Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Apr 24th, 2011

Summary: “Urbi et Orbi” — Pope Benedict XVI offered an Easter prayer from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica for diplomacy to prevail over warfare in Libya and for citizens of the Middle East to build a new society based on respect. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on April 24, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that an explosion that killed an American and an Afghan soldier on a military base in Kabul on April 19, 2010 was carried out by a suicide bomber, the second time in five months an insurgent had managed to infiltrate a base.

Summary: Pope Benedict XVI’s 2010 Christmas message … “Urbi et Orbi” … “To the City and to the World” … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 25, 2009, Aubrey Immelman featured Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 Christmas message and posted the Immelman family’s 2009 Christmas greeting. In a rare second post for the date, Immelman reported separately that the terror alert level was raised when a Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, tried to light an explosive powder aboard a commercial jetliner before it landed in Detroit.

Nov 1st, 2010

Summary: For Michele Bachmann to criticize Barack Obama for attending the church of the “anti-American” Rev. Jeremiah Wright is rank hypocrisy, considering that for many years she’s been sitting in the pews of a church that professes that the Pope is the anti-Christ. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on November 1, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that Rep. Michele Bachmann, calling on supporters to descend on Washington to protest health care reform, resurrected “the Ghost of Political Stunts Past” and noted that Bachmann pulled similar publicity stunts five years earlier while crusading in the Minnesota state Senate for a Constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions.

Summary: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI, thanking him for opposing a Florida pastor’s threat to burn the Quran and calling for cooperation against secularism. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on October 9, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that the Afghan Taliban mocked the award of a Nobel Peace Prize to U.S. President Barack Obama, saying he should get a Nobel Prize for violence instead.

Apr 4th, 2010

Summary: Three car bombs shook central Baghdad in quick succession on Easter Sunday, killing at least 35 people. Pope Benedict XVI’s Easter message to the city and the world, Urbi et Orbi. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on April 4, 2009, Aubrey Immelman provided an update on the security situation in North Korea and reported that Rep. Michele Bachmann announced forums in St. Cloud and Woodbury to debunk global climate change and President Obama’s proposed carbon “cap and tax” plans, featuring Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Apr 2nd, 2010

Summary: On Good Friday, Christians around the world commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ — the holiest day in the Christian calendar. … The U.S. economy has posted its largest job gain in three years, with unemployment in March remaining at 9.7 percent for the third straight month. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on April 2, 2009, Aubrey Immelman featured PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning project of the St. Petersburg Times to help find the truth in American politics by fact-checking statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists, and interest groups and rating them on the Truth-O-Meter.

Feb 28th, 2010

Summary: Saying “I pray for the victims,” Pope Benedict XVI urged survivors of Chile’s devastating earthquake to be courageous and asked the Catholic Church to play a role in relief efforts. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on February 28, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that the Southern Poverty Law Center had released its annual hate group report, titled “The Year in Hate.” The study identified 926 hate groups active in 2008 and found that the number of hate groups had grown by 54 percent since 2000.

Summary: Pope Benedict XVI 2009 Christmas message … “Urbi et Orbi” … “To the City and to the World” … Immelman family 2008 Christmas greeting. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 25, 2008, Aubrey Immelman posted Pope Benedict XVI’s 2008 Christmas message, “Urbi et Orbi” [“To the City and to the World”] and sent out the Immelman family’s 2008 Christmas greeting.

Jul 12th, 2009

Summary: Six Baghdad-area churches were bombed within 24 hours on July 11-12, 2009, killing at least four people and wounding 32. Iraq has lost more than half of the 1.4 million Christians who once called it home, mostly since the war began, and few who fled have plans to return.

Feb 5th, 2009

Summary: Father Bruce Wollmering OSB, monk and priest, died suddenly on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minn. … Former student Jeramiah (Jerry) McCarthy files fraud lawsuit against St. John’s Prep School and Abbey for allegedly covering up sexual misconduct by Fr. Bruce Wollmering since the mid-1960s. November 2015 update: Wollmering’s personnel file released as part of settlement in Troy Bramlage civil lawsuit.