This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
A scheme that was developed by the city of Phoenix allowing the National Football League to censor messages on signs in the city during the Super Bowl has been struck down.
According to a report from the Goldwater Institute, the judge found that the "Super Bowl Censorship Ordinance" violated the free speech rights of citizens.
It also "unconstitutionally delegated power to the National Football League (NFL) and Super Bowl Host Committee," the report said.
The institute had sued the city because its new rule "barred residents from placing signs on their own property without first getting approval from the NFL and the Host Committee – two private entities that were empowered to choose what kind of speech people were allowed to engage in," the report said.
But that amounted to "an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech and an unconstitutional delegation of power."
City officials adopted their scheme last fall after declaring a section of their downtown a "clean" zone where no one could post a sign without having it reviewed by the football officials.
But because those are private businesses the ordinance effectively gave for-profit companies the unrestricted power to choose what messages they were willing to allow in a large section of one of the nation’s biggest cities, the institute reported.
Businessman Bramley Paulin owns property there and wanted to sell space to advertisers.
The institute's analysis said, "For one thing, the government isn’t allowed to give its power away to private parties – something lawyers call 'delegation.' Yet Phoenix was giving the committee and the NFL the power to decide what signs could be posted."
The judge said that's "totally antithetical to the principles of limited government enshrined in Arizona’s Constitution."
The rule also was so vague the judge said it provided "no standards."
"There is no legitimate government interest in content-based regulation of signs, let alone regulation of signs based on the content preferences of private businesses that are given special privileges by the government," the judge said.
Bramley noted, "The city should have never allowed this to happen in the first place: it’s wrong for the government to let the NFL and other private groups censor business owners like me, or any residents of the downtown area."
This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has launched a new "zero tolerance" policy that will make it easier to revoke gun stores' federal firearms licenses, according to Second Amendment advocates reacting to a leaked copy of the guidelines.
The internal document says the bureau "has zero tolerance for willful violations that greatly affect public safety and ATF's ability to trace firearms recovered in violent crimes" and that "revocation" of the federal firearms licensee (FFL's) license "is the assumed action" with violations," reports Fox News Digital, which acquired the 12-page ATF document titled, "Federal Firearms Administrative Action Policy and Procedures" (see full memo below).
Among those violations for which "revocation is the assumed action" (barring "extraordinary circumstances") are, according to the internal memo:
The Jan. 28 ATF document was first obtained by the pro-Second-Amendment organization Gun Owners of America (GOA), which shared it with Fox. The "no-compromise" gun-rights lobby group fears the new policy is part of a larger Biden effort to accumulate information on law-abiding gun owners for potential escalating confiscations.
The ATF is in "confiscation mode," Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb told the Daily Caller News Foundation, commenting on another Biden overreach on "pistol braces" announced in January. The new policy has outraged Second Amendment advocates and is headed for a court challenge.
GOA tweeted Friday that the ATF "zero tolerance" policy "is shutting down gun stores left and right," and also tweeted: "What does this mean? It means if the ATF deems any FFL action a 'willful violation,' then they skip all warning letters & conferences and: Revoke, [Fine] or Suspend the gun store."
On page six under "Revocation Under 18 U.S.C., Sect. 923(e)," the document states, "ATF does not have to establish a history of prior violations to demonstrate willfulness."
For News reports that "when an FFL loses its license, it will likely close shop and be required to send its gun purchase records — which are now required to be kept indefinitely — straight to the ATF." The agency, which is under the Department of Justice, 2021 began "updating its guidelines established under the Trump administration," according to the report.
Reacting to the ATF guidance, Aiden Johnston, GOA's director of federal affairs, told Fox News Digital that "Joe Biden has weaponized the ATF against gun owners and the firearms industry in an attempt to violate the Second Amendment and expand his illegal gun registry."
"Rather than targeting those who display clear negligence and disregard for the law, ATF now revokes licenses without warning at the discovery of a first mistake by honest gun dealers," Johnston said.
GOA tweeted Friday: "Zero tolerance. Ok, what are the implications? Well. Anytime an FFL has [its] license revoked and they close, they have to send ALL of their 4473s [ATF Form 4473, required for "firearms transaction record revisions"] to the ATF (where they are kept indefinitely!). But they don't have a registry, right?"
GOA also tweeted, "[The] ATF now revokes licenses without warning at the discovery of a first mistake by honest gun dealers. [Then] ATF adds their records to its digital gun registry that has nearly a billion gun and gun owner records."
On Thursday Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Gun Owners of America filed a joint lawsuit against the ATF's "pistol brace rule," by which the Biden Administration would ban pistols with attached "stabilizing braces," Breitbart News reported. The "rule portends the registration of millions of guns," according to another Breitbart report.
Following the Biden rule's announcement, 48 GOP senators rallied together to condemn the pistol brace and rifle reclassifications, according to a letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and reported by Daily Caller News Foundation.
"The proposed rule is worse than merely abdicating your responsibility to protect Americans from criminals; you're threatening to turn law-abiding Americans into criminals by imposing the largest executive branch-initiated gun registration and confiscation program in American history," the senators wrote in the letter, as WND reported.
This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
A new report from the Washington Examiner has identified WND, a precedent-setter among online news sites that was founded back in 1997, is one among dozens of "conservative" news sites from which ad revenue is being blocked by a Microsoft subsidiary.
Among the false claims made against the sites is that they were peddling alleged "disinformation."
Other websites identified included the Washington Examiner itself, Daily Wire, Real Clear Politics, Hot Air, Newsmax, Daily Caller, Tea Party, Life News, MRCTV, Breitbart, Redstate, The Blaze, and more.
As part of a series about groups tracking supposed "disinformation" and then discriminating against conservative opinions and reporting, the Examiner explained how Xandr, an advertising company that "subscribes to a left-leaning 'disinformation' group's secret blacklist," has been flagging those with comments with which it disagrees.
And it's been actively "taking steps to defund and de-platform them."
The report explained, "The Global Disinformation Index, a British organization with two affiliated U.S. nonprofit groups, is feeding secret blacklists to ad companies, such as Xandr, with the intent of shutting down websites peddling alleged 'disinformation.'"
The Examiner also reported that Xandr, which Microsoft bought in 2021 for $1 billion, "has targeted disfavored speech and blocked conservative websites from reaping key ad dollars."
"Xandr's use of politically motivated flags on this blacklist stands outside of the norm in advertising," a senior executive at an ad company told the Examiner. He noted the real purpose of blacklisting should be to protect brands from advertising 'on content that is illegal, fraudulent, [or] low-quality.'"
The executive, given anonymity, said, "In this case, Xandr prevented us from talking to our voters in the critical days leading up to Election Day. Our audience reads the Examiner, Daily Wire, Townhall, etc. Voters go to these news & opinion sites [to] inform their decisions. And if Microsoft is using their technology to block us from showing ads on these websites, they're actively preventing us from talking to voters on the public squares where their decisions are being informed."
WND’s longtime vice president and managing editor, David Kupelian, is not surprised at all, revealing more of the back story: “In late 2020, three major international online ad companies that had long served ads on WND – our main source of revenue and sustenance – all suddenly decided, at almost the exact same time, to cancel WND in the run-up to the most important presidential election of our lifetimes. The ad companies blacklisting WND – namely Xandr, TripleLift, and Teads – all cited vague breaches of their terms of service, including, and I quote, ‘any content that is illegal or otherwise contrary to any applicable law, regulation, directive, guideline or order, including without limitation any misleading, unethical, obscene, defamatory, deceptive, gambling-related or hateful content,’ etc. So it has nothing to do with 'disinformation.' If they don’t like your politics, you’re cancelled.”
Other websites targeted included the Epoch Times, Hannity, Washington Times, Lifezette, Bill O'Reilly, Daily Signal, Judicial Watch, Chicks on the Right, Mike Huckabee, OANN, RSB Network, Charlie Kirk, Glenn Beck, American Thinker, Townhall, Newsbusters, Wayne Dupree, Louder with Crowder, CNS, Twitchy, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Free Republic, Law Enforcement Today and Drudge.
Xandr announced just last year it was adopting GDI standards for trying to hurt voices with which it disagrees.
"Domains or apps that GDI has classified as a disinformation site will be added to Xandr’s global blocklist, preventing spend on those domains or apps," an email on the issue confirmed.
"What we see going on is not new," Dan Schneider, vice president for the Media Research Center's Free Speech Alliance group, told the Examiner.
"We saw redlining efforts to prevent blacks from buying homes in certain communities. We saw blacklists in Hollywood to prevent people with different political beliefs from appearing in movies and getting writing contracts."
The Examiner also has revealed that the State Department has given $330,000 to GDI for its efforts to suppress dialogue.
This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
A congressman from Georgia, Rep. Andrew Clyde, says the Department of Justice under Joe Biden doesn't want Americans to be armed.
Instead, an unarmed citizenry is an ultimate goal, and in the meantime, a "registered" citizenry.
Clyde's comments came in an interview with Breitbart.
And they came amid a fight over a new "rule" from the Biden administration that makes pistol braces illegal.
"The Justice Department is there to enforce the law, not to make the law. When you have the executive branch making the law and enforcing the law, then you have a king and a kingdom. Our Founders did not call for a king and they did not lay out a kingdom in the Constitution of the United States," he explained.
Regarding the new rule, he told Breitbart, "What the ATF wants is they want to increase the registration database for the National Firearms Act. They want to register people across the country because, as we know, what comes before confiscation is registration. And confiscation, in my opinion, is the ultimate goal, because this Justice Department doesn’t want an armed citizenry."
He said Biden's bureaucrats want "a registered citizenry, so they know who’s got what, so they can come after us."
He addressed what he intends for the pistol brace rule, which was created by the ATF.
He said the SHORT Act, the Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Today Act, could be introduced as a weapon to repeal elements of the National Firearms Act.
Then, the report said, he cited the Congressional Review Act. That, he said, could "override" the Biden bureaucracy's "unlawful overreach."
He also said should Senate Democrats or the White House refuse to cooperate he could call on the Appropriations Committee to defund any efforts to enforce the rule.
"We can literally defund this rule and basically say, 'No money may be spent executing or enforcing this particular pistol brace rule,'" he said in the interview.
This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
Police in Scotland have defied government moves to let people self-identify whether they are male or female, or something else apparently, by identifying a suspect in the disappearance of an 11-year-old girl as a "man."
According to a report from the Christian Institute, the government in Scotland is on a campaign to let people define their own gender, based on whatever they want.
However, when police were working on the disappearance of a young girl, a spokesman for police identified the suspect as a "53-year-old man."
It is Andrew George Miller, who has been calling himself Amy for several years, who shortly later was arrested for the disappearance of the girl in the Scottish Borders, the report said.
According to the report, "Police Scotland’s decision to refer to him as a man follows the Scottish government’s announcement that men who claim to be women will no longer automatically be moved to women’s prisons, pending the outcome of a review, and that convicted rapist Adam Graham would be transferred to a men’s jail."
The report noted Nicola Sturgeon told the Global Player’s The News Agents podcast that critics of her "sex-swap" scheme are "transphobic."
The report said Miller had supported the Scottish "Gender Recognition Reform Bill," which would let those 16 and older "change" their six on legal documents simply by declaration.
No medical intervention or confirmation would be needed.
Ash Regan, a former SNP minister who quit over the party's gender-bending, said, "We need a new system where no male prisoners are allocated to the women’s prison estate."
Some powerful men who thought their connections with convicted child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein would remain secret forever may be panicking right now.
The last batch of documents containing names of those alleged to have committed acts against children alongside Epstein will be made public sometime over the next few months, a new report from the Daily Mail said.
The documents were used in a 2015 defamation suit by Virginia Giuffre (then Roberts) against Ghislaine Maxwell, who she says recruited her and others to have sex with men on Epstein's private island. They have been sealed since Epstein allegedly killed himself in jail in 2019.
Andrew denied the allegations but settled the suit for $12 million. He has since been stripped of his royal duties and shunned.
Besides Andrew's name, the documents are expected to name Alan Dershowitz, but likely not as a victimizer.
Dershowitz has denied all connection to Epstein after an accuser initially named him as a perpetrator, but she later said it was a mistake and it wasn't him.
The legal professor and prominent commentator on cable news has demanded that all documents be made public so he can show he wasn't involved in any of Epstein's doings.
Other names that could be in the documents include Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Bill Gates.
All have denied any wrongdoing, and Trump said he kicked Epstein out of Mar-A-Lago in the early 2000s for hitting on a friend's young daughter.
Still, Epstein managed to get connected to some pretty powerful men, and some observers are wondering if they had anything to do with his sex trafficking activities.
Both Trump and Clinton allegedly took multiple rides on Epstein's private jet, nicknamed the "Lolita Express," according to flight logs and statements by the jet's longtime pilot.
Gates and Trump were both billionaire businessmen who could have been strictly doing business deals with Epstein, but Clinton was known for having proclivities for young (though adult) women like Monica Lewinsky. A portrait of Clinton wearing the infamous blue dress of Lewinsky's reportedly hung in Epstein's house, showing how close the two were.
The release of the documents should bring the stories surrounding Epstein to a conclusion, unless someone else connected to him wants to say more about him or the men he surrounded himself with.
So far, everyone seems to be keeping quiet--even Maxwell, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence for crimes related to the sex trafficking activities she engaged in for Epstein.
The Daily Caller reports that the United States military has deployed troops to Turkey in order to assist with recovery efforts following the recent earthquakes that devastated the region.
Specifics about the deployment have been provided by a press release published on the Incirlik Air Base webpage.
On Monday, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck areas of Turkey and Syria, and multiple, significant aftershocks followed.
The latest reports indicate that the natural disaster has killed some 25,000 people, although this number is expected to rise substantially as rescue efforts continue.
In the aftermath of the earthquake, countries from around the world have vowed to provide assistance, including the United States. The U.S. has pledged $85 million in aid for earthquake relief efforts, money that will be used for basic necessities, such as food, water, and shelter.
In addition to this, the U.S. has deployed military troops to help with recovery efforts.
The Incirlik Air Base reports:
Two Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams and a critical aid package in support of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) response operations arrived by aircraft at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Feb. 8, to provide humanitarian assistance to Turkey following devastating earthquakes that occurred on Feb. 6.
The statement goes on to detail exactly what the U.S. sent.
The list includes, "161 USAR personnel, 12 military working dogs and approximately 170,000 lb (77,000 kg) of humanitarian purposed equipment."
Col. Calvin Powell, the 39th Air Base Wing Commander, has released a statement on the matter.
We’re committed to assisting Turkey's affected communities in every way possible as they grieve and begin to recover from the devastation caused by the recent earthquakes. The U.S. Air Force brought United States Agency for International Development’s Disaster Assistance Response Teams from the East and West coasts of the United States to Incirlik Air Base today to join the international effort to assist the people of Turkey.
"The Airmen of the 39th Air Base Wing stay ready to respond in support of our allies along NATO’s southern flank,” Powell concluded.
Earlier in the week, the 39th Air Base put out a statement indicating that the base had managed to escape the earthquake's devastation.
The Incirlik Air Base said:
While this is a developing situation, all U.S. government personnel assigned to the 39th Air Base Wing have been accounted for and we have no suspected or confirmed U.S. casualties at this time,. Additionally, no U.S. facilities on base have sustained major damage.
The White House has announced the departure of communications director Kate Bedingfield.
"Kate Bedingfield, who has served as White House Communications Director since President Biden’s inauguration, will leave the White House at the end of February," the White House's statement reads.
This is another significant change for the Biden administration. The administration has also recently seen the departures of Chief of Staff Ron Klainhis, economic adviser Brian Deese, and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.
Bedingfield, for her part, may be leaving, but, according to reports, she will not be moving too far away from President Joe Biden's side.
Bedingfield has worked with Biden, in one form or another, for a number of years.
She held various communications leadership roles in the administration of former President Barack Obama. Then, in 2015-2016, Bedingfield was the communications director for then-Vice President Biden. And, more recently, she was the deputy campaign manager for Biden's 2020 campaign.
According to the White House's statement, Bedingfield "has played an integral role in the successes of the first two years of the Biden-Harris Administration, from the American Rescue Plan through the Inflation Reduction Act."
Biden, himself, released a statement on Bedingfield's departure, stating:
Since my time as Vice President, Kate has been a loyal and trusted adviser, through thick and thin. She was a critical strategic voice from the very first day of my presidential campaign in 2019 and has been a key part of advancing my agenda in the White House. The country is better off as a result of her hard work and I’m so grateful to her – and to her husband and two young children – for giving so much.
CNN reports that, going forward, Bedingfield is expected to play a role in Biden's 2024 presidential campaign.
According to the White House, Bedingfield "will be replaced as White House Communications Director by Ben LaBolt."
The White House states, "LaBolt . . . is making history as the first openly gay White House communications director."
LaBolt, like Bedingfield, has already spent a lot of time working with Biden, going back to the Obama administration.
More, according to the White House, Labolt "served as the head of communications for the confirmation of [U.S. Supreme Court] Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, and also served during the Biden-Harris transition as an advisor on nominations."
"Ben has big shoes to fill," Biden said. The president added:
I look forward to welcoming him back as a first-rate communicator who’s shown his commitment to public service again and again, and who has a cutting-edge understanding of how Americans consume information. I saw him fight for Justice Jackson, and he put his all into helping us make history confirming our cabinet and subcabinet nominees. I’m proud to have him rejoin this team.
The House Republican majority has made it exceedingly clear that they are ready and willing to impeach Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas in response to the Biden administration's non-enforcement policies that have resulted in record-high illegal immigration across an unsecured southern border.
Given the increasing likelihood that Mayorkas will be impeached by House Republicans, the Department of Homeland Security has hired an outside law firm to help defend the secretary and the department in any forthcoming impeachment proceedings, the Daily Caller reported.
Interestingly enough, that same exact firm had been hired by House Democrats to provide prosecutorial assistance in the two impeachments of former President Donald Trump.
Politico reported that, according to three unnamed DHS officials, the department has signed a contract with the New York-based law firm Debevoise & Plimpton to provide legal advice and assistance in the event that House Republicans move forward with impeachment proceedings against Sec. Mayorkas.
The firm was hired because DHS lacks sufficient staff to be shifted from their normal duties to help respond to an impeachment, nor does the department have any counsel on hand with any impeachment experience. The Debevoise & Plimpton firm, however, has the experience of aiding House Democrats in their impeachments of former President Trump.
Due to the "urgency" of the matter, a no-bid contract was awarded to the law firm in the amount of $1.5 million with an option to increase it to $3 million. The contract will run through Jan. 2, 2025, the last day of the current session of Congress, and is dependent upon an actual impeachment, meaning it can be canceled early without penalty if it becomes clear that House Republicans will not move forward with impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas.
Politico suggested that, despite commentary from the White House downplaying the possibility of impeachment, the contract with the law firm shows that DHS is taking the impeachment threat quite seriously, as well as they should.
The conservative Heritage Foundation recently laid out a thorough legal case for the impeachment of Sec. Mayorkas that House Republicans could lean on and use as a model for formal articles of impeachment.
Even before that was published, however, both Reps. Pat Fallon (R-TX) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) had already filed their own articles of impeachment against the head of DHS.
Politico reported that one of the unnamed DHS officials said of the development, "We do not want this to distract the secretary or the department from the important homeland security, national security work that we do day to day," and added, "We are protecting the country from terrorist attacks by air, by sea. We are protecting the country from cybersecurity attacks. We are securing the borders."
Sec. Mayorkas himself issued a statement to Politico that said, "Everyone agrees that the immigration system has been terribly broken and outdated for decades. It is my hope that Congress takes that problem and fixes it once and for all."
"In the meantime, within a broken system, we are doing everything that we can to increase its efficiency, to provide humanitarian relief when the law permits, and to also deliver an enforcement consequence when the law dictates," the secretary added. "That is exactly what we are doing, and I will continue to do that with tremendous pride alongside the incredible workforce at DHS."
The Daily Caller reported that a DHS spokesperson said in a statement, "The Department of Homeland Security has retained outside counsel to help ensure the Department’s vital mission is not interrupted by the unprecedented, unjustified, and partisan impeachment efforts by some Members of Congress, who have already taken steps to initiate proceedings."
"DHS will continue prioritizing its work to protect our country from terrorism, respond to natural disasters, and secure our borders while responding appropriately to the over 70 Congressional committees and subcommittees that have oversight of DHS," the spokesperson added.
Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), who suffered a debilitating stroke in May of last year, was rushed to a hospital on Wednesday after he complained of feeling "lightheaded" at a Senate Democrat retreat event, Breitbart reported.
It was later confirmed that the Pennsylvania senator had not suffered another stroke, but the incident sparked a resurgence in the legitimate concerns about Fetterman's health as well as his ability to actually do the job that he was elected to do.
Shortly after Sen. Fetterman was admitted to George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, the senator's communications director Joe Calvello announced that initial tests suggested that Fetterman had not suffered another stroke, according to Breitbart.
He would be kept at the hospital overnight to be monitored and undergo more tests, but Calvello said at that time that his boss was "in good spirits and talking with his staff and family."
Calvello, who also describes himself as Fetterman's "consigliere," provided an update on the Democratic freshman senator's health status on Thursday, and though he would remain hospitalized, the prognosis was nonetheless good.
"About an hour ago Sen. Fetterman received the results of his MRI. According to John's doctors at The George Washington University Hospital, the results of the MRI, along with the results of all of the other tests the doctors ran, rule out a new stroke," the top staffer revealed in a pair of tweets.
He added, "John is being monitored with an EEG for signs of seizure -- so far there are no signs of seizure, but he is still being monitored. Our team will continue to provide information as it comes in and we will have more updates as we get them."
Sen. Fetterman must have shown sufficient signs that his health had improved during the multi-day hospital stay, as The Hill reported that he was cleared to be released from the hospital on Friday and was set to return to work in the Senate in the coming week.
Such was the news shared by Calvello in a tweet posted in the late afternoon on Friday, in which he wrote, "A few minutes ago, Senator Fetterman was discharged from the hospital."
"In addition to the CT, CTA and MRI tests ruling out a stroke, his EEG test results came back normal, with no evidence of seizures. John is looking forward to returning to the Senate on Monday," the communications director added.
To be sure, it is excellent news that Sen. Fetterman did not suffer another stroke or seizure and has been released from the hospital, but that doesn't change the fact that many Americans firmly believe that the senator, who nearly died from the May 2022 stroke, should have been withdrawn from the race and never should have been selected to serve in the Senate.
That argument was bolstered by The New York Times in a surprisingly revelatory article on Friday, prior to Fetterman's release from the hospital, that detailed his struggles to adapt to the chaotic and highly stressful environment of the Senate amid his ongoing and rushed recovery from the near-fatal stroke less than a year earlier, despite plenty of accommodations being made for him.
That includes the use of special talk-to-text closed captioning technology that helps Fetterman understand what other people are saying, given that he now suffers from an auditory "neurological condition" as a result of the stroke that, in the senator's own words, has made everyone's voices sound similar to the indecipherable "wah wah" speech of Charlie Brown's teacher in the "Peanuts" cartoon.
Per The Times, Fetterman "is frustrated at times that he is not yet back to the man he once was. He has had to come to terms with the fact that he may have set himself back permanently by not taking the recommended amount of rest during the campaign. And he continues to push himself in ways that people close to him worry are detrimental."