LBN-INVESTIGATES: The federal debt climbed by more than a trillion dollars during 2016, according to data released today by the U.S. Treasury. On Dec. 31, 2015, the last business day of 2015, the federal debt was $18,922,179,009,420.89. On Dec. 30, 2016, the last business day of 2016, it was $19,976,826,951,047.80. The one-year increase in the federal debt during calendar year 2016 was therefore $1,054,647,941,626.91.
Trump to Kill Obamacare With Executive Orders on Day One:
President-elect Donald Trump will begin to dismantle the Affordable Care Act almost immediately when he takes officelater this month through a series of executive orders, Mike Pence reportedly told House Republicans in a meeting on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning. Rep. Chris Collins, a steadfast Trump ally in the lower chamber, reportedly said Congressional Republicans will have a replacement bill ready in six months. Meanwhile, President Obama was meeting separately with Democrats to discuss a strategy going forward for shielding the president’s signature legislative achievement. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) was tweeting from inside the meeting and said Obama criticized the GOP for its handling of the repeal process. “You don’t tear down a house before having plans and building a new one,” Obama purportedly said, adding that he could have done a better job “communicating the importance” of the Affordable Care Act.
U.S. Had Most Floods on Record in 2016:
The United States experienced its most floods on record in 2016, according to reinsurance company Munich Re, with 19 separate incidents nationwide and an increase from 15 floods in 2015. The floods in Louisiana in August were by far the year’s worst, with 13 people killed and more than $10 billion in damage recorded. In the U.S., a total of 91 weather-related disasters took place, an increase from 85 in 2015 and the second-most recorded by the insurance giant since it began tracking such disasters in 1980. Globally, 750 disasters caused $175 billion in damage in 2016. “Of course, individual events themselves can never be attributed directly to climate change,” said Peter Hoppe of Munich Re. “But there are now many indications that certain events—such as persistent weather systems or storms bringing torrential rain and hail—are more likely to occur in certain regions as a result of climate change.”
CYBER COLD WAR — Ex-Cabinet Officials Call for Russian Hacking Probe:
Former cabinet officials and intelligence experts are calling for a bipartisan investigation into Russia’s alleged hacking of U.S. political institutions, BuzzFeed reported on Wednesday. The letter calls on members of Congress “to create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate efforts by the Russian Federation to influence or interfere with the U.S. presidential election in 2016.” The letter’s signatories include former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, former Defense SecretaryLeon Panetta, and former CIA chief Michael Morrell. Democrats introduced legislation in December to create the bipartisan, independent commission, but Republicans have been reluctant to sign on.
Report: Amal and George Clooney Expecting Twins:
Could George Clooney be about to become a daddy—twice over? A report in Lebanon’s Daily Star claims that the high-profile Hollywood actor and his wife, Amal, are expecting twins, citing as their source a family friend in Lebanon. Amal Clooney has joint British and Lebanese citizenships. Amal, a 37-year-old prominent human-rights lawyer who works in a prestigious London law firm, married the 54-year-old Oscar-winner in Italy in 2014. The couple live in a historic mansion in England. There have been numerous false reports since their marriage that the Clooneys may be expecting, and the couple have not commented on the new claims.
MY REVIEW: “I appreciate that LBN pisses people off! People who are afraid of the truth and want to read biased bull-shit. I respect the fearless independence of LBN.”—– Dana T., an LBN reader from London, England
Trump Blames ‘Careless’ DNC for WikiLeaks Hack:
President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday morning knocked the Democratic National Committee for being “careless” enough to fall victim to computer hacking during the general election. Trump appeared to believe—and even take sides with—WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, following the controversial figure’s interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News. “Julian Assange said ‘a 14-year-old could have hacked Podesta’—why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!” In the interview with Hannity, Assange accused the Obama administration of “trying to delegitimize the Trump administration as it goes into the White House.” He added, “They are trying to say that President-elect Trump is not a legitimate president.”
Customers: Pro-Trump Pillows Are a Nightmare:
The Better Business Bureau this week accused TV-famousMike Lindell of swindling consumers, which comes on top of multiple lawsuits and burned partners. Trump supporters’ favorite pillow brand is going flat. MyPillow, a pillow and mattress-topper company best known for its infomercials and outlandish medical claims, came out swinging for Donald Trump during the presidential election. “I’m here to give all my credibility to Mr. Donald Trump,” the company’s founder and spokesperson Mike Lindell told Fox News during an interview at the final presidential debate, where he had scored seats to support Trump. But Lindell might be the rare businessman with less credibility than Trump. The Better Business Bureau yanked MyPillow’s accreditation this week and slapped the company with an “F” rating, over what customers described as a misleading ad campaign. MyPillow has racked up years of customer complaints, from allegations of the pillow’s trumped-up health claims, to a recent complaint that reads “I want to murder Mike Lindell” 15 times and accuses the company of selling overpriced wares.
LBN-WHERE THE ELITE AND UNDERDOGS MEET:
LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER: ***The virtual currency Bitcoin has been swept up in yet another speculative frenzy, pushing its price toward the peak it last reached in late 2013.The price of Bitcoin has been buoyed by increased interest from places like Venezuela, where the local currency has lost much of its value, and India, where the government recently removed the largest cash notes from circulation. More broadly, a tilt toward isolationism that has emerged in American and European politics — highlighted by Donald J. Trump’s election victory — has given a new sheen to a currency that can move between countries with little oversight. ***Legendary attorney Robert Shapiro will be the guest-of-honor at a special “City Talk” cocktail party next Monday, January 9th at the elegant Baltaire restaurant in Brentwood.
LBN-MUSIC INSIDER: Mariah Carey axed her longtime creative director and choreographer following the diva’s train-wreck New Year’s Eve performance in Times Square, according to a report Tuesday. Anthony Burrell appears to be the first scapegoat from Team Mariah over Saturday night’s debacle, when Carey took the “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” stage and inexplicably failed to sing, “Entertainment Tonight” reported. “He’s not being brought back [in 2017] for a number of reasons,” a source close to Carey claimed.
WHO READS LBN? Frank Strauss, Owner-Operator at Fedora Primo Hat Shop
LBN-NOTICED: ***Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Unionpulling into Miami’s River Yacht Club on a $1.5 million VanDutch boat. ***Alan Dershowitz and Brian Stokes Mitchell in the audience at Monica Piper’s show, “Not That Jewish” in NYC. ***Martin Short, Paul Shaffer and Eugene Levy at Nello in NYC celebrating Shaffer’s upcoming tour and album. ***Matt Harvey at a Haute Living event at Mamo in NYC. ***The Rev. Al Sharpton sipping Veuve Clicquot in the VIP section at the Reef by CuisinArt in Anguilla. ***Snoop Dogg and Michael Bay at Ora in Miami. ***Motion Lit partners Vahe and Vache Garabedian having dinner at the classic Italian restaurant, Vito in Santa Monica.
LBN-MEDIA INSIDER: ***MSNBC’s hosts have a tax problem. A Heat Street review of public records show that a total of six current, prominent MSNBC pundits have recently settled federal or state tax liens, while one still has tax problems. Moreover, at least two other hosts who recently left the network have also had massive tax liens filed against them. MSNBC declined to comment, and none of the current or former tax debtors responded to requests for interviews sent through an MSNBC spokesperson. The Rev. Al Sharpton — MSNBC’s Sunday morning host — easily comes in first place when it comes to “issues” with the taxman. He and his various entities—including several dissolved by New York for failure to pay taxes—currently owe about $1.5 million in state and federal taxes, interest and penalties, according to public records.
LBN-COMMENTARY by Thomas L. Friedman: Software has started writing poetry, sports stories and business news. IBM’sWatson is co-writing pop hits. Uber has begun deploying self-driving taxis on real city streets and, last month, Amazon delivered its first package by drone to a customer in rural England. Add it all up and you quickly realize that Donald Trump’s election isn’t the only thing disrupting society today. The far more profound disruption is happening in the workplace and in the economy at large, as the relentless march of technology has brought us to a point where machines and software are not just outworking us but starting to outthink us in more and more realms. To reflect on this rapid change, I sat down with my teacher and friend Dov Seidman, C.E.O. of LRN, which advises companies on leadership and how to build ethical cultures, for his take. “What we are experiencing today bears striking similarities in size and implications to the scientific revolution that began in the 16th century,” said Seidman. “The discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo, which spurred that scientific revolution, challenged our whole understanding of the world around and beyond us — and forced us as humans to rethink our place within it.” Once scientific methods became enshrined, we used science and reason to navigate our way forward, he added, so much so that “the French philosopher René Descartes crystallized this age of reason in one phrase: ‘I think, therefore I am.’” Descartes’s point, said Seidman, “was that it was our ability to ‘think’ that most distinguished humans from all other animals on earth.”
LBN-COMMENTARY by Izzy Freeman (Legendary deli owner): I felt quite sad about the closing of the Carnegie Deli the other day. It is another era that is gone and another deli bites the dust. When I went there a month ago there were people waiting out in the cold to eat. I fear that over the next few year more delis will close as people become more health conscious.
LBN-INFO LINK: Doors’ Debut Album: 10 Things You Didn’t Know
LBN-COMMENTARY by Andy Parker: Come on responsible NRA members. You can change it from within. That “God Given right” these gun nuts tie to the second amendment? Thomas Jefferson wrote that rights given by our creator were to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness——not to guns. And Jefferson and Madison banned arms from UVA! God doesn’t give us guns—he gives us our sons and daughters. All Americans should have the right to be free from the fear of murder by someone who can too easily get their hands on a gun. No one should be afraid that what happened to Alison could happen to them. Be prepared to keep fighting for that right. Do it for your children. For all of our children.
LBN COMMENTARY by Peter Hankoff: “If I have a month to live, I’ll spend it with a pothead because it’ll feel like a year.”
LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:
LBN-OVERHEARD: ***Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd have officially welcomed their tiny dancer. Well, it might be a little early to know if their first baby has the ballroom itch, but the Dancing With the Stars pros did become first-timeparents on Wednesday when Murgatroyd gave birth to a boy named Shai Aleksander Chmerkovskiy. ***Janet Jackson has an extra exciting reason to celebrate the arrival of 2017. The Grammy-winning singer has given birth to her first child, a baby boy named Eissa Al Manna, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, a rep for Janet confirms. ***Meryl Streep has been tapped to speak at Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher’s public memorial. While no date has been set for the public service, TMZ reports that in addition to the 67-year-old Oscar winner, “Star Wars” cast members will also pay tribute to the late actresses. Costumes from both Reynolds and Fisher’s careers will be on display.
LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu
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