LBN – Special Report – Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

*SHOWDOWN! – ICE Chief Plans to Send More Agents to Sanctuary Cities

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Thomas Homan on Tuesday said he plans to further crack down on undocumented immigrants by sending more resources and agents to sanctuary cities. Homan said on Tuesday that he plans to address “ludicrous” sanctuary cities. “In the America I grew up in, cities didn’t shield people who violated the law,” Homan told the publication. “What I want to get is a clear understanding from everybody, from the congressmen to the politicians to law enforcement to those who enter the country illegally, that ICE is open for business.” “We’re going to enforce the laws on the books without apology, we’ll continue to prioritize what we do,” Homan continued. “But it’s not OK to violate the laws of this country anymore, you’re going to be held accountable.”
*Watchdog: USPS Violated Hatch Act by Letting Workers Campaign for Clinton

The U.S. Postal Service violated the Hatch Act by allowing workers to take unpaid leave to participate in the union’s pro-Clinton campaigning efforts, according to a report by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. The investigation found that 97 letter carriers took time off to participate in the union’s Labor 2016 program, which sought to “elect Hillary Clinton and pro-worker candidates across the country.” Employees were reimbursed for the leave by the union’s political action committee. Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said postal employees are encouraged to support political action committees on their own time. “We reject the OSC’s conclusions that the granting of LWOP (leave without pay) represents either a ‘systematic violation of the Hatch Act’ or an ‘institutional bias in favor of NALC’s endorsed political candidates.’”

*How the Senate Health Care Bill Failed: G.O.P. Divisions and a Fed-Up President:  

President Trump was fed up with the grind of health care legislation, and at a dinner with Republican senators on Monday at the White House, he let them know it. He told the lawmakers how annoyed he was with one Republican who was not there, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who had gone on television over the weekend to oppose a Senate health care bill that once held the promise of victory for Mr. Trump. It is one thing to vote no, Mr. Trump told the group, according to one of the guests. It is another, the president said, to go on all of the Sunday shows and complain about it. The scene on Monday night was an exasperating end for Mr. Trump to a month of negotiations between the White House and Senate Republicans in an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature domestic legacy. The Senate bill, which faced a near-impossible path forward after the House passed its version of the legislation in May, was ultimately defeated by deep divisions within the party, a lack of a viable health care alternative and a president who, one staff member said, was growing bored in selling the bill and often undermined the best-laid plans of his aides with a quip or a tweet.

*‘Despacito’ Sets Record for Most Streamed Song Ever

“Despacito” is now the most streamed song ever, racking up more than 4.6 billion plays on all streaming platforms. The song—by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee—was released in January and has reigned at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a landmark ten weeks. Together the remix featuring Justin Bieber and the original combined have surpassed Bieber’s 2015 hit “Sorry,” which enjoyed 4.38 billion streams of its own.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Five years after The New York Times took a noise meter to restaurants, bars, stores and gyms across the city and found dangerous decibel levels, the city’s noise problem has only gotten worse, according to noise experts and residents. Citywide, about 420,000 noise complaints were lodged with the city’s 311 hotline in 2016, more than double the number of 2011.

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***Madonna filed a request for a temporary restraining against the auction house Gotta Have It Collectibles to stop the sale of several personal items, including a breakup letter from Tupac Shakur.

*LBN NOTICED – Men’s fashion designer Alan Au having dinner at Baltaire Restaurant in Brentwood.

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*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Sarah Silverman – Early Standup —- A young Sarah Silverman doing some standup in 1992. —– .

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Jessica Alba had dinner at Toscana in Brentwood.   Paul Verhoeven and Rory Kennedy were there the day before, separately.   ***Martin Short checked out The Grill on the Alley.   ***Jeffrey Katzenberg had breakfast at Jean-Georges Beverly Hills in the new Waldorf Astoria. On a different day, Arnold Schwarzenegger lunched on the hotel’s rooftop.   ***Matthew Rhys help court at The Palm in Beverly Hills. Andy Cohen and producer Jason Blum also were there. On another day, Brian Grazer sat with Robert Kraft and Ron Meyer.   ***Macy Gray was at Wally’s Beverly Hills.   ***Daniel Radcliffe enjoyed Cavatina at the Sunset Marquis.   ***ICM Partners John Burnham sat with Woody AllenSoon-Yi Previn and Diane Keaton at the Giorgio Baldi.   ***Steve Carell had family dinner at Barton G.  ***UTA’s Jim Berkin shared a table with Martin Lawrence and Michael Green at Mr. Chow. Producer, Moritz Borman was nearby. On a different day, Ari Emanuelbroke broke bread with Brian Grazer. Octavia Spencer also popped in.   ***Director James Burrows was at Nerano.   ***Mel B checked in to Sonho House for lunch.    ***Julia Roberts was at Soho House’s Little Beach House Malibu outpost.   ***Barry Diller lunched at The Palm in Beverly Hills.

*MY REVIEW: “LBN has brought honest, truthful news and information into to my life. I started reading it about five years ago and quickly became addicted.” —– Dr. Sally Lee, an LBN reader from Seattle, Washington.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Thomas Friedman: Trump ‘will suck your brains out’ – BBC Newsnight — Evan Davis speaks to Thomas Friedman – New York Times columnist and Pulitzer prize-winning journalist – about Donald Trump, globalization, technology and his new book, Thank You for Being Late. ——


US Army Corps of Engineers

The USACE is responsible for investigating, developing and maintaining the nation’s water and related environmental resources. They also deliver vital public and military engineering services; partnering in peace and war to strengthen our Nation’s security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Amy ZimmermanTaylor Swift is the teenage tattoo of A-List celebrities: Every so often we remember that she’s still there, and we don’t quite know what to do with her.  The pop star has been more or less MIA since last summer, when Kim Kardashian took to Snapchat to out Swift as a stack of snake emojis hiding inside a patriotic onesie.  Taylor Swift—an incredibly calculating celeb who nonetheless managed to market herself as the naïve girl next door—might be a snake, but she’s our snake. In a galaxy of eye-roll-elicitingKaty Perry’s and rage-inducing Rob Kardashian, Swift always stood out as a celebrity who could generate an infinite amount of relatively inoffensive content about herself.  From her rotating cast of Ken doll boyfriends to her famous squad, Swift consistently made headlines. Love her or hate her, but show some freaking gratitude for a woman who would go on a double date with her friend who is currently dating her ex-boyfriend just to feed us clickbait-hungry monsters.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Ioan Grillo:  I’ve covered Mexico’s violence since 2001, but I am still dumbstruck by the extent to which normal life seems to carry on next door to such terrors. A study released last month found that at least 1,400 bodies were dug up from mass graves across the country between 2009 and 2014. And those are just a fraction of the 176,000 murders that police have counted here over the last decade. At the same time, Mexico has a trillion-dollar economy and is the eighth-most-visited tourist destination on the planet. The government denies there is an armed conflict going on.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Governor John Kasich:Washington’s approach to health care over the past decade is yet another example of our lawmakers’ increasing distance from the rest of America. First one party rams through a rigid, convoluted plan that drives up costs though unsustainable mechanisms that are now unraveling. Then the other party pursues fixes that go too far the other way — and again ignores ideas from the other side. Neither extreme is cutting it, and the quick opposition that doomed the Senate plan reflects how unacceptable its ideas are to so many. The American people want and deserve reasonable, balanced, sustainable health care so that they can live without the fear of bankruptcy if they get sick, our most vulnerable neighbors are treated with compassion and those who seek to improve their lives can get healthy, confront addiction and get work. Despite weeks of hard effort, the Senate plan was rejected by governors in both parties because of its unsustainable reductions to Medicaid. Cutting these funds without giving states the flexibility to innovate and manage those cuts is a serious blow to states’ fiscal health at a time when most — Ohio included — are feeling headwinds from a softening national economy. And, unlike the federal government, states must balance their budgets. Particularly problematic was the bill’s failure to adequately meet addiction and mental health needs — which often occur together. Diverting funds away from the comprehensive, integrated physical and mental health care that is proving effective is a step backward. The Senate plan also failed to repair Obamacare’s damage to the insurance markets. Insufficient tax credits would make coverage unaffordable for many lower income Americans: Two of the subsidies in the bill would be temporary and a third would likely be unsustainably underfunded. Congress should avoid doing anything likely to cause further instability in the huge and complex private insurance market.


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***“The Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence lost her lunch during a performance of Olivia Wilde’s Broadway show, “1984,” on Monday night — but it wasn’t the edgy play that made the megastar sick. It has previously reported that theater fans have been regularly fainting and tossing their cookies at the intense Orwellian drama at the Hudson Theatre. “Sending my love to those 4 people who fainted in the audience,” Wilde even tweeted in May with the disclaimer, “Warning: this is not your grandma’s Broadway.” The visceral reactions are apparently thanks in part to the show being “loud, and people find it shocking,” a theater pro said. “There is a particularly harrowing scene involving a rat.”   ***OJ Simpson could be denied parole after he was caught pleasuring himself in his cell –  strictly verboten in federal prisons in the U.S. – a prison source has told ‘OJ is facing a disciplinary hearing after being written up for masturbating in his prison cell,’ said the source. ‘He was caught by a female corrections officer making her normal rounds in late June.’