Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Seven Pounds

The gal and I took in a movie this New Years Eve. Seven Pounds is a story of an IRS agent looking for redemption by impacting the lives of seven strangers. Utilizing his powers as an employee of the IRS, Ben Thomas (wonderfully portrayed by Will Smith) looks into the lives of others to determine if they are worthy of his kindness.

Without giving too much away, Thomas is not everything he appears to be. As the film progresses, we learn bits and pieces about his life and what led him on his journey to literally give himself to others.

Overall we enjoyed this movie very much, with the conclusion resulting in a lot of sniffles throughout the theater.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

The new AM1500 morning show

All I'll say is that Hubbard Broadcasting must be preparing for the Fairness Doctrine to be reinstated.



I have exciting news to share with you this morning about the new host of the morning show on AM1500 KSTP.

He has more to talk about than what a couple segments have allowed and many have told me that they tune in specifically just to hear him.

Starting Monday, January 12, you will get Patrick Reusse the entire show each morning well beyond a singular sports focus. "Somewhere between wacky and MPR, there's a morning radio show to be done, and that's what I hope to be part of Monday through Friday on KSTP,'' Reusse said. "The goal is for us to put together a morning show that I would listen to.''

Here is the full news release that is being distributed later today.

Patrick has been a strong element of AM1500 and I am excited about him being the steward of the early-morning program each weekday and providing a companion to your daily commute.

Cheers,

Steve Konrad
Program Director
am1500 KSTP


Personally, I like Reusse. I have been reading his columns since the 70s when he was with the St Paul Pioneer Press. Obviously I'm able to overlook his leftist political leanings, which he has a tendency to inject in his daily sports updates as well as his newspaper column. But his 25 year run with Joe Soucheray on Saturday Sports Talk can be quite fun given the duo's witty banter combined with a curmudgeon's look at life.

Reusse will team with Jay Kolls, who seems to be somewhat right of center. We'll see if they can generate an effective "point-counterpoint" format. I'll give 'em a shot.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another NFL regular season in the books.

Some general observations as the NFL regular season ends.

- What happened to the Brett Favre mystique in winter months? He has thrown thirteen interceptions in his past eight December games. And that doesn’t include the costly pick he threw in the NFC championship game last January.

- Speaking of rotten Decembers, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has a 27-12 career record in the regular season ---but is only 5-8 in December.

- Bill Parcells is the modern day King Midas. The year before he arrived in New England as their head coach, the Patriots were 2-14. Four seasons later they were AFC champions. The New York Jets were a combined 4-28 in 1995 & 1996. Parcells arrived in 1997 and led them to the AFC title game in 1998. Then as Executive Vice President of Football Operations of the Miami Dolphins, his club goes from 1-15 in 2007 to 11-5 and AFC East champions this season.

- Two rookie quarterbacks (Baltimore’s Joe Flacco and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan) have guided their respective teams to the playoffs this year. So much for the philosophy that QBs should sit the bench for at least two seasons before seeing taking the helm.

- The Vikings’ Adrian Peterson became the fifth player in league history to reach 3,000 yards rushing in his first two years, joining Eric Dickerson (Rams), Edgerrin James (Colts), Earl Campbell (Oilers) and Clinton Portis (Broncos).

- The New England Patriots finished the regular season with a record of 11-5….but missed the playoffs. That ties a record for most victories while missing the postseason, originally set by the 1985 Denver Broncos.

- Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb was ridiculed when he stated last month that he wasn’t aware NFL regular season games could end in a tie. Well thanks to the Eagles tying the Cincinnati Bengals on November 16, it gave them the edge record wise (9-6-1) over the Cowboys, Bears and Bucs (all finishing 9-7), thus giving Philly the final NFC playoff berth.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Kudos to Chris Wallace!

The attached clip is of Bill O'Reilly interviewing Fox News colleague Chris Wallace earlier this month. Here Wallace recounts how he eviscerated the "straw man" set up by liberal movie director Ron Howard.

Howard apparently equated Nixon's abuse of power during the Watergate scandal to President Bush and his policies implemented in fighting the war on terror.



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To you and yours.....





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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This clinch is no cinch.

Now I understand why the Green Bay Packers are 5-10 this season.

The Pack had a golden opportunity to help my Minnesota Vikings win the NFC North division by beating an average Chicago Bears squad on Monday Night Football. But as is the M.O. of this year’s Packer club they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in a 20-17 overtime loss.

Oh well. It’s not the worst thing in the world for the Vikings to have to beat the defending Super Bowl champions to win their division. But if the Vikes lose at home to the New York Giants on Sunday they can still win the NFC North with a Bears loss at Houston.

Now here’s a scenario I’ve had dancing through my head. Since the Bears and Vikings both have Noon starts on Sunday, it’s possible both games will end almost simultaneously. So if the Bears lose to Houston (thus giving the division to the Vikes) and the Vikings are trailing, say, 28-17 with thirty seconds left in their game, do they still dump the Gatorade bucket on coach Brad Childress?

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Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Packer Nation at my house tonight.

In the thirty years I’ve been passionately following the National Football League, I can count on one hand (and still have a few fingers left over) the number of times I’ve rooted for the Green Bay Packers to win a game.

To be specific, it’s been twice in my life.

December 24, 2000: My beloved Vikings needed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to lose their regular season finale to clinch the NFC Central division title and a first round bye. The Bucs happened to be visiting the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, taking on a Packers team that was already eliminated from postseason play. The Packers led throughout most of the game but the Bucs tied it late on a Martin Gramatica field goal, forcing overtime. However, the Pack prevailed 17-14 as Ryan Longwell booted a 22-yard field goal for the win, giving my club that cherished first round bye!

My Vikings would advance all the way to the NFC Championship but lose to the New York Giants in a game that has since been succinctly referred to as “41-doughnut.”


December 28, 2003: All the 9-6 Vikings had to do in the final game of the ’03 regular season was beat the pathetic Arizona Cardinals, who were 3-12 entering said game. With a win, the Vikes would clinch the NFC North division. But if the Vikings inexplicably lost, they could still win the division title with a Green Bay Packers defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos. Nevertheless I was pulling for the Pack to win. My theory was that the Vikings didn’t deserve to go the playoffs as a 9-7 club with four losses to teams who finished 4-12. Therefore I wanted them to earn their way in with a victory.

Sure enough, the Pack destroyed the Broncos 31-3 while the Vikes struggled with Arizona, trailing 6-0 at halftime. But my favorite squad picked it up in the second half, taking a 17-6 lead late in the fourth quarter. With 1:54 remaining, the Cards closed the gap to 17-12 with a TD. The obligatory onside kick came next and sure enough it was recovered by Arizona at their 42-yard line. Five plays into the ensuing drive they got to the Vikings’ nine-yard line. But rookie defensive lineman Kevin Williams came up huge with a couple of sacks, putting the Cards back at the 28. With no timeouts, the Cardinals hurried to get up to the line for one last play. QB Josh McCown took the snap, avoided the rush and rolled to his right. With the clock reading 0:00, McCown heaved the ball towards the end zone. Despite having two Vikings defenders nearby, Arizona receiver Nathan Poole plucked the ball out the air for the game-winning touchdown. Vikes lose 18-17. No division title. No playoffs. No dignity.


So with my Vikings having lost a chance to clinch the NFC North yesterday, a Chicago Bears loss this evening would still hand them the title. The Bears opponent tonight? The Green Bay Packers!! And to commemorate the third ever occasion of my pulling for the Green & Gold, I’ve invited two Packer fans to my house to enjoy the game with me.

But I draw the line at wearing a block of cheese on my head.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Adventures in Winter Driving

The gal and I were on our way to church this morning on the treacherous Highway 10 in the Anoka area. Given the somewhat icy roadways, I was quite cautious, topping out at only 50 MPH. While in the left lane I had a vehicle (a Buick, I think) come flying up behind me, seemingly annoyed at my slower speed. Since the right lane is reserved for slower traffic I decided to oblige the impatient driver behind me and switch lanes. While in the right hand lane I quickly peaked to the left to see the hurried driver. It happened to be a 70-something couple who attends our church. While I was concerned with the potential for an accident, I admired their sense of urgency to ignore the elements in order to get to the house of the Lord.

But heading home from church was where the real adventure took place. This time I had a woman in a Toyota Corolla barrel up behind us in the left lane. Since there was congestion due to slower traffic in both lanes, I didn't have an opportunity to get over to the right. But the woman in the Corolla seemed to be in a massive hurry so she shot between two vehicles in the right lane and cut in front of me in the left. The gal and I sensed that her careless driving would cause her to lose control on the still icy Highway. About a minute later the Corolla driver did indeed spin out and veered off into the ditch off the right shoulder. As we passed her car, we again took a quick peak at the perpetrator. To our absolute disgust, we surmised that she must have been talking on her cell phone the whole time since she was still on it while in the ditch. I guess I would have been curious to get the perspective of whomever she was speaking to as she lost control.


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Saturday, December 20, 2008

A "Separated at Birth" I missed.

It is positively shocking to witness the deterioration of (the Oakland Raiders)......Meanwhile, the all-powerful (Raiders owner Al) Davis has morphed into the hideous character on the cover of Jethro Tull's "Aqualung."
-Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe






















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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Warren warrants respect

Amazing! During the Presidential campaign, the left wasn’t the least bit interested in a certain Pastor with whom Barack Obama associated.

Now?

President-elect Barack Obama has chosen a pastor who opposes gay marriage as a speaker at his inauguration, creating a commotion over what inclusiveness will mean for his administration.

Obama chose Rick Warren, the evangelical pastor of the southern California megachurch Saddleback, to give the invocation when he takes office in January.

The president-elect on Thursday said that he held views "absolutely contrary" to Warren on gay rights and abortion and described himself as "a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans."

"During the course of the entire inaugural festivities, there are going to be a wide range of viewpoints that are presented. And that's how it should be, because that's what America is about. That's part of the magic of this country is that we are diverse and noisy and opinionated," he said.

"He selected someone who actively worked to eliminate the rights of me and millions of others," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California and a leader in the fight against Prop 8, which is in effect while it is challenged in court.

The choice was "appalling" he added. "If that's Obama's idea of a new day, we are in a lot of trouble."


Ah, I guess Mr. Obama’s supporters felt that “change” meant “fall in line behind the liberal agenda.” The fact of the matter is no one’s rights were “eliminated” since marriage itself is not a “right.” Of course, that is a whole other discussion for another day.

On the flip side is Pastor Warren’s willingness to give the invocation. If he was anything like the caricatured Christians the left paints, Warren would have declined Obama’s invitation due to the President-elect’s radical left stances on moral issues. To me, Pastor Warren epitomizes a Christian individual by showing unconditional love and compassion for those who would mock God’s commandments.

So-called “liberals” could learn a thing or two about tolerance from a man of God like Rick Warren.

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Willie Clark gone

From an AM 1500 KSTP memo:

Effective today, Willie Clark and Jeremy Kienitz are no longer with AM1500 KSTP.

We are appreciative of each of their efforts and hard work. We wish them only the best.

In the coming days, expect an announcement of a freshly re-structured morning-drive show, including who will be sharing the airwaves with Jay Kolls, Kenny, Bergie and Patrick Hammer as soon as some external details get wrapped up.


Actually, I'll admit the firing of Kienitz (aka Kodiak) is a mild surprise. I felt his dry sense of humor added a little flair to what was a moribund morning show. But I never understood the placing of Clark in that time slot, who came to KSTP from a small market in Iowa back in January 2006. It often seemed as though his brain was working faster than his mouth whenever he had a point to make.

I once asked a well placed source what Clark's appeal was. Apparently Clark's incessant love of Major League Baseball is what kept him on the air the past two years. With AM 1500 having been the radio the home of the Minnesota Twins since the 2007 season, the folks at Hubbard Broadcasting may have felt Clark would be an asset when talking baseball. But even a MLB nut like myself wouldn't listen to 3-1/2 hours of baseball talk. Thus Clark's overall value was limited. Combine that with the fact that KQ92 Morning Show has more than a 20 share, it would have taken much more than a radio lightweight from Sioux City, Iowa to make a dent in those ratings.

Farewell, Kodiak and Willie.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Triumph out of Tragedy.

More than 27 years ago, John and Reve Walsh endured a parent’s worst nightmare: burying their child.

What’s worse for the Walshes was the horrific manner in which their son Adam’s life was taken from them.


Adam disappeared from a Hollywood mall on July 27, 1981. Two weeks later, fishermen discovered his severed head in a canal 120 miles away. The rest of his body was never found


No one would have faulted John & Reve if they had withdrawn from public life altogether. But instead of isolation, John took the proverbial bull by the horns. America’s Most Wanted, a television series hosted by John Walsh, debuted seven years after Adam’s death. The focus of the program is to bring America’s attention to the most dangerous criminals out there. Due to the exposure on AMW, more than 1,000 fugitives have been apprehended during the show's 20-year run! In addition, Walsh has been a big-time advocate in proposing major pieces of child protection legislation. As a result he has been honored by each of the past four Presidents.

While he wasn’t able to save his own child, Walsh’s program and tireless advocacy has ensured that other people’s kids would not suffer the same fate. Naturally, there is a keen ambivalence. While I have no doubt that Walsh is pleased with the results of his work, it came at an incredibly steep price.

Then on Tuesday, the Walsh family received the news that they have been awaiting for 27 ½ years.

The investigation into the 1981 murder of Adam Walsh, the 6-year-old son of "America's Most Wanted" anchor John Walsh, is finally closed.

Hollywood, Fla., Police Chief Chad Wagner announced Tuesday that the department had concluded that Ottis Toole, a serial killer who died in jail in 1996, was the man who kidnapped and decapitated the young boy.

The announcement brought to a close a case that had angered the Walsh family for more than two decades, inspired the television show about the nation's most notorious criminals and triggered changes in how authorities search for missing children.

"Who could take a 6-year-old and murder and decapitate him? Who?" an emotional John Walsh said at Tuesday's news conference. "We needed to know. We needed to know. And today we know."


One of my favorite biblical passages is 1 Thessalonians 5:18 where it says ”give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. While the Walsh family is not thankful for their situation, they realized that in their circumstance they can make a positive impact in the lives of others.

And there are many, many families who can give thanks for that.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

December 14, 2003: US learns of Saddam capture.

On this day five years ago it was a Sunday when our phone rang at 5:30 am. It was my sister-in law calling. Naturally, my mind assumed the worst. Were my in-laws sick? Did something happen to our nephews?

Instead, she told me that Saddam Hussein had been captured. Since I was awaken about two hours earlier than I had planned, I let it sink in. "OK, thanks for letting us know", I said. I hung up the phone when my gal asked what the call was about. "It was Donna. She called to let us know that Saddam Hussein had been found and captured." Literally three seconds passed when the gal and I leaped out of bed and headed downstairs to the TV. Sure enough, the haggled and disheveled Iraqi leader was in custody.

Since the fall of Baghdad had already occurred, capturing Saddam was merely an exclamation point on what had been, to that point, a resounding success in the Iraqi conflict. Unfortunately, things would take a turn for the worst over the next few years due to the US woefully underestimating the impact of an insurgency. Thankfully things have improved dramatically due to a change in strategy and the installation of Gen. David Petraeus.

Let's hope that Gen. Petraeus and the US military are allowed to finish what was thought to be wrapped up five years ago.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Separated at Birth: Mel Kiper, Jr. & Joe Scarborough


















Mel Kiper, Jr. (left) is the foremost NFL draft expert.

Joe Scarborough is a former US Congressman from Florida. He hosts Morning Joe weekday mornings on MSNBC.




Another SAB??!!! You're just mailin' it in these days, aren't ya?

So what? It's the Holidays!!

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Separated at Birth: Rod Blagojevich & Jack Lord.















Book him, Dan-O!!

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (left) is in hot water for his alleged offer to sell Barack Obama's US Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Actor Jack Lord's most recognizable role was as Det. Steve McGarrett in the 60s & 70s crime drama Hawaii Five-O.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Whew!!

Well, the Vikings 20-16 victory over the hapless Detroit Lions on Sunday was a lot closer than it needed to be. Truth be told, I started to get nervous in the 2nd quarter when the Lions were still hanging around. My thought going in to the game was that if you get up on the kitties by 14 points early they'll roll over and quit.

I have to say, I was impressed by QB Tarvaris Jackson coming in for the injured Gus Frerotte. Jackson completed 8 of 10 passes for 105 yards and the game winning TD to Visanthe Shiancoe. Despite being benched after week 2, Jackson looked as though he stayed well prepared to come in at a moment's notice. Given the punishment the immobile Frerotte has endured this season, I had a feeling T-Jack would get another shot down the road.

But again, we have to keep perspective. This was the Lions after all. And since the Vikings play another the porous Cardinals defense in Arizona next week, I wouldn't mind seeing Jackson get the start. With Pat and Kevin Williams likely to start serving their four game suspensions this week, my expectations are already low for next Sunday's game. So I say give the kid the nod at QB.

Elsewhere in the NFC North, it was no surprise that the Chicago Bears beat the pitiful Jacksonville Jaguars in the Windy City but how in the heck did the Green Bay Packers allow more than 500 yards of offense to the Houston Texans? Even though the 6-6 Bears were only a game behind the Vikings going in to this week, I was more concerned about the 5-7 Packers. With four very winnable games remaining, I figured the Pack had a decent shot at finishing 9-7. After Sunday's performance against the Texans (who allowed Green Bay to stay in the game with four turnovers) I wonder if the now 5-8 Pack can even win another game this season with that sieve-like defense. So for only the third time in my lifetime, I will be rooting for the Packers to win a game when they play the Bears in Chicago on Monday the 22nd.

Ben? Mark? You wanna get together for that Monday night duel? I'll be on your side!!!

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Friday, December 05, 2008

While channel surfing tonight...

I came across some comedian I've heard of before but never saw perform. Tonight, Comedy Central was playing a show of his from 2006. After about ten minutes, I came to this conclusion:

Lewis Black: NOT funny.

That is all.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Separated at Birth: Eric Holder & Stedman Graham


















Eric Holder (left) served in the Clinton administration as Deputy Attorney General. He will serve as Attorney General under President Barack Obama (Again, that's change...how?).

Stedman Graham is the longtime boyfriend of Oprah Winfrey.


(h/t Dennis Miller)
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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

Vikes to face toothless Lions next.

The Minnesota Vikings hit the road to face the 0-12 Detroit Lions. And they end up losing 27-24.

Can you see it happening?

Actually I did see it happen because that’s exactly what took place on December 16, 2001.

In Week 14 of the ’01 season, the Vikings looked totally disinterested as it was becoming quite clear that coach Dennis Green was on his way out (he was indeed fired two weeks later). Starting QB Daunte Culpepper was hurt and wide receiver Randy Moss was just a month removed from his asinine declaration of “I play when I wanna play.” It was painfully obvious that the Vikings were looking to move on to the offseason.

This season is quite different. With the Vikes in sole possession of first place in the NFC North division (thanks to Sunday's win against Chicago), they have to maintain that status to reach the postseason. Since there is no way that this division will produce a wild card team, the only way in to the playoffs is to win the North.

So any thoughts of this Sunday’s tilt being a “trap game” should be dismissed. And if defensive linemen Pat Williams and Kevin Williams receive suspensions for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy? All bets are off then.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

It Is Well With My Soul.

Most long-time Christians would agree that one of the great and moving hymns of all time is It Is Well With My Soul. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one clings to the lyrics of this 19th century song when facing trials and tribulations.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


Until recently, I had no idea of the circumstances which inspired such spiritual, faith-filled words.

In 1871, a wealthy businessman name Horatio Spafford basically lost his entire fortune in the Great Chicago Fire. The married father of four had invested much of the money he earned as an attorney in the city’s real estate market.

Two years later, the Spafford family decided to travel to England for vacation. However, Horatio’s travel was delayed due to business obligations, thus he sent his family on ahead of him with plans to join them later. While crossing the Atlantic on the Ville du Havre, the four Spafford daughters were tragically killed as a result of the ship being struck by an iron sailing vessel. Anna Spafford, Horatio’s wife, survived but was left with the heart wrenching task of telling her husband that their four daughters had perished. Mrs. Spafford merely sent a two word telegraph message: SAVED ALONE.

Shortly thereafter, Horatio sailed to Europe to join his wife. When his ship reached the site of where his daughters died, Mr. Spafford was inspired to pen the lyrics of that timeless hymn. In doing so, his faith and peace in the face of a horrific tragedy continues to serve as an inspiration to us all.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Get off the bus Gus and hit the road T-Jack.

Regardless of what the Vikings do this season, there may still be that glaring hole at the quarterback position come 2009.

At his best, Gus Frerotte has been OK this season. Despite a 6-3 record as a starter he's 37-years old and is all too often performing imitations of Super Dave Osborne.

Third year man Tarvaris Jackson looked like he regressed when witnessing his play the first two games this season. Unfortunately, the T-Jack experiment looks to have failed.

Bottom line, the Vikings need a QB who poses a legitimate threat to throw the ball downfield. And in this upcoming offseason Brad Childress (assuming he's still coach) and company look to have some viable options.

1. Derek Anderson. Despite being out the rest of this season with a broken right index finger, QB Brady Quinn has been anointed the future of the Cleveland Browns. That means the organization will entertain offers for the services of Anderson. With Anderson taking over for the injured Quinn this season it will be a great opportunity for the Brown to showcase his talent. However, Anderson will need to improve upon his mediocre 49% completion percentage.

2. Matt Cassel. Admit it, you thought the New England Patriots were cooked when superstar QB Tom Brady tore left knee ligaments in Week 1. Backup Cassel, who was sandwiched between Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC, took the helm despite not having started a game since high school. His first three games were rather pedestrian, averaging a mere 149 yards passing per contest. However, he has taken off his past eight starts. He has averaged more than 270 yards passing per game, including more than 400 yards and 3 TDs in each of the past two. With Brady expected to be ready for training camp in the Summer of 2009, Cassel, a free agent, will get plenty of nibbles.

3. Donovan McNabb. Depsite a nice ten-year run with the Philadelphia Eagles, McNabb always seems to be on his way out in Philly. And the talk has never been stronger than this season where he's on pace to throw for more than 4,000 yards and 24 TDs. This time the prevailing theory for McNabb's possible departure is his 2009 cap number of $10.3 million. However, none of that money is guaranteed so the Eagles could cut McNabb without any ramifications against the salary cap. If McNabb is to be an Eagle in '09, he would need to negotiate a cut in salary, something I'm not sure he's willing to do.

Going in to the '08 season, many felt the biggest X-factor for the Vikings was the quarterback position. Thus far, that has rang true. But given the QBs available after this year, it doesn't need to be another question mark going in to '09.







Which QB should the Vikings pursue for the 2009 season?
Derek Anderson
Matt Cassel
Donovan McNabb
Free polls from Pollhost.com




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From the sublime to the ridiculous.

As is custom, members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins (the only NFL team to finish a season unbeaten) pop the cork on some champagne upon the final undefeated team losing its first game in a season. The last unbeaten club in '08, the 10-0 Tennessee Titans, lost their first game last Sunday.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who finished 0-14, are the only team in NFL history to go an entire season without a victory.

So how does that club…uh…”celebrate” when the final winless team in an NFL campaign finally records its first victory?

Just curious.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!




Yes, there is much more to be thankful for than just food.

I'm thankful I have Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

I'm thankful to live in a country where we are free to worship God.

I'm thankful for my loving family, most of whom are happy and healthy.

I'm thankful for the scores of people I can call "friends".


We wish you all a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

55 things...

...about me.

1. The phone rings; whom do you want it to be?
My brother Eric. We usually have quite a few laughs.

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?
Yes. In fact, I always strategically park near the outdoor rack so I don’t have to walk too far to return it.

3. If you had to kiss the last person you kissed, would you?
Since it was my gal, yes.

4. Do you take compliments well?
I’m getting better.

5. Do you play Sudoku?
What’s that?

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive?
No matter where I go I’m never alone, if ya know what I mean!

7. Do you like nipple rings?
Ewwww, no.

8. Did you ever go to camp as a kid?
A few times, yes. My first ever camp was at a campground near the St. Croix River. The boys bathroom didn’t have the dividers between the stalls.

9. If a sexy person were pursuing you, but you knew he/she were married what would you do?
Respectfully say ”Get lost. I’m married.”

10. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you?
Depends on how different. Me being a Pentecostal, I dated a gal who was a Lutheran (and she’s now my wife). I could never date an atheist.

11. Do you like to pursue or be pursued?
Being married, I don’t pursue. And I would probably be incredibly uncomfortable if I were being pursued.

12. Use three words to describe yourself at the moment:
Content, relaxed, full.

13. Do any songs make you cry?
Angels in Waiting by Tammy Cochran.

14. Are you continuing your education?
Collegiately, no. But spiritually, yes.

15. Do you know how to shoot a gun?
Not yet, but I plan on learning.

16. If your house were on fire, what would be the first thing you grabbed?
Assuming the family was out safely, it would have to be our brood of pets.

17. Who was the last person you shared a bed with?
Obviously my gal.

18. Whom do you text the most?
My brother Eric.

19. Favorite children’s books?
Anything by Dr. Seuss.

20. What color are your eyes?
Blue-Green

21. How tall are you?
6’2”

22. If you could do it over again, start from scratch, would you?
Since I’m excited about where life is going right now, I would say no.

23. Any secret admirers?
If they’re secret, how would I know?

24. Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth?
Nope. Too claustrophobic.

25. Where is the farthest place you have traveled?
Southern California.

26. Do you like mustard?
Any kind but honey mustard.

27. Do you prefer to sleep or eat?
Sleep.

28. Do you look like your mom or dad?
Mom.

29. How long does it take you in the shower?
Maybe five minutes.

30. Can you do splits?
Maybe, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to get up.

31. What movies do you want to see right now?
No desire to see anything that’s out in the theater right now.

32. What did you do for New Year’s Eve?
Spent the evening with friends in Woodbury.

33. Was your mom a cheerleader?
I don’t think so.

34. What’s the last letter of your middle name?
N

35. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
7 or 8

36. Do you like Care Bears?
Indifferent.

37. What do you buy at the movies?
Large pop and Popcorn.

38. Do you know how to play poker?
No, never have.

39. Do you wear your seat belt?
Yep. I don’t even think about it, it’s so reflexive.

40. What do you wear to sleep?
Just a pair of shorts.

41. Anything big ever happen in your town?
We have only lived in Ramsey for two months. Does the mere fact we moved here count?

42. Is your hair straight or curly?
What hair?

43. Is your tongue pierced?
Surely you jest.

44. Do you like liver and onions?
No.

45. Have you ever been in love?
Oh yes. Still am!

46. Do you like funny or serious people better?
It depends on the situation. I always like a little levity but there are times when it just doesn’t feel appropriate. I guess I’d lean towards funny.

47. Ever been to L.A.?
Yes. I was there with family for a few days in the Summer of 1985.

48. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads?
Don’t do downloads. I’ve transferred a sufficient number of songs from my CDs to my ipod.

49. Do you hate chocolate?
I love it.

50. What do you and your parents fight about the most?
Mom and I don’t fight about much anymore (unlike when I was a kid). Dad can pick a fight about sports, politics, religion, pop culture, jobs, cars, hunting…well….you get the idea.

51. Are you a gullible person?
Not nearly as much as I used to be.

52. If you could have any job, what would it be?
Sports broadcaster (preferably baseball or football).

53. Are you easy to get along with?
You’d have to ask those I deal with regularly. However, I think I am.

54. What is your favorite time of day?
Sunset.

55. Are you a generally happy person?
Yes.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Anoka County recount: Day 3 (UPDATE)

The vote recount for the US Senate race in Minnesota reached Day 3 in our home county. While it was the first day the gal and I participated, we chatted with several volunteers who had been there each day.

Prior to the recount we were warned that the Al Franken supporters would make frivolous challenges of as many ballots as possible in order to get them to the Secretary of State's office. With Franken now trailing by only 149 votes, his minions will stop at nothing to gain votes or take some away from Senator Norm Coleman.

As was evident in our recount, they Frankenites are living up to the hype.

-At a table my where wife was working, there was a vote clearly cast for Coleman, the oval discernibly filled in. The problem was the smart aleck who cast that vote wrote in Franken's name for Soil & Water Commissioner on the opposite side of the ballot. Seeing that, the Franken camp decided to challenge that ballot citing an "over vote" (more than one vote cast for an office). If ruled in their favor, Coleman would lose that vote even though his name was the only one chosen under the Senate race.

-At a table I was observing, there was clear under voting (no vote cast at all) for the Senate race. However, there were indiscriminate little dots (smaller than a pin head) at various spots on the ballot, including one right above Franken's name. It was nowhere near the oval, yet the desperate Frankenites argued that it was meant to be a vote for their guy.

-But it was my wife who experienced the grand adventure of the day. A Coon Rapids precinct that was recounted indicated three less votes for Franken than were cited on the voting machine tape. The ballots were counted multiple times, yielding the same result. Since there was no way the Franken camp would accept that result, they demanded that the voting machine from that precinct be inspected to ensure all ballots were removed. From there, an election judge accompanied two Franken and two Coleman volunteers (including my gal) to Coon Rapids City Hall to inspect the machine in question. No ballots were found, which netted Coleman a plus-3!!!

Our county is a little more than half way through the 180,000 ballots cast. As a result, the gal and I will be back counting first thing tomorrow morning.

UPDATE: The Strib reported on my wife's City Hall excursion.

Anoka County officials discovered that a Coon Rapids precinct had three fewer ballots than the voting machine printout said should be in the box. The Coon Rapids city clerk and representatives from both campaigns drove to City Hall but didn't find them. The machine printout and the hand-count of the ballots indicated that the three ballots were votes for Franken.


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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shuffling the MOB deck.

Back in July, JRoosh decided to cease blogging on his site Roosh Five. Not wanting Roosh’s valued insights to be stored away forever, Mitch Berg gave Roosh the prestigious role of co-blogger at Shot in the Dark.

Six weeks later, my good pal Ben pulled the plug on Hammerschwing. Why? I don’t know, some gibberish about finishing up seminary, planning a wedding, etc. Anyhow, he was able to land a spot at his future father-in law’s joint (not that he’s taken full advantage of such a prime venue).

I barely recovered from that shock when my fellow Protest Warrior Leo told us in September that he too was headed out the proverbial blogging door. His reward? One of the dawgs. However, Leo has resumed his opining at the Ice Palace!

After witnessing all this, I have to wonder if Dan-O is trying to horn in on another blog himself, especially after reading his first post in almost three weeks.


I am thinking strongly about going in a new direction. When I figure it out, I'll let y'all know, but for know, I'm going to lay low for a few more weeks.


Fess up, Dan! You’re secretly hoping for an open invite from Foot, aren’t ya?

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Top 5 phrases we'll never hear uttered.

5) ”That Steven Seagal is a mighty fine actor.”

4) ”I sure wish Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds would make a comeback.”

3) ”It’s a pleasure listening to such an objective journalist as Chris Matthews.”

2) Strib hack Nick Coleman saying ”I sincerely apologize for my shameless demagoguery the day after the 35W bridge collapse. Given the NTSB’s conclusion of a design flaw, I am utterly embarrassed at my asinine behavior”


AND NUMBER ONE:

”Mr. Davis, I am very interested in being the head coach of your Oakland Raiders.”


UPDATE: WHOA, WHOA, WHOA!!!! You mean someone actually said something to that effect? Wouldn’t it be more desirable to just take a swan dive in to a pit with every carnivorous member of the reptile family?

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

A text from beyond.


Greg & I having fun on the radio, 6/19/2005.



It's been 3 1/2 years since my dear friend Greg Bittner and myself appeared as talk radio hosts. Back in June 2005 we made our debut on AM 1500 KSTP. It made enough of an impression on the program director that a couple of months later he asked us to fill in for Dave Thompson back when Dave hosted the 4-7 pm shift on Sundays.

Unfortunately, that show would be our last in the foray of talk radio. We have since lobbied for additional opportunities at KSTP and other talk stations with no success. The biggest regret we have is we felt like we left a lot on the table. We felt our performance in the second show was uneven. That sentiment was echoed by then interim PD Brad Lane, who said we came off as a little too "MPR"ish. That one stung.

Whenever Greg and I discussed that second show, we always talked about things we could have done so much better. And as it so happened, Greg was thinking about it this past Friday. It got to the point where he started beating up on himself, once again feeling the pains of regret.

A little later in the day, Greg received a text message from a number he didn't recognize. The message simply said "You rocked in your second show."

A wrong number? Perhaps. Divine reassurance? I'd like to think so.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

The old man can still play.

I checked out the second half of last evening’s Thursday night NFL game between the New York Jets and New England Patriots.

Newsflash: The old man can still play!

Jets QB Brett Favre led his club to a 34-31 overtime victory, giving them sole possession of first place in the AFC East division. But Favre was most impressive after his club blew a 24-6 lead.

With the score tied at 24 in the fourth quarter, Favre and Co. took the field after three consecutive lackluster offensive possessions. Despite the Patriots seemingly having all the momentum, the Jets took a 31-24 lead on a Thomas Jones 1-yard touchdown run, concluding a 14 play, 67 yard drive. Said drive, which chewed up 7:06 off the clock, was vintage Favre. He still had the ability to reach down and put together a professional drive despite his offense having sputtered the entire third quarter (15 yards total offense).

But with 1:06 remaining and no time outs, the Patriots marched 62 yards, culminated by a 16-yard touchdown pass from Matt Cassel to Randy Moss with one second left. That tied the score at 31, heading into overtime.

With the Jets starting OT at their 20-yard line, Favre was sacked and then threw an incomplete pass. With the Jets facing a third and 15, the Pats, with momentum and a raucous crown on their side, needed a stop to force a punt and turn the ball back to their offense on a potentially short field. But as he has done so often throughout an 18-year career, Favre broke the hearts of opponents and their fans when he hit TE Dustin Keller for a 16-yard completion. I sensed the Patriots were pretty demoralized after that play. From there, the Jets offense continued to move the chains with Favre performing his patented late game magic. He completed several throws on the run, including a nice 16-yard completion to Laveranues Coles in which Favre rolled to his right and threw across his body to Coles over the middle. Four plays later, kicker Jay Feely booted a 34-yard field goal for the victory.

Warning to the rest of the NFL: Favre is having fun again. That has never been a pleasant site for opponents.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vikes-Bucs history lesson.

The Vikings hit the road this Sunday to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It will be their first visit to Tampa since a 38-24 loss in 2002, which brought their all-time record in Raymond James Stadium to 0-5. Of course, the two clubs used to meet twice per year in the old NFC Central division.

In fact the Vikings have not won in Tampa since October 26, 1997 when the Bucs called Tampa Stadium their home. The 10-6 Vikes win that day was nothing exceptional. But the week leading up to the game is where all the intrigue emerged.

Just prior to his weekly press conference, Vikings head coach Dennis Green released his autobiography No Room for Crybabies. As part of the promotion of the new book, Green warned of a “bombshell” at its conclusion. Upon release it was learned that the book included an elaborate document detailing a lawsuit he considered filing against the Vikings’ ownership group. Apparently Denny felt his ability to coach was being undermined amid rumors that the owners considered firing Green after the 1996 season and replacing him with Lou Holtz. In the proposed suit, Green basically demanded that he be given a percentage of the team’s ownership or he would sue.

In the press conference leading up to the Tampa Bay game, the focus was squarely on Green’s stunning revelation. Ah, but Denny wasn’t in the mood to talk about that. In response to the first question about the book, he emphasized that he would not address its contents until after the season. As such, he only wanted questions or inquiries pertaining to Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers. Star Tribune columnist Dan Barreiro was incredulous that Green would drop such a bombshell yet expect no one to address it until after the season. Green then defiantly stared straight ahead and uttered the now famous phrase of “Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay.” Said phrase is now used regularly by various talk show hosts (including Barreiro) on AM 1130 KFAN.

Yes, Denny was wildly entertaining even before his infamous meltdown as Cardinals coach.

With the excruciatingly dull Brad Childress, don't expect any such melodramatics this week. Just the run-of-the-mill talk about a 5-4 team trying to take over first place in their division. Which is fine by me!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day tribute.

There really aren’t ample words to sufficiently honor those who have served this country overseas. The best tribute I can give our veterans is to truly appreciate everything freedom has to offer. And as long as I am alive, I will convey to every generation of my family the true heroism and courage displayed by those who fought to protect our freedoms.

So to those who are being recognized on this Veteran’s Day, I offer my sincere gratitude for your sheer bravery and selflessness.











You will never be forgotten.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Win one for the Gipper!

Whether you're a fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team or not, one of the more famous motivational speeches took place on this date 80 years ago.




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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

A good and faithful servant turns 90.

Rev. Billy Graham

Over the past thirty years or so, there have been a few high profile men of God who have fallen hard. And when the likes of Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart and Ted Haggard had their very public scandals, many secularists nattered with the glee.

You also have some very outspoken ministers (who are disdainfully called “the religious right”) like Pat Robertson, John Hagee and Dr. James Dobson, who regularly draw the ire and vitriol of the political left.

But regardless of people’s faiths (or lack thereof), one man of God has held iconic status for nearly sixty years: The Rev. Billy Graham.

Ever since 1950, when he urged Harry Truman to counter communism in North Korea, Graham has had a personal audience with every sitting President of the United States. To that end, Graham never seemed to be loyal to one particular political party, even though he was a registered Democrat in the 60s. Despite that, he supported Richard Nixon in his Presidential bid against John F. Kennedy in 1960 and was a long time friend of Ronald Reagan. In the 70s, he refused to align himself with the religious right because he felt Jesus did not have a political party. In Rev. Graham's mind, the gospel superseded any party affiliation.

To me, the most impressive attribute is Graham's genuine humility. Raised on a dairy farm in North Carolina, he has often marvelled at how God used a mere farm boy like himself to spread the gospel worldwide. And despite visiting scores of foreign countries, holding more than forty crusades and earning the admiration and respect of eleven U.S. Presidents, at the end of the day Graham still went home to a modest cabin in rural North Carolina.

And today, Rev. Graham celebrates 90 years on this planet. And for more two-thirds of that life, he has faithfully served the Lord by impacting literally millions of people across this planet.

Luke 12:48 says that to whom much is given, much shall be required. Billy Graham humbly admits he has been blessed exceedingly, abundantly above what he could ever think or ask. As such, he has tirelessly dedicated his life conveying that very message.

Happy 90th, dear sir.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Stay classy, lefties.

After enduring eight years of petulance and invective from the left wing loons, you would think that might start to subside now that Barack Obama has been elected President.

Yeah, not so much.

Tim Newbolt, BPOU chair of the SD49 Republicans, came home last evening to find his lawn signs vandalized.

In victory....




....and defeat



....a tiger just can't seem to change its stripes.

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More election digestion.

While I was disappointed in the outcome of the Presidential race, I have to say that this election season was quite gratifying when it came to Minnesota’s US House delegation.

With long-time Congressman Jim Ramstad retiring, the Democrats looked to seize CD 3, a district that has been a GOP stronghold for more than thirty years. As such, national money was coming in to this district in an effort to help DFLer Ashwin Madia defeat Republican Erik Paulsen for the open seat. Nothing would have made Minnesota Dems more tingly than to give credence to their endless nattering of how the third was going blue. But Paulsen ended up winning somewhat comfortably (7.5% to be exact), a surprise given this race had been considered too close to call for weeks.

For the second straight election cycle, left-wing loons painted a huge target on the petite frame of Michele Bachmann in CD6. Bachmann won by eight points in 2006 and looked poised to be re-elected with a double digit victory this time around. Her opponent, empty suit El Tinklenberg, was nothing more than the proverbial speed bump. Ah, but then came Bachmann’s appearance on MSNBC’s Hard Boiled Hardball where she had the audacity to voice concerns about Barack Obama’s questionable associations. Bachmann found out the hard way that you don’t question “The One.” From there, the maniacal left (locally and nationally) poured insane amounts of cash into E-Tink’s campaign in an effort to unseat what had become the biggest threat to them this election year: a strong, outspoken woman. But as is Bachmann’s modus operandi, she weathered the storm and emerged victorious!

While the Republicans nationwide suffered a net loss in the House, I take solace in the fact that my state GOP at least managed to maintain their delegation. That was far from a sure thing leading up to election day.

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Election night recap.

I woke up Tuesday morning totally at peace. Granted I pretty well knew we would be electing Senator Barack Obama as President. But I wasn’t devastated at the prospects.

My biggest wish for Election Day was not even a Republican winning the Presidency. No, my largest desire was to have the Senate Republicans keep at least 41 seats. And as I write this, it looks to be all but assured that the GOP Senators will maintain the filibuster option (albeit barely), which is absolutely huge!! If the US Senate had reached 60 members caucusing with the Democrats, the Obama administration would have been able to ramrod through any legislation they desired. Such damaging legislation may well have included card check (that is preventing union members from being able to keep their votes confidential), The Fairness Doctrine, abortion on demand, etc. That’s not to say the Dems won’t try to implement those things, but at least there will be a last line of defense since they don’t have the super majority.

As it is, the Democrat majority may pass some pretty liberal fiscal policies, thus driving the country into a possible recession. Yeah, I know that sounds pretty bleak. But believe it or not there is a ray of hope in that. It opens the door for 2010 to be a repeat of the 1994 midterm elections when the GOP made historic gains in the US Congress after two years of complete Democrat control. Let me emphasize that I do not wish for America to suffer just so conservatives have a chance to take over Congress. But it seems inevitable that we’re headed for tough times given Obama’s seemingly dangerous notions of “redistributing wealth.”

One thing’s for sure. During the Obama presidency, the vast majority of us on the right will not act like a bunch of sniveling and petulant little children like the liberals have over the past eight years. As of mid-January, Barack Obama IS MY PRESIDENT! While I will speak out against him on a host of issues with which I disagree, I will respect the office of the President of the United States.

Congrats, President-elect Obama. Come January you will hold the most powerful office in the free world. As such, you will be in our prayers during the length of your administration.

Remember: Country First!!

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ladies & Gentleman......

The President of the United States





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Today's the day!!!

This election day marks the 20th anniversary of the first time I cast a vote. As a sophomore in college I couldn’t have cared less about politics. But I at least knew my state was the home of prominent Democrat politicians like former VPs Walter Mondale and Hubert Humphrey. And since my Dad and paternal Grandparents were such staunch liberal Democrats, I merely marked every DFLer on the ballot. Yes, I voted for Michael Dukakis for President in 1988. Scary!

I’m certainly not in the prediction game but it’s difficult for me to envision a scenario where Barack Obama is not elected the 44th President of the United States. The one glimmer of hope I have is that Obama’s comments regarding his policies bankrupting the coal industry may resonate with voters in key battleground states. Such rhetoric could solidify John McCain’s lead in Ohio and possibly turn Pennsylvania red. If indeed the McCain-Palin ticket can somehow win the Keystone state, they could endure losses in the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa and Virginia (all of which went for President Bush in 2004) and still emerge victorious.

Truth be told, I would almost be able to stomach a McCain loss if Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Senator Norm Coleman can win their respective re-election campaigns. Of course, a Coleman win significantly reduces the Democrats chances of obtaining a “super majority” in the US Senate. With the current Senate delegation of 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans and 2 Independents (both of whom caucus with the Democrats), it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that the Dems could attain the filibuster-proof of 60 members. If that were to take place, you would essentially have three people running this country: President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Harry Reid.

I know I will be up until the wee hours Wednesday morning to see how this all shakes out. And I will be praying fervently for my country that whole time.

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

The audacity of disincentive.

When Barack Obama pledges to give a tax cut to those earning less than $250,000 $200,000 $150,000 $120,000 $250,000, it's biggest victim looks to be small business owners. Obama's rationale for such a plan is to ensure that all the employees (especially those employed in a small business) have a "chance for success, too." Someone is going to have to explain to me how assistance from government is defined as "success".

But I digress.

Who better to explain the flaws of Obama's plan than Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, an owner of a small business with her husband. In an interview on The David Strom Show yesterday morning, Bachmann emphasized the incredible sacrifice that goes in to running a small business. First of all, there is no such thing as a "weekend". After the employees get paid first, there are the obligations of regulatory fees, operating expenses and taxes. After all that, the actual owners get whatever is left over. Basically, the owner of the business is the one who assumes all the risks and is paid last.

Under Obama's plan, already overburdened business owners will be forced by government to make additional sacrifices that could ultimately force them to reduce their expenses or, heaven forbid, cease operations. And the most exorbitant expense of any business? Employees. In essence, Obama's plan will ultimately harm those who he aims to have a "chance for success, too."

And if anyone dare object to Obama's plan, they're labeled as "selfish."

Given that small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy, it would be a travesty if ambitious Americans would cease attempts at starting a business due to their sacrifices being in vain.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pet ranch.

We have added another animal to our brood of pets.







"Sophie" is a Shih Tzu/Bichon Frise mix. However, this is my Mother-in law's dog, so it stays on her side of the house. However, if we happen to open the entry way into Mom's house, Sophie will tear out of there after our three cats.



Yes, the felines are not amused by this new development.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Music to conservatives' ears.

Three of the best minds in today’s conservative movement were in town last evening for an event entitled “Talk the Vote”, sponsored by AM 1280 The Patriot. It was a capacity crowd at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis with people having to be turned away at the doors!

To kick off the evening, we were honored to hear brief greetings from prominent GOP politicians (and candidates) Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Barb Davis White, Erik Paulsen, Ed Matthews and Senator Norm Coleman. Governor Tim Pawlenty also made an impromptu appearance.

The keynote speakers for the evening, Salem Radio hosts Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved and Dennis Prager (all of them prestigious Ivy league grads), gave impassioned talks on not only the importance of the upcoming election but also the future of America’s economy and cultural landscape. Anyone who has heard Barack Obama soundbites over the past few weeks (i.e. “spread the wealth”, “…constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution”, etc.) should be very concerned the direction this country will be headed if indeed there is an Obama presidency. In fact, more than one of the speakers likened the prospects to the Jimmy Carter administration, when there was 8.5% unemployment, double digit inflation and the beginning of a tenuous relationship with the newly Islamic ruled Iran. The fact people have taken that in to consideration has undoubtedly helped McCain surge in some of the latest polls.

Bottom line: My wife and I needed the indomitable optimism and hope displayed by the conservative triumvirate. Granted we’re not deluding ourselves into thinking that there isn’t an uphill battle over the next week. But there is definitely ample opportunity for Senator McCain given Obama has been on the record conveying his true far left ideology.

For more insightful analysis (including video footage) check out the reports from Ed Morrissey and Mitch Berg.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

And people call Bush a fascist?

Fascism: a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.



Obama campaign cuts off WFTV after interview with Joe Biden.

WGN-AM again target of Obama campaign.

Obama to Plumber: My Plan Will 'Spread the Wealth Around'

Obama’s 95% illusion



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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Adding to the arsenal.

We have added to our repertoire of political signs this week!





Before this election season, I would have never believed I would be donning a lawn sign for a political candidate endorsed by both the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune.

Team Coleman spread the word via e-mail this afternoon.


What a beautiful day in Minnesota and a great day at Coleman For Senate! We want to give you a sneak peek into tomorrow's papers and let you know that Norm is honored to receive the endorsements of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. We hope you'll pick up a copy to enjoy with your morning coffee! Read about what you know and what already eight Minnesota publications have recognized: Norm Coleman's strong record of public service for Minnesota and his proven ability to work across party lines to get things done are why we need to work hard in the remaining 10 days of this campaign to get Norm re-elected!



How much of a putz is Al Franken that he can’t even gain the endorsement of the Star Tribune for goodness sakes?

Given the embarrassment of having one cartoon character like Jesse Ventura representing our state politically, not even the Strib can fathom the thought of having another.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Box score of the week

UPDATE: Terry Francona has had a phenomenal run as manager of the Boston Red Sox. In five seasons, he has led the Sox to two World Series titles.

As a player, however, Francona had a rather non-descript 10-year career. The box score I've linked to is the final game in said playing career of one the finest big league managers in the game today.



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Given this game was played in April, it has nothing to do with the postseason. Nevertheless, can you tell me its significance?

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Andy & Opie are fishing here.

Can you imagine the citizens of 1960s Mayberry, NC voting for a Presidential candidate who opposes a bill providing medical care to an infant surviving an abortion? What if that same candidate’s fiscal policies threatened the livelihood of gas station attendant Goober Pyle as well as Floyd the barber? And if said candidate were elected, Sheriff Andy Taylor might be able to carry a gun on the job but God help him if he wanted to have a personal firearm at home to protect Opie and Aunt Bea.

Nevertheless, actors Ron Howard and Andy Griffith would have you believe that the Taylors would actually support such a candidate for President.

Sheesh, is nothing sacred?

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Loud and Proud!!!

So I was getting ready to head out after dinner Tuesday evening when the door bell rang. To my surprise, it was none other than fellow MOBster Andy Aplikowski. Given that Andy is a volunteer extraordinaire in CD 6, I soon realized he was there to bring me the lawn sign I ordered from the Michele Bachmann campaign.





Despite the latest controversy surrounding Bachmann and her comments about Barack Obama, we are displaying the mammoth sign proudly! Besides, Congresswoman Bachmann has absolutely nothing to apologize for when expressing her concern that Obama might have “anti-American views”.

She has some pretty compelling evidence to state her case.

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World Series take.

The prevailing question during last week’s baseball playoffs was “Who would watch a Philadelphia Phillies-Tampa Bay Rays series?”

Well, me, for one!

I appreciate a team like the Tampa Bay Rays, a club who is building their franchise much like my Minnesota Twins. The Rays have built a solid nucleus through the draft as well as an occasional trade. Of course, two of the most noteworthy deals involved them fleecing the Twins and New York Mets, respectively, for starting pitchers Matt Garza (the ALCS MVP) and Scott Kazmir. Both pitchers are only 24-years old. The #1 overall pick in 2007, 23-year old left handed pitcher David Price, has already made an impact. He recorded a win in Game 2 of the LCS and the save in a decisive Game 7. With an upper 90s fastball and a devastating slider, Price may be just what the Rays need to stabilize a shaky bullpen. Combine that with a batting order featuring budding superstars like B.J. Upton (.383 On Base percentage) and Evan Longoria (27 HRs and 85 RBIs in only 122 games), the speed of outfielder Carl Crawford and the power of first baseman Carlos Pena, you have the makings of a potential dynasty. The steely calmness of manager Joe Maddon is just what this young Rays team needed after their Game 5 collapse in the LCS.

The Phillies have been the stoppers in this 2008 postseason. In the Division Series they needed only four games to dispatch a Milwaukee Brewers team that had won six of their last seven just to get in the postseason. Then in the NLCS the Phils knocked out the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games with timely hitting and a near flawless bullpen (0.96 ERA in 18 2/3 innings pitched). Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero have been very effective as the righty/lefty combo the Phillies turn to in the seventh and eight innings. Closer Brad Lidge has been a perfect 46 for 46 in save opportunities, including postseason. It’s a good thing for the Phils that they’ve had a full week off given how overworked their bullpen was in the LCS. Outside of NLCS MVP Cole Hamels’ two starts, the Philly starting pitchers averaged only four innings per outing against the Dodgers. The likes of first baseman Ryan Howard (2006 MVP; 177 home runs in only 3 ½ seasons), shortstop Jimmie Rollins (2007 MVP) and second baseman Chase Utley (100-plus RBIs three of the past four seasons) are finally gaining the attention of baseball fans outside of Philadelphia. Manager Charlie Manuel, a good ol’ boy from West Virginia, has somehow maintained his “aw shucks” demeanor in a notoriously tough sports town. He’s averaged nearly 90 wins per season in four years with the Phillies.

I believe the difference in this series will be Tampa’s superior starting pitching. If the Phils can steal Game 1 at Tropicana Field with Hamels on the mound, they have a shot.

Nevertheless, I’m going with the Rays in six.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Is Powell OK now?

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsing Barack Obama for President shouldn’t come as a huge shock. After all, Powell’s service in the cabinets of two Republican Presidents (Bush 41 and Bush 43) had less to do with the respective administration’s political leanings as much as it did with his acumen in the matters of National Security. As Ed Morrissey astutely points out, Powell could easily have served as Secretary of State in a Clinton administration as much as in a Bush administration.

But the mere fact Powell even associated with the GOP at one time resulted in sheer disdain emanating from many black activists, most notably singer Harry Belafonte. Almost exactly six years ago today, Belafonte had these racially tinged comments about Powell serving in the Bush administration:


"Colin Powell is permitted to come into the house of the master, as long as he will serve the master according to the master's plans," Belafonte said. "And when Colin Powell dares suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture. And you don't hear much from those who live in the pasture."


As it turned out, Powell was anything but a robotic servant during his tenure in the Bush cabinet. It was no secret that he and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had some tense moments regarding the Iraq war. Powell would go on to voluntarily resign his post as Secretary of State upon Bush’s re-election.

And as Powell proved this weekend, he is indeed his own man. So when he says his endorsement of Obama has nothing to do with race, I am inclined to believe him.

The question now is will the major players in the African-American community, who seemingly ostracized Powell for serving in the Bush administration, embrace him now that he has endorsed the first ever black nominee?

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Box score of the week (Postseason edition)

UPDATE: Pitcher Christy Mathewson tossed his third shutout in six days as his New York Giants topped the Philadelphia Athletics in the '05 World Series. Mathewson's 27 consecutive scoreless innings in World Series play is a record that will likely never be broken.

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What record was set in Game 5 of the 1905 World Series? It’s a record which still stands today.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Nation in crisis.

Foot put together a brilliant piece a few months ago entitled Rhetoric that needs to die. Now.” If I may, I would like to put together a list of my own. Well, actually a list of one. It pertains to the Major League Baseball playoffs.


So what if the Red Sox are down 3 games to 1 in the ALCS. They rallied from down 3-1 last year to win the AL pennant and eventually the World Series.

The difference this year is:


• No Curt Schilling

• No Manny Ramirez

• No Mike Lowell

• Josh Beckett (6-2 with a 1.73 ERA in his two prior postseasons) still looks to be bothered by a strained oblique. He has an 11.57 ERA in two playoff starts this year.

• David Ortiz looks like the stiff the Twins jettisoned after the 2002 season. He is hitting .161 with ZERO homeruns and 1 RBI in eight playoff games (including .071 and 0 RBIs in the LCS).


It ain’t happenin’ this year, Red Sox Nation. The faster you accept that, the quicker you can shift your focus to the soon-to-be 8-8 Patriots.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mickey Mouse must be a democrat.

h/t to Lassie at Freedom Dogs



Where’s the outrage, Democrats? You perpetuated baseless claims of voter fraud in 2000 and 2004 when you were trounced in both election cycles. You were even wringing your hands prior to the ’06 midterms only to hear crickets the day after your party gained a Congressional majority. Huh. I guess there’s only disenfranchisement when the GOP wins, eh?

And now you have one of the most heinous examples of voter fraud in the history of this country and nary a reaction. Even your candidate for President brushes it off.

Pretty pathetic.




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Summer of Sid.

Sid Hartman is one of the more recognizable names in the Twin Cities, if not the entire country. With 60-plus years as a Star Tribune sports columnist in addition to a 50-year stint on WCCO radio, Sid has made an indelible mark on the local sports scene.

In 1992 at the Mall of America, the WCCO promotions staff decided to capitalize on Sid’s popularity with the “Sid Hartman sound alike contest”. Basically eight contestants would give their best Sid impersonation and the judges (usually other ‘CCO personalities) would select the best three to compete in the championship round. The winner would receive a free steak dinner with Sid at Murray’s Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. The running joke was “What does the loser get? Two dinners with Sid?”

What was supposed to be an annual contest ceased after only four years. Fortunately for me I was a participant in the final go-round in 1995 at the Minnesota State Fair. Hard to believe that was thirteen years and fifty pounds ago.

Sifting through some of my old VHS cassettes, I came across the video footage containing my fifteen two minutes, eleven seconds of fame.



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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Week 6 in the NFL not for the faint of heart.

What a week in the NFL!!

There were so many late rallies, last-second heroics and stunning finishes, that it’s hard to name the biggest thriller.

That said, let’s take a look at the various endings of the early games today. In a nine minute stretch, there were all sorts of wild plays taking place in four different games.


• Kyle Orton's 17-yd TD pass to Rashied Davis gives the Bears a 20-19 lead over the Falcons with 11 seconds left at 4:00:12 ET.

• Ryan Longwell's 26-yd FG gives the Vikings a 12-10 lead over the Lions with 12 seconds left at 4:03:01 ET.

• Matt Schaub's 3-yd TD run gives the Texans a 29-28 lead over the Dolphins with three seconds left at 4:04:08 ET.

• Josh Brown's 49-yd FG gives the Rams a 19-17 win with no time left at 4:08:24 ET.

• Jason Elam's 48-yd FG gives the Falcons a 22-20 win over the Bears with no time left at 4:09:01 ET.

(courtesy ESPN research)


In the later games:

• The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Dallas Cowboys 30-24 in overtime. The winning touchdown was scored by Monty Beisel on a three yard return of a blocked punt. This marks the first time in NFL history when a game ended on a touchdown as a result of a blocked punt. It almost happened on November 5, 1989 when the Rams and Vikings went to OT tied at 21. In that contest, the Vikings’ Mike Merriweather blocked a punt and pounced on it in the end zone. Unfortunately the ball squirted loose and ended up going out the back of the end zone, resulting in a safety and a 23-21 Vikes win.

• Sore shoulder, my arse. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw a 45-yard laser to Greg Jennings in the third quarter to snap a 10-10 tie with the Seattle Seahawks. The Packers went on to win 27-17 and are now tied with the Bears and Vikings atop the NFC North division with a 3-3 record.


I don’t gamble and I don’t play fantasy football. Yet, I couldn’t have been more glued to the TV and internet with this week’s NFL action!

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