Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Running on empty (UPDATE: Mayor and BLM leader reach "deal")

The local Black Lives Matter group has not only prepared to protest at the Twin Cities Marathon this Sunday, they're planning to disrupt it. I have said many times before that I don't understand how BLM can expect to gain sympathy for their cause if they continually disrupt people trying to enjoy their activities or their attempts to simply live life. For the most part, the local BLM has been given sympathetic coverage by our media as well as a proverbial hand squeeze from leftist politicians.

My friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg couldn't help but notice how the big city mayors just might be the victims of "give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile."

(W)hat must it be like to be Betsy Hodges or Chris Coleman, right now? They’ve bent over 90 degrees past backwards for BLM – who, being liberal and (partly) black, they consider their electoral property – allowing them to block city streets numerous times without the protest permit every other group would need to bet, much less blocking interstate highways and mass transit over and over again. And now – after all those favors – BLM ungratefully wants to screw with one of Hodges and Coleman’s marquee events?

Will either of them decide to “get tough”, as the eyes of the marathon-running world are on them?

Ah yes. We'll come back to that.

Another friend of mine (as well as an attorney extraordinaire), Harry Niska, used legal rationale to call out statements made by local BLM leader Rashad Turner.

I would imagine that Turner's remarks were likely the last straw for St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman. As such, he released the following statement Wednesday:

“Over the last several months, Black Lives Matter has conducted numerous demonstrations in the City of Saint Paul designed to disrupt traffic, deter people from getting to the State Fair and shut down the Green Line. While these events have likely inconvenienced some people, the protests have not led to any significant issues, no serious injuries and no arrests. The Saint Paul Police Department has done an exceptional job of balancing the rights of protesters to be heard and the public to be safe.

“Now leaders of Black Lives Matter in Saint Paul have stated their intent to ‘shut down the Twin Cities Marathon.’ While we are no less committed to the right to peacefully protest, these threatened actions pose an unacceptable risk to runners, spectators and protesters themselves. To paraphrase an old adage, the right of anyone to protest ends at another's nose, or, in this case, someone else's feet. Therefore, I have asked Chief Smith to keep all options on the table to prevent disruption of the race or prevent runners from finishing the marathon.

“I have also reached out to Saint Paul leaders of Black Lives Matter and hope to meet with them prior to Sunday. It is my desire to understand more fully what specific steps they are asking the City of Saint Paul and the Saint Paul Police Department to take to address their concerns. Recent incidents cited by the group’s leadership are currently under review. I am confident Chief Smith will address these matters appropriately. And I also believe it is important for leaders of Black Lives Matter to understand the extraordinary efforts Chief Smith and the department have taken to address issues of racial equity.

“Saint Paul has a long history of resolving disputes peacefully and successfully, including a long history of working directly with community leaders to take corrective action in City and police practices. We remain committed to doing so.”

While I am somewhat amused at the predicament Coleman finds himself in given he borderline excused some of BLM's prior tactics, it is my sincere hope that the TC marathon goes on without incident. I actually agree with some of the concerns expressed by BLM, particularly instances of questionable tactics by law enforcement towards minorities. But unfortunately those concerns can often be drowned out if BLM continues to disrupt the lives of those who are not the least bit complicit in such things. Sadly, Turner still seems unmoved by that, which would serve to only inflict more damage upon BLM's reputation.

UPDATE: St Paul mayor Chris Coleman and BLM head Rashad Turner meet. Reach some sort of accord where BLM will not disrupt the TC marathon. Some would call that "extortion." Huh.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Box Score of the Week

A high scoring affair featuring the Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros on April 18, 2006.


The Houston Astros came into existence in 1962 when they debuted as the Colt .45's. They reached the .500 mark that initial season, starting 6-6. 

Upon defeating the Brewers in that April 2006 contest, the franchise's record was 3,507 wins, 3,507 losses. Yes, it was the first time Houston's all-time mark was at .500 or better since that 6-6 record in their debut season -- a span of 44 years!


Sunday, September 27, 2015

No surface noise now, not much to say.....

So much to get, so little time on the two hour extravaganza that is the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer. The festivities get started promptly at 1:00 p.m. Central Time.

I'll discuss some of the local political news from this past week, including MN state senator Branden Petersen resigning his post effective next month. Since I am a constituent of Petersen's I have a definite opinion on the upcoming special election to replace him.

At 1:30 my program's political wonk, Matt Mackowiak, will be on to discuss the national political news. The main topics include Gov. Scott Walker dropping out of the presidential race, House Speaker John Boehner stepping down from Congress as of the end of next month, etc.

Then at 2:30, Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries (as well as radio host at our sister station AM 980 The Mission) will check in to promote her upcoming Understanding The Times conference.

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio

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

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

Until then.....


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Meanwhile, back at SD35.....

My home state Senate District has once again been thrust into the news.

Republican Sen. Branden Petersen, who already announced he will not run for re-election next year, is taking that one step further: He is resigning from office.

He plans to leave the Legislature at the end of October, which will trigger a special election for his Republican-dominant seat. The decision means that he will not return to the Capitol for the 2016 session.

“Since announcing my intention not to run again (in July),” the Andover Republican said, “I’ve just felt and experienced some stagnation both personally and professionally.”

Petersen, the youngest member of the Senate, told the Pioneer Press that staying in the Legislature to complete his term would deny his constituents of “somebody who is at 100 percent of their capacity.”

Petersen, who was first elected to the Minnesota House in 2010 and won election to the Senate in 2012, said he felt he was no longer able to give that.

As one of Petersen's constituents, I respect and appreciate Sen. Petersen's decision. If indeed he doesn't feel engaged in the process then he is doing the honorable thing.

I can only speculate that Petersen is heavily involved in transitioning back to full time in the private sector, thus maybe that's what is preventing him from devoting much time to SD35 constituents. Even though the job of legislator is dubbed "part time" given the actual legislative session lasts only 3-4 months in the early part of the calendar year, there is still plenty taking place outside that window. Fundraising, campaigning, public appearances and constituent contact aren't put aside just because the Legislature is out of session.

When announcing a few months ago he would not seek reelection, Petersen cited the need for "family and making a living." Since his wife is a stay-at-home mom to 3 children under the age of five, Petersen obviously felt a sense of urgency to get on with that portion of his life. No sense in trying to slog through a shortened 2016 session if his heart just isn't in it.

So now the focus of SD35 Republican delegates (of which I am one) will be to endorse a candidate to run in a special election.

The date for a special election to fill Petersen’s seat will have to be set by the governor.

Three Republicans had already filed to run in his place in 2016. They are: Former longtime state Rep. Jim Abeler and longtime Republican activists Andy Aplikowski and Donald Huizenga. Aplikowski said Thursday that he plans to run for the Republican endorsement in the special election.

A fourth Republican candidate, Alex Huffman, has also set up a campaign website but has yet to file a campaign finance spending committee.

As my own personal rule, I typically do not publicly endorse political candidates because a) no one cares what I think and b) it may well result in the GOP candidates whom I do not endorse declining to appear on my radio program.

But given the sense of urgency this time around, I am breaking that pledge. Of all the candidates cited above, Andy Aplikowski is the one who I believe most closely represents my values and beliefs.

Let the games begin!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Rubbish from Reich

Somehow a post by Robert B. Reich, former Secretary of Labor in the Bill Clinton administration, wound up in my Facebook feed. In it, Reich cites a college buddy who has allegedly become fed up with the suddenly radical GOP and thus lays out a laundry list of reasons as to why.

I could be totally wrong here but I get a sense that Reich’s “old college friend” exists in the same vein as Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster and Cory Booker’s pal “T-Bone.”

Anyhow, on to Reich’s depiction of a recent conversation with his “old college friend.”

I got a call this morning from an old college friend who’s been a lifelong Republican (for years we’ve kidded one another about our respective politics), who told me he had decided to leave the GOP.

Heh. A lib with a “Republican friend.” Kinda like a white guy denying he’s a racist by saying “I have a black friend.”

“It’s become the Party of hatemongers and know-nothings,” he said. “I’m embarrassed to be one of them.”

I asked him what had tipped him over the edge.

“Everything,” he said. “Their harangues against undocumented immigrants and promises to round them up and build a wall along the southern border.

I think only Donald Trump has openly pledged to “round them up.” Most other GOP presidential candidates are proposing some sort of “path to citizenship” for those undocumented immigrants with no criminal record (other than their being here illegally of course). While Trump may lead the current GOP field, he certainly isn't the standard bearer for the other Republican candidates or a fair number in the electorate.

Their willingness to accept charges Obama is a Muslim and not born in America;

Oh you mean the rumors Hillary Clinton started? She’s a Democrat you nimrod.

that vaccines cause autism;

Again, only Trump has said that. Oh, and Jenny McCarthy, though I’m certain she’s not a Republican. I think the issue is that most in the GOP do not want vaccinations to be made mandatory. It has to do with that liberty thingy. But most Republicans would agree that vaccinations are vital and I would bet the vast majority have had their own children vaccinated. Voluntarily of course.

that global warming is a hoax.”

Maybe. But the bigger issue is Republicans fighting back against envrio-wackos who hate capitalism, and thus look to bankrupt companies who burn fossil fuels. Heck, even the EPA has said their own “Clean Power Plan” will have little impact on the environment. Besides, if the most prominent “global warmists” aren’t “walking the walk” then why should we see "global warming" as anything other than a hoax?

“Yeah,” I said. “Pretty awful.”

“But that’s not all,” he said, becoming agitated. “It’s also their knee-jerk warmongering substituting for foreign policy.

Nah. It’s more in the motif of Reagan’s “peace through strength.” The appeasement and empty threats (e.g. The Iran nuclear deal as well as Syria and the “red line”) from the current administration sure hasn’t eased any tensions around the world.

Their intolerance of a woman’s right to choose,

Well, no. But the libs’ collective freak out over making it illegal to kill babies born alive or banning of abortion past 20 weeks pregnancy seems much more extreme and intolerant, no?

and of gays’ and lesbians’ right to marry.

Again, no. In any state where a gay marriage law was passed via legislative fiat and signed by a governor, no prominent Republican has challenged and/or vowed to overturn. But when the U.S. Supreme Court usurps the legislative branch of government and makes any law (e.g. “Obergfell”), you doggone right there will be “intolerance.”

Their willful suppression of black votes.

Suppression of black votes?!?! Got any evidence of that?

Their racism!”

There it is!!! Racism. An oldie but goodie. Ironic that this “college friend” levies the racism charge given the current GOP presidential field includes two Cuban-Americans, one African-American and one Indian-American while the Democrat POTUS candidates are all lily white.

It was as if I’d opened a sluice gate. He went on, almost shouting: “Their incessant pandering to their wealthy funders by wanting even more tax cuts for the rich and big corporations, and then lying that the benefits will “trickle-down.”

No, the only lie is how a $20/hour minimum wage will “trickle-down” when the reality is that jobs will be phased out.

Their attacks on teachers. Cuts in school budgets. Eagerness to cut school lunches for poor kids…” i

Source? Well…..that’s not really the point here, is it?

“Whoa,” I stopped him. “I get it. But these aren’t all new. Why did you stay a Republican all these years?”

He was silent for a moment. “Because I admired Mark Hatfield and Nelson Rockefeller and Jacob Javits,” he said. “I supported Barry Goldwater and John McCain. They reflected my values.

Wait, WHAT?!?! John McCain?!?!?! Has this “college friend” ever listened to a John McCain speech? In one breath the “college friend” bitches and moans about the GOP engaging in “knee-jerk warmongering substituting for foreign policy” and then says McCain “reflected my values?!?!” Pretty much every McCain stump speech references some area of the world he believes we should attack militarily. Seems intellectually inconsistent there.

I kept thinking my Republican Party would come back. But now I know it’s dead. The Party is now a sinkhole of ignorance and bigotry.”

“So,” I asked with a smile in my voice, “does this mean you’re coming over to my side?”

“No,” he said, still deeply serious. “Not yet. For now I’m an Independent.”

“But you’ll vote for a Democrat in the presidential election?”

“Absolutely. The Republicans now running are all “a-- ----s.”

Sure, this “college friend” claims to be an Independent. But given the ad hominem attacks, lack of nuanced arguments and classic projection, he’d make a perfect Democrat.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Walker walks

Disappointed (but not surprised) by this development.

Scott Walker announced Monday he is dropping out of the GOP presidential race.

The Wisconsin governor entered the primary in July as a front-runner in Iowa and a darling of both the conservative base and powerful donors after winning battles against public unions in his left-leaning home state. But that promising start was quickly dashed after poor debate performances dried up support from donors.

"Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field. With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately," Walker said at a news conference in Madison, Wisconsin.

He encouraged other trailing Republican candidates to follow his path.

"I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current front-runner," said Walker, referencing businessman Donald Trump. "This is fundamentally important to the future of our party, and, more important, the future of the country."

It's hard for me to be impartial about this one since Walker was on my short list of preferred candidates. Having effectively beaten back labor unions with sweeping reforms as Wisconsin governor (along with winning 3 statewide election in 4 years in a "purple-ish" state), Walker had the bona fides of a terrific executive.

But despite a good start to his campaign, Walker could never seem to make a dent in what has become Trump-mania. In my opinion, I don't believe the Trump phenomenon happens if he were only one of, say, 6 or 7 candidates. But since there was at one point 17 GOP presidential candidates as recently as a few weeks ago, Walker seemed to be caught up in an era where TV ratings takes precedence over substantive policy debates. As such, CNN exploited the Trump circus by giving him multiple times more coverage than any others vying for the Republican nomination. Hence a ratings spike for CNN in last week's debate.

In the end, part of Walker's undoing was what, in my estimation, made him so appealing: the fact he's a genuinely likable, humble and downright average guy. I have a hard time believing that President of the United States was something he aspired to upon dropping out of Marquette University in 1990. But given his steady persona in the face of countless legal challenges to his budget reforms as governor of Wisconsin, he emerged as a respected leader. But what he seemed to lack is the ruthlessness of the likes of Trump, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, all of whom give the impression that the job of President is their birthright. Combine that with the sense that the electorate seemingly prefers being entertained as opposed to hearing ideas on how to stop the unsustainable U.S. national debt and attain a stronger foreign policy, you get the kind of carnival that took place at the Reagan Library last week.

It sure is an alternate universe when candidates Walker and Rick Perry (two governors with fantastic jobs records) bow out of the field before the likes of George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham and Mike Huckabee. A shame, really.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Box Score of the Week

Let's flash back to a mere 5 days ago where the Milwaukee Brewers hosted the St. Louis Cardinals.


These two franchises met up in the 1982 World Series back when the Brewers were in the American League. That series went 7 games. 

With that in mind, sportswriter John Lowe noticed something familiar about the attendance figures at Milwaukee's Miller Park this particular game. Paid attendance - 19827. 


Sunday, September 20, 2015

I can solve the world's problems without even trying....

Another Sunday means another edition of the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer. I will be live on the air from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time. 

I'll provide my own recap of Wednesday's GOP Presidential debate and specifically talk about how Carly Fiorina's star has risen. I will also look back at last weekend's Miss America pageant where there was a lot of fallout from the politically charged on-stage questions and some of the contestants' controversial answers. 

At 1:30, MN state representative Jim Newberger (R-Becker) will call in. He will be on to discuss a Monday evening hearing being put on by the Minnesota House Jobs and Energy Committee pertaining to the EPA Clean Power Plan

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio

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

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

Until then.....


Friday, September 18, 2015

Crossing off another "bucket list" item

OK, I admit I don't actually have a "bucket list" (a list of things one wants to do before one "kicks the bucket"). But given I'm a rabid sports fan, a mythical bucket list would likely include chatting with a Hall of Fame athlete who played for one of my favorite teams. Well.....that is something I will be able to do this weekend!!!

I have been given the golden opportunity to welcome to my radio show this Sunday Hall of Fame Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton! I have been a fan of the Vikes for nearly 40 years, which means I only saw Tark play live the final few years of his career (he retired from the NFL after the 1978 season). Nevertheless, I have a deep appreciation of pro football history, so this will be a thrill of a lifetime! However, I will refrain from telling him that when I was 9-years old I secretly hoped he and my mom would meet (Tark occasionally visited a friend at 3M where Ma worked at the time) so he could one day become my stepdad. 

Tarkenton will be in the Twin Cities for appearances the weekend of Sept. 26-27 to promote (and sign copies of) his new book The Power of Failure: Succeeding in the Age of Innovation.

I have already forewarned his publicist that I may come off as a complete rube at the beginning of the interview. If nothing else, that would make for entertaining radio,


Thursday, September 17, 2015

GOP Debate II

My Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg and I had a blast at the AM 1280 The Patriot Debate Viewing Party on Wednesday evening. The room we reserved at The Mermaid Entertainment Center in Mounds View was jam packed to the point where we had to bring in extra chairs.

During commercial breaks, Mitch and I chatted with the audience, gave away prizes, etc. All in all a fun evening!

While we watched the early debate among the lower tier candidates (Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum and George Pataki), most of us were eager to see the "main event" featuring the top 11.

I'll have a more detailed analysis on the radio show Sunday but I thought I'd convey a thought or two on each candidate.

Jeb Bush: Adequately defended himself from attacks on his Florida record, his wife and brother. Admitted he smoked marijuana 40 years ago when the question came up about Federal laws concerning the drug.

Fair or unfair, I still don't see how he overcomes the stigma of the Bush name.

Ben Carson: Dr. Carson has enjoyed a surprising rise in the polls, many of which have him in second place. However, he seemed rather lackluster in his answers on illegal immigration and didn't deliver a rhetorical knockout punch to Donald Trump's assertion that vaccinations of children lead to a high risk of autism. I understand Carson wants to present an aura of dignity and decorum but that wasn't the time or place for it. A real missed opportunity there.

Chris Christie : If there was one candidate who exceeded lower expectations it was Christie. He struck a lot of nerves when recounting 9/11/01 and how he couldn't get a hold of his wife who had gone to the Twin Towers that day. He was also frank about his struggles as a fiscally conservative, pro-life Republican in New Jersey, yet still sticking to his principles.

Where I thought Christie overreached was when the moderators asked candidates Trump and Carly Fiorina about their respective business careers. Christie eventually interjected that the American people who live check to check didn't much care about their lucrative careers. I don't know why he directed his curt statement towards the two candidates when it was the moderators who broached the subject.

Ted Cruz: Oh, Ted Cruz was there?

In all seriousness, Cruz did what he normally did, which is tout his willingness to rip both parties in Washington, D.C. while playing nicey nice with Donald Trump. He also talked about how he regrets being so supportive of a quick confirmation of Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.

Carly Fiorina: Definitely the most commanding performance of all the candidates (moderator Hugh Hewitt thought her presence was in the motif of Lady Thatcher). She effectively sliced and diced Trump's remarks about her looks and even managed to connect Planned Parenthood & the Iran deal.

Where Fiorina is vulnerable would be in regards to her firing as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. She spun it as her having alienated the Board of Directors due to her challenging the status quo. While she was obviously prepared for that line of questioning, will the American people be placated with her answer?

Regardless, there was close to a consensus at our debate party that she was the winner despite the fact most were coming in as Carson and Cruz supporters.

Mike Huckabee: In my opinion he's not a serious candidate but he's still very good on the religious liberty issue. While I disagree with him on the Kim Davis saga, he was terrific when giving his vehement defense of her. Outside of that, pretty lackluster performance.

John Kasich: Kasich overachieved in the first debate in Cleveland. But get him out of his home state of Ohio and he doesn't offer much. In fact, his defense of the Iran deal effectively killed what minuscule chance he had to be the GOP nominee for President.

Rand Paul: He was good on liberty issues surrounding legalization of marijuana as well as the controversy regarding vaccinations. Tries not to sound as loony as dear old dad Ron on foreign policy but still didn't give definitive stances on Israel, Syria, etc.

Marco Rubio: Solid as a rock. Rubio was great on foreign policy as well as rejecting the premise that this country can effectively alleviate any "climate change." I've said for some time that he is the most charismatic and coherent candidate when conveying the GOP message. Wednesday's performance effectively galvanized that belief.

Rubio is also funny in a charming way. When moderator Jake Tapper mistakenly referred to him as "Senator Cruz," Rubio corrected him and then wryly said "we don't all look alike."

Donald Trump: The usual empty rhetoric. Talks about how he'll be the greatest jobs President but offering no specifics. Claims he'll surround himself with the greatest military minds that will guide him in foreign policy decisions but doesn't share one name of anybody he claims to be considering. Indignantly say he opposed the Iraq war before it started despite no record of any stance. And of course his pet issue is illegal immigration. Apparently these great (and, of course, unnamed) legal scholars assure him he's correct that the 14th amendment does not allow babies automatic citizenship if born in the U.S. to non-citizens.

Oh, I have yet to mention his boorish behavior towards Paul, actions which would seemingly disqualify other candidacies. I think we can safely say the Trump candidacy defies all logic and conventional wisdom.

Scott Walker: The Wisconsin governor needed a strong performance to revive what seems to be a floundering campaign. Didn't happen. Walker was average at best in the limited opportunities he had to speak. His strategy seemed to be to attempt to ding front runner Trump ("...we don't need an apprentice in the White House."). He also accused Trump of using Democrat talking points. While it looked somewhat promising early in the debate, Walker pretty much faded in the end. One has to wonder if he'll be around for the next debate in late Ocotber. Far from a sure thing.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Seamless transition

Since Donald Trump apparently is busy elsewhere, his long running TV show The Celebrity Apprentice will need a new host.

Movie star-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger will replace mogul-turned-would-be politician Donald Trump on The Celebrity Apprentice, NBC announced Monday.

The former California governor, although he's not a billionaire like Trump, is a good fit for the show, which will return for the 2016-17 season, the network said.

As governor for two terms, Schwarzenegger managed "more than 300,000 state employees and a state budget in the hundreds of billions," the press release said. "He has successfully invested in both real estate and sports franchises, and is known to millions globally for his starring role in the Terminator film franchise. His films, over a six-decade career, have grossed billions of dollars in worldwide box office."

The news generated tweets spoofing the show's signature line: "You're fired!"

I believe said signature line can be perpetuated given that Arnold is not a complete novice to "firing" others.

Sorry. Still not enough to make me tune in.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Box Score of the Week

The Mets finished their 1962 season with 120 losses, an MLB single season record. But what else made their '62 regular season finale against the Chicago Cubs stand out?


In MLB history, only one player has ever hit into a triple play in the final at bat of his career. The Mets' Joe Pignatano holds that distinction, having done so in the 1962 regular season finale. 


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Should learn to live with it, but I don't want to.....

After the past two Sunday broadcasts at the Minnesota State Fair, we're back in the Patriot bunker for today's edition of The Closer. I am on the air from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time. 

Like many others, I took the time to reflect where I was 14 years ago Friday when America was attacked on its homeland. As such I will take the opening segment to share my remembrances of 9/11/2001. 

I'll also look back on some news items from this past week, including the confounding momentum of the Donald Trump for President campaign, defiant Kentuckian Kim Davis being released from jail, the deplorable Harry Reid, etc. 

At 1:30, basketball wonk Mike McCollow will check in. With Timberwolves executive/head coach (and Mike's long time friend) Flip Saunders stepping away from his coaching duties while being treated for lymphoma, we'll discuss the Wolves' prospects under interim coach (and Mike's other long time friend) Sam Mitchell. 

Then at 2:45 we'll hear from Kathy Shellum, who is the Executive Director of the Miss Minnesota Scholarship Pageant. Kathy will check in from Atlantic City, where she has been all week for the Miss America Pageant preliminaries. We'll get an update from Kathy on how Miss Minnesota Rachel Latuff has fared and size up her prospects for tonight's pageant finals!!

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio

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

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

Until then.....


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Harry Reid: Liar, and proud of it

"....Harry, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but trust me, there are many millions of people who concur with this and don’t have the opportunity that I do. You are a vague, translucent, living shade who barely matters, and if you really want to serve the country that affords a trifle like you the opportunity to delude himself into thinking that he matters, you must never, ever speak out loud in public again.”

I'm not sure what Reid obsesses about more these days: The Koch brothers or the nickname of a certain NFL team

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), who has obsessed over the franchise name of the Washington Redskins for months, claims that team owner Daniel Snyder “bribed” Native Americans to support the Redskins moniker and accused the NFL of ignoring that issue while prioritizing Deflategate.

Interviewed by CNN, Reid declared, “Snyder’s tried to bribe some of my folks, buy them little cars. To make this big deal about how much air is in a damn football. I’ve played a little football, I don’t think it makes any difference. And if it did make a difference, what’s wrong with Goodell and the National Football League — check the footballs before they go on the field.”

Did you catch that? Reid accused a well known public figure of bribery. That's a pretty serious charge and would seem to be textbook slander if it's not true. But hey, Reid's not above flat out lying in an effort to gain political advantage. Remember when he accused 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney of not having paid taxes for 10 years? Reid all but admitted such a fabrication was merely to try to gain an edge. When confronted with the accusation that people felt Reid engaged in "McCarthyism" tactics, he basically shrugged and said "They can call it whatever they want. Romney didn't win did he?"

To be fair, the situation surrounding the Redskins nickname is different in that there already seems to be more public sentiment for the team to change its name, even without Reid's accusation of impropriety by Snyder. Nevertheless, he'll gladly own his likely fib if indeed Snyder acquiesces to a name change. In Reid's world the end justifies the means, even if said means entails impugning the character of others.


Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Selective mockery

Yeah, Sarah Palin made herself look foolish once again.

Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is praising Jeb Bush for being bilingual -- but she would prefer people in this country "speak American."

"It's a benefit of Bush to be able to be so fluent, because we have a large and wonderful Hispanic population building America, and that's a great connection he has with them," Palin told CNN's Jake Tapper in an interview that aired Sunday on "State of the Union." "On the other hand, I think we can send a message and say, 'You want to be in America, A, you'd better be here legally or you're out of here. B, when you're here, let's speak American. ... Let's speak English, and that's a kind of a unifying aspect of the nation is the language that is understood by all."

Emphasis was mine.

Sure, that came off as quite inarticulate. In fact, it's about as dumb and nonsensical as saying people in Austria speak "Austrian." Wait, you didn't hear about that? I'm not surprised given that it wasn't Palin who said it, but rather the White House's current occupant.

I clearly recall that in 2008 certain people said that if I voted McCain-Palin, we would end up with a buffoonish, gaffe prone Vice President.

And they were right.


Monday, September 07, 2015

Box Score of the Week

Detroit Tigers DH Gary Sheffield hit two home runs against Oakland in a September 2008 game.


In the second inning, Sheffield hit his second homer of the game. It was also the 250,000 home run hit in the history of Major League Baseball. 


Sunday, September 06, 2015

So needless to say I'm odds and ends......

It's the final Sunday at the Minnesota State Fair which means my final 2015 Fair broadcast of The Closer. I will be live on the air from 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central Time. 

Today's guest intensive lineup: 

Minnesota Senate Minority Leader David Hann (R-Eden Prairie), who will be on right at 1:00 pm. We'll discuss the most recent legislative session that didn't end until mid-June thanks to a special session. We'll also look ahead to 2016 and the GOP's prospects for re-taking the majority in the MN Senate. 

At 1:30 I will be chatting with singer Ayla Brown, who will be coming to the Twin Cities on Saturday, September 12. Ayla is part of the Defend Freedom Tour which is a VIP speaker/concert series aimed at sharing a message of freedom and prosperity while emphasizing the necessity to defend it. It's a free event, so register today!! 

Then at 2:00 we will receive a visit from reigning Miss Winona Brittany Moncrief. We'll discuss the first two months of her reign, her platform, preparation for the Miss Minnesota pageant in June 2016, etc. 

If you happen to be out at the fair today, 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

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

Until then.....


Friday, September 04, 2015

Kentucky woman

Yeah, she shines with her own kind of light.

A Kentucky marriage clerk is in the custody of U.S. Marshals after being held in contempt of court for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis was taken into federal custody on Thursday afternoon, according to CBS’s local affiliate.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning had initially summoned Davis for a court appearance earlier that morning over her office’s actions. Bunning then held Davis in contempt of court for repeatedly refusing legal orders to issue same-sex marriage certificates, the CBS affiliate said. She now faces potential penalties, including fines and jail time.

The couple that initially sued Davis is seeking financial penalties but not jail time.

Davis has repeatedly refused to issue same-sex couples marriage certificates from her Kentucky office on account of her Christian beliefs.

There's been a lot of back and forth regarding whether or not Davis is within her legal right to do this.

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee asks a legitimate question, specifically what law is Davis violating? Yes, the Supreme Court ruled that same sex couples can be married in all 50 states. But what law was actually written, changed or passed as a result of said ruling?

On the other hand, Jonathan Adler of the Washington Post cites a 2002 essay written by Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia. The essay basically states that a public official having a moral objection to a law they must enact/enforce should result in resignation from his/her post. Davis is an elected official, so she can't technically be fired until the next election.

But perhaps the most asinine argument against Davis's actions brings up the fact she's had multiple failed marriages, thus has no moral authority to cite any "religious conscience" towards gay marriage. That argument is at best a non sequitur and worst just flat out idiotic. That's kind of like saying someone has no authority to say 3+2=5 because they failed a math test in first grade.

So the main argument against Davis is she is under legal obligation to follow the Federal statute regardless of her personal objections to it. So if we're going to be consistent, I guess all those elected officials who enact the "sanctuary city" policies will be the next group the be taken into Federal custody.


Thursday, September 03, 2015

My 2 cents on Two.

Less than a week ago I spoke with a certain Congressman from Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District. I had no inkling of the announcement he made Thursday. Perhaps I should have.

Rep. John Kline’s announcement Thursday that he will not seek re-election set off early scrambling by potential candidates in both parties for what will be a competitive open seat in the changing Second Congressional District west and south of St. Paul.

Although President Obama won the district in 2012, Kline, a Lakeville Republican, won his seventh term easily in 2014. With Kline out, a host of Republicans could join two well-funded DFL challengers plus others who may want to jump in now that the incumbent is leaving.

When asked why he was stepping down, Kline, 67, said “It’s time.” He also pointed out that in the next Congress he was scheduled to lose his powerful perch as chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee because of term limits on chairs.

In a 30-minute conference call with reporters, Kline said “Never say never,” when asked about a potential run for governor or U.S. Senate. But he said more fishing and golf would be an early order of business upon returning to Minnesota full time.

Upon completing my prerecorded radio interview with Rep. Kline last Friday, I spoke with some of his staff regarding reelection prospects. One of the first things said is how well funded one of Kline's prospective DFL opponents, St. Jude's Medical executive Angie Craig, happens to be more than a year out from Election Day 2016. I can't say whether that was a factor in Kline's decision. However, it's pretty well assumed that a Presidential election year makes this a more daunting race given a higher turnout of Democrats in Minnesota. Combine that with the fact MN-02 is a mere R+2 district perhaps expedited Kline's decision to hand over the reins to a more fresh GOP prospect. Again, this is all conjecture on my part.

The focus now shifts to potential replacements for the Republican nominee.

Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, is seen as a serious contender on the Republican side. Other candidates mentioned include Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa; Rep. Tony Albright, R-Prior Lake; Dakota County Commissioner Mary Liz Holberg;, Sen. Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake; and David Gerson, a Tea Party favorite who twice ran against Kline as being insufficiently conservative.

I've said before that Kline is perhaps the most "conservative" Republican who can win in what is essentially a "toss up" district. If that sentiment is true. then the aforementioned GOP hopefuls would face a doubly difficult task come the general election. It's all dependent upon how much the Republican National Committee prioritizes this race.

Regardless, I thank Rep. Kline for his service.

See you next year at the MN State Fair, Congressman, in what will likely be your final Northern Alliance Radio Network appearance as a U.S. House member.


Tuesday, September 01, 2015

They told me....

.....if I voted Republican in 2012 that the party of old, rich white people would prevail.

And they were right.