Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Oct 1, 2015 - Mike Huckabee in Dothan, AL - Rebuild America Rally - Events - Mike Huckabee for President - - - @TheMeck

Nick Saban talks Lane Kiffin, how he wants to be remembered, singing karaoke and more | - - - @TheMeck

Is Georgia football caught between winning and winning right? - Dan Wolken - - - @TheMeck

Phil Knight sees the finish line as Nike's leader - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Why SMU didn't fire coach Larry Brown after NCAA penalties - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Error Jordan: Key figures still argue over who was responsible for Nike deal - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Joaquin becomes hurricane; could hit East Coast - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

At Service for Yogi Berra, Friends Recall Much More Than a Ballplayer - - - - @TheMeck

Derek Jeter’s fond, funny memories of Yogi Berra | New York Post - - - @TheMeck

How Rod Stewart Thrilled Vegas, Reunited Faces | Rolling Stone - - - @TheMeck

The Rise of the Four-Hour College-Football Game - WSJ - Ben Cohen - - - @TheMeck

Yogi Berra remembered at funeral by family, sports royalty - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

NCAA bans SMU from postseason, suspends Larry Brown for rules violations - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

USA TODAY GOP Power Rankings: Rubio on the rise | OnPolitics - - - @TheMeck

Eastern Flood Threat Ahead; Strong Winds, Coastal Impacts Possible -

Jordan Spieth breaks Tiger Woods' record at FedEx Cup -

'Where do they find a win?' Paul Finebaum, others wonder if Auburn can win any SEC games in 2015 | - Ben Flanagan

LSU coach Les Miles just lets Leonard Fournette run | USA TODAY Sports

Southern player has surgery for neck fractures - USATODAY

Monday, September 28, 2015

Gulf of Mexico System (Invest 99-L) Fueling Heavy Rain; Flood Watches Issued - - - - @TheMeck

Trust in the media is at an all-time low. That’s a terrible thing for all of us. - The Washington Post - - - @TheMeck

Butch Jones Needs a Common Sense Coach | FOX Sports - Clay Travis - - - @TheMeck

Alabama bounces back in Computer Composite rankings - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Speaker Dennis Hastert negotiates guilty plea over 'hush money' for 'sex contact' | Daily Mail Online - - - @TheMeck

Nationals suspend Jonathan Papelbon four games - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Julio Jones on record-setting receiving pace for Atlanta Falcons | - - - @TheMeck

Live updates: Nick Saban previews huge Georgia game | - - - @TheMeck

Aspirin May Double Cancer Survival - The Daily Beast - - - @TheMeck

The Daily News Layoffs and Digital Shift May Signal the Tabloid Era’s End - - - - @TheMeck

In MLB playoffs, flaws create a parity party - Bob Nightengale - - - @TheMeck

Jordan Spieth’s awesome 2015 season in 15 unbelievable stats | For The Win - - - @TheMeck

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Armour: If the Browns are going to lose, why not do it with Johnny Manziel? - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Jordan Spieth's exclamation point on dream season: FedExCup, $10M bonus - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Gulf of Mexico System (Invest 99-L) Impacting U.S. and Mexico; Low Chance of Tropical Development - - - - @TheMeck

Jonathan Papelbon attacks Bryce Harper in dugout fight - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Lights, camera, failure: Is Auburn 2015 the remake of Auburn 2012? | - Scarbinsky - - - @TheMeck

Saturday, September 26, 2015

USA Today Sports - NFL Scoreboard

USA Today Sports | NFL Schedule - Gametimes

5 matchups that will define NFL Week 3: Megatron meets his match? - USATODAY

USA TODAY Sports’ Week 3 NFL picks | USA TODAY Sports Wire's Instant Analysis: Auburn offense a no-show in loss to Mississippi State |

Jordan Spieth Birdies 18, leads Tour Championship after 3rd round |

WATCH: Butch Jones celebrates FG, doesn't realize it missed |

After Nine-Year Wait, the Mets Are Returning to the Postseason - The New York Times

No. 12 Alabama rides defense to 34-0 win over ULM - USATODAY

Tennessee's Butch Jones should coach with common sense, not off a card - USATODAY

Texas trumps painful loss from last week with fumbled snap on punt | For The Win - - - @TheMeck

Amazin' Mets clinch 1st playoff spot since 2006 - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Nick Saban: Days of Smash Mouth Football Are Over - Yardbarker - - - @TheMeck

Touching moment Pope Francis stopped his motorcade to kiss and bless a 10-year-old disabled boy waiting on the tarmac with rosary beads | Daily Mail Online - - - @TheMeck

Friday, September 25, 2015

USA Today Sports - College Football Scoreboard

Gulf of Mexico System Could Impact U.S. and Mexico - college football picks: Key SEC showdowns on tap this weekend | - - - @TheMeck

SEC Football by the Numbers Top 10 for Week 4: 2-1 Auburn has gone to 3-1 17 straight times | - - - @TheMeck

2015 college football TV schedule - USATODAY

Road Map to college football's Week 4 - USATODAY

Red Sox hire former Braves GM Frank Wren - USATODAY

Alabama State Rep Craig Ford Calls Out State Rep. Paul Lee - Calls Him Unethical ::

An 'overwhelming' crowd of 80,000 people gathers to see the Pope in Central Park ahead of his huge mass at Madison Square Garden  | Daily Mail Online

Butch Jones, Tennessee face crucial statement game vs. Florida - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Donald Watkins: Executive Betrayal - Robert Bentley's Fleecing of Taxpayers and Donors - Part 3 - David Byrne - Gov Bentley's Consigliere

Executive Betrayal - Robert Bentley's Fleecing of Taxpayers and Donors – Part 3


By Donald V. Watkins

©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on September 25, 2015


David Byrne – Governor Bentley's Consigliere


On August 14, 2009, federal and state regulators took control of Colonial BancGroupa regional banking powerhouse based in Montgomery. The seizure of ColonialBank's 346 branches and $26 billion in assets made it the sixth-biggest bank failure in U.S. history, the worst of 2009, and the third largest during the credit crisis that plunged the financial markets into turmoil in 2008. Colonial's collapse cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation $2.8 billion. Colonial's shareholders lostbillions of dollars in stock value. Thousands of bank employees lost their jobs.


Although the public focused on the failed leadership of Bobby LowderColonial's founder and CEO, it was David B. Byrne, Jr., who was in charge of the bank's legal affairs and regulatory compliance when Colonial failed.  Byrne was Colonial's executive vice president, general counsel,and corporate secretary.  Byrne is the same man who would later emerge as Governor Robert Bentley's chief legal advisor and consigliere


After Colonial collapsedByrne was retained for a while by BB&T, the North Carolina-based bank that bought Colonial's assets. He was eventually pushed out of BB&Tand was looking for work.


Lowder, Byrne and other top Colonial executives worried about an investigation by the FBI and the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program into Colonial's "warehouse" mortgage lending business. Colonial had applied for $550 million in TARP funds during the financial crisis of 2008, but the bank was never cleared to receive a bailout. 


On August 3, 2009, just eleven days before regulators shut down Colonial, law enforcement agents raided the bank's offices in Orlando, where the warehouse lending was managed. David Byrne was the man who signed off on the legal review of Colonial's regulatory filings with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission. He also reviewedColonial's highly suspect TARP funding application before it was submitted to the U.S. Treasury DepartmentByrnworried that, as Colonial's executive vice president and general counsel, he could face civil or even criminalcharges if fraud was found in the bank's TARP applicationor customary business operations.


Federal prosecutors found a $3 billion fraud scheme operating during Byrne's watch at Colonial. Senior vice president CatherinKissick was charged, convicted, and sentenced to eight years in prison for her role in the fraudByrne escaped criminal prosecution.  However, Byrne was deemed to be "unemployable" because the $billion fraud scheme operated right underneath his nose at Colonial and it was larger than the $2.7 billion accounting fraud discovered in 2003 at HealthSouth


In 2012, Bentley rescued Byrne from the ranks of the unemployed by hiring him to replace R. Cooper Shattuck as his chief legal advisor.  This action came after Byrne's wife, Alice Ann Byrne, brokered a deal with Bentley to advance and protect the interests of Rebekah and Jonathan Mason as state employees in exchange for a job for DavidAlice, who has served as the general counsel of the State Personnel Department since 2000, practically ran the Department from her lawyer's position. The governor agreed to this deal.


After David joined Bentley's staff, he and Alice took care of the governor's wishes with respect to his favorite state employeesThey arranged for former trooper Wendell Ray Lewis to receive a total of $799,285 in base pay and overtime as a member of Bentley's executive security detail, as well as a highly questionable promotion from sergeant to lieutenant in 2014. They aided Bentley in directing $393,538 in total compensation to Jonathan, as the director of Serve AlabamaThey also helped Jonathan increase Serve Alabama's small staff to thirteen state employees.


David advised Jonathan on Serve Alabama's distribution of$20 million in grants and program benefits to religious and service organizations across the state. These payments included substantial financial contributions each year to the First Baptist Church of Montgomery Foundation, where David Byrne serves as a board member.


David also cleared the way for Rebekah to operate her private public relations firm, RCM Communications, Inc., while working full-time as Bentley's communications directorUndeterred by state ethics laws, Rebekah conducted RCM business from the governor's office and used state resources to further her private business interests.


On August 26, 2015, David Byrne, along with Bentley and others, were accused in a federal court lawsuit of forcing Alabama One Credit Union, a Tuscaloosa-based financial institution with $598 million in assets, into settling hotly disputed legal claims for millions of dollars to benefit one of Byrne's former law partners and close personal friends, attorney Justin D. "Jay" Smyth, III. Bentley and Byrne, who are named defendants in the lawsuit, pressured a stateregulatory agency into facilitating the delivery of monetary benefits to Smyth and his clients. This was an unprecedented abuse of executive powers by Bentley and Byrne. Their actions pushed Alabama One into conservatorship under state control.


This was the second time in six years that David Byrne has been a central figure in the demise of a regulated financial institution. First, it was the 2009 collapse of Colonial Bank.  Next, it was the conservatorship of Alabama One. Each time, the collateral damage to innocent parties was catastrophic. - - - @TheMeck 

John Boehner Folds in the Face of the Kamikaze Caucus - The Daily Beast - - - @TheMeck

Thursday, September 24, 2015

2015 college football TV schedule - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

SEC Week 4: Viewer’s guide, picks | USA TODAY Sports - - - @TheMeck

SECond Look: Can Alabama and Auburn bounce back? | - - - @TheMeck

Alabama kicker arrested for DUI | - - - @TheMeck

Listen to Vin Scully’s touching tribute to Yogi Berra | For The Win - - - @TheMeck

New York Yankees pay tribute to legendary career, life of Yogi Berra | For The Win - - - @TheMeck

Lawmakers Loved The Pope, No Matter What He Said - The Daily Beast - - - @TheMeck

USA TODAY Sports college football staff picks for Week 4 | USA TODAY Sports Wire - - - @TheMeck

The Hill: Where Yogi Berra's loss hits home - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

New Big Three bring intrigue to Tour Championship - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Yogi Berra at 90: Quips and quotes from a Yankees icon - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Nightengale: The world loved Yogi Berra - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

God Bless This Commonsense Pope for Speaking the Truth - The Daily Beast - - - @TheMeck

Cleveland Browns turn back to Josh McCown after Johnny Manziel - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Dianne Bentley - Strength in the Face of Domestic Abuse - By Donald V. Watkins via Facebook

Dianne Bentley – Strength in the Face of Domestic Abuse

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on September 23, 2015.

Governor Robert Bentley abused Dianne Bentley emotionally, psychologically, and verbally. The abuse started when Rebekah Mason became Bentley's closest advisor and lover during the governor' first term in office. Bentley's domestic abuse of Dianne was pervasive, degrading, and ugly, and his malicious words and deeds, ultimately left Dianne feeling irrelevant, disgraced, and utterly inadequate.

As Bentley's romance with Rebekah Mason heated up, so did his abuse of Dianne. Though not physical in nature, Bentley's abusive conduct was so disparaging towards Dianne that even the couple's four sons and some of his grandchildren have felt the need to disassociate from him.

Once Bentley became governor, he changed. He was no longer the kind and gentle man his children and grandchildren had known all their lives. Everyone noticed how Bentley's respect for Dianne began to wane. This became particularly evident after he began spending more intimate, personal time with Rebekah, the attractive 43-year-old mother of three. As a result of his newfound relationship, Bentley began to manifest an oversized ego and an inflated sense of importance. He constantly talked down to Dianne, berating her over the smallest of things, and he increasingly treated her in a mean-spirited manner.

Bentley had become a man Dianne didn't recognize. He was enamored with the trappings of the governor's office – the trooper escorts, use of the state airplane, global travels, access to dignitaries and celebrities, life in the Governor's mansion, wining and dining Rebekah like a billionaire at Winston Blount's magnificent $28 million estate, along with all the other high-life perks that come with being called "Governor". Bentley had gone from obscurity as a little-known Tuscaloosa legislator/dermatologist to rock-star status as governor, and he simply could not handle it.

As the governor's domestic abuse of Dianne escalated, state trooper Wendell Ray Lewis grew progressively more impatient and distressed by the governor's actions and progressively more concerned for and protective of Dianne.

After taking office, Bentley brought Lewis from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery, where he became a member of the governor's inner circle. Lewis had a tremendous amount of respect for Bentley when Lewis first arrived for his executive security work in Montgomery. The governor made sure that Lewis was well compensated for his work and that he was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant. Once Lewis became a lieutenant, Bentley placed him in command of the governor's executive security detail.

As Bentley's protector and confidant, Lewis saw two disturbing character flaws emerge in Bentley that bothered him deeply: Bentley's growing degradation of Dianne and his blossoming romance with Rebekah. In the span of a few years, Lewis witnessed the governor's transformation from a practicing deacon at the First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa to an adulterer and domestic abuser.

Lewis, who holds strong Christian beliefs, formed a close professional relationship with Dianne. He admired and respected the First Lady for her character, class, and principled life. The two talked often and remain close friends today.

Lewis retired from the trooper force a few months ago, in part, because he was powerless to stop Bentley's marital infidelity and psychological abuse of Dianne. Because of his strong admiration for and loyalty to the First Lady, Lewis could no longer function comfortably in the duplicitous environment of deceit, betrayal, and abuse perpetrated by Bentley on Dianne. Lewis' loyalty to Mrs. Bentley's devout Christian values trumped the Governor's efforts to curry favor with him through the award of promotions and enormous overtime pay.

Lewis' efforts to get the governor to stop his illicit love affair with Rebekah were unsuccessful. Bentley would not listen to Lewis just as he refused to listen to anyone else broaching the subject of the governor's relationship with Rebekah.

Ironically, during her first term as First Lady, Mrs. Bentley chose awareness for domestic violence prevention as her platform to make a difference. Because she is a staunch advocate for healthy marriages and families, Bentley's pervasive domestic abuse, coupled with his marital infidelity, was something Dianne Bentley just could not bear. On August 26, 2015, she reaffirmed her platform as she signed her name to a sworn divorce complaint against her husband of 50 years.

The divorce filing caught the governor by complete surprise. He was stunned, angry, and visibly shaken. This time, there was nothing Bentley could do to hurt Dianne emotionally. He had already alienated her affection, abused her emotionally, and dishonored her 50 years of unconditional love and support. She was done.

Dianne's filing for divorce signaled to the world that she would not live a lie. She was prepared to endure whatever public shame and embarrassment flowed from her divorce filing, suffer any act of retaliation or revenge from the Governor and his henchmen, and bear the heavy burden of starting life over again at 72 years old.

In the end, Dianne Bentley set herself free from her husband's domestic abuse and martial cheating. In the process, she preserved her dignity as a woman and legacy as First Lady. - - - @TheMeck

Jordan Spieth is the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year and it isn’t even close | For The Win - - - @TheMeck

35 of Yogi Berra’s most memorable quotes | New York Post - - - @TheMeck

Yogi Berra, Yankees Legend and Hall of Fame Catcher, Dies at 90 - - - - @TheMeck

Yogi Berra, Hall of Famer and Yankees great, dies at 90 - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pope visit: Huckabee complains Obama made it a 'cattle call for gay and pro-abortion activists' - POLITICO - - - @TheMeck

Obama greets Pope Francis' plane as pontiff begins historic U.S. trip - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Martin Shkreli Is Big Pharma’s Biggest A**hole - The Daily Beast - - - @TheMeck

Former Alabama running back Kerry Goode diagnosed with ALS |

Braves explore spring training move to St. Petersburg |

Sean White will start at quarterback for Auburn against Mississippi State |

Terrell Owens, 41, is still lobbying the Cowboys for another shot at pro football | For The Win - - - @TheMeck

Chuck Pagano rolls Andrew Luck under the bus as the Colts implode | For The Win - - - @TheMeck

Commentary: Why can’t Alabama find a QB? | USA TODAY Sports - - - @TheMeck

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo won't need surgery, likely to sit 2 months with broken collarbone | FOX Sports

Auburn superfan Tammy goes on epic rant during ‘The Paul Finebaum Show’ | For The Win

Cowboys to work out Christian Ponder, Josh Johnson |

ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit gets in Twitter feud with Leigh Anne Tuohy | Daily Mail Online

Video: Auburn Fan Tammy Goes On Epic Rant On Paul Finebaum Show | College Spun - - - @TheMeck

Peanut exec in salmonella case gets 28 years - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Lashlee: Jeremy Johnson is ‘our starter right now’ - Montgomery Advertiser - - - @TheMeck

'I lost part of my heart and the father of my sweet babies': Fox News commentator's touching tribute to her White House staffer husband and father of her two children who died in a charity bike race | Daily Mail Online - - - @TheMeck

Armour: Cleveland Browns need to stick with Johnny Manziel as starting QB - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Cutting the Cord: Streaming video's allure cuts into pay-TV subscriber base - USATODAY

Why Alabama's 58 passing attempts won't be a fluke and the trouble that poses |

Auburn goes from 'growing pains' to pains that are growing |

Is Johnny Manziel ready to be the man in Cleveland? |

Texas Governor to Dallas Cowboys: ‘Sign Tim Tebow’ |

Jason Day in prime position for FedExCup finale, player of the year - USATODAY

The Cowboys should trade for RG3 and embrace the absurd | For The Win

Apple: More than half of devices running iOS 9 - USATODAY

Sunday, September 20, 2015

At Alabama, doubt replaces a football dynasty - Dan Wolken - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Donald V. Watkins/Facebook - Exclusive: Mike Echols Splits From Bentley - Mike Echols, Governor Robert Bentley’s long-time personal CPA and heavy hitting moneyman for the Robert Bentley Campaign Committee, has split from the governor. - - - @TheMeck

12 ways to get more battery life from your iOS device running iOS 9 - Mashable - - - @TheMeck

Alabama starting WR Robert Foster has serious shoulder injury, will miss rest of season, source says | - - - @TheMeck

6 QBs the Cowboys could acquire to replace Tony Romo - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Bell: Tony Romo's broken collarbone leaves Cowboys with murky outlook - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Tony Romo knocked out of game with apparent left shoulder injury | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo Sports - - - @TheMeck

Alabama drops 10 spots in both polls | - - - @TheMeck

Johnny Manziel has his moment against Marcus Mariota, but what does it mean? - USATODAY - - - @TheMeck

Donald Watkins: Executive Betrayal - Robert Bentley's Fleecing of Taxpayers and Donors - Part 2 - Follow The Money

Executive Betrayal - Robert Bentley's Fleecing of Taxpayers and Donors – Part 2


By Donald V. Watkins

©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on September 20, 2015


Follow the Money


Rebekah Caldwell Mason, Governor Robert Bentley's mistress and the de facto First Lady of Alabama, is married to Jonathan P. Mason.  Jonathan was a weatherman at WVUA, a small local television station in Tuscaloosa. When Bentley took office in January of 2011, however, he made Jonathan the director of Serve Alabama, which is the state agency for the governor's faith-based programs and services. 


Serve Alabama functions as the Alabama State Service Commission, granting and administering ten state AmeriCorps programs across Alabama.  It is the state's lead agency for Volunteer and Donations Management after disasters. This office serves as a liaison to the state for faith-based and community-based non-profit groups.


Serve Alabama also administered FEMA's Disaster Case Management Program for survivors of the April 2011 storms. It administers the Governor's Emergency Relief Fund.  The office administers, Alabama's statewide disaster preparedness campaign.


Serve Alabama states that it carries out the goals and objectives of the Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Volunteer Service through partnerships, integrity, and a sense of community.  Since Jonathan Mason has been its director, the agency has taken on a highly suspect role in the Bentley administration.


As the governor's lover and mistress, Rebekah made sure that Bentley directed a lucrative stream of financial payments to Jonathan. Not only did this money to supplement their household income, but it also helped to ensure that Jonathan would turn a blind eye toward the clandestine love affair between Bentley and Rebekah.  


It is reported that Jonathan draws a healthy annual salary in his position as director of Serve Alabama, while also receiving economic benefits for the donations he secures for the various programs under this umbrella organization.


Jonathan Mason has received a total of $393,538 in state pay (from 2011 to date) and has dominion and control over a staff of thirteen employees. Payroll costs and employee benefits for Serve Alabama employees have totaled more than $2.9 million since Jonathan has been director.


From his Serve Alabama empire, this former "weatherman"is now in a command position to hand out millions of dollars annually to religious and service organizations all over the state, with no adequate checks and balance and minimal financial oversight.  


The funds that pour into Serve Alabama come from thegeneral fund, education trust fund and several special revenue funds, federal grants, private contributions, inter-fund state and federal programs, and other sources. The Alabama Commission on National and Community Service is authorized to accept funds and in-kind services from other state and federal entities on behalf of Serve Alabama. 


Jonathan, who had no executive experience running a large business enterprise or managing a major financial programprior to joining Serve Alabama, decides how this pool of money will be spent and who will benefit from it.  In fiscal year 2011-2012, Jonathan spent $9,591,869, followed by$6,576,204 in 2012-2013, $3,036,305 in 2013-2014, and $2,984,97in 2014-2015 year-to-date. Even though Jonathan joined Bentley's administration in January of 2011, he spent the overwhelming majority of Serve Alabama's $4,589,423 for fiscal year 2010-2011.


Since 2011, Jonathan has awarded more than $20 million in grants and program benefits to a wide range of entities and programs across the state. Most of this money came fromfederal program funds.  Federal funds are protected from fraud, misapplication, misappropriation, and other abuses.  These funds are subject to federal criminal prosecution if they are misused.  


Many of the Serve Alabama awardees have been qualified and deserving recipients.  However, some of the Serve Alabama money went to "pass through" entities that were controlled by Bentley and his cronies.  This made it possible for these expenditures escape to the normal transparency and oversight governing the expenditure of other public funds.  In fact, audits of Serve Alabama bystate examiners only verify that the grant money was disbursed to the recipients.  The examiners do not verify how the recipients spent the money.  The Commission also has no meaningful oversight role with regard to expenditures by financial recipients.


In reality, Serve Alabama grant and program benefitsmoney has been doled out by Jonathan's office towhichever organizations, entities, and persons JonathanRebekah and Bentley favored. Since Jonathan has been its director, Serve Alabama has evolved into another slush fund that was used to reward Bentley, the Masons, theirfriends, and political cronies.  It has become a cesspool of corruption.


More to come on "Follow the Money".


By Donald V.Watkins

--- - - - @TheMeck