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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 – 10/15/16 edition

October 15, 2016

Can we all agree, as the First Lady noted this week, no-one would have imagined that the presidential election would turn on crude ‘locker room’ comments by a candidate?

Can we all agree, it’s hard to believe that almost 200 nations can agree on action to combat climate change, but the Republican Party continues to deny that there is a problem?

Can we all agree, Donald Trump’s reaction to the latest charges that he sexually assaulted women over the last 30 years, typifies his reaction to most criticism? It’s also typical of many third graders.

Can we all agree President Obama has been surprisingly down to earth in his criticism of Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump is a creation of the GOP, although they won’t admit it?

Can we all agree that once again, Mr. Trump has managed to bury any bad news about Hillary Clinton coming out of the latest batch of leaked emails?

Can we all agree, the real test of American Democracy will be the day after the election?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump really wants to see violence after his election loss?

Can we all agree Hurricane Matthew may not be the most powerful storm to hit the US this season?

Hurricane Matthew from above

Hurricane Matthew from above

Can we all agree, Maine Governor Paul LePage should be impeached?

Can we all agree, it was revealing to see the students at Liberty University standing up to the admonish the school’s administration and oppose Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree, barring something really bizarre (as if we haven’t seen enough bizarre events) Mr. Trump has lost the election, everyone seems to know it except him?

Can we all agree it won’t be long before there is a major brouhaha because a passenger didn’t know Samsung’s Galaxy 7 Note is no longer allowed on airplanes?

Can we all agree it was remarkable to see GOP leaders abandon Mr. Trump last weekend and make a quick U-turn by Wednesday morning?

Can we all agree the world’s reaction to Haiti’s latest natural disaster has been unbelievably low key?

Can we all agree most of us were a bit confused when we learned Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for literature, but eventually it made sense?

Can we all agree Wells Fargo chief John Stumpf had to go, but putting his chief lieutenant in charge  hardly makes it seem that  anything will change?

Can we all agree all of Southeast Asia is on edge now that the Thai king has passed away and left the country in the hands of his son?

Can we all agree the Wells Fargo case has done more for the consumer financial protection bureau that any lobbying by Sen. Elizabeth Warren?

Can we all agree it’s great to know Ronald McDonald is keeping a low profile because of the recent clown scare? Now if we could mke that permanent we’d all be better off.

Can we all agree, it was nice to see that, for a change, no one criticized the President for striking back at Yemeni rebels who fired on US warships?

Can we all agree it’s nice to know we have plans to go to Mars, but we don’t plan on buying tickets when they go on sale?

Can we all agree it’s about time Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and NJ Governor Chris Christie face charges?

Can we all agree that Ken Bone is a pretty unlikely hero from last week’s debate?

Can we all agree Sunday’s Presidential debate seemed like an afterthought by the end of the week?

Can we all agree no-one seems to be crying for the NFL because their TV ratings have dropped?

Can we all agree we have reached the tipping point with US-Cuban relations – the limits on cigars and rum have been lifted?

Can we all agree, if we ever needed a story to prove our unconscious bias, this was it?

Can we all agree, we’re glad we never had to call 911 for help while we were in Houston?

Can we all agree, if you have ever driven through California’s Central Valley on Route 99, you can understand why it is called the nation’s deadliest highway?

This week’s good reads:

One out of Georgetown University and another from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

 

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 7/30/16 edition

July 30, 2016

Can we all agree the difference between the Democratic and Republican conventions was pretty stark?

Can we all agree that, based on the TV ratings, America seems pretty engaged in the political process, even though it’s the middle of summer and half the country is on vacation somewhere?

Can we all agree that if Ronald Reagan had been watching, he would have a lot more in common with the Democratic themes than with anything he would have heard at the GOP convention?

Khizr Khan and his wife at the Democratic convention this week. (Getty Images)

Khizr Khan and his wife at the Democratic convention this week. (Getty Images)

Can we all agree the most powerful, but least watched part of the convention may have been the speech by Khizr Khan, whose 27-year-old Muslim-American son was killed in Afghanistan?

Can we all agree with Sarah Silverman that Bernie Sanders supporters, who continue to be angry with Hillary Clinton are just “being ridiculous,” although polls seem to show that 90% of them, outside the convention hall support the Democratic nominee.

Can we all agree that Mrs. Clinton is not the best public speaker but then, President Obama, The First Lady, Joe Biden and Bill Clinton are pretty tough acts to follow?

Can we all agree that Chelsea sounds like she will take after her father as a public speaker?

Can we all agree Donald Trump has succeeded in totally embarrassing his own wife?

Can we all agree that Mr. Trump’s press conferences are must see TV, just to find out what he will be retracting the next day?

Can we all agree we’re not surprised that Mr. Trump’s favorite movie is about a billionaire megalomanic?

Can we all agree the next three months will be among the most decisive in the nation’s history?

Can we all agree the Clinton campaign should be pretty nervous if stories that her email accounts were hacked by Vladimir Putin’s geek squad are true?

Can we all agree that if DNC chair Debbie Wasserman had been more transparent in the way she handled the Democratic primary season, she might have been able to keep her job, even after the hacked emails were made public and the DNC had to issue an apology?

Can we all agree there was plenty of other news, but it was tough to find amid all the convention coverage?

Can we all agree the second quarter GDP figure makes it seem like the economy is a lot worse than it really is?

Can we all agree it was just a matter of time before our own mosquitos were found to carry the Zika virus? But don’t expect our representatives to take a break from their 7-week recess to return to Washington to do anything about it?

Can we all agree the best thing most Americans could do to show support for Europe would be to vacation there this summer and fall?

Can we all agree that while it’s great to see 6 more public officials charged in connection with the Flint water crises, I doubt the residents of that city feel any comfort when they look at what has been done to their children?

Can we all agree the most bittersweet story of the week might be the opening of the new Sandy Hook elementary school?

Can we all agree it was encouraging to know the Federal Court saw right through the North Carolina and Wisconsin legislatures’ attempts to restrict voting in their states?

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert

Can we all agree it was fun to see Stephen Colbert revive his conservative alter ego, but troubling to find out the effort may be short lived?

Can we all agree it was probably only matter of time before state fairs began sponsoring marijuana pie contests?

Can we all agree that only the notorious RBG could get away with presiding over a mock court appeal by Shylock after a Venice production of the Merchant of Venice?

Can we all agree that Bill O’Reilly doesn’t seem to understand why people were outraged when he noted that the slaves who helped build the White House, mentioned by Michelle Obama, ‘were well fed?’

Can we all agree the closure of media outlets and detainment of 47 newspaper executives pretty much ends any doubts about whether Turkey is still a democracy?

Can we all agree that, as my radio colleague Rick Love noted, we are all a bit concerned what will happen when John Hinkley’s 91-year-old mother is no longer around to supervise his home detention?

Can we all agree that, once again, the NFL has escaped criticism for their faulty show of concern about concussions in young football players?

Can we all agree that in any other week the government’s decision to admit more refugees from Central America would have touched off a huge controversy?

Can we all agree that of all the senseless ISIS murders, the death of an 85-year old priest during morning mass in France was among the most pointless?

Can we all agree that basketball icon Michael Jordan deserves praise for literally putting his money where his mouth is, when he spoke out against violence this week?

Can we all agree that no one is looking forward to the kind of horror stories about unfinished Olympic facilities that we expect to read when the Games open next week? Not to mention the trials of the Russian athletes over doping allegations.

And finally two nice reads for the week:

One on what really happens at The baseball Hall of Fame and another on life in New York City – enjoy.

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