*WOW! – Dow Roars Past 25,000 as 2-Year Rally Rolls On
The Dow Jones industrial average on Thursday broke past 25,000 points for the first time, setting a record for the 132-year-old index as economic growth prospects continued to power rises for major stock markets. Shortly after opening, the Dow climbed to 25,021, maintaining an ascent that began in early 2016. Other major indexes have also reached all-time highs in recent days, including the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index and the Nasdaq composite. Underpinning much of the growth is a belief that corporate America will enjoy economic tailwinds in 2018, including benefits from the recently passed Republican tax overhaul. In the December round of economic projections, the median forecast of Federal Reserve officials was that the United States economy would grow 2.5 percent this year, up from a previous estimate of 2.1 percent.
*Wolff Book: Trump Is ‘Incapable of Functioning’ in His Job, Can’t Recognize Old Friends
In the second excerpt published from Michael Wolff’s new book, the journalist paints a portrait of a President Trump who is increasingly repeating stories, cannot recognize old friends, and is viewed by his closest allies as “incapable of functioning in his job.” The bombshell book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, describes a scene where, at Mar-a-Lago, just before the new year, “a heavily made-up Trump failed to recognize a succession of old friends.” Wolff writes, “It used to be inside of 30 minutes he’d repeat, word-for-word and expression-for-expression, the same three stories—now it waswithin 10 minutes.” He added, “Indeed, many of his tweets were the product of his repetitions—he just couldn’t stop saying something.” Trump and former top strategist Steve Bannontraded public barbs Wednesday over the newly released contents of the book. Bannon, in his first comments since the excerpts were revealed, didn’t dispute the accuracy of his attributions in the book.
*STAND BY YOUR MAN ? – Bannon Still Supports Trump: He’s a ‘Great Man’
Despite his very public battle with his former boss, Steve Bannon still believes President Trump to be a “a great man” whom he supports “day in and day out.” Speaking on his SiriusXM radio show Breitbart News Tonight, Bannon made no denials about the quotes attributed to him in excerpts of a newMichael Wolff book, but apparently stands by the commander in chief. “There’s no one we think higher than Donald Trump,” Bannon reassured one caller to the program, adding that supporters must not allow “left-wing” media to stir up a feud between him and Trump. The Wolff book, called Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, includes various jabs from Bannon at the president’s team and children. He calls Donald Trump Jr.’s behavior “treasonous” and describes Ivanka Trumpas “dumb as a brick,” but that was just the beginning. As a result of pre-release excerpts containing those quotes, the president on Wednesday released a scorching statement, condemning Bannon as having “lost his mind.”
*Sessions to End Policy That Allowed Legal Pot to Flourish
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reportedly opted to rescind a policy that enabled legalized marijuana to flourish without federal intervention, the Associated Press reported Thursday. According to the AP’s two sources, an announcement would likely come later Thursday, letting U.S. attorneys located in states where pot is legal decide on their own whether to enforce federal marijuana laws or not. The policy change will in all likelihood increase confusion about whether it’s legal to grow marijuana in U.S. states that have legalized such activity.
*Trump Tries to Halt Michael Wolff’s Book Release
President Trump’s lawyers have sent a cease-and-desist letter to journalist Michael Wolff and book publisher Henry Holt, demanding that they halt the Jan. 9 publication of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which has already made waves following the release of two excerpts in major publications. Trump is also asking for an apology for defamatory statements made in the excerpts. “We are investigating numerous false and/or baseless statements that you have made about Mr. Trump,” Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, reportedly wrote to Wolff. The apparently lengthy letter accuses Wolff of “actual malice” and declares that Trump’s team is looking into several legal avenues, including possible defamation of Trump and his family and invasion of privacy. Sections of the book reveal former top strategist Steve Bannoncriticizing Trump campaign officials and family members, and it has prompted a political firestorm—and personal attacks by Trump himself aimed at Bannon. Trump has also sent a cease-and-desist to Bannon through his legal team.
*YIKES! – Researchers Discover Two Major Flaws in the World’s Computers
Computer security experts have discovered two major security flaws in the microprocessors inside nearly all of the world’s computers. The two problems, called Meltdown and Spectre, could allow hackers to steal the entire memory contents of computers, including mobile devices, personal computers and servers running in so-called cloud computer networks. There is no easy fix for Spectre, which could require redesigning the processors, according to researchers. As for Meltdown, the software patch needed to fix the issue could slow down computers by as much as 30 percent — an ugly situation for people used to fast downloads from their favorite online services. “What actually happens with these flaws is different and what you do about them is different,” said Paul Kocher, a researcher who was an integral member of a team of researchers at big tech companies like Google and Rambus and in academia that discovered the flaws.
*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Net international migration to the United States declined during the year that ended on July 1, 2017, but still accounted for 48 percent of the nation’s population growth for that year, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. “Net international migration decreased 1.8 percent between 2016 and 2017, making it the first drop since 2012-2013,” the bureau says. “However, net international migration continues to be a significant factor in the population growth of the United States, adding just over 1.1 million people in the last year.”
*Report: North Korea Hit One of Its Own Cities With a Missile
A North Korean ballistic-missile test that failed in flight crashed and caused considerable damage to a complex in the city of Tokchon in April of last year, according to the online magazine The Diplomat. Though the failure of the launch was reported at the time, it wasn’t clear until Wednesday’s report that the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile came down in the populated area, about two hours outside Pyongyang. Using Google Earth and satellite images, The Diplomat said it found the errant missile struck a complex of facilities—either agricultural or industrial—that are adjacent to a residential area. The news site was not able to determine if there were any casualties caused by the explosion.
*WHO READS LBN? Famed media consultant Elliot Mintz
*Report: White House Bans Staff From Using Personal Cellphones
The Trump White House is banning employees from using personal cellphones while at work, effectively cutting staffers off from their children and families, Bloomberg New reports, citing White House officials. The ban, imposed by Chief of Staff John Kelly, is due to take effect Friday, with President Trump’s aides to be barred from using their personal devices on White House grounds, according to the report. Aides say the move stems from cybersecurity concerns, not Trump’s fear of unauthorized leaks to the press. The ban has reportedly prompted an outcry among some staffers who fear the measure will keep their families from being able to reach them as they rush between meetings and put in long hours. They say work phones issued by the White House cannot accommodate text messaging and aren’t meant to be used for personal use.
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- Winter cold kills more than twice as many Americans as summer heat does.
- In one study, men rated pictures of women’s breasts and bodies as more attractive in the winter months, while they rated pictures of women’s faces the same. Researchers believe men don’t see women’s bodies as much during the winter, so they’re more excited when they do.
- The Southern Hemisphere typically has milder winters than the Northern Hemisphere. This is because the Southern Hemisphere has less land and a more maritime climate.
- While it seems counterintuitive, Earth is actually closest to the sun in December, even though winter solstice is the shortest day of the year.
- According to the Guinness World Records, on January 28, 1887, a snowflake 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick fell in Fort Keogh, Montana, making it the largest snowflake ever observed.
*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER: ***Tesla’s first mass-market offering keeps encountering roadblocks. The electric-car maker said on Wednesday that production of the new vehicle, the Model 3, in the final quarter of 2017 was far behind what its chief executive, Elon Musk, forecast when it went into production six months ago. Priced at $35,000, the Model 3 has been touted by Mr. Musk as an affordable, high-volume compact sedan that would enable Tesla to sell more than 500,000 cars a year starting in 2018. In July, Mr. Musk predicted that Tesla would be able to make 20,000 Model 3s a month by December. But in the past three months, it has built only 2,425. ***Spotify is finally ready to go public. The streaming music giant filed a confidential registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission in late December, with the intention of listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange in the first quarter of this year, according to two people briefed on the company’s plans who were not authorized to discuss them.
*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER: ***Whitney Houston‘s estate settled its long battle with the IRS, having to fork over $2 million instead of the original $11 million it was ordered to pay. The estate filed documents on December 26 agreeing to pay the amount of $2,275,366, according to legal documents according to sources. After Houston passed away in 2012, the IRS determined her estate had “underreported the singer’s royalties, residuals and value of her image by $22.6 million,” The Blast reported. The IRS alleged that meant the estate owed $11 million dollars.
*LBN-VIDEO LINK – Episode # 1 – A conversation with best-selling author Harvard’s Srini Pillay: www.youtube.com/watch?v=
*LBN-SITE OF THE DAY:
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*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Moe Howard on Mike Douglas –https://youtu.be/Ecd9dPO8BhE
*LBN-COMMENTARY by John Podhoretz: The veteran journalist Michael Wolff set off a bomb yesterday in the middle of Trumpworld when details emerged from his new inside-the-White-House book, “Fire and Fury.” In the Guardian, the world read with dropped jaw about how former chief strategist Steve Bannon used the words “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” to describe Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians in July 2016 and said there was “zero” chance the son hadn’t brought the Russians to meet his father. This meeting is a key event in the so-called “Russian collusion” timeline the president and his supporters say was a meaningless dead end. Then an excerpt from the book appeared on New York magazine’s website. The word “juicy” hardly suffices to describe this one. Trump is portrayed as a semiliterate man with no attention span, shell-shocked by his unexpected and unwanted victory, sleeping in separate rooms from his wife, insisting on changing his own sheets, fearful of being poisoned, ranting on the phone about how everybody who works for him is lousy.
*LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:…..
LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Porush