Friday, November 17, 2017

The Minnesota monarchy

So much for the idea of separation of powers.

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of the Legislature’s operating budget, declining to referee a political dispute between two co-equal branches of government that it said could resolve the issue themselves.

The 5-1 decision handed the Democratic governor a major legal victory as he seeks to roll back Republican-backed tax breaks and other measures he opposed but signed into law anyway this spring as part of a new state budget. And it left the Legislature on uncertain financial footing. Dayton welcomed the ruling while GOP lawmakers expressed dismay.

The ruling overturned a lower court decision that deemed Dayton’s action unconstitutional. But the high court said the state constitution does not allow the courts to order funding for the Legislature without an appropriation. And it said the Legislature has the authority to tap enough money to continue operating — at least $26 million and up to $40 million — until it reconvenes Feb. 20. So it rejected the argument that Dayton violated the constitution by effectively abolishing the Legislature.

I can't emphasize enough that I am no legal beagle. However, shouldn't there be some scrutiny as to why Dayton vetoed the items he did? He basically said back in May that legislative funding can be restored if legislators return to negotiating terms of a bill that he signed. Seems to me that a government executive using coercive tactics could give the impression that one is abusing his power, no? So why no action on that?

So if indeed a GOP governor is ever elected in Minnesota, proggies will be totally cool if he/she utilizes the same tactics in order to get a more favorable budget deal from a DFL controlled legislature, correct? After all, the precedent has now been set. Enjoy!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sleaziness is not a partisan issue

As decades-old sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, pretty much every elected official in Washington urged him to drop out of next month's special election.

Now there are bipartisan calls for an ethics investigation into the past behavior of a sitting U.S. senator.

A TV host and sports broadcaster on Thursday accused Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) of kissing and groping her without her consent in 2006.

Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of groping her, without her consent, while she was asleep and provided a photo as evidence.

The incident happened in December 2006, she said, when she and Franken, then a comedian, were on a USO Tour to "entertain our troops."

Franken in a statement apologized for his actions.

There may be more to this story in the coming days. For now I have just a few thoughts:

- I noticed there were a heckuva lot more leftist politicos willing to condemn Franken than righties in the case of Moore. While I concede evidence against Franken is more damning given the photograph that is being circulated, what exactly is it about Moore's accusers that would make righties believe they are fabricating their stories? What would be the upside of them (and the Washington Post) doing so?

- That said, the cynical part of me believes that some leftists are coming off as indignant due to the fact Franken is pretty much expendable. If he were to resign, the Democrat governor of Minnesota gets to appoint a replacement, which would undoubtedly be a far left individual. Then there would be a special election in the 2018 midterms (a cycle which is looking favorable to Dems at this point) and then a regular election in 2020 when Franken's current term is up. Is there any doubt that Gov. Mark Dayton could find a far-left proggie to be the Dem caucus's rubber stamp for at least the next three years?

- And finally, let's go to a live look-in of Senate Democrats wanting to talk tax reform but having to endure questions about Franken instead:



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Quick Hits: Volume CLVIII

- Now that the Clintons are pretty much a liability to the Democrat party, leftists now feel emboldened to seek accountability for past sins, specifically regarding accusations of Bill Clinton committing sexual assaults before he was ever elected President.

It was a pattern of behavior; it included an alleged violent assault; the women involved had far more credible evidence than many of the most notorious accusations that have come to light in the past five weeks. But Clinton was not left to the swift and pitiless justice that today’s accused men have experienced. Rather, he was rescued by a surprising force: machine feminism. The movement had by then ossified into a partisan operation, and it was willing—eager—to let this friend of the sisterhood enjoy a little droit de seigneur.

With the accusations levied against Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been cited by multiple women that he propositioned them when they were in their teens and he in his 30s, some leftists have actually grown a conscience here. They realize they can no longer adequately dismiss the retort of "Yeah, well, you all flippantly dismissed credible accusations towards Bill Clinton."

So while it hardly shows any moral courage for leftists to address Clinton's indiscretions only after he's become persona non grata, I still believe it's vital for his victims to finally be given a more unified voice. I hope we have reached a "bottoming out" here so that countless victims can finally have a start to their healing.

- When an MLB team goes from 103 losses one season to a playoff berth the next year, it take a good number of people to make that happen. For my favorite baseball club, one such person was recognized on Tuesday.

As arranged marriages go, it’s hard to imagine one working out better than what the Twins experienced in 2017.

Holdover manager Paul Molitor didn’t just find a way to coexist with the new analytically savvy front-office combination of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. Molitor navigated a historic turnaround that saw the Twins go from 103 losses to a 26-win improvement and their first postseason appearance in seven years.

For that, the Hall of Fame player was named American League manager of the year on Tuesday. Voting was conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

“I still think there’s value in people that have history and have some old-school thoughts as well as integrating the new,” said Molitor, 61. “I think the resources we added this year certainly affected my pregame preparation, things that I thought about and also how to probably manage in-game. I still use some of the old tools and I still trust my eyes and my gut, as managers like to say, but I think the layers that we have are helpful.”

Molitor received 18 of 30 first-place votes to outpoll runner-up Terry Francona, who led the Cleveland Indians to 102 wins and their second straight AL Central crown, and A.J. Hinch of the World Series-winning Houston Astros. Francona received 11 first-place votes and Hinch one to finish a close second (112-90) to his former Milwaukee Brewers teammate.

And to think the front office was seriously contemplating whether or not to retain Molitor despite the Twins making the postseason in 2017. Thankfully, Molitor accepted a 3-year extension recently, so he'll be able to follow through on leading the core of young players who were valued contributors this past season.

One other interesting tidbit is Molitor and Frank Robinson are the only two Hall of Fame players in MLB history to win a Manager of the Year award. Pretty impressive company, eh?

- A disturbing story regarding a shooting in northern California.

The gunman who killed four people and wounded at least 10 others, including two children, in Northern California Tuesday tried to access rooms at an elementary school to shoot more kids as part of a "bizarre and murderous rampage," police said at a press conference Tuesday night.

The shooter was killed by police after he opened fire at multiple “random” locations near Rancho Tehama Elementary School in Corning early Tuesday.

Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said that one of the victims was a woman the gunman stabbed in January.

School officials heard shots being fired about a quarter-mile away and the school went into lockdown mode, Johnston said. He added the incident "could have been much worse if it wasn't for the quick thinking" of the school's staff, who put the school in immediate lockdown mode without instruction from police.

Johnston noted it was "monumental" that school workers took action when they did, because he believes they saved the lives of countless children.

The assistant sheriff said the gunman rammed his vehicle into a school fence, then walked onto school grounds with a semi-automatic rifle while wearing a protective vest.

After being unable to access classrooms due to the lockdown, it's believed the gunman became "frustrated" and went back to his car, and began shooting at people while driving, according to police.

An incredibly bizarre sequence of events to be sure. So much so that it would be absolutely asinine to leap to any conclusions. Alas, I'm certain there were the obligatory shrieks on social media of the NRA being a terrorist organization, etc. I wouldn't know since I strategically avoided Twitter as soon as this news broke. For once I chose to follow my own advice and await some concrete facts. Pretty sad when that is considered an abnormal stance.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Things that annoy me

Yeah, I know. We're supposed to be in the midst of "30 days of thankfulness" by documenting each day in November something which we're thankful for. But a post like this has been brewing in me for some time, so I thought I would list a few items for the record.

Callers into a talk radio show starting off by saying "Thanks for taking my call."

As a guy who hosts a radio show, this perplexes me. Ummm....when a host shares the call-in number and then asks you to call in, no need to express thanks since you're the one honoring the request. So thank you for calling.

Referring to your favorite sports team as "we."

This is pretty common among sports fanatics. "Wow, we sure had a solid defensive showing today" or "Man, we sure were clutch with our free throw shooting." Uh, yeah, you as a fan have absolutely zero influence on the outcome of a game. I'm sure the athletes appreciate your support, enthusiasm, etc. but sitting on a couch in a flatulent state for 3+ hours with your biggest concern being timing restroom breaks with commercials does not make you a member of the team. And while being one of 70,000 screaming fans at, say, an NFL game sometimes results in players giving shout outs to the home crowd for creating an electric atmosphere, that still doesn't make you a teammate. Sorry.

Incorrect use of apostrophe s. 

An apostrophe s is to be used as a contraction (eg. Mike's (Mike is) going home) or to signify a person possessing something (eg. That is Mike's car). I'm still utterly stupefied how people use an apostrophe s when pluralizing a word or name (eg. Those kitten's are adorable; The Anderson's are excited for tomorrow). This is such a pet peeve of mine that I have difficulty enjoying a Christmas card saying "Merry Christmas from the Anderson's." Upon reading that, I'll usually reply along the lines of "The Anderson's what?"

When requesting prayer for something seemingly minor, people respond by saying "God's a little busy for such trivial things."

I could concoct a series of posts on how this is just absurdly incorrect theology, but I'll attempt to be pithy here. Saying "God's too busy..." is the retort of someone who believes that the limited abilities of we humans is somehow applicable to God. Newsflash: when the Creator of this vast universe is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end, I'd say He's more than capable of hearing and honoring the prayers of all of us whom He declared He knew before being formed in the womb. So with all due respect, your finite little mind should never be projected onto our Creator.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Built a king on compliments, charisma and advertisements....

Another Sunday, yet another afternoon in the Patriot bunker for my weekly radio program The Closer. The one-hour festivities get started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

Just before I went on the air last Sunday, news broke of the shooting at a Sutherland Springs, TX church, killing 26 people. Since then, we've learned much about the shooter himself and how the attack was eventually thwarted. In short, a lot of leftist narratives surrounding firearms were sent to the ash heap. We'll discuss. 

Also, we'll look at the election results out of Virginia last week and what it means for the Republicans in the 2018 midterms. Speaking of the GOP, they have Moore problems (as in Roy Moore) looming ahead of next month's special U.S. Senate election out of Alabama. 

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.....


Friday, November 10, 2017

The roaches are finally scattering

If you've been following news of any kind over the past 48 hours, you can hardly scroll through without there being content regarding the latest allegations of sexual misconduct. Whether the accused are people in the entertainment industry or politics (both national and local), it appears to have reached a point where the victims are saying enough truly is enough.

While I am appalled at how pervasive sexual harassment and assault appears to have been in those two specific areas, I can at least take heart that the victims now feel emboldened enough to come forth not only for their personal healing but also to spare others from being in the same position. Nevertheless, it still saddens me that said victims had to suffer in silence for so long.

When powerful men like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Bill O'Reilly, Louis C.K., etc. are rendered persona non grata literally overnight, it's quite clear that such abhorrent behaviors now have an absolute zero tolerance in any segment of society. But with that said, I'm certain I'm not the only one who has pondered why this behavior was able to go on for so long. And what possessed these high profile personalities to believe that their insidious behavior was beyond reproach? Was there anything that could have halted this years ago?

Matt Yglesias posed a query worth considering.

Is it possible that a leader of the free world voluntarily moving on due to using his position of power to do whatever he pleased would've given pause to others abusing their authority? There's no way to know for certain, but I can't imagine Clinton slinking back to Arkansas wouldn't have been a deterrent to some.


Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Election 2017

On the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump being elected President, it appears the Democrats can finally point to an electoral repudiation of Trump.

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) won the Virginia governor’s race in a blowout Tuesday, fending off a potential gut punch for his party and giving Democrats a badly needed jolt of momentum ahead of the 2018 midterms.

Democrats had grown nervous about the race, fearing a devastating loss that could deal a blow to the party's momentum. But that anxiety gave way to celebration as Northam cruised to victory and Democrats took the New Jersey governor's mansion and posted gains in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie by nearly 9 points in the race to succeed Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), in what has become the only competitive statewide race of the year. Northam’s win gives Democrats their first major victory since President Trump took office after a string of high-profile special election defeats in GOP districts earlier this year.

Gillespie's task was very formidable from the outset given that Virginia has become an increasingly blue state over the past decade (the Dem POTUS candidate has won there each of the past three presidential election cycles). Combine that with the fact that Northam supporters were lumping Gillespie in with Trump (who, in modern history, has the worst approval rating of a sitting president in his first year), any Republican candidate would have been dead man walking.

Of course the President didn't quite see it that way.

"Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for. Don’t forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!" Trump wrote.

While losing the Virginia gubernatorial race shouldn't necessarily panic Republicans ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, what happened in the state's House of Delegates should absolutely set off alarm bells. Going into Tuesday, the Virginia GOP held a 66 to 34 majority in that legislative body. As I write this, the Dems made a significant gain as they reached 48 seats to 47 for the Republicans (The remaining five are too close to call, thus likely triggering a recount). If the five outstanding races go to those candidates who currently lead, the HoD would be a 50-50 split. There can be little doubt that a 16-seat gain is a message that is being sent to the GOP nationwide.

Another ominous sign for Republicans ahead of the midterms is the Generic Congressional Ballot has the Dems up +9. Such a big number this early out is a terrible sign for the GOP, as it likely means the majority in the U.S. House will be gone. I've been saying for some time that the U.S. Senate will probably remain in Republican control given that 25 of the 33 seats up in '18 are occupied by Democrats/Independents. However, that may even be in peril given the Senate GOP has had virtually no substantive accomplishments outside of appointing Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Sorry, but that's not enough to sway voters to keep you in power. Having already bungled the Obamacare repeal and, thus far, immigration reform, not coming through with a significant overhaul of the tax system would assuredly spell doom for Republicans next year.

As far as the local level is concerned, there was nothing happening in my home city of Ramsey outside of two referendums:

Approval of School District Referendum Revenue Authorization

The board of Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District No. 11 has proposed to increase its general education revenue by $226.20 per pupil. The proposed referendum revenue authorization would increase each year by the rate of inflation and be applicable for ten years unless otherwise revoked or reduced as provided by law. Shall the increase in the revenue proposed by the board of Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District No. 11 be approved? 

Approval of School District Bond Issue
If School District Question 1 is approved, shall the school board of Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District No. 11 also be authorized to issue its general obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $249,000,000 to provide funds for the acquisition and betterment of school sites and facilities, including the construction and equipping of new school facilities; the construction and equipping of additions to and the remodeling and upgrading of various school sites and facilities to replace existing portable classrooms at elementary, middle school and high school facilities, to address safety and space issues resulting from student population growth and to provide safe and secure learning environments; and the construction of secured entrances and security and safety improvements at various school facilities? 

I voted "No" twice but each passed with about two-thirds of voters answering "Yes." I guess I've grown weary of throwing millions of dollars at these various projects without seeing tangible results. Let's just say I'll be watching this closely.

As far as the Twin Cities is concerned, both cast votes for mayor.

In St. Paul, Melvin Carter becomes the first African-American mayor elected in Minnesota's capitol city. I know little to nothing about him, but my friend, Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague and St. Paul resident Mitch Berg has some insights.

Over in Minneapolis, it appears the insufferable virtue-signalling incumbent mayor Betsy Hodges is on her way out. As of Wednesday morning, Jacob Frey held a slight lead with Tom Hoch in second and Hodges in third.

With that, the 2018 campaign officially starts in earnest.