Monday, September 30, 2013

Box Score of the week

California Angels pitcher Mike Witt hurled a perfect game against the Texas Rangers back in 1984. What else can you tell me about this game?


On the final scheduled day of the 2013 regular season, Miami Marlins pitcher Henderson Alvarez pitched a no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers. The last time a pitcher hurled a no-no on the season's final day was 1984 when Witt tossed a perfect game against the Rangers. 


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Well, the government bugged the men's room in the local disco lounge....

Well, this sure has shaped up to be a busy show today. As per usual, The Closer will be on from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time.

Right at 1:00, the show's official political wonk, Matt Mackowiak, will be checking in. Matt is a personal friend of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), so I'll get his perspective on Cruz's recent exploits on the US Senate floor, where he spent 21 straight hours speaking out against funding Obamacare. Matt is also Executive Director of the national super PAC Fight For Tomorrow, which is now focused on electing Ken Cuccinelli as the next Virginia governor. Since he was present for the last Wednesday's gubernatorial debate between Cuccinelli and his Democrat opponent, long time Clinton-ista Terry McAuliffe, Matt will fill us in on the latest with that campaign.

At 2:00, MN state senator Michelle Benson will be join me via phone. Senator Benson is part of the Legislative Oversight Committee who this past week drafted a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton. The essence of said letter was to express concern over the lack of transparency surrounding the state's health insurance exchange MNSure. 

Then at 2:15, I will be joined by three individuals affiliated with the 2013 Twin Cities Congenital Heart Walk. Dr. Jamie Lohr (pediatric cardiologist and co-chairwoman of the walk), Nick Zerwas (currently a MN state rep from Elk River and someone who was born with a congenital heart defect) and Tom Grady (lifelong survivor of congenial heart disease) will all join me in studio to discuss the October 12 event as well as share personal anecdotes.

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, or check us out via iheart radio

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 and "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Quick Hits: Volume LXXVI

-Not surprisingly, there have been polarizing opinions regarding the recent "filibuster" (though technically not a filibuster) put on by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in protest of the funding of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). The left and even some Republican politicians/supporters chided it as a colossal waste of time since Obamacare is now the law of the land. Others (specifically the Tea Party and its ilk) view it as an opportunity to inform the public at large what a resounding blunder it was to not support those who were committed to repealing that abominable law. Depending upon whose perspective you subscribe to, this whole fight to de-fund Obamacare has either won the future for the GOP or has crippled it. Definitely both viewpoints are worth poring over.

But, as usual, it was the mainstream media who once again showed what a fraudulent entity it continues to be. On Wednesday morning, Dylan Byers of that well known conservative stronghold Politico highlighted the MSM's hypocrisy when covering Cruz and, in June this year, Texas state Senator Wendy Davis (a Democrat). In essence, Davis's 11-hour speech in protest of the Texas legislature passing a bill putting minor restrictions on abortions was widely lauded. The fact it would not stop the legislation was irrelevant to lefties and the MSM (pardon the redundancy). On the other hand, Cruz's 21-hour talk was seen as little more than grandstanding since the Democratic controlled Senate would never pass a Continuing Resolution de-funding Obamacare.

Even though you pretty much know how the story ends in terms of the MSM reaction, go ahead and read Mr Byers entire piece.

- After three weeks of the 2013 NFL season, there have been certain things which haven't gone as planned. For instance, the San Francisco 49ers (with a record of 1-2), New York Giants (0-3) and Washington Redskins (0-3) have significantly underachieved. Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins (3-0) and Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) are by the far the biggest surprises this early season.

So just when I started to concede that very little is happening in this NFL season that is supposed to happen, I came across a couple of stories on the other day.

  • Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones was cited for disorderly conduct on Monday. 
  • Also on Monday, Baltimore Ravens WR Jacoby Jones was injured in an incident involving a stripper at (who else?) Bryant McKinnie's birthday celebration. As Jim Rome once said, professional athletes and strippers go together like peanut butter and jelly. 

Big Mac and Pac Man having brushes with the law. That is how you know it's at least a somewhat typical NFL season.

- Let's hope this local story can finally die it's merciful death.

The Minnesota Senate will pay former Republican staffer Michael Brodkorb $30,000 to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit.

The settlement announced today heads off a trial that was set to begin next year. It was also far less than the half million dollars in damages that Brodkorb had been seeking. He lost his Senate job in 2011 after the revelation of his sexual affair with then-GOP Majority Leader Amy Koch. Brodkorb claimed in the lawsuit that his firing was unfair compared to other employees who had been caught up in similar circumstances.
Brodkorb went on to say that he was grateful he wasn't forced to reveal names of other staffers (specifically female) who were allowed to keep their jobs despite having extramarital dalliances with legislators (even though details of those affairs were "accidentally" leaked).

As far as where Brodkorb goes from here, who knows? I can't believe he'll ever be relevant again in politics to the degree he was as Senate GOP communications director or deputy chair of the MN Republican party. Regardless, Brodkorb seemed very genuine when expressing his sentiment of sheer relief that this whole ordeal is over. As a taxpayers here in the state of Minnesota, who are on the hook for approximately $300,000 in legal fees, we wholeheartedly echo that sentiment.


Monday, September 23, 2013

I heard it on the NARN - Sunday, September 22

It was an honor chatting with Miss Minnesota 2013 Rebecca Yeh on this past Sunday's show.

We discussed at length her advocacy with Autism awareness. In fact, on October 12, Rebecca will be participating in the Walk Now For Autism Speaks event at the Mall of America. If you would like to donate to her team, please do so at this link.

I was also honored to be joined by Salem Twin Cities' Operations Manager Lee Michaels to discuss the station's involvement with Feed the Children

Millions of children in America go to bed hungry and right now you can make a difference for children right here in the Twin Cities. Join AM1280 The Patriot as we partner with Feed the Children. Your gift will go 5 times as far; a $75 gift will send $375 worth of food and essentials.  Call 800-278-4787 now or visit

You can also become a Feed the Children Business Benefactor! For a gift of $1500 to Feed the Children you will receive from AM1280 The Patriot 40 commercials to use for your business, charity, or church. Call 651-289-4444 for details.


Box Score of the Week

There's always a fair chance that a game in Denver's Coors Field will be a high scoring affair. A September 2000 San Diego Padres - Colorado Rockies matchup was just that.


Rockies catcher Ben Petrick collected 4 RBIs this game-----without the benefit of a hit (he had one sacrifice fly, one bases-loaded walk and two run-scoring ground outs). That is the most runs driven in without a base hit. 


Sunday, September 22, 2013

You can have the town, why don't you take it?

Looking forward to another Sunday afternoon in the Patriot bunker, as The Closer will be on the air in the usual 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time slot.

In the first hour Lee Michaels, Salem Twin Cities' own Operations Manager, will call in at 1:30. Lee will discuss our station's involvement with the charitable organization Feed The Children

For the entire 2:00 hour, Miss Minnesota 2013 Rebecca Yeh will join me in studio.

Photo courtesy of Miss MN Scholarship Pageant

A mere seven days removed from finishing fourth runner up in the Miss America pageant, Rebecca will share her perspective on that incredible experience as well as how she's faring three months into her reign as Miss Minnesota.

In other segments, I will look back at the week in the news, including reports of e-pulltabs generating a Blutarsky-esque 0.0 dollars in revenue towards the Vikings new stadium. I'll also opine on the heated debate over the viability of Jerry Kill remaining the University of Minnesota's head football coach.

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, or check us out viaiheart radio

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.....


Friday, September 20, 2013

Life imitating art

Jumping the shark: An idiom used to describe the moment in the evolution of a television show when it begins a decline in quality that is beyond recovery, which is usually a particular scene, episode, or aspect of a show in which the writers use some type of "gimmick" in a desperate attempt to keep viewers' interest.

The phrase "jumping the shark" was actually derived from an episode of the classic TV series Happy Days. The show's ultra cool character Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli (played brilliantly by actor Henry Winkler) had his bravery challenged in the show's fifth season opener set in Hollywood. Fonz would answer said challenge by donning a pair of water skis and jumping over a shark kept in a confined area in the water. Many TV fans speculated that the long running TV series lost quite a bit (if not all) of its folksy luster after that episode. Hence the phrase "jumping the shark" becoming a euphemism for much that becomes passé.

Which brings me to the horrific shooting which took place at the Washington DC Navy Yard on Monday, where gunman Aaron Alexis killed 12 people before police took him out in a gun battle. Whenever a tragic shooting takes place (and let's face, there have been several high-profile incidents over the past 3-4 years), the "gun control" demagoguery hits a fever pitch. As soon as news broke of the Navy Yard shooting, speculation was abound as to who would first politicize this awful tragedy in the name of "gun control."

It didn't take us long to find out.

ANOTHER shooting in WASH D.C. PLEASE America do nothing to promote gun control .because thats how we roll until we have all shot each other— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) September 16, 2013

Kudos to Twitchy for capturing the text of Winkler's tweet before he apparently deleted it.

With that statement, Winkler made history on Monday in that he is now only person to ever jump the shark both literally and figuratively.

In my mind, the leftist mantra of "gun control" pretty much "jumped the shark" with this incident in general. You see, the Navy Yard was one of those "gun free" zones. However, many employees there are proficient in firearm usage. If those who were trained for such usage were allowed to legally carry on the grounds, do you think for one second that Mr. Alexis, a subcontractor with the Navy Yard, would have followed through with this rampage? Highly unlikely, especially when you consider he would know full well whether or not employees were allowed to carry.

Those who continue to cluck about "gun control" need to be more intellectually honest with themselves. There was a mass shooting in Chicago on Thursday where 13 people were killed. But Chicago has some of the more restrictive gun regulations in the country, so one has to wonder how such an thing could have happened. In addition, this story didn't get nearly the coverage that the Navy Yard shooting received. The reasoning behind that? Well, a slightly more cynical person could ascertain that it doesn't fit in neatly to the ol' "gun control" narrative.

Again, I might listen intently to the gun grabbers if they actually conveyed a solution which would appear to have a chance at curbing gun violence. But pretty much every proposal that has been bandied about over the past few years would not have prevented the high profile tragedies in Tucson, AZ, Aurora, CO, Newtown, CT or Washington DC. And given that there are an average of nearly 12 victims of gun violence every weekend in Chicago, we have concrete evidence that tighter gun restrictions aren't a deterrent. Not that we'll ever hear that narrative among the left and their media cohorts.


A whole lotta nuthin'

Remember when Gov. Mark Dayton was lauded for exhibiting grand leadership during the negotiations for a new Vikings stadium in the spring of 2012? The spin was his desire for a new stadium was so passionate that he was able to bring DFLers and Republicans together on a plan to not burden the taxpayers for the state's $348 million share of (as veteran scribe Pat Reusse describes it) Taj Ma Zygi. A study showed that charitable gambling via e-pulltabs was all the rage and that any taxes paid would be strictly voluntary. So of the $35 million that was to be raised in the first year of tax revenue derived from e-pulltabs?

Yeah, it netted a Blutarsky-esque 0.0.

“To take an untried source of revenue for the sole source of funding for a major project is ill-advised,” he said Friday. “That’s my number one take-away from this.”

Well my number one take-away is the fact that the original projections of $35 million per year was highly suspect, yet those warnings were largely ignored.

But hey, the good news is Gov. Dayton and his fellow Dems can now execute their favorite fallback position: increasing taxes.

By May, Dayton and legislators came up with alternate plan: a one-time cigarette tax and the closing of a corporate tax “loophole.”

Oh, and remember how Dayton pitched a fit over the fact owner Zygi Wilf was going to use revenue earned from personal seat licenses to offset a portion of their approximately $477 million share? The Gov's still not over it.

Minnesota Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf should have to pay a large portion of the team's share of a new football stadium from their own pockets instead of using money made from fees charged to season ticket holders, Gov. Mark Dayton wrote Monday in a letter to the government authority supervising its construction.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is in final negotiations with Vikings officials over use and development contracts for the $1 billion, downtown Minneapolis stadium. A financial analysis released last week by the authority found the Wilfs have sufficient personal resources to cover the $477 million team share.

As part of the stadium funding plan that lawmakers passed in 2012, the Vikings are allowed to sell personal seat licenses, which give the holder the right to buy tickets for specified seats in a stadium for any event, including NFL games. Personal seat licenses are common throughout the NFL and have been used as a way for teams to pay for new stadiums.

But in a letter to authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen, Dayton expressed concern over a recent Minnesota Public Radio News report that concluded the Wilfs would likely be able to cover most of the $477 million without spending their own money. Instead, they could use the seat licenses, naming rights to the stadium and a roughly $200 million NFL contribution.

"I strongly urge you to negotiate a final financial agreement, which requires the Vikings' owners to provide a significant share of their financial contribution from their own resources, and not from Vikings' fans through the sale of expensive personal seat licenses," Dayton wrote to Kelm-Helgen.

Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley said the price of seat licenses is among a handful of items still at issue in the team's negotiations with the authority. "These licenses were discussed during the legislative process, they were anticipated and authorized by the legislation," Bagley said.
Since there is no legal recourse to alter a bill passed by the legislature and subsequently signed by the Governor, Dayton's continued insistence that the Wilfs not use PSL funds towards their cost of the stadium comes off as nothing more than high-profile petulance. Heck, the governor admitted last year he didn't fully understand all that was contained in the bill he signed, so this would also seem to be some sort of face-saving exercise. As Rep. Pat Garofalo stated, Gov. Dayton appears to pore over legislation "the same way we all read service agreements on iTunes."


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A view on Kill.

When University of Minnesota Gophers football coach Jerry Kill suffered a seizure shortly before halftime of Saturday's win over Western Illinois, speculation ran rampant about Kill's immediate future. Having endured seizures (a byproduct of his epilepsy) for ten years, Kill knows they can happen without warning.

I personally like Kill and have been pleased with the no-nonsense approach he brings to football program. I'm not naive enough to think the Gophers will be Rose Bowl bound in the next 2-3 years, but I am hopeful that a more high profile bowl game than, say, the Meineke Car Care Bowl is on the horizon.

Unfortunately, with Kill's well documented in-game seizures, there's legitimate concern whether or not he should continue coaching. In fact there have been two local sports commentators (Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Jeff Dubay of 1500 ESPN) who have been harshly criticized over expressing the opinion that perhaps Kill should move on (At one point the backlash got so nasty against Dubay that some were taking shots at his own prior addiction to crack cocaine). Why Kill himself entertained the possibility that he wouldn't force the University to make a the decision on his job status if he continued to miss an entire half of coaching football due to his illness (emphasis mine).

"You can’t be the head football coach and miss half of a game. I mean, I’m not stupid, I realize that.

“If I was doing those things, the university wouldn’t have to fire me. I’d walk away if I didn’t think I could do it. But that won’t happen because you’re talking to a guy that wasn’t supposed to be here anyway.”

That was a quote from a interview Kill gave over the summer, a few months before his most recent in-game incident.

This past year, after being forthright regarding his struggle with epilepsy, a specialist at the Mayo Clinic offered to lend a hand. Since then, Kill followed a strict regimented plan of diet and exercise combined with the proper medication. Thankfully it helped alleviate the frequency of his seizures. However, the stress that comes with coaching a major college football team can cause those episodes to reoccur, like this past Saturday. The bigger concern should now shift to how will it affect Kill the football coach to how it may permanently alter the life of Kill the man. If seizures continue to occur at the most inopportune times, the cumulative affect has to take its toll. And while the University can't fire Kill because of his condition (the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 outlaws such a practice), said condition may dissuade prominent recruits from attending Minnesota, thus hampering the program's ability to win. Eventually it may well reach the point where the University could fire Kill based on performance.

The bottom line is there is no easy resolution to this difficult situation. As of right now, U of M athletic director Norwood Teague is behind Kill 100% and is willing to battle through this. While that's all fine and good, there also should be no reason that Kill supporters should be so indignant if others convey doubts over Kill remaining the coach. There are certainly more important things at stake than a winning football program. A man's long-term health comes to mind.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Box Score of the week

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis hit his 50th home run of the season on Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays. He also accomplished another feat which only two other players in MLB history have achieve in a single season.


With his 50th HR last week, Chris Davis became only the third player in Major League Baseball history to have at least 50 homers and 40 doubles in a single season. The other two players? Albert Belle and some guy named George Herman "Babe" Ruth. 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Don't you give it up before your time is due; It's true.....

Another news intensive week, so I'll get to as much as I can in this two-hour extravaganza we call The Closer. As usual, I will be on the air from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time. 

At 2:00, local political activist/blogger/podcast guru/all-around good guy Walter Hudson will check in via phone. Walter has espoused very insightful comments on some recent local political news (e.g. former MN GOP chair Pat Shortridge's interview with Minn Post, the "anti-bullying" bill, etc.) so well discuss further on the show today.

I will also talk about the latest news regarding Syria, as well as commemorate the 9/11 anniversary and then celebrate the end of Anthony Weiner's career in electoral politics. 

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, or check us out viaiheart radio

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.....


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Can't help himself

Former Presidential candidate (and current octogenarian crackpot) Ron Paul just can't help himself.

While most people in this country yesterday mourned the loss of thousands of their fellow citizens in the worst terrorist attack on American soil, Paul regurgitated his typical bilge of how American is at fault.

We're supposed to believe that the perpetrators of 9/11 hated us for our freedom and goodness. In fact, that crime was blowback for decades of US intervention in the Middle East. And the last thing we needed was the government's response: more wars, a stepped-up police and surveillance state, and drones.

So is Dr. Paul suggesting that had we just taken our lumps on 9/11/01 and then not responded to said attacks that everything would've been hunky dory, clean slate and all that? Seriously, I have never been given a coherent response to the inquiry of what should have been America's next move after the 9/11 attacks.

Look, I have no doubt that Paul passionately believes everything he says about America's foreign policy. And while he may have a legitimate point regarding certain areas, he loses me when he chooses to demagogue the issue on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Again, many choose to take that day to mourn and also remember how they felt on that awful day in 2001. Paul has 364 other days in which he can hammer this issue.

As a conservative Republican, I'm often told how my party will find it difficult to win meaningful elections if we don't occasionally nominate candidates who espouse some of the principles held dear by small "l" libertarians. Personally I have zero issue with that given that I've found myself to be more libertarian on a good number of issues. But when we're talking about the GOP being a "big tent", I'll say this: There is absolutely no room for 9/11 "trutherism" or antisemitism in this party. Just check out some of the sheer lunacy on display in the comment section of Paul's Facebook page, which is where I pulled the quote attributed to him.

In closing, I believe David "Iowahawk" Burge said it best when commenting on the prospects of Ron Paul's son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, one day running for President:


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A blessed existence

Some neighbors (who also happen to be dear friends) of ours snapped the following photograph on Tuesday morning:

You'll notice on the right hand side of the picture the row of houses. The fifth one over is our home, so it appears the double rainbow is going right through our house. The symbolism is astounding since we've felt doubly blessed due to certain life events which have taken place over the past week. 

Our cup indeed runneth over. 


Monday, September 09, 2013

Box Score of the week

This week we're looking at a matchup pitting the California Angles and the Kansas City Royals from June 1991.


At the age of 39 years and 264 days, the Angels' Dave Winfield hits for the cycle, which made him the oldest player in MLB history to accomplish such a feat. That record still stands today. 


Sunday, September 08, 2013

Beyond ghoulish

I'm as passionate a sports fan as there is. I'm even embarrassed to say that my mood on a given day can be altered (albeit ever so slightly) by how my favorite club fares on said day.

This is never more evident than on NFL Sundays.

As a long suffering Vikings fan, I have trouble dozing off some Sunday evenings if my team goes down in defeat.  But thankfully I'm pretty much over it by the time I'm eating my Monday morning cereal. After all, the Vikes' performance has little bearing on what I need to do on a daily basis in terms of employment duties, household tasks, etc. And as a faith-filled Christian, I take rather seriously that commandment "Thou shall have no other gods before me."

With all that said, I was utterly horrified and, to be frank, severely pissed off when I read the following Twitter message sent to ESPN's Samantha Steele Ponder, wife of Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder.

@mikeywaldo: Dear @samsteeleponder please Steve McNair @cponder7. Thanks.

The insinuation seemed clear. You see, former NFL QB McNair was murdered by his girlfriend back in July 2009, so this vile piece of filth that calls himself "@mikeywaldo" wanted Ponder to endure similar punishment for his poor play in the Vikings' opening day loss to the Detroit Lions.

The @mikeywaldo Twitter account appears to have been suspended/deleted (undoubtedly related to that ghoulish tweet) as has Sam Ponder's response. In case you were wondering, Mrs. Ponder said something along the lines of  "to clarify, you want me to murder my husband bc you don't like how he plays a game you watch on TV? #GodBlessYou."

That creep "Mikey" simply responded with a "yes."

I know for a fact that had someone suggested I kill my spouse, there's very little chance I would have reacted with the same dignity and decorum Samantha Ponder displayed. For that, I give full kudos to her.

By the way, if I ever turn into a "fan" in the motif of a "@mikeywaldo", I've given my wife full permission to commit me to some sort of mental institution.


Sometimes you twist, always insist that you know a way....

It has literally been 28 days since I've done a broadcast from the Patriot bunker. Nevertheless, I'm certain I'll remember how to get there for today's edition of The Closer. I will be back in my usual 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time slot.

Obviously I'll weigh in on the Obama administration's push for some sort of intervention in Syria and where Congress stands on it, as well as any new developments, etc.

Then at 2:00 I will be joined by Josiah Ryan, who is the editor-in-chief of the site Campus Reform. Mr. Ryan's organization caught on video a Michigan St. professor bashing Republicans on the first day of class.

That professor has since been suspended (with pay), so we'll get an update from Mr. Ryan on where it goes from here.

Outside of that, who knows? It's the first Sunday of the 2013 NFL regular season so I will undoubtedly keep tabs on how my Vikings are faring in Detroit. 

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, or check us out viaiheart radio

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.....


Thursday, September 05, 2013

Quick Hits: Volume LXXV

- Say, does anyone recall the 2012 campaign when GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney called Russia "our number one geopolitical foe?" How about Romney continually pointing out that the monstrosity known as Obamacare would not be implemented in the timetable the Obama administration had set and that more and more Americans supported the law's repeal? And Mr. Romney also suggested that the auto industry in his home state of Michigan would be better off going through a structured bankruptcy as opposed to accepting government bailouts. Remember all that?

Many of Romney's friends, staff and supporters certainly do.

Ten months after Mitt Romney shuffled off the national stage in defeat — consigned, many predicted, to a fate of instant irrelevance and permanent obscurity — Republicans are suddenly celebrating the presidential also-ran as a political prophet.

From his widely mocked warnings about a hostile Russia to his adamant opposition to the increasingly unpopular implementation of Obamacare, the ex-candidate’s canon of campaign rhetoric now offers cause for vindication — and remorse — to Romney’s friends, supporters, and former advisers.

“I think about the campaign every single day, and what a shame it is who we have in the White House,” said Spencer Zwick, who worked as Romney’s finance director and is a close friend to his family. “I look at things happening and I say, you know what? Mitt was actually right when he talked about Russia, and he was actually right when he talked about how hard it was going to be to implement Obamacare, and he was actually right when he talked about the economy. I think there are a lot of everyday Americans who are now feeling the effects of what [Romney] said was going to happen, unfortunately.”

I clearly recall President Obama mocking Romney's stance on Russia by saying that his foreign policy was stuck in the 1980s. By the way, what's the progress on extraditing Edward Snowden from Russia, Mr. President? And how about those deadlines for certain facets of Obamacare? Oh, and bailing out the auto industry has revitalized Detroit, right?

Speaking of the October foreign policy debate, I pretty much had forgotten about another concern Romney raised that evening.

(Romney) briefly expressed concern over Islamic extremists taking control of northern Mali — an obscure reference that was mocked on Twitter at the time, including by liberal comedian Bill Maher. Three months later, France sent troops into the country at the behest of the Malian president, bringing the conflict to front pages around the world.

Sure, Romney may have been vindicated on a lot of key issues impacting the U.S. But until he's able to defend his 1960s high school prank when he cut a high school classmate's hair or the fact his wife Ann had the audacity to eschew working outside the home in order to raise five sons or driving a car with a dog-occupied kennel strapped atop the vehicle, he's not fit to be Commander in Chief or something.

- As a rabid Minnesota Vikings fan, I, by default, root feverishly against the Green Bay Packers nearly every time they play. But on the rare occasion where a Packers victory would benefit the Vikings? Sure, I suck it up and become a Packer backer for a day (sans wearing a foam block of cheese on my head; I have my limits).

With all that said, the Green Bay Packers may well have my unconditional support on October 13 when they take on the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Why?

The NFL may have spiked the White House’s request for Obamacare PR help — but the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens just called an audible.

The team has signed onto efforts to market the health law to Marylanders, according to an announcement from Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and officials running the state’s Obamacare insurance exchange, known as Maryland Health Connection.

I'm sure Matt Birk is grateful he retired from the Ravens after last season.

- I was saddened by the news that former Minnesota GOP senator Rod Grams has entered home hospice care. I was told last year that Grams was battling cancer and that his prognosis was up in the air. Sadly, the chemotherapy used to treat his colon cancer has since proven ineffective due to the disease metastasizing in his liver.

As a life long Twin Cities native, I remember Grams well as co-anchor of the KMSP Channel 9 evening news from 1982 thru 1991. He left KMSP and made a successful bid for U.S. House in 1992. Two years later, upon the retirement of Senator Dave Durenberger, Grams defeated Democrat Ann Wynia in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race. At the time, Grams had become the first House freshman to be elected to the Senate in 22 years. In fact, Grams and former Kansas Senator Sam Brownback (elected to the Senate in 1996) are the only two politicians to hold that distinction over the past 40 years. Unfortunately, Grams lost his reelection bid in 2000 to Mark Dayton. He would never again hold elected office.

The majority of people I know who have associated with Grams consider him one of the more genuinely decent human beings around. Even in a nasty business like politics, Grams somehow stayed dignified even when hitting an opponent on his/her questionable record. The last time Grams ran for political office was in 2006, when he took on long time incumbent Congressman Jim Oberstar. In a solid blue Minnesota congressional district in what turned out to be a miserable electoral year for Republicans, Grams still came out swinging as only he could. At the end of a debate with Oberstar, Grams calmly questioned the Congressman's residential status, going so far as to produce a property tax statement indicating a Potomac, MD home as his "permanent residence." The reaction from Oberstar was epic.

As Grams enters his final days on this earth, he appears ready to leave with his dignity intact.

"The decision became evident, as far as my faith and where I'm going from here," Grams said by phone. "I always feel my last breath here is my first breath in heaven, and I'm very comfortable with that."

Is it strange that I will miss someone whom I've spoken to for maybe 60 seconds in my entire life?


Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Serious (and not so serious) Syria inquiries

It would appear that some sort of U.S. military action (the Obama administration is hellbent on avoiding the phrase "act of war") will take place against Syria.

Despite this potential intervention being incredibly unpopular among the American people, said operation has bipartisan support at least among Congressional leaders. Personally, I would prefer there being a way where this can be avoided. However, I can't say I am adamantly opposed to a response either, given that radical Islamic elements may acquire nuclear weapons if the U.S. does nothing.

Several thoughts have gone through my head the past week, so I will attempt to convey them here (in no particular order). 

- The President boxed himself in last year when he indicated the use of biological and/or chemical weapons is a red line that must not be crossed by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Whether the President fully contemplated the weight of his statements is anybody's guess. But his actions since June (when chemical weapons were allegedly used against rebel forces looking to oust al-Assad) would suggest that he never really thought the regime would cross that proverbial red line. It's almost as if this potential military action is merely an exercise in saving face. Hence, the President used house money (i.e. America's reputation) when conveying those warnings.

- There were members of Congress who were indignant over the possibility that President Obama might bypass them and act unilaterally. Of course, the comeback from Obama apologists was Bush did the same thing concerning the war in Iraq. That is utterly false. Congress voted to give President Bush the authority to conduct the Iraqi conflict as his administration saw fit. It was only when things went south in terms of the war's popularity that the leftist politicians bailed, knowing full well the mainstream media wouldn't call them on it.

Anyhow, there was no way Obama wouldn't consult Congress. It was his one opportunity to avoid the potential Syrian conflict altogether by having Congress (especially the GOP-led House) not sign on to this (which is a distinct possibility). Therefore, he can lay blame at the feet of Republicans (his favorite pastime) while also placating Constitutional purists.

Heck, even if Congress gives its blessing, President Obama may well use the matter as a cudgel to get other things done, i.e. raising of the debt ceiling. Since sequestration will take effect next month, in turn hitting hard the Pentagon budget, House Republicans would have to acquiesce to a debt ceiling increase to pay for a conflict that could easily cost billions of dollars.

- There's been a popular chanting point among the isolationist wing of the Ron Paul "WIBERTY!" crowd concerning the Syrian situation. The theory is the Democrats (and their supporters) will suddenly become the "chicken hawks" while the GOP and its ilk will all of a sudden be the staunch anti-war zealots. Both scenarios would be a complete role reversal from the Iraqi conflict. Meanwhile, the "WIBERTY!" crowd can lay claim to how they've been the only section of the populous who has been consistent on matters concerning war or military intervention.

Alas, it's not that simple.

Lest we forget a good number of the pro-Iraq war Congressional Republicans were swept out of office in 2006 and 2008. But when the GOP regained control of the House in 2010 and made a dent in the Dem majority in the Senate that same election, many of the new elected officials were of the Tea Party/libertarian wing of the party. Therefore, the fact more Republicans might oppose intervention in Syria has more to do with another sect within the party outside the McCain/Graham/Boehner/Cantor establishment wing.

- Speaking of war opposition, where are all protesters drawing Hitler mustaches on the Commander in Chief or putting the word "Murderer" beneath his portrait? And what about media darling Cindy Sheehan, a grieving Gold Star Mother who was used as a prop at every opportunity to make the case against "Bush's war?" After all, Mrs. Sheehan did weigh in on a potential war in Syria. So why hasn't she been given a platform here?

Oh that's right. There's a Democrat occupying the Oval Office these days.

- President Bush's most vocal critics regarding the Iraq war often bemoaned the lack of a strategy despite the plan being laid out incessantly. Bush (again, for better or worse) believed in "regime change", in that a dictatorial government (in this case, Saddam Hussein's regime) would be overthrown in favor of a democratic system where the citizens would be allowed to choose their leadership. Once that government was in place, the U.S. military would ensure security until the Iraqi military would be up to the task (hence the Bush administration mantra of "when they stand up, we'll stand down"). Unfortunately, the amount of sectarian violence waged by the insurgents was woefully underestimated.

With all that in mind, what exactly is the objective for a military strike in Syria and how do we avoid the same miscalculations? We've heard the goal is to send a message to the likes of Iran, North Korea, Hezbollah and any other country/organization that America will not tolerate the use of biological & chemical weapons on innocent people. If indeed that is the goal of this operation, is bombing an aspirin factory or launching a million dollar missile into an empty tent and hitting a camel in the butt going to send the desired message? Highly unlikely. The prevailing thought is to launch a big enough military operation to impact the direction of the Syrian civil war, ultimately removing al-Assad. Then what? At this point, the majority of the rebel forces looking to take out al-Assad are al-Qaeda subsidiaries, similar to what the U.S. was attempting to drive out of Iraq. Do we honestly want another country in the Middle East to fall under rule of a radical Islamic movement?

Unfortunately, the opportunity to turn over Syria to a moderate faction of rebels dissipated earlier this year. Since many of the "moderate" forces are now on the sidelines, the only way for them to wrest any meaningful control would be for the current rebel forces and the al-Assad regime to wipe each other out. It doesn't appear that the Obama administration is willing to let such a scenario play out.

One thing all parties and ideologies can agree upon: Any decision made will not come without a certain amount of anguish.


Monday, September 02, 2013

Box Score of the week

The then California Angels visited the Bronx to take on the New York Yankees in May 1996.


Mariano Rivera will be officially enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July 2019. He'll take his rightful spot in the Hall due to the fact he is the most dominant closer in MLB history. The game I linked to this week was where he notched his first of a record 647 (and counting) saves. 


Sunday, September 01, 2013

You're gonna take away my energy....

This is the final Sunday until February without NFL football and the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer. 

From 1:00 until 3:00 PM today, you can listen to the MN Voters Alliance live from the Minnesota State Fair. If you're in to bad Jesse Ventura impersonations by one host or boisterous interruptions of guests by the other host, then this broadcast is for you!

If you happen to be out at the fair today, feel free to stop by and say hello to the guys. The AM 1280 broadcast center is located on Machinery Hill, which is at the north end of the fairgrounds, specifically near the corner of Underwood Street & Murphy Avenue (next door to the Home Depot building; see map here). 

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, or check us out via iheart radio

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

Until then.....