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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.”

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 5/6/17 edition

May 6, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and finally:

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

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CWAA: Can We All Agree ™- 3/25/17

March 25, 2017

Can we all agree Friday night’s Wisconsin-Florida basketball game may be this year’s March Madness signature moment?

Can we all agree Donald Trump can try to blame the Democrats, but everyone knows his own party is responsible for the death of his health care bill?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump doesn’t need a press secretary if he’s going to call reporters every time he wants to blame somebody?

Can we all agree you can always count on social media for the best commentary, although traditional media had some pithy comments?

Can we all agree most Americans thought the FBI Director’s testimony about a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign would be the major story of the week? How quickly things change with this administration.

Can we all agree the failure of the health care bill exposed the many rifts within the Republican Congress?

Can we all agree the State of California is looking forward to a showdown with the EPA over emission regulations?

Can we all agree Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein has done an impressive job for two teams, but calling him the world’s best leader, is really an insult to many leaders who make more consequential decisions?

Can we all agree the US military is heading for a major PR disaster as more and more civilians are killed or injured by their bombs in Iraq?

Can we all agree the conviction of former Penn State President Graham Spanier will be a welcome end to the 5 year sex scandal at the university?

Can we all agree the actions of Rep. Devin Nunes have handed Democrats an iron-clad reason to seek a special prosecutor or select committee to investigate the Trump campaign’s links to the Russians?

Can we all agree the longer the investigation is delayed the longer the drip, drip, drip of Russian connections will haunt the White House?

Can we all agree Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did not help his boss by skipping the G-20 summit to visit Russia?

Can we all agree the number of Vladimir Putin’s critics who have died mysteriously runs counter to the Kremlin’s claims that they bear no responsibility?

Can we all agree the approval of the Keystone Pipeline project was a foregone conclusion once the Dakota Access Pipeline was approved?

Can we all agree it’s remarkable that the GOP shows no embarrassment at the sight of over 30 white male lawmakers arguing over whether to cut women’s breast cancer screening from the now-dead health care bill?

Can we all agree Defense Secretary James Mattis probably never thought he would spend most of his time cleaning up the damage Mr. Trump creates because he doesn’t understand how NATO works?

Can we all agree the release of Hosni Mubarek from an Egyptian prison hospital marks the official end of the Arab Spring in Egypt?

Can we all agree, for most Americans, the best news of the week might be the FCC’s decision to fight back against robocalls?

Can we all agree the State Department’s new extreme vetting process is just another way to enforce the ban on immigration and probably explains why they are in no hurry to appeal legal rulings stopping the President’s order?

Can we all agree it’s no surprise the Trump administration found that Mr. Trump was in full compliance with his government lease for the Trump Hotel in Washington?

Can we all agree everyone should have a Trump Chicken – even if the  artist never intended his artwork to mock Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree, even in London, the personal history of the lone attacker, has the same ring as those from the US, France and Belgium?

Can we all agree the factors that appear to be leading to premature deaths of white Americans have implications for every aspect of our way of life?

Can we all agree, allowing Interior Department employees to bring dogs to work, might help with the toxic atmosphere, but a change in policy would probably do more?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s interview with Time Magazine is extraordinary for it’s lies and lack of knowledge on so many subjects?

Can we all agree if you’ve lost the support of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, you can’t really be a conservative?

Can we all agree Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will probably be confirmed, but the Democrats need to mount a filibuster just to object to the way Mr. Obama’s nominee was treated?

Can we all agree we know nothing more about Mr. Gorsuch  now, than we did when his hearings started?

Can we all agree it’s unbelievable that California has lead contamination levels higher than Flint, MI and no one seems to care?

Can we all agree North Korea leader Kim Jong-un apparently has a bright future as a bank robber?

Can we all agree Ivanka Trump has always been working in the government, now she will have an office? Setting up her company to make believe she is not running it, is just paperwork.

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s low approval rating will continue to play a role in his inability to get Congress to go along with his legislative agenda?

Can we all agree everyone has a favorite Chuck Berry tune?

Can we all agree for many years,  if you really wanted to know the heart of a great city you needed too read columnists such as Jimmy Breslin, Mike Royko or Herb Caen?

and finally:

This week’s good news to restore your faith in humanity.

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 1/14/17 edition

January 14, 2017

Can we all agree, it’s hard to believe the GOP is so focused on repealing the Affordable Care Act, that they are willing to disrupt the lives of the 23 million Americans who know it has been a success?

Can we all agree, no matter what you think of the current administration, it’s improper for an incoming administration to conduct diplomacy before they are actually in charge?

Can we all agree it would be nice to believe that Speaker Paul Ryan was was outlining Donald Trump’s immigration policy when he assured an immigrant family they would not be deported?

The new Lady Liberty coin

The new Lady Liberty coin

Can we all agree the Justice Department probe of FBI director James Comey will end as soon as Loretta Lynch leaves office, but that won’t stop the Democrats from giving Mr. Comey a a piece of their mind?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s plan to put his sons in charge of his businesses does nothing to allay fears that he will act in their best interests rather than in the best interests of the United States?

Can we all agree appointing his son-in-law to a White House posts just reinforces the view that the family business interests will always be paramount ?

Can we all agree the salacious charges against Mr. Trump may not be verified, but they are pretty easy to believe for many Americans?

Can we all agree the appearance of Mr. Trump’s attorney, who showed up to justify his actions, was among the most cringe-worthy parts of his press conference?

Can we all agree Buzzfeed has taken a lot of criticism for publishing the material, but that’s the altered reality Mr. Trump has created?

Can we all agree the contrast between Mr. Obama’s final speech in Chicago and Mr. Trump’s attempt at a press conference was remarkable?

Can we all agree a large segment of the American public agrees with the government ethics chief, regarding Mr. Trump’s latest plans for his businesses?

Can we all agree the intimidation of the government ethics office will get more serious as  Mr. Trump continues to defy the advice of ethics attorneys on both sides of the political spectrum?

Can we all agree we’re still not sure if Mr. Trump really believes the Russians tried to influence the election?

Can we all agree the new Lady Liberty on the $100 gold coin is sure to spark protests from the racists in this country?

Can we all agree China’s addiction re-education camps sound a lot like the treatment camps some conservatives have proposed for anyone afflicted with the ‘disease’ of being gay?

Can we all agree the Russians have a novel approach to eliminating smoking – make it illegal for anyone who has not already started?

Can we all agree decriminalizing domestic violence, as Vladimir Putin ordered, is not the hallmark of a civilized society?

Can we all agree it’s easier to charge foreigners from Volkswagen or Takata with criminal activity in product liability cases, than it is to hold US companies liable for breaking US laws?

Can we all agree it will take years and require constant monitoring to make sure the Baltimore and Chicago police make progress in eliminating the deeply ingrained practices which have caused so many problems?

Can we all agree Mr. Obama latest new Cuba policy may please that country’s leaders, but will not be popular with citizens who make it to our shores?

Can we all agree we’re not surprised that Fox News secretly settled a sexual harassment claim against Bill O’Reilly – two lawsuits in 12 months might have been more than the network could handle?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s handling of the L.L. Bean controversy proves once again, he doesn’t understand the role of the President?

Can we all agree we’re amazed Mr. Trump hasn’t caused another international incident by tweeting about China’s lone aircraft carrier sailing through the Taiwan straight?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s biggest problem might be convincing his own cabinet that he knows what he’s doing?

Can we all agree it’s nice to hear about a company planning to create 1o0,000 new jobs, with no mention of government interference?

Can we all agree it’s great that 42% of California is drought free, now we can start worrying about Massachusetts and Europe?

Can we all agree Meryl Streep got all the publicity for her critique of Donald Trump, but Hugh Laurie really got the anti-Trump show started?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s response was just embarrassing?

Can we all agree you could have predicted the outcome of a California University event featuring a racist editor and a money hungry drug executive? – Yes, protests ended the session before it even got started.

and finally,

If you don’t believe Joe Biden was surprised to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, you should nominate him for a best actor award.

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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.

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