Friday, December 30, 2011

The Joy of Sak's

Sak's Sports Bar in Vadnais Heights Thursday evening was the site of 1500 ESPN's final NFL trivia contest of the season. Having participated in a handful of contests this year (and having reached the championship round TWICE without a victory), tonight was my final opportunity to win the coveted $100 cash prize!

There was a record number of participants in the opening round, as 30 people/teams took the opening written quiz, which was worth 19 points. The sixteen best scores were then eligible to face-off in the "Family Feud" style bracket tournament. We were given a pre-contest tip by emcees Tom Pelissero and Phil Mackey to know the history of the Vikings' regular season finales.

As is normally the case, I rolled the opening quiz, thus earning the 5th seed in Thursday's tournament.

To recap:

Round One
Jerry Burns coached his final game as Vikings head coach in 1991. Who was the Vikings' starting QB in that season's final regular season game?

Brad (buzzing in first): Rich Gannon (correct)

Brad wins!!!!!!

Round Two (Best 2 of 3)
Name the QB who has thrown the most Week 17 TD passes since 2000.

Brad (buzzing in first): Brett Favre (correct)

1-0, Brad

Name the last QB who was selected #2 overall in the NFL draft.

Sam (buzzing in first): Jamarcus Russell (incorrect)
Brad: Rick Mirer (incorrect)
Sam: {no guess}
Brad: Ryan Leaf (incorrect)

Correct answer was Donovan McNabb in 1999.

Still 1-0, Brad

Cris Carter caught his final touchdown as Viking from which QB?

Brad (buzzing in first): Todd Bouman (incorrect)
Sam: Brad Johnson (incorrect)
Brad: Daunte Culpepper (CORRECT)

Brad wins, 2-0

FINAL FOUR (best 2 of 3, category questions)
There are currently six players this season who have rushed for at least 1,000 yards in addition to having at least 300 yards receiving. Name them.

Brad (buzzing first): LeSean McCoy (correct)
Jermichaels: Maurice Jones-Drew (correct)
Brad: Arian Foster (correct)
Jermichaels: Steven Jackson (correct)
Brad: Ray Rice (correct)
Jermichaels: Frank Gore (INCORRECT)

Brad leads, 1-0

In the 2010 regular season finale, Vikings QB Joe Webb completed passes to nine different players. Name them.

Brad (buzzing in first): Sidney Rice (INCORRECT)
Jermichaels: Visanthe Shiancoe (correct)

Tied, 1-1

In the 2001 regular season finale, Vikings QB Spergon Wynn completed passes to six different players. Name them.

Brad (buzzing in first): Michael Bennett (correct)
Jermichaels: Randy Moss (correct)
Brad: Jake Reed (correct)
Jermichaels: Cris Carter (correct)
Brad: Doug Chapman (INCORRECT)
Jermichaels (for the win): Jim Kleinsasser (INCORRECT)
Brad: Byron Chamberlain (CORRECT)

BRAD WINS, 2-1!!!!

Championship Round (Best 3 of 5, category questions)
In 2007, RB Adrian Peterson was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Name the other ten running backs taken within the first four rounds.

Nine-time champ Brendan (buzzing in first): Marshawn Lynch (correct)
Brad: Rashard Mendenhall (INCORRECT; drafted in round one in 2008. CLOSE!)

1-0, Brendan

This Sunday, Jim Kleinsasser will play his final NFL game. Kleinsasser was drafted in 1999. Name the other seven players drafted by the Vikings that year.

Brad (buzzing in first): Jay Humphrey (correct)
Brendan: Daunte Culpepper (correct)
Brad: Dimitrius Underwood (correct)
Brendan: {no guess}

1-1 tie

In the 51-year history of the Vikings, there have been seven players who donned the Vikes' uniform whose last name began with 'Y'. Name them.

Brendan (buzzing in first): Albert Young (correct)
Brad: Rickey Young (correct)
Brendan: Ron Yary (correct)
Brad (taking all 15 seconds): Uhh.....Sam Young? (INCORRECT)

2-1, Brendan

Drew Brees broke Dan Marino's single-season passing yardage record of 5,084. Other than Marino, name the 10 QBs who have more career passing yardage than Brees.

Brendan (buzzing in first): Peyton Manning (correct)
Brad: Brett Favre (correct)
Brendan: John Elway (correct)
Brad: Fran Tarkenton (correct)
Brendan: Warren Moon (correct)
Brad: Steve Young (INCORRECT)

Brendan wins, 3-1

Yes, one could say that I personify my favorite NFL club in that I get to the big game only to fall short.

Sure, I lost out on the hundred bucks. But I did receive consolation prizes in the form of a black Coors Light t-shirt (got a white one last month) and two tickets to the Traxxas National ISOC Snocross & Freestyle, which will take place next weekend at Canterbury Park.

So there's that.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Lost in emotion

My friend Brittany, who's a staffer at the Republican National Committee, made a very savvy observation a couple of months ago regarding President Obama's reelection prospects in 2012. She basically said the Obama campaign will vie for the emotional vote since the intellectual vote is out of play.

My how Brit's prescience is playing out perfectly.

Let's start with the agreement to end the Iraq war. In less than 24 hours after announcing the draw down of US forces in Iraq by the end of 2011, the Obama reelection team sent out a campaign letter patting themselves on the back for keeping one of their central promises. Of course the emotional component was how all the troops would be home for Christmas, for which Obama et al were quick to accept full credit. But the intellectual aspect of this issue tells us that the exit strategy was agreed upon by the Iraqis and the Bush administration in late 2008. In addition, the withdrawal date was kept only after the Obama administration failed to secure an extended stay in Iraq. The region was still rather unstable, so prominent Pentagon officials advised that there still be a presence. Sadly, with US forces having been gone approximately one week, multiple explosions occurred in Baghdad Thursday, resulting in multiple fatalities.

How about Obamacare? Despite the Supreme Court of the United States blocking out three days in March for hearings on the law's Constitutionality, the Obama administration is touting the supposed wonderful attributes of the new bill, specifically how young adults can remain on their parents' health insurance until age 26. The emotional highlight is that 2.5 million more younger Americans will have healthcare under this new law. That's good, right? Ah, but that darn intellectual component just throws cold water on the whole thing. Such a provision of allowing young adults to remain on Mom and Dad's coverage is already causing premiums to rise. Lest we forget, the major provisions of the bill are not even slated to take effect until 2014. What will that do to healthcare costs???

But the coup de grace of "emotionalism" took place during this whole "payroll tax holiday" debacle. From the beginning, President Obama was looking to extend the payroll tax cut for another year. In exchange for this agreement, the Congressional Republicans attempted to negotiate expedition of a review of the Keystone XL pipeline, which many argue would create thousands of jobs as well as giving us more access to our own source of energy, thus lessening dependence on foreign oil. Yet when the Senate inexplicably passed only a two month extension of the payroll tax (a logistical nightmare to implement according to people familiar with...y' business works) and the GOP-controlled House voted it down because they wanted to pass a one-year pact, what do you suppose the spin was? Yep, according to the President, those awful Republicans are denying tax relief to the middle class....even though they were acquiescing to Obama's wishes of one entire year of maintaining the lower rates. Facts are, the continued lower payroll tax rate means less money going into Social Security, thus perpetuating this absurd practice of deficit spending. That's the argument that should have been made at the outset.

These examples provide a clear-cut strategy to defeat the President in 2012. Now the onus is on Republicans (Presidential and Congressional candidates) to make the intellectual case to voters. As Michelle Malkin noted last month, it's high time somebody offers "Concrete solutions (as opposed) to kick-the-can-down-the-road fecklessness.”


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It happened thirty years ago today

It was 30 years ago today, December 20, 1981, when the Minnesota Vikings played their final game at Metropolitan Stadium --- and I was there!

The temperature was only in single digits but I didn’t care. It was an opportunity to see my favorite Vikes in person. Back then, the purple-helmeted warriors were still coached by the legendary Bud Grant and led by the likes of QB Tommy Kramer and receivers Ahmad Rashad & Sammy White.

With the Vikings trailing the Kansas City Chiefs 10-6 late in the game, Kramer led the Vikings down the field in one last quest for victory. Alas, the Vikes came up short as Kramer’s fourth down pass to TE Joe Senser in the end zone was broken up.

My brother Eric had brought along a Vikings pennant flag autographed by Rashad. Eric was so disgusted at the outcome that he threw said flag onto the field and exclaimed “VIKINGS SUCK!”

As we were walking to the car, I suddenly began to limp. Within seconds, it felt as though my feet were going to fall off. Yes, it appeared I was stricken with a slight case of frost bite. Of course, being only 12-years old, you would have thought I was shot in the foot with a .357 magnum. A family friend ended up performing the fireman’s carry in order to get me to the car.

Picture that. A guy in his late 20s with a kid dressed like Randy from the movie A Christmas Story draped over his shoulder.



Monday, December 19, 2011

Mike Jungbauer for Majority Leader

In light of the resignation of MN State Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, my personal State Senator is throwing his proverbial hat in the ring for the leadership position.

I like Mike Jungbauer a lot, and would be hard pressed to name anyone more well spoken on policy.

Give him a listen.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

I was drowned, I was washed up and left for dead...

With all the news that has taken place this past week, it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring in reinforcements for today's installment of The Closer. So in a fortuitous concatenation of events, I had already booked Jack Tomczak and Benjamin Kruse of the local nightly radio show The Late Debate to appear on the program this afternoon. From 1:00 pm until 3:00 Central time on AM 1280 The Patriot, the three of us will delve into several topics on both the local and national levels.

In the first hour, we'll look at the state of the MN GOP. Whether it's scandals regarding caucus leaders or party chair candidates, we'll discuss the fallout as well as the future of the party itself.

In the second hour, we'll check out the national political scene, including the GOP Presidential race and the ending of the Iraq war.

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

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.

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

Until then.....


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Godspeed, Senator Koch (UPDATE: Whoa!)

I fully admit that I had ZERO clue this was coming.

After just one year on the job, Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch suddenly announced she was resigning from the post because she would not seek reelection.

"We cannot afford a lame duck leader in negotiations next session, which is why I am resigning from my position as Majority Leader," she said in a letter.

You can read Senator Koch's entire letter here.

When state Republicans, in November 2010, won control of the Minnesota Senate for the first time since the early '70s, Koch shortly thereafter was named majority leader, becoming the first woman in Minnesota history to hold that title.

At this moment, there is little to go on as to why Sen. Koch will not seek re-election in 2012. Nevertheless, that doesn't preclude people like myself from speculating.

Despite the fact the legislature is in session only half the year, being leader of the majority caucus is literally a full-time (and then some) job. That leaves very little to no time for working to supplement the pittance of a salary earned by legislators, never mind a family life. With a daughter in 10th grade, it's quite possible Senator Koch felt as though she was missing out on too much family time. Since Koch herself is not a career politician, it's also possible she had grown quite weary of the nasty tone levied against her during the government shutdown in July or the fact she's been rather lukewarm on the polarizing issue of a new Vikings stadium.

To me, this might well be the perfect time to step down. In light of the news a couple of weeks ago that the state of Minnesota is looking at a $876 billion budget surplus, all without raising taxes, GOP leaders were able to extract a pledge from Governor Mark Dayton that he would not push for his long sought-after tax increase during the 2012 session. If you can get a liberal Democrat like Dayton to acquiesce to such a thing, your work is done! That, and I believe the interview I conducted with Sen. Koch on December 4 was the last radio guest appearance she conducted as Senate Majority Leader. Again, how does she top that???

But in all seriousness, I wish Senator Koch nothing but the best. She served the state of Minnesota with a tremendous amount of passion and professionalism and was true to her core convictions all the while.

UPDATE: Sen. Koch accused of "inappropriate relationship." Wow, this has been just a banner month for the Minnesota GOP, eh?


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quick Hits: Volume XLVI (UPDATE: Sawalich drops out)

-Yes, it's pretty much been established that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is a jellyfish. Beyond that, the man makes Droopy Dog sound like General George S. Patton.

Behold Reid's insufferably ignorant statement on the financial status of those who create jobs in America.

"Millionaire job-creators are like unicorns; they're impossible to find and don't exist."

A famous Dennis Miller rant from about 4-1/2 years ago comes to mind when I listen to that clip.

If it’s possible to make Mr. Limpet sound like Demosthenes, Reid does it every time he opens his ashen piehole and haltingly forces out that tremulous pale-gray oratory that sounds like it’s oozing from a stuck caulking gun.

I'll say one thing for Senator Reid and his fellow Democrats. They have definitely provided a veritable trove of sound bites which the Republican National Committee absolutely can (and should) use to their advantage.

-I'll fully admit that I'm not much of an insider when it comes to Minnesota state party politics. So when MN GOP chair Tony Sutton resigned nearly two weeks ago, I didn't really have any strong feelings either way.

Upon Sutton's resignation, it was learned that the party was approximately a half-million dollars in debt. Naturally, the pro-Sutton and anti-Sutton crowds had their say as to whom was most responsible, but the fact is that such petty squabbling wasn't going to alleviate the problem.

So as speculation commenced regarding candidates for the next MN GOP chair, many delegates began to compile a list of qualities they'd like to see in the next party chair. A lot of what I heard from those who consider themselves "grassroots" is they'd prefer to see someone who makes a more concerted effort to reach out to them. In addition, many felt we should focus on someone who possesses a solid business acumen, an attribute which would be of great value in attempting to overcome the party's debt.

The first name I've seen thrown into the fray is Eden Prairie resident Brandon Sawalich, who is the Sr. Vice President at Starkey Hearing Technologies. At first blush, his background is quite impressive. Here's hoping for more superlative candidates as the days go on.

UPDATE: Sawalich drops out, continuing the tremendous run for Minnesota Republicans.

-Collective hearts of Minnesota girls were shattered over the weekend upon the news that Twins catcher Joe Mauer asked girlfriend Maddie Bisanz for her hand in marriage (she said yes).

Mauer was asked if this big change in his life was going to affect his baseball career.

"No. (Maddie's) the one who got me through last year," Mauer said. "If anything, she's going to make me better. We were really close (friends) in '09, too."

I can hear it now. If indeed Mauer has another sub par season in 2012, some Twins fans might actually begin referring to Maddie as "Yoko Bisanz."


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Just when things went right doesn't mean they were always wrong......

Assuming my access card to the radio station's entrance still works, I'll be live on the air this afternoon from 1:00 pm until 3:00 Central time on AM 1280 The Patriot.

Say, you remember how Mitt Romney was the inevitable GOP nominee for President? Well I'll dig in to how Newt Gingrich has long passed the "flavor of the month" status and is in prime position to take the Iowa caucuses. I'll also discuss how Gingrich's improbable ascension over the past several months has the Obama reelection team scrambling.

At 1:30, I will be joined by author Mary Corbett via telephone. Mary's latest book is entitled National Guard 101: A Handbook for Spouses, which provides insight into the military institution that has been around for 375 years!

At 2:00, Jake Loesch of Minnesotans United for All Famillies will join me in studio. MN United is a nonpartisan organization committed to defeating the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, which will be voted on by Minnesotans in November 2012.

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

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.

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

Until then.....


Friday, December 09, 2011

NFL Trivia night: Ray J's

After taking a couple of weeks off, I was back in the saddle for NFL Trivia night Thursday at Ray J's in Woodbury. And just like last time I played, I breezed through the first three rounds to get to the finals.

The latter rounds entail buzzing in "Family Feud" style and answering questions by category. The finalists then alternate within one category until someone gets an answer wrong. If there's an odd number of answers, the person who buzzes in first has the advantage if the two contestants run the table. The first to win three categories in the championship round wins the match.

On this particular evening, my opponents in the finals was a duo who called themselves "The Jermichaels."

Question 1: Something along the lines of which QBs have had at least ten 4th quarter comebacks on the road since 1997.

Brad (buzzes in first): Favre (incorrect)
Jermichaels: (for the win) Roethlisberger (correct)

1-0, Jermichaels.

Question 2: Since 1985, the Vikings have drafted 13 different Tight Ends. Name them.

Jermichaels (buzz in first): Kleinsasser (correct)
Brad: Kyle Rudolph (correct)
Jermichaels: Steve Jordan (incorrect)
Brad (for the win; takes nearly all of the allotted 15 seconds and then pulls out of his a**): Carl Hilton (CORRECT)

1-1 tie

Question 3: In the Lions' winless season in 2008, five QBs threw at least one pass for the team. Name them.

Brad (buzzes in first): Dan Orlovsky (correct)
Jermichaels: Daunte Culpepper (correct)
Brad: (take nearly all 15 seconds): Frank Reich (knew it was wrong almost immediately. Reich was 46 in 2008; INCORRECT)
Jermichaels (for the win): Drew Stanton (correct)

2-1, Jermichaels.

Question 4: Name the running backs drafted by the Vikings since 1992.

Jermichaels (buzz in first): Adrian Peterson (correct)
Brad: Robert Smith (correct)
Jermichaels: Onterrio Smith (correct)
Brad: Michael Bennett (correct)
Jermichaels: Mewelde Moore (correct)
Brad: Toby Gerhart (correct)
Jermichaels (taking nearly all 15 seconds): Moe Williams (correct)
Brad: Lorenzo Booker (INCORRECT)

The Jermichaels win the $100.

{sigh} Oh well, there's always next week.


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Baldwin bounced

This past Tuesday, actor Alec Baldwin was removed from an American Airlines flight allegedly due to his failure to cooperate with FAA regulations.

Baldwin got into a tiff with a flight attendant and was kicked off a flight Tuesday because, he tweeted, he wouldn't turn off his smartphone while waiting for the plane to take off. He was playing the popular phone game Words With Friends at the time.

"Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving," Baldwin, 53, tweeted, adding the sly hashtag, #nowonderamericaairisbankrupt," referring to American Airlines filing for bankruptcy a few weeks ago.

One could hardly blame the flight crew for their incredulity regarding Baldwin's story. I mean, "Words with Friends?!?!" It would seem hard to believe someone that insufferable actually has friends.

I digress.

Since Baldwin was so public with his criticism of American Airlines, the company took to its Facebook page to give their account of the incident.

Since an extremely vocal customer has publicly identified himself as being removed from an American Airlines flight on Tuesday, Dec. 6, we have elected to provide the actual facts of the matter as well as the FAA regulations which American, and all airlines, must enforce.

Cell phones and electronic devices are allowed to be used while the aircraft is at the gate and the door is open for boarding. When the door is closed for departure and the seat belt light is turned on, all cell phones and electronic devices must be turned off for taxi-out and take-off. This passenger declined to turn off his cell phone when asked to do so at the appropriate time. The passenger ultimately stood up (with the seat belt light still on for departure) and took his phone into the plane’s lavatory. He slammed the lavatory door so hard, the cockpit crew heard it and became alarmed, even with the cockpit door closed and locked. They immediately contacted the cabin crew to check on the situation. The passenger was extremely rude to the crew, calling them inappropriate names and using offensive language
(Oof. I sure hope Baldwin's daughter didn't ignore her Dad's call that day - ed.).

Given the facts above, the passenger was removed from the flight and denied boarding.

Naturally, there was much mocking and ridiculing of Baldwin in light of his claiming to be a victim. Leave it to Dave "Iowahawk" Burge to sum it up so brilliantly:

Alec Baldwin: the Rosa Parks of fat white middle age celebrity millionaire First Class-cabin iPhone douche bags.


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Catching up

I haven't had an opportunity to scan a lot of news today, so I was hoping someone could help me out with something. On this the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, did Ron Paul enlighten us as to why we had it coming?

Just curious.


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Waiting for the other shoe

Upon the suspension of his campaign for the GOP Presidential nomination, Herman Cain had many speculating as to who among the remaining candidates he will support. In fact, there were reports surfacing Monday morning that Cain was all set to endorse Newt Gingrich. Obviously that never happened and likely will not happen in the immediate future, according to Cain himself.

It's been pretty apparent in all of the debate forums that Cain and Gingrich have a mutual admiration for each other. The two even engaged in a very civil one-on-one debate last month. But on top of all that, according to polls taken a little more than a week ago, Gingrich's favorability rating amongst Cain supporters is incredibly high. That is very surprising when you consider that Cain is the antithesis of a Washington insider and that his appeal was largely built upon his being a Beltway outsider with a strong business background. So it's rather curious to me how Cain's supporters would be so willing to then flip a switch and support a candidate like Gingrich, who has been inside the Beltway in some way, shape or form for over thirty years.

I guess it's possible that Cain could upset applecart and endorse someone else. I know he has a very strong ally in Michele Bachmann when it comes to repealing Obamacare and he shares a solid business acumen with Mitt Romney. Given what Cain said a few months ago, the only thing we can say with certitude is that he will not be giving the nod to Rick Perry.


Sunday, December 04, 2011

A time to build up, a time to break down....

It is my goal to have guests each and every Sunday on the radio show so as to not to subject anybody to my rambling for two hours. Once again, I have achieved that goal!

On today's edition of The Closer from 1-3 pm Central, I will be discussing presidential politics, whether it be the ongoing Herman Cain saga, the dings in the inevitable Mitt Romney candidacy or the continued surprise ascension of Newt Gingrich.

At 1:30, I will welcome to the program Meredith Dake. A native of Oklahoma, Meredith is the producer for Larry O'Connor's podcast as well as a contributor to Andrew Breitbart's Big Government site.

Then at 2:00, I am honored to welcome Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch to the program. We will discuss such issues as Minnesota's surprising budget surplus as well as the major issues to be addressed once the new legislative session begins next month.

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

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.

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

Until then.....


Saturday, December 03, 2011

From Silver to Gold

About ten months ago, I shared the story of Frank Sanders, a Godly man whom I've known for more than twenty years.

Frank was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January and was given approximately six months to live. Here it is ten months later, and Frank is still with us, though not in the best of health. While he continues to preach when he can at the Woodbury church where he is pastor, Frank is often hampered by the side effects of his illness, thus rendering him the uncomfortable role as spectator.

For now, Frank's family is comforted by the fact the God's perfect will shall be obtained. Either Frank will receive miraculous healing and continue to live on this earth for several more years or he will be called home to be with his Heavenly Father, a place where he'll be made whole once again and have no more physical pain.

Frank's life, eschewing the fortune and fame of a professional hockey player to honor the call to join the ministry, in and of itself is one for the storybooks. In fact, I recently obtained my copy of From Silver to Gold: One Man's Pursuit of the Ultimate Prize, which details Frank's remarkable transformation.

While there's a possibility that Frank's remaining time on this earth may be short, he has ensured his inspirational story of unshakable faith will endure forever.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mitt miffed

One of the reasons I hear why Mitt Romney is the ideal GOP Presidential candidate is his ability to charismatically articulate his positions. That's all fine and good, but I have been saying for some time that Romney has never been seriously challenged this election cycle. The only other GOP candidate who has openly gone after Romney in the debates is Rick Perry. Unfortunately, Perry's attempts were so feeble that they did little to no damage.

Leave it to Fox News Channel's Bret Baier, host of Special Report, to unwittingly cause Romney to become agitated.

Mitt Romney became visibly irritated with "Special Report" host Bret Baier when he confronted the presidential hopeful about his numerous nuanced positions compared to his past positions.

"Well, Bret, your list is just not accurate," Romney said, when asked by Baier about changing his stances on climate change, abortion, gay rights and immigration.

"So, one, we're going to have to be better informed about my views on issues," Mitt Romney sarcastically said to Baier.

"My view is, you can look at what's written in my book. You can look at a person who has devoted his life to his family, to his faith, to his country," he said.

So Romney was a little annoyed by Baier's line of questioning. Big deal. As Jazz Shaw of Hot Air pointed out, Romney will soon be claiming that the interview was very insightful.


When it's Cain, it pours.

Look, even when Herman Cain was racking up victories in various GOP Presidential straw polls, I didn't believe he'd be able to carry the momentum into primary and caucus season.

Unfortunately for Cain, he was derailed by unforeseen circumstances (at least unforeseen by the electorate) related to allegations of sexual harassment from multiple women. While Cain continued to poll well, it just seemed like a matter of time before the bottom would fall out. Personally, I felt the final straw came three weeks ago when Cain's campaign manager Mark Block insisted that one of Cain's accusers, Karen Kraushaar, was the mother of a Josh Kraushaar who worked for Politico, the web site which broke the sexual harassment allegations. One minor flaw --- Block's claim of the two Kraushaars being related was utterly false. To make matters worse, Josh Kraushaar had left Politico in 2010.

So with the latest story of Cain having allegedly carried on a 13-year affair with a Georgia woman, and Cain in turn making a pledge to reassess whether or not to even stay in the race, it almost has a feel of "piling on" at this point. And even if Cain somehow was able to emerge unscathed from the multitude of alleged improprieties, he's never going to escape his cringe-inducing response to a question regarding Libya.

Yes, what was once a seemingly inspirational run for the highest office in the land has quickly turned into a proverbial free fall. What a shame.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Frank giving way to rough Waters

Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank will not seek reelection for his seat in the US House. First elected in 1980, Frank reached the pinnacle of his power in Congress when he became the Chair of the House Financial Services Committee when the Democrats regained a majority in 2006. Frank's friendly relationship with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (which were responsible for pumping up the housing bubble) and his partnering with Sen. Chris Dodd on the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act has caused great harm to America's financial standing.

But just as I was rejoicing in Frank's imminent departure, I learned of who will likely take his place as lead Democrat on the Financial Service Committee --- California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Yes, that Maxine Waters, who once threatened to "tax banks out of business" as well as betrayed her true feelings regarding her socialistic tendencies.

If Republicans are smart, they'll use those two soundbites to remind people what may happen if Democrats ever regain control of the House while Waters is still around.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Profile in double entendres

Dayton roughs up Minnesota.

That headline can either refer to a story in:

a) Sports


b) Politics

Kudos to the Minneapolis Star Tribune for all they're doing to cut costs. Recycling headlines? Brilliant!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Those windshield wipers slappin' out a tempo, keepin' perfect rhythm with the song on the radio.....

This afternoon I make my debut in the new expanded time slot for my program The Closer. From 1:00 pm until 3:00 Central time, I will be looking back at the Thanksgiving week that was.

From SuperCommittee failures to late night talk shows sandbagging Congresswoman Michele Bachmann to the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, there will be no shortage of items to discuss, which is fortuitous since I now have to fill two hours of air time.

Sometime in the first hour I will welcome to the program Brandon Darby. Mr. Darby is a former radical left-wing activist turned FBI informant, having worked with the Joint Terrorism Task Force. He has some rather chilling accounts of some of the operations he helped thwart, including a bomb scare at the 2008 Republican National Convention, which took place right here in the Twin Cities. These days, Brandon is exposing the shenanigans of the "Occupy" movement through his association with Andrew Breitbart's Big Government site.

Then in the second hour, I'll be joined by Fox Sports North's NBA analyst Mike McCollow. We'll get into the events surrounding the ending of the NBA lockout and what we can expect from our Minnesota Timberwolves now that there will be a basketball season.

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

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.

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

Until then.....


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

For the record...

Yes, I heard about the flap regarding the song played when Congresswoman (and GOP Presidential candidate) Michele Bachmann appeared as a guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. And yes, as a matter of fact, I do believe it was incredibly inappropriate (not to mention childish and stupid).

But just so we're clear ---- I would find it just as despicable if, say, First Lady Michelle Obama was serenaded on a TV talk show to this song.

Glad we could clear that up.


Quick Hits: Volume XLV

-Gee, what a shock. The "SuperCommittee" failed to reach an agreement on deficit reduction. Also not surprising was the Democrats pretty much refused any measure unless it included some sort of tax increases. In tough economic times, tax increases should not even be considered, but especially when you're talking about a measure which doesn't even address the biggest drag on government spending, which is entitlements.

Nevertheless, that doesn't prevent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from pointing the finger at Grover Norquist even though it's likely that a vast majority of Americans have never even heard of Norquist. Senator Reid sure has got a lot of nerve to place blame for his party's failures on a private citizen when the chamber he allegedly leads hasn't even passed a budget in 936 days. Oh, and another inconvenient truth for Dems? From the Summer of 2009 thru early 2011, Democrats owned the Presidency, a majority in the House and a super majority (60-40) in the Senate. If hiking taxes was so doggone important to them, what on earth were they doing that whole time when they had carte blanche to do whatever they desired? Oh, that's right. They were in the process of committing political suicide by forcing upon Americans a health care bill which the majority of us did not want. My bad.

-On Sunday, First Lady Michelle Obama and VP Joe Biden's wife Jill were booed at a NASCAR race where they served as the event's grand marshals.

While these women really haven't caused much controversy themselves, I imagine the NASCAR fans were sending a message to their husbands, especially Mr. Obama. You see, the vast majority of those fans are "working class", which is a segment of the voting population Obama admitted 3-1/2 years ago he would have trouble winning over. Certainly you recall his rationale.

"It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or anti-pathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Bottom line, did I think the jeering towards the ladies was inappropriate? Sure. But I will say that the indignant lefties should spare the outrage, given how President Bush was received during the peaceful transfer of power to Obama back in January 2009.

-In case you missed it, I announced on my radio show this past weekend that starting this Sunday the 27th, I will have a new and expanded time slot. Yes, The Closer with Brad Carlson will now air from 1:00 pm until 3:00 Central time on AM 1280 The Patriot!

My sincere thanks to the powers that be at Salem Broadcasting-Twin Cities (specifically GM Ron Stone and Operations Mgr Lee Michaels) for their generosity in allowing me to branch out in this fun little endeavor of talk radio. Just in time for the 2012 elections!


Monday, November 21, 2011

How NOT to win friends and influence people

Even though the "Occupy" movement has pretty much fallen out of favor with the voting public, they don't seem all that concerned with winning back the support.

From Occupy DC this past Friday:

On Friday, November 18, Occupy DC protesters and other progressive groups will be bringing the message of ‘why we occupy’ to the people of DC. is a website that provides people with an opportunity to write emails to a ‘pen pal’ who is of the top 1%, to voice their frustration about our country’s economic situation.

The protestors' plan was to "occupy the evening commute" by hopping on the DC Subway (The Metro), thus wreaking havoc amongst regular commuters --- people who are in the same group as they are --- THE NINETY NINE PERCENT!!!

Even more asinine is now there's an Occupy Black Friday movement.

Their goal? To “bring the economy to a halt on the one day they won’t be able to ignore us.”

While "Black Friday" is an event that is still a novelty to some consumers, the advent of the internet has made "Cyber Monday" a more practical endeavor. Upon returning to work the Monday after the long Thanksgiving weekend, consumers will work off the turkey hangover by browsing the online shopping sites while on the job. In fact, last year's Cyber Monday made history by becoming the first ever $1 billion online shopping day.

It’s unclear whether Occupy Black Friday will become an official Occupy Wall Street sponsored protest, but the site’s message forums are already calling for such a demonstration, saying that Occupy needs to put an end to “holiday spin doctors” and the “hypnotic messages to spend, spend, spend.” Facebook groups have also sprung up that call on Americans to protest against stores that deprive workers from spending Thanksgiving dinner with their family.

That last sentence pretty much sums up the doltish thought process of the "Occupy" movement. In this case, retail workers should be entitled to not have to work on what is one of the busiest retail days of a calendar year. Yeah, what is this nation coming to when its retail stores have an expectation of their employees (people who, on their own accord, applied to work there) employee stuff?


Sunday, November 20, 2011

They say I'm crazy but I have a good time.....

Lots to get into on tonight's edition of The Closer on AM 1280 The Patriot. I'll be on the air live from 6:00 pm until 7:00 Central talking about such issues as the declining popularity of the "Occupy" movement (amazing what happens to a movement upon accusations of rape and public defecation) as well as praying quarterbacks, which also doesn't appear to be very popular.

Also, sometime within the first half hour, I will have a very special and exciting announcement regarding my show!

For the final two segments I will joined by Tabitha Hale, who is the New Media Director at FreedomWorks. One thing I know about Ms. Hale is she is not afraid to put herself and her beliefs out there, even if it can sometimes result in her being physically attacked.

Amongst the topics I'll get in to with Tabitha is the ever fluid GOP Presidential race as well as the Senate Rules Committee turning away the Tea Party Debt Commission earlier this week.

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

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.

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

Until then.....


Friday, November 18, 2011

Connect the dots, people

So some guy fires shots into the White House earlier this week, was arrested Wednesday and received a show of support from "Occupy San Diego." Rumor has it the shooter, Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, was blending in amongst the "Occupy D.C." crowd.

I'll come back to that.

I've always felt the Occupy movement was terribly misguided when they condemned the banks. In fact, the entity which should have been the target of their protests was the entity who took taxpayer funds (i.e. OUR money) and funneled it to said banks in the form of bailouts. That of course would be our U.S. government. In essence, that is the main tenet of the Tea Party, which is protesting government over the reckless spending of our tax dollars.

So is it possible that the Occupy crowd took in the insights of, say, the Tea Party, and realized that the government was taking their money (assuming some of the Occupy crowd pays taxes) to give to Wall St. et al? That would be an awfully convenient narrative for the mainstream media to glob onto, wouldn't it? Now that the Occupy movement is not nearly as popular as it once appeared, the media could gin up a scenario where they've gone the way of the Tea Party crowd by "demonizing government," which would explain the drop in "Occupy's" popularity

Which brings us full circle to the White House shooter. It must've been the "hateful tone" of the Tea Party which drove him to want to fire shots at President Barack Obama.

I wonder if Sarah Palin removed the cross-hair symbols off the map on her PAC website?


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Searching for Benji Franklin

Every Thursday evening during the NFL season (except Thanksgiving), local sports station 1500 ESPN hosts Thursday Night Football trivia. Tonight was the second consecutive Thursday I was able to attend. Last week, I was one of the 16 finalists (seeded #7) after successfully answering 13 of 16 questions in round one (you can cheat by using a mobile device, so it wasn't too tough). However, the next round entailed a Family Feud style face-off at a podium where the first person to buzz in at any point of the question has 15 seconds to answer. Last week, I buzzed in first but I incorrectly guessed that Kerry Collins was the QB the last time the Oakland Raiders had a winning season. Since I was wrong, my opponent had the allotted 15 seconds to answer and correctly came up with Rich Gannon.

This week (week number eleven of this series), I made the trek out to Cadillac Ranch Bar & Grill at the Mall of America (only 15 minutes from my work place) in an attempt to redeem myself.

This time I had my "A" game as I breezed through the first few rounds and got all the way to the finals. The winner would receive ONE HUNDRED BUCKS!!!

The finals are by far the most difficult, as its best three of five, and you only get a point if you win a category. Each category has multiple answers and it alternates between the two finalists until someone answers incorrectly. My task was even more daunting due to the fact I was taking on Brendan Byrne, who had won seven of the ten weeks, including six in a row from week four thru week nine.

The first category had to do with a more prominent Raiders-Vikings matchup, which was Super Bowl XI in January 1977. The question: There were nine Vikings players which tallied at least one yard of offense in that game. Can you name them?

Brad (buzzing in first): Bob Lee (correct)
Brendan: Tarkenton (correct)
Brad: Brent McClanahan (correct)
Brendan: Sammy White (correct)
Brad: Stu Voight (correct)
Brendan: Foreman (correct)
Brad (using up nearly all 15 seconds): Ahmad Rashad (correct)
Brendan: NO GUESS

1-0, Brad!

Next up: The '99 playoffs. In Jacksonville's 62-7 rout of the Miami Dolphins in the AFC divisional round, four QBs threw a pass in that game. Name them.

Brendan (buzzing in first): Dan Marino (correct).
Brad: Mark Brunell (correct)
Brendan: Fiedler (correct)
Brad: No GUESS (correct answer - Damon Huard; I would've NEVER got that).

1-1 tie.

For the life of me, I don't recall the next question. All I know is I lost.

2-1, Brendan.

Next: Sid Luckman is the all-time leader in percentage of pass attempts thrown for touchdowns at 7.9%. There are 56 others with at least 5%. Name them.

Brad (buzzing in first): Tom Brady (correct)
Brendan: Norm Snead (INCORRECT)

2-2 tie.

Then it came down to the final category. Whomever took this one would win the hundred bucks. Carson Palmer, who will face the Vikings Sunday, was the top overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft. Name the other 31 first round draft choices that year.

Brendan (buzzing in first): Kyle Boller (correct)
Brad: Kevin Williams (correct)
Brendan: Byron Leftwich (correct)
Brad: Terrell Suggs (correct)
Brendan: Mike Williams (INCORRECT)
Brad (FOR THE WIN): Gerard Warren (INCORRECT)
Brendan (FOR THE WIN): Boldin (INCORRECT)
Brad (FOR THE WIN): Roy Williams (INCORRECT)
Brendan (FOR THE WIN): W. Green (INCORRECT)
Brad (FOR THE WIN): Drew Brees (INCORRECT)

Here's the kicker. Had I just said "Warren" earlier, I would have won. That's because Ty Warren was a first round pick in '03, not Gerard.

Since three incorrect answers is the maximum in an alternating question, we had to move on.

Still tied 2-2, emcees Tom Pelissero and Phil Mackey turned to "The Book," which is a thick almanac with a myriad of stats. They came up with the following: Name any of the players who led the NFL in interceptions in a season since 1950. (NO SHOT we would run the table on that one).

Brendan (buzzing in first): Night Train Lane (correct)
Brad (thinking a Hall of Fame DB would be an obvious choice): Mike Haynes.

Mackey vehemently searched the record book. "Mike Brendan wins again!!!"

Yes, Brendan took home yet another "Benjamin Franklin." Second place (me) won a Coors Light t-shirt.

All I could think of as I came so perilously to victory was a slogan I could affix to the back of the aforementioned t-shirt: "I drank Diet Pepsi to the point of getting the jitters, felt my heart rate increase rapidly as I stood at the podium, scraped my knuckle when hitting said podium in disgust and all I got was this lousy t-shirt". Or something along those lines.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quick Hits: Volume XLIV

-You knew it was only a matter of time before the Occupy Wall Street movement would either peter out or lose what little accolades it received from the voting public.

On Tuesday afternoon, they were told they could no longer camp out in New York City's Zuccotti Park.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman said the city can enforce “reasonable” rules to maintain safety and hygiene at the encampment that has become the epicenter of a nationwide movement.

The protesters have a right to free speech but they “have not demonstrated that they have a First Amendment right to remain in Zuccotti Park, along with their tents, structures, generators and other installations,” he wrote.

Without all those amenities, I highly doubt that the OWS crowd will hang around too much longer now that winter weather is beginning to rear its ugly head.

Not that they care much about popularity amongst the general public, but OWS is going to find out Wednesday that their movement is no longer all that popular with voters. The sample group Public Policy Polling, which has been previously lauded by the ultra lefty site Daily Kos, reported via Twitter that there are going to be some "pretty bad numbers" for OWS. Yeah, it's amazing what can happen to a group's alleged popularity when there are multiple reports of sexual assault and public defecation.

-For the record, I did not watch the Monday evening interview NBC's Bob Costas conducted with former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky regarding the allegations that Sandusky sexually abused at least five underage boys. However, while listening to the ESPN radio show Mike and Mike in the Morning on Tuesday, I heard a 3-4 minute audio excerpt of the interview.

The one aspect of the discussion which made me want to reach for some creep repellant also caught the attention of NESN's Ben Watanabe.

Costas: "Are you sexually attracted to young boys, to underage boys?"

Sandusky: "Am I sexually attracted to underage boys?"

Costas: "Yes."

Sandusky (after a two-second pause): "Sexually attracted? You know, I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. I... but no, I'm not sexually attracted to them, to young boys."

For those of you keeping score at home, it took Sandusky 17 words to get to the "no" part. He managed to mention that he enjoys "young people" and loves "to be around them," which are things not even his harshest critics contest.

Until Sandusky is convicted, the claims against him are only allegations. But it's difficult to understand how anyone could struggle with such a straightforward question.

Keep in mind that Sandusky's attorney was present. Granted I'm the furthest thing from a legal scholar, but I find it unfathomable that any competent lawyer would allow his client to open himself up to that line of questioning, especially when anything Sandusky says can be used against him in a trial.

Oh, and for the record, I will never, ever, ever, EEEEVVVVVERRRR again use the phrase "horsing around" thanks to Sandusky using that as a euphemism for what he did with those young kids.

Let's move on......quickly.

-Do I really have to talk about the Vikings??? OK, I'll get it out of the way. Their 45-7 loss on Monday night to the Green Bay Packers marked the second most lopsided regular season defeat in franchise history. The all-time rout came in 1984 at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, 51-7. By all accounts, I'm sure the Packers could have usurped that margin of victory had they desired to do so.

The '84 season also marked the worst regular season finish for the Vikings (3-13) since the NFL expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978. In looking ahead at the remaining seven matchups for this season, I have a feeling the best the 2-7 Vikings can hope for is to tie that record of futility.

No better time than the present to ask for a new stadium, eh?


Monday, November 14, 2011

So it begins

Earlier today, the Supreme Court of the United States announced it would hear arguments over the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care law. The case will be heard in March 2012, with a decision expected by the end of June.

The justices announced they will hear an extraordinary five-and-a-half hours of arguments from lawyers on the constitutionality of a provision at the heart of the law and three other related questions about the act. The central provision in question is the requirement that individuals buy health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty.

In the modern era, the last time the court allotted anywhere near this much time for arguments was in 2003 for consideration of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. That case consumed four hours of argument. This argument may spread over two days, as the justices rarely hear more than two or three hours a day.

If indeed the SCOTUS strikes down the individual mandates as unconstitutional, it would create quite a political circus a mere four months ahead of the general election. Many would surmise that would sink the Obama re-election campaign, but is that truly the case? As we've heard in several debates over the past few months, the top issue of many (if not all) of the GOP Presidential hopefuls is repealing Obamacare. Well if the SCOTUS takes that off the table by striking down the law as unconstitutional, what then? Obviously President Obama will still have a record of poor economic policies and thus there will remain a strong case to vote him out of office. Either way, the law being struck down would be an embarrassment to the current administration.

On the flip side, all hope would not be lost if the Supreme Court upholds the law. If the Republicans can win the White House (50-50 right now, in my opinion) and regain control of the Senate (need to flip four seats), the Republican-controlled Congress could pass a repeal measure for the GOP President to sign it. Of course, that in and of itself would be a bitter fight in the likely event Republicans do not have a "Super Majority" (60-40) in the Senate. But with a simple 51-49 majority, the GOP could use the reconciliation process (i.e. the "Nuclear Option") to ram a repeal bill through. Oh, and if some squishy Republicans start to become concerned with any political fallout? Just remind everyone that the Democrats were never afraid to use such a process while controlling the Senate.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

I've been bruised and I've been broken. Can't believe that I put up with all this pain.....

Less than a year until election day typically equates to much fodder for a talk radio host. With that in mind, there will be a lot to squeeze in on this evening's installment of The Closer, which will air LIVE from 6:00 pm until 7 Central on AM 1280 The Patriot.

We'll look back on last Tuesday's elections and how certain media outlets chose to shine the light on alleged lefty triumphs but conveniently ignored any sharp rebukes of the Obama administration. We'll also talk about the ever fluid events of the GOP Presidential race, including the stunning resurgence of Newt Gingrich and how he's the latest "flavor of the month."

For the final two segments, I will be joined via telephone by GOP political operative Matt Mackowiak.

Matt and several other right wing activists/bloggers have drafted a movement simply entitled Not Mitt Romney, which, quite obviously, is a grassroots effort to ensure Romney is not the GOP Presidential candidate in 2012.

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

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.

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

Until then.....


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Yes, there was an election on Tuesday

In my little town of Ramsey, MN, we had one contest for school board and three referendums for the school district. While important, it didn't have the "sex appeal" of Congressional and Presidential elections.

But if there was one takeaway from this year's elections, it was the state of Ohio having an opportunity to follow the example of Wisconsin and curb the public employee unions' inordinately high power. Sadly, by a vote of 61-39 percent, Ohio voters turned back Gov. John Kasich's proposal to overhaul collective bargaining for said unions. As a result, the status quo will be maintained, thus putting further strain on Ohio's delicate fiscal outlook. Truth be told, I couldn't help but feel genuine sympathy for those union members who were openly rejoicing the vote's result. What they don't realize is that Tuesday's celebration will soon turn into devastation for some of their peers when necessary layoffs commence.

Since Ohio has been a key swing state in Presidential elections for nearly 70 years, could this be a precursor to what will happen next year? Since 1944, Ohioans have sided with the losing candidate only once – opting for Nixon over Kennedy in 1960. So for those Democrats who were rejoicing over GOP Governor Kasich getting his finger slapped, don't automatically assume President Obama will take Ohio (and thus be reelected) in 2012. What was conveniently under-reported in light of Tuesday's p.e. union "victory" was also a very sharp rebuke of the President's signature legislation --- Obamacare. In fact this ballot initiative, known as "Issue 3" (Ohioans not being forced to participate in a health care system), passed by a larger margin than Issues 1 (raising mandatory retirement age for judges) and 2 (restricting collective bargaining for public employee unions) failed.

Ahhh elections. We're just gettin' warmed up.


Monday, November 07, 2011

Who will gain from pain of Cain?

Regardless if the sexual harassment allegations against GOP presidential hopeful candidate Herman Cain are true or not, he's not going to be the Republican nominee. I'll admit his poll numbers have far exceeded what many thought he would ever attain. But when feminist attorney Gloria Allred emerges (she must have burned through all of Tiger Woods' and Charlie Sheen's mistresses), this situation turns from a political race into a glorified TMZ episode. Either way, Cain's viability as a serious candidate appears very much in peril.

While I'm sure Cain's fellow candidates will wish him well on the surface, privately the remaining field will attempt to horn in on Cain's supporters. So who would benefit most from Cain's departure? Call me crazy, but I think Newt Gingrich is in prime position to vault into the lead. Just last week a Rasmussen poll showed Gingrich gaining ten points on frontrunner Mitt Romney. Combine that with the fact that a Gingrich-Cain debate over the weekend highlighted Gingrich's prowess in knowing the issues (in front of some of Cain's most ardent supporters no less), the opportunity for Gingrich to emerge as frontrunner has never been stronger.

One takeaway from a number of GOP debates this election season is that a fair number of Republican voters almost regretfully pointed out Gingrich's solid showing, intimating that his supposed "unelectability" made him little more than a spoiler in the nomination process. However, a fundraiser in Des Moines, IA Friday evening showed that prominent GOP voters are beginning to warm to the former House speaker. As I sift through the candidates (again, any of them would make for a better President than Obama), the one thing I look to is who could best stand up to the President in a one-on-one debate. Since Obama will be unable to appeal to the electorate on facts due to his poor record, he is likely to go the the ol' demagoguery card. As far as I can tell, there isn't a better candidate to combat such a strategy than Gingrich.

I can't even begin to convey what a stunning development this would be. A mere five months ago, Gingrich's campaign was in shambles due to mass resignations of key members of his staff. Now less than a year from the general election, we're talking about Newt Gingrich as a serious Presidential candidate. Unbelievable.


Sunday, November 06, 2011

Radio Roundtable

In Round Two of my radio exploits, I will be part of the roundtable on tonight's Late Debate from 10:00 pm until Midnight.

In addition to hosts Jack Tomczak and Benjamin Kruse, there will be a bipartisan roundtable of guests with myself and Laura Gatz on the right & "Two Putt" Tommy and an unnamed Democrat on the left.

If you're so inclined, check out the broadcast on Twin Cities station 95.9 FM WLKX or watch the show via UStream.


I don't need you to worry for me, 'cause I'm all right......

Tune in to AM 1280 The Patriot this evening from 6:00 until 7:00 Central time, as I will be closing out the weekend of Northern Alliance Radio Network programming.

With all that has gone on this past week, it's going to be difficult to narrow down the topics, but that's a challenge I gladly accept! With that, I plan on taking the first two segments to talk about GOP Presidential drama, kooky ex Governors and the ever fluid situation with the Vikings stadium.

For the final two segments, Orit Sklar will join me via telephone.

Ms. Sklar co-founded an organization called My Food. My Choice!, which is a grassroots coalition looking to alleviate the nanny state, specifically where food is concerned.

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

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.

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

Until then.....


Thursday, November 03, 2011

Romney: Hold a rally or hold your nose

I'm not gonna lie to ya. Regardless of which GOP candidate emerges as the nominee for President, I will vote for said candidate. Period. End of story.

But here's the issue facing many grassroots activists: Will you work to elect the nominee, regardless of who it is? I understand that many people who are right-of-center politically would cast the proverbial "hold their nose" vote for Mitt Romney if indeed he is the Republican candidate for President in 2012. But there just doesn't seem to be a lot of enthusiasm for a Romney candidacy should that come to pass (which seems more likely these days).

We must not take for granted that President Barack Obama, despite his low approval ratings as well as presiding over a porous economy, is a sure loser come Election Day 2012. It's going to take some effort to ensure his defeat but, as opposed to 2008 when he was a veritable Pied Piper, it is very doable. Conventional wisdom is that the support of party establishment alone is not enough to get a candidate elected. There must be political machines behind that person, machines which will tout a candidate's strengths and what he'll bring to the Oval Office. If the prevailing sentiment surrounding Romney is "He's not Obama", that isn't nearly enough to increase voter turnout, which is another key factor in ousting an incumbent President.

Now I'm not suggesting we need a "rock star" type candidate who will be a cult of personality like we witnessed with Bill Clinton in 1992 and Obama in 2008. But at the very least, the Republicans need to nominate a candidate who provides a stark contrast (and major upgrade) over a scuffling President. From what I can tell, Romney may not be that candidate, especially when you consider the health care bill he singed into law as Governor of Massachusetts in many ways resembles Obamacare. Speaking of which, Romney, when pressed, has said he will indeed sign a repeal of the Obamacare law if he is President. If that's true, then something else needs to happen in 2012: The Republicans need to flip the Senate.

So if you're a conservative and a President Mitt Romney doesn't exactly fire you up, plan to vote for him anyways if he's the GOP candidate. But in the mean time, pour all your grassroots activist energy into electing a Republican Senator in your state. With the GOP likely to maintain (if not increase) their solid majority in the House, attaining a majority in the Senate would go a long way to passing a repeal of Obamacare. From there, a President Romney need not be reminded of his campaign promise. However, the Republican-controlled Congress, as well as the American people, will likely present him with not-so-subtle reminders.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Quick Hits: Volume XLIII

-Has any newspaper or blog yet come up with the headline "Herman caned?"

I digress.

GOP Presidential hopeful Herman Cain was revealed to have been accused of sexually harassing two women while in charge of the National Restaurant Association in the early '90s. What seemed to put Cain in a rather precarious position is that his company agreed to financial settlements with his accusers. But as Ed Morrissey pointed out, that does not necessarily prove guilt either.

If the settlements exist (Cain later admitted they did - ed.), and if they pertain to sexual harassment, then it’s certainly fair game for the media. This would differ from the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill allegations, as Hill never reported Thomas contemporaneous to the supposed harassment (and continued working for him after they supposedly occurred). The two settlements would indicate that the women involved undertook action contemporaneous to the claims, which is more substantial than Hill’s behavior. However, it’s not clear from the story whether the settlements themselves are settled legal complaints, or merely small golden parachutes that don’t make any reference to the reason for the departure of the two women.

Will this ultimately derail Cain's campaign? Hard to say at this point. From what I've been able to tell, Cain and his staff have handled this situation about as well as could be expected when conducting their expeditious responses.

-Perhaps the country's most famous socialite, Kim Kardashian, has filed for divorce from NBA player (and Minnesota native) Kris Humphries. Said filing took place on only day 72 of the marriage.

What really drives me nuts about these high-profile (and dysfunctional) marriages falling apart is the lamenting of the pro-gay marriage crowd. They squawk about how couples like Kardashian-Humphries or Tiger Woods-Elin Nordegren are allowed to marry but same-sex couples continue to be denied that same opportunity. Meaning what? If gays are allowed to marry that suddenly society will have unlocked the long lost secret to a solid union? Or perhaps if Kim Kardashian had just married her pal Paris Hilton, then all would have worked out OK? I know fans of....ahem....."amateur adult films" would be all aboard for that particular hookup.

-This NFL season, the Detroit Lions have been one of the surprise success stories in the first half of the 2011 campaign. After enduring a decade of absolutely wretched football, the Lions have started out 6-2, mainly due to young quarterback Matthew Stafford staying healthy combined with one of the more aggressive defensive lines, which is anchored by possibly the NFL's most feared defensive tackle in Ndamukong Suh.

But perhaps the most spectacular achievement by the Lions this season is they may actually have swayed me to root for the Green Bay Packers in two games this season. While the Lions' talent is undeniable, they have also become one the more arrogant (bordering on thuggish) teams in the NFL. From starting a brawl prior to their week seven game against Atlanta to their mocking Denver QB Tim Tebow's faith this past weekend, the Lions strike me as a very unlikable bunch.

So come Thanksgiving Day as well as the NFL regular season finale, I may actually root for the Green Bay Packers both those weeks when they oppose the Lions. Yes, Christmas miracles have come early this year.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Now I don’t claim to be an A-student, but I’m trying to be....

I'll be on the air LIVE tonight as I wrap up the weekend of NARN broadcasts on AM 1280 The Patriot. From 6:00 pm until 7:00 Central time, I'll delve into such topics as World Series play, demagogic nonagenarian sports writers, and the U.S. possibly being ruled under a dictatorship. You know, your standard fare for a radio talk show!

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

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.

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

Until then.....


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Quick Hits: Volume XLII

-In a speech this past Wednesday in Denver, CO, President Obama spoke to college students regarding jobs and student loans. In the speech, the President lamented how he and wife Michelle accumulated $120,000 in student loans and how the monthly payments on said loans were ridiculously high.

Well enough is enough.

Hey kids!

Had it with those annoying student loans? Sick of those ridiculous monthly payments? Find yourself up against the wall? Or maybe just too busy, protesting "outside" broad and wall?

Well, good news!

How would you like to hear about a plan to take all that college debt and just...Swoooossshhhhh!

Blow it away! It's true. Because President Obama could be on the verge ...of making it law!!

You heard me right, the President is unveiling a student loan plan, where if you're in too deep ...not only is the government going to help you out...but stick the bill with all those capitalist swines you've been protesting while he's at it.

But wait, Neil, you're saying...he can't do that. He has to get Congress' approval.

Here's the good part. Three words.

No. He. Doesn't.

The big guy's planning a brilliant end-run around those pesky Republicans by way of executive order.

They don't like it, deal with it, and they can take it up with a judge like all their other endless legal challenges while they're at it.

So ... You in?

Closed circuit to those who shrieked "DICTATOR" during the George W. Bush administration: You have a problem with a sitting U.S. President making law via executive fiat???

-My Dad once riddled me this - "What's the difference between a catfish and a lawyer? One is a bottom-feeding scum sucker and the other is a fish."

OK, I'm over-generalizing there, as not all lawyers are subhuman. But I can't say with certitude that a certain Los Angeles attorney doesn't validate my Dad's assertion.

An attorney representing the Dodgers and owner Frank McCourt filed a civil complaint against the two men charged in the Opening Day beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, arguing that they should be held liable for the attack, not McCourt, the team or other parties named in the suit filed by Stow's family in May.

"One of the things the jury will be asked to do is to determine what percentage of fault various individuals have for this event," McCourt's attorney Jerome Jackson told

"You're saying to the jury, 'They (the Stow family) are saying we're 100 percent liable. But does that mean (Marvin) Norwood and (Louis) Sanchez, who beat this guy up, have no liability? And, does it mean Mr. Stow himself has no liability?' "

Jackson said that if the case goes to a jury trial, he will ask jurors to assign percentages of liability to the Dodgers, McCourt, Norwood, Sanchez, Stow and the other entities named in the original suit. If financial damages are awarded, they would be paid out at those percentages.

"I've been doing these cases for 23 years and I have never seen one yet in which it didn't take at least two people to tango," he said, referring to the notion that jurors could decide Stow bears some liability in the attack. "So stay tuned and stand by."

Jackson compared the Stow case to a suit filed by a woman named Maria Para Helenius, who lost sight in one of her eyes after being involved in a fight in the Dodger Stadium parking lot in 2005. A jury found her assailant, Denise Ordaz, 85 percent liable for the attack, Helenius 15 percent liable and the Dodgers zero percent liable. She was awarded $500,420, according to court documents obtained by, 85 percent of which was to be paid by Ordaz.

Stow, who was in a coma for several months following the attack, remains in a Bay Area rehabilitation facility. His family has said that he is speaking again and has made great progress since the March 31 attack, but that he still needs around-the-clock care indefinitely.

What really galls me about this is how in the world can a man who was beaten until he was comatose even be considered to have some sort of liability? Did Stow's attackers suffer wrist injuries while beating him repeatedly? Did Stow not adequately clean up the blood he spilled in Dodger Stadium?

To me, this would appear to be case of Frank McCourt trying to cover his backside. With he and wife Jamie involved in a very contentious (and potentially expensive) divorce, the Dodgers franchise faced some perilous financial issues, including questions regarding the team making payroll at certain points of the season. As such, without a renewed TV deal and its accompanying revenue, the Dodgers looked to slash expenses. So what was rumored to be one of the cost-cutting measures? Ballpark security. Perhaps if Dodger Stadium had more security personnel, the attack on Stow might have been thwarted.

Regardless, the whole soap opera surrounding a once proud franchise is making some nasty headlines these days.

-Tomorrow afternoon will be a matchup of rookie quarterbacks in Charlotte, NC as the Carolina Panthers (and #1 overall selection, QB Cam Newton) will play host to my Minnesota Vikings, led by QB Christian Ponder.

In addition to the two young signal callers being first round draft picks and (barring serious injuries) the foundation for their respective franchises, they have something else in common. You see, both Cecil Newton and David Ponder (the fathers of the aforementioned rookie QBs) were training camp participants for the 1984 Dallas Cowboys.

Very cool!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

October 27, 1991: Bundle of nerves

For the second time in five seasons, the Minnesota Twins would be involved in a game seven of a World Series. The scenario in this particular decisive game was similar to that of four years earlier. The Twins would be in the raucous atmosphere of their home stadium, the Metrodome, for the final game and would have their undisputed staff ace to start the game (it was Frank Viola in 1987; Jack Morris in 1991).

The first six games of this series versus the Atlanta Braves was enough to drain fans emotionally, as four of the games had been decided by one run, three on the final pitch and two went into extra innings.

Because I had midterm exams starting the next day, I figured I would hole up in my University's library and just study until I was sure the game would be over. I was so incredibly nervous at the prospect of my Twins coming sooooo close to another World Series title that I wasn't sure I could handle the tension of yet another close game (Wow, how prophetic was that?!?!).

Ultimately I decided to attend the Sunday evening service at my church, where there was a guest speaker from Jamaica. At one point during the service, I looked over at one of my best friends (and fellow Twins fan). As he caught my eye, the looks on our respective faces was obvious - "This is it!!! I wonder how our team will fare tonight?"

The church service was so amazing and uplifting that for 2-3 hours, I had successfully diverted my mind from the nerve wracking ball game. As I headed out to my car, I flipped on the radio, assuming the game was close to being over. As the broadcast came back from commercial, I heard the voice of the Twins, Herb Carneal, explaining how the Twins allowed runners to reach second and third base with nobody out in the eighth inning, yet got out unscathed. But I couldn't believe my ears when I heard that the game was still scoreless!

I then listened to how the Twins got runners to first and third with one out and the previous night's hero, Kirby Puckett, coming to the plate. At that point Braves manager Bobby Cox lifted John Smoltz (who had matched zeros with his boyhood idol Morris for 7+ innings) in favor of lefty reliever Mike Stanton. Cox ordered Stanton to intentionally walk Puckett to load the bases with one out to pitch to Kent Hrbek, who struck out in all three previous at-bats in the series versus Stanton. I got home about the time this pitching change was taking place, so I ran downstairs to find my brother with his head in the palms of his hands. Turns out Hrbek had just lined a ball up the middle, which was snared by Braves second baseman Mark Lemke who in turn stepped on second base (base runner Chuck Knoblauch thought the ball was up the middle for a base hit and was already halfway to third) for an inning ending double play. This was the first live action I had seen all night yet I was instantly a bundle of nerves.

After escaping that huge jam in the top of the eighth inning, Morris was locked in. He retired the Braves 1-2-3 in both the ninth and tenth innings. In between, the Twins blew a golden opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the ninth, as they had runners at first and second with no outs but failed to score.

On to the bottom of the tenth, where Dan Gladden stepped in against Braves reliever Alejandro Pena. Gladden hit the first pitch for a blooper into left center field. The ball bounced by left fielder Brian Hunter but center fielder Ron Gant was right there to back him up. Seeing this, Gladden was hauling some serious butt out of the batter's box and never slowed down as he rounded first base. Gladden slid into second just ahead of Gant's throw, meaning the winning run was in scoring position with no outs. A sacrifice bunt and two intentional walks later, pinch hitter Gene Larkin stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. Once again, I was sweating bullets while fending off the knots in my stomach. While the Twins were in prime position to win the game, and thus the series, I couldn't help but think how they had already hit in to three double plays this game. I no sooner exorcised that negative thought from my mind when Larkin looped a fly ball over the Braves' drawn in outfield. The ball fell harmlessly to the ground for a base hit. Gladden trotted home from third with the only run of the game. As he stepped on home plate, Gladden was engulfed by several teammates, including Morris. I couldn't help but notice that Jack still had on his warmup jacket with his glove in hand. Yes, the guy manager Tom Kelly called "The Horse" would have indeed gone out to pitch the 11th inning had his team failed to score in the 10th.

For the second time in five seasons, my Minnesota Twins were World Series champions! I was so wired by what I had witnessed that there was no way I was going to get to sleep that night. Turns out my temporary insomnia that evening was a good thing as I was woefully behind on studying for midterms.

In looking back at the '91 World Series, it's amazing to think how tight knit it was. Of the seven games, five were decided by one run, four were decided on the game's final pitch and three went in to extra innings.

In the end, I felt the most poignant sentiment was conveyed by a member of the losing team. After his Braves lost game seven, second baseman Mark Lemke (who hit .417 in the series and would have likely been MVP had Atlanta won) said "The only thing better would have been if we stopped after nine innings and cut the trophy in half." I would've been inclined to agree.......if only I weren't a Twins fan that is.