…And There Was Some Bad News. Maybe.

As noted this morning, the Fourth Congressional District GOP made a bunch of money at its convention on April 21.  Like, a lot more than usual; $11K versus the usual $5-6K (of which a couple thousand goes to renting the hall and paying other incidentals for running the event).

That should be a lot of money going to 4th CD candidates, including endorsed congressional candidate Tony Hernandez.  It was in that spirit – having a new start in the 4th CD – that the money was given (bear in mind that only aboiut $6K of that came from actual delegate admission fees; the rest was above and beyond what was required to attend).

But a little bird told me over the weekend that there have been discussions among the new CD4 GOP Executive Committee about spending that windfall to help send CD4’s national convention delegates to Tampa.

Now, I was on the 4th CD’s “Nominations Committee”, which vetted candidates for all CD offices – delegates to the national convention as well as executive committee offices.   One of the questions we asked – along with “do you have anything on your record that could be used to embarass the 4th CD GOP?”, because that’s how the DFL and media roll – was “if you’re elected delegate to the national convention, can you afford the $3-5,000 it takes to attend”, between registraiton fees, travel, food, lodging, and the de rigeur $1,000+ donation to the party.  There were some among the new crowd that thought the party paid for this sort of thing.

No. Not even when times are good at the state party, which, perhaps you’ve heard, they’re not.

Over the weekend, a source with knowledge of the inner workings of the new 4th CD GOP executive committee’s inner workings told me that there was a plan afoot to divert that windfall toward helping the 4th CD’s national convention delegates get to Tampa.   According to this source, the CD’s new chairman felt that giving $5,000 to Tony Hernandez would be “flushing money down the drain” (quote from my source, attributed to the new chair).

That has been the conventional wisdom in the 4th for a long, long time, of course.  But redistricting has moved the needle; the 4th CD was a 70-30 district; with all the moderate-Republican districts in Stillwater, Afton, Lake Elmo and Woodbury, full of people who moved to the burbs to get away from DFL hegemony and its side effects, it’s probably more like 60-40 today.

And that’s without Betty McCollum pissing off 3/4 of the population of Stillwater by opposing the bridge.  And without Tony Hernandez’ ability to reach out to the district’s burgeoning Latino community, who may vote DFL, but who are largely conservatives.

It’s not the same 4th CD that it was two years ago.


Speaking for myself?  I paid my $30 to get into the convention, on the assumption that the money would go (after expenses) toward the business and activities of the 4th CD GOP.  Not sending people to a party in Tampa.

And while I speak only for myself, I’m going to guess that more than a few of the people who ponied up extra money at the convention had that intention in mind.

I started asking around; is there any intention of diverting the windfall convention money to cover travel expenses for the district’s Ron Paul delegates?


I did some checking; as of today, the 4th CD GOP executive committee seems  to be leaning toward supporting Tony Hernandez’ race against Betty McCollum.  There is, apparently, an executive committee meeting and vote tonight at which the matter will be decided.

I hold no elected position in the 4th CD – and I’m fine with that.  Spare time is a good thing – and “power” within the 4th CD is a relative thing.  I get my political thrills as a pundit; being able to help out within the party, or on a campaign, is a bonus.

But there are people in the 4th CD GOP’s new “establishment” who apparently think that their job is to work toward getting Ron Paul nominated.  There is that, of course, and it’s a legitimate aim…

…but their job, once they got elected to positions of party authority in the Fourth, is to work to get the district’s Congressional and Legislative candidates elected.

The new guard in the 4th CD GOP won their offices, fair and square.  But they represent a lot of other people who are ready to work really, really hard to make a difference here at home.

And while they – I – will send our best wishes to Tampa, we want our money working here at home.

And the 4th CD GOP’s leadership would do well to remember that.  They get to run the Party – but it’s not party-time.

UPDATE: the “cyber-meeting” vote is tomorrow- not tonight.  I regret any confusion caused by my error.

UPDATE 2:  It’s possible I got a few of the numbers wrong – one of the hazards of not being an actual elected officer.

It doesn’t affect the actual conclusions at issue.

More later this week.

There Was Some Good News…

The Fourth CD is one of the more challenging districts in which to be a Republican.

And this is a challenging year to be a Republican, at least if you’re expecting financial support from the state party (hint: there’s not going to be any).   The districts – congressional, state senate/house and county – are bracing for a year of no money from the state.

So the Fourth CD GOP, at its convention on the 21st, did the sensible thing; jacked up the admission price for delegates, and started charging for guests.  They also canvassed aggressively for additional donations.

One upside of this?  Usually the party raise $5,000 or so at its convention (part of which – $2K or so, if I recall correctly – has to go to cover the cost of rending the hall).

This year?  More like $11,000.

That’s good news!  The district’s coffers can get replenished!  The district’s candidates can look forward to some help!

What could possibly go wrong with that theory?

More later today (or, let’s be honest, maybe tomorrow…).

Rage Against The Machines

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism – as the Twin Cities media’s sole source of honesty!

  • Ed and I are back, from 1-3PM.  We’ll have 4th CD Congressional candidate Tony Hernandez!  Plus Teresa Collett on the Marriage Amendment, and Joey Gerdin on a fundraiser for billboards supporting the Right to Work amendment.   Call us at 651 289 4488.
  • Brad Carlson’s show – “The Closer” – is on from 1-3 on Sunday.
  • The King Banaian Show! – King is on AM1570, Business Radio for the Twin Cities!  Join him from 9-11 every Saturday!

(All times Central)

So tune in to all six hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Twin Cities’ media’s sole guardians of honest news. You have so many options:

  • AM1280 in the Metro
  • streaming at AM1280’s Website,
  • On Twitter (the Volume 2 show will use hashtag #narn2)
  • UStream video and chat (at HotAir.com or at UStream) .
  • New – send us an SMS text message – 651-243-0390
  • Good ol’ telephone – 651-289-4488!
  • Podcasts are now available on the AM1280 page!  (Ed and I are #2 – Brad is #3).
  • And make sure you fan us on our new Facebook page!

Join us!

An Amazing Pattern

Joe Doakes of Como Park writes:

Obamacare is in trouble at the Supreme Court. Earlier this week, NBC spent an hour on middle-aged single adults needing long-term care, but having no insurance (and Medicaid doesn’t cover them) so they’re hogging hospital beds at enormously higher cost. One woman actually got sent to a nursing home in Poland and now she won’t be able to see her grandkids. Yesterday, MPR had an interview with some official from Colorado – same topic, same plight.

Same solution . . . everybody must buy health insurance so we can treat these people properly.

Never heard a word about this problem until the Supreme Court arguments went poorly for the Home Team – now they’re flogging the fierce moral urgency to treat a few cases as justification for sweeping aside centuries of precedent. The noble ends justify any ignoble means, it seems.

Ditto “Stand Your Ground”:  the laws have been successful (or, perhaps better still, non-notable) throughout the US.  But the Martin / Zimmerman case gets saturation coverage for two months – just as “Fast and Furious” seems poised to cause Obama some electoral damage?

 And Liberals wonder why Conservatives think there is a liberal bias in the media. Ignore the tone and word choice in these stories, just look at the timing. Obamacare is in trouble, we’re flooded with sob stories. We’re not supposed to wonder at the timing? Dan Rather’s “fake but accurate” memos just happened to run exactly 2 months before the election? These stories just happened to run this week, by accident?

From Star Trek, The Next Generation:

Taurik: “Sir, I’m little puzzled. Why are we intentionally damaging the shuttlecraft ?”

Geordi: “We’re evaluating hull resiliency. Starfleet requires periodic testing.”

Taurik: “I see… I don’t believe I am familiar with that requirement.”

Geordi: “Probably because you are not a senior officer. Fire a shot over here.”

Taurik: “That would be consistent.”

Geordi: “Consistent with what?”

Taurik: “With making it appear that this shuttle had fled an attack.”

Geordi: “What makes you think that’s what we are doing?”

Taurik: “The pattern of fire you asked for is similar to what might result if the shuttle had fled an attacker while engaged in evasive maneuvers.”

Geordi: “It’s an amazing coincidence.”

Taurik: “Yes, sir. It is indeed. Shall we proceed with the testing?”

An amazing coincidence, indeed.

Joe Doakes

Como Park

I’m just trying to figure who it is that doesn’t believe the media is biased, who should still be allowed to drive a car on the public freeway.

Play Misty For Me, Part IV: Promises Carved In Sand

In an episode of Hill Street Blues (or maybe NYPD Blue, but I think it was Hill Street, on account of the fact that I watched Hill Street addictively, and maybe saw one episode of NYPD Blue), Dennis Frantz’ character (either Sergeant Buntz on HSB, or Sergeant Butt on NYPDB) and his new partner, a young Asian fellow (who, I’m told, was named “Rodriquez”, which seems odd for a character that I recall being Asian) just out of detective school, are cornered and kidnapped by a psychotic killer.

The two detectives are sitting, disarmed and helpless, in chairs facing the killer.

The killer looks at the two men, brandishing the most evil-looking short-barreled shotgun I’ve ever seen.

The killer demands “You don’t wanna die?  Beg!”

Buntz warns his partner “Don’t do it.  As long as you stand up to him, he’s not gonna kill you.  He’s a gutless little worm who gets off on having power over better men”, or something to that effect.

“SHUT UP” yells the killer.  “Beg!”

The newbie looks at Frantz/Buntz/Butt, and then at the shotgun.  And he breaks down, starts to cry, and begs fervently for his life, as Frantz’s face goes white.

There’s a shotgun blast.   You might guess how it turned out, in that Frantz’s character survived the length of both shows (although his showbiz career didn’t).

The lesson?  Don’t be Dennis Frantz’ partner in a Steven Bochco crime drama.

Also don’t give bullies what they want.


Two weeks ago, after an episodewhere U of M professor Bill Gleason accused “The Late Debate”‘s Jack Tomczak of “stalking” him (by showing up in a public building where he publicly announced he’d be, carrying a baby and a stroller), Dr. Gleason filed a complaint with the FCC.

Gleason – a world-class researcher known for his frenetic publication schedule, beaver-like work ethic and outsized stature in the scientific community – said that he’d withdraw the complaint if Tomczak issued an apology on Twitter, on the air, and in writing.  Gleason was to approve the apology.

Tomczak issued the apology a little over two weeks ago.

Apparently because the apology wasn’t delivered with the right degree of self-abasement, and notwithstanding the very high likelihood that the FCC complaint will be rebuffed without much in the way of comment, Hope 95.9’s management suspended Tomczak last week.  That’s why I was on the air guest-hosting last night.

The episode illustrates three things.

Hope 95.9’s management is incredibly naive.  Like Frantz’ partner, they figured that if they caved in to a bully – moreover, a bully with a paper-thin, flimsy case – with enough verve, everything would get better.

Predictably, Dr. Gleason will apparently not confirm that he’s mailed any sort of rescission letter to the FCC.

Maybe it’s because there’s no “rescind” button on the FCC’s online public complaint form.

Or maybe it’s because Gleason has no intention of rescinding his complaint.

And – above and beyond all that – maybe it doesn’t matter.  Because…

The FCC Doens’t Adjudicate Personal Complaints.  It’s in the business – among other things – of regulating the public airwaves, including ensuring broadcasters follow the rules that go along with having a broadcast licence.

Say, hypothetically, that you hear a morning DJ say one of the Seven Deadly Words.  You file a complaint with the FCC, saying your sensibilities were offended.  The FCC’s machinery grinds into action…

…about the time you get an apology from the DJ, who has converted to strict evangelism and is repenting of his ways.

Satisfied, you write the FCC asking to rescind your complaint.

What will the FCC say?

“That’s nice”, likely, but “we’re not here to enforce your ever-changing sensibilities; we’re here to make sure that radio stations follow the rules”.  The Seven Deadly Words were said – ergo rules were broken.  The FCC, legally, jurisdictionally and procedurally cares not one institutional jot about your feelings, then or now; merely that rules about the use of the public airwaves were broken.  You were good enough to report it to them, and for that the FCC thanks you.  Contribute to the station’s legal defense fund, or don’t return the FCC’s call when it asks for more info, it it helps your conscience – but your job, from the FCC’s perspective, ended when you clicked the “OK” button on the complaint form.

Gleason’s offer to “rescind” his complaint is equally meaningless, even if he does send the letter.  The FCC doesn’t enforce rules about not hurting peoples’ feelings; they regulate how stations use their licenses.

That is it.

And either Gleason doesn’t know that, and is being ignorant, or he does, and is being a narcissist.

Barring the overreaction of some naive management, there isn’t a teapot small enough to hold this tempest.  At least not as far as the FCC is concerned.

I’d bank on it.

Tevlin Slops The Narrative Trough

The sexual shenanigans of John Edwards, Elliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton and Andrew Weiner define the entire history of the Democratic Party. Everything about the Democrats – their beliefs, their policies, their legacy, the intellectual currents that led to the DFL being what it is today – all of it.  Every single aspect of Democrat life and thought in America is defined by affairs, hookers, harassing interns, and sending pictures of one’s wedding tackle.

More locally?  Jim Metzen’s drunk driving arrest is, in fact, the action that defines the DFL Party in Minnesota – all its activities, its policy positions, everything.

And at both levels, those incidents show the brazen hypocrisy of Democrats, in Minnesota and nationwide.


Now, you might read the above, and say “Hey, wait! Those actions, by individuals and small groups, do not, in and of themselves, “define” an an entire party.  They’re the actions of individuals, which have had consequences”.

And you’d have a point.

And my point is, in response, you’d be a smarter person, more logical writer and more ethical columnist than the Strib’s Jon Tevlin.

Although it’s not like you couldn’t see this one coming:

A short history of the current Minnesota GOP, in their own words:

June 2009: Members of the GOP’s Central Committee elect Tony Sutton as chairman.

“Yeah, we’re in soul-searching phase, but I think we’re coming to the end of that,” Sutton said. “I think we’re starting to get our sea legs back. We have to get back to our philosophical roots, so when we talk about fiscal responsibility, we mean it. We have to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. ”

June 2009: “We went way off track in the last eight years,” said Sutton. “The party of fiscal responsibility was spending money like crazy in Washington.”

Repeat through a series of quotes involving Tony Sutton and his predecessor, Ron Carey, talking about how they were in the midst of leaving the party in better financial shape than they found it.

And not just leadership.

June 2009: Rep. Steve Drazkowski runs for office, emphasizes his “rural values,” which included tax cuts, fiscal responsibility and gun rights.

And not just money.  No, Tevlin found examples of Republicans uttering the dreaded “V” word – Values.

March 2010: Sutton tells Minnesota Public Radio the GOP is trying to convince Tea Party members it’s returning to core values: “We’re going to have to do it through our actions, not just words. We had spent eight years of being the party of so-called fiscal responsibility, but were spending money like drunken sailors.”

The word is like catnip to partisan pundits from the left and media (pardon, as always, the redundancy), who love bagging on (other groups’) values, when individuals don’t live up to them.

But only when they’re the values of the right.

A columnist could find a rich vein of jape-worthy material on the left, of course.  One could mock the left’s bepspoke “commitment’ to “education”, while they and major benefactor, the teachers’ unions, preside over a system that is (at least in Democrat urban areas) collapsing in every area but budget.

A truly curious columnist could squeedge boundless yuks from a party that proclaims sensitivity to the poor, while marching in lock step behind policies that do nothing but keep them poor.

A talking (typing?) head might cavort and romp around the fact that the DFL keeps gays in line as voters by paying lip service to a concept that they, from their president on down, only rarely support when it’s their actual vote on the line, barring the odd flurry of lip service before elections.

A columnist with genuine interest in holding institutions accountable might note that there is a party whose “values” claim to support children on the one hand but kill millions of them a year on the other, and whose “support” for “the family” is manifested in policies that are destroying the family.

That same columnist might note that the DFL is in plenty of debt itself, even after farming out its messaging operation – the parts that the Strib, WCCO, KARE, the City Pages, the programming side of MPR, and the entire Sorosphere don’t cover, anyway – to the plutocrat-and-union-financed “Alliance for a Better Minnesota“, which essentially does all of the DFL’s PR work gratis.

But Jon Tevlin is none of those.  He was hired to do Nick Coleman’s old job; be the “bad cop” to Lori Sturdevant’s “good cop” on the Strib’s DFL narrative-buffing team.

And that narrative is that this…:

March 2011: Alex Conant, a spokesman for Gov. Tim Pawlenty, assesses the legacy: “Hopefully, Gov. Pawlenty’s record of fiscal responsibility and government reform will be a model for the future.”

…and this…:

March 2011: “I believe so much in that personal responsibility concept and that city officials must be masters of their own fate, as pleasant or unpleasant as it is,” said Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake.

…and this…:

February 2011: All 37 Senate Republicans send a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton that restated their complete opposition to his plan to raise $3.3 billion in taxes, mostly on the wealthy. “We do not have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem.”

…are completely, utterly and irrevocably negated by this:

May 2011: The GOP misses the first of many rent payments on their headquarters.

April 2012: The GOP’s landlord files eviction papers against the GOP, saying it owes $111,000 in rent, which it hasn’t paid in a year.

…which serves as a blanket indictment of this…:

October 2011: Hennepin County Commissioner, national committeeman and fiscal “watchdog” Jeff Johnson writes in a blog about Occupy Wall Street: “I frankly get very annoyed at the propensity of some to blame our greatest problems on the free market or successful businessmen and women rather than on government policies and the politicians who have gotten us into this massive mess.

You can tell Tevlin’s a professional.  He uses “scare quotes” to as a written substitude for giggling theatrically when saying “watchdog”, as if Jeff Johnson – who, a columnist with integrity would note, has led the effort to get the GOP’s budget house in order – were some profligate wastrel.

It’s called the Tu Quoque Ad Hominem – the idea that if anything one has ever done is inconsistent with one’s thesis, that and that alone invalidates the thesis.  
It is a fact that the MNGOP – let’s be charitable – gambled on spending a lot of money on political races at a time when political donations were dropping through the floor, much like a Democrat politician demanding a bigger budget as the economy head south.  There was little choice, in a sense – the GOP has to buy  favorable media, since it doesn’t have the Strib, MPR and the rest of the Minnesota mainstream press serving as its de facto PR agent.  
And the party is now suffering some fairly grievous fiscal consequences.  A lot of good people are working to fix that.
And it has nothing – zero, nada, zilch, bupkes – to do with policies proposed by pols who are members of the MNGOP, but whose job as legislators doesn’t involve administering the Minnesota GOP’s daily business. 
But the Strib’s priorities are, and have always been, clear. 
  1. It’s election time.
  2. The DFL, with no legislative achievements to talk about at any level, needs help.
  3. So the Strib will get back on narrative patrol, no matter how they have to waterboard logic, fact, ethics or context to do it.

Expect a “Minnesota Poll” any day that shows Minnesotans think the GOP should sit this election out to sort out its finances.  I’d almost put money on it…

…but I’m way too fiscally responsible for that.

Back On The Night Shift

Tonight, I’ll be sitting in for Jack Tomczak on The Late Debate, on the 95.9 in metro Anoka/Ramsey.  TLD is the second-best franchise in Twin Cities conservative alternative media (and hence the second-best franchise in the Twin Cities media) behind the NARN (who else?) and I’m happy to pitch in.

Tonight, we’ll be talking about the foolishness of caving into the demands of a mentally ill troll, because their “promises” for relenting are carved in sand, notwithstanding the fact that his FCC complaint is a fraud and a sham that I predict will get politely ignored, and the very fact that he thinks he can rescind the complaint is itself an indication of his bad faith and abuse of the system, since the FCC rules on offenses against the public airwaves, not on individuals’ ruffled feathers  with Ron Paul supporter Corey Sax about this past month and its impact on the Republican Party of Minnesota.

And in the second hour, we’ll have a True North round table, with a group of writers from True North joining me to talk about the state of the state, the party, conservatism, and our publication.

That’s on The Late Debate – the best way there is to tide over the time between NARN broadcasts!

Let’s See If I Can Follow This

According to the Twin Cities’ leftysphere and mainstream media:

  • Writing thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of abusive and harassing tweets about people you disagree with, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including over “work” hours?  Not stalking.
  • Claiming on a large conversation thread on Twitter that someone has been convicted of driving while intoxicated?  Not Stalking.  (OK, it’s legally more like defamation, but it’s part of the previous bullet).
  • Leaving dozens, maybe hundreds, of Google-turds all around the web under a transparent sock-puppet ID (whose source is trivially easy to trace), and setting up a sock-puppet website about an embarassing incident (naturally, with the parts that aren’t embarassing carefully excised away for the perp’s enjoyment) under a false but drearily transparent sock-puppet ID,  with the help of a “source” who should have known better (and does, today), and engaging in this behavior against many, many people under many, many monkers and doing that and much, much more with such demented abandon that when something bad did finally happen, he felt the need to make sure people knew it really really wasn’t him who was responsible, this time:  Good heavens, no – not Stalking, silly wingnut.
  • Going to a public building, with intentions publicly displayed under one’s own name, with a clearly-stated express intent well within the bounds of free speech, and obeying the rules – including the ones about “threatening people” – and doing it while carrying a baby and hauling a stroller:  “Stalking”

I’ve always tried to treat people the way I’d like to be treated.  Seriously, I do – I mean, a good chunk of the Twin Cities left think that “Expressing any sort of conservative opinion” is a form of assault, but beyond that I do try to keep things on the up and up.

But I have had about enough.

Open Letter To The Entire American Left

To: The Entire American Left
From: Mitch Berg, non-spokesman for The Entire American Right
Re: Kudos

Dear Entire American Left,

No, no, I absolutely beg of you all – please, please please…:

  • Don’t ramp up your recent re-declaration of the war on the law-abiding gun owner!  Please don’t parade an endless, well, parade of long-discredited chanting heads in front of your compliant media to throw rocks at guns and gun laws.  Don’t keep attacking “Stand Your Ground” so long that we have to wheel out the stats that show that “Stand Your Ground” has been, lefty narrative aside, a national success.  Please don’t keep doing this.  Please.
  • Indeed, whatever you do, don’t double and triple down on your push to roll back advances in civil liberties in re the law-abiding citizen’s right to bear arms.  If there’s anything that will destroy the conservative movement in this election, it’s having the Ira Glasses and Bob Garfields and Keri Millers of the world mobilized against the Second Amendment.
  • Whatever you do, I beg you, please don’t keep alienating males of all ethnic backgrounds!  That “war on women” that all men are supposedly fighting?  That’ll be electoral gold for ya!
  • And please, please, don’t keep making your “vision for America” something that makes more sense as a “Vision for France”.  Americans love that kind of thing.

Please, lefties.  Don’t keep doing any of that.  It’ll just destroy us this November.

That is all.

He Don’t Need No Stinking Facts

Brian Lambert at the MinnPost reports on the story of…

…sorry.  I had quick chuckle there.  I’ll carry on.

Brian Lambert wrote a piece in the MinnPost about the flap with Jack Tomczak…

…sorry.  I got overcome with a gale of laughter.  OK.  Pull it together, Mitch.  Here we go.

Brian Lambert reported on…

…Oh, my sides hurt.  Holy cow.  I couldn’t carry on with a straight face.  Wow.

OK.  Let’s try this again.  Mark Dayton’s former communications chief Brian Lambert at the MinnPost does exactly what the MinnPost pays him to do; serve as the uncovered intellectual and political id of the rest of the in-the-bag-for-the-DFL publication, in this piece about the Tomczak / Gleason flap (about which you read actual facts last week on Shot In The Dark,

I posted an item recently about a former campaign operative for Tom Emmer and Michele Bachmann accused of stalking U of M professor Bill Gleason.

Not sure if Lambert noted that Tomczak was “accused” of “Stalking” by a dissociative narcissistic lunatic that tweets all day, every day, without cease, ever world-class researcher with the work-ethic of a beaver, honest.

(Note to self: I do have to write a post about what “stalking” is, and perhaps give a few examples from the local blogging community to illustrate it.  Hint:  I don’t think it means going, one time, to a public building, but what do I know?)

Y’see, the problem with Lambert is that he seems to consider “lefty narrative” a better “source” than “crap he hears in passing”…

…although he uses plenty of that too:

Gleason filed an FCC complaint against Jack Tomczak, the former aide. After some negotiating, the local “Tea Party Radio Network” station that carried Tomczak’s show agreed that Tomczak would read an apology on the air.

Er, yeah.

FM95.9 isn’t the “Tea Party Radio Network”.  It’s a little Christian station that plays old-time gospel music when it’s not running Jack and Ben.  The “Tea Party Radio Network” is a network in the same sense as the “Northern Alliance Radio Network” is; a wry little reference to the fact that we both do our shows on a shoestring.  Sort of like AM950, without all the self-righteousness.

As Gleason posts on his blog, Sunshine is the Best Disinfectant…

Bla bla bla.

If you want to know what one of those old-fashioned ransom notes made by cutting letters out of magazine articles would look like if put online the work of a world-class researcher with the work ethic of a dozen beavers looks like, read Sunshine. 

The situation prompted Andy Aplikowski at the conservative blog Residual Forces to post: “Due to a thuggish left of liberal professor’s intolerant tactics, the station that Late Debate with Jack and Ben is on has suspended Jack. It is time to get the best local talk show on a real station. Please contact Clear Channel and get them on air.”

We did in fact cover that here, as well, over the weekend.

But it’s next that Lambert really screws the pooch:

Then, in turn, Ken Avidor at the liberal site Dump Bachmann writes: “…A Twitter cabal comprising of Bachmann fans Sheila Kihne and former St. Paul School Board candidate Tom “Swiftee” Swift is apparently attempting a reprisal by contacting University officials to complain about Professor Gleason.”

No, Brian,

Swiftee’s been pursuing Gleason, all right.  I’ll save the details for later.

But that’s been going on for months.  As in, since last November.  It predated the Tomczak flap by almost six months, and will likely be going on for many more.

And by the way, it allegedly involved a real case of stalking; not a guy walking into a public building, announced and in the full light of day.  Swift’s case involves serious allegations of extremely inappropriate abuses of power.  The kind of thing that might wind up actually getting into newspapers with real reporters, who report on stories with facts and stuff, while Brian Lambert is busy requoting the likes of “Dump Bachmann” with a straight face.

For the record?  A Magic Eight Ball is always a better source than Ken “Avidor” Weiner – or anyone that uses him for a source.  A coin toss, dog entrails or picking random letters out of a bowl of Alpha-Bits is better yet.

And since the subject is “stalking”, maybe we should do a quick post one of these days to remind people what real “stalking” is, and who actually practices it, locally?

But that’s all in the future.  The question now is: will Brian Lambert have the integrity it takes to straighten out his facts on the Swift / Gleason story?

Nothing Here But Us Mensheviks

One of the most unsettling things you hear from Ron Paul supporters – some of them, anyway – is that if you don’t vote for Paul, you’re basically voting for someone just the same as Barack Obama.

As if Mitt Romney will carry on exactly as Obama has.

In the world of the purist – and many of the Paul supporters are exactly the same purists I shook my head at as I left the Libertarian Party – incrementalism, no matter how far and how fast it moves, is never enough.  It’s all, or it’s nothing; nothing less matters to way too many of them.   The fact that Tim Pawlenty was way way way more conservative than Arne Carlson or Dave Durenberger counts for nothing, since he wasn’t as conservative as the one we should have had.  The fact that Norm Coleman was a moderate is all that counts; not that he was the most conservative mayor Saint Paul had had in decades, and that he replaced a Senator who was much worse, and but for a wave of fraud or incompetence, could still be much better than who he replaced, rather than better than the one who replaced him.  

Mr. D, like me, notes that he agrees with Ron Paul probably 80% of the time – but is also a little concerned about their sense of absolutism as well as their rather incomplete sense of history:

Perhaps it’s just me, but my sense is that while the takeover now underway may be a tactical triumph, it holds the seeds of an epic failure. The GOP of the recent past was not the province of Arne Carlson or David Durenberger; those gentlemen of a different era have long been free to be the operational Democrats they always were. For all the problems of the party organization, it’s worth remembering that the GOP of the recent past is as much John Kline and Michele Bachmann as it is Tim Pawlenty and Norm Coleman and Ron Carey.

And there’s the rub; I’ve seen more than a few prominent Paul supporters say, with straight faces, that Bachmann and Kline aren’t sufficiently pure for a Paul supporter.

It will be very important that the Paul supporters understand that it will take everyone, even those they might ordinarily disdain, for there to be electoral success in the fall. Right now, there’s a lot of anger out there. That needs to change. Leadership of a political party means more than taking control and dictating terms. Leadership means building. And the first step will be to make sure those who were defeated are not disdained.

It also means you’ve done something no Big-L Libertarian has ever done; you have to learn “Politics”, which means, more or less, the art of compromise.

And to a purist, that’s a four-letter word.


Why They Have A Narrative

The polls are all over the place – but at the moment, Barack Obama’s re-election bid is not looking nearly as solid as it needs to six months before election day:

The RealClearPolitics poll average puts President Barack Obama at 47 percent and Romney at 44.2 percent – statistically insignificant lead of 2.2 percent.

And that’s after six months of not only the media, but other Republicans, attacking the presumptive nominee without pause.

Drill down into the numbers of the latest CBS poll and there are ominous signs for Obama. Only 33 percent of Americans believe the economy is moving in the right direction. A mere 16 percent feel they are getting ahead financially. Some 38 percent think their situation will get worse if Obama is re-elected, 26 percent think it will get better.

And I suspect if you ask Americans if they’re better off than they were four years ago, the only ones that’d answer “yes” are the insane, Democrat operatives, and…

…well, that’s about it.

Just saying – if you’re pitching a story to the mainstream media about race or gender issues, now would be a good time to make your move; it’ll be a seller’s market.

The New 4th CD?

I spent most of Saturday at the Fourth CD GOP convention.

The Ron Paul crowd swept into almost all of the leadership and delegate positions in the Fourth CD on Saturday; only Mike Boguszewski remains from the old executive committee.

The Paul crowd replaced everyone else, myself included, with their slate of candidates – for whom they voted with almost vapor-lock-tight discipline (and no, no sour grapes; I am not “District Secretary” material, and wanted to move over to Vice Chair for Media and Commiunications; I finished closer to the money than anyone who wasn’t on the “slate”, which I took as a mild compliment).

Now, I’ve met a lot of the district’s Ron Paul supporters.  They are, in a lot of ways, the type of people everyone’s been trying to attract to 4th CD GOP politics for years; young, idealistic, motivated.   Unlike 2008, most of delegates that had been forwarded from the House/Senate district conventions showed up for their third straight session of sitting in their delegate chairs until their butts went numb.

And that’s all to the good.

Less good?  Some of their leadership was motivated by fairly palpable anger over the “way they were treated in 2008”, when quite a few GOP activists gamed the system to keep the first wave of Paul supporters out of power.  To their political credit, they spent their four years organizing, and did a good job of it.

Less to their credit?  While anger is a good motivator, “anger at the inner workings of a political party” has, I’m going to guess, a short shelf life.   And at least in the Fourth CD, the anger was manifested by ballot.  The twitter stream during the convention indicated that at other districts, Paul supporters booed Dan Severson and Pete Hegseth, whose main transgression was “not being Kurt Bills”, the Paul crowd’s candidate for Senate, or refusing to stand to support John Kline at the 2nd District convention when he was re-endorsed.

Still, it made for an interesting day.  Rumors on the floor had it that there’d been negotiations going on to keep Jim Carson – who did an excellent job leading what was bound to be a long rebuilding effort, after having led Roger Chamberlain’s upset victory for the Senate two years ago – in place as district chair.  For one reason or another – rumors on the floor varied, but most of them seemed to come back to “we’re still pissed off about 2008” – the negotiations broke down and the Paul crowd voted their straight slate and replaced Carson with former one-term Roseville mayor John Kyslyczyn.

So now, with the exception of Boguszewski, we have an entirely new Fourth CD; in much of the district, the leadership is new from the “BPOU” (MNGOP talk for the lowest level of the organization, which might be a House district, a Senate district or a County) level on up.

So what do we have, other than the hardest-to-spell leadership team in all of Minnesota politics (Kyslyczyn / Boguszweski)?  It’d tempting to say “a big slate of leaders who’ve never won a political race outside the party”, but then outside of Kyslyczyn’s term as mayor and Carson’s management of Chamberlain, the old and new teams are both tied at zero, so we can call that a wash so far.

My big concern, now as then?  While the crowd of Paul supporters at the convention Saturday carefully replaced their “Ron Paul” posters and stickers with “Kurt Bills” goodies, and voted to endorse Tony Hernandez by a 190-5-5 margin (after running a skillful campaign to win support from most of the establishment and Paul crowds), I have yet to hear a lot of support for, or even especially much awareness of, races farther down ticket or, more importantly, for candidates who get endorsed even if they’re not on the Paul slate.

Now, I know that there are a lot of good, committed people among the Paul crowd who are committed to using their positions in the GOP to work for the party, not just a candidate or two.

But I get a different impression from some of their leadership.  Ronald Reagan once said that if someone agrees with you 70% of the time, it doesn’t make them 30% your enemy.

And from some of the Paul crowd’s leadership, I do get the impression that, whether motivated by single-candidate zeal or roiling anger over 2008 or one of the mind-boggling number of byzantine interpersonal pissing matches that seems to motivate so much of CD4 GOP politics no matter who the nominee or the cause celebre or what the defining issue is, the Paul crowd’s leadership, in the district and beyond, sees “70% friends” as “30% enemies”.

About a month ago, I issued a challenge to the Paul supporters in the 4th CD.  Some Paul supporters complimented me on the piece.  Some took umbrage.  At least one of the Paul crowd’s “leadership” took out after me pretty aggressively over the article, denouncing me as Not A Libertarian At All in that Maoist-y way people adopt when they’re higher on political zeal than common sense.

But now he, and all of you in the Paul crowd, are the establishment, and I don’t have to mince words like some sort of party officer anymore.

Ron Paul’s not going to get nominated.  There is not a chance in hell he’s going to even get past the first ballot.  You fought the fight – successfully, here in Minnesota – but in August your national delegates will announce their votes, and the whole effort will wash down history’s drainpipe, and Paul will retire from Congress, and life’ll move on.

But there’s an opportunity to make a statement that’d be even bigger, at least here in Minnesota.

I’ll restate my challenge; exert some of that newfound power and influence down ticket from Paul and Bills; you have a golden opportunity to use your numbers and energy and organization to push Tony Hernandez to an upset victory over Betty McCollum.  There hasn’t been a better  opportunity to do that since the late Dennis Newinski got within six points back in 2000; between redistricting, anger in Stillwater over McCollum’s opposition to the new Stillwater Bridge, Obama’s anti-coattails, and the fact that most of Saint Paul is much worse off now than it was four years ago, this will be as good a chance as we get until 2020.

The chance, in short, is to do the unthinkable; to flip the unflippable Fourth.

Of course, for all your district-flipping numbers, you can’t do it alone.  Obviously, either could the former leadership.

It’ll be a brutally tough job to do even if we do all pull together.

And I know most of your hearts are in the right place.  But, Paul supporters, I’d like you to honestly ask yourself; does your leadership see the rest of the GOP as a bunch of 30% enemies?

Because if they do…I was going to say, “that road leads to Palookaville”. But 4th CD Republican politics has only rarely been anything but Palookaville for as long as anyone can remember.

Now there would be some change we could believe in.

Anyone Know A Good CPA?

I’m posting a request on behalf of a good friend of the Northern Alliance broadcast, who is trying to find…

…a CPA who will not charge me months months rent to help with my taxes? International taxes are a mess, I’ve tried and tried to figure out the IRS site only to cry and get sick, literally when i look at it. Any Help would be appreciated

If you are, or know, a CPA who can work with someone with not-unlimited means to resolve this issue, please send an email to “Feedbackinthedark@yahoo.com”.  I’ll forward the information to our friend.


So We’re Clear On This, Now?

One of the big lessons of this past month or so is that Stand Your Ground laws are racist and target people of color…

oh, wait:

The NAACP.s Jacksonville chapter has thrown its support behind a woman who will be sentenced Monday in a shooting where she claimed self-defense against an abusive husband under the state.s Stand Your Ground law.

Marissa Danielle Alexander, 31, was charged with three counts of aggravated assault in August 2010 after she fired a single shot into the ceiling of her home during a dispute that somehow turned physical.

So – now the only reason to oppose stand your ground is that you’re racist and sexist?

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word…For The Media To Parse

Joe Doakes of Como Park beat me to this point:

I’m sorry for your loss” isn’t the same as apologizing for the shooting; in fact, nothing like it.

What he meant was “I’m sorry your son attacked me, forcing me to defend myself, which ended his life and landed me in the middle of a horrible and expensive ordeal. I’m sorry his poor choices deprived you of your son. But I’m not sorry I defended myself using the appropriate level of force. I’m not sorry for shooting him because he left me had no choice.”

Of course, that’s too much for Associated Press to comprehend and even if they did, it doesn’t fit the narrative.

Joe Doakes

Como Park

And the narrative is in full force.  More later today.


It’s time for another round of fretting about “where all the young people going?”

I’ll let you read the article yourself. My responses?

A) What “young adults” with options *don’t* strike out on their own to establish an identity separate from their parents?

B) Its the economy, stupid. The “health” of MN’s economy is focused on Fortune 500s and Metro tech and high-value service companies. If neither is a kids field, why are they supposed to stay here? The pro sports? The article notes Minnesota already has a surplus of espresso shops, nightclubs, bike paths, and all the other shiny things that attract the young, urban, “creative class”. That’s because Minneapolis is already a great place for the “creative class”. It’s getting worse and worse for the “producer class”.

C) Dear Millennials: you might wanna talk with your marketing department. You are rapidly turning more entitled and overweening than the baby boomers.

That is all.

Radio Business

It’s not often that I do things to try to improve competing radio stations.  Indeed, I usually try to vanquish them.  And as the record re the all-important Saturday afternoon day part has shown, the Northern Alliance has done just that; first driving KTLK completely but temporarily out of talk, then taking down Ron Rosenbaum.

But I’m going to make a big exception today.

Yesterday, word got out that FM95.9 suspended Jack Tomczak from the Late Debate.

And it occurs to me, and not a few others, that Jack and Ben could actually do a lot better on another station – one that gets less panicky in the face of specious FCC complaints.

So, this weekend, I’m going to ask you to do something unthinkable; email Andrewlee@clearchannel.com, and ask them to put “The Late Debate” on AM1130.

NARN Today!

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism – as the Twin Cities media’s sole source of honesty!

  • Ed and I might be off on assignment this week – we’ll see.  I figure there’s  a 40% chance I make the opening and a 60% chance I get there at all.  So we’ve got Brad Carlson guest-hosting for us from 1-3PM.  Call us at 651 289 4488.
  • Brad Carlson’s show – “The Closer” – is on from 1-3 on Sunday.
  • The King Banaian Show! – King is on AM1570, Business Radio for the Twin Cities!  Join him from 9-11 every Saturday!

(All times Central)

So tune in to all six hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Twin Cities’ media’s sole guardians of honest news. You have so many options:

  • AM1280 in the Metro
  • streaming at AM1280’s Website,
  • On Twitter (the Volume 2 show will use hashtag #narn2)
  • UStream video and chat (at HotAir.com or at UStream) .
  • New – send us an SMS text message – 651-243-0390
  • Good ol’ telephone – 651-289-4488!
  • Podcasts are now available on the AM1280 page!  (Ed and I are #2 – Brad is #3).
  • And make sure you fan us on our new Facebook page!

Join us!

“Ignorance And Distortion”

I’m used to seeing left-leaning writers like David Brauer tossing kudos on Twitter to DFL legislators.

But when I saw him punching up this op-ed here by GOP representative Dean Urdahl, responding to the Strib’s Jim Souhan and his pro-stadium, fact-challenged hatchet job earlier in the week?

That was news.


Jim Souhan’s attention-grabbing April 18 column (“No point in dumbing down stadium issue”) has generated much discussion — even more since readers have learned elsewhere that I voted “yes” in a House committee to advance a Vikings stadium bill.

Citizens also have been interested to learn that, while quoting me, Souhan omitted key sentences that would have made my legislative intent clear.

Why would this happen?

Because it’s very much in the Star/Tribune’s interest to get a public subsidy for the Vikings.  Because the Vikes are a huuuuuge moneymaker for the Strib and its owners, who have a large and ill-advised investment to protect.

It appears that Souhan neither attended the meeting about which he wrote, nor listened to the audio from it, nor reviewed the transcript before penning his column. He also did not contact me before taking great leaps in asserting what my thought process was.

The sad truth is that Souhan ended up with a column based on a false premise and filled with ignorance and distortion.

Urdahl proceeds to shred Souhan.  Read the whole thing.


Joe Doakes of Como Park writes:

If the State doesn’t spring for a billion-dollar stadium, the Vikings will move the team to Los Angeles.

The little old lady next door told me if the City doesn’t pony up for a new senior recreation center with better tables and chairs, the Como Park Canasta Club will pull up stakes and relocate to Highland.  Don’t think they won’t!  And THEN we’ll be sorry.

This is getting out of hand.

Joe Doakes

Como Park

I’m told a snowmobile club was about ready to ask the Legislature to mandate 12 inches of snow north of I94 by December 15, or they’d all load their trailers and drive north, too…


On twitter, some of the people who want the Minnesota taxpayer to pay for them to have stadium are using the hashtag #fanrevolt, in terms of “revolting” against the Legislature if they don’t cough up the tax money to pay for their recreation.

Not against the Vikings, who can afford to build their own stadium.

Not against the NFL, which organizes the blackmail of every city and state where they want – not “need”, mind you, but want – a new stadium.

No.  The Legislature.  Whose majority was elected on a “spend less” platform.  It’s not like you couldn’t have seen this coming.

I wonder who’s paying for that effort?