Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Nov 20th, 2010

Summary: Rep. Michele Bachmann’s enthusiasm for extending the Bush tax cuts has put her at odds with fact-checkers, once again. For distorting the tax proposals to a ridiculous extent, PolitiFact rate Bachmann’s claims “Pants on Fire.” … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on November 20, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that a suicide bomber killed 16 people and wounded at least 23 others in a busy city square in western Afghanistan, while near the capital Kabul a powerful former warlord an ally of Afghan President Hamid Karzai narrowly escaped an assassination attempt.

Oct 23rd, 2010

Summary: The real problem with Michele Bachmann is not her self-centeredness, her unresponsiveness to the needs of her constituents, her meager legislative accomplishments, or even her voting record; it’s her delusion-like paranoia, her shameless conspiracy-peddling, and her incessant fear-mongering. Now it has been revealed that Bachmann’s contact with reality is even more tenuous than previously thought, with the discovery that Bachmann had asked the Minnesota Secretary of State to remove her name from the publicly available voter registration records under a legal provision designed to protect past or potential victims of domestic abuse. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on October 23, 2009, Aubrey Immelman, in a public service announcement, provided information about the upcoming 2009 St. Cloud-area Veterans Day Parade.

Sep 15th, 2010

Summary: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has been caught in a lie — saying she opposed the so-called Legacy Amendment, which raised Minnesota sales tax by 3/8ths of 1 percent, despite previously having pandered to outdoorsmen and conservationists by publicly endorsing the measure in appearances before the Game Fair in Anoka, Minn. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on September 15, 2009, Aubrey Immelman provided his weekly report of U.S. military deaths in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; reported that Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that a proper effort to counter the Taliban insurgency would probably require more forces; and noted that four mortar shells landed in the Green Zone as Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Iraq on an unannounced mission to help the country resolve its differences ahead of America’s military withdrawal.

Mar 24th, 2010

Summary: St. Cloud Times political reporter Mark Sommerhauser has done what good reporters are supposed to: fact-check the public assertions of elected officials — and his preliminary finding is that “independent experts … are disputing [Michele] Bachmann’s abortion claims.” There’s much in the new health care legislation that’s fair game for legitimate criticism. But to shamelessly and dishonestly scare constituents who care about protecting life with baseless fearmongering is not only indefensible; it’s irresponsible and a dereliction of duty. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 24, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said she wanted people in Minnesota “armed and dangerous” on the issue of an energy tax, “because we need to fight back” and “having a revolution every now and then is a good thing.”