Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday quick hits

Clearing out the bookmarks bin here, the Saturday morning edition.

First, Zogby is reporting, via Politics1, that polling has begun for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. It's a tad early, but what the hey, right? Sarah Palin received 24 percent. Mitt Romney got 18 percent. Bobby Jindal received 16 percent. And Mike Huckabee came in with 10 percent. Rudy Guiliani got 5 and Ron Paul received 3 percent. If I had to take a guess, I would say it is doubtful that Paul will run again, considering his age. Who knows. Don't know about the others either.
Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss, who just won reelection in a run-off [why don't we have these everywhere?], credited Palin's fly-through for rallying the base and helping him win. Like Chambliss ever really had a chance of losing in Georgia. But, if this kinda stuff keeps up, it is likely that Palin will be on the GOP front burner for quite a while.

Are you watching the financial disaster? Well, check out this site: ["The Bank Implode-o-meter"]. I knew it was bad but I didn't know it was quite this bad ...

Trying to save for retirement has been on my mind lately. I don't know why. Maybe because it is getting towards the end of the year and I have to start thinking about my IRA deposit. In clearing out the bookmarks bin, I found this old article from earlier this year: ["The One-Year $1 Million Challenge"]. Of course, this was written months before the crash, so 10 percent returns are probably not to be expected. In addition, who can really max out their IRA these days? Like, no one. Oh well. So, you won't be a millionaire any time soon.

While the Smart Car seems like a good idea, watching them on the highway really scares the daylights out of me: [""]. I mean, they just don't seem safe. They are, but they just don't look it. As well, for the price, about $14K, you can get a rocketship Honda Civic, if you haggle, which will get almost the same gas mileage. I've gotten as high as 41.6 mpg in my Civic. I'm sure if I dropped down to 55 on the highway, I'd get even more. As well, you'll be comfortable! So, skip the "Smart" car and be smart: Get a stripped down Civic, save money, and enjoy your commute.

Another thing I forgot to post over the summer was this article from AJR: ["Murky Boundaries"]. There is a constant battle in the minds of journalists about this issue, especially when we enjoy writing so much. Playing it safe is always the best route, I guess.

When I was searching for information about oil prices and gasoline after the spike, I came across this site: ["Where does US gasoline come from?"]. While I wasn't surprised by such numbers in this sentence: "Although the United States is the world’s third largest crude oil producer, less than 35 percent of the crude oil used by U.S. refineries was produced in the United States." ... I was surprised by the next two:
"Net petroleum imports (imports minus exports) account for 60 percent of our total petroleum consumption. About 50 percent of our petroleum imports are from countries in the Western Hemisphere, with 17 percent from the Persian Gulf, and 19 percent from Africa and 14 percent from other regions."
In fact, upon more research at the EIA site, I discovered that the bulk of our imported oil, about 60 percent, comes from Canada! So, when some of my comrades have said, "We're dying in Iraq for oil," that could be a questionable statement despite its validity in my mind [and the minds of others]. Of course, Iraq and the other Middle Eastern countries are sitting on top of the globe's largest oil reserves. When mined, there should be enough oil to last another 50-plus years, even without conservation, according to some sources. Others say it is less. As technology progresses, we'll no longer need their oil, thankfully. Hopefully, each household will eventually be able to get their own plug-in cars, subsidized by single-source electric generation solar panels and wind farms. Well, one can always hope.

This is funny: ["The Marketing Professional’s List of Lists"]. I hate "sales" - even though I was good at it - but I love marketing. I don't spend enough time perusing marketing sites but I'm still fascinated by what motivates people to do certain things. I really need to figure out a way to get a job where I just study those types of things.

More tomorrow.

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