In what was either an example of Trump the reality TV show host trying to figuratively assassinate Trump the President, or else just more evidence that the man in the Oval Office is a stark, raving lunatic, the commander in chief on Thursday refused to sign the initial bill Congress prepared to avert a Christmas shutdown.
Following what he feebly attempted to spin as a “productive” meeting with Trump, Paul Ryan said this to reporters on Thursday afternoon:
“We urgently need funding for border security and that includes a wall”, the White House said, flatly.
The news came just hours after Trump tweeted out a series of cryptic messages about “steel slats”. Sarah Sanders elaborated shortly before Trump met with Republicans. “[The President] does not want to go further without border security, which includes steel slats”, she said, as though that cleared things right up.
It’s by no means clear what Trump hoped to accomplish with that, other than perhaps making good on his promise to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi that the White House will be “proud” to shut down the government in lieu of
wall slat funding.
Recall the following exchange from the President’s wild meeting with Democratic leaders earlier this month:
Why he would push this knowing his beloved stock market rally is on the brink of disaster (on the heels of the Fed meeting and amid persistent jitters about the trade war) is a mystery.
Following Paul Ryan’s remarks to reporters things got materially worse for stocks, although they would subsequently recoup some of their losses. The S&P, for instance, fell to its lowest levels since September 2017.
The two-day look is absolutely horrific and underscores just how pernicious the combination of Fed hikes and domestic political insanity really is for a hopelessly illiquid market.
This is (at least) the seventh session that the S&P has fallen 2% or more since the selloff began in October.
Here was the market map as of 2:30 PM ET:
This is on track to be the worst month for U.S. stocks since October 2008.
The dollar is sitting at its lowest levels since November 7 and you can bet some of those crowded longs are being squeezed out about now.
Oh, and (again) this is truly something to behold:
We could of course go on (and on and on).
About an hour after Ryan broke the bad news, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said $5 billion will be added to the stopgap bill, money earmarked for Trump’s proposed border wall/slats. So, who knows how this will ultimately play out.
But what we do know is that Trump is getting increasingly cavalier as his frustrations grow with the Mueller probe, the prospect of a Democratic House and now, the Fed.
Perhaps Trump the reality TV show host has finally seen enough and is moving in for the figurative kill. On that note, we’ll leave you with a few excerpts from what now looks like a pretty prescient commentary published over at Notes From Disgraceland in June of 2017:
The absence of any foresight in his conduct is stunning: It does not take much thought to realize that this could have never produced any positive effects for his presidency. Same goes for his compulsive divisiveness of the populace, and deliberate undermining of his allies, his staff, and supporters, which has isolated him to the point that no one wants to work with or for him. There is no one who takes him seriously any more – he is the laughing stock of the entire world and a butt of every joke. He seems to take some pride in helping in the process of the collective ritual of public denigration of his presidency. One can sense something almost vindictive in his pursuit of the symbolic self.
Trump’s conduct is a suicide from the ambush. What in the one-dimensional space of his subjectivity appears as logically obscure suddenly becomes transparent once the real and the symbolic are identified and separated.
His presidency represents a rebellion of the hysterical person against his symbolic persona, an attempt of Donald Trump the citizen to take out Donald Trump the president – an assassination of the symbolic self.