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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 2/11/17 edition

February 11, 2017

Can we all agree, no-one believes the immigration raids being conducted around the country are ‘routine,’ as the the federal agency claims?

Can we all agree the GOP knows it has a real problem when the staunchly red voters in California’s Central Valley, start to turn against them?

Can we all agree, in any other administration  National Security chief Michael Flynn’s contact with Russian officials before he took office, would lead to dismissal? It’s doubtful that will happen in the Trump administration.

Can we all agree the impact of Mr. Trump’s lies about voter fraud are being felt by one poor illegal immigrant with a sixth-grade education who is now facing an 8-year prison term for illegal voting?

Can we all agree, the only thing most people will remember about Mr. Trump’s press conference with the Japanese Prime Minister is the uncomfortable extended handshake? Especially since it’s not a Japanese custom.

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump may figure out a new way to impose his travel ban, but he will never admit he made a mistake?

Can we all agree, resistance to the GOP plan to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, finally seems to have had an impact on the GOP. They are literally living in fear.

Can we all agree the President’s son-in-law seems to be the only grown-up in the room when it comes to foreign policy?

Can we all agree our newly installed Education Secretary may have the roughest tenure of all the cabinet appointees?

Can we all agree Hillary Clinton was right, in questioning Mr. Trump’s mental stability and many Senators now seem to get the message?

Can we all agree Chinese leaders have schooled Mr. Trump on international diplomacy?

Can we all agree Kellyanne Conway doesn’t seem to understand what she did wrong in promoting Ivanka Trump’s product line? But she’s just following the lead of her boss.

Can we all agree, it appears the entire Trump family sees the presidency as one big money-making opportunity? Even their lawyers admit it.

Can we all agree, every time Sean Spicer holds a press briefing he looks foolish?  Whether it’s factual mistakes or simple spelling errors he looks like the buffoon Melissa McCarthy portrays on SNL.

Can we all agree, speaking on SNL, it appears Mr. Trump may be wrong about the show, as it enjoys it’s highest ratings in 22 years?

Can we all agree, even foreign countries seems to understand the role of comedy in the new world order?

Can we all agree the only question about Mr. Trump’s approval ratings are, “how low can they go?”

Can we all agree SNL may just be the tip of the iceberg as comedians of all stripes  continue to get under the thin skin of our new leader?

Can we all agree, it was heartening to see the North Carolina legislature put in its place by the courts, and the NCAA?

Can we all agree Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch probably won a few votes this week when he decried Mr. Trump’s tweets about the Federal Court system?

Can we all agree Senator Mitch McConnell my have given the protest movement a new slogan this week, while boosting Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 presidential aspirations?

Can we all agree it’s great to see some House Democrats grow a little backbone and find new ways to challenge the GOP?

Can we all agree, Mr. Obama must have known the new administration would allow construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline?

Can we all agree it’s unfortunate the entire 84-Lumber Super Bowl ad was not aired during the game?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s pre-Super Bowl comments on Fox were another insult to every American and are even confounding his own party? Except maybe the Senate Majority leader…

and finally:

Can we all agree, speaking of the Big Game, it’s not always about football? This week’s good read.

 

 

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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

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 9/3/16 edition

September 3, 2016

Can we all agree that, with stops in California and now China, President Obama is making sure his environmental legacy lives on long after he leaves office?

Can we all agree this week’s biggest loser was Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto?

Gene Wilder: He will be missed (Photo by Steve Wood)

Gene Wilder: He will be missed (Photo by Steve Wood)

Can we all agree the only folks who expected a pivot on Mr. Trump’s immigration stand were wishful thinking Republicans?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s visit to an African-American church in Detroit will have to be an Academy Award performance if it’s going to make any difference in the campaign?

Can we all agree the release of FBI files on Hillary Clinton the Friday before Labor Day weekend, guarantees that only the politicians will be paying attention?

Can we all agree that while polls seem to show the presidential race tightening, it’s only a matter of time before Trump implodes again and the margin widens?

Can we all agree the leaders of Venezuela seem incapable to doing anything to provide even basic services or food to their citizens?

Can we all agree the impeachment vote in Brazil was a foregone conclusion?

Can we all agree that when ‘only 151,000 new jobs’ are created in a month it’s time to stop worrying about the economy?

Can we all agree that anyone who thinks the North Carolina voter laws were designed to stop voter fraud are just fooling themselves?

Can we all agree the states should be more worried about foreign hackers than they are about local voter fraud?

Can we all agree that launching a new generic version of the EpiPen which is still 10 times more expensive than it was a few years ago, is still outrageous?

Can we all agree we’re having second thoughts about this whole privatization of space travel, now that another rocket has exploded on a Cape Canaveral launch pad?

Can we all agree the United States should be embarrassed that we’ve ‘reached our goal’ of accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees?

Can we all agree the situation in Syria is so bad the sides can’t even agree on whose bomb killed an ISIS leader?

Can we all agree that the European Union’s aggressive stand against the tax policies of its own countries, is just discouraging business?

Can we all agree, it does seem a bit odd that Wikileaks never seems to say anything bad about Russia or its leader Vladimir Putin?

Can we all agree we should be just as outraged that homes were allowed to be built on contaminated land in Indiana, as we were about the water in Flint. MI?

Can we all agree that American’s reaction to even minor incidents just shows we have have a collective case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Can we all agree Anthony Weiner has some serious issues to deal with if he ever wants to return to a public life? Chris Brown might want to retire too.

Quarterback Colin Kapernick kneels during the national anthem next to former Green Beret Nate Boyer, (CAP photo)

Quarterback Colin Kapernick kneels during the national anthem next to former Green Beret Nate Boyer. (AP photo)

Can we all agree that San Francisco Forty-Niners quarterback Colin Kapernick has every right to stage a protest, but the whole scene seemed a bit odd, since he had never even mentioned anything about human rights since he got to the NFL?

Can we all agree that when Americans read about the death of the Uzbekistan president, they had no idea how to find the country on a map?

Can we all agree that when your flagship product has to be recalled because the batteries overheat and explode, you have a serious quality control issue?

Can we all agree its nice to know that living organisms were on the planet a few billion years sooner than we first thought?

Can we all agree every dog owner knows that their pet understands every word they say?

and finally:

Can we all agree that Gene Wilder will be missed?

And, in case you are worried about cheating on your taxes, at least one expert has some good news.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 1/23/16 edition

January 23, 2016

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 8:00 am

Can we all agree that Sarah Palin’s injection into the GOP presidential race, raises the absurdity quotient to unimaginable heights? The happiest folks are the late night talk show hosts and comedians worldwide.

NYDN front page

NYDN front page

Can we all agree that until Ms Palin’s speech, Mr. Trump’s performance at Liberty University was the week’s biggest head-scratcher, narrowly edging out the British parliament’s debate over banning Trump?

Can we all agree that her endorsement speech might be the the most illogical batch of nonsense ever uttered during a political campaign – at least until she gives her next speech?

Can we all agree that Michael Bloomberg’s reported interest in running for president as an independent, throws a monkey wrench into everything? Wait, isn’t this the year of the monkey coming up?

Can we all agree there is enough blame for everyone in the Flint water crises but the Michigan governor and the EPA deserve special mention?

Can we all agree that the Academy of Motion Pictures had to do something about their overwhelmingly older white male voting base?

Can we all agree that after three weeks of rain,  it’s nice to know we might be making a dent in the California drought?

Can we all agree that no-one is surprised that Mr. Putin may have known about the poisoning of a former agent who had defected to England? The number of political adversaries who have mysteriously disappeared makes his tactics pretty obvious.

Can we all agree that if scientists confirm the existence of a new planet the name has to begin with a “P” so we can get back to the old sentence we all learned, to remember the names of the celestial bodies circling our sun?

Can we all agree that it will probably be just about a year before we have a new winner in the ‘hottest year’ competition?

Can we all agree that the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the challenge to the President’s immigration plan, insures that the topic will be front and center right through the November election?12573912_1057866744235548_6504267830214865117_n

Can we all agree that we have lost another major talent with the death of Glenn Frey?

Can we all agree that last week’s Democratic debate may have been a Sanders victory, but most non-GOP voters are interested in backing someone who might actually win?

Can we all agree that Delaware North Corporation deserves all the scorn they are getting for demanding $51 million for the naming right to the Ahwahnee Lodge and other landmarks in Yosemite National Park?

Can we all agree that it will be a welcome day when media outlets can stop proclaiming he ‘first women’ being elected to lead a country? Taiwan elected a woman and the sky did not fall, the next day.

Can we all agree that the lifting of the sanctions against Iran and allowing that nation to participate in world politics will help ease world tensions in the long run?

Can we all agree, speaking of planets, it’s probably worth an early morning walk to see the five planets that all be visible from earth (below) simultaneously?

 

Where to look for planets about an hour before sunrise.

Where to look for planets about an hour before sunrise.

 

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Can We All Agree – 11/21/15 edition

November 21, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

George Lucas and the poster for the newest Star Wars movie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Coming to America

September 24, 2015

Filed under: observations,Sharing economy — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 9:47 am

Took my car to be serviced this week, so I used BART to get back and forth to the dealership. I just needed a short ride from my home to the station and back. I used a cab inon e direction and Lyft in the other.

The result was two distinct views of America.

Note to self: It’s no longer good to ask a cab driver, “How’s business?” – my standard line, rather than just sitting in silence.

The cab driver, who was Indian and spoke with a typical accent, launched into what was probably a frequently repeated refrain about Uber and Lyft.

“Those drivers don’t make any money,” he told me. “After paying for their cars and insurance and gas they lose money, every day they drive.” he continued.

I asked how long he had been driving and he proudly said, 23 years, although he wasn’t sure how much longer he could continue. “Business used to be good, but now, sometimes I make less than $100 in a day,” he told me.

I asked if he had tried driving for one of the new competitors. “Why, I wouldn’t make any money.” Then he added, “The government will have to do something.”

My driver back to retrieve my car turned out to be a young Afghan immigrant who was a translator for the Army near Kabul. He’s been in the US for two years and has been driving his 1-year-old Prius for several ride-sharing services since last December.

He was able to come here with his wife and two children, but left his brother and mother behind. It took him five years to get a visa and he realizes how lucky he is, pointing out that another 10,000 translators may never be granted permission, despite assurances from the US government that they have priority status.

“They have stopped issuing any more visas,” he told me. “And since the Syrian refugee crises, the whole system has stopped.” He admitted that the rest of his family lives in fear because the Taliban know that he worked for the US Army, but, he says, his mother and brother probably will never get out. He speaks with them regularly via cellphone.

Despite that, he says that he is doing very well. His wife is taking English classes and he is studying to get his GED, although he has an IT degree from school in Afghanistan.

“I need to have something to show people. I have nothing from my home.” he says.

While he speaks with an accent, his English is near perfect and it was clear that getting a GED was just a formality. When he first came to this country he worked for a Fremont company testing file servers.

“They paid me $15/hour, but the job was boring, so I tried driving on my days off and found I could make $300/day in 6 hours, – so I quit.” he says. “Now I drive 4 hours a day and study and if I need extra money, I can work on the weekend and make $600 a day.”

Is it any wonder  so many people want to come to the US.

 

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Can We All Agree – 8/29/15 Edition

August 29, 2015

Sorry I missed a week. Events just conspired against me last weekend. I have no excuse, unlike Hillary.

But:

Can we all agree that Hillary’s inability to get out in front of the whole email server thing, is really destroying her candidacy? At this point it doesn’t make any difference who’s right or who’s wrong. I guess she’s hoping no-one pays attention until after Labor Day.

Can we all agree that after a month of talk, It’s time for Joe Biden to make a decision? It’s clear now it has nothing to do with his family, but it’s just politics.

A president, an ambassador and three heroes - NYT photo

A president, an ambassador and three heroes – NYT photo

Can we all agree that the actions of all four people who prevented a mass murder on a French train, made us all proud?

Can we all agree that the longer the Europeans fail to deal with the influx of migrants from North Africa and the Middle East, the worse things will get?

Can we all agree that the EU issues are very similar to immigration problems we have failed to deal with in the United States? The difference is that Mexican migrants die alone in the desert, so Americans can ignore the issue.

Can we all agree that, as some economists have pointed out, “Wall Street is not the Economy” should be this week’s theme?

Can we all agree that since we really have no idea what’s going on in China’s economy, it’s pointless to get too excited?

Can we all agree that by almost any measure the US economy is doing fine?

Can we all agree that based on their comments about the “China crises’ the GOP candidates know nothing about economics?

Can we all agree that Donald Trump has sucked all the air from the rest of the GOP field? Those who think the other candidates are playing it smart, waiting for him to self-destruct, may have a long wait.

Can we all agree that Trump’s comments may have already lost the Republicans the votes of the two fastest growing immigrant groups in the US – Latinos and Asians.

Can we all agree that The Pope’s visit to the US next month could be the most significant visit by a prelate in US history?

Can we all agree that it makes sense that employers who hide behind contractors who pay substandard wages, should be held accountable?

Can we all agree that it might be tough to find a new CEO for the Ashley Madison website?

Can we all agree that some of those psychological studies with non-repeatable results, sounded a bit specious from the beginning?

Can we all agree that the split in the Jewish community over the Iran treaty is deeper than just the deal itself?

A selfie with the President - AP Photo

A selfie with the President – AP Photo

Can we all agree that it would be great if the father of slain TV journalist Alison Parker, could get politicians to act on gun legislation, but if the death of 20 children and 6 teachers in Newtown, CT couldn’t do it, we have our doubts?

Can we all agree that no-one is surprised that the footage of Planned Parenthood executives was doctored? But that won’t stop politicians from using it.

Can we all agree that the Napa Wine Train handled a group of allegedly boisterous riders, very badly?

Can we all agree that former President Bush  showed some Moxie by returning to New Orleans to mark the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina?

 

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