Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Quick Hits: Volume CLI

- Part of the "Deep State" which has continually thwarted President Donald Trump's so-called "travel ban" suffered a blow at the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.

(T)he full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit had put the order on hold last month, concluding that – although it did not specifically say so – the order likely violated the Constitution because the president intended to discriminate against Muslim travelers. Earlier this month, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit also blocked the order, but on a different ground: It concluded that the order exceeds the authority that Congress has given the president to regulate immigration. The (Supreme) (C)ourt’s announcement (Monday) means that the justices will review both of those decisions. The justices also granted the Trump administration’s request to allow the ban to go into effect, at least for would-be travelers who don’t already have some connection to the United States.

So what does that "connection to the U.S." entail?

For individuals, a close familial relationship is required. A foreign national who wishes to enter the United States to live with or visit a family member, like Doe’s wife or Dr. Elshikh’s mother-in-law, clearly has such a relationship. As for entities, the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading EO–2. The students from the designated countries who have been admit- ted to the University of Hawaii have such a relationship with an American entity. So too would a worker who accepted an offer of employment from an American company or a lecturer invited to address an American audience. Not so someone who enters into a relationship simply to avoid §2(c): For example, a nonprofit group devoted to immigration issues may not contact foreign nationals from the designated countries, add them to client lists, and then secure their entry by claiming injury from their exclusion.

I'm on record as saying I am skeptical that this is the most effective deterrent to radical Islamic terror. Many of the recent high profile terror attacks in western world countries have been perpetrated by citizens of those very countries. Said perpetrators have been radicalized by means that a "travel ban" would not have thwarted.

That said, I agree with National Review's David French when he says that, for now, the "constitutional and statutory primacy of the executive and legislative branches over national security and immigration has been restored." 

- The fetching Mrs. Carlson and I finally saw Wonder Woman in theaters over the weekend. To date, it is my favorite film of the latest set in the superhero genre.

If you have yet to see it, I highly recommend it! 

- There are some decisions that, when they're announced, are just destined to be abject failures. And these decisions can be within any facet of life, whether it's sports, entertainment, politics, etc.

Some examples?

The Minnesota Twins starting Miguel Sano in right field to start the 2016 season.

Chevy Chase being given his own late night talk show.

But the latest bad idea which has come home to roost? Significant hikes in minimum wage.

As cities across the country pushed their minimum wages to untested heights in recent years, some economists began to ask: How high is too high?

Seattle, with its highest-in-the-country minimum wage, may have hit that limit.

In January 2016, Seattle’s minimum wage jumped from $11 an hour to $13 for large employers, the second big increase in less than a year. New research released Monday by a team of economists at the University of Washington suggests the wage hike may have come at a significant cost: The increase led to steep declines in employment for low-wage workers, and a drop in hours for those who kept their jobs. Crucially, the negative impact of lost jobs and hours more than offset the benefits of higher wages — on average, low-wage workers earned $125 per month less because of the higher wage, a small but significant decline.

All the adverse affects of this higher wage were pretty well predicted ahead of time. Heck, even some of the biggest proponents of minimum wage acknowledged the adverse economic impacts to come, but dismissed those concerns as secondary to what's "moral" or something.

Oh, and you're next, Minneapolis!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

On hiatus

Some of you may know that I had emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder late Tuesday evening. While there were slight complications, I am officially on the mend and feeling a lot better since my Thursday morning discharge from the hospital.

While there has been a plethora of political news on which to opine, I'm just not up to digging into anything. As such, I likely won't be back into regular blogging until Monday. I figure I can take a brief hiatus since I will also be absent from this Sunday's weekly radio broadcast.

Until then......


Monday, June 19, 2017

Box Score of the Week

Boston Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski collected his 3,000 career hit in a September 1979 game vs. the New York Yankees.


In this game, the Red Sox started Ted Sizemore at second base. Why is that relevant? Well, just a month earlier he was with the St. Louis Cardinals when the Cards' Lou Brock collected his 3,000 career hit.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Miss Minnesota 2017

For the third consecutive year I had the honor of co-emceeing the Miss Minnesota Scholarship Pageant. On Saturday evening, a new Miss Minnesota was crowned.

Announcing Miss MN 2017 from Zandolee Media on Vimeo.

I first met Brianna last year when she was competing for Miss Minnesota 2016. I recall chatting with her a bit backstage a mere few hours before finals night. As a graduate assistant at Bowling Green State University as well as being a composer and freelance piano teacher, Brianna had options. She said as much during that conversation, indicating that she would give it her all in competition but that she would likely move on in life if not crowned Miss Minnesota. So when she finished first runner up last year, I assumed she was done despite having one more year of eligibility remaining.

However, in chatting with her this afternoon on my weekly radio program, she mentioned that upon finishing second overall she made an almost immediate decision to return. Sure enough, she won a local pageant in Northern Minnesota last September. When I learned of that victory, I immediately said that she will be the most formidable contestant in the 2017 group. My prediction was spot on as she performed flawlessly in the two preliminary competition nights as well as Saturday in the finals.

So within 17 hours of her crowning, Brianna stopped by the Patriot bunker this afternoon to chat about her title.

Congrats again, Brianna! I know you'll be a phenomenal representative of our state and, if the panel of Miss America judges have any common sense, our country!!


When you got a job to do, you got to do it well.....

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! I hope that after y'all are spoiled on your special day that you have an opportunity to indulge in this week's edition of The Closer. Today's 1-hour bonanza begins at 2:00 PM Central Time.

I'll discuss the shooting in Alexandria, VA earlier this week, one where GOP members of Congress were the targets. I will also weigh in on the verdict in the trial of former St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who was tried in last year's shooting death of Philando Castile.

Finally at 2:30, we welcome to the Patriot bunker Miss Minnesota 2017 Brianna Drevlow. The lovely and talented Ms. Drevlow was crowned just last evening, so we'll find out what she has planned for her reign over the next 364 days.

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we 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, June 16, 2017

Yanez trial

When it was announced that the jury in the trial of St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who fatally shot Philando Castile last summer, was into its fifth day of deliberations, I had an inkling that a "not guilty" verdict was imminent.

Sure enough......

The jury reached its verdict of not guilty on the manslaughter charge as well as the two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm Friday afternoon after about 30 hours of deliberations.

It was delivered in a Ramsey County District Court courtroom packed with family members and friends of both Yanez and Castile.

The statements given by Castile's family members afterwards were, as you can imagine, utterly heartbreaking.

Allysza Castile, Philando’s 24-year-old sister, said after the verdict was announced that she hadn’t spoken much in the last year because she gets emotional concerning her brother’s death.

“The system really is wrong and they really failed us,” she said, in tears outside the courthouse. “They really failed us once again because my brother was a good man” who never raised his voice.

I also saw television footage of Castile's distraught mother, Valerie. In sharing her grief, Ms. Castile indicated she hopes Yanez "will die tonight." While it's inappropriate to have calls for incitements of violence against anyone, I'm not about to vilify a mother who lost her son 11 months ago in such a senseless manner.

A few other thoughts:

- It may not be a bad idea to come up with some sort of universal policy on what cops require of a citizen who, like Castile, is legally permitted to own a gun and has one on his/her person when pulled over. My understanding is one is not legally obligated to disclose such information. But while doing the honorable thing in offering up full disclosure to Officer Yanez, Castile still wound up dead. Would he still be alive had he indicated initially that he had a permit to carry a firearm before disclosing he was carrying?

- I said it last year in the shooting's aftermath and I'll reiterate. Had it been a white driver who emulated Castile's behavior, I find it difficult to believe he would have been shot to death. I'm not one who typically indulges knee-jerk accusations of racism, but I'm at a loss to come up with words to refute any such speculation involving a racial component in the Castile case.

- There was a story that circulated last year which suggested that Castile matched the description of a suspect who robbed a convenience store not far from Falcon Heights (where Castile was shot). Would that change things? Perhaps if Yanez definitively believed that he was in the midst of someone who potentially committed armed robbery. But it still doesn't explain how the officer could discern if Castile resembled the suspect given he was pulled over in twilight hours.

- Yanez will not be returning to the St. Anthony police force. It's essentially a lock that he will never work in law enforcement again. So this idea he got off "scot-free" is not 100% accurate given his name and picture have been circulated worldwide. That said, he is at least above ground.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Leftist hypocrisy: Part infinity

That was a horrific situation in Alexandria, VA Wednesday morning where GOP members of Congress were shot at by a gunman who was not shy about his grievances towards Republicans.

If certain leftists are intellectually honest (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Oh. Oh, I slay me), they would probably acquiesce to the fact that their blatant calls for violence (or fantasies of violence towards President Trump) should probably be dialed back. After all, this is the standard they set back in early 2011 when the Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot by a deranged individual. The left contended that vociferous right-wing opposition to high taxes and an intrusive heath care law incited Jared Loughner to shoot Giffords. Never mind there wasn't a shred of evidence to back up those utterly absurd claims, but it was the narrative they chose.

Oh, and does anyone recall this post from a college professor after the GOP House passed the American Health Care Act?

Ah, but remember. Symbolic cross hair logos are allegedly far more dangerous than explicit calls for violence.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Get a grip

It was 6:30 Monday evening when I scrolled through my Facebook feed and saw the following status update from a friend and fellow Minnesota Twins fan:

F--king Twins!!!!!

I was perplexed by this, given that their game against Seattle hadn't started at that point. What could have possibly happened? Did they trade ace starting pitcher Ervin Santana?

As I scrolled through the comments on that post, I realized it had to do with the Twins selection of Shortstop/Outfielder Royce Lewis as the top pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. My buddy's frustration stemmed from the fact the Twins bypassed high school pitcher/outfielder Hunter Greene, a stud prospect with a 100 MPH fastball. My buddy, along with a few of his FB friends, allege the Twins made this move strictly for financial reasons. The armchair critics contended that the Pohlads are just too damn cheap to shell out the bonus money necessary to corral a "can't miss" prospect like Greene, so they settled for a shortstop.

With all due respect to my buddy, I can't even count the ways how utterly moronic these reactions appear.

First off, of all the major professional sports (MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA), Major League Baseball's draft is by far the biggest crap shoot. Heck, look at the three players going into the Hall of Fame this summer.

-Ivan Rodriguez - signed as an amateur free agent at age 16.

- Jeff Bagwell - 4th round pick.

- Tim Raines - 5th round pick.

I then made the point to my buddy that new President of Baseball Operations for the Twins, Derek Falvey, knows a thing or two about building contending clubs given he was part of the front office for the 2016 AL Champion Cleveland Indians. So with all due respect, I'll trust his judgement over said armchair critics. My buddy countered with "Falvey had good pitching in Cleveland. That should trump everything." Indeed he did. So let's look at some of the key pitchers who were vital to Cleveland's success last season.

  • SP Corey Kluber (4th round pick)
  • SP Carlos Carrasco (Free agent out of Venezuela)
  • SP Danny Salazar (Free Agent out of the Dominican Republic)
  • SP Josh Tomlin (19th round pick)
  • SP Trevor Bauer (trade)
  • RP Andrew Miller (trade)
  • RP Cody Allen (16th round)
  • RP Dan Otero (signed off waivers)

The point? It's quite possible to build a pitching staff with guys not selected in the first round or even drafted by your club at all.

In the end, I'm always wary of a high school pitcher being labeled a "can't miss" prospect. It's reminiscent of the 1990 draft when the Atlanta Braves, who were in the midst of their seventh consecutive losing season, had the top pick. A Texas high school kid by the name of Todd Van Poppel was the crown jewel of that draft. The right handed pitcher was already thought to possess major league stuff to the point where then Texas Rangers manager Bobby Valentine indicated he was ready for "The Show" right then and there. The Braves desperately wanted to take Van Poppel, but the young man hinted strongly that he'd prefer to attend the University of Texas. After being unable to secure a commitment from Van Poppel, the Braves then settled for a shortstop out of The Bolles School in Jacksonville, FL. His name? Larry Wayne "Chipper" Jones who, in a mere 13 months from now, will be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.  

And what became of Van Poppel? He would actually be drafted by the Oakland A's with the 14th overall pick in 1990 and end up signing with the club. He would go on to have a mediocre 11-year MLB career with six different teams, compiling a record of 40-52 with a 5.58 ERA. 

So am I saying the Twins made the right move selecting Lewis and thus have a future Hall of Famer in their midst? Of course not. Heck, I'll even submit that Greene may become the next Dwight Gooden (sans the drug habit of course) and Lewis may never amount to anything. But therein lies my entire point. To say we know definitively that the Twins made the right or wrong choice is at best premature and at worst utterly asinine. 


Monday, June 12, 2017

A new addition to the protest industry

When Donald Trump was inaugurated President of the United States nearly five months ago, there was one undeniably historic component. That would be the fact Trump was the first President in U.S. history to openly support same-sex marriage on day one of his administration.

Yes, I'm aware the LGBTQ community is focused on more than just that marriage issue. But Trump's record on additional concerns within said community is also pretty solid.

Despite criticism from both sides, Trump largely stood by his “New York values” throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, paying just enough lip service to the evangelical Right to cement his working-class base while still emerging above the Republican field in condemning North Carolina’s practically unnecessary “bathroom bill.” His Department of Justice did not withdraw the Obama administration’s lawsuit against the state until the North Carolina legislature replaced it. Trump’s religious-liberty executive order was nominal at best. And between the platforming of Peter Thiel at the Republican National Convention, who famously announced, “I am proud to be gay, I am proud to be a Republican, but most of all, I am proud to be an American,” and the tapping of the openly gay Richard Grenell as the U.S. ambassador to NATO, the LGBTQ+ community has had more representation thanks to the Trump administration than any other American presidency, save for maybe that of Obama.

With all that said, I guess I'm rather confounded at the latest protest added by the grievance mongering crowd (via Vox.com).

President Donald Trump’s first few months have been marked by protest. There was the Women’s March. There was the Day Without a Woman strike. Then there were the March for Science and the People’s Climate March.

Now there’s the Equality March for Unity and Pride, a protest by and for LGBTQ people, on Sunday, June 11. And it could be big: Organizers expect 260,000 to 300,000 will attend.

The march will target a broad set of problems facing LGBTQ Americans, according to organizers:

The “Equality March for Unity & Pride” is a grassroots movement which will mobilize the diverse LGBTQ+ communities to peacefully and clearly address concerns about the current political landscapes and how it is contributing to the persecution and discrimination of LGBTQ+ individuals.

Although Trump and his administration’s rhetoric and actions are on organizers’ minds, the point of the march is broader — addressing nondiscrimination laws, hate crimes (including murders of transgender people), disparities in the criminal justice system, and the unique challenges of LGBTQ immigrants.

And even though it’s coming in the middle of LGBTQ Pride Month, the march is not meant to be a traditional Pride parade; it’s geared more toward protest than celebration.

Amazing. Pride Month has really evolved as a celebration over the years, specifically how the LGBTQ community views it as a festival for all segments of society (yes, even straight folks) who celebrate the freedom to live openly. Yet this "Equality March" likely did little except draw attention away from the tremendous progress which has been made over the past decade. That's not to say that the LGBTQ folks don't still face challenges. They most definitely do. One obstacle in particular is that any member of that community who in any way expresses an allegiance to right-of-center politics are pretty much ostracized by the grievance mongering crowd. Somehow I don't believe the "Equality March for Unity and Pride" had any chants on behalf of gays who don't toe the "progressive" ideological line. Kinda the antithesis of "unity," no?

As I scrolled through that Vox piece, I came across a couple of paragraphs which seemed to undermine the march's mission (emphasis mine).

So what exactly are the issues that LGBTQ people are fired up about, two years after the massive victory of marriage equality?

The issue at the front of many LGBTQ people’s minds is violence. The march, after all, is coming a day before the one-year anniversary of the deadliest mass shooting in US history: the Pulse shooting in Orlando, Florida, where a shooter targeted LGBTQ people at a nightclub, killing 49 and wounding dozens more.

So the motive of the "shooter" isn't relevant? The fact that the "shooter," whose name was Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to ISIS prior to carrying out these atrocities shouldn't be considered? Y'all heard of ISIS, right? They're that little faction within the radical Islamist movement which happens to abhor homosexuals and thus commits unspeakable violent acts towards them. Yet I scan this entire article and find nary a mention of ISIS, Islam, jihad, etc. Seems to me that should be the biggest target of the march's ire.

Given the fact that President Trump has conveyed a unifying message towards the LGBTQ community in addition to his commitment to eradicating radical Islamic terror, I don't know that the "Equality March" could have found a more staunch ally for their cause.

Ironic, isn't it?


Box Score of the Week

The New York Giants took on the St. Louis Cardinals in the second game of a doubleheader on May 2, 1954.


The Cardinals' Stan "The Man" Musial hit two home runs in this game. In the first game of the doubleheader, Musial hit three homers, which gave him five in one day. That was a MLB record, one that was tied 18 years later by San Diego Padres first baseman Nate Colbert. 


Sunday, June 11, 2017

I'm lookin' high and low, don't know where to go......

It's one of these days where I will be grateful to be in the air conditioned Patriot bunker. As usual, the one-hour edition of The Closer will get started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

Right at 2:00 I will be joined by Dave Hughes, who will seek the GOP nomination to oppose Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN 07) in 2018. Dave was the Republican candidate in 2016, but just fell short in defeating the longtime incumbent Congressman.

In the non-guest segments, I plan on weighing on James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee and try to parse through the partisan spin.

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we 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, June 09, 2017

Just the beginning

At the end of the day, most people will view through their own political prism former FBI Director James Comey's testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

Sure, you can definitively argue that the Trump-Russia collusion angle is dead. Heck, even MSNBC's Chris Matthews acquiesced to that. And for all the caterwauling leftists have done over Trump allegedly obstructing justice by expressing his hopes that Comey would drop the Flynn investigation, they emitted a collective yawn over the revelation that former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch asked Comey to downplay Hillary Clinton's email scandal. 

However, if you think for one second that President Trump is fully vindicated, think again. Matthew Continetti at The Washington Free Beacon lays out a compelling scenario that Trump may still face impeachment down the road

It has to do with this tweet the President sent out three days after Comey's dismissal.

That tweet, Comey told the Senate, prompted the now-private citizen to instruct a friend, Columbia Law professor Daniel Richman, to share with the New York Times the contents of contemporaneous memos he had written describing his interactions with the president. The article, published a week to the day Comey was fired, revealed that the president had asked the FBI director to end the criminal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Why did Comey have Richman call the Times? Because, he told the Senate, he hoped that the disclosure of the memo would prompt the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia's involvement in the 2016 election and possible collusion with associates of the president's campaign. That is exactly what happened May 17, the day after the Times piece, when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named as counsel former FBI director Robert Mueller.

And though Comey would not say if he believed President Trump obstructed justice by urging him to "let go" the investigation into Flynn, he did say he was sure that Mueller would investigate whether obstruction of justice had occurred.

Obstruction of justice, of course, being something past congresses have considered a "high crime and misdemeanor" worthy of presidential impeachment.

In other words: By firing Comey and then tweeting recklessly about it, Trump elevated a long-running but manageable problem—the so-called "Russia thing"—into an independent investigation that seriously endangers his presidency.

I have no idea where this is headed, as Trump has seemingly staved off one potential catastrophe after another. But if indeed he is impeached, it would only be appropriate that the proverbial ball got rolling due to something he tweeted.

It's gonna be a long summer.


Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The ol' Gunslinger

As quarterback Brett Favre progressed in his NFL career, he definitely became more of a student of the game. However, his first few years with the Green Bay Packers, it was obvious he was more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants type of QB as opposed to a cerebral player.

This story about an interaction with then Packers backup QB Ty Detmer pretty much epitomized Favre's first three seasons in Green Bay.


Monday, June 05, 2017

Box Score of the Week

Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees - August 5, 2010.


This past weekend, Albert Pujols hit his 600th career home run. At 37 years, 138 days, Pujols became the fourth youngest player in MLB history to reach that milestone. In the game I referenced above, Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, at age 35 years, 9 days, became the youngest player in MLB history to reach 600* home runs.


Sunday, June 04, 2017

"So why don't moderate Muslims speak out against ISIS?"

CNN: "We'll see to it."


Why is it everytime I see your face, it's only when I got gas in my Chevy?

Happy anniversary to me!! Yes, it was six years ago today when I made my debut as a regular member of the Northern Alliance Radio Network. Today's one-hour edition of The Closer begins at 2:00 PM Central Time.

There's much to weigh in on this week, particularly the news of "comedienne" Kathy Griffin claiming victim status over a faux decapitation of President Trump, the leftist freak out over Trump pulling America out of the Paris climate deal and the latest shenanigans from Minnesota's perpetually petulant governor.

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we 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, June 01, 2017

LeBron vs. M.J.

With Cleveland Cavaliers megastar LeBron James set to make his seventh consecutive NBA Finals appearance, there's been much debate over who's better all-time, LeBron or Michael Jordan. With forums like Twitter, the back and forth has been non-stop.

My thoughts on the matter? WHO FLIPPIN' CARES?!?!?!

Jordan was the greatest player of his era while James is the best (and most physically gifted) in the game today.

Jordan went 6 for 6 in NBA Finals appearances. James is currently 3 for 7 (he single-handedly dragged the Cavs to the Finals in 2007), and is making his 7th consecutive Finals appearance this season (2011-2014 with the Miami Heat; 2015-2017 with the Cavs).

Jordan was a first ballot Hall of Famer; James will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Jordan his fifth overall in NBA points scored; James is seventh and climbing.

Jordan is second overall career NBA playoff points; James is first.

Honestly, with the pedigrees of these two players, does it really matter who is better?

I am old enough to have witnessed Jordan's entire career, so I am well aware of what he brought to the game. His physical talent was something to behold but was surpassed by his willingness to win at all costs. Yes, MJ's killer instinct was unmatched in his era.

On the other hand, I've witnessed James' entire run as well. To enter the league as an 18-year old with expectations of being the proverbial second coming and then exceeding said expectations? Unbelievable. And when I said he's the "most physically gifted?" Name another 6'8", 250 lb. player who can guard a power forward or point guard with equal precision.

So who's better? I really don't care. All I know is as a sports fan I was privileged to witness both players for the entirety of their respective careers. Getting into silly debates over this topic only diminishes one or the other, so I refuse to indulge.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Severed decency

When you're an avowed anti-Trump person yet have unified a large majority of the entire U.S. population against your expression of Trump hatred, you've accomplished something.

Comedian Kathy Griffin has apologized for a photo of herself holding what appears to be a bloody, decapitated fake head of President Trump, despite sweeping bi-partisan disapproval of the image.

The photo, taken by celebrity photographer Tyler Shields, was posted by Griffin and Shields Tuesday to their social media accounts.

"I caption this 'there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his ... wherever,'" Griffin tweeted, referring to an exchange between Donald Trump and former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly during the primary season.

I don't shock easily, but I have to admit I was jarred by that photo of a severed head. I guess it's because it bore a strong resemblance to a head in the aftermath of being decapitated, which was likely the whole point. I have seen online footage of terrorists be-heading America citizens so I'm quite familiar with that gruesome sight of a severed head.

To me, the saddest commentary of this whole incident is how pleasantly surprised political righties (myself included) were in that even the most ardent anti-Trump voices unequivocally condemned Griffin's actions. The reason that's sad is because too many people have become so jaded by political discourse that we almost don't expect there to be a minimum standard of decorum. However, the fact there is a "bridge too far" for leftists is oddly refreshing.

Nevertheless, there are likely some who will brush this off as part of "the new normal" in political discourse. If you're one of those people, then Benny Johnson of Independent Journal Review has some things to share.

Do you think this photo is OK? Fine. Lets talk through a few things.

I don't typically play the 'Imagine if a Republican Did This' game, but it's becoming harder & harder to take people seriously.

Consider what would happen if a Emmy & Grammy award-winning celebrity, who is also a part-time CNN commentator, posed proudly with a bloody, decapitated head of Obama 130 days into his Presidency?

I bet you can guess.

The levels of existential meltdowns & garment tearing inside the chattering-class would reach Defcon 10.

Shame. Firing. Banishment. Loss of future, just to start.

And it would be rightly deserved. The act of glorifying a President's decapitation should make the most rock-ribbed partisans recoil in horror, because... decency.

Let's say you disagree with me & you think President Trump deserves this.

Can you at least admit that the President is a human & this dehumanizes him on a level that is dangerous? Like, glorifying his death. You know, Trump has a 11 year-old son? Would you wish *anyone's* innocent 11 year-old to see the dramatization of their parent's beheading?

Oh, you still think it's fine?

Ok, forget Trump. On the very basic, human level, can we agree that a handful of *Americans* have been actually, publicly decapitated at the hands of ISIS on YouTube in very recent memory? Not to mention countless of thousands of other Christians & Muslims alike. So to glorify the barbaric action is perhaps disrespectful to the dead?

Still don't agree with me?

Can you name one thing this does to help our political discourse, like, even a little bit?

You can't because, like much of our dialogue, this is intended to raise the stakes. It's intended to inflame Trump supporters & make them seethe. It's intended to disgrace the office of the Presidency & dehumanize the person who holds it.

If you support it, you're a bad person & you're playing a dangerous game with our democracy.

There's no question that President Trump has said some things which in and of itself diminish the office of the Presidency. But as long as his detractors engage in this kind of discourse, Trump will continue to gain the high ground by default. It really is a vicious cycle.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Our perpetually petulant governor - Part MMCCCXXXIX

In what is the final biennium budget he will see as Minnesota governor, Little Lord Fauntleroy Mark Dayton still had to make a scene.

Oh sure, he went ahead and signed off on the $46 billion budget passed by the Legislature last week. But the tax relief bill? Well, that's a little more complicated.

Dayton also said he would allow a tax relief package to become law without his signature, but chastised Republican lawmakers for adding what he called a "poison pill" provision to the bill that would have eliminated all Minnesota Department of Revenue funding if it were killed, a move the governor described as a "reprehensible sneak attack."

In response, Dayton used his power to eliminate spending for the House and Senate.

The gravity of that move wasn't immediately clear but it's certain to trigger a confrontation with GOP legislative leaders.

When asked about slashing legislative funding, Dayton told reporters, "Well, they can come back and get it restored .... we'll find out how much money they have stashed away" in reserve accounts.

So is Dayton implying the MN Legislature can have it's funding restored only if they come back to the table to re-work terms of the tax relief package? Seems to me the textbook definition of "extortion," no?

I digress.

The reason I emphasized the phrase "Dayton used his power" is because it appears that isn't Dayton's "power" to wield according to Harry Niska, a GOP candidate for MN Attorney General.

Governor Dayton's line-item veto of the entire budget for the Legislature is a blatant violation of the constitutional principle of separation of powers. In fact, this is the quintessential example a law professor could use to demonstrate the concept: one branch cannot eliminate another branch simply because it disagrees with the decisions of that branch.

So how did the leading DFL candidate respond to this blatantly unconstitutional, partisan act? By lauding it as a "brilliant move."

This is why I'm running. The Attorney General must be someone who defends the Constitution, not someone who revels in the unconstitutional actions taken by their allies. We need an Attorney General who enforces and upholds the law for all Minnesotans.

So the "leading DFL candidate" for MN AG is a guy who in 2013 referred to a black U.S. Supreme Court justice as an "Uncle Thomas?" Brave new world.

Sorry. Another digression.

Does this mean another special session of the Legislature is pending? Maybe a lawsuit claiming Dayton violated the Separation of Powers? I don't know. But I definitely have some popcorn poppin'.


Can't help themselves

When it comes to holidays celebrating America or faith or.....well, let's face it. Leftists politicize any holiday, regardless of its significance.

With it being Memorial Day yesterday, uber lefty site Vox came up with this headline for one of their pieces:

I think Stephen Miller of HeatStreet had it right when he suggested a certain meeting. 

This idea was conjured up in light of Marine Corps veteran (and current Defense Secretary) James "Mad Dog" Mattis's blunt answer to a question by Face the Nation host John Dickerson:

I'd pony up some cash if this were made into a pay-per-view event. Just sayin'....


Monday, May 29, 2017

Box Score of the Week

It seems only logical to select a game from a Memorial Day past.


White Sox pitcher Wilbur Wood pitched a four-hit shutout for the Sox this day. Sure, that's impressive. But what makes it even more astonishing is he pitched five innings earlier that day (and also got the win) in the completion of the previous Saturday's suspended game.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

L.A. proved too much for the man....

It's the Sunday before Memorial Day but we'll be live today on the Northern Alliance Radio Network. Yes, the one-hour bonanza known as The Closer will begin at 2:00 PM Central Time.

In what was a busy news week, I will definitely look back at the horrific terrorist attack in Manchester, England. I will also weigh in on the special U.S. House election in Montana.

At 2:30 I will be joined by Jason Flohrs, who is the State Director at the Minnesota chapter of Americans for Prosperity. We'll discuss the latest Minnesota legislative session as well as myriad issues taking place at the Federal level.

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we 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, May 26, 2017

Dems denied.....again

After Thursday evening, the Democrat party is still longing for that elusive special election victory which proves there's a backlash against President Donald Trump, or something.

Just 24 hours after being charged with assault for allegedly body-slamming a reporter in his Bozeman campaign office, Republican Greg Gianforte on Thursday defeated Democratic opponent Rob Quist to win the special election for the U.S. House seat in Montana.

The race was thrust into the national spotlight in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night after Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs described being "body-slammed" by the GOP candidate, and a Fox News crew who witnessed the incident said the former technology and software executive "grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him."

To be clear, this isn't something Republicans should necessarily be celebrating. Short of defending himself, Gianforte had zero reason to put his hands on someone with the intent to cause harm. As such, he did apologize for his actions upon declaring victory.

"When you make a mistake you have to own up to it, that's the Montana way," Gianforte said. "Last night I made a mistake... That's not the person I am and it's not the way I'll lead in this state."

"Rest assured, our work is just beginning, but it does begin with me taking responsibility for my own actions," he added. "You deserve a congressman who stays out of the limelight and just gets the job done."

Also, I'm not really interested in the shrieking leftists and their sudden discovery of a moral compass when it comes to violence towards political opponents. Unless these same people are willing to unequivocally condemn multiple violent protests by leftist kooks in Berkeley, St. Paul, etc., they have no credibility whatsoever in expressing outrage over Gianforte's excessive actions.

But hey, if anyone is willing to start a movement to kick out members of Congress who have at some point in their lives body-slammed someone with whom they had a political beef, I'm all ears!


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Quick Hits: Volume CL

- When a political candidate makes a verbal faux pas during a campaign, there can occasionally be room for nuance or an opportunity to provide further context.

But when a candidate commits a physical act of aggression towards a media member in front of witnesses? Not a lot of room for interpretation.

Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for a special House election in Montana, was officially charged with assaulting a journalist on Wednesday — just one day before the election.

As The Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs attempted to ask Gianforte a question about the recently released Congressional Budget Office cost estimate of the House GOP’s health care legislation, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck and slammed him to the ground, according to Fox News’ eyewitness account.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office cited Gianforte with a misdemeanor assault. He must appear in court by June 7, a county clerk told Fox News.

This is Montana's only U.S. House seat, one which has not had a Democrat representing it in more than 20 years. Since leftists are so desperate for an electoral repudiation of President Donald Trump, they may well get it in Montana by default.

But if Gianforte is elected, the next question is will the GOP House caucus goes ahead and seat him without incident. While Speaker Paul Ryan has condemned the incident and insists that Gianforte apologize, he essentially said he would abide by the will of the Montana voters.

It is only in this current political climate that Montana is the epicenter of national political news. Heck, that was likely the case before this latest incident.

- After being a proverbial church mouse for eight years, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) feels emboldened now that he is in the minority party in Washington. His criticism of President Trump combined with aggressive questioning of Trump judicial & cabinet nominees has caused his star to rise among Dems desperate for a viable presidential candidate in 2020.

However, Sen. Fart Joke Franken is, at this time, not interested.

The Minnesota Democrat has been among several high-profile Democrats seen as likely candidates. But in an interview with People Magazine, the former comedian ruled out a run.

“I got way, way, way too much to do right now to even think about that, other than to say, ‘No, I’m not going to do that,'” Franken told the magazine.

Good. It seems to me downright laughable to believe a nearly 70-year old obnoxious, thin-skinned former TV guy could be considered a viable candidate for Pres.....

Oh, right.

-  So how about the first place Minnesota Twins?!

Yes I realize we're barely past the one-quarter mark of the season, but the Twins have (for now) defied low expectations after a franchise worst 103 losses in 2016. And while I don't expect the Twins to ultimately win the American League Central Division this year (the defending A.L. champion Cleveland Indians are still loaded), they have definitely identified some core players which could provide long term success.

Third baseman Miguel Sano is having an MVP caliber season as he is tied for A.L. lead in RBIs and is top 10 in home runs and batting average.

According to normally understated former Twins manager Tom Kelly, Center Fielder Byron Buxton is the fastest baseball player he's ever seen. While he's off to a slow start at the plate, Buxton more than makes up for it in the field.

But the latest phenom which is garnering significant attention is starting pitcher Jose Berrios.

Berrios has been downright filthy in his first three starts, winning all three while compiling a 1.66 Earned Run Average, a minuscule 0.55 Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP) and a downright stingy .111 opponents' batting average. Not since the peak years of Johan Santana (2004-06 when he won two A.L. Cy Young awards) or perhaps the 2006 version of Francisco Liriano have Twins fans marked their calendars for a game in which a specific starting pitcher toils.

Even if the Twins fall short of a postseason berth, it's no small consolation that the core of their current roster is young, talented and already providing significant contributions. For the first time in about six years, it's definitely OK to be excited about the direction of this franchise.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A tale of two singers

Let's take a gander at two separate responses to the Monday terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

First, a reaction from legendary English singer Morrissey:

Compare that to the "hot take" from the undeniably talented (but utterly vacuous) Katy Perry: 

That is all.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Manchester: my two cents

My friend Bryan Strawser has said on more than one occasion that "The war is here, and it doesn't really care if you want to be a part of it."

On Monday evening we received yet another chilling reminder.

Police say 19 people are confirmed dead and around 50 others are injured following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins held a late press conference and said that they are currently treating the explosion at Manchester Arena as a "terrorist incident" until they have further information.

"This is a very concerning time for everyone," Hopkins said. He also said that further details would be released when they have a clearer picture.

As you can imagine, Ms. Grande was devastated by this incident.

Sadly, a fair number of responses to this tweet were people reminding Grande of her unflattering comments about America, her anti-Trump stance, her sympathy for Muslim refugees, etc. To conjure up those issues in light of the awful atrocities at one of her concerts is just disgusting and downright cruel. Don't be one of those people, k?

Admittedly I wasn't at all familiar with Grande's style of music but from what I understand, she largely appeals to teenagers. So whatever soulless ghouls carried out this attack knew darn well that a lot of kids would be in attendance at that concert.

Not only was the venue significant, so was the date of May 22.

Just as it was no coincidence that the Benghazi terror attack occurred on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11/01 attacks on U.S. soil.

Naturally there's a lot of information still flowing at this point, but early indications are a homemade bomb was detonated by a suicide bomber. The device was described as one of those "nail bombs" similar to what was used in the Brussels attack last year.

Perhaps one of the more disturbing aspects of this attack (and something Strawser has also alluded to before) is that it was another "soft target." That is, people are essentially preoccupied and thus very vulnerable to harm, just like in Nice, France last year when people were wrapped up in Bastille Day festivities or December 2015 in San Bernardino, CA where employees were enjoying a Christmas party.

It would seem to me that if one of the goals of terrorists is to have people of the western world skittish about merely living everyday life, the incidents which have occurred over the past few years have gone a long way to accomplishing that.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Box Score of the Week

The St. Louis Browns (who eventually became the Baltimore Orioles) took on the Boston Red Sox in the first game of a doubleheader on September 29, 1943.


The Browns' Vern Stephens hit a home run in the 11th inning as well as the 13th inning in this game, meaning he became the first player in MLB history to hit multiple homers in extra innings. 


Sunday, May 21, 2017

With the pressure on, intent is to run......

A lot to get to in this week's edition of The Closer. The one hour festivities get kicked off at 2:00 PM Central Time.

There was definitely a ton of news coming out of the White House this past week, but is there any "there" there? Also, are any progressives really considering the consequences of what would happen if indeed President Donald Trump is forced to leave office?

I'll also look back at some examples of what happens when certain constituencies that leftists believe they own don't toe the progressive ideological line.

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we 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, May 19, 2017

Our perpetually petulant governor - Part MMCCCXXVII

In 2011, Gov. Mark Dayton agreed in principle to a biennium budget compiled by the all GOP Legislature, only to inexplicably walk away from the deal at the 11th hour. When regular session expired, it was Dayton's purview as governor to call a special session. He refused, thus government shut down after the June 30th deadline expired. When Dayton went on a state wide demagoguery tour in July to throw the GOP under the bus, much of the public's reply was basically "Oh, government is shut down?" After a nearly three-week shutdown, Dayton essentially agreed to the same budget which he refused to sign before the end of regular session.

In 2015, the Minnesota Legislature was comprised of a Democrat majority in the Senate and a GOP majority in the House. Of the 201 legislators, 91 Republicans and 32 Democrats agreed to a biennium budget which didn't include Gov. Dayton's unreasonable request for massive Pre-K funding. Despite the bipartisan agreement in the Legislature, Dayton once again vetoed the budget and the regular session ended. But this time a special session was called, yet Dayton was rebuffed when striving for the aforementioned Pre-K funding. He eventually abandoned his demand and signed essentially the same budget he refused to agree to prior to the end of regular session.

So with 2017 being another budget year and scheduled end of sessions being slated for Monday, Gov. Dayton certainly wants to avoid another embarrassing setback, right? No doubt he's willing to sleep at the Capitol building to ensure he and the Legislature can have this budget all buttoned up by the end of the weekend, right?

Here is a post from the personal Facebook page of Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover):

Hold firm, Republicans. Moments like these are exactly why you were given back a majority in the Legislature.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Bernie burned

Just gonna leave this here.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

It's not nothing

True, Hillary Clinton's gross negligence in handling classified information while serving as Secretary of State should have been met with criminal charges. And true, a sitting President of the United States has the purview to declassify any classified information. But does that mean we should just turn a blind eye to what President Donald Trump himself admitted he told Russian officials in an Oval Office meeting last week?

Not according to Sen. John McCain, who knows a thing or two about protecting sensitive information at all costs.

“The reports that the President shared sensitive intelligence with Russian officials are deeply disturbing. Reports that this information was provided by a U.S. ally and shared without its knowledge sends a troubling signal to America’s allies and partners around the world and may impair their willingness to share intelligence with us in the future. Regrettably, the time President Trump spent sharing sensitive information with the Russians was time he did not spend focusing on Russia’s aggressive behavior, including its interference in American and European elections, its illegal invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, its other destabilizing activities across Europe, and the slaughter of innocent civilians and targeting of hospitals in Syria.

"I continue to believe that we need a select congressional committee to fully investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Sanctions – not intelligence-sharing – should be our course of action."

As usual, this episode was largely sensationalized by an overzealous media committed to taking down who they feel is an illegitimate president. However, to dismiss this as a "nothing burger" would also be a mistake.

Which brings me to yet another explosive allegation levied towards Trump.

James Comey, the recently fired FBI director, was asked by President Donald Trump to end an investigation into the actions of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a memo Comey wrote about his conversation with the president, a source close to the former director confirmed to ABC News.

The New York Times was the first to report the discussion and subsequent memo Tuesday.

In the memo, which Comey shared with top FBI associates, the former director wrote that Trump said, "I hope you can let this go," in relation to the inquiry into Flynn's actions.

ABC News has not seen the memo and Comey has not commented on the matter.

Multiple sources who have worked closely with the former director, including within the Justice Department, say Comey is known for his fastidious notetaking.

"He documents everything," one source said.

If indeed this allegation is true, I don't see how Trump can survive his first term. But if no such memo can be substantiated? Seems to me that the New York Times' credibility would take a sever.....BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh, I almost was able to say that with a straight face. Yes, the Times' credibility has long since been in the proverbial crapper, so they figure they can implement a throw-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks strategy.

Thankfully, it didn't take long for the Times' bluff to be called.

On Tuesday evening, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter to McCabe requesting that the FBI provide "all memoranda, notes, summaries, and recordings referring or relating to any communications between Comey and the President" by May 24. Earlier in the night, Chaffetz tweeted that he has his "subpoena pen ready."

There's no doubt that the "resistance"crowd is gleefully rubbing their collective hands together over these latest developments, which makes me wonder if they're even considering what would happen if Trump is drummed out of office. Remember, many on the left desperately wanted a candidate Trump, believing that would be the easiest path to victory for Hillary Clinton. They didn't appear to stop and think for one second what would happen if Trump prevailed. Now that there's a slight possibility Trump may be toast? They apparently aren't fathoming a President Mike Pence. You think proggies are losing their s**t now?!?! Hoo boy.

But hey, enjoy your perceived schadenfreude, leftists.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

"We advocate for you.....so long as you're in lockstep with our ideology"

To begin this post, I'd like to refer you to Berg's Eighth Law of Diversity, courtesy of my friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg:

American liberalism’s reaction to one of “their”constituents – women, gays or people of color – running for office or otherwise identifying as a conservative is indistinguishable from sociopathic disorder.

With that in mind, I point you to an immigrant (born in Italy) black woman who is also a scientist working for an independent agency of the U.S. government. The only way leftists could concoct a more ideal constituent in their minds is if said woman was a male identifying as a female.

So can you imagine the veritable freak out in proggie circles when a young, immigrant black woman scientist employed by the government doesn't exactly utter leftist chanting points?

 I'd like to introduce you to Kara McCullough, who was crowned Miss USA Sunday evening.

In typical beauty pageant fashion, the Q&A portion required contestants to address controversial issues. McCullough’s answers to both questions — about health care and feminism — sparked debate on social media. The first query: “Do you think affordable health care for all U.S. citizens is a right or a privilege and why?”

“I’m definitely going to say it’s a privilege,” McCullough responded. “As a government employee, I am granted health care. And I see firsthand that for one to have health care, you need to have jobs. So therefore, we need to continue to cultivate this environment that we’re given the opportunities to have health care as well as jobs to all the American citizens worldwide.”

The reaction on Twitter was immediate. Same with her second question: “What do you consider feminism to be, and do you consider yourself a feminist?”

“So as a woman scientist in the government, I’d like to lately transpose the word feminism to equalism,” McCullough said as members of the audience cheered. “I don’t really want to consider myself — try not to consider myself like this die-hard, you know, like, ‘Oh, I don’t really care about men.’ But one thing I’m gonna say, though, is women, we are just as equal as men when it comes to opportunity in the workplace.”

“And I say firsthand: I have witnessed the impact that women have in leadership in the medical sciences, as well as just in the office environment,” she added. “So as Miss USA, I would hope to promote that type of leadership responsibility globally to so many women worldwide.”

Both The Washington Free Beacon and Twitchy did a nice job in documenting the backlash.

The Miss USA system falls under the umbrella of Miss Universe, which touts its organization as "a company run by women for women, built on a foundation of inclusion and continues to be a celebration of diversity." It's a shame that much of the public at large doesn't embrace diversity of thought. Yes, nothing says "women's empowerment" like the expectation to be in lockstep with one specific ideology.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Box Score of the Week

New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter had his jersey number retired Sunday evening. With that in mind, let's look at a game which featured one of his many memorable moments. It was in a 2004 contest against the hated Boston Red Sox.


With no regard for his physical well being, Jeter makes an incredible catch in shallow left field.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

We won't hesitate to break down the garden gate....

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

It's also a beautiful Sunday to be outside and have the radio tuned in to AM 1280 (or The Patriot being streamed on your favorite mobile device) for today's edition of The Closer. As always. we'll get started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

The Minnesota legislative session is close to wrapping up, which means Gov. Mark Dayton (especially in a budget year) becomes especially erratic and unreasonable. I will also discuss the latest in the 2018 MN gubernatorial race which thankfully will not include Dayton.

At 2:30, I will discuss with political wonk Matt Mackowiak the bizarre aftermath of FBI Director James Comey's firing.

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we 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, May 13, 2017

Mystery solved?

Upon Sergio Garcia winning his first major PGA title (The Masters on April 9), I hopped on Twitter to see if he had an account. Since Garcia had so many close calls in majors before (four 2nd place finishes and one 3rd place finish in his 18-years as a pro) as well as some high profile meltdowns in majors and non-majors, I wanted to congratulate him for finally exorcising his proverbial demons.

When I located his Twitter account, I was greeted with this:

I admit I was never much of a Garcia fan given that he always seemed a little too arrogant for someone who accomplished so little. But still, what could I have possibly said via Twitter to elicit such a reaction? 

While scrolling my TimeHop app recently, I came across some Tweets I composed after my favorite golfer, Tiger Woods, won the 2013 Players Championship. That particular tourney saw Garcia tied with Woods for the lead in the final round with two holes to play. However, in one of his more epic collapses, Garcia hit three balls in the water over the final two holes and ended up tied for eighth. 

Here is what I wrote in reaction to that final round of play:

So do ya think it's possible that's what prompted Garcia to block me? I can't believe those were the worst tweets to fill up his Twitter mentions that evening. Oh well, despite my being a big time Sergio detractor, I have no trouble giving him props for his impressive Masters win last month. 


Friday, May 12, 2017

On a Mission

Just a "heads up," I will be filling in for Paul Ridgeway this evening on his daily radio program On The Way. I will be on from 4:00 until 6:00 Central Time.

Among the topics I plan on addressing include the claim that opposing Obamacare is "non-Christian." Since I host a political talk show every week, I will likely conjure up other topics where faith and politics intersect.

Then at 5:00 I will speak with Jeff Gilbert, who is an ambassador with the organization Save the Storks. The mission of STS is to "partner with pregnancy resource centers and give abortion-vulnerable women a choice that will change their lives forever."

The show airs on Twin Cities station AM 980 The Mission. You can listen via the station web site by clicking here or on iHeartRADIO (click here). 

Until then.....


Thursday, May 11, 2017


A familiar name is jumping into the 2018 Minnesota gubernatorial race.

Republican Jeff Johnson is vying again for the seat Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton kept him from winning in 2014.

The Hennepin County commissioner — who won 45 percent of the vote to Dayton’s 50 percent last time — hit a populist message announcing Wednesday morning that he will run for governor again in 2018.

“I’m running to give Minnesotans more control over their lives,” Johnson said in an interview with the Pioneer Press. “Pretty straightforward.”

In an announcement video, he portrayed the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party as one of tuxedo-wearing, champagne-swilling swells that supports the “swamp of cronyism and political favors.”

That message might have been more effective had it been used against Dayton in 2014. And therein lies one of myriad issues which plagued the Johnson campaign. For whatever reason, there was never a consistent message to effectively hit what was a vulnerable incumbent.

However, having run in two statewide races in the previous 12 years (Attorney General in 2006; governor in 2014), Johnson sees that as a decided advantage over the other GOP candidates.

“The Republicans who are going to make this decision know what to expect from me, know how hard I will work, know I won’t wilt under the pressure,” he said.

While all that may be true, the big hangup many astute observers had was that Johnson didn't work smart. His campaign seemed to lack focus at times as well as having a support staff which seemed out of their league in terms of running a race of this magnitude.

“I know what I did really well and I know where I fell down, and we need to do much better,” Johnson said.

This time, unlike last time, he will offer policy specifics during his run. His campaign three years ago was long on generalities and offer fewer policy proposals.

I like Johnson personally and enthusiastically supported him in 2014 once my preferred gov candidate (Dave Thompson) dropped out upon not securing the Minnesota GOP endorsement.

Let's just say I'm still keeping my options wide open.