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.”
It’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.”