LBN – Special Report – Saturday, July 15th, 2017

*ISIS Leader in Afghanistan Is Killed by Drone, Pentagon Says:

The leader of the Islamic State’s branch in Afghanistan, Abu Sayed, was killed by an American drone strike this week, the Pentagon said on Friday. The strike, on Tuesday, targeted the militants’ headquarters in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. Other members of the group were also killed in the operation, the Pentagon said in a statement, which asserted that the attack would “significantly disrupt the terror group’s plans to expand its presence in Afghanistan.” The Islamic State, however, has proved its resilience by replacing its leaders soon after they are killed.
*Dropping the Bluster, Trump Revives Banter With Reporters:

The Donald J. Trump who turned up in the press cabin of Air Force One on Wednesday evening, as his plane crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the way to Paris, was starkly different from the one who publicly pillories the news media but surprisingly familiar to reporters who know him well. The president had taken off his tie but kept on his jacket — a wardrobe change that for him qualifies as casual Friday — and he was in a happy-hour frame of mind. Expansive, engaging, even at times ebullient, Mr. Trump held forth for an hour, addressing reporters by name and alighting on topics as different as Chinese history and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. It was a loose, good-humored side of Mr. Trump that the public rarely sees amid the fusillade of angry speeches and venomous tweets that have characterized the president’s first six months in the White House. And it came to light only because he retroactively put the session on the record, asking a reporter the next morning why she had not quoted his remarks. White House aides say they see more of this side in the Oval Office, where the president has debated advisers about issues like sending more troops to Afghanistan. Diplomats say their bosses see more of it in meetings, where Mr. Trump has engaged even those who are deeply skeptical of his views, like Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.
*BACK TO COURT — Trump Admin to Appeal New Travel Ban Challenge

The Trump administration will appeal a new challenge to the president’s travel ban to the Supreme Court, Attorney GeneralJeff Sessions said Friday. The high court ruled last month that parts of the president’s initial ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority nations could go into effect, but on Thursday a federal judge in Hawaii narrowed the application of the ban. When the new ban went into effect, “close” relatives of those living in the U.S. were exempt. But that definition did not include grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others. U.S. District JudgeDerrick Watson ruled that those family members also be exempt from the ban.
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*Report: Don King Still Advises President Trump

According to an interview published in Politico Magazine on Friday, the famous boxing promoter Don King is still advising his old friend, President Donald Trump. “I call my connection to him, if I want to get a meeting or whatever it is,” King, who was a celebrity campaign-trail surrogate for Trump last year, said. “But I can talk to him every day through his assistant. And if it’s something that’s got to be of urgency, I can get him.” King—who says he can “be like a Tillerson without the portfolio because I’ve been around the world”—told the magazine that Trump “wanted to get my estimation of what’s going on [and] he said, ‘What you think about me firing [National Security AdviserMichael] Flynn?’ I said, ‘With all due respect, Mr. President, Flynn fired himself.’ … Trump’s loyal to a fault.” One White House official confirmed to The Daily Beast that King and Trump still keep in touch and remain “close friends” with “deep respect and admiration” for one another. A former Trump campaign official noted that King is “one of [Trump’s] favorite people” who Trump “loved talking about” during the 2016 campaign.

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Idaho achieved a notable distinction last year: It became one of the hardest places in America for someone to quit a job for a better one. The state did this by making it easier for companies to enforce noncompete agreements, which prevent employees from leaving their company for a competitor.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: The vanishing bus benches were Anaheim’s response to complaints about the homeless population around Disneyland. Public work crews removed 20 benches from bus shelters after callers alerted City Hall to reports of vagrants drinking, defecating or smoking pot in the neighborhood near the amusement park’s entrance, officials said.

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:  ***The “Double Fantasy” album that John Lennon signed for his killer Mark David Chapmanjust five hours before he was assassinated is up for sale for $1.5 million. One of the most gruesome artifacts of rock history is up for sale through dealer Moments in Time. On Dec. 8, 1980, just hours before Lennon’s death, Chapman was photographed approaching the Beatle outside his home at the Dakota building to get him to sign the record. When Lennon returned home later with his wife, Yoko Ono, from a recording session, he was shot dead by Chapman.


*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Power Foods for the Brain | Neal Barnard—–

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: During the 1872 election, presidential incumbent Ulysses S. Grant ran against a corpse. His opponent, Horace Greeley, died before the election was finalized. Grant won the election.

*LBN-SPORTS INSIDER:   ***After struggling with the burden of winning her first Grand Slam singles title, Garbiñe Muguruza now must cope with the reality of winning a second. She triumphed at Wimbledon on Saturday by defeating the five-time champion Venus Williams, 7-5, 6-0. At 23, Muguruza is 14 years younger than Williams, the American star who was playing in her first Wimbledon singles final since 2009.   ***For the first time since 2013, the public will see O.J. Simpson live next week when he appears at a televised parole hearing. The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. PT on Thursday, July 20, from Nevada and will be broadcast in a video pool, with networks including ESPN airing it live.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Shields and Brooks on fallout fromDonald Trump Jr.’s emails, GOP health care reform   —– Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s news, including President Donald Trump’s trip abroad, fallout over a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer, and the latest version of a GOP Senate health care bill.——


Daily Overview
Showing Earth from above to inspire the Overview Effect, highlight human impact, and change the way you see our planet.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: How To Make Yourself Go To Sleep Fast —–

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Ray Phiri, the South African guitarist who reached an international audience backing Paul Simon on the albums “Graceland” and “The Rhythm of the Saints” and who founded Stimela, a widely acclaimed, long-running band that confronted apartheid, died on Wednesday at a clinic in Nelspruit, South Africa. He was 70. A family friend and spokesman, Paul Nkanyane, announced the death and said that the cause was lung cancer.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Bret Stephens: Liu Xiaobo, the dissident writer who became China’s first Nobel Peace laureate when he won the prize in 2010, died in state custody on Thursday, having spent almost the last nine years of his life in prison. His death is a tragedy and an outrage. It’s also a warning to his jailers. To wit: No nation that defames and imprisons its best people is going to become great. No country that is afraid to let a man such as Liu speak freely can possibly be described as strong. Regimes that are fearsome are brittle, too. That’s a thought that ought to vex those China enthusiasts who for years have been predicting that the country’s rise to global primacy is merely a matter of time. This is geopolitical analysis by way of grade-school math: If the United States, with a gross domestic product of $18.6 trillion, continues to grow at its current sub-2 percent rate a year, and China, with a G.D.P. of $11.2 trillion, grows at its plus-6 percent rate, then China will overtake us in about a decade. Tick-tick-tick.


LBN – Special Report – Friday, July 14th, 2017

*Jamie Dimon Blows Up at DC’s Dysfunction, Says He’s Tired of ‘Listening to the Stupid S—‘:
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon expressed frustration at the U.S. federal government during the company’s earnings conference call Friday.  “It’s almost an embarrassment being an American citizen traveling around the world and listening to the stupid s— we have to deal with in this country,” Dimon said in response to an analyst question.  “Since the Great Recession, which is now 8 years old, we’ve been growing at 1.5 to 2 percent in spite of stupidity and political gridlock, because the American business sector is powerful and strong,” he said. “What I’m saying is it would be much stronger growth had we made intelligent decisions and were there not gridlock.” The executive of the U.S. banking giant cited travels to countries such as France, Argentina, Israel and Ireland. The U.S. has become “one of the most bureaucratic, confusing, litigious societies on the planet” and “it’s hurting the average American that we don’t have these right policies,” he said.

*Trump on Why He Stopped Questioning Putin: ‘What Do You Do? End Up in a Fistfight?’

President Trump has provided a detailed account of his confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit over alleged Russian election interference. The White House on Thursday released comments Trump made a day earlier to reporters on Air Force One after the president reportedly asked why his remarks had not been published. Trump said he was direct with Putin when they met in Hamburg last week, but after twice asking the Russian president if he was involved in election interference and getting the same answer, he simply couldn’t push the subject any further. “What do you do? End up in a fistfight?” he said. “He said, ‘Absolutely not. I was not involved.’ He was very strong on it. I then said to him, in a totally different way, ‘Were you involved with the meddling?’ He said, ‘I was not—absolutely not.’” Putin then changed the topic to Syria, Trump said.

*WHO READS LBN? Best-selling author Srini Pillay:

*Senate Republicans Unveil New Health Bill, but Divisions Remain: 

Senate Republican leaders on Thursday unveiled a fresh proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, revising their bill to help hold down insurance costs for consumers while allowing insurers to sell new low-cost, stripped down policies. Those changes and others, including a decision to keep a pair of taxes on high-income people and to expand the use of tax-favored health savings accounts, were intended to bridge a vast gap between the Senate’s most conservative Republicans, who want less regulation of health insurance, and moderate Republicans concerned about people who would be left uninsured. But Republican leaders will have to battle for votes ahead of a final showdown they hope will come next week. Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate, and Rand Paul of Kentucky, a conservative, said they were not swayed — even on a procedural motion to take up the bill for debate.


*‘Walking Dead’ Stuntman Dies After Balcony Fall During Filming

Stuntman John Bernecker has died after falling from a 25-foot balcony onto a concrete floor Wednesday on the set of The Walking Dead. The 33-year-old was airlifted to an Atlanta hospital, where he was placed on a ventilator that was later turned off. Bernecker has done stunt work in several films, including the upcoming Marvel blockbuster Black Panther, and Rampage, which just wrapped.

*Producer’s Guild of America Welcomes B.D. Gunnell as New Member

In June of 2017, producer B.D. Gunnell( was accepted into the Producer’s Guild of America (PGA), which is based in Beverly Hills. B.D., whose short film “Rated” premiered recently at the Ojai Film Festival to rave reviews, had this to say about her recent admission into the Guild: “[my membership] is important because it’s a great networking opportunity for producers. As producers, we are lone wolves. We run on our own, and don’t meet a lot of our kind unless we are networking. At the guild, I sat in a room with 200 other producers, vetted by my peers, ready to network.” Her admittance additionally works as a representation of the PGA’s willingness to adjust its gender ratio. The Guild’s percentage of female members, as of today, is 45% – a number that has increased by 2% since 2015. “Joining the PGA makes me feel validated in what I do, and gives me that next level of credibility,” says Gunnell. “It was an absolute honor to become a member, and all it does is take me to that next step in my career.”

*DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that 14 members of the staff of the “Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame” read LBN daily?

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: The most important lesson from 83,000 brain scans | Daniel Amen —

*California Supreme Court Moves to Make Bar Exam Easier to Pass: 

California has long had a reputation for having one of the most difficult bar exams in the country. Now, with passage rates sagging, the state will make it easier to pass the test, which is required to be licensed as a practicing lawyer. The California Supreme Court, the ultimate authority over the bar exam, has decided to change the way the certification score is set. The court has not yet decided where the threshold will be set, but the changes will take effect in January. The move follows a sometimes furious debate in California legal circles over whether the state’s passing score, or “cut score” — 144 — was unrealistic. Each state offers its own bar exam, but many are moving toward more uniform exams, especially in the multiple-choice portion. What differentiates states is where they set the line for passage. For years, California had set the threshold for passing the exam higher than any other state but Delaware. Last year, just 62 percent of first-time test takers passed the California bar exam, compared with 83 percent in New York.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: “Without Notes” with M. Zuhdi JasserM.D. – Episode 3: Getting Political ——

*LBN-The Magic of Not Giving a F*** | Sarah Knight —- The bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck and Get Your Sh*t Together, Sarah Knight, outlines her “Not Sorry”  ——

*LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: Donald Trump’sgrandfather Friedrich emigrated to the United States when he was 16, in 1885. He ventured west to seek his riches and finally settled in Seattle, where he opened a restaurant that, according to family historian Gwenda Blair, likely included a section for a bordello. Gold fever hit the Pacific Northwest, and Grandfather Trump moved up to Bennett, British Columbia. It was a fast, raucous, money-grabbing atmosphere and Trump opened the Arctic Hotel, which had a bar, a restaurant and, according to an advertisement in the Dec. 9, 1899, edition of The Bennett Sun newspaper, “private boxes for ladies and parties.” Each box apparently came equipped with a bed and a scale to weigh the gold dust that was used to pay for the services offered in it. Friedrich returned to Germany, married and was sent back to the U.S. by German authorities (he hadn’t fulfilled his military service requirement) and amassed a modest fortune.Frederick, Donald’s father, began building middle-class housing. Profiles describe an intense, success-obsessed man who worked seven days a week and encouraged those around him to be killers in their field. “He didn’t like wimps,” his nephew told Philip Weiss of The Times. “He thought competition made you sharper.”

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Timothy Egan: Patriotism is supposed to be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion surely is a close second. So there was President Trump this week with evangelical leaders laying hands on him, and granting a rare non-Fox interview to the doddering founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network. That interview was with the televangelistPat Robertson, who is to news professionalism what Chris Christie is to constituent diplomacy. Robertson, you may recall, felt that feminists and gays were among the guilty parties in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. These days, he says that Trump’s critics are going against “God’s plan” and may be influenced by — who else — Satan. One assumes that God’s plan includes the biblical admonition to treat the bedraggled, the poor, the hungry — “the least of these brothers and sisters of mine” — as you would treat him. Did I miss something when Trump said he was salivating at the chance to take health care away from 22 million Americans and the 87-year-old Robertson merely responded with his trademark chucklehead chuckle? We’ve got an iceberg the size of Delaware breaking off in Antarctica, a free world that can’t trust the nominal leader of that realm, and Trump offers his interlocutor this gem: “It was a great G-20. We had 20 countries.”


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Lindsey Vonn still holds a special place in her heart for Tiger Woods. The Olympic skiing champion revealed she contacted her golf-superstar ex following his DUI arrest in Jupiter, Fla., last month to offer her support. “I reached out and I hope he’s doing well,” Vonn told “Extra” at this week’s ESPY awards as she walked the red carpet with boyfriend and Rams assistant coach Kenan Smith. Vonn, 32, and Woods, 41, ended their relationship in May 2015, citing their “hectic lives” as the reason for the split.   ***Charlie Sheen is consuming a different type of plant these days. The “Two and a Half Men” alum is a vegan now. The 51-year-old actor, who revealed he was HIV-positive in 2015 in an interview with Matt Lauer, is living a healthier lifestyle with girlfriend Julia Stambler. In addition to following the meat and dairy-free diet, Sheen is also reportedly waking up to work out, turning to yoga and swimming to keep in shape. In addition to following the meat and dairy-free diet, Sheen is also reportedly waking up to work out, turning to yoga and swimming to keep in shape.

LBN – Late Breaking News, July 13th, 2017

*BURNING MONEY! Monthly Federal Spending Tops $400 Billion for First Time:
Real monthly federal spending topped $400 billion for the first time in June, when the Treasury spent a record $428,894,000,000, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.
Prior to June, the record for federal spending in a single month was held by March 2017, when the Treasury spent approximately $392,816,000,000.
In August 2012, the Treasury spent $392,408,410,000 in constant 2017 dollars.
As the Treasury was spending a record $428,894,000,000 in June it was taking in approximately $338,660,000,000 in taxes—thus, running a deficit for the month of $90,233,000,000.