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Monday, December 28, 2009
2009 Loon of the Year - FINAL

As Chad notes below, the ultimate contest for 2009 Loon of the Year is now set. A prestigious match-up it is, featuring the Speaker of the House of the United States vs. the former Vice President of the United States.

As you know, it pains me to criticize government officials. (Except of course for Arnold Chacon, the American Charge d'affaires for Andorra - that bastard!) But it must be said that Gore and Pelosi are each highly deserving of the Loon of the Year title. Their specific comments, and pattern of commentary over the years, are indisputably Loony. They make us cringe, they make us wince. And they reveal a stark reflection of the kind of people we have put in positions of enormous power in this country. It is embarrassing and dispiriting. Yet we have no one to blame but ourselves. Because YOU America voted for them (directly or indirectly).

Perhaps a small measure of amends can be realized by voting for one of them again as 2009 Loon of the Year. They are both extremely deserving candidates and it's too bad they can't both win. But that's not the way democracy works (at least outside of Andorra) and it's time to choose.

To help understand the merits of their respective Loon cases below are the transcripts of their qualifying comments.

First, Nancy Pelosi from back in January. She was interviewed by ABC News's George Stephanopoulos on the details of the $787 billion dollar "stimulus package". As you may recall, its intent was to stimulate the economy and decrease unemployment. It proved to have innumerable pork-laden amendments and special interest group provisions whose connection to the economy and jobs were specious at best. One of the more curious additions was hundreds of millions of dollars for contraception services. How does that stimulate the economy? Let's go to the tape:

George Stephanopoulos: ... hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

Nancy Pelosi: Well, the, the family planning services reduce cost. It reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crisis now and part of it, what we do for children's health or education and some of those elements that are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those initiatives you mentioned, the contraception will reduce costs to the state. And to the Federal government too.

Stephanopoulos: So no apologies for that?

Pelosi: No apologies, no. We have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.

In short, children, and human beings in general, are a burden on society. Therefore, when they conflict with other goals of the state, they must be sacrificed. In this case, the state is spending too much to educate and provide health care for them, so we need fewer of them. This will be accomplished by the state intervening to provide incentives and a means to stop having children. An interesting perspective from a self-described "ardent, practicing Catholic".

You know, a belief system like this *almost* makes you think it's a bad idea to put the state in charge of educating and providing health care for your children. Or in charge of anyone for that matter.

Interesting to note that Pelosi says that "we" have to deal with the consequences. Yet she's already had her five kids and I don't believe is on track for any more. I recall the wise words of indigenous American hero, Tonto: What do you mean by 'we" kimosabe.

Also of note, back in January Nancy was so concerned about costs that she was advocating bringing fewer people into the public system. And then a few months later with so-called health care reform, she was advocating bringing in tens of millions more people to, among other reasons, hold down costs.

How to explain that apparent contradiction? Well, looniness would be one way.

Now onto candidate two, Al Gore. It has been a big year for Global Warming. Except for the chilly readings on the thermometer, that is. Other than that non-relevant data, the heat to reorganize our economy and give government control of our use of carbon was at an all time high. The House of Representatives passed a cap-and-trade bill that Obama is dying to sign (if the Senate will ever let him). And the world community (including the Obama Administration) came to an oral agreement that tens of billions of US taxpayer dollars need to be transferred annually to third world governments for the harm we've done to them with our wicked carbon ways.

Arguably, the most important figure in bringing these developments to reality has been Al Gore. His tireless, and highly profitable, advocacy of the dubious man-made global warming disaster hypothesis has increased public awareness and stimulated demand for these potentially ruinous policies more than anything else. He's the public face of expertise on the science of global warming. Which makes comments like this, from an interview on the Tonight Show in November, all the more disturbing:

Conan O'Brien: Can you tell me is this a viable solution, geothermal?

Al Gore: It definitely is and it's a relatively new one. People think about geothermal energy, when they think about it at all, in terms of the hot water bubbling up in some places. But two kilometers or so down, in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks, because the interior of the earth is extremely hot, several million degrees. And the crust of the earth is hot. And if you go down far enough, you can get so much heat, it can be used to generate steam and make electricity. And they say that here in the United States, we have a 35,000 year supply of energy, just from geothermal. And they've now figured out how to do the drilling with the new drill bits that don't melt in that heat.

In reality, the interior of the Earth is cooler than Al Gore's estimation by a factor of a few hundred times. As summarized by John Derbyshire:

The geothermal gradient is usually quoted as 25-50 degrees Celsius per mile of depth in normal terrain (not, e.g., in the crater of Kilauea). Two kilometers down, therefore, (that's a mile and a quarter if you're not as science-y as Al) you'll have an average gain of 30-60 degrees -- exploitable for things like home heating, though not hot enough to make a nice pot of tea. The temperature at the earth's core, 4,000 miles down, is usually quoted as 5,000 degrees Celsius, though these guys claim it's much less, while some contrarian geophysicists have posted claims up to 9,000 degrees. The temperature at the surface of the Sun is around 6,000 degrees Celsius, while at the center, where nuclear fusion is going on big time, things get up over 10 million degrees.

Several hundred degrees, several thousand degrees, several million degrees -what's the difference? For a career politician used to spending money like Gore, the difference is a rounding error.

Perhaps this was just a slip of the tongue by Gore. He meant thousands, said millions. In that case, it probably doesn't merit recognition as Loon of the Year. However, it is consistent with a pattern by Gore of constantly mischaracterizing science and the facts of an argument to fit his personal or political goals. Examples include recent statements about the polar ice caps disappearing in five years and the age and significance of the Climate Gate memos all the way to his book An Inconvenient Truth and its numerous fallacies and errors.

In a sense, Gore's Tonight Show gaffe this year is representative of a lifetime achievement in looniness and therefore should receive serious consideration.

Please record your vote below. Clicking on the names brings up the actual audio of the statements. Polls open through Friday night. Winner to be announced this Saturday during the Northern Alliance Radio Network's First Team Broadcast. Good luck to them both!


LOTY: FINAL
1) Nancy Pelosi
(1) Al Gore
Free polls from Pollhost.com

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Down to This

The polls have closed, the votes have been counted, and we now have our two NARN First Team Loon of the Year finalists.

In the first semi-final, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi crammed down a victory over Senate Pejorative Leader Al Franken by a 62% to 38% margin.

In the second semi, Al Gore shut down Jimmy Carter like a global warming induced snow storm shuts down Dallas in December as the poet who don't even know it throttled the former POTUS 82% to 18%.

This sets up a clash of the titans final as it's Pelosi versus Gore for all the marbles, a coveted prize for these two contenders who seem to have lost all their small, spherical glass toys over the course of the last year. Voting begins later today and the winner will be announced LIVE on the NARN First Team show this Saturday.

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Monday, December 21, 2009
2009 Loon of the Year: Final Four

The regional action is now complete and the 2009 Loon of the Year Final Four is now set. A powerhouse field remains with three #1 seeds advancing along with a strong-finishing and loud-mouthed #2 seed.

Game 1 pits the West champion, Rep. Nancy Pelosi versus the Midwest champion, and home town favorite, Sen. Al Franken. It's a battle of contrasts. House vs. Senate. Man vs. Woman. Extreme liberal from San Francisco vs. extreme liberal from St. Louis Park. The person most responsible for shoving health care reform down our throats vs. the person most responsible for the movie Stuart Saves His Family. No matter who wins, I get the feeling we're all losers in the long run with these people.

Game 2 features the Beast from the East, Vice President Al Gore. He's fresh from railing against global warming amid the blizzard Copenhagen and now blowing hot air again back in the US. He's got his sights set on the Main From Plains, Jimmy Carter. It's the battle of similarities here. Nobel Peace Prize Winner vs. Nobel Peace Prize Winner. Spoken word Grammy winner vs. spoken word Grammy winner. Failed Presidential candidate vs. failed presidential candidate. It's just too bad they both can't lose this one too.

Voting starts NOW and open through the end of the week.


LOTY: Final Four - Game 1
(1) Nancy Pelosi
(2) Al Franken

Free polls from Pollhost.com

LOTY: Final Four - Game 2
(1) Al Gore
(1) Jimmy Carter

Free polls from Pollhost.com

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Sunday, December 20, 2009
Fanatical Four

Voting in second round of Loon of the Year has ended and we have our four finalists for the crown. Here are the final results:

West Region

Nancy Pelosi never blinks as she stares down Sean Penn 90% to 10%.

Midwest Region

In his capacity as Senator from Minnesota, Al Franken outjokes Bill Maher 60% to 40%

East Region

Al Gore poetically waxes David Letterman 91% to 9%

Southeast Region

In the closest battle in the round, Jimmy Carter fends off Janeane Garofalo like an angry swamp rabbit 55% to 45%.

Pelosi, Franken, Gore, and Carter advance to the LOTY Fanatical Four. Voting begins tomorrow.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

The Northern Alliance Radio Network is back LIVE for a pre Christmas broadcast extravaganza.

It all starts at 11AM (central) with John Hinderaker and me running down the week's highlights, including I'm sure the lastest in ill-considered, rushed through, and destructive public policy for health care and global warming. Two A-list guests are also scheduled.

At 11:15, the best movie reviewer in the country, John Nolte of Big Hollywood. We'll be talking about all the lastest releases and what's worth seeing this holiday season.

Then at noon we have Terry Teachout, drama critic for the Wall Street Journal and proprietor of his own blog, About Last Night. We'll be talking about his terrific new biography, Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong.

Plus, Loon of the Week, This Week in Gatekeeping, and much, much more.

Remember, The Northern Alliance Radio Network starts at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at their web site. You can join the conversation at 651-289-4488. Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey. Also, don't forget at 9 AM King Banaian over at KYRC (Business 1570).

Also, special mention for The David Strom Show at 9 AM on the Patriot. Unfortunately, it looks like this is David's final broadcast. For fans of his always intelligent and lively show, this is sad news. David is one of the truly good guys involved in local politics and his regular presence on the radio airwaves will be missed. We wish him the best and hope to hear him surface somewhere else soon.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Pulling Strings

Over at Power Line, John Hinderaker ponders bellying up to the public trough:

There are any number of arts organizations that could have gotten "stimulus" money, and I assume that quite a few did. This seems like a horrible idea across the board. But if "spending equals stimulus," and an employed artist is as valuable as an employed construction worker, then why shouldn't stimulus money find its way to National Review, a formidably literary publication, where Kathryn Lopez and her colleagues have been raising money from readers for quite a while now? Hey, if "spending equals stimulus," then how about a few bucks for radio talk show hosts? Brian Ward and I have been broadcasting for free on AM 1280 the Patriot for years now; how about $25,000 to "save" our jobs? I'm pretty sure we have more listeners than the Heart of the Beast has customers.

The First Team may indeed have more listeners, but alas they have no puppets. It's all about puppets these days John. Work a couple into your radio production and then maybe we can talk about getting you guys on the dole. If not a puppet, maybe a ventriloquist's dummy would do.

UPDATE-- It might look something like this:



Okay, maybe that's not such a good idea after all...

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Monday, December 14, 2009
Electroshock-able Eight

As Saint Paul already noted, the first round LOTY contests featured mostly one-sided outcomes. Here are the final tallies by region:

WEST

Pelosi 95%
Barrymore 5%

Penn 83%
Hughley 17%

MIDWEST

Maher 90%
Grassley 10%

Franken 82%
Hersh 18%

EAST

Gore 92%
Synderman 8%

Letterman 79%
Savage 21%

SOUTHEAST

Carter 60%
Grayson 40%

Garofalo 72%
Sykes 28%

The official LOTY Brackets have been updated to reflect those results and the second round pairings in which voting begins today.

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2009 Loon of the Year: Quarterfinals

After some frenzied action in round 1, the 2009 Loon of the Year now continues with the quarterfinals. The top seeds generally rolled over the competition, making this round an all-star affair.

In the East, Sarah Palin basher extraordinnaire David Letterman was the only non-top 2 seed in the entire tournament to advance, so fit him for the glass slipper as this year's Cinderella story. He's up against the climate change fear mongering 800-pound gorilla Al Gore and his belief that the core of the Earth has a temperature somewhere north of a couple million degrees.

In the Southeast, Jimmy Carter and his charges of racism against those who oppose Obama escaped the first round with the lowest percentage vote of any of the winners. Malaise may have crept into his LOTY effort and his clinch with acid-tongued, tea bagging expert Janeane Garofalo will be a must see event.

In the West, it's a clash of the Titans. Perennial favorite Nany Pelosi has a strong claim this year with her hopes that citizens will sacrifice their future children in order to help balance the Federal budget. She's up against actor Sean Penn and his emotional advocacy of the trendiest topic of the year, gay marriage, and his thanks for finally having an elegant President of the United States.

In the Midwest, it's the battle of comedians. Talk show host Bill Maher with his classic America bashing routine vs. Senator Al Franken, taking time off from the laughs for a moment to cry about his own selflessness.

Who will win, who will lose? That's for YOU to decide. Polls are open now through the end of the week. You can vote up to once per day.

LOTY West Region Final
(1) Nancy Pelosi
(2) Sean Penn
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com



LOTY: Midwest Region Final
(1) Bill Maher
(2) Al Franken
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com



LOTY: East Region Final
(1) Al Gore
(3) David Letterman
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com



LOTY: Southeast Region Final
(1) Jimmy Carter
(2) Janeane Garofalo
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

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Thursday, December 10, 2009
Dark Horse Or Just A Jackass?

Even though he current trails Jimmy Carter 67% to 33% in first round LOTY voting, Alan Grayson is doing his best to keep the spotlight on his looniness.



Polls remain open until the end of the day tomorrow. Do you believe in miracles?

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Lunar Eclipse

December Dementia rolls on with first round voting continuing until tomorrow. Even though most of the contests are rather lopsided at this point--with the leaders receiving vote totals usually only seen in Massachusetts elections involving people named Kennedy--we still encourage you to vote early and often. It ain't over until it's over and no concession speeches have been delivered yet (although rumor has it that Drew Barrymore's pretty much mailed hers in already). After the polling closes, the winners will be announced and voting in the second round will open on Monday. Those contests are shaping up to much more evenly matched and we expect to see more drama unfold next week. We don't have any personal stake in the outcome and leave it up the wisdom of the voters to determine the winners and losers. But the one thing we really hope for is that there's a clear winner in Al Franken's second round matchup. Don't think we're quite ready to handle another recount just yet.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Bric A Brac

December Dementia is now upon us. While you vote for the most worthy contenders to move on from the Senseless Sixteen to the next round, you can also make your own predictions with the official Loon of the Year tournament bracket. Download it now, fill in your picks, and send in your selections. The winner will receive a prize of some sort and be congratulated on air during the special January 2nd NARN First Team LOTY broadcast. The voting has already begun, but we'll still accept your picks until the end of the week.

Here's my quick and dirty analysis of how the first round will play out. One of the key intangibles in predicting the tournament is how voters weight the looniness of each contender. Do they pay more attention to the particular statement that caused the person to be honored as Loon of the Week or do they go more by their overall track record and reputation for lunacy? Past LOTY winners seem to indicate that name recognition plays a large role in determining who will prevail.

The West Region is Nancy Pelosi's to lose. She's the number one seed in the region as well as in the overall tournament and should have no problem in her first round matchup with Drew Barrymore. The other contest is more interesting. DL Hughley isn't as nearly as well known as Sean Penn, but it terms of looniness his clip ranks high. I expect Penn to pull through, although Hughley might make it close.

The Midwest promises to see some drama with two tough contenders. #2 seed Al Franken has the home bin advantage, but #1 seed Bill Maher has a long and loony record to fall back on. I expect them both to breeze through their opening matchups and face off in a frenzied regional final.

At this time of year momentum is everything and no one has more mo' heading into this tourney that the East's #1 seed Al Gore. With the recent Climategate revelations and the Copenhagen talks opening this week, Gore is as hot as he's been in years. His reputation and his very unscientific remark about temperatures at the earth's core make him a serious contender for the LOTY crown. His opposition in the East will like melt away as he steams ahead to the next round. The Letterman-Savage contest is interesting to watch just to see how much voters are leaning toward names they know.

Finally, we have the South which features another strong #1 seed in native son Jimmy Carter. Carter's another contender with a long record of loony achievement which should be enough to propel him into the next round. The Sykes-Garofalo cat fight (sorry for the visual) could be vicious and it's unclear which of the two loony ladies will come out on top. Based on content alone, I'd give it to Sykes, but I think Garofalo's history will come into play with voters and they'll send her to a regional final against the 'nut farmer.

So get your brackets filled out, your votes in, and sit back and enjoy the insanity of December Dementia.

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2009 Loon of the Year: December Dementia

What do Keith Olbermann, Nick Coleman, and Chris Matthews all have in common?

A) They're all journalists
B) They're not journalists but they've played one on TV
C) They share the record for worst case of the piles in American medical history
D) They are the former NARN Loons of the Year

Not having a journalism degree myself and thus the power to judge, nor access to their complete medical histories, I can't say whether or not A through C are false. But I do know for a FACT these these individuals comprise the complete flock of Loons of the Year (LOTY) we have crowned since the institution's founding in 2006. Now it is time to add another.

As we come to the end of another calendar, we look back at the year that was in Loons. Or, more helpfully, take a look on the right hand margin of this blog, where Loons for all 52 weeks of the year 35 weeks of the year when we managed to have a live broadcast are listed.

What a year it was! The full spectrum of the liberal political-media-entertainment complex is on display. Not to mention a couple of Republicans thrown in for diversity's sake and our first Loon of the Week speaking Portuguese. Common themes include residual Bush bashing, Palin bashing, tea party protester bashing, gay marriage advocating, and attempts at silencing opposition to stimulus spending/health care reform. They made us laugh. They made us cry. They made us think. They made us drink. (That's right, they MADE us, man! ).

Now it is time to choose the best among them for the honor of Loon of the Year. Despite the fact that many of the weekly Loons are products of our electoral system, we have not lost faith in democracy (yet). Once again, we are turning over the selection of the LOTY to a popular vote. However, for the first time we are using a Sweet 16 tournament format. We have chosen the 16 top weekly loons and seeded them in four regions. From here on out, the Loons will battle each other for the right to move on.

Below are all 8 of the first round matches. To ensure a well informed electorate, each Loon is linked to the audio (which will pop up in a separate window) which earned them the right to compete for LOTY. Please take a walk down memory lane and listen to each selection before voting. Please note you have to hit VOTE for each and every match-up (not just once at the end for all 8 contests). This means you have to bounce back and forth between the Fraters page and vote results for each race. Yes, a hassle. But I think that's a small price to pay for the democratic process, don't you?

You can vote once per day (per computer). And at some point, these races will be added to the side bar. These first round matches will be open for voting through Saturday. Next week (the week of December 14) we'll have the 8 Loons left for the regional finals. The week of the December 21 will be the Final Four and the week of December 28 will be the LOTY Final, all leading up to the Special NARN First Team Loon of the Year broadcast and announcement of the winner on January 2.

Vote early, vote as often as you can, as we'll see you for the next round on December 14.

LOTY: West Region Semifinal 1
(1) Nancy Pelosi
(4) Drew Barrymore
Free polls from Pollhost.com
LOTY: West Region Semifinal 2
(3) DL Hughley
(2) Sean Penn
Free polls from Pollhost.com


LOTY: Midwest Region Semifinal 1
(1) Bill Maher
(4) Charles Grassley (on Wall Street executives)
Free polls from Pollhost.com


LOTY: Midwest Region Semifinal 2
(3) Seymour Hersh
(2) Al Franken
Free polls from Pollhost.com


LOTY: East Region Semifinal 1
(1) Al Gore
(4) Nancy Snyderman
Free polls from Pollhost.com


LOTY: East Region Semifinal 2
(3) David Letterman
(2) Dan Savage
Free polls from Pollhost.com


LOTY: Southeast Region Semifinal 1
(1) Jimmy Carter
(4) Alan Grayson
Free polls from Pollhost.com


LOTY: Southeast Region Semifinal 2
(3) Wanda Sykes
(2) Janeane Garofalo
Free polls from Pollhost.com



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Saturday, November 21, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

The Northern Alliance Radio Network is back LIVE for another exciting and provocative broadcast day.

It all starts at 11AM central with me and John Hinderaker. We'll likely talk about the Eric Holder testimony this week, Sarah Palin's book and other literary masterpieces by politicians, and about illegaly hacked emails about global warming scheming.

The highlight is likely to be our guest at noon, John J. Miller. He's the national political reporter for National Review and also host of their literary podcast, Between the Covers.

We'll be talking about his terrific new book, The First Assassin. It's a novel, an historical thriller, set in tumultuous days around the first inauguration of Abraham Lincoln. A brief plot description:

Washington, D.C., 1861: A new president takes office, a nation begins to break apart?and Colonel Charles Rook must risk insubordination to stop a mysterious assassin who prowls a nervous city. He will need the help of an ally he does not even know he has: Portia, a beautiful slave who holds a vital clue, hundreds of miles away.

Here's what others are saying:

"An excellent book--it's like The Day of the Jackal set in 1861 Washington."
-- Vince Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pursuit of Honor

"Packed with fascinating information, superb characters, and sublime plot twists,The First Assassin is one of the most exciting thrillers I have read in a long, long time. This is historical fiction at its best and John J. Miller is the hot new author everyone will be talking about."
--Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Apostle

We're looking forward to talking to John at noon. Plus, Loon of the Week, This Week in Gatekeeping, and much, much more.

Remember, The Northern Alliance Radio Network starts at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at the web site. You can join the conversation at 651-289-4488. Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey. Also, don't forget at 9 AM King Banaian over at KYRC (Business 1570) and David Strom on the Patriot.

Don't you dare miss it!

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Saturday, November 14, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

Word is finally leaking out to the wider world about a certain Saturday radio program being hosted by bloggers. And reviews so far are less than raving:

Oh, great. Just what we needed: Four hours of radio consisting of bloggers no one knows about yapping about blogs no one cares about.

Turning over four hours of peak radio time on a 50,000-watt powerhouse to this menagerie of free-lancers and hobbyists strikes me as a colossal waste of time.


I cry foul! You lie! Someone needs to get some gatekeepers on this guy. The Patriot isn't anywhere near 50K watts and 11AM - 3PM ain't exactly peak radio time, unless your core demographic is people in orange jumpsuits cleaning up garbage on the side of the highway. Plus they forgot to mention we're wearing our underwear and broadcasting from our mother's basements. Other than that ...

Actually, that's not a review of the award winning Northern Alliance Radio Network. It's an advance review of a new Saturday morning blogger-hosted show, starting this week on WGN in Chicago. According to reports, it will be hosted by a guy who used to work full time in radio and he'll be joined by a rotating cast of local bloggers. Their aim, to create "a crazy collision of experiences and perspectives.".

That all sounds suspiciously familiar. Even down to the number of bloggers who will be contributing - 126. That was the exact number of people we had in studio during our first show over five years ago.

I suppose imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We accept this and we wish them well in Chicago. However, they don't have a half decade of hard lessons learned and experience to wring the mistakes and inefficiencies from the program. For example, I understand for their first show they are flying in the Atomizer to discuss the effect of marginal tax rate increases on long-term municipal bond yields and JB Doubtless and Scott Johnson to debate the significance of the 34th Anniversary of Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes. That was our second show in 2004! Been there, done that, won't be doing that again.

If you want to hear free lancers and hobbyists yapping about blogs nobody cares about in its highest form, there is only one place to go: The Northern Alliance Radio Network. It all starts at 11AM central today with John Hinderaker and me talking all of today's hot news topics. Working on a high profile guest, but no confirmation yet, stay tuned. Guaranteed however are Loon of the Week, This Week in Gatekeeping, and much, much more.

Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey. Also, don't forget at 9 AM, King Banaian over at KYRC (Business 1570) and David Strom on the Patriot.

Check it out locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at the web site. And you can always join the conversation at 651-289-4488. Don't you dare miss it!

UPDATE: Joining us at 12 noon, Andy McCarthy of National Review Online. He's a former federal prosecutor of terrorism suspects and he'll be bringing his impressive expertise to the case of KSM and his cohorts coming to NYC for trial.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009
Radio Free America

I noticed the look of the AM1280 the Patriot web site has been updated. Most prominently, the podcast links for the various programs have been removed from the front page. They're now accessible only via the tiny "podcasts" button near the top of the page.

This move was no doubt caused by the migration of the national hosts toward the "premium," member subscription model for hearing their old shows. All of the Patriot Big Four went this way. Bennett, Prager, Medved, and Hewitt. One by one, they fell like dominoes over the past few months. Now, if you want to hear one of their old shows in their entirety, you have to cough up and pay the piper.

An iron curtain has descended across the talk radio universe. Behind that line lie all the stars of the ancient shows of conservative talk. The Hughniverse, Pragertopia, MedHead, Bill Bennett's Round Table, all these famous hosts and their guests lie in what I must call the membership sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to the influence of money, but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Karl Rove.

Slight exaggeration there. But I ain't happy. Getting to catch up on missed radio shows for FREE was a major value added feature of the Internets for me. I suppose you can't blame Hugh and the boys for starting to charge for content. They are talented and entertaining communicators. There is a demand for their broadcasts. The business model of giving content away on the Internet has proven to be unsustainable for other information providers like newspapers and magazines. Maybe it's time to give this a try.

Assuming they get people to pay for their old shows and the model becomes ubiquitous, we may look back at the recent past as the Golden Age of Internet Radio. (Tell us grandpa, what was it like getting to hear day old commentary from Erwin Chemerinsky for free?) Ah, I'm getting misty-eyed already.

I should mention there is at least one place where the Golden Age lives on. A magical land where you can get full broadcast hours, commercial free, and all available for the low, low monthly price of zero dollars and zero cents. That's right, it's the Northern Alliance Radio Network. You have to dig to find the podcast now, but here's a helpful link for you to bookmark:

NARN Podcasts

And it's not just us babbling. Recent broadcasts from the First Team include interviews with the likes of Michael Barone, John Derbyshire, Peter Schweizer, John Ondrasik, Michele Bachmann, and Pat Anderson.

I know that ain't exactly the level of quality that the local competition is offering up on Saturdays, with the likes of Ron Rosenbaum interviewing Pat Kessler. But give us a break, we're volunteers. We do it for love, not money.

Remember, NARN broadcasts LIVE on Saturdays starting at 11AM, podcasts usually up by Monday afternoon. Now, as ever, 100% premium membership fee free.

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Saturday, November 07, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

The Northern Alliance Radio Network is back LIVE for another exciting and highly significant broadcast day. The full First Team should be assembled, as John Hinderaker is reportedly recovered from the pig flu, tanned, rested and ready for a dramatic return.

It all starts at 11AM central. Highlight is likely to be our guest at 11:3o, Michael Barone. You've seen his work at the Washington Examiner and Fox News, where he particularly distinguishes himself with election results analysis. He's also the author of my favorite book, the Almanac of American Politics, of which the 2010 edition has just been released. He'll bring his keen eye and wisdom to the elections of last Tuesday and what it may portend in 2010, especially in Minnesota.

Plus, Loon of the Week, This Week in Gatekeeping, and much, much more.

Remember, The Northern Alliance Radio Network starts at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at their web site. You can join the conversation at 651-289-4488. Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey. Also, don't forget at 9 AM King Banaian over at KYRC (Business 1570) and David Strom on the Patriot.

Don't you dare miss it!

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Saturday, October 31, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

The Northern Alliance Radio Network is back LIVE for another exciting and highly significant broadcast day. It all starts at 11AM central.

Topics of discussion likely to include the effect of the swine flu on NARN members, races of note on election day next week, the impending health care bil in Congress, the depressing state of the economy, plus Loon of the Week, This Week in Gatekeeping, and more.

At noon we are pleased to have GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat Anderson. She's the former State Auditor, Mayor of Eagan, President of the Free Market Institute and private business owner. We'll get the run down on why she's running and what sets her apart from a crowded GOP pack.

Remember, The Northern Alliance Radio Network starts at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at their web site. You can join the conversation at 651-289-4488. Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey. Also, don't forget at 9 AM King Banaian over at KYRC (Business 1570) and David Strom on the Patriot.

Don't you dare miss it!

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Saturday, October 24, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

The Northern Alliance Radio Network is back LIVE for another exciting and highly significant broadcast day. The First Team (John Hinderaker and I) start it all bright and early at 11AM central.

Topics of discussion likely to include the war on Fox news, the Flying Imams off into the wild blue yonder, Rage Against the Machine protesting over their music being used as torture at Gitmo (only they have the right to torture people with their music!), plus Loon of the Week, This Week in Gatekeeping, and more.

At noon we have John Derbyshire of National Review and author of the wildly entertaining new book We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism. To be sure, the topics addressed are depressing. Yet they're presented in such a humorous and satirical manner, you almost don't mind that we are actually doomed. The point of the book, of course, is for conservatives to start minding and stop surrending to the fashionable, utopian, and unscientific intellectual trends plaguing modern Western society. And Derbyshire will make that case at noon. Should be a fun conservation.

Remember, The Northern Alliance Radio Network starts at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at their web site. You can join the conversation at 651-289-4488. Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey.

Also, don't forget the Sophie's Choice at 9:00 AM. King Banaian over at KYRC (Business 1570) and David Strom on the Patriot. Don't you dare miss it.

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Friday, October 23, 2009
On Saturday, We Are Doomed

On this Saturday's NARN First Team broadcast we'll be interviewing John Derbyshire of National Review, about his new book, We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism.

Despite the impression the title might give, it's a highly entertaining read, infused with Derb's dry British wit, which only serves to support his scientific perspective and historical approach to analyzing the vexing cultural issues of our times.

A few excerpts to whet your whistles:

This book is addressed to American conservatives. Its argument is that things are bad and getting worse for our movement, for our nation, and for our civilization. A large part of the reason they have gotten so bad is that too many of us have fallen into foolishly utopian ways of thinking.

Those ways of thinking are false because they are too optimistic about human nature and human affairs. The proper outlook of conservatives, I shall argue, is a pessimistic one, at least so far as the things of this world are concerned. We have been misled, and the conservative movement has been derailed, by legions of fools and poseurs wearing smiley-face masks. I aim to unmask them.

I have both a diagnosis and a prognosis to offer. The diagnosis is that conservatism has been fatally weakened by yielding to infantile temptations: temptations to optimism, to wishful thinking, to happy talk, to cheerily preposterous theories about human beings and the human world.

Thus weakened, conservatism can no longer provide the backbone of cold realism that every organized society need. Hence my prognosis, hence my title. We are doomed.

By abandoning our properly pessimistic approach to the world, conservatives have helped bring about a state of affairs that thoughtful persons can only contemplate with pessimism. If we'd held on to the pessimistic outlook that's proper for our philosophy, the future might be brighter!

This looks like a paradox, but really isn't, as I'm using the word "pessimism" in two slightly different senses: to indicate low expectations of one's fellow men, and to name a belief about the probable future. If we expect too much of people, we'll be disappointed, and our schemes will fail. Heady optimism about human nature leads directly to disaster. To put it in the style of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress: the Road of Denial leads to the Precipice of Destruction. Didn't the great utopian experiments of the twentieth century teach us that? We've repeated those experiments ? in a less brazen way, to be sure, but with the same inevitable result now coming upon us.

By embracing a proper conservative pessimism, we may yet rescue something from the coming ruin. At the very least, by returning to cold reality after our recent detour into sunny fantasy, we'll put ourselves in the right frame of mind for our new life in the wilderness.

The winning candidate in the 2008 presidential election promoted something called "the politics of hope." Ladies and gentlemen of conservative inclination, I call you to our true, our proper home. I call you to the politics of despair!

This from his chapter on the evidence available for the effect of diversity on a culture's social capital:
In September 2006 political scientist Robert Putnam was awarded the Johan Skytte prize, one of the most prestigious in his field. The prize is awarded in Uppsala, Sweden, by a Scandinavian scholarly association. (Skytte was a 17th-century Swedish grandee.)

As usual with such events in the academic world, Putnam presented a research paper to commemorate the event. The paper is titled "E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century," and can easily be found on the internet.

That paper has a very curious structure. After a brief (2 pages) introduction, there are three main sections, headed as follows:

  • The Prospects and Benefits of Immigration and Ethnic Diversity (three pages)
  • Immigration and Diversity Foster Social Isolation (nineteen pages)
  • Becoming Comfortable with Diversity (seven pages)

I've had some mild amusement here at my desk trying to think up imaginary research papers similarly structured. One for publication in a health journal, perhaps, with three sections titled:

  • Health benefits of drinking green tea
  • Green tea causes intestinal cancer
  • Making the switch to green tea

Social science research in our universities cries out for a modern Jonathan Swift to lampoon its absurdities.

And that's just a sample of the provocative and politically incorrect ideas he brings forward in We Are Doomed. Looking forward to talking with John Derbyshire about the book. The show starts at 11 AM, Derbyshire at noon, Saturday on AM1280 the Patriot.

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Friday, October 16, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

The Northern Alliance Radio Network is back LIVE tomorrow for another exciting broadcast day. The First Team (John Hinderaker and I) start it all bright and early at 11AM central. Highlights promise to be the two guests we have scheduled to appear.

At 11:30 we have Pete Hegseth, Executive Director of Vets for Freedom and contributor to National Review Online. Pete is an Iraq veteran from the 101st Airborne Division, Princeton grad, and Minnesota native. Back before the surge in Iraq, when the Congress and Democrats were going wobbly, he played an important public advocacy role in articulating the need to stay and win the fight. Now, as the situation in Afghanistan appears to deteriorate, he may need to play a similar role again. We'll ask Pete where we stand and what's the best plan going forward.

At 12 noon, we'll be joined by singer/songwriter John Ondrasik from one of our favorite bands, Five for Fighting. He's already got a couple of platinum records on his resume and just released a terrific new album this week, Slice. I've been listening to it all day, Lots of thought-provoking lyrics and beautiful melodies. We'll ask John about the songs and about his career, which memorably included this featured performance at the Concert for New York City right after 9/11.

Plus Loon of the Week, This Week in Gatekeeping, and more

Remember, The Northern Alliance Radio Network starts at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at their web site. You can join the conversation at 651-289-4488.

Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey, then at 3PM it's ..... NOT King Banaian.

The King is dead, at least on the Patriot. But he's still in the building as they say, just moving across the hall to the Patriot's sister station KYCR (AM 1570). He'll have a new business-focused program from 9 - 11AM. That does put him up against David Strom, who as always will be on the Patriot LIVE at 9 AM. Who to listen to? I can't choose between them! I guess that's why God invented podcasts.

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Dialing It Up

When the Northern Alliance Radio Network first hit the airwaves back in aught-four, it featured an enormous cast of characters. At one point I think there were thirty-seven separate voices clamoring for air time, sometimes in the same hour.

Through the years and tears, one by one most of these voices have fallen silent and left the NARN fold. Now, another one of the founders and NARN mainstays is moving on.

King Banaian has uttered his final words as part of the NARN and will be moving on up the dial to 1570 KYCR beginning this Saturday. He's got a new time slot (9am-11am) and it sounds like a slightly different format with more emphasis on business and economics. Gone from the NARN, but certainly not forgotten with his new gig.

Meanwhile, rumor has it that based on recommendations from a talk radio consultant, the NARN is going to undergo a makeover. Look for the relaunch as the "Fathers of Freedom" this Saturday from 11am-3pm complete with powdered wigs on all four remaining hosts (a nice perk for Mitch and Ed). You don't want to start the revolution without listening to them.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009
Born To Be Mild

The only man who seems to take more vacations--and therefore more time off from his radio duties--than shock jock Hugh Hewitt is our own Brian "Saint Paul" Ward. This Saturday, Saint Paul will once again be jetting off to some exotic locale to experience the lavish trappings of the indigenous culture and hobknob with the ruling elite(rumor has it his destination this time around is COL-O-RA-DO). Which means that he will be unable to fulfill his appointed duties behind the mike on the First Team of the Northern Alliance Radio Network on Saturday from 11am-1pm.

Ordinarily Saint Paul's absence would not cause for undue concern, but this week is different. Because this week the NARN will be doing a special remote broadcast to help support a very special cause. That cause or maybe more accurate causes are Tee it up for the Troops and the Patriot Guard Riders. And the location of Saturday's special remote broadcast is Cooper's Bar and Grill in Eagan. That's right, BAR and grill.

When asked if I could fill Saint Paul's deep vocal loafers this week, my reply was "You had me at bar." So this Saturday, I will rejoin John Hinderaker on the AM1280 The Patriot airwaves from 11am-1pm LIVE from Cooper's along with the rest of the NARN crew (and a couple of special guests) as part of the festivities involved in their Second Annual Bike Run.

Now, it's been a while since I've had my bike out, but once I heard about this event I couldn't wait to get my three-speed Schwinn down from the garage rafters. I put some air in the tires, wiped off the sparkling blue banana seat, and even added some tassels to the end of the handlebars. Once I clothespin a card to the spokes, I'll be ready to ride baby.

What? You're saying it's not for that kind of bike run? Oh, now I see, it's that kind of bike run. Someone should make sure Mitch is clear about this to avoid any unnecessary wearing of spandex on Saturday.

I should also point out that any concerns about whether the crowd at Cooper's might be too tough for me are downright ridiculous. I'll have you know I stubbed my toe last week while watering my spice garden and I only cried for twenty minutes. Besides I'll have John riding shotgun with me. Nobody garners respect from a rough and tumble crowd like an Ivy League lawyer.

Hmmm...Maybe I will ask John not to wear his Dartmouth shirt on Saturday. And I'll make sure the Patriot technical crew has the mesh up.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

Join us beginning at 11AM today for another LIVE episode of the First Team of the Northern Alliance Radio Network. An a very touching reunion show is scheduled, with both John Hinderaker and me scheduled to appear.

Flu-like symptoms knocked me out of the box for the past couple of shows, but the coughing, sneezing and gagging has abated enough for me to believe I'm no longer a threat to myself. A threat to others? Well, we'll have to see about that. Tune in, if for no other reason, than to hear John Hinderaker broadcast while talking through a facemask and respirator.

As always, we'll be featuring Loon of the Week, This Week in Gate Keeping, and much, much more. It all starts at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at the web site. You can join the conversation at 651-289-4488.

Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey, then at 3PM it's King Banaian and the Final Word. Also, don't forget David Strom preceding us all at 9 AM.

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Friday, August 28, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

The Northern Alliance Radio Network will be broadcasting LIVE at the Minnesota State Fair starting tomorrow at 11 AM. We consider these shows the highlight of our year, a big reason being all the people we get to meet. If you're a listener to the show, please stop on by to say "hi". In particular, if you have the ability to sound like a cow; are a fan of body piercing, ear lobe weight lifting, uncommonly hirsute and/or flexible humans; or interested in what the suave, sophisticated angry white male will be wearing this fall, you'll definitely want to stop by between 11AM - 1 PM.

We're located on Dan Patch and Cosgrove, right next to the Merchandise Mart. The Patriot Plaza has tables and comfortable chairs available, the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy a beer and four or five bags of mini donuts while listening to the best in local talk radio.

For those who can't make it out, as always we'll be on AM1280 the Patriot starting at 11 AM. Streaming LIVE worldwide at the station web site. You can call in and join the conversation at 651-289-4488. Or if you're on site, stroll right up and we'll get you on the air.

Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey, then at 3PM it's King Banaian and the Final Word. Also, don't forget David Strom preceding us all at 9 AM. All LIVE at the Fair.

Don't you dare miss it.

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Friday, August 21, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

The First Team of the Northern Alliance Radio Network will be back LIVE on the air tomorrow, starting at 11 AM. It will be or final broadcast from the bunker before we move out to the MN State Fair next week. Meaning, our final broadcast without being under the influence of mass quantities of corn dogs, mini donuts, fudge puppies, fried Twinkies, and Scotch Eggs. Appreciate the lean and hungry lucidity while you can.

This week health care reform will continue to be our primary emphasis of conversation, the highlight being our guest in the 11 AM hour, Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies. Among other topics, we'll be discussing the so-called "myth" that the Obama reforms will result in increased tax payer funding for illegal immigrant health care. Steven is an expert in this field and he's got some fascinating insight into the realities hidden in the 1,000 pages of legislation. Check out the presentation he had on CSPAN earlier this week for a preview.

Maybe some other surprise guests as well, still negotiating the details on time, duration, and personal services rider (fresh spring water and NO YELLOW M&M's), so we'll see about that.

Don't forget, the Northern Alliance Radio Network starts at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at the station web site. Call in and join the conversation at 651-289-4488.

Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey, then at 3PM it's King Banaian and the Final Word. Also, don't forget David Strom preceding us all at 9 AM.

Don't you dare miss it.

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Friday, August 14, 2009
Everything Is Better In Threes

When I heard that the third and final installment in Robert Ferrigno's "Assassins" trilogy was going to be released in August, I couldn't wait to get my meaty paws on it. Now, I can say that my anticipation proved well-founded.



"Heart of the Assassin" arrived on my doorstep this past Monday and before I drifted off to Nod last night I had polished it off. You know you're reading a damn fine novel when you experience mixed emotions as you race to the conclusion. You want to keep reading to find out how it's going to end, but at the same time you don't want it to end. I tried to slow down and savor the experience as much as possible, but in the end the anticipation of what might come next was too hard to resist.

I was also "working" under a bit of a deadline since I knew that we'd be interviewing Robert Ferrigno on the NARN First Team show this Saturday. It takes something special to lure me back into the AM1280 The Patriot studio bunker these days and the chance to discuss Mr. Ferrigno's latest work with him definitely fits that criteria.

He'll join us tomorrow at noon. You can listen to The Northern Alliance Radio Network starting at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at their web site. You can also join the conversation at 651-289-4488.

If you haven't read the first two books in the trilogy yet, I'd encourage you to do so. Beginning with "Prayers of the Assassin":



My review here.

Followed by "Sins of the Assassin":



My review of the book here and our March 2008 interview with Robert Ferrigno on it here.

SP ADDS: We'll also be giving away a pair of free tickets to the Minnesota Symposium on Climate Change: How Politicized Science Endangers Prosperity. It's coming up on August 19 at the Earl Brown Center and sponsored by our friends at the Minnesota Free Market Institute. For details on the event, check ou their Web site.

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Friday, August 07, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

We're back LIVE tomorrow for another NARN broadcast. The First Team starts it all at 11AM. I'm sure we'll be featuring a spirited debate on Democrat attempts at reforming health care in the USA. Anyone out there been to a local Town Hall meeting with a Congress person? Planning on going? We want to hear from you. And we'll put to the front of the line anyone calling in while wearing a Brooks Brothers shirt or tie. (Pants entirely optional.)

In the noon hour, we'll be talking to comedy legend Michael J. Nelson. Late of Mystery Science Theater 3000, now at Rifftrax.com, we'll catch up with how he's doing out in California, the new Rifftrax releases (including Red Dawn, The Lord of the Rings, and Jurassic Park), and get details on their big event coming up August 20, Rifftrax Live. Mike, Crow and Servo, sending up the worst movie in history LIVE at a theater near you. Tune in at noon for Mike, it's always a blast to have him on the air with us.

Remember, The Northern Alliance Radio Network starts at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at their web site. You can join the conversation at 651-289-4488.

Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg andEd Morrissey, then at 3PM it's King Banaian and the Final Word. Also, don't forget David Strom preceding us all at 9 AM. Don't you dare miss it.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

Join us beginning at 11AM today for another LIVE episode of the First Team of the Northern Alliance Radio Network. An increasingly rare reunion show of sorts, with both John Hinderaker and me scheduled to appear. I believe the first time in about a month this has happened. You won't want to miss it as we wake up the echoes, stir up that old chemistry and once again create radio magic. As always, we'll be featuring Loon of the Week, This Week in Gate Keeping, and much, much more.

It all starts at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at the web site. You can join the conversation at 651-289-4488. Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey, then at 3PM it's King Banaian and the Final Word. Also, don't forget David Strom preceding us all at 9 AM.

BTW, I do believe the Patriot line up this week is the ONLY place to hear political talk radio of any sort this weekend. KSTP long ago abandoned the format on Saturdays in favor of sports talk, car repair, arts and crafts, happy chat, and baseball. And now KTLK has bailed out. All weekend long they are going to a classic rock format. (Because lord knows we don't have enough opportunities to hear that.) They are playing sounders claiming it is a temporary move, just to mix things up a little and they'll be back to conservative talkin' on Monday. Some of the radio industry rumor mongers on the Red and Nater chatboard aren't so sure, with various claims of a permanent KTLK format switch or at least a new permanent weekend music format.

However it shakes out, at least for this weekend, AM1280 the Patriot is the last man standing. The only political talk in town. And my promise to you good citizens, we will not bug out in this crucial period of time when the people are desperately yearning to talk about the propriety of the President of the United States choosing Bud Light as his beer of choice. Courage.

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Friday, July 10, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

Join us beginning at 11AM tomorrow for another episode of the Northern Alliance Radio Network. A deluxe edition of the First Team show is planned, highlighted by our guest line up.

Sitting in for the entire two hours will be the award winning blogger, the Nihilist in Golf Pants.
Why all the darkness and psychotic imagery? Does golf relieve his rage and angst? We'll find out the whole story.

Also joining us at noon will be state Rep. Marty Seifert. He's the former Republican leader in the state House and now a candidate for the GOP nomination for Governor. A smart, bold, and unapologetic conservative with a good sense of humor may be just what this state needs. We've had him on a few times in the past and it's always been a lot of fun.

Plus Loon of the Week, This Week in Gate Keeping, and much, much more.

It all starts at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at the web site. You can join the conversation at 651-289-4488.

Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey, then at 3PM it's King Banaian and the Final Word. Also, don't forget David Strom preceding us all at 9 AM.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009
Just a Bit Outside

In honor of Mitch Berg throwing out the first pitch at last night's Saints game, I direct you the video library of the Top 10 Most Embarrassing First Pitches of All Time.

I trust Mitch's effort was a little better than the likes of what Mariah Carey, Carl Lewis, and the guy in the dinosaur suit pulled off. Then again, that oversized foam rubber AM1280 the Patriot anthropamorphic Bill of Rights with the 50 inch biceps costume he was wearing is a tad constricting. Hopefully video of his performance will surface soon.

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Friday, June 05, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

Join us tomorrow beginning at 11AM for another episode of the Northern Alliance Radio Network.

John Hinderaker and I will be reuniting in studio for another LIVE broadcast.


The typical electic mix of topics (at this hour, to be determined) will be discussed. But the highlight promises to be our special guest in the noon hour. One of the bright lights of the state Republican party, Jeff Johnson, joins us. Former State Senator from Plymouth and recent GOP candiate for Attorney General, he is now a freshly minted Hennepin County Commissioner from the sprawling District 7 (the westerna nd northern 'burbs).


As a fiscal conservative, he all too often finds himself as the lone voice of dissent on 6 - 1 votes against the latest grand spending initiative. To get the SOS out, he's started the Hennepin County Taxpayer Watchdog website, highlighting the curious spending priorties of his colleagues in the majority. Some of these schemes qualify for his "Golden Hydrant" award. We'll ask him for the meaning behind the symbolism and get the low down on the county tax and spending spree.


Plus Loon of the Week, This Week in Gate Keeping, our new feature the White House Employee Morning Briefing (by Sisyphus), and much, much more

It all starts at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at the web site. YOU can join the conversation at 651-289-4488. Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg and Capt. Ed Morrissey, then at 3PM it's King Banaian and the Final Word. Also, don't forget David Strom preceding us all at 9 AM.

Don't you dare miss it!

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Friday, May 22, 2009
Northern Alliance Radio Network

Join us tomorrow beginning at 11AM for another episode of the Northern Alliance Radio Network.

John Hinderaker and I are eshewing (gusendheit) our typical holiday weekend sabbatical and will be LIVE in studio for a special Memorial Day weekend broadcast. 

A show densely packed with entertainment is planned.  The highlight promises to be our special guest in the noon hour.  One of the finest movie reviewers in the business today, John Nolte, joins us.  Formerly known as Dirty Harry while posting for web sites such as Libertas (sans Fraters) and his own Dirty Harry's Place, he now the editor at Big Hollywood

His work includes film reviews as well as other musings on the culture, from that rarest of breeds, a savvy entertainment biz insider with a conservative point of view.  We'll be talking about his experience as this variety of endangered species and also about the summer movie offerings.

Plus Loon of the Week, This Week in Gate Keeping, our new feature the White House Employee Morning Briefing, and much, much more

It all starts at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at the 
web site.  YOU can join the conversation at 651-289-4488.

Following us at 1 PM, 
Mitch Berg and Capt. Ed Morrissey, then at 3PM it's King Banaian and the Final Word. Also, don't forget David Strom preceding us all at 9 AM.

Don't you dare miss it!

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Saturday, May 16, 2009
Banned in Belgium

Last week on NARN 1 we stumbled into an attempt to get banned in Belgium. Pending last minute word from the Belgian embassy, that attempt was unsuccessful.

Lest anyone think Belgium is a tolerant, libertine paradise where free thinking, free speech, and free commerce are embraced, I present to you a list of things that actually are banned in Belgium.

Sikh Religious Symbols

On September 4, 2005 The Tribune reported, "After imposition of a ban by France on wearing turbans in schools, Belgium too has followed suit and banned the religious symbols of the Sikhs in their educational institutes.

Agitated Belgium Sikhs of the Guru Nanak Sikh Society told The Tribune that while France enacted a law, imposing ban on religious symbols in schools, the
Belgium schools had also imposed the ban.

The Madonna song "Frozen"

Madonna fans in Belgium will no longer be able to hear her hit "Frozen" on the radio or watch the video on television. That's because Madonna recently lost a plagiarism case in that country.

RollingStone.com reports that Belgian songwriter Salvatore Acquaviva filed a suit against Madonna, claiming she plagiarized parts of his song "Ma Vie Fout L'camp (My Life's Getting Nowhere)," for her hit single "Frozen."


Urine stream controlled video games

Belgian police have cracked down on this Galileo of the gaming age, banning a version of the game entitled Place To Pee from the GamePower Expo in Gent, Belgium. It seems the Flemish flatfoots consider the game, which allows players to control the direction of their on-screen cars by aiming their streams of liquid waste at a censor placed in a urinal, an "indecency offense."

Pantless floating Saddam Hussein sculptures

A sculpture of a tied-up Saddam Hussein floating in a water tank has been banned by a Belgian mayor because it was deemed too controversial, says an official. "This work could shock people, not only from around here but tourists and potentially people of another faith, in particular Muslims," he told AFP.

Leo Coulier, secretary of the Middelkerke town hall, described the scupture as "controversial" and "potentially explosive". The sculpture, named "Shark", depicts Saddam Hussein in underpants with his hands tied behind his back in a shark-like pose.

Now that we are fully informed on how to get banned in Belgium, we'll give it another shot this week.


Throughout the program, all hosts will be festooned with Sikh religious symbols and turban. Then, sometime in Hour 1, John Hinderaker will sing an acapella version of "Frozen" by Madonna. In Hour 2, we'll bring in the hosts of NARN 2 to compete in a spirited round of "Place to Pee" and we'll call all the action. Finally, at the end of the show, Chad the Elder will cap off his return NARN appearance by recreating the sculpture "Shark" live on air (pending our acquisition of a 10,000 gallon fish tank).

You thought you could keep letting us in Belgium? Think again!

It all starts at 11AM Central, locally on AM1280 the Patriot. Streaming LIVE worldwide at the web site. You can join the conversation at 651-289-4488.

Following us at 1 PM, Mitch Berg and Capt. Ed Morrissey, then at 3PM it's King Banaian and the Final Word. Also, don't forget David Strom preceding us all at 9 AM.

Don't you dare miss it!

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2009-10 NARN LOON O' THE WEEK

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10/31--Levi Johnston
10/24--Alan Grayson
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9/19--Jimmy Carter
9/5--Chris Matthews
8/29--Dan Savage
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6/13--David Letterman
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5/9--Alren Specter
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4/25--Janeane Garofalo
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3/28--Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
3/21--Charles Grassley
3/14--Seymour Hersh
3/7--DL Hughley
2/28--Sean Penn
2/21--James Clyburn
2/14--Chuck Schumer
2/7--Nancy Pelosi
1/31--Nancy Pelosi
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