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Fort Liberty responds after briefing to soldiers labeled pro-life movement as terrorists

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 14:50

Fort Liberty issued a statement after getting backlash online when it was revealed the pro-life movement was labeled as a terrorist movement as part of a briefing to soldiers.

First reported by X user @samosaur, the slide in question clearly states organizations such as National Right to Life are "terrorist groups."

"They also included a screenshot of a license plate with 'IM4IT,' which is a plate many Pro-Life citizens put on their car which implies normal citizens are terrorists if they display this plate. ... They also falsely attribute the bombing of abortion clinics to National Right to Life. Keep in mind they’re not labeling them as extremist organizations (which would still be crazy), but as terrorist organizations," @samosaur wrote.

'National Right to Life has always, consistently, and unequivocally, condemned violence against anyone.'

The slide noted the groups' opposition to Roe v. Wade but misspelled it as "Row v. Wade."

"After conducting a commander’s inquiry, we determined that the slides presented on social media were not vetted by the appropriate approval authorities, and do not reflect the views of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Liberty, the U.S. Army or the Department of Defense," Fort Liberty Garrison Public Affairs Office said in a statement to Blaze Media.

"The slides were developed by a local garrison employee to train Soldiers manning access control points at Fort Liberty. These slides will no longer be used, and all future training products will be reviewed to ensure they align with the current DoD anti-terrorism guidance," the statement added.

“In a presentation that is deeply offensive to pro-life Americans across the nation, Fort Liberty promoted outright lies about National Right to Life in a demonstration of lazy scholarship,” Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said in response to the slide. “In our over 50-year history, National Right to Life has always, consistently, and unequivocally, condemned violence against anyone.”

“One must wonder how a license plate that raises funds for pregnancy resource centers could be construed as a symbol of terrorism," Tobias continued.

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Sacramento threatens Target with fine for reporting rampant retail theft to police: Report

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 14:35

The Sacramento City Attorney's Office recently threatened to slap Target with an administrative fine for phoning police about a number of retail theft incidents, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The report stated that a source, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, claimed that the Target, located at 2505 Riverside Blvd in Land Park, was warned by city officials that it could face a public nuisance charge if it continues to report instances of theft. The news outlet noted that a law enforcement spokesperson confirmed the location.

'Victims are being threatened for even reporting crimes.'

The City Attorney's Office and the Sacramento Police Department told the Sacramento Bee that they were unaware of any litigation threats. City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood's office did not grant the Sacramento Bee's request for an interview.

In response to the alleged threats and similar actions across the state, lawmakers added an amendment to a retail theft bill, prohibiting authorities from making such threats.

During an assembly retail theft committee meeting, Alexander Gammelgard, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, stated that he was "surprised that anyone would ever attempt to make a nuisance case out of somebody calling to report a legitimate crime."

"I don't think there is a place for that," he added.

California Assembly GOP Leader James Gallagher told Fox News Digital, "[Governor Gavin] Newsom keeps insisting that reports of theft are dropping — well, now we know why. Not only are thieves let off without even a slap on the wrist, but now the victims are being threatened for even reporting crimes."

"Everyone can see that Newsom's pro-criminal policies are a failure — no matter how much his allies try to cover it up," Gallagher said.

Criminal defense attorney Nicole Castronovo blamed soft-on-crime policies for the increase in retail thefts in the area.

"Lawmakers have allowed smash and grab robberies to terrorize our cities. As a consequence, retailers are leaving major cities in droves — taking jobs with them," Castronovo told Fox News Digital.

"Now the government seeks to silence those retailers and, in turn, manufacturers lower crime rates," Castronovo continued. "No citizen should ever be penalized for lawfully calling upon its government for protection."

Land Parks neighbors have expressed their frustrations with the area's crime crisis.

Kristina Rogers, president of the Land Park Community Association, told KOVR last year regarding the Target location, "It's really disturbing and disheartening when you are standing there in line paying for things and someone is just walking out the door with a cart full of stuff."

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Are Democrats DONE with Joe Biden? | Glenn Beck and Piers Morgan debate

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 14:30

In the wake of his disastrous debate against Donald Trump, faith in Joe Biden has waned dramatically, as the nation had a front-row seat to witness the president’s undeniable cognitive decline.

Major Democratic donors have pulled funds, liberal politicians have renounced support, and even the media has begun to denounce a second term for President Biden.

Is it safe to say Democrats have officially lost hope in Joe?

Glenn Beck and Piers Morgan met to discuss this very question.

Are Democrats DONE with Biden? | Glenn Beck & Piers Morgan Debate

Currently, the nation is holding its breath waiting for the announcement that Biden has dropped out of the race. Many say it’s only a matter of time before he’s replaced.

But with whom? And what happens to all the funds the Biden campaign has raised?

“If Joe Biden does decide, as the New York Times is intimating, to step aside … then all the money that he's raised,” which amounts to “hundreds of millions of dollars, can only go to Kamala Harris; it can't go to any other candidate,” says Piers.

“Does [Biden’s replacement] have to be Kamala simply because of where the money is?” he asks Glenn.

“The money isn't the only thing,” says Glenn. “Kamala Harris was brought onto the ticket in this madness of equity.”

According to “the progressive side, you cannot replace her. She's a black woman – the first black woman vice president. Now you have the opportunity, you're going to replace her with a white man?” he asks, referencing the suspicion that California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) might be chosen as Biden’s replacement.

“The only person they could replace her with that could win is Michelle Obama.”

However, the former first lady has made it clear she has no interest in running, but Glenn thinks if Barack presses her, she might concede, run, and actually win.

Besides Biden’s candidacy, there’s another idea being thrown around: invoking the 25th Amendment, which would temporarily pass presidential powers to Kamala Harris.

There’s only one problem – the decision must be made by “the Cabinet and the vice president,” and so far, both have refused to even acknowledge what the country sees in Biden.

“I saw yesterday the press secretary [Karine Jean-Pierre] insisting he's not got any form of dementia. I thought that was a blatant lie,” says Piers.

To hear the rest of the conversation, including Glenn's and Piers’ thoughts on the global unrest that seems to be growing ever stronger, watch the clip above.

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Mick Jagger appears shocked by Canadian crowd's reaction after he says the Stones 'love' far-left Justin Trudeau

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 14:20

A Rolling Stones concert crowd in Vancouver last week showered lead singer Mick Jagger with a rousing chorus of boos after he said the Stones "love" far-left Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Video shows Jagger in between songs Friday night telling the BC Place audience, “We love your Mr. Trudeau. I mean, his family’s always been such big fans of our band."

'Mick Jagger has no clue how unpopular Justin Trudeau is.'

Jagger barely finished his statement before the crowd erupted in boos — and the 80-year-old vocalist's mouth stayed hanging open with a flat facial expression for a good six to seven seconds.

Then Jagger began to crack a smile, and the veteran frontman pivoted to a subject he likely knew would elicit a positive reaction: “By the way, congratulations to the Canadian soccer team getting to the semifinals!”

Indeed, cheering abounded for the squad — which ended up losing to Argentina 2-0 in the Copa America semifinal.

So, was the left-wing frontman really shocked at the booing for the left-wing Trudeau — or was Jagger just playing around with the audience?

His comment saying the Trudeau family has "always been such big fans of our band" probably was a quip — at least the Toronto Sun said as much, recalling that Trudeau's famous mother, Margaret, "partied" with the Stones in the "late 1970s after she had split from Justin’s father."

The Sun gathered comments from videos on X and Instagram in regard to Jagger's words, noting that one commenter said the singer "hasn’t been paying attention" while another said, "Mick Jagger has no clue how unpopular Justin Trudeau is.”

The paper said others gave Jagger kudos for quickly getting the audience back on his side: “That was honestly an incredible pivot to the Copa America. Well played.”

“Nice save Mick!” another person said, according to the Sun. “Mentioned Trudeau and just about [got] booed into the Pacific, but that soccer team congrats saved your bacon!”

The paper noted that Margaret Trudeau — while she was still married to then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau — spent time with the Stones amid a club show of theirs in Toronto.

“We played dice until about five in the morning, in my hotel suite,” she told Bazaar in 2016. “Smoked some dope, talked. It was a good night, and it was my new world. But no one knew I was separated from my husband yet, and it brought a huge scandal.”

Vanity Fair in 2017 noted that she "left her table" at the El Mocambo club in 1977 "to sit at Mick Jagger’s feet as he sang and strutted. She stared at him worshipfully throughout the performance.“

The Sun, citing the Evening Standard, said Jagger later called Margaret Trudeau a “very sick girl in search of something. She found it — but not with me. I wouldn’t go near her with a barge pole.”

Jagger these days isn't one to keep his sociopolitical opinions private — particularly when targeting conservatives. A few months back, the singer set his sights on Republican Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. While reportedly discussing the topic of inclusion, Jagger allegedly said of Landry, "We want to include him too. Even if he wants to take us back to the Stone Age."

Landry returned fire: "You can’t always get what you want. The only person who might remember the Stone Age is Mick Jagger. Love you buddy, you’re always welcome in Louisiana!"

Jagger also isn't fond of former President Donald Trump, saying after he won the 2016 election, "Everyone outside the U.S. is kind of mystified, I’d say, that’s the polite word." The Rolling Stones also have threatened legal action against Trump for using their song "You Can’t Always Get What You Want" at campaign rallies.

The Sun said Jagger in 2013 made a joke about then-Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who was making headlines for a crack cocaine controversy: “I just wanted you to know one thing: we’re not going to do any jokes tonight about the mayor or anything, OK? It’s too easy. It’s much too easy a target. It’s a bit cheap — cheap shots. So we’re not going to do any of that. We’re going to crack on with the show now.”

(H/T: Not the Bee)

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'I agree with me': Ben Shapiro's viral comedic response to Democrat who confronts him about his religious beliefs

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 14:05

Ben Shapiro shut down Rep. Eric Swalwell on Wednesday after the California Democrat tried — but failed — to weaponize Shapiro's personal religious beliefs.

At a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the controversial Global Alliance for Responsible Media, Swalwell chose to question Shapiro about a topic unrelated to the hearing: Project 2025, the forward-looking plan for America created by the Heritage Foundation.

'Yes, I'm a religious Jew. That's true. You've found me out.'

After, ironically, Swalwell admitted he agreed with much of the project's proposals — for example, less government bureaucracy, more government efficiency, less government waste — the California Democrat tried to question Shapiro about immigration. And when Shapiro knocked those questions out of the park, Swalwell turned to abortion and same-sex marriage.

But that's when the hearing took a bizarre turn.

Shapiro attended the hearing as a representative of the Daily Wire, which had been unfairly targeted by GARM. But Swalwell chose to question Shapiro about his religious beliefs, instead.

"Do you support that part? ... Banning same-sex marriage?" Swalwell asked, referring to Project 2025.

"I am in favor of traditional marriage between a man and a woman, and I'm perfectly fine with anyone having any sort of voluntary sexual arrangement they seek," Shapiro responded. "That's a different thing from whether the government should attach benefits to that personal relationship."

That answer, however, was not sufficient for Swalwell, who responded by more precisely probing Shapiro's religious beliefs.

"But you think it's a sin to have same-sex marriage?" the Democrat followed up.

"I mean, I'm confused. Are you asking me as a religious Jew what I think about biblically?" Shapiro responded.

"I'm just asking: Is it a sin to be gay?" Swalwell asked again.

"From a religious Jewish perspective, orientation is not a sin, but activity is, that's also the same perspective of most major religions so far as I'm aware," Shapiro pointed out.

For the next minute, Swalwell asked Shapiro two questions on different topics. But, oddly, he later returned to the question of same-sex marriage, claiming to have found "receipts" of Shapiro's previous comments condemning homosexuality. Swalwell proceeded to read one such quote.

"Yes, I'm a religious Jew. That's true. You've found me out," Shapiro fired back. "I agree with me. Yes, that's true."

The response drew laughter from the crowd gathered in the hearing room.

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WATCH: Teacher’s union president delivers a rant so unhinged, it’s being compared to a scene from ‘The Office’

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 13:00

It’s hard to believe someone with the name Becky Pringle could deliver the terrifying tirade you’re about to hear.

Ms. Pringle is the president of the National Education Association, the largest teacher’s union in the United States, and she has a gusto that’s going down in the history books after her address to the union last week. In the speech, Pringle quite literally screamed about winning “all the things,” as she gasped for breath between sentences and slammed the podium with her fists.

National Teachers Union President's TERRIFYING RANT!

It’s a rant so outrageous that many people are making fun of it — some even comparing the speech to a Dwight Schrute scene from “The Office.”

“Becky Pringle pulled a Dwight Schrute. She is off-the-rails and desperate to maintain control over the minds of other people’s children,” said Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom adjunct scholar and school choice advocate Corey DeAngelis.

Sara Gonzales is so horrified by Pringle’s spectacle, all she can say is, “That’s why I’m homeschooling my children.”

“The NEA, let's be clear, has never educated a single human being ever in the history of their existence,” adds Chad Prather.

On top of having a totally unhinged president, the members of the NEA “are not in it for the children.”

“They are all in it for themselves. They want to talk about equity; they want to talk about trans rights; they want to talk about racial justice,” says Sara.

To see one of the most outrageous speeches in history, watch the clip above.

Pentagon schools are indoctrinating children with 'radical DEI curriculums': Report

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 12:50

The Pentagon's education wing is indoctrinating children by embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion ideology within its curriculums, according to a new report from Open the Books obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Department of Defense Education Activity schools have repeatedly been criticized for offering a left-leaning classroom curriculum to roughly 70,000 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

'Children are being indoctrinated to a philosophy that places complex racial and gender identities over national pride.'

Last year, the Pentagon moved to disband its DEI department in the wake of controversy stemming from its former DEI chief. However, instead of ridding the school system of diversity and equity policies, it quietly dispersed the department's staff to other divisions.

At the time, a Pentagon spokesperson released a statement reaffirming the department's commitment to DEI efforts.

Open the Books' report, "Schools for Radicals: The Secret Push to Institute Radical DEI Curriculums within the Pentagon's K-12 Public Schools," laid out key takeaways from its investigation into the department. It noted that the Pentagon previously told Congress that it planned to dismantle its DEI division but instead "secretly create[d] a DEI Steering Committee and move[d] DEI professionals into less public roles at the agency."

Additionally, the report accused DoDEA of attempting to circumvent Freedom of Information Act requests.

"Requests are often returned heavily redacted and appeals take months to a year or longer to process," Open the Books explained.

The nonprofit organization found that the DoDEA advocated for "a variety of troubling free resources that push radical ideologies in the classroom."

"DoDEA staffers affirmed using changing academic standards at the agency as a trojan horse to inject more DEI topics into everyday classroom discussions," the report continued. "Both children and staff are subjected to DEI struggle sessions. DoDEA staffers were presented with a book called Coaching for Equity, which rebukes capitalism, 'patriarchy,' traditions like Thanksgiving, and America's existence as a country."

Open the Books CEO Adam Andrzejewski told the DCNF, "These military service members are deployed abroad to defend and embody American ideals on the world stage."

"Yet their children are being indoctrinated to a philosophy that places complex racial and gender identities over national pride. In fact, pushing students toward activism and teaching them that their relative privilege dictates their life experience can actually alienate them from the American dream," he said.

The Open the Books report noted that some classroom materials were collected from far-left-leaning organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center.

"Parents and taxpayers deserve to know what materials are being used in this and other contexts, but unfortunately, much of it comes from private vendors not beholden to the Freedom of Information Act," Andrzejewski added.

The DOD did not respond to the DCNF's request for comment.

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Male with loaded gun tries to rob people in car. But driver also is armed — and things don't end well for alleged crook.

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 12:05

Police in Glendale, California, told KABC-TV a 37-year-old male with a loaded weapon tried to rob two people sitting in an SUV on Sunday night. But the driver, who also was armed, turned the tables and fatally shot the assailant.

Officers responded to the 200 block of East Dryden Street around 10:40 p.m. and found a male in the middle of the road with a single gunshot wound, police told the station.

'If somebody finds themselves in a situation where their life is in danger or someone else's life is in danger, I as a ... community member, as a citizen, would do whatever I could to protect myself and anybody else.'

Investigators determined that the male they found — identified Tuesday as Edward Mazon, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office — approached the pair and tried to rob them, KABC said. Police added to the station that the driver of the SUV "apparently shot Mazon, then drove away."

Mazon was pronounced dead at the scene, KABC said, and police are trying to locate the pair who were in the SUV. Authorities are viewing them as victims, not as suspects facing any murder charges, KNBC-TV said

Sgt. Vahe Abramyan, a spokesperson for the Glendale Police Department, added to KNBC that "everything's possible, but at this point, it appears that they are victims."

Police told KNBC-TV that several people called 911, and more than a dozen neighbors watched paramedics perform CPR on a man in the middle of Dryden Street near Brand Boulevard.

“I saw the EMT do the chest compressions, like furiously, [I] had no idea what was going on," resident Terri Robertson told KNBC. "And then a minute later, they're covering him with a sheet."

Robertson added to the station that if the victims were held at gunpoint, she supports them fighting back: “I would say they have to, I would say they have to, because crime is getting really crazy everywhere."

Abramyan added to KNBC that "if somebody finds themselves in a situation where their life is in danger or someone else's life is in danger, I as a ... community member, as a citizen, would do whatever I could to protect myself and anybody else. You are responsible ultimately for the actions that you commit, but if it's a life or death situation, that's going to be a judgment call on that person.”

Those with information about the shooting are urged to contact the Glendale Police Robbery/Homicide detectives at 818-548-3987 or the police department at 818 549-4911, KABC said.

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Conspiracy theorists might be RIGHT about this

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 11:30

It’s no secret to those paying attention that the economy is not doing well.

While it’s clear that recent changes to policy under the current administration have had a negative effect, Dave Rubin wonders whether there’s a little more to the story.

“Do you sense that partly, it was all set up to build a giant system that kind of didn’t work and kept people confused about things?” Rubin asks Robert Breedlove, who hosts the “What Is Money?” podcast.

“This is one of those things, I guess, guys like us in this corner of the internet probably get — well, they call us conspiracy theorists, right?” Breedlove says, adding, “the difference between a conspiracy theory and a fact is, like, three months.”

While he agrees that there’s something terribly wrong with the economy, he tells Rubin that he gets “a little skeptical” when he hears that particular version of this conspiracy theory.

“You know, you get this sort of James Bond villain-esque bunch of guys in a room plotting world domination,” Breedlove says. “I try to look at it a little more practically. I think it’s just incentives.”

In a recent conversation he had with Ed Dowd, Breedlove recalls Dowd’s use of the “meta fraud.”

“He’s saying even the plandemic, like, although there are top-down elements of it, there’s also just broken incentives that sort of create pathological outcomes in a way,” he explains.

“So, although I think you could read a book like ‘The Creature from Jekyll Island’ about the inception of the Federal Reserve, which is the Central Bank of the United States, there was clearly a small group of people that were very interested in getting a central bank implemented into the United States.”

“However,” he continues, “I don’t think even they could foresee all of the problems that it would create over the subsequent 100-plus years.”

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January 6 probationer appeals judge’s latest ‘disinformation’ monitoring order

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 11:25

A federal judge’s renewed order to monitor Jan. 6 probationer Daniel Goodwyn’s computers for alleged “disinformation” — already struck down once in 2024 — is headed back to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Senior Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on July 10 denied an emergency stay of his order to monitor Goodwyn’s computer, claiming his new mandate addresses the objections originally made by the Court of Appeals.

Defense attorney Carolyn Stewart filed an appeal a short time later with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, saying Judge Walton’s ruling does not follow the law and violates Goodwyn’s constitutionally protected right to free speech.

“The judge's reasons don’t meet the standard required of computer use in or directly related to the crime, and particularly the Appeals Court's order for ‘least restrictive means’ and constitutional protections,” Stewart told Blaze News.

Walton’s new monitoring order is the latest salvo in a war first triggered by Goodwyn’s March 2023 appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News. The judge accused Goodwyn of going on national television and spreading false information about Jan. 6 and minimizing his conduct that day.

Goodwyn, 35, of San Francisco, drew Walton’s ire at his sentencing hearing several months later when he tried to correct the judge’s own misstatements about Jan. 6.

“… To suggest that the only people who died that day were Trump supporters, that is just not true,” Walton said, according to the official court transcript.

Goodwyn tried to interject but was quickly slapped down.

“You are digging a hole for yourself,” Walton told him. “Keep on digging.”

In fact, the only people who died at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 were Trump supporters. Ashli Babbitt, 35, of San Diego, was shot and killed by U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd as she climbed through a broken window at the entrance to the House Speaker’s Lobby.

Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia, was beaten in the head and ribs with a hardened walking stick wielded by Metropolitan Police Department Officer Lila Morris, minutes after she collapsed at the mouth of the Lower West Terrace Tunnel. Her cause of death is hotly disputed between the medical examiner — who said acute amphetamine intoxication — and the Boyland family’s forensic pathologist — who said the death was from manual asphyxia.

Benjamin Philips, 50, of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, died after collapsing from a stroke just after 1 p.m. Kevin Greeson, 55, of Athens, Alabama, died from a heart attack, although some claim he was struck by a police munition before collapsing.

Goodwyn was charged in a superseding indictment on Nov. 10, 2021, with felony obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

Security video shows Goodwyn entered the building through the Senate Wing Door at 3:32 p.m. and spent 36 seconds inside the Capitol.

On Jan. 31, 2023, Goodwyn accepted a plea bargain for one misdemeanor count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, a charge carrying a maximum penalty of one year in prison.

Judge Walton sentenced Goodwyn to 60 days behind bars followed by a year of supervised release. In his formal judgment issued June 15, 2023, Walton made monitoring of Goodwyn’s computer a special condition of his release from custody. Attorney Stewart filed an appeal of the computer monitoring provision on June 30.

On Feb. 1, 2024, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed Walton’s order, vacating the computer monitoring provision.

In the court’s per curiam ruling, Judges Gregory Katsas, Naomi Rao, and Bradley Garcia said Walton “plainly erred” by not considering whether the monitoring “was ‘reasonably related’ to the relevant sentencing factors and involved ‘no greater deprivation of liberty than is reasonably necessary’ to achieve the purposes behind sentencing.”

The Court of Appeals sent the case back to Walton for “further proceedings.” It warned that if he sought again to impose computer monitoring on Goodwyn, he would need to explain his reasoning, develop the record in support of the decision, and ensure it is in accordance with sentencing guidelines and constitutional protections.

Stewart argued that computer use would have had to be a part of the trespassing crime of which Goodwyn was convicted. He “did not use a computer to do anything illegal before, on, or after January 6,” she said.

Stewart said the ongoing battle is really about suppressing constitutionally protected speech. Goodwyn was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 on behalf of the news website He has contributed to several Jan. 6 documentaries that Walton and the U.S. Department of Justice have classified as “extremist media.”

In a May filing with the court, Stewart included an attachment with examples of police use of force on Jan. 6 to counter Walton’s stated belief that no police used excessive force on protesters that day.

“I have seen no evidence that would indicate to me — and I have seen hours and hours of the videos of what took place that day — I have seen nothing that would indicate that the police did anything that would indicate they were acting excessively,” Walton said at Goodwyn’s 2023 sentencing.

In her filing, Stewart cited the vicious beating of Victoria C. White, 42, of Rochester, Minnesota, who was struck in the head and face more than 40 times with a steel riot stick and fists by MPD inspector Jason Bagshaw and other police officers. She is suing MPD for $2 million for what the lawsuit describes as illegal deadly force.

Stewart also detailed the case of Derrick J. Vargo, 34, of Greenbrier, Tennessee, who was pushed from a high ledge on the Northwest Steps by a U.S. Capitol Police officer when he tried to unfurl a Trump flag just after 2 p.m. that day. Vargo fell some 20 feet, shattering his ankle and leaving him unable to do favorite activities such as skydiving. He is suing the U.S. Capitol Police.

She featured protester Joshua M. Black, 48, of Leeds, Alabama, who was shot in the face with a Capitol Police projectile at 1:06 p.m. after the deputy police chief bellowed into the radio for grenadiers to “launch, launch, launch!” Black bled profusely onto the concrete. Anger over the shooting resonated through the West Plaza crowd the rest of the afternoon.

“The Court wanted to add itself as a content and viewpoint censor for Mr. Goodwyn without legal cause, while only hearing the misinformation and partial truths that the DOJ and legacy media disseminate,” Stewart wrote in a May court filing.

Stewart has referred to Judge Walton as the “Ministry of Truth.”

Walton’s new monitoring order largely repeats his previous statements accusing Goodwyn of using social media to push “false narratives” and continuing to “deny responsibility for his actions.”

The order is imposed “to ensure that he does not traffic in any content that inspired the conduct that he and others engaged in on January 6, 2021,” the judge wrote.

Walton also asserted that Goodwyn “has been treated for mental health issues in the past that appear to have contributed to his decision to engage in criminal conduct.”

Stewart said that statement is false. Goodwyn has high-functioning autism, which is not a mental illness, she said.

“Our sentencing memo addressed his autism and relying on social cues and signals, such as police allowing building entry,” Stewart told Blaze News. “The memo made clear it is not a mental illness.”

Biden policies lead to 150% capacity at illegal alien holding centers in San Diego

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 11:10

Border Patrol holding centers in the San Diego area remain over capacity despite the Biden administration’s claim that it is clamping down on the influx of illegal crossings at the southern border, the New York Post reported.

The news outlet revealed that holding facilities in the region are at 150% capacity as of Tuesday morning. Based on internal agency data leaked to the Post, the centers are equipped to detain only 1,000 individuals but are currently supporting 1,500 illegal immigrants.

Meanwhile, the administration announced that it plans to shut down ICE’s largest detention center in Dilley, Texas, which can hold 2,400 criminal illegal aliens.

According to the administration, Biden’s June 4 executive order was designed to crack down on illegal crossings; however, the action includes many exemptions. One of the biggest loopholes is that the White House announced separate directives for the San Diego sector.

Just days after the executive order was slated to take effect, Border Patrol agents in Southern California were told to release illegal aliens from most Eastern Hemisphere countries into the interior of the U.S., a memo obtained by the Washington Examiner revealed. Foreign nationals from more than 100 countries, except for Russia, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Moldova, and Kyrgyzstan, are to be issued a notice to appear and released on their own recognizance.

Individuals from the more than 100 Eastern Hemisphere countries are more difficult to deport because their governments do not typically cooperate with U.S. deportation flights.

Manny Bayon, National Border Patrol Council president for the San Diego sector, told the Post that San Diego’s holding centers are still over capacity because illegal aliens who cross unlawfully into the region have a better chance of being allowed to stay in the country.

One Border Patrol agent told the news outlet that agents are seeing illegal aliens from “all over the world.”

“China, India — there’s a lot of Indians, there’s just like a s***-ton — and Central Americans,” the agent stated.

Since Biden’s executive order took effect, the administration has allowed more than 30,000 illegal immigrants to enter the U.S., according to a report from the Post.

“Thousands are still released by the day,” a source told the news outlet. “They get their [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] appointment and they’re gone in the wind. You think they’re going to show up when they know they don’t have a legitimate claim? Of course not.”

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GOP's SAVE Act passes House, now heads to Senate for uncertain fate

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 10:55

The Safeguard American Voter Eligibility Act passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday with all present Republicans voting in favor of it. Only five Democrats supported the bill, with 198 Democrats voting against it.

The bill was crafted to take further steps to ensure that only U.S. citizens are able to vote in elections. The SAVE Act's sponsor, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), said the bill is necessary to safeguard elections in the face of the three-years border crisis, which was triggered by President Joe Biden's administration.

The SAVE Act now goes to the Senate, where its passage is not a guarantee because of the Democrats' razor-thin majority. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) will be offering unanimous consent this afternoon and will be addressing the White House's opposition to the bill.

Democrats baselessly said the bill is similar to Jim Crow laws.

Unanimous consent in the Senate means an agreement on any question or matter that sets aside a rule of procedure to expedite proceedings. If any senator objects to it, the offer is blocked. Lee's office is expecting Democrats to voice opposition to it. In response, Lee is considering ways to attach the SAVE Act to the next “must pass” funding bill available.

Unlike in the House, only a few purple-state Democrats, particularly in a border state like Arizona, would be needed to defect from the expected majority of Democrats voting against the bill for it to pass the upper chamber.

The Biden administration previously explained its reasoning for opposing the SAVE Act.

"The alleged justification for this bill is based on easily disproven falsehoods. ... This bill would do nothing to safeguard our elections, but it would make it much harder for all eligible Americans to register to vote and increase the risk that eligible voters are purged from voter rolls. The evidence is clear that the current laws to prevent noncitizen voting are working as intended — it is extraordinarily rare for noncitizens to break the law by voting in federal elections," the statement said.

When the House hosted the floor debate over it, Democrats baselessly said the bill is similar to Jim Crow laws and is a "xenophobic attack" on immigrants.

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What Obama chose not to do about George Clooney's essay speaks louder than any words could: 'Eye-popping revelation'

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 10:35

Former President Barack Obama reportedly did not stop Hollywood icon George Clooney from going public with his call for President Joe Biden to step aside as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee.

On Wednesday, Clooney published a candid essay in the New York Times urging Biden to step aside, a decision Clooney said is necessary to "save democracy."

'The Biden campaign and many Democratic officials do believe that Barack Obama is quietly working behind the scenes to orchestrate this.'

"It's devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fundraiser was not the Joe 'big F-ing deal' Biden of 2010. He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate," Clooney wrote.

It's big news that Clooney — a major Democratic Party donor — wants Biden to stand down. But it's even bigger news that Obama reportedly did not stop Clooney from going public with his concerns.

According to Politico's Playbook, Clooney reached out to Obama to give him a "heads-up" that he wanted to share his concerns about Biden and his belief that Democrats are better off if Biden steps aside.

Obama could have asked Clooney to remain silent — but that's not the path he chose.

"While Obama did not encourage or advise Clooney to say what he said, he also didn’t object to it, we’re told from people familiar with their exchange," Politico reported.

"The lack of pushback is an eye-popping revelation," Politico explained, because Obama is one of Biden's chief defenders — at least in public. Obama even defended Biden after his disastrous debate performance last month, advancing the White House talking point that Biden simply experienced a "bad night."

Clooney's essay — and Obama's apparent decision not to intervene — is yet more evidence of deep cracks within the Democratic Party's ranks.

Not only are an increasing number of rank-and-file Democrats calling on Biden to step aside, but now even Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), one of the party's most influential leaders, is breaking away from Biden.

Sources told Politico that, privately, Pelosi has said she doesn't think Biden can defeat Donald Trump on Election Day. Moreover, Pelosi is reportedly encouraging Democrats in swing districts to do what they believe will best secure their chances at re-election, even if it means publicly opposing Biden's candidacy.

The fear is that Biden's liabilities will hurt down-ballot Democrats, blocking them from re-taking the House majority.

For his part, Biden told Democrats this week that he is committed to running for re-election.

"I want you to know that despite all the speculation in the press and elsewhere, I am firmly committed to staying in this race, to running this race to the end, and to beating Trump," Biden told congressional Democrats in a letter.

Meanwhile, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, a close friend of Biden, claimed Thursday that Obama's decision not to intervene is consistent with what he is allegedly doing behind the scenes.

"The Biden campaign and many Democratic officials do believe that Barack Obama is quietly working behind the scenes to orchestrate this," Scarborough said.

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Alec Baldwin's defense team says even if he pulled the trigger on 'Rust' set, 'that doesn't make him guilty'

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 10:20

Alec Baldwin's defense team said that even if he did pull the trigger on the set of "Rust," he wouldn't be guilty of homicide.

Baldwin's team has been adamant throughout court proceedings he did not pull the trigger when the gun went off, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western movie.

However, the 66-year-old's defense attorney Alex Spiro said in his opening statement for Baldwin's manslaughter trial that Baldwin may be wrong and may have pulled the trigger. This was the first time that the team alluded to this as a possibility, reports show. Spiro also argued though that this fact would still not make Baldwin criminally negligent.

"On a movie set, you're allowed to pull the trigger," Spiro said, per Variety. "Even if he intentionally pulled the trigger ... that doesn't make him guilty of homicide."

Baldwin himself has previously denied ever pulling the trigger, claiming instead that the gun malfunctioned.

'If he did, of course, that would only make his statement incorrect.'

As Blaze News reported, the FBI claimed it was not possible for the gun to fire without the trigger pull, but the agency was blamed by Baldwin's defense for breaking the gun during its testing. An FBI examiner hit the gun with a mallet to see if it would accidentally fire from the force and broke three components of the gun.

Lucien Haag, a firearms expert who examined the Colt .45 used by Baldwin, testified that the gun was indeed working properly before the FBI analyzed it. Haag also testified that the live rounds used on the set of "Rust" were "hand loaded," meaning they were made by an individual rather than a manufacturer.

The latter was integral in the trial of Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film's armorer. She was convicted of involuntary manslaughter but acquitted of a lesser charge of tampering with evidence. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

David Halls, the first assistant director on "Rust," pled no contest to negligent use of a deadly weapon and has been sentenced to probation.

The prosecution reportedly intends to attempt to prove Baldwin did pull the trigger, stating that numerous firearm experts will testify that the gun was working properly when Baldwin allegedly fired it.

Baldwin's defense argued, however, that the owner's manual of that particular model of gun — Colt .45 pistol — states that the gun can go off if the hammer is dropped on a live primer.

At the same time, attorney Spiro also reportedly urged jurors to acquit Baldwin even if it is found that he did pull the trigger.

"If he did, of course, that would only make his statement incorrect," the lawyer said. "That would mean he would have misspoke."

Even if he did misspeak, Spiro continued, it still wasn't Baldwin's fault that a real bullet was loaded into the gun.

"When this issue [is] discussed, it's easy to sort of pull yourself into courtroom-land and away from a movie set," the attorney theorized. "[Baldwin] did not know, or have any reason to know, that the gun was loaded with a live bullet. That's the key. That live bullet is the key. That is the lethal element."

The prosecution is bringing in gun manufacturer Alessandro Pietta from Italy to inform jurors about quality-control measures. Pietta's company made the gun in question, according to the Sante Fe New Mexican.

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Reported illegal immigrant charged with murder of beloved New Orleans French Quarter tour guide

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 10:05

A 19-year-old male reportedly was in the U.S. illegally when he was charged with the recent murder of a beloved New Orleans French Quarter tour guide.

Police arrested Joshua Aviala-Bonifacio and two other males, ages 17 and 15, on July 1 in connection with the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Kristie Thibodeaux, which occurred the day before. WGNO-TV reported Wednesday that Aviala-Bonifacio — a Honduran citizen — was in the U.S. illegally.

'This man should have never been in Louisiana. Enough is enough. We must close our borders and keep our communities safe!'

An obituary for Thibodeaux says she was a hospitality hostess and tour guide for Crawl New Orleans and "touched many hearts and lives with her smile, her genuineness, and her loving spirit."

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said U.S. Border Patrol encountered Aviala-Bonifacio in Texas on May 11, 2019, and determined he was inadmissible, WGNO said.

However, Border Patrol released Aviala-Bonifacio on an order of recognizance on May 14, 2019, WGNO reported, citing an ICE log of his movements.

Police in Kenner, Louisiana, arrested Aviala-Bonifacio for theft on Oct. 6, 2023, under the alias Joshua Avila, the station said. Kenner Police on Feb. 14 arrested Aviala-Bonifacio for theft and contributing to the delinquency of juveniles and three Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office fugitive attachments, WGNO said.

New Orleans Police said officers responded to a call just after 4:30 a.m. June 30 about a shooting at the intersection of Royal and St. Peter Streets, and officers found a deceased woman seated in a vehicle. The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office on July 2 identified the victim as 43-year-old Kristie Thibodeaux and determined she was fatally shot, police said.

Police identified three suspects — Aviala-Bonifacio and the two juvenile males — and arrested them on one count each of second-degree murder and attempted armed robbery; detectives determined the homicide occurred during an attempted armed robbery, police said.

Enforcement and Removal Operations on Monday placed Aviala-Bonifacio in the Orleans Parish Justice Center, the station said.

Republican Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry on Wednesday posted the following on X in regard to Aviala-Bonifacio: "This man should have never been in Louisiana. Enough is enough. We must close our borders and keep our communities safe!"

WGNO said the 15-year-old suspect allegedly was under supervision with an electronic ankle monitoring device, and New Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams told the station, "This is a major problem, as a young defendant under court supervision and electronic monitoring should not have been able to roam freely about the city at any hour without some form of court action or notice to law enforcement."

WGNO added that Louisiana State Attorney General Liz Murrill asked, “Where are the parents of these boys? They need to be held accountable, too. While I am working to help keep New Orleans safe, this is just another prime example of the dysfunction we are dealing with."

The Orleans Parish Public Defender's office is representing the three suspects and declined to comment on the pending case in line with agency policy, the Advocate reported.

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Who doomed the petrodollar: America or Saudi Arabia?

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 10:00

There has been a lot of confusion lately about Saudi Arabia allegedly ending a 50-year-deal with the United States that tied oil sales to the U.S. dollar.

While many have claimed that the deal never actually existed, financial expert Carol Roth is here to clear that up.

“There was a deal put in place, but never once did I come across anything that said we have a specific expiration,” Roth tells Glenn Beck, who notes himself that if the world goes off the petrodollar, “that is the beginning of the end.”

Roth explains that when the United States went off the gold standard, they created a secret delegation that went to Saudi Arabia as part of a diplomatic tour.

“There was an oil embargo put in place by the Arab oil exporters. It sent the price of oil sky-high. So, the big objective was basically the U.S. didn’t want crude oil, you know, energy, which is obviously really what fuels growth around the world to become an economic weapon,” Roth explains.

“They knew, 'Okay, well, now we’re off the gold standard, we’ve got this currency, wouldn’t it be great to have somebody finance our deficits?'” She continues.

In exchange for economic and military support, the Saudis struck a deal with the U.S. to price oil in dollars around the world.

“There was a secret piece of it, and that was that the Saudis did not want everyone to know that they had this huge treasury stockpile,” Roth says, noting that it was because they didn’t want anyone to know how “closely they were in bed with the U.S.”

Now, this deal has ended.

“The FED has managed to hold the dollar not stable either for the world or domestically,” Roth says. “So, it’s not like they even made the tradeoff. They just abandoned it all together.”

“The big issue, if you are these countries around the world that now have everything priced in dollar, all of your major commodities, because it’s not just oil at this point,” she continues, “When you have these huge swings in the dollar, that means that threatens you as a nation, because you now may not be able to afford energy, or you may not be able to afford the food for your country.”

“That’s a national security issue,” she says. “And so, countries were getting sick of that we weaponized the U.S. dollar, and at the end of the day, they’re starting to move away from it.”

This is why it isn’t the Saudis who are to blame for the end of the deal.

“The Saudis did not break a deal. We’ve broken the deal long ago,” Roth says.

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Ezra Klein reveals Democrats never really believed what they were saying about a certain 'existential threat'

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 09:50

Democrats, media personalities, and other individuals with uneasy relationships with the truth have spent years suggesting that President Donald Trump is "an existential threat to our democracy."

The suggestion that the majority decision by American voters to elect a candidate disliked by the political establishment would mean the end of the very system by which they elected him has also been repeated on numerous occasions by the very man most likely to benefit from this narrative: President Joe Biden.

Shortly after a Biden official's group successfully got the Democratic incumbent's top rival temporarily removed from the primary ballot in Colorado late last year, Biden tweeted, "Trump poses many threats to our country: The right to choose, civil rights, voting rights, and America's standing in the world. But the greatest threat he poses is to our democracy."

'All these, you know, kind of phrases that are thrown about ... on the op-ed pages of the New York Times and on MSNBC.'

All this work to paint Trump as a threat to democracy has effectively been undone.

Ezra Klein, the leftist founder of Vox, revealed to a fellow traveler at another leftist blog Wednesday that Biden was not the only Democrat who appears not to have really believed in the existential threat narrative.

Tim Miller of the Bulwark told Klein on his podcast that he frequently encounters "this 'democracy is at threat,' 'it's an existential threat,' all these, you know, kind of phrases that are thrown about ... on the op-ed pages of the New York Times and on MSNBC where I frequent."

Klein later explained how top Democrats, cognizant of the likelihood Biden will suffer a humiliating defeat in November, can justify not asking him to exit the race despite their peers having floated this existential threat as a likely consequence.

'Unlike Biden and many others, I refuse to participate in a campaign to scare voters with the idea that Trump will end our democratic system.'

"Top Democrats believe that if Joe Biden is on top of the ticket, he will lose, but are also not coming out and calling on him to resign. I think there are a lot of ways to say it, but I think one thing that is being revealed is that ... whatever they believe intellectually, they certainly do not believe Donald Trump is an existential threat to American democracy," said Klein.

Klein suggested he respected Democratic Maine Rep. Jared Golden's recent op-ed in the Bangor Daily News, which signaled this understanding among Democrats that Trump does not pose a risk to democracy.

Golden wrote, "While I don't plan to vote for him, Donald Trump is going to win. And I'm OK with that."

"Democrats' post-debate hand-wringing is based on the idea that a Trump victory is not just a political loss, but a unique threat to our democracy. I reject the premise. Unlike Biden and many others, I refuse to participate in a campaign to scare voters with the idea that Trump will end our democratic system," continued Golden. "I urge everyone — voters, elected officials, the media, and all citizens — to ignore the chattering class' scare tactics and political pipe dreams. We don't need party insiders in smoke-filled back rooms to save us. We can defend our democracy without them."

"Golden was unusual in saying that, but I think that if you look at how a lot of these Democrats are acting, that is sort of what they believe," Klein told Miller. "People are, like, weighing this set of things, like, 'It would be quite unpleasant for me personally to come out against the president as an elected official in a Democratic Party' and weighing what will happen if Donald Trump wins and saying ... 'I can live with Donald Trump winning.' And I've had people say that to me off the record, to be fair."

"Really?" asked Miller.

"I've had top Democrats say to me basically something like, 'I don't know why all these Democrats who think Donald Trump is an existential threat to democracy are acting the way they are. But the reason I'm acting the way I am is because I don't think that,'" said Klein.

"Who the f*** is this?" responded Miller. "Out your sources, Ezra! I'm about to be in leaking-text mode over here myself. Like, that is crazy."

"I find it maddening," said Klein. "But I do find it consistent. Look, you can say this is true in a lot of things, right. It's a charge Republicans always throw at liberals, which is that if they really believe climate change is a problem, they wouldn't fly on planes."

While Klein's admissions helped kill the existential threat narrative, it was already on life support thanks to Biden's recent interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

Stephanopoulos asked Biden, "If you stay in [the race] and Trump is elected, and everything you're warning about comes to pass, how will you feel in January?"

Biden answered, "I'll feel, as long as I gave it my all and I did as goodest as I know I can do, that's what this is about."

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Peyton Manning's nephew Arch outfoxes publishing giant Electronic Arts and gets massive NIL payday for NCAA video game

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 09:32

Star college quarterback Arch Manning will reportedly receive a large payment from video game publisher Electronic Arts after months of holding out from inclusion in an upcoming game.

Manning is the youngest star of the famous football family that includes his uncles, Super Bowl winners Peyton and Eli, and his grandfather, football legend Archie Manning.

For the latest NCAA football video game published by EA, thousands of student athletes accepted the average payment of $600 and a copy of the game in exchange for their name, image, and likeness.

'I'm in the game.'

However, with Manning's name holding tremendous potential value, he was one of just a few star players who declined the offer when news started surfacing of the payments in February 2024.

It appears someone in the Manning camp made the right call, as it was just announced that the Texas quarterback is set to receive between $50,000 and $60,000 to promote the game and accepted the $600 to be included in it.

Meanwhile, college sports reporter Pete Nakos told Blaze News that cover athletes for the game received payments in the low six figures.

Manning released a promotional video for the game with his uncle Eli as news broke online.

"I'm IN the game," Manning wrote, along with the signature "horns up" emoji representing Texas.

With the large payment to Manning, it is likely that many other athletes will become holdouts for larger sums in the future. Manning's NIL value is currently ranked at No. 3 in the country, at $2.8 million. Manning is outranked only by fellow football player Shedeur Sanders, son of NFL legend Deion Sanders. Sanders sits at a valuation of $4.9 million for name, image, and likeness.

At the same time, gymnast and social media star Livvy Dunne sits in the second spot at $3.9 million.

The advent of the NIL era has empowered many student athletes to demand much higher compensation for their names, something that was outright banned before.

NFL rookie Marvin Harrison Jr., another NFL legacy athlete, is still in a legal battle over his likeness. In May 2024, Harrison Jr. was sued by apparel brand Fanatics over what the company called a failure to hold up his end of the contract. It was recently revealed that Harrison Jr. was alleged to be compensated $1.05 million over two years by the company.

Harrison Jr. has been selling memorabilia on his website after declining to sign the standard agreement with the NFL Players Association to turn over his name, image, and likeness.

He did not respond to request for comment; however, the player remarked on signing the NFLPA group licensing agreement during his introductory press conference with the Arizona Cardinals.

"I'll continue to talk to my team, and we'll do what's best for me moving forward," Harrison Jr. reportedly said. "We'll just take it one day at a time. I just got drafted, so I'm trying to enjoy the moment and be happy while I can at the moment."

On3 reported that with over 14,000 players opting in to the NCAA game, EA passed its goal of having 11,000 athletes sign up in what it called possibly the biggest NIL deal ever executed.

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Patrick Bet-David turns into a FANBOY; says Stephen A. Smith is the GOAT

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 09:17

Stephen A. Smith is apparently in negotiations with ESPN to become the highest-paid sports commentator — with a $25 million per year contract on the table.

After news of the possible deal broke, Patrick Bet-David sat down with Stephen A. Smith on Smith’s podcast.

And he may have fanboyed a little too close to the sun.

“Talk to me about what your vision is of what America should be,” Smith says to PBD.

“What America should be,” PBD repeats, before completely ignoring the question. “You’re the greatest guy in sports commentating ever, right? You’re the GOAT. Everybody calls you the GOAT.”

Jason Whitlock is understandably confused by the praise.

“Is this a worthy classification? Is he the Michael Jordan of sports commentary?” Whitlock asks Steve Kim.

“I’ve never actually heard anyone outside of Patrick Bet-David actually say ‘You’re the greatest of all time in that field,’” Kim says. “Is he going to be the most well paid? Is he the most exposed or overexposed? Is he the one that’s out there the most? Is he the most ubiquitous? Yes.”

“But does that necessarily make him the greatest commentator of all time?” he asks, adding, “I never thought of him as the greatest. I don’t think he knows enough, to be honest with you.”

Whitlock agrees.

“When you start saying that someone is the greatest sports commentator of all time, and he’s worth $25 million a year, this is where my brain goes,” Whitlock begins. “This is all a rigged simulation. This is all a Matrix. And these are people that are supporting the Matrix, who are just like Patrick Bet-David.”

“Is he represented by the same agents as Stephen A. Smith? Because it’s such a nonsensical statement. It’s like, you know, ‘Jason Whitlock is the greatest bodybuilder of all time.’ That’s what it’s the equivalent of,” he adds.

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Sen. Rand Paul proposes legislation to create security board to review and approve funding for 'high-risk life sciences research'

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 08:49

United States Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced Wednesday the Risky Research Review Act, which would establish an independent security board to review and approve "high-risk life sciences research" projects seeking federal funding.

The first-of-its-kind proposal would create a Life Sciences Research Security Board within the executive branch responsible for conducting "oversight over life sciences research funding across the federal government to protect public health, safety, and national security."

'If we had this bill in place ten years ago, we could have prevented the COVID pandemic.'

The act defines "high-risk life sciences research" as any research that has a potential dual-use nature or could pose a threat to public health, including "gain of function research, research involving genetic modification or synthetic creation of a potential pandemic pathogen, and activities involving the collection or surveillance of potential pandemic pathogens."

Grant applicants seeking to conduct research projects that fall into this category would only be able to receive federal funding with approval from the majority of the security board members.

The nine-member board, appointed by the president with Senate approval, would include one executive director, five non-governmental scientists, and two national security experts. The members would serve up to two four-year terms and must not be, or have been within the past three years, a federal employee. Under the proposed act, the security board would be expected to submit annual reports to Congress and online.

On Thursday morning, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held an oversight hearing on "taxpayer funded high-risk virus research."

Senators listened to testimony from Dr. Gerald Parker, the associate dean for Global One Health at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Dr. Carrie Wolinetz, the senior principal and chair at Lewis-Burke Associates health and bioscience innovation practice group and a former senior adviser with the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Robert Redfield, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Dr. Kevin Esvelt, associate professor at MIT Media Lab.

During opening statements at Thursday morning's hearing, Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.) seemed to express that he may not be opposed to legislation similar to the bill proposed by Paul.

"Our expert witnesses raised to the need for robust oversight over a wide range of high-risk life sciences research both here in the United States and abroad," Peters stated. "Life science research can be critical to protecting public health and our national security. It helps up develop vaccines and improve our diagnostic tests and sharpen our understanding of potential biological threats."

"This research can be incredibly dangerous. It puts scientists in contact with harmful pathogens, and they sometimes do not get the necessary training on how to handle them properly," Peters added. "If equipment fails or researchers make an innocent mistake, it can carry serious health risks for the broader public."

During his opening remarks, Paul stated, "Over the last four years, compelling evidence has emerged supporting the lab origin of the pandemic and unraveling a web of deception: the vast COVID cover-up."

"So what has been done since the discovery that our government is funding dangerous virus research overseas with little or no oversight? The answer is stark and chilling: virtually nothing," Paul remarked. "In this dystopian universe we find ourselves in, it is our duty to challenge the status quo — to shine a light on the darkest corners of government operations, and to protect the freedoms and lives of the people we serve."

Wolinetz defended the federal government's oversight of risky pathogen research.

"Collectively, while this policy framework may be imperfect and should continue to evolve with the science and current threat landscape, it arguably represents the most rigorous oversight of pathogen research in the world," Wolinetz claimed. "If we make it too hard for scientists to conduct and communicate the findings of experiments that expand our knowledge of pathogens, we will be less prepared for the next emerging biological threat."

The committee issued a press release announcing the Risky Research Review Act, noting that the funding of such research currently "lack[s] sufficient government oversight, allowing American taxpayer dollars to be spent without appropriate checks."

Redfield called the proposed act "a very important bill" that would "ensure national security is prioritized when making U.S. life science funding decisions." He called for a moratorium on gain-of-function research.

"If we had this bill in place ten years ago, we could have prevented the COVID pandemic," Redfield added.

Richard Ebright, the Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University and laboratory director at the university's Waksman Institute of Microbiology, also voiced support for the proposed legislation.

"The gaps in current U.S. oversight of research on potential pandemic pathogens place the U.S. at risk of research-related pandemics, with medical, economic, and national security impacts as disruptive and damaging as, or even more disruptive and damaging than, those of the COVID-19 pandemic," Ebright stated. "Addressing the gaps in oversight is essential and urgent."

Ebright wrote in a post on X Thursday, "The US has no--zero--regulations with force of law for biosafety or biorisk management of research with any pathogen other than smallpox virus, apart from a requirement to have a biosafety plan, the content of which is left to the discretion of the institution."

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