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Can We All Agree – 10/31/15 Edition

October 31, 2015

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , , , — admin @ 6:58 am

Can we all agree that the photo below, released by the North Korean government, of their leader Kim Jong Un watching a musical performance is disturbing on a number of levels?

Reuters photo

Reuters photo

Can we all agree that John Beohner’s ability to ‘clean the barn’ for a new Speaker, just shows how dysfunctional the GOP ultra-conservative members have been?

Can we all agree that Paul Ryan’s honeymoon will last until the House begins consideration of the next big budget bill?

Can we all agree  that  White House attempts to minimize the number of special forces troops being sent to Syria will not work? It’s still boots on the ground.

Can we all agree that as long as China’s economy continues to slow, most families will continue to have only as many children as they feel they can support – one?

Can we all agree that even with the economy slowing the US will remain a primary growth engine for the rest of the world?

Can we all agree that the GOP debate proved the Republican’s do not have a realistic plan to govern the country?

Can we all agree that the facts were few and far between throughout the debate?

Can we all agree that Jeb Bush simply does not project the kind of leadership many Americans want? His decline has nothing to do with his politics.

Can we all agree that Marco Rubio should resign his senate seat unless he wants to cast a vote at least once in a while?

Can we all agree that the GOP’s displeasure with the media is based on the fact that they don’t really want to answer tough questions? It will be very interesting to see what kind of questions they get  when the Wall Street Journal hosts the next debate.

Can we all agree that there were several other alternatives the now-fired police officer might have tried before assaulting a student in a South Carolina classroom?

Can we all agree that the student knew exactly what she was doing, when she apparently told her classmates to film the encounter?

Can we all agree that the United States should continue to send ships within 12 miles of the disputed ‘islands’ in the South China Sea?

Can we all agree that replacing Donald Trump with Ben Carson on the GOP presidential ticket would make little difference in the final outcome of the election?

Can we all agree that every time a new study comes out telling us what we should or should not eat, we just get more confused?

Can we all agree that the move to impeach the IRS commissioner just makes the GOP look more desperate to score political points? Apparently they didn’t watch last week’s Benghazi hearing.

 

 

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Can We All Agree – 10/24/15 Edition

October 24, 2015

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 6:32 am

Can we all agree that Hillary Clinton may have had the best 10-day stretch of any political candidate, ever?

Can we all agree that she followed up her debate victory with a great showing before Trey Gowdy’s  Benghazi committee?

Hillary Clinton before the Benghazi committee.

Hillary Clinton before the Benghazi committee.

Can we all agree that the GOP may have just won Mrs. Clinton the Democratic nomination and possibly the Presidency in 2016?

Can we all agree that VP Joe Biden’s decision not to run was based on reality and influenced by Mrs. Clinton’s 10-day comeback tour?

Can we all agree that no one is surprised that Jim Webb or Lincoln Chafee have ended their presidential bids?

Can we all agree that Jeb Bush may not be able to hold on if he does not win the New Hampshire primary?

Can we all agree that it was nice to get a reprieve from the GOP battles against Donald Trump, but that he’ll be back on the front page before long?

Can we all agree that we all long for an 11-week campaign season, like they have in Canada?

Can we all agree that Speaker-to -be Paul Ryan’s honeymoon with GOP conservatives will be short lived?

Can we all agree that there is some substance to the campaign to prevent Trump from appearing on Saturday Night Live?

Can we all agree that Ben Carson’s latest surge in the polls is beyond bizarre?

Can we all agree that every time a politician brings up Hitler, he or she, automatically negates anything they were trying to say?

Can we all agree that allowing Mr. Putin to take over the Syrian debate, may not be such a bad idea?

Can we all agree that when you lose the Mormons, like Kim Davis has, you may have lost the rest of the country as well?

Can all agree that you must have a pretty big ego to withdraw  $20 million donation because a school was not allowed to change its name to honor your wife?

Can we all agree that for all the support the Pope has received worldwide it is distressing, but probably not surprising,  to see the level of opposition he is facing in Rome?

Can we all agree that China’s decision to honor one of Africa’s most hated dictators reveals their desperation to gain influence in a region of the world where they are widely disliked?

Can we all agree that The President picked a good week to veto a defense spending bill?

Can we all agree that, just maybe, the strongest hurricane ever recorded might focus more attention on climate change?

Can we all agree that given the level of vitriol heaped on them, it’s not surprising that Ahmed Mohamed (the clock kid) and his family have decided to leave the country?

Can we all agree that we all hoping competition will put a serious dent Martin Shkreli’s drug profits? That seems to be the only language he understands.

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Can We All Agree – 10/17/15 edition

October 17, 2015

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 6:53 am

Can we all agree that at this week’s candidate debate,   even the worst performing Democratic presidential candidate sounded better than almost all the GOP candidates at previous debates?

Can we all agree that the real proof of Hillary’s performance will be her improved standing in polls over the weekend?

Can we all agree that VP Joe Biden has now missed his chance to get in to the Democratic primary?

Mud slides in Los Angeles (LA Times photo)

Can we all agree that is was refreshing to hear candidates discuss issues rather than looks, and hair style? The fact that no one left the debate feeling they were insulted, marginalized, or belittled, should not have been remarkable, but it was.

Can we all agree that we never really believed the President when he said all the troops would be out of Afghanistan when he left office?

Can we all agree that mud slides in LA, months before the predicted El Nino are an ominous start to  winter on the West Coast.

Can we all agree that the Universirty of California at Berkeley gave itself a huge black eye in the way it handled the sexual harassment case of astronomer Geoffrey Marcy?

Can we all agree that even the Russian’s were not surprised when investigators said a missile made by Russia brought down the Malaysian Airliner over eastern Ukraine? Following the logic in their twisted response was nearly impossible.

Can we all agree that the new increase in violence in Israel does not bode well for any chance of peace in the near future?

Can we all agree that while everyone on the East Coast has a story about USAir (formerly Allegheny Airlines) we are sad to see the name disappear into American Airlines?  My favorite is the time I was allowed to get on the wrong plane and wound up in Washington DC instead of Boston, MA.

Can we all agree that even Tesla’s description of their software for self-driving cars should make owners nervous?

Can we all agree that, despite what I said last week, fantasy football betting may be in real trouble now that Nevada has declared that it is, indeed, gambling? As they say, if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck you can be pretty sure, it’s not a horse.

Can we all agree that if the old saying, “follow the money,” has any application to presidential politics, Jeb Bush is in a lot of trouble?

Can we all agree that Playboy’s decision to give up nude photographs will have little impact on their sales, since most men  bought it for the articles anyway?

Can we all agree that when the GOP decides Paul Ryan is too liberal, they have decided that John Boehner may not be so bad after all?

Can we all agree that Turkey may be at a real crossroads as new elections loom?

and finally:

Can we all agree that, even in American League cities, the Mets-Cubs National League Championship series will be must see TV.

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Can We all Agree – 10/10/15

October 10, 2015

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 8:25 am

Can we all agree that confusion, chaos, panic and desperation are not the words you want to see when you are the majority party and need to nominate a new Speaker of the House?

Can we all agree that rumors of marital infidelity will not help?

Can we all agree that the problems being faced in the House are the same as the ones faced by establishment GOP presidential candidates: How to deal with far right?

Can we all agree that we would not want to be Paul Ryan, who is apparently, the GOP’s last best hope for Speaker?

Rep. Ryan walks to a meeting. (NYT photo)

Rep. Ryan walks to a meeting. (NYT photo)

Can we all agree that with two new shooting incidents on college campuses on the same day the President is visiting Roseburg, the pressure is mounting  on politicians to do something about gun control?

Can we all agree that when 11-year-old’s shoot their 8 year-old playmates, or shoppers start firing weapons at shoplifters, the answer is not, more guns?

Can we all agree that there is not one GOP candidate who made a coherent comment about the Roseburg shooting or guns in America?

Can we all agree that the decision to end the training program for moderate rebels in Syria comes about $500 million too late?

Can we all agree that when your missiles land about 600 miles from their intended target (Syria)  and in an ally’s territory, (Iran) you may have an operational issue?

Can we all agree that the stabbing of French train hero Spencer Stone is a real tragedy?

Can we all agree that while California Governor Jerry Brown may still have his detractors, he has done a remarkable job of making  California the envy of many other progressive states by signing  legislation on the environment, equal pay,  assisted suicide  and even medical marijuana?

Can we all agree that the US Air Force was used by the Afghan army to get back at MSF for treating wounded Taliban soldiers?

Can we all agree that the US was caught flat footed by the Russian entrance into the Syrian conflict?

General Mills has a problem. (Getty Images)

General Mills has a problem. (Getty Images)

Can we all agree that this week’s corporate screw-up award has to go to General Mills who was forced to recall millions of boxes of gluten free cereal, because they contained gluten?

Can we all agree that the President appears to be waiting for the Russians to fail in Syria before he does anything?

Can we all agree that the new fantasy sports leagues have a real PR problem which they will probably overcome, because Americans love legalized gambling?

Can we all agree that, despite what the presidential candidates think, the new Pacific trade pact will probably win Congressional approval, because the Republicans support it?

Don’t forget to scroll down to my next post and download my guide to growing roses.

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A guidebook for growing roses

Filed under: Gardening — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 8:09 am
Fame

Fame

Juliet:  “…What’s in a name? that which we call a rose, By another name would smell as sweet; Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d, Retain that dear perfection which he owes…”

 

As a gardener with over 100 roses to tend, Juliet’s often misquoted lines reverberate every time I walk into  my back yard. She was right, every rose would still bloom, and spread its fragrance if they had a different name, but somehow the individual names are tied to their identity.

Psychologists claim that human names actually partially determine our profession. I wonder if the same is true for a rose.

Would it make a difference if John F. Kennedy were bright red, rather than snowy white? Was the hybridizer trying to equate virtue with the name of a fallen president.

On the opposite end of the spectrum Mr. Lincoln, a tall statuesque red rose is often cited as the standard for the color, but Ingrid Bergman, or even Frankly Scarlet might be preferable to some.

I am often asked which rose is my favorite. I can honestly say they all are. After years of cultivating, weeding, trimming and feeding, I know that each rose has its day. There is a moment, sometimes when the rose just just emerging from its bud form, before it has fully opened up, when it typifies the most perfect example of it’s form.

At that instant, which may only last a day, or a morning, it is my favorite.

I’ll admit that, in the Spring a few months after everything was trimmed back and they are all blooming simultaneously there are often a few favorites every day.

I really can’t decide. Some are favorites because they are just dependable and easy to maintain. Fame, another red entry as well as Top Notch and About Face, both along the bright orange spectrum all fall in that category, but it doesn’t make them any less attractive. Like puppies at a dog show, they are still the perfect embodiment of their form.

Mooonstone, which suffers from rust almost every year, still produces beautiful pink-edged blooms. And the bees certainly don’t care about the damaged foliage as they crawl around the petals looking of pollen.

Julia Child, which is among the most prolific, explodes into braces of yellow which quickly fade. But in that moment when one stem can contain a sun colored beauty, along with another bud waiting its turn and a third still hidden from view, it too is my favorite.

I could go on but as the fall gives way to winter, I thought it might be a good time to post my attempt at a rose growing guidebook.

Roses always seem to intimidate new gardeners, but maybe my experience can help. Remember, to paraphrase a saying from the world of orchids, a gardening expert, is just someone who has killed a lot of plants.You are welcome to download the PDFs.

If you already grow roses, or are just thinking about planting one or two, download both sections, and let me know what you think.

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

Rose Book3_P-1-4

Rose Book3- P5-9

 

As always comments are welcome. Happy gardening.

 

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Can We All Agree – 10/3/15 edition

October 3, 2015

Can we all agree The President is correct – mass shootings in the US have become too routine?

Can we all agree that we lost any chance of changing gun laws when we watched 26 children and teachers be slain in Newtown, CT and did nothing?Capture12

Can we all agree that we would like our President to give Michael Douglas’s speech from “An American President?”

Can we all agree that Jeb Bush has once again put his foot in his mouth by explaining the Oregon shooting as “stuff happens.”

Can we all agree that while 140,000 jobs created in a month, may not be what some people expected, it’s better than losing jobs, and shows the economy is still on track?

Can we all agree that Vladimir Putin knows that as long as The West does not have a unified voice, he can pretty much do whatever he wants in Ukraine, Syria or anywhere else in the world?

Can we all agree it’s tough to attribute the bombing of a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz to the ‘fog of war.’

Can we all agree that the GOP can rail  about Mr. Obama’s response to Mr. Putin, but they don’t have any credible ideas?

Can we all agree that we continue to be embarrassed by the comments of the GOP field?

Can we all agree that Speaker-to-be Kevin McCarthy looks like he will fit right in with the GOP? Can we all agree he has handed the upcoming Benghazi hearing to Hillary Clinton on a silver platter?

Can we all agree that it does not bode well that Nancy Pelosi and Mr. McCarthy are barely on speaking terms?

Can we all agree that Mr. McCarthy’s reputation for malapropisms will give late night talk show hosts plenty of material.

Stephen Colbert, right, with bandleader Jon Batiste, left, and guest John Legend on CBS' "The Late Show." (CBS)

Stephen Colbert, right, with bandleader Jon Batiste, left, and guest John Legend on CBS’ “The Late Show.” (CBS)

Can we all agree that, as my friend Jim Levy says, Steven Colbert may be the only grown-up on late night TV.

Can we all agree that it will be less than a month before we all long for the good old days of Speaker John Boehner?

Can we all agree that Planned Parenthood actually gained more support after its president testified before Congress?

Can we all agree that the new budget bill passed by Congress just puts off a government closure until 2 weeks before Christmas? Happy Holidays everyone!

Can we ll agree that Donald Trump’s ‘tax plan’ just exposed him for what he is – a fraud? That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to see him be the GOP nominee.

Can we all agree that Pope Francis needs to fire a few folks at the Vatican’s DC embassy for allowing Kim Davis to have even a group audience with him?

Can we all agree that the producers  of the movie ‘Martian,’ probably can’t believe their good fortune in the timing of news that there is evidence of water on Mars?

Can we all agree that despite Thursday’s deadline for the use of credit cards with electronic chips, there has been little change in how merchants handle credit cards in the US? Once again we are light years behind our European relatives.

Can we all agree that Sepp Blatter, head of FIFA, has redefined arrogance as he defies calls from his own sponsors to resign his post in the face of a criminal investigation?

Can we all agree that the NFL should be very worried as more and more students opt for soccer over football in high school?

Can we all agree that the talent exhibited by the winners of this years McArthur awards is remarkable?

Can we all agree that, for baseball fans, the best part of the season starts on Tuesday?

 

 

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