Bump from Biden. Not so much.

Pew, NYT, Gallup, Rasmussen, CNN, CNBC and Huffington Post are all scrambling to get a poll out showing a spike in support for their Obama/Biden dream ticket. But so far, silence. That means no bump. Hillary still has a chance in Denver next week.

In fact, Gallup shows McCain up! Can Hillary do anything about it?

It’s official: Barack Obama has received no bounce in voter support out of his selection of Sen. Joe Biden to be his vice presidential running mate.

Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Aug. 23-25, the first three-day period falling entirely after Obama’s Saturday morning vice presidential announcement, shows 46% of national registered voters backing John McCain and 44% supporting Obama, not appreciably different from the previous week’s standing for both candidates. This is the first time since Obama clinched the nomination in early June, though, that McCain has held any kind of advantage over Obama in Gallup Poll Daily tracking.

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Loser career — journalism

Now he speaks up. What about all those graduation commencement speeches Lou? Why did you mislead all those gullible liberal journalists back then, when you could have made a difference?

Ed (Lou Grant) Asner says: “I was a high school journalist and wanted to go into it because it was dashing and exciting. One day in college, my instructor, whom I revered, passed by my desk and said, ‘Are you thinking of journalism as a career?’ And I said, ‘yeah.’ She came back and said, ‘I wouldn’t … you can’t make any money at it.’ With that, I washed away any plans that I had.”

No wonder the same group of liberal journalists are so easily fooled by Big Brother/Al Gore tax and control schemes like “global warming.”

Big Brother = good.

Big Business = bad.

The kings of oil increasing production to 10 million barrels a day

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is planning to increase its output next month by about a half-million barrels of oil a day of its light, sweet crude oil, according to analysts and oil traders who have been informed by Saudi officials. This announcement alone, plus the Republican party political movement called “Drill Here — Drill Now!” is making it into the media. 

The increase could bring Saudi output to a production level of 10 million barrels a day, which, if sustained, would be the kingdom’s highest performance level in history. The move was seen as a sign that the Saudis are becoming increasingly nervous about both the political and economic effect of high oil prices. In recent weeks, soaring fuel costs have incited demonstrations and protests from Italy to Indonesia.

Saudi Arabia is currently pumping 9.45 million barrels a day, which is an increase of about 300,000 barrels from last month.

The Saudis are concerned that today’s record prices might eventually damp economic growth and lead to lower oil demand, as is already happening in the United States and other developed countries. The current prices are also making alternative fuels more viable, threatening the long-term prospects of the oil-based economy. The high prices have also made it profitable to stimulate mature oil wells in Texas and California. 

President Bush visited Saudi Arabia twice this year, pleading with King Abdullah to step up production. While the Saudis resisted the calls then, arguing that the markets were well supplied, they seem to have since concluded that they needed to disrupt the momentum that has been building in commodity markets, sending prices higher. That creates panic. There seems to be no end in sight. 

The Saudi plans were disclosed in interviews with several oil traders and analysts who said that Saudi oil officials had privately conveyed their production plans recently to some traders and companies in the United States. The analysts declined to be identified so as not to be cut off from future information from the Saudis.

Last week, King Abdullah also took the unprecedented step of arranging on short notice a major gathering of oil producers and consumers to address the causes of the price rally. The meeting will be held on June 22 in the Red Sea town of Jeddah.

Oil prices have gained 40 percent this year, rising to nearly $140 a barrel in recent days and driving gasoline costs above $4 a gallon. Some analysts have predicted that prices could reach $200 a barrel this year as oil consumption continues to rise rapidly while supplies lag.

The growing volatility of the markets, including a record one-day gain of $10.75 a barrel last week, has persuaded the Saudis that they need to step in, analysts said. The Saudis and Republicans are the only groups trying to lower the price of crude. But you won’t read that in your mainstream newspaper on watch it on NBC. 

Did you know…

Until recently, only 35 percent of oil has been extracted from reservoirs. Oil resides in porous rock formations, it is not in the sate of underground pools as many consumers believe. Today, oil companies such as Chevron, Shell,  Halliburton and Schlumberger, have developed stimulation methods to revive mature wells. There are fracturing and perforating techniques, 3-D seismic methods to clearly see trapped reservers that have been missed by the original well. There are now, steerable drill bits that can capture those trapped oil reserves and pinpoint stimulation on targeted areas. 

–Mick Gregory

Newspaper jobs at 15-year low. A Harbinger of things to come.

U.S. media employment in December fell to a 15-year low (886,900), slammed by the slumping newspaper industry. But employment in advertising/marketing-services — agencies and other firms that provide marketing and communications services to marketers — broke a record in November (769,000). Marketing consulting strongly lead that growth.

Companies still invest in marketing, but they have more options now such: digital initiatives, direct marketing, promotions and events, just to name a few. That creates more opportunities for consultants to help define strategies.

Meanwhile, dissident shareholder Harbinger Capital Partners has increased its stake in newspaper publishing company New York Times Co. to 11.8 percent, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday. The Harbinger investors are going to take control and eventually do away with the two-tier stock that gives all the voting rights to the elitist family while they spend the investors money on global trips and penthouse condos.
Harbinger, working together with Firebrand Partners founder Scott Galloway, a New York University business professor, has criticized the Times for not aggressively building up its digital businesses.

The investors have nominated four candidates for election to the board at the Times’ annual shareholder meeting on April 22.

On Tuesday, Harbinger reported owning 16.9 million shares of the New York-based publishing company. Earlier this month, Harbinger disclosed that it had raised its stake to more than 10 percent from 5 percent.

Ad agencies also have evolved, expanding beyond simply creating and placing ads. Indeed, Ad Age DataCenter research has shown that U.S. marketing-communications agencies collectively in 2005 for the first time generated less than half of their revenue from traditional media and media planning/buying.

Falling stocks

Marketing consultancies over the past year added 14,500 jobs (up 10.8%), nearly matching staff cuts at newspapers (down 16,900 or 4.7%), reported in AdAge.

Funny, that’s what I am, a marketing consultant now.

Meanwhile, back at the Bay Area newspapers the staff of the left over Knight-Ridder papers that were bought by the fire sale specialists, Dean Singleton’s Media News Group. The publisher told the entire staff that this is the first time the Contra Costa Times lost money since 1991, again about 15 years ago. Isn’t that something?

So we’re announcing today that we’re extending to all employees a one-time voluntary separation opportunity, commonly known as a buy-out. Everyone except Operating Directors and me will get the opportunity to apply for a buy-out. Each of you will have the opportunity to apply. We are distributing a packet with all the details. If you don’t get one within 24 hours, by 2 p.m. Wednesday, please contact your department manager or Human Resources.

Here are some of the things I hope you’ll keep in mind as you review the buy-out information:

Your getting a packet is not in any way a reflection on your performance or value to the company. Everyone is getting a packet.

Announcements regarding the need to reduce costs also were made this afternoon in San Jose, at the Mercury News, and in San Ramon, at the Shared Services Center. This is a BANG-wide effort.

This program is part of a general cost reduction program. We also will be taking other steps unrelated to our compensation costs to bring down operating expenses. We’ll have more to say later about these other steps, such as limiting days for inserting and reducing the size of the TV tab.

We are not announcing the number of job eliminations. For one thing, the number can change depending on who applies and is accepted for a buy-out. Second, we are seeking a dollar savings, not a reduction in a specific number of jobs. But I will say this: The number of jobs that will be eliminated will be significant. So each employee needs to give the buy-out opportunity full consideration.

Applying for a buy-out doesn’t mean you’ll get one. The decision whether or not to accept a buy-out application will be made by senior management based on our business needs.

If we do not get and accept enough buy-out applications to reach our cost savings goal, we will have to do involuntary layoffs. We won’t know where we stand on layoffs until after the buy-out acceptance deadline, which will be March 3rd. Very quickly thereafter, we will make a decision on layoffs.

To encourage employees to apply for a buy-out, the severance benefits for voluntary buy-outs are twice the severance benefits for involuntary layoffs. The severance payouts and benefits associated with buy-outs and layoffs are contained in the information packet.

These are very difficult times. They demand that we move quickly and decisively. It is easy to get discouraged, to wonder about the future of newspapers and companies like ours. Personally, I still believe in the power of newspapers and, specifically, the power of our newspapers and Web sites. We deliver the biggest media audience in the East Bay, and that will be the key to our growth in the future as we rebound from these economic challenges. And we will rebound.

The senior management team appreciates your understanding and continued dedication to moving us forward.

John Armstrong, President & Publisher

Where is Osama? The production quality of that photo and tape is laughable.

By Mick Gregory

Speculation on the spector of the Osama tape.

Are any of you worried about the eve of 9/11? Here’s what I think:

The Osama photo is not recent, it’s a composite designed using PhotoShop. The audio is probably technically mixed to sound like his voice, as well. My guess is the tape is being produced and distributed by the Russian “new” KGB. It keeps the myth going and hope for the Islamic terrorists to continue the fight against “The Great Satan.”

The Osama tape is to be taken as a signal to go ahead with attacks by independent sleeper cells in the US.

The worst case: .0002 chance of occuring.

I believe there could be simultaneous bombs blown off in major cities in the US and Europe, some will be dirty bombs and the massive fear will be that they were all nuclear active. Fuel tanker trucks will be the weapon of choice. I don’t think the terrorists are capable of this any longer.

The New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Miami, LA and San Francisco explosions will be the targets of dirty bombs and the major bridges and tunnels will be blocked, increasing the chaos. The next wave of terror will hit London, Paris, Ramstein air base, and the Hague financial center.

The nuclear devices were propably supplied to the terror cells by Russian operatives. Most have been degraded over time, but still very powerful in psychological impact and fear factor.

It’s too complicated to predict what will happen if there are two days of terror.

I’m sure the Pentagon has been running Monte Carlo risk simulations using various factors, and playing out scenerios. Marshal Law would have to be one of the tools set in place to force order.

After months of a crushed economy, and people ignoring their mortgage and credit payments, the stock market would crash and there will be runs on the banks. There would be a collapse of fuel and food supplies. Possible looting in poor cities, sporatic shootings. Chance of happening: .000003.

Russia and China would emerge as the super powers, the US and Western Europe could be in Great Depression II.

It would take years to regain normalcy. What a nightmare it would be. But the chance of anything close to playing out is about .0000023.

My hope is that the terror cells lack training and made up of low class punks and true Islamic believers managed by low level criminals with pipe bombs and AK-47s.

Then, nothing will happen in the U.S. And we wil see that the Bush doctrine is right, keeping the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq and that killing 20,000 Islamo Fascists every month is working fine. Chance of occuring: .9998.

Next, on to Iran.

MOABs dropped on 1500 military and nuclear sites in three days. Oil crisis? Not much. Iran can’t even supply its own people with gas now. Of course there will be a spike in gas prices for six weeks. Big deal. Secure oil for the next 30 years is a good trade off. Chance of happening: .333.

Which scenerio will play out? What say you?

Che Guevara was killed by Bolivia’s police 40 years ago.

By Mick Gregory

Some background on Che Guevara, the romantic bearded figure on red T-shirts and coffee mugs at your neighborhood pipe store.

Che Guevara was one of Fidel Castro‘s henchman when they plotted to overthrow Cuba while in Mexico in the late 1950s. After they succeeded, Castro didn’t need Che’s carismatic status and good looks. So Che Guevara was guided out of Cuba (for his own good).

He tried to duplicate his left-wing overthrow of governments throughout South America. When Guevara attempted to unite miners in Bolivia to strike, he did not gain any support from the workers. The Bolivian government police killed Guevara in a shootout in 1967. The CIA doesn’t claim to have played a part.

(It was the LBJ-Democrat Party CIA, so it is possible).

Today, the fairytale leaves out the inconvenient truth, such as Fidel Castro’s hand in Che’s demise by abandoning him. The tale of the CIA behind his death is flawed in that it was the leftwing Democrat Party CIA at the time, not the Nixon, Reagan or Bush CIA.

The fable spread to suburbia. Target stores even carred book bags with Che’s image, until there was public outcry. If you have a Target Che bag, you can make a nice profit on E-Bay today.

No mention in Che’s rewritten history that Guevara’s mother was Irish and from a wealthy family. His parents even sent the young Che to medical school. Nor the gulog that his comrade Fidel filled with political prisoners for just trying to escape his socialist paradise.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

What the mainstream media hid about LBJ

The Story The Mainstream Media Never Reported

By Mick Gregory

We will never be told the truth about JFK’s assassination. In fact, the FBI has film they will not release. But the truth is coming out in pieces. There are enough pieces to complete most of the puzzle and make out the subject.

This is what we know now:

A decade after LBJ’s death, a friend of Estes, a federal marshal, talked Estes into coming forward with what he knew about Henry Marshall’s death. Then on August 9, 1984, following Billie Sol Estes’ grand jury testimonyregarding Mac Wallace’s murder of Henry Marshall, Estes’ attorney, Douglas Caddy sent a letter to Stephen S. Trott, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, of the US Department of Justice. The letter
reads:

Lyndon’s scandalous wheeling and dealing from his Senate days were catching up with him even faster than the Billie Sol Estes affair, and it would bring the whole Democratic party down with it if the key players weren’t thrown overboard. Estes and to a lesser degree Johnson were the primary benefactors of their doings, while everyone on Capitol Hill knew Bobby Baker, and every lawyer, lobbyist, and lawmaker wanted a piece of the action — and Bobby was LBJ’s boy. The dealings had been too many to keep quiet with a quick “Texas suicide.” LBJ wasn’t just looking at the end of his political career; he was looking at hard time.

Dear Mr. Trott:

My client, Mr. Estes, has authorized me to make this reply to your letter
of May 29, 1984.

Mr. Estes was a member of a four-member group, headed by Lyndon Johnson,
which committed criminal acts in Texas in the 1960s. The other two,
besides Mr. Estes and LBJ, were [White House aide] Cliff Carter and Mac
Wallace. Mr. Estes is willing to disclose his knowledge concerning the
following criminal offenses:

1. Murders

1. The killing of Henry Marshall 2. The killing of George Krutilek 3. The
killing of Ike Rogers and his secretary 4. The killing of Harold Orr 5.
The killing of Coleman Wade 6. The killing of Josefa Johnson 7. The
killing of John Kinser 8. The killing of President J. F. Kennedy

Mr. Estes is willing to testify that LBJ ordered these killings, and that
he transmitted his orders through Cliff Carter to Mac Wallace, who
executed the murders. In the cases of murders nos. 1-7, Mr. Estes’
knowledge of the precise details concerning the way the murders were
executed stems from conversations he had shortly after each event with
Cliff Carter and Mac Wallace.

In addition, a short time after Mr. Estes was released from prison in 1971, he met with Cliff Carter and they reminisced about what had occurred in the past, including the murders. During their conversation, Carter spoke of a list of 17 murders which had been committed, some of which Mr. Estes was unfamiliar with. A living witness was present at that meeting and should be willing to testify about it. He is Kyle Brown, recently of Houston and now living in Brady, Texas. . .

It continues for several more pages, detailing many other crimes Estes had knowledge of, including illegal cotton allotments and payoffs.

Estes’ testimony was conditional on certain demands, including immunity from prosecution, a full pardon, and absolution of past income tax debts. Talks between the Justice Department and Billie Sol Estes broke off later in the year.

On June 19, 1992, US Marshall Clint Peoples told a friend of his that he had documentary evidence on one of the shooters in Dealey Plaza. On June 23rd, Peoples, a former Texas Ranger and a onetime friend of Henry Marshall, was killed in a mysterious one-car automobile accident in Texas.

Investigator Harrison Livingstone spoke to Kyle Brown, named as a witness in the letter, at length in 1993, and Brown backed up everything Livingstone had heard. Kyle Brown, to this day, is one of Billie Sol Estes’ closest friends.

On March 12, 1998, a 1951 fingerprint of Malcolm “Mac” Wallace was positively matched with a copy of a fingerprint labeled “Unknown,” a fresh print lifted on November 22, 1963, from a carton by the southeast sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository. This carton was labeled “Box A,” and also contained several fingerprints identified as
those of Lee Harvey Oswald. The identification was made by A. Nathan Darby, a Certified Latent Print Examiner with several decades experience.

Mr. Darby is a member of the International Association of Identifiers, and was chosen to help design the Eastman Kodak Miracode System of transmitting fingerprints between law enforcement agencies. Mr. Darby signed a sworn, notarized affidavit stating that he was able to affirm a 14-point match between the “Unknown” fingerprint and the “blind” print
card submitted to him, which was the 1951 print of Mac Wallace’s. US law requires a 12-point match for legal identification; Darby’s match is more conclusive than the legal minimum. As cardboard does not retain fingerprints for long, it is certain that Malcolm E. Wallace left his fingerprint on “Box A” on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book
Depository early on November 22, 1963.

The FBI currently has custody of the Mac Wallace fingerprint, Nathan Darby’s sworn affidavit, and several hundred pages of corroborative evidence developed by Texas research group which is currently remaining anonymous. Brown has received permission from the group to release the name of one eyewitness to some of the covert business dealings between Lyndon B. Johnson and members of the assassination plot. This is Barr
McClellan of Houston, Texas, onetime attorney for the law firm led by Ed Clark, which had represented Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s.

Biographer Robert A. Caro, author of two volumes to date in the
groundbreaking series *The Years of Lyndon Johnson* writes:
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