I’ll get to our PRKR shares, our EVLO and RFL puts, but first:
What vaccinated people should really know about the Delta variant’s threat to them. “The vaccines are working—but that might not mean what you think it does.”
Climate Change Drove Western Heat Wave’s Extreme Records, Analysis Finds — but that’s just data.
And this — this is the great sweep of the whole thing, tectonic plates and all. Wow. Wow. Wow. From the Atlantic.
It’s getting later and later in the day.
I doubt you need any persuading . . . but do you turn the lights off when you leave the room? Rinse and reuse the red cups rather than toss them? Many of my friends are wonderfully bought in to the need to fight climate change — but have not developed habits that cost nothing (actually save money) but would have us living at least a tiny bit lighter on the land. (And, yes, I could do better, too.)
Suggested two weeks go at 45 cents and 85 cents, when the underlying stock was $13.49 — it closed just now at $9.37 — these August puts allow us to “put” the stock to some anonymous counterparty at $7.50 and $10. In anticipation of the stock’s possibly falling further, they’ve doubled. Guru says to sit tight; the results of the trial have not yet been released. If failure is announced, as he expects, he sees the stock heading sharply lower, eventually to $2. So — only with money I can truly afford to lose — I’m holding on for a sextuple. The main risk he sees is that the announcement will be delayed past our August 20 expiration, though he thinks that’s unlikely.
Suggested the next day (along with some further EVLO thoughts), this $60 stock is now $52 — but, again, the “event” that could make it a $30 stock or a $20 stock is not expected until September. Our November $40 puts, for which we paid $3.50, closed the week at $6 bid, $6.70 asked.
Here is an update from the firm following it all most closely, now suggesting $11.35 per share as the “probability-adjusted value” of all its lawsuits. We just got another favorable set of Markman rulings in the Texas case against Intel. ParkerVision has now had 39 of its 44 patent definitions accepted by the court, when in fact even just one would (at least in theory) be sufficient for a jury to find our way.
Grains of salt: (1) Unless it’s been corrected, Intro-Act still shows May 3, 2021, as the “trial timing” on the giant Qualcomm case. May 3 has obviously passed. The judge most recently said “November or December, if then.” (2) The report seems to assume 80 million shares will be outstanding if/when the money starts pouring in. But 120 million might be more realistic, which would knock that $11.35 a share down to $7.60.
On the other hand: (1) If PRKR does win its lawsuits, the “probability” goes up from 62% to 100%, which puts us back to an upside of $12.25. (2) If the judge decides Qualcomm willfully abused PRKR’s patents and multiplies the damages, the upside would be much higher (even just awarding interest and legal fees would be a boost). (3) No value is ascribed to PRKR’s additional technology, as described here.
On the third hand (if you’ve got the time, I’ve got the hands): (1) There’s no allowance for taxes on these settlements — I don’t know how that would work. (2) There’s no allowance for the appeals Qualcomm would doubtless make, facing the prospect of which PRKR might well accept just a fraction of whatever it might be awarded.
So who knows? I can see the stock tripling in the next year . . . and eventually becoming a $15 stock, as its new technology is licensed. But, as always: only with money you can truly afford to lose. Because if Intro-Act is right about the “62%” probability of success, that means 38% probability of a wipe-out.
Full disclosure: I own a ton of shares, acquired mostly around a dime and at 35 cents. But in my IRA, with no tax consequences, I’ve been buying and selling around the edges . . . e.g., I bought shares at $1.01 last month that I sold today at $1.55. If it goes back down, I’d likely “rinse and repeat.” (Or hope to repeat, anyway.) But all this, as I say, just around the edges. Most of my shares just sit and wait in nervous anticipation.
I love my native Texas, and I am also desperately trying to preserve American democracy. This note is about the intersection of those two interests.
Gotta be straight with you: there is nothing so exceptional about our country that we can’t slip into a Viktor Orban-style autocracy. And that is what might happen if there is not a federal response to the state-level rollback of voting rights so visibly underway. Not only are Republicans looking to make it harder to vote, they are drafting laws that would allow them to interfere with or just ignore the actual outcome of any election (including for president) by state legislative fiat.
This is why it is essential that Congress pass federal voting law–the bulk of S.1 (the For the People Act) and H.R. 4 (the John Lewis Voting Rights Act)–to preempt these attacks. Unfortunately, while the White House is substantively in favor of these reforms, it has not pushed to get the Senate over the procedural hurdles blocking passage of a bill. And time is running out because many of the provisions of a federal law would need to be enacted in the next several weeks in order to be implemented in time for redistricting and 2022 elections. Headwinds are strong given Republican intransigence, an important infrastructure package hogging up Senate bandwidth, and traditionalist holdouts like Manchin, Sinema, and, above all, President Biden, who just yesterday paradoxically declared that, while, sure, the filibuster gets abused all the time, it would throw Congress into “chaos” if we fought over its removal.
This is where the fifty or so Texas Democratic state legislators who have temporarily moved to D.C. come in. First, they are denying a quorum for a Texas legislative agenda that has locked them out of deliberations and is aimed squarely at suppressing the vote of the Texas urban populations that lean Democratic. The legislative chronology is a little meandering, but the overall effect of the various Republican bills would be to ban the drive-thru voting that was so popular in greater Houston (10% of Harris County’s 2020 general election votes were cast by car), ban 24-hour voting (again done successfully in Houston), ban proactive dispatch of vote-by-mail applications (which Houston was blocked from doing by the Texas supreme court), and grant “free access” to any “poll watcher” while criminalizing any attempt to interfere with them. And this is the bill that was watered down after Democrats were successful in denying a quorum back in May. Republicans are trying to make it harder to vote in a state that is already among the most restrictive and that sent a woman to prison for a five-year term for casting a provisional ballot in the mistaken belief she was legally registered.
Most of the TX GOP package is offensive on its face and polls terribly with even conservative voters, and it should be opposed for Texas voters alone. But this fight has national importance, too. It was a stroke of genius for the fugitive Dem delegation to decamp to D.C. because it brightens the spotlight already on the hatchet state Republicans are taking to voting rights and election integrity, and does it in our nation’s capital, where reforms that would address vast swathes of these abuses are stopped up by a parliamentary maneuver that allows one man, Mitch McConnell, to block any bill that isn’t budget-related.
What we need, then, is for the Texas Dems to be able to stay in DC long enough to do two things.
> First, they have enough leverage that they have already been able to block one special session and force substantive changes to the (still terrible) bills. The hope is that they can wage a canny enough messaging program that Texas voters better understand what is in the Republicans’ proposals, most of which is very unpopular when described in neutral terms. (One thing that is not unpopular is voter ID, and I’ve come around to the view that Dems should own this issue by proposing a federal standard that allows voters a comfortable array of options for proving they’re who they say they are.) A successful outcome would be a negotiated package that removes the worst voting stuff and very publicly forces Republicans to address areas of real need, like the comically screwy power infrastructure that left thousands freezing this winter.
> Second, the Texas Ds need to stick around to keep the heat on the Senate and the White House to get federal legislation done. These few dozen men and women have in left behind children, partners, and professional obligations (the TX legislature is part-time and pays about $40k a year). Most of them are far from affluent. And, as has been widely reported, Gov. Abbott has threatened to take away their pay and to have them arrested upon re-entry to the state. This latter threat is on dubious authority but menacing all the same. Words like “brave” and “courageous” have been cheapened through overuse, but they truly apply here. These are people with the absolute moral standing to make the case for action directly to federal Democrats, especially two guys named Joe who are often moved by heart as much as head.
Here’s what you can do if you’d like to join me in helping out:
Beto O’Rourke’s Powered by People has focused on raising the dough for the basic functioning in D.C. of around 50 lawmakers and another 20 or so staff: lodging, telecomms, transport, etc. Beto has good marketing muscle (including Annie and Willie), but the need is between $1.2-1.5m for enough runway to be effective. As of yesterday, they’d gathered about $650k of this. This money goes straight to the TX Dem house caucus.
Second, Future Now Fund has created a Texas rapid response fund that operates on three fronts. First, they have committed money towards the same basic Dem house caucus needs as above. Second, their financial support of the caucus will bolster the most vulnerable (electorally and in terms of D.C. staying power) legislators as they prepare for 2022. This includes money and guidance for critical constituent outreach (town halls and the like) so that, right now, legislators can directly speak to the odiousness of the Republicans’ proposals and counter ridiculous but damaging GOP attacks on their motivations. Last, FNF is making grants to the caucus’ leadership to stiffen backbones and help coordinate strategy.
Have a great weekend!
Quote of the Day
Wall Street takes your money and their experience and turns it into their money and your experience.~unknown
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