Thursday, November 30, 2017

Baseball podcasting

When it comes to dissecting issues within local governments (specifically at the municipal and county levels), there are few better than the Twin Cities' own Andrew Richter and Jason Bradley of Community Solutions MN. But in addition to his passion for being "a force for good in our neighborhoods," Andrew, like myself, is an avid baseball fan. As such, the guys chose to devote one of their weekly podcasts to baseball talk and thus extended an invite for me to join the discussion.

(Pictured l-r: Me, Andrew Richter and Jason Bradley)

The entire discussion lasted 2-1/2 hours, but we definitely could have rambled on for another hour or so.

Anyhow, feel free to check it out if you like. I'm going to apologize in advance for the poor audio quality whenever I spoke. I assure you it was more an issue with the microphone than my normally annoying speaking voice.



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The reckoning continues (UPDATE: Maybe I gave NBC too much credit)

For a TV network which hasn't exactly covered itself in glory over the past few years, NBC acted swiftly (and justifiably) in gassing one of its most well known news personalities.

NBC has fired news anchor Matt Lauer over sexual harassment allegations by an employee, the network’s president for news said in a memo to his staff Wednesday.

The “Today” show host was canned for “inappropriate workplace conduct,” according to NBC Chairman Andy Lack.

“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment,” Lack wrote.

“While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident,” he wrote.

“Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender.

“We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization – and do it in as transparent a manner as we can. To that end, Noah [NBC News President Noah Oppenheim] and I will be meeting with as many of you as possible throughout the day today to answer your questions.”

Lauer's abhorrent behavior had been a rumor for some time. In fact, both the New York Times and Variety had been working on stories which were set to reveal Lauer's multiple indiscretions.

If nothing else, NBC was the outlet to break the story of one of their own. This comes just weeks after Ronan Farrow, who did freelance work with NBC, was not allowed to break the Harvey Weinstein story on the network. Given the fallout from that particular saga, NBC was left with proverbial egg on its face. And every time serial fabricator Brian Williams appears on an NBC-affiliated station, it only undermines their credibility. I'm not going to pretend that NBC has completely redeemed itself by having Lauer's former Today Show colleagues elaborate on what was breaking news, but at least they didn't just release the obligatory statement and then drop it altogether.

No sooner had the Lauer story broke then we hear of a well-known Minnesotan being accused of repugnant behavior.

Veteran radio host and writer Garrison Keillor confirmed Wednesday that he was fired by his longtime broadcast home, Minnesota Public Radio, over accusations of improper behavior.

After confirming the news in an email to the Associated Press, Keillor issued a follow-up statement saying he was terminated over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.” However, he did not elaborate.

MPR issued a statement from communications director Angie Andresen on its website Wednesday announcing it would “end its business relationship with Keillor’s media companies effective immediately.” That includes ending distribution and broadcast of The Writer's Almanac, a daily syndicated program that Keillor continued to write and produce, in addition to rebroadcasts of The Best of A Prairie Home Companion.

The news of Keillor's demise comes literally the day after he penned a column saying it's "absurd" that fellow Minnesota proggie sleaze bag Sen. Al Franken should resign over his own indiscretions.


UPDATE: Maybe I gave NBC too much credit for what I perceived was an expeditious response to the Lauer saga. In a piece at Variety, it's alleged that management may have covered for some of Lauer's despicable activities. Yikes! 



Yes, President Trump's reference to "Pocahontas" (a shot at Sen. Elizabeth Warren's infamous fib about her heritage) during an event honoring Navajo code talkers was buffoonish. And yes, the ceremony being conducted right in front of a portrait of President Andrew Jackson seemed a bit tone deaf. But this idea that Sen. Warren is a sympathetic character in this whole thing is downright laughable. It seems "progressives" are more offended by the nickname with which Trump chides Warren than they are about her falsely claiming minority status to get ahead in life. Talk about "white privilege."

But to prove she hasn't a scintilla of shame over exploiting Native Americans for personal gain, Sen. Warren used this latest "Pocahontas" flap to elicit sympathy.

The one excerpt which really caught my attention is her claim that Trump came at her "with another racist slur." So "Pocahontas" is a racial slur, huh?

Well then, whomever is using the domain has some explaining to do.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Spot on

Yep. Tribalism at it's absolute worst.

If going all tribal is supposed to be a substitute for principles in this day and age, then count me out.


Nearly 250 years in the making

Truth be told, I'm not really into British monarchy (though I was intrigued by the hoopla surrounding Chuck & Di's nuptials when I was 12). However, this particular story caught my eye.

Prince Harry, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and fifth in line to the throne, is engaged to Meghan Markle, his American girlfriend, the royal family said on Monday.

The prince, 33, and Ms. Markle, 36, will marry in the spring, a statement from Clarence House added.

Prince Harry and Ms. Markle’s engagement underscores recent shifts in the British monarchy. They are part of a new generation of royals eager to project themselves as modern, inclusive and down-to-earth. This latest set of royals, who include the duke and duchess of Cambridge — Prince Harry’s elder brother, William, and his sister-in-law, Catherine — have in recent years tried to connect better with the public.

Perhaps my favorite theory as to why the the royals are evolving came via Twitter.

I imagine I'll be dead and buried by the time any offspring of Harry's would be of age to command both posts. Good thing too, because I wouldn't wanna live in a country where donuts would be scrapped in favor of crumpets.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Another in-kind contribution to Roy Moore's senate campaign

For all the tough talk of Dems saying that, knowing what they know now, they would have demanded Bill Clinton resign as President in 1998, they sure aren't taking advantage of their moral awakening.

First off, it appears that Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) is going to remain in the Senate despite claims from multiple women that he groped them. This doesn't even include the groping of journalist Leeann Tweeden, of which there's indisputable photographic evidence.

Now it seems Dems are closing ranks around the fossilized John Conyers (D-MI), who also has multiple allegations of sexual harassment against him. But hey, it's all good. Conyers' "icon" status apparently gives him special dispensation according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

In reaction to Pelosi's pitiful Meet The Press performance, Guy Benson rightly states that she pretty much strengthened GOP prospects of holding the Senate seat from Alabama.

It makes zero sense from both a practical and political standpoint to circle the wagons around Conyers and Franken. If Conyers is pressured to resign, the district he represents, according to the 2017 Cook Partisan Voter Index, is D+32. And if Franken were to move on, his vacant seat would be filled on an interim basis by Minnesota's leftist governor Mark Dayton. In short, both men are pretty much expendable to the Democrat party.

I absolutely do not want to see Roy Moore in the Senate given that he has offered no credible refutations to the allegations he propositioned teenage girls while in his 30s. But if Moore is elected to the Senate, the Dems' indignation will ring hollow. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.


Friday, November 24, 2017

On hiatus

I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving!

Since I will not be broadcasting my weekly radio show this Sunday (the indomitable Mitch Berg will be filling in for me), I'm taking a break from engaging in political news for the remainder of the week and thru the weekend. However, I reserve the right to check in if there's an earth-shattering development like Sen. Al Franken rightly resigning in disgrace.

If not, I'll talk to y'all next week.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Emily Lindin: "Falsely accused of sexual assault? Sucks to be you."

I can't emphasize enough how grateful I am that victims of sexual harassment/assault are able to have a more unified voice in today's society. While I suspect we haven't yet reached the bottoming out point, I have to believe that today's environment will serve to thwart instances of sexual misconduct from this day forward.

All that said, a possible drawback to the notion that every woman deserves to be believed is there are inevitably willful instances of false accusations which could potentially ruin the lives of innocent men. While such scenarios are not nearly as pervasive as the lecherous conduct which has permeated Hollywood, politics and media, we should never allow anyone to potentially have their lives ruined over blatantly unture allegations (See Duke lacrosse team or gang rape at University of Virginia). Thankfully many of the high profile indiscretions made public over the past several months appear to have been heavily scrutinized for their veracity.

Ah, but in the mind of Teen Vogue columnist Emily Lindin, innocent men having their lives ruined should be considered little more than collateral damage when attempting to eradicate sexual misconduct (read tweets from the bottom up):

It's that kind of thinking which allowed Bill Clinton to remain a power player in the Democrat party. "Yeah sure, Bill Clinton denigrated a few women, but he was such a champion of women's rights. Just chalk up Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky as collateral damage in the effort to create a more tolerable environment for women."

Oh, and don't ya love Ms. Lindin's statement on how hits to an innocent man's reputation is a price she is "absolutely willing to pay?" Pretty brassy to make such a definitive statement given the fact IT'S NOT HER FRIGGIN' REPUTATION THAT WILL BE DAMAGED!!! She'd pay no price!

Along with some reputations of innocent men, basic human decency is also becoming a casualty.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Not worthy

“There is no politician who’s going to save America... there is no election that’s going to transform your life...”
- Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE)

Given all the sleaziness we suspected (and is now being confirmed) was emanating from the U.S. Congress, I feel as though that institution doesn't deserve a Ben Sasse.


Monday, November 20, 2017

It's really sad.....

.....when a tweet from President Trump such as this......

.....elicits little more than a shrug. I mean, aren't these little snit fits towards people Trump believes disrespect him pretty much the new normal in presidential communications?

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr likely reflected the sentiments of the majority of America when he conveyed to the media that it would be helpful if they "just stopped covering both of them."


Sunday, November 19, 2017

I wasn't born for diggin' deep holes, I'm not made for pavin' long roads....

Hey, did ya hear? Today is International Men's Day!! Ah but given the news from this past week, I'm guessing this won't be touted too much in America. Nevertheless, today's 1-hour installment of The Closer gets started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

Obviously we'll discuss the fallout from Sen. Al Franken being accused of sexual assault and how the Democrats have ineptly responded to this situation. 

I'll also opine on Gov. Mark Dayton being vindicated by the Supreme Court of Minnesota over his line-item vetoes sets a dangerous precedent. 

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, November 17, 2017

The Minnesota monarchy

So much for the idea of separation of powers.

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of the Legislature’s operating budget, declining to referee a political dispute between two co-equal branches of government that it said could resolve the issue themselves.

The 5-1 decision handed the Democratic governor a major legal victory as he seeks to roll back Republican-backed tax breaks and other measures he opposed but signed into law anyway this spring as part of a new state budget. And it left the Legislature on uncertain financial footing. Dayton welcomed the ruling while GOP lawmakers expressed dismay.

The ruling overturned a lower court decision that deemed Dayton’s action unconstitutional. But the high court said the state constitution does not allow the courts to order funding for the Legislature without an appropriation. And it said the Legislature has the authority to tap enough money to continue operating — at least $26 million and up to $40 million — until it reconvenes Feb. 20. So it rejected the argument that Dayton violated the constitution by effectively abolishing the Legislature.

I can't emphasize enough that I am no legal beagle. However, shouldn't there be some scrutiny as to why Dayton vetoed the items he did? He basically said back in May that legislative funding can be restored if legislators return to negotiating terms of a bill that he signed. Seems to me that a government executive using coercive tactics could give the impression that one is abusing his power, no? So why no action on that?

So if indeed a GOP governor is ever elected in Minnesota, proggies will be totally cool if he/she utilizes the same tactics in order to get a more favorable budget deal from a DFL controlled legislature, correct? After all, the precedent has now been set. Enjoy!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sleaziness is not a partisan issue

As decades-old sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, pretty much every elected official in Washington urged him to drop out of next month's special election.

Now there are bipartisan calls for an ethics investigation into the past behavior of a sitting U.S. senator.

A TV host and sports broadcaster on Thursday accused Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) of kissing and groping her without her consent in 2006.

Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of groping her, without her consent, while she was asleep and provided a photo as evidence.

The incident happened in December 2006, she said, when she and Franken, then a comedian, were on a USO Tour to "entertain our troops."

Franken in a statement apologized for his actions.

There may be more to this story in the coming days. For now I have just a few thoughts:

- I noticed there were a heckuva lot more leftist politicos willing to condemn Franken than righties in the case of Moore. While I concede evidence against Franken is more damning given the photograph that is being circulated, what exactly is it about Moore's accusers that would make righties believe they are fabricating their stories? What would be the upside of them (and the Washington Post) doing so?

- That said, the cynical part of me believes that some leftists are coming off as indignant due to the fact Franken is pretty much expendable. If he were to resign, the Democrat governor of Minnesota gets to appoint a replacement, which would undoubtedly be a far left individual. Then there would be a special election in the 2018 midterms (a cycle which is looking favorable to Dems at this point) and then a regular election in 2020 when Franken's current term is up. Is there any doubt that Gov. Mark Dayton could find a far-left proggie to be the Dem caucus's rubber stamp for at least the next three years?

- And finally, let's go to a live look-in of Senate Democrats wanting to talk tax reform but having to endure questions about Franken instead:



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Quick Hits: Volume CLVIII

- Now that the Clintons are pretty much a liability to the Democrat party, leftists now feel emboldened to seek accountability for past sins, specifically regarding accusations of Bill Clinton committing sexual assaults before he was ever elected President.

It was a pattern of behavior; it included an alleged violent assault; the women involved had far more credible evidence than many of the most notorious accusations that have come to light in the past five weeks. But Clinton was not left to the swift and pitiless justice that today’s accused men have experienced. Rather, he was rescued by a surprising force: machine feminism. The movement had by then ossified into a partisan operation, and it was willing—eager—to let this friend of the sisterhood enjoy a little droit de seigneur.

With the accusations levied against Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been cited by multiple women that he propositioned them when they were in their teens and he in his 30s, some leftists have actually grown a conscience here. They realize they can no longer adequately dismiss the retort of "Yeah, well, you all flippantly dismissed credible accusations towards Bill Clinton."

So while it hardly shows any moral courage for leftists to address Clinton's indiscretions only after he's become persona non grata, I still believe it's vital for his victims to finally be given a more unified voice. I hope we have reached a "bottoming out" here so that countless victims can finally have a start to their healing.

- When an MLB team goes from 103 losses one season to a playoff berth the next year, it take a good number of people to make that happen. For my favorite baseball club, one such person was recognized on Tuesday.

As arranged marriages go, it’s hard to imagine one working out better than what the Twins experienced in 2017.

Holdover manager Paul Molitor didn’t just find a way to coexist with the new analytically savvy front-office combination of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. Molitor navigated a historic turnaround that saw the Twins go from 103 losses to a 26-win improvement and their first postseason appearance in seven years.

For that, the Hall of Fame player was named American League manager of the year on Tuesday. Voting was conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

“I still think there’s value in people that have history and have some old-school thoughts as well as integrating the new,” said Molitor, 61. “I think the resources we added this year certainly affected my pregame preparation, things that I thought about and also how to probably manage in-game. I still use some of the old tools and I still trust my eyes and my gut, as managers like to say, but I think the layers that we have are helpful.”

Molitor received 18 of 30 first-place votes to outpoll runner-up Terry Francona, who led the Cleveland Indians to 102 wins and their second straight AL Central crown, and A.J. Hinch of the World Series-winning Houston Astros. Francona received 11 first-place votes and Hinch one to finish a close second (112-90) to his former Milwaukee Brewers teammate.

And to think the front office was seriously contemplating whether or not to retain Molitor despite the Twins making the postseason in 2017. Thankfully, Molitor accepted a 3-year extension recently, so he'll be able to follow through on leading the core of young players who were valued contributors this past season.

One other interesting tidbit is Molitor and Frank Robinson are the only two Hall of Fame players in MLB history to win a Manager of the Year award. Pretty impressive company, eh?

- A disturbing story regarding a shooting in northern California.

The gunman who killed four people and wounded at least 10 others, including two children, in Northern California Tuesday tried to access rooms at an elementary school to shoot more kids as part of a "bizarre and murderous rampage," police said at a press conference Tuesday night.

The shooter was killed by police after he opened fire at multiple “random” locations near Rancho Tehama Elementary School in Corning early Tuesday.

Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said that one of the victims was a woman the gunman stabbed in January.

School officials heard shots being fired about a quarter-mile away and the school went into lockdown mode, Johnston said. He added the incident "could have been much worse if it wasn't for the quick thinking" of the school's staff, who put the school in immediate lockdown mode without instruction from police.

Johnston noted it was "monumental" that school workers took action when they did, because he believes they saved the lives of countless children.

The assistant sheriff said the gunman rammed his vehicle into a school fence, then walked onto school grounds with a semi-automatic rifle while wearing a protective vest.

After being unable to access classrooms due to the lockdown, it's believed the gunman became "frustrated" and went back to his car, and began shooting at people while driving, according to police.

An incredibly bizarre sequence of events to be sure. So much so that it would be absolutely asinine to leap to any conclusions. Alas, I'm certain there were the obligatory shrieks on social media of the NRA being a terrorist organization, etc. I wouldn't know since I strategically avoided Twitter as soon as this news broke. For once I chose to follow my own advice and await some concrete facts. Pretty sad when that is considered an abnormal stance.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Things that annoy me

Yeah, I know. We're supposed to be in the midst of "30 days of thankfulness" by documenting each day in November something which we're thankful for. But a post like this has been brewing in me for some time, so I thought I would list a few items for the record.

Callers into a talk radio show starting off by saying "Thanks for taking my call."

As a guy who hosts a radio show, this perplexes me. Ummm....when a host shares the call-in number and then asks you to call in, no need to express thanks since you're the one honoring the request. So thank you for calling.

Referring to your favorite sports team as "we."

This is pretty common among sports fanatics. "Wow, we sure had a solid defensive showing today" or "Man, we sure were clutch with our free throw shooting." Uh, yeah, you as a fan have absolutely zero influence on the outcome of a game. I'm sure the athletes appreciate your support, enthusiasm, etc. but sitting on a couch in a flatulent state for 3+ hours with your biggest concern being timing restroom breaks with commercials does not make you a member of the team. And while being one of 70,000 screaming fans at, say, an NFL game sometimes results in players giving shout outs to the home crowd for creating an electric atmosphere, that still doesn't make you a teammate. Sorry.

Incorrect use of apostrophe s. 

An apostrophe s is to be used as a contraction (eg. Mike's (Mike is) going home) or to signify a person possessing something (eg. That is Mike's car). I'm still utterly stupefied how people use an apostrophe s when pluralizing a word or name (eg. Those kitten's are adorable; The Anderson's are excited for tomorrow). This is such a pet peeve of mine that I have difficulty enjoying a Christmas card saying "Merry Christmas from the Anderson's." Upon reading that, I'll usually reply along the lines of "The Anderson's what?"

When requesting prayer for something seemingly minor, people respond by saying "God's a little busy for such trivial things."

I could concoct a series of posts on how this is just absurdly incorrect theology, but I'll attempt to be pithy here. Saying "God's too busy..." is the retort of someone who believes that the limited abilities of we humans is somehow applicable to God. Newsflash: when the Creator of this vast universe is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end, I'd say He's more than capable of hearing and honoring the prayers of all of us whom He declared He knew before being formed in the womb. So with all due respect, your finite little mind should never be projected onto our Creator.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Built a king on compliments, charisma and advertisements....

Another Sunday, yet another afternoon in the Patriot bunker for my weekly radio program The Closer. The one-hour festivities get started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

Just before I went on the air last Sunday, news broke of the shooting at a Sutherland Springs, TX church, killing 26 people. Since then, we've learned much about the shooter himself and how the attack was eventually thwarted. In short, a lot of leftist narratives surrounding firearms were sent to the ash heap. We'll discuss. 

Also, we'll look at the election results out of Virginia last week and what it means for the Republicans in the 2018 midterms. Speaking of the GOP, they have Moore problems (as in Roy Moore) looming ahead of next month's special U.S. Senate election out of Alabama. 

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, November 10, 2017

The roaches are finally scattering

If you've been following news of any kind over the past 48 hours, you can hardly scroll through without there being content regarding the latest allegations of sexual misconduct. Whether the accused are people in the entertainment industry or politics (both national and local), it appears to have reached a point where the victims are saying enough truly is enough.

While I am appalled at how pervasive sexual harassment and assault appears to have been in those two specific areas, I can at least take heart that the victims now feel emboldened enough to come forth not only for their personal healing but also to spare others from being in the same position. Nevertheless, it still saddens me that said victims had to suffer in silence for so long.

When powerful men like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Bill O'Reilly, Louis C.K., etc. are rendered persona non grata literally overnight, it's quite clear that such abhorrent behaviors now have an absolute zero tolerance in any segment of society. But with that said, I'm certain I'm not the only one who has pondered why this behavior was able to go on for so long. And what possessed these high profile personalities to believe that their insidious behavior was beyond reproach? Was there anything that could have halted this years ago?

Matt Yglesias posed a query worth considering.

Is it possible that a leader of the free world voluntarily moving on due to using his position of power to do whatever he pleased would've given pause to others abusing their authority? There's no way to know for certain, but I can't imagine Clinton slinking back to Arkansas wouldn't have been a deterrent to some.


Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Election 2017

On the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump being elected President, it appears the Democrats can finally point to an electoral repudiation of Trump.

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) won the Virginia governor’s race in a blowout Tuesday, fending off a potential gut punch for his party and giving Democrats a badly needed jolt of momentum ahead of the 2018 midterms.

Democrats had grown nervous about the race, fearing a devastating loss that could deal a blow to the party's momentum. But that anxiety gave way to celebration as Northam cruised to victory and Democrats took the New Jersey governor's mansion and posted gains in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie by nearly 9 points in the race to succeed Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), in what has become the only competitive statewide race of the year. Northam’s win gives Democrats their first major victory since President Trump took office after a string of high-profile special election defeats in GOP districts earlier this year.

Gillespie's task was very formidable from the outset given that Virginia has become an increasingly blue state over the past decade (the Dem POTUS candidate has won there each of the past three presidential election cycles). Combine that with the fact that Northam supporters were lumping Gillespie in with Trump (who, in modern history, has the worst approval rating of a sitting president in his first year), any Republican candidate would have been dead man walking.

Of course the President didn't quite see it that way.

"Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for. Don’t forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!" Trump wrote.

While losing the Virginia gubernatorial race shouldn't necessarily panic Republicans ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, what happened in the state's House of Delegates should absolutely set off alarm bells. Going into Tuesday, the Virginia GOP held a 66 to 34 majority in that legislative body. As I write this, the Dems made a significant gain as they reached 48 seats to 47 for the Republicans (The remaining five are too close to call, thus likely triggering a recount). If the five outstanding races go to those candidates who currently lead, the HoD would be a 50-50 split. There can be little doubt that a 16-seat gain is a message that is being sent to the GOP nationwide.

Another ominous sign for Republicans ahead of the midterms is the Generic Congressional Ballot has the Dems up +9. Such a big number this early out is a terrible sign for the GOP, as it likely means the majority in the U.S. House will be gone. I've been saying for some time that the U.S. Senate will probably remain in Republican control given that 25 of the 33 seats up in '18 are occupied by Democrats/Independents. However, that may even be in peril given the Senate GOP has had virtually no substantive accomplishments outside of appointing Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Sorry, but that's not enough to sway voters to keep you in power. Having already bungled the Obamacare repeal and, thus far, immigration reform, not coming through with a significant overhaul of the tax system would assuredly spell doom for Republicans next year.

As far as the local level is concerned, there was nothing happening in my home city of Ramsey outside of two referendums:

Approval of School District Referendum Revenue Authorization

The board of Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District No. 11 has proposed to increase its general education revenue by $226.20 per pupil. The proposed referendum revenue authorization would increase each year by the rate of inflation and be applicable for ten years unless otherwise revoked or reduced as provided by law. Shall the increase in the revenue proposed by the board of Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District No. 11 be approved? 

Approval of School District Bond Issue
If School District Question 1 is approved, shall the school board of Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District No. 11 also be authorized to issue its general obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $249,000,000 to provide funds for the acquisition and betterment of school sites and facilities, including the construction and equipping of new school facilities; the construction and equipping of additions to and the remodeling and upgrading of various school sites and facilities to replace existing portable classrooms at elementary, middle school and high school facilities, to address safety and space issues resulting from student population growth and to provide safe and secure learning environments; and the construction of secured entrances and security and safety improvements at various school facilities? 

I voted "No" twice but each passed with about two-thirds of voters answering "Yes." I guess I've grown weary of throwing millions of dollars at these various projects without seeing tangible results. Let's just say I'll be watching this closely.

As far as the Twin Cities is concerned, both cast votes for mayor.

In St. Paul, Melvin Carter becomes the first African-American mayor elected in Minnesota's capitol city. I know little to nothing about him, but my friend, Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague and St. Paul resident Mitch Berg has some insights.

Over in Minneapolis, it appears the insufferable virtue-signalling incumbent mayor Betsy Hodges is on her way out. As of Wednesday morning, Jacob Frey held a slight lead with Tom Hoch in second and Hodges in third.

With that, the 2018 campaign officially starts in earnest.


Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Thoughts & prayers: More than enough

There are still tidbits of information coming out about Devin Kelley, the man who shot to death 26 people at a Sutherland Springs, TX church this past Sunday. But in today's outrage culture, there is little patience for facts of a case to be sufficiently ascertained.

What really sets off leftists in situations like this is when anyone (especially GOP politicos) offers thoughts and prayers to those wounded as well as the loved ones of those killed. In fact, the proggie response to such sentiments is often maniacal and downright hate-filled. Truth be told, I'm past the point of reacting to these people with anger as much as I feel genuinely sorrowful on their behalf. The idea that "progressives" believe a legislative branch of government (comprised of fallible human beings) is better qualified to help a nation heal from a tragedy requires infinitely more faith than seeking guidance from the Lord.

As David French of National Review notes, prayer is not only sufficient, it is downright vital.

It’s as simple as this: God is sovereign, and every good and perfect gift comes from Him. That includes changed hearts. It includes comfort that only He can provide. It includes the courage to be the “good guy with the gun” who can (and, reports suggest, yesterday did) stop a rampage in its tracks. It includes the clear mind to consider and enact policies that might make a difference.

So, yes, if you’re not praying and thinking in response to mass murders like the attack on the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, your response isn’t as effective as it could be. If there’s one thing that’s clear from the spate of mass killings in the United States, it’s that we need God to move.

I believe it's highly inappropriate to politicize a tragedy in the immediate aftermath if for no other reason than it trivializes someone's death. But above all else, being fueled by raw emotions instead being guided by the steady hand of God leads to regrettable behavior that is neither productive nor comforting.


Monday, November 06, 2017

More heartbreak

We're not even 5 weeks clear of the Las Vegas mass shooting when another took place on Sunday.

At least 26 people were killed in Texas, with many more wounded, after a gunman opened fire at a church outside San Antonio on Sunday, the state's governor confirmed.

Multiple sources speaking to Fox News identified the gunman as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley. The mass shooting unfolded at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, which is about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio. Officials said it's unclear whether Kelley killed himself or was fatally shot by police.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said up to 27 people were killed and "many more" wounded after a man walked into the church around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday and opened fire at the crowd of people.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a press conference Sunday evening that the victims range in age from 5 to 72 years old. Another official said approximately 20 others were transported to hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to "very severe."

Sunday's shooting is the deadliest church shooting in modern U.S. history. It is also, according to Abbott, the deadliest in the history of Texas.

I made the mistake of perusing Twitter in the aftermath of this church shooting. It's an exercise in futility to answer all of the disgusting politicization and flat out misinformation, so I took my leave shortly thereafter. I am just utterly heartbroken that all those who have perished in mass shootings over the past decade or so have been little more than political pawns to those outside of their immediate circle of influence.

A few other quick thoughts:

  • While the inevitable blood-curdling shrieks for "gun control" ramp up, keep in mind that further carnage was avoided thanks to a good guy with a gun. A resident who lived near the church grabbed his rifle and approached the gunman which resulted in him dropping his weapon and fleeing.
  • Because Kelley was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force due to a domestic violence charge, he likely was not eligible to procure a firearm. However, Kelley somehow passed a background check. I guess it'll have to be determined if this was an administrative screw-up or if there are legitimate kinks in the execution of said background checks.
  • Literally two minutes before I went on the air for my Sunday radio show, I was able to get a hold of firearms & security expert Peter Johnson of Archway Defense. Among multiple issues he covered, Peter offered some words of advice for the faith-based community regarding taking control of their security. Check out the segment here.

As always, I will indeed offer my sincere prayers to those who lost loved ones in this horrific incident. I pray they find peace and comfort which transcends all understanding.


Sunday, November 05, 2017

The cloud is moving nearer still; Aurora Borealis comes in view......

With clocks having been set back an hour and the Vikings on a bye week, y'all should be rarin' to go for a full hour of my radio program The Closer. We'll get started at the usual 2:00 PM Central Time.

It was a downright newsy week, so I'll try to squeeze in as much as I can regarding the Manafort indictment, the terror attack in NYC, deserter Bowe Bergdahl receiving a proverbial slap on the wrist, 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.....


Friday, November 03, 2017

Desertion of justice

The guy who had been embarrassingly referred to by some as a "hero" turned out not to be one, but he didn't get what he deserved either.

Bowe Bergdahl received a dishonorable discharge from the US Army, but will avoid prison time for desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after abandoning his outpost in Afghanistan in 2009, a military judge ruled Friday.

The judge ordered that Bergdahl's rank be reduced from sergeant to private. Additionally, Bergdahl will be required to pay a $1,000 fine from his salary for the next 10 months.

"Sgt. Bergdahl has looked forward to today for a long time," Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl's civilian attorney, said at a news conference after the proceedings.

"As everyone knows, he was a captive of the Taliban for nearly five years, and three more years have elapsed while the legal process unfolded. He has lost nearly a decade of his life."

Pretty ballsy to talk about what Bergdahl "lost" when there were six soldiers who died searching for him upon his desertion. Perhaps the most galling aspect of this decision was the judge citing President Trump's comments as a factor in this decision.

While I agree that Trump should be more measured in his comments of these high-profile legal issues, the idea that they're considered in this decision is outrageous. Given the constant thwarting of Trump's travel ban at different circuit courts in addition to the Bergdahl ruling, it's pretty apparent the "resistance" movement is permeating multiple areas of the legal system. So much for justice being blind.

It'll be interesting to see whomever takes on the case of the most recent NYC terrorist and if these comments are considered a "mitigating factor."

Again, because this happened in Trump's home area of New York City, I understand his explosive reaction. However, he needs to know such rhetoric is not at all helpful and, as recent evidence suggests, maybe a hindrance.


Thursday, November 02, 2017

No problem, Houston

I personally enjoy seeing a franchise and it's fan base celebrating their first ever championship.

From laughingstock to lift off.

George Springer and the Houston Astros rocketed to the top of the baseball galaxy Wednesday night, winning the first World Series championship in franchise history by romping past the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7.

Playing for a city still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, and wearing an H Strong logo on their jerseys, the Astros brought home the prize that had eluded them since they started out in 1962 as the Colt .45s.

This World Series victory should in no way take away from the fact that recovery and rebuild efforts from Harvey damage will be ongoing indefinitely. However, I believe many Houstonians consider this is a nice reprieve from the daunting task ahead.

As a Minnesota Twins fan, this Astros championship gives me hope. From 2011-2014, Houston averaged 105 losses per season. But the Astros have had a winning record three consecutive years now and have been to the postseason two of the past three, culminating with their 2017 championship. One serendipity to being a bottom feeder (as the Astros were for a while) is the opportunity to replenish the farm system with top notch prospects who eventually become key contributors with the big club. The Astros have done that in addition to savvy trades and modest free agent signings. It's a formula the Twins' new front office appears to be replicating, as they look to build upon their 2017 postseason appearance.

With that, I believe it's only about 100 more days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training!