DOW JONES INDEX: 12/23/20…30,051.15;  12/16/20…30,199.31; 6/27/13…15,000.00)



LESSON for December 23, 2020 – “A YEAR to DISMEMBER” (Jan – Jun, 2020)


 Well, at least Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s SCOTUS ploy and “melting’ Rudy G’s brown blizzard of lawsuits have failed and now we have two vaccines (for those entitled to get them) so, if 2020 is going out worse than it came in, things are at least a little better than they were in October and November.  Now, Don Jones has a choice – cancel Christmas or celebrate, and risk death.

The CDC and state governments are drawing up lists of the nice and – well, not naughty, just more expendable than others.  For the most part, these vaccination priorities are reasonable: healthcare workers, the elderly in nursing homes first in line, first responders second (to avoid that contradiction, the authorities have invented a Tier One-A to include police and firefighters and… grocery clerks?… (need that TP!).  As expected, of course, crates of Pfizer and Moderna vaxxes are falling off the back of trucks and planes (gently, they’re glass and highly susceptible to temperature contamination) – the going rate for wealthy line jumpers is said to be $25,000.  And politicians are queuing up to get shot… President-Elect Biden and Vice Harris (certainly justifiable); Mitch, Chuck and Nancy (so they won’t collapse before passing Stim Two) but AOC, really?

                   “From each according to his capacity, to each according to their celebrity?”

Ever selfless (or foolish), President Trump has refused the cure to date, whether because the doctors have assured him that his prior contagion renders him immune forever or… soon to be unemployed and homeless himself… he’s considering a nobler posture of suicide.  Unfortunately, his last days are going to be chaotic, dangerous and potentially suicidal for the world… given that his master, Mad Vlad Putin, is engaging in a final power play which seems to be to disable our nuclear retaliatory capacity and bomb the nation (and its plague) into extermination.  BilBarr the Barbarian has deemed his Puppet King intolerably mad and will be quitting tomorrow… his replacement, appointed as another of those Actors or not… appears to be tinfoil-hat lawyer Sidney Powell, whose agenda will be to confiscate voting machines, declare martial law and send Federal troops into the red and blue zones alike to wage war with State sanctioned National Guardsmen and… oh yea… to investigate Hunter Biden for irregularities in Ukraine, just as other prosecutors are investigating Rudy G. for… yup… irregularities in Ukraine.

Merry Christmas!  (And if you’re not a Vax Mike Pence-approved believer, just go to Hell!)

So, before we recapitulate the doings of a year that went off the rails around the beginning of March… despite doctors as warned Our President about the China Virus back in dim, old 2019… let’s at least admit to the possibilities of a few positives as wandered our way in 2020…

The price of gas went down (because so many were too sick or dead to drive anywhere)…

Unemployment is slowly creeping downwards (because jobs are opening for reasons of above)…

A woman was shot off into space and walked outside the International Space Station…

Saturn and Jupiter conjoined to create a Star of Bethlehem (we’ll see if history repeats in 2050 or so)…

The Jets won a football game…

 A lot of the big box stores as suffered loss of business due to the plague will be holding post-holiday sales.  A lot of big-budget movies will be fire-saled to streamers, if they can afford the fees.  President Trump is, at this very moment, pondering whether to sign Stim Two, or go out of office in full Grinch mode.

There’s more… but Don Jones gets the picture.  Things have to get better because we won’t have Djonald Unedited to entertain us now.  Millions of cases and hundreds of thousand dead… hospitals full and some rationing care, millions more Americans “food insecure (i.e. hungry) and a new variation of Britplague is said to be 70% more infectious.  More lethal or vaccine-resistant?  Maybe, maybe not.

Lets go back and see how it all began…


Here’s how 2020 began (January through June)…



2020 in review


LESSON for January 1, 2020 – SING IN the NEW!  (DJI: 16,571.32)

We revisit 2019, with special emphasis on a few of its key developments.  “(O)ur abject flight from the Syrian conflict and betrayal of the Kurds came home to roost, sort of, when an emboldened Iran sent its militias in Iraq to invade and torch the American embassy… repeating the Benghazi, Libya fiasco all over…” is the lost story of the week (and the year); we note the gathering clouds of impeachment and the Democratic primary in South Carolina which sliced the field down to four… Bernie, Warren, Bloomberg and Uncle Joe. 


LESSON for January 8, 2020 – TIT-TAT-TOE!  (DJI: 16,578.40)

Djonald Untrammeled puts out a hit on Iran’s General Qassem Soleimaniqzar of the Quds Brigade and a known terrorist.  The President tweets and tweets again on the Persian perfidy… ICE agents detain disembarking Iranian air passengers.  International worriers worry about retaliation.


LESSON for January 15, 2020 – BACK to the BASE! (DJI: 16,567.85)

From our Lesson: “President Trump has proven to be the luckiest man on the planet (ask again in two months!).  The economy is still humming along, the NFL playoffs are in full swing as are, for the unsportsmanlike, the Oscars… New York City is roasting and toasting at an un-Januaryish seventy-five degrees and there’s even a little bit of rain in Australia.”  On the other hand, the National Debt keeps creeping upwards (23 trillion and rising) but nobody seems to care.  “The stock market is still humming along, crossing over into 29,000 territory a couple of times before falling back… wages of working people were down, but the billionaires are doing just fine.”  Debt also caused the Don to re-evaluate its Index… probably downward, as will be revealed in February


LESSON for January 22, 2020 – THE DIRTY DOZEN!  (DJI: 16,567.60)

Impeachment hearings open and the debates drag on.  Intersectionalists” Warren and the Bern are feuding with one another while Biden sits back and smiles and Bloomberg writes checks for advertising that disappears down into the rabbit hole.   “Here’s the problem in Iowa right now: any of the top four could finish in any of the top four,” Steve Elmendorf, a veteran Democratic strategist tells the ultra-liberal Guardian UK. “And there’s a big difference between first and fourth. So if you’re Joe Biden, do you want to go after Bernie, do you want to go after Elizabeth? I mean there’s a lot of permutations here – a lot of strategic decisions you’ve got to make. 


LESSON for January 29, 2020 – DEATH VALLEY DAYS!  (DJI: 16,543.25)


Sickness and scandal bursts out all over (and the Coronavirus is still a Chinese curiosity amongst people who eat bats.  The Grammies are corrupt, Harvey Weinstein is on trial and HR 755… two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump… have been filed.  Thursday’s session centers upon Article One... a Ukrainian fiasco otherwise known as “the deed”, the governing reason for impeachment.  On Friday, the prosecutors tackle Article Two... otherwise known as “the coverup”.  The Senate, on a party line vote, rules against calling witnesses, despite polls on the calling of witnesses showing a 72-28% margin in favor.


LESSON for February 5, 2020 – D-DAYZ!  (DJI: 14,972.65)


President Trump’s State of the Union message is full-on Reagan… a booming economy… jobs up, the stock market up, treaties signed, evil persons obliterated.  Impeacher-ers cite Bill Clinton, Richar Nixon and Andrew Johnson but to no avail.  No witnesses will be called.   And Kansas City wins the Superbowl.


LESSON for February 12, 2020 – TIE ME KANGAROO DOWN, COURT! (DJI: 14,881.57)


With Court Chief Justice and impeachment High Inquisitor John Roberts, declaring “… and he (Trump) is hereby, acquitted of the charges in said articles,” Impeachment officially crashes and burns.

As recorded, appropriately, on the Voice of America News, David Byrd next declared to the world: “The Senate has voted to acquit President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial. On both articles of impeachment, the vote tallies were nowhere near the Constitution’s mandate of two-thirds senators needed to convict.”

Liberals are predictably outaged and offended.  “America is a monarchy now,” the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Will Bunch laments.  Others cringe over a plethora of alt-right fantasies to come true: repeal of Roe v. Wade, a replacement of progressive taxation by a single tax bracket (or even a Thatcherian poll tax), re-criminalization of sodomy, repeal of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and, who knows, a return to slavery? 

Siba, the black French poodle becomes top dog at the Westminster Kennel competition.


LESSON for February 19 – WRONG!  (DJI: 14,883.13)

An annoyance bubbles up from China… some disease over there is making the Chinese not want to go to work, this impacting production of cellphones and high tech devices.  Borders are closed to sick Chinese, and then to all Chinese.  Sex scandal suits drive the Boy Scouts into bankruptcy as Democrats prepare for their decisive (and divisive) Super Tuesday.


LESSON for February 26 – LAST CALL!  (DJI: 14,851.04)

Chaotic donkey debate features three old men (Biden, the Bern and Bloomberg… who stakes his turf by denouncing “horse faced lesbians” and spending half a billion on ads.  Pete the Butt denies calling Amy the Klob “dumb”.  Meanwhile Trump is out on the road holding Nuremberg-type rallies while the plague gains strength across Europe and Asia (the CDC fears it might be “bad”) and the stock market collapses.  MAGA man Roger Stone get three years in the lockup and starts petitioning his good friend for a pardon.


LESSON for March 4 – TWILIGHT of the ALSO-RANS!  (DJI: 14,827.43)

It’s the Year of the Rat and Trump is riding high.  The economy is booming, terrorists are sulking in their caves and enjoying sex with goats.  And then that pesky plague takes over… an American dies, and then a second.

The Dow was not amused.  From a closing high of 29,551.42 on Lincoln’s Birthday, it tumbled; slowly at first, then eight – nine – ten  percent every day until, late Friday afternoon, it hit a low of 24,681.01 before some clever operators (in their own minds, at least) decided to slurp up some profits and goosed it back up to 25,409.36 in the hope that the CV was just a passing fad like all those others.  Now celebrities are starting to “get it”.  The Dow was not amused.  From a closing high of 29,551.42 on Lincoln’s Birthday, it tumbled; slowly at first, then eight – nine – ten  percent every day until, late Friday afternoon, it hit a low of 24,681.01 before some clever operators (in their own minds, at least) decided to slurp up some profits and goosed it back up to 25,409.36 in the hope that the CV was just a passing fad like all those others  Beto (an English condensation of Roberto) promises to confiscate Americans guns, delighting Republican strategists..


LESSON for March 11, 2020 – CRAZY SICK ASIANS!  (DJI: 14,816.97)

Plague in perspective… consider the Spanish Flu, striking at the close of World War One, but this was a relatively minor plague compared to the Black Death of the 14th century, the 6th century Plague of Justinian (which terminated the Roman Empire) or the smallpox which so devastated the New World that a small number of Europeans were able to conquer two continents.

As the plague comes to America, 18th floor sale beginning.  Hoarders hoard Purell and toilet paper.  Just wait until April!


LESSON for March 18 and 25, 2020   CANCELLED!


LESSON for April 1, 2020 – THE GHOST GOES SOUTH!  (DJI: 14,783.79)

Optimists cheer pandemic plunge in China.  President Trump takes to calling CV “the invisible enemy” – one of many triteosities to come.  He predicts the virus will be conquered by May Day.  Plague gastronomologists argue over whether the plague was caused by Chinese eating bats or pangolins (a rare anteater-like varmint).

“The Global Health Security Index names the United States as the country with the strongest measures in place and it came first with 83.5 out of 100,” declared Statista, proffering data that showed the USA winning by a large margin over the rest of Those Foreigners.  “The United Kingdom came second with 77.9 followed by the Netherlands with 75.6. China, which has initiated a series of lockdowns in response to the outbreak, comes 51st with a score of 48.2.”  The world’s third-worst-case germpit was North Korea, leading only Somalia and the black ribbon winner, Equatorial Guinea.


LESSON for April 8, 2020 – A JOURNAL of the PLAGUE YEAR (Part I, March 2020)  (DJI: 14,489.29)

This index begins a new feature – weekly recaps of the major events of the week (which, over the intervening months, tend to focus on politics and plague.  Our sources are Albert Camus’ aptly named “Le Peste” and the above title, written by Daniel DeFoe regarding the 1666-68 London distemper (both of which were bubonic, not viral). 

Both contain rats.  Lots of rats.

Celebrities get it… UK PM Boris Johnson

Pro-Trump anti-mask backlash begins.  Domstic terrorists targeting liberals and medical researchers… Dr. Fauci frequently marked for death.  Police report drop in ordinary crime due to social isolation of the perps.


LESSON for April 15, 2020 – A JOURNAL of the PLAGUE YEAR (Part II, April 2020)  (DJI: 14,225.39)

Entrepreneurs looking for ways to cash in on the plague as unemployment claim overload: five million in a week, 17M total and rising, home schooling stalling because 17% of kids nationwide, far more in poor neighborhoods, have no computers and/or Internet service.  g, strikes.  Democrats move back primaries, ponder a virtual convention (to nominate a virtual President?).  Tornadoes sweep through Deep South, kill 33. 

We have an economy that crashed on the viable prospect of a million or two American deaths (not realized), massive unemployment (realized) and oodles of preventable error.  We have anger, despair and confusion.  Will the disease return every winter, forcing Americans into masks and gloves and social distancing until 2022… or 2032… or forever?  Will a “silver bullet” be developed to terminate the pandemic (or, at least, a “golden passport” that will grant immunity to a favored few)?  And what will be the price we have to pay to prevent having to go... as Bob Dylan asked in “Memphis Blues Again”, for those who recover this time “…through this thing twice.”


LESSON for April 22, 2020 - PARANOIA STRIKES DEEP (DJI: 14,111.94)

In the interests of maintaining the American economy on life support, at the minimum, and preventing millions of the suddenly unemployed from hunger and homelessness, the bipartisan House and Senate passed a home relief act (gussied up as “The Stimulus”).  The DebtClock estimation of Americans seeking or not seeking work has completely collapsed and statistics are spinning downwards with no brakes. 

There is further evidence that the government is just breaking down… and it’s not just that the President has to walk back a suggestion, presumably sarcastic, that Americans inject themselves with Lysol to kill the little bugs drifting through their bloodstreams because some components of his base are just that stupid… research, recording and disseminating agencies are starting to fail like calcified lungs. 


LESSON for May 1, 2020 – STIM-U-LOSE (w/“A Journal of the Plague Year” (Part III)  (DJI: 14,036.20)

All across America, one can hear the sounds of a mighty nations slowly rising from their deep, Fentanyl sleep.  Capitulating to the mob, Congress shells out bread (if not circuses) and Governors are unlocking lockdowns to save jobs and businesses.  Said Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) stimulus payments to suffering Joneses are immediately confiscated by debt collectors, banks and landlords or creditors in bankruptcy, “so there’s good reason to worry,” worries NOLO, a legal clearinghouse. 

Trump walks back his advice to inject Lysol, drink bleach and exposing themselves to nuclear radiation, claiming that he was “joking”.  What a comedian!  Scientists continued researching vaccines (the good), talking shit on television (the bad) or kowtowing to Djonald Unhinged’s fantasies; healthcare workers do their jobs but complain about lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Says DJI: “If there is hope to be found in the apparent leveling off of cases after only three months… roughly a third of the extent of the heyday of Camus’ plague… there may also be apprehensions that its decline might not be so precipitous (unless, indeed, the summer heat proves a virus killer).  If it is justified, Don Jones might well enjoy a “new normalcy” by Memorial Day, at best, or… more likely… Independence Day.  If not… if the dire predictions of pessimists of a pandemic surviving the summer heat, mutating in 2020-21 or retreating until people throw aside their cautions and mingle promiscuously once again are justified… well, as the President is wont to say, ‘We shall see what happens.’”

Friday, May 1, 2020… Infected: 1,070,620; Dead:   63,000; Dow:   23,761.16


LESSON for May 8, 2020 – WHO C.A.R.E.S.? (NOT W.H.O.)!  (DJI: 13,943.63)

Bad as things may be, they’re worse for the world’s poorest countries and the bottom 47% (Mitt Romney’s dividing line between the producers and parasites) of Americans.  As above,
these new normalities now gather in hours-long lines for a pittance of free food, depend on the goodwill… inherent or governmentally coerced… of landlords and mortgage bankers to keep a roof over their heads or, if no mercy is granted, crawl off towards crowded and dangerous shelters or find nightly refuge in the cars (unless the repo men come by and confiscate those).

Some states pass protective laws, vaguely enforced.  Ohio Attorney General David Yost warns creditors that those one-time government checks are protected by state law from garnishment.  Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signs an executive order barring debt collectors and creditors from seizing stimulus checks stating that: “Many Oregonians, through no fault of their own, are struggling to pay their bills, their rent, or even buy essentials like groceries and prescription drugs… “(t)hese recovery checks were meant to provide relief, not reward debt collection agencies for preying on Oregonians who have lost their livelihoods due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

These announcements were prompted by the CARES Act, the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus legislation passed by Congress, because it does not prevent private debt collectors from seizing the money for unpaid debts. The most outrageous garnishments are those committed by private online “universities”, many of which have been fingered as out-and-out scams. 

The Student Borrower Protection Center and Americans for Financial Reform sends a letter to the 12 biggest private student lenders urging them to let borrowers cease payments without fees or penaltiesl; TIME reaches out to 11 of the 12 lenders – ten of whom give the magazine, and the debtors a middle finger.

 “The stimulus checks were intended to be used during an emergency – to put food on the table, keep the lights on and a roof over our heads,” Ohio Attorney General’s adds, not to “pay off an old bill.”


LESSON for May 15, 2020 – NO PLACE to SHELTER IN!  (DJI: 13,707.18)

One who searches for silver linings finds a few winners in the plague.  The canals of Venice are cleaner, now that cruise ships no longer dock at the port, nor do motorized gondolas ply the byways.  Cleaner waters are refilling with the original inhabitants… octopi and jellyfish… and infections and deaths create labor shortages in some sectors as cause wage hikes.  (Those with inside govt. information can also buy and sell stocks and make a tidy profit!)

As to shelter, the federal government has suspended evictions and foreclosures in public housing until the end of April. The government-backed mortgage buyers Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, have agreed to do the same for at least 60 days.”  NOLO (5/8) has compiled a state-by-state roster of what tenants can and cannot do, and what can be done to them.  The chart includes links to state and local information offices.  See full issue here as Attachment Four.

The housing of last resort?  Across the country, cities are criminalizing homelessness, making it illegal for people to sit, sleep, and even eat in public places—despite the absence of housing or even shelter, and other basic resources.  These laws violate constitutional rights, create arrest records and fines & fees that stand in the way of homeless people getting jobs or housing, and cost more money than simply solving the problem by ensuring access to adequate housing according to the Homeless Not Handcuffs campaign, a project of assorted social service agencies including the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and the National Coalition for the Homeless.

But Governor Greg Abbott (R-Tx) issued orders to suspend “a large swath of law on bail practices” and prohibit judges from releasing jail inmates accused or previously convicted of violent crimes without paying bail — he defends his dragnet of pot smokers, jaywalkers and shoplifters (nnd the homeless) who may have been convicted of a violent crime twenty or fifty years ago, arguing that “releasing dangerous criminals in the streets is not the solution" to the coronavirus spreading in lockups… Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (soon to become famous for another reason) claims the decision "rightfully protects the health and safety of Texans from the unlawful release of potentially thousands of dangerous individuals into our communities."


LESSON for May 23, 2020 – ANTI-SOCIAL CREDIT!  (DJI: 13,642.69) 


“2021 has emerged into a cold, sickly dawn, but it’s still the Year of the Rat in Wuhan, and it’s time to tally up the damage.  Once the holidays are over, armed, uniformed men come around every few days, warning you that you’ll have to vacate the premises by the end of January – the coldest January in a quarter century.  The water has followed the power, then the gas into history (but there is, fortunately, plenty of snow)… you’ve tried selling the TV, the computer, and the microwave but the pawnshops aren’t making loans on electronics with so many off the grid and they only offer fifteen bucks for your eight-hundred-dollar generator (gas being no longer cheap now that the Russians and Saudis have kissed and made up)

“You still have a radio, and the people advertising there say millions just like you are relieving their stress and their debts by consolidating all of their overdue bills into one lump sum, onto which borrowers can make one EZ payment per month (taxes and service fees not included).  Well, Don Jones gotta do what Don Jones has gotta do, so you sign on the dotted line, and the friendly loan officer takes out his pocket calculator to tote up the monthly tab, frowns and shakes his head…

“You see, your credit is in the toilet – and not a scrap of Charmin’ to be had.”

As to the aftermath of plague credit… Rod Griffin, senior director of public education and advocacy at Experian, said it could still be helpful to get a payment accommodation for a late payment which, although it wouldn’t fix your credit, wouldn’t let it get worse during the relief period.  Equifax suggested that borrowers may want to add a brief “consumer statement” to their credit report to explain the impact of the pandemic. It suggested this language: “Be advised that the negative accounts on my credit report are related to the coronavirus. I intend to make these up as soon as I can.”

“They have to call before they’re late,” said Chi Chi Wu, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Ce., but added that getting through to lenders may be a challenge.  “Millions of people are making those same phone calls,  so waits are long and people have reported being automatically disconnected. “


LESSON for June 1, 2020 – TOXIC MASK-U-LINITY  (DJI: 13,514.92)

Contentious issues – matters of race and religion; sexuality, age and culture and the allocation of wealth – are ever with us, but seemed to be growing less intense until, perhaps, the last few years where the partisan disputes frequently expressed in dog whistles have, of late, been bellowed through bullhorns (as noted the Washington D.C. Mayor upon the occasion of President Trump’s siding with the (masculine) forces of law and order in his tweets like “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” or his promise (so far unrealized) to quell the street protests over the death of George Floyd with “vicious dogs and ominous weapons.”

“That masks would be a major point of contention has come as a surprise. That they would occasion a new discussion of masculinity is a stranger plot twist still,” Bonnie Kristian stated in The Week (May 14th)..

And, as with his bristling twitterings over masks, sex and manliness, the President has drawn his line in the sand (perhaps a dead-line inasmuch as only the male MAGA-faithful and a few Janes still seeking Tarzan can be counted on his side as opposed to the women, the Democrats, the girly-men, the racial minorities, those doctors and scientists and a bunch of people with no particular agenda other than to not get sick).

Buried deep beneath the rhetoric lies a real issue – many (MAGAmen) have either lost their jobs, have had their hours cut, or are facing impending evils that a lack of cash money engenders… foreclosures, evictions, utility shutoffs, hunger, the usual suspects… they want jobs, not handouts, they accept the stimulus payments and free food with bitterness; media psychologists have asserted time and again that many blame themselves, despite anything they could do to the contrary.

That is why their “toxic masculinity”… encompassing the good, old-fashioned American values like self-reliance, freedom and free enterprise, a suspicion of government (and, of late, the media) celebrates real men who don’t beg or whine.  And wearing masks (or vaxxing) because the government tells them to is not only cowardly, it’s weird.

Research shows that during both the SARS and H1N1 outbreaks, women were more likely to wear face masks than men. Make no mistake, asserts Jessica Valenti of gen/media: “This is macho bullshit at its most lethal.” Donald David Abrams, a psychologist and (probably queer) professor of social and behavioral science at New York University, told CNN that for some people, “Putting on that mask is about as blatant as saying, ‘Hey, I’m a scaredy cat.’”

The best men I know are not hemmed within these masculine lines, stated Kristian, “they model traditionally "feminine virtues," too, like compassion, endurance, and gentleness.


Monday, June 1, 2020… Infected:  1,721,753; Dead: 100,442; Dow:    25,673.99



LESSON for June 9, 2020 – INSURRECTION ERECTION  (DJI: 13,590.82)


As the Chinese are wont to say… not “splice the bat genes into the duck genes, Wan, and lets test the results on stupid Americans”, but rather… “may you get that for which you wish.”  This is a benevolence on par with another standard: “may you live in interesting times” which, of course, means exactly the opposite of its stated intent.

Finally, something came along to knock the politicians and the plague clear out of your TV sets and social media, upend the Twitterverse, erase it from the front pages of newspapers and magazines.  Unfortunately, that something was the brazen murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man accused of trying to buy cigarettes with a funky Jackson who was duly strangled by four policemen for nine minutes, whereupon he died and duly ascended into that media martyr’s heaven among Rodney King and Emmett Till and Martin Luther King (among many, many others).

So Minneapolis burned, and then New York, Los Angeles, Louisville, Denver, Seattle and dozens of other cities – even Bakersfield, fer chrissake!  And as pressure to “Do Something” from his white and, mostly, law-abiding base (except for those Nazis) settled about the head and shoulders of President Trump, he didn’t exactly do anything, but did venture the next best outcome… he made promises.  Promises to meet the mostly young, mostly (but not exclusively) black and mostly (but not exclusively) poor with not only tear gas and billy clubs and rubber bullets, but real bullets; with “vicious dogs and ominous weapons”, with the Army and the Marines (not those effete, state-run National Guardsmen), with Space Force starships spraying crowds with death rays.

Some obstreperous little bureaucrat, however, inveigled Congress to pass, in 1878, the Posse Comitatus Act, to  benefit of a strange coalition of die-hard Confederates seeking to limit Federal interference in state matters and union lefties angered at President Hayes’ use of Federal troops to end the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.

Fortunately, there is a wormhole through which a manly man can slither round the evil, mutant PC and set America’s military to war against its citizens… the Insurrection Act of 1807… in support of which Trump launched a trial balloon upon the occasion of his wishing to visit St. John’s Church and wave his Bible.  The spectacle of troops forcefully clearing peaceful protestors "seemed to confirm that the President and senior Pentagon leadership are willing to use the military to further their political objectives," Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mi) wrote.

“The fact is that he should stay out of our business,” J. B. Pritzker (D-Il), one of several Governors, told CNN. “We are working hard in the state of Illinois to bring down tensions.”


LESSON for June 17, 2020 – BAD COP, NO DONUT!  (DJI: 13,604.87)


Some Don Juniors (Joneses, for the most part, but also a Trump here and there) grow up believing policemen were their friends… told that the thin blue line is all which protects them from persons of dark skin, darker hearts and the darkest desires; policemen visit their elementary schools, maybe bringing along a pot-sniffing K-9 to be petted and fed.  The lucky few will even be able to sit in a patrol car and maybe, just maybe, play with the lights and siren.

Other Americans… the Other Americans of Otherness lore… grow into their teen years believing that cops are their natural predators, the way that wolves kill rabbits or birds eat bugs. 

After George Floyd, etc. a Rhode Island deli declared it would stop giving free donuts to cops.

When Floyd was lain beneath the dirt, next to his mother whom he called out for in his dying gasps on Tuesday morning… attended by the ubiquitous Al Sharpton and a ghost on video most believed to be Joe Biden… the week of unmasked rioting and marching was supposed to go away.  But there was a difference between 2020 and prior fishy police assaults and murders… the Rodney Kings, the Trayvon Martins, the marchers in Selma or, going back 99 years, the Ku Klux Klan’s final major “military” success, the extermination of the relatively small black population of Tulsa, Oklahoma by lead and fire… was: first – that racial politics in America had already been put in the pot and set to boil (largely by the President of the United States himself) and second – that a nation cooped up in the prison of  masks and gloves, of quarantine in place and social distancing was ready to burst out into the streets and explode. 

Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ, for short) seceded from America, and a strongman (dubbed a “warlord”) one Raz Simone, aja just plain Raz, seized the reins of power.  Raz was everywhere and nowhere, baby; giving interviews, single-handedly taking down even more anarchical anarchists lusting to light more fires and also, if the conservative media is to be believed, stitching together a multifaceted, grassroots criminal conspiracy extorting small, mostly minority, businesses and the elderly residents who found themselves stuck behind the barricades for “war taxes” on the model of the drug gangs of Sao Paolo, the Godly denizens of ISIS in occupied Syria or… again going back a century or so… the “Black Hand” mafiosi as played and preyed on the inhabitants of immigrant Italian neighborhoods back in the day.

By Monday, CHAZ was Raz and Raz was CHAZ.  And all that jazz – dating back to the founding of People’s Park, Burning Man’s TAZ, Chicago, 1968, the Paris Commune and even the revolt of Spartacus against the Romans.  All eventually failed (Burning Man’s $900-2400 ticket price being failure, of a sort) while President Trump’s friends in the black community (Kanye, Dr. Carson, some guy named Tyrone in Pennsylvania?)… nineteen thousand unmasked and overwhelmingly white MAGAmen will convene in a Tulsa plague locker to shout and scream and spray their adoration of their President.

It’s a wonder anybody will be left alive and uninfected by November.


LESSON for June 24, 2020 – MISTER TRUMP’S WILD RIDE (and melancholy walk back)!  (DJI: 13,573.23)


We’re still more than four months away from decision day, 2020 but now, at least, the dueling campaigns can have, at least, a theme and a theme song on which to hang the aspirations and the nooses as will adjudicate one or the other President for the next four years. Sleepy Joe is lumbering towards the Democratic nomination; the motley krewe of misfits, Socialists and channellists are fading fast and its just about time for the schools to release their captives.

Despite the plague, the hoary tradition of celebrities and politicians whoring themselves for a few bucks persists… to wit, the Commencement Speeches (ushering those whose lives are not terminated by an unwise pool party to commence the task of finding work at 13% unemployment.

Some of the notable discourses… Hillary Clinton recommending: “Believe in science, including vaccinations.  Wash your hands. 

And if all else fails, try meditation or alternate nostril breathing.” 

 “You are the seeds that will grow into a new and different forest that is far more beautiful and loving than the one we live in today,” said Lady Gaga.

“Think about the hospital orderly, scrubbing down the ward on hands and knees,” scolded Apple CEO Tim Cook, “whose work today is as solitary and sacred as a high priest purifying a temple.

“Legally Blonde” actress Jennifer Coolidge averred that life is a storm.”  Stormy Daniels was not invited to commence any students.  But Barack Obama showed up four times (Michelle once, also).  Ivanka Trump was invited to Wichita State, then dis-invited following massive protests.


LESSON for July 1, 2020 – ALL THIS, and WORLD WAR, TOO!  (DJI: 13,570.83)


Have to admit – the President is still on a roll, a downhill roll like a fat man bundled up as a snowball rolling down a hill on a winter’s day five, six months back, that most of us can only dream of (or forward, as finds us still under the weather).

So maybe his toadying up to Vladimir Putin is a good thing – or so we thought at the time. 

We got/had the plague, the unemployment, a new-old cop on black teen strangulation murder as has kept the race riots percolating, we’ve got Prospero’s happy horde fending off the Red Death and ancient enemies at the gates (and, apparently, in the White House) and the prospect of re-recession.  That’s just the old, old stuff… topping it off (the new old stuff), we’ve got many, many more months of pandemic pandemonium, lists of the dead and dying crawling down from the seniors to teenagers and children and even… in a wink n’ nod to the Greatest Generation, a revival of Nazis, as during World War II, and perfidious Russians, as in the Cold War.

       Check on all accounts! - DJI

Hate was/is bustin’ out all over, and  unlike the docile, dispirited citizens of Oran in Camus’ opus… Americans were lifting their spoons to dig in.  Excusable in the hotheadeD days of midsummer, less so now.  At least we’ve got the vaccines… maybe… as could be ubiquitous by July 1, 2021.

We had: stock markets and employment crashing, killer cops and rampaging rioters, bars and nightclubs closing, masks politicized and Don Jones ran out of toilet paper.  It being our seventh anniversary, we ran the July 1st Indices for comparisons… not  encouraging.  About the only bright spot was the drop in gas prices… as if we had anywhere to go.

“Our estimation (and America’s) of a plague lasting maybe five or six months, allowing for a monthly correspondence with the five chapters of Camus has clearly gone off the rails – it now seems fortunate if the end of the coronavirus comes, as in the novel, within ten months to a year.”

That would be in January if the former “impossible”, March if the latter “unlikely”.  Maybe by the Fourth of July, 2021?

Wednesday, July 1, 2020… Infected:  2,658,325; Dead: 127,000 m/l; Dow: 25,827.36




We are reaching the end of 2020 and the Covid 19 plague has already outlived the bubonic adventures of both Camus and DeFoe.  It would appear that one of the two driving forces of our daily inserts… the strange journeys and litigations of Donald Trump, now an ascertained Ex-President, are nearing their end while the other… the plague itself… is not.  So the installments for this week and next week will be the final appearances of this structure and, in the spirit of the season, we’ll conclude with happy excerpts.  The italicized remarks, from DeFoe this week, come as the 1665=6 London plague was dying out, with recrudescence to be halted by fire.  Next week, the conclusion of Camus’ “Le Peste”.

In fiction, both plagues had their beginning, their midpoints and their ends (both with the advent of cold weather as kills fleas as carry the bubonic plague and drives their carriers… the rats… into hiding).  And, if one puts faith in Mr. DeFoe, the coming of Christmas and the finger of God played their part.  In life – the first two apply but, as to the third – not necessarily so.





Wednesday, December 16, 2020


           Infected:  16,964,013

                     Dead:  307,552

                        Dow:  30,154.54

Moderna vax nearing approval as some hospitals are over 300% capacity with gurneys in the corridors and… what’s next?… plague victims sent out into frigid parking garages and MASH-ish tents?  (Yup! – not only that but triages in which those on the fence are saved, those near death or only lightly affected are ignored.)   FDA greenlights home testing kits that retail for $30.  Some hospitals so desperate for nurses are poaching them from other, poorer countries, and ICE be damned.

Mitch bends the knee to President Joe after 42 day holdout and says that a Stim 2 deal is “close”.  Trump supporters promises dis-happy Inauguration.  Congress still rasslin’ over Stim 2 – the boldest vow not to go home for Christmas (and infect their families). 


“(W)inter weather came on apace, and the air was clear and cold with sharp frosts; and this increasing still, most of those that had fallen ill recovered, and the health of the city began to return,  There were indeed some returns of the distemper, even in the month of December, and the bills increased near a hundred; but it went off again, and so in a short while things began to return to their own channel.”


Thursday, December 17, 2020


             Infected:  17,022,532

                       Dead:  309,859

                          Dow:  30,256.79

FDA panel greenlights Moderna 20-0 (Pfizer was only 17-4).  TV doc Ashish Jah says that Pfizer and Moderna vaxxes are about the same, but the latter can be stored at normal cold temperatures.  Authorities promise seniors can get shot at local drugstores by… uhh… April?  French President Macron gets it.

   American President Joe nominates Deb Haaland as Interior Secretary… first Native American in cabinet.  Mitchy says a Stim 2 deal is “close”.  The media continue accounts of miracle survivors and brave vax researchers and testing volunteers, healthcare workers, first responders, and others who do their duty.


“I think it ought to be recorded to the honor of (essential workers). As well clergy as physicians, surgeons, apothecaries, magistrates, and officers of every kind, as also all useful people who ventured their lives in discharge of their duty, as most certainly all as stayed did so to the last degree; and several of all these kinds did not only venture but lose their lives on that sad occasion.”


    Friday, December 18, 2020


           Infected: 17,243,580

                    Dead:  312,845

                       Dow:  30,179.05


It’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, so big shots get shots.  Six million Moderna vaxxes will ship on Sunday, shots begin Monday.  VP Pence gets the vax and intones: “This is the beginning of the end for the Corona pandemic,  (after having penned a June anti-vaxxing op-ed (See Attachment Two), as do his black fingernailed “mommy” Karen and  HHS Sec. Azar (who tells George Stephanopolous he expects 200M doses by New Year’s).  Members of Congress (most) and SCOTUS (all) get shot “in order to preserve the continuity of government”. 

   As California hospitals tremble with the post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas spike, the party people continue their toxic revels and President Trump announces more mass and maskless rallies, LA Mayor Garcetti’s daughter gets it (the plague) as do twelve Maryland football players. 


“(T)hose that fell into it (the plague) , though they did escape with life, yet they made bitter complaints of those that had told them there was no danger, and sadly repented their rashness in venturing to run into the reach of it.

   “Nor did the unwary conduct of the people end here, for a great many that cast off their cautions suffered more deeply still, and though many escaped, yet many died; and at least it had this public mischief attending, that it made the decrease in burials slower than it otherwise have been.”


Saturday, December 19, 2020


            Infected:  17,466,266

                      Dead:  313,649




















Sunday, December 20, 2020


          Infected:  17,812,136

                    Dead:  317,408



With national security and unemployed Americans imperiled, Congress extends its defense spending shutdown/bill deadline to Monday in the wake of the Russian cyberattack that Mitch McConnell compares to “Pearl Harbor” (and also reassures Don Jones that “a deal is close”).  But President Joe is still refused access to national intelligence briefings on orders of ex-President Djonald, who exonerates his pal Putin and says that the hacks were the work of the devious Chinese.  Passenger on Orlando to L.A. flight drops dead onboard United; Sana Fe woman faces felony charges for spitting in healthcare workers face. 

   Not to worry: newly vaxxed Veep Pence proclaims Space Force personnel to be Guardians (of the Galaxy?)!  Worry: A galactic “oops” moment for America… turns out government bungling cut Pfizer vax output by 40%.  Not to worry: Well, then let them eat Moderna (when it comes out)!  Nurses and doctors now said to be rasslin’ over which of them are the more essential essential workers while Don Jones ignores the doctors, books flights for Christmas gatherings and the party people party on.


“…the next two bills (death tolls) did not decrease in proportion; the reason I take to be the people’s so running rashly into danger, giving up all their former caution and care, and all the shyness that they used to practice, depending that the sickness would not reach them – or, if it did, that they would not die.”



EU bans travel to and from the U.K., which reports that Plague Three is even more contagious than Plague Two, but denies that it’s more lethal.  United States still accepting British travelers, but New York State orders all incoming Brits to go into quarantine.  Doctors say it’s 70% more communicable and cases are starting to show up in Rome.  But Oklahoma, America’s third worst behind California and Tennessee launches a new tourism publicity campaign. Congress “closing in” on Stim 2 deal as govt. shutdown looms at midnight… President Trump objects,  demanding $600 checks be raised to $2,000.  He’s been hunkered down in his White House bunker with newly pardoned Gen. Flynn and nutso lawyer Sidney Powell, plotting a coup against Biden.


“I remember my friend the doctor used to say that there was a certain set of drugs and preparations which were all certainly good and useful in the case of an infection, or out of which, or with which, physicians might make an infinite variety of medicines… I several times took Venice treacle, and a sound sweat upon it, and thought myself as well fortified against the infection as any one could be fortified by the power of physic.”   

Monday, December 21, 2020


        Infected:  18,055,605

                  Dead:  318,782

                     Dow:  30,216.45


It’s the first day of winter and Moderna starts shipping its vaxxes.  Congress reaches a Stim 2 deal at $600 plus small business relief and one month eviction moratorium extension… approved 359 to 53.  Dr. Jah predicts a post-Christmas surge; Dr. Fauci agrees with Trump that Brits can be let into America if they pass a Covid test.  But 120 other nations now ban the Brits; Boris Johnson even admits that the new strains exhibit “vast transmissibility”. 

   Emerging from the White House, Sidney Powell demands a Special Counsel be appointed to seize and inspect voting machines.  Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) calls out AOC as a hypocrite for getting vaxxed, she replies that she’s part of a test sample.  But vaxxing is blooming out all over among the rich and powerful… President Biden gets it on TV, TV doc Jen Ashton does too.  She calls her glee “infectious”.


As for quackery and mountebanks, of which the town was so full, I listened to none of them and have observed often since, with some wonder, that for two years after the plague I scarcely saw nor heard of one of them about town…

   “I would be glad if I could close the account of this melancholy year with some particular examples historically; I mean of the thankfulness to God, our preserver, for our being delivered from this dreadful calamity.”


Tuesday, December 22, 2020


        Infected:  18,230.242

                  Dead:  322,765

     Dow:  30,015.31                   

California hospitals start rationing treatment.  Gov. Newsome fingers Alex Padilla for Kamala Harris’ vacated seat.  Record one million new cases recorded in only four days.  President Joe says “the darkest days are ahead of us” (but actually they will get lighter post-winter solstice.  Nursing home patients, healthcare workers and first responders across America get it (vaxxes); 60 San Francisco firefighters also get it (the plague).


“I must own that, for the generality of the people, it might too be justly said of them as was said of the children of Israel after their being delivered from the host of Pharaoh, when they passed the Red Sea, and looked back and saw the Egyptians overwhelmed in the water; viz., that they sang his praise, but soon forgot his works.”









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

See a further explanation of categories here

































Wages (hourly, per capita)


1350 pts.





1,411.02  24.87 nc

Median Income (yearly)







654.94    34,642 662



Unempl. (BLS – in millions







299.34   6.7%


Official (DC – in millions)







364.34    10,701 685


Total. (DC – in millions)







312.39    18,533 495


Workforce Participation

Number (in millions)

Percentage (DC)










In 149,822 865 Out 100,582 566 Total: 250,431  59.84


WP Percentage (ycharts)*







151.99  61.70 .50







Total Inflation







1,025.48     +0.2









285.26      -0.1









374.82      -0.4


Medical Costs







290.24      -0.1









295.51     +0.0  
















Dow Jones Index







328.07  30,051.15


Sales (homes)

Valuation (homes)













     Sales (M):  6.85  6.69 Valuations (K):  313.0 310.8


Debt (Personal)







276.42    63,135 162
























Revenues (in trillions)







297.56         3,476


Expenditures (in tr.)







221.39       6,704


National Debt (tr.)







336.41    27,519


Aggregate Debt (tr.)







385.34    81,998























Foreign Debt (tr.)







291.33         7,105


Exports (in billions – bl.)

Imports (bl.)

Trade Deficit (bl.)





















106.29       182.0   245.1     63.1

















World Peace








More and more EU countries ban Plague 2 and 3 refugees from U.K. (but America keeps the welcome mat out for them with pounds to spend).  Russians attempt to corrupt US nuclear weapons – pundit Pierre Thomas calls the threat “huge”.










Kenyan terrorist arrested amidst plot to copycat 911.  Failed rocket attack at Bagram AFB, Afghanistan but car bomb kills 9 in Kabul.










Cocky Congress sends Stim 2 deal to Trump; extends shutdown date to Monday, 1/21.










Coca Cola slices 2,000 jobs.  Amazon cites plague, closes New Jersey distribution site.










Fashion bigshot Peter Nygard arrested for unspecified sex crimes.  A perverted politician in California busted for abducting children while a Virginia politician’s arrested for snatching a 12 year old girl.  Santa and Mrs. Claus infect kiddies at Xmas tree lighting.  73 West Point cadets accused of cheating.  New York reports that somebody has been stealing unpublished manuscripts while the State bans possession of Confederate flags.














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
















Pacific Coat fires & mudslides, Midwest blizzards, Nor’easter blankets Northeast with snow, stalling delivery of Christmas gifts and vaxxes.   Authorities call it “crippling”.  Florida freeze said to be generating “falling iguanas”.  New volcanic eruption at Kiluea, Hawaii creates a “lake of fire” (aka Hell).


Natural/Unnatural Disaster








Lucky guys (3) survive Tampa plane crash, burial in NY snowstorm.




















Science, Tech, Education








The Great Conjunction – Saturn and Jupiter appear to fuse and form a brilliant “Star of Bethlehem” star. 


Equality (econ./social)








Texas cops kill Joshua Feast and Columbus OH police shoot Andre Hill while a Virginia Beach man is arrested and cuffed for “eating while black”.  In return, a Pennsylvania man at traffic stop shoots a cop.



















AAA reports safer roads, cheaper gas and quicker drives as plague reduces cars on the roads from 118M to 86M.  Dr. Fauci appointed President Joe’s Corona Czar.  2020 called America’s deadliest year ever with the Plague 3rd behind heart disease and cancer.




Add 100 pts. - vax rollout

- 495.78

- 295.78

- 494.79

- 195.78

Dodge City MAGAmob runs pro-mask Mayor out of town. Moderna vax to be shipped from McKesson in Olive Branch, MS, just south of Memphis’ Pfizer Fed Ex distribution point.  Dr. Fauci gets vaxxed (Moderna), then claims to have personally vaxxed Santa Claus. 


Freedom and Justice








Jeffrey Epstein’s “modeling agent” detained in France.  Nigerian schoolboys kidnapped by Boko Harum released.  Parents sued for destroying Junior’s porn stash.  United Farm Workers suing Foster Farms chicken processing plants over lack of plague protection.










Cultural incidents








NCAA names college football’s Final Four… Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Notre Dame.  NY Jets beat Rams, now 1-13 and risking next year’s top draft pick.  Tiger Woods’ son makes two eagles at Father/Son tournament (but they finish only 7th).  1804 silver dollar sells for $3.3 M.  New Mercedes models sell for only $115 K.  Jose Feliciano and kids on a rooftop celebrate 50th anniversary of “Feliz Navidad”.  Tom Cruise yells at film crew for social undistancing on the job.



Miscellaneous incidents








Undertakers are marketing funeral expense gift cards for Christmas.  Want one?  RIP: Singer/songwriter K. T. Oslin, NFL star Kevin Greene, 8 retired Milwaukee nuns, Chief of Standing Rock Sioux tribe and Boba Fett (Jeremy Bullock) joins Darth Vader and Chewbacca in the Star-ry sky.  Returning in peace: the McRib.






























The Don Jones Index for the week of December 16th through December 22nd, 2020 was UP 93.82 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 or:






See further indicators at The Economist – HERE!



Attachment One – from NY Times


Trump Weighed Naming Election Conspiracy Theorist as Special Counsel

In a meeting at the White House on Friday, President Trump weighed appointing Sidney Powell, who promoted conspiracy theories about rigged voting machines, to investigate voter fraud.

By Maggie Haberman and Zolan Kanno-Youngs

Dec. 19, 2020


President Trump on Friday discussed naming Sidney Powell, who as a lawyer for his campaign team unleashed conspiracy theories about a Venezuelan plot to rig voting machines in the United States, to be a special counsel overseeing an investigation of voter fraud, according to two people briefed on the discussion.

It was unclear if Mr. Trump will move ahead with such a plan.

Most of his advisers opposed the idea, two of the people briefed on the discussion said, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer. In recent days Mr. Giuliani has sought to have the Department of Homeland Security join the campaign’s efforts to overturn Mr. Trump’s loss in the election.

Mr. Giuliani joined the discussion by phone initially, while Ms. Powell was at the White House for a meeting that became raucous and involved people shouting at each other at times, according to one of the people briefed on what took place.

Ms. Powell’s client, retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser whom the president recently pardoned, was also there, two of the people briefed on the meeting said. Some senior administration officials drifted in and out of the meeting.

Ms. Powell’s ideas were shot down by every other Trump adviser present, all of whom repeatedly pointed out that she had yet to back up her claims with proof. At one point, one person briefed on the meeting said, she produced several affidavits, but upon inspection they were all signed by a man she has previously used as an expert witness, whose credentials have been called into question.

The White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, and the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, repeatedly and aggressively pushed back on the ideas being proposed, which went beyond the special counsel idea, those briefed on the meeting said.

Mr. Cipollone told Mr. Trump there was no constitutional authority for what was being discussed, one of the people briefed on the meeting said. Other advisers from the White House and the Trump campaign delivered the same message throughout the meeting, which stretched on for a long period of time.

Mr. Trump was defeated in the election by President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. by more than 7 million votes. The states have confirmed Mr. Biden’s Electoral College victory by a margin of 306-232.

But Mr. Trump, egged on by supporters like Ms. Powell, has never conceded and, holed up inside the White House, he continues to assert that he actually won — even though the baseless claims Ms. Powell and others have made of widespread fraud have been thoroughly debunked and even many of Mr. Trump’s closest allies have dismissed as preposterous her tale of an international conspiracy to rig the vote.

Mr. Trump tends to think of Justice Department appointees when he describes special counsels, but those briefed on the meeting said the idea was for Ms. Powell to serve as a special counsel within the White House, appointed by the president, according to those briefed on it.

Mr. Trump also asked about Ms. Powell being given security clearances to pursue her work, two of the people briefed on the meeting said.

Ms. Powell accused other Trump advisers of being quitters, according to the people briefed.

But the idea that Mr. Trump would try to install Ms. Powell in a position to investigate the outcome sent shock waves through the president’s circle. She has repeatedly claimed there was widespread fraud, but several lawsuits she filed related to election fraud have been tossed out of court.

A White House spokesman, Ms. Powell and a spokeswoman for Mr. Giuliani did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Trump has been in contact with Ms. Powell at other times in recent days, even though his campaign last month sought to distance itself from her as she aired wild and baseless claims about Dominion Voting Systems machines, which were used in some states, somehow being connected to a Venezuelan plot to control the election.

Dominion officials have demanded that Ms. Powell retract her claims. The Trump campaign on Saturday sent a memo to campaign officials telling them to preserve documents related to Ms. Powell and Dominion in case of legal action by the company against Ms. Powell, according to a report by CNN that a campaign official confirmed.

Since the election, Mr. Trump had pushed the outgoing attorney general, William P. Barr, to appoint a special counsel to look into election fraud, as well as one to investigate Hunter Biden, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son. Mr. Barr, people briefed on the matter said, has been unwilling to do what Mr. Trump wanted.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani have been pushing for data that would provide evidence of widespread election fraud. Mr. Barr has said the Justice Department has found no evidence of fraud on a scale that would change the outcome of the election.

Part of the White House meeting on Friday night was a discussion about an executive order to take control of voting machines to examine them, according to one of the people briefed on the discussion.

Mr. Giuliani has separately pressed the Department of Homeland Security to seize possession of voting machines as part of a push to overturn the results of the election, three people familiar with the discussion said. Mr. Giuliani was told the department does not have the authority to do such a thing.

The conversation between Mr. Giuliani and Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the acting deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department, took place in the past week, according to the people familiar with the discussion, who were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to describe the conversation.

The department oversees the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the agency responsible for safeguarding critical systems, such as elections and hospitals.

Mr. Cuccinelli is said to have told Mr. Giuliani that there is no authority by which the agency, which spent the year working with state election officials to prepare for the election, could assert control over voting machines in those states.

It was unclear whether Mr. Trump facilitated the phone call.

Mr. Giuliani called Mr. Cuccinelli this week to push the department to re-examine the machines to find evidence of what the Trump campaign has called widespread fraud, two of the people briefed on the discussion said.

The effort by Mr. Trump’s campaign to use the cybersecurity agency in the push to overturn the results of the election comes after the president last month fired the head of that agency, Christopher C. Krebs. Before he was ousted, Mr. Krebs joined other top election officials in calling the 2020 election “the most secure in American history.”

State and local governments take the lead in managing elections in the United States while the cybersecurity agency primarily provides support, guidance and intelligence with the local leaders on potential threats to the voting system.

“We don’t own those networks and we do not have independent legal authority to go in and start combing through those networks,” said Suzanne Spaulding, an under secretary for cybersecurity and critical infrastructure in the Obama administration. “Efforts that appear to be driving a partisan agenda, particularly completely unfounded allegations, significantly undermine the hard work these men and women have been engaged in for years.”

Mr. Cuccinelli, who led the federal government’s legal immigration agency before rising to become the second highest ranking official in the Homeland Security Department, emerged as one of the public faces of the department’s cybersecurity efforts in the weeks before the election, joining Mr. Krebs in urging patience when it comes to counting the votes.



There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave’

June 16, 2020




By:Michael R. Pence

Vice President of the United States


In recent days, the media has taken to sounding the alarm bells over a “second wave” of coronavirus infections. Such panic is overblown. Thanks to the leadership of President Trump and the courage and compassion of the American people, our public health system is far stronger than it was four months ago, and we are winning the fight against the invisible enemy.

While talk of an increase in cases dominates cable news coverage, more than half of states are actually seeing cases decline or remain stable. Every state, territory and major metropolitan area, with the exception of three, have positive test rates under 10%. And in the six states that have reached more than 1,000 new cases a day, increased testing has allowed public health officials to identify most of the outbreaks in particular settings—prisons, nursing homes and meatpacking facilities—and contain them.

Lost in the coverage is the fact that today less than 6% of Americans tested each week are found to have the virus. Cases have stabilized over the past two weeks, with the daily average case rate across the U.S. dropping to 20,000—down from 30,000 in April and 25,000 in May. And in the past five days, deaths are down to fewer than 750 a day, a dramatic decline from 2,500 a day a few weeks ago—and a far cry from the 5,000 a day that some were predicting.

The truth is that we’ve made great progress over the past four months, and it’s a testament to the leadership of President Trump. When the president asked me to chair the White House Coronavirus Task Force at the end of February, he directed us to pursue not only a whole-of-government approach but a whole-of-America approach. The president brought together major commercial labs to expand our testing capacity, manufacturers to produce much-needed medical equipment, and major pharmaceutical companies to begin research on new medicines and vaccines. He rallied the American people to embrace social-distancing guidelines. And the progress we’ve made is remarkable.

We’ve expanded testing across the board. At the end of February, between Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labs and state public health facilities, the U.S. had performed only about 8,000 coronavirus tests. As of this week, we are performing roughly 500,000 tests a day, and more than 23 million tests have been performed in total.

We’ve also vastly expanded our supplies of crucial medical equipment. In March, there were genuine fears that hospitals in our hot spots would run out of personal protective equipment like N95 masks, gloves or, even worse, ventilators for patients battling respiratory failure. The Strategic National Stockpile hadn’t been refilled since the H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009, and it had only 10,000 ventilators on hand.

Since then, we’ve increased the supply of personal protective equipment by the billions. Our administration launched Project Air Bridge—a partnership between the federal government and private companies—that, as of June 12, had conducted more than 200 flights from overseas to deliver more than 143 million N95 masks, 598 million surgical and procedural masks, 20 million eye and face shields, 265 million gowns and coveralls, and 14 billion gloves. In addition, we’ve worked with the private sector to ramp up ventilator production. Today, we have more than 30,000 ventilators in the Strategic National Stockpile, and we’re well on our way to building 100,000 ventilators in 100 days. No American who required a ventilator was ever denied one.

We’ve also made great progress on developing therapeutics and a vaccine. Last month, the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences announced it would donate about 940,000 vials of its new drug remdesivir to treat more than 120,000 patients in the U.S. Under Operation Warp Speed, the federal government is already funding research into multiple vaccine candidates, and we are well on our way to having a viable vaccine by the fall.

But our greatest strength is the resilience of the American people. From the outset of this pandemic, the American people have stepped up and made great personal sacrifices to protect the health and safety of our nation. And it’s because of their embrace of social-distancing guidelines that all 50 states have begun to reopen in a safe and responsible manner.

The media has tried to scare the American people every step of the way, and these grim predictions of a second wave are no different. The truth is, whatever the media says, our whole-of-America approach has been a success. We’ve slowed the spread, we’ve cared for the most vulnerable, we’ve saved lives, and we’ve created a solid foundation for whatever challenges we may face in the future. That’s a cause for celebration, not the media’s fear mongering.

Mr. Pence is vice president of the United States.

This op-ed appeared in The Wall Street Journal on June 16, 2020