IPHONE 4G

Get out of my way – I have to pre-order this before anybody else June 15, for June 24 arrival. I . . . can’t . . . wait.

DCTH

Oops. Down 26% yesterday.

Guru explains:

They presented their data over the weekend. At these presentations, there is an independent reviewer who gives his opinion of the data. On the plus side, the data on the primary endpoint – progression of the melanoma in the liver – was better than expected and there was a statistically significant benefit in delaying progression overall. Also, statistically significant difference in response rate. There was no difference in survival – because they allowed half the patients to cross over [from the placebo]. If you compare survival for those who didn’t cross over to those who did, there was a doubling in survival – but the numbers were so small it didn’t reach statistical significance. There were also a couple of patients in the treated arm who died very soon after the treatment – none was actually caused by the procedure, but because they happened so rapidly, they had to be counted as “treatment related.” Because of this survival data – and the trial was not designed to show a survival benefit – the independent reviewer said the didn’t see that DCTH was providing any benefit. That is why the stock was down so much.

The reality is that this product met its SPA, will get FDA approval on a single trial, and will be widely adopted for those patients with this condition – melanoma spread to the liver.

☞ It might go lower (and there’s always the chance Guru just proves to be wrong and Independent Reviewer, right). But at least for the shares I hold in my taxable account, I had planned to hold for a year and a day anyway, so what matters is where it will be next year. Guru thinks: higher. As of now, it’s still about double what we paid, so all is not lost.

LESBIAN MOMS

I linked yesterday to the Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate’s push to make sure no gay or lesbian can adopt. Today, US News & World Report offers this write-up on a 20-year study finding lesbian moms to be superior. George Rekers’ view, which the Republican, Bill McCollum, valued so highly, is not included. Since the flap over his hiring a male prostitute for 10 days of luggage handling and naked massage, Rekers’ family-oriented credentials have diminished.

. . . Compared to the traditionally reared teens, adolescents with lesbian parents rated significantly higher in social, academic and total competence, according to the study. The teens with lesbian parents also rated significantly lower when it came to social problems, rule-breaking and aggressive behavior than teens raised in more traditional families. . . .

☞ Two sources cited in the article said they expect gay dads, if studied, would also have ranked high. Said one: “Good parenting makes for healthier children, regardless of your sexual orientation. Whether you’re gay, straight or lesbian, good parenting is good parenting.”

THE REAGAN/BUSH/BUSH DEBT

Don Szostak: “It seems to me your mantra about not returning the government back to the folks who got us where we are only serves to satisfy those of your readers who think like you. Fair enough, but it seems there is a lot of fact-bending going on. Check this link, for example. The conclusions are directly opposite to your own.”

☞ The link makes the case that the Democratic Congress forced Bush to cut taxes on the most affluent and incur the enormous cost of occupying Iraq. And the Republican Congress forced Clinton to raise taxes on the affluent and balance the budget. Why am I not buying this?

THE NEED TO ADJUST

Tina Amonn: “Completely agree with yesterday’s column . . . with one important exception. There is no such thing as a pair of shoes that you do not need.”

Tom Paine: “I don’t understand your suggestion that ‘government labor contracts’ need to be renegotiated before they ‘bankrupt our states and municipalities.’ Your anecdote mentions one person in one city, but you generalize the problem to all states and municipalities. For what they’re worth, here are a couple of other anecdotes. I know a number of Virginia state government employees who have not had a raise in four years. I’m a local government employee who has not had a raise in two years. We are not members of unions. We are still working and in our sixties. Please don’t contribute to the angry public mood that government workers are overpaid obstacles to good government whose benefits need to be cut. Didn’t we have enough of that from Reagan, Bush, and Bush? The immediate cause of the public-sector difficulties is the collapse in tax revenues that came with the 2008 Wall Street crash and the credit crisis, and was not the fault of government workers unless you want to count Reagan, Bush and Bush.”

☞ Tom links to this overview of the controversy – worth reading – and the first thing I want to say (apart from acknowledging that of course every situation is different, and not all government employees retire at 40 with $70,000 inflation-indexed lifetime pensions!) is that this is not about “fault.” Most public employees work hard and well, and don’t, in any event, negotiate their own pay packages.

If it were up to me, everyone would get a job, a raise, and a tax cut. But we haven’t figured out how to do that, so in the real world, we have to make some adjustments. I’d rather pay somewhat more in taxes and see renegotiation of some government pay and pension packages (as is already happening) than see massive lay-offs and public service cuts.

More of your thoughts on yesterday’s column tomorrow.

 

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