Thursday, January 31, 2013

Getting out ahead of it

I've been thinking a little more about what I wrote yesterday regarding the MN DFL not moving ahead with legalizing gay marriage, despite having complete control of Minnesota government. Part of the problem for the Democrats is if the issue were resolved they would no longer have it as a cudgel to use against Republicans during a campaign. Another theory I have is legalization of gay marriage would unwittingly turn same-sex couples into fiscal conservatives given they would suddenly be confronted with the same everyday issues heterosexual married couples endure (e.g. household expenses, daycare costs for kids, retirement planning, etc.).

To me, it's inevitable that gay marriage will one day be the law of the land. Yes, I still oppose it on religious grounds and will continue to make my case accordingly (I do fully embrace civil unions, which grants the same rights afforded to married couples). But since this issue is being presented to the current generation as a civil rights issue in the motif of overcoming the segregation of blacks and whites in the 1960s, I feel it's only a matter of time until it's the law.

So if that truly is the case, what should be done? Simple. Have a Republican legislator introduce a bill to repeal the current MN state law which declares same-sex marriage illegal. In May 2011, there were four GOP House members who voted "No" on allowing the MN Marriage amendment to be on the ballot this past November. But since the Republicans had a solid majority in both the House and Senate, they still had more than enough votes to pass the measure.

So who should be the brave soul to come forward?

Of the four Republicans who voted "no," three are no longer serving in the MN Legislature. The one who remains, Rep. Tim Kelly of Red Wing, easily won reelection in November. That means his constituents did not hold his "no" vote against him. With that in mind, I say Rep. Kelly should remind DFLers of their accusations of Republicans attempting to quash the rights of a certain group of people. Heck, Kelly himself used the words "discrimination and prejudice" when referring to the marriage amendment in a speech on the House floor in May 2011.

Since the DFL controls both the Executive and Legislative branches of government, this may be the one wildcard Republicans have in their favor. That is put the DFL on the record by introducing a bill repealing the current state law banning gay marriage. After all, only the Democrats can stop such a measure from getting out of committee and being brought to the floor for a vote. And if the Legislature passes the bill, Gov. Dayton has already made a pledge he would sign it. There should be no hesitation in scheduling the signing ceremony once the bill arrives at his desk. And once it is signed and gay weddings commence, Rep. Kelly (again, a Republican) can be lauded as the person who had the fortitude to step forward and start the process of granting homosexuals their "civil rights."

So with that pathway cleared, Rep. Kelly and the rest of the MN Republicans can convey to all the same-sex newlyweds how the DFL is hot after their wallets. After all, finances will quickly become a very important issue (if not the most important) when gay people are free to marry whomever they choose.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Connecting the dots

With the MN Marriage amendment having been shot down in November, it conceivably cleared a path to make same-sex marriage legal in the state of Minnesota. Gov. Mark Dayton has even gone on the record saying he would sign a bill legalizing same-sex marriage if indeed the MN Legislature (now completely controlled by the Governor's fellow Democrats) passes such a measure. Even though the current legislative session is only three weeks along, there has been no indication that DFLers will consider such a bill. Since every single DFL legislator (except one) opposed the Marriage amendment (which, if it were passed by MN voters, would've made marriage strictly between one woman and one man) in 2011, it seemed only natural they would knock out that issue week one since they now control both the House and Senate.

In the grand scheme of things, it may not be the wisest thing politically for the DFL to resolve this issue for at least a couple of reasons.

  • The Democrats would no longer have the issue to use as a proverbial bloody shirt when slamming their GOP opponents as people who want to deny a gay couple two people who love each other from having a life together. 
  • If gay marriage did become legal in Minnesota, the risk for Democrats is gay couples will start to focus upon the aspects of life with which heterosexual couples already concern themselves: financially supporting their families. Can you imagine the Governor's sales tax base broadening kicking in around the same time gay marriage becomes legal? Now that they're free to marry legally, Jim & Steve are awakened to the harsh reality that they have to pay sales tax on their wedding planning services. Oh, and don't forget, Jim & Steve may also want to add children to the mix. So when the Governor and his DFL legislature (bought and paid for by Alliance for a Better Minnesota) pass a law unionizing home day care services, to whom do you think the extra costs will be passed to cover the extra business expense that is union dues? The parents of course. 

Remember when the Democrats (specifically Sen. Tom Bakk, now the Senate Majority Leader) and their supporters shrieked that gay people's civil rights would be infringed upon if marriage in Minnesota were simply between an opposite sex couple? Guess what? Gay marriage is still illegal, yet the DFL is doing nothing to right that wrong even though they have the complete power to do so.

Why is the DFL denying two people who love each other the right to be married?


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Selective demagoguery

The media and political left (pardon the redundancy) could never let go of the meme that the Tea Party was made up of nothing more than white, racist, violent thugs. Whether it was false accusations of Tea Partiers shouting racial slurs at the Congressional Black Caucus or implying that a single Tea Party member may have been responsible for the movie theater shooting in Aurora, CO, leftists and the media (again, PTR) have been relentless in the their slander.

With many Tea Party members now becoming actively involved in political campaigns, there aren't nearly as many rallies for the media to focus upon. With that in mind, the leftists are now targeting a new boogeyman in the form of Second Amendment advocates.

The latest entry in the slander files has to do with a Connecticut legislative hearing which took place Monday. Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse Lewis was one of 20 youngsters killed in the December 14 Newtown, CT shooting, testified before the Connecticut legislature in regards to gun control as well as more stringent testing for mental health. The meme MSNBC host Martin Bashir attempted to push was that Mr. Heslin was heckled by a bunch of heartless gun nuts.

Here is the clip which aired on Bashir's program:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Given what is shown in the first 22 seconds of that video, one could easily ascertain that some unruly attendees were shouting down this grieving father while he was giving his testimony. Don't think for one second that Bashir's viewers getting that impression wasn't his ultimate goal.

Since MSNBC has a history of selectively editing video/audio footage to make the political right wing look bad, the folks at Twitchy did their own investigation. What do you suppose they turned up?

(Start the clip at 15:11)

As you saw/heard with the unedited video, Mr. Heslin made his full inquiry, which was assumed to be a rhetorical question. But when he followed up his inquiry with the statement "Not one person can answer that question", it was only then the crowd responded. So the notion that the crowd was interrupting the testimony of Mr. Heslin was at best overly sensationalized and at worst patently false.

Not to be outdone, CNN host Anderson Cooper piled on when previewing his Tuesday night TV show.

Why was the father of a #SandyHook victim shouted down during a public hearing? Details @AC360 8p, 10p

Cooper then deleted the tweet when he undoubtedly realized the false nature of his claim. I guess it's too much to ask of a journalist to actually verify the integrity of a story before throwing out a teaser. But think about it from Cooper's perspective. A bunch of gun nuts heckling a grieving father who lost his young son to gun violence? That's the veritable perfect storm for an elitist media member. It's too good not to just grab it and run with it.

To be fair, Cooper then clarified his previous tweet, but only after Twitchy's Michelle Malkin called him out.

Some other outlets who also ran with the false claim came out from the proverbial bunker with egg on their collective faces.

Couldn't have happened to a bunch of nicer folks.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I...

Provided Winter Storm Luna (when did we start naming potentially treacherous winter weather?) isn't too overbearing, this week's edition of The Closer will take place at the normal 1:00-3:00 pm Central time slot.

At 2:00, the Northern Alliance Radio Network's official basketball wonk Mike McCollow will be on to talk about the sorry state of the Minnesota NBA and NCAA clubs. Then at 2:15, Mike's good friend and lead singer of  BoDeans, Kurt Neumann, will be calling in. Kurt will be on to promote the band's concert taking place Monday, February 11 at The Guthrie Theater (Wurtele Thrust Stage) in Minneapolis.

In the segments where there are no guests, I plan on looking back at the week in political news, including Gov. Mark Dayton's proposal of a sales tax-a-palooza, President Obama's inauguration speech, the Benghazi hearings, etc.

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link.

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

For mobile phone users, there are apps available for iphone, Blackberry and Android!

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

Until then.....


Saturday, January 26, 2013

March for Life

Earlier this week, Americans recognized (whether by celebrating or mourning) the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case which made abortions legal in this country. On Friday, thousands marched along the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to protest abortion, but you wouldn't know that if you still watch any of the three major news networks.

In the past forty years, due to that horrific procedure being legal, it has been estimated that 55 million babies were not given a chance at life . That number is positively staggering on its face, but let's add even more perspective. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, located in Washington, D.C., is a total of 493.5 feet long and contains 58,272 names of soldiers who were killed or are considered MIA due to the Vietnam war. Now imagine a similar memorial constructed to honor the millions of children who were victims of abortion. If each of those 55 million babies who is given a name, their "wall" would be about 456,790 feet long, or EIGHTY EIGHT MILES. Extrapolating further, say the construction of such a wall began at the intersection of Hwy. 94 and I-35W in Minneapolis. If that wall started there and stretched eastbound, it would end near Eau Claire, WI. Hard to fathom.

I don't know about you, but I often think of the potential greatness that was contained in the human beings who were never given a chance to grace us with their presence in the world. There could have been a future researcher who discovered a cure for cancer. Or perhaps another individual who could have the impact that, say, a Billy Graham has had when delivering the Word of God around the world. It is because of these possibilities that many (myself and my wife included) will never rest when it comes to advocating for the unborn.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Another chapter in the Most Transparent Administration Ever

I don't have a lot to say regarding the Benghazi hearings that took place earlier this week. My expectations couldn't have been lower regarding the acquisition of legitimate answers being given regarding the botched aftermath of the 9/11/12 attack on the U.S. consulate.

In this era of soundbites and quotable phrases (e.g. "You didn't build that", "Binders full of women", etc.), there is one doozy that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton offered up when being questioned by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (emphasis mine).

“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans! Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and to prevent it from ever happening again.”

As far as losing four of our citizens needlessly, it maybe doesn't make a lot of difference why or how. It's a tragedy that could've been avoided no matter how or why the attack was perpetrated. But what was never satisfactorily answered was why U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice perpetuated a flat out falsehood that an anti-Islam video was the catalyst for a violent protest that merely escalated out of control. It was very apparent from the beginning that it was an orchestrated terrorist attack, yet the aforementioned "anti-Islam video" lie was peddled for days.

With all due respect, Madame Secretary, the lack of transparency from an administration that pledged to be the "Most. Transparent. Evah." is something that does matter. A hell of a lot.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Inauguration Day

Despite my having Monday off work, I didn't watch the inauguration festivities that day. If you want to accuse me of being a sore loser or even unpatriotic, go right ahead. The truth is I had little desire to listen to a man who is so very obviously contemptuous of the nearly 50% of the electorate who thought someone else would have made a better Commander in Chief.

With that said, I can appreciate the spirit that surrounds Inauguration Day, even if the person being inaugurated comes off as some sort of ruler as opposed to a Democratically elected leader.

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) brilliantly captured the essence of what this day means for America.

"The American tradition of transferring or reaffirming immense power... we do this in a peaceful and orderly way," Alexander said. "There is no mob, no coup, no insurrection. This is a moment when millions stop and watch."

Indeed, the longtime peaceful transfer or reaffirmation of power is a uniquely American thing to behold. From the moment that General George Washington resigned as commander in chief of the Continental Army in 1783, peaceful transfer of power has reigned in the United States.

Sen. Alexander quoted George Washington in closing: "The peaceful transition of power is what will separate this country from every other country in the world."

Indeed. And it is that distinct difference which fostered my tremendous disgust towards certain political leftists who so freely threw around the word "dictator" when describing President George W. Bush. If those mental midgets had any conception of what a dictatorship really entailed, they might have been a little more judicious when they emitted their vapid screeds. That, and they would've also realized that dictators aren't typically known to respectfully pass over their reign to a successor, like Bush did to Barack Obama four years ago.

So even though it was not my preferred Presidential candidate being sworn in to the Presidency on Monday, I still take a tremendous amount of pride that I can participate in a system where my voice can be heard. I do not take that for granted, especially in light of the fact that the people of Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea can only dream of such a privilege.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

I learned something from my blue eyed girl: Sink or swim you gotta give it a whirl...

It is the final broadcast of The Closer to take place in President Obama's first term. The good news is I plan on being on the air for his entire second term. The bad news? There actually is a second Obama term. Anyhow, I'll be on the air at the usual time, 1:00 PM until 3:00 Central Time.

In the first hour, I'll be joined by political activist extraordinaire (and friend of the Northern Alliance Radio Network) Erin Haust. While working with James O'Keefe's organization Project Veritas, Erin and some of the crew from PV went door-to-door of those in the NY/NJ area who claim to be proud of the fact they're "gun free." As such, Erin and crew asked if they would acquiesce to having a sign placed on their lawn showing their pride in being a "gun free" zone. I think you can ascertain whay happens next.

In the second hour, I will also weigh in on the upcoming Debt Ceiling fight as well as the utterly bizarre story about a hoax involving the dead girlfriend of Notre Dame football player Manti Te'o. 

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link.

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

For mobile phone users, there are apps available for iphone, Blackberry and Android!

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

Until then.....


Friday, January 18, 2013

2012 NFL Playoffs: Conference championship games

San Francisco 49ers (-3 1/2) at Atlanta Falcons: Last week, the Falcons finally got the proverbial monkey off their collective backs with their first playoff win in the five year tenure of QB Matt Ryan and head coach Mike Smith. Their reward? They must now face a very poised and hungry San Francisco 49ers team, fresh off hanging 45 points and nearly 600 yards total offense on the Green Bay Packers.

After throwing an early interception that was returned for a touchdown last week, Niners QB Colin Kaepernick recovered quite nicely by throwing for two touchdowns, running for another pair and accumulating 444 yards total offense (263 passing, 181 rushing). Before the postseason, it was pretty apparent that the physical tools were there for Kaepernick. However, what impressed me was how quickly he brushed off the early "pick six."

Ryan and Co. had a solid game offensively against Seattle last week, including RB Michael Turner rushing for nearly 100 yards. As a team, Atlanta accumulated 167 yards on the ground against a stingy Seahawks run defense. A similar effort would benefit them greatly, in that it would keep Kaepernick off the field. However, that will be a tall task as the 49ers defense allowed only 3.7 yards per carry, good for third in the NFL. Further hampering Atlanta is their top pass rusher, John Abraham, sat out the entire second half last week due to aggravating his ankle injury. He'll likely give it a go but how effective he'll be is anybody's guess. Add to the fact that the Falcons run defense allows nearly five yards per rush, it could be yet another offensive explosion for San Francisco.
San Francisco 35 Atlanta 24

Baltimore Ravens (+9) at New England Patriots: The last time I saw a Ravens team this focused and determined (not to mention having a few bounces going their way), Ray Lewis was a year removed from being charged with obstructing justice in a double murder investigation. It was also 12 years ago when Lewis, from day one of training camp of the 2000 season, willed his team to a Super Bowl championship with the Ravens displaying one of the more awesome displays of team defense ever seen over an entire season. Lewis announced just a few weeks ago that he will be retiring from the NFL after this his 17th season.

Despite playing on pure guts and guile with a torn triceps muscle, Lewis hasn't necessarily been the catalyst for the Ravens' recent resurgence. QB Joe Flacco has really stepped up his game after Baltimore fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and replaced him with Jim Caldwell late in the regular season. What seemed like a move of desperation at the time has worked like charm as Flacco has averaged more than 300 yards passing per game over three of his four starts with Caldwell at the helm. One intangible is the Ravens aren't the least bit intimidated about the prospects going into Gillette Stadium. Despite the Pats being 10-2 all time in the postseason at Gillette, one of those losses was in the '09 postseason, a 33-14 thumping at the hands of Baltimore. Then in last season's AFC title game, the Ravens were a dropped touchdown pass away from going to the Super Bowl.

In this era of the salary cap in the NFL, it's stupefying the level of success the New England Patriots have had over the past 12 seasons. In that span, New England has missed the postseason only twice (including 2008 when QB Tom Brady threw only 11 passes before a season-ending knee injury), while making five trips to the Super Bowl, winning of three of them. And they've accomplished this incredible run of success with so many interchangeable offensive parts. Pro Bowl TE Rob Gronkowski and multi purpose back Danny Woodhead get hurt last week? No problem. Just plug in Aaron Hernandez (6 catches for 85 yards last week vs Houston) and Shane Vereen (124 all purpose yards and 2 TDs scored). Oh, and remember how the Patriots were going to start phasing out WR Wes Welker? 118 receptions and 1,354 yards in the regular season showed how committed they were to that plan. New England also let go of the player who led the squad in rushing each of the previous two seasons (BenJarvus Green-Ellis) in favor of unheralded Stevan Ridley, who ended up rushing for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns in the 2012 regular season. But the one constant of this Patriots squad over the years? Brady. Even at 35 years old, Brady still put together a remarkable statistical season, throwing for 4,827 yards (second best total of his career), 34 TDs (fourth best) and a mere 8 INTs (second lowest total of his career). Brady could be in a class all by himself if he could get a fourth Super Bowl ring. Although that would only tie him with Terry Bradshaw and his idol Joe Montana for most Super Bowl titles as a starting QB, what would set Brady apart is an unprecedented six Super Bowl appearances (he already holds the record for starting QBs with five). I'm rooting for him but, alas, I just feel the Baltimore Ravens have that aura about them.
Baltimore 27 New England 23.

2012 Postseason record
Straight up: 6-2
Against the point spread: 6-2


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Gunning for our freedoms

As expected, President Barack Obama issued Executive Orders (23 to be precise) in an effort to curb gun violence. Never mind that none of these measures would have prevented the high profile shootings in Tucson, Aurora or Newtown had they been in place for the past 2+ years. As long as the President can give the aura of being Presidential (and with children present during the signing ceremony no less) and not waste a good crisis, he's good to go. I wonder if Mr. Obama handed each kid present at the ceremony a bill for $50,000 to cover their share of the National Debt?

But I digress.

Oh, and does anyone recall supporters of a certain cult-like movement (*koff koff* Paulbots *koff*) who indignantly proclaimed that Romney=Obama? Last spring, Mitt Romney made the following comments at a campaign stop in St Louis: “If we are going to safeguard our 2nd Amendment, it is time to elect a president who will defend the rights President Obama ignores or minimizes. I will.” Whoops.

Finally, I thought a friend of mine best encapsulated this fight with the following tweet:

So: if a republican President restricts abortion “rights” via executive order(s) in the future, my liberal tweeps will be good w/ it. Right?
You would hope so. After all, a hell of a lot more children are killed via abortion then all the U.S. mass shootings combined.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Inspirational story of Te'o is KO'd

If you're a fan of Notre Dame football (which I am not), then you were likely taken in by the exceptional play of linebacker Manti Te'o this past season.

A candidate for the 2012 Heisman Trophy (awarded to the person voted most outstanding college football player that season), Te'o's stellar play on the field was in large part due to exceptional talent and work ethic. However, this season in particular, he appeared to playing with a a heavy heart.

His grandfather died first, on Jan. 27, the day after Te’o’s 21st birthday. He was a man, as Te’o’s father Brian put it, “who Manti had revered ever since he was born. That was his champion.”

Four months later, it was a cousin at birth, and in September, his grandmother.

And then, six hours after Te’o had been told of his grandmother’s passing, he got word that his girlfriend, stricken with leukemia, had died, too. His parents had been set to meet Lennay Kekua in November, at parents’ weekend. His father said he believed she could one day be his daughter-in-law.

Now, she was gone.

Shockingly, we now know that Ms. Kekua does not exist, and never did exist. The whole thing was a hoax. Te'o's only response thus far has been to release the following statement.

To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.

From that statement, a few questions come to mind:

It's obvious that there was never a Lennay Kekua. So are we to decipher that this relationship consisted strictly of online and telephone communication with someone perpetrating a ruse, suckering Te'o into believing there was a Lennay?

If the answer is "yes" to the previous inquiry, then how does one explain the following October 2012 quote from Te'o's father, Brian (emphasis mine)? "They started out as just friends," Te'o's father, Brian, told the Tribune in October 2012. "Every once in a while, she would travel to Hawaii, and that happened to be the time Manti was home, so he would meet with her there." 

So did Te'o actually meet with someone who was pretending to be Lennay? I'm guessing the hoax was not that elaborate, so one could surmise that Te'o himself was in on this whole thing. But it's likely he did not act alone. There were several pictures of a beautiful young woman posted on a Twitter account supposedly belonging to a Lennay Kekua. From where did those photos originate?

Deadspin put together a very well researched article on this whole saga, including the origin of the aforementioned photos.

All of those photographs—with one important exception—came from the private Facebook and Instagram accounts of Reba (not her real name - ed.), whom we found after an exhaustive related-images search of each of Lennay's images (most of which had been modified in some way to prevent reverse image searching). We sent her a number of photographs that had appeared on Lennay's Twitter account, which is now private but apparently still active (see this retweet, for instance). One picture in particular brought Reba to a start. It had been used briefly as @LoveMSMK's Twitter avatar and later in the background of the page.

That photo hadn't appeared on the internet—at least, not to Reba's knowledge. She had taken it in December 2012 and sent it directly to an old high school acquaintance. The two hadn't talked since graduation, but the classmate, whom Reba remembered fondly, contacted her on Facebook with a somewhat convoluted request: His cousin had been in a serious car accident, and he had seen her photos before and thought she was pretty. Would she be so kind as to take a picture of herself holding up a sign reading "MSMK," to put in a slideshow to support the cousin's recovery? (He didn't explain what MSMK meant, and Reba still doesn't know.) Baffled but trusting, Reba made the sign and sent along the photo.

And now here it was on a dead girl's Twitter profile. After googling Lennay Kekua's name, Reba began to piece things together. She called up the classmate. He expressed alarm, Reba told us later, and "immediately began acting weird." "Don't worry about it," he told her. Moments after the phone call, Reba's picture was removed from the @LoveMSMK Twitter profile. Then, in a series of lengthy phone calls, Reba told us everything she knew about the classmate, a star high school quarterback turned religious musician named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.

Definitely read the entire Deadspin piece for yourself. It goes on to quote sources that Te'o and Tuiasosopo are connected somehow, either being family or family friends. If that's the case, that would provide some circumstantial evidence that the two of them may have been the puppeteers guiding this very elaborate hoax.

As someone who is projected to be a high first round pick in the NFL draft, Te'o will have to come clean about everything he knows. There is no question this will be part of the scouting process.

While this story is very bizarre (bordering on surreal), I personally took comfort in one aspect of this whole saga. There was no young woman named Lennay Kekua who died from leukemia.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The perpetual campaign

I consider myself to be a civil and fun-loving human being. However, there are a couple of personality traits which make me, for lack of a better term, angry.

  • Being disingenuous 
  • Condescension 

President Barack Obama had both on full display in Monday's press conference, the final one of his initial term

I'm going to dispense with what appeared to be the President's utter disconnection with reality, especially when he spoke of a "productive" first term or how he fancied himself as having ideas (or even a clue) on deficit reduction.

With a looming battle between the President and the House Republicans over the debt ceiling, the continual straw man being put forth is how America risks "default" if the aforementioned debt ceiling (the maximum amount of debt our country can hold) is not raised.

Mr. Obama offered up that chanting point once again on Monday (emphasis mine).

If congressional Republicans refuse to pay America’s bills on time, Social Security checks and veterans’ benefits will be delayed. We might not be able to pay our troops, or honor our contracts with small business owners. Food inspectors, air traffic controllers, specialists who track down loose nuclear material wouldn’t get their paychecks.

That's disingenuous at best, and a flat out lie at worst. The fact of the matter is even if we reach that "debt ceiling" but don't raise it, we avoid default as long as interest payments on the debt are being made (which comprises only 6% of total spending). In terms of tax revenue, we still bring in enough money to fund 60-70% of all Federal spending which Congress, who actually appropriates the money, would then have to prioritize. Does anybody honestly believe that Congress wouldn't make Social Security, veterans' benefits, national defense and interest on the debt the top priorities? But, again, the President rarely diverts from campaign mode, so the appeals to low information voters are still a vital part of any speech.

Eventually, the subject turned to victim disarmament "gun control", something that has been top priority on the Obama administration's agenda since the tragic shooting at a Newtown, CT elementary school last month (Remember, never let a good crisis go to waste).

In the aftermath, many law abiding gun owners were concerned about their legally owned firearms, especially when it's been suggested by some politicians that gun confiscation may be an option.

Here's where the condescension reared its ugly head as the President flippantly dismissed such concerns.

....Obama on Monday hit opponents of gun control for "ginning up fear" among Americans who might otherwise support some measure of reform.

"Those who oppose any common-sense gun control or gun safety measures have a pretty effective way of ginning up fear on the part of gun owners that the federal government is about to take all your guns away," Obama said during a press conference in the White House. He added, "There's probably an economic aspect to that. Its obviously good for business."
One could almost get a sense that he was going to go the "bitter clingers" route with that rhetoric.

But do you know what likely ginned up fear, Mr. President? It was YOUR OWN VICE PRESIDENT who came out and stated that your administration would bypass Congress and issue Executive Orders to create "gun control" statutes. Lest we forget, the Obama administration has a history of not following laws they don't like, especially when the President doesn't have a rubber stamp Congress to assist him in changing/overturning legislation. Hence instructing the Justice Department to no longer defend the law "Defense of Marriage Act" or issuing an E.O. to usurp certain laws regarding illegal immigration.

Next week, President Obama will be sworn in for his second term. Given he has a political mandate due to his not having to face the voters again, I don't imagine he'll dial back those seemingly inherent personality traits.

God help us.


Monday, January 14, 2013

$13 million

Have you ever thought of the myriad ways $13 million can be spent? It's quite likely you haven't but let's look at a few, shall we?

And the coup de grace in this little exercise?

  •  About $13 million was spent on a commuter rail platform is Ramsey, MN where there's only approximately 100 riders per day utilizing the train service and the heat lamps in the shelters shut down when the temperature dips into single digits. Perhaps $13 million stacked in 100 dollar bills would have been better utilized as kindling Monday morning.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Forget mathematical equations, self-help psychology........

Another Sunday, another edition of The Closer today from 1:00 pm until 3:00 Central Time.

At 1:15, reigning Ms. Collegiate Minnesota Gianna Capuzzi will be in studio for three segments.

I'll chat with Gianna about how she got her start in pageantry as well as some of the causes for which she is a strong advocate. Gianna also attends college at my alma mater, so I imagine we'll muse about campus life at Univ. of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Then at 2:00, Phil Housley will be calling in.

For those of you who are hockey fans in general, Phil needs little introduction. He played for 21 years in the NHL (1982-2003) for eight different franchises, and was inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 & the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2012. He is currently head coach of the Stillwater High School hockey team but took a few weeks off from those duties to coach Team USA to a gold medal in the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championship, which concluded last weekend.

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link.

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

For mobile phone users, there are apps available for iphone, Blackberry and Android!

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

Until then.....


Friday, January 11, 2013

2012 NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round

Baltimore Ravens (+9) at Denver Broncos: The Ravens seemed extra inspired last week in their win over the Indianapolis Colts. That's due in large part to the fact their franchise player, LB Ray Lewis, will be retiring at the end of this season. With last week being Lewis's final home game no matter what, the Ravens rolled. Unfortunately for Baltimore, they'll need an even bigger effort to go into Denver and upset the Broncos, who have won 11 consecutive games coming in to the postseason.

Four weeks ago, the Broncos went in to Baltimore and crushed the Ravens 34-17 in a game that wasn't even that close. Peyton Manning is definitely locked in and I don't believe the Baltimore defense will be up to the task of slowing him down. I sure as heck don't believe that the Ravens offense (which mustered only 278 total yards in the regular season matchup) can go in to Denver and do what it takes to take over the game.
Denver 35 Baltimore 14

Green Bay Packers (+3) at San Francisco 49ers: What can we take away from the 49ers' 30-22 season opening win over the Packers in Lambeau Field? Depends. For starters, Alex Smith was the San Francisco quarterback. This time around, Colin Kaepernick will be under center for the Niners, and he brings a much different dynamic to the offense with his running prowess as well as the ability to make accurate throws on the run. On the flip side, the Packers can be a very opportunistic defense when it comes to forcing turnovers. A young QB like Kaepernick can be vulnerable in that area, but in seven starts he's only turned it over four times (3 INTs, one lost fumble). Running back Frank Gore gashed the Packers defense in week one with 112 yards rushing but hasn't had a 100+ yard game since Week 7.

With Niners DT Justin Smith having missed the past two games with a triceps injury, LB Aldon Smith has seen his productivity diminish. Although he had a fine season with 19.5 sacks, he recorded none in the two games Justin Smith was out of the lineup. But now that Justin Smith is slated to return this week, this could could spell trouble for the porous offensive line of the Packers. While Rodgers did record 303 yards passing in the week one game, he needed 44 passes to reach that total. He also got no help from the running game as Green Bay recorded only 45 yards rushing (27 by Rodgers himself). However, DuJuan Harris has been a nice find for the Packers, both as a runner and pass catcher. However, he'll find the sledding very difficult in running the ball as San Francisco allowed only 3.7 yards per carry, good for third in the NFL.

To me, the home field will be the difference.
San Francisco 27 Green Bay 20

Seattle Seahawks (+2 1/2) at Atlanta Falcons: In their first five seasons as a head coach and quarterback tandem, Mike Smith and Matt Ryan have a stellar regular season record of 56-24. However, that has been tarnished by an 0-3 playoff record.

Quite simply, this game will come down to how effective the Falcons passing game can be versus that vaunted Seattle defense. Ryan has two 1,000+ yard wide receivers in Roddy White (1,351 yards and 7 TDs in 2012) and Julio Jones (1,198 and 10), as well as future Hall of Fame TE Tony Gonzalez (930 and 8). This has made up for a lackluster run game, which averages a mere 3.7 yards per carry. Despite the Seahawks featuring two solid defensive backs in Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman, their pass defense took a huge hit last week when DE Chris Clemons (11.5 sacks in 2012) tore a knee ligament last week as is out for the season. This could leave Ryan enough time to find his open receivers.

The Seahawks offense, led by QB rookie Russell Wilson, continues to make enough plays to be formidable, due in large part to RB Marshawn Lynch finishing third in the NFL in rushing yardage with 1,590. This is an excellent matchup for Seattle, as Atlanta's defense surrendered 4.8 yards per rush, which ranks near the bottom of the NFL. A good formula to keeping the Falcons' vaunted pass offense off the field? Pound Lynch continually.
Seattle 24 Atlanta 21

Houston Texans (+9 1/2) at New England Patriots:  A little more than a month ago, the Patriots embarrassed the Texans 42-14 on Monday Night Football. In that game, the NFL's leading sacker, Houston's J.J. Watt, was irrelevant. If that happens this time around, the end result may be very similar. Even worse news for the Texans is that Pats' QB Tom Brady now has his favorite weapon back in the fold in TE Rob Gronkowski. Even without Gronk, Brady threw for 296 yards and 4 TDs (0 INTs) in that regular season matchup. If Houston can somehow keep this game close, perhaps RB Arian Foster can run the ball effectively to keep Brady & Co. off the field.

The X-Factor is this: Bill Belichick. The Patriots are 10-2 at home in the playoffs under coach Belichick. The bye week will also make a difference for New England.
New England 31 Houston 20

2012 Playoff Record
Straight up: 4-0
Against the Spread: 3-1


Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Profiles in septuagenarian creepers

During Alabama's rout of Notre Dame in the NCAA National Championship game Monday evening, ESPN play-by-play guy Brent Musburger was quite impressed with a certain young lady in the crowd. The young lady in question, Katherine Webb - Miss Alabama 2012, is currently dating Alabama QB AJ McCarron. As such, Musburger decided to give a very enthusiastic verbal "tip of the hat" to McCarron (you can hear Brent's adulation here).

Because ESPN is so hypersensitive to criticism, they decided to issue an apology on behalf of Musburger.

We always try to capture interesting storylines and the relationship between an Auburn grad who is Miss Alabama and the current Alabama quarterback certainly met that test. However, we apologize that the commentary in this instance went too far and Brent understands that.

To me, that's pretty benign when you compare it to the second most powerful political official in the United States smiling like some kind of late-night-sneaky-Uncle at every female (regardless of age) who approached him at the swearing-in ceremony of U.S. Senators last week.

In the minds of a good number of Democrats, Joe Biden is supposedly the leading choice to be the Dem nominee for President in 2016. Take that for what you will.


Monday, January 07, 2013

Quick Hits: Volume LXIV

From the Garden State:

New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said Monday that Gov. Chris Christie might have “prayed” for Superstorm Sandy, because it has provided cover for what Sweeney said are the governor’s failed economic policies.

Sweeney said the Republican governor’s jobs plan before Sandy was a disaster, and now the reconstruction will provide an economic boost through thousands of construction jobs.

“I guess he prayed a lot and got lucky because a storm came,” Sweeney said.

Democrats have for some time blamed Christie’s administration for failing to create jobs or rescue more homeowners from foreclosure.

Republicans called the comment “way out of line.”

Sweeney, who is the most powerful elected Democrat in New Jersey, immediately apologized for the remark.

Say, did a certain buffoonish jackass (and perhaps the biggest Obama shill in the media), who has a nightly show on MSNBC, ever apologize for expressing he was "so glad" that Superstorm Sandy took place?

-One of my guilty pleasures occurs every Monday when I hand in my man card from 8:00 pm until 9:00 Central Time in order to watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo TV. Kim Richards, one of my favorite actresses from the 70s and 80s (and for whom I had a "thing") is one of the "wives" (and a hot mess at that).

As is the trend these days, most TV programs have a "hashtag" phrase or word displayed onscreen in the event fans of the show would like to discuss the episode via Twitter (in the case, #RHOBH). With this particular show, the best "tweets" and Facebook messages are then displayed on the screen when the episode is rebroadcast the following week. Yep, you guessed it. Monday evening one of my tweets was shown during the rerun of the previous episode!

The reaction I had was similar to that of when I was a kid and my name was mentioned at the end of Romper Room.

- I could have lived without hearing this story, but NBC TV news guy Al Roker shared an anecdote of a time he visited the White House press room. Let's just say it was a gas.

"I probably went off and ate something I wasn't supposed to. And as I'm walking to the press room, [I'm thinking] well, I gotta pass a little gas here. I'm walking by myself. Who's gonna know? Only a little something extra came out. I pooped my pants."

Roker claimed it was side effects from his gastric bypass surgery, but rumor has it the accidental...uh..."movement" was due in part to his reading the President's latest tax proposals.


Sunday, January 06, 2013

I'd lay in a pile of burning money that I've earned and not even worry about getting burned...

Happy New Year all, as The Closer will be making its 2013 debut! We'll be in our usual time slot today, which is 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central Time.

What makes this show fun is the variety of guests which join the show, and today is no exception.

At 1:15, current International Super Ms. title holder Stephanie McGrane will be in studio. Stephanie will talk about what exactly is International Super Ms. as well as the many endeavors that come with being a pageant title holder.

The at 2:00, GOP political strategist (and The Closer's official political wonk) Matt Mackowiak will check in via phone to talk Fiscal Cliff, GOP House leadership, etc.

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link.

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

For mobile phone users, there are apps available for iphone, Blackberry and Android!

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

Until then.....


Saturday, January 05, 2013

2012 NFL playoffs: Wildcard

Cincinnati Bengals (+4 ½) at Houston Texans: In a rematch of last season’s wildcard game (won by Houston), this game feature two teams going in opposite directions. The Bengals won 7 of their final 8 regular season games, whereas the Texans lost three of their final four contests (and looked awful in doing so), including their final two. A win in either of their final two games would have given Houston a first round bye.

Second year Bengals players Andy Dalton and AJ Green have become the most prolific quarterback/wide receiver duo in an inaugural two season span. Dalton will definitely have his work cut out for him as he tries to evade Texans’ standout DE J.J. Watt, who led the NFL in sacks with 20.5. The Bengals will also have to rely heavily on the pass since their leading rusher, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, will find it difficult to gain yardage against the NFL’s seventh ranked run defense.

Texans QB Matt Schaub was outstanding the first 12 games of the season but really struggled in those aforementioned final four games where he threw only one TD pass with three INTs. It doesn’t help that here he faces the seventh ranked defensive unit against the pass. RB Arian Foster, who was sixth in the NFL in rush yards, will be expected to put forth a 100+ yard effort, something he’s only done once in the past five games.
Overall these teams seem pretty even, which is why I believe home field will be the difference.
Houston 23 Cincinnati 20

Minnesota Vikings (+7 ½ ) at Green Bay Packers: The popular talking point regarding this game is how the Vikings (a predominately indoor team) will not be able to function in the frigid conditions of Lambeau Field and the Packers will roll as a result. But answer this: what kind of offense can function better in treacherous conditions, a top tier run game or potent passing game? I would definitely take my chances with the run, especially with Adrian Peterson, who is statistically the best running back in the NFL over the past six seasons. AP’s 2,097 rush yards a year removed from tearing two ligaments in his left knee may be the most impressive offensive display in NFL history.

While the Vikings have been able to escape any serious injuries throughout the regular season, they have some question marks coming in to this game. The quarterback of their secondary, DB Antoine Winfield, irritated his injured right hand on Sunday and his status is questionable for this game. Also, stellar rookie Safety Harrison Smith has been limited in practice due to a knee injury as well as a stinger suffered in the regular season finale against the Packers. On the offensive side, QB Christian Ponder, who had one of the finest games of his career last Sunday when it counted most, has been plagued with a sore elbow on his throwing arm.

On the flip side, the Packers seem to be getting healthier. CB Charles Woodson was a full participant in practice this past week and appears good to go for this game. Also, WR Randall Cobb is expected to play, which should give Green Bay their full complement of receivers for the first time in a while. Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings have also battled various injuries throughout the season but are now healthy and ready for this week. And if all that doesn’t present enough of a challenge for the Vikes defense, RB DuJuan Harris has given the Pack a formidable run option.

While the Vikings’ defense registered 5 sacks of QB Aaron Rodgers last Sunday, they still surrendered 365 yards passing. Even if Winfield and Smith are able to go for the Vikes, Rodgers has pretty much all of his weapons in play. Also, history isn’t on Minnesota’s side, as the Packers have never lost consecutive playoff games at home in franchise history (the Pack’s 2011 season ended with a home playoff loss to the NY Giants). As is usually the case, the Vikings will need to stay close so their running game can be a factor. That said, game time temperatures will be in the teens with a 30% chance of scattered flurries. That doesn’t appear to be much of an inhibitor to Green Bay’s potent passing attack.
Green Bay 31 Minnesota 21

Indianapolis Colts (+7) at Baltimore Ravens: Ravens all pro LB (and future Hall of Famer) Ray Lewis announced this past week that he will retire after this his 17th season. The Colts, 11-5 this year after a 2-14 campaign in 2011, are a terrific story. Rookie QB Andrew Luck has been all they have hoped for in replacing the legendary Peyton Manning. However, I think the Ravens will ride the wave of emotion of their fearless leader moving on at the end of this season and win this contest. Beyond that, who knows?
Ravens 28 Colts 20

Seattle Seahawks (-2 ½ ) at Washington Redskins: Both Seattle and Washington feature stellar rush offenses (third and first in the NFL, respectively) as well as stingy run defenses (tenth and fifth, respectively). However, I think this game will be decided by the pass. The Redskins rank near the bottom in pass yards allowed, so Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson will have a good opportunity to put up solid numbers. Meanwhile, that other rookie signal caller Robert Griffin III is quite formidable himself. However, he’s facing a top tier defense which just got back CB Brandon Browner from a four-game suspension for PEDs. He along with their other standout corner Richard Sherman will give the Skins WRs fits all day. RGIII and the NFL’s second leading rusher Alfred Morris will need to rack up a lot of rush yards in order to win this game. In my opinion, I don’t believe it will be enough.
Seattle 28 Washington 17


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Cliff notes

There's not a lot I can say on the "Fiscal Cliff" vote that's any more original or insightful than what others have said already.

However, what was utterly predictable was how many of my fellow conservatives ended up pig piling on the 85 House Republicans who voted for a package which essentially raises spending approximately $41 for every $1 in cuts. Now I am not saying that outrage is unjustified. Heck, I fully endorse your privilege to put up a primary challenger in the next election cycle for any of the GOP members who voted yes.

But let's remember a couple of key aspects:

- If you're going to throw your weight behind a GOP primary challenger, be sure it's someone who actually has a fighting chance in a general election. It's utterly useless to play this "we'll teach these RINOs a lesson" game and then do nothing beyond the primaries/endorsement process.

- The "Tea Party" Republicans stood their ground and voted "no" on the package, staying consistent with their "no tax increases" pledge. They might be some good resources on how to accomplish winning in a general.

I'm not certain that our country can be saved from total insolvency. But if by some minor miracle American can be redeemed, it sure as heck wasn't going to happen over a mere two election cycles.