LBN – Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: The investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with President Trump’s associates has cost taxpayers at least $3.2 million so far, according to Justice Department records released Tuesday. The expenditures are the first public accounting of the costs associated with Mueller’s far-reaching investigation, which has so far resulted in charges against four former aides to Trump’s campaign. Last week, Mueller announced charges against Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the only aide charged who also served in his presidential administration.

*Supreme Court: Texas Has Right to Deny Gay Spousal Benefits

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday swatted down an appeal by Houston to ensure that gay spouses working for the city are entitled to government-subsidized workplace benefits, allowing the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling on the matter to stand. Houston had challenged a ruling by the Texas Supreme Court in June that overturned a lower court’s decision to grant spousal benefits to gay city employees. The state’s all-Republican high court had issued its ruling amid pressure from conservative officials who argued that Texas may be able to limit the scope of the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which held that same-sex couples should be granted the fundamental right to marry. The Texas court argued that while Obergefell gives same-sex couples the right to marry, it does not necessarily grant them benefits. Monday’s decision was handed down quietly, with no comment or explanation. The move quickly triggered condemnation by activists. “Today’s abnegation by the nation’s highest court opens the door for an onslaught of challenges to the rights of LGBTQ people at every step,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of the civil-rights group GLAAD, said in a statement.

*Emmanuel Macron Warns Trump Over Plan to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

President Trump’s plan to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel ran into mounting resistance abroad on Monday, with France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, warning him it was a bad idea. Mr. Macron joined leaders from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and the Arab League in speaking out against the move, which would overturn decades of American policy. People briefed on the deliberations said Mr. Trump planned to address the issue in a speech on Wednesday, but they cautioned he could still change course. In a phone call with the president, Mr. Macron “expressed his concern with the possibility that the United States might unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as capital of the State of Israel,” according to a statement issued by the French government.

*Director Defends F.B.I. After Trump Says Bureau is in ‘Tatters’:

Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, defended his work force in an email on Monday, a day after President Trump said on Twitter that the agency’s standing was the “worst in History” and its reputation was in “Tatters.” In a message to the F.B.I.’s 35,000 agents and support staff that was provided to The New York Times, Mr. Wray said that he was “inspired by example after example of professionalism and dedication to justice demonstrated around the bureau. It is truly an honor to represent you.” He did not mention Mr. Trump by name.

*SEE UP CLOSE – READ LBN:


*Roy Moore Gets Trump Endorsement and R.N.C. Funding for Senate Race: 

President Trump on Monday strongly endorsed Roy S. Moore, the Republican nominee for a United States Senate seat, prompting the Republican National Committee to restore its support for a candidate accused of sexual misconduct against teenage girls. Mr. Trump’s endorsement strengthened what had been his subdued, if symbolically significant, embrace of Mr. Moore’s campaign. At Mr. Trump’s direct urging, and to the surprise of some Republican Party officials, the national committee, which severed ties to Mr. Moore weeks ago, opened a financial spigot that could help Mr. Moore with voter turnout in the contest’s closing days. “Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama,” Mr. Trump posted on Twitter on Monday, before he formally endorsed Mr. Moore during a telephone call. “We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more.”

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Americans eat approximately 350 slices of pizza per second.


*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Airbnb has a scary problem on their hands: People keep finding hidden cameras in their rental homes. Another host was busted last month trying to film guests without their knowledge — marking the second time since October that the company has had to publicly deal with this sort of incident. Officials have been forced to ban account users in the past for deploying secret cams around their houses, including residents in Florida and California.

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***A packed crowd of diverse L.A. influencers were on hand last night for “City Talk’s” annual year-end holiday party on the patio of the chic Brentwood restaurantBaltaire. Included in the celebration were film producers Barry Josephson and Howard Rosenman, KXN news anchor Bob Brill and KNX producer Jerry Edling, Associated Press writer John Rogers along with retired A.P legal writer Linda Deutsch, international security expert Kent Moyer, media psychiatrist Carole Lieberman, M.D., attorney Anthony Hanna, prominent Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeons Dr. Robert Kotler and Dr. Jon Perlman, and veteran film producer Mike Flint. Showing up at the end after a long day downtown was power-attorney Tom Girardi to offer a holiday toast. ***After the official Academy (AMPAS) screening of The Disaster Artist and the Q & A  off stage, Dave & James Franco, their writers and Warner Bros/A24 folks chatting, laughing and glad handing with Edward Lozzi, the publicist for infamous Tommy Wiseau and the The Room (2003) which the film is based on. All were comparing notes of their crazy experiences with Wiseau and the two motion pictures now merged forever with the nationwide opening of The Disaster Artist. The buzz last night with many Academy members was that James Franco’sperformance is Oscar worthy.

*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:  ***NBC has a succession crisis on its hands. While we’re told that ousted anchor Matt Lauer’s intense, long-running jealousy over potential rivals has left the network with no male contenders for his empty chair, a disastrous November sweep means that the network’s banner hire, Megyn Kelly, isn’t a viable replacement either.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: A new Harvard University poll Tuesdayis blaring a loud danger signal to the Republican Party after finding that millennials are now the largest generation of voters and they are overwhelmingly Democratic, by a two-to-one margin. The latest youth poll from Harvard’s influential Institute of Politics found that America’s 18-29-year-olds prefer Democrats 65 percent to 33 percent, in part because they don’t like President Trump and are “fearful” about the future.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: The Conclusion: “Without Notes” withSusan Estrich – Episode 5: That Was Then, This Is Now. —  https://youtu.be/gpq8aT3a5cU

*LBN-R.I.P.:  ***John B. Anderson, a former Republican congressman from Illinois who bolted his party to run as a plain-spoken independent candidate for president in 1980, drawing an enthusiastic if transient following among liberals and college students, died on Sunday night in Washington. He was 95. His death was confirmed by his daughter Diane Anderson.   ***Ivan Chermayeff, a graphic designer who forged some of the most recognizable corporate logos of the second half of the 20th century — including those of the cable channel Showtime, the publisher HarperCollins, the Smithsonian Institution and Pan Am — died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 85. His family confirmed the death.

*LBN-TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: 

Walter Elias “Walt” Disney (1901)

Walt Disney began his career as a cartoonist in 1920. By the time he died in 1966, he had built an entertainment empire. His enormously successful cartoons and films—both animated and live-action—employed groundbreaking technology and introduced now-famous characters such as Mickey Mouse. A skilled businessman as well as an innovator, Disney oversaw his company’s expansion into theme parks and mass merchandising.

*LBN-SITE OF THE DAY:

Get Latitude and Longitude

Latlong.net is an online geographic tool that can be used to lookup latitude and longitude of a place, and get its coordinates on map. You can search for a place using a city’s or town’s name, as well as the name of special places, and the correct lat long coordinates will be shown at the bottom of the latitude longitude finder form.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: Legal conflict is a clumsy tool to manage the holy messiness of actual pluralistic community. The legal system does not deal well with local and practical knowledge, the wisdom to know when a rule should be applied and when it should be bent. It does not do well with humility, tolerance and patience — virtues that are hard to put into a rule and can be achieved only in a specific situation. It inevitably generates angry reactions and populist uprisings. Readers of this column know that I fervently support gay marriage, but I don’t think bakers like Jack Phillips are best brought along by the iron fist of the state. I don’t think the fabric of this country will be repaired through the angry confrontation of lawyers. In this specific situation, the complex art of neighborliness is our best way forward.

*LBN-BOOK SPOTLIGHT: “What Did Jesus Do?: The Biblical Roots of the Catholic Church by Thomas Nash.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: At seventeen – Janis Ian – “At Seventeen” (1975) with Lyrics   —   https://youtu.be/XeUV3LmtTBY

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Michelle Goldberg: After the fall of Communism, capitalism came to seem like the modern world’s natural state, like the absence of ideology rather than an ideology itself. The Trump era is radicalizing because it makes the rotten morality behind our inequalities so manifest. It’s not just the occult magic of the market that’s enriching Ivanka Trump’s children while health insurance premiums soar and public school budgets wither. It’s the raw exercise of power by a tiny unaccountable minority that believes in its own superiority. You don’t have to want to abolish capitalism to understand why the prospect is tempting to a generation that’s being robbed.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Rebecca Zwick: The annual college applications frenzy is upon us — a season when high school students agonize over G.P.A.s and personal essays, hoping and praying that they will stand out among throngs of applicants. The anxiety among applicants about how to present themselves to universities is very visible online. Websites have sprung up to advise students on, say, whether teacher recommendations make a difference or whether to write about money in a college essay. One website, College Confidential, has offered a seminar in which you “learn what admission officials discuss behind closed doors” but “may not tell you in the information session.” Desperate applicants ask other site visitors — complete strangers — to “chance” them, or estimate the likelihood they will be admitted to their dream college. This degree of bewilderment is troubling, but not surprising. Colleges themselves have widely diverging views on what makes an ideal applicant. It’s a widespread misconception that applicants have an automatic right to be admitted to the school of their choice if they have higher grades or test scores than other candidates. It’s not that grades and test scores don’t matter — they nearly always do — but colleges aren’t obligated to choose the students who are deemed most likely to earn high college grades or graduate. As the legal scholar Ronald Dworkin put it, there is “no combination of abilities and skills and traits that constitutes ‘merit’ in the abstract.”

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Eric Clapton: I just have to face the guy that I became when I was fueled on drugs and alcohol. It’s incomprehensible to me, in a way, that I got so far out. And there was no one to challenge me. Because I may have become quite intimidating. People said they couldn’t challenge me because I came back twice as strong.  The only guy who did was my manager [at the time], Roger Forrester. He said to me, “You’ve got a problem.” When I decided he was right, he was the person I called. He packed me up and sent me off to [the rehab facility] Hazelden. When I got to Hazelden, I had to sign this thing saying who is your significant other. Anyone else would have put a family member – or my wife. I was married. But I put him. Because he was the only one who would stand up to me and call me out.

*NOW YOU CAN TELL YOUR STORY IN THE WORLD-FAMOUS LBN: 

Now you can tell YOUR unique story in the world-famous LBN newsletter! Reach influencers in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries. Doing so is really simple. Simply send your story (do not exceed 250 words), including a photo and link, to Dan Gaylord, the LBN Editor at Daniel.R.Gaylord@gmail.com. We will approve and run. The cost is a mere $250 payable either via PayPal or credit card. This is by-far one of the best deals in digital promotion and only available to LBN subscribers.

*LBN – A DIFFERENT VIEW:…


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Randy Travis is speaking out after a federal judge denied his request to keep the country singer’s 2012 arrest video private. The tape stems from a 2012 incident in which Travis reportedly crashed his 1988 Trans Am west of Tioga, Texas. When police arrived, Travis was lying naked in the street. “Randy’s behavior was extremely altered the evening of his arrest due to the state of his mental health, and substances in his body, causing him to do and say things that were entirely out of character,” Travis’ rep told Fox News. “He suffered a severe concussion and sustained numerous other injuries from the crash.”   ***Jimmy Kimmel’s son has had another heart surgery. ABC, on which “Jimmy Kimmel Live” airs, made the announcement on Monday, according to People. Kimmel’s 7-month-old, Billy, “had a scheduled and successful heart surgery this morning,” the network said.  The comedian will be spending this week with family. As a result, Chris Pratt, Tracee Ellis Ross, Neil Patrick Harris and Melissa McCarthy will take over his hosting duties.   ***Former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno and his wife have purchased an oceanfront estate in Newport, Rhode Island. The Boston Globe reports Leno, who grew up in Andover, Massachusetts, paid $13.5 million for the mansion called Seafair. It has eight bedrooms and 11 bathrooms and comes with a pool, a tennis court and a private beach. Lucky for Leno, who collects cars, it also boasts a six-car garage.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord

 

LBN – Monday, December 4th, 2017

*Trump: It’s ‘Very Unfair’ That Flynn Was Charged and Hillary Wasn’t

President Trump told reporters Monday morning that it was “very unfair” that his former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn has been charged with lying to the FBI. Trump claimed that Hillary Clinton had also misled investigators. “I feel badly for General Flynn. I feel very badly. He’d led a very strong life,” he said. “I will say this, Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI and nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and they destroyed his life… I think it’s a shame.” It has never been established that Clinton ever lied to the FBI.

*Trump Lawyer: A ‘President Cannot Obstruct Justice’

John Dowd, an attorney for President Trump, is now claiming that a president cannot be guilty of obstruction of justice, following a weekend tweet from Trump that some say amounted to an admission of obstruction. The “President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case,” said Dowd, who claims he wrote the tweet attributed to Trump. The message said, “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!” The tweet implied that Trump knew former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn had lied to the FBI when the White House fired him, which raises new questions about the later firing of FBI Director James Comey. Dowd told Axios, “The tweet did not admit obstruction. That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion.” Author and famed investigative journalist Bob Woodward told Axios this area is a “legal thicket” that hasn’t yet been settled. “I think a president can only be reached through impeachment and removal,” he said. “But the House and Senate could conclude a president had obstructed, and conclude that was a ‘high crime.’”

*HE SAID YES! – Gay Australian Politician Proposes During Same-Sex Marriage Debate

A member of parliament in Australia on Monday proposed to his long-term partner during a final debate on the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the country. Tim Wilson, 37, in the center-right Liberal party, teared up as he explained the toll the debate has taken on his life. “This debate has been the soundtrack to our relationship,” he said. Wilson said that he and his partner, Ryan Bolger, already wear rings on their left hands despite the fact that they can’t yet legally marry in the country. “So there’s only one thing left to do,” Wilson said, as his voice broke. He turned to the public gallery, where Bolger sat. “Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?” Bolger said yes. The deputy speaker made sure that the answer was recorded in the official record, adding, “Congratulations.”

*SHOW OF FORCE –  U.S. Starts Massive Military Drills With South Korea

The U.S. and South Korea on Monday began their biggest-ever air drills on the Korean Peninsula despite Pyongyang’s warning of “merciless revenge” for the show of force. The five-day annual drill, which comes just a week after North Korea fired a new missile it claims could reach all of the U.S., this year includes six F-22s, six F-35As, and 12 F-35B fighters, according to a U.S. military statement. Yonhap News has also reported that the drills will include simulated attacks on mock North Korean nuclear and missile targets. Some 12,000 U.S. servicemen are participating in the exercises, which come as tensions are at their highest in recent memory amid escalating threats from North Korea. White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday said the potential for war with the country “is increasing every day.”

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***CVS Health said on Sunday that it had agreed to buy Aetna for about $69 billion in a deal that would combine the drugstore giant with one of the biggest health insurers in the United States and has the potential to reshape the nation’s health care industry. The transaction, one of the largest of the year, reflects the increasingly blurred lines between the traditionally separate spheres of a rapidly changing industry. It represents an effort to make both companies more appealing to consumers as health care that was once delivered in a doctor’s office more often reaches consumers over the phone, at a retail clinic or via an app. The merger comes at a time of turbulent transformation in health care. Insurers, hospitals and pharmacy companies are bracing for a possible disruption in government programs like Medicare as a result of the Republicans’ plan to cut taxes. Congress remains at an impasse over the future of the Affordable Care Act, while employers and consumers are struggling under the weight of rising medical costs, including the soaring price of prescription drugs. And rapid changes in technology have raised the specter of new competitors — most notably Amazon.

*DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that 17 leading executives from FedEx read LBN daily?

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***Jennifer Lopez says working with her ex-husband Marc Anthony on her upcoming Spanish album healed their relationship. “[Collaborating on ‘Por Primera Vez’] actually kind of repaired certain parts of our relationship that had been fractured from our marriage and our divorce and it kind of made us friends again,” Lopez told Entertainment Tonight.

*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:   ***When comic Marcia Belsky sarcastically replied “men are scum” to a friend’s Facebook post back in October, she never anticipated being banned from the platform for 30 days. That was exactly what happened.    ***Newsmax TV, the nation’s fastest-growing news and information cable channel, has expanded its cable/satellite TV reach with a new carriage distribution agreement with DISH. Starting today, Newsmax TV is available on channel 216 to DISH customers who subscribe to the pay-TV provider’s America’s Top 120 and above programming packages — bringing Newsmax’s national cable and satellite footprint to 50 million U.S. households.

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Recently fired morning newsman Matt Lauer was spotted Monday morning driving his young son to school in the Hamptons. The shamed anchor, wearing sunglasses, a black bubble coat — and his wedding ring — was driving away from his Hamptons beach cottage in a gray Jeep Wrangler with his 11-year-old son, Thijs, in the front passenger seat. While driving, Lauer illegally spoke on his on his cell phone before making a detour to pick up his son’s friend in North Haven and taking both kids to school.  ***Rapper Travis Scott and streetwear designer Virgil Abloh at Chicago’s popular Joy District to celebrate the release of the Don “Don C” Crawley-designed “Just Don” shoe for Nike’s 35th anniversary of the Air Force 1.   ***Lin-Manuel Miranda and his wife Vanessa Nadal attended Sunday night’s London Evening Standard Theater Awards. While the couple looked sharp, all eyes were on Nadal’s unexpected baby bump.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Generally, a concussion is not accompanied by loss of consciousness. It is possible, and fairly common, for people to have a concussion and not even realize it.

*NOW YOU CAN TELL YOUR STORY IN THE WORLD-FAMOUS LBN: 

Yes, it’s true!….. Now you can tell YOUR story in the world-famous LBN newsletter. Reach influencers in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries. And, even better, your story will be searched by all of the major search engines, including Google. Doing so is really simple. Simply send your story (do not exceed 250 words), including a photo and link, toLBNElert@TimeWire.net. We will approve and run. The cost is a mere $250 payable either via Pay Pal or credit card. This is by-far one of the best deals in digital promotion and only available to LBN subscribers.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK:  Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends —https://youtu.be/X-YCdcnf_P8

*LBN-SPORTS INSIDER:   ***Don’t mess with Eli Manning. The New York Giants fired coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese on Monday morning after meeting with co-owner John Mara, less than a week after their much-maligned benching of the veteran quarterback.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: The conclusion to a intriguing five (5) part interview with one of America’s most fascinating woman,Susan Estrich –   “Without Notes” with Susan Estrich – Episode 5: That Was Then, This Is Now. —  https://youtu.be/gpq8aT3a5cU

*LBN-THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Led Zeppelin Officially Disbands (1980)

On September 25, 1980, Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham asphyxiated on his own vomit and died after a day of heavy drinking. Two months later, the remaining members of Led Zeppelin issued a press release stating that the band would not continue without Bonham. For decades, rumors of the band’s imminent reunion persisted, but the surviving members made only sporadic appearances to perform together. In 2007, they reunited for a single concert as Led Zeppelin.

*LBN-R.I.P.:   Lowell Hawthorne used the flavors of his native Jamaica to build a fast-food empire from scratch in the United States. But after 28 years as the president and chief executive of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, Mr. Lowell fatally shot himself on Saturday, the police said. The entrepreneur’s death sent shock waves through the Caribbean community in New York, where he was seen as an immigrant success story, and in Jamaica. And it stunned his family, friends and customers.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Sheryl Sandberg (President, Facebook): Four years ago, I wrote in Lean In that 64 percent of senior male managers were afraid to be alone with a female colleague, in part because of fears of being accused of sexual harassment. The problem with this is that mentoring almost always occurs in one-on-one settings. The percentage of men who will be afraid to be alone with a female colleague has to be sky high right now. Doing right by women in the workplace does not just mean treating them with respect. It also means not isolating or ignoring them – and making access equal. Whether that means you take all your direct reports out to dinner or none of them, the key is to give men and women equal opportunities to succeed. This is a critical moment to remind ourselves how important this is. So much good is happening to fix workplaces right now. Let’s make sure it does not have the unintended consequence of holding women back.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Tom Nash: (Author, “What Did Jesus Do”): As St. John Paul II has exhorted, Catholics must become more like the One they worship, reverently offering themselves with Christ’s Sacrifice to the Father at Mass; receiving frequent Holy Communion; spending time with their Beloved in Eucharistic adoration; and making regular spiritual communions, so that the world might better know that Jesus is truly Lord. If Catholics begin to see the Mass as the most profound and intimate communion with almighty God that is possible on earth, unworthy reception of the Eucharist will end overnight, liturgical abuses will cease; and the world will be won over to Christ, who will lead us to our ultimate and everlasting Communion in the heavenly sanctuary, when the sacramental veils of bread and wine will be removed and we will love our Lord, face to face, forever:

*LBN – A DIFFERENT VIEW:….


*LBN-OVERHEARD:  ***Former “CBS This Morning” hostCharlie Rose is continuing to live the good life after the network and PBS fired him for alleged sexual misconduct. A spy spotted Rose eating at fancy, expensive Le Bilboquet on the Upper East Side. “He was dining solo. He was greeted like a king. I was surprised,” the spy told us. A manager told us they don’t release information about clients, but Rose “was greeted the same way he’s always greeted when he comes here,” she said before her boss ended the conversation. Another source described Rose’s life as still quite rosy. “It hasn’t quite hit him yet. He doesn’t seem to fully get that what he’s done is wrong and that he likely won’t recover from this,” the source said.   ***The Winklevoss twins have become the world’s first Bitcoin billionaires. That’s right, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who in 2004 famously sued Mark Zuckerberg claiming he stole their idea for Facebook — have ridden a 10,000 percent rise in the cryptocurrency to a ten-digit net worth. In 2013, the twins used $11 million of the $65 million they pocketed when settled the suit against Zuckerberg to buy bitcoins.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord

LBN – Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

*Report: U.S. Looking for New Anti-Missile Sites on West Coast

The United States is reportedly searching for new sites on the west coast to set up anti-missile defense systems. The move comes amid heightened tensions with North Korea, which fired yet another intercontinental ballistic missile on Wednesday, raising concerns about a missile hitting the U.S. mainland. According to Reuters, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency is likely to use missiles similar to those deployed in South Korea known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in response to North Korea’s aggression.

*Report: FBI Agent Axed From Russia Probe Over ‘Anti-Trump Texts’

Special counsel, Robert Mueller, removed a senior FBI official from his team in the Russia probe after learning of anti-Trump text messages that could be used to undermine the investigation’s credibility, The Washington Post reports. Citing several sources familiar with the situation, the report says Peter Strzok, the former deputy head of counter-intelligence at the FBI, was taken off the investigation this summer over text message exchanges with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and was also working with Mueller. The pair, who were reportedly having an affair, had exchanged a series of text messages throughout both the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the ongoing probe into possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign. Multiple sources cited in the report said these messages revealed an obvious anti-Trump bias on both sides, which Mueller feared could be used by the president’s supporters in Congress to challenge the findings of the Russia investigation. Strzok was subsequently demoted to a job in human resources, while Page left Mueller’s team in July, before the text messages surfaced, according to the report.

*Emails Dispute White House Claims That Flynn Acted Independently on Russia: 

When President Trump fired his national security adviser,Michael T. Flynn, in February, White House officials portrayed him as a renegade who had acted independently in his discussions with a Russian official during the presidential transition and then lied to his colleagues about the interactions. But emails among top transition officials, provided or described to The New York Times, suggest that Mr. Flynn was far from a rogue actor. In fact, the emails, coupled with interviews and court documents filed on Friday, showed that Mr. Flynn was in close touch with other senior members of the Trump transition team both before and after he spoke with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, about American sanctions against Russia. While Mr. Trump has disparaged as a Democratic “hoax” any claims that he or his aides had unusual interactions with Russian officials, the records suggest that the Trump transition team was intensely focused on improving relations with Moscow and was willing to intervene to pursue that goal despite a request from the Obama administration that it not sow confusion about official American policy before Mr. Trump took office. On Dec. 29, a transition adviser to Mr. Trump, K. T. McFarland, wrote in an email to a colleague that sanctions announced hours before by the Obama administration in retaliation for Russian election meddling were aimed at discrediting Mr. Trump’s victory. The sanctions could also make it much harder for Mr. Trump to ease tensions with Russia, “which has just thrown the U.S.A. election to him,” she wrote in the emails obtained by The Times.

*Science Shows Redheads Have Genetic Superpowers: 

Amy Adams is a lucky woman. Not only is she one of Hollywood’s most talented actresses with five Oscar nominations under her fashionable belt, she actually smells sexy. Dr. Augustin Galopin first recorded this fact in his 1886 book “Le Parfum de la Femme.” He reportedly detected that redheaded women emit a particularly distinct aroma — that of ambergris, an earthy and sensual scent. (Later, science proved that skin mantle — a thin, acidic film on our skin’s surface — is actually more acidic in redheads, causing perfume to more quickly evaporate when applied and potentially emitting a unique smell of its own.) This and other fascinating facts fill the new tome “The Big Redhead Book” (St. Martins), out now, by scarlet-haired writer Erin La Rosa. Not only are “gingers” a mere 2 percent of the population (the rarest combination is a redhead with blue eyes like Adams), they’re also different in far subtler ways. Research indicates that redheads have higher thresholds for pain and need less vitamin D than the rest of us thanks to the MC1R gene mutation, which gives their hair its hue.

*CORRECTION – ABC News Suspends Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross Without Pay After Michael Flynn Report

ABC News suspended its chief investigative correspondent without pay on Saturday, one day after the network reported that candidate Donald Trump—rather than President-elect Trump—had told Michael Flynn to contact the Russian government. “We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday,” the statement read, explaining that Ross’ reporting “had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process.” Ross, the statement concluded, “will be suspended for four weeks without pay.”

*Netanyahu at Saban Forum: Iran, Like Nazi Germany, Has ‘Ruthless Commitment to Murdering Jews.’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised concerns over the threat posed against Israel by Iran while addressing the Saban Forum taking place in Washington, D.C. via satellite from his office in Jerusalem. Iran has a “ruthless commitment to terror” and a “ruthless commitment to kill Jews,” much like Nazi Germany during World War II, the premier stressed while addressing the forum.

*SEE THE WORLD UP CLOSE – READ LBN:


*San Diego Opens Giant Tent to Contain Hepatitis Outbreak: 

San Diego on Friday opened the first of three industrial-sized tents to house the homeless as part of the city’s efforts to contain a hepatitis A outbreak stemming from the deplorable conditions people were living in on the streets. About 20 people made their way to a bunk bed Friday in the tent that will house 350 single men and women. Two other giant tents will open later this month — one for families and one for veterans. The tents will house a total of 700 people. The city turned to tents to get people off the streets and contain a hepatitis A outbreak that has killed 20 people in the past year, marking the worst epidemic of its kind in the US in 20 years. The virus lives in feces.

*LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER:   ***The Walt Disney Company has resumed talks with 21st Century Fox about buying at least part of the company, as Fox weighs whether to shrink its empire, two people briefed on the matter said on Saturday. Fox is still in talks with Comcast about a potential deal, added these people, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations. The Murdochs, who control Fox, are expected to make a decision about whether to pursue a sale by the end of the year, one person added. The return of Disney, which held talks with Fox earlier this year, highlights how media companies are increasingly seeking to compete in a new era of streaming by getting bigger and acquiring more content. It also leaves medium-sized players like Fox to decide whether they can buy the scale they need — or sell and focus on particular business niches.

*LBN-HEALTH WATCH: For the first time in the United States, a woman who had a uterus transplant has given birth. The mother, who was born without a uterus, received the transplant from a living donor last year at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, and had a baby boy there last month, the hospital said on Friday. At the family’s request, their name, hometown and the date of the birth are being withheld to protect their privacy, according to Julie Smith, a spokeswoman for the hospital, which is part of Baylor Scott & White Health. Since 2014, eight other babies have been born to women who had uterus transplants, all in Sweden, at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: New biography reveals Joni Mitchell’sfeelings on her career — https://youtu.be/6zEeCEQtLko

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Liza Minnelli paid a visit to the cast of “Something Rotten!” in LA this week — and she wanted to remember one of the show’s stars so much, she made sure somebody wrote down his name for her to keep. The show is currently on tour and playing at the Ahmanson Theatre.   ***After canceling a number of tour dates because of a respiratory infection, Mariah Carey appears to be back on her feet. Spies spotted the diva at Tao in LA Thursday night with boyfriend and de facto manager Bryan Tanaka. She left at about 12:30 a.m. — seemed to be in good form and was drinking wine.

*LBN-SITE OF THE DAY:    

Nasa TV

NASA Television provides live coverage of launches, spacewalks and other mission events, as well as the latest news briefings, video files and live streams from the international space station.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK:  Christopher Guest shares the real-life inspiration for Spinal Tap  — https://youtu.be/OsIiBxWweRc

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Jeremy Kryt: Members of the Viagras cartel videotaped a rival hitman confessing to “sins” in  the western Mexican state of Michoacán last Thursday, then bent his neck backward over a block of wood and sawed off his head with a carving knife.  The beheading video was posted to social media, along with a warning to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). In the clip, the decapitated victim also claims to be the brother of Juan Carlos Márquez Pérez, a.k.a. “El Duende” (The Goblin), a CJNG operative arrested back in 2015. In a separate incident on Tuesday of last week, two more severed heads were found in a cooler at a television station in the nearby city of Guadalajara. The heads were accompanied by a note signed by the CJNG and addressed to a high-ranking police officer. Another cartel cooler was left at the federal courthouse building that same day, but officials refused to disclose the contents. Mexican mafiosos appear to have borrowed the practice of beheading their enemies from Middle Eastern terrorists such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS). Decapitations in Mexico have risen dramatically over the last several years due to their perceived shock factor. Head cutting has become the signature move for crime groups looking to intimidate opposing factions, pressure law enforcement, and cow local citizens.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Candida Moss: This week, National Geographic announced that, for the first time, the mortar from the tomb of Jesus at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher had been scientifically dated. The tomb itself, they reveal, was built in the fourth century. The evidence confirms the traditional story that Constantine built the first Christian church there around 325 CE. But does the mortar cement the Gospel story?  A little over a year ago scientists and archaeologists entered what the majority of Christians believe is the tomb of Jesus. More importantly the renovation of the Edicule (the shrine that housed the tomb) in the Church of Holy Sepulcher meant that the marble cladding that covered the tomb was removed for the first time since the sixteenth century. What they found beneath the cladding on October 26, 2016, was an older, broken marble slab marked with a cross. They then discovered that it was set directly on top of a limestone slab, or “burial bed.” For believers, this limestone surface might be the place where Christ was laid between his death and resurrection. According to the Gospels, Jesus’ body was removed from the cross and placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy Jew who participated in the trial of Jesus and inexplicably offered the use of his burial plot for the condemned man. The historical accuracy of this event has been contested by New Testament scholar John Dominic Crossan, but the story of Jesus’ burial and resurrection became foundational for Christian tradition. For the past 1700 years the tomb, though vacant of its most illustrious guest, has symbolized Christ’s triumph over death. [why vacant?]

*LBN – A DIFFERENT VIEW:….


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Fellow “Entourage” actor Kevin Dillon came to the defense of pal Jeremy Piven Saturday, saying the sexual assault claims against him are a “witch hunt.” “I’ve never seen him do anything like that. He’s been nothing but a gentleman,” Dillon, 52, told TMZ in a video. Dillon, who portrayed Johnny Drama on the hit HBO show, was also disturbed to learn the claims against Piven caused CBS not to pick up his series “Wisdom of the Crowd” for another season. “I think he’s getting railroaded here,” Dillon said.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord