Thursday, August 29, 2013

NARN at the Fair: Day Eight

It's always bittersweet when I conduct my final broadcast at the MN State Fair. Tonight I'll be on the air from 5:00 until 6:00 Central Time.

I have been looking forward to this show since I booked it a couple of weeks ago, as Caitlyn Stenerson and Angie Hasek will join me for the entire hour.



Photo courtesy of Caitlyn Stenerson


These young ladies had the experience of a lifetime the first two weeks in August as they traveled on a missions trip to Israel! Since I've never been to the Holy Land myself, I plan on taking the whole broadcast time to live vicariously through Caitlyn and Angie.

Please feel free to check out their respective blogs discussing their journey:

Caitlyn's blog.

Angie's blog.


If you happen to be out at the fair this evening, feel free to stop by and say hello. We're 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!

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

Until then.....

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

NARN at the Fair: Day Six

Hard to believe the 2013 MN State Fair is almost half over. Nevertheless, I'll endure the heat index for this evening's special weeknight edition of the NARN. I will be live on the air from 5:00 until 6:00 PM. 

Right at 5:06, Congressman John Kline of MN Congressional District Two will join the program. With all the difficult issues (e.g. Syria, immigration reform, hearings on the IRS scandal, Obamacare delay, etc.) facing Washington politicians, we should have no problem filling at least two segments with Rep. Kline. 

From there, who knows? I'm ripe for a surprise special guest or two.


If you happen to be out at the fair this evening, feel free to stop by and say hello. We're 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!

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

Until then.....

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Box Score of the week

This week we'll check out a box score from this past weekend when the Detroit Tigers took on the New York Mets in interleague play.

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The starting pitchers in this game, Max Scherzer for Detroit and Matt Harvey for New York, also happened to be the starters for this season's All Star Game. That is the first time in MLB history where All Star Game starting pitchers faced each other in a regular season game in the same year. 

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Friday, August 23, 2013

NARN at the Fair: Day Two

It's a power-packed show this evening as Mitch Berg and myself will co-host today's edition of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, live from the MN State Fair. We will be on the air from 4:00 until 6:00 PM

The guest lineup is as follows:

4:00 - MarJenna McWilliam, who on Wednesday was crowned the 60th Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

4:30 - MN State Senator Roger Chamberlain.

5:00 - MN House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt.

5:30 - US Senate candidate Mike McFadden.


If you happen to be out at the fair this evening, feel free to stop by and say hello. We're 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!

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

Until then.....

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

NARN at the Fair: Day One

It's become an annual tradition that the Northern Alliance Radio Network will be on live weeknights at the Minnesota State Fair.

It's opening day of the Fair today, and I'll be kicking of NARN's programming from 4:00 until 6:00 Central Time this evening.

Right at 4:06 (we're on the Salem Radio Network clock), Siri Freeh will stop by for 2-3 segments.




Having just wrapped up a successful year as Ms. Minnesota, Siri is now a "civilian", so she'll fill us in on what she's up to these days as well as what the future holds.

Then at 5:06, MN State Senate Minority David Hann will join the program. With a special legislative session on the horizon, Sen. Hann will fill us in on the agenda as well as look back at the DFL having gone wild during the regular session.


If you happen to be out at the fair this evening, feel free to stop by and say hello. We're 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!

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

Until then.....

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Quick Hits: Volume LXXIV

-Not gonna lie to ya. When I first heard the news that leftist talking head Ed Schultz was returning to weeknights on MSNBC, my first reaction was "When did Ed leave weeknights?"

Starting Aug. 26, "The Ed Show" will air weeknights in the 5 p.m. slot currently held by "Hardball" with Chris Matthews. "Hardball," which airs live at 5 p.m. and runs again at 7 p.m., will now air exclusively in the latter time slot.

Heh. MSNBC folks often talk of "Faux News" personalities only appeal to a monochromatic audience, yet the so-called "progressive" network now has two white, sexagenarians in key weeknight time slots.

“Chris Matthews and the ‘Hardball’ team have been pulling double duty for years. This move will concentrate the 'Hardball' audience to one key time period and enhance the flow of our evening programming,” (MSNBC President Phil) Griffin said in a statement. “Ed Schultz is a force of nature and an important voice to the MSNBC audience. I can’t wait to have him back on weeknights.”
 
Yeah, considering Schultz was dumped from the 8:00 pm Eastern Time slot in favor of an "intellectual" (the lily white Chris Hayes, who embarrassingly misidentified the party affiliation of former Alabama Gov. George Wallace) I'm sure Griffin is ruing that move, thus he's trying to save a little face in bringing Schultz back to weeknights. Placing the smarmy Hayes into prime time was a gross miscalculation given the miniscule ratings.

Welcome back, Ed. It's like you never left.....because it's hard to be aware of a lineup shuffle if so few indulge in said lineup.


-After intentionally beaning New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez with a pitch Sunday evening, Boston Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster has been suspended five games and fined $2,500.

Dempster threw one pitch behind A-Rod's knees on Sunday night and two more inside at Fenway Park. Then his 3-0 pitch struck Rodriguez's left elbow pad and ricocheted off his back.

"It sucks any time you get suspended, it's not a fun feeling to have," Dempster said. "[Not appealing] has to do with just taking my suspension and putting it [in the] past. There's no point in carrying out an appeal process. We've got other things to worry about."

Actually the timing is quite fortuitous. The Red Sox have two off days over the next seven, so no other Red Sox starter has to concern himself with pitching on short rest in Dempster's absence.

In my opinion, Dempster's fine and suspension should have been larger. Not because of the actual offense of throwing at Rodriguez, but more because he made the unlikeable A-Rod into a sympathetic character.


-One of my favorite times of the year begins tomorrow. Yes, the Minnesota State Fair commences early Thursday morning!

As has become the tradition over the past few years, the Northern Alliance Radio Network will be broadcasting weekday evenings the duration of the fair (except for Labor Day) while taking weekends off.

Tomorrow evening from 4:00 until 6:00, I will be live on the air with a solo endeavor (guests TBD). Then on Friday, Mitch and I have a power-packed lineup from 4-6, as we welcome the new Princess Kay of the Milky Way at 4:00, MN State Senator Roger Chamberlain at 4:30 and MN House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt at 5:00.

Please stop on by if you're out at the Fair. We're located near the corner of Underwood St. & Murphy Ave., which is on Machinery Hill at the north end of the fairgrounds (right next door to the Home Depot building).

Hope to see ya!

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Torn

Although I am not a parent, I am told by many who are moms and dads that being a parent is by far the most difficult job you will ever love. It's not uncommon for parents to convey their concerns (or in some cases, downright fear) about imparting enough in their children to ensure the kids are functional members of society.

Unfortunately, there are also those who weren't cut out to be parents. Rarely does a day go by where we don't hear of a horror story of how certain parents abuse and/or neglect their children. When that happens, I'm all for some sort of social intervention to ensure that the kids are able to be protected from an untenable situation into which they were born.

While there are certainly situations where parents' treatment of children can unequivocally be characterized as abuse, there are some methods which aren't so black and white. For example, if parents of the Christian faith learn their child is a homosexual (a sin, according to the parents' faith), they may opt for their son/daughter to undergo therapy to overcome that condition. In their mind, it would be no different than helping a child be cured of other ailments, whether it's anger issues or kleptomania. It would be these situations where I would be loathe to accept any kind of government intervention hindering these treatments. Nevertheless, the state government in New Jersey saw fit in having a say in a child's "gay conversion therapy." (emphasis mine)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Monday (signed) a bill that will ban the practice of trying to convert gay children to become heterosexual, according to an aide.

Christie’s office had previously made clear that the governor doesn’t believe in gay conversion therapy, but it had not said whether he would sign the bill passed by the legislature.

“I still have those concerns,” he plans to say Monday. “Government should tread carefully into this area, and I do so here reluctantly. I have scrutinized this piece of legislation with that concern in mind.”

But, Christie will note, the American Psychological Association has said that gay conversion therapy — also known as reparative therapy — can lead to mental health issues and substance abuse.

Sure, it can. With any kind of therapy that attempts to change and/or correct behavior, there are no guarantees of an ultimate cure. But what percentage chance is there that such therapy will lead to drug abuse or mental illness? If broached with a number, parents would then determine if it's worth pressing forward with such treatment. It would seem quite obvious that any parent wouldn't be all that interested in swapping their kid's one issue for an entirely different ailment.

“I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate,” Christie will say. “Based upon this analysis, I sign this bill into law.”
I could almost stomach some sort of legislation like this if indeed there was ample evidence of "serious risks." Again, with children being so vulnerable in our society, we are obligated to ensure their well-being. But given what Gov. Christie is saying here, it seems as though he's speaking in generalities (again, no specific percentages of failure, cited studies, etc.). It may also be due to the fact that Christie believes homosexuality is not a "choice." Therefore he's of the mindset that one should not be subject to therapy which attempts to alleviate something which is innate.

Last year, California attempted a similar ban on gay conversion therapy but it was blocked by a U.S. appeals court. No indication as to whether the New Jersey law could be subject to similar litigation.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Box Score of the week

The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals have a long standing rivalry, so we'll feature a game pitting those two franchises.

Let's go really old school and check out the regular season finale in 1942.

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Last week, the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a 50 game stretch where they compiled a record of 42-8. Such a winning percentage in that amount of games had not occurred since the 1942 St. Louis Cardinals finished that season winning 42 of their final 50 games. This week's box score is the final game of that 50-game stretch. 

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Very tired and I'm not feeling right......

Today I will be taking a rare and well deserved break from a grueling one broadcast per week schedule on my radio program. In my stead, the lovely and talented EJ Haust will be taking the reigns from 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central.

Per EJ herself:


We will be talking about the NSA, the ACA, the IRS and a few other acronyms in the news! As always, I like to find the news that's "flying under the radar."

EJ also threw out a teaser regarding a guest joining the program at 1:30. Who will it be? Heck, I don't even know.



So please give EJ a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics she plans 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.

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.....

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Friday, August 16, 2013

My childhood memories slowly swirled past like the wind through the trees.

From 1975 thru 1994, I lived on the east side of St. Paul, about a mile or two from the 3M complex. It was, for the most part, a quiet, friendly middle-class haven where there was little fear of being outside at dusk. As a pre-teen, I had the standard directive of heading home when the street lights came on (in the summer, that usually meant 9:00!).

My mom still lives in the home she purchased for us in July 1986, which was two months before I was to begin my senior year of high school. Even though I moved away from the area nearly twenty years ago, I still visit my mother on a regular basis. With each passing year, I've witnessed the ol' neighborhood becoming more dilapidated and crime ridden. Long time businesses like the Perkins restaurant on Old Hudson Road or the local car wash on Ruth St. & Hwy 94 have shut down, while their respective parking lots look like messy gardens in desperate need of weeding. Meanwhile, robberies of neighborhood convenience stores (as well as home burglaries) have become commonplace.

While all that sounds depressing enough, I can't tell you how anguishing it was to hear of a recent violent incident that has gained literally worldwide attention.

Four young males have been arrested after the senseless, brutal beating of a man on a late-night walk Sunday on St. Paul's East Side, police said Friday.

The victim, Ray Widstrand, 26, of St. Paul, reportedly was in critical condition at Regions Hospital with potentially fatal brain swelling.

Police found Widstrand lying on the ground, bleeding from his nose and mouth, his pants removed and shirt torn, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Ramsey County attorney's office.

"An innocent man was walking down the street and brutally attacked by a group of youth," said Sgt. Paul Paulos, a police spokesman. "He was out for a walk and decided to go through this group and was assaulted and knocked unconscious."

This particular story has gained such attention for the wrong reasons. With all the uproar over a single youth being "gunned down" in Florida (i.e. Trayvon Martin; and I'm certainly not diminishing that tragic incident), where's the outrage over a white male being brutally attacked by multiple black youths? Is it not OK to speculate that this incident might have been racially motivated as well?

Certainly one may be tempted to chalk this up to being an isolated (albeit horrific and senseless) incident. But as was reported in the St Paul Pioneer Press on Thursday, residents constantly live in fear due to almost daily unrest in the area.

The firecracker-like gunshots at night have been more constant since the warm weather arrived in late May.

"You can see the flashes here and there," said Constance, not her real name because, as her mother put it to me, she "does not want to end up dead or the house burned down" if I identify her by name.

Fearing one day an errant bullet might strike her home, Constance's kids no longer watch the TV or play video games in the main-level living room. They are upstairs, hopefully away from the line of fire. Roving bands of youths congregate near the home her grandparents have owned for more than 80 years, brazenly blocking traffic or daring motorists to hit them.

Constance, who lives near the site where a 26-year-old man was brutally beaten by a gang of thugs Aug. 4 in St. Paul's Payne-Phalen neighborhood, feels as if she's living in Baghdad or Damascus, not in the Saintly City.

She has witnessed neighbors' doors and windows knocked down or broken by burglars who take off with TVs and other valuables. Other homes have been stripped of copper wiring. A few weeks ago, the single mother's 9-year-old son, shooting hoops at a nearby park, was roughed up by a group of juveniles for no reason.

The response to her calls to police about the gunfire and break-ins demoralized her to the point she no longer bothers to dial 911.

"The cops take their time coming and then don't do anything. It's a waste of time," she lamented Wednesday. "I just stay here and try to mind my own business, but if I had the money to do so, I would absolutely move out."
Truth be told, my eyes welled up with tears as I read the whole story. I can't imagine feeling like a prisoner in my own home to the point where I have to consciously be in a different area of the house by nightfall in hopes of avoiding a possible stray bullet.

On Thursday evening, hundred of east St Paul residents, as well as Mayor Chris Coleman, Police Chief Thomas Smith and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, gathered in the basement of the local church to discuss the ongoing concerns. Whether anything productive came from that meeting will yet be determined. In the meantime, the Police Chief emphasized that there will be at least 30 more police officers placed in the area.

With that being the case, how long before we start hearing excessive claims of police brutality? You'll know when it happens, too, as the Revs. Sharpton and Jackson will be in town posthaste....unlike when young Mr. Widstrand was brutally beaten.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Minor detour

Ever since the MN Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton approved public funding for a new Vikings stadium in May 2012, the project has been fraught with peril.

My good friend Mark Heuring broke it down Wednesday on how the revenue from e-pull tabs (revenue which was expected to cover the state's $327 million share) is looking even more dire.

Now it appears legal troubles facing the ownership group could possibly delay construction.

With groundbreaking on a new Minnesota Vikings stadium only weeks away, final approval of key development agreements has been put on hold to allow the state to conduct a more extensive background investigation into the team’s owners.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the public body overseeing the nearly $1 billion project, said Tuesday that it has retained Peter Carter of the Dorsey & Whitney law firm to lead a “due diligence” review of Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and his family’s real estate business. Carter has tried cases involving racketeering and performed similar investigations for some of the nation’s largest firms.

The review group, which will also include FTI Consulting, an international forensic accounting firm, will scrutinize Wilf family litigation in New Jersey and perform “extensive background checks” as well as review the NFL’s investigations of owner applications, the authority said in a written statement.

The deeper background check stems from a finding last week by a New Jersey Superior Court judge in a long-pending lawsuit against Wilf and the family’s real estate business. The judge said the family was guilty of fraud, breach of contract and violations of the state’s civil racketeering statute in connection with a real estate partnership.

If you're opposed to taxpayer funded stadiums like I am, I would temper any excitement about the possibility this project does not move forward. While it's true the Wilfs have to pony up $477 million of the nearly $1 billion stadium, their financing mechanisms are pretty well set in stone (unlike the state of Minnesota's). Right off the bat the Vikings have already secured a $200 "loan" from the NFL. I use quotation marks around the word loan simply because it's one the Vikings ownership group does not have to repay directly. It's a "G-4" loan, which is actually repaid from the visiting team's share of club seat revenues in the new stadium. In addition, the ever controversial revenue derived from "personal seat licenses" (a paid license that entitles the holder to the right to buy season tickets for a certain seat in a stadium) is approximately $40 million. Finally, naming rights of the new facility will also be quite lucrative, with estimates reaching $210 million (The San Francisco 49ers recently negotiated a $220 million package for naming rights to their new stadium). Add it all up and the Wilfs essentially have covered 450 of the $477 million for which they're responsible.

Given that Gov. Dayton felt duped by the Wilfs regarding PSLs as well as suffering the embarrassment of relying on weighted data touting e-pull tabs, I can't imagine he's as enthusiastic about the new facility as he was 15 months ago. Little matter, since this "due diligence" review of the Wilfs' real estate business seems little more than an attempt to assuage the concerns of the citizens.

The project is going forward whether we like it or not.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Box Score of the week.

The Cleveland Indians traveled to the Bronx to take on the New York Yankees.

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This past Sunday, Yankees closer (and future Hall of Famer) Mariano Rivera blew his third consecutive save opportunity in the ninth inning or later. Such a feat had not occurred since 1995, when then Yankees stopper John Wetteland pulled it off. This week's BOTW is the third game in Wetteland's ignominious accomplishment. 

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

We'll leave the TV and the radio behind; Don't you wonder what we'll find?

In my last Sunday broadcast until after Labor Day, it promises to be a power-packed edition of The Closer. As usual, we're on the air from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time.

Right at 1 PM, friend of the show/conservative blogger/all-around cool chick Katie Kieffer will call in to the program.



Katie will be discussing her latest endeavor, which is writing her first book! In about ten days, Katie will be leaving Minnesota and sequestering herself in a super secret location to complete said book, which is set to be released in the Spring of 2014.

Then at 1:30, I will be joined by my good friend Mark Heuring (aka Mr. Dilettante) for the duration of the program. Over the last two segments of the first hour we'll discuss the ineptitude of MN Gov. Mark Dayton & his fellow Dems and (if time permits) we'll also address the recent suspensions of 13 Major League Baseball players for using PEDs.

Then for the entire 2:00 hour, it's our annual NFC North preview! Since Mark is a Packer backer and I am a Vikings fan, it's the only division in the NFL that really matters.We'll take one segment to discuss each North team. We'll go in alphabetical order, which means it's Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay and then Minnesota.


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, 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 or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

DFL: 'D' is for "Do-Over"

Even when the Minnesota state legislature is out of session, the DFL can help but come off as utterly inept.

After requesting a "mulligan" on both the Senate vote for the tax bill and the Senate Finance Committee vote on daycare unionization this past legislative session, the DFL's top politician, Governor Mark Dayton, said on Thursday he's considering a special session to address another apparent mistake. This time it has to do with a farm equipment tax levied when putting together the aforementioned tax bill.

“No one wants to take responsibility for it,” said Dayton, who agreed to the tax as part of a much larger tax bill. “I was not aware of it, my staff was not aware of it until the next morning when the tax bill was already buttoned up.”

Ah, the ol' leftist mantra of "we have to pass a bill to see what's in it." That's always a winning strategy.

About six weeks ago, I asked Senator Dave Thompson (when he appeared as a guest on my radio show) if there would possibly be a special session to address the warehouse tax. That is one tax which is certain to hurt small-to-medium sized businesses, if not dissuade them into leaving Minnesota altogether. Thompson seriously doubted it would come to that because it would be an admission of failure by Gov. Dayton in addition to taxpayer money being spent on a special session. And while a special session may not be called for the purpose of repealing the warehouse tax, the Democrats definitely seem to be conveying an aura of failure when discussing the repeal of the farm equipment tax.

“Just one month after Democrats’ new taxes took effect, they are now admitting Republicans were right,” House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said in a statement Thursday. “Republicans agree that Democrats’ tax increases hurt Minnesota families and farmers and they should be repealed. By using (a) special session to fix their mistakes, consider this a do-over session for Democrats.”

Playing "do-over" was standard fare for the DFL during the regular session. Why break with tradition now?

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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

RIP PEDs?

With 13 more Major League Baseball players (including megastar Alex Rodriguez) having been suspended due to their link to performance enhancing drugs via the Biogenesis lab, there's actually hope that the issue may finally be curbed in baseball.

While there was never any question that the P.R. nightmare which baseball suffered was of great embarrassment to the Commissioner's office, it was going to take cooperation by the players and its union (MLBPA) to make sweeping reforms. Thankfully, the players now seem to be on board in eradicating the problem, starting with more stringent testing for PEDs as agreed to in the Collective Bargaining Agreement covering 2012 thru 2016.

While members of a union typically fall on the sword for their labor cohorts, the rampant PED use is where the line is drawn. What happens is borderline major leaguers who resort to using steroids potentially usurp their peers unfairly. As such, this jeopardizes the livelihood of those players who seek to get to the big leagues legitimately (i.e. chemical free). Union brotherhood is one thing but essentially taking food from another man's family trumps that every time.

So am I being naive to think this will completely curb steroid use in baseball? Perhaps. But at this point, I'm perfectly fine if it's severely reduced to the point that any positive test is merely an isolated incident. Dare to dream.

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Monday, August 05, 2013

RNC ultimatum

Yes, we know there's a left-wing bias in the mainstream media. That's been most obvious for three decades now. But what media outlets also crave is ratings, even if occasionally it comes at the risk of Republicans being shown in a favorable light (i.e. when broadcasting a live event where the obligatory selective editing isn't possible).

On Monday, the GOP took aim at two major news networks.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus has threatened to pull NBC and CNN's access to the 2016 Republican primary debates unless those companies pull their current Hillary Clinton-related film projects.

In open letters to the leadership of NBC Universal and CNN International, Priebus expressed his "deep disappointment" over those networks' decisions to produce films "promoting former Secretary Hillary Clinton ahead of her likely candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016."

Should the networks fail to pull those films by the RNC's Summer meeting on August 14, Priebus writes, he will "seek a binding vote of the RNC stating that the committee will neither partner with you in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates which you sponsor."

"As an American company you have every right to air programming of your choice. But as American citizens, certainly you recognize why many are astounded by your actions, which appear to be a major network's thinly-veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 election," Priebus wrote in his letters to NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt and CNN president Jeff Zucker.

Greenblatt announced last month that NBC was working on a miniseries about Hillary Clinton that will star Diane Lane
(Really? What, is Brooke Shields going to play former Attorney General Janet Reno? - ed.); two days later, POLITICO reported that CNN was at work on a feature-length documentary about the former Secretary of State, to be directed by Inside Job's Charles H. Ferguson.

What a refreshing change of pace that someone in the GOP is showing a little whiz and vinegar. Whether or not NBC or CNN ever gives favorable coverage to Republicans, the fact of the matter is they get better ratings when airing a GOP debate over, say, Dateline and Crossfire, respectively.

Are the pieces on Mrs. Clinton really worth losing key debates in the midst of a Presidential election season? Well, that's something the respective networks' brass will have to decide by August 14.

One could argue that the GOP would be hurting only themselves by limiting access to potential voters who regularly watch NBC or CNN. In my opinion, that's not nearly as salient an issue today. With multiple TV channels and internet streaming available to almost every American adult, there's certainly no shortage of venues by which to broadcast an event. CNN and NBC can dismiss the RNC's concerns all they want but they will do so at their own peril.

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Box Score of the week

It was 20 years ago yesterday when the Texas Rangers hosted the Chicago White Sox.

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Sunday, August 04, 2013

I hear voices but there's no one there; You speak to me in another language...

A lot to get to on this week's edition of The Closer, which will air in its normal 1:00 until 3:00 pm time slot.

Right off the bat, I will be joined via phone by my friend, fellow Ramsey resident and great legal mind Harry Niska. Last week a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against Minnesota's recently passed law forcing childcare businesses to unionize. Harry will weigh in on the ruling as well as convey where we go from here.

The rest of the program will focus on the news of the week, including Gov. Dayton's "Magical Mystery Tour", the first same-sex weddings in Minnesota and another Republican candidate to challenge Al Franken for U.S. Senate.


So please give me 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, 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 or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....

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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Never forget

As the clock struck Midnight on August 1, same-sex couples were legally allowed to be married in the state of Minnesota.

The issue of gay marriage in my home state has been one that has been bandied about since the early 2000s. I recall when then Gov. Tim Pawlenty implored the DFL-controlled Senate (the GOP held the House then, so they were ready to take on the issue) to pass a bill defining marriage as between one woman and one man, which he in turn would sign into law. Back then, Minnesota was pretty much a reflection of the rest of the country in that the citizens opposed gay marriage by a  near 2 to 1 margin. However, DFLers would not acquiesce to Pawlenty's plea nearly ten years ago, so the issue was moved off into the background.

Over the next 5+ years, the gay marriage issue has evolved to the point where the country is close to a 50-50 split. That doesn't happen by accident. It takes tremendous commitment to a cause in order to move the needle that far in a short amount of time. So exactly how did it happen? What I've seen is sheer demagoguery on the issue. Many "marriage equality" advocates used borderline Alinsky-esque tactics against opponents of gay marriage, with accusations of homophobia and bigotry not being all that uncommon. There were also the obligatory chanting points like "love is love" or "Why does it matter who loves whom?"

So when same-sex marriages commenced here in the state of Minnesota, a popular sentiment of "Love wins!" was often conveyed, even though the MN Marriage Amendment looking to define marriage as between one man and one woman (and voted down in November 2012) was never about banning "love." So in the state of Minnesota, the same-sex marriage advocates won this fight. But with any battle, there are inevitably some casualties. So as same-sex marriages become the norm in this state, we must never forget the millions of straw men whose lives were sacrificed in the name of "marriage equality."

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