Should your business use an independent contractor or hire a full-time employee?

Following President Obama’s much hyped jobs speech, small business owners have been discussing the direct ramifications for if his proposals were enacted by Congress.

My Technically Media colleagues and I were specifically interested in these details, as provided by the New York Times:

“The centerpiece of the American Jobs Act is an extension and expansion of the cut in payroll taxes, worth $240 billion, under which the tax paid by employees would be cut in half through 2012. Smaller businesses would also get a cut in their payroll taxes, as well as a tax holiday for hiring new employees.” Also: $4k to any business that hires an employee that has been looking for a job for six months.

Beyond the fact that those proposals aren’t actually in place yet, I wanted to share the basic, common reasons for why independent contractors and freelancers are still the way of the world, particularly in publishing.

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Osama bin Laden: 10 most interesting tweets around his alleged death

(AP Photo/Rahimullah Yousafzai)

So last night President Obama announced that the U.S. military had killed and reclaimed the body of al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, accused of masterminding the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Around 10:20 p.m., I was culling through Twitter following Philly Tech Week when I saw a stream of tweets referencing an upcoming Obama national address. Rumors were flying and news began coming it: the conference wasn’t about Libya, then it was said it would be about bin Laden.

From there, Twitter took off and after 11 p.m., the President made his address.

I thought I’d share some of my favorite tweets of the night, considering it was how i followed the news, though my housemate and I watched the address online via streaming White House video:

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Flat Stanley in Washington D.C. for the Obama inauguration with Christopher Wink

And I thought children hated me.

Debbie Reinhardt’s second-grade class at the Kiel School in Kinnelon, N.J. sent me Flat Stanley, the title character of a children’s book from 1964. The flattened boy from the book gets sent around the world in an envelope.

I’ve been charged with showing our pal Stanley around Philadelphia, but before I get to that, I took him on the road to our nation’s capital earlier this week, where I was for the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama. Check some dispatches below.

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First to report Rendell named Obama’s vice presidential running mate: how an entire newsroom tricked me

AP Photo by Carolyn Kaster. Edited by Christopher Wink
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. AP Photo by Carolyn Kaster. Edited by Christopher Wink

This is the story of how more than 20 statehouse reporters fooled me into believing I had a hot-breaking story – for the second time in a month. Last week I posted that a personal essay of mine was accepted by the Columbia Journalism Review and appeared on the CJR Web site. My essay touched on a story that I think is worth telling more deeply.

Enjoy.

This past summer I was honored to serve a prestigious post-graduate internship with the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association, the country’s oldest state government reporting society. For three months I covered Pennsylvania state government in the Harrisburg Capitol, home of the largest full-time state legislature in the country, representing the nation’s sixth most populous state. On a rotating basis, I worked for six media outlets, including Pennsylvania’s three largest dailies. I worked with serious, accomplished journalists, a handful of them ranked among the state’s most influential.

Yeah, and they screwed with me a lot.

Continue reading First to report Rendell named Obama’s vice presidential running mate: how an entire newsroom tricked me

Really, how crowded is the inauguration going to be?

Tomorrow I’ll be in D.C. to cover the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama on Tuesday.

It seems it’s all anyone is talking about in a way no inaguration in my short life – even the first inauguration of Bill Clinton, another young Washington outsider popular with young people.

Folks in D.C. are already complaining of the growing crowds. There might not be enough public toilets.  I filed a story for CampusProgress.org suggesting this inauguration may not only be the largest, but also might have more college students than ever before (perhaps disinegnous because there are more American college students today than ever).

But will the cold and these calls of crowd drop that total? Check here for details and for updates, check my Twitter account, where I hope to link to photos via Twitpic.

Photo courtesy of RPG.

Congratulations, President Obama

It will be an event I will tell my children about. John McCain wasn’t running as John McCain.

Unfairly, unjustly untruly or not, it seemed the media – particularly in Europe, from my experience – wanted Barack Obama in the office.

He has been anointed as part of a great achievement of American freedom. As a supporter of the U.S. president, I hope he can do it. But he has to exceed the level of excitement around him that prompted one supporter to tell a CNN TV camera: “you hear about people seeing Ghandi and Martin Luther King…”

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False Story — Rendell named vice-presidential nominee

I was tricked into writing this story by the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association in the Harrisburg, Pa. state capital newsroom on Aug. 15, 2008. This article is not true. All those interviewed were in on the joke.

Sen. Barack Obama embraces Philadelphia City Councilman Bob Brady and is applauded by Gov. Ed Rendell before speaking during a Democratic Unity Rally at Temple Universitys McGonigle Hall October 21, 2006 in Philadelphia. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
Sen. Barack Obama embraces Philadelphia City Councilman Bob Brady and is applauded by Gov. Ed Rendell before speaking during a Democratic Unity Rally at Temple University's McGonigle Hall October 21, 2006 in Philadelphia. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

By Christopher Wink | Harrisburg Patriot-News | Aug. 15, 2008

Gov. Ed Rendell will be named Sen. Barack Obama’s vice presidential running mate, a high-ranking source in the administration told the Patriot-News.

“Next Monday could be a very exciting day for Pennsylvania,” said Mary Isenhour, the commonwealth’s Democratic Party executive director. She wouldn’t corroborate the offer or Rendell’s acceptance of the position, but confirmed the governor was meeting with high-level Democrats in Washington D.C. Friday.

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NYTM: Barack Obama makes racial politics go away

From left: Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia; Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina; Representative John Lewis of Georgia; and Representative Artur Davis of Alabama. (Nigel Parry for The New York Times)

Interesting, if already well-circled, story in the recent-most New York Times Magazine, entitled “Is Obama the End of Black Politics?”. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter got some face time in its main graphic, as seen above, and in a large portion of the story, briefly excerpted below. A beginning excerpt that stuck with me:

Obama was barely 2 years old when King gave his famous speech, 3 when Lewis was beaten about the head in Selma. He didn’t grow up in the segregated South as Bill Clinton had. Sharing those experiences wasn’t a prerequisite for gaining the acceptance of black leaders, necessarily, but that didn’t mean Obama, with his nice talk of transcending race and baby-boomer partisanship, could fully appreciate the sacrifices they made, either. “Every kid is always talking about what his parents have been through,” Rangel says, “and no kid has any clue what he’s talking about.”

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Rendell conference call on Obama campaign

Senator Barack Obama (R) (D-Il) is greeted by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell before speaking during a Democratic Unity Rally at Temple University's McGonigle Hall October 21, 2006 in Philadelphia. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

The Barack Obama presidential campaign’s focus on Pennsylvania is “unprecedented” Gov. Ed Rendell said in a news conference call I listened in on during this my first day with the Allentown Morning Call for my post-graduate internship with the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association.

Rendell was a noted booster for Obama’s primary opponent Hillary Clinton, but long maintained he would support whoever was the Democratic candidate. Rendell said “90 percent” of Clinton supporters are with Obama and getting “more excited” for Obama everyday.

“Pennsylvania is generally and typically a battleground state. Democrats have done well but absolutely can’t take it for granted,” said Steve Hildebrand, the national deputy Obama campaign manager. Aside from Florida, he added, Pennsylvania has the largest number of electoral votes that the campaigns are considering real battlegrounds.

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