Monday Open Thread

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”

–Voltaire

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    Donald J. Trump stinks.

    Great God Almighty.

    That big oaf stinks.

    Stay upwind, America.

    Help is on the way.

  2. allyncooper says:

    18,500 –  number of US Border Patrol employees at or near the US – Mexico border of 1954 miles, or 9.47 per mile.

    28,000 – number of US military personnel at or near the North Korea- South Korea border of 160 miles, or 175 per mile.

    Come home Amerika……

     

     

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      So once Trump declares the Korean War over and done with, and signs a treaty with his friend, Kim Jong Un, he can redeploy those troops along the Rio Grande?

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

      allyncooper —

      I'm confused. Do you think the number (whether big or small) of people attempting to get across the US-Mexico border are anything like the threat of North Korean troops going across that border? Do you think the Border Patrol enforcement agents and the US military troops have much in common?

      And since the website http://www.cbp.gov/ says there are only 21,000 agents overall on ALL borders, doesn't that make our coverage of the Canadian borders a bit light? Not to mention the entire Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific coasts?

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        I'm also confused. Maybe Allyn can refute a statement I've seen a few times on Yahoo News threads (paraphrased).

        Reality: Trump supports open borders. Biggest source today of illegals is people who overstay visas. Trump says and does nothing. Trump also ignores flow of illegals and drugs across the 3,000 mile border with Canada and flow of illegals into ports on the Gulf Coast. And, the mayhem on the southern border is just for show so Trump can impress his base. 

      • VoyageurVoyageur says:

        The troops on the Mexican border are trying to keep Latinos out.  The troops on the Canadian border are just watching as Americans flee Trumpland for refuge in Canada.

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        I'm sure it is purely a coincidence but did not the 9/11 hijacker come in from Canada?

  3. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    I was reading a lefty economics blog about how fracking folks are basically idiots, but I got linked out from there to an oil industry rag piece that makes clear that fracking has never made money (emphasis below mine)?

    Shale drilling has historically been a loss-making proposition. The precipitous decline in output from shale wells meant that companies had to use the revenue from one well to drill the next well. Cash was continuously recycled back into new wells, and shareholders rarely saw any profits flow back to them.

    That is set to change this year. “Higher prices and operational improvements are putting the US shale sector on track to achieve positive free cash flow in 2018 for the first time ever,” the International Energy Agency (IEA) wrote in a recent report on energy investment.

    So, of course, I jumped to the IEA report, where I read this bit:

    Higher prices and continuous operational improvements lead the US shale sector to be on track to achieve positive free cash flow in 2018 for the first time ever, but downside risks remain, due to inflationary pressures and pipeline bottlenecks in the Permian area. Although in decline, the leverage of US shale companies remains high but the average interest rate paid to finance their debt – around 6% – has been stable as the market takes into account the industry’s financial improvements.

    WTF?

     

  4. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    It's the classic curse of capitalism — competition ultimately pushes profits to zero — so sayeth Karl Marx.   

  5. DavieDavie says:

    Oh great, but not much of a surprise.  Our Commerce Secretary was chosen by Trump for his particularly skillful grifting.  Kleptocrats anyone?

    New Details About Wilbur Ross’ Business Point To Pattern Of Grifting

    Over several months, in speaking with 21 people who know Ross, Forbes uncovered a pattern: Many of those who worked directly with him claim that Ross wrongly siphoned or outright stole a few million here and a few million there, huge amounts for most but not necessarily for the commerce secretary. At least if you consider them individually. But all told, these allegations—which sparked lawsuits, reimbursements and an SEC fine—come to more than $120 million. If even half of the accusations are legitimate, the current United States secretary of commerce could rank among the biggest grifters in American history.

    The central matter in all of Ross’ legal issues is his own credibility. “Lying on an ethics disclosure form, to Congressional and Senate committees, and falsely reporting compliance with an ethics plan, is neither ‘commonplace’ nor part of the accepted rough-and-tumble world of politics,” David Storper, Ross’ former right-hand man, argued in a court filing. “They are just lies.” Adds another onetime colleague: “This is a public servant who can’t tell the truth.” 

      • DavieDavie says:

        Yep, these two con men both have quite a few graves between them, and swap tips on how to inflate their "billionaire" net worth.

        Wilbur Ross figured out at some point that money, or the aura of it, translates into power. Forbes has previously documented how Ross seemingly lied to us, over many years, launching himself onto, and then higher on, our billionaire rankings, at one point even lying about an apparent multibillion-dollar transfer to family members to explain why his financial disclosure report showed fewer assets than he claimed. “What I don’t want,” Ross said, “is for people to suddenly think that I’ve lost a lot of money when it’s not true.”

         

        Such machinations now seem pathetic. But his billionaire status was not lost on another person obsessed with his net worth. Donald Trump termed Ross a “legendary Wall Street genius” and named him to his cabinet. “In these particular positions,” Trump explained to a crowd of supporters, “I just don’t want a poor person.”

        Ross speaks before President Trump signed a memorandum in March.

        From Ross’ vantage point, Trump offered the perfect exit. The future cabinet secretary’s private equity funds were underperforming—one on track to lose 26% of its initial value and another two dribbling out mediocre returns—and the accusations were starting to pile up. Roughly two months before the 2016 presidential election, the SEC announced WL Ross was paying a fine and refunding $11.9 million it allegedly skimmed from its investors, including interest.

        Ross’ “genius” status per Trump, no doubt is due to his saving Trump’s ass in Atlantic City, as your article documents.

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