Tuesday, August 30, 2016


I still believe my favorite NFL squad is a playoff caliber team. However, a run to the Super Bowl is now likely out the window.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a dislocated knee and a torn ACL when he went down during a noncontact drill at practice Tuesday, ending his 2016 season.

"Teddy suffered a complete tear to his ACL and other structural damage," the team said in a statement Tuesday evening after Bridgewater underwent an MRI. "Fortunately, there appears to be no nerve or arterial damage."

Bridgewater dropped back to pass during a drill, planted his foot and immediately went down. Trainers rushed to his side and began inflating an aircast, and the quarterback appeared to be holding his left leg.

Several players threw their helmets and shouted expletives as they scattered, and many simultaneously dropped to one knee in prayer. Moments later, a siren-blaring ambulance pulled into the team's Winter Park headquarters, stayed for about 10 minutes and then pulled away.

After winning the NFC North Division last season on the strength of a strong run offense and a young up-and-coming defense, it was surmised that the quarterback position needed to take a decent step forward if the team was to reach the next level. As such, Bridgewater and his receivers met regularly in the offseason in an attempt to become a more cohesive unit. It appeared as though it was paying off as Bridgewater looked sharp in his two preseason starts.

Everything was firmly in place for 2016. A Super Bowl caliber defense along with a more potent offense debuting in a brand new stadium.

But after the events of Tuesday afternoon, many of my fellow Vikings fans feel this is still applicable:

There is little behind Bridgewater on the depth chart. Shaun Hill is the primary backup, but he's 36 years old and has played only sparingly over the past five years.

"I have confidence in Shaun. I think he's played great this preseason," (Vikings coach Mike) Zimmer said. "The thing we all have to remember is this is about the team. We have a good team."

Again, I still believe that the Vikes will be in contention for a wildcard berth this season. However, it would still behoove the organization to explore bringing in a veteran QB who has actually, unlike Hill, had recent success (NFL writer Marc Sessler has a list of possibilities).

Say, Hy-Vee grocery stores recently came to Minnesota. It may not hurt if Rick Spielman and his family decide to shop there on a regular basis. You never know.......


Monday, August 29, 2016

Quick Hits: Volume CXXXIV

- There was a lot of flap over the weekend regarding San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick not partaking in the tradition of NFL teams standing for the National Anthem. Kap's reason for this protest is he doesn't feel it's right to stand for the symbol of a country which he feels is oppressing minorities (Kaepernick himself is bi-racial and was raised by white adoptive parents).

The irony is probably lost on Kaepernick in that he is thumbing his nose at the symbol of the very country which allows him to openly criticize said country and its government officials. But with that said, I'm not all that worked up over this "protest" he is staging. In fact, in some small way, I actually admire Kap given what product endorsements he may have will likely dry up in light of this. As such, he is putting his money where his mouth is.

The only real issue I have with this whole saga is while Kaepernick seems all indignant about First Amendment rights (i.e. freedom to criticize the government without fear of retribution from said body), he doesn't appear to grasp the concept of the Fifth Amendment, specifically the "Due Process Clause."

There's a lot of things that need to change. One specifically? Police brutality. There's people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable.

Emphasis was mine.

Unjustly? Sorry Kap, but justice is meted out only after someone has been through a trial. Yep, Due Process is still a thing. You might wanna browse your pocket Constitution while sitting on the bench.

- I heard the MTV Video Music Awards took place Sunday evening (does MTV even air music videos anymore?).

Not since Crowded House won for Best New Artist in 1987 have I indulged in an entire broadcast of the VMAs, which means that streak has now reached 29 consecutive years. Believe me, my resolve is strong.

- In light of the disgusting details over former New York congressman Anthony Weiner's latest "sexting" scandal, this seemed to be the next logical step.

Huma Abedin, the wife of the former representative Anthony D. Weiner, announced on Monday that the couple were separating in the wake of a report that Mr. Weiner had been involved in another sexting scandal.

Mr. Weiner, who resigned in 2011 after it was revealed he had been sending lewd messages and photos to random women online, apparently deleted his Twitter account on Monday after The New York Post reported that he had exchanged sexual messages with an unidentified woman last year.

The initial scandal destroyed his political career and strained his marriage to Ms. Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton.

On Monday, Ms. Abedin said in a statement: “After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband. Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy.”

It's obviously long past time that Weiner seek professional help. After multiple high profile incidents which caused him to resign his House seat in 2011 and then, in 2013, force a humiliated Abedin to defend his behavior in an effort to save his bid for NYC Mayor, Weiner still couldn't cease this abhorrent behavior. But then to send explicit pictures to an unknown woman while his 4-year old son slept next to him?!?! Unconscionable!


Box Score of the Week

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox  - August 15, 1963.


Dick Stuart of the Red Sox hit his 30th home run of the 1963 season in this game. He hit 35 home runs for the Pittsburgh Pirates two seasons earlier, making him the first MLB player to hit 30 homers in a season in both the National League and American League.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Gonna climb the mountain and look the eagle in the eye....

One of the highlights of the the Northern Alliance Radio Network broadcast year is our MN State Fair appearances! This afternoon I will be live from the "Great Minnesota Get-Together" for my one-hour program The Closer. We'll get started at 2:00.

Right at 2:00 I'll be joined by Minnesota state senator David Osmek. Given Sen. Osmek is on the Senate's Transportation and Public Safety Committee, he'll likely have a thing or two to say about Gov. Mark Dayton holding hostage a tax relief bill over funding for Southwest Light Rail.

From there, who knows? It's the State Fair, so I'll pretty much wing it in the non-guest segments.

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, August 27, 2016

Says it all

There really is nothing more to add, is there?


Friday, August 26, 2016

My My, Mylan

There's been much anger and outrage over a recent report that the Mylan pharmaceuticals product called "EpiPen" has increased 400% over the past 8 years. This is the device used to help thwart serious allergies.

Naturally it didn't take long for prominent leftists to pounce on this news. 

Is it such a moral outrage, Mrs. Clinton, that you're willing to return Mylan's donations to the Clinton Foundation?  Yeah, color me skeptical.

Right? Perhaps you can show those evil capitalists a thing or two, Bern, by forgoing the purchase of your third house (a $600,000 lake home) and instead buy 1,000 EpiPens to give to those in need.

Alas, blaming this enormous hike on a capitalistic system makes for a good chanting point but leaves little room for a nuanced discussion.

What is usually left out in any anti-capitalist blather written in response to this controversy is an accurate depiction of how free markets actually work.

In what other markets can a business jack up its prices without alienating its customers and pushing them toward competitors? Answer: when that market has no other competitors. Emily Willingham of Forbes explained it aptly with a recent article titled, “Why Did Mylan Hike EpiPen Prices 400%? Because They Could.”

In early 2016, Sanofi, Mylan’s primary competitor, discontinued its line of Auvi-Q auto-injectors, similar to Mylan’s product. With Auvi-Q out the picture, Mylan gained 98 market share of epinephrine injectors.

But surely a new business will take advantage of this public relations debacle, enter the market, and offer a more affordable option, right?

Unfortunately – and as no surprise to libertarians and free market advocates – federal regulators continue to buffer the padding that surrounds Mylan’s monopoly. Shortly after the Auvi-Q recall, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries pitched a generic version of the EpiPen. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) squashed their efforts, citing “major deficiencies” in their application. Teva plans to appeal the decision, but won’t be able to effectively move forward until 2017 at the earliest.

Teva isn’t alone in this struggle. Windgap Medical, a Boston startup, and Adamis, a small biotech firm based in San Diego, have both struggled to bypass FDA’s barriers of entry in the marketplace as well.

You see, it's "progressives" who are all for big government, which includes bureaucratic red tape and burdensome regulations. Yet when the results of "progressive" policies invariably lead to the type of "price gouging" put forth by Mylan, leftist politicians like Sen. Empty Suit Amy Klobuchar swoop in and demand FTC investigations and the like, thus giving the appearance of "fighting for the children."

If forced to speak in front of a Congressional panel and asked what inspired this price hike, (Mylan CEO Heather) Bresch and company should be encouraged to hold up a mirror to lawmakers’ faces.



Thursday, August 25, 2016

Up and At 'Em

Had a blast on the Up and At 'Em podcast Thursday morning as I sat in with hosts Jack Tomczak and Ben Kruse. In the second half of the broadcast, John Rouleau of the Minnesota Jobs Coalition dropped by to discuss several installments of "DFLers behaving badly."

Check it out here.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Quick Hits: Volume CXXXIII

- Not sure how this is newsworthy, but.......

While on his way to St. Paul for a meeting with the governor last January, House Speaker Kurt Daudt rear-ended a van on a rural highway in Isanti County, sending the other driver to the hospital.

Beau Hullermann, whom Daudt struck from behind as Hullermann slowed to make a left turn, said he was briefly knocked unconscious in the 8:10 a.m. crash. The air bags deployed in Daudt's Lexus sedan and his car had to be towed as he found another way to St. Paul.

Uh Oh. Daudt drives a Lexus even though he's had personal financial struggles?!?!?! He has the audacity to discuss cutting out-of-control government spending but he can't even manage his own finances?!?! HYPOCRITE, or something.

The crash marked the latest in a long line of driving-related maladies for Daudt, the highest-ranking Republican in the state. In recent years, Daudt has been cited with four moving violations and two license suspensions for failure to pay fines in Minnesota.

Daudt has received two tickets driving at least 15 miles per hour over the limit, a third for speeding and a fourth for texting while driving, all since joining the Legislature in 2010.

Unless Daudt has attempted to use the power of his office to, say, make laws more lenient regarding texting while driving, I fail to see how this is worth the column space it utilizes. But I'm sure y'all can ascertain the motivation behind this piece.

- Admittedly I had never heard of Jeff Jarvis until recently. In reading the "About Me" section of his web site, it lists one of Jarvis's vocations as a journalism professor. Certainly someone who is instructing young, aspiring journalists who look to speak "truth to power" or "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" would be outraged, OUTRAGED over a presidential candidate who continually dodges media throngs. Right?

Oh, that's right. Mr. Jarvis also declares that he is "an open and avid supporter of Hillary Clinton in this election." My bad.

- It's been great to hear my friends Jack Tomczak and Ben Kruse back broadcasting. After having been gassed from the lesser Twin Cities conservative talk station KTLK morning show (Ben in December 2014; Jack last month), the guys are once again a broadcasting duo for the first time in 20 months.

The Up And At 'Em podcast is available for download first thing every weekday morning. It's vintage Jack and Ben, as they discuss the big news of the day with equal parts insight and irreverence. They also typically have a guest or two throughout each hour-plus broadcast. Speaking of which, be sure to check out this Thursday morning's episode as yours truly will be making an appearance. One topic that will likely come up? My replacing the guys as the emcee of the Miss Minnesota pageant. We'll see if Jack is over that yet.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Box Score of the Week

Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs - August 21, 1975.


Cubs' starting pitcher Rick Reuschel and reliever Paul Reuschel shut out the Dodgers this game. It marked the first (and still only) time that siblings combined to pitch a shutout in an MLB game.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Waiting for the break of day, searching for something to say.....

I'll be back in the Patriot bunker today for the latest edition of The Closer. The 1-hour bonanza gets started right at 2:00 PM Central Time.

I'll address Gov. Mark Dayton announcing he will not call a special session of the MN Legislature. As such, both Republicans and Democrats are tightening their campaign messages for this year's election cycle. 

At 2:15 I will be chatting with Jon Gabriel, who is the Editor in Chief at Ricochet. Jon will join the broadcast to discuss his latest Op Ed in the USA Today which discusses whether the Republican party can be rebuilt after Trump. 

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, August 19, 2016

Our perpetually petulant governor - Part MMLIV

It's official. There will be no special session of the MN Legislature in 2016.

Gov. Mark Dayton says he'll no longer seek a special session for legislation on public works spending and tax relief following another failed attempt to reach a deal with Republicans.

Dayton announced his decision Thursday after a brief meeting with House and Senate leaders. He said the past three months of negotiations proved to be "futile" in trying to resolve partisan disagreements over funding for the Southwest Light Rail project between Minneapolis and Eden Prairie.

"I think both the tax bill and the bonding bill would be very beneficial to lots of Minnesotans. That's my disappointment that we couldn't get this worked out in a way that we could proceed with both and pass both and them provide the tax relief and new projects that would benefit thousands of Minnesotans," Dayton said.

Emphasis was mine. The bonding bill (which included funding for vital transportation projects) was scuttled with less than an hour remaining in the regular legislative session due to the Democrats' insistence on money for Southwest Light Rail Transit. Despite that, there was overwhelming bipartisan support for the tax bill which Gov. Dayton referenced. As the session was in its final week, Dayton flat out emphasized that he would not hold tax relief hostage even if other major items went unresolved.

Like a lot of things Dayton says, that sentiment apparently came with a shelf life.

A tax cut bill did pass, but Dayton allowed it to die without his signature because of a wording error that would have cost the state $100 million over the next three years.

The move incensed Republicans who believed Dayton was simply playing politics with the bill and holding it hostage for a deal on transportation. Dayton said that wasn't the case and blamed House Republicans for the chaotic end of the session that led to the costly error in the tax bill.

When House Speaker Kurt Daudt appeared on my radio program two weeks after session ended, he specifically addressed the governor's concerns and indicated that legislators had no issues with clearing up those technicalities. Not good enough for Dayton apparently, even though it wouldn't have taken an entire day for the Legislature to revise the tax bill accordingly. With that in mind, I don't believe Daudt is out of bounds when he accuses Dayton of playing politics with this issue.

Daudt on Thursday repeated his belief that Dayton was using the tax bill as a lever to get Republican agreement on Southwest light rail. Good legislation was being lost, he added, because of no deal on light rail.

Daudt added he believed Southwest light rail was "dead."

He added that he was still willing to meet and talk about a special session.

Dayton said he plans to meet with the chair of the Metropolitan Council to discuss options for light rail funding. The governor also said he'll propose similar a tax bill, and separate transportation funding bill next session.

How those bills will look next session is absolutely dependent upon how this November's election turns out. If the DFL can flip the House, say hello to SWLRT.

I guess our mission is clear.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016


After spending the first seven seasons of his NBA career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James left his home area in 2010 to accept a free agent offer with the Miami Heat. Shortly thereafter, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert penned a letter ripping James for the decision. Said letter was even linked on the Cavaliers' team web site for historical purposes.

Fast forward about four years when James was once again a free agent. After four seasons in Miami where he was part of two NBA championship teams, James looked to return to Cleveland in an attempt to bring a title to that city. Not-so-coincidentally, the link to Gilbert's letter from four years earlier was no longer available on the Cavs web site. The point I'm making here is the letter was initially written to pander to Cavaliers fans who felt spurned by James' departure. However, said letter obviously became obsolete given the majority of the Cavaliers' faithful was willing to "forgive and forget" upon James being open to returning to Cleveland. It's also safe to say it would have reflected poorly on Gilbert and the Cavs organization had the letter remained accessible on the official team web site.

So why am I conjuring up that incident? I couldn't help but think it's analogous to the campaign of a certain Democrat presidential candidate removing a key excerpt from their web site.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign quietly removed her quote about how all sexual-assault survivors “have the right to be believed” from the top of one of her website pages — and I can’t say I’m surprised.

Remember, throughout the fall of 2015, Hillary Clinton was clearly trying to make the “right to be believed” part of her campaign platform. She used the phrase on Twitter (several times) and during a speech at Northern Iowa University. In fact, according to BuzzFeed, archives of her campaign website dated September 14, 2015 show that the following quote from that speech had been proudly displayed at the top of the page:

“I want to send a message to every survivor of sexual assault: Don’t let anyone silence your voice. You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed, and we’re with you.”

Then, by February, the clause “you have the right to be believed” had been removed . . . coincidentally
(or not-so-coincidentally - ed.), right after sexual-assault allegations against her husband began to resurface, and people began to question how she could possibly believe the statement, given the way she’s dealt with these kinds of situations in her own life.

Mrs. Clinton's declaration was meant to be red meat for feminists, a way to lock in an already solid leftist voter base. But suddenly the right of accusers to be "heard" and "believed" has become obsolete since, according to Mrs. Clinton herself, a) it clearly isn't applicable in all cases and b) reflects poorly on her personally.

So how did Hillary Clinton handle it? The way she always does: Delete and deflect. And how did it work out? The way it always does: With her getting away with it.

It's almost as if Mrs. Clinton is dismissing this nearly 40-year long allegation, so what difference, at this point, does it make?


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

You really want an answer?

When conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham appeared on Salem Media Group affiliates (including the Twin Cities' own AM 1280 The Patriot), her morning show was appointment radio for me. When I became a regular listener around 2004, I quickly ascertained that Ingraham's top issue was immigration. So it should come as no surprise that she has supported Donald Trump for President since he first announced his candidacy in the summer of 2015.

As Trump inexplicably navigated the GOP field and ultimately secured the nomination for President, Ingraham became downright insufferable (thankfully she hasn't been on The Patriot in years. I even un-followed her on Twitter several months ago). On the final night of the Republican National Convention, when Trump officially accepted the GOP nomination for President, Ingraham appeared on the Fox News program hosted by fellow Trump lap dog enthusiast Sean Hannity. She proceeded to taunt those Republican voters who either preferred another GOP candidate for President (but were at least on the fence regarding support for Trump) or were firmly in the #NeverTrump camp.

Despite Trump causing self-inflicted wounds in the few weeks since the convention, Ingraham still believes she can shame right-of-center voters into pulling the lever for The Donald. On Twitter Monday morning, she flexed her rhetorical shaming skills.

Oh, SNAP! I betcha Laura was giving herself the ol' proverbial pat on the back after that devastating inquiry. I mean, no way any of those scurrilous GOPe types can possibly muster coherent responses, right?


You get the point. 

Here's a better question, Laura. When your young children ask you why you downright shilled for the GOP candidate who, among the top tier Republicans like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, consistently polled worst in head-to-head matchups vs. Hillary Clinton, what will you tell them?


Monday, August 15, 2016

Box Score of the Week

Kansas City Royals at Milwaukee Brewers - April 16, 1970.


In this game, the Royals' Lou Piniella achieved the "base running cycle" by being thrown out at each base. 

SABR has the story


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Maybe today you could put the past away......

It's going to be another jam packed hour on this week's edition of The Closer. We'll be getting started right at 2:00 PM Central Time.

In the first couple of segments I'll look back at the results from this past Tuesday's MN primary election and what they might mean for November. Also, do Republicans have a "moral obligation" to vote Donald Trump for President?

At 2:30 I will be joined by Miss Minnesota 2016 Madeline Van Ert. We'll discuss Madeline's reign two months in as well as discuss her preparation for Miss America which kicks off in a few weeks.

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.....


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Upon hearing the news....

....a man was scaling Trump Tower in an effort to meet with GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump (who wasn't even present in the Tower on Wednesday), did anyone else think it sounded like something Sean Hannity would do?

Until I heard the climber was a mere 20-year old kid, I figured it could've been Hannity acting out over Trump not appearing on his TV show recently.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

MN Primary day/night

If you're an "endorsement purist," Tuesday was a good day for you.

The endorsed Republican candidates who had primary challengers in U.S. House races (Jim Hagedorn in Congressional District 1, Jason Lewis in CD2, Greg Ryan in CD4, Rep. Tom Emmer in CD6 and Dave Hughes in CD7) all prevailed convincingly. Sadly, I only see Emmer winning in November.

A few other noteworthy results from MN legislative races:

- Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Minneapolis), who was first elected the same year President Richard Nixon won reelection in  1972, lost a three-way primary to Ilhan Omar. Kahn was virtually tied with Mohamud Noor at 29.5%, whereas Omar emerged with 41%.

- The two House seats within Senate District 31 saw incumbent Republicans embroiled in primary races. Sitting Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt, who currently serves in House District 31A, easily defeated Alan Duff 72%-28%. Duff's candidacy was backed by many Tea Party activists, which is somewhat surprising given Duff didn't even seek the endorsement in that HD. After all, many TP elements view the local party endorsement as sacrosanct. A great example of that would be in HD 31B, where Cal Bahr defeated longtime incumbent Tom Hackbarth for endorsement back in April. However, many of the same people backing Duff's candidacy were downright indignant over Hackbarth choosing to "defy activists" and go to a primary. In the end, Bahr prevailed by nearly 14 points on Tuesday.

- Dan "ISIS isn't necessarily evil" Kimmel will not be the sacrificial lamb DFL candidate in House District 56A, as he was soundly defeated in that district's Democrat primary. Go figure.

- Rashad Turner, who is leader of the St Paul chapter of Black Lives Matter, was routed by incumbent DFL rep Rena Moran in HD65A (79%-21%). Gotta wonder how many 65A constituents were disrupted due to BLM members shutting down a portion of I-94 running through St. Paul. It wouldn't shock me if a fair number of HD65A voters had that in mind when going to the polls.


Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Harry gives 'em hell

The investigation into the police officer involved shooting of Philando Castile last month is about to begin. As such, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has selected local attorney Don Lewis to conduct said investigation.

My friend and great legal mind Harry Niska took issue with the Star Tribune Editorial Board piece endorsing Choi's decision to forgo an independent prosecutor, more specifically on how it's a microcosm of what's occurring nationwide.

(A recent) Star Tribune editorial on John Choi's decision not to appoint an independent special prosecutor is emblematic of a larger problem in our country. We have a hard time discussing structural protections against government abuse of power without bias based on whether we like those exercising power. The editorial board entirely brushes aside any questions about ideal structure, based on its assurance that John Choi (with Don Lewis) will exercise his power well.

That approach is typical of the way we debate government power in this country. Democrats tended to be outraged by executive and federal overreach in the Bush administration, but less so when the power of the Presidency was being wielded in favor of policies they preferred. And the inverse, unfortunately, was true for many Republicans. Now many Democrats are horrified by the idea of Donald Trump wielding the power of the Presidency, without expressing any inclination to limit that power if it is exercised by Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

That is the wrong way to discuss such questions, and it undermines the legal principles that have made America great. Our Constitution has survived for over 200 years because it created guardrails and checks on government power, regardless of the wisdom, views, or character of those exercising power.

So, while I agree with the Star Tribune's assessment of Choi and Lewis's professionalism, that should not be the deciding factor in deciding how an investigation like the Philando Castille case should be handled. Instead, we ought to discuss the most prudent general structure, independent of the personalities involved.

As I said on July 7, I believe a special prosecutor under the authority of the Minnesota Attorney General would be prudent in this case and similar officer-involved shootings, because investigating a police department it must work with puts any county attorney in an unfair position ( see thread here: https://twitter.com/HarryNiska/status/751152832137433088 ).

I agree with the Star Tribune editorial board that it is important that the ultimate charging decision be made by someone accountable to voters, so I believe the Attorney General should stand behind it, just as Choi is (admirably) doing here. I say this even though I believe John Choi has generally performed his job better than Lori Swanson has, because we need to determine best structures for government independent of who currently holds each office.

This is an important principle with implications beyond Ramsey County. We are heading into a presidential campaign between two candidates who have shown every indication that they view themselves to be above the law, including constitutional constraints on the power of the presidency.

No matter who wins the presidency, it is imperative that a broad movement of Americans stand for the rule of law. This movement must transcend political party, it must transcend policy views, and it must transcend our assessment of the current occupant of any political office.

Come November I may or may not write in Harry's name when casting my vote for MN Supreme Court Associate Justice. But knowing Harry like I do, he would likely reply in the motif of William Tecumseh Sherman.


Monday, August 08, 2016


Primary elections for my home state of Minnesota take place tomorrow. As such, I'm receiving a fair amount of email correspondence regarding the two races I'm eligible to vote in. One is the Republican primary for House candidate out of Congressional District Six. The other is a nonpartisan race for MN Supreme Court.

Regarding the latter race: If you're a candidate in that primary and your capacity for the office which you seek already has major question marks, it's probably a good idea if you do not send out campaign emails which bare an uncanny resemblance to a ransom note comprised of letters clipped out of a magazine.

Consider that advice an "in kind" campaign contribution.


Box Score of the Week

Seattle Mariners at Boston Red Sox - July 8, 1994.


Alex Rodriguez announced he will be playing his final game this Friday. He made his Major League debut with the Mariners on 7/8/1994.


Sunday, August 07, 2016

A week without you, thought I'd forget.....

I will be out on assignment today, so my friend and valued Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg will fill in for me on The Closer today. The broadcast will take place from 2:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time.

With that, I will be back in studio next week where I will be joined at some point by Miss Minnesota 2016 Madeline Van Ert!

Until then......


Thursday, August 04, 2016

Trump and SCOTUS

The closest I have come to declaring I will support Donald Trump for President was when he released a list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees to replace the late Antonin Scalia. Given the likelihood that Hillary Clinton would look to appoint a left-leaning judge more sympathetic to, say,  undermining the Second Amendment to the Constitution, one could make a strong argument (as Hugh Hewitt attempted to do) that responsibility for putting forth SCOTUS nominees is reason alone to hop aboard the "Trump Train." This is especially in light of the fact that incumbent GOP Senators up for reelection in swing states (i.e. Rob Portman in Ohio, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Marco Rubio in Florida) are in good position to win in November. Even if Republicans lost, say, 3 seats (distinct possibilities being Mark Kirk in Illinois, Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire and Ron Johnson in Wisconsin), they'd maintain a razor thin 51-49 majority. The prevailing sentiment being that a President Trump would then be assured of getting one of his preferred nominees confirmed.

All that being said, National Review's Ian Tuttle raises another potential hindrance to the Constitution: Trump himself.

Trump’s potential abuses are numerous — and, unlike most presidential hopefuls, widely advertised. He has suggested that he will prosecute journalists who write unfavorable stories about his administration. He is open to “shutting down” parts of the Internet. (Might this be a free-speech violation? Only “foolish people” would suggest that.) The prospective commander-in-chief has declared that he would force American troops to commit war crimes. And he has said that he has no qualms about using executive orders much like President Obama has done (only Trump’s will be “better”). Trump’s dismissiveness toward the Constitution is in excess of anything Barack Obama displayed in 2008 or 2012.

Moreover, the only real insight we have into Donald Trump’s judicial philosophy (such as it is) is from the week he spent savaging Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge who is presiding over two lawsuits against Trump University. The takeaway from that deplorable episode was that, as with everything else, Donald Trump likes judges who like Donald Trump; he wanted a judge who would put his interests above the law. What reason is there to believe that he would behave differently as president?

Nonetheless, those who cite the Supreme Court as a compelling reason to vote for Trump are of the befuddling opinion that the same man who has demonstrated willful ignorance of the Constitution, who has promised to subvert the Constitution, and whose dealings with the judiciary demonstrate contempt for the Constitution, is the man who will save it.

There's no question that Trump has made some troubling statements regarding what he perceives as executive authority. It's going to be difficult to square that circle with the constitutional purists who are still on the fence regarding this presidential race.

By all means, read Tuttle's entire piece. While he stops short of saying Hillary Clinton would be a more sufficient choice for President, Tuttle does offer the perspective that a Clinton judicial nominee does not necessarily result in the apocalyptic scenarios which Hewitt et al. suggest (Fear not, though. I still ain't voting for Hillary).


Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Equal application?

Much hay is still being made over gold star parent Khizr Khan's repudiation of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. That is due in large part to incessant coverage by a mainstream media which will do just about anything to perpetuate a negative story about a Republican candidate. That said, Trump himself has done more than his fair share to keep this story alive given his unwillingness (or perhaps inability) to answer a critique in a dignified manner.

Since Mr. Khan has chosen to support Hillary Clinton for President, I believe it's only fair that some of the salient inquiries/statements he directed towards Trump should also be presented to his preferred presidential candidate.

...(Y)ou are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution?

Again, that was a perfectly fair question Mr. Khan posed to Trump. So why not ask that of the Democrat candidate?

Given that Mrs. Clinton has vowed to "overturn Citizens United," that would seem to fly in the face of the First Amendment.

Undermining gun rights? Yeah, that's a Second Amendment issue.

And if Mrs. Clinton vows to deny an American citizen basic constitutional rights despite said citizen not having been formally charged with a crime? Seems to me the Fourth Amendment disallows such a thing.

"Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery?" Khan asked. "Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.

"You have sacrificed nothing. And no one."

Yes, other then her dignity during the Lewinsky scandal, what has Mrs. Clinton sacrificed? Lest we forget, while a sitting U.S. Senator, she voted for use of force in Iraq in the early 2000s. However, she's never faced near the level of scrutiny as GOP politicians who voted the same.

To reiterate, I had no trouble with Mr. Khan's (and to some extent, the media's) tough questions towards Trump. It just seems to me that the answers Mrs. Clinton would convey to those same inquiries would be as much a damning indictment on her as it was with Trump. Alas, we'll likely never know.


Monday, August 01, 2016

Quick Hits: Volume CXXXII

- As someone who has supported Republican political candidates since 1992, I'm finding myself in uncharted territory these days with the Presidential race. While I was starting to at least thaw towards the idea of a Donald Trump for President candidacy, he just about dipped me in liquid nitrogen with his response to a prominent speaker at the Democratic National Convention.

Donald Trump has spoken out about Khizr Khan, the father of a soldier killed in Iraq who issued a devastating critique of Trump at the Democratic convention.

Khan, his wife, Ghazala, at his side, demanded that Trump read the Constitution when considering his proposal to bar Muslims from the country, pulling a copy of the document of his pocket and offering to lend it to the Republican nominee. Had Trump's policies been in place, he said, his family wouldn't have been in the country, and his son Humayun Khan would not have served in Iraq, giving his life to save his men. "You have sacrificed nothing and no one," Khan said to Trump.

"I saw him," Trump said of the speech. "He was very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me. His wife … if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say."

"She probably, maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me," Trump continued. "But a plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet, and it looked like she had nothing to say. A lot of people have said that."

The Khans' son, Cpt. Humayun Khan, was an American hero. He died defending our country. His parents, who came to this country with nothing but worked hard to create a life in the U.S. for their three sons, exemplify American values (Khizr Khan is now a prominent immigration lawyer). How could Trump do anything but laud this family for their shining example of what America is supposed to be while also mourning with them in the loss of their son? 

But you know what angers me most about Trump's candidacy? I'm forced to acknowledge that criticisms of Trump levied by President Barack Obama and Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are spot on. 

- With a win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, my Minnesota Twins notched their 40th win of the season (against 64 losses). While my favorite MLB squad is still on pace to lose exactly 100 games, I can rest easy that the all time record for futility (40-120 by the 1962 New York Mets) is now safely out of reach. 

The fact that is my main takeaway from this 2016 season shows what a plummet it has been from a fringe playoff season just last year. 

- It's been a little more than one week since the lesser Twin Cities conservative talk station Twin Cities News Talk announced that morning drive time host (and personal friend of mine) Jack Tomczak was no longer a part of the KTLK morning show. While I have yet to talk to Jack personally, I get a sense this was his decision and that he is at peace with how things shook out. 

Whenever there is a perceived rift in any kind of conservative circles, leftist media types will often swoop in with their own take. Check out the headline of a recent City Pages post: 

Angry white guy radio's Jack Tomczak a host no more at AM 1130.

Well if indeed it were true that "angry white guys" were the primary target audience of the KTLK morning show, they definitely were under-served with Jack as the main host. Jack's forte (albeit from a right-of-center viewpoint) was more employing a dry sense of humor while possessing the perspective of having worked as a staffer in politics (most notably in the administrations of Sen. Rod Grams and Rep. Michele Bachmann). And whenever leftists appeared on the show, Jack never (at least not from what I have ever heard) shouted down his guests and was always respectful in disagreements. 

Yes, it seems to me that this CP headline falls directly into the category of Berg's Seventh Law of Liberal Projection, which reads "When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character, humanity or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds." 

You know which radio hosts can best serve an audience of angry white guys? Angry white guys (and leftists) like Ed Schultz, Mike Malloy and Al Franken


Box Score of the Week

Tampa Bay Rays at Philadelphia Phillies - June 23, 2012.


Jim Thome ended this game with a home run, making it the 13th walk-off homer of his career. That put him first on the all-time list for career walk-off HRs, surpassing the likes of Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson and Babe Ruth, all of whom had 12.