Saturday, August 30, 2014

Want to pay more taxes? Just elect Tom Wolf as governor

ObamaCare contract to foreign company muddles Dem message on tax dodgers

ObamaCare contract muddles Dem message on tax dodgers | TheHill

Florida Obamacare Website Signs Up 30 People in Six Months

Florida Healthcare Website Signs Up 30 People in Six Months

Weekly Republican Address: Salute to working Americans

Obama OKs pay raises for government workers

Obama to raise government pay | TheHill

Has Hillary ever been right?

Pat Buchanan: Has Hillary ever been right? | Human Events

A classy exit by fired CNN reporter

Columnist: Could Congressman Fattah's woes torpedo Tom Wolf's chances for Pa. governor?

Featherman: Could Fattah's woes torpedo Wolf's chances?

GUEST COLUMN: Newspapers are still here and still making money

By Caroline Little
Guest columnist

The sky is always falling and newspapers are always dying.

For more than a decade, that has been a common and constant refrain. While working at, the Guardian US, and now, the Newspaper Association of America, I have been asked frequently about the state of the industry as people search for the worst.

Though newspaper media is enjoying the largest audiences ever as well as continuing to play a unique and critical role in our communities, there is one fact that always tends to be obscured or outright ignored — newspapers are still making money and newspapers remain a good investment.

A year ago at this time, John Henry and Jeff Bezos made high-profile acquisitions of The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, respectively, which confirmed that newspapers are viable investment options with the ability to grow. Earlier this month, The Washington Post announced record web traffic for July as well as hiring more than 60 people in the first seven months of the year.

A company hiring 60 people in seven months sounds like a healthy one to me.

This summer, the newspaper industry has seen a wave of spin-offs, with Tribune and Gannett both forming publishing-only companies. E.W. Scripps and Journal Communications spun their combined publications off into a new company, Journal Media Group. This is an exciting time for the newspaper industry as these companies will now devote their undivided attention to their publications.

However, as with the investments last year, these spin-offs have been spun into more gloom and doom for the industry. It is simply not accurate.

In fact, buried in the depths of one particular article that signaled the death of newspapers is this gem of a sentence: “Newspapers continue to generate cash and solid earnings.” Think about that for a moment — an industry that generates cash and solid earnings is on its death bed? I refuse to accept that.

What is true is our industry’s business model has changed dramatically in the past half-dozen years. In 2007, 80 percent of newspaper media revenue was generated from advertising. In 2013, less than half of total revenue (46 percent) was from advertising in the daily and Sunday print newspaper. Revenue from readers paying for print and digital news and information accounted for nearly three out of 10 revenue dollar, up from less than two in 10 in 2007. Income from new, non-traditional sources is now rising rapidly. 

What is also true is that the public’s thirst for news keeps rising.

Data from the digital measurement firm comScore show that 161 million people visited newspaper websites in the month of March. We are witnessing audience increases across the country, from the aforementioned Washington Post to The Times-Picayune, which announced 5.6 million unique visitors to this July.

There is more demand than ever for news and journalism. There are also more competitors. There was no BuzzFeed or Facebook or Huffington Post 15 years ago. New digital channels offer consumers a dazzling array of options, all of which compete for time and attention. And advertisers face challenges in trying to catch up to these fragmenting audiences.

In my three years as CEO of NAA, I have witnessed an amazing transformation. Newspaper companies look drastically different in 2014 compared to 2011. There has been an increased focused on digital properties. Newspaper reporters and columnists have taken advantage of Twitter to build brands and large readerships. Innovation on the design side has led to beautiful works of long-form journalism include “The Unforgotten” by the Boston Globe and “Breaking Ball” from The Wall Street Journal that ran in July. Newspaper companies are using the power of their brands to create new, non-traditional streams of revenues from event hosting to digital marketing.

The evolution of the newspaper industry continues every day. The explosion of mobile readership thanks to smartphones and tablets have caused newspapers to create new mobile strategies. There is increasing demand from readers for more targeted content, which has given rise to niche sites and blogs developed by newspapers devoted to special areas of interest, such as food, high school sports and fashion.

For me and many in the newspaper industry, it is a fascinating and exhilarating time. We are in the midst a dramatic, historic shift for an industry that has been around as long as the United States of America.

The world has changed and newspapers have changed. The notion of what a newspaper company is should change for the general public. It is no longer simply about print. It is about all platforms. People don’t think, “I’m reading the newspaper” when scrolling through but they should.

Despite all the changes, one thing remains the same — newspapers still make money.

Caroline H. Little is president and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, the industry’s largest trade organization.

'No strategy' a gift-wrapped gaffe that could haunt Obama

'No strategy' a gift-wrapped gaffe that could haunt Obama |

The Evil Empire Strikes Back

Labor Day exhausted: 40-hour work week grows to 47-60 hours

Labor Day exhausted: 40-hour work week grows to 47-60 hours |

In just 6 months, 37,477 illegal immigrant kids released, only 280 deported

In just 6 months, 37,477 illegal immigrant kids released, only 280 deported |

Friday, August 29, 2014

Obama Disapproval May Have Unions Sitting Out 2014

Obama Disapproval May Have Unions Sitting Out 2014

Guest Column: The U.S. interest in Cyprus: ‘Trust, but verify’

By Nick Larigakis
Guest columnist
In the past two months, we have witnessed unprecedented engagement on the Cyprus issue by the Obama Administration, namely, Vice President Joe Biden. I have never seen anything like it in my 27 years of advocating for Cyprus with the American Hellenic Institute. The vice president’s visit to Cyprus was historic. It was the first time in 52 years a sitting vice president visited there.

Folks who follow the Cyprus issue know Biden is no stranger to Cyprus. He is probably the most well-educated and well-versed public official on the nuances of the Cyprus issue. For this result, credit must be given to the Greek American community’s grassroots.

Without Biden’s strong support through the many years as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee (along with Sen. Paul Sarbanes) who knows where this issue would be today. Furthermore, we certainly would not have been as successful in having Congress impose an arms embargo on Turkey immediately following Turkey’s invasion were it not for his assistance at the time.

This year, Cyprus received high-level visits from U.S. Department of State Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland in February; and just two weeks ago, on the heels of the vice president’s visit, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Amanda Sloat and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy James Townsend.

What does all this mean?

The only plausible explanation is that Cyprus now has the potential to be a major energy supplier for Europe and beyond. This is a game changer. However, as long as the Cyprus issue remains
unresolved, it will compromise how this energy will be fully developed, and more importantly, how it will be exported. Biden underscored this point when he spoke at the 2014 Clergy Laity Congress in Philadelphia. He said: “The exciting discoveries of natural gas and oil offshore in Cyprus and Israel, as well as potential discoveries in Greece and Lebanon, have an opportunity to position the region as a global energy hub, and we have no bones about it from the very beginning. And under international law, Cyprus owns access to these valuable fields within the region.”

But exporting it out of the region is important. The United States and others would prefer that it be piped through Turkey. This will never happen because it would have to go through Cyprus’s Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) and without a settlement, it’s a non-starter. Therefore, energy has been the number one catalyst for increased U.S. engagement, making Cyprus a strategic partner of the U.S.

In Philadelphia, Biden added: “…Cyprus … has become a genuine, strategic partner. That’s what’s basically changed; it’s become a genuinely strategic partner of the USA.”

For the United States to benefit fully from this strategic relationship Cyprus needs to be free and united. A settlement must be reached that is just and viable, incorporating the norms of democratic principles. The United States can go a long way to make it happen. The vice president has started.
In Cyprus, he stated: “The matter of the fact is that the Government of Turkey, in my view, is coming to understand, not for any noble reasons, but for practical reasons, that the status quo on the island does not benefit them economically, militarily and politically. And there is significant potential benefit for Turkey in a bizonal, bicommunal federation.”

Biden’s remarks at the Clergy-Laity Congress demonstrated his further, active engagement on the issues. There, he stated he raised the issues in conversations with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. There, he also stated publicly that Turkish troops should be removed from Cyprus. “I opened up and made clear the U.S. position that although it was a Cypriot negotiation, there was and is and can only be one government, one Cypriot, Greek Cypriot government, on the island, with no Turkish troops on the island,” he said.

In the past, Turkey has manipulated the negotiations through the Turkish Cypriot leader. Turkey’s interests on Cyprus are not the same of the people of Cyprus. Unfortunately, not much progress has been made as evidenced by the lack of movement on confidence-building measures. This is reality. Biden and the State Department would be wise to understand it. While it’s extremely important for negotiations to proceed, they cannot succeed if the Turkish Cypriots will continue to take their instructions from Ankara and the political will is absent.

Therefore, the United States government must continue to put open pressure on Turkey. As a community, we must do our part to remind policy makers of Vice President’s Biden’s encouraging remarks. Because as historic and important as the recent flurry of comments and visits have been, we need to be vigilant and adopt President Reagan’s slogan, “Trust, but verify!”

Nick Larigakis is president of the American Hellenic Institute, a non-profit Greek American think tank and public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.

Burger King Escapes High US Taxes

Turnout is the key to re-electing PA Gov. Tom Corbett

PA-Gov: Internal Memo: Corbett Down 7 Points

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sooner rather than later, U.S. will have to confront ISIS

Middle East expert Trudy Rubin, a longtime Obama supporter, is not happy with Obama's feckless response to the growing ISIS threat.

Worldview: Sooner rather than later, U.S. will have to confront ISIS

'Proofreading error' leads to firing after racial slurs published in newspaper

Tayoun changes tune on Public Record's "Chinky Winky" photo caption

Ryan Costello Earns Endorsement of Pa. Small Business Group

Republican Congressional candidate Ryan Costello, who is seeking to succeed fellow Republican Jim Gerlach in Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District, continues to collect endorsements from key business groups.

From the Ryan Costello for Congress campaign:
READING, PA – National and state leaders of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which represents 15,000 small businesses in Pennsylvania, joined Ryan Costello at a small business in Reading, PA, today to announce the organization’s endorsement of his campaign for Congress in  Pennsylvania's 6th District.  The announcement was made at Goodman Vending Services, a small family business located in Reading that employs 75 people. 

"NFIB is a leading voice on behalf of the nation's small businesses, which are one of the major drivers of our economic and job growth," said Ryan Costello, who currently serves as Chairman of the Chester County Board of Commissioners.  "I am honored to have the support of an organization that advocates for and champions small business. If elected, I will work to implement policies that promote job creation, reduce barriers to economic growth, and cut bureaucratic red tape that saps the resources of small businesses and inhibit their ability to expand and hire new workers."
"When he was a Chester County Commissioner Ryan balanced budgets, cut government spending, and reduced the size of county government all while making investments in open space," said NFIB Executive State Director Kevin Shivers. "It's policies like that which make small businesses feel more confident about expanding and hiring.  Government must live within its means and keeps tax rates low. We need that same mindset in Washington, D.C. where an out of control federal budget deficit has small businesses nervous about their economic future and potential for growth.  That's why we support Ryan Costello for Congress."

In Chester County, Costello is co-chairing a public-private partnership, VISTA 2025, an effort to develop a strategy that will guide economic development efforts for Chester County for the next 10 years while balancing progress and preservation.  Costello is working closely with the Chester County Economic Development Council and other community and business leaders on the comprehensive strategy, which is designed to position the county for future growth.  The effort underscores Costello’s commitment to retaining and attracting businesses, which will in turn support job growth in the county. 

The endorsement of Costello was made by NFIB's SAFE (Save America’s Free Enterprise) Trust, the association’s political action committee.  NFIB is the nation's leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB's powerful network of grassroots activists sends their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system.

Family owned and a recipient of national awards, Goodman Vending and Food Service provides vending, coffee and food service. Founded in 1946, it has grown to be one of the region's largest independent vending companies, serving Berks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lehigh, Lebanon and Schuylkill counties and surrounding areas.

Judicial Watch: Missing IRS Emails are Backed Up

The Flimsy Evidence Behind Common Core

The Flimsy Evidence Behind Common Core

Feds Creating Database to Track 'Hate Speech' on Twitter

Judging from Obama's use of government agencies to go after political opponents, "hate speech" probably translates to anyone who opposes Obama's policies.

Feds Creating Database to Track 'Hate Speech' on Twitter