While the planet’s most infamous fibber

President Trump’s isolated and short-sighted view threatens to quash years of deliberation and work by corporate leaders, scientists, educators, social actors and others who work tirelessly to protect the planet. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement would not only jeopardize America’s status as a world leader, but undermine our competitiveness in the emerging clean-environment global economy.




The president needs to recognize that he represents the entire country; not just the Trump Organization. He is the president of the United States of America. And most Americans want this nation to lead on battling climate change. We cannot afford to be left behind as the rest of the world moves toward a clean economy.


Trump’s misguided thinking on Paris Agreement
does disservice to America

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Opinion, The Hill


While the planet’s most infamous fibber
has Twitter obsessing on jibber,
how many will notice
one embecile POTUS
is selling us all up the river?

Mary Boren, 5/31/17


So the CIA head testified

During a House Intelligence Committee Hearing on Tuesday, former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed he’s aware of communications between the Trump campaign and Russian officials that sparked concern about possible collusion.




That “information and intelligence,” Brennan added, led to the FBI’s counterintelligence probe of the Trump campaign, which began in July 2016.


Brennan was responding to a question from Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) about evidence of collusion that seemed intended to highlight that no such evidence exists. His effort backfired. During House Intelligence Committee hearing about the Russia probe, Gowdy has repeatedly tried to change the topic from possible collusion involving the Trump campaign to leaks.


Trey Gowdy’s effort to throw cold water on
Trump-Russia collusion backfires spectacularly

Think Progress



So the CIA head testified
and as much as the congressman tried
to silence critiques
by obsessing on leaks,
there’s a story that can’t be denied.

Mary Boren, 5/25/17


Get prepared for a deafening clatter

Trump and his staff have held meetings to determine the best response to The Washington Post’s report that the president leaked intelligence about an ISIS plot to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister in the Oval Office, Foreign Policy reported.


Retaliation against Trump’s predecessor was apparently a popular option.


President Trump’s investigation distraction:
Point to Obama’s use of intel-sharing program



Get prepared for a deafening clatter
and a lot of nonsensical chatter
with intent to distract
from each relevant fact
that might get to the heart of the matter.

Lily Beth Baker, 5/19/17

Our reality show President

Democracies are fragile, after all. They need informed and engaged citizens to survive. “I’m afraid the frustrated public is tuning out and waiting for the storm to pass,” she said. “The problem is, it could be too late.”


And so the enduring image from the surreal week is not Russian officials (photographed by a Russian government staff member, no less) yukking it up with Trump in the White House.


It’s not Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein looking shellshocked on Capitol Hill.


It’s not even the jobless Comey puttering in his yard.


No, the enduring image is Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, half in shadow Tuesday night, as he told journalists to “just turn the lights off” so he could brief them without being filmed. Metaphors don’t get any better than that.


We’re only four months into this presidency. The lights need to stay on.


How the chaotic Trump news cycle confuses and misinforms the public
Margaret Sullivan, Perspective, The Washington Post


Our reality show President
has erected a really big tent
where he practices pitches
for determining which is
his most outrageous act to present.

Lily Beth Baker, 5/15/17


We need a diversion

The shock sacking of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday represents an attempt by the Republican administration to distract public attention from the damaging revelations contained in Sally Yates’s testimony before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee the previous day, former Senator and Governor (D-FL) Bob Graham told i24NEWS.


“We’re in a state of mutually assured destruction,” Graham said, referring to the partisan discord in Washington. “It seems as if both sides are trying to lob the biggest bomb they can at the other in order to get the public’s attention off the last bomb.”


“I think the timing is very suspect, that it would be done the day after this very damning testimony by Miss Yates relative to the President’s handling of information that indicated that his number one national security advisor compromised himself to the Russians,” Graham further added.


Comey sacking ‘a diversion from Yates testimony’: Bob Graham to i24NEWS
i24NEWS Americas


I’ll bet it was getting some hotter
for POTUS or maybe his dotter.
“We need a diversion
to stop this occursion!”
sez he, that precedent rotter.

Eric Linden, 5/10/17

Yes, Russiagate keeps getting bigger

Trump dubbed ‘Commander-in-distraction’ after dropping gigantic bomb on Afghanistan

A source told the newspaper [The Guardian] the official [US] investigation was now making progress and had “specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion … between people in the Trump campaign and agents of [Russian] influence relating to the use of hacked material.”


British spies were first to spot Trump team’s links with Russia
The Guardian

The Guardian has been told the FBI and the CIA were slow to appreciate the extensive nature of contacts between Trump’s team and Moscow ahead of the US election. This was in part due to US law that prohibits US agencies from examining the private communications of American citizens without warrants. “They are trained not to do this,” the source stressed.


“It looks like the [US] agencies were asleep,” the source added. “They [the European agencies] were saying: ‘There are contacts going on between people close to Mr Trump and people we believe are Russian intelligence agents. You should be wary of this.’


“The message was: ‘Watch out. There’s something not right here.’”



Graphic by Rafael Barker


Yes, Russiagate keeps getting bigger,
And Donny’s responding with vigor:
He means to conceal
What the probes may reveal
By incessantly pulling the trigger.

© 2017 Colleen Anderson


Subject to whim and caprice?

“He has moved to keep a number of the scary promises that were easier to dismiss as unfeasible during the campaign than to accept as actual policies in the real world. But the big stories he has generated have had nothing to do with these actions.


This is the result of a manipulation strategy described long ago by historian and cognitive scientist Noam Chomsky: ‘Keep the adult public attention diverted away from the real social issues, and captivated by matters of no real importance.’ Leftists such as Chomsky argue that this is what capitalist elites do, but I know it as a common tactic of kleptocratic regimes such as Vladimir Putin’s in Russia.”


Trump is a master of diversionary tactics
Leonid Bershidsky, Opinion, Chicago Tribune


Graphic by Rafael Barker


We keep hearing, almost without cease,
That he’s subject to whim and caprice.
If you buy it, you’re dreaming;
His act is the scheming
Of a wolf who is costumed in fleece.

© 2017 Colleen Anderson


Are we witnessing still more distractions

“And on it goes, day after day, a thickening fog of diversion and obfuscation, taking public attention away from the FBI’s investigation into possible treason by Trump and his aides, and focusing it instead on a thickening smog of other controversies.


“Trump knows that reporters need stories, and he is only happy to oblige. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous or baseless they might be. The more they obscure the big story, the more useful they are.”


Trump cranks up fog machine to confuse American public
Robert Reich, Opinion, San Francisco Chronicle



Are we witnessing still more distractions
and assessments of worldwide reactions
as the POTUS and crew
launch a trumped up preview
to prepare us for coming attractions?

© 2017 Susan E. Eckenrode


Tonight, as the gibbous moon waxes

“The notion that military action salvages a president on the defensive, boldly underscoring his role as commander in chief, is nothing new. But there’s a fresh wrinkle in this case, because those bombs put Trump at particular odds with Russia at a moment when there’s enormous advantage in that.”


The Riddle of Trump’s Syria Attack
Frank Bruni, Opinion, The New York Times



Tonight, as the gibbous moon waxes,
Consider how crisis distracts us:
Eighty million-plus bucks
Spent on Tomahawk strikes—
What portion of that from his taxes?

© 2017 Colleen Anderson


Puttering, sputtering

“The British called it ‘Window’; the Luftwaffe dubbed its version ‘Düppel.’ For the Americans, ‘Chaff’ was the code name for the top-secret weapon that, in July 1943, allowed the US Army Air Forces to obliterate Hamburg in broad daylight. For the past two weeks, the Trump administration has been using a Chaff approach to media management—and if we don’t learn how to deal with it, we may suffer the same fate as Hamburg.”


This WWII Military Strategy Perfectly Explains What Trump Is Doing to the Media
The Nation


Puttering, sputtering
POTUS keeps uttering
venomous, vacuous
Calling for action he’s
tweeting distractions we
never should brook.

© 2017 Susan E. Eckenrode