Archive for October, 2012

Captain Rick: This is Part 5 of my effort to predetermine the next president of the U.S. Some might think I am throwing darts in determining my Election Scenarios, but that is not true. My analysis is based on my analytical and statistical skills developed during my many years in the engineering field…coupled with the use of CNN election data which I highly respect as being very accurate … coupled with my gut instincts developed from paying close attention to politics during my lifetime, especially the past few elections. As stated in my previous report, my gut says Obama has lost 9% of his 2008 support. I weigh that with heightened significance in this report.

In my previous report Obama and Romney were all tied up at 253/253 electoral votes. In this report I analyze the remaining states of Virginia with 13 electoral votes, Colorado with 9, Iowa with 6 and New Hampshire with 4.

Virginia was blue in 2008 by 6.31%. It was red by greater percentages in previous elections. Lets paint it red.

Iowa was blue in 2008 by 9.58% with neutral percentages in previous elections. Lets paint it blue.

New Hampshire was blue in 2008 by 9.65% with neutral percentages in previous elections. Lets paint it blue.

That leaves Colorado with a blue vote by 8.95% in 2008, just .05% on the red side of 9% gut call, but a sizable red vote in previous elections. I am going to go out on the limb, beyond the the point of hearing it crack, and call Colorado red.

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That adjusts the electoral votes to 263 for Obama and 275 for Romney, making Romney the next President of the United States of America.

After the votes are in from election day, I will post a final report of how my analysis and ‘9% gut feeling’ faired.

Captain Rick: The U.S. economy grew a bit faster in the third quarter than the sluggish 1.3% of the second quarter, according to the first of three estimates for the third quarter. First estimates are notoriously optimistic, especially when they come before a presidential election. The first estimate for the second quarter was 1.5%, raised to 1.7% on the second estimate and then sank to the ‘final’ 1.3% figure. We will have to wait until December for the more realistic third estimate.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the broadest measure of the nation’s economic health. 3% economic growth, represented by the red line in the chart below, is necessary to provide enough new jobs to keep pace with U.S. population growth. America has fallen short in all but two quarters of the past four years. This means that the percentage of eligible workers who are working continues to drop almost every month. Real unemployment is continuing to increase, in spite of the bogus and meaningless unemployment percentages the U.S. government publishes each month that show a slow decline. America’s unemployment rate is currently published to be 7.8%, but the real number is actually about twice that…and rising, not falling.

I do not see anything on the horizon that is going to raise America continuously up above that red line, where we need to be to enjoy a healthy and growing economy … at least for the next several years, perhaps 2017 or beyond. Even the Fed, the IMF and other global financial authorities forecast similar sluggish growth through 2015. Europe appears to in recession or close to it. U.S. growth of 1.3% in the second quarter is knocking on recessions door. China’s economy is slowing quickly as a result of economic sluggishness in the West. This paints an anemic image of America’s economic health, with a global ripple effect. If the U.S. legislature attacks the “Fiscal Cliff” with vengeance when they return to work in January, we might see a boost in GDP in coming quarters. I am referring to major spending cuts and yes…tax increases. Anything short of that means “kicking the can down the road”, as has been done for many years, and will give us continued economic stagnation and possible recession.

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Captain Rick: This is Part 4 of my effort to predetermine the next president of the U.S. Some might think I am throwing darts in determining my Election Scenarios, but that is not true. They are based on my analytical and statistical skills developed during my many years in the engineering field…coupled with the use of CNN election data which I have come to highly respect as being the most accurate in recent elections…coupled with my gut instincts developed from paying close attention to politics during my lifetime, especially the past few elections.

CNN has now moved Missouri and Indiana to Red and North Carolina from toss up to pink. I had moved them to red in previous reports. So, all is working properly.

In this report I will analyze Ohio with its 18 electoral votes. it is said that Ohio has voted for every elected president since 1960 and that no Republican has ever won without its support.  In previous reports I have discussed how my gut says Obama has lost 8-10% of his 2008 support. I will get brave and zero in on the dead center of 9%. Considering the remaining toss-up states of Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia and New Hampshire …(continued below the map)

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Ohio is the state with the weakest Obama support of 4.54% in 2008. It was also a red state in 2000 and 2004. Being about 4.5% below my gut stat of 9% Obama loss of support since 2008, lets paint Ohio red.

This ties things up at 253 electoral votes each. What a “nail biter”. There are still four toss-up states left with a total of 32 electoral votes. The final result can go either way. The remaining four states are all extremely close to my gut pick of 9% Obama loss since 2008. Watch for part 5 of my for my election scenario’s when I narrow the field of toss-up states to 3 or less.

The map incorrectly shows Michigan leaning blue. I painted it blue in a previous report. This does not affect my electoral vote totals.

Link to Part 3 of my 2012 Election Scenarios: https://atridim.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/captain-ricks-2012-election-scenarios-what-if-we-turn-the-yellow-states-red-or-blue-based-on-2008-obama-support/

Link to part 2 of the story: https://atridim.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/captain-ricks-election-scenarios-what-if-we-turn-all-of-the-leaning-red-states-red-and-the-leaning-blue-states-blue/

Link to part 1 of the story: https://atridim.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/americas-1st-presidential-debate-of-2012-airs-wednesday-103-at-9pm-et-6pm-pt/

Map Source: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2012/ecalculator#?battleground

Captain Rick: Microsoft will unveil its Surface tablet running Windows RT on Friday, October 26, 2012. RT is a ‘lite’ version of Windows 8 that will allow it to run Microsoft mobile aps. It will compete with the Apple iPad.

Its more powerful cousin, the Intel-based Windows 8 Surface Pro tablet will be released in January, 2013. It will sport the full Windows 8 operating system, allowing you to run all Microsoft Office and other PC software. It will be the world’s first tablet with a full computer operating system that will perform just like a PC or laptop. It has potential to leave the iPad and other tablets in the dust.

Take a first look at the new Microsoft Surface tablet via the video included in the link below. Its super thin cover doubles as a keypad. Its ultra thin kick stand turns it into laptop-like device. Its magnesium alloy body makes it one of the toughest and thinnest of all tablets. This appears to be marvelous device. Microsoft has a real winner on its hands.

Video of Microsoft’s Surface tablet + more info: http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/25/technology/microsoft-windows-8-gamble/index.html?iid=Popular

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Captain Rick: Windows ran on 90% of the worlds internet connected devices just a few years ago. With the advent of tablets and other mobile devices running apps, its share has dropped to under 70%. To stop the bleeding, Microsoft is staking its future on the radically redesigned operating system…Windows 8, which supports tablet-like application software as well as PC type software like Office.

If you are one who enjoys running fingers across the screen making icons and pictures sail around and get bigger and smaller, you will love Windows 8, going on sale Friday, October 26, 2012. Keep in mind that doing so on your PC’s LCD screen will destroy it. A touch screen is required, like the ones used on tablets. Windows 8 will also work with mice, scroll pads and other input divices used with PCs and laptops.

Windows 8 will come in two versions. The RT version will run on mobile devices that use Windows 8 aps, like the new Microsoft Surface table which will also goes on sale October 26. The full Intel-based Windows 8 version will run on newer PCs and on Microsoft’s Intel-based Surface Pro being released in January. It will be the world’s first tablet with a full computer operating system. It will run all Microsoft Office software as well as any other software that runs on Windows 7, Vista or XP…something an iPad or any other tablet can not do.

My advice is if you are looking to buy a tablet, hold off and purchase the more powerful Intel-based full Windows 8 Surface Pro in January. It is bound to leave the iPad in the dust when it comes to abilty.

If you are a Windows 7 PC user, there is basically no reason for you to upgrade to 8. New PCs purchased, after current stock is depleted, will come with Windows 8 installed. One of the biggest changes users will see when they fire it up is that the “Start” button is history, replaced with a new screen as shown in the photo. For those who do not have a touch screen and prefer to continue to use their mouse or scroll pad…there is an option to switch 8 over to desktop mode.

Video of Windows 8 Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkCqJvcJliY&feature=BFa&list=PLpRDP9tt_V7szOsqVtWETZtXD_cjQZzID

Video of Windows 8 in action and more info: http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/25/technology/microsoft-windows-8-gamble/index.html?iid=Popular

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Captain Rick: DuPont, one of the world’s largest chemical companies that invented Nylon, Neoprene, Corian, Teflon, Mylar, Kevlar, Freon and much more issued a wake up call to the world today as it announced a cut of 1,500 jobs worldwide, about 2% of its global workforce. It also lowered earnings guidance for this year.

DuPont, headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, had 70,000 employees worldwide at the end of last year. A component of the Dow Jones, DuPont’s stock fell 9% today, helping send the Dow into a nose dive today, loosing nearly 2% of its value.

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Captain Rick: Big sell off on Wall Street as a result of three major U.S. industrial companies filing disappointing earnings reports, igniting fears that the global economy is on shakier ground than previously expected. DuPont, a Dow component fell 9% after reporting weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings and announced plans to cut 1500 jobs worldwide. United Technologies lowered its forecast and 3M missed revenue estimates. Continuing uncertainty about economic health in Europe and China contributed. This was the biggest Dow dive since June.

In September, 2012, the Dow came within 4% of the all time Dow high of 14164.53 reached before the 2008 market crash. This correction knocks it back to –7.5% from the all time high. The Dow is still up 7.24% for 2012.

I see lots of uncertainty lying ahead with the U.S. facing the “Fiscal Cliff” in January, the fiscal problems in Europe and the degrading effect that all of it is having on the economy of China, which are all working in unison as ingredients brewing a very volatile global fiscal and economic storm. I will do my best to report the important elements.

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