How to win an election without really trying

Today is Election Day — a day when Americans exert their founding-fathers-given (or suffrage-given, depending on one’s gender) right to vote. Sure its a midterm election, but its important nonetheless.

I voted this morning before work with my sister and my dad. New York State switched to new paper/scantron ballots from the old metal machines with the switches and the curtain. I suppose these voting machines were chosen to be less susceptible to tampering, but if you’ve ever heard the name Diebold, that certainly is not the case.

Oh well, I wonder how the elderly are going to take to filling in ovals with a flare marker in all the appropriate columns.

When we arrived at the polls, I stopped to take a photo outside of the polling place. It has become a tradition, ever since the first time I was able to vote. For me, that photo sort of doubles as proof and a recognition of all that the right to vote represents to me.

Once inside the gymnasium-turned polling place, we were greeted with familiar faces — the same group of elderly volunteers we seem to see there every year.

Once I gave my name and address the gray-haired woman helping me turned to the lady next to her and declared “See?! There is a [name of my street]! Told you!” Although that was a little disconcerting, I responded by saying that yes, in fact, my street existed, and that it was only a block or two away.

The voting process wasn’t too dissimilar to marking Scantron sheets back in middle school, which sort of seemed appropriate since I was voting inside of one. Then I was lead towards an elections volunteer wearing a pretty stylish hat who showed me how to feed the ballot into the scanning machine.

The machine reminded me of the annoying money-taking thing on a vending machine because it didn’t pull my ballot inside right away, but sort of backed it out, then back in, then back out again, before finally taking it.

I stood there and watched until the screen said BALLOT ACCEPTED, and then waited for my family and got some free Halloween candy sitting there in a bowl as a reward.

Not bad, I thought, did my civic duty. See you next year, when we re-elect Obama.

CBS made this show from a Twitter account? What accounts will they use for show ideas next?

10 Other Twitter accounts that should be turned into TV shows

CBS made this show from a Twitter account? What accounts will they use for show ideas next?

CBS’ new sitcom $#*! My Dad Says starring William Shatner is based on the Twitter account of Justin Halpern, who lives with his 89-year-old father. The show’s premiere brought in 12.5 million viewers last week.

Maybe that’s why CBS is planning another TV show based on a Twitter account, @shhdontellsteve. That one is about a guy writing about what his roommate does and is currently being made into a pilot called “Don’t Tell Steve”.

Now I’m not too familiar with that second Twitter account, but if CBS is so intent on making shows from Twitter accounts, I might as well share a list that the network’s execs can use for future pilot ideas:

1) @WolfBlitzerCNN – Come on, Things Wolf Blitzer Says is sure to be a hit. Watch out William Shatner, Wolfie’s gunning for you!

2) @JohnCMayer – A show about a musician who connects with viewers through Twitter? That could be cool. Oh wait, just like John Mayer’s Twitter account, this show has also been cancelled.

3) @PerezHilton – Sure Perez Hilton initially got famous by drawing penises on photos of Lindsay Lohan and then blogging them, but a show about a gossip blogger becoming famous for his celebrity news tweeting would be cool.

4) @50Cent – I guess its not totally surprising that rapper 50 Cent employs no filter while he tweets, but between all the retweets of half-naked, booty-showing photos of fans he retweets, plus gems like the following, I would actually watch this show: “This b*tch is a super freak for real @beautydiorxz yal want some p*ssy follow this b*tch she crazy as hell look at her page.”

5) @KBurkhardtSNYKevin Burkhardt is the New York Mets’ on-field reporter who happens to tweet in the same way that he reports on the baseball teamĀ  — in a timely, relevant, and totally original manner. I’d love to see a show about an on-the-field reporter who covers baseball from unique angles and eventually earns his way into the broadcast booth.

6) @MollieWestieMollie the Westie is just one of thousands of Dogs Who Twitter. And let’s not forget cats who tweet, like @sockington who loves writing about his kibble! How about a show called Paws to Tweet, CBS?

7) @LilPecan – Speaking of pets with twitter accounts, Lil Pecan is a self-described “social media guinea pig” from Boston with over 3,500 followers, that is often snarky while defending the fact that her human doesn’t write her account, like some other animals. A talking-and-typing guinea pig right there on your television?!? Instant ratings!

8) @ev & @bizEvan Williams and Biz Stone are the creators of Twitter. Could you imagine a show about the guys responsible for the newest way the world communicates these days? Hey, they made a movie about Facebook…

9) @AplusKAshton Kutcher helped put Twitter on the map with his competition to 1,000,000 followers against CNN and his straightforward tweeting. How about a show that focuses onĀ  a celebrity’s struggle with what to share and what to keep private and how it affects his family? Sort of part-reality, part-entertainment? I’m sure MTV has a time slot or two open still.

10) @YOU! – Maybe you are the next tweeter that would make a good subject for a show because you use Twitter in a unique way that is also entertaining. Hell, if I’d follow you, why wouldn’t I also wanna watch a show about you too? At least CBS thinks I should…

What other tweeters/tweeple do you think CBS should consider for their own TV shows based on their twitter accounts? Share in the comments below!

Celebrating Veterans’ Day the right way

This Veterans’ Day, let’s take a minute to show our gratitude for all of the brave men and women who have fought and are fighting for our country.

War is very much used as a talking point by politicians and talking heads these days. And while we, as Americans, do have to find a way to resolve two wars that we are currently trapped in, I’d like to put those issues aside today to offer thanks to those who offer their lives in the name of OUR freedom.


Remember those who gave their lives so that we may be free.

Let’s hope that President Obama uses today to reflect on making the correct choice in dealing with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He didn’t get us into them, but let’s hope he can find the best way of getting us out of them.

ALSO: In case you were wondering, the American war I find most interesting is the Revolutionary War. It got this country started, afterall.

Get your election on!

Oops, I didn’t vote.

Now while millions of Americans don’t vote (especially in a non-Presidential election year), I have always voted since the first day I was legally eligible to make my voice heard.


Voting is a fundamental right.

Today I just ran out of time before work. I didn’t leave myself enough time before work to vote.

That’s the excuse, anyway. And maybe I didn’t feel like this year’s races were all that important.

Until I thought of the implications.

What if the Republican challenger had managed to win Town Supervisor this time around? After years of Republican rule in the Town and County, Democrats had finally broken through to take over the leadership and change local government for the better.

We had come together to vote out “Crookhaven” and vote in favor of a corruption-free Brookhaven.

What if my non-vote, combined with the non-votes from hundreds of other people in my area gave the Republican the seat? Its not something I would feel good about and it would likely directly effect my happiness down the road.

And all because I didn’t take 15 minutes to vote today.

It does add an extra layer of guilt to an otherwise okay day.

Luckily, with 70% of the vote in, it looks like the Democratic incumbent will hold onto his seat by a 12% or so margin.

So I can take a brief sigh of relief that my not voting today didn’t screw things up too much.

But then again, there are all the other races, some of which Democrats didn’t win. And some of those races were very close. How much of an impact did my non-vote play in that outcome?

I guess I may never know.

But what I do know is that I won’t take my civic right to make my voice heard for granted again. It just means too much to not participate in a participatory government.

And I know that if someone I didn’t agree with were to get elected because I didn’t vote, that I wouldn’t really have the right to complain, since I did nothing.

That, and I couldn’t take dealing with the day’s worth of guilt again.

RELATED: I just heard that Mayor Michael Bloomberg was elected to a third term as NYC Mayor. I guess that answers the question of what spending millions and millions of your own money in a mayoral race can get you.

Senator Al Franken blasts a supposed healthcare expert on medical bankruptcies (VIDEO)

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) is working hard to get healthcare reform passed… pushing through all the rhetoric and nonsense about socialized medicine that’s out there these days:

Al Franken, like many Americans, is sick and tired of listening to conservatives throw up strawman arguments about health care reform intended to scare Americans into accepting 47 million uninsured fellow citizens, increasing out-of-pocket costs and skyrocketing personal bankruptcies due to health care costs–all the while decrying “socialized” medicine. Below, he schools Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Hudson Institute–which until recently employed disgraced health care “analyst” and serial liar Betsy McCaughey–on how people in other “socialized” countries don’t go bankrupt trying to stay alive.

Now that’s refreshing to see, isn’t it? Enough with the scare tactics, let’s get healthcare reform passed!

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