September 16, 2014 archive

The NFL’s Problem with Domestic Abuse

The National Football League (NFL) has a problem with not just holding its players responsible for domestic abuse but with investigating itself on the issue.

On her show MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported that it isn’t just the Ravens’ Ray Rice beating his then fiance unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator but other players who have not only been charged but convicted of abuse and assault who are still playing.

In light of all the attention that the Rice incident has drawn and the inconsistent statements by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, there are calls for Mr. Goodell to resign or be fired. One of the NFL’s sharpest critics, ESPN’s Keith Olbermann took to the airways over the last several nights to chastise Commissioner Goodell

Last night, ESPN’s Keith Olbermann called on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to resign over the domestic abuse scandal surrounding Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. In a new segment set to air tonight, Olbermann changed his mind: Goodell should not resign, the host argued – He should be fired.

It was a report from the Associated Press, claiming that law enforcement sent the video of Rice beating his then-fiancée unconscious in an elevator months before it was released by TMZ this week, that made Olbermann argue for the commissioner’s termination. Goodell had claimed that he had not seen the video until now.

“You have already forfeited your privilege of resigning,” Olbermann said to Goodell, saying that the only way for the NFL “to restore just the slightest credibility to the den of liars” that is the league would be for them to “fire you.”

Keith also ripped the commissioner for his appointments questioning the independence of the former FBI Director Robert Meuller and two team owners, who are his friends, to investigate.

And the calls for Goodell’s resignation go on: from David Haugh at The Chicago Tribune

Forgive me for not waiting with bated breath for the outcome of the so-called independent investigation of the NFL’s handling of the Ray Rice case.

Independent implies free of bias, which seems implausible for the panel the league assembled to evaluate the accountability of Commissioner Roger Goodell.

It will be led by former FBI director Robert Mueller, a partner in the law firm WilmerHale that recently helped the NFL negotiate a Sunday Ticket deal with DirectTV worth billions. It will be aided by two Goodell supporters who also happen to his bosses, owners John Mara of the Giants and Art Rooney II of the Steelers.

Apparently, Goodell’s uncle and cousin were busy. [..]

The idea of crisis management is to control damage, not create more. The NFL hiring rich, white male cronies as a checks-and-balance system for Goodell only enhanced the perception that the commissioner can’t be trusted regarding the Rice case. In trying to protect “the shield,” as Goodell likes to call the league, he keeps diminishing its brand. How many newspapers and websites in the country Thursday referred to the NFL as the National Football Liars? What’s the cumulative effect of universal criticism? [..]

When punishing the Saints organization in 2012 for the bounty scandal, despite denials by many that they were not aware of such a system in place, Goodell famously said that ignorance is no excuse. Ironically, Goodell’s words resonate loudest now. Ignorance is no excuse. [..]

Many owners probably will continue to back Goodell unless sponsors such as Marriott or FedEx threaten to sever ties with the league. Short of sponsors fleeing, the old boys’ club will point to the NFL’s second-least-valuable team, the Bills, selling recently for $1.1 billion as a sign that Goodell excels at the part of the job they consider most important.

Effective commissioners find ways to make money and a difference. Goodell no longer qualifies as one and should step down.


Sweden shifts to left in parliamentary election

Associated Press

September 14

The result marks the end of an eight-year era of tax cuts and pro-market policies under Reinfeldt, who said he would also resign as leader of the conservative party. Many Swedes worried that his tax cuts have undermined the country’s famed welfare system.

His center-right Alliance has cut income and corporate taxes, abolished a tax on wealth and trimmed welfare benefits. It has also eased labor laws and privatized state-owned companies, including the maker of Absolut vodka.

Meanwhile, the gap between rich and poor has grown faster in Sweden than in most developed countries, though it remains among the world’s most egalitarian, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Sweden Looks to Exclude Far Right From Coalition

By DAVID CROUCH, The New York Times

SEPT. 16, 2014

The left-leaning Social Democrats, with 31 percent, barely exceeded their total from the previous election four years ago, a result seen as a disaster for the party and setting off a leadership fight. The Green party, the Social Democrats’ most likely coalition partner, scored less than 7 percent, and conceded its dreams of being Sweden’s third political force dashed to the far right.

Together with the Left party of former communists, the so-called red-green bloc mustered only 43.8 percent of the vote, compared with 39.3 percent for the center-right bloc – a wafer-thin margin unforeseen in opinion polls.

But inequality in Sweden has grown, and with it a fear that the free market is failing to deliver the standard of welfare services that Swedes expect. The left attracted voters by promising a sharp break with the Reinfeldt government’s economic austerity policies, pledging to tax banks and the well-off to fund schools and infrastructure, and to create jobs.

“It is too early to predict if we could support a government with bourgeois ministers,” the Left party leader, Jonas Sjostedt said. “But we are not willing to be in a government with the Liberals,” a reference to a center-right party that won 5.4 percent of the vote. He also said, “we are too far away from the Center party to be in government with them.”

Mr. Lofven said later Monday that he would not have Left party members in his government, and in response, Mr. Sjostedt said that the Left would become an opposition party.

Sweden’s Election Deadlock Sets Stage for Budget Failure

By Johan Carlstrom and Niklas Magnusson, Bloomberg News

Sep 16, 2014 9:26 AM ET

Social Democratic leader Stefan Loefven said yesterday he won’t bring pre-election ally the Left Party into government, and instead opened the door to Reinfeldt’s former allies, the Center and Liberal parties. The two have already said they’re not interested in joining the Social Democrats.

“To close the door on the Left Party this quickly and in this rather brusque way will make it much harder for him to get his budget through,” Mikael Gilljam, a professor at Gothenburg University, said by phone.

“Stefan Loefven didn’t take the hand we extended and now we will become an opposition party,” Left Party leader Jonas Sjoestedt said after meeting Loefven yesterday. “That’s bad because it will result in a weaker government.”

While the Left won’t seek to block the parliamentary approval of any government formed by the Social Democrats and the Green Party, it will only offer support to Loefven’s budget proposal if certain demands are met, Sjoestedt said.

Swedish law was designed to make it easy for minority-governments to pass budgets by allowing the bill that gets the most votes pass. That’s provided political stability as the Social Democrats ruled without majority backing for most of the period since World War II.

That law was circumvented last year when the opposition broke with tradition and blocked parts of Reinfeldt’s budget. His party has said it won’t hesitate to do the same.


TBC: Morning Musing 9.16.14

Well, here’s a roundup of Adrian Peterson/NFL news.

First, Cris Carter says exactly what needs to be said:

Watch Cris Carter take an emotional stand against child abuse on ESPN

“My mom did the best job she could do. Raising seven kids by herself. But there are thousands of things that I have learned since then that my mom was wrong. It’s the 21st century. My mom was wrong. She did the best she could, but she was wrong about some of that stuff she taught me. And I promise my kids I won’t teach that mess to them.”

Apparently, Peterson had another son that got the Peterson discipline in much the same way. I’m sure the NFL is looking into it. Not.

More accusations for Adrian Peterson


On This Day In History September 16

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

September 16 is the 259th day of the year (260th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 106 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1932, in his cell at Yerovda Jail near Bombay, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi begins a hunger strike in protest of the British government’s decision to separate India’s electoral system by caste.A leader in the Indian campaign for home rule, Gandhi worked all his life to spread his own brand of passive resistance across India and the world. By 1920, his concept of Satyagraha (or “insistence upon truth”) had made Gandhi an enormously influential figure for millions of followers. Jailed by the British government from 1922-24, he withdrew from political action for a time during the 1920s but in 1930 returned with a new civil disobedience campaign. This landed Gandhi in prison again, but only briefly, as the British made concessions to his demands and invited him to represent the Indian National Congress Party at a round-table conference in London.

In 1932, through the campaigning of the Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar, the government granted untouchables separate electorates under the new constitution. In protest, Gandhi embarked on a six-day fast in September 1932. The resulting public outcry successfully forced the government to adopt a more equitable arrangement via negotiations mediated by the Dalit cricketer turned political leader Palwankar Baloo. This was the start of a new campaign by Gandhi to improve the lives of the untouchables, whom he named Harijans, the children of God.

Late Night Karaoke

TDS/TCR (Ursine Toy)


It’s so Christiany

It’s War!  War I tell you!

The real news, as well as this week’s guests and Tavis Smiley’s 2 part web exclusive extended interview below.