Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rush Limbaugh's speech at CPAC.

I am watching live Rush Limbaugh's speech from the CPAC conference in Washington, D.C.

Within the last few minutes, Rush made a remark about Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Republican response to President Obama's speech before Congress last Tuesday. I'm paraphrasing, but Rush said something along the lines of "Joe Biden was surprised that Gov. Jindal got off his shift at 7-11 early enough to give the speech."

Before the inevitable liberal dry heaves ensue, Rush was alluding to statements made by Biden himself:


More leftist distortions

I want him to fail. If (President Obama’s) agenda is a far-left collectivism -- some people say socialism -- as a conservative heartfelt, deeply, why would I want socialism to succeed?
-Rush Limbaugh

So what is the latest demagoguery put forth by the left? It’s how Rush Limbaugh and Congressional Republicans are essentially saying “no” to the prosperity of the American people.

What you just witnessed was nothing more than the obligatory liberal distortions. The fact is Republicans offered time tested economic stimulants such as middle class tax cuts and spending cuts. But when you have House Speaker Nancy Pelosi locking out GOP members from committee meetings and then no one is given an opportunity to read the entire 1,000-plus page bill, how can anyone with a conscience vote “yes”? And who wants to be a socialist society like Europe where government is the dominant force?

So when the economy inevitably worsens over the next 18 to 24 months, the TV ad you just saw will serve as the 2010 conservative campaign message: Republicans said “no” to a plan that did not create 3.5 million jobs nor did it stimulate the overall economy.

You gotta love it when the opposition does your campaigning for ya!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Party like it's 1999 1929.

President Obama was deeply concerned that this economic slump would rival that of the Great Depression if his porkulus “economic recovery package” was not signed in to law. As such, the President put the squeeze to Congress to pass his stimulus bill post haste.

To hammer the point home, check out the song 1929, *starring Barack Obama, Barney Frank, Al Gore and Bill Clinton.

*Celebrity voices impersonated


Two words.....

....which PGA golfers should be dreading.

No, not "President Obama."

It's "TIGER'S BACK!!!"


Monday, February 23, 2009

Vikings on the verge of trading for QB.

From today's Houston Chronicle:

Texans near deal to send Rosenfels to Vikings

The Texans and Minnesota are close to completing a trade that would send quarterback Sage Rosenfels to the Vikings, possibly for a fourth-round draft choice.

The Texans had no comment on the report.

This certainly refutes my theory that Jeff Garcia would be the Vikings QB in 2009.

I guess one good thing I can say is that Rosenfels is an upgrade from what is currently on the Vikings' roster. That's damnation with faint praise, I realize. But we Vikings fans remember him best for torching our favorite squad in week nine last season. Filling in for an injured Matt Schaub in the second half, Rosenfels completed 21 of 29 passes for 224 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. If we can see anything close to that in Minnesota, than it's well worth the a fourth round draft choice.

The two clubs also discussed a Rosenfels trade last year but the Texans inexplicably wanted a second round pick. Bottom line is the Vikings wouldn't get a starting QB for 2009 in this year's draft anyhow. So if the likes of Donovan McNabb and Matt Hasselbeck aren't available via trade, then a trade for Rosenfels wouldn't offend me all that much. And given that Rosenfels has only played in 32 games (twelve career starts) in an eight year career (and he'll only be 31 years old next month) he doesn't have nearly as much wear and tear as other QBs his age.

Perhaps the Vikings may unwittingly find a medium range solution for their QB woes with this deal.


Schlitz Arena

My boss Dean is about my age and is a hockey fanatic. For several winters running, he and some friends gather together for a pick up hockey game every Saturday on Dean's backyard pond in Orono. Part of their pregame and postgame ritual is to indulge in a steady diet of Schlitz beer and powdered donuts (ewwww. The ensuing flatulence must look like a dust storm). As a joke, Dean sent an e-mail to Schlitz brewery informing them of their tradition and thus offered up naming rights to his hockey "arena". In exchange, the guys merely asked for a 12-pack of their favorite brew.

In his wildest dreams, Dean never thought the folks at Schlitz would take him up on his offer. Ah, but Schlitz Brewery actually exceeded expectations. Not only did they agree to purchase the naming rights, they held a ceremony to christen Schlitz Arena and upped the ante to three cases of beer per week!

As a result, a local media frenzy has ensued.

First it was a thirty second mention on KSTP channel 5, where they pronounced Dean's name incorrectly.

Then Pioneer Press guy Tom Powers dedicated an entire Sunday column to Schlitz Arena.

But the coup de grace was a three minute story on Fox 9 this past Saturday.

I'm thinking Dean and his pals may yet parlay this in to shouting "LET'S. PLAY. HOCKEYYYY!!!" at Xcel Energy Center prior to a Minnesota Wild game.

Either way, all this attention is exceeding the customary fifteen minutes.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

FINALLY!!! Twins make signature move.

I was beginning to wonder about my favorite baseball team and their commitment to upgrading their roster. But given these tough economic times, even baseball is cutting back on exorbitant contracts. And that has worked to the benefit of the perpetually frugal Minnesota Twins.

Third baseman Joe Crede is staying in the AL Central for the 2009 season, but leaving the division champions for the runners-up.

A source told ESPN that Crede has agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Twins that includes incentives that could raise the value of the deal to $7 million.

The Chicago Tribune first reported the agreement.

Crede played in just 97 games last season for the Chicago White Sox because of back injuries, hitting .248 with 17 home runs and 55 RBIs. He was named to the 2008 All-Star team before injuries derailed his season for a second consecutive year.

In 798 career games, Crede has 125 home runs -- including a career-high 30 in 2006. He is known for being an above-average defensive third baseman.

This is analogous to the situation prior to 2006 when the Twins considered signing slugger Frank Thomas. Unfortunately then GM Terry Ryan balked at the signing, thinking that the oft injured Thomas had little left and thus didn't want to risk the money. So you can imagine the sick feeling the Twins brass had when Thomas went on to hit 39 home runs and drive in 114 for the Oakland Athletics in '06. This was coming of an injury plagued 2005 season where Thomas played in only 34 games for the White Sox, hitting only .219. To add insult to injury, Thomas homered to lead off the scoring in the Athletics-Twins ALCS matchup, a series Oakland won 3-0.

Thankfully, the Twins did not make that mistake again. Crede is a significant upgrade defensively at third base over Brendan Harris and Brian Buscher. And when healthy, Crede averages about 20 home runs per season. That kind of combo platter has not been seen at the hot corner since Gary Gaetti.

Finally I can allow myself some optimism for the Twins' 2009 season.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Perpetual petulance.

Once he assumed the Presidency, Barack Obama emphasized that his election affirms that America has embraced “hope over fear.” This appeared to be one last shot at the Bush administration which Obama routinely criticized for using the “politics of fear.” Ah, but when Obama wants his disaster of a stimulus package approved post haste, he has no problem issuing stern warnings of an irreversible catastrophe for the US economy if such legislation is not passed.

But I digress.

In fact, a recurring theme of the Obama candidacy was “Let the healing begin.” Translation: “We’ve endured eight years of damage to our country and it’s time to make American great again.” In a sense, it was their own version of “move on.” Well I would suggest that part of moving on is to cease the obsession with the supposed mistakes of the past and focus on the “change” that has been pledged.

Unfortunately, the President hasn’t grasped the concept of “moving on”. In a simple prepared statement yesterday regarding the war on terror, President Obama still couldn’t resist a couple more swipes at the Bush administration (emphasis mine).

There is no more solemn duty as President than the decision to deploy our armed forces into harm’s way. I do it today mindful that the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan demands urgent attention and swift action. The Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, and al Qaeda supports the insurgency and threatens America from its safe-haven along the Pakistani border.

To meet urgent security needs, I approved a request from Secretary Gates to deploy a Marine Expeditionary Brigade later this spring and an Army Stryker Brigade and the enabling forces necessary to support them later this summer. This increase has been requested by General McKiernan and supported by Secretary Gates, the Joint Chiefs and the Commander of Central Command. General McKiernan’s request for these troops is months old, and the fact that we are going to responsibly drawdown our forces in Iraq allows us the flexibility to increase our presence in Afghanistan.

This reinforcement will contribute to the security of the Afghan people and to stability in Afghanistan. I recognize the extraordinary strain that this deployment places on our troops and military families. I honor their service, and will give them the support they need.

This increase is necessary to stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires. That is why I ordered a review of our policy upon taking office, so we have a comprehensive strategy and the necessary resources to meet clear and achievable objectives in Afghanistan and the region. This troop increase does not pre-determine the outcome of that strategic review. Instead, it will further enable our team to put together a comprehensive strategy that will employ all elements of our national power to fulfill achievable goals in Afghanistan. As we develop our new strategic goals, we will do so in concert with our friends and allies as together we seek the resources necessary to succeed.

Now, I’m not denying that the Afghan war has had its challenges over the past year. That itself can be legitimately debated. But I ask again, weren’t we told that the old days would be left behind and the Obama administration would immediately implement their own policies? So if that’s the case then why the continual references to the supposed failures of the previous administration? And you can’t have it both ways. If one is going to acknowledge the failures of George W. Bush, then the successes should also be duly noted. The reason that a responsible drawdown of our forces in Iraq can occur is due to the success of the surge implemented before Obama was President.

Yes, the eloquent campaigner that we saw for almost two years is looking more like a finger-pointing whiner these days.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Prediction: The Vikings starting QB in 2009 will be..

..Jeff Garcia

At least he should be.

Yes, he will be 39 years old next week. And yes, Minnesota would be the sixth team he's played for in seven seasons. But this allows the Vikings to have that bridge to their long term quarterback, whether that's Tarvaris Jackson or someone they draft this year or next. Bottom line, the Vikings spent a lot of money in 2008 via free agency (Bernard Berrian & Madieu Williams) as well as a huge trade (Jared Allen). Throw on top of that Pro-Bowl veterans Kevin & Pat Williams, Antoine Winfield and Adrian Peterson, they're championship ready at key positions --- except QB.

Garcia is a perfect fit in that he has played in a similar offense to the Vikings'. Besides, the current quarterbacks on the roster either lack mobility (Gus Frerotte), mental acuity (Jackson) or experience (John David Booty) to lead a Super Bowl run. Garcia alone would overcome all those shortcomings. The best part? He's a free agent, which means the Vikings wouldn't have to give up a king's ransom (i.e. high round draft picks) to acquire him. And Garcia himself has no unreal expectations.

I'm not looking at it like I need to start and be the man ... Hopefully, I'll have some opportunities out there. I'm pretty sure there's going to be something out there for me.

It's all right here, Jeff!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

What a difference a decade makes

It was exactly ten years ago when my gal and I celebrated our very first Valentine's Day together. As such, we decided to go to the fancy supper club which my grandparents founded in the 50s. Since it was a semi-formal setting I dressed up in a suit and tie and my sweetheart wore a nice blouse and skirt. In fact, we had just gotten engaged the week before, so there was lots to celebrate!

Fast forward to this weekend, we decided on a whim to go out to dinner at a local steak house. Since the venue was not nearly as fancy as ten years earlier, we both arrived dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans.

No matter though, since the company was still the most important aspect of the event.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Coming together

Over the past decade, this country has never been more divided. Whether it's the anti-war/pro-freedom debate, the culture war or fiscal concerns, these are sensitive issues where battle lines are clearly drawn.

What's even more disturbing though is that many Americans have little to no curiosity over such salient issues. And one common diversion from such matters is popular culture, more specifically reality television.

So what better way to unify the country than some of our favorite politicians on each side participating in Dancing with the Stars?

Of course, this may cause more divisiveness if the pair loses. That is, there will be incessant bickering over who should be held most responsible.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

To err is human....

To be perfectly honest, it saddens me when people put all their faith in a human being. As humans, we are fallible and thus prone to making mistakes. And the higher the pedestal on which you place people the louder the thud when they inevitably fall.

So for those of you who have been sucked in to the Barack Obama vortex, don't take it too hard when his star falls. But the truth be told, you brought it on yourselves. You showed no curiosity regarding his legislative accomplishments (or lack thereof). And now he is using the very tactic (politics of fear) which he condemned during the campaign in order to pass a potentially likely fiscal abomination.

I recall how so many of you leftists reacted in 2004 when George W. Bush was re-elected. I imagine your mental state being exponentially worse when in two years you'll still be worrying about paying your mortgages.


Happy Birthday, Governor Palin

The birthday gal turns 45 today!!


Monday, February 09, 2009

Music mauled

There are certain songs I’ll hear these days that have been irretrievably ruined or altered in my mind. That is, I’ll immediately think of a skewered version of the song or how it conjures up bad memories given the venue in which it was played.

Here are just a few examples:

Carol of the Bells: OK, whose idea was it to go from ”Hark! Here the Bells” to Ding! Fries are Done? That’s worse than ”Jingle Bells, Batman smells…”.

This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) (Natalie Cole): One word: OVERKILL!!! In addition to it being the commercial theme for eHarmony, this song was featured in seven movies in ten years, including The Parent Trap, Must Love Dogs and While You Were Sleeping.

American Pie (Don McLean): A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away…whoops, I mean….I can still remember how that music used to make me smile. Yes, thanks to Weird Al Yankovic I usually divert into his parody tune The Saga Begins whenever I hear the McLean classic.

Viva Las Vegas (Elvis Presley): A commercial for a certain little blue pill has forever denigrated this once great song. That’s all I’m sayin’.

You Send Me (Sam Cooke): From early 2007 until election day 2008, the fawning over Presidential candidate Barack Obama was utterly insufferable. But to hear about Chris Matthews’ tingly leg intertwined with this Cooke fave doesn’t…uh…”thrill me.” Thanks a lot, Fraters Libertas.

The floor is open for any other submissions.


Friday, February 06, 2009

Feburary 6, 1999: Popping the question.

The day had come when I was going to propose to my gal! And believe me I definitely had that extra bounce in my step. While waiting for Jen to call and tell me she was home, I decided to clean my apartment to pass the time. Since I was about out of paper plates, I figured I would start by washing the dishes. I then scrubbed my kitchen floor and my bathroom floor, vacuumed the 25 sq. feet of carpet in my bedroom and sorted all my CDs and books alphabetically.

Finally about 3:00 p.m. the gal called to tell me she was home. She was planning on making a nice dinner for the two of us and then we would decide what to do from there.

I got to her place by about 3:30 and she instantly began telling me about her time with her Mom earlier in the day. Apparently Jen got this crazy idea to drag her mother to Oakdale and try on wedding dresses. Again, we had discussed marriage but nothing was official. Anyhow, she tells me that the first dress she tried on that afternoon was the dress. It looked great and fit her perfectly! I guess that was my cue. I said to her “Well, then there’s no sense in waiting any longer.” I proceeded to get down on one knee and ask her to marry me. Of course, she said yes!! I then told her to close her eyes. Once she did that I slipped the ring on her left ring finger. She then said “You did NOT just get me a ring.” She then opened her eyes half expecting to see a cigar band or some other funny memento. No, it was indeed the real thing. We then embraced as we exchanged tears of joy.

From there, we each got on a telephone in her house and proceeded to call all of our family and friends to tell them the good news. Of course, everybody was just ecstatic for us. However, they were also dismayed that we were waiting soooo long to get married. Indeed, 17 months felt like an eternity at that point. But the 8 ½ years of marriage has seemed like a whiff of time.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Obama going down swinging.

I happened to catch President Obama’s live speech from Virginia Thursday evening. It basically was a continued plea demand for the Senate to pass his nearly $1 trillion pork laden spending “stimulus” package.

In watching the speech I had a sense that Obama was almost desperate. After preaching incessantly about bringing to Washington “Hope”, “Change” and a new era of bi-partisanship, the stimulus bill was unanimously rejected by House Republicans. Of course it still passed in the House, given that the Democrats hold a substantial majority. But a repeat of such a vote in the Senate (i.e. universal rejection by the GOP) means that the bill still could pass without bi-partisan support. And that has to have Obama scared out of his mind if this so-called “economic recovery” plan becomes the abysmal failure many predict. Because then the Democrats would have to take sole ownership of such a disaster, thus causing the 1994 mid-term elections to look like a Sunday School picnic in comparison to what could happen in 2010.

So just continue shaking your fist at Congress, Mr. President. Keep showing the courage of your convictions and demand of your Democrat colleagues that your stimulus bill be passed. Own it!! You won, remember?


February 5, 1999: A big step.

February 5, 1999.

It was a Friday evening. Usually I got together with my gal, whom I was merely dating at the time. However, she wanted to spend this particular Friday night at her parents’ place, so I was on my own for the evening.

Since Ridgedale was the mall closest to my apartment, I decided to walk around and maybe even shop for a Valentine’s Day gift. After browsing around a few places for a half hour or so, I wound up in a jewelry store. Before you know it I was looking at engagement rings. At this point in time, the gal and I had been together for seven months but only recently had discussed marriage. We determined that we would get married in the Summertime since she’s off work for all three months. Since we felt that the Summer of ’99 was a little too soon, we decided we would wait until June/July 2000 to tie the knot. Therefore, it didn’t make sense to become officially engaged until a year before the wedding.

Nevertheless, I saw a ring that would look great on her finger. And since I had just received my tax refund I figured that was as good a time as any to buy it. However, there was the sticking point that was our informal agreement: No engagement until Summer. But since I had the money I decided to just go ahead and buy the ring but keep in my safe until June. Then I got home and just stared at the ring for several minutes. Finally I thought ”Ah, who am I kidding? I’m going to ask her to marry me tomorrow.”

I don’t know how I got to sleep that night.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Biden flubs SOS oath of office

After mocking Chief Justice John Roberts over the fumbling of the President's oath of office, Vice President Joe Biden predictably screws up himself. It occurred when Hillary Clinton was being sworn in as Secretary of State.


Monday, February 02, 2009

In mourning

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
-Philippians 4:7

This one is tricky.

As I have written many times here, my wife and I have been in the adoption phase for almost two years now. Unfortunately life had some unexpected turns over these past several months and thus the process was put on hold a couple of times. But it appeared we were cleared for takeoff in December once we were fully settled in to our new house and my wife had finished her Masters degree. Of course, bringing a child into our lives would be bittersweet. While we were certainly excited to expand our family, we were saddened that Jennifer's Dad would never meet his new grandchild. He so wanted a granddaughter and we just had this feeling that we were going to get a girl.

So you can imagine the whirlwind our lives became in mid January when my gal found out she was pregnant! We were absolutely ecstatic but at the same time cautious. Given it was Jen's first pregnancy we knew the potential for complications. As such, we shared the news with immediate family only.

For the first week we tried to wrap our minds around having a baby. It hardly seemed real since we had hoped and prayed for a child for the past several years but had no success. The second week brought genuine joy and excitement. We finally allowed ourselves to start planning.

Sadly, our joy turned to sorrow as we lost our baby over the weekend. I guess I can say we weren't totally unprepared. However, our indelible faith seldom allowed us to believe anything but the best. But since God's ways are higher than ours and He sees the end from the beginning, we're going to continue to move forward in faith knowing we will have our victory.

For the short term, we are heart broken. But we can also rejoice in the fact that baby Carlson is meeting Grandpa after all.


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Bowl XLIII recap.

As Minneapolis native Larry Fitzgerald gave the Arizona Cardinals a 23-20 lead late in Super Bowl XLIII, I figured the Pittsburgh Steelers were done for. Their offense was utterly inept in the second half, scoring only three points up to that point. I was also ready to write a blog post unloading on QB Ben Roethlisberger. After a nice first half, he led the ineptitude.

Ah, but reports of Big Ben's demise was greatly exaggerated. Remember, this is the guy who in his five year career had engineered 17 fourth quarter comebacks.

With 2:37 left in the fourth quarter, Big Ben led his offense on a 78-yard drive culminating in a brilliant 6-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes, who made one of the more acrobatic TD catches in Super Bowl history. With 35 seconds to go the Steelers led 27-23 and held on for the victory.

So where does this place Big Ben in Steelers lore? Well unlike the church of Roethlisberger, I don't believe he is the best Pittsburgh QB of all time. But give it time. He may well be within the next five years!!

By the way, I'd be remiss if I didn't pass on kudos to my pal Mr. D. He was spot on with his Super Bowl prognostication!