Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Quick Hits: Volume CCXXXIV

- Lefty legal analyst (and confirmed dirt bag) Jeffrey Toobin let it all hang out during an online video meeting on last week. 

Vice reported earlier Monday that Toobin had exposed himself during a Zoom meeting with staffers of the New Yorker and WNYC radio.

In a statement Monday afternoon, the New Yorker said Toobin had been "suspended while we investigate the matter." It declined further comment. A CNN spokesperson said in a statement that "Jeff Toobin has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted."

Toobin told Vice that he "made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera," adding, "I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers."

In the radio biz, we're always told the best way to avoid saying something objectionable in the studio is to assume your microphone is always "hot." So in the era where video conferencing is so pervasive, always assume the camera is on. 

So Toobin thought the camera was off. I guess I can buy that. But this opens up a larger question, specifically was he in the habit of doing this regularly when his video was muted? On second thought....I don't wanna know. 

- The World Series begins Tuesday evening with the Tampa Bays Rays taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers. It's a matchup of the haves (Dodgers) and the have-nots (Rays) in terms of payroll. Many would have preferred to see a rematch of the 2017 series pitting the Houston Asterisks Astros against the Dodgers, specifically because many L.A. faithful believe the Astros' cheating their way through the '17 season helped put them over the top that year. But whatever, I love this matchup. 

I'm going with the Dodgers to capture their first World Series title in 31 years. I say L.A. in six. 

- Failed Democrat presidential candidate Fauxcahontas Elizabeth Warren made a visit to Minnesota this past weekend on behalf of the Joe Biden presidential campaign. Each of three events she attended were sparsely populated, but the Biden campaign (as well as MN Democrats) insisted none were open to the public due to COVID. 

Recently President Trump's campaign significantly reduced ad buys in Minnesota and Wisconsin, yet you can't go an entire hour of prime time TV viewing in the Twin Cities/Western Wisconsin without a Biden pitch. So if Biden truly has Minnesota in the bag like every Democrat presidential candidate has since 1976, why is there so much focus on this state? And why would a supposedly environmentally conscious U.S. Senator like Warren burn so much jet fuel to attend three minuscule events in Minnesota? 

I'm still very skeptical that Trump prevails in Minnesota, but it's clear the Dems are privy to what they consider worrisome polling data.


Monday, October 19, 2020

It was a legendary run

 I think Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse summed it up best. 

Also, I don't believe I have to clarify who "Sid" is. Like Bud or Harmon or Kirby, just the first name "Sid" sufficed whenever the conversation steered to the Minnesota sports scene. 

I often joked about Sid Hartman's longevity and how he reminded me of the character Paul Edgecomb in the movie The Green Mile, in that he was tabbed to outlive everybody he ever knew. However, in this era of COVID-19, a lot of things have happened prematurely.

From Sid's son Chad Hartman

“I want to make it clear — he didn’t die from COVID — but COVID took away the enjoyment from his life by making him stay home,” his son said later. “It took away the chance to see the people he liked. It took away his zest, not being able to go four, five different places every day and to laugh, to get on people and have them get on him.”

I also surmised over the years that if Sid ever quit working he wouldn't last more than a year. From everything I've gathered in the decades since I first became aware of this giant figure is that he desperately needed validation despite being on a first name basis with literal Hall of Famers in multiple sports. As such, a simple declaration of "Rest in peace, Sid" would, per Reusse, be considered the ultimate insult. 

I was in the middle of doing my weekly radio program on Sunday afternoon when news of Sid's passing became public. My phone was blowing up with messages from family and friends who were well aware of my fascination with Sid, including the first time I ever met him in person. A number of years ago I participated in the 4th annual Sid Hartman Sound Alike Contest. I was chosen as one of eight contestants to perform a two-minute bit imitating Sid in front of the crowd gathered at the WCCO broadcast center at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. From there, the panel of judges would select the three best impersonations to compete for the ultimate prize in the finals: A personal dinner with Sid at Murray's (the running joke was "What do the losers get? Two dinners with Sid?").

I was the first of eight contestants that day. Emcee and WCCO radio host John Williams asked if I listen to Sid's sports updates regularly on 'CCO. I quipped, "Eh. As little as possible." Upon the audience erupting in laughter, Sid turned to meteorologist Mike Lynch (who was serving as one of the judges) and asked what I had said. When Lynch conveyed that information to him, Sid turned to me and said "That took care of you, you aren't gonna win." Alas, he was correct.

Before the contest even started, all eight participants were gathered inside the 'CCO booth to receive some general instructions from the promotions guy. Shortly thereafter, Charlie Boone (he of the legendary Boone & Erickson 'CCO morning show) came to introduce himself to us. As he chatted with we contestants, Mr. Boone indicated that this particular contest would likely be the final one (it was) and that we should enjoy Sid as much as possible. Charlie's rationale was that, given Sid's advanced age, he probably would not be up to venturing out to the MN State Fair as often, if at all.

That was in 1995. Twenty Five years ago. Sid literally worked until he died, as his final column was published in Sunday's Star Tribune. 

One friend in particular who reached out to me Sunday was Ben Kruse of the Up And At' Em Show podcast. Ben invited myself and fellow Sid admirer Kelly Gunderson on Monday morning's podcast to share our remembrances (check it out here. Our segment begins about 42 minutes in). 

The phrase "There will never be another like him" gets overused. But in the case of Sid Hartman, it couldn't be more spot on. 



Box Score of the Week (Final one of 2020)

The World Series matchup is now set, so let's take a look at a Fall Classic contest this week. Game 7 of the 2017 series featuring the Houston Asterisks Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

You're funny and you don't know why......

A mere 16 days until Election Day, so the weekly Northern Alliance Radio Network broadcasts are getting busier. Today's edition of my radio show The Closer gets started at 1:00 PM Central Time. 

It's a guest intensive show today: 

- 1:30 - MN State Senator Karin Housley, who is seeking reelection in MN SD39 (Forest Lake, St. Croix River Valley area). 

- 1:45 - Dan Schneider, Executive Director with the American Conservative Union, will join the broadcast to promote CPAC-Minnesota taking place this Thursday, October 22 in Prior Lake. 

 - 2:00 - Zach Duckworth, MN State Senate candidate in MN SD58 (Farmington, Lakeville)

- 2:30 - Pam Myhra, MN House candidate in MN HD56A (Burnsville, Savage). 

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 Alexa (just say "Alexa, play 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.....


Thursday, October 15, 2020

Dystopian stuff

On principle, I agree wholeheartedly with the notion that private enterprises have a right to free association. Specifically, I have no issue with tech giants like Facebook and Twitter rooting out content they find objectionable, particularly when said content runs afoul of their established user policies. 

All that said, people like me are finding it more difficult to defend these tech giants against regulation.

When Facebook and Twitter starting spiking any references to New York Post story that was unflattering to current Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, their rationale left a lot to be desired. 

Facebook Communications Director Andy Stone, a former Democratic staffer, announced that the social media platform would limit the article's distribution pending a fact-checker's review. He directed users to Facebook policy, which states that "in many countries, including in the US, if we have signals that a piece of content is false, we temporarily reduce its distribution pending review by a third-party fact-checker."

While Facebook is within its rights to take action against content it believes is factually misleading, this seems like a tough standard to enforce evenly. News articles in the mainstream press frequently contain information that is thinly or anonymously sourced, and sometimes proves to be inaccurate. It's one thing for social media platforms to take swift action against viral content that is very obviously false or incendiary, like conspiracy theories about coronavirus miracle cures or voter fraud. It's quite another for the platform to essentially make itself a gatekeeper of legitimate journalism, or a very selective media watchdog that appears to be more concerned about bad reporting when it comes from right-leaning outlets than left-leaning outlets, given the partisan leanings of social media company's internal policy setters.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's lame attempt at spin.

The thread Jack linked to referenced "personal information" in the Post article and thus was in violation of its "Hacked Materials" policy. The thing is, Twitter didn't concern itself with the New York Times story of President Trump's tax returns and how they were quite likely obtained by the Times illegally. Also, the infamous Trump-Russia dossier was widely available on the platform when Buzzfeed submitted it in its entirety. 

In the end, these social media sites want it both ways in that they enjoy the protection of being platforms (i.e. not responsible for content posted by its users) yet want us to believe they're morally bound to censoring what they (and they alone) deem as questionable material. And isn't it amazing that the corrective action only flows in one ideological direction? This is true Orwellian sh*t we're dealing with. 


Wednesday, October 14, 2020


I'm guessing if House Speaker Marie Antoinette Nancy Pelosi had known she was going to get pressed on her politicization of the COVID-19 relief package, she likely would have declined to sit down with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer. 

You know she lost her sh*t when she referred to CNN as apologists for Republicans. 

This veritable meltdown by Speaker Pelosi is the natural consequence when one is used to softball interviews where $13 pints of ice cream and fancy refrigerators are the main topics discussed. 


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Quick Hits: Volume CCXXXIII

- Barring unforeseen circumstances (like a slew of GOP U.S. Senators contracting COVID-19 😞), Judge Amy Coney Barrett will be confirmed as the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice within a couple of weeks. The Democrats know this, which is why their opening statements on Monday focused less on Judge Barrett and more on anti-Trump chanting points. 

You know how else we know Judge Barrett's confirmation is a fait accompli? The disgusting personal attacks against her and her family. 

I've said it many times before and I'll say it again here. There is nothing more bigoted and intolerant than "progressives" speaking about both women & minorities who are of the conservative ilk. 

- Wow. The great beyond sure is assembling itself quite the MLB roster with the cavalcade of stars who have passed away in the year 2020. 


Not included in this list is pitcher Don Larsen. Even though he's not a Hall of Famer like the others, Larsen has the distinction of tossing the only Perfect Game in MLB postseason history. 

By the time I became a baseball fan in the late 1970s, the aforementioned players were either retired or in the twilight of their careers. Nevertheless, I've consumed enough baseball books and documentaries to ascertain the enormous impact of each of those players.  

- Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has been in Congress nearly a half century. She'll likely have that seat as long as she desires. Nevertheless, it's heartening to see bold Republicans step up in an attempt to at least make her earn her electoral victories. 

If there's ever been an opportunity for the GOP to at least make inroads in urban areas, it's now, especially in light of the pervasive rioting and looting major cities have endured in 2020. And every last one of those areas has been under progressive rule for decades at the federal, state and local levels.

Abraham Lincoln once said "The probability we may fail in the struggle ought not deter us from support of a cause we believe to be just." Even if candidates like Collins as well as Kimberly Klacik in Baltimore and Lacy Johnson in Minneapolis peel off 5%-10% of the usual 65+% attained by Democrats in those respective cities, that would go a long way in moving the needle. 


Monday, October 12, 2020

Box Score of the Week

It's League Championship Series time! 

Let's check out Game 5 of the 1976 ALCS - Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees


Chris Chambliss' home run in the bottom of the ninth inning sent the Yankees to the World Series. So delirious were the hometown fans, they stormed the field with many mobbing Chambliss as he rounded the bases. He never did touch home plate, instead running for his life to the home dugout. Shortly thereafter, a couple of uniformed security guards escorted Chambliss from the clubhouse to the area where the plate used to be (some ambitious fan stole it in the melee) in order for him to officially step on it.