The end of season round up of money spending continues. We paid for half of next year, so I guess we're coming back. Our talk of going to Florida appears to have been just that - talk. We are leaving Tucson Monday, April 3. We're going to Fountain Hills, where it will also be hot. However, it will not be here. If it becomes too unbearable, we'll leave. However, I miss riding my mountain bike.
There was a pretty good sunset Sunday night.
Meanwhile, all of the yellow things are blooming.
The ocotillos are not leafing out much, but they are putting on an excellent bloom this year.
Now there will be politics, feel free to close the window if you're tired of it. I'm writing this for me to remember the things that have happened.
Without much fanfare or coverage, US troops are being sent into Syria. The mission is said to be the retaking of Raqqa. The administration is not being candid about just how many soldiers are on the ground. These are not advisors, these are soldiers that shoot move and communicate. Senator Chris Murphy wrote a good piece about this in Huff Post. This is one of the more disturbing paragraphs.
We're going back into the Middle East with no exit strategy.This past Thursday, I joined other members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee for lunch with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. I was glad that Tillerson was willing to open the doors of the State Department to a bipartisan group of senators, and our discussion was honest and frank. In the meeting, Tillerson showed admirable candor in admitting that the military strategy was far ahead of the diplomatic strategy in Syria.But this was actually a dramatic understatement. Unless a secret plan exists that Trump is keeping from U.S. senators and his own Secretary of State, there is absolutely no plan for who controls post-ISIS Raqqa, or post-Assad Syria.
The NYT published an excellent op-ed about the president's meeting with the German Prime Minister.
The last sentence is just cringe worthy.Trump knew nothing of the proposed European-American deal known as the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, little about Russian aggression in Ukraine or the Minsk agreements, and was so scatterbrained that German officials concluded that the president’s daughter Ivanka, who had no formal reason to be there, was the more prepared and helpful. (Invited by Merkel, Ivanka will attend a summit on women’s empowerment in Berlin next month.)Merkel is not one to fuss. But Trump’s behavior appalled her entourage and reinforced a conclusion already reached about this presidency in several European capitals: It is possible to do business with Trump’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, but these officials are flying blind because above them at the White House rages a whirlwind of incompetence and ignorance.
Today the House approved the selling of customer data by the ISPs. Some articles are indicating that this will include social security numbers. If you'd like to participate in a GoFundMe campaign to buy the data of congress people, go here and donate.
It would appear that the Lord of Darkness, Bannon, is once again trying to broker a deal in the House to repeal the ACA. One wonders how he will find common ground between the extreme Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Group.
Every day I wake up and wonder how did we get here.