THE DON JONES INDEX…

 

 

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

 

 4/30/21…  14,210.23

 4/23/21…  14,210.58

   6/27/13…  15,000.00

 

 

DOW JONES INDEX: 5/7/21…32,862.30; 4/23/21…33,815.90; 6/27/13…15,000.00)

 

 

LESSON for April 23, 2021 – “JOE does DEATH!”

 

 

A year and a half ago, a small… admittedly sour… Swedish teenager named Greta Thunberg came to America to lecture the Congress in Washington and, a few days later, the united Nations, on what they were doing wrong and what she, Greta insisted that they do or else many of the autocrats, Democrats, plutocrats and such would not only be dooming their children and grandchildren, those who were, at least, under fifty, would be dooming themselves to a hot and horrible death – sometime over the next twelve to thirty years (the actual time of extinction remains a topic of debate among scientists).

Wherever she went, she told the Congress: “…I seem to be surrounded by fairy tales.  Business leaders, elected leaders all across the political spectrum spending their time making up and telling bedtime stories that soothe us, make us go back to sleep.”  (“No One is Too Small to Make a Difference”)

Remember, Donald Trump was still President and would be so for more than another year.  She might well have added that some of the fairy tales were of the darker sort about pulling those who disagree with you away from their desks and outside to the gallows, to be hanged.  But she was young – and naïve.  “The climate and ecological crisis is beyond party politics.  And our main enemy right now is not our political opponents.  Our main enemy now is physics.  And we cannot make “deals” with physics.”

 

Advance forward that same year and a half to Earth Day, 2021; President Joe and thirty nine other world leaders participating in a (virtual) summit on climate change, variously urging human change and blaming other people for the problem. 

“President Biden’s Earth Day Climate Summit sought to reclaim U.S. global leadership on climate change,” the business magazine Forbes declared, before cynicism crept in like fog.  “At the Summit, Biden pledged that the U.S. would cut carbon emissions by 50-52% by 2030, with 2005 as the baseline (for reference, in 2015, President Obama had pledged a 25 to 28% reduction by 2025). Biden’s credibility with the international audience depends on whether he can show a domestic policy pathway to the promised 50% reduction. Moreover, he needs to make sure that the climate targets do not get tied to other issues that might invite strong domestic opposition.”

 (See Attachment One)

Some things (and people) change.  Others stay the same.  Still more others manage to appear to be doing both.

A somewhat unlikely climate champion after years as a political moderate, Biden came into office with a number of big climate and clean energy goals. On his first day in office, noted the online magazine Vox, he reentered the US into the Paris climate agreement and issued a flurry of executive orders to accelerate the transition off fossil fuels, protect biodiversity, and address environmental injustice.

“To underscore America’s renewed commitment, Biden this week announced an ambitious new nationally determined contribution (NDC). Actually getting there will require a massive transformation of the US economy toward clean energy and a big investment in electric vehicles.”

Gee, holly golly.  Over the course of a few years, addressing climate had gone from being a backburner issue to a centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, a crucial plank of his economic policy. A career moderate, the Voxxaterians reported.  Biden is an unlikely champion of the issue. But as the politics and urgency around climate change has shifted, so too has Biden.

The biggest news out of the virtual event was the commitments various countries made to reduce their emissions. At the top, Biden formally pledged America would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent relative to 2005 levels by 2030 — the most ambitious target the US has set to date. Still, as Vox’s Umair Irfan laid out, some believe the goal is not big enough given the sheer scale of the current climate crisis and the pace of warming.  (See below and Attachment Two)

The key reasons for the new geopolitical consensus are clear. Earth has already warmed dangerously -- by around 1.2° Celsius, or 2.7° Fahrenheit over the past 250 years -- and will continue to warm at around 0.2° C per decade or higher unless the global energy system is decarbonized.

President Biden’s climate goals carry a big risk — “or a big potential payoff”, intoned the New York Times… inadvertently (or vertently) taking the “floor” position on climate change deadlines, as apposed to the 2050 deadline for the planet preferred by many other “moderates”.

Scientists say that his pledge to cut America’s climate warming emissions in half by 2030 is technologically feasible and ecologically imperative. The speed of the economic transition away from fossil fuels, however, risks exposing vulnerabilities in the nation’s electricity system and unsettling its transportation sector. But the rewards could be high: lower risk of catastrophic climate change, new jobs and renewed global leadership for American companies.

Separately, a major U.N. report to be released next month will declare that slashing emissions of methane, the main component of natural gas, is far more vital than previously thought to ward off the worst effects of climate change.

To wit…

NBC News reported, Wednesday, that glaciers are melting faster, losing 31 percent more snow and ice per year than they did 15 years earlier, according to three-dimensional satellite measurements of all the world’s mountain glaciers.

Scientists blame human-caused climate change.

“Using 20 years of recently declassified satellite data,” they say, scientists calculate that the world’s 220,000 mountain glaciers are losing more than 328 billion tons (298 billion metric tons) of ice and snow per year since 2015, according to a study in Wednesday’s journal Nature. “That’s enough melt flowing into the world’s rising oceans to put Switzerland under almost 24 feet (7.2 meters) of water each year.

The annual melt rate from 2015 to 2019 is 78 billion more tons (71 billion metric tons) a year than it was from 2000 to 2004. Global thinning rates, different than volume of water lost, doubled in the last 20 years and “that’s enormous,” said Romain Hugonnet, a glaciologist at ETH Zurich and the University of Toulouse in France who led the study.

Half the world’s glacial loss is coming from the United States and Canada.

Alaska’s melt rates are “among the highest on the planet,” with the Columbia glacier retreating about 115 feet (35 meters) a year, Hugonnet said.

For perspective, at a 2017 climate march in Washington, DC, progressive Sens. Bernie Sanders (VT) and Jeff Merkley (OR) unveiled a new bill calling for 100 percent of US energy to be generated by clean and renewable sources by 2050. Four years later, Biden is speeding up the timeline significantly.

The wild swings from Obama to Trump to Biden and a lack of stable federal policy on climate and clean energy has been difficult to contend with, experts told Vox.

A recent study from the Rhodium Group found that though the US is indeed on target to hit the Obama-era emissions goals, that hasn’t happened purely because of the good intentions of American business and industry. The Rhodium Group study found that the Covid-19 pandemic suddenly grinding the economy to a halt led to a 10.3 percent drop in US greenhouse gas emissions in 2020.

“With coronavirus vaccines now in distribution, we expect economic activity to pick up again in 2021, but without meaningful structural changes in the carbon intensity of the US economy, emissions will likely rise again as well,” the Rhodium Group study concluded. In other words, the federal government can’t count on businesses to do the right thing. It needs to set the tone moving forward.

 

By every standard, President Joe Biden's virtual climate change summit (summoning forty world leaders onto Zoom to make virtual pronouncements) was a remarkable success, according to Jeffrey Sachs of CNN. “With great diplomatic dexterity,” he gushed.

“Biden and climate envoy John Kerry assembled world leaders representing 82% of world carbon emissions, 73% of the world population and 86% of world economic output to commit to bold climate action.”

(See a list and some remarks from their hometown media as Attachment Fourteen)

CNN even reported that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had done a U-turn… after long parroting Trump's anti-environmentalism, Bolsonaro “abruptly fell in behind Biden by announcing Brazil's intention to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and to scale-up nature-based solutions in Brazil's vast Amazon rainforest… the so called lungs of the planet as have been rather wracked by slash and burn agriculture as those lungs of individuals unfortunate enough to have encountered the plague (or tobacco, or ongoing pollution… speaking of China, whose President Xi Jinping “not only underscored China's commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2060, but also to draw down coal use after 2025, a major step forward, and one that will likely put China on the path to reach net zero by 2050, alongside the US.”

Well, that’s what CNN said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi both promised climate action but offered few new details. Russia is of course heavily dependent on fossil fuels, yet Putin knows that Russia needs to change as foreign markets for Russia's gas exports inevitably decline. India is still coal dependent, yet the Indian government recognizes India's vast solar power potential, its high vulnerability to global warming and the serious risks of losing export markets if India delays its energy transformation.

And they have certain… other problems… at present.

Vox celebrated the “big pledge from Chinese President Xi Jinping” to reduce coal consumption between 2026 and 2030. But Xi’s announcement was short on specifics, and China’s overall targets — hitting peak carbon emissions by 2030 before getting to net-zero emissions by 2060 — remained unchanged.

 

“Even if the pledges from the US and other countries were broadly encouraging,” Vox reported, “the real test of whether these countries will actually make good on them is yet to come. Many are putting economic growth first after a year of stagnation due to the Covid-19 pandemic; air pollution levels are already soaring again in China.

China, according to a recent article in Time, is also among the first economies that are recovering rapidly from the outbreak. Beating pessimistic forecast, Beijing expanded its economy by 2.3 percent in 2020, making it the only major economy registering positive growth last year.

“What is also rebounding is its air pollution level. According to Finland-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), by early May levels of concentration of air pollutants – PM2.5, NO2, SO2 and ozone – all returned to or exceeding the monthly levels recorded the previous year. In October, PM2.5 concentrations in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the China-equivalent to Germany’s densely packed Ruhr region, saw an increase of 15.6 percent over the same month last year, raising concerns that the region risks falling short of its winter pollution control targets.

In 2019, more than 66 percent of the electricity in China was generated using coal power, which is a leading contributor to air pollution in China. Convinced that high economic growth ultimately leads to environmental improvements, some Chinese elites insist that economic development is a sine qua non for solving the country’s environmental problems. Justin Yifu Lin, a renowned government economist in China, even argued that economic growth was not the primary factor behind China’s smog problem, and that China should speed up growth to fundamentally solve its environmental crisis. In September 2019, Premier Li Keqiang reaffirmed that economic development be taken as the central goal.”

The great, gray New York Times cited America’s Six Steps to Sanity – “Lo and behold, (governments) are finding that decarbonizing the energy system is not some pie-in-the-sky dream, but is rather a practical and achievable task, with six basic steps in the transformation:

“First, stop building any new fossil fuel-based power generation (such as coal-fired power plants) and replace all mothballed power plants and new generation capacity with zero-carbon power (such as wind, solar, nuclear, etc.).

“Second, electrify transport. All of today's automakers and many aspiring automakers of the future know that the automotive future lies in electric vehicles. Major auto producers will shift fully from internal combustion engines to battery electric vehicles by around 2035.  (Biden's infrastructure plans also invest in other steps. For example, they support the transition to electric vehicles through investments in charging stations and R&D for advances in battery technology.)

“Third, electrify buildings. New buildings will be fit with electric heat pumps and electric cooking, and old buildings heated with home heating oil and natural gas will be retrofitted for electricity.

“Fourth, improve energy efficiency through smart appliances, improved building design, better materials and other cost-effective energy savers.

“Fifth, produce "green" fuels such as hydrogen using zero-carbon electricity for use in industrial applications that can't be electrified directly. Hydrogen or other zero-carbon fuels will be used in sectors such as aviation, ocean shipping and steel production.

“Sixth, adopt nature-based solutions to store more carbon dioxide in forests and soils by creating more protected nature reserves and by shifting from extensive (land-using) agriculture to intensive (land-saving) agriculture.”

 

These are all worthy and… if you believe President Joe… goals that not only preserve life on Earth, but produce jobs and profits, too.  Republicans, whose support he will need to enact domestic legislation and spur or shame foreigners into compliance, do not seem to be on board the S.S. Biden.

Soon, however, would be heard some discouraging words.

 

Vox had reported that the “breakout” star of Biden’s climate summit is 19-year-old climate justice activist and organizer with Fridays for Future Xiye Bastida. In fiery remarks delivered during a session on climate solutions, Bastida, who relocated to New York from Mexico with her family at the age of 11 when they were displaced by drought and floods, joined the swelling army of “youth climate activists” demanding governments “act decisively using the tools available to end the climate emergency.”

When pushed to address Bastida’s concerns at a press conference following the summit, climate envoy Kerry said President Biden’s climate summit is a big step in the right direction. “Is it enough? No. But it’s the best we can do today.”

Bastida clearly had made an impression. Speaking at a White House press conference later on Thursday, Kerry described her impassioned plea as “profoundly meaningful” and “moving.”

“That’s where a lot of the younger generation is today, appropriately,” Kerry said. “Pretty upset at the adults — the alleged adults — who are not getting their act together to make happen what needs to happen.”

Even the arch-conservative Breitbart agreed (sort of), at least about Bastida’s sincerity (if not her vision)…

The Breitbarters called Bastida ”anticolonial” and “anticapitalist for her anti-American, anti-West, anti-white and anti-capitalist accusations (something Kerry preferred not to echo).

Bastica accused world leaders of perpetrating economic systems that disproportionally harm black, brown, and indigenous people.

“We demand that you stop systematically targeting the global south, and black and brown and indigenous communities through environmental plunder, the exploitation of our lands…” she said.

Bastida also called for “comprehensive non-Eurocentric and intersectional climate education” as well as “literacy on climate justice, Environmental racism, and ancestral and indigenous wisdom.”

As if, perhaps, channeling Marianne Williamson (or Gwyneth Paltrow?), BB reported that the speaker had challenged world leaders for not doing enough on climate change, calling them to “live in harmony with Mother Earth.”

And they reported that a Russian video feed showed the American President and cohorts Kerry and Blinken as the only climateers wearing masks “even though they have been presumably vaccinated for the coronavirus and were sitting six feet apart from each other.”

What a trio of old fuddy-duddies!

(BB did not mention whether virtual Indian boss Modi was masked – given the… uh… circumstances in his country.)  He wasn’t.

 

The grand old goat of the (RINO) right, National Review, attempted to right its Trump-skeptical course by jumping into the fray with a full-scale, three pronged attack on President Joe and his virtual summit, calling the event “unserious”, the perpetrator a “denialist” (that dread term weaponized against his predecessor’s scientific acumen for simple proposals like making everybody drink bleach and, speaking of government coercion, joined the tinfoil crowd in declaiming that Joe really, really DID want to ban meat.  (See Attachments Four; A, B and C)

There was even dissent from the left – “…history will judge Biden not by how much he cares or what he says, but by which policies and investments his administration and Democrats in Congress put in place, how they are implemented and enforced, the emission reductions they produce, and whether they lead to further policy,” warned another Vox correspondent, David Roberts, in another composition. (Attachment Five)

And a NYT correspondent, while mostly approving of the effort to restart the issue after the Paris debacle, warned that: “Leaders of many other countries understand that climate change and extreme weather can cause problems for them. The leaders also see clean energy as a growing industry and want their companies to be leaders. The U.S. can’t simply dictate terms. Both China and India, for example, will remain more reliant on coal than Biden administration officials wish.”  (Attachment Six)

During Barack Obama’s presidency, and now Biden’s, “Republicans have almost uniformly opposed significant legislation, be it on health care, climate change, Wall Street regulation or economic stimulus.”  (nyt) And Vox, tolling off a list of winners and losers, consigned the Grand Old Party to the later (even though “loss” on this issue means loss of life for all parties, partisans and people – whether by 2030, 2050 or even 2100.)

In the days leading up to the summit, House Republicans halfheartedly and unsuccessfully tried to reverse the cemented narrative that their official climate platform is to deny scientific reality. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy published a video touting the Energy Innovation Agenda, a package of “dozens of bills and solutions” the GOP has to address climate change and infrastructure as a counterpoint to Biden’s agenda.

No president of either party has so fully embraced tackling climate change before, Vox allowed, “but the hardest part for Biden is yet to come. Though White House officials have insisted they have multiple pathways to halve emissions from 2005 levels in less than a decade, it will be difficult without passing Biden’s American Jobs plan through a divided Congress.

“That policy change has been driven by a significant transformation, essentially the zeitgeist of climate change,” Julian Brave NoiseCat, vice president of policy and strategy at Data for Progress, told Vox in an interview. “The conversation used to be about how the heck do we get people to care about climate change when it feel so far off.”

Compiling data for the past 13 years, researchers at Yale and George Mason universities used to see about 12 percent of people they classified as “alarmed” about climate and the same amount who were “dismissive” about the issue. Over the years, the numbers have shifted. Those in the alarmed group have grown to about 26 percent (there’s another 29 percent who classify themselves as “concerned” about climate change), while the number in the dismissive category has shrunk to 8 percent.

“The bigger question is, is public engagement in climate increasing — and the answer is unequivocally yes,” said Edward Maibach, director of the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.

For the most part, Republicans are no longer the party of outright climate denial, recognizing a fundamental shift in the electorate. At the same time, their initial plans to tackle climate change revolve around planting 1 trillion trees worldwide and investing in technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere — rather than reorienting the American economy to not produce carbon in the first place. And the GOP is sounding the alarm about Biden’s decarbonization targets, saying a departure from fossil fuels will wound the economy.

“I’d say there isn’t an overall Republican strategy to combat the climate crisis where it is,” said Joe Bonfiglio, president of the Environmental Defense Action Fund. “What we’re seeing now is a party grappling with a need to have climate plans that neatly fit under the policy umbrella of all of the above energy strategy that doesn’t reduce fossil use.”

Vox also called Climate Czar John Kerry’s faith in markets another “loser”

“Kerry’s faith in the private sector as the silver bullet is somewhat naive. The private sector is an important partner to meet ambitious climate goals, but it will also take serious investment across all levels of government to get there.”

new coalition, launched Thursday last, seeks to funnel at least $1 billion in payments to countries that show they’re preventing tropical deforestation and its associated emissions. The US, Britain, and Norway are driving the effort along with a number of major corporations, including Amazon, Nestlé, Unilever, and Salesforce, forming what the group called “one of the largest ever public-private efforts to help protect tropical forests.”

“Bringing together government and private-sector resources is a necessary step in supporting the large-scale efforts that must be mobilized to halt deforestation and begin to restore tropical and subtropical forests,” Kerry said in a statement when the group, known as the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance Coalition (LEAF), was announced Thursday.  (See Attachment Three)

Hollywood, at least, is on board.

 

Back in 2019… seems like long, long ago, President Donald Trump mocked Thunberg on Twitter after the 16-year-old excoriated world leaders for not doing enough to tackle the climate crisis.  (See Attachments Eight A, B and C)

“She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” Trump posted on Twitter, replying to a video of Thunberg’s speech at the United Nations climate action summit earlier in the day.

Trump’s penchant for Twitter insults and online confrontations with people he sees as political adversaries is well known, though CNN did acknowledge that the tweet was “a striking display of the President teasing a child.”

Thunberg appeared to take Trump’s slight in stride. By late Tuesday morning, she had updated her Twitter bio to read: “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”

Trump, on the other hand, went ballistic after Time nominated the teenybopper as its Person of the Year.

They say revenge is a dish best served cold, the Guardian UK reiterated – citing Don Corleone and Greta Thunberg, the teenage environmental activist mocked by Donald Trump in a tweet when she was named Time magazine’s person of the year, waited exactly 11 months before delivering the perfect riposte.

In his December 2019 insult, Trump told Thunberg, 17, to work on her “anger management problem” and to “go to an old-fashioned movie with a friend”.

“Chill Greta, chill!” the president implored in the tweet, which began with him branding her Time award as “so ridiculous”.

On Thursday afternoon, with Trump raging on Twitter in all capital letters and throwing out baseless allegations of voter fraud even as his election day lead in Pennsylvania and other states continued to erode, Thunberg threw his words straight back at him.

“So ridiculous,” Thunberg tweeted in reply to Trump’s earlier “STOP THE COUNT!” rant.

“Donald must work on his Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Donald, Chill!”

Within two hours of posting it, the tweet had amassed more than 452,000 likes, double the total for Trump’s original message.

And now, Greta has new rivals on both her left and right flanks.  The “breakout star of Biden’s climate summit” was 19-year-old climate justice activist and organizer with Fridays for Future Xiye Bastida.

In fiery remarks delivered during a session on climate solutions, Bastida, who relocated to New York from Mexico with her family at the age of 11 when they were displaced by drought and floods, demanded governments act decisively using the tools available to end the climate emergency.

The Washpost (see Attachment Nine) reported that a right wing think tank hopes it’s found an  anti-Greta.

Naomi Seibt is a 19-year-old German who, like Greta, is blond, eloquent and European. But Naomi denounces “climate alarmism,” calls climate consciousness “a despicably anti-human ideology,” and has even deployed Greta’s now famous “How dare you?” line to take on the mainstream German media.

“She’s a fantastic voice for free markets and for climate realism,” said James Taylor, director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy at the Heartland Institute, an influential libertarian think tank in suburban Chicago that has the ear of the Trump administration.

 

Girl scuffles aside, the summit represented a “tipping point” (Sachs/CNN) with the world's largest economies -- the United States, Canada, the European Union, China, Japan, Korea, India, United Kingdom, Brazil -- finally aligning around the goal of deep decarbonization, “meaning the shift of the energy system from fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) to zero-carbon sources (solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass).”

They might have added nuclear, but adverse atoms are still anathema on the left.

Joshua Goldstein, an American, and Steffan Qvist (yes, Greta, a Swede!) tout so-called “fourth-generation” nuclear fission,  “From a political marketing perspective,” they advise, “(f)ears about nuclear power, however unjustified, might be mitigated with the reassurance that fourth-generation designs are even safer (than safe) and all-around better.  And then, they smile, it’ll be time to break nuclear fusion out of the deathtrap dungeon into which most Americans put it, thanks to pre-Djonald crackpot Lyndon LaRouche.  (See their book: “A Bright (literally – dji) Future”)

If only those damn private sector nukers would stop building their doom domes on earthquake faults, upwind of major cities and next to convenient sources of drinking water!

Still, the anti-nukers bump up against another Vox and friends Loser: “The goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

Any country that delays decarbonizing, they say, will be left with stranded assets and shrinking markets for its exports.

We are still a long way from achieving this goal, but the debates over the objective -- net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, the timing (by around 2050, according to CNN), but 2030 is the new 2050 and even the basic pathways to success -- are largely over.

The 2015 Paris climate agreement has a topline goal of limiting the increase in global average temperatures this century to below 2 degrees Celsius, but it also has a secondary, more ambitious target of keeping warming below 1.5°C.

Back in 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change put out a major report looking at just how hard it would be to meet the 1.5°C target. It found that every degree of warming matters, with higher temperatures extracting a higher human and economic toll. The report concluded that to reach this goal, the world has until 2030 to slash greenhouse gas emissions by half or more from present.

And 1.5°C is hardly a “safe” climate. The world has already warmed by at least 1°C on average, and the effects have been devastating. The longer the world waits to act to limit emissions, the harder it will get.

The new US climate target — a 50 to 52 percent cut in emissions relative to 2005 by 2030 — “looks like it is consistent” with the 1.5°C goal, according to a senior White House official on a call with reporters on Wednesday. But according to Climate Action Tracker, a US commitment in line with this target would actually need a 57 to 63 percent cut.

Many other countries have also said they are using 1.5°C as their benchmark for their climate commitments. Rhetorically, it seems there is widespread support for being more ambitious. However, it’s clear there’s a cavernous rift between commitments and actions. Global greenhouse gas emissions have only grown since the 2018 IPCC report. While there was a lull in this growth last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, emissions are poised to rebound around the world, including in the US, as economies reopen.

So now, concludes Umair Irfan: “the world has to make even more drastic cuts to greenhouse gases — and in less time. It’s easy to paint a target years into the future. It’s much harder to take aim today. And right now, that target is nowhere in our sights.”

As for Joe, he celebrated Earth Day with friends, family and maybe even Al Gore, and then, yesterday, descended to the hallowed, haunted Capitol to address two hundred Congresspersons chosen by lottery and television cameras, all under heavy security.  It was his Hundredth (well, 99th) Day Speech, not a State of the Union, per se, but what is the new normal for 2021… and featured an out-of-left-field accusation that Joe was going Bloomberg and proposing legislation to ban the eating of meat (as well as, presumably, eggs, milk, potato chips, chocolate and bananas).

Whole grain bread and water for you, Mister.

In the lengthy, wide-ranging and… in a contrast to the usual Trump harangues… somewhat boring address, Biden recited a number of costly agenda items, including measures to combat climate change.  Not many, not specific, but more than his predecessor.  (See Attachment Ten)  The Republican response, from Sen. Tim Scott, was also very light… in fact, negligible on climate, approached only indirectly through jobs and infrastructure issues.  (See Attachment Eleven)

Comments on the speech, by NPR and CNN are attached as Attachments Twelve and Thirteen.

 

Dirt is just another name for Earth, and Joe knows Dirt… the kind that flies about in Washington and then that which behaves itself and stays in its place across flyby America and, in the process, allowing food to be produced – even meat!

After scolding Congress in 2019, Greta Thunberg voyaged to New York (presumably by Flintstones SUV) and engaged the assembled, scowling diplomats – many from the same countries so effusively praising the objectives (if not the task) of Biden’s summit eighteen months later.

“You have taken away my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” the progeriac sweet sixteener told the men (almost all) in high places.  “And yet I’m one of the lucky ones.

“People are suffering.  People are dying.  Entire ecosystems are collapsing.  We are in the beginning of a mass extinction.  And all you can talk about is fairy tales of money and economic growth.  How dare you!”

Happy Earth Day, 2021!

 

APRIL 23 – APRIL 29

 

   Friday, April 23, 2021

     

      Infected: 31,992,407

               Dead:  571,200

                  Dow:  34,043.49

      

           

President Joe declares he’ll raise the capital gains tax as well as income taxes on the rich to pay for Coronavirus expenses.  Republicans make a counteroffer to Joe’s 1.9T stim; 568M.  Not taken. 

   More services and places (like California state universities) demand Vaxx Cards so the usual happens – criminals and forgers cash in.  Experts disagree on how long immunity will last – weeks, months or years?  Dr. Jha calls J&J “extraordinarily safe” with only one in 500,000 getting clots, but Americans resist anyway.  But plague is far worse in Brazil and India (where there are public cremations in the streets), although better in Israel.

   Leakers in Minneapolis reveal that Derek Chauvin has a history of knee-strangulation of unarmed blacks as states race ahead of feds on police reform.  Diversitarians hail first woman appointed head of FEMA and Congress approves statehood (and 2 Senate votes) for Washington DC, though chances of passing through a Senate filibuster are minimal.

   Caitlyn Jenner announces for Governorship of California pending Newsome recall; hires The Donald’s melted-down Brad Parscale as manager.

 

Saturday,  April 24, 2021

 

      Infected:  32,045,236

                Dead:  571,921

                 

 

 

It’s Earth Day.  President Joe holds his virtual summit with forty mostly wealthy nations.  (See above)

   Joe’s stimuli variously called American Economic and/or Family Plans.  Highest income tax rate will rise from 36% to 39.6% for the over-$400,000 earners but capital gains taxes will become co-equal (a virtual doubling).  Republicans howl and vow resistance, Dow craters and bitcoins sink below $50,000 for the first time in months.

   J&J re-greenlighted, shots may be rolling out in days even though clot toll rises to 15 with 3 deaths.  Vaxxing as a whole is falling off; right-wing hardliners blamed.  NIH blames the “fragile” American psyche.

   Border migration crisis send’s Biden’s popularity plunging like a rock… his 52% approval is better than Trump, but worse than most Presidents nearing their 100th day in office.  He growls at Central America’s corrupt dictators.  No action ensues. Vice President Harris appointed to seek the “root causes”, experts cite drought and crop failures in Guatemala, silence on corruption. 

 

Sunday,  April 25, 2021

 

      Infected:  32,077,076

                Dead:  572,387

 

                

 

 

Vaxxed Americans now comprise 53% of the population.  Dr. Fauci says the world is now looking to America as the “gold standard” in plague fighting.

   More street cremations as India’s health system implodes; shortage of PPE, vaxxes and oxygen have healthcare workers and hospitals “gasping for breath” with 2,600 deaths in a single day.  80 killed in fire at Iraqi plague hospital.  Indonesian submarine found in three pieces at the bottom of the ocean.  No survivors.

   “I can’t breathe” cop Chauvin will be sentenced on June 16th.  More police shootings fill the gap – juvenile old knife wielder Mahkia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio; Andrew Brown in North Carolina, Isaiah Brown in Virginia.  Attorney General Garland promises meetings.

   A Republican publican offers guarded praise to President Joe.  “He just needs to keep politics boring.”

 

Monday,  April 26, 2021

 

       Infected:  32,124,369

                 Dead:  572,666

                  Dow:  33,981.57   

               

 

It’s National Pretzel Day.  Oscar aftermath finds mixed messages on diversity; Asian power swells, with Chloé Zhao winning Best Director for “Nomadland” (best picture) and Yuh-jung Younwins Best Supporting Actress.  Tyler Perry wins Humanitarian Award, tells story about giving shoes to a homeless woman who then says: “My feet are no longer on the ground.”

   32 states resuming J&J vaxxes, but 73% reject it.  First male clot victim in California.  So America will send surplus doses and PPE to India, where Dr. Jah says plague is worsening.  Dr. Fauci says vaxxees don’t need to wear masks outdoors.

   In the skies above: UFOs and a pink Supermoon.

 

  Tuesday,  April 27, 2021

 

          Infected: 32,173,383

                   Dead:  573,378

                     Dow:  33,984.64

 

Census results in Congressional redistricting; Texas gains seat, New York loses one (by 89 returns) and so does California, where recall of Governor Newsome makes the ballot.  Florida also gains a seat and announces that they will release genetically modified celibate mosquitoes into neighborhoods.

  Experts say India is reporting only 20% of plague deaths.  CDC follows Fauci in dropping mandatory outdoor masking – President Joe goes on TV, rips off his black mask and promises a normal Fourth of July… voice dropping into a creepy whisper warns Don Jones to get vaxxed “now, now!”  Americans are washing their hands less often and prizes for vaxxees abound… free drinks at the bar and West Virginia considers a $100 bounty.  (Those who already got shot curse their luck.) 

   Consumer confidence said to be back to pre-plague levels.  Vegas is booming again.  One result… inflation.  Used cars, Crocs and chicken wing prices are up and Spotify raises its rates.  In the aftermath of Earth Day and the Zoom climate summit, Epicurious Food Magazine will no longer publish recipes for meat (insisting “we’re not anti-meat, we’re pro-planet”) and Jeff Bezos proposes a substitute… edible seaweed.  (The Japanese love it.)

 

  Wednesday, April 28, 2021

               

          Infected:  32,229,327

                    Dead:  574,329

                     Dow:  33,820.38  

President Joe celebrates his 99th Day with an “address” to Congress (above) with only 200 in attendance at the Capitol as opposed to the usual 1,600 despite CDC’s Walensky pivot from “impending doom” to “turning a corner” as a result of over half Americans now shot at least once.  But, she warns: “We know that this virus is an optimist… er… opportunist.” 

   Angry Republicans respond that Joe’s taxes will destroy America.  Mitchy decries a “smorgasbord” of special interest giveaways like the proposed 200M for pre-K education. 

   Taliban celebrate victory as American troops start leaving Afghanistan.  Iranian navy said to be “swarming” American ships in the Persian Gulf.  A Texas man is killed by hundreds of bee stings.  Feds swarm Rudy G’s home and office, seizing documents and computers – accuse him of being a secret lobbyist for a foreign “power”… Ukraine. Apple’s new privacy apps “make war” on Facebook; the Zuck thunders back that he wants to “inflict pain” on Tim Cook.

  

     Thursday, April 29, 2021

 

             Infected:  32,274,941

                       Dead:  575,193

                         Dow:  34,060.36

 

Pundits and partisans toll off “takeaways” from JoeSpeech, but Don (well, Dawn) Jones’ favorite was his tribute to the two women (Harris and Pelosi) directly behind him.  Nancy’s desk defiler finally granted bail after four months in the klink.  Joe says he “likes to meet people with different ideas” then flies down to Georgia to meet ex-Prexy Jimmy Carter.  Tim Scott (R-SC) gives rebuttal… urges Americans to trust God and fight “Washington dreams and Socialist schemes.”  Real socialist Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) said 30 to 40% of Americans do not believe in democracy; “they want a strongman” and that makes them easy prey for conspiracy theorists.

   Hardcore resistance means thousands of shots are expiring; experts shipping them off to Brazil and India which are trading places as worst plague hotspots. 

   NFL draft in Cleveland (relocated from voter-suppressing) Georgia, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence goes to Jacksonville as first pick.  A pair of Michael Jordan’s 40 year old sneakers expected to sell for $100,000 to $150,000 (if autographed, they’d garner half a mil).  Australian town invaded by thousands of “destructive” (i.e. incontinent) cockatoos – some talking, some not.

 

 

The media have made a much of a muchness about America’s return to the New Normal – supposedly including a booming economy that will generate jobs and justify President Joe’s new taxing and spending initiatives.  But, at least for this week, the performance of the markets was anaemic.  Employers now say that lazy Americans would rather sit on their ass and collect kited unemployment handouts than go back to work – labor sorts reply that more and more of the good jobs are going bye bye and the bad jobs that replace them… at minimum wage or worse… can’t feed their families.  Everybody says that the solution is a more competent, motivated and educated workforce, but Democrats say this can’t happen without more handouts for schooling from the cradle to (if not the grave that our climate is digging) than at least into their late 20s or thirties.  So jobs from healthcare to truck driving to Governorships are going unfilled and the military drawdown means that Army training is on the chopping block too.

Whether or not the cost of re-educating Don Jones for the jobs of the future is worth the cost will be a part and parcel of next week’s Lesson on taxes and their benefits (or lack) but while Republicans vow to destroy the Biden agenda by claiming that the borrowing will come from China… some will, some won’t… inflation is also a reality.  While the general state of the Jones was another more or less break-even wash, the statistics that stood forth were on housing… higher prices, fewer sales.  As for inflation, those numbers are on the way.  They won’t be pretty.

 

 

THE DON JONES INDEX

 

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

 

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

 

                                                          See a further explanation of categories here

 

ECONOMIC INDICES (60%)

                                                 ECONOMIC

 

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

 

CATEGORY

VALUE

BASE

 

RESULTS

 

SCORE

SCORE

OUR SOURCE(S) and COMMENTS

 

 

  INCOME

(24%)

6/27/13

LAST

CHANGE

NEXT

  4/23/21

4/23/21

                             SOURCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wages (hourly, per capita)

9%

1350 pts.

 4/2/21

     nc

 5/7/21

1,430.31

1,430.31

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages  25.21 nc

 

 

Median Income (yearly)

4%

600

 4/23/21

 +0.025%

 5/7/21

669.41

669.58

http://www. whttp://www.usdebtclock.org/   35,445

 

 

*Unempl. (BLS – in millions

4%

600

 4/2/21

      nc

 5/7/21

334.23

334.23

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000/  6.0% nc

 

 

*Official (DC – in millions)

2%

300

 4/23/21

   -0.06%

 5/7/21

402.25

403.00

http://www.usdebtclock.org/      9,687

 

 

*Unofficl. (DC – in millions)

2%

300

 4/23/21

   -0.11%

 5/7/21

331.63

332.00

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    17,426

 

 

Workforce Participation-Number  Workforce Participation-Percent

2%

300

 4/23/21

 +0.025%

 +0.02%

 5/7/21

 

313.74

 

313.80

In 150,994 Out 100,491 Total: 251,485

http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 60.04

 

 

WP Percentage (ycharts)*

1%

150

 4/2/21

    nc

 5/7/21

151.99

151.99

http://ycharts.com/indicators/labor_force_participation_rate 61.50

 

 

OUTGO

(15%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Inflation

7%

1050

 4/23/21

+0.6%

 5/7/21

1,008.16

1,008.16

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.6 nc

 

 

Food

2%

300

 4/23/21

+0.1%

 5/7/21

282.99

282.99

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.1

 

 

Gasoline

2%

300

 4/23/21

  +9.1%

 5/7/21

269.99

269.99

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +9.1

 

 

Medical Costs

2%

300

 4/23/21

+0.1%

 5/7/21

286.77

286.77

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.1

 

 

Shelter

2%

300

 4/23/21

+0.3%

 5/7/21

293.44

293.44

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEALTH

 

(6%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dow Jones Index

2%

300

 4/23/21

- 2.82%

 5/7/21

371.35

360.88

https://www.wsj.com/market-data/quotes/index/DJIA  32,862.30

 

 

Sales (homes)

Valuation (homes)

1%

1%

150

150

 4/23/21

- 3.38%

+5.14%

 5/7/21

180.75

157.56               

174.65

165.66              

https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics

     Sales (M):  6.01 Valuations (K):  329.1

 

 

Debt (Personal)

2%

300

 4/23/21

+0.63%

 5/7/21

272.76

274.49

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    64,096