Did politicians’ anti-Muslim rhetoric contribute to Sikh killings?

It took a while, but some people have gotten around to asking what the drumbeat of anti-Muslim rhetoric from some public figures — ahem contributes to atrocities like the Sikh Temple shooting in Milwaukee. At BuzzFeed Politics, John Stanton writes: “Sunday’s terror attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin has prompted some civil rights leaders and members of Congress to say aloud what has long been whispered on Capitol Hill: That the words and conspiracy theories of some of the most anti-Muslim legislators have grown dangerous. No one has suggested any direct ties between the statements of lawmakers like Rep. Michele Bachmann and the attack on Sunday, which left six victims dead and several others injured. Indeed, the attacker, Wade Michael Page, had longstanding ties to white supremacist groups and deep roots in the racist fringe. But voices, including those of her colleagues and leading civil rights figures, said the shooting — and a suspected arson attack at a Joplin, Missouri mosque that has previously [been] the target of anti-Muslim violence — added an urgency to Republican leaders’ efforts to tone down the rhetoric of lawmakers like Bachmann and Reps. Louis Gohmert and Steve King.” Validating delusional thinking is a highly problematic thing.

Speaking of … Team Obama thinks Our Favorite Congresswoman would be a terrific choice as Mitt Romney’s running mate. A CNN Politics story says: “Michele Bachmann and former Speaker Newt Gingrich would make excellent choices for Mitt Romney’s running mate, a spokeswoman for President Barack Obama joked Wednesday. ‘We all think Newt Gingrich or Michele Bachmann would be an excellent choice for Mitt Romney to choose,’ Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said aboard Air Force One as the president traveled to a campaign stop in Colorado. … In July, Bachmann did not deny whether she was being vetted for the job of Mitt Romney’s running mate, saying ‘Whoever it is that he chooses to bring in as his V.P., it will be a highly competent person.’ Pressed further by CNN’s Piers Morgan if she was being considered for the gig, Bachmann, whose name has not been frequently mentioned as a potential contender, left it up to the presumptive GOP nominee and his team to make a comment.” Uh, no … “not been frequently mentioned.”

Also in the land of Bachmann, Alex Seitz-Wald at Salon writes: “John Brennan, President Obama’s top counter-terrorism adviser, brushed off Rep. Michele Bachmann’s suggestion that Muslim Brotherhood agents had infiltrated the federal government, giving  an obvious eye roll when asked about it today. Speaking at a Council on Foreign Relations event in Washington, Brennan was asked what he made of the claims. The nation’s top counter-terror official, who was appointed to key national security positions under George W. Bush, chuckled lightly, rolled his eyes, and replied, ‘I would refer you to the five members of Congress who made that remark. I have no idea of what it is that they are making reference to, and I’m not even going to try to divine what it is that sometimes comes out of Congress.’ ”

The recycling of hulking big-box retail stores has begun, says Jackie Crosby in a Strib story: “The glut of empty strip malls and big-box stores in the wake of the go-go years has made leases so affordable that nearly every major hospital system in the state and many private health care organizations have jumped in. The Mayo Clinic has its sights set on the Mall of America. Allina Health has opened clinics in an Old Country Buffet and a former Wickes Furniture store. Park Nicollet and HealthPartners have built in vacant strip malls. Hennepin County Medical Center moved clinics into two Wal-Mart stores and an old Snyders Drug.”

The GleanIt’s an easy one, but the Strib spanks the perp. In an editorial, the paper writes: “There were a number of reasons why the Star Tribune Editorial Board declined to endorse Republican Mike Parry in the First District congressional primary. Parry provided further justification Monday with this reckless attack on Gov. Mark Dayton: ‘When you sit across from him and you watch him pop 15 to 16 pills when you’re having a meeting, it’s scary.’ What’s really frightening is that Parry is even in position to seek a congressional endorsement. Before he was elected to the state Senate, he was notable solely because of ill-advised comments and tweets, including comparing Democrats to pedophiles and calling President Obama a ‘Power Hungry Arrogant Black Man.’ “

Thomas Lee, the Strib’s Best Buy-watcher, writes: “Best Buy Co. Inc. founder Richard Schulze has recruited four big-name private equity firms — KKR & Co., Leonard Green & Partners, TPG Capital and Apollo Global Management — to help bankroll his $8.8 billion plan to buy the company, the Star Tribune has learned.
Collectively, the group would provide $3 billion to $4 billion to back Schulze’s bid, with the rest coming from debt financing and Schulze’s own 21 percent stake in the Richfield-based company. Sources close to Schulze said he may also tap a strategic investor who, for example, might want Best Buy to sell certain products or services.
… ‘We think Best Buy turns its nose up at $24 to $26 a share,’ wrote Daniel Binder, an analyst with Jefferies & Co. ‘We think an ultimate takeout bid would have to be in the high $20s to low $30s to give fundamental investors a large enough premium to forego the execution risks associated with what will likely be a complicated 2 to 3 year turnaround.’ ”

With Lily Lake closed to swimmers, Dennis Lien of the PiPress checks out what is going on with the water there: “ ‘You’re asking the same question we’re asking,’ said Lowell Johnson, director of public health and environment for Washington County. ‘Is there something different going on with this body of water?’ On Tuesday, state health officials closed the lake after a 9-year-old boy who swam there died, apparently from primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a usually fatal brain infection for which there have been only 125 cases in the United States since 1924. … Neither Johnson nor Danila would speculate why Lily Lake apparently has produced the only two cases in Minnesota, or even the northern part of the United States. Other recorded cases have occurred in the South, with the nearest in Missouri. But the 36-acre lake, which has a public beach and had received a lot of use before it was closed, harbors many of the conditions tied to past infections — shallow depth and nutrient-laden, warm, stagnant, unchlorinated water.” I still wonder if there’s a climate change connection between this and the murderous otters.

There’s gold in them thumbs. An AP story by Fay Abuelgasim says: “A 17-year-old boy who says he has ‘abnormally fast thumbs’ has been named the fastest texter in America for the second year in a row. ‘It feels incredible,’ said Austin Wierschke of Rhinelander, Wis., after winning the sixth annual U.S. LG National Texting Competition in Times Square on Wednesday. He gets $50,000 in prize money, which he says he’ll save and use to pay for college, along with the $50,000 he won last year. Eleven contestants from around the U.S. competed, all using the same type of cellphone, an LG Optimus Zip phone with QWERTY keyboard. Cellphone-maker LG Electronics sponsored the contest.”

Granny! We are shocked at your behavior! The AP reports: “A felony charge has been dismissed against an 81-year-old accused of inflating her mileage reports while delivering meals to fellow seniors in Superior, Wis. Evelyn R. Parker, a former employee of Senior Connections Inc., had been charged with one felony count of fraudulent writings in April. She was accused of reporting more miles than she actually drove while delivering senior meals … . [The assistant DA] told the court that Parker had prepaid $5,570.88 in restitution, which the court ordered disbursed to Senior Connections.”

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Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by John Rollings on 08/09/2012 - 07:05 am.

    Bachmann and Perry

    So far the main stream Minnesota media has given the Minnesota Republican Party pretty much a pass on forcing them to comment on not just one but two congressional candidates from their party making wild and apparently unfounded accusations.

  2. Submitted by Cecil North on 08/09/2012 - 09:04 am.

    Is there really any question that the constant drum-beat of hate and fear in the media, including the emanations of drum-majorette Bachmann, serves to validate the delusions of paranoid people and inspire their violent behavior?

  3. Submitted by Robert Hoppe on 08/09/2012 - 10:39 am.

    A day without an anti-Bachmann tirade, is a day without sunshine

    Did politicians’ anti-Muslim rhetoric contribute to Sikh killings? No.

    I do know what caused 311 murders in Chicago this year, a culture of dependency encouraged by Democrats and community organizers!

    • Submitted by chuck holtman on 08/09/2012 - 11:44 am.

      Yes, if the troubled urban youth of Chicago would just pull up their bootstraps and get good-paying jobs with, e.g., Goldman Sachs or Bain Capital, that street violence would disappear.

      The core electoral strategy of a certain political party for the past 40 years has been to cultivate and exploit fear of the other(s), a strategy pioneered by Wallace and Nixon and perfected by technicians like Atwater and Rove. It would be strange, and a confession of gross incompetence, for those practitioners now to claim that there is no connection between those efforts and the delusional fears that have have found their way into peoples’ heads.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/09/2012 - 12:04 pm.

      You know what caused 311 murders?

      Well THERE’S a great example of an unsubstantiated claim.

    • Submitted by Cecil North on 08/09/2012 - 01:23 pm.

      Hate to spoil your fun, but the murder rate in Chicago (as well as all major US cities) is dramatically lower than in recent years. So all that “culture of dependency,” as you call it, appears to be actualy lowering crime. Thank you Democrats and community organizers!

    • Submitted by James Hamilton on 08/09/2012 - 09:25 pm.

      Relative murder rates

      The murder rate for Illinois in 2010 was 5.5 per 100,000 people. It was higher than that in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Those darn Democrats and community organizers sure do get around.

      http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rates-nationally-and-state

  4. Submitted by Brandt Hardin on 08/09/2012 - 04:50 pm.

    Living in a Society of Fear

    Bachmann is just the latest example of the homegrown fear-mongering our country has been subjected to in the decade following 9/11. These are NOT allegations to be played with in today’s society where dissidence is not being tolerated and minorities are being held without trial. As an elected official, Michelle should be leading by example not spewing her own form of politicized terrorism. You can read much more about living in this Orwellian society of fear and see my visual response to these measures on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/09/living-in-society-of-fear-ten-years.html We must acknowledge this type of bigotry erodes our freedoms from the inside out for ALL races of Americans.

  5. Submitted by Robert Hoppe on 08/09/2012 - 09:12 pm.

    Things improving in Chicago after 80 years of Democratic Machine

    Re: Chicago urban youth and jobs, there are no jobs, 14.4% black unemployment under Obama.

    Re: Blaming others, one unsubstantiated allegation deserves another.

    Re: Murder is not fun, tell the 311 dead people that the murder rate is DRAMATICALLY lower.

    Re: Obama Derangement Syndrome, blame the criminal for their crimes.

    Re: Living in a Society of Fear, Sorry Bachmann is not the latest example of fear-mongering, that would be Obama. He extended the Patriot Act for four years, maintained Bush war on terror policies, increased drone attacks, personally authorized the assassination of American citizen and minority Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, broke promise for civil trials instead of military tribunals, and failed to close Gitmo. Some record on fear-mongering, never let a good crisis go to waste.

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