Sunday, March 01, 2015

In all the places you hang out, they know your name and they know what you're about.....

It's the first day of March, meaning it's the month spring arrives (allegedly). Nevertheless, we'll be back in the Patriot bunker for another edition of The Closer from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time.

At 1:15, political wonk Matt Mackowiak will check in to discuss the continued infighting among Congressional Republicans over the Dept. of Homeland Security funding. In addition, we'll also chat about the President's veto of the Keystone XL pipeline, the weekend at CPAC, 2016 presidential prospects, etc.

Then at 2:00, political activist/blogger/Crystal city councilor Jeff Kolb will call in to the program. I'll get Jeff's insights on the latest news in Minnesota politics as well as his work on the Crystal City Council.

There's also been a lot of national news this past week, including more instances of Walker Derangement Syndrome that has catapulted the Wisconsin governor near the top of the GOP presidential field.

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio

Even though I have a face for radio, there is a UStream channel where you can watch the broadcast, if you so desire. Check it out here.  

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #narn or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....



Friday, February 27, 2015

The perpetual struggle

When a person overcomes addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, the specter of a relapse is always a concern. But when one attempts to maintain that sobriety while in a very public forum, the task is that much more daunting.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton suffered a drug relapse involving the use of cocaine and alcohol in the offseason, according to a New York Daily News report.

Hamilton has a well-documented history of substance abuse problems dating to his days in the minor leagues, when he was suspended from baseball from February 2004 to June 2006, for issues related to cocaine and alcohol addiction.

The Angels confirmed that he met with MLB officials in New York on Wednesday about a disciplinary issue but offered no specifics as to the nature of any offense.

"We're all waiting for some information to come out of New York," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Thursday. "He obviously went up there for a meeting, and we'll see how everything unfolds. But right now, we're just in a holding pattern like everyone else."

I first learned of Josh Hamilton's story in late 2003/early 2004 while reading an article in ESPN The Magazine. Said article contrasted the careers of Hamilton and pitcher Josh Beckett, who were selected first and second overall, respectively, in the 1999 MLB draft.

Beckett had just completed an incredible '03 postseason with the Florida Marlins that culminated in his pitching a five-hit shutout in Yankee Stadium in the World Series clinching victory. On the other end of the spectrum, Hamilton, who had been beset with injuries and drug addiction, had basically disappeared from organized baseball in 2003. He would be suspended from the game shortly thereafter.

When Hamilton made his MLB debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007, I immediately recalled the story I read regarding his downward spiral. As such, I was heartened that an unquestionably gifted baseball player was able to resume his love of the game. He seemed to find a home in Arlington, TX when he was traded from the Reds to the Rangers prior to the '08 season. In five seasons with Texas, Hamilton went to the All Star Game all five years while averaging 28 home runs and 101 RBIs per season. In 2010, he won the American League MVP award while leading the Rangers to their first World Series appearance in the franchise's nearly forty year history. The Rangers would repeat as AL champs in 2011.

But things seemingly went downhill for Hamilton late in the 2012 season, which would be his final one with Texas. Hamilton slumped mightily down the stretch, a slump which loomed large in the Rangers blowing a six game division lead over the Oakland A's with nine to play. In the final regular season game against the A's, Hamilton dropped what appeared to be a routine fly ball in a tie game. Oakland would go on to win that game and the AL West division, relegating Texas to the wild card game against the Baltimore Orioles. Texas' season would end after that game in which Hamilton was a miserable 0 for 4 (he even heard some boos from the Rangers' faithful).

Two months after signing a 5-year free agent contract with the Angels, Hamilton further alienated himself from Rangers' fans by saying the Dallas-Fort Worth area was "not a true baseball town." On top of that, he was downright pedestrian in his debut season with the Angels as he hit only .250 with 21 HRs and 79 RBIs in 151 games. Then in an injury plagued 2014 campaign, Hamilton played only 89 regular season games and went 0 for 13 in the ALDS where his club was swept by the Kansas City Royals. Upon conclusion of that series, Hamilton dismissed the fans' booing as "comical" and further indicated that the Angels "don’t necessarily play for the people in the stands. We play for each other." I understand all that was said out of frustration, but it's horrible optics from a player making $25 million per season.

Upon joining the Angels in 2013, I'm certain Hamilton felt tremendous pressure to redeem himself after a tumultuous end to his Rangers' career. In addition, he likely wanted to ingratiate himself to Angels' fans upon signing that $125 million deal. The weight of all that would likely wear down a relatively functional human being to say nothing of a person who has the perpetual struggle of keeping drug addiction at bay. Hamilton made a storybook comeback from his initial plummet into drugs and alcohol. Does he have enough in him to find redemption a second time? If his faith in Jesus Christ is still solid, Hamilton of all people should know that all things are possible.


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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Regarding "Net Neutrality,"....

......Verizon summed it up quite perfectly.

This was spot on as well:

I guess it's a good thing the NetFlix original series House of Cards will be released tomorrow. Once this government power grab is fully implemented, NetFlix will likely not have available to them the significant band width they utilize for their product.

Don't say Mark Cuban didn't warn ya.


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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

KXL X'ed out.

President Barack Obama vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline bill Tuesday. No shock there given he's sold out to the environmental lobby.

"The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously," Obama said in his veto message to the Senate. "But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety, and environment — it has earned my veto."

A couple of reactions:

- It was reported that this was only the third veto of Obama's six-plus years in the White House. While he chides the GOP as "obstructionists," Obama comes off as this grand leader ready and willing to sign passed legislation if those damned Republicans would just get on the stick. But the reality is that Obama was a rubber stamp for a Democrat majority in Congress his first two years in office. Then over the next four years, when the GOP had control of the U.S. House, the Dem majority in the Senate rarely even allowed debate on legislation passed by House Republicans. The point being is that the hyper-partisan President hardly ever saw any Republican drafted legislation thanks to his leftist colleagues in the U.S. Senate.

- I love that whole bit of "this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures." This from the guy who totally usurped the separation of powers by unilaterally changing established immigration law because Congress wouldn't kowtow to his demands. But now that it's at his whimsy, Obama tries to come off as this constitutional purist in not breaching said separation. Pretty ballsy

While this bill had pretty significant bipartisan support, I find it highly unlikely that Congressional Republicans can conjure up 45 House Democrats (assuming all 245 Republicans vote "yes") and 13 Senate Dems to override the president's veto. Alas.



Monday, February 23, 2015

Quick Hits: Volume CVIII

- Apparently the 87th Annual Academy Awards took place Sunday evening. I did not tune in as I had yet to see any of the movies up for consideration. Truth be told, I don't believe I've watched an entire Oscars broadcast since Jodie Foster won the Best Actress award for The Accused. 

Another reason I refuse to tune in to such self-congratulatory fests is there is inevitably some sort of left wing political demagoguery which ensues from stage. This time it was actress Patricia Arquette (Wait, she was up for an Oscar?!?! Huh. Who knew?) who used her platform for social commentary.

“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights,” Arquette said in her speech. “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

This caused the likes of Meryl Streep and JLo to put down their $125,000 gift bags and applaud like barking clapping seals who had just been tossed a morsel of food.

FYI, Patty, there is already a federal law in place mandating that men and women receive equal pay for equal work. Does that mean all employers follow said law? Well, no. I can think of that two high profile instances where that hasn't been the case.

- So this happened 30 years ago Monday:

I recall watching this game live on one on those newer UHF TV stations that came in pretty grainy even after wrapping significant amounts of tinfoil around the rabbit-ear antennas.

Ah, the memories.

- Several Minnesota Vikings officials (whether it be president Mark Wilf, GM Rick Spielman or head coach Mike Zimmer) have gone on record saying that they'd welcome the return of star running back Adrian Peterson for the 2015 NFL season. However, rumors are persisting that Peterson may be looking to have a fresh start elsewhere. That speculation was further fueled after his agent Ben Dogra and Vikings vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski allegedly had a shouting match while in Indianapolis for the NFL scouting combine this past week.

With Peterson turning 30 years of age next month combined with the bruising running style he exhibited his first seven seasons in the league, the Vikings may be better off jettisoning him. However, Vikes fans are going to be sorely disappointed to learn that there's no way their favorite team will obtain Percy Harvin-like spoils in an AP trade. Despite the fact Peterson has been the best back in the game since he entered the league in 2007, NFL teams just don't assign a huge priority to a back who gains 1,500+ yards per season. If clubs can find an RB who can run for 1,000-1,200 yards as well as be an adequate pass catcher, that suffices in today's pass happy league. With Peterson scheduled to make $12.75 million (with a salary cap figure of a whopping $15.4 million) next season, I find it difficult to believe the Vikings will receive a lot of suitors.

Expect to hear the Wilfs, Spielman et al to continue to insist they want Peterson back in the fold. With what we've gathered this week, such rhetoric will be little more than a proverbial smoke screen in an effort to draw in other teams to make some sort of trade offer.

As a Vikings fan, I personally am ready to move on from the Peterson era.


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Sunday, February 22, 2015

You can say anything you like, but you can't touch the merchandise....

The temperature may not break single digits today so grab a hot beverage and tune in The Closer from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time today.

At 2:00 I'll joined via phone by Miss Minneapolis 2015 Kaitie Borneke. A little more than a month ago, Kaitie succeeded former Northern Alliance Radio Network contributor Julia Schliesing for the title of Miss Minneapolis. We'll discuss Kaitie's pageant history as well as her platform of Communication Disorders Awareness.

Then at 2:30 the program's basketball wonk Mike McCollow will check in. I'll get Mike's thoughts on the Timberwolves recently trading for Kevin Garnett, who was the franchise's face for the first 12 years of his career. We'll also chat some college hoops since March Madness is a mere couple of weeks away.

In the non-guest segments there's a lot of news to discuss, including the results of the MNsure audit, the left's perpetual obsession with Scott Walker and yet another in a litany of VP Joe Biden being a creeper.

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio

Even though I have a face for radio, there is a UStream channel where you can watch the broadcast, if you so desire. Check it out here.  

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #narn or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

But he's *our* creepy uncle.

Whenever Vice President Joe Biden "misspeaks" or mangles history and the English language, leftist apologists just laugh it off. The reaction is often something along the lines of "Awww, that's just Joe. He's like the goofy ol' uncle we know and love." Guaranteed if a right-of-center political figure erred literally (I'm using that word properly here, unlike the Veep) one-tenth of the occasions as Biden, the mainstream media flogs those verbal blunders mercilessly.

Yes, when it comes to media coverage, it's good to be a Dem.

Another high profile idiosyncrasy of Biden's is his downright creepy behavior toward females, regardless their age (they could be 9 or 90). I still squirm when I see videos of Biden in action during the U.S. Senate swearing-in ceremonies of January 2013......

......and January 2015.

Again, behavior that wouldn't be tolerated from other creepy septuagenarians is met with a proverbial chuckle when it's a Democrat Vice President of the United States.

On Tuesday the Veep was at it again, as reported by the Associated Press.

.....Biden was swearing in new Defense Secretary Ash Carter when he got up close and personal with the wife of the man who now runs the most powerful military in the world.

As Carter began speaking in the Roosevelt Room, Biden beckoned Stephanie Carter from across the room, then put both hands on her shoulders as her husband thanked Biden for presiding over the ceremony. Biden's hands lingered for roughly 20 seconds until he leaned in and whispered in her ear.

What, pray tell, was the vice president confiding in Carter's wife? It's anybody's guess, but within seconds Carter reached back and put his own hand on his wife's shoulder as he thanked his "perfect wife Stephanie" for her support along his professional path.

Both incidents sparked prompt and voluminous reactions on social media, as viewers who caught the events on TV or heard about them later pondered: Just what was Biden thinking?

No stranger to improvisation, Biden over decades has built a brand on his tendency to speak his mind, endearing him to those who crave authenticity from political leaders. Biden's supporters brush off his more jarring moments as "just Biden being Biden."

Biden, who has run for president twice before, has said he's considering running again in 2016.

The fact that Biden is considered even a semi serious POTUS candidate in 2016 is an indictment of today's media. Again, I shouldn't have to point out the obvious in that a veritable s--t storm would have ensued (and rightly so) had Republican VPs like Dick Cheney or George H.W. Bush engaged in such behavior.

For all this talk about the GOP waging a "War on Women," I'm going to be curious how Biden supporters will reconcile his behavior if indeed he makes a run for the White House next year.


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