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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™ – 5/6/17 edition

May 6, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and finally:

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

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 4/15/17 edition

April 15, 2017

Can we all agree today’s tax march will be a success even if it only continues the activism spawned by opposition to Mr. Trump? Be ready for stories about violence in Berkeley, driven by outsiders looking to capitalize on the city’s reputation.

Can we all agree we’ve come a long way when China is playing the role of the grownup as the US and North Korea argue over who has a bigger missile?

Can we all agree The President’s policy flip-flops this week just show how uninformed he is on a wide range of economic topics? And no, he should not get credit because he just realized governing “is not easy.”

A back yard hawk looks for finches and voles in a San Francisco neighborhood (Photo by Tom Kuhn)

A back yard hawk looks for finches and voles in a San Francisco neighborhood (Photo by Tom Kuhn)

Can we all agree the changes are more a reflection of who has his ear this week: Steve Bannon, who seems to be on his way out or Gary Cohn a long-time registered Democrat?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump should not be congratulated for becoming more rational while his Attorney General rips up agreements on police reform, ramps up the racist war on drugs, and speeds up deportations?

Can we all agree refusing to release the logs of White House visitors just reinforces the notion that the administration has something to hide?

Can we all agree there is no way Arkansas should be allowed to speed up executions, just because the drugs they use might pass their expiration date?

Can we all agree, it looks like the administration is heading for another defeat in their battle to bar ‘sanctuary cities’ from receiving federal funds?

Can we all agree the next court battle will be over permits for Mr. Trump’s border wall?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump seems like a little kid playing with toys as he orders bombs dropped all over the world?

Can we all agree, speaking of the Commander in chief, that he has given new meaning to the famous Marie Antoinette phrase, “let them eat cake.”

Can we all agree the death toll is probably not the best way to judge the effectiveness of the MOAB –  ‘mother of all bombs’ –  dropped on Afghanistan?

Can we all agree, EPA director Scott Pruitt takes a bit too much pleasure in reversing Obama-era rules designed to prevent industry from polluting the nation’s lakes and rivers? It’s hard to believe the far right feels he’s not moving aggressively enough.

Can we all agree Education Secretary Betsy DeVoss’s moves to undo student loan regulations will last until the next scandal involving schools, such as Trump University, taking advantage of students?

Can we all agree Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deserves kudos for fulfilling a campaign promise to push for the legalization of marijuana for recreational uses?

Can we all agree private school administrators must have had their heads in the sand over the last 7 years as they watched the clergy sex abuse scandal come to light while declining to do anything about the same sort of activity at their own schools?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s plan to blackmail Democrats into supporting his new healthcare plan seems to have fizzled before it got started as GOP House member are already opposing it?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump seems to think signing controversial bills in private, like the one he approved this week to defund Planned Parenthood, means no one will know what he has done?

Can we all agree the Kentucky man dragged off a United Airlines flight this week will have every person who has ever flown, in his corner when he files suit against the airline? If you want to get bumped here’s how to do it.

Can we all agree the United CEO deserves to lose his job for listening to lawyers who obviously crafted his first response to the crises?

Can we all agree, even when the chief executive came to his senses he still had a tough time apologizing?

Can we all agree the Wells Fargo board of directors still seems pretty tone deaf as it attempts to recoup $75 million from executive implicated in the bank’s bogus credit card scheme, but still thinks it bears no responsibility?

Can we all agree Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip has found a not-so-unique way to get himself voted dictator – lie to your citizens?

Can we all agree Brazilian voters have to be wondering if anyone they put in office  is honest, as over 100 legislators and cabinet ministers were named in a criminal investigation?

Can we all agree, it was only a matter of time before Mr. Trump’s travel ban began to hurt the tourism industry?

Can we ll agree the administration’s plan to speed up their immigration enforcement will not help the situation?

Can we all agree South African President Jacob Zuma has trashed the memory of the nation’s biggest hero, Nelson Mandela?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s war mongering has certainly taken the spotlight away from the probe into his campaign’s ties to Russia? But it won’t end the investigation thanks to Paul Manafort’s activity.

Can we all agree it would be nice to have a week when Mr. Trump did not embarrass himself during a TV interview, sadly it wasn’t this past week?

Can we all agree the Republicans will say publicly that they are not worried about the 2018 election, but contests in Kansas and Georgia suggest they have some serious problems? And this doesn’t include the voter ID laws that Federal Courts say are unconstitutional.

Can we all agree Sean Spicer should not be anyone’s press secretary? His daily lies and gaffe’s are getting tiresome?

Can we all agree the only good news from the federal government this week might have been the FCC decision not to allow the use of cell phones on airplanes?

and finally:

With over 1 million people watching, April the giraffe  finally gave birth.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 12/17/16 edition

December 17, 2016

Can we all agree anyone who has to tell you he is smart, probably is not?

Can we all agree, just by holding a press conference President Obama showed up Donald Trump, who has not held an organized press conference since July?

President Obama at his final press conference of 2016 (NYT Photo)

President Obama at his final press conference of 2016 (NYT Photo)

Can we all agree it can’t be a coincidence the Presidential press conference was held on the same day Mr. Trump promised he would detail his plans to clarify his business dealings while in office? Did Mr. Trump think we would forget?

Can we all agree Mr. Obama’s ‘measured but firm’ response to the Russian’s hack of the election process is far better than Mr. Trump’s false tweets attacking the President?

Can we all agree Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s speech on race relations should be required reading?

Can we all agree, it’s about time Hillary Clinton rejoined the debate?

Can we all agree it’s telling that James Comey’s FBI took months to come to the same conclusion the CIA did, about Russia’s involvement in our electoral process?

Can we all agree China’s capture of a Navy drone cannot be a coincidence after Mr. Trump’s ill timed communication with the president of Taiwan?

Can we all agree it’s also possible the Chinese are just trying to divert attention from new reports that they have installed weapons on the artificial islands they created in the South China Sea?

Can we all agree the GOP establishment must really want Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State, since they are pulling out all the stops to convince key senators that his clear conflict of interest will not sway his judgement?

Can we all agree, new rumors that it may take Britain 10 years to negotiate an exit from the European Union make a mockery of the whole process?

Can we all agree the British kerfuffle over Theresa May’s wardrobe would be funny, if it were not based on sexism?

Can we all agree that Ivanka Trump as first lady seems to be a foregone conclusion, although it’s hard to understand why she is sitting in meetings with her father  – unless she will have a voice in policy?

Can we all agree it’s remarkable that Mr. Trump’s security advisor, who has released classified information will be allowed to serve in the government, while Mrs. Clinton who has never released government secrets, will not?

Can we all agree it make no difference what Mr. Trump tells the people who are summoned to Trump Tower to pay homage to him? His overall policy will be made by the  people he is appointing to key positions – like the ambassador to Israel or the oil and gas company interests who will have unequalled influence over the next four years?

Can we all agree the irony of Rick Perry heading the Department of Energy, is just too obvious?

Can we all agree, the thought of the President-elect facing a deposition in a court case, just two weeks before his inauguration is a clear embarrassment to the office and every citizen?

Can we all agree that Mr. Trump seems to realize he went too far in trying to  argue with the CIA over Russian interference in the election?

Can we all agree, it was a surprise to hear the Senate Majority leader break with Trump and agree to hold hearings on the Russian interference in our election?

Can we all agree it’s nice to see the Democrats are planning to use the same strategy to slow drown Mr. Trump, as the GOP has used to prevent Mr. Obama’s policies  – lawsuits?

Can we all agree it is tragic that scientists feel the need to copy all their research and statistics to protect them from the incoming administration?

Can we all agree that we never thought divide and conquer would apply to the United States on so many levels?

Can we all agree California’s Governor has the right idea about resistance to the Trump administration’s climate change agenda?

Can we all agree the Minnesota football team’s threat to boycott a bowl game over sexual assault charges against teammates, makes you think twice about what’s happening on college  campuses?

Can we all agree Mark Zuckerberg should be ashamed of his attitude toward fake news that influenced the election through Facebook? Especially now that he’s making it the responsibility of his users to stop it.

Can we all agree, speaking of fake news and college, it seems clear that if adults cannot figure out what’s fake, young people have no chance?

Can we all agree, it wasn’t that long ago that generic drug makers were supposed to be a force to keep drug prices low? Now they are being accused of price collusion to inflate prices.

Can we all agree the reaction of the North Carolina legislature and sitting governor are  wrong on so many levels, it’s hard to believe they are not taking place in some third world country?

Map of Syria, confirms that the fighting will not end even after Aleppo falls.

Map of Syria, confirms that the fighting will not end even after Aleppo falls.

Can we all agree the Federal Reserve’s action to raise interest rates, just proves what a remarkable job President Obama has done over the last 8 years?

Can we all agree the world has failed the people of Aleppo?

Can we all agree Uber did itself no PR favors by ignoring state law and trying to start using driverless cars before getting the correct permits? Their contention that there will be someone sitting in the driver’s seat, does not hold water.

Can we all agree The EPA is trying to make fracking more difficult for the incoming administration by concluding that the process can damage drinking water?

Can we all agree, speaking of fracking, it seems there are some times when Mr. Tillerson actually opposes it – like when it gets too close to his home?

Can we all agree General Motors went way too far in advertising for neo-nazi’s to appear in their next commercial?

and finally:

This week’s  heartbreaking great read comes to us courtesy of Alex Trebeck and Jeopardy.

and RIP, TNT basketball reporter Craig Sager and former TV dad Alan Thicke.

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 2/27/16 edition

February 27, 2016

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 6:57 am

Can we all agree there were no winners in this past Thursday’s GOP debate –  only losers and the list is pretty long?

Can we all agree ‘debate’ is probably the wrong name for what turned out to be a WWF SmackDown of Mr. Trump?toles022316

Can we all agree that the GOP only has itself to blame for the monster they have created?

Can we all agree that NJ Governor Chris Christie must really dislike Marco Rubio to effectively end his political career by backing Trump?

Can we all agree that by this time next week both races will have been decided?

Can we all agree that having the backing of the White Supremacist movement will probably thrill Trump supporters?

Can we all agree that Mitch McConnell is doing the GOP no favors in refusing to even consider a Supreme Court nominee? He even managed to convince a Republican governor that being nominated to the court is really not that special.

Can we all agree that regardless of what happens in the battle between Apple and the Federal government over unlocking iPhones, at least the courts will establish some ground rules?

Can we all agree if Microsoft had a more popular smartphone Bill Gates would be on the same side as Apple CEO Tim Cook?

Can we all agree that no one really knows what’s going on in the Chinese economy? Not even the Chinese.

Can we all agree that the Chinese must be really upset with North Korea to go along with new sanctions backed by the US?

Can we all agree that the California legislature should approve a proposed bill ending Daylight Savings Time?

Can we all agree that if we had $400 million to give away, like Phil Knight, we might find something else to do with it, rather than giving it to one of the nation’s richest private universities?

Can we all agree that shutting down the prison at Guantanamo Bay is the right thing to do?

Can we all agree there will be no truce in Syria until Mr. Putin decides it’s in his best interest?

Can we all agree we have all become immune to climate change, when news that the sea is rising at the fastest rate in 2800 years doesn’t even raise an eyebrow?

Can we all agree there is something seriously wrong when, in one week, six people are shot in Michigan, three in Kansas, and five in Washington while the state of Iowa votes to remove the age limit on gun possession?

Can we all agree, while we are on the topic of guns, what Tennessee really needed was an official state gun that could be used to shoot down an airliner?

Can we all agree, now that charges against former Texas governor Rick Perry have been dropped, he should probably re-enter the presidential race?

Can we all agree it doesn’t really matter who heads FIFA if member countries do not really want to get rid of the corruption?

and finally:

Can we all agree watching 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin dance with President and Mrs. Obama brought a smile to our faces?

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 2/21/16 edition

February 21, 2016

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 8:37 am
Justice Scalia's funeral, Saturday (Washington Post Photo)

Justice Scalia’s funeral, Saturday (Washington Post Photo)

Can we all agree that Hillary supporters are pleased, but not as pleased as they would be if she won in Nevada by say, 30%.

Can we all agree that everyone except the GOP establishment, considers Trump the front runner?

Can we all agree that Jeb Bush was a terrible candidate and really cannot blame anyone but himself?

Can we all agree the only one who thinks Ben Carson has any business staying in the race, is Dr. Ben? Is Kasich next to go?

Can we all agree that, as the media write off Ted Cruz because he lost the Evangelical vote, you have to wonder if it was the candidate or the dirty tricks campaign, that turned off voters?

Can we all agree the GOP response to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia would have embarrassed him?

Can we all agree he would have favored a strict adherence to the words of the constitution as it is written?

Can we all agree that the conspiracy theories now making the rounds on the internet are just mind boggling?

Can we all agree that however things turn out, the battle for the Supreme Court will be the epic struggle of the decade?

Can we all agree that even Mitch McConnell might admit that he made a tactical mistake in opposing a nominee for the court, even before most people knew Justice Scalia had died?

Can we all agree that had it not been for the passing of Justice Scalia, the President’s trip to Cuba next month would have been the biggest story of the week?

Can we all agree the real truth about what’s really going on in the battle against ISIS lies somewhere between here and there?

Can we all agree that we lost two literary giants this week in Harper Lee and Umberto Eco?

Can we all agree that the ‘tech bro’ in San Francisco who complained about having to deal with the city’s chronic homeless problem, is just a graphic encapsulation of  the battle our politicians face every day?

Can we all agree, now that the Aliso gas field leak has been sealed the only thing remaining, is to figure out how many lawsuits the gas company will face?

Can we all agree that no-one could have predicted that  the GOP presidential primary could turn on a debate between a candidate and the Pope?

Mayor's response to Jeb Bush

Mayor’s response to Jeb Bush – America

Can we all agree, speaking of politics, Jeb Bush may have had the worst week in Washington?

Can we all agree that New York Mayor Debiasio’s response to Mr. Bush’s tweet of his engraved gun, was just perfect?

Can we all agree that the fight between Apple CEO Tim Cook and the FBI has now become a PR battle, although it looks destined to wind up in the Supreme Court?

Can we all agree that China’s placement of missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea seems an odd provocation, given the timing? Maybe they hoped no-one would notice.

Can we all agree that while we may be happy that OPEC members have agreed on output targets, it was more to calm markets than to actually effect output?

Can we all agree that the EU didn’t have much choice but to give in to David Cameron’s demands in hope of keeping them attached, however tenuously to the continent?

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Can We All Agree – 10/31/15 Edition

October 31, 2015

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , , , — admin @ 6:58 am

Can we all agree that the photo below, released by the North Korean government, of their leader Kim Jong Un watching a musical performance is disturbing on a number of levels?

Reuters photo

Reuters photo

Can we all agree that John Beohner’s ability to ‘clean the barn’ for a new Speaker, just shows how dysfunctional the GOP ultra-conservative members have been?

Can we all agree that Paul Ryan’s honeymoon will last until the House begins consideration of the next big budget bill?

Can we all agree  that  White House attempts to minimize the number of special forces troops being sent to Syria will not work? It’s still boots on the ground.

Can we all agree that as long as China’s economy continues to slow, most families will continue to have only as many children as they feel they can support – one?

Can we all agree that even with the economy slowing the US will remain a primary growth engine for the rest of the world?

Can we all agree that the GOP debate proved the Republican’s do not have a realistic plan to govern the country?

Can we all agree that the facts were few and far between throughout the debate?

Can we all agree that Jeb Bush simply does not project the kind of leadership many Americans want? His decline has nothing to do with his politics.

Can we all agree that Marco Rubio should resign his senate seat unless he wants to cast a vote at least once in a while?

Can we all agree that the GOP’s displeasure with the media is based on the fact that they don’t really want to answer tough questions? It will be very interesting to see what kind of questions they get  when the Wall Street Journal hosts the next debate.

Can we all agree that there were several other alternatives the now-fired police officer might have tried before assaulting a student in a South Carolina classroom?

Can we all agree that the student knew exactly what she was doing, when she apparently told her classmates to film the encounter?

Can we all agree that the United States should continue to send ships within 12 miles of the disputed ‘islands’ in the South China Sea?

Can we all agree that replacing Donald Trump with Ben Carson on the GOP presidential ticket would make little difference in the final outcome of the election?

Can we all agree that every time a new study comes out telling us what we should or should not eat, we just get more confused?

Can we all agree that the move to impeach the IRS commissioner just makes the GOP look more desperate to score political points? Apparently they didn’t watch last week’s Benghazi hearing.

 

 

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Can We All Agree – 10/24/15 Edition

October 24, 2015

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 6:32 am

Can we all agree that Hillary Clinton may have had the best 10-day stretch of any political candidate, ever?

Can we all agree that she followed up her debate victory with a great showing before Trey Gowdy’s  Benghazi committee?

Hillary Clinton before the Benghazi committee.

Hillary Clinton before the Benghazi committee.

Can we all agree that the GOP may have just won Mrs. Clinton the Democratic nomination and possibly the Presidency in 2016?

Can we all agree that VP Joe Biden’s decision not to run was based on reality and influenced by Mrs. Clinton’s 10-day comeback tour?

Can we all agree that no one is surprised that Jim Webb or Lincoln Chafee have ended their presidential bids?

Can we all agree that Jeb Bush may not be able to hold on if he does not win the New Hampshire primary?

Can we all agree that it was nice to get a reprieve from the GOP battles against Donald Trump, but that he’ll be back on the front page before long?

Can we all agree that we all long for an 11-week campaign season, like they have in Canada?

Can we all agree that Speaker-to -be Paul Ryan’s honeymoon with GOP conservatives will be short lived?

Can we all agree that there is some substance to the campaign to prevent Trump from appearing on Saturday Night Live?

Can we all agree that Ben Carson’s latest surge in the polls is beyond bizarre?

Can we all agree that every time a politician brings up Hitler, he or she, automatically negates anything they were trying to say?

Can we all agree that allowing Mr. Putin to take over the Syrian debate, may not be such a bad idea?

Can we all agree that when you lose the Mormons, like Kim Davis has, you may have lost the rest of the country as well?

Can all agree that you must have a pretty big ego to withdraw  $20 million donation because a school was not allowed to change its name to honor your wife?

Can we all agree that for all the support the Pope has received worldwide it is distressing, but probably not surprising,  to see the level of opposition he is facing in Rome?

Can we all agree that China’s decision to honor one of Africa’s most hated dictators reveals their desperation to gain influence in a region of the world where they are widely disliked?

Can we all agree that The President picked a good week to veto a defense spending bill?

Can we all agree that, just maybe, the strongest hurricane ever recorded might focus more attention on climate change?

Can we all agree that given the level of vitriol heaped on them, it’s not surprising that Ahmed Mohamed (the clock kid) and his family have decided to leave the country?

Can we all agree that we all hoping competition will put a serious dent Martin Shkreli’s drug profits? That seems to be the only language he understands.

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Can We All Agree – 5/23/15 Edition

May 23, 2015

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 7:39 am

Can we all agree that while the acceptance of gay marriage was a dramatic turn in the United States, it is revolutionary for Ireland?

Can we all agree that despite Elizabeth Warren’s best efforts the President will probably get  both his fast track trade authority and his Pacific Rim Treaty?

Can we all agree that this week’s deal with  Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta farmers to give up a quarter of their water this season, is a drop in the bucket, but it’s an important PR move for the farm community?

Disputed islands in the Pacific

Disputed islands in the Pacific

Can we all agree that the US-China mini-war of words over Pacific islands, that China is artificially enlarging, sounds a lot like the cold war rhetoric of the 60’s?

Can we all agree that a year from now visiting the US embassy in Havana will be normal for US travelers?

Can we all agree that it looks like Hillary Clinton is trying to get all the scandals and bad news out before the real Preidential campaign starts?

Can we all agree that the renewal of the Patriot Act and the NSA data collection authority has become a political circus thanks to Rand Paul?

Can we all agree that when a conservative state like Nebraska bans the death penalty there may be hope for our civilization?

Can we all agree that when 5 major international banks can buy their way out of a multi-billion dollar market rigging scandal and no-one goes to jail there is something wrong with the US justice system?

Can we all agree that no matter how quickly they clean up the 105,000 gallons of oil that spilled from a ruptured pipe in Santa Barbara, many people are wondering how we’ll deal with a similar spill in the Arctic?

Can we all agree that despite GOP calls for stronger action against ISIS, there will be no increase in American boots on the ground in the Mideast?

Can we all agree that moving the point after touchdown play to the 15 yard line will add a bit more excitement to NFL games and lead to a lot more one point victories?

Can we all agree that 34 million is a lot of airbags to recall?

Can we all agree that every time another GOP candidate enters the race for President it just seems like more clowns being packed into one car?

Can we all agree that, whether you liked him or not, David Letterman was a uniquely American institution?

Can we all agree that Taylor Swift is a true phenomenon?

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

Can we all agree that when Robert Kraft dropped his appeal of the NFL penalties for Deflategate, it sounded an awful lot like there may be a deal in place (wink, wink) to get Tom Brady’s suspension reduced?

Can we all agree that whether they were arguing over jacket patches, territory, or parking places, motorcycle gang wars are terrifying because it doesn’t sound like they are over?

Can we all agree that while the Los Angeles City council took the easy way out in delaying the implementation of a $15 minimum wage, at least they took the first step and set a standard for other US cities?

Can we all agree that the Boy Scouts should end their outright ban on gay scoutmasters and allow local troops to decide who their leaders should be?

 

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Who Pays the Price?

March 21, 2015

By now Americans are aware that the products we use can come with unseen consequences. That appears to be the case for the latest smartphone you bought.

Producer Heather White introduces her film "Who Pays the Price?"

Producer Heather White introduces her film “Who Pays the Price?”

A soon to be released documentary movie, “Who Pays the Price?” tells the story of Chinese workers whose lives have been ruined by the jobs they took at factories which flaunt international standards.

Produced by Heather White, Lynn Zhang and Dal Lamagna, the film documents the plight of workers who were forced to use benzene and n-hexane to clean and mark components to smartphones and a myriad of electronic devices we use every day.

The chemicals, are well-known carcinogens and countries all over the world have agreed they should not be used without protection. But in China where they have not signed the international treaty on worker safety, the chemicals continue to be used with impunity.

The film details the life-threatening illnesses that are attributed to the chemicals and the system that has left them with no alternative to a lifetime awaiting an early death. It is a fate that many have chosen to hasten rather than be a burden on their elderly parents.

It is an indictment of both the labor practices in China, and the blind eye that consumers turn as long as they can get the toys they want.

Hospitalized workers in China, injured by unprotected chemical usage.

Hospitalized workers in China, injured by unprotected chemical usage.

“Who Pays the Price” is scheduled to be released this fall and will be the topic of a number of magazine articles later this year, so you will hear more about it I’m sure.

Heather White, a former San Francisco resident, was in the Bay Area last week, hosting a screening of a shortened version, trying to raise funds to complete the project and a planned book.

Ms White, has long been a leader in fighting for the improvement of working conditions. She founded Verite, a well-known verification company which exposed and then worked to improve the plight of workers in textile firms making products for high-end brands around the world. She has now turned her attention to the electronics industry where labor laws and unverified supply chains have made enforcement of even rudimentary standards, almost impssible.

Her goal is not to tell people to discard their smartphones or tablets, but to make them aware of the working conditions that will continue unless some public pressure is brought to bear.

Companies such as Apple and Samsung are certainly aware of what’s going on, but a complex series of factors has made them hesitant to face up to the problems. It’s easier just to deny responsibility and hope to discredit any reports that interfere with their profits.

I urge you to take a look at the trailer on the website and make a contribution or contact Ms White for more information on how we can use our technology without killing the workers that manufacture it.

 

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