2/26/18…  15,647.25

        2/19/18…  15,650.47 6/27/13…  15,000.00


(THE DOW JONES INDEX:  2/26/18… 25,309.99; 2/19/18… 25,219.48; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)




Americans still have their guns, but as for butter – it all depends on whose pancake is being buttered.  President Trump released his proposed 2019 budget recently, which will now go to a divided and distracted Congress for approval… the liberal Washington Post predicted that many of the cuts in the plan are unlikely to become reality: Congress just increased spending limits last week, and it rarely dares to change entitlement programs.

Now - here’s what the President (and his minions) have proposed on a Department by Department basis.  Being a largely Republican plan, the actual quotes are in red; comments by outside sources, when appropriate, are appended…


Department of Agriculture - The Budget requests $19 billion for USDA (excluding changes in mandatory programs), a $3.7 billion or 16-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level.    Demonstrating fiscal constraint and responsible use of taxpayer resources, the Budget eliminates funding for unnecessary or lower priority activities and those that are duplicative of private sector efforts.

The Budget proposes a bold new approach to nutrition assistance that combines traditional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits with 100-percent American grown foods provided directly to households and focuses administrative reforms on outcome-based employment strategies.

While patriotic, exclusion of foreign-grown foodstuffs means no fresh produce for poor children during the winter.  Instead, let them eat potato chips, diet soda and Ding Dongs.  And condiments.  Isn’t ketchup still a vegetable? - DJI

From the Guardian U.K.  “The Trump administration has proposed a plan to replace the US food stamp program, called Snap, with an “America’s Harvest Box” shipped to families’ doors, including canned fruits, beans and meats, cereal, peanut butter, shelf-stable milk and other dry goods.

“As of February last year, about 42 million Americans received food stamp assistance, which cost almost $71bn over the course of 2016. Nearly three-quarters of all recipient families have children, and more than a quarter include seniors or people with disabilities. The Trump proposal appears to have no provisions for allergies, problems with the mail, families without a steady address, homeless families, animal incursions into the box, shipping costs, or the question of fresh fruit and produce.”

The bleeding hearts at Huffpost also accused Trump of “cracking down on food stamp recipients and their supposedly lavish and unhealthy diets. The budget would cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ― the official program name for food stamps ― by about 25 percent, replacing a portion of beneficiaries’ monthly stipend with canned goods and other healthy food chosen by the government. (Liberals against the government?  Horrors!) The idea is almost unheard-of on Capitol Hill (except by Michelle Obama, back in the day) and has little chance of being taken seriously by the committee that oversees the program.”

“It bears repeating, as we marvel at the cruelty of these proposed cuts, that Repubs just voted to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit to give huge tax cuts to their wealthiest friends and corps,” posts B.C. from the lefty PG.  “The Admin wants to turn a portion of it into a delivery system, where the government controls what people eat, how much, and when they get it. This, in the name of "improving nutritional value" and reducing alleged "fraud."

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service works to improve foreign market access for U.S. agricultural products, build new markets, improve the competitive position of U.S. agriculture in the global marketplace.  But if we won’t import their grapes, tomatoes or bananas in December, why should they import our wheat, soybeans or McNuggets anytime? - DJI

Department of Commerce - The Budget request for DOC prioritizes and protects investments in core Government functions such as preparing for the 2020 Decennial Census, providing the observational infrastructure and personnel to produce timely and accurate weather forecasts, and enforcing laws that promote fair and secure trade.

The Budget requests $9.8 billion for DOC (including changes in mandatory programs), a $546 million or a 6-percent increase from the 2017 enacted level.

Census data is used by governmental entities at the State and local levels for defining the representative boundaries for congressional districts.  In dreams, at least.  In real life, legislatures dispose of the data in their circular files and draw districts most favorable to the party in power (unless the creatures engendered are so fantastic that some State courts will step in, at least until SCOTUS baptizes these fantastic beasts).

The Budget continues to support the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in representing the U.S. interest at multi-stakeholder forums on internet governance and digital commerce… by, for example abolishing net neutrality at the behest of the rich Silly Con Valley billionaires who prove to be conscientious and loyal members of the Donor Class come election time.

Department of Defense -  The Budget expands the military’s competitive space, builds a more lethal force, achieves greater performance at affordability and speed, and enhances posture for a more capable alliance and partnership network.  The Budget is critical for protecting the homeland, promoting American prosperity, preserving peace through strength, and advancing American influence. 

The Budget requests $686 billion for DOD, an $80 billion or 13-percent increase from the 2017 enacted level.  This includes $597 billion for the base budget, and $89 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations.

The surest way to prevent war is to be prepared to win one.  The Budget promotes peace through strength, and continues multiyear investments to develop a lethal, agile, and resilient force.  Modern adversaries have built sophisticated anti-access and area-denial networks that require U.S. forces to rely on resiliency, lethality, speed, and surprise to win.  The Budget prioritizes maintaining ready forces for major combat… (and) supports a U.S. military presence in the Middle East necessary to protect the United States and its allies from terrorist attacks and preserve a favorable regional balance of power. 

The Budget continues to place a high priority on cyber security and those responsible for providing it by requesting more than $8 billion in 2019 to advance DOD’s three primary cyber missions:  safeguarding DOD’s networks, information and systems; supporting military commander objectives; and defending the Nation. 

The Pentagon's 2019 budget is a 14 percent increase over 2017 and seeks to refit the military for potential conflicts against major powers, such as China and Russia. The budget sets aside more money for just about everything. The extra spending will allow the military to add 16,400 troops. Trump’s budget promises the Pentagon more of everything.

Department of Education - The Budget proposes to ensure students can successfully pursue various pathways of postsecondary education and training.  The Budget invests in career and technical education, streamlines student loan repayment, and offers the opportunity to use Pell Grants for high-quality, short-term training.        

The Budget supports reforms to programs that would help students graduate with the skills necessary to secure high-paying jobs in today’s workforce and contribute to the Nation’s robust economy.  The Budget requests $59.9 billion for the Department of Education, a $7.1 billion or 10.5-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level.

The proposed 2019 budget would cut millions of dollars from federal education programs designed to help school districts improve safety and provide mental health assistance in the event of a tragedy.

The budget proposal, which was unveiled earlier this week by the White House, would reduce funding for national school safety activities by $25 million compared to 2017, Politico reported.

Department of Energy -  The Budget protects American prosperity by making strategic investments to maintain global leadership in scientific and technological innovation and aggressively modernize the nuclear security enterprise that underpins the safety and security of Americans, both at home and abroad.

The Budget requests $29 billion for DOE, a more than 3-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level.  

The Budget proposes the elimination of the Title XVII Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program, and the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program because the private sector is better positioned to finance the deployment of commercially viable energy and advanced vehicle manufacturing projects.  The Budget also proposes the elimination of Advanced Research Projects AgencyEnergy, recognizing the private sector’s primary role in taking risks to commercialize breakthrough energy technologies with real market potential. 

Nature Magazine reports cuts to the Energy Department, with a 65 percent drop (about $696 million) in the budget of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which apparently includes $120 million that Congress added back in the latest budget deal.

Department of Health and Human Services - The Budget addresses some of the Nation’s most pressing public health needs, investing in efforts to combat the devastating opioid epidemic, making new investments in programs to treat individuals suffering from severe mental illness, and accelerating work on ending infectious diseases.  The Budget invests in biomedical research, increases accountability for research dollars, and enhances the Government’s preparedness for responding to infectious disease outbreaks or other man-made disasters.  The Budget also includes proposals to lower drug costs, strengthen and protect the Medicare program, repeal and replace Obamacare, and provide States more flexibility in Medicaid.

The Budget continues to invest in key programs and proposes innovative solutions that promote child wellbeing, build stronger families, and help low-income Americans move from welfare to work.

The Budget requests $68.4 billion for HHS, a $17.9 billion or 21-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level.

The Budget continues the 2018 Budget proposals to eliminate low-performing or ineffective programs, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG).  Many States and utility companies currently provide energy assistance services, reducing the need for a distinct Federal program to fulfill this role.  Further, LIHEAP is unable to demonstrate strong performance outcomes, and the Government Accountability Office has raised concerns about fraud and abuse in the program in the past.  CSBG also has difficulty in demonstrating effective outcomes. 

“Another budget bullet point ― seemingly making good on Trump’s campaign promise to end the opioid crisis ravaging America ― comes to just $1 billion a year, a pathetically low number for a national public health crisis. Trump’s boost to opioid spending accounts for less than 1.5 percent of the Department of Health and Human Services budget, which Trump would also slash by about 20 percent from last year’s level.” (huffpost)

Department of Homeland Security - The Budget requests $46 billion in discretionary appropriations for DHS, a $3.4 billion or 8-percent increase from the 2017 enacted level (excluding updated 2017 receipts).  In addition, $6.7 billion is available to help communities overwhelmed by major disasters.

Critical investments include $1.6 billion for construction of the border wall and $782 million to hire and support 2,750 additional law enforcement officers and agents at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  The Budget also requests $2.5 billion for detaining up to 47,000 illegal aliens on a daily basis.

Do the math… nearly $5 for Immigration issues, meaning about a $1.6 billion decrease in fighting terrorism (including cyberterrorism) and, as they say, “ensuring disaster resilience”. - DJI

On the other hand, Breitbarter B.B. advises: “Build the wall but that’s not all!”

Electrification?  Bouncing Betties?

“The wall in communist China works,” notes F.T. and ”the Berlin Wall worked for 40 years.  Why wouldn’t it work for us?”

But A.L., a correspondent from Djonald’s second-favorite media outlet, InfoWars, fears that God will knock down the Beautiful Wall as, well... Socialist?  Instead, “the only meaningful way to stop illegal immigration is to prosecute and punish and imprison all government who aided and abetted illegal aliens.

“(D)eport all illegal immigrants and their anchor babies or we'll elect oath keepers to drain the swamp of the likes of you and your cadre of satanic bankers, for real.

“We invoked the creator on 11/8/16 when we rejected "globalism", aka., jewish talmudic satanic masonic satanism. You don't stand chance against We The Informed People.”

Department of Housing and Urban Development  - The Budget reflects the President’s commitment to fiscal responsibility by reforming programs to encourage the dignity of work and self-sufficiency while supporting critical functions that provide assistance to vulnerable households.  The Budget recognizes a greater role for State and local governments and the private sector to address community and economic development needs and affordable housing production.

The Budget requests $39.2 billion in gross discretionary funding for HUD, an $8.8 billion or 18.3-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level.

The Budget also eliminates programs that are duplicative or have failed to demonstrate effectiveness, such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program (a program that has expended more than $150 billion since its inception in 1974, but has not demonstrated sufficient impact), and devolves responsibility for community and economic development to State and local governments that are better equipped to respond to (and pay for – DJI) local conditions.

Under the proposed budget, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would take a 14% cut, even more than the Trump administration requested last year. The plan would eliminate a $2bn fund for housing repairs, even though public housing is already in need of some $40bn in repairs – heating and water outages, ventilation and water safety, etc – according to the Washington Post.

Trump would also eliminate all funding for public housing repairs ― a move that reflects general meanness about the lives of the poor, but only costs about $2 billion ― and eliminate $1 billion in Section 8 vouchers to help poor families pay rent.

“All politics, we have long been told, are local. In recent months, that equation has been reformulated as “All politics are loco.” With President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut every penny out of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, clearly both are true. In the context of Trump’s $4.1 trillion budget, the $3.3 billion saved by gutting CDBG doesn’t qualify as even dead skin flakes harvested from the president’s sock drawer. But the pain inflicted by its evisceration will be massively disproportionate to the dollars and cents involved. For those Santa Barbarans who believe State Street has been occupied by zombie hordes of brain-eating homeless, you ain’t seen nothing yet.” – Santa Barbara (Ca) Independent

The Trump administration has again called for cuts to a program that delivers meals to senior citizens and disabled people, as it did last year. Reporter Jamiles Lartey, who has volunteered with the program, wrote then that it would be a “disaster” for the country’s most vulnerable.

Department of the Interior - The Department of the Interior (DOI) conserves and manages natural resources and cultural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people, provides scientific and evidence-based information about America’s natural resources and hazards, supports safe and responsible development of Federal energy resources, and honors the Nation’s trust responsibilities and special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and U.S.-affiliated island communities to help them prosper. 

The Budget requests $11.3 billion for DOI, a $2.2 billion or 16-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level. This funding level includes changes in mandatory programs.

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, for instance, recently announced its intent to roll back a ruling on methane leakage, a move that could demoralize career staff who are committed to climate protection.

Department of Justice - The Department of Justice defends the interests of the United States and protects all Americans as the chief enforcer of Federal laws. 

The Budget requests $28 billion for the Department of Justice, a $345 million or 1.2-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level. 

Buried on Page 719 of his fiscal year 2019 budget, released Monday, the president calls for cuts to the National Criminal Records History Improvement Program and the NICS Act Record Improvement Program. Both provide federal grants to states to help them improve their reporting of criminal records and protection orders to the national database for background checks, including domestic violence records. 

The two programs are currently funded at $73 million. Trump’s budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 would slash their funding to $61 million, which amounts to a 16 percent cut.

Trump’s call for cutting funds for gun background checks comes just three months after a mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, involving a gunman who was prohibited from buying or owning firearms because of a domestic violence conviction but who had a gun nonetheless because the Air Force failed to enter his conviction into the national criminal background check database. The error has prompted the Air Force to begin a review.

Politico notes that:

The [Trump] budget projects that Mueller’s team will keep spending at its current rate of about $10 million per year in the next fiscal year, which starts in October.

The White House has said it expects Mueller to finish soon; spokesman Raj Shah told Fox News last month that officials “believe it will end soon.” But White House attorney Ty Cobb said Monday that Trump’s team is not looking for Mueller’s office to shut down its operations entirely, merely to resolve the parts of its investigation that focus on Trump.

Said funding did not sit well with the Breitbart Peanut Gallery, some of whom raged…

“Mueller will be fully demented and living in a nursing home before democrats stop funding his conspiracy to cover up democrat rape party criminal actions.”

“Letting Mueller & his pack of partisan attack dogs dig for proof that doesn't exist is working to "sedate the media" while the administration makes some progress elsewhere. It might be money well spent (wasted). The terminally Trump Deranged are totally focused on Muller sticking a knife in the Trump administration. Who will they blame when Mueller fails?”

Meanwhile, the FBI & DOJ "coup collaborators" are being identified, and lined-up for prosecution.

“Gitmo awaits them,” S.S. predicts. (We're gonna need a bigger Gitmo from the looks of the extent of Obama administration FBI & DOJ corruption)

Department of Labor - The Department of Labor (DOL) fosters the well-being of wage earners, job seekers, and retirees.

Given the budget constraints the Nation faces after decades of reckless spending, and the current need to rebuild the Nation’s military without increasing the deficit, the Budget focuses DOL on its highest priority functions and disinvests in activities that are duplicative, unnecessary, unproven, or ineffective.

The Budget requests $9.4 billion for DOL, a $2.6 billion or 21-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level. 

Washpost reported that cuts in funding for National Dislocated Worker Grants — support for those who lose their jobs in natural disasters or factory closures — from $219.5 million in 2017 to $51 million in 2019 and for Adult Employment and Training Activities, which serve veterans, Native Americans and young people who have dropped out of high school, by nearly half, from $810 million in 2017 to $490.3 million in 2019.

Department of State and Other International Programs  - The Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other international programs help to advance the national security interests of the United States by building a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world.

The Budget for the Department of State and USAID’s diplomatic and development activities supports the strategic objectives of the United States, including those outlined in the 2018 Budget and the newly released National Security Strategy of the United States.

The Budget requests $25.8 billion in base funding for the Department of State and USAID, a $9 billion or 26-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level. 

Republicans in Congress may respond favorably to Trump’s proposed elimination of the Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI).  The White House justification for these cuts is based on the perception that the Paris agreement “unfairly places the U.S. at a financial disadvantage.

Department of Transportation - The Budget request for DOT streamlines the Department to focus on its vital Federal safety mission, and provides critical investments necessary for regionally and nationally significant projects.  The Budget also ensures taxpayer dollars are spent prudently, by reducing, eliminating, and reforming programs that are ineffective, inefficient, and unaccountable, or lack a clear Federal nexus and fail to encourage innovation.

The Budget requests $15.6 billion in discretionary budget authority for 2019, a $3.7 billion or 19-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted base discretionary level of $19.3 billion (which excludes supplemental emergency relief funding).

 The White House is seeking to reduce funding for Amtrak's long-distance services, saying states should share in those costs. Cuts would be made in the Essential Air Service program, which is meant to make sure small communities have access to air service.  (Washpost)

Department of the Treasury 

The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) manages the U.S. Government’s finances, promotes conditions that enable stable economic growth, protects the integrity of the financial system, and combats financial crimes and terrorist financing.

The Budget requests $12.3 billion in base discretionary resources for Treasury’s domestic programs, a $392 million or 3-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level.  This program level excludes mandatory spending changes involving the Treasury Forfeiture Fund.

(The budget proposal) would transfer the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)'s responsibilities for alcohol and tobacco enforcement from Justice to Treasury. The proposal would also cut some funding to Office of Financial Research, created after the financial crisis to help federal agencies manage risk.  (Washpost)

Department of Veterans Affairs 

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides veterans of the Armed Forces and their survivors with a wide variety of benefits including but not limited to healthcare, mental health services, homelessness programs, service-connected disability compensation, readjustment counseling, vocational rehabilitation, education, and home loan guaranties.

The Budget requests $83.1 billion for VA, an $8.7 billion, or 11.7-percent increase from the 2017 enacted level.  In addition, $75.6 billion is requested for advance medical care appropriations for 2020 to ensure the Department has the resources to continue providing high-quality medical services to veterans.  The funding includes a boost to suicide prevention but in some cases cuts cost of living bumps to disabled veterans living on benefits.  Adds $8.6 billion for mental health services, 6 percent above 2018, to support standardized suicide screening and risk assessments and expand options for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment.  (Washpost)

Corps of Engineers—Civil Works 

The Army Corps of Engineers civil works program (Corps) develops, manages, restores, and protects water resources primarily through the construction, operation and maintenance, and study of water-related infrastructure projects.  The Corps is also responsible for regulating development on navigable waters of the United States and works with other Federal agencies to help communities respond to and recover from floods and other natural disasters.

The Budget requests $4.8 billion for the Corps, a more than 20-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level.  

Since climate change is a Chinese hoax, there is no need to budget for flood/hurricane/disaster relief of the sort as was necessary in 2017… we will not see such conditions for another 500 years.  - DJI 

The Budget proposes to sell the Washington Aqueduct, the wholesale water supply system for Washington, District of Columbia; Arlington County, Virginia; the City of Falls Church, Virginia; and parts of Fairfax County, Virginia.  The Corps owns and operates the Aqueduct, which is the only local water supply system in the Nation owned and operated by the Corps.  Ownership of local water supply is best carried out by State or local government or the private sector, where there are appropriate market and regulatory incentives. 

One option for turning the water supply to a private/state partnership would be granting the concession to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (Flint River division).  After all, the people who matter all drink bottled H2O… much of it “artisian”.  - DJI

Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for implementing and enforcing statutes designed to protect human health and the environment.

The Budget eliminates many voluntary and lower priority activities and programs, and invests in process improvements and other operational enhancements to bring greater efficiency and cost effectiveness to the work of the Agency.

Examples of program eliminations include:  the Climate Change Research and Partnership Programs; the Indoor Air and Radon Programs; the Marine Pollution and National Estuary Programs; the Environmental Education Program; and the Beaches Program.  

The Budget requests $5.4 billion for EPA, a $2.8 billion or 34-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level.

The Trump budget blueprint proposes a $2.8 billion reduction, a 34 percent cut to the EPA budget, but the 2018 House Republican proposal cut only 6 percent.  It eliminates explicit climate change programs in other parts of the government and cuts spending for climate change-related monitoring, alternative energy, energy efficiency and flood prevention.

Overall attrition at the EPA, stated the Washington Post is on the rise “as employees unhappy with the current direction of the agency and its high-flying administrator leave the government. About 700 of 15,000 EPA employees, including 200 scientists, have left since the beginning of the Trump administration.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration 

The Budget supports the Administration’s new space exploration policy by refocusing existing NASA activities toward exploration, by redirecting funding to innovative new programs that support the new policy, and by providing additional funding to support new public-private initiatives.

The Budget requests a total of $19.6 billion for NASA, a $500 million (2.6-percent) increase from the 2018 Budget ($61 million below NASA’s 2017 funding level).

The budget would fund development of its Space Launch System rocket and James Webb Telescope (castigated as wasteful in USA Today, 2/27). But it calls for an end of funding for the International Space Station after 2024, and privatizing the orbiting laboratory.

Nature reports that the budget blueprint cancels $133 million for five NASA Earth science missions that the White House failed to cut last year, including the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) Earth-observing mission, among others. These missions give the United States situational awareness of climate processes.

Nature Magazine also reports that the budget blueprint cancels $133 million for five NASA Earth science missions that the White House failed to cut last year, including the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) Earth-observing mission, among others. These missions give the United States situational awareness of climate processes.

Small Business Administration 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) ensures that America’s small business owners have the tools and resources needed to start and develop their operations, drive U.S. competitiveness, and help grow the economy.

The Budget leverages today’s strong market conditions to enable SBA to fulfill its core mission while ensuring that its operations represent the most prudent use of taxpayer dollars.

The Budget requests $834 million in new budget authority for 2019, a $53 million or 5.9-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level. 

The agency is considering increasing the fees it charges to back small business loans larger than $1 million, something that could deter lenders from offering small business loans. (Washpost)


As noted – the budget will have to be approved by at least a few Democrats or more shutdowns loom. 

While the numbers were being crunched, the redactors were working hard on reducing the Democratic response to the Nunes memorandum on Russian electoral tampering to in-intelligible blather.  But we’ll take a look at it anyway.

While world events whirled and swirled, Don Jones… mostly… watched television.  Other people’s triumphs and catastrophes, the passion play of Parkland, the Olympics (at least he might have cracked a smile as the U.S. bunch proved their dominance at… curling?) and the strange weather.  The only dissonant note in a nearly sound-asleep DJI was the continuing drop in housing sales and prices (i.e. home equity, the principal source of wealth for the 60% between lower-upper and upper-lower classes.  More impetus to just sit tight, pretend that all the storm signals don’t signal anything, and wait for March.




(REFLECTING… approximately… DOW JONES INDEX of June 27, 2013)

See a further explanation of categories here













       LAST            CHANGE








               OUR SOURCE(S) and COMMENTS




Wages (hourly, per capita)    


1350 points 



Mar. 18



      1,472.77   22.34

Median Income (yearly)







        672.56    31,654

Unempl. (BLS – in millions





Mar. 18


      1,110.17     4.1 nc

   Official (DC - in millions)







518.52      6,624

   Unofficl. (DC - in millions) 







        492.51    13,099

Workforce Participation

     Number (in millions)

     Percentage (DC)










Americans in/not in workforce (mil.) 

In: 154,777  Out 95,857 Total 250,634  61.75%

WP Percentage (ycharts)*





Mar. 18


149.37   62.70% nc













Total Inflation (aggregate)







975.25    +0.5


Inflation – Food







278.70    +0.2


               - Gasoline







287.60    +5.7


               - Medical Costs







264.88    +0.6


               -  Shelter







284.25    +0..2












Dow Jones Index








Dow – 25,309.99

Homes – Sales

             -  Valuation






Sales   -3.41%      Valu.   -2.55%


203.87         224.76

196.92         219.02

Sales (M):  5.38 Valuations (K):  246.5

Debt (Personal)







260.13    57,582

















Revenues (in trillions – tr.)







384.92       3.370


Expenditures (in tr.)







258.50       4.088


National Debt (tr.)







353.88    20,638


Aggregate Debt (tr.)







369.57    69,502
















Foreign Debt (tr.)







306.75   6.355


Exports (in billions – bl.)







162.62 203.4


Imports (bl.)







129.87 256.5


Trade Deficit (bl.)







94.78  53.1











                                                                                                                 SOCIAL INDICES (40%)

                       LIBERTY and SECURITY INDEX           (15%) 

      ACTS of MAN










World Peace








Korean peace on again (between the Koreas), but on again/off again between the North and the United States which imposes more sanctions and warns of something upcoming called Phase Two. UN calls for 30 day humanitarian cease-fire in Syria, promptly violated with bombs and poison gas by Syria, Iran and Russia,  Trump moves opening of US Embassy in Jerusalem up to May 18th for Israel’s 70th Anniversary – terrorists start polishing their rocks and suicide vests, their number swelled by a wave of deportations from France,










Parkland toll reaches 17.  NRA says FBI incompetence and media greed caused Nikolas Cruz to go insane… spookeswoman and Trump boy allege that paid actors in fake blood created fake incident on behalf of Democrats and “legacy media” seeking ratings boost with “crying white mothers”.


Private/Public Corruption 








Democratic response to Nunes accusations finally released, so heavily redacted as to be worthless.  Missouri governor indicted, beauty chain Ulta accused of selling used, unsanitary cosmetics.  Dopey Russian curlers bounced from Olympics.  Jared Kushner to be banned from White House?










Million dollar Degas found on Paris bus but Picasso print stolen.  Vegas homeless killer is caught and stupid Vermont copycat busted after revelation of his journal “Diary of an Active Shooter”!



      ACTS of GOD             


(with, in some cases, a little… or lots of… help from men, and a few women)












 76 degrees in Central Park NY while it’s snowing in Vegas and flooding everywhere between.  Temperatures in Denver drop 72 degrees in a day and a half.  Puerto Rico gets a $300 M loan to get the power back on where it ain’t.


Natural/Unnatural Disasters








Dozens saved after Mexican ferry sinks.  Volcano erupts in Indonesia.  Gibson guitars going bankrupt?  Mitt Romney announces he’ll run for the Senate.








                         LIFESTYLE and JUSTICE INDEX          (15%)

Science, Tech. & Education








Scientists crate human/sheep hybrids.  Head of FCC gets “courage under fire” award from the NRA for repealing net neutrality and allowing Amazoogle to crowd ordinary Americans off the Internet.  What has this to do with guns?  DC starts work on hyperloop tunnel.


Equality (economic/social)








Hoop oopses… Laura Ingram tells Lebron James to shut up and dribble.  Dallas Mav magnate and fantasy 2020 candidate Mark Cuban in trouble for dribbling where he shouldn’t have.










Scientists proclaim that alcohol and coffee increase longevity and wine also retards tooth decay.  Flu tests are proving as ineffectual as flu vaccines, but Japanese miracle drugs are in the pipeline and Flu Mist is reformatted and re-legalized for 2019.  Doctor dissed for leaving sponges in woman’s chest after surgery.


Freedom and Justice                        








Post-Parkland gun law battles begin with a students conducting a DC lie-in and politicians questioned about NRA donations also conducting a lie-in.  Governor Scott (R-Fl.) stands up to NRA on raising machine gun age and Trump considers bumping bump-stocks.  New Gorsuch-SCOTUS blocks whistleblower protection, takes up Congressional gerrymandering and union-busting.  Defiant Paul Manafort busted on new charges that could Lock Him Up for life, but still refuses to snitch.



                       MISCELLANEOUS and TRANSIENT INDEX        (10%)

All miscellaneous incidents

 (transient and cultural)








“Black Panther” movie seizes the time (and $192M).  Fergie’s National Anthem flops – she says “I tried my best.”  UK suffers chicken shortage.  Dead man comes back to life and sues doctors; trolls accuse Parkland victims of faking death and pirate bones found on Democratic Cape Cod playground.  RIP Billy Graham, 99.  South Carolina bans baggy pants, support doggie bites kid on Southwest airplane.  Consumer Reports reports Toyota the best car.  Olympics close without terrorism but with lousy US performance, except for aging (33) skier Lindsay Vonn, who medals, women winning in hockey and America getting its first curling medal.  Ever! 



The Don Jones Index for the week of January 20th through January 26th, 2018 was DOWN 2.78 points. 

The Don Jones Index is sponsored by the Coalition for a New Consensus: retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate Jack “Catfish” Parnell, Chairman; Brian Doohan, Administrator/Editor.  The CNC denies, emphatically, allegations that the organization, as well as any of its officers (including former Congressman Parnell, environmentalist/America-Firster Austin Tillerman and cosmetics CEO Rayna Finch) and references to Parnell’s works, “Entropy and Renaissance” and “The Coming Kill-Off” are fictitious or, at best, mere pawns in the web-serial “Black Helicopters” – and promise swift, effective legal action against parties promulgating this and/or other such slanders.

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We’ve been following the progress, or its lack, on crafting a budget for America that both parties can live with – and now we have one.  (Presuming it can be ratified by Congress before March 23rd.)  After only five hours of government shutdown in the early AM a week-ago Friday morning (entirely due to a one-man Senate filibuster by Rand Paul, who told Fox News: “I can keep them here until 3 in the morning,” but threw in the towel after only two hours – whereas nemesis Nancy Pelosi was able to tie up the House for eight) the Senators voted 71-28 to confirm a 240-186 House margin, ringing down the curtain on one of our longer-running slapsticks.  The measure avoided mention of either the undocumented Dreamers still awaiting judgment on their status or the Mexican border wall that was the President’s numero uno campaign promise.

In a perverse reversal of the counsel of Finley Peter Dunne’s Mister Dooley - “comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted” -  appended as Attachment One (now, Attachment Two) below is an analysis of twenty-two programs… some of which Don Jones may even have heard of… that are headed to the chopping block if not saved by Congress.  These come courtesy of The Hill, one of the less-biased biased media outlets operational today and probably not Russian.

The final tally provided a view into two dysfunctional parties… 67 rogue Republican deficit hawks voted against the plan while 73 Democrats threw the Dreamers overboard (although they did garner a promise from Speaker Paul Ryan that the matter would be taken up at a later date… or not).

The House of Representatives voted 240-186. The GOP-controlled chamber needed help from House Democrats to clear the bill, and 73 Democratic members gave it. Sixty-seven House Republicans voted against the plan.

And then Djonald Unchained (or do we now say Unpantsed?), his Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney and the staff at the Office of Management and Budget ( rolled out “An American Budget”, promoted as “Efficient, Effective, Accountable”.

“In one year of working together,” Trump bragged, “we have laid the foundation for a new era of American Greatness. We have boosted economic growth, created more than two million jobs, and added nearly $5 trillion in new wealth to the stock market.  Unemployment is at a 17-year low, wages are rising, and jobs are returning to America.  Starting this month, hardworking Americans are going to see increased take home pay because of the massive tax cuts and tax reform legislation we enacted at the end of last year. 

“America is back to winning again.  A great spirit of optimism continues to sweep across our Nation.  Americans can once again be truly confident that our brightest days are ahead of us.

“This year’s Budget builds upon our incredible successes over the past year and rests on the following pillars of reform…”

And these Thirteen Pillars are…


Ending Wasteful Spending:  The United States is laboring under the highest level of debt held by the public since shortly after the Second World War.  The current fiscal path is unsustainable, and future generations deserve better.  The Budget makes the hard choices needed to stop wasteful spending, lower the national debt, and focus Government on what matters most—protecting the Nation.

Expanding Economic Growth and Opportunity:  The Budget continues our efforts to grow the economy, create millions of new jobs, and raise wages.  To accompany our efforts to cut spending and implement massive tax cuts and reforms for American families, workers, and businesses, we will continue to relentlessly target unnecessary regulations for elimination.  We will also continue driving America toward energy dominance and making the United States a net energy exporter by 2026. 

Untitled (call it 3% Growth): The Budget also redefines what is possible, by putting the American economy on a path to sustainable 3-percent long-term economic growth. Over the next decade, a steady rate of 3-percent economic growth will infuse trillions of additional dollars into our economy, fueling the dreams of the American people and sustaining a new era of American Greatness.

Preserving Peace Through Strength:  The Budget recognizes that we confront political, economic, and military adversaries and competitors that have required us to adjust our national security strategy.  Foremost, the Budget rebuilds and modernizes the military—to fulfill a core constitutional responsibility of the Federal Government.  The Budget provides resources to enhance missile defense and to build the planes, tanks, warships, and cyber tools that the brave men and women who defend us need to deter aggression and, when necessary, to fight and win.  Most importantly, the Budget provides funds to increase the size of our Armed Forces and to give our men and women in uniform a well-earned pay raise.  The Budget recognizes that we must deftly employ all of our tools of statecraft—diplomatic, intelligence-related, military, and economic—to compete and advance American influence.  A world that supports American interests and reflects our values makes America more secure and prosperous.

Building the Wall, Dismantling Transnational Criminal Organizations, and Enforcing Our Immigration Laws:  The Budget reflects my Administration’s serious and ongoing commitment to fully secure our border, take the fight to criminal gangs like MS-13, and make our immigration system work for Americans.  The Budget provides funding for a wall on our Southwest border and additional resources for law enforcement at the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice. The Budget also funds an increase in the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, Border Patrol agents, and immigration judges to improve enforcement at the border and within the United States.

Rebuilding our Infrastructure:  World-class infrastructure is possible for the American people. Together we will build stunning new bridges, railways, waterways, tunnels, water treatment facilities, and highways.  The Budget reflects a new vision for American infrastructure that would generate $1 trillion in infrastructure investment and speed its delivery to the American people.

Supporting American Working Families:  Due to changes in family structures, labor force composition, and participation rates, the demands on American families have never been more complex or expensive to address.  In addition to the middle income tax relief achieved with the passage of tax reform, the Budget reflects the importance of investing in American working families by making paid family leave available to new parents, investing in effective approaches to skills training like formal apprenticeships, and maintaining Federal funding and leveraging additional State dollars for programs that help America’s working families access and afford child care.  With these strategic investments, the Budget empowers Americans to thrive in our modern economy.

Protecting Our Veterans:  The Budget fulfills our promise and obligation to care for our veterans and their families—men and women who answered our Nation’s call for help and sacrificed so much to defend us.  Our veterans have earned nothing less than the absolute best care and benefits after their service has ended, and the Budget provides the funding necessary to treat them with the honor and respect they deserve.  It is our Nation’s duty to ensure veterans have access to the medical treatment they need, when they need it—and that they have a choice when it comes to their care.  The Budget also ensures that veterans receive training and support to re-enter the workforce and find well-paying jobs.

Combatting Opioid Addiction:  More Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016 than those who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.  Opioids caused the overwhelming majority of these deaths, which is why my Administration has declared a nationwide Public Health Emergency with respect to opioids.  The Budget reflects a solemn and unshakable commitment to liberate communities from the scourge of opioids and drug addiction. 

Fighting High Medical Drug Prices:  Many patients face illness that could be cured or managed with the right medical drugs.  But the prices for the drugs they need are often exorbitant. Unnecessarily high drug prices force many patients to choose between going without the medicines they need or making tremendous financial sacrifices.  In addition, taxpayers all too often are left to pay inflated prices for drugs for patients who obtain them through Government programs.  The Budget proposes new strategies to address high drug prices and increase access to drugs by addressing perverse payment incentives and exposing drug companies to more aggressive competition, all while continuing to promote innovation and extend American dominance in the pharmaceutical field.

Moving from Welfare to Work:  Millions of our fellow Americans have been robbed of the dignity and independence that comes through the opportunity to work.  Despite significant economic improvements and a strong recovery in the job market, enrollment in welfare programs remains stubbornly high in many places around the Nation.  Millions of Americans are in a tragic state of dependency on a welfare system that does not reward work, and in many cases, pays people not to work. These programs, expanded during the previous administration, must now be reformed.  While moving able-bodied Americans back into the workforce, welfare reform must also protect public resources for the truly needy, especially the low-income elderly, children, and Americans with disabilities.  The Budget includes sensible reforms to problems in our current welfare system, and aims to end debilitating dependency while ensuring that our safety net is reserved for those Americans who truly need help.

More Pathways to Affordable Education and Well-Paying Jobs:  The Budget takes important steps to expand opportunities for Americans to access affordable, employment-relevant education that puts them on the path to a well-paying job and, ultimately, a fulfilling career.  The Budget promotes formal apprenticeships, an evidence-based system that allows individuals to “earn-while they learn.”  The Budget also makes important investments in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in K-12 schools, and supports career and technical education in high schools and postsecondary institutions.

Promoting School Choice:  So many of America’s poorest children—especially African-American and Hispanic children—attend failing public schools that afford them little hope of fulfilling their great potential.  That is why families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious, or home school option that is right for them.  The Budget empowers parents, especially of our disadvantaged youth, to choose the very best school for their children.


In this rollout of “An American Budget”, the President (speaking in the third person) and/or the Budgeteers boasted that: “the first major re-write of the tax code in more than three decades has been delivered to the American people.  The new tax code is designed to restore a healthy American economy—by putting American taxpayers before the Government.”  Harkening back to the Reagan administration’s “trickle down” and “rosy scenario”, they promised that the “tax cuts and deregulation will allow us to unleash the American economy” while warning that “Washington has a spending problem, they added that “debt and deficits are not only a problem in and of themselves, but they are also the symptoms of something much larger—little appetite in the Congress to restrain spending.”  Whether this particular budget (and the prior tax cuts, passed on a party-line vote (above) fulfills that charge… another story… 

To accompany the Thirteen Pillars of Reform, they added four more Pillars of Vision, these being:

        the safety and security of the American people (i.e. more defense spending);

        a stronger, healthier American economy (deregulation, tax cuts and championing “the dignity of work”… as against those lazy You-Know-Whos);

        an enhanced quality of life for hardworking Americans (which combats “more intrusive, crushing Government growth that would result in further crippling debt leaving less for seniors and future generations”); and

        a commitment to a better future (castigating past “bloated” budgets… presumably bipartisan… that painted a grim picture of a bleak, black, desolate future they pledged that the Budget would “shine a light through that darkness).

Some promises!

In the chapter titled “Modernizing Government for the 21st Century”, the Budgeteers promised that “the Administration will drive Government modernization by working at the junctions” where what they call the “key drivers of reform” intersect, “rather than working in silos”.  (???)  They stand for modern information technology, modern data and a modern workforce.  “The Administration will better manage and leverage data as an asset to better grow the economy, increase the effectiveness of Government, facilitate oversight, and promote transparency.”  (Unless, of course, the process is derailed by fake data!)

Modern needs, they conclude, require a modern vision.

And finally, in “A New Federal Budget that Works for the American People”, President Trump, the OMB reiterated the Thirteen Pillars (as above)

The $4.4 trillion budget now wends it way onwards through Congress where it faces the usual tightrope act – attempting to garner at least a handful of Democratic votes while trying not to alienate conservative Republicans who would just as well see the government defunded entirely.

The new budget proposal — which would add $984 billion to the federal deficit next year and add an additional $7 trillion over the subsequent 10 years — would spend $200 billion on infrastructure alone, according to The New York Times. The budget plan would also spend $85.5 billion on discretionary funding for veterans' health care, increase the Pentagon's budget by $80 billion and spend $13 billion to tackle opioid abuse.

The liberal Salon website noted that the budget “would also cut $237 billion from Medicare, $2.8 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency (or 34 percent of its current budget), $757 million from federal Amtrak spending and reduce cash spending for SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) by roughly one third.  Food stamps would be replaced by “American Harvest Boxes”, selected by government officials and delivered, door to door… boxes might include foods "such as shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit, vegetables, and meat, poultry or fish," and to save $214 billion over the next decade.

Some conservatives have attempted to defend the substitution on the grounds that Democrats… notably former First Lady Michelle Obama… have correlated a junk food diet with the persistence of intergenerational poverty.  The new SNAP guidelines, however, actually de-emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables and other more healthful alternative foodstuffs.

(Perhaps, in the interests of bipartisanship… placating Second Amendment conservatives and egalitarian liberals alike… the Boxes could include a gun.)

Trump’s draft budget also proposes to wipe out the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which includes numerous local television outlets and the much-hated NPR.

“If these "public" broadcasting outlets were non--biased, I might think this was an unnecessary move,” posted D.S., a proud peanut from the gallery of Djonald’s beloved Breitbart.  “But seeing how all they are is anti-Trump, anti-American propaganda machines, much like the rest of the liberal media… shut 'em down, post haste.”

“They are heavily lib biased in their content and spin,” agreed D.J.  “They are effectively radio CNN/MSNBC/DNC. They collude with NYT and WhaaPoo to air stories they have printed without verifying sources or confirming facts. They have not engaged in genuine balanced fact-based journalism for years. Taxpayers should not be forced to fund their lib agenda. Let the free market decide whether they should survive and in what form. But end their taxpayer funding.”

“Best news all day.” B.A. celebrated.  “Hate those Commies.”  And, added S.D., “…they are nothing more than leftist ticks sucking the life out of American taxpayers.”

Among other programs slated to get cut entirely are the Global Climate Change Initiative, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  Even Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. admitted that budgets like Trump’s are "aspirational documents and seldom have a real impact on spending."

Experts of the partisan persuasion have taken to Twitter to denounce Trump's budget proposal.

A survey of Democrats by the liberal Guardian U.K. found few takers standing up to defend the Trump budget to the “takers” (the welfare and working poor so identified by former Presidential candidate and Obamacare pioneer Mitt Romney, whose bid to become Senator from Utah was endorsed, over the weekend, by the President).

The Guardian noted the statement by John Yarmuth of red-state Kentucky, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said: “The Trump budget proposal makes clear his desire to enact massive cuts to health care, anti-poverty programs and investments in economic growth to blunt the deficit-exploding impact of his tax cuts for millionaires and corporations.”

And the Huffington Post called Trump’s budget “strange bureaucratic nihilism”.  Attacking his budget proposal from the right, they concluded that it doesn’t balance ― “not next year, or even over the traditional 10-year window, which would have allowed Trump to gimmick up the final years with spending cuts and various administrative fees that he had no intention of actually following through on. He’s accepting $900 billion-plus deficits every year until 2023, and substantial deficits through 2028.”

Why?  “He just doesn’t care,” gasped the Huffers.

Indeed, the proposal has offended the remaining handful of Republicans who still adhere to the un-modern concept of fiscal responsibility and basic mathematics.

“Many members of Congress are denouncing or dismissing the proposed cuts,” noted the libertarian Cato Institute, “but they are in denial of the large reforms that will need to be made eventually because of the nonstop growth in the big entitlement programs. Social Security retirement and Medicare should be cut as well, but the Trump budget provides Congress with many good ideas to start paring back the bloated federal welfare state.

So it’s onwards and outwards to March 23rd.  Next week, we’ll look at a Department by Department analysis of the Budget, including commentary from various sources… none of which are unbiased and some of which might even be Russian.

Das vidanya!



from The Hill

The 22 agencies and programs Trump's budget would eliminate

03/5/18 01:28 PM EST 1


(President Trump) on Monday unveiled his budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year, which makes significant cuts to some federal agencies and projects as part of an effort to slash the federal deficit by $3 trillion over the next 10 years.

As part of that effort, Trump has proposed eliminating funding for several agencies, grant programs and institutes. 

While lawmakers are unlikely to enact most of Trump's proposal, here’s a look at some of the centers and agencies the White House wants to abolish.

1. The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education, which donates agricultural commodities and financial assistance to carry out school feeding programs in foreign countries.

2. The Rural Business and Cooperative Service, which provides loans, grants and payments intended to increase opportunities in rural communities.

3. The Economic Development Administration, which provides federal grants to communities in support of locally-developed economic plans.

4. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which subsidizes advisory and consulting services for small and medium-size manufacturers.  DJI note: If it’s not Big Business, it’s not business worth the doing.

5. 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which helps communities establish or expand centers to provide before- and after-school programs and summer school programs.  DJI note: Let ‘em hang out on your streetcorners, assessing how much your iPhone is worth.

6. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, an Education Department program that provides grants to support college preparation for low-income students.

7. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which researches ways to enhance the effectiveness of health services.

8. The Advanced Research Projects Agency, which provides support for Energy Department projects.  DJI note: these are the folks, not Al Gore, who invented the Internet.  Eradication will leave America trailing the Chinese, the Euros and, for all we know, the Guatemalans in cybertechnology, although there may be a few grumpy old folks who wish it had been slaughtered half a century ago!

9. The National Wildlife Refuge Fund, which compensates communities for lost tax revenue when the federal government acquires their land.

10. The Global Climate Change Initiative, a proposal that reflects Trump’s decision last year to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

11. The NASA Office of Education, which provides grants to colleges and universities, museums and science centers. The funding would be redirected within NASA.

12. The Chemical Safety Board, which is tasked with investigating accidents at chemical facilities.

13. The Corporation for National and Community Service, which funds service opportunities, promotes volunteering and helps nonprofit organizations find volunteers.

14. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds public television and radio stations including Public Broadcasting Service and NPR.

15. The Institute of Museum and Library Services, which funds museums and libraries nationwide with grants.  DJI note: Libraries have long been a Communist plot.  In fact, if you shut them down, people will be forced to buy more books, DVDs and computers – thus stimulating the economy.

16. The Legal Services Corporation, a nonprofit that provides civil legal assistance for low-income individuals.  DJI note: This means many, many more poor moaxes imprisoned on the taxpayers’ dime, but it will be, overwhelmingly, state and local budgets afflicted, and those sent away will tend to people decent Americans don’t want in their back yards anyway.

17. The National Endowment for the Arts, which funds American artists and projects with grants.  DJI note: No Piss Christ 2020.  AWWW!

18. The National Endowment for the Humanities, which provides grants to American humanities scholars.

19. The Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, which funds community development projects nationwide.

20. The Denali Commission, the Delta Regional Authority and the Northern Border Regional Commission, which fund infrastructure and economic projects in specified areas.  DJI note: Bye bye, Senator Murkowski!

21. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency, which provides U.S. goods and services for foreign projects.

22. The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a think tank focused on international affairs and foreign policy.  DJI note: Wilson, being a notorious racist and all but a vegetable at the end of his term… good riddance!