The Blog You've Been Missing

Can We All Agree™ – 11/4/17 edition

November 4, 2017

Can we all agree, the release of a climate change report at odds with the administration’s position, proves once again the White House is simply unable to walk and chew gum at the same time?

Can we all agree, EPA commissioner Scott Pruitt needs to get his own special copy of the report?

Can we all agree, White House is so focused on tax reform they cannot deal with other major issues that surface?

Scientists say Northern California wildfires are a symptom of climate change.

Scientists say the Northern California wildfires are a symptom of climate change.

Can we all agree, our President has proven, once again, that he has no idea how the Justice Department or legal system, works in his own country?

Can we all agree, based on current Immigration and Custom Enforcement practices long-time residents from Central America and Haiti should be very worried?

Can we all agree, the louder House Speaker Paul Ryan proclaimed the new tax bill would be a boon to the the middle class, the more everyone knew it was a Christmas present for businesses and the wealthy?

Can we all agree, once the lobbyists are done with Congress the final tax bill, if there is one, will look nothing like what was unveiled this week?

Can we all agree, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has sent a clear message to everyone in the Trump White House, and they are all very worried?

Can we all agree, the public is seeing right through Mr. Trump’s bravado about the Russian election investigation? Each month his ratings seem to hit a new low.

Can we all agree, Mr. Mueller’s court filings have made it pretty clear he thinks the collusion with Russia goes right to the top of the campaign?

Can we all agree, the only reason Janet Yellen will be replaced as head of the Federal Reserve, is that she did not get along with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his rich boy’s club?

Can we all agree, Sam Clovis never should have been nominated to head the science division in the Agriculture Department.

Can we all agree, the Russian ads on Facebook could have been written by the Trump campaign?

Can we all agree, charges that the Democratic primary was rigged to make sure Hillary Clinton won, are more damaging than any of the chants at a Trump rally?

Can we all agree, the recommendations of the report by the President’s Opioid Commission, will never be implemented?

Can we all agree, only our current President could calm a worried nation after a terrorist attack, by blaming Sen. Chuck Schumer for a program the senator wanted to end years ago?

Can we all agree, when the current ACA enrollment period ends in 6 weeks, the GOP will discover it’s still pretty popular?

Can we all agree, it turns out Chief of Staff John Kelly is just as committed to ‘alternate facts’ as everyone else who works in the White House?

Can we all agree, if Papa Johns made better pizza they wouldn’t have to blame the NFL for their sales slump?

Can we all agree, it really didn’t take a report to tell us the collisions between Navy ships and tankers could have been prevented?

Can we all agree, the tech lawyers testifying before Congress this week, pretty much insured there will be some kind of legislation to regulate them, passed in the coming year?

Can we all agree, New Yorkers are saddened by the innocent lives lost in this week’s terror attack, but they’ve seen so much worse they were almost blasé?

Can we all agree, Kevin Spacey will be the third or fourth in a long line of men who should have lost their jobs years ago?

Can we all agree, the disgruntled Twitter contractor, who gave us 11 minutes without Mr. Trump’s tweets, should be applauded?

and finally:

In case you think humans are here because we were smarter than Neanderthals, think again.

or

A great look at the frustrations of formerHouse Speaker John Boehner.

 

Post to Twitter

CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 9/30/17 edition

September 30, 2017

Can we all agree, the resignation of HHS Secretary Tom Price was more about the recent failure of ACA repeal than it was about travel at the taxpayer’s expense? If not, we would have had at least two other cabinet resignations.

Can we all agree, the GOP’s tax proposal officially puts to rest any notion that the Republicans ever cared about deficits or anyone but the top 1% of American who donate to their campaigns?

Can we all agree, news that the US has been, ‘in direct talks’ with North Korea, does nothing to calm anyone’s nerves?

Damage in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

Damage in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

Can we all agree, the ICE push to target immigrants in so called Sanctuary Cities, is just one more example of the administration’s petty and cynical view of the American legal system?

Can we all agree, the White House’s incoherent and inconsistent foreign policy was on display once again this week as it was forced to disavow its own Israeli ambassador’s comment?

Can we all agree, Sen. Mitch McConnell and the White House couldn’t schedule a tax-plan press conference fast enough after their bid to repeal the ACA went down in flames again? It’s all about capturing the ‘fake-news’ cycle.

Can we all agree, Steve Bannon’s decision to back anti-establishment GOP candidates makes Democratic in-fighting look pretty tame?

Can we all agree, Roy Moore’s victory in Alabama has turned electoral prognostication into a Las Vegas crap shoot?

Can we all agree, a Cambridge, MA librarian has made her point in rejecting a book donation from Melania Trump, but you have to wonder if she would have turned down the same books from say, Senator Elizabeth Warren?

Can we all agree, blaming the mayor of a bankrupt, flood-ravaged island, with no electricity, for your poor response, is a sure way turn off voters?

Can we all agree, the administration’s  response to Hurricane Maria’s damage in Puerto Rico has racism written all over it?

Can we all agree, a California legislator’s proposed bill to ban petroleum powered cars and trucks will probably win approval in the state legislature just because it will infuriate the Trump administration?

Can we all agree, the argument that ICE agents have simply ‘gone rogue’ in attempting to enforce the administration’s immigration policy, is proven out by statistics showing arrests are up but deportations are down?

Can we all agree, Twitter and Facebook both  should be persecuted for their roles in helping the Russians undermine our electoral system?

Can we all agree, Equifax CEO Richard Smith deserved to lose his job, not because the company’s computers were hacked, but because of his firm’s response?

Can we all agree, by picking a fight with the NFL, Mr. Trump has alienated, a group of people who were his strongest supporters?

Can we all agree, Mr Trump’s outrageous disregard for any legal restrictions makes his aides use of a private email server seem inconsequential – although it cost Hillary Clinton the presidency?

Can we all agree, Target Department Stores deserves some credit for raising wages, but they are really just responding to market forces and trying to find employees?

Can we all agree, Milo Yiannopoulos should be sent a bill for the $800,000 it cost the University of California to prepare for his 15-minute speech on the campus?

Can we all agree, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin proved this week that when it comes to  politics, he should stick to budgets and taxes?

Can we all agree it’s been a while since we heard a cabinet secretary threaten his own staff for being disloyal?

Can we all agree, we all breathed a sigh of relief that Angela Merkel won a fourth term and hope that the rise of the far -right party was just a one-time protest vote?

Can we all agree, there is very little chance that any NBA championship team will be visiting the White House in the next four years?

Can we all agree a few folks will be fired in the NCAA, but nothing will change in the world of big-time college basketball despite the latest DOJ indictments?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump should be saluted for drawing attention to the cause of former NFL quarterback Colin Kapernick?

Can we all agree, even the Supreme Court seems a bit confused about how to handle the latest travel ban?

Can we all agree, very few Baby Boomers, particularly men, will forget Hugh Hefner any time soon? And no, it wasn’t because of the articles.

Can we all agree, Jared Kushner seems to have faded from public view except when he does something really stupid?

Can we all agree, many of us are desperate for news about the Obama family because it helps us remember how nice it was to have a human being in the White House?

Can we all agree, the issues that have plagued embassy employees in Cuba, sound like a cartoon episode of “Spy Versus Spy’ from Mad Magazine? Unfortunately they are all too real.

Can we all agree, Julia Louis Dreyfus deserves kudos for using her tragic diagnosis to promote universal health care?

Can we all agree the Kurdish independence vote this week will spark years of fighting but is the first step toward a Kurdish homeland?

Can we all agree, it probably won’t be long before we hear the first joke about female drivers in Saudi Arabia?

Can we all agree the Department of Justice is nothing more than another political swamp since the current administration took over?

and finally:

Warrior’s coach Steve Kerr gets the last word on Mr. Trump’s criticism of his team’s decision not to visit the White House.

Tell us what you really think of the Trump Administration

Post to Twitter

CWAA: Can We All Agree – 1/7/17 edition

January 7, 2017

Can we all agree Vladimir Putin was masterful in abusing our electoral system?

Can we all agree this won’t be the last time Russia will use cyber-attacks to alter the course of world events?

Can we all agree it’s amazing that the only person who doesn’t believe it, is Donald Trump? Even the Russians celebrated.

15940446_1430617696950822_8444219393828689282_nCan we all agree his Saturday morning tweet storm urging closer relationship with Russia makes him seem even more desperate?

Can we all agree, the fact that Mr. Trump cited world fugitive Julian Assange as his source for doubting the intelligence report, is just absurd?

Can we all agree that once again it appears that Mr. Trump’s ego, just can’t deal with the fact that he received 3 million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton and that Mr. Putin helped  him win in the electoral college?

Can we all agree new polls showing Trump supporters are counting on Democrats to stop the new president, show an amazing lack on confidence in their own candidate?

Can we all agree the GOP has reached new levels of hypocrisy as they appear prepared to accept a $1 billion budget deficit just to get rid of The Affordable Care Act?

Can we all agree it’s starting to look unlikely that the Senate will approve a repeal of President Obama’s signature accomplishment, unless they have a plan to replace it? Even Mr. Trump seems to have doubts.

Can we all agree, we knew all along we’d be paying for any wall built along our  border with Mexico?

Can we all that 75 consecutive quarters of job growth would be an accomplishment for any president, but coming after the worst recession in 5o years deserves special recognition?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump may be the first president who will be forced to deal with non-political legal issues throughout his term?

Can we all agree, many civil servants will have second thoughts about working for the federal government now that the House has resurrected an obscure law allowing their pay to be cut by Congress?

Can we all agree the House has done an embarrassingly good job at getting us all to focus on ethics? Too bad Mr. Trump doesn’t.

Can we all agree, now that Rex Tillerson has taken a $180 million buyout from Exxon Mobil, we’re sure their interests will not color any decision he makes as secretary of state? Yeah, right.

Can we all agree naming a Wall Street lawyer to head the SEC just guarantees that no-one will be watching anything that happens in the financial markets?

Can we all agree Vice-President Joe Biden had the best quote of the week?

Can we all agree the first thing Mr. Trump should do is stop trying to make policy via Twitter?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump will learn pretty quickly that he can’t just bully every company in America to get his way. – especially since, in most cases, his comments had nothing to do with their decision?

First responders provide protection for passengers outside Fort Lauderdale airport, yesterday. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A first responder provides protection for passengers outside Fort Lauderdale airport, yesterday. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Can we all agree, he can’t even wish everyone a happy new year without creating a controversy?

Can we all agree Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has shown, once again, that he has no respect for the constitution or for governing, by scheduling cabinet nomination hearings on consecutive days, although most nominees have not even filed disclosure forms or passed routine background checks?

Can we all agree that might not help Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, who seems to be stretching the truth and  is facing protests from the NAACP, as well as law school professors across the nation?

Can we all agree some states seem to have found a novel way of keeping Mr. Trump off the 2020 ballot?

Can we all agree it won’t take long before the State of California and the federal government battle in court?

Can we all agree there will be no real cease-fire in Syria until all the rebels have been eliminated and Assad is firmly in power once again?

Can we all agree that New York Governor, and probable presidential candidate Andrew Cuomo, has unofficially launched his campaign by proposing free tuition to any NY resident accepted at a state school? (With Bernie Sanders by his side, no less)

Can we all agree, that while the US debates abandoning the Paris Accords, China is moving ahead  of us with a  commitment to renewable energy?

Can we all agree banning the simultaneous shipment of guns and ammunition on an airplanes seems like a logical solution too prevent massacres like what happened in Fort Lauderdale this week, but it will never happen?

And finally:

You can now fact check Mr. Trump’s tweets by following the Washington Post’s new  weekly feature.

and

If you want to know what we will be missing watch the First Lady’s final public speech.

Just to prove no topic is too mundane from Mr. Trump take a look at his Twitter battle with the former California Governor over the latest edition of The Apprentice.

Post to Twitter

Can We All Agree – 12/24/16 edition

December 24, 2016

This marks my 101st CWAA post. Probably should have noticed that last week was number 100 and had some sort of special ceremony, but better late than never. This will be my last of 2016 unless Mr. Trump unleashes another Tweet storm next week  – making policy via Twitter. But I’ll be back at it in January of 2017. I don’t want to be like Jon Stewart who deserted us all when we needed him most.

Thank you to all my faithful readers, I appreciate your comments and suggestions. Happy Holidays.

Can we all agree it was only a matter of time before the gulf between President Obama and Donald Trump became very public? I am rather surprised it surfaced over Israel, though.

Can we all agree the truck attack in Germany which left 12 dead is bad news for Angela Merkel’s immigration policies? Even though, they had very little to do with it.

The slain Russian ambassador to Turkey and his assailant. (NYTimes photo)

The slain Russian ambassador to Turkey and his assailant. (NYTimes photo)

Can we all agree it appears Vladimir Putin, is not done with his campaign to destabilize the West?

Can we all agree it seems rather odd that Mr. Putin has not made more of the murder of his ambassador in Turkey? Could it be he was more intent on declaring victory in Syria?

Can we all agree Donald Trump has managed to convince many voters, we are on the edge of a recession, when the evidence suggests the US economy is very healthy?

Can we all agree the relationship between the press and the new administration will be the most strained in recent memory, now that we have to read Twitter, then listen to his counselors explain what the new President really meant?

Can we all agree announcing a nuclear missile arms war via a Twitter is not what anyone would call presidential?

Can we all agree they US policy in Syria has failed and the people of Al;expo are just the first to suffer for it?

Can we all agree the folks in the midwest and Northeast probably take little solace in knowing the North Pole temperatures are 30 degrees above normal?

Can we all agree that Oprah’s interview with the First Lady was interesting, but it really just seemed like a way for her to give Michelle Obama a way to fight back against all the racist hate that exists in this country.

Can we all agree Mr. Obama seems intent on making it as difficult as possible for the new president elect to carry out some of his campaign promises? Not to mention some of his environmental goals.

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s requests for information have made it pretty clear which policies he wants to end? First it was the environment and now it’s gender equality.

Can we all agree the new administration has no idea how embarrassing the hearings on their cabinet nominees will be, since they have done very little vetting of candidates beyond their interviews with Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree anyone who expected  North Carolina to change their infamous “bathroom bill’  was either dreaming or simply very naive?

Can we all agree we will be hearing more about how access to Mr. Trump was available to anyone who wanted to pay for it?

Can we all agree, it won’t change things, but Mrs. Clinton can take some solace from her 3-million vote ‘victory’? And what happened to all that voter fraud, we could never find?

Can we all agree the January inauguration will not be the star-studded party we are all used to? Unless your idea of top notch entertainment is the Rockettes.

Can we all agree the war of words between Mr. Trump and President Clinton does not put either of them in a very good light?

Can we all agree the increase in sign-ups for health care under the Affordable Care Act will could create quite a backlash if the GOP and Mr. Trump are dumb enough to follow through on their campaign pledges?

Oprah Winfrey (right) interviews the First Lady. (White House photo)

Oprah Winfrey (right) interviews the First Lady. (White House photo)

Can we all agree the United States doesn’t seem to have an exclusive on strange court decisions..just ask IMF chief Christine Lagarde who was apparently found guilty and not guilty at the same time?

Can we all agree the new word of the year  – surreal – was a great choice by the folks at Merriam Webster?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s little chat this week with Mexican millionaire Carlos Slim is just another example of the conflicts of interest inherent in the new administration?

Can we all agree Ben Utecht’s book should be required reading for every player in the NFL?

Can we all agree the reason the GOP has been able to get away with denying science, is studies like this?

and finally:

This week’s great read is from the New York Times – a  profile of basketball coach Steve Kerr. He’s not just your average spoiled jock.

Post to Twitter

CWAA: Can We All Agree – 3/19/16 edition

March 19, 2016

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 7:07 am

Can we all agree, the European plan to deport 40,000 refugees in Greece back to Turkey for re-processing is simply cruel?

Can we all agree that. despite the partisan nature of the questioning at this week’s Congressional hearing on the Flint water disaster, the state’s Republican governor looked much worse than the EPA administrator? Although there was plenty of blame to go around.

Can we all agree the world is a bit safer today after the arrest of three terror suspects in Belgium yesterday?

Killer whales at SeaWorld

Killer whales at SeaWorld

Can we all agree SeaWorld didn’t have much choice about ending their killer whale program, given the public outcry and government opposition?

Can we all agree that we all owe Donald Trump a big ‘thank you’ for refusing to show up at next week’s GOP debate – possibly ending the the useless exercises for this primary season?

Can we all agree that the Senate finally did something right in allowing states to pass regulations on GMO labeling?

Can we all agree Hulk Hogan saved us all from endless postings of sex tapes that we never wanted to see anyway?

Can we all agree that watching Senate Republicans tie themselves into verbal knots explaining why they won’t vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee until after they see who wins the November election is truly entertaining? Sen.Orrin Hatch deserves an Oscar for his outstanding performance.

Can we all agree that Donald Trump has virtually guaranteed there will be some kind of violence if he does not get the GOP nomination?

Can we all agree that even Hillary Clinton’s most ardent supporters did not expect her to sweep all five primaries this week?

Can we all agree that Marco Rubio’s loss proves once again that it takes more than money to win in politics?

Can we all agree that shutting down a city’s municipal train system with just 24 hours notice is absurd on its face?

Can we all agree that watching FIFA claim that they are a victim of their own scandal, is like the young man who kills his parents and pleads for mercy because he’s an orphan?

Can we all agree that we are shocked the NFL casually admitted what doctors have been saying for years – that repeated blows to the head of football players cause the brain disease, CTE?

Can we all agree that The President’s decision not to allow oil drilling off the southeast coast may have been a flip-flop of the best kind?

Can we all agree that when the President leaves Cuba after his weekend visit, he needs to have something concrete in hand regarding human rights, or his trip will be wasted?

Can we all agree that Russia’s announcement of a troop withdrawal from Syria is really meaningless since they maintain  major sea and air bases in the country?

Can we all agree that the University of California seems to have a major sexual harassment problem on its hands. It was good to see Cal President Janet Napolitano try to get out in front of the story, finally.

Can we all agree that the last thing the newspaper world needed was a journalistic monopoly running from greater Los Angeles to the Mexican border?

Can we all agree that Brazil’s leaders have figured out a way to take a bad corruption scandal and make it worse?

and last but not least:

Can We all agree we are happy Twitter is maintaining their 140 character limit  forcing everyone to stay short and too the point?

Post to Twitter

The Wisdom 2.0 Bottom Line

March 2, 2015

I spent the last few days at the annual Wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

IMG_0962

Michael Gervais, (left) George Mumford and Mike Robbins (right) discuss sports and psychology and the Wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco February 28, 2015,

Many of you have probably never heard of the event, so a little context is probably in order.

Attendance this year reached 2500 and could have gone higher if organizers had not capped it. The conference is designed as a combination celebration and support group for anyone trying to bring more:  (pick one) consciousness, gratitude, or mindfulness to technology and business.

Attendees come from all over the world, although a large percentage are from California, to hear a variety of speakers from CEO’s to human resource managers, explain how they have tried to humanize their companies and deal with the increasing demands of the ‘always on’ world.

Using mindful meditation, exhortations to be present, and a wide variety of what many might consider alternative techniques, the conference is in direct contrast to the prevailing view of corporate America as a ruthless, cut throat, bottom line, profit driven culture.

In addition to the conference presentations on everything from neuroscience to networking, there are rooms devoted to meditation, and yoga, as well as a trade show in the Inspiration Lounge.

Many sessions focus on how to live a more fulfilling and compassionate life and to make choices that leave you happier both personally and in your career.

Here you can also find the latest in relaxation and stress reduction equipment and techniques.

While you might think the principles were some import from Europe, most of the foreign attendees, are quick to note that the techniques are uniquely American, which is what draws them here.

Companies with representative include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Gap and a host of others who say that recent studies have shown conclusively that promoting mindfulness and self realization in their workforce actually adds to their bottom line in  quantifiable manner.

In reality the conference is a large networking event, where like-minded folks can get together to reinforce their beliefs in hopes of connecting with someone who can help them move forward in their career.

A large percentage of the attendees are personal/executive coaches or management consultants, who are looking to make connections with those HR types from Google, Twitter, Facebook and GAP, to  improve workplace performance. Admittedly the chances are slim, but you never know.

In two days I collected a raft of business cards, and spoke with lawyers, coaches, HR managers and some old friends from the spa and yoga worlds.

My wife, who is a clinical psychologist, and attended the first Wisdom conference 6 years ago, may be a more typical participant, but she was ill over the weekend and insisted I attend.

I’ll admit I was hesitant, but after three days I was pleasantly surprised and happy I made the effort. More on some of the things I learned will come in subsequent posts.

When organizers at the opening session asked who, in the audience, was a first-time attendee, I raised my hand along with two-thirds of the crowd.

Sponsors were thrilled, saying it showed how the movement was attracting new members. But you have to think; what does it mean when attendees at previous sessions are not coming back in significant numbers?

If this were a business that had to rely on new customers for 66% of it’s profit each year, would you be optimistic?

 

Post to Twitter

Thank You, US Postal Service

January 25, 2015

The United States Postal Service gets a lot of grief these days. Derided as the delivery agent for ‘snail mail,’ they are criticized for being too expensive,  too slow,  outdated and time consuming in the era of instant communication.

I am here to defend them.letter

Yes, I have tracked letters sent via ‘Priority Mail’ as they traveled to San Diego before reaching their intended destination 10 days later, two zip codes from my office. I can send a package to Hawaii (from San Francisco) in two days, but the same size box to Boston takes over a week.

And yes, grandma, I remember when a first class stamp was 5 cents. I now buy forever stamps in rolls of 100, so I don’t even know what first class postage is. (Great marketing, if you ask me.)

I can text my friends all over the country and within 10 minutes will have a response…any longer and I get impatient. Email, which we all thought was great a few years ago, is now too slow, since most people still have to check before responding.

I tweet to my followers, and most of my relatives have Facebook pages,so we’ll all know who’s doing what. I write this blog so everyone knows how I feel about what’s going on in the world.

But none of those methods can generate the emotions of a stamped letter. Neuroscientists now know that memories are more than just events. Our brains recall all five senses and any of them can spark a memory.

I was reminded of that this week, when a good friend, David Allen, sent me a batch of letters, found while cleaning out his mother-in-law’s attic.

They were written over 47 years ago when I was a freshman at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. In fact, they were written in the first few months of college, when I was really still attached to my high school experience and scared to death about the future.

I remember the onion paper, the smell of the inked ribbon , and the old green and white Smith Corona that I used, to peck out letters to my parents, friends and former high school classmates. I still have the typewriter in fact – even had it reconditioned after I found it while going through my old homestead when my Dad died. I’m told it’s a collector’s item.

The letters were written to David’s wife, Betty, my best friend, and while we were never involved romantically, are filled with good natured banter that would pass for flirtation.

The actual content is really irrelevant: my observations about  classes, social life, campus events, and gossip. It was 1967, and I know every campus was awash in protest and politics, but there’s none of that, so I doubt Oliver Stone will need them for some new 1960’s expose.

But for me, they are more important than any email, tweet or text I will ever send.   When I re-read the words, and hold the letters, the memories of those years come flooding back. More importantly, I’m talking to my friend, Betty, again, even though she was struck down by cancer 12 years ago.

So, while I can find endless versions of various web pages, and can see the trail of my texts to friends and colleagues, none of them will ever hold the power of the printed word that I can pick up, hold in my hand, and still smell the memories from so many years ago.

For that I thank the US Postal Service and David, who was thoughtful enough to mail them back to me..

 

 

 

 

Post to Twitter