Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hall call

The top scoring American born defenseman in National Hockey League history.

The second most points of any American born NHL player.

Those accomplishments alone would suggest that the owner of those records would be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Well, it took longer than it should have but the official announcement came Monday.

The routine repeated itself every summer, around the time when Phil Housley knew the Hockey Hall of Fame was about to announce its newest inductees. The South St. Paul native and 21-year NHL veteran would wait by his phone, hoping to get the news that he had been elected.

Year after year, Housley was disappointed, leading him to wonder if it was ever going to happen. That explained the flood of emotions he felt Monday, when he finally got the call to the Hall with four other players and two men elected in the builder category. The highest-scoring American-born defenseman in NHL history said he was “shocked, excited and extremely proud” to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame 12 years after his retirement, a memorable conclusion to a long wait.

Housley, 51, is the oldest of the players who will be inducted in a ceremony on Nov. 9 at the Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Phil's wife Karin captured his reaction upon receiving the call.

While I've gotten to know Karin pretty well over the past few years, I have only met Phil on one occasion, which was his wife's 50th birthday celebration 17 months ago.

Yes, 2015 is shaping up to be quite a memorable year for the Housleys. Not only is Phil entering the Hall of Fame, he and Karin celebrated 30 years of marriage in mid June and they will be first time grandparents this fall! I am absolutely sincere when I say that such blessings couldn't be happening to a much classier couple. 


Monday, June 29, 2015

Box Score of the Week

Milwaukee Brewers at San Francisco Giants - July 19, 2006.


The Brewers' Tony Gwynn, Jr. recorded his first major league hit. It occurred on the 24th anniversary of his Hall of Fame father collecting his first hit in the big leagues. 


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Wake up kids, we've got the dreamer's disease.....

A busy show planned today on the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer. The 2-hour bonanza begins at 1:00 PM Central Time.

Right at 1:00 I will be joined via phone by John "Tig" Tiegen and Mark "Oz" Geist. These gentlemen were in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 and witnessed the attack on the American consulate. They also contributed to the book 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi. John and Mark will be in the Twin Cities on July 17 for an event brought to you by the Shadow Warriors Project. Check out the details here.

Then at 1:30, Mark Skousen will call in to the program. Mark founded and produces FreedomFest, which is promoted as "an annual festival where free minds meet to celebrate 'great books, great ideas, and great thinkers' in an open-minded society." He'll promote the upcoming FreedomFest taking place in Las Vegas July 8-11.

Finally at 2:15, recently crowned Miss Minnesota Rachel Latuff will join me in studio. We'll discuss Rachel's experience during the first two weeks as the new titleholder, chat about her platform Teaching the Heart: Building the Social and Emotional Wellness of Youth and their Teachers and look ahead to her preparation for the Miss America pageant slated to take place in a little less than three months.

Oh, and the U.S. Supreme Court released some decisions on some high profile cases. I'll discuss those if time allows.

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, or check us out via iheart radio

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

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

Until then.....


Friday, June 26, 2015

Marry on.......

For the second consecutive today a ruling was announced in a significant case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. And for the second consecutive day I was not the least bit surprised by the decision.

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry nationwide, in a historic decision that invalidates gay marriage bans in more than a dozen states.

Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. But in a 5-4 ruling, the court held that the 14th Amendment requires states to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples and to recognize such marriages performed in other states.

The ruling means the remaining 14 states that did not allow such unions, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans. Already, gay marriages were underway Friday in several states where they had been banned. A court in Atlanta issued marriage licenses to three same-sex couples Friday morning, soon after the decision. Other licenses reportedly were issued in Arkansas and Texas -- where Gov. Greg Abbott also issued a memo directing state agency heads to protect religious liberties.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, just as he did in the court's previous three major gay rights cases dating back to 1996.

"No union is more profound than marriage," Kennedy wrote, joined by the court's four more liberal justices. He continued: "Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right."

I've said many times on this blog as well as on the radio show that 2+ years ago I conceded the fact same-sex marriage would one day be the law of the land. As such, I wrote last year how social conservatives need to start gearing up for the next phase of this battle, which is religious liberty. We've already witnessed how private citizens who own service oriented businesses are shamed (and in some cases sued) for refusing to violate their religious objections in providing services to gay weddings. And lest you think that we're making mountains out of molehills, check out this excerpt from Chief Justice John Roberts' dissenting opinion.

While I haven't seen any specific stats or polling, I would venture to say that the majority of SSM proponents have no interest in forcing citizens to violate their religious beliefs or demand churches be mandated to host gay weddings. However, we've seen quite clearly what just a handful of rabble rousers will do when there's less than 100% acquiescence to the "Gay-stapo."

One of the persistent arguments from SSM proponents was that legalizing a union of two people who love each other is no one's business and doesn't cause harm to heterosexual marriages. In short, they were saying "live and let live." I can only hope that those who expressed that mantra equally apply that sentiment to those with deeply held religious beliefs.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rule of Law Implications

I wasn't shocked how the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on King v. Burwell, but it doesn't make the decision any less befuddling.

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies underpinning President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, rejecting a major challenge to the landmark law in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.

The justices said in a 6-3 ruling that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, as opponents contended.

The challenge devised by die-hard opponents of the law relied on four words - "established by the state" - in the more than 900-page law.

The law's opponents argued that the vast majority of people who now get help paying for their insurance premiums are ineligible for their federal tax credits. That is because roughly three dozen states opted against creating their own health insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, and instead rely on the federal healthcare.gov to help people find coverage if they don't get insurance through their jobs or the government.

In the challengers' view, the phrase "established by the state" demonstrated that subsidies were to be available only to people in states that set up their own exchanges.

The administration, congressional Democrats and 22 states responded that it would make no sense to construct the law the way its opponents suggested. The idea behind the law's structure was to decrease the number of uninsured. The law prevents insurers from denying coverage because of "pre-existing" health conditions. It requires almost everyone to be insured and provides financial help to consumers who otherwise would spend too much of their paycheck on their premiums.

The point of the last piece, the subsidies, is to keep enough people in the pool of insured to avoid triggering a disastrous decline in enrollment, a growing proportion of less healthy people and premium increases by insurers.

Just a few general reactions:

- I hesitate to react with the obligatory objection of "JUDICIAL ACTIVISM" simply because that would imply that I prefer the courts to be another legislative branch and rule according to my preferred ideology. But when Chief Justice John Roberts, who issued the majority opinion, says things like "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them....," that seems to stray from a legal ruling into advocacy.

- Speaking of the Chief Justice, I saw a lot of conspiracy theories suggesting the Obama administration has some dirt on Roberts, thus explaining why he ruled in favor of Obamacare in both legal challenges. While that may assuage the feelings of O-Care opponents, I find that claim to be highly dubious. My best guess is Roberts is keenly aware of how his CJ predecessor William Rehnquist had his legacy (fairly or unfairly) somewhat tarnished as a result of the Bush v. Gore ruling. As such, Roberts doesn't want to be viewed in a similar light, which is a staunch partisan.

- Justice Antonin Scalia issued the dissenting opinion. Perhaps the most memorable paragraph from said opinion was as follows:

“We should start calling this law SCOTUScare … [T]his Court’s two decisions on the Act will surely be remembered through the years … And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.”

- Finally, many Democrats (including Obama) and lefty pundits declare this latest SCOTUS decision to be the death knell of anymore challenges to the ACA (legally and legislatively) and that it's here to stay. Well if indeed Republicans have a viable alternative to Obamacare as they claim to, now would be as good a time as any to bring it forth. It doesn't have to be over.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Taking a pass

One of my favorite Abraham Lincoln quotes is the following:

 “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.”

Unfortunately Republicans in the suburbs just west of Minneapolis did not take that to heart.

Democrat Peggy Flanagan is facing no opposition in her bid to replace state Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley.

Flanagan was the only candidate to file by yesterday’s deadline to run in the special election for Minnesota House District 46A. Winkler announced this month that he’s retiring from the Legislature. He’s moving to Belgium after his wife accepted a job with a hotel group there.

Flanagan has been racking up plenty of endorsements to run for the seat, which represents St. Louis Park, Golden Valley, Plymouth and Medicine Lake. She received endorsements from the AFL-CIO, the SEIU and from Winkler himself.

It would be an understatement to say a Republican would have an uphill battle in a legislative district within the bluest Congressional District in Minnesota. Heck, a DFL politician in HD 46A could refer to a black Supreme Court justice as an "Uncle Thomas" and still win reelection in  a walk. But if the GOP is ever going to make hay in the Twin Cities metro area, they can't just kiss off chances to engage voters. This particular special election would have provided ample opportunity since both Golden Valley and St Louis Park (which makes up more than 75% of 46A) run on odd year elections. As such, this special election will occur the same day as mayoral and city council races, a fact not lost on my pal Jeff Kolb.

Odd year elections have a tendency to produce absurdly low turnout. If there was ever a chance a Republican could put up a formidable challenge in 46A, this year would seem to be a logical time frame. I guess we'll never know for sure.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rose had plenty of thorns as a player

As more than a quarter century has passed since Pete Rose received a lifetime ban from baseball, there was a sense that reinstatement may have been imminent. For nearly 15 years Rose vehemently denied he bet on baseball while manager of the Cincinnati Reds despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. But when he finally came clean in January 2004 (I maintain it was to hype his new book), some were willing to let bygones be bygones.

As new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred assumed his post less than a year ago, one of the first subjects he broached was reinstatement of Rose. Manfred seemed genuinely torn as to what extent he could bring Rose back, if at all.

Something tells me that Monday's revelations could severely hamper any chance Rose may have had to be reinstated.

For 26 years, Pete Rose has kept to one story: He never bet on baseball while he was a player.

Yes, he admitted in 2004, after almost 15 years of denials, he had placed bets on baseball, but he insisted it was only as a manager.

But new documents obtained by Outside the Lines indicate Rose bet extensively on baseball -- and on the Cincinnati Reds -- as he racked up the last hits of a record-smashing career in 1986. The documents go beyond the evidence presented in the 1989 Dowd report that led to Rose's banishment and provide the first written record that Rose bet while he was still on the field.

"This does it. This closes the door," said John Dowd, the former federal prosecutor who led MLB's investigation.

The documents are copies of pages from a notebook seized from the home of former Rose associate Michael Bertolini during a raid by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in October 1989, nearly two months after Rose was declared permanently ineligible by Major League Baseball. Their authenticity has been verified by two people who took part in the raid, which was part of a mail fraud investigation and unrelated to gambling. For 26 years, the notebook has remained under court-ordered seal and is currently stored in the National Archives' New York office, where officials have declined requests to release it publicly.

Rose, through his lawyer, Raymond Genco, issued a statement: "Since we submitted the application earlier this year, we committed to MLB that we would not comment on specific matters relating to reinstatement. I need to maintain that. To be sure, I'm eager to sit down with [MLB commissioner Rob] Manfred to address my entire history -- the good and the bad -- and my long personal journey since baseball. That meeting likely will come sometime after the All-Star break. Therefore at this point, it's not appropriate to comment on any specifics." Bertolini's lawyer, Nicholas De Feis, said his client is "not interested in speaking to anyone about these issues."

The timing couldn't be worse for Rose, who was expected to be at the All Star Game next month in his hometown of Cincinnati, where he is still revered. There was even some speculation that this event would be used as a backdrop to announce Rose being allowed back into baseball in a very limited capacity, which for him would be the first substantive steps towards reinstatement since his lifetime ban was instituted. But I have to believe now that is all in peril.

A lot of the reaction from Rose apologists was pretty typical. In a nutshell, they feel Rose should still be in the Hall of Fame because betting on baseball didn't result in additional base hits like, say, steroids could have. And while it's true that when Rose bet on his team, he always bet on them to win, what do you think was gleaned from the instances where he didn't place a bet on his team? Bookies took that as a sign that Rose used his intimate knowledge of the Reds to not place a wager on a given game. As such, Rose unwittingly assisted bettors in wagering against the Reds.

In the end, what Rose really wants in all this is what he believes is his rightful place in Cooperstown, NY. But even if he is reinstated, Rose is far from a certainty to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Once a player is out of the game more than 15 years, his HOF candidacy is taken up by the Veterans Committee, which is made up of baseball veterans. While Rose might have had a chance with the Baseball Writers Association of America, he's got virtually no shot to be voted in by the VC. And that was the sentiment even prior to Monday's bombshell.

Can't wait to see how Rose will try to weasel out of this one.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Box Score of the Week

In one of the wildest games in recent memory, the Texas Rangers topped the Detroit Tigers 16-15 in a May 2004 contest.


It took 1 hour, 8 minutes to complete the fifth inning of this game. That is a record for longest single inning in an MLB game.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

I'm just a lonely pilgrim, I walk this world in wealth......

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there! I hope you enjoy a nice relaxing Sunday, which of course includes indulging in the 2-hour extravaganza known as The Closer. The show kicks off right at 1:00 PM Central Time.

Much of the first hour will be dominated by the news out Charleston, SC where nine innocent church goers were murdered this past Wednesday. Sadly, much of the fallout has included the typical leftist demagoguery.

If there's time, I also plan on weighing in on the resignation of Spokane NAACP chair Rachel Dolezal after it was learned she feigned being a black woman.

At 2:15, basketball wonk Mike McCollow will check in to provide an NBA Finals recap as well as preview this week's NBA draft. For the first time in their franchise's history, my Minnesota Timberwolves have the top overall pick!

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, or check us out via iheart radio

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

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

Until then.....


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Brevity wins again

In the aftermath of the news of nine people being killed by gunman Dylann Roof in a Charleston, SC church, the reactions have become all too typical. That is, there was much finger-pointing and political demagoguery which ensued. I don't really feel like going over it all here, so I'll save it for Sunday's radio show.

To me, this is probably the most insightful reaction to the incident and its fallout:

Says it all.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Miss Minnesota 2015

As I alluded to recently, I had the distinct honor of emceeing the 2015 Miss Minnesota pageant finals this past Saturday.

Here is a quick video of the winner being announced:

Miss MN 2015 FB from Zandolee Media on Vimeo.

I have no doubt whatsoever that Rachel Latuff will be a phenomenal representative of our state.

By the way, that was my voice calling the winner. And yes, that lengthy pause was in real time. I happened to see Rachel the evening before at the annual Crowns and Gowns Gala fundraiser at the historic St. Paul Hotel. She specifically told me that if she were one of the final two contestants (and I was quite confident she would be) on Saturday evening, I should make her and the other young lady sweat it out by going with a dramatic pause before announcing the winner. So when I said "...your new Miss Minnesota is....", I was waiting for the obligatory drum roll that has preceded the announcement in the past. When I didn't hear one for a few seconds, in my mind I thought "Whoa, I better get on with this!" Turns out, it was exactly what Rachel had hoped for as she messaged me Sunday morning by saying "fantastic pausing!"

 July 2014 - Rachel, then Miss St Paul, stopped by the Patriot bunker. She finished in the Top 5 of Miss Minnesota the month before. 

February 2015 - Ran in to Rachel about a month after she was crowned Miss Olmsted County.

Definitely follow Rachel at her official Miss Minnesota Facebook page as well as on Twitter and Instagram

I may be a bit biased, but I feel confident that Rachel will be a solid contender for the title of Miss America come September in Atlantic City!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fake it 'til ya make it

So the white gal who faked being black in an effort to become a big deal within an NAACP chapter is calling it quits....quitting her NAACP position that is. Dunno if she is also going to surrender the guise of being black.

Anyhow, her statement via the Spokane NAACP Facebook page:

Dear Executive Committee and NAACP Members,

It is a true honor to serve in the racial and social justice movement here in Spokane and across the nation. Many issues face us now that drive at the theme of urgency. Police brutality, biased curriculum in schools, economic disenfranchisement, health inequities, and a lack of pro-justice political representation are among the concerns at the forefront of the current administration of the Spokane NAACP. And yet, the dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity.

I have waited in deference while others expressed their feelings, beliefs, confusions and even conclusions - absent the full story. I am consistently committed to empowering marginalized voices and believe that many individuals have been heard in the last hours and days that would not otherwise have had a platform to weigh in on this important discussion. Additionally, I have always deferred to the state and national NAACP leadership and offer my sincere gratitude for their unwavering support of my leadership through this unexpected firestorm.

While challenging the construct of race is at the core of evolving human consciousness, we can NOT afford to lose sight of the five Game Changers (Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Health & Healthcare, Education, Economic Sustainability, and Voting Rights & Political Representation) that affect millions, often with a life or death outcome. The movement is larger than a moment in time or a single person's story, and I hope that everyone offers their robust support of the Journey for Justice campaign that the NAACP launches today!

I am delighted that so many organizations and individuals have supported and collaborated with the Spokane NAACP under my leadership to grow this branch into one of the healthiest in the nation in 5 short months. In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP.

It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley. It is my hope that by securing a beautiful office for the organization in the heart of downtown, bringing the local branch into financial compliance, catalyzing committees to do strategic work in the five Game Changer issues, launching community forums, putting the membership on a fast climb, and helping many individuals find the legal, financial and practical support needed to fight race-based discrimination, I have positioned the Spokane NAACP to buttress this transition.

Please know I will never stop fighting for human rights and will do everything in my power to help and assist, whether it means stepping up or stepping down, because this is not about me. It's about justice. This is not me quitting; this is a continuum. It's about moving the cause of human rights and the Black Liberation Movement along the continuum from Resistance to Chattel Slavery to Abolition to Defiance of Jim Crow to the building of Black Wall Street to the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement to the ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ movement and into a future of self-determination and empowerment.

With much love and a commitment to always fight for what is right and good in this world,

Rachel Dolezal

Obviously Ms. Dolezal never addressed the core issue, which is why she felt the need to portray herself as a black woman. If she truly had compassion for the black community and the determination to help them overcome injustices she feels they've suffered, then why did she not attempt to vie for a position within the Spokane NAACP on merit? By essentially transforming her look into that of a black person, Dolezal implied that she felt she wouldn't get a fair shot at prominence within the NAACP unless she were black. So was she correct in her assumption? That's a question NAACP officials can answer better than I.

Regardless of what organization a person works for, if said individual engages in flat out fraudulent behavior, then dismissal should occur posthaste. Ms. Dolezal is doing the right thing by moving on. However, is it possible she may have unwittingly brought enlightenment to the NAACP? What I mean by that is if the Spokane chapter really thrived as Dolezal stated, is it possible that the organization's leaders would be open to more Caucasian chapter heads in the future considering what Dolezal brought to the table? Time will tell.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Box Score of the Week

San Francisco Giants pitcher Chris Heston threw a no-hitter against the New York Mets a little less than a week ago.


In this game Heston hit three batters, which is a record for a pitcher who threw a no-hitter. 


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hold on! I like black and white.......

Even though I'm running on adrenaline today after a long, busy (but fun) last two evenings, The Closer rolls on. I will be conducting my regular 2-hour broadcast beginning at 1:00 PM Central Time.

Part of the reason for the crazy past two evenings was my involvement with this year's Miss Minnesota pageant, including my emcee duties for last night's pageant finals! I'll chat about that in the first segment. 

In political news, I will address the recent special session of the MN Legislature as well as the national media's odd obsession with presidential candidate Marco Rubio. 

In the 2:00 hour, I welcome back friends of the program Andrew Richter and Jason Bradley, who continue to do yeoman's work with Community Solutions MN. It's their hour, so we'll likely get updates on the city of Crystal's right-of-center revolution, Golden Valley mayoral shenanigans, 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, or check us out via iheart radio

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

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

Until then.....


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Quick Hits: Volume CXIV

- My friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg had one of his "laws" validated once again.

The Reagan Corollary To The Huckabee Corollary To The McCain Corollary To Berg’s Eleventh Law: The Media and Left (pardon the redundancy) will try to destroy the conservative they are most afraid of.

The media and leftists (PTR) love identity politics. So when a minority presidential candidate on the Republican side has a compelling story that rivals (or some would argue surpasses) that of their guy Barack Obama, media/leftists will pull out the stops to draw attention from said candidate's inspiring upbringing.

Perhaps that could explain the nonsensical reporting of the New York Times on Sen. Marco Rubio's driving record (four moving violations in 18 years) and questionable personal finances. But if you read the latest Times article on said finances, it unwittingly portrays Rubio as a regular American trying to do best by his family. Basically he's one of those everyday Americans of whom Hillary Clinton claims she wants to be their champion.

I dunno. You tell me who is better suited for that role.

- Let's face it: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has zero shot to win the 2016 GOP nomination for President. However, the perpetual bachelor floated an interesting scenario regarding a First Lady should he miraculously ever occupy the White House.

"Well, I've got a sister. She could play that role if necessary,” Graham, 59, told the Daily Mail during an interview at a recent campaign event.

"I've got a lot of friends. We'll have a rotating first lady," Graham added, chuckling

If Graham is interested in a mate, how great are the pickup line potentials while on the campaign trail?

"Y'know, you could be First Lady. Can I have your number, baby, or do I have to go through the NSA?"

- A special session of the Minnesota Legislature is slated to take place this week, thus avoiding a government shutdown.

Little Lord Fauntleroy Gov. Mark Dayton must not have received the polling results he had hoped for, specifically sentiments which held the House GOP majority at fault.

“The sign of a true compromise is that no one is happy with it,” Dayton said in a statement.

During negotiations the governor abandoned his goal of a universal preschool program and was forced to surrender a fight over the state auditor’s office — goals he at one point said were requirements to call a special session.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt, on the other hand, said the deal made him “pleased” and “proud.”

“I’m pleased we can move forward with this tentative agreement today and pass a bipartisan budget that invests in Minnesotans’ needs while still respecting taxpayers,” Daudt said in a statement.

Daudt is likely to be slammed by Tea Partiers and WIBERTY! crowd for such a statement. Yes, there's no question that any budget agreed to this session will spend significantly more money than the previous biennium and thus expand the size and scope of government. Definitely not a good thing in my eyes. But I also realize that in order to significantly reduce spending as well as the size of state government, our side needs to start winning more local and statewide elections.

But that's a whole other post for another day.


Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Gov. Blunder

Because Little Lord Fauntleroy Gov. Mark Dayton did not get his way on Universal Pre-K (a decision made by the bipartisan Legislature), a gas tax increase or the MN Legislature repealing a bill he signed a few weeks ago, he's now having to call a special session with proverbial egg on his face.

Initially he flat refused to call a special session until there was Universal Pre-K established. He was rebuffed on what he considered (rather late in the session, BTW) his top priority (until it wasn't). Then magically the repealing of a bill he signed which allowed certain counties the discretion to utilize private auditing services (as opposed to State Auditor Rebecca Otto's office) was a proverbial "red line"......until Monday.

So what are the new "top priorities?"

While retreating on the auditor issue, Dayton said there's still several outstanding disagreements between himself and House Republicans that need to be settled before he calls lawmakers back to St. Paul. He mentioned three in particular: $5 million he wants for two state programs, one that helps people with disabilities find employment and another aimed at preventing homelessness among the mentally ill; a House GOP push to eliminate a cost-saving benefit for people who power homes or businesses with wind or solar energy; and a provision governing electric rates for businesses.

I guess this would be the most apt illustration of the Governor's agenda (h/t John Rouleau):


Monday, June 08, 2015

Box Score of the Week

September 12, 1984 - Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Mets.


Less than 2 months shy of his 20th birthday, Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden threw a complete game shutout against the Pirates this day, walking none and striking out 16. He is the youngest pitcher in MLB history with a CG win while issuing zero walks and notching 10+ Ks. 


Sunday, June 07, 2015

Look at what's happened to me, I can't believe it myself.....

The first weekend in June means yet another anniversary for the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer. The celebration of my four years with a weekly talk show begins promptly at 1:00 PM Central Time and goes until 3:00.

For the entire 1:00 hour, reigning Miss Minnesota Savannah Cole will stop by.

June 2014 - Savannah stopped by the Patriot bunker two weeks after being crowned Miss MN

 November 2014 - One of Savannah's first media appearances after she appeared in the Miss America pageant. 

January 2015 - Savannah stopped by our annual broadcast on Medicine Lake

May 2015 - Savannah (accompanied by Miss Missouri Jessica Hartman) sang the National Anthem at the St Paul Saints game on this night. 

As you can see, I've hosted Savannah on the program on multiple occasions (she told her parents that I'm her favorite radio host!) and have even run into her at her other public appearances. Anyhow, this is the final week of Savannah's reign, so we'll look back on the year that was as well as discuss her seemingly bright future. 

Then at 2:00 pm, my friend and NARN colleague Mitch Berg will join the broadcast. Mitch has just put the finishing touches on his first book, which is entitled Trulbert: a Comic Novella About The End Of The World As We Know It

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, or check us out via iheart radio

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

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

Until then.....


Wednesday, June 03, 2015

State of confusion

There appears to be plenty of proverbial hand wringing among Obamacare advocates regarding the latest challenge to the law passed more than five years ago.

Juan Williams explains.

The case is a challenge to federal subsidies in the healthcare law — and those four contested words are at its root. The case will be decided in the next few weeks.

The whole case rests on what the four key words — “established by the state” — mean. The plaintiffs, partisans with an open antagonism toward the law, say it means subsidies can only be offered in states that have set up their own ObamaCare exchanges, not in places where the state has declined to do so and the federal government has stepped in instead.

The Obama administration and even Republicans involved in writing the law counter that the phrasing was a minor oversight in a bill of more than 900 pages.

The real intent, backers of the law say, was for subsidies to be offered regardless of which entity was administering the exchanges. They assert that this interpretation is clearly evident in the “text, structure and history” of the law.

The idea that the dispute is worthy of Supreme Court deliberation is puzzling. Doug Elmendorf, who ran the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, was intimately involved in reviewing the law as it was being formulated to gauge its cost. The idea of subsidies being confined to state exchanges “did not arise” he told the New York Times.

Of course it didn't, given that many members flat out admitted they didn't even read the bill. Heck, then House Speaker San Fran Nan even said Obamacare needed to be passed to find out what's in it (Heh. How ironic is it when that isn't even true).

In the end, the Court will likely allow the law to stand or send it back to Congress to get fixed. I don't envision any scenario where Federal subsidies cease being provided to O-care subscribers residing in a state without an exchange.

Yes, it would appear this whole case truly does boil down to this:


Tuesday, June 02, 2015


I really didn't want to like Rand Paul. Admittedly, that was utterly unfair for me to take that stance simply because of who his father happens to be. Yet despite the reputation that preceded him upon being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010, Sen. Paul (R-KY) has shown the ability to work within the framework of the upper chamber of Congress while remaining steadfast in his commitment to libertarian/Tea Party principles.

With that in mind, one can hardly blame Sen. Paul for basking in the glow of what he claimed was a victory over the National Security Agency.

Late Sunday the National Security Agency (NSA) shut down its bulk data collection program as the PATRIOT Act expired thanks to Paul’s efforts. He tells Breitbart News exclusively that “we’re excited by the fact that the battle has been won.”

“The president has been told in no uncertain terms—and by the end of the week this will be in writing—that he can no longer illegally collect all of Americans’ phone records and keep them in Utah,” Paul said.

"I think this is a big rebuke for the president. The courts told him it was illegal and he just kept doing it anyway. I think most Americans, particularly Republicans, don’t trust this president. This is the same president who went after Tea Party groups and went after religious liberty and religious groups. I don’t understand why some of the big government Republicans up here don’t get it because most Republicans I meet across the country don’t want this president to have access to all their phone records."

Say what you will about Sen. Paul, but it was wrong of the President to dismiss his and others' objections as merely an attempt to "score political points." The outcry over the NSA's bulk data collections has been prevalent among a good number of Tea Party and libertarian members of Congress.

Even though Paul scored a proverbial touchdown as a result of his efforts, he soon after committed the equivalent of an "excessive celebration" penalty which may take away some of the luster.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Paul railed against those accusing him of jeopardizing national security by stalling efforts to renew surveillance programs.

“People here in town think I’m making a huge mistake,” Paul said. “Some of them, I think, secretly want there to be an attack on the United States so they can blame it on me.”

Paul later chalked up his comments simply being made in "the heat of battle." This is one of Paul's shortcomings that he'll have to overcome in his presidential run. That is, he has a tendency to come off as curt and cranky, a demeanor which (fair or unfair) typically resonates negatively with voters.

Let's suppose Paul does not win the 2016 GOP nomination for President. He's up for re-election in the U.S. Senate in 2016, so he'll have to re-shift his focus there. Because of his actions in thwarting the renewal of the the PATRIOT Act, this may cause the pro-defense wing of the Kentucky Republican party to put up a primary challenger against Paul. Kentucky has proven to be a fickle state when it comes to its political candidates, so I wouldn't bet on Paul's reelection to the Senate in '16 being a slam dunk.

Regardless of what happens in Paul's future, I think we can all agree that we hope our country can remain safe and secure from terror attacks without egregious infringements into our private lives.


Monday, June 01, 2015

Box Score of the Week

Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles - September 15, 1979.


As a member of the Houston Astros in 1977, Bob Watson hit for the cycle in a game. He did so again in that September 1979 contest when his Red Sox took on the Orioles. As such, Watson became the first player in MLB history to hit for the cycle in both the National League and American League.