether anything he says is true, and why.

* By the way, the NYT article was perfectly timed. The Illinois Education Association is holding endorsement meetings with both Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias this week. The IEA endorsed Kirk in the primary, but not Giannoulias. If this latest NYT story kills the IEA nod for Kirk, it’ll be yet another headache for that embattled campaign.

…Adding… From a morning press release…

After one month of waiting for Alexi Giannoulias to file his Personal Financial Disclosure with the Senate Ethics Committee, the Kirk for Senate campaign today called on Alexi Giannoulias to tell voters the truth about what happened to Broadway Bank and end his “Blagojevich-style” concealment tactics with regard to his personal finances.

In a statement to the Chicago Tribune yesterday explaining why Mr. Giannoulias failed to file his ethics disclosure on May 17th, the Giannoulias campaign said the candidate wants to have a “more accurate picture of his personal finances, which have changed considerably since the sale of Broadway Bank.”

*** UPDATE 1 *** From an Illinois GOP press release…

The New York Times rebutted accusations by Alexi Giannoulias’ campaign that Congressman Mark Kirk had not been a teacher. The Times’ London Bureau confirmed reports that Mark Kirk did serve as a full-time teacher at the Milestone School in London for the academic year 1982-1983. In addition, Kirk worked as a nursery school teacher in Ithaca, New York as part of his senior-year work-study program at Cornell University.

“While Mark Kirk has worked as a teacher and backed education reforms in Congress, Alexi Giannoulias wiped out $70 million in Bright Start college savings,” Kirk campaign spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski said. “When it comes to education, Illinois voters have an easy choice in this election.”

This release is nonsensical. The Giannoulias campaign didn’t say that Kirk had not been a teacher. But notice that they still have not provided any confirmation about that nursery school gig.

*** UPDATE 2 *** This is what passes for “analysis” at NBC5’s blog…

In his effort to catch Kirk in another lie, Giannoulias overreached and exposed a piece of Kirk’s biography that adds to the breadth of his experience. Teaching — especially nursery school — is not a pursuit normally associated with conservatives. It also shows a side of Kirk quite opposed to the he-man Naval officer he’s been trying to portray himself as.

Yeah. That’s the “real” take-away here. Kirk was a nursery school teacher.

The only reason I even mention that goofy piece is because the Kirk campaign sent it over a few minutes ago.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

144 Comments
  1. - bored now - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:43 am:

    have you reached the “ick” factor yet, rich?


  2. - KeepSmiling - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:45 am:

    What he meant to say was “… who might prefer a cup to a glass”.


  3. - "Clerks" fan - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:46 am:

    We can now officially call him “Commander Kirk of the Starship Enterprise” … he is boldly (or stupidly) going where now US Senate candidate has gone before.


  4. - Deep South - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:47 am:

    I’ve asked this question before, and now I’ll ask it again.

    How close is this guy to toast?


  5. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:48 am:

    There are Republicans who feel obligated to support Kirk out of partisanship or their antipathy for Democrats or Giannoulias.

    But look at the comments on Illinois Review and the lack of defending Kirk on Team America.

    Kirk’s most likely winning scenario is that he challenges every independent and new party candidate off the ballot, the Trib and S-T continue to hammer on Giannoulias and LeAlan Jones get 30+% of the vote.

    Kirk might be able to get in the upper 30s and win in a three-way race.

    Who is going to be talking-up Kirk with their family, friends, co-workers, etc? People who care about politics aren’t going to want to expend their credibility talking-up a pathological liar.


  6. - Ghost - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:49 am:

    Kirk Self destruct in 3…2…1….

    And Kirk is the strongest canidate the GOP could field. Not to mentionall that drooling over capturing Obama’s seat etc…

    I assume Kirk is demnading Plummer disclose his tax returns and end Ryan/GOP style conealment tactics. Not to mention the former GOP head concealing misues of funds etc…


  7. - FillB - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:50 am:

    Seriously, Ithaca’s politics are in the Hyde Park- Oak Park- Evanston range. And it is fairly well-to-do. The idea of a nursery schooler bringing a gun to class is…well there isn’t a word for it, because all this is is more of Mark Kirk’s ridiculous personal mythmaking being exposed.

    Theater of the absurd.


  8. - Highland, IL - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:51 am:

    IR has posted a press release from the IL Republican Party confirming Kirk’s education resume. Who’s right?


  9. - Aldyth - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:52 am:

    That is one scary nursery school. Did Kirk spend time living in an alternative universe? Possibly appearing in an episode of Lost?


  10. - Independent - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:53 am:

    If reached the “ick factor” with both Giannoulias and Kirk. The problem is each sees the other as so badly wounded there is no incentive for either to drop out. It will be a nasty race to the bottom.


  11. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:53 am:

    BTW, Randy Stufflebeam got 19,000+ votes as a write-in against Blagojevich and JBT 2006. Even if Kirk knocks Mike Niecestro and Stufflebeam off the ballot, I suspect Stufflebeam will get significantly more votes as a write-in this time around.

    It’s much easier to organize with Facebook now and people are looking for alternatives.


  12. - Reality Check - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:54 am:

    Mark Kirk or Tommy Flanagan?

    Yeah, that’s the ticket.


  13. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:55 am:

    So because he wasn’t a teacher in a school with a teacher’s union, that doesn’t count as being a real teacher? That “very liberal” mission statement of the church could mirror any Catholic school in the state. As for the critism of the Ithaca statement, just because a town has a lower crime rate doesn’t mean staff and parents have no worries about violence in school. Columbine/Littleton Colorado is a pretty afluent area with a low crime rate too.


  14. - Independent - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:55 am:

    Pardon, “I reached….”


  15. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:55 am:

    a thousand cuts…


  16. - Robert - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    I had been a big fan of Kirk until the serial lying came out.

    Maybe Alexi has been silent because he’s hoping Kirk will claim to have served as a Broadway Bank president?


  17. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    Thank you all for finally grasping the clearly obvious when it comes to CommandoKirk - Fibber 1st Class. Anybody ring up the London School of Economics to see how the Commando did there?
    How about the time sheets for Cong Porter’s office?
    Just asking


  18. - 10th Indy - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:58 am:

    Seriously? 18 graphs in the NYTimes because Kirk said he was a teacher and he really was a teacher?


  19. - shore - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:58 am:

    for 8 years during the clinton administration we were told that character does not matter, results do. The democrats told us that affairs with 23 year olds were ok because the country was creating jobs. The fact is that the united states is facing ridiculous challenges right now and Congressman Kirk as even his detractors have admitted is head and shoulders above his opponent who will get absolutely destroyed in every debate and editorial board meeting this fall by Mr. Kirk who is head and shoulders above him, mr. burris and mrs. braun.

    There are some “exaggerations” if you will in his resume but there are none in Alexi’s background because he does not have any policy or naval experience beyond this treasurer gig which let’s face it most Illinoisans have no idea what it does.

    Illinois needs grownups and leaders with ideas of which there is no dispute Congressman Kirk has many.

    That’s what this campaign is about.

    not some nursery school employment records.


  20. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:58 am:

    ===Columbine/Littleton Colorado is a pretty afluent area with a low crime rate too.===

    LOL.

    We’re talking about a church nursery school here. Get with the program, man.


  21. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:59 am:

    “You see that flash of light in the corner of your eye? That’s your career dissipation light. It just went into high gear.”


  22. - JP - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:00 am:

    The unstated issue is that Alexi plays for keeps. Whoever is doing is Oppo should get an medal for the way they have been teasing this “misstatement” meme out. By the time Labor Day rolls out and people start paying attention, everyone will think Mark Kirk, He’s that guy who lies on his resume.

    Not sure it’s enough to stop the Broadway Bank steamroller, but I didn’t think Alexi would even get this far.


  23. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:03 am:

    BTW, any rank-and-file Republicans a annoyed that the establishment discouraged the viable alternatives from running against Kirk?

    Maybe some of Kirk’s “issues” would have come out in a real primary?

    BTW, what’s the deal with the Republicans in the U.S. House delegation. I can buy that Aaron Schock is too new to have gotten a handle on Kirk. And maybe Judy Biggert is just phoning it in. She’s pretty old and not particularly influential.

    But what about John Shimkus,Peter Roskam, Tim Johnson and Don Manzullo? They had no idea that Kirk was a phony and pathological liar?

    Shimkus is a grad of the U.S. Military Academy in Westpoint, NY. None of Kirk’s stories sounded fishy to Shimkus?


  24. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:03 am:

    ==We’re talking about a church nursery school here. Get with the program, man. ==

    You inferred that the statement was out there because the town had a low crime rate, and as such there aren’t any real worries about guns in school. Parents, yes even in preschools these days, worry about their kids’ safety. If you’re dense enough not to believe so, then I suggest you heed your own advice and get with the program.


  25. - zatoichi - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:03 am:

    Kirk seems like a very smart, accomplished guy who for some reason has an continual need to prove how he scores a Nigel Tufnel 11 when 10 works for everyone. Must be a real hard habit to break by now.


  26. - Heartless Libertarian - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:04 am:

    Are we sure Scott Lee Cohen is actually going to file for governor…? Seems like the Senate race is a perfect fit….


  27. - bored now - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:09 am:

    Anon 10:55 am: this isn’t a question about whether kirk has been a teacher (however you want to define it), but whether kirk can be honest. perhaps honesty and integrity are held in low regard by kirk’s supporters, but it’s certainly a gamble to think that they are so easily disgarded by the electorate.

    even in illinois.

    shore: it’s clear that you have incredibly low standards. but since you appear to contend that results matter, what has kirk done? i mean, besides exaggerate about everything.

    kirk isn’t “head and shoulders above his opponent,” he’s a pathetic washington insider who can’t tell us the truth. i can easily support the candidate with ideas — alexi giannoulias — and discard the petty rovian tactics of your hero. to me, this campaign is about whether illinois wants someone who can help barack obama change washington or someone who will bow down to mitch mcconnell’s efforts to paralyze washington and this country.


  28. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:09 am:

    JP, puh-leaze. Giannoulias’ opposition research.

    I was the first person to write that Kirk was not intelligence officer of the year (in this election cycle).

    To the extent I’ve conversed with the Giannoulias campaign, I was pushing them to go in this direction. The Giannoulias campaign was pushing the Washington insider meme.

    Team Giannoulias wanted to draw attention to Kirk’s victory speech. They showed it to a focus group and they found that given the raw Kirk voters kinda thought the guy was a jerk.

    Amazing that a few minutes of video and regular voters can see Kirk for what he is and it took a story in the Washington Post to get the Sun-Times and Trib to take a serious look at this guy.

    It’s enough to make you suspicious that Trib and S-T management told editors and columnists that Kirk was management’s guy and it would be a good career move to write nice stuff about Kirk.


  29. - No sympathy for Bright Star investors - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:10 am:

    How about we expose Bright Star for what it really is –a program for rich folks to get a state tax break for investing money they would have invested anyway in their kids college accounts.


  30. - Rob_N - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:12 am:

    Three points:

    1. So now he claims he was dodging bullets from the pre-school kids he was teaching? LOL. (Yes, that was a joke Kirk water-carriers.)

    2. Someone asked what the “bumper sticker” for Kirk would be, akin to Kirk’s one-liner about Giannoulias.

    “Serial liar” seems to fit. A huge majority of Illinoisans just don’t believe him anymore. Kirk clearly can’t help himself but lie.

    3. Notice how these big stories are breaking in either relatively low-key blogs and/or out of state major papers?

    The local media in Illinois was totally in Kirk’s bag. So much for “liberal” media, eh?

    This is why Kirk was able to get away with this hooey for so long. It’s a pathetic statement for how weak news reporting in Illinois has become.


  31. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:13 am:

    ==to me, this campaign is about whether illinois wants someone who can help barack obama change washington==

    Well at least you admit to being in the minority in this country right now. I guess you haven’t heard, “Rovian” tactics have been replaced by “Rahm’s wrath”. “Helping Barack Obama” institute the change he desires is not what the polls say people want right now. But you’re free to believe otherwise as you whistle past the graveyard.


  32. - chicago - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:14 am:

    10th Indy said:
    Seriously? 18 graphs in the NYTimes because Kirk said he was a teacher and he really was a teacher?

    I have to agree.

    I’m no Kirk fan, but this may be a bit overblown. That Kirk quote re: guns-
    “I also remember those who bore scrutiny as people who might bring a gun to class”- implying that he was directly referring to his nursery school kids is quite a stretch without more context.

    I love anything that could help Alexi, but this seems pretty tenuous.


  33. - Deep South - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:14 am:

    It is apparent, even from the postings here, that the radical right will support Kirk, no matter what happens, despite the fact that he would be considered a RINO in places like Nevada and South Carolina. It’s also clear the Democratic Party faithful will continue to support Alexi. Its the independents who will decide this race and Alexi is doing an excellent job of discrediting Mr. Kirk.

    And it’s only June.


  34. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:17 am:

    Sheesh, I’m waiting for the gang from Scooby Doo to come pull a mask of Kirk or something, this is hilarious. And Shore, I wish I could see the look on your face as your hero falls, your post made me spit out my coffee.


  35. - Cindy Lou - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:17 am:

    –”Illinois needs grownups and leaders with ideas of which there is no dispute Congressman Kirk has many…That’s what this campaign is about…not some nursery school employment records.”–

    You seem to miss the point here, that when Kirk gets up and rattles his ideas he seems to be basing them on experiences he may have not actually had except for in his fictional rememberings …yet he is presenting it as ideas he has gained insight from . How does one gain insight on something one has not actually done or experienced?


  36. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:17 am:

    ===Parents, yes even in preschools these days, worry about their kids’ safety.===

    You are a laugh riot, man.

    I should’ve been more specific since you apparently are a bit daft. We’re talking about a church nursery school and Kirk’s comments about “those who bore scrutiny as people who might bring a gun to class.”

    If you can’t see the bizarreness of that situation, then you’re beyond hope.


  37. - chuddery - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:18 am:

    ==implying that he was directly referring to his nursery school kids is quite a stretch without more context.==

    Come on read the post first. Kirk’s campaign said he was referring to teaching at the preschool. The bigger issue is there isn’t any proof that he actually taught at the school that he claimed to teach at, not that he was never a teacher.


  38. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:19 am:

    ===implying that he was directly referring to his nursery school kids is quite a stretch without more context.===

    There’s no “implying” about it. The Kirk campaign itself told the NYT that his comment was about his nursery school days.


  39. - ZC - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:19 am:

    Chicago,

    In which case Kirk really needs to talk to his spokeswoman and clear up the miscommunication, fast. Straight from the NYT story:

    “His spokeswoman said the congressman was referring to nursery school students in Ithaca, not his students in London, during that speech on the House floor in 2006.”

    The speech where Kirk talked about students bringing a gun to class. It’s not a stretch; it’s right there in the story. Unless the spokeswoman got the story wrong (which, having worked on a campaign, I can attest is certainly a possibility).


  40. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:21 am:

    ===Parents, yes even in preschools these days, worry about their kids’ safety.===

    Yes…like falling down the playground, not getting their juice box, or wetting themselves. A bit overblown.

    BTW, at the Metro East unemployment office there was a sign offering “immediate hire” at 50 cents per signature this weekend. Minimum wage was guaranteed by the unnamed employer…


  41. - Sacks Romana - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:21 am:

    I really thought Kirk had this locked up from the moment he made the wise decision to run for US Senate and not Governor. Aside from not agreeing with his politics, I didn’t think the guy had anything truly negative going against him. Even his divorce, when it happened, was very quiet, and seemed to be handled with dignity. Now I’m looking at my watch and wondering when Alan Keyes is going to get here. And yet, I still find Kirk more likeable than Alexi. There’s just sort of no way I don’t vote for Jones.


  42. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:22 am:

    for a petition. I heard one of the counselors saying to a jobseeker, “If I didn’t already have plans this weekend, I would do it!” I was really curious to see who it was, but afraid of who it might be.


  43. - Joe Parko - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:23 am:

    Are you kidding me? Obama’s past was embellished in is own book. Most of his school and other records have never been released. And this is a story? Mark Kirk says he was a teacher and he was a teacher. Wow.


  44. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:28 am:

    shore, have you considered the possibility that Kirk isn’t that bright?

    shore, you and Morton Kondracke are impressed with Kirk’s “intellect” b/c he says what you want to hear and he’s got credentials, some real, some not.

    But my take is that Kirk isn’t especially smart or knowledgeable about issues. He’s talented at manipulating the media and some rubes in the Republican Party.

    Remember how Kirk prevailed in earlier debates. He invoked his expertise as a Navy intelligence officer. He made grandiose statements like when he claimed he had seen the classified proof that Iraq had WMD.

    If you take away Kirk’s ability to tell lies based on his vast military experience, I predict he will fumble in debates.

    Actually, I predict Kirk will find excuses to duck all debates, perhaps minus a joint appearance on Chicago Tonight.

    B/c Kirk’s a coward.


  45. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:37 am:

    ===Mark Kirk says he was a teacher and he was a teacher. Wow. ===

    That’s like saying “Mark Kirk says he is a Naval Reserve officer and he is a Naval Reserve. Wow.”

    It’s not a question about whether he was a teacher. It’s that he once again bizarrely exaggerated his record as a teacher.


  46. - Rob_N - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:41 am:

    Wow…Are people really this willing to be misinformed???

    Highland says, “IR has posted a press release from the IL Republican Party confirming Kirk’s education resume. Who’s right?”

    10th Indy says, “Seriously? 18 graphs in the NYTimes because Kirk said he was a teacher and he really was a teacher?”

    Nobody said he didn’t teach Highland or were questioning his teaching 10th.

    They’re wondering why the heck he would make such bizarre claims about worrying whether or not his quaint suburban preschoolers were packing heat.

    Anon 11:03 conflates decades and says, “You inferred that the statement was out there because the town had a low crime rate, and as such there aren’t any real worries about guns in school. Parents, yes even in preschools these days, worry about their kids’ safety.”

    (emphasis added)

    Anon, Kirk’s experience in the classroom was in the early 80s. Columbine hadn’t happened yet. The college shootings hadn’t happened yet. The Amish Schoolhouse shooting hadn’t happened yet.

    Try thinking every now and then.


  47. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:49 am:

    Apparently there are GOP loyalists who are experiencing cognitive dissonance now that Kirk has been exposed as a phony and a pathological liar.

    I guess I’d be embarrassed too if I’d been played for a fool and now it was exposed for the world to see.

    But at least they can grab the safety blanket of claiming that the media is “liberal” and out to destroy Mark Kirk because he is the Republican Party’s best hope to win this U.S. Senate seat.


  48. - Rob_N - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:51 am:

    Joe Parko, What more of Obama’s records do you want released?

    Anything and everything that actually matters has been released, posted online and pored over by investigators and journalists alike.

    Just because that’s not good enough for the 1/10th of 1% of Americans who HATE Obama with a passion doesn’t mean the documents haven’t been released.

    Get a life tinfoil mad hatter.


  49. - P. - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:53 am:

    So is he saying he taught students worthy of careful monitoring in London for the gun toting then or what?

    “the kids who were the brightest lights of our country’s future, and I also remember those who bore scrutiny as people who might bring a gun to class.”

    Seems to me when he says ‘our country’s’ he’s talking about teaching here, at the nursery school, where he remembers ‘those who bore scrutiny as people who might bring a gun to class.’

    No, blaming the spokesperson isn’t going to work this time. In case you ‘no big deal’ people are still looking, that’s the “lie” this time around.

    Who says that when they didn’t actually teach in a school where guns may be a problem?!


  50. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:55 am:

    =It is apparent, even from the postings here, that the radical right will support Kirk, no matter what happens,=

    I’m not so sure about that one. I’d guess (based on a “hunch”) that the way the “campaign” has been handling itself is going to mean alot to Conservatives, especially.

    It also seems odd that while there’s obviously been “turnover” in Kirk’s office and from campaign to campaign, no one ever seems to get “reprimanded” for some very serious, stupid, and consistent mistakes as they’re being made.

    Seem to be some very, very strong loyalties there.


  51. - chuckT - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:56 am:

    3,2,1…
    riiiiing - “Chicago Tribune editorial board, may I help you?”
    “Yeah, this is Mark Kirk and I got some more ’splaining to do”


  52. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:03 pm:

    Will we soon be talking about Alexi’s bank and charitable foundations?


  53. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:06 pm:

    I’ll even take that last thought a step further. At times, it seems as if some of those “mistakes” are even repeated as soon as they’re pointed out.

    Almost as if they perceive negatives seen by others as positives, are dying to get their wrists slapped after the first attempt failed, and/or want to prove that they can keep screwing up and still get away with it.


  54. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:09 pm:

    Cincinnatus, where you unable to access the Internet for the past four months?


  55. - Responsa - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:10 pm:

    Carl, dear, your posts on this topic have become drearily familiar –not to mention frequently insulting to those who deign to genuinely believe Kirk will make a better Senator than Giannoulias. You tend to “suspect” things about the candidate and others, you offer your “take” on situations which you wish to influence, and you regularly “predict” future events that you hope might happen. Here’s a prediction back atcha: I predict Kirk is absolutely chomping at the bit to debate Alexi on the issues.


  56. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:11 pm:

    Who knows? Maybe an aspect of “DC culture” that some in Illinois can’t seem to understand.


  57. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:14 pm:

    Seem to be very “controlling”, too–especially when it comes to speaking about what is on one’s mind when it doesn’t sound like what they want to hear. Quite a few examples on IR to support that.


  58. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:15 pm:

    Why is Mark Kirk making Bruce Dold cry?


  59. - Responsa - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:16 pm:

    –Are we sure Scott Lee Cohen is actually going to file for governor…? Seems like the Senate race is a perfect fit….

    LOL, well I saw an SUV with a big magnetic Scott Lee Cohen for Governor sign attached traveling on 94 East as recently as Tuesday evening.


  60. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:21 pm:

    Responsa, how would you evaluate Kirk’s performance in the U.S. House of Representatives? Is it a negative that Kirk lied so extensively? Or is lying to the chumps (voters) the price of doing the things that need to be done?

    If Kirk does avoid debating Giannoulias and the other U.S. Senate candidates, will that diminish your opinion of him? Or are you loyal to Kirk no matter what?

    What would Kirk have to do or lie about to lose your support?


  61. - enn - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:23 pm:

    Is anyone else reminded of Steve Poizner?


  62. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:23 pm:

    Well, at least it was a magnetic sticker, Responsa.

    It can be “peeled” off very easily.


  63. - walter sobchak - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:24 pm:

    Seriously, why would any sane person want to run for office these days? Every word, every statement, every letter/email/text/private conversation/facial expression/fashion choice parsed and gone over for inconsistencies or embellishments that become ’serial lying’ and ‘bizarre exaggerations’ or worse. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone…I guess I have to stop telling the story of surfing 12′ waves at Honolua Bay and admit it was barely overhead. It would seem, given the stoning of Kirk, Giannoulias, in fact of all candidates, the only sinners in America are politicians not pundits or commentators. Political coverage as a high school slam book and examination of policies very definitely of less importance.


  64. - Rob_N - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:29 pm:

    Re Update x2,

    NBC blogger Eddy McClelland is another Suzi Kuczka. If WMAQ ever fires the guy he’ll be right at home in a GOP PR outfit.

    Again, so much for the myth of “liberal” media… especially at NBC.


  65. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:34 pm:

    Rob, that’s totally unfair. He hits both sides.


  66. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:36 pm:

    Re: last two sentences of update 2.

    See what I mean?


  67. - MikeMacD - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:38 pm:

    Yet more examples of Rep. Kirk’s “Intel” capabilities.


  68. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:39 pm:

    No, Anonymous, I don’t.


  69. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:44 pm:

    OK. I’m wrong.


  70. - Vole - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:48 pm:

    “the kids who were the brightest lights of our country’s future, and I also remember those who bore scrutiny as people who might bring a gun to class.”

    I can’t decide if this statement best reflects statements by George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush or Sarah Palin. Lips moving before thinking, or maybe just lips moving without any thinking. I don’t think there is any danger in misunderestimating this dude, aka Mark Kirk.

    I have directly known only one true pathological liar in my life. I don’t think Kirk fits the category. I lean more toward the not too bright judgment mentioned above. And that kind of fits the GW and Palin comparison. The guy has some competencies, but I don’t think they match the requirements of the senate (although statements made daily by many US senators on TV will obviously counter my point — do we need another of these duffuses?).


  71. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:50 pm:

    Since the primary ended, I remember only one brief mention of Alexi’s resume padding in the daily topics which also had breaking news on Kirk. Where there many more?


  72. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 12:53 pm:

    Edward McClelland referred to Ellen of the Tenth as a “hatist” blog because Ellen and I criticize Kirk.

    If Edward McClelland describes researching and criticizing Kirk as being “hateful” this pretty well tips where his true loyalties are.

    And Edward McClelland’s current blog piece finds a way to turn around Kirk’s lies as a negative for Giannoulias. Apparently Giannoulias went too far in passing info to journalists.

    Well, Edward, baby, we’ve been waiting ten years for your employer (among others) to do the journalism to expose Kirk.

    So, save your whining, that team Giannoulias is passing opposition research to the media.

    Edward, baby, try doing some research. If you need to learn how, I’ll let you be my intern on weekends.


  73. - A.B. - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:00 pm:

    Ok, this is really getting to be pathetic.

    The campaign tells you exactly where his school teacher background comes from, but it’s not enough?

    Because we don’t have the exact evidence in our hands, he must be lying?

    Last time I checked, reputable reporters look for evidence, not he said / she said.

    I guess on this board it is guilty until proven innocent … unless of course it is repetitive stories about AG and his family bank. Then Rich goes public saying the media is wrong for its attacks.

    Just because AG says Kirk is lying, doesn’t mean it is true. It has been clearly shown that Kirk did teach with kids. He has told you in what capacity and when.

    Honestly, all this proves is that he did teach kids in Ithaca, NY and in England. Next you’re going to state that his anti-gun stance based on the Laurie Dann tragedy doesn’t count because he wasn’t in the region when it happened.

    Come on! Stop drinking the Kool-Aid and let’s try being a little objective.


  74. - Rob_N - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:02 pm:

    Rich, Haven’t seen it that way when it comes to Kirk v Giannoulias. McClelland’s been apologizing for Kirk almost as often as Team Am.


  75. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:05 pm:

    A.B., if anyone drank the partisan kool-aid, it’s you. If you can read those quotes about gun violence in a preschool, think for even half a second about his past fabrications and then not question whether whatever he says is true, then you’re delusional.


  76. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:06 pm:

    A. B.

    Not that Rich Miller and I ever agree, this is his blog and gets to run it the way he wishes. This includes suspensions as well as content and all includes his occasional snarky comment (which I enjoy even when they are directed at me). Fairness needs to be driven by those of us having the contrarian view. I’ve never seen Rich suspend someone for that.

    With that said, I think a few days of Alexi bashing are in order, just for the fun of it.


  77. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:10 pm:

    Walter Sobchak, you hit the nail on the head. We’ve actually crossed into Drama Queen mode here with the some of the “latest disclosures.”

    So Kirk was a teacher after all? So he served on active duty according to the military?

    How many classes did he cut in law school? What were his grades? What about undergrad? Did Kirk even attend kindergarten? Did he cut class and sneak out to Wrigley Field once? What is the color of his underwear?

    Well?

    Get busy Drama Queens! There’s a lot more to disclose! I mean Really Important Stuff!


  78. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:13 pm:

    People–especially journalists–should be asking why the stories coming from the Giannoulias camp always go to the Washington Post and New York Times.

    Is it because Team Giannoulias has sent info to the Chicago Trib and Sun-Times and the Chicago papers have refused to run stories critical of Kirk?

    Why are the Trib and Sun-Times unwilling or unable to break a single story about Mark Kirk?

    But I guess Edward McClelland is focused on converting GOP press releases into blog entries so the Kirk campaign can send traffic to McClelland’s blog entries.


  79. - Amalia - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:15 pm:

    I’m no Republican, but guns are turning up in lots of places…
    shooting in an Amish town, tons of school shootings in
    small towns. the photo does not convince me that a gun
    could not appear in the hands of a kid.

    as for Ithaca being like Hyde Park, do you really think the
    crime rate in and around HP means they are missing guns?


  80. - Joe - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:16 pm:

    Oh come on, Louis - you know if the tables were turned (and they have been) and this was a Democrat’s false claims, you’d be all over it like a fly on…

    Clearly, Kirk is not who he has claimed to be these past 10 years as a representative. We deserve to know who he *really* is before we even consider him for a 6 year senate term.

    And oh, by the way, his voting record speaks volumes. He votes 88.7% of the time right down Republican party lines. Independent? Moderate? Yeah, right…


  81. - A.B. - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:19 pm:

    Rich -
    Let me be clear, I am not attacking on partisanship. Not at all. I have seen you cover a TON of issue with a terrific record on being non-partisan.

    My issue is that things seem to be reaching a hypocritical stage with this specific race. And I don’t necessarily pin that solely on you.

    Kirk deserved exactly what he got on the Naval Award stuff. No argument from me on that one. Heck I’ve said that here on these boards before.

    However the crux of this attack is questioning the validity of his teaching experience. It is pretty darned clear that he has been honest on that point.

    As far as his quoted statement? Very simple, it is two thoughts. One is about how the kids he taught are our future.

    The second thought is about how those same kids became the ones people suspected could be bringing guns to school. Think back to immediately post-Columbine. Kids of all ages were being kicked out of school for having toy guns, squirt guns and real guns. They also found those youngsters were delivering drugs, etc. So yes, they became suspects due to the panic of the times.

    Rich if I didn’t think there was regular, bi-partisan discussions and insight here, I wouldn’t waste my time.

    So simply stated - this story is ridiculous. This is the stuff that reporters would usually roll their eyes at and walk away, but this race has become so charged that people are giving validity to this story, without having hard facts to back it up.


  82. - Joe - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:19 pm:

    Amalia - we’re talking about the early 1980’s at the latest. I certainly don’t remember guns being an issue back then as much as they are now.

    Take it for what it’s worth: another Kirk exaggeration.


  83. - Name/Nickname/Anon - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:25 pm:

    While I know these stories are far more recent and do not take place in Ithaca, just saying it’s happened before…

    Preschooler brings gun to school
    http://www.kltv.com/Global/story.asp?S=11223603

    Kindergarten Student Brings Gun to School
    http://www.kait8.com/Global/story.asp?s=5888887

    6-Year-Old Brings Loaded Gun To School
    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/19304674/detail.html


  84. - walter sobchak - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:26 pm:

    How does “Mr. Kirk spoke about “the kids who were the brightest lights of our country’s future, and I also remember those who bore scrutiny as people who might bring a gun to class…” being ‘clarified’ by a campaign spokesperson become “If you can read those quotes about gun violence in a preschool, think for even half a second about his past fabrications and then not question whether whatever he says is true…” be anything other than hyperbolic mud raking to generate blog responses? It’s one quote, a bit inane, that may have been uttered after reading of another CPS student being gunned down at age 14 the previous weekend while he was in Chicago. It could be practically anything, but is being construed as resume padding and evidence of his inability to ever tell the truth. Really? And, his service record being less than what he described? He served. He took the oath. He could have, at any time, been sent into danger. He could have been killed as Terry Barnich was by an IED or an RPG/mortar round/helicopter crash…any of the thousand ways to die when you volunteer to go into a war zone. Anybody who has ever served in the Armed Forces thinks, as they take the oath, I’m doing something that could get me killed. It takes character to take such an oath, Kirk’s embellishments do not speak to a lack of character or an inability to tell the truth, but a human desire to cast oneself in the best light.


  85. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:26 pm:

    ===However the crux of this attack is questioning the validity of his teaching experience.===

    Wrong. Absolutely, totally wrong. Stop the spinning, please.


  86. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:28 pm:

    ===While I know these stories are far more recent and do not take place in Ithaca===

    LOL. So why post them?


  87. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:32 pm:

    I’m late to this, but notice a theme in some of the earlier comments. From what I’ve read, no one is questioning whether Mark Kirk was in fact a teacher. He was. That is clear.

    What is being questioned is whether any reasonable person can conclude, on the basis of his teacher experience, whether his statement on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives was grounded in his teaching experience or made up out of thin air.

    ===I also remember those who bore scrutiny as people who might bring a gun to class===

    This is the statement that is causing him problems. Kirk is clearly taking an overly dramatic tone based on his actual experience. And it’s comical.

    As Amy Pohler might ask: Really? Kirk really thought some of his students might be carrying a gun to that school. Really?


  88. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:33 pm:

    =be anything other than hyperbolic mud raking to generate blog responses?=

    Here’s a “response”, Walter: Huh????!!!!


  89. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:35 pm:

    Somewhere in some war room, Kirk commanded men and women who were managing and interpreting critical intelligence for our armed forces that are involved in two wars, and provide the critical line of defense in Korea.

    Somewhere in a board room, Alexi bankrupted his bank, said he ran a foundation that just barely existed, and oversaw a significant decrease in the value of the bonds held by the state.

    Take your pick.


  90. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:39 pm:

    A.B. hit the nail on the head at 1:19 pm.

    This is ridiculous! I’m shocked that politicians lie! Absolutely stunned.

    Let’s move on to the real issues that involve the future of the country.


  91. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:39 pm:

    And too bad that you couldn’t see the “hand gestures” accompanied with that one.


  92. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:40 pm:

    =This is ridiculous! I’m shocked that politicians lie! Absolutely stunned.=

    Oh, OK. Nothing to see here. Move along.


  93. - Zora - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:41 pm:

    “…the kids who were the brightest lights of our country’s future, and I also remember those who bore scrutiny as people who might bring a gun to class.”

    Quite a determined rhetorical pirouette going on here. I like the bright / bore alliteration and how “kids” morph into “people” when guns come into play.

    Claiming to have seen the ed system’s greatest and scariest students is kind of cliche, even coming from veteran inner-city teachers who surely have. Claiming this as someone who did part-time work-study at a nursery school during college is just embarrassing.

    The pattern I see in Kirk is one of taking a part-time gig (work-study, navy reserves) and claiming an exaggerated role, a vital experience gained or some other exalted take-away from it.

    If he’s not a serial fibber, he surely is a serial puffer-upper.


  94. - FillB - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:41 pm:

    “as for Ithaca being like Hyde Park, do you really think the crime rate in and around HP means they are missing guns?”

    I was speaking of their politics, not their geography.

    Ithaca, NY is not surrounded by neighborhoods with high crime rates. It’s not really surrounded by much of anything.

    And I doubt there’s much of a pro-gun culture there. Even Ithaca shotguns aren’t made in Ithaca.


  95. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:44 pm:

    P.S. If someone could explain the church’s reference to joyfully accepting the blessings of sexuality, I’d appreciate the clarification.


  96. - Joe Parko - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:48 pm:

    Rob_N,
    None of BO’s college transcripts, grades or papers have been released.
    No passport info.
    Most of his legislative records in GA.
    Media hasn’t “pored” over anything.
    Until the internet disclosed it, nobody in Chicago even knew he was executive director of a multimillion dollar grant program.
    Even liberals acknowledge BO has received the most favorable press in modern presidential history.
    Just throwing this in to demonstrate the double standard at work here.


  97. - A.B. - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:53 pm:

    Rich-
    I’m not spinning (and I do it for a living, so I know the difference).

    Here is your own posting:
    Perhaps even worse, nobody from Kirk’s staff could provide documentation that he actually worked at the nursery…

    - The campaign did not provide verification, and it could not be independently confirmed.

    A longtime member of the church who had a son in the nursery around the same time said she did not recall any male teachers. -

    Maybe you don’t see that as being the big issue here, but in light of the “Kirk Lying” attacks that are flying everywhere, that sure appears to be “crux of the debate”.


  98. - Thoughts... - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:53 pm:

    You know something’s hit a nerve when it brings out vitriol like this from supporters. Seriously, if you’re so concerned that it’s not a big deal, then just drop it already. You’re embarrassing yourselves.

    full disclosure: will not vote for either MK or AG, but I knew that a long time ago.


  99. - ZC - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 1:58 pm:

    Also, it’s too bad that the Brits didn’t work out their teacher development issues, else Kirk might apparently have stayed in London and saved us all this controversy.


  100. - Zora - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:00 pm:

    Joe Parko, a multimillion dollar grant program employed Obama as the executive director? Which one?

    If you mean Woods Fund, then the internet got the facts wrong. He was not the ED, he was on the board, which was public information easily found in annual reports, the foundation’s web site, IRS 990s, etc.

    And it was certainly well known in Chicago, but we appreciate your concern that we not be kept in the dark about the names of our civic leaders. Now if they would only tell us who raised money for the Bean…


  101. - 10th Indy - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:05 pm:

    This is absurd. The speech in question was a persuasive speech on the floor of the congress in support of the School Safety Act. It wasn’t an attempt by Kirk to bizarrely exaggerate his teaching record any more than JFK was bizarrely claiming to be a german citizen or Dr. King was bizarrely claiming to be a mountain climber.


  102. - TwoFeetThick - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:13 pm:

    Anyone got a spare tinfoil hat? I left mine at home and, without it, some of these posts look, um, strange. Fed Up? Mr. Parko?


  103. - Ghost - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:15 pm:

    YDD I was wondering that myself….

    === really thought Kirk had this locked up from the moment he made the wise decision to run for US Senate and not Governor. ====

    I agree. From the beggining I though this was Kirk’s race to lose and he would skate easily into office. He lost me further bak when he was trying to appeal to the far right base, add in these recent events and I am convinced that Kirk should never be elected.


  104. - Cheswick - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:23 pm:

    I can’t help but wonder what the parents of Kirk’s students think of his choice of words when referring to their kids: “… people who might bring a gun to class.” If any.


  105. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:28 pm:

    This is more nonsense. We are debating twenty year old stuff? Who is doing all this archeological digging? Who is interested in what Mark Kirk did twenty years ago? We’re not talking felonies here.

    This is more campaign nonsense from a campaign that has nothing to say.

    This is nothing more than more negative garbage that makes no difference at all. Talk about negative crap being churned into campaign nonsense.

    How much more stupid trash are they going to dig up on this guy?


  106. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:28 pm:

    Rich, still waiting for that hard hitting piece on Alexis taxes and lack of an ethics statement.
    It will be right behind the story explaining the Obama Rezko dealings Im sure.


  107. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:28 pm:

    Anonymous, we’ve covered all that ground here and more.

    Bite me.


  108. - Ellen Beth Gill - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:29 pm:

    Rich, I take issue with your description of Kirk as “accomplished”. Other than figuring out a way to make the military work for him, I’m not sure that we know he’s accomplished in the traditional sense of the word.


  109. - T.J. - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:29 pm:

    “What would Kirk have to do or lie about to lose your support?”

    This would appear a golden opportunity to stress the virtues of Giannoulias, but I don’t see anybody doing that.


  110. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:30 pm:

    Ellen, don’t be ridiculous. He has an accomplished record. He has served his country, volunteered for duty in war zones, and been appropriately promoted.


  111. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:31 pm:

    Anonymous 2:28 PM, is there anything stopping you from doing research and publishing online?

    Is it that you don’t have the skills? Or that no one cares what you have to say?


  112. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:39 pm:

    2:28 wasn’t me, Rich, but you probably know that.


  113. - FillB - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:40 pm:

    VM, Kirk’s military -ahem- exaggerations were germane because; 1) he’s running for office, and 2) he wraps his campaign and official persona in his military record (such as it is).

    So, why are we looking at 20-year old stuff? 1) because it is more evidence of his increasingly established pattern of half-truths and exaggerations, and 2) He punctuates any point about education with “As a former teacher…”

    So of course it is appropriate.

    You may as well ask why people are talking about Broadway Bank? After all, Giannoulias hasn’t been there in more than 5 years. What’s the statute of limitations?


  114. - Zora - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:44 pm:

    Vman, Kirk is interested in what he did 20 years ago — he bloviated about it on the floor of the US House of Representatives just a few years ago.

    If you are going to shoot the messenger, at least shoot the actual messenger.


  115. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:49 pm:

    Nursery schools are dangerous places. You can get a paper cut from construction paper, and eating too much paste impedes one’s appetite. Plus, lack of nap = cranky.


  116. - Cindy Lou - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:56 pm:

    –”We are debating twenty year old stuff? Who is doing all this archeological digging? Who is interested in what Mark Kirk did twenty years ago?”–

    VM, it appears to be Kirk himself who keeps bringing up his past and repeatedly and/or singing his praises. Is it wrong of the media (or anyone else for that matter) to actually verify what comes pouring out of his mouth? If one did not puff himself as the be all know all and spout acknowledge based on his own past experience/s, aka in this example his teaching years while making a speech/statement, odds are he’d be facing far less attempts to verify what keeps rolling out of his mouth.

    If one does not want to be scruntinized using one’s own words, you’d think one would stop red flagging what can be verified or not by those very words.


  117. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:59 pm:

    This is an issue ripe for TMZ coverage, not real news. We’re going to dig up stuff that happened twenty years ago to determine where we go from here. Talk about stupid.

    Is this where we’re going now? We have nothing to tell voters except what Kirk said he did twenty years ago, and then disproving it? What does this prove?

    We will not be basing our vote on what Mark Kirk said he did right out of college, and we will not be basing our vote on what Alexi Giannoulais said was his ability to hit a three-pointer right out of college. What’s next? Are we going to check to see if Giannoulais had good reasons to skip basketball practice twenty years ago?

    This does not matter. You do not encourage this kind of political campaigning by giving it any play in legitimate news sources.

    You want to prove that Kirk is a liar? Big deal. Every politician is a liar. Go ahead and keep telling us. But everyday you do, we will be wanting to know why we are supposed to vote for the guy making a big deal out of non-issues like this.


  118. - Joe Parko - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:59 pm:

    Obama was chairman of the board (not executive director) of the Annenberg Challenge, which gave away millions in education grants. This was Obama’s only executive experience yet no Chicago media outlet reported it. Liberal David Remnick’s new Obama book says that Bill Ayers got him the gig.


  119. - walter sobchak - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 2:59 pm:

    Rich Miller: “BIte Me!”

    Dateline Springfield. Popular political reporter and proprietor of the influential Capitol Fax Blog, Rich Miller wrote today of possible cannibalistic practices. In a startling blog response he invited a commentator to masticate human flesh, a crime in Illinois. Depaul University Sociology Professor, Alfie Packer opined that Mr. Miller has gone too far, “Closeted cannibals always begin with a seemingly innocent invitations to their future victims to ‘bite them.’ Soon enough the tables are turned on the biter.” Cook County Executive William ‘Bill’ Eddy was outraged, “It’s one thing to use a blog for political discourse, but to troll for fresh victims? At the very least we should tax such practices.” People close the Capitol Fax Blog have told friends that this isn’t the first time ‘bite me’ has appeared on the blog under Rich’s name, “He doesn’t discriminate: men, women, Republicans, Democrats, even Independents. It’s disgusting and he must be stopped. Although, he did draw the line at LaRouchies.” The case echos Mark Kirk’s startling announcement that he supports a ‘concealed carry’ law for rural nursery school students.


  120. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 3:03 pm:

    ===This was Obama’s only executive experience yet no Chicago media outlet reported it===

    You ever hear of the Google?

    Tribune

    Sun-Times

    Go away until you stop peddling your nonsense.


  121. - Rob_N - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 3:04 pm:

    Joe Parko,

    The minute you are able to produce all grades, diplomas, theses, essays, and government-issued papers for the previous 43 presidents you’ll have a point about a few of Obama’s trail of papers having been lost to time.

    Listen, schools and the like clean out their cabinets every now and then. Deal with it.

    PS - Obama’s passport info was among those (including Hillary Clinton’s and John McCain’s) which was compromised by the State Dept’s contractor employees during the Bush 43 Administration so it’s unclear why you think his passport isn’t available.

    Clearly, someone working for Bush found it and screwed around with it just for jollies.

    The world isn’t really out to get you despite all those black helicopters silently positioned over your house.


  122. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 3:09 pm:

    Vanilla Man, Mark Kirk has consistently used his personal experience and expertise to sell whatever position he’s taking that day.

    Now we’ve learned that when Kirk is talking about his personal history he’s usually lying (or misremembering).

    VanillaMan, I get that you prefer Kirk’s politics and you don’t like Giannoulias. That’s your right.

    But it’s the right of regular folk to decide they don’t like a career liar like Kirk.

    You may think regular folk are shallow to judge Kirk by his lies instead of his political positions. That’s your right too.

    But it’s my right to raise Kirk’s lying as an issue.

    The people who were clubbing Giannoulias over Broadway Bank were all sanctimonious about “character”. But now that it’s clear Kirk is a pathological liar, these same people want to switch the conversation to something other than Kirk’s character flaws.

    Whatever. I’m sorry you got emotionally invested in a flawed political candidate, b/c VanillaMan, I actually like you.


  123. - Thoughts... - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 3:28 pm:

    VM (and others)-

    The reason you look back 20 years (or more) is that a pattern is being established, and patterns are significant. Notice that first it was just what he’d said a few years ago and it’s steamrolled into this because there is a pattern of this behavior.

    Researchers of all stripes - sociologists, psychologists, economists, geologists - study patterns, and when they find a behavior (or effect), they go back further to see if the pattern continues further into the past. It’s the same reason that if the IRS audits you and finds you didn’t pay enough last year, they can go back on your returns even further.

    Patterns of behavior are significant, plain and simple, ask anyone involved in any scientific field (even political science). As for your liar comment, well, we all know that if it was a D, you’d be screaming about what a liar he is.

    For me, they’re both trash and I won’t vote for either of them. It’s sad that they are the only real viable options to win.


  124. - GetOverIt - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 3:36 pm:

    It’s official. Illinois has neither a Republican or Democrat worth a pinch of salt in the Senate race. On to the third option…two pinches. Ahhh, race to the bottom…1…2…3…GO!


  125. - Left Leaner - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 3:36 pm:

    The Kirk campaign sent you Update 2? Really?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


  126. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 3:40 pm:

    I thought this NYT quote was quite a Pinochio moment for Kirk as well:

    In a House Budget Committee hearing five years earlier, shortly after Mr. Kirk arrived in Congress, he talked about his time as “a teacher, both nursery and middle school.” He added, “I did leave the teaching profession, but if we had addressed some of the teacher development issues, which I want to raise with you, I might have stayed.”

    Um, you’re only teaching experience in the U.S. was a part-time gig in a nursery school as you graduated cum laude in history from Cornell University.

    You *seriously* expect voters to believe that you had to give up your dream of being a nursery school teacher because the federal government doesn’t spend enough money on professional development for nursery school teachers?

    hardy-har-har.


  127. - FillB - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 3:40 pm:

    “We’re going to dig up stuff that happened twenty years ago to determine where we go from here.”

    Yes. If the candidate in question misrepresents it for political gain. If he said “I was a student teacher in college and grad school, so I understand some of the issues blah blah blah…” then, no big deal.

    But Mark Kirk spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives about possibility that one of his “students” at a nursery school might bring a gun to school.

    He embellished a story to embellish his authority and make his point.

    This might have been a small matter to be ignored, as may have any single instance of embellishing his military record. But taken as a whole, the criticism is valid and the scrutiny is warranted.


  128. - 10th Indy - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 4:22 pm:

    Taken as a whole it’s still a load of malarky and a diversionary tactic that the media is falling for hook line and sinker - we do love to tear a good man down.

    If you dissected my past twenty years “serial embellisher” would be the kindest thing you could say about me, and I’m guessing it would be the same for most people.

    Kirk is running for senate not sainthood and may have exaggerated the good things he did to make himself look better but Alexi lies about the damage he has caused to make himself look less guilty.


  129. - Rob_N - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 4:26 pm:

    FillB says, “But Mark Kirk spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives about possibility that one of his “students” at a nursery school might bring a gun to school.”

    And, FillB, to reiterate a point I’ve been making. Kirk was teaching nursery school years before guns-in-schools incidents made national news. The conservatives’ conflation of time is incredible — as if Kirk knew these events were going to happen a decade and more before they took place. Kirk has been lying like there’s no tomorrow, but even he isn’t claiming he’s clairvoyant.

    And, if Dems were conservatives, they would be saying something like “How dare you politicize those tragedies by pretending Mark Kirk could’ve somehow known about them before they happened.”

    Brings to mind Rich’s 2nd most favorite phrase… Just sayin’.


  130. - FillB - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 4:36 pm:

    “If you dissected my past twenty years “serial embellisher” would be the kindest thing you could say about me, and I’m guessing it would be the same for most people.”

    Then you should think twice before running for office. And so should most people.


  131. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 4:37 pm:

    =If you dissected my past twenty years “serial embellisher” would be the kindest thing you could say about me,=

    You don’t work for Kirk’s campaign, do you, Indy? ;)


  132. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 4:47 pm:

    =The conservatives’ conflation of time is incredible — as if Kirk knew these events were going to happen a decade and more before they took place.=

    Sorry, Rob. I must have missed something. How are the conservatives involved in this? I thought the explanation regarding the reference came from the Kirk campaign. I’ve obviously missed your point. Could you explain it again? Thanks.


  133. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 4:56 pm:

    =we do love to tear a good man down.=

    I’ve heard that somewhere before. ;)


  134. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 5:11 pm:

    Including the reference to a “good man”, for which BTW, I took ALOT of flack a while back to try to convince people of that.

    Are you guys listening, or just defending yourselves?


  135. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 5:50 pm:

    === Kirk was teaching nursery school years before guns-in-schools incidents made national news ===

    Actually Rob_N, considering that Kirk worked in the nursery school part-time through a school work-study program for class credit…I seriously doubt he did any actually “teaching.” He was not, afterall, licensed to teach.

    More likely he played with play-doh with the kids; maybe only Kirk can tell us for sure…but since he received credit from Cornell, perhaps they can explain what he did there.

    THAT should be fun.


  136. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 5:53 pm:

    === If you dissected my past twenty years “serial embellisher” would be the kindest thing you could say about me, and I’m guessing it would be the same for most people. ===

    I’m betting you never lied to your constituents, Congress, or the American people. Mark Kirk can’t say that.


  137. - zonzgr8 - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 7:04 pm:

    PLEASE MR JOURNALIST, PLEASE ASK, I now want ALL the details on . . . Kirk’s horrid memories: “I also remember those who bore scrutiny as people who might bring a gun to class.”


  138. - Rob_N - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 9:23 pm:

    Anon 4:47 pm, please read the comments thread. The Kirk apologists throughout this thread have been referencing attacks like Columbine, etc. in attempting to excuse Kirk’s over-the-top House floor speech about being a teacher to gun-totin’ preschoolers.

    The major problem with that excuse is that all of those incidents happened years (even decades) after Kirk was a part-time student teacher at this apparently bucolic nursery school.

    In other words, there hadn’t been any guns-in-schools incidents (pre-school or otherwise) when Kirk was in the playroom.

    Make sense?


  139. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:23 pm:

    This thread is why I don’t care for federal government…


  140. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 10:31 pm:

    VMan, if you would actually read any of the links, you wouldn’t have so many questions. Do the reading, dude.

    Kirk is like a lot of professional BSers. They never know when to shut up. Now he’s in the NFL, and they make you play all four quarters.

    The way he let Alexi back in the game is stunning. What’s really weird is one of these guys will be elected, more than likely.


  141. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:14 pm:

    Yes, Rob, I can see that clearly. However, I still don’t understand your reference to conservatives. Are you saying that the “Kirk apologists” are the Conservatives, or again, was there another reference I missed? It’s not sarc, I really don’t see the connection so if you could clear that up for me, I’d appreciate it.


  142. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:20 pm:

    lol…word. I asked, I think Responsa, on another thread, whether people believed that all of this “negative PR” was a “controlled” attempt to keep Giannoulias in the race because they were afraid that he’d drop out.

    You’re not saying, you believe that, are you, word?


  143. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 17, 10 @ 11:24 pm:

    Seems like an AWFUL lot of damage to take on to make sure Giannoulias didn’t drop out after hitting him on the Broadway Bank thing…plus they still seem to be mentioning Broadway Bank in just about every release. Doesn’t sound like a very “sound” thing to do.


  144. - Ellen Beth Gill - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 2:06 pm:

    Rich, I can appreciate that as a media outlet you are loath to look like you’re disrespecting anyone who has served in the military. However, don’t you think it’s a greater disrespect to compare Mark Kirk’s self-service to those who go when and where ordered, sometimes on 4 tours, and do the jobs required without seeking extra-military accolades or a quid pro quo?


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