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The MPCA’s Special Interests’ Citizens Board held its final meeting Tuesday. It was a bittersweet day, depending on your political persuasion. For environmental activists, it was a bitter ending. For people that believe in holding government accountable, it was a beautiful sight. First, let’s listen to the special interests’ whining:

“Dissolving the Citizens’ Board is bad for rural and metro Minnesota,” said Kathy DeBuhr at a protest before the board’s final meeting Tuesday morning. “This legislature has taken away the voice of the common person. The little guy.”

DeBuhr was among those who protested a proposed 9,000-cow “mega-dairy feedlot” in western Minnesota in 2014. In a controversial move, the Citizens’ Board ordered the dairy operation to seek an expensive and time-consuming environmental impact statement even though MPCA staff had not ordered one. The dairy ultimately decided not to go forward with the project.

Ms. DeBuhr’s whining is annoying at best. This wasn’t a panel of ordinary citizens. It was an activist board. The fact that they ran off a major dairy operation after the operation had gotten its permits from the MPCA speaks to their activism.

Further, what type of citizens panel reserves a spot for a union member? The Board had a member of Duluth’s Transit Authority and an “agriculture representative”, too. I still haven’t heard anyone explain why there’s a need for a citizens panel. Isn’t the MPCA doing its job properly? If it isn’t, shouldn’t the MPCA be overhauled or outright abolished?

The Citizens’ Board was established to guard against undue political influence of the agency and to create a public and transparent decision making process on controversial issues. Supporters of the board say its abolishment will remove the final public process for environmental review and permitting actions for industry and factory farms.

The notion that the Citizens Board was impartial is absurd. It wasn’t. It was filled with activists. As for the statement that this removes “the final public process for environmental review and permitting,” that’s a bit melodramatic. Why is it necessary for limitless environmental reviews?

When Jeb Bush surprisingly announced his candidacy for president, pundits of all political stripes said it was a political masterstroke because it caught his rivals off-guard. Fast forward to today. Those pundits are singing a different tune:

“We’ve learned that the prospect of a big financial advantage is not going to keep people out of the race and that the notion of a new face is stronger than we might have thought,” Vin Weber, an outside Bush adviser, said in an interview. “That requires modest adjustments in strategy, not wholesale changes.” After weeks of bad press, “donors were getting a little edgy,” Weber said. “No one is ready to jump ship. Nobody has lost heart. But they have watched other candidates rise in the polls.”

At first, pundits said that Jeb’s team was seasoned. The reality is that Jeb’s team is all but fossilized. Vin Weber is to GOP politics what Bob Shrum is to Democratic politics. He’s got a great reputation and a lengthy losing streak. Jeb’s problem is that he hired guys with great reputations rather than picking the best and the brightest.

Washington’s pundits didn’t think things through. They thought that hiring people with lengthy resumes equated to hiring the best people. They’re seeing now that that isn’t the truth. The bad news is that that’s the least of Team Jeb’s worries:

On the stump, Bush has stuck to his pledge not to shift to the right to win the nomination, but his middle-of-the-road positions on immigration and education have come off more as out of step with the base of his party than shrewdly pragmatic. His wonky question-and-answer exchanges with voters sometimes resemble college lectures rather than a disarming appeal for votes.

Jeb’s biggest problem is Jeb. He’s robotic. He’s interested in antagonizing conservatives. There isn’t a mindset of ‘let’s win this together’. It’s mostly about Jeb.

That’s harmed other parts of Jeb’s campaign:

His operation’s ability to rake in large checks also fueled inflated expectations. Supporters acknowledged this week that an allied super PAC was likely to fall short — perhaps substantially — of predictions that it would bring in $100 million in the first half of the year.

If Jeb isn’t able to carpet-bomb the rest of the GOP field into submission, he won’t win the nomination. He simply isn’t a top tier candidate otherwise. Otherwise, he’s just another legacy candidate living off past headlines.

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There’s no secret that Minnesota environmental activists are trying to stop the Sandpiper Pipeline project that would transport oil from the Bakken oil field across Minnesota to Wisconsin. This article highlights what’s behind the environmentalists’ protests and who’s funding them:

Now the Sandpiper Pipeline from North Dakota’s Bakken shale region across Minnesota to Superior, Wis., is meeting similar resistance. As with Keystone, the protesters say they’re concerned student, hiker and Native American grass-roots activists. The facts do not support their narrative.

Putin-allied Russian billionaires laundered $23 million through the Bermuda-based Wakefield Quin law firm to the Sea Change Foundation and thence to anti-fracking and anti-Keystone groups, the Environmental Policy Alliance found. Sandpiper opponents are likewise funded and coordinated by wealthy financiers and shadowy foundations, researcher Ron Arnold discovered.

Several small groups are involved in Sandpiper. But the campaign is coordinated by Honor the Earth, a Native American group that is actually a Tides Foundation “project,” with the Tides Center as its “fiscal sponsor,” contributing $700,000 and extensive in-kind aid. Out-of-state donors provide 99% of Honor’s funding.

The Indigenous Environmental Network also funds Honor the Earth. Minnesota corporate records show no incorporation entry for IEN, and that 95% of its money comes from outside Minnesota. Tides gave IEN $670,000 to oppose pipelines. Indeed, $25 billion in foundation investment portfolios support the anti-Sandpiper effort.

Isn’t that interesting? At the very time that Russia’s economy is tanking because the oil revenues they rely on have shrunk dramatically, “Putin-allied Russian billionaires” reached out to organizations that fund environmentalists to protest the building of the Sandpiper Pipeline project.

In reaching out to the Tides Foundation, these “Putin-allied Russian billionaires” reached out to an old ally. Teresa Heinz-Kerry is a major contributor to the Tides Foundation. Not coincidentally, she’s married to John Forbes Kerry. His current job title is U.S. Secretary of State.

But I digress.

Like most things progressive, the progressives’ attempt to sabotage the Sandpiper Pipeline project is being led by an organization (Tides) that specializes in AstroTurf campaigns. Think of it this way. The party of the little guy is sabotaging a project that would make people’s gas prices cheaper and their home heating bills less expensive. That’s happening because a company supported by one of the wealthiest families in America is funding them.

When she’s campaigning, Elizabeth Warren frequently states that the game is rigged against the average person. When that message caught fire, Hillary adopted the campaign theme of being “everyday Americans” champion. The truth is that the game is rigged against the little guy. One-percenters like Teresa Heinz-Kerry do their utmost to make sure average people pay more.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL certainly haven’t fought against these AstroTurf organizations who’ve protested the building of the Sandpiper pipeline. That’s because they’ve decided to side with environmental activist organizations that are funded by big corporations that don’t give a damn about Minnesota.

I remember this video where Hillary officially announced that she was running for president:

It feels like Hillary has only 10 answered questions since then. Then again, for Hillary, that’s just a month ago. But I digress. Here’s what Hillary personally said in that video:

HILLARY: I’m getting ready to do something, too. I’m running for president. Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion and I want to be that champion so you can do more than just get by. You can get ahead and stay ahead because when families are strong, America is strong.

Hillary won’t be everyday Americans’ champion. The only time the Clintons think about everyday Americans, it’s when they momentarily pretend to care about “people who work hard and play by the rules.” Let’s first set the foundation, starting with Hillary’s “Politics of Meaning Speech” in April, 1993. Here’s snippets from that speech:

America suffered from a “sleeping sickness of the soul,” a “sense that somehow economic growth and prosperity, political democracy and freedom are not enough — that we lack at some core level meaning in our individual lives and meaning collectively, that sense that our lives are part of some greater effort, that we are connected to one another, that community means that we have a place where we belong no matter who we are.”

She spoke of “cities that are filled with hopeless girls with babies and angry boys with guns” as only the most visible signs of a nation crippled by “alienation and despair and hopelessness,” a nation that was in the throes of a “crisis of meaning.”

“What do our governmental institutions mean? What do our lives in today’s world mean?” she asked. “What does it mean in today’s world to pursue not only vocations, to be part of institutions, but to be human?”

Hillary didn’t answer those questions. Instead, she turned to a lifestyle where she made money while peddling influence. That’s the Rodham way. It’s the Clinton way.

Hillary hasn’t driven a car in 25 years. She and Bill own a mansion in a gated Georgetown community that’s worth almost $3,000,000. They also own a mansion in Chappaqua, NY, that’s worth almost $2,000,000. In the past 16 months, the Clintons have made $30,000,000 giving speeches while travelling the world.

There was a time when the Clintons didn’t own property and weren’t rich. Unfortunately for Hillary’s storyline, that was in the 1980s. The Clintons of the 21st Century are a) ridiculously wealthy, which I don’t have a problem with, and b) auction off their positions of power for personal income or for contributions to their slush fund foundation. The woman who’s insisting that she wants to be the champion of “everyday Americans” is the same woman who once said “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas.”

We’re supposed to believe that the elitist that said those is now a commoner. We’re supposed to believe that the woman that’s making $200,000 per speech is suddenly the foremost expert on “everyday Americans.”

That’s as believable as 2 Patriot locker room employees deflated footballs without Tom Brady’s permission. It’s utterly laughable to think that a woman as disdainful of commoners as Hillary is suddenly their champion.

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The RNC should pull the plug on the Republican presidential debate that ABC is hosting. It isn’t just that George Stephanopoulos didn’t clothe himself in glory with his nondisclosure of his donations to the Clinton Foundation. It’s that ABC is caught in another controversy that proves ABC isn’t trustworthy:

Games may have been played yesterday in connection with the week’s resounding media story. On Thursday morning, Politico media reporter Dylan Byers broke the story of George Stephanopoulos’s big-money donations to the Clinton Foundation (at first they were reported as $50,000 but grew to $75,000 by day’s end). The headline of Byers’s story: “George Stephanopoulos discloses $75,000 contribution to Clinton Foundation.”

Big deal. The Internet exploded with commentary, criticisms of Stephanopoulos, liberal-media slams and claims that the PR department of ABC News had done something untoward in handling the story.


In other words, ABC issued a statement to a newspaper that they thought would write a friendlier story about the Stephanopoulos story rather than let a real journalist write the story he’d discovered. That’s a pretty scummy thing to do. I don’t think it’s coincidence that ABC gave the Washington Free Beacon a comment … 10 minutes after the Byers Politico article broke. Here’s why:

When the Washington Free Beaconers put their heads together Thursday morning, there was still no comment from ABC News. “I say, ‘Let’s begin to move this story,’” recalls Continetti. The piece wasn’t complicated: A network news anchor had contributed to a charity run by the first family of the Democratic party and hadn’t told viewers when that charity emerged in news coverage. What was complicated was its landing. “Literally as we were about to hit ‘post,’ we are alerted to the Dylan Byers piece that just went up,” says Continetti, who moved to publish their piece without the ABC News statements. Those arrived later.

This sounds like Stephanopoulos and the ABC PR department trying to direct the story to a friendlier media outlet. They know that the Washington Free Beacon is a right-of-center newspaper. Stephanopoulos might’ve suspected that Stiles’ article would’ve been harder hitting than Byers’ spoon-fed article.

The RNC shouldn’t be in the business of fighting reporters’ fights. Still, it shouldn’t let networks host debates if they’ve shown themselves to not be trustworthy. It isn’t just that Stephanopoulos isn’t trustworthy. It’s that ABC has proven that they aren’t trustworthy. They’re more trustworthy than MSNBC but they’re far from trustworthy.

Earlier tonight, I wrote this post that said a budget deal had been reached. This picture of Sen. Bakk and Speaker Daudt seemed to confirm that a deal had been reached:

Since then, though, Gov. Dayton has tried sabotaging the deal. Here’s the first tweet I saw announcing his opposition to the deal hammered out at his mansion:


Thankfully, some people are relatively sane:


Others are trying to pay off the special interests:

In an exclusive interview with the Pioneer Press Friday night, Gov. Mark Dayton said lawmakers reached their budget deal without checking with him and stood by his demand that they give early childhood through high school funding at least $550 million more over the next two years.

“If I’m not able to agree to anything that’s in there, including the E-12, I do not take responsibility any more than either of them for the fact that we couldn’t reach an agreement,” Dayton said as he closed out a long day of negotiations at the governor’s residence.

Now that’s a shocker. Gov. Dayton saying he isn’t taking “responsibility” for something. Minnesota, this is why Gov. Dayton was given the title of being the worst senator in the United States Senate. The House and Senate rejected Gov. Dayton’s universal pre-K proposal. Gov. Dayton’s response to the bipartisan rejection was to insist on an additional $550,000,000 for the K-12 formula:

The governor said he had few objections to the budget plan as lawmakers laid it out other than its level of education spending. “I won’t accept anything less than $550 (million),” for education, he said. “If they agree to that….I’m not aware of anything else that could stand in the way of the overall agreement.”

That means Gov. Dayton is willing to shut down the government because the legislature won’t increase K-12 funding that Gov. Dayton first proposed tonight. What type of lunatic would attempt to pull a stunt like that at the eleventh hour?

If there’s a shutdown, it’s because Gov. Dayton engineered it at the eleventh hour. That isn’t statesmanship.

That’s acting like a spoiled brat.

UPDATE: Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk agreed to spending targets. Follow this link to find out more about the agreement.

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I’ll cut straight to the chase. Nan Madden’s op-ed in the St. Cloud Times is disgustingly dishonest. Check this lie out:

Large tax cuts passed at the end of the 1990s and 2000s proved to be unsustainable, and were followed by deep cuts in higher education, affordable child care and other services.

That’s total BS. First, the “large tax cuts passed at the end of the 1990s and 2000s” weren’t unsustainable. What happened is that the US economy took a major, lengthy hit because of 9-11, then the first banking crisis. If not for that major recession, the Jesse Checks would’ve been totally sustainable. Madden’s disgust with tax cuts is based more on misinformation and misguided ideology than by facts.

Her ideology is hard left. First, Madden is the director of the Minnesota Budget Project. MBP is part of an organization called Invest in Minnesota, an organization that “was founded by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition(JRLC) and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN).”

According to IIM’s website, “Invest in Minnesota is united around two core principles:

  1. Revenue-raising must be a significant part of the solution to resolving the state’s budget deficit.
  2. The overall package of fair revenue-raising must make the tax system fairer.

It isn’t difficult to figure out why The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Minnesota Budget Project hates tax cuts of any kind. Check out MCN’s agenda page:

I’d also argue that the tax cuts were large. Here’s some details on the Jesse Checks program:

“In late summer, I get to stand here and say, the checks are in the mail.”

Ventura pushed for returning surplus money in the form of a sales tax rebate, which some Minnesotans have come to call “Jesse checks.” This year, the average check is $512 for a married couple or head of household, and $232 for a single filer. State officials say all eligible taxpayers should receive their checks by Labor Day. But Ventura cautions that this may be the last year of rebate checks, since the state has cut taxes and the economy has slowed. “We are not bringing in the money that we used to bring in prior to my administration, and in light of that, and the economy, there may not be a fourth,” says Ventura.

Nan Madden is the type of person that thinks the government and the NPOs they support should get first dibs on the money Minnesotans earn. She thinks that because she can’t envision a world where NPOs don’t get first dibs on the taxpayers’ money.

Minnesota Budget Project, like Invest in Minnesota, pushed hard to pass a major minimum wage increase that includes cost of living adjustment. They’re currently pushing for a law that would require companies to pay for sick leave for their employees. It isn’t surprising that businesses have left Minnesota.

For nearly two decades, the Minnesota Budget Project has analyzed state tax and budget choices, and called for policies that propel Minnesota toward a future where all of us have access to opportunity and economic well-being.

That’s similar to the truth but it isn’t complete. Here’s the whole truth about the Minnesota Budget Project. The Minnesota Budget Project supports economic policies that support intrusive, ever-growing government. If that means intruding on businesses’ decisions for ‘the greater good’, they’re fine with that.

They aren’t a pro-growth organization any more than the Obama administration is a pro-growth administration.

When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1991-92, their war room operations were second to none. Hillary’s press operations are second to everyone. Check out this video:

Here’s the transcript of what Bill Clinton, Brian Fallon, John Podesta and James Carville said:

BILL CLINTON, 42ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Even the guy that wrote the book apparently, had to admit under questioning that he didn’t have a shred of evidence for this. He just sort of thought he would throw it out there and see if it’d fly.
BRIAN FALLON: It’s full of sloppy research and attacks pulled out of thin air with no actual evidence.
JOHN PODESTA: It’s a book that’s written by a former Bush operative. He’s cherry-picked information that’s been disclosed and woven a bunch of conspiracy theories about it.
JAMES CARVILLE: There’s everything here but that she did anything — this is spaghetti journalism. There’s throw spaghetti at the wall and hope something sticks.

Here’s the transcript for Peter Schweizer’s response to Team Clinton’s ineffective response:

KELLY: Joining us now is the spaghetti maker, Peter Schweizer, author of “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”

Peter, good to see you. So, I mean, obviously, what those clips show is they are a little worried about you. And that’s obvious. But their main line of attack seems to be, there’s no there there, there’s smoking gun. Something you’ve admitted yourself.
PETER SCHWEIZER, AUTHOR, “CLINTON CASH”: Well, what I argue is the smoking gun, I don’t have an e-mail that says, do this and we’ll give you money. What I do have is a pattern of behavior that I think is very troubling. And the pattern is revealed in dozens of examples where there’s an influx of money to the Clintons. Hillary Clinton and shortly thereafter takes favorable actions for the individuals who are giving them the money. You can look at one of two of these, Megyn, and say, come on, it’s a coincidence. But when you see it replicated dozens of times, I think it warrants serious investigation by people that have subpoena power that can look at e-mails, that can look at correspondence.
KELLY: They don’t seem to think it counts unless there is direct proof. They don’t seem to believe in circumstantial evidence when it comes to their behavior.
SCHWEIZER: Yes, that’s exactly right. I mean, here’s what I like to say, Megyn. Imagine three years from now we have a secretary of defense not named Clinton and she has a private foundation with her husband and a small company has business before the Pentagon, needs Pentagon approval for something and the shareholders in that company send $145 million to that family foundation. Are people going to just ask them, did anything happen here and we’re going to take their word that everything was good? Of course not, we would investigate and look into it except for the fact that when it involves the Clintons they seem to operate on a level that’s very different than anybody else in American politics.
KELLY: What should happen though? Because now she is going to testify before the Benghazi committee, at least. So, I mean, that she’ll get asked and she will have to answer, correct?
SCHWEIZER: Yes, you know, I don’t know in terms of the committee what the scope of their questioning is going to be, but look, I think we need to have somebody that has subpoena power look into some of these deals. We need to look at some of the inflated speaking fees that Bill Clinton got as she was considering everything from the Keystone Pipeline to issues related to sanctions on Iran.
KELLY: Who would look into it? Who specifically? I mean, O’Reilly is looking for the FBI to do it. Who specifically?
SCHWEIZER: Well, I think the FBI is an excellent suggestion. You could have Congressional committees do it. Frankly, I think I’d like to see somebody with subpoena power that is a prosecutor, possibly even convene a grand jury. I mean, look, you look at the Menendez case, you look at the case down in Virginia, you look out in Oregon with Keith Saber (ph), the pattern of behavior here is somewhat similar. And it is crying out for further investigation.

This is the part where Schweizer blows Bill Clinton out of the water:

I don’t have an e-mail that says, do this and we’ll give you money. What I do have is a pattern of behavior that I think is very troubling. And the pattern is revealed in dozens of examples where there’s an influx of money to the Clintons. Hillary Clinton and shortly thereafter takes favorable actions for the individuals who are giving them the money. You can look at one of two of these, Megyn, and say, come on, it’s a coincidence. But when you see it replicated dozens of times, I think it warrants serious investigation by people that have subpoena power that can look at e-mails, that can look at correspondence.

Like Schweizer said, if this happened once or twice, chalk it up to coincidence. When the same thing happens dozens of times and the outcome is always the same, that’s a pattern. Patterns aren’t coincidences. Here’s the definition for coincidence:

a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance.

Here’s the definition for pattern:

a combination of qualities, acts, tendencies, etc., forming a consistent or characteristic arrangement.

Hillary’s rapid response team aren’t top notch. They’re leftovers who’ve hung around long after their sell-by date. John Podesta? James Carville? Lanny Davis? Seriously? They belong in the political geriatric ward, not on the campaign trail.

Thus far, Hillary’s campaign has been a blast from the past. She isn’t a fresh face peddling fresh ideas. She isn’t energetic like Obama was. She’s overstaged and overchoreographed. All of the queen’s horses and all of the queen’s messengers can’t put Hillary’s campaign back together again.

What’s worst for Hillary is that she isn’t the dynamic candidate Bill or Obama was. She’s just Hillary.

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If the NFL wants to maintain its integrity, Tom Brady’s suspension needs to be more than a token slap on the wrist. My opinion is based on what’s found on pg. 19 of the Wells Committee Report. This information jumped off the page:

During his interview, Brady denied any knowledge of or involvement in any efforts to deflate game balls after the pre-game inspection by the game officials. He claimed that prior to the events surrounding the AFC Championship Game, he did not know McNally’s name or anything about McNally’s game-day responsibilities, including whether McNally had any role relating to game balls or the game officials. We found these claims not plausible and contradicted by other evidence. In fact, during his interview, Jastremski acknowledged that Brady knew McNally and McNally’s role as Officials Locker Room attendant.

Unfortunately for Mr. Brady, that isn’t the only damning information on pg. 19. Here’s more:

Brady personally was involved in the 2006 rule change that allowed visiting teams to prepare game balls in accordance with the preferences of their quarterbacks. During the process of advocating that rule change, it is reasonable to infer that Brady was likely to be (or become) familiar with the NFL rules regarding game balls, including the 12.5 psi minimum inflation level, although Brady denies having been aware of Rule 2 or the minimum inflation level until 2014 (despite approximately fourteen years as an NFL quarterback).

It’s tragic when something like this happens. It’s impossible for Brady to deny that he knows about Rule 2. During several videos, Brady emphatically states that he a) prefers his footballs inflated to 12.5 psi and b) doesn’t want those game day balls inflated or deflated once he’s picked out the game day footballs because, at that point, Brady considers them “perfect.”

In this video, Trey Wingo nails Brady in his deceit:

Here’s what Wingo said right at the end of the video:

Well, that’s an interesting point. He said “I like that ball right at 12.5. How do you know you like it at 12.5 if you can’t feel the difference? He also said he can’t feel the difference. This is not a Supreme Court case. Let’s be clear about this. We’re just trying to get to the bottom of the story. That’s all we’re trying to do. But you can’t say, on one hand, that you like it at 12.5 and then say that you can’t tell the difference.

That Brady insisted that he wanted the footballs inflated to a certain pressure level during his press conference, then told a different audience that he couldn’t tell the difference between balls indicates a disgusting level of deceit on Mr. Brady’s part. He’s counting on the average fan to not know the things that go into getting a player’s equipment just perfect before the games.

Mark Brunell was serious when he talked about the protocol he used in picking out the game balls. His voice intensified when he said “That football is our livelihood.” There’s nothing casual to an athlete about getting his equipment just perfect.

Because Brady was deceitful, especially during questioning by investigators, he must be suspended for either 4 games or 6 games. The suspension can’t be reduced for good behavior, either. What Brady did hurt the integrity of the game.

Check back later today to find out what I’m recommending for discipline for Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick. You don’t want to miss it.

Ted Wells’ report on DeflateGate is a stinging report in that it questions Tom Brady’s integrity. This is important basic information:

Exponent concluded that, within the range of likely game conditions and circumstances studied, they could identify no set of credible environmental or physical factors that completely accounts for the Patriots halftime measurements or for the additional loss in air pressure exhibited by the Patriots game balls, as compared to the loss in air pressure exhibited by the Colts game balls. Dr. Marlow agreed with this and all of Exponent’s conclusions. This absence of a credible scientific explanation for the Patriots halftime measurements tends to support a finding that human intervention may account for the additional loss of pressure exhibited by the Patriots balls.

Here’s additional timeline information:

When Anderson and other members of the officiating crew were preparing to leave the Officials Locker Room to head to the field for the start of the game, the game balls could not be located. It was the first time in Anderson’s nineteen years as an NFL official that he could not locate the game balls at the start of a game. Unknown to Anderson, and without Anderson’s permission or the permission of any other member of the officiating crew, McNally had taken the balls from the Officials Locker Room towards the playing field. According to Anderson and other members of the officiating crew for the AFC Championship Game, the removal of the game balls from the Officials Locker Room by McNally without the permission of the referee or another game official was a breach of standard operating pre-game procedure.

There’s more:

Based on videotape evidence and witness interviews, it has been determined that McNally removed the game balls from the Officials Locker Room at approximately 6:30 p.m. After leaving the Officials Locker Room carrying two large bags of game balls (Patriots balls and Colts balls), McNally turned left and then turned left again to walk down a corridor referred to by Patriots personnel as the “center tunnel” heading to the playing field. At the end of the center tunnel on the left-hand side, approximately three feet from the doors that lead to the playing field, is a bathroom. McNally entered that bathroom with the game balls, locked the door, and remained in the bathroom with the game balls for approximately one minute and forty seconds. He then left the bathroom and took the bags of game balls to the field.

In other words, there’s indisputable video proof that Jim McNally, who is described in the report as having been “employed by the Patriots as a seasonal or part-time employee for the past 32 years. His work for the Patriots during the 2014-15 NFL season took place only on a part-time/hourly basis on days on which the Patriots had home games”, took the footballs from the Officials Locker Room without the officials’ permission.

This video can’t be excluded from the investigation:

Here’s why that video is so damning:

Jastremski’s text message thus attributes to Brady knowledge of McNally’s efforts to get the footballs “done” and the stress involved. We reject as implausible the reading offered by Jastremski, McNally and counsel for the Patriots that certain portions of this exchange refer to a person other than Brady. Moreover, taking the text messages as a whole, Brady is a constant reference point in the discussions between McNally and Jastremski about inflation, deflation, needles and items to be received by McNally. In response to Jastremski’s offers of sneakers and clothing, for example, McNally identifies Brady as the catalyst for those offers (“Tom must really be working your balls hard this week”; “Tom must really be on you”). And unhappiness with Brady is referenced by McNally as a reason for using the “needle” to inflate rather than deflate footballs (“Fuck tom….make sure the pump is attached to the needle…..fuckin watermelons coming”).

Brady is thus central to the discussions of inflation and deflation in the text messages.

Additional evidence of Brady’s awareness includes a material increase in the frequency of telephone and text communications between Brady and Jastremski shortly after suspicions of ball tampering became public on January 19. After not communicating by telephone or text message for more than six months (based on data retrieved from Jastremski’s cell phone), Brady and Jastremski spoke by telephone at least twice on January 19 (calls lasting a total of 25 minutes and 2 seconds), twice on January 20 (calls lasting a total of 9 minutes and 55 seconds) and twice on January 21 (calls lasting a total of 20 minutes and 52 seconds) before Jastremski surrendered his cell phone to the Patriots later that day for forensic imaging.

It’s bad enough that Tom Brady broke the rules to gain a competitive advantage. That’s suspension-worthy by itself. To refuse to turn over cell phone records to the NFL for forensic examination is proof that you aren’t cooperating with the NFL’s investigation. That’s worthy of another suspension.

This is just the first article in this series. Check back for more on DeflateGate Thursday morning.

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