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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 9/30/17 edition

September 30, 2017

Can we all agree, the resignation of HHS Secretary Tom Price was more about the recent failure of ACA repeal than it was about travel at the taxpayer’s expense? If not, we would have had at least two other cabinet resignations.

Can we all agree, the GOP’s tax proposal officially puts to rest any notion that the Republicans ever cared about deficits or anyone but the top 1% of American who donate to their campaigns?

Can we all agree, news that the US has been, ‘in direct talks’ with North Korea, does nothing to calm anyone’s nerves?

Damage in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

Damage in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

Can we all agree, the ICE push to target immigrants in so called Sanctuary Cities, is just one more example of the administration’s petty and cynical view of the American legal system?

Can we all agree, the White House’s incoherent and inconsistent foreign policy was on display once again this week as it was forced to disavow its own Israeli ambassador’s comment?

Can we all agree, Sen. Mitch McConnell and the White House couldn’t schedule a tax-plan press conference fast enough after their bid to repeal the ACA went down in flames again? It’s all about capturing the ‘fake-news’ cycle.

Can we all agree, Steve Bannon’s decision to back anti-establishment GOP candidates makes Democratic in-fighting look pretty tame?

Can we all agree, Roy Moore’s victory in Alabama has turned electoral prognostication into a Las Vegas crap shoot?

Can we all agree, a Cambridge, MA librarian has made her point in rejecting a book donation from Melania Trump, but you have to wonder if she would have turned down the same books from say, Senator Elizabeth Warren?

Can we all agree, blaming the mayor of a bankrupt, flood-ravaged island, with no electricity, for your poor response, is a sure way turn off voters?

Can we all agree, the administration’s  response to Hurricane Maria’s damage in Puerto Rico has racism written all over it?

Can we all agree, a California legislator’s proposed bill to ban petroleum powered cars and trucks will probably win approval in the state legislature just because it will infuriate the Trump administration?

Can we all agree, the argument that ICE agents have simply ‘gone rogue’ in attempting to enforce the administration’s immigration policy, is proven out by statistics showing arrests are up but deportations are down?

Can we all agree, Twitter and Facebook both  should be persecuted for their roles in helping the Russians undermine our electoral system?

Can we all agree, Equifax CEO Richard Smith deserved to lose his job, not because the company’s computers were hacked, but because of his firm’s response?

Can we all agree, by picking a fight with the NFL, Mr. Trump has alienated, a group of people who were his strongest supporters?

Can we all agree, Mr Trump’s outrageous disregard for any legal restrictions makes his aides use of a private email server seem inconsequential – although it cost Hillary Clinton the presidency?

Can we all agree, Target Department Stores deserves some credit for raising wages, but they are really just responding to market forces and trying to find employees?

Can we all agree, Milo Yiannopoulos should be sent a bill for the $800,000 it cost the University of California to prepare for his 15-minute speech on the campus?

Can we all agree, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin proved this week that when it comes to  politics, he should stick to budgets and taxes?

Can we all agree it’s been a while since we heard a cabinet secretary threaten his own staff for being disloyal?

Can we all agree, we all breathed a sigh of relief that Angela Merkel won a fourth term and hope that the rise of the far -right party was just a one-time protest vote?

Can we all agree, there is very little chance that any NBA championship team will be visiting the White House in the next four years?

Can we all agree a few folks will be fired in the NCAA, but nothing will change in the world of big-time college basketball despite the latest DOJ indictments?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump should be saluted for drawing attention to the cause of former NFL quarterback Colin Kapernick?

Can we all agree, even the Supreme Court seems a bit confused about how to handle the latest travel ban?

Can we all agree, very few Baby Boomers, particularly men, will forget Hugh Hefner any time soon? And no, it wasn’t because of the articles.

Can we all agree, Jared Kushner seems to have faded from public view except when he does something really stupid?

Can we all agree, many of us are desperate for news about the Obama family because it helps us remember how nice it was to have a human being in the White House?

Can we all agree, the issues that have plagued embassy employees in Cuba, sound like a cartoon episode of “Spy Versus Spy’ from Mad Magazine? Unfortunately they are all too real.

Can we all agree, Julia Louis Dreyfus deserves kudos for using her tragic diagnosis to promote universal health care?

Can we all agree the Kurdish independence vote this week will spark years of fighting but is the first step toward a Kurdish homeland?

Can we all agree, it probably won’t be long before we hear the first joke about female drivers in Saudi Arabia?

Can we all agree the Department of Justice is nothing more than another political swamp since the current administration took over?

and finally:

Warrior’s coach Steve Kerr gets the last word on Mr. Trump’s criticism of his team’s decision not to visit the White House.

Tell us what you really think of the Trump Administration

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 7/2/17 edition

July 2, 2017

A day late, but hopefully, not a pound short.

Can we all agree, we should all be nervous about the administration’s request for voter data from the states and appalled that they don’t seem to understand why state officials are declining the demand?

Can we all agree, as the nation’s fertility rate declines any rational person realizes we need to change our attitude toward immigration?

Can we all agree, the GOP’s latest failure to pass a health care reform bill has left many Americans in the worst possible position – unable to plan for the future?

Can we all agree it's hard to understand why these opponents of Mr. trump's health care plan would agree to this picture? (AP photo)

Can we all agree it’s hard to understand why these opponents of Mr. Trump’s health care plan would agree to this picture? (AP photo)

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump has not been any help to Mitch McConnell?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s about face on health care shows his desperation and makes passage even more remote?

Can we all agree most voters don’t really understand ‘CBO scores,’ and don’t really care since they know what the impact of the Republican bill would be?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s needless fight with two cable TV commentators has revealed the alternative universe inside the White House?

Can we all agree, the National Rifle Association’s latest ad campaign should outrage every American as it incites violence, simply to encourage gun ownership?

Can we all agree, anyone who doesn’t think a grandparent  constitutes a ‘bona fide’ relationship should ask one?

Can we all agree, next week’s G-20 summit should be quite the show for Mr. Trump, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Russia’s Vladimir Putin?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump is oblivious to the fact that most of the world is laughing at him?

Can we all agree, Hong Kong is at pivotal crossroads as it celebrates 20 years since the British relinquished control?

Can we all agree, each week EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is allowed to stay in office we get closer to environmental disaster?

Can we all agree, Paul Manafort never should have been allowed to run any political campaign?

Can we all agree, it’s not the  $2.7 billion fine from the EU that worries Google, but the threat to their business model?

Can we all agree, the NSA, needs to admit they have screwed up and start helping people combat the hacking tools the agency created?

Can we all agree, the newfound friendship between Mr. Trump and Indian Prime Minister Modi will only last as long as Mr. Modi bows to all Mr. Trump’s demands?

Can we all agree, Germany’s rejection of visas for the body-guards/thugs who wanted to accompany Turkey’s dictator on a state visit, suggest the criminal charges brought in the US may have an impact after all?

Can we all agree, the latest report on the rise in sea level caused by increased carbon emissions makes our government’s position on the environment increasingly absurd?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump has created his own echo chamber to support his egomaniacal positions?

Can we all agree, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has become a non-entity on the world stage?

Can we all agree, Serena Williams had a near perfect return for John Mcenroe’s sexist serve?

Can we all agree, gun control supporters were left a bit confused this week as the Supreme Court allowed a California law on ammunition to stand but a lower court issued an injunction preventing the law from going into effect?

Can we all agree, no one is looking forward to stricter airport security rules ?

Can we all agree,  the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should be congratulated for their bid to diversify their membership, even if it’s a few years late?

and finally:

A good news story about the heroic actions of a major league umpire.

and

An airline story that might restore your faith in the industry.

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Can We All Agree – 12/24/16 edition

December 24, 2016

This marks my 101st CWAA post. Probably should have noticed that last week was number 100 and had some sort of special ceremony, but better late than never. This will be my last of 2016 unless Mr. Trump unleashes another Tweet storm next week  – making policy via Twitter. But I’ll be back at it in January of 2017. I don’t want to be like Jon Stewart who deserted us all when we needed him most.

Thank you to all my faithful readers, I appreciate your comments and suggestions. Happy Holidays.

Can we all agree it was only a matter of time before the gulf between President Obama and Donald Trump became very public? I am rather surprised it surfaced over Israel, though.

Can we all agree the truck attack in Germany which left 12 dead is bad news for Angela Merkel’s immigration policies? Even though, they had very little to do with it.

The slain Russian ambassador to Turkey and his assailant. (NYTimes photo)

The slain Russian ambassador to Turkey and his assailant. (NYTimes photo)

Can we all agree it appears Vladimir Putin, is not done with his campaign to destabilize the West?

Can we all agree it seems rather odd that Mr. Putin has not made more of the murder of his ambassador in Turkey? Could it be he was more intent on declaring victory in Syria?

Can we all agree Donald Trump has managed to convince many voters, we are on the edge of a recession, when the evidence suggests the US economy is very healthy?

Can we all agree the relationship between the press and the new administration will be the most strained in recent memory, now that we have to read Twitter, then listen to his counselors explain what the new President really meant?

Can we all agree announcing a nuclear missile arms war via a Twitter is not what anyone would call presidential?

Can we all agree they US policy in Syria has failed and the people of Al;expo are just the first to suffer for it?

Can we all agree the folks in the midwest and Northeast probably take little solace in knowing the North Pole temperatures are 30 degrees above normal?

Can we all agree that Oprah’s interview with the First Lady was interesting, but it really just seemed like a way for her to give Michelle Obama a way to fight back against all the racist hate that exists in this country.

Can we all agree Mr. Obama seems intent on making it as difficult as possible for the new president elect to carry out some of his campaign promises? Not to mention some of his environmental goals.

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s requests for information have made it pretty clear which policies he wants to end? First it was the environment and now it’s gender equality.

Can we all agree the new administration has no idea how embarrassing the hearings on their cabinet nominees will be, since they have done very little vetting of candidates beyond their interviews with Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree anyone who expected  North Carolina to change their infamous “bathroom bill’  was either dreaming or simply very naive?

Can we all agree we will be hearing more about how access to Mr. Trump was available to anyone who wanted to pay for it?

Can we all agree, it won’t change things, but Mrs. Clinton can take some solace from her 3-million vote ‘victory’? And what happened to all that voter fraud, we could never find?

Can we all agree the January inauguration will not be the star-studded party we are all used to? Unless your idea of top notch entertainment is the Rockettes.

Can we all agree the war of words between Mr. Trump and President Clinton does not put either of them in a very good light?

Can we all agree the increase in sign-ups for health care under the Affordable Care Act will could create quite a backlash if the GOP and Mr. Trump are dumb enough to follow through on their campaign pledges?

Oprah Winfrey (right) interviews the First Lady. (White House photo)

Oprah Winfrey (right) interviews the First Lady. (White House photo)

Can we all agree the United States doesn’t seem to have an exclusive on strange court decisions..just ask IMF chief Christine Lagarde who was apparently found guilty and not guilty at the same time?

Can we all agree the new word of the year  – surreal – was a great choice by the folks at Merriam Webster?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s little chat this week with Mexican millionaire Carlos Slim is just another example of the conflicts of interest inherent in the new administration?

Can we all agree Ben Utecht’s book should be required reading for every player in the NFL?

Can we all agree the reason the GOP has been able to get away with denying science, is studies like this?

and finally:

This week’s great read is from the New York Times – a  profile of basketball coach Steve Kerr. He’s not just your average spoiled jock.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 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.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 7/2/16 edition

July 2, 2016

Can we all agree that whether it’s Orlando, Florida, Istanbul, Turkey or  Dhaka, Bangladesh, it’s vitally impossible for law enforcement agencies to protect every location on Earth from terrorist attacks?

Can we all agree that when the government releases information on civilians killed in drone strikes on the Friday before a long holiday weekend, they really don’t want the public to notice?

Attending to victims of the Istanbul Airport attack this week (Reuters photo)

Attending to victims of the Istanbul Airport attack this week (Reuters photo)

Can we all agree that when the husband of a spouse who is the subject of an FBI investigation, meets with the Attorney General, it doesn’t really matter what they actually discussed, they should never have met?

Can we all agree that even if one state, California, passes tough gun control measures, it will make little difference  unless there are more stringent national standards?

Can we all agree it’s good to know the Antarctic ozone hole has been reduced, but it’s tough to know what impact that has on global warming?

Can we all agree that until technology can account for the actions of stupid drivers, the notion that driverless cars will eliminate accidents is just absurd?

Can we all agree that most American are thrilled to see the turmoil that has become British politics after the Brexit vote, because it takes the spotlight off us and the antics of Donald Trump?

Can we all agree that either EU leaders will pay attention to the British vote and make some changes in their system, or they will have a tough time holding their union together?

Can we all agree the world could use a few more leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel?

Can we all agree we are amazed the Congress actually found time to come together and pass legislation to help  Puerto Rico escape from its debt crises?

Can we all agree, it would be nice if Congress could stop trying to make political points and actually fund Zika prevention programs?

Can we all agree there is no way to know if the expansion of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences membership has had an impact, until the next time someone says, “The winner is…?”

Can we all agree that actor Jesse Williams did a pretty impressive job of outlining the problem, in his BET acceptance speech?

Can we all agree the Supreme Court may have turned the tide on abortion rights in this country, with their decision this week?

Can we all agree that the expansion of the Panama Canal is an engineering marvel, as long as you done’t look too closely at the environmental damage?

Can we all agree the purpose of the House Benghazi Committee investigation into Hillary Clinton’s activities never had anything to do with the safety of American diplomats?

Can we all agree there will never be another coach like Pat Summitt?

Can we all agree the brouhaha over the Marine Corps decision to change some job titles is the very definition of a tempest in a teapot?

and finally, we cannot ignore US politics:

Can we all agree Donald Trump has successfully scared the crap out of his own party by blasting free trade which has long been a cornerstone of GOP policy?

Can we all agree it’s starting to look like Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren might become a pretty impressive Democratic ticket?

Can we all agree the GOP convention in Cleveland may be the first time no politicians, other than the party nominee, gave a speech? No-one in the GOP apparently wants to attend.

Can we all agree we have to give Trump some points for resilience, no matter how many scandals or inconsistencies are uncovered he just makes believe they don’t exist and conjures up another lie to satisfy his supporters?

Michael Phelps heads to his fifth Olympics. (NPR photo)

Michael Phelps heads to his fifth Olympics. (NPR photo)

Can we all agree that whether Trump chooses Chris Christie or Newt Gingrich to be his running mate, it will make little difference in the election’s outcome?

And finally, really:

Can we all agree it’s tough not to root for Michael Phelps to win a few more Olympic medals?

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