Monthly Archives: January 2018

LBN – Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

*Some Supporters Fear Trump Will Lose Hard Edge in State of Union Speech:

“American carnage” appears to be out. Bipartisanship is in. And not everyone is happy about it. When President Trump delivers his first State of the Union address today at 9 p.m. ET, his most fervent supporters are anxious that he will squander the most high-profile moment of his presidency with a soft speech that bends more to the predilections of the political establishment in Washington and less to the populist army that sent him there to drain the swamp. Mr. Trump has always veered between ideological extremes in his speeches: He railed against “American carnage” in his inaugural address last year, then gave a speech to a joint session of Congress a few weeks later that seemed restrained and conventional compared with the chaotic first weeks of his tenure. He has delivered partisan red meat at his campaign-style rallies, promising to rip up Nafta and demand better treatment for the United States around the world, but at a gathering of the globalist elite in Davos, Switzerland, last week, he spent most of his speech trumpeting the United States as a place to do business. Stephen Miller, the president’s senior policy adviser, is in charge of writing this year’s address, which could foreshadow the inclusion of the kind of hard-edge, anti-immigrant language that was a hallmark of Mr. Miller’s speeches for Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

*Kellyanne Conway Claims the Media ‘Interfered’ in 2016 Election

On CNN’s New Day, Kellyanne Conway identified the true culprits who interfered in the 2016 presidential election: the members of the press who covering it. While discussing Russian interference during the election, the senior Trump adviser declared: “Everybody who said Donald Trump couldn’t win… every screaming headline, every wrong poll, every anchor, every pundit who said this is over, it’s a joke, he can’t win… tried to interfere in the election.” She also asked CNN’s Chris Cuomo if he felt “the least bit pushed back or a little ashamed” that people on CNN and elsewhere are “promising Russian collusion, impeachment, treason is coming around the corner?” Conway concluded the interview by telling the audience to, “Get out of bed, go breathe air, and have a great day.”


*Putin: U.S. List of Russian Oligarchs Is a ‘Hostile Step’

Vladimir Putin on Tuesday slammed the U.S. government for publishing a list of Russian oligarchs linked to him, even though many in Congress believe the Trump administration has watered down new anti-Putin measures that could have included additional sanctions. As well as the list of oligarchs published by the Treasury Department, the administration produced a report on the oligarchs and their wealth creation; that document remains classified. Putin said the public list was a “hostile step.” The document was was initially requested by Congress over allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, and it names 114 officials in the Russian government, as well as 96 oligarchs with fortunes estimated at more than $1 billion.

*‘ADDITIONAL SECURITY MEASURES’  – U.S. Lifts Ban on Refugees From 11 Countries but Toughens Admission

The Trump administration announced Monday it would resume admitting refugees from 11 “high-risk” countries after a 90-day security review, but refugees from those countries will now face “additional security measures.” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said refugees will face risk-based assessments before being granted entry, stressing that “these additional security measures will make it harder for bad actors to exploit our refugee program.” The resumption of admissions was seen as a positive development by refugee groups, but many say the Trump administration still seems to be unfairly targeting Muslim countries. The list of countries affected has not been officially disclosed, but they are widely reported to be Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Officials declined to give specifics about the additional screenings, saying only that they would involve “in-depth” interviews and “deep-dive” background checks. Some refugee groups say that added hurdle could just be a way to indefinitely delay refugee admissions, as it can already take up to two years under existing security protocols for a refugee to go through the process.

*Saudi Arabia Says Detainees Handed Over More Than $100 Billion:

Saudi Arabia has collected more than $100 billion from prominent citizens who were detained in what the government has called a widespread crackdown on corruption, the kingdom said on TuesdaySheikh Saud al-Mojeb, the attorney general, said in a statement that 381 people had been summoned as part of the investigation. Many were brought in as witnesses, while others were accused of corruption and released only after handing over significant assets to the government, the statement said. The release of many of the detainees appeared to signal the wrapping up of the two-and-a-half-month campaign, in which some of the kingdom’s richest and most powerful men were locked in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, where the authorities pressed them to hand over assets said to have been stolen from the state. The detainees included businessmen, current and former government ministers, and at least 11 princes, including Alwaleed bin Talal, the kingdom’s most famous investor, who was released on Saturday.

*END OF AN ERA – San Francisco’s Oldest Gay Bar Closes Down

The Gangway, San Francisco’s oldest continuously operating gay bar, has shut its doors for the final time. It will become the Kung Fu Action Theater & Laundry, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The haunt first opened in 1910—surviving even Prohibition—and began specifically catering to a gay clientele by 1960. Among its most notable frequenters: Harvey Milk. A former employee said the Gangway was “full of relics and homages to our struggle… a living museum.

*DISTURBING – Toronto Police: Serial Killer Landscaper Hid Bodies All Over City

Toronto police on Monday said an accused serial killer arrested this month is believed to have hidden the dismembered remains of his victims in gardens and backyards throughout the city while working as a landscaper. Bruce McArthur has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of five people, and police suspect there are more victims. Customers of McArthur’s landscaping business were advised to contact police, who believe he may have hidden bodies on the properties where he worked. The remains of at least three people were already found hidden underneath large planters in the backyard of a home where McArthur worked for his landscaping business, authorities said. “We believe there are more remains at some of these properties that we are working to recover,” Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga said at a press conference. “There are at least two sites that we do want to excavate where people might be buried,” he said. Several of McArthur’s alleged victims were members of Toronto’s gay community, though police say the alleged killing spree “encompasses more than the gay community.”

*BARK LOUD – READ LBN – Invite your friends, family and associates to sign up to receive LBN (if they’ve got the guts) —— Simply go to:

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:  ***Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced on Tuesday that they would form an independent health care company to serve their employees in the United States. The three companies provided few details about the new entity, other than saying it would initially focus on technology to provide simplified, high-quality health care for their employees and their families, and at a reasonable cost. They said the initiative, which is in the early planning stages, would be a long-term effort “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.” The partnership brings together three of the country’s most influential companies to try to improve a system that other companies have tried and failed to change: Amazon, the largest online retailer in the world; Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company led by the billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett; and JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States by assets.

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   **Roger Daltrey will perform The Who’s Tommy in its entirety on a 10-city summer tour, with the singer teaming with a local orchestra to play the classic 1969 album at each stop. “I’m really looking forward to singing Tommy, not only with my great backing group, but also some of the finest orchestras in the country,” Daltrey said of the tour in a statement. “Pete Townshend’s rock music is particularly suited to being embellished by the sounds that an orchestra can add to the band. With the arrangements written by David Campbell, it should make a memorable night of entertainment for all those who love the arts.”

*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:   ***Megyn Kelly “threw an Olympic fit” when NBC offered the job of anchoring next month’s Winter Olympics opening ceremony to Katie Couric, sources say. Television insiders say that Kelly insisted, when signing her $23 million-a-year contract with NBC last spring, that she could not be forced to do special events such as the winter games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, which start airing on the Peacock Network on Feb. 9.

*DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that seven (7) leading executives from Berkshire Hathaway read LBN daily?

*LBN-BOOK NEWS:   ***Barbra Streisand remembers the way we were — but she’s having trouble finishing her autobiography. Viking Books announced in 2015 that it would be published last year, but the diva hasn’t even turned in a rough draft, and the book won’t come out this year, either. “She’s been working on it for 2 ¹/₂ years,” one insider told me. “She’s such a perfectionist. She’s probably going over it word by word.” Streisand might also be struggling with how many misty watercolor memories to reveal about her rumored affairs with Warren Beatty, Ryan O’Neal, Kris Kristofferson, Don Johnson, Jon Voight, Richard Gere and Liam Neeson. “My guess is it will be a little sanitized,” an insider said.

*LBN-HEALTH WATCH:    ***People with severe gum disease may be at greater risk for cancer, a U.S. study suggests. “What this report does is continue the support of the idea that gum disease is not just a matter of what happens to our teeth,” said Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. Researchers performed dental exams on 7,466 individuals from Mississippi, Maryland, Minnesota and North Carolina and then monitored them for an average of 15 years. None of the participants had cancer at the start of the study. Fifteen years later, individuals with severe gum disease on the dental exam had a 24 percent higher risk of developing any kind of cancer, and more than double the risk of lung cancer, compared to those with no or mild gum disease.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK:  Paul Simon – Graceland —

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Robert Parry, a tenacious investigative reporter and author who exposed details of the Reagan administration’s secret support for Nicaraguan rebels in the 1980s, died on Saturday in Arlington, Va. He was 68. The cause was pancreatic cancer, said his wife, Diane Duston.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: There Is Only One Way Out of Poverty –

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Bari Weiss: Imagine this: The author of the most popular book in the country goes on Bill Maher’s show and says the following about President Barack Obama: “There is something in the book that I was absolutely sure of but it was so incendiary that I just didn’t have the ultimate proof,” he says. “I didn’t have the blue dress.” The host pushes the coy writer for a hint. “You just have to read between the lines toward the end of the book,” the writer answers. “When you hit that paragraph you’re going to say, ‘Bingo!’” Within moments, every person with a copy turns to the last bit. The woman’s name jumps out as if it was printed in boldface:Samantha Power, the United Nations ambassador. “The president has been spending a notable amount of private time,” the book says, with her on Air Force One. Do I have to tell you what the reaction to this rumor-mongering would be? Heads would explode on every cable channel (except for Fox, of course, which would be calling for a special investigation). Editorials would issue forth condemning this gutter journalism as thinly veiled sexism. Some would insist that it be viewed as a #MeToo moment — unambiguous evidence of the deep discomfort men feel in the face of powerful women.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: Every few years I try to write a column staking out a reasonable middle ground on immigration. After all, most big, important issues are clashes in which both sides have a piece of the truth. The case for restricting immigration seems superficially plausible. Over the last several decades we’ve conducted a potentially reckless experiment. The number of foreign-born Americans is at record highs, straining national cohesion, raising distrust. Maybe America should take a pause, as we did in the 1920s. After all, that pause seemed to produce the cohesive America of the 1940s that won the war and rose to pre-eminence. Every few years I try to write this moderate column. And every few years I fail. That’s because when you wade into the evidence you find that the case for restricting immigration is pathetically weak. The only people who have less actual data on their side are the people who deny climate change. You don’t have to rely on pointy-headed academics. Get in your car. If you start in rural New England and drive down into Appalachia or across into the Upper Midwest you will be driving through county after county with few immigrants. These rural places are often 95 percent white.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Dennis Prager (Author, radio talk show host): On one thing we can all agree: The left wants more and more immigrants — including immigrants who enter or are in the country illegally — to come to America and become American citizens. The question is, why? The first and most obvious reason is political. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, chain migration, sanctuary cities and citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally will give the left political power. An estimated 70 to 80 percent of Latin American immigrants will vote Democrat. So, with enough new voters from Latin America alone, the Democrats would essentially be assured the presidency and Congress for decades. Conservatives and Republicans fool themselves when they argue that Latin Americans are “social conservatives” because they oppose abortion and support a strong nuclear family. Even to the extent that those statements are true — and regarding the second claim, it is worth noting that Latinos have the third-highest percentage of births to unwed women in America — those arguments are irrelevant. Latin Americans are overwhelmingly on the political left, and they vote accordingly. Think about the Latin American Pope Francis’ beliefs about big government, small militaries and the social welfare state, and his contempt for capitalism (“terrorism against all humanity”) — and you know how the vast majority of Latin Americans think.

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by Walt Whitman: Keep your face toward the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you.


LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord

LBN – Monday, January 29th, 2018

*Oil Boom Gives the U.S. a New Edge in Energy and Diplomacy:

A substantial rise in oil prices in recent months has led to a resurgence in American oil production, enabling the country to challenge the dominance of Saudi Arabia and dampen price pressures at the pump. The success has come in the face of efforts by Saudi Arabia and its oil allies to undercut the shale drilling spree in the United States. Those strategies backfired and ultimately ended up benefiting the oil industry. Overcoming three years of slumping prices proved the resiliency of the shale boom. Energy companies and their financial backers were able to weather market turmoil — and the maneuvers of the global oil cartel — by adjusting exploration and extraction techniques. After a painful shakeout in the industry that included scores of bankruptcies and a significant loss of jobs, a steadier shale-drilling industry is arising, anchored by better-financed companies.

*Russians Brave Icy Temperatures to Protest Putin and Election:

Protesters across Russia braved icy temperatures on Sundayto demonstrate against the lack of choice in the March election that is virtually certain to see President Vladimir V. Putinchosen for a fourth term. “What we are being offered right now are not elections, and we must not participate in them,”Yevgeny Roizman, the mayor of the central Russian city of Yekaterinburg and a rare elected official from an opposition party, told a crowd of hundreds that had gathered in protest. The protests in scores of cities — from Vladivostok in the east to Kaliningrad in the west — were called by Aleksei A. Navalny, the charismatic, anticorruption opposition leader, after he was barred from running for the presidency because of legal problems that he said had been manufactured to prevent his candidacy. “You have your own life at stake,” Mr. Navalny said in a recorded message urging protesters in Moscow and St. Petersburg, where the rallies were banned, to turn out. “Every additional year of Putin staying in power is one more year of decay.”

*Bruno Mars wins big at the Grammys:

The big question leading into Sunday night’s Grammy Awards: will hip-hop finally get its long overdue recognition with an Album of the Year win? Not quite, though R&B had an exceptionally strong showing on Sunday night. Bruno Mars won Album and Record of the Year for “24K Magic” and Song of the Year for “That’s What I Like.” Mars also picked up Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song for “That’s What I Like.” “24K Magic” was awarded Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) as well. During the pre-telecast, Kendrick Lamarpicked up his first Grammy of the night for Best Music Video for “Humble,” which also won Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. Soon after, he won during the telecast for Best Rap/Sung Performance for “Loyalty” featuring Rihanna. “She gassed me on my own song,” said Lamar. “This really belongs to her.” Added Rihanna: “I’m honored. Congrats, you deserve this, man.”

*THIRSTY – Keurig Green Mountain to Buy Dr Pepper Snapple in $21B Deal

Add these to the infinite universe of K Cup flavors: Keurig Green Mountain has agreed to buy Dr Pepper Snapple Inc.for more than $21 billion, in a deal that will create a new beverage giant to rival Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Drinks like 7UP, Mott’s, A&W, Sunkist and Snapple will be joining pod-coffee products all under one roof—serving the affinities of soda-lovers and Donut Shop brew-addicts. Keurig’s corporate owner, Germany’s JAB Holding Co., has been pushing deep into the U.S. market, where it’s also added the Panera Bread, Peet’s, and Caribou chains in recent years.

*Grammys President: Women Should ‘Step Up’ If They Want to Win More Awards

Neil Portnow, the president of The Recording Academy, responded to questions about the gender imbalance of awards at Sunday night’s Grammys by saying women are going to have to “step up” if they want more recognition. Despite the marked support for the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements on the red carpet, only one of the nine main honors presented during the event was won by a woman. “I think it has to begin with women who have the creativity in their hearts and their souls—who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, who want to be producers, who want to be part of the industry on an executive level—to step up, because I think they would be welcome,” he told journalists backstage. Portnow acknowledged that he doesn’t have “personal experience with the kinds of brick walls that [women] face” but said the key to solving the disparity is to make “a welcome mat very obvious.” He continued, “Creating mentorships, creating opportunities, not only for women, but for all people. And moving forward, creating that next generation of artists who feel like they can do anything and say anything.”

*New ISIS Video Sings to U.S. Jihadists: ‘It is Now Time to Rise, Slit Their Throats, Watch Them Die’:

The Islamic State issued a new video today calling on “brothers in Europe, America, Russia, Australia and elsewhere” to “kill them all” as “it is now time to rise.” The English-language nasheed, inspirational songs frequently released by terror groups, shows scenes of Western terrorists’ handiwork — including the March 2017 Westminster Bridge attack and the ISIS pledge video recorded by Berlin Christmas market terrorist Anis Amri — mingled with ISIS battlefield scenes and beheadings in Syria. The video from ISIS’ official Al-Hayat Media Center was distributed widely on YouTube and social media platforms Twitter and Facebook, along with being posted on file-sharing sites.

*Russia Is Banned From Paralympics, Again, for Doping:

Russia has been banned from the 2018 Paralympic Games, officials announced Monday, refusing to lift a ban because of what they called an insufficient recovery from the Russian doping scandal. Nonetheless, those officials said, certain disabled Russian athletes will have the opportunity to compete at the coming Winter Games — a decision taken with some disagreement among top Paralympics executives, who were unanimous in their decision not to lift the ban. “What was uncovered was not a minor breach of an obligation,” Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, said at a news conference in Bonn, Germany on Monday. “This was an orchestrated attack on the integrity of sport.” Justifying the continued ban, Mr. Parsons pointed to Russian officials’ lacking cooperation with global sports regulators as well as their failure to acknowledge the evidence of systematic cheating laid out nearly two years ago.

*THINK FREELY – READ LBN: Invite your friends, family and associates to sign up to receive LBN (if they’ve got the guts).

*Sanctuaries: 675 Jurisdictions Wouldn’t Turn Over Criminal Aliens to ICE:

Law enforcement agencies in approximately 675 jurisdictions around the United States declined to comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “detainer” requests and hand over to ICE removable aliens whom those jurisdictions had arrested for violating local laws, according to the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security. According to the IG, this lack of cooperation from local law enforcement agencies has hindered ICE’s efforts to identify known or suspected foreign terrorists, who are inside the United States. On Jan. 5, 2018, the IG issued a report–“ICE Faces Challenges to Screen Aliens Who May Be Known or Suspected Terrorists”—that discussed the issue. “ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) faces challenges in implementing the Known or Suspected Terrorist Encounter Protocol (KSTEP) screening process, which is used to identify aliens who may be known or suspected terrorists,” the report said.

*Andrew McCabe steps down as deputy FBI director:  

Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe — one of President Trump’s top targets in his feud with the US law enforcement community — will step down effective immediately, NBC News reported Monday. The president has targeted McCabe over the ongoing special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the US election and possible collusion with his campaign. Trump also slammed McCabe because his wife ran for a state Senate seat in Virginia as a Democrat and accepted cash from a super PAC connected to a longtime ally of the Clintons.

*Mexico to send troops to stem violence after record 25,000 murders:  

Mexican officials said on Sunday the government was set to unleash a new wave of troops to crack down on criminal groups in regions where a surge in violence led to more than 25,000 murders last year. National Security Commissioner Renato Sales said federal police troops will work with local officials to round up known major criminals and bolster investigations. The aim was “to recover peace and calm for all Mexicans,” he said. He did not provide details on the number of federal police to be deployed. More than 25,000 murders were recorded last year as rival drug gangs increasingly splintered into smaller, more blood-thirsty groups after more than a decade of a military-led campaign to battle the cartels.

*Nikki Haley: ‘Fire and Fury’ Skit ‘Ruined’ Grammys

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, took to Twitter late Sunday to make it clear she was not pleased with a Grammys segment in which stars mocked President Trump. “I have always loved the Grammys but to have artists read the Fire and Fury book killed it,” Haley tweeted, referring to the bestselling book by Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The book features unflattering portrayals of Trump and depicts his presidency as one of chaos and dysfunction. Hillary Clinton, Cher, Snoop Dogg, and Cardi B. were among those to roast the president by reading excerpts from the book at the Grammy Awards. “Don’t ruin great music with trash. Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it,” Haley said.

*LBN-LEGAL INSIDER:   ***Accusations of sexual harassment have felled dozens of executives, but in one quiet corner of the financial world, the #MeToo movement looks like a golden opportunity. Companies that offer money to plaintiffs in anticipation of future legal settlements are racing to capitalize on sexual harassment lawsuits. That is setting off alarms in some quarters because the industry, like payday lenders, has a history of providing cash at exorbitant interest rates to customers who need the money for living and sometimes medical expenses. The largely unregulated companies have operated with less public scrutiny than the rest of the litigation finance industry, which provides money to law firms to fund commercial lawsuits.

*LBN-HEALTH WATCH:   ***It’s been one of the vexing questions in medicine: Why is it that most people who have heart attacks or strokes have few or no conventional risk factors? These are patients with normal levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, no history of smoking or diabetes, and no family history of cardiovascular disease. Why aren’t they spared? To some researchers, this hidden risk is the dark matter of cardiology: an invisible but omnipresent force that lands tens of thousands of patients in the hospital each year. But now scientists may have gotten a glimpse of part of it. They have learned that a bizarre accumulation of mutated stem cells in bone marrow increases a person’s risk of dying within a decade, usually from a heart attack or stroke, by 40 or 50 percent. They named the condition with medical jargon: clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential.

*LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER:   ***Omarosa Manigault, former White House aide and director of African-American outreach on President Trump’s 2016 campaign, is going to be on Celebrity Big Brother. In a promo that aired ahead of the Grammys, CBS announced the 11 “cast members” that will be competing on the reality-TV series—Manigault being one of them. She will join American Pie actress Shannon Elizabeth, Mark McGrath, Keshia Knight Pulliam and others on the series, which is slated to premiere Feb. 7.   ***On Monday, attorneys for Michael Ovitz were expected to argue why they should be able to tell a jury that Steven Seagal was the man behind a 2002 threat to journalist Anita Busch that was allegedly orchestrated by infamous PI Anthony Pellicano — but, instead, the parties told the court the case against Ovitz will be dismissed. That trial, which is more than a decade in the making, was set to begin Feb. 5. Busch’s attorney Evan Marshall could only say that the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.   ***Producer Mark Gordon has been named chief content officer for Entertainment One, the indie distributor that acquired 51% of his busy production banner in early 2015. With Gordon’s elevation to president and chief content officer, eOne will buy out the remaining 49% of Mark Gordon Co. for $209 million. As part of the shuffle, longtime eOne TV chief John Moryaniss will step down after a period of transition. Steve Bertram, formerly co-president of film, TV, and digital, has been upped to president.

*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:   ***In an attempt to calm rising newsroom tensions at The Los Angeles Times, the paper was expected to name Jim Kirk, a veteran journalist and former editor and publisher of The Chicago Sun-Times, as its next editor in chief on Monday, according to company officials. Mr. Kirk, who joined Tronc, the parent company of The Times, in August, will replace Lewis D’Vorkin, whose brief stint atop one of the country’s most prominent newspapers touched off widespread tension in the newsroom. Mr. D’Vorkin, 65, who became the newspaper’s top editor in November, will become Tronc’s chief content officer, a strategic role that will involve establishing new products to distribute the company’s journalism, according to a company official briefed on the plans but not authorized to speak publicly about personnel matters.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: The Japanese eat more fish than any other people in the world, about 17 million tons per year. Japan is the world’s largest importer of seafood, with shrimp comprising about one third of the total, about four million tons a year. More than 20% of Japanese protein is obtained through fish and fish products.

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***Jennifer Hudson will portray Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic about the Queen of Soul, Clive Davis revealed Saturday night at his annual pre-Grammys party.   ***Sting has signed on to play the NFL Tailgate Party before the Super Bowl, along with country star Darius Rucker. Portions of the performances will be televised on NBC’s “Super Bowl LII Pregame Show,” and Sting will perform a tune with Shaggy.   ***Sunday’s Bruno Mars-loving Grammy Awards took a steep ratings spill by the first-available metrics. The show, which ran a bloated three-and-a-half hours, was off an unfortunate 21 percent from 2017 in early numbers. Overnight returns from Nielsen Media give it a 12.7 rating among households — marking its biggest drop since the 2013, the year after the show swelled following the death of Whitney Houston. Such a steep drop, however, could very well mean an all-time low for the calendar’s biggest music awards show once updated numbers arrive.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Sandeep Jauhar: Doctors today often complain of working in an occupational black hole in which patient encounters are compressed into smaller and smaller space and time. You can do a passable job in a 10-minute visit, they say, but it is impossible to appreciate the subtleties of patient care when you are rushing. Enter “Slow Medicine: The Way to Healing,” a wonderful new memoir by Dr. Victoria Sweet. The term “slow medicine” has different interpretations. For some it means spending more time with patients. For others it means taking the time to understand evidence so as to avoid over-diagnosis and over-treatment. For Sweet, it means “stepping back and seeing the patient in the context of his environment,” and providing medical care that is “slow, methodical and step-by-step.”

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Stephen Moore: If you can, put aside for a moment your opinion of Donald Trump’s words and actions and let’s be perfectly honest: One year into his presidency, could the economy be any rosier? The economy grew at a rate of about 3 percent in the last three quarters, something that economists said was very unlikely just a year ago. The more than 40 percent increase in the Dow Jones industrial average since Election Day means a nearly $7 trillion jump in wealth. That has benefited the rich, yes, but every one of the 55 million Americans with a 401(k) plan, the 20 million with IRAs and the millions more with public and private pension plans have benefited, too. I would argue that investors are turning lower business tax rates on profits and the administration’s rollback of regulations into higher stock valuations. The job market improved impressively under Barack Obama’s presidency after the Great Recession, when millions of jobs vanished seemingly overnight. But the past year’s continued decline in joblessness is impressive as well. In recent weeks, the number of new unemployment insurance claims and the unemployment rate for blacks and Hispanics have been at or near their lowest levels in more than four decades. Then there is the cheerful news for the Rust Belt areas of the country: Blue-collar manufacturing, construction and mining jobs have risen by almost half a million in just one year.


Laura Nyro Poverty Train Monterey Pop Festival —

*LBN-COMMENTARY by By Daniel Mitchell: Last September, Economic Freedom of the World was released, which was sort of like Christmas for wonks who follow international economic policy. I eagerly combed through that report, which (predictably) had Hong Kong and Singapore as the top two jurisdictions. I was glad to see that the United States climbed to #11. The good news is that America had dropped as low as #18, so we’ve been improving the past few years. The bad news is that the U.S. used to be a top-5 country in the 1980s and 1990s.


US President George W. Bush Introduces the “Axis of Evil” (2002)

During his 2002 State of the Union Address, US President George W. Bush described the countries of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as an “Axis of Evil” for their alleged support of terrorism. Since then, the phrase has spawned many imitations, including the Eritrean-coined “Axis of Belligerence,” the South American “Axis of Good,” and the “Axis of Diesel” proposed by The Economist magazine.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Inside Nevada’s Moonlite Bunny Ranch —


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Name-dropping Meryl Streep is going to cost you. The actress, 68, filed a trademark to protect her name for “entertainment services, namely, live, televised, and movie appearances by a professional actress and entertainer” on Jan. 22, according to United States Patent and Trademark Office records. Her name is also protected for “personal appearances, speaking engagements; autograph signings” and “providing a website featuring content in the field of motion pictures.”   ***Gordon Ramsay has revealed he felt forced to get in shape after fearing his wife would leave him over his weight gain. The chef, 51, claimed he was “fat” after he ballooned to 250 pounds, but said he shed 56 pounds in order to hold on to his marriage to Tana, 41. The TV star told the Times in an interview: “Tana was not impressed with the way I was.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord

LBN – Sunday, January 28th, 2018

*Russian Police Arrest Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny

Russian police swooped in on a major protest in Moscow on Sunday to arrest opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has urged supporters to boycott the upcoming presidential election. Navalny took to Twitter a short time after his arrest to write, “They have detained me. This doesn’t mean anything … You didn’t come out for me, but for your future.” Video of his arrest showed several police officers wrestle him to the ground as his supporters tried to pull him free, chanting “Shame!” Moscow police later said Navalny had been detained for organizing the protest, which was deemed illegal by authorities. Rallies were held in cities across the country Sunday in support of the opposition leader, who has been barred from running in the March 18 election against his rival, President Vladimir Putin. Navalny has called on his supporters to boycott the upcoming vote, which he says will be rigged.

*Marco Rubio Fires Chief of Staff After Misconduct Claims

Sen. Marco Rubio has fired his chief of staff over allegations of “improper conduct,” his office announced late Saturday. “By early this afternoon, I had sufficient evidence to conclude that while employed by this office, my Chief of Staff had violated office policies regarding proper relations between a supervisor and their subordinates,” Rubio said in a statement. The Florida Republican did not identify his chief of staff by name and said his office “will not be disclosing any further details about the incidents which occurred” at the request of those victimized. Rubio said he first learned of the allegations on Friday, and he flew to Washington, D.C., on Saturday to terminate his staffer’s employment “effective immediately.” The alleged misconduct will also be reported to the appropriate Congressional and Senate administrative offices on Monday, he said.

*Trump Brags of His ‘Black Unemployment’ Track Record to Jay-Z

President Trump embarked on a Twitter feud with Jay-Z on Sunday morning, claiming his policies have reduced black unemployment rates in response to the rapper’s recent criticism. “Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!” Trump wrote. He was apparently responding to an interview with CNN late Saturday in which Jay-Z called the president a “superbug.” Jay-Z slammed Trump for reportedly calling Haiti and African nations “shithole countries,” comments which he called “disappointing” and “hurtful.” He went on to describe Trump as the outcome of racism not being addressed properly. “You don’t take care of the problem. … As those things grow, you create a superbug. Then now we have Donald Trump, the superbug,” he said. Jay-Z said it wouldn’t matter if Trump increased employment for blacks, because “it’s not about money at the end of the day.” “That’s missing the whole point. You treat people like human beings,” he said.

*THINK FREELY – READ LBN: Intellectually active minds open doors to opportunity. Whether your thinking is on a logical or creative wavelength, being an independent thinker will enable you to increase performance, productivity, and efficiency, and allow you to reach a greater level of self-awareness. LBN is a daily tool for readers in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries to THINK FREELY!

*LBN-R.I.P.Ingvar Kamprad, a Swedish entrepreneur who hid his fascist past and became one of the world’s richest men by turning simply-designed, low-cost furniture into the globalIkea empire, died on Saturday at his home in Smaland, Sweden. He was 91. His death was confirmed by the company in a statement on Sunday.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Funny or Die Files: To Catch A Criminal with David Spade & Todd Glass —

*LBN-INTEL FOR INFLUENCERS: LBN is read daily by:   ***12 member of the White House staff   ***3 Nobel Prize winners   ***6 U.S. Senators   ***Over 100 Academy Award winners   ***Professors from Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Stanford Universities    ***Over 300 Grammy Award winners.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Maureen Dowd: Melania has learned a few things from the master. The first lady will never be as brilliant at trolling as her husband. He is an idiot-savant who plays in the roiling ocean of Twitter as naturally as a blubbery-necked sea lion. Only Donald Trump, a Rat Pack relic who spurred the reckoning with his transgressions toward women, could send out a tweet taking credit for the women’s march. But the Slovenian Sphinx has her moments. It started when she seemed to sartorially upbraid Trump for his Billy Bush vulgarities by wearing a pussy-bow blouse to the St. Louis debate. Then, in a master stroke, she chose a first-lady project that could only be interpreted as a wicked rip on her husband: fighting vicious cyber bullies. Last spring, Melania’s personal Twitter account favorited a GIF of her own downcast face at the Inaugural Address with an accompanying crack: “Seems the only #Wall @realDonaldTrump’s built is the one between him and @FLOTUS.” And who can forget the crisp hand swat in Israel or her wish to spend Christmas on “a deserted island”?

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Neil Gross (professor of sociology at Colby College): Surveys show that liberals see themselves, anyway, as more empathetic and kindhearted than conservatives, a self-conception reinforced by political rhetoric. But in a recent paper, the psychologist Adam Waytz and his colleagues report a more nuanced finding: The main thing distinguishing liberals and conservatives in this regard isn’t how empathetic they are overall; rather, the key difference is how much empathy they feel for specific groups. Where conservatives empathize foremost with family members and country, liberals extend the bounds of empathy to include friends, the socially disadvantaged and citizens of the world, to whom they’d like government to lend a hand. It’s not implausible that empathy could help explain actors’ progressive sympathies. If that’s the case, though, it testifies to the remarkable human capacity for hypocrisy that, until now, the bounds of empathy among liberal men in Hollywood have not stretched to include female actors subject to sexual and economic exploitation.

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by Anatole France: To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.


A fascinating and intriguing candid interview with one of Harvard’s most acclaimed thinkers. Learn the story of this best-selling author –   “Without Notes” with Dr. Srini Pillay – Episode 1: The Early Years —


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop health summit came to town Saturday, with the actress hawking potions, lotions and arguably dangerous medical notions. The one-day event, priced at $650-$2,000 a ticket, attracted about 600 yoga pants-wearing women to the South Street Seaport for 10 hours of meditations, “non-toxic” spa remedies, tarot card readings, anti-aging LED face mask treatments, shopping and other activities centered around Paltrow’s cult-like Goop philosophy. The actress was on hand, along with celebrity pals Drew Barrymore, Chelsea Handler and Laura Linney.   ***Music mogul Clive Davis poked fun at Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx‘s coy attempts to hide their relationship at his starry Pre-Grammy Awards Gala. Foxx and Holmes have been dating for years, but have rarely appeared in public together, nor have they ever confirmed their relationship – but on Saturday night they finally cozied up in public. Holmes, 39, arrived in a red gown with her hair in a sleek bob, with producer and Tribeca Production’s honcho Jane Rosenthal at Saturday night’s bash at the Sheraton in Manhattan.   ***Hollywood predator Harvey Weinstein should be locked up, says Sharon Stone, but she has warned against punishing all men accused of sexual misbehavior in the same way. In a frank interview with The Mail on Sunday’s Event magazine today, the actress says: ‘In every crime there are misdemeanors and felonies, and I think if someone’s committed a misdemeanor they can’t be treated like they’ve committed a felony. You can’t charge someone for murder when they’ve got a parking ticket.’ Her comments echo those of Matt Damon, who was criticized by #MeToo campaigners for saying there is a ‘difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation’.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord