Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
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Nov 16th, 2009

Summary: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is making headlines in the British press, where she is touted as “a Republican congresswoman from Minnesota who is being hailed as a new and increasingly powerful voice in American politics.” Excerpts from an article by Paul Harris, New York-based correspondent for The Observer and The Guardian, supplemented with annotated critique. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on November 16, 2008, I reported that racial incidents around the country referring to President-elect Barack Obama are shattering the postelection illusion of racial progress and harmony, highlighting the stubborn racism that remains in America. There have been “hundreds” of incidents since the election, many more than usual, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes.



Summary: Some Republican politicians are taking credit in their home districts for stimulus money coming their way, even though they voted against it, but U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is going the extra mile by claiming the stimulus bill is nothing but a payoff for those who supported President Barack Obama during his election campaign.


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.