Buckley: Impossible to trust Roger Goodell, NFL

Buckley: Impossible to trust Roger Goodell, NFL | Boston Herald
I view Roger Goodell as a corporate politician who has spent much of his life in the pursuit of power. Having acquired said power, he doesn’t have a clue as to how to wield it.
Now I don’t view what I’ve just written as a personal attack on Goodell. It’s simply an observation from somebody who has been on the other side of the glass — literally, if we’re talking most National Football League press boxes — during the nine years Goodell has been commissioner of America’s most popular sport.
If you want personal, well, it’s like that old line from The Three Stooges: “Just turn on anything, you’ll get it.”
Goodell has been called a clown, a piñata, a bully, a lapdog, a tyrant, an egomaniacal brute. There’s much more, of course, but decorum forbids. No need to risk having the bosses give me the Full Schilling.
Suffice to say that it’s been a year in which a lot has been spoken, written and hollered about Goodell, especially around New England. And the speaking, writing and hollering has been on full throttle since Thursday morning, when Judge Berman turned Tom Brady’s four-game suspension into a little paper airplane and glided it over the heads of the NFL’s dream team of legal muscle.
But let’s put the personal stuff aside for a moment. And this request isn’t being directed solely at Patriots fans. It’s being directed at everybody — every fan in every city, every lawyer, every commentator, every football writer, every member of the cast of “The Book of Mormon,” which’ll be wowing ’em down at the Colonial Theater until Oct. 11.
Put the personal aside and ask yourself this question: As of right now, do you trust the National Football League?
I don’t expect fans of the Jets, Ravens and Colts to champion this cause —not if you were to put them all in a room and hand out team-specific pom-poms. But I do believe that most people — OK, most rational people — have a deep-in-the-belly belief that a four-game suspension for deflating footballs would have appalled Captain Queeg from “The Caine Mutiny.”
Brady should have been handed a fine, and the announcement should have been tacked on to the end of a press release about weather conditions, depth charts and the make-pretend injury report.
Instead, to reverse the engines on a favorite Bill Belichick line and retool it as past tense, it was what it was: Nine months of leaks, lies and posturing.
If you trusted that the Wells Report was going to be an independent report into Deflategate, your trust was first tested and then obliterated. The assumption was that Ted Wells arrived at Roger Goodell’s office and said, “Here’s my report. Can I go out and play?” Instead, Wells went to the office of NFL general counsel Jeff Pash and said, “Here’s my report. Can I go out and play?”
A picture now emerges of Pash, editor’s cap firmly in place, sprucing up Wells’ handiwork and then taking it down the hall to Goodell’s office and saying, “Here’s our report. Can Ted and I go out and play?”
That’s when the Wells Report became the Pash-Wells Report.
And it’s merely the latest example of why it’s foolish and naive for fans — you know, the people who buy the products that are advertised during football games — to trust anything the NFL is doing these days.
Goodell keeps talking about the “integrity of the game.” Do you think the NFL has much integrity these days?
Goodell should stick to talking about the “cash register of the game.” He should talk about “the television ratings of the game.” Or “the advertising dollars of the game.”
Heck, just writing these words makes me want to race down to my neighborhood Ford dealership, buy me a 2016 F-150 and then go tow something while driving through mud.
To take this a step further, you can trust a Ford spokesman if he pops up on ESPN to talk about “the integrity of the F-150.”
But when Roger Goodell talks about “the integrity of the game,” you need to take a deep breath and consider all that has happened over the last year.
Better yet, simply wait for the next big NFL controversy. Will you trust Roger Goodell & Co. to handle it appropriately and justly?
Via: Boston Herald
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Bartending book with drink names like ‘stripper mom’ pulled by N.H. liquor commission

The popular bartending guide includes more than 2,500 drink recipes. Among them are the “panty dropper” and the “stripper mom.” Which, yikes! Why is this news, though?
Well, because the New Hampshire Liquor Commission paid $3,300 for 500 copies of the book and has now recalled them following complaints about derogatory drink names, the Concord Monitor reported.
“The Bartender’s Black Book Tenth Edition” was distributed to stores as “a resource for employees when fielding customer inquiries about wines and cocktail recipes,” New Hampshire Liquor Commission spokesman E.J. Powers said in a statement. The book has an “extensive and informative” section by a well renown wine critic, Powers said.
“The guide also contains some drink titles that employees could find objectionable,” he added.
Richard Gulla, president of the State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire, told the Monitor that several employees complained about the “incredibly offensive names of drinks in the books” after they landed in stores in April. The newspaper reported there are dozens of titles with sexually explicit names.
Then, Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) got involved.
“As soon as the books were first brought the governor’s attention on July 17, she immediately directed the Liquor Commission to remove them because of the offensive and objectionable nature of its content,” Hassan spokesman William Hinkle said in a statement. “Since then, the Governor and the Department of Justice have worked to ensure that the directives were followed.”
The recall began July 25 and all of the books had been collected within a few days, Powers said. They’re at the commission headquarters.
“In retrospect, we could have done a more thorough job vetting the guide,” Powers said.
In New Hampshire, the government directly controls the distribution and regulation of alcohol. The liquor commission operates 78 retail stores and brought in $642 million in gross sales during fiscal year 2015, according to commission figures.

Wynn permit approved by Massachusetts environmental agency

Trump vows at Boch bash: Illegal immigrants are ‘going to be gone’

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump doubled down on his hardline stance on immigration tonight at a campaign event at car czar Ernie Boch Jr.’s sprawling Norwood mansion.
Trump vows at Boch bash: Illegal immigrants are ‘going to be gone’ | Boston Herald“You know a lot of the gangs in St. Louis and Ferguson, a lot of the gangs in Chicago, the toughest and the meanest, the worst dudes ... they’re illegal immigrants,” Trump said to a loud round of applause. “And I tell you one thing, if I get in, they’re going to be gone so fast out of this country ... They’re going to be gone.”
Trump, who has made waves in the 2016 presidential race with his controversial comments about women and illegal immigrants, spoke at the private event, which Boch said was expected to draw more than 1,000 Bay State residents.
As he pulled into the event with a police escort, Trump was greeted by a small crowd of pro-choice and immigrants’ rights protesters, which prompted a CNN reporter to ask for a response.
“I don’t see many protesters, I see thousands of people, and there’s a few protesters and I figured you’d ask that question,” Trump said before asking the woman if she was from CNN. “You people do not cover us accurately at all. We have a few protesters outside and we have thousands of people and the first question from CNN is about protesters.”
It was $100 a head to get into Ernie’s Summer Bash 2015, an event the auto dealer magnate has hosted annually since 2008.
When asked to respond to Gov. Charlie Baker’s recent comments calling Trump’s statements on women “reprehensible,” the business tycoon responded: “He must’ve been talking about Jeb Bush.”
“Jeb Bush said he didn’t want to fund women’s health issues and then he came back a few hours later and said he misspoke,” Trump said. “I think you must be talking about Jeb Bush, he’s not talking about me.”
When asked why he has been “targeting” the former Florida governor, Trump said: “I would say Jeb Bush is a frequent target because when this whole thing started I thought he was going to be the primary competition but he’s drifted very much to the middle of the pack and he’s rapidly disappearing so we’re going to have to start looking at somebody else.”
Trump, who fed off the energized crowd surrounding the media tent, even weighed in on the Deflategate controversy.
“Leave Tom Brady alone,” he said. “As you know, he’s a very good friend of mine. I know Tom Brady, Tom Brady is an honest guy, he’s a great guy, he’s a great champion and winner. Leave him alone.”
A small crowd of pro-choice protesters gathered outside the gate of Boch’s mega- mansion, some holding signs that read, “I am not a bimbo, I’m a voter” and “Don’t put a wall between me and my doctor.”
“What worries us about Donald trump is his outrageous stance on women’s reproductive rights,” said Christian Miron, spokesman for NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. “He’s bad for women in Massachusetts and he’s bad for women across the country.”
They were joined by nearly a dozen immigration protesters, who held signs that read, “Keep hate out of our state” and “Immigrants: we deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”
“I am an immigrant, I am not a criminal,” said Patricia Montes of Centro Presente, who said she felt Trump’s comments on immigration were directly responsible for the savage attack on a homeless Mexican man in Boston earlier this month.
“He’s responsible because of the hate and sentiment he’s been spreading,” she said. “It’s because of him and his supporters — like the people attending this party.”

Massachusetts: Protest planned for Trump event at Boch’s house

Nobody knows what Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump will say when he comes to town Friday, but protesters are already preparing their message for him.
Fed up with Trump’s stance on abortion and his statements about women, the state chapter of the National Abortion Rights Action League, or NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, is planning a rally outside the event in Norwood where Trump is expected to deliver a speech.
“Donald Trump isn’t just a nuisance, he’s bad for women,” Christian Miron, political director for the group, said in a statement. “Trump claims he ‘understands women,’ but he doesn’t understand that women must make their own reproductive choices. And he doesn’t understand that Massachusetts won’t let him get away with his outrageous antiwoman views.”
The Trump appearance is being hosted by car dealership magnate Ernie Boch Jr. at his mansion. The private fund-raiser for his campaign is expected to draw a crowd of roughly 700.
“I believe that if you are interested in exploring a bit more about who Mr. Trump is, then seeing him up close and personal is the best way to do it,” Boch recently told the Globe.

Report: Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen feeling a bit deflated ...

There’s been some trouble in paradise for Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, and “Deflate­gate” is to blame, according to People magazine, but rumors that the couple is headed for divorce appear to be out of bounds.
“There have been a lot of stresses in their marriage in the last year, especially during football season,” a source close to Brady told the magazine, adding that 12 can be “nasty and cold” when engrossed in his own problems.
“Tom is singularly focused on his career and sometimes Gisele feels left out. There have been arguments,” the source said.
Added a source close to Gisele: “The biggest challenge they’ve been facing is dealing with the stress of the Deflategate situation.”
Fueling the rumor mill was the fact that Tom and Gisele didn’t spend a whole lot of time together this summer. Bundchen was a no-show at Brady’s Deflate­gate hearing and, according to People, she didn’t show up for the Patriots’ preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. The couple also missed each other’s birthdays, although they did post lovey-dovey social media messages to each other on their big days.
“This summer was just a bit different,” a source close to Bundchen told the magazine. “Gisele had a lot going on, so they weren’t always in the same place at the same time.”
That presumably included Gi’s jaunt to Paris, where she was photographed outside a plastic surgery clinic reportedly hidden inside a burka, and Tom’s trip to Vegas with Ben Affleck, when Ben’s nanny was photographed wearing Tom’s Super Bowl rings!
But other sources told the magazine that the duo are still in the game — marriage wise.
“They have a good relationship,” Cherynne Montanero, Chandler Jones’ girlfriend, told People. “They seem to have found the balance of having a family and then having a career.”
Added a source close to Bundchen: “They’re living their life, and they’re doing great. They didn’t spend his birthday together because he was in training camp.” As for the Super Bowl rings pic? “That was utterly random. It was just a weird place, weird time situation.”
In any event, the couple has been spotted together in recent weeks, doing a cozy dinner a deux at Del Frisco’s in Chestnut Hill and walking hand-in-hand leaving a neighborhood movie theater.
File Under: Personal Foul?

Some on Beacon Hill turn eyes to New Hampshire

BOSTON —It's the dog days of August and on Beacon Hill thoughts begin to turn not to the beach or Fenway Park, but to the frozen north and the nation's first presidential primary in neighboring New Hampshire.

Massachusetts politicos have long played a pivotal supporting role in that February crucible - holding signs, acting as candidate surrogates, and providing the legwork needed to reach out to voters who have come to expect one-on-one political courtship.
The first top figure in Massachusetts to jump into the fray this year is Attorney General Maura Healey. The novice officeholder is the highest profile Massachusetts Democrat to declare her support of a candidate in her party's primary, endorsing Hillary Clinton.
In an email to supporters this week, Healey said Clinton's economic plan addresses the nation's core challenge - raising incomes for everyday Americans and closing the equality gap in earnings.

In the same email Healey, still in her first year as attorney general, describes Clinton as an "activist, organizer, lawyer, mother and grandmother. Sunglass-wearing, tough-negotiating, world-traveling Secretary of State. History-making U.S. Senator and First Lady."

Healey said she will begin stumping for Clinton next Saturday in Exeter, New Hampshire.

"I'm all in and I'm ready to hit the streets," Healey wrote.

Other top Massachusetts Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, aren't rushing to endorse any candidate in their party's primary. Besides Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley are also seeking the party's nomination.

Warren, who remains a powerhouse among the progressive wing of her party, has said she's still watching the ongoing primary contest to get a better read on the candidates and their positions.

Liberal Democratic activists had attempted unsuccessfully to draft Warren into the 2016 presidential contest, an effort Warren rebuffed. Sanders is appealing to some of those liberal Warren supporters.

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey has also held off on making any endorsement.

Gov. Charlie Baker, the state's top Republican, has declined to endorse a candidate in the GOP presidential primary. The recently elected Baker is trying to maintain his bipartisan appeal by keeping the national party at arm's length in a state where Democratic and independent voters vastly outnumber Republicans.

Baker has roundly criticized front-runner Donald Trump's comments about women, however, calling them "reprehensible, outrageous and ridiculous." In 2011, Baker donated $10,000 donation to the campaign committee of New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who is among the 17 GOP presidential candidates.

The Massachusetts Republican Party was quick to criticize Healey's endorsement of Clinton, given ongoing questions about Clinton's use of a private email account, calling it "deeply troubling that the state's top prosecutor would choose now to endorse Hillary Clinton."

The role that Massachusetts politicians can play in the New Hampshire primary goes beyond just endorsements.

Former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick was a high-profile backer of President Barack Obama, but he also played an important role as a key campaigner, setting up his own political action committee to pay for his travels.

During Obama's re-election campaign, Patrick appeared at campaign offices in New Hampshire to rally volunteers and campaign workers and spoke at high profile Democratic events, like the party's annual Jefferson Jackson dinner.

The Argument: Should Massachusetts institute a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags?

I was thrilled to see legislation has been filed to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags across the Commonwealth. The Plastic Bag Reduction Act would prohibit large retail stores and chain stores with more than three locations from putting our purchases in single-use plastic bags.
The idea is to strongly encourage us to use our own reusable bags. Stores could give out paper bags as long as they were made from 100 percent recycled material. They could also sell us reusable bags, as long as they charge more than a dime. That’s to prevent stores from just giving out reusable bags – that won’t solve our problem.

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Our problem is that we’re using 100 billion plastic bags a year, requiring 15 million barrels of oil to manufacture them. The average bag gets used for about 15 minutes and is then thrown away. Plastic bags don’t biodegrade. I’ve read that nearly every bag ever manufactured, except for the ones that get incinerated, still exists in some form, whether it’s discarded in a landfill, blowing around as roadside litter, clogging a storm drain, or photo-degrading in the ocean into smaller and smaller bits that harm marine life. Only about 14 percent of bags ever get recycled.
A few south towns are trying to cut down on their use of plastic bags. Some Hingham citizens are working to pass a plastic bag ban, and a group in Duxbury is working with local grocery stores to reduce the number used. However, a statewide policy will be more effective than having a patchwork of differing town policies, particularly for the large chain stores.
For a good model, we can look at Ireland. In 2002, the Irish government placed a large tax (about 33 US cents) on each plastic bag. Within weeks, plastic bag use dropped by 94 percent. Irish people quickly adapted to carrying around cloth bags and backpacks. Today, using a plastic bag is considered socially unacceptable.
Cutting down on our use of plastic bags will not have an impact on Massachusetts businesses or our quality of life; it will just force us to break a bad habit.
Brian Houghton
Vice president, Massachusetts Food Association

The argument behind banning plastic bags is that they reduce waste. But should we then ban all other items that enter our waste stream?
In municipalities such as Falmouth and Newton that have banned plastic bags, retailers must now deal with restrictions that are made more burdensome by the fact that they are not all uniform. And it is fair to ask, why focus on just plastic bags? Being one of the most vilified and visible items of waste doesn’t make them the worst culprit in our throwaway society. Our association supports a comprehensive statewide approach to deal with all commodities in the waste stream at once, including glass, plastic, aluminum, and paper.
Consider this:
When plastic bags are banned, shoppers have to choose between reusable and paper bags, with more using paper because they forget reusable ones. But paper bags create a larger carbon footprint than plastic ones, using more resources to create and recycle and more fuel and trucks to transport.
Carr: Booze Bros. ‘inspired’ by Fenway more than Donald Trump

First of all, I deplore the beating of the Hispanic bum in Southie. I say throw the book at the two thug brothers who are giving new meaning to that ancient rhyme, “Four (or in this case two) on one is Southie fun.”
But if Donald Trump is going to be grilled about “inspiring” these two dirtballs because one of them mentioned him before relieving himself on the floor of the holding cell, what about the owner of The Boston Globe, John Henry? It’s his paper leading the charge to link the rascally Republican front-runner to this heinous attack.
I ask this because of the legally mandated question, where did these two lager louts ingest their bad ice cubes before they went on their rampage?
The answer, these two lugs told police, is Fenway Park, which is owned by the aforementioned John Henry, the same guy who owns the Globe.
Is it possible that the Leader brothers, who police say were both wearing Red Sox shirts and were heading home from the game, were “inspired” by the booze served to them on Lans­downe Street?
There’s a reason the commonwealth has a law on the books requiring the cops to ask perps where they were served their last cocktail before they passed the pint of no return on their way to the Alcohol of Fame. Most of the time, the overserved refuse to rat out their home taprooms, but nonetheless, the question is asked.
In this case, the answer apparently was Fenway Park.
It takes two to tango. If the minions of some moonbat billionaire hadn’t continued selling their $7.75 beer (12 ounces!) to these bitter clingers, perhaps this hate crime would not have occurred. Should someone have cautioned the yobs that drinkin’ doubles don’t make a party, no matter what Ted Kennedy said.
So Donald Trump was asked the question in New Hampshire about his connection to these plug uglies Wednesday night — no problem, it’s a legit inquiry. But when does John Henry endure the third degree? I’m serious here.
I mean, these two thugs had “lengthy” criminal records before this latest incident. So I’m sure they never considered dishing out “a beer ’n’ a beating,” to quote Billy Bulger, until they heard Donald Trump ranting. It’s possible, isn’t it, just like it’s also possible that they never, ever had an adult beverage until Tuesday night at the lyric little bandbox?
Remember the Haitian woman who was arrested for OUI a while back? The staties discovered more than one EBT card in her possession. She went off on a racist rant against the troopers, asking them in essence, “Why do you white Americans buy your own food? How stupid are you?”
Was Deval Patrick asked if he felt responsible for this undocumented Democrat, who was only doing the welfare fraud and drunk driving that Americans couldn’t be bothered doing? You know the drill. If you can blame a Republican for anything — that’s speaking truth to power. If you can blame a Democrat — well, you just can’t, period. Once again, nothing to see here folks, move along.
Listen to Howie from 3-7 p.m. on AM 680 WRKO.

Guregian: Tom Brady is winning, so why should he settle?

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — If this was a prize fight, the referee would be issuing a mandatory eight count to Roger Goodell and the NFL, given the highlights of yesterday’s Manhattan court session.
At this stage, we’re well past the standing eight count. Goodell and his team are down on the mat and perilously close to being knocked out the way these proceedings have gone, with judge Richard Berman once again hammering away at the Wells Report and the NFL commissioner by extension.
Berman called it a “quantum leap” to go from Tom Brady being “generally aware” of ball deflation to Goodell referring to the Patriots quarterback as essentially being the ringleader of a “scheme,” as the commissioner alleged in his appeal ruling that upheld Brady’s four-game suspension.
And that was just one small sampling of another bad day in the courtroom for the NFL. Berman also couldn’t fathom why the NFL would not make general counsel Jeff Pash available to testify, reminding the league’s attorneys other cases have been “vacated” because of similar issues.
If this was a kid’s game, they’d be invoking the mercy rule, that’s how lopsided the proceedings have sounded during the mediation sessions.
So why on earth would the Super Bowl MVP agree to accept a one-game suspension as part of a settlement with the NFL? That Brady might do so — albeit with no admission of guilt — was the gist of several reports that surfaced yesterday, which the Herald later refuted.
If you’re winning — and we’re talking a blowout in Brady’s favor right now — why would you settle on something that costs you games, not to mention still makes people think you’re accepting guilt, even if it’s not written that way?
It makes no sense.
All along, Brady’s side has held steadfast to the notion it wouldn’t agree to a suspension as part of a settlement. The quarterback has maintained his innocence. Granted, Brady probably wants this to end as much — if not more — than everyone in Patriots Nation and beyond. He wants it to be done so he can get on with the 2015 season. He wants it to be done so he can completely focus on football and not have this albatross continue to torment him during the season.
But not to the point of surrendering on the issue of games lost when it sure seems like he’s ahead on all the courtroom’s scorecards. That just doesn’t sound right.
The compromise for Brady sure seemed like it would be accepting a fine in accordance with his failure to cooperate with the investigation, while accepting no guilt and certainly no agreement when it came to the findings of the Wells Report. The latter is still what the league is pushing for, which at this point is ludicrous.
So here we are, still at square one, still going nowhere fast, with the Patriots season opener against the Steelers now three weeks away.
In the bigger picture, Berman remains firm on having the two sides reach a settlement. That’s been his goal all along. He doesn’t want to have to decide this case. He doesn’t want to have to listen to all this deflation mess again. But it should seem fairly obvious by all the holes he’s poking in the NFL’s case where all of this might lead if he actually has to make a ruling.
At this point, if there’s no settlement, Berman has ordered both Brady and Goodell to appear in court for another session Aug. 31.
Hey, what’s one more butt-kicking among friends?

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