Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
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May 6th, 2010

Summary: It was not immediately clear why the Dow Jones industrial average lost some 6 percent of its value in a matter of minutes and then recovered almost as quickly. The Dow ended with a loss of 346.51 points or 3.2 percent after its biggest intraday move in history. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 6, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter gave U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann a liar “Pants on Fire” rating for her false statement, “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. And I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.” In fact, the February 1976 scare happened on the watch of Gerald Ford, a Republican — not that President Ford was blameworthy in the least; in fact, he called for a nationwide vaccination program, in which 40 million Americans were vaccinated in just 10 days.


Jan 21st, 2009

Summary: In his January 20, 2009 inaugural address, President Barack Obama promised to “begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people” and forge “a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan,” the two wars he inherited from President George W. Bush. President Obama’s promise to end the war in Iraq is on the agenda for the first full day of his presidency, January 21, 2009, when the new commander in chief meets with top national security aides and senior commanders.