Daily Digest: Tea Party gives back, Soul Train creator dies, Facebook goes public

John Hageman

Several Congressional House Republicans are giving up some of their office budgets to help reduce the deficit, according to GQ. Although it won’t amount to much ($1.5 million), the symbolism of the act should resonate with Tea Party backers. “A handful of the most conservative freshmen—the true believer Tea Partiers, the ones who consider themselves on a mission to reduce the debt—are giving some of the money back. Among them are Jeff Landry from Louisiana, Raul Labrador from Idaho, Joe Walsh from Illinois, and Jeff Duncan and Mick Mulvaney from South Carolina… All of these guys voted against raising the debt ceiling earlier this year. Others opted not to accept their federal health benefits, choosing instead to buy insurance on the individual market.”

Don Cornelius, the creator of the variety music show “Soul Train,” died early Wednesday morning of an apparent suicide, according to the Associated Press. Cornelius was 75. The show featured legendary R&B artists in their prime, like James Brown, Barry White and Marvin Gaye. “It was one of the first shows to showcase African-Americans prominently, although the dance group was racially mixed.” Cornelius, an ex-disc jockey who the AP described as having “a baritone rumble and cool manner,” was the show’s first host and executive producer. Soul Train later started featuring rap artists until it ended in 2006

Facebook (ya ever heard of it?) is expected to go public today, meaning it will begin selling stock for the first time. According to the New York Times, the company could be worth anywhere from, I don’t know, $75 billion to $100 billion. “As the biggest offering of a social networking company, the sale is the clearest evidence yet that investors believe there is a lot of money to be made from the social Web.” Facebook’s value lies in its ability to gather information from its users (yeah, you), such as likes and relationship status. That attracts advertisers that are hoping to target specific audiences for its product. It had 50 million users in 2007 and 800 million users in 2011.