Consumage: Presidential Election Year Edition

Yesterday was the New Hampshire Primary, which is the first primary of the presidential election year. For some reason I love presidential election years.  I watch almost all the debates, the primary coverage, and whatever news I can find whether it’s CNN, podcasts, or websites. It’s interesting to analyze the candidate debate styles, what are their talking points, speech styles, learn why certain people vote for particular candidate, what are the differences between the different primaries and caucuses, how those candidates decide to run their campaigns, what the voters think about those strategies, which campaigns are effective, and which ones are not effective?  There are a lot of questions, a lot of money spent, and an endless amount of coverage.

To try to stay up to date on all the news, I’ve added some resources to my normal media diet. Here’s what I’ve been reading, listening, and watching during the beginning of this presidential election year.


I don’t read much about the presidential elections mainly because there are so many other forms of media I enjoy. Plus, I spend most of my reading time with my current book and general media diet.  If I want to read an article, I always go to Real Clear Politics.  It’s one of the websites I check every morning.  I don’t always read an article but I like to scan the titles to give me an idea of the political news of the day.


This is one of my favorite ways to stay up to date and the reason is simple, Podcasts. My favorite used to be an NPR podcast called, “It’s all Politics,” but I think it’s no longer created.  I’ve only been able to find NPR Politics Podcast on Overcast.  I haven’t listened to it.  I’m downloading it now.

Yesterday, I listened to the most recent FiveThirtyEight Elections podcast. I’m a big fan of Nate Silver’s work.  It’s my first time listening and I enjoyed the podcast, there were about four or five people sitting around a table in the New Hampshire airport diner.  It was entertaining but I miss the old NPR podcast, there were two cranky old men complaining and poking fun of the political system.  The good thing about this podcast is that they refer to their own polls and models which gives them a unique experience to predict on the amount of statistical chances for certain candidate, like Chris Christie coming in second. They think Christie making a ten point leap to second place is nearly impossible. The results came in last night and they were right.  I like the statistical angle but that’s just my personal opinion.


For the past week, my wife and I have discovered a new show on Showtime called, The Circus. It’s kind of like HBO’s Hard Knocks but with the candidates running for president.  It’s fascinating to see the interviews, personal moments, and what the life of being on the road of a campaign trail. We’re both hooked.  I feel like you do get a good insight into the campaigns.

There has been a lot of focus on Cruz and Sanders.  I wonder if this will prove to create a bit of a head fake, similar to the Hard Knocks effect in fantasy football.  This is when fantasy footballers watch Hard Knocks where they watch some random player getting a lot of hype. Then they proceed to overdraft them, only to have the player’s Hard Knock’s success not translate on to the field.  It’s a show, it’s meant to entertain, and it needs to create a storyline.  I guess I’ll have to keep watching to find out.

Where Would I Be Without Community College?

Yesterday, I read Tom Hank’s Op-Ed in the New York Times about how two years at community college changed his life and I t made him who he is today.

I agree with Tom, two years of community college changed my life. I thought about going to a larger institution but I wasn’t ready so I decided to attend the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC).  I’m not going to lie community college wasn’t the easiest path in the world.    At community college there was plenty of fooling around.  There are a lot of people there who are still trying to play it cool and went nowhere, but it was also a place like Tom said.  It was a place where all kinds of different people came to better their lives, whether it was soldiers back from Iraq or Afghanistan, working mothers, unemployed factory workers, future Ivy leagues attending the honors college, or nowhere else to go high school graduates like myself.  CCAC allowed me to experiment with different classes to find out what I liked and disliked.  It allowed me to take everything from Chemistry and Calculus to Intro to Acting.

It gave me the opportunity to discover a love for reading, the benefits of handwork, and that I could succeed in college.

I might not be as successful as Tom Hanks but community college helped me go from a kid, who made mistakes without many options into an honors graduate at a four-year university with the ability to hold a good job with two prominent employers, and give my family the life they deserve.