Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
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Summary: “Rise of the New Right: A Hardball Documentary with Chris Matthews” — Part 2: A Deep Dislike for Barack Obama. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on July 8, 2009 Aubrey Immelman provided his weekly report of U.S. military deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), compiled from U.S. Department of Defense News Releases.



Summary: “Rise of the New Right: A Hardball Documentary with Chris Matthews” — Part 1: Don’t Tread on Me. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on July 7, 2009 Aubrey Immelman reported that seven U.S. troops died in three attacks in Afghanistan, on the same day that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, issued new guidelines limiting the use of airstrikes against residential compounds and other locations likely to produce civilian casualties, alienating Afghan villagers and causing loss of support for the Afghan government and the international mission.


Jun 16th, 2010

Summary: The growing fear among some citizens of losing their rights and freedoms has created a political backlash toward the U.S. government and manifested itself in violent rhetoric and anti-government groups who want to “take their country back.” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews takes a hard look at the recent surge of anger on the political right in “Rise of the New Right: A Hardball Documentary with Chris Matthews.” In this blog entry, Aubrey Immelman chronicles the rise of rightwing extremism in America following the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States in November 2008. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on June 16, 2009 Aubrey Immelman reported that North Korea threatened a “fire shower of nuclear retaliation” if provoked by the U.S., but that U.S. officials were downplaying any imminent threat to the United States of a North Korean missile strike or confrontation between the two countries at sea.


Feb 20th, 2010

Summary: Conspiracy theories have long been a fixture on the political landscape, with political paranoia most virulent among politically marginalized sectors of the polity. So, with Democrats holding the reins of power, it stands to reason that the right-wing fringe has become the prime repository of collective craziness. … Conspiracy-theorist-in-chief Michele Bachmann. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on February 20, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi reporter who hurled his shoes at George W. Bush, said at his trial that President Bush’s smile as he talked about achievements in Iraq had made him think of “the killing of more than a million Iraqis, the disrespect for the sanctity of the mosques and houses, the rapes of women,” and enraged him. “After more than a million Iraqis killed, after all the economic and social destruction … I felt that this person is the killer of the people, the prime murderer. I was enraged and threw my shoes at him.”


Feb 15th, 2010

Summary: The incendiary rhetoric of demagogues like Glenn Beck or Michele Bachmann is powerful because it slips through the cracks in our acculturated human rationality, with its biological substrates in the fontal cortex, to hit a lower nerve in the subcortical brain regions of the limbic system, the seat of emotion. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on February 15, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that federal authorities examining the early, chaotic days of the $125 billion American-led effort to rebuild Iraq had significantly broadened their inquiry to include senior American military officers who oversaw the program.


Feb 13th, 2009

Summary: The economic crisis has trumped bullets and bombs in the intelligence agencies’ latest assessment of threats to the United States. Sounding more like an economist than the war-fighting Navy commander he once was, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told a Senate panel that if the economic crisis lasts more than two years, it could cause some nations’ governments to collapse. “The longer it takes for the recovery to begin, the greater the likelihood of serious damage to U.S. strategic interests,” he told the Senate Intelligence Committee, as Congress prepares to vote on a $789 billion stimulus package.


Dec 6th, 2008

Summary: On a valedictory tour prior to leaving office, President George W. Bush has admitted to a few previously unacknowledged errors, telling one interviewer that he was “unprepared for war” when he entered office and that his “biggest regret” was the failure of intelligence leading up to the Iraq invasion.