Friday, June 4, 2010

Kirk Apologizes; Trib Lets Baseball off the Hook; Obama and the Chicago Way

Well, Congressman Mark Kirk faced the editorial boards of the major papers yesterday and apologized for making mistakes with his military record. See the Tribune and Sun-Times stories. Kass weighs in as well. Politico coverage here.

My personal opinion is that a lot of the MSM pile-on as to the Kirk flap was to show that after spilling barrels of ink lambasting Alexi Giannoulias for his failed family bank and running from his touted banking credentials, the MSM can beat on Kirk too, when they need to. Now that they have convinced themselves of their objectivity, I suspect we'll be treated to a few more months of the media trashing Giannoulias, whose transgressions completely trump any minor shortcomings of Congressman Kirk in the grand scheme of things.

Interestingly, on the theme of 'honest mistakes,' in comparison to Kirk, the Tribune was a lot easier on the ref who blew the call for the otherwise perfect game pitched by Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers. Nobody's perfect, says the Trib. Ahem.

Meanwhile, the brouhaha over the Obama's administration's liberal use of Chicago-style backroom politics is not going away, as evidenced by this column by Kimberly Strassel in today's WSJ:

No phrase is more feared in Washington than "quid pro quo," and Beltway politicians carefully avoid any hint of it. There are winks and nods, yes. But you'd have to be crazy to put something in an email. Crazy, or from Chicago, where it is simply understood that the political machine decides elections and hands out consolation prizes accordingly.

The White House's other mistake was thinking Washington pols would follow Chicago rules. It is one thing to make deals with the local ward boss, who knows his livelihood depends on keeping his mouth shut. It is another to make offers to a Pennsylvania congressman who is angry that you are fighting him in the primary, and who views the U.S. Senate as way cooler than an advisory board. Mr. Sestak viewed it in his interest to blab, and he did. And he won.

The White House's initial refusal to talk only fed the story. And Mr. Bauer's too-late, too-clever Sestak memo has created new problems. According to this counsel, the Sestak talk was aboveboard because it wasn't the White House, but Bill Clinton, doing it. Moreover, Mr. Sestak had simply been offered an "uncompensated" board position that was "additional service" to his current House job. By this reasoning, it is presumably not aboveboard when it was Mr. Messina talking to Mr. Romanoff, offering him a compensated, full-time job.

Yup. The fallout over this isn't going to fade away as the November elections near. Also keep in mind that the Messina referenced in the story is the same Messina who is coming to shill for Alexi Giannoulias in a couple weeks. Great company these guys keep.

Finally, good luck to Sheriff Mark Curran of Lake County on his annual golf outing today. Hopefully the rain will stay far, far away!


Ray said...

It is fun to watch you guys wiggle and squirm to defend your guy as more and more of his lies are exposed. This post reads "Kirk apologized...nothing to see here. SESTAK SESTAK SESTAK!"

If Sestak is a big deal, then it is yet another example of IOKIYAR, given the documented history of Reagan doing the same thing with Hayakawa. I haven't heard any retroactive condemnations of the Gipper for this, yet.

Carl Nyberg said...

Team America, you want me to respond to your criticisms of Giannoulias. OK.

You give me your top dozens points against Giannoulias and I'll respond to each of them.

But at the same time you have to post a separate entry with my top dozen criticisms of Mark Kirk. And you respond to them.

It should be good for your traffic and for democratic debate on the candidates.

Anonymous said...

the issue is over. the questions were asked and answered, there are real problems confronting the state. the nuts can continue to whine here, but come crunch time the 3 issues this fall will be

deomocrat corruption
democrat bungling of the economy
democrat failure of broadway bank.

I also note that in the wgn video, eric elk has apparently morphed into a woman with blonde hair, interesting.

they will look at these fitness reports, try to find some other bs, use some intern to work over the weekend to crosscheck the reports with statements he's made about his service, and probably find nothing.

the biggest losers in all of this are the 10th dems who spent a decade looking under every vote, donation, rathole and donor to find dirt on mark and couldn't figure this out. So while catlady and her ace numnut carl nyberg and former operative rob n scream and shout in glee at their "major find" it is too little too late as it won't make a difference this year against more flawed alexi.


and now back to the blago trial.


Carl Nyberg said...

I made the case that Mark Kirk continued to say things that are untrue even yesterday. See E10.

So, I don't think the issue is dead. First Kirk has to tell the truth about everything he's "misremembered" along the way.

A. Bees said...

Honestly Mark never would have misrepresented his military record on purpose. However, his staff has done a horrible job handling the crisis communications around this situation. I feel terrible for Mark.

Carl Nyberg said...

==Honestly Mark never would have misrepresented his military record on purpose.==

Yeah! Because Republican politicians never lie or say things that are self-serving.

You've been played by a guy who is a con man. He used the military and your fears about a foreign threat to get your confidence and then he used your support to advance his personal career.

Team America said...

And it really kills you that so many simple, naive fools like ourselves simply can't see that, doesn't it?

A. Bees said...

Sad part is that I actually know Mark. I know him as a person. I know his ethics, I know his intelligence and I know his honor. This is a man who would never do something that would damage his reputation in the military. The men and women in uniform mean more to Mark than his career.

Carl Nyberg said...

== The men and women in uniform mean more to Mark than his career.==

So how do you reconcile Kirk repeatedly lying about his military service and your belief that he has passion, love and respect for people who served?

Based on my experience talking to Mark Kirk, he was completely disrespectful of me and my military experience b/c it didn't support some cheap political point he was trying to score in a candidate forum.

A. Bees said...

By comparison to the cheap political point you were trying to score against his stance?

Come on Carl, we both know that you were there with an agenda and for the purpose of attacking Mark. You don't like Mark and never have, this is not a new revelation.

Let's also discuss the term "lie". That says that Mark knowingly mislead people. But the only thing we actually know is that he made a big ass mistake.

I agree that this is a big ass mistake that he deserves to be publicly reprimanded for. And that is currently happening.

However, we all know that saying he repeatedly lied, when more than likely he made a big ass, even dumb ass mistake, is not verified or truthful.

I understand that you want people to say he lied, as much as I want people to say that Alexi is the banker to the mob, but neither is truthful.

Carl Nyberg said...

Let me set the scene.

I was involved in a non-profit that liked John Porter.

It was an eleven-way GOP debate.

I was there to make friends.

I met Kirk one-on-one afterwards.

I've met a bunch of pols in my day. And Mark Kirk is the biggest jerk, in person, of any politician I've met.

A. Bees said...

Funny I met him in the same time frame, but I was fresh out of college.

In my case he was one of the warmest and most engaging people I have ever met. The fact that I grew up on Army bases only furthered the connection and respect.

Judging from how well Mark did out of that primary, it sure seems like your experience was more the exception than the rule.

Or, and this is NOT an accusation, there was some other aspect of that encounter that created the rift.

Anonymous said...

I can see why some have hard time believing that Kirk would ever lie himself. But facts are facts. There are simply too many instances of misrepesentations (5-6 so far) and some of them went on for far too long. If Kirk had no idea that people from his campaign were lying or exaggerating his record, the problem is almost as bad if not worse. Sorry but it seems thar his campaign for the senate is already imploding. He was anything but convincing in the meeting with the Sun Times journalists yesterday.

Team America said...

I find it remarkable that Carl has devoted so much of his time recently to destroying Kirk all based on a brief encounter 10 years ago.

Quite a crusade to mount against someone who pissed you off.

I've never been sure what Kirk ever did to Ellen - maybe accidentially ran over one of her cats with his truck or something - but you guys are definitely two peas in a pod.

Anonymous said...

Ultimately, there will be a comparison of these two individuals. Lexi -mob the mob banker who lost your kid's college savings v. a guy who served his country and misrepresented an award name.

Anonymous said...

Hey, A Bees, don't waste time or your words on the likes of Carl or that beasty Ellen. They have their agenda and it's called hatred of Mark Kirk. Their ongoing vendetta against Kirk is well documented. So is Mark's sterling record in his Fitness Report which is all documented by the Navy. I agree. What has unfolded is a dumb ass whatever since he and his record do not need embellishment. Mark Kirk is a warm, outgoing guy who has garnered the respect AND the votes of the majority of voters in this district. That fact alone has all but driven sicko Gill into the assylum. Let it go, A, she and he aren't worth any of this.

Blue Wind said...

What I find remarkable here is that when some call Giannoulias a "mobster" without any evidence whatsoever it is just fine. When others point to links and articles from the Washington post or the Chicago Sun Times establishing the misrepresentations of Kirk (at least 5 or 6 so far), they are "haters". Hmmm...double standard or what?

Blue Wind said...

Wow....more problems for Kirk. Is that what his foreign policy experience is ?

These things sound like something that Sarah Palin would say. is that why Kirk sought her endorsement in the republican primary? Maybe because he understands foreign policy as well as she does?

And before anyone calls me a "hater", please check the links. They simply link directly or indirectly to the Sun-Times article. Are the journalists of the Chicago Sun-Times "Kirk haters" as well?

Let me give you a hint: noone hates Kirk. The problems of Kirk reflect his own actions and/or the actions of his stuff. The misrepresentations of his record and his apparent ignorance about foreign policy issues. Kirk is not qualified to be in the US senate. However, he is eminently qualified to be Governor of Alaska.

Anonymous said...

1. only one story today on somali pirates from abdon pallasch who seems to actually like the congressman A LOT, which means the bleeding has stopped and starting next week the blago trial is going to dominate to an extent that there won't be time for much else.

Which is the good news.

2. the bad news is that as the suntimes story says today, the media is now going to go back through every single statement and piece of mark's greatest strength-his knowledge of issues on foreign affairs and try to play gotcha, which each time they bring it back up, will ding him.

Not good.

3. I expect Alexi is doing polling this weekend to examine the extent of the damage. If you don't see a poll out early next week with him showing momentum that will be A VERY GOOD SIGN, because as we've seen from dan, candidates who dont release polling usually dont because its bad news.

4. Left unsaid is the fact that the 2nd to last fundraising quarter numbers are due in 3 weeks. Because of when this story broke in the quarter alexi will have very very little time to capitalize on it to raise bucks. He has to wait until this week to get polling back, then a couple days for the story to roll out, then a few more days to recruit donors then a few more days to actually hold the fundraisers, that gives him at best 2 weeks around 4th of july weekend to try to make up for 2 months of fundraising where people saw him buried.

Not good for him, and a low number after the 4th of july will hopefully for mark quash any momentum he got out of this.

This fundraising quarter sets the stage for the last big one which is where pacs and donors generally wait for, especially in this economy as they want to back winners and want to see what the race looks like. If alexi looks bad, as he probably will, the money and with it, momentum will start falling to mark particularly in the biz community which has trended left.


Anonymous said...

The problem with Blue and his continuing rants against Kirk, now suggesting that Alaska would be a good choice for him to land, is that Blue validates his hatred for Kirk in everything he writes. That TA gives him space to babble is commendable.
Tomorrow's Tribune lead editorial is already on line. They do acknowledge that Kirk's record is admirable so why would he embeliish. They also note that Alexi still was emptying wastebaskets at the Bank and never taking the heat for all the missteps. Read the piece. It's not great for either Kirk or Alexi.
On balance, Kirk will be shown to be the best leader for our State and our nation. His past proven record of accomplishments in the 10th district are out there for all to see and appreciate. Alexi has nothing. Perhaps he should return to Greece and sharpen his basketball skills.
The voters will decide on November 2 who they'll send to DC. Nobody cares what I say, what Blue rants about, because few read this blog. That's a fact. Sorry, TA.
Kirk made a giant mistake. Is it a fatal one? Absolutely NOT. Period. End of the discussion.

Blue Wind said...

Anon. 2.08,

The only one who "rants" all the time is you. And stop calling people who disagree with you and argue with facts and links to the Chicago newspapers "haters". That's totally ridiculous and shows your weakness. You do not have arguments and your only way to argue is to resolve to name calling and to try to push away from here anyone who disagrees with you.

Let me repeat, this TA's space, not yours. If he asks me to stop posting, I will because it is his blog and has the right to do so. You do not have that right. Got it? As for TA, although I disagree with him on everything, I respect him and have repeatedly commented him for being open minded and allowing opposing views in his blog. He deserves a lot of credit for this.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if you READ what you post, Blue, you realize the idiocy of your statements. Kirk has represented this district with distinction for the past 10 years. Kirk has served with distinction in the Navy Reserves for 21 years. He made a mistake by overblowing his accomplishments in the Reserve. Not once, not ever, have I heard you or any of your friends make one kind reference to all that this Congressman has achieved. Not once have you said that he has apologized for his human error of boasting. Those without a blemish should cast the first stone. Mark Kirk is human, he made a serious error by overstating his service. Only Mark Kirk will ever know why he found it necessary to embellish an already stellar record in the Navy.
It's time to move forward. It's time to accept his apology and move on to the issues that the average family is dealing with every second of the day. This is past history but you and your ilk can't seem to let it go. I hope that TA uses a new issue to talk about, issues like the 13 trillion dollar deficit, the dwindling supply of physicians, the loss of jobs, homes in foreclosure and what Mark Kirk hopes to do to help solve problems. This ridiculous discussion and continuing attack on him shows YOUR colors.

Anonymous said...

TA: I love how you repeatedly attempt to frame Kirk's lies as "mistakes." I was in the military. Everyone who has ever served in the military knows exactly what awards they received and why they received them. Kirk has been inflating his resume, just as Dan Seals inflated his by implying he was in some kind of "Presidential Fellowship" program.

Bees: Kirk has repeatedly voted to waste the lives of military personnel with pointless occupations of foreign nations. Obviously, he cares more about his career and ideology than military personnel. His two weeks long PR stunt in Afghanistan not withstanding, Kirk has never risked his life for this nation.

Everyone: Nobody who has actually served as a line officer in any branch of the military is going to laud Kirk's service. While it seems to have been honorable, Kirk is a restricted line officer. He's a paper pusher. There's nothing heroic about his job. He doesn't fly planes; he's not "Maverick" or whatever other assinine, overblown nickname his supporters care to give him.

Blue Wind said...

ANON 4:48,
You are refusing to face reality. Kirk and/or his stuff have admitted 5 (five) misrepresentations so far. Not 1, not 2, not 3, but 5. You tell me how many mistakes and how many errors his stuff could have made. If that is the case (which I dont believe, I believe these were deliberate exaggerations) what does that say about competence? Is competence a requirement to serve in the senate? Seriously....

Integrity and competence are major issues and the attention Kirk's get on this issue is fair.

Arie Friedman, M.D. said...

Anon 5:38

Your statement that "Kirk has never risked his life for this nation," is offensive. Anyone who has ever flown in a U.S. Naval Aircraft has risked his life for this nation. Enough of the men and women I served with died to make that an indisputable fact.

Arie Friedman, M.D. said...

One more point. As a former unrestricted line officer and Desert Storm Veteran (with 406 shipboard landings in my logbook including 183 at night), I personally laud the service of anyone who wears the uniform of the United States. Not everyone gets the glory of wearing gold wings on his chest. Most do support work and "push papers." But each and every one of them deserves our thanks and respect. Rep. Kirk's service has been honorable and I reject the notion that any line officer would feel differently.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lord.

Lesley Barton is blogging now.

Is this how you define candidates in the 10th, guys?

Anonymous said...

The Beacon-News from just a few moments ago:

"And now we have yet another Illinois politician to entertain them -- Mark Kirk."

And how! Popcorn!

Blue Wind said...

Very interesting article in the New York Times about Mark Kirk. The title is "A Candidate Tripped Up by Truth on the Campaign Trail".

I guess the New York Times must be "haters" as well.

Anonymous said...

the last local to apologize in the papers got creamed at the polls.

Carl Nyberg said...

Arie Friedman, M.D.,

Do you acknowledge Kirk lied about his military record?

What is your general opinion of veterans who grossly embellish their military feats and heroism in the media?

I get passing off a friend's story as your own over a beer.

Arie Friedman, M.D. said...


The point of my posts was to address the ideas that a) Mark has never risked his life for this country (FALSE), and b) no line officer would laud his service because he is a paper pusher(FALSE, in at least my particular case).

Obviously, I am not a fan of anyone misrepresenting their military service or allowing it to be misrepresented on their behalf. Both Kirk and Blumenthal have perfectly honorable military records to run on and should have stuck with the strict truth. However, they are both in an entirely different category from those who claim to be combat Marines, SEALS, Naval Aviators or the like but have never actually served in the first place.

One last thought. When I ran for Congress, I was amazed at how often reporters, supporters, staffers, volunteers, and opponents, misunderstood the details of my military service. It got to the point where I made the rule that no one except for me was allowed to answer questions or release information about my miliary record. So, to a certain extent, I buy Mark's statement that erroneous information came out of his office without his knowledge. Not that I think that explains everything or that it relieves him of responsibility.

Bottom line is that Mark would have to do a lot worse before I would consider voting for Alexi or sitting the election out. By the way, I'm still waiting for my daughter's Bright Start refund.

Anonymous said...

So we have hard proof that Kirk has lied continually and intentionally over at least 10 years, and that's supposed to be a lesser issue than a mistaken baseball call? At least the ump immediately took responsibility and apologized. Kirk continued to lie about how the issue was discovered as well as other military claims.

Kirk has also blatantly misrepresented his positions over the years, as his statements haven't matched his voting record. Now he's backing away from those positions, flip-flopping in attempt to win over the far Right.

For some reason the Tribune and many state Republicans just can't accept that their guy has been dishonest as long as he's been in public life. None of this is surprising to Kirk's progressive constituents. We've been trying to expose him for years, but the local media has refused to listen. This time they were forced to pay attention when the Washington Post exposed the truth. Why haven't the local media paid serious attention to his record of lies all these years? It's a bit fishy - esp since the reporter who covered Kirk for the Trib is now his press secretary.

Anonymous said...

james warren who wrote that nasty piece in the chicago news cooperative which is really an employment program for fired chicago tribune journalists is a radical leftist who once ran a rag called the chicago reader. He's as unbiased as catlady.

translation not.

as I predicted this self inflicted wound has as of this morning in the editorials written about it shredded mark's credibility with the press, but not changed the fact that alexi's still a failed mob banker whose party is responsible for the economic nightmare the state faces and who is buried beneath the blago trial which will put the state democrat party on the defensive for the rest of the year.

carl, you need a life. my I suggest bocce ball?

dr.ari, keep fighting the good fight, perhaps you could offer yourself to team kirk as their head of veterans for kirk or jews for kirk.


Blue Wind said...

I think that your comparison of Blumenthal to Kirk is unfair. Blumenthal lied on a single issue (he said that he is Vietnam vet but he was not). Kirk and his team lied on many. From presenting himself as a veteran of operation Iraqi freedom when he was not up to claiming to have won a personal award that does not exist. For many years.

Sorry, but Kirk's case is much worse. Blumenthal's numbers have completely recovered and he now leads the race in CT by 25 points. Lets see what happens here in IL. Before the scandals, Kirk was leading by 3-5%. It will be very interesting to see the next poll. I believe that Giannoulias will make a come back and will win the election. He is a much better candidate and he never lied about his record.

Badge of Honor said...


Alexi never lied about his record?

Tell that to the Brite Start families who he first tried to convince that he lost less than he really did. And then tried to convince he got back more than he really did.

Kirk may have tried to make the good things he did look better, but Alexi lied to try and hide the damage he did to Illinois families.

Of course he also lies to make himself look better - wonder if we will be hearing more about he Charity he "founded" and "chairs"?