Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Priorities or something

With President Barack Obama choosing to act unilaterally in such matters as immigration, climate change, etc., House Republicans chose legal recourse to hold the Chief Executive to that whole "Separation of Powers" thingy.

Lead Democrat in the House, Nancy Pelosi, responded via Twitter.



A total of $350,000 (the total amount the Republicans have authorized for the lawsuit) to ensure the leader of the free world isn't usurping his authority? Personally, I have no issue with my tax dollars being spent to hold a rogue government official to the U.S. Constitution, a document which the President has vowed to uphold.

What's most hilarious about Pelosi's tweet is she has never said boo about the excessive costs of the government takeover of our health insurance, the countless millions sunk into failed green energy initiatives or the hundreds of millions spent on "economic stimulus" that has done little to revive the economy. Yet we're supposed to be outraged (OUTRAGED) that our tax dollars are being spent to uphold the Constitution while nary a word is to be uttered when nearly the same amount of money is spent over a two year period on oil paintings of obscure government officials.

Nice to know where Pelosi's priorities lie.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Quick Hits: Volume CI

- It happened 20 years ago today.

It was Aug. 26, 1994, when St. Paul police officers Ron Ryan Jr. and Tim Jones, along with his K-9 dog Laser, were fatally shot.

Ryan, 26, was checking on a man -- Guy Harvey Baker -- who was sleeping in a car in a parking lot at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood about 7 a.m. Baker, also 26, feared Ryan would discover he was wanted in Iowa for violating probation on an illegal gun possession conviction.

He picked up a .38-caliber revolver from his lap and shot Ryan.

Scores of officers joined the search for Ryan's killer. Jones had the day off, but he came in to help.

Laser picked up Baker's trail about 10 a.m. on Conway Street, not far from Johnson Parkway. Baker heard the dog whining outside a fish house where he was hiding, saw Jones through the window and, through the side of the shack, shot the 36-year-old officer with the gun had stolen from Ryan. When Laser bit his leg, he shot the dog, too.

Both officers had grown up on St. Paul's East Side.

I grew up a mere three miles from where this incident took place, and it shook we residents to our respective cores since the East Side was a very tight knit community. As such, both the Jones and Ryan families were overwhelmed with support from the community, whether it was financial or otherwise.

My mother still lives in the same house we bought in 1986. Whenever I visit mom these days, I unfortunately don't feel that same sense of unification in that area a mere two decades later. If, God forbid, a similar incident occurs, I hope I'm proven wrong on that front.

As I read the Pioneer Press story commemorating the loss of the two officers, I was uplifted by the the fact that the families left behind have effectively rebuilt their lives. It appears they continue to serve as an inspiration to many even 20 years later after their horrible loss.


-  The head of the NFL Players Association, DeMaurice Smith, is set to have his contract expire next year. As such, former NFL player Sean Gilbert is looking to step in as NFLPA chief in 2015. In lobbying for the position, one of Gilbert's proposals include shortening the preseason to a mere two games while expanding the regular season to an 18-game schedule. Since he feels the owners have disproportionately benefited from the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, Gilbert said the appeal of 2 extra games worth of revenue would entice owners to acquiesce to certain other proposals which would benefit the players.

In my mind, the 18-game regular season should be a non-starter. Given the player safety issues which have cropped up during previous 16-games seasons, how are two additional games going to alleviate those concerns? In the end, great players are going to become a lot less elite due to the additional wear and tear on their physical beings. If the game is watered down to such a degree where fans begin to notice, is that where the proverbial 800-pound gorilla that is the NFL finally becomes somewhat vulnerable? I'd rather it not get to that point.


- I thought I was going to be able to fly under the radar, but I was finally nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket challenge.

I accepted.


Before this exercise of raising awareness of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's disease) became a national phenomenon, I had become even more acutely aware early in 2014 of the implications surrounding this disease.

In January, a dear friend of the fetching Mrs. Carlson and I, Anne Neu, announced her husband Jonathan had been diagnosed with ALS. Since Jonathan, Anne and their five children are a strong, faith-filled family, they were very upfront about what they faced with this physically degenerative disease impacting their husband and father.

Then this past April, our friend John "Night Writer" Stewart went public with his own ALS diagnosis. And like the Neus, the Stewarts are a family who have always been unified in their faith, so they appeared aptly equipped to endure the struggle ahead of them.

For reasons John outlined in his latest blog post, I have decided to make a financial contribution to the local MN/ND/SD chapter of the ALS Association. You can too by going here.

And by all means, follow along the journeys of these two awesome families via their respective blogs.

The Stewart family blog ---> http://nolongeriwholive.tumblr.com/

The Neu family blog ---> http://neu-ology.blogspot.com/


Thoughts and prayers with you all.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Box Score of the Week

New York Yankees at Cleveland Indians - April 8, 1975.

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Frank Robinson made his debut as player/manager of the Indians, becoming the first black manager in MLB history. 

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Leave a message with the rain, you can find me where the wind blows...

It's Day 4 of the Minnesota State Fair, where I will be broadcasting The Closer LIVE in my usual 1:00 until 3:00 PM time slot.

Right at 1:00, I will be joined by 2014 Princess Kay of the Milky Way Jeni Haler.
















Then at 1:30, the Republican endorsed candidate for MN State Auditor, Randy Gilbert, will stop by.

At 2:30, the NARN's official basketball wonk Mike McCollow will join the show to discuss the Timberwolves' blockbuster trade of franchise player Kevin Love.

In the non-guest segments, we'll likely chat about the Vikings-Chris Kluwe settlement as well as possibly welcoming an impromptu guest or two.


If you happen to be out at the fair this morning, feel free to stop by and say hello. We're located on Machinery Hill, which is at the north end of the fairgrounds, specifically near the corner of Underwood Street & Murphy Avenue (next door to the Home Depot building; see map here). 

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

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

Until then.....

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Friday, August 22, 2014

When I think of all those disappointments, I just laugh.....

Back at the State Fair this morning, Mitch Berg and I will be airing the Northern Alliance Radio Network LIVE from 8:00 until 10:00 Central Time. As an added bonus, Miss Minneapolis 2014 Julia Schliesing is tentatively scheduled to stop by the Patriot booth!!

With Election Day being only 74 days away, it's no accident we'll be hosting a plethora of political officeholders/candidates/activists while at the Fair.

8:30 - Bryan Strawser - MN Gun Owners PAC Executive Director & Treasurer.

9:00 - Sharna Wahlgren, Republican endorsed candidate for U.S. House in MN CD4 and my fellow Harding High School alum.

Sharna's senior class photo  :-)


9:30 - MN State Senator David Hann (R-Eden Prairie), who currently serves as the Senate Minority Leader.

In the non-guest segments, Mitch & I plan to discuss the debacle regarding the banning of GOP endorsed MN Supreme Court judge candidate Michelle MacDonald. We were present at the Republican Party of MN booth when Ms. MacDonald arrived despite being told by the state party she was not welcome.


If you happen to be out at the fair this morning, feel free to stop by and say hello. We're located on Machinery Hill, which is at the north end of the fairgrounds, specifically near the corner of Underwood Street & Murphy Avenue (next door to the Home Depot building; see map here). 

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

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

Until then.....

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Shooting off one toe at a time

As the MN State Fair commenced this morning, GOP gubernatorial and US Senate candidates, Jeff Johnson and Mike McFadden respectively, challenged their DFL opponents to a series of debates. The goal was to make headlines with those declarations in an effort for voters to start getting more engaged a mere 75 days before Election Day. But as is customary with the MN Republican party, we instead choose to shoot ourselves in the proverbial foot, thus drawing attention away from something positive.

As my friend and radio colleague Mitch Berg says "If it bleeds, it leads."

Supreme Court candidate Michelle MacDonald vowed to return to the Minnesota Republican Party's State Fair booth Thursday after she was banned and ordered by security to leave.

"We may as well look for justice on a stick because we can't find it here!" MacDonald told a handful of supporters as she left the booth following a 10-minute confrontation with a security guard that began as soon as she showed up.

MacDonald, a family law attorney, was endorsed at the party's state convention in May to run against Justice David Lillehaug. She drew ire from party leaders who said most delegates were not aware of a drunken driving charge at the time of endorsement. MacDonald stands trial next month in Dakota County.

This week, the party's executive committee revised its State Fair Policy to restrict access to candidates with pending criminal cases, and moved to bar MacDonald from the booth. MacDonald, who said she was notified Wednesday of the resolution, showed up anyway.

The circumstances surrounding MacDonald's endorsement have only been made worse by the MNGOP's handling of this situation. The option was available to rescind MacDonald's endorsement. However, that possibility was dismissed almost immediately because it would actually highlight the flaws in the endorsement system which party executives seem to cherish so much. 

Another potential sticky wicket is the fact that MacDonald is not allowed to have the same privileges as all other GOP endorsed candidates even though she hasn't actually been convicted of a crime (again, her legal case is merely pending). That would seem to fly in the face of that whole "innocent until proven guilty" we allegedly live by in this country.

But perhaps the most unforgivable sin is how seemingly rushed MacDonald's candidacy was cobbled together. Arrest aside, none of the delegates had an opportunity to know her, rather they took the Judicial Election Committee's recommendation at face value. Before revelations of MacDonald's arrest came to light, I happened to see an interview she gave with local politico Tony Hernandez. It lasted only about five minutes, yet it was the most awkward and unprofessional display I've seen from a political candidate in quite some time (Watch it here).

After our State Fair radio broadcast this morning, Mitch and I showed at the MNGOP booth and were immediately cornered by volunteers. Apparently word had come down that, despite being banned from milling around the booth, MacDonald had intended to show up with supporters. As such, media members from the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, MPR and Twin Cities Public Television were on site. As was detailed in the Strib story I linked to, Ms. MacDonald did indeed arrive with her entourage.....and it was tense. On one side was security personnel urging her to vacate the premises while on the other was a throng of media. MacDonald then began to spin around with her camera in hand, mumbling something incoherently.



After about 10-15 minutes of that charade, MacDonald and her entourage convened next door to the WCCO radio booth to discuss the matter on their airwaves. Upon their departure from the MNGOP booth, I turned to Mitch and said "Welp....there's our first two segments for tomorrow's show."

Sneak preview: Mitch is going to light up the Judicial Elections Committee.

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But I always dreamed about living in your radio....

The Minnesota State Fair starts today!!!!! And for the 11th consecutive year, the Northern Alliance Radio Network will be broadcasting live on location, but in a different time slot. Today Mitch Berg and I will be live on the air from 8:00 until 10:00 AM Central Time.

We have no guests in the first hour, so Mitch and I will likely chat about the Hugh Hewitt/Dennis Prager event which took place last evening. It was an honor listening to two of the more insightful radio hosts that Salem Broadcasting has to offer. Of course, with this being an election year, there's always a decent chance of an impromptu guest appearance by a political candidate.

At 9:00, we'll be joined by MN State Senator Dave Osmek. The fine senator from Mound is one of the more fiscally hawkish members of the legislature, so I'm certain he'll have plenty to share about the DFL spending orgy of the past two sessions.

Then at 9:30, House member Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake), who is up for reelection this November, will also stop by the Patriot broadcast center.


If you happen to be out at the fair this morning, feel free to stop by and say hello. We're located on Machinery Hill, which is at the north end of the fairgrounds, specifically near the corner of Underwood Street & Murphy Avenue (next door to the Home Depot building; see map here). 

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

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

Until then.....

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Skol, settlement!

I had heard rumors over the weekend that this had come to fruition. On Tuesday, it was made official.

Calling his settlement with the Minnesota Vikings an opportunity "to do a lot of good for a lot of people," Chris Kluwe announced his fight with the team is over.

The Vikings and Kluwe's attorney Clayton Halunen announced Tuesday morning that they had reached a settlement to resolve the former punter's allegations of homophobic behavior by the team. It put the issue to rest 7½ months after Kluwe first published his allegations and avoids the prospect of a lengthy legal battle.

The Vikings had initially announced a $100,000 contribution to charities that support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender causes, and they will make additional contributions to five LGBT-friendly charities over the next five years. The team will also enhance sensitivity training that is already required throughout the organization.

The parties did not announce the financial terms of the settlement, but Kluwe said he will not receive any money.

Indeed, Kluwe did confirm in a tweet that very thing.



I never believed that Kluwe was in this for the money. In fact, I believe he sought (and thus received) something way more valuable to him than money: that is, people incessantly fawning over him and doing the rhetorical kneeling to touch the hem of his proverbial garment. Now that judges across the country are pretty much striking down every state law defining marriage as between one woman and one man combined with Kluwe being persona non grata on an NFL field, the former Vikes punter is largely irrelevant. But this high profile haggling with the Vikings organization at least buys him another few years in the spotlight as these LGBT charities receive money due to Kluwe's efforts.

There was one aspect of this saga though which had me thinking. Why did Kluwe dig in his heels last month as if he were getting ready for a nasty lawsuit but then relent shortly thereafter?

One of the allegations Kluwe made when ripping the Vikings in his Deadspin piece earlier this year was that he was released due to his advocacy for same-sex marriage. Then last month, when he and his attorney felt the Vikings weren't acting in good faith when releasing merely a summary of their internal investigation of said allegations, Kluwe threatened to expose additional scandals, including the organization allegedly covering up incidents where players were engaged in illegal conduct. It seems to me Kluwe really could have made some hay had he gone forth with a full blown lawsuit. Again, what stopped him? My theory is Kluwe was exposed to be just as insensitive as special teams coach Mike Priefer when it was revealed he mocked the victims of pedophile Gerry Sandusky, the former Penn St. assistant coach. Once Kluwe was knocked off his proverbial high horse (not to mention being perceived as a bitter hypocrite), he decided to once again continue negotiating an out-of-court settlement instead of having his own skeletons be revealed. It could also mean that not going with a wrongful termination suit is Kluwe's way of acknowledging that he sucked as a punter in 2012.

Whatever the case, I'm just glad this is over. I'm even more ecstatic that I may never have to mention Kluwe's name on this blog or on my radio show ever again.

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