LBN – Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

*Once a Long Shot, Democrat Doug Jones Wins Alabama Senate Race:

Doug Jones, a Democratic former prosecutor who mounted a seemingly quixotic Senate campaign in the face of Republican dominance here, defeated his scandal-scarred opponent, Roy S. Moore, after a brutal campaign marked by accusations of sexual abuse and child molestation against the Republican. The upset delivered an unimagined victory for Democrats and shaved Republicans’ unstable Senate majority to a single seat. Mr. Jones’s victory could have significant consequences on the national level, snarling Republicans’ legislative agenda in Washington and opening, for the first time, a realistic but still difficult path for Democrats to capture the Senate next year. It amounted to a stinging snub of President Trump, who broke with much of his party and fully embraced Mr. Moore’s candidacy, seeking to rally support for him in the closing days of the campaign. Amid thunderous applause from his supporters at a downtown hotel, Mr. Jones held up his victory as a message to Washington from voters fed up with political warfare. For once, he said, Alabama had declined to take “the wrong fork” at a political crossroads.

*Tillerson: U.S. Ready to Talk to North Korea

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has offered to begin engaging in direct talks with North Korea—without pre-conditions. “Let’s just meet,” Tillerson said in a speech on Tuesday. The new position backs away from what has long been a demand from the U.S.—that Pyongyang must understand that giving up its nuclear arsenal would be a large part of negotiations. It was not clear on Wednesday whether the White House had given approval for Tillerson’s speech. “The president’s views on North Korea have not changed,” the White House said. “North Korea is acting in an unsafe way… North Korea’s actions are not good for anyone and certainly not good for North Korea.”

*BYE – White House Announces Omarosa’s Resignation

Omarosa Manigault Newman plans to leave the White House next month, according to press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The former Apprentice star works in the Office of Public Liaison and will resign effective Jan. 20, one year to the day after President Trump was inaugurated.

*Trump: I Was Right About Roy Moore

In a much-anticipated tweet early Wednesday morning following the Alabama election, President Trump wrote, “The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election. I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!” Democrat Doug Jones ultimately pulled off a hard-fought victory on Tuesday night in Alabama’s U.S. Senate election, stunning the nation with the unexpected results. Moore faced numerous sexual-misconduct allegations during the course of his campaign, including from women who were underage when they were reportedly targeted.

*TRACED – Los Angeles Wildfire Blamed on ‘Illegal Cooking’ in Homeless Camp

A wildfire in the ritzy Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles that destroyed six homes and damaged a dozen more last week was sparked by “illegal cooking” in a homeless camp, authorities said Tuesday. The Skirball Fire, one of at least five to erupt in Southern California last week, was traced back to an encampment underneath an overpass in a brush area. “It does appear as if people were sleeping and cooking in that area. The fire department was not aware of this encampment prior to the fire,” Capt. Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department told reporters. The fire, which also prompted the evacuation of 700 homes in Bel-Air, was 85 percent contained as of Tuesday. A larger fire northwest of Los Angeles, the Thomas Fire, continued to rage Tuesday, with authorities extending a red-flag warning for the fourth time since the blaze erupted last Monday. The fire, which has scorched at least three counties, was 25 percent contained as of Tuesday, but wind gusts later this week are expected to stoke the flames again.

*RUN TOWARD THE TRUTH – READ LBN:

*Chuck Schumer Targeted With ‘Forged’ Sexual-Harassment Claim

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was reportedly targeted with a forged sexual-harassment claim shopped around to multiple media outlets. The New York Democrat told Axios that his office called Capitol Police over a document claiming to contain scandalous accusations by a former Schumer staffer. “This was an apparent effort to dupe a news organization and smear a senator,” Axios’ Mike Allen wrote. “The former staffer told me in a phone interview that she did not author the document, that none of the charges ring true, and that her signature was forged.” The password-protected PDF document was reportedly sent around to major media outlets and, per Axios, named no lawyer for the plaintiff (a “red flag,” Allen noted) and made several accusations that did not line up with Schumer’s whereabouts at their alleged times. Last month, The Daily Beast reported that Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) was apparently the target of fraudulent sexual-misconduct claims from a fake Twitter account.

*In Texts, F.B.I. Officials in Russia Inquiry Said Clinton ‘Just Has to Win’:

Senior F.B.I. officials who helped investigate Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign last year wrote in text messages that Hillary Clinton “just has to win” and described a potential Trump victory as “terrifying,” according to texts released Tuesday night. A top counterintelligence agent, Peter Strzok, exchanged the messages with Lisa Page, a senior F.B.I. lawyer. Some messages criticized Mrs. Clinton’s team, the Obama administration, Congress and other Democrats. But the two appeared appalled at some of Mr. Trump’s comments during the campaign and feared that he would politicize the F.B.I. For example, after Mr. Trump made an apparent sexual allusion related to the size of his hands, Ms. Page wrote: “This man cannot be president.” In another exchange, Mr. Strzok wrote of a potential Trump presidency, “I’m scared for our organization.” He also referred to Mr. Trump as a “douche.” The messages were turned over to Congress and obtained by The New York Times. Mr. Strzok went on to become one of the top investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. But over the summer, Mr. Mueller removed Mr. Strzok from his team as soon as he became aware of the texts. Their release is certain to fuel suspicion among Republicans that the investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia was politically motivated from the beginning.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Spencer Ackerman: Beleaguered Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged in a closed-door meeting with U.S. diplomats on Tuesday that Russia “interfered in democratic processes here,” something President Trump still describes as “fake news” intended to delegitimize his presidency.  It’s a precarious position for Tillerson to take, even privately. Tillerson’s job is on thin ice, as rumors swirl that he will be swapped out for CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Within the department, Tillerson’s support is wafer-thin, as diplomats have come to see his purpose as hollowing out U.S. diplomacy.  Publicly, Tillerson has been a bit more circumspect about the Kremlin question. In April, Tillerson called the “question of Russian interference” in the election something that was “fairly well-established.” In August, Tillerson told his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, that the election meddling engendered “serious mistrust between our two countries.”  Nor was Tillerson’s acknowledgement about Russian interference in the 2016 election the only departure from Trump’s positions.
*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Nintendo has officially gotten its groove back. After a dismal few years, when it was overshadowed by Microsoft and Sony, the pioneering Japanese video game company has struck gold with its Nintendo Switch, sales figures released Tuesday reveal. Nintendo, the creator of “Super Mario,” sold 10 million units of the hybrid console in its first nine months and seven days in stores.
*Feds Collect Record Taxes Through November; Still Run $201.8B Deficit:

The federal government collected record total tax revenues of $443,715,000,000 in the first two months of fiscal 2018 (Oct. 1, 2017 through the end of November), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement. Despite these record tax revenues, the federal government still ran a deficit of $201,761,000,000 for those same two months. That is because the government spent $645,476,000,000 in October and November.

*DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that people from 26 foreign countries read LBN daily?

*Don’t argue with the Devil – he’s much more intelligent than us, says Pope Francis:

The Devil is more intelligent than mere mortals and should never be argued with, Pope Francis has warned. Satan is not a metaphor or a nebulous concept but a real person armed with dark powers, the Pope said in forthright remarks made during a television interview. “He is evil, he’s not like mist. He’s not a diffuse thing, he is a person. I’m convinced that one must never converse with Satan – if you do that, you’ll be lost,” he told TV2000, a Catholic channel, gesticulating with his hands to emphasize his point. “He’s more intelligent than us, and he’ll turn you upside down, he’ll make your head spin.

*RUSH BEFORE CHRISTMAS:

U.S. President Donald Trump will make a final push on Wednesday to shepherd a Republican tax overhaul across the finish line, hosting congressional negotiators for lunch before a speech in which he will make closing arguments for the legislation. Republican tax writers from the Senate and House of Representatives worked into Tuesday evening to reconcile differences between the separate plans passed by each chamber, as important details, including a final corporate tax rate, remained in flux. Republican leaders are aiming to vote on the sweeping legislation before Christmas. That timetable became more crucial after Tuesday’s upset win by Democra tDoug Jones over Republican Roy Moore in Alabama’s special U.S. Senate election.

*Tillerson Says Embassy in Jerusalem Is at Least Three Years Away:

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said Tuesday that it is unlikely that the American Embassy will be moved to Jerusalem before 2020. “It’s not going to be anything that happens right away,” Mr. Tillerson said, adding, “Probably no earlier than three years out, and that’s pretty ambitious.” President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem last week as the Israeli capital, but he nevertheless signed a national security waiver, which will allow him to delay the movement of the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv for an additional six months. Administration officials have said there are functional and logistical reasons the United States cannot open a new embassy any time in the near future.

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***A shake-up in global coal trading has delivered some oxygen to the struggling American mining industry, driving up exports to energy-hungry countries. But the relief may not last. United States coal sales abroad over the first three quarters of the year surpassed exports for all of 2016, according to government figures. Energy experts project an increase of 46 percent for the full year, adding more than $1 billion to coal companies’ revenues. Those are crucial dollars for an industry trying to stabilize itself after nearly a decade of declining prices, expanding competition from natural gas and wind and solar energy, and bankruptcies. Domestic coal-fired power plants continue to close despite promises of regulatory relief by the Trump administration, making the exports all the more critical
*WHO READS LBN? Three members of Doug Jones’ campaign staff.

*MORE MONEY! MORE MONEY!:

California is moving closer to charging drivers for every mile they drive. The state says it needs more money for road repairs, and the gas tax just isn’t bringing in enough revenue.The state recently road-tested a mileage monitoring plan. The California Road Charge Pilot Program is billed as a way for the state to move from its longstanding pump tax to a system where drivers pay based on their mileage.

*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER: ***The steamy ads featuring a former porn star were apparently the last straw. For months, conservative groups in India have been complaining about condom manufacturers’ risqué ads. One of the most titillating features Sunny Leone, a former actress in X-rated videos, undressing piece by piece. So India’s government stepped in this week, declaring condom commercials “indecent” viewing for children and restricting them to the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., when relatively few people watch television. But progressive social groups said this was a bad move. India, they argue, desperately needs more condom use, not less.
*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Tech mogul Elon Musk — who split from Johnny Depp’s ex, Amber Heard, in August — was spotted at photographer Ellen von Unwerth’s unusual holiday bash at celebrity hot spot No Name in LA and seemed to get plenty of attention. The party was decorated with tinsel, Christmas trees in cages and giant snowmen — and was attended by guests sporting an assortment of wild outfits and even more out-there monikers. Besides the eclectic Dita Von Teese, rapper Brooke Candy, NBA superfan/art collector James GoldsteinLady Victoria Hervey and Sean Penn’s son, Hopper Penn, were folks named Young BeardoBJ Panda BearLos Angela and Kitten Kay Sera.
*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Donald Trump interview 1980 —https://youtu.be/SgAiQISIqoU
*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***When Macon F. Brock Jr. and his partners pitched their idea to open a chain of dollar stores to developers at a shopping mall convention in the mid-1980s, they got a cold reception. “It’s bound to be junk, and we don’t want a junk store cluttering up our shiny new mall,” he was told, according to his autobiography, “One Buck at a Time” (written with Earl Swift and published in February). But over time the stores turned into Dollar Tree, the retailing juggernaut with more than 14,000 outlets in the United States and Canada. Mr. Brock, who was the company’s chief executive from 1993 to 2003 and chairman until September, died on Saturday at his home in Virginia Beach. He was 75.   ***Pat DiNizio, the lead singer and songwriter of the New Jersey rock group the Smithereens, died Tuesday at the age of 62. The Smithereens confirmed DiNizio’s death in a statement. No cause of death was provided, but the singer had experienced numerous health issues and injuries in recent years.
*LBN-SITE OF THE DAY:

Viabox

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*LBN-VIDEO LINK:  “Without Notes” with Susan Estrich – Episode 5: That Was Then, This Is Now. —https://youtu.be/gpq8aT3a5cU
*LBN-COMMENTARY by Thomas L. Friedman: There are so many things I could say right now after watching Doug Jonesdefeat Roy Moore in the Senate race in Alabama, but for me it comes down to just two words: “Thank you.” Thank you to the majority of Alabamians for loving our country more than you hated Democrats. Thank you for voting as citizens, not as members of a tribe. Thank you for understanding that sending a credibly accused child molester to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate would not only have denigrated your state, it would have denigrated that whole legislative body. Thank you for seeing the decency of Doug Jones, even though he is a Democrat, and seeing the indecency of Roy Moore. And most of all, thank you for sending a message to Donald Trump and Stephen Bannon that you are not as dumb as they think you are. That you see what they are up to — trying to use divisive tweets and racist dog whistles to get as many Americans as possible so aroused and inflamed that they won’t think about the real issues, they won’t think about the actual candidates, they won’t think about the national interest, or even their own self-interest, but just how much they dislike “the other” — and you’re not buying it any more. God bless every one of you. Yours was a deeply patriotic act.
*LBN-VIDEO LINK: https://youtu.be/mwdyHcw9tr4
*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by Mark Twain: A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
*LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:….

*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***It’s going to be a fuller house forJohn Stamos: He and fiancée Caitlin McHugh are expecting their first child. “We have the same morals and the same values, that all clicked nicely. So we said, ‘Oh, well, maybe we should have a family,’” Stamos, 54, told People in an interview released Wednesday. Stamos said McHugh suggested they have a child before tying the knot, and it ended up working out beautifully.  ***Lauren Bush Lauren and David Lauren are expecting their second child, and Lauren’s sister, Ashley Bush, is getting married after her filmmaker boyfriend Julian LeFevrepopped the question in Iceland. The Bush sisters — grandchildren to President George H.W. Bush and daughters of President George W. Bush’s brother, Neil Bush — both have exciting news to celebrate over the holidays, their proud mom,Sharon Bush, says.  ***George Clooney gave 14 of his best pals a million bucks in cash in 2013—and even paid the taxes on the gifts, according to one of his friends. Clooney’s largesse was revealed by his best friend, Rande Gerber, in a recent episode of MSNBC’s Headliners. “There’s a group of guys we call ‘The Boys,’” Gerber explained. “George had called me and ‘The Boys’ and said, ‘Hey, mark Sept. 27th, 2013, on your calendar. Everyone’s going to come to my house for dinner.” When they arrived at the Oscar-winning actor and director’s place, Gerber said that black luggage bags were set on the table for each guest. “George begins to say, ‘Listen, I want you guys to know how much you’ve meant to me and how much you mean in my life,” the businessman recalled. “‘I came to L.A., I slept on your couch. I’m so fortunate in my life to have all of you and I couldn’t be where I am today without all of you. So, it was really important to me that while we’re still all here together, that I give back. So I want you all to open your suitcases.’”According to Gerber, $1 million in $20 bills was stashed in each case.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Porush

LBN – Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

*Feds: NYC Bomber Said “Trump, You Failed to Protect Your Nation”

Accused terrorist Akayed Ullah wrote on Facebook, “Trump,you failed to protect your nation” before detonating a pipe bomb in a Manhattan subway station, according to a federal criminal complaint released Tuesday. Ullah was charged on five counts, including providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, using a weapon of mass destruction, and bombing a place of public use. He is expected to be presented on those charges in Manhattan Federal Court on Tuesday afternoon. Ullah allegedly posted a statement indicating allegiance to ISIS on Facebook before the attack, according to the complaint. He allegedly told authorities he carried out the Monday morning attack because of the U.S. government’s actions in the Middle East. Ullah began researching how to build IEDs about a year ago, the complaint said.

*Port Authority Terror Suspect’s Wife Gets Grilled in Bangladesh:

Bangladeshi authorities on Tuesday were grilling the wife and other relatives of the alleged Port Authority bomber, officials said. Authorities from Bangladesh’s Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Department were interrogating 25-year-old Jannatul Ferdous Jui, the wife of 27-year-old suspect Akayed Ullah, following Monday’s ISIS-inspired terror attack. Details of the questioning in Dhaka were not immediately known, but officials said the couple has a 6-month-old son. Other relatives, including the wife’s parents, identified by local media as Julfiqar Haider and Mahfuza Akhter, were also being questioned. The caretaker of the home where Jui’s parents live,Rohima Islam, said that Jui and Ullah were wed in an arranged marriage last year. Immigration officials said that Mr. Ullah arrived in the United States from Bangladesh in 2011 on a family immigrant visa and has lived in Brooklyn ever since as a legal permanent resident. According to the terms of his visa, Mr. Ullah was the nephew of an American citizen and benefited from what the officials called “extended family chain migration.”

*California Fire Warning Extended as Massive Blaze Rages On:

Authorities in Southern California on Monday extended a fire warning for Los Angeles and Ventura counties, as meteorologists said dangerous winds may stoke the flames of several wildfires until at least Wednesday. The news came as the Thomas Fire, the largest of at least five fires scorching the region, closed in around Montecito in Santa Barbara County, sending people fleeing and covering residents in ash. The fire, which was only 20 percent contained as of Monday, has consumed 231,700 acres since it erupted last week and become the fifth-largest fire in state history. Officials in Santa Barbara County on Monday handed out masks to residents and urged people to stay indoors. “There’s so much ash it’s unbelievable,” a bakery manager in Montecito told the Associated Press. “Everything is white. The streets are covered, cars are covered, our parking lot is covered.”

*Third Court Finds Trump Transgender Military Ban Unconstitutional

A federal judge in Washington state ruled President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban unconstitutional Monday night. U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman found that Trump’s ban violates equal protection and due process rights. Earlier Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the Trump administration was exploring legal ways to enact the ban, despite reports the Pentagon is already preparing to accept transgender troops. Judge Pechman’s ruling is the third of its kind, after judges in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore also found the ban unconstitutional.

*SHOCK – San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee Dead at 65

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has died, his family announced in a statement. Lee, 65, passed away at around 1 a.m. at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Several local news outlets described Lee’s overnight death as “unexpected,” and it was not yet clear early Tuesday what he died from. “Family, friends, and colleagues were at his side,” a statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Anita, his two daughters, Brianna and Tania, and his family.” As dictated by the city charter, Board of Supervisors President London Breed will now become the acting mayor. Lee was the first ever Asian-American mayor of San Francisco.

*DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that 11 members of the Carnegie Hall staff in NYC read LBN daily?


*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***In the era of online shopping, a European property company is making a nearly $16 billion bet that shoppers will find enduring appeal in New Jersey’s Garden State Plaza and shops in the World Trade Center. Unibail-Rodamco said on Tuesday that it had agreed to acquire the Westfield Corporation, the Australian owner of the Garden State Plaza and the shopping center at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, for $15.7 billion. The transaction would combine two large operators of shopping malls and give Unibail-Rodamco access to a variety of well-known properties in the United States and Britain. The combined company would hold property valued at about $72.2 billion.

*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:   **Rather than give up on “Today” in the wake of veteran co-anchor Matt Lauer’s departure, viewers are flocking to it. For the second consecutive week, the first two hours of the NBC morning program surged ahead of the show’s main rival, “Good Morning America” – not only capturing its usual lead among people between 25 and 54, the demographic most coveted by advertisers — but among overall audiences as well. It’s the first time the venerable a.m. show has done so since late 2016, when it beat “GMA” among total viewers for the weeks of December 12, 2016, and December 19, 2016.

*LBN-HEALTH WATCH: Positivity, stubbornness and a conscientious work ethic could be key to living a longer life, a new study has found. Researchers examined the mental and physical health levels of a group of Italians between the ages of 90 and 101 and found that there were many common psychological traits between them. The study, which was published in International Psychogeriatrics concluded that the elderly participants had better overall mental well-being than their younger family members – they attributed this to their longevity.

*LBN-R.I.P.:  ***Charles Robert Jenkins, an Army sergeant who became a Cold War enigma after he defected to North Korea in 1965 and was kept there for nearly 40 years, died on Monday in Japan. He was 77. His death was reported by the Kyodo News agency. The cause is not yet known, Kyodo said.   ***Marshall R. Loeb, a business journalist who turned a floundering Money magazine into one of the nation’s most successful publications in the 1980s and then led a similar revival at Fortune, died on Saturday in Manhattan. He was 88. His daughter, Margaret Karen Loeb, said the cause was Parkinson’s disease.   ***Bruce Brown, who molded the modern image of surfer as seeker and transformed the sport with his 1966 surfing documentary “The Endless Summer,” has died He was 80. Alex Mecl, general manager of Bruce Brown Films, said Brown died of natural causes in Santa Barbara, California on Sunday.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: The Beatles Rooftop (Full Concert) —  https://youtu.be/OpuBULPNr6w

*LBN-SITE OF THE DAY:

Pandora

Pandora will change the way you discover and listen to music. Powered by the Music Genome Project, the most comprehensive music analysis ever undertaken, Pandora gives you personalized radio that plays what you love and continually evolves with your tastes.

*Laugh Factory Hosts 38th Annual Free Christmas Dinner and Toy Giveaway With Top Comedians

On December 25th, the world-famous Laugh Factory comedy club on Sunset Boulevard will host its 38th Annual Free Christmas Dinner. “We are welcoming anyone who is away from home or is alone for the holiday or simply homeless, for a warm meal, a hug, and a laugh,” says Founder and CEO Jamie Masada. Top comedians including Tiffany Haddish, Dom Irrera, Kevin Nealon, Paul Rodriguez, Tim Allen, Tom Dreesen, Shawn Wayans, Dane Cook and many more celebrities will help serve guests, as well as perform live shows following each meal served throughout the day. Masada will be on hand, welcoming guests at the door and giving toys to each child who attends. “Spending the Holidays alone is no laughing matter,” says Masada. Jamie and his team at the Laugh Factory encourages everyone to get involved. “You might know someone who has fallen on difficult times or whose children could use a toy and a warm holiday” says Masada, “or perhaps there is someone who needs a ride or someone is bashful?” Last year, according to Masada, “2,500 people were served, and this year the Laugh Factory is preparing for even more in Hollywood.” The dinners will be taking place on Monday, December 25th at 1pm, 3pm5pm and 7pm. A live comedy show will follow each meal service. The Laugh Factory is located on 8001 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046. For more information visit http://www.LaughFactory.com

*LBN-COMMENTARY by M Zuhdi Jasser: If you ever had any doubt that CAIR is an Islamist insurgency led organization, take in this lead quotation from their legal (sharia) director of the NY chapter. Apparently only hours after a failed jihadi suicide bombing, CAIR wants to admonish Americans that when the truth comes out about this local Muslim (whose suicide belt failed, and now will be singing about his Salafi-Jihadi friends to authorities), he and his contacts are going to be the victims? This quote might as well be from the Muslim Brotherhood global leadership office.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: There was a striking moment in the focus group that consultant Frank Luntz recently held with a group of Roy Moore supporters in Alabama. One of the voters said that the women who are accusing Moore of harassment are being paid to do so. Luntz asked the group how many people thought the women are being paid. A bunch of hands shot up and voices called out that all of the women are being paid. That moment captures the radicalism of the current moment — the loss of faith in institutions, the tendency to see corrupt conspiracies, the desire for total change, the belief that sometimes you’ve got to hire the biggest jerk available to get that change, and you’ve got to be willing to ignore facts to justify it. That attitude is evident on the pro-Trump right, but also on the left. The woke activists, the angry Sanders socialists and social justice warriors are just as certain that the system is rigged, that rulers are corrupt and that the temple has to be torn down. The moderate left is being decimated across Europe and that will probably happen here. We’re living in an age of radicalism.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Candida Moss: Last week, a number of news outlets proclaimed the discovery of a new extra-Biblical text detailing the relationship between Jesus and his brother James. At a conference of Biblical scholars held in Boston in mid-November, University of Texas-Austin scholars Brent Landau and Geoffrey Smith described how they had unearthed the first Greek copy of the unorthodox text the First Apocalypse of James, “an ancient Christian narrative in which Jesus reveals to his brother James information about the heavenly realm and about future events.” And who doesn’t want to know the secrets Jesus passed on to his family members? Sadly, what was significant about this discovery got lost in reporting. Whatever you might have heard, Landau and Smith did not discover (or claim to discover) a previously unknown text. Instead, they discovered the first Greek manuscript of a text previously known only from copies in Coptic that are presumed to have been translated from the Greek original. Having a copy of the text in the original language makes it easier for scholars to piece together the text’s history. Landau told The Daily Beast that the “probable” date of the fragments is the fifth or sixth century, which makes them “roughly contemporaneous” with the Coptic texts we already have.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by ZEPHYR TEACHOUT: Zero tolerance should go hand in hand with two other things: due process and proportionality. As citizens, we need a way to make sense of accusations that does not depend only on what we read or see in the news or on social media. Due process means a fair, full investigation, with a chance for the accused to respond. And proportionality means that while all forms of inappropriate sexual behavior should be addressed, the response should be based on the nature of the transgressions. Both were missing in the hasty call for Senator Franken’s resignation. Some might point out, rightly, that Congress doesn’t have good procedures for dealing with harassment accusations. I also lived in the legal environment that produced the Duke University lacrosse case, in which three students were falsely accused of rape by the prosecutor in the case, who was later disbarred for his conduct. The quick rush to public condemnation of the players, fueled by the media, ended up hurting the accuser and the accused. As citizens, we should all be willing to stay ambivalent while the facts are gathered and we collect our thoughts. While the choice to fire the television hosts Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer were the choices of private companies, condemning a sitting lawmaker is a public choice and one our representatives should make judiciously.

*NOW YOU CAN TELL YOUR STORY IN THE WORLD-FAMOUS LBN: 

Now you can tell YOUR unique story in the world-famous LBN newsletter! Reach influencers in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries. Doing so is really simple. Simply send your story (do not exceed 250 words), including a photo and link, to LBNElert@timewire.net. We will approve and run. The cost is a mere $250 payable either via PayPal or credit card. This is by-far one of the best deals in digital promotion and only available to LBN subscribers.

*LBN – A DIFFERENT VIEW:..


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Her husband has been a stalwart friend of Prince Harry and Prince William for years, so, no surprise perhaps, that Meghan Markle has a new British best bud: Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham. The former Spice Girl and Markle bonded over beauty tips after Beckham, who now runs a successful fashion house, gave the royal fiancée a list of exclusive salons for her to visit, according to a report in The Sun’s Bizarre showbiz column. The Sun says that, like many women before them, their love of “pricey facials and glamorous blow-dries has become the foundation for a growing friendship.”

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord

LBN – Monday, December 11th, 2017

*CLOSE CALL – Suspect With Bomb in Custody Following NYC Transit Explosion

A bomb exploded in one of Manhattan’s busiest transit terminals Monday morning, authorities said. Police officers and fire trucks swarmed the Port Authority Bus Terminal near Times Square following a blast at 7:30 a.m. One person is in custody and has been transported to a hospital due to injuries caused by the explosion. The bomb was strapped to the suspect’s person when it detonated, apparently prematurely, in a passageway between two subway platforms, The New York Times reported. Police stripped the man naked to remove the device, the Times added. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is leading the investigation. President Trump has been briefed on the explosion, the White House said. The bus terminal is the nation’s largest and handles about 230,000 passengers every weekday.

*TERRIFYING – U.S. Officials See Biological-Weapons Threat in North Korea

U.S. officials are warning that North Korea’s suspected biological-weapons program poses a rapidly intensifying threat amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, The Washington Post reports. Pyongyang has long been suspected of conducting a biological-warfare program in tandem with its nuclear program, but U.S. officials and analysts say new factories and labs suggest the program is further along than previously thought—and Kim Jong Un may be ready to use chemical or biological agents on U.S. or South Korean troops. “The capabilities—the science and technology—all of that now exists,” one senior U.S. official was quoted as saying. “Kim has chosen not to deploy at this time. But ultimately it comes down to a political decision,” the official said. U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies suspect Pyongyang has experimented with bacterial strains that cause anthrax, cholera, and plague.

*DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that LBN is read daily in 26 foreign countries, from China to India, from Germany to Japan, from France to Mexico, from South Africa to Russia, from Korea to Sweden, from Israel to England?


*NEW NORMAL? – Firefighters Prepare for Another Week of Raging California Wildfires

Southern California emergency workers prepared for a second week of catastrophic flames as firefighters said they expect more growth and danger in the coming days thanks to strong wind, no rain, and dry vegetation. “This is the new normal,” Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown said Saturday, after he surveyed the damage caused by the Ventura fire. While new evacuations were ordered in Montecito and Carpinteria, the percentage of fire containment did increase Sunday in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Riverside. The Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara County threatens the homes of civilians and celebrities alike, including Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe, and Ellen Degeneres. Winfrey tweeted her prayers for the community: “Peace be Still, is my prayer tonight. For all the fires raging thru my community and beyond. #peacebestill”

*WITHDRAWAL – Putin Visits Syria Airbase, Orders Start of Pullout

Russian President Vladimir Putin made an unannounced visit to Syria on Monday and ordered the return of a portion of Russian troops to their native country.  Syrian President Bashar Assad greeted Putin at the Hmeimim air base, according to the Interfax news agency reports. “I order the defense minister and the chief of general staff to start withdrawing the Russian group of troops to their permanent bases,” Putin said, per the RIA Novosti news agency. “I have taken a decision: a significant part of the Russian troop contingent located in Syria is returning home to Russia.”

*Former Facebook Exec: Social Media is Ripping Apart Society:

Facebook’s former vice president for user growth Chamath Palihapitiya recently gave a talk at the Stanford Graduate School of Business that’ll probably make you think twice about your social media use (via the Verge). The entire talk is well worth a watch, but some of his most prominent remarks included: That he feels “tremendous guilt” about Facebook. “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created [including the hearts, likes, and thumbs up of various social media channels] are destroying how society works.” He added, “[There’s] no civil discourse, no cooperation; [only] misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem–this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.” Regarding an incident in which seven innocent men in India were lynched after a hoax about kidnappings spread through WhatsApp: “That’s what we’re dealing with. And imagine taking that to the extreme, where bad actors can now manipulate large swathes of people to do anything you want. It’s just a really, really bad state of affairs.” Unsurprisingly, when it comes to social media, his children “aren’t allowed to use that shit.”

*Doug Jones Holds 10-Point Lead over Roy Moore in Fox Poll: 

Democrat Doug Jones holds a 10-point lead over Republican Roy Moore among likely voters in deep red Alabama. Greater party loyalty plus higher interest in the election among Democrats combined with more enthusiasm among Jones supporters gives him the advantage in the race to fill the U.S. senate seat previously held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. That’s according to a Fox News Poll of Alabama voters conducted Thursday through Sunday using traditional polling techniques, including a list-based probability sample with both landlines and cellphones.

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:  ***France has long been known for its open hostility to corporations and its suspicion of personal wealth. Taxes were high, regulations were baffling and “It’s not possible” was the default answer to any question — if a company could even find the right person to ask. Now, the country is in the midst of a sweeping attempt at national rebranding. Labor laws are being changed to make hiring and firing easier. New legislation has slashed a “wealth tax” that was said to drive millionaires out of the country. Courts with English-speaking judges are in the works, and a new international school is under construction to cater to the children of foreign executives.   ***The chief executive of Volkswagen said on Sunday that the German government should consider phasing out the subsidies that encourage Europeans to buy diesel cars, a startling change of position by the company largely responsible for diesel’s popularity in Europe. “We should question the logic and purpose of diesel subsidies,” Matthias Müller, the chief executive of Volkswagen, said in an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt. “The money can be invested more sensibly to promote more environmentally friendly technologies.”

*LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER:   ***Saudi Arabia announced on Monday it will allow movie theaters to open in the conservative kingdom next year, for the first time in more than 35 years, in the latest social push by the country’s young crown prince. It’s a stark reversal in a county where movie theaters were shut down in the 1980′s during a wave of ultraconservatism in the country. Many of Saudi Arabia’s clerics view Western movies and even Arabic films made in Egypt and Lebanon as sinful. Despite decades of ultraconservative dogma, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has sought to ram through a number of major social reforms with support from his father, King Salman.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: In ancient Egypt, cosmetics were an integral part of hygiene, health, and ritual. Pills and creams protected against the sun and dry winds, and oils were used in perfumes in religious rituals.

*LBN-HEALTH WATCH:   ***The potentially harmful effects of loneliness and social isolation on health and longevity, especially among older adults, are well established. For example, in 2013  there was a report by The Daily Beast finding that loneliness can impair health by raising levels of stress hormones and inflammation, which in turn can increase the risk of heart disease, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, dementia and even suicide attempts. Among older people who reported they felt left out, isolated or lacked companionship, the ability to perform daily activities like bathing, grooming and preparing meals declined and deaths increased over a six-year study period relative to people who reported none of these feelings. Writing for The New York Times’s department The Upshot last December, Dr. Dhruv Khullar, a physician and researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, cited evidence for disrupted sleep, abnormal immune responses and accelerated cognitive decline among socially isolated individuals, which he called “a growing epidemic.” As research moves forward on these topics, scientists are gaining a more refined understanding of the effects of loneliness and isolation on health. They are also looking into factors such as who is likely to be most seriously affected, and what kinds of interventions may reduce the associated risks.

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Duran Duran played an intimate show of hits and songs from their latest album “Paper Gods,” at Miami Beach’s Faena Theater on Saturday in front of stars, including Gerard Butler, Matthew McConaughey, and hotelier and investor Barry Sternlicht. “Matthew was incognito with a bandanna and sunglasses, inside, at night,” says the spy.   ***Former studio boss Sherry Lansing and her director husband, William Friedkin, hosted a book party for “No Room for Small Dreams” by late Israel president Shimon Peres at their LA home according to sources. The tome, which has been dubbed a “poignant work of memoir and history” by critics, was published in September, after the leader’s death last year. Attendees included Peres’ son Chemi Peres, power attorney Martin Singer, producers John Goldwyn, Mike Medavoy, Robert Cort and Nick Meyer, Sunset Tower guru Jeff Klein, “48 Hrs.” screenwriter Walter Hill, Vicki Iovine and financial adviser Paul Wachter.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: The conclusion to a five part conversation – “Without Notes” with Susan Estrich – Episode 5: That Was Then, This Is Now. —  https://youtu.be/gpq8aT3a5cU

*LBN-SPORTS INSIDER:   ***Former Detroit Tigers teammates Jack Morris and Alan Trammell were elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Sunday, completing the journey from Motown to Cooperstown. Morris, a big-game pitcher, and Trammell, a star shortstop, were picked by a 16-member Modern Baseball Era committee that considered 10 candidates whose biggest contributions came from 1970 to 1987. Morris received 14 votes and Trammell drew 13, one more than the minimum needed.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: A Millennial vs A Baby Boomer –  https://youtu.be/Ed-5Zzdbx0E

*LBN-SITE OF THE DAY:

SongKick

Connect your SongKick account to your Spotify, Facebook, and Last.fm accounts, and you’ll be kept up to date about when your favorite artists are playing nearby. You can also check out the ticket prices from various merchants so you can quickly find the cheapest option. This is a simple, yet powerful way to ensure you never miss another live gig.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: A Gaythering Storm —  https://youtu.be/PhaihBGD2tc

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird):  Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another).

*LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:…


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Perhaps surprisingly, Beyoncé taught her former stylist to be frugal. “The best lesson that [Beyoncé’s mom] Tina Knowles and Beyoncé have taught me is to just have confidence,” says Ty Hunter, who styled the singer from early in her career until 2016. “It’s not about the clothes — you were not born with clothes on. Fashion starts from within, not money. The last two Fashion Weeks, every day I wore something from the Goodwill and Salvation Army — everything was under $25.”   ***Jane Fonda used her 80th birthday celebration to raise $1.3 million for her foundation. The two-time Oscar-winner held the “Eight Decades of Jane” fundraiser at an upscale hotel Saturday night. The event recognized Fonda’s life achievements along with her foundation, Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential, which she created in 1995. The Atlanta-based nonprofit focuses on teen pregnancy prevention and adolescent health.

 

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord