Monday, April 30, 2012

It's late - is it just my sickly pride?

Back on the radio this evening as a guest co-host on The Late Debate. I'll be filling in for regular co-host Jack Tomczak, who is still away on assignment.

With the end of the Minnesota legislative session looming, Benjamin Kruse and I plan to go over some of the prominent legislation still being discussed. As of now, we're working on booking as guests some legislators to give us the very latest on end-of-session business. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Vikings stadium may rear its ugly head.

Tune in to Twin Cities station FM 95.9 WLKX or watch us via UStream tonight from 10 pm until Midnight CT.

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Yes, in this generation of millionaires, it's hard for me to keep decent clothes to wear....

A lot going on locally and nationally this past week, so I have quite a bit to cover on this week's edition of The Closer, live from 1-3 pm Central today on AM 1280 The Patriot.

Whether it's renewal of old grudges against the MNGOP or Vikings stadium politics or the latest in the Presidential race, there's no shortage of talk show fodder. That's especially fortuitous since I have no guests scheduled on the program for the first time in a while.


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.

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

Until then.....

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Box Score of the Week

It's an early 1987 matchup featuring the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets.

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Jack Buck was the long time radio voice of the Cardinals. On this day, his son Joe turned 18-years old. While sitting in the back of the Shea Stadium broadcast booth about halfway through the game, Joe was stunned to hear his father Jack say "...And now, for the fifth inning, my son, the birthday boy, Joe Buck."

Yes, this game was technically the broadcasting debut of Joe Buck, one of the more prominent announcing voices in MLB today.


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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Draft night

The National Football League is essentially a 12-month sport. As such, tonight may well be considered the Super Bowl of the NFL offseason.

As a Vikings fan, I'm often reminded by sports talking heads of my club's alleged ineptitude in back-to-back drafts a decade ago.

With the #7 pick in the 2002 draft, the Vikings had their eye on both the Offensive and Defensive lines. That'll happen when a 5-11 team can neither protect their own quarterback or put pressure on the opposing QB. Anyhow, the Dallas Cowboys were on the clock for the #6 overall choice when their allotted 15 minutes expired. As a rule, the team next in line has the right to submit its pick in such a scenario. The Vikings quickly ran to the podium with their draft card, which indicated they wanted to select DT Ryan Sims out of North Carolina. However, the league ruled that the Cowboys had successfully completed a trade in time with the Kansas City Chiefs for the sixth choice, so the Vikings were not allowed their selection. Of course, the Chiefs undercut the Vikes by drafting Sims. The Vikings instead selected OL Bryant McKinnie, who turned out to be a solid left tackle for the club for nine seasons.

The 2002 incident can hardly be chalked up to any ineptitude on the Vikings' part. However, the bungling of their 2003 draft choice almost cost them the pick.

After a 6-10 finish in the '02 season, the Vikings once again found themselves in a position to pick seventh overall. Rumor had it the Vikes were looking to trade down in the first round which would allow them to accumulate additional later round picks. This time, however, it was the Vikings who allowed their allotted 15 minutes to expire. As a result, the Jacksonville Jaguars were next in line and thus allowed to submit their choice, picking QB Byron Leftwich. Also seizing the opportunity was the Carolina Panthers, who quickly snapped up OL Jordan Gross. Because they were caught napping, the Vikings #7 choice turned into the ninth pick, which they used on DT Kevin Williams, the player they insisted they wanted all along. The running joke was that perpetually cheap owner Red McCombs would argue that he should only have to pay money for the ninth selection in the first round choice instead of a seventh.

This year the Vikings pick third overall, and it seems likely they will select a possible franchise left tackle in USC's Matt Kalil. There's also been rumblings that the Vikings are seriously considering CB Morris Claiborne out of LSU. I suspect the latter scenario may be posturing since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (who pick fifth overall) also have Claiborne high on their wish list. The intent would be the Vikings to swap first round picks with the Bucs to ensure Tampa is able to select either Claiborne or Alabama RB Trent Richardson. This would ensure Kalil would be available to Vikings at #5 since the Cleveland Browns (choosing fourth) already have their franchise LT. Such a move would also bring to the Vikings an extra pick (or picks) in later rounds. Yes, a team fresh off a 3-13 season always looks for quantity this time of year.

Let's just hope if the Vikings do enact such a trade that the transaction is completed before their 15 minutes is up.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Make or Break

It was Labor Day 2008 when I met Colonel Joe Repya for the first time. He was leading a group of grassroots GOP supporters in downtown St. Paul in an effort to keep a watchful eye on the radical group of protesters who came to town to disrupt the Republican National Convention. It was difficult not to be impressed by Col. Repya, given he had honorably served our country in three different wars.

After a failed run for MN GOP chair in 2007, Repya was very critical of the reelection of then chair Ron Carey, and predicted much peril would face the state party down the road. Two years later, Repya penned an op ed stating why he was leaving the Republican party. One key paragraph appeared to be hauntingly prescient.


When a political party becomes so dysfunctional that it no longer can operate without tyrannical domination over the grass-roots, it is time to stop enabling bad behavior from that party. I have come to the conclusion that a majority of Minnesotans and many Republicans no longer trust the message of the Minnesota GOP. After years of ineffective party leadership resulting in a record number of defeats, lack of transparency in party dealings, alleged financial impropriety by former party employees, and numerous Federal Election Commission problems, can you really blame the electorate for abandoning the Minnesota GOP?

At that point in the Summer of 2009, I felt that the sentiment of most GOP supporters was that it was grassroots activists, not some state party officials, who were the lifeblood of the party. As such, the wave of enthusiasm amongst the grassroots in the 2010 election cycle allowed the MN Republicans to attain a majority in both chambers of the legislature for the first time in nearly forty years. Unfortunately, the state party issues were an impediment in the Governor's race as well as all the Constitutional offices, all of which went to the Democrats.

With all 201 state legislative seats up for election this November as well as a US Senate seat, Repya ponders in his latest op ed whether the MN GOP can survive the "one-two-three punch it has taken since the beginning of the year." Specifically, Repya refers to the state party's financial mess (including being threatened with eviction from its party headquarters), the inappropriate relationship involving then Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and Brodkorb, and finally the "civil war" pitting the party "establishment" against the Ron Paul supporters. 

I don't have a crystal ball to see how all this will end. But from where I'm sitting it does not look good for MNGOP, which won the state House and Senate in 2010 and whose lawmakers are all up for re-election.

The DFL smells blood in the water and sees an opportunity to regain both legislative chambers. We are very possibly witnessing the death of MNGOP as we know it. If so, it will have died from within, not from outside causes.

Just imagining the distinct possibility that this state could be under complete DFL control ought to be more than enough incentive to fight for maintaining the legislature. Hopefully the MN Republicans can cease with the circular firing squads long enough to focus on the real opposition.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Respectfully decline

Jerry Sandusky is the former Penn St. assistant football coach accused of molesting several young boys over the course of nearly twenty years.

Gerry Sandusky is a sportscaster in Baltimore.

You can imagine the veritable hell the latter endured as details of the despicable scandal involving the former began to surface last Fall.

Taking it all in stride, Gerry posted a picture on his Facebook page which showed a letter addressed to his son. The correspondence contained a letter of invitation to a certain university in the Keystone State.

Photo courtesy of Gerry Sandusky


In the understatement of the century, Gerry said of the above letter: "Do they really think anyone with the last name Sandusky would want to attend Penn State?"

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cab fare to nowhere is what you are...

After filling in for Mitch and Ed on The Headliners yesterday, I'm back in the AM 1280 bunker again today. I'll be live at the usual 1:00 pm until 3:00 Central time slot.

At 1:30, I will be joined by libertarian conservative blogger Katie Kieffer, who maintains her own personal blog as well as writes for Townhall.com.

Then at 2:15, NARN colleague/Economist/MN House member King Banaian will share his views on the Vikings stadium debate, not only from a legislative process but also an economic perspective.

Finally in the 2:30 segment, I will look back at the life of Chuck Colson, who passed away this weekend. Colson was a political operative in the Nixon administration during the Watergate scandal and wound up serving prison time for his role in said scandal. Upon release from prison, Colson dedicated his life to evangelizing to inmates via his Prison Fellowship ministries. Kristine Steakley, who worked with Colson at PFM in the early 2000s, will join me via phone to discuss Colson's work.


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.

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

Until then.....

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

A personal request

My friends Jack Tomczak and Benjamin Kruse host a Twin Cities nightly talk radio show called The Late Debate, which can be heard every Sunday thru Thursday evening from 10 pm to Midnight CT.

In the 12-1/2 months they've been airing their program, Jack and Ben have built an equally informative, entertaining and irreverent program which has increased in listenership/viewership/itunes downloads month over month. In addition to the hosts' witty banter back and forth, Jack and Ben have built up a lengthy and power-packed guest list (242 different guests in the first year). Whether it's celebrities (like Adam Baldwin and Donna D'Errico), local politicians (MN House Speaker Kurt Zellers, MN Senators Michelle Benson & Mike Jungbauer, just to name a few) or everyday grassroots political activists, The Late Debate has something for everyone. Who could forget the night of April 1st when the guys stunned their listeners when four progressive/liberal Democrats were allowed to take the reins of the program for the entire two hours?

But with any radio program, there are inevitably a few detractors. A certain listener with a political (and later, personal) axe to grind decided to file an FCC complaint when Jack spoke of an attempted encounter with said listener at his public workplace. While the actual complaint didn't fall under the purview or jurisdiction of the FCC, the station which carries The Late Debate on the actual airwaves, FM 95.9 WLKX, has chosen to suspend Jack for an indefinite period of time. While this seems to me an unfair meting out of a punishment, Jack will abide by the decision without incident.

A wise man once said that out of every adversity lies a seed of equal or greater benefit! With The Late Debate's ever expanding fan base, the natural transition for the show is to go a little more mainstream. With that in mind, I make an appeal to my fellow LD fans and conservative talk radio enthusiasts alike to contact Program Director Andrew Lee at Clear Channel.The current lineup on News Talk AM 1130 would be a perfect fit for The Late Debate, and we need to show Mr. Lee how their station would receive an infusion of new and enthusiastic listeners willing to tune in late nights.

Andrew Lee can be reached at: AndrewLee@ClearChannel.com

Thanks for your support!

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I work so hard, man, so don't trip me up....

With Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey out on assignment, I will be hosting The Headliners edition of the Northern Alliance Radio Network on AM 1280 The Patriot.

From 1:00 pm until 3:00 Central time today, I will look back at the week that was in political news. In addition, I will play a pre-recorded interview with national radio host Dennis Prager, who will be in town on Monday, April 30 for Taking Back America, which will take place at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center from 7-9 pm. We also discussed Prager's new book, the presidential race and the Buffett Rule.

From there, who knows? Hopefully Mitch will be done fending off the Ronulans at the CD4 convention to join me in studio for the festivities.


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

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

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

Until then.....

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Box score of the week

Today we'll flash back to an interleague contest from June 9, 1999, when the New York Mets hosted the Toronto Blue Jays.

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 I'll let Bob Costas explain the significance of this game.







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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Jim was "Rather" sloppy

Full disclosure: I typically enjoy Jim Souhan's work as a sports radio guy and Star Tribune columnist. His commentary on all things sports are very thought provoking and insightful. And when Souhan teams up with Tom Pelissero on 1500 ESPN's Sunday Sports Talk every week from 10 am until Noon, it is, in my opinion, the finest sports conversation you'll hear in the Twin Cities market.

As such, I've rarely heard Souhan delve into political commentary (unlike his Strib colleague Patrick Reusse) other than to take gratuitous shots at Herman Cain or one time making a comment about Republicans not believing in evolution.

But it appears Souhan's myopic zeal may have gotten the best of him in his Wednesday column where he roundly criticized Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City) regarding the Vikings stadium debate. Apparently Urdahl was making the point that many citizens are loathe to want to subsidize a billionaire's business venture, which in this case is an NFL franchise. Souhan appeared to have attributed that sentiment to Urdahl himself.

I can respectfully disagree with politicians who take consistent, principled, stands against stadiums. Those like Urdahl who shamelessly pander to the simple-minded people should not be taken seriously. Next time you ask a question about the stadium, Mr. Urdahl, please get help from someone with a better grasp of stadium politics, like, oh, a Kardashian.


Oh, did I forget to mention that Souhan takes pride in the belief he possesses a rapier wit?

I digress.

One minor flaw in Souhan's assertion - Rep. Urdahl actually voted yes on the stadium. As a result, Souhan's newspaper issued the following clarification in Thursday's edition of the Star Tribune:

Jim Souhan's column critical of Rep. Dean Urdahl's questions about the Vikings stadium plan did not mention that the Republican legislator voted in favor of the stadium Monday night as a member of the House Government Operations and Elections Committee.


Courage, Jim. Courage!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vikings stadium shot dead?

Shot dead? That's a rather crass analogy, no? Well, not in the eyes of a certain local journalist anyways.

I'll come back to that.

But first, I've long held the assumption that a Vikings stadium bill would somehow get rammed through despite this being an election year. Now? Who knows.

After clearing two House committees with relative ease this month, a bill to use public money to help build a Minnesota Vikings stadium in Minneapolis was defeated Monday night, April 16, in a third, dealing a potentially fatal blow to the project's chances this legislative session.

In a 9-6 vote that was bipartisan in its opposition, the House Government Operations and Elections Committee declined to go along with even a watered-down motion to pass the bill "without recommendation" to the House Taxes Committee.

Bill sponsor Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, called the vote "very disappointing" and said that for the bill to have any chance now to pass this session - which is expected to conclude by the end of the month - "Somebody's going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat."

Vikings vice president Lester Bagley called the outcome "extremely disappointing" and said "it's a mistake" for people to assume the Vikings and the NFL will continue operating under the status quo.

He said that isn't a threat that the team will leave, but "Minnesota's in control of their destiny.

"We've done everything we've been asked," Bagley said. The question for the state is: "What else would you expect us to do?"


Uh, for some reason, rosary beads come to mind.

Obviously a taxpayer subsidized stadium has always been a proverbial game of "hot potato" since such a project violates both parties' sensibilities. For Republicans, it flies in the face of "fiscal conservatism" and for Democrats it's a "handout to billionaires." But on the other had, both sides have no desire to face the wrath of their constituents if the most popular professional sports franchise in Minnesota leaves town.

Naturally, a game of pointing fingers ensued once this latest bill was shot down.

On 1500 ESPN's Reusse and Mackey Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Ryan Winkler (D-Golden Valley, who voted "no") pointed out that the GOP has pretty much done what they have wanted when it comes to passing legislation, specifically referring to Voter ID and the Marriage Amendment, both of which will be on the ballot this November. Therefore this failure is on the Republicans. But as is Winkler's wont, he leaves out key facts: Five of the nine Republicans on the House Government Operations and Elections Committee voted "yes" on the bill, whereas only one of six Democrats acquiesced. During the interview, Reusse (a professed lefty) also piled on, saying that committee head Joyce Peppin could've voted "yes" and then flip at least one other GOP "no" vote in the process, thus conjuring up the eight votes necessary.

But the prevailing sentiment from some Capitol reporters is Governor Mark Dayton, a stadium supporter, was betrayed by two Democrat colleagues on the HGOE Committee. Apparently one of the DFLers who voted "no" gave the Governor assurances he/she would vote "yes." From there, needing one more "yes" vote, Dayton attempted to reach out to another Democrat, only to not have his phone call returned. Had those two DFLers given their approval, the bill would have indeed made it through committee by an 8-7 margin.

But perhaps the most stupefying analogy for this stadium bill failing came courtesy of veteran Minneapolis journalist Larry Fitzgerald (via Twitter).

Vikings get kicked in the teeth again, 9-6. When it comes to the Vikings they get treated like Trayvon Martin. They get profiled and disrespected!


I've read this over and over and am still baffled how a teenager who was shot to death is analogous to a professional sports team being denied a taxpayer subsidized stadium. Huh.

Oh, and in totally unrelated news, if you're on Twitter, check out the new handle @LAVikings2013.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

A buffet of stupidity

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed nearly 30 jobs bills that have not even been brought to a vote by the US Senate. In addition to that, the Senate has not passed a budget in nearly three years.

So what has the "laziest Senate in 20 years" been focusing on lately? Well, since the upper chamber is controlled by Democrats, it's gimmicky class-warfare games of course. At the insistence of the White House's current occupant, the Senate has attempted to bring up for a vote the "Buffett Rule" which looks to increase minimum tax rates to 30% for those earning more than $1 million per year.

Unfortunately for the President and his Democrat colleagues, there weren't sixty votes for cloture in the Senate, thus killing the proposal

The Senate on Monday rejected the so-called “Buffett Rule” on a largely partisan roll call that was more of an election year show vote than a substantive debate on tax policy.

The procedural vote was 51-45, falling short of the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster.

The Buffett Rule — named after mega-investor Warren Buffett, who famously disclosed that he was paying a lower tax rate than his secretary – was designed to ensure that millionaires don’t skirt the higher tax rates often paid by the middle class.


First of all, that is such a disingenuous and utterly asinine way to measure taxes being paid.

The lower tax rate is often applied to investment income, which means the money initially earned (aka ordinary income) to make the investments was already taxed at the higher rate. Also, it boils down to simple math. Suppose someone who earns $2 million is taxed at, say, 15%. Then hypothetically that person hires a secretary who earns $75,000 and pays 20% of her salary in taxes. Who has the higher rate? The latter, of course. But who pays more in taxes in actual freaking dollars?!?!?! The former, to the tune of $300,000 to $15,000 for the latter, a 20-to-1 ratio!

What makes this demagoguery even more despicable is the fact that the Federal government is currently running annual deficits of more than one trillion dollars. Nevertheless, the Democrats continue to play these nonsensical class warfare games that, by the White House's own admittance, does nothing to solve the most pressing problem we face: out of control spending.

In closing, I'd like someone to answer a question for me. If this is such an important issue, the fact that the "one percent" should pay the same tax rate on their investment income as the middle-class pays on ordinary income, why wasn't this brought up when Democrats had complete control of Washington (including a "Super Majority" in the Senate) in 2009? It could've been rammed through within a week with that kind of control.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

My oh my, I'm seeing the potential. Let's just see what we can do......

Happy Tax Day! Since April 15 falls on a Sunday, you actually have a reprieve for filing your income tax returns until Tuesday! However, you're not so fortunate as to receive yet another week off from The Closer, which will air 1-3 pm CT today on AM 1280 The Patriot.

This week I am honored to welcome into the Patriot bunker for the entire two hours friends and fellow conservative talk radio pundits Jack Tomczak and Ben Kruse from The Late Debate !

We'll delve into such topics as "War on Women", Rick Santorum suspending his Presidential campaign, MLB managers praising dictators and college football coaches being fired in disgrace.


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

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

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

Until then.....

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Box score of the week

Someone once said that baseball manager Gene Mauch was "put on this earth to suffer" given some of the heart-wrenching losses he's endured (See 1986 ALCS Game 5 when his California Angels were one strike away from going to the World Series).

With that in mind, let's go back to 1961 when Mauch was in the midst of managing a dreadful Philadelphia Phillies squad that finished 47-107. Here's one of their rare victories that season.

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The 1961 Philadelphia Phillies set a Major League Baseball record for longest single-season losing streak by dropping 23 consecutive games from July 29th thru August 20th. The box score I've featured here is the game where that losing streak was finally snapped.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bon voyage, Bobby

When one has a well documented track record of lacking integrity and exhibiting a weak character, a public death knell to one's livelihood is almost inevitable. Sure, you'd like to think that such a person can be introspective and thus make the necessary changes which lead to behaving with a measure of decorum. Alas, such would not be the case with an embattled football coach.

Arkansas fired coach Bobby Petrino on Tuesday, saying he engaged in reckless behavior that included hiring his mistress and then intentionally misleading his bosses about everything from their relationship to her presence at the motorcycle accident that ultimately cost him his job.

"He made the decision to mislead the public, (and it) adversely affected the university and the football program," athletic director Jeff Long said at an evening news conference, choking up at one point as he discussed telling players the news. There was a "pattern of misleading and manipulative behavior to deceive me."

It was a stunning fall for Petrino, who had built Arkansas into a Southeastern Conference and national power over four seasons, including a 21-5 record the past two years. But Long made it clear that the success on the field was overshadowed by a laundry list of deceptive acts.

The 51-year-old Petrino was injured in an April 1 motorcycle accident. He was put on paid leave last week after admitting he lied about the presence of the 25-year-old employee, Jessica Dorrell, who had been riding with him.

Long said his investigation, which took less than a week, found that Petrino had even given Dorrell $20,000 at one point, though he wouldn't disclose what it was for. He also said Petrino was fired "with cause" -- meaning he will not receive a multimillion-dollar buyout -- and there were no discussions about ways to keep Petrino at Arkansas.


While the deception displayed by Petrino over the past couple of weeks certainly took on a new (and rather bizarre) twist, he's had a pattern of devious behavior over the past five-plus years.

After three seasons as head football coach with Louisville, Petrino signed a 10-year contract extension with the program just prior to the 2006 season. After winning the Orange Bowl in January 2007, Petrino bailed less than a week later to take the head coaching job with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, where he inked a 5-year deal.

Petrino appeared to be doomed from the start in Atlanta. A mere three months after Petrino accepted the Falcons coaching job, franchise QB Michael Vick was implicated in a dog fighting ring which led to a prison sentence that summer. Just like that, Petrino's new club was without its All Pro quarterback.

After twelve games of the 2007 season, the Falcons were 3-9 when they had an upcoming Monday night game against the New Orleans Saints. However, the week leading up to that contest, there was a persistent rumor that Petrino was looking to go back to the college ranks to coach the Arkansas Razorbacks. When confronted by Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Petrino vehemently denied said rumor. The Falcons were drubbed at home by the Saints on December 10. Less than 48 hours later, Petrino was at an introductory press conference in Fayetteville, AR leading fans and cheerleaders in their famous "Woo Pig Sooie" chant. He not only flat out lied to Blank he didn't even have the intestinal fortitude to tell the Falcons players in person that he accepted the head coaching job at Arkansas. In fact, when the Atlanta players arrived in their locker room that Wednesday morning, each team member had in their respective locker stalls a four-sentence goodbye letter from Petrino.

In the end, this latest incident where Petrino lied about the particulars of his motorcycle accident appeared to be a mere perpetuation of deceptive behavior. Even had this been an isolated incident, I find it hard to fathom how University of Arkansas officials could have kept him on as coach. When one's job involves sitting across a kitchen table from an 18-year old kid and reassuring his parents that he'll be in good hands for the next four years of their son's life, one must have an almost pristine reputation to earn that trust. Petrino put a severe crimp in that rep five years ago when walking away from a 10-year commitment. He effectively destroyed it with this latest round of deceit.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sayonara, Santo

The latest and perhaps most formidable non-Romney candidate amongst the GOP Presidential crop looks to be moving on.

Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign on Tuesday, bowing to the inevitability of Mitt Romney’s nomination and ending his improbable, come-from-behind quest to become the party’s conservative standard-bearer in the fall.

“We made a decision over the weekend, that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign today, we are not done fighting,” Mr. Santorum said.

Mr. Santorum made the announcement at a stop in his home state of Pennsylvania after a weekend in which he tended to his 3-year-old daughter, Bella, who had been hospitalized with pneumonia.

Mr. Santorum, who was holding back tears, did not exactly specify why he was ending his presidential bid. He referred to his daughter’s illness, but said she was making great progress and was back home after being hospitalized over the weekend.

Mr. Santorum called Mr. Romney earlier in the day to tell him of his plans to suspend his campaign. Mr. Santorum told Mr. Romney that he is committed to defeating President Obama, but that he is not going to endorse immediately, said a source familiar with the call.


Look, I never felt Santorum was a serious candidate, in terms of being able to oust the incumbent President. Sure, he made some serious headway in the GOP nomination process as an alternative to Romney, something that came as quite a surprise to many. But in the end, this campaign cycle will be based upon which GOP candidate can adequately revive the economy in addition to having the best chance to defeat Barack Obama. It would have been rather difficult for people to place faith in a candidate like Santorum who lost his last election by 18 percent while running as an incumbent US Senator in 2006.

But what may have been the final nail in the proverbial coffin was Santorum's insinuation that voters may as well stick with President Obama if Romney becomes the Republican nominee. Sure, Santorum made an attempt to walk back his comments a couple of days later, but it appeared to be too little too late. Nearly two weeks after those comments, Romney swept the three primary races in Wisconsin, Virginia and Washington, DC. Combine that with the fact that Romney is within two points of the lead in Santorum's home state of Pennsylvania (primary to take place April 24) in addition to receiving key endorsements from conservative stalwarts Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio, it's apparent that the GOP electorate and politicians alike want to shift the focus to Obama.

In my mind, Santorum provided a valuable service in his pushing Romney in so many primaries and caucuses. The fact the Romney has been battle-tested, as opposed to this process being a glorified coronation, will serve him well the remainder of this campaign cycle.

Yes, the real battle is only beginning.

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Monday, April 09, 2012

Quick Hits: Volume LV

-Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is utterly inept. A mere three days after getting his proverbial finger slapped for usurping the legislative branch of state government, Little Lord Fauntleroy Gov. Dayton allows us to hearken back to the days of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood by visiting the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

In a symbolic gesture, Dayton on Monday, April 9, vetoed of the voter-identification bill that the Republican-controlled Legislature sent him last week.

But the issue will be on the Nov. 6 statewide ballot anyway.

"Although I do not have the power to prevent this unwise and unnecessary constitutional amendment from appearing on the Minnesota ballot in November, the Legislature has sent it to me in the form of a bill," the DFL governor wrote in a letter to lawmakers. "Thus I am exercising my legal responsibility to either sign or veto the amendment."

He said he would "do whatever I can" to urge voters to reject the amendment.


Dayton also used this moment as an opportunity to show his propensity to be a short-sighted nimrod by proclaiming the Republican majority in the legislature is merely enacting a strategy to pass "whatever polls well to enhance their chances in November." Uh, a couple of things wrong with that bilge. First, the Republicans have, for at least four years now, been proposing some semblance of legislation requiring photo identification to vote (Heck, it was one of the signature issues in the 2010 campaign). However, the GOP hasn't had a majority in both chambers of the legislature in about forty years, so any efforts to pass such a bill were in vain. Second, it appears that a majority of Minnesotans support "Right to Work." So if Dayton's overall assertion were true, such legislation wouldn't be held up in committee at this point.

But hey, such pesky little facts aren't vital when one is seemingly detached from reality.


-Can you imagine if in his first season as New York Yankees manager in 2008, Joe Girardi had expressed some sort of admiration for Adolf Hitler? That on its face would be bad enough. But to do so in an area containing the largest population of Jewish people in America? Unconscionable.

I believe that fictitious scenario is analogous to what actually took place in a real-life interview in Time magazine.

In his nine years as a big-league manager, Ozzie Guillen has spit out insult after insult in his blunt style, offending, among others, gays, opponents of illegal immigration and even fellow Venezuelans.

Guillen has managed to get away with his polarizing screeds by offering up contrition after the fact.

But not even Guillen can hug the third rail of Miami discourse — praising Cuban leader Fidel Castro — without paying a steep price.

Guillen, the Miami Marlins’ first-year manager, has come under withering criticism locally after saying he has respect for Castro and “I love Fidel Castro,’’ in an interview with Time magazine.

He has since apologized for those comments, but that hasn’t stopped mushrooming outcry from some South Florida Cuban Americans, a group his ballclub hopes will fill the team’s new Little Havana stadium in coming years.

“Ozzie is quick at the mouth; always has been,” said Andy Gomez, an assistant provost and senior fellow at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami. “He’s a great manager, but he should stick to something he knows.”


With Tuesday being an off-day for the Marlins, Guillen plans to leave Philadelphia to return to Miami for a press conference to address the issue. He has offered up a large number of mea culpas for his coarse behavior in the past. But I daresay that his job has never been at stake to the degree that it may be at this point in time.

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Sunday, April 08, 2012

Gone like the tears that used to tide me over....

Yes, I will not be live on the air for The Closer this week in order to commemorate the Easter Holiday.

But be sure to tune in to AM 1280 The Patriot from 1-3 pm Central next week for a very special edition of the program!

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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Overreach thwarted

It's no secret that MN Governor Mark Dayton is in the bag for labor unions. As such, he attempted to circumvent the Legislature in an attempt to unionize child care providers. Such a gesture never made a lot of sense given the fact the licensed day care workers are independent contractors.

As a result, the Governor got his proverbial finger slapped.

A Ramsey County District Court judge issued a ruling on Friday saying that the executive order issued by Gov. Mark Dayton last year authorizing an election of state child care providers is “null and void.”

According to Judge Dale Lindman, Gov. Dayton exceeded his authority because the order was an “unconstitutional usurpation of the Legislature's constitutional right to create and or amend laws” and violated the Separation of Powers doctrine.

“By Executive Order 11-31, the Governor is attempting to circumvent the legislative process and unionize child care providers by executive order rather than adhering to a valid legislative process,” Lindman wrote in his ruling. “In doing so, the Governor has improperly superseded the Legislature’s authority and violated the separation of powers clause as set forth in the Minnesota Constitution.”


This ruling somewhat assuages the regret over the now unlikely scenario of a "Right to Work" amendment appearing on the ballot in November.

Truth be told, I wouldn't be at all shocked if the push for RTW legislation was merely posturing in the first place. As we have now learned, not enough Republicans are willing to experience the backlash similar to what Wisconsin GOP lawmakers endured when enacting such reforms.

Regardless of the outcome, the mere possibility of such legislation being crafted likely scared the unions blind, so all was not totally lost.

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Friday, April 06, 2012

Box score of the week

Yes, baseball is back! As is my wont, I will resume the publishing of an MLB box score every Friday throughout the baseball season.

Let's check out a game from early in the 2002 season featuring the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.

As always, I challenge you to ascertain the significance without Google, etc.

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Ron Wright, a 26-year old rookie with the Seattle Mariners, made his major league debut in this game. In three official at-bats, Wright accounted for six outs by striking out, hitting into a triple play and finally a double play. A few days later he would be sent back to the minor leagues. Injuries curtailed a return to the majors so he retired later that year.

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Monday, April 02, 2012

Snarlin' Arlen

Is it merely coincidental that just after Senator Arlen Specter became a Democrat in April 2009 that he turned into an insufferable jackass?

It was January 2010 while on Dom Giordano's radio program that Specter condescendingly demanded that Rep. Michele Bachmann "act like a lady" while discussing health care legislation. Can you imagine the veritable firestorm had someone like a Senator Mitch McConnell sneered towards Nancy Pelosi in the same manner?

I digress.

Then this past Friday on The Jason Lewis Show, Specter, who was on the program to shill for his new book, apparently didn't like sitting through a commercial break. Upon returning from said break, the octogenarian Specter bitched and moaned about having to endure such treatment and then promptly hung up.



Perhaps a nap or an adult diaper change was in order.

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Sunday, April 01, 2012

It's more than a contest, it's more than a race...

Today on my radio program The Closer, I have the privilege of delving into two passions of mine: Politics and Sports.

In the 1:00 hour, I will be joined in studio by U.S. Senate candidate Pete Hegseth, who is vying for the GOP endorsement to oppose incumbent Senator Amy Klobuchar. In the final segment of the first hour, I am tentatively scheduled to be joined via telephone by MN state Senator Mike Jungbauer. Senator Jungbauer was recently redistricted into the new SD31 and was the runner-up in yesterday's GOP endorsement battle with fellow Senator Michelle Benson.

In the 2:00 hour, I will talk March Madness and NBA with great basketball mind Mike McCollow. Then to put a big bow on the guest-a-palooza, the aforementioned Michelle Benson will call in at 2:30 to talk about her receiving the GOP endorsement in SD31 as well as what lies ahead for the state of Minnesota.


So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to chat with any of the guests joining the festivities. 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.

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

Until then.....

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