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#CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 5/20/18 edition

May 20, 2018

Can we all agree, the muted moral outrage at the shootings in a Texas school, guarantees the NRA doesn’t have to worry about any new gun control legislation – even though this year more students have died in schools than soldiers on the battlefield?

Can we all agree, even a Texas school that was prepared was no match for one determined student with a gun?

The new Duke and Duchess - a welcome respite from politics. (BBC photo)

The new Duke and Duchess – a welcome respite from politics. (BBC photo)

Can we all agree, yesterday’s royal wedding was great escapist entertainment?

Can we all agree, the new Duchess’s half family makes our own families seem almost normal?

Can we all agree, China’s commitment to ‘buy American’ with no specifics, is not a win for the administration?

Can we all agree, the latest theories about the fate of Malaysian Airlines flight 370, make a lot of sense?

Can we all agree, sports gambling has always been present, but it will now become accepted, thanks to the Supreme Court?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump seems to have agreed to help the Chinese tech firm ZTE, but has gotten little in return?

Can we all agree, one way or another, there will be more women in government after the midterm elections?

Can we all agree, the real news, after the tragic Cuban plane crash, is that 3 people actually survived?

Can we all agree, the Special Counsel’s investigation has really become a PR battle to wear down the American public?

Can we all agree, 400 consecutive months of warming temperatures is more than a trend – it’s a fact?

Can we all agree, with so much news this week, few have noticed that Congress has rejected Mr. Trump’s farm bill, his net neutrality plan, his budget blueprint and his House  committee’s bogus report on Russian interference in the 2016 election? The list doesn’t include the primary results on Tuesday)

Can we all agree, Nobel Peace Prize and Trump, should not appear in the same sentence?

Can we all agree, this week’s failure of the farm bill, just proves that the immigration debate will continue right up to the 2018 mid-term elections?

Can we all agree, the new director of the Veterans Administration will not last much longer than the last, unless he bends to the will of the President’s henchmen?

Can we all agree, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos would love to end his contract with the USPS and Mr. Trump is giving him the excuse he needs?

Can we all agree, the fact that the EPA is running its San Francisco regional office from Santa Barbara, speaks volumes about the department’s policies?

Can we all agree, after this video went viral, Mr. Trump probably wishes he never met Bill Gates?

Can we all agree, if the US birth rate continues to decline, we’ll be forced to open our borders?

Can we all agree, Gina Haspel, the new director of the CIA, will probably, do a good job, but that won’t please Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree, the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians is just another sad chapter in the intractable story of the Mideast and will not change anything?

Can we all agree, EPA secretary Scott Pruitt, showed, once again, that he has no problem lying to Congress?

Can we all agree, the EPA continues to do more damage to the planet than any other White House policy?

Can we all agree, White House advisor John Bolton, probably should not have used the phrase ‘the Libya model’ in referring to North Korea since 8 years after US intervention Libya is now a failed state with no central administrative functions?

Can we all agree, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, had a pretty good response to Mr. Trump’s suggestion that she be charged with obstruction of justice? (Do we need to point out that he’s an expert in the topic)

Just for fun: write your own caption.

Just for fun: write your own caption.

Can we all agree, The New Yorker story on presidential Lawyer Michael Cohen,  paints a vivid portrait of someone with no scruples, trying to profit  from near-celebrity?

Can we all agree, if former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was so upset about the Trump Administration, he should not have stayed so long?

Can we all agree, if US health spending is rising faster than any other Western Country, shouldn’t our life expectancy be increasing at the same rate? (hint: It’s not.)

Can we all agree, Tom Wolfe was a great writer, who loved being controversial?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump didn’t have much choice about admitting that he paid to buy the silence of an adult film star?

Can we all agree, we’re all wondering what Mr. Trump said, if anything, to welcome Melania home from the hospital?

Can we all agree, the $500 million settlement Michigan State University signed with victims of Larry Nassar, will do little to rebuild the emotional damage he inflicted?

Can we all agree, the same can be said for the gynecologist at University of Southern California who is now suspected of inappropriate behavior?

and finally:

A heartwarming story about a baby rescued at birth and how he met his savior 20 years later.

 

 

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#CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 3/24/18 edition

March 24, 2018

Can we all agree, today’s protests against gun violence in schools are already creating some change: the DOJ will ban bump stocks  the new budget bill allows research on gun violence and Citigroup is taking a stance on guns?

Can we all agree, when  President Trump threatened to veto (and then signed)  the last minute budget deal, it was just to keep the focus on him? He lost the battle – he really didn’t have any choice – Congress had left town.

'March for Our Lives' protestors in Washington DC, Saturday (NYT photo)

‘March for Our Lives’ protestors in Washington DC, Saturday (NYT photo)

Can we all agree, the Saudi Crown Prince get what he wanted in his visit to the US – positive PR and billions in new weapons?

Can we all agree, the administration’s efforts to curb nutritional labeling, as part of NAFTA negotiations, does not bode well for the continuing obesity epidemic in the US?

Can we all agree, the widening plastic garbage patch in the Pacific, should alarm us all, but since we don’t see it every day, or even while we’re 0n vacation in Hawaii, everyone ignores it?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s ‘edict’ on transgender troops is so confusing it is really meaningless?

Can we all agree, anyone who is shocked that Facebook, whose business plan is based on selling personal information, was used by political campaigns, is just naive?

Can we all agree, anyone who thinks there will be substantive changes to the Facebook business model, is just fooling themselves? Even if you mange to delete your account.

Can we all agree, we will all get to judge, whether the driverless car was at fault in the fatal traffic accident in Arizona?

Can we all agree, the verbal war of words between Mr. Trump and Joe Biden would be hilarious, if they were just schoolyard antagonists, but, like everything else, it has no place in politics?

Can we all agree, we can try to ignore the latest staff changes at the White House, but the elevation of John Bolton, the architect of the war in Iraq, is truly frightening?

Can we all agree, Sacramento protestors, need to keep the pressure on police to explain how an unarmed man, carrying a cellphone, can be shot 20 times in bis own back yard?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s trade war with China will turn out to be just a lot of hot air, just like his tariff’s on steel and aluminum?

Can we all agree, changing lawyers will not help Mr. Trump’s defense against Special Counsel Robert Mueller?

Can we all agree, aides might think the President was ignoring warnings not to congratulate Vladimir Putin, but they should know, he is incapable of reading anything in his briefing books?

Can we all agree, it’s unfortunate that the heroic action of a resource officer in a Maryland school, will now be politicized in our gun debate?

Can we all agree, we are all numb to new revelations of Trump trysts, but they make for great TV?

Can we all agree, it would be easy to discount another celebrity running for office, but we already made that mistake more than once?

Can we all agree, seeing Tiger Woods on a PGA leaderboard,will invigorate the sport – at least until he retires to the senior tour?

Can we all agree, Saturday Night Live remains must-see TV for political junkies?

Can we all agree, getting tough on drug dealers will not solve an opioid epidemic that starts in doctor’s offices?

Can we all agree, throwing your wife under the bus, to defend your poor judgement, like HUD Secretary Ben Carson did this week, is not the way to foster a great marriage?

Can we all agree, no  one can really figure out if Cambridge Analytics even knew what to do with all the data they stole from Facebook?

The Pacific garbage patch

The Pacific garbage patch

Can we all agree, even $10,000 travel vouchers , will not improve United Airlines image?

Can we all agree, the least we should expect from the White House are press releases without misspellings and typos? But I guess that’s too much to ask of this administration.

Can we all agree, The Pope seems to having a tough month, almost as bad as the former president of Peru?

Can we all agree, the 2018 campaign for Congress has not even hit full steam and the 2020 campaign for President has already started in New Hampshire?

and finally:

If you are over 40, IBM is no longer the right place for you.

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 2/10/18 edition

February 10, 2018

Can we all agree, at some point even, Donald Trump will tire of the dysfunction in his own White House?

Can we all agree, two resignations and an offer to resign by the chief of staff, cannot be considered normal?

Can we all agree, no one is surprised  that Donald Trump thinks spousal abuse is fine for an ‘honorable public servant’?

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, standing in front of the North Korean delegation at the start of the Winter Olympics. (NYT photo)

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, standing in front of the North Korean delegation at the start of the Winter Olympics. (NYT photo)

Can we all agree, there was no chance The President was going to let the Democratic defense of the FBI and Department of Justice be made public? Expect a leak, soon.

Can we all agree, it won’t be long before Robert Porter’s girlfriend, White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, runs afoul of Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree, after this week’s budget agreement, neither Democrats nor Republicans can use the deficit as a reason to oppose government spending?

Can we all agree, even Paul Ryan and the Tea Party who spent the last 10 years objecting to Obama era programs, didn’t have the political will to vote against the plan?

Can we all agree, it won’t be long before there is no one left at the Department of Justice who could fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller?

Can we all agree, the message of peace and harmony, from the Winter Olymoucs, is a welcome respite from our internal political turmoil?

Can we all agree, if the government was really interested in Peace, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife should have turned around and publicly greeted the North Korean delegation.

Can we all agree, it’s hard to understand how intelligence officials, can be bilked out of $100,000 – aren’t they the people we rely on for accurate intelligence?

Can we all agree, using a top secret government computer seems like a perfect way to mine bitcoins – until you get caught by the KGB?

Can we all agree, Israel’s entrance into the Syrian conflict is an ominous new sign of the region’s continuing instability?

Can we all agree, Americans need continual reminders that this is not 1929 and the stock market is not the economy?

Can we all agree, 200,000 cases of fraud from the Wine Country fires are hard to fathom?

Can we all agree, it’s about time the International Court investigated the actions of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte?

Can we all agree, Angela Merkel, lost some power but she did what she had to do to create a German government that was functional?

Can we all agree, Steve Wynn may have lost his job but he saved his company?

Can we all agree, we don’t need ‘lady friendly’ Doritos?

Can we all agree, god did the nation a favor, by declining to tell Michelle Bachman to seek a US Senate seat?

Can we all agree, the last thing this country needs is a military parade to boost Mr. Trump’s ego?

Can we all agree, it seems pretty clear the only person in the government who did not like James Comey, was Donald Trump?

Can we all agree, Rep. Nancy Pelosi didn’t win, but her 8-hour speech in defense of Dreamers won her respect?

Can we all agree, the world should be outraged by the Polish government in restricting free speech regarding the holocaust?

Can we all agree, anyone who has ever bought a lottery ticket would gladly change places with the New Hampshire woman who declined to accept her $640 million lottery prize, because she didn’t want her name to be made public?

Can we all agree, Democrats who did not applaud Mr. Trump at the State Of the Union, were doing the MOST American thing they could: defending their right to free speech? And he was not trying to make a joke.

Can we all agree, if President Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder and the Supreme Court all seem to be on the same side in opposing Reoublican gerrymandering, maybe we do have a way out of our electoral mess?

The deficit clock: both sides have thrown in the towel

The deficit clock: both sides have thrown in the towel

Can we all agree, if the GOP wants to see how much trouble their candidates are facing, they only need to look at California where Republican candidates are already facing long odds for re-election?

Can we all agree, there is a very human dark  side to the gig economy that no one really wants to discuss?

Can we all agree, Elon Musk has successfully disrupted the rocket launch business with his usual bravado – now if he could only deliver cars on time, he might even make money?

and finally:

If you want some examples of the right way to fight obesity, take a look at what Chile is doing.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 1/27/18 edition

January 27, 2018

Can we all agree, the resignation of the US Gymnastics committee should have happened months (if not years) ago?

Can we all agree, after hearing the horrific details of what went on in Larry Nassar’s medical office, the  young women have a right to ask “What took so long,” and why aren’t more people losing their jobs?

Some of Larry Nassar's victim's. Rachael Denhollander, Sterling Riethman, Kaylee Lorincz, Jeanette Antolin

Some of Larry Nassar’s victims. Rachael Denhollander, Sterling Riethman, Kaylee Lorincz, Jeanette Antolin.

Can we all agree, most environmentalists were pleasantly surprised when the EPA continued to restrict gold mining in Alaska only to be disappointed by the White House plans to speed up infrastructure approvals by making environmental rules tougher to enforce?

Can we all agree, despite what pollsters may think, the flu is the major topic on the minds of most Americans?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump was able to complete a successful trip to Davos, only because he stuck to the speech written for him and didn’t issue one tweet?

Can we all agree, despite what Mr. Trump said earlier in the week, no one knows what he really wants the final immigration bill to say?

Can we all agree, if The President is interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, perjury will be the first charge he faces?

Can we all agree, “gridlock” will be the political word of the year?

Can we all agree, whether they like it or not, the GOP will have to deal with reports that the President wanted to fire Mr. Mueller?

Can we all agree, depending on who you talk to, the economy is either good, or not as good as it should be?

Can we all agree, few people outside the beltway are paying attention to the political machinations of the House and Senate committees investigating Russian interference in our election?

Can we all agree, advancing the Doomsday Clock, may be an academic exercise, but it scares the hell out of everyone?

Can we all agree, imposing tariff’s on foreign washing machines and solar panels, just guarantees that prices will go up in both categories? Even for those products made in the US.

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump might be getting the hang of this appointment process? He only had one resignation this week and two of his nominees (the Fed Chairman and the HHS secretary) were actually approved easily. A third needed Mike Pence’s vote to break a tie?

Can we all agree, ratings for Stormy Daniels on the Kimmel show will easily beat the State of the Union or the Democrats’ rebuttal?

Can we all agree, $92 million to settle three years of harassment cases in one state (CA) is a problem?

Can we all agree, Mr Trump should have taken the gold toilet offered by the Guggenheim museum?

Can we all agree, it doesn’t seem like anyone in the Trump clan understands that they should not be commenting on anything political?

Can we all agree,  Congressman Patrick Meehan doesn’t even seem to know what sexual misconduct is?

Can we all agree, it’s quite an indictment of our political system, when a sitting senator agrees to run for re-election by saying,”This place sucks.”

Can we all agree, we have become so numb to school killings that two murders in a schoolyard hardly caused a ripple?

Can we all agree, the Oscar  committee has at least avoided any major controversies with this year’s nominees?

Can we all agree, it’s Saturday, and no one even remembers last weekend’s government shutdown – so it’s unlikely voters will remember in November? Unless, of course, we have another one next month.

Can we all agree, Democrats will be forced to accept citizenship for Dreamers in exchange for Trump’s wall?

Can we all agree, some folks might detect a pattern in the way the courts are throwing out voting districts created by partisan legislatures?

Can we all agree, the US is powerless to stop Turkey from attacking the Kurds in Northern Syria?

Can we all agree, it won’t take long for someone to figure out a way to outsmart the  cashierless Amazon Go stores?

Can we all agree, if any other Attorney General were so brazenly doing the President’s political dirty work, there would be demands for a Congressional investigation?

Can we all agree, some candidates never should have run for office?

and finally:

It’s one thing to stop illegal immigrants from entering the country, but quite another to gleefully empty emergency water bottles left by non-profit groups just trying to keep people alive.

and:

There is hope that new battery technology will help store solar and wind power.

or what was that about a Nutella riot in France?

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 12/9/17 edition

December 9, 2017

Can we all agree, Sen. Al Franken has discovered that the court of public opinion does not believe in innocent until proven guilty?

Can we all agree, the incredible actions of Rep. Trent Franks and Judge Alex Kozinski, give new meaning to the phrase ‘you can’t make this up.’

Can we all agree, this still does not make it easier to understand how a child molester might win a senate seat in Alabama and a sexual predator was elected President?

Can we all agree, it’s one thing to support a child molester running for the senate, but quite another to actively campaign for him?

Fire burn outside Los Angeles.

Fires burn outside Los Angeles.

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump does not worry about Palestinian protests as long as he can keep his campaign contributors happy?

Can we all agree, Dina Powell’s departure from he White House post may not be controversial, but it certainly seems odd that it came just a day after her major policy initiative was announced?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s visit tonight to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is an insult to every black American?

Can we all agree, the impressive jobs numbers have nothing to do with anything The President has done in the last year?

Can we all agree, just weeks after declining to provide more fire aid to Northern California, Mr. Trump seems content to sit and watch as Southern California burnsClick here for a look at the LA Fire from the air.

Can we all agree, the administration seems indifferent to new projections of the actual number of deaths in Puerto Rico?

Can we all agree, if Mr. Trump had not monopolized every news cycle, Americans might know the Brexit negotiations took a major step this week or that a German political crises has been averted or that 15 UN peacekeepers were killed in the Congo?

Can we all agree, Maine Senator Susan Collins, gave away her vote on the GOP tax bill and probably will get nothing in return?

Can we all agree, it seems rather pointless to approve a two week extension of government spending when we will just repeat the same exercise in brinksmanship, just before Christmas?

Can we all agree, the Aussies deserve credit for approving same-sex marriage the way it should be done, by an act of the legislature?

Can we all agree, The House-Senate conference committee is making a bad tax bill worse by acceding to the demands of Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree, comparing intra-state drivers licenses to intra-state gun permits is the ultimate apples to oranges challenge?

Can we all agree, downsizing two Utah monuments sacrifices the benefits of many Americans to the needs of a few, for no good reason?

Can we all agree, any rational resident of the planet would pay attention to the latest climate change warning: unfortunate that excludes EPA director Scott Pruitt?

Can we all agree, the Republicans can attack Special Counsel Robert Mueller all they want, the voters understand politics?

Can we all agree, Time Magazine’s Person of the Year is pretty much a direct slap in the face to President Trump?

Can we all agree, John Oliver’s interview with Dustin Hoffman is a milestone?

Can we all agree, there’s at least one conspiracy theory progressive Democrats can get behind?

Can we all agree, despite Mr. Trump’s lies, his real estate business stands to win big under the new tax plan?

Can we all agree, the Russians deserved to be barred from the Winter Olympics period, with no special exceptions?

Can we all agree, the President’s lawyers are trying to tell us that he is above the law – but no one needs a legal expert to tell them that’s laughable?

Can we all agree, former campaign manager Paul Manafort deserves to have his bail revoked just for being stupid?

Can we all agree, the Supreme Court’s  approval of the administration’s travel ban may be temporary?

Can we all agree, the constant drip of story, after story after story about links between the Trump administration and the Russians ,will eventually bury the White House?

Can we all agree, it seems pretty obvious that with the appointment of his top aide to his former job, Chief of Staff John Kelley will continue to run the Department of Homeland Security?

and finally, two good reads:

One from WWII in honor of Pearl Harbor Day, and the other, a story unique to our times when a fake restaurant can become a destination.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 7/29/17 edition

July 29, 2017

Can we all agree, John McCain saved the Republican party from itself, when he cast the deciding vote against the so called ‘skinny repeal’ of the Affordable Care Act?

Can we all agree, Senator McCain clearly never forgave the President for the slights he was forced to endure during the 2016 campaign and seemed to relish his role?

Can we all agree it was McCain who got the pivotal vote, but it was Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski who took most of the heat?

Senators McCain, Collins and Murkowski: This week's heroes

Senators McCain, Collins and Murkowski: This week’s healthcare heroes.

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump erred badly when he tried to bully Senator  Murkowski into supporting the measure?

Can we all agree, GOP lawmakers who turned to sexist rhetoric in an attempt to pressure the female senators were an embarrassment?

Can we all agree, someone in the GOP has to  grow up and make a concerted effort to ensure the existing health insurance system will continue to work?

Can we all agree, it was heartening to some degree to see the GOP stand up to the President this week by defending the attorney general, passing tougher Russian sanctions and rejecting calls to ban transgender Americans in the military ?

Can we all agree the White House didn’t have much choice but to sign the sanctions bill?

Can we all agree, Russia’s retaliation for the increased sanctions has been relatively mild so far?

Can we all agree, Reince Priebus, has been a dead man walking since he took the job as White House chief of staff?

Can we all agree, when the nation’s chief executive jokingly condones police violence of any type, he displays a profound disregard for civil rights and insults the majority of the nation’s law enforcement officers who observe professional standards?

Can we all agree, Anthony Scaramucci has no business running a communications team if he can’t even communicate without being vulgar?

Can we all agree, the White House announced policies on gay rights, is simply out of touch with the attitudes of most Americans?

Can we all agree, House passage of a budget bill that has no chance of winning Senate approval shows that Speaker Paul Ryan has no ability to deal with conservative ideologues in his caucus?

Can we all agree, North Korea’s test of a missile that could reach Denver, Colorado should make it clear that they are the number one threat to our country?

Can we all agree, the removal of the Pakistani Prime Minister by that nation’s highest court would normally leave us shaking our collective heads in disbelief, but these days we just wonder if the US is next?

Can we all agree, the Boy Scouts really had no control over what the President would say at their annual event, but at least they realized an apology was necessary?

Can we all agree, the Vice President’s voter fraud commission has no idea how to conduct a legitimate study of the alleged problem?

Can we all agree, the fact that Secretary of State Rex Tlllerson was forced to deny rumors that he wanted to quit, suggests he may be on his way out?

Can we all agree, now that both Britain and France have passed laws banning vehicles with internal combustion engines, we may have reached a tipping point?DF31rp1XkAA8Ala.jpg-large

Can we all agree, normally when a TV commentator has a private dinner at the White House, it would damage his credibility, but with Sean Hannity, no one even blinked an eye?

Can we all agree, allowing your employer to place a chip in your body for identification purposes sends chills down the spine of many people?

Can we all agree, translating Foxconn’s employment practices in China to the US could be difficult?

Can we all agree, the results of a study of deceased football player’s brains should make parents think twice before allowing their children to play football?

Can we all agree, it’s hard to believe that the only person the Department of Justice could find to run their criminal division was someone with ties to a Russian bank?

Can we all agree, the Democrats new image message was less than inspiring?

Can we all agree, the Polish President’s veto of legislation taking over that nation’s courts, avoided a European crises?

Can we all agree, Jared Kushner’s private testimony before a Senate panel, suggests he’s either stupid or involved in issues way over his head?

Can we all agree, another silver lining to California’s wet winter is a new gold rush?

Can we all agree, the new TSA rules for screening electronics are going to make security lines even longer?

Can we all agree, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who is taking a job as a religious ambassador, is a poster child for the dangers of refusing to compromise in politics?

and finally:

RIP:

June Foray–the voice of our youth from “Rocky and Bullwinkle” to “Dudley Do-Right,” “Bugs Bunny” and “The Flintstones.”

and

Now you can ask a psychologist to find out if the President really is crazy.

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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 7/8/17 edition

July 8, 2017

Can we all agree, as long as Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin release their claims of what they discussed through biased mouthpieces we should be skeptical of anything they say?

Can we all agree it’s hard to believe Mr. Trump pressed Mr. Putin very hard on election tampering, one day after claiming he still wasn’t sure the Russians hacked our election system?

A friend recently published her photos of the Milky Way. (Photo by Annie Lu)

A friend recently published her photos of the Milky Way. (Photo by Annie Lu)

Can we all agree, there is no denying Mr. Trump’s policies are leaving the US on the sidelines of global trade and  isolated on most major issues?

Can we all agree, the robust jobs report may have very little to do with Trump’s economic policies, since no one is sure what they are ?

Can we all agree the slowdown in auto sales, and the resulting loss of jobs, may be  tough for the White House to explain?

Can we all agree, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems ready to admit defeat on repealing the Affordable Care Act, although the White House seems to be preparing one last push?

Can we all agree, any cease fire is good news, but we’ve been down this road many times in Syria?

Can we all agree, the GOP seems to having problems dealing with social media? First their attack on Hillary Clinton backfires and then the Indiana GOP asks for Obamacare horror stories and is flooded with positive comments.

Can we all agree, the departure of the head of the federal ethics office is a sad day for all of us, since  it will allow the White House to appoint someone who ignores their nonexistent ethics?

Can we all agree, the two year delay in approving an Illinois budget should be a warning to the GOP – if they ever get around to voting on an increase to the federal debt ceiling?

Can we all agree, the revelations about the ‘successful’ interception of a test missile aimed at California, will not make  West Coast residents sleep any easier

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s latest bizarre tweet has to worry even his most ardent supporters?

Can we all agree, it’s hard to believe, he could top his retweet of a doctored video showing him wrestling with a CNN logo?

Can we all agree, if the GOP has lost a solid red state. such as Kansas, they really should rethink their attempts to repeal Obamacare?

Can we all agree, California Governor Jerry Brown really seems to like his new role as ‘Democratic President of the United States.’

Can we all agree, the move to all electric cars may happen faster than anyone expected as France and Volvo jumped on the Tesla technology bandwagon?

Can we all agree, The Presidential voting commission needs to be dissolved  now that 44 states have turned down their request for voter data?

Can we all agree, US oil producers don’t seem to understand that the more they sell the lower the price will be and the sooner the oil boom will turn into a bust?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s portrayal, in Poland, of the war against ISIS, as a battle against all Muslims, is counter-productive and needlessly raises the stature of that terrorist organization?

Can we all agree, Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins’ use of a Nazi gas chamber as a backdrop for a campaign ad, has left everyone speechless?

Can we all agree, United Airlines just doesn’t seem to understand that customer service and common sense, need to come before profits?

Can we all agree, no one seems to believe the White House story line that Obamacare is a failure?

Can we all agree, it does not appear that the July Fourth break was particularly pleasant for lawmakers supporting repeal of The Affordable Care Act?

Can we all agree, the recent headline noting that ‘self restraint’ is the only thing standing in the way of war with North Korea should make everyone from Barrow, Alaska, to San Diego, California very nervous?

Can we all agree, that, given the number of executives who have now been fired for sexual harassment, the corporate culture at Fox News must have been terrible for any woman who tried to make a career there?

Can we all agree, NJ Governor Chris Christie, photographed sunbathing this week on a beach closed by a budget impasse gives new meaning to the word chutzpah?

Can we all agree, it appears once again, that the only thing standing in the way of a complete climate meltdown in the US, may be the judicial system?

Can we all agree, it looks like the courts may have to be the last line of defense against Betsy Devoss and her Department of Education also?

and finally:

We should all pause to remember Ms Sheila Michaels.

and

A former member of Congress who now needs the ACA to survive.

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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™ – 4/1/17 edition

April 1, 2017

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

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

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

First rose of the season in my garden: Sombreuil

First rose of the season in my garden: Sombreuil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and finally:

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

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CWAA: Can We All Agree ™ – 3/18/17 edition

March 18, 2017

Can we all agree Donald Trump’s budget plan may not pass, but he has succeeded in reframing the debate for the GOP, so that only minor improvements can win over opponents?

Can we all agree the new budget director has already given Democrats plenty of ammunition for the mid-term elections?

Can we all agree the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates is good news, since it means the economy is growing?

Can we all agree Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has given North Korea exactly what they wanted; the threat of an imminent attack by the US?

Can we all agree the Democrats are leaving no stone unturned to create opposition to Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch?

Can we all agree, regardless of who leaked 2 pages Mr. Trump’s 2005 tax return, it was a blatant attempt to draw public attention for the plethora of controversies the White House is facing?

Can we all agree, if Hillary Clinton is really ‘coming out of the woods,’ she will be the only Democrat who can steal the spotlight away from Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s meeting with German President Angela Merkel will not be the last awkward meeting he has with another world leader?

New Monopoly game pieces include T-Rex, a duck and a penguin

New Monopoly game pieces include T-Rex, a duck and a penguin

Can we all agree California farmers have proven unequivocally that Americans will not replace foreign workers to harvest crops?

Can we all agree Baby Boomers took another kick in the stomach this week as Hasbro replaced the boot, the wheelbarrow and the thimble as playing pieces in Monopoly?

Can we all agree Rep. Paul Ryan can make all the changes he wants to Trumpcare, but it still has little chance of passing the Senate, even by a simple majority if 24 million people will lose their insurance?

Can we all agree it won’t take Mr. Trump long to cite today’s attack in Paris as justification for more security measures?

Can we all agree, news that Syria had targeted Israel jets coming back from a bombing run was troubling on a  number of levels?

Can we all agree every time we increase the number of troops being sent to Syria, we just create more targets for ISIS?

Can we all agree, given the way things seem too be run in the White House, it’s easy to believe the Milpitas, CA man who jumped the fence, really was a friend of the President, as he claimed?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s Muslim travel ban will probably be decided by the Supreme Court – which is why he is so intent in having his nominee confirmed before the end of this term?

Can we all agree  Mr. Obama and now England are due apologies over the false claims that they colluded to tap Mr. Trump’s ‘wires‘?

Can we all agree Scotland deserves to get a new independence vote in light of England’s decision to leave the European Union?

Can we all agree the slow deterioration in EU-Turkish relations will continue as long as Recep Tayyip Erdogan leads Turkey?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s embrace of Andrew Jackson seems both logical and apalling?

Can we all agree, given the new Russian revelations, it’s pretty clear why Michael Flynn was ousted from his national security post? Someone knew what additional revelations were coming.

Can we all agree the world breathed a sigh of relief with the defeat of the Dutch anti-immigration candidate?

Can we all agree the sooner the White House starts cooperating with Congressional probes of Russian involvement in the campaign, the sooner the GOP will end the investigations?

Can we all agree charging two Russians with hacking millions of Yahoo accounts, just added to the pressure to get to the bottom of exactly what the Russian government is doing?

Can we all agree it’s doubtful  federal immigration officials will pay any attention to the request by the California Chief Justice, who asked them to stay away from state courthouses? After all, to paraphrase Willie Sutton, ‘that’s where the criminals are.’

Can we all agree, Olympic ideals took another hit this week when the head of USA Gymnastics was forced to resign ?

Can we all agree the women’s Olympic hockey team members had little choice but to threaten a strike to get the recognition and support they deserve?

Can we all agree it’s clear that Press Secretary Sean Spicer is performing for an audience of one, each time he addresses the press?

Can we all agree, speaking of performing, it’s embarrassing that  Republicxans have such a tough time celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?

Can we all agree it may be a small step, but banning plastic straws might be a good symbolic step to fight ocean pollution? Especially since the administration seems intent on rolling back air pollution rules.

Can we all agree since the administration seems unconcerned about how global warming, caused by air pollution, is affecting humans, it’s doubtful they will care about the death of large portions of the Great Barrier Reef?

Can we all agree anyone who really thought Roundup was safe for the environment, just isn’t following the money in medical research?

Can we all agree Koch Industries has done masterful job in  making sure electric cars never eat into their profits on a national basis?

Can we all agree it’s great to see that the world’s oldest golf course finally agreed to let women join? Who would have thought Augusta National would beat them to the punch by 5 years?

Can we all agree telling your voters to ‘shut up’ may not be the best way to win re-election?

Can we all agree there were a number of head-slapping comments by politicians this week? And the list doesn’t even include Kellyanne Conway’s latest whopper.

Can we all agree, if Navy officials thought they could get away with a multi-billion dollar bribery scheme there are probably many more scandals we don’t know about?

Can we all agree it’s comforting to know white supremacist Richard Spencer will no longer be able to say he runs a tax-exempt non-profit organization?

Can we all agree, when the family of the president’s son-in-law can sign a deal with the Chinese it should raise some red flags?

Can we all agree we should get rid of the bi-annual clock changing ceremony and leave the country of Daylight Savings Time permanently?

and finally:

If you really want to know why people fear nuclear power. check out the state of the cleanup from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown six years ago.

Can’t wait for this week’s Saturday Night Live show?

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