CityWatch Today: Trump’s Tacky, Relentless Selling of America

GUEST WORDS--While we await the Mueller findings, Trump is greedily hustling to squeeze every cent he can from hard-pressed taxpayers before - please please - prison or impeachment calls. Hence the new line of crap from his Trump Store, released last week for spring: A cherry-blossom-themed mess of mugs, shirts, soap et al "inspired" by Trump's D.C. Hotel that goes one step further into bizarre, grandiose hucksterism by plastering the name "Trump Hotels" and "Trump Washington D.C." over images of the White House and other Capitol buildings, evidently in hopes of convincing us the White House is a Trump Hotel and America is him. And yes: Not just tawdry, but illegal. (Photo above: No press allowed inside Mar-A-Lago, so we just have these blurry social media photos of white people hunkered down during our national emergency, partying while America burns.)

The collection includes a long-sleeve shirt ($45), jumbo mug ($16) and soap set ($22) featuring both blatant lies - the soap reads "Trump Hotels" over an outline of the White House - and slimy, truth-fudging misrepresentation like the moniker "Trump Washington D.C." over the hotel and "our capital’s landmarks and iconic flora." Presumably, given the site also separately lists "Made in the USA" items, the blossomy stuff is all made in China. Responses on social media were mixed: One commenter said he's waiting for an I-never-cared-for-McCain mug, while #Kavanaugh's Beer noted, "I'm a beer and I understand the emoluments clause better than this guy."

In other how-else-can-we-rip-off America news, a leaked recording has exposed oil and gas executives giddily boasting about their newly unprecedented presidential access - it's "worked out well"; the Republican National Committee just spent another $1,085.60 at Trump's D.C. hotel, bringing its total spending there to $404,077.57 since 2017; campaign filings show Trump has charged his own reelection campaign $1.3 million for rent, food, lodging and other expenses since taking office - $1.3 million of donor money that went straight into his slimy pocket - and, because grifters gonna grift, on Friday the Palm Beach County GOP held their annual Lincoln Day Dinner at - yes! - Mar-a-Lago.

Event tickets cost up to $25,000, but only from "American citizens and green-card holders." The evening's  keynote speaker was Lindsey "Trump Is A Jackass" Graham, who "joked" about Trump opening a hotel in Jerusalem but somehow forgot to mention his good "friend" John McCain, currently being trashed by his host and savior. Press was for the first time banned - prompting applause - but social media delivered rogue photos of a sea of white men (except the waiters), plastic blond women, and bottles of Trump water that may or may not have come from Trump toilets. Because it wasn't surreal enough these cretins broke out in chants of "Lock Her Up!" and there is no low to which they will not go, the final indignity was visited upon once-noble Abe Lincoln, who appeared in posters and an icky dessert sporting a MAGA hat. We're ready to take back our country now, thanks.

(Guest columnist Abby Zimet writes for Common Dreams where this piece was first posted.)