Friday, September 30, 2016

The silly season continues

Let's get this out front: I am appalled that presidential candidate Donald Trump chided a Miss Universe contestant for being too heavy. Yes, I understand that their bodies are judged. And yes, I get that this Alicia Machado is an unsavory character. But it ends up feeding into the narrative that Trump wages a "war on women," thus putting this story line on par with the Sandra Fluke debacle in 2012

So for those who are going to blame the media for continuing this drum beat, keep in mind that Trump himself can nip this in the bud. When asked about allegedly referring to Machado as "Miss Piggy," he can resist drudging up Bill Clinton's dalliances and instead pivot to substantive issues. He could retort with "Well, is that really critical compared to President Obama using a pseudonym while communicating with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her private email server? What's the explanation for that?" Better yet, he could inquire with "Say, has Mrs. Clinton been asked about repealing the Hyde amendment, thus allowing some abortions to be funded by taxpayers?" Trump could even broach the subject of Clinton's massive tax increase plan. Bringing forth any one of those salient issues would shine a light on the absurdity of the constant Machado inquiries.

Make no mistake. The media is definitely in the bag for Clinton. But the narrative of Trump not having the temperament to be President of the United States is only reinforced when he himself sends out bizarre tweets being in the wee hours of the morning

"Hot mess" doesn't even begin to describe this campaign. 


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Another 2016 milestone.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: Most. Surreal. Election. Year. Ever.

The first few sentences from a Tuesday editorial at The Arizona Republic further galvanizes that sentiment. 

Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never. This reflects a deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles.

This year is different.

The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified.

That’s why, for the first time in our history, The Arizona Republic will support a Democrat for president.

Well, as far as Donald Trump not being conservative, that makes him no different than most Republican candidates who have been GOP nominee since Reagan. But still, how is Hillary Clinton a viable alternative?

The challenges the United States faces domestically and internationally demand a steady hand, a cool head and the ability to think carefully before acting.

So is peddling the lie that a YouTube video was the catalyst for the 9/11//2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi evidence of "thinking carefully?" Is the implication here that it takes a "steady hand" and "cool head" to fabricate a story in an effort to preserve her boss's chance for reelection as President?

How about continually denying she was grossly negligent in handling classified information via her private (yet vulnerable) email server, despite FBI Director James Comey basically saying someone of less notoriety would face charges?

Clinton knows how to compromise and to lead with intelligence, decorum and perspective. She has a record of public service as First Lady, senator and secretary of state.

Sure she has a record. But is it anything worth touting? As First Lady, her attempt at heading up healthcare reform was a farce. And when her husband allowed her to be humiliated by blindly defending him against accusations of dalliances with an intern, she was seen equally as a proverbial doormat and political opportunist for staying with him when the truth was revealed. Oh, and can anyone name anything noteworthy about her Senate career (other than voting yes on the Iraq war and opposing gay marriage)? And of course her issues as Secretary of State are well documented, mostly being defined by the P.R. blunder of the "reset" button as well as mishandling classified information.

Make no mistake: Hillary Clinton has flaws. She has made serious missteps.

Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State was a mistake, as she has acknowledged. Donations to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of State raise concerns that donors were hoping to buy access. Though there is no evidence of wrongdoing, she should have put up a firewall.

Yet despite her flaws, Clinton is the superior choice.

She does not casually say things that embolden our adversaries and frighten our allies. Her approach to governance is mature, confident and rational.

How I read this "endorsement" is the newspaper had a choice between a thin-skinned narcissist and a pathological lying psychopath. Obviously the psychopath is their preferred candidate.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What if......?

I am not broadcasting my radio show this Sunday, so I didn't watch Monday evening's presidential debate. Besides, there is absolutely nothing Hillary Clinton can say which would sway me to vote for her, though I'm still in "wait and see" mode on Donald Trump. Rarely does a debate dramatically change an election given that most viewers will make judgments based on their own political prism anyhow.

All that said, I didn't completely abstain from presidential politics Monday evening. What I spent time doing was looking over the electoral map (yes, my night was quite lively).

The election year that is 2016 would go down in history as one of the more bizarre and surreal campaign cycles even if it ended today. However, I got to thinking. What other crazy circumstance could occur that would clinch it as the craziest?

As I studied the electoral map, I decided to handicap the race. Suppose that Trump wins all 24 states where 2012 GOP candidate Mitt Romney prevailed. Definitely not an implausible scenario. That would give Trump a baseline of 206 electoral votes (one needs at least 270 to win). Add to that just four states where Trump is either leading or within the margin of error. Those states would be Iowa, Colorado, Ohio and Florida. In addition, Trump has a decent lead in one of Maine's congressional districts. Since that state awards EVs by congressional district, Trump would garner one of the state's four electoral votes (Mrs. Clinton would win the other district plus be awarded the other two EVs (for a total of three) by virtue of winning Maine's popular vote).

If all that happened, the map would look like this:

Click the map to create your own at

If indeed a 269-269 tie occurs? Well, the 12th amendment to the U.S. Constitution addresses such a scenario.

....the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. --]* The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President;....

Because Republicans have a larger number of majorities in state delegations in the U.S. House, that body would likely select Trump as President. And since the GOP has the majority in the U.S. Senate, Gov. Mike Pence would, in all likelihood, be chosen as Vice President.

While this is an outlandish and unlikely possibility, wouldn't it be a fitting way to wrap up the 2016 cycle?


Monday, September 26, 2016

Box Score of the Week

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke returned to Dodger Stadium to take on his former team three weeks ago.


Dodger Stadium is located at Chavez Ravine. The L.A. pitchers who pitched the final two innings of this game were Jesse Chavez and Josh Ravin. 


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Yeah, they tried to put me in a box. It's impossible.....

This week's one-hour edition of the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer gets started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

Right at 2:00, longtime political activist/former campaign manager (and, for purporses of full disclosure, personal friend of Mrs Carlson & I) Anne Neu will check in. Anne announced recently she is seeking the GOP endorsement in the special election for the recently vacated MN House seat in House District 32B. As such, she will come on the program to tout her candidacy.

Then at 2:30 I'll be joined by MN state senator Carrie Ruud (R-Breezy Point). Sen. Ruud, who is working with the Minnesota for Trump campaign, will come on to talk about the importance of early voting, which started in Minnesota on Friday.

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on 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. If you're unable to tune in live, please check out my podcast page for the latest show post.

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.....


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Anne Neu for MN House

I don't make a practice of endorsing political candidates because:

a) No one cares what I think.

b) I want all candidates to appear on my radio show, not just those whom I support.

But given the sense of urgency in House District 32B, where GOP incumbent Bob Barrett was ruled ineligible to seek reelection, I am diverting from my own personal policy and endorsing our friend Anne Neu.

Definitely check out her website ( and tune in to my radio program tomorrow at 2;00 PM where Anne will be on to tout her candidacy. 


Friday, September 23, 2016

Do your research

Despite my personal political ideology being well right of center, I'd prefer that any of my fellow Americans would vote for a Democrat then not vote (provided they've done the adequate research). I believe that everyone should be engaged in the issues and thus support the candidate which most accurately reflects his/her worldview. And yes, I'm fully aware that I've stated here that I may not cast a vote for President due to my dismay for both the Republican and Democrat candidates. But when I say "not vote" I mean those who don't even bother to cast a ballot for any office. I will at least be voting for U.S. House, MN House and MN Senate if indeed I abstain from a vote for President.

With all that said, I'm almost of the belief that one shouldn't even bother to vote if one plans on supporting a candidate based solely on the recommendations of vacuous celebrities.

Your mileage may vary.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

There's something happening here.....

.....What it perfectly clear.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Quick Hits: Volume CXXXVI

- In the aftermath of the horrific stabbing incident at a St Cloud, MN mall on Saturday evening, Gov. Mark Dayton commented on the attack perpetrated by a man who pledged allegiance to Allah.

The money quote:

I ask everyone in the St. Cloud area and throughout Minnesota to rise above this atrocity and act to make religious and racial tolerance one of the ways in which Minnesotans again lead our country.

My friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg didn't appreciate Little Lord Fauntleroy's Dayton's insinuation.

You want tolerance?

Get over yourself, “governor”. If Minnesotans weren’t fundamentally tolerant, there wouldn’t be 100,000 Somalis in Minneapolis, and 20,000 in St. Cloud.

And if yesterday’s attack had happened in great swathes of the rest of the world – the Middle East, India, the Balkans, Greece, and or dare I say Somalia itself – this ethnic and religious oriented attack would have been met by death squads roaming the streets looking for Somalis to beat, stab and shoot.

No, “governor”, the intolerant one is the one who says “go along with the program and shut up, or get out of Minnesota”. Which, if you recall – and that is by no means certain – was you, “governor”.

For chrissake, just resign already.

It's funny that Mitch suggested Monday of all days for Dayton to resign. In the "Dayton Retirement Pool" contest Mitch put on nearly two years ago, I picked that exact date (September 19, 2016)  as the day Dayton would retire. Why that date? My rationale is that he would step down the day after the Minnesota Vikings' regular season debut in the Taj MaZygi new US Bank Stadium (pretty impressive that I also nailed the date of the Vikes' 2016 home opener, eh?). Since that seemed to be the crown jewel accomplishment of his administration, Dayton could bask in the glory during the game and then move on with life.

Oh well.

- In the other high profile terror attacks, which took place on the east coast, a suspect has been arrested.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer after a shootout Monday with police in Linden, New Jersey, Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park said. He is also charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Authorities said Rahami is "directly linked" to bombings Saturday in New York City and Seaside Park, New Jersey, and is believed to be connected to pipe bombs found Sunday night in Elizabeth, New Jersey, sources said.

"We have every reason to believe this was an act of terror," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.

Discovered a few blocks away from the NYC explosion was a pressure cooker, similar to the devices used in the Boston Marathon Bombings nearly three-and-a-half years ago.

I wonder if this means Mr. Rahami will now grace the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

- The Vikings' win over the Green Bay Packers this past Sunday may prove somewhat costly.

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s injured right knee was diagnosed Monday as a torn meniscus.

Coach Mike Zimmer said he didn’t know how long Peterson might be out, but he did not rule out him playing Sunday’s game at Carolina.

“We’re going through the evaluation process to figure out what the next procedure will be, the options we have,” Zimmer said.

Even before Peterson got hurt, he wasn't exactly running like gangbusters up to that point. In two games, he gained only 50 yards on 31 carries. Why such paltry numbers for the future Hall of Fame RB?

  • Perhaps zero playing time in the preseason had thrown off his timing. He's started slow each of the past few seasons while not having played in any preseason contests. 
  • A revamped Vikings offensive line may also be a factor. 
  • Maybe opposing defenses didn't fear the Vikes' passing game, thus they stacked the box with eight defenders committed to stopping Peterson. 

I think a realistic possibility is the inevitable drop off in production for a 30-something NFL running back. There certainly is precedence for it. One of many examples is Curtis Martin. In the 10th season of his Hall of Fame career, the then 31-year old Martin (as a member of the NY Jets in 2004) rushed for 1,697 yards while averaging 4.6 yards per carry, both of which were career highs. The following year? Martin strained his knee in the second game of the 2005 season. As such, his production tapered as he averaged merely 3.3 yards per carry (a career low) and for the first time in his 11 seasons did not rush for 1,000 yards. That would be Martin's final season in the NFL.

While Peterson has done some superhuman things in the NFL (rushing for over 2,000 yards in 2012, the year after tearing ligaments in his right knee; Winning the rushing title in 2015 after basically sitting out all of 2014), Father Time is undefeated. Peterson is also a non-factor in the passing game, specifically being pretty much worthless in play action given his woeful pass blocking ability.

I guess what I'm saying is there should be no reason to rush Peterson back into the lineup. And since he'll be 32 years old next year (and the Vikings have no salary cap implications with Peterson beyond this season), we may well be seeing the twilight of his career. 


Monday, September 19, 2016

Box Score of the Week

Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers - July 27, 2002.


Alex Rodriguez of the Rangers became the first player in MLB history to hit a walk-off grand slam on his birthday. 


Sunday, September 18, 2016

No luck required.

Love ya, Gino.


Step right up and don't be shy, because you will not believe your eyes.....

A lot of news to get to in only one hour as this week's edition of The Closer kicks off right at 2:00 PM Central Time.

We'll devote much of the time to the this past week's news from the presidential race as well as the MN Supreme Court throwing out the DFL lawsuit attempting to take GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump off the ballot. We'll also keep tabs on the story of an IED which went off Saturday in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City as well as a stabbing incident in a St. Cloud, MN mall.

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on 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. If you're unable to tune in live, please check out my podcast page for the latest show post.

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 16, 2016

FAQs: Volume II

Whether it's via social media, email, blog comments, get-togethers with friends, etc., I've recently received some variation of the following inquiries.

Q: How are your two new kitties?
A: Great! They're quite rowdy but also take plenty of time to nap (and eat. And nap some more). One of them, however, has a penchant for biting me on the arm at 5:00 A.M. to let me know he's ready for breakfast. Other than that, I think we'll keep 'em.

Q: I see you go to Anytime Fitness frequently in addition to participating in a number of 5K races. When are we going to start seeing results of all that physical activity? 
A: Ouch! But to answer your question, results would be expeditious were I not so enamored with junk food. I look at it this way. If I didn't work out regularly, I might be tipping the scales at 240 or so.

Q: So are you gonna vote for Trump?
A: I'm still at my post primary position, which is I will abstain from a vote for President and only cast votes for state and local races. Let's just say there's a nonzero chance I'll vote for Trump.

Q: How do you think the Vikings will do this season? 
A: Barring any additional major injuries to key players, I say 10-11 wins, which will be good for a wildcard berth. They may win one playoff game. We'll see.

Q: Are you finally working again?
A: Yep. After a four-month hiatus, I have been working as a consultant for a local manufacturer since early July. There's a solid chance this particular company will offer me a full time position within the next few weeks!!

Q: Have you ever thought of working in the radio biz full time?
A: You know.......that's not a bad idea. Stay tuned!


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Media lapdogs to the rescue

CNN's Christiane Amanpour is mad as hell and she's not gonna take this anymore.

Apparently Ms. Amanpour doesn't think much of her media peers in how they've covered the Hillary Clinton "sick saga." She stopped short of describing the media as having a "right wing bias" but it appeared she implied it a time or two.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton's campaign surrogates and media lapdogs alike were sure to tighten up those chanting points.

Yep. This "tweet" still applies:


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Quick Hits: Volume CXXXV

- Since Donald Trump officially became the GOP nominee for President, I have never wavered from my belief that Hillary Clinton will defeat him in this November's election. This is in spite of the debacles surrounding her Secretary of State email, ethical questions regarding the Clinton Foundation, etc.

Now the Democrat National Committee and her campaign must address another persistent issue: her health.

Democratic operatives predicted an "emergency DNC meeting" to "CONSIDER replacement," following Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton's collapse at the 9/11 memorial event on Sunday, according to a broadcast journalist on Twitter.

David Shuster, a former anchor for Al Jazeera America and MSNBC, revealed the bombshell news Sunday afternoon, tweeting that operatives in Clinton's party expect a meeting to discuss whether or not to replace their nominee.

According to Shuster, a Democrat operative described Clinton's recent stumbles — literally and figuratively — as "uncharted political territory." The operative listed Clinton's infamous "basket of deplorables" comment, her hiding pneumonia for 3 days (if indeed she has pneumonia), and the video of her fainting after the 9/11 memorial ceremony. On Sunday, Clinton also called off her trip to California, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

I remain skeptical that there will be serious discussions to replace Mrs. Clinton as the candidate. But on the off chance that the subject is indeed broached........

- In 56 years of Minnesota Twins baseball, only nine times has a player hit at least 40 home runs in a single season. The only time such a feat was accomplished by someone other than Harmon Killebrew? That would be this disaster of a 2016 season, as second baseman Brian Dozier hit his 40th homer Monday evening in a (surprise!) loss to the Detroit Tigers.

To summarize: In 2016, the Twins are likely to eclipse the franchise record for most losses the same year they have a player who set the single season home run record for a second baseman.


- The Minnesota Democrat party chair's attempt to suppress GOP votes lawsuit against the MN Secretary of State rightfully gets tossed.

Republican Donald Trump will remain as an option for Minnesota voters, the state Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

Wholly dismissing the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s petition to remove Trump from Minnesota ballots, the court said the time remaining before the Nov. 8 general election is too tight to strike the Republican and still conduct an orderly election. The court’s decision was quick: The DFL had filed its petition five days earlier.

The court appeared to give particular weight to information from the Minnesota secretary of state: At least 1 million general election ballots have already been printed and the absentee voting period begins Sept. 23.

The decision shores up the conclusion most experts already reached: The chances the high court would deny a major political party — and voters — their pick for the presidential election were slim. To comply with Democrats’ wishes, the state would have had to replace not only printed ballots but also those already mailed out — and, likely, see its court’s decision questioned in the highest quarters.

If the MNGOP selection of alternate electors was as egregious an offense as DFL chair Ken Martin conveyed, why did he wait nearly two weeks to file this lawsuit given that early voting begins in September? As I wrote last week, it's highly unlikely GOP electors will even be a factor this election cycle, to say nothing of the alternates.

In the end, the SCOM didn't even address the substance of the lawsuit.

While the court rejected the DFL’s contention that Trump should be removed from the ballot, its order did not deal with the substance of the Democrats’ complaint.

The DFL had complained that Secretary of State Steve Simon improperly added Trump’s name to the ballot because Republicans did not properly nominate their alternate electors. Electors are the people who actually cast Minnesota’s 10 Electoral College votes.

So if Martin's seemingly frivolous lawsuit was not a blatant attempt to suppress Republican votes, what would he have done differently had his intention been to disenfranchise voters?


Monday, September 12, 2016

Box Score of the Week

Let's check out a recent MLB game. How recent? Like, Sunday evening. It was the Chicago Cubs taking on the Houston Astros.


On Sunday, Cubs shortstop Addison Russell collected his 20th home run and 90th RBI of the season, thus becoming only the second Cubs SS to amass at least 20 HRs and 90 RBIs in one season. The other being some guy named Ernie Banks.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

I go out cruisin' but I've no place to go and all night to get there.....

After the past two weekends at the Minnesota State Fair, I'm back in the Patriot bunker for this week's edition of The Closer. The 1-hour broadcast begins at 2:00 PM Central Time.

Right at 2:00 I will be chatting with former NFL Tight End, prominent speaker, singer and now author Ben Utecht. Within the past two weeks came the release of Ben's brand new book Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away. The book discusses Ben's recurring brain issues resulting from concussions suffered as an NFL player and how he faces the grim reality that one day he may not recognize his family.

I will also discuss the latest in the Minnesota Democrat party filing a lawsuit to have Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump removed from the ballot here in MN.

Finally, I will commemorate the anniversary of the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks.

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on 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. If you're unable to tune in live, please check out my podcast page for the latest show post.

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 09, 2016

Only in 2016.

The Minnesota Democrat party has nothing to lose, so why not try to run up the proverbial score?

Minnesota Democrats have sued to get Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s name removed from the state’s general election ballots.

The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s Thursday lawsuit claims the Minnesota Republican Party failed to nominate its presidential electors, the people who cast the state’s 10 electoral college votes, in accordance with state law. Keith Downey, the chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, said last month that the party called a special meeting to approve alternative electors because it had previously neglected to do so.

The suit, which was filed directly to the Minnesota Supreme Court, adds a new level of chaos to an already strange election season. It could cause the parties to spend some of the rushed final eight weeks of the election fighting in court, distracting from other campaigning. While the suit is a technical one, if successful, it could affect the entire presidential election.

“It is incumbent upon political parties to follow the rules binding our elections and in this instance it does not appear that the Minnesota Republican Party did so,” said Ken Martin, the chair of the DFL Party. The DFL said last month that it did not plan to sue over the issue.

The role of a party's electors is to cast a vote for the candidate who won its state's popular vote in the presidential election. Obviously the Republican party electors would not be given that responsibility unless Trump wins Minnesota, a scenario which is (to put it mildly) highly unlikely.

So why would the DFL chair even bother with what seems to be a frivolous suit? The hope for DFLers is that if Trump is taken off the ballot, it may suppress GOP voter turnout. If that indeed occurs, it would then likely hamper Republicans' chances to maintain its Minnesota House majority, attain the majority in the MN Senate or flip the 8th Congressional District (the one CD where it appears Trump's candidacy is a net positive).

In the end it seems the MN GOP did not follow the state law to the letter. And while it appears the DFL is being petty, the state Republican party's disarray gave the Dems this ammo. The MN Supreme Court will have to issue a ruling within a couple of weeks so as to accommodate early voting. Hard to say which side benefits from what will need to be an expedited decision.

2016, man.


Thursday, September 08, 2016

Gotta love "Twitter fights"

I happened to be on Twitter early Wednesday morning to see firsthand the back-and-forth between National Review writer Jonah Goldberg and national radio host/Fox News personality/Trump lap dog Sean Hannity. 

The essence of that "Twitter fight" had to do with Hannity's continued frustration that conservatives like Goldberg won't hop aboard the proverbial "Trump Train." Hannity is so outraged over these stubborn righties not getting in line that he's threatening to call them out once Donald Trump is dispatched by Hillary Clinton this November. 

Outlets like Business Insider, Politico and Mediaite did a nice job covering this online exchange. For my money, I viewed the battle as Goldberg being Indiana Jones to Hannity's swordsman. 

But don't take my word for it. Click on any of the links I provided above and judge for yourself. 


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Well done, good and faithful servant

When I first heard that our friend Anne Neu's husband Jon had been diagnosed with Amyotrphic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or "Lou Gehrig's disease") three years ago, I began to pray for the family on almost a daily basis.

While saddened by the news, I was also uplifted by the indomitable faith shown by Jon, Anne and their five children. While they were certainly not delusional over the severity of Jon's condition, the Neu family seemed to embody what is my personal favorite Bible verse, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." No, they weren't thankful for Jon's condition. But in their difficult circumstances they could be a shining light for God's kingdom. I still recall Anne's blog post regarding Brittany Maynard, the young lady who nearly two years ago chose to end her life due to having an inoperable brain tumor. 

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.

Part of my daily prayers included my expression of thanks that the Lord allowed me to know the Neu family and how they were a great example of Christ's unconditional love. It's not hyperbole when I say I was truly inspired by their iron clad faith.

I share all this with a somewhat heavy heart due to Anne informing us Tuesday evening that Jon had gone home.

Today my heart is broken. Sometime in the night my dear Jon passed from this life and into the next.

It was not unexpected, and yet shocking. I never would have thought that I'd wake without him.

Knowing Jon means that I have known true love. I have known love that is patient and kind. I have known love that does not envy and is not boastful. I have known love that beareth all things, believeth all things, and hopeth all things. I have known love that endureth all things.

Knowing Jon means I have known true love. Knowing the gospel of Jesus Christ means I know that I will feel that love from Jon again some day. Today my heart is broken, but I know that, in time, it will heal.

Thanks, Neu family, for allowing us to know Jon as well as sharing your faith story. Our continued thoughts and prayers will be with you.


Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Oh yeah, about that Vikings trade......

It was a busy (but fun) Labor Day weekend, so I have yet to opine on the latest big news about my favorite NFL squad.

The Minnesota Vikings, who lost starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for the 2016 season with a severe left knee injury, acquired Sam Bradford in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday.

In return, the Eagles will receive the Vikings' first-round draft pick in 2017 as well as a conditional fourth-rounder in 2018.

If the Vikings reach the NFC Championship Game this season, the conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 will become a third-round pick, according to sources. If the Vikings win the Super Bowl, it will become a second-round pick.

The initial reaction among many NFL fans was that it was an awful lot for the Vikings to give up for a QB who has hardly lived up to the expectations that came with his being drafted #1 overall in 2010. That, and Bradford has only played a full 16-game season twice in a six-year career. But if indeed the Vikes make a deep playoff run this season (having a potential Top 5 defense makes it a distinct possibility), the 2017 first round draft pick they surrendered would be near the end of that round anyways. On top of that, Bradford is also signed for 2017, which was also a significant factor given that there's no guarantee Bridgewater would be ready to play next year.

If Bradford can put up similar numbers to his production last season with the Eagles (3,725 yards passing and 19 TD passes in 14 starts), the Vikings offense is automatically more potent than the previous two years, especially if running back Adrian Peterson can rush for the obligatory 1,200-1,500 yards. And in his final seven starts last year, Bradford had a QB rating of 90+ in six of them. He also put up career highs in passing yardage and completion percentage.

Obviously Bradford is slated to be the starter for the immediate future with veteran Shaun Hill serving as the backup. The only question remaining is will Bradford be able to successfully complete a crash course of the Vikings playbook and be ready week one at Tennessee? MMQB columnist Peter King had an interesting perspective.

In 1993, Troy Aikman tweaked a hamstring in a November game for Dallas. The next day Cleveland coach Bill Belichick fired quarterback Bernie Kosar. Two days later the Cowboys signed Kosar and, with backup Jason Garrett slated to start, Dallas coaches got Kosar ready to play against the Cardinals. Kosar got ready, all right. Ten minutes into a 20-15 win over the Cards, Kosar relieved Garrett and went on to complete 13 of 21 with one touchdown pass and no turnovers.

The Dallas offensive coordinator then? Norv Turner.

The Minnesota offensive coordinator now, 23 years later? Norv Turner.

I covered that story, and that game, for Sports Illustrated. On Sunday I looked back at what I wrote. Kosar was programmed with 67 plays, all of which were typed neatly on his wristband. Turner would call down the play he wanted to tight ends coach Robert Ford, and Ford would signal the number to Kosar—for instance, holding up two fingers, then six, for play number 26 on the wristband—and Kosar would translate the number to a play, and make the call. Worked pretty well. Is that how Turner will do it with Sam Bradford? And will the Vikings rush Bradford into the opener against Tennessee? I don’t know. But Turner has a road map to do it. He’s done it before, with a shorter turnaround. Kosar was signed five days before he played 50 minutes. Bradford was acquired eight days before the game in Nashville.

Even if he's not ready week one, Bradford will have an opportunity to shine the remaining 15 games in 2016. This Vikings club is definitely the most talented team he's played for in his career.


Monday, September 05, 2016

Box Score of the Week

Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs - May 8, 1990.


This past Sunday, Cubs OF Jason Heyward had the game-tying hit in the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants and then had the walk-off RBI in extra innings. The last Cubs player to pull off that feat was Andre Dawson in the game I referenced above. 



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

The sad and scary circumstances surrounding Jacob's kidnapping gripped not only the small town of St. Joseph, MN (where the Wetterlings resided) but also the entire state of Minnesota. The story even gained national attention when Jacob's parents, Jerry and Patty, appeared on ABC's Good Morning America to share their story.

Anniversaries of the abduction were typically cited by local news outlets. It was amazing to see Jacob's friends as high school graduation approached in the mid-1990s, then the 10-year anniversary when those same "kids" were in their early 20s. I wrote about the commemoration of the 25th anniversary, particularly how the tragedy impacted Jacob's good friend Aaron Larson. It was Aaron and Jacob's brother Trevor who were with Jacob on the night he was taken. The two boys were told to flee or risk being shot. I can't imagine the horrible guilt they've endured for nearly three decades, wondering why they were allowed to live but Jacob was taken at gunpoint.

Despite the unlikelihood that Jacob would ever be found alive, his mother never gave up hope.

There have been millions of words written and spoken about the case. None have been more poignant than these five repeated through the years by his mother, Patty Wetterling:

"What if he comes home?"

She would say them every time somebody asked why her family hadn't moved out of its house near St. Joseph.

Why would the Wetterlings want to stay in the place with so many memories? How is it possible to get through a day living in the home where Jacob lived, where his bedroom was, where he played and sat at the dinner table and got ready for school each morning and celebrated holidays? Why would anybody want to relive that every day of their lives?

"What if he comes home?" Patty Wetterling would ask.

She wouldn't drop the family's land-line phone or change its number for similar reasons, even through all the painful prank calls and messages left on their answering machine.

What if he tries to call home?

Sadly, we now know that will never happen.

For almost three decades, Minnesotans kept their porch lights burning, hoping Jacob Wetterling might find his way home.

Those hopes were crushed Saturday when they learned that a longtime suspect in the 1989 disappearance had led authorities to the remains of the 11-year-old, whose abduction from St. Joseph stunned Minnesotans and changed the way parents watch over their children.

“Our hearts are broken,” Jacob’s mother, Patty Wetterling, texted to the Star Tribune on Saturday morning. “We have no words.”

Jacob was snatched off his bike, half a mile from his home, by a masked man with a gun on a dark October night. Danny Heinrich, a suspect first questioned shortly after Jacob’s disappearance and now in federal custody on child pornography charges, provided investigators with the information that led to the boy’s grave, hidden on a Paynesville farm.

I'm not a parent, so I can't even begin to fathom what Jerry and Patty Wetterling are feeling at this point. While many (including myself) surmised that a sense of closure can finally be felt, that feeling may actually be put off for some time. The grieving process is now just beginning since it appears the Wetterlings kept the faith that there'd be a reunion.


Sunday, September 04, 2016

Now we're back in the fight, we're back on the train....

Today marks the final Northern Alliance Radio Network broadcast at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair. I will be in my regular 1-hour time slot, which kicks off at 2:00 PM Central Time.

At 2:15 I'll be joined by Minnesota state senator Michelle Benson. As the ranking minority member on the Senate's Health & Human Services committee, Sen. Benson will definitely have something to say about the proposed health insurance premium hike in Minnesota.

Then at 2:30 I will be joined by Greg Ryan, who is the Republican candidate in Congressional District Four. Mr. Ryan has the challenging task of unseating the shrill and unaccomplished incumbent CD4 Congresswomen Betty McCollum.

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.....


Saturday, September 03, 2016

When you're on a golden sea, you don't need no memory.....

With my friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg out on assignment, I will be broadcasting in his stead LIVE from the Minnesota State Fair this afternoon. The 2-hour extravaganza kicks off at 1:00 PM.

An annual NARN tradition will take place right at 1:00, as we'll receive a visit from Princess Kay of the Milky Way. This year's winner, Haley Hinrichs, is the 63rd Princess Kay.

At 1:30, Twila Brase, who is President of the Citizens' Council For Health Freedom, will stop by our State Fair broadcast center. Fortuitous timing given that health insurance premiums in MN are projected to increase dramatically in 2017. We'll also discuss other controversial health care related topics.

Finally at 2:00, MN House candidate Nolan West will appear on the broadcast. Nolan is the GOP nominee in House District 37B, which covers the majority of the city of Blaine.

In non-guest segments, I will likely address more of the Colin Kaepernick saga as well as other news from this past week.

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.....


Thursday, September 01, 2016

Kaepernick t-shirt: Ignorance or blatant hypocrisy?

I didn't catch the name of the ESPN SportsCenter anchor calling out 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick on the QB's choice of apparel. Nevertheless, his commentary was spot on.

ESPN Host finds Kaepernick's shirt ironic after his comments regarding oppression from D.M. WildcatDM on Vimeo.

Again, I fully support Kaepernick's method of protest but it's really difficult for me to take it at all seriously in light of this.