Monday, August 31, 2015

Box Score of the Week

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants - August 22, 1965.


Giants pitcher Juan Marichal came to bat against the Dodgers' Sandy Koufax in the bottom of the third inning. Apparently Marichal had thrown at one of the Dodgers' hitters earlier, so Koufax was asked to retaliate. But since that wasn't in Koufax's nature, Dodgers catcher John Roseboro decided to take matters into his own hands. After catching a pitch in the Marichal at bat, Roseboro buzzed Marichal's head when throwing back to the pitcher. Marichal responded by clubbing Roseboro in the head with his bat, resulting in the Dodgers' catcher bleeding profusely. It also lead to a bench clearing brawl.

Marichal recalled the incident with Bob Costas back in 2009.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

So I settled for a burger and a grape sno-cone.....

Yes, it's Minnesota State Fair time!! With all due respect to late great crooner Andy Williams, this is the most wonderful time of the year, particularly in my role as talk radio host. Yes, I will be live from the Fair for this afternoon's edition of The Closer, which will be in the usual time slot of 1:00 until 3:00 Central Time.

A couple of long standing traditions of our State Fair broadcasts are visits on location by the newly crowned Princess Kay of the Milky Way as well as Congressman John Kline. Today both will be appearing!

Right at 1:00 I''ll be joined by the newest Princess Kay, a young lady by the name of Kyla Mauk.

Photo courtesy of

Kyla, who was crowned just this past Wednesday evening, is the 62nd Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

Then at 2:00, Congressman Kline will stop by to discuss the Iran nuclear deal, the prospects of Planned Parenthood de-funding and immigration.

In the non-guest segments, I'll likely discuss the latest in presidential political news, the Roanoke, VA shootings, more media double standards, etc.

If you happen to be out at the fair today, feel free to stop by and say hello. We're located on Machinery Hill, which is at the north end of the fairgrounds, specifically near the corner of Underwood Street & Murphy Avenue (next door to the Home Depot building; see map here). 

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

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

Until then.....


Friday, August 28, 2015

Victim of its own creation

The ever popular sports network ESPN has been attempting to broaden its franchise by branching out into social commentary over the past decade or two. Its award winning show Outside the Lines has done a terrific job exploring the lives of sports affiliated personalities away from their respective competition. As such, this has spawned many other programs which have allowed sports guys and gals the opportunity to stray from pontificating merely on athletics.

But such an expansion of programming has had its downside as the likes of Stephen A. Smith, Colin Cowherd and Bill Simmons have each endured suspensions for variations of objectionable commentary.

This past week, yet another commentator has faced ESPN management's wrath

Curt Schilling, a star pitcher who was in the Major Leagues for 20 years and a baseball analyst for ESPN, was suspended from his Little League World Series duty after sending a controversial tweet Tuesday.

The tweet re-posted a meme that reads: "It's said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How'd that go?"

The text was superimposed of a red-tinted photo of Adolf Hitler.

Schilling added, "The math is staggering when you get to true #'s."

"Curt's tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company's perspective," ESPN said in a written statement. "We made that point very strongly to Curt and have removed him from his current Little League assignment pending further consideration."

Schilling deleted the tweet after individually replying to his some of his critics and supporters.

In one he wrote, "needed to actually think a bit before acting on that one, or not acting. On me though."

A couple of issues I have:

First, the story was widely reported as Schilling tweeting something offensive about Muslims. That's quite misleading as you can see from the meme posted. It referenced 5-10% of Muslims, a small minority. But Schilling's point seemed to be that, despite the small percentage, fanatical types can overshadow the more moderate and passive factions of its movement.

Second, it's been pretty well established that terror organizations like Al-Qaeda and ISIL are extremist groups who commit their horrific acts in the name of its Muslim religion. However, a vast majority of Muslim leaders contend that ISIL's actions are extreme and that they have wildly strayed from the true path of Islam. So what exactly did ESPN find "unacceptable?"

In the end, ESPN wanted to be a "progressive" channel by offering more than the mere highlights of sporting events taking place. As such, they brought on guys like Smith, Simmons and Schilling, all of whom carried a well established reputation for "no holds barred" commentary. I guess I'm rather surprised that they would express such dismay when these guys lived up to that well-earned rep.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Unscripted reality TV

I couldn't bring myself to watch the horrific video of Roanoke, VA TV reporter Alison Parker (she of station WDBJ) being assassinated on air while conducting a live interview. She and cameraman Adam Ward were shot dead by former WDBJ colleague Vester Flanagan, who apparently left the station on bad terms. Flanagan himself later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Interviewee Vicki Gardner was also shot but is alive and recovering.

Given that this was a flat out ambush by Flanagan and in the state of Virginia, common sense would dictate that the usual demagoguery over guns should not have entered into the equation. After all, a military marksmen couldn't have reacted quickly enough to thwart such an ambush. And given the fact that Virginia has some stringent gun control laws, the outcry for more legislation would be just silly, right?

Within a mere few hours after the murders, Virginia Gov. Terry McAwful McAuliffe was decrying how Flanagan was able to obtain a gun sans background check without even verifying the fact the gunman actually did pass one. Seems to me a rather tedious exercise to enact more legislation when current laws are neither being followed nor enforced.

When it was revealed that the shooter was a "disgruntled former employee" of WDBJ, Deray McKesson (whom I understand is a civil rights activist; I'd never heard of him) dismissed that description.

Yeah, whoops. Not that race matters in this instance (though Flanagan himself was the one who inserted it into the discussion by declaring a "race war"), but the shooter was a black guy. Not surprisingly, Mr. McKesson deleted that embarrassing blunder.

What really has me thinking is would Flanagan have been charged with a "hate crime" had he not taken his own life? Remember last month when the indictment against Charleston, SC shooter Dylann Roof took place (a white guy who killed multiple black people)? Attorney General Loretta Lynch commended the 33-count indictment against Roof, specifically where he was charged with a "hate crime."

From AG Lynch herself:

“The federal indictment returned today charges Roof with nine murders and three attempted murders under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This federal hate crimes law prohibits using a dangerous weapon to cause bodily injury, or attempting to do so, on the basis of race or color. The Shepard Byrd Act was enacted specifically to vindicate the unique harms caused by racially motivated violence."

Emphasis was mine.

Read Flanagan's "manifesto" and judge for yourself. Could you imagine the veritable crap storm from Black Lives Matter et al had such a charge been levied?

Alas, this is what our society has become. We spend the immediate aftermath of such a tragedy discussing the political aspect of such senseless violence while the victims and their loved ones almost become an afterthought. Heck, I'm guilty of it too given everything I've just penned here. But I am committed to praying for peace and comfort for the loved ones of all the deceased while resisting the attempts by those who look to impose their legislative will by infringing upon our rights. It seems like a never-ending battle.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dump Trump

If you ask anyone currently supporting Donald Trump for President (for the record, I do not support him) why he's their guy, you'll get the same general sentiments. Answers will range from how he's "not the typical droning politician" to "he tells it like it is" to "he's the only candidate to seriously address the immigration problem." (bull pucky, but that's what's being said)

It has been my experience that when most people exude bravado to the extent Trump has, there's a good chance it is done in an attempt to bury deep rooted insecurities. I won't speculate what Trump is attempting to shield but it's clear that this so-called "fighter" has been rattled by Fox News personality Megyn Kelly.

During and after the initial GOP presidential debate which occurred on August 6, Trump took umbrage with Kelly's line of questioning to him, specifically regarding his derogatory statements about certain women. In the aftermath of the debate, Trump supporters posted insulting tweets towards Kelly, some of which Trump himself retweeted.

Upon returning from a near two week vacation, Kelly was once again being slammed via Twitter.

Now, does this strike you as being "Presidential?" Continuing to personally go after a media figure who asked you tough questions three friggin' weeks ago?!?!?! Yeah, that fills me with the utmost confidence that Trump could maintain a sense of decorum when in difficult negotiations with someone like Vladimir Putin.

Fox News chief Roger Ailes finally had enough, releasing a statement on Tuesday.

"Donald Trump's surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing. Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at Fox News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise," Ailes' statement reads. "I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults. Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer," Ailes said. "Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should. We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we’re certainly not going to start now. All of our journalists will continue to report in the fair and balanced way that has made FOX News Channel the number one news network in the industry.”

Some of Kelly's on air colleagues also came to her defense.

"Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade said Tuesday morning that Trump is "totally out of control" and that his attacks on Kelly are "totally unwarranted."

Host Bret Baier, who moderated the GOP debate with Kelly and Chris Wallace, tweeted "It's been 19 days since the debate — @realDonaldTrump has made his feelings clear. But THIS needs to stop," adding the hashtag "#letitgo."

Sean Hannity, who had one of the first interviews with Trump on Fox after the debate and initial Kelly flare-up, also tweeted his support of Kelly, though he called Trump a "friend."

"My friend @realDonaldTrump has captured the imagination of many. Focus on Hillary, Putin, border, jobs, Iran China & leave @megynkelly alone," he wrote.

I can't believe Trump will be able to continue this nonsense and still emerge the GOP nominee. My prediction is once the conversation pivots to issues other than immigration (not to say that isn't an important one), Trump will be exposed. His speech in Alabama was filled with nothing more than platitudes. I just don't see how he can perpetually cover for his woeful lack of policy ideas while still coming off as a buffoon.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Quick Hits: Volume CXVI

- Dunno if this approaches "The Collapse" that economic doomsdayers have predicted for some time, but Monday was a harrowing day nonetheless.

U.S. stocks tumbled on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping to an 18-month closing low in a tumultuous trading session that saw the blue-chip benchmark briefly plummet more than 1,000 points.

The Dow plunged as much as 1,089 points in the first six minutes of trading before paring losses as traders said mutual funds and other investors began stepping in to buy up beaten down stocks. More than 13.9 billion shares changed hands, making Monday the largest volume day since August 2011.

Traders attributed the early morning drop in part to big investors scrambling for ways to protect themselves against losses outside the U.S., as well as to a cascade of automatic selling by retail investors. Traders said the sharp morning declines triggered so-called stop-loss orders, which are designed to protect investors by instigating a sale once a stock falls to a certain level. They are typically used by brokers who manage money for retail investors.

The Dow’s tumble marked its largest one-day point decline ever on an intraday basis, as intensifying growth fears sparked steep stock-market losses world-wide. Large retail brokerages hosted calls with their legions of financial advisers, encouraging them to stay calm and possibly buy beaten down companies. Mutual funds and hedge funds also began scooping up stocks, traders said.

Despite us being a little more than a year away from electing the next President of the United States, the current crop of candidates are going to use this latest financial saga to demonstrate why he/she should be elected. Who's best positioned to make that case? Check out Noah Rothman's intriguing piece at Commentary.

- Tough break for the Green Bay Packers as their top Wide Receiver, Jordy Nelson, will be lost for the 2015 season due to a severe knee injury.

Going into this season, the Packers were a legitimate Super Bowl contender. And while the loss of Nelson is a significant blow, Green Bay is probably one of few teams who are equipped to handle such an occurrence given they have on their roster one of the top 3 quarterbacks in the NFL.

While I still believe the Pack will win the NFC North division, this definitely closes the gap between them and my Minnesota Vikings. And though I am grateful that my favorite team may be a more formidable foe in the North, I certainly am not like some Vikings fans who ghoulishly cackle over Nelson's livelihood being in peril.

- You may have noticed the Obama Justice Dept. has not exactly treated the Hillary Clinton email scandal with proverbial kid gloves. It's a sad commentary when we're surprised that departments within the Executive Branch of government actually do their job. If I were a conspiracy theorist (which I am not), it wouldn't be a giant leap to say the DOJ investigations are in part an orchestrated attempt to clear the way for a certain VP to run for President in 2016.

Vice President Joe Biden received President Barack Obama's "blessing" to make a 2016 bid for the White House, according to a senior Democrat.

But that's if Biden chooses to run -- the decision is his. While he doesn't need the President's permission, of course, a potential presidential candidacy was among the topics of their lunch Monday at the White House. The President made clear he would not stand in his way or counsel him against a run, the senior Democrat said.

Biden is leaning toward running, several people involved in discussions tell CNN, but they stress that he has not yet firmly made up his mind to launch a candidacy.

The meeting on Monday night, along with his private session on Saturday with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, underscores the length he is going to explore a run.

While many top Democrats have already signed onto Hillary Clinton's candidacy, several former Obama advisers tell CNN they would work for Biden if he jumps into the race.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Box Score of the Week

Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays - August 5, 2006.


Last month, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz (almost exclusively a designated hitter) played in the field. It was the first time he had done so against an American League opponent since that August 2006 game vs. Tampa Bay.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Two worlds collide, rival nations.......

This afternoon will be my final broadcast in the Patriot bunker as I will be live at the MN State Fair over the next two weeks. Be sure to tune in to The Closer today from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time.

In the first hour I'll briefly discuss the fluid situation regarding Hillary Clinton's possible breach of national security while Secretary of State during the first Obama term. I will also discuss the disturbing sagas involving "Reality TV" star Josh Duggar and Subway pitchman Jared Fogle.

Then in the 2:00 hour, my friend and fellow NFL rube Mark Heuring will stop by for our annual NFC North preview. Since I am a Vikings fan and Mark a Packers enthusiast, it's the only division which matters to us.

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, August 22, 2015

Beyond disgust

I felt the need to take a shower after reading about two different sleazy encounters involving high profile individuals.

First off, a "Reality TV" star.

Josh Duggar has released a statement calling himself “the biggest hypocrite ever” following media reports that he was a paid user of, a dating website for cheating spouses.

The 27-year-old "19 Kids and Counting" star admitted that he has been viewing porn online and was unfaithful to his wife, writing that he’s ashamed of his “double life.”

Hackers said this week that they had released the personal data of users. About 32 million accounts were reportedly affected.

This is not the first scandal for Duggar. Back in May, reports surfaced that he had molested five girls in 2002 and 2003 — including four of his sisters.

Then we learned about the disgusting exploits of a celebrity pitchman.

Former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle faces a possible five to 12 years in federal prison after agreeing to plead guilty to Justice Department charges that he paid for sex with minors and received child pornography.

Fogle, 37, is prepared to serve the time, his attorney Jeremy Margolis told reporters outside the Indianapolis courthouse where Fogle made his first court appearance today.

He "understands that he requires significant psychiatric medical treatment and counseling," Margolis said, adding he is prepared to pay the victims restitution and do what it takes to once again become a "productive member of society."

With the plea agreement, which a judge has to approve, Fogle must spend at least five years in prison and five years of supervisory release, but the final sentence will be up to the judge, federal authorities said today.

Before I say anything else, I will definitively state that I believe that anyone who exploits children in such a disgusting manner deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. While Fogle was in his 30s, Duggar was a teenager when committing his abhorrent acts with kids. Nevertheless, he likely could have been charged as an adult had authorities been contacted.

With that said, there seemed to be an attitude which went beyond disgust for the behaviors of these two men. Via social media, I witnessed several instances of schadenfreude. To a certain extent it makes sense given that the young victims in these two cases may be adversely impacted for the rest of their lives. As such, Duggar and Fogle enduring their own sense of shame and embarrassment would seem to be a small price to pay in comparison. But it seemed to go beyond that, especially among those who insinuated that Christianity is a fraudulent religion because a self-professed Christian (Duggar) had moral failings. And there also seemed to be a group who resented Fogle's wealth, reinforcing the "evil rich guy" stereotype.

Someone taking great pleasure in the pain of others is nothing new. It can be a typical human instinct to enjoy seeing someone who seems so high up on a proverbial pedestal knocked down several notches. It also opens a door to myriad justifications. "What's the use of living a Godly life if I have to associate with a bunch of hypocrites. I'm better off than them anyways." or "What's the point of attaining financial success since money corrupts so many people anyhow." 

Truth be told, I'm saddened by these types of failures in general. If only Duggar and Fogle could have stopped short of acting on their perverse compulsions and sought help at the outset. It would have spared several lives (including their own) of having to endure serious emotional trauma.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

An affair to remember....

When I first heard about the hacking of the web site called Ashley Madison, I suddenly began to crave chocolate Zingers. But then I was reminded those Hostess treats were from a brand called Dolly Madison. No, Ashley Madison is a web site that allowed married people to sign up in an effort to meet others who are interested in a fling, affair, dalliance, etc. I'm happily married of course, so I had no reason to be at all aware of this site.

In the aftermath of the hacking, those responsible for this breach threatened to make public the names registered on the site. A month later, they followed through.

HACKERS WHO STOLE sensitive customer information from the cheating site appear to have made good on their threat to post the data online.

A data dump, 9.7 gigabytes in size, was posted on Tuesday to the dark web using an Onion address accessible only through the Tor browser. The files appear to include account details and log-ins for some 32 million users of the social networking site, touted as the premier site for married individuals seeking partners for affairs. Seven years worth of credit card and other payment transaction details are also part of the dump, going back to 2008. The data, which amounts to millions of payment transactions, includes names, street address, email address and amount paid, but not credit card numbers; instead it includes four digits for each transaction that may be the last four digits of the credit card or simply a transaction ID unique to each charge. claimed to have nearly 40 million users at the time of the breach about a month ago, all apparently in the market for clandestine hookups.

“Ashley Madison is the most famous name in infidelity and married dating,” the site asserts on its homepage. “Have an Affair today on Ashley Madison. Thousands of cheating wives and cheating husbands signup everyday looking for an affair…. With Our affair guarantee package we guarantee you will find the perfect affair partner.”

As morally repugnant as I find this whole concept, I have to admit that I am sympathetic to those whose lives could be potentially ruined by this. The fact that one feels the need to stray from his/her wedding vows is sad enough. Again, my wife and I haven't had the easiest time of it in 15+ years of marriage, but we committed to never being afraid to talk about anything that may be troubling us within our union. But how is it that simple communication with their respective spouses isn't viable option for the millions who have patronized this web site? If there was a lack of communication in these marriages before, it's sure gonna get stirred up now.

I'm guessing that a fair amount of divorce lawyers downloaded this data.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Strange times

I don't believe it's a stretch to assume that those who are outraged over the killing of lion in a country they likely couldn't identify on a map are philosophically aligned with those who refer to slaughtering an unborn child as "healthcare."

Upon threats of Planned Parenthood not receiving anymore tax dollars in light of revelations they sell organs/fetal tissue from aborted babies, the most popular chanting point among PP sympathizers is "NO ONE should be allowed to come between a woman and her 'healthcare'!!!"

When it was revealed that Bloomington, MN dentist Dr. Walter Palmer was the individual responsible for hunting and killing a lion named Cecil, throngs of people gathered outside his dental office to protest. Fearing for his safety, Dr. Palmer closed down his practice until the fever swamp of lunacy protests died down.

On Monday, it was reported that Dr, Palmer's practice is reopening but without him present. So that means there was about a month when patients were unable to receive dental services. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that there were female patients who had appointments postponed or cancelled in that time frame. Where on earth do these animal rights wackos get the audacity to come between a woman and her healthcare?!?!?!


Monday, August 17, 2015

Box Score of the Week

Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies - May 10, 1967.


Hank Aaron hit 755 home runs in his Hall of Fame career. However, only one was of the inside-the-park variety. That lone feat occurred in this game. 


Sunday, August 16, 2015

A rare and well-deserved break

As I mentioned earlier this week, I will not be broadcasting my weekly radio program today. However, my friend, colleague and indomitable radio guy Mitch Berg will be on the air in my stead from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time.

So please give Mitch a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics he plans 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

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

Until then.....


Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Blogging will be close to nonexistent over the next week. I will even be taking a rare and well-deserved break from the radio show this Sunday. 

Those who follow me on social media are probably aware of a death in my family but I'll share the news here as well. My wife's sister (and only sibling) Donna passed away unexpectedly this past Saturday. She was only 48 years old (obituary here). There will be many family members and friends coming through town this week, so the fetching Mrs. Carlson and I will be doing a lot of hosting, greeting, etc. 

If you're so inclined, please extend prayers or any other karmic interventions towards the family. My mother-in law in particular, as she has her own litany of health problems but still has the unfathomable burden of burying a child. 

We'll talk again soon, friends. 


Monday, August 10, 2015

Box Score of the Week

California Angels starting pitcher Nolan Ryan shuts out the Oakland A's back in May 1975.


Of all the hitters who ever faced Ryan, Claudell Washington was his number one strikeout victim with 39 whiffs. This game features the first time Ryan ever struck out Washington. 


Sunday, August 09, 2015

Guaranteed to blow your mind......

Tune in to the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer today on AM 1280 The Patriot. I will be on the air from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time.

At 1:15 I'll be joined by Jason Quick, who is the State Director of the Minnesota chapter of Concerned Veterans for AmericaWe'll discuss the VA Accountability Act passed in the US House recently as well as promote the Defend Freedom concert series coming to Minneapolis next month.

In the non-guest segments, I will give my own recap of the first GOP Presidential debate which took place this past Thursday. I will also weigh in on some of the local political developments, including in the MN state senate district where I reside.

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, August 08, 2015

Meanwhile, back in Dinkytown.......

The University of Minnesota was starting to be competitive in the high revenue sports of basketball and football. The hope was that if the trend continued, there would be justification for donors to contribute money in order to fund state of the art practice facilities which in turn would entice recruits. Leading the fundraising efforts was Athletic Director Norwood Teague, who has overseen the U of M athletic department for the past few years.

On Friday morning, there were rumors flying around that Teague would be resigning his post that day. As the specifics came out, it was apparent that this was a proverbial self inflicted wound.

In a text message sent to media members, Teague said: "At a recent University event, I had entirely too much to drink. I behaved badly toward nice people, including sending truly inappropriate texts. I am embarrassed and apologize for my offensive behavior. This behavior neither reflects my true character nor the values of the University.

"I am extremely proud of our accomplishments during my tenure here, and I don’t want my personal life to impact the University’s reputation. I have taken immediate steps to obtain help with my alcohol issues, and I take full responsibility for my actions."

(U of M President Eric) Kaler has appointed Beth Goetz, the deputy athletics director, as interim athletic director.

A letter from Kaler said: "Norwood's resignation follows the report of two recent incidents of sexual harassment of two non-student University employees."

At a news conference, Kaler said: "This is the action of a person ... not the action of the University of Minnesota," and added that he had a conversation about the situation with Teague on the day after the event.

Alcohol treatment was discussed at that point, Kaler said The president also said there was harassment "of a verbal and physical nature."

I heard the audio of Kaler's press conference and he was careful not to give any details of which specific event this occurred or when said event took place. His rationale was he wanted to provide the victims with total anonymity. Unfortunately in this era of TMZ and Deadspin, that kind of information is inevitably leaked.

Given that Teague resigned, he gets no severance whatsoever outside of any bonuses he earned up to that point as well as three months medical coverage. That alone indicates he was fully aware of the severity of his actions and thus there really wasn't much to be gained by allowing a long investigative process (Deadspin shared some of the graphic contest of Teague's text messages. Those alone pretty well sealed his fate).

Per Gophers men's basketball beat writer Amelia Rayno, the hope was the U could break ground on a new practice facility this fall (to date, the athletic department has reached 70 million of their $190 million fundraising goal). However, given the uproar surrounding this incident (probably the worst since the men's basketball academic scandal was revealed in 1999), all that is very much in flux. Plus, it's been rumored that current basketball coach Richard Pitino has been entertaining offers from higher profile schools. Friday's news will do nothing to quell said rumors.


Friday, August 07, 2015

Debate #1

Thursday evening marked the first debate among GOP presidential hopefuls for 2016. Fox News hosted this particular event with the moderators being Megyn Kelly, Chris Wallace and Bret Baier.

Before I hit on a few bullet points from the debate itself, I feel compelled to give kudos to the Fox News Channel for their performance. For all the razzing FNC receives for being a mouthpiece for right-of-center politicos (unwarranted, IMO), I have a hard time seeing CNN or MSNBC being as tough on Democrat presidential candidates as Fox was with the Republican hopefuls. It appeared that the GOP candidates received questions in areas which were perceived as their biggest weakness (e.g. Scott Walker on foreign policy, Chris Christie on the economy, Donald Trump on the "War on Women," Rand Paul on relations with Israel, Jeb Bush on education as well as his brother's decision to go to war in Iraq, etc.).

Anyhow, I've had a couple hours to digest the performances, so here's a few thoughts:

- My personal Top 3 going into the night were (in no particular order) Walker, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. Of the three, Rubio acquitted himself best by playing up his terrific personal story, distinguishing himself from Hillary Clinton and articulating the party's message better than all other 16 candidates.

Walker lived up to his self-described "aggressively normal" persona while also emphasizing his solid record as governor of Wisconsin as well as his 3 state-wide electoral wins in 4 years.

Paul made his biggest impact engaging in entertaining exchanges with Trump and Christie.

- Ohio governor John Kasich was perhaps the biggest overachiever. He too comes across as a spectacularly average guy, but didn't get rattled by tough questions. As an ardent supporter of traditional marriage, Kasich's response on how he would handle a child of his being gay was heartfelt and genuine without giving the impression he was softening his policy stance.

- Neither Dr. Ben Carson nor former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee have a prayer at winning the Republican nomination in 2016. However, both gave fantastic closing statements.

- Senator Ted Cruz is often labeled the smartest person in the room wherever he is. As a former Solicitor General who scored multiple victories against the U.S. Supreme Court, it's hard to argue that. Unfortunately he got very little speaking time, and at one point wanted to weigh in on exchange between a couple of candidates only to be told by the moderators that they had to go to a commercial.

To be honest, I really wasn't all that fired up about watching the debate but felt obligated to do so given I host a political talk radio show. In retrospect, it turned out to be an entertaining endeavor.


Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Abeler: Ready, willing

In Minnesota State Senate District 35, the SD where I reside, there will be a new senator in January 2017 given that incumbent Branden Petersen is not running for reelection. Of the 67 SDs in Minnesota, I would be willing to bet that SD35 is within the top 10 most politically conservative areas in the entire state. As such, we Republicans don't have to "settle" for a candidate within the moderate wing of the party. Since the DFL is likely to play defense in order to maintain their majority in the MN Senate (currently at 39-28), it's doubtful they attempt to make a serious play to flip a GOP stronghold.

Last month, longtime GOP activist Andy Aplikowski was the first to declare his candidacy in our Senate District. He is definitely a viable conservative, someone whom I wouldn't label a "settle for" candidate. 

The latest potential entrant into the SD35 race is a familiar name to those of us in Ramsey and Anoka. 

Jim Abeler, an Anoka Republican who stepped down from the Legislature at the start of this year after 16 years in the state House and an unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid, is eyeing a political comeback.

Abeler announced via Twitter Monday morning that he's likely to run for Senate District 35 in 2016. The district includes Anoka, Champlin
(Incorrect. Ramsey is part of the district, not Champlin - ed.), Andover and northern parts of Coon Rapids. The current senator, Republican Branden Petersen, recently said he would not seek re-election.

"Compared with a person who would come in brand new, I think I could immediately be effective on major issues," Abeler told the Star Tribune. "That would be true if I was in majority or the minority."

Translation: Abeler is just as likely to vote with the DFL as he is with Republicans. And that would be fine and dandy if he were running in, say, a Senate District within an urban area. However, that's not the type of representation which best reflects all of SD35.

While serving in the MN House, about 45% of Abeler's House District (HD35A) was made up of Anoka, which can be characterized as purple/lite blue. Given that makeup, Abeler's voting record was more in line with his HD. However, the other half of SD35 is made up of House District 35B (Andover, northeast Ramsey, northern Coon Rapids) where staunchly conservative GOP candidates (i.e. Sen. Petersen  and Rep. Peggy Scott) consistently win by double digits. So to my original point, we don't have to settle for a professed moderate like Abeler.

Abeler was something of a maverick in his legislative career. He was one of only a handful of Republicans who voted in 2008 to override a gas tax veto by GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Abeler also became closely involved with funding decisions around health and public assistance programs, where he was known for a willingness to work across party lines.

No way Abeler gets the endorsement of GOP delegates at our local convention early next year. So I guess that begs the question of will he go to a primary? I would bet "yes" since he was willing to do so in the 2014 U.S. Senate race despite minuscule support from state Republican delegates and paltry fundraising numbers. A state senate district campaign will seem like a cakewalk in comparison.


Monday, August 03, 2015

Box Score of the Week

Texas Rangers' pitcher Bert Blyleven threw a no-hitter against the California Angels in September 1977.


Last month, then Philadelphia Phillies' starter Cole Hamels threw a no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs. It would be his final start in a Phils uniform as he was traded less than a week later. The last time a starting pitcher threw a no-no in his final appearance for a team was Blyleven in that September 1977 contest. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates that offseason. 


Sunday, August 02, 2015

Round up the posse, jump in my ride.....

Tune in to the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer this afternoon from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time.

At 1:15 I'll be joined by Jason Quick, who is the State Director of the Minnesota chapter of Concerned Veterans for America. We'll discuss the VA Accountability Act passed is the US House this past week as well as promote the Defend Freedom concert series coming to Minneapolis next month.  Jason is unable to appear due to illness.

In the non-guest segments I'll discuss some of the big news stories from this past week including more Planned Parenthood embarrassment, Cecil the Lion, Tom Brady's suspension being upheld, 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.....