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Can We All Agree – 12/24/16 edition

December 24, 2016

This marks my 101st CWAA post. Probably should have noticed that last week was number 100 and had some sort of special ceremony, but better late than never. This will be my last of 2016 unless Mr. Trump unleashes another Tweet storm next week  – making policy via Twitter. But I’ll be back at it in January of 2017. I don’t want to be like Jon Stewart who deserted us all when we needed him most.

Thank you to all my faithful readers, I appreciate your comments and suggestions. Happy Holidays.

Can we all agree it was only a matter of time before the gulf between President Obama and Donald Trump became very public? I am rather surprised it surfaced over Israel, though.

Can we all agree the truck attack in Germany which left 12 dead is bad news for Angela Merkel’s immigration policies? Even though, they had very little to do with it.

The slain Russian ambassador to Turkey and his assailant. (NYTimes photo)

The slain Russian ambassador to Turkey and his assailant. (NYTimes photo)

Can we all agree it appears Vladimir Putin, is not done with his campaign to destabilize the West?

Can we all agree it seems rather odd that Mr. Putin has not made more of the murder of his ambassador in Turkey? Could it be he was more intent on declaring victory in Syria?

Can we all agree Donald Trump has managed to convince many voters, we are on the edge of a recession, when the evidence suggests the US economy is very healthy?

Can we all agree the relationship between the press and the new administration will be the most strained in recent memory, now that we have to read Twitter, then listen to his counselors explain what the new President really meant?

Can we all agree announcing a nuclear missile arms war via a Twitter is not what anyone would call presidential?

Can we all agree they US policy in Syria has failed and the people of Al;expo are just the first to suffer for it?

Can we all agree the folks in the midwest and Northeast probably take little solace in knowing the North Pole temperatures are 30 degrees above normal?

Can we all agree that Oprah’s interview with the First Lady was interesting, but it really just seemed like a way for her to give Michelle Obama a way to fight back against all the racist hate that exists in this country.

Can we all agree Mr. Obama seems intent on making it as difficult as possible for the new president elect to carry out some of his campaign promises? Not to mention some of his environmental goals.

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s requests for information have made it pretty clear which policies he wants to end? First it was the environment and now it’s gender equality.

Can we all agree the new administration has no idea how embarrassing the hearings on their cabinet nominees will be, since they have done very little vetting of candidates beyond their interviews with Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree anyone who expected  North Carolina to change their infamous “bathroom bill’  was either dreaming or simply very naive?

Can we all agree we will be hearing more about how access to Mr. Trump was available to anyone who wanted to pay for it?

Can we all agree, it won’t change things, but Mrs. Clinton can take some solace from her 3-million vote ‘victory’? And what happened to all that voter fraud, we could never find?

Can we all agree the January inauguration will not be the star-studded party we are all used to? Unless your idea of top notch entertainment is the Rockettes.

Can we all agree the war of words between Mr. Trump and President Clinton does not put either of them in a very good light?

Can we all agree the increase in sign-ups for health care under the Affordable Care Act will could create quite a backlash if the GOP and Mr. Trump are dumb enough to follow through on their campaign pledges?

Oprah Winfrey (right) interviews the First Lady. (White House photo)

Oprah Winfrey (right) interviews the First Lady. (White House photo)

Can we all agree the United States doesn’t seem to have an exclusive on strange court decisions..just ask IMF chief Christine Lagarde who was apparently found guilty and not guilty at the same time?

Can we all agree the new word of the year  – surreal – was a great choice by the folks at Merriam Webster?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s little chat this week with Mexican millionaire Carlos Slim is just another example of the conflicts of interest inherent in the new administration?

Can we all agree Ben Utecht’s book should be required reading for every player in the NFL?

Can we all agree the reason the GOP has been able to get away with denying science, is studies like this?

and finally:

This week’s great read is from the New York Times – a  profile of basketball coach Steve Kerr. He’s not just your average spoiled jock.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 12/10/16 edition

December 10, 2016

Can we all agree the question is not whether the Russians tried to influence our election, but rather, what  Donald Trump promised them in exchange?

Can we all agree investigating the Russians may the first time the President and GOP have agreed on anything in 8 years?

Can we all agree any country who thinks it’s OK to force athletes to take illegal drugs, just to win Olympic medals is capable of most anything?

Can we all agree that starting January 20th, the White House will  be a satellite office of Goldman Sachs?

John Glenn and his wife, Anna

John Glenn and his wife, Anna

Can we all agree that we want to believe there is a connection between people who voted for Trump and the rates of drug and alcohol addiction, especially since heroin deaths have now surpassed gun deaths in the US?

Can we all agree we’re thankful we’re not in the middle of an impeachment controversy like South Korea? Oh wait, that will start January 21st, 2017.

Can we all agree Sen. John Glenn, who died this week, was a true American hero but his wife’s story is remarkable?

Can we all agree no-one should be allowed talk on their phone while flying…period? It was a bad idea when it was proposed 2 years ago, and it’s a bad idea now.

Can we all agree we have no reason to believe Mr. Trump has sold all his stock?

Can we all agree that each new cabinet pick by  Mr. Tump is like the old radio show “Can You Top This?”  We will have an EPA chief who denies climate change, a Homeland Security chief who believes in fake news,  a pro-wrestling billionaire to run the Small Business Administration, a housing chief  who doesn’t understand why people need public assistance, and a labor secretary who opposes raising the minimum wage and thinks it’s fine to use sex to sell hamburgers? And that’s just this week’s picks.

Can we all agree, it might be good that our average life expectancy has decreased? Who really wants to be around to see the impact of Trump’s 4-years of chaos.

Can we all agree, it’s nice to know that at least the Pope understands the value of real news – even if large segments of the US apparently don’t?

Can we all agree it’s great Mr. Trump will continue to be executive producer of his TV show? Maybe he’ll forget that he’s President.

Can we all agree it’s good to know Mr. Trump will take office with the lowest approval rating in the last 30 years?

Can we all agree that Mr. Trump does not understand how he damages the office, when he picks a twitter fight with an individual or rants about an issuelike a new Air Force One –  without all the facts?

Can we all agree GOP leaders, especially House Speaker Paul Ryan need to grow some backbone, and start speaking out, about Mr. Trump’s actions?

Can we all agree that, like everyone else, Al Gore, swallowed Mr. Trump’s bogus promises hook-line and sinker?

Can we all agree that among the real losers in our preoccupation with Mr. Trump are the people of Aleppo, Syria, who are being forced to flee their homes and no-one seems to care – except John Kerry?

Can we all agree the departing GOP Governor of North Carolina showed us all how not to concede an election?

Can we all agree we are not surprised there is waste in the Pentagon budget, but it’s incredible h0w much it costs to cover it up?

Can we all agree it’s pretty surprising that the Oakland building where 36 people died last weekend had never been inspected by the City?

Can we all agree West Virginia coal minors will be the first to test Mr. Trump’s ability to keep his promises when they face losing their health benefits in April, now that a short-term spending package was approved?

Can we all agree its heartening to know there are some heavy hitters who realize our gun laws need to be changed?

Can we all agree that blue collar workers who supported Mr. Trump and hospital administrators who objected to government regulation, will be the hardest hit when the GOP tries to repeal the Affordable Care Act?

Can we all agree the South Carolina jury’s failure to convict a police office of murder, just proves that it’s impossible for black Americans to get justice in some parts of the country?

Can we all agree, it’s tough to take any solace from the fact that a right-wing candidate was defeated in Austria? The results in Italy have more to do with internal politics than a right wing uprising.

Donald Trump and Alec Baldwin. Which is which?

Donald Trump and Alec Baldwin. Which is which?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump has made Saturday Night Live ‘must see TV’ once again?

Can we all agree it’s hard to believe the Pentagon really wants to have our fighter planes made in India?

Can we all agree that, despite all the explanations, it’s doubtful Mr. Trump knew what he was doing when he called the president of Taiwan?

and finally:

If you’re not depressed enough about the future of the environment, pity the soon-to-be extinct giraffe or take a look at how big banks are helping to destroy the planet.

or

Take a look at this week’s good read to mark the day that still ‘lives in infamy’ for many people.

plus:

Read the story of co-joined twins who were separated by doctors at Stanford Medical Center.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 12/3/16 edition

December 3, 2016

Can we all agree the 178,000 jobs created last month proves, once again, that the economy created by Mr. Obama is the strongest in the world?

Can we all agree, most Americans have been too preoccupied to notice the troubles brewing in France and Italy?

World chess champion, Magnus Carlsen (Getty Images)

World chess champion, Magnus Carlsen (Getty Images)

Can we all agree it’s great to have a rock-star chess champion?

Can we all agree Vladimir Putin is already trying to take advantage of the change in US leadership?

Can we all agree we hope Howard Schultz made a better choice for his replacement this time, than he did when he retired from his post at Starbucks a few years ago?

Can we all agree the Colombian government did the right thing in quickly approving a new peace agreement with FARC rebels?

Can we all agree OPEC will have to cut production a lot more than 4% if they really want to impact oil prices? The fact that they got Russia to agree to cut output is significant.

Can we all agree the re-election of Rep. Nancy Pelosi to her role as House Minority leader is a win for  Democratic Party unity, but also a win for the GOP?

Can we all agree The Princess Cruise Lines and their parent, Carnival, deserve more than a fine for polluting the oceans they travel and then lying about it?

Can we all agree, that despite the cost ($108Billion), tying student loan repayment to income is the right way to help graduates manage their loans?

Can we all agree Mr. Obama’s strategy of trying to finalize as many rules as possible before he leaves office might help slow the reversals everyone knows are coming?

Can we all agree James Deligatti should be saluted for his contribution to McDonald’s bottom line, but nutritionists everywhere hold him at least partially responsible for the world’s obesity epidemic? Second place might go to the inventor of General Tso’s chicken.

Can we all agree the Dakota pipeline protest does not look like it will end well for the protestors?

Can we all agree Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau might have been a bit off base in his rosy assessment of Fidel Castro’s contributions to Cuban education and health care?

OK, now on to Mr. Trump:

Can we all agree Donald Trump gets more credit for saving 700 jobs (at a cost of $7 million) than Mr. Obama does for creating 178,000?

Can we all agree that, based on his phone calls to the leaders in Pakistan and now Taiwan, Donald Trump has no idea what diplomacy is all about?imrs-php

Can we all agree the list of possible conflicts of interest with the Trump presidency, in both real estate and stocks, are almost too long to list?

Can we all agree the silence from the GOP leaders on the obvious conflicts is deafening?

Can we all agree we will have a cabinet of Goldman Sachs, by Goldman Sachs and for Goldman Sachs?

Can we all agree it’s mind boggling that a man who was unfit to be a federal judge will now be attorney general?

Can we all agree it’s still an open question on whether the deal with Carrier actually saved any jobs, although it’s clear the company made $7 million?

Can we all agree, nominating someone who is legally unable to take the post of defense secretary is the definition of hubris?

Can we all agree the clash between the Clinton and Trump campaigns is a microcosm of conversations going on across the nation? Well, maybe a bit more heated…

Can we all agree that a cabinet with 4 billionaires, 3 millionaires and the wife of the Senate majority leader, doesn’t sound like a blue-collar administration that will ‘drain the swamp’?

Can we all agree everyone is trying to figure out which campaign promises Trump will actually keep?

Can we all agree, it’s a bit mystifying that Trump would try to stop the recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin?

Can we all agree a twitter Presidency is one thing, a lying President is another, but a lying-tweeting President is an entirely new animal?

Can we all agree, at least all of us in California, are proud that our state university system has stepped up to oppose Trump and help protect students who may face deportation?

Can we ll agree, given the  backlog in immigration courts, adding an additional 3 million cases could delay any deporations until 2020 anyway?

and finally:

Take a look at the secret life of bees.

and ultimately, a story of hope, from the Boston Globe.

 

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

November 19, 2016

Happy anniversary to my lovely wife.

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

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

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

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

President Obama says his last good-byes.

President Obama says his last good-byes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But enough about Trump.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and finally:

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

 

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