Thursday, May 31, 2018

Quick Hits: Volume CLXV

- With the Republican Party of Minnesota state convention set to kick off Friday in Duluth, the one gubernatorial candidate not attending is making some serious campaign news.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has selected current Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach as his lieutenant governor running mate for his bid to become Minnesota’s next governor and reclaim the seat for Republicans.

In picking Fischbach, Pawlenty can show not only a woman on his ticket, but a seasoned tactician with decades of experience in the Legislature.

I especially appreciated Fischbach's tenacity just ahead of this year's legislative session. Many DFLers insisted it was unconstitutional that Fischbach serve as both President of the Senate and lieutenant governor. There was even discussion of attempts to refuse to seat her in the Senate. In the end, Fischbach served in this session, resigned upon its completion and then was sworn in as LG. Many suspected that this move was an attempt to angle her way on to a GOP gubernatorial ticket. However, Fischbach confirmed at the news conference introducing her as Pawlenty's running mate that she accepted this invitation before resigning her Senate seat.

You wanna know how best to gauge what a solid pick this is for Pawlenty?

It's even more hilarious when you consider that many MNGOP convention delegates are labeling Pawlenty as a Republican in the motif of Arne Carlson.

- Smug progressive: "Can you believe Roseanne Barr could say such despicable things about another woman simply based on the pretense that they disagree politically?"

Sumg proggie "comedienne" Samantha Bee: "Hold my Molson."

- Yeah, so this sucks.

Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer has not been able to shake the concussion-like symptoms he has experienced since hurting his neck three weeks ago.

Mauer's return to the lineup hit another roadblock while working out Thursday before Minnesota's game against Cleveland, when continued sensitivity to light and noise while jogging around and fielding ground balls forced him to back off.

"We kind of got a better feel for where I'm at, and I'm not there yet," Mauer said.

The 35-year-old Mauer has also been dealing with a cervical strain resulting from a May 11 dive for a foul ball. He played for another week before departing midgame May 18 and being placed on the disabled list the following day.

After sustaining a concussion while playing catcher in 2013, it was decided that Mauer be moved to first base starting in 2014. While his production at the plate clearly waned over the next few seasons, Mauer worked to become a very good defensive first baseman. Then all of a sudden in 2017 he hit above .300 for the first time in three seasons and was off to a solid start to the 2018 campaign. Suddenly it appeared Mauer might be in line for a 1 or 2 year contract extension when his current 8-year deal expired at the end of this year, something which seemed far fetched just a couple of years earlier. But with this latest development, Mauer's career is very much in jeopardy should these latest symptoms persist.

How utterly depressing.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018


After a terrific 9-year run from 1988 thru 1997, the TV series Roseanne was rejuvenated this year. While I enjoyed the original inception of this show about a working-class Illinois family, I never once tuned in to the revival episodes.

From what I understand, the story lines often pitted the title character Roseanne Conner (played by series co-creator Roseanne Barr), an unabashed Donald Trump supporter, against her p***y hat wearing, Hillary Clinton supporting sister Jackie. This was quite a coup for ABC TV as it featured perhaps the only prime time TV show which wasn't built on the premise of verbally savaging Trump, much less having the main character laud him. And much like the initial run, the show enjoyed solid ratings. Heck, Trump himself even gave Barr kudos over the relaunch

All that having been said, there were several conservatives warning Trump fans and other right-of-center politicos against embracing Barr despite her support of the President. 

Ben Shaprio at The Daily Wire warned in March that the show is actually an affront to cultural conservatives

J.J. McCullough at National Review reminded folks in April of Barr's nuttiness, especially her embracing 9/11 conspiracy theories. 

Tiana Lowe, also of NR, tweeted out a 2011 interview with Barr when she was embracing the fascist desires of Occupy Wall Street. 

And while Barr is a comedienne, she once invoked a taboo subject which is deemed unacceptable in any context: Hitler and the Holocaust

With all that background, is there really any surprise in what happened next?

Walt Disney Co's ABC network on Tuesday canceled the popular US television comedy "Roseanne" after star Roseanne Barr sparked outrage by comparing a black former Obama administration official to an ape in remarks on Twitter.

The show, a revival of the 1990s hit "Roseanne," was ABC's most widely watched show for the TV season that ended last week, drawing more than 18 million viewers on average each week.

"Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show," ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said in a statement.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger added on Twitter: "There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing."

In a since deleted comment on Twitter, Barr compared former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, 61, to an ape. She wrote that if the Islamist political movement "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj."

Barr, 65, apologized "for making a bad joke" about Jarrett, who is black and was born in Iran to American parents.

Once again, many Trumpkins have made this about Trump, essentially saying this is only being done because Barr is an outspoken advocate of the President. And naturally there are cries of "what-aboutism" given that much of the offensive rhetoric leftists on TV spew towards conservatives et al are met with veritable yawns. But like it or not, there is zero tolerance when it comes to matters of race. And equating a black woman to an "ape" is a bridge too far, especially coming from a woman who has exuded similar traits in the past.

Sure, the entertainment industry may utilize "selective enforcement" when it comes to ostracizing personalities over their viewpoints. However, defending Ms. Barr in this instance is likely not the hill you want to die upon.


Monday, May 28, 2018

Box Score of the Week

Let's check out a game from a Memorial Day past.

Cincinnati Reds at Florida Marlins - May 31, 2004.


The Reds' Ken Griffey, Jr. hit his 494th career home run, which put him ahead of the legendary Lou Gehrig on the all-time home run list.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

There are days i don't believe the words I say....

It's Memorial Day weekend, a time to reflect upon those who paid the ultimate price on behalf of our free country. As such, I will be valiantly exercising my First Amendment rights today on the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer. The one-hour broadcast gets started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

I'll look back at the end of the 2018 MN Legislative session, specifically the defiance and petulance showed by Gov. Mark Dayton.

Also, the NFL has crafted a new National Anthem policy for its players. I will discuss what both sides are getting wrong in this debate.

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 or, if you're near downtown Minneapolis/West Metro area, 107.5 FM 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.

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

Until then.....


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Our perpetually petulant governor - Part MMDCXCVII

If Little Lord Fauntleroy Gov. Mark Dayton is true to his word (far from a sure thing) and thus does not call for a special legislative session, this will be the last time the MN Legislature has to endure his erratic behavior.

Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday vetoed two measures that together comprised much of the work of this year’s Legislature, leaving the DFL governor few accomplishments for his last year in office and Republican leaders with little to show for three months of work.

Dayton’s vetoes killed tax cuts for the two lowest income brackets and Minnesota businesses, along with a state-federal tax code alignment intended to prevent major filing headaches for Minnesotans next year. Also dead is additional money for public schools and for treatment and prevention programs meant to address the opioid-addiction epidemic.

The DFL governor had warned GOP legislative leaders in the final days of session that the vetoes were likely. Legislators passed the bills anyway and publicly asked him to reconsider. With just over seven months left in office, Dayton’s relationship with the Republicans who control the Legislature may have reached an all-time low.

“This session was not about working out agreements with me,” Dayton said Wednesday. “It wasn’t even about working out the best interest of the people of Minnesota. It was about the House Republicans cozying up to the moneyed special interests.”

Republicans were even more withering in response.

“This session wasn’t a failure. Our governor was a failure,” said House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown. Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, chairman of the Senate Taxes Committee, said in a news release that Dayton “behaved like a toddler — emotional, impulsive and unreasonable.”

Aw, c'mon Speaker Daudt. Certainly Dayton could give a substantive list of reasons why he would veto such critical pieces of legislation.

Oof. Or not.

Yeah, but I believe we can ascertain the real reason for Dayton's actions: Sticking it to the Republicans. But in doing so, it may adversely affect many Minnesotans. Susan Closmore, Director of Public Affairs at the MN House Republican Caucus, shared a list via email of those who could be negatively impacted.

· Victims of elder abuse
· Victims of opioid addiction, and medical professionals
· Victims of distracted driving
· Special education and Head Start students
· People dealing with MNLARS hassles
· Deputy registrars whose businesses are floundering after MNLARS
· People who need mental health support, particularly farmers and students
· Farmers and agribusinesses that need Section 179 conformity for equipment depreciation
· People who live in rural areas without high-speed internet
· Students who need help to afford college
· People who need job training and businesses that need skilled workers
· K-12 students who won’t benefit from school safety funding
· Taxpayers who will have a heck of a time filing their taxes next year
· Voters concerned about election security
· Minnesotans concerned about privacy, data breaches, and cyber security
· CPAs and tax professionals who will be dealing with very complex tax filings
· Parents looking to find the best school for their children
· Low-income working families who rely on federal child care subsidies
· New teachers who need licenses, and schools who want to hire them
· Children enrolled in Head Start programs
· Schools that need adjustments to fully fund special education
· Patients who care about transparent pricing for health care and prescription drugs
· People with disabilities, and their caretakers, who would be affected by a 7% cut to the Disability Waiver Rate System
· Startup businesses that depend on the Angel Investor Tax Credit to grow

Apparently Dayton was unmoved.

"I'm not saying that's a good way to approach this, but the sky is not falling."

Emphasis was mine.

We always knew that this spoiled man child didn't have the first clue regarding the plight of regular working folks. But Dayton's flippant dismissal over vetoing vital pieces of legislation cements his legacy as the most oafish and erratic governor in Minnesota's history. And that's saying something given that this is the same state which once elected a crackpot former pro wrestler as its top executive.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Quick Hits: Volume CLXIV

- If House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's botox-injected face were capable of expressing emotion, it might convey shock and horror at this point. According to the latest Generic Congressional Ballot, that so-called "blue wave" in the 2018 midterms is becoming less and less certain with each passing day.

What had been a double digit lead for Dems back in January has quickly dissipated to the point where recent Reuters polling shows a slight advantage for Republicans among likely voters. While I've remained pretty optimistic that the GOP will maintain its majority in the U.S. Senate, it was the House I've long conceded will flip back to Democrats after the November elections. But while there's still a good 5-1/2 months until election day, the U.S. House changing hands is no longer a sure thing either. 

Add to that the Democrats running low on ideas as well as money (DNC has only $8.7 million cash on hand with $5.3 million in debt), they very well could buck a long standing trend of the political party opposite a sitting president making electoral gains in Congress in POTUS's first two years. No easy feat.

- Conservative commentator Tomi Lahren recently learned that "Minnesota nice" is only selectively enacted.

The day after the Fox News contributor appeared at a “Family, Freedom and Final Thoughts” show at the Pantages Theatre, she visited the Union Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis for brunch Sunday.

As she and her parents were making their way out, someone threw water on her, splashing both her and her mother.

Lahren, 25, is known for her controversial opinions. In 2016, she called Black Lives Matter the “new KKK”.

Even thought Lahren is right-of-center on the political spectrum, she's not someone I hold in high esteem when it comes to nuanced conservative commentary. However, this is merely another example of a movement (i.e. leftism) which chides the political right as "intolerant" yet whose actions indicate that such a sentiment is classic projection.

Dunno what those smug patrons were hoping to accomplish but it would appear the opposite of their intentions has occurred.


- I'm not certain what's more newsworthy. The NFL enacting a national anthem policy or egomaniac team owners unanimously agreeing.

NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer, it was announced Wednesday.

The new policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons. Those teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction.

"This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed.

"We believe today's decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it -- and on our fans who enjoy it."

While I've been on record saying that I'd prefer all players stand during the Anthem, I wasn't so morally offended that I'd vow to never watch another NFL game if their protests persisted. However, since the league has had a string of bad public relations over the past decade (eg. high profile players cited for domestic violence, poor handling of current & former players stricken with brain injuries, etc.), the Anthem issue was one which really appeared to polarize the fan base. As such, I'm grateful this solution was reached as opposed to a rumored proposal of issuing a 15-yard penalty for each player not standing. That would have been beyond absurd.

As expected, the initial reaction by the National Football League Players Association was not overly enthusiastic.

"We were not consulted ahead of this meeting on any potential changes to the anthem policy," (NFLPA spokeperson George Atallah) said. "If there are changes to the policy that put players in a position where they could be disciplined or fined, we are going to do what we always do—fight anything that encroaches on players' rights to the end."

I don't know how much of a leg the NFLPA has to stand on here but it'll be worth watching if this issue is broached when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires in less than four years.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Miss USA 2018

For the first time ever, the newly crowned Miss USA hails from the Cornhusker state. Congratulations Miss USA 2018, Sarah Rose Summers!

I've mentioned here before that my interest in pageants has been heightened over the past few years due to my being emcee of the Miss Minnesota Scholarship Pageant, which is part of the Miss America Organization.

My wife and I were paying extra special attention to this year's Miss USA contest due to the fact we actually met two of the contestants a little less than two years ago.

Kelley Johnson (far left; Miss CA USA) and Kalie Wright (far right; Miss MN USA)

Given that I'm a homer, Miss MN was my rooting interest. However, she didn't make the Top 15, but Miss CA did! In fact, Kelley got all the way to the Top 10 before being eliminated. 
One of the big issues to crop up this past year is the #MeToo movement, which served to help women come forth with their own stories of being sexually assaulted and/or harassed in an effort to heal their emotional wounds. Naturally this was a subject broached with this year's contestants. In fact, a quote from Kalie herself was featured on Twitter. 

Juxtapose that with a tweet that was posted less than two hours earlier by Miss MN's junior U.S. senator. 



Monday, May 21, 2018

Box Score of the Week

The second game of a 1982 doubleheader featuring the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles.


The game before "The Streak."

Orioles rookie Cal Ripken, Jr. did not play in this game. However, he would be back in the lineup the next day and would not miss another game for the next 16+ years. 


Sunday, May 20, 2018

In every direction I couldn't see the warning signs.....

Another Sunday, yet another edition of the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer. The one-hour broadcast gets started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

Right at 2:00 I'll be joined by Jason Flohrs, who is the State Director for the Minnesota Chapter of Americans for Prosperity. With less than 24 hours remaining in a contentious MN legislative session, Jason will update us on what we can expect as things wind down.

I'll also weigh in on the shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas, a tragedy which resulted in the deaths of 8 students and 2 teachers dead. As usual, the mourning of the victims gets drown out by assigning blame everywhere but the perpetrator. Also, President Trump proved once again this past week that for all his bluster and bombast, his most visceral opposition manages to make themselves look worse.

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 or, if you're near downtown Minneapolis/West Metro area, 107.5 FM 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.

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

Until then.....


Friday, May 18, 2018

Lefties gonna lefty

President Donald Trump said there were some "very fine people" among Neo Nazis who were protesting the proposed removal of certain statues in Charlottesville, VA last August. Leftists and media (pardon the redundancy) lost their collective minds. "HOW COULD A SITTING PRESIDENT EVEN THINK TO HUMANIZE SUCH DISGUSTING PEOPLE?!?!" was a pretty good encapsulation of leftists' reactions.

Fast forward to earlier this week. Trump refers to MS-13 gang members (individuals who have been known to mutilate innocent people with machetes, butcher knives, etc.) as "animals." Leftists once again freak out, this time to essentially say "THESE ARE STILL HUMAN BEINGS. EVERY LIFE HAS SOME VALUE. HAVE YOU NO SHAME, MR. PRESIDENT?!?!?!?"

Not sure this is necessarily the best hill to die upon but y'all do you, leftists.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Our perpetually petulant governor - Part MMDCXCI

For the second time in three years, Little Lord Fauntleroy Gov. Mark Dayton is holding hostage a tax relief package as the end of the 2018 Minnesota Legislative session draws near.

The Democratic governor rejected the bill with about 20 grade-school students standing behind him Bruce Vento Elementary School, shouting “Veto!” as he stamped the legislation.

Dayton said the bill tilted toward the wealthy and corporations and had too little for citizens.

But the governor also warned earlier this week that he wouldn’t sign a tax bill without the Legislature addressing his request for $138 million in emergency aid to schools.

The GOP tax proposal modestly cuts Minnesota income tax rates. Republicans argue that Dayton’s education request came too late in the session.

If Dayton wants to veto a tax bill based solely on its merit, then fine. But the idea that he dangles such legislation in an effort to coerce more spending elsewhere is pretty despicable, but sadly typical of him.

It was two years ago when there was significant bipartisan support for a tax relief package, one which Dayton insisted he wouldn't hold hostage if other issues went unresolved. Ah but merely two weeks after the 2016 session wrapped, the governor not only allowed the tax bill to go unsigned (aka a "pocket veto"), he then demanded that there be additional funding for the money suck that is Southwest Light Rail Transit et al. Only then would he call a special session to sign the tax bill which had the bipartisan support he required but then went back on his word to not hold it hostage at the conclusion of the regular session.

The Legislature adjourns Monday, but Sunday night is the deadline to pass bills. Dayton warned again Thursday that he will not call a special session.

I guess that's one serendipity in this whole saga in that the current legislative body never has to endure another session with this oaf heading up the executive branch.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Movin' on to the primary

Perhaps the least surprising announcement regarding the GOP side of Minnesota's gubernatorial race.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he plans to skip next month’s Republican state convention and go straight to the August primary.

Pawlenty’s move means he won’t seek the party endorsement. In a statement Tuesday, his campaign says the two-term governor entered the race too late for to have a “fair fight” for the endorsement.

Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson is seen as the front-runner for endorsement, which brings party support and money.

Pawlenty says he’ll make his case to voters in the Aug. 14 primary instead.

Naturally this is sending many GOP delegates into a tizzy a mere 2-1/2 weeks before the state convention. One school of thought is that convention business is such an exorbitant expense in terms of money and time that it feels almost futile if Pawlenty's substantial war chest will essentially purchase the Republican nomination. Still others (particularly Jeff Johnson supporters) are morally offended due to their perceived superior voices possibly being usurped in a primary, as if what they have to say should be the final word.

Bottom line: Minnesota is a primary state. And to suggest that non-delegate GOP voters (many of whom could be of valuable assistance in volunteering on behalf of Republican candidates) should have their voices marginalized doesn't exactly go a long way in busting a 12-year losing streak in statewide races.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Pretty awesome way for a country to celebrate its 70th birthday.

Sixty-nine years after Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital, and 23 years after the US Congress passed a law mandating that Washington move its embassy there, the US formally opened its embassy in the city on Monday afternoon, in a move Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called "courageous" and "momentous."

"What a glorious day. Remember this moment!" Netanyahu entreated the applauding crowd. "President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history. All of us are deeply moved. All of us are deeply grateful."

"Last December, President Trump became the first world leader to recognize Jerusalem as our capital, and today, the United States of America is opening its embassy right here in Jerusalem," Netanyahu said. "Thank you President Trump, for having the courage to keep your promises!"

In a video address to the assembly, US President Donald Trump said the move was "a long time coming," and that Israel, like all sovereign nations, has a right to name its own capital.

Trump mentioned that the US would still be observing the status quo in terms of contested territories such as on Temple Mount.

"The US will always be a great friend of Israel and a partner in the cause of freedom and peace," Trump said. "We extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and to all of their neighbors. May there be peace. May God bless this embassy. May God bless all who serve here and may God bless the United States of America."

The occasion was marred somewhat due to approximately 35,000 "protesters" storming the Israeli border to show their outrage over this move. As of Monday evening, more than 50 were killed with hundreds more injured.

'Every country has the obligation to defend its borders,' Netanyahu said on Twitter.

'The Hamas terror organisation declares its intention to destroy Israel and send thousands to break through the border fence in order to achieve this aim. We will continue to act firmly in order to defend our sovereignty and our citizens.'

Naturally the American left used this incident to fortify its position that the U.S. embassy should not have been moved to Jerusalem. Of course they neglected to mention that the "protesters" who stormed the border weren't a bunch of unwashed millennials in the motif of Occupy Wall Street. Quite the contrary, as a fair number of these individuals were armed with grenades and Molotov cocktails (no word on if any leftists/media outlets attempted to blame a YouTube video).

Without a doubt, the U.S. Embassy moving to Jerusalem further solidifies an already strong alliance between America and Israel. This is especially timely in light of President Trump recently pulling out of that sham of a nuclear deal with Iran, which may have motivated Iran into launching missiles from nearby Syria.

I've had my issues with Trump (which I have documented here ad nauseum) and have long been skeptical that he'll be a successful president. However, this is an undeniable victory for his administration, his agenda and, most importantly, the United States of America.


Monday, May 14, 2018

Box Score of the Week

Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins -- September 29, 1986.


On May 11, Dustin Fowler of the Oakland A's collected his career first base hit in a game against the New York Yankees. It came against Yankees starter Sonny Gray, the player whom Oakland traded to the Yanks for Fowler and two others in July 2017. It's a pretty rare occurrence when a hitter gets his first MLB hit against a player for whom he was traded. 

In the game I featured this week, Cleveland's Jay Bell, on the very first pitch he ever saw in the big leagues, homered against Twins pitcher Bert Blyleven. It was Bell and three other players whom the Twins traded away in July 1985 in order to acquire Blyleven. 


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Now I'm lookin' at a flashback Sunday....

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms who definitely deserve more than one dedicated day! Whether you're a mom being celebrated or honoring your own mother on this day, I'll certainly understand if you have to catch today's edition of The Closer via podcast later on. But if indeed you can listen live, the broadcast will take place from 2:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time.

Among the news I'll explore includes the nonsensical haggling over Sen. John McCain's guest list at his funeral, some key U.S. Senate primary races this past Tuesday and Hillary Clinton looking everywhere but in the mirror for her 2016 election loss.

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 or, if you're near downtown Minneapolis/West Metro area, 107.5 FM 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.

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

Until then.....


Friday, May 11, 2018


I guess this qualifies as a sports story since it was on

Russian President Vladimir Putin scored five goals in an exhibition hockey game with former NHL stars on Thursday.

In what has become an annual tradition given ample airtime on state TV, Putin played on a "Legends of Hockey" team alongside big names of the past such as Pavel Bure and Slava Fetisov.

Sure, five goals is impressive. But I have to ask: how much resistance was put up against Putin in this game? I mean, critics of his administration have a tendency to...uh...."disappear" from time to time. What do you believe would've happened to members of an opposing hockey team had they made ol' Vladdy look bad on state TV? Can you say "Siberian polar bear feces??"


Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Quick Hits: Volume CLXIII

- There were three GOP senate primary elections which took place Tuesday, all three in states currently occupied by Democrats but in which Donald Trump prevailed eighteen months ago.

If Republicans flip just one U.S. Senate seat in November, that would all but seal their hold on the upper chamber. While West Virginia seems most likely among last night's three primary states (the others being Indiana and Ohio) to flip, GOP voters in that state were teetering on the brink of nominating their own version of Roy Moore by considering the nutty Don Blankenship. Yes, this was the same kook who denigrated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's family as well as referred to McConnell himself as "Cocaine Mitch."

Thankfully the WV Republican voters averted kicking away a winnable seat by nominating Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to oppose incumbent Dem Joe Manchin in November.

National Review's David French adequately summed up that result in one tweet:


- Between 2002-2004, three different young ladies disappeared in the Cleveland area via kidnapping. All three were eventually presumed dead.

But this week five years ago, a decade after the three went missing, they were rescued from a life of torture and sexual assault thanks to a man named Charles Ramsey, who lived down the street from the veritable house of horrors.

So how is Charles doing five years after his heroism? Cleveland news station WKYC caught up with him. Check out the interview here

- When a President of the United States takes unilateral action, it's only binding until the next president assumes office.

Other than the disastrous "Affordable" Care Act, there were very few substantive legislative items passed under then President Barack Obama's watch. So frustrated with the fact there are three co-equal branches of government, Obama made the famous declaration in early 2014 that if Congress didn't act, he would via executive fiat, regardless of his executive orders being deemed legally dubious.

Since President Trump assumed office 18 months ago, he has taken the proverbial sledgehammer to many Obama era unilateral decrees, most notably the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation and the Obamacare subsidies.

On Tuesday, it was the Iran nuclear accord, an agreement which was held in such high esteem by the Obama foreign policy team that former Secretary of State (and now private citizen) John Kerry was rumored to have been working to save it. Ah, but to no avail.

So with much of Obama's legacy now scuttled, one has to wonder how history will view his administration.

That's seems to be the most logical choice.


Tuesday, May 08, 2018

It's not politics, it's personal

I occasionally don't agree with Sen. John McCain on policy issues, but it doesn't hinder one iota my enormous respect for his service to our country. To be honest, I'm not sure where I align politically with President Donald Trump given his coarse behavior often overshadows any meandering he may offer on policy.

With all that said, I'm definitely with Sen. McCain on this one

The ailing Arizona Republican, who has brain cancer, is organizing his funeral – and close associates have told the White House that Trump will not be invited.

Instead, Vice President Mike Pence, who served with McCain in Congress, will be asked to attend the service, the New York Times reported Saturday. The ceremony will be held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

A stream of politicians, including former Vice President Joe Biden and former Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, have been visiting McCain at his Arizona ranch and a nearby hospital in recent weeks.

Trump’s long-running feud with McCain has roots in the early days of the 2016 presidential race. The senator criticized Trump for disparaging Mexican immigrants in the June 2015 speech in which he declared his candidacy.

Three weeks later, Trump called McCain “incompetent” and dismissed his experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

“He’s not a war hero,” Trump told an Iowa crowd. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

The personal barbs toward McCain really flew from Trumpkins when the Arizona senator essentially cast the deciding vote to kill the "skinny repeal" of Obamacare last July. Trump himself mocked McCain's "thumbs down" gesture in reference to that vote. That was especially despicable given McCain can barely lift his arms due to the torture he endured while a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Whether you like McCain personally or disagree with him politically, few can deny that he is (for better or worse) a convicted politician. So the idea that he voted to kill the "skinny repeal" just to stick it to Trump is (to be charitable) a stretch.

If McCain were really out to defy Trump (or, dare I say, RESIST), why did he vote for the "nuclear option" in the confirmation process of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court? McCain is as old school a senator as there is. Doing away with centuries of tradition was not something in which he was eager to partake, but he realized how irrational the Senate Democrats had behaved in their blocking a qualified jurist like Gorsuch. So I ask again: if his sole purpose in his remaining time in the U.S. Senate was to ding Trump, why did he support the president's hand-picked SCOTUS nominee?

Same thing can be said for tax reform. This has been the crown jewel of what has happened thus far in Trump's first term. McCain was very deliberate in considering the package and ultimately decided it would be a benefit to his constituents. The fact Trump supported it and was involved in crafting the legislation was a moot point.

At the end of the day, McCain is perfectly willing to have policy/political differences with any elected official while still respecting the individual. However, it's clear Trump is not hard-wired that way. He's still bitter over the fact McCain denied him a legislative victory with his scuttling of the Obamacare repeal. So why would McCain want at his funeral an individual who demeans his time as a P.O.W. as well as loathes him for doing his job the way he's always done it?

So for those of you who are using this story as a way to further impugn McCain's character? Jonah Goldberg sums it beautifully:



Monday, May 07, 2018

Box Score of the Week

Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox -- April 10, 2014.


Indians starter Danny Salazar got only 11 outs this game, but ten of those eleven outs came via strikeout. As such, Salazar was the first starting pitcher in MLB history to record at least 10 Ks without getting through four innings. 


Sunday, May 06, 2018

So the room must listen to me, filibuster vigilantly.....

Another Sunday, yet another edition of my radio program The Closer. The one-hour broadcast gets started at 2:00 PM Central Time.

We'll discuss the latest in Minnesota politics, including interim U.S. Senator Tina Flint-Smith receiving a challenger in the 2018 Democrat primary. Also, GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson received an endorsement from Carol Molnau, who served as former governor (and current gov candidate) Tim Pawlenty's lieutenant governor. Is this really a game changer in the race for Republican nomination?

At 2:30 I will welcome to the Patriot bunker John Heinrich, who is the Republican endorsed candidate for MN House out of House District 35A (my home district, which covers Anoka and most of Ramsey). With incumbent Abigail Whelan not seeking reelection, this is now an open seat in the 2018 midterms.

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 or, if you're near downtown Minneapolis/West Metro area, 107.5 FM 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.

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

Until then.....


Saturday, May 05, 2018

Call me crazy....

....but I see multiple instances of cultural appropriation.


Friday, May 04, 2018

Help a brother out

Hey all. For those who follow me on social media, you may have seen a blurb about an upcoming 4K run (approximately 2.5 miles) in which I'm partaking. It's a run to raise awareness for homeless youth, an issue I personally have underestimated.

Anyhow, since the run is taking place this evening, there is still ample opportunity to donate to the cause on behalf of Team Miss Minnesota 2017 (click here). My friend Kate Ziegler, who is the Community Outreach Coordinator with Hope 4 Youth as well as a two-time Miss MN contestant, recruited me to be part of her team. Not only will I be by far the oldest member of our group but also the only male. Eh, whatever. I'm all for pitching in on behalf of a great cause. 😊

Thanks for your support!


Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Painting a messy picture

So what was supposed to be little drama on the Democrat side of the race for Al Franken's former U.S. Senate seat has suddenly become an interesting sideshow.

A former White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush who is a prominent critic of President Donald Trump announced his run for Senate as a Democrat in Minnesota on Monday.

Speaking at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Richard Painter announced that he is seeking to unseat Sen. Tina Smith, the Democrat who was appointed last year to the seat left behind by former Sen. Al Franken, who resigned following allegations that he touched women inappropriately.

Painter is currently a law professor at the University of Minnesota, but as of late has been extremely vocal about his objections to Trump and the current state of the Republican Party. His Twitter feed is full of digs at the President and he can often be spotted on cable television criticizing the administration.

The first midterm election in the first term of a sitting U.S. president is often difficult for that POTUS's political party. It looks to be even that much more formidable for Republicans in 2018 given Trump's approval rating remains underwater. However, Minnesota's prospects for the GOP are actually advantageous given that two House races (CDs 1 & 8, both currently occupied by Dems) are open seats which both went overwhelmingly for Trump in November 2016. Even DFL chair Ken Martin acknowledges that going after Trump this cycle in Minnesota may not necessarily be the best course of action.

Trump’s voters are “pretty much solid behind him, at least in Minnesota — they’re still sticking with him,” said Martin, the state DFL chair. “A lot of [the national Democratic Party’s] messaging has been anti-Trump, but that’s not a winning strategy in this state.”

So while Painter's bullishness on impeaching Trump may play well with the DFL metrocrats and others within the party's base, it would be a detriment to his statewide campaign if he were somehow able to defeat Smith for the Democrat nomination. With that in mind, those of us who support GOP candidate (and, for purposes of full disclosure, my friend) Karin Housley to prevail in this race may well have a more ample opportunity for victory if Painter gets the Dem nod.

Even if Painter doesn't prevail on the DFL side, the fact he's taking this to the August primary may well force the Dems to spend money on a race which wasn't even up for election a mere six months ago. And the less they have to spend on their vulnerable incumbents in states like West Virginia, Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri, the better chance the GOP has to hang on to (or perhaps increase) their scant Senate majority (it currently stands at 51-49). And that's regardless of what happens with Minnesota in November.

Popcorn's poppin'!


Tuesday, May 01, 2018

We live in very stupid times

I would be willing to bet that this was once an Onion post. As we have come to know all too well, yesterday's Onion story is likely today's reality.

Keziah Daum is not apologizing for wearing what she calls a "beautiful" Chinese cheongsam dress to her high school prom, despite receiving backlash from thousands of people online, some of whom called her a "closet racist" and accused her of cultural appropriation.

Daum, 18, posted an album of four prom pictures on Twitter on April 22 with the simple caption, "PROM." One of the photos in the album includes Daum crouching down in the traditional Chinese dress, posing with a group of her friends with their hands folded together — a gesture many deemed inappropriate.

It didn't take long for the Internet to respond. As of Monday evening, Daum's post has been retweeted nearly 4,400 times and now she's fielding hundreds of angry comments.

Good on Ms. Daum for not apologizing. The Twitter mob can be so relentless that it forces high profile adults to cave in and issue mea culpas for expressing benign opinions or having innocuous fun. But for an 18-year old young lady to give the wave off to the online fascists deserves tremendous props.

Look, I have a hard time believing that the vast majority of critical comments Ms. Daum received came from people who are genuinely offended by her attire. In fact, I would bet most (if not all of) the invective comes courtesy of a bunch of self-righteous, virtual-signaling ninnies who believe they're the proverbial Praetorian Guard of cultures which they believe are severely oppressed in Trump's America.

If we're to consider something like "cultural appropriation" as a genuine affront, National Review's David French ponders how we're suppose to navigate everyday life.

In a multi-ethnic, multi-racial culture like America’s, the potential for offense is unlimited.

(Moreover, who, exactly, is empowered to grant “permission” to wear clothing, cook food, or use language? Is there a central registry?

“Dear Commission on Social Justice, I’m hosting a weekend party and wanted to serve Mexican food and show off the pictures from my vacation in Cancun. Can I get guidance on appropriately respectful methods of preparation and décor?”

“Dear Commission on Social Justice, to follow up on my earlier request, can you also review my clothing purchases in Cancun? I tried to strike a balance between Mexican and European influences, but given the toxic European influence on Mexico, I fear that my efforts may have been infected by my unconscious cultural imperialism. Your counsel is deeply appreciated.”)

Just so we’re clear, the radical progressive position is (1) America’s borders should be flung wide open to people from every culture in the world; (2) when American white people encounter people from those hundreds of different cultures, they need to stay in their lane; and (3) white people staying as white as possible will help our nation totally unify and diversity will be our strength.

If we've come to learn anything about the proggie worldview, it's that it is neither rational nor intellectually consistent.