HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NORMAN!

Norman Lear’s message as he begins his 100th year.  Powerful.



SWIM!

Next to BrainHQ (he blushes with self-interest), swimming, it seems, may be about the best thing you can do for your brain — and your kids’ brains, too.

(Speaking of BrainHQ, here’s yet another data point confirming its value:  “The Defense Department-funded study compared the program against a control group, whose members played commercial computer games. The BrainHQ group saw four times the improvement of the control group, which increased to five times when members were tested again 12 weeks after ending the program.”)



ISRAEL’S COALITION

Bret Stephens in the New York Times several weeks ago:


Israel’s new government must be a puzzle for anyone who thinks of the Jewish state as a racist, fascistic, apartheid enterprise.

Issawi Frej is Arab and Muslim and used to work for the Peace Now movement. Now he’s Israel’s minister for regional cooperation. Pnina Tamano-Shata is Black: The Mossad rescued her, along with thousands of other Ethiopian Jews, from hunger and persecution when she was a small child. She’s the minister for immigration and absorption. Nitzan Horowitz is the first openly gay man to lead an Israeli political party. He’s the health minister. At least one deputy minister, as yet unnamed, is expected to be a member of the Raam party, which is an outgrowth of the major Islamist political group in Israel.

As for Benjamin Netanyahu, “King Bibi” has finally left office — churlishly, bitterly, pompously — but in keeping with the normal democratic process. He faces criminal indictments in multiple cases. His immediate predecessor as prime minister, Ehud Olmert, spent 16 months in prison on corruption charges.

It’s some fascist state that subjects its leaders to the rule of law and the verdicts of a court. Meanwhile, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, “postponed” elections in April. He’s in the 17th year of his elected four-year term of office. . . .


Read the rest?



CAPITAL GAINS

Thanks to those who sent How a Landlord Making $75,000 a Year Could End Up in the Millionaire Tax Bracket.

(Executive summary: He could end up there if he gets a once-in-a-lifetime $2 million gain from selling his building.)

Not hard to solve!  The proposed law — clearly not designed for someone like Mr. Settle — should be tweaked to allow multi-year averaging, so little or none of his gain would be taxed at the higher rate.

As I’ve written before, I have very mixed feelings about hiking the cap gains rate much on anyone, because all people have to do to avoid it is . . . not sell.

That’s quite different from, say, toughening the estate tax, where all people have to do to avoid it is . . . not die.



EVLO PUTS

Guy: “I see in their recent report that the data we’ve been expecting is now expected in ‘Q3.’   My experience in biotech leads me to believe this means late September or more likely it slips into Q4.   I’m thinking of selling the puts for a double.”

–> I think that’s smart.  It’s possible the stock will slide further as the August 20th expiration approaches (EVLO shareholders may worry the company would not have delayed the announcement if the results had been GOOD . . . and so use this opportunity to reduce their positions).  That could send the price down and our puts up.  But it’s also quite possible the options expire worthless, even if Guru proves right and the results, when ultimately released, disappoint.  So you’d want to own the November expiration instead.  Except, at least yesterday, they were awfully expensive.

Still, if all the speculations that didn’t work out as hoped ended in a double, it would be hard to complain.

 

 

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