What do these men have in common?

Here are a few names I want you to think about for a few seconds. What do Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Roger Ailes, Jeffrey Epstein, Larry Nassar, Jerry Sandusky, Richard Strauss, Barry Bennett and numerous Catholic priests have in common? There are two things – they have been accused or convicted of sexual assault or misconduct and they have enablers who helped cover up their chronic abuse or infidelity. It is the enablers I want to focus on.

The enablers may have been more focused on protecting the reputation or brand of the entity, such as a university (Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State) or an organization (Catholic church, UK football, or the US Olympic Gymnastics). Yet, they did not step up to uncover what was going on or explained things away. Or, they just did not want to stick their neck out.

Legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno (lovingly called Joe Pa by fans), apparently knew of accusations of Jerry Sandusky’s predatory sexual tendencies with young boys, but enabled him to continue by not using his considerable gravitas to stop him. Other coaches and university officials were aware and did nothing or not enough.

Similar stories can be found in every sexual assault case involving a university or organization. Even Congressman Jim Jordan denies being told by several wrestlers on his team of Richard Strauss, the Ohio State medical doctor who fondled hundreds of male athletes. Yet, more than a few wrestlers, some who admired Jordan, said they told him. And, the Catholic church covering up for its pedophile priests is in its own league given the volume of priests.

Yet, the enablers who were involved with big name people, the bosses who sexually assaulted women as they had the power to make or break them, are also bothersome. These enablers did not just look the other way, which many also did, but some went out of their way to make the accusers’ stories vanish. The boss and his enablers would threaten people to acquiesce to a non-confidentiality agreement for a monetary settlement.

HBO is airing an excellent documentary on Ronan Farrow’s podcasts where he speaks with the reporters who helped him break the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault story. Weinstein could make or break a rising starlet’s career. Weinstein knew that and wielded that power like a weapon. He would threaten young women into sex or banish and bad mouth them to other studios. What finally broke him after twenty plus years was a few brave women who lost much, but went on the record along with a handful of others who shared their stories anonymously. And, one who kept a recording of him attempting a second assault.

Weinstein is a classic narcissist who bullied people for business or sexual acquiescence. One of the reporters who helped Farrow wrote Weinstein would “rape” business partners over testy financial concessions. He said the term rape was used by the other executives who felt cheated by him. Weinstein is not alone. This was common practice in the entertainment world. Yet, what is more troubling is it happens every day with men who abuse their power from retail store managers to military commanders to customer service center bosses.

And, politicians. Two former presidents are mentioned above. The latest former president in his pre-presidential career has been accused of sexual assault by about two dozen women along with a few consensual extra-marital affairs he did not want made public.He had a fixer who would enable him by making the accusation or story go away through confidential settlement. The other two-term president was a known womanizer who had more than a few extra-marital trysts when he was governor of Arkansas and president. While not accused of assault, his trysts would surface from time to time with the more famous one causing him to lie under oath.

The enablers must cease helping these folks. One of the biggest accused enablers, Ghislaine Maxwell, will be standing trial for “finding” girls (some under age) for her boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual parties for guests. Three people of note that knew Epstein include the two presidents above and Prince Andrew. So, this trial will get much notoriety

These predatory or overbearing men have taken advantage of their positions and power. Yet, the enablers have aided and abetted their efforts. These folks are equally concerning as they should know better.

Plain talk

I try to mute the campaign commercials, but sometimes they slip through. The truths often get overwhelmed by the narrative of the story. But, for some politicians, the truth is not a frequent guest in their house sans commercials. Here are few observations that I will call plain talk.

– One pro-Trump commercial says Joe Biden voted to send all the jobs to China. The truth is CEOs chasing cheap labor sent those jobs to China and to Mexico, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines.

– One pro-Senator Thom Tillis (NC) commercial said his opponent’s public health care option is government run healthcare and may close down 22 hospitals in North Carolina. First, like Medicare, it is publicly run insurance, not healthcare. Second, I have seen no reputable report that would support the conclusion a public option would close 22 hospitals.

– I see several commercials asking what happened to Senator Lindsey Graham (SC)? The answer is he has not changed much, with one key exception. He was good friends with Senator John McCain, who was more of a maverick. Graham would side with McCain on a few occasions. When McCain passed away, Graham continued down the path of sycophancy in support of Donald Trump.

– Tillis’ opponent Cal Cunningham is a very good candidate and has been ahead for much of the race. Then, it was confirmed he did something stupid as he was sexting with consultant to his campaign. My reaction is using a three letter synonym for the Democrat mascot with the word “dumb” in front of it. Will it affect the campaign? Likely.

– Speaking of the same phrase, Congressman Anthony Weiner not only destroyed his career by sending pictures of his private parts to young women, the fact his wife used the same server for some business for her boss Hillary Clinton, caused FBI Director James Comey to reopen the case and hand the election to Trump. So, Weiner’s less than prudent behavior destroyed two candidates and left us with the most corrupt and deceitful of presidents.

– What still amazes me is how Trump got elected after things that would have derailed others? The person is caught on audio tape bragging of his impunity as a rich, powerful person to groping women by their private parts, something he has been accused of by several women. Mike Pence had decided to drop out of the race, but was talked back into it, so when I see his puppy dog loyalty to this corrupt and deceitful president, I think back to when he almost remembered his conscience.

– Speaking of sexual misconduct, Bill Clinton was also famous for it, but not quite as prolific an alleged molester as the current president. It is interesting that both Trump and Clinton attended parties at Jeffrey Epstein’s. What I don’t get is Bill has an affair in the White House and his wife gets crap from the religious right for standing by her man? Mind you, Wild Bill deserved to jerked bald-headed as does The Donald. Maybe Melania and Hillary could video that for all of us to view.

Speaking plainly, the president is behind which means he will continue to get worse. His unproven accusations toward mail-in voting is just one example of his cornered-animal schtick. Believing anything Trump says is a fool’s errand. In addition to seeing Trump lose, I would love to see both Graham and Tillis lose. It appears Mitch McConnell will win, but he is the poster child for what is wrong with Congress. Until Trump brought his own swamp to town, I used to say Washington, but Trump is the new poster child.