Patriots Equipment Managers Suspended

The New England Patriots employees Jim McNally and John Jastremski were suspended on May 6th over deflate-gate.  These two were in charge of inflating Patriots’ footballs to regulation.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it was actually the NFL’s decision to punish McNally and Jastremski, not the team’s.

From ESPN:

“For those asking why Patriots suspended two employees if those two did nothing wrong, as New England claims: NFL asked Pats to suspend them prior to discipline being handed down, per a league source in New York. New England obliged with the NFL’s request.”

This makes what the NFL said in a statement about the punishments unclear, writes Business Insider.

“Patriots owner Robert Kraft advised Commissioner Roger Goodell last week that Patriots employees John Jastremski and James McNally have been indefinitely suspended without pay by the club, effective on May 6th,” the statement read.

That seems to imply that the team suspended the two. But note the language — it only says that Kraft told Goodell that they had been suspended, not that he had ordered it, according to Business Insider.

If ESPN’s report is to be believed, it gives the Patriots’ denials a little more weight because the team never actually felt the need to punish McNally and Jastremski.

It’s also worth noting that ESPN’s information comes from a “league source in New York,” not from someone within the Patriots who wants to make them look innocent.

It also makes things messy. The NFL released the Wells report on May 6 but waited until May 11 to punish the team and Brady. Yet according to the league’s statement, McNally and Jastremski were punished on May 6.

Business Insider asks:  If that decision was the NFL’s, why did they hand down discipline for the two employees immediately but wait nearly a week to go after the team and Brady? And why did the Patriots comply?

(Updated article)

New York Post: New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady Will Be Suspended By NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell For Role In DeflateGate

New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady will be suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over Deflategate, according to the New York Post.  He will be the highest-profile player ever suspended in the 96-year history of the NFL.

Mr. Goodell’s decision is expected to be announced next week, and it is no longer a matter of whether or not the NFL commissioner will suspend Brady, but for how long.

The New York Post states there is little doubt that Goodell considers Brady’s role in Deflategate a “serious violation.”

A suspension would mean the Patriots would be without Tom Brady for a long period of time for just the second time in his career.

Sources state that the NFL is convinced that connecting all the dots of the evidence supplied by attorney Ted Wells “leads to one conclusion:  Tom Brady cheated,” writes the New York Post.

The investigation led by attorney Ted Wells found that “it is more probable than not” that Brady was “at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities” of locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski, writes CNN.

There is a general sense that the Wells Report supplied the NFL Commissioner with “enough ammunition to suspend Brady both for breaking the rules by ordering the deflation of footballs and by not cooperating with the investigation when he refused to turn over his cell phone to Wells’ investigators,” according the New York Post.

Video credit: LES GROSSMAN IS GOD

Is Deflate-Gate Important?

TYT Network

According to Newsweek, on Wednesday, the NFL released its long-anticipated findings about Deflate Gate, the investigation into whether the New England Patriots deliberately deflated footballs to their advantage during last season’s AFC Championship Game.

Some players claim that it is easier to catch / throw / hold the football when it is deflated properly.  However, it is against the rules to do this.

The footballs must be inflated to 12.5 to 13.5 pounds per square inch.  During the AFC Championship game, many Patriots footballs were at around 11 pounds per square inch.

“Based on the evidence, the investigation has concluded that there was no deliberate attempt by the Patriots to introduce to the playing field a non-approved kicking ball during the AFC Championship Game,” the NFL report states. “We do not believe that there was any attempt by Patriots personnel, including Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, to deliberately circumvent the rules by offering the kicking ball for play.”

So the Patriots as a whole were cleared of wrongdoing, including coach Bill Belichick.

However, player Tom Brady was not.

(Updated article)

http://www.newsweek.com/deflate-gate-nfl-finds-patriots-did-not-act-deliberately-tom-brady-knew-329037

Does Freshman Senator Tom Cotton Want A War With Iran?

Ring of Fire Radio

Republican Senator Tom Cotton’s letter to Iran last month wasn’t just his attempt to undermine President Obama – it was the order that was given to him by his funders in the defense industry, states Ring of Fire Radio.

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), an opponent of President Obama’s diplomatic efforts to strike an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, suggested on Tuesday that armed conflict with Tehran could be easily contained to “several days of air and naval bombing” and would not require the deployment of American ground troops. The comments echoed the false predictions of Bush administration officials on the eve of the Iraq invasion, according to ThinkProgress.

Mike Papantonio and Abby Martin discuss this story.

Senator Tom Cotton Predicts A 4-Day War With Iran

TYT Network

Tom Cotton is the junior U.S. Senator from the state of Arkansas.  He is a member of the Republican Part and he is a veteran of the U.S. Army and a lawyer.  Cotton is now known for writing a letter signed by 47 Senators to the leadership of Iran, apparently in an effort to undermine the peace treaty being negotiated with the U.S. and five other nations.

Wikipedia:

“On or about March 9, 2015, Senator Cotton wrote and sent a letter to the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran, signed by 47 of the Senate’s 54 Republicans, attempting to cast doubt on the Obama administration’s authority to engage in nuclear-proliferation negotiations with Iran.  The open letter was released in English as well as a poorly-translated Persian version (which “read like a middle schooler wrote it” according to Foreign Policy).  Within hours, commentators suggested that the letter prepared by Cotton constituted a violation of the Logan Act.  Questions also were raised as to whether it reflected a flawed interpretation of the Treaty Clause of the United States Constitution.

“President Barack Obama mocked the letter, referring to it as an ‘unusual coalition’ with Iran’s hard-liners as well as an interference with the then-ongoing negotiations of a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. 

“In addition, during a Vice News Interview, President Barack Obama said ‘I’m embarrassed for them, for them to address a letter to the Ayatollah the Supreme Leader of Iran, who they claim is our mortal enemy and their basic argument to them is: don’t deal with our president, because you can’t trust him to follow through on an agreement… That’s close to unprecedented.'”

Cotton predicted Thursday that U.S. military strikes on Iran could damage its nuclear capabilities without leading to a full-scale war, states USA Today.

He said past Israeli air force attacks on nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria and President Obama’s own statements about a “military option” indicate that “air and naval bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities would in fact work,” states USA Today.

He likened the option to Operation Desert Fox, the four-day bombing campaign President Clinton ordered in 1998 for Iraq’s refusal to cooperate with international weapons inspectors. “That’s what military action would look like if we had to take military action against Iran,” Cotton said, according to USA Today.

Cotton, himself a veteran of the Iraq War, dismissed any comparisons to the predictions of a short conflict by then-President Bush and then-Vice President Dick Cheney and others before the invasion of Iraq.

(Updated report)

2nd Suicide Related To Missouri Auditor’s Office

A top Missouri political aide has reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound a month after his boss – the Missouri State Auditor and Republican Tom Schweich – took his life with a gun, police said Monday.

State auditor’s spokesman Robert “Spence” Jackson was found dead Sunday night inside his Jefferson City apartment after police responded to concerns of a relative that he wasn’t answering the phone.

Robert Jackson

Authorities said they are investigating the case as a suicide.

Jackson’s former boss, Auditor Tom Schweich, had been running for the Republican nomination for Governor of the state when he shot himself in the head on Feb. 26 inside his home in Clayton, Missouri.

Schweich was also about to go public with complaints that a GOP rival was spreading a “whisper campaign” that Schweich was Jewish.

According to the Washington Post, Schweich was an Episcopalian Christian.

He had told others that he believed rivals – led by Missouri Republican Party chairman John Hancock – were spreading an anti-Semitic “whisper campaign” against him.

Jackson was among the first of Schweich’s allies to demand Hancock’s resignation from the top party post. Hancock has denied making anti-Semitic remarks but admitted telling people he thought, mistakenly, that Schweich was Jewish.

Tom Schweich

Jackson remained with the Auditor’s Office after Schweich’s death.

“The initial investigation gives detectives reason to believe this is most likely a suicide,” Jefferson City police Capt. Doug Shoemaker told reporters on Monday.

“There were no signs of forced entry nor any signs of a struggle. There was one firearm found at the apartment. A revolver and one spent round were recovered.”

Police also found a note from Jackson, but Shoemaker declined to elaborate.

More here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2015/03/30/spokesman-found-dead-weeks-after-missouri-state-auditor-tom-schweichs-suicide/

(Updated post)

Washington’s New Rule Is ‘No Rules’


CNN

Secretary of State John Kerry called the open letter penned by 47 Republican senators to Iran’s leaders over negotiations on that country’s nuclear program “absolutely calculated,” “unprecedented” and “unthought-out,” states the Washington Post.

“It’s false information and directly calculated to interfere and basically say, ‘Don’t negotiate with them, you’ve got to negotiate with 535 members of Congress.’ That’s unprecedented. Unprecedented,” Kerry said in an interview Sunday with CBS News.

Congressional Republicans have thrown rules out the window.

Will the strategy yield rewards?  CNN looks at some of Washington’s “rules.”

Some Republicans Speak Out Against Senator Tom Cotton’s Letter To Iran

A number of Republican senators are souring on the open letter 47 Republicans sent condemning the nuclear negotiations with Iran, according to MSNBC.

Democrats, of course, were angry over the letter, and roundly criticized it.  They argued that it undermined the president and hurt the negotiations with Iran.

Slate called the letter “borderline unconstitutional.”

Arizona Republican Senator John McCain said on Tuesday night he wasn’t sure it was the best way to handle the situation.

“Maybe that wasn’t the best way to do that, but I think the Iranians should know that the Congress of the United States has to play a role in whether an agreement of this magnitude,” he said of the letter, according to MSNBC.

Republican Senator Bob Corker, chair of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee pushed back against the letter in an interview with The Daily Beast.

“I didn’t think it was going to further our efforts to get to a place where Congress would play the appropriate role that it should on Iran,” he said. “I did not think that the letter was something that was going to help get us to an outcome that we’re all seeking, and that is Congress playing that appropriate role.”

Arizona’s Republican Senator Jeff Flake said: “I just didn’t feel that it was appropriate or productive at this point. These are tough enough negotiations as it stands, and introducing this kind of letter, I didn’t think would be helpful,” he said.

New York’s Rep. Peter King, a hawkish Republican, said Tuesday he didn’t “know if I would have signed the letter. I don’t trust the president on this, quite frankly, though I don’t know if I’d go public with it to a foreign government,” he said.

State Senator Tom Corbin: Do Sexists Still Exist?

A South Carolina Sate Senator is under fire after proving that sexism does indeed still exist by saying that it’s okay to make fun of women because they are ‘a lesser cut of meat’ than men. Republican State Sen. Thomas Corbin reportedly directed the statement at Republican South Carolina State Sen. Katrina Shealy, in a discussion over a pending criminal domestic violence (CDV) bill.

Shealy is the only female member of South Carolina’s 46-person State Senate.


TYT Network

More:

http://www.fitsnews.com/2015/02/18/lesser-cut-meat-sc-senator-blasts-female-colleague/

Obama Signs Suicide Prevention Bill For Veterans

Amidst partisanship over health care in the U.S., one issue received support from both parties, according to U.S. News and World Report: curbing suicides among American veterans.

The issue was not mentioned in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, but it became clear early this year that both Democrats and Republicans would rally around it.

The Senate voted 99-0 to pass the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act on Feb. 3, while the House voted 403-0 in favor of it last month. Obama signed the bill on Thursday.

The bill is named after a Marine Corps veteran who killed himself in 2011 after he struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder following deployments to Iraq and in Afghanistan.

Last December, Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, single-handedly stalled the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act in the Senate, saying that it carries too hefty a price tag and the VA could already handle it.

Veterans groups said the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act , which would require a report on successful veteran suicide prevention programs and allow the VA to pay incentives to hire psychiatrists, is desperately needed.