Agenda 7/29/18

FACT OF THE WEEK

Axios Login reports, “It may not have the traditional moat to fend off competition, but Slack has nonetheless managed to build quite the castle by out-executing its rivals. Tech-industry business wisdom says successful companies need a moat — a way to keep competitors from easily seizing their markets and customers. Slack was often criticized as a castle without a moat, and thus ripe for plundering. Yet rivals big and small have failed to conquer Slack. The latest evidence came in a deal Thursday, in which Atlassian announced it is shutting down rival business chat services Hipchat and Stride, selling the intellectual property to Slack, and investing in the company. … Slack is still private, but shares of Atlassian rose more than 18% following the news.”

CONTINUE READING

IN THE MEDIA

Pew’s most recent State of the News Media report this week rolled out its fact sheet on the state of Cable News. The report finds of CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC in 2017, “the evening news audience declined while the daytime audience remained stable.” Among the other key findings:

  • “Total revenue across the three channels increased by 10% in 2017 to a total of $5 billion, according to SNL Kagan estimates.
  • “Total newsroom spending by the three channels combined increased by 6% in 2017 to a total of $2.3 billion, according to estimates by SNL Kagan.  Newsroom spending at the three major financial networks [CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg] was $703 million, a 3% change.
  • “About 2,900 employees worked as reporters, editors, photographers, camera operators and film and video editors in cable TV newsrooms in 2017, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics. This is on par with 2004 – in spite of fluctuations over the last 14 years – but is up 33% from 2014 when about 2,200 people worked in cable TV newsrooms.”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

President Trump heads to both Florida and Pennsylvania next week for campaign rallies. The president heads to Tampa on Tuesday for a “Make America Great Again” rally. Politico Playbook writes, “Trump will sign ‘Strengthening Career and Technical Education For The 21st Century Act’ into law, and then he will go to Tampa for a roundtable on workforce development and a political rally.” The Orlando Sentinel adds the president will also campaign for “U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, whose Republican campaign for governor has been surging of late. The president also is expected to stump for Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is running to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.”

Philly Voice reports the president, “is slated to be in Wilkes-Barre on Aug. 2 for a Make America Great Again rally and to support U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta’s campaign for the Senate against incumbent Bob Casey.”

ON THE HILL

The Senate is back this week with a busy schedule, expected to consider a “minibus” appropriations package including Interior-Environment, Financial Services, Agriculture-FDA, and Transportation-Housing Urban Development funding bills; confirmation of an 11th Circuit judge; a four-month flood insurance extension; and the National Defence Authorization Act Conference Report.

Monday (July 30): Senate executive session to consider the nomination of Britt Grant to be U.S. Circuit Court Judge for the Eleventh Circuit and pending cloture motions on the minibus appropriations bill, National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization, and conference report on the National Defense Authorization Act; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee field hearing on VA long-term care (to be held at Ventura County Office of Education at Camarillo, CA);

Tuesday (July 31): Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on immigration enforcement and family reunification efforts (with testimony from a panel including representatives of Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Citizenship and Immigration Services) andsubcommittee oversight hearing on the structure of the federal courts; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Michael Hammer (to be ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Kyle McCarter (to be ambassador to Kenya), and Stephanie Sullivan (to be ambassador to Ghana); Senate HELP Committee hearing on reducing health care costs and decreasing administrative spending; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee roundtable policy discussion on the impact of opioids on economic development in Appalachia (to be held in Somerset, PA);

Wednesday (August 1): Senate Intelligence Committee open hearing on the use of social media platforms in foreign influence operations; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee business meeting to consider pending nominations and resolutions and hearing on the EPA agenda, with testimony from Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of R. Clarke Cooper (to be assistant secretary of State for political-military affairs) and John Richmond (to be director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking); Senate Judiciary Committee nominations hearing; Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committeehearing on 15 bills; Senate Commerce Committee executive session to consider 10 pending bills and nominations and subcommittee hearing on the search for life and utilizing science to explore the solar system and make new discoveries;

Thursday (August 2): Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearingassessing the value of the NATO alliance.

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