Trump Rages, DJIA Tumbles Further

More evidence that Trump does not know what he is doing.

Via WaPoMarkets stage one of worst Christmas Eves ever, closing down more than 600 points as Trump blames Fed for stock losses in a tweet.

The Dow Jones industrial average followed its worst week in a decade with a 650- point drop Monday, and President Trump once again took to Twitter to interject himself into financial markets.

As blue chips sank even deeper into the red after weeks of chaos, Trump tried to assign sole blame for the sell-off to the Federal Reserve, likening the central bank to a golfer who “can’t putt.”

“The only problem our economy has is the Fed,” the president said in a tweet. “They don’t have a feel for the Market, they don’t understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders. The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch — he can’t putt!

It is more likely that Trump doesn’t understand the effects of trade wars, unnecessary government shutdowns, rebukes from Mattis, and general chaos at the White House (to name a few factors).

Further, it is worth noting that we are just about exactly a year into the new tax law, which is the signature piece of legislation for this administration.  It has not produced the promised results.

Note:  the DJIA was at 24, 824,01 at the start of 2018 and closed today at 21, 792.20.  A rally to make up that difference, especially given current conditions (government shutdown, warring with the Fed) is unlikely, shall we say, to end the year.

The three major indexes are down for the fourth consecutive session, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite that was key to the current bull market resides in bear territory. A bear market is 20 percent off recent highs. The Nasdaq was down 1.9 percent in late trading.

The S&P was in a bear market, down 20 percent, and the S&P 500 closed at 2,351. All 11 sectors of the S&P were down.

Trump inherited a healthy economy with trends lines all in the right direction.  Some of those trends remain in place, but his chaotic governing style and his insistence on damaging the global economic order via confrontations with allies and starting trade wars is starting to take it toll.

He does not know what he is doing, and he will, like here, lash out to blame others should things get worse (which is likely).

The Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, is helping out as follows:

Mnuchin shook financial analysts, bankers and economists on Sunday by issuing an unusual statement declaring that the nation’s six largest banks had ample credit to extend to American businesses and households.

Mnuchin made the statement on Twitter after calling the leaders of the six banks, seeking to address an issue that had attracted little concern ahead of the treasury secretary’s tweet.

“He raised the specter of concern in one of the most solid areas of the U.S. financial system, the solvency of the banks,” said Washington, D.C., investor Michael Farr. “The banks are as solvent as they have ever been. He went to the heart of the economy’s strength and created doubt.”

Mnuchin followed that up Monday by scheduling a conference call of the “Plunge Protection Team,” which was a committee created following the 1987 stock market crash to help stem steep drops in the market.

By the way, I understand that the market doesn’t like the interest rate moves by the Fed, but starting a war with the Fed, and challenging its independence, is not the way to calm things down.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Economics and Business, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. MarkedMan says:

    (Repeated from another thread)
    Presidents for the most part don’t effect the market in a dramatic way. They can help it along a bit, and maybe some policies can make the good times last a bit longer, but they can’t turn a down economy into an up one by waving a magic wand. However, they can totally mess up an economy. Steve Mnuchin’s bizarre behavior and subsequent 600 point Dow drop (as of this writing) is living proof that you shouldn’t bet on stupid. Mnuchin did the equivalent of suddenly making an announcement at his party that he had personally checked and none of the food was poisoned and, even it had been, he is absolutely confident the antidote would work. Now get back to the buffet table and enjoy yourself.

    16
  2. Taken on its own the Mnuchin phone calls weren’t a bad idea under the circumstances. Why the Treasury Secretary believed that making those calls public would do anything other than spook the markets is beyond me though.

    14
  3. Teve says:

    “attention passengers this is Captain Mnuchin. Just wanted to let everybody know that we have not ruptured the hull on a big rock on the bottom, and also there is no reason to believe that there are armed pirates off our starboard bow headed straight toward us. No reason to think that at all. Everybody have a good one and enjoy the cruise.”

    11
  4. @MarkedMan:

    They can help it along a bit, and maybe some policies can make the good times last a bit longer, but they can’t turn a down economy into an up one by waving a magic wand. However, they can totally mess up an economy.

    Yup.

  5. The ongoing evidence that Trump doesn’t know what the frak he is doing is stunning.

    11
  6. Kathy says:

    The problems ins’t that El Cheeto has no clue what he’s doing, but that his base still believes he actually does know, and is the best at it.

    14
  7. Teve says:

    Donald J. Trump
    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    The Wall is different than the 25 Billion Dollars in Border Security. The complete Wall will be built with the Shutdown money plus funds already in hand. The reporting has been inaccurate on the point. The problem is, without the Wall, much of the rest of Dollars are wasted!
    12:10 PM · Dec 24, 2018 · Twitter for iPhone

    Shutdown money?

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Further, it is worth noting that we are just about exactly a year into the new tax law, which is the signature piece of legislation for this administration. It has not produced the promised results.

    Surprise surprise surprise!

    And now, come the next recession we only have a half loaded stimulus gun. Thanx GOP!

  9. @Kathy: Indeed.

    @Teve: His ramblings are quite strange. Does he think the shutdown saves money somehow?

  10. Teve says:

    Twitter is divided on how to interpret that. One camp says shut down money means the money he’s going to extort from the Democrats to reopen the government, while another camp believes that Trump thinks shutting down the government saves money, which he’ll then use on the wall, as if government employees were contractors he can stiff. It’s really kind of ambiguous.

  11. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    I’m incline towards the latter. It fits with both his ignorance, and willingness to display it for all to see.

  12. Michael Reynolds says:

    Obviously the entire stock market is fake news, because there’s no way running the debt up by a trillion dollars, starting a random trade war, sudden capitulations to foreign foes, attacks on the Fed chair and shutting down the government – all spawned by the fervid mind of a mentally unhinged imbecile – could possibly fail to produce the bestest stock market ever.

    10
  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    Now the clown is tweeting that Saudi Arabia will pay to rebuild Syria.

    Yes, you have that right. Sunni Saudi Arabia, is going to spend billions in a country now owned by Shi’te Iran, Alawite Assad and Vladimir Putin. And they will all be so happy to work hand-in-hand to rebuild a shattered nation. Kumbaya.

  14. Neil Hudelson says:

    M401(k)GA!

  15. gVOR08 says:

    First, there’s a rather large, thorough (ineffective but large and thorough) banking regulatory apparatus. Shouldn’t the Treasury secretary ask the regulators what shape the banks are in? Actually, shouldn’t he already know?

    Imagine you’re the head of Goldman Sachs and an amateur Treasury Secretary calls up and says, ‘Hey, I need to reassure the Prez and the country that your bank’s OK. You got any money?” What are you going to tell him? Even if you’re on the brink of default.

    There’s a lot of inside baseball and specialized jargon in finance. A Tim Geithner would know exactly which metrics to ask for. I wouldn’t. I bet Mnuchin doesn’t know either.

  16. Sleeping Dog says:

    Watching Tiny’s administration is like watching my 3 yo niece help her mother bake cookies. Such a mess…

    Maybe the Dems will discover that Tiny, through his kids, is still investing in the stock market and that he’s losing his shirt.

  17. DT says:

    Dollars to donuts (mmm, donuts) , Christmas Day he will visit the troops on the Texas border.

  18. Teve says:

    The Dow is down roughly 4700 points since September. I wish I had the patience to go through some troll comments from a few months ago about how wonderful their 401K is, and what that says about Donald. Alas, I am lazy.

  19. Teve says:

    And of course the Dow Jones is just one index. On January 20th, 2017, the day Trump was inaugurated, the s&p 500 was at 2271. Today it closed at 2351. An increase of 3.5% in 23 months.

    MAGA!!!!!!

    1
    1
  20. Ben Wolf says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Taken on its own the Mnuchin phone calls weren’t a bad idea under the circumstances.

    Of course they were a bad idea. The data he asked for are publicly available, and banks don’t make loans with “liquidity” anyway.

  21. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Teve:

    The rate of erosion of S&P500 is twice the rate as was experienced between September 2008 and April 2019 !

  22. Teve says:
  23. S&P is down -12.06% for 2018 to date.

    NASDAQ is down -10.29% for the same period.

  24. MarkedMan says:

    And so the “clever” strategy of the “sophisticated” Republicans is shown for what it always was: wishful thinking by people who had no clue how to ride a tiger. The idea that you could make significant progress on Conservative goals while handling Trump was always a fool’s game. Many people have tried to handle Trump in the past but he eventually turns everything he touches to sh*t, and it ends up smearing everyone who comes into contact. Trump is Midas without the metaphor. I can only hope that the collective delusion Republicans have inflicted on themselves (and us) since Reagan (all we need is an idiot who will sign what we put in front of him) has metastasized to the point where even the money-men see the downside.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I can only hope that the collective delusion Republicans have inflicted on themselves

    Sorry, that’s a fool’s bet.

  26. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: @Teve: It’s something that TV Tropes calls Suspiciously Specific Denial. I’ve mentioned it here before–it’s the comedy trope where you inform the cop that he won’t find a dead body in the trunk. Trump does ithis all the time, like when he denied ever watching CNN, especially Don Lemon, “the dumbest man on TV.”

    Indeed, it’s practically his entire playbook. The moment he thinks he’s being accused or suspected of something, his immediate, knee-jerk response is to simply declare the absolute, polar opposite to be the truth. I think of that moment early in his presidency when a Jewish reporter asked him to comment on the recent upsurge in anti-Semitic incidents, and he called the reporter a liar and declared himself to be the “least anti-Semitic person you’ve ever met.”

    The weirdest thing about his use of this tactic is why he thinks it’s effective or persuasive. It seems to be the only way he knows how to argue a point: just try to bulldoze his way over anything he doesn’t want people to think by going into opposites-mode. You say black, he says white. And that’s pretty much what Mnuchin is doing here. They all learned it from the master. The problem is that while it may work on the average Fox News viewer, it’s not likely to work on most investors.

    11
  27. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: I love TV Tropes.

  28. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod:

    The weirdest thing about his use of this tactic is why he thinks it’s effective or persuasive.

    But it is persuasive. Not to you or me or most of the people who post here. And not, I suspect, to people like Guarneri who, after all, really just wants to stick a finger in the eye of people like us. Trump was a tool that may have accomplished that, but now that he is obviously a pathetic loser the Guarneri crowd will dump him and look for another surrogate. It people like 1 American? Yeah, it is totally persuasive. Note that 80% of the Trumpers are gone from this site because they can’t stand the abuse. The ones that remain either thrive on it or are oblivious.

  29. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan:

    people like 1 American? Yeah, it is totally persuasive.

    Sure, as I noted, it “may work on the average Fox News viewer.” The cultists will believe anything that comes out of his mouth, especially when it’s being defended and amplified (often in a more sophisticated manner) by the media they consume. But that doesn’t mean he’s doing a particularly effective job of winning anyone over, and he’s greatly limiting the potential size of his audience–as evidenced by his consistently low approval ratings.

  30. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Considering his attention span, maybe they could have gotten him to sit down and watch “Trading Places”.

    I mean, Between the movie having a hooker, and some old guys referring to “negros”, it may have allowed him to see how markets work.

    Right now, pork bellies are dropping and the kids ain’t gonna get a GI Joe with the Kung Fu grip.

  31. Eric Florack says:

    The FED has raised interest rates four times since Donald Trump assumed office while they raised rates only once during the Obama Administration.

    20
  32. Teve says:

    God you’re dumb 😀 😀 😀

    11
  33. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Twice. December 2015 and December 2016.

    You are literally wrong about everything.

    20
  34. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    TV Tropes is the best of us and the worst of us. It’s a sinkhole of attention. You Google “Tiny Tina TV Tropes”, and a hour from now you’re trying to assign every Supernatural character ever to a D&D character alignment grid by season. You ask yourself questions like was soulless Sam Lawful Neutral or Lawful Evil?

    More good than bad. It establishes a supportable taxonomy of narrative.

  35. Jax says:

    Florack has gotten his marching orders. “It’s all the Fed’s fault”. That’s the spin they will play, all the way until they hit Rock Bottom. I do not know how far down Rock Bottom is, but that’s how far we’re gonna have to go to get rid of the Reality TV President….and his followers. It could be an even bigger terror attack than 9/11, or an Even Greater Depression. What we do know is that there will be a lot of Tweets, not much action, and most of us are just praying the Dems put up a candidate worth voting for, or somebody primaries Trump. I, personally, cannot handle another 6 years of “Trump Tweets”, that I know.

  36. Kylopod says:

    @Eric Florack: Do you have the slightest understanding of the way standard monetary policy works?

    11
  37. de stijl says:

    @Eric Florack:

    The FED has raised interest rates four times since Donald Trump assumed office while they raised rates only once during the Obama Administration.

    There’s facts. There’s context. You should examine the intersection.

    You might want to examine what the underlying factors of the economy are and how they were performing before, during, and after the 2008 crisis. When is is appropriate to pursue stimulus and when is it useful to contract? There’s a whole world of writing on this. Please, dig in!

    12
  38. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: if he knew how that stuff works, he would have known he was humiliating himself with what he was saying. So I doubt he does. 😀 😀 😀

  39. Teve says:

    Chart I have shows three raises under Obama and 6 under Trump. Which makes perfect sense. when Obama came to office unemployment was 10% and we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. Boy I wonder why the FOMC wasn’t raising interest rates then. They must have been biased. Is what I would think if I was a complete idiot.

  40. Jake says:

    If a wall didn’t work, the Democrats would happily allot $50 billion to it. The only reason for them to oppose it is because they fear it will work.

    21
  41. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: @de stijl: I admit I’m somewhat of a TV Tropes junkie. Besides Suspiciously Specific Denial, I’ve also mentioned here Insane Troll Logic. Both of these tropes are applied mainly or solely to fictional examples on the site, but I find them to be immensely useful concepts when applied to the real world–especially to someone like Trump who seems so much like a fictional character himself.

    One of my favorite tropes from the site, though, is the “Celebrity Paradox.” It’s such a basic concept it’s a wonder it took this site to name it.

  42. Grumpy realist says:

    @Kylopod: well, SOMEBODY’s gotta answer those Nigerian spam letters…

  43. Jax says:

    Jake: I hear there’s a GoFundMe you can donate to if you want.

    We already have a wall, and it doesn’t work, so I don’t really feel like putting anymore of my tax dollars into it. You can put as much as you want in, though, they might even let you sign your section if it!

  44. Teve says:
  45. Teve says:

    @Jax: I wonder if at some point the government’s going to step in and protect those Trump chumps from getting completely ripped off by that GoFundMe scam. $16.84 million so far. Poor dummies.

  46. Teve says:

    ‘course there was a new federal lawsuit filed in late October that we haven’t heard much about yet, accusing the Trump family of promoting a multi-level marketing scam and ripping off thousands of people. it’s still in the early stages so it hasn’t gotten a bunch of attention yet but it’s just going to be one more log on the fire.

  47. Teve says:

    @Jax: don’t tell Jake that Mexicans have figured out this high technology called “tunnels”. Poor guy would just get confused. 😀 😀

  48. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod: @Teve:

    I’m enamored with “What The Hell, Hero (Heroine)!”

    When the protagonist temporarily behaves like a jerk-ass in a stressful situation towards the end of Act 2 and they’re usually not called out on it and way too easily forgiven.

    Paired with Protagonist-Centered Morality.

    (But, basically I’ve become accustomed to saying it out loud whenever I observe a character behaving uncharacteristically. Don’t judge me I live alone. One time I called out Lydia Bastianich on CreateTV [public TV cooking show] when she used a chive to tie up /seal off an Italian analog of a Chinese dumpling.)

  49. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I’ve found that consuming random media has been massively improved by reading TV Tropes.

    Simultaneously, semi ruined. I see what you’re doing here.

    Parks and Recreation is built on deconstructed TV Tropes.

  50. Guarneri says:

    Monday
    “The stock market declined today on reports of strong economic performance as investors worried about inflationary pressures.”

    Tuesday
    “The stock market rose today as investors were encouraged by a strong economy and a number of strong earnings reports.”

    Wednesday
    “The stock market declined today as investors worried that lower inflation expectations may signal a weakening economy.”

    Thursday
    “Surging oil prices caused a sell off on Wall Street as investors worried that consumer spending would be adversely affected.”

    Friday
    “Falling oil prices failed to encourage investors worried that it signaled economic weakness. The Dow was off…..”

  51. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    There’s facts.

    @Teve:

    Chart I have shows three raises under Obama and 6 under Trump.

    I just accepted facts as presented by Eric Florack. Who could’ve predicted Eric Florack would lie to advance an argument? Gullible is one of my most attractive qualities.

  52. de stijl says:

    TV Tropes is one of the best things the Internet ever did.

  53. Jax says:

    @Teve: My favorite was the GoFundMe for ladders to get over Trump’s wall. Also high technology Trump must not be familiar with! Oh, did you see the ultralight plane that dropped off a load of meth and a bicycle? It’s like they’re just messing with him, now!

  54. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Well, he DOES keep calling attention to what he does. That sort of undercuts “plausible deniability.”

  55. Kylopod says:

    TV Tropes of course doesn’t just deal with film or TV. It’s got everything from music to comic books to video games. One of my favorite tropes from the music category, for fans of metal, punk, and other “loud” genres, is “Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness,” a very detailed classification scale of the relative heaviness/softness of various music.

    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness

  56. Teve says:

    Bloomberg reports that Trump is thinking about firing mnuchin, and if the stock market goes much lower, he will. I think in a few years they’ll be teaching the Trump administration as a master class in MBA schools as how not to run anything ever.

  57. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    @Jax: don’t tell Jake that Mexicans have figured out this high technology called “tunnels”. Poor guy would just get confused.

    Of course we haven’t. The subway system in Mexico City was built by the same aliens who built the Aztec pyramids in Egypt.

  58. Teve says:

    Like I didn’t know that was done by the same aliens that did the Nazca lines. Pffft. Duh.

  59. Mikey says:

    @Kylopod: Wow, that is fantastic.

    Apparently I spend a lot of time listening to stuff in the 9 to 11 range…

  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Eric Florack: And your point is…? We already get the factoid part; what does it mean to you?

  61. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: dude, why would you voluntarily jump into that dumpster? 😛

  62. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl: @Kylopod:
    It is such a dangerous time suck for me, especially since I have a bunch of my stuff referenced. I have apparently used the “Combat Sadomasochist” trope, for example, a thing I didn’t even know was a thing.

  63. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds: It’s impossible to escape using these things, because they aren’t cliches, they’re simply categories, like being an extrovert or introvert. The site has managed to find a category for everything; it’s like a giant index of the forms and techniques in fiction (and beyond). Every work in existence has used more than a dozen identifiable tropes from the site.

  64. @Jax:

    Florack has gotten his marching orders. “It’s all the Fed’s fault”.

    This the sad, dispiriting truth of it all. It isn’t about truth or reality; it is about the spin that helps his side.

    One can certainly debate the Fed’s actions, but to pretend like the current state of the market is just the Fed is absurd, as is trying to turn Fed action into a partisan one.

  65. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    @Kylopod:

    For newbies, the best way to experience TV Tropes is to use an IP you’re a fan of and explore from there.

    Say you like Preacher. Go to TV Tropes, search for Preacher and you’ll figure it out from there.

    A sister trope to “Combat Sadomasochist” is “Too Kinky To Torture”. How much you wanna bet that Spike from Buffy / Angel is referenced?

  66. de stijl says:

    My favorite alignment grid with the cast of The Big Lebowski.

    https://am22.akamaized.net/tms/cnt/uploads/2010/03/big-lebowski-alignment-chart-550×550.jpg

  67. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl: From what I’ve read, it seems the site TV Tropes started as a fan site for the Buffy franchise. (Which to this day I’ve never seen beyond the early ’90s movie with Kristy Swanson. And yes, I’ve heard the story a million times, about how Joss Whedon pitched the idea to Hollywood and they turned it to his horror into a Bill & Ted knockoff with Pee Wee Herman as a tough, leather-clad vampire.) I’m pretty heavily into fantasy/sf geekery, including shows like GoT and Westworld, so I get it. But believe it or not I still don’t have unlimited time to watch all this stuff, which is one of the reasons I’m generally more into movies than TV, and there are a lot of shows I might potentially like but I simply don’t feel like committing myself to at the moment. Generally, TV Tropes is less overwhelming with its movie entries. When it comes to its entries on massive, long-running franchises, it could take days to read it all.

  68. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    From what I’ve read, it seems the site TV Tropes started as a fan site for the Buffy franchise.

    That’s actually true.

    Also, the movie and the show are utterly different universes.

    I highly recommend delving into the Buffyverse. Don’t start with S1 unless you enjoy a slow burn, S1 is episodic and basic. Sprinkle S1 episodes between stronger S2, 3, 4 viewings.

    Be aware, Buffy will wreck you and effect you. There is a turning point in S5 that is wrenching. The Body is perhaps the best hour of television that had ever aired until that day. The best use of non-sound since Fearless. The episode is nearly absent of any backing music or any audio effects or oomph. I don’t know why more do not employ this – it is mad effective.

    Anya (Emma Caulfield) is newly mortal – she knows about death, but doesn’t understand it and the rituals and how we deal (or pretend to deal).

    https://youtu.be/MZ96c7IOIPQ

    Also, Willow + Tara is a big deal. It was not the first, but it was the best, bravest depiction of lesbian romance and love to date by far. I’m not even queer, but Tara and Willow was life-affirming and almost overwhelming. Tara + Willow wasn’t great because it was new, it was great because it felt true.

    A young Clea Duvall is literally invisible and it’s heartbreaking. A teen-aged Azura Skye is both a teen-ager, and The First Evil.

  69. Teve says:

    You don’t mean Hush, do you?

    ETA: no wait, I remember now. Still, Hush was pretty great too

  70. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Once upon a time, I respected some of what Florak had to say even if I didn’t agree with him. So, as a matter of morbid curiosity, I sometimes wonder if what he’s trying to say might make sense in some alternate universe or represent a legitimate difference of opinion (granted these situations are rare these days).

    Today, I was just hoping he might say something even stupider (or is that “more stupid”) than what he’d already said. I should have gone to Christmas Eve service last night. I would have been a kinder, more generous person than I am today.

  71. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I was just yanking your chain. Most people don’t share my philosophy that trolls are trolls, and best skipped over. But I still help moderate an evolution board where occasional creationists troll, so my bandwidth for stupid stuff is kind of limited.

  72. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl: I was a big fan of urban fantasy literature growing up–particularly that of Canadian writer Charles De Lint. I liked the genre more than traditional Tolkien-style fantasy. One of De Lint’s books from the ’80s was Jack the Giant Killer (which I used for a book report in 5th grade after the Piers Anthony book I’d originally planned to use proved too challenging, because I couldn’t figure out a safe way to describe the love affair between a unicorn and a robot–I’m not joking–for the yeshiva I went to), about a young woman from Ottawa who discovers she’s the Jack of the classic fairy tales and her destiny is to take on–and kick the butts of–mythological giants that roam the land but which most humans can’t see. For a long time I’ve had a theory that the Buffy franchise was influenced in some way by this book.

  73. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    Hush was great. Different episode, but pretty great anyway.

    Also great (some disagree) is the musical episode!

  74. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I sometimes wonder if what he’s trying to say might make sense in some alternate universe or represent a legitimate difference of opinion

    If it did, he’d make some effort to engage. He doesn’t. He just drops his dubious claims in the thread, then he proceeds to ignore every single comment responding to (i.e. objectively refuting) what he said.

    Look no further than the way he responded to my unraveling of a hoax he uncritically passed around. (To summarize, for those not interested in following the link: He brought a Nancy Pelosi quote allegedly bragging about deliberately distorting facts for propaganda purposes. I showed him that the quote in context was her attacking what she saw as Republican tactics, not boasting about Democratic ones. Florack repeatedly ignored my refutation of his claim, until finally he denied I’d refuted it–but neglected to explain how.) The problem isn’t just that his claims are preposterous, but that he refuses to get into any sort of conversation on the matter. This is how a typical exchange between him and us goes:

    FLORACK: 1 + 1 = 3! Suck it libs!

    REGULAR COMMENTER: Um, no it isn’t. [Goes on to explain why 1 + 1 does not equal 3, bringing logic and evidence to support the rebuttal.]

    FLORACK: That’s a load of crap. [Doesn’t elaborate further.]

    REGULAR COMMENTER: Do you have a response to anything I just said?

    [Crickets]

  75. Teve says:

    Poor Andy hallett (Lorne).

  76. al Ameda says:

    @Jake:

    If a wall didn’t work, the Democrats would happily allot $50 billion to it. The only reason for them to oppose it is because they fear it will work.

    Help yourself you another cold refreshing Kool Aid.
    You won’t be in any condition to thank me later. I can live with that.

  77. Guarneri says:

    Dr. Taylor lectures. DOW surges 1100.

    More evidence that Taylor does not know what he is talking about.

  78. @Guarneri: Good thing that moves the DJIA back into positive territory for the year!

    I stand thoroughly chastised.

  79. Matt says:

    @Guarneri: “Surging” to below where it was last week…

  80. @Guarneri: Oh look, it’s down by about 350 as of late morning (if we are going to play that game).

  81. mattbernius says:

    Gee @Guarneri & @Guarneri, for someone who claims to be an expert in economics, it’s funny how you don’t seem to actually understand the difference between daily fluctuations and trends that play out over extended time periods (like the *last* *few* *months*).

    Which also seems to be an issue, as I remember, with your climate change analysis as well.

    But MAN do you own us pesky libs!

  82. Grumpy realist says:

    @Guarneri: hey dude the WSJ is talking about how it just dropped again.

    Yup, Mr. Big-finance can’t even keep up with the WSJ. Poor baby….