• Monday Memory: A friend from my days at Syracuse University recently sent me this backstage photo (above) of me with my fellow ‘Men of Syracuse’ before a performance. Dang, I hung out with some good-looking dudes.
• Billboard: Out rapper Lil Nas X continues his reign atop the Billboard Hot 100 as his “Old Town Road” notches its 19th week as number one.
• OUT: In 2015, there were 1,400 reported cases of Hepatitis A in the U.S. Over the past three years, the number has spiked to 23,000. Since type A can be transmitted via anal sex, the CDC recommends gay and bisexual men get vaccinated against the disease. Click here to find the nearest pharmacy or clinic that offers Hepatitis A vaccinations. If you’ve had it, you have built-in immunity now.
• Business Insider: A new study shows that as New York City raised the minimum wage to $15 this year from $7.25, its restaurant industry outperformed the rest of the US in job growth and expansion. Researchers found no negative employment effects due to the city increasing its minimum wage.
• Axios: The federal budget deficit is up 27% from the same period last fiscal year, which begins in October. Spending has continued to outpace revenue, with a 3% rise of revenue overshadowed by an 8% jump in spending. Remember how the Trump tax cuts were going to pay for themselves?
• HBO: In this parody of FX’s POSE ball sequences, Bob the Drag Queen channels his version of Billy Porter’s ‘Pray Tell’ as host of “The Basic Ball.”
Instead of the kids showing off fabulousness, the categories here are “clinical depression,” “barbecue daddies,” and “running errands,” with competitors giving you neutral colors and family reunion t-shirts.
No ‘extra’ here, folks. It’s all down to ‘basic.’ Watch below or on YouTube here.
• Viola Davis recently told the New York Times she has some regrets about making the film, The Help, as the story ended up being more about the white characters’ perspective on racism than those of the black characters.
• According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal budget deficit was $895 billion for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2018, $222 billion more than the shortfall recorded during the same period last year. #SoMuchWinning
• Chris Pine is amused by folks reaction to his full-frontal scene in the new film, Outlaw King:
“What I find very funny is that there’s so much beheading in this, and yet people want to talk about my penis,” Pine told the The Hollywood Reporter. “And I think that says something about our society, where people can get disemboweled, but it’s the man’s junk that is of interest.”
The US government’s budget deficit fell to an eight-year low in fiscal 2015, dropping to $439 billion, the Treasury Department announced Thursday.
The cut in the finance gap — which was $1.4 trillion in 2009 — brought the deficit down to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product, the lowest level since 2007.
The achievement marked a long effort by the administration of President Barack Obama to pare back the budget shortfall after it soared when the economy plunged into crisis in 2008.
“President Obama’s agenda continues to put Federal finances on a sustainable footing while laying the foundation for durable economic growth and broadly shared prosperity,” Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a statement.
“Under the president’s leadership, the deficit has been cut by roughly three-quarters as a share of the economy since 2009 –- the fastest sustained deficit reduction since just after World War II.”
After a certain point it starts to look like a man in mid-life crisis buying an expensive sports car. We clearly outspend EVERY major industrialized nation. Why not a trillion? Two trillion? When is enough enough?
OR – if you really care about the deficit – I’m talking to you Tea Baggers – how about we trim some of this from the defense budget and pay down the deficit?
Members of the “super committee” charged with coming up with $1.2 trillion in budget cuts are focused on how to announce failure to reach a deal, Democratic and Republican aides confirmed to CNN Sunday.
While aides said no final decision had been made, they acknowledged that — barring an unforeseen development — an announcement of an end to negotiations is the most likely scenario.
Democrats have proposed a “balanced” solution that would generate $400 billion from increased tax collections and $700 billion in spending meant to jump-start the economy, including an extension of the payroll tax cut, extended unemployment benefit payments and money to permanently prevent cuts in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients.
However, Republicans would only agree to spending cuts and the closing of one small tax loophole for corporate jet owners.
Talks on trying to reach a deficit reduction agreement are essentially over and discussions are focused on a Monday announcement, a senior Democratic aide said.