Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Since my health insurance premiums are skyrocketing,.... would behoove me to stay in good physical condition. Thankfully I began running regularly the summer of 2013.

When spring hit about six months ago, I decided to run outdoors at least twice per week. I found a nice two mile route near my home, which seemed to suit me just fine. Once summer time came around, I felt if I could just stretch another 1.1 miles, that would put me in running shape for a 5K race.

Every year on the Saturday before Halloween, our neighboring town of Anoka (aka The Halloween Capitol of the World) hosts the Gray Ghost 5K run. I figured the only way to stay motivated to run that race would be to sign up in September ----- which I did. No turning back.

So on a beautiful fall afternoon this past Saturday, I (along with 1,599 other runners) took my place at the starting line.

My goal was to finish. And finish I did!

Of the 1,600 runners, my time of 31 minutes, 23 seconds was good for 567th overall. Of the 658 males, I finished 348th. And of the 127 men within my age group of 40-49, I finished 66th.

While I'm no Roger Bannister, I came away from this race thoroughly satisfied with what I had accomplished.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My health insurance story

When Minnesota-based insurance company PreferredOne announced they would no longer offer plans via the state health insurance exchange MNsure, we knew it would adversely affect the majority of Minnesotans who had any kind of health coverage.

Since PreferredOne offered the lowest premiums of any insurance companies on the exchange, it's no surprise that they serviced 60% of those who enrolled on MNsure. And while PreferredOne customers had the option of keeping their plans for the next plan year, they would face a double whammy of a) the obligatory annual premium increase and b) no longer being eligible for subsidies/tax credits since their plan would be outside the exchange. That's why the ridiculous spin of premiums only increasing 4.5% on health plans through MNsure was only to be believed by anyone who didn't use a scintilla of nuance.

To make up for the financial hit they took offering plans on MNsure, PreferredOne is going to have to levy substantial increases on their plans for 2015. Since I had a high premium, low deductible plan via PreferredOne outside the public exchange, I was prepared for a significant increase myself. How significant? If I am to keep the exact same individual plan (the fetching Mrs. Carlson has coverage through her employer), my monthly rate will increase a whopping 54%!

For those not numerically savvy, that's slightly higher than 4.5%.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Box Score of the Week (Final one of 2014)

Since we're in the midst of World Series play, I'll feature a game from the 1960 Fall Classic.

It's Game 2 of the Pirates-Yankees WS.


In Game 3 of this year's World Series, Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie got the win despite not striking out a single Giants hitter. The last time a starter earned a win in a World Series game despite failing to strike out a batter was Yankees pitcher Bob Turley in Game 2 of the 1960 World Series.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hate me all you want; I'll be okay.....

It's down to single digits in terms of number of days until Election Day (9 days to be exact). With that in mind, the political talk will once again reach a fever pitch on today's edition of The Closer. I will be on from 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central Time. 

Right at 1:00, Andrea Todd-Harlin, who is the GOP candidate running in House District 51A (Northern part of Burnsville. west portion of Eagan), will stop by the Patriot bunker. HD 51A is one of the districts represented by a DFLer that has a good chance to flip to a Republican (GOP needs a net gain of 7 seats for a majority in the MN House), so we'll get an update on Andrea's campaign. 

Then at 2:15, Andrew Richter and Jason Bradley of Community Solutions MN join the program. Andrew and Jason have done yeoman's work in shining a light on the boondoggle that can be county and municipal government. They'll stop by inform us of the latest shenanigans as well as update us on how their home city of Crystal (right in the heart of Keith Ellison's congressional district) has a decent chance to have more conservative representation after Election Day. 

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, October 23, 2014

Football Trivia: Come Sail Away

A dive bar in South Minneapolis by the name of Schooner Tavern was the locale this week for 1500 ESPN's Thursday Football Trivia. It was one of those neighborhood bars where the patrons stop what they're doing and stare in a suspicious manner at any unfamiliar face that enters the joint.

Anyhow, there were 11 different teams/participants in the opening round written quiz. I, as usual, did very well with that portion, earning a #3 seed and a first round bye for the bracketed tournament.

In the quarterfinals, I took on a duo that called themselves "Bubbas." As usual, this is a "Family Feud" style tourney where one has to buzz in for an opportunity to answer first. This is a best 2 of 3.

Question one: Who was the first Super Bowl winning NFL team whose home stadium was a dome?

Brad (buzzing in first): New Orleans Saints. Incorrect. 
Bubbas: Seattle Seahawks. Incorrect.
Brad: St Louis Rams. Correct.

1-0, Brad.

Question two: Which Vikings QB holds the franchise record for single season passing yardage?

Brad (buzzing in first): Daunte Culpepper. Correct. 

Brad wins, 2-0.

On to the semifinals, where I would take on the #2 seed (and 18-time champion) Brendan Byrne. Mr. Byrne can be considered my nemesis, given I've defeated him only once in 8 or 9 tries (Oh, but how sweet was the one win!). 

The final four is also a best 2 of 3, but the questions are in category format, meaning there are multiple answers. This year has an interesting twist. The rule now is if each player gets one correct answer, it moves to sudden death. That means the first person to give a wrong answer loses the point. 

Question one: Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon played for.....

Brendan (quick with the trigger finger): Houston Oilers.

.......five different professional football teams in his career. Houston Oilers is one.  

Brad: Minnesota Vikings. Correct.
Brendan: Seattle Seahawks. Correct. 
Brad: Kansas City Chiefs. Correct
Brendan (thinking, thinking): Montreal? Incorrect (It was actually the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL). 

1-0, Brad.

Question two: After Murray Warmath left as Gophers' football coach after 1971, the U of M has employed eight different permanent head coaches. Name them.

Brad (buzzing in first): Joe Salem. Correct.
Brendan: Glen Mason. Correct. 
Brad: Lou Holtz. Correct.
Brendan: Jerry Kill. Correct. 
Brad: John Gutekunst. Correct.
Brendan: Tim Brewster. Correct. 
Brad: Jim Wacker. Correct.
Brendan: Cal Stoll. Correct. 

Since we ran the table with each getting four correct, no point is awarded. Still 1-0, Brad.

Question three: There are 12 teams in college football's Mountain West division. Name them. 

Brendan (buzzing in first): Boise St. Correct.
Brad: Utah. Incorrect (Utah State is part of the conference though). 

1-1 tie. 

Question four: Of the top 25 NFL players in all-time receptions,.....

Brad (quick with the trigger finger): Jerry Rice. of those players are active (D'oh!). Name them. 

Jerry Rice is incorrect.  

Brendan: Steve Smith. Correct.

Brendan wins, 2-1. 

Brendan would defeat another Football Trivia regular, The Jermichael$, to win his 19th trivia championship in 2-1/2 seasons. 

Since I'll be getting out the vote next Thursday, I'll resume my quest for a multiple championship season on November 6. 

Until then.......


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It happened 25 years ago today

I was in my third year of college in October 1989 when the kidnapping of 11-year old Jacob Wetterling occurred.

From Wikipedia:

Jacob, his brother (Trevor), and (friend Aaron Larson) were cycling home from a convenience store on October 22, 1989, when a masked gunman came out of a driveway and ordered the boys to throw their bikes into a ditch and lie down on the ground. He then asked each boy his age. Jacob's brother was told to run toward a nearby wooded area and not look back or else he would be shot. Subsequently, the gunman asked to view the faces of both boys. He picked Jacob, and told his friend to run away and not look back otherwise he would shoot. The whereabouts of Jacob and the identity of the gunman remain unknown.

The pain and anguish of one's son/daughter passing away is a parent's worst nightmare. However, the emotional pain of Jerry & Patty Wetterling (Jacob's mom and dad) is likely compounded by the fact they have no earthly idea what has become of their son. Since I've pretty much followed this story from the beginning, I don't recall one instance where a substantive lead has cropped up. I pray that the Wetterlings are able to have some semblance of closure one day.

In the mean time, Jacob's best friend Aaron continues to struggle with survivor's guilt. See his heart wrenching account of that fateful evening (as well as what life's been like the past 25 years) in raw interview footage shared by Fox 9 news.

You can also see the actual news footage of the interview here.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Quick Hits: Volume CIII

-The gay mafia continues the shakedown.

The Idaho case involves Donald and Evelyn Knapp, both ordained ministers, who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel. Officials from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told the couple that because the city has a non-discrimination statute that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the couple would have to officiate at same-sex weddings in their own chapel.

The non-discrimination statute applies to all “public accommodations,” and the city views the chapel as a public accommodation.

On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined. The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.

A week of honoring their faith and declining to perform the ceremony could cost the couple three and a half years in jail and $7,000 in fines.

The thing that is most perplexing is why an aspiring married couple would insist on receiving services from people who don't support their union. Over the past decade, more and more Americans began to accept the "live and let live" mantra and thus no longer protested the idea of gays marrying. So why is it that when the gays seemingly get what they want (i.e. the "freedom to marry"), why must they turn it into a cudgel against those who politely reject such an exercise?

This isn't the first story of its kind either. It further validates Erick Erickson's assertion from 19 months ago that, despite opposing gay marriage but not caring if it's legal, you will be made to care.

- How desperate are the Democrats to hang on to their U.S. Senate majority? They're citing blunders made by GOP Senate 2012!!

Of course, it doesn't help the Dems when they're desperately trying to distance themselves from President Obama yet he continually inserts himself in the fray.

- So Monica Lewinsky joined Twitter on Monday.

Ms. Lewinsky posted her first tweet just ahead of a speech she was to given at Forbes' inaugural "Under 30 Summit" in Philadelphia.

In her speech, Lewinsky spoke of her advocacy to stop "cyberbullying." of which she claimed she was the first victim upon the 1998 revelation of her affair with then President Bill Clinton. While I felt awful for Ms. Lewinsky and how the affair basically ruined her life due to the public shaming, I don't believe she should be 100% absolved of responsibility. Given Lewinsky was a young woman in her early 20s when the affair began, I find it difficult to believe she didn't realize the moral repugnance of having relations with another woman's husband. Now do I believe she deserves to have her life in complete shambles as a result? No. In fact I'm rooting for her to use her awful circumstances to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

While it's a noble cause Lewinsky is undertaking, it would be even more so had she not portrayed herself a helpless victim.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Boxscore of the Week (Postseason edition)

Game 4 of the 2006 ALCS featuring the Oakland A's and the Detroit Tigers.


Last week the San Francisco Giants clinched the NL pennant on a walk off home run. The last time that happened was the aforementioned Game 4 of the 2006 ALCS. 


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Keepin' it retrospective from the get go.....

T-minus 16 days until Election Day, so there will be a fair amount of political talk on The Closer this afternoon. As usual, I will be on the air from 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central Time. 

Right at 1:00, Republican candidate for MN Auditor Randy Gilbert will join the program. He will discuss his campaign and make the case as to why he should unseat two term incumbent Rebecca Otto. 

Then at 2:30, Stacey Stout, GOP candidate in MN House District 43A, will check in. Truth be told, I had Stacey booked on the program even before the DFL's photoshopped hit piece on her was mailed out. We may spend a minute or two on that, but we specifically want to focus on her campaign and why she should absolutely be elected in November. 

In the non-guest segments, I'll likely address the Minneapolis Star Tribune endorsing (surprise!) Governor Mark Dayton for reelection as well as other big news stories from this past week. 

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.....


Friday, October 17, 2014

Football Trivia: Nuthin' But a "G" Thang

After taking last week off, I was back at it last evening for 1500 ESPN's Thursday Football Trivia. The locale this week was a quaint little bar called Mama G's, located in on the Maple Grove/Corcoran border.

In the opening portion I aced the written quiz, thus earning a #1 seed and a first round bye.

In the quarterfinals I faced a duo that went by the nickname "The Blood Farts" (Yeah, I know. Gross).

This round is Family Feud style where the first person to buzz in obviously gets first crack at answering. It was best 2 out of 3. 

Question one: When Brad Childress was hired as Vikings coach in 2006, who was his first defensive coordinator? 

Brad (buzzing in first): Leslie Frazier. Incorrect. 
BF: {no guess}
Brad: Mike Tomlin. Correct.

1-0, Brad. 

Question two: Two weeks ago, this running back passed Adrian Peterson for third place in career rushing yardage for an active player. Name him

Brad (buzzing in first): Chris Johnson? Incorrect. 
BF: Stephen Jackson. Incorrect
Brad: Marshawn Lynch. Incorrect.
BF: Frank Gore. Correct

1-1 tie

Questions three: Cumulatively, how many points have been scored in the NFL thus far this season? 

Each contestant was given a piece of paper and pen to write down their answer. We were given 60 seconds to come up with an answer. The team who comes closest to the correct total wins. 

I figured that there's an average of at least 40 points per game scored. So 40 in each of 16 games comes to 640 per week. There's been six weeks, so I guessed 3,800. 

Brad: 3,800
BF: 4,450

The answer is....


The BFs get the point and win 2-1. 

This duo would also go on to win the championship 3-2 after falling behind 2-0 in that final round. 

If Curt Schilling and his blood soaked sock were able to rally the Red Sox from down 3-0 in the 2004 ALCS then Thursday's football trivia winners apparently overcame bloody drawers. Kudos to them I guess. 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

More DFL follies

While perusing Twitter over my lunch break Wednesday, I saw a tweet posted by Star Tribune reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger.

I know Kurt Daudt personally. And while he's in good shape for a guy in his early 40s, he certainly isn't that muscular. But even if one isn't familiar with Daudt, it seems pretty obvious to the naked eye that his head was Photoshopped on to someone else's body. But whose body?

Brian Cook of MN Action Network was quick with his investigative work.

That would actually be Conor McFadden, the eldest son of U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden, pictured with MN House candidate Stacey Stout.

Naturally my first question is why would the DFL do such a thing? After all, Daudt traditionally takes photos with GOP House candidates when he's out door knocking on their behalf. Like the one he took with Stout in late July.

I guess Daudt looks cordial and pleasant in that pic, which doesn't fit the DFL's "extremist" narrative. So perhaps putting Daudt's head on a thick body makes him look more brutish. Truth be told, I'm really not interested what goes on in the twisted minds of the left.

Since it appears Mark Dayton will be re-elected governor of MN (or will he?), the DFL is pulling out all the stops to keep the MN House in Dem hands as well. As such, they appear to be playing defense in districts where their incumbent is on shaky ground. That would include House District 43A (Mahtomedi, Willernie, Birchwood Village and parts of White Bear Lake & Maplewood), the district where Stout is running and lost by only six points in 2012 to current representative Peter Fischer.

As luck would have it, I already had Stacey Stout booked as a guest on my radio show for this Sunday at 2:30. I imagine this issue will come up, but it won't be the sole focus. The MN Legislature would be fortunate to have Stout, so tune in to hear a great candidate!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Quick Hits: Volume CII ("Awkward!" edition)

-A protest took place last week in (of all places) Madison, WI, specifically outside the Public Service Commission's office. This was in response to Madison Gas & Electric's proposal to raise utility rates.

The opponents of said proposal wanted to make it known that if MG&E would simply use more efficient energy sources (e.g. wind, solar, etc.) as opposed to "dirty coal", rates would be much more reasonable for energy just as powerful. As such, some of the protesters decided to use a machine powered by wind energy and solar power to inflate a replica of a coal plant.

While chanting "coal must go", the inflatable power plant collapsed due to a lack of sufficient power from the "energy efficient" device used to power the inflating machine.


-I'll just leave this here.


- There's a strong possibility that the Democrat majority in the U.S. Senate could flip to the Republicans after November's election. One of the crucial flips the GOP may need is in the state of Colorado where incumbent Dem Senator Mark Udall is receiving a legitimate challenge from Republican Cory Gardner.

In one of his latest TV ads, Sen. Udall touts his bipartisanship by reminding folks of his criticism of Presidents Bush and Obama for the NSA seizing of U.S. citizens' phone and internet records.

About 20 seconds into the ad, there's a caption referencing Udall's work against "spying activities." This was from an editorial in The Denver Post on October 10.

The content of the aforementioned editorial? It was the DP's endorsement of Udall's opponent for U.S. Senate.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pain and Anguish

As a Christian, I believe that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. As such, I hold sacred the life that I have been given since Jesus himself said in John 10:10 "I come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

To be blunt, I can't fathom a situation where I would want to voluntarily end the life I have been given. Of course it's easy for me to say that here and now, as I am as healthy and happy as I've ever been. But what if I were enduring an overbearing physical or emotional pain to the point where I would do literally anything to make it all go away? I'd like to believe my faith would see me through and I would cling to the belief the God's ways are much higher than ours, that He sees the end from the beginning. As Romans 8:28 says "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

I guess that's what makes it so difficult for me to adequately convey my feelings regarding the decision of a young Oregon woman.

This spring, 29-year-old newlywed Brittany Maynard learned that she had terminal brain cancer. After careful assessment of her prognosis and end-of-life choices, she and her family reluctantly decided to move from their San Francisco Bay Area home to Oregon, one of five states (including Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Mexico) that authorize death with dignity.

Brittany recognizes it is unfair that the vast majority of people cannot access death with dignity because they do not have the resources and time to uproot their family, seek appropriate medical care and establish a support system.

As a result, in the few weeks she has left to live, Brittany wants to advocate for access for death with dignity in California and nationwide in partnership with Compassion & Choices, the nation's leading end-of-life choice advocacy organization.

Am I the only one slightly offended by the phrase "death with dignity?" The implication being that one is somehow soiling his/her life legacy by choosing to pass away naturally even though there's no possibility of overcoming one's terminal condition. Again, I can't help but think about how Jesus Christ suffered and died so that we might have eternity in Heaven, a place where there's no more sorrow, no more pain. To me, enduring what may seem like unbearable physical anguish for a relative "whiff of time" would be well worth my great reward for eternity.

With all that said, I am not here to condemn Brittany, but to pray for her. It's the same mindset I have when a woman has an abortion. I refuse to shame that person for her choice, but rather reflect on the tragedy of such a decision and thus praying for those left behind.

One argument I've heard in favor of Brittany making the decision she has is that it spares her loved ones the heartbreak of seeing her in such a feeble physical state. Brittany would likely be so heavily medicated that her family wouldn't be able to carry on a dignified relationship with her in the last days. When I heard that, I couldn't help but think of our friend Anne Neu, whose husband Jon was diagnosed with ALS (aka Lou Gehrig's Disease) a little over a year ago. Anne, along with she and her husband's five children, have chosen to chronicle this journey via a blog.

Anne's post Sunday was perhaps the most poignant perspective I've read yet regarding Ms. Maynard's situation.

I've been thinking a lot about the young woman who has chosen to end her life due to terminal cancer. Perhaps you've seen her story? My heart breaks for her and her family. She is far too young to say goodbye.

But my heart breaks for her family in another way as well. I'm so sad that they won't get the opportunity to care for her, serve her and love her through her illness....and that she won't get to experience that kind of love.

I am so grateful for the time my kids and I get to have with Jon. I'm so excited that my children will experience and give Christ-like service in a way most children do not have the opportunity to give. My heart is so full of love when I think of taking care of Jon in the way that he deserves to be cared for. I am so grateful for the many lessons we will learn (and are learning) through this process... humility, strength, faith, gratitude... the list could go on and on. I am so grateful that while Jon's body fails him, his heart and his love will not fail my sweet family.

I am so grateful that we will experience the fullness of whatever God gives us.


It is my sincere hope and prayer that Ms. Maynard's family (as well as Brittany herself) can still experience what Anne has conveyed. It's not too late.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Box Score of the Week (Postseason edition)

The Kansas City Royals are in the postseason for the first time since 1985. Let's check out a game from their run that season, specifically game seven of the 1985 ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays.


The 1985 MLB season saw the league championship series expand from best of 5 games to best of 7. As such, this was the first game seven in LCS history. 


Sunday, October 12, 2014

There's a place up ahead and I'm goin' just as fast as my feet can fly.....

It's 23 days until Election Day, so a lot of political stuff to get to on The Closer. I will be on the air from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time.

Right at 1:00 Stewart Mills, Republican candidate in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District, will call in. Mills is looking to unseat incumbent Rick Nolan in the 8th, with a legitimate shot to do so. We'll get an update on Mills' campaign as well as get his response to the left's obsession with his wealth and his looks.

Then at 1:30, I'll be joined by Lisa Belak, who is President of the Board of Governors with the Minnesota Excellence in Public Service (MEPS) series. Lisa will share the success of this organization and how it's helped conservative women find their place in the political arena. Oh and a fair warning, ladies. You may well get a pretty solid recruiting pitch.

In the non-guest segments, I'll likely talk about the latest news involving the Minnesota governor's race.

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, October 09, 2014

Is the fix in?

From Wednesday's MN gubernatorial debate in Moorhead:

The debate was moderated by Don Davis, Forum News Service's Minnesota political reporter.

If some members of the Minnesota media are not doing their darnedest to drag Gov. Mark Dayton across the finish line, how would the treatment of Dayton be any different if they were? From what I understand, Mr. Davis was to ask his own questions as well as those submitted my Minnesotans. Are you telling me there weren't at least dozens of Minnesotans asking questions about the MNSure boondoggle? And if indeed Mr Davis is an astute political observer, wouldn't he too be familiar with the more salient issues affecting citizens of this state?

Regardless, the Strib had a decent write up of the debate here.


Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Lori Sturdevant gets a royalty

Whenever Star Tribune columnist Lori Sturdevant is bored, her tendency is to pen a column pining for the days of yore when Minnesota Republicans weren't such insufferable ideologues or so gosh darn extreme.

So when I saw a Strib headline from Monday that read...

Republican moderates were a force in the '80s

Moderate Republicans are becoming harder to find, or at least harder to find among the cohort of activists and elected officials who run the party.

...,I naturally assumed that Ms. Sturdevant was taking yet another journey to yesteryear, all the while swaying to that Babs Streisand tune The Way We Were.

To my surprise, it was a Strib writer by the name of J. Patrick Coolican who penned this particular lament

One excerpt in that stood out to me:

Moderates have all but disappeared (in Minnesota) and nationally. In a national survey, the percentage of Republicans calling themselves “moderate” declined from 12 to 8 percent since 2002, just as the percentage of Americans calling themselves Republican also has declined, according to the Pew Research Center.

Conservatives have taken over state parties and defeated elected officials just for sounding moderate even when they have a conservative voting record.

Apparently Mr. Coolican was not in attendance at the MN Republican convention this past May.

If you look at the two higher profile statewide offices (governor and US Senate), the GOP candidates endorsed (Jeff Johnson and Mike McFadden) by party activists arguably were not the most conservative among their respective competitors. In fact, both Johnson and McFadden conceded that to win statewide in a blue state like Minnesota, one has to be able to appeal to Independents and (gasp!) moderate Democrats. This is something that delegates at this past GOP convention knew all too well, yet still gave those two the nod. Both men went on to win their primary elections, contests which bring out Republican voters of all stripes.

Even though people may eschew the label of "moderate" Republican, pragmatism will occasionally seep in, especially given the drubbings Republicans have endured at the ballot box in three of the past four elections.

Speaking of extremism in a political party, has anybody taken a close look at the Democrat party? Could, say, a pro life Dem ever win statewide election in Minnesota? And could a left-of-center fiscal conservative in the motif of JFK ever be elected President? An analysis into how many leftists embrace the "moderate" Democrat label would certainly be a unique (not to mention refreshing) story at the Strib. I'm sure someone's on it.


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

More momentum

Same-sex marriage becoming the law of the land took another leap forward Monday.

As the Supreme Court refused to hear any cases on same-sex marriage from the lower courts, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the state's Department of Justice decided to stop their legal battles.

Both affirmed the lower federal appeals court ruling is now the law of the land, striking down Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage.

Advocates for gay marriage in other states are rejoicing at the justices' decision, which could lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage in 30 states.

Federal appeals courts already had struck down bans against gay marriage in five states — Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin — and those rulings will be allowed to stand. Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming are in the same judicial circuits, so they must abide by those appeals court rulings, too.

Nineteen other states and the District of Columbia already permit same-sex marriage.

I've been saying for some time now that gay marriage will eventually be legalized nationwide for the simple reason that it's being peddled as a civil rights issue. As such, the approach to overturning statewide gay marriage bans is to argue that homosexual couples are not receiving equal protection under the law. I often hear analogies being made that gays are enduring segregation similar to what black people endured in the '60s (Apparently many folks need a history lesson). I always found that to be an absurd argument given that one being deemed a homosexual is based strictly on behavior while one's race is attributable to the empirical evidence of skin color.

Another dead horse I've beaten is how a lot of this could have been avoided with legalization of Civil Unions. That would allow any couple (same-sex or not) to derive the same financial benefits as a married couple. Unfortunately many social conservatives would not even cede that issue, instead being indignant over how such an arrangement would seek undermine traditional marriage, even making a mockery of it. I can't help but think the vehement opposition to gay marriage just a decade ago began a movement that looked to to change public opinion. If so, then mission accomplished.

Not only have we reached a point of no return in regards to gay marriage but religious objections to such a practice are now under attack. I have a feeling that will be the next substantial issue to come before the U.S. Supreme Court. With that in mind, it would behoove social conservatives to find their way to the polls this November to ensure the GOP takes over the Senate. Need we remind said social cons which body confirms justices?


Monday, October 06, 2014

Box Score of the Week (Postseason edition)

The Twins took on the Yankees in game one of the 2004 American League Division Series.


This past Sunday was the 10 year anniversary of the Minnesota Twins' last victory in the postseason, which was game one of the 2004 ALDS. Since then, they have lost 12 consecutive postseason games (the record is 13).


Sunday, October 05, 2014

Father wears his Sunday best; Mother's tired, she needs a rest....

Another news intensive week, so a lot to get to this afternoon on The Closer. Please tune in, as I will be on the air from 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central Time.

Right at 1:00, Salem Communications crack promotions guy (as well as my friend and fellow Twins rube) Ross Brendel will be checking in. Ross will opine on the firing of Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, a move he felt should have been made eight years ago. We'll also discuss the possible replacements for Gardy.

At 1:15, Republican Congressional candidate (and fellow Harding Sr. High alum) Sharna Wahlgren will join me in studio.

Sharna's senior photo - Harding HS class of '86.

This photo is part of Harding's "Senior Class Poll" for the class of '86. In the upper left is Sharna and a male classmate who were voted "Most Intelligent." The photo in the lower left features the boy and girl voted "Class Clowns." The young man standing on his head in that pic? That would be the late, great comedian Mitch Hedberg.

Ms. Wahlgren has the unenviable task of running in the second most blue Congressional District in the state of Minnesota, which is CD4. Nevertheless, we'll discuss Sharna's campaign thus far as she attempts to oust the vacuous Rep. Betty McCollum this November.

Then at 2:00, author/conservative columnist/friend of the Northern Alliance Radio Network Katie Kieffer will check in. This Tuesday in Northfield, MN, Katie will be on a six-person panel as part of Bill Maher's HBO program Real Time. The insufferable Maher is in town to enact his "Flip a District" campaign. Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District, currently represented by Republican John Kline, has been chosen by Maher to flip to a Democrat this November. It won't happen but the caustic, arrogant Maher will try to be relevant in CD2 nonetheless.

In the non-guest segments, we'll discuss other newsworthy items, including how President Obama undermined incumbent Democrat Senators who have been trying to distance themselves from Obama's record.

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.....


Friday, October 03, 2014

Over the Moon

Of the myriad starting quarterbacks my Minnesota Vikings have employed in their 54-year franchise history, Warren Moon was the first to throw for 4,000 yards in a season. After ten years with the Houston Oilers (1984-93), Moon became expendable as the club was looking to usher in the Cody Carlson era. As such, the Vikings (who employed Sean Salisbury and Jim McMahon as their QBs in 1993) traded for Moon prior to the '94 season. He would throw for more than 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons as a Vikings QB.

On NFL Network Friday evening, the premiere of Warren Moon: A Football Life was aired. As I watched the story of this true trail blazer (do you ever hear the phrase "black quarterback" anymore?), I couldn't help but fondly reminisce of Moon's brief (but thrilling) tenure with the Vikes.

You'll notice the "1 Favorite" in the lower left. Yes, my tweet was favorited by none other than Moon himself.

I still get that child-like thrill when interacting with those public figure whom I truly admire.


Thursday, October 02, 2014

Football Trivia: Irish eyes weren't smiling

This week's Football Trivia contest took place at Patrick McGovern's Pub in St Paul.

The opening portion of the contest entailed a written "exam" to determine seeding for the bracketed tournament. I scored 19 out of 20, which earned me the #1 seed and a first round bye.

In the quarterfinals, I faced a team of two guys who called themselves "Conspicuity" (Is that even a real word?). This round is Family Feud style where the first person to buzz in obviously gets first crack at answering. It was best 2 out of 3. 

Question one: Name a coach in the NFC South division. 

Brad (buzzing in first): Mike Smith. Correct. 

1-0, Brad. 

Question two: Per the latest edition of Forbes magazine, which NFL franchise was rated #1 in terms of most valuable?

Brad (buzzing in first): Dallas Cowboys. Correct. 

Brad wins, 2-0! On to the semis!!

The final four is also a best 2 of 3, but the questions are in category format, meaning there are multiple answers. This year has an interesting twist. The rule now is if each player gets one correct answer, it moves to sudden death. That means the first person to give a wrong answer loses the point. 

In this the semifinal round, I faced a guy named Brian.

Question one: The last time the Gophers football team defeated Michigan before this past Saturday was back in 2005. Name one of the 11 players on offense to touch the ball in that 2005 game. 

Brad (quick with the trigger finger): Amir Pinnix. Incorrect (though he was a member of that team).
Brian: Laurence Maroney. Correct

Brian leads 1-0.

Question two: Name the top ten Vikings defenders who had the most interceptions while in a Vikings uniform.

Brad (buzzing in first): Paul Krause. Correct.
Brian: Bobby Bryant. Correct. 
Brad: Dewayne Washington. Incorrect.

Brian advances to the championship round with a 2-0 win. 

As it so happened, Brian would go on to win the championship. So in the four weeks of 2014 football trivia, three of the four contests have either seen me win it all (once) or lose to the eventual champ (twice). So I got that goin' for me.