LBN Examiner 09/25/2022


Members of Congress sometimes have access to private company information many Americans do not. They may buy and sell stocks, as long as they adhere to the ethics rules and not engage in insider trading. An appearance of a conflict of interest may occur if they or family members profit through buying, selling or trading stocks connected to those companies. Among the conflicts uncovered, according to a New York Times investigation: “The wife of Representative Alan Lowenthal, a California Democrat, sold Boeing shares a day before a House committee that he sits on released a report exposing the company’s mishandling of its 737 Max jet, which had been involved in two deadly crashes. Representative John Rose, a Republican of Tennessee, sold $100,000 to $250,000 in Wells Fargo stock a few months before a committee he is on released a report that was critical of the bank. Senator Tommy Tuberville, an Alabama Republican on the Armed Services Committee, and his wife sold options tied to Microsoft less than two weeks before the company lost a $10 billion contract with the Defense Department.”

“Both the House and the Senate have been trying to develop legislation to tighten the rules, but whether a bill will be passed by both chambers and make it to President Biden’s desk this year remains in doubt, despite rare bipartisan support,” according to the Times.

Martha’s Vineyard Shelter Coordinator – ‘They Have To’ Go ‘Somewhere Else’:

Remarks from Lisa Belcastro, the coordinator for Martha’s Vineyard homeless shelter Harbor Homes, went viral Thursday after she was asked about 50 illegal immigrants arriving on the island. Belcastro’s remarks come after Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis sent the illegal immigrants to the island off the coast of Massachusetts. “Yes, Florida can confirm the two planes with illegal immigrants that arrived in Martha’s Vineyard today were part of the state’s relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations,” an official for DeSantis’ office said in a statement. “States like Massachusetts, New York, and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ and support for the Biden Administration’s open border policies.” In this past legislative session, the Florida Legislature appropriated $12 million to implement a program to facilitate the transport of illegal immigrants from this state consistent with federal law, the official added. The 50 illegal immigrants landed on the small island, where ultrawealthy progressives like former President Barack Obama live.

Examiner – Lens:

Dima, a three-year-old boy who was wounded during the shelling of Mariupol, lies in a bed in a hospital children’s ward in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, March 29.

Minnesota Massive Fraud Scheme:

Nearly 50 people in Minnesota have been charged with laundering an estimated $250M in pandemic relief aid, which was intended to provide meals to children from lower-income families. The case is the largest fraud scheme to take advantage of federal pandemic programs, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Prosecutors claim 47 individuals tied to Minnesota-based nonprofit Feeding Our Future falsely reported serving tens of thousands of meals to children across 250 sites and sought reimbursement for the cost of those meals from the Department of Agriculture’s Federal Child Nutrition Program. The individuals then allegedly laundered the funds through shell companies to buy luxury cars, property, jewelry, and other personal items. They have been charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and bribery. To date, more than $8B in suspected pandemic fraud has been found, including in more than 1,500 criminal cases.

New Orleans Becomes Murder Capital Of America, Overtaking St. Louis:

New Orleans has overtaken St. Louis as the murder capital of America as the city sees a 141% increase in homicides when compared to recent years. According to data from the Metropolitan Crime Commission, an organization that tracks crime and also tries to bring it down, there have been 52 homicides per 100,000 residents as of September 11. In St. Louis, there have been almost 45 homicides per 100,000 residents as of September 17, according to data from the St. Louis Police Department. By comparison, there have been almost 18 homicides in Chicago per 100,000 residents and 3.5 in New York City. Homicides in New Orleans are up 141% when compared to 2019 and up 78% when compared to 2021, according to the data, which states that there have been 205 homicides in the city from the beginning of 2022 until September 11.

Examiner – Lens:

Karen O, born Karen Lee Orzolek, was 21 years old when she took the stage with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs for the first time in September, 2000, at Mercury Lounge, opening for the White Stripes. The band – Karen, the guitarist Nick Zinner, and the drummer Brian Chase – had practiced together as a trio exactly once. Karen downed four margaritas, drenched herself in olive oil, and stepped into the persona that would catapult the Yeah Yeah Yeahs into the rock pantheon.

Examiner – Commentary by Noam Blum:

(Co-host of the Ambitious Crossover Attempt Podcast and All Crossed Out on Callin.)

** The Bitter Bus Battle: The war of words over Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to bus migrants who cross the border into Texas from Mexico to major cities in blue states escalated this week, with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot stating that “this is not Christianity” and that Abbott merely “professes to be a Christian” after 50 more migrants arrived in the Windy City, bringing the total number to 103. Abbott responded that Lightfoot should address her concerns to “the real cause of the border crisis: Joe Biden.” Abbott also clashed last month with New York Mayor Eric Adams over the migrants who arrived in the city, which was odd considering that last year Adams called his “City of Immigrants” a place where “people from every nation seek refuge” and that his government “will reflect that.”

** BLM Steals Even More Money: Everyone’s favorite financially responsible nonprofit is at it again, with a new lawsuit accusing an executive at the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation of “siphoning” more than $10 million from donors. The executive in question, Shalomyah Bowers – who denied the “harmful, divisive, and false” allegations – was hired by none other than Patrisse Cullors, the BLM co-founder whom you might know better as the proud owner of a $1.4 million Topanga Canyon home and a $6 million mansion in Studio City. Cullors departed the organization in May 2021 for reasons that were definitely, entirely unrelated to said home and mansion.

** Tragic End to the Eliza Fletcher Story: A body found in Memphis on Monday was confirmed to be that of 34-year-old Eliza Fletcher, a kindergarten teacher, wife and mom of two. Fletcher had been missing since early Friday morning, after surveillance footage showed her being forced into an SUV while jogging around 4:30 a.m., several miles from where her body was discovered. Cleotha Abston, 38 years old, who was arrested for the kidnapping over the weekend, will now also face charges of first-degree murder. Abston has a lengthy criminal record dating back to age 11. He was released from prison in 2020 after receiving a 24-year sentence in 2001 for the “especially aggravated kidnapping” of a Memphis lawyer. If Abston had served out his entire sentence, he would have still been in prison on the day the young mom went jogging.

** Terror After Dark: Memphis police scrambled to track down the perpetrator of a string of shootings that left four dead and three injured Wednesday night. Nineteen-year-old Ezekiel Kelly, identified by authorities as the perpetrator, live-streamed the shootings on Facebook Live, and was eventually arrested after crashing a stolen car. Kelly pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in April 2021 and was sentenced to three years, but was released after 11 months. Meanwhile, in Maryland, Prince George’s County authorities have announced a curfew for anyone under 17 after a string of shootings and carjackings involving teenagers. According to NBC4 Washington, the 30-day curfew comes in the wake of the county’s deadliest month in at least 13 years, with nearly double the number of arrests of juveniles as last year.

** Gibson’s Bakery Finally Gets Its Due: Nearly six years after Oberlin College falsely slandered the 137-year-old family business, the school is finally coughing up the $36.59 million judgment it owes the family. If you missed our recent investigation on Honestly – or Lorna Gibson’s moving essay about the lengths she has gone to restore her family’s good name – please give them a listen or a read. This is a story about much more than the usual town-gown tension. As our friend Leighton Woodhouse put it: “Oberlin College’s character assassination of a local bakery is a perfect analogy for how the new upper middle class language of social justice is deployed as class warfare.” As of last week, the bakery, which had been decimated by boycotts, was on the brink of bankruptcy. “Calling us racists wasn’t just wrong,” Lorna Gibson wrote, “It was deeply painful to our core.” On Thursday, after years of appeals, the college finally initiated payment. The sum will be paid in part by the college’s insurance. In a statement, the school said: “We are disappointed by the Court’s decision … This matter has been painful for everyone.” On the matter of their historic win, Gibson’s legal representative said this to Common Sense: “Truth still matters, and David has overcome Goliath. While Oberlin College has still refused to admit they were wrong, the jury, a unanimous panel from the court of appeals, and a majority of the Ohio Supreme Court decided otherwise. Now, the Gibsons will be able to rebuild the business their family started 137 years ago and keep the lights on for another generation.” Oberlin might think of their students as customers who are always right, but the actual city of Oberlin, the small businesses there, the locals – they go by different rules. Apparently, so do Common Sense readers, who jumped to order sweets, t-shirts, hats and totes from the Gibson’s site. A lawyer for the family tells us that the bakery received “literally hundreds of online and telephone orders” as a result of our coverage of this case.

Examiner – Look Back:

Pamela Anderson the morning after she slept with Tommy Lee for the first time in February 1995.

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** While it’s important that the U.S. maintain its longstanding alliance with Saudi Arabia, I wish President Biden had used Zoom for his recent meeting with the Saudi leadership. It was a bad look and bad energy policy for the U.S. president to fly all the way TO Saudi Arabia to plead for more oil output when all he had to do was fly to Houston. —- Thomas L. Friedman

** Well, I made it. I am 100 years old today. I wake up every morning grateful to be alive. Reaching my own personal centennial is cause for a bit of reflection on my first century – and on what the next century will bring for the people and country I love. To be honest, I’m a bit worried that I may be in better shape than our democracy is. I was deeply troubled by the attack on Congress on Jan. 6, 2021 – by supporters of former President Donald Trump attempting to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. Those concerns have only grown with every revelation about just how far Mr. Trump was willing to go to stay in office after being rejected by voters – and about his ongoing efforts to install loyalists in positions with the power to sway future elections. I don’t take the threat of authoritarianism lightly. As a young man, I dropped out of college when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and joined the U.S. Army Air Forces. I flew more than 50 missions in a B-17 bomber to defeat Fascism consuming Europe. I am a flag-waving believer in truth, justice and the American way, and I don’t understand how so many people who call themselves patriots can support efforts to undermine our democracy and our Constitution. It is alarming. —- Norman Lear, a father of six, an Emmy-winning television producer and a co-founder of the advocacy organization People for the American Way

** I had always felt at home in America. It was my home and my parents’ home and my grandparents’, and it never seemed like it could be any way else. But three weeks from now, I am leaving the place where I was born and making a new life in Israel. The story of why is the story of a growing cohort of Gen Z Jews who see what the older generations cannot yet see: That the future doesn’t feel like it’s here as much as there. When people ask me what the origin point is – when I knew I would leave – it’s not one particular moment, but a collection. Among them: The drunk girl at my alma mater, George Washington, caught on video in November 2019, saying, “We’re going to bomb Israel, you Jewish pieces of shit.” The Hillel that was spray-painted with “Free Palestine” in July 2020, at the University of Wisconsin. The Chabad House set on fire in August 2020, at the University of Delaware. The Jewish vice president of student government at USC who resigned in August 2020, after getting barraged with antisemitic hate. The University of Chicago students who, in January 2022, called on their fellow students not to take “sh*tty Zionist classes” taught by Israelis or Jews. The Jewish fraternity at Rutgers that got egged in April 2022 – during a Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration. The Chabad menorah that was vandalized for the fourth time in two years, in May 2022, at the University of Cincinnati. The protester who hurled rocks at Jewish students in June 2022, at the University of Illinois. The swastikas that turned up in July and August 2022, at Brown. The Hillel that was vandalized in August 2022, at USC. The innumerable, antisemitic incidents at San Francisco State University, which the Lawfare Project, a Jewish nonprofit, has called “the most anti-Semitic college campus in the country.” The two girls recently kicked out of a group that combats sexual assault, at SUNY New Paltz, because they had the temerity to post something positive about Israel. The universities, which bend over backward to create safe spaces for most students, increasingly making room for antisemites in lecture halls and at graduation ceremonies (see, for example, Duke, Indiana University, the University of Denver, Arizona State University and CUNY). The proliferation of statements and articles and open letters proclaiming support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement – a political movement that has as its stated goal the dismantling of the Jewish state – from Harvard to Pomona to Berkeley to the University of Illinois, along with the conviction, widespread on many campuses, that Jewish students should be barred from conversations about BDS, because, well, they’re Jewish. In college, for the first time, I began to feel the way Jews have often felt in other times and places: like The Other. —- Blake Flayton, a weekly columnist at Jewish Journal Los Angeles and a recent graduate of George Washington University

** It’s an appalling thing to ask the average American worker, who is struggling to afford groceries and gas, to subsidize the college debt for a household making six figures. It’s even more astonishing to ask a worker to do so during the worst inflation in half a century. Yet that is exactly what President Biden just did. The White House claims that its plan, announced last week, “cancels” $500 billion in student loan debt and relieves 40 million borrowers. But “loan cancellation” is an Orwellian phrase. You can’t cancel debt – someone always has to pay. And I know exactly who will: Workers just like my mom. —- Senator Tim Scott

** “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” —- Warren Buffett

Examiner – Readers Have Spoken:


We asked Examiner readers in all 50 of the United States and in 26 foreign countries for their thoughts. The Examiner readers had spoken.


** 95% of U.S. teens use YouTube, 67% use TikTok, and 32% use Facebook (down from 71% in 2015). Plus, 36% say they spend too much time on socials, and 8% say they spend too little. READ

** “Everybody is armed”: More than 1,400 people have been shot in Philadelphia this year, more than in New York or Los Angeles. Read

** The F.D.A. approved Daxxify, a facial injection against wrinkles and competitor to Botox. READ

** Fat sensors in the gut shown to trigger brain signaling that increases the desire for additional fatty food; findings may provide new interventions to facilitate healthier food choices. READ

** Mobile Gambling’s Risk: As more states legalize sports betting and license mobile apps to offer it, gambling addicts find there’s less stopping them from spiraling. READ

** Researchers use publicly available videos to piece together the suggestion that elephants mourn their dead, including some never before observed behaviors such as comforting living relatives of the deceased. WATCH

** Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display. READ

** Study links type 2 diabetes with accelerated brain aging; patients with progressive forms of the disease saw a 26% quicker decline on average. READ

** German man breaks world record for the biggest wave ever surfed. WATCH

** Study reveals how the human brain links memories together, suggests a common HIV drug may help reverse memory decline during middle age. READ

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‘Magic Moral Time Machine’ – Bill Maher Calls Out Woke Historians Over Slavery ‘Presentism’:

Holding historical figures up to modern-day woke values is silly scholarship, Bill Maher declared in his latest “Real Time” lecture to leftists. The old-school liberal made the point about so-called “presentisim” in the “New Rules” segment of his HBO show while discussing a controversial essay by American Historical Society President James Sweet. The historian, who later apologized for writing that judging historical figures by contemporary standards “ignores the values and mores of people in their own times,” shouldn’t be sorry, Maher said. “Being woke is like a magic moral time machine in which you judge everyone by what you think you would have done in 1066, and you always win,” Maher said, adding that presentism is “just a way to congratulate yourself about being better than George Washington because you have a gay friend and he didn’t.” “But if he were alive today, he would too, and if you were alive then, you wouldn’t,” Maher added.

‘Blazin Asian’ Influencer Christopher Kim Jr. Hands Out Free Weed:

He’s living the high life. Social media influencer Christopher Kim Jr. – who goes by the nickname Blazin’ Asian, and has 50,000 online followers – earns $2,000 a month performing outrageous pot-smoking challenges and sparking up with strangers. “I made my first money off Instagram when I was 18,” the 22-year-old college senior said. “I got $25 just by linking to some CBD company’s website. I thought, ‘Oh s—t. I made money from smoking weed – something I’ve been doing my whole life.’” In his most recent YouTube video, Kim, of Bergen County, NJ, and fellow influencer SpiceddieOG, visited Washington Square Park and stuck their heads inside five-gallon water jugs rigged up to a giant bowl. Immediately after lighting the ganja, their faces disappeared behind clouds of white smoke, and 25 seconds later, they ripped the jugs off, coughing their lungs out and nearly puking.


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Examiner – Business:

** White House health officials released new messaging that suggests COVID shots will move to an annual cadence, like flu shots.

** Visa, Mastercard, and American Express will roll out a new merchant code to track gun and ammo store sales, and potentially flag suspicious activity. READ

** Uber was reportedly hacked by an 18-year-old, who told employees about the hack in Uber’s company Slack channel. READ

** Uh-oh: FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam said the company is seeing declining shipment volume in every segment around the globe, sparking recessionary concerns. READ

** Peloton Row, the company’s long, long, long-awaited rowing machine, is up for preorder starting at $3,195. It’s eight feet long but can be stored vertically. READ

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Examiner – 20 Years – A Look At 2002

The LBN Examiner was founded on June 1, 2002, an incredible 20 years ago. Let’s take a look back at what was going on in 2002:

** On September 26, an overcrowded Senegalese ferry capsized off the coast of Gambia killing more than 1,000.

** On September 27, Timor-Leste joined the United Nations.

Examiner – A Different View:…

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