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  • Walgreen to give workers payments to buy own healthcare coverage [View news story]
    Wasn't the promise something along the lines of....... "if you like your current health care nothing will change...... if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor"?????

    Only when people start to pay attention to costs when making health care decisions will our costs start to be contained.
    Sep 18 06:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • CBO - U.S. risks fiscal crisis despite cuts [View news story]
    I wonder how many $150K government bureaucrats were needed to determine this?

    Lets get rid of the NSA, IRS, ATF, TSA and all the other Big Brother bureaucrats that day by day are reducing our freedoms and liberty.

    And then lets throw all the people off disability that aren't really disabled (and no - having "pain" in your back isn't worthy of government sponsored income for life). Your back got crushed by a piece of machinery and you can't walk = disabled. You have some pain occasionally but can still go golfing = find a damn job.

    Cut all government employee salaries over 50K by 10-15%. Close half of all overseas military bases. Reduce the amount of weapon purchases by 25-50%. Get rid of one or two of the military commands. Raise the retirement age by a year. Start combining government agencies with the result being a minimum 40% reduction in bureaucrats.

    The list of potential government spending reductions is so long its not even funny.
    Sep 18 06:11 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Summers withdraws from Fed chairman consideration [View news story]
    Good sums it up.

    Summers is someone that is so "smart" that he's stupid.

    Government employees should feel the effect of their poor decisions - and he's had far far too many.
    Sep 15 09:01 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Please Quit Your Whining [View article]
    They did blow it.

    Your writing about a price point for the new cheap phone from a US perspective. But in the markets offering them new growth and new demand, this price point is just as unaffordable as the previous phones.

    And its long past time to have deals in place with the largest phone companies WW - including China. That is a lack of execution on their part.

    Apple's "time" has passed. Nothing wrong with making a solid high-end phone and Ipods and Ipads and Macs. And making a lot of money - but lets face it - its another tech company with some plusses and minuses and not too much to differentiate it from others.
    Sep 13 12:57 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama addresses nation on Syria [View news story]
    Well, we've had every single member of Congress and all the President's men working on Syria for the past week as if its the most important issue facing the country.

    Think of an important domestic issue that could be addressed if they spent the same amount of time, with the same fervor, with the same emphasis by the President as to its importance, and the same level of engagement by Congress with their constituents - and we might actually make a difference on one of the more pressing issues facing the country.
    Sep 11 03:08 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama addresses nation on Syria [View news story]
    I'm glad that bombing Syria is now basically off the table. Let the Russians claim their diplomatic victory and let our military go home.

    Now, how about the president getting as upset about our failing public schools as he is about Syrian children and demand changes in the department of education and the iron-clad grip unions have on the system.

    Then he can try dismantling the NSA and restoring some of the freedoms and liberties taken from us over the past 12 years.

    Let the Arabs sort out Syria.
    Sep 10 11:27 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Protected Principal Retirement Strategy: It's The MLPs For Total Return [View article]
    I own all three of the Atlas entities.

    APL has strong growth over the next couple of years due to Pioneer's drilling expansion plans. They just completed a large acquisition which over time can add to cash flow (I'd say it was a decent purchase but not a slam dunk). They have a strong CEO in Dubay and if they can lay out how long/who will replace him then I'd say they have a very strong next 5 years laid out.

    ATLS isn't just tied to APL but also to ARP. They get the IDR's for both and are near the top IDR with both payouts. That means they will capture much of the future growth by 2015. ARP has made several small purchases of acreage that were very good purchases. It gives them several years of drilling sites and allows them to expands their private drilling partnership business. But they also have just make a very large purchase (for them). IMO it was a weak purchase and almost entirely a bet on NG prices of $4.50 and higher. I think its a misplaced bet.

    Having said that ARP at its current price level is actually the best buy of the three IMO. Its at about an 11-12% yield and assuming even minimal growth at a forward looking yield that's even higher.

    In order, I'd recommend ARP, then APL (under $36) and then ATLS (under $50). The reasoning being that ATLS is already pricing in 100% distribution growth over the next few years.

    Good luck
    Sep 10 02:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Sardar Biglari Devilishly Sidesteps His Hotly Debated Compensation Scheme [View article]
    And the SEC bureaucrats head off to another swanky conference!

    What protect shareholder's from stacked boards and rip-off management teams? nah, I've got to hit the pool after the 2:30 session on how to turn my three years at the SEC into being the VP of watching the paint dry at a Wall Street Firm (for a million a year of course)!
    Sep 10 01:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama: No U.S. strikes if Syria gives up chemical weapons [View news story]
    Great. I could care less what he says about it as long as we don't get ourselves involved.

    This might have the added benefit of others in the world realizing that the US isn't going to be country doing all the policing of what's going on. Our Nato allies will have to step up. Germany and Japan will have to develop more capabilities. And many other countries will have to bring pressure to Russia and China to behave like global leaders.

    And given all that - it should mean we can start closing overseas military bases and bring our troops home. That would allow us to continue to develop military hardware and systems - buy fewer of them - and be prepared to strongly defend the US in case of an attack. Which is the purpose of national defense in the first place.
    Sep 10 01:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gramercy Property Trust - Progress And The Structural Advantages Of The REIT World [View article]
    Nice summary. I have looked at GPT several times since the financial crisis and have passed each time. Just a couple of comments.

    In your calculations, you assume a 17.5 X FFO valuation. I find that to be far too high for a small player with a troubled history.

    If you assumed they work their way to a dividend with a coverage ratio of 1.2 - your expecting them to trade at approx. a 5-6% yield (as AFFO will be lower than FFO). Again I think that's very optimistic. A more likely valuation over the next few years is somewhere around 11-12 times FFO IMO.

    It seems to me that the real aim of management will be to create some momentum and then sell. Its going to be fairly tough to get high quality 8% properties consistently - but I'm sure its possible at a small scale, but may take some time.

    Agree 100% that more equity will be issued and I'd assume it will happen more than once.

    Also agree 100% about CWH - I've been writing about them since it was HRPT - those clowns have literally stolen 10's of millions from shareholders.

    Anyways - IMO if GPT were to dive with rising interest rates - some type of sub $3 price might be a nice ticket to bet on management but I really think $4-$4.50 is a rich ticket. If I want to make a bet in REIT land - I'd rather buy RAS (different business) - they are still at very low valuations (like GPT) but they are paying a small dividend. Which puts them a little further along a similar type path that GPT wants to go down.

    Good luck.
    Sep 9 03:34 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kerry: International support growing for action against Syria [View news story]
    So I guess gassing 400 plus children is the world NEW NORMAL

    You mean like the 500,000 Sudanese Christians slaughtered by government sponsored killing squads?

    Where have you been living. 400 children have been killed across Africa virtually every week for the past 40 years in one country or another. That was an easy one to determine good vs bad. You had unarmed civilians being slaughtered because they were Christians living in a Muslim controlled country.

    Here you have Al Qaeda versus Assad. Please let me know which side I should be supporting?

    Countries only think they can do what they want when they see us doing half-hearted things. How about speak softly and carry a big stick. By constant actions that end without clear winners it makes us appear to be yelling at the world and being less and less powerful.

    How about we worry about the NEW NORMAL at home that is constantly chipping away at our personal freedom and liberty? How about we worry about the NEW NORMAL that includes a decent percentage of our public schools failing to provide quality education to our children? How about we worry about the NEW NORMAL of bureaucrats and the president ignoring the law and implementing new laws without Congress actually, you know, passing them?

    How about we clean up our own house before we decide how other homeowners on our block should be keeping their yards.
    Sep 8 10:19 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Murphy USA: A Low-Priced, Under-Followed Spin-Off With 45% Upside Potential [View article]
    That's exactly my point - why invest in selling a commodity for the lowest price - with no other real opportunities for growth or profit?
    Sep 8 07:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kerry: International support growing for action against Syria [View news story]
    First, If you don't want to bomb Syria that doesn't make you an "Obama Hater" - whatever that is.

    Second, Three weeks ago I posted nothing as there is no reason to be bombing Syria and no reason for the President to be thinking about bombing Syria.

    Hypocrisy youo say? Like Kerry (who I think is actually doing a good job of communicating our position - even though I'm in disagreement with it) mocking Bush for his coalition of the willing? One which was much larger than what we currently have?

    Hypocrisy you say? Like Obama ignoring far greater humanitarian atrocities around the world, but suddenly needing to bomb due to a poor statement a year ago?

    Hypocrisy you say? Like Obama criticizing Bush over his policies but exponentially increasing drone attacks? And greatly increasing the hatred of America in places like Yemen.

    Hypocrisy you say? Like Obama criticizing Putin for his government's approach to the opposition - yet allowing the NSA to spy on all our citizens? Or like using the IRS to silence political opposition?

    Hypocrisy you say? Like campaigning to close Gitma (something I personally support) and then doing........... well nothing.

    Hypocrisy you say? Like campaigning on immigration reform... but then realizing that doing nothing for four years means you can run on it again?

    Save the moralist BS. This is about a statement made a year ago. Some mythical red line. And for that we are willing to take military action that will have the impact of aiding Al Qaeda rebels fighting Assad?

    When I turn on the tv - it looks to me like Obama supporters are just as opposed to military action as those you label as "Obama haters".

    Seems your the one with no morals - willing to kill to prop up the ego of the guy you worship.
    Sep 8 07:02 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kerry: International support growing for action against Syria [View news story]
    Steady - what about all the African regimes that have literally gassed their people?

    You know - like pouring gas all over the people and villages and then letting them burn?

    How is this incident worse than the systemic slaughter of over 500,000 Christians in the Sudan - taking place over a decade - by the Muslim government? It still continues on a smaller scale now that South Sudan is independent.

    Please explain how this was ok - while Muslims killing Muslims is something we should care about?

    North Korea kills this many of its own citizens on a regular basis - shall we invade?

    Cambodia anyone?

    Sierra Leone is awaiting.

    Congo has some really bad people running around.

    Somalia awaits our return.

    I dare say that our incursion into Iraq has weakened the USA - economically, politically, and militarily. Need we do it again?

    I say no. Let someone else spend their money and lives getting between two groups of Muslims intent on killing each other.

    Throw on top - our current approach to war is to fight CNN-lite wars - and there is absolutely no reason for our military to do anything.
    Sep 8 06:42 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 High-Yielding Small Caps With A Low Forward P/E Ratio In An Uptrend [View article]
    I own CODI. There are a few things folks will want to know before investing.

    We recently spun off one of our best operating units. While we still own a percentage - that is less cash flow that can be distributed. And another of our units makes gun safes - business is great today - but I have to believe demand has peaked and we could struggle to grow it from here.

    Our founder was under SEC investigation or something along those lines and is no longer with the company - its yet to be seen if we'll be able to keep coming up with additions to our portfolio of companies. It appears to me that we seem to be able to manage our existing portfolio but expanding may be an issue.

    Overall I just view CODI as ok. I see no real path to distribution increases.
    Sep 8 04:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment