Is Michael Brodkorb, the avenging troll of the Party of Business and Capital, actually clueless about business and investment? Or is he and the party deliberately presenting big untruths disguised by little facts? Which is it? Stupid or vile?
Let's give him a little credit and go for vile.
In one congratulatory post he says: "The Republican Party of Minnesota (MN GOP) just released a bombshell about Al Franken."
The bombshell is, gasp, Al Franken invests in mutual funds like most other Americans who still have money left over after buying food, shelter, transportation and maybe health care. This is bad because Al Franken has criticized Sen. Norm Coleman for putting the interests of Exxon and Halliburton above working families. But Franken is a hypocrite because why?
"Franken’s mutual funds have extensive holdings in big oil companies, as well as firms such as Halliburton."
If I thought it was worth it, I'd dig up data on how few mutual funds do not include stocks of oil and oil services companies. If I thought Mr. Brodkorb and his GOP cohorts cared, I'd distinguish between doing the bidding of oil companies and investing in a fund that includes their stocks. Finally, I'd explain how an investor picks a mutual fund because of its investment style and objectives, which are supposed to remain constant, not the individual stocks in the portfolio, which change based on the judgment of the fund managers.
But see, I've lost you already with the facts and the reason, when all Brodkorb and Mark Drake have to do is say, look at all the oil companies Franken takes money from!
UPDATE: If you want to see the absolute futility of debunking these lies among the conservative set, you really must read the comments over at Brodkorb's post. Reader Hiram makes a concerted attempt to explain the fungibility of oil and the fact that proceeds of stock and mutual fund sales go to the owner of the investment, not to the company. Sigh.
Then when I point out the big lie, Michael can come here and comment and say, "My statements were factual."
For those of you who still care about the truth, tell me if these Franken investments are, as Brodkorb and the GOP characterize them, "awash in big oil."
Brodkorb/The Party of Capital says Franken's Calvert Large Cap Growth Fund invests in Chesapeake Energy Corp and EnCana Corp. This Calvert fund is actually a social responsibility fund that has 10.8% of its total portfolio in energy stocks, particularly those in renewable energy development.
It will not invest in companies that have poor environmental records, including significant compliance and waste management problems.
Here's the scorecard of the fund issued by Social Funds:
If you're looking to invest in the big names, but still want to be environmentally friendly, the Calvert Large Cap Growth Fund (CLGAX) could be a good start. The fund screens for and invests in large cap stocks that have reputations for being conscious of the environment.
Calvert's top 10 holdings (see chart) include no oil stocks. You'll see this is a pattern that holds through the other investments cited by Michael "Ethics is Practically My Middle Name" Brodkorb.
American Funds Income Fund of America Class F invests in Chevron Corp, Exxon Mobil Corp, Marathon Oil Corp, Occidental Petroleum Corp, Royal Dutch Shell, Total SA, according to the GOP mouthpiece. But despite all those names, the percentage of the portfolio in oil, gas and consumable fuels is a mere 5%, half of which (click on the graphic) is Chevron.
What part of Large Cap don't you understand, Michael? The fund invests in big companies.
Then there's Thornburg Core Growth Fund Class A, which holds shares of that noted Capitol Hill powerhouse, ATP Oil & Gas Corp.
Actually, ATP Oil and Gas is kind of the junk man of the oil patch. It focuses on acquiring and drilling proven undeveloped reserves that the big oil companies have decided not to pursue.
ATP is not among the top ten holdings in the fund, which means it has to be less than about 3% of the portfolio. This is growth fund, by the way, which focuses on smaller companies that are in growing markets like, uh, oil.
Van Kampen Equity & Income Fund contains some recognizable names: Exxon Mobil Corp, Halliburton Co and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Again, absolutely stellar oppo research skills dredge up the damaging infomation in this portfolio, which contains a total of 8.41% invested in energy.
Again, none of those names appear in the largest equity holdings graphic for the fund. Meanwhile, our boy missed another oil services company in the portfolio, Schlumberger, which my ethics compel me to report, no matter how damaging this revelation may be to the Franken campaign!
And finally, there's FT Franklin Income A Fund , which contains Callon Petroleum Co, Canadian Oil Sands Trust, Chesapeake Energy Corp, Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips, Halliburton Co. and Royal Dutch Shell, according to our crack research team.
Canadian Oil Sands did make the top five holdings, with a whopping 1.8%, so you can just imagine how much those other companies must amount to, creating huge pressures on Franken to compromise his principles and vote for the interests of Canadian Oil Sands and ATP Oil and Gas.
Except, as Mr. Brodkorb has already established, Franken doesn't even pay attention to the details of his tax returns. Now, we're supposed to believe he's poring over his mutual fund prospectuses to find out who he must to please next?