But first . . .

HEALTH CARE AND THE SHUTDOWN

Stephen Driscoll:  “The hypocrisy of Republicans objecting to a health plan that was born in a Republican think tank and instituted by a Republican governor whom they then nominated for president is breathtaking.”

Because they’re not just objecting — they’ve shut down the government to keep the law from taking effect! People will likely die as a result of the shutdown, but no matter.

Some of the Republicans say they’ve taken this extreme step — and plan on the even more extreme step of threatening our credit rating and reserve-currency status — because the law is unConstitutional.  As they read the Constitution, final say in such matters rests not with the Supreme Court — which, though right-leaning, found Obamacare Constitutional — but with the Tea Party, which has ruled otherwise.

Other Republicans say the problem is that the President won’t negotiate — and heck, he’ll even negotiate with the Russians and Iran!  Which is great spin, but fails to acknowledge the tremendous concessions already made to Republicans to get the law passed in the first place.  That’s why it’s not single-payer.  That’s why there’s no “public option.”  That’s why the President modeled it on the successful Republican plan their 2012 presidential nominee had instituted when he was a governor.

But now it’s the law.  And projected to lower the deficit.  And to provide greater health care security to almost everyone.  So why would they shut down the government rather than see it move forward?

As Chris Hayes recently asked: what if then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had told George W. Bush she would shut down the government and cause the U.S. to default on its debt if Bush did not end the Iraq war?  And repeal his tax cuts?  What would Republicans have said about this tactic in that circumstance?

It’s just never been done this way — government by Doomsday Machine.

And as Jon Stewart pointed out recently, it’s not a “game of chicken” that’s being played with the fate of the nation.  Chicken is when two drivers are barreling down on each other intentionally.  This situation is one driver just driving responsibly in his lane, following the law, while the other, coming from the opposite direction, switches into that lane  and threatens mayhem.

It’s insane, not least because a majority of Americans chose to reelect the guy who promised to roll out Obamacare, rejecting the candidacy of the candidate who promised to kill it.  And a majority voted for Democratic Representatives in Congress — the Republicans only have a majority in the House because of the way those votes were distributed (gerrymandering, among other things).  And, yes, a majority of Americans still say they disapprove of Obamacare, but as was pointed out earlier this week, some of them disapprove because it doesn’t go far enough; and many of the others have no earthly idea what it is, they just know they hate it.

Stephen concludes: “It’s simple: One side tried to bring healthcare to all.  The other shut down the government.  Which side will look like [bums] in the future?  The same one that tried to stop the 40-hour work week, social security, medicare, gender parity, and marriage equality.”

CEZANNE

Only a couple hundred people have watched the WheelTug video I linked to Monday — here is a new version with the sound enhanced.

I think it’s hard to watch without believing WheelTug has a real chance of becoming an airline industry standard.  The company seems to believe that chance is high; but let’s assume for the sake of discussion that it’s 33%.

The video shows its system saving anywhere from $700,000 to more than $3 million a year in operating costs per plane, of which the company  plans to capture half; but let’s assume for the sake of discussion the savings average $300,000, on which, from its share, it nets $50,000.

Five years from now there could be more than 10,000 planes equipped with WheelTug — who wouldn’t want this? — but let’s assume they have installed it in 3,000.

Multiply 3,000 by $50,000 — and then multiply that by 33 % (the chance we’re assigning to success) and you get $50 million a year in net profit.  From this one line of business.  (Another possible line someday: automobiles.)  So with the parent currently valued at $60 million, it is selling for roughly one times its risk-adjusted potential earnings (hypothetical though all this is).

If you looked at what it would be worth if Wheeltug did pan out (i.e., no need to multiply by 33%), then it’s selling for about one-third of one times potential earnings.

Unless you think they could one day be installed on 10,000 planes (again: who would not want this? the same folks who choose to buy TVs without remote controls?) — then it is selling at one-tenth of one times potential earnings.

Unless you think they might net $100,000 per plane per year from that hoped for $700,000 to $3 million in annual savings — in which case it is selling at five hundredths of one times earnings.

And you get all BOREF’s other potential lines of business thrown in free.  They are pie in the sky, to be sure; but so was WheelTug until fairly recently.

Who knows what comes next?  Failure is always a possibility.  But it seems to me that, given the potential upside, the parent company should be selling for at least $250 million, quadruple today’s stock price — yet still slightly less than that lovely Cezanne I keep linking to.

At the very least, I’m having fun.

Speaking of which:

REMBRANDT

Look what the Rijksmuseum did to drum up business.   Ninety seconds.  Very fun.

 

 

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