The death of ratings always a sign you picked the wrong guy. Can NBC News turn the Brian Williams story around and bring back a proud tradition with some stability. Well we waited for the first sweeps numbers for the Nightly News now that permanent replacements anchor Lester Holt was given the big chair. He not only grabbed the ball and ran with it , he is leading the way back as he gave the NBC broadcast its biggest July audience in 10 years, he even skewed young, nightly news young that is right as the age 25-54 was the best number they have had since 2013. Holt first six weeks were meet with positive reviews and he was no stranger to the desk, the question is did he bring people back or is it a new audience. We think it is probably a mixture and when the shine wears off the numbers will retreat. The good news typically July is the worst month for news watching as people are just out and about. NBC will take it as 7.8M viewers put them on top and 1.9M in the 25-54 takes the lead there as well. This will be interesting to see if the continues and if ABC decides to make changes. They are so close you would think ABC is happy number two when they are only 300k behind and 1.4M ahead of CBS. This is where the shakeup is coming as CBS cannot fall any further behind.
The tea512 gang headed out to the summer trek to the annual Rascal Flatts concert. This year it was the Riot tour at Xfinity Center on Sunday August 2,2015. The opening acts were Rae Lynn a contestant on The Voice and Scotty Mcreary a winner on American Idol season. Rascal Flatts cam on at 9:15 an blitzed the crowd with 22 songs from their whole catalog and they did not disappoint anyone as not matter when you started listening to them there was a song for you. They changed up the tempo on a couple of classics and even through in a mashup. They added three female backing singers and it brought the stage intensity up from previous years. A couple of standout on the night was I like the sound of that, the upcoming single and Riot. We said they reached back as they also played Heres to you, Take me There, These days and a full version of Mayberry last couple of times this has been just a couple of chorus but not the full song. . The band was tight and when you transition from Here Comes Goodbye right into Easy you could tell they were in high gear. The show was on a Sunday night and it was a mostly young college crowd which amped the energy and made a good time for all.
This week we highlight a newcomer to the list and at the age of 25 someone we have watched for ten years and after seeing her in concert last week the title of sexy can be added to the list of things for her. Taylor Alison Swift who was born December 13, 1989 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, and then moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 14 to pursue her music career. Everyone knows Taylor and she never has had the reputation of being sexy around the office maybe she was to wholesome maybe it was her figure long legs but not very curvaceous. She is a remarkable talent and a superior business person as the brand Taylor Swift is worldwide and untarnished. That is remarkable in the music industry. Taylor Swift is no longer that girl on the country channel with the songs about break ups. She is now a woman full blooded and singing about Blank Spaces, Style and Bad Blood. She has owned the airwaves since the release of 1989 and in concert the whole show is her. There is a catwalk on her stage that goes fifty yards to the middle of these gigantic arenas she is selling out. When she walks that runway, her strut is sexy, her looks at the camera are sexy and we are all in agreement Taylor Swift is sexy and the Woman of the week.
We the leave the financial stories to those who know way more about it than us. It is like the old news anchor reading the tweets or rapper it just does not work and most of the time it will be wrong. We just want to jump in on something we have been hearing for years. That is the Federal Reserve and the interest rate of zero. We have been hearing for years it seems that this cannot last and when they start to tick up it will cause inflation and devalue the dollar. Once again not claiming to know anything about it, those two things can make life miserable for the middle class and they would be the most affected. Well they meet again and made the announcement the Federal Reserve Board monetary policy committee will wait for the next time they meet. So they are not budging and if you are keeping score as some are they we now have had interest rate at zero for 2,417 days. All reports are saying that they might have also decided that a few more weeks or months at that level might be a good idea. We keep hearing every time these meetings end the Fed knows that zero is not a sustainable level for interest rates. This has been a couple of leaders and it seems Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen is happy as long the country keeps chugging along with slight gains, she will not stop the momentum.
This looks like a gift that is going to keep on giving all year long. The only problem is there is no happy ending and what we feared we will never know. The latest batch of emails from former Secretary of State, form first lady and current leading candidate for the democrats in 2016 Hillary Rodham Clinton. This time is was the Obama administration putting a top secret designation on a number of emails from her time as secretary of state. We are sure this will not raise any new red flags about this controversial email arrangement which as we all know has had to have classified information being left unsecured. This batch contains dozens of documents with information redacted and labeled either confidential or sensitive. The problem we see is this new batch these classifications generally appear to have been done after the fact meaning the information might not have been classified at the time the Madam Secretary was sending or receiving, but has now been blessed to be too sensitive to put out in public. There will be no smoking gun as long as this administration is in office and this process is being piece mailed out, they hold all the cards. They have enough time and resources not to miss anything if it was 55K pages and they only had a week there was a chance.
The tea512 gang headed out to the Taylor Swift concert at Gillette Stadium on Saturday July 25,2015. For once it did not rain but it was cold for a summer night. Make no mistake this is now the Taylor Swift show. This is the third time we have seen her. The first time it was about playing the hits a big sing along, the second time it was a massive stage production with costumes and storyboards to each of the songs. This time Taylor Swift the band in the shadows and her front and center strutting, interaction with dancers and the crowd. She spent time between songs giving positive messages and walking a catwalk that when to the fifty yard line of the big stadium. She left country behind as this was about 1989. She did an acoustic solo performance of Fifteen which was a country as the night turned. She even played a hopped up version of Love Story so it was a full on transformation. She was joined on stage by MKTO and they played Classic but the set list was mostly from Red and 1989. Everyone had a different highlight but This Love and Wildest Dreams with Enchanted lead in were both strong performances.
When August approaches you can count on congress to take a short cut and hit the road. We see 2015 no different as the Senate will get to federal highway aid and veterans’ health care but then leave the rest of the unresolved issues for an already full congressional agenda in the fall. The quick fix to take up a House-passed bill to extend spending authority for transportation programs through October 29 and replenish the federal Highway Trust Fund with $8 billion. You can probably know where that number comes from as it is enough to keep highway and transit aid solvent until mid-December. The House approved the three-month extension on a vote of 385-34. This is the 34th extension since 2009. They needed an extension bill that fills a $3.4 billion hole in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ budget. The problem with the put off tactic is there are twelve annual spending bills due late September, the Confederate flag issue and media circus will take time. President Barack Obama brought the Iran nuclear deal to the table as well as another contentious defense policy bill and raising the nation’s borrowing authority. There is also a report the spending authority for the Federal Aviation Administration expires September 30, the House or the Senate will have to pass short-term extensions there as well.
We knew this was the case and those that wanted Obamacare proclaimed it would help to stop the rising cost. We always thought there would be a feeling out process, the insurance and hospitals would slow down until they figured the new landscape and they would go after theirs. The feeling out lasted around the last six years and everyone sees the cost hikes coming. Health care spending will outpace our overall economic growth over the next decade. This is a government forecast highlighting a challenge for the next president as the one who said he would fix it, will be long gone. We think this will be a bigger challenge for the taxpayers and businesses. We always knew the combination of expanded insurance coverage from Obamacare, the aging population, and rising demand will be squeezing every penny out of an unbalanced system already. We know have some dates as by 2019 health care spending will be increasing at roughly six percent a year, compared to an average annual rise of four percent which has been for the entire President Barack Obama administration. We hope that the future can look back and see that adding uninsured to the system instead of fixing the system was the wrong call and a huge wasted effort.
We wanted to let you know about personalized glassware from Glass With a Twist – bar shot glasses. This is a great gift or a just a cool thing to treat yourself. The folks over at Glass with a Twist will custom engrave bar shot glasses with any combination of text and art you can come up with. You can even customize one of their template designs, are bring out your own inner Picasso and start from scratch and design your own. Do not over think it as they have a custom graphics library for you to choose from as well. Think of that the next time your friends get together and you are having a shot before you head out on the town. There are so many uses for this that go way past the practical need for shot glasses. The more you buy the cheaper the cost. So who is GlassWithaTwist, it was founded in 2007, as a web store for custom engraved and screen printed glassware. They moved to Reno, Nevada in 2009 it is a small company is comprised of a talented and dedicated staff who produce all of these customized products in-house. You should really check this out and keep it in your mind for gift giving season as you can tell these people enjoy what they do, and provide you with distinctive and unique designs for your custom glassware needs.
This week we highlight a woman who had weeks and was in the top 51 and then dropped from the list last years. Rachel McAdams was born November 17, 1978 in London, Ontario Canada. The last time on the list was 2013 when she was #42 which a number she was used to as she stayed in the same place in 2012 and 2011. We picked her this week because if you are not watching True Detective on HBO she is crushing in it. Not only is sexy, she is funny, wounded and a bad ass with a knife. We all knew she was a great actress but this role has taken her into a whole new category she has come a long way since Mean Girls in 2004. The other reason to pick her is she is in a new movie at the box office Southpaw which opened this weekend. The movies cost $30M to make and grossed $16.7 the first weekend which is pretty good based on the competition. We know that the budget must have been hit with the cast alone so it is probably a good movie based on word of mouth. Rachel might make the list again but even if she does not her work on HBO and the character she has built in that show make her worthy. We did not want the season to end before we featured her and let out feeling be known.
We as member of first in the country Romneycare here in Massachusetts we understand the only way the plan worked was because the federal government paid the shortfall. We knew we would see this in the national model under Obamacare but always worries it would be times fifty. The State-run health insurance markets that offer coverage under Obamacare are struggling with high costs and disappointing enrollment. These challenges could lead more of them to turn over operations to the federal government or join forces with other states. Hawaii’s marketplace was awarded $205 million in federal startup grants. It has spent about $139 million, enrolled only 8,200 customers and is unable to sustain itself. They are turning over their sign-ups to the federal program in 2016. Twelve states and the District of Columbia fully control their markets. Federal taxpayers invested nearly $5 billion in startup grants to the states. This will be a domino effect and when the healthcare is being run by a national agency we expect the program to explode much like there is a federal Social Security office in every state there will be a need a for a Obamacare office in these states. This will triple the cost and create more red tape than the medical industry has ever seen before.
Everyone needs search engine optimization we are reminded of that as we look at our numbers of traffic and click through. The idea that some techniques are more effective than others might be true. The bottom line is the result, usually this comes down to which search engine optimization company you choose, and how they stack up against each other. There are common search engine optimization techniques that most companies employ which include submission to directory sites, posts on forums or blogs, article writing and submission to article directories, social bookmarking, and building links from, on-theme websites. The idea is to use your search engine optimization to building your page authority so your web pages appear in the top five for searches relating to the page content. If your website is any lower than that the chances of a getting a click through drop considerably. There is a trend by the major search engines to frown upon obvious keyword stuffing, however when used in moderation in a natural way, the page will usually perform better. If you are webmaster then you should acquire professional help and guidance if you are serious and want better performance.
We have written in thr past about the service called Slydial and since it still alive and well we thought we would remind you of the service. Slydial is a free service helping you get to voicemail without worry that the person will pick up the phone. That is right, you call another person on the cell phone, straight to voicemail, without ringing the phone. All you do is call (267) SLY-DIAL from any phone, then the phone number you are trying not to get, they play a tiny advertisement, and the Slydial call goes straight to VM. The user can pay a fee if they would not like to hear the ads. Then the person you Slydialed is notified they have a VM, they may even get a missed call, depending on their provider. Slydial says the project was developed from the need to cut International phone costs, this way calls are picked up as VM and not lengthy live communications at International rates. It may have a business use, but when you are running late, or blowing someone off how cool it is to leave a message on the Slydial, getting yourself out of a prickly situation. This may not work to CYA in the flesh, but it is easier to lie in a VM then to a human, especially since VM cannot talk back. We have a staff member who uses it to tell his landlord the rent will be late but paid on this date, much less awkward than saying to live person.
We knew this would happen and as much as the White House wants to tell you it never will, not on the radar, or we have pulled troops from the region. The bottom line is once our troops were there to train for an offensive, we were going to see the only way to insure success is to get in the muck. This is why it is no surprise to hear for the first time, Iraqi troops trained by the US led coalition have been added to the assault force Iraq is using to retake the city of Ramadi. The US soldiers were added to the fight in recent days and was disclosed to US Defense Secretary Ash Carter. The report came for Carter as he is in Bagdad just before the counteroffensive on Ramadi. The actual assault on the city has not yet begun, but this is a clear sign we are within weeks if not days. The Ramadi campaign will be a the measuring stick for the Iraqi government and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, but even more for the much maligned Iraqi security forces. This operation will happen in coordination with US-led coalition airstrikes, as the plan to overwhelm the smaller Islamic State forces.
Not sure we can call it a sweet sixteen but the GOP field for President in 2016 has reached 16 hopefuls. The big ideas change the world guy has put his hat in the ring. Ohio Governor John Kasich declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination. The 63 year old Kasich was at Ohio State University to launch a campaign before a decent home town crowd of around 2,000. We have watched Kasich for years in congress and as a governor and even in this role you get what you expect. The 43-minute speech was full of references to both family and historical references. The pledge he made and hoping voters will buy into is a national renewal. Kasich told voters he is the only GOP candidate with experience in three broad areas of political leadership. He has worked and produced his own federal budget, he has been on committees and has dealt with national security and lastly being a governor he has no run a state government. We would also through in before he was in politics he actually had a real job as he worked for Lehman Brothers financial services firm. There is an aurora of smart that follow Kasich and it is something most of the sound bite hungry players in the field are lacking. This could be a case where being the smartest guy in the room makes you the winner and we are sure that is why he thinks he timing might be perfect.