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This Strib article is an excellent piece of reporting in that it explains what the Met Council is:

“It’s not about simply griping about allocation of transportation or parks money or housing in any given particular funding cycle,” said Dakota County Commissioner Chris Gerlach.

“We look at it and say, there is a fundamental problem with the way the Met Council functions. You think it’s one thing, but it’s really not,” Gerlach said. “You think that a Met Council is made up of 16 individuals and a chair appointed by various districts and therefore you have a diverse group that is going to advocate for the region. It’s not that at all. What it is, it’s a state agency.”

I can’t disagree with Gerlach’s statement. The Council is appointed by the governor. Political appointees don’t work on the behalf of these counties. In this instance, they work for Gov. Dayton and the DFL’s special interests. The Met Council either needs to be changed or gotten rid of.

Counties still aren’t happy, though. Four years ago, they were angry enough to take their case to the Transportation Department, which eventually affirmed, via a letter, that the current makeup is legal. That 2011 letter is still used by the Met Council to justify its decisionmaking process.

Changing the Met Council’s board would require a change in state statute; several proposals pending in the Legislature would examine the issue. The way the Met Council operates is extremely rare: A 2010 report paid for by the Federal Highway Administration found that 94 percent of organizations like the Met Council are made up of elected officials.

A government agency that doesn’t answer to the people is unaccountable. I wouldn’t trust them.

Of course, Gov. Dayton is upset because he didn’t pay attention to what’s happening:

Dayton ‘appalled’

Quarrels between cities and suburbs about how to spend public dollars are as old as the cities and suburbs themselves. But the decision by the four counties to hire a federal lobbyist, before checking with the governor, is viewed by Dayton as a nuclear option.

“It’s really, really reprehensible on their part to be sneaking off to Washington behind the back of, I don’t know if the people on the Met Council were aware of it, but at least behind my back,” Dayton said. “And then come to the state of Minnesota for funding for their projects and the like? If we have a disagreement within our family, then the place to resolve that is within our family. To go out to Washington behind our backs and trash our situation here in Minnesota, and denigrate Minnesota in front of federal authorities, and try to turn the federal government against Minnesota is really, really irresponsible. I’m appalled to just learn this.”

First off, this isn’t just a fight “within our family”:

WASHINGTON – Four suburban Twin Cities counties say they are agitated with the way the Metropolitan Council is making decisions and have hired a federal lobbyist in hopes of gutting the regional planning organization’s appointed board of directors. The lobbyist, who represents Anoka, Carver, Scott and Dakota counties, will work to make the case to the U.S. Department of Transportation that the Met Council, the seven-county regional agency whose 17 members are appointees of Gov. Mark Dayton, is violating a federal rule by distributing more than $660 million a year without appropriate input from elected officials.

Secondly, it isn’t these counties’ fault that Gov. Dayton is frequently asleep at the switch. It’s time to either restructure the Met Council or tear it all down.

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The past 4 years have provided Minnesotans plenty of proof that the DFL is the party of corruption. Simply put, the DFL will do anything to increase or regain political power. During the 2012 campaign, 13 DFL state senate candidates coordinated their advertising campaigns with the DFL Senate Campaign Committee, which is illegal. Republicans filed a complaint about the DFL’s campaign committee hijinks. The end result was the DFL Senate Campaign Committee getting fined $100,000, the biggest fine in Minnesota campaign history.

Unfortunately, 11 of those 13 DFL state senate candidates won their election. In essence, these politicians bought their senate seats. Rather than apologize for their unethical actions, DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin characterized the incident as a nuisance before declaring the need to get back to governing. That makes sense in Chairman Martin’s world because this was just a financial transaction to him.

DFL State Sen. Jeff Hayden is tangled up in multiple messes, starting with the corruption that shut down Community Action of Minneapolis. He’s also had ethics charges filed against him for pushing the Minneapolis school board into funding a program run by his friends and associates.

I’m not surprised. The DFL is as interested in providing oversight of their political allies’ nonprofits as Hillary is interested in turning over Bill’s email server.

During the final days of the 2013 session, hundreds of in-home child care providers of all political persuasions descended on the Capitol to tell the DFL not to pass the forced unionization bill. Mike Nelson and the DFL waged war on these women, essentially telling them that they knew what was best. On June 30, 2014, the US Supreme Court told Mike Nelson and the DFL that their legislation was unconstitutional.

Mike Nelson, the DFL and AFSCME didn’t care about the Constitution. They didn’t care that private employers weren’t public employees. Mike Nelson, the DFL and AFSCME just deemed private small business owners public employees. That’s because their first concern was accumulating political power. That’s why the DFL sided with the special interests. That’s why the DFL didn’t pay attention to women they simply disagreed with. They only cared about their big money benefactors.

The DFL’s cronyism knows no limits. Senate Minority Leader Hann’s op-ed shows how invested the DFL is in special interests:

Dayton recently awarded his commissioners salary increases as large as $30,000 each. He gave the chair of the Met Council an $86,000 increase, and the beneficiary just happens to be married to the governor’s chief of staff. One of Dayton’s deputy chiefs is married to a top official at Education Minnesota, the teachers union. Another Dayton staffer is married to the chair of the DFL Party.

Why should I believe that the DFL is the party of the little guy? The DFL sold out Iron Range families in exchange for hefty campaign contributions from environmental activists. The DFL sold out in-home child care providers in exchange for hefty campaign contributions from public employee unions.

Worst of all, Gov. Dayton’s administration is filled with the DFL’s biggest special interest allies.

Elizabeth Warren loves telling her audiences that the game is rigged. She’s right and she’s wrong. She insists that it’s rigged by Wall Street fat cats. The truth is that it’s rigged by the Democrats’ special interest allies. The truth is that Big Government is just as corrupt as Wall Street.

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Senate Minority Leader David Hann’s op-ed highlights the DFL’s culture of corruption and incestuousness. First, there’s this pattern of DFL corruption:

  1. The DFL Senate campaign committee was fined $100,000 last year for cheating with 13 DFL Senate candidates during the 2012 election.
  2. The DFL Legislature, with Dayton’s signature, spent $90 million on an unnecessary new office building, bypassing the normal process and allowing no public hearings.
  3. DFL Sens. Jeff Hayden and Bobby Joe Champion were accused of bullying the Minneapolis school board into funding a program run by their friends and associates. Hayden is also the subject of an ongoing ethics complaint that he received free trips and other inappropriate perks while serving as a board member for Community Action of Minneapolis, a government-funded nonprofit.
  4. DFL Sen. David Tomassoni attempted to take a job as a lobbyist for the Iron Range city association, even though he is a sitting senator representing part of the Iron Range.
  5. The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) was exposed for underwriting a business whose main client was Dollars for Democrats, an organization set up to help Democratic politicians win elections.
  6. Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman refused to investigate the misuse of public funds at Community Action of Minneapolis because of “political” concerns surrounding the executive director of the organization and his financial support for Dayton. By the way, Rothman used to be the treasurer of the DFL Party.

Apparently, there’s no definition for conflict-of-interest in the DFL’s dictionaries. Then there’s the incestuous nature of the Dayton administration:

Dayton recently awarded his commissioners salary increases as large as $30,000 each. He gave the chair of the Met Council an $86,000 increase — and the beneficiary just happens to be married to the governor’s chief of staff. One of Dayton’s deputy chiefs is married to a top official at Education Minnesota, the teachers union. Another Dayton staffer is married to the chair of the DFL Party.

Apparently, the DFL in Minnesota doesn’t think government of, by and for the people is worthwhile. It’s clear from the Dayton administration’s incestuousness that the DFL believes in government of, by and for their special interest allies. Why should Minnesotans living in Lindstrom, Little Falls and Litchfield think that the Dayton administration’s budget prioritizes their needs. Minnesotans living in Wadena, Willmar and Winona shouldn’t think that the Dayton-DFL budget puts a priority on their needs.

There’s plenty of proof that there’s plenty of plundering happening in St. Paul and Minneapolis. With the exception of David Tomassoni, all the other corrupt DFLers are from the Twin Cities. That’s because they’re the metrocentric party of corruption.

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Nicole Helget’s blog is getting attention. It’s getting under MnSCU’s skin, not to mention under Annette Parker’s skin:

On Thursday, a group calling itself Minnesotans United for Higher Ed, published similar allegations against another college president, also unnamed, with numerous examples of what it calls “intellectual fraud.” “We’ve uncovered two academically dishonest presidents, and there are more,” said Nicole Helget, a former South Central teacher and spokeswoman for the group. If the pattern continues, she said, “MnSCU will be the national laughingstock of higher education.”

MnSCU issued a brief statement Friday, saying: “We fully support all our outstanding presidents. It is disappointing that people with unknown motivations and a blog can repeatedly level baseless and reckless accusations against people they don’t like until they get the attention they seek.”

Others say that the allegations should be taken seriously. “It is an understatement to say that Annette has ‘borrowed heavily’ from our work,” said University of Richmond professor Jeffrey Harrison, co-author of an article Parker is accused of plagiarizing, in a written statement after reading the blog. “Nobody with her background and training could have engaged in such gross misconduct innocently.”

MnSCU’s statement shouldn’t be taken seriously. Talking about “our outstanding presidents” at a time when 11 of MnSCU’s institutions have to submit plans to fix their schools’ finances is foolish. If these colleges have outstanding presidents, why are their colleges in such dire financial shape? But I digress.

Here’s the heart of the Strib’s article:

In one example, Parker wrote: “More loosely formed partnerships also may be formed for strategic reasons such as the American Booksellers Association, a non-profit trade association that represents the owners of independent bookstores (Barringer & Harrison, 2000).”

The original source, the blog shows, appeared in the Journal of Management in 2000 with much the same wording: “More loosely coupled alliances may be formed for similar strategic reasons. For example, the American Booksellers Association is a not-for-profit trade association that represents the owners of independent bookstores.”

Harrison, who co-authored the 2000 article, said that it’s not unusual for academics to “paraphrase a couple of paragraphs” and credit each other. “However, in my opinion Annette has gone far beyond what is acceptable … she did not use quotations where she should have, and it appears that she did not even include citations for much of what she took from our article.”

MnSCU’s statement of support is worthless in light of this specific example of President Parker’s use of similar phrasing in her dissertation.

“We support all our outstanding presidents” doesn’t mean anything when the accuser presents irrefutable proof of a president’s plagiarism. At that point, “We support all our outstanding presidents” sounds more like spin than anything.

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Gov. Dayton, the DFL and their allies are doing everything they can to rationalize Gov. Dayton’s decision to dramatically increase his commissioners’ pay:

Members of Gov. Mark Dayton’s Cabinet are getting raises of tens of thousands of dollars, a move the Democrat says is necessary to “keep and attract” the best candidates to the jobs. The pay hikes range between 19 percent and 58 percent, WCCO-TV reported Thursday. Lawmakers were notified of the raises 30 days after they took effect. “In state government we need to keep and attract the best, talented people. … It’s essential to pay them closer to what they are worth,” Dayton said. He added that commissioner salaries have not been raised in 10 years and said he thinks lawmakers deserve a raise, too.

The smallest raise was $22,407 to the Ombudsman for Mental Health, who will now earn $119,997. Top commissioners got 30 percent raises. Also getting a boost is the chairman of the Metropolitan Council, the regional planning agency for the Twin Cities. The job changed from part time to full time, and the pay increased by $83,577 to $144,991.

First, it’s outrageous that the ‘Party of the Little Guy’ quietly raised the pay for people making close to $100,000 a year in salary by 20-75%. House Republicans should immediately pass a bill retroactive to January 1, 2015 that rescinds Gov. Dayton’s pay increases for bureaucrats making $100,000 a year. They should immediately send the bill over to the Senate for their consideration.

When the Senate refuses to debate the bill, House Republicans should insist on its inclusion in the final budget. Let’s see if DFL legislators are willing to fight for those raises heading into an election year. The DFL might be willing to fight that fight. If the DFL is willing to fight for those overpaid bureaucrats’ raises, that’s fine. The House and Senate Republican campaign committees should hire Derek Brigham to create individualized mailers that highlights these DFL legislators as fighting for pay increases for bureaucrats and higher taxes for Minnesota’s small businesses (2013) and the middle class (2013 and 2015).

This table should be part of those mailers:

This warped thinking is what I’d expect from Gov. Dayton:

But Dayton defended the increase as necessary to keep and retain top executives given competition from the private sector.

“There’s no controversy as far as I’m concerned. They haven’t had raises for 12 years,” he said. He acknowledged the salary “are a lot of money” but added that state staffers have left state employ and been able to make twice as much in local government or at universities. The salary increases, he suggested, would stop that drain.

Put differently, Gov. Dayton just gave Myron Frans a huge pay increase:

For those that don’t remember, Commissioner Frans was the person who accepted as Gospel fact that e-tabs would produce enough revenue to pay off the state share of the Vikings stadium. He was off by a paltry 95%.

That makes Commissioner Frans the poster child for Gov. Dayton’s pay raises. Commissioner Frans is the perfect example of why we need to raise public employees’ pay to “attract and keep the best, talented people.”

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It’s getting tiresome listening to Bill Belichick’s spin. Thankfully, Jay Glazer’s article sheds new light into #DeflateGate. First, though, here’s Belichick’s latest offensive spin:

New England head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady both have proclaimed innocence and said they were unaware how the footballs became underinflated.

“At no time was there any intent whatsoever to try to compromise the integrity of the game or to gain an advantage,” Belichick said in an unscheduled availability on Saturday afternoon.

“Quite the opposite: we feel like we followed the rules of the game to the letter,” he said. “We try to do everything right. We err on the side of caution. It’s been that way now for many years. Anything that’s close, we stay as far away from the line as we can.”

Notice Belichick’s weasel words in that last paragraph. “We feel like we followed the rules of the game to the letter.” That’s totally irrelevant and subjective. The NFL has confirmed that the Patriots’ footballs a) complied with the NFL’s rules before the game and b) didn’t comply with the NFL’s rules at halftime. That’s an objective standard. Either the Patriots’ footballs complied with the NFL’s rules or they didn’t. In this instance, they didn’t.

That isn’t the only objectionable thing Belichick said. Here’s another statement worth ignoring:

“We try to do everything right. We err on the side of caution. It’s been that way now for many years. Anything that’s close, we stay as far away from the line as we can.”

Coach Belichick, are you saying that the Patriots stay well within the lines of the NFL’s rules? If that’s what you’re insisting, I’d love hearing your explanation for how the Patriots organization was fined for videotaping the Jets’ defensive signals, which isn’t permitted by the NFL’s rules. It isn’t permitted because it gives a team a major competitive advantage.

If the Patriots knew what the Jets were doing before they did it, the Patriots could install plays to take advantage of the Jets’ play-calling. That’s a major advantage.

What’s insulting is that Coach Belichick was personally fined $500,000 and the NFL confiscated the Patriots’ first round draft pick for breaking the NFL’s rules. So much for the Patriots erring “on the side of caution” and staying “as far away from the line” as possible.

Tom Brady used some slippery words in his attempt to explain this away:

“I didn’t alter the ball in any way,” Brady said. “I have a process before every game where I take the footballs I want to use for the game. Our equipment guys do a great job breaking the balls in for the game. Our equipment guys have a process they go through.”

Nobody accused Brady of altering the balls. Here’s what John Madden said:

“That would have to be driven by the quarterback,” Madden told The Sports Xchange on Wednesday. “That’s something that wouldn’t be driven by a coach or just the equipment guy. Nobody, not even the head coach, would do anything to a football unilaterally, such as adjust the amount of pressure in a ball, without the quarterback not knowing. It would have to be the quarterback’s idea.”

Madden’s position makes a lot of sense. Quarterbacks are particular about their footballs. Anybody doing anything to the footballs without the quarterback’s knowledge or consent would be asking for a tongue lashing. In Brady’s case, his tongue wouldn’t be needed to formulate the various “F” words that would be hurled at he who messes with the quarterback’s primary tool.

“He is the effected,” Madden said. “He is the only guy. I heard some of the pundits saying the ball is easier to catch, but that would never, ever, ever be done for that unless the quarterback wanted it. You wouldn’t do something for a receiver to catch the ball if the quarterback couldn’t throw it. So it’s going to be done for the quarterback.”

Brady and Bill Belichick. One lies. The other one swears to it.

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Thursday afternoon, Patriots QB Tom Brady held a press conference in his attempt to put the #DeflateGate scandal behind him and the Patriots. He failed miserably. Here’s one of Brady’s quotes from the press conference:

“I didn’t alter the ball in any way,” Brady said. “I have a process I go through before every game where I go in and pick the balls — the footballs that I want to use for the game. Our equipment guys do a great job of breaking the balls in. They have a process that they go through. When I pick those footballs out, at that point, to me, they’re perfect. I don’t want anyone touching the balls after that, I don’t want anyone rubbing them, putting any air in, taking any air out, to me those balls are perfect and that’s what I expect when I’m on the field.”

Later in the press conference, Brady said that he prefers the footballs to be precisely 12.5 psi. At another point in answering questions, he said he couldn’t tell the difference between the balls he described as perfect and the footballs that were checked at halftime and found to be 2 psi light of the minimum psi allowed by league rules.

How can someone say that he wants game footballs to be a specific psi, then say he can’t tell the difference between footballs that feel and weigh dramatically different? The panelists of NFL Live on ESPN have an opinion on the matter:

Here’s what Mark Brunell said on whether he believed Tom Brady:

“I did not believe what Tom had to say,” Brunell said. “Those balls were deflated. Somebody had to do it. And I don’t believe there’s an equipment manager in the NFL that would on his own initiative deflate a ball without his starting quarterback’s approval. I just didn’t believe what Tom Brady had to say.”

Brunell explained that starting quarterbacks (and he started 151 games in the NFL) routinely check the balls to ensure that the balls have the right feel, from an inflation standpoint. “That football is our livelihood,” Brunell said. “If you don’t feel good about throwing that ball, your success can suffer from that.”

Prior to this week the average football fan didn’t pay attention to the footballs used in games. They couldn’t have told you a thing about the NFL regulations on footballs. It’s different with QBs, though. As Brunell said, “That football is our livelihood.” Using footballs that they don’t feel comfortable with is foolish.

At this point, we have a substantial base of information that’s been verified. There’s still some things that aren’t known. On another front, some of the details aren’t important to the NFL handing down a ruling.

When Sean Payton, the Saints’ head coach, was asked what he knew about BountyGate, he said he didn’t know anything about it. Commissioner Goodell suspended him for an entire year because, in Goodell’s words, he should’ve known. It’s possible Belichick didn’t know about DeflateGate. That’s irrelevant because making sure the team plays within the rules is the head coach’s responsibility.

It isn’t possible to believe that Tom Brady prefers his footballs to be inflated to 12.5 psi but then he can’t tell the difference between footballs inflated to 12.5 psi compared with footballs inflated to 10.5 psi.

Finally, this is the second time this season that the Patriots used underinflated balls that we know of. The Patriots’ footballs for their regular season game against Indianapolis were underinflated, too. That’s before considering the fact that Baltimore suspected the Patriots of using underinflated footballs.

Regardless, the NFL referees handled the underinflated footballs for the entire first half and didn’t notice. It’s impossible to believe that they didn’t notice a significant difference between the Patriots’ underinflated footballs and Indianapolis’ properly inflated footballs.

After reading this article about Patriots Coach Bill Belichick’s press conference on #DeflateGate, it’s feeling like he’s teeing things up for Tom Brady to throw the ball boys under the bus. Here’s the video of Belichick’s press conference:

That’s aggravating from the standpoint of the fact that it’s a press conference. Normal people answer questions when they hold a press conference. Bill Belichick doesn’t answer questions at his press conferences. His media availabilities are tightly controlled to the point that Belichick’s meetings with the media make a Jay Carney briefing look expansive. This simply isn’t credible:

The famously tight-lipped coach said he, like fans everywhere, only learned about the intricacies of pigskin air pressure this week, after the NFL announced the Patriots used illegally underinflated balls in the game, played in Foxboro, Mass., in bad weather.

“I think we all know that quarterbacks, kickers and specialists have certain preferences,” Belichick said. “Tom’s personal preferences on footballs are something he can talk about.”

Watching a Belichick press conference provides ample verification that Belichick is a control freak’s control freak. For him to insinuate that he doesn’t pay attention to important details is insulting. This is the coach who used this gadget play a week ago against the Baltimore Ravens:

The New England Patriots used just four offensive lineman during a series of three plays in the third quarter of their 35-31 comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night. It totally confused the Ravens and was so unexpected that the NBC announcers didn’t even catch it during the live broadcast.

An explanation:

Under NFL rules the offense effectively has to have five players on the line of scrimmage who are ineligible to catch a pass. Normally, these five players are the offensive linemen, and they’re stacked together in the middle of the field. The Patriots didn’t do that on those three plays. They used four clearly identifiable offensive linemen and had another player who was lined up in a different part of the formation declare himself as the fifth ineligible player.

Now we’re supposed to think that the man who scours the rulebook for obscure rules to give him an advantage doesn’t know that a deflated ball gives his QB and his runners an advantage in cold weather? I don’t think so.

Frankly, Beli-cheat, which is his nickname, shouldn’t be given the benefit of the doubt on whether they’ll comply with the rules. His administration has frequently flaunted the rules. Many major rule changes were created because Belichick’s Patriots didn’t obey the rules.

Later this afternoon, Tom Brady will hold a special press availability. Knowing Belichick’s respect for Brady, it’s obvious that he didn’t throw Brady to the wolves. I’d be totally surprised if Brady admitted that he cheated. It wouldn’t surprise me if he threw the Patriots’ ball boys under the bus. I’m not predicting that. I just won’t rule that possibility out.

What I’ve ruled out, though, is the possibility of Belichick, Brady and Robert Kraft, the Patriots’ owner, all being innocent. That simply isn’t plausible.

Let’s stipulate that deflating the footballs Tom Brady used didn’t cost Indianapolis Colts a berth in Super Bowl XLIX. Indianapolis has Andrew Luck, a secondary that tackles well and pretty much nothing else. If the Patriots used deflated balls against the Ravens, which wouldn’t surprise me, I’d argue that the underinflated balls gave the Patriots a distinct advantage against Baltimore. I’ll return to this later.

First, let’s talk about what we know with certainty.

  1. The Patriots submitted 12 footballs to the NFL on the Friday before the AFC Championship Game.
  2. When NFL inspected those footballs prior to the AFC Championship Game, each of the Patriots balls were properly inflated.
  3. When the inspected footballs submitted by the Patriots were returned to the Patriots 2 hrs. 15 minutes before the AFC Championship Game, they were properly inflated.
  4. When Indianapolis Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted Tom Brady’s pass, he gave the ball to the Indianapolis equipment manager. The equipment manager alerted NFL officials.
  5. At halftime, NFL officials checked the footballs submitted by both teams. NFL officials have announced that 11 of the 12 footballs submitted by the Patriots to the NFL were underinflated but that the Colts’ footballs were properly inflated.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Patriots deflated the footballs Tom Brady used to give him a competitive advantage. NFL rules require that game-used footballs be inflated to at least 12.5 psi and no more than 13.5 psi. The Patriots’ footballs were found to be up to 2 psi under the minimum allowed weight.

During NFL Live on ESPN, host Trey Gowdy handed 3 footballs to retired QB Mark Brunell and retired running back Jerome Bettis to see if they could identify which ball was overinflated, which football was underinflated and which football met the NFL’s requirement. It took Brunell and Bettis less than 5 seconds each to correctly identify each of the balls. To them, it was that obvious. What happened after that test is what caught my attention.

Brunell said that underinflated footballs are a) easier to grip and b) more accurate to throw. He made that statement with total confidence and without hesitation. Bettis said that an underinflated football helped running backs tuck the football in between their shoulder and their elbow tighter, making it more difficult for defenders to strip the football from a runner’s grip.

Since it’s clear that the Patriots didn’t need underinflated balls to defeat the Indianapolis Colts, it’s fair to ask what the Patriots’ motivation was. This is where the Patriots’ past is relevant. In 2007, Belichick had “an assistant spy on the New York Jets’ defensive signals.” Belichick was personally fined $500,000 for getting caught cheating that time. The Patriots’ history under Belichick is that of getting caught cheating. The next thing to be determined is what the appropriate punishment should be.

Personally, I think Belichick should be suspended for a full year starting the day after the Super Bowl. That means he can’t have any contact with the Patriots from the minute that the game ends until he’s reinstated. Next, the Patriots should be fined $1,000,000. They should forfeit their first and second round picks this year, too.

When they were caught cheating in ‘Spy-gate’, Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team lost its first round pick and paid a $250,000 fine. This cheating is as bad, if not worse, than Spy-gate.

Finally, the NFL shouldn’t give the footballs back to the teams on the sidelines. The NFL is one of the richest sports leagues in the world. They should hire people to handle the footballs to preserve the integrity of the game and to prevent the Patriots from cheating again.

Wingo later noted that Watergate happened in 1972, with Richard Nixon cruising to the biggest landslide in US presidential history. It wasn’t that Watergate helped him defeat George McGovern. Watergate caught the nation’s attention because it exposed the Nixon administration’s corruption.

Deflate-Gate is catching football fans’ attentions because it’s reminding them of the Patriots’ history of corruption. That’s why Deflate-Gate matters.

UPDATE: John Madden brought a voice of sanity to “Deflate-Gate” with this explanation:

“That would have to be driven by the quarterback,” Madden told The Sports Xchange on Wednesday. “That’s something that wouldn’t be driven by a coach or just the equipment guy. Nobody, not even the head coach, would do anything to a football unilaterally, such as adjust the amount of pressure in a ball, without the quarterback not knowing. It would have to be the quarterback’s idea.”

Madden’s position makes a lot of sense. Quarterbacks are particular about their footballs. Anybody doing anything to the footballs without the quarterback’s knowledge or consent would be asking for a tongue lashing. In Brady’s case, his tongue wouldn’t be needed to formulate the various “F” words that would be hurled at he who messes with the quarterback’s primary tool.

“He is the effected,” Madden said. “He is the only guy. I heard some of the pundits saying the ball is easier to catch, but that would never, ever, ever be done for that unless the quarterback wanted it. You wouldn’t do something for a receiver to catch the ball if the quarterback couldn’t throw it. So it’s going to be done for the quarterback.”

UPDATE II: Chris Canty’s comments will get under some Patriots’ skin:

“The Patriots are habitual line-steppers,” Canty said during an in-studio appearance. “If the allegations are true, then you are talking about attacking the integrity of our game and I have an issue with that…[W]hat I’m going to say about the deflating of the balls, to me there is no difference than performance-enhancing drugs. You are cheating at that point. You are getting a competitive advantage outside of the rule book and there has to be some sort of consequences for that.”

Canty’s opinion sounds a lot like the NFL’s position that, when it comes to topics impacting the integrity of the game, serious action is required.

“To me, the integrity of the game is the most important thing,” Canty said. “You want to be successful as a player but you want to think that you are doing things that are within the rules and that you are out there competing and it’s not whether it is performance-enhancing drugs or deflated footballs that is out there aiding in your performance.”

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Stan Hubbard’s response to the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists’ denunciation of KSTP highlights Mr. Hubbard’s substantive criticism of MNSPJ. First, here’s the reason behind Mr. Hubbard’s response:

On November 19, 2014, the Minnesota SPJ asked KSTP-TV to “disavow” its reporting, saying that our story was “fundamentally flawed and based on a faulty premise.” This, because you decided the image in the report showed Mayor Hodges making what the Chapter called a “silly gesture.” KSTP-TV reported that gesture as a known gang sign. We were informed of that fact by several law enforcement agencies. You even went so far as to suggest that we would try to mislead. To suggest that KSTP-TV would ever deliberately distort any fact in any story is totally out of line. We have never done so and we never will do so.

Thanks to Mr. Hubbard’s response, the SPJ has exposed itself as a leading voice of the Agenda Media:

Perhaps most disappointing of all is the fact that most, if not all, serious news organizations that addressed our coverage, including the board of the Minnesota SPJ, simply “followed the herd” and tracked the trend on Twitter in their derision of our coverage. Rather than responsibly questioning law enforcement’s motivation in bringing this story forward, and digging deep into whether it truly represented a public safety issue, they instead chose to simply ignore that which was reported, and go with the much easier and much more popular “silly gesture” angle.

Twittersphere journalism isn’t journalism. It’s shortcut journalism, which isn’t real journalism. The question that SPJ hasn’t answered is the question that SPJ won’t answer. Why didn’t SPJ’s news organizations do the research that KSTP did? Why didn’t SPJ member organizations check into law enforcement’s claims that Mayor Hodges’ actions presented a public safety issue?

Clearly it is disturbing to many that otherwise playful gestures presumably innocently made by a public official can have a totally unintended meaning in a different context. Nonetheless, that is exactly what our reporters were told by numerous law enforcement sources. Namely, that while a “gun” gesture may be funny and innocent in many contexts, it is neither funny nor innocent in a neighborhood plagued by gun violence and a “foothold of area gangs.” The recent announcement by federal officials that the indictment of 11 high profile individuals from two warring gangs, allegedly involved in the North Minneapolis drug and weapon trade, underscores the seriousness of the current gang situation.

Why isn’t SPJ interested in this? Is it because they aren’t interested in the seriousness of the issue? Or is it that this information doesn’t fit their script? Whatever the reason for their disdain, their willingness to ignore the seriousness of gun and gang violence is disturbing at minimum. This is something that’s troubling, too:

Public records reflect that Mr. Gordon had been arrested for aggravated armed robbery on August 2, 2014, two months before the picture in question was taken.

That’s disturbing on steroids. Why would Mayor Hodges campaign with a thug facing charges for aggravated armed robbery? Further, why is the DFL reaching out to criminals in their campaigns? Why aren’t SPJ organizations interested in this story angle? Finally, why didn’t SPJ admit that a mayor campaigning with a thug who’s been arrested on aggravated armed robbery charges is a big deal?

Simply put, the SPJ’s disinterest in these substantive angles verifies the fact that the SPJ isn’t that interested in substantive reporting. It verifies that they’re more interested in pushing the progressives’ agenda.

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