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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™ – 4/1/17 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 – 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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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 1/21/17 edition

January 21, 2017

Can we all agree that  the new President’s inaugural address did nothing to create a sense of unity in the nation, even among his supporters?

Can we all agree his first executive order, allowing states to ignore parts of the Affordable Care Act, will create confusion and do more harm than good?

The women's march on Washington

The women’s march on Washington.

Can we all agree that with Mr. Trump’s new slogan, it’s clear world leadership will fall to Britain’s Theresa May and Germany’s Angela Merkel?

Can we all agree Mr. Obama’s last video message tried unsuccessfully to leave his supporters with some hope?

Can we all agree the FBI did a pretty fair job of making sure no-one would notice they are investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, by announcing the probe a day before th inauguration?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump will not be happy with the comparison of his inaugural crowds with those of Mr. Obama?

Can we all agree, despite Mr. Trump’s efforts to prohibit the National Park Service from estimating crowd sizes, it’s obvious the crowd for the women’s march will also be march larger than his?

Can we all agree comparisons between Mr. Obama’s extraordinarily high approval ratings and the extraordinarily low ratings of Mr. Trump are inevitable?

Can we all agree, speaking of comparisons, it seems Mr. Trump  needed Mr. Obama’s inspiration for his inaugural cake?

Can we all agree the idiots who decided to destroy buildings in Washington DC had nothing to do with the protests that will mark the rest of Mr. Trump’s term?

Can we all agree many world leaders, except probably Vladimir Putin, will not sleep well until Mr. Trump has left office?

Can we all agree it didn’t take long for the Trump minions to begin expressing their views, as went to work deleting large portions of web pages dealing with climate change and government regulation?

Can we all agree, deleting climate change information is significant, since it comes just days after NASA announced that 2016 marked the third straight year global temperature reached record levels?

Can we all agree that it’s nice to see an impeachment website starting on Day One?

Can we all agree the Trump Hotel will be the starting point for every ethics inquiry over the next four years?

If you want to hear more about the ethics challenges Mr. Trump will face, just listen to this week’s NPR interview with two ethics experts:

Can we all agree this weekend’s Saturday Night Live show may have a record audience?

Can we all agree we will have to get used to more lawsuits and depositions by Mr. Trump? It’s only a matter of time before one of them results in release of his tax returns.

Can we all agree that doesn’t even include the ethics issues his cabinet members will face?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s cabinet picks including Mr. Mnuchin, Mr. Perry, Mr. Price, Mr. Pruitt and especially Ms Devos did not aquit themselves very well this week?

Can we all agree we dying to know what’s in the Tiffany box Mrs. Trump gave to Mrs. Obama?

Can we all agree after seeing the hearings this week the two cabinet posts approved on Friday were the least objectionable? But that’s not saying much.

Can we all agree it appears some Trump policies will start very soon with workplace immigration raids and a reduction in funding for the arts?

Can we all agree it will be impossible for the GOP to live up to Mr. Trump’s call for “insurance for all’ when they vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act? Especially when they see the costs.

Can we all agree the friendship between Mr. Trump and the legislative branch will be tested soon when he’s asked to approve a measure repealing many of Mr.Obama’s regulations and also restricting his own executive power?

Can we all agree we’re not sure why the extradition of a Mexican drug lord took place just before the new President took office?

Can we all agree it’s remarkable that at least 10 people have been rescued from the avalanche that busied an Italian hotel?

Can we all agree that America may now be the least safe place in the world as California sets a record for gun permits issued?

Can we all agree most conservatives don’t seem to understand that shortening a sentence means Chelsea Manning is still guilty?

Can we all agree that despite  Mr. Trump’s portrayal of the US economy, we have just about reached full employment as defined by economists?

Can we all agree Mr. Putin is turning in to his SNL caricature?

Can we all agree the Senegalese ‘invasion’ of Gambia would be big news, were it not for our new President?

Can we all agree the end of the search for Malaysian airliner leaves the world baffled?

Can we all agree our dreams of running off to join the circus may have finally ended this week?

and finally:

There needs to be some mention of two other non-political events:

The passing of the last man to walk on the moon and the World Champion Chicago Cubs’ visit to the White House.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 12/10/16 edition

December 10, 2016

Can we all agree the question is not whether the Russians tried to influence our election, but rather, what  Donald Trump promised them in exchange?

Can we all agree investigating the Russians may the first time the President and GOP have agreed on anything in 8 years?

Can we all agree any country who thinks it’s OK to force athletes to take illegal drugs, just to win Olympic medals is capable of most anything?

Can we all agree that starting January 20th, the White House will  be a satellite office of Goldman Sachs?

John Glenn and his wife, Anna

John Glenn and his wife, Anna

Can we all agree that we want to believe there is a connection between people who voted for Trump and the rates of drug and alcohol addiction, especially since heroin deaths have now surpassed gun deaths in the US?

Can we all agree we’re thankful we’re not in the middle of an impeachment controversy like South Korea? Oh wait, that will start January 21st, 2017.

Can we all agree Sen. John Glenn, who died this week, was a true American hero but his wife’s story is remarkable?

Can we all agree no-one should be allowed talk on their phone while flying…period? It was a bad idea when it was proposed 2 years ago, and it’s a bad idea now.

Can we all agree we have no reason to believe Mr. Trump has sold all his stock?

Can we all agree that each new cabinet pick by  Mr. Tump is like the old radio show “Can You Top This?”  We will have an EPA chief who denies climate change, a Homeland Security chief who believes in fake news,  a pro-wrestling billionaire to run the Small Business Administration, a housing chief  who doesn’t understand why people need public assistance, and a labor secretary who opposes raising the minimum wage and thinks it’s fine to use sex to sell hamburgers? And that’s just this week’s picks.

Can we all agree, it might be good that our average life expectancy has decreased? Who really wants to be around to see the impact of Trump’s 4-years of chaos.

Can we all agree, it’s nice to know that at least the Pope understands the value of real news – even if large segments of the US apparently don’t?

Can we all agree it’s great Mr. Trump will continue to be executive producer of his TV show? Maybe he’ll forget that he’s President.

Can we all agree it’s good to know Mr. Trump will take office with the lowest approval rating in the last 30 years?

Can we all agree that Mr. Trump does not understand how he damages the office, when he picks a twitter fight with an individual or rants about an issuelike a new Air Force One –  without all the facts?

Can we all agree GOP leaders, especially House Speaker Paul Ryan need to grow some backbone, and start speaking out, about Mr. Trump’s actions?

Can we all agree that, like everyone else, Al Gore, swallowed Mr. Trump’s bogus promises hook-line and sinker?

Can we all agree that among the real losers in our preoccupation with Mr. Trump are the people of Aleppo, Syria, who are being forced to flee their homes and no-one seems to care – except John Kerry?

Can we all agree the departing GOP Governor of North Carolina showed us all how not to concede an election?

Can we all agree we are not surprised there is waste in the Pentagon budget, but it’s incredible h0w much it costs to cover it up?

Can we all agree it’s pretty surprising that the Oakland building where 36 people died last weekend had never been inspected by the City?

Can we all agree West Virginia coal minors will be the first to test Mr. Trump’s ability to keep his promises when they face losing their health benefits in April, now that a short-term spending package was approved?

Can we all agree its heartening to know there are some heavy hitters who realize our gun laws need to be changed?

Can we all agree that blue collar workers who supported Mr. Trump and hospital administrators who objected to government regulation, will be the hardest hit when the GOP tries to repeal the Affordable Care Act?

Can we all agree the South Carolina jury’s failure to convict a police office of murder, just proves that it’s impossible for black Americans to get justice in some parts of the country?

Can we all agree, it’s tough to take any solace from the fact that a right-wing candidate was defeated in Austria? The results in Italy have more to do with internal politics than a right wing uprising.

Donald Trump and Alec Baldwin. Which is which?

Donald Trump and Alec Baldwin. Which is which?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump has made Saturday Night Live ‘must see TV’ once again?

Can we all agree it’s hard to believe the Pentagon really wants to have our fighter planes made in India?

Can we all agree that, despite all the explanations, it’s doubtful Mr. Trump knew what he was doing when he called the president of Taiwan?

and finally:

If you’re not depressed enough about the future of the environment, pity the soon-to-be extinct giraffe or take a look at how big banks are helping to destroy the planet.

or

Take a look at this week’s good read to mark the day that still ‘lives in infamy’ for many people.

plus:

Read the story of co-joined twins who were separated by doctors at Stanford Medical Center.

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Can We All Agree, 2/21/14 edition

February 21, 2015

Can we all agree that the settlement in the West Coast Port strike is little consolation for those with perishable products, or no inventory for their major season?

Can we all agree that even supporters of the ACA are tired of all the1205527976_8347 problems?

Can we all agree, it’s great to hear “Play Ball” once again? We’ll see if new rules speed up the game.

Can we all agree that everyone thinks the SNL stars they watched, were the best of the last 40 years

Can we all agree that over 6 feet of snow and temperatures approaching zero  is just unfair? Not to mention freezing rain.

Can we all agree that it’s likely the Congress will kick the can again, with a temporary funding plan on DHS?

Can we all agree that Jeb Bush is off to a bad start in the foreign policy area? He sounds like his brother, which is not good.

Can we all agree that Egypt bombing Libya is a startling new development?

Can we all agree that once again, Putin has taken the Europeans for a ride? I wonder what other border changes he wants?

Can we all agree that anything can be stopped in America if you shop around for the right judge?

RudyGiuliani-1Can we all agree that Rudy Giuliani, who told us, “The President, does not love the United States,” really needs to learn how to think on his feet? We’re still waiting for Scott Walker and the GOP to repudiate the former mayor.

Can we all agree that a four month reprieve, is not going to solve the Greek debt crises?

Can we all agree that Walmart’s decision to give raises to 500,000 employees, is a great start, but not a final answer.

Can we all agree that after 50 days, the report card on the new Congress is not good?

 

 

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