LBN – Special Report – Tuesday, March 7, 2017

CHOICES! Chaffetz: Maybe Make Health Care a Priority Over New Phone:

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz suggested Tuesday that low-income Americans might have to choose between health-care coverage over an iPhone as a cost-cutting measure. “Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice. So maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions themselves.” Chaffetz’s remarks come a day after the House Republicans unveiled their Affordable Care Act replacement bill. He added that giving people more access to more health-care choices will lower costs across the board. Among other things, the repeal legislation would get rid of Obama’s individual mandate to purchase insurance or pay a tax penalty. Appearing on Fox News later Tuesday morning, Chaffetz said “maybe I didn’t say it as smoothly as I possibly could, but people need to make a conscious choice and I believe in self-reliance.”

Coroner: George Michael Died Naturally:

Singer George Michael died of natural causes, a British coroner revealed early Tuesday. More specifically, Michael had heart and liver disease. He died Christmas Day last year at age 53. Michael’s funeral had been delayed until the coroner’s tests were concluded. It is not believed that Michael’s death was suspicious or the result of foul play. “As there is a confirmed natural cause of death, being dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, the investigation is being discontinued and there is no need for an inquest or any further inquiries,” the coroner said in a statement. “No further updates will be provided and the family requests the media and public respect their privacy.”

WikiLeaks Posts Alleged CIA Hacking Documents:

WikiLeaks on Tuesday released thousands of documents purporting to be from secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) channels that detail the agency’s hacking protocol and capabilities. The documents appeared to be authentic, according to The New York Times, and are the first part of a multi-faceted release, WikiLeaks said. The documents show that the CIA has been able to circumvent encryption messaging applications including Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram. WikiLeaks said the government can compromise Android phones in particular and extract “audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.”

MY REVIEW: “Today, more than ever, information is power and LBN is a power-tool. Reading it daily makes me smarter, more curious, more alive.”—–Olivia D., an LBN reader from Montreal, Canada.

N. Korea: Missiles Were a Drill for Strike on U.S. Bases:

North Korea’s state-run media said Tuesday that its Monday missile launches were training for an airstrike on U.S. military bases in Japan. Three of the missiles landed in the waters off Japan. President Trump reportedly affirmed the U.S. commitment to Japan and South Korea in separate phone calls Monday, the White House said in a statement, adding that there will be “very dire consequences” for North Korea’s actions. Pyongyang is banned from ballistic-missile technology by UN resolutions but continues to develop them. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted that North Korea was a “menace” and will not be allowed to continue on its “destructive path.”

Casey Anthony Speaks Out for First Time:

Casey Anthony, who became a household name nine years ago when her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, went missing and was later found dead, spoke to the Associated Press about her case. Anthony, now 30, has never spoken publicly about the trial. “Caylee would be 12 right now. And would be a total badass,” Anthony told the Associated Press. “I’m still not even certain as I stand here today about what happened.” Anthony said she understands why public opinion is not in her favor, as she was portrayed in the media as a mother who could not say why her child was missing for a month or explain how there was no eyewitness testimony for her daughter’s alleged accidental drowning. “I understand why people have the opinions that they do,” Anthony said. Caylee was last seen on June 16, 2008, but she was not reported missing until July 15. A utility worker found the girl’s skeletal remains that December in a wooded area, and experts testified in the trial that decaying human remains were likely present in Anthony’s trunk, according to air samples. Ultimately, a jury acquitted her of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, and aggravated child abuse.

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Iraqis Recapture Mosul Building Used for ISIS ‘Court’:

Iraqi forces on Tuesday recaptured several buildings in western Mosul from ISIS, including one that militants were using to carry out court proceedings after which they would stone suspects, chop off their hands, or launch them off rooftops. Spokesman Lt. Col. Abdel Amir al-Mohammadawi said an elite team stormed the buildings overnight in a raid. “They killed tens from Daesh,” Mohammadawi said. Tuesday’s success will enable U.S.-backed forces to engage in the fight in the old city, which will be the most complicated phase of the effort to retake Mosul, Reuters reports. In the historic district, militants have densely mixed themselves among civilians in narrow alleys.

Ben Carson Refers to Slaves as ‘Immigrants’ in First Remarks to HUD Staff: 

Ben Carson’s first full week as secretary of Housing and Urban Development got off to a rough start on Monday after he described African slaves as “immigrants” during his first speech to hundreds of assembled department employees. The remark, which came as part of a 40-minute address on the theme of America as “a land of dreams and opportunity,” was met with swift outrage online. Mr. Carson turned his attention to slavery after describing photographs of poor immigrants displayed at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. These new arrivals worked long hours, six or seven days a week, with little pay, he said. And before them, there were slaves. “That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity,’’ he said. “There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less. But they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters, might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”

LBN-NOTICED:   ***Another packed house at last night’s “City Talk” conversation series in the private room of Baltaire restaurant featuring legendary comedian Paul Rodriguez as the guest of honor. In attendance were Hollywood icon Jeff Wald, KNX radio anchor Bob Brill, radio producer Mel Garcia,comedian sensation, Ismo, comedian and actor Joey Garza,Santa Monica Mayor, Tony Vazquez, among others. ***Harry Connick Jr. at Patsy’s Italian Restaurant in NYC, treating his family — a party of 15 — to an Italian meal.   ***Lebron James and Kyrie Irving at Miami hot spot Rockwell to celebrate its first anniversary with Wiz Khalifa, Rick Rossand owner Chris Paciello.   ***Chloë Sevigny at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Matador Room at the Miami Beach Edition.   ***Susan Lucci at Nello in NYC.   ***Chelsea Clintonat Carbone in NYC.   ***Lorde having brunch at Cafe Colette in Brooklyn.   ***Adam Sandler at Barton G. in Los Angeles.

LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Robert Osborne, a onetime actor who turned his lifelong love of old films into a starring role as the marquee host of Turner Classic Movies, died on Monday at his home in Manhattan. He was 84. David Staller, a longtime friend, confirmed the death.   ***Thomas C. Platt, a federal judge in New York who warned the nation’s air traffic controllers in 1981about severe penalties if they went on an illegal strike, and then fined their union $100,000 an hour when they did, prompting President Ronald Reagan to fire them, died on Saturday in North Branford, Conn. He was 91. His death, at a care facility, was confirmed by his son-in-law Tom Gorin.   ***Scott Lew, writer and director, died on February 25 at his home in Valley Glen, CA, after a 15-year battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), Principato Young who managed Lew told Deadline. He was 48. After receiving a master’s degree from the Peter Stark Producers Program at USC, Scott worked at IRS Records and developed scripts for Beacon Pictures. In 1999 he sold his screenplay, “Bickford Shmeckler’s Cool Ideas and joined the Writer’s Guild of America.

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LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: Polina Aronson spent her first 16 years in Russia. There, people tend to regard love as a sort of divine madness that descends from the heavens. Love is regarded, as the sociologist Julia Lerner put it, as “a destiny, a moral act and a value; it is irresistible, it requires sacrifice and implies suffering and pain.” Russians measure one another by how well they are able to bear the upheaval love brings, sometimes to an absurd degree.But when she was in high school, Aronson moved to America, and stumbled across an issue of Seventeen magazine. She was astounded. In America she noticed that people tended ask: Does a partner fulfill your needs? Do you feel comfortable asserting your rights in the relationship? Does your partner check the right boxes? Aronson concluded that she had moved from the Russian Regime of Fate to the American Regime of Choice. “The most important requirement for choice is not the availability of multiple options,” she writes in Aeon magazine. “It is the existence of a savvy, sovereign chooser who is well aware of his needs and who acts on the basis of self-interest.”

LBN-COMMENTARY by James Traub: I believe that liberalism can be preserved only if liberals learn to distinguish between what must be protected at all cost and what must be, not discarded, but reconsidered — the unquestioned virtue of cosmopolitanism, for example, or of free trade. If we are to honor the human rights of refugees, we must find a way to do so that commands political majorities. Otherwise we’ll keep electing leaders who couldn’t care less about those rights.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Max Weinberg (Drummer, Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street band): I don’t play drums the same way I played when I was in my twenties. I don’t play with an equal amount of power. It’s more power since I developed the amount of finesse that I have. Unless you’re physically sick, and I have been. I’ve had major heart surgery. Major cancer surgery. Major hand surgery. Major back surgery. And I’m here to report that I feel a thousand percent great. I certainly think we’re testing the boundaries of what has been done. Certainly there are bands playing that are older than us. The Stones come to mind. I can’t think of any that during the course of 14 nights plays 100 different songs.

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LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:….

LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu
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