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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 4/30/17 edition

April 30, 2017

Can we all agree, inviting a murderer, such as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, to the White House is an endorsement of his actions, and is repulsive?

Can we all agree, after 100 days in office Donald Trump still thinks he’s on the campaign trail?

Can we all agree the enthusiasm of the crowds protesting Mr. Trump’s policies does not seem to be waning?

Can we all agree the White House correspondents’ dinner is irrelevant to most Americans, and that’s the way it should be?

Can we all agree it’s tough to figure out how Mr. Trump is consolidating power, since he hasn’t really accomplished anything in his first 100 days?

Can we all agree, of all the stories detailing Mr. Trump’s first 100 days, the most telling maybe be the listing of those who didn’t even make it past three months on the job?

It's already a spectacular year in my rose garden. This is Miami Moon and below is Memorial Day

It’s already a spectacular year in my rose garden. This is Miami Moon and below is Memorial Day

Can we all agree Kelly Anne Conway’s return to the airways to present an alternative view of the administration’s first 100 days was a disaster, like all her other appearances?

Can we all agree the EPA can spin it any way they want, but eliminating web pages of government data  is censorship?

Can we all agree the only branch of government that gotten less done in the last 100 days was Congress?DSC_0030

Can we all agree it’s nice to see one branch of government standing up to Mr. Trump, although the President clearly has no idea what really happened to his plan to cut off funds to sanctuary cities?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump just keeps embarrassing House Speaker Paul Ryan, by insisting they vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act, when they simply do not have the votes?

Honey Perfume

Honey Perfume

Can we all agree it’s tough to take the Republicans seriously when they spend 8 years of the Obama administration complaining about the deficit, but greet a plan to increase the deficit exponentially, with open arms?

Can we all agree, speaking of the tax plan, does anyone doubt the biggest beneficiary will be Mr, Trump and his businesses?

Can we all agree an avocado shortage is probably only worrisome to Californians?

Can we all agree tourists visiting California already  had sticker shock when they saw our gas prices, they will probably find another state to visit when our gas tax rises on November 1?

Can we all agree, when half of the ‘bad hombres’ deported by ICE, either had no record or only had traffic violations, it makes a mockery of the entire process?

Can we all agree The Pope is making a rather large statement by visiting Cairo and eschewing some significant security precautions? By the way did you see his Ted talk?

Can we all agree the economy’s rather tepid growth in January may not be Mr. Trump’s fault but it doesn’t exactly reflect confidence in his administration?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s latest interview certainly suggests he doesn’t like his job because it’s too hard?

Can we all agree it’s tough to judge where we stand with North Korea when their missile test fails while Mr. Trump insists we could still wind up in a major conflict?

Can we all agree, we’re all dying to know how much United Airlines paid to settle their dispute with the passenger dragged off one of their planes a few weeks ago? But it’s nice to know we can get $10,000 next time we’re bumped?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s methods for making major decisions, such as repealing NAFTA, are driving world leaders crazy?

Can we all agree the Democrats push to force a vote on releasing Mr. Trump’s taxes, again, sounds a lot like GOP efforts to repeal The ACA during the Obama administration?

Can we all agree Michael Flynn former NSA director, had no business being in any government job?

Can we all agree the most impactful decision of the week may be the FCC deciding that internet access should not be regulated as a utility?

Can we all agree the on-again, off-again Berkeley speech by conservative columnist Ann Coulter was really just a PR battle?

Can we all agree the US needs more national monuments not fewer? Here are some that you may want to visit pretty soon?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump can sign all the executive orders he wants to expand oil production, but as long as the price of a barrel of oil stays low no new wells will be drilled?

Can we all agree that Wells Fargo shareholders should be ashamed of themselves for re-elcting the board of directors that failed to stop the abuses at the bank?

Can we all agree that Ivanka Trump’s new foundation sounds a lot like the Clinton Foundation?

Can we all agree, now that the final cabinet member has been approved, Mr. Trump has another long list of appointees to make before his government can really be effective in a meaningful way?

Can we all agree Rex Tillerson may be the most ineffective Secretary of State most American have ever seen?

Can we all agree, it appears the State Department didn’t think anyone would notice a promotional piece for Mr. Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort on the official government website.

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s latest attempt to curry favor with the nation’s Jewish population is just another cynical act?

Can we all agree there’s no reason Bill O’Reilly can’t tell us ‘what really happened’ at Fox News ?

Can we all agree we’re all still a bit nervous about the upcoming French presidential vote, given what happened here?

Can we all agree the best commentary on Mr. Obama’s return to the world stage might be this short piece by columnist Andy Borowitz?

and finally:

Can we all agree this might be the best home plate slide in baseball history.

and:

While I liked ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ my favorite Jonathan Demme film will always be ‘Something Wild.’

If humans were indeed established on this continent 130,000 years ago, it’s nice to see they had the good sense to settle in SanDiego where the weather is nice year-round.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 4/22/17 edition

April 22, 2017

Can we all agree the so-called ‘Dreamers’ will take little solace in Donald Trump’s assurances that they have nothing to worry about, as long as Jeff Sessions is the attorney general and is issuing threats to sanctuary cities?

Can we all agree Exxon-Mobile must have thought their request for a waiver from sanctions, allowing them to drill in the Black Sea, was going to be approved by the Trump administration, or they would have withdrawn it months ago?

California's drought may be over, but the desert is in full bloom. (photos courtesy of Dr. Gail Dubinsky)

California’s drought may be over, but the desert is in full bloom. (photos courtesy of Dr. Gail Dubinsky)

IMG_1291

Photos from Joshua Tree National Park, near Palm Springs, CA.

 

Can we all agree, the media is finally starting to learn most of Mr. Trump’s tweets are just attempts to get attention when he thinks the world is ignoring him?

Can we all agree today’s March for Science is not politicizing science, that was done years ago, when George W. Bush denied climate change?

Can we all agree English Prime Minister Theresa May obviously was not paying close attention to the  results last time an early election was called?

Can we all agree, tomorrow’s election in France will have an even larger impact on the future of the EU, than the Brexit vote?

Can we all agree conservatives across the country welcome the prospect of a violent confrontation when Ann Coulter speaks at Berkeley on May 2?

Can we all agree, like most irrational acts, there is no logic to explain the suicide of ex-football star Aaron Hernandez?IMG_1258

Can we all agree Sarah Palin, showed the world how little respect she has for the President when she decided the ‘tramp look’ was the best choice for her White House visit? That doesn’t even take into account the questionable friends she decided to bring along?

Can we all agree the world, even Republicans, will hang on every word President Obama says when he speaks  Monday in Chicago?

Can we all agree Mr. Sessions comments about the court in Hawaii, which ruled against Mr. Trump’s immigration plan, show an amazing lack of understanding of the Constitution he is supposed to uphold?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s insistence on pushing health care reform indicates how desperate he is to avoid looking irrelevant and improve his abysmal ratings? The fact that the new plan is laughable is almost beside the point.

Can we all agree it doesn’t look like tax reform will get done either, unless Mr. Trump releases his tax returns? Even Sean Spicer’s twisted logic will not overcome Democratic opposition.

Can we all agree there is no doubt the White House will find that China is illegally manipulating the steel market, so Mr. Trump can act tough, and do absolutely nothing?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump must think we are all idiots when he calls on businesses to hire American workers while Trump ties and shirts continue to be manufactured outside the US?

Can we all agree, he is right about one thing, the H-1B visa system needs to be reformed?

Can we all agree Rep. Jason Chaffetz may have felt he had no option but to leave the House and his post as head of the Oversight Committee, but anyone who thinks a new chairman will investigate the  ethics violations of the new administration, is just naive?

Can we all agree the link between Ivanka Trump’s trademark approvals in China and her meeting with the Chinese president is among the first things that need to be investigated?

Can we all agree, Henry Kissinger’s comments in ‘Time’ magazine on Jared Kushner’s leadership skills don’t even rise to the level of ‘damning with faint praise?’

Can we all agree Starbucks’ new coffee drink is a novelty created just for social media and publicity? Do we really need to ingest more chemicals?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s desire to be liked by business leaders is the driving force behind his policy decisions?

Can we all agree, a White House which has no idea which way a carrier group is headed sounds a lot like the ‘Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight.’

Can we all agree it was only a matter of time before we made the Arctic Ocean a garbage dump, just like the Pacific ?

Can we all agree the Venezuelan government is failing in it’s efforts to make  it look like the riots on the streets of Caracas were instigated by the United States?

Can we all agree one thing the leaders of the United States, Russia, Egypt and Turkey all have in common are  their outsized egos?

Can we all agree Emirates Airlines decision to cut back flights to the United States was largely symbolic to send a message to the Trump administration about its immigration policies?

Can we all agree few people have much sympathy for Bill O’Reilly, especially since he’s getting $25 million as a buyout?

Can we all agree it’s pretty clear Gisele Bundchen was behind Tom Brady’s decision not to atted the White House ceremony honoring her husband’s Super Bowl victory?

Can we all agree the near-victory of Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District has the GOP very worried about the mid-term elections ?

Can we all agree Homeland Secretary John Kelly, really needs to develop a thicker skin if he expects to stay in office much longer?

And finally:

This week’s good read is a touching tribute to one of the victims of sexual abuse scandal in the Boston archdiocese.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 4/15/17 edition

April 15, 2017

Can we all agree today’s tax march will be a success even if it only continues the activism spawned by opposition to Mr. Trump? Be ready for stories about violence in Berkeley, driven by outsiders looking to capitalize on the city’s reputation.

Can we all agree we’ve come a long way when China is playing the role of the grownup as the US and North Korea argue over who has a bigger missile?

Can we all agree The President’s policy flip-flops this week just show how uninformed he is on a wide range of economic topics? And no, he should not get credit because he just realized governing “is not easy.”

A back yard hawk looks for finches and voles in a San Francisco neighborhood (Photo by Tom Kuhn)

A back yard hawk looks for finches and voles in a San Francisco neighborhood (Photo by Tom Kuhn)

Can we all agree the changes are more a reflection of who has his ear this week: Steve Bannon, who seems to be on his way out or Gary Cohn a long-time registered Democrat?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump should not be congratulated for becoming more rational while his Attorney General rips up agreements on police reform, ramps up the racist war on drugs, and speeds up deportations?

Can we all agree refusing to release the logs of White House visitors just reinforces the notion that the administration has something to hide?

Can we all agree there is no way Arkansas should be allowed to speed up executions, just because the drugs they use might pass their expiration date?

Can we all agree, it looks like the administration is heading for another defeat in their battle to bar ‘sanctuary cities’ from receiving federal funds?

Can we all agree the next court battle will be over permits for Mr. Trump’s border wall?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump seems like a little kid playing with toys as he orders bombs dropped all over the world?

Can we all agree, speaking of the Commander in chief, that he has given new meaning to the famous Marie Antoinette phrase, “let them eat cake.”

Can we all agree the death toll is probably not the best way to judge the effectiveness of the MOAB –  ‘mother of all bombs’ –  dropped on Afghanistan?

Can we all agree, EPA director Scott Pruitt takes a bit too much pleasure in reversing Obama-era rules designed to prevent industry from polluting the nation’s lakes and rivers? It’s hard to believe the far right feels he’s not moving aggressively enough.

Can we all agree Education Secretary Betsy DeVoss’s moves to undo student loan regulations will last until the next scandal involving schools, such as Trump University, taking advantage of students?

Can we all agree Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deserves kudos for fulfilling a campaign promise to push for the legalization of marijuana for recreational uses?

Can we all agree private school administrators must have had their heads in the sand over the last 7 years as they watched the clergy sex abuse scandal come to light while declining to do anything about the same sort of activity at their own schools?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s plan to blackmail Democrats into supporting his new healthcare plan seems to have fizzled before it got started as GOP House member are already opposing it?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump seems to think signing controversial bills in private, like the one he approved this week to defund Planned Parenthood, means no one will know what he has done?

Can we all agree the Kentucky man dragged off a United Airlines flight this week will have every person who has ever flown, in his corner when he files suit against the airline? If you want to get bumped here’s how to do it.

Can we all agree the United CEO deserves to lose his job for listening to lawyers who obviously crafted his first response to the crises?

Can we all agree, even when the chief executive came to his senses he still had a tough time apologizing?

Can we all agree the Wells Fargo board of directors still seems pretty tone deaf as it attempts to recoup $75 million from executive implicated in the bank’s bogus credit card scheme, but still thinks it bears no responsibility?

Can we all agree Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip has found a not-so-unique way to get himself voted dictator – lie to your citizens?

Can we all agree Brazilian voters have to be wondering if anyone they put in office  is honest, as over 100 legislators and cabinet ministers were named in a criminal investigation?

Can we all agree, it was only a matter of time before Mr. Trump’s travel ban began to hurt the tourism industry?

Can we ll agree the administration’s plan to speed up their immigration enforcement will not help the situation?

Can we all agree South African President Jacob Zuma has trashed the memory of the nation’s biggest hero, Nelson Mandela?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s war mongering has certainly taken the spotlight away from the probe into his campaign’s ties to Russia? But it won’t end the investigation thanks to Paul Manafort’s activity.

Can we all agree it would be nice to have a week when Mr. Trump did not embarrass himself during a TV interview, sadly it wasn’t this past week?

Can we all agree the Republicans will say publicly that they are not worried about the 2018 election, but contests in Kansas and Georgia suggest they have some serious problems? And this doesn’t include the voter ID laws that Federal Courts say are unconstitutional.

Can we all agree Sean Spicer should not be anyone’s press secretary? His daily lies and gaffe’s are getting tiresome?

Can we all agree the only good news from the federal government this week might have been the FCC decision not to allow the use of cell phones on airplanes?

and finally:

With over 1 million people watching, April the giraffe  finally gave birth.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 4/8/17 edition

April 8, 2017

Can we all agree, now that Donald Trump has launched himself into the middle of the Syrian civil war, the real test will be his long term strategy?

Can we all agree, like so many other campaign slogans, ‘America First’ seems to have fallen by the wayside?

Can we all agree the Republicans wasted no time leaving Washington to avoid a debate on the legality of Mr. Trump’s actions?

Can we all agree Russia’s rather muted reaction suggests they at least gave tacit approval to Mr. Trump?

First Lady Malania Trump's official portrait has caused a bit of a stir.

First Lady Malania Trump’s official portrait has caused a bit of a stir.

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s timing made sure no one was paying attention to the Senate’s approval of Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court Justice or Mr. Trump’s summit with the Chinese President?

Can we all agree, unless Mr. Trump can end the infighting among his White House staff, he has little chance of scoring any more domestic victories?

Can we all agree, we may have no choice but to believe Ivanka Trump when she asks us to ‘trust her’ to keep her father in check?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump seems to have convinced his supporters that nepotism and corruption are just what the country needs to advance his agenda? Luckily the rest of the nation doesn’t seem to be buying it.

Can we all agree someone needs to explain to Mr. Trump some basic facts about how his own government collects statistics?

Can we all agree he will need a unified team if the economy continues to lose steam as the most recent jobs report suggests?

Can we all agree, now that the GOP health care plan remains stalled, many supporters are wondering if he can pass an infrastructure bill?

Can we all agree Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell does not care about governing, just about winning?

Can we all agree when GOP lawmakers hear about their new healthcare plan to eliminate coverage for pre-existing conditions last month’s town hall protests will seem tame?

Can we all agree, speaking of road work, the California legislature gave  Governor Jerry Brown a nice birthday present passing a $52 billion tax package to fix the states roads and bridges? It appears they think no one will notice when the gasoline tax jumps 12 cents per gallon.

Can we all agree Gov. Brown was stating the obvious when he declared the state’s drought over?

Can we all agree the spectacular pace of news has also overshadowed more of Mr. Trump’s false claims against the Obama administration and more details about when the Russians began their attacks on our political system?

Can we all agree Rep. Devin Nunes has made himself a footnote to the House and Senate probes into the Russian meddling?

Can we all agree AG Jeff Sessions seems to having some problem getting the courts to back up his plan to undo consent decrees with police departments around the country?

Can we all agree Mr. Sessions bears a strong resemblance to former Laugh-In actor Arte Johnson?

Can we all agree the tentacles of the scandal never seems to end? This week even Education Secretary Betsy DeVoss and her brother were  caught in the act.

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s plan for extreme vetting of visitors to the US, by searching their cell phones and tablets will have a major impact of tourism?

Can we all agree no country can be really protect itself from terror attacks when trucks become weapons?

Can we all agree it’s really hard to believe how tone deaf some marketing folks can be when they create major ad campaigns that have to be scrapped as soon as they are unveiled?

Can we all agree it’s incredible that no matter how many lawsuits Mr. Trump settles, there’s always another one to deal with?

Can we all agree Fox News star Bill O’Reilly has been remarkably restrained as advertisers abandon his sinking ship over reports that the network has paid millions to settle sexual harassment suits  against him?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s well publicized gesture to donate his first paycheck to the National Park Service is pretty empty when you consider the $1.5 billion budget cut the Interior Department is facing?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s support of Egyptian strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was pretty repulsive, but it’s really no different than the legions of dictators the US has supported in the past, if it served our purpose?

Can we all agree it seems a bit shortsighted for the NHL to skip next year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea and miss an opportunity to introduce the best hockey players in the world to the Far East?

Can we all agree Don Rickles will never be duplicated?

And:

Take a look at the NCAA Trump-quotation brackets and see if you agree with the most remarkable Trump quote…so far.

Finally:

The unbelievable story go a young girl found living with monkeys.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 4/1/17 edition

April 1, 2017

Can we all agree, this Holocaust survivor in Sacramento, had the perfect retort to the head of the immigration service who was trying to defend the new immigration policies?

Can we all agree it’s remarkable, that we have an Attorney General who doesn’t seem to know federal law very well?

Can we all agree Mississippi State showed why we love college sports, when they upset The University of Connecticut, ending the team’s 111-game winning streak?

First rose of the season in my garden: Sombreuil

First rose of the season in my garden: Sombreuil

Can we all agree, there is no law against being rich, but the wealth, and lack of ethics in our new leadership team, puts to rest the notion that Donald Trump is draining any swamps in Washington?

Can we all agree the White House Press Secretary is desperately trying to divert attention from the Russian scandal that has now fully engulfed the White House?

Can we all agree, despite Senate promises of a full investigation of the White House ties to Russia, most Americans want a truly independent probe?

Can we all agree the startling rise in opioid deaths is a national health crises that needs to be addressed, before it becomes a ‘fact of life’ like the murder rate from guns?

Can we all agree it’s pretty clear the wrong person is running the Food and Drug Administration, when he has to recuse himself from decisions involving over 20 health care firms, because he has a conflict of interest?

Can we all agree Elon Musk’s reusable rocket technology is pretty remarkable?

Can we all agree, if news reports are to be believed, Rex Tillerson, our Secretary of State, seems lost, and that’s just what Mr. Trump wants?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s trade policy seems to change direction like the wind? On the eve of the Chinese President’s visit to Mar A Lago, he’s threatening a trade war, while he backs off his campaign promise to rip up  NAFTA?

Can we all agree the Democrats are committed to making the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court difficult, as retribution for Mitch McConnell’s handling of the Merrick Garland nomination?

Can we all agree Venezuela has descended into chaos? Too bad the refugees trying to escape will not be welcomed here.

Can we all agree the Russians protesting the dictatorship of Vladimir Putin have no chance of forcing any changes?

Can we all agree it’s tough to take the continuing California drought warnings too seriously with the Sierra snowpack at 167% of normal?

Can we all agree, no Bay Area resident would disagree with polls showing many millennials want to leave because of high costs and traffic congestion?

Can we all agree there is no reason why Michael Flynn should be given immunity from prosecution, especially since no one expects he would tell the truth anyway?

Can we all agree, it’s good to see the suit against Trump University might allow defrauded students to get back almost 90% of what they paid, but we were kind of rooting for the plaintiff who wanted more, including an apology from Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree the North Carolina Legislature seems to have fooled everyone into thinking they actually changed their bathroom law?

Can we all agree  California Rep. Devin Nunes was a willing dupe in the White House’s plan to plant evidence supporting Mr. Trump’s wiretapping claims?

Can we all agree Chelsea Clinton needs to get used to people who doubt her claims that she will not run for office, especially when she continues to make public political statements?

Can we all agree public opinion on the change in internet privacy restrictions is really a generational divide with Baby Boomers worried about their data and younger people assuming everything they do on line is public anyway?

Can we all agree, as the battle over the Affordable Care Act continues Health Secretary Thomas Price will slowly chip away at coverage, while more GOP governors seem to have realized the ACA might help residents in their states?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s attempts to threaten the Freedom Caucus for their failure to support health care reform, just shows his political inexperience? Even the Democrats are laughing.

Can we all agree that the prison sentences handed out to aides of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie send a clear message to politicians everywhere (including the White House) about what the public finds acceptable?

Can we all agree, it makes no difference whether Ivanka Trump is paid or not, she should not be advising the President and running her company at the same time?

Can we all agree, it’s pretty funny seeing Mr. Trump using Bill Clinton’s defense trying to avoid a sexual assault lawsuit while he’s President?

Can we all agree, the thought of Mr. Trump throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day was too precious? Almost as fanciful as the thought of a second Trump hotel in Washington.

Can we all agree the women’s USA Hockey team struck a blow for equality this week?

Can we all agree, Maxine Waters and April Ryan did much the same in their own ways?

Can we all agree it doesn’t look like England’s exit from the EU will be as smooth as Theresa May had hoped?

Can we all agree Hong Kong has now officially lost it’s battle to remain a democracy?

Can we all agree that Mr. Trump’s moves to undo Mr. Obama’s clean air plan will do nothing to bring back coal jobs, do nothing to make America great again, give the rest of the world an excuse to follow suit and do nothing but allow our climate to change permanently?

and finally:

If you are really depressed about Alec Baldwin’s decision to cut back on his appearances on SNL, take a look at this compilation of the past year’s political sketches.

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