Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fallout From 45's Swedish Fantasy

At this point it's difficult to tell whether it's more embarrassing to be America's unpopular Groper-In-Chief, a member of the Republican Party, or a citizen in the nation that elected the delusional clown who calls himself our president.

Apparently undeterred by the recent backlash from senior White House staff members Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway talking about fictional terrorist acts in Atlanta and Bowling Green, yesterday the increasingly erratic SCROTUS made reference to a terrorist attack in Sweden that never actually happened.

As the New York Times reported 45's latest lie was told in front of an audience of supporters in Melbourne, Florida on Saturday.

Evidently he'd fled there to try and escape his historically low poll numbers, growing anger over his disastrous policy rollouts and scrutiny over his ties to Russia.

Was the delusional Donald simply trying to re-stoke the irrational anti-immigrant hysteria that fueled his presidential campaign in a desperate attempt to boost his sagging poll numbers?

Perhaps he said it as a distraction from a story posted on Saturday by Reuters about the federal government's inquiries into Russian interference in the November 8th elections including three separate FBI investigations into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee's emails, the hacking of Hillary Clinton adviser John Podesta's email account and a counterintelligence probe of financial transactions between Russian individuals and organizations with known ties to the Trump campaign.

Who knows, maybe it was a poorly-planned klutzy combination of both.

Regardless of his intentions, the absurdity of his lie has gone global - further reinforcing the public perception of him as being detached from reality, averse to telling the truth and completely unqualified to hold the office he's held for less than a month.

The flagrant lie drew a swift response from social media that ranged from bewilderment, to condemnation, to amusement and mockery.

One of the funniest responses was from an unknown Twitter user who had the presence of mind to quickly create a parody Twitter account called "Last Night In Sweden" that began posting some pretty hysterical sarcastic responses to the mythical terrorist attack.

One of the photos published by Aftonbladet showing
actual scenes of Sweden on Friday night
Some of my favorites include:

"Last night we listened to ABBA. Today, we are listening to an angry yam."

"Last night, no one in Sweden had heard of the Emoluments Clause in the Constitution. Today we are very interested."

And (Last Night In Sweden) "It was very cold."

Swedish media was quick to jump in on the act as well.

The popular Swedish tabloid daily Aftonbladet posted an article in English that listed a brief timeline of routine things that actually WERE happening in Sweden on Friday night when Trump's non-existent terrorist attack was supposedly happening.


"8:46pm: Due to harsh weather in the northern parts of Sweden, the road E10 was closed between Katterjakk and Riksgransen. Due to strong winds and snow in the region the Met office also issued an avalanche warning."

Ex-Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt
Upon learning of Trump's statement, early this morning former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt posted a brief message on his Twitter account that read:

"Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound."

Questions indeed.

Like where's the White House focus on REAL terror plots here in America?

While Trump and members of his senior staff have been trying to incite fears about foreign terrorist acts that haven't actually happened, the White House is facing growing criticism for ignoring the danger of real terror attacks by white extremists here in America.

As the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center Richard Cohen warned in a recent article, with the Trump administration so consumed with the idea of terrorists from foreign nations entering the U.S., they are ignoring the potential for threats faced from right-wing American extremists.

As Cohen notes, individuals like white supremacist Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 men, women and children and injured nearly 700 in the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995, Neo-Nazi Wade Page who shot and killed six Sikhs at a temple in Wisconsin in 2012, or more recently, Dylan Roof, who murdered nine African-Americans attending a Bible study in South Carolina, represent a far more dangerous threat to American lives than the fictional terror plots consuming the Trump administration's attention.

Trump, Stephen Bannon, his anti-immigrant zealot policy adviser Stephen Miller and Attorney General Jeff Sessions only being capable of seeing a boogeyman with dark skin is troubling.

The inability of Republican leaders to acknowledge that a terrorist that looks more like them also represents a clear and present danger to Americans of all faiths and ethnicities is a threat far more menacing than the imaginary terrorists who did not attack Sweden on Friday night.

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