Vice President Kamala Harris Condemns Tennessee State Lawmakers for Passing Bill to Arm Trained Teachers

Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris called lawmakers in the Tennessee General Assembly “extremists” for voting to pass a bill that would arm teachers who are licensed, receive annual training, and are approved by police and school officials.

“Arming teachers is not the solution,” Harris said in an X post on Wednesday. “We know what actually works: universal background checks, red flag laws, safe storage, and an assault weapons ban.”

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Commentary: Another Far-Left Progressive Admits the ‘Very Fine People’ Claim Was a Hoax All Along

President Donald Trump

Hard to Kill is a Steven Seagal action thriller from 1990 that garnered scornful reviews, though I loved it as a then-teenager. But that phrase, “hard to kill,” also aptly describes the “Very Fine People” hoax surrounding Charlottesville and the lingering myth that President Trump praised bigots there.

In recent days, liberal social media rabble-rouser actor Michael Rapaport stated on the Patrick Bet-David podcast that “the Charlottesville, that I ranted about, I was wrong… that there’s good people on both sides, and when you see the full quote, that wasn’t what he [Trump] said.” Rapaport has been a prolific Trump hater, producing vitriolic online rants that frequently go viral, earning him nearly 700,000 followers on X/Twitter.

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Commentary: DC Appellate Judges Use ‘Unprecedented Approach’ to Get Trump’s Twitter Files

Trump DC

In January 2023, two months after his appointment as special counsel, Jack Smith applied for a search warrant to obtain all of the data associated with Donald Trump’s long-dormant Twitter account. Smith sought not just public posts but direct messages, drafted and deleted posts, and the identity of any individual with access to the account. Smith also asked for “all users [Trump’s account] has followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked, and all users who have followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked” Trump’s account.

The application was stunning in scope with no justification as to why the government needed such a limitless trove of information—particularly one that clearly ran afoul of Trump’s right to assert executive privilege. So, Smith neatly settled that matter by additionally asking for a nondisclosure order that prevented Twitter from notifying Trump about the search warrant for 180 days.

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Commentary: COVID Redux

Masks People

Life is hard if you do not learn from your mistakes. With Covid, political leaders and public health authorities engaged in a series of missteps, miscalculations, and manias that amounted to an extreme overreaction to the disease.

First, statistical models overstated the risk of the disease by an order of magnitude. Then, even after these miscalculations became apparent, other extreme measures like lockdowns, mandatory masking, coercive vaccine mandates, and a million other indignities ensued. In the end, almost everyone got Covid, almost everyone survived, and, while the economic countermeasures increased our national debt by 30%, the economy soon recovered too.

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Rumble CEO Says Website Down in Likely Political Attack

The CEO of the video streaming platform Rumble said Monday afternoon on X, formerly Twitter, that his site is down and facing an “unprecedented” attack that he suspects to be politically motivated. 

“I can confirm that this attack has been unprecedented and has been happening since this weekend,” Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovsky said in response to another X user. “I also suspect it is political, coming from activists and/or organizations who want to censor our creators, and related to J6 videos being posted on Rumble.”

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California Bar Disciplinary Judge Declines to Discipline Attorney Who Tweeted About Shooting Looters, Ruled it Was Free Speech

State bars have become notorious for bringing charges against conservative attorneys like Donald Trump’s former attorney and constitutional legal scholar John Eastman, but last week a California disciplinary court judge dismissed such politically motivated charges. California Bar Disciplinary Court Judge Dennis G. Saab ruled on October 3 that attorney Marla Anne Brown did not engage in professional misconduct by tweeting that looters should be shot, since it was protected free speech in her personal capacity. 

“The highest priority of the State Bar of California is public protection,” said Brown’s attorney Jesse D. Franklin-Murdock. “The State Bar Court lived up to that promise by reaffirming that Ms. Brown has the same First Amendment rights that all lawyers have.” 

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GOP Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Rallies in Milwaukee Night Before First Republican Primary Debate

With just 24 hours to go before the first Republican presidential primary debate of the 2024 campaign, Ohio entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy spent Tuesday evening as he has spent almost every waking hour since launching his bid for the White House in February: Campaigning.

Ramaswamy held a high-energy rally at downtown Milwaukee’s beer garden, just feet away from the Fiserv Forum, home of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and site of Wednesday evening’s debate.

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Musk’s X Seeks Job Applicants to Stop Disinformation, Promote ‘Credible’ Election Stories

Elon Musk purchased Twitter vowing to make it friendlier to free speech, and repeatedly aired its dirty laundry through the release of the Twitter Files that chronicled past censorship efforts. But months later with the 2024 election on the horizon, the company now known as X is in the market for applicants for some disinformation-fighting jobs.

And that has some free-speech advocates alarmed.

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Emails Reveal Katie Hobbs While Secretary of State Pressured Twitter and Facebook to Censor Her GOP Opponents

Newly released emails reveal that Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs, while serving as secretary of state overseeing elections, had her staff pressure social media companies to censor posts by her Republican opponents under the guise of “misinformation.” Her targets included the Arizona Republican Party and former conservative powerhouse legislator Kelly Townsend.

The AZGOP responded in a tweet, “EXPOSED: @GovernorHobbs has relentlessly censored major entities, including the Arizona Republican Party. Shocked? We’re not. It’s time for transparency and accountability. This goes beyond politics—it’s a matter of principle.”

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Arizona AG Kris Mayes and Other Democratic AGs File Amicus Brief Supporting Government’s Ability to Pressure Social Media Companies

Congress and First Amendment supporters have condemned the Twitter Files recently after it came out that government agencies colluded with social media companies to censor information on controversial topics that went against the government’s position. A federal judge in July barred the federal government from communicating with social media companies after two Republican attorneys general sued, but now some Democratic attorneys general, including Arizona’s Kris Mayes, are joining the lawsuit in support of the government.

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Commentary: Thanks to Hacks and Henchmen, ‘Misinformation’ Is Now Code for Doing Government Dirty Work

Louisiana federal Judge Terry A. Doughty shocked Americans with his July 4th restraining order against Biden’s digital team which was supposed to be fighting “disinformation” but was in reality just banning views online it didn’t like.

Doughty’s opinion is a jaw dropping expose of how White House staff bullied Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to remove content about election fraud, COVID concerns and other matters of public interest in blatant violation of the First Amendment.  Governmental actors cannot demand that others do what they cannot under the Constitution, just as you can’t have proxies break the law for you. Yet that’s exactly what Biden officials did and that’s exactly what Judge Doughty stopped.

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GOP Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy to Join Elon Musk and Investor David Sacks on X.com

Heading into Iowa for a big weekend after rising in the polls, Ohio businessman and GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy will join Elon Musk and investor David Sacks live Friday afternoon on x.com.

The conversation on the social network platform formerly known as Twitter is set for 4:30 p.m. Central Time, hours before Ramaswamy joins much of the rest of the packed field of Republican presidential candidates at the Republican Party of Iowa’s Lincoln Dinner fundraiser in Des Moines.

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Censorship Case Involving State Collusion with Social Media Companies Could Be Heard by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court could hear a case questioning a California agency’s coordination with Twitter to censor election-related “misinformation.”

O’Handley v. Weber, which concerns the California Secretary of State’s Office of Election Cybersecurity’s work with Twitter to monitor “false or misleading” election information, was appealed to the Supreme Court on June 8. The case raises questions similar to those posed in the free speech lawsuit Missouri v. Biden, now being appealed in the Fifth Circuit: Can the government lawfully induce private actors to censor protected speech?

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Zuckerberg’s Twitter Clone Continues to Crash in Popularity: Report

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter rival Threads has plummeted in popularity for a second consecutive week, according to market intelligence company Sensor Tower, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The so-called “Twitter Killer” has experienced a substantial fall in engagement, down to 13 million daily active users, which is a 70% drop from July 7, according to Sensor Tower estimates, the WSJ reported. Meanwhile, billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter steadily maintains around 200 million active daily users, who spend an average of 30 minutes on the platform.

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House Judiciary Committee Questions Zuckerberg on Potential Censorship on Threads

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerburg asking questions about possible censorship occurring on Threads, Meta’s latest social media platform.

“Given that Meta has censored First Amendment-protected speech as a result of government agencies’ requests and demands in the past, the Committee is concerned about potential First Amendment violations that have occurred or will occur on the Threads platform,” Committee chairman Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, wrote in the letter.

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A Retweet of Hunter Biden Photos Does Not Appear to Violate Arizona’s Revenge Porn Law, State Senate President Says

State Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff) came under criticism for retweeting a video clip that contained a few blurred-out photos of Hunter Biden engaging in sexual acts. The video accompanied a tweet stating that there are 459 crimes related to the Biden family. 

However, the tweet didn’t appear to violate Arizona’s revenge porn law, because Rogers lacked intent since she didn’t realize the clip contained the photos. She deleted the tweet as soon as she was told the photos were in there. In April 2021, Fox News showed a clip containing a blurred-out photo of Hunter engaging in a sex act with two women. There has been no report of a lawsuit or prosecution. 

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Study Finding Facebook Does Not Censor Conservatives Is ‘Deeply Flawed,’ ‘Laughable,’ Experts Say

Media Matters for America published a study recently concluding that Facebook does not censor conservatives, but experts told the DCNF the study is not credible because it did not properly measure the suppression of right-leaning pages.

Right-leaning Facebook pages typically got more total interactions than politically nonaligned and left-leaning pages on Facebook, according to the study. However, experts say this does not mean that there was no censorship of right-leaning Facebook pages, as the only example of suppression the Media Matters study cites is Donald Trump’s Facebook ban.

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Kari Lake’s Attorney Continues to Point Out Flaws in Maricopa County’s Elections

Kari Lake’s appeal of the trial court judge’s ruling against her after two trials is pending at the Arizona Court of Appeals, and her attorney Bryan Blehm has taken to Twitter to continue providing updates as more information comes in about Maricopa County’s election problems. Blehm represented the Cyber Ninjas in cases related to its audit of Arizona’s problematic 2020 presidential election. He previously served as pro tem judge for Maricopa County.

On Wednesday, Blehm tweeted, “Did Maricopa County intentionally misrepresent user 134-speed clicker when they argued to the Court that he was reassigned from level-1 signature verification?” He included a tweet from We the People AZ Alliance (WPAA), which has been helping the Lake team investigate the 2022 the election. “One of many lies told by County Attorney Liddy during the @KariLakeWarRoom @KariLake trial,” WPAA said. “Rey exercises great Kamala word salad.”

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Twitter’s Top Engineer Resigns after DeSantis’ Glitch-Plagued Presidential Announcement on Platform

The head of Twitter’s engineering operations has resigned after the platform’s hosting of Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis’ glitch-plagued 2024 presidential campaign launch.

“After almost four incredible years at Twitter, I decided to leave the nest yesterday,” Twitter’s Foad Dabiri tweeted. “The combination of the fantastic community, the impact it has, and its limitless potential sets Twitter apart.”

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University President Apologizes for ‘Liking’ Tweets Criticizing COVID vaccine, Child Gender Surgery

The president of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia recently issued an apology and walked back his apparent affirmation of tweets expressing conservative views.

“I regret my lack of understanding of how ‘liking’ a tweet is an implied endorsement,” President Mark Tykocinski, who is also a molecular immunologist and medical doctor, told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Twitter Ends Ban on ‘Misgendering’ and ‘Deadnaming’ Transgenders

On Tuesday, the social media platform Twitter made several major changes to its “hateful conduct policy,” determining that users are now allowed to refer to so-called “transgender” people by their actual genders and their original, gender-appropriate names.

The Daily Caller reports that the original policy, first enacted in 2018, forbade users from engaging in “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.” The new guidelines have removed this sentence altogether from the “Slurs and Tropes” section.

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Pennsylvania Lawmaker Proposes Forcing Social Media to Police ‘Unwelcome’ Speech

A Pennsylvania legislator is asking her colleagues cosponsor a measure to police “unwelcome” speech on social-media platforms. 

In a memorandum describing her emerging bill, state Representative Darisha Parker (D-Philadelphia) wrote that her policy “would require social media network companies to establish and maintain effective and transparent complaint procedures for reporting hate speech content.” She further stated the legislation would “mak[e] it clear that hate speech is unwelcome on social media in Pennsylvania.”

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Hundreds of Former Federal Surveillance Officials Have Moved to Jobs in Big Tech

Over 200 former employees of federal surveillance agencies have since joined the corporate ranks of Big Tech companies in recent years, thus increasing the likelihood of systematic censorship of conservative accounts by such platforms.

According to the Daily Caller, the four social media companies Google, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok have recruited 248 former employees from the FBI, CIA, Department of Justice (DOJ), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as proven by searches of the professional job listing and networking platform LinkedIn. The bulk of these hires were made between 2017 and 2022, with some of the former federal employees moving on to top executive positions within the social media companies.

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Elon Musk’s Twitter Replaces NPR’s ‘State-Sponsored Media’ Label with “Government-Funded Media’

Twitter altered National Public Radio’s (NPR) descriptive label Saturday to “government-funded media” after it initially labeled the radio news outlet “state-sponsored media.”

The social media site now calls NPR “government-funded media,” a designation also applied to the BBC. The original label was similar to that applied to Russia Today’s account by the social media site.

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Analysis: The RESTRICT Act Could Be Used to Shut Down Any App That Challenges the ‘Reported Result’ of an Election

The Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act (RESTRICT Act), S.686, contains language that could be used to shut down any website or app with more than 1 million users that challenges the “reported result of a Federal election” — threatening websites and apps that allow free speech on their platforms including Truth Social and Rumble, not just TikTok, the supposed reason for the legislation.

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Arizona Considers Bill to Fine Social Media Firms $250,00 Per Day for Banning Candidates

Social media platforms that choose to suspend or ban candidates for office would face tens of thousands – or hundreds of thousands – of dollars a day in fines under legislation working its way through the Legislature.

The House Commerce Committee on Tuesday approved Senate Bill 1106 along party lines. The bill defines how a social media suspends, bans or reduces the exposure of an account. This is also referred to as “shadowbanning.”

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Dr. Jay Bhattacharya: ‘What Protections do Americans Have That Data Tracking the Unvaccinated Won’t Be Used Illegitimately?’

SOMERS, Connecticut – Stanford University School of Medicine Professor Jay Bhattacharya, M.D. said in an interview with The Star News Network Friday that Americans “should be asking” whether diagnostic code data now being utilized to identify patients who were either never vaccinated or not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be used “illegitimately.”

Bhattacharya responded to a question about the recent implementation in the United States of new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) diagnostic codes that requires doctors at clinics and hospitals to ask patients about their COVID mRNA vaccination status.

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Congress Takes First Shot at Federal Censorship: A Moratorium on DOJ Payments to Social Media

Stunned by a growing body of evidence showing federal pressure to silence Americans’ voices online, House Republicans have unleashed their first legislation to slow government requests to Big Tech to censor content.

The ELON Act, introduced this month by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and backed by nine other cosponsors, would impose a one-year moratorium on taxpayer payments from the Justice Department to social media firms as well as require an audit on how much money changed hands since the start of 2015 between DOJ and Big Tech firms.

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Commentary: Righteous Tyrants

They sure don’t make tyrants like they used to.

Tyrants once rose to power the old-fashioned way: defeating the opposition on the battlefield or at the faux ballot box. Despite their atrocities, these despots at least had some swagger—perhaps a way with the ladies, a good sense of humor, strong persuasive abilities, commanding verbal skills, pride in their appearance.

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Democratic Congressman: ‘No One Can Defend Having Classified Documents’ at Penn Biden Center

A Democratic California congressman this week weighed in on President Joe Biden’s classified-document scandal, characterizing the president’s housing of restricted records in his University of Pennsylvania office and his Delaware home as indefensible.

A member of the House Oversight and Armed Services committees, U.S. Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA-17) told Fox News that Biden warrants scrutiny for keeping numerous records he obtained during his earlier service as a U.S. senator and later as vice president. Khanna noted that the law requires classified federal documents to be kept in “sensitive compartmented information facilities” (SCIFs). While presidents can sometimes temporarily designate rooms within their personal properties as SCIFs, Biden has never suggested any spaces in his home or office were deemed to be such areas. 

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New Bill Would Ban Feds from Working with Big Tech to Censor Americans

Leading Republican lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives filed new legislation that would ban federal employees from working with big tech companies to censor Americans.

The bill comes as ongoing reports show that federal law enforcement and the White House have regularly communicated with social media companies like Facebook and Twitter, pressuring the companies to remove posts and accounts for a range of issues, including questioning the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Democrats Defied Twitter to Spread ‘Russian Bot’ Hoax

In the 14th installment of the Twitter Files, journalist Matt Taibbi revealed how Democrats chose to falsely accuse their opposition of being “Russian bots” even though Twitter directly disagreed with this assessment.

As reported by Fox News, shortly after then-Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes released his famous memo detailing the efforts that were undertaken to spy on the Trump campaign by intelligence agencies, high-profile Democrats began spreading the lie that Nunes’ information was being promoted by “Russian bots” on Twitter.

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Victor Davis Hanson Commentary: Is There Anything the FBI Won’t Do?

The FBI on Wednesday finally broke its silence and responded to the revelations on Twitter of close ties between the bureau and the social media giant – ties that included efforts to suppress information and censor political speech. 

“The correspondence between the FBI and Twitter show nothing more than examples of our traditional, longstanding and ongoing federal government and private sector engagements, which involve numerous companies over multiple sectors and industries,” the bureau said in a statement. “As evidenced in the correspondence, the FBI provides critical information to the private sector in an effort to allow them to protect themselves and their customers. The men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public. It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency.” 

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Commentary: Twitter Files Point to Urgent Need for Platform Transparency

December has been a whirlwind month in the Twitterverse. A new academic study argued that hate speech was surging on the platform, while new company owner Elon Musk countered that such tweets were being quietly hidden, so they didn’t count. High-profile journalists were abruptly suspended and restored with little explanation, with condemnations from the EU and UN. All the while, the so-called “Twitter Files” allowed an unprecedented inside look at the messy and controversial world of platform moderation. What can we learn from all of this about the how the social platforms at the heart of our digital democracies are run?

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FBI Paid Twitter Millions, Had Close Relationship with Execs and Staff, Emails Show

The FBI paid Twitter millions as a reimbursement for the time the company spent processing the FBI’s requests, according to internal documents published by author Michael Shellenberger Monday, in the most recent installment of Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s ongoing “Twitter Files.”

In an email with the subject line “Run the business – we made money!” an employee, whose name was redacted, reports to then-Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker, that the FBI paid Twitter nearly $3.5 million dollars between October 2019 and February 2021, Shellenberger reported. Baker, a former FBI agent, was the agency’s general counsel during Operation Crossfire Hurricane, and approved the surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page via improper use of the Steele dossier, according to a report by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

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