New York Times’ Fitzsimmons/Zeleny report that “a leader of the church” where Rep. Mark Kirk (R-10) “claims he worked as a nursery school teacher” said 6/18 “that he had overstated his role there.” Forest Home Chapel council member Sally Grubb said “Kirk had a limited role while working part-time in a work-study program while he was a student” at Cornell Univ. nearly three decades ago.
Grubb: “He was never, ever considered a teacher. He was just an additional pair of hands to help a primary teaching person.”
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“Eight longtime members of the church,” including two ex-pastors, said “that they did not recall having a male nursery school teacher” in ‘81. Ex-pastor Thomas Wolfe: “I don’t remember any men who worked there. It was a team of women. I used to go over every morning and have coffee with them.”
A review of public comments by Kirk “over the last decade shows that he has often referred to himself in speeches, campaign commercials and interviews as a former nursery, middle and high school teacher.” Kirk spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski: “Congressman Kirk believes his time working in a nursery school and middle school provided valuable life experience.”
“Grubb said that she had told a representative of the Kirk campaign of her concerns when the campaign contacted her” to try to verify Kirk’s time at the nursery. “She said she had spoken to the teacher who led what was then a play group that met in the church basement.” The teacher had a “vague recollection” of having him as a work-study student, “but she did not remember his name.” She added that Kirk “did not have major responsibilities at the play group, like creating lesson plans, and he was assistant who played with the children” (6/18).
MSNBC’s “First Read” asks “when is this going to end for Kirk?” Treas. Alexi Giannoulias (D) “may be a flawed candidate,” but his camp’s ability “to cut Kirk as many times as it has” shows the Dem “has a first-rate campaign” (6/21).
“Capitol Fax“‘s Miller reports that “a top labor official said he approached last week” for a 5K donation to help the Constitution Party pay petition gatherers to get on the ballot. “The advantages are many to getting that party on” the ticket, especially with Kirk’s “voting record and his veracity troubles” (6/21).
NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I) hosted a fundraiser for Kirk in NYC 6/19 (Haberman, Politico, 6/18). Giannoulias proposed “creating a huge construction fund to help modernize” the nation’s transportation systems 6/20. He said he would end “some tax breaks for oil and natural gas companies” to pay for the $45B fund (Wills, AP, 6/20).
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"North Korea said on Friday it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean after President Donald Trump vowed to destroy the reclusive country, with leader Kim Jong Un promising to make Trump pay dearly for his threats. Kim did not specify what action he would take against the United States or Trump, whom he called a 'mentally deranged U.S. dotard' in the latest bout of insults the two leaders have traded in recent weeks."
President Trump this afternoon announced another round of sanctions on North Korea, calling the regime "a continuing threat." The executive order, which Trump relayed to Congress, bans any ship or plane that has visited North Korea from visiting the United States within 180 days. The order also authorizes sanctions on any financial institution doing business with North Korea, and permits the secretaries of State and the Treasury to sanction any person involved in trading with North Korea, operating a port there, or involved in a variety of industries there.
In response to a reporter's question, President Trump said "he’ll be looking to impose further financial penalties on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic tests. ... The U.N. has passed two resolutions recently aimed at squeezing the North Korean economy by cutting off oil, labor and exports to the nation." Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that South Korea's unification ministry is sending an $8m aid package aimed at infants and pregnant women in North Korea. The "humanitarian gesture [is] at odds with calls by Japan and the US for unwavering economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang."
President Trump on Tuesday night met with UN Secretary Guterres and President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak. In both cases, as per releases from the White House, Trump pressed them on the need to reform the UN bureaucracy.