Please, Please Go Vote

November 6, 2012 04:56 by Brandon

I have a confession to make: I'm well into my 20s, and today, November 6, 2012, will be my first time voting.

And while I could probably spit out a thousand excuses for why I didn't cast my ballot in 2008, the truth is there is no good excuse. How dare I take my privilege to vote for granted? There was a time when people were actually denied that right.

Furthermore, as so simply stated by the Huffington Post, "Helping to choose the next leader of this country, voting on vital propositions that affect the people in your community and participating in the democratic process are already reason enough to make your vote count." We Americans underestimate how much power we truly hold; we're given the chance to speak our minds and help steer the direction of our country.

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With that said, you might feel like you don't know enough about the issues to voice your opinion. But the truth is you hear about -- and probably even talk about -- this election's main points all the time. If you need help figuring out which candidate(s) you agree with, check out

Help Keep the Promotional Items Industry Alive

March 1, 2012 04:33 by Brandon

Members of the United States Congress, which consists of both the Senate and House of Representatives, are meant to represent the people within their states.  But unless you make your voice heard, your representatives can't understand your values, challenges and interests.

That's why the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) has organized a Legislative, Education and Action Day (LEAD) during which 60 professionals within the advertising specialty industry will meet with legislators in Washington D.C.  The goal is to educate members of Congress about the promotional items industry on Marcy 7-8, 2012 so that they can consider its needs when passing new laws. 

While those of us within the promotional products industry realize that it's a booming commercial enterprise, our Senators and House Representatives probably don't have the facts.  They may not know that:

  • There are more than 32,000 promotional products companies in the United States
  • The industry generates more than $16 billion in yearly revenue
  • Over 450,000 Americans are employed by an advertising specialty organization

But there's a way to teach our representatives about how imprinted items are used, how effective they are for advertising and marketing, and how they help create a personal connection.  To help, contact your U.S. Senators and House Representatives by clicking here.  It's easy, fast, and will really make a difference for the future of our industry.

Who knew Obama could sing?

January 20, 2012 03:59 by Brandon

"Those guys didn't think I would do it," joked President Barack Obama after singing the opening lines of Al Green's 1971 hit, "Let's Stay Together."

It all went down late last night at a fundraising event in New York.  The president serenaded the crowd while thanking Green for his earlier performance at the same event.  However, Obama didn't want to take away from Green's campaign gift: "Don't worry, Rev., I cannot sing like you. But I just wanted to show my appreciation," he said.

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Check out President Obama's surprise solo below:

What do you think -- does the president's vocal ability measure up?

What's With All This #OccupyWallStreet Stuff?

October 11, 2011 03:17 by Brandon

If you've watched the news, read the paper, or even browsed the Internet over the past few weeks, you've no doubt seen coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement.  And if you're anything like me, you're a bit confused as to what it's all about.  Let's take a look at what exactly all the protestors are, well, protesting.

Alan Grayson, a former economist and Congressman from Florida, was interviewed by Crooks and Liars, a self-proclaimed 'politically left blog.'  Grayson explained, in a nutshell, that protestors are "complaining about the fact the Wall Street wrecked the economy three years ago and nobody’s held responsible for that."  Those on Wall Street, Grayson claimed, have "iron control over economic policies of this country."  But in what ways are the actions of those on Wall Street affecting me?

Grayson attributed most of our economic and societal problems to the greedy people on Wall Street.  "...We should not have twenty four million people in this country who can’t find a full time job...we should not have fifty million people who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick...we shouldn’t have forty seven million people of this country who need government help to feed themselves. And we shouldn’t have fifteen million families who owe more on their mortgage than the value of home," Grayson said.

Protestors believe that Wall Street's control over our nation's economy is resulting in America's high levels of unemployment, its citizens' dependency on national programs, and extreme mortgage rates.  Corporate greed, demonstrators assert, is slowly killing the "99 percent."

The movement is becoming so widespread that CBS News correspondent Bigad Shaban said, "...this isn't your average protest."  Indeed, some protestors have lived on the streets out of their custom backpacks for over three weeks at this point.  Shaban gave viewers a look at a "makeshift village" in New York's Zuccotti Park at which activists have lived over the past few weeks, complete with yoga lessons, a temporary library, a medical tent, and even a newspaper, The Occupy Wall Street Journal.

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Are the people's protests as a result of their frustrations enough to make a difference?  Naomi Smith, a principal from Central Park East II who encouraged her students to participate in the protests on Columbus Day, a public holiday, told The New York Times that this is what democracy is all about.  "I thought it would be great for the children to see what's happening here," Smith said, according to the Huffington Post.  "This is what democracy looks like."

Red vs. Blue

August 17, 2011 07:27 by Nicholas

People love to fight.

Correction: people really love to fight

But outside of sports and music, no one fights more than politicians. While it's rare that America's leaders start fist fights or scream viciously at each other, there's nothing politicians love to do more than to run each other's name through the mud. 

And outside of social media, commercials and in person, politicians have been using promotional t-shirts to make slandering more mobile. I came across a shirt that took a jab at Mitt Romney, found below.

Additionally, the same group who made this shirt made a similar promotional t-shirt in response to those who don't believe President Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States.

So next time you think you're going to mess with a politician, remember that "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say it at all." But all is fair in love, war, and promotional t-shirts