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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 8/19/17 edition

August 19, 2017

Can we all agree, Steve Bannon had to leave the administration or there would probably have been a mass exodus of other officials who blame him for Mr. Trump’s racist stance earlier in the week?

Can we all agree, we will hear even more from Bannon now that he has a website to pressure the President?

Can we all agree, it’s unbelievable that the President of the United States was quicker to comment on a terrorist attack in Spain that he was to comment on an attack in Charlotesville?

Can we all agree, there is a big difference between the statues honoring Confederate heroes and the Boston street sign designating Yawkey Way in honor of former Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey? As a Boston native, I know Mr. Yawkey was racist, but since his death his foundation has made charitable contributions all over the city.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 8.25.50 AM

President Obama’s message after Charlottesville. Setting new Twitter records.

Can we all agree, the only reason right-wing racists plan protests in blue cities such as Boston or Berkeley is because they know they will get publicity from the local reaction?

Can we all agree, Tina Fey might be getting criticism for her reaction to Mr. Trump, but it was still pretty funny?

Can we all agree, the national magazine covers were less humorous. but captured the nation’s mood perfectly? But it may be the financial impact that gets the President’s attention?

Can we all agree, it’s good the Navy has disciplined two people for the tragic collision last month, but we still have no idea what happened?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump is skipping the Kennedy Center Honors because he knows what the entertainment community thinks about him and he couldn’t handle the criticism?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump should not expect a visit from the NBA champion Golden State Warriors?

Can we all agree, Wells Fargo Bank is proof positive that we need a Consumer Finance Protection Bureau?

Can we all agree, Steve Bannon may have contradicted the message the administration wants to send, but he was right when he admitted there is no military solution to the North Korea crises? At least Kim Jung Un seems to agree, for now.

Can we all agree, the next major world hotspot may be the China-India border?

Can we all agree, there was no good reason for the administration to end protections for minors from South America?

Can we all agree, it’s easy to blame Mr. Bannon for the President’s racist views, but they have been pretty obvious for many years?

Can we all agree, it seems clear that Mr. Trump has no problem being the President of the people who elected him and alienating everyone else?

Can we all agree, we should all be appalled that children in India were allowed to die because of a hospital billing dispute with an oxygen supplier?

Can we all agree, an American tourist who offered a Nazi salute in downtown Dresden, Germany, deserved to get beat up?

Can we all agree, while everyone was pre-occupied with Charlottesville, special counsel Robert Mueller began the next phase of investigation by requesting interviews with current and former White House staffers?

Can we all agree, pardoning former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is among the worst ideas Mr. Trump has floated?

Can we all agree, The Department of Justice is overstepping it’s authority by requesting the computer IP addresses of anti-Trump protestors?

Can we all agree, the Congressional Budget Office is making it difficult for the administration to decline to pay ACA insurance subsidies?

Can we all agree, no one seems to take seriously Iran’s threats to restart its nuclear program?

Can we all agree, the Texas legislature has some work to do to convince a federal judge they can draw voting districts correctly?

Can we all agree, a group of former Trump officials trying to mount a voter registration effort is pretty ill timed?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s decision to attack his own party leaders, for no reason, continues to mystify the political pundits on both sides of the aisle?

Can we all agree right-wing leader Chris Cantwell has no idea what he’s doing or the damage he is inflicting on the world?

And finally:

The good news story of the week about a WWII marine returning a Japanese flag to the family of a fallen soldier.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 8/12/17 edition

August 12, 2017

Can we all agree, many of us never thought the Chinese president would be the grownup in the room, refereeing the war of words between a US President and the leader of North Korea?

Can we all agree, it’s tough to predict an outcome when you have two egomaniacal bullies hurling insults at each other?

Can we all agree the folks on Guam probably are not comforted by Mr. Trump’s promise of retaliation, if the island is attacked?

We all make mistakes, but Can we all agree we'd like to think this was on purpose.

We all make mistakes, but Can we all agree we’d like to think this headline  was printed  on purpose.

Can we all agree, most of us have been so preoccupied with North Korea we hardly noticed that, despite the billions of dollars spent after Katrina, New Orleans flooded again this week after a severe thunderstorm?

Can we all agree, the longer we ignore climate change reports, the more stories like New Orleans, we will see?

Can we all agree, sometime in the next year the EPA will effectively cease to exist?

Can we all agree, while we should be concerned about what’s happening in Venezuela,  we can’t invade every country, where we disagree with the government’s policies?

Can we all agree, the White House may not openly condone the activities of the alt-right, but the fact that an administration aide can pen a memo describing a leftist conspiracy, certainly provides support?

Can we all agree, Google made a bad situation worse this week, when they fired the author of a memo attacking women working in Silicon Valley? We may not agree with his comments, but he has every right to his opinion.

Can we all agree, it’s hard to tell if sports reporters are over-reacting to the cancellation of some  high school football programs, or if we are really seeing the start of a death spiral?

Can we all agree, Major League Baseball deserves a pat on the back for their ‘nickname’ promotion later this month? Don’t expect to see anything like this in the NFL.

Can we all agree, it’s about time the highest levels of government admitted that we have an opioid crises in this country?

Can we all agree, the new twitter battle between Senate President Mitch McConnell and Mr. Trump, will do little to advance the GOP agenda?

Can we all agree, the FBI’s pre-dawn raid of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, is very bad news for the President?

Can we all agree, despite all the rhetoric, it appears, the XL pipeline may be stymied by state regulations in Nebraska?

Can we all agree, state politicians, like those in Wisconsin, don’t care how much tax money they give away, as long as they can say they brought in new jobs?

Can we all agree, President Trump should take a close look at what’s happening to his good friend Benjamin Netanyahu, as he tries to downplay the special counsel’s investigation?

Can we all agree, Disney may be making the right business decision, by taking their movies off Netflix, but they are making it  more difficult for the consumer?

Can we all agree, we should be very concerned that industry lobbyists are re-writing the nation’s regulatory framework?

Can we all agree, it’s been another tough trip home for many GOP politicians?

Can we all agree, coal mining should not be encouraged on public land?

Can we all agree, Vice President Mike Pence is running for his boss’s job? He just doesn’t like to have it made public.

Barbara Cook

Barbara Cook

Can we all agree, voting for Amy McGrath over Mitch McConnell is a pretty easy decision?

Can we all agree, the Democrat’s shift to the left will not help them in conservative states, even where voters are appalled by Donald Trump?

Can we all agree, it appears the only world leader Mr. Trump does not stand up to, is Vladimir Putin?

Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell

Can we all agree, White House aides should not be making news at speaking engagements? If they can’t take the criticism, they should not have agreed to appear.

Can we all agree, the world is just a little less  lyrical this week with the passing of Glen Campbell and Broadway singer Barbara Cook.

and finally:

Only in America could Back to School shopping get combined with guns sales.

 

 

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 8/5/17 edition

August 5, 2017

Can we all agree, the August recess in Washington is really a much needed vacation for all of us?

Can we all agree, when a Republican Senate leaves town, but stays in session to prevent a Republican President from making any appointments, it’s not the Democrat’s fault?

Can we all agree, The President may soon be faced with signing a bill which effectively prevents him from firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller?

Can we all agree, Attorney General Jeff Sessions would have a much easier job if he didn’t have to waste time investigating leaks from the White House?

Can we all agree, it would be a disaster if the President fired his national security advisor, H. R. McMaster, since the Lt. General seems to be the only grownup in the White House?

This week's Newsweek cover

This week’s Newsweek cover

Can we all agree, it’s no surprise the President’s cabinet would be led by a pastor who doesn’t think women belong in politics?

Can we all agree, Newsweek Magazine may have reached a new level of political commentary with this week’s cover?

Can we all agree, until this week, when Mr. Mueller impanelled a grand jury in Washington, many of us suspected the investigation was going nowhere?

Can we all agree, John Kelley deserves credit for bringing some discipline to the White House – at least for one week?

Can we all agree, as the economy continues to improve, it’s clear Wall Street could care less about the Russian investigation?

Can we all agree, the NAACP’s travel advisory for Missouri, will deter travel by  more than just minorities or members of the LGBT community?

Can we all agree, The Pope is winning the PR battle with evangelical Christians?

Can we all agree, President Trump  probably thinks what happened in the Venezuela election is the same thing that happened last November when Hillary Clinton won the popular vote?

Can we all agree, the transcripts of the President’s conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia, just proves the public Trump and private Trump are interchangeable – and both are embarrassing?

Can we all agree, whether we like it or not, may not be on the horizon, even if researchers have been able to edit the DNA in cells?

Can we all agree, the proposed bill to limit immigration, runs counter to the bedrock principles our country was built on?

Can we all agree, presidential advisor Stephen Miller should be deported?

Can we all agree, the senators behind the immigration bill should either read Joe Aaron’s post on this blog, or listen to any of a dozen economists saying the same thing?

Can we all agree, Chelsea Clinton spoke for many of us when she defended the White House against charges that it was “a dump.’

Can we all agree, what Arizona Senator Jeff Flake says in his new book needed to be said, but it’s doubtful he’ll be a senator after the next election? But, you can count on seeing him in 2020.

Can we all agree, Millennials are welcome to the title of most populous generation – now they can get blamed for everything ?

Can we all agree, Donald Trump is once again playing to his base, which has dwindled to just 33%, by asking the attorney general to probe discrimination against whites in college admissions?

Can we all agree, When the President and Congress return from vacation it appears there may be a lot of bipartisan cooperation, although the President may not be included?

Can we all agree, the Chicago Cubs made a great PR move by giving Steve Bartman a World Series ring?

Can we all agree, it would appear the judicial system may be the only way to get the EPA to do its job?

Can we all agree, the best story of the week might be the judge who took the FAA to task for allowing the airlines to reduce the seat sizes and leg room?

Can we all agree, no one needed to be found guilty more than Martin Shkreli?

Can we all agree, the Attorney General, needs to do a better job of laying the groundwork for his case to force communities to back ICE activities?

and finally:

As I’ve said before we seem to have reached the beginning of the end for the internal combustion engine – even the GOP cannot turn back the forces of the free market.

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 7/29/17 edition

July 29, 2017

Can we all agree, John McCain saved the Republican party from itself, when he cast the deciding vote against the so called ‘skinny repeal’ of the Affordable Care Act?

Can we all agree, Senator McCain clearly never forgave the President for the slights he was forced to endure during the 2016 campaign and seemed to relish his role?

Can we all agree it was McCain who got the pivotal vote, but it was Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski who took most of the heat?

Senators McCain, Collins and Murkowski: This week's heroes

Senators McCain, Collins and Murkowski: This week’s healthcare heroes.

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump erred badly when he tried to bully Senator  Murkowski into supporting the measure?

Can we all agree, GOP lawmakers who turned to sexist rhetoric in an attempt to pressure the female senators were an embarrassment?

Can we all agree, someone in the GOP has to  grow up and make a concerted effort to ensure the existing health insurance system will continue to work?

Can we all agree, it was heartening to some degree to see the GOP stand up to the President this week by defending the attorney general, passing tougher Russian sanctions and rejecting calls to ban transgender Americans in the military ?

Can we all agree the White House didn’t have much choice but to sign the sanctions bill?

Can we all agree, Russia’s retaliation for the increased sanctions has been relatively mild so far?

Can we all agree, Reince Priebus, has been a dead man walking since he took the job as White House chief of staff?

Can we all agree, when the nation’s chief executive jokingly condones police violence of any type, he displays a profound disregard for civil rights and insults the majority of the nation’s law enforcement officers who observe professional standards?

Can we all agree, Anthony Scaramucci has no business running a communications team if he can’t even communicate without being vulgar?

Can we all agree, the White House announced policies on gay rights, is simply out of touch with the attitudes of most Americans?

Can we all agree, House passage of a budget bill that has no chance of winning Senate approval shows that Speaker Paul Ryan has no ability to deal with conservative ideologues in his caucus?

Can we all agree, North Korea’s test of a missile that could reach Denver, Colorado should make it clear that they are the number one threat to our country?

Can we all agree, the removal of the Pakistani Prime Minister by that nation’s highest court would normally leave us shaking our collective heads in disbelief, but these days we just wonder if the US is next?

Can we all agree, the Boy Scouts really had no control over what the President would say at their annual event, but at least they realized an apology was necessary?

Can we all agree, the Vice President’s voter fraud commission has no idea how to conduct a legitimate study of the alleged problem?

Can we all agree, the fact that Secretary of State Rex Tlllerson was forced to deny rumors that he wanted to quit, suggests he may be on his way out?

Can we all agree, now that both Britain and France have passed laws banning vehicles with internal combustion engines, we may have reached a tipping point?DF31rp1XkAA8Ala.jpg-large

Can we all agree, normally when a TV commentator has a private dinner at the White House, it would damage his credibility, but with Sean Hannity, no one even blinked an eye?

Can we all agree, allowing your employer to place a chip in your body for identification purposes sends chills down the spine of many people?

Can we all agree, translating Foxconn’s employment practices in China to the US could be difficult?

Can we all agree, the results of a study of deceased football player’s brains should make parents think twice before allowing their children to play football?

Can we all agree, it’s hard to believe that the only person the Department of Justice could find to run their criminal division was someone with ties to a Russian bank?

Can we all agree, the Democrats new image message was less than inspiring?

Can we all agree, the Polish President’s veto of legislation taking over that nation’s courts, avoided a European crises?

Can we all agree, Jared Kushner’s private testimony before a Senate panel, suggests he’s either stupid or involved in issues way over his head?

Can we all agree, another silver lining to California’s wet winter is a new gold rush?

Can we all agree, the new TSA rules for screening electronics are going to make security lines even longer?

Can we all agree, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who is taking a job as a religious ambassador, is a poster child for the dangers of refusing to compromise in politics?

and finally:

RIP:

June Foray–the voice of our youth from “Rocky and Bullwinkle” to “Dudley Do-Right,” “Bugs Bunny” and “The Flintstones.”

and

Now you can ask a psychologist to find out if the President really is crazy.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 7/22/17 edition

July 22, 2017

Can we all agree, promising Presidential pardons before charges are filed, only serves to convince people that Mr. Trump knows that he, his relatives and their associates have committed crimes?

Can we all agree, the same could be said for reports from his legal team, that their legal case will be built on trying to undermine Robert Mueller’s credibility?

Can we all agree, someone in a position of power really wants to get rid of Attorney General Jeff Sessions – unless you think reports from secret intelligence cables are available freely from Washington newsstands?

A detailed look at the President's threat to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller (Washington Post)

A detailed look at the President’s threat to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller (Washington Post)

Can we all agree, it is unconscionable that a week after an Australian woman who called 911, was shot to death by police we still have no information on how the tragedy happened.

Can we all agree, Sean Spicer’s resignation is not the last high-level change coming at the White House?

Can we all agree, we will miss Melissa McCarthy’s Spicer impersonations on SNL?

Can we all agree, the real impact of Mr. Trump’s visit to Poland was his unofficial encouragement to the right-wing government?

Can we all agree, it’s hard to believe the secret life of the former head of the USC medical school, was unknown to the school’s administration?

Can we all agree, no one seems to know what will happen next week when the Senate votes on an unknown healthcare plan?

Can we all agree, the President fails to understand that no one – ‘not even congressional pages’ – are afraid of his threats?

Can we all agree, the real question for the GOP is will they let the healthcare markets collapse and risk taking heat from voters who would lose their insurance coverage?

Can we all agree, the Senate’s attempt to repeal the ACA got harder yesterday when their parliamentarian ruled against several key provisions on the bill?

Can we all agree, the record low ratings for Mr. Trump, may have something to do with his inability to get congress to bend to his will?

Can we all agree, Jared Kushner might as well resign now since he has lost all credibility with both his boss and the American people?

Can we all agree, it’s probably not conducive to good government when two federal agencies sue each other?

Can we all agree, it’s not surprising that former Trump campaign chief owed money to Russian banks, since many Americans believe Mr. Trump’s taxes will show that he owed even more?

Can we all agree, the high level voter-fraud panel, investigating non-existant voter fraud, is grasping at straws as it seeks more personal data on Americans, so the panel can make it harder to vote?

Can we all agree, even those who disagreed with Senator John McCain, were saddened by news that he has a brain tumor? At times he seemed to be one of the few sane voices in the Senate.

Can we all agree, in hindsight, it was pretty clear that the Supreme Court, with an average age of 68, would come down on the side of grandparents being excluded from the administration’s Muslim travel ban?

Can we all agree, it really doesn’t matter how many meetings Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump have had recently, their bromance has been going on for years?

Can we all agree, the Putin-Trump relationship has tainted virtually any decision that might have an impact on Russia?

Can we all agree, the big news of the week was the firing of the long-time voice of Kermit the frog?

Can we all agree, the public barely noticed when the administration turned its back on two more campaign promises this week, certifying Iranian compliance with the nuclear agreement and bringing terrorists to the US to face charges?

Can we all agree, each week seems to bring new and novel ways for the administration’s cabinet secretaries to deny climate change and global warming?

Can we all agree, the reaction to O.J. Simpson’s parole, suggests the country just doesn’t care about a crime committed over 20 years ago?

Can we all agree, the White House ‘Made in America’ campaign this week  underscored the fact that the President and his daughter have their signature products made out of the country?

Can we all agree, it’s tough to feel any sympathy for Ann Coulter in her battle with Delta Airlines?

and:

The only good news this week was a story about Israeli soldiers providing assistance to Syrian refugees. There must be other better news, but it was tough to find.

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 7/15/17 edition

July 15, 2017

Can we all agree, there are many Americans (about 65%) who agree with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s assessment of the current political climate?

Can we all agree, expanding the powers  of the Department of Homeland Security to speed up deportations, will not make our country safer?

Can we all agree, it appears Republican governors may have the final say on the fate of the GOP healthcare bill?Photos from 2017 roses

Can we all agree, a Federal judge in Hawaii made the right choice when he expanded the President’s  immigration order to include grandparents and other family members?

Can we all agree, the inclusion of a suspected Russian spy in the meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. makes a mockery of the  excuses he wants us to believe?

Can we all agree it’s Ok for a father to defend his son, but when neither of them have a moral compass it really doesn’t have much impact? Especially since political operatives on both sides of the aisle say that even taking the meeting with wrong.

Can we all agree, the only reason Mr. Trump went to France was to see a military parade?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s off-the-record then on-the-record comments aboard Air Force One on his way to Europe, prove once again how ill-informed he is on a wide range of issues?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump doesn’t even realize when he’s being sexist – like when he commented on the figure of France’s Frst Lady Brigitte Macron?

Can we all agree, this administration has no concept of basic privacy norms – the actions of the bogus election commission just proves the point?

Can we all agree, it looks doubtful the Republicans can pass their healthcare bill – but many pundits  said that about the same measure when it was being considered by the House?

Can we all agree, 37-year old Venus Williams is just remarkable despite her loss today?

Can we all agree, if statistical analysis is correct, there were three planes full of passengers who were 11 seconds from disaster at San Francisco Airport this week?

Can we all agree, Chistopher Wray said all the right things at his Senate confirmation hearing, but he didn’t really face the same issues as his predecessor – FBI chief James Comey?

Can we all agree, very few Republicans fear Mr. Trump’s wrath if they do not pass a healthcare bill?

Can we all agree, President Obama would have faced merciless crticism if pastors were seen “laying on of hands” while in the Oval Office, but for Mr. Trump it just generates shrugs?

Can we all agree, we’ve entered a new medical era if the FDA approves gene therapy?

Can we all agree, when Joe Scarborough announced he was leaving the GOP, it sounded a lot like President Lyndon Johnson’s alleged comments when Walter Cronkite voiced disapproval of the Vietnam War?

Can we all agree, the International Olympic Committee really didn’t have too much choice in awarding the next two Olympics to Paris and Los Angeles,  since no one else wanted them?

Can we all agree, Idaho’s new law, which strengthens enforcement of non-compete clauses,  will make it harder for them to attract new tech workers to the state?

Can we all agree, stories of Mr. Trump fuming as his administration crumbles are becoming all too common?

Can we all agree, Senate President Mitch McConnell’s decision to delay the annual recess by two weeks, is an admission that the GOP simply cannot govern?

Can we all agree, we’re all getting used to Mr. Trump’s shifting position on a wide range of issues, but his latest admission that his wall with Mexico can be shorter and transparent is  a non-starter?

Can we all agree the Articles of Impeachment filed by a California Congressman, are a pretty good publicity stunt?

Can we all agree, ISIS may have been pushed out of Mosul but it will be decades before the city returns to anything approaching normal?

Can we all agree, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deserve credit for at least temporarily trying to reinstate class action lawsuits, to level the playing field between big banks and the average consumer?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s plan to form a cyber-security task force with the Russians was the dumbest idea any president has proposed since World War II? It just shows how easy our President is to manipulate.

and:

If you want a look at how the rest of the world sees our President, take a look at this Australian reporter’s take on Mr. Trump?

or:

If you want your faith in humanity restored read this story about the rescue of 6 swimmers from a Florida riptide.

and finally:

As you sit home in your pajamas contemplating another pastry, take a look at what some folks go through in the name of sport.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 7/8/17 edition

July 8, 2017

Can we all agree, as long as Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin release their claims of what they discussed through biased mouthpieces we should be skeptical of anything they say?

Can we all agree it’s hard to believe Mr. Trump pressed Mr. Putin very hard on election tampering, one day after claiming he still wasn’t sure the Russians hacked our election system?

A friend recently published her photos of the Milky Way. (Photo by Annie Lu)

A friend recently published her photos of the Milky Way. (Photo by Annie Lu)

Can we all agree, there is no denying Mr. Trump’s policies are leaving the US on the sidelines of global trade and  isolated on most major issues?

Can we all agree, the robust jobs report may have very little to do with Trump’s economic policies, since no one is sure what they are ?

Can we all agree the slowdown in auto sales, and the resulting loss of jobs, may be  tough for the White House to explain?

Can we all agree, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems ready to admit defeat on repealing the Affordable Care Act, although the White House seems to be preparing one last push?

Can we all agree, any cease fire is good news, but we’ve been down this road many times in Syria?

Can we all agree, the GOP seems to having problems dealing with social media? First their attack on Hillary Clinton backfires and then the Indiana GOP asks for Obamacare horror stories and is flooded with positive comments.

Can we all agree, the departure of the head of the federal ethics office is a sad day for all of us, since  it will allow the White House to appoint someone who ignores their nonexistent ethics?

Can we all agree, the two year delay in approving an Illinois budget should be a warning to the GOP – if they ever get around to voting on an increase to the federal debt ceiling?

Can we all agree, the revelations about the ‘successful’ interception of a test missile aimed at California, will not make  West Coast residents sleep any easier

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s latest bizarre tweet has to worry even his most ardent supporters?

Can we all agree, it’s hard to believe, he could top his retweet of a doctored video showing him wrestling with a CNN logo?

Can we all agree, if the GOP has lost a solid red state. such as Kansas, they really should rethink their attempts to repeal Obamacare?

Can we all agree, California Governor Jerry Brown really seems to like his new role as ‘Democratic President of the United States.’

Can we all agree, the move to all electric cars may happen faster than anyone expected as France and Volvo jumped on the Tesla technology bandwagon?

Can we all agree, The Presidential voting commission needs to be dissolved  now that 44 states have turned down their request for voter data?

Can we all agree, US oil producers don’t seem to understand that the more they sell the lower the price will be and the sooner the oil boom will turn into a bust?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s portrayal, in Poland, of the war against ISIS, as a battle against all Muslims, is counter-productive and needlessly raises the stature of that terrorist organization?

Can we all agree, Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins’ use of a Nazi gas chamber as a backdrop for a campaign ad, has left everyone speechless?

Can we all agree, United Airlines just doesn’t seem to understand that customer service and common sense, need to come before profits?

Can we all agree, no one seems to believe the White House story line that Obamacare is a failure?

Can we all agree, it does not appear that the July Fourth break was particularly pleasant for lawmakers supporting repeal of The Affordable Care Act?

Can we all agree, the recent headline noting that ‘self restraint’ is the only thing standing in the way of war with North Korea should make everyone from Barrow, Alaska, to San Diego, California very nervous?

Can we all agree, that, given the number of executives who have now been fired for sexual harassment, the corporate culture at Fox News must have been terrible for any woman who tried to make a career there?

Can we all agree, NJ Governor Chris Christie, photographed sunbathing this week on a beach closed by a budget impasse gives new meaning to the word chutzpah?

Can we all agree, it appears once again, that the only thing standing in the way of a complete climate meltdown in the US, may be the judicial system?

Can we all agree, it looks like the courts may have to be the last line of defense against Betsy Devoss and her Department of Education also?

and finally:

We should all pause to remember Ms Sheila Michaels.

and

A former member of Congress who now needs the ACA to survive.

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Our Population Future

My good friend Joe Aaron is an economic futurist – someone who gets paid to explain trends and what the future will hold.

I asked him about the recent report that the United States fertility rate had hit a new low, since it features prominently in his  conclusion that the country is headed for real trouble if we, as a nation of immigrants, don’t change our policies.immigrants

I asked if the news changed his opinion. This is his response:

The short answer is no. It does not change my thinking on demographics here in the U.S. If you read between the lines, the article describes a part of our population, the Millennials, who are putting off having children and marriage. 

“The number one reason child birth is dropping in the civilized world today is economic. Young people can’t afford children anymore or are unwilling to make the financial sacrifices. It cost half a million to raise a kid and send them to college. That explains why 20% of our population decides to stay childless.

“The more educated you are, the less likely you are to have an unwanted pregnancy. Women can now get birth control with ease.

Finally, a woman with a good education can have a career and financial independence. If she decides she wants to have a baby she can. She no longer needs a man.

Where demographics are changing in the in the U.S. is at the state level. For example, Maine’s population is actually shrinking each year. Vermont is flat. New Hampshire’s population is flat. But they will both join Maine in the dying category this decade.

These three states have a medium age of 42, the highest in the country. The medium age for the U.S. is 37. This means they are an ageing society. This means their citizens are aging out of the work force. If this trend continues, and I have no doubt it will, in 15 years this will impact the state gov’t’s credit rating.

These three states have an unemployment rates below 3%. This is too low. It puts upward pressure on wages. This in turn puts pressure on a business to consider leaving the state.

If you are a technology company, where are you going to find employees with technology skills? Imagine a recession caused by a lack of workers. It is possible there.

The glass is half empty for small towns and rural area. The kids are all leaving for the bigger cities. It is a brain drain. Manufacturing plants will have jobs that go unfilled. Schools will close.

I find little to be happy about when it comes to our nation’s demographics. We better embrace immigration while people still want to come here.”

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 7/2/17 edition

July 2, 2017

A day late, but hopefully, not a pound short.

Can we all agree, we should all be nervous about the administration’s request for voter data from the states and appalled that they don’t seem to understand why state officials are declining the demand?

Can we all agree, as the nation’s fertility rate declines any rational person realizes we need to change our attitude toward immigration?

Can we all agree, the GOP’s latest failure to pass a health care reform bill has left many Americans in the worst possible position – unable to plan for the future?

Can we all agree it's hard to understand why these opponents of Mr. trump's health care plan would agree to this picture? (AP photo)

Can we all agree it’s hard to understand why these opponents of Mr. Trump’s health care plan would agree to this picture? (AP photo)

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump has not been any help to Mitch McConnell?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s about face on health care shows his desperation and makes passage even more remote?

Can we all agree most voters don’t really understand ‘CBO scores,’ and don’t really care since they know what the impact of the Republican bill would be?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s needless fight with two cable TV commentators has revealed the alternative universe inside the White House?

Can we all agree, the National Rifle Association’s latest ad campaign should outrage every American as it incites violence, simply to encourage gun ownership?

Can we all agree, anyone who doesn’t think a grandparent  constitutes a ‘bona fide’ relationship should ask one?

Can we all agree, next week’s G-20 summit should be quite the show for Mr. Trump, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Russia’s Vladimir Putin?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump is oblivious to the fact that most of the world is laughing at him?

Can we all agree, Hong Kong is at pivotal crossroads as it celebrates 20 years since the British relinquished control?

Can we all agree, each week EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is allowed to stay in office we get closer to environmental disaster?

Can we all agree, Paul Manafort never should have been allowed to run any political campaign?

Can we all agree, it’s not the  $2.7 billion fine from the EU that worries Google, but the threat to their business model?

Can we all agree, the NSA, needs to admit they have screwed up and start helping people combat the hacking tools the agency created?

Can we all agree, the newfound friendship between Mr. Trump and Indian Prime Minister Modi will only last as long as Mr. Modi bows to all Mr. Trump’s demands?

Can we all agree, Germany’s rejection of visas for the body-guards/thugs who wanted to accompany Turkey’s dictator on a state visit, suggest the criminal charges brought in the US may have an impact after all?

Can we all agree, the latest report on the rise in sea level caused by increased carbon emissions makes our government’s position on the environment increasingly absurd?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump has created his own echo chamber to support his egomaniacal positions?

Can we all agree, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has become a non-entity on the world stage?

Can we all agree, Serena Williams had a near perfect return for John Mcenroe’s sexist serve?

Can we all agree, gun control supporters were left a bit confused this week as the Supreme Court allowed a California law on ammunition to stand but a lower court issued an injunction preventing the law from going into effect?

Can we all agree, no one is looking forward to stricter airport security rules ?

Can we all agree,  the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should be congratulated for their bid to diversify their membership, even if it’s a few years late?

and finally:

A good news story about the heroic actions of a major league umpire.

and

An airline story that might restore your faith in the industry.

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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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