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Author: captainccs Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 72184  
Subject: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 9/30/2012 7:25 PM
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Next Sunday is our presidential election. The opposition candidate, Capriles Radonski, ended his campaign today with a massive meeting in Caracas. My cousin just called me to tell me about it. The streets were packed and she was miles from the podium.

Exciting Rally With Capriles Closing His Campaign In Caracas

http://devilsexcrement.com/2012/09/30/exciting-rally-with-ca...

More photos.

http://www.noticias24.com/fotos/noticia/2277/impactantes-fot...

Denny Schlesinger
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Author: BrianMotleyFool One star, 50 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63791 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 9/30/2012 10:39 PM
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>> Next Sunday is our presidential election. The opposition candidate, Capriles Radonski, ended his campaign today with a massive meeting in Caracas. My cousin just called me to tell me about it. The streets were packed and she was miles from the podium.

Exciting Rally With Capriles Closing His Campaign In Caracas <<

All very intersting, but does it matter? Chavez still (surprisingly to my mind) retains enough popularity to get within shouting distance of a plurality, and perhaps even close to 50% of the vote. If he can get that close fairly and, as we are all aware, has no compunction about using lies, cunning, and any other method that comes to mind to cheat his way to an additional few percent, then he'll be announced as the victor. And if he can't win even by fair votes plus cheating, he'll simply use force to remain in power.

So is there any realistic path to Capriles actually achieving power? I don't see it...

Brian

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Author: captainccs Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63792 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 9/30/2012 11:22 PM
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So is there any realistic path to Capriles actually achieving power? I don't see it...

Brian


The opposition got the majority of votes, some 52%, during the election of the National Assembly on 26 September 2010.

Party PSUV MUD PPT MUD+PPT

Last election 139 6 5 11
Seats won 98 65 2 67
Seat change -41 +59 -3 +56
Popular vote 5,451,422 5,334,309 354,677 5,688,986
Percentage 48.20% 47.17% 3.14% 51.80%

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuelan_parliamentary_electi...

Things have only gotten worse and there is no reason the opposition, which is now better organized, can't get well over the majority of votes. My worry is not getting out-voted. My worry is that even if Chavez loses he won't let go. I have said this to many people here and they all insist that if the difference is large enough Chavez won't have any other option than to hand over power. These people assure me that the military will remove Chavez if he loses and won't step down. I have my doubts about that. I hope I'm wrong.

Denny Schlesinger

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Author: BrianMotleyFool One star, 50 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63796 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 10:32 AM
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>> Things have only gotten worse and there is no reason the opposition, which is now better organized, can't get well over the majority of votes. My worry is not getting out-voted. My worry is that even if Chavez loses he won't let go. I have said this to many people here and they all insist that if the difference is large enough Chavez won't have any other option than to hand over power. These people assure me that the military will remove Chavez if he loses and won't step down. I have my doubts about that. I hope I'm wrong.

Denny Schlesinger <<

It is encouraging that the opposition managed 52% in the earlier election, but 52% is still within "stealing distance". You need closer to 60% before you are safe from fraud.

If you achieve that, then your real concerns would begin. If your vote is large enough that Chavez is widely recognised as having lost, then he'll activate his backup measures. This will involve violence and force - he has no hesitation to use these methods, as demonstrated with the cold-blooded murders of opposition supporters on Sat. You say the military will remove him, but he has spent the past decade+ corrupting the military. It is his now. As are the courts, so legal action will be fruitless.

I hope you are wrong, too. Obviously, I have never met Mr. Chavez. But I read, and I recognise his type. People like Mao. And Stalin. And Castro. Venezuela obviously has a longer and healthier democratic tradition than 1930's Russia or 1949 China or 1959 Cuba, but Chavez has been assiduously working to destroy that tradition. The question is whether the Venezuelan democracy has enough antibodies left in the system to destroy the infection of Chavismo. The people you talk to insist Chavez will stand down, but I suspect they do not read as much as I, or perhaps are simply willfully blind to what Chavez is. The triumph of hope over experience and all that. I hate to be so negative, but it is hard to remain hopeful.

You are much closer to the scene than I - foreign armchair analysts are usually pretty useless. But I've seen this same scenario play out in so many places at so many different times, and rarely witnessed a good outcome. I hope I am wrong. I pray I am wrong. I wish you good fortune.

Godspeed,
Brian

Mandatory political PS: I'm pretty non-partisan, not registered with either US political party, but this certainly isn't something I want to see from one of the major US Presidential candidates: http://www.nationaljournal.com/2012-presidential-campaign/hu...

Consider my vote lost, Mr. President. Probably wouldn't have voted for you anyway, but this is just insult to injury...

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63797 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 10:50 AM
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Consider my vote lost, Mr. President. Probably wouldn't have voted for you anyway, but this is just insult to injury...

I find the idea of not voting for someone based on someone endorsing him to be very peculiar.

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Author: captainccs Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63799 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 10:56 AM
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Brian, unfortunately your analysis is spot on. Opposition people have been hopeful against hope for over a decade because they refuse to see reality or simply don't know what reality is. A decade ago I made a list of world wide dictators and most of them died peacefully in their bed of old age! Votes seldom remove dictators and the Venezuelan opposition has a strong aversion to shedding their own blood, not that I blame them. But the result is that dictators die peacefully of old age in their beds.

In the military it is seldom the top officers who side with the people. Revolt comes from the middle ranks, ranks too low to receive the benefits of official corruption and people young enough to still have some degree of idealism. This would be the officer class that might depose Chavez if he lost, not the fat-cat generals.

Thank you for your good wishes. Appreciated!

Denny Schlesinger

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Author: captainccs Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63800 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 10:57 AM
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I find the idea of not voting for someone based on someone endorsing him to be very peculiar.

Should anyone care what you think?

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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63802 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 1:13 PM
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I find the idea of not voting for someone based on someone endorsing him to be very peculiar.

Why so generous?

People like Chavez need enemies to blame to divert attention from themselves. So if Mitt is viewed as a better candidate for him to vilify what better way to help him than by endorsing Obama.

If you look at it that way, all of a sudden "peculiar" looks more like chump.

B

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Author: dumaflotchie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63803 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 2:26 PM
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People like Chavez need enemies to blame to divert attention from themselves

That could just as well have been this statement:

People like Obama need enemies to blame to divert attention from themselves.

Bush did this and Bush did that, I inherited this mess, etc. etc.

You are correct as regards Chavez and Obama......birds of a feather in so many ways!

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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63805 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 3:27 PM
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That could just as well have been this statement:

People like Obama need enemies to blame to divert attention from themselves.


Hello Mr Duma,

Well maybe, of course for the comparison to hold then America would need to actually deserve all the criticism that Mr Chavez levels against it.

Bush did this and Bush did that, I inherited this mess,

I largely agree with this statement vague though it may be.

You are correct as regards Chavez and Obama.....

So then you agree it's quite likely Chavez really wants Mitt to win?

First I find out you want to tax the rich and now this.

Who say's reasonable people can't come to agreement through dialog. :<)

B

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Author: dumaflotchie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63807 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 4:03 PM
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First I find out you want to tax the rich and now this.<?i>

Geesh B.....we were making so much progress and then this "less than honest" characterization of my position??

"want" to increase taxes.......where did I say that again?

"Need" to increase.......yes that seems inevitable.

Decrease spending......that is where the emphasis should be IMO......Obama has a spending problem.......extremist spending problem.

As to taxes:

Simplify so no one needs an accountant......flat tax rate.
Eliminate any tax preference to ANY company with jobs overseas
Keep it simple.

I am Duma and I approve this message.


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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63808 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 4:30 PM
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Geesh B.....we were making so much progress and then this "less than honest" characterization of my position??

"want" to increase taxes.......where did I say that again?

"Need" to increase.......yes that seems inevitable.


Someone is attempting to split hairs a little to thin I fear. I think it is fair to say no one "wants" to pay taxes although for those of us willing to put the needs of others (this would include the needs of the nation) above our own and decide that paying taxes will be required then it is indeed accurate to say we "want" to pay taxes.

"Less than honest" is hardly fair given your previous comment.

B: So then, if I may ask; do you support a minor tax increase on the rich? :<)

duma: yes I do....not because I like it but because there is no way around it.


http://boards.fool.com/so-then-if-i-may-ask-do-you-support-a...

But to demonstrate my sincerity in the future I will only say you support an increase of taxes on the rich.

But please, don't blame me if your friends start calling you a socialist. :<)

B

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Author: dumaflotchie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63809 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 6:05 PM
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Someone is attempting to split hairs a little to thin I fear. I think it is fair to say no one "wants" to pay taxes although for those of us willing to put the needs of others (this would include the needs of the nation) above our own and decide that paying taxes will be required then it is indeed accurate to say we "want" to pay taxes.

So you conveniently exclude me from "no one" for your own argument purposes :)


So "no one wants" but Duma "wants".......ok, this is getting to be rather contorted logic.

But lest you misinterpret further, please allow me to be perfectly clear:

I accept the "need" to raise taxes on everyone BUT, our problem is not too few taxes, it is too much spending. If we allow the Clinton tax increases to go forward again, we will get additional $225 Billion in annual tax revenue (plus or minus a few billion)

Our annual deficit is $1.2 Trillion.

So B.......you know basic grade school math right........where is the other $1 Trillion EACH year deficit coming from how do we tax our way out of that Obama mess????

50% of people are dependent on US government for income and 50% of people don't pay federal income taxes.

We are in deep do.......and you cannot save us by taxing us out of this.

How will Obama do an about face and actually correct this inevitable downward slide?

Have you heard him say anything meaningful on this impending Greece issue?

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63812 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 6:41 PM
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Duma, you continue to ignore the fact that one is ***highly*** unlikely to fix the deficit with a single fix. ***Therefor*** one needs to look for multiple ways to address the problem.

Sort of like ignoring my post about the polls, eh?

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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63814 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 7:18 PM
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So B.......you know basic grade school math right........where is the other $1 Trillion EACH year deficit coming from how do we tax our way out of that Obama mess????

50% of people are dependent on US government for income and 50% of people don't pay federal income taxes.


I have never claimed to have a perfect answer, if I did I would run for President. I have a few ideas however.

We could start by bringing our troops home from Afghanistan, Korea, Germany and Okinawa which may save a dollar or two. Why is it that we are the only country in the world that needs to maintain bases all over the world and yet we would lynch anyone who would dare to suggest we allow a foreign government to station troops on our soil.

We could also start taxing all income when it comes to FICA. When it comes time to pay the dollars out it is the Federal government that is ultimately on the hook but we continue the charade that this particular tax is somehow different and should only be applied to a portion of some peoples income.

Want more? How about we quit giving tax breaks for donations to churches, we can preserve some of it if you would like, but only the portion that actually can be proven to be directed into charities i.e. building, staffing and maintaining temples to imaginary beings need not apply. While were on the subject of churches how about they start paying taxes on at least the properties that have absolutely nothing to do with religion. How about we start here...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deseret_Ranches

I mean really, do we really need to give Mitt a deduction for donating to a church that uses it for stuff like this which then turns around and claims a tax exemption for a business So tell me what happens when they own the entire state through this racket?

You want everyone to pay some income tax? Fine by me, but when you start taxing someone making 30K with a family don't come whining to me when they show up asking for food stamps or other types of assistance. I mean you have heard about how hard it is to get blood from a rock right?

I could go on, but hey I figure I already gave you more details than Mitt has and since you have so much confidence in his plan that lacks any details you ought to be thrilled with mine.

So tell me what's your plan, beyond Mitt gets elected the country and all businesses throw a party and our boo boos immediately are all better.

B

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Author: dumaflotchie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63815 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 7:46 PM
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So tell me what's your plan, beyond Mitt gets elected the country and all businesses throw a party and our boo boos immediately are all better.

B


As to your laundry list, I would say:

1) Yes to troops back home
2) yes to elimination of tax deductions for churches
3) Yes to EVERYONE paying Federal income taxes and that way everyone thinks twice about spending with reckless abandon


As to what I would propose (just a few):

1) Reduce taxes to every company that keeps jobs in US (thereby expanding tax base). Tax higher rates those that move jobs elsewhere.

2) Immediately means testing Medicare and SS regardless of who's on it. many will need to come off the government payroll (pensioners, rich, etc.)

3) Tort reform for doctors who provide medicare services and most favored drug pricing legislation.

4) Open up all energy sources in US inclusive of oil and NG and drive pricing back down to half present cost. Make independence a reality and not a talking point.

5) Full government review of every department and program with elimination or consolidation of as much as possible

6) Limit Congress to 2 terms just like president (stop the money bribes and earmarks)

7) Invest in education but require performance based pay for teachers and year round schooling

8) Reduce military spending where possible in areas without direct risk to US. Other countries will need to pick up their own slack.

9) Pass burdens back to states wherever possible (Medicaid, etc.).

10) Eliminate the "big era government" mentality before it is too late.

11) Reduce frivolous tort in industry

12) Keep capital gains taxes low for all investments held more than 3 years

13) Eliminate class war fare mentality and keep the tax deduction for charity, one home mortgage.

I could go on but you see how we differ........you favoring tax and spend and I favoring reducing spending.

Fact is, you cannot tax us out of this mess.......the lion's share of the problem is that we have a spending problem and our tax base has shrunk to 50% of the population.

If Obama were a patriot, he would not run for reelection.......his arrogance has destroyed our country.

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Author: captainccs Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63817 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 8:30 PM
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1) Reduce taxes to every company that keeps jobs in US (thereby expanding tax base). Tax higher rates those that move jobs elsewhere.

Duma, I thought you were for free markets! You are proposing a version of the local content tariff. Of course, your foreign clients are going to retaliate by passing a local content law. For example: GM makes cars only in the US but the ones sold in Venezuela must have 50% local content. You just started a trade war!

Denny Schlesinger

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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63818 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 8:46 PM
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Too big of a list for commenting on everything but I agree with much of it and would be agreeable to putting up with some of it if that was what it would take to get the kind of big package that is needed.

I can't let some of it pass however.

Open up all energy sources in US inclusive of oil and NG and drive pricing back down to half present cost.

This is simply delusional IMO, "bring prices down to half present cost" will only accomplish bankrupting a majority of producers which would ultimately result in prices much higher than we pay now. You apparently spent way too much time listening to Newt. :<)

one home mortgage.

How about one home mortgage deduction up to perhaps 120% of the median price for the market. I don't see why anyone anywhere should get a tax break for a 10 million dollar home let alone multiple homes.

10) Eliminate the "big era government" mentality before it is too late....13) Eliminate class war fare mentality

So you are arguing that if you could only legislate peoples thoughts you could solve the deficit? Well, good luck with that. :<)

I could go on but you see how we differ........you favoring tax and spend and I favoring reducing spending.

Oh Mr Duma at times you do try my patience. First you ask me if I understand grade school math and then you proceed to demonstrate that you yourself have trouble not only with math but with reading comprehension as well.

If you go back and reread my post you will see that what I listed was a combination of tax increases, reduction in tax deductions and a reduction in spending. No where did I call for any additional spending.

You are correct in pointing out that you called for a cut in spending, but you too called for more taxes and loss of deductions. So what you see as different I see as much of the same. That is excluding of course your delusions about cutting energy prices in half and the part that will require the addition of thought police. Just curious are you advocating your thought police to have a separate cabinet position and if not what department would you place them in.

B

PS I forgot about another of your delusions. More difficulties with comprehension I see, no wonder your calling for better teachers you appear to have drawn a short straw in that regard. (Just teasing)

If Obama were a patriot, he would not run for reelection.......his arrogance has destroyed our country.

B

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Author: dumaflotchie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63819 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 8:48 PM
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Duma, I thought you were for free markets! You are proposing a version of the local content tariff. Of course, your foreign clients are going to retaliate by passing a local content law. For example: GM makes cars only in the US but the ones sold in Venezuela must have 50% local content. You just started a trade war!

Details Details ;)

You make a very valid point as usual but I was trying to develop means of expanding our tax base and manufacturing base.

Seems the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world.

Perhaps it wouldn't be anticompetitive to just offer tax deductions to those that keep jobs here in US and not to those who don't (these would remain at present higher rates).

May be just semantics, but enough of that sucking sound of lost jobs and manufacturing weakness.

We have lost our edge over past many years.....jobs are mostly service oriented, education stinks, mother government keeps telling us we are victims, etc.

Before I run for office, I guess I will need to fill in a few blanks ;)

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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63821 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 8:59 PM
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Before I run for office, I guess I will need to fill in a few blanks ;)

Don't be so hard on yourself Mr Duma, you actually appear over-qualified for this years Republican ticket. :<)

B

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Author: dumaflotchie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63822 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 9:08 PM
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This is simply delusional IMO, "bring prices down to half present cost" will only accomplish bankrupting a majority of producers which would ultimately result in prices much higher than we pay now. You apparently spent way too much time listening to Newt. :<)

But just 3 years ago when Obama took office, gas was half its present price wasn't it? Were all these producers bankrupt then?

Perhaps more important though, energy independence.......its an industry we could develop over 10 years if there was the will. Develop our natural resources, pipelines, nuclear, etc.

You think independence is an illusion or the will??

How about one home mortgage deduction up to perhaps 120% of the median price for the market. I don't see why anyone anywhere should get a tax break for a 10 million dollar home let alone multiple homes.

For those that are locked in to 30 year mortgages, it just doesn't seem fair to eliminate the deduction for the roof over their head when that deduction has been as much an entitlement as any other. I could see eliminating it for all mortgages going forward because now the buyer beware.......locked in or not, there is no deduction.

Same argument for having kids.....why is there a deduction for having kids again??? So starting next year, kids born after 1/1/13.......no deduction.

So you are arguing that if you could only legislate peoples thoughts you could solve the deficit? Well, good luck with that. :<)

When Obama repeatedly tells us we were screwed by Wallstreet, Banks and rich people and that is why we didn't get an A in math. That is bad for the human psyche. There used to be personal responsibility......now we are just victims through no fault of our own.......bad for human progress to think like that.

Just curious are you advocating your thought police to have a separate cabinet position and if not what department would you place them in.

Much danger in thought police of the kind that invaded this board....look what happend when one of them joined here.

Cabinet position??? Nah, I was thinking of replacing all those Obama Czars with one single "super Czar"......consolidation is the key ;)

Point is.......your mother isn't the US government that needs to wipe your nose at every turn.

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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63824 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 9:41 PM
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But just 3 years ago when Obama took office, gas was half its present price wasn't it? Were all these producers bankrupt then?

LOL, do you recall the world wide economic collapse that led to those low prices? And yes Mr Duma had they stayed there for long a whole lot of companies indeed would have been headed for bankrubtcy. Would you like me to bring up a few charts of the companies?

You think independence is an illusion or the will??

With going full steam nuclear we could do it, but who are you kidding that isn't likely to happen and who is in the White house isn't going to change that. As to the hydrocarbon portion we can do better assuming you are counting the Canadian production, but Canada isn't the US and they will ultimately sell their oil & gas into markets that serve their own self interest not ours.

For those that are locked in to 30 year mortgages, it just doesn't seem fair to eliminate the deduction for the roof over their head when that deduction has been as much an entitlement as any other

Can't have it both ways, we either have shared sacrifice or we don't. If the subsidy isn't warranted then it isn't warranted. Besides what better time than now when they can/are getting record low interest rates already.

Point is.......your mother isn't the US government that needs to wipe your nose at every turn.

No one (including Obama) is arguing it should be, just a little more "Fair & Balanced".

Catchy huh? Maybe he should have made that his campaign slogan. :<)

Alas he didn't, so....

FORWARD!

B

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63825 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 9:53 PM
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First, let's be positive and thank you for being specific, especially since the context was joking and teasing.

But ... you knew there had to be a "but", didn't you ... there are a number of these items where I would quibble on various grounds.

In some cases, it is a question of how one would implement such a thing. I.e., while a bit protectionist in our global economy, the idea of creating incentives to keep jobs here has a superficial appeal, but how exactly does one implement this with global corporate subsidiaries and a tax based on income? I.e., is the income tax the right way to implement the goal?

Means testing seems like a reasonable idea, but won't be popular ... especially among those who paid into a program and then get no benefit.

Tort reform is, of course, a perennial favorite. Clearly, there is something broken, but a lot of disagreement about what that is, since simple measures to limits torts act primarily to limit the ability for redress and accountability.

Cutting costs in half and energy independence through simple measures is a wet dream.

Review, even harsh review, is something I support, hut why do I suspect that it is a code word for cutting those programs and agencies you don't like more than it has to do with efficiency?

Term limits are a mixed bag, so I'll skip those.

Your remarks on schooling are "interesting". One of the first points of interest is that elsewhere I would be expecting you to advocate state's rights in education, not federal mandates. And what, exactly is "performance"? Doing well or doing a lot with what one started with and the resources one was given?

The military I will leave aside except to note that it has been one of the most egregious examples of waste, boondogles, dubious priorities, etc.

Passing burdens back to states doesn't eliminate someone having to pay for the programs ... given the financial condition of many states, a simple push back would only hasten bankruptcy, i.e.'it moves the problem, not actually fixing anything.

Eliminating a "mentality" is back to slogans, not a concrete proposal.

Reducing frivolous tort is a lovely idea ... but what does it mean? Patent law seems like a good current target ... rectangular shape for a phone being patentable seems bizarre to me ... but let's come up with something specific or it is just vague wishing.

Myself, the whole capital gains thing needs restructuring. I see no reason to provide a tax advantage for money making money that has no other benefit, no matter how long held. Genuine investments in the business itself, maybe.

Class warfare is meaningless sloganning and, if anything, more relevant to the rich and "anyone but us". I don't know why there is a tax advantage for charities or mortgages. Nice, of course,if one benefits from them, but why, exactly?

Point being, you aren't going to to solve it by 100% in either column!

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63827 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/1/2012 10:29 PM
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Were all these producers bankrupt then?

How many of those producers were domestic then?

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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63829 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/2/2012 8:36 AM
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Were all these producers bankrupt then?

How many of those producers were domestic then?


Just an educated guess on my part but I'd bet there were more domestic producers back "then" than there are today.

Mergers, acquisitions and (gulp) bankruptcies have a way of doing that.

B

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Author: BrianMotleyFool One star, 50 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63831 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/2/2012 10:31 AM
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>> Were all these producers bankrupt then?

How many of those producers were domestic then?

Just an educated guess on my part but I'd bet there were more domestic producers back "then" than there are today.

Mergers, acquisitions and (gulp) bankruptcies have a way of doing that.

B <<

Not really a very good guess. Not a terrible one, but not super either. It is a hard question, and the number of companies fluctuates pretty quickly. I work in the industry and have an interest in tracking this and try to do so, but it is such a moving target, and so many of the companies are small, private, & quiet, that it is a difficult task.

My best guess at this time is that there are around 550 major producers (>2000 BOEPD) operating in the US. Not all US companies, mind you, but operating in country. Plus a few thousand small mom and pop shops that tend to run a few wells and don't generally have any ongoing exploration.

As mentioned, the number has fluctuated quite a bit while I've been in the industry and trying to track it. In the 1990's, the number was quite a bit lower, about half, of what it is now. But earlier than that, in the 1970's, the total was higher. The number of companies tends to follow the growth curve. Peak oil production in the US was in 1970, and that approximately coincided, as best I can tell, with the peak number of E&P firms. Decline was evident throughout the 80's, 90's, and even into early last decade. But the recent expansion of the production, along with technology improvments and lower barriers to entry, has really perked up the industry in the US and the number of companies has exploded.

You are correct - M&A + bankruptcies thins the herd. But many of the people affected by these events simply go on to found new companies and continue the work. You seem familiar with the destruction part of Schumpeter, but need to get more in touch with the creation aspect.

Regards,
Brian

Mandatory political PS: Go Capriles! (to match the subject...)

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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63832 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/2/2012 12:16 PM
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Not really a very good guess. Not a terrible one, but not super either.

Well you gotta respect a man who stands behind his opinions with conviction. :<)

The number of companies tends to follow the growth curve.

Sounds reasonable and what does the growth curve follow? Price perhaps?

But the recent expansion of the production, along with technology improvments and lower barriers to entry, has really perked up the industry in the US and the number of companies has exploded.

I don't disagree with any of this either. I believe to get to the true answer the first thing we would need to do is define "then" and if I were to pick a date given the context of the discussion that date would be Jan 2009.

Next lets have a look at some prices.

WTI Oil

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&...

NG

http://wikiposit.org/a?uid=DOE.N9190US3

So WTI was at 36.03 in Jan and bottomed at 32.84 in Feb following a 7 month decline from a high of 132.21 hit in June 2008.

NG was trading at 4.60 in Jan 09 following a similar 6 month month decline from 10.79 in July 2008.

Now without getting too carried away with the details I hope you will at least agree that almost instantly oil prices started their recovery on a nearly strait line recovery that has brought us for the most part within around $10 from where we are today. NG however is a quite different story in that with some notable wiggles it continued it's decline until finally (hopefully) bottoming in May of this year below $2.

Now you never did get around to providing any real numbers yourself or to the extant that you did, you didn't do so within the context of "then" (Jan 2009). But if you will stipulate that price indeed does lead "growth" and if you further agree that it takes a sustained price decline below an economic price to push producers out, then I would hope you would agree that conditions have been ripe to reduce the number of the smaller ng producers.

Can I prove it? Nope, as I said it was a guess but I hope at least you agree that I have shown that it is indeed possible.


You seem familiar with the destruction part of Schumpeter, but need to get more in touch with the creation aspect.


And to think I never thought of you as being the arrogant type.

Well now that we have that settled and since you are in the industry, got any hot stock tips. :<)

B

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Author: dumaflotchie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63833 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/2/2012 1:19 PM
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Well now that we have that settled and since you are in the industry, got any hot stock tips. :<)

You are at the NPI to discuss stocks after all this hullabaloo?? ;)

Long Romney and Short Obama.

Forward.....over the cliff.

Hope you are having a great week B.

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Author: dumaflotchie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63834 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/2/2012 1:30 PM
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Brian:

Same question to you since you are in the industry:

Is energy independence a mere political talking point or is it achievable and of so how?

Thanks in advance.

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Author: captainccs Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63837 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/2/2012 1:58 PM
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Energy independence is not an economic issue but a political/strategic one. In principle, due to comparative advantage, energy independence should be economically expensive unless the USA develops better energy sources than the rest of the world has. NIMBY, green and ecology concerns are all political issues.

Denny Schlesinger

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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63840 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/2/2012 2:45 PM
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Long Romney and Short Obama.

A fool and his money are soon parted. :<)

B

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Author: BrianMotleyFool One star, 50 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63894 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/3/2012 10:34 AM
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>> The number of companies tends to follow the growth curve.

Sounds reasonable and what does the growth curve follow? Price perhaps? <<

Not so much, no, or at least not entirely. The growth curve follows margin, which is more dependent upon cost of supply than price. That is why we are currently growing again, as cost of supply dropped rapidly over the past decade with a combination of new production technologies and new information technologies.


>> But the recent expansion of the production, along with technology improvments and lower barriers to entry, has really perked up the industry in the US and the number of companies has exploded.

I don't disagree with any of this either. I believe to get to the true answer the first thing we would need to do is define "then" and if I were to pick a date given the context of the discussion that date would be Jan 2009. <<

Ah, sorry. I was not sure which date you meant by "then". I had not read earlier posts in the thread - no time or interest. Just saw your comment on number of producing companies, and assumed you meant over the past few decades - basically post-WWII.

If you are limting the discussion to just Jan 09 - present time frame, then your guess that there are fewer producers now than "then" really isn't very good at all. As near I can determine, there are about 120 - 140 more producers now than 44 months ago. There has been a significant increase in producers, particularly in the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Permian basin, Marcellus, and a number of other plays.

>> Now without getting too carried away with the details I hope you will at least agree that almost instantly oil prices started their recovery on a nearly strait line recovery that has brought us for the most part within around $10 from where we are today. NG however is a quite different story in that with some notable wiggles it continued it's decline until finally (hopefully) bottoming in May of this year below $2. <<

Accurate nutshell summary.

>> Now you never did get around to providing any real numbers yourself or to the extant that you did, you didn't do so within the context of "then" (Jan 2009). But if you will stipulate that price indeed does lead "growth" and if you further agree that it takes a sustained price decline below an economic price to push producers out, then I would hope you would agree that conditions have been ripe to reduce the number of the smaller ng producers. <<

I won't stipulate price leads growth. But I will agree that current ng prices are below cost of supply for most producers. In theory, conditions are indeed ripe for ng production declines, and smaller marginal ng producers should be going under or being acquired. And we are seeing a little bit of that - the Nexen purchase and Chesapeake diverstments being major exhibits A & B. There is also a clear drop in ng rig count, although production volumes have not started to decline yet.

However, the market is a bit strange (always is, of course, but more so now than I have previously seen). For example, I received the 3rd qtr M&A report just today. North American deal count in this quarter was 52 for total consideration of $35.3B. Backing out Nexen ($18.5B) and you are left with $16.8B, or about the lowest (in nominal $!) in the past decade. Furthermore, this is largely (90%+) focused on liquids, particularly tight oil. Shale gas deals are at a standstill. In the economist's ever-popular "rational actor" market models, this should not be happening - there should be considerable ng activity as strong companies scoop up the laggards for a song.

>> Can I prove it? Nope, as I said it was a guess but I hope at least you agree that I have shown that it is indeed possible.<<

Yes, it is indeed possible. But it is not happening, at least not yet, and producer count is well above where it was 4 years ago, even if you limit your universe to ng producers.

>> You seem familiar with the destruction part of Schumpeter, but need to get more in touch with the creation aspect.

And to think I never thought of you as being the arrogant type. <<

Ouch. Thanks for the feedback. That was intended as light-hearted ribbing. That it was perceived as arrogant means I clearly need to work on my communuication and writing skills. Don't much like arrogance, particularly not in myself.

>> Well now that we have that settled and since you are in the industry, got any hot stock tips. :<)<<

MotFool recommends DWSN - seismic service provider. I like them too, at current prices - basically anything below $30.

I like BBEP below $20 as a nice yield partnership.

For majors, I think APC below $70, although high risk, has some good opportunities in East Africa that could move the needle considerably.

Brian

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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63901 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/3/2012 12:33 PM
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Thanks Brian,

One question.

What is the source for your producer counts?

B

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Author: BrianMotleyFool One star, 50 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63928 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/4/2012 9:42 AM
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B,

>> One question.

What is the source for your producer counts? <<

As noted, I do not know of a good single source of these data. I scan about a dozen different analyst sites to compile data. The best public sources are:
- the US Energy Information Administration(www.eia.gov), which has sections on markets and finance, and useful country analysis briefs. Production data is rolled up from state reporting.
- the analogous international site, the International Energy Agency (www.iea.org), which has monthly production data based on submissions from main producers.
- and the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

The best overall sources are proprietary and include:
- Wood MacKenzie, which has the extremely useful Operator Lookup Tool, as well as various further Energy Company analyses and links, and their overall directory to Energy Organisations. The quarterly Merger and Acquisition report I get, which I mentioned in the last posting, comes from WoodMac.
- IHS CERA, which has quite a few research services I'm subscribed to, focusing mostly on ng, but I try to keep up with oil as well. There are also some forums (fora?) of use, most particularly the E&P Trends forum.

Since no source I am aware of lists all the producers in a nice handy table, I calculate this by disaggregating roll up data from US states and Canadian provinces, and continually reading and cross checking with published reports and databases, especially from the proprietary services. It is hard and time consuming, and I'm not actually interested in the count per se, but rather in the trends and production levels of the producers, which is why my count is an estimate. If you were to try to reproduce the data I have, I'm certain your estimates would be different, but I think the trends would be the same, and I'd bet your count would be within about 20% of mine.

Hope that helps.

Brian

Mandatory political PS: Well, that's done! Vote is cast, envelope sealed, and in the mail. Not that I think it matters a huge amount - whichever party wins the election will be immediately faced with some really serious problems in 2013, which will constrain actions. The US is entirely broke, and no politically conceivable combination of tax rises and spending cuts is going to be able to fix it. Default is inevitable on either issued debt, or promised benefits, or, most likely, both...

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Author: captainccs Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63932 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/4/2012 10:19 AM
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The US is entirely broke, and no politically conceivable combination of tax rises and spending cuts is going to be able to fix it.

That's a positive outlook! LOL


Default is inevitable on either issued debt, or promised benefits, or, most likely, both...

This wouldn't happen if politicians followed the Guy Kawasaki rule:

Under promise and over deliver.


Denny Schlesinger

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Author: dumaflotchie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63933 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/4/2012 10:26 AM
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no politically conceivable combination of tax rises and spending cuts is going to be able to fix it. Default is inevitable on either issued debt, or promised benefits, or, most likely, both...

Brian:

It is solvable IMO.

If you have the opportunity, pick up a copy of EndGame by Mauldin.

It is not too late if we act now.

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Author: BrianMotleyFool One star, 50 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63947 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/4/2012 6:44 PM
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>> The US is entirely broke, and no politically conceivable combination of tax rises and spending cuts is going to be able to fix it.

That's a positive outlook! LOL <<

Being a pessimist is great. That way, I'm either right, or, if I'm wrong, things go well. It's win-win.

>> Default is inevitable on either issued debt, or promised benefits, or, most likely, both...

This wouldn't happen if politicians followed the Guy Kawasaki rule:

Under promise and over deliver. <<

If they followed the Kawasaki rule, they would not be politicians. QED.

Brian

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Author: BrianMotleyFool One star, 50 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63948 of 72184
Subject: Re: Venezuelan election October 7 Date: 10/4/2012 6:49 PM
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>> no politically conceivable combination of tax rises and spending cuts is going to be able to fix it. Default is inevitable on either issued debt, or promised benefits, or, most likely, both...

Brian:

It is solvable IMO.

If you have the opportunity, pick up a copy of EndGame by Mauldin.

It is not too late if we act now. <<

Maybe, just possibly, you are right. But tell me - are you willing to put your money where your mouth is? US Treasury debt is rated as AA+, one of the safest investments on the planet. Are you willing to buy Treasury securities? Do you feel the current interest offered on Treasuries compensates for the level of risk?

Judging from behaviour of investors around the world, the current interest rate and bond rating on US debt is a joke. More than 70% of Treasury debt is currently being bought by the Fed. No one else wants it.

Were it up to me, 10 year US debt would be rated around B, and 30 year debt would be junk.

Brian

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