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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 1/27/18 edition

January 27, 2018

Can we all agree, the resignation of the US Gymnastics committee should have happened months (if not years) ago?

Can we all agree, after hearing the horrific details of what went on in Larry Nassar’s medical office, the  young women have a right to ask “What took so long,” and why aren’t more people losing their jobs?

Some of Larry Nassar's victim's. Rachael Denhollander, Sterling Riethman, Kaylee Lorincz, Jeanette Antolin

Some of Larry Nassar’s victims. Rachael Denhollander, Sterling Riethman, Kaylee Lorincz, Jeanette Antolin.

Can we all agree, most environmentalists were pleasantly surprised when the EPA continued to restrict gold mining in Alaska only to be disappointed by the White House plans to speed up infrastructure approvals by making environmental rules tougher to enforce?

Can we all agree, despite what pollsters may think, the flu is the major topic on the minds of most Americans?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump was able to complete a successful trip to Davos, only because he stuck to the speech written for him and didn’t issue one tweet?

Can we all agree, despite what Mr. Trump said earlier in the week, no one knows what he really wants the final immigration bill to say?

Can we all agree, if The President is interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, perjury will be the first charge he faces?

Can we all agree, “gridlock” will be the political word of the year?

Can we all agree, whether they like it or not, the GOP will have to deal with reports that the President wanted to fire Mr. Mueller?

Can we all agree, depending on who you talk to, the economy is either good, or not as good as it should be?

Can we all agree, few people outside the beltway are paying attention to the political machinations of the House and Senate committees investigating Russian interference in our election?

Can we all agree, advancing the Doomsday Clock, may be an academic exercise, but it scares the hell out of everyone?

Can we all agree, imposing tariff’s on foreign washing machines and solar panels, just guarantees that prices will go up in both categories? Even for those products made in the US.

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump might be getting the hang of this appointment process? He only had one resignation this week and two of his nominees (the Fed Chairman and the HHS secretary) were actually approved easily. A third needed Mike Pence’s vote to break a tie?

Can we all agree, ratings for Stormy Daniels on the Kimmel show will easily beat the State of the Union or the Democrats’ rebuttal?

Can we all agree, $92 million to settle three years of harassment cases in one state (CA) is a problem?

Can we all agree, Mr Trump should have taken the gold toilet offered by the Guggenheim museum?

Can we all agree, it doesn’t seem like anyone in the Trump clan understands that they should not be commenting on anything political?

Can we all agree,  Congressman Patrick Meehan doesn’t even seem to know what sexual misconduct is?

Can we all agree, it’s quite an indictment of our political system, when a sitting senator agrees to run for re-election by saying,”This place sucks.”

Can we all agree, we have become so numb to school killings that two murders in a schoolyard hardly caused a ripple?

Can we all agree, the Oscar  committee has at least avoided any major controversies with this year’s nominees?

Can we all agree, it’s Saturday, and no one even remembers last weekend’s government shutdown – so it’s unlikely voters will remember in November? Unless, of course, we have another one next month.

Can we all agree, Democrats will be forced to accept citizenship for Dreamers in exchange for Trump’s wall?

Can we all agree, some folks might detect a pattern in the way the courts are throwing out voting districts created by partisan legislatures?

Can we all agree, the US is powerless to stop Turkey from attacking the Kurds in Northern Syria?

Can we all agree, it won’t take long for someone to figure out a way to outsmart the  cashierless Amazon Go stores?

Can we all agree, if any other Attorney General were so brazenly doing the President’s political dirty work, there would be demands for a Congressional investigation?

Can we all agree, some candidates never should have run for office?

and finally:

It’s one thing to stop illegal immigrants from entering the country, but quite another to gleefully empty emergency water bottles left by non-profit groups just trying to keep people alive.

and:

There is hope that new battery technology will help store solar and wind power.

or what was that about a Nutella riot in France?

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 12/9/17 edition

December 9, 2017

Can we all agree, Sen. Al Franken has discovered that the court of public opinion does not believe in innocent until proven guilty?

Can we all agree, the incredible actions of Rep. Trent Franks and Judge Alex Kozinski, give new meaning to the phrase ‘you can’t make this up.’

Can we all agree, this still does not make it easier to understand how a child molester might win a senate seat in Alabama and a sexual predator was elected President?

Can we all agree, it’s one thing to support a child molester running for the senate, but quite another to actively campaign for him?

Fire burn outside Los Angeles.

Fires burn outside Los Angeles.

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump does not worry about Palestinian protests as long as he can keep his campaign contributors happy?

Can we all agree, Dina Powell’s departure from he White House post may not be controversial, but it certainly seems odd that it came just a day after her major policy initiative was announced?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s visit tonight to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is an insult to every black American?

Can we all agree, the impressive jobs numbers have nothing to do with anything The President has done in the last year?

Can we all agree, just weeks after declining to provide more fire aid to Northern California, Mr. Trump seems content to sit and watch as Southern California burnsClick here for a look at the LA Fire from the air.

Can we all agree, the administration seems indifferent to new projections of the actual number of deaths in Puerto Rico?

Can we all agree, if Mr. Trump had not monopolized every news cycle, Americans might know the Brexit negotiations took a major step this week or that a German political crises has been averted or that 15 UN peacekeepers were killed in the Congo?

Can we all agree, Maine Senator Susan Collins, gave away her vote on the GOP tax bill and probably will get nothing in return?

Can we all agree, it seems rather pointless to approve a two week extension of government spending when we will just repeat the same exercise in brinksmanship, just before Christmas?

Can we all agree, the Aussies deserve credit for approving same-sex marriage the way it should be done, by an act of the legislature?

Can we all agree, The House-Senate conference committee is making a bad tax bill worse by acceding to the demands of Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree, comparing intra-state drivers licenses to intra-state gun permits is the ultimate apples to oranges challenge?

Can we all agree, downsizing two Utah monuments sacrifices the benefits of many Americans to the needs of a few, for no good reason?

Can we all agree, any rational resident of the planet would pay attention to the latest climate change warning: unfortunate that excludes EPA director Scott Pruitt?

Can we all agree, the Republicans can attack Special Counsel Robert Mueller all they want, the voters understand politics?

Can we all agree, Time Magazine’s Person of the Year is pretty much a direct slap in the face to President Trump?

Can we all agree, John Oliver’s interview with Dustin Hoffman is a milestone?

Can we all agree, there’s at least one conspiracy theory progressive Democrats can get behind?

Can we all agree, despite Mr. Trump’s lies, his real estate business stands to win big under the new tax plan?

Can we all agree, the Russians deserved to be barred from the Winter Olympics period, with no special exceptions?

Can we all agree, the President’s lawyers are trying to tell us that he is above the law – but no one needs a legal expert to tell them that’s laughable?

Can we all agree, former campaign manager Paul Manafort deserves to have his bail revoked just for being stupid?

Can we all agree, the Supreme Court’s  approval of the administration’s travel ban may be temporary?

Can we all agree, the constant drip of story, after story after story about links between the Trump administration and the Russians ,will eventually bury the White House?

Can we all agree, it seems pretty obvious that with the appointment of his top aide to his former job, Chief of Staff John Kelley will continue to run the Department of Homeland Security?

and finally, two good reads:

One from WWII in honor of Pearl Harbor Day, and the other, a story unique to our times when a fake restaurant can become a destination.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 11/19/16 edition

November 19, 2016

Happy anniversary to my lovely wife.

Can we all agree the actors at ‘Hamilton’ who lectured VP-Elect Mike Pence at last night’s performance, spoke for many of us?

Can we all agree Donald Trump will be asking for a lot of apologies over the next 4 years, if he can’t take the criticism?

Can we all agree, the only reason Mr. Trump settled his fraud case was because, even he realized that a president-elect testifying would be an embarrassment?

Can we all agree that the least Paul Ryan can do, as he campaigns to eliminate medicare, would be to tell the truth?

President Obama says his last good-byes.

President Obama says his last good-byes.

Can we all agree that the GOP will have no excuses if the economy tanks over the next four years?

Can we all agree that the cabinet appointments Mr. Trump has announced do nothing to quell the fears of most Democrats?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s meeting with Mitt Romney, is just for show?

Can we all agree that Mr. Trump’s election has already made the racist segment of the population more aggressive?

Can we all agree that using the WWII Japanese internment as a rationale for ‘registering’ Muslims is just offensive?

Can we all agree, no one is shocked that Mr. Trump sees no problem in putting relatives is key positions or allowing his family to profit from his position?

Can we all agree, it won’t be long before Mr. Trump gets in serious trouble with his twitter account?

Can we all agree, the press and GOP are working overtime to avoid labeling Steve Bannon what he is – a racist? Using the term alt-right or noting that he didn’t write the pieces on Brietbart – he just published them – just masks his real intention.

Can we all agree this pretty much sums up what Hillary is thinking?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump loves to see headlines noting that no-one knows what he is going to do?

Can we all agree Mr. Obama is trying to put on a brave face as he attempts to make sure his entire legacy will not be undone?

Can we all agree it’s not the first Supreme Court appointment that will be important, but the next three? – which Mr. Trump may make.

Can we all agree, the Democrats might be on to something, by trying to work with Trump, since it’s a good bet the divided GOP probably will not agree on much?

Can we all agree the Democrats need new leadership in the House?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump does not have a clue about how to conduct a cohesive foreign policy? – or a cohesive national policy, for that matter.t11-15-16-0001

Can we all agree that Mr. Putin probably can’t contain his enthusiasm now that Mr. Trump has been elected? Over the next four years he will retake Ukraine and the Baltic states.

Can we all agree the number of lobbyists in the Trump administration may break all records?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s appearance on 60 Minutes did little to clarify anything?

But enough about Trump.

Can we all agree United Airlines has reached new depths with their latest proposal for budget airfares?

Can we all agree that fakes news will always be a problem on the internet – that’s why they invented editors?

Can we all agree the Chinese bird that looks like Mr. Trump is pretty funny?

Can we all agree that cell phone apps are playing a major role in the increase in traffic fatalities?

Can we all agree it’s about time we had a museum of women’s history?

Can we all agree we’d be surprised if Mr. Zimmerman did accept his Nobel prize in person?

Can we all agree $850,000 is a small price to pay for the Ten Commandments?

Can we all agree the more research is done, the clearer the connection becomes between fracking and earthquakes?

and finally:

Can we all agree Steven Hawking is being optimistic when he says we have 1,000 years to find a new planet to colonize?

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 11/12/16 edition

November 12, 2016

Can we all agree even Donald Trump did not really expect this week’s result?

Can we all agree it’s time to board the Kamala Harris 2020 bandwagon? Maybe she can create the Democratic unity party leaders want.

Can we all agree, no-one is surprised it only took Mr. Trump a few hours to mess up his first job as President-elect?

Can we all agree there is no way to predict what Mr. Trump might do once in office, now that he’s already altering many of the policy proposals he offered while on the campaign trail?img_3047

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s supporters are going to be disappointed if they think the manufacturing jobs lost over the last 20 years, will be coming back any time soon?

Can we all agree that the exit polls may explain what happened but they don’t explain the why?

Can we all agree that, among other things, the Trump presidency will mean the end of financial reform and any efforts to curb global warming? It’s probably the reason the stock market has hit record highs and lobbyists have been celebrating on K Street, while coral reefs continue to die.

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s first test on immigration may come with the surge in migrants from Central and South America?

Can we all agree it would appear that the plants are smarter than a good portion of the US voting public? They seem to understand the need to scrub pollutants from the atmosphere.

Can we all agree we’re disappointed to see that  the parties in the Trump University lawsuit are negotiating a settlement?

Can we all agree, putting Mike Pence is charge of the transition is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?

Can we all agree that the split in the voting public means that there are probably parts of the United States that President Trump will never be able to visit without continuing protests?

Can we all agree, many people were offended that President Obama used Veterans Day to urge us to come together to support Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree we would expect nothing less than the calls for an open mind from Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton? But one wonders if that’s the kind of concession speech Mr. Trump would have delivered if the roles had been reversed?

Can we all agree that GOP leaders, who say we should accept Mrs. Clinton’s defeat, like they accepted Mitt Romney’s loss 4 years ago, don’t understand the difference between a qualified candidate and a racist, misogynistic liar or the hate that he has spawned?

Can we all agree, the world is in shock, journalists are embarrassed and no-one knows what will happen during a Trump administration?

Can we all agree the best news story this week was the prediction that Mr. Trump will probably be impeached?

Can we all agree the Trump victory has almost buried one of the other major news stories from the election: Marijuana is well on it’s way to becoming legal in the United Stated? If the NFL wants to start using it a tipping point has been reached.

Can we all agree that ISIS has taken advantage of our preoccupation with the election to begin a campaign which includes massacring civilians as they abandon territory in Iraq?

Can we all agree that Leonard Cohen, who died this week, deserved more coverage than he got?

Can we all agree that immigration raids, which have already reached record levels, will be increasing in the coming years – until business lobbyists make their case and Mr. Trump quietly ends  the deportation program?

Can we all agree, China’s recent crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong, makes you wonder if the city is really governable as a democracy?

Can we all agree there is a certain symmetry to Mr. Trump’s victory and news that the state of New Jersey will take over Atlantic City’s government?

Can we all agree the owners and reporters at Rolling Stone Magazine do not deserve sympathy as they lost the first of several court battles over their poor performance in reporting an alleged rape at the University of Virginia?

Can we all agree we thought the smog in Bejing was bad until we read about the problems in Delhi?

Can we all agree Prince Harry is right to complain about the way the British press has been treating his girlfriend, but we doubt anything will change?

and finally:

Only in San Francisco could one stuck shoe ruin the morning rush hour for thousands of BART commuters.

And my train wreck of the week award goes to football player Colin Kapernick, who created a storm of protest by declining to stand for the National Anthem, to highlight the condition of ‘oppressed people’ and then didn’t even bother to vote.

and:

In honor of Veterans Day I’m reposting my story on my Dad, who would not believe his sacrifice has led to a Donald Trump White House. Dad’s story

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 9/24/16 edition

September 24, 2016

Can we all agree the root of all our race -related problems is the fact that no white person in America can really understand the Black-American experience? But maybe, the opening of the African American Museum today is a first step.

Can we all agree that whether or not the victims in Charlotte or Tulsa had weapons the real issue is police training which teaches officers to use lethal force as a first choice?

The new African American Museum in Washington, D.C. (Washington Post photo)

The new African American Museum in Washington, D.C. (Washington Post photo)

Can we all agree, if there were fewer guns on American streets a police officer’s job might not be so difficult?

Can we all agree we’ve all become too complacent about computer hacks that reveal our personal information? Rather than demanding more security we are all eager to believe computer security firm’s claims that they can protect us-after the fact.

Can we all agree that Congressional questioning of Wells Fargo and Mylan executives is political grandstanding at its finest, since there is no movement for any action against either firm?

Can we all agree, speaking of political grandstanding, the testimony of IRS commissioner John Koskinen probably was not what the GOP hardliners expected, when Democrats focused on Mr. Trump’s alleged IRS audit?

Can we all agree the debate by House and Senate members to override the President’s veto of a bill allowing  9/11 lawsuits against Saudi Arabia will be more of the same?

Can we all agree that CNN’s decision to, allow former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, to accept payment from the campaign while he is a commentator for the network, flies in the face of journalistic integrity?

Can we all agree, whether we like Facebook or not, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, deserve some praise for their $3 billion commitment to global health?

Can we all agree the Syrian cease-fire is over because the Russians and Syrian government were looking for an excuse to end it from the beginning?

Can we all agree Donald Trump’s reaction to this week’s incidents in Tulsa and Charlotte will probably drop his support among black voters from 3% to zero?

Can we all agree Hillary Clinton probably breathed a sigh of relief when it became clear no more of her State Department emails would be released before the election?

Can we all agree that Donald Trump Jr.’s comments about refugees and skittles shows that he doesn’t understand either the plight of refugees or basic statistics?

Can we all agree Monday’s first Presidential debate should be must  see TV, even for football fans in Atlanta and New Orleans?

Can we all agree the reaction of the two candidates to the New York and NJ bombings pretty much sums up our choices in the election?

Can we all agree that Ted Cruz’ endorsement of Mr. Trump is political opportunism at its finest?

Can we all agree that neither candidate will probably mention a new study which seems to show immigrants are not taking American jobs?

Can we all agree that regardless of the outcome in the New Jersey ‘Bridgegate’ trial, Chris Christie’s 15 minutes of fame are over?

Can we all agree that it’s rather amazing to discover that we all have a common group of ancestors?

Can we all agree it’s hard to believe  the United States is one of the few countries in the world where maternal mortality has not decreased in the last 10 years?

and finally:

Can we all agree Stacy Koltiska deserves some praise for resigning her job rather than refuse meals to children?

or

In case you were wondering what this week’s fall equinox really meant, you can find all you need to know, right here.

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It’s Been A While

February 3, 2012

Filed under: Coaching,Health,Management,observations — Tags: , , — admin @ 2:15 pm

It’s been a while since my last post.

I’ve been inundated with non-mail, and since no-one asked I’ll just let you that while the blogosphere apparently hasn’t missed me, I’ll offer an excuse anyway.

Newton I. Riess, August 15, 1920 - October 30, 2011

My Dad passed away at the end of October. I was 6,000 miles away from him at the time and quite frankly, I just haven’t felt like writing anything for a while.

I’ve mentioned my Dad several times in postings, both for his use iPads and iPhones at 91 and just because, he was my dad and influenced everything I wrote in some way.

He led a remarkable life as part of ‘The Greatest Generation,’ and in future posts I’ll tell you more, but for now I just wanted to let any faithful readers know where I’ve been and at least start down the road to more regular contributions again.

Thanks for your understanding and since I try to focus on management tips I will offer one bit of advice. If you are a manager and an employee loses someone close to them, keep in mind that the impact can last much longer than just the immediate aftermath of the funeral.

In some cases it can take years before productivity returns to normal.

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Outsourcing Realities

August 19, 2011

I’ve decided to keep an ‘outsourcing scorecard’ just to keep track of what direction the jobs are moving in the new world economy. I started about three weeks ago and so far the tally is 2-1 in favor of ‘offshore.’

The real surprise, I guess, is that there is any movement at all back to the United States.

I have several different jobs so I come in contact with outsourcing in several areas. I am a coach who does a fair amount of job counseling, plus I do business consulting for small firms, and I also work in health care dealing with insurers and doctors in the California Workers Compensation system.

The first score on my outsourcing scorecard, came two weeks ago when I got a call from a nurse case manager who was overseeing the care of a patient in the Bay Area. (Overseeing is the insurance company translation for making sure they are not spending too much of the insurer’s money)

That aside, she asked about the patient’s status but when the phone line kept breaking up, I finally asked where she was calling from. She said, rather matter-of-factly, The Philippines. I have no problem with the Philippines, or their residents, but the thought of a nurse checking on a patient’s condition and trying to assess care from 7,764 miles away, bothered me, so I told her to have someone in the United States call, I would be happy to discuss the case.

Last week, I called United Airlines at about 11:00 p.m. to check on a reservation I had made for my 91-year-old dad. I went through the normal phone tree and finally reached an operator and got the answer to my question. I was about to hang up when I realized that for the first time in over 25 years of dealing with United, I was not talking to someone in India.

I asked the agent and I could  almost hear the smile in her voice as she pointed out, “Well, United and Continental are now merged and the new CEO is from Continental, and he does not believe in outsourcing.”

I have been complaining about the call center in India for, well, forever, and I told her I was delighted to be speaking to someone in Chicago. Go Cubbies.

Score one for U.S.A.

Finally, this week, I was called from a local doctor’s office in the Bay Area about a patient they were referring to my wife, who is a psychologist specializing in pain management. They wanted to know if we had all the pages they faxed. I had to check so I got her call-back number which ended in a 5-digit extension, which I thought was a bit odd for a relatively small practice.

You guessed it, when I called back I was talking some an ’employee’ in the Phillipines working for a company that provides back-office services to doctors.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Everyone is trying to cut expenses in the medical field, but I can’t help but wonder, how long it will be until a medical office is just one doctor and one receptionist and everone else is thousands of miles away.

Of course, the next step is that everyone is thousands of miles away and the doctor is an avatar in front of a computer.

 

 

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