There's too many to recall

Every once in a while I'm reminded of a Trump scandal that I'd completely forgotten, something that on its own would have derailed any other president, senator, congressperson, governor, mayor, city councilor or selectman, sheriff outside of Arizona, police officer, teacher, register of deeds, veterinarian . . . well, pretty much anyone else. So I started to compile a list, only to call it quits after awhile when I saw just how monumental a task putting together a comprehensive list would be.

This is as far as I got:

• In May, after firing James Comey in an attempt to stop the Russia investigation, Trump hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office. Oh yeah, and the only photos were from the official Russian News agency.

• In an official government capacity, Kellyanne Conway promoted Ivanka’s fashion line.

• Steve Mnuchin, Ryan Zinke, David Shulkin and Tom Price all had scandals involving their use of taxpayer-funded flights.

• Eric Trump gives his father quarterly updates on the family businesses despite the senior’s assurance he would have no involvement in them.

• Scott Pruitt regularly dines with donors and lobbyists from industries his department regulates.

• Trump benefits from his businesses, even from foreign governments, in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which Trump took an oath to uphold and which the Congress seems to have no desire to enforce.

• Mar-a-Lago doubled its rates after Trump won the election.

• Trump held a national security meeting in a public room full of club members at Mar-a-Lago.

• According to, since he was inaugurated, the golfer in chief has made 77 visits to Trump golf courses, totaling at least $81,442,095 that taxpayers have paid for. Golfing is a pastime for which he criticized Obama, saying that he'd be too busy to golf if he were elected.

• Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico were devastated by hurricanes this year. While on one of his golf courses, Trump knocked the Mayor of San Juan, who had been sleeping on a cot and had been actively involved in cleanup efforts. Within weeks of the disaster, Trump tweeted that we couldn't aid Puerto Rico forever and gave himself a "10 out of 10" for his response to the hurricane. He made no such comments about Texas or Florida, states that voted for him.

• Jared Kushner used his influence to secure foreign investment in a family-owned business in exchange for help with visas.

• Michael Flynn lobbied on behalf of the Turkish government, but Trump chose him as National Security Adviser anyway.

• Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.

• Longtime Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz donated or solicited more than $50,000 on behalf of a Manhattan district attorney who later dropped a case against Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr.

• Sixteen women accused Trump of sexual misconduct after the man bragged about sexually assaulting women on video. Then he said they were all lying and his supporters continue to believe him.

• He said his sexual assault accusers weren’t attractive enough for him to have been interested.

• Trump backed Roy Moore after it was made public that the zealot had made passes at girls as young as 14 when he was in his 30s.

• Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty of ignoring a court order after his Sheriff tactics were found to be racist.

• Trump said there were good people on both sides of the Nazi Charlottesville incident.

• Trump condemned football players for practicing their constitutional rights, despite pledging to uphold the Constitution.

• There has been essentially nothing done on the Russian interference in our election. In fact, Trump glosses over it as if it were unimportant.

• Trump believes Putin's denial of Russian interference in our election, adding that the oligarch is offended at the suggestion.

• Trump accused Obama of wiretapping him.

• Trump promised cheap healthcare for all, but is willing to sign absolutely anything that comes across his desk, calling every proposed bill the best ever.

• Turns out, the master negotiator isn't all that good at it.

• Top aides have declared Trump an idiot: HR McMaster, Rex Tillerson.

• Remember Sean Spicer's defending of the inauguration crowd sizes?

• Trump apparently requires visual aids in order to comprehend briefings.

• Trump tried to ban an entire religious group from entering the U.S., an unconstitutional move despite, once again, having taken an oath to uphold the document.

• He knocked the participants of the largest march in American history (Women's March).

• He knocked a Gold Star family.

• He mocked Senator John McCain for being captured during the Vietnam War—a war whose draft Trump dodged.

• His charity bought paintings of Trump to put up in his golf courses.

• He still refuses to release his tax returns.

• Trump University is now defunct after multiple lawsuits.

• He brags about being philanthropic, but evidence points to him being more talk than action. Among other stories: He said he donated to a veterans organization, but didn’t until he was caught in the lie; In 1996, Trump attended a ribbon cutting for the Association to Benefit Children and sat with the big sponsors, though he hadn’t donated any money. Trump hasn’t donated to his own charity since 2008.

• He claimed a judge of Mexican heritage was incapable of being fair because Trump had knocked Mexicans.

• He had security throw out a Hispanic reporter from a press conference telling the man to "go back to Univision." Security mocked the reporter.

• He doubled down on the Central Park Five after DNA evidence and a confession by a serial rapist exonerated them.

• He pushed a NATO leader out of the way to be in the front of the pack.

• He threatened to lock up his adversary, Hillary Clinton, and still tries to force the Justice Department to open an investigation, though they don't see grounds to.

• Trump has averaged five lies a day since becoming president.

• He praises authoritarian leaders.

• He jumps all over Muslim terrorist attacks and largely ignores attacks by anyone else, even mass shootings.

• He copied and pasted a condolence tweet for the wrong mass shooting, forgetting to update the information from the previous one.

• He promised to reduce taxes on the middle class and raise them on the rich. The current proposed middle class reductions fade away in a few years, but tax cuts for the rich and corporations are indefinite. But once again, he will sign anything that comes across his desk.

• He alleged that 3-5 million people voted illegally and offered zero evidence. Then he started a commission to look into the charade, which has since been sued by several states and one of its own members.

• He wanted his supporters to volunteer as “poll watchers” on Election Day, a move seen by many as voter intimidation.

• He doesn’t appear to grasp important issues like health care, taxes or foreign diplomacy.

• Despite there being "no Russian collusion," Trump certainly seems to know a lot of people who have a lot to do with Russia.

• Trump Junior admitted he was eager to take information from the Russians in an attempt to hurt the Clinton campaign.

• Trump has been tied to the mafia a number of times over the years.

• Trump demonized Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server, but ignored his own family’s use of private emails for government business.

• A lot of Trump's merchandise through the years has been made in China and other impoverished countries with poor standards for workers' rights, and the same for Ivanka. Also, Trump golf courses hire illegal immigrants.

• Trump has stiffed contractors.

• Trump and his father settled a lawsuit in which it was alleged they had systematically discriminated against black people.

• All dictators knock the free press.

• Trump thinks global warming is a hoax and pulled us out of the Paris Climate Agreement to appease his supporters.

• He paid no income tax for 30 years. Then, rather than crediting his accountants, claimed that he was a tax genius.

• Here's an example of his complete inability to grasp empathy: He told a grieving military widow that her deceased husband knew what he had signed up for.

. . . I gotta go take a shower.

A sexual assault turning point?

Nothing made me happier back in January than the influx of pussy hats flooding the country (and indeed much of the world), that and the women's marches. I can't imagine what it would have been like to be a woman watching the rise of a sexual assaulter and misogynist to the highest office in the world knowing that we put him in that position with the confirmed knowledge that that's what he was like. And as might have been expected, he pretty well ignored the single largest march (four times larger than the nearest sized march according to Wikipedia) in the history of this country. He did, of course, berate it.

If there's a bright spot to his ascension, I think it's that women are feeling more compelled to call a spade a spade. Hollywood has rightly been thrust into the international spotlight for men being allowed to be assholes without any consequences for far too long and I'm not sure it would have happened without the Trumpster. (But unlike seemingly the entire elected republican clan, we denounce those on our side who cross the line; we don't elect them president.)

Until fairly recently, I hadn't ever forced myself to consider the plight of women or men's attitudes toward them and I surely hadn't ever tried to put myself in their shoes. But events in recent years have made the topic far more important to me and have created an empathy that was sorely lacking before. I've come to believe that our culture, and many, many others across the world are at fault for teaching boys that their job is to be the aggressor, but perhaps more significantly, we have failed to educate them about what it's like to be in other people's shoes.

And how much courage does it take for women to accuse powerful men of wrong doings? At least 16 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct and the official response from the White House? They're all lying. This is after the entire world has watched video footage of the assaulter in chief bragging about doing exactly what these women are saying. And absolutely the most amazing part is that a pretty high percentage of people believe the women are all lying. WTF? I can't imagine being one of Harvey Weinstein's accusers, or Bill Cosby's, or Kevin Spacey's. I can only hope that some of these people were so outraged by Trump that they said, "No, I'm not standing for this shit anymore. I'm not turning a blind eye to yet another jerk." This isn't about men being men, it's about men getting away with murder for the history of humanity and women finally calling them out on it (or in Spacey's case, boys and men). Bravo!

Is this a turning point for sexual assault victims? I think the road has just barely begun to be traveled. Not only is one of the most clear offenders in charge of everything, but he has stacked the deck against victims for a while to come. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has put the onus back on the accusers, which will clearly dissuade many women from reporting assaults in the first place. In addition, Trump's cabinet seems to be filled with the definition of "the old boys' club."

And yet I remain optimistic in the long run. I think there's a big enough blowback from people who see the whole situation as I do. The democrats have won the presidential popular vote all but once in the last seven elections (and that was for W.'s second term during a war). I believe that clearly means the country is moving in a progressive direction. Unfortunately, we've had two out of three presidents in a row become president lacking the popular vote and this current one is stacking the judicial branch with hard right-wingers, which will seriously skew the country away from the direction the people apparently are leaning. And don't even get me going on Gerrymandering . . . Call me back in 50 years.
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