Thursday, June 24, 2010

An Eye to the Future

June 24 is the halfway point between the 2010 Primary and the November election. Well, give or take a week. Or two. Which means it is time for your LakeCountyEye's 2010 election halftime predictions:

Prediction #1
This prediction was predicted here once already ...
Bla-Go Directly to Jail?
But the leak is worth repeating.

Since when is it illegal to be a Chicago-style politician -- in Chicago-style Chicago? Everyone following the BP oil spill knows by now there is nothing unseemly to be caught exerting a Chicago-style shakedown. Here in Illinois it's called campaign fundraising. Rod Blagojevich will walk.
Prediction #2
State Senator Dan Duffy, who has had his fill of the career politicians, will resign some time after the election. State Rep Ed Sullivan Jr will be appointed to replace Duffy. Operatives are not to be discouraged from seeing the irony in this.
Prediction #3
Republicans in Lake County will do poorly again in November among Hispanics. Watch for Michael Waller, Lake County States Attorney, to also retire/resign some time after the election. Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, who expects to be re-elected, also expects promises to be kept and to be appointed the new States Attorney. If so, look for an Hispanic to be appointed the new Sheriff.
Prediction #4
There will be no more than 3 LakeCountyEye 2010 election halftime predictions.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jumping the Shark

When I posted about Jeffrey Brincat's fiesta fundraiser for Robert Dold, I had no idea that my post would produce such intense interest in the blogosphere. Neither did I realize the depth of anger I still felt over the Brincat family's subprime lending company Mercury Finance Co. which collapsed in 1997 taking my personal finances with it. Brincat was a top executive of that company.

The last 10-K before the company's collapse in January 1997, as a result of accounting fraud for which Brincat's father John went to federal prison in 2007, shows that Jeffrey Brincat was an executive officer of Mercury.

Mercury's operating subsidiaries commenced operations in February 1984 for the purpose of penetrating the market for small dollar amount consumer loans (average of $3,000 or less). The initial focus was toward small, short term, direct installment loans made to U.S. military servicemen.
Mercury Finance Company
FORM 10-K, December 31, 1996
Jeffrey Brincat now runs Consumer Financial Services Corp., a high-rate loan business not unlike Mercury Finance. Mercury set up shop mostly near military bases and lent money to GIs and other low-income borrowers at shamelessly high interest rates. Words like risk-return ratios were bandied about, but these were vulnerable soldiers we were taking advantage of. We the owners of Mercury were loan sharks, pure and simple. And I paid for my greed: I lost a lot of money, along with thousands of other shareholders, when Mercury collapsed. Shareholders lost $2 billion all told. John Brincat, too, Jeffrey's father, also paid and continues to pay with loss of freedom. But John never paid the shareholders a dime and his family still owns a mansion in Lake Forest.

When I learned that Brincat had lent his mansion in Lake Forest to Robert Dold this past weekend for a fundraiser, I wanted to shine some light on the connection between Dold and this end of the consumer lending business, particularly as it involves loans to military personnel. Particularly since Robert Dold professes to be such a big supporter of the military and, if elected, would have a say in financial services reform before Congress. High-interest lenders are fighting tooth and nail against any sort of reform of their industry, including caps on interest that can be charged.

I had expected this issue to be ignored, as most blog posts are. But the intensity of the reaction and several comments on my previous post led me to do a little more research on Jeffery Brincat, Consumer Financial Services, and the local candidates financially supported by them. Turns out Brincat and his wife have given $7200 to Robert Dold this cycle, according to (This is all publicly available information.) Executives and employees at Brincat's subsidiary companies in far-away Aurora, Berwyn and Chicago donated $3000 more, to a candidate who couldn't possibly have attracted their attention without Brincat's encouragement.

In addition to supporting Robert Dold, the Brincats donated more than $25,000 to Mark Kirk and other Illinois Congressmen in previous cycles.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bla-Go Directly to Jail?

The most highly anticipated media circus of this election cycle -- the Rod Blagojevich trial -- is not only already here, but is nearly over, already. What gives? The blogosphere must've been too fascinated by the Mark Kirk cavalcade of equivocation to pay any attention to what's gone down, down at the Dirsken Courthouse. What has gone down -- has Blago been sent up the river yet? Anybody? Bueller?

Your LakeCountyEye may have no recourse other than inquire with the newspaper of record, the Chicago Tribune:
The selection of wiretap recordings released in the Blagojevich trial thus far portray a governor stressed over campaign contributions and flippant about his supporters.
The governor on tape
Well, your LakeCountyEye is not aware of any Federal statute that makes being stressed a felony. Is there something in the penal code that says flippancy-with-intent-to-bleep gets you a free bus token to a Federal pen? Perhaps your LakeCountyEye has overlooked some pertinent detail from the wiretap ...
ROD BLAGOJEVICH: Well you gotta go over those lists and then find some more. Just find some people we can call and say hey look, can you send us five thousand, can you send us whatever. You follow me?
ROD BLAGOJEVICH: Work those lists that, you know, of people who are falling through the cracks. PAC, people in PACs and see if we can just, you know, chip away and pick up another one hundred or two hundred ...

Dec. 6, 2008 12:10 p.m.
Your LakeCountyEye may be just a simple country blogger, but that sounds an awful like a candidate and his cash-coach discussing call time. If Patrick Fitzgerald has decided that a candidate who dials-for-dollars is now a candidate for a Federal indictment, then note to Operatives: you best start cutting your deals with the Federal prosecutors. Because, LOL, everyone is going to jail.

If this is all that they have on Blagojevich then he beats the rap. Take it to the Boardwalk Bank: the LakeCountyEye magic crystal ball foresees that Blagojevich will walk.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Loan Shark Hosts Dold Funder

I confess. I'm appalled at the people who are allowed to finance political campaigns in America.

 Screen Capture from TeamAmerica
On Saturday, Jeffrey Brincat opened his mansion in Lake Forest for "fiesta" for Bob Dold, candidate for Congress from the 10th District. Brincat, in case that name doesn't ring a bell, is part of a loan-sharking family that has been offering ultra-high-interest pay day loans to servicemen for almost 20 years. He currently owns Consumer Financial Services Corp., one of whose locations is a quick cab ride from Great Lakes naval base in North Chicago.

In the meantime, Brincat's father, John, is serving 10 years in the federal penitentiary for what the Tribune called "a two-billion book-cooking scheme" that federal prosecutors called "the biggest accounting fraud in the history of northern Illinois." That was for shenanigans at Mercury Finance Co., a "subprime" auto loan shark almost exclusively preying on military folks around the country, which imploded in January 1997, taking its shareholders with it.

USA Today reported that payday loan companies typically operate near military installations ...
As many as one in five members of the armed services are being preyed on by loan centers set up near military bases that can charge cash-strapped military families interest of 400% or more, a new Pentagon report has found.
Pentagon sees risk in troops' loan debt
Lest someone say that the sins of the father should not be visited on the son, Jeffrey Brincat, the host of the fundraiser, was Vice President, Administration, of Mercury until its bitter end. He started Consumer Financial Services Corp., a look-alike payday loan brand, shortly thereafter. And far from losing all his money or being required to pay shareholders back, Jeffrey Brincat owns a $4 million mansion in Lake Forest (now in a trust controlled by his wife), from which they pour largess upon Republicans like Dold. ($4800 so far this year, before the funder.)

Despite his father's setbacks, it's so nice for Republicans that Jeff Brincat landed on his feet.

Here's the thing, though. Robert Dold professes to be a strong supporter of the military. Isn't there something just a bit fishy about the fact that Brincat, who seems to be making a good living off of the vulnerabilities of our service men and women, is also a strong supporter and contributor to Dold's campaign effort?

A Black Eye for Q the Eye

Your LakeCountyEye recently reported an altercation between 8th Congressional District Green candidate, Bill Scheurer, and a mean neighborhood dog ...
Q the Eye/06.18.10
The post drew from items reported as news by the Daily Herald ...
[Patrick] Hilliard, however, feels that it is his family who are the victims in this case - victims of harrassment [sic] as the Scheurers go door-to-door in the neighborhood with a petition for his dog to be declared dangerous.
Congressional candidate in dispute over dog bite
In a breaking news exclusive, your LakeCountyEye can now report that there is no petition. And that Bill Scheurer is not nor will be going door-to-door with a petition to have the dog declared dangerous. Your LakeCountyEye is not positioned to comment on the Herald's mistake. However it is a well known fact that local/small market print-media reporters pretty much write up their stories as dictated to them over the phone by political operatives.

An unnamed Operative contacted your LakeCountyEye with this exclusive in a Triple-DES encrypted e-mail via L2TP/VPN. Your LakeCountyEye is authorized to divulge only small excerpts from the dispatch:
You obviously have no understanding of what it means to be a peace candidate either. It does not mean you roll over in the face of injustice and aggression. It means you apply forces more creative and constructive than idiotic war to resolve problems.
So true. So true.
There IS action pending with Lake County Animal Control because this is the fifth time this dog has left its yard and attacked -- this last time inflicting severe wounds that required tubes of bloody stents that made the victim dog look like a grotesque porcupine.
Your LakeCountyEye wishes a speedy and full recovery to the injured dog. Hopefully in time for the dog to vote for the Green Party Candidate in November. The unfortunate incident is not likely to win the Green Party many other votes.
If the Daily Herald won't hire you, try the Chicago Tribune. Their standards are even lower.
Your LakeCountyEye appreciates the nice words of encouragement -- although these bridges, in particular, may have already been burned.

Web of Iniquity

A valuable lesson to be taken home from your LakeCountyEye's political-hack handbook: don't bother putting up a website for your candidate. No voter ever looks at them; websites are more trouble than they are worth. For operatives who must produce a website, then don't show anything more than your candidate's name, photo and a clicky widget thingy for taking donations. The only people looking at your website are your opponents. The only time the press looks at your website is when your opponents contact them to complain about something on your website.

Case in point: Dan Seals, the 10th Congressional District Democratic candidate. Seals has a website packed with items, including endorsements. The website claimed a Daily Herald endorsement for Seals, but it wasn't obvious that the endorsement came for the February primary.

Republican operatives seized on this, naturally, and wanted action from Herald. Now these sort of boo-boos occur on every website -- webpages tend to get posted and then forgotten. Seals's Republican opponent, Robert Dold claimed a similar Chicago Tribune endorsement on his webite -- and it wasn't obvious that the endorsement came for the February primary.

Still, it looks like the Herald printed the story pretty much as it was handed to them by the Republican Operatives ...

Dan Seals was misleading voters by including a portion of a Daily Herald endorsement as part of a rotating gallery of information on his campaign home page, according to a blogger who follows the action in the 10th. The endorsement came during the Democratic primary, as Seals dueled two other candidates.
Endorsement claim raises issue in 10th District
Predictably EllenOfTheTenth cried foul ...

For some reason the Daily Herald is receptive to bogus attacks peddled by Republican activists and operatives.
Daily Herald hatchets Seals; Illinois Reason shows the hypocrisy
And IllinoisReason cried foul ...

Larry Falbe, conservative blogger at Team America and perennial Democrat-hater, apparently convinced the Daily Herald to publish an article criticizing Dan Seals for still having the old Herald primary endorsement on his campaign homepage.
IL-10: Daily Herald carries water for Bob Dold
And the CapitolFaxBlog couldn't resist getting in on the fun ...

Props to Larry [Falbe] for pushing that story into the mainstream, but the Daily Herald reporter and Larry should've both looked at Republican Bob Dold's website before they launched into their attack on Dan Seals.
Dear Daily Herald: How hard would it be to click over to Dold’s site, too?
Your LakeCountyEye however is puzzled by this last statement. Falbe isn't a reporter. Any political-hack is under no obligation to report both sides of a story. With regard to the Herald reporter, the CapitolFaxBlog ought to know that print-media reporting in a local/small market is nowadays probably an occupation half a rung above Internet blogging. Where the typical Internet blogger at this moment is watching the Cartoon Network and eating peanut butter ice cream from the carton.

So, does anyone really expect a Daily Herald reporter to do anything more than write up a story pretty much as it was dictated over the phone?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Q the Eye/06.18.10

Dear LakeCountyEye,

I'm a candidate running for election but every time I try to walk my own neighborhood I'm attacked by a mean dog. It's gotten so I don't want to leave the house. But I really want to serve in Congress, in Washington DC. What should I do?

Thrown to the Dogs

Dear Oh, Sure,

One item from your Idiot's Guide to Running for Congress worth committing to memory: when setting up a photo-op for yourself, you can never arrange to have too many babies and/or dogs in the picture. Every image of you kissing that baby and/or dog is good for a minimum 100 additional votes. The obvious corollary to the rule: never get caught kicking a dog -- particularly if Fido does not belong to you.

So don't make the mistake made by Bill Scheurer, the Green Party Candidate for the 8th Congressional District. Scheurer wants the Health Department to place a neighbor's dog on his county's dangerous dog list. Technically this is not the same as kicking a dog, but the two pretty much are politically equivalent. The Daily Herald has the details ...
Congressional candidate in dispute over dog bite
Not only has Scheurer angered dog lovers, but he's done it for the benefit of the Daily Herald. Getting one's message out is always a good thing. Still, it needs to be a message intended to help your campaign, not hurt it.

The crème de briard to this shaggy tale has Scheurer going door to door, with petition in hand, to have the offending dog declared dangerous. (Your LakeCountyEye cannot help but wonder if Scheurer also used the opportunity to ask "can I put you down for a yardsign"?) But a story like this can sink a campaign faster than a Dean scream. Your LakeCountyEye recalls one candidate who managed to pat/pat/pat a dog that was ripping up his coat-sleeve, all the while complimenting the owner on his friendly dog. Worth noting, this was not a candidate for peace. Scheurer is the 8th District peace candidate, so your LakeCountyEye supposes he can be expected to behave differently.

And it shouldn't hurt to tattoo this somewhere: the 8th Congressional District is ground zero for inept political campaigning. Ever since Phil Crane passed his sinecure to Melissa Bean in 2004, the campaign trail in the 8th has become a junkyard of campaign buses whose wheels came off at some point before the November election. Your LakeCountyEye suggests, if you want to run for Congress then put the junkyard dog on his leash and head over to the 8th Congressional District. Absolutely no experience is necessary!

If you are an elected official, or a previously elected official, or just a private citizen under indictment, send your political questions to Q the Eye c/o ...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Creepy Tribune Cartoonist Now Rated NC-17

Ordinarily the catcher flashes signs to the pitcher. This player seems to be flashing something else ...

Chicago Tribune, 06/17/2010
Is this what happens when a ballplayer drops a fly -- or are the Cubs playing an exhibitionist game?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Belt Out the Blues

Had he been pulled over by a fashion cop, he would have been clocked doing the equivalent of 115 in a school-for-the-blind zone. As reported on this blog ...
A Not-Gay Republican Illinois Congressman
Aaron Schock, Congressman from downstate & empyrean Peoria, was seen at a White House fete in an outfit that could be charitably described as second place runner-up in a Dawn Wells lookalike contest.

First Place

Schock's coordinated outfit came accessorized with a belt, in a shade of blue never before seen by the human eye. Leading to quite reasonable suspicion among the Operatives that Schock was the victim of a Photoshop ambush. Not so, however. The tragically not-color-blind Aaron Schock has fessed up to his fashion faux pas on -- where else -- Twitter:
Never thought a pic of me w/ my shirt on would go viral. Learned my lesson and burned the belt.
Now your LakeCountyEye probably would just have donated to belt to Goodwill or Liza Minnelli or something. But if burning the belt is what to takes to defeat temptation, then a man has to do what a man has to do.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Truth Stranger Than Fact

Your LakeCountyEye spent the weekend examining whether or not a high profile Illinois Republican Congressman is a closeted gay ...
A Not-Gay Republican Illinois Congressman
but the Operatives however are having none of it. They would much rather hear the latest about Mark Kirk instead. The Sunday dispatch in the Mark-Kirk-Truth-Or-Dare melodrama came from the Tribune ...
When Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk says he repeatedly deployed to Afghanistan with the Navy, he's referring to two-week training missions as part of his annual reservist requirements. After acknowledging a series of misstatements that embellished his Navy service, Kirk is being challenged over his use of the military term "deployment"
Kirk again challenged over military record
Your LakeCountyEye can sympathize, also being frequently challenged for spurious use of the term deployment. As in, "when are you going to the deployment office to look for a job?"

But if it seems that your LakeCountyEye has been AWOL, there has been a reason, at this blog, for the dearth of dirt to be dished lately regarding the padding & embellishments & outright prevarications on Mark Kirk's political resume. Your LakeCountyEye is under assignment and has been secretly deep web searching for things that Mark Kirk has said that are verifiably true. No mean feat. There are at a minimum 10 of them; here they are, in order of plausibility:

Ten Factual Statements Attributed to Mark Kirk

  1. Name, Rank, Serial Number.

  2. When the going gets tough the tough get going.

  3. Politics makes strange bedfellows.

  4. The best time to buy gold is right NOW!

  5. Voted For Cap and Trade.

  6. Voted Against Cap and Trade.

  7. With a name like Smuckers it has to be good.

  8. E/c = Mv :theorem
    L/c = t :theorem
    E/c * L/c = Mv * t
    EL/c2 = Mvt
    EL = Mvtc2
    Mvt = mL :theorem
    EL = mLc2
    E = mc2


  9. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.

  10. You can't handle the truth!

If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.
Joseph Goebbels

If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.
Joseph Goebbels

If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.
Joseph Goebbels

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Not-Gay Republican Illinois Congressman

Is that Thurston Howell III & Lovey posing with Mary Ann at a Gilligan's Island cast reunion? Nope it's Illinois's very own Congressman Aaron Schock.

Here's the proof:
Schock is on the right.
Mary Ann is on the left.

The Gawker broke the story and first posted the razzle-dazzle image ...
A tipster sends along this miraculous photo—which is "jamming up the gay staff listserve" on Capitol Hill — of GOP Rep. Aaron Schock (right) at Tuesday night's White House picnic. Did he win any prizes? Click to enlarge.
Congressman's Outfit Making Gay Staffer Rounds on Capitol Hill
Schock, the Republican Congressman representing downstate & inbred Peoria, not surprisingly professes to be metrosexual heterosexual. Schock may be advised to vet future sartorial choices with staff. Note to Operatives: Anyone in public, and in that outfit, is serving whiskey sours at a Palm Springs spa. Just sayin!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wonkette Rips Off Daily Beast Rips Off LakeCountyEye Rips Off TeamAmerica

It's a good thing that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, because this one is way too hard to explain. And on a Friday night.

The Cliff Notes version: Back in the day (October 2009 actually) TeamAmerica posted a story ...
NRCC Adds IL-10 Hopefuls Coulson, Dold and Green to its "Young Guns" Program
probably a dump of a press release from the National Republican Congressional Committee about some program of theirs they were calling Young Guns ...
the Young Guns Program began as a Member driven organization of House Republicans dedicated to identifying, recruiting, and mobilizing a new generation of conservative leaders.
Young Guns
Long story short, 2009 inductees into the Guns included some 10th Congressional District candidates. These newest Young Guns were, in chronological order, Octogenarian Elizabeth Coulson (remember her?), Octogenarian Richard Green (remember him?), and Septuagenarian Robert Dold (remember him?).

Naturally your LakeCountyEye picked up the story and had some fun at everyone's expense ...
Superannuated Firepower
Although first to admit: not one of your LakeCountyEye's best efforts. (Is superannuated a word?)

Anyways, fast forward and look who's doing the same snark-laced piece about the same Young Guns program, 9 or 10 months later. No one less than The Daily Beast ...
The GOP's Geezer 'Young Guns'
To put it all in perspective, back when the story appeared here on this blog, your LakeCountyEye was not eligible for Social Security & MediCare.

Operatives may want to note that if a story does not go viral, immediately, that is not to say it will not go viral, ever. The Wonkette picked up the story from The Daily Beast ...
Average Republican ‘Young Gun’ Candidate Is 50
Will the carnage ever end?

Fielders Choice

Is it nigh upon the 4th of July? Which means everyone can view the Stanley Cup, coming soon to their nearest Scott Lee Cohen pawn shop. But more importantly Lake County has the baseball fever now. And not just baseball fever, double-A independent minor league baseball fever. There's no reason to schlep down to the city any more, Lake County now has a ball club to call its own -- the Lake County Fielders. Their home opener is scheduled July 2. Go to the Lake County Journal to see a graphic of the new Zion stadium ...
Lake County team waits for field of dreams
... which will be ready some time in 2011. Until then, Fielder games will be played at a temporary stadium. The temporary stadium is at an undisclosed location, hopefully not the Zion Nuclear Power Plant ...
Zion plant powers up for teardown
Ball teams are usually associated with their cities or metroplexes, for instance the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. But for some reason, the Lake County Fielders belong to the entire county. Probably to juice ticket sales: a Barrington minor league ball fan may think twice about filling up the Range Rover and trekking cross-county to see the Zion Fielders.

It is perhaps fitting that Lake County -- the official Illinois state generic county -- has a generically named baseball team. The Lake County Fielders -- what's up with that? Was the Lake County Players already trademarked? All kidding aside ...
The team held a name-the-team contest to decide the nickname. The five finalists were Cowpokes, Luckies, Fielders, Comets, and Skippers.
There was a choice between naming the team after (1) dairy farmers, (2) cigarettes, (3) baseball players, (4) a second-tier reindeer, or (5) Alan Hale? No wonder they ended up selecting Fielders.

Of course in baseball, as in real life, marketing is 99% of everything. As a service to the community, your LakeCountyEye conducted a new survey and compiled 10 better alternative names for the Lake County Fielders ...

Ten Preferred Names for the Lake County Fielders

  1. Blagos

  2. Nudelmen

  3. Lake County Lake Countians

  4. Base Fielders

  5. Rabid Bats

  6. Chumbolones

  7. Stolen Signs

  8. The Intelligence Officers of the Year

  9. W.C. Fielders

  10. Springfield Isotopes

Alright everybody, let me hear ya now, a one, a two ...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Is Gullible in the Dictionary?

Your LakeCountyEye, for whom fear is a four letter word, is reduced to a quivering pink bunnyrabbit whenever straying west of Rte 12 and into McHenry County. This is the same McHenry county where the Sheriff supports concealed carry, and where your LakeCountyEye does not venture without first donning protective Kevlar armor. Case in point: the McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy (Eric Woods) who was hit by ricocheting bullet fragments at a March 15 training exercise.

The McHenry Sheriff is facing re-election this year and his opponents point to the accident as evidence of the Sheriff's incompetence. Of course in a County as trigger-happy as McHenry, your LakeCountyEye is surprised that accidents like these are not regular spectator events.

Operatives interested in the details can go over to the McHenryCountyBlog. While your LakeCountyEye will go to the trouble of explaining the details when necessary to advance a story, the line is drawn when the story covers McHenry County.

All things considered, your LakeCountyEye is not surprised that the Sheriff's opponents will attempt to spin the mishap for political gain. The Northwest Herald (sort of) agrees ...
For weeks, whisper campaigns and gullible bloggers claimed that Woods was the victim of a hazing incident gone awry, that officers purposely fired live ammunition at steel targets as opposed to frangible ammunition to somehow intimidate Woods.
Politicizing an accident
The Northwest Herald does not identify the gullible bloggers by name (or more importantly by URL). Perhaps because of the defamation counter-suit filed against their own defamation suit filed against blogger Cal Skinner, of the aforementioned McHenryCountyBlog. Operatives interested in the details can refer to the Daily Herald ...
Ex-legislator, newspaper dropping suits against one another
For newbies unfamiliar with the McHenryCountyBlog: this blog is Energizer Bunny of the local blogosphere, posting more stories each day than your LakeCountyEye hopes to muster in a week. The posts are mostly political and bespeak a definite point-of-view. Among other things and in the past, the McHenryCountyBlog has praised the benefits of off-shore oil drilling ...
Congressman Don Manzullo (R-Egan) today said Congress' action to end the Congressional ban on oil drilling off America’s shores will help lower gas prices and reduce our dependence on costly foreign oil.
Manzullo Praises Oil Drilling Vote
And has exposed global warming to be a media created hoax ...
If you ever wondered how ridiculous some newspaper stories are, please take a look at the headline of this Associated Press story by Seth Borenstein. It ran on page two of Elgin's Courier News on Thursday. "Blame global warming," the story says. I wonder what we blame for today's snow. You've heard of the folks who live inside Washington's Beltway, of course. There are apparently reporters who can't read weather forecasts. Ours for Good Friday was S-N-O-W.
"Spring Keeps Coming Earlier"
There is still no definitive word on who the gullible bloggers might be, although your LakeCountyEye strongly suspects the use of the plural bloggers is a red herring -- the Northwest Herald may very well intend a single unnamed local blog. Operatives are working their sources in the Northwest Herald. Your LakeCountyEye will keep you apprized as the situation warrants.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Is Congressman Mark Kirk Fabulous?

How fabulous is Mark Kirk? Fabulous enough to merit the 10th District Congressman an encore appearance, yesterday, on Rachel Maddow:

Congressman Kirk, fabulist
Operatives no doubt are wondering: left-leaning, pro-gay-rights Rachel Maddow may be expected to call Mark Kirk a lot of things. But fabulous is not one of them. What's up with that?

\Fab"u*lous\ (f[a^]b"[-u]*l[u^]s), a. [L. fabulosus; cf. F. fabuleux. See Fable.]

1. Feigned, as a story or fable; related in fable; devised; invented; not real; fictitious; as, a fabulous description; a fabulous hero.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fibber McGee's Closet

The News-Sun editorialized today, that ...
Over the years we've seen mountains made out of mole hills, but none greater than the political flap over a minor military award Congressman Mark Kirk claimed, but didn't receive.
A mole hill
Your LakeCountyEye will concede the point. However the whole l'affaire de Kirk is actually an example of an effect well understood in political circles:
Fibber McGee's Closet
Most operatives are too young to remember Fibber McGee or his eponymous closet. Back in the day, when your LakeCountyEye was a mere tadpole, many nights were spent under the blankets, with the LakeCountyEye crystal set tuned into everyone's #1 favorite radio show: Fibber McGee & Molly. The show's title character, Fibber McGee -- a blowhard given to telling tall tales and with no visible means of support -- is regarded as the patron saint of the modern Internet blogger. The best remembered running gag from the show was Fibber McGee's Closet: an over-stuffed hall closet that would eject its contents on top of anyone who opened it.

Which is exactly what happened when high profile MSM outlet, the Washington Post, decided to open Mark Kirk's political resume last week: everything came spilling out. The creative embellishments to Kirk's military service hurt Kirk with veterans and veterans groups, Kirk's natural base of support. Vets now regard Kirk as an opportunist who would lie about his service record for political gain: a weekend warrior who rides to prominence on the valor of active duty servicemen.

But the exaggerations of military service were only the tip of the iceberg. The Republican Party base -- the Libertarian and Tea-Party activists -- were always at best tepid in support of the liberal-leaning Kirk. The revelations gave that base the excuse they were waiting for to openly rebel against his Senate candidacy.

Probably the most damage done was to the Kirk spit polish brand. Which is why the media has been having so much fun reporting this story over and over again. Kirk campaigns on his record as not just a serviceman, but a straight and forthright serviceman. Kirk has branded himself as Opie Taylor in a flight suit. Which are why the revelations are more than a mere mole hill. They call into question not only Kirk's claims about his service but about his rep as a straight-shooter.

All of which means the campaign narrative is changing. A candidate who is regarded as just another scheming politician cannot rely on the indulgence of the voters. It becomes harder to disregard persistent rumors the candidate is, for instance, secretly gay. And if the candidate has been fibbing about that all of these years, then what hasn't he been fibbing about? A narrative that feeds on itself like this, will take a campaign into a downward spiral. Kirk may or may not be able to pull out of this tailspin -- the LakeCountyEye magic crystal ball is cloudy. But if you hide your junk in a closet, and that closet is a Pandora's box, you'd be well advised to keep that closet nailed shut.

Eddie Washington Dies

Eddie Washington

From Washington's Wikipedia page:
Eddie Washington was a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 60th District from 2003 until 2010. He was the sergeant at arms for the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. He died on June 4, 2010 of a heart attack.
Eddie Washington
Our condolences to Washington's family.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Miss the Mark

If Mark Kirk was hoping to consummate a campaign stop-loss policy, he probably should not have talked to the Sun-Times:
"I simply misremembered it wrong," Rep. Kirk said of the "Intelligence Officer of the Year" award he listed on his resume and boasted about on the floor of Congress.
Kirk says he 'misremembered' military record
If operatives think the remark would make a good headline, it did.

Your LakeCountyEye reviewed a transcript of the entire Sun-Times missive. A miscellany of ten misconceptions, therein and herewith, that 10th Congressional District Congressman Kirk hoped to dismiss:

10 Additional Admissions Submitted by Mark Kirk

  1. Recent attacks do not contain a missemblance of truth

  2. Regrettably, misappropriated means were taken

  3. Hopes to mispel any disconceptions about his record

  4. Always tried to maintain a professional misdemeanor

  5. The press should focus on the Rod Blagojevich mistrial

  6. It is miscumbent upon Senator Burris to misrepresent Illinois

  7. You've got to misaccentuate the positive
    Miseliminate the negative
    Latch on to the misaffirmative
    Don't miss with mister in-between

  8. I dissemble that remark

  9. Failed mob banker, Dislexi Disingennoulias

  10. Misunderestimated how easy it is to be mistook for George W Bush

Your LakeCountyEye: mispensing mispatches for your miscrete misportment.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kirk v Truth

Misstatements to be found in Mark Kirk's stated military service have been leaking in, one drip at a time, like Edgar Allan Poe's Telltale Purple Heart. The latest was caught by the Daily Herald ...
Kirk was under the microscope regarding inaccurate descriptions of his military service, this time over wrongly saying that he served "in" Operation Iraqi Freedom
New questions focus on Kirk's description of his service
Kirk was and is a member of the Navy Reserves but did not participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Other fish-tales include Politico's revelation of a ...
dramatic boast from Rep. Mark Kirk, the U.S. Naval Reserve officer running for Senate in Illinois. "In my role in the military, I command the war room in the Pentagon," Kirk told a gathering of experts
Kirk: 'I command the war room in the Pentagon'
It may very well be that Mark Kirk's political resume has benefited from more padding than a Miss USA Runner-Up. Your LakeCountyEye decided to mount an independent investigation; what the months long survey revealed will surprise and may even shock. Here are ten more unverified claims 10th District Congressman Kirk has made about his military service.

10 New Factually Incorrect Claims on Mark Kirk's Military Resume

  1. Scored 425,022 on World of Warcraft

  2. Defended Geonosis against the Attack of the Clones

  3. Wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic

  4. Portrayed by Tom Cruise in Top Gun

  5. Hand-to-hand combat with Voldemort in the Battle of Hogwarts

  6. Session sideman for Eric Burdon and War

  7. Provided Logistical Support in the Battle of the Network Stars

  8. Invented the Waring Blender

  9. Bent the Marquis of Queensbury Rules

  10. Charter Member of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

A LakeCountyEye Video Exclusive!
Live Streaming Video Direct from the War Room:

You Can't Fight in Here

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Bad Week Already for Mark Kirk
Just Got Worse

Mark Kirk might take heart that today is humpday. It's Wednesday which means there are at most two days left in a 7-day news cycle where Team-Kirk has watched their message, in a downward spiral, spin out of control.

Rich Miller observed the local editorial writers have turned on Kirk ...

This is the first time in Kirk’s long career that he has received the trifecta of newspaper slams on the same day.
Digging a hole in the ocean
The trifecta in question being the Op-Ed pages of the Tribune, Sun-Times & Daily Herald. Since no one bothers to read any of these papers, especially their editorials, your LakeCountyEye has not bothered to provide any links. (Operatives, you are instructed to find them on your own. It's not hard.)

Kirk was also the butt of a Rachel Maddow joke. A Senate Bill is pending that would make it a crime to publicly air a false statement about one's military service. Its author, Orrin Hatch, intended the Bill to embarrass a Senate candidate, Richard Blumenthal. But Rachel Maddow notes that the Bill, if passed, would also make Mark Kirk a criminal ...

Kirk Lie Puts Hatch in Awkward Spot
Of course Rachel Maddow is easy to ignore. But take note, Team-Kirk, when you lose the Tribune Creepy Cartoonist™, you may want to think about recalibrating the campaign message ...

Chicago Tribune, 06/02/2010
Operatives, you may be asking yourselves Why does Kirk have that itty-bitty little head?

For your LakeCountyEye's money, it's the suit that makes the man ...
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile,
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife,
And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

Once in a Lifetime

A Bad Week Already for Mark Kirk

Now the Wonkette has picked up on the Mark Kirk story ...
... the whole Mark Kirk == Gay thing.

Sigh, when was all that, like from 2009?

Is GOP Senate Candidate Mark Kirk a Secret Gay Homosexual?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Mark Kirk Naval Finagle

The Mark Kirk kerfuffle has all the marks of metastasizing into a full-fledged flapdoodle over which Navy award was the Congressman bestowed and when was he bestowed it? The blogosphere is abuzz over the Washington Post revelation that Senate candidate Mark Kirk never received an Intelligence Officer of the Year Award from the Navy, even though he has been claiming just that for years.

A politician not caught in a lie is a politician whose lips aren't moving, so Kirk's antics barely produced a blip on the LakeCountyEye radar. However, since your LakeCountyEye sat out the last few wars in the Dick-Cheney-Members-Only-80-Proof-Bunker, it was a revelation to learn that behavior like Kirk's does not sit well with other servicemen. It was all reported on this blog ...
Mark Kirk Caught with His Pants Down
where the commenters insist that Kirk's actions are a violation of Navy protocol.

The issue may be one between Kirk and his fellow servicemen, but not surprisingly Team-Kirk is framing it differently. A week had passed before the Navy responded to the Wash-Po's questions about Kirk, enough time for all erroneous mentions of the ballyhooed Award to disappear from Kirk's website. At the same time, Team-Kirk seized on an admission by the Wash-Po that their investigation was ...
sparked by complaints from a representative of state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias
Illinois Senate candidate admits claim about military award was inaccurate
This provided enough fuel to reframe the story as an attack on Kirk's service record. And an attack precipitated by someone who never served in the armed forces. As reported today by the News-Sun ...
Kirk, R-Highland Park, said his Democratic opponent's criticism of the mistake amounts to an attack on his 21 years of service in the Naval Reserves. Kirk faces Chicago Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, who has no military record, in the general election in November. "When I was wearing a uniform in Aviano, I think he was wearing the uniform of a basketball team in Greece," Kirk said.
Kirk accepts blame for misstating award
What by all rights could be viewed as a question of honor to be decided among servicemen, is instead portrayed as an attack from the outside. Has Kirk dishonored himself before his fellow servicemen or is he defending them from criticism by someone who never served? All your LakeCountyEye has to say is this is how damage-control is pursued in the big leagues.