Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Feb 17th, 2011

Summary: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who claims to support low taxes, has inexplicably come out in opposition to an Obama administration initiative to give expectant moms a tax break — reducing the tax liabilityof mothers who breastfeed their babies by allowing a tax deduction for the purchase of breast pumps. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on February 17, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that the Taliban’s top military commander had been captured in Karachi, Pakistan, in a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence forces. The commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is an Afghan described by American officials as the most significant Taliban figure to be detained since the American-led war in Afghanistan started in late 2001. He ranked second in influence only to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban’s founder and a close associate of Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Sep 12th, 2009

Summary: Veteran journalist Al Eisele of the Capitol Hill newspaper, “The Hill,” made astute first-hand observations of Rep. Michele Bachmann’s behavior from the gallery at President Barack Obama’s Sept. 10, 2009 address on health care reform before a Joint Session of Congress, reporting, “I’ve never seen anyone display the disdainful attitude toward a president as Bachmann did.” … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on the third day after losing his 2008 primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, Aubrey Immelman reported that the death of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan on September 11 brought the year’s death toll to 112, surpassing the 2007 record toll of 111 and making 2008 the deadliest for American forces in Afghanistan since the U.S. invaded the country in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He also reported that Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, “I’m not convinced we are winning in Afghanistan.” In Iraq, followers of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demonstrated against plans for a U.S.-Iraq status-of-forces agreement, burning U.S. and Israeli flags.