Sunday, September 30, 2012

Do you wake up on your own and wonder where you are?

I'm especially excited about being on the air for today's edition of The Closer, which will air from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central.

In the 1:00 hour, I am thrilled to be joined by University of Minnesota Gophers football alum, Super Bowl champion, renown recording artist and aspiring actor Ben Utecht. I'll talk to Ben about the state of the NFL today as well as his work with the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance, something near and dear to his heart given the fact Ben retired from the NFL due to recurring concussions.

In the second hour, I'll discuss how the Obama administration finally acquiesced to what was obvious to so many Americans all along- that the 9/11/2012 attack on the American embassy in Benghazi was indeed a terrorist attack. I'll also reflect upon an op ed in the Star Tribune this past week from an anti MN Marriage Amendment advocate and how he unwittingly makes my personal case for voting "yes."

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link.

For mobile phone users, there are cool apps available for iphone, Blackberry and Android!

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #narn or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....


Friday, September 28, 2012

Box Score of the Week

Mike Scott tosses a no-hitter as his Houston Astros defeat the San Francisco Giants on September 25, 1986.


In addition to Scott tossing a no-hitter, his Astros clinched the National League West division, the first time in MLB history a division title was clinched via a no-hitter. 


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Reid: Romney has "sullied" Mormonism

"I never yet met a man that I didn't like."
-Will Rogers

Having died in 1935, Will Rogers never had the opportunity to meet Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

....Reid lashed out at Mitt Romney’s faith during a conference call with reporters, saying he is “not the face of Mormonism” and suggesting he has tarnished the religion.

Reid, a Democrat and the highest-ranking Mormon in U.S. elected office, also said he agrees with claims that Romney has “sullied” the Latter-day Saints faith.

The Nevada senator made the comments during a call Friday, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

"He’s coming to a state where there are a lot of members of the LDS Church," Reid also said ahead of Romney’s arrival Friday. "They understand that he is not the face of Mormonism."

I guess this is evidence of how Reid isn't a part of the Democrats' strategy sessions in getting President Obama reelected. Many Dems labor under the delusion that Evangelical Christians are so put off by the Mormon faith that enough ECs would consider staying home, especially in the South. If Obama could wrest just one Southern state, four more years would be in the bag. But Dingy Harry apparently blew that cover.

In the end, I never believed Romney's Mormon faith would be a major issue in the Bible Belt. However, the state of Nevada (won by George W. Bush in 2004 and Obama in 2008) is definitely in play. And since 10% of Nevada residents are of the Mormon faith, Reid is employing a very obvious demagoguery tactic. If he can cut into that voter bloc even slightly, it may be enough to keep the state in the "D" column this November. 

It never ceases to amaze me how an empty suit like Harry Reid is in such a vital leadership position. As Dennis Miller once said about the vacuous Reid: "I’m bemused by the fact that the libs fancy themselves as young idealists who are gonna shake it up, and then they’re forced to fall in behind Dorian Gray’s lighting stand-in."



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

NFL: Not For Long

I can count on one hand the number of times I've rooted for the Green Bay Packers, and still have a few fingers left over. With that said, you probably assume that I was ecstatic about the Pack losing to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.

You would be wrong.

Oh sure, I was rooting against Green Bay on Monday. But some things transcend team loyalty, specifically recurring incidents which could harm the integrity of the sport as a whole. Utterly incompetent officiating, no matter which team is victimized, would certainly qualify.

Replacement ref rage may have peaked Monday night.

Just when it seemed that NFL coaches, players and fans couldn't get any angrier, along came a fiasco that trumped any of the complaints from the weekend. The Seahawks' 14-12 victory featured one of the most bizarre finishes in recent memory, and was certain to reignite frustrations over the locked-out officials.

(Seattle QB Russell) Wilson scrambled from the pocket and threw to the corner of the end zone as the clock expired. (WR Golden) Tate shoved Green Bay's Sam Shields out of the way, then wrestled with M.D. Jennings for possession. It was ruled on the field as a touchdown and after a lengthy review, referee Wayne Elliott came out from under the hood and announced "the ruling on the field stands" and CenturyLink Field erupted in celebration.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been the target of most of the anger vented by players and fans. And while Goodell's hands aren't pristine, one needs to remember that the NFL owners have to approve any agreement reached with NFL officials. So do you honestly believe after Monday's debacle that the owners have a bigger sense of urgency to get a deal done? Let me answer that question with a couple of questions. Are NFL stadiums, for the most part, still being sold out each week? Are the TV contracts still paying a princely sum? The answers to both are a resounding "yes." Until either of those factors dramatically change, the owners will likely proceed with their normal flippancy.

For as long as I can remember, the NFL has been like the proverbial 800-lb. gorilla. But given the public relations hits the league has endured over myriad lawsuits filed by former players as well as the New Orleans Saints "bounty" scandal, it would behoove the powers-that-be to not add to the P.R. malaise by potentially putting on-field results in a position to be dramatically skewed. 

In the end I would like to believe I'm being too cynical about the multi-billionaire NFL owners and that they actually have enough pride in their league so as not to see it permanently tainted. Either way, it makes we Minnesotans all that more fired up to pay for a new billion dollar Vikings stadium, eh?


Sunday, September 23, 2012

One score and five years ago.....

This past Friday, I attended my first High School reunion since the 10-year bash of 1997. Yes, we were commemorating 25 years since graduation from St. Paul's Harding High. Twenty. Five. Years.

I had planned to be out late that evening, so the fetching Mrs. Carlson and I decided to stay at my Mom's place that night, a mere 15 minutes from the party venue in St Paul's Como Park. It was also fortuitous in that the Mrs. had a get-together the next morning in downtown St. Paul. And since she was a little under the weather, I encouraged her to stay behind so as to get a good night's sleep.

I arrived at Gabe's by the Park at 7:00 pm, having already listened to myriad '80s tunes on the drive over. As I hopped out of the car to walk inside, I actually got a little nervous. While I fondly reminisce about the decade itself, the 80s was kind of a time of angst for me personally. When I entered high school in September 1983, I was all of 5' 2" and 95 lbs. When I graduated, I had shot up to 5' 11" but still only weighed in at about a buck forty five. As such, I was an easy target for guys who like to rough up kids for sport. It wasn't that I was unpopular as much I was woefully awkward and uncool. I point you to those guys who used to show up at the dances without dates and lean against the wall snapping their fingers while bobbing their collective heads to the music. No, I wasn't even one of those guys. They also were too cool for me.

Anyhow, back to Friday. I got all signed in and walked towards the packed bar area when I immediately saw my buddies Terry and Mike. It wasn't all that different a feeling from a crowded high school cafeteria when one is desperately looking for a familiar face. I sat down with the guys when our friend Mary came to join us. Mary and I go back to 7th grade. She was always abnormally tall for a girl (close to 6-feet tall even as a freshman), towering over most of her male classmates. That has a tendency to be a difficult thing for a girl to endure, but not Mary. I remember her as a kind, very sweet person. She's still that way today.

I began to mingle in the bar area when I saw Lori, one of the more popular girls in our class. A multi sport cheerleader, Lori was a very nice looking girl (I believe we kids in the 80s used the term "fox."). One of her claims to fame in school was her sister was married to NHL star Paul Holmgren, who was a member of the late '70s, early 80s Philadelphia Flyers, nicknamed the "Broad Street Bullies." I recognized Lori right away, and she still looks great!

Not wanting to isolate ourselves like in high school, Terry, Mike and I made our way to the other end of the party room, near the dance floor. We ran into a classmate named Jim. He was known as "Lenny" until late in our junior year. Apparently he and his Dad (Leonard Sr.) had a falling out so he decided to change his first name as a result. In the midst of the visit, Missy stopped by. When I was mentioning on Facebook how I was so uncool in high school, Missy commented that her and some of the other classmates would ensure I was the coolest guy at Friday's soiree. I told her that my teammates on the basketball team in 10th grade made that same pledge once after a game one Friday night. That particular evening ended with my being trapped inside my locker. She promised she would excoriate the guys responsible. Even though that happened a long time ago and I'm well over it, I thought it was kinda sweet.

A few moments later, I walked over to the table where an ex-girlfriend was standing around with her fiance. Wanda and I knew each other in high school but never actually dated. We actually got together a few months after the 10-year reunion and went out for about 2-1/2 months. The relationship did not end on the best of terms (Thankfully I met the future Mrs. Carlson about seven months later). Since our classmate Collette was also at the same table with Wanda and her dude, I decided to greet Collete first to give Wanda a heads up that I was there. When I finally got around to saying "hello" to the ex, I didn't sense any awkwardness on her part (I've been very happily married for 12+ years, so I was cool as the other side of the pillow). We all chatted for about ten minutes before I moved on.

By this time, Terry, Mike and I grabbed a table between the entrance to the party room and the exit to the outdoor patio. It turned out to be the ideal spot, as we were greeted by many of our classmates.

Twins Yvonne and Michelle stopped over. While I didn't associate with them in high school, I was always able to tell them apart. Yvonne then tried to get me on the dance floor but I informed her that I had yet to indulge in enough "liquid courage." She didn't seem to want to take "no" for an answer so I was dragged out there with beer in hand. I told her the "Dice Roll" was pretty much all I had going for me. After about 30 seconds (it seemed like 30 minutes) of that goofy dance, I headed back to our table to partake in more conversation. I was also reminded by my buddy Terry to never cross him as he shot video of that awful display on the dance floor.

About this time, Lisa showed up. Lisa was also pretty popular in high school, as she was a gymnast and a cheerleader. I specifically remember how she sat in front of me in Trigonometry class junior year. She was one of those girls who was popular and good looking but didn't revel in that status. I recall one time in class where she went to sharpen her pencil or something. Anyhow, one of our Trig classmates leans over to me and says "Hey man, I see the way you look at her. Why don't ya ask her out?" Just the mere prospect of me trying to muster more than a minute worth of dialogue with a hot chick made my heart to fall into my stomach, splashing my innards which in turn caused condensation on my brain, thus rendering me speechless. I just didn't have the "stones" to do so. However, the first thing Lisa did in class each day was stretch her arms behind her, propping them up on my desk. She then told me to lift her arms up as far as they would go and then "criss-cross" them. Apparently this stretching exercise aided in her flexibility as a gymnast. That at least told me she wasn't repulsed by me. I mean, she let me touch her arms for crying out loud!!!!!! I conveyed that story to her Friday and even gave her a little demo. In doing so, I accidentally bumped the table, causing her to spill some of her drink. Yes, even in my forties, I can be somewhat awkward. But Lisa was still as sweet as ever, just laughing it off. She now has three kids, one of which is finishing medical school. Wow!

Michaela, Brian and Lisa

While continuing to chat with Terry & Mike, I noticed classmate Carrie Fischer at the next table. "I wonder how often she endures Princess Leia jokes," I asked aloud. Terry then challenged me to walk over to her and come up with my own quip. Yes, in some ways we still have a slight high school mentality, so I accepted that challenge. I walked right over to Carrie and asked if she would consider donning that gold bikini she wore as Jabba the Hut's love slave in Return of the Jedi. Thankfully she got a good chuckle out of that one. For all I knew she could've throttled me for asking such a thing.

Lese, Carrie and Jeana

At this point of the evening, it was about 10:00. I felt that if I were going to drive myself back at Midnight or later, I would have to stop the alcohol consumption at that very moment. When conveying this, Mary informed me that she had been drinking soft drinks all evening and that she would drive me to my Mom's place if necessary. I guess I took that as a license to continue indulging in my favorite beverages, as I started another tab once I procured a chauffeur!

I'm not going to lie to ya. From that point on, the evening was somewhat fuzzy. I do recall catching up with several classmates with whom I go all the way back to elementary school. Despite being a little tipsy, I was still able to identify Bill, Stephanie, Tom, Jill, Brian, Jon and Shannon from the Highwood Hills Elementary days. It was amazing to hear all that was going on in their respective lives, especially from the perspective that I recall each of them from when we were all about age six.

Rikk, Kelly, Karen, Bill and Heather

Shannon and Missy

Sometime after 10:00, JoAnn made her appearance as only she can. I haven't seen her much since high school except for on the road near downtown Minneapolis while driving her Humvee. I even once spotted her on the big screen at Target Center during a 2004 Timberwolves game. From all indications, she lives a very high class lifestyle and could make a very good living as a fashion model.

JoAnn, Dawn, Me and Sylvia

In one of my many trips out to the patio to say hello to the social smokers, I ran into April. I remember one time in gym class (Sophomore year I believe) we were playing on opposite basketball teams. She was a good player in her own right (a valued member of the Lady Knights) and I had the task of guarding her. I remember one specific play where she drove to the basket and I subsequently blocked her path. All of a sudden she came to a quick stop, gave me an elbow to the bread basket and knocked me back. She then laid the ball in for two. At that point I suddenly wished I was locked back in that locker. Anyhow, I mentioned how the years have been great to her, a compliment which practically put her in tears. Yeah, I've forgiven her for that humiliation on the basketball court. 

Chatted ever so briefly with Tracey and Liza. Both are grandmothers now and seem to not mind it one bit.

Finally at about 1:15 a.m., my driver for the evening, Mary, indicated she was ready to head out. As we said our goodbyes to our fellow classmates, I finally caught up with Jodi, who sadly had lost her husband to cancer just a few years ago. She seems to be holding up quite well despite what I'm sure are difficult circumstances.

As much as I would have loved to close the joint down at 2:00, I could barely see straight. Fortunately my Mom does not live very far away from Mary's parents, so my chauffeur was able to get me to my destination accurately and safely. I was able to unlock the front door and from there I stumbled downstairs and fell into bed. With Jen having a meeting in downtown St Paul at 9:00 a.m., I awoke at 7:45. As I went to the kitchen to have some breakfast (as well as aspirin) I peered out the window towards the driveway. For a split second, I had a panic attack when I didn't see my car parked there. I was still a step slow, but I quickly remembered that I did the smart thing and received a ride home. I would pick up my car later in the afternoon.

After dropping off Jen at her venue, I decided to look at Facebook and Twitter to determine if I made any incriminating and/or off-the-wall posts. Thankfully nothing too outlandish. I also checked the photos taken on my phone. Again, pretty innocuous stuff. However, I can't speak for what other videos/photos my classmates may have taken. I guess we'll wait and see.

To be honest, I had been looking forward to this reunion for a couple of years, as Lori and Heather (our official reunion coordinators) were very diligent in seeking feedback from classmates as well as providing updates. I fully expected to have a good time Friday. The evening exceeded my expectations.

Lori, Shannon and Jodi

Liza, Missy and Heather

See y'all at the 30!


What's with these homies dissin' my girl?

As per usual, my weekly radio program The Closer will air from 1:00 pm until 3:00 Central Time today on the Northern Alliance Radio Network. 

On this week's show, my pal Erin Haust will join me in the first hour. Erin writes for the Minneapolis Conservative Examiner and is Editor-in-Chief at Resistance 44. We'll definitely discuss both endeavors as well as get her take on the news of this past week.

Other topics we'll likely explore is the Romney "47%" controversy as well as the collapse of President Obama's foreign policy.

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link.

For mobile phone users, there are cool apps available for iphone, Blackberry and Android!

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #narn or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....


Friday, September 21, 2012

Box Score of the week

When the Minnesota Twins won the A.L. Western Division in 1970, they would not win another division title for 17 years.

With that in mind, let's check out a game from the 1970 season when the Twins hosted the Oakland Athletics.


In this game, Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew hit his 35th home run of the season. It would be the last time a Twins hitter would hit 35 or more HRs until this 2012. Josh Willigham became only the third Twin in franchise history to reach that single season milestone, as he hit his 35th in Cleveland last week. 


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Steve Sabol: 1942-2012

In February 2011, Steve Sabol, the President of NFL Films, was ecstatic upon the announcement that his 94-year old Dad (and NFL Films founder) Ed Sabol would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A month later, Steve would be diagnosed with a brain tumor. It's hard to imagine the myriad of emotions in that time frame. One day you're celebrating the joyous news of a loved one reaching the ultimate validation of success in his field. A matter of days later, you're looking death in the face.

On Tuesday, Steve Sabol succumbed to brain cancer at the age of 69.

To think, Steve spent nearly his entire adult life around what is now the most popular professional sport in America, a distinction which NFL Films itself played a major role.

Together (Ed & Steve) organized the filming of every National Football League game for nearly 50 years.

After resisting the project, NFL founder George Halas said, "The history of pro football will forever be preserved on film and not by the written word a la baseball."

Thanks to Mr. Sabol, the history was not just preserved but enhanced by innovations including reverse-angle replays, on-field microphones and high-powered zoom lenses that captured what Mr. Sabol described as "the raw intensity of the NFL—the bloody hands, the eyes bulging, the snot spraying and the sweat flying."

The footage was accented with triumphal orchestra scores (Mr. Sabol favored French horns) and narration supplied by John Facenda, a Philadelphia anchorman often likened to "the voice of God." Mr. Sabol filled the scripts with purple prose: "If the bitter will to win could be wrapped up and set on legs, it would look like the man you see before us."

As a football fan since the late 70s, I always felt the NFL was a lot more than just Noon to 6:00 every Sunday. If there was an NFL Films presentation, it could be mid-May for all I care.

There was such featured programming as Football Follies, which focused on the lighter side of the game, including player blunders and crazy commentary offered up by coaches and players via wireless mics.

Of course, everyone is familiar with aforementioned triumphal orchestra scores which added a gladiator-esque feel to NFL highlights.

"I like to think of it as the 'Citizen Kane' of football films," Mr. Sabol told The Wall Street Journal in 2006.

Soon Mr. Sabol was helping produce weekly league highlight and magazine shows. He estimated that the company shot 1,000 miles of film annually.

Ed Sabol, who survives his son, retired in 1974 and Steve Sabol stayed on as president. NFL Films has won more than 100 Emmys, 35 of them for Mr. Sabol.

"Football had a history," Mr. Sabol told the Journal. "We made it into mythology."

As such, the game has been forever revolutionized in a way no other sport could possibly attain.

Condolences to the Sabol family.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Say it like ya mean it

Given the rotten performance by the Obama administration last week, they couldn't very well save this for the "October surprise."

Here's what (Mitt) Romney said at a private May fund-raiser, which Mother Jones has just gotten around to reporting: "There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. . . . These are people who pay no income tax."

This was captured by a discretely placed video camera at the aforementioned fundraiser. I find it interesting that leftists were so indignant about uses of "hidden cameras" when someone like James O'Keefe exposed corrupt lefty institutions like ACORN and NPR, yet are celebrating supposed "Truth to Power" here.

But I digress.

While Romney is right to point out that nearly half of Americans are on the government dole today, his analysis, as Wall Street Journal writer James Taranto points out, is somewhat flawed.

(Romney) is making an apples-and-oranges comparison between the percentage of voters who will cast ballots for the Democrat "no matter what" and the percentage of households that have no income-tax liability. The latter is in fact currently about 47%. The former is impossible to determine with precision, but 47% is a plausible guess, if perhaps a tad high.

In truth, while there is no doubt significant overlap between the Democratic base vote and the voters in the income-tax-nonpaying 47% of households, the Democratic base includes many voters who do pay income taxes: well-heeled social liberals, middle-class and affluent blacks and government employees, to name three obvious demographics that lean heavily donkward. If Obama could count on the votes of every adult citizen in the Romney-identified 47% of households, the election really would be over already.

Despite the curious kiss-off of a certain portion of the electorate, Romney's emphasis on government dependency is dead on. At the current pace, it won't be much longer until more than half of Americans have a zero net tax liability. Once that happens, you can kiss off any sort of entitlement and/or tax reform. Obviously it would be nearly impossible for any politician to win an election by pledging to change a system where a majority of citizens benefit. With that in mind, there's never been an election cycle with such a sense of urgency to alleviate a fiscal crisis. If Romney is to lose in November, I'd prefer it be done with him having held nothing back.

So the two distinct visions have been set: The White House's current occupant continues this drum beat of a "fair shot", which is a euphemism for taking from the producers and giving to the non-producers. The Presidential challenger looks to create an environment where employment is more readily available to those who take pride in themselves and thus no longer want to be as dependent upon government.

I know which side I'm on.


Monday, September 17, 2012

It happened 225 years ago today.........

The signing of the US Constitution in Philadelphia- Sept. 17, 1787


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Why should we wait for some better time? There may not even be a tomorrow...

It's little more than seven weeks until Election Day, so it's likely to be pretty guest intensive on The Closer over that time period. Today's show, which airs from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time, is no exception.

In the 1:00 hour, I will be joined by former Minnesota legislator (and current member of the University of Minnesota's Board of Regents) Laura Brod. We'll likely discuss many of Minnesota's 2012 state legislative races and the GOP's chances of maintaining majorities in both the House and Senate.

At 2:00, Pete Hegseth, who lost out on the Minnesota GOP endorsement for the 2012 U.S. Senate race, will call in to the program to tout his newly formed Political Action Committee. MNPAC is geared towards supporting specific conservative candidates who face some tough races for MN state House and Senate but could be put over the top with just a few more resources (whether it be financial or volunteer time). I also hope to get Pete's perspective on the disturbing events which occurred in the Middle East this past week. Having served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pete has seen the tremendous challenges which face the entire region and has ascertained what may be America's best course of action going forward.

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link.

For mobile phone users, there are cool apps available for iphone, Blackberry and Android!

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #narn or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....


Friday, September 14, 2012

Box Score of the Week

The Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees are tied atop the American League Eastern division. With that in mind, let's take a look back at a 1998 regular season matchup featuring these two clubs.


With his Orioles leading the Yankees 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning with two runners on and two outs, closer Armando Benitez looked to preserve the lead. However, Yanks slugger Bernie Williams crushed a three-run homer to give New York a 7-5 lead. With the petulance of a 13-year old kid who didn't get his way, Benitez intentionally drilled the next hitter, Tino Martinez, right in the back with a high-90s fastball. The Yankees players were incensed and thus came out on to the field to confront Benitez, who motioned to them to "bring it on."

One of the more uglier baseball brawls ensued.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's early evening in America

Say, do you recall last week at the Democratic National Convention when President Obama and his ilk acted as though the lack of taxpayer funded birth control was such a serious issue in America?

Good times.

During his reelection campaign, the President has been laboring under the delusion that the capture and killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden last year would solidify his national security prowess amongst the public. He may want to rethink that, especially in light of two separate incidents within the past 48 hours.

The United States said it was taking measures to protect its citizens worldwide after protesters angry about an online film considered offensive to Islam attacked U.S. diplomatic compounds in Libya and Egypt Tuesday.

In Libya, witnesses say members of a radical Islamist group called Ansar al-Sharia protested near the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, where NATO jets established no-fly zones last year to halt ground attacks from then-Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

The group then clashed with security forces in the city, blocking roads leading to the consulate, witnesses said.

The U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, was killed in the attack, the State Department said. Sean Smith, a Foreign Service information management officer, and two other U.S. personnel also died in the violence in Benghazi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement Wednesday.

Terrorist organization like al Qaeda are notorious for pulling off bloody attacks on significant anniversaries and/or holidays. With that in mind, it is utterly stupefying to me how there wasn't heightened security around Americans across the world. I guess we're too busy here is the states ensuring that there's enough security personnel in U.S. airports to molest Americans boarding flights.

As we commemorated another 9/11 anniversary Tuesday, the prevailing sentiment seemed to be "we will never forget." But Michelle Malkin feels we should be posing a question around that ominous anniversary - "Will we ever learn?"

I no longer feel as though it's Morning in America



Monday, September 10, 2012

Obamney revisted?

I was about to begin my radio program Sunday when I noticed some of my libertarian friends on Facebook and Twitter were having a veritable aneurism. Apparently, GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney appeared on NBC's Meet the Depressed Press Sunday morning and allegedly conveyed there were some parts of Obamacare he liked. As such, the Ron Paul crowd began behaving like poo flinging monkeys barking out several rounds of "WE TOLD YOU SO, WE TOLD YOU SO!!! ROMNEY = OBAMA!!!".....or something.

One minor flaw in that logic. Romney actually did not say there were a number of things he likes about Obamacare.

What Romney said was there was "a number of things I like in healthcare reform." He essentially was making a broad statement about wanting to reform the healthcare system, which doesn't entail retaining Obamacare or any aspect of  it.

National Review Online writer Katrina Trinko received clarification on Romney's remarks from a campaign aide:

In reference to how Romney would deal with those with young adults who want to remain on their parents’ plans, a Romney aide responded that there had been no change in Romney’s position and that “in a competitive environment, the marketplace will make available plans that include coverage for what there is demand for. He was not proposing a federal mandate to require insurance plans to offer those particular features.”

UPDATE: In reference to pre-existing conditions, a Romney aide responds, “Governor Romney will ensure that discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage is prohibited,” and refers me to these remarks Romney made in Florida in June:

"I also want to make sure that people can’t get dropped if they have a preexisting condition. … So let’s say someone has been continuously insured and they develop a serious condition and let’s say they lose their job or they change jobs, they move and they go to a new place. I don’t want them to be denied insurance because they’ve got some preexisting condition. So we’re going to have to make sure that the law we replace Obamacare with assures that people who have a preexisting condition, who’ve been insured in the past are able to get insurance in the future so they don’t have to worry about that condition keeping them from getting the kind of health care they deserve."

Again, one can make a fair argument over what role government should have in the healthcare industry, if any at all. But to say that Romney likes a lot of things about the Affordable Care Act and thus will keep many of those provisions in place? That's absolutely not how I interpreted his comments on MTP. However, this isn't the first time Romney has made comments that have left people trying ascertain context. That is an issue which will definitely have to be shored up over the next eight weeks.


Sunday, September 09, 2012

So they whine away the hours in their ivory towers...

Back in the Patriot bunker for the first time in three weeks, The Closer returns today to its normal 1-3 PM time slot. You know how much I enjoy having guests on the program, so one would think I'll be absolutely ecstatic on this day as a segment won't go by without someone joining the program.

Right off the bat at 1:00, MN for Marriage spokesperson Autumn Leva will be calling in to discuss a case being heard at the Hennepin County District Court. Apparently there is lawsuit which will attempt to legalize same-sex marriage before voters have an opportunity to vote on the issue this November.

At 1:15, GOP political strategist Matt Mackowiak will join me via phone to give a recap of both the Republican and Democrat National Conventions. We'll also discuss the US Senate race out of Texas where Matt was an integral part of Republican Ted Cruz securing his party's nomination.

To commemorate Patriot Day on Tuesday, SSG Lynette Hoke of the MN National Guard will be on at 1:45 to discuss her three tours of duty since 9/11/2001 as well as the Guard's role in those situations.

Finally from 2:15 until the show's conclusion, I will be the envy of all 20-something heterosexual males as I will be joined in studio by the lovely and talented Kieffer sisters, Katie, Amie and Maggie. As women and devout Catholics, I'll get their perspective on the alleged "War on Women" declared by the GOP as well as issues which young people should most concern themselves (FYI, this year will mark the first opportunity for 20-year old Maggie to cast a vote for President!).

So please give us a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link.

For mobile phone users, there are cool apps available for iphone, Blackberry and Android!

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #narn or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....


Saturday, September 08, 2012

Box Score of the Week

Let's go back to the 2002 season. Interleague play between the Yankees and Mets on June 15th that year.


In a 2000 regular season game in the Bronx, Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens hit Mets' batter Mike Piazza in the head with a pitch. As a result, over the next couple of Yankees-Mets matchups in the Mets' home park of Shea Stadium, Clemens was skipped in the rotation so as to not to have to face Mets pitching and thus receive retribution for his hitting Piazza. 

But this 2002 game, Clemens did indeed get the start at Shea. When he came to bat against Mets pitcher Shawn Estes, it was expected that Clemens would finally get what was coming to him. Instead, Estes threw behind Clemens, causing the home plate umpire to warn both benches and putting an end to the bean ball war. A lot of the "old school" baseball minds were disappointed that Estes didn't take the opportunity to bury a fastball into Clemens's behind. 


Wednesday, September 05, 2012


In early 2010, President Barack Obama was struggling to attain enough votes in the US House to pass the abomination now known as "Obamacare." With no Republicans wanting to commit political suicide throw support behind that monstrosity, the Affordable Care Act was going to be hung around the Democrats' neck. Despite a healthy Democrat majority in the House, there were some self-proclaimed pro life Dems who were holding out on voting yes, including Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak. Not wanting to lose the opportunity to enact a significant power grab, Obama negotiated a deal by agreeing to the issuance of an Executive Order banning all Federal Funding of abortions. Of course, anyone with a grasp of political gamesmanship knows that an E.O. has no teeth (e.g. the President ordering the closing of Gitmo his first day on the job). Nevertheless, Stupak agreed to the compromise, thus withdrawing his opposition to ACA.

It took about 2-1/2 years, but the retired Stupak (he did not seek reelection in November 2010) has apparently come to the realization he was duped.

“I am perplexed and disappointed that, having negotiated the Executive Order with the President, not only does the HHS mandate violate the Executive Order but it also violates statutory law.”

To say "We told you so" seems rather juvenile. In lieu of such a childish phrase, I'll go with "Mr. Stupak, we informed you thusly."


Saturday, September 01, 2012

Box Score of the Week

A day late, but here it is. The Texas Rangers host the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays - September 18, 1999.


This game marked the Major League debut of Jim Morris. He was a 35-year old high school science teacher/baseball coach (Reagan County High School in Texas) who made a promise to his team that he would try out for an MLB club if his squad won the District Championship. Reagan did indeed pull of that feat, so Morris tried out and eventually won a roster spot with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Morris would pitch two nondescript seasons with the Rays and thus was not in the big leagues after the 2000 season. 

Morris's story was depicted in the Disney film The Rookie, starring Dennis Quaid as the title character.