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Our Population Future

July 8, 2017

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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A Remembrance – Mark Merenda

March 14, 2017

“He was going to live forever, or die in the attempt.” – Joseph Heller, Catch-22

In many ways “Catch-22” was the cornerstone of my relationship with Mark Merenda. When we met in 1972 he embarked on a literary exercise to make me memorize sections of the novel’s dialogue, so we could recite them back and forth to each other. He was much better at it than I was, but eventually I became Orr to his Yossarian.

He was much more literate than I, and had the kind of memory  I could never hope to achieve. He was also brilliant, well read, opinionated, stubborn and a cad of the highest order – all of which made him my idol.

Mark Merenda circa 1972

Mark Merenda circa 1972

We met at our first jobs, at a small newspaper in Massachusetts where he was the sports editor and I covered one mid-size town. We became instant friends since we were among the only staffers who were not members of the  clan that ran the business. Like Heller’s Yossarian, it was us against them, and we were determined to keep our sanity by taking advantage of everything we could.

I lacked his self confidence, and  was never sure what he saw in me, but I accepted my role because he was everything I wanted to be. It worked out well for both of us, I got an education and he got a wing man. I could never really describe our relationship until many years later when the movie “Sideways” came out. We were a buddy movie before I knew what buddy movies were.

We had no business covering Boston’s professional sports teams, but as long as the Red Sox , Patriots, Bruins or Celtics would give us press passes and we did our jobs at the paper, we played the part of big-time sports media types. Mark was the writer, and I was the photographer, and we were both pretty good at our roles. He got to meet his idols and I got to get trampled by Dave Cowens, John Hannah, and almost beaned by Willie Randolf.  That’s the chance you take when you sit under the Celtics basket, along the sidelines of the New England Patriots, or in foul territory at Fenway Park.

Even Mark knew that his stories had more readers if there was great art alongside.

He was warm, dry and safe while I was often soaked and had a bad back from carrying camera equipment all over whatever field we had chosen to cover.

But I would not have traded the experience for anything, because it was really the post-event education that was the best part. After the game, we’d head over to  Cambridge where Mark and I set up shop in the bar, at either the Hyatt Regency or later the Charles Hotel. Both were target-rich environments for a young stud and his wing man. I was not very good at meeting women, but Mark was a pro and more often than not an hour or so after we arrived, he would glance in my direction and throw me the car keys so I could drive myself home in his MG.

I never asked how he got back home but I just marveled at  the show. The fact that he lived with a very nice young woman who had to put up with his behavior just made him seem more dangerous. I’m sure she knew, but was willing to put up with his behavior for the same reason I did. Every discussion with Mark was an education and just being in his presence made you feel better.

Mark could pretty much talk me into anything.. He would take me shopping in Boston, to Louis, the most expensive store in the city, and convince me that I ‘needed’ a $700 cashmere overcoat. It was a great coat, and I loved it, but I was almost afraid to wear it.

His brother, Guy, was trying to start a leather business so I ‘needed’ to buy a new briefcase. It’s still here in my office next to my desk.

No matter, it was just part of my role. The flip side was, what I have since learned, is what drew Mark to me: I could tell him what an ass-hole he was being. He knew, that I knew, that sometimes he was simply full of crap, and I would be brutally honest without messing up our friendship.

We grew to respect each other, covering news, and sports together learning skills that they don’t teach in journalism school.

We even started a magazine. It was mostly about sports and we were sure it was going to be our ticket to stardom, or at least untold riches. At least until our bosses at the newspaper decided it was a little too much like competition. Forty years later I still have a few copies and I know Mark did too, even though we only produced two editions.

The beginning of the end was like a scene from “Good Will Hunting,” when Robin Williams’s character misses what was, until 2004, the most famous event in Boston baseball history, because he “had to see about a girl.”

When my future wife,  had the audacity to claim Zelda Fitzgerald really deserved major credit for F. Scott’s work he refused to even debate the topic accusing her of “getting her facts from People Magazine.” To this day, she relishes the fact that history and research have proven her correct.

We got married three years later, after I had moved to Maine to manage a newsroom. I always thought Mark never forgave her for taking up the time he wanted. He never came to the wedding and I never expected that he would. I have no idea what he thought when he found out we divorced 5 years later.

I lost touch with him and his career and it wasn’t until 30 years later when I decided to become personal coach that we reconnected. Somehow I found out he was now in marketing, so I called to ask for help. He refused to accept any payment for developing my web pages and freely offered marketing advice.

We had both matured, and the youthful arrogance was tempered by life, and now he had hundreds of friends, clients and employee who depended on his wisdom  I never made it to Florida, as I had promised,  and we missed connecting on his trip to San Francisco where I now live.

We chatted off and on, and he even allowed me to do some freelance writing, when I restarted my writing career. I would send him sporadic texts when I visited my parents near Boston. Always making sure I stopped by our old haunts, so I could bore my new wife with stories from the good old days and text Mark a photo or two.

He would text back quotes from ‘Catch-22.’

 

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CWAA: Malheur and the Anti-Federal Insurrection

January 6, 2016

Filed under: observations,Politics,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — admin @ 9:03 am
Harry Fuller, a friend of a friend,  who lives near the occupied Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon sent the following note yesterday.  I thought it was unique view of the whole mess. He’s an avid birder and very familiar with the site.
I can’t say I agree with all his comments, but we can all agree that the men occupying the Preserve do not represent the interests of most Americans.
Here’s Harry’s essay:

No change in the occupation of Malheur by self-styled militia, anti-federal activists.  So far no violence and apparently no property damage.  For birders this is a serious issue as it continues.  The watch tower where the armed men are on guard is a tower long used by nesting Great Horned Owls.  The owls should be nesting in the next few weeks.

Wildlife in the Malheur Wildlife Refuge

Wildlife in the Malheur Wildlife Refuge

The occupiers have vowed to begin working the land, whatever that means.  It certainly does not mean letting White Pelicans, Harrier, Black Tern, Short-eared Owls, White-faced Ibis and other locally nesting birds use the land without being disturbed…or even shot.

The long-term goal for this anti-federal movement is to take land away from the U.S. government and give it back to the states with the intention of eventually giving it to private individuals for profit.  Some private land owners do care and take care of wildlife.  Many do not.  Cattle ranchers, alfalfa and mint growers and energy companies are notorious for environmental carnage. Mint, cows and hay crops are major sources of ranch revenue in Harney County where this farce is playing out.  Great Gray Owls, of which I know something, cannot find enough mammals to eat in meadows trampled by sheep or cattle.  Many other species are also threatened by modern farm and ranch practices.   Monocultures of alfalfa, Douglas-fir or any other harvestable crop rarely provide rich habitat for birds and other animals.

President Theodore Roosevelt created the wildlife refuge system over a century ago because he wanted to be sure there would be animals to hunt.  There is no constitutional provision for refuges so Congress and a right-wing President could decide to give away or sell all the federal land holdings.  Or, more simply, they could simply cut the budgets of federal enforcement agencies so the U.S. becomes like so many African and Asian nations: big parks showing up on maps but with with inadequate patrols and lots of poaching of species doomed to extinction.  Not to mention to theft of trees, etc.

If the feds were to sell off their lands or cede them to the states, in some blue states there might be some effort to maintain open space and protect wildlife but in states like Nevada, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Texas the federal lands would almost immediately be turned into private preserves for making money any way possible.  To hell with the wolves, pronghorn and Sage Grouse.

Quickest way to destroy the refuge system: money.  Malheur NWR is over 170-thousand acres.  It cannot be maintained and patrolled by a couple men or a few volunteers.  It requires a real financial commitment.  At least equal to the cost of a couple of drones per year.  There are many in the Republican Party who would far rather have the drones than any wildlife refuge and all those pesky regulations that reduce somebody’s theoretical income from unrestricted exploitation of the land.

What began as the Sagebrush Rebellion has now become a centerpiece of rural western Republican dogma: get the feds out of our lives so we can ride ATVs, shoot deer and cut trees wherever we want.  Liberty uber alles.  A party that sees climate change as a myth and wolves as targets is not going to preserve refuges or even national park except as photos ops.  Now they would like to own one of the first condos on the edge of Grand Canyon?  Cheap at $2 million, free parking included.  Membership in golf club extra.Map-HLP-BAR

Most historians who pay attention to resource use consider the American national park system to be one of the great innovations of the 19th Century.  This anti-fed movement could theoretically make that all go away by ceding Yosemite and Grand Canyon back to local control.

One legal analyst today finally, directly drew the  link between this action at Malheur and the constant rhetoric from the NRA and pro-gun folks about the need to have armed militia to thwart supposed government tyranny. Well, these folks in this militia who hear from God what they are to do are there thwarting federal tyranny at Malheur in the name of all that is right and holy.  Give a gun to a nut and you have an armed nut.  This is libertarianism run amuck.  There is no sense from these people that there is a common interest in preserving the planet, the environment or other creatures.  They seem to worship private property as godliness.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 12/5/15 Edition

December 5, 2015

Can we all agree that it’s already clear that the shootings in San Bernardino will not move  Congress to take any action to control guns?

Can we all agree that it makes little difference to the victims that the FBI will investigate the shootings as terrorism?

Can we all agree that even modest changes, like those being proposed in California will have a tough time standing up to the NRA?

New York Daily News front page this week

New York Daily News front page this week

Can we all agree that no matter how many extra border checks we impose, as long as automatic weapons  and thousands of rounds of ammunition can be purchased legally, we will continue to have one resident murdered every 15 minutes in the US?

Can we all agree that, as Nicholas Kristof said in the New York Times, when it comes to gun control we’re not even trying?

Can we all agree that the sight of a Presidential candidate giving a speech from a gun range the day after a mass shooting is repugnant? What must be going through the minds of the victim’s families?

Can we all agree that it’s a bit startling to see the media being allowed to rummage through the  alleged murderer’s apartment just two days after the shooting?  Was it good journalism?

Can we all agree with the President that enough is enough?

Can we all agree that the addition of 211,000 new jobs is good news, despite what the GOP would have us believe?

Can we all agree that Lamar Smith’s antics as head of the House science committee would be amusing, if he wasn’t dealing with such a serious topic?

Can we all agree that the GOP would rather just embarrass the President than enact meaningful legislation that could help save the planet?

Can we all agree that despite all the speeches, it’s tough to figure out what’s really going on at the climate conference in Paris?

Can we all agree that some of the GOP speeches at the Republican Jewish Coalition were embarrassing? It might be Ben Carson’s swan song.

Can we all agree that allowing women into all combat roles was the logical conclusion to allowing them to serve in the military?

Can we all agree that the Secret Service is now officially a disaster?

Can we all agree that FIFA, soccer’s governing body, may be incapable of any meaningful reform?

Can we al agree that the NFL referees  have been just awful this year? There is no consistency, and phantom calls or clear rule misinterpretations are determining the outcome in too many games.

Rules for covering terrorism

Rules for covering terrorism

Can we all agree that it was surprising to see Congress actually pass a spending bill that will become law? They approved a $300 billion highway spending measure.

Can we all agree that with  a little over 8 weeks until the Iowa caucuses and the GOP race still being described as a free-for all, the party is officially in panic mode?

Can we all agree that Dr. and Mr. Zuckerburg’s decision to give away 99% of their Facebook stock  will probably anger their offspring years from now when they argue about the leftover $500 million?

Can we all agree that the prospect of “Yes, We Have no bananas,” on future breakfast tables is disquieting?

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Can We All Agree – 11/21/15 edition

November 21, 2015

Can we all agree that an ISIS- Al Qaeda rivalry is not good news for anyone?

Can we all agree that we’re thrilled to know that despite the Paris attacks Boko Haram maintained their first place standing in the terrorist rankings by murdering the most people over the last year?

Can we all agree that the Mali attack shows just how vulnerable the world is to terrorism? As if we didn’t already know.

A Mali hostage is helped to safety. (Star-Tribune photo)

A Mali hostage is helped to safety. (Star-Tribune photo)

Can we all agree that the GOP has taken scare tactics to  new level as they debate restrictions on Syrian immigrants?

Can we all agree that the GOP candidates are even worse?

Can we all agree that Donald Trump has created a whole new category for himself?

Can we all agree that those supporting the effective end to any immigration seem to have forgotten how the Jews were not allowed to emigrate before WWII or how the Japanese were interned illegally in 1942?

Can we all agree that by their reasoning, since several of the Paris terrorists were French or Belgium citizens, we should no longer allow anyone from France or Belgium into the country either?

Can we all agree that there is a bit of inconsistency in  claiming to worry about the safety of Americans but refusing to stand up to the NRA and pass meaningful gun legislation?

Can we all agree that the folks in Sandy Hook, CT or Aurora, CO must be thrilled to know they will be safer because no Syrian refugees will be allowed to come to the United States.

Can we all agree that President Obama erred badly by just rejecting the the GOP bill without engaging in any meaningful negotiations to craft a bill he might have been able to support, or ignore?

Can we all agree that the GOP has managed to turn the immigration debate to their advantage?

Can we all agree that when the Paris attacks fade from voters’ memory by Christmas, they will be right back where they started?

Can we all agree that the CIA and FBI and trying to use the same scare tactics to force US companies to alter their encryption policies?

Can we all agree that the campus ‘free speech’ movement has now officially become counter productive as students try to use sit-ins and demonstrations to object to policies they simply do not agree with?

Can we all agree that it is remarkable that for the first time the number of Mexicans leaving the US has surpassed the number trying to get in? Guess we won’t need that wall after all.

Can we all agree that when California lawmakers  feel they must visit Hawaii for a conference to study the state’s problems they are just adding to their own poor image?

Can we all agree that, given this week’s news, no-one noticed that we have one less GOP Presidential candidate?

Can we all agree that when the newest Star Wars movie, which has not even been released, has already grossed $50 million in ticket sales, its safe to safe it’s going to be a hit – even if it’s a bad movie.

George Lucas and the poster for the newest Star Wars movie

George Lucas and the poster for the newest Star Wars movie sells $50million in advanced tickets, it just might be a hit?

Can we all agree that we’re starting to tire of all the El Nino stories? In the last month, it’s already rained more in California that it has for the last two years.

Can we all agree that CNN is being a bit self serving in suspending a news anchor for a tweet?

Can we all agree that convicted spy Jonathan Pollard should just be allowed to move to Israel?

Can we all agree that the debate over genetically modified food will heat up again now that the FDA has allowed genetically altered salmon to be sold?

Can we all agree that the Egyptian government seems to be the only body which refuses to admit that a bomb brought down the Russian airliner?

Can we all agree that the least newsworthy story of the week was the news that Charlie Sheen is HIV positive?

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Can We All Agree – 11/15/15 edition

November 15, 2015

Can we all agree that maybe the Paris terrorists’ attacks will  create a unified world response, rather than an American response? The Russians certainly realize they can be targeted too.

Can we all agree that Hillary certainly did not ‘win’ last night’s Democratic debate, but it may not make any difference?

Candles honor the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks (NYT photo)

Candles honor the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks (NYT photo)

Can we all agree that every time we think the GOP Presidential campaign has reached a new low, the candidates take it down another notch?

Can we all agree that Donald Trump’s latest diatribes are really hurting his effort?

Can we all agree that the Koch Brother’s decision not to back any GOP primary candidates speaks volumes about the quality of the candidates?

Can we all agree that political junkies are salivating at the prospect of the first brokered convention since 1976?

Can we all agree that the most recent GOP debate at least contained some substance although the fact checkers were working overtime?

Can we all agree that, while there is room for debate about the cause of the economic calamity left over from the last President Bush, every time Job brings up the topic he just reminds people of the Great Recession Obama has had to fix?

Can we all agree that Marco Rubio is finding out why sitting on the fence can be so painful?

Can we all agree that with the debates we’ve already had, both Democrat and Republican, most voters have enough information to choose a candidate?

Can we all agree that while the opposition has officially won the election in Myanmar, Aung San Suu khi , is sounding a bit like a dictator?

Can we all agree that the Utah judge who first took an infant from a foster home headed by gay parents, he should not be congratulated for correcting his own ill-considered mistake?

Can we all agree that war journalism has entered  new phase when it means reports on downed airliners, drone assassinations, and attacks on outdoor cafes?

Can we all agree that it appears California will once again be entering the ranks of states which execute convicted murders?

Can we all agree that it’s good news that smoking in the United States has reached a new low?

Can we all agree that the Rose Bowl Parade will be much different this year now that it has the ‘Ken Burns effect?’

How the Sierra's should look this year

How the Sierra’s should look this year

Can we all agree that football programs all over the country are worried, now that players from the University of Missouri have forced the resignation of the school’s top administrators?

Can we all agree that the Starbucks Christmas cup controversy is beyond absurd?

Can we all agree that the President’s Supreme Court appeal of his immigration orders is a no-lose proposition for him? Either he wins, and immigrants have one more reason to vote for Democrats, or he loses and the public is reminded how the GOP has refused to deal with the issue.

Can we all agree that the Supreme Court’s decision to take up a Texas abortion case sets the stage for Roe v. Wade part II?

Can we all agree that Russian attempts to deny their Olympic athletes were using performance enhancing drugs, as part of a state sponsored program, are falling on deaf ears? Although the Olympic committee has already provided them with a roadmap to avoid disqualification from the 2016 Olympics.

Can we all agree that it’s good news when the California ski season opens early for the first time in years?

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Can We All Agree – 11/14/15 edition

November 14, 2015

Filed under: Politics,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — admin @ 6:30 am

 

San Francisco City Hall, lit in the colors of the French flag.

San Francisco City Hall, lit in the colors of the French flag.

 

Can we all agree that the carnage in Paris will bring the war on terror to a whole new level?

Somehow it seems obscene to include commentary on last night’s events in Paris with Donald Trump’s latest irrational diatribe, so I will delay my regular column of “Can We All Agree” until tomorrow.

We are all Parisians

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Can We All Agree – 11/7/15 edition

November 7, 2015

Filed under: Can we all agree,Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 7:41 am

Can we all agree that no one is surprised the President turned down the Keystone pipeline project?

Can we all agree that, given the history of airline investigations in Egypt and Russia, we may never know what happened to the Russian airliner? But smart money seems to be on a terrorist bomb.

Kansas City Royals celebrate after winning World Series

Kansas City Royals celebrate after winning World Series

Can we all agree that the Kansas City Royals were the best team in baseball this year and deserved to win the World Series?

Can we all agree that the new books about the Vatican’s bookkeeping do not paint a very flattering picture?

Can we all agree that 271,000 additional jobs is good news for everyone – except he stock market which knows a Fed interest rate increase is almost guaranteed, and the GOP who knows elections are all about the economy?

Can we all agree that while conservatives may have won significant victories in this week’s elections, it will not help them in the general election for President in 2016?

Can we all agree that the story of the Illinois police officer who apparently committed suicide gets stranger every day?

Can we all agree that the arrest of two Louisiana officers on murder charges leaves everyone wondering what really happened?

Can we all agree that Volkswagen may never recover from the expanding investigations into their practices?

Can we all agree that it’s good the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is  available to read, but very few legislators will read it before staking out a position?

Can we all agree that George H.W. Bush’s comments on his son’s presidency seem to reinforce what we all suspected?

Can we all agree that there is something unseemly about the Pentagon  paying sports teams for patriotism?

Can we ll agree that Fox’s decision to trim the number of GOP candidates in their main debate next week might torpedo a few candidates?

Can we all agree that Jeb Bush’s new  slogan is not the answer to his campaign’s  problems?

Can we all agree that Ben Carson’s stories, which seem to be filled with significant exaggerations are starting to cause real problems?

Can we all agree that decisions by Mexican courts, which may lead to the legalization of marijuana in that country, will put more pressure on US border states?

Can we all agree that the meeting between the presidents of China and Taiwan, may just be a political stunt, since the people of Taiwan seemed poised to oust their leader because of his close ties to China?

Can we all agree that Paul Ryan is off to a bad start as Speaker when he says he will not work with the President on immigration reform?

Can we all agree that the victory by Turkey’s president last weekend, may help the US bombing campaign against ISIS, but will certainly lead to more repression in Turkey?

Can we all agree that the ACC officials suspended after blowing the final play of the Duke Miami game deserved a much more severe penalty?

Can we all agree that it will be good to have some version of Star Trek back on TV, or at least on streaming video?

Can we all agree that surveys showing teens devote more time to digital media (9 hours) than they do to sleep, has some ominous implications for society?

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Can We All Agree – 9/5/15 Edition

September 5, 2015

Can we all agree that Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who decided that jail was better than doing her job, is misguided and receiving terrible advice?

Can we all agree that the GOP candidates who have come to her defense have proven, once again, that they are ill equipped to lead the country?

Kim Davis - NYT photo

Kim Davis – NYT photo

Can we all agree that the continuing rash of baseball fans injured and dying at baseball games must lead to more protective barriers and higher railings?

Can we all agree that new figures showing smoking in the US is at its lowest level ever, probably means tobacco companies are just more focused on countries where it’s easier to hawk their products?

Can we all agree that Pope Francis’ decision to welcome women who repent after having abortions, back into the Catholic church is a remarkable and welcome departure from past papal announcements?

Can we all agree that Roger Goodell totally mishandled the Tom Brady, Deflategate episode? (As a life-long Patriots fan, I feel it would be cruel to say any more.) But it may lead to major changes.

Can we all agree that the refugee crises in Europe was born out of the same ill-conceived agreement that created the EU?

Can we all agree that, as some commentators are saying, Europe has now found their own ‘Donald Trump’ in Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban?

Can we all agree that the stock market has officially entered the realm of irrational depression when 173,000 jobs are added and they worry about something (a rate increase) that they know has been coming for months? (I repeat, the stock market is not the economy.)

Can we all agree that renaming Mt. Mckinley to Denali – something even GOP senators in Alaska wanted –  makes sense to everyone except the Ohio Congressional delegation? I’m sure taking 1o feet off the elevation was a bit of a disappointment to Denali supporters.

Mt. Denali-Washington Post photo

Mt. Denali-Washington Post photo

Can we all agree that the President’s trip to Alaska to boost his environmental street cred,  seems a bit ill timed, coming just months after he approved oil drilling in the Arctic Circle?

Can we all agree that any 62-year-old who can survive 9 days lost in the Sierra’s – with a broken leg – deserves some kind of award from the AARP?

Can we all agree that Sony Pictures’ decision to alter the script of a movie about concussions to avoid angering the NFL is just one more black eye for a company already having a very bad decade?

Can we all agree that Hillary Clinton may be the luckiest Democratic candidate in 50 years as her favorability ratings drop while the GOP continues to self-destruct?

Can we all agree that while Mr. Trump will be the main event the September 16th GOP debate, Carley Fiorina will be a great undercard?

Can we all agree that the GOP establishment and Jeb Bush have finally woken up to the fact that they need to do something to stop The Donald? If not, he could set the party back about 150 years.

Can we all agree that we have no idea what’s going through the minds of Chinese leaders who stage a military parade as a TV event, while announcing a cut of 300,000 troops, and send a ships to the Aleutian islands while an America president is touring Alaska?

Can we all agree that while the eventual fate of the Iran nuclear deal has been decided, there will be plenty of political maneuvering for the next few weeks while Congress debates the treaty?

Can we all agree that the Trump loyalty pledge to the GOP party is not worth the paper it’s printed on?

And finally, can we all agree that California’s decision to limit the use of solitary confinement should have happened long before some inmates spent 30 years inside 8×10 foot rooms?

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Can We All Agree – 7/4/15 Edition

July 4, 2015

Can we all agree that John Adams had a pretty good idea when he suggested fireworks for our July Fourth Celebration?Unknown

Can we all agree that The President is having a great time now that his legacy has been assured?

Can we all agree that this week’s leap second was really enjoyable?

Can we all agree that, despite all the caveats by the economists, adding 223,000 new jobs is a big deal?

Can we all agree, that from a PR standpoint, Whole Foods admission that it overcharged NYC consumers for some items, was a great move?

Can we all agree that it would be nice to think that some of the  $18.7 billion BP will pay to settle charges connected with the 2010 oil spill, will actually make it to real people, but we’re doubtful?

Can we all agree that with Chris Christie joining the GOP race for President, the clown car, just got a LOT more crowded?

Can we ll agree that Jim Webb’s entrance on the Democratic side is beyond baffling?

Can we all agree that it may be a while before anyone knows whether the Supreme Court decision on how the EPA determines pollution rules makes any difference at all?

Can we all agree the Supreme Court ruling on redistricting would have been a disaster, if it had gone the other way?

Can we all agree that the President’s decision to expand overtime pay to working managers was long overdue?

Can we all agree that reports that USA products are competitive again may be the biggest economic news of the week?

Can we all agree that visiting the US embassy in Havana will be a pleasure, at last?

Can we all agree that the disaster that is Greece now has more to do with European politics than economics?

Can we all agree that the USA has more than enough motivation for tomorrow’s match against Japan?

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