Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Quick Hits: Volume CCXXXIV

- Lefty legal analyst (and confirmed dirt bag) Jeffrey Toobin let it all hang out during an online video meeting on last week. 

Vice reported earlier Monday that Toobin had exposed himself during a Zoom meeting with staffers of the New Yorker and WNYC radio.

In a statement Monday afternoon, the New Yorker said Toobin had been "suspended while we investigate the matter." It declined further comment. A CNN spokesperson said in a statement that "Jeff Toobin has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted."

Toobin told Vice that he "made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera," adding, "I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers."

In the radio biz, we're always told the best way to avoid saying something objectionable in the studio is to assume your microphone is always "hot." So in the era where video conferencing is so pervasive, always assume the camera is on. 

So Toobin thought the camera was off. I guess I can buy that. But this opens up a larger question, specifically was he in the habit of doing this regularly when his video was muted? On second thought....I don't wanna know. 

- The World Series begins Tuesday evening with the Tampa Bays Rays taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers. It's a matchup of the haves (Dodgers) and the have-nots (Rays) in terms of payroll. Many would have preferred to see a rematch of the 2017 series pitting the Houston Asterisks Astros against the Dodgers, specifically because many L.A. faithful believe the Astros' cheating their way through the '17 season helped put them over the top that year. But whatever, I love this matchup. 

I'm going with the Dodgers to capture their first World Series title in 31 years. I say L.A. in six. 

- Failed Democrat presidential candidate Fauxcahontas Elizabeth Warren made a visit to Minnesota this past weekend on behalf of the Joe Biden presidential campaign. Each of three events she attended were sparsely populated, but the Biden campaign (as well as MN Democrats) insisted none were open to the public due to COVID. 

Recently President Trump's campaign significantly reduced ad buys in Minnesota and Wisconsin, yet you can't go an entire hour of prime time TV viewing in the Twin Cities/Western Wisconsin without a Biden pitch. So if Biden truly has Minnesota in the bag like every Democrat presidential candidate has since 1976, why is there so much focus on this state? And why would a supposedly environmentally conscious U.S. Senator like Warren burn so much jet fuel to attend three minuscule events in Minnesota? 

I'm still very skeptical that Trump prevails in Minnesota, but it's clear the Dems are privy to what they consider worrisome polling data.


Monday, October 19, 2020

It was a legendary run

 I think Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse summed it up best. 

Also, I don't believe I have to clarify who "Sid" is. Like Bud or Harmon or Kirby, just the first name "Sid" sufficed whenever the conversation steered to the Minnesota sports scene. 

I often joked about Sid Hartman's longevity and how he reminded me of the character Paul Edgecomb in the movie The Green Mile, in that he was tabbed to outlive everybody he ever knew. However, in this era of COVID-19, a lot of things have happened prematurely.

From Sid's son Chad Hartman

“I want to make it clear — he didn’t die from COVID — but COVID took away the enjoyment from his life by making him stay home,” his son said later. “It took away the chance to see the people he liked. It took away his zest, not being able to go four, five different places every day and to laugh, to get on people and have them get on him.”

I also surmised over the years that if Sid ever quit working he wouldn't last more than a year. From everything I've gathered in the decades since I first became aware of this giant figure is that he desperately needed validation despite being on a first name basis with literal Hall of Famers in multiple sports. As such, a simple declaration of "Rest in peace, Sid" would, per Reusse, be considered the ultimate insult. 

I was in the middle of doing my weekly radio program on Sunday afternoon when news of Sid's passing became public. My phone was blowing up with messages from family and friends who were well aware of my fascination with Sid, including the first time I ever met him in person. A number of years ago I participated in the 4th annual Sid Hartman Sound Alike Contest. I was chosen as one of eight contestants to perform a two-minute bit imitating Sid in front of the crowd gathered at the WCCO broadcast center at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. From there, the panel of judges would select the three best impersonations to compete for the ultimate prize in the finals: A personal dinner with Sid at Murray's (the running joke was "What do the losers get? Two dinners with Sid?").

I was the first of eight contestants that day. Emcee and WCCO radio host John Williams asked if I listen to Sid's sports updates regularly on 'CCO. I quipped, "Eh. As little as possible." Upon the audience erupting in laughter, Sid turned to meteorologist Mike Lynch (who was serving as one of the judges) and asked what I had said. When Lynch conveyed that information to him, Sid turned to me and said "That took care of you, you aren't gonna win." Alas, he was correct.

Before the contest even started, all eight participants were gathered inside the 'CCO booth to receive some general instructions from the promotions guy. Shortly thereafter, Charlie Boone (he of the legendary Boone & Erickson 'CCO morning show) came to introduce himself to us. As he chatted with we contestants, Mr. Boone indicated that this particular contest would likely be the final one (it was) and that we should enjoy Sid as much as possible. Charlie's rationale was that, given Sid's advanced age, he probably would not be up to venturing out to the MN State Fair as often, if at all.

That was in 1995. Twenty Five years ago. Sid literally worked until he died, as his final column was published in Sunday's Star Tribune. 

One friend in particular who reached out to me Sunday was Ben Kruse of the Up And At' Em Show podcast. Ben invited myself and fellow Sid admirer Kelly Gunderson on Monday morning's podcast to share our remembrances (check it out here. Our segment begins about 42 minutes in). 

The phrase "There will never be another like him" gets overused. But in the case of Sid Hartman, it couldn't be more spot on. 



Box Score of the Week (Final one of 2020)

The World Series matchup is now set, so let's take a look at a Fall Classic contest this week. Game 7 of the 2017 series featuring the Houston Asterisks Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

You're funny and you don't know why......

A mere 16 days until Election Day, so the weekly Northern Alliance Radio Network broadcasts are getting busier. Today's edition of my radio show The Closer gets started at 1:00 PM Central Time. 

It's a guest intensive show today: 

- 1:30 - MN State Senator Karin Housley, who is seeking reelection in MN SD39 (Forest Lake, St. Croix River Valley area). 

- 1:45 - Dan Schneider, Executive Director with the American Conservative Union, will join the broadcast to promote CPAC-Minnesota taking place this Thursday, October 22 in Prior Lake. 

 - 2:00 - Zach Duckworth, MN State Senate candidate in MN SD58 (Farmington, Lakeville)

- 2:30 - Pam Myhra, MN House candidate in MN HD56A (Burnsville, Savage). 

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we plan on addressing. 

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 as well as Amazon Alexa (just say "Alexa, play The Patriot Minneapolis")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, October 15, 2020

Dystopian stuff

On principle, I agree wholeheartedly with the notion that private enterprises have a right to free association. Specifically, I have no issue with tech giants like Facebook and Twitter rooting out content they find objectionable, particularly when said content runs afoul of their established user policies. 

All that said, people like me are finding it more difficult to defend these tech giants against regulation.

When Facebook and Twitter starting spiking any references to New York Post story that was unflattering to current Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, their rationale left a lot to be desired. 

Facebook Communications Director Andy Stone, a former Democratic staffer, announced that the social media platform would limit the article's distribution pending a fact-checker's review. He directed users to Facebook policy, which states that "in many countries, including in the US, if we have signals that a piece of content is false, we temporarily reduce its distribution pending review by a third-party fact-checker."

While Facebook is within its rights to take action against content it believes is factually misleading, this seems like a tough standard to enforce evenly. News articles in the mainstream press frequently contain information that is thinly or anonymously sourced, and sometimes proves to be inaccurate. It's one thing for social media platforms to take swift action against viral content that is very obviously false or incendiary, like conspiracy theories about coronavirus miracle cures or voter fraud. It's quite another for the platform to essentially make itself a gatekeeper of legitimate journalism, or a very selective media watchdog that appears to be more concerned about bad reporting when it comes from right-leaning outlets than left-leaning outlets, given the partisan leanings of social media company's internal policy setters.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's lame attempt at spin.

The thread Jack linked to referenced "personal information" in the Post article and thus was in violation of its "Hacked Materials" policy. The thing is, Twitter didn't concern itself with the New York Times story of President Trump's tax returns and how they were quite likely obtained by the Times illegally. Also, the infamous Trump-Russia dossier was widely available on the platform when Buzzfeed submitted it in its entirety. 

In the end, these social media sites want it both ways in that they enjoy the protection of being platforms (i.e. not responsible for content posted by its users) yet want us to believe they're morally bound to censoring what they (and they alone) deem as questionable material. And isn't it amazing that the corrective action only flows in one ideological direction? This is true Orwellian sh*t we're dealing with. 


Wednesday, October 14, 2020


I'm guessing if House Speaker Marie Antoinette Nancy Pelosi had known she was going to get pressed on her politicization of the COVID-19 relief package, she likely would have declined to sit down with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer. 

You know she lost her sh*t when she referred to CNN as apologists for Republicans. 

This veritable meltdown by Speaker Pelosi is the natural consequence when one is used to softball interviews where $13 pints of ice cream and fancy refrigerators are the main topics discussed. 


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Quick Hits: Volume CCXXXIII

- Barring unforeseen circumstances (like a slew of GOP U.S. Senators contracting COVID-19 😞), Judge Amy Coney Barrett will be confirmed as the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice within a couple of weeks. The Democrats know this, which is why their opening statements on Monday focused less on Judge Barrett and more on anti-Trump chanting points. 

You know how else we know Judge Barrett's confirmation is a fait accompli? The disgusting personal attacks against her and her family. 

I've said it many times before and I'll say it again here. There is nothing more bigoted and intolerant than "progressives" speaking about both women & minorities who are of the conservative ilk. 

- Wow. The great beyond sure is assembling itself quite the MLB roster with the cavalcade of stars who have passed away in the year 2020. 


Not included in this list is pitcher Don Larsen. Even though he's not a Hall of Famer like the others, Larsen has the distinction of tossing the only Perfect Game in MLB postseason history. 

By the time I became a baseball fan in the late 1970s, the aforementioned players were either retired or in the twilight of their careers. Nevertheless, I've consumed enough baseball books and documentaries to ascertain the enormous impact of each of those players.  

- Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has been in Congress nearly a half century. She'll likely have that seat as long as she desires. Nevertheless, it's heartening to see bold Republicans step up in an attempt to at least make her earn her electoral victories. 

If there's ever been an opportunity for the GOP to at least make inroads in urban areas, it's now, especially in light of the pervasive rioting and looting major cities have endured in 2020. And every last one of those areas has been under progressive rule for decades at the federal, state and local levels.

Abraham Lincoln once said "The probability we may fail in the struggle ought not deter us from support of a cause we believe to be just." Even if candidates like Collins as well as Kimberly Klacik in Baltimore and Lacy Johnson in Minneapolis peel off 5%-10% of the usual 65+% attained by Democrats in those respective cities, that would go a long way in moving the needle. 


Monday, October 12, 2020

Box Score of the Week

It's League Championship Series time! 

Let's check out Game 5 of the 1976 ALCS - Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees


Chris Chambliss' home run in the bottom of the ninth inning sent the Yankees to the World Series. So delirious were the hometown fans, they stormed the field with many mobbing Chambliss as he rounded the bases. He never did touch home plate, instead running for his life to the home dugout. Shortly thereafter, a couple of uniformed security guards escorted Chambliss from the clubhouse to the area where the plate used to be (some ambitious fan stole it in the melee) in order for him to officially step on it. 


Sunday, October 11, 2020

They say it's kinda frightnin' how this younger generation swings.....

T-23 days until Election Day, so the frenzied pace on the Northern Alliance Radio Network continues. My 2-hour radio program The Closer gets started at 1:00 PM Central Time. 

In the first hour I'll recap the vice presidential debate from this past Wednesday, specifically how it proved that VP Mike Pence has been way underutilized by the Trump administration. Speaking of Trump, he continually undermines his own reelection prospects. 

Then in the second hour I will be joined in studio by two different MN House candidates. It'll be Megan Olson (GOP candidate in 57A - Apple Valley & Lakeville) at 2:00 pm and then Bill Maresh (GOP candidate in 36A - Champlin & Coon Rapids) at 2:30. 

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we plan on addressing. 

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 as well as Amazon Alexa (just say "Alexa, play The Patriot Minneapolis")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, October 09, 2020

Progressivism and anti-Trumpism are mental disorders

I saw a story the other day where insufferable blowhard Keith Olbermann was leaving his job at ESPN to commit to full time anti-Trump commentary. And in other news, KEITH OLBERMANN WAS WORKING FOR ESPN AGAIN. 

But I digress. 

So was this his first day on the job?

In all seriousness, I take no pleasure in watching this unhinged lunacy. Impotent raging like this is sadly indicative of what we're seeing from media elites, Hollywood types, etc. in the era of Trump. And the fact many of these same people will give off a euphoric, happy-go-lucky facade  if Joe Biden is elected President will just confirm some sort of psychosis. 

I'm genuinely sorrowful on behalf of those who are invested in the idea of deifying government. 


Thursday, October 08, 2020

Veep debate

I actually enjoyed Wednesday's vice presidential debate, particularly because VP Mike Pence dismantled Democrat Veep candidate Kamala Harris. It also further crystallized why Harris was the most over-hyped presidential candidate among the 20+ who made a run to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.

What we also witnessed Wednesday evening was the main reason why Biden was committed from day one to selecting a woman of color to be his running mate. The rationale of course was to insulate her from criticism whenever she's attacked substantively or has her record pored over. Sure enough, Harris set the tone early by continually uttering some variation of "Excuse me. I'm talking, please don't interrupt me" when Pence addressed her. So whenever the Vice President was tough (but fair) in his assessment of the Biden-Harris record or corrected blatant misstatements from Harris, he was accused of (SURPRISE!) "mansplaining." For all the bitching some people have engaged in over women allegedly not having an equal opportunity to be on a presidential ticket, they sure do get the vapors when a woman (specifically a Democrat woman) finally has that chance but is actually pressed under the same harsh scrutiny as a male candidate. 

If there was one main takeaway I had from this debate it's how Pence is orders of magnitude more coherent in defending President Trump and his policies than Trump himself. VP Pence is a fantastic messenger while always speaking with great composure. I've always known this about him, which is why I was heartened when Trump assigned Pence the role of heading up the coronavirus task force 6+ months ago. But as Trump is wont to do, he undermined the efforts, including inserting himself into the daily COVID-19 briefings which eventually turned into some of the more bizarre ramblings of his presidency. Had he just allowed the unflappable Pence to run things as he saw fit, I can't help but think Americans would have felt more reassurance in how the government is enacting its response. 

As much as we right-of-center politicos were energized by Pence's debate performance, it was deflated by Thursday morning when Trump declared he would not participate in a virtual debate with Biden next week. This was after the Presidential Debate Commission determined it's best to take such precautions in light of the President being diagnosed with COVID-19 less than a week earlier. For all the speculation Trump et al engaged in over Biden looking for a way out of the debates, it was the President himself who cuts and runs. 

One final thought. Does anyone else believe that the Veep debate matchup which occurred Wednesday evening may well be the presidential card we'll witness in 2024?


Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Special NARN broadcast

 From AM 1280 The Patriot's Facebook page

Tune in tonight on AM 1280 The Patriot as we bring you live debate coverage starting at 7pm and post-debate coverage with Mitch Berg and Brad Carlson of the Northern Alliance Radio Network. Mitch & Brad will be joined by Kyle Hooten of Alpha News starting at 9:30pm. Tune in on AM 1280 or online at AM1280ThePatriot.com. Debate night coverage is brought to you in part by Alpha News.

As I mentioned in a post last week, tonight's Veep debate has some extra significance given President Trump's recent bout with COVID had the potential to force Vice President Pence to assume power briefly. And if Joe Biden is elected next month, his running mate Kamala Harris would be elevated to POTUS if Biden (like many voters believe) does not get through an entire four years.

Buckle up!


Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Quick Hits: Volume CCXXXII

 - If I had to predict, I would say President Trump loses reelection this November. It didn't have to be this way, particularly if the man had any ounce of message discipline. I get that one of Trump's most appealing traits is his lack of being the typical politician, in that he's willing to say what's on his mind, consequences be damned. 

All that said, Trump missed a great opportunity to combine facts with a sound political message when it came to his own bout with COVID-19.

If Mr. Trump recovered quickly from his bout with the coronavirus and then appeared sympathetic to the public in how he talked about his own experience and that of millions of other Americans, he could have something of a political reset. The health crisis, one campaign official said, was a setback in a re-election campaign that polls have shown him losing for months, but also a chance to demonstrate a new stance toward the virus that might win over some voters.

And the president could use that to show from now until the second presidential debate, scheduled for Oct. 15, that the disease is serious but can be combated, and that he was ready to re-enter the campaign.

While that was the hope, it was severely undermined over the last few days by the president’s own behavior — no more so than Monday when he tweeted to the nation “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life!” without acknowledging that, as president, he gets far better care than the average citizen. His comments signaled a far likelier reality: that the erratic handling of his illness by Mr. Trump and his aides will remind voters of his administration’s failures and efforts to play down the deadly pandemic for six months.

The President then exacerbated his erratic behavior regarding the virus by taking to Twitter on Tuesday and essentially saying the COVID pandemic is no worse than the flu despite raw data showing the exact opposite.

While the chances are nonzero that Trump will be reelected, his continued self-inflicted wounds leave very little hope that a sudden turnaround will occur. 

- On the other hand, here's a very unscientific trend on how things look hopeful for Trump. 

This past Sunday, the Colts defeated the Bears 19-11.

I guess my friend (and Bears bobo) Mitch Berg is incorrect when he proclaims "the Chicago Bears' fortunes tend to be a leading indicator for the nation as a whole."

- It'll never cease being creepy when people view government in this manner. 

Sorry, but my happiness (to say nothing of my survival) is not predicated upon who represents us in government. This is why there is such a huge divide in this country, because one side looks to make government as inconsequential as possible whereas Mrs. Obama's side views it as the potential to be a deity. Might wanna search your own heart there, Michelle. 


Monday, October 05, 2020

Box Score of the Week

The AL & NL division series begin this week. This week's featured game is the Boston Red Sox taking on the Cleveland Indians in Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS


After one of the more dominating regular seasons a starting pitcher has ever had (23-4, 2.07 ERA with 313 strikeouts in only 213-1/3 innings pitched), Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez put in a stellar performance as a reliever this game. Martinez pitched the final six innings of this contest, allowing no hits despite enduring back problems. This game capped Boston's rally from a 2-0 series deficit, propelling them to the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. 


Sunday, October 04, 2020

We'll have a breath of sunshine when the rain goes away.....

 Exactly 30 days until Election Day, so it's a sprint to the finish on the Northern Alliance Radio Network. Today's broadcast of my 2-hour program The Closer will get started at 1:00 PM Central Time. 

In the first hour I'll discuss the ramifications of President Trump contracting COVID-19 so close to the election. I will also weigh in on the first presidential debate from this past Tuesday. 

In the second hour I will welcome to the Patriot bunker a pair of GOP candidates seeking to flip DFL-held seats in the MN House. At 2:00 I will be joined by Fern Smith, who is running in HD 51B (Eagan), and Roz Peterson, who is running in HD 56B (Burnsville and Lakeville). 

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we plan on addressing. 

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 as well as Amazon Alexa (just say "Alexa, play The Patriot Minneapolis")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, October 03, 2020

Just throwin' this out there.....

There hasn't been this much certainty that Donald Trump will lose an election since October 2016 when that infamous TMZ audio was released. 

That's all.


Friday, October 02, 2020

Not totally shocking

When it was announced that one of President Trump's close aides, Hope Hicks, tested positive for COVID-19, many wondered aloud if Trump would be able to continue dodging the coronavirus bullet. 

Unfortunately he could not

President Trump announced early Friday that both he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19 and will quarantine at the White House, sending shockwaves through the political universe and igniting an outpouring of support for the first family.

Both the president and the first lady are experiencing mild symptoms of the novel coronavirus, the White House said.

“As all of you know the president and the first lady tested positive for COVID-19,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters at the White House Friday. “They remain in good spirits.”

“The president does have mild symptoms, and as we look to try to make sure that not only his health and safety and welfare is good, we continue to look at that for all of the American people,” Meadows continued, adding that he is not only "in good spirits, but very energetic.”

This isn't entirely surprising when you consider that Trump has continued to hold campaign rallies (albeit outdoors) among hundreds of people crushed together, typically in airport hangar type settings. The relative good news here is the President is tested frequently and was likely tested immediately before Tuesday's presidential debate. As such, this ailment was probably caught as soon as humanly possible. Combine that with the "mild" symptoms he is enduring, Trump is expected to recover fully within a 2-week time frame. 

The fact this news occurred a mere 32 days before Election Day throws into question how this will affect Trump's reelection prospects should he remain in the race. Given that approval ratings of Trump's response to the pandemic have been underwater for some time, his contracting the virus certainly is not going to help his electoral prospects. This may also somewhat vindicate his opponent, Joe Biden, for knocking off campaign activities early for several days this past month. No doubt the Biden camp will spin it as his merely being cautious given we are so close to November 3, particularly in light of Trump's diagnosis. 

What this saga also means is there will be extra emphasis added to Wednesday's debate pitting Vice President Mike Pence against Biden's running mate Kamala Harris. While we're told Trump's symptoms are "mild," we can't ignore how a 74-year old overweight man contracting COVID means he's more susceptible to lingering issues than, say, a healthy 20-something coming down with the virus. With that in mind, Pence absolutely has to be ready to assume the reins of the reelection campaign, maybe even current presidential tasks. And there have been plenty of polls suggesting that many Americans do not believe Biden, if elected, has the wherewithal to endure an entire four years as POTUS, so whomever his Veep candidate is holds extra significance. 

The raging dumpster fire that is 2020 never ceases to stupefy.