-

the DON JONES INDEX…

 

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

      5/6/24...     14,852.48

    4/29/24...     14,860.44

     6/27/13…    15,000.00

 

(THE DOW JONES INDEX: 5/6/24... 38,765.78; 4/29/24... 38,239.81; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)

 

LESSON for MAY SIXTH, 2024

SINKO de MAYO

 

Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo... not, as some would believe, the Mexican version of Independence Day but, rather, a sort of second Independence Day commemorating the overthrow and execution of the imperialist regime of Maximillian of France – who exploited the American Civil War to take over the government and the country until said date when he was deposed and shot.

The actual Mexican Independence Day, when the Spanish were thrown out, occurred on Sept. 16, 1810 .

 

What most Americans (and some Mexicans) celebrate as Cinco de Mayo was the 162nd anniversary of the Battle of Puebla – Mexico's attack upon the French occupiers on May 5, 1862 wherein “a small army of Mexican patriots and peasants were victorious over a French force. Although in 1863 France finally took the Mexican capital and installed a five-year regime led by Emperor Maximilian,”(USA Today, Attachment One), “the Battle of Puebla's importance lies in that it strengthened the Mexican spirit after it prevented French Emperor Napoleon III from conquering the country.”  In no little part, however, it was the threat of Americans threatening to enforce their Monroe Doctrine once the Civil War concluded that sent the French army packing, leaving Sad Max to be executed by the rebels,

Now however, battered by a rising tide of refugees excaping crime, poverty and oppression at home... Mexico, for many, but also the rest of Central and South America and even interlopers from across the sea who have found it easier to slip into the country, then travel north and cross over illegally... Mexican-American relations are at their lowest ebb, especially across the border states.

Most of these migrants have been seeking better lives for themselves and their families... as immigrants have done in America since Plymouth Rock... but there have also been drug cartel smugglers, MidEast terrorists and common criminals whose depredations upon Americans have resulted in a backlash fully exploited by the Men of MAGA and by Congress – where border security has been an ongoing bone of contention.

The plight of the inhabitants on both sides of the border, furthermore, has been enhanced by the regional “megadrought” as has devastated farms, forests and families and contributed to the “draw up the drawbridges” ethos popularized by Gov. Greg Abbptt (R-Tx).

Ongoing megadrought has meant there wasn’t enough water to irrigate co-op members’ 34,000 acres of sugarcane, and that effectively “put an end to sugarcane farming in the south Texas borderlands” according to the liberal Guardian U.K. (April 30, Attachment Two)

Sugarcane’s demise in Texas is indicative of many agricultural areas’ water woes. Increasingly dry farms find themselves vying with other farms, cities, industries and mining operations for dwindling resources. In 2022, the Guardian now recalls, “drought decimated Texas cotton and forced California growers to idle half their rice fields. Water disputes are also on the rise as decreased flows in the Colorado River and other vital waterways pit state against statestates against native nations and farmers against municipalities.”

“That story is playing out all across the western US,” said Maurice Hall, senior adviser on climate-resilient water systems at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

Per the 1944 treaty, Mexico is obligated to deliver 1.75m acre-feet of water to the US in any given five-year cycle (the current cycle ends in October 2025).

“This thing worked pretty good up until 1992,” said Uhlhorn, when “we got into a situation where Mexico was not delivering their water” due to extraordinary drought – a scenario that played out again in the early 2000s. In 2022, Rio Grande reservoirs fell to treacherously low capacities. A storm eventually dumped rain mostly on the Mexican side; what fell in Texas “was enough water for maybe one irrigation, but you’d have to starve your other crops” in order to water sugarcane, Uhlhorn said.

GUK interviewed Texas A&M agricultural economist Luis Ribera. who said: “It’s not that Mexico is holding the water because they are bad neighbors. They’re using it” because drought has plagued both sides of the border.

While hydrologists and diplomats rassle over the declining water supply, said Dale Murden, a grapefruit and cattle farmer, farmers must adjust to a thirstier reality. That might include using recycled water and tools like moisture sensors, finding better irrigation techniques and planting more drought-resistant crop varieties. And they may have to reconcile themselves to the fact “you won’t be able to do [certain things] any more just because there isn’t water”.

 

Climate change... and its effect upon both the American and Mexicon economies and the resultant migration issues ares a significant (and often partisan) political issue in both nations.  Mexicans go to the polls on June 2nd, five months before the November contest – already presumed to be between incumbent Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump – and unlike the colossus to their north, Mexicans cannot vote to re-elect President Andrés Manuel López Obrador... popular because of his social programs

Instead, and rather out of the ordinary for a heavily Catholic country where the status of women has surpassed that of the Yanqui north, June’s two primary aspirants are former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum of the president’s Morena party which continues to hold a healthy lead over Xóchitl Gálvez, nominated by a coalition of opposition of parties.  (AP News, April 29th, Attachment Three)

(Morena has seized the progressive agenda from the long-lived PRI whose loosely economically planned, vaguely protectionist glory days of the early 20th century are little more than a faint memory. Its leader, President Peña Nieto, is thoroughly neoliberal and easily one of the Western Hemisphere’s most hated heads of state.)

Far back, Jorge Álvarez Máynez of the small Citizen Movement party trails both women.

López Obrador significantly raised Mexico’s minimum wage and increased spending on social programs, most of which are popular direct cash transfer programs. Sheinbaum has benefitted from her mentor’s popularity throughout the campaign and promised to continue his programs... promising “better salaries, with better pensions, without raising taxes.”

So popular has Obrador been with the Mexican lower, working and middle classes that Gálvez, Sheinbaum’s most serious competitor, “stressed that she, too, would maintain the popular, but costly programs if elected. The former senator and tech entrepreneur reminded voters that she knew poverty growing up and was able advance in part because of a scholarship.

“I am a woman who comes from below, who knows poverty and knows how poverty hurts and the time that it steals from you,” Gálvez told the AP.

On the environment and climate change, Sheinbaum, a climate scientist, pointed to her efforts as mayor, such as putting solar panels on the rooftops of Mexico City’s sprawling wholesale market and adding more electric buses and bike lanes.

As president, she said, she would work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help Mexico adapt to climate change.  “But she also defended López Obrador’s construction of a huge new oil refinery that she said would help Mexico reduce its gasoline imports. She warned that Gálvez would try to privatize the deeply indebted state oil company, known as Pemex.

Gálvez said the private sector would be critical in Mexico’s clean energy transition, to which... during a recent debate... Sheinbaum took to calling Gálvez “the corrupt one.”

An April 10-13 poll of 1,600 Mexicans by Mitofsky Tendencias for newspaper El Economista gave Sheinbaum, who represents the leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), 51.4% support.  Galvez, the candidate representing a three-party opposition coalition of ideologically diverse parties, with an estimated 26.7% of the vote and Maynez trailing.

Over the past few weeks, however, Preaident Obrador... whether for economic reasons or to blunt the prospect of an another Trump presidency, has offered a helping hand to President Joe by ramping up enforcement south of the Rio Grande.

Illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border are down more than 40 percent since December and have remained relatively stable through the first four months of 2024, “bringing a modest reprieve for President Biden on an issue regarded as a liability to his reelection campaign.  (Washington Post, April 30th, Atachment Five)

U.S. officials speaking to the Post said that the crackdown on migrants by the Mexican government was the biggest factor. “Using military patrols and highway checkpoints, Mexican authorities have been intercepting roughly 8,000 U.S.-bound migrants per day, according to officials in both countries.”

Mexico launched its campaign at the behest of U.S. officials after illegal crossings soared in December to nearly 250,000, an all-time high, further eroding Biden’s poll ratings on border security.

Justly concerned that Donald Trump might regain the Presidency, Obrador pulled the pin on his own refugees (and an increasing number of Central and South Americans, Asians, MidEasterners... even a few terrorists here and there.  Trump continued to criticize Biden’s immigration record at campaign rallies, but the relative calm along the border has eased some of the pressure on the president to announce harsher enforcement measures, “which could anger some Democrats.”

While liberals are searching for humanitarian justification of an open border, MAGA is fomenting distraction.  Gov. Greg Abbott (R) claimed that his state-run crackdown, Operation Lone Star, was t redirecting smugglers to easier routes farther west.

Biden and Obrador discussed migration during an April 28 call, according to a joint statement released Monday. The two leaders discussed “how to effectively manage hemispheric migration” and “strengthen operational efficiency on our d border,” the statement said.

The decline in Mexican border crossing was exceeded by dis-migration from Venezuela, “which has plummeted at the U.S. border and moved largely to ports of entry. It is unclear why Venezuelan migration has dropped more steeply than that from other nations” said the W (WOLA) *Attachment Seven”.

The nationalities for which encounters increased the most were chiefly South American:

·         Brazil (87 percent more than January)

·         Peru (67 percent)

·         Colombia (65 percent)

·         Ecuador (50 percent)

·         El Salvador (31 percent)

The nationalities for which encounters decreased the most were:

·         Turkey (72 percent fewer than February)

·         India (56 percent fewer)

·         Venezuela (24 percent fewer—and 85 percent fewer than in December)

·         Russia (15 percent fewer)

·         Cuba (7 percent fewer)

The top nationalities crossing between ports of entry and ending up in Border Patrol custody were:

·         Mexico (35 percent of the total; 28 percent during the first 5 months of fiscal 2024)

·         Guatemala (17 percent; 14 percent during 2024)

·         Ecuador (8 percent; 7 percent during 2024)

·         Colombia (8 percent; 7 percent during 2024)

·         Honduras (6 percent; 8 percent during 2024)

The top nationalities reporting to ports of entry were:

·         Mexico (27 percent; 26 percent during the first 5 months of fiscal 2024)

·         Cuba (26 percent; 24 percent during 2024)

·         Haiti (23 percent; 16 percent during 2024)

·         Venezuela (11 percent; 18 percent during 2024)

·         Honduras (4 percent; 5 percent during 2024)

See latest migration messages and musings as well as many charts, stats and graphs here.

The White House has considered utilizing Biden's executive authority to block migrants at the border, Reuters has reported, but such a move could trigger legal challenges and backlash from some Democrats.  (See Attachment Eight, April 29th)

Lopez Obrador attributed the reduced arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border in part to social programs Mexico has backed in other Latin American countries from where migrants originate.  But U.S. and Mexican officials have cited increased enforcement by Mexico “as a factor contributing to the decrease in crossings.”

ABC (May 4, Attachment Nine) explained the “major shift in demographics at the border” as a consequence of COVID.

“Before the pandemic, roughly 9 in 10 migrants crossing the border illegally (that is, between ports of entry) came from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — the four countries closest to the border.” Those countries no longer hold the majority: As of 2023, for the first time since the U.S. has collected such data, “half of all migrants who cross the border now come from elsewhere globally.”

Some countries that previously sent negligible numbers of migrants to the U.S. border have seen staggering increases. “In fiscal 2019, the total number of people from the northwest African nation of Mauritania apprehended at the border was 20. Four years later, that number was 15,260. For migrants from Turkey, the number went from 60 to 15,430.”

“Fundamentally, our system is not equipped to deal with migration as it exists now, not just this year and last year and the year before, but for years preceding us,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in an interview with NBC News. “We have a system that was last modified in 1996. We’re in 2024 now. The world has changed.”  And for saying that, he’s being impeached!

The U.S. only has the capacity to deport people quickly and in large numbers to Mexico and the Northern Triangle, according to a senior CBP official who spoke to NBC News on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely. Deportations are expensive and logistically challenging — they require airplanes, personnel and time to arrange for travel documents, and so on — and there is no such infrastructure in place, the official said, to deport people en masse to Africa, Asia or even South America.

Like money, politics... as ever... is of concen.

“Democrats are preparing an aggressive new immigration strategy months after Republicans blocked a bipartisan border security bill aimed at easing record-high illegal crossings.”  (NBC, Attachment Ten)

“A Department of Homeland Security official with knowledge of the discussions said the White House would most likely invoke power reserved for the president in Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows a president discretion over who is admitted into the U.S. 

“Using that authority, Customs and Border Protection would be directed to block the entry of migrants crossing over from Mexico if daily border crossings passed a certain threshold. The tactic is similar to a provision of the bipartisan border security bill from February,”... a bill, again, killed by Republicans.

Presidents Joe and Andy... the former remaining under “intense political pressure from all sides to address the impact of surging border crossings ahead of (his) presidential election this year” while the latter rides or sails off into a Baja or Acapulco sunset in advance of the two lady lucha libre June second – but still hoping for a deal that will seal the deal for Sheinbaum... concluded their April 28th conversation (above) by agreeing upon a joint statement promoting “concrete measures to significantly reduce irregular border crossings while protecting human rights.”  (New York Times, 4/29, Attachment Eleven)

A “senior administration official” told the times that these concrete measures might include “stronger enforcement measures to prevent railways, buses and airports from being used for illegal border crossing and more flights taking migrants back to their home countries,” – again, given the likelihood of cost overruns as more and more migrants from more and more distant “home countries” are joining the Mexicans, Guatemalans, Salvadorans and Hondurans at border encampments.  “(E)ven some of the president’s most fervent supporters in liberal cities are demanding that he do something to stanch the flow of migrants...” as some activists and other administration officials believe Mr. Biden “is nearing a decision to announce an executive action that could impose dramatic new limits on asylum seekers” – taking a page from the old playbook of Trump and Stephen Miller, despite apprehensions at the border fallng from 250,000 in December to 140,000 in February and 137,000 in March (above and Attachment Eight).

Even the dropoff hasn’t had much effect on the way that American voters now view and, in November, will likely judge Biden’s immigration policies.

According to a Pew research poll (conducted in January, just as the numbers were starting to drop off), “80% say the U.S. government is doing a bad job handling the migrant influx” as the issue has “strained government resources, divided Congress and emerged as a contentious issue in the 2024 presidential campaign.”  (See Attachment Twelve for particulars, charts and graphs.)

Just 18% of the Pewtie-poll respondents said the U.S. government was “doing a good job dealing with the large number of migrants at the border, while 80% (89% of Republicans) say it is doing a bad job, including 45% who say it is doing a very bad job.”

A Texas poll taken by the Texas Politics Project at U.T. Austin shows that the state’s voters approve of Gov. Gret Abbott’s policies which a critique from the Center for Immigration Studies (May 3rd, Attachment Thirteen) includes erecting border barriers at the Rio Grande (Trump’s great, big, beautiful wall), busing migrants to northern cities, criminalizing illegal entries into the state, and suing the administration over the president’s border policies.

Immigration, which thirteen percent called the gravest problem facing America, trailed only inflation (at 16%) and led “the economy” (10%) and “border security” (another nine percent, making  immigration and border issues “the biggest problem facing the country by 22 percent of respondents.”  Sub-categories included national security, crime and effects of migrants on the economy and culture.

“The “root causes” idea came in dead last, at 5 percent.”

Other scholars, statisticians and poll-scrutinizers... noting that migrations slow down in winter only to shoot up come spring and summer may be concerned by the anemic Mexican economy, which grew only 0.2% in the first quarter of 2024.

The director of Banco Base, Gabriela Siller, said on her social media accounts that despite being above expectations, Mexico’s GDP growth in the first quarter was low for an election year. “With this and high inflation, Mexico still has the risk of falling into stagflation,” she pointed out.  (El Pais, April 30th, Attachment Fourteen)

 

There is a sprinkling of good news among the bad.  As average temperatures soar around the world and wildfires rage across the Americas, “in Mexico, where more than a quarter of the country suffers from drought, the number of wildfires has remained steady since 2012.”  (GUK, May 1st, Attachment Fifteen)  Despite an overall decline in agricultural revenues, the timber industry remains strong and entrepreneurs are looking into marketing other products... even the 113 different kinds of wild edible mushrooms identified in the regions in and around Ixtlán.

Carlos Castaneda must be grinning in his grave!

But a U.S. News/Reuters survey (April 29th, Attachment Sixteen) disputed even the weak figures cited by El Pais... “ten financial institutions” finding that Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew only 0.1% in the quarter, the same rate as in the previous quarter, and the lowest since the third quarter of 2021, seasonally adjusted figures showed.

And as cartel crime continues to escalate... now gripping the hitherto secure tourist industry with the carjacking and murder of an American and two Australians in Enseńada... CBS is further deterring tourists and impelling migration with disclosures of clandestine burial pits and crematoria where the Mexicans that Mexico doesn’t want have been hidden away from inquiring foreign minds.

Volunteer searchers told the American network they have found a clandestine crematorium on the edge of Mexico City, the latest grim discovery in a nation where more than 100,000 people are listed as officially missing.  The cartels and other organized crime gangs often use drums filled with diesel or caustic substances to burn or dissolve bodies to leave no trace — but up to now, there has been little evidence of that in Mexico City; attributable, some say “to the city's dense population, notoriously snarled traffic, extensive security camera network and large police force.”  (Attachment Seventeen)

And as attacks and assaults on American installations and civilians escalate and reports of kidnappings and murders by “coyotes” similarly escalate, President Obrador has sent six hundred troops to the border states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon; a region formerly dominated by the Zetas drug cartel, which was known for its violent tactics.

“While the Zetas' influence has waned due to leadership arrests, factions like the Northeast cartel and Zetas Old School remain active, and the border area is now contested by splinter and rival groups,” an international security expert told Border Report, an outlet which reports on news about the Mexico-U.S. border.  (Newsweek, Attachment Eighteen)

These recent developments have impacted elections in both countries as Obrador and his Morena party has been attacked for the Presidnt’s "hugs, not bullets" policy for dealing with cartels, which involves avoiding confrontations with them and instead seeking to address the socioeconomic roots of organized crime.

However, his apparent attempts to humanize the cartels have sometimes stoked controversy, Newsweek added just as cartel killers were robbing and slaughtering the three tourists—last week he described the country's cartels and gangs as essentially "respectful people" who "respect the citizenry" and mostly kill one another. 

Obrador last month refused to fight drug cartels on U.S. orders as part of what he called a "Mexico First" policy, explaining, "We are not going to act as police officers for any foreign government."  (AP News Attachment Nineteen)

         

Another criminal facet has complicated the picture... the growing number of states criminalizing abortion, surrogate parenthood and... in the pipeline... contraception.  The proposal by Candidate Trum to “monitor” pregnant women at the Federal level has been seen, as some, to be the beginnings of both a Federal criminalization or supportive of proposed legislation making it a crime of a woman to travel from a pro-life to pro-choice state for the procedure.

This has compelled pregnant women to not only flee their state of residence, but the entired United States.  Most go nearby, with Mexico and the Caribbean being destinations of choice... the year before the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled the criminalization of abortion by the northern state of Coahuila unconstitutional. This decision set a precedent that led to decriminalization at the federal level in 2023.

Clinics in Mexico do not require proof of residency, so solid numbers about who they are treating are hard to come by. But providers in Mexico report they have been seeing more Americans (The Conversation, May 1, Attachment Twenty) and the founder of the Guanajuato-based Las Libres, or The Free Ones estimated that her organization had sent abortion pills to approximately 20,000 women in the U.S. since the Dobbs decision.

Manufacturers, like abortionists, are enjoying a Mexican revival as a consequence of rising wages and production costs in China, as well as both political and public antipathy to imports from the ChiComs. 

CNN calls the phenomenon “nearshoring”, which is when companies bring production facilities closer to home markets.  As nearshoring continues and global supply chains are reorganized, Mexico’s manufacturing sector has an opportunity for long-term success, according to Alberto Ramos, head of Latin American economics research at Goldman Sachs, who told CNN that, whereas Mexico and China have been competing for the US manufacturing market for years, the shifting US-China relationship, means that Mexico looks poised to pull ahead.

“Mexico surpassed China as the top exporter to the US in 2023,” CNN noted (April 28, Attachment Twenty One). Those exports were driven by manufacturing, which comprises 40% of Mexico’s economy, according to Morgan Stanley.

US imports from Mexico continued to increase in February, according to April 4 trade data released by the Commerce Department. Meanwhile, Chinese exports to the US were down 20% in 2023, compared to 2022.

Cars, for one example, are a major export for Mexico, as are car parts for repairs and/or American production.

Mexico is a global hub for car factories, hosting plants from major companies operating in the US, including General Motors, Ford, Stellantis and nearly a dozen more.  “Free trade agreements like the USMCA mean companies in the US, Mexico and Canada face fewer barriers moving, selling and buying parts across North America.”

Moreover, as November approaches, President Biden “told steelworkers in Pittsburgh recently that the US government should consider tripling tariffs on Chinese steel. And Trump has proposed a potential 60% tariff on Chinese goods if he returns to the presidency.”

USMCA has also altered the dialectic on goods coming into, as well as out of, Mexico,  The South China Morning Post (April 30, Attachment Twenty Two) has reported that tariff hikes, “levying 5 to 50 per cent in additional import costs, have kicked in for 544 products entering Mexico. The higher rates only apply to countries without free trade pacts with the Latin American country, which includes China.”

Affected products include steel, aluminium, textiles, clothing, musical instruments and furniture.

 

So, as Americans enjoy Cinco Mayo (and Mexicans enjoy marketing cars, musical instruments and tequila to the Yankees), the day has become an excuse to toss back tequila shots with salt and lime, and gorge on tortilla chips smothered with melted orange cheddar that’s unfamiliar to most people in Mexico.

The focus on drinking and eating has brought some criticism of the holiday, especially as beer manufacturers and other marketers have capitalized on its festive nature and some revelers embrace offensive stereotypes, such as fake, droopy mustaches and gigantic straw sombreros.  (AP News, May 4th, Attachment Twenty Three)

 

By the 1980s, corporations and beer companies had co-opted the day to reach the growing U.S. Hispanic market,” Axios (Attachment Twenty Four) reported… adding that: "Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate the resilience, culture, and heritage of generations of Mexican Americans," President Biden posted on X last year.

“Cinco de Mayo may be boozier than New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day,” Fortune reported a survey findings.  (Attachment Twenty Five)

Some party-time Attachments included...

   President Joe and Jill

   Jared and Ivanka (but not Donald)

 

 

Our Lesson: April Twenty Ninth through May Fifth, 2024

 

Monday, April 29, 2024

Dow: 38,386.09

Hamas releases more hostage videos as pressures mount on President Joe and Israeli PM Bibi – squeezed between his hard right and families who say “put the lives of the hostages first.”  Bombings and starvation continue in Gaza; well-fed, wealthy students at elite universities take up the Islamist cause, ordinary students worry about their graduation parties, many lost their high school celebrations to the plague.  Ramblin’ man Blinken cooks up yet another hostages for ceasefire deal he promises will be “generous”.

   The week begins with bad weather, especially in the Midwest where tornadoes, floods and hail crash down on Sulphur, OK while DC warms up to 90°.  Bird flu is spreading to cattle and dolphins; humans cope with new epidemics of previously extincted measles.

  Taking a day off from Stormy Court to campaign, fundraise and eat, former President Trump is blindsided by a new menace... one of his top VP prospects, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) proudly declaims that she shot an “untrainable” puppy – more or less wiping out her prospects.

   In Charlotte, NC, eight cops and Federal marshals are shot by a sniper barricaded in a house – four die and the usual suspects on crime, guns and mental illness raise their voices.

 

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Dow:  37,818.92

Stormy trial resumes with lotsa lawyers on the stand... explaining Michael Cohen’s banking machinations.  Trump, stuck in the freezing courtroom, complains that the trial is all about “bookkeeping; you have a lawyer and... he’s a lawyer.” Judge Marchan fines him $9,000 and says he may jail him if he keeps insulting the witnesses; the defendant/candidate, under his politician’s cap says that the government should “monitor” pregnant women in red, abortion ban states, to be sure they don’t sneak off and kill their babies.

   The FCC holds its tongue on TikTok but fines Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T for collecting data on Americans and reselling them on the dark web to Russian criminal gangs and other “bad actors”.  With the 2024 EGOs over, good actors compete for Tonys... some of the nominees are famous (Eddie Redmayne, Liev Schreiber, Jessica Lange) and 73 year old Dorian Harewood gets his first nod, after fifty years’ futility, for “The Notebook”.

   Book of the month is Frank Bruni’s “Age of Grievance” wherein he calls much of the political, economic and social discourse “noise” and adds: “We confuse zeal with values, anger with conviction.”

 

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Dow:  37,903.29

It’s May Day so, whether in honor of Russia despite rejecting Communism or China, Djonald UnConvicted enjoys a break from court while the talking heads squawk and suckers gawk as peripheroids spread gossip and The Man elaborates on his new “Mommy Monitor” proposals. 

   Abortion fighters win one, lose one.  Florida’s six week and jail edict goes into effect and the preggers are fleeing, but with the rest of the Southeast deep red, they’ll have to go to Mexico.  But the Arizona legislature decides that adhering to a law from 1864 creates bad PR, so they repeal it.

   Happy Joe doesn’t exactly decriminalize the wicked weed, but he de-felonizes it from Class One (heroin. LSD) to Class Three...  hoping that this will get him back the youth vote he’s been bumbling and stumbling away.  Around the rich kids’ colleges, politicians roar that “outside agitators” (not the precious little heirs to flatulence and fortune) are seeking to create “discomfort and discord” and call in the cops to clear out their little tent cities from Columbia to UCLA. 

   WalMart closes its Urgent Medical Care clinics in poor, rural areas... leaving the MAGAproles to just go ahead and die.  People whom nobody wants...

 

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Dow:  38,226,66

Hamas rejects Blinky’s “generous” deal, reiterating that their only solution is a Final Solution for the Jews.  This inspires Bibi to ramp up plans to invade Rafah and kill more Palestinians.  Most Joneses shrug... these people are never going to change, they say.

   Also espousing rejectionism, Djonald UnChanged says that HE will not accept the results of the 2024 election if he loses.  (The parallels between the campus riots, the One Six and what will happen in 2025 are growing clearer.)  Between listening to lawyers in the Stormy studio, he finds time to expound on his monitor and incarcerate women, causing queasy RINOs to counsel: “First, you have to get elected.”

   In bridgy news, Norwalk repairpersons start working on burned out I-95 overpass, retrievers finally pull the remains of the fifth victim out of the Baltimore wreckage and the fallen Boeing slide washes up on the shore... conincidentally in front of the beach home of one of the lawyers suing the company.

 

Friday, May 3, 2024

Dow:  38,765.78

Stormy storms continue battering the MidWest with tornadoes, hail and flooding; Stormy trial resumes with testimony by her attorney Keith Davidson, who proffers proof that Michael Cohen paid her off.  Cohen also says that Djonald UnMasked resenting shelling out the hush money, so he had to front the $130,000 himself and submit a bill, which designation as “legal expenses” constitutes the fraud of the fraud.

   Lone wolves ramming college protestors explained in terms of “mental health” while frat bros re-raise the American flag pulled down by liberals.  Polls say America is doing “too much to help Israel” as bipartisan politicians seeking Jewish votes fend off left and right wing neo-Nazis.

   Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tx) indicted for $600,000 fraud in collusion with Mexican and Azerbaijani banks.

   After settling her conservator lawsuit, Brittney Spears twists her ankle, then accuses tabloids of filching her likeness with “bespoke AI” to pretend to give interviews and denounce things and people.  President Joe names 19 Medal of Freedom winners including Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi and Medgar Evers (but Britney is not among them).

 

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Dow:  Closed

May the Fourth be with yoy... it’s Star Wars Day.  Boeing, despite recent catastrophes and near-catastrophes is hoping to shoot Americans into space and USAF is installing AI on fighter jets for pilotless war.

   College riots escalate to gunfire as cop discharges with his “non-dominant hand” but doesn’t hit anybody as 70 liberal Democratic Congressthings oppose anti-anti-Semite resolution.

   In courtrooms and press conferences, Rep. Cuellar, denying corruption, says he’ll run for re-election while Hope Hicks calls Trump’s “Access Hollywood” groping video a turning point and authorities charge two juveniles with dumping party garbage overboard after their Florida video goes viral.  Trump also scarpers to Florida for a big bux fundraiser and calls for Prosecutor Jack Smith to be prosecuted for prosecuting the Ex...

 

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Dow: Closed

...while MTG takes more steps towards ousting Speaker Mike who now needs the support of Democrats to get anything done and Congressman Mike Lee (R-Ut) denounces aid to Israel and Ukraine as liberal warmongers. But Tom Cotton (R-Ar) says he supports Johnson... and Israel.

   Round and round the Sunday talkshows: Senate Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) says that since Roe v. Wade fell, democracy can also fall. (60 Minutes)  Mayor Adams says free speech protects democracy but violence has to be stopped.  Rep. Jamaal Bowman disagrees, saying police are going too far/  A Kent State ahead?

   “This Week” roundtablers decry extremists who hand out leaflets saying “Death to Amrica”.  Polls are cropping up as numerous as cicadas... Lee predicts Trump will win because students are preparing guillotines to decapitate the Jews while Bidenauts say that 20% of Team MAGA will desert or just stay home if their hero is convicted.  Support for RFK Junior is up to twelve percent and rising.

 

The Dow was up, up, up but the Don was down again.  The reason... higher unemployment, bad for workers but good for the Fed which, believing it will halt or at least slow inflation, leaves interest rates unchanged.  (Fewer and fewer Americans are able to buy homes, so they rent and... because rents are rising too, go live on the street.  State and local governments, afraid and ashamed of being embarrassed, are passing more laws to lock them up... or kill them.  Meanwhile, public protest is turning mean with Gen. Z embracing anti-Semitism while both Jews and Muslims are acting badly, not to mention the usual Russians, Chinese, Iranians etc.  Polls show many voters despise both major party candidates which is why RFK Junior tops 10% even though he’s nuttier than a contaminated pack o’goobers... goofier, even, than Trump.

 

 

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)

 

Negative/harmful indices in RED.  See a further explanation of categories here

 

ECONOMIC INDICES 

 

(60%)

CATEGORY

VALUE

BASE

RESULTS by PCTG.

SCORE

OUR SOURCES and COMMENTS

INCOME

(24%)

6/17/13 [revsd. 1/1/22

LAST

CHANGE

NEXT

LAST WEEK

THIS WEEK

RESULTS by STATISTIC.

Wages (hrly. Per cap)

9%

1350 points

4/29/24

 +0.13%

6/24

1,501.89

1,503.91

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages   29.79 nc .83

Median Inc. (yearly)

4%

600

4/29/24

 +0.033%

5/13/24

669.95

670.17

http://www.usdebtclock.org/   39,492

Unempl. (BLS – in mi)

4%

600

4/29/24

 +2.56%

6/24

600.31

584.92

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000   3.8 3.9

Official (DC – in mi)

2%

300

4/29/24

  +0.16%

5/13/24

236.23

235.85

http://www.usdebtclock.org/      6,757 768

Unofficl. (DC – in mi)

2%

300

4/29/24

  +0.09%

5/13/24

250.27

250.05

http://www.usdebtclock.org/      12,768 779

Workforce Participation

   Number

   Percent

2%

300

4/29/24

 

 +0.343%

+0.0014%

5/13/24

302.27

302.27

In 161,840 853 Out 100,082 088 Total: 261,922 941

http://www.usdebtclock.org/   61.79

WP %  (ycharts)*

1%

150

4/29/24

  +0.32%

5/24

151.43

151.43

https://ycharts.com/indicators/labor_force_participation_rate  62.70

OUTGO

(15%)

Total Inflation

7%

1050

4/24

+0.4%

5/24

962.47

962.47

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.4  nc

Food

2%

300

4/24

+0.1%

5/24

273.80

273.80

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

Gasoline

2%

300

4/24

+1.7%

5/24

233.15

233.15

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +1.7

Medical Costs

2%

300

4/24

+0.5%

5/24

290.49

290.49

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

Shelter

2%

300

4/24

+0.4%

5/24

264.72

264.72

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.4

WEALTH

Dow Jones Index

2%

300

4/29/24

 +1.38%

5/13/24

320.75

325.16

https://www.wsj.com/market-data/quotes/index/   38,239.61 765.78

Home (Sales)

(Valuation)

1%

1%

150

150

4/29/24

  -4.34%

 +1.42%

6/24

142.13

277.27

135.96

281.21

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

Sales (M):  4.38 4.19 Valuations (K):  384.5 393.5

Debt (Personal)

2%

300

4/29/24

  +0.08%

5/13/24

264.24

264.02

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    75,925 958

GOVERNMENT

(10%)

Revenue (trilns.)

2%

300

4/29/24

  +0.25%

5/13/24

408.56

409.58

debtclock.org/       4,807 819

Expenditures (tr.)

2%

300

4/29/24

   =1.94%

5/13/24

305.29

311.22

debtclock.org/       6,766 637

National Debt tr.)

3%

450

4/29/24

 +0.058%

5/13/24

387.70

387.48

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    34,695 715

Aggregate Debt (tr.)

3%

450

4/29/24

 +0.11%

5/13/24

397.49

397.06

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    99,895 100,004

TRADE

(5%)

Foreign Debt (tr.)

2%

300

4/29/24

  +0.16%

5/13/24

298.12

297.65

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    8,280 293

Exports (in billions)

1%

150

4/29/24

   -2.05%

6/24

163.34

159.99

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/current/index.html  263.0 257.6

Imports (in billions))

1%

150

4/29/24

   -1.50%

6/24

165.05

167.52

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/current/index.html  331.9 327.0

Trade Surplus/Deficit (blns.)

1%

150

4/29/24

  +0.72% 

6/24

305.05

302.85

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/current/index.html    68.9 69.4

 

SOCIAL INDICES 

 

(40%)

ACTS of MAN

(12%)

 

World Affairs

3%

450

4/29/24

  -0.1%

5/13/24

448.02

447.57

As Japanese economy craters, Elon Musk goes to China seeking profits to be made... somehow. Mixed news for Brazil... 75 die in record flooding but, at Copacabana Beach, Madonna gives a free concert attended by 1.5 million.. 

War and terrorism

2%

300

4/29/24

    -0.3%

5/13/24

285.95

285.09

SecState Blinken scurries to and fro trying to deliver a “Generous” deal but Netanyahu says he’ll invade Rafah anyway and Hamas rejects overture as Gaza garbage piles up, prompted plagues.  College students continue to riot, Israel bans Al Jazeera.  Russia celebrates advances in Ukraine battleb

Politics

3%

450

4/29/24

    -0.1%

5/13/24

478.10

477.62

President Joe de- (but not un-) criminalizes weed as Trump travels between Florida fundraisers and Stormy trial in Gotham (see last week’s Lesson) - saying he won’t call for violence in 2024... if he wins.  Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) blows up her Veep chances by shooting an “untrainable” puppy

Economics

3%

450

4/29/24

      +0.2%

5/13/24

442.80

443.69

IRS hiring more agents to bust bad billionaires.  FTC opens prosecution of “monopolous” Amazon.  FCC sends TikTok sell or lose bill to Senate.  FED leaves interest rate unchanged, igniting Dow splurge.  President Joe denounces “trickle downs” while President Trump denounces “Biden stagflation”.  Sony launches takeover bid for Paramount. Five Twenty One clothing chain goes bankrupt, as does the National Transplant foundation, stiffing dying Americans impoverished by medical bills.  Book-of-the-Week’s Frank Bruni (“Culture of Grievance”) says Americans “confuse zeal with values, anger with conviction”.  Convicted: Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, once the world’s largest crypto company.

Crime

1%

150

4/29/24

  -0.2%

5/13/24

236.14

235.67

Eight cops and marshals shot, four killed in Charlotte standoff..  Ten civilians shot at Miami party. 14 year old school shooter shot in Wisconsin.  L.A. cops declare war on flash mob felons as they start targeting gun shops.                                                 Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tx) indicted for fraud.

ACTS of GOD

(6%)

Environment/Weather

3%

450

4/29/24

 -0.1%

5/13/24

386.42

386.03

The week begins with floods, hail and Texas tornadoes and ends with... floods, hail and tornadoes. Sulphur, OK and Turkey, TX hard hit.   And hot hot heat in the East.  Largest outbreak of noisy cicadas since 1803 (but they’re good to eat, when fried.

Disasters

3%

450

4/29/24

  -0.2%

5/13/24

418.83

419.67

Fallen Delta passenger slide washes up at beachfront home of anti-Boeing lawyer.  Body of fifth and final Baltimore bridge victim recovered and repairers re-open I-95 in Norwalk, CT after fire.  A ways north, heroic Hartford, CT barbers save little girl running into traffic.  Restorers restoring Notre Dame after five years and keep working on the Queen Mary in Long Beach.

LIFESTYLE/JUSTICE INDEX

(15%)

Science, Tech, Education

4%

600

4/29/24

     -0.1%

5/13/24

635.27

634.63

USAF producing new (Boeing) pilotless fighter jet that decode ambient conditions are in the works; ASA nerds work to bring social media to space as Congress moves to ban TikTok and FCC fines Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile for selling customer data to the dark web so Russian hackers can steal their identities and money.  Police clear out college campus “Little Gazas” and NYC Mayor Adams blames “outside agitators” for causing “discomfort and discord”.

Equality (econ/social)

4%

600

4/29/24

     +0.1%

5/13/24

647.47

648.12

Florida’s six-week abortion ban takes effect but Arizona legislators overturn 1864 law... to the relief of women and most Republicans.  Djonald UnMenstruating says state governments should “monitor” preggers to prevent them from escaping to blue states or foreign countries to kill their babies.

Health

4%

600

4/29/24

  +0.1%

5/13/24

465.27

465.74

With attention diverted by bird/cow,dolphin/human flu, measles is making a comeback. King Charles returns to public life after cancer diagnosis.  WalMart closes its Urgent Care Clinics, leaving blue state poor and red state rurals to die in agony.  Ford recalls 243,000 Mavericks with rogue taillights.  Indonesian orang-utan cures wound with spit up leaves – doctors and drug carels race to synthesize.  Helle Barry comes out in support of menstruation (under attack from the Church Police). 

Freedom and Justice

3%

450

4/29/24

   -0.1%

5/13/24

466.94

466.47

At Stormy trial, Judge Marchan fines Djonald UnSilenced for removing his gag, Hope Hicks calls Access Hollywood video a turning point, Israel calls Al Jazeera a pimp for Hamas and bans it.

CULTURAL and MISCELLANEOUS INCIDENTS

(6%)

Cultural Incidents

3%

450

4/29/24

 +0.2%

5/13/24