THE DON JONES INDEX…

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

LOSSES POSTED in RED

   1/29/20…  16,543.25

                  (14,972.91)

   1/22/20…  16,567.60

                  (14,988.72)

    6/27/13…  15,000.00

 

 

(THE DOW JONES INDEX:  1/29/20…28,734.45; 1/22/20…29,196.04; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)

 

 

LESSON for January 29, 2020 – DEATH VALLEY DAYS!

 

The past week has been a momentous one, especially in the courts and congresses of the world, where a hallowed institution has been shaken to its core by allegations of corruption, perversion and by the attempted ouster of its titled leadership…

The Presidency and the Congress?  No, the Grammies.

Well, then, consider the public and scandalous trial of the most powerful man in his universe… the potential fall of a titan done in by his own hubris.  Surely President Trump, this time…

Again, no.  Harvey Weinstein.

Or, to be specific, an amalgam of the legislature and the judiciary ganging up on a head of state some believe had gone rogue, with attributions to partisan politics and shady foreign entanglements whilst colluding with foreign interests at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Now, we have it… have we not?

No, not quite.  This time, it’s Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu who flew in from Tel Aviv to confer with the impeached and beleaguered POTUS as to the future of the Mideast,

Shitstorms blowing in from all over the world.

Finally we have case at hand – that case referenced… HR 755… being the filing (finally) of the two Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump, which procedure began a week ago, with the exposition of the uniparty House impeacher-ers, over three days, of their whys and wherefores that the President should be removed from office (an endeavor that has seen the light of day only twice… well, maybe two and one-half times (counting the case of Richard Nixon who resigned before the Senate could convict him… the first against the accidental President Andrew Johnson, shortly after  cessation of the Civil War on grounds that the Tennessee Republican was too lenient towards the renegade Confederacy, the second against William Jefferson Clinton on the grounds that he had… as the comedian Bill Maher noted… had sex with a Jewish woman on Good Friday.

Both trials ended in acquittal… Johnson’s by a single vote, Clinton’s by a wider margin, although on a near-unanimous party line vote.

Partisanship has only increased since 1998.  In the present instance, the vote on the Article I, abuse of power, came down 230-197-1 (present). The second vote on Article II, obstruction of Congress, 229-198-1.  Two Democrats, Jeff Van Drew (NJ) and Collin Peterson (MN), joined Republicans in voting against impeachment on Article I. Van Drew, Peterson and Jared Golden (ME) voted against Article II. Democrat Tulsi Gabbard (HI) voted present on both.

 

And partisanship has poked its fickled fingers into present time when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to turn over the Articles to her mortal enemy, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell until he agreed to allow the seven House Managers (not including Nancy) to call witnesses to testify as to the President’s vices or virtues.  Witnesses were already orbiting around the precipitant Ukrainian covfefe like malignant drones… bellicose National Security Advisor John Bolton, Budget honcho-turned-Acting-Chief-of-Staff Mick Mulvaney, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, fix-it lawyer Rudy Giuliani (and his team of garrulous Russian hooligans) remained shielded (blocked) from taking the oath by what the President, his legal team and McConnell resisted on grounds of Executive Privilege for a month until Pelosi, anxious to get proceedings under way before the 2020 Democratic Convention primaries, gave up the ghost.

Score one for the Mitchster.

At 5 AM, the morning of commencement, the liberal Daily Beast derided Mitchie’s impeachment plan as: “Run Like Hell, Pray for No Surprises!”

They called the vision that Senate Republican leaders have for the impeachment trial simple: “a sprint that briskly checks the required procedural boxes before arriving, business-like, at the end result—an acquittal of the president.”

(The Beasties actually showed uncommon restraint… for a left-wing rag… while Trump’s own vision is of “a scorched-earth battle to vindicate himself and a zero-sum loyalty test for congressional Republicans,” the endgame is not acquittal, but outright exoneration.”

Calling the trial team “a Fox News panel”, the Beast presaged the descent into Death Valley and predicted that the “…tension between a group of Republican lawmakers who publicly make clear they want no “circus” and a president with a penchant for creating them will be just one factor that will make Trump’s impeachment trial unlike the other two trials in U.S. history—or any other event in U.S. history, for that matter.” 

 

Pelosi finally gave up the ghost of her pre-trial witness campaign and knelt before the Majority Leader; Articles in hand, McConnell welcomed Presiding Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts… a stalwart Trump conservative but perhaps not so extreme as the other four majority Justices… to the presiding bench a week ago yesterday, which Tuesday was given over to a mostly fruitless wrangling over the terms and conditions of the proceedings, ultimately decided (sort of) halfway by precedent and halfway by seat-of-the pants guesswork.

In a series of party-line votes punctuating 12 hours of debate, Senate Republicans, according to Michael Barbaro of the New York Times’ “Daily” podcast, “turned back every attempt by Democrats to subpoena documents from the White House, State Department and other agencies, as well as testimony from White House officials that could shed light on the core charges against Mr. Trump.”

The harsh, if not quite obscene give and take eventually caused Justice Roberts to behave themselves; Sen. McConnell also receiving a “sharp reminder about the limits of his power to control an inherently unpredictable proceeding.”

The only concession to the Democrats… one virtually imposed on the Majority Leader by moderates such as Susan Collins (R-Me)… and perhaps some of the more elderly elephants concerned about their stamina… was that his scheme to hurry the trial along so as to conclude by Friday, the 31st by holding 12-hour sessions that Barbaro called “marathon” was upended.  Eventually, he consented to a three day, eight-hour workload (Saturday, but not Sunday, included) for each side – concluding with two days of questioning, beginning today and a final day of summation on the 31st, which allowed for a mop-up day Monday, February 3rd (the day of the Iowa caucuses) that would still give Trump the opportunity to trumpet his “exoneration” on Tuesday’s State of the Union spiel.  (See this.)

Barbaro invited the Times’ Washington correspondent Julie Hirschfeld Davis, to testify about this “de-marathoning” of the timetable, using the trial rules for Bill Clinton’s impeachment as a base.

Julie Davis:

Under those rules, each side had 24 hours to argue their opening case, and could use as many days as it would take to do that. In the Clinton trial, that meant three days on each side. This resolution specifically limits the time frame to two days for each side. So, yes, you can have 24 hours but you’ve got to finish your argument within two days.

Michael Barbaro:

Why is that significant, one day?

Julie Davis:

Well, it means if you’re going to compress it into two days, it means first of all, very long days. Because you’re starting at 1:00 p.m. And if you’re dividing 24 hours into two days, that’s 12 hours. You’re going to 1:00 a.m. That means a lot of these arguments unfolding at hours when most people are in bed and not watching or listening, which may be the point. And secondly, it means a much faster trial overall. It lets the President’s defense put up their case much quicker. But it also means that the entire opening phase of the trial is basically over by the end of the week, and we’re on to potentially a vote the following week.

Michael Barbaro:

So longer days, shorter trial, clearly a benefit for the president?  So what explains this last minute surprise roll back to the old Clinton rules?

Julie Davis:

Well what explains it, I found out not long after, was that their Senate Republicans had gathered for lunch just before the trial got underway, in a room in the Capitol not far from the Senate floor. And during that private discussion, Susan Collins from Maine and Rob Portman from Ohio, two of the more moderate senators in the center of the Republican conference, said, we’re going to have trouble with this. We think this goes too far.

And they raised it with Senator McConnell. And Lamar Alexander, we’re told, was also not entirely pleased.

And I think it became clear very quickly to Senator McConnell that he was not going to have, potentially, the votes to push this through if he kept the rules the way they were. And so he literally, with lines marked out by pen and handwriting scrawled in the margins, he changed it.

 

Moreover, the once-great “gray lady” of Gotham… holding a finger to the wind and determining that the trial had, indeed, devolved into a media spectacle, hauled in their television critic, James Poniewozik, to dish some dirt and Emmy-up the correspondence.

“Meanwhile, Alan Dershowitz of O.J. Simpson defense fame, whose months of cable-jabber Trump defenses were like an informal audition for the White House legal team, put in an early-hours media blitz. On CNN Monday, he defended to Anderson Cooper his flip-flop since he argued, during the Bill Clinton impeachment case, that an actual crime is not required to impeach a president. “I wasn’t wrong,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “I’m just far more correct now.”

“It was no “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” but it was a start.

“The Democratic House impeachment managers likewise tried to expand the field of argument, in part by interlacing their speeches with video clips of witnesses from the House hearings in the fall. Besides breaking up the visual monotony during a marathon telecast, these served as a sort of “Previously on …” recap for the home and Senate audiences.

“But also, while they laid out an argument for calling new witnesses like the former national security adviser John Bolton, the Democrats used video as a way to summon virtual testimony.

“They called President Trump and his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, in news-file clips. (“Let’s go to the videotape,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York said.) They even introduced Lev Parnas, the biznessman who worked with the president’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani on his Ukraine pressure campaign, via his interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. The next best thing to a subpoena is a TV remote.

“Even though Tuesday’s arguments were mostly procedural, the biggest change — Mr. McConnell’s concession against cramming arguments into two 12-hour days — was essentially a TV-scheduling decision. It meant that viewers would not be fed the trial as a massive binge, and that controversial votes would more likely be taken while viewers are still awake.”

One might think that the President would rather not risk exposure to humiliation (if not impeachment) but this does not reflect an understanding of the Trump mentality.  The President loves publicity… good, bad, horrid… so long as there is not indifference.  When praised, he celebrates his own virtue, regardless of any others who may have helped.  When excoriated, he blames the critic, the media for reporting his fail, and portrays himself as a victim to whom reparations (more cheers, more campaign contributions) are due.  Thus, Sen. McConnell’s drawing out of testimony to three days, not two, was a defeat – primarily because Trump’s strategy of securing his “exoneration” before Tuesday’s State of the Union Nuremberg celebration is now at risk.  And if the Senate does vote to hear witnesses, it’s dead.

The New York Times podcasters implied that Mitch McCheese let Sen. Collins punk him because… grimy vote counter as he is, he understood that without at least a sop to the few Republican moderates, voters might turn them out in November – meaning he might be out as Majority Leader.

 “There is no question that she (Collins) is facing a huge re-election challenge,” declared Julie Davis. “There’s no question that she’s under immense pressure. She knows that she already has the reputation among Republicans as kind of a Benedict Arnold, and someone who is insufficiently loyal to Trump. She knows that she has a reputation among progressives as someone who always kind of flirts with breaking from her party, but never actually follows through or seldom does. So she is really in a bind here. And she’s also a person who was there for President Clinton’s trial. She’s an institutionalist in the Senate, in a lot of ways. And it is very important to her to have this be consistent with the way they did things back then. Because it’s hard enough to make this decision in the kind of political vice that she’s in, without it looking like the process itself was broken.

Co-host Michael Barbaro demurred… “I don’t want to get too deep inside the head of a tactician in the Senate. But I’m wondering if it’s possible that Mitch McConnell is giving these moderate Republicans a victory on the rules in order to fend off a bigger and far more consequential break over an issue like allowing witnesses to come on the stand — witnesses like John Bolton, witnesses like Lev Parnas, this associate of Rudy Giuliani (suspected of dirty deeds done cheap… including wetwork… but dismissed by Donald Trump as a “groupie” fond of hanging around political fundraisers). In other words, I’ll give you this, but don’t ask for more.”

 

“After a marathon day of debate Tuesday over the rules governing the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump,” the breathless Boston Globe blathered, “House prosecutors began their opening arguments on Wednesday, laying out their case for removing the president from office.

“It was another marathon day.”

 

Thus, one week ago today... Wednesday the 22nd... the House Managers commenced prosecuting the case after a hectic helter-skelter of rules-making and violating on Tuesday under the tired eye of Justice Roberts who, at least, was attired in a plain black robe and not the Gilbert and Sullivan flouncy livery chosen by then CJ and presiding judge William Rehnquist in which to preside over the tawdry trial of William Jefferson Clinton, a doomed exercise in partisan posturing no more likely to succeed than the present fiasco.  It did, however, introduce to the public palate numerous mementos mori as have been dusted off and shaken back into life, creatures who will be introduced at their appropriate time

Said Managers (seven members of Congress who had endured the House impeachment episode stretching over the holidays - some of whom were treading the same barren ground that their younger selves had in another millenium) squared off against the President’s eight-armed defense team.  (See Attachment Two)

Calling the proceedings to order Justice  Roberts lay down some stern and steely regulations, punishable by stern and steely penalties… offenders would be promptly seized, dragged from their seats and out of the Senate chambers and disposed of in a Federal Prison for a term of servitude unspecified but most certainly draconian.  This accomplished, the one hundred Senators, already admonished by word and by protocols to sit silently and motionlessly at their desks… no talking, no consuming anything to eat nor drink except water (and in a curious twisting of the rules, perhaps initiated by Vice President Pence or somebody of his persuasion, milk).  No fidgeting, no passing notes to one another, no outside media – print or electronic.  Phones were to be silenced and placed in slotted cubicles some distance from their owners, risking acute physical distress or seizures from those so abruptly plunged into the nightmare of cold-turkey withdrawal.

Welcome to Third Grade Detention!  A progress report will be sent to your parents.

With, quoth the Times, “an absent defendant and a tired chief justice,” the Senate began formal arguments as House managers opened their case that the president committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

The only hydratives allowed on the Senate floor during the trial were water and milk, but Washington wags wagered that Chief Justice Roberts could be forgiven for wishing for a good jolt of coffee… after presiding over the Senate trial until nearly 2 a.m., the CJ had to head to his day job later Wednesday, presiding over oral arguments at the Supreme Court at 10 a.m. before returning to the Senate chamber for another session starting at 1 p.m.

Some of the silent Senators also attempted to fly back to Iowa overnight and return for a morning of Constitutional wrangling, but these, at least, could sleep on the plane… if their own constitution permitted.

 

“For their first eight hours of arguments, reported the Globe, “the House managers laid out the timeline of the case and invoked the founding fathers as they tried to persuade the Senate that Trump’s actions amounted to corruption that required his conviction on the two articles of impeachment passed by the House last month. As he began his opening arguments, Houes (sic) Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff quoted Alexander Hamilton’s description of a despot…”

‘When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanor—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.’’

Speaking of zealots, Business Insider also reported that a protester burst into the Senate during opening arguments and reportedly started yelling about Jesus Christ.

“As House impeachment manager Hakeem Jeffries was in the middle of delivering his remarks in opening arguments in President Trump's impeachment trial, a pro-Trump protester burst in and reportedly began yelling about Jesus Christ”

Chief Justice John Roberts banged his gavel and asked security to "restore order."

Officers then tackled the protester and ousted him from the room and into the hallway.

The Washington Post reported that as the police escorted the protester off the Senate floor, he screamed "abortion" and "dismiss the charges against President Trump."

The man could also reportedly be heard yelling that Senate minority leader Chuck "Schumer is the devil" and "they support abortion."

 

The defendant had his say… or, perhaps, the devil his day… on Wednesday, not from the courtroom, but from television cameras half a world away… an economic summit in Davos, Switzerland.  Notwithstanding the jibes of comedians that the last thing a man on trial for corruption should do would be to run off to Switzerland, the lyin’ New York Times noted that “Mr. Trump hurled insults at two of the prominent House managers, calling Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman, a “sleaze bag” and branding Mr. Schiff a “con job” and a “corrupt politician.”

 

Schiff and the managers soldiered on and turned back the hands of time to when Trump's scheme began spilling out into the public domain.

It began on August 28, when Politico reported that the Trump administration had frozen military aid without any explanation.  (See Business Insider Timesline, Attachmnt Four)

"Now that the worst-kept secret was public, Ukrainian officials immediately expressed their concern and alarm to American counterparts," Schiff said. Witnesses testified that in addition to worrying about the status of the aid itself, Ukraine was worried Russia would use the freeze to exploit divisions with the US to further isolate Ukraine from the world stage.

Throughout Wednesday, Reps. Schiff and Zoe Lofgren continued to detail how Trump's scheme was finally exposed to Congress and the public.  A few choice excerpts from said timeline from Business Insider details the fatal leakage of the quid pro quo to Politico magazine and subsequent coverup.

Of particular note, following the three days in July, when treacherous telephonic messages were being sent and received, was the deflating of the coverup later, in September.   The BI noted…

On September 9, the intelligence community inspector general, Michael Atkinson, alerted Congress of a whistleblower complaint against Trump that centered on the July 25 call with Zelensky. At the time, Congress didn't know the details of the complaint or what it was about. The White House had been aware of an August 12 whistleblower complaint for "weeks" before Congress learned of it.

On September 10, Schiff requested a full, unredacted copy of the complaint. Also on that day, John Bolton resigned as US national security adviser.

On September 11, Trump lifted the hold on military aid to Ukraine. Lofgren said there was "nothing" to justify Trump's change in position, except that "he got caught."

On September 24, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially launched an impeachment inquiry.

 

In our modest opinion, the House leadership made a tactical error by not including other of Trump’s egregious insults to democracy, morality and common sense among their Articles... specifically his cowardly abandonment of the loyal but beleaguered Kurdish troops and civilians left behind to be slaughtered by our purported NATO partner, the turncoat Turks.  Even if they rejected witnesses, even if they voted to support their President, the spectre of inviting the maimed and orphaned Kurdish children to the Senate floor would have shamed even a Rudy Giuliani since, as a previous Lesson noted, the emotional invariably trumps the facts, even if both trump Trump’s disclaimers.  But, as noted in the BI timeline, Rep. Jason Crow (D-Co) did, at least, manage to personalize the Ukrainians’ valiant struggle against a vastly superior Russian juggernaut...

Rep. Jason Crow was the fourth impeachment manager to speak on Wednesday.

While his colleagues focused on the legality of Trump's actions and the broader national security costs to the US, Crow, a war veteran, cited a Los Angeles Times article about a Ukrainian soldier named Oleksandr Markiv who was on the front lines of the war between Ukraine and Russia on July 25, the day Trump spoke to Zelensky.

Oleksandr "was a soldier in the Ukrainian army defending his country and Europe against Russian-backed forces on Ukraine's eastern front. He was in a trench. He was 38 years old," Crow said. "Oleksandr would later die defending his country during a mortar attack on his fighting position, giving his life just like over 13,000 of his fellow Ukrainians on the front lines of the fight for liberty in Europe."

Crow went on to say that "while our friends were at war with Russia, wearing sneakers, some without helmets, something else was happening."

That day, "President Trump made a phone call. He spoke with Ukrainian President Zelensky and asked for a favor. And on that same day, just hours after his call, his administration was quietly placing an illegal hold on critical military aid to support our friends."

And lastly, Schiff referred to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney's public acknowledgement in October that Trump held up the aid in part because he wanted Ukraine to satisfy his demand to investigate conspiracies about the 2016 election…

After making that statement, Mulvaney said the public and Trump's critics should "get over it."

"Is that what we've come to?" the BI (via C-Span) reported Schiff asking.

 

By the wee hours of the morning, Barbaro, too, was ready to admit that the trial was a show-trial in the finest sense of the word, that… yes, the outcome had been determined days (if not months) in advance… and that the real intent of both media-savvy factions was to churn out a performance that would inveigle the voters, ten months hence, into either re-electing the President as an exonerated martyr, or casting him into the dark and fiery pit as a corrupt criminal, corruptly acquitted by a corrupt jury of his moral peers.

 “So at the end of the day,” he podded, “it feels like just about everything in this stage of the impeachment trial is really about these three or four, maybe five moderate Republican senators, and pushing them if you’re Democrats. Every single day, trying to rattle them on this question of whether the trial is unfair, whether this is a cover up, making sure that message reaches their district. And for Republicans, to do everything possible to accommodate their needs, make them feel like this is a fair trial, make them feel like this is fine. That’s really what this trial is about now.”

The Washington Examiner, a right-wing rag with a penchant for historical trivia… sometimes not so trivial… expounded upon the charge “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” as deriving from a foreign source… “a set phrase inherited from England. Whenever the House of Commons impeaches someone before the House of Lords, that’s what they say. In 1450, the prime minister, the Duke of Suffolk, was impeached for “high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” meaning cronyism and losing the war in France.”

Much of the trial rhetoric from a week ago onward has tossed lofty principles and hallowed names about like bocci balls.  After all, the House prosecutors eventually chose to brand their noonday demon with the taint of rising up against “Hamilton”, the Broadway drama and not “Cats”, the failed motion picture.

 

Over there in Switzerland, as the Demmy Declaimers were declaiming, President Trump... apparantly having visited his “just in case” funds and wearying of telling the bored Europeans what a terrific President he was, put down his chocolate and, rather than chasing Heidis through the meadows, picked up his tweeter-er...

And tweeted...

And tweeted...

And tweeted.

By the end of the day, Swiss time, USA could report that:President Donald Trump reached a milestone Wednesday, posting the most tweets and retweets from his Twitter account in a single day since taking office, according to a site that monitors the president's online presence. 

“Trump shattered his record of 123 Twitter posts in a day – which was set Dec. 12 as the House Judiciary Committee debated two articles of impeachment against him – with 142 tweets and retweets, according to data compiled by Factbase.” 

Most of Trump's posts on Wednesday consisted of retweets of Republican lawmakers deriding the impeachment process. He shared posts from the Republican National Committee and campaign videos that were tweeted from the account of Dan Scavino, Trump's social media director who handles many of his posts. 

USA Today reported that said tweets derived from a variety of Republican elected officials and surrogates insisting that there was nothing impeachable in his conduct in regard to Ukraine, that the whole thing was motivated by Democrats' anger that they lost the 2016 election and, since the 71.5 million people who follow Trump on Twitter inhabit “their own alternative news universe.” USAToid snarked, “one in which Trump is the greatest president since Lincoln, and Democrats (and the media) were simply out to get him because they hate his success.”

 

Though what the International Business Times reported as a “textually active” Trump smashed the record for his presidency, the USAtoids reported that “he came up 19 posts short of his all-time record of 161. That record was set Jan. 5, 2015, with a flood of tweets of quotes from "Celebrity Apprentice" fans.”

Trump's record for the most tweets in an hour also still stands, according to Factbase. Wednesday he reached as many as 41 tweets in an hour, but on Dec.12, he hit 58 tweets in an hour, for an average of one tweet every 62 seconds. 

Records are made to be broken, and the president was back at it Thursday morning with 11 tweets and counting as of 10 a.m. EST. 

Fortunately, for the fingers of the Chief Executive, no further records were broken.  But if the quantity of communications diminished, their intensity was magnified until, on Sunday, he lashed out at Representative Schiff as “a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man,” followed by the warning: “He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!”

Asked if he took that to be a threat, Mr. Schiff on Sunday, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said, “I think it’s intended to be.”

And on the red side of Circus Tent USA, members of “an increasingly weary and restless Senate GOP”, told the Washington Examiner... which had predicted, during December’s hearings, that impeachment would spark an escalating tit for tat campaign of revenge that would ultimately cause the gears of government to grind to a halt, enabling a tsunami of Iranians (or Iraqians, or Italians) to invade and conquer America (See Attachment Three)... that they had “learned nothing new in the past two days about the already well-publicized case against the (p)resident.”

“One day there will be a Democratic White House and a Republican Congress, and the two parties will again have swapped their positions on impeachment,” the WashXaminer predicted.  “The Democrats will again be asserting, as Clinton’s counsel did in 1999, and as Trump’s team is suggesting now, that "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" is an “extraordinarily high level,” implying “offenses that have subverted our system of government.” The Republicans will be arguing, as the House managers are arguing now, as Ken Starr urged against Clinton, that any dishonesty is a crime, if under oath, and thus an assault on justice.

“The Starr of 2020 calls Trump’s impeachment an outrageously “extravagant” fraud since, whatever his abuse of power, “we have not seen proof that a crime has been committed.” It’ll be a nice symmetry if Starr leads the next Republican impeachment of a Democratic president, reversing all his 2020 arguments and reiterating his 1999 ones, thus demonstrating that the contest is between two branches of government.”

 

While Lindsay Graham (R-SC) acknowledged that Schiff "did a good job creating a tapestry of bits and pieces of evidence," others disagreed.

Sen. Mike Braun said Schiff’s presentation of the case would be suitable "if you want to bore somebody to death.”

Nadler opened the case for the House abuse of power charge Thursday with a statement he’s made since the start of the House impeachment investigation against the president.

“President Trump used the powers of his office to solicit a foreign national to interfere in our elections for his own benefit,” Nadler said.

“About half of the Senators were not even looking at him,” the Examiner sniped.

As early as Wednesday, it was becoming obvious that Justice Roberts’ stern, steely rules concerning silence, attention, attendance and diet were being contravened left and right.  Although the CNN cameras were resolutely fixed on the testimonials and outside recording devices prohibited, sketch artists were permitted entry to the hall to do their job and one such captured Sen. Risch (R-Id) slumped and snoring at his desk.  Further, reports began to circulate that the bumptious Rand Paul (R-Ky) was passing the time doing crossword puzzles (source unknown).  By the end of the day, things got worse.

 Sen. Dianne Feinstein just up and left about an hour early Wednesday.  The California Democrat’s desk in the Senate chamber was empty when lawmakers adjourned around 9:45 p.m. EST, following a roughly 10-hour session where House impeachment managers made opening arguments in the case against Trump.

“She left a little early because she was feeling under the weather,” Feinstein’s spokesman Tom Mentzer told The Chronicle in an email. “She’ll be back tomorrow.”

The Washington Post reported that Feinstein told two reporters “good night” as she left the chamber around 8:45 p.m. Senators are required to be present for the full trial.  Why wasn’t she arrested?  Wouldn’t serious physical distress be an excusable excuse to flee, go home, eat and sleep (or catch “Stumptown” on the boob tube?

What if Bernie had had another heart attack?

 

Thursday’s session centered upon the House Manager’s justification of Article One... otherwise known as “the deed”, the governing reason for impeachment.

 

On Friday, the prosecutors tackled Article Two... otherwise known as “the coverup” with Schiff concluding “Give America a fair trial.  She deserves it.”

Polls on the calling of witnesses showed a 72-28% margin in favor.

At the close of business Friday, the President’s legal team informed the jury that their rebuttal presentation, scheduled to begin on the morrow, would be short and succinct, presumably as an act of mercy but in reality (as numerous leaky leakers from the Oval Office affirmed) because the President, thwarted in his grand design to throw a “really big shew” chockablock with witnesses, dancing girls, elephants, clowns and an unwanted Ambassador shot from a cannon, at least wanted to guarantee that his exoneration (presumed) would occur under the klieglights of publicity that only daytime television can procure and not in what Administration sources called “Death Valley”… the Saturday morning and afternoon time slots that now, with the college football season over and done with, tend to be frittered away with second and third-tier sports like figure skating or curling, mandatory public service documentaries, infomercials and Japanese cartoons.

As opposed to Big Time, Big Top television on Monday and Tuesday, with the eight crafty lawyers plowing through the desert of soap operas, talkshows and… yes… more infomercials for the purpose of not only proving the President’s utter and absolute innocence, but doing so while attaining Big Time Ratings, Trump’s lawyers began their formal defense in a minor key on Saturday by alleging that Democrats hadn’t proven their case for impeachment.  (See this) 

Mr. Trump’s defense team used just two hours out of their 24-hour allotment in their first opportunity in the Senate to respond to the case made by House impeachment managers, accusing the Democrats of levying a partisan witch hunt against Mr. Trump to help gain an advantage in the 2020 presidential election. The length of the arguments on Saturday — just two hours compared with the Democrats’ eight hours on their first day — was notable, as, reported the New York Times, “some Republican senators had complained about the repetition of the House managers’ arguments over the course of their three days,” adding that Mr. Trump had also complained that the Saturday television viewership was called “Death Valley in T.V.”, meaning in the world of television ratings.

Most observers agreed that the octet performed ably in the shortened Saturday session, which was given over to an explanation of who they were and what they intended to do.  They came equipped with an armory of quotes – quotes from jurists and Professors, from icons of antiquity and from Founding Fathers.

In turn, the Democrats raised up the spectre of a “shadow state”, a counterpart to the Republican boogeyman of a “deep state”... both of which existed to frustrate the inquiries of patriots into the machinations of political operatives, left or right.  And then, Rep. Schiff made a tactical blunder – accosted in a lobby by the media, he declaimed that the only reason Senators would not convict... or at least vote to hear witnesses... was out of fear that the notoriously vengeful President Trump would have their heads “on a pike” (i.e. raise up primary challenges from among the more rabid elements of his base or, perhaps worse... as was noted on one of the overheard conversations regarding Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch to “take her out” – perhaps inspired by his friendly dictator friends; Putin in the matter of Boris Nemtsov, Prince Salman in the Khashoggi covfere).

Aghast, Sen. Collins... upon whom Democrats had been courting as a potential vote for witnesses... replied: "Not only have I never heard the ‘head on the pike’ line, but also I know of no Republican senator who has been threatened in any way by anyone in the administration."

 

And then, after only three hours of this, the Senators were dismissed… sent home with permission slips to sleep, to eat food and drink drinks stronger than milk and (for the four legislator/jurists running for President… Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and that other guy) to re-seek the campaign trail out there in the hayfields and pig farms of Iowa, with its February 4th caucuses drawing ever nearer.

They slept and campaigned and wassailed through Saturday night and woke up Sunday morning, ready to put in a hard day of rest and relaxation, maybe catch an hour or two of pro or college hoops in the afternoon, followed by the Grammies by night, or even the Pro Bowl (gentled down to more or less a game of touch football among gentleman athletes unwilling to risk million-dollar careers on the turn of a coin, or a knee).

And then… something happened…

And then... another something...

While the schemers and the dreamers were dreaming their sweet dreams of partisan glory, retired basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others were flying to a girls’ basketball game northeast of Los Angeles where, in a heavy fog over mountainous terrain, the chopper crashed and burned, killing all aboard.

Bryant, admittedly, was no fan of POTUS.  While he usually demurred from involvement in partisan politics, he was a friend to and supporter of Barack Obama and had expressed support for Colin Kaepernick’s controversial kneeling policy.

In addition to his athletic skills, Bryant was a businessman, a booster of women’s basketball and an award winning documentary producer as well as an acute observer of strategies – be they hoopful or political.  Like Trump, moreover, he strove to be a “winner” and so, despite his personal leanings, he accurately predicted the real estate man’s unexpected accession to the White House.  (see Attachment Five)

A stunned, paralyzed nation grieved... and more or less halted all business to mourn and grieve some more.  Testimonials from athletes, celebrities and ordinary Americans poured in. 

President Obama tweeted that:

Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.  — Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 26, 2020

…and, some time later, President Trump chimed in…

Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life. He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future. The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating…. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020

Most Americans responded to the catastrophe with surprise, sadness and/or nostalgia.  But, even as some were noting that Trump’s consolatory twitter seemed almost lifted from that of his mortal enemy, the President’s favorite blog, Red State, was bemoaning the President’s descent into Death Valley (See Attachment Six) while Trump’s favorite conspiracy journal, InfoWars was trolling the deceased by dredging up a discredited sexual assault accusation.  (See Attachment Seven... the two Peanut Galleries were even more scurrilous)  Perhaps the base was were bitter over Kobe’s special relationship with Obama, or perhaps they even knew that his demise would rob Trump of all of the trial publicity (and concomitant financial rewards) that his lawyers’ eloquence would gain him on Monday and Tuesday.

For the rest of Sunday (with no impeachment actions on tap) and then all of Monday, Tuesday and only now beginning to fade into legend and history, news of the crash dominated the print, electronic and social media like Hamilton’s whirlwind blowing tumbleweeds across the wastes of Death Valley.

The lawyers spoke, nonetheless, but America wasn’t listening. 

And then, another Trump-related bombshell burst, and they started paying attention again.

The trouble was that this particular news nugget was the revelation that the leaky leakers of the deep or shadow state... the both!... had leaked the news that targeted (but not subpoenaed) former National Security Advisor Bolton was writing a book – had, in fact,  written a draft which was already in the paws and the claws of various persons and institutions from Trump, himself, to the New York Times.  (See Attachment Eight)

Bolton (whose enemies now contend that he wrote his tome “The Room Where It Happened” for 1) payback for his having been fired, and/or 2) for money) has allegedly verified the quid pro quo with Ukrainian President Zelensky... military aid for his war against Russia for dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden’s machinations with the admittedly corrupt gas company, Burisma.  If the Kobe Bryant crash was a distracting body blow, Bolton’s tell-all (due to hit the market on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day unless censored by the White House and the courts on grounds of national security) was a straight right to the kisser.

Red-staters screamed foul.  Echoing Professor Dershowitz, Trump counsel Jay Sekulow… the zealot of Team Trump… reiterated “even if everything in there is true, it constitutionally does not rise to that level (of impeachment).”

Sekulow insisted that the President "never told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to an investigation into Democrats including the Bidens. In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his public termination. If John Bolton said this it was only to sell a book."

In other words, “Room” is as fictitious as “American Dirt”.  And, as Porter Waggoner intoned, back in the day, “room, tomb, gloom, doom, tomb, gloom, room…” something like that.  Fiction.  Meriting the extraordinary countermeasure of prior restraint due to national security, executive privilege or both or, again, something else.  “This is getting to be a little bit, in this sense maybe, like Watergate,” Schumer said during a break Monday. “Every few days there’s another revelation, and another revelation, and another revelation.”

(And Giuliani, this afternoon, denounced Trump’s former hawk-of-preference as “a backstabber”.  The President, himself, tweeted a reminder that he had fired Bolton, otherwise he would have caused “World War Six.”)

 

Donald Trump’s impeachment team began their second day of arguments less than 24 hours after revelations from John Bolton threatened to undermine key aspects of their defense. But Trump’s lawyers decided to plow ahead on Monday, ignoring the Bolton news and keeping with the planned defense they had outlined over the weekend.

“We deal with transcript evidence,” Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow said at the outset of Monday’s arguments. “We deal with publicly available information. We do not deal with speculation, allegations that are not based on evidentiary standards at all.” He did not mention Bolton, and swiftly moved on.

 “The Week” reported that President Trump's defense team finally reeled the Biden family into the Senate impeachment trial Monday,” citing Trump teamer and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s contention that the “corruption” of former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and Burisma — the Ukrainian gas company upon whose board Hunter Biden sat “made Trump's investigation request legitimate, and since the Bidens were connected to the company, they were worth looking into, as well.”

Bondi described the younger Biden's board membership as "nepotistic at best, nefarious at worst."

A few people sensed some hypocrisy in those comments, implying that Trump supporters don't have much ground to stand on when it comes to nepotism accusations.

“In their trial memorandum, the House Managers describe this as baseless. Now, why did they say that? Why did they invoke Biden or Burisma over 400 times? The reason they needed to do that is because they're here saying that the president must be impeached and removed from office for raising a concern. And that's why we have to talk about this today,” Bondi continued. “They say sham, they say baseless. They say this because if it's okay for someone to say 'hey, you know what? Maybe there's something here worth raising,' then their case crumbles.”

NBC reported that, while Bondi was the first member of the White House defense team to bring up the Bidens,  she was not the last. Another member of the team, lawyer Eric Herschmann, also spoke at length about the Bidens and Burisma in a subsequent presentation.

Herschmann, who presented immediately after Bondi, however, continued making Bondi's point, questioning how the House managers came to conclude the desired investigation into the Bidens was a sham.

"The House managers say that the investigations had been debunked, they were sham investigations. So now we have the question: Were they really?" he said.

"Was it, in fact, true that any investigation had been debunked? The House managers do not identify for you who supposedly conducted any investigations. Who supposedly did the debunking? Who discredited it? Where and when were any such investigations conducted? When were the results published?" he continued.

"There's no question that any rational person would like to understand what happened," Herschmann said.

Time’s summary stated that former independent counsel Kenneth Starr used the first hour on Monday to explain the historical and constitutional basis for impeachment, arguing that a crime should be committed in a presidential impeachment and that impeachment articles should be passed with bipartisan support, neither of which occurred here. “Like war, impeachment is hell,” Starr said. “It divides the country like nothing else.”

Michael Purpura went over the factual record to establish that the Ukrainian aid was released without any public action on investigations and that Trump was interested in “corruption and burden-sharing,” rather than investigations into his political rivals. Jane Raskin took the lectern to address Rudy Giuliani’s role in the impeachment saga, calling him merely a “colorful distraction” and “proxy villain” for the House managers. Patrick Philbin spoke about the obstruction of Congress article, arguing the House managers “are saying for the president to defend the prerogatives his office, to defend constitutionally grounded principles of executive branch privileges or immunities, is an impeachable offense.”  On Monday evening, Constitutional law professor Alan Dershowitz opined that, even if the President was guilty, his actions were not impeachable.

The once-upon-a-time civil libertarian also, echoing Richard Nixon’s contention that anything a President does is de facto legal, stated that anything which helps a President get re-elected is in the national interest.

The Washington Examiner, yesterday, posited the nonpartisan aspect of struggle as being between the legislative and executive branches, rather than merely between individuals.  Viewed as a contest between Democrats and Republicans, the struggle over impeaching Trump is sterile and boring. We all know within a vote or two how it’ll work out, and although both legal teams have to pretend to be outraged at each other’s malice and shocked (shocked!) about duplicity in the face of yadda-yadda, the clamor only shows how politics have hollowed out. These performances are designed to produce television soundbites and to poison the temper of the political bases come November. Viewed as a partisan battle,” deduced the Examiner’s Richard Major, “it’s unreal.”

“But if we take a longer view, this week’s events continue the historical struggle between legislature and executive. That struggle began eight centuries before this republic, back when the English head of state was King John, and is sure to run on into the future.”

 

Down the road aways from the Examiner, the Washington Times predicted that… contrary to apprehensions of an imperial Presidency – if not an outright monarchy, where POTUS will be succeeded by Don Junior (or… the horror!... Erik!)… the partisan nature of this particular impeachment will end up weakening not just Mr. Trump, but the office of the presidency. Whether or not Trump is convicted: “(E)very future president — Democrat and Republican — will be second-guessing his or her decisions to avoid crossing members of Congress and being threatened with impeachment based on the flimsiest of evidence.”

To the talking heads… well, talking voices… of NPR radio, the contest is between the civil versus criminal justice model… whether conviction requires a preponderance of evidence (the civil model) as opposed to whether guilt should be “beyond a reasonable doubt” (the criminal).

Barring some surprise (promulgated, or not, by Attorney General Barr), it is believed that the vote on witnesses will take place Friday.  Entrails reveal that the House Managers may well have three favorable votes… the worried Collins, facing a tough election in bluestate Maine, Alaska’s Murkowski (who has declared that she is curious – red), Mitt (47%) and Romney, the nearest creature to a surviving Republican anti-Trumper,

The necessary fourth vote (unless a sneaky Pence utilizes his tiebreaking vote to sabotage the President and elevate himself to the Lizard Throne) might come from Lamar Alexander, who is retiring and, thus, beyond the vengeance of Trump.  It might come from Joni Ernst of Iowa, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Martha McSally of Arizona or Cory Gardner, all of whom face tough contests in states that are not nearly as conservative as they used to be.

In the event of a 50-50 tie, it is unclear who, if anyone, would be empowered to cast the deciding vote… Roberts, Vice President Pence or someone else (or no one, resulting in a failed motion).  See more here.  It is also in dispute whether, should the Democrats’ motion for witnesses fail, Republicans could then vote to haul the Bidens up before the tribunal.

“In a trial, you never know what will happen if you have witnesses and documents,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) told The Daily Beast. “It can change the dynamic of the trial. As to whether it’ll change the ultimate outcome, that’s for senators to decide after hearing all the witnesses.”

“It’s not what we do,” Kobe Bryant once said.  “It’s who we are.”

Polls on the calling of witnesses now show a 75-20% margin in favor.

 

As for Don Jones, a sharp rise in unofficial (uncompensated) unemployment and a bouncy-bouncy but ultimately downward Dow (blamed on the coronavirus) resulted in a negative week, despite a strong housing market.  Kobe’s death shook the Don, but impeachment only confused and annoyed him and, as for the Democrats on the campaign – the less heard from them, the better.  (Wasn’t this we said about last week?  No – the Dow was up.) 

Next week we say adieu to the cumulative values and will publish only the revised value, to set our findings back to the base, compiled at the close of 2020 – by which time we will, one way or another, have a new President.

Or an old one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CATEGORY

VALUE

BASE

 

RESULTS

 

SCORE

 

 

SCORE    

OUR SOURCE(S) and COMMENTS

 

INCOME

(24%)

6/27/13

LAST

CHANGE

NEXT

  1/15/20

 

 

1/22/20    

        SOURCE

 

 

Wages (hourly, per capita)

9%

1350 pts.

1/8/19

  -0.17%

Feb. 2020

1,551.51

(1,347.73)

1,551.51

(1,347.73)

 

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages  23.79

 

Median Income (yearly)

4%

600

1/22/20

 +0.06%

1/22/20

715.68

(601.56)

716.10

(601.92)

 

debtclock.org/    33,723

 

Unempl. (BLS – in millions

4%

600

12/17/19

  -2.86%

Feb. 2020

1,337.66

(600.00)

1,337.66

(600.00)

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000   3.5 nc

 

Official (DC – in millions)

2%

300

1/22/20

  -0.19%

1/22/20

590.55

(304.06)

591.69

(304.64)

http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 5,712

 

Unofficl. (DC – in millions)

2%

300

1/22/20

  +3.26%

1/22/20

609.82

(290.97)

589.96

(281.48)

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    10,933

 

Workforce Participation

Number (in millions)

Percentage (DC)

2%

300

1/22/20

 

 +0.024%

 +0.017%

1/22/20

285.84

(300.28)

285.89

(300.33)

In 158,954 Out 95,613 Total: 254,567

http://www.usdebtclock.org/  62.44%

 

WP Percentage (ycharts)*

1%

150

12/24/19

 +0.16%

Feb. 2020

152.02

(149.76)

152.02

(149.76)

http://ycharts.com/indicators/labor_force_participation_rate  63.20

 

 OUTGO

(15%)

 

 

 

 

Total Inflation

7%

1050

12/24/19

 +0.2%

Feb. 2020

943.49

(1047.90)

943.49

(1047.90)

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

 

Food

2%

300

12/24/19

 +0.2%

Feb. 2020

271.77

(299.40)

271.77

(299.40)

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

 

Gasoline

2%

300

12/24/19

 +2.8%

Feb. 2020

249.60

(291.60)

249.60

(291.60)

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +2.8

 

Medical Costs

2%

300

12/24/19

 +0.4%

Feb. 2020

248.67

(298.80)

248.67

(298.80)

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

 

Shelter

2%

300

12/24/19

 +0.2%

Feb. 2020

269.83

(299.40)

269.83

(299.40)

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEALTH

 

(6%)

 

 

Dow Jones Index

2%

300

  1/22/20

 -1.55%

1/22/20

491.92

(306.74)

484.30

(301.99)

https://quotes.wsj.com/index/DJIA  28,734.45

 

Sales (homes)

Valuation (homes)

1%

1%

150

150

11/26/19

11/26/19

+3.55%

+1.18%

Feb. 2020  

Feb. 2020

195.69

241.09

(150.00)

(150.00)

202.64

243.93

(155.32)

(151.77)

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

Sales (M):  5.54 Valuations (K):  274.5

 

Debt (Personal)

2%

300

  1/22/20

+0.06%

Feb. 2020

239.26

(299.97)

239.13

(299.79)

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    61,392

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AMERICAN ECONOMIC INDEX (15% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

NATIONAL

(10%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues (in trillions)

2%

300

1/22/20

+0.03%

2/5/20

404.73

(300.54)

404.96

(300.72)

debtclock.org/       3,512

 

Expenditures (in tr.)

2%

300

1/22/20

+0.09%

2/5/20

228.26

(299.07)

228.06

(299.80)

debtclock.org/       4,565

 

National Debt (tr.)

3%

450

1/22/20

+0.08%

2/5/20

315.49

(448.63)

315.23

(448.27)

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    23,220

 

Aggregate Debt (tr.)

3%

450

1/22/20

- 0.09%

2/5/20

338.75

(446.08)

338.44

(445.68)

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    75,559

 

 

GLOBAL

 

(5%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Debt (tr.)

2%

300

1/22/20

+0.16%

2/5/20

287.70

(301.23)

287.24

(300.75)

http://www.usdebtclock.org/   6,861 872

 

Exports (in billions – bl.)

1%

150

1/8/20

+0.72%

Feb. 2020

162.26

(150.36)

162.26

(150.36)

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/  208.6

 

Imports (bl.)

1%

150

1/8/20

-1.03%

Feb. 2020

131.30

(152.55)

131.30

(152.55)

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/  251.7

 

Trade Deficit (bl.)

1%

150

1/8/20

-9.51%

Feb. 2020

115.97

(150.00)

115.97

(150.00)

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/   43.1 nc

 

 

 

SOCIAL INDICES (40%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACTS of MAN

(12%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Peace

3%

450

1/22/20

 -0.1%

2/5/20

383.55

(434.42)

383.17

(433.99)

 

Embattled potentates Trump and Netanyahu agree on a Mideast peace plan, but the Palestinians reject it.  Trump and UK’s Boris Badenov divorce over car crash diplomat… (hint: can we extradite the wrong lane driver/killer for hauling Prince Andrew back to the colonies to explain his patronage and protection of Jeffrey Epstein?)

 

 

Terrorism

2%

300

1/22/20

+0.1%

2/5/20

208.22

(299.08)

208.01

(299.28)

 

Medical sources raise the number of American soldiers suffering traumatic brain injury in the Iranian bombing to 34, then 50.  More rockets hit Baghdad… but these were fired from inside Iraq.

 

 

Politics

3%

450

1/22/20

   nc

2/5/20

438.61

(453.15)

438.61

(453.15)

In that Iowa caucus next Monday (remember?) Bernie gains, Biden holds, Bloomberg buys and Buttigieg and Warren tumble.  SecState Pompeo lashes out at uppity NPR reporters, primary penis backlash scourges Bern and Biden.  Trump promises…

 

 

 

Economics

3%

450

1/22/20

 =0.2%

2/5/20

436.99

(455.87)

436.12

(454.96)

a “middle class tax cut.”  The middle class more interested in a credit score reboot.  Wall Street panics, then profit-takes from Chinese coronavirus.  3M cuts 3K over two jobs.  Chipotle fined for child labor violations, New York plots to ban cashless retail.  Experts now predict well hit a trillion dollar deficit this year.

 

 

 

 

Crime

1%

150

(300)

1/22/20

 -0.1%

2/5/20

224.80

(150.56)

(300.90)

225.02

(150.60)

(301.20)

Identity thefts up 18% - now said to affect half of Americans.  Harvard chemistry prof busted as Chinese spy.  Cops shoot each other in Illinois cigar bar, Connecticut wifekiller “does a Jeffrey” (attempts suicide).  But heroic mother saves her baby from maniac carjacker and jeweler fights off robbers with pickle jars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACTS of GOD

(6%)

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Environment/Weather

3%

450

1/22/20

 -0.2%

2/5/20

286.65

(454.51)

286.08

(453.60)

 

Butterflies continue their die-off,  Trump rolls back water pollution protections.  Wine, not water, 97,000 gallons of it spills into California creek.  Winter blizzard strikes Liberal, Kansas (no reports of bad weather out of Conservative, Missouri).

 

 

Natural/Unnatural Disaster

3%

450

1/22/20

+1.3%

2/5/20

330.48

(450.45)

326.18

(444.59)

 

Kobe Bryant, daughter, 7 others die in chopper crash.  Three American firefighters die in Australian, same cause. Toxic chemical explositon in Houston.  California woman killed when clothing caught in a raisin processing machine.  Earthquakes in Turkey and Caribbean.  Fires in New York Chinese museum and Alabama marina kill children, destroy historic objects.  Paramedic miracle-catches falling hiker.  34th anniversary of Challenger destruction.

 

 

 

LIFESTYLE/JUSTICE INDEX   (15%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science, Tech, Educatioo

4%

600

1/22/20

+0.1%

2/5/20

654.94

(602.10)

655.59

(602.70)

Space Force uniforms unveiled – critics and cosplayers claim that they are copied from Star Trek.  Seattle to test elections by smartphone.

 

 

 

Equality (econ./social)

4%

600

1/22/20

+0.1%

2/5/20

682.98

(598.79)

683.66

(599.39)

Black students in Texas ordered to cut distracting dreadlocks.  After winning a racial bias case, bank refuses to cash plaintiff’s settlement check.  75th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation.

 

 

 

Health

4%

600

1/22/20

 =0.1%

2/5/20

508.80

(597.60)

508.29

(597.00)

New York fire (above) and coronavirus outbreak ruin Chinese New Year celebrations.  Hot zone evacuations begin, but UK refuses to let incoming refugee planes lamd… US next?  Face masks sell out.

 

 

 

Freedom and Justice

3%

450

1/22/20

    nc

2/5/20

545.32

(450.45)

545.32

(450.45)

RICO convicts InSys opioid pushers.  Weinstein girls like Annabella Sciorra (Sopranos) and Rosie Perez take the stand.  Suicide whisperer released 3 months early.  Controversial Virginia governor ordered to testify at murder trial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS and TRANSIENT INDEX        (7%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cultural incidents

3%

450

1/22/20

=0.2%

2/5/20

453.93

(452.27)

453.02

(451.37)

 

Big night for Billie Eilish at Grammys.  Disney to remake a live-action Bambi.  RIP to Terry Jones (Monty Python), Jim Lehrer (PBS news) and Mister Peanut.  Eli Manning retires.  Frank Sinatra’s golden toilet sold off.

 

 

Miscellaneous incidents

4%

450

1/22/20

=0.1%

2/5/20

457.99

(450.10)

457.53

(449.65)

 

FAA crackdown on freaky service animals.  Philly’s “Gritty” mascot sued for assaulting a kid.  60% of Americans found to be lonely.  Bison rampage in Buffalo Gap, Texas.  CBS weatherman declaims that “there is a possibility of storms… or rumours of storms.”