Sons of Confederate Vets Cop To 'Defund NASCAR' Banner ... Anybody Shocked?!?

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If you had 3 guesses to figure out who was behind the "Defund NASCAR" banner over the weekend ... what would you do with the other 2 guesses??

The lieutenant commander-in-chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans -- yes, that's a thing -- is taking full responsibility for the Confederate flag that flew over Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.

"During and before the start of the NASCAR race in Talladega, Alabama, race, our plane flew a banner announcing a drive to 'defund NASCAR,'" Paul C. Gramling, Jr. told the Columbia Daily Herald.

The head of the SOCV says the group strongly believes NASCAR's new Confederate flag ban is simply unconstitutional ... and they're clearly very bothered by it.

"NASCAR's banning the display of the Confederate battle flag by its fans is nothing less than trampling upon Southerners' First Amendment Right of free expression,"

"This un-American act shall not go unchallenged."

May we add ... boohoo, crybabies?

Despite the backlash, NASCAR isn't budging on its ban -- which has been widely applauded by pro racers and athletes from all sports, including LeBron James.

Bubba Wallace had been leading the charge to remove Confederate flags from NASCAR -- saying it made Black people feel uncomfortable at races because of the connection with slavery.

"No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race," Wallace said.

"So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them."

NASCAR agreed. Another L for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Panic! At The Disco's Brendon Urie Tells President Trump ... 'F*** You' and Stop Playing My Music!!!

Breaking News

Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie is not having it after one of his songs was played at President Trump's rallies ... and he's telling the campaign to kick rocks.

Brendon went off on the Prez and his campaign after one of his most famous tracks -- the 2018 hit "High Hopes" -- was used at Trump's campaign rally Tuesday in Phoenix. Brendon quickly took to Twitter to unleash on the campaign before lashing out at Trump personally ... labeling him a "monster" who "represents nothing we stand for."

In a follow-up tweet ... Brendon added a link to the nonpartisan org HeadCount, which uses "the power of music to register voters and promote participation in democracy." The org's mission is to reach young people and music fans and inform them and empower them.

The song was also famously used by Mayor Pete Buttigieg during his run for president. BTW, this isn't the first time Brendon's spoken out against Trump. Back in 2018, Brendon didn't mince words when he told a British magazine Trump is "a f***ing asshole" who is "encroaching on people's rights."

Brendon's just the latest artist to tell Trump's campaign to stop playing their music. Most recently, Tom Petty's family members asked the campaign to stop playing "I Won't Back Down" after it was played at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The family released a statement, saying, "Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind." The statement went on to say, "Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together."

Walmart All Lives Matter T-Shirt Sparks Outrage ... Calls to Yank All Anti-BLM Items

2:05 PM PT -- It appears Walmart has removed the link for the shirt.

Walmart's under fire for selling All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter gear on its websites ... but the company says a third party seller's to blame, and it's looking into it.

The outrage began to spread Tuesday on social media, when people noticed the Walmart Canada site was featuring a black, All Lives Matter t-shirt and some other Lives Matter slogan gear along with its Black Lives Matter items.

Walmart Canada responded to the criticism by saying, "This item is sold and shipped by a third party seller. We've forwarded your comments to the appropriate department to look into further. Thank you for bringing this to our attention."

Of course, this didn't stop customers from firing their own complaints, saying the availability of these items goes against the Black Lives Matter movement and the items are dogwhistles to those who really don't want to end racism and police brutality.

The company later added in a statement, "We stand against any form of racism or discrimination. We promote listening, seeking to understand and embracing individual differences." It says it's reviewing its third-party marketplace items to make sure they comply with its terms and conditions.

Several All Lives Matter t-shirts are also available on Walmart's U.S. site, being sold by a company called Old Glory.

Another third-party company called Trendy USA sells counterpoint "All Lives Matter?" tees, with the tagline ... "If All Lives Really Mattered To You, We Wouldn't Be Protesting. BlackLivesMatter."

Kodak Black To Walmart Stop Selling Knockoff Chains ... Or I'll Sue!!!

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Kodak Black is pissed at Walmart -- claiming the megastore is letting someone sell a knockoff version of one of his famous chains, and he's threatening a lawsuit if it doesn't stop -- but the retail giant is putting the blame on third-party sellers.

Here's the deal ... Walmart is getting dragged online because its website features a cheap chain that looks nearly identical to the Sniper Gang bling Kodak usually rocks.

Kodak’s attorney, Bradford Cohen, tells TMZ ... "We have been aware of the situation and have prepared a cease and desist letter to Walmart and the seller on the Walmart website."

The rapper's legal team adds ... "If Walmart refuses to recognize that the seller is not a licensed authorized dealer of Sniper Gang products, we will be proceeding with a lawsuit against both Walmart and the unauthorized seller."

Kodak is currently serving a 46-month prison sentence for gun possession.

Kodak's protege, Jackboy, has also called out Walmart for selling the Sniper Gang chains ... and he too is threatening legal action.

It appears the company has gotten wind of Kodak's anger, they tell us they're taking steps to remove the knockoffs and the chains are strictly from a third-party seller.

Sniper Gang isn't the only rap label pissed off at Walmart... Lil Baby has also claimed the retail giant is selling a knockoff version of his 4 Pockets Full chain for the always low price of $24.99.

Spanish Baroque Painting Amateur Botches Restoration ... Not So Immaculate!!!

It's more like the not-so-Immaculate Conception now -- a botched restoration of a famous Baroque painting has left the artwork unrecognizable, and its private collector stunned.

Here's the deal ... a private art collector in Spain shelled out $1,355 to get a famous painting of the Immaculate Conception -- by Baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo -- cleaned up by a furniture restorer. Unfortunately, the job was a total botch!!!

The amateur restorer made 2 attempts to fix the art, according to Spain's Europa Press, but as you can see ... it only got worse and worse. We shoulda put a graphic warning on this image for art fans.

The artistic disaster is drawing comparisons to other recent restoration attempts in Spain, where there are no laws governing who is allowed to restore artwork, no matter their skill, or lack thereof.

For example, take this botched 2012 restoration of a prized fresco painting of Jesus Christ by an elderly parishioner of a church near Zaragoza ... she tried to paint over it and now it's infamously known as, "Monkey Christ."

And, just last year, a 16th-Century statue of St. George, which stood at a church in Navarre, drew headlines after an alleged restoration some say looks like a Playmobile figure.

Spain's Professional Association of Restorers and Conservators (ACRE) ripped the country's government in a statement, condemning a lack of restoration regulation and calling the Immaculate Conception incident not a restoration, but a "vandalism."

ACRE says ... "We should be alarmed by the fact that part of our heritage is disappearing due to these disastrous interventions."

To that we say ... Si, si, si!!!

Off-Duty LAPD Officer I Didn't Order the Tamponccino ... Investigation Into Starbucks Order

A cop enjoying his Starbucks Frappuccino says he got a nasty surprise halfway through, when he discovered a tampon floating around in his drink ... and there's now an official police investigation.

An off-duty LAPD officer purchased his Frapp Friday at a Starbucks inside a Target in Diamond Bar, CA. He used his police credit union debit card to buy the drink, and says he found the feminine hygiene product inside ... before marching back into the store to confront the staff.

We've confirmed the L.A. County Sheriff's Department took a report and is now investigating it as a possible food tampering incident. Deputies are pulling surveillance footage.

The L.A. Police Protective League is calling the incident a "disgusting assault on a police officer" and says it was "carried out by someone with hatred in their heart and who lacks human decency." They want whoever may be responsible exposed and fired. Fox 11 L.A. was the first to report this story.

Crazy Video Swimmer Catches Shark with Bare Hands ... Anything for the 'Gram, Eh???

HUNTIN' THE HUNTER
Fox 5 DC

A swimmer in Delaware clearly thinks Chuck Norris has got nothin' on him, because he tried subduing a shark with his bare hands ... apparently all for what could have easily been a fatal photo op.

The scene unfolded over the weekend at Henlopen State Park Beach. You see the swimmer dragging the shark in shallow water, and then, as people on the shore stand in shock, the swimmer opens the foreboding mouth of the shark. It's pretty clear ... the mouth trick was for the cameras.

Unclear what the swimmer did with the shark, but in Delaware fishermen/women are required to return them to the waters.

Either way ... aside from being dangerous, it's not a great idea to play with these creatures and scare them for the sake of Instagram.

Oh, in case you didn't get the Chuck Norris reference ... well, enjoy.

'Wighte Lives Matter' Spray Painter Needs Spelling and Civics Lesson

WIGHTE OR WRONG
@skyhigh.smg

"WIGHTE LIVES MATTER."

That's the all-important message one spray painter is sending in this crazy footage from a TikTok user, which was shot Sunday in Sunbury, PA and is now going viral.

The person behind the massive sign could use some grammar and spelling lessons, because they're not even close to spelling out what we can only assume is their intended message -- White Lives Matter.

Usually, folks who are still confused about the meaning behind the Black Lives Matter movement resort to stating, "All Lives Matter," but this person is coming in hot with their own slogan, which is either an epic troll job or just a hilarious misspelling.

Ya gotta wonder ... did the spray painter do this on purpose?!? If they didn't, when did they realize "white" was badly misspelled?!? Have they realized yet it's spelled wrong?!?

Pro tip for those thinking about grabbing some spray paint bottles ... write down what you want to spray with a pad and pen BEFORE going to town. Spray paint doesn't come with erasers.

Bottom line ... spelling matters. Stay in school, kids.

NYPD 'Poisoned' Milkshakes Cop Brass Behind Conspiracy Theory ... Reportedly Made It Up

NYPD brass reportedly cooked up a story about officers getting poisoned at Shake Shack  ... because the trio of cops who complained about a funny taste in their milkshakes never even got sick.

The cops in the middle of the "poisoned" milkshake conspiracy were not targeted by rogue, police-hating Shake Shack workers as the NYC Detectives' Endowment Association would have you believe.

According to the NY Post ... the 3 officers from the Bronx were on protest duty in Lower Manhattan when they ordered the shakes. Mind you, the cops used a MOBILE APP to order the drinks, which were packaged and awaiting pickup -- so employees wouldn't even have known the shakes were for cops.

The worst thing that happened to the cops was reportedly a bad taste in their mouths after gorging on the shakes. So, they tossed 'em and alerted a Shake Shack manager, who said sorry and made good with vouchers for free food and drink, which the officers accepted.

Would you accept free food and drink from a burger joint you thought "poisoned" your order on purpose?!? Didn't think so.

According to the report, things got hairy when the cops told their sergeant about the shakes, and the sergeant sent the Emergency Service Unit to set up a crime scene at Shake Shake for an evidence search, some 2 hours after the cops' first sip.

Meanwhile, the cops were rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where they were reportedly examined and sent on their merry way without ever showing the slightest of symptoms.

At the same time, a lieutenant from the Bronx fired off an email to the police unions falsely claiming 6 officers "started throwing up after drinking beverages they got from shake shack on 200 Broadway."

Detectives were put on the case, but it was apparently pretty easy to solve after reviewing surveillance footage and interviewing 5 employees. The report says video showed the shakes were normally made. No poison or funny business.

The reason for the bad taste seems to have been from a commonly used cleaning solution that wasn't thoroughly rinsed off the milkshake machine.

But, for some reason, the mounting evidence of a big nothing-burger didn't stop the NYC Detectives' Endowment Association from declaring cops were "intentionally poisoned by one or more workers at the Shake Shack" and fell "ill."

And, the evidence, or lack thereof, didn't stop Police Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch from making a show of visiting the cops in the hospital at the same time his union claimed police were "under attack" from a "toxic substance, believed to be bleach."

The since-deleted social media messages initially spread like wildfire, causing the burger joint to trend overnight and birthing the #BoycottShakeShack hashtag, which is still being tweeted by accounts.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison finally tweeted 8 hours after the alleged incident there was "no criminality" and it was all much ado about nothing. Literally nothing. Zip. Nada.

With egg on their face, the police unions eventually deleted their tweets and put out statements walking back their claims.

The city council has since demanded a probe into alleged "inflammatory" behavior by the police unions, and the NYPD says its still reviewing the incident.

Baton Rouge School Board Call for Connie's Resignation ... Gary Chambers Doubles Down

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THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT US
TMZ.com

Baton Rouge School Board member Connie Bernard's lost the confidence of her colleagues after she was called out for ignoring an intense discussion about race -- and that's A-OK with the guy who dragged her in the first place.

Activist Gary Chambers Jr. came on ''TMZ Live'' Monday to talk about his verbal ass-whooping of Connie last week. The viral video ended with Connie storming out of the public meeting after Gary went in on her.

TRY THIS ON FOR SIZE, LADY
@GaryChambers/Twitter

ICYMI ... Connie was dragged over the coals Thursday by Gary who called her out for apparently shopping online while members of the public passionately shared why they wanted to remove Robert E. Lee's name from a local high school. Connie had already condescendingly spoken out against the name change.

Welp, Gary tells us why Connie's just a microcosm of what's wrong with government at large in this country -- specifically, elected officials simply not listening to the plight of people they rep. He also had an update on the renaming debate itself ... it's good news.

In the wake of Connie's snafu, the Baton Rouge School Board at large is now calling for her resignation. Member Tramelle D. Howard -- who reps District 3 in BR -- tells TMZ ... "Myself and other members are asking for the immediate resignation of our colleague this week."

Now, bear in mind ... despite the fact her own Board members are asking her to scram, Connie doesn't technically have to quit. According to their own rules, she either has to be kicked out via a petition from her own constituents ... or resign on her own.

BTW, this isn't the first time Connie's been asked to step down over embarrassing public actions. About a year ago, she was captured on camera putting her hands on a young person's neck after walking over and demanding he and his buddies stop partying.

She got charged in that matter and is currently fighting it in court.

Ja Rule I'm Real ...ly Doing Private Parties!!! Fitty Goes to Clown Town

LIVIN' IT UP
@queenjac_ / Instagram

Ja Rule has made his services widely available to the general public -- the dude's offering up private party bookings now ... something his old foe, 50 Cent, finds awfully hilarious.

The rapper made an appearance this weekend at a private house party in New Jersey, where it looks like he was hired by a bunch of hotties to perform a few hit songs and hang out for a bit. One classic jam of his that he got around to playing ... "I'm Real," featuring J Lo.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Everyone was having a good ol' time, and Ja certainly had no shame in announcing that, yes, people CAN book him for gigs like this now. He's partnered up with ICONN, and there's an official way you can go about getting Ja to come to your shindig ... for a pretty penny.

Sounds neat, but of course ... there's always haters lurking in the back ready to pounce. In this case, Ja's nemesis, Fitty, came with a bag of jokes ready to fly at JR's expense.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

He took to IG and wrote, "if you don’t want to end up doing private birthday parties for 15 people. 🤷🏽‍♂️stay out of my way, OK." Some folks credit 50 with stunting Ja's career -- at least that's how 50 sees it -- and he rides that narrative to no end ... constantly clowning the guy.

We'll say this -- it ain't 2003 anymore, for either of these fellas. Now, play nice!!!

The Walmart 'Rona Shopper Old Dude Shoves His Way Past Employee ... LET ME IN, DAMMIT!!!

Florida Man is back with a vengeance -- this time, he's fighting his way into a Walmart, which has a mandatory face mask policy ... but FM NEEDS his discounts, 'rona be damned.

This wild scene went down Saturday in Orlando, and it starts off right in the thick of the action. An elderly man tries storming his way into a Walmart without a face covering -- but gets stopped by an employee at the front door. That wasn't gonna stop gramps here though.

He immediately got physical and started pushing his way through -- even shoving the masked employee out of his way ... to some success, at first. The guy did get by him -- after taking a tumble during the struggle -- and then started heading for some aisles. But, this Walmart employee (of the year?) caught up to him and held his ground ... give him a raise!

On the second go, he had backup with him -- just a regular Joe, it seems -- who chimed in and told the guy to get the hell out. He also noted the dude was getting his germs all over the place by making such a big fuss -- meanwhile, almost everyone else had coverage.

It seems the two-man press was enough for the old-timer to call it quits and scram, empty-handed at that. Guess he'll have to wait to get his weekly batch of $5 DVDs ... too bad.

Anyway, the whole time you can hear the cameraman laughing it up -- and while we'll admit it's pretty funny watching this absurdity unfold ... it's also pretty jarring and surreal.

People just do not wanna play by the rules, even if the public's health is at stake.

Tom Petty's Family Outraged Trump used 'I Won't Back Down' ... At Tulsa Rally

Donald Trump's being accused of being petty again ... and this time it's got Petty written all over it.

Tom Petty's family is outraged the Trump campaign dared to use the song, "I Won't Back Down," Saturday night at his Tulsa rally.

Tom's widow, Dana, and other family members said the song is about all of us and it should not be played "to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense left behind”

The family said ...“Tom wrote this song for the underdog, for the common man and for everyone ... We want to make it clear that we believe everyone is free to vote as they like, think as they like, but the Petty family doesn’t stand for this. We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideals of either.

And, the family added this ... "We would hate for fans that are marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage. Concurrently, we have issued a cease and desist notice to the Trump campaign.”

So, the family has fired off a cease and desist letter to the campaign.

The Petty family is not alone. Among the singers who have railed against Trump for using their music ... Elton John, Prince, Aerosmith, REM, Adele, the Rolling Stones, Guns N Roses, Rihanna, Neil Young, Pharrell, Queen and Earth Wind and Fire have also denounced the president’s use of their music.

Trump expected 100,000 people to show up for the rally. Turnout was not even close ... the venue seats 19,000 and it was only 2/3 full.

Emile Hirsch 'Into The Wild' Bus' Next Stop ... How About My Backyard?!?

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THE NEXT BUS STOP
TMZ.com

Emile Hirsch is hoping the abandoned bus made famous by his 2007 film, "Into The Wild," lands in a safer location than the Alaskan wilderness ... and he's got the perfect spot.

Emile played the main character, Chris McCandless, and tells TMZ ... if it were up to him, he would put the bus in an area for people to visit without fear of getting lost in the wild or losing their lives in a raging river ... somewhere like, say, Emile's backyard!!!

As we reported ... the abandoned bus from the film -- based on a true story -- was a major, and sometimes deadly, tourist attraction in a remote area of Alaska's Denali National Park. On Thursday, the National Guard airlifted the bus from its location in the interest of public safety.

While Emile says the symbolism around the bus made a huge impact on fans around the world, he knows it presented some dangerous problems for people making the backcountry pilgrimage. Five Italian tourists had to be rescued earlier this year, and a woman died last year hiking to the bus, which spurred local officials to call for its relocation.

Emile says the cautionary tales were tragic to see, and he hopes the bus ends up somewhere safer ... as long it's not broken down and sold for scrap parts. For now, it's being held in a secure location until authorities find a new home for it.

Watch the video, Emile seems pretty serious about the bus and his yard -- although, he admits it could cause some trouble ... and hangovers.

Tulsa Trump Rally Newborn Baby Brought Out ... Unmasked, Big Crowd

An apparent newborn baby got dragged out to the crockpot of potential disease festering in Tulsa -- and like mother, the kid too is unmasked ... and surrounded by hordes of bodies.

This screenshot is from a video that was filmed and posted on social media Saturday outside of the BOK Center in downtown, where Trump is hosting a rally -- the first one he's held in months since the start of the pandemic, and which promises to be packed.

The person who posted this was documenting her day ahead of the actual rally later this evening, and one of the last posts on her IG story shows this woman with what looks like a recently born child. The woman who posted says 3 weeks old -- tagging it #BabiesForTrump.

It looks like she had a convo with the mother -- in her original story, the woman comes over and seems to mouth some words to her.

Needless to say, it's sad that the kid was brought out there ... as he/she has no say in the matter. Of course, newborns are susceptible to falling ill from COVID-19, as their immune systems are not fully formed.

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