THE DON JONES INDEX…

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

  LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

        3/19/18…  15,613.13

        3/12/18…  15,638.28 6/27/13…  15,000.00

      

(THE DOW JONES INDEX:  3/19/18… 24,946.51; 3/12/18… 25,355.74; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)

 

LESSON for March 19, 2018 – ONE LEFT-WINGER who GETS IT! (and two who DO NOT)!

 

All of the Don Joneses in America…if not most of the world… were surprised and delighted (or horrified) when hotel and golf course developer Donald Trump (a political novice) upset former First Lady, Secretary of State and Senator Hillary Clinton back in November, 2016.  It was perhaps the biggest surprise until Saturday when the first-ever 16th seed, UMBC (Maryland’s urban campus) defeated top ranked Virginia.

They didn’t just win, they annihilated the Cavaliers.  In this respect, Trump’s disputed popular vote loss/electoral college win was not nearly as conclusive – but a win is a win and the President gets to appoint Supreme Court Justices, sign or veto Congressional legislation and make either kissy or nukey with adversaries like the North Koreans.  The losing Democrats were left with nothing to do save whine and grumble and plot revenge this November, the doing of which is the topic of this Lesson.

Critics may argue that Djonald Unchained hasn’t been a very good or stable leader, but there is little opposition to the contention that he has been a splendid entertainer. Cabinet curiosities and advisers have come and gone with a blinding speed that even the producers of Hollywood soap operas would quail at matching.  Sex and money scams and scandals have been paramount and we’ve brought back the Cold War with even a roster of villainous Russians and an intrepid British secret agent (no matter that the House Intelligence Committee (aka the Nunes Panel) shut down without determining whether he was originally commissioned by Hillary, by Little Marco, or by somebody else, yet to be unredacted).  Icons of capitalism are tumbling… trampled under the toes of Amazon, Facebook, Google and the like… this week saw the demise of Toys R’Us, Winn Dixie (groceries), and L. L. Bean (overpriced outdoor gear for indoor gentry).  Business Insider estimates that about 25 major retailers could file for bankruptcy this year. Walgreens, Payless, Rue21, Gap Inc. and Gymboree are just a few major companies closing stores in 2018.  Prominent retailers that could declare bankruptcy in 2018 include Sears, Bebe, Bon-Ton Stores and Stein Mart, according to projections from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

And yet, the stock market keeps rising, unemployment is falling and even wages are beginning to creep upwards.

It’s the best of times and, yet, the worst of times.  For the Left, pessimists by nature as well as by circumstances, there remains a considerable rift over policies and politics that was blown wide open by the Clinton-Sanders primary and remains chasmatic; are the liberals, progressives or whatever they call themselves tomorrow (perhaps the catfish?) going to cling to the tried-and-true but ever-diminishing muscular redoubts of steel and steaks and pickaxes, throw labor under the Ubers of smart young persons with weird goggles and Goldman/Sachs on speed dial or align themselves with the maimed, the mistreated and the marginalized and hope to regain power through pity and passive aggression?

The clownish antics emanating from the White House offer hope.  Conservative former Marine Conor Lamb turned lion on Tuesday, snatching back a Reagan Democrat turned Trump populist safe space just south of Pittsburgh despite the dangled carrot of a 25% tariff that. POTUS promised, would revive the moribund domestic steel industry.  It was a close election… the loser, like Alabama’s now-infamous Roy Moore, vowing never to concede and snarling his intent to contest the results with lawyers and litigation and delay the turnover of power as long as possible and hope that a 5-4 Republican SCOTUS majority would ultimately overturn the results on the grounds, perhaps, that illegal immigrants had flocked to the polls and cast illicit ballots.

So America dangles in the balance, and Democrats… accused, for months, of having no new solutions to its problems… now have at least two (and probably many more) courses of action as the 2018 midterm elections wheel round into view.

Serious persons (as well as celebrities, clowns and opportunists) have written big books explaining what the problems are and how to address them.  None of these have the pedigree of Hillary Clinton (whose bitterly unapologetic apologia “What Happened” was the best-selling political tome of the season until overtaken by “Fire and Fury” and, soon, the Obama memoirs).

“I was the candidate,” Hillary finally admits – about nine-tenths through the book – but journeys onward to blame a confluence of “headwinds”…the deplorable and their “tribal politics”,  (FBI director James) Comey’s collusion with the Trump campaign in challenging her e-mails in the week before the election, Greens, Russians and a mindless, primal urge by the electorate to enact “change”.  “These aren’t excuses, these are things that happened – whether we like it or not.”

There was a lot not to like in the 2016 election.  In a close race, defeat has a thousand fathers (or mothers) and any one of dozens of factors would have been sufficient to throw enough votes in the rust belt states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin to the corporate cowboy with big hair and no cattle.  Waxing D’Souzish, however, Clinton increasingly prefaces her suspicions with the disclaimer “I’m not saying…” before proceeding to write what is apparently unmentionable; that (Trump’s) “voters were worried about people of color – especially blacks, Mexicans and Muslims.”  These “good-hearted people” (obviously not rapists or drug dealers) were nonetheless swayed by “the coded language and racially charged resentment powering Trump’s campaign.”

Jill Stein, the Green candidate, was introduced, by disgraced Gen. Michael Flynn, to Vladimir Putin with whom she conspired and “agreed on many issues” and that her Rust Belt voters who threw their states to Trump hoped, like Susan Sarandon, that Djonald Unchained would “hasten the revolution”.   Hollywood and the media were hostile… they ridiculed her unmercifully and NBC host Matt Lauer who obsessed on her e-mail scandal, having “the look of someone proud of himself for having laid a clever trap.”  And, with the exception of the New York Times and WashPost, “the political press was telling voters that my e-mails were three times more important than all the other issue combined.”

Trump and Hillary, in fact, seem to have a lot in common when it comes to all the evil forces arrayed against them!

None so wicked as Bernie Sanders!  Despite coming to a (late and grudging) endorsement, Clinton’s primary challenger “routinely portrayed me as a corrupt corporatist” and, because they agreed on some (but not all) issues, resorted to “innuendo and impugning my character.”  His supporters, the Bernie Bros “took to harassing my supporters online.  It got ugly and more than a little sexist.”  Proclaiming the priority of social issues, she considers Sanders soft on the NRA and on pro-life candidates… like those who recently won upset Congressional victories in Alabama and Pennsylvania… and concludes: “I am proud to be a Democrat and I wish Bernie were, too.”

Nor does Barack Obama escape Hillary’s wrath,   Castigated as “weak” for not supporting Ukraine and Syria (with military action against Russia?), the real crime that Trump’s predecessor committed against her was being… well… black, citing a perfessor as contends: “Every period of racial progress in this country is followed by a period of retrenchment.  That’s what the 2016 election was about.”

Admitting that she may have made a mistake in calling out Trump on some of his racist supporters and denouncing Steve Bannon.  “As a result, some white voters may have decided that I wasn’t on their side.”  West Virginia should have been an object lesson… in 2008, she crushed Obama by forty points in the primary but, by 2016, the unemployed coal miners (and their wives, and daughters) joined hands with Don Blankenship, whose negligence killed 29 of them at Upper Big Branch in protesting Clinton just days before he went to prison.

By 2016, “a lot of people didn’t really want to hear about plans and policies.”  They were angry and “wanted someone to blame.

“Zero-sum resentment proved more powerful than pro-sum aspirations,” she concludes.  “Before the election, it felt as if half the people were angry and resentful, while the other half was stil fundamentally hopeful.  Now, pretty much everyone is mad about something.”

Including, apparently, the candidate.

"If you look at the map of the United States, there's all that red in the middle where Trump won," Clinton told delegates to the India Today Conclave 2018 in Mumbai on Saturday. "I win the coast, I win, you know, Illinois and Minnesota, places like that.

"I won the places that represent two-thirds of America's gross domestic product," Clinton continued. "So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, 'Make America Great Again,' was looking backwards."

Noting Clinton’s “clear disdain for millions of Americans whom she would have served as President” demonstrated “a loathesome prejudice against the poorly educated and unemployed as well as rural whites, social conservatives and women who stay home with their children – to name a few,”

North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said on a radio show this week that Clinton’s insults were endangering already-endangered red-state Democrats.  Another of these, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown told the Huffington Post: "I just think that that's not helpful."

Marie Harf, a former State Department spokesperson and adviser to ex-Secretary of State John Kerry who crossed the aisle to Fox News said, simly, “go away!”

Or, as in the words of Mo Udall, who lost the nomination to Jimmy Carter in 1976: “The voters have spoken – the Bastards!”

 

There are some understandable omissions in “What Happened”.  One is the near-total whiteout of DNC priestess Debbie Wasserman-Schulz’s thumb on the scales to tilt the nomination to Hillary, resulting in Sanders reluctance and many of the Bros’ refusal to support her.  Another is the internal landscape of the campaign… Clinton, probably correctly, names some of the outside factors, each of which alone could have caused her defeat.  FBI Director Comey (whose loyalty to Trump proved a one-way street).  The deplorables.  The Greens.  Racism.  Misogyny.  The Russians.

Donna Brazile, who replaced Wasserman-Schulz as DNC Chair throughout the long, losing campaign and subsequently wrote yet another book… “Hacks”… has plenty to say about the Russians.  Her accusations are sharper, more direct and, as the recent probe has proven, mostly correct in the conclusion that Soviet (it’s the Cold War again, even if Djonald won’t say so) meddling was deliberate and pervasive – an act of war.

Police called the July murder of staffer Seth Rich a robbery; Brazile was not so certain.  WikiLeaks had hacked and been releasing Hillary’s e-mails… a steady drip of nothingburgers concealing an occasional nugget of bone or gristle that, as Clinton whined, proved of more interest to the media, hence the voters, than the policy differences between the parties. 

A worried friend who’d accompanied the author to a Cher-hosted Clinton confab in Provincetown introduced Brazile to a man “very plugged into the national security community and “still connected to the deepest part of that darkness”, which fellow Brazile refers to as The Spook.  At their first (telephonic) meeting, the Spook was less spooked over cybersecurity than old-fashioned assassinations which the Russians were, and still are, conducting overseas.  The entire campaign was in imminent, physical danger, warned the Spook and, instead of discussing the latest nefarious fruits of Trump-Putin collusion (which, as has recently been made known) included the massive hacking and “influencing” of millions of minds of Facebook users by a Trump/Stephen Bannon operative Cambridge Analitica (its CEO Alexander Nix was fired today after bragging to a British TV station that that one of the services of Cambridge Analytica could be to “send some girls around to the candidate’s house”, adding that Ukrainian girls “are very beautiful, I find that works very well”).  The Spook warned Brazile to upgrade her security system, install motion-sensitive lighting, warn family members and “prepare for the worst”.  He did not go quite so far as to suggest that she hire an intern to taste her meals during the campaign, but “Seth Rich was never very far from my mind,” throughout the rest of the campaign.

Personal security bolstered, the Spook explained the perfidies and intricacies of Russian meddling.  Vladimir Putin liked to play his minions off against one another, so he set up not one but two psychological and cyberwarfare ops.  Fancy Bear (likely operating since the mid-2000s, and thought to be responsible for cyber attacks on the German parliament, the French television station TV5Monde, the White House, NATO, the Democratic National Committee, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the campaign of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron according to the Guardian UK.  The younger Cozy Bear's targets have included commercial entities and government organizations in Germany, Uzbekistan, South Korea and the USA, including the US State Department and the Obama White House by seeding the malware they upload to computers with “obfuscators” that resist expulsion.  The Bears spammed Facebook, Twitter and other webforums with ghastly posts – either by purported Trumpistas trumpeting the e-mails and other scandals like that gleaned by impersonating campaign poobah John Podesta, disclosing payments to a shady liberal Robert Creamer, accusing of paying off “antifa” mobs to attack Trump supporters (as well as dissonant comedians) and crashing DNC computers with malware.

“The Russians may not have changed the totals in the voting machines,” Brazile concludes, “but they confused us, inflamed our doubts and our worst implses, and destabilized the Democratic Party, making it an unfair fight.  They paralyzed a significant portion of the electorate with all their disruptions.”

Perhaps a little more detailed, but not much different in scope from Hillary’s take on the election.  But Brazile is not content to slough off the surprising and humiliating defeat on malevolent foreign powers – she zeroes in on the Clinton campaign itself, beginning with campaign manager Robby Mook. In fact, her introduction states specifically that…

“I want to talk about the arrogance and isolation of the Clinton campaign and the cult of Robby Mook, who felt fresh but turned up stale in a campaign haunted by ghosts and lacking in enthusiasm, focus and heart.”

Not exactly words of welcome… and, to be sure… Brazile has become persona non grata among orthodox liberals; being, in effect, the equivalent of a Steve Bannon to the country-club Republicans who derided, then… after securing their tax cuts… embracing The Donald.

Brazile paints a contradictory portrait of a campaign using modern, hi-tech means to achieve conventional ends.  Trump and Sanders, poles apart on economic issues, nonetheless advocated for “change”… despite the rising Dow, voters saw most of the gains since the Bush meltdown eight years back going to the one-percent, the Democratic and Republican elites.  Despite the stench ultimately blowing Wasserman-Shulz back to Florida, Brazile remained officially neutral in the primaries… she even notes Sanders’ exploitation of the caucus system in low-population Western states to secure delegates and vault into an early lead that was not what it seemed.  Once W-S had melted away, a sort of a deal was struck… Mook, her protégé, taking over the campaign itself while Brazile was given the reins of the DNC to promote an image of fairness.

The fairness was only imaginary, Brazile contends.  Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign had left the party millions in debt and the Hillary For America (HFA) Voting Fund hoovered up the donation lucre, leaving the DNC with only a pittance, not even enough to pay the day-to-day bills.  Debbie W-S had commissioned a lavish, palatial office which the proletarian Brazile loathed, moving into a modest cubbyhole overlooking Washington’s railroad tracks in Committee headquarters (but appropriating a glass from Debbie’s luxurious bar for her bottle of Johnny Walker Black brought from home… “seeing it felt like finding an old friend in a strange town,” she recalls).

The post W-S reconfiguration was unpleasant and distracting.  “As I saw it, we had three Democratic parties: the party of Barack Obama, the party of Hillary Clinton and this weak little vestige of a party led by Debbie which was doing a very poor job getting people who were not President elected.”  These “three titanic egos – Barack, Hillary and Debbie – had stripped the party to a shell for their own purposes.”  The campaign and DNC could not even abide proximity to one another… Mook and his “all-male entourage” decamped to the north (hereafter Brazile refers to the campaign…building, apparatus and personnel… as “Brooklyn”) leaving behind only Debbie’s legacy of expensive, but useless, staffers – many of whom proved to be spies and saboteurs.

But the personality conflicts in “Hacks”, sharp as they were, were matched and even exceeded by policy conflicts, which boiled down to the generational.

Mook’s minions were “fanatical data analyzers without understanding of people” – a sort of Cambridge Analytica machine lacking the all-important final cog as applies iniquitous and vicious real-world tactics to its metadata.  Torrents of Hillary money were dedicated to surveys and experts while Brazile’s old-school locate-and-get-out-the-vote efforts were starved and derided.  Brooklyn “worshipped the data and the analytics” and the young men that surrounded Robbie (being gay, he fit Hillary’s PC dictates despite Donna being gay, black and female, thus higher on the intersectionality totem pole) “knew how to size up voters not by meeting them and finding out what they cared about, what moved their hearts and stirred their souls, but by analyzing their habits.”

The author admits that Mook’s metadata helped identify the handful of Clinton voters in red precincts that would turn (or keep) their states blue, but had not “made them enthusiastic enough to get up off the couch and go to the polls” whereas the electorate “seemed to be voting out of spite, or out of anger, as if voting were a tool they were using to settle a grudge.”  For Trump, the grudge was against women and “communities of color”, a tactic that could have backfired in a major way, except that women did not turn out to vote in the expected numbers and minorities voted even less.  Besieged by negative advertising, stuck with a choice between a condescending elitist and a vengeful oaf, “politiphobes” (see below) sunk deeper into their couches, yawned, turned over and went back to sleep and unpleasant dreams of victory by either candidate.

The DNC needed money to get out the vote among women and minorities, especially in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Brooklyn put Brazile through hoops to hire one GOTV expert, delaying its decision for weeks, costing them votes not only for Hillary, but on down-ballot races (for Congress, governorships, State legislator on down to municipal waste-water board commissioners).  “If you neglect these races, not only do you lose an opportunity to foster the next generation of candidates,” Brazile stated, after the fact, “you lose the election.”

Mooksters mocked her “experience” as out-of-date.  A “minder” from “Brooklyn”… by October, a dystopia of metadata, drones and clones and broken dreams… told her to her face that she was “obsolete”, that black turnout wouldn’t matter.  Black female turnout ultimately fell from 70% to 64% as Obama stayed on the sidelines; the millennial vote plummeted too.  “What had electrified young people for Bernie was not data.  It was the old and traditional kind of politics that I knew and that the party needed to know again.”

Still and all, Clinton maintained her lead.  Over the obstructionism and budget cutting from “Brooklyn”, Brazile had been able to hire white-hat hackers to flush the Russians out of DNC’s computers and Hillary still held a lead in all the polls.  Then camel the (late) October surprise when FBI director Comey released a flock of e-mails on the 27th, most of which concerned the candidate and her confidante (Huma Abadeen) and her husband –  “that foul man” (Anthony Weiner).  Spin doctors rolled and wallowed in the carrion for five days until Comey, proclaiming the agony of his conflicted soul about knowingly throwing the election, admitted that nothing in the e-mails was actually illegal.

When the votes were tallied and the man with the hair seated as President, Brazile relinquished her Chairmanship of the DNC (perhaps with the sort of relief SecState Rex Tillerson felt after Trump said: “You’re Fired”), wrote “Hacks”, some articles and went on a chataqua of troubled urban centers on behalf of the Future Forums foundation.  Most of the denouement has been vitriol propelled by vengeful liberals – leavened by some startling defenses arising from unexpected quarters.

A caustic review by David A. Graham in the liberal Atlantic calls Brazile “confused” and, herself, guilty of causing Hillary’s defeat by leaking dirt collected on her by CNN, where she moonlighted as a commentator, until fired after WikiLeaks broke that story.  Brazile has walked back some of her anti-Clinton venom (but not the New Dems’ obsession with data and technology).

The also-liberal Slate called Brazile “a cancer” and “Hacks” supposed to be a burning of bridges with the party establishment, “an attempt to secure a future for herself in a Democratic Party run by progressives with axes to grind not only about the DNC’s handling of the 2016 primary but the direction of the Democratic Party, broadly speaking.”  (Lyin’ WashPost reporter Philip) Rucker reports that Brazile “homes in at one point on the Clinton campaign’s focus on granular voter analytics, which she argues came at the expense of compelling messaging.

“This is part of the analysis of Clinton’s loss that the party’s left wing has been advancing for a year—but only a part. Voices on the left haven’t just excoriated Democrats for weak messaging—they’ve offered a clear and specific idea of what the party’s messaging could have been like in 2016: a forceful rhetoric of economic empowerment aimed at advancing progressive goals like single-payer health care, fighting rising inequality, and curbing corporate power.

The Real Clear Politics peanut gallery was especially hostile.  A.N. posted: “Dirty Donna should have quit while she was ahead. Now the Clintons have the long knives out for her. I wonder what the O'Malley and Sanders campaigns have to say about these latest admissions.”

“Donna is toast now,” chortled Y.I. “her book should be titled ‘What everyone with two brain cells knew anyway’. She talks out of both sides of her mouth and should still be advised to stay away from park benches.”

The murder of Seth Rich remains unsolved.  Given the jailing of Putin’s political rivals and poisoning of enemies… the latest in Salisbury UK, eight miles north of Stonehenge, she might also be advised to keep The Spook on The Speed Dial.

 

And lastly, as with our right-wingers last week, we slide from high critiques of the political galaxy to low comedy – another apologia from a self-serving pol; the fact of his exposure and humiliation occurring after publication of his pompous manifesto perfectly in keeping with the carnival sideshow that Washington has become.  It’s probably a question of gravity versus audacity between Hillary Clinton and Al Franken but, after all, once inquiring minds got round to talking about who might capture the Democratic brass ring in 2020 should Ms. Hillary and the stable of geriatric old racehorses (Bernie, Joe, Kerry, Al and the like) prefer the glue factory to the Oval Office, the former Saturday Night Live comedian and now-former Senator seemed no less ridiculous a prospect than the rest of the field.

Al himself called SNL “a touchstone for generations of over-entertained, un-informed Americans.”  While making the occasional kindly joke at the expense of an Obama or the Clintons, the show is relentlessly, remorselessly partisan and the question of whether this is so because right-wing politicians are more likely to catch foot-in-mouth disease than liberals tends to reveal more about the judge than the accused.  Nonetheless, Franken blames (or credits) fellow screenwriter Jim Downey (an “open-minded conservative”) for the “lock-box” skit which, he declares, moved enough votes in Florida to throw the 2000 election to George W. Bush, earning the ire of peaceniks and fiscal planners (but the gratitude of comedians) for the next eight years.

The hubris!  The hubris!

The distinction of his latest (and perhaps last) epic, “Giant of the Senate” is the profound deposit of irony unearthed as he justifies his own past sexist adventures, blames his unfortunate and unfair ordeal on the De-Humorizers (critters of the PC Right who recoiled from the sometimes racy and raunchy utterings of America’s jokers).  Among these are the orthodox (“lyin’”) mass media moguls and pundits who pretend to be stupid to trap politicians into saying damaging things.  (“The trick is to know which ones are really stupid,” Franken can’t help but wisecrack – wink, nod!)  Waxing serious later in the manifesto, Al cites articles by Jonathan Rauch (“Atlantic”) and Mark Halperin (“Time”) bemoaning the tendency of political reporters to try and find some evidence for both sides of a controversy (even when, as Franken so often fumes, none exist) and concurring with the pointy-heads who call 25 to 40 percent of “politiphobes” – Neanderthals who are convinced that “politicians are corrupt, or self-interested, or addicted to unnecessary partisan feuding…”

Twenty five to forty percent?  Really?

So one might be accused of following the line of conspiracy theorists who believe that Franken sabotaged his own career just to make the point that politicians are all of the above, and boost the politiphobe representation to 90-some and thereby destroy America, delivering it over into the clutches of the Russians, or Iranians, or… somebody.

For Al, you see, is a decent, caring, gentle soul with a profound and abiding respect for women of all ages, races and inclinations (except the likes of fellow Viking and potential successor Michele Bachman or the ubiquitous Ann Coulter), a husband and a father of impeccable moral standing, cruelly baited by enemies who’ve taken his on-air and even off-air jests out of context,

Back in 2008 when he entered the Democratic primary race to oppose incumbent Norm Coleman over the objections of serious statesmen like Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, persons clandestine (Al blames Republicans, not his own party) dredged up an eight-year old satirical article for Playboy Magazine in which the candidate lampooned pedophilia and sex with robots.  Delegates, especially older women, began slipping away while progressive feminists called the satire “pornographic” and “indefensible”… the scandal soon acquired a catchy name of its own, “Porn-o-Rama”.

An inventor of robot sex devices sued Franken for violating the trademark “Virtual Sex Machine”.  After Al resorted to the old saw: “I was just doing my job,” Al Gore replied: “Suck it up.”

Then, things got worse,

Going even further back into time, dirt-diggers exhumed a New York Magazine reporter who recounted how, in 1994, a late night staff meeting went off the rails.  Norm McDonald (who would go on to be hired, then fired, as a younger, skinnier, Canadian version of Colonel Sanders) had solicited input on a skit in which he was to portray a senile and salacious Andy Rooney finding a bottle of sedatives on the set of “20-20”… Franken’s contribution being this…

          “I give the pills to Lesley Stahl.  Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her into the closet and rape her.”

Not funny, Minnesota answered.  (Also not funny, decided the SNL staff, who ultimately ran a version of the skit featuring Mike Wallace and deleting mention of sedatives and rape.)

“While Al Franken was joking about raping women and a host of other degrading and humiliating jokes throughout his career, I assisted the Minnesota attorney general’s office working to throw rapists behind bars,” Coleman declared.  “I was in the mayor’s office working with advocates for battered women.”

Franken saved his nascent political career by pivoting to his family life, as though it were a sitcom from the 1950’s.  Feverishly rolling and tumbling through draft retorts with his staff, Al proposed telling the press and the voters that “I’ve been married for 32 years.  Franni and I are proud of our son and daughter.  I respect women – in both my personal and professional life…”

What was finally delivered as a speech to the convention was a bit longer, and more partisan… beginning with an apology for writing jokes that might have been inappropriate or offensive.  “I understand that,” he confessed.

“And I understand that the people of Minnesota deserve a Senator who won’t say things that make them uncomfortable.

“But I’m in the race because there are some people in Washington who could afford to feel a little less comfortable.

“And that’s what I’m gonna do.”

It was a Jimmy Stewart moment – bolstered by wife Franni’s admission of alcoholism (and a media pivot to Coleman’s support of President Bush’s bank bailout bill.  Democrats nominated Franken as their candidate and he won by 312 votes (although he was unable to take office until June of the following year due to his rival’s delaying tactics (subsequently employed by losers Roy Moore and Georgia’s Rick Saccone) that prevented the comedian-turned-Senator from taking his seat until the following June.

“Giant of the Senate” waxes positively bathetic in touting the ex-Senator’s faith and fealty to Franni and the kids, but its conclusion is ominously prescient.  Politics is hard, Franken realizes, and on the bad days, it can feel downright futile.  “But I have a feeling that the worst days of my political career are still ahead.”

These worst days begin, strangely enough, as a consequence of one of the achievements of which the ex-Senator is proudest of… his missions with the USO to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On November 16, 2017, radio hostess and Top Hooters Girl of All Time Leeann Tweeden alleged that Franken forcibly kissed her on a 2006 USO tour during a rehearsal for a skit. She wrote, "I said 'OK' so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth." Franken was also photographed appearing to place his hands above or on her breasts while she was asleep on an aircraft wearing body armor and a helmet and grinning like a maniac in a 50’s blue movie.  Franken apologized, but the story was picked up by the Lyin’ WashPost and Failing New York Times.

Franken resigned on December 7th.

Republicans who contended that Franken should’ve fought on say that he was ordered to quit because the party was losing all the mojo it had gained off Roy Moore, and, besides, the Democratic Governor would (and did) appoint a Democratic replacement.

Realists can’t help but recall Bill Clinton and the little blue dress… no matter that an impeachment conviction might have given Gore the chance to appear Presidential, win in 2008 and change the course of history (Iraq, the environment, the economy).

Al took a selfie!

“Giant of the Senate” concludes with Franken still a Senator and still, presumably, big.  The final pages are like a eulogy, if not elegy, inspirational homilies to readers to keep standing up for truth, justice, the American Way (blue-state version) and not despair over the Trump ascendency.  “I’ve had days when being in politics has felt inspiring and gratifying, a rare opportunity to move our country forward and make a positive impact on the lives of millions of people.  I’ve also had days when it’s felt like a frustrating, unjust, humiliating crapshow.

“Lately, things have been trending crapshow.”

Little did he know.

Little did we know.

 

 

Maybe Don Jones knew that what comes up must come down applies not only to the Dow, but to usually-friendly indices like the unemployment rate which suddenly spiked this week, sending the DJI into the red.  The economy might also be at risk after Congress overturned Dodd-Frank protections designed to prevent another 2008-ish meltdown, the National Debt and trade deficits kept rising despite the tough talk on tariffs and millions of Beltway hearts and brackets were shattered by top-seeded Virginia’s loss to a satellite school and commuter college in Baltimore.  Only the successful prayers of the 98 year old nun for Loyola of Chicago’s upstart squad keep the week from being a total disaster.

 

 

 

THE DON JONES INDEX

CHART of CATEGORIES w/VALUE ADDED to EQUAL BASELINE of 15,000

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

See a further explanation of categories here

 

ECONOMIC INDICES (60%)

                                                                                                                                              

DON JONES’ PERSONAL ECONOMIC INDEX (45% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

INCOME

 

(24%)

BASE

6/27/13

      RECKONINGS

       LAST            CHANGE

 

NEXT

DON

2/26/18

DON

3/19/18

 

               OUR SOURCE(S) and COMMENTS

 

 

 

Wages (hourly, per capita)    

9%

1350 points 

        3/12/18

+0.18%

Apr. 18

      1,472.77

 

      1,472.77

 

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages   22.40

Median Income (yearly)

4%

600

3/19/18

+0.06%

3/26/18

        673.36

        673.74

debtclock.org/    31,710

Unempl. (BLS – in millions

4%

600

2/12/18

-2.44%

Mar. 18

      1,110.17

      1,110.17

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000     4.1 nc

   Official (DC - in millions)

2%

300

3/19/18

-0.27%

3/26/18

   521.42

514.80

http://www.usdebtclock.org/      6,672

   Unofficl. (DC - in millions) 

2%

300

3/19/18

-0.27%

3/26/18

        495.13

        489.20

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    13,215

Workforce Participation

     Number (in millions)

     Percentage (DC)

2%

300

3/19/18

 

+0.03%

-0.008%

3/26/18

   286.15

286.59

Americans in/not in workforce (mil.) 

In: 155,331 Out 96,045 Total 251.376

http://www.usdebtclock.org/  61.79%

WP Percentage (ycharts)*

1%

150

3/19/18

+0.48%

Mar. 18

  150.08

150.83

http://ycharts.com/indicators/labor_force_participation_rate   63.00%

 

 

OUTGO

    (15%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Inflation (aggregate)

7%

1050

       3/19/18

+0.5%

3/26/18

975.25

973.30

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm    +0.2

 

Inflation – Food

2%

300

3/19/18

+0.2%

3/26/18

278.70

278.70

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     nc

 

               - Gasoline

2%

300

3/19/18

+5.7%

3/26/18

287.60

290.19

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     -0.9

 

               - Med. Care Services *

2%

300

3/19/18

+0.6%

3/26/18

264.88

264.88

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     nc

 

               -  Shelter

2%

300

3/19/18

+0.2%

3/26/18

284.25

283.40

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm    +0.3

 

 

WEALTH

(6%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dow Jones Index

2%

300

        3/19/18

   -1.54%     

3/26/18

454.83

447.84

Dow – 24,946.51

 

Homes – Sales

             -  Valuation

1%

1%

150

150

2/26/18

Sales   -3.41%      Valu.   -2.55%

Mar. 18

196.92         219.02

196.92         219.02

http://www.realtor.org/research-and-statistics

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

 

Debt (Personal)

2%

300

3/12/18

   +0.07%

3/26/18

259.76

259.58

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    57,662

 

 

 

AMERICAN ECONOMIC INDEX (15% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

 

          NATIONAL

(10%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues (in trillions – tr.)

2%

300

        3/19/18

 -0.15%

3/26/18

385.49

384.91

debtclock.org/       3.370

 

Expenditures (in tr.)

2%

300

3/19/18

 +0.07%

3/26/18

258.00

257.88

debtclock.org/       4.099

 

National Debt (tr.)

3%

450

3/19/18

 +0.50%

3/26/18

350.17

348.42

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    20,964

 

Aggregate Debt (tr.)

3%

450

3/19/18

+0.11%

3/26/18

368.96

368.55

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    69,692

 

 

 

 

           GLOBAL

(5%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Debt (tr.)

2%

300

       3/19/18

+0.09%

3/26/18

306.17

305.89

http://www.usdebtclock.org/   6.361 67 73

 

Exports (in billions – bl.)

1%

150

2/12/18

-1.33%

3/26/18

160.46

158.33

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/congressional.html  200.9 nc

 

Imports (bl.)

1%

150

2/12/18

+0.39%

3/26/18

129.37

129.37

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/congressional.html 257.5

 

Trade Deficit (bl.)

1%

150

2/12/18

+6.18%

3/26/18

88.92

88.92

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/monthly.html  56.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                 SOCIAL INDICES (40%)

                       LIBERTY and SECURITY INDEX           (15%) 

      ACTS of MAN

(9%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Peace

3%

450

       3/19/18

 -0.5%

3/26/18

429.80

427.65

Putin wins 4th 6-year term.  Surprised?  Trump walks back Korea talks replaces SecState Tillerson with CIA’s Mike Pompeo… says Tillerson is probably in a better place now.

 

Terrorism

2%

300

3/19/18

+0.1%

3/26/18

220.58

220.36

Church-killer Philip Roof’s sister budgetd for guns, drugs and racist tweets.  Palmdale shooter Nikolas Cruz’s brother arrested for skateboarding near the school.

 

Private/Public Corruption 

2%

300

3/19/18

    +0.7%

3/26/18

303.44

301.32

Nunes shuts down House Russia probe – pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.  NSA’s McMaster and Special Prosecutor Mueller reported on thin ice – the latter crossing the red line in subpoenaing Trump fiscal records.

 

Crime

1%

150

3/19/18

  -0.1%

3/26/18

237.95

238.19

Dirty old man and teenage lover busted in Mexico.  Teachers get to carry guns, so evildoer terrorizes Austin with bombs.

 

 

      ACTS of GOD             

(6%)

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

 

 

 

Environment/Weather

3%

450

      3/19/18

    -0.2%

3/26/18

336.22

335.55

Third Nor’easter in ten days strikes Northeast with a fourth, and maybe 5th, on the way.

 

Natural/Unnatural Disasters

3%

450

3/19/18

    +0.3%

3/26/18

353.17

352.11

New York copter and Miami Bridge go down.  Ford recalls vehicles whose steering wheels are coming off in drivers’ laps.  Fatal Cirque du Soliel fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         LIFESTYLE and JUSTICE INDEX          (15%)

Science, Tech. & Education

4%

600

        3/19/18

nc

3/26/18

630.01

630.01

Navy spots alleged UFO.  Nerds promise to print houses for $10K.  Students walk out over Parkland shootings.  RIP Stephen Hawking.

 

Equality (economic/social)

4%

600

3/19/18

+0.3%

3/26/18

733.79

733.06

Lady waterboarder tabbed to replace Pompeo as America’s Top Spook.  Airplanes in turmoil as pilot rapes co-pilot and crying baby evicted.

 

Health

4%

600

3/19/18

-0.2%

3/26/18

532.30

531.77

Elizabeth Holmes, Theramos CEO with backers like Gen. Mattis and Henry Kissinger is exposed as a fraud – pays 500K (of 700M loot) no jail time.  CDC hectors drunken basketball fans and measles epidemic feared after one case.

 

Freedom and Justice                         

3%

450

3/19/18

-0.2%

3/26/18

503.01

503.51

Trump vows to address black youth incarceration with executions for drug dealers.  Inmates in Georgia and Alabama are dispatched, Stormy Daniels is sued for 20 mil. (or 1,000 blowjobs) and pink-haired nerd exposes Cambridge Analytica’s hold on Facebook.

 

                      

                       MISCELLANEOUS and TRANSIENT INDEX        (10%)

All miscellaneous incidents

 (transient and cultural)

10%

1000

        3/19/18

+0.1%

3/26/18

1076.98

1078.06

Sports rule! March madness proves mad – OJ’s lost interview un-lost; Venus beats Serena in tennis sister spat and Tiger Woods is golfing again.  Fast food follies include include McDonald’s workers quitting over new menu items and IHOP demanding that black customers pay before eating.  Also in a hot place – airlines,  Dog suffocates in overhead cargo bin, another sent to Japan, instead of Kansas.  Grandson finally claims Charlie Manson’s rotting corpse.  Donald Trump (Junior) and wife Vanessa announce that they’re divorcing.

 

 

The Don Jones Index for the week of March 12th through March 18th, 2018 was DOWN 25.15 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.

Comments, complaints, donations (especially SUPERPAC donations) always welcome at feedme@generisis.com or: speak@donjonesindex.com

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