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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 9/2/17 edition

September 2, 2017

Can we all agree, that whether we are discussing Hurricane Harvey or the current Bay Area heat wave, climate change is making things worse?

Can we all agree, the devastation in Houston has brought out the best in most Americans?

Can we all agree, our favorite stories are the small intimate portraits of people just trying to survive?

Rescue in Houston (Associated Press Photo)

Rescue in Houston (Associated Press Photo)

Can we all agree, there were some responses, like that of the Lakewood Church,  that were less than we might have expected?

Can we all agree, city regulations may have contributed to the problem, but in a state like Texas, nothing will change after the waters recede?

Can we all agree, that fact that illegal immigrants in Houston fear asking for help, is a sad commentary on the state of our nation?

Can we all agree, when Congress reconvenes on Tuesday it won’t take long for politics to take over the debate on aid for Southeast Texas?

Can we all agree, Senator Ted Cruz, and his inflammatory rhetoric will relish taking center stage?

Can we all agree, our reduced standing in the world is reflected in the dearth of assistance offers from other nations?

Can we all agree, our president has managed, once again, to make his job, in a crises all about him?

Can we all agree, you have to wonder how much longer Wells Fargo can stay in business after new revelations about improper accounts being opened?

Can we all agree, the split in the Democratic party was on full display this week when California Senator Diane Feinstein urged ‘patience’ in dealing with Mr. Trump – and was soundly booed?

Can we all agree, the administration’s decision to close the Russian consulate in San Francisco has internal US politics written all over it?

Can we all agree, the NFL must realize that public opinion is slowly turning against their decision to ignore the harm their sport is causing?

Can we all agree, as the economy continues to grow, despite the August dip in hiring, it’s pretty clear that the government has nothing to do with it?

Can we all agree, even as the administration cuts funding for advertising, the Affordable Care Act is here to stay?

Can we all agree, it’s become clear that Senator John McCain will spend whatever time he has left in the Senate, as the conscience of the GOP?

Can we all agree, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his boss seem to be the only two people in the country, who think think we are in the middle of a national epidemic of crime?

Can we all agree, despite everything the nation has been going through, the one constant, may be the continuing revelations about how Mr. Trump and his aides sought to curry favor with the Russians and end the FBI inquiry?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump can build all the prototypes he wants, but his wall on the Mexican border is not going to be built?

Can we all agree, no one seems to know what Mr. Trump means when he says there will be no more talk with North Korea?

Can we all agree, if Mr. Trump fires his new Chief of Staff, it will be the end of his Presidency?

Can we all agree, the arrest of a Utah nurse, who was doing her job in protecting the legal rights of a patient, underscore the public’s view that police abuse their authority, whenever they think no one is looking?

Can we all agree, Steve Mnuchin and his wife, won’t be visiting Fort Knox again, any time soon?

Can we all agree, it’s pretty clear Harriet Tubman will not be replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill?

Can we all agree, courts in Brazil did the world a favor this week when they blocked continuing development in the Amazon?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump is trying to spin his tax cut plan as a break for the middle class, when everyone knows it’s just a tax cut for the wealthy and big business?

Can we all agree, Federal courts in Texas saved that state from itself by prohibiting enforcement of their anti-sanctuary-city law?

Can we all agree, the latest FDA approval of a gene editing therapy , starts us down a whole new medical highway?

Can we all agree, our track record in using science to our own advantage is not the greatest – just ask farmers around the country?

Can we all agree, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis seems to be the only grownup in the room who knows how to defuse a controversial policy tweet like banning transgender troops?

Can we all agree, it only takes a few idiots, from the right or left, intent on violence to make a mockery of free speech?

 

and finally:

The amazing story of one seven year old girl who survived being kidnapped, choked and thrown from a bridge.

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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 – 12/3/16 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 – 9/17/16 edition

September 17, 2016

Can we all agree Donald Trump’s admission that President Obama was indeed born in the United States, typifies everything that’s wrong with the GOP nominee’s campaign? I wonder what President Obama might be thinking.

Can we all agree that he should apologize to the President and to the American people?

Can we all agree the members of the press have not really acquitted themselves well this campaign season, but they don’t deserve the treatment Mr. Trump has heaped on them?

Can we all agree The President seems to enjoy campaigning against Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree that, unfortunately, Mr. Trump’s children seem to have inherited the same  genetic predisposition for exaggeration, lies and avoidance, that their father has?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump even makes waves when he attends events he’s been invited to? Luckily some members of the press are  starting to point out his lies.

Can we all agree that you have real problems if you’re the GOP candidate  and can’t secure the endorsement of one of the nation’s most conservative newspapers?

Can we all agree even his policy statements don’t make sense? Even Trump doesn’t seem to understand his family leave plan. Maybe that’s why he keeps making outrageous suggestions.

Can we all agree it’s hard to believe the race is so close? Could it be, because gender matters, or maybe, can we all agree, it’s not that bad?

Can we all agree there should be a special place in hell for police officers and  politicians who are urging violence if their candidate does not win the race for the White House?

Can we all agree there has been an awful lot written about the health of two candidates who say they are fine?

Can we all agree it’s about time some governmental agency investigated  some of Trump’s activity?

Can we all agree that Congress seems to be finding new ways to make themselves look foolish by passing bills the President says he will veto?

Can we all agree, there may be pockets of the country where displaced workers cannot find jobs, but, by and large, the numbers say the economy is vastly better than the GOP would have us believe?

Can we all agree it’s nice to have a new  Congressional Librarian who is actually a trained librarian?

Can we all agree, speaking of librarians, it’s hard to believe that the University of New Hampshire is using a quarter of a $4million bequest from their former librarian for a sports scoreboard?

Can we all agree the new front in the cyber-battle with Russia sounds a lot like the old Cold War?

Can we all agree Vladimir Putin seems committed to using computers to wreak havoc in any area where he feels the country has been wronged – including the Olympics?

Can we all agree it’s nice to hear Mr. Obama say he wants to increase the number of Syrian refugees allowed to enter the US, but he won’t be in any position to carry out his order?

Can we all agree it’s surprising that there has been so little commentary about the new 10-year deal to supply military aid to Israel?

Can we all agree it’s possible US troops were sent to Northern Syria to referee the battle between Turkey and the Kurdish rebels?

Can we all agree it’s foolish for western democracies to complain about falling birth rates while refusing to admit new refugees?

Can we all agree it’s about time a president protected some of the Atlantic Ocean?

Can we all agree the NCAA and ACC should get some kudos for removing events from North Carolina because of the state’s ‘bathroom laws,’ but it doesn’t sound like state lawmakers care?

Can we all agree that it appears the cease-fire in Syria may have quieted the guns, but did little to provide any food to the residents?

Can we all agree it’s tough to feel sympathy for Mark Zuckerberg who lost a zoning decision with thePalo Alto city council?

Can we all agree the folks at Samsung have badly mismanaged their phone recall?

Can we all agree Wells Fargo management can claim they did not condone what their employees did, but they set up the structures that encouraged the bad behavior? Anyone who has ever done business with the bank knows it.

Can we all agree that while political correctness on college campuses is getting out of hand, the fraternity at the University of Richmond deserves some serious criticism for their party invitation? I’ll admit, I’m not sure what to say about the University of California’s decision to cancel a Palestinian studies class.

Can we all agree the Marine Corps drill instructor who ordered a recruit into a clothes dryer deserves some kind of punishment?

Can we all agree that $100 million for another study of concussions is nice, but probably won’t do much to encourage parents to let their children play football?

Can we all agree the Bayer acquisition of Monsanto may signal the beginning of the end for GMO crops?

Can we all agree, we should all get a vote in which toy goes into the Toy Hall of Fame?

Captain Kirk's new battleship

Captain Kirk’s new battleship

Can we all agree that there is some kind of symmetry in having the Navy’s new futurist battleship launched on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek commanded by Captain Kirk?

and finally:

Let us all salute the Maryland bus driver who rescued 20 children from a burning school bus.

and

Maybe Mr. Trump is right and there should be no moderators at the first Presidential debate, just someone with a starter’s pistol to signal the beginning and end of the event.

and

Don’t forget to cheek where your favorite college is ranked.

and

RIP Edward Albee and W.P. Kinsella. I don’t want to guess which man is more well known.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 8/6/16 edition

August 6, 2016

Can we all agree the opening ceremony at the Rio Olympics was pretty mesmerizing at times and quite the fashion show? The US has already won a gold medal.

Can we all agree NBC has made it easy to watch the Olympics almost any time of the day or night?

Part of the opening ceremonies in Rio (LA Times photo)

Part of the opening ceremonies in Rio (LA Times photo)

Can we all agree that it’s tough to complain about the economy when 255,000 jobs were added last month and the stock market hit a new high?

Can we all agree, we’re a bit conflicted about about possible stem cell research on animals with human genes?

Can we all agree that Miami tourism will take a hit now that the CDC has warned about traveling to the area because of the Zika virus?

Can we all agree we’ll keep flossing despite reports that it is not as effective as our dentists say it is?

Can we all agree it’s hard to figure out what changed between Monday and Friday that pushed Donald Trump to change his mind about endorsing Paul Ryan and John McCain and other GOP candidates?

Can we all agree  he was sending a message by making the announcement late on Friday when no one will notice?

Can we all agree it is indeed a strange day when Mr. Trump admits he was wrong?

Can we all agree that despite what President Obama and John Kerry say, perception is reality, when it comes to the $400 million sent to Iran as hostages were released?

Can we all agree that Khizr Khan’s may have delivered the least watched speech of the Democratic convention, but it is now the most well known? Mr. Trump’s Viet Nam deferments don’t help his cause.

Can we all agree that if you are running a campaign trying to appeal to the ‘average American’ it might be better if you didn’t have 11 billionaires on your economic team?

Can we all agree it’s good to have a scorecard to keep track of which Republicans are still backing Mr. Trump and which have had enough?

Can we all agree most Republicans will pay little attention to Mr. Obama’s suggestion that they abandon Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree that if you can believe the polls Hillary Clinton is already picking her transition team? She also won the endorsement of the former head of the CIA.

Can we all agree that Mr. Obama had the perfect comeback to Mr. Trump’s claim that the elections are rigged when he noted, “But they elected me?”

Can we all agree that Mr. Trump’s fundraising in July was pretty impressive, but the real test will be his August and September totals?

Can we all agree the GOP is in big trouble when a stronghold such as Orange County in California begins titling toward the Democrats?

Can we all agree that politics, combined with social media, encourages people to do some strange things?

Can we all agree the African National Congress probably deserved to lose the South African election this week?

Can we all agree the state sponsored drug violence in The Philippines is a stark contrast to President Obama’s commutations of 214 sentences?

Can we all agree that ISIS may be facing defeat on the battlefield but their terror network continues to make America very nervous?

Can we all agree the North Koreans must be feeling neglected again: they’ve decided to target Japan with a missile?

Can we all agree Pope Francis is, once again, making headlines for the right reasons by agreeing to study whether women can become deacons in the Catholic church?

Can we all agree, we’ve all heard enough evidence to know that the fraud trial against Trump University should go ahead?

Can we all agree the biggest non-story of the week might be Melania Trump’s immigration to the US?

Can we all agree the best story of the week may be the human chain formed by rescuers in Maryland after flooding trapped motorists?

Can we all agree it has taken the administration too long to take action in Lybia?

Can we all agree there is no chance any of us will jump out of an airplane without a parachute?

Can we all agree that it will be great to have Jon Stewart to watch, sort of, during the election season?

And finally:

Can we all agree it sometimes takes a real outsider to explain us to ourselves?

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