Idiocy in Washington

I am leaving tomorrow for two weeks in Germany and Austria and to get away from Washington, D.C., and the crazy news that seems to occur every day. Who would have imagined the President would tweet negative things about China the night before his Secretary of State was to sit down in Beijing to negotiate with the Chinese? Why would he undercut his own employee? Welcome to the weekend stupidity of tweets.
And when everyone who would know, the Gang of Eight as they are called (Speaker of the House, Minority Leader of the House, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, and the Chair and Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee), says publicly that Trump has no basis to say he was wiretapped or surveilled by anyone, he still insists he was targeted by the former President. And to add insult to injury, his spokesman said the British had been used to do the surveilling. The British were quick to say that it was “utterly ridiculous.”

Yet Trump brought it up again in his press conference with Angela Merkel after he was rude to her. Why would he refuse to shake the hand of the leader of Germany who is one of the US’s greatest allies? And right in front of the press gaggle who had microphones going so we could all hear and see what he did. He’s the one that says he has such respect for women but it didn’t look like it when she asked him to shake hands and he refused.

And has the Republican party gone insane? To suggest that cutting Meals on Wheels or after school programs to feed poor children is going to make any dent in the federal budget is a guaranteed way for many Americans to vote for anyone but Republicans. And it seems that many on the Hill agree with that and are letting it be known that the White House budget proposal is dead on arrival.

All in one week. I can’t wait to go to Stuttgart, Salzburg, Vienna, and Munich so at least for two weeks I’ll be writing about fun places, museums, cars, and great food!

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The Deconstruction 


Although Snopes’ fact checker has not found proof that Stephen Bannon told more than one journalist that he was a Leninist who “wants to bring down the entire state and to destroy the entire establishment,” it seems as if he is successfully accomplishing the goal of tearing down the establishment piece by piece. The first step seems to be the State Department.

The hope was that by selecting Rex Tillerson for State and Jim Mattis as the Secretary of Defense Trump was showing that he was bringing in the “adults” to manage the U.S. foreign policy. Unfortunately, Tillerson is not even included in meetings with the Mexican Foreign Minister which the White House arranged and held on its own. It seems as if the State Department is not a major player at this point, and Tillerson is not even allowed to select his own deputies.

And then we find out that Mike Flynn made half a million dollars as a lobbyist for the government of Turkey at the same time as he was working for the Trump campaign, and then was announced as the National Security Advisor. The kicker: The White House knew of his lobbying. OMG! How could you vet someone knowing this information? Deconstructing again, I suppose, or perhaps just not caring about ethics?

And no one in the White House, or anyone surrounding Trump in his family, seem to care that our new President likes to say things that have no basis in fact. Such as that Obama wiretapped his phones during the election. He has given no proof of the accusation and no one else seems to knows of it and, oh, by the way, a President can’t even order wiretaps. The agency who thinks there is a reason to wiretap an American has to apply to a FISA judge who is the only person who can approve the taps.

What concerns me is if the President can tweet ideas which have no basis in fact, what is he going to decide to do when it comes to our foreign policy? He’s insulted so many already such as Mexico, Germany, Japan, and China, to name a few, that I am worried about what will come next. With Tillerson being sidelined at State, what bizarre ideas will Bannon and others put in Trump’s brain?

As Bette Davis said in All About Eve, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” Maybe I should just concentrate on my horse loving to jump and try not hear or read any news.

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Escape to Florida

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Colin & Super Flashy

My wonderful horse loves warm weather and jumping so once again he hitched a ride with his trainer, Meghan Michaels, and went off to Wellington, Florida, to compete at the World Equestrian Festival. The horse show that draws 7,500 or more horses to its facility between January and April. The location attracts the best of the best riders – both dressage and jumping.  SF, short for Super FLashy, his nickname, competes under his registered Thoroughbred name of Carni’s Last Stand. At 13, he is entering his prime for showing.  And this year he started earning his keep – literally. Thanks to an organization called the Take2 Thoroughbred League which is an organization created  by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, the Breeders , and the Racing Association to promote second careers for retired racehorses. They give monetary rewards to the horses who win ribbons.

img_20170226_134342_462SF’s new jump rider, Miranda Scott, suggested we put him straight into the thoroughbred classes.  She had only ridden him three times and he came in sixth which meant a green ribbon and a small amount of cash.  The next day he went up to a fourth.  By the fifth day of competing he had a first and some “swag” which was a box of horse treats in addition to his winnings.  The 6th day brought two blue ribbons, a box, of treats, and a new horse blanket, plus his winnings. Such a good team!

Watching Miranda and SF learn each other is a delight in itself. Obviously, I am fond of animals, but a horse and human together when they mesh are truly magnificent to watch. A jump rider has to know how the horse thinks and when he needs help or when he needs the rider to just get out of the way and let him fly.  And in Jumping, one wins by no knockdowns and time. Miranda and SF cleared a course in the jump off in 30 seconds.  I almost couldn’t watch it was so powerful. A 1,000-pound animal of pure muscle flying through the air with a diminutive human perched on his back is the ultimate trust on both sides. For him he knows she will not intentionally guide him wrong, hurt his mouth, or ask him to do something he can’t.  Or her side, she knows he will never intentionally hurt her, throw her off, or refuse to do his best to accomplish anything she requests.  Miranda and SF found this balance in such a short time. I was very impressed.

She is going to continue to show him so we will see where he goes next – to Upperville this summer most likely after he leaves the warmth of Florida and heads back to Maryland mid-month. In the meantime, SF will show again next week so who knows what more swag he’ll bring back to DC!

img_20170302_093515_065Thank you again to Team Super FLashy – Meghan who cares for him everyday and is his primary trainer, Miranda who has now joined the team officially (the team shirt will follow soon) and Sandy Lytle who started him down his jump path.  Then there is Bonnie in Maryland who daily makes certain he is fed and watered and blanketed when needed.  Colin, Meghan’s 5-year-old who is SF’s wonderful friend and who is known for singing to SF as he leads him to his turnout field, His support cheerleaders at shows are also greatly appreciated since SF loves an audience!  So thank you to Lois, George, Mary Grace, Joann, Val, Tina, James, Amanda, and Don Dean, who took such good care of him when SF was racing. Super Flashy and I love you all.

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Super Flashy wins!

Super Flashy winning at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida!

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The president’s erratic behavior

8566717881_58f36f5a37_bAnd just when I thought that I was getting inured to the stuff coming out of the new Administration! An hour-plus press conference — which was so amazing and so full of stupid petty lies that one has to wonder, “Why bother?” — is topped by the pick for a new National Security Advisor who turns it down. Why didn’t the White House staff know that the retired Admiral would not take the job? That is very bad staff work.

I’m not shocked that he continues to lie about having the biggest victory in the electoral college since Reagan (George H.W. Bush got more as did Bill Clinton and Barack Obama) and that he got 306 electoral votes (he got 304). It seems as if he is obsessed by his loss of the popular vote. However, what is weird to me is when faced with his inaccurate facts, his response was that someone had given him that information. What???? And going after the media is vintage Trump so that wasn’t surprising, but asking a black female reporter to schedule a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus when she asked him if he was meeting them made no sense.

The President literally looked and sounded slightly unhinged. It was even more so than during the campaign. And then he’s off to his Florida home to once again relax in the sun and perhaps have another meeting in public where classified conversations may happen. He is also going to have a campaign-style rally to boost his ego after all the bad news of his first month in office. I wonder if we’ll be seeing one of those every month?

I also wonder how long the Republicans in Congress will give Trump the benefit of the doubt. They want to pass legislation and are on the whole biting their tongues in public but how long will that last?

Now, I can’t wait to see what new, scary, amusing, and jaw-dropping antic Trump will do.  He hasn’t “pivoted” to Presidential behavior yet, but has remained the Entertainer-in-Chief.  I doubt that was why people voted for him. There are plenty of television shows for that.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

The good news is somehow, someone got to the President and we are back to the “one China” policy. I’m thinking positively that golf with the Japanese Prime Minister might have helped American Japanese relations. We’ll see how long these policies last. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

But for now I’m focusing on Valentine’s Day. I hope all of you have a wonderful fun week with lots of love surrounding you – and a few items spread around that reflect the holiday.

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Meet Princess Georgia

img_3816As I write there is chaos abounding! In addition to rallies, misspeaking about massacres, courts issuing injunctions against White House travel suspensions, we have airlines saying if you have a visa, you can fly with no problem again. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee that while you’re in the air, the White House won’t get a different court to stay the injunction. I feel sorry for those with green cards or visas who are trying to figure out whether they can safely enter the U.S. and for students with valid visas if they can come back to the States if they leave.

What did we do to get away from the chaos of the new political order? We adopted a cat. What better way to escape politics than to sit in front of the fire with a one-year-old Blue Point Siamese whose idea of fun is either chasing a tennis ball or cleaning a human’s face. It had been 12 years since I last had a Siamese (her name was YumYum after the Mikado and Lillian Jackson Braun’s murder mysteries starring two Siamese, Koko and YumYum) but I remembered how much fun she was so I went on a search to rescue one. Luckily for me, it only took two weeks. She is what is called a traditional or Applehead Siamese. Translated, she does not have the long, pointy faces that the more recent breeders have created but looks like the original Siamese that I first saw as a child in Thailand where they were originally bred.

Siamese are traditionally talkers and lovers of humans. The new one, Princess Georgia, is exactly that personality. Like my first Siamese, she tends to be extremely canine for a feline. She follows humans around from room to room. She only eats her food if you are seated nearby. She likes to sleep with her humans, and she prefers a black velvet couch to cuddle on unless there is a fire going and then she wants to be in front of it. She talks frequently. I am waiting to see if she starts going to the front door when the doorbell rings.

So if you are tired of the news or frustrated with the Amateur Hour antics that I keep hoping will change, go adopt a pet and turn off the television!

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