Ken: “With respect to yesterday’s post – “The Most Important Election Ever” – how do you find the energy to keep going in spite of it all? Because politics stinks. I know, you will say we have no other alternative. Or do we? I’m thoroughly disgusted with it all. The Republicans are evil and nuts, Obama and the Democrats are cowardly. I fantasize that even if the Republican 2012 ticket were Perry/Bachmann, I’m not going to vote for Obama again. I know, you have a whole list of supposed ways he is just terrific peachy-keen but I’m sick of him. Read the liberal blogs. Why do the Republicans slavishly pay attention to their base and Obama expects to TAKE ME FOR GRANTED? I thought we were getting another Roosevelt. HA HA. Sorry – I’m outta here. I don’t have kids, I’m over 60, and I’m TOO OLD TO CARE ANYMORE. Let the country fall apart now. I’m well off, I have my millions, I should have been a Republican anyway due to my assets and income.* No, I won’t turn Republican now, but I will stop caring for Democrats. Every year I voted and donated and got my friends all fired up, and every year things just got worse and keep getting worse. I. Just. Don’t. Care. Anymore. I have mine, who cares about anyone else? Sounds awful but that’s what I feel right now. I gave Obama the benefit of the doubt the first time, the second time, the third time, on and on, and now I’m broken. He’s not anywhere near the president I wanted. His fancy words mean nothing.** He gives away the farm and calls it bipartisanship, then they come back and get more out of him.”

☞ Too old to care anymore? It sounds as though Ken cares very much, or he wouldn’t be so upset. I told him that when I replied, continuing:

“You will come back – I know you will. And if you do look at the accomplishments, you’ll find that, though blocked at every turn by the opposition, they are very real. Universal health insurance paid for by a tax on income above $250,000? Sounds pretty Rooseveltian to me. And if women are a constituency Democrats should not take for granted, how about tripling their representation on the Court or signing the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act or (moving from the lofty to the nitty-gritty) removing the co-pay on birth control coverage? If gays and lesbians should not be taken for granted, how about more federal progress for LGBT Americans in the last two and a half years than in the prior 250 years combined? (This is actually one I keep track of.) If environmentalists are a core constituency, how about more than doubling the CAFE standards and putting unprecedented resources into seeding alternative energy? Working families struggling to make ends meet? How about making college loans more affordable by cutting out the banks? How about knocking $1,000 off the payroll tax and fighting successfully to extend unemployment insurance? How about launching the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? How about 16 tax cuts for small business? Reluctant warriors? How the sensible way we’ve handled Libya? How about putting major defense cuts prominently on the agenda? How about rejoining the community of nations and regaining our standing in the world?

“I grant you, there is SO much more to do. And that and much of what was done fell short of the ideal. But the reason you and I haven’t gotten all we wanted is the opposition. So it’s EASY to be motivated – because the stakes are SO high and the choice between the two parties is SO stark.

“Still, I have no doubt you’ve earned a breather. We will welcome you back the minute you’re ready!”

And then I sent a brief follow-up. (Well, I couldn’t resist.) “Now, don’t laugh,” I wrote, “but how about chipping a sliver off those millions and treating yourself to dinner with me and Warren Buffett at [a fancy restaurant] in New York at the end of next month?”

After all, Buffett’s over 60, too, and is wildly disappointed with the state of affairs, as Ken and I are, but he thinks that a good Democratic result in 2012 is worth working for.

Fingers crossed that Ken will join us. (Me-mail me if you want in, too.) As I say, he obviously cares deeply.


Hang in there. More good news.


Guru writes: “Treprostinil didn’t work. A real surprise as there were multiple previous trials that did. They have about $650 million in free cash (more than a quarter of their market cap) and plan to do share buybacks. They will file for Freedom M oral treprostinil in 1Q 2012 and they cited a section of the FDA guidance whereby they should be able to get approval. They will get approval for IV treprostinil in Japan later this year. Sales continue to grow, but R&D will remain steady. So bottom line: You’re paying about 10 times earnings (after netting out the cash) for something that is growing 15-20%. Their drugs treat PAH – a life-threatening disease. You MUST be on these drugs. This is an attractive price for a stock that can grow independent of whether we are in a recession or not. Deutsche Bank and Oppenheimer both see $53 or more as fair value, though Oppenheimer writes, ‘given [today’s] disappointment, we don’t see meaningful near-term catalysts for UTHR to reach fair value.”

☞ I’m holding mine here.


Aristides’ Chris Brown: “CVV jumped yesterday after a positive write-up from an individual on Seeking Alpha. Last quarter’s earnings of 14 cents per share were better than the single analyst estimate of 9 cents, but lagged the prior (on a sequential basis) quarter of 22 cents (excluding an inventory write-down in the prior quarter). The company has had to hire a lot of people to support its incredible growth. Above $16, the stock now trades at more than 20 times my expectation of next 12 month earnings in the 60-70 cent range. . . . Graphene is an amazing substance, and CVV is the purest play on this substance. However, the easiest part of the trade—the great earnings ramp following the previously-announced new orders ramp—has largely played out. We have kept a small portion of our position as a long-term speculative bet on increasing uses for graphene, and the possibility of the company winning one or more large, game-changing orders. We are not usually growth-stock investors, so I don’t want to own a big position in any high multiple stock at a time when the regional manufacturing indices all seem to suggest we are entering a recession. It’s possible that the survey-oriented data are unduly pessimistic here, as a result of the debt ceiling debate, but they are the best August data we have so far, and, anecdotally, a couple of friends I trust have said businesses are pulling back.”

☞ Suggested here six months ago at $11.90 and in March at $10.10, CVV closed at $17.30 last night. In this market, it’s hard to argue with a 43%, let alone a 71%, gain. It could make sense to sell some, which would make you happy if it goes down sharply from here (buy it back?) and happy if one day it sells for twice today’s price (you didn’t sell it all!). I’m holding most of mine.

*Except that in many respects, people with high assets and income tend to fare better under Democrat leadership because the stock market and economy tend to do so much better. –A.T.

** They seem to have meant a lot to much of the world, and may even had played a role in the Arab Spring, as suggested Tuesday. – A.T.


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