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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 6/24/17 edition

June 24, 2017

Can we all agree, Republican senators who have voiced opposition to the new Senate health care plan, sound like they just want something in exchange for their votes?

Can we all agree, Senator McConnell’s plan  has nothing to do with what might be best for Americans but everything to do with politics?

Can we all agree taking money from poor people, who don’t vote, and giving it to rich people who do, is not what we should be doing?

The damage to the USS Fitzgerald, where 7 sailors died. (AP photo)

The damage to the USS Fitzgerald, where 7 sailors died. (AP photo)

Can we all agree, it’s unbelievable that a week after the collision of a Navy destroyer and a cargo ship cost the lives of 7 sailors, we still have no rational explanation of why it happened?

Can we all agree, the Obama administration’s handling of the Russian attacks on our electoral  system, shows that the former President’s trademark caution was a liability?

Can we all agree, by prohibiting video or audio recordings of the daily press briefings  the administration has managed to create the impression they are actually running a functioning government? Nice try.

Can we all agree, if California adds  many more jurisdictions to the list of states whose policies we don’t like, Golden State public servants may not be attending any out-of-state conventions?

Can we all agree, most other administrations would object to calls from foreign governments trying to close down a news outlet, but Mr. Trump’s silence is pretty deafening?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump has once again revealed himself as nothing more than a schoolyard  bully when he claimed to have tapes of his meetings with former FBI Director James Comey?

Can we all agree, threats to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller fall in the same category?

Can we all agree, as long as the drip, drip, drip of Russia related headlines continues, Mr. Trump will not be able to move ahead with the rest of his political agenda?

Can we all agree, the American public deserves to know which state election systems were attacked by Russian hackers?

Can we all agree, Attorney General Jeff Session’s decision to hire a private attorney, doesn’t help?

Can we all agree, now that grizzly bears outside of national parks, are being delisted as endangered species, it won’t be long before one of the Trump sons makes headlines for shooting one?

Can we all agree, Democrats, who failed to capitalize on Anti-Trump sentiment in a Georgia election this week, have a lot of work to do if they want to take back the House in 2018?

Can we all agree, their first step might be to get minority leader Nancy Pelosi to step down?

Can we all agree, it’s hard to know what a ‘shake up’ in a totalitarian government, such as Saudi Arabia, really means?

Can we all agree, The Environmental Protection Agency, is no longer an agency that we can count on to protect the environment?

Can we all agree, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, proves every day that he is unqualified for the job he holds?

Can we all agree, the qualifications of the latest round of nominees for federal posts are simply embarrassing? And it doesn’t look like the talent pool will get any deeper, just ask the folks in New York where a wedding planner now heads the housing office.

Can we all agree, we are heading for large scale wars in Syria and Afghanistan?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s housing policy, which seems to involve cutbacks in everything except programs that benefit him, is pretty transparent?

Can we all agree, the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a case on political gerrymandering of congressional districts, may have more significance than anything Congress does in the next year?

Can we all agree, offensive trademarks may be protected as free speech, but they have no place in a civilized society?

Can we all agree, the award for the most awkward moment of the week has to go to Marco Rubio and Ivanka Trump?

Can we all agree, the high school principal who tried to shut down a critical speech by the class valedictorian, probably wishes he hadn’t?

Can we all agree, the forced resignation of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick should be a lesson for every new CEO trying too disrupt the status quo – there are still rules?

Can we all agree, we can hope that Mr. Trump will run out of friendly places to campaign, but Johnny Depp’s suggestion that the President should be assassinated, just invigorates Mr. Trump’s base?

and finally:

American food icon Alice Waters on what the Whole Foods purchase by Amazon could mean for the US food supply.

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 6/17/17 edition

June 17, 2017

Can we all agree, we should all applaud the administration’s decision to allow the so-called ‘dreamers’ to stay in the United States without fear of deportation? Unfortunately their parents will still live in fear.

Can we all agree, Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods has nothing to do with organic food but everything to do with competing with Walmart?

Offering prayers at this week's Congressional baseball game. (Roll Call Photo)

Offering prayers at this week’s Congressional baseball game. (Roll Call Photo)

Can we all agree, Senator Mitch McConnell obviously learned a lot from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was able to get a healthcare bill passed by keeping it secret until the last minute?

Can we all agree, the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller got a lot more serious this week with the news that Mr. Trump may face charges that he impeded a federal investigation in firing FBI director James Comey?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump continues to make his own situation worse with his tweets and rants?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump is governing ‘like the leader of 35% of the country‘?

Can we all agree, it would be nice to think the shooting of a Congressman, practicing for a charity baseball game could bring the political parties together for more than one day, but it’s doubtful given the rhetoric?

Can we all agree, news that Fox News is dropping its trademark “fair and balanced” slogan, has allowed everyone to admit that it was really just a marketing tool and never true?

Can we all agree, the only person who thinks Mr. Trump’s most recent financial statement clarifies anything, is Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree, news that Mr. Trump’s attorney and the Vice President have both hired attorneys could set off hiring frenzy by White House staffers who know Mr. Trump’s lawyer is not defending them?

Can we all agree, Trump supporters would probably not  have objected to the revival of Shakespeare’ s Julius Caesar if the lead character was a woman in pant suit?

Can we all agree, the tragic fire in London may be a bigger test for Prime minister Theresa May, than either of the two recent terrorist attacks?

Can we all agree, those of us who are not sailors have a hard time figuring out how two ships can collide 12 miles from shore?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump conveniently forgot to tell his adoring supporters in Miami that the rollback of travel to Cuba could take three years?

Can we all agree, the manslaughter conviction of a young woman, over the carbon monoxide suicide of her boyfriend hung on just three words -“get back in?”

Can we all agree, the acquittal of a Minnesota police officer in the shooting death of a motorist suggests that there will always be some doubt about what really happens when African-American motorists are stopped by police?

Can we all agree, lottery players in Illinois may be the group that forces a state budget compromise when they find out they can no longer buy Powerball and Megamillion tickets?

Can we all agree, the City of Los Angeles deserved to lose a huge gamble this week, when a sanitation worker won a $17.4 million lawsuit against his supervisors who harassed him into disability by falsely claiming he was gay?

Can we all agree, it’s pretty clear there are very few world leaders who have much respect for Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree, it’s pretty clear the lawsuits brought against 12 Turkish body guards accused of assault, when they attacked protesters in New York, is pretty meaningless, since the men are out of the country and probably are not planning a return trip?

Can we all agree, the Senate surprised everyone this week by voting to impose more sanctions on Iran and Russia and restricting the President’s power to make changes?

Can we all agree, Kamala Harris’ standing as a Democratic star of the future was cemented this week by her prosecutorial performance against Attorney General Jeff Sessions?

Can we all agree, Australia finally made the right move by paying $53 million dollars and closing their prison-like facilities holding refugees awaiting approval to enter the country?

Can we all agree, the Democrat’s lawsuit against Mr. Trump didn’t get much press coverage, given the other events of the week, but it could be the key to the eventual release of Mr. Trump’s tax returns?

Can we all agree, despite the Republican’s best effort to lob softball questions, AG Jeff Session’s showed that he is unqualified to be the top law enforcement official in the country?

Can we all agree, it’s tragic that a now brain-damaged American has become a pawn in the egomaniacal three way chess match between former basketball player Dennis Rodman and the leaders of North Korea and the the United States?

Can we all agree, this week’s first full cabinet meeting was a sickening display of orchestrated ego-stroking?

Can we all agree, it was great to see Melania and Baron move into the White House? But the real question is will Mr. Trump let her leave the building?:

and finally this week’s good reads:

Ann Killions column on Warrior coach Steve Kerr’s reaction to his team’s NBA championship.

and

The Washington Post’s Fact Checking video on all Mr. Trump’s flip flops since the day, exactly two years ago, when he came down the escalator at Trump Tower to declare his candidacy.

 

 

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 6/10/17 edition

June 10, 2017

Can we all agree, if Donald Trump testifies under oath, perjury charges and then impeachment are sure to follow?

Can we all agree, maybe  Mr. Trump is right about Mr. Comey – if there’s one thing Mr. Trump knows, it’s how to lie?

Can we all agree Speaker Paul Ryan should be embarrassed by his suggestion that Mr. Trump can be forgiven, because he’s “unfamiliar with political protocol?

Just two guys,Barack and Justin, having a night out in Montreal.

Just two guys, Barack and Justin, having a night out in Montreal.

Can we all agree the talk about obstruction of justice is irrelevant in the impeachment debate, because impeachment has nothing to do with legality, it’s all political?

Can we all agree, the Senate and Mitch McConnell, take a back seat to no one in the chutzpah department, by passing healthcare reform, while most of the nation was watching James Comey testify?

Can we all agree, Theresa May’s loss in the British election really makes you wonder if this was the real point to the ISIS attacks in London and Manchester?

Can we all agree Montana should be very proud that they will soon have a politician with an assault conviction representing them in Congress?

Can we all agree we should learn a lesson from the Mayor of London who simply ignored Mr. Trump’s ridiculous tweets?

Can we all agree the best story of the week is the dinner between President Obama and Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau – just two guys having a night out?

Can we all agree the funniest story of the week was the North Koreans  blasting Mr. Trump as an egomaniac?

Can we all agree, the more South Korea tries to placate their neighbor to the north the more bellicose North Korea becomes?

Can we all agree when the President says one thing and the Secretary of State says another, one of them will be ignored, and it probably won’t be the President?

Can we all agree the EPA administrator needs to check his facts on coal jobs created over the last few months?

Can we all agree the House of Representatives should really stop wasting it’s time on legislation that has no chance of passage in the Senate?

Can we all agree as the administration’s poll numbers continue to deteriorate, it should be only a matter of time before the GOP abandons the Trump ship of state? But it doesn’t look that way.

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s infrastructure plan, announced this week, is little more than a reward for contractors who supported him?

Can we all agree, most Americans doubt that Mr. Trump is really the right person to undo the political crises with Qatar that he may have created?

Can we all agree, after this week’s exchange between Mr. Comey and Mr. Trump, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would want to lead the FBI?

Can we all agree most Americans had little reaction to the ISIS attack on Iran, because they, unfortunately, agree with Mr. Trump’s tweet?

Can we all agree The Chinese had it right this week when they welcomed California Governor Jerry Brown and ignored Energy Secretary Rick Perry?

Can we all agree, at least Mr. Trump’s mention of Pittsburgh, PA, gave the city a chance to show the world how much it has changed since its days as a steel town?

Can we all agree, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s offer to resign, was almost a dream come true for progressives? Which is probably the reason the offer wasn’t accepted.

Can we all agree Uber’s move to fire 20 employees over sexual harassment claims really makes you wonder why anyone would want to work there? Sort of like the White House.

Can we all agree Harvard University’s move to revoke acceptance to students, over their social media activity, is an ominous warning to the millions of immature high schoolers who don’t realize the internet is forever?

Can we all agree the Democratic race for President might make the GOP’s 20-candidate field in 2016 look very small?

Can we all agree the arrest of a private contractor for leaking sensitive documents, could slow the leaks, as sources worry whether journalists will protect their identity?

Can we all agree Republicans support for the administration’s plan to cut 30,000 employees by creating a private corporation, is surprising since it is essentially unraveling the policies of the GOP’s favorite leader, Ronald Reagan?

Can we all agree there might be a glimmer of hope for the GOP, given what’s happening in Kansas?

Can we all agree Megyn Kelly’s interview with Vladimir Putin, just gave him another forum to lie to the world?

and finally:

We should all take a break and head out to see Wonder Woman this weekend.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 6/3/17 edition

June 3, 2017

Can we all agree Donald Trump abandoned the Paris Climate Change Agreement when he appointed Scott Pruitt to head the EPA?

Can we all agree Vladimir Putin essentially admitted this week that Russians interfered in the US election?

Can we all agree the French President had a great comeback to Donald Trump?

The NY Daily News gets it right, again.

The NY Daily News gets it right, again.

Can we all agree, it’s clear Mr. Trump has no factual basis for his decision?

Can we all agree the countries, states and cities who know climate change is already here have just two words for Mr. Trump: Drop dead?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump doesn’t seem to realize his base, which seems happy with climate change, only makes up about 30% of the electorate?

Can we all agree, it doesn’t really matter whether Mr. Trump believes in climate science? But it would be nice to know.

Can we all agree, it’s pretty clear,  Mr. Trump’s policies change depending on who he favors? This week it’s Steve Bannon, and not Jared Kushner.

Can we all agree if Joe Biden, at 76, decides to run in 2020, Trump (or Pence) is toast?

Can we all agree China is more than happy to see the United States make itself irrelevant and allow them to become the world leader in yet another category?

Can we all agree we seem to have hit full employment but it does;’t mean much for all the coal miners who still can’t find work?

Can we all agree it’s becoming clearer by the day that the Senate will not pass a healthcare bill any time soon?

Can we all agree if the spouse of a current employee won’t work for you, you might be the toxic workplace?

Can we all agree the GOP seems intent on hiding their own report on CIA torture?

Can we all agree it’s already pretty clear why the White House didn’t want to release their ethics waivers: the forms are a mess?

Can we all agree the term ‘ethics waivers’ seems pretty absurd for a White House with no ethics from day one?

Can we all agree someone needs to tell Devin Nunes, head of the House Intelligence Committee, that no one cares about any subpoenas he issues, because he has no credibility left?

Can we all agree the world may be distracted this week by climate change, and c0vfefe, but by next week, the probe of Russian interference in the US election will be back to center stage, despite Mr. Trump’s continuing claims that it’s all a hoax?

Can we all agree there was some good news on the environment this week when a California court ruled the state could force Monsanto to label products as carcinogens and Exxon-Mobil stockholders forced the energy giant to report on the impact they are having on climate change?

Can we all agree Ohio’s suit against the makers of opioids will have little impact unless others join in?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump doesn’t seem to realize how bad it looks when he tries to curry favor with the Russians by returning two compounds that were seized as punishment just six months ago?

Can we all agree if the government tries to roll back Mr. Obama’s Cuba policy he will be swimming against a very strong tide?

Can we all agree it takes a pretty small person to steal the belongings of a  dying man who tried to defend two women against the verbal abuse of a white supremicist?

Can we all agree the government faces an uphill battle trying to convince the Supreme Court that they are likely to win their case for the Mr. Trump’s immigration ban?

Can we all agree comedian Kathy Griffin gave Mr. Trump a huuuuuge present this week, by posing with a mask that appeared to be his severed head?

Can we all agree Congress has done a great job of hiding that fact that they have made a mockery of internet privacy?

Can we all agree the next financial showdown over the debt ceiling will  get here sooner than most politicians expected or wanted?

Can we all agree, say what you will about Texas legislators, they sure know how to embarrass themselves?

Can we all agree French President Emmanuel Macron is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with on the world stage? Just ask Mr. Putin.

Can we all agree the only person who had a successful trip to the Middle East and Europe was Melania Trump? Yes, she of the $51,000 jacket.

Can we all agree the military’s successful test of an anti-missile system does not make me, or anyone else in the Bay Area,  feel any safer?

And finally:

RIP: Christian Deford’s dad, Frank, Shannon Allman’s husband, Gregg and Mika’s Brzezinski’s dad, Zbigniew ; giants in their fields.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 5/27/17 edition

May 27, 2017

Can we all agree after 8 years of trying to recover from the poor image created by the Bush administration, it only took one visit to Europe  from Donald Trump to destroy the nation’s reputation?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s visit to NATO,  not only showed his poor understanding of how the alliance works but his childish attitude in elbowing a fellow leader out of the way to get to the front row of a photo op?

Can we all agree the Europeans seem to have changed Mr. Trump’s views on climate change, but it’s doubtful his EPA chief will change course?

Can we all agree trying to make sense of the administration’s policy on immigration gets tougher by the week?

Jack, the graduate (right) and his big brother, Cole, at the post-graduation dinner.

Jack, the graduate (right) and his big brother, Cole, at the post-graduation dinner.

Can we all agree if the Senate and FBI probe of Russian influence is indeed focused on Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump is in deep trouble?

Can we all agree there was no need to discus secret back-channel communications two months before the inauguration?

Can we all agree, by requesting campaign documents it appears some Senate Repblicans may have finally  realized they need to push back against Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree, things were pretty quiet when Donald Trump was off twitter and his staff could manage his message?

Can we all agree the victory of Montana’s new GOP representative seems to prove Trump’s claim that he could murder someone in the middle of Midtown  and no one would care? Here’s a guy who assaulted a reporter and voters still elected him and the House doesn’t even care.

Can we all agree whatever the Senate comes up with on healthcare reform will have a tough time passing that chamber but an even rougher time in the House?

Can we all agree, it’s probably not a surprise that Hillary Clinton is going after Mr. Trump, but when she’s joined by John Boehner you know the President has a real problem?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s plan to quickly find a new head of the FBI is stymied by his own actions?

Can we all agree any notion that the swamp is being drained should be put to rest when the White House releases the lobbyist waivers it has granted in order to fill government positions?

Can we all agree the swamp is now a water hazard for the Professional Golfers Association?

Can we all agree it would be tough to prove any Russian influence on any president other than Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree Michael Flynn’s decision to fight a congressional subpoena stands in stark contrast to former campaign chief Paul Manafort– although both men will probably face criminal charges?

Can we all agree, the Supreme Court is facing some weighty decisions that will test it’s political independence?

Can we all agree touting an approval rating that is among the lowest of any new President is not smart politics?

Can we all agree the Senate’s newly approved sanctions on Iran may be counter-productive?

Can we all agree the contrast between Mr. Trump’s visit to Europe and that of former President Obama could not be more dramatic?

Can we all agree the budget office report on the GOP health plan was just about what everyone expected? Now the Senate can officially reject it.

Can we all agree, it takes a lot for the press corps to feel sorry for Sean Spicer, but Mr. Trump managed to do it this week when he excluded the devote Catholic from his meeting with The Pope?

Can we all agree The Pope was a master of ‘not-so-subtle’ messaging in his choice of gifts for Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree Sean Hannity is learning the real implications of fake news?

Can we all agree the British response to leaks from the investigation of the Manchester bombing was much milder than what Mr. Trump might have said if the situation was reversed?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s cabinet secretaries, Betsy DeVos, Scott Pruitt and Ben Carson,  continue to display an uncommon lack of understanding  about what most Americans want?

Can we all agree all sides of the debate seem to agree Mr. Trump’s budget is dead on arrival, but he has managed to frame the debate so we will wind up with the lesser of two evils?

Can we all agree the downgrade of China’s credit rating will do little to affect their position as a center of world commerce?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s contined embrace of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is, in some ways, more troubling than his admiration for Vladimir Putin?

Can we all agree the US may finally pay attention to what’s happening in Turkey, now that an NBA player has been accused of being a terrorist?

Can we all agree no one seems to care that the Carrier jobs Mr. Trump claimed to have saved are now moving to Mexico?

Can we all agree Melania seems to feel that same way about her husband as most Democrats?

And finally:

Two of the more depressing stories of the week for Democrats: one GOP Congressman found support still strong in his district and what Trumpcare might look like based on the problems in Iowa.

And, once again, the deterioration of the nation’s moral fabric was on full display with 2 murders in Oregon and an ugly scene aboard an airplane.

and:

Anyone hoping to make the long romantic drive up Route 1 along the California coast is apparently going to have a long wait.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 5/20/17 edition

May 20, 2017

Can we all agree if there’s one person who should be able to recognize,  a nut job it’s Donald Trump? Unfortunately, James Comey is not one.

Can we all agree revelations that the probe into Russian influence in our election, has now reached the White House, is only a surprise to one person?

The President and Melania Trump arrive in Saudi Arabia. (NYT photo)

The President and Melania Trump arrive in Saudi Arabia. (NYT photo)

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s Thursday characterization of the investigation as a ‘witch hunt’ ring a bit hollow this weekend? Especially since it appears he knew Michael Flynn was under investigation before he was appointed to a top White House post.

Can we all agree Robert Mueller’s appointment to lead the Russian influence investigation seems to have bi-partisan support, but is worrying to observers who are more concerned with fact finding than criminal prosecution?

Can we all agree, many Baby Boomers will have a sense of deja vu when Mr. Comey testifies before Congress, as we remember the start of the Watergate hearings, which began this past week in 1973?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s arrival in Saudi Arabia has the nation on edge, as we wait to see how he will embarrass us on the world stage?

Can we all agree, only Mr. Trump can ban Muslims from entering the US and then flip-flop by claiming to be their strongest supporters when he visits their countries?

Can we all agree the victory by ‘moderates’ in the Iranian election proves there may be some semblance of Democracy in that ancient civilization?

Can we all agree Trump has managed, once again, to prove President Obama  right, when he signed the nuclear deal with Iran?

Can we all agree instability in Brazil, destabilizes all of South America?

Can we all agree the removal of Confederate statues in New Orleans may mark the end of an era for some, but it’s really only another step along the long road to racial equality?

Can we all agree as soon as the GOP figures out the Trump Presidency cannot be saved they will push to have him removed as soon as possible  to avert the disaster that will be the 2018 elections?

Can we all agree the fact that security guards working for a foreign country can attack US citizens exercising their rights to free speech, without a word of condemnation for our own government is unbelievable?

Can we all agree Mr. Comey and Hillary Clinton appear to have at least one thing in common – a desire to avoid a Trump hug?

Can we all agree, news that foreign diplomats are providing special favors to Ivanka Trump in an attempt to reach her father, are exactly why she should not be an advisor?

Can we all agree. internet providers are reacting cautiously to the FCC’s decision to relax net neutrality regulations because they know the rules can be overturned by the next administration?

Can we all agree Emmanuel Macron is disappointing those on the left with his conservative cabinet appointments in France?

Can we all agree the choreographed praise for the late Roger Ailes cannot overcome the more popular characterization of him as a sexual predator responsible for perverting US journalism and giving us Donald Trump?

Can we all agree one response to changes Education Secretary Betsy Devoss seeks, might be to make every public school a charter school?

Can we all agree, news that at least one high-level GOP congressman thinks Trump and one other politician may be on the Putin payroll, should be a major story, but these days its barely a ripple?’

Can we all agree it’s easy to see why Mr. Trump finds such comfort in meeting with foreign dictators since he longs for the kind of power they wield – such as arresting journalists?

Can we all agree, It would be nice to think the EPA will pay attention to the outpouring of public support for enviromentail regulations, but it’s doubtful Scott Pruitt will even care?

Can we all agree the most entertaining story of the week was either Mr. Putin’s offer to supply his own account of the Russian Foreign Minister’s meeting with Mr. Trump or the details of how the session was arranged?

Can we all agree when they write the eventual history of the Trump administration, the last two weeks will be a major focus?

Can we all agree, you know health care is an issue when it reaches the Miss USA Pageant?

Can we all agree the world is eager to believe this week’s cyber- attack on the world’s computers, came from North Korea?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s incompetence is making it possible for North Korea to continue nuclear and missile testing?

And finally:

Can we all agree New York Times writer David Brooks had a great week of columns, including this quote:

“We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.”

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 5/13/17 edition

May 13, 2017

Can we all agree the hack of numerous computer systems around the world will, once again make us all rethink our reliance on the internet? The US has only seen minor impact, but experts say it’s only a matter of time.

Can we all agree, when you change your story four times in three days, at least three of the excuses for firing the director of the FBI must be lies?

Can we all agree it is amazing that no one on the President’s staff realized firing the FBI chief might touch off a controversy?

Mr. Trump with Russian officials in the Oval Office. No US media allowed. (Photo: Russian foreign ministry photo via AP)

Mr. Trump with Russian officials in the Oval Office. No US media allowed. (Photo: Russian foreign ministry photo via AP)

Can we all agree the mental image of press secretary Sean Spicer hiding in the bushes to avoid reporters, may be one of the more enduring images of the week and it’s hard to believe SNL and Melissa McCarthy will let it pass unnoticed?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump may have more in common with Mr. Nixon than he wants if he is forced to produce the ‘tapes’ he alluded to in his tweets? In case you forgot, Nixon’s tapes forced his resignation.

Can we all agree Donald Trump’s ego would make his Twitter threats laughable if he were just a developer in New York, but as President, he doesn’t even realize the implications?

Can we all agree demanding loyalty over honesty should be an impeachable offense, since it clearly suggests Mr. Trump wanted to impede the FBI investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia?

Can we all agree canceling the White House press briefings would hurt the President more than the press, given the daily leaks that spring from the White House?

Can we all agree anyone who believes Mr. Trump’s financial ties to Russia only come from his Miss Universe pageants is naive or delusional?

Can we all agree Jeff Sessions’ move to increase sentences for drug offenses is racist?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s panel on voter fraud is a fraud from the start?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump needs to decide if he wants to be a President or a TV critic? He will not win a war of words with anyone on television.

Can we all agree that with all the internal politics going on most of us may not have noticed the decisions to arm Kurdish fighters in Syria or send more American troops to Afghanistan?

Can we all agree using immigration officers to combat drug gangs. particularly when so many are US citizens, seems a bit extraordinary?

Can we all agree the Homeland Security chief’s plan to curtail the cash-for-visa program used by the Kushner family to fund luxury condos, will not happen?

Can we all agree the US public barely blinked an eye when the Russian Tass News Agency was allowed to cover our President in the White House but US media ws barred?

Can we all agree Sinclair’s purchase of Tribune Media has some ominous implications?

Can we all agree our negotiator in chief seems to have swapped a trade deal for Far East security and security was not the winner?

Can we all agree the strong dollar has increased travel to Europe by 26%, but tourists may have a rude awakening when they come home with their laptops packed into their carry-on bags?

Can we all agree, acting FBI Chief Andrew McCabe and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates were the only heroes in Washington this week? Too bad the same cannot be said for Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Can we all agree, as the Trump administration continues to destroy the environment, at least three GOP Senators deserve credit  for standing up to him?

Can we all agree Education Secretary Betsy Devoss really has no clue why she is facing so much opposition?

Can we all agree the most under-covered story of the week  might be the resignation of the head of the US Census Bureau?

Can we all agree, when a cabinet secretary praises police for jailing a reporter doing his job we have really entered a new era of press relations?

Can we all agree Senate leader Mitch McConnell has no regard for the Constitution or his role as a check on executive branch abuses?

Can we all agree naming a committee of 13  men to write a health care bill that could drastically change women’s health care is absurd?

Can we all agree Speaker Paul Ryan’s defense of his health care bill is no less despicable than McConnell’s actions? Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel had a great response to the GOP as did voters at Republican town meetings.

Can we all agree this Republican Congressman’s statements on health care  could become the Democratic anthem for the 2018 election cycle?

Can we all agree, the Democratic race for the White House in 2020 has heated up and California’s Kamala Harris seems to have her running shoes on?

Can we all agree, were it not for the Comey firing we’d all be talking about subpoenas for Michael Flynn and the White House’s 18 day delay in firing him?

Can we all agree elections in France, Germany and South Korea seem to suggest that the rest of the world has learned from our mistake?

And finally:

Can we all agree anyone who has purchased organic produce from outside the US has always wondered about the validity of the label.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 5/6/17 edition

May 6, 2017

Can we all agree our political debate over the next two years will be shaped by this week’s House vote on replacing the Affordable Care Act?

Can we all agree that if your own Senate colleagues have already decided your bill is not worth considering, you might have a problem convincing the public that it was a good piece of legislation? Even, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel tried to warn the GOP.

Can we all agree if the House bill were ever to pass the Senate we should be able to claim stress from the election of Mr. Trump, as a pre-existing condition?

Can we all agree, this might be one time when the money spent by the insurance lobby will have a beneficial impact on public policy?

Can we all agree the weekly drip, drip, drip of stories about the Russian connection to the Trump campaign will make governing difficult for the administration?

Can we all agree we hope the French will learn from our mistakes and ignore the hacks into their election and elect the moderate, Emmanuel Macron?

Can we all agree, the Democrats need to stop blaming FBI director James Comey, for their November defeat? Without their own mistakes, the election would not have been so close that Comey’s action made a difference.

Can we all agree the major news of the week should have been the approval of a 5-month budget plan that rejects almost every principle Trump has put forward and may lead to a government shutdown in September?

Can we all agree free speech is under attack in this country and no-one seems to care?

Can we all agree the happiest community in the country is probably Palm Beach, FL, now that Donald Trump has decided to make his New Jersey golf club his weekend vacation home? Either way the rest of us foot the bill.

Can we all agree there might be something wrong with the White House vetting process as they continue to see nominees withdraw from consideration, because your own party sees them as unqualified?

Can we all agree, gutting the office of the nation’s drug czar, might be a tough sell in states where the opioid epidemic is killing thousands each year?

Can we all agree EPA chief Scott Pruitt made the right move in recusing himself from court battles over climate change, but we’re pretty sure his subordinates will know what he wants them to do?

Can we all agree the new employment numbers only show that it took 10 years to recover from the excesses of the last Republican administration? Although the troubling numbers from the auto industry might suggest some issues ahead.

Can we all agree the debate over immigration was never more obvious than the differences in public policy in California and Texas?

Can we all agree North Korea’s criticism of China might make them feel good, but it will do little to alter the balance of power in the region?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s proposed trip to the Mideast has disaster written all over it – particularly his stops in Muslim countries whose residents no longer feel welcome here?

Can we all agree the various descriptions of the phone conversation between Mr. Trump and Russian Leader Vladimir Putin make you wonder if they were on the same call?

Can we all agree that, once again, the government is mishandling the water crises in Flint, MI, and hoping the rest of the nation will not notice?

Can we all agree, Boston Red Sox officials did the right thing in banning a fan for life because of his racial slur directed at an opposing player?

Can we all agree, the Administration’s order allowing religious organizations to venture into politics could be a boon to the Democrats if African-American church leaders support their candidates. Evangelicals seem to be deserting Mr, Trump in droves over his climate change policies.

Can we all agree Prince Philip is entitled to retire from public life – at 95? The Queen will apparently carry on at 91.

Can we all agree it’s about time Facebook and other online services realize that an unedited stream of fake information does not make the world safer?

Can we all agree the change in leadership at the Heritage Foundation will benefit conservatives in the long run?

Can we all agree, speaking of remaking an institution, the changes at Fox News, may have a broader impact on US politics than we realize?

Can we all agree the Trump family, including the President and Ivanka, have proven once again that there is no room for ethics in the White House?

Can we all agree, inviting the Supreme Court Justice to the White House for lunch, could be the dumbest idea the administration has ever floated? And they already have a pretty long record of dumb ideas.

Can we all agree the departure of Sebastian V. Gorka from the White House should be celebrated only if he winds up outside of government entirely?

and finally:

One 7-year-old’s response to a Trump supporter.

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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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