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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.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 4/1/17 edition

April 1, 2017

Can we all agree, this Holocaust survivor in Sacramento, had the perfect retort to the head of the immigration service who was trying to defend the new immigration policies?

Can we all agree it’s remarkable, that we have an Attorney General who doesn’t seem to know federal law very well?

Can we all agree Mississippi State showed why we love college sports, when they upset The University of Connecticut, ending the team’s 111-game winning streak?

First rose of the season in my garden: Sombreuil

First rose of the season in my garden: Sombreuil

Can we all agree, there is no law against being rich, but the wealth, and lack of ethics in our new leadership team, puts to rest the notion that Donald Trump is draining any swamps in Washington?

Can we all agree the White House Press Secretary is desperately trying to divert attention from the Russian scandal that has now fully engulfed the White House?

Can we all agree, despite Senate promises of a full investigation of the White House ties to Russia, most Americans want a truly independent probe?

Can we all agree the startling rise in opioid deaths is a national health crises that needs to be addressed, before it becomes a ‘fact of life’ like the murder rate from guns?

Can we all agree it’s pretty clear the wrong person is running the Food and Drug Administration, when he has to recuse himself from decisions involving over 20 health care firms, because he has a conflict of interest?

Can we all agree Elon Musk’s reusable rocket technology is pretty remarkable?

Can we all agree, if news reports are to be believed, Rex Tillerson, our Secretary of State, seems lost, and that’s just what Mr. Trump wants?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s trade policy seems to change direction like the wind? On the eve of the Chinese President’s visit to Mar A Lago, he’s threatening a trade war, while he backs off his campaign promise to rip up  NAFTA?

Can we all agree the Democrats are committed to making the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court difficult, as retribution for Mitch McConnell’s handling of the Merrick Garland nomination?

Can we all agree Venezuela has descended into chaos? Too bad the refugees trying to escape will not be welcomed here.

Can we all agree the Russians protesting the dictatorship of Vladimir Putin have no chance of forcing any changes?

Can we all agree it’s tough to take the continuing California drought warnings too seriously with the Sierra snowpack at 167% of normal?

Can we all agree, no Bay Area resident would disagree with polls showing many millennials want to leave because of high costs and traffic congestion?

Can we all agree there is no reason why Michael Flynn should be given immunity from prosecution, especially since no one expects he would tell the truth anyway?

Can we all agree, it’s good to see the suit against Trump University might allow defrauded students to get back almost 90% of what they paid, but we were kind of rooting for the plaintiff who wanted more, including an apology from Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree the North Carolina Legislature seems to have fooled everyone into thinking they actually changed their bathroom law?

Can we all agree  California Rep. Devin Nunes was a willing dupe in the White House’s plan to plant evidence supporting Mr. Trump’s wiretapping claims?

Can we all agree Chelsea Clinton needs to get used to people who doubt her claims that she will not run for office, especially when she continues to make public political statements?

Can we all agree public opinion on the change in internet privacy restrictions is really a generational divide with Baby Boomers worried about their data and younger people assuming everything they do on line is public anyway?

Can we all agree, as the battle over the Affordable Care Act continues Health Secretary Thomas Price will slowly chip away at coverage, while more GOP governors seem to have realized the ACA might help residents in their states?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s attempts to threaten the Freedom Caucus for their failure to support health care reform, just shows his political inexperience? Even the Democrats are laughing.

Can we all agree that the prison sentences handed out to aides of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie send a clear message to politicians everywhere (including the White House) about what the public finds acceptable?

Can we all agree, it makes no difference whether Ivanka Trump is paid or not, she should not be advising the President and running her company at the same time?

Can we all agree, it’s pretty funny seeing Mr. Trump using Bill Clinton’s defense trying to avoid a sexual assault lawsuit while he’s President?

Can we all agree, the thought of Mr. Trump throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day was too precious? Almost as fanciful as the thought of a second Trump hotel in Washington.

Can we all agree the women’s USA Hockey team struck a blow for equality this week?

Can we all agree, Maxine Waters and April Ryan did much the same in their own ways?

Can we all agree it doesn’t look like England’s exit from the EU will be as smooth as Theresa May had hoped?

Can we all agree Hong Kong has now officially lost it’s battle to remain a democracy?

Can we all agree that Mr. Trump’s moves to undo Mr. Obama’s clean air plan will do nothing to bring back coal jobs, do nothing to make America great again, give the rest of the world an excuse to follow suit and do nothing but allow our climate to change permanently?

and finally:

If you are really depressed about Alec Baldwin’s decision to cut back on his appearances on SNL, take a look at this compilation of the past year’s political sketches.

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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?

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 2/18/17 edition

February 18, 2017

Can we all agree, of all the President’s cabinet members approved approved so far, Mike Pruitt, at the EPA, has the potential to do the most damage to future generations?

Can we all agree many senators may regret their vote after Mr.  Pruitt’s emails as Oklahoma AG are made public?

Can we all agree if Mr. Trump continues his war on the media he will undermine his own credibility? If he has any left.

Can we all agree, speaking of credibility, picking a political ally to ‘review’  intelligence gathering operations will do nothing to stop the leaks that continue to plague the administration?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s continued insistence on an alternate reality that no one can see, is symptomatic of his personality disorder?

Can we all agree the Vice President will be getting an earful, as he travels to Europe – and none of it will be good?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump may have a valid point in pushing some NATO members to spend more on their own defense?

Can we all agree, it won’t be long before Mr. Trump runs out of friendly places to visit, during his election campaign? Oh wait, the campaign is supposed to be over.

Can we all agree It’s about time politicians admit that Trump’s antics are harming our international standing?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s budget plan looks like an all-out attack on the arts?

Can we all agree, it’s amazing that Mr. Trump actually found one person who is qualified to hold a cabinet position?

Can we all agree we’ve reached a new low when the Secretary of Education needs armed guards every time she wants to leave her office?

Can we all agree, despite Mr. Trump’s denials, members of his staff relish the thought of using the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants?

Can we all agree this week’s “Day Without Immigrants’ protest had minimal impact because most immigrants can’t afford a day without pay?

Can we all agree the money that the government will spend just to guard Mr. Trump and his family is simply outrageous?

Can we all agree the offenses of many of the illegal immigrants being rounded up by Trump’s ICE agents, are not the kind of criminals even his supporters thought he was going to target?

Can we all agree White House attempts to ‘insulate’ the President from efforts to expel the so called Dreamers, will fail and he will bear the full brunt of the public’s wrath?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s inability to come up with a new immigration order is an admission that the policy is just wrong?

Can we all agree, Russia’s attempts to manipulate European elections, is just an extension of their success here?

Can we all agree, it might be tougher in the EU, since Mr. Putin won’t be able to coordinate his activity with the actual candidate, as they could with Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree ousted national security advisor Michael Flynn’s biggest contribution to the government might be the multiple congressional investigations he has spawned?

Can we all agree the bizarre political assassination of the half brother of the North Korean leader sounds like a plot from the old ‘Spy vs Spy’ cartoon in Mad Magazine? It sounds like even China agrees.

Can we all agree Mr. Trump and the Israeli Prime Minister have outlined a roadmap to nowhere?

Can we all agree the new GOP plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act doesn’t look it has much chance of winning the approval of most Republicans?

Can we all agree, any plan to send American troops to Syria would be a non-starter to any other American president?

Can we all agree the GOP plan to cut back on the government safety net will hit their own voters the hardest?

Can we all agree Bill Maher and Samantha Bee have jointly taken on Jon Steward’s role as America’s leading political commentator?

Can we all agree it’s not hard to figure out why traffic deaths are on the rise?

Can we all agree very few people understand the ‘sell by date’ on most food products?

Can we all agree, regardless of party affiliation, Americans are stressed out?

Can we all agree, it’s about time someone banned Kellyanne Conway from  TV?

Can we all agree, Ms Conway needs more than counseling?

Can we all agree the most disheartening Congressional accomplishment this week is the decision to keep Mr. Trump’s tax returns private?

Can we all agree the site of two world leaders discussing security issues in a public restaurant is really beyond belief? What were they thinking?

Can we all agree it’s interesting to see how Mr. Trump’s opinions on a number of topics seem to have changed in three months?

And finally::

The tragic story of loss for one veteran who had to evacuate his home below the Oroville, CA dam.

 

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