7 times Democrats wished Barack Obama would go away


CNN) — With President Barack Obama’s approval rating hovering in the low to mid-40s — it was 45% in CNN/ORC International’s recent poll –Democrats in tough contests are largely keeping their distance from the president’s tarnished reputation.
And as Election Day has drawn closer, those differences have become more pronounced. Republican opponents are trying harder than ever to link their rivals to the president, forcing Democrats to visibly distinguish themselves from the White House.

Obama admits Democrats have a problem
Here are seven Democratic candidates who’ve kept Obama on the sidelines:
1. Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky. As the Democrat challenging the Senate’s top Republican in a state that voted for Mitt Romney two years ago, Grimes has been perhaps the most high-profile candidate to keep her distance from Obama.
Most notably, she refuses to say whether she voted for the president, citing a matter of principle of privacy at the ballot box as her reason for not answering the question.
She’s been pressed about her support for the president because she’s made a blatant attempt to paint herself as the Democratic antithesis to the commander in chief.
“I’m not Barack Obama,” she said in a campaign ad. “I disagree with him on guns, coal and the EPA.”

2. Sen. Mark Begich, Alaska. Only 41% of Alaska voters sided with Obama in 2012, so Begich knows all too well that it’s not a smart strategy to be a champion for the president. In fact, he likes to think of himself more as a “thorn.”
“I’ll be a thorn in his [posterior],” Begich told the Washington Post. “There’s times when I’m a total thorn, you know, and he doesn’t appreciate it.”
Last week he admitted he voted for Obama but argued that his voting record was irrelevant because “the president’s not relevant” and will be “gone in two years.”
A limited role for Obama in his final campaign
And earlier this year he told CNN that he doesn’t need Obama to campaign for him in Alaska. “I need him to change some of his policies.”
Regardless of how big of a thorn he is, Begich has a tough hill to climb to win a second term.
He barely squeaked out a win in 2008 over then-longtime Sen. Ted Stevens, who at the time was buried in an ethics scandal. And a CNN/ORC poll from early October had Sullivan leading Begich, 50% to 44%.
3. Sen. Mark Udall, Colorado. Udall was expected to have a smooth ride to re-election until Republican Rep. Cory Gardner entered the race in March.
Obama attended a Democratic fundraiser in Denver this summer, with half of the money raised going to Udall’s campaign.
But the senator wasn’t there.
His staff chalked up the absence to last-minute votes and legislative activity. The episode was foreshadowed somewhat when Udall refused to answer questions from CNN’s Dana Bash earlier this year over whether he’d want to campaign with Obama.
In another example, Udall tried to take a stake out a firm line on airstrikes against ISIS, saying in September he won’t give “this president — or any other president — a blank check to begin another land war in Iraq.”

4. Sen. Kay Hagan, North Carolina. Hagan is running for a second term in a state that voted for Obama in 2008 but not in 2012. As a result, she’s had to strike a balance between appealing to the pro-Obama factions in her state — mostly concentrated in the college hubs and big cities — and the more rural parts of North Carolina.
Senate math seems impossible to some Democrats
She exhibited this fine line in August, when she publicly criticized the president over the Veterans Affairs scandal in remarks released ahead of her speech at the American Legion. But when he showed up to also speak at the event, she warmly greeted him at the airport.
Last week she reluctantly admitted that the president hasn’t shown strong leadership. And when he visited North Carolina in January, she avoided him entirely.
5. Sen. Mary Landrieu, Louisiana. Landrieu has tried to paint herself as someone willing to go toe-to-toe with the Obama administration, especially when it comes to energy policy.
She uses her position as chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources as a major selling point in her campaign, and has sided with Republicans in pushing for the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
In an ad, she’s seen saying “the administration’s policies are simply wrong when it comes to oil and gas production in this nation.”
Last year Landrieu declined to attend a visit by Obama to her state, though she still hitched a ride aboard Air Force One with the President on his way to Louisiana.

6. Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire. Shaheen’s Republican challenger, Scott Brown, can’t say one sentence without highlighting that Shaheen with Obama voted 99% of the time.
Shaheen says she’s proud of her record, but she’s still not angling for a visit by the president. Asked whether she would want him to campaign for her, Shaheen said “we have a lot going on.”
“I don’t think it makes sense for the president to come to New Hampshire,” she continued, while answering the question at the CNN/NH1 debate last week. But she’s happily welcomed former President Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton is set to visit this weekend.
7. Mark Pryor, Arkansas. Fighting to keep his seat against GOP challenger Rep. Tom Cotton, Pryor has also sought to strike a balance between the politics of his state and on the national level.
On GPS: Bill Clinton on midterm elections Democrats search for a ‘Plan B’
For example, he backs a minimum wage hike that’s on the ballot in Arkansas, but he opposes Obama’s proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10.
Like other vulnerable Senate candidates — such as Shaheen, Udall and Hagan — Pryor has also called for travel restrictions to help prevent Ebola from spreading to the United States, a policy the Obama administration has not pushed.
Pryor made headlines earlier this month when he sounded unsure of how to answer a question about Obama’s handling of the Ebola situation.

The 75+ Troops Obama Sent to Fight Ebola Are NOW Quarantined in Italy

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They’re just back from the Ebola hot zone, they can’t have any physical contact with family or loved ones and their plastic forks are being burned after each use.

But American troops quarantined in Italy have good morale and are proud of their work against the “silent enemy” of Ebola, according to Major General Darryl Williams, who is being isolated alongside his men at the Army base in Vicenza.

U.S. Army personnel will continue to be placed in 21-day quarantine as they return home to their base in Italy, according to Williams, commander of US Army forces in Africa, who spoke to CNN from within the isolation area by military video conference.

He said he and his initial team of about a dozen American personnel are in day three of what the Army calls ‘controlled monitoring’ at the American military base in Vicenza, Italy. He said none of his team so far are showing any symptoms.

“The morale is high and very comfortable with the contribution we made,” said Williams, who added that 75 more service members will return this week to quarantine on the Vicenza base.

Ebola Nurse Released in NJ Opposes Mandatory Quarantines – Just Like the Government Agency She Works For


By Charles Samuel (4 hours ago) | Elections, Health, Nation, Politics

Kaci Hickox, a nurse and epidemiologist who was quarantined in New Jersey for the possible contraction of Ebola, has become the public face of opposition to mandatory quarantines.

Hickox recently appeared in the public eye when she wrote an op-ed in the Dallas News, published initially on October 25th: “Her story: UTA grad isolated at New Jersey hospital in Ebola quarantine.” Her story was that she was accosted and was made to feel like a criminal and a prisoner while at a mandatory quarantine in New Jersey.

Before the publication was updated with information about her ties to a government agency, one that opposes the mandatory quarantine, she introduced herself as: “I am a nurse who has just returned to the U.S. after working with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone – an Ebola-affected country.”

The human interest story she wrote was compelling – at least enough to drive interest from the Washington Post and CNN, among others.

Here is an excerpt from her Dallas News op-ed:

I have been quarantined in New Jersey. This is not a situation I would wish on anyone, and I am scared for those who will follow me.

I am scared about how health care workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa. I am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see a frenzy of disorganization, fear and, most frightening, quarantine.

But there is an interesting piece of information that is lacking in many such stories on Ms. Hickox: She works for the Centers for Disease Control.

This at least seems relevant enough to be selectively withheld from numerous headlines on the “Ebola Nurse” working with Doctors Without Borders.

The Dallas News updated its original article from October 25th on October 27th, including the information in an “editor’s note” that “a Dallas Morning News staff writer… worked with Hickox as a disease detective with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

As an additional piece of context, in her op-ed she concludes and merely asks, “The U.S. must treat returning health care workers with dignity and humanity.”

Surely, this is a conclusion that no one can disagree with. But this position has been ratcheted up by her lawyer Norman Siegel, who in the interest of full disclosure, happens to be a White House visitor.

This is the statement of Hickox’s lawyer from today:

“Her civil rights were violated,” Siegel told ABC News. “At a minimum, she could bring an action for damages. But I think her goal is to try to revise the current policies with regard to, for example, mandatory quarantines.”

Interestingly, her role working for a government agency that publicly opposes mandatory quarantines is a piece of information missing from a number of reports on her story.

Hickox’s LinkedIn profile, which has been deleted, previously described her as an “Epidemic Intelligence Service Fellow at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Washington Post dropped this context in an article entitled “Kaci Hickox: 1, Chris Christie: 0,” making it appear like Hickox is separate from the CDC in the context of opposing Christie’ quarantine policy:

There he was, up against the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Kaci Hickox, who had spent a month in Sierra Leone treating Ebola patients and was the first person in New Jersey to be subject to a mandatory 21-day quarantine.

Candy Crowley interviewed Hickox on Sunday and CNN ran a piece “Nurse describes Ebola quarantine ordeal: ‘I was in shock. Now I’m angry’,” which fails to mention her ties with the CDC at all and merely describes her as a “nurse” and “epidemiologist.”

Now for some background on her story, as provided by NBC News:

The nurse forcibly quarantined in New Jersey after she came home from treating Ebola patients in West Africa was released from the hospital Monday. Kaci Hickox has been held against her will in a tent inside a wing of a New Jersey medical center since she was taken off a flight, flushed and distraught, Friday.

Hickox has hired a lawyer and spoken out publicly against her quarantine.

… The case quickly escalated over the weekend, with Hickox protesting from her confinement and scientists including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, saying there was no medical basis to hold her. The White House even weighed in, pressing New York and New Jersey to reverse their decisions to quarantine all returning medical workers who have treated Ebola patients.

After intense media and political pressure, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie earlier today okayed her transport to Maine, effectively ending her forced quarantine.

The oft-brash governor maybe jumped the gun over the weekend when he called Hickox “obviously ill,” but his sentiments regarding quarantining health care workers exposed to Ebola were supported by New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the time.

The White House was not at all pleased, however. According to The Guardian:

“We have let the governors of New York, New Jersey, and others states know that we have concerns with the unintended consequences of policies not grounded in science may have on efforts to combat Ebola at its source in West Africa,” an administration official said.

Gov. Cuomo did loosen restrictions on his own state’s quarantine after the White House’s statement, while Gov. Christie refused. However, here’s where things get interesting.

On Twitter, there are commenters on both sides of the fence on the story. Some think there’s larger narrative at play here:

Others came to Hickox’s defense:

Regardless of Hickox’s story, and certainly no one opposes better and more human treatment for anyone who falls under a governor’s order for a mandatory quarantine, the public adamantly is in favor of them.


Republicans more scary than Ebola

As the mid-term elections approach Democrats are pulling out all the stops to portray Republicans as the party of extremism.

CNN on Sunday facilitated the Democrat effort.

During a debate between Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, CNN’s Candy Crowley allowed Wasserman Schultz to talk over Priebus.

She said the Tea Party and the Republican Party are extreme. Crowley and CNN helped push this message. “It seems that the Democrats overall message is yeah ISIS is scary, yeah Ebola’s scary, but Republicans are a lot scarier.” she said.

“Well, that’s right,” said Wasserman Schultz.

The Florida Democrat made the characterization after Priebus asked if Obama’s policies would be on the ballot next month.

Democrats have distanced themselves from the Obama administration and its failed domestic and foreign policy decisions.

Obama loyalists, however, believe the president can energize young Democrats, women and minorities despite his dismal poll numbers.

Republicans need to pick up three seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina to take control of the Senate away from Democrats. Five of those states are in the Republican column with the election a week away.

Pew Study: Drudge Report More Trusted Than CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS


Independent media titan beats mainstream networks

by Paul Joseph Watson | October 21, 2014

A Pew Research study has found that the Drudge Report, the most pre-eminent independent media source on the web, is trusted by the American public more than CNN, MSNBC, ABC, or CBS.

While the likes of MSNBC and CNN are distrusted by 22% and 20% respectively in the poll, only 9% of respondents said that they distrusted the Drudge Report, a figure on a par with NPR.

The Washington Post, the New York Times and the Huffington Post are all more distrusted than Drudge.

Drudge’s bracketing with the likes of NPR, BBC and Bloomberg suggest that the high level of trust is not merely because the respondents haven’t heard of the Drudge Report, a factor that probably explains why the likes of Think Progress and the Daily Kos appear near the bottom of the list.

The study found that Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and the Glenn Beck Program were the most distrusted news sources, which is probably due to the fact that all three offer staunch conservative views likely to cause polarization amongst liberal respondents to the poll.

In general, trust in mainstream press continues to collapse, with a September 2014 Gallup poll revealing Americans’ confidence in the media’s ability to report “the news fully, accurately, and fairly” returning to an all time low of 40%.

In addition, many of MSNBC’s flagship shows, such as Morning Joe and The Rachel Maddow Show just posted some of their lowest quarterly ratings results ever, emphasizing how Americans are turning away from network media and getting their news from more varied and independent sources.

“You know there’s a problem with the media when Al-Jazeera is trusted more than NBC, CNN, and MSNBC,” remarks Zero Hedge.

View the Pew results below.