Report: Trump Picks Goldman Sachs Exec to Lead Economic Council:
President-elect Donald Trump
has selected Goldmach Sachs president and COO Gary Cohen
to serve as director of the National Economic Council, the chief economic policy-advisingarm of the White House. Cohn has been with Goldman Sachs since the 1990s, attaining his current executive positions in 2006. A registered Democrat, Cohn has long been a prolific political donor, but reportedly remains friendly with leaders of both parties—including Jared Kushner
, the son-in-law of Trump who took on a prominent role in his presidential campaign. Cohn’s appointment would come seemingly in direct contradiction of Trump’s promises to “drain the swamp” of the usual power-brokers—a line he frequently used when decrying rival Hillary Clinton’s
status as a favored candidate among Wall Street bankers. A spokesman for the Trump Transition Team would not comment on a call with reporters Friday morning.
Anti-Trump Women’s March Barred From Lincoln Memorial:
When hundreds of thousands of people attend the women’s march on Washington next month, the day after Donald Trump’s
inauguration, they will not be allowed at the site of so many historic protests of days past: the Lincoln Memorial. The National Park Service, on behalf of Trump’s inaugural committee, this week filed a “massive omnibus blocking permit” to make large portions of the national mall and Pennsylvania Avenue off-limits to public protests. The Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument will effectively be unavailable for protests for days and weeks before and after the Jan. 20 inauguration. NPS spokesman Mike Litterst
said the decision was a practical one, considering the massive clearing of public spaces for inauguration festivities. “They’re construction zones, effectively,” he said of the off-limits areas. Several hundred thousand people have RSVP’d to attend the women’s march on Washington, which went viral on Facebook and lists its location as the Lincoln Memorial.
New Report Finds Systemic Russian Olympic Doping:
The latest report from the World Anti-Doping Agency, published Friday, lays out proof of systemic doping by Russia from 2011 to 2015, with government employees and athletes across more than 30 sports involved. The anti-doping watchdog had revealed in July that Russia had engaged in a massive urine-swapping operation during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi; but, asked for further evidence, Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren
pressed on and produced yet another damning report. According to The New York Times
, the new report contains “1,166 pieces of proof, including emails, documents and expert analysis of laboratory and forensic analysis of doping samples.” According to the report, Russia’s dominance at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, 2013 track and field world championships in Moscow, and 2014 Sochi Olympics were all tainted by doping operations. The new report is likely to lead to renewed calls to punish Russia ahead of the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea. The report claims that “Over 1,000 Russian athletes can be identified as having benefited from manipulations to conceal positive doping tests.”
South Korean Parliament Impeaches President:
South Korea’s National Assembly on Friday voted overwhelmingly to impeach beleaguered President Park Geun-hye
. The vote passed 234 to 56, sending the impeachment proceedings to the Korean constitutional court, which could deliberate for as long as several months on the matter. Park, 64, had been the center of a massive political scandal involving her longtime friendship with Choi Soon-sil
, who is accused of widespread extortion and influence-peddling. Weekly protests have flooded the streets of Seoul demanding her resignation as various scandals have been uncovered—including a mass government purchase of Viagra. Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn
will take over presidential duties now that Park has been stripped of her powers.
Supreme Court Allows Twice-Halted Execution to Go Ahead:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the execution of a 45-year-old convicted killer to go ahead in Alabama after it was twice halted. Ronald Bert Smith Jr.
, who was convicted of killing a convenience-store clerk, had pushed for a delay, saying the death penalty should not be imposed since a jury recommended life imprisonment. The argument resulted in two court-ordered delays before the U.S. Supreme Court finally ruled it could go ahead late Thursday. A jury convicted Smith in 1995 and recommended life imprisonment, but a judge overruled that and sentenced him to death. The execution was Alabama’s second this year. Smith was confirmed dead at 11:05 p.m. local time, after reportedly coughing and heaving 13 minutes into the execution procedure.
Sanders: Trump Is a ‘Pathological Liar’:
Sen. Bernie Sanders
lashed out at “pathological liar” and President-elect Donald Trump
on Thursday. “What do you do when you have a president-elect, soon to be president, who—and I say this not happily but I think most people who observe him would agree—is a pathological liar, who changes his mind every single day?” the Vermont senator said on MSNBC. Despite Trump’s shocking presidential win, Sanders said he hopes to see a movement of Americans who “actually are following reality.” “And that’s the challenge. Real change in this country, I am more and more convinced of it, is not going to come from Capitol Hill. It’s got to come from grassroots America,” he said.
Dutch Anti-Islamic Leader Found Guilty of ‘Inciting Discrimination’:
, the leader of the far-right Dutch Freedom Party, was found guilty Friday of inciting discrimination with comments he made about Moroccan immigrants, but no penalty was imposed. During a March 2014 speech in The Hague, the infamously Islamophobic politician asked attendees of his party’s rally whether they wanted “more or fewer Moroccans” in the Netherlands, to which the crowd responded with the chant, “fewer, fewer, fewer.” Wilders replied that he would “take care of that,” and several thousand complaints were filed with the country’s public prosecutor as a result. Wilders was also found guilty of inciting hate, but presiding judge Hendrik Steenhuis
decided, “The guilty verdict was punishment enough,” and opted to impose no fines on Wilders, who was not present at the sentencing.
Dylann Roof’s Mom Had Heart Attack at Trial:
lawyer alleged in court documents Thursday that the suspected Charleston shooter’s mother suffered a heart attack after prosecutors described in court his process of killing nine black church members. She reportedly collapsed and said “I’m sorry,” on Wednesday as Roof’s death-penalty trial began. Roof’s attorney is trying to argue for a mistrial based on the episode and the mother’s condition is unknown. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel
denied the request.
Wells Fargo Picks Directors for Probe Into Sales Scandal:
Wells Fargo has set up a four-member committee to conduct an internal investigation into the sales scandal that has rocked the banking giant. Wells Chairman Stephen Sanger
and Vice Chair Elizabeth Duke
are two of those selected to lead the committee, Reuters cited a source familiar with the situation as saying. Enrique Hernandez
, chair of the board’s risk committee, and Donald James
, a director on the board’s finance and risk committees, have also been chosen. The committee will be joined by law firm Shearman & Sterling and the board’s human-resources committee to conduct the probe into why bank employees were pushed to force services on customers and set up accounts without clients’ knowledge. The bank agreed to a $190 million settlement over the matter with two regulators and the city attorney of Los Angeles. More than 5,000 employees were fired for their involvement.
LBN-COMMENTARY by Thomas Edsall: Donald Trump’s supporters from the white working and middle class are, for the moment, elated. In a survey conducted by Pew after the election, 96 percent of those who cast votes for Trump said they were hopeful; 74 percent said they were “proud.” They were almost unanimous in their expectation that Trump will have a successful first term.
LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER: ***Viggo Mortensen has signed with UTA. The actor was previously without an agent.
LBN- SITE OF THE DAY:
“Rasmussen Reports is a nonpartisan electronic media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information.”
LBN-SPOTLIGHT: George Carlin’s Advice on Dealing with the 2016 Election —– https://youtu.be/eVZMifGcW64
LBN – A DIFFERENT VIEW:….
LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu
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