Wednesday, August 30, 2017

My best buddy for a night

It was a Friday evening in late August 2014 when I attended a soiree at the palatial Jasperwood estate in Minneapolis. Said estate is the home of local writer/commentator James Lileks, whose connection to national radio host Hugh Hewitt led to the formation of the Northern Alliance Radio Network in 2004.

Because of my affiliation with the NARN, I was extended an invite to spend an evening in one of the many versions of the Jasperwood gazebo which lives on in Lileks lore. Since Hugh had been in town the previous night for a special AM 1280 The Patriot event (and live broadcast from the MN State Fair on that Friday), Lileks invited the NARN personalities (past and present) for a casual evening on the back patio. I have to admit I was a bit star struck sitting among the likes of Hewitt and his producer Duane "Generalissimo" Patterson, Lileks, John Hinderaker, Minnesota Orchestra trumpet player Manny Laureano, etc. Also in attendance were my friend and NARN colleague Mitch Berg, Brian "St. Paul" Ward (NARN alum & friend), Paul "Nihilist in Golf Pants" Happe and Jim "Sisyphus" Styczinski.

Given the collective intellect and life experiences among the attendees, I found myself feeling wholly inadequate. I believe the most I contributed was when everyone was asked whom the GOP presidential nominee should be in 2016. My preference was for Scott Walker, for reasons I then conveyed. Outside of that, I spent the rest of the evening indulging in adult beverages and appetizers while occasionally talking Twins baseball with Brian.

As the evening wore on, I merely listened to the fun anecdotes and political insights of the elite guests as well as hung out with the Lileks family dog Scout. Upon returning to my seat with a beverage at one point during the evening, I had discovered Scout was occupying my chair. He was such a sweet and content fella that I just didn't have the heart to shoo him away. Instead, I found a rickety old lawn chair which I pulled up beside the comfy seat I had previously occupied. I think I may have sneaked a few snack crackers to Scout in an effort to ingratiate myself to this delightful canine. I even texted a photo of Scout to my wife, as she is an avid dog lover. Eventually Mrs. Lileks (don't recall her first name) came home from an evening out with friends. I had a nice (albeit brief) chat with her, which included her sharing the story of how Scout became a part of their family.

I share all this to say that I hadn't thought much about that pup in the past three years. That is until a Lileks piece popped up at on Tuesday.

My daughter chose him. Of all the puppies at the shelter, he seemed the sweetest and kindest — big floppy ears, gangly legs, and big paws, covered in beautiful brindle fur. His shelter name was Garth, perhaps because he’d come from the South and someone who worked at the Humane Society was a country-music lover. He was a stray by the side of the road, picked up and put in the pipeline that takes dogs from areas that don’t have shelters to states where rescue dogs are in demand.

She named him Scout.

Spoiler alert: the beloved Scout sadly met his demise recently. While I feel awful for the Lileks family, I appreciate James giving us a glimpse into what that sweet four-legged creature meant to them. And the final paragraph of the piece is quintessential James Lileks given the poignant manner in which he conveys Scout's final departure.

Definitely read the whole thing.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Suspicion confirmed

When "comedienne" Kathy Griffin posted a video of herself holding up a faux severed head of President Donald Trump a few months ago, the outcry was immediate. Even prominent leftists indicated that Griffin crossed a line when she portrayed a beheading of the sitting President of the United States. Sensing that her "comedy" bit went too far, Griffin issued the obligatory apology, but only after significant backlash.

I recall commenting at the time that the apology seemed insincere, particularly given the fact she rolled her eyes at one point during her mea culpa. Alas, Ms. Griffin recently confirmed my initial reaction that she was less than 100% contrite.

I'm no longer sorry. The whole outrage was B.S. The whole thing got so blown out of proportion. And I lost everybody; I had Chelsea Clinton tweeting against me. I had friends, Debra Messing, from Will and Grace, tweeting against me. I mean, I lost everybody. And so I have been through the mill, I also, I didn’t just lose like, one night on CNN; my entire tour was canceled within 24 hours because every single theater got all these death threats.

I mean, these Trump fans; they’re hard-core. They have, like, robocalls, and they’re a minority, but they know how to act like they’re a majority.

Yep, those "hard-core Trump fans" like Chelsea Clinton, Debra Messing, Alyssa Milano, and Anderson Cooper really know how to stir it up, eh?

Oh, speaking of Cooper, I guess he's now dead to ol' Kath.

After Cooper condemned her gruesome photo shoot on Twitter and failed to reach out to her for weeks, Griffin said she told him their friendship was "over."

Aw, that's a shame. What say you, Anderson?



Monday, August 28, 2017

Box Score of the Week

Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles - October 4, 2001


Ken Griffey and son Ken Griffey, Jr. were Seattle Mariners teammates for a brief stint back in 1990. The only other set of father-son teammates was in late 2001 when both Tim Raines and Tim Raines, Jr. played for the Baltimore Orioles. The October '01 game I cited above was the Raines' first game together. 


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Do you still think I'm crazy standing here today?

Minnesota State Fair season is perhaps the premier event on the Northern Alliance Radio Network calendar as both Mitch Berg and I will broadcast our respective shows from "The Great Minnesota Get-Together." As such, today's edition of The Closer will be live from the Fair starting at 2:00 PM Central Time.

Right at 2:00 I will be joined by MN Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson. If you recall, Jeff was the 2014 candidate who fell short in defeating Gov. Mark Dayton in the general election. Anyhow, we'll get an update on how the campaign is progressing and why Jeff believes the result will be different this time around.

Then at 2:30 I plan on utilizing the on-site audience for a fun game called "Real news story or The Onion." Quite simply, I'll read the headline of a news story (and an accompanying paragraph) which the contestant will have to determine if it's real news or a product of the parody news site The Onion.

If you happen to be out at the Fair today, feel free to stop by and say hello. We're located on Machinery Hill, which is at the north end of the fairgrounds, specifically near the corner of Underwood Street & Murphy Avenue (next door to the Home Depot building; see map here).

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

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

Until then.....


Thursday, August 24, 2017

To the "Punch a Nazi" advocates....

I am addressing this post specifically to those who passionately advocate for "PUNCHING A NAZI!!"

If I understand your rationale correctly, it is perfectly acceptable to use violence towards someone who holds vile, morally repugnant beliefs (i.e.white supremacists, "alt right," "neo nazis," etc.). I will certainly agree with you that those factions who believe groups of people are substandard because of race/ethnicity are despicable folks who need to be de-legitimized without conditions. But given these white supremacists don't have anywhere near the ability to actually eradicate certain groups of people (like, y'know, actual Nazis did), is it still A-OK to punch them solely for conveying disgusting beliefs? Serious question here.

I say all this because if your only standard for it being acceptable to punch people is that you believe they hold a reprehensible worldview, then you're setting a very dangerous precedent. For example, what's to prevent, say, pro life advocates who staunchly oppose the actual killing of human lives via infanticide from utilizing the same rationale? I'm talking about some (not all but some) pro lifers who so abhor the ghastly procedure of abortion that they would feel justified in resorting to violence to prevent more abortions from taking place. Now let me say loud and clear: if an abortion doctor were assaulted because of what he/she does for a living, I would condemn such violence full stop. But if you're one to advocate for punching a "nazi" then you have no moral authority to decry similar tactics used against someone else who is considered to have an objectionable viewpoint.

Think on this a while.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Yesterday's Onion story, today's reality

As much as I am normally overzealous to mock the brittle minds which comprise Social Justice Warriors, leftist kooks and media loons, I desperately hoped this story was fake.

Apparently, even being Asian doesn’t mean people won’t take you for being a white nationalist.

ESPN confirmed Tuesday night that it had decided to pull an announcer from calling a University of Virginia football game because his name is Robert Lee. This Robert Lee is Asian.

“We collectively made the decision with Robert to switch games as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name. In that moment it felt right to all parties,” reads the ESPN statement posted at the popular Fox Sports college-football blog Outkick the Coverage.

“Did I mention that Robert Lee is Asian?” wrote disbelieving blogger Clay Travis, who first broke the story, citing “multiple Outkick fans inside ESPN.”

Mr. Lee had been scheduled to call the Cavaliers Sept. 2 game in Charlottesville against William and Mary.

“It’s a shame that this is even a topic of conversation and we regret that who calls play by play for a football game has become an issue,” ESPN said in its statement.'s only an issue because ESPN IS MAKING IT AN ISSUE. Honestly, does ESPN think so little of its audience that they believe the viewers would be "triggered" due to an Asian guy having the same name as a Confederate general from the 19th century?!?!

I'm still holding out hope that this is a hoax. Honestly, I've become more jaded and cynical over the past decade or so but I absolutely refuse to believe this country has gone full Idiocracy.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Box Score of the Week

Milwaukee Braves at New York Giants - August 27, 1957.


Braves' slugger Eddie Matthews hits his 25th home run of the 1957 campaign. In doing so, Matthews became the first player in MLB history to have six seasons of 25 or more homers before his age 26-season.

That record has since been equaled by Frank Robinson and Mike Trout.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Submitted without comment


Though it seems like we've been friends for years, I'm finishing....

Wow. What a news week, eh? I'll do my best to squeeze as much content as I can into an hour, as the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer gets started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

Items to discuss include continued fallout from the Charlottesville, VA "Unite the Right" rally last weekend, the Barcelona terrorist attack, Steve Bannon getting bounced from President Trump's staff, etc.

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, August 19, 2017

Bannon bounced

Amid rumors swirling that President Donald Trump's inner circle was about to be severely shaken up, the New York Post published this photo about a month ago:

Since then, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has been fired. Shortly thereafter, Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci (after a mere 11 days on the job) was given the boot.

Then on Friday, the man considered Trump's top strategist was let go

Top presidential adviser and nationalist bomb-thrower Steve Bannon is out of a job, the White House said Friday.

“Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Kelly had earlier wrapped up a review of the West Wing staff and the former Breitbart editor, the voice of the alt-right who had the president’s ear, was the first casualty.

“Bannon had one hell of a run,” tweeted Matt Drudge, who first reported the story.

Bannon had been on the outs with Trump before for grandstanding and stealing the spotlight, but the president suspected he was one of the main leakers in the administration, trashing his colleagues in news reports.

With that, the Post updated it's "Survivor" board:

I suspect that Bannon's interview with The American Prospect, where he trashed colleagues and undermined the Trump administration's talking points about readiness for war with North Korea, was the last straw. So is firing perhaps the most toxic figure in Trump's administration going to calm the proverbial rough waters? To say I'm skeptical would be an understatement.

So what's next for Bannon? Apparently he walked right from the White House straight to a editorial meeting where he will resume his previous role with that media outlet. So now that Bannon is unbound, will it be no-holds-barred against Trump & Co.? Ben Shapiro, who was at one time a co-worker of Bannon's at, gives his perspective.

Bannon won’t go straight at Trump. That would be foolish. Instead, he’ll pretend to be Trump’s ally in fighting the swamp from the outside. That’s already how Bannon is playing it. According to (The Weekly Standard's Peter) Boyer, Bannon says that Trump gave him the go-ahead to attack the Republican establishment: “I said, ‘look, I’ll focus on going after the establishment.’ He said, ‘good, I need that.’ I said, ‘look, I’ll always be here covering for you.’”

That means that Bannon will immediately go after a bunch of his old enemies, according to The New York Times (and as I predicted earlier today): Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, plus Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Already he’s characterizing Trump’s presidency as hijacked by those who would “try to moderate him…His natural tendency – and I think you saw it this week on Charlottesville – his actual default position is the position of his base, the position that got him elected. I think you’re going to see a lot of constraints on that.”

So Bannon will pretend that Trump’s foibles are really just Trump being misled by others.

Until, that is, Bannon finds a convenient way to turn on Trump himself.

While there's nothing Trump could ever do to assuage leftists, he did at least placate a few conservatives by firing the one member of his team with the closest connection to the "alt-right." Again, I don't believe this will magically transform the Trump administration into a disciplined operation. However, it's a move that absolutely had to be made.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Radical Islamic terror strikes Barcelona, media deflects

Another "soft target" hit in the West.

A van veered onto a promenade and barreled down the busy walkway in central Barcelona on Thursday, swerving back and forth as it mowed down pedestrians and turned a picturesque tourist destination into a bloody killing zone. Thirteen people were killed and 100 were injured, 15 of them seriously, in what authorities called a terror attack.

The late afternoon attack in the city’s Las Ramblas district left victims sprawled in the historic street, spattered with blood or writhing in pain from broken limbs. Others were ushered inside shops by officers with their guns drawn or fled in panic, screaming and carrying young children in their arms.

“It was clearly a terror attack, intended to kill as many people as possible,” Josep Lluis Trapero, a senior police official for Spain’s Catalonia region told reporters late Thursday.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, saying in a statement on its Aamaq news agency that the attack was carried out by “soldiers of the Islamic State” in response to the extremist group’s calls for followers to target countries participating in the coalition trying to drive it from Syria and Iraq.

The sobering reality is attacks via vehicle are becoming all too commonplace with very little recourse to eradicate them. Think about it. How often do people just carry on with the mundane business of the day, walking down a city sidewalk while scores of cars drive by? It only takes one vehicle to jump a sidewalk and kill or severely injure a significant number of people.

On a separate note, some media members couldn't help themselves by invoking a similar act from Charlottesville, VA over the weekend.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer suggested that the terrorists who carried out the attack were copycats of the violence in Charlottesville, where a woman was killed when a car driven by a white supremacist plowed into a crowd of protesters who were marching in opposition to white supremacist rally in the Virginia city.

“There will be questions about copycats, questions about if not what happened in Barcelona was at all, at all, a copycat version of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia,” Blitzer said. “Even though they may be different characters and different political ambitions, they used the same killing device — a vehicle going at high speed — into a group, a large group, of pedestrians.”

The insinuation seemed to be that the Barcelona terrorists took a page out of an incident at Saturday's "Unite the Right" rally. You would think a longtime media veteran like Blitzer would realize this has been the M.O. of radical Islamists long before this past weekend. Heck, the year 2017 alone provided more than enough examples.

That doesn't even include the July 2016 attack in Nice, France where a cargo truck killed 86 people and injured more than 400 others.

Look, what James Fields (the Charlottesville driver) did was beyond despicable and thus he will likely never see the light of day again. But to suggest that his actions in any way influenced the horrific incident in Barcelona is at best being ignorant of past terroist actions and at worst displaying utter stupidity.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

POTUS one-upped again

I've noticed a trend since Donald Trump has become President. No matter how buffoonish he comes across, his detractors within the media inexplicably come off worse.

Yeah, because when I see footage of masked thugs engaging in acts of violence and destruction of property in an effort to suppress First Amendment rights, I totally think of the soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy.

Flippin' morons.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

White nationalists and Social Justice Warriors deserve each other

Via Brendan O'Neill:

It's becoming so clear now why the war of words between SJWs and the new white nationalists is so intense. It isn't because they have huge ideological differences -- it's because they have so much in common. Both are obsessed with race, SJWs demanding white shame, the alt-right responding with white pride. Both view everyday life and culture through a highly racialised filter. SJWs can't even watch a movie without counting how many lines the black actor has in comparison with the white actor so that they can rush home and tumblr about the injustice of it all. Both have a seemingly boundless capacity for self-pity. Both are convinced they're under siege, whether by patriarchy, transphobia and the Daily Mail (SJWs) or by pinkos and blacks (white nationalists). Both have a deep censorious strain. And both crave recognition of their victimhood and flattery of their feelings. This is really what they're fighting over -- not principles or visions but who should get the coveted title of the most hard-done-by identity. They're auditioning for social pity. "My life matters! My pain matters! I matter!" The increasing bitterness and even violence of their feud is not evidence of its substance, but the opposite: it's the narcissism of small differences.

It would be borderline amusing to see these kooks offset each other if it weren't so detrimental to our country.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

If you're explaining, you're losing.

So we're....

**looks at calendar**

.....nearly 7 months into the President Donald Trump administration, yet we still have not seen that "presidential pivot" he promised us. 

The news conference the President conducted at Trump Tower on Tuesday underscored the fact there has been no (and will likely be no) "pivot." Much of the line of questioning concerned Trump not being willing to call out the alt right, neo nazis, KKK, etc. after their demonstration Saturday in Charlottesville, VA. I'll come back to that.

In his initial statement addressing the "Unite the Right" rally Saturday, Trump went with the "both sides are bad" argument (left wing counter protest groups showed up, resulting in utter chaos). That's not to say he was factually incorrect in conveying that line of thinking. But the fact that the "white supremacist" groups gravitated towards Trump's campaign message should have prompted Trump himself to immediately disavow them the millisecond they hit the Charlottesville streets. The fact he was hesitant to condemn the rally organizers only stoked concern that Trump was placating them. 

Two days later, Trump did indeed call out the neo nazis and white supremacists by name. Sure, it was utterly stupefying that he had to be browbeaten into saying what should have been said at the outset. Nevertheless, the right thing was finally done.

Then came Tuesday. 

Trump was asked why he waited so long to condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists by name after the Charlottesville events. Trump responded:

I didn’t wait long. I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct. Not make a quick statement. The statement I made on Saturday, the first statement, was a fine statement, but you don’t make statements that direct unless you know the facts. It takes a little while to get the facts. You still don’t know the facts. It’s a very, very important process to me. And it’s a very important statement. So I don’t want to go quickly and make a statement for the sake of making a political statement. I want to know the facts. 

Even the most ardent, dyed in the wool Trump supporters have to chuckle at that one. Trump has never been one to deliberate over any answer to any line of questioning. This is a man who literally says what's on his mind regardless if the statement is factual or coherent. Also, what's with this business that he didn't "know the facts?!?!?!" What else is there to know except that the rally organizers were WHITE SUPREMACISTS?!?!?!? Any initial statement needed to be little more than an acknowledgment of repugnant people's First Amendment rights while also pointing out their beliefs are disgusting and have no place in America today. Heck, even not knowing any facts about who initiated the violence didn't mean the President couldn't address it at all. A simple statement indicating that too has no place in a civilized society, regardless of who instigated it.

I said earlier this week that it's highly unlikely that any "white supremacist" movement can generate the kind of momentum needed to be a legitimate force in America. Those people staying in the shadows can be further assured, however, if the supposed leader of the free world unconditionally condemns their existence.


Twins' bizarre season may roll until October

Somehow, some way, the 2017 Minnesota Twins are still very much in the hunt for a postseason berth.

Despite being 25th or worse (out of 30 teams) in all of Major League Baseball in four key pitching stats (ERA, Batting Average Against, Quality Starts and WHIP) and in the bottom half of the league in most offensive categories (runs scored, batting average and slugging percentage), the Twins are only 1/2 game behind the L.A. Angels of Anaheim for the second American League wildcard spot.

Starting tonight, the Twins begin a six-game home stand where they'll play a pair of playoff caliber teams (three against the Cleveland Indians and three with the Arizona Diamondbacks). I don't think it's a stretch to say that this is a "make or break" week, especially since the Twins own the second worst home record in the American League (another quirky stat, given that their 2017 road record is second best in the A.L.).

But perhaps the most inexplicable aspect of this Twins season is this resurgence coincides with the acquisition of 44-year old starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, who's actually been solid (2-0, 2.82 ERA in his past three starts). Tonight, Colon will get the start against an Indians franchise with whom he broke into the big leagues in 1997. As such, this prompted the Star Tribune's Michael Rand to look up when Colon made his first ever start for Cleveland against the Twins. You'd have to go back more than 20 years to July 13, 1997 where Colon notched his second career MLB victory. On a side note, Colon's current manager Paul Molitor was still an active player for Twins that year. In that game, Molitor went 0 for 1 with 2 BBs vs. Colon. And the losing pitcher? That would be LaTroy Hawkins, who currently serves as a part time ambassador and TV analyst for the Twins. Crazy stuff.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Off-the-charts stupid

"It's hard to believe someone can be so dimwitted as to say the maniacal and brutal North Korean leader is "more responsible" than a sitting President of the United States."

Libertarian Party: "Hold my joint."


Box Score of the Week

St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Diego Padres - April 20, 1997.


Only one MLB regular season home run has ever been hit in the state of Hawaii. In this game, the Cards' Ron Gant hit an inside-the-park homer against the Padres at Aloha Stadium.


Sunday, August 13, 2017


I really don't have much to add in ways of commentary on the violent protests in Charlottesville, VA. Any movement in America which seeks to marginalize (or perhaps eradicate) people who aren't of the white race should be called out individually and shamed into going back behind the scenes.

All that said, I've long been skeptical that such a movement could be resurrected in this country to the point where they'd become mainstream. A gentleman from North Carolina by the name of David Meloche pretty much articulated that very sentiment.

Something to remember that may ease your minds a bit: this alt right protest had been advertised for months. It took a lot of effort put in to making sure that community knew about it. All in all, after months of planning, 200 people showed up, almost entirely from out of town. So if you think about it, really, it just means that there are only about 200 neo-nazi sh*tbags left in the whole US with either enough money to travel, the internet, or actual conviction in their beliefs. So ya know, silver lining.

Now if only President Trump would do the right thing by calling them out by name......


I'm always somewhere that I never belong......

Another Sunday, another edition of The Closer on The Northern Alliance Radio Network. The 1-hour extravaganza gets started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

We'll obviously delve into the left ramping up the "thought police" tactics this past week in a manner that not even George Orwell could have conceived.

Also, has the DCCC backed off their initial pledge to recruit pro-life candidates for the 2018 midterms?

Finally, I will discuss the disturbing scene in Charlottesville, VA yesterday where a protest by white supremacists ended in violence.

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, August 11, 2017

Major about face

Within the past week, it was conveyed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that they would be open to recruiting pro life Democrat candidates in an effort to gain control of the U.S. House. This news didn't sit well with some Dems including former DNC chair Howard Dean, who threatened to withhold financial support over that strategy.

Since then, someone at the DCCC apparently had a stern talking to.

On Thursday, The Atlantic quoted DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly declaring that, “The DCCC has no interest in working with Democrats for Life of America.”

The group Kelly dismissed is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that helps elect pro-life Democrats. Isn't electing Democrats something you think the DCCC would be interested in? 

I guess the Dems are still utterly terrified at the prospects of Republicans voting to de-fund Planned Parenthood. So if they were to become the majority party in the House on the strength of a good number of pro lifers in their party, the prospects of halting taxpayer funding of PP is still a possibility in their eyes. Hence the litmus test. So I guess Dems are going to have to make a choice: Be open to pro-life candidates in moderately Republican districts or face an uphill battle in taking over the U.S. House.

Yes, I'm aware that President Trump's approval ratings are in the mid to high 30s, which is lower than what President Obama polled halfway through his first term. So if you're tempted to say that Dems can just ride the wave of an unpopular GOP incumbent President, I point you to a June tweet posted by Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics.

Any reasonable comparison of 2018 to 2010 has to account for the fact that Ds had 40+ seats that leaned R by 3 or more points; Rs have ~5.

Dismissing the pro-life stance of approximately 1/4th of Democrat voters has made the challenge of flipping 24 House seats that much more difficult. Not that I'm complaining about it.


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Downright Orwellian

When vacuous left-wing celebs like Lena Dunham and Chelsea Handler make noises about offensive speech being stifled, it's generally met with a collective eye roll. That is due to the fact neither gal has any substantive impact on social/political discourse in America. I would daresay that even folks who find those two mildly entertaining wouldn't use them as a guiding light in cultural discussions.

But when a company whose net worth approaches a half trillion dollars declares war on diversity of thought

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has fired an employee who wrote an internal memo blasting the web company’s diversity policies, creating a firestorm across Silicon Valley.

James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” He said he’s “currently exploring all possible legal remedies.”

If you've only followed this story through the mainstream media or hot takes on social media, you've likely heard the phrase "anti-diversity screed." And if that is indeed what the purveyors of that phrase gleaned from Damore's manifesto, then it's quite likely they neither read the entire thing (Check it out, in it's entirety, here) nor are capable of critical thinking.

Because this isn't an agent of the government taking this action against Damore, it technically doesn't qualify as a First Amendment violation. But as Guy Benson at notes, a corporate behemoth such as Google can still have an adverse impact on free speech.

If a sprawling and expanding swath of corporate America decides to shun anyone who holds, or even outwardly entertains, certain mainstream viewpoints, the far-reaching cultural implications are serious. To wit, are "out" conservatives or traditionalists becoming unemployable in growing sectors of the US workforce? If so, our worsening societal polarization and festering resentments will grow more entrenched.

It doesn't seem all that long ago when "progressives" were willing to engage in the arena of ideas, even eager to prove their worldview was superior (in their minds anyhow) both from a moral and cognitive standpoint. Sadly, I find it highly unlikely we'll be returning to the days of civil disagreement anytime soon.


Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Kap under Cut

The Miami Dolphins, still unsure if starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill will require season-ending surgery on his knee, looked to provide some insurance at the QB position.

Let's just say the Dolphins' choice was not a hit with Social Justice Warriors.

The Miami Dolphins took some heat over the weekend after they announced they were signing a seasoned quarterback to replace their injured starter instead of controversial QB Colin Kaepernick.

The Miami football franchise announced Sunday they had signed 34-year-old Jay Cutler to a one-year contract to replace injured franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The move forced Cutler to come out of retirement and forego a position at Fox Sports as a game analyst.

Now if you're an NFL fan, you could argue this move makes sense from a football standpoint (and since the goal is to, y'know, win games, what other measuring stick is there?). Miami head coach Adam Gase was Cutler's offensive coordinator when the two were with the Chicago Bears in 2015. That 2015 campaign turned out to be one of Cutler's best statistical seasons in his 8-year tenure with the Bears. And since the 2017 NFL regular season is about a month away, it would behoove the Dolphins organization to bring in a QB who could fit in almost immediately under Gase's system.

Ah, but SJWs really aren't interested in logic.

Many Kaepernick supporters have accused the NFL of “blackballing” Kaepernick or punishing him for his protest. So when the Dolphins announced Sunday they had signed Cutler over the free agent Kaepernick, charges of racism quickly hit social media.

Truth be told, I was kinda hoping the Dolphins would sign Kaepernick. I would have loved to see Kap try to explain his pro-Fidel Castro sentiments to Cuban exiles who currently reside in the Miami neighborhood of Little Havana. That would have been a ready made pay-per-view event.


Monday, August 07, 2017

Box Score of the Week

New York Yankees at Texas Rangers - July 4, 1992.


Last week, 44-year old Twins pitcher Bartolo Colon pitched a complete game in a win over the Texas Rangers. He was the oldest American League pitcher to toss a 9-inning or more CG since 45-year old Nolan Ryan did so for the Rangers in the game referenced above. 


Sunday, August 06, 2017

Things are going great, and they're only getting better.....

Another Sunday, yet another edition of the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer. As usual, the 1-hour festivities get started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

Can new Chief of Staff John Kelly finally bring stability to President Trump's chaotic White House? The recommendation that Comms Director Anthony Scaramucci be fired was a good start.

Also, whenever Dems or their supporters say the GOP has become to extreme, they're engaging in classic projection.

I will also get to the latest on the Colin Kaepernick saga. 

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, August 04, 2017

"Do as I say, not as I do" on steroids

When talking about the perpetual "progressive" freak outs over planet Earth being in peril due to "climate change," Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds often says I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who keep telling me it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis.

Obviously the climate change movement's most high profile demagogue, despite his January 2006 declaration that the planet will reach a "point of no return" in 10 years (hint: that was 11-1/2 years ago), believes he's exempt from reducing his own carbon footprint.

Memo to Al Gore: Once you move into a condo, begin to drive a Mini Cooper and hold all your climate change lectures via Skype, I promise (pinky swear) to take you more seriously. Until then, you can go suck a brick.


Thursday, August 03, 2017

Mystery solved? (UPDATED from original May post)

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. 

UPDATE: The previous tweets apparently weren't the ones which prompted Sergio to block me. I know this because I was still able to follow Garcia's tweets in August 2014. I'll come back to that.

Going into the final round of the 2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (which took place the first weekend of August 2014), Garcia led the tourney followed by Rory McIlroy, who trailed by three strokes. 

Sunday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational must have felt a lot like deja vu for Sergio Garcia. Two weeks after he failed to run down a charging Rory McIlroy at the British Open, Garcia was once again unable to keep pace with McIlroy at Firestone. McIlroy began the round three shots off the lead, only to surge early and finish strong for a second straight win.

McIlroy wasted no time erasing the deficit he opened the round with. Playing in the final group with Garcia, McIlroy birdied the first three holes of the round. With Garcia recording a bogey on No. 3, McIlroy not only erased Garcia's lead, but pulled ahead of him in three holes. The two battled the rest of the way with McIlroy holding a one- or two-shot lead for much of the round. Like it was at the British Open, McIlroy's game was sharp tee-to-green. He did an excellent job of avoiding trouble and putting himself in position to make no worse than par. His only bogey of the round came on No. 8 and with Garcia unable to find a birdie on the back nine, McIlroy's lead proved to be enough.

The win adds another impressive line to McIlroy's growing list of career accomplishments. Although not a major championship, the Bridgestone Invitational was major-championship caliber with a field of 49 of the top 50 players in the world. That makes two straight events McIlroy has gone against the very best in the world and come out on top in impressive fashion. No one is playing better golf than McIlroy is right now. The win and an eighth-place finish from Adam Scott was enough for McIlroy to jump back to the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Rankings.

For Garcia, it's another event where he was very good, just not good enough to surpass the best player in the world. He nearly matched McIlroy shot-for-shot during the week, just like he did at the British Open. The result, however, is another second-place finish.

On that Saturday evening, Garcia tweeted out his sentiments about being paired with McIlroy on the final day.

My response made me look prescient, which is likely why Sergio blocked me:

As of today? Yep. Still blocked.


Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Just another friendly reminder.....

The Democrat party is all about identity politics. They claim to embrace all groups of voters, regardless of race, gender (or lack thereof), education, class, etc.

However, they seem to be woefully lacking in embracing diversity of thought, as demonstrated by the former leader of their party.


Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Quick Hits: Volume CLIII

Good news from the White House, especially the fact that all the lame Bohemian Rhapsody jokes can cease.

President Donald Trump ousted his communications director after only 10 days and introduced his new chief of staff, a former Marine Corps general who has the task of imposing more discipline in the West Wing, following one of the most turbulent weeks of the administration.

Anthony Scaramucci was removed from the communications director post on Monday, becoming the seventh major administration official to leave in Mr. Trump’s first six months. Mr. Scaramucci was ousted at the urging of the new chief of staff, retired Gen. John Kelly, in one of his first official acts in the job, two administration officials said. Mr. Kelly previously ran the Homeland Security Department.

Mr. Kelly urged Mr. Scaramucci to resign during a one-on-one meeting in his new office shortly after being sworn-in at a Monday morning White House ceremony, the officials said. Mr. Scaramucci’s removal was designed to better organize a White House that has been riven by competing factions, they said.

While many were pleased with the move of Kelly being named Chief of Staff, the enthusiasm seemed to be dulled when it was reported that Scaramucci would continue to report to President Trump as opposed to the new CoS, which is the typical chain of command in the White House. However, I'm pleased that Kelly apparently had the President's ear on this one.

Also, the Scaramucci hire never seemed to make a lot of sense, especially since he had zero qualifications for the job. As we in Minnesota know all too well, hiring a communications director with no experience can end up being disastrous.

- Steve Bartman, the Chicago Cubs fan who was blamed by many in "Cub-dom" for ending the team's magical 2003 postseason run, will be receiving a 2016 Cubs World Series ring.

Because a good number of those fans directed irrational hatred and invective towards Bartman, my initial sentiment was those kooks deserved to suffer another 95-year Cubs championship drought given their idiotic behavior.

Ah, but Bartman getting a World Series ring is arguably the next best thing.

- Some of you may know that my wife, mother-in law and myself were on vacation last week. With my mother-in law not in the greatest of health, the wife & I figured it best to drive her to see her family in Canfield, OH (about 90 minutes south of Cleveland). I was amazed how the fetching Mrs. Carlson and I were able to find so many tourist attractions within 3 hours of her aunt and uncle's Canfield home.

Perhaps the most impacting visit was to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stoystown, PA, which is less than a 2 hour drive southeast from Pittsburgh. This tiny town was the location of where United Airlines Flight 93, on September 11, 2001, crashed into a field about 20 minutes flight time from the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. This flight was best remembered for several courageous passengers thwarting hijackers' attempts to inflict further carnage that day.

The visitor center contained audio recordings of some of the passengers leaving voice mail messages for their loved ones, essentially telling them "goodbye." There were also TVs which played on a loop news broadcasts from that morning, including the first official statement from President George W. Bush. And there was a map marking the scores of flights still airborne at the time of the World Trade Center coming under attack.

The actual memorial was at a separate location, down the hill from the visitor center. Included in this memorial were the individual names of the flight crew and passengers, including Twin Cities native Tom Burnett.

I could literally pen a series of blog posts to share the experience and it wouldn't come close to doing it justice. So if you're ever in the eastern Ohio/western Pennsylvania areas, it would be well worth your time to check out this wonderful and poignant tribute to the Flight 93 victims.