Now the spin’s in and Putin denies

President Donald Trump brought up Russian interference in the 2016 campaign with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their much-anticipated meeting on Friday at the G20 meeting in Germany, according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. After Putin denied that Russia ran a covert operation to subvert the US election, Trump agreed to “move forward” and even to collaborate on cybersecurity, said Tillerson, who had been in the room. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who also attended the meeting, claimed that Trump accepted Putin’s assertion that Russia didn’t meddle in the election.


US intelligence agencies agree that Putin oversaw a concerted Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 election in order to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. Russian-backed hackers broke into email accounts of Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign officials and then used Wikileaks to release emails designed to damage Clinton, the agencies concluded. Russians also created fake social media accounts to support Trump’s messaging and probed local election systems in at least 21 states, US officials say.


Trump has waffled on whether he accepts these conclusions, even as he faults former President Barack Obama for failing to do more to prevent Russian hacking.


Trump Raises Russian Interference With Putin
But Says It’s Time to Move On

Mother Jones



Now the spin’s in and Putin denies
interference… wow, what a surprise!
With the POTUS on board
and in perfect accord,
he rejects his own intel for lies.

© 2017 Susan Eckenrode

So, he’s ranting away, playing tough,

President Donald Trump on Thursday threatened “some pretty severe things” against the North Korean regime for its nuclear test earlier this week, without offering any specifics while saying “something will have to be done about it.”


“We’ll see what happens. I don’t like to talk about what we have planned, but I have some pretty severe things that we’re thinking about,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw. “They are behaving in a very, very dangerous manner.”


Trump Again Offers No Details On North Korea Policy
Huffington Post



So, he’s ranting away, playing tough,
and as blithely he blithers each bluff,
he grows more perplexed
and increasingly vexed
with his balls getting stuck in the rough.

© 2017 Susan Eckenrode

In the lap of the world’s richest nation

Wealth inequality may be even worse than we thought. Economic surveys estimate that roughly 85 percent of income and wealth gains in the last decade have gone to the wealthiest one-tenth of the top 1 percent.


That’s bad enough. But what if the concentration is even greater?


Visualize the nation’s wealth as an expansive and deep reservoir of fresh water. A small portion of this water provides sustenance to fields and villages downstream, in the form of tax dollars for public services.


In recent years, the water level has declined to a trickle, and the villages below are suffering from water shortages. Everyone is told to tighten their belts and make sacrifices.


Deep below the water surface, however, is a hidden pipe, siphoning vast amounts of water — as much as a third of the whole reservoir — off to a secret pool in the forest.


The rich are swimming while the villagers go thirsty and the fields dry up.


Yes, there are vast pools of privately owned wealth, mostly held by a small segment of super-rich Americans. The wealthiest 400 billionaires have at least as much wealth as 62 percent of the U.S. population — that’s nearly 200 million of us.


What Happened to America’s Wealth?
The Rich Hid It.

Common Dreams



In the lap of the world’s richest nation
where wages have stalled to stagnation,
the asse(t)s are stored in
the One Percent hoardin’
the cream off the Guernsey’s lactation.


Mary Boren, 7/4/17

Like the characters cast in cartoons

Seth Meyers of NBC began his segment discussing the damning Congressional Budget Office analysis of the healthcare bill, released on Monday.


“We found out today that the GOP healthcare bill could leave 22 million uninsured,” he explained, “which may be why Republicans are trying a new tactic to defend it: lying.”


Late-night hosts blast GOP healthcare bill as ‘comically villainous’




Like the characters cast in cartoons
come the villainous, bumbling buffoons
on their mission of mean
as they sway and careen
to their president’s looniest tunes.


Susan Eckenrode, 6/28/17

The Enablers

Rather than stand up to his president, calling emergency hearings, or otherwise use his powers to address the wrongdoing, a Republican senator with subpoena power is saying he won’t do anything until the press does his job for him. But Burr did better than Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who literally flipped off a reporter asking about the news. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told my colleague Dylan Scott, “If the FBI director feels the president did something inappropriate, he should come in and tell us,” and dismissed the need for a special prosecutor, saying, “Nobody’s showed me a crime anywhere.”


The sad truth is that whether or not Trump is “brought down” has at best an indirect relationship to the gravity of the charges against him. His fate depends much more heavily on how Republican leaders in Congress respond to the scandals in question than it does on those scandals’ details or severity. Trump is the American president. He can only be removed from office if a majority of the House votes to impeach and a two-thirds majority of the Senate votes to convict.


The Comey scandal won’t end Trump’s presidency
unless Republicans agree it should



It’s as quiet and still as a mouse
in the halls of the Senate and House
where courageous conviction
is visible fiction
enabling a plundering louse.

Mary Boren, 5/31/17


Legislators won’t listen to us

The Republican Congressman hid out on the roof of his office on Tuesday in response to a group of angry voters who appeared at his office hoping to share their gripes with the elected official who has refused to hold a Town Hall in recent months.




The lack of accountability being displayed in the Republican party as of late is staggering. From congressional candidates who assault reporters to elected officials who are driven to the roof to hide from the people who pay their paychecks, the culture of the Republican party is degraded beyond repair.


Congressman Darrell Issa Hides From Angry Constituents
on Roof of District Office

The Ring of Fire Network


Legislators won’t listen to us
about issues we need to discuss.
They’re too fearful of crossing
the man who is tossing
America under the bus.

Mary Boren, 5/31/17


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


He’s got the best words, yes he does.

Once upon a time, a child was born into wealth and wanted for nothing, but he was possessed by bottomless, endless, grating, grasping wanting, and wanted more, and got it, and more after that, and always more. He was a pair of ragged orange claws upon the ocean floor, forever scuttling, pinching, reaching for more, a carrion crab, a lobster and a boiling lobster pot in one, a termite, a tyrant over his own little empires.


On the Corrosive Privilege of the Most Mocked Man in the World



He’s got the best words, yes he does.
Even making some up… just because.
So a simple kerfuffle
gets a trumpian shuffle
and covfefe’s got twitter abuzz.

Susan E. Eckenrode, 5/31/17


With the oceans now rapidly rising

A new scientific analysis finds that the Earth’s oceans are rising nearly three times as rapidly as they were throughout most of the 20th century, one of the strongest indications yet that a much feared trend of not just sea level rise, but its acceleration, is now underway.




An acceleration of sea level rise, after all, is an expected consequence of ongoing global warming, and there are projections that it could rise as high as 5 to 15 millimeters per year (1.97 to 5.9 inches per decade) in extreme climate warming scenarios, according to Dangendorf.




Just how much control we are able to exert over the rate of sea level rise will critically depend on how rapidly global greenhouse gas emissions come down in coming years — making the entire outlook closely tied to whether the United States sticks with the rest of the world in honoring the Paris climate agreement.


“Sea levels will continue to rise over the coming century, no matter whether we will adapt or not, but I think we can limit at least a part of the sea level rise. It will further accelerate, but how much is related to how we act as humans,” Dangendorf said.


Scientists say the pace of sea level rise has nearly tripled since 1990
The Washington Post



With the oceans now rapidly rising,
inundation is on the horizon.
Our Denier-in-chief
will be drowning in grief
when he finds himself greeting Poseidon.

Lily Beth Baker, 5/27/17

Watch Macron as he swerves to elude

Macron strides along the blue carpet to the wall of world leaders walking toward him. As the president of the United States stretches out his arms in a “hey, buddy!” greeting of the newest member of the elite club, Macron veers to the right like a decoy Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House. Trump looks on as his French counterpart double kisses German Chancellor Angela Merkel and shakes hands with other leaders. When Macron does get around to greeting Trump, Trump goes for the grab-and-pull. But Macron immediately yanks back and employs his left hand to try to hold down The Donald’s rising right arm as the insecure alpha tries to assert his dominance as cameras clicked.

Emmanuel Macron was warned!
Jonathan Capehart, Opinion, The Washington Post



Watch Macron as he swerves to elude
Forty-five and his haute attitude,
while the NATO crew grin
at that jutted out chin
of our bully-in-chief’s fuming feud.

Susan E. Eckenrode, 5/27/17