WHEELTUG

It seems to me there is a reasonable chance this will continue to inch forward to a good outcome. Here’s the latest; ten minutes for the optimists in the crowd. How you rate the chance of success – 50%? 2%? – is one piece of the valuation puzzle. Being an optimist, I’m up around 50%. What success would be worth – $500 million? $25 million? – is another. Being an optimist, I’m up around $500 million. And what the residual fall-out from a good outcome might be – other Borealis patented technology finding commercial application – is a third. Being an optimist . . . well, let’s not jinx it. With 5 million shares outstanding, and selling for $2.50 a share, Borealis, with its majority stake in WheelTug and all the rest (even the iron ore!), is currently valued at $12.5 million. Thus, BOREF still strikes me as a remarkable lottery ticket. Still, even an optimist sees a 50% chance we’ll lose everything. So don’t even think of buying it with money you can’t truly afford to lose. (And if you do buy a few shares, you absolutely must place a “limit” order. It’s so thinly traded that a “market” order to buy 2,000 shares could double the price.) Full disclosure for anyone new to this column: I have a comically large position in these shares.

THE POWER OF THE PRESIDENCY . . .

. . . is limited, as we all know. This piece in Salon elaborates. Knowing this, liberals like me should continue to offer criticism and suggestions . . . but also our support.

WHAT IF IT HAD BEEN HILLARY?

Jonathan Capehart applauds Rebecca Traister’s Sunday New York Times Magazine piece, which includes this nugget:

. . . Alternate-universe President Hillary Clinton would have been competing with a dream. But in a funny way, Obama is, too.

We forget, sometimes, that our government was designed to limit the powers of the president. Barack Obama walked into the White House in January 2009 with his own set of structural and strategic challenges: an economy in free fall; a 24-hour cable-news and talk-radio-fed culture eager to blare “crisis!” headlines every 12 minutes, making long-view evaluations of a presidency impossible; and most important, an obstinate Congress. On every major vote, from the stimulus to uncompromised health care reform, Obama needed 60 (not the historically customary 50) to get anything moving, a practical impossibility, thanks both to Republicans, whose stated goal was not to fix things but to keep the president from fixing anything, and to conservative Democrats, who made the party’s majority a false promise to begin with. . . .

☞ The truth is, anyone who “believes in” science . . . who believes the Clinton economy (which taxed the rich) was better than what has followed (despite the massive incentives to “the job creators”) . . . who believes we need to put the unemployed to work rebuilding our infrastructure and moving toward energy independence . . . who always thought it was shameful to be the only industrialized country to lack universal health care . . . who thinks women are equal to men and LGBT Americans should enjoy equal rights — any such person, it seems to me, should feel pretty good about all that President Obama has managed to do so far; and part ways with today’s Republicans, so intransigent they will not even allow Exxon’s tax subsidies to die.

 

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