TODAY’S NEWS BRIEFS – Monday, February 13, 2023

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F

The Super Bowl, like every other NFL game, has two halves. The Philadelphia Eagles only showed up for one of them.

After pushing the Kansas City Chiefs to the brink and hobbling Patrick Mahomes, the Eagles imploded in the second half. They were outscored, outgained, outdisciplined – outhustled – and, as a result, they’re out a Lombardi Trophy.

Maybe that’s harsh, given the final score was 38-35 and it took the Chiefs until the closing seconds to seal the victory. But when you have a 10-point lead, all the momentum and Mahomes barely able to run off the field at halftime, that’s as close to a gimme as it gets in the NFL’s biggest game.

And the Eagles know it.

“It’s a frustrating one,” center Jason Kelce said. “It is what it is.”


A questionable late penalty on Philadelphia Eagles cornerback James Bradberry with less than two minutes remaining meant that a scintillating Super Bowl 57 had a bit of an underwhelming finish.

Kansas City won its second Super Bowl in four years by beating the Eagles 38-35 on Sunday in Glendale, Arizona. It was an exciting back-and-forth game that saw the Chiefs claw back from a 10-point halftime deficit.

One of the few gripes for football fans — particularly Eagles fans — was the anti-climactic ending.

The Chiefs were driving and faced third-and-8 at the Eagles 15-yard line with 1:54 remaining when Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw incomplete to JuJu Smith-Schuster. But officials flagged Bradberry for defensive holding, which negated the incompletion and, more importantly, gave the Chiefs a first down.

Replays showed that Bradberry made light contact with Smith-Schuster, though it didn’t appear to affect the play much.

Many fans — and some football commentators — disagreed with the call. Former NFL tight end Greg Olsen wasn’t happy with the decision on the Fox broadcast and ESPN and Amazon analyst Kirk Herbstreit was also critical on social media.

The only person who didn’t seem upset with the call was Bradberry himself.

“It was a holding. I tugged his jersey,” Bradberry said. “I was hoping they would let it slide.”

Referee Carl Cheffers said it was a “clear case of a jersey grab.”

“The receiver went to the inside and he was attempting to release to the outside,” Cheffers told a pool reporter. “The defender grabbed the jersey with his right hand and restricted him from releasing to the outside. So, therefore, we called defensive holding.”

Kansas City was able to essentially run out the clock from that point forward. Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon made a smart move on the ensuing down, purposefully sliding 2 yards short of the goal line instead of scoring a touchdown.

Mahomes then was able to kneel twice as the clock ran down after the Eagles used their final timeout.

Harrison Butker kicked a 27-yard field goal with 8 seconds remaining that proved to be the winner.

—Associated Press

As country superstar Chris Stapleton performed the national anthem before Super Bowl 57 kicked off Sunday night, cameras found Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni and center Jason Kelce, both with tears in their eyes.

Sirianni stood straight-faced at the beginning of the anthem before tears began pouring from both eyes. Kelce mouthed the lyrics before he became emotional.

Jason Kelce previously spoke about crying on the big stage after the Eagles’ Super Bowl 52 victory, saying he would find himself weeping in the shower leading to that 2018 game against the New England Patriots.

Kelce’s mother, Donna, who has made headlines with both her sons playing in this Super Bowl, also seemed moved by the anthem. NFL Network’s M.J. Acosta said she was “wiping tears from her eyes.”

Other Eagles and Chiefs players could be seen closing their eyes and lowering their heads while swaying to Stapleton’s signature gruff tone and electric guitar.


Boutique dog food burrowed its way into the hearts of the most discerning Super Bowl commercial viewers.

The Farmer’s Dog, founded less than a decade ago as a fresh-food alternative to mass produced pet fare, prevailed in USA TODAY’s 35th Ad Meter competition, as a chocolate lab and a girl who loved him traveled a 60-second journey through life that seems to set the viewer up for a jarring conclusion.

But the puppy – they call him Bear – lives on as the young protagonist, Ava, passes through childhood, college and on to having a child of her own.

Bear is around through it all, ostensibly, because Ava’s family had the foresight to feed him fare superior to the ultra-processed kibble its competitors crank out.

The emotional spot, titled “Forever” and buoyed by soul singer Lee Field’s 2022 single of the same name, scored 6.56 out of 10 in voting by Ad Meter viewers tasked with rating all 51 commercials, making The Farmer’s Dog a winner in its Super Bowl ad debut.


Wisconsin’s officially non-partisan Supreme Court race is getting big money from outside interest groups in one of the hotly contested races in the country.

With less than two weeks to go, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court candidates and outside groups are expected to pay out at least $6 million by the Feb. 21 primary election. That puts the race well on its way to eclipsing the record $10 million spent in the entire 2020 contest for the state’s highest court.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel compiled spending data from several sources that track media buys and found that as of Friday, all sides have a combined $5.6 million in spending — about $4.3 million by outside interest groups and more than $1.3 million by the candidates.

Two sources said total spending will cross the $6 million mark by the primary and is likely to top $7 million. This includes money being paid out for TV, radio and digital ads as well as mailers and social media.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s seat is up next year. Behind the scenes, planning is already underway for Baldwin to mount a campaign to claim a third term.

(Here are) Republicans who have been mentioned as potential candidates.

Eric Hovde, a Madison businessman who’s run once before

Mike Gallagher, a Green Bay Republican on the rise in Congress

Bryan Steil, a Janesville Republican also gaining stature in Congress

Tom Tiffany, a second-term congressman from the North Woods

Kevin Nicholson, who has run for both Senate and governor

Sean Duffy and Rachel Campos-Duffy, two Fox News personalities who maintain Wisconsin ties

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

As local economies grapple with a tightening labor market, some state legislatures are looking to relax child labor protections to help employers meet hiring needs.

It’s part of a persistent trend in labor economics, experts say. When employers struggle to find talent, many prefer to hire younger, cheaper workers rather than increase pay and benefits to attract adults.

“Because of the high demand for workers, where there are holes in the system, unfortunately child laborers can get caught up in staffing some of those holes,” said David Weil, a professor of social policy and management at Brandeis University, and a former wage and hour administrator at the Department of Labor.

Legislators in Iowa and Minnesota introduced bills in January to loosen child labor law regulations around age and workplace safety protections in some of the country’s most dangerous workplaces. Minnesota’s bill would permit 16- and 17-year-olds to work construction jobs. The Iowa measure would allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work certain jobs in meatpacking plants.

Critics say the (Iowa) proposal is dangerous and would subject child workers to hazardous environments.

Proponents of the Iowa bill argue that lowering the age limit fills a need.

Wisconsin’s state legislature lifted restrictions on work hours during the school year, but Gov. Tony Evers (D) vetoed the legislation.

To protect underage workers from dangerous environments and prioritize schooling, federal law limits the types of jobs children can perform, and how many hours they can work each week.

States can impose additional requirements, and in the past have taken aim at particularly hazardous workplaces.

Some jobs that children perform — babysitting, waiting restaurant tables, scooping ice cream — can be good for them, said University at Albany professor Shawn Bushway. Those kinds of jobs can teach responsibility, professionalism and financial literacy, said Bushway, who studies the effect of work on young people.

But other, more trade-oriented jobs, such as agricultural work, landscaping and construction, could be more pernicious, said Debbie Berkowitz, a fellow at Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor.

They’re less likely to employ middle- or upper-class children who take jobs for workplace experience or pocket change.

—Washington Post

The National Archives on Friday apologized for telling visitors that they must cover up or remove their pro-life attire while being in the chamber where the original copy of the Bill Of Rights is on display.

“As the home to the original Constitution and Bill of Rights, which enshrine the rights of free speech and religion, we sincerely apologize for this occurrence,” said the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which maintains the National Archives Museum in Washington.

The apology comes after conservative law group American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), on behalf of four March for Life participants from three states, sued NARA for First Amendment violations. According to the complaint (pdf), each of them “separately and uniquely decided to visit the National Archives to view our nation’s founding documents” on the morning of Jan. 20 while wearing various clothing with pro-life messages.

After entering the museum, however, the pro-life visitors were approached by security guards who took issue with their pro-life apparel.

Wendilee Lassiter, a law student at evangelical Christian Liberty University in Virginia, was wearing a black sweatshirt that read: “I am the post-Roe Generation: Law Students for Life” when she visited the National Archives Museum with a group of fellow students. Two security guards approached her, saying that she was “disturbing the peace” because her sweatshirt “will incite others” and “cause a disturbance.”

When Lassiter asked, “I can’t come in here unless I take my sweatshirt off?” One security guard replied by stating: “No, you can’t.” She ended up removing her sweatshirt for fear that she would be thrown out of the museum if she did not comply. Her fellow students also complied with the order.

The law student also alleged that she saw that morning at least two other visitors “freely walking around” while wearing what appeared to be pro-abortion apparel, with statements to the effect of “My Body, My Choice,” and “Pro-Choice.”

Another visitor, identified in the lawsuit as L.R., is a Catholic high school student from Michigan. A security guard “specifically instructed” L.R. that she “could not be wearing anything pro-life” and that she must cover her shirt reading “Life is a HUMAN RIGHT” until she left the chamber. She was also told to take a “Pro-Love is the New Pro-Life” button off her bag.

“L.R. immediately believed her constitutional rights were being violated by the very government officials tasked with protecting them,” the complaint stated.

In response to the lawsuit, NARA emphasized that its policy “expressly allows all visitors to wear t-shirts, hats, buttons, etc. that display protest language, including religious and political speech.”

“We are actively investigating to determine what happened,” the federal agency said. “Early indications are that our security officers quickly corrected their actions and, from that point forward, all visitors were permitted to enter our facility without needing to remove or cover their attire. We have reminded all of our security officers at our facilities across the country of the rights of visitors in this regard.”

—The Epoch Times

Despite the claims the President made during his delusional State of the Union address (last) week, crime rates have not been significantly dropping yet. This is particularly true in California’s major cities, including Los Angeles. In fact, robberies are so common there that one restaurant owner this week decided that she would stop accepting cash payments, only allowing customers to use credit or debit cards instead. She wants to “remove the bait for the burglars” and keep her employees safe from armed robberies. (CBS News)

A Sherman Oaks restaurant owner decided to stop accepting cash from customers as thieves target her restaurant for cash smash-and-grabs.

Brianna Valdez, the owner of HomeState, says she doesn’t want to dissuade customers who don’t have plastic or virtual wallets from dining at her restaurant, but feels removing the bait is the only way to keep her staff safe.

“Its important for us to remain part of the community, that serves the whole community. And today we made a really difficult decision,” said Valdez. “(We want to) rebuild that confidence for the team today to make that decision, is to remove the bait for the burglers.”

The Homestate Restaurant in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles only opened last July. In the barely six months since it went into operation, the restaurant has been robbed seven times. Thieves have shown up with sledgehammers, smashing through the glass doors and attempting to crack open the business’ safe. Brianna Valdez has simply had enough.

Her decision immediately stirred up some controversy among community activists, of course. By refusing to accept cash payments, she is effectively cutting off people who either don’t qualify for a credit card or who choose not to use one. This disproportionately affects lower-income families, a fact that Valdez is aware of.

But if people in the community want to raise complaints over this, they should take them to the Mayor or the Governor. Homestate wouldn’t be forced to make a decision like this if the crime rates weren’t so high. Every time they are robbed, the owner’s insurance rates go up. And restaurants already operate on very thin margins to begin with so they can remain competitive.

Homestate was basically facing a choice between ending cash transactions or shutting down. The same decision has faced many other businesses as well. Multiple Walgreens pharmacies in California have simply shut down because they were being robbed so often. Fast food outlets have been shuttering some of their operations in the Golden State for the same reason.

If people want these businesses to remain in business and provide goods and services to the community, there is a solution available. But it doesn’t involve protesting outside of a restaurant. Put a lot more police back on the streets and stop releasing criminals as soon as they are booked. The other criminals will get the message quickly enough if there are once again significant consequences for their actions. Alternatively, California can keep following the same woke policies they’ve been adopting and simply wait until nobody is willing to open a business in the state. Let us know how that works out for you.

—Hot Air

Based on his State of the Union address, Joe Biden must be living in a different reality than the Americans he claims to represent. Here’s the truth: This country is hurting, and it’s because Biden has been an abject failure as president. No amount of spin can conceal the facts.

Under Biden’s failed leadership, Americans are poorer and less safe. Our southern border is wide open, and deadly drugs are pouring into our communities. Our children are still suffering the devastating effects of Democrat-led school lockdowns.

All of these crises have erupted on Biden’s watch, but he has no interest in fixing them. Instead, he used his time in the People’s House to lie to the American people.

Biden tried to paint a rosy picture of the economy, but Americans from coast-to-coast see right through his dishonesty. According to a new ABC News poll, a record number of people say they are financially worse off under Biden. And according to a recent CBS News poll, 76% of Americans are concerned about inflation, and 61% of Americans rate the economy as “bad.”

It’s important to remember that liberal economists, some of whom worked in the Obama White House, point to Biden’s $1.9 trillion in reckless spending as a key cause of the inflation we’ve experienced over the past two years.

The numbers don’t lie: Since Biden took office, real wages, incomes and savings are all down across the board. Americans have lost $9,300 on average paying for the increased cost of living since Biden took office. Biden’s economy is leaving folks behind, and no canned applause line can ease the pain that families are feeling on a daily basis.

Biden briefly mentioned the southern border but conveniently left out (from the SOTU) that we don’t really have one under his failed leadership. Since Biden took office and threw the border wide open, nearly six million illegal immigrants have crossed into America.

This chaos creates ideal conditions for cartels to profit, and they’re doing so by pouring deadly fentanyl — more than enough to kill the entire population of our country in 2022 alone — into our communities. Every state is a border state when you don’t have a border.

There’s no question it makes us less safe, but it’s even bigger than that. A self-respecting nation enforces basic border security. Biden’s refusal to do so — and his refusal to support our beleaguered Border Patrol agents — shows that he cares more about appeasing the far-left than he does about our nation’s safety and integrity.

This was Biden’s entire strategy Tuesday night: When it comes to crises that have occurred on his watch, he either ignored them completely or misrepresented the situation. He mentioned COVID-19, but failed to mention that our kids are suffering devastating long-term effects from Democrat-led school lockdowns that his administration worked with far-left teachers unions to uphold.

He mentioned gas prices but failed to mention that gas has been more expensive every day under his leadership than it was before he took office. He mentioned China but refused to explain why he let their surveillance balloon cross most of our country without lifting a finger — and has still taken no meaningful action to hold the communist regime accountable for unleashing COVID-19 on the world.

It’s hard to describe how insulting it is for a president to brag about incremental changes in inflation and gas prices after destroying our energy independence and putting families through the ringer just to make ends meet.

It’s even harder to understand why Biden’s response to two years of drained savings accounts is to propose billions in new taxes. This president does not respect the American people enough to apologize for his failures and doesn’t think they’re smart enough to see through his cheap political spin. He will receive a jarring wake-up call in 2024.

Where Biden and Democrats offer failed policies, cynical spin and outright dishonesty, Republicans are offering a strong economy, safe communities and a generation of children protected from cultural indoctrination and far-left tyranny.

We are the party of freedom, prosperity, security and the American dream. That spirit came through in every word of our responses to Biden’s failed speech. It’s why we won the House in 2022, it’s why we’ll win the Senate in 2024, and it’s why Joe Biden will be a one-term president.

— Ronna McDaniel, Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, writing on FOX News

Are you anti-mask?” “Are you anti-vax?” “Are you anti-science?”

Employees of Levi Strauss & Co repeatedly pummeled me with these questions during 2020-2022, when I was the company’s brand president. Why? I advocated in defense of children: against the masking of toddlers, against closed playgrounds and youth sports, for open public schools.

I’m not exactly sure what an anti-science person is. But that’s not me. I’m pro-science. And that’s why I’m anti-mask.

Given the findings from the recent Cochrane study, a meta-analysis summarizing seventy-eight studies including a million people, the science is now clear: “Face coverings make little to no difference” in Covid infection and fatality rates. Even when the hallowed N95 is worn.

The analysis acknowledges that “adherence” to mask-wearing was low in many studies. Harms were poorly measured and reported, but discomfort wearing medical/surgical masks or N95 respirators was mentioned in several studies.

If an intervention does not work in the real world, it doesn’t work, even if models and lab tests on mannequins say it does. Think of it this way: if a cancer drug shrinks tumors, but the side effects are so grave that no one will take it, it doesn’t work. Likewise, whatever masks may or may not do to protect inanimate mannequins in a lab, if real people in the real world don’t wear them “correctly” because they interfere with everyday interactions, they don’t work. Period.

The left is holding fast to the idea that masks do work, despite all the evidence to the contrary. In fact, as of February 6, mask mandates have been reinstated at four elementary schools in Marin County, California.

And, on February 8, CDC director Rochelle Walensky explained to Congress why no random controlled trials (RCTs — the gold standard of scientific inquiry and evidence) were conducted to determine if masks prevent Covid:

Walensky’s view: we didn’t conduct any scientific inquiries because it was obvious that masks work.

The best science we have says that masks and mask mandates do not work. Nevertheless, public health officials continue to push this unscientific requirement. Most disturbingly, these true believers continue to push these “interventions” on very young children, those most at risk of harm from this policy.

Will there be redemption for those who had the audacity to challenge authoritarian public health bureaucrats? No, it seems. Will there be a change in policy now that the science is clear? Again, no, it seems.

At Levi’s, I was forced to answer the “anti-mask, anti-vax, anti-science” questions directly in a virtual town-hall-style “apology tour” in the spring of 2021. In preparation for the session, I was told by a colleague that I needed to demonstrate to employees that I was “one of us” rather than “one of them.”

As one of “them” I was smeared as a racist, fat-phobic, unemployable villain, and was ultimately ousted from my job. After being told that there was no longer a place for me at Levi’s in January 2022, I publicly resigned. Since then, the company has justified their action by claiming that I undermined the safety of employees because I dared to challenge public health officials by asking: “Does masking young children do more harm than good?”

I was billed as a public health threat and Democratic Party (“us”) infidel because I had the audacity to ask about the efficacy and possible adverse impacts of a universal masking policy for toddlers in pre-school, many of whom are just learning to talk.

Can young children even mask correctly when they still wear diapers and can’t even put on their own shoes? It is, and always was, a fair question, one rooted in both common sense and science.

What seems clear is that the enthusiastic, religious devotion to the dogma — “masks work” — signified adherence to a set of beliefs: I mask therefore I am good. I mask my children therefore I am loyal to the Democratic Party and public health diktats. I mask therefore I care. I am a loyal follower of “the Science.” My faith is unwavering.

Those who claim to be on the side of “the Science” will continue to push unscientific policies in order to prove that they were right all along. Don’t admit mistakes. Ignore the actual science in favor of “the Science.” And continue to punish those who challenge. As well as those most vulnerable who simply aren’t in a position to challenge at all.

“Science” has apparently been rebranded by the left. It is now a slogan — a tagline — shouted at heretics to signify one’s moral superiority and loyalty to the party. What we have now is “science” that ignores the scientific method, which means “the science” is a cult. And a dangerous one at that.

— Jennifer Sey, The Spectator

McDonald’s says it will remove a sign advertising its “McCrispy” sandwich that’s located next to a crematorium in the United Kingdom, according to a report.

The sign, advertising McDonald’s “McCrispy” sandwich was placed next to publicly-owned Penmount Crematorium in Cornwall, England, according to Cornwall Live.

“New McCrispy,” the sign reads. “A new favorite, here to stay.”

Some people told the outlet they found the sign’s placement hilarious, while others didn’t feel the same way.

“Anyone who doesn’t find this funny are the same people that were taken into consideration when the Penmount Hotel in Newquay became Penberthy Care Home. It was thought some wouldn’t see the funny side of a building full of older folk sharing the same name as the corporation body furnace,” one person said.

Another woman, whose mother-in-law was cremated at the Penmount Crematorium last year, called the sign “tasteless.”

“Although I can see the funny side, it is tasteless and I’m sure some grieving family members won’t like to see it when visiting Penmount for the funeral and cremation of a loved one.”

“I think how funny it is will probably depend on how long ago you followed the crematorium sign wearing a black tie,” another person said.

McDonald’s told the outlet in a statement that it will be removing the advertisement.

“We were unaware of the road sign in the vicinity of this bus stop. However, in light of the concerns raised by CornwallLive, we have asked for our advertisement to be removed,” a McDonald’s spokesperson said.

—FOX News

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 2000, the last Peanuts comic strip was published in newspapers, just hours after the death of creator Charles Schulz.

May be an image of 4 people and people playing football

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