But first . . .

MASSIVE WEST WING SCREW-UP

I am so sorry to impose, but I somehow missed the first two episodes – how could I have allowed this to happen?!!! I need one of you to FedEx me the tapes. If you can, please meMail me so we can set this up.

HAIL TO THE CHIEF

Meanwhile, we’ve got a wonderful new president – Geena Davis, ABC Tuesday’s at 9PM. If you missed the premier, find someone who taped or TiVo-ed it . . . it was fantastic . . . and going forward, stay home next Tuesday and every Tuesday thereafter for Commander In Chief at 9pm followed by Boston Legal at 10pm.

(The problem with kids these days – they don’t watch enough television.)

MISCHIEF

So the Republican House Majority Leader has been indicted, the Senate Majority Leader is under investigation for insider trading, the Deputy Chief of Staff and others are under investigation for blowing a CIA agent’s cover, the top federal procurement officer was arrested, the former attorney general is being called to testify about torture abuses, and who knows what happened in the secret energy policy meetings Dick Cheney held before the sudden California energy crisis appeared just long enough to drain tens of billions of dollars from California to Houston and then, nearly as fast, disappeared. And on and on and on.

In the current instance, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was indicted for funneling illegal corporate money to local Texas races. What makes this significant is that he did this in order to gain enough power in the state legislature to be able to gerrymander Congressional districts. And he did that in order to pick up several House seats and thereby strengthen the Republican stranglehold on Congress. It worked.

And now . . .

SELLING CMCSK TO BUY CBH, DD, GE

I know nothing about Comcast, which I originally bought because Warren Buffett and a very sharp hedge fund manager I know had bought it. But it’s down about 10%, and I’ve sold the half that’s in my taxable account (keeping the retirement account half) for a short-term loss, and in order to buy CBH ($30.68), which a friend advises me to put away for 10 years as it just keeps growing its model ever larger. I am also buying some DuPont ($38.61) and GE ($33.65). Stodgy, stodgy! Of course, if we get a financial meltdown (they do occur periodically and we haven’t had one in quite a while), or if the Avian flu pandemic hits and shuts down the world economy (we will be hearing more and more about this risk), there will be . . . how to put this delicately? . . . further buying opportunities at even more attractive prices.

AFFORDABILITY

Peter: ‘Well, looks like Affordable Residential (ARC) is getting more affordable by the day – the stock, that is ($10.20). I didn’t get out at the recent blip up to $12. Should I get out NOW?’

☞ Sorry about this clunker. I don’t know. If I find out more, I’ll let you know.

TXCO

I updated this mid-morning yesterday – it’s now up about 60% from 18 months ago. I’m not rushing to sell the other half.

NTMD

My Guru: ‘This is such a stupid market. Looks like Monday’s prescriptions were strong, so up NTMD goes. Of course, to make anything like the required sales numbers, these scrips would need to be 10 times as big!’

☞ Mondays always seem to be strong (some pharmacists reporting the weekend’s sales?). Apparently, there were an estimated 208 prescriptions reported Monday in total, of which 139 were new customers and 69 were refills. Well, they had to have a FEW refills after 10 weeks. No one expected the drug to sell ZERO. The company is spending $10 million a month, and it’s not clear that doctors will write, or insurers cover, enough prescriptions to justify the expense and the current $550 million market cap. So I say: don’t sell your puts. (The stock closed at $18.13, down from 22 or so when we bought them.) But, as always, understand that puts are risky. Even good bets sometimes don’t work out.

BOREF

Well, speaking of bets. All I can say is . . . the plane moved. So, much as I wish further news would follow fast and furious, I sit patiently imagining great riches. They may never materialize; but at $16 or so, Borealis remains, I think, at five times what we paid for it, a terrific little lottery ticket.

 

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