Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mr. Right takes flight

I saw a blurb or two on Twitter about a popular radio host quitting his job in the middle of his show Thursday evening. I thought perhaps we were being had. I guess not.

(Thursday) at 6:24pm (CST) Jason Lewis, Host of the Nationally Syndicated “Jason Lewis Show” and co-founder of walked off his show and is GOING GALT. Like many others (Leaders & Companies) he is no longer satisfied having what he produces confiscated through taxes and being dictated through regulation. His departure adds to the ever-growing list of Leaders and Companies that have finally had enough and are determined to find a new way of doing business that accomplishes their goals without compromising their own freedoms and beliefs.

In his departure, Jason Lewis left a short 15 minute parody of what it is like working in a highly regulated industry and some of the events that led to his decision. Lewis who has long complained about the heavy hand of government is apparently living up to his word and is “Going Galt” - a phrase derived from the iconic Ayn Rand novel "Atlas Shrugged." In the book, the “producers” or “men of the minds” - as the famed author put it - decide to go out on “strike” as a protest against those who would attack them politically.

Lewis, a long-time advocate against the high levels of taxation now says he too has had enough and will focus his efforts, and place his commentary, on a start-up business he co-founded named, suitably enough, GALT.IO. This way, says the talk host, he'll be able to do as much work as desired, but more importantly just enough to keep the taxman at bay - and no more. Lewis cited President Obama's "You didn't build that" phrase and responded to those who endlessly seek to redistribute wealth, "Well, you can build it yourselves now..."

We are extremely excited to have Jason pouring his considerable talent and efforts directly into building We are more confident than ever that men (and women) “of the minds” will be seeking the refuge that provides to reorganize and reemerge with a plan to take back our country and the technology to make it effective.

While I enjoyed listening to Lewis from the late '90s up until he left the Twin Cities market (he had been at the old "Talk Station" AM 1500 KSTP, now the local ESPN affiliate, from 1993-2003) for Charlotte, NC, I admittedly didn't pay much attention to the evening drive time show he hosted upon his celebrated return to Minnesota, where he has been since the summer of 2006. I maybe checked in every once in a while, but it just didn't feel the same. As time went on, it became obvious to me and others that he had merely become a high profile shill for Ron Paul.

One rumor I had heard some time ago was that the Twin Cities Clear Channel affiliate was ready to part ways with Lewis around 2008-09 due to his exorbitant salary. The radio biz was definitely evolving into something that couldn't endure such highly paid talent. However, Lewis's program went national around that time (aided by his guest hosting appearances on Rush Limbaugh's show), allowing the local Clear Channel station to syndicate his program, which is a far less expensive endeavor than employing Lewis directly.

In the end, I don't believe this was as spontaneous a move as people are making it out to be. Lewis I'm certain has seen over the past several years that the broadcast industry held no meaningful future for him. Besides, at 58 years old, Lewis had been a huge success for long enough that I wouldn't be shocked if he's built up a decent sized nest egg, thus transitioning into semi retirement. Again, that's mere speculation on my part.

I guess the big question now is what becomes of the 5-8 pm CST slot on Twin Cities News Talk? But even a more relevant question would be does it even matter at this point in the game?


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ventura wins lawsuit, loses dignity

Chris Kyle, the man whom Jesse Ventura sued for defamation over Kyle depicting in his book American Sniper that he punched out Ventura after besmirching his fellow SEALs, was tragically killed in a firing range incident last year. Despite that, Ventura chose to press forward with his lawsuit against Kyle's widow. The millisecond he decided that, Ventura had already lost regardless of what a jury would eventually decide. I mean suing a guy's widow because you're so thin-skinned and ego maniacal? Dunno how anyone can come out a winner in a situation like that.

After the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict for several days, Kyle's legal team indicated they would acquiesce to an 8-2 decision. As it turned out, the jury did indeed side with Ventura by an 8-2 margin. 

The jury awarded a total of $1.845 million: $500,000 in defamation damages and $1.345 million for “unjust enrichment” — or to be specific, $1,345,477.25.

Of the myriad reactions to the verdict, one of the more prevailing sentiments was surprise over why Kyle's legal team would agree to a less than unanimous verdict. Given the veritable hell Kyle's widow Taya has endured over the past year between her husband's death and this lawsuit, it was a real possibility Ventura would drudge up another suit if there was a "hung jury" in this one.

What I still have a hard time wrapping my head around is how Ventura felt pressing on with this suit was going to help "restore his good name." One of the contentions he made was that potential income opportunities had "dried up" due to Kyle's allegations in the book. So how is it that suing Kyle's estate (which is run by his widow) is going to replenish Ventura's reputation? And how will winning this lawsuit make Ventura any more enticing to potential employers? Sure, Ventura may have proven right by the letter of the law. But will this in any way give him back whatever dignity he felt he had lost? The better question is, now that Ventura may be nearly $2 million richer, does he even care about his reputation anymore?


Separated at Birth: Branden Petersen and Jon Lester

Branden Petersen (top) is a MN State Senator.

Jon Lester is a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox


Monday, July 28, 2014

Obligatory grandstanding

Shoulda seen this coming.

Seventeen state lawmakers urged Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf to release the result of a full investigation into homophobic remarks made by a coach while calling his three-game suspension too lenient.

The strongly-worded letter signed by DFL legislators in both the House and Senate say the remarks made by special teams coach Mike Priefer to "...round up all the gays, send them to an island and then nuke it until it glows" is "tantamount to calling for the genocide of all LBGT people."

That would be the conclusion one would draw if one were a complete simpleton. But the fact of the matter is coaches often say such things that they believe will get under a player's skin. Since Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was such an outspoken advocate for defeating the MN Marriage Amendment (one that would have defined marriage as strictly between one man and one woman) in 2012, Priefer used that fact to try to motivate his under-performing punter. In hindsight, it would have behooved Priefer to perhaps swap out "gays" for, say, "bass guitar players", a group which Kluwe himself is a member in the band Tripping Icarus. While I felt it was wildly inappropriate for Priefer to say what he said, it's utterly asinine to assume that he wants to completely eradicate a segment of society.

Another issue that cropped up is the cautionary tale of accepting corporate welfare. Between Hennepin County and the state of Minnesota, approximately half a billion dollars of taxpayer money has been pledged to finance the nearly $1 billion Vikings stadium, which is slated to be completed in 2016. Because of those subsidies, public officials suddenly believe they have the right to advise a business how to handle incidents with its employees.

In the letter, the legislators remind Wilf that taxpayers contributed nearly half a billion dollars to the new stadium currently under construction, as well as continuing a sales tax exemption on ticket sales to the 2018 Super Bowl.

"In light of this enormous public effort, it is imperative that your organization be held accountable," the letter reads. "This is especially true when it would seem that Vikings leadership is turning a blind eye to such egregious misconduct and seems determined to remain opaque to the very public which has invested so much in the success of your team."

I got news for these public officials: For better or worse, the vast majority of "the very public" care only about performance on the field. Period. If some fans want to act all pious and boycott the team over this incident, then that is their prerogative. But I guarantee that most of the Vikings devotees don't really care. Remember the "Love Boat" incident back in 2005? Sure, fans were initially disgusted as the details became public. But that debacle became a distant memory when the team won six consecutive games in the second half of that season, thus vaulting into playoff contention (Alas, the Vikes fell just short of the postseason that year).

In the end, this is merely about a group of DFLers (14 of 17 are senators, who are not up for reelection) with a little too much time on their hands with the Legislature being out of session. But since there's a strong possibility their House cohorts may lose their majority, why let a good crisis go to waste? I'm just waiting for the political ad proclaiming that no Republicans stood by the DFL's side on this issue. I wouldn't surprised if Carrie Lucking and her Alliance for a Bitter Better Minnesota minions are on that as we speak.


Box Score of the Week

The Cincinnati Reds took on the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 23, 1991.


It always appeared as though former Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Rob Dibble had a proverbial screw loose. His behavior in this July 1991 game at Wrigley Field did nothing to dispel that belief.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

And when my mind is free, you know a melody can move me.....

With my friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg out on assignment today, I will assume the reins of The Headliner edition of the NARN. I will be on the air from 1:00 pm until 3:00 Central Time.

With this being an election year and campaign season is currently in full swing, I am privileged to be hosting three different MN GOP state House candidates on today's program.

1:00 until 1:30 - Barb Sutter, Republican endorsed candidate in HD 49B (West Bloomington, Southern Edina, and small portions of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka).

1:30 until 2:00 - Abigail Whelan, Republican endorsed candidate in HD 35A (Anoka and most of Ramsey).

2:00 until 2:30 - Jen Wilson, Republican endorsed candidate in HD51B (Eastern portion of Eagan, including where the Patriot bunker is located).

In the brief non-guest segments, I will assuredly weigh in on the Tony Dungy/Michael Sam flap and perhaps the latest on the Vikings/Chris Kluwe kerfuffle.

So please give me 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.  

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

Until then.....


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Quick Hits: Volume C

-It was another wild legal ride for the Affordable Care Act this week in the case Halbig v Burwell. On Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the ACA (aka Obamacare) does not allow for the federal government to provide subsidies for health insurance. But then later in the day, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the opposite, mostly because of the law's ambiguity. 

With that in mind, it appears there's a strong possibility that the Supreme Court may take this up. So what may happen if indeed the nation's highest court hears this case? Tom Goldstein at SCOTUSblog speculates. 

(I)f the Supreme Court does step in, I think that the administration will win. But it will be close. There is a good chance that the case will be decided by the same thin five-to-four majority that upheld the constitutionality of the ACA two years ago.

The key point is that the challengers can win only if the ACA is clear; if not, then the administration gets to interpret it. Personally, I think that the better reading of the literal text of the law is probably that Congress limited the tax subsidies to purchases on state exchanges. But I don’t think you can fairly say that the statute’s meaning is obvious. Instead, like a lot of massive laws that include lots of compromises, it is a bit of a mess. And its context suggests the administration is actually right.

The challengers’ main argument is that the formula for tax credits applies only when someone buys insurance on an exchange “established by the State.” But it is unlikely that Congress made the critical decision about who would receive the subsidy in the middle of a formula, rather than in a section of the law dealing with eligibility.

Say, do you recall former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declaring we have to pass this law to "find out what's in it?" Well it appears that was as big a fabrication as the President telling us all Americans can keep their health insurance plan if they like it.

Anyhow, read Mr. Goldstein's entire post.

-With about a week until Major League Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline, my Minnesota Twins should commence with the fire sale, provided if any veterans (e.g. Josh Willingham or Kurt Suzuki) draw even mild interest.

On Thursday, one piece already dropped.

Kendrys Morales is on his way back to Seattle to try and give the Mariners' struggling offense a boost as they chase a playoff spot.

The Minnesota Twins traded Morales to the Mariners on Thursday for minor-league pitcher Stephen Pryor. Morales hit 23 home runs and drove in 80 runs for the Mariners last season, but turned down a $14.1 million qualifying offer from Seattle to become a free agent.

Morales sat out the first two months of the season while searching for a new deal, signing a pro-rated $12 million contract with the Twins on June 8. But he hit .234 with 11 doubles, one homer and 18 RBIs in 39 games with the Twins, who have faded from contention in the AL Central.

From what I understand, Pryor has a pretty live arm, but still has control issues. But if the Twins organization has been consistently reliable in just one area, it's the bullpen. Some of the more solid relief pitchers the Twins have employed over the past few years were either castoffs from other organizations (Caleb Thielbar, Jared Burton, Casey Fien) or guys they've developed (Brian Duensing, Glen Perkins).

Heck, even if Pryor is a dud, the Twins did manage to finagle the Mariners into absorbing the entire $4.33 million Morales was owed the remainder of this season. Given Morales's lackluster production, that's no small feat.

-So Larry J. Sabato recently changed his rating in Minnesota's 2014 US Senate race (pitting Democrat incumbent Al Franken against Mike McFadden) from "Likely Democratic" to "Leans Democratic." Why?

(T)his race hasn’t hit its stride yet. Franken and his likely opponent, businessman Mike McFadden (R), are really just getting started, given Franken’s deliberately low profile and the fact that McFadden hasn’t even officially sewn up his party’s nomination. It’s true that the contestants in Michigan and New Hampshire haven’t received official party blessings either, but Peters versus Land and Shaheen versus Brown have been de facto head-to-head races for months. One thing that’s clear: Franken won’t be surprised, given that he’s already spent $10 million on his race so far this cycle.

Franken is still the favorite, given his gigantic war chest and the power of incumbency, but McFadden appears to be positioned to run a moderate-conservative campaign that could allow him to compete with Franken while not alienating his base.

Personally, I'd be lying if I said I'm confident McFadden can pull this off. Even though McFadden has shown he has legitimate fundraising ability, I felt one of his challengers for the GOP endorsement (Julianne Ortman) would have fared better against Franken in a discussion of the issues. However, while Ortman would have been a quality candidate, her fundraising would have been downright paltry, which is a non-starter against a prolific fundraiser like Franken.

I just hope McFadden can substantively address issues as his campaign progresses. All I've seen up to this point is TV ads with sports analogies. With that said, let me offer one of my own: Time to step up your game, Mr. McFadden.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

No benefit of the doubt

I'd be hard pressed to think of a classier, more humble human being than former NFL coach Tony Dungy. If you go back and find what others had to say about him during his 13-year head coaching tenure (six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, seven with the Indianapolis Colts) and immediately upon his retirement after the 2008 season, the voluminous praise was often effusive. Whether it was his unabashed faith in Jesus Christ, his indomitable strength upon the suicide of his 19-year old son or his being able to walk away from a lucrative coaching career six years ago and not look back, Dungy has as few detractors as one can have while functioning in the public eye.

With all that said, not even Dungy himself can be given the benefit of the doubt when speaking of someone in the new "protected class."

Esteemed NFL coach turned NBC analyst Tony Dungy is taking fire for saying he would not have drafted Michael Sam, the league’s first openly gay player.

In an interview with the Tampa Tribune published Sunday, the former coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts said he would have passed on Sam. "Not because I don't believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn't want to deal with all of it,” Dungy said.

Dungy went on to say, “It’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen.’’

Naturally there were those who immediately cited Dungy as being a "coward" or for being in favor of "Jim Crow-type" laws. Still others are quick to point out Dungy's Christian faith, which means he must be an intolerant bigot.

In a separate interview, Dungy attempted to clarify his comments.

"What I was asked about was my philosophy of drafting, a philosophy that was developed over the years, which was to minimize distractions for my teams.

"I do not believe Michael's sexual orientation will be a distraction to his teammates or his organization. I do, however, believe that the media attention that comes with it will be a distraction. Unfortunately we are all seeing this play out now, and I feel badly that my remarks played a role in the distraction.

"I wish Michael Sam nothing but the best in his quest to become a star in the NFL and I am confident he will get the opportunity to show what he can do on the field. My sincere hope is that we will be able to focus on his play and not on his sexual orientation."

I'm certain Sam himself would prefer to focus solely on making the Rams' roster as opposed to answering questions about his lifestyle. After all, how many seventh round picks are even approached by media members in an NFL training camp? Unless such players vastly outperform their draft status, it's likely their names are hardly known. I know I sure don't recall a time where such a late round draft pick was approached with an opportunity to star in a reality TV show.

Another issue that cropped up was the fact Dungy advocated for Michael Vick's return to the NFL after he served jail time for organizing illegal dog fighting. Obviously Vick being signed by by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009 caused a significant distraction, not only due to throngs of media but also with the vast presence of animal rights protesters. The difference being that Vick had already proved himself as an all-pro caliber player prior to his 2007 conviction. The Eagles' philosophy was they were willing to endure distractions if Vick could show just a semblance of what he had the first six seasons of his career (he made the Pro Bowl three times). With Sam being rated as only the 14th best defensive end leading up to this past May's NFL draft, I wouldn't be surprised if many other NFL organizations echoed Dungy's sentiments. Above all else, team executives and coaches are focused solely on the business at hand: winning.

In the end, this whole flap further emphasizes what I've been saying for months now. That is, even the perception of a moral objection to homosexuality results in knee jerk hysteria.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Box Score of the Week

Cleveland Indians at Texas Rangers - September 2, 2006.


Only once in MLB history has a player hit a grand slam home run on the first pitch he ever saw as a big leaguer. That player would be Kevin Kouzmanoff, who was making his major league debut this game. 


Sunday, July 20, 2014

In my eyes, indisposed, in disguise.....

Another Sunday, which means yet another edition of The Closer on the Northern Alliance Radio Network. I'll be on the air in the Patriot bunker from 1:00 pm until 3:00 Central Time.

Right at 1:00, I'll be joined by MN GOP endorsed candidate Heidi Gunderson, who is running in House District 42B (Little Canada, Vadnais Heights area). This is one of those House seats currently occupied by the Democrats, so it would go a long way to putting Republicans back in the majority of the House should this seat be flipped.

At 1:30, Miss Minneapolis 2014 Julia Schliesing is tentatively scheduled to return from a two-week hiatus. If so, she'll of course talk about whatever she darn well pleases.

Finally at 2:00 pm, Jim Nash, one the MN GOP candidates running in HD 47A (Carver County), will be in studio to tout his candidacy as he looks to replace retiring Rep. Ernie Leidiger.

In one or two of the non-guest segments, I will definitely opine on the Chris Kluwe lawsuit against the Minnesota Vikings, one that has become especially newsy over the past few days.

So please give me 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.  

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

Until then.....


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Low bars

For nearly two years straight now, the political left has been dinging the Republican party for declaring a "war on women." While there's no question that GOP talking points on appealing to female voters needs some work, we should easily be able to swat away the insane rhetoric on how the political right is trying to outlaw birth control.

Like Nancy Pelosi's flat out fabrications regarding the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling.

“We should be afraid of this court. That five guys should start determining what contraceptions are legal or not. … It is so stunning,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol.Pelosi said last week’s Supreme Court ruling that the birth control mandate under President Obama’s healthcare reform law is a violation of religious freedom was particularly egregious.

“That court decision was a frightening one,” she said. “That five men should get down to the specifics of whether a woman should use a diaphragm and she should pay for it herself or her boss. It’s not her boss’s business. His business is whatever his business is. But it’s not what contraception she uses.”

Not to be outdone, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (whom, rumor has it, the Obamas prefer to be the Democrat nominee for President in 2016) piled on with a statement totally ignorant of a timeline.

“Remember last year's government shutdown that nearly tanked our economy?” Warren asked. “That fight started with a GOP effort to hold the whole operation of the federal government hostage in order to try to force Democrats and the president to let employers deny workers access to birth control.”

Um, no, sorry.

The government shutdown occurred over a continuing resolution to fund the government since no budget could be agreed upon. Republicans used the opportunity to try and defund Obamacare.

Republicans were upset over the Obama administration's selective enforcement of certain provisions in Obamacare. The main problem the GOP had at the time was the announcement of a delay in the employer mandate.

Warren appears to be getting her claim from a 2011 Huffington Post article, which said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the House would not vote for any spending bill containing funding for Planned Parenthood.

But that was 2011, and the government shutdown was in 2013.
The left also lobs shots at Republicans for not having more women in leadership positions, whether it be in state legislatures or the United States Congress. Well if Pelosi (former House Speaker, current House Minority Leader) and Warren (possible Presidential candidate) are the supposed standard bearers, the right should be able to leap that low bar without even trying.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Box Score of the Week

Since it's All-Star week, it only makes sense that I feature an All-Star Game.

Let's go with the 2001 Mid Summer Classic.


This was the final All-Star Game appearance in the Hall of Fame career of Baltimore Orioles shortstop/third baseman Cal Ripken, Jr. Always seeming to have a flair for the dramatics, Ripken homered in this game.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Nowhere is there warmth to be found among those afraid of losing their ground...

Another Sunday, which means another edition of The Closer. As usual, I'll be on from 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central Time.

I'll touch on a few news items from this past week, specifically the controversy sparked by a  Minneapolis bar's dress code. I'll also opine on the ongoing defamation lawsuit filed by former MN governor Jesse Ventura as well as the latest in the MN GOP race for US Senate.

At 1:30, I will hopefully welcome back from assignment Miss Minneapolis 2014 Julia Schliesing. If she's able to join me this week, she'll be on to talk about whatever she darn well pleases.

Then at 2:00, I will take a quick segment to chat with basketball wonk Mike McCollow regarding the news of NBA superstar LeBron James returning to the franchise that drafted him (Cleveland Cavaliers) four years after jilting them to play for the Miami Heat.

Finally at 2:15, Miss Saint Paul 2014 Rachel Latuff will join the program. After finishing fourth runner up in last month's Miss Minnesota pageant, Rachel will represent our great state next month in the 2014 National Miss Sweetheart Pageant. We'll also chat with Rachel regarding her experience in the Miss Minnesota pageant as well as her platform, entitled Engage, Educate, Empower: Building Cultural Competency Through the Arts. 

So please give me 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.  

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

Until then.....


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Quick Hits: Volume XCIX

- Jesse Ventura's slander lawsuit against late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle began Wednesday. Despite Kyle being fatally shot last year in a gun range incident, Ventura pressed forward with the lawsuit against Kyle's widow, thus destroying any shred of human decency he may have possessed.

The widow of a former Navy SEAL engaged in some testy exchanges with an attorney for Jesse Ventura during the opening day of a trial of a defamation lawsuit filed by the former governor.

Taya Kyle suggested several times that attorney David B. Olsen was misstating the testimony she gave during sworn depositions before the trial.

Ventura’s lawsuit claims that he was defamed in “American Sniper” by Kyle’s late husband, Chris, a former Navy SEAL, and that he slandered Ventura by repeating the false account of a bar fight in Coronado, Calif., in radio and TV interviews, undermining Ventura’s reputation.

Wait a second. You mean to tell me it's possible to undermine the reputation of a guy who came off as a thin-skinned bully while governor, donned futuristic glasses and a feathered boa while staring at a lady wrestler's bosom in his capacity as gov, braided his beard with beads and starred in a TV show touting implausible, nutty conspiracy theories? Yeah, good luck selling that one, Jess.

- Apparently the Cleveland Cavaliers are courting their former superstar to make a return to their fair city.

After more than two years of planning, the Cleveland Cavaliers believe they have LeBron James listening to their pitch to leave the Miami Heat and return to his home state in free agency, according to sources close to the process.

There has yet to be a firm indication that James is ready to leave Miami after four years and two championships with the Heat, but sources told that the four-time MVP is increasingly considering the Cavaliers as an option as he moves into the final stages of deciding which team to sign his next contract with.

A critical face-to-face meeting with Heat president Pat Riley looms on a day to be determined this week, sources confirmed Sunday night, so that James can hear the Hall of Famer's plans for the Heat's roster. But James' agent, Rich Paul, has already sat down with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert in what is regarded as the first formal step toward trying to shrink the gulf between James and Gilbert after the ocean of hard feelings stemming from James' departure from Cleveland in 2010 to sign with the Heat.

Ah yes. I recall when James was being wooed by several teams (the Cavaliers included) upon his becoming a free agent after the 2010 season. Yet when James moved on to Miami, Gilbert penned an open letter to Cavs fans, a letter which questioned LeBron's character and accused him of "quitting" on the team in the postseason a month earlier.

Oh, and in an unrelated matter....

......Gilbert's letter was removed from the team's website Monday, though the Cavs denied the team's pursuit of James led to the web page's removal. It had been posted and available on the site for four years previously.

Huh. Impeccable timing I guess.

- Minneapolis restaurant Bar Louie instituted a dress code recently, one which sparked some controversy.

Seven articles of clothing are now banned from the Minnesota bar, from Thursday through Saturday after 9PM:

No Flat-Billed Hats
No Sleeveless Under Shirts
No Excessively Baggy Clothing
No Large Chains Worn Outside Of Shirt
No Long Plain White T-Shirts
No Athletic Apparel
No Sports Jerseys Unless Collared

"It's the new Jim Crow being enforced in a colorblind way," Michelle Horovitz told Fox 9 News. "You might as well say, 'No black folks allowed.’ It's ridiculous… Minnesota might be the nicest, healthiest, cleanest state in America, but we have huge issues as far as segregation, racism, systematic oppression -- and people want to look the other way."

Serious question: Which is more racist - A private business putting forth a specific dress code or an individual leaping to the conclusion that only black people wear such apparel?


Monday, July 07, 2014

Box Score of the Week

The Chicago Cubs at the Cincinnati Reds - May 7, 2010.


Cubs SS Starlin Castro made his MLB debut in this game at the age of 20 years and 44 days. He was the first player born in the 1990s to play in the big leagues. 


Sunday, July 06, 2014

Please don't drive 88. Don't wanna be late again...... (UPDATE: Julia is out on assignment)

I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day weekend. Here's a suggestion for a great way to wrap up the festivities: tune in to The Closer from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time today.

There's a lot to get to this show, specifically the noteworthy decisions handed by the Supreme Court of the United States last week. As such, my friend and great legal mind Harry Niska will call in at 1:00 to discuss.

Then at 1:30, Miss Minneapolis 2014 Julia Schliesing will check in for her weekly segment to discuss whatever she darn well pleases.

For the 2:00 hour, local politico Jeff Kolb will be on the program. I'll discuss with Jeff the latest developments surrounding the statewide political races as we're a mere 37 days away from Minnesota's Primary election day. We'll also chat about the MN GOP's prospects for winning back the MN House.

So please give me 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.  

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

Until then.....


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Campaign ignitor?

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Democrats feel they might actually have a campaign issue to run with in what will otherwise likely be a throttling this election cycle.

With the Dems having no shot of flipping the U.S. House, they're focusing the vast majority of their efforts on maintaining the majority in the Senate. As such, the chanting point of the GOP waging a "war on women" is bound to hit a fever pitch in light of the recent SCOTUS decision. It's complete crap of course, but the Dems know they will have a willing accomplice in the mainstream media, who will basically act as a transcript service for their factually deficient screeds. The fact is Hobby Lobby is not refusing to cover all forms of birth control. In fact, their only objection had to do with the mere 20% of contraception that was of the abortifacient ilk.

Since it's easy to ridicule leftists on how vapid they are in their discourse over the contraception issue, we conservatives project that the public at large can see through it as well. However, we employed the same ridiculing tactics when such progressive pet projects as The life of Julia and "War on Women" were trotted out during the 2012 election cycle. Anyone recall who the GOP fared that year?

With all that in mind, Noah Rothman at Hot Air feels the GOP should go on the offensive with this issue.

The argument against combating the War on Women narrative with proactive and empathetic approach to the issues young suburban and exurban women regard as critical is a bit like hoping that conspicuous lump you just noticed will simply go away. Many Republicans feel even acknowledging these attacks on their party as being wholly opposed to family planning lends them undeserved legitimacy. Still others believe the party would be better off not appealing to a voting bloc for whom access to taxpayer-funded contraceptives is of primary importance.

That is a small-tent strategy. Like it or not, many young women believe that Republicans are hostile to their wellbeing, and no one is willing to listen to you if they think you don’t care about what is important to them or look down on their life choices. If there is one lesson from the Obama years that the GOP must internalize, it is that the party’s core coalition is not large enough to win the presidency. A double-digit gender gap in favor of Democrats will almost always deliver the White House. Party building is a project for the off years. If the GOP waits for 2016 to appeal to nontraditional GOP voters, it will already be too late.

The Dems have Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren waiting in the wings as potential Presidential nominees in 2016. Don't think for one second they aren't already looking ahead two years themselves.


Tuesday, July 01, 2014

SCOTUS decision: Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

You knew this one was going to send the leftists into a tizzy.

In a victory for religious freedom, the Supreme Court ruled today 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. in the case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (formerly named Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby). The case was the strongest legal challenge to Obamacare since 2012.

The case concerned the HHS Contraception Mandate, which mandated that employers provide certain forms of contraception at no cost to their employees.

While still a legal victory for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., the decision is limited to closely-held for-profit corporations, not non-profits such as Little Sisters of the Poor. The decision is also strictly limited to the issue of the contraception mandate, not other medical practices.

You can read the SCOTUS opinion here.

Naturally this is interpreted by leftist kooks as religious fanatics trying to take away their birth control. But in this particular case, the founders of Hobby Lobby had serious convictions over providing coverage for specific contraception, namely abortion inducing drugs. The fact of the matter is that HL provides coverage for sixteen types of contraception.

The chanting point that is often put forth by the likes of Sandra Fluke is that it's none of her boss's business regarding her birth control choices. THAT IS EXACTLY THE POINT!!!! Yet Fluke et al claim that their bosses should subsidize such things which violate their conscience thus making it their business. Hobby Lobby wanted nothing more than to remove themselves from that situation altogether.

For a sample of unhinged leftists, check out the Twitchy post from shortly after the decision was announced.


SCOTUS decision: Harris v Quinn

Two much anticipated decisions were handed down Monday by the nation's highest court.

Ahead of the the first announced decision, public employee unions were trembling in anticipation of a possible death knell.

The conservative majority on the Supreme Court on Monday signaled its distaste for state laws requiring public-sector workers to pay union dues — but stopped short of sweeping them away, handing organized labor a partial victory in a contentious case.

By a 5-4 vote, the justices ruled in Harris v. Quinn that home health care workers in Illinois cannot be compelled to financially support a union they don’t wish to join. Illinois is one of 26 states that require public-sector workers — such as firefighters, police officers and teachers — to pay partial dues, often known as “agency fees,” to the unions that negotiate their contracts and represent them in grievances, even if the employees find the union’s advocacy work distasteful.

Union leaders had feared that the justices might strike down those state laws as unconstitutional. The justices did not go that far. They issued a more narrow ruling that the home health care workers at issue in the case are not “full-fledged public employees” because they are hired and fired by individual patients and work in private homes, though they are paid in part by the state, via Medicaid.

Because they’re not truly state employees, the justices decided these workers did not have to pay union dues.

This is especially relevant in my home state of Minnesota. A little more than a year ago, the Democrat majority in the MN Legislature voted to levy union dues on home health care workers and in-home day care providers who accept financial assistance from the state (Gov. Mark Dayton then signed it into law). The rationale handed down was that since these independent workers accepted aid from the state (Medicaid for home health care workers; funds from the Child Care Assistance Program for daycare providers) they were considered "state employees." That seems to be a pretty broad (not to mention overreaching) definition.

John Eastman, the founding director of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, which participated as an amicus curiae in this case, made the distinction between private-sector unions and public-sector unions.

Nearly forty years ago, the Supreme Court took a rule from the private-sector union context and, after a fairly cursory analysis, extended it to the public-sector union context. Since private sector employees could be compelled to contribute to the costs of collective bargaining by a union, so too with public sector employees. “Public employees are not basically different from private employees,” held the Court in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.

But public employees are different, and that difference is increasingly being recognized in majority opinions by the high Court, two years ago in
Knox v. SEIU, and today in Harris v. Quinn, both authored by Justice Alito. As we argued in the brief we filed in Harris (and also back in Knox), collective bargaining in the public sector is inherently political. When a public employee union bargains for higher wages and other benefits, it is arguing for a public policy that devotes more resources to programs staffed by its members than other programs. Even a public employee union that represents every employee in every program in state government pushes a policy agenda when collective bargaining for more salary and benefits, in favor of larger rather than smaller government, higher rather than lower taxes. Abood held that a union cannot force nonmembers to support its political and ideological expenditures that are unrelated to collective bargaining, but that distinction is really nonsensical in the public employee union context. The unions in Knox had even argued that because all public policy affects public employee union members, the overt political activity of the unions – including campaign support for ballot measures – was simply “lobbying … the electorate.”  As such, it was related to collective bargaining and could therefore be assessed against non-union employees via compulsory union dues.  The Court rejected that argument in Knox, with a strong opinion by Justice Alito that went so far as to question whether the existing compulsory dues system violated the First Amendment.  “By authorizing a union to collect fees from nonmembers and permitting the use of an opt-out system for the collection of fees levied to cover nonchargeable expenses, our prior decisions approach, if they do not cross, the limit of what the First Amendment can tolerate,” noted the Court.  That line drew a strident dissent by four Justices in two separate opinions (including by the two Justices who otherwise agreed with the judgment in the case), but it was clear to Court observers across the ideological spectrum that the pro-public-union Abood regime was in serious trouble.

You know what else is in serious trouble? The Democrats' ability to rely upon massive donations for PEUs, given that well is beginning to dry up.