Thursday, August 05, 2004

Pols on Polls

There are polls all over the place these days, and the stupid media, obsessed with horse races and 15 second sound bites will only give you their myopic, uneducated, beauty-pagent summary of what these polls tell us.

I spent some time today looking in detail at the Washington Post - ABC News Poll taken July 30-August 1 and here is what I found out.

  • Point 1 - These poll takers ask stupid questions like the following:

    12. Regardless of how you might vote, please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of (NAME) or perhaps you don't know enough to say.

    8/1/04 - Summary Table-- Registered voters

    Favorable Unfavorable No opinion
    a. John Kerry 51 32 16
    b. George W. Bush 47 45 8
    c. John Edwards 49 18 33
    d. Teresa Heinz Kerry 34 24 42

Now I understand why they are asking about Dumbya and Kerry. But how come they are asking this question about Edwards and not Cheney? And how come they are asking anything about Teresa Heinz Kerry? Why not ask the same question about Laura Bush? Or Jenna Bush? Or Neil Bush? Or how about Ashcroft and Rumsfeld? WTF???

  • Point 2 - On a more serious note, the reason why Kerry did not get a post convention bounce is truly because there is no elastic to bounce on. The details of this poll shows that positions have hardened on the right and the left such that there are very few undecided voters left.
  • For example as of August 1, 80% of registered voters say they are following the presidential race closely (either very closely or somewhat closely). In 2000 that kind of attention to the race was not even seen 3 weeks before the election.
  • Of registered voters 85% say they are "certain to vote" in the current poll (with 94% either certain or probable). In August of 2000 the "certain to vote" number was only 78%.
  • Of registered voters, 83% of Kerry supporters and 79% of Dumbya supporters say will DEFINITELY vote for their respective candidates with no chance of changing their minds. In contrast, in August of 2000, 65% of Gore supporters and 68% of Bush supporters said the same thing.

Anyway, the more you dig into this thing you find hardened positions and attitudes. There are very few votes up for grabs, unless you can register a whole lot of new voters.

It's going to be a nail biter.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Oil at $44/bbl! What's a poor boy to do?

Oil price futures reached a record high today. OK, adjusted for inflation, the price of oil in 1979-80 was nearly double of what it is today. But oil has doubled in price in the last 2.5 years. There are short term excuses all over the place for why this price run up has happened, but fundamentally it is a supply and demand issue. Demand is soaring - all over the world. Supply is not keeping up.

Even the Oil and Gas Journal, the mouthpiece for the oil industry, is weighing in on the supply and demand situation with a series of articles under the heading "Hubbert Revisited". These articles, which are addressing the very real liklihood that age of oil is comming to an end, would have been called heresy by the readers and editors of the OGJ just a few years ago. (For those who don't know, M. King Hubbert was a geologist working for Shell in the 1950's when he predicted that US oil production would peak in the 1970's. His prediction went over like a turd on the dining room table and he was nearly lynched by the industry for that prediction, though it was spot on.)

Oil is the life's blood that the world's economy runs on. It is also a drug, something akin to methadone, or nicotine. When this stuff starts running short, people go crazy and bad things happen - especially to the weak (wars, famines, recessions, depressions, road rage, gas station line rage, etc.).

There are a number of books that have been published on the consequences of reaching "Peak Oil". There are also some great web sites, some of which are linked to on my side bar. However, for the beginner, I would suggest checking out The Wolf at the Door.

Anyway, the question is what can we, the weak, powerless, blog community do about this?

How about make some money! See I can sound Republican after all.

Oil will still be valuable long into the future. Hydrocarbons are needed for many, many, many, many things besides fuel. As my friend Robert is fond of saying "Oil is too valuable to burn!" Not only that, but the price is only going to keep on rising, perhaps dramatically both in terms of magnitude and time frame, and the sky may the limit. If you own a long lived supply of oil you will be very wealthy.

OK, who owns a long lived supply of oil - Saudi Arabia. I guess that supply is off limits to us mere bloggers. However, there is a very long lived supply of oil just north of the US border in Alberta. This supply is contained in the Athabasca Tar Sands and is over 1 trillion barrels of oil in place. This oil supply is worthless if the price of oil is at $20/bbl (US) or lower because it costs that much to get it out of the ground. However, above $25/bbl this supply of oil starts becoming profitable to go after. At $40/bbl it is very profitable. At $60/bbl the companies going after this stuff are basically minting money.

So I am putting my money where my mouth is and am buying stocks of companies heavily involved in this business. So here are my stock tips. Use them at your own discretion.

Suncor
Canadian Natural Resources
Western Oil Sands
Shell Canada
UTS (very, very speculative - penny stock)

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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Kerry Takes a Strong Lead

MyDD has an updated analysis of where the race for leader of the "Free" World stands as of today:

Last Updated 8/3, 11:00 a.m. EDT

National Two-Party Vote Projection (Nader not included?)

Kerry 53.12
Bush 46.88

Status: Too Close to Call

Electoral Projection
Kerry Bush
Solid 243 127
Lean 100 68
Total 343 195

States changing hands from 2000: FL, IA, MO, NV, NH, OH, TN and WV to Kerry

Electoral Map

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Monday, August 02, 2004

The American Taliban at the Repub. Convention

The General was pleased to see that Jerry Falwell has been tapped to give the opening prayer at the Republican Convention. As the following quotes demonstrate, there is no other pastor in this country who better embodies the values of Our Leader, the Anointed One.

If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being.


Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them.

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Boondocks blasts Limbaugh - More Hypocrisy Revealed

No extra description necessary.

Boondocks


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Blogging is like jogging



OK, people (especially Sandy), I'm back, much to your chagrin. It has taken a while to get back to the keyboard. There always seems to be something else to do. Hence the title. Once one gets out of the habit it seems to be hard to get back into it. Anyway here I go.




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