Wednesday, October 19, 2011

CNN Las Vegas Debate

Last night's debate, hosted by Anderson Cooper, demonstrated the opposite of what the Bloomberg Debate hosted by Charlie Rose had some what of an intention of doing. This was far from being a dinner table discussion, it was more of a family argument. Seven of the candidates for the Republican nomination participated in the debate: Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Michele Bachmann. Jon Huntsman chose not to participate in the debate in order to concentrate on New Hampshire. He was also boycotting the fact that Nevada moved up the date of the Nevada Caucuses, which he strongly disagreed with. This in itself was a very bold move, especially since his poll numbers are toward the bottom.

As always, I will be grading the candidates performances in the debate and evaluating how each of them did when it came to debating the issues that were important to America.

Rick Santorum- This was Santorum's strongest showing yet. I have mentioned on many occasions that Santorum is an aggressive candidate who argues his views and makes it heard in the event he disagrees with what another candidate believes. In the debate, he took it to the extreme. This was most noticeable when he went after Romney. While he has the support the size of a Chihuahua, he has the aggression of a Rottweiler. This was clearly most visible when the polls were shown with Romney having the best numbers and Santorum coming in with numbers as low as 1%. Santorum fought this off by using his experience in being liberal candidates in the swing state of Pennsylvania sticking to his conservative views. He then mentioned that Romney ran as a liberal candidate in 1994 against Ted Kennedy and lost. Connecting the pieces, he feels that he's the candidate more consistent with his views. It was also nice to see how he used his opening statement to wish his three-year-old daughter a good recovery after having surgery. As for his performance, he came out and really stuck out. B+

Ron Paul- Ron Paul is the candidate for liberty and the second opinion to the field of candidates. He stuck to that position and stuck out with his bold ideas. His intentions are to get rid of the federal income tax and replace it with nothing. This reminds me of an article in which we can't just fiddle around with the tax code, but abolish it and replace it with absolutely nothing. He informed us that the problems we are dealing with come from several bills that could be traced back farther than most of us trace them back to, he mentioned that there is a lot to be angry at, not just Wall Street, but also the Federal Reserve. He also promised that he will introduce a balanced budget when he becomes president. He gave a voice of reason and it may very well strengthen his potential and numbers going in to the primaries. A-

Herman Cain- Now that he's tying for the lead with Romney and sometimes even surpassing him as being the leader of the pack, Cain and his 9-9-9 plan are now on the hot seat. While he did have a fairly decent debate, it was not as strong as his other performances. The loopholes to his plan are finally coming out, and the candidates are sticking their fingers into these loopholes and stretching them out even more in order to give their take on the issue. The part that is most challenged is the 9% sales tax, which would mean states that don't pay a sales tax would be hit with one and states that already have a sales tax will have the pay that sales tax plus the 9%. Cain used an apples and oranges analogy in which he would eliminate the invisible taxes and replace it with one visible tax. The candidates demonstrated it best, and that is how new taxes aren't going to solve the problems. Cain closed off by saying how we should add the numbers up ourselves. He still did a fine job standing by his plans. B+

Mitt Romney- Romney was placed on the hot seat as well, and much more so than Herman Cain. The only thing Cain was attacked for was 9-9-9. Romney, on the other hand, was attacked for his liberal views and also his hypocritical views on immigration. Like Rudy Giuliani did back in 2008, Rick Perry attacked Romney on his views on illegal immigration and how he not only supported those coming to this country in that kind of fashion, but also how they were given jobs. Romney kept up with the tension, though, and had a fairly strong performance. His big attack came when he asked Herman Cain about adding a 9% national sales tax on top of the state tax that many of states already have. With people paying a sales tax of at least 9% and some close to 20% among others, it may have placed a target on Herman Cain's back. That was Romney's biggest hallmark. B+

Rick Perry- While people may disagree, Perry seemed to have a good debate performance. He brought up some important points and made a memorable attack on Romney. While he continues to get attacked for his support of Al Gore's campaign and has yet to lay out his economic plan, he was the one that targeted Romney on his immigration views. He also mentioned that we need to stop offering financial aid to other countries when we are the ones that need the help and how we should consider stepping down from the United Nations. While we are part of the foundation, we are also the work horses that always provide for the remaining members. While he improved, there is much more he needs to do. B-

Newt Gingrich- Gingrich had a few standout moments that included his opening statement. However, he seems to be the guy who doesn't feel the feelings of tension should be among those within the party, but instead toward President Obama. He brought up some key points, but he didn't have as many one-liners or standout statements like he did in many of debates before. His standout statement was how he hopes to turn the food stamps into paychecks. Besides that, it was mainly a spot among the sidelines for Gingrich. B

Michele Bachmann- Bachmann was all over the place in this debate. She started out by saying how she hopes what happens in Vegas tonight doesn't stay in Vegas and then was on the attack with how Cain's 9-9-9 plan is only going to give Congress another pipeline to add on to the taxes that he's implementing and that instead of concentrating on taxes, we need to concentrate on jobs. She gave a good vibe and confidence on the direction this country is going in to and what she plans to do when she becomes president. She had a strong debate performance tonight, but whether or not this will benefit her numbers is a question that could only be answered by the polls and number of votes. A-

Based on previous performances, Michele Bachmann seemed to have the most productive performance during the debate. Ron Paul still demonstrates how he remains the best second option in the race for the presidency. As for the debate in general, it was a fiasco that was happening in front of our very eyes and it's only going to get more and more wild.

The next debate will not be until next month, which means this may be the last debate for some of the contenders. This will all come down to numbers, money, and whether or not candidates believe they have a realistic chance at claiming the nomination. Getting on many of the early ballots also has to be done by the end of this month or the beginning of next month, depending on the state. If support within their main state of focus happens to drastically drop, then candidates may very well look into withdrawing from the race. You have Romney and Cain who will probably make up the top-tier, Perry will stick around if he is able to win Iowa or South Carolina or come out with a strong showing in one or the other, and Paul will stick around regardless. As for the others, Bachmann and Santorum are probably looking at Iowa and would need to win in the Iowa Caucus in order to stick around. Gingrich and Huntsman are looking at New Hampshire, which will be their only chance. The same goes for Gary Johnson and Buddy Roemer. Gingrich may drop out before the primaries if things take a turn for the worse and Huntsman will probably have no choice but to drop out if he doesn't win the state (which he probably won't) or come out with a really strong showing.

The numbers could do just about anything between now and the next debate. We'll just have to see.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Big Cheeses: Havarti

I was really happy about the many opportunities I had to go cheese testing throughout this month. I went to an excellent market that features a variety of good food that you can buy and sample. I also happened to go to a fancy French style restaurant that included a cheese platter that I always enjoy. Throughout the month, I tried six new cheeses and I'm really pleased to have done so. The highlight cheese for this month will be Denmark's most recognizable cheese or the cheese that we seem to recognize the most in American cuisine. No, it is not the cheese featured in a Cheese Danish (though depending on how they're made, they make for a good treat), but another cheese that plays a fine tune with your taste buds like sailing on a bay. I am speaking of Havarti.

Havarti originated on a farm called "Havarthigaard" in the mid 1800's, ran by Hanne Nielsen. This cheese features small eyes ("eyes" are holes or pockets in the cheese caused from bacteria that's used in it) that simply come off as being freckle-sized dents. Despite having these pockets, the two do not look or taste a lot alike. Havarti is a semi-soft cheese that has a very creamy and buttery taste to it. When you're eating it, you get a nice and rich taste in your mouth that makes it feel a bit like an orchestra.

Aside from the regular kind, Havarti also comes with many of pairings. These pairings include caraway seeds, chives, and dill, but also include many more. This seems to remind me a lot of Cabot's Sun Dried Tomato Basil Mild Cheddar, but dill and Havarti has been used on various occasions with various companies. When I tried Havarti, it was paired with the caraway seeds. When tasting it, I concentrated far more on the cheese than I did with the pairings, and it seemed to very well make a difference. The pairing of Havarti and dill would be one of those instances where contrasting flavors form into one. Havarti is not necessarily sweet, but more so rich, as dill offers a more sour flavor like you would find in its more familiar partner... the pickle. Havarti would make a fine nominee for it's many pairings and that's why it seems like one of those cheeses people are eager to try or when they try it and like it go back for seconds.

I have yet to try Havarti and dill to be honest, but I myself would be eager to do so. As for the regular product, I would enjoy it just as well with either an ordinary Entertainment Cracker (which is a more uppity version of the Ritz or Club Cracker) or just as it is. Many of cheeses don't really need a partner and Havarti is sure one of them. I always find it a good idea to look through the imported cheese section in the grocery store or supermarket as oppose to just darting to the dairy section to look for cheese. Havarti happens to be one of those reasons. Regardless what form it's in, you'll have a good time eating the cheese in itself. I would sure be one to go back for seconds, thirds, and many more tries on top of that.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fantastic Films: The Pianist

I wrote my list of my favorite and least favorite films of the decade at the end of 2009. The interesting thing is that during the 2010's, I watched some films from the 2000's that made me consider recreating my list of the best films from that decade. Just last week, I watched the Roman Polanski film from 2002 called The Pianist. It received rave reviews and plenty of awards at the Academy Awards. I felt that these awards were well deserved. This feel brought out a reaction on my part, which is why I think this film is fantastic.

Wladyslaw Szpilman was a Jewish pianist from Poland, the movie is about him and his struggles during the Holocaust. He's the likable center of the film and played excellently by Adrien Brody. He lives with his family when things are beginning to take their turn now that Germany has invaded Poland. The Jews living in Poland have been forced to evacuate from their homes and into the ghettos of the area, blocked off from the rest of society. Things only begin to grow worse when the Jews are forced into concentration camps, where many of them would eventually be killed. The Nazis were ruthless and knocked the Jews off like they were targets in a video game for any form of misconduct, even for answering back. However, this was accurately portrayed.

During the process in which the Jews were forced to leave the ghettos and head on the train to the concentration camps, Szpilman is assisted by the Jewish Ghetto Police and becomes a laborer. He eventually escapes from place to place in the hope of simply surviving, as any Jewish person felt if they were in the position of not being caught. The turning point occurs when Szpilman meets Wilm Hosenfeld, who is a Nazi, but has turned against his party as he disagreed with their stance on specific views. While some of the events may not seem to connect, I did some research and found that The Pianist was really accurate when it came to historic events.

I enjoy hidden gems in the cinema world. I don't know if The Pianist could be considered hidden, but I most definitely know that it is a gem. It definitely wasn't hidden when it took many of the Academy Awards, including  best director (for Roman Polanski) and best actor (for Adrien Brody). Portraying what really happened could also be considered a task, but the ability to do it on key is an accomplishment in itself. The Holocaust was a brutal time period, especially for Jewish people and other groups of people not approved by the Nazis. The way that this brutal time period is portrayed evokes emotion for a viewer like myself who's looking for a reaction. World War II was a hard time for everybody who had something to do with the war, and many of people did. However, nobody had it harder than the Jews in the Eastern European area, especially in Germany or Poland. The Pianist evokes those feelings of pain and hatred and then some. Many of these people only had one way to escape the pain, and that was through death.

Szpilman's character may have put himself in harm's way on several occasions and some of which left you in question, but if that's the way it happened, then that's the way it happened. It's as simple as that! I strongly recommend The Pianist, because it really leaves you thinking after it's over. That's what a piece of entertainment, no matter what form it's in, should do. In this case, it leaves you in a state of thought and leaves you to wonder about this cruel time and place. The Pianist did its job and did it well.

Top Notch Television: Jeopardy! Tournament Of Champions 2011

I am a Jeopardy! enthusiast. I enjoy watching the show as often as I can catch it and enjoy playing along and answering each of the answers in the form of a question (as oppose to just shouting out the answers, remember, this is Jeopardy!). I especially enjoy watching the show when a dominant player is on the show. These are the ones that generally win five or more games, which they have been allowed to continue on the show until they lost since September 2003. Since the five-day limit was overturned, Ken Jennings became a huge name when he won seventy-four straight games and $2,520,700. He has since won more money on other game shows. The Tournament Of Champions has been roughly a seasonal tradition in which the best competitors competed for a top prize of $250,000 and the right to be called the season's finest. The upcoming tournament is going to be one that should definitely be checked out. If you're an enthusiast, you cannot miss it!

The Tournament Of Champions generally features the top fifteen winners of each season. Season 27 featured an excellent group of strong champions and even the new season 28 is coming out with some grand champions. Last season featured Tom Nissley, who won eight games and $235,405, which is the third largest amount that's only behind Ken Jennings and season 22 winner Dave Madden, who won $430,400. Then you had Roger Craig, who won $230,200 in six days, the fourth largest amount. Craig was an aggressive wagerer and became the record holder for winning the most amount of money in a single game. Then there was Mark Runsvold, who won $153,800, Tom Kunzen, who won $133,402 in five games and also participated in a game in which he was the only competitor when Final Jeopardy! rolled around. There's Jay Rhee, who won $107,203 in five games, Megan Barnes, who won $103,203 in three games, and Christopher Short, who won $94,752 in six games. The list keeps going on from there. From this season you have Justin Sausville as well as Joon Pahk, who won $199,000 in seven games. What a list! This will most definitely be a competitive battle.

Picking a winner out of the Jeopardy! champions from this season is like... well it's just hard to do. The field of competition is going to be a battleground. This will be some of the best competition in game show history and it definitely cannot be missed. When you have one strong champion and fourteen mediocre competitors, that's one thing. However, this is not such an instance. You have at least nine strong competitors, along with Charles Temple of the Teachers Tournament and Erin McLean of the College Tournament. So once that's added together and you have yourself a great competition. The only thing that we could do is spectate and see what happens.

The Jeopardy! Tournament Of Champions will be played out from November 2nd to 15th. How the competitors are matched up I do not know. What I do know is that the games will be extremely aggressive and feature many different styles of competitive play. I watched a show from 2007 called Grand Slam, which featured some of the greatest game show winners of all time. This will outdo it when it comes to the competition aspect and I will most definitely mark it on my calendar and have my eyes peeled as the tournament progresses. Once November 2nd rolls around, let the games begin!

Check This Blog: Love Is The Reversal

Here it is, the 90th Caponomics blog post. You know what that means??? Ten more posts until the 100th Caponomics blog post. It took about seven months to get to this point, I'm only left to wonder how long ten posts will take. It'll probably depend on my mind flow. Okay, back on topic. I am not into poetry. Poetry does not suit my interests and I am not so good at writing it either. I prefer free verse, but don't have the ability to put the pieces together to come up with free verse that's very good. Aside from poetry that's used in writing to express a point, the only poetry I read is that from Edgar Allan Poe, who's poem The Raven is my favorite poem of all time. I also happen to have come across an interesting site filled with poetry called "Love Is The Reversal." It happens to be written by someone I know named Brittany, who uses the blog to express emotion through poetry.

Poetry seems to be a way in which people express their personal emotions and hope for others to be entertained by them. On this blog, it is simply that, and the feelings are expressed well. In some of the posts, the poems are in lyric format. The lyric format is a term that's used to express how many of songs follow the same setup. This setup is verse, verse, chorus, verse, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, closing (the closing could simply be a fading of the chorus). Another familiar setup is verse, verse, chorus, verse, chorus (with the closing as a possibility). I have my opinions about how this setup is used so often, but this blog not only shows talented poetry, but also talented songwriting. This could be a producer or a record mogul's gold mine when it comes to talented songwriters who have talented lyrics. I could see Taylor Swift singing songs like this in the event she had other people writing her lyrics (since she writes most of her own lyrics). If the right person finds this blog, then "Love Is The Reversal" could become the platform for a successful career in songwriting or simply writing.

If you're entertained by poetic writing that is sentimental and gooey like a grilled cheese sandwich, this is the blog for you. You will become addicted, continue to follow, and demand yourself to write some poetry of your own. That is, unless you're like me and you have enough writing hobbies that prevent you from becoming a poetry fiend. Have a good time getting lost into some poetry of all kinds (free verse, lyrical, rhyming, etc.) and I leave it to you to find the way to escape.

Excellent Reads: Roger Ebert's "Life Itself"

When I go book shopping, I generally like to buy mass-market paperbacks. They're the cheapest of the bunch and they're the most reasonably priced when it comes to a novel. In this day and age, they range from $8 to $10. In contrast you have the trades at around $15 and hardcovers at around $30!!! The fact that a novel costs $30 when it first comes out is kind of surprising. Even at the movies, you pay $10 for most movies, $7.50 for a matinee, and a little more than $10 for a 3D. Then when you buy the DVD, it generally starts out at around $20 and shrinks in price as it ages. Speaking of movies, there was a book that I had to buy in hardcover, at its immediate release. While I bought it from BJ's at a lower price than I would most books from Barnes & Noble, I still had to own it and read it nonetheless. This book happened to be Roger Ebert's autobiography, Life Itself. I expected to enjoy it and enjoyed it I sure did.

Being a columnist who writes about various subjects, movies being one of them, Roger Ebert is a writing role model of mine. I collect his books, read his reviews every week, and watch his TV shows. He is arguably the most famous film critic in America and has a strong resume that includes the accomplishments I listed above, plus a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1975 for his work as a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. However, this book is more than just a man's passion for cinema, but more about the man himself.

In Life Itself, Ebert talks about his childhood and family, his rise to fame, as well as his battle with alcoholism and his many relationships. The chapters in this book are designated to a specific topic and aren't necessarily in chronological order. While the book tends to be in chronological order for the most part, there is more organization in the respect of the topic than there is in the timeline. There were also chapters about people that stuck out in Ebert's life, such as John Wayne, German film director Werner Herzog, broadcaster Studs Terkel, and the list keeps going on. There were also some passionate chapters written about Ebert's TV colleague/foil Gene Siskel and his wife Chaz. Toward the end of the book, Ebert discusses his cancer and the surgeries that left him unable to speak, eat, or drink. Nonetheless, Ebert continues to remain strong as a writer and keeps coming out with reviews of the new releases week after week. Some of which are wide release, some of which are limited release, and some of them are hidden gems that many of us would overlook. He also contributes on his cinema based sensation, Ebert Presents At The Movies.

While Ebert hasn't spoken a word since 2006, anytime I read his work, I picture him reading the review himself as he would review a movie on television. This book is no different. The difference between this book and his many others is that I now know who Ebert is as a person and how he's just as human as the rest of us. He discusses his fondest memories, some of which I remember from previous reading or watching, and some of which are completely new. This book was easy to follow, just enough pages for each chapter and for each topic, and I came out satisfied by the way this book was written.

Those who are not into the cinema or into Roger Ebert may not enjoy it so much as I did, but this is an autobiography, in which the writer recalls their fondest memories or highlights in their life. Ebert did just that and entertained us with his emotion, his sense of humor, and most of all his brutal honesty. The way he writes and the way he expresses himself puts him high on my list of people I would most want to meet. While he's not able to speak, he still expresses his opinion better than many people who can. The stage was his with this book and it was a very good show indeed.

I will surely keep reading what ever material Ebert releases. Whether he's praising a great film, bashing a bad one, or writing about anything else that may be on his mind, Ebert does it like a professional. Telling us about Life Itself is no different.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bloomberg Debate

Throughout the primary season, we have watched debates that were held by FOX News, CNN, and MSNBC. Even Twitter held a unique style of debate. Bloomberg happened to host their first debate of the primary season just now. The debate was moderated by Charlie Rose and featured Jon HuntsmanMichele BachmannRick PerryHerman CainMitt RomneyRon PaulNewt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum. With Chris Christie and Sarah Palin confirming that they're not running, these eight look like the candidates that will be highlighted in debates and featured in a vast majority of the polls. Gary JohnsonBuddy Roemer, and Fred Karger remain in the tier just under them, and they are followed by those who are running little known campaigns or are featured in only a select amount of states.

This debate was set in a kitchen table style environment and concentrated on America's biggest concern... the economy and anything having to do with the economy.

A lot has changed between the last debate and this. Herman Cain has made a surge in the polls and could be considered a front-runner alongside Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. In fact, Perry's numbers are beginning to slip due to Cain's surge. Romney still remains in the lead.

As always, I will evaluate each candidate and grade them based off of how well they did during the debate.

Jon Huntsman- Huntsman got a good amount of speaking time, given his low poll numbers. However in this debate, Huntsman had very little speaking time and a small amount of time to stick out. However, he did use his speaking time wisely and gave his points as to what he would bring to the table, how his dad was an inspiration, and a backing to his time as U.S. Ambassador to China. His final statement quenched how aggravating the times are and gave a great counter-one-liner to Perry and Santorum having to do with gas in America. The most gas is not in Texas or Pennsylvania, but in DC. Little speaking time, but a quick wit. B+

Michele Bachmann- Bachmann spoke her side and her position as a representative and as a citizen. She was the first to have the opportunity to take a stab at Cain's "999 Plan" and reaffirmed her stance against raising the debt ceiling and allowing Obama wider limitations as to how much of our money he could use in his projects. She also brought up the frustration as to what former Senator Chris Dodd and current Representative Barney Frank did with their housing plans and how they didn't work. She did flub with the names of "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," but got her point across. Her numbers will probably continue to remain at the point in which they are at. B

Rick Perry- This wasn't a Romney vs. Perry debate like it was in September, but instead a demotion for Perry and a promotion for Cain. Perry has been unable to take advantage of his debate time and this has caused his numbers to drop. So much as to having strong Republican figures, such as Nancy Reagan, looking to Chris Christie to enter the race. He reaffirmed that he would not be running and so this is your field. This debate wasn't much different, just staying on the same track. C+

Herman Cain- Now that Cain is in the upper tier, he's getting the spotlight that an upper tier candidate receives... and that means upper tier punches. Cain's signature idea is his 999 plan, which completely eliminates the current tax code, and leaves it with just a 9% corporate tax, a 9% personal income tax, and a 9% national sales tax. He did such a good job defending this plan, especially with the strikes he received from candidates like Bachmann, Romney, Santorum, and even a moderator when it came to the numbers matching up. The biggest attack came with how this tax plan can simply create a pipeline for politicians who are serving to jack the numbers up even more when they feel like doing so. While it goes to show you how there are plenty of dark spots in the plan, Cain still stuck to his plan and showed no signs of fracture. The economy is sure his element. A

Mitt Romney- Romney is establishing himself as a front-runner and he comes off as being the clear definition of a politician. Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes it's not. In this debate, where the attacks were much less frequent than expected, Romney played it cool throughout the night. He stood strongly by his belief in how we need to get rid of Obamacare, how we need to take steps in getting back in the right direction, and strongly stated how we need to improve the way that we trade with other countries, China in particular. While his plan is not as clear and fully detailed as Herman Cain's, his agenda seems more clear than Rick Perry's. After tonight's debate, he'll likely remain high up on the polls. A-

Ron Paul- After a bit of fading in the September's debates, Paul had himself a night with strong statements. He stated that our mistakes can be traced back further than just the last few years and how our spending overseas is coming back to haunt us here and now. He also pointed out that the Republicans hold some blame in the situation and how Alan Greenspan is not as great as Herman Cain pointed out. During this debate, it seemed like Ron Paul got a fair amount of time. Not like the last debate, where he got the second least amount of speaking time (only Gary Johnson got less), despite the fact he was third in most polls at the time. He stood his ground as being the second opinion in the field of a fairly similar agenda. A-

Newt Gingrich- Gingrich is always a highlight in the debates. He always seems to say something that sticks in your head. He goes after the moderators, he goes after Obama, he goes after Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, and anyone else that could have been hands on with our major problems. He even went to the degree of imprisonment to some of these people and how the politicians should take a strong amount of blame for putting us in the position that we are in. When all is said and done, Gingrich gets along with all of the candidates and is in this primary race to more so spread a message as oppose to clinch the Republican nomination. He will likely give a memorable speech at the Republican convention that caps off a memorable run in 2012. That is what he'll most be remembered for. B+

Rick Santorum- Santorum slung some mud around, but not as much as he's generally known for doing. Like Huntsman, this have returned to planet Earth for low polling candidates like Huntsman and Santorum, and they have received a small amount of speaking time. Surprisingly, Santorum didn't argue about getting a small amount of speaking time, as to any of the candidates. Overall, there wasn't much to take out of Santorum's performance in the debate besides a few good points that are typical for any candidate. B

This debate about economic issues, which many agree to be the most serious issue of this current time period, will be remembered for being extremely laid back and surprisingly civil with light arguments here and there. With the new responsibility of front-runner status, Herman Cain did a fine job standing his ground and defending 999. While there have been flaws to this program, it didn't shatter the debater and that's what a debate is all about. Mitt Romney and Ron Paul also did a fine job during the debate and brought important points and strong showings. Romney's performance will pretty much help him remain in the position he is in, as Paul's performance simply strengthens the second opinion that he possesses.

The next debate will be held by CNN next week in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 18th.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thoughts & Points

I must announce that during the next month or so, I will not be blogging as often as I have been the previous month's. This is due to the fact that I have a good amount on my plate and need to balance my time wisely. I am also not suffering from fictional writer's block at the moment we speak and intend to write some horror fiction with the free writing time I do have. For this segment, I felt like writing my many thoughts into one segment and call it "Thoughts & Points." These are little mini-meals that I hope fill you up with just the right amount of Caponomics you need. Pick and choose, sample, and enjoy!

RIP Steve Jobs

Most writers put their tributes at the end of their writing, but I don't feel like being most writers right now. This is a dominating thought and one of the main reasons I felt the need to write this post. Steve Jobs lost his battle to pancreatic cancer yesterday and died at the age of 56. He was the mastermind behind Apple Computers and came up with some of the greatest contributions to technology. Just when you think he was finished, he kept building and building on his many inventions with even more excellent inventions. He is a strong reason as to why we are in such an excellent position when it comes to our advancement in the world of technology.

Chris Christie And Sarah Palin Are Not Running For President

After much speculation between Christie and Palin running for president, both decided that they will not be doing so. That means that it seems as if we have our lineup in Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum. Plus other candidates like Gary Johnson, Buddy Roemer, and Fred Karger. Rudy Giuliani is still mentioned, but will likely not run for president.

Chris Christie won the New Jersey gubernatorial election in 2009 after stressful times in the state. He has since went head on with the teachers union, a project to build yet another bridge connecting New Jersey to New York, and the Jersey Shore TV show. He has constantly stated that he will NOT be running for president, and yet he was constantly encouraged to do so. Now, it's final, and he will not be running. I'm happy about this decision, because he really needs to solve problems in New Jersey before he concentrates on the country as a whole. New Jersey is a struggling state and Christie has really brought it back on the right track. While it's a slow process, it's still crawling back from the bottom.

Another point is in the event Barack Obama wins the 2012 Presidential election, I am almost positive that the winner of the 2016 election will be a Republican. By that time, if Christie wins a second term in 2013, he will be a seasoned candidate and will surely be a front-runner. He can very likely win the election.

As for Sarah Palin, she rose to fame when John McCain tapped her to be his running mate in the 2008 Presidential election. She became a Tea Party darling, a strong voice for the Republican party, and a famous face and personality. She was on and off about a 2012 Presidential run, but ultimately decided against it. Michele Bachmann looks to be the sole female candidate for this Presidential election.

As I stated earlier, if 2012 goes incumbent Democrat, then 2016 will very likely go Republican. Some voters will be unable to wait, due to the crisis we are in; though I could only imagine an all-star lineup in 2016. Not only will Chris Christie be a possibility, but other possibilities include Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan, John Thune, Mike Pence, Mitch DanielsMarco Rubio, Rand Paul (Thune, Rubio, and Paul have 2016 campaigns for U.S. Senate, though), and those who are familiar to competing, such as Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, among other current candidates.

The X-Factor Follows Traditional Style, Still Mildly Interesting

Simon Cowell's key reason for leaving American Idol in 2010 was to bring The X-Factor to America. He assembled a judging panel of music mogul L.A. Reid, Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, and pop star and former Idol colleague Paula Abdul. British pop star Cheryl Cole judged in two audition cities, but was dropped from the show during this audition process. Steve Jones is the presenter.

What makes The X-Factor stick out is how the finalists are split into groups of males, females, groups, and those over thirty years old, and each judge is assigned a group. This encourages competition among the judges. Aside from this twist, this show seems to be like any other reality show. It takes a lot from Idol and adds a few new elements. In my mind, aside from the brutally honest Simon Cowell, the judge that impresses me most is L.A. Reid. He is kind of like a sophisticated Randy Jackson who doesn't come up with redundant catchphrases, but instead is constructive and speaks his mind. Otherwise, Paula is Paula and Nicole Scherzinger seems to be placed to swing the opinion and rattle the table. Paula seems to do the same, as she's always done.

While the judges make up an impression on the table, there is a wide range of talent on the show. An interesting competition can be made, but for now, it's just American Idol with a twist... oh, and a five million dollar contract.

Here are three of my points that are sticking out in my mind, but instead of creating separate posts to discuss them, I felt like putting it all together in one post. While I am part of the crowd that mourns Steve Jobs, I also commend Christie and Palin for not running at this time, and find The X-Factor to be mildly entertaining, but could become another reality show playing the same tune of other singing competitions. Here are thoughts and points that are flowing through my busy mind that is looking to incorporate time to spread my free writing spare time. I will surely invest some of that time into Caponomics.