Bill Clinton left the presidency with a budget surplus. And although the first five years of Barack Obama's presidency have featured high (but falling) deficits, it's starting to look like Obama could do the same.
For the first time since the 1950s, federal spending is lower than it was four years ago:
As Mike Darda argues:
The fiscal deficit has been falling by an average of 1.5 percentage points per annum since peaking in late 2009. If this trend continues, it would imply a balanced budget during 2015 and a fiscal surplus in 2016. [AEI]
Obama leaving office with a balanced budget would come as a big shock to those who have compared the U.S. to crisis-stricken countries like Greece, or claimed that Obama is spending like a drunken sailor.
The live-streaming app Periscope was used by savvy Florida police officers to track down a drunk driver — who was broadcasting herself weaving down the road. Whitney Marie Beall, 23, was reportedly bar-hopping in downtown Lakeland, Florida, when she decided to get in her car and record the whole thing for an audience of at least 57 viewers on Periscope.
"I am so f--king drunk," Beall told the people watching. Two viewers responded by sending her texts telling her to get off the road. Another called the police, explaining that Beall was drunk, lost, and filming herself, though the caller was unable to tell the officers what type of car she was in, according to The New York Times.
"Where the f--k am I going? I have no f--king idea of where I'm going right now," Beall can be heard saying in the recording of the live stream. She also frequently asked viewers to choose which direction she should drive in.
A police officer with a personal Periscope account was able to deduce Beall's location based on landmarks in the background, and cops initiated a traffic stop. The end of the story is surprisingly lucky for Beall, all things considered: After hitting the curb at the traffic stop, Beall failed a roadside sobriety test, refused a Breathalyzer test, and was charged with a DUI. Watch it unfold below. Jeva Lange
CNN, the 'most trusted name in news,' asked Katy Perry and Ashton Kutcher for help with its debate questions
CNN has the answer to the most burning of questions ahead of tonight's Democratic debate: What would Ashton Kutcher ask the candidates? Turns out, the star of Dude, Where's My Car? really wants to know about driverless cars.
"During your presidency, you will be faced with a robotic revolution — for example, driverless cars and semitrucks — as machines take skilled and unskilled jobs from Americans. This will further hollow out the middle class and divide society. What do you propose we do as a nation to bridge the gap without stifling innovation? What will you do as president to maintain a country where everyone has upward mobility?" [CNN]
Kutcher isn't the only celebrity that the self-proclaimed "most trusted name in news" asked for input. CNN also gathered material from Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Shonda Rhimes, Sir Elton John, Montel Williams and Melissa Etheridge, to name a few. The results, CNN says, are "thought-provoking." Judge for yourself by reading the full list at CNN. Becca Stanek
As the GOP sees it, Hillary Clinton has always been wrong on Iraq — starting with that moment back in 2002 when she voted with George W. Bush to authorize the war. That choice, according to a GOP post entitled, "Wrong At Every Turn," was "devastating to her 2008 presidential bid" because, as The Washington Post explained, it "put her out of step with the Democratic base."
But while Republicans don't seem to be happy about that time when Clinton voted with them, they certainly aren't happy when she stands with her party, either. The post goes on to pan Clinton for falling back in step with Democrats, criticizing her for "belatedly" apologizing for her Iraq War vote and defending Obama's "popular yet premature withdrawal policy that left Iraq vulnerable and deteriorating."
The conclusion: "Throughout her career, Clinton has always been wrong on Iraq." Becca Stanek
Today's Playboy magazine covers do technically leave something to the imagination. But it's not like you could flip through a gallery of recent Playboy covers at your open-office desk without receiving a reprimanding email from your HR department.
But that wasn't the case 60 years ago. Picking up a Playboy from the 1950s, you'd be forgiven for mistaking the racy mag for a quirky comic book about a smartly dressed anthropomorphic rabbit who liked to keep tabs on his fully clothed female friends:
The covers from the first two decades of Playboy were more endearing innuendo than bra-busting cleavage. It's sweet, really. If fully clothed ladies and rabbits that can really pull off a suit are your thing, click here to see more G-rated vintage Playboy covers. Lauren Hansen
In a recent interview with DJ Whoo Kid, Atlanta-born rapper T.I. said he wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton because women are inherently emotional and irrational.
"I just know that women make rash decisions emotionally," T.I. explained. "It's kind of like it didn't happen or they didn't mean for it to happen." The Grammy winner argued that "the world ain't ready" for a female president, citing the age-old concern that women in power are somehow more likely to set off a nuke than men.
"I think you might be able to get the Loch Ness Monster elected before [a woman]," he theorized.
It didn't take long, however, before backlash prompted the rapper to apologize:
My comments about women running for president were unequivocally insensitive and wrong. I sincerely apologize to everyone I offended.
— T.I. (@Tip) October 13, 2015
Perhaps T.I. acted... irrationally. Roxie Pell
It's happening: Donald Trump is hosting Saturday Night Live.
Although Trump has had a turbulent relationship with NBC this year (they terminated their relationship with him following his derogatory statements about immigrants last June), Trump is something of a fixture on SNL — at least as a punch line. Most recently, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took a jab at him during a brief appearance on the show earlier this month, and cast member Taran Killam has been donning an orange wig to play The Donald this election season.
But hosting The Apprentice and appearing on nearly every news channel aren't Trump's only qualifications for the gig — he actually hosted the show once before, back in 2004.
Just 15 days after first capturing the northern Afghanistan city of Kunduz, the Taliban announced Tuesday that they had withdrawn from it, ending their first occupation of an Afghan city in the last 14 years of war. The insurgents delivered the news of their withdrawal on a website associated with the group, ordering fighters to "withdraw from the city to save ammunition and the lives of its fighters, as well as to protect civilians," The New York Times reports.