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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 11/26/16 edition

November 26, 2016

I trust you all had a fulfilling Thanksgiving, and the leftovers are gone by now.

Can we all agree, regardless of your party affiliation, Fidel Castro was a pivotal political figure of the 20th Century?

Fidel Castro in 1984 (NYT photo)

Fidel Castro in 1984 (NYT photo)

Can we all agree, the President-elect’s response – gleeful celebration – is colored by his past attempts to open a casino in Cuba, rather than any understanding of the historical significance of the event?

Can we all agree the reaction to the start of the election recount process would have been much different if Hillary Clinton had won ?

Can we all agree it’s probably not realistic to think the results will be altered? But that hasn’t prevented Jill Stein from raising millions to move ahead in three states.

Can we all agree, the recount will do little to dampen the criticism of the Electoral College as Hillary Clinton’s lead in the overall vote continues to mount?

Can we all agree the proliferation of fake news for profit, may be the  life preserver traditional edited news content needed to prevent its demise?

Can we all agree the outlandish sums the government will be paying for security of the Trump family, is just one way the new President will profit from his own election?

Can we all agree Melania’s decision to remain in New York, at least until the end of the school year, so her son , who some believe has shown signs of autism, can finish the school year, may become  permanent?

Can we all agree the meetings this week between broadcast journalists and later the NY Times, illustrate why Mr. Trump was able to win election by controlling the message through TV coverage? We may be seeing the first Youtube presidency.

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s supporters don’t seem to care that he is continuing to turn away from his own campaign rhetoric? In fact, they expected it.

Can we all agree, Donald Trump’s business interests, make the Clinton Foundation issues look insignificant? His interests are so widespread they will color almost every decision he makes.

Can we all agree, nothing was more chilling this week than the continuing celebrations in the racist alt-right community?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s business interests, and his continued focus on them, could be the undoing of his presidency?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s financial interest in the Dakota Access pipeline  is just one example?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s economic appointments, prove once again that he has duped the great majority of the blue-collar supports who put him in office?

Can we all agree the choice of Betsy Devos as education secretary will continue to make it more difficult for traditional public school districts to educate our children?

Can we all agree the new UN ambassador may have a tough job trying to explain Mr. Trump’s actions to the rest of the world?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s decision to forgo security briefings as he focuses on his cabinet choices, illustrates the attitude of most American’s toward the rest of the world?

Can we all agree the United States should be paying more attention to the showdown between the EU and Turkey?

Can we all agree the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote may have actually strengthened the European Union?

Can we all agree, the news that the FBI now has access to everything posted on Twitter, is very disconcerting?

Can we all agree it was reassuring to see a new peace agreement signed in Colombia, even after voters rejected the first deal?

Can we all agree the widespread fires in Israel will be used by all parties to the Mideast unrest, to further their own causes?

Can we all agree, if you were wondering why the battle over court appointments has become so significant, you need look no further than this week’s decisions on new overtime rules or Wisconsin gerrymandering, for an answer?

Can we all agree most American Catholics seem to be OK with Pope Francis’ latest pronouncement on abortion?

Can we all agree, speaking of going unnoticed, no-one seems to  care about the ever-changing Olympic medal count, caused by the latest round of doping results?

Can we all agree it will be interesting to see how Mr. Trump counters the inevitable criticism he gets from Mr. Obama once their roles have changed?

Can we all agree the strangest story of the week may be the Exxon-Mobil decision to sue the offspring of its founding father?

President Obama and his final pardon.

President Obama and his final pardon.

Can we all agree, Mr. Obama is in a race against the clock to make sure many non-violent drug offenders  get their lives back?

Can we all agree he’s facing the same time constraints as he works to honor the many notable Americans who have supported his presidency?

And finally:

You have to wonder if the turkey pardoned by Mr. Obama really wanted to live in a Trumpian world marked by one drama after another?

and

The good news story of the week of the repo man who saved an elderly couple from losing their car.

RIP, everyone’s TV mom, Florence Henderson.

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 8/6/16 edition

August 6, 2016

Can we all agree the opening ceremony at the Rio Olympics was pretty mesmerizing at times and quite the fashion show? The US has already won a gold medal.

Can we all agree NBC has made it easy to watch the Olympics almost any time of the day or night?

Part of the opening ceremonies in Rio (LA Times photo)

Part of the opening ceremonies in Rio (LA Times photo)

Can we all agree that it’s tough to complain about the economy when 255,000 jobs were added last month and the stock market hit a new high?

Can we all agree, we’re a bit conflicted about about possible stem cell research on animals with human genes?

Can we all agree that Miami tourism will take a hit now that the CDC has warned about traveling to the area because of the Zika virus?

Can we all agree we’ll keep flossing despite reports that it is not as effective as our dentists say it is?

Can we all agree it’s hard to figure out what changed between Monday and Friday that pushed Donald Trump to change his mind about endorsing Paul Ryan and John McCain and other GOP candidates?

Can we all agree  he was sending a message by making the announcement late on Friday when no one will notice?

Can we all agree it is indeed a strange day when Mr. Trump admits he was wrong?

Can we all agree that despite what President Obama and John Kerry say, perception is reality, when it comes to the $400 million sent to Iran as hostages were released?

Can we all agree that Khizr Khan’s may have delivered the least watched speech of the Democratic convention, but it is now the most well known? Mr. Trump’s Viet Nam deferments don’t help his cause.

Can we all agree that if you are running a campaign trying to appeal to the ‘average American’ it might be better if you didn’t have 11 billionaires on your economic team?

Can we all agree it’s good to have a scorecard to keep track of which Republicans are still backing Mr. Trump and which have had enough?

Can we all agree most Republicans will pay little attention to Mr. Obama’s suggestion that they abandon Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree that if you can believe the polls Hillary Clinton is already picking her transition team? She also won the endorsement of the former head of the CIA.

Can we all agree that Mr. Obama had the perfect comeback to Mr. Trump’s claim that the elections are rigged when he noted, “But they elected me?”

Can we all agree that Mr. Trump’s fundraising in July was pretty impressive, but the real test will be his August and September totals?

Can we all agree the GOP is in big trouble when a stronghold such as Orange County in California begins titling toward the Democrats?

Can we all agree that politics, combined with social media, encourages people to do some strange things?

Can we all agree the African National Congress probably deserved to lose the South African election this week?

Can we all agree the state sponsored drug violence in The Philippines is a stark contrast to President Obama’s commutations of 214 sentences?

Can we all agree that ISIS may be facing defeat on the battlefield but their terror network continues to make America very nervous?

Can we all agree the North Koreans must be feeling neglected again: they’ve decided to target Japan with a missile?

Can we all agree Pope Francis is, once again, making headlines for the right reasons by agreeing to study whether women can become deacons in the Catholic church?

Can we all agree, we’ve all heard enough evidence to know that the fraud trial against Trump University should go ahead?

Can we all agree the biggest non-story of the week might be Melania Trump’s immigration to the US?

Can we all agree the best story of the week may be the human chain formed by rescuers in Maryland after flooding trapped motorists?

Can we all agree it has taken the administration too long to take action in Lybia?

Can we all agree there is no chance any of us will jump out of an airplane without a parachute?

Can we all agree that it will be great to have Jon Stewart to watch, sort of, during the election season?

And finally:

Can we all agree it sometimes takes a real outsider to explain us to ourselves?

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 4/10/16 edition

April 10, 2016

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 8:28 am

Can we all agree, if  Bruce Springsteen cancels a concert in your state (North Carolina), you’ve lost the support of a good portion of the country?

Can we all agree the plethora of laws legalizing discrimination will impact the GOP presidential campaign?

Can we all agree that the campaign by Indiana women opposed to new anti-abortion regulations is pretty creative?

Can we all agree The Pope has, once again, won admiration by simply addressing major issues that affect everyone?

University of Connecticut women celebrate their third straight NCAA title.   (NCAA photo)

University of Connecticut women celebrate their third straight NCAA title. (NCAA photo)

Can we all agree that new rules for financial planners codified what most people thought was supposed to be happening?

Can we all agree that both the University of Connecticut and Villanova basketball teams deserve accolades for their NCAA championships?

Can we all agree that the Villanova/UNC title contest may be the best NCAA championship contest of all time?

Can we all agree that it would be great if San Francisco’s  move to mandate paid parental would start a nationwide trend?

Can we all agree the Panama Papers are threatening to remake the political map in Democratic nations all over the world? Nations where dictators have total control of their media don’t seem to have any problem with the revelations.

Can we all agree that most of us never knew there was a question about the meaning of  ‘one man, one vote’ but we’re glad the Supreme Court clarified it ?

Can we all agree it’s painful to watch boatloads of migrants being sent back from the EU to Turkey?

Can we all agree that The NRA’s effort to redo Grimm’s Fairy tales by arming everyone with guns, is another sad commentary on our gun culture?

Can we all agree that Bill Clinton seems bit off his game as he campaigns for Hillary?

Can we all agree, speaking of a bit off, that Bernie Sanders sounds  off base trying to claim Hillary is unqualified because of votes she made as a Senator?

Can we all agree that, if there was any doubt about who President Obama backs, it looked pretty obvious after his comments this weekend on Fox News.

Can we all agree that the Democratic primary system looks like it was designed to benefit the candidate supported by the establishment? No matter how many victories Sanders notches, he doesn’t seem to make up much delegate ground.

Can we all agree that Bernie Sanders trip to Rome for a conference, in the middle of a campaign, seems bit strange?

Can we all agree that Ted Cruz is getting a good taste of New York values as he campaigns in the city?

Can we all agree that Bernie Sanders will probably have a lot of explaining to do at next week’s debate, after his Daily News interview revealed some holes in his plans for the country?

Can we all agree that Donald Blankenship got off easy with a year in prison and a fine after lax safety standards led to the death of 29 miners at one of his coal mines?

Can we all agree that no matter how much hype a state primary generates, no one even remembers who won, three days later?

 

 

 

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 2/13/16-non-political edition

February 13, 2016

So much news this week, I needed two posts – one on politics and another on the real news.

Can we all agree that Pope Francis’s meeting with the leader of the Eastern Orthodox church was remarkable?

Can we all agree that, in a strange way, the best news of the week may be the increase in number of employees who voluntarily quit their jobs?

Mohave National Monument

Mohave National Monument

Can we all agree that three new national monuments will be a great addition to wildlife preservation – even if they are mostly desert?

Can we all agree that the capping of the Porter Ranch gas leak will help everyone take a deep breath, and hopefully make sure it doesn’t happen elsewhere?

Can we all agree that whatever they are calling the Syrian peace plan, it doesn’t sound like there is much agreement?

Can we all agree that stepped up NATO patrols to monitor boats crossing the Mediterranean won’t mean much if they don’t actually do anything?

Can we all agree that we’re happy scientists have confirmed the existence of gravitational waves, but we have no idea what it really means? Except that Albert Einstein was really smart.

Can we all agree that the FBI deserves a lot of credit for ending the Oregon occupation quietly and with no further violence?

Can we all agree that because of the California Coastal Commission, the state has the prettiest coastline in the nation? Why they fired their executive director remans a mystery.

Can we all agree that lawsuits are always a poor way to solve most issues, but when race is involved in the United States, like in Ferguson, MO, it is sometimes the only option?

Can we all agree that it would be a shame if the US Supreme court wound up undoing what 196 countries accomplished in Paris earlier this year?

Can we all agree that it’s a bit ironic that Mitch McConnell, who berates Mr. Obama for his coal policy, is the main reason thousands of coal miners got the shaft?

Can we all agree that the GOP response to the President’s budget plan is beyond despicable? But Speaker Ryan appears to be in the same box as John Boehner.

Can we all agree we’re thrilled there’s a new Harry Potter book coming out? Or maybe not.

Can we all agree that a major league athlete who throws away his career to performance enhancing drugs deserves his own special place in the “You Can’t Make This Up Hall of Fame.”

and finally:

Can we all agree the world needed Burger King to put hot dogs on the menu? But it’s doubtful we will all head there instead of Chipotle.

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Can We All Agree – 10/24/15 Edition

October 24, 2015

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 6:32 am

Can we all agree that Hillary Clinton may have had the best 10-day stretch of any political candidate, ever?

Can we all agree that she followed up her debate victory with a great showing before Trey Gowdy’s  Benghazi committee?

Hillary Clinton before the Benghazi committee.

Hillary Clinton before the Benghazi committee.

Can we all agree that the GOP may have just won Mrs. Clinton the Democratic nomination and possibly the Presidency in 2016?

Can we all agree that VP Joe Biden’s decision not to run was based on reality and influenced by Mrs. Clinton’s 10-day comeback tour?

Can we all agree that no one is surprised that Jim Webb or Lincoln Chafee have ended their presidential bids?

Can we all agree that Jeb Bush may not be able to hold on if he does not win the New Hampshire primary?

Can we all agree that it was nice to get a reprieve from the GOP battles against Donald Trump, but that he’ll be back on the front page before long?

Can we all agree that we all long for an 11-week campaign season, like they have in Canada?

Can we all agree that Speaker-to -be Paul Ryan’s honeymoon with GOP conservatives will be short lived?

Can we all agree that there is some substance to the campaign to prevent Trump from appearing on Saturday Night Live?

Can we all agree that Ben Carson’s latest surge in the polls is beyond bizarre?

Can we all agree that every time a politician brings up Hitler, he or she, automatically negates anything they were trying to say?

Can we all agree that allowing Mr. Putin to take over the Syrian debate, may not be such a bad idea?

Can we all agree that when you lose the Mormons, like Kim Davis has, you may have lost the rest of the country as well?

Can all agree that you must have a pretty big ego to withdraw  $20 million donation because a school was not allowed to change its name to honor your wife?

Can we all agree that for all the support the Pope has received worldwide it is distressing, but probably not surprising,  to see the level of opposition he is facing in Rome?

Can we all agree that China’s decision to honor one of Africa’s most hated dictators reveals their desperation to gain influence in a region of the world where they are widely disliked?

Can we all agree that The President picked a good week to veto a defense spending bill?

Can we all agree that, just maybe, the strongest hurricane ever recorded might focus more attention on climate change?

Can we all agree that given the level of vitriol heaped on them, it’s not surprising that Ahmed Mohamed (the clock kid) and his family have decided to leave the country?

Can we all agree that we all hoping competition will put a serious dent Martin Shkreli’s drug profits? That seems to be the only language he understands.

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Can We All Agree – 10/3/15 edition

October 3, 2015

Can we all agree The President is correct – mass shootings in the US have become too routine?

Can we all agree that we lost any chance of changing gun laws when we watched 26 children and teachers be slain in Newtown, CT and did nothing?Capture12

Can we all agree that we would like our President to give Michael Douglas’s speech from “An American President?”

Can we all agree that Jeb Bush has once again put his foot in his mouth by explaining the Oregon shooting as “stuff happens.”

Can we all agree that while 140,000 jobs created in a month, may not be what some people expected, it’s better than losing jobs, and shows the economy is still on track?

Can we all agree that Vladimir Putin knows that as long as The West does not have a unified voice, he can pretty much do whatever he wants in Ukraine, Syria or anywhere else in the world?

Can we all agree it’s tough to attribute the bombing of a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz to the ‘fog of war.’

Can we all agree that the GOP can rail  about Mr. Obama’s response to Mr. Putin, but they don’t have any credible ideas?

Can we all agree that we continue to be embarrassed by the comments of the GOP field?

Can we all agree that Speaker-to-be Kevin McCarthy looks like he will fit right in with the GOP? Can we all agree he has handed the upcoming Benghazi hearing to Hillary Clinton on a silver platter?

Can we all agree that it does not bode well that Nancy Pelosi and Mr. McCarthy are barely on speaking terms?

Can we all agree that Mr. McCarthy’s reputation for malapropisms will give late night talk show hosts plenty of material.

Stephen Colbert, right, with bandleader Jon Batiste, left, and guest John Legend on CBS' "The Late Show." (CBS)

Stephen Colbert, right, with bandleader Jon Batiste, left, and guest John Legend on CBS’ “The Late Show.” (CBS)

Can we all agree that, as my friend Jim Levy says, Steven Colbert may be the only grown-up on late night TV.

Can we all agree that it will be less than a month before we all long for the good old days of Speaker John Boehner?

Can we all agree that Planned Parenthood actually gained more support after its president testified before Congress?

Can we all agree that the new budget bill passed by Congress just puts off a government closure until 2 weeks before Christmas? Happy Holidays everyone!

Can we ll agree that Donald Trump’s ‘tax plan’ just exposed him for what he is – a fraud? That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to see him be the GOP nominee.

Can we all agree that Pope Francis needs to fire a few folks at the Vatican’s DC embassy for allowing Kim Davis to have even a group audience with him?

Can we all agree that the producers  of the movie ‘Martian,’ probably can’t believe their good fortune in the timing of news that there is evidence of water on Mars?

Can we all agree that despite Thursday’s deadline for the use of credit cards with electronic chips, there has been little change in how merchants handle credit cards in the US? Once again we are light years behind our European relatives.

Can we all agree that Sepp Blatter, head of FIFA, has redefined arrogance as he defies calls from his own sponsors to resign his post in the face of a criminal investigation?

Can we all agree that the NFL should be very worried as more and more students opt for soccer over football in high school?

Can we all agree that the talent exhibited by the winners of this years McArthur awards is remarkable?

Can we all agree that, for baseball fans, the best part of the season starts on Tuesday?

 

 

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Can We All Agree – 9/12/15 Edition

September 12, 2015

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , , , , — admin @ 5:46 am

Can we all agree that whatever California  Governor Jerry Brown decides to do with the assisted suicide bill now on his desk, will have a major impact on what happens in the 45 states without such a law? I’m not sure what I would do.

Can we all agree that Rick Perry’s departure from the GOP presidential sweepstakes is just the first in a long line? I guess the new glasses didn’t help.

Can we all agree that, despite her loss on Friday, Serena Williams is still the best female tennis player in the world?

A Syrian refugee child in Spain - Washington Post photo

A Syrian refugee child in Spain – Washington Post photo

Can we all agree that President Obama’s willingness to accept 10,000 refugees from the Mideast, is embarrassing, given the size of our country?

Can we all agree that the only thing more embarrassing is the continuing treatment of the refugees on the Serbian – Hungarian border?

Can we all agree that the election of a Socialist to lead Britain’s main opposition party, will be another boost for Bernie Sanders campaign?

Can we all agree that the GOP far right is delusional if they think they will not get blamed for their planned government shutdown over funding for Planned Parenthood?

Can we all agree that most Californians are shocked that Governor Jerry Brown lost a legislative battle – even though his opponent was the oil and gas industry?

Can we all agree that apparently as far as blood pressure is concerned 120 is the new 140?

Can we all agree that automobile industry plans to install auto-stopping technology on new cars is just the first step on the road to driverless cars?

Can we all agree that every football fan will be happy when TV announcers can get through a full New England Patriots football game without mentioning deflated footballs?

Can we all agree that it will be a long time before Roger Goodell will be making another decision in an NFL disciplinary case?

Can we all agree that the AG Loretta Lynch’s decision to ‘crack down’ on white collar crime comes abut 7 years too late?

Can we all agree that nothing on Stephen Colbert’s opening night was as good as his interview with VP Joe Biden?

Can we all agree that about the only person who’s not happy that Queen Elizabeth is now the longest serving English monarch is Prince Charles?

Can we all agree that we probably should not have been surprised when  the United Airlines CEO was forced to step down over corruption charges involving an New Jersey political figure?

Can we all agree that Hillary is about 6 months late in apologizing for her private email server?

Can we all agree that we really don’t need to hear anything more from Kim Davis?

Can we all agree it might be tough for a Baltimore jury considering charges against police officers, not to be swayed by the $6.4 million settlement reached in the Freddie Gray civil case?

Can we all agree that we are thrilled to know that the human family tree has a new branch?

Pieces of a skeleton of Homo naledi -NYT photo

Pieces of a skeleton of Homo naledi -NYT photo

Can we all agree that Pope Francis probably does not have many fans in the conservative wing of the Catholic church, but everyone else is thrilled with the changes he continues to announce?

Can we all agree that the fight over the Iran nuclear deal is over but the House doesn’t seem to realize their symbolic votes are irrelevant?

 

 

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Can We All Agree – 9/5/15 Edition

September 5, 2015

Can we all agree that Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who decided that jail was better than doing her job, is misguided and receiving terrible advice?

Can we all agree that the GOP candidates who have come to her defense have proven, once again, that they are ill equipped to lead the country?

Kim Davis - NYT photo

Kim Davis – NYT photo

Can we all agree that the continuing rash of baseball fans injured and dying at baseball games must lead to more protective barriers and higher railings?

Can we all agree that new figures showing smoking in the US is at its lowest level ever, probably means tobacco companies are just more focused on countries where it’s easier to hawk their products?

Can we all agree that Pope Francis’ decision to welcome women who repent after having abortions, back into the Catholic church is a remarkable and welcome departure from past papal announcements?

Can we all agree that Roger Goodell totally mishandled the Tom Brady, Deflategate episode? (As a life-long Patriots fan, I feel it would be cruel to say any more.) But it may lead to major changes.

Can we all agree that the refugee crises in Europe was born out of the same ill-conceived agreement that created the EU?

Can we all agree that, as some commentators are saying, Europe has now found their own ‘Donald Trump’ in Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban?

Can we all agree that the stock market has officially entered the realm of irrational depression when 173,000 jobs are added and they worry about something (a rate increase) that they know has been coming for months? (I repeat, the stock market is not the economy.)

Can we all agree that renaming Mt. Mckinley to Denali – something even GOP senators in Alaska wanted –  makes sense to everyone except the Ohio Congressional delegation? I’m sure taking 1o feet off the elevation was a bit of a disappointment to Denali supporters.

Mt. Denali-Washington Post photo

Mt. Denali-Washington Post photo

Can we all agree that the President’s trip to Alaska to boost his environmental street cred,  seems a bit ill timed, coming just months after he approved oil drilling in the Arctic Circle?

Can we all agree that any 62-year-old who can survive 9 days lost in the Sierra’s – with a broken leg – deserves some kind of award from the AARP?

Can we all agree that Sony Pictures’ decision to alter the script of a movie about concussions to avoid angering the NFL is just one more black eye for a company already having a very bad decade?

Can we all agree that Hillary Clinton may be the luckiest Democratic candidate in 50 years as her favorability ratings drop while the GOP continues to self-destruct?

Can we all agree that while Mr. Trump will be the main event the September 16th GOP debate, Carley Fiorina will be a great undercard?

Can we all agree that the GOP establishment and Jeb Bush have finally woken up to the fact that they need to do something to stop The Donald? If not, he could set the party back about 150 years.

Can we all agree that we have no idea what’s going through the minds of Chinese leaders who stage a military parade as a TV event, while announcing a cut of 300,000 troops, and send a ships to the Aleutian islands while an America president is touring Alaska?

Can we all agree that while the eventual fate of the Iran nuclear deal has been decided, there will be plenty of political maneuvering for the next few weeks while Congress debates the treaty?

Can we all agree that the Trump loyalty pledge to the GOP party is not worth the paper it’s printed on?

And finally, can we all agree that California’s decision to limit the use of solitary confinement should have happened long before some inmates spent 30 years inside 8×10 foot rooms?

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