Monday, February 06, 2017

Phillips Philes Has Access To More Readers Through Jersey Report Link!

Dear Readers,

I just wanted to share with you that Phillips Philes recognizes it just hit big time through a link on Jersey Report, the new news aggregator that covers New Jersey. Yes! - New Jersey finally has one!

Jersey Report, like the famous Drudge Report in both layout and content, specializes in covering the state's news and linking local media outlets, columnists, blogs and weather. Not every state, as of this writing, has news aggregators, in fact under a dozen do. Notable existing news aggregators on the East Coast include Keystone Report for Pennsylvania, Empire Report for New York and Carolina Plott Hound for North Carolina.

Thank you for linking us Jersey Report and we have you linked as well! :-)

Joyce Kavitsky

New Jersey gets its own version of the Drudge Report

A screenshot of the Jersey Report website. |

Source: — or Jersey Report — appeared without fanfare in the fall, and is now seeking to establish itself as a top New Jersey news aggregator, with much of it focusing on state politics.

But now, Jane Randall, a 26-year-old Princeton University graduate who in 2010 finished near the top of the field on the television show "America’s Next Top Model," is working aggressively to promote the site, traveling to government events and holding meetings with political insiders.

“We think New Jersey is the perfect place to apply the Drudge model. New Jersey is an influential state,” said Randall, who grew up near Baltimore and lives in Manhattan.

The site is the second Drudge-like venture founded by 36-year-old former hedge fund executive J.P. Miller, who served as the tri-state area's finance director for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.

Randall is running the New Jersey site, the sister site of across the Hudson that was founded months earlier. There are also Drudge-like sites not owned by Miller in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Colorado and Louisiana.

Despite the fact it’s modeled after the Drudge Report, Miller said Jersey Report has no ties to its high-traffic right-wing national counterpart, which often posts racially inflammatory headlines and links to the conspiracy theory site InfoWars.

“We certainly have been inspired by Matt Drudge,” Miler said. “We are huge fans of the Drudge Report. The Drudge Report is the number one most trafficked news site on the planet , but we do not have any business affiliation with Drudge.”

Like Miller, Randall has a background in Republican and conservative politics. She interned for Romney’s campaign under Miller in 2012, worked for the National Review Institute, which promotes conservatism on college campuses, and has professed her love of Russian-American novelist Ayn Rand on Twitter.

But Randall and Miller said the Jersey Report is not going to follow in Drudge’s footsteps when it comes to a political slant. The site aims to be strictly non-partisan.

“There’s no goal to go one way or the other. The goal is simply to make headlines more interesting and more unfortunate than they might be otherwise,” Randall said.

Randall and Miller have no plans to conduct original reporting, but think there’s a demand for it, even as New Jersey’s media shrinks as newspapers lay of employees. The state is just one of two in the nation to have a governor’s race this year (Virginia is the other), Gov. Chris Christie remains a national figure and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker is being watched as a potential Democratic candidate for president in 2020.

So far, the New Jersey website has had just one advertiser. Miller didn’t share traffic numbers, but said the New York site gets hundreds of thousands of hits every week and that “the growth trajectory of the traffic of the New Jersey site for where it is kind of in the life cycle is growing at a higher rate than the New York site was.”

The Drudge bare-bones format, Randall said, helps to “keep it simple, keep it fresh, update it constantly and have interesting content..”

“It’s very basic. But it’s very successful,” she said.

Stop saying Betsy DeVos is uninformed and unqualified By Eric Peterson

When pressed at the hearing about what her policy or position would be on certain issues, such as firearms in schools, DeVos deferred to the states to make their own decisions on what is best for their students. (Graeme Jennings/Examiner)


February 5, 2017

Like most of you, my social media feeds have been bursting with political commentary from people who used to be content with sharing pictures of cute animals or vacation albums. It's hardly surprising, though, given the political climate and the news media's hyperbolic coverage of every story. I have been surprised by one thing, however: the constant drumbeat of opposition to Betsy DeVos, President Trump's nominee to lead the Education Department, who is expected to receive her final confirmation vote in the Senate on Monday.

This drumbeat continued at Tuesday's Senate education committee hearing to advance DeVos' nomination to the Senate floor. All the of Democratic senators, and even Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, questioned DeVos' qualifications for the job, citing her supposed lack of experience and knowledge of the public education system.

Despite this strong opposition, DeVos passed through the committee on a 12-11 party-line vote, but her confirmation in front of the whole Senate is on thin ice.

I concede that DeVos struggled at times during her questioning at a Jan. 17 Senate hearing, which I mostly attribute to a case of Midwestern niceness. But the attack that she is uninformed, and therefore unqualified, misses the mark on multiple levels.

Nobody highlights this mistake better than the late economist Friedrich Hayek.

Other than being the father of Austrian economics, a Nobel Prize winner, and the author of The Road to Serfdom, one of Hayek's major contributions was his work on the use of knowledge in society. Hayek argued that no one individual can possibly have enough information to centrally plan an entire economy.

This theory can be applied to many other areas as well. The takeaway is that leaders in many areas should defer to local knowledge when addressing issues rather than assuming they have the information to make the "correct" decision.

Unfortunately, many of our current senators seemed to have skipped Hayek day in their economics class.

Since the creation of the Department of Education, the power to make educational decisions has been gradually sucked out of the states and replaced with program after program forced onto them from Washington.

Policies imposed by Washington bureaucrats aimed at improving public schools via one-size-fits-all national standards and federal programs have failed to increase student achievement, despite the billions of dollars pumped into each new program.

Even targeted spending designed to address failing schools has been ineffective. A recent evaluation of $7 billion spent by the Obama administration to improve student achievement at these low-performing schools found there was no positive effect.

Viewed from a Hayekian lens, this failure should not be surprising. Top-down policies didn't fail because previous department heads were unqualified, but because no person or agency has the capacity to know what is best for more than 50 million K-12 students and more than 3 million teachers across our vast country.

This fact has long been known by DeVos. When pressed at the hearing about what her policy or position would be on certain issues, such as firearms in schools, DeVos deferred to the states to make their own decisions on what is best for their students. Even though that position has attracted the typical sneers from the Left, DeVos fundamentally has the correct position. The fact that she is willing to consult others and is able to admit when she isn't the best person to be making a decision on someone else's behalf are part of her strength as a nominee, not a sign that she's unqualified.

All of this is to say that what DeVos knows best is that she can't possibly know what's best for every state, every school, and every student in every circumstance. That knowledge is only known locally, by students, parents, and teachers far removed the bureaucratic nightmare that is Washington D.C.

It is often said that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. DeVos knows something that those poised to vote against her confirmation early next week do not: Doubling down on the failed policies of the past will not help improve education outcomes and turnaround our nation's decreasing educational competitiveness. It's time to stop the insanity.

Eric Peterson (@IllinoisEric89) is a policy analyst at Americans for Prosperity.

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