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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 8/27/16 edition

August 27, 2016

Can we all agree, this week we are all Italian? Unfortunately, it appears this will not be the last earthquake the country suffers.

Quake damage in Amatrice, Italy (AP photo)

Quake damage in Amatrice, Italy (AP photo)

Can we all agree, despite what her PR machine claims, Heather Bresch, the president of the firm which sells the EpiPen is a poster child for what’s wrong with the US drug industry? And her father, the senator, knows it.

Can we all agree Bernie Sanders’s new political group is off to a bad start?

Can we all agree Maine Governor Paul Lepage is the only politician who can out-Trump, Donald Trump? Even the Donald doesn’t have a newspaper apologizing to the nation.

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s pivot under Kellyanne Conway, his new campaign manager, has everyone scratching their heads?

Can we all agree if Hillary Clinton was running against a traditional candidate, such as Jeb Bush, her email problems would really make her a serious underdog?

Can we all agree that the only real question left is whether Mrs. Clinton’s victory will be a landslide?

Can we all agree that, only in America, could Ryan  Lochte, turn his Rio lies into advertising gold?

Can we all agree, the Virginia diners who declined to leave a tip because they thought their server was not American, deserve all the ridicule they are getting?

Can we all agree the confrontation between Iranian and American battleships in the Persian Gulf sounds like the action of a rogue captain rather than a national policy? Or is that just wishful thinking?

Can we all agree that court decisions on bathroom choices leave us feeling that justice is not blind to politics and public opinion?

Can we all agree President Obama’s expansion of the marine national reserve will just add to his environmental legacy?

Can we all agree, speaking of the environment, California Governor Gerry Brown made sure his state maintained their place as the nation’s environmental capital?

Can we all agree, we are cheered by the victory of a homeless woman who successfully argued that the Social Security Administration owed her $100,000?

Can we all agree that it apparently takes a court to make some sense out of the French burkini ban?

Can we all agree, it won’t be too long before interest rates rise, marking the official end of The Great Recession?

Can we all agree this week’s gun protest at the University of Texas was  inspiring?

Can we all agree Herb Alpert’s Foundation deserves a round of applause for donating $10.1 million to Los Angeles City College to provide scholarships for every music major?

Can we all agree that putting a treaty, ending a 50-year war, to a nationwide vote seems a bit crazy?

Can we all agree, the Trump campaign’s efforts to undermine Mrs. Clinton, by alleging she has health issues, is too funny for serious comment?

Can we all agree, it’s almost as funny as Mr. Trump’s plea for support from African-American voters: “What do you have to lose?”

Can we all agree that we all feel a bit safer knowing there might be a planet that can support life, just 4.25 light years away? That’s roughly 25 trillion miles.

Can we all agree the Turkish/US invasion and capture of a Syrian town was more about pushing back the Kurds, than it was about ISIS?

Can we all agree we are not surprised that the Berkeley soda tax reduced consumption of sugary beverages in the city? Of course, it could be folks just did their shopping next door in Oakland.

And finally:

Can we all agree it’s a bit sad to know that soon  there will only be one remaining Howard Johnson‘s left in the United States?

And, for all of my female readers who are having trouble finding new clothes at the mall, I thought you might enjoy this from the Sarah Halzack.

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Can We All Agree – 8/20/16 edition

August 20, 2016

Can we all agree it will take more than one dramatic photo of a dazed little boy, to force the warring factions in Syria to stop fighting and get serious about ending a war that no one can win?

Omran, a Syrian boy, awaits treatment. (Mahmoud Rslan/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

Omran, a Syrian boy, awaits treatment. (Mahmoud Rslan/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

Can we all agree the actions of Ryan Lochte and his fellow swimmers are probably the biggest unforced error in Olympic history?

Can we all agree the whole episode just takes the spotlight away from the spectacular performance of the athletes?

Can we all agree the actions of distance runners Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino should be the story that gets the most attention?

Usain Bolt wins the 100 meter race at the Olympics. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Usain Bolt wins the 100 meter race at the Olympics. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Can we all agree the United Nations should be embarrassed that it took them 6 years to admit their soldiers brought cholera to Haiti?

Can we all agree that we have no interest in getting a ride from one of Uber’s planned driverless cars in Pittsburgh? Maybe they knew a SF judge was going to reject their proposed settlement with drivers?

Can we all agree that it would be a lot more comforting to wait five years for the Ford fleet to become available?

Can we all agree the only reason Donald Trump went to visit Louisiana flooding victims was to embarrass the President?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s “teleprompter regret” didn’t come close to an apology?

New Zealander Nikki Hamblin helps fallen U.S. athlete Abbey D'Agostino. (Ian Walton / Getty Images)

New Zealander Nikki Hamblin helps fallen U.S. athlete Abbey D’Agostino. (Ian Walton / Getty Images)

Can we all agree Mr. Trump needs to look no further than this week’s news from Washington state, to see the impact of his hateful speech?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s latest campaign reorganization is probably his last gasp? Or maybe it’s a death rattle?

Can we all agree the change was inevitable once the word got out about Ukraine’s secret payments to campaign manager Paul Manafort?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s plan for increased vetting of Muslim’s entering the country, is just wrong on every level? Even conservatives are dismayed.

Can we all agree that adding Roger Ailes to your list of advisors, probably won’t win you any female votes?

Can we all agree real panic has set in with the GOP, as they ponder losing control of both the House and Senate?

Can we all agree, if Hillary Clinton is elected, she and her husband should give up any role in their foundation and maybe even close it down?

Can we all agree a judge’s decision forcing Mrs. Clinton to submit written answers to questions about her use of a private email server, will uncover few new facts and just keep the issue alive – which is exactly the point?

Can we all agree the Obama administration’s explanation  about the money paid to Iran, when hostages were released, is still just linguistic gymnastics?

Can we all agree, that with no rain due until November, California firefighters have their work cut out for them?

Can we all agree the Justice Department’s decision to gradually eliminate using private prison firms for inmates should be copied by the states?

Can we all agree that. if Kamala Harris is elected as California’s next senator she will be featured at the 2020 convention and will find her way on to the presidential ticket in 2024? You read it here first.

Can we all agree there probably won’t be many young ‘snowbirds’ vacationing in Miami this winter?

Can we all agree the GOP is now getting another black eye from it’s own candidates for not approving any money to fight the Zika virus?

Can we all agree, if former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling runs against Elizabeth Warren for US Senate, it will be a replay of the Trump campaign, just on a smaller scale?

Can we all agree the Social Security Administration’s plan to get seniors to confirm their identity by using text messaging, had to be dreamed up by an out of touch millennial?

Can we all agree that we don’t understand the French ban on Burkinis at the beach?

Can we all agree it’s one thing to steal  DNC emails but quite another to hack the NSA?

A Burkini bathing suit on the beach

A Burkini bathing suit on the beach

Can we all agree this may be the week the California drought was declared over, but we still have water problems?

Can we all agree, it’s easy to understand the frustration in Milwaukee, but they may have chosen the wrong incident to express their emotions?

Can we all agree the former Pennsylvania Attorney General needs to understand that all is fair in politics, unless you break the law?

and finally:

Can we all agree David Brooks and Jennifer Rubin, two conservative columnists,  could speak for all of us?

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 8/13/16 edition

August 13, 2016

Can we all agree, that with Ledecky, Phelps and Biles leading the way, the US team’s performance has been nothing short of unbelievable?

Can we all agree, every Baby Boomer has noticed that the average age of Olympic athletes has been creeping up for the last few years, but now the athletic senior citizens are actually winning medals?

Can we all agree that the Simone Manuel story could be the best of the first week?

Can we all agree that Hope Solo, losing goalie for the ousted US women’s soccer team, would be better off keeping her mouth shut?

Can we all agree the nationalistic back-and-forth over drug use by Olympic athletes really masks the fact that the IOC has bungled the issue for years?

Simone Manuel looks at her time in the 100 meter freestyle event in Rio. (NY Times photo)

Simone Manuel looks at her time in the 100 meter freestyle event in Rio. (NY Times photo)

Can we all agree that NBC has sabotaged their own ratings, particularly on the West coast, by forcing viewers to watch taped events when we all know the results?

Can we all agree the more interesting stories, may have been the real-life look at what goes on that TV cameras don’t show, and some that come across in living green?

Can we all agree, if Donald Trump had not refused to release his tax returns, the details of Hillary Clinton’s return would have been much bigger news?

Can we all agree the top news story of the week should have been the Federal report on the inner workings of the Baltimore Police Department?

Can we all agree that if the new leadership at Fox News was supposed to mark a new beginning, the Murdochs have come up empty?

Can we all agree that, in case there was ever any doubt, Facebook’s decision to force ads on to user’s pages, removes all doubt about who their real customers are? (Hint, it’s not the 1.71 billion active monthly users.)

Can we all agree that if reincarnation is real it might be nice to come back as the Greenland Shark which can apparently live for over 500 years?

Can we all agree that Mr. Trump’s  explanation that he was being sarcastic when he called Mrs. Clinton and President Obama founders of ISIS, rings pretty hollow, especially to his supporters who tried to defend him for two days before he changed his tune?

Can we all agree his ISIS accusation may be a calculated attempt to take attention away from his horrifying statements on what ‘second amendment people’ should do about Hillary Clinton – even before she is elected?

Can we all agree, no one is surprised that the NRA continues to back Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree that Mr. Trump has totally lost any chance to criticize the latest batch of emails from Mrs. Clinton?

Can we all agree it’s distressing to know that gun control supporters in the US seem to have the same opinion of our gun laws as ISIS?

Can we all agree it’s pretty frustrating to debate Mr. Trump on policy, since most voters don’t understand the subtleties of statements on topics like economic theory?

Can we all agree that even Mr. Trump seems to believe he’s going to lose the election? Of course he thinks it’s rigged although polls show him losing swing states by double digits.

Can we all agree the GOP move away from Mr. Trump has turned into a stampede?

Can we all agree that every Democrat in the country is worried about the hacked DNC emails that will probably be released between now and the November election?

Can we all agree that the debate about who was sitting behind which candidate shows just how far the  presidential campaign has sunk?

Can we all agree we really didn’t need any more examples of how reckless our police departments are with their firearms, but we got two more this week?

Can we all agree, it’s tough to know what the DEA was trying to do in their announcement this week, declining to reclassify marijuana?

Delta passengers waiting for answers. (Reuters photo)

Delta passengers waiting for answers. (Reuters photo)

Can we all agree that when a simple power outage can cause the cancellation of over 3,000 flights, you really don’t understand the meaning of ‘backup’?

Can we all agree it’s hard to believe that the Japanese emperor needs permission to retire?

and finally:

Can we all agree, if this story doesn’t make you emotional, you can officially consider yourself jaded?

And, for all my journalism fans, two stories that might restore your faith in newspapers?

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 8/6/16 edition

August 6, 2016

Can we all agree the opening ceremony at the Rio Olympics was pretty mesmerizing at times and quite the fashion show? The US has already won a gold medal.

Can we all agree NBC has made it easy to watch the Olympics almost any time of the day or night?

Part of the opening ceremonies in Rio (LA Times photo)

Part of the opening ceremonies in Rio (LA Times photo)

Can we all agree that it’s tough to complain about the economy when 255,000 jobs were added last month and the stock market hit a new high?

Can we all agree, we’re a bit conflicted about about possible stem cell research on animals with human genes?

Can we all agree that Miami tourism will take a hit now that the CDC has warned about traveling to the area because of the Zika virus?

Can we all agree we’ll keep flossing despite reports that it is not as effective as our dentists say it is?

Can we all agree it’s hard to figure out what changed between Monday and Friday that pushed Donald Trump to change his mind about endorsing Paul Ryan and John McCain and other GOP candidates?

Can we all agree  he was sending a message by making the announcement late on Friday when no one will notice?

Can we all agree it is indeed a strange day when Mr. Trump admits he was wrong?

Can we all agree that despite what President Obama and John Kerry say, perception is reality, when it comes to the $400 million sent to Iran as hostages were released?

Can we all agree that Khizr Khan’s may have delivered the least watched speech of the Democratic convention, but it is now the most well known? Mr. Trump’s Viet Nam deferments don’t help his cause.

Can we all agree that if you are running a campaign trying to appeal to the ‘average American’ it might be better if you didn’t have 11 billionaires on your economic team?

Can we all agree it’s good to have a scorecard to keep track of which Republicans are still backing Mr. Trump and which have had enough?

Can we all agree most Republicans will pay little attention to Mr. Obama’s suggestion that they abandon Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree that if you can believe the polls Hillary Clinton is already picking her transition team? She also won the endorsement of the former head of the CIA.

Can we all agree that Mr. Obama had the perfect comeback to Mr. Trump’s claim that the elections are rigged when he noted, “But they elected me?”

Can we all agree that Mr. Trump’s fundraising in July was pretty impressive, but the real test will be his August and September totals?

Can we all agree the GOP is in big trouble when a stronghold such as Orange County in California begins titling toward the Democrats?

Can we all agree that politics, combined with social media, encourages people to do some strange things?

Can we all agree the African National Congress probably deserved to lose the South African election this week?

Can we all agree the state sponsored drug violence in The Philippines is a stark contrast to President Obama’s commutations of 214 sentences?

Can we all agree that ISIS may be facing defeat on the battlefield but their terror network continues to make America very nervous?

Can we all agree the North Koreans must be feeling neglected again: they’ve decided to target Japan with a missile?

Can we all agree Pope Francis is, once again, making headlines for the right reasons by agreeing to study whether women can become deacons in the Catholic church?

Can we all agree, we’ve all heard enough evidence to know that the fraud trial against Trump University should go ahead?

Can we all agree the biggest non-story of the week might be Melania Trump’s immigration to the US?

Can we all agree the best story of the week may be the human chain formed by rescuers in Maryland after flooding trapped motorists?

Can we all agree it has taken the administration too long to take action in Lybia?

Can we all agree there is no chance any of us will jump out of an airplane without a parachute?

Can we all agree that it will be great to have Jon Stewart to watch, sort of, during the election season?

And finally:

Can we all agree it sometimes takes a real outsider to explain us to ourselves?

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