Wednesday, November 14, 2018


In an open race for the Arizona Senate seat formerly occupied by Republican Jeff Flake, a winner has officially been declared. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema emerged victorious over GOP candidate Martha McSally by just less than 2%.

After that result became official, Flake reacted via a tweet.

Keep in mind that Flake was one of a few Republican senators who openly feuded with President Trump. And since McSally was viewed (rightly or wrongly) as someone who would rubber stamp Trump's agenda, I suspect Flake's accolades for Sinema are in part a trolling of POTUS.

To put in modern political warfare terms, Flake is lauding a person who called their home state of Arizona a "meth lab of democracy" to own the POTUS.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018


It's always a blast being part of the Up and at Em' podcast with Jack Tomczak and Benjamin Kruse and Soon2BeCatLady Leanne Sandusky.

While I've been a "third wheel" on this show myriad occasions, Tuesday morning was the first opportunity I've had to be in this role with the revised cast.

A post shared by Up and At ’Em (@upandatemshow) on

Anyhow, we covered a variety of topics, so feel free to indulge in the latest episode entitled Mayor for Whozeefritz, Minnesota (just tune in by clicking here).


Monday, November 12, 2018

Joey Baseball calls it a career

In an emotional Monday morning press conference, Minnesota Twins legend Joe Mauer called it a career after 15 seasons with his hometown team. I believe Mauer will wind up in the baseball Hall of Fame one day, it's just a question of whether he'll be a first ballot HOFer.

If you grew up in St. Paul (like I did), you likely weren't more than a few degrees separation from a Mauer (In fact, Joe's great-uncle Ken Mauer, Sr. was my English teacher when I was in 10th grade). With Joe being among the third or fourth generation of Mauers to dominate the St. Paul sports scene, he took it to another level. Not only was he the #1 overall pick by the Twins in the 2001 baseball draft, he also had a full ride scholarship offer to play quarterback at Florida State University.

I'm not certain I can put in to words what Mauer meant to me as a Twins fan. All I know is he was the best pure hitter I ever saw don a Twins uniform. Is he the best player in Twins history? I dunno about that, but baseball wonk Aaron Gleeman laid it out last month as to why Mauer is, minimum, in the top five of all-time Twins greats.

I had an opportunity to catch most of Joe's farewell speech, including the entire Q&A session with media members. A lot of talk occurred about highlights of Joe's career, specifically being the only catcher in American League history to win a batting title (he won three from 2006 to 2009), as well as his MVP season of 2009, his six All-Star Game appearances, the fact he was able to become a gold glove caliber first baseman after a 2013 concussion derailed his ability to play catcher, 2,000+ career hits, etc.

Yet when asked what he's most proud of in this storied career, Mauer said it was his grandparents only missing about a dozen of his home games in 15 years. That right there tells you everything you need to know about Mauer the person.

To say he'll be missed is an understatement.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

There is so much at stake, seems our freedom's up against the ropes....

With the Vikings on a bye this week, it's a perfect day to settle in and listen to this post-midterm election edition of The Closer. The 2-hour blitz starts at 1:00 PM Central Time.

I'll spend much of the first hour discussing the election results at a national level, including how the state of Florida is once again at the epicenter of recount controversies. 

Then in the 2:00 hour I will welcome local political observers Preya Samsundar and Jeff Kolb to discuss the GOP getting shellacked in Minnesota. 

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we plan on addressing.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 or, if you're near downtown Minneapolis/West Metro area, 107.5 FM 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 as well as Amazon Echo (just say "Alexa, go to The Patriot Minneapolis"). If you're unable to tune in live, please check out my podcast page for the latest show post.

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

Until then.....


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Putting things in proper perspective

It was the summer of 2009 when Jennifer and I met a gal named Karlys. It was after a political rally at the MN State Capitol when a number of us gathered at a St Paul pub to decompress and talk about how to navigate through this new Barack Obama presidency. We met a lot of new people that day but happened to be sitting at the same table as Karlys, who was in town from Rochester. We had an extended chat with her and found her to be quite delightful. Jen and I ended up becoming friends with her on Facebook where we were able to remain in touch.

Over the next several years, we maybe saw Karlys in person a handful of occasions but always had a lot to talk about given she too was a believer in Jesus Christ. Then it was about 2014 when I noticed she started going by the name "Kari" on Facebook. I was curious about the name change, so I figured I would ask next time we saw her.

When the 2014 Republican Party of MN convention was taking place in Rochester, Kari noticed on FB that Jennifer and I would be attending. She reached out via text message asking if we would like to meet her for dinner upon arriving in town. We pinned down a venue and ended up have a lovely 2-3 hour visit just catching up on life, etc. I then asked Karlys why she was now choosing to go by the name "Kari." She simply stated that, while being a professing Christian, she didn't feel as though she was giving all of herself to Jesus. As such, the new name "Kari" represented her renewed commitment to Christ. I thought it was incredibly heartwarming that she thought enough of her relationship with her Creator that she would take such a step to ensure others would also inquire of the change. Definitely an effective witnessing method.

That June 2014 evening was the last time we saw Kari in person. I would text her every October over the next few years to send birthday greetings to which she always replied with gratitude. For some reason, I missed her birthday last month.

As I was perusing Facbook last week, I noticed some mutual friends were sharing a CaringBridge site regarding an automobile accident involving Kari. On the morning of Friday, November 2, Kari was walking within a crosswalk near the Mayo Clinic (where she was an employee) when she was struck by a car traveling approximately 40 MPH. Kari was thrown 20 feet, resulting in severe injuries from which she would never recover. The following Monday, Kari's family made perhaps the most difficult decision imaginable by choosing to remove her from artificial means of breathing.

Perhaps the most poignant moment of Kari's saga was shared via video from her brother Kendall. It was footage of Mayo personnel wheeling Kari to the operating room one last time so she could donate her organs.

Words can’t really describe what taking this walk was like - after we had a chance to pray, share memories, and let everyone know the one thing my sister would want everyone to know - that she is with her creator joyfully in awe of Him - we walked with her to the elevator to say goodbyes. When the doors closed, she went into the operating room to give generously all she had left.

The line of all the co-workers the entire way singing Amazing Grace completely caught us by surprise and totally blessed us! It’s that amazing grace we’ve been given through Jesus that strengthens us so we can offer grace to others.

In one last show of grace, the family also conveyed a message to the driver of the car which struck and killed Kari.

“We would want the driver to know that we understand that Friday was the worst day of her life, as well, and we can't imagine what she's going through and just the guilt and weight that's on her shoulders. We would like her to know that we love her, and that God's grace is offered to her just as it's offered to us, and that we forgive her."

Upon witnessing the incredible grace and dignity shown by Kari's family, despite their emotional anguish, it really tempered any disappointment I may have felt over my preferred political party getting shellacked in my home state last Tuesday. I will be forever grateful for God's perpetual grace by allowing us to achieve peace and comfort which transcends all understanding.


Friday, November 09, 2018

Can't win in the arena of ideas, so.......

In the aftermath of the 2000 presidential election (specifically the debacle in Florida), Hugh Hewitt wrote a book entitled If It's Not Close, They (meaning Dems - ed.) Can't Cheat. 

As of Tuesday evening, GOP statewide candidates Ron DeSantis (governor) and Rick Scott (US Senate) both had leads of less than 0.5%. As such, it feels like 2000 all over again given the shenanigans afoot in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

NRO Editor Charles C.W. Cooke (himself a Florida resident) is on the case.

I keep seeing national journalists insisting that Florida must “count every vote!” And, frankly, I’m completely perplexed as to why, given that nobody is suggesting that the vote-counting should be halted. On the contrary: Rick Scott is suing Broward and Palm Beach counties not because he wants them to start trashing good ballots, but because they are failing to release the information that they are obliged to release under Florida law. Scott’s demand is for transparency, not for closure, and, in the case of Broward, it’s being made against a county that is notoriously incompetent and a commissioner who has already been found in violation of state and federal law, who has a habit of destroying ballots, and who is already under state supervision. The Washington Post says that “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” Aren’t we all supposed to agree?

Florida election law requires that:

(b) The canvassing board shall report all early voting and all tabulated vote-by-mail results to the Department of State within 30 minutes after the polls close. Thereafter, the canvassing board shall report, with the exception of provisional ballot results, updated precinct election results to the department at least every 45 minutes until all results are completely reported. The supervisor of elections shall notify the department immediately of any circumstances that do not permit periodic updates as required. Results shall be submitted in a format prescribed by the department

Neither Palm Beach County nor Broward County has followed these rules, which has led to widespread confusion and mistrust as the vote totals continue to be updated without anyone knowing the context, sources, or scope. That is the problem here — not some imaginary injunction to stop counting votes.

Unlike 2000, Republicans are more mobilized this time around to combat this behavior.

I don't know about you, but I have absolutely zero interest in re-living that nightmare from 18 years ago. What's worse is the revisionist historians are now out in full force regarding what happened in Bush v. Gore. God help us all.


Wednesday, November 07, 2018

MN battle lines drawn?

I don't have much to add to the Election Day 2018 post mortems. However, it's becoming apparent here in Minnesota that first ring suburban Republicans are becoming about as rare as their urban counterparts.

My friend Rob Doar provided visual evidence in the aftermath of the DFL seizing control of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Now, is this indeed the beginning of a long-term trend or are some of these House seats merely "swing districts?" I know President Trump's approval ratings are tanking in the upper Midwest, so this election cycle could merely be a reaction to that.

Regardless, eternal vigilance is required if Republicans are ever going to snap their statewide losing streak (12 years and counting).


Take heed, Minnesota

I believe former NYC mayor Ed Koch said it best: "The people have spoken.....and they will be punished."