Wednesday, February 28, 2018

They told us....

....that if conservatives didn't hop aboard the "Trump train" during the 2016 campaign that the next president would be coming for Americans' guns.

And they were right.

In 2016, NRA-endorsed Republican candidate Donald Trump won the presidency after many months of insisting that his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton was going to grab your guns.

In February 2018, President Trump publicly called for a subversion of due process, and for the government to “take the guns first.”

During a televised meeting with lawmakers at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, the president and assembled legislators spent the hour riffing on ideas for securing schools and curtailing gun violence in America. Trump ping-ponged between various policy positions and postures, invariably making unforced interjections that would make his staunchest pro-gun supporters cringe.

When Vice President Mike Pence talked about how those who are a “danger to themselves or others” should have their firearms taken away, but also afforded due process, the president jumped in to one-up Pence.

“Or, Mike, take the firearms first, and then go to court,” Trump said, breaking with his own vice president on live TV. “Because that's another system. Because a lot of times, by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court, to get the due process procedures.”

So Trumpkins, lemme ask ya. Is this another one of those situations where we take him "seriously, not literally?"

What I find most amusing about this latest incident is that some Democrats in their knee-jerk "RESISTANCE!" declare they're outraged (OUTRAGED, I tell ya) over Trump's apparent willingness to skirt around the Constitution by denying due process. The reason being is these leftist frauds were willing to do basically the same thing by denying a citizen his/her Second Amendment rights if they appeared on an arbitrary "watch list." Don't get me wrong here. I agree in principle with the Dems who hit back at Trump over his wanting to subvert due process, but recent history indicates they're being incredibly disingenuous.

Given I had the expectation of Mrs. Clinton being elected president in 2016, my focus was ensuring the GOP had one if not both chambers of Congress to act as a check on the White House. Turns out that sentiment is just as relevant with a Republican currently occupying the Oval Office.



Tuesday, February 27, 2018

It's on now

I saw this Facebook status update from my friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg.

Closed Circuit to my 2nd Amendment friends: You know when your Democrat friends take on that condescending voice and coo "nobody's coming for your guns?"

Linda Slocum's bill in this year's legislature is coming for your guns. This bill trashes the Fourth Amendment along with the Second. Seriously - even if you're *anti*-gun, the details of Slocum's bill would make a soviet-era kommissar blanche from the overreach; it trashes your privacy rights along with everything else.

Rob Doar from the MNGOC explains it here.

If you're a 2nd Amendment supporter who has, to borrow a phrase, "gotten tired of all the winning" - well, vacation is over. You need to renew your NRA membership, join up and donate to the MN Gun Owners Caucus...

... and put some PTO aside, because the good guys are going to need to start packing the hearings again. All that Bloomberg money buys a lot of community organizers, and that means lots of mads coming out to events. Gone are the days when the good guys would outnumber the walkers 30-1 without breaking a sweat.

When it comes to defending your civil rights, the only easy day was yesterday.

I'm in!


Woke in a bubble

It's been said often here and elsewhere that leftists aren't capable of engaging in an intellectual debate on political issues, so they rely on unbridled emotion. Never has that statement rang more true than in the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas high school shooting.

Perhaps the most visible face/audible voice of this tragedy's fallout is SD student David Hogg. Here the left has a veritable gold mine in that this young man is of the leftist ideology while also emerging unscathed in a shooting which took the lives of many of his fellow students. Here the left and media (PTR) can claim this young man has a platform to say whatever he wants (no matter how factually deficient or contradictory), whenever he wants. And because, according to leftists, Hogg et al have absolute moral authority, they're even immune from factual refutations.

Truth be told, I kind of feel bad for young Mr. Hogg. It's pretty obvious to me he's being used by an agenda-driven media who are likely aware he has a weak grasp on the goings-on in the world, yet he serves their purpose.

It's all beyond disgusting at this point.


Monday, February 26, 2018

Archway to truth

It was a genuine honor to host Peter Johnson, founder of Archway Defense, on my most recent radio program. With all the obfuscation surrounding firearms, the second amendment and crisis management in the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas high school tragedy, it was great to hear from someone with actual expertise in these areas.

But don't take my word for it. Check out Peter's guest appearance here


Sunday, February 25, 2018

I don't know how to live but I got a lot of toys.....

You're probably wiped from digging out from the latest Minnesota "Snow-mageddon," so sit back, relax and indulge in this very important broadcast of The Closer. The one-hour show gets started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

The aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas school shooting rages on, so it's important to separate facts from fiction regarding debates over weaponry and security. I can think of few better to handle such discussions than Peter Johnson, who is the founder of Archway Defense. Peter is a firearms experts and his company trains law enforcement to better engage crisis situations. Anyhow, he'll join us right at 2:00. 

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, February 24, 2018

Friday, February 23, 2018

More gun grabbing narratives plundered

When discussing the Stoneman Douglas high school shooting with a gun grabber recently, I stated my position on school employees carrying. Specifically, I endorse an "opt in" provision which would allow employees with a conceal carry permit to bring their firearm to work. The anti-gun guy (who couldn't have been more civil by the way) replied "There were trained police officers in FL school. First it was we need someone with a gun. And now we need more guns in school?"

I was aware that there was one armed resource officer on site, though I didn't know why he didn't engage the shooter. I guess I gave him the benefit of the doubt by saying he was likely checking on the fire alarm that sounded upon the gunman deliberately activating it.

As it turns out, I was being too generous.

The only armed sheriff’s deputy at a Florida high school where 17 people were killed took cover outside rather than charging into the building when the massacre began, the Broward County sheriff said on Thursday. The sheriff also acknowledged that his office received 23 calls related to the suspect going back a decade, including one last year that said he was collecting knives and guns, but may not have adequately followed up.

The deputy, Scot Peterson, resigned on Thursday after being suspended without pay after Sheriff Scott Israel reviewed surveillance video.

“He never went in,” Sheriff Israel said in a news conference. He said the video showed Deputy Peterson doing “nothing.”

“There are no words,” said Sheriff Israel, who described himself as “devastated, sick to my stomach.”

Keep in mind this was less than 24 hours after pro-gun activist Dana Loesch questioned Israel on his department's failures to follow up on these numerous calls.

This whole tragedy is once again a cautionary tale of how we need an investigation to play so as to gather all the facts and thus respond accordingly. Ah, but when you're on a decades long mission like gun grabbers have been, that is totally unacceptable.

Leftists like to accuse pro-second amendment advocates and NRA members of caring more about guns than the lives of children. If that's the kind of game they wanna play, then let me offer up one. Gun grabbers care more about their slanderous narratives than the lives of kids.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Stoneman Douglas town hall

I only caught bits and pieces of Wednesday evening's CNN town hall "discussion" about guns in the aftermath of the Parkland, FL high school shooting (You can watch it here).

The gathering was essentially an exercise in young people lecturing us on how the likes of GOP politicians and members of the National Rifle Association are complicit in the deaths of their fellow students. And as is custom in a lot of these "discussions," there was little diversity in the questions. That is, the statements/questions were all slanted towards banning guns as opposed to realistic solutions which will allow law abiding Americans to remain armed while also passing substantive legislation to prevent additional mass shootings.

I have just a few other observations:

- Florida GOP senator Marco Rubio was lauded for taking a tremendous amount of heat from those who obviously differ with his staunch pro second amendment stance. And while I concur that Rubio answered every question/comment/slander in his usual dignified manner, his mere presence shouldn't be applauded too loudly. After all, he's a sitting U.S. senator from the state where this latest mass shooting occurred. Appearances like this are part of his job. All that said, how many "progressive" senators today would make an appearance at a town hall gathering among a group of staunch pro life supporters?

- In the week since the shooting, many of the Stoneman Douglas High School students have been given a platform by major media outlets to convey their thoughts on the tragedy. And while the vast majority of kids have been of the mindset that guns should be banned and the NRA had blood on its hands, the "gun rights" folks need to be more measured in their responses. Factual refutations are completely appropriate. Character assassinations are not. For all the chiding this generation of kids receives for allegedly being "snowflakes," what the Stoneman Douglas students dealt with last week was more horrific than what many adults have ever endured. Let the kids vent.

- At one point Florida's Democrat senator, Bill Nelson, acknowledged that perhaps it was a mistake to not implement "gun control" measures in 2009 when the Dems had control of the White House, a majority in the U.S. House and a super majority in the U.S. Senate. However, there were a good number of moderate Dems in Congress at that point in time, so I'm still skeptical they would have been able to do anything of substance. Still, I wish they would have at least attempted to do so. Not only would that exercise have failed, the sole attention of Congress would have gone away from Obamacare.

- And finally, President Trump has thrown down the gauntlet by calling for legislation to more thoroughly address mental health, ban bump stocks and raise the age eligible to purchase a rifle to 21. He also indicated that he would be open to arming teachers, though that recommendation seemed rather vague. Does that mean all teachers should be trained to carry? If so, that's a non-starter for me. However, I definitely support some sort of "opt in" program where school employees who already have a conceal & carry permit be allowed to exercise their right. Such a law would also remove a school as a "gun free zone," which would likely be the most effective deterrent to mass shooters.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

He's home

Perhaps the most renown American evangelist in this country's history has gone home.

The Rev. Billy Graham, who transformed American religious life through his preaching and activism, becoming a counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, died Wednesday. He was 99.

Graham, who long suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments, died at his home in North Carolina, according spokesman Mark DeMoss.

More than anyone else, Graham built evangelicalism into a force that rivaled liberal Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in the United States. His leadership summits and crusades in more than 185 countries and territories forged powerful global links among conservative Christians, and threw a lifeline to believers in the communist-controlled Eastern bloc. Dubbed “America’s pastor,” he was a confidant to U.S. presidents from Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush.

In 1983, President Reagan gave Graham the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. When the Billy Graham Museum and Library was dedicated in 2007 in Charlotte, former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton attended.

“When he prays with you in the Oval Office or upstairs in the White House, you feel he’s praying for you, not the president,” Clinton said at the ceremony.

Rev. Graham spoke for more than half a century in front of sold out stadiums literally across the globe. I personally had the privilege of attending one of his many talks when the Billy Graham Crusade came through Minneapolis in 1996. I had attended many sporting events at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome where there was 50,000+ in attendance to see the Twins and 60,000+ for Vikings games. I would estimate that 70,000 crammed into the dome (with 25,000 watching on a big screen outside) on that summer evening in '96!  It was one of the most incredible experiences of my lifetime to see literally thousands of individuals responding to Rev. Graham's invitation to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior.

In my observation of Rev. Graham's life, what most struck me was his utter humility. I wrote about that very thing on his 90th birthday back in November 2008.

To me, the most impressive attribute is Graham's genuine humility. Raised on a dairy farm in North Carolina, he has often marveled at how God used a mere farm boy like himself to spread the gospel worldwide. And despite visiting scores of foreign countries, holding more than forty crusades and earning the admiration and respect of eleven U.S. Presidents, at the end of the day Graham still went home to a modest cabin in rural North Carolina.

Luke 12:48 says that to whom much is given, much shall be required. Billy Graham humbly admits he has been blessed exceedingly, abundantly above what he could ever think or ask. As such, he has tirelessly dedicated his life conveying that very message.

The one quote of Rev. Graham's I've seen circulated most frequently today is this:

“Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don't you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”

Can you imagine the reception he received from the literally millions of saints who accepted Jesus into their lives upon hearing a sermon from Rev. Graham? What day of rejoicing that must've been.

Well done, good and faithful servant.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Quick Hits: Volume CLX

- Fox News conservative commentator Laura Ingraham tells NBA star LeBron James to "shut and dribble" upon James ripping President Trump. James essentially responded with a "Nah."

Given that a lot of high profile actors and athletes (at least the most outspoken ones) lean politically left, I strenuously disagree with their worldviews. But demanding they "shut up" about what's happening in society? Sorry, I'm not on board with that. Sure many of these celebrities are out-of-touch elitists who haven't the faintest clue about the challenges a middle class family endures. But this idea they can't freely express themselves in a country in which they're citizens?!?! Absurd.

It would have been perfectly appropriate for Ingraham to criticize the substance of James' comments about Trump. But to query why guys like James feel the need to "run their mouths like that" borders on hypocrisy given how she continually propped up Trump's coarse rhetoric as "authentic" and "telling it like it is."

- Speaking of sanctimonious celebs.....

Jennifer Lawrence is set to take a break from acting.

"Hunger Games" star Lawrence revealed her plans while promoting her latest movie "Red Sparrow," sharing with Entertainment Tonight her ambitions to "fix" democracy in America while she takes a Hollywood hiatus.

Anybody who saw Lawrence's film Mother! would argue that she was already taking a break from acting.

- In the aftermath of any mass shooting, leftists usually shriek for "gun control" before the fatally wounded have even been identified. But when asked for specific proposals, proggies either have none or suggest things which would violate other civil liberties.

With that in mind, National Review writer (and attorney) David French seems to have appealed to the sensibilities of both the right and left in his latest piece about an actual "common sense" gun control proposal.

What if, however, there was an evidence-based process for temporarily denying a troubled person access to guns? What if this process empowered family members and others close to a potential shooter, allowing them to “do something” after they “see something” and “say something”? I’ve written that the best line of defense against mass shootings is an empowered, vigilant citizenry. There is a method that has the potential to empower citizens even more, when it’s carefully and properly implemented.

It’s called a gun-violence restraining order, or GVRO.

While there are various versions of these laws working their way through the states (California passed a GVRO statute in 2014, and it went into effect in 2016), broadly speaking they permit a spouse, parent, sibling, or person living with a troubled individual to petition a court for an order enabling law enforcement to temporarily take that individual’s guns right away. A well-crafted GVRO should contain the following elements (“petitioners” are those who seek the order, “the respondent” is its subject):

1. It should limit those who have standing to seek the order to a narrowly defined class of people (close relatives, those living with the respondent);

2. It should require petitioners to come forward with clear, convincing, admissible evidence that the respondent is a significant danger to himself or others;

3. It should grant the respondent an opportunity to contest the claims against him;

4. In the event of an emergency, ex parte order (an order granted before the respondent can contest the claims), a full hearing should be scheduled quickly — preferably within 72 hours; and

5.The order should lapse after a defined period of time unless petitioners can come forward with clear and convincing evidence that it should remain in place.

Definitely read the whole thing.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Does anyone else find it a little creepy....

....the way certain media outlets prop up kids in the aftermath of witnessing a horrific event, all to further a leftist agenda on guns?


Sunday, February 18, 2018

While you've been out runnin', I've been waitin' half the night......

Tune in to the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer (that's me!) from 2:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time today.

I'll take at least the first couple of segments to discuss Wednesday's horrific mass shooting at a Parkland, FL high school which left 17 dead. Sadly, anti-gunners, media and other proggies enacted the usual strategy of impugning the character of the pro second amendment crowd only to have their narratives explode in their collective faces.

Then at 2:30 I will be joined by Woodbury mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens, who is seek the Republican nominee for Minnesota governor.

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

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

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

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

Until then.....


Friday, February 16, 2018

Mitt's in!

Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney makes it official. He is running for U.S. Senate out of Utah!

While I am delighted by this development, I can't help but also be the slightest bit heartsick. All I can ponder while watching this video is we could've been in the midst of a second term of President Mitt Romney.



Thursday, February 15, 2018

Parkland tragedy

Upon hearing of an active shooter at Parkland, Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday afternoon, I made a vow to stay off Twitter the rest of the day. Sadly we've been down this road all too often the past decade-plus where innocent people going through a normal day (e.g. attending school, work, church, etc.) are senselessly gunned down. And when such incidents have occurred, the immediate response is to politicize the event by assigning blame. Nobody wins in those displays of grandstanding, so I removed myself from any temptation to be part of the melee.

Personally, I've chosen to pray fervently for those who lost loved ones in this tragedy as well as the survivors who are likely in utter shock over what happened in their midst. Yes I'm aware that offering "thought and prayers" is met with invective by secularists. I don't care. Those most deeply affected by this shooting need all the comfort we can offer. Using their friends/loved ones as political pawns will do the exact opposite of that. So I'm opting out of the verbal battle royal.

So does that mean I'm advocating that nothing be done to address the issues surrounding these mass shootings? Of course not. I'm all for civil discourse where cold hard facts on both sides are presented and pored over in a dignified manner. Ah, but such a meeting of minds will probably result in having to accept data which may undermine a preferred narrative or worldview. Sadly in today's social/political environment, such acknowledgment just doesn't seem possible.

I guess that means I should be doubling up on those thoughts and prayers.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Why we lose: Part infinity

I know I've pointed out ad nauseam on this blog that a Republican hasn't won a statewide election in Minnesota since Gov. Tim Pawlenty was barely reelected in 2006. There are myriad reasons why my preferred political party is so utterly inept in this state, but the infighting among GOP activists/supporters is my largest source of frustration in this struggle.  

If every single solitary MN Republican voter coalesced behind one candidate, I maintain it likely would not result in a GOP win. So guess what? It stands to reason that we need a candidate who can appeal to independent voters. Much to my chagrin however, the most conservative candidate among a crop of Republicans likely could not prevail in a purplish/lite blue state like Minnesota, so it would behoove all MN conservatives too keep their proverbial powder dry. Unfortunately that doesn't seem possible given all too many GOP activists have a "take their ball and go home" mentality if their preferred candidate is not the nominee. 

Yet again, it appears we're going to travel down that same ol' dead end road despite the warning sign which reads "no thru traffic." 

For the record, I like Sue Jeffers personally. I respect the fact that she has put her money where her mouth is by challenging Pawlenty for the GOP nod for governor in 2006 as well as running twice for a seat on the Ramsey County Board. But someone as influential as Sue should know better than to start this nonsensical movement. I mean, what if Pawlenty enters the gubernatorial race and ends up winning the GOP nomination? Are we supposed to just stay home in November and concede the race to the Democrat candidate? Is Sue honestly saying here that there is no difference between Pawlenty and whomever the DFL puts forth? Because that bull crap rationale has also drawn us ever closer to being a cold California.

Bottom line for me: if a "#NeverPawlenty" movement gains any traction whatsoever among MN Republicans, you can count me out. 


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

MNLeg happenings

With the Minnesota Legislature slated to begin session within the next week, the GOP majority in the Senate is secure -----for now.

A Minnesota judge dismissed a lawsuit against state Sen. Michelle Fischbach, R-Paynesville, Monday, declaring that she can hold both her seat in the legislature and the title of lieutenant governor—at least for now.

The case was brought by one of Fischbach's constituents in Minnesota's Senate District 13, alleging that her right to representation had been infringed by Fischbach holding both jobs simultaneously.

Judge John H. Guthmann wrote in his court order Monday, however, that until Fischbach takes her seat when the legislature reconvenes Feb. 20 it is impossible to tell what the potential harm to constituents--like Destiny Dusosky of Sauk Rapids who filed the suit--may be.

"Petitioner demonstrates no more than a hypothetical injury because it is not known whether defendant will take her seat, whether defendant will cast a vote, or whether the Minnesota Senate will allow her to serve," he wrote in the order.

Fireworks may be in the works for the first day of the legislative session next week if Democrats seek to stop Fischbach from taking her seat, which she has held since 1996.

The case was ultimately dismissed without prejudice, meaning the lawsuit could be refiled once Fischbach takes her seat, though Guthmann also noted in his order that he wasn't sure the court even held the power to expel an elected official without holding a recall election first.

With Fischbach keeping her rightful place in the Senate, the GOP would maintain their scant 34-33 majority. It seemed that Little Lord Fauntleroy Gov. Mark Dayton was attempting to undermine the Republican majority in that chamber by elevating Fischbach to the position of Lt. Gov., thus leaving the Senate deadlocked if it was determined she couldn't hold both positions.

All that said, this could've been rendered moot if the MN GOP flipped the senate seat in SD54, which had been held by DFLer Dan Schoen until he resigned over allegations of sexual harassment. As such, a special election was held Monday to fill the sudden vacancy. If Republican Denny McNamara could prevail over DFL candidate Karla Bigham, the GOP majority would increase to 35-32, thus guaranteeing said majority would remain intact if Fischbach were somehow forced to move on from the Senate. Alas, there will be no such "safety net" as Bigham won Monday's special election by 3.5% over McNamara.

There was also a special election held on Monday for the MN House seat formerly occupied by Republican Tony Cornish, who also resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Not a lot of mystery in that race however, as GOP candidate Jeremy Munson won by nearly 20 points against DFLer Melissa Wagner in HD 23B. With that result, the House Republicans maintain their solid 77-57 majority.

As I alluded to earlier, the 2018 MN legislative session kicks off next week. However, it appears all three co-equal branches of Minnesota government will be making some serious news over the next few months.


Monday, February 12, 2018

Given the American media....

.....has unwittingly become a propaganda arm for a country which is ruled by arguably the most brutal dictatorship in the world today, I find myself repeating this over and over and over and over:

Hell, I imagine even Walter Duranty is saying "Really, media?"


Sunday, February 11, 2018

He's got a daughter he calls Easter; she was born on a Tuesday night....

The first Sunday in several months with no NFL games, but we'll soldier on. Today's edition of The Closer gets started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

I'll look back at the week in local politics, including more evidence that the MN GOP has a steep uphill climb in an effort to win their first statewide election since 2006.

On a national front, the Trump administration once again didn't exactly cover itself in glory regarding aides within the White House.

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, February 09, 2018

Loyal to a fault

I've said many times that Donald Trump (before and after he became President of the United States) subscribes to a very strange "moral code." What I've noticed is that he'll be hesitant to condemn someone of (to be charitable) questionable character so long as they show "loyalty" to him (whatever that means).

For example: David Duke's penchant for white supremacy is morally repugnant. It shouldn't be all that challenging to cite that fact. Yet because Duke endorsed him for President in early 2016, Trump wouldn't condemn Duke's ties to the Ku Klux Klan. That's not to say that Trump endorses the attitudes and actions of the KKK as much as he can't bring himself to criticize someone who shows favor. Yet when someone like Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM) wasn't (in Trump's view) nice to him, he verbally attacks her. Never mind it fed the narrative that Trump was anti-woman and anti-Hispanic. And never mind that collaborating with a rising young star in electoral politics could potentially enhance the Republican party's brand. Nah, the issue there was Martinez needed to be called out for having the audacity to convey substantive criticism regarding Trump's candidacy.

With two White House aides having resigned this past week due to very credible allegations of domestic violence, Trump's "moral code" is resulting in some downright creepy outcomes (i.e. commending staff secretary Rob Porter for a good job despite the very serious allegations against him). David French wrote a very insightful piece at National Review addressing this warped "loyalty pledge."

Look, I know that it’s hardly unusual for politicians demand loyalty, but when loyalty trumps character or competence — or when demands for loyalty require that you excuse the inexcusable — then there’s a problem. In the Trump administration, it’s particularly toxic. There’s a three-step process to moral corruption.

First, there are lots of folks in Washington who are struggling to make the best of the Trump presidency. He might be a personal disaster, they reason, but we can still get some decent policies passed.

Second, everyone knows that Trump demands loyalty. Everyone knows he’s remarkably thin-skinned (even as he fires more than his share of verbal broadsides). So they know that any public critique carries with it a risk of being shut out — of losing the president’s ear and losing the ability to influence his policy-making.

Third, so even while he does things they’d publicly condemn in any other president, politician, or public figure, they’ll often stay largely quiet. Sometimes they’ll even grant “sex mulligans” or praise his crass and crude public manner as “authentic.” Thus, they retain their access. They retain their influence.

Trump has been President barely more than a year, yet with each passing month this administration somehow becomes more of a raging dumpster fire. While I've always been uneasy about a President Donald Trump, I often took heart in the fact he surrounded himself with some quality individuals (Defense Secretary James Mattis and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley come to mind). However, this latest bungling regarding domestic abusers within the White House reeks of at best incompetence and at worst negligence.

Unless the environment within the Trump administration dramatically improves posthaste, it's going to be darn near impossible to entice quality individuals to come on board in the future. What a quagmire.


Thursday, February 08, 2018

It's like Indiana Jones vs. the swordsman

Late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel has been anointed by leftists as "America's conscience," a label he embraces unless he's asked to weigh in on the sleazy Harvey Weinstein.

His tear-filled monologues on children's health care and gun control in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting both produced viral videos. This is leftism in a microcosm in that discussions on salient issues are long on emotion, short on facts and often conveyed in an echo chamber (in this case, in front of friendly audiences). But hey, I'm willing to listen to Kimmel if he desires to discuss these issues in a substantive manner. And who better to engage in a discussion than Ben Shapiro, the conservative commentator who is perhaps the most insightful voice on the right? As such, there have been multiple pleas via Twitter for a debate to take place.

The proposal makes sense, since Shapiro has challenged Kimmel publicly on issues ranging from Obamacare (where Kimmel attempted to use his son’s open-heart surgery to emotionally bolster his case defending his support for Obamacare, only to have Shapiro rip his perspective and slam Kimmel for using his child as a prop while noting that his own daughter had the same surgery by the same doctor) to gun control. After Kimmel delivered an emotional rant calling for more gun control in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre and said Americans' thoughts and prayers were insufficient, Shapiro pointed out the numerous lies Kimmel propounded,then responded:
I have a question: who died and made Jimmy Kimmel God? Who’s Jimmy Kimmel to decide whether thoughts, your thoughts and your prayers, are insufficient? So, your thoughts and prayers are only sufficient if you do what Jimmy Kimmel wants you to do? That’s the way this works now? Who died and made him Jesus? Really, how did this work exactly, that Jimmy Kimmel gets to be the great moral arbiter of our time? A late-night talk show host who used to host “The Man Show” with women bouncing on trampolines? He’s now the great arbiter of what constitutes morality in politics and if you disagree with him, your thoughts and prayers are insufficient. It doesn’t matter that you were fervently praying for the victims, doesn’t matter that you were donating your time or your blood. None of that matters if you disagree with Jimmy Kimmel; what you’ve done today is insufficient. You must pay. You will burn in the fiery bowels of Jimmy Kimmel’s hell. Just gross.

Admittedly, I'm highly skeptical this will happen since Kimmel likely wouldn't be allowed to possess faxed talking points from Chuck Schumer nor would he be able to hold his kid during the debate. But hey, I'm certain Shapiro would be willing to concede those terms given what he has on his side --- substantive facts.


Wednesday, February 07, 2018

MN Caucus night

Despite my belief that caucuses are outdated and a monumental waste of time, I attended my precinct caucus Tuesday evening. Caucuses are an opportunity for the most dedicated (allegedly) political activists to come together and discuss issues surrounding their preferred political party as well cast votes in a presidential or gubernatorial straw poll.

For the record, Jeff Johnson emerged victorious within our state Senate District caucus and received 45.4% overall in the GOP gubernatorial straw poll.The second place finisher?  That would be "Undecided." Yep, you read that correctly. "Undecided" garnered 15.6% of the vote, finishing ahead of former GOP state party chair Keith Downey, who finished third with 14.6%.

It's pretty clear at this point that party activists are anticipating former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, as has been rumored, jumping into the race. If so, you can expect Pawlenty will completely bypass the endorsement process at June's MNGOP convention and go straight to the August primary. Given the fundraising prowess Pawlenty would likely possess, I personally believe he'd be the favorite to win the GOP nomination should he declare his candidacy. I know this irks some activists and endorsement purists, but let's get real here. None of the current crop of Republican candidates has much of a chance to prevail statewide come November. Why not consider expanding the field with, y'know, a Republican who has actually accomplished that elusive task?

A few other thoughts:

- I reside in State House District 35A. Our current representative (and personal friend of Mrs. Carlson & I) Abigail Whelan is not seeking reelection, so we had the opportunity to hear from a handful of individuals vying for the GOP nomination for that seat. After listening to those folks, let's just say I'm going to miss Abigail more than ever.

- Turnout for the MN Republican caucus was pathetic with 10,909 attendees total. Meanwhile, the DFL had more than two-and-a-half times that with 27,447. It's hard to really gauge what that means. Are Republicans just not excited about the current statewide candidates? Do most activists desire to scrap this system all together in favor of a June Primary? Did other activists quietly leave the party upon Donald Trump becoming the presidential nominee two years ago? I doubt it's one simple answer, but this much is certain: MN Republicans are on the road to becoming a "cold California" if there isn't a course correction soon.

- I personally don't have a preferred candidate in the gov race, as I will enthusiastically support anyone opposite of a DFLer. But with that said, we in the MNGOP absolutely suck at appealing to undecideds within our own party, to say nothing of non-Republicans. Instead of touting the creds of their preferred candidate, many devotees spend their time spewing invective about the other participants. And then whenever something new or innovative is attempted (i.e. candidate Mary Giuliani-Stephens sending a text message to activists), it's largely ridiculed. I think someone once described our party as Blockbuster Video living in a NetFlix world. Sadly it's still an appropriate analogy even today.


Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Steppin' on rakes

With the Democrats having to defend 26 of the 34 U.S. Senate seats up for election this year, they can ill afford any of them to flip Republican. That in and of itself is a challenge given there are vulnerable Dem incumbents in such states as North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, Montana and West Virginia, all of which Donald Trump won overwhelmingly in 2016.

And of all the states I just mentioned, North Dakota has (at this point anyways) the best chance to turn GOP this year. I say that because, if last week is any indication, current senator Heidi Heitkamp can't seem to stay out of her own way.

Just over a week ago, Senate Dems voted to block a bill which would ban abortions past 20 weeks. Per blogger Rob Port, the majority of his fellow North Dakotans support such a measure. However, Sen. Heitkamp was one of 46 Senators to block this bill from receiving an up or down vote. After her vote was announced, Heitkamp could be seen "high fiving" Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Yeah, awkward!

The next evening would be President Trump's first State of the Union address. Sen. Heitkamp's guest for the event was former UPS driver Dennis Kooren whom Heitkamp cited as "a leader of the effort to protect the pensions of North Dakota workers and retirees." 

Literally the next day, Port wrote at his Say Anything blog a blurb about UPS.

Today Mr. Kooren’s former employer announced $12 billion in new investments including a $5 billion contribution to the company’s three employee pension plans, an amount that works out to about $13,000 per employee.

The reason UPS is making this investment?

The tax reform bill.

You know, the one Senator Heitkamp voted against.

Again, awkward!

Yes, I know. Election Day is still nine months away and a lot can happen in that time frame. I just hope a ruby red state like North Dakota can put forth merely a competent Republican. As we've seen recently, the bar isn't all that high for a flip here.


Monday, February 05, 2018

Wow, what a game!

Well I guess that Philadelphia Eagles team who crushed my Vikings in the NFC title game two weeks ago is a pretty good club after all.

In what looked like a live version of the Madden NFL video game, the Eagles outlasted the New England Patriots 41-33 in a contest which featured over 1,100 yards of total offense. While I was rooting for the Pats, I can't help but be happy for the Eagles franchise in collecting their first ever Super Bowl victory. And even though backup QB Nick Foles, who was named the Super Bowl LII MVP, is under contract for another year with Philly, I anticipate there will be a good number of trade offers coming the Eagles' way. And good for Foles, who seriously considered retiring from football two years ago at age 27.

A few other thoughts:

-Despite being 40-years old, Patriots QB Tom Brady threw for 505 yards in this game, a Super Bowl record which eclipsed the previous mark of 466 set by.....well, Brady last year. After Sunday's loss, Brady reiterated that he will be back next season and has consistently said he plans to play until age 45. Are you gonna bet against him?

-It was rather fitting that in a game with so much offense, it was a big-time defensive play (the strip sack of Brady with Philly up 38-33 and about two minutes left) that essentially clinched the Eagles win.

- Finally, as a stats geek, this may be my favorite factoid of the night:


Sunday, February 04, 2018

I got no friends 'cause they read the papers.......

I typically don't broadcast Super Bowl Sunday but I'm making an exception this weekend. Yes, the regular one-hour edition of The Closer gets started at 2:00 PM Central Time today.

For the entire hour I will be joined by political activist/social media strategist/New England Patriots fanatic Erin "E.J." Haust. We'll discuss some of the big news items from this past week, including President Trump's first State of the Union address, the latest on the gubernatorial race and, of course, the aura of the Super Bowl being in the Twin Cities.

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, February 03, 2018

Super Bowl LII: The Q&A

Is it Super Bowl weekend already?!?! Why yes, it is! That means the Super Bowl Inquisitor (SBI) comes out of his bunker for the annual SB banter between he and I. If you're new to this bit, SBI will ask a question (or pose a statement) and I'll reply with (occasional) repartee.

Here goes nothin'.

Super Bowl Inquisitor: This year's big game is essentially in your backyard. How do you feel Minneapolis has fared in its hosting duties?
Brad Carlson: I can only imagine it's on par with how the residents of Hoth greeted the Rebel Alliance.

SBI: Have you attended any of the festivities of Super Bowl week?
BC: Nah. I'm a football purist, so all I'm interested in is the game itself. Besides, when the big game was here 26 years ago I attended one day of the NFL Experience. Long story short, my then crippling social anxiety (I'm much better now, thanks) resulted in my coming off as a buffoon when chatting with a pretty young lady.

SBI: With the Super Bowl participants being from the Philadelphia and Boston areas, this has to be a nightmare for their rival sports city New York, eh?  
BC: It's hard to feel sorry for a populace who deems Bill de Blasio fit to run their city.

SBI: Pop singer Pink has the honor of performing the National Anthem. Your thoughts?
BC: Who better than Pink to "get the party started?"  

SBI: And the headliner for the halftime show is Justin Timberlake. What say you?
BC: Unless Jessica Biel will be alongside him, this doesn't do much for me.

SBI: Does Ms. Biel even sing?
BC: What, is that a prerequisite? 

SBI: Despite being the "home" team, the Patriots are going to wear their "away" white jerseys. The reason being is, in the Brady/Belichick era, they're 3-0 in Super Bowls when they've worn white. Do you have any superstitions like that?
BC: You bet. Every evening I check exactly three times if our garage door is closed.

SBI: Um, that sounds more like OCD than a superstition. 
BC: Eh. Now you're just splittin' hairs.

SBI: What's on your ideal Super Bowl menu?
BC: Well.... chips & salsa, guacamole, corn bread muffins with butter, twinkies and pretzels.

SBI: That's assortment of food to eat.
BC: Eat? No, I'm more interested in those foods serving this purpose:

SBI: Ah. Fair point. 

OK, let's get down to it. The Patriots are 4-1/2 point favorites over the Eagles. Your official prediction?
BC: A goat could easily batter a foal, correct?

SBI: Um. Sure.
BC: Well, Patriots QB Tom Brady is the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time). The Eagles quarterback has a last name which reminds one of baby horses (Nick Foles). Since we've established that a goat > foal, I am going with the Pats to win. Call it 28-21, New England.

SBI: That was the most convoluted rationale I've ever heard. 
BC: I gotta be me.

With that, enjoy the game, folks!

2017 Postseason Record:
Against the Spread: 4-5-1
Straight Up: 6-4


If you want to talk fishin', well I guess that'll be ok.....

For the second consecutive Saturday I will join my friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg on a frozen lake in Minnesota. Today Mitch and I will be broadcasting from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time from White Bear Lake, site of the Holes 4 Heroes fishing tournament put on by the tremendous organization Fishing For Life.

This is an annual event to raise money for folks who have a close family member serving in active duty military. Because this has become such a popular cause, FFL has added an extra tournament to the yearly gathering which typically occurs on Medicine Lake in Plymouth.

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 Mitch's podcast page for the latest show post.

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

Until then.....


Thursday, February 01, 2018

Ok, I laughed

Earlier this month, former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann had been asked whether she'd be a candidate to fill the final two years of Al Franken's former U.S. Senate seat, which is currently being held on an interim basis by Tina Smith. Bachmann indicated that she had been praying for guidance in regards to running.

Fast forward to Thursday, when this popped up in St Paul.

Instant classic! πŸ˜†