Monday, December 31, 2012

Civil when convenient

Pastor Rick Warren recently appeared on the TV talk show of CNN's Piers Morgan to discuss, amongst other topics, the Word of God (aka the Holy Bible). Showing his "progressive" leanings, Morgan suggested that the Bible be amended much like we've amended the Constitution of the United States over the years (Morgan specifically referred to the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality). Despite amending the Word of God being an utterly foolish notion, Pastor Warren maintains his composure and gently dispels Morgan's suggestion.

Pastor Warren would eventually go on to say that, despite a difference of opinion and ideas, we need "this kind of talk." That is a notion Morgan supported, evidenced by the following sentiment:

"The debate should always be respectful. It's the moment - and by the way, it applies to politics, too. The moment it becomes disrespectful and discourteous and then rude and then poisonous, you never achieve anything."

That's spot on, Mr. Morgan!

With that in mind, perhaps you could emphasize that deeply held belief of yours to the rude, condescending and pompous arse who recently interviewed Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America. 



Sunday, December 30, 2012

We're older but no more the wise; We've learned the art of compromise...

The final 2012 broadcast of The Closer will take place this afternoon from 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central time. I've had a fun year with my program and hope to continue the good times in 2013.

Of all the great times I've had on the show, it's whenever I've had fascinating guests that make it that much more special. Today is no exception as Leah Darrow will join me via phone at 1:15. Leah, a former contestant on the reality TV show America's Next Top Model, will share her incredible testimony, which entailed growing up Catholic, falling away from the faith for a decade and then having a great epiphany in her mid-20s. She currently travels the world sharing her story of "reversion" as well addressing the topics of mercy, conversion, human dignity, modesty and chastity.

I'll also take a look back at the week that was in the news, including Meet The Press host David Gregory getting himself in the proverbial sticky wicket over illegal possession of a high capacity ammunition magazine

Also, was Mitt Romney a reluctant Presidential candidate? His son Tagg seems to think so.

Finally, the subject of the Packers-Vikings tilt will likely come up given the fact that if the Vikes win they're in the postseason!

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.....


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Quick Hits: Volume LXIII

- At first glance, this may seem like a hint of "sour grapes."

Mitt Romney didn't want to be president, anyway.

That's what Tagg Romney, Mitt's oldest son, told the Boston Globe for its big post-mortem on his father's failed presidential bid published on Sunday.

“He wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life," Tagg Romney told the paper. "He had no desire to ... run. If he could have found someone else to take his place ... he would have been ecstatic to step aside.

"He is a very private person who loves his family deeply and wants to be with them," Tagg continued. "He has deep faith in God and he loves his country, but he doesn’t love the attention.”
I often wondered what the catalyst was behind Romney making another run at the Presidency. Given the fact he was 65-years old, a multi multi millionaire and a devoted family man, he seemed to be in the perfect spot to settle in to the final quarter of his life with hardly a care. That is in stark contrast to running non-stop across the country for more than a year applying for a job where, once he receives it, millions of people desire to burn him in effigy on a daily basis.

On the flip side, Romney's track record of success in the business community most certainly armed him with the knowledge of which government regulations were most stifling to business and job growth. That would have likely been addressed day one. In addition, he and running mate Paul Ryan knew full well that any serious discussion about deficit reduction (and ultimately the reigning in of our out of control National Debt) absolutely had to begin and end with entitlement reform. That is in stark contrast to the White House's current occupant, who perpetually puts forth gimmicks like the "Buffett Rule" as well as insisting on $800 billion in tax increases without any inkling of compromise on entitlements.

In the end, I would guess that Romney didn't want to be President as much as he felt he needed to step forth to aid the country he loves so much.

- Now that Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is likely to be the next Secretary of State, a special election will be held in 2013 for Kerry's vacated Senate seat. Of the GOP candidates looking to run, the hot rumor is that former Senator Scott Brown (who won a special election in January 2010 to replace the late Edward "Ted" Kennedy) will throw his hat into the ring. Brown was defeated by Democrat Elizabeth Warren last month after serving in the U.S. Senate for nearly three years.

Hypothetically, let's say Brown wins the special election in 2013. That means Brown would be finishing out Kerry's latest six-year term, for which he was elected in November 2008. Assuming Brown would want to maintain the seat, he'd have to run in the national midterm elections of 2014. That means Brown will have eventually run for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

- With their win over the Houston Texans this past Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings tied a franchise record for largest one season improvement in win total. Having won a mere three games last season, the Vikings are now 9-6 (they went from 9-7 in 1997 to 15-1 in 1998) and needing to defeat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday to earn a berth in the playoffs.

It's amazing to think where the club was on Christmas Eve 2011. Their franchise player, running back Adrian Peterson, tore two ligaments in his left knee and QB Christian Ponder, who seemed to be regressing as the '11 season wore on, was knocked silly with a concussion. Twelve months later, Peterson is a mere 102 yards away from becoming only the seventh RB in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season and his club is knocking on the proverbial postseason door. Not bad for a team many projected to win about five games this season (Personally, I predicted five, maybe six).

With all that said, there is still a large question mark remaining at the quarterback position. While Ponder had his moments early in the season, there have been far too many games since where he has looked utterly inept. One could argue that he has had little to work with in the receiving core, especially with the absence of his top receiving play maker in Percy Harvin. With that in mind, if Ponder is indeed anointed the starter for 2013, Vikings personnel guy Rick Spielman absolutely must find some more talent at the wide receiver position via the draft or free agency. It also may not be a bad idea to find a reliable veteran (preferably a guy in his late 20s without a lot of wear and tear) to push Ponder's development (or maybe even compete for the starting job). Let's face it: Joe Webb and McLeod Bethel-Thompson don't exactly put the fear of God into Ponder.

Either way, given Spielman's largely successful 2012 draft (his first as being the sole man in charge of personnel decisions) and Frazier earning the respect of such key veterans as Antoine Winfield, Jared Allen and Kevin Williams, the Vikings may actually be relevant for the immediate (and intermediate) future.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to all

Imagine if everyone was celebrating on your birthday yet you weren't invited to many of the parties. Would you still have infinite love for everyone and even bestow the most generous (and life saving) gift unto them, despite it being your birthday? Would you then encourage the recipients to share with others how they too can receive such a precious gift?

This is my impression of Jesus Christ. Today we celebrate His birthday, but it is He who has given us the most precious gift (i.e. Salvation). And with this gift, it is His desire that we share with others how to obtain it, for He loves us all and wants every last person to be with Him in eternity.

Blessings to you all on this Christmas Day.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Freezin', rests his head on a pillow made of concrete...

It's the weekend just before Christmas but the Northern Alliance Radio Network rolls on. Today I will be on the air live from 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central Time for The Closer. 

Because it is so close to Christmas Day, I will be without a scheduled guest for this first time in a while. As such, I will opine on the continuing sagas regarding talk of stronger "gun control" as well as the the impending "fiscal cliff." Also, I may throw in my two cents on how I believe my fellow conservatives were making much ado about nothing over President Obama being named Time magazine's "Person of the Year."

Finally, I'll wrap up the show by checking in on the Vikings game, as running back Adrian Peterson is only 188 yards rushing away from becoming only the seventh player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 in a season.

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, December 21, 2012

Dave's not here

Thursday evening was the season finale for 1500 ESPN NFL trivia. The location of this week's contest was Dave's Town Club in Delano.

After earning a #2 seed after the opening round written portion, I had a first round bye in the bracketed tournament.

My first matchup was against a collection called "2 guys and 2 girls." This was a one question, one answer format.

Question: The last time the Dallas Cowboys won a Super Bowl, who was their head coach?

Brad (buzzing in first): Barry Switzer. Correct!

On to the semifinals, where I would take on the very formidable Brendan Byrne. Brendan was a ten-time winner last season and won the whole thing five times this year. However, he had failed to capture the championship each of the past two weeks, so one expected him to be extra juiced this night.

This time, we squared off in best 2 of 3 category questions.

Question one: Since the beginning of the 2007 season, Adrian Peterson leads the Vikings in rushing yards with over 8,000. In that same span, seven different Vikings have rushed for at least 100 yards. Name them.

Brendan (just a hair quicker than me buzzing in): Chester Taylor. Correct.
Brad: Toby Gerhart. Correct.
Brendan: Christian Ponder. Correct.
Brad: Joe Webb. Correct.
Brendan: Tarvaris Jackson. Correct.
Brad (Thinking. Thinking. Taking the allotted 15 seconds): Brooks Bollinger? Incorrect.

1-0, Brendan.

Question two: In the Houston Texans' franchise history, nine different players have thrown at least one TD pass. Name them.

Brendan (literally a split second quicker buzzing in): Matt Schaub. Correct.
Brad: David Carr. Correct.
Brendan: Sage Rosenfels. Correct.
Brad: T.J. Yates. Correct.
Brendan: Tony Banks. Correct.
Brad (Again, taking all 15 seconds): Arian Foster? Incorrect.

Brendan moves on to the finals with a 2-0 win.

And Brendan defeated another trivia stalwart, The Jermichael$, to win his sixth title this year.

Ah, but all was not lost for me on this evening. Prior to each trivia outing, 1500 ESPN has a drawing where the winner receives a $25 gift card to whichever establishment is hosting that night's event. I was this weeks' winner, which meant dinner, drinks and dessert for the fetching Mrs. Carlson and myself came to about $1.67 before tip! Not a bad consolation.

Until next NFL season, thanks for indulging me in my weekly (albeit futile) pursuit of $100.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Michael Stephenson: 1970-2012

A true warrior for God's kingdom now has his great reward. Less than three weeks after turning 42 years old, Michael Stephenson passed away Tuesday morning.

I first knew of Michael in the early 2000s when he would call in to local sports radio station KFAN to talk Timberwolves (the NBA appeared to be his passion) and Vikings. Without the ability to speak, Mike would type his thoughts via keyboard on a speech generating device. You see, he had cerebral palsy and was confined to a wheelchair, requiring around-the-clock care.

As I was perusing Facebook late Monday evening, I saw a very nice picture of Mike which his sister Alison had posted. She used the picture to announce that Mike had gone into hospice care after a bout with pneumonia, which took such a large toll on his body.

Anyhow, Alison wrote the following caption under the photo:

This is my brother Michael. He was born with Cerebral palsy and my parents were told to put him in an institution. They didn't. He graduated from high school and college and has lived in his own apartment with help from PCAs since college. He is an amazing guy who has touched so many peoples lives including mine. An inspiration to many...

Indeed he was an inspiration to many. Whenever we saw Mike at church, whomever his aide was on that given Sunday knew exactly what Mike was conveying when he pointed to the front pocket of his backpack. The aide would unzip the pocket and pull out a pre-written check that was to be placed in the offering plate. It was a safe bet Mike wasn't exactly wealthy, but he gave of his harvest nonetheless. Then after being lifted out of his wheelchair and into a pew, Mike was often so moved by the worship music that he would slide out of the pew, literally crawl on his knees down the aisle towards the altar, all the while raising his hands in the air. I often think of how there were likely some people who were in the sanctuary at the time yet weren't feeling the urge to worship on that particular day. But seeing a physically broken man worship the Lord with everything he had most certainly moved others to put aside whatever blasé feelings they had at that moment.

My wife had posted a tribute to Mike on her Facebook page last evening which a friend of ours read to her husband and children. Our friend's son then replied "Now he can run to worship."

I wouldn't be shocked if he's been running nonstop since Tuesday morning.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Sh*t my moronic Facebook friend says

I typically don't watch the first half of NBC's Sunday Night Football. No reason in particular, other than I usually have other things to wrap up as the weekend winds down. With that in mind, I later heard some folks were pretty whizzed off that President Obama's remarks at a Newtown, CT memorial for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting preempted the big 49ers-Patriots matchup.You can click on the Deadspin story if you so desire. Personally, I was appalled on so many levels by the invective posted on Twitter. First, the gratuitous use of the "N-word" when referring to the President, especially on a forum like Twitter with its millions of users, was sickening. Second, the fact some buffoons would get so overwrought because their precious NFL was being interrupted for a quarter or two smacks of a woeful lack of perspective. While I certainly don't excuse the behavior or lack of decorum and civility, I chalk it up to a bunch of teens/college aged kids (I ascertained ages by their Twitter avatars) who are socially illiterate.

Ah, but in this era of politicizing absolutely everything, there was no way this was going to be merely chalked up to youthful impudence. Some group or ideology must be tagged with this incident.

A Facebook friend of mine wrote the following when posting the aforementioned Deadspin article on his page:

Hey conservative America, if you're curious why you've won only one popular vote for the White House since 1988, it's because you're making these people the base of your party. And if you seriously think racism isn't still a major issue in this nation, look no further.
Yes, I concur that to say racism has completely dissipated would be quite naive. But I guarantee you one thing: If anyone ever attended a politically conservative meeting and began spewing gratuitous use of the "N-word," that person would be completely drummed out. So to say that conservatives look to make people like that the "base" of our party is quite possibly the most vacuous statement I've seen in print. 

While it's true the GOP has garnered the majority of popular votes in only one Presidential election since 1988, to chalk it up to one sole issue is also woefully ignorant. If one made an honest assessment of each election cycle since '88, the GOP losses can be traced to many demographics such as age, income class, education, religious affiliation and, yes, even race.

One final thought: Would it be racist to discriminate against a black man if he were rumored to lean politically right (thus being dubbed a "cornball brother")? How about if someone implied that the one and only black person in the U.S. Senate (a Republican, by the way) was not a legit black man? Such folks who make statements like that often appear to associate with the party that's left of center (See the comment section on the HuffPo article talking about the appointment of Tim Scott as US Senator of South Carolina).

Maybe my friend was right. Perhaps racism still is a major issue. But maybe it's not as prevalent in the direction he's pointing.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Do you still recall the fateful night we crossed the Rio Grande?

After being snowed in last week, I am looking forward to getting back on the air this afternoon on the Northern Alliance Radio Network! A lot to get to on today's edition of The Closer, which will air in its normal 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central time slot.

For the entire 1:00 hour, activist extraordinaire Bridget Sutton will join me in studio. Bridget will talk about the myriad endeavors which keep her busy, including her involvement with Mogul Nation, which is a venue encouraging teen entrepreneurs to foster their creative ideas.

Then at 2:00 Mark Walters, who is host of the nationally syndicated program Armed American Radio heard every Sunday 7-10 pm CT on our very airwaves, will weigh in on the continued outcry for "gun control", which has reached a fever pitch after the tragedy in Newtown, CT this past Friday.

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.....


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stay above the fray: Pray

Given the number of high-profile shootings over the past couple of years (Jared Loughner in Tucson, AZ, James Holmes in Aurora, CO and Jovan Belcher in Kansas City) I found it difficult to fathom that they could get any more diabolical if another were to occur.

Sadly, I was mistaken.

A heartbreaking and unforgettable tragedy beset the town of Newtown, where 28 people, including 20 children, were killed Friday morning at an elementary school by a lone gunman.

“Evil visited this community today and it’s too early to speak of recovery,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said. “Each parent, each sibling, each member of the family has to understand Connecticut — we’re all in this together.”

While the families of victims were notified, authorities on Friday night were still in the process of positively identifying those killed.

While officials had been briefing the public on the situation throughout the day, local officials were still looking at various angles as they continued their “massive investigation” in coordination with the FBI and ATF.

While authorities have still not officially identified the gunman who opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, law enforcement sources have named him as 20-year-old Adam Lanza.

Lanza’s mother, Nancy Lanza, was found dead Friday inside her Newtown home, CBS News reported. After Lanza allegedly shot and killed his mother, he drove her car to the school, where he opened fire on adults and children, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.

State Police Lt. Paul Vance said 18 children and six adults, including the school’s principal Dawn Hochsprung, were pronounced dead at that scene. Two other children later died at the hospital. One other person was injured, Vance said.

Inevitably, whenever a shooting of this magnitude occurs, people always look to assign blame. Twitter has become the favorite sounding board for just such finger pointing, which is why I removed myself from what is an hourly indulgence for me. Whether it was scores of victim disarmament gun control advocates or a number of ardent second amendment supporters, both needed to put the debate aside for at least the rest of the day Friday. This was a time to pray, participate in a moment of silence or simply cherish the time you have with your young children who are still with you. At this hour, I'm quite certain there are several sets of parents in Newtown, CT who couldn't care less about our opinion on firearms.

As a conscious choice, I've chosen not to partake in any news stories regarding this tragedy. While my wife and I don't have kids of our own, we have many dear friends who have children still in elementary school and many of those youngsters are essentially surrogate nieces and nephews to us. The mere thought of them not being in our lives today is truly a horrifying thought. With that said, I can't even fathom the unspeakable anguish the parents of the slain Newtown children must be enduring.

One final thought which made it difficult for me to sleep last evening. Imagine the day some of these parents had, first hearing of a shooting at their child's school and then receiving a phone call requesting that they identify a body that may belong to their son or daughter. If all that's not bad enough, the parents then walk in the front door to a festive home complete with a large Christmas tree with gifts placed which were wrapped for their now deceased Kindergartner.

Words fail.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Celebrity Bell Ringer

Ringing a bell for the cause.

I've often said my weekly radio show has given me back way more than I've ever put in to it. 

This evening I considered it an absolute honor to participate as a bell ringer for The Salvation Army at Southdale Center in Edina. This was dubbed "Celebrities Bell Ringing" as assorted Minnesotans who are Vikings cheerleaders, beauty pageant winners and Radio/TV personalities partook in this event for one hour shifts each. Personally, I cringe at being on a list titled "celebrities" but I put that aside for 60 minutes. Truth be told, I was thrilled to do my part! I've seen hundreds of volunteers over the better part of 30+ years standing outside for hours in the frigid Minnesota winters in an attempt to persuade shoppers to donate money to the cause. Me standing in a shopping mall rotunda while ringing a bell for an hour wasn't exactly laborious. Nevertheless, it didn't go unnoticed by the Salvation Army staff, who showed their appreciation with a couple of nice gifts.

It was also fun to meet my fellow bell ringers (two Vikings cheerleaders and two beauty pageant winners), all of whom make me look like I'm sitting still when it comes to giving of time. While all the ladies were quite modest about such things, their respective "handlers" gave some insights as to their upcoming schedules. All are assets to the the Twin Cities community, that's for certain.

Being "crowned" by International Super Ms., Stephanie McGrane

The four blondes: (l-r) Vikings cheerleader Jeanne, Me, Miss MN Collegiate Gianna Capuzzi and Vikings cheerleader Blair

One additional highlight? New names to add to the guest roster for the radio show!


What do I have in common with....

......Stephanie McGrane (International Super Ms.),....

.......Gianna Capuzzi (Ms. Collegiate Minnesota),......

......and Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders Blair....

.....& Jeanne?

Other than the fact we all have great looking hair, all of us will be at Southdale Center in Edina this evening from 6:00 until 7:00 participating in Celebrity Bell Ringing Day on behalf of The Salvation Army! We'll be inside the mall in the center court area near Caribou Coffee (just listen for the bells) standing near the world famous red kettles in an attempt to raise money for a great cause . In fact, there will be many other local media types and "celebrities" donating their time starting at 9:00 this morning.

Stop on by if you're in the area!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rage FOR the Machine

There are upwards of 20+ states which operate under the law "Right to Work", which in part prevents forced membership into labor unions. Basically, this isn't a concept that is exactly revolutionary.

But in a state as union intensive as the Wolverine state?

Over the chants of thousands of angry protesters, Republican lawmakers made Michigan a right-to-work state Tuesday, dealing a devastating and once-unthinkable defeat to organized labor in a place that has been a bastion of the movement for generations.

The GOP-dominated House ignored Democrats' pleas to delay the final passage and instead approved two bills with the same ruthless efficiency that the Senate showed last week. One measure dealt with private-sector workers, the other with government employees. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed them both within hours, calling them "pro-worker and pro-Michigan."

Not to mention "pro-America." After all, the freedom of association is included in the Bill of Rights. Being forced to join a labor union in order work a specific job would seem to fly in the face of that particular freedom.

Unfortunately, the passage of this legislation lead to violent demonstrations, including the physical assault of Fox News contributor Steven Crowder.

Michelle Malkin also posted several video clips yesterday which highlighted more union violence. One clip included audio footage of a Michigan legislator declaring "there will be blood" if indeed Right-to-Work is passed. 

If some of these union members would cease with the frothing-at-the-mouth rage for just a few minutes, perhaps they could extol the virtues of being involved in a labor union. After all, unions aren't being erased from existence (contrary to to the rhetoric of some media members who disingenuously refer to it as "curtailing workers' rights"). If unions still provide such a valuable service, then why wouldn't many workers jump at the chance to join?

Union membership outside the public sector in Michigan has dropped from above 30% in 1983 to below 20%, but still stands at double the national rate. Republicans who back the right-to-work legislation can claim, with some justification, that it is at least partly intended to slow the outflow of jobs to states where unions don’t have as much clout. That’s not good for union officials in Michigan — the UAW’s latest filing with the Department of Labor lists more than 250 employees earning more than $100,000 a year — but it might be good, over the long term, for the greatest number of employees.

One other major factor? The less union members, the less dues collected to fund leftist causes. That alone was likely a major factor in sending those Michigan union members into fits of uncontrollable rage.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Rare occurrences

On October 27, 1991, the Minnesota Twins won the World Series. Seven weeks later, the Detroit Lions defeated the Green Bay Packers in the state of Wisconsin.

Here it is 21 years later and neither result has happened again since.

So let's take a survey, shall we?

Which event is more likely to occur next?
The Minnesota Twins win the World Series
The Detroit Lions win in Green Bay
Neither, since the Mayans are correct

Free polls from



Monday, December 10, 2012

Separated at Birth: Newt Gingrich and Wade Phillips

Newt Gingrich (left) is a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and one of the candidates vying for the 2012 GOP nomination for President.

Wade Phillips has been a head coach for four different NFL teams and is currently the Houston Texans' defensive coordinator.


Sunday, December 09, 2012

When you’re on a golden sea, you don’t need no memory...(UPDATE: The Closer is closed today)

Weather permitting, this week's edition of The Closer will carry on in its normal time slot from 1:00 pm until 3:00 Central Time.

In the 1:00 hour, local activist (and overall great political mind) Bridget Sutton will join me. We'll discuss her myriad endeavors she's currently taking on, including Mogul Nation. a multi-channel digital project designed to find, connect and promote kids between the ages of 12-18 who are pursuing their own entrepreneurial dreams.

Then at 2:00, Minnesota House Member (at least for another month), renown economist and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague King Banaian will check in via phone to discuss the projected shortfall regarding the state of Minnesota's share of the Vikings stadium cost.

Also in the 2:00 hour, I'll look back at the continued analysis of the murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and the gun control demagoguery which inevitably ensued.

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.....

UPDATE: If you missed last week's episode of The Closer, I have good news! It'll be replayed today as I will not make the trek into the winter wonderland that is the most recent version of Snow-pacalypse.

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

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


Friday, December 07, 2012


Carbone's Pizzeria in Burnsville was the locale for the this week's edition of 1500 ESPN NFL trivia, sponsored by Coors Light. Since I'm attending the Salem Communications Holiday soiree next week, last evening was one of only two remaining opportunities to capture my first trivia championship.

In the qualifying round, which is the written portion, I scored a 10-1/2 out of 15, which was good enough for a #5 seed in the 16-team tournament.

In the opening round, I was opposed by a foursome who called themselves Team Erin Andrews. Since it was a group of 20-something horny dudes, it's pretty obvious the inspiration for the team name.

Anyhow, the round of 16 is a one question, one answer proposition.

Question: In Brett Favre's final season with the Green Bay Packers in 2007, who was his leading receiver in terms of receiving yards?

Brad (buzzing in first): Greg Jennings. Incorrect.
Team Erin Andrews (for the win; taking all the allotted 15 seconds to discuss): DD - Donald Driver. Correct! Team Erin Andrews moves on to the round of 8.

Even worse than my losing in the round of 16? Brendan Byrne, who won 10 times last year and 5 times this season, was eliminated in the round of eight. I potentially had a clear path to the championship with my #1 nemesis out of the way sooner than expected.

Oh, well. On to someplace in Delano in two weeks.


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Gun Control redux

When a mass shooting took place in an Aurora, CO movie theater this past July, CNN's Piers Morgan took the gun control demagoguery to Twitter before the bodies were cold.

"Horrendous details from this Colorado cinema shooting. America has got to do something about its gun laws. Now is the time."

That particular statement was little more than a emotional reaction, not to mention devoid of any factual context.

So in the aftermath of the tragic murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend, Morgan once again hopped on Twitter to enlighten second amendment supporters. Unfortunately for him, he attempted to provide context to the second amendment, something which caught the attention of Carol Roth.

What ensued was Morgan getting verbally gutted for all of cyberspace to see.

Courtesy of Power Line blog.

Since that exchange took place, Twitterverse has blown up with requests for Morgan to have on Ms. Roth as a guest on his CNN show.

Finally a reason to tune in to Morgan's program......maybe. Stay tuned!


Monday, December 03, 2012

Quick Hits: Volume LXII

- This past Saturday morning, 25-year old Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend (who was also the mother of his three-month old daughter) and then drove to the Chiefs facility where he took his own life.

Naturally, it didn't take long for the anti-gun demagoguery to ensue. And because this involves a professional athlete, sports guys like Bob Costas relish the opportunity to scoot their chair up to the big boy table and transcend the superficial journalism that is sports reporting.

During halftime of NBC's Sunday Night Football coverage, Costas proceeded with his normal halftime commentary, but this time it was outside the realm of sport.

Writer Jason Whitlock, with whom I do not always agree but today said it so well that we may as well just quote or paraphrase from the end of his article.

Our current gun culture, Whitlock wrote, ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.’

Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it.

In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows? But here, wrote Jason Whitlock, is what I believe: If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.

Instead of making the vapid emotional plea to to ban guns, why don't the seemingly intelligent Whitlock and Costas cite statistics showing the decrease in gun related crimes in cities/states where there are stringent gun control laws? They don't because it's an utter fallacy. 

But if turnabout is fair play and we're going to use anecdotes to make our case, please read an open letter a woman named Alexandria penned to Whitlock and Costas. 

The key excerpt:

Do you know what kept me safe? Not some piece of paper. Not a judge tut tutting at (my violent tempered ex) and shaking his/her finger and telling him to leave me alone. Not the police, who, after all, would only be able to respond once he had caused me harm. No, what kept me safe was my Glock. What kept me safe was my Glock and the fact that he knew I had both the ability and the will to empty a clip into his chest if he made good on his statements that if I did not come back, I would not see the next week. He never tried to do any of the things he screamed he would because he knew that not only would I defend myself but that I could. My Ex was nearly a foot taller than me and, at the time, had about 150 pounds on me. If he had been able to get close enough to me to harm me, there were very few options I had to protect myself. But with my Glock, well, I would be able to stop him before he got that close. I am alive today because he knew that if he tried to make that otherwise, there was a better than even chance he would be the one lying there in a pool of blood instead of me.

- Even though the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, which looked to amend the state constitution defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman, was shot down by voters three weeks ago, same-sex marriage is still illegal in Minnesota. As such, the defeating of the amendment was only the first battle in the quest of same-sex marriage advocates looking to legalize such a union.

Minnesotans who want to legalize same-sex marriage gathered Saturday to harness momentum from their election victory and begin their push for marriage equality in the Legislature.

“We believe we can pass marriage equality this session,” said Bee Rongitsch, an organizer for Minnesotans United for All Families, the lead group that defeated a proposed state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

More than 500 people gathered in downtown Minneapolis for a daylong summit focusing on equality and justice for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered. Along with plotting the next steps in the marriage fight, the event included seminars organizing regional leaders in the movement, panels on youth homelessness and a discussion about how the campaign has engaged communities of religious faith.

Hey, the DFL has full control in St Paul, with majorities in both chambers of the legislature as well as the Governor's mansion. They could knock this issue out within the first week of session, right?

This is bound to create tension at the Capitol. Despite wide-ranging wins, the new DFL-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton don’t appear eager to push too hard on social issues that could blow their new majorities (Gotta fleece those taxpayers first. Priorities, people - ed.). Many political watchers say political overreach doomed Republicans over the past two years.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, has said the election was not a mandate for legislators to legalize same-sex marriage. Most DFLers focused their campaigns squarely on the budget
(Which was balanced in 2011. Thanks, GOP legislature! - ed.) and the economy, not the marriage issue.

I'm guessing the DFL would prefer that this matter be handled in the courts, speicfically a case being heard in Hennepin County District court.

But until that matter is decided, certain advocacy groups will not relent.

At the summit, organizers passed around a detailed election spreadsheet showing districts where amendment opposition was strongest and connected it to the results of the winning legislative candidate.

While amendment opposition generally was strongest in DFL strongholds, the data showed several areas where Republicans triumphed and amendment opposition was strong.

In a Chanhassen district, 58 percent of voters rejected the amendment, but elected Tea Party favorite Cindy Pugh to the Minnesota House.

Those legislators are likely to face some of the strongest, most organized pressure to vote for a measure legalizing same-sex marriage, organizers said.

Personally I believe the aforementioned organizers are misinterpreting the Republican opposition to the marriage amendment. The very core belief of Tea Partiers and libertarians alike is limited government. With that in mind, their opposition to the marriage amendment is more a mindset of government shouldn't be defining marriage at all. A "no" vote on the amendment is not necessarily an indicator of advocacy for gay marriage. I daresay that if the legislature did indeed propose a law to legalize same-sex marriage, Tea Partiers and libertarians would show significant opposition there as well. Once again, the issue here is about government intrusion into one's personal life, especially when it comes to something as sacred as marriage.

- With the Minnesota Vikings falling to 6-6 after a loss to the Green Bay Packers Sunday, many Vikes fans have reached their limit with the recent wretched play of second year quarterback Christian Ponder. While I have never been completely sold on Ponder, I've always felt he needed a full year to start (in addition to the benefits of participating in full OTAs, mini camp and training camp, something he didn't have in 2011) in order to ascertain whether or not he can make it as an NFL QB. Unless he takes a dramatic step forward over the final four games of this season, I don't see how the Vikings organization can go in to 2013 with Ponder as the definitive starter.

So what to do from here? Well, one thing is for certain: upgrade the Wide Receiver position. With Percy Harvin having missed the past three games with an ankle injury, the current crop of WRs (including Jerome Simpson, Devin Aromashodu and Michael Jenkins) has been a joke. None of the three has been able to get open on a regular basis, and on the rare occasions they do spring free they've had a woeful case of the "dropsies." With running back Adrian Peterson averaging 6.2 yards per carry this season, Vikings opponents are consistently showing 8-9 men defensive fronts in an effort to stop AP. Defenses are practically begging Ponder to beat them, yet he's unable to take advantage.

Unfortunately, the Vikings have been down this road in the all too recent past. Remember how coach Brad Childress was completely sold on Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback when he was drafted in 2006? T-Jack had all of 16 career starts when he was benched early in the 2008 season in favor of veteran Gus Frerotte. Then just prior to the 2009 season, Brett Favre was brought in and ultimately lead the Vikings to within a whisker of the Super Bowl. The Vikes then begged Favre not to retire after the '09 campaign, to the point they threw $20 million at him to play in 2010. As a result, Jackson was left to languish on the bench, which meant the Vikings organization spent 2+ years kicking the proverbial can down the road in terms of his development. It was only after Favre got hurt in late 2010 that Jackson had to step in. It was then the Vikes resigned themselves to the fact the Jackson lacked NFL ability (as well as durability), thus not bothering to re-sign him.

This season, the Vikings have no such veteran presence at the QB position, so the temptation to turn the reins over to such a guy is not an issue. Ponder should absolutely start each of the four remaining games this season with him now knowing full well that his job (and maybe entire career) is on the line. And if Ponder doesn't even show a glimmer of potential over the last month, there are some options out there in terms of veteran QBs under 30 years old. A certain jilted signal caller in the Bay Area comes to mind.


Sunday, December 02, 2012

All this time to make amends. What do you do when all your enemies are friends?

Happy December!! We roll into another month, yet The Closer is still open for business! From 1:00 until 3:00 pm, I will attempt to divert my focus away from the big Vikings-Packers tilt and opine on the big news stories of the week.

In the first hour, I'll give my two cents on the latest "fiscal cliff" related news and if the Obama administration really wants a resolution. I'll also weigh in on the local political scene, including speculation on whom the MN GOP might put up for a candidate to oppose Governor Mark Dayton in 2014.

In the second hour, my friend and NBA wonk Mike McCollow will check in to talk hoops, both at the college and NBA levels.

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.

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

Until then.....