But first . . .

PPD

Summer fun – up $1.64 yesterday to close at $49.40.

NTMD

I’ve thought of an analogy to summarize Tuesday’s write-up. You know about ‘take two aspiring and call me in the morning?’ If my doctor source is presenting the case fairly, then, in effect, NTMD’s hopes rest on the proposition that patients will choose instead to ‘take one double-size aspirin’ at seven times the price. He doesn’t think a whole lot of people, let alone insurance companies or HMOs, are going to pay seven times as much for what is essentially the same thing.

THE NEWS FROM GIBRALTAR

This just in from one of the Borealis subsidiaries. Not that I have more than the vaguest idea what they’re talking about. But I’m encouraged nonetheless:

“Avto Effect” Transforms Electron Emission Characteristics

Gibraltar, 7th July: A new method for increasing electron emission from thin film materials may provide much improved materials for constructing vacuum diodes and similar components, and, in turn, allow for greater efficiency in a wide range of industrial processes, including power generation and heat management.

Named for Dr Avto Tavkhelidze, who first theorized, researched and discovered it, the “Avto Effect” has now been observed many times in specially prepared films of gold and other materials. The preparation involves changing the geometry of the surface of the film by etching tiny grooves or corrugations on it. As a result, quantum wave interference reveals new electronic characteristics which were previously unobserved.

One of the first effects to be observed has been a change in the material’s “work function”, the amount of work needed to cause electron emission. In repeated tests, the material’s work function has been markedly lowered, allowing electrons to flow more freely into the vacuum.

These results are consistent with the theory developed by Georgian scientist Dr Tavkhelidze which will be presented next week, on July 10th, at 18th International Vacuum Nanoelectronics Conference held at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, UK (10th-14th July) by Nechama Katan, program manager for Avto Metals plc, a company formed to commercialize the “Avto Effect”. The discovery can be applied to many materials, including non-metallic materials such as silicon, although the phrase “Avto Metal” was coined at an early stage to describe the resulting surfaces.

The paper, Observation of New Quantum Interference Effect in Solids, will present the theory and results, including images of the grooved surfaces. Tests have been conducted at three independent laboratories in Europe and the USA in order to confirm the unprecedented results.

The rate of electron emission has, in the past, been regarded as a characteristic of the material, defined by a constant known as the “work function”. Consequently, to get better work functions, most research looks for new materials. The idea of improving the geometry of the surface to effectively change the work function of a material across the whole surface is a new development which has become possible as a result of improved techniques for precisely texturing a surface at the nanoscale level.

An important difference between the Avto Effect and earlier work is that the higher rate of emission is consistent across the whole surface of the film, so Avto Metals do not rely on field emitters such as tips or nanotubes which are difficult to fabricate and handle. And because the reduced work functions of Avto Metals allow for thermionic emission instead of field emission, emission occurs as a result of elevated temperatures, not the application of very high voltages.

Avto Metals plc program manager Nechama Katan said: “The ability to lower the work function of materials has commercial implications for many industrial processes, from amplifiers to mass spectrometry to the cathode ray tube, transistors, and any technology using vacuum diodes. In particular, we expect it to facilitate the production of Power Chips™ and Cool Chips™, proprietary technologies owned by our sister companies in the
Borealis family.”

☞ Yes, this stock may someday go to zero, as I warn every time. But if I had my choice between paying $700 million for all of NTMD or $700 million for all of Borealis, I’d expose myself to endless ridicule and take the Borealis. Which would have to increase 14-fold just to reach NTMD’s $700 million valuation.

Borealis claims to have $1 billion worth of iron ore; a small electric motor strong enough to tug commercial airlines (and so, too, presumably, smaller things like, well, cars); a chip with no moving parts that will be able to convert heat to power; and this AVTO breakthrough, above, that falls short of my goal (a spray I can use to make myself invisible and able to fly) but that could nonetheless, from the sound of it, be a big deal.

NTMD, selling at a valuation 14 times as great has a drug composed of two readily available generics that studies show can help African-American patients with congestive heart failure . . . and that the company has announced it will give free, or nearly free, to patients with no health insurance.

They say the stock market is “efficient,” taking all available knowledge and setting prices accordingly. There is something to this; but, I’ve come to believe – especially with small stocks that are not widely followed – not as much as I once thought.

And now . . .

THE LIBERAL PRESS

Please read this, by George McClure in the Denver Post. In large part:

The mainstream media in this country are dominated by liberals.

I was informed of this fact by Rush Limbaugh. And Thomas Sowell. And Ann Coulter. And Rich Lowry. And Bill O’Reilly. And William Safire. And Robert Novak. And William F. Buckley, Jr. And George Will.

And John Gibson. And Michelle Malkin. And David Brooks. And Tony Snow. And Tony Blankely. And Fred Barnes. And Britt Hume. And Larry Kudlow. And Sean Hannity. And David Horowitz. And William Kristol. And Hugh Hewitt.

And Oliver North. And Joe Scarborough. And Pat Buchanan. And John McLaughlin. And Cal Thomas. And Joe Klein. And James Kilpatrick. And Tucker Carlson. And Deroy Murdock. And Michael Savage. And Charles Krauthammer. And Stephen Moore. And Alan Keyes.

And Gary Bauer. And Mort Kondracke. And Andrew Sullivan. And Nicholas von Hoffman. And Neil Cavuto. And Matt Drudge. And Mike Rosen. And Dave Kopel. And John Caldara. . . .

The mainstream media in this country are dominated by liberals. Look at how they all gave Bill Clinton a pass on the whole Monica Lewsinsky affair. Remember? It was never in the news. We never heard any of the salacious details. The work of his presidency never came to a virtual halt while he defended himself.

The mainstream media in this country are dominated by liberals. They have so poisoned the electorate that no Republicans can get elected. Republicans don’t control the presidency. Republicans don’t control both houses of Congress. Republicans don’t control 28 of 50 governorships.

Last year, a lot was made of a report released by The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. The report found that 34 percent of national journalists identified themselves as liberal, 54 percent identified themselves as moderate and 7 percent identified themselves as conservative. Twenty-three percent of local journalists identified themselves as liberal, 61 percent identified themselves as moderate and 12 percent identified themselves as conservative.

These figures can be interpreted in a number of ways. First of all, if you actually read the whole report, you’d come across commentary that specifically warned against drawing any easy, across-the-board conclusions: “We would be reluctant to infer too much here. The survey includes just four questions probing journalists’ political attitudes, yet the answers to these questions suggest journalists have in mind something other than a classic big government liberalism and something more along the lines of libertarianism.”

But pretend you’re doing a story on the Pew report, and the nuanced comments above are not sufficiently dramatic for your medium. You need to reduce things into some digestible sound bites. If you wanted to sound the alarm bells on the right, you could say that national journalists were nearly five times as likely to identify themselves as liberal than as conservative. This would be literally true but perhaps a little misleading, as the same poll results tell us that 61 percent of national journalists identified themselves as moderate or conservative. . . .

George McClure is a former stand-up comic who now works as general manager of a Denver marketing firm.

☞ Jon Stewart recently had a bit about victimized American Christians . . . in which he expressed his fervent prayer that someday – someday! – this great and tolerant country of ours may actually elect a Christian president. “Or 43 of them. Consecutively.”

Well, the notion that conservatives are victimized by the predominantly liberal press may be somewhat similarly overblown. Indeed, compare the treatment of Bill Clinton (as suggested above) and the treatment of Karl Rove (as marveled at below).

THE (COWED) LIBERAL PRESS – KARL ROVE

Shhh, Don’t Wake the Press
By Eric Boehlert

It’s been six days since Lawrence O’Donnell went on national TV and reported internal Time Magazine emails handed over to the independent prosecutor would show Karl Rove was the source Time reporter Matt Cooper had been protecting. It’s been three days since Newsweek confirmed, “The e-mails surrendered by Time Inc., which are largely between Cooper and his editors, show that one of Cooper’s sources was White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove.”

The Newsweek article also included confirmation from Rove’s attorney that yes, the president’s chief political architect did speak to Cooper about his Valerie Plame story, as well as a carefully worded denial that Rove “never knowingly disclosed classified information.”

Does any of this sound like news?

Apparently not for reporters covering the White House. Yes, they’re traveling with Bush who’s attending the G8 Summit in Scotland. And yes, because of the long holiday weekend they’ve only had two briefings this week with White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

But during those briefings here’s how many questions reporters asked McClellan: 52
And here’s how many were about Rove and the Plame investigation: 0.

Rove-Plame: The Word from Aspen
By Arianna Huffington

How is it that the second most powerful man in America is about to take a fall and the mainstream media are largely taking a pass? Could it be that the fear of Karl Rove and this White House is so great that not even the biggest of the media big boys are willing to take them on? Does the answer to that one go without saying? . . .

From the way they’ve acted so far, the mainstream media would rather this scandal just go away (bloggers take note).

Just look at the way Newsweek handled the Rove-outed-Plame story in this week’s edition. The editors obviously knew they had a hot story and could have pushed it hard. Instead, it’s clear that they lawyered it within an inch of its life — a bunch of legal eagles with faint hearts removing any juice and most of the meat from it. . . .

Want another example? Just look at how the White House press corps is dealing with the story: by avoiding it completely.

Today’s press gaggle took place aboard Air Force One on the way to Scotland. Now, given that Rove may or may not be the subject of a federal investigation, one would think that our intrepid White House reporters might, you know, ask the White House spokesman about that.

But if you do a text search for the word “Rove,” you’ll see that not a single press person thought that the fact that the President of the United States’ most trusted advisor is, at the very least, a key player in a criminal investigation was worth a single question to Scottie McClellan. Not a one.

DNC Research

THE PLAME LEAK IS OF VITAL IMPORTANCE: Commenting on the remarks of the federal judges who have ruled on Cooper/Miller case, Lawrence O’Donnell today pointed out that “All the judges who have seen the prosecutor’s secret evidence firmly believe he is pursuing a very serious crime, and they have done everything they can to help him get an indictment.” And remember, it was George W. Bush’s father who, speaking at CIA headquarters in 1999, said, “I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.” Likewise, when asked whether exposing Valerie Plame’s identity would be “worse than Watergate,” President Bush’s close colleague Ed Gillespie said, “Yeah, I suppose in terms of the real world implications of it,” adding that “to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative — it’s abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a crime.” Those who try to play down the importance of PlameGate are deceiving themselves.

KARL ROVE HAS NOT YET ANSWERED WHETHER HE IS A SUBJECT OF THE INVESTIGATION: Rove’s attorney Robert Luskin acknowledged over the weekend that Karl Rove has testified “two or three times” before the grand jury. These multiple visits prompted one lawyer “representing a witness sympathetic to the White House” to tell Newsweek that there is “growing ‘concern’ in the White House that the prosecutor is interested in Rove.” Luskin has insisted in several recent interviews that Rove is not a “target” of Fitzgerald’s investigation. But this leaves open the possibility that Rove is a “subject” of the investigation. The difference? While a “target” is a “putative defendant” according to the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual, a “subject” is a person not yet thought to have committed a crime but “whose conduct is within the scope of the grand jury’s investigation” (these two definitions are distinct from the third possible status, a mere “witness”). Lawrence O’Donnell, who broke the news of Rove’s contacts with Time reporter Matt Cooper, notes: “Three trips to the same grand jury is frequently an indicator of subject status.” So, Mr. Rove, if you’re not a target, are you a witness or a subject?

ROVE HAS NEVER DENIED LEAKING THE IDENTITY OF WILSON’S WIFE: The public statements by Karl Rove and his attorney Robert Luskin regarding Rove’s role have been worded vaguely, in such a way that leaves unclear whether Rove is denying that he ever revealed (in any way) the true identity of Joseph Wilson’s wife, or whether he is merely denying that he revealed the specific name — Valerie Plame (also her maiden name) — that she used only while carrying out her covert work. Rove’s attorney told Newsweek that Rove “did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA“; he told the Los Angeles Times that Rove “absolutely did not identify Valerie Plame.” And in August 2004, Rove denied knowing Plame’s name: “Well, I’ll repeat what I said to ABC News when this whole thing broke some number of months ago. I didn’t know her name and didn’t leak her name.” Under a strict interpretation, these statements confirm only that Rove did not leak Plame’s name, not whether he revealed her role as a covert operative.

ROVE’S DISCLOSURE OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION IS UNCLEAR: As several commentators have noted, Rove’s attorney has almost uniformly stated that Rove never “knowingly” disclosed classified information (although on one occasion, Luskin did apparently say to Bloomberg News that Rove “did not reveal any confidential information,” leaving off the word “knowingly”). As Lawrence O’Donnell pointed out: “Not coincidentally, the word ‘knowing’ is the most important word in the controlling statute (U.S. Code: Title 50: Section 421). To violate the law, Rove had to tell Cooper about a covert agent “knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent’s intelligence relationship to the United States.” So, did Rove ever unknowingly disclose classified information? Moreover, a legal memo obtained by Hill reporter Josh Marshall interpreted the relevant laws to hold that “a government insider, with access to classified information, such as Rove is also prohibited from confirming or further disseminating the identity of a covert agent even after someone else has leaked it.” According to today’s New York Times, “Cooper’s decision to drop his refusal to testify followed discussions on Wednesday morning among lawyers representing Mr. Cooper and Karl Rove, the senior White House political adviser, according to a person who has been officially briefed on the case.” Did Rove ever confirm or disseminate classified information?

ROVE COULD COME CLEAN AT ANY TIME: A simple, clear statement by Rove would do much to end speculation about his role in any potential wrongdoing. Yet Rove is refusing to answer questions about the case, and, more suspiciously, his attorney is justifying his silence with the specious claim that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has “asked us not to talk about what Karl has had to say.” As O’Donnell points out, “Prosecutors have absolutely no control over what witnesses say when they leave the grand jury room. Rove can tell us word-for-word what he said to the grand jury and would if he thought it would help him.” The only thing that prevents him from doing so, O’Donnell adds, is “a good lawyer who is trying to keep him out of jail.”

BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS COULD KEEP MILLER OUT OF JAIL: Whether one supports or opposes Judith Miller’s refusal to reveal her source, the fact remains that she never had to face this fate. At any time, the Bush administration officials who leaked Valerie Plame’s identity could step forward and relieve Miller of her difficult circumstances. As Joseph Wilson noted last night, “The sentencing of Judith Miller to jail for refusing to disclose her sources is the direct result of the culture of unaccountability that infects the Bush White House from top to bottom. … Clearly, the conspiracy to cover up the web of lies that underpinned the invasion of Iraq is more important to the White House than coming clean on a serious breach of national security.” Likewise, John Dean, former White House counsel to President Nixon during the Watergate controversy, said on Tuesday: “Whoever it is, he or she is a huge coward. And the fact that they would let somebody [go to prison] — this is the sort of thing that Mafia people do, that drug kings do, not somebody who’s serving in the White House as a public servant.”

ROVE AND NOVAK HAVE A TRACK RECORD: Karl Rove and Robert Novak apparently have a history of spreading damaging information. In January 2003, Ron Suskind reported in Esquire that “Sources close to the former president [George H.W. Bush] say Rove was fired from the 1992 Bush presidential campaign after he planted a negative story with columnist Robert Novak about dissatisfaction with campaign fundraising chief and Bush loyalist Robert Mosbacher Jr. It was smoked out, and he was summarily ousted.”

AT LEAST ONE WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL HAS BEEN CAUGHT IN A LIE: Rove’s acknowledgement of his role in spreading information about Wilson and Plame seems to clearly contradict a claim in October 2003 by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, who said that “those individuals [Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams, and Lewis Libby] assured me they were not involved with this.” So, did Karl Rove and his White House colleagues deceive Scott McClellan, or did Scott McClellan deceive the American people?

AN APPARENT DISCREPANCY EXISTS IN THE TIMELINE OF ROVE’S CONTACTS WITH JOURNALISTS: Though Rove’s involvement in spreading information about former ambassador Wilson and his wife is now known, the timeline remains unclear. Recent statements from Rove’s lawyer have only muddied the picture. In October 2003, Rove reportedly admitted to the grand jury “that he circulated and discussed damaging information regarding [Plame] with others in the White House, outside political consultants, and journalists,” part of an “aggressive campaign to discredit Wilson through the leaking and disseminating of derogatory information regarding him and his wife.” According to investigative journalist Murray Waas, Rove told the grand jury that “he had only circulated information about Plame after it had appeared in [Robert] Novak’s column.” But according to Rove’s attorney Robert Luskin, “Rove spoke to Cooper three or four days before Novak’s column appeared.” What’s the real story here?

PRESIDENT BUSH’S THOUGHTS ARE UNKNOWN: For well over a year, the White House line has been that “no one wants to get to the bottom of [this investigation] more than the President of the United States.” Considering his great interest, it seems surprising, then, that President Bush has had nothing to say about Saturday’s revelation that his own top advisor, Karl Rove, apparently did indeed participate in the coordinated campaign to smear former ambassador Joe Wilson.

☞ If you’ve actually this far, have a great weekend (what little – unless you’re a speed reader – is now left of it). (Sorry about that. I just think there’s so much we all need to pay attention to. These are not ordinary times.) PS – We borrowed another $2 billion or so today.

 

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