“Have to use your abs to count to six? This ain’t your gym.” (For a chain called Planet Fitness.)


Okay, now AFOP really has more than doubled, up from $8 to $17.11 last night. I’ve sold all the shares in my tax-free account – who can resist locking in a three-month tax-free double? – but am happily holding the rest.


This remains a long-term hold (and a nice success, at $7.89 last night, up 65% from September’s mention). They just made an acquisition, prompting research coverage from Stephens (“GLDD’s recently announced acquisition of L.W. Matteson looks to be a good addition to an already commanding player in the domestic dredging industry”), which think the stock is fairly valued here (but no bargain); from Barclays Capital (“We think the L.W. Matteson acquisition is a positive step in expanding GLDD’s marine service market as well as geographic reach”) and puts its price target modestly higher, at $9; from BB&T Capital (“We like what we’re seeing from new management”), which aims for $10 within 12 months; and from D.A. Davidson & Co., which rates the shares “neutral” with a 5-year price target of $15. So it’s not going up 65% again next month, or anything remotely like that. But the silt just keeps accreting, the Panama Canal is been deepened to allow bigger ships to pass through (which means any ports they dock at have to be deepened, too), and new management is smart. So I’m not buying more here, but very happy owning what I do.


Oh, and by the way? Gore won.

I don’t mention this in the sense that there’s anything to do about it . . . or even to be mean. All the misery that resulted was certainly not intended.

But – just as we’re fascinated by other aspects of our history so this article offers a fascinating view of what really happened a decade ago.

. . . Gore won under a strict-counting scenario and he won under a loose-counting scenario. He won if you counted “hanging chads” and he won if you counted “dimpled chads.” He won if you counted a dimpled chad only in the presence of another dimpled chad on the same ballot—the so-called Palm Beach standard. He even won if you counted only a fully punched chad. He won if you counted partially filled oval on an optical scan and he won if you counted only a fully filled optical scan. He won if you fairly counted the absentee ballots. No matter what, if everyone who legally voted in Florida had had a chance to see their vote counted, then Al Gore not George W. Bush, was elected president. . . .

☞ Some will read this and weep; others will revert to “get over it.” (As in, “We started an unnecessary war, added $4 trillion to our Debt, further shifted wealth and power to the wealthy, and handed our successor a near-Depression – get over it.”) But isn’t this question as interesting, and in some senses as historically important, as, say, what Kate Middleton will be wearing to her wedding?


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