Monday, July 24, 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

I found out long ago it's a long way down the NARN road.......

I will not be broadcasting live today on the Northern Alliance Radio Network as I am out on assignment.

Not sure who will be filling in (or if there will be the obligatory "best of...." broadcast), but tune in at 2:00 PM Central Time to find out.

You can listen 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. 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 #narn or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....


Friday, July 21, 2017

O.J. stands for "Outta Jail"

With wall-to-wall media coverage of a certain ex-NFLer's parole hearing, it felt like 1995 all over again.

O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel heist, successfully making his case in a nationally televised hearing that reflected America's enduring fascination with the former football star.

With the ruling, the 70-year-old Simpson, who was convicted in 2008 of an armed robbery involving two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room, could be out of prison as early as Oct. 1 after serving the minimum nine years of a 33-year sentence.

When the final vote to grant parole was read after parole commissioners deliberated just over 30 minutes, Simpson lowered his head and then raised it up with a big smile.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you," an emotional Simpson said while his sister, Shirley Baker, wept and hugged Arnelle Simpson, his daughter.

I believe Simpson being granted parole is the absolute correct decision. Yes I'm aware that he is most likely responsible for the 1994 murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, despite being found not guilty in a jury trial. But the idea that he was sentenced to thirty three years for a crime where he was merely present always smacked of a "karma" ruling. Sorry, but that's not how the American justice system should operate.

So how will Simpson adapt to life on the outside? Hard to say for sure. I've already heard some predictions that he'll do something to land himself back in jail within two years. One term of his parole which stands out is Simpson "is permitted to drink alcohol, but not to excess." So if his blood alcohol content ever reaches .08 or higher, that would be a parole violation. Since being acquitted of double murder in 1995, Simpson continued his reputation for living "fast and loose," whether it was womanizing, boozing it up, etc. It was much easier to get away with such activities in the late '90s/early 2000s before social media was truly prevalent. But now that smart phones are ubiquitous, it takes just one person to video an inebriated O.J. out on the town.

For Simpson's sake, let's hope he is able to spend the fourth quarter of his life just enjoying family and friends within the confines of whatever new home he'll reside. However, I'm skeptical he'll be able to maintain such a low profile after spending literally his entire adult life some sort of spotlight.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Quick Hits: Volume CLII

Closed circuit to Little Lord Fauntleroy Gov. Mark Dayton: we don't live in a monarchy and you're not a supreme ruler.

Gov. Mark Dayton violated the Minnesota Constitution when he vetoed funding for the Minnesota House and Senate this year, a Ramsey County judge ruled Wednesday.

“As a result of violating the Separation of Powers clause of the Minnesota Constitution, the governor’s line-item vetoes are unconstitutional, null and void,” Judge John Guthmann wrote.

He ordered the Legislature’s funding restored, but the final decision will be made by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Dayton said Wednesday that he’ll appeal Guthmann’s ruling.

In fairness to Dayton, he had nothing to lose. He doesn't have to face voters again, so enacting a "kitchen sink" strategy when not everything goes your way in a budget session, while petulant, will not damage him politically.

By the way, my friend Harry Niska called this nearly two months ago.

Governor Dayton's line-item veto of the entire budget for the Legislature is a blatant violation of the constitutional principle of separation of powers. In fact, this is the quintessential example a law professor could use to demonstrate the concept: one branch cannot eliminate another branch simply because it disagrees with the decisions of that branch.

This is why I'm running. The Attorney General must be someone who defends the Constitution, not someone who revels in the unconstitutional actions taken by their allies. We need an Attorney General who enforces and upholds the law for all Minnesotans.

Speaking of Harry for MN AG (nice segue, huh?), check out his site here.

- Given what we know about the officer involved shooting this past Saturday in Minneapolis, there are many aspects which don't pass the proverbial smell test. But as with all incidents such as this, I am willing to let this investigation play out.

I will say one thing though. If you're of the belief that the shooting was an act rooted in terrorism simply due to the fact the police officer is of Somali descent and the victim was a white woman, I'd strongly advise that you not verbalize that utterly asinine (not to mention baseless) assumption in any forum.

- Sad news regarding Arizona's senior U.S. Senator.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, his office said Wednesday, throwing into doubt when and if he will return to Washington to resume his duties in the Senate.

The Mayo Clinic said doctors discovered a tumor called a glioblastoma following surgery to remove a blood clot above McCain’s left eye last week. The senator and his family are considering a variety of treatment options, including a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, according to the hospital.

McCain, 80 has been away from the Senate this week, recovering from the surgery and undergoing tests. His office issued a statement describing him “in good spirits” and noting that his underlying health is excellent — but not indicating when he will return to the Senate.

McCain's daughter Meghan conveyed a very poignant statement via Twitter.

While I may never have been in 100% alignment with Sen. McCain's politics, I have never doubted his love for America. The suffering he endured in Vietnam is perhaps the most high profile example of his willingness to put his country first. McCain has always been quick to eschew the "hero" label, but the fact is there are very few people alive today who have done more in service to the U.S.A.

My thoughts and prayers will definitely be with Sen. McCain and his family.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017


I'm not gonna lie to you by saying I'm shocked that the GOP Senate majority failed to pass a measure to repeal (or even reform) Obamacare. Despite controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress, the Republicans appeared to have found a way to bungle their 7-year quest to rid America of that monstrosity. Heck, they also controlled all of D.C. from 2003 thru 2007, yet managed to increase the size and scope of government in that span. Yes, there's definitely recent precedence for GOP ineptitude in Washington.

What I truly do not understand is why the GOP doesn't have confidence in their ability to carry a coherent message. It's obvious Obamacare is failing. That's not even debatable anymore. And the Congressional Budget Office's projections of 22 million people "losing" coverage via the AHCA is a chanting point which woefully lacks nuance and can be easily slapped down with facts. Despite that, some Republicans (particularly the moderate ilk of Mitch McConnell, Susan Collins, John McCain et al) merely seem content to make O-care "suck less." Hardly an inspiring message.

Say what you want about the Dems, but they were willing to suffer catastrophic losses at the ballot box by passing Obamacare in early 2010. Some speculate that it was intentional this massive entitlement package (which took over 1/6 of the U.S. economy) would be such a bureaucratic nightmare that it could never be undone. But in the event O-Care did fail? Well then, the progressive dream of single payer can finally become a reality, which would indicate the left was willing to endure short-term election losses to achieve this long-term goal. If Republicans have even a scintilla of that type of conviction, they should be willing to do everything in their power to thwart any possibility that single payer will emerge.

In the end, it appears many Congressional Republicans only exert boldness and conviction when they're the minority party. Failure to make good on a promise which led to substantial victories 3 of the past 4 election cycles could well render them minority status for the foreseeable future.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Box Score of the Week

Have a day, Tony Cloninger! Not only did the Atlanta Braves starting pitcher get a complete game victory in this matchup against the San Francisco Giants, he also hit two grand slam home runs.


In MLB history, 13 players have hit two grand slams in one game. Cloninger is the only pitcher to have accomplished such a feat. 


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Mephistopheles is not your name.....

It was definitely a "new-sy" week this past week, so we'll get to as much as we can on the one-hour edition of The Closer. We'll get started right at 2:00 PM Central Time.

Right at 2:00, I'll be joined by political wonk Matt Mackowiak. We'll obviously spend a fair amount of time discussing Donald Trump, Jr. revealing he did indeed meet with Russian officials last year regarding potentially damaging information on Hillary Clinton. We will also discuss the Senate Republicans' struggle to cobble together a replacement for Obamacare as well as the future of addressing tax reform.

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we 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. If you're unable to tune in live, please check out my podcast page for the latest show post.

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.....