Friday, March 31, 2017

You're not in Trump Tower anymore

During the 2016 election cycle, I often conveyed that it was paramount for Republicans to maintain control of Congress. I maintained that sentiment regardless of who would be elected president.

When it became clear that Donald Trump would be the GOP presidential nominee, the sense of urgency for an all Republican Congress remained the same. Sure, Trump ran under the GOP banner but he showed very few signs of any conservative principles (or a coherent agenda for that matter). And since Trump's signature issue was a border fence between the U.S. and Mexico, I often said he would likely acquiesce to some left wing policies put forth by a Dem majority in Congress if it meant he could check off his top agenda item.

Trump's openness to striking deals with Dems became even more apparent upon the GOP House failing to cobble together a repeal measure of Obamacare. 

A couple of days later, President Trump took it a step further when he issued a threat to certain members of the GOP House caucus.

This whole healthcare saga has likely been a rude awakening to Trump. While he had been able to strong-arm deals during his business career, the members of the House Freedom Caucus (for better or worse) will absolutely not be deterred by the president's bluster.

The fact of the matter is most (if not all) of the HFC members will easily be reelected in 2018, despite any efforts President Trump may put forth (I have a hunch he'll merely continue to lob rhetorical bombs via Twitter). Also, most of the aforementioned members have the ability that many in the GOP "establishment" lack. That is they are able to see past the next election cycle. The Freedom Caucus members pretty much enter every election year with the mindset that if voters are not happy with the efforts they put forth to make real, substantive reforms in Washington, then the HFC members would prefer not to be there anyways.

I haven't always been a big fan of the House Freedom Caucus's occasional unwillingness for incrementalism, but there's no denying that they are a well-funded and formidable force in Congress. To underestimate or dismiss them in the future is to do so at one's own peril.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

O.J.: Made in America

So I finally indulged in the award-winning documentary O.J.: Made in America. It's a five part series, totaling nearly eight hours.

It chronicles the life of O.J. Simpson, beginning in the late 1960s when he became an All-American football player at the University of Southern California right through his 2008 conviction (ironically on the 13th anniversary of his acquittal of double murder) of kidnapping and armed robbery in Las Vegas.

Certainly a good portion of the documentary focuses on the "Trial of the Century" where Simpson was found not guilty of the June 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. But what was most riveting was the perspective of those who had a key role in the trial, particularly some of the attorneys, law enforcement officials and jurors.

Another fascinating perspective was how Simpson was mostly above the fray when it came to race relations in a decade (the 1960s) where white-black tensions were at its zenith. Many black activists were dismayed that someone as high profile as Simpson would not be a voice for justice within the black community. Around that same time frame, many white folks embraced Simpson given his prowess on the football field and his charisma off of it.

Despite the black community being mostly shunned by Simpson his entire adult life, they rallied around him when he went on trial for murder in 1995. Some even suggested that they didn't even consider whether Simpson was guilty of double homicide. After four white Los Angeles police officers were not convicted in the savage beating of black motorist Rodney King a few years earlier, some black citizens (and even Simpson trial jurors) felt satisfied that this was a quid pro quo for the King verdict. Another memorable moment conjured up was the infamous live TV shots of when the verdict was announced. While most black people rejoiced, the expression on the faces of white folks was that of incredulity. It was further emphasis that even in 1995 there was still a significant racial divide.

Anyhow, if you enjoy documentaries about sports, culture and social issues, this production intertwines all aspects. I highly recommend it.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Quick Hits: Volume CXLVII

- Now we're up to four candidates who are vying to be the Democrat nominee in the 2018 Minnesota gubernatorial race.

U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, a Democratic survivor in Trump territory, dove Monday into a race for governor that will also put a Minnesota seat in Congress up for grabs.

Walz, who lives in Mankato and has represented southern Minnesota for the past decade, is the first Democratic entrant from beyond the Twin Cities metropolitan area and the fourth from his party overall to announce a run. Two-term DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has said he will not seek re-election next year.

Walz launched his campaign with a "One Minnesota" theme, pledging to bridge geographical splits on issues facing the state, from transportation to guns.

"I think I'm the one who can unify folks to see a bigger picture, to make sure it isn't this divide we've had and to bring a little different perspective to this race," he said.

Walz is definitely a more ideologically diverse candidate than the other DFLers in the race thus far. You don't often find a political candidate today who is supported by both Planned Parenthood and the National Rifle Association. Walz is also the highest ranking military official in Congress, having reached the level of Sergeant Major during his 24-year stint in the Army.

After unseating Congressional District One incumbent Gil Gutknecht in 2006, Walz never had less than a 5-point margin of victory the following four re-election bids. However, his fifth re-election victory this past November was a scant 0.76% win over Republican challenger Jim Hagedorn.

With MN CD1 an R+1 district and now an open seat, the GOP naturally smells the proverbial blood in the water.

National Republicans have already indicated they would invest in flipping a seat the party once held. Hagedorn has already announced his intention to run again and other Republicans could get in, too.

"Running in an open seat only increases my will to work exceptionally hard and personally engage southern Minnesotans in one-to-one conversations to earn their trust and votes," Hagedorn said in a statement.

This will be Hagedorn's third attempt at this seat. In addition to his razor thin loss last November, he was defeated by 8.5% in 2014.

- Ummmm......I'll just leave this here.

- Today marks the 25th anniversary of "the shot." For those of you who are fans of the Men's NCAA basketball tournament (aka "March Madness"), you pretty much know which "shot" I'm referencing.

That win put Duke into the Final Four where they would go on to win their second consecutive national title.

If Kentucky fans still aren't over the heartache from that one, they sure as heck are still smarting over this past weekend's regional final loss to North Carolina.

Leave it to Christian Laettner, the central figure in UK's 1992 anguish, to meld these devastating moments together.

How bad do you wanna troll a fan base that you're willing to use a great moment by your alma mater's most bitter rival? I'm no Laettner fan, but even I have to rate his trolling skills at the "Master" level.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Where credit is due

Most Hollywood types and other cultural elites are some of the more scathing critics of the Christian religion, specifically its "fundamentalist groups." A lot of this bluster, however, seems pretty shallow given that calling out extreme sects of a certain other religion (i.e. Islam) is rarely heard.

I guess that's why I find Bill Maher a refreshing exception. Despite Maher being left-of-center politically and one who's not shy in spewing inflammatory rhetoric about people of faith and political conservatives, he seems to have the ability other elites either don't possess or are too gutless to convey. That is, radical Islam is a persistent threat to the West's way of life. 

As such I point you to a discussion Maher had with guest panelist Louise Mensch, a former member of the British Parliament, on his program Real Time.

MENSCH: And when this awful terrorist attack happened and people lost their lives, including an American and a British policeman, partisans rushed out in the streets and said it was an illegal immigrant that did it. Trying to turn people against our Muslim friend and neighbors. Well, you are not going to do that. You are not going to do that!


MAHER: Well let's not pretend that it has nothing to do with Islam the religion.

MENSCH: It doesn't.

MAHER: It has nothing to do with Islam?

MENSCH: It has nothing to do--

MAHER: That's very interesting.

MENSCH: It has nothing to do with Islam the same way Timothy McVeigh had nothing to do with Roman Catholicism

MAHER: Because every time some bomb goes off, before it goes off, somebody yells, 'Allahu Akbar.' I never heard anybody go, 'Merry Christmas!'


MAHER: This one's for the Flying Nun! [Bullet sounds]

Mensch's chanting points have become all too common among her ilk, which is why Trump's tough talk on ISIS resonated with the electorate. Let's hope this issue isn't bungled in the motif of the health care debate.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Now I know how Jimmy Buffett feels......

My first broadcast in the spring of 2017! After an unplanned absence last week, I will be returning today for the latest edition of The Closer. The one-hour extravaganza gets started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

About 10 years ago, author Bernard Goldberg wrote a book entitled "Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right." I honestly can't think of a better encapsulation of this past week in Washington, D.C. I'll discuss the crazy behavior displayed by Dems in the Neil Gorsuch Supreme Court confirmation hearings as well as the GOP's spineless approach to their 7-year pledge to rid America of the monstrosity that is Obamacare.

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

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio. If you're unable to tune in live, please check out my podcast page for the latest show post.

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

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

Until then.....


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Scott Adams: Trump's image improved in Obamacare repeal negotiations

I really don't have anything insightful to add over Republicans in the U.S. House failing to agree on an acceptable Obamacare repeal. Truth be told, it's hard to be outraged when I never had an ounce of confidence that a true O-care repeal would come to pass. GOP fecklessness has been standard fare in Washington in the 21st century, particularly on the rare occasions where they control both the executive and legislative branches of government (Gang of 14 anyone?).

This time around though I was particularly interested in the role of President Donald Trump, specifically how his renown negotiation skills would factor in. What we eventually learned was that Trump's presence, if anything, seemed to have been a deterrent to persuading some House Republicans, though we'll never really know for sure since an official vote was never taken on the final legislation.

If you were at all paying attention to the 2016 election cycle, there was only one public figure who not only consistently stated Trump would win the presidency but also showed his work in how that would occur. That would be Scott Adams, he the author of the Dilbert comic strip. So how is this relevant to the current healthcare debate? Well, as Adams points out, Trump's inability to whip enough GOP votes for an Obamacare repeal basically seems to have silenced a certain asinine, hyperbolic talking point.

With the failure of the Ryan healthcare bill, the illusion of Trump-is-Hitler has been fully replaced with Trump-is-incompetent meme. Look for the new meme to dominate the news, probably through the summer. By year end, you will see a second turn, from incompetent to “Competent, but we don’t like it.”

I have been predicting this story arc for some time now. So far, we’re ahead of schedule.

In the 2D world, where everything is just the way it looks, and people are rational, Trump and Ryan failed to improve healthcare. But in the 3D world of persuasion, Trump just had one of the best days any president ever had: He got promoted from Hitler to incompetent. And that promotion effectively defused the Hitler-hallucination bomb that was engineered by the Clinton campaign.

In all seriousness, the Trump-is-Hitler illusion was the biggest problem in the country, and maybe the world. It was scaring people to the point of bad health. It made any kind of political conversation impossible. It turned neighbors and friends against each other in a way we have never before seen. It was inviting violence, political instability, and worse.

In my opinion, the Trump-is-Hitler hallucination was the biggest short-term problem facing the country. Congress just solved for it, albeit unintentionally. Watch the opposition news abandon the Trump-is-scary concept to get all over the “incompetent” theme.
As always, Adams' piece is worthy of reading the entire thing.

In the end, this doesn't have to be a death knell for the GOP healthcare debate. I leave you with this quote from Trump's book The Art of the Deal: "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war."


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Strange hill to die on

Neil Gorsuch will be the next U.S. Supreme Court justice. It's just a question of when at this point, something which Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer indicated will not be ASAP.

Schumer announced Thursday that Democrats will filibuster Gorsuch and force Republicans to muster 60 votes to advance him to a final up-or-down vote.

“He will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation. My vote will be no, and I urge my colleagues to do the same,” he said on the Senate floor.

Republicans have threatened to change the Senate’s filibuster rule to exempt Supreme Court nominees from procedural gridlock — a controversial tactic often referred to as the "nuclear option" that Democrats deployed in 2013 to protect Cabinet and lower-court judges from filibusters.

Schumer, however, argued the problem is not with the chamber’s rules, but with a nominee who has regularly sided with powerful interests over average Americans in high-profile cases.

And there is the leftist mentality in a nutshell regarding the judicial branch of government. Forget the old legal tenets of impartiality, justice being blind, etc. Leftists prefer that the court system merely be an extension of their left-wing legislative philosophy.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), when stating he too would vote "no" on Gorsuch, also conveyed this mindset.

"I don't believe his judicial approach would ensure fairness for workers and families in Pennsylvania and across the country," Casey said.

If Gorsuch issues his legal rulings on the basis of what is the law and thus the law is what is unfair towards "average Americans," then guess what? It's under the purview of the legislative branch to address that accordingly. Looking at you, Sens. Schumer and Casey.

In the end, the Dems still aren't over the fact that Merrick Garland wasn't given a hearing last year when President Barack Obama named him as the nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia. Allowing Gorsuch to sail through confirmation would only serve to give Democrats a brutal reminder that they failed to paint the GOP Senate majority as "obstructionist and unreasonable" to the point where they'd lose power in the last election cycle.

In 2018, there are ten Democrat-held Senate seats which will be up for election in states where President Donald Trump won in November. One of those ten, one (Casey of Pennsylvania) has already gone on record as a "no." It'll be interesting to see how many of the other nine look to not only delay the inevitable but also risk their seat flipping GOP.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

In over her head

I first became familiar with "conservative" commentator Tomi Lahren about 20 months ago when she received nationwide attention for her sharp criticism of the Obama administration in the aftermath of the Chattanooga shootings of four U.S. Marines. At the time, she was a 22-year old host of a program with something called One America News Network.

With the video of this monologue having gone viral, Lahren parlayed that newfound popularity into signing on with Glenn Beck's online conservative network BlazeTV in the fall of 2015. As such, I would occasionally watch clips of her show On Point. To be honest, I was often left woefully unimpressed. While Lahren is a beautiful, impassioned young lady, her commentary was a classic example of symbolism over substance. My concern was that if she were dubbed the millennial voice of conservatism, her presence would do little (if anything) to advance the movement among that demographic.

Her appearance on the leftist women's show The View last week was the proverbial train wreck we pretty much saw coming.

Appearing on “The View” on Friday, Lahren admitted that she supports abortion rights, saying it would be hypocritical of her to believe the government should decide what women should do with their bodies.

“You know what? I’m for limited government, so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well,” Lahren said.

Even the show’s hosts appeared shocked to hear her. Across social media, antiabortion advocates said it was impossible for Lahren to be both conservative and in favor of abortion rights. They criticized her interpretation of the Constitution and called her out for seemingly contradicting previous remarks about abortion. Some claimed, as they have before, that by rising to prominence so young she lacked an understanding of political philosophy and ideology.

But the provocative commentator defended herself, tweeting Saturday, “Listen, I am not glorifying abortion. I don’t personally advocate for it. I just don’t think it’s the government’s place to dictate.”

This is an utterly incoherent rationale, especially saying conservatives are "hypocritical" for defending life.

Part of me believes that Lahren was pandering to the mostly left wing audience which indulges in those female vipers on The View on a daily basis. Despite all the success she's obtained in a short period of time, Lahren's clearly not equipped to engage in nuanced arguments (Labeling herself a "constitutional" emphasizes that point).

The following Monday, Lahren was suspended from her show.

Lahren’s show is suspended for at least one week starting Monday, according to TheDC’s sources. A source with direct knowledge of the situation previously told TheDC that Lahren’s contract with the company goes until September, but that she may leave the company before then.

Lahren’s inflammatory style placed her at odds with other employees at The Blaze, as previously reported by TheDC. Tensions were high between Lahren and her coworkers at The Blaze even before she called pro-life conservatives hypocrites in an appearance on ABC’s “The View” on Friday.

It would be far too simplistic to say this is The Blaze showing intolerance for those who dare have differing views from Beck et al. Why Beck himself has said when his network first got started, there was an unabashed pro choice woman hosting one of their more popular programs. It's one thing to have a respectful disagreement with one of your bosses. But to imply they're "hypocritical" to believe what they believe does not make for a harmonious working place, especially since Lahren's declared pro-choice stance seems to be an about-face from what she's said previously.

In the end, this appears to be your standard employer reprimand of an employee who was insubordinate. To attempt to paint this as "sexism" or "intolerance of differing viewpoints" is to ignore the history of BlazeTV itself.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Quick Hits: Volume CXLVI

- President Donald J. Trump released his Federal Budget proposal recently. It's pretty much D.O.A. with Congress, but then again Presidential budget proposals often are.

That said, the chanting point which most caught my ear came from the secular left in their lecturing of Christian Trump supporters on how certain budget cuts are "anti-Christian." Erick Erickson, one of the premier Christian conservative writers out there (and certainly no Trump apologist), caught on to this as well.

I suppose it is natural to think this sort of thing with government is your god. Cutting the budget is cutting god.

For those of you who still cannot fathom it, the government cutting social welfare spending is perfectly reconcilable with Christianity. Christians believe they and the church have the obligation and we help take care of the poor through our tithes, offerings, and volunteering. In fact, I dare say the church and local community take care of the poor and elderly better than the federal government and we would probably see a vast improvement in the situation if the federal government got out of the way.

The reality is that the church has largely abdicated responsibility to the government and should take it back.


OK, Venn Diagram time. The people who believe Trump's budget is anti-Christian and the people who believe that de-funding Planned Parenthood due to its abortion practices is abhorrent.

- In the immortal words of President Gerald R. Ford, "Our long, national nightmare is over.

Tom Brady's stolen jersey from this year's Super Bowl has been recovered after being found in the possession of a member of the international media, according to the NFL.

The league announced Monday that the New England Patriots quarterback's game-worn jerseys from Super Bowl LI and another, missing from Super Bowl XLIX, were retrieved after an investigation led by the FBI.

The jerseys were found in Mexico and currently are being authenticated by authorities, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

The Mexican Editorial Organization (OEM), a major newspaper publishing company, has identified the man allegedly involved in the case as Martin Mauricio Ortega, who was a director of one of its newspapers, Diario La Prensa, until he resigned last Tuesday.

Given all the factors involved (Patriots, media, Mexican reporter), I'm almost 100% certain that I was not the only person to immediately go to President Trump's Twitter feed to see if he had any reaction.

- A Spike Lee (got his nose outta) joint.

"The New York J-E-T-S Need A Quarterback," wrote Lee, who said he spoke with (Colin) Kaepernick over brunch. "Who Is The J-E-T-S Quarterback? Is My Man Joe Willie Namath Coming Back? Crazy Times We Live In."

Lee used his post to rail against the NFL for excluding Kaepernick, who ignited a firestorm last fall because he refused to stand for the national anthem as a way to protest social and racial issues.

Lee said it "Smells MAD Fishy To Me, Stinks To The High Heavens" that Kaepernick, who opted out of his San Francisco 49ers contract, still doesn't have a job.

Of course the connection was made that Jets owner Woody Johnson is a prominent GOP donor who supported Donald Trump for President.

I will admit, I'm a bit surprised that Kaepernick is still unsigned in what is a down year for free agent quarterbacks. When Kaepernick had the opportunity to play last season, he showed some flashes of the young QB who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in the 2012 season. As such, some folks (though not me) will cite the controversy he generated during pre-game National Anthems as the reason for teams not wanting to sign him. I don't believe it's that simplistic, but to say it has zero bearing is naive.

At the end of the day, NFL teams run as much a public relations business as they do forming a collection of players who can be competitive on the field. If NFL front offices choose to forgo signing the 29-year old Kaepernick due to distractions that may occur, that's they're right as an employer. In no way are his First Amendment rights being violated, since that applies to government inhibiting one's right to speak freely.

If the NFL is not a viable option for Kap, word is that the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL may be in the market for a QB.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Every word I intended to speak winds up locked in the circuitry....

It will be a "Best of The Closer" today as I am out with an illness. Hope to be back on the 26th!

It's Sunday, which means yet another edition of the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer. Per usual, the one-hour broadcast gets kicked off at 2:00 PM Central Time.

It's been another crazy week in the news cycle, one which included continued attempts to make Chelsea Clinton a thing as well as Non-Christians lecturing Christians on how to be Christians. 

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, March 17, 2017

Verbal jabs in the U.S. Senate

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) accused Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) of "working for Vladimir Putin" due to Paul's objections to Montenegro joining NATO.

Paul in turn said the presence of the 80-year old McCain in the Senate "makes a really, really strong case for term limits."

All I can picture is this:



Thursday, March 16, 2017

Please stop trying to make Chelsea Clinton happen

From the time Chelsea Clinton was thrust into the national spotlight at age 12 in 1992, the year her father successfully ran for President of the United States, she was a proverbial church mouse for basically the next 24 years (outside of a short and spectacularly mediocre stint with NBC News a few years ago). It was only after her mother was defeated in the 2016 presidential race that Chelsea had suddenly became unleashed on Twitter, opining on myriad news items while trying to convey some semblance of a personality.

There's even been speculation that Chels is being groomed to run for Congress, which smacks of her power-hungry parents trying to live vicariously through their daughter since Bill and Hil are both essentially damaged goods.

But Chelsea's latest attempt at relevancy? A kids' book, natch.

Chelsea Clinton has borrowed a line from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the title of her upcoming children’s book, “She Persisted.”

The title of Clinton’s book is a reference to McConnell’s explanation of a Senate vote last month to force Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to stop speaking because her criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, at that point a senator awaiting confirmation to President Donald Trump’s cabinet, violated a Senate rule that prohibits impugning another senator.

McConnell explained the controversial maneuver by saying that Warren “was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” The line quickly caught fire on the political left and became a rallying cry for opposition to Trump’s administration, especially among women.

The former first daughter’s book, the details of which were first reported by Entertainment Weekly, will include stories of 13 women who accomplished goals despite opposition. The women highlighted will include Harriet Tubman, Hellen Keller, Ruby Bridges, Oprah Winfrey and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

I wonder if said book will include the story of Dr. Condoleeza Rice, who went from growing up in the segregated South in the '50s & '60s to becoming the first female African-American Secretary of State. And if Chels is going to highlight a female Supreme Court Justice, why not the first ever in Sandra Day O'Connor?

I digress.

Look, carving out a persona on social media is one thing. And authoring a children's book is a fluff gig for someone with the right name or connections. But whenever I hear Chelsea speak, she somehow comes off as less charismatic than her mother (dunno how that's possible). And with no substantive accomplishments, it's going to be nearly impossible for voters to look past the fact that the only thing she has going for her is she's the offspring of a former President and former First Lady/U.S. Senator.

It almost seems as if Chels is a hesitant pawn in an attempt to perpetuate a political dynasty.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Profiles in intellectual bankruptcy

My friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg, per usual, says it best about the political left when it comes to their "discourse."

Dubbed "Berg’s Sixteenth Law of Cognitive Dissipation," it reads as follows:

The percentage of “progressives” outside of academia who can make it to the second round of a debate without running out of “facts” and having to switch to deflection, ad hominem and straw man arguments is within the statistical margin of error.

That essentially means there's a 95% or better probability that vapid arguments from "progressives" will crop up in a debate.

I'll come back to that. 

Over the past several months, Minnesota state representative Nick Zerwas (R-Elk River) has been touting legislation to increase criminal penalties for excessive civil disobedience (eg. blocking freeways, access to airports and public transportation). While we all (including and especially Zerwas) agree that speaking out against our government without fear of retribution is a bedrock of the First Amendment, there has to be a line drawn over the disrupting (and even endangering) the lives of others. That's the goal of Zerwas's legislation, which is to attempt to dissuade protesters from such excesses with fear of harsher penalties for already illegal behavior. 

Recently, Rep. Zerwas appeared on Vice News to discuss his unapologetic perspective.

Upon posting this video on his personal Facebook page, Zerwas received hundreds of comments, including several from vacuous leftists who disingenuously claim that he's attempting to undermine First Amendment rights.

As validation of Mitch's law which I cited earlier in this post, leftists were out of ammo pretty much from the get-go. A prime example of this is brought to us by a guy named Brett Von Schlosser, who couldn't even be bothered with any cognitive dissonance. Brett's first response?

very surprised an alcoholic like yourself has so much such concern for highway safety. you disregard the law and take people's lives in your hands every time you get behind the wheel.

This was in reference to a DWI for which Zerwas was cited (and to which he plead guilty) in 2014. He made zero excuses for this error in judgment, yet in Mr. Von Schlosser's world it somehow disqualifies Zerwas from doing the job for which he was elected. Definitely an ad hominem attack, not to mention a complete non sequitur. Besides, having too much to drink one evening does not an "alcoholic" make.

After it was pointed out to Brett that Zerwas's mistake had nothing to do with the issue at hand, the lefty troll doubled down on his personal attacks.

His voice sounds like a drunk's to me. drinking and driving is a serious crime. he violated the law.thus rep Zerwas is just a common criminal.why didn't this sluring mumbling drunk get locked up? I don't trust people this two faced. I just hold my elected officials to higher standards than that of the racist blithering hayseeds of elk river.

Wait, proggie Brett doesn't know why Zerwas's voice sounds abnormal? The reason is cited in the very Strib story he linked to regarding Zerwas's DWI. After being born with a defective heart, Zerwas had several surgeries before the age of seven in an attempt to repair the issue. One of the surgeries accidentally damaged his vocal cords, thus resulting in his raspy voice. Oh, and at the risk of conveying an oft repeated talking point, Brett's condescension towards the residents of Elk River is indicative of the attitude which led to the election of President Donald Trump.

Alas, the leftist troll didn't know when to quit.

Ha ha, vocal cords paralysis from childhood heart surgery? Just keep telling your self that. I used to live on a block with a sober halfway house and all the recovering jobless guys sounded the same way as zerwas.. But gee I guess all of them also must have had vocal chord paralysis due to childhood heart surgery too..

In the end, the trolling prog comes off as a deranged loser.

Maybe your (sic) right, I went too far and wasn't fair. There's a whole Lot of things can take a serious toll on the vocal chords. Looking at nick's page. I have to wonder if maybe it's the excessive police officer boot licking? Think about what the average peace officer's boots go through here in MN. all that road salt and blood and other grime, plus when it comes to polish some of those officers buy the cheap stuff. Who knows what chemicals are in there. Rep zerwas cleaning all those boots using only his tounge (sic) has Got to do a heckuva job on the mouth and throat area. I ought to send him some nice wild cherry ludens cough drops.

Rep. Zerwas has been taking a lot of heat over this legislation and was shouted down in committee hearings over it. No way was his proverbial tree going to be shaken by some two-bit keyboard commando.

To his credit, Zerwas had only one response to the frothing kook.

Brett, I have a paralyzed vocal cord from my third open heart surgery, when I was 7 years old. I am so blessed that in my seven subsequent open heart surgeries I didn't suffer any further vocal cord nerve damage. (Otherwise I wouldn't be able to speak)

I know my voice is a little rough. Some find it kind of grating. Trust me if I could improve it I would. Never in my childhood did I imagine I would be elected to represent people in government and be their "voice" in the Minnesota House of Representatives. I am so unbelievably blessed to have this honor.

You are not the first person to make fun of my voice. I have been dealing with school yard bullies since I was in second grade.

Please know you don't hurt my feelings, but you damage your credibility.

I know Nick Zerwas personally and consider him a friend. Given he wasn't supposed to live past the age of seven (he's now 36), he looks at everyday as a gift. So if anyone thinks they're going to bully, shame or berate Nick into backing down from something in which he believes passionately, they're more delusional than Brett the leftist troll.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Great moment

As a fan of Minnesota Golden Gophers sports for approximately 40 years, I've become familiar with the traditions of the other schools in the original Big 10 conference. In the '70s and '80s in particular, there was always one school which was seen as the proverbial coffee break in the conference schedule: The Northwestern University Wildcats.

In fact, the Wildcats (or, as they were often dubbed back then, the Mildcats) men's basketball team had never appeared in an NCAA tournament since the tourney's 1939 debut. But on Sunday, that all changed.

The scene at NU's home court of Welsh-Ryan Arena was something to behold upon the Cats being announced an entrant into the tournament on CBS's Selection Sunday program.

While it was all but assured that NU would get in based on its credentials, no one was taking anything for granted.

Until Northwestern turned up in the bracket -- a No. 8 seed playing No. 9 Vanderbilt in the West Region -- (coach Chris) Collins alternately sat with arms folded or his hands clasped, seemingly doing anything to keep from chewing off his fingertips.

Guard Scottie Lindsey said the team sat nervously as the CBS selection show rolled along without announcing the team and cameras occasionally cut to them during the broadcast."Just waiting to see who and where we were going to play was a little bit nerve-wracking," Lindsey said.

Bryant McIntosh, the team's points and assists leader, shared the sentiment about the impact of waiting for the official announcement.

"I think they were trying to give us a heart attack, just having us wait that long," McIntosh said.

Congrats to Northwestern's players, coaches, fans and alumni! Here's to hopefully many more Selection Sunday celebrations.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Automatic, systematic; Full of color, self contained......

It's "spring forward," so I hope you all remembered to set your clocks ahead one hour. A lot to get to on this week's edition of The Closer, so we'll be rarin' to go right out of the gate. The one-hour broadcast gets started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

A couple of items I'm looking to address include last Wednesday's "A Day Without a Woman" festivities as well as more blatant instances of Trump Derangement Syndrome. 

At 2:30, political wonk Matt Mackowiak will check in. We'll get Matt's perspective on the GOP roll out of their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Oh, and if you enjoy Matt's regular appearances on my show? He now has a podcast where he uses his vast connections to bring in some high-powered political minds. Check it out here --->

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, March 09, 2017

Tough week for leftist narratives

I've often felt that the political left is not truly content unless they can express outrage over something the political right has done or said.

This past week there were two noteworthy instances which ended up being the equivalent of stepping on a rake.

First was the outrage (OUTRAGE I TELL YA) over H.U.D. Secretary Ben Carson comparing slaves to immigrants in a speech this past Monday. After the obligatory frothing by "progressives," they had the proverbial bucket of cold water thrown on their burning reaction. Y'see, Barack Obama used a similar analogy during his presidency. Where was the moral outrage then from leftists? Well, to be fair, their puppet masters in the agenda-driven media likely didn't report Obama's remarks to the degree they touted Dr. Carson's speech.

Then there was the story of Gold Star father Khizr Khan canceling a scheduled speech in Toronto due to his travel privileges "being reviewed." If you recall, it was Mr. Khan who gave an impassioned speech at last summer's Democrat National Convention, using much of it to call out then GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump's "Muslim ban." Khan also went so far as to offer Trump a copy of his pocket Constitution in the event he hadn't ever read it.

Anyhow, this was a daily double of outrage for proggies. Not only did they cling to the belief that President Trump's renewed travel ban adversely affected a naturalized American citizen who is also a Muslim, they also put forth a theory that Trump was using the power of his office to punish political opponents.

Ah, but if there are any intellectually honest leftists out there, even they had to concede that this story just didn't pass the smell test.

Typically the only reason the U.S. might stop someone from leaving the country, notes WaPo, is if they’ve been charged with a crime. But Khan’s record is clean. Could it have been the Canadians who insisted on reviewing his “travel privileges”? Nope, they claim, it wasn’t us. The State Department says it wasn’t them either. How about U.S. Customs and Border Protection? Might they have stopped Khan for some reason? Doesn’t sound like it.

Presumably Khan wasn’t scheduled to travel until (Tuesday), when the event was scheduled, in which case why would CBP have had any reason to tell him (Monnday) that there was a problem? He would have been stopped at the airport en route if there was, no?

Adding to the strangeness, the organizer later appeared to back away from the statement it put out yesterday, telling McClatchy, “Alll [sic] the other information we got from me [sic] khan so you’d best check with him.” Which is what McClatchy, and many, many other news sources did: They contacted Khizr Khan himself and asked what was going on. Unless I missed a story somewhere, as of Tuesday afternoon, he’s given all of them a polite “no comment.

I can't imagine how much leftists and their media cohorts were wetting themselves, hoping against all hope that the Khan saga validated their assertion that Trump possesses fascist tendencies. I guess the progs will just have to go back to monitoring the president's Twitter feed 24/7.


Wednesday, March 08, 2017

A Day Without a Woman

I'm seeing a lot of buzz on social media about today being "A Day Without a Woman." Given that March 8 is International Women's Day, many women have declared this an opportune time to stand in solidarity against...well....myriad items.

From the Women's March web site:

In the same spirit of love and liberation that inspired the Women's March, we join together in making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system--while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity. We recognize that trans and gender nonconforming people face heightened levels of discrimination, social oppression and political targeting. We believe in gender justice.

Anyone, anywhere, can join by making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, in one or all of the following ways:

1. Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor

2. Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).

3. Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

Look I'm not naive enough to say that the laundry list of grievances these women listed above are completely eradicated. But to say that they're rampant in today's society has me very skeptical.

However, there is one aspect of this particular day in which I'd like to participate. That is to name a woman I admire and why. While it goes without saying that my wife is the #1 woman in my life and my mom was responsible for raising me (all the while being a single parent), my maternal grandmother's story is downright inspirational.

In the mid-1950s my maternal grandparents, despite working successful days jobs, went about realizing their dream of owning their own business. As such, they built a supper club in rural Wisconsin called The Virginian (named after grandma) in 1957. But within 2-1/2 years (late 1959), my grandfather died suddenly of a heart attack at age 46. As a result, my 48-year old grandmother was left to raise two teen aged daughters (ages 18 & 16) as well as run a business completely on her own. Over the next five years, the supper club flourished under grandma's leadership. In that time, grandma was also able to financially support her daughters thru college. Then in a two-month span in 1964, both daughters got married.

In the early 1970s, grandma sold the business. She would spend a good amount of her newfound free time helping her elder daughter (my mom) raise her two sons, who were ages 3 and 1 when their father left. This went on for two years until mom felt comfortable enough to go back to work in 1974.

Despite everything grandma endured after her husband passed away, she never wallowed in her circumstances. While she had plenty of family and close friends to provide moral support, grandma pressed on with her responsibilities of bread winner, parent and employer, and did so seamlessly.

So when I hear some (not *all*, but *some*) women today raging for their right to kill a child in the womb to an abortion, demanding continued tax payer subsidies for birth control, lament that the government isn't coercing employers into offering more sick time and using skewed statistics to gin up a mythical gender pay gap, I can't help but think that the majority of that group of women wouldn't have been fit to carry my maternal grandmother's errand bag.


Meet the new law; Same as the old law

Since the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was passed into law in 2010, the vast majority of Republican presidential and congressional candidates all indicated how repealing and replacing O-care was a priority.

I can't begin to recall how many O-care repeal votes House Republicans took after gaining control of that chamber in January 2011. But since Barack Obama was still president, said votes were merely symbolic. And since Obama was reelected in 2012, the GOP focused on regaining the Senate in 2014 (which they did) so they'd be in prime position to nuke Obamacare for real (No, really. They mean it this time. Pinky swear) if they could also win the White House in 2016. So with Republicans finally controlling the executive and legislative branches for the first time in a decade, they were like the proverbial dog chasing a car, ultimately approaching the back bumper.

Of all the opinion pieces written over these many years, Philip Klein is one guy who has continually had his finger on the pulse in this seemingly endless debate. He has maintained a healthy skepticism that the GOP would ever follow through on the repeal/replace pledge. As you might expect, his Tuesday piece had an air of "We waited 7 flippin' years for this?!?!"

In releasing their healthcare plan on Monday, House Republican leaders sent a signal loud and clear: liberalism has already won.

Barring radical changes, Republicans will not be passing a bill that ushers in a new era of market-based healthcare. In reality, the GOP will either be passing legislation that rests on the same philosophical premise as Obamacare, or will pass nothing at all, and thus keep Obamacare itself in place.

At this point, is it better to pass a bill merely to make the current law "suck less" or to just allow Obamacare to collapse under the weight of its continual failures? I say the latter, only because I too never really believed the GOP "establishment" had the political will to nuke the ACA. Why continue the ruse? By the way, President Trump, who was touted incessantly as the anti-establishment candidate during the 2016 campaign, is fully on board with this proposal, going so far as to implore Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to drop his objections.

Back to Klein.

Whatever the argument is as to whether voting for the Republican plan is better than doing nothing, objectively speaking, it is not a free market plan. It still rests on the premise that the federal government should play a significant role in subsidizing and regulating insurance markets in an attempt to ensure broad coverage. Thus, despite the political failures that resulted from Obamacare, the clunky legislation still moved the ball ideologically to the left. The argument isn't over whether the government should require all insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions. The argument is about whether the government should pay for it by forcing healthy people to purchase insurance under the threat of a penalty, as Obamacare does, or by threatening anybody who doesn't maintain continuous coverage with a 30 percent late fee, as the GOP prefers. Liberals, in other words, have won the central philosophical argument, and Republicans are reduced to fighting over the mechanics.

If indeed the legislation is passed in its current form (though there's some who believe there aren't enough votes in the House), the likely failures of government- run healthcare will be hung around the GOP's collective neck. And for what? For a bill which isn't substantively different from the ACA? Seems like an awfully big price to pay for what appears to be yet another symbolic gesture.


Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Physician, heal thyself

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) appeared on the CNN program The Lead on Monday. Here is a featured clip:

Wait a minute. Schiff? Adam Schiff? Why on earth does that name sound so familiar?

Oh, I remember! This press release was posted on his Congressional website this past June (emphasis mine).

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, sent a letter to President Obama urging the Administration take a small step to help prevent future attacks like the Orlando massacre. Schiff encourages the Administration to consider providing F.B.I. agents with the discretion to place a tag on someone who had been under a terror investigation that would generate a hit when they go to purchase a weapon. Schiff also reiterated his support for “No Fly No Buy” legislation to prevent known or suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms or explosives.

Some of the names which appear on these "watch lists" are American citizens who have not even been charged with a crime, much less convicted. Yet Congressman Schiff proposes that their second amendment rights be taken away without any due process? Tell me again who "doesn't know right from wrong" when it comes to constitutional matters.


Monday, March 06, 2017

11 years ago today

I am reminded that Minnesota Twins Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett passed away on this date eleven years ago.

I wrote this upon hearing the news.


Sunday, March 05, 2017

I shoulda learned to play the guitar; I shoulda learned to play them drums....

Well the calendar says early March but the Twin Cities weather indicates early to mid April. Regardless, the Northern Alliance Radio Network will be live today from 2:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time, though I suspect the outdoors many beckon many listeners. That said, definitely check out the podcast for today's show.

I will look back at the reaction from President Donald Trump's speech to a joint session of Congress, particularly the response from leftists.

At 2:30 I will be joined by Andrew Schmitt with the Minnesota Beer Activists. Andrew and many other privates citizens have been persistent over the past several years in attempting to persuade MN state government to overturn the antiquated law which banned liquor sales from taking place on Sundays. Finally this legislative session that persistence has paid off! The MN Legislature passed a measure repealing the ban on Sunday liquor sales and now it will head to the desk of Gov. Mark Dayton, who has said he will sign the bill!

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, March 03, 2017

Dem strategery

The left's allegations that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions perjured himself when he denied making contact with the Russian government while performing his role as a Trump surrogate are utterly asinine. I suspect the left knows this, yet gaslighting has become their favorite pastime in the era of a Donald Trump presidency.

So why bother with this line of attack? I'll answer that question with a question. How much time since Thursday morning has the mainstream media devoted to President Trump's speech to a joint session of Congress, a speech which received critical acclaim as well as featured petulant behavior by prominent Democrats?

Carry on.


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Time to move on

It came as zero surprise Tuesday when the Minnesota Vikings declined RB Adrian Peterson's option for the 2017 season. Even if Peterson had won another rushing title in 2016 (as it was he only played in 3 games, gaining a paltry 72 yards), there's no way the team ever intended to pay him $18 million next season. As such, Peterson becomes an unrestricted free agent as of March 9.

"It's been a great 10 years with the Minnesota Vikings," Peterson said in a statement to ESPN's Josina Anderson. "They know what I bring to the organization as a player, with my work ethic and dedication. I spoke with [Vikings GM] Rick Spielman this past weekend. The door is still open to find some common ground. I understand addressing the offensive line is one of their main priorities this offseason.

"In the meantime, I will explore my other options and see what path God leads me on. My main goal remains the same: to win a Super Bowl championship with a great team, which I also believe we have in Minnesota."

No doubt that Peterson has exhibited he's a physical freak of nature. Despite tearing knee ligaments on Christmas Eve 2011, he returned the following season with the second best single-season rushing performance in NFL history (2,097 yards, a mere eight yards shy of the all-time mark). Then after being inactive for 15 games in the 2014 season after revelations of beating one of his kids, Peterson returned in 2015 to claim another rushing title after running for 1,485 yards.

With all that said, Peterson will be 32-years old later this month and has basically missed two of the previous three NFL seasons. And with the Vikings needing to prioritize the offensive line with the lion's share of their available money under the salary cap, retaining Peterson should not even be under consideration. Besides, there's already talk of other teams beginning to show interest in his services.

While Spielman and Peterson both indicated that the proverbial door remains open in Minnesota, I'm guessing both believe Peterson's Vikings days are over. As they should be.


Trump speech

I admit I didn't see much of President Donald Trump's speech to a joint session of Congress. But given the Dem freak out, they begrudgingly agreed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that Trump officially became "presidential."

Oh, and this just in: many Democrats are still clueless as to how we ended up with a President Trump. 

One of the more poignant moments of the night.....

......led to this retort by a former volunteer on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Mr. Grilo's account was deleted shortly thereafter.

More examples of Dem buffoonery:

While I'm a little concerned that a Republican president speaks so openly about expanding entitlements (i.e. paid leave) and public projects, I still never tire of Trump making proggies look foolish. Heck, the Dems are so inept right now that they had former Kentucky governor Steve Beshear give the Democrat response. Are you freakin' kidding me?

Alas, I always look for the light-hearted moments in an often frustrating (and sometimes enraging) endeavor that is political observation.

God bless Benny Johnson of the Independent Journal Review.