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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 7/22/17 edition

July 22, 2017

Can we all agree, promising Presidential pardons before charges are filed, only serves to convince people that Mr. Trump knows that he, his relatives and their associates have committed crimes?

Can we all agree, the same could be said for reports from his legal team, that their legal case will be built on trying to undermine Robert Mueller’s credibility?

Can we all agree, someone in a position of power really wants to get rid of Attorney General Jeff Sessions – unless you think reports from secret intelligence cables are available freely from Washington newsstands?

A detailed look at the President's threat to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller (Washington Post)

A detailed look at the President’s threat to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller (Washington Post)

Can we all agree, it is unconscionable that a week after an Australian woman who called 911, was shot to death by police we still have no information on how the tragedy happened.

Can we all agree, Sean Spicer’s resignation is not the last high-level change coming at the White House?

Can we all agree, we will miss Melissa McCarthy’s Spicer impersonations on SNL?

Can we all agree, the real impact of Mr. Trump’s visit to Poland was his unofficial encouragement to the right-wing government?

Can we all agree, it’s hard to believe the secret life of the former head of the USC medical school, was unknown to the school’s administration?

Can we all agree, no one seems to know what will happen next week when the Senate votes on an unknown healthcare plan?

Can we all agree, the President fails to understand that no one – ‘not even congressional pages’ – are afraid of his threats?

Can we all agree, the real question for the GOP is will they let the healthcare markets collapse and risk taking heat from voters who would lose their insurance coverage?

Can we all agree, the Senate’s attempt to repeal the ACA got harder yesterday when their parliamentarian ruled against several key provisions on the bill?

Can we all agree, the record low ratings for Mr. Trump, may have something to do with his inability to get congress to bend to his will?

Can we all agree, Jared Kushner might as well resign now since he has lost all credibility with both his boss and the American people?

Can we all agree, it’s probably not conducive to good government when two federal agencies sue each other?

Can we all agree, it’s not surprising that former Trump campaign chief owed money to Russian banks, since many Americans believe Mr. Trump’s taxes will show that he owed even more?

Can we all agree, the high level voter-fraud panel, investigating non-existant voter fraud, is grasping at straws as it seeks more personal data on Americans, so the panel can make it harder to vote?

Can we all agree, even those who disagreed with Senator John McCain, were saddened by news that he has a brain tumor? At times he seemed to be one of the few sane voices in the Senate.

Can we all agree, in hindsight, it was pretty clear that the Supreme Court, with an average age of 68, would come down on the side of grandparents being excluded from the administration’s Muslim travel ban?

Can we all agree, it really doesn’t matter how many meetings Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump have had recently, their bromance has been going on for years?

Can we all agree, the Putin-Trump relationship has tainted virtually any decision that might have an impact on Russia?

Can we all agree, the big news of the week was the firing of the long-time voice of Kermit the frog?

Can we all agree, the public barely noticed when the administration turned its back on two more campaign promises this week, certifying Iranian compliance with the nuclear agreement and bringing terrorists to the US to face charges?

Can we all agree, each week seems to bring new and novel ways for the administration’s cabinet secretaries to deny climate change and global warming?

Can we all agree, the reaction to O.J. Simpson’s parole, suggests the country just doesn’t care about a crime committed over 20 years ago?

Can we all agree, the White House ‘Made in America’ campaign this week  underscored the fact that the President and his daughter have their signature products made out of the country?

Can we all agree, it’s tough to feel any sympathy for Ann Coulter in her battle with Delta Airlines?

and:

The only good news this week was a story about Israeli soldiers providing assistance to Syrian refugees. There must be other better news, but it was tough to find.

 

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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™ – 5/13/17 edition

May 13, 2017

Can we all agree the hack of numerous computer systems around the world will, once again make us all rethink our reliance on the internet? The US has only seen minor impact, but experts say it’s only a matter of time.

Can we all agree, when you change your story four times in three days, at least three of the excuses for firing the director of the FBI must be lies?

Can we all agree it is amazing that no one on the President’s staff realized firing the FBI chief might touch off a controversy?

Mr. Trump with Russian officials in the Oval Office. No US media allowed. (Photo: Russian foreign ministry photo via AP)

Mr. Trump with Russian officials in the Oval Office. No US media allowed. (Photo: Russian foreign ministry photo via AP)

Can we all agree the mental image of press secretary Sean Spicer hiding in the bushes to avoid reporters, may be one of the more enduring images of the week and it’s hard to believe SNL and Melissa McCarthy will let it pass unnoticed?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump may have more in common with Mr. Nixon than he wants if he is forced to produce the ‘tapes’ he alluded to in his tweets? In case you forgot, Nixon’s tapes forced his resignation.

Can we all agree Donald Trump’s ego would make his Twitter threats laughable if he were just a developer in New York, but as President, he doesn’t even realize the implications?

Can we all agree demanding loyalty over honesty should be an impeachable offense, since it clearly suggests Mr. Trump wanted to impede the FBI investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia?

Can we all agree canceling the White House press briefings would hurt the President more than the press, given the daily leaks that spring from the White House?

Can we all agree anyone who believes Mr. Trump’s financial ties to Russia only come from his Miss Universe pageants is naive or delusional?

Can we all agree Jeff Sessions’ move to increase sentences for drug offenses is racist?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s panel on voter fraud is a fraud from the start?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump needs to decide if he wants to be a President or a TV critic? He will not win a war of words with anyone on television.

Can we all agree that with all the internal politics going on most of us may not have noticed the decisions to arm Kurdish fighters in Syria or send more American troops to Afghanistan?

Can we all agree using immigration officers to combat drug gangs. particularly when so many are US citizens, seems a bit extraordinary?

Can we all agree the Homeland Security chief’s plan to curtail the cash-for-visa program used by the Kushner family to fund luxury condos, will not happen?

Can we all agree the US public barely blinked an eye when the Russian Tass News Agency was allowed to cover our President in the White House but US media ws barred?

Can we all agree Sinclair’s purchase of Tribune Media has some ominous implications?

Can we all agree our negotiator in chief seems to have swapped a trade deal for Far East security and security was not the winner?

Can we all agree the strong dollar has increased travel to Europe by 26%, but tourists may have a rude awakening when they come home with their laptops packed into their carry-on bags?

Can we all agree, acting FBI Chief Andrew McCabe and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates were the only heroes in Washington this week? Too bad the same cannot be said for Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Can we all agree, as the Trump administration continues to destroy the environment, at least three GOP Senators deserve credit  for standing up to him?

Can we all agree Education Secretary Betsy Devoss really has no clue why she is facing so much opposition?

Can we all agree the most under-covered story of the week  might be the resignation of the head of the US Census Bureau?

Can we all agree, when a cabinet secretary praises police for jailing a reporter doing his job we have really entered a new era of press relations?

Can we all agree Senate leader Mitch McConnell has no regard for the Constitution or his role as a check on executive branch abuses?

Can we all agree naming a committee of 13  men to write a health care bill that could drastically change women’s health care is absurd?

Can we all agree Speaker Paul Ryan’s defense of his health care bill is no less despicable than McConnell’s actions? Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel had a great response to the GOP as did voters at Republican town meetings.

Can we all agree this Republican Congressman’s statements on health care  could become the Democratic anthem for the 2018 election cycle?

Can we all agree, the Democratic race for the White House in 2020 has heated up and California’s Kamala Harris seems to have her running shoes on?

Can we all agree, were it not for the Comey firing we’d all be talking about subpoenas for Michael Flynn and the White House’s 18 day delay in firing him?

Can we all agree elections in France, Germany and South Korea seem to suggest that the rest of the world has learned from our mistake?

And finally:

Can we all agree anyone who has purchased organic produce from outside the US has always wondered about the validity of the label.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 4/15/17 edition

April 15, 2017

Can we all agree today’s tax march will be a success even if it only continues the activism spawned by opposition to Mr. Trump? Be ready for stories about violence in Berkeley, driven by outsiders looking to capitalize on the city’s reputation.

Can we all agree we’ve come a long way when China is playing the role of the grownup as the US and North Korea argue over who has a bigger missile?

Can we all agree The President’s policy flip-flops this week just show how uninformed he is on a wide range of economic topics? And no, he should not get credit because he just realized governing “is not easy.”

A back yard hawk looks for finches and voles in a San Francisco neighborhood (Photo by Tom Kuhn)

A back yard hawk looks for finches and voles in a San Francisco neighborhood (Photo by Tom Kuhn)

Can we all agree the changes are more a reflection of who has his ear this week: Steve Bannon, who seems to be on his way out or Gary Cohn a long-time registered Democrat?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump should not be congratulated for becoming more rational while his Attorney General rips up agreements on police reform, ramps up the racist war on drugs, and speeds up deportations?

Can we all agree refusing to release the logs of White House visitors just reinforces the notion that the administration has something to hide?

Can we all agree there is no way Arkansas should be allowed to speed up executions, just because the drugs they use might pass their expiration date?

Can we all agree, it looks like the administration is heading for another defeat in their battle to bar ‘sanctuary cities’ from receiving federal funds?

Can we all agree the next court battle will be over permits for Mr. Trump’s border wall?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump seems like a little kid playing with toys as he orders bombs dropped all over the world?

Can we all agree, speaking of the Commander in chief, that he has given new meaning to the famous Marie Antoinette phrase, “let them eat cake.”

Can we all agree the death toll is probably not the best way to judge the effectiveness of the MOAB –  ‘mother of all bombs’ –  dropped on Afghanistan?

Can we all agree, EPA director Scott Pruitt takes a bit too much pleasure in reversing Obama-era rules designed to prevent industry from polluting the nation’s lakes and rivers? It’s hard to believe the far right feels he’s not moving aggressively enough.

Can we all agree Education Secretary Betsy DeVoss’s moves to undo student loan regulations will last until the next scandal involving schools, such as Trump University, taking advantage of students?

Can we all agree Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deserves kudos for fulfilling a campaign promise to push for the legalization of marijuana for recreational uses?

Can we all agree private school administrators must have had their heads in the sand over the last 7 years as they watched the clergy sex abuse scandal come to light while declining to do anything about the same sort of activity at their own schools?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s plan to blackmail Democrats into supporting his new healthcare plan seems to have fizzled before it got started as GOP House member are already opposing it?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump seems to think signing controversial bills in private, like the one he approved this week to defund Planned Parenthood, means no one will know what he has done?

Can we all agree the Kentucky man dragged off a United Airlines flight this week will have every person who has ever flown, in his corner when he files suit against the airline? If you want to get bumped here’s how to do it.

Can we all agree the United CEO deserves to lose his job for listening to lawyers who obviously crafted his first response to the crises?

Can we all agree, even when the chief executive came to his senses he still had a tough time apologizing?

Can we all agree the Wells Fargo board of directors still seems pretty tone deaf as it attempts to recoup $75 million from executive implicated in the bank’s bogus credit card scheme, but still thinks it bears no responsibility?

Can we all agree Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip has found a not-so-unique way to get himself voted dictator – lie to your citizens?

Can we all agree Brazilian voters have to be wondering if anyone they put in office  is honest, as over 100 legislators and cabinet ministers were named in a criminal investigation?

Can we all agree, it was only a matter of time before Mr. Trump’s travel ban began to hurt the tourism industry?

Can we ll agree the administration’s plan to speed up their immigration enforcement will not help the situation?

Can we all agree South African President Jacob Zuma has trashed the memory of the nation’s biggest hero, Nelson Mandela?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s war mongering has certainly taken the spotlight away from the probe into his campaign’s ties to Russia? But it won’t end the investigation thanks to Paul Manafort’s activity.

Can we all agree it would be nice to have a week when Mr. Trump did not embarrass himself during a TV interview, sadly it wasn’t this past week?

Can we all agree the Republicans will say publicly that they are not worried about the 2018 election, but contests in Kansas and Georgia suggest they have some serious problems? And this doesn’t include the voter ID laws that Federal Courts say are unconstitutional.

Can we all agree Sean Spicer should not be anyone’s press secretary? His daily lies and gaffe’s are getting tiresome?

Can we all agree the only good news from the federal government this week might have been the FCC decision not to allow the use of cell phones on airplanes?

and finally:

With over 1 million people watching, April the giraffe  finally gave birth.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 2/11/17 edition

February 11, 2017

Can we all agree, no-one believes the immigration raids being conducted around the country are ‘routine,’ as the the federal agency claims?

Can we all agree the GOP knows it has a real problem when the staunchly red voters in California’s Central Valley, start to turn against them?

Can we all agree, in any other administration  National Security chief Michael Flynn’s contact with Russian officials before he took office, would lead to dismissal? It’s doubtful that will happen in the Trump administration.

Can we all agree the impact of Mr. Trump’s lies about voter fraud are being felt by one poor illegal immigrant with a sixth-grade education who is now facing an 8-year prison term for illegal voting?

Can we all agree, the only thing most people will remember about Mr. Trump’s press conference with the Japanese Prime Minister is the uncomfortable extended handshake? Especially since it’s not a Japanese custom.

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump may figure out a new way to impose his travel ban, but he will never admit he made a mistake?

Can we all agree, resistance to the GOP plan to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, finally seems to have had an impact on the GOP. They are literally living in fear.

Can we all agree the President’s son-in-law seems to be the only grown-up in the room when it comes to foreign policy?

Can we all agree our newly installed Education Secretary may have the roughest tenure of all the cabinet appointees?

Can we all agree Hillary Clinton was right, in questioning Mr. Trump’s mental stability and many Senators now seem to get the message?

Can we all agree Chinese leaders have schooled Mr. Trump on international diplomacy?

Can we all agree Kellyanne Conway doesn’t seem to understand what she did wrong in promoting Ivanka Trump’s product line? But she’s just following the lead of her boss.

Can we all agree, it appears the entire Trump family sees the presidency as one big money-making opportunity? Even their lawyers admit it.

Can we all agree, every time Sean Spicer holds a press briefing he looks foolish?  Whether it’s factual mistakes or simple spelling errors he looks like the buffoon Melissa McCarthy portrays on SNL.

Can we all agree, speaking on SNL, it appears Mr. Trump may be wrong about the show, as it enjoys it’s highest ratings in 22 years?

Can we all agree, even foreign countries seems to understand the role of comedy in the new world order?

Can we all agree the only question about Mr. Trump’s approval ratings are, “how low can they go?”

Can we all agree SNL may just be the tip of the iceberg as comedians of all stripes  continue to get under the thin skin of our new leader?

Can we all agree, it was heartening to see the North Carolina legislature put in its place by the courts, and the NCAA?

Can we all agree Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch probably won a few votes this week when he decried Mr. Trump’s tweets about the Federal Court system?

Can we all agree Senator Mitch McConnell my have given the protest movement a new slogan this week, while boosting Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 presidential aspirations?

Can we all agree it’s great to see some House Democrats grow a little backbone and find new ways to challenge the GOP?

Can we all agree, Mr. Obama must have known the new administration would allow construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline?

Can we all agree it’s unfortunate the entire 84-Lumber Super Bowl ad was not aired during the game?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s pre-Super Bowl comments on Fox were another insult to every American and are even confounding his own party? Except maybe the Senate Majority leader…

and finally:

Can we all agree, speaking of the Big Game, it’s not always about football? This week’s good read.

 

 

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