Thursday, February 28, 2013


On March 23, 2012 (the second anniversary of Obamacare), Democrat strategist Donna Brazile tweeted the following:

Then on Tuesday morning, she put forth this tweet:

I guess the saying is true: If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Don't just do something. Sit there.

That has been the mantra of the Democrat-led U.S. Senate, which hasn't passed a budget in exactly 1,400 days. However, such a strategy may serve the House Republicans well with less than 48 hours until automatic spending cuts ("sequestration") kick in. And if that happens Chicken Little President Barack Obama is proclaiming that the country may well implode if a mere 2.4% of annual Federal spending (a combination of domestic & defense funds) is cut. Amazingly, it was the President himself who, in November 2011, emphatically stated that there would not be any negotiation over removing these mandatory cuts. Fifteen months later, with the usual stunt of using people (in this case, emergency responders) as props for his demagoguery, the President is declaring how these spending cuts may lead to airplanes falling out of the sky and people dying in the streets.....or something.

The indomitable Charles Krauthammer laid it all out a few weeks ago as to how the GOP should respond: by doing nothing. The debt ceiling was raised a year-and-a-half ago without Republicans getting the desired spending cuts in return. Hence, the deal for sequestration (an idea which originated from the White House). Then with the "fiscal cliff" looming on January 1, the Republicans had no leverage since as the expiring Bush tax cuts would have resulted in increased taxes on the middle class. So the GOP alternatively agreed to hike tax rates on just the "wealthy"  to avoid dinging the middle class (whose taxes were already raised due the expiring Payroll tax holiday) but, again, got no corresponding cuts out of the deal.

While $1.2 trillion in spending cuts spread out over 10 years is barely a start, it's more than we can hope for under an administration that labors under the delusion that "the private sector is fine" and that a bloated public sector is the only road to true prosperity.

So, do House Republicans have the intestinal fortitude to enact a maneuver similar to what Krauthammer suggests? While I'm ripe for a surprise, House Speaker John Boehner and Co. hardly have a track record for standing firm. And if indeed the House Republicans cave once more, it has already been suggested that Boehner will not survive as House Speaker.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

I got bills up the pike and my car's an old relic...

I'll be back in the Patriot bunker from 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central Time for today's installment of The Closer. 

In the first hour, we'll talk primarily about the surprising development out of the MN Legislature where a Republican State Senator has offered to co-sponsor a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. At 1:15, Autumn Leva from Minnesota For Marriage will call in to the program. I'll get her perspective on these developments as well as find out what lies ahead for her organization as this issue evolves. 

In the 2:00 hour, citizen privacy advocate Rich Neumeister will call in to discuss the Minnesota Legislature's proposal to implement the controversial "Photo Cop" on how it has thus far received a chilly reception from both sides of the aisle. On the national scene, will the President and Congress be able to avoid the sequestration deadline, which is slated for Friday, March 1? Finally, I'll recount the sad demise of country singer Mindy McCready (of whom I was a fan in the late 90s), which culminated in her death this past Sunday.

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.

Even though I have a face for radio, there is a UStream channel where you can watch the broadcast, if you so desire. Check it out here

For mobile phone users, there are 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, February 23, 2013

Profiles in selflessness

One of many positive aspects of having a friend like Danielle Teal? She inspires me to do more to make the world a better place. One negative? She makes me realize how little I actually am doing.

For the year 2012, Danielle attempted to perform one act of kindness each day for the 366 days of the year, all the while working full time, taking classes and preparing to give birth in September . She even documented the process via a daily blog post.

Her latest endeavor is a home grown idea which sprung from her own emotional trial just prior to giving birth to a daughter last Fall. Tiaras with Love is described as "an inspirational cause that sends by request/referral a tiara to a woman or girl in need of support facing challenges or obstacles in her life."

Danielle, a resident of Rochester, has been such a pillar in her community that her philanthropy rarely goes unnoticed. As such, the local Fox TV news affiliate share her story earlier this week.

KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather and Sports

It takes a special individual to overcome his/her own pain and channel those emotions into helping others feel better about themselves. Of all the things I admire about Danielle, that attribute is near the top. You're awesome, DT!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Recognizing the inevitable

With each passing day, the issue of same-sex marriage is becoming more and more a bipartisan issue. As someone who opposes gay marriage, even I acknowledge that it is likely to become the law of the land due to the fact it is (rightly or wrongly) being spun as a civil rights issue.

In the 2012 campaign season, a good number of DFL legislators ran on the chanting point of the Republicans "denying people the right to marry who they love" since the majority of GOP lawmakers voted to allow the public an opportunity to permanently ban gay marriage. Now that the Democrats hold a majority in the legislature, they could easily pass a law legalizing same-sex marriage because Governor Mark Dayton has already gone on record saying he'd sign such a bill. However, the DFL did not step forward in the first month of the legislative session despite the urging of gay marriage proponents. With that being the case, I said in this very space three weeks ago that a Republican legislator should step up to the plate and submit a proposal legalizing same-sex marriage. If for no other reason it would serve the purpose of putting the DFL on the record after they jumped around like poo-flinging monkeys, implying the GOP was a bigoted party used the issue as a cudgel against Republicans this past election cycle. So if the measure was shot down on a floor vote or thwarted in committee, it would prove what I have long suspected. That is, the DFL has no real interest in solving the issue because it's valuable to them as a proverbial bloody shirt.

With that in mind, could it be that my own state Senator is reading my blog?

Republican state Sen. Branden Petersen is preparing to become a co-sponsor of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

Having a Republican co-author would be an enormous political coup for same-sex marriage advocates as they prepare to unveil their proposal in the days ahead. Petersen would become the first Republican legislator to publicly support same-sex marriage, highlighting the rapidly changing dynamics of the issue at the Capitol.

“At this point, I am concerned about doing the right thing,” said Petersen, an Andover resident who is married and has two young children. “I have a certain amount of peace about that, and I will let the chips fall where they may.”

Petersen was among a majority of Republican legislators who put a state constitutional amendment on the November 2012 ballot asking voters to add language banning same-sex marriage. Minnesota became the first state to defeat such an amendment after 30 others had passed similar measures; that result gave opponents what they say is significant momentum to return and try to erase the state’s long-standing law against same-sex marriage.
There's been a couple of schools of thought on Sen. Petersen's maneuver. For one, this isn't exactly a courageous move, given that the voters spoke loudly this past November by shooting down the marriage amendment by a 5% margin. That, and when Petersen was in the House two years ago it would have shown more courage had he stood in solidarity with his four GOP colleagues who voted "no" on the amendment itself.

Personally, I find myself in the group who believes this was the exact opposite of political expediency and thus took a tremendous amount of courage. The particular Senate District which Petersen represents (SD35, which covers my hometown of Ramsey as well as Andover, Anoka and three precincts in Coon Rapids) is one of the more reliably conservative districts in the state of Minnesota. Plus, this was one of the SDs where the majority of residents voted in favor of the marriage amendment, a fact of which the Senator is fully aware. I'll come back to that.

While I see Sen. Petersen's maneuver as one of getting this issue off the table so we can focus on economic issues, he's not willing to cede the marriage issue entirely.

Petersen said he has several concerns that must be addressed before he will sign onto the measure. He wants to add language guaranteeing that any religious leader can choose not to wed same-sex couples. He also insists that kids in same-sex marriages have the same financial guarantees as children of other married couples in time of divorce.

“It’s only a matter of time before same-sex marriage is legal,” Petersen said. “I thought it was important to engage the issue now, and when we do it, do it right, and that there’s some perspective from the people I represent in that.”

Again, the esteemed Senator must be reading my blog. My biggest objection to same-sex marriage has been rooted in the religious aspect. My concern is churches would be threatened with their tax-exempt status if they decline to host same-sex wedding ceremonies. However, that is an objection which Sen. Petersen, in my opinion, has adequately addressed.

On my radio program February 10, I specifically asked Sen. Petersen if he felt it was a mistake for he and his GOP colleagues to broach the marriage issue two years ago. He did indeed admit it was a mistake and thus stated that Republicans are much more effective focusing on issues of, say, smaller government, an issue which the vast majority of the electorate agree with the GOP. With that in mind, I'd be lying if I said I gleaned from that conversation that Petersen would go so far as to co-sponsor a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.

Finally, do I believe this action will hurt Sen. Petersen come 2016 when he again faces an electorate made up of residents whom the majority do not support gay marriage? My gut feeling tells me no. The Senator himself sounds as though he's willing to take his chances.

The first-term senator, who previously served as a House member, said he knows his position could cost him his seat.....Petersen said he believes voters in his district will find comfort in his record against taxes, his unwavering defense of the right to bear arms and his overriding belief in personal freedom.

“(My constituents) are generally not single-issue voters,” he said. “But if push came to shove and that’s the way it had to be, then I am fine with that.”

On Monday evening, I received a text message from the Senator requesting to be on my radio program Sunday, March 3. At the time, he merely alluded to the marriage issue and that there would be a lot talk about. I didn't ask any questions, so I just told him he has the 1:00 pm Central Time hour to discuss whatever he'd like.

So. This Minnesota legislative session sure got a heckuva a lot more interesting, eh?


Monday, February 18, 2013

This is what happens.....

....when one is bored on a Sunday evening.


Mindy McCready

To be honest, I was not surprised when I heard country singer Mindy McCready ultimately took her own life. It was reported Sunday that she died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at age 37.

For the better part of a decade, we've heard nothing but stories of destructive behavior whenever there was news pertaining to McCready. Whether it was being in an abusive relationship, suffering through chemical addiction or multiple suicide attempts, it just seemed inevitable that McCready was not long for this world. What's even more heart-breaking is there are two little boys (ages six years and ten months) who now have the burden of growing up without their momma.

McCready was quite possibly the hottest ticket on the country music scene from 1996 through 1998. Having been a country music enthusiast myself when she burst on to the scene, I was quite smitten with her. So much so, that I waited in line to meet her in May 1998 when she was at the Mall of America to promote her latest album If I Don't Stay the Night (Her debut album Ten Thousand Angels, which was released in April 1996, ended up going double platinum). Despite being a legit megastar (as well as being engaged to popular actor Dean Cain), I was impressed with how grounded Mindy appeared. In fact, when I had the opportunity to finally meet her, we had a fun two-minute conversation (Most celebs I've encountered barely made eye contact). To this day, I still have my copy of the Ten Thousand Angels CD in which she autographed the liner.

I guess my anecdote is proof positive that no matter the facade a person may put up, you just never know what they're capable of when adversity strikes. After her second album went Gold, McCready had little more than marginal success in her music career. In addition, she seemed to endure one dysfunctional relationship after another after she and Cain broke off their engagement later in 1998.

What has really surprised me in the aftermath of McCready's suicide is how people have taken to attacking addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky. It was pointed out by many on Twitter that McCready is the fifth celebrity casualty amongst those who have appeared on Dr. Drew's VH1 reality show Celebrity Rehab. The prevailing argument is that Pinsky merely exploited these celebs to hike ratings on the show and thus it proved to be little more than a distraction in their attempts to attain sobriety. Personally, I've seen many episodes of the show, which has aired over six different seasons. What I have seen is essentially end-stage addicts who are using this venue as one last opportunity to become free from their respective addictions. Yes, some of them eventually succumb to their addictions and thus pay the ultimate price. But to imply that Dr. Drew's motives were impure and that he was only interested in exploiting the celebs' illnesses for personal gain seems to be a bit of a stretch. Besides, has anyone ever considered the possibility this show had an impact on viewers who were vulnerable to addictions? After all, regular folks may see celebrities whom they've admired for years struggle mightily to overcome their demons and, as a result, decide to seek the help they need before they too reach the "end stage" point.

While celebrity rehab participants like McCready, Mike Starr, Rodney King, Jeff Conaway and Joey Kovar sadly lost their battles, we can only hope that in their falling short of making a full recovery will serve as cautionary tales to those who are can't escape the throes of addiction.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

I heard it all before so don't knock down my door...

What a treat to sit back in the Patriot bunker yesterday and let someone else assume the captain's chair. It is much easier being a contributor to a radio show than actually running it. However, today I will re-assume the reins on my usual Sunday broadcast of The Closer, which will air from 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central Time.

At 2:00, my good friend, prolific blogger and devout Catholic Mark "Mr. Dilettante" Heuring will check in to give his perspective on Pope Benedict XVI resigning at the end of this month. I'll also get Mark's take on the future of the church and what we might expect in the next Pope.

I'll also take a look back at the week in the news, including the DFL shenanigans this MN legislative session as well as looking into another lefty journalist (PTR) getting burned when attempting to write a story denigrating Sarah Palin.

I plan on taking the final two segments of the program to talk about arguably the greatest NBA player who ever lived as he celebrates a milestone birthday today.

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.

Even though I have a face for radio, there is a UStream channel where you can watch the broadcast, if you so desire. Check it out here

For mobile phone users, there are 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, February 16, 2013

And when she shines she really shows you all she can...

With Mitch Berg out on assignment today, I was asked to host The Headliner edition of the Northern Alliance Radio Network. However, I in turn decided to hand the reins over to the NARN's new regular fill-in host, Erin Haust! As usual, the broadcast will take place 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central Time.

In addition to Erin conducting hosting duties, there will be an in-studio panel including myself, Dianna "Eye on Politics" and NASCAR Kelly Gunderson.

Amongst the topics we'll address are the State of the Union address and its responses, the ongoing debate over tighter gun laws, an upcoming MN Senate hearing regarding voter laws and much more on the news of the prior week.

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.

Also, there is a UStream channel where you can watch the broadcast, if you so desire. Check it out here (provided the web cam has been returned to our newly constructed studio).

For mobile phone users, there are 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.....


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fool me once.....

Over the past several years, there have been so many caricatures manufactured to attack Republicans and conservatives that such a practice has almost become a cottage industry. It's typically something along the lines of  "the GOP is a monochromatic party made up of wealthy religious war mongers who bitterly cling to their guns."

When Sarah Palin came on the scene as the Republican VP candidate in 2008, she immediately drew heavy scrutiny for, among other things, her unabashed faith in Jesus Christ as well her affinity for hunting. Remember when George W. Bush declared Christ his hero during the 2000 GOP nomination process for President? That was the first inclination that the leftists would turn into a bunch of frothing-at-the-mouth loons whenever Bush's name was mentioned.

Since some in the mainstream media and the political left (PTR) have these caricatures so embedded in their collective minds, their irrational hatred often gets the best of them when hearing or reading something that could make Palin look even more foolish than they already perceive.

Almost exactly two years ago, MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow cited a web site advocating for Palin to call for an American-led invasion into Egypt, which was starting to become very unstable at that point. While Maddow clarified this was not an indictment of Palin personally since it wasn't her idea, it was a very obvious attempt by Maddow to show the outlandish beliefs (bordering on insanity) of Palin supporters. It wasn't until after that particular broadcast that Rach realized she had been duped. The web site that was the basis for her story? A satirical site called "" Instead of humbly issuing a Mea culpa, Maddow had the temerity to blame other conservatives (specifically Glenn Beck) for her being bamboozled, claiming it was their wildly conceived notions that makes satire almost indistinguishable from the truth.

Fast forward to Tuesday when a Washington Post blogger by the name of Suzi Parker put together a post regarding Palin's latest attempt to "stay relevant." Apparently Ms. Parker had visions of a Pulitzer dancing in her head with a breaking story about Palin attempting to reach "millions of devoutly religious people" through Al Jazeera.

Late last week Al Jazeera America announced the former vice-presidential candidate would be joining their news network. Al Jazeera America recently bought Al Gore’s failing Current Media that broadcasts the Current TV channel. Ironically, Fox News recently called Al Jazeera “an anti-American terror mouthpiece.”

“As you all know, I’m not a big fan of newspapers, journalists, news anchors and the liberal media in general,” Palin told the Web site The Daily Currant. “But I met with the folks at Al-Jazeera and they told me they reach millions of devoutly religious people who don’t watch CBS or CNN. That tells me they don’t have a liberal bias.”

You know where I'm going here, right? Yep, the source for this story, web site The Daily Currant, is also a satirical site. As such, Ms. Parker's revised post came with a correction.

An earlier version of this post and the post’s URL incorrectly reported that Sarah Palin had signed on as a contributor to the Al Jazeera America news network. The blogger cited a report on the Daily Currant Web site as the basis for that information without realizing that the piece was satirical.

I find it difficult to believe that even the most ardent anti-Palin folks even bothered to read beyond that paragraph. If they had, they would have found nothing more than the recycled talking points about how Palin seems more a cult of personality type and thus no longer a serious candidate for President. The piece was titled "Sarah Palin tries to stay relevant", which seems to be a rather ironic statement given Ms. Parker's attempts to pen an insightful post in light of her myopic zeal.

Courage, Suzi!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Quick Hits: Volume LXV

- A surprising announcement from the Vatican Monday morning.

Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign his position as the head of the Roman Catholic Church on February 28, shocking the Christian world and even many close to him.

Benedict, 85, announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals Monday morning, explaining that because of his advanced age and diminishing strength, he didn't feel he could carry on the job.

In his remarks to the cardinals, Benedict said his age and health left him with a level of energy, "no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry." The Petrine ministry is the Vatican's official description of the office of the pontiff.

When he became pope at age 78, Benedict XVI was already the oldest pontiff elected in nearly 300 years. He's now 85, and in recent years he has slowed down significantly, cutting back his foreign travel and limiting his audiences.

The pope now travels to the altar in St. Peter's Basilica on a moving platform to spare him the 100-yard walk down the aisle. Occasionally he uses a cane. Late last year, people who were spending time with the pontiff emerged saying they found him weak and too tired to engage with what they were saying.

The Vatican stressed on Monday that no specific medical condition prompted Benedict's decision to become the first pontiff to resign in 600 years.

While I am not Catholic myself and thus did not follow closely the nuances of the church's leadership, I've been told that this news wasn't shocking to prominent Catholic leaders. Given his advanced age when he was chosen (he was 78 when elected Pope in 2005), Benedict XVI was viewed as a "transitional Pope" after the 26-1/2 year reign of John Paul II.

My friend (and devout Catholic) Ed Morrissey paid a wonderful tribute to the outgoing Pontiff.

Benedict XVI helped guide the Church after the death of his larger-than-life predecessor, finishing his work and beginning his own. That transition was jarring: how do you follow the pontificate of a saint? Benedict XVI managed to do so with joy, faith, and determination, and perhaps it’s fitting that after having provided such a smooth transition to the post-JPII era of the Church, he’s been tasked with providing a smoother transition to his successor. We will pray for Benedict XVI in retirement, and for his successor to face the challenges of the next era.
I enjoy reading perspectives from practicing Catholics like Ed as well as Mark Heuring, another friend of mine. I say that because it never ceases to amaze me how there are so many non-Catholics who become self-anointed experts on which direction the church should take when electing the next Pope. Fortunately, the election of a Pope is not to subject to the whims of low information voters.

- What happens when a Montana TV station's emergency alert system is hacked and warnings of a zombie apocalypse ensue. Well......

Whether it's movies, TV shows or highly popular Halloween costumes, the zombie phase in today's pop culture doesn't look to be killed off anytime soon. Personally I'm not into it, but whatever.

- I am excited to officially announce an addition to the Northern Alliance Radio Network! Local blogger Erin Haust has been added to the NARN "farm club" as a permanent fill-in host (a role I had from January 2010 until May 2011). Since the regular weekly NARN hosts are down to Mitch Berg, King Banaian and myself, we figure we should start to add to the roster in the event we partake in a "rare and well-deserved break."

Erin is very engaged in the political scene as she writes regularly for Conservative Daily News, has played a vital role with James O'Keefe's organization Project Veritas and is very prolific on Twitter, evidenced by her nearly 10,000 followers. In addition, she has proven to be a valued contributor as a guest on several Minnesota conservative talk radio shows (including my program on many occasions), so adding her as a colleague was a no-brainer.

This Saturday, February 16, I had planned on filling in for my NARN colleague Mitch Berg, who will be out on assignment. However, I have decided to let Erin partake in her first official lead host role, where she will moderate the panel discussion, field calls and handle all the logistics within the realm of Radio 101. I will instead be part of the panel that day along with Dianna "Eye on Politics" and NASCAR Kelly Gunderson.

Welcome aboard, Erin!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

I'm just tryin' to make a livin' watching everybody else havin' fun...

There's another threat of a winter storm so, weather permitting, I will return to the AM 1280 studio (and a newly refurbished one at that) for my usual 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central Time broadcast.

At 1:15, MN State Senator Branden Petersen will be calling in to talk about the goings on this legislative session. We might even opine on Governor Dayton' s state of the State address this past Wednesday.

Then at 2:00, my long-time friend Nancy LaRoche will be checking in to talk about her recently announced candidacy for Chair of the Congressional District 5 Republicans.

In between, we'll get in to some of the big news stories this past week, including another shooting spree about which the national media was conspicuously quiet.

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.

Even though I have a face for radio, there is a UStream channel where you can watch the broadcast, if you so desire. Check it out here

For mobile phone users, there are 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, February 09, 2013

Time out for a little jocularity

From the sublime..... the ridiculous (not to mention, freaking hilarious!).


Friday, February 08, 2013

Blame game for we, not for ye

When Jared Loughner and Jim Holmes carried out their mass shooting sprees in Tucson, AZ and Aurora, CO respectively, leftists and the mainstream media (PTR) attempted to paint political right wing factions as the main influence for setting off these gunmen. Never mind there was never any ample evidence to support such baseless charges. But hey, if the "hateful, racist" Tea Party movement is sufficiently vilified and subsequently rendered irrelevant, then the ends justify the means.

So when former L.A. police officer Christopher Dorner goes on a shooting spree after issuing statements praising President Obama (while savaging Obama's critics), lauding MSNBC news figures as well as the edifying CNN's Piers Morgan, who is to be held responsible? The gunman, of course. And that's exactly how it should be in these types of situations. And if some idiot (media or otherwise) blamed Morgan for stirring up anger in Dorner which in turn caused him to go on a deadly shooting rampage, I guarantee I would be just as indignant as I was over the misplaced blame of the Loughner and Holmes shootings.

However, given Morgan politicized mass shootings (i.e. using them as a cudgel for his gun control platform) merely hours after the tragedies in Aurora, CO and Newtown, CT, he got little sympathy when it was learned that Dorner stated he agreed with Morgan "100% on enacting stricter firearm laws...."

Naturally, Morgan didn't appreciate the irony.

Did you catch that? Deranged criminality? Does this mean Mr. Morgan is finally acquiescing to the fact that guns in the hands of mentally unstable people are actually the more salient issue than the type of weaponry one possesses? Dare to dream.


Thursday, February 07, 2013

A state of chanting points and deafening silence

In his State of the State address Wednesday, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said a lot. But it was what he didn't say that struck me. I'll get back to that.

First, there are some key excerpts of the address which I'd like to focus upon.

When touting the 2012 job growth in Minnesota, Dayton emphasized how our state was number 12 out of 50. He then took a little dig at Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who recently alluded to Dayton's proposal of increasing taxes $2 billion and then extolled the virtues of Wisconsin's business environment  (emphasis mine).

Wisconsin, which by the way is open for business, helped bring up the rear at 42nd. And, help spread the word across the St. Croix, their unemployment rate last month was 20% higher than ours, while our per capita income was 12% higher than theirs.

Before Walker was elected in 2010, Wisconsin had been saddled with progressive rule in their state for the better part of a decade. Now that Walker and the GOP controlled legislature has begun to implement their tax cutting agenda, a nearly half billion dollar budget surplus is estimated for this cycle. Also, when Walker was elected in 2010, the unemployment rate had been hovering around 8%. By the end of 2012, it was 6.6%. So in terms of jobs, Wisconsin is beginning to flourish. And if Dayton's proposal of a "business-to-business" tax goes through, look for some Minnesota companies to take up Governor Walker on his offer.

Trying to cut our way to a Better Minnesota is a failed experiment.

I don't believe I was the only conservative in MN to respond to that statement with "WHAT FRIGGIN' CUTS?!?!?!" The last budget cycle saw the Republican majority in the legislature introduce (and pass) a budget of $34 billion, which was a 12 percent INCREASE over the previous budget. But Dayton's statement is clearly DFL speak for "we wanted a 24% increase but only got 12, hence a cut in public funding." Never mind that said public funding was never in effect in the first place, but nevertheless we're supposed to consider it a "cut."

Today, more and more hard-working, middle-class Minnesotans believe that the state’s tax structure is unfair to them. And they’re right. The facts compiled by the nonpartisan staff at the Minnesota Department of Revenue show that the richest Minnesotans pay less of their incomes in state and local taxes (Could it be because they've got their wealth stashed in South Dakota? - ed.) than most other Minnesotans.

This is one statement that brings me back to an issue which was conspicuously absent from the Governor's speech: his proposal two weeks ago of a "Sales Tax broadening." How is a 5.5% sales tax on many services (e.g. Legal services, Accounting services, auto repair, household repair and maintenance, Admissions/Memberships, etc.) suppose to ease the overall tax burden on the middle class, especially since they were already dinged with a 5% increase in Federal payroll tax at the beginning of this year? And what about the proposal of increases in gasoline and cigarette taxes? Nary a mention of such so-called revenue enhancers (could it be because those two taxes are actually the most regressive taxes, thus impacting the middle-class the most? Huh.).

But what really had the Capitol Building buzzing this past week is the DFL-controlled legislature proposing several pieces of "gun control" legislation, a subject which Dayton did not broach.

Felony to carry on school property:

Removed misdemeanor exemption for permit holders carrying on school property. (Also removes "a firearm carried in violation of this paragraph is not subject to forfeiture.")

Adds a gross misdemeanor. for the first time, and a felony charge for the second time for carrying in an establishment that asks you to leave.


Sheriff / Police can require you to get "signed off" state licensed primary care physician or state certified mental health professional before you get a permit.


Defines "Assault Weapon" as ANY:

Semi-automatic that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and has one or more of the following:
a rifle or shotgun with a pistol grip or thumbhole stock,
any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the nontrigger hand,
a folding or telescoping stock,
or a shroud attached to the barrel or that partially or completely encircles the barre.
That has the capacity to accept more than SEVEN rounds of ammunition.

Prohibits the ebove mentioned "Assault Weapons"
No grandfathering...

Any person who, on February 1, 2013, legally owns or is in possession of an assault weapon has until September 1, 2013, to do any of the following without being subject to prosecution under Minnesota Statutes, section 624.7133:
(1) remove the weapon from the state;
(2) surrender the weapon to a law enforcement agency for destruction;
(3) render the weapon permanently inoperable; or
(4) if eligible, register the weapon as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 624.7133, subdivision 5.


Large-capacity magazine crime:

"Large-capacity magazine" means any ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds.

It is unlawful for a person to manufacture, import, transfer, or possess a large-capacity magazine.

Police / Gov't are exempt.

No grandfathering:

(1) permanently alter the magazine so it cannot accommodate more than ten rounds;
2.33(2) remove the large-capacity magazine from the state; or
2.34(3) surrender the large-capacity magazine to a law enforcement agency for destruction.

To be fair, it's mostly urban DFL legislators who are pushing these items, whereas outstate Democrats would be committing political suicide (not to mention going against their own personal belief in the second amendment) if they showed any support for these bills. Therefore, there's no reason for the Governor to comment on the gun issue since the aforementioned House Files may well get shot down (whether in committee or a floor vote) due to strong bipartisan opposition. But wouldn't it be nice for a state executive (who professed to be a proud gun owner on the 2010 campaign trail) to display the courage of his convictions instead of the usual DFL chanting points (e.g. "Tax the rich", "Let people marry whomever they love", etc.)?

Again, it's what Governor Mark Dayton didn't say Wednesday that should have Minnesotans just as concerned with what was actually verbalized.


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Irrelvancy Tour rolls on

Let's face it: Ron Paul was never a legitimate candidate for President. Even though Paul has stoked a valuable conversation in regards to liberty and the Constitution, he was never going to be able to carry the proverbial ball across the general election goal line because of myriad controversial (bordering on looney) statements regarding foreign policy.

When it was all but official that Paul would not receive the GOP nomination for President last August, he conducted a "farewell tour" to thank his ardent supporters, since he would not even seek another term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In my estimation, Paul effectively sealed his electoral fate in late August when he declared that the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01 would not have occurred if he had been President.

From what I've been able to gather, that little sound bite didn't get a ton of play, so perhaps not nearly as many folks as I thought are even aware of it. On the other hand, it's a distinct possibility that Paul was so irrelevant by that point that people paid as much attention to him as they do the ramblings of his buddy Jesse Ventura.

Fast forward to this past weekend when the news began to surface of the murder of retired Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. Apparently Kyle was attempting to help out a fellow a veteran who was struggling to adjust to civilian life. While at a shooting range in Texas, Eddie Ray Routh shot to death Kyle and Kyle's friend Chad Littlefield.

In less than 48 hours aftr Kyle's death, Paul took to Twitter:

If the libertarian wing of the Republican party is ever to have lasting influence in electoral politics, they need to, at this very instant, stop referring to themselves as the "Ron Paul movement." First and foremost because any "movement" transcends one individual. That and you also put the future of the Liberty movement (specifically Paul's son, Sen. Rand Paul, who was unfairly asked to disavow his father's statement) in peril if they're unable to emerge from the shadows of Ron Paul's questionable viewpoints.

What I would love to hear is a libertarian candidate who, while extolling the virtues of the Constitution, actually refers to that phrase in Article I, Section 8, something about "common defense and general welfare of the United States." Hey, it's in there. Look it up.


Sunday, February 03, 2013

Potential Bucket List item checked off.

Being acknowledged by a childhood hero (as well as a guy whom I wanted my mother to marry back in the 70s).

Yep, I'm still a complete rube.


Saturday, February 02, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII: The Q&A

The Super Bowl is almost upon us! In my estimation, this is one of the more intriguing matchups in a while, as we'll see the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers.

With that in mind, it’s the annual Q&A with my pal Super Bowl Inquisitor and yours truly. This will be the eighth installment of this little exercise, yet it will be the first time we preview a matchup where one of the quarterbacks is not named Brady, Manning or Roethlisberger.

So, let’s tee it up and see where this goes (Huh. Sounds similar to what the fetching Mrs. Carlson said when she accepted my proposal of marriage).

Super Bowl Inquisitor: Probably the biggest storyline is the head coaches of  the Super Bowl teams being brothers. Since you're the king of analogies, is there any other scenario where another set of brothers competed in a high profile industry? 
Brad Carlson: I liken it to TV guys Greg and Bryant Gumbel. Greg is like Ravens coach John Harbaugh in that he's a dedicated, solid professional who's well respected. On the other hand, I equate Bryant with Niners coach Jim Harbaugh in the sense they're arrogant and occasionally insufferable but begrudgingly respected because they are so good at what they do.

SBI: What was your initial reaction to 49ers CB Chris Culliver's remarks disparaging gays?
BC: My very first reaction was "Who the hell is Chris Culliver?"

Secondly, how can one not be aware that such comments would quite obviously alienate the majority of the population in the very city where one plays his home games? It would be the equivalent of a member of the Chicago Bears disparaging crooked politicians.

SBI: Can you recall a more bizarre Super Bowl week story then Ravens LB Ray Lewis being alleged to have used "deer antler extract" to help him heal quicker from a torn triceps?
BC: I can not. Sheesh, what happened to the old fashioned SB week controversies, like Dallas defensive player Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson saying Pittsburgh Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw was so dumb that he couldn't spell cat if you spotted him the "c" and the "t?" At least you have some entertainment value there.

SBI: Singer Beyoncé will be providing the halftime entertainment. Were you overly offended that such a talented singer like herself lip-synched during Inauguration Day?
BC: Heh. On Inauguration Day, I was concerned with about 16.5 trillion other things above and beyond what Beyoncé did or didn't do.

SBI: The Vikings factor: Former Vikes Matt Birk and Bryant McKinnie are starting offensive linemen for Baltimore while WR Randy Moss plays for San Francisco. Any preference on who you'd like to see get their first Super Bowl ring?
BC: No preference. However, I'm thinking McKinnie is in dire need of the Super Bowl winner's bonus as well as a gaudy piece of jewelry to hock. I understand he's severely in debt to multiple Miami strip clubs.

SBI: If the 49ers win, they'll be 6-0 in Super Bowls, which would tie a record for most professional championships without a loss, currently held by the NBA's Chicago Bulls. As someone with an affinity for sports trivia, you probably knew that. 
BC: I learned that this past week, yes. Then it would be only fitting that the Niners clinch their sixth title by having Moss score the winning points after pushing off on Ravens CB Corey Graham, a la the Bulls' Michael Jordan to Utah Jazz defender Bryon Russell.

SBI: Let's wrap this up with an "either/or" segment pertaining to the Super Bowl cities. 

We'll begin with something simple. 

Food -  Pit Beef or Rice-A-Roni?
BC: Pit Beef.

SBI: Tourist Attractions -  National Aquarium or Golden Gate Bridge?
BC: Golden Gate Bridge.

SBI: Music - Tori Amos or 4 Non Blondes?
BC: Since there's only one song I know out of either of those two ("What's Up"), I gotta go with 4 Non Blondes. 

SBI: Film Directors - Barry Levinson or George Lucas?
BC: Not close - George Lucas.

SBI: Authors - Edgar Allan Poe or Mark Twain?
BC: One of my favorite sayings by Twain is "Always do right. This will gratify some and astonish the rest." That and Poe scores rather high in the bat sh-t crazy factor. So, Mark Twain it is.

SBI: Politics - Elijah Cummings or Nancy Pelosi?
BC: Yeesh! Can I pass on this one?

SBI: Fair enough. With that, the 49ers are a 3-1/2 point favorite over the Ravens. Your prediction?
BC: I say Niners win and cover (albeit barely). I'll go with 24-20 San Francisco. 

2012 Postseason record:
Straight up: 8-2
Against the point spread: 8-2