The Blog You've Been Missing

CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 5/27/17 edition

May 27, 2017

Can we all agree after 8 years of trying to recover from the poor image created by the Bush administration, it only took one visit to Europe  from Donald Trump to destroy the nation’s reputation?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s visit to NATO,  not only showed his poor understanding of how the alliance works but his childish attitude in elbowing a fellow leader out of the way to get to the front row of a photo op?

Can we all agree the Europeans seem to have changed Mr. Trump’s views on climate change, but it’s doubtful his EPA chief will change course?

Can we all agree trying to make sense of the administration’s policy on immigration gets tougher by the week?

Jack, the graduate (right) and his big brother, Cole, at the post-graduation dinner.

Jack, the graduate (right) and his big brother, Cole, at the post-graduation dinner.

Can we all agree if the Senate and FBI probe of Russian influence is indeed focused on Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump is in deep trouble?

Can we all agree there was no need to discus secret back-channel communications two months before the inauguration?

Can we all agree, by requesting campaign documents it appears some Senate Repblicans may have finally  realized they need to push back against Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree, things were pretty quiet when Donald Trump was off twitter and his staff could manage his message?

Can we all agree the victory of Montana’s new GOP representative seems to prove Trump’s claim that he could murder someone in the middle of Midtown  and no one would care? Here’s a guy who assaulted a reporter and voters still elected him and the House doesn’t even care.

Can we all agree whatever the Senate comes up with on healthcare reform will have a tough time passing that chamber but an even rougher time in the House?

Can we all agree, it’s probably not a surprise that Hillary Clinton is going after Mr. Trump, but when she’s joined by John Boehner you know the President has a real problem?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s plan to quickly find a new head of the FBI is stymied by his own actions?

Can we all agree any notion that the swamp is being drained should be put to rest when the White House releases the lobbyist waivers it has granted in order to fill government positions?

Can we all agree the swamp is now a water hazard for the Professional Golfers Association?

Can we all agree it would be tough to prove any Russian influence on any president other than Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree Michael Flynn’s decision to fight a congressional subpoena stands in stark contrast to former campaign chief Paul Manafort– although both men will probably face criminal charges?

Can we all agree, the Supreme Court is facing some weighty decisions that will test it’s political independence?

Can we all agree touting an approval rating that is among the lowest of any new President is not smart politics?

Can we all agree the Senate’s newly approved sanctions on Iran may be counter-productive?

Can we all agree the contrast between Mr. Trump’s visit to Europe and that of former President Obama could not be more dramatic?

Can we all agree the budget office report on the GOP health plan was just about what everyone expected? Now the Senate can officially reject it.

Can we all agree, it takes a lot for the press corps to feel sorry for Sean Spicer, but Mr. Trump managed to do it this week when he excluded the devote Catholic from his meeting with The Pope?

Can we all agree The Pope was a master of ‘not-so-subtle’ messaging in his choice of gifts for Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree Sean Hannity is learning the real implications of fake news?

Can we all agree the British response to leaks from the investigation of the Manchester bombing was much milder than what Mr. Trump might have said if the situation was reversed?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s cabinet secretaries, Betsy DeVos, Scott Pruitt and Ben Carson,  continue to display an uncommon lack of understanding  about what most Americans want?

Can we all agree all sides of the debate seem to agree Mr. Trump’s budget is dead on arrival, but he has managed to frame the debate so we will wind up with the lesser of two evils?

Can we all agree the downgrade of China’s credit rating will do little to affect their position as a center of world commerce?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s contined embrace of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is, in some ways, more troubling than his admiration for Vladimir Putin?

Can we all agree the US may finally pay attention to what’s happening in Turkey, now that an NBA player has been accused of being a terrorist?

Can we all agree no one seems to care that the Carrier jobs Mr. Trump claimed to have saved are now moving to Mexico?

Can we all agree Melania seems to feel that same way about her husband as most Democrats?

And finally:

Two of the more depressing stories of the week for Democrats: one GOP Congressman found support still strong in his district and what Trumpcare might look like based on the problems in Iowa.

And, once again, the deterioration of the nation’s moral fabric was on full display with 2 murders in Oregon and an ugly scene aboard an airplane.

and:

Anyone hoping to make the long romantic drive up Route 1 along the California coast is apparently going to have a long wait.

Post to Twitter

CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 5/20/17 edition

May 20, 2017

Can we all agree if there’s one person who should be able to recognize,  a nut job it’s Donald Trump? Unfortunately, James Comey is not one.

Can we all agree revelations that the probe into Russian influence in our election, has now reached the White House, is only a surprise to one person?

The President and Melania Trump arrive in Saudi Arabia. (NYT photo)

The President and Melania Trump arrive in Saudi Arabia. (NYT photo)

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s Thursday characterization of the investigation as a ‘witch hunt’ ring a bit hollow this weekend? Especially since it appears he knew Michael Flynn was under investigation before he was appointed to a top White House post.

Can we all agree Robert Mueller’s appointment to lead the Russian influence investigation seems to have bi-partisan support, but is worrying to observers who are more concerned with fact finding than criminal prosecution?

Can we all agree, many Baby Boomers will have a sense of deja vu when Mr. Comey testifies before Congress, as we remember the start of the Watergate hearings, which began this past week in 1973?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s arrival in Saudi Arabia has the nation on edge, as we wait to see how he will embarrass us on the world stage?

Can we all agree, only Mr. Trump can ban Muslims from entering the US and then flip-flop by claiming to be their strongest supporters when he visits their countries?

Can we all agree the victory by ‘moderates’ in the Iranian election proves there may be some semblance of Democracy in that ancient civilization?

Can we all agree Trump has managed, once again, to prove President Obama  right, when he signed the nuclear deal with Iran?

Can we all agree instability in Brazil, destabilizes all of South America?

Can we all agree the removal of Confederate statues in New Orleans may mark the end of an era for some, but it’s really only another step along the long road to racial equality?

Can we all agree as soon as the GOP figures out the Trump Presidency cannot be saved they will push to have him removed as soon as possible  to avert the disaster that will be the 2018 elections?

Can we all agree the fact that security guards working for a foreign country can attack US citizens exercising their rights to free speech, without a word of condemnation for our own government is unbelievable?

Can we all agree Mr. Comey and Hillary Clinton appear to have at least one thing in common – a desire to avoid a Trump hug?

Can we all agree, news that foreign diplomats are providing special favors to Ivanka Trump in an attempt to reach her father, are exactly why she should not be an advisor?

Can we all agree. internet providers are reacting cautiously to the FCC’s decision to relax net neutrality regulations because they know the rules can be overturned by the next administration?

Can we all agree Emmanuel Macron is disappointing those on the left with his conservative cabinet appointments in France?

Can we all agree the choreographed praise for the late Roger Ailes cannot overcome the more popular characterization of him as a sexual predator responsible for perverting US journalism and giving us Donald Trump?

Can we all agree one response to changes Education Secretary Betsy Devoss seeks, might be to make every public school a charter school?

Can we all agree, news that at least one high-level GOP congressman thinks Trump and one other politician may be on the Putin payroll, should be a major story, but these days its barely a ripple?’

Can we all agree it’s easy to see why Mr. Trump finds such comfort in meeting with foreign dictators since he longs for the kind of power they wield – such as arresting journalists?

Can we all agree, It would be nice to think the EPA will pay attention to the outpouring of public support for enviromentail regulations, but it’s doubtful Scott Pruitt will even care?

Can we all agree the most entertaining story of the week was either Mr. Putin’s offer to supply his own account of the Russian Foreign Minister’s meeting with Mr. Trump or the details of how the session was arranged?

Can we all agree when they write the eventual history of the Trump administration, the last two weeks will be a major focus?

Can we all agree, you know health care is an issue when it reaches the Miss USA Pageant?

Can we all agree the world is eager to believe this week’s cyber- attack on the world’s computers, came from North Korea?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s incompetence is making it possible for North Korea to continue nuclear and missile testing?

And finally:

Can we all agree New York Times writer David Brooks had a great week of columns, including this quote:

“We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.”

 

Post to Twitter

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.

Post to Twitter

CWAA: Can We All Agree ™ – 3/18/17 edition

March 18, 2017

Can we all agree Donald Trump’s budget plan may not pass, but he has succeeded in reframing the debate for the GOP, so that only minor improvements can win over opponents?

Can we all agree the new budget director has already given Democrats plenty of ammunition for the mid-term elections?

Can we all agree the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates is good news, since it means the economy is growing?

Can we all agree Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has given North Korea exactly what they wanted; the threat of an imminent attack by the US?

Can we all agree the Democrats are leaving no stone unturned to create opposition to Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch?

Can we all agree, regardless of who leaked 2 pages Mr. Trump’s 2005 tax return, it was a blatant attempt to draw public attention for the plethora of controversies the White House is facing?

Can we all agree, if Hillary Clinton is really ‘coming out of the woods,’ she will be the only Democrat who can steal the spotlight away from Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s meeting with German President Angela Merkel will not be the last awkward meeting he has with another world leader?

New Monopoly game pieces include T-Rex, a duck and a penguin

New Monopoly game pieces include T-Rex, a duck and a penguin

Can we all agree California farmers have proven unequivocally that Americans will not replace foreign workers to harvest crops?

Can we all agree Baby Boomers took another kick in the stomach this week as Hasbro replaced the boot, the wheelbarrow and the thimble as playing pieces in Monopoly?

Can we all agree Rep. Paul Ryan can make all the changes he wants to Trumpcare, but it still has little chance of passing the Senate, even by a simple majority if 24 million people will lose their insurance?

Can we all agree it won’t take Mr. Trump long to cite today’s attack in Paris as justification for more security measures?

Can we all agree, news that Syria had targeted Israel jets coming back from a bombing run was troubling on a  number of levels?

Can we all agree every time we increase the number of troops being sent to Syria, we just create more targets for ISIS?

Can we all agree, given the way things seem too be run in the White House, it’s easy to believe the Milpitas, CA man who jumped the fence, really was a friend of the President, as he claimed?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s Muslim travel ban will probably be decided by the Supreme Court – which is why he is so intent in having his nominee confirmed before the end of this term?

Can we all agree  Mr. Obama and now England are due apologies over the false claims that they colluded to tap Mr. Trump’s ‘wires‘?

Can we all agree Scotland deserves to get a new independence vote in light of England’s decision to leave the European Union?

Can we all agree the slow deterioration in EU-Turkish relations will continue as long as Recep Tayyip Erdogan leads Turkey?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s embrace of Andrew Jackson seems both logical and apalling?

Can we all agree, given the new Russian revelations, it’s pretty clear why Michael Flynn was ousted from his national security post? Someone knew what additional revelations were coming.

Can we all agree the world breathed a sigh of relief with the defeat of the Dutch anti-immigration candidate?

Can we all agree the sooner the White House starts cooperating with Congressional probes of Russian involvement in the campaign, the sooner the GOP will end the investigations?

Can we all agree charging two Russians with hacking millions of Yahoo accounts, just added to the pressure to get to the bottom of exactly what the Russian government is doing?

Can we all agree it’s doubtful  federal immigration officials will pay any attention to the request by the California Chief Justice, who asked them to stay away from state courthouses? After all, to paraphrase Willie Sutton, ‘that’s where the criminals are.’

Can we all agree, Olympic ideals took another hit this week when the head of USA Gymnastics was forced to resign ?

Can we all agree the women’s Olympic hockey team members had little choice but to threaten a strike to get the recognition and support they deserve?

Can we all agree it’s clear that Press Secretary Sean Spicer is performing for an audience of one, each time he addresses the press?

Can we all agree, speaking of performing, it’s embarrassing that  Republicxans have such a tough time celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?

Can we all agree it may be a small step, but banning plastic straws might be a good symbolic step to fight ocean pollution? Especially since the administration seems intent on rolling back air pollution rules.

Can we all agree since the administration seems unconcerned about how global warming, caused by air pollution, is affecting humans, it’s doubtful they will care about the death of large portions of the Great Barrier Reef?

Can we all agree anyone who really thought Roundup was safe for the environment, just isn’t following the money in medical research?

Can we all agree Koch Industries has done masterful job in  making sure electric cars never eat into their profits on a national basis?

Can we all agree it’s great to see that the world’s oldest golf course finally agreed to let women join? Who would have thought Augusta National would beat them to the punch by 5 years?

Can we all agree telling your voters to ‘shut up’ may not be the best way to win re-election?

Can we all agree there were a number of head-slapping comments by politicians this week? And the list doesn’t even include Kellyanne Conway’s latest whopper.

Can we all agree, if Navy officials thought they could get away with a multi-billion dollar bribery scheme there are probably many more scandals we don’t know about?

Can we all agree it’s comforting to know white supremacist Richard Spencer will no longer be able to say he runs a tax-exempt non-profit organization?

Can we all agree, when the family of the president’s son-in-law can sign a deal with the Chinese it should raise some red flags?

Can we all agree we should get rid of the bi-annual clock changing ceremony and leave the country of Daylight Savings Time permanently?

and finally:

If you really want to know why people fear nuclear power. check out the state of the cleanup from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown six years ago.

Can’t wait for this week’s Saturday Night Live show?

Post to Twitter

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.

 

Post to Twitter

CWAA: Can We All Agree – 11/26/16 edition

November 26, 2016

I trust you all had a fulfilling Thanksgiving, and the leftovers are gone by now.

Can we all agree, regardless of your party affiliation, Fidel Castro was a pivotal political figure of the 20th Century?

Fidel Castro in 1984 (NYT photo)

Fidel Castro in 1984 (NYT photo)

Can we all agree, the President-elect’s response – gleeful celebration – is colored by his past attempts to open a casino in Cuba, rather than any understanding of the historical significance of the event?

Can we all agree the reaction to the start of the election recount process would have been much different if Hillary Clinton had won ?

Can we all agree it’s probably not realistic to think the results will be altered? But that hasn’t prevented Jill Stein from raising millions to move ahead in three states.

Can we all agree, the recount will do little to dampen the criticism of the Electoral College as Hillary Clinton’s lead in the overall vote continues to mount?

Can we all agree the proliferation of fake news for profit, may be the  life preserver traditional edited news content needed to prevent its demise?

Can we all agree the outlandish sums the government will be paying for security of the Trump family, is just one way the new President will profit from his own election?

Can we all agree Melania’s decision to remain in New York, at least until the end of the school year, so her son , who some believe has shown signs of autism, can finish the school year, may become  permanent?

Can we all agree the meetings this week between broadcast journalists and later the NY Times, illustrate why Mr. Trump was able to win election by controlling the message through TV coverage? We may be seeing the first Youtube presidency.

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s supporters don’t seem to care that he is continuing to turn away from his own campaign rhetoric? In fact, they expected it.

Can we all agree, Donald Trump’s business interests, make the Clinton Foundation issues look insignificant? His interests are so widespread they will color almost every decision he makes.

Can we all agree, nothing was more chilling this week than the continuing celebrations in the racist alt-right community?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s business interests, and his continued focus on them, could be the undoing of his presidency?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s financial interest in the Dakota Access pipeline  is just one example?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s economic appointments, prove once again that he has duped the great majority of the blue-collar supports who put him in office?

Can we all agree the choice of Betsy Devos as education secretary will continue to make it more difficult for traditional public school districts to educate our children?

Can we all agree the new UN ambassador may have a tough job trying to explain Mr. Trump’s actions to the rest of the world?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s decision to forgo security briefings as he focuses on his cabinet choices, illustrates the attitude of most American’s toward the rest of the world?

Can we all agree the United States should be paying more attention to the showdown between the EU and Turkey?

Can we all agree the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote may have actually strengthened the European Union?

Can we all agree, the news that the FBI now has access to everything posted on Twitter, is very disconcerting?

Can we all agree it was reassuring to see a new peace agreement signed in Colombia, even after voters rejected the first deal?

Can we all agree the widespread fires in Israel will be used by all parties to the Mideast unrest, to further their own causes?

Can we all agree, if you were wondering why the battle over court appointments has become so significant, you need look no further than this week’s decisions on new overtime rules or Wisconsin gerrymandering, for an answer?

Can we all agree most American Catholics seem to be OK with Pope Francis’ latest pronouncement on abortion?

Can we all agree, speaking of going unnoticed, no-one seems to  care about the ever-changing Olympic medal count, caused by the latest round of doping results?

Can we all agree it will be interesting to see how Mr. Trump counters the inevitable criticism he gets from Mr. Obama once their roles have changed?

Can we all agree the strangest story of the week may be the Exxon-Mobil decision to sue the offspring of its founding father?

President Obama and his final pardon.

President Obama and his final pardon.

Can we all agree, Mr. Obama is in a race against the clock to make sure many non-violent drug offenders  get their lives back?

Can we all agree he’s facing the same time constraints as he works to honor the many notable Americans who have supported his presidency?

And finally:

You have to wonder if the turkey pardoned by Mr. Obama really wanted to live in a Trumpian world marked by one drama after another?

and

The good news story of the week of the repo man who saved an elderly couple from losing their car.

RIP, everyone’s TV mom, Florence Henderson.

 

Post to Twitter

CWAA: Can We All Agree – 11/12/16 edition

November 12, 2016

Can we all agree even Donald Trump did not really expect this week’s result?

Can we all agree it’s time to board the Kamala Harris 2020 bandwagon? Maybe she can create the Democratic unity party leaders want.

Can we all agree, no-one is surprised it only took Mr. Trump a few hours to mess up his first job as President-elect?

Can we all agree there is no way to predict what Mr. Trump might do once in office, now that he’s already altering many of the policy proposals he offered while on the campaign trail?img_3047

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s supporters are going to be disappointed if they think the manufacturing jobs lost over the last 20 years, will be coming back any time soon?

Can we all agree that the exit polls may explain what happened but they don’t explain the why?

Can we all agree that, among other things, the Trump presidency will mean the end of financial reform and any efforts to curb global warming? It’s probably the reason the stock market has hit record highs and lobbyists have been celebrating on K Street, while coral reefs continue to die.

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s first test on immigration may come with the surge in migrants from Central and South America?

Can we all agree it would appear that the plants are smarter than a good portion of the US voting public? They seem to understand the need to scrub pollutants from the atmosphere.

Can we all agree we’re disappointed to see that  the parties in the Trump University lawsuit are negotiating a settlement?

Can we all agree, putting Mike Pence is charge of the transition is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?

Can we all agree that the split in the voting public means that there are probably parts of the United States that President Trump will never be able to visit without continuing protests?

Can we all agree, many people were offended that President Obama used Veterans Day to urge us to come together to support Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree we would expect nothing less than the calls for an open mind from Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton? But one wonders if that’s the kind of concession speech Mr. Trump would have delivered if the roles had been reversed?

Can we all agree that GOP leaders, who say we should accept Mrs. Clinton’s defeat, like they accepted Mitt Romney’s loss 4 years ago, don’t understand the difference between a qualified candidate and a racist, misogynistic liar or the hate that he has spawned?

Can we all agree, the world is in shock, journalists are embarrassed and no-one knows what will happen during a Trump administration?

Can we all agree the best news story this week was the prediction that Mr. Trump will probably be impeached?

Can we all agree the Trump victory has almost buried one of the other major news stories from the election: Marijuana is well on it’s way to becoming legal in the United Stated? If the NFL wants to start using it a tipping point has been reached.

Can we all agree that ISIS has taken advantage of our preoccupation with the election to begin a campaign which includes massacring civilians as they abandon territory in Iraq?

Can we all agree that Leonard Cohen, who died this week, deserved more coverage than he got?

Can we all agree that immigration raids, which have already reached record levels, will be increasing in the coming years – until business lobbyists make their case and Mr. Trump quietly ends  the deportation program?

Can we all agree, China’s recent crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong, makes you wonder if the city is really governable as a democracy?

Can we all agree there is a certain symmetry to Mr. Trump’s victory and news that the state of New Jersey will take over Atlantic City’s government?

Can we all agree the owners and reporters at Rolling Stone Magazine do not deserve sympathy as they lost the first of several court battles over their poor performance in reporting an alleged rape at the University of Virginia?

Can we all agree we thought the smog in Bejing was bad until we read about the problems in Delhi?

Can we all agree Prince Harry is right to complain about the way the British press has been treating his girlfriend, but we doubt anything will change?

and finally:

Only in San Francisco could one stuck shoe ruin the morning rush hour for thousands of BART commuters.

And my train wreck of the week award goes to football player Colin Kapernick, who created a storm of protest by declining to stand for the National Anthem, to highlight the condition of ‘oppressed people’ and then didn’t even bother to vote.

and:

In honor of Veterans Day I’m reposting my story on my Dad, who would not believe his sacrifice has led to a Donald Trump White House. Dad’s story

Post to Twitter

CWAA: Can We All Agree – 10/29/16 edition

October 29, 2016

Can we all agree the Republican glee 0ver the re-opening on the inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s email server may be short lived?

Can we all agree FBI director James Comey has gone from independent investigator to political hack?

Can we all agree the candidate’s reactions were predictable, but Rush Limbaugh was pretty creative?

FBI Director James Comey (Washington Post Photo)

FBI Director James Comey (Washington Post Photo)

Can we all agree Mrs. Clinton would have preferred stories from Wikileaks on her husband’s foundation over the FBI email probe?

Can we all agree that, until the email announcement, the week was filled with lists from Mr. Trump: potential conspirators, potential defendants, potential doners, and insults.

Can we all agree that we really don’t know if the FBI has found anything?

Can we all agree it’s probably not good for Mrs. Clinton that stories about potential cabinet choices have started to filter into the news?

Can we all agree Mrs. Clinton’s fundraising advantage will mean little if Mr. Trump continues to get free media via the news?

Can we all agree, it’s a bit ironic that the GOP, which is based on the principle of smaller government, is now controlled by a group of people who have been left behind economically, and want the government to bail them out?

Can we all agree it was hard to believe we were watching Fox News when Megan Kelly interviewed Newt Gingrich this week?

Can we all agree the best news of the week is the continued expansion of the nation’s GDP?

Can we all agree we are incredulous at the not-guilty verdict handed down in the Oregon wildlife refuge case?

Can we all agree the verdicts will probably be much different when the cases against Indian protestors in South Dakota  are heard? Justice is apparently not blind any more.

Can we all agree the GOP has already undermined what little credibility they had left by promising continued inquiries if Mrs. Clinton wins the election?

Can we all agree, the idea that The Senate would simply refuse to consider any nominee for the Supreme Court for the next four years is just absurd –  except that it seems perfectly rational to Ted Cruz?

Can we all agree that it is sad we have to rely on the Supreme Court to decide social issues?

Can we all agree,  Justice Clarence Thomas is probably not a big fan of Mr. Trump now that the candidate’s actions have encouraged victims of sexual assault to come forward??

Can we all agree that anything the government can do to cut down on those fake IRS robo-calls is welcomed?

Can we all agree the FDA’s decision to test a lung cancer drug developed in Cuba is surprising, but the war on cancer can’t afford to snub any potential cures just because they were not developed in the US?

Can we all agree no-one is surprised that ISIS fighters are using civilians as human shields as they defend the City of Mosul?

Can we all agree the FCC’s decision to give us more control over personal data is the right move, although we’ll probably give it away when we routinely agree to the next service contract we approve with our internet providers?

Can we all agree it’s too bad it took election politics to get the  Pentagon to suspend their demands that National Guard veterans repay bonuses? But what will happen to those who already struggled to repay the debt they didn’t know they had?

Can we all agree that every time we visit a pharmacy to pick up a prescription we should remember how much lobbying went in to keeping the price high?

Can we all agree removing the Calais camp, known as ‘The Jungle’ will not solve the EU’s migrant crises?

Can we all agree it’s about time someone looked at the effect of a soccer ball on player’s heads?

Can we all agree we should be encouraging people to vote, not thinking up ways to prevent it?

Can we all agree there might be a connection between the spate of early retirements from the NFL and the drop in TV ratings?

Can we all agree that even though premiums for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act are increasing most policy holders still think it’s a good deal?

And finally:

Make sure you watch Tom Hanks on last week’s Saturday Night Live Black Jeopardy skit.

It’s about time Marlowe got some credit for helping out Shakespeare.

And next time you’re at the beach, toss a message in a bottle into the water and wait 20 years to see what happens.

Post to Twitter

CWAA: Can We All Agree – 10/22/16 edition

October 22, 2016

Can we all agree that even Donald Trump has seen the writing on the wall, and knows he will be defeated on November 8?

Can we all agree, it’s amazing that Mr. Trump’s performance at Wednesday’s debate was not his worst of the week?

Can we all agree, speaking of performances, Melania’s attempt to defend her husband was pretty sad? Steven Colbert’s take was the best of the week.

Can we all agree Hillary Clinton seems intent on burying Mr. Trump so that his backers will have no choice but to accept the results?

Can we all agree President Obama’s admonition that Mr. Trump to ‘stop whining” may have been the quote off the week?

Cardinal Timothy Dolan seated between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan seated between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Can we all agree New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, had the worst seat in the house at this week’s Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York?

Can we all agree the real test el ration day, may be the Democrats’ push to recapture the Senate and reduce the margin in the House of Representatives?

Can we all agree that yesterday’s internet attack should be a warning to all those who see the internet as the solution to every problem?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s charges of voter fraud, which had no supporting evidence, was the logical conclusion to  the GOP’s recent drive to restrict voting across the county?

Can we all agree, Trump may lose the election, but his rise to presidential nominee will be felt long after he has been buried by the Republican Party?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump has, among other things,  made it acceptable  to be openly racist?

Can we all agree The Arizona Republic’s answer to threats, hate mail and attempts at intimidation, after the newspaper endorsed Hillary Clinton, should be required reading for all Americans?

Can we all agree, we owe our Canadian neighbors a big ‘thank you’ for their words of encouragement?

Can we all agree the American public probably won’t pay too much attention to what’s happening in Iraq and the battle for Mosul, until a US soldier is killed or the fight is over?

images

Can we all agree, the National Football League, can  make their players wear all the pink they want, but until they understand how to deal with domestic abuse, their slogans ring hollow to most women?

Can we all agree the latest recommendations for TV and internet access for children will have parents scratching their heads for years to come?

Can we all agree Wikileaks founder Julian Assange seems to have outlasted his welcome at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London? The big question is where will he go next?

Can we all agree we were heartened to hear that high school graduation rates are improving, but we’re not sure it’s Mr. Obama’s policies that can take all the credit?

Can we all agree that there has to be another solution to the National Guard’s mistake in making bonus payments to members 10 years ago?

Can we all agree the Census Bureau’s plan to create a new category for people of Middle Eastern descent is probably not a good idea because it could be meaningless and result in more discrimination?

Can we all agree the Chinese government’s plan to track all it’s citizens is a little too Orwellian?

Can we all agree it was about time some police organization realized they had a problem dealing with minorities and apologized?

Can we all agree this is the kind of police story we all want to see every week?

and finally:

This week’s good read is the New Yorker Magazine piece on GOP strategist Ana Navarro, unless you are a Trump supporter.

and I’m sure you don’t want to miss the annual Neiman Marcus catalogue of items you will never find under your Christmas tree.

Post to Twitter

CWAA: Can We All Agree – 9/10/16 edition

September 10, 2016

Can we all agree whatever kind of deal has been negotiated for cooperation in Syria means nothing unless the troops on the ground are forced to accept it?

Can we all agree it’s somewhat comforting to know the flow of new recruits to ISIS seems to be slowing? Does this mean they will just stay home and wreak havoc independently?

Can we all agree the most distressing story of the week might be the item detailing what wars to expect once ISIS is defeated?

Can we all agree no one  knows what North Korea really wants, except maybe to threaten the United States?

Can we all agree that insulting the leader of the free world is not exactly the way to introduce yourself before a meeting?

Can we all agree that every 9/11 anniversary seems to bring out the worst in average Americans and politicians?

Can we all agree no matter how strange we all thought this campaign season would be, we never thought we would see Larry King interviewing Donald Trump on Russian TV?

Can we all agree the Trump – Putin bromance is just weird? Except if your goal is to undermine the election process.

Can we all agree, no matter how many times Mr. Trump’s handlers try to rein him in, he is incapable of speaking the truth? Even during his first appearance ever in an African-American church.

Can we all agree, if it were not for Mr. Trump’s bluster, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson would have made the biggest misstep of the week when he had no idea what the Syrian city of Aleppo was? That’s not to mention his ignorance of Harriet Tubman.

Can we all agree the Clinton-Trump show on national security was a great preview of the presidential debates, which start later this month?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump always manages to grab the headlines, even when it’s for all the wrong reasons?

Can we all agree Matt Lauer did a terrible job moderating the event? Only Mr. Trump disagrees.

Can we all agree every time  the FBI director says there was no case against Hillary Clinton, he fans the flames against her?

Can we all agree it’s hard to believe that Trump’s bluster has managed to somehow cut into Hillary’s lead in the nationwide polls? But that doesn’t change the count in the Electoral College.

Can we all agree Mike Pence’s release of his tax return just emphasizes his running mate’s failure to release his?

Can we all agree Trump’s supporters don’t seem concerned that Mr. Trump was able to stop the Florida attorney general from joining a suit against Trump University, by giving her campaign a $25,000 contribution? Why is there no FBI investigation here?

Can we all agree there is no chance that the GOP will act on President Obama’s nomination of the first Muslim-American to a federal judgeship?

Can we all agree that Wells Fargo had a pretty bad week, as if recalling an ad campaign wasn’t bad enough, that had to pay $185 million for the misdeeds of their own employees? As a former customer, I would note, the unethical behavior had to be sanctioned from the top.

Can we all agree the Mexican minister who lost his job   for proposing that his boss invite Donal Trump, deserved his fate?

Can we all agree, the case against Roger Ailes must have been pretty substantial, if he settled the sexual harassment suit rather than see his actions revealed in court?

Can we all agree that there is probably no woman who drew more vitriol in death than Phyllis Schlafly, who passed away this week?

Can we all agree it’s refreshing to see a leader, Angelica Merkel, who refuses to give in, when a local election defeat suggests some people disagree with your policies?

Can we all agree Mother Teresa deserves to be a saint?

Can we all agree the people of Oklahoma are starting to have second thoughts about fracking now that they feeling earthquakes on a regular basis?

Can we all agree despite dire warnings about climate change  Giant Pandas and Yosemite National Park provided a bit of good news for the environment?

Can we all agree Apple is disrupting it’s own technology by introducing a new phone with no headphone jack? But that’s what we said when they introduced computers with no CD drive, too.

Can we all agree even if Pop Warner football manages to fend off lawsuits, they have a problem with parents who don’t want to have their children permanently damaged by playing tackle football at a young age?

Can we all agree the 7 police officers to be charged in the Oakland sex scandal, are just the tip of the iceberg?

Can we all agree, it’s one thing to have your phone recalled, but quite another to be told not to use it?

Can we all agree that standing in line (or on line if you’re in New York) now has a whole new level of sophistication.

And finally:

I don’t know about you but I have no desire to work anyplace where my ID badge allows the boss to listen to all my conversations.

and,

Next time you see a youngster playing basketball alone, think about this.

Post to Twitter