SNOLLYGOSTERS

This slide show from the new book, Slinging Mud, is actually a little tame – the slides on Bush 43 and Obama seem only barely related to either man. But the Lincoln and Roosevelt slides remind us that even presidents now generally considered “great” are not always portrayed that way at the time. “Ignoramus Abe,” and all that.

“ATTACK WATCH”

Speaking of which, attackwatch has recently launched to push back when the President is unfairly attacked. You can sign up for rapid-response emails and/or drill down on specific topics. Like Israel. A major reason we lost the special election to fill Congressman Anthony Weiner’s seat in Brooklyn Tuesday – a heavily orthodox Jewish district last in Republican hands nearly a century ago – was that the voters had been urged, by Ed Koch and others, “to send a message to the President” to be more supportive of Israel. Except that the truth is the President has been terrific on Israel. (And he was born in America, and he doesn’t pal around with terrorists, and Al Gore never said he invented the Internet, and Iraq did not attack us on 9/11, and the Clintons didn’t murder Vince Foster, and “by far the vast majority” of President Bush’s tax cuts did not go to people “at the bottom end of the economic ladder” it went to people at the top.) Having a site like this site could be helpful.

GOLD

George E.: “On TV and radio I run across a good number of commercials by companies wanting to help protect me from the coming economic collapse by offering to sell gold (or silver, or other precious metals) in exchange for my soon-to-be worthless money. However, if these companies truly believe that an economic Armageddon is about to occur, why are they so eager to sell their gold at this time?”

☞ It’s not THEIR gold. They buy as much as they need in the open market to meet the demand they generate from the ads, taking a profit on each ounce. Similarly, supermarket owners are not selling THEIR food (or they would starve to death). They are buying extra food and selling it for more than they paid.

The gold I reluctantly hold (as a hedge, hoping things go well and my gold fares poorly) I hold not in the form of the actual metal but as electronic entries on a brokerage statement – GLD. That won’t do much good in the event total chaos returns us to a candle-lit barter society. For that I have a solar flashlight and cases of tuna.

VVUS UPDATE

Guru: “They announced that the FDA said it could refile Qnexa as an obesity treatment for men and for women not of child-bearing age (i.e. post menopausal). The FDA also said they would convene an advisory panel meeting in 1Q 2012. Separately, VVUS is awaiting the results of a large retrospective study to see if one of the two ingredients in Qnexa (topiramate) causes an increase in fetal abnormalities. So far, several large studies show that, statistically, it does not. The VVUS study will be the largest. If it turns out that the VVUS study shows topiramate DOES cause fetal abnormalities, then VVUS had planned to file Qnexa for use in men and post-menopausal women, so today’s announcement accelerates this Plan B. I would expect approval for that more limited market to send the shares to 12 or higher. Analysts at Leerink Swann Research have a target, as you see, of 11-13, in line with my estimate. But if they got approval for pre-menopausal women as well, the prospects could be significantly better.”

☞ I’m holding mine, with money I can truly afford to lose.

 

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