Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Sep 6th, 2010

Summary: The number of foreign troops killed in Afghanistan this year has reached at least 500, compared with 521 in all of 2009, according to the independent monitoring site and a tally compiled by Reuters. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on September 6, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that opinion polls showed support for President Barack Obama and his policies dipping sharply, though he remained personally more popular than his policies. How will those dynamics impact the 2010 election and what do they tell us about President Obama’s personal qualities and leadership style?

May 13th, 2010

Summary: President Barack Obama is warning that the war in Afghanistan will get worse before it gets better, but he remains committed to his plan of beginning to withdraw U.S. forces in July 2011. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 13, 2009, Aubrey Immelman summarized and evaluated remarks by Dr. Maureen Reed on May 12, 2009, at a special DFL Minnesota Senate District 14 meeting in St. Joseph, Minn. At the time, Reed was challenging 2008 Democratic candidate Elwyn Tinklenberg for the Democratic Party endorsement in the 2010 Sixth Congressional District race for U.S. Representative against incumbent Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Mar 16th, 2009

Summary: A roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan killed four NATO troops, while bombings and clashes elsewhere in the country killed 14 more people. … A suicide bomber in a police uniform detonated inside a police headquarters in southern Afghanistan, killing 11 people and wounding 29. … Iraq’s prime minister Nouri al-Maliki said any U.S. withdrawals “must be done with our approval” and in coordination with the Iraqi government. … The U.S. military confirmed that U.S. forces shot down an unmanned Iranian aircraft in Iraqi airspace. … At least 4,259 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war.

Jan 12th, 2009

Summary: Security forces used tear gas and batons to repel anti-Israel protesters who tried to attack a U.S. consulate in Pakistan as tens of thousands of people demonstrated worldwide against Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip. … Seven years after a U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan routed the Taliban regime, hard-line Islamic fighters who had scattered under massive bombardment to their villages and rear bases in Pakistan once again govern large swaths of Afghanistan and are dug in across regions that surround the capital Kabul, saying they welcome the U.S. military’s proposal to send as many as 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan by summer 2009 because it will give them more chances to kill “infidels.”