Karen Olson: “I’m hoping Guru has some thoughts on FCSC, given the large pull back in price. The expected approval/denial date is just a week away and unfortunately the share price has come back to where it was when you originally suggested it. Does Guru still believe it’s worth holding onto for the $1.50 target within the next week prior to approval or is there just too much risk at this point?”

☞ Guru – who it’s important to remember is generally but not always right – replies: “Expect they will get approved on June 22. Nothing to indicate that they won’t. As this is partly a process – you must take skin from the patient, grow it and give it back to them – I don’t expect it to ‘fly off the shelf’ the way a new pill would. But given the billions spent each year on wrinkle and acne treatment, I expect this product will take a reasonable share of that market. They are treating you with your own healthy skin. If that is so, the stock is likely $2-$3 over the next year and so still a good buy at $1.”


“Low taxes on the best off create jobs.”

Oh, yeah? How come we created almost none during the Bush years?

“Hiking taxes on the best off, like successful small business owners, destroy jobs.”

Oh yeah? How come, after Clinton raised taxes on the best off, the economy created 22 million new jobs?


This rightwing “Dirty Spending Secrets” quiz is making the rounds. One of you asked what I thought.

I think it is almost completely stupid . . . and that it is completely completely counterproductive.

(It’s not completely stupid because waste is bad, obviously, even when on a relatively small scale. It’s completely counterproductive because it leads people to misunderstand whom they should be angry at and to vote against the national interest.)

If you actually delve into each of the spending items lambasted, you might find plausible reasons for some of them – or find inaccuracies or mischaracterizations.

For example, we’re told we are paying for 1,125 idle postal workers! A small army of them! Who do nothing all day! Being paid with our tax dollars!!!

Yet that’s 1,125 out of 596,000 . . . so fewer than two-tenths of one-percent (worth noting, for context?) – AND the postal service is not part of the US government budget – has not received a government dime since the 1980s (so how would firing them reduce our deficit?).

But let’s assume each of the outrages presented is accurate and fairly presented. OK. So what?

Everyone agrees that “bridges to nowhere” (not included in the quiz) and idle postal workers are always worth trying to root out. But the sum total of all the stuff in the quiz – and everything like it – is trivial as a percentage of the hole. (Before you try to add a W to make it “percentage of the whole,” consider the hole we’re in.)

We need to raise taxes and to cut the military budget – those items dwarf the rest of this. Neither is mentioned in the quiz.

We need to bend the entitlement curves down a little (in the case of Social Security) and significantly (in the case of finding ways to restrain health care costs over time). Very important. I didn’t see anything about that, either.

This quiz is simply an effort to redirect people’s outrage from lightly-taxed multi-billionaires (at whom the average guy should feel outrage but seems not to) to their government (at which the average guy should not feel outrage, yet – because of manipulative quizzes like this – often does).

Tomorrow or soon: Claptrap – III and Claptrap IV


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