That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish!
How do you stack up in a national sampling of political news consumers -- your sources, habits and friends?
A fascinating, major new survey by the Pew Research Journalism Project is examining political polarization in the United States of 2014. The report comes just two weeks before a crucial midterm election that will be widely read as a six-year verdict on Barack Obama's performance and agenda, whatever that is today.
Here are just some of the project's numerous intriguing findings:
* Conservatives tend to flock around one major news source for their news of government and politics -- Fox News -- perhaps because the list of known conservative media consists of Fox News and Fox News. Also Fox News.
* Liberals draw information from a wider variety of media and express far more trust in more major media than do conservatives. Perhaps because there are more liberal-oriented media to trust.
* Liberals are much less tolerant than conservatives of political opinions differing from their own, especially on social media, more consistently choosing to Unfriend, Block, Mute or sever friendships with those whose politics they disagree with.
* Overall, the most-trusted news media was The Economist, though it was recognized by a small sector of respondents. It was followed in trust by another British-based outlet, the BBC. Take that, MSM!
* The least-trusted source overall was BuzzFeed, followed by the radio programs of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Ed Schultz, who was tied as untrusted with Al Jazeera America. Daily Kos was in there too.
* Pew's list of media outlets that were more trusted than distrusted across the political spectrum was lead by the Wall Street Journal. Others more trusted than distrusted to a lesser degree included ABC News, USA Today and Google News.
* The Center's list of media about equally trusted and distrusted includes the Drudge Report, Daily Show, Huffington Post and Breitbart.
* Media generally trusted overall include Fox News, Bloomberg, Yahoo News, Washington Post and The Guardian.Fox's dominance can be explained, for instance, by..............
Another chapter in the Obama White House bid to censor news about its primary occupant.
Obama's returned to the campaign trail after foregoing a handful of events for two days last week to be seen addressing the Ebola crisis. Even as he's ordered formation of a special national Ebola SWAT team, the president, as is his behavior pattern, has played down domestic threats from the lethal disease that's killed thousands in West Africa.
"Ebola," he says, "is actually a difficult disease to catch." Which doesn't jibe in the public's eye with all the hazmat suits, isolation units and sterilization teams deployed after two Dallas nurses contracted the disease.
Usually, this White House is mopping up verbal messes left by its vice president. But the latest wrinkle came in a bid to protect the president from his own mouth. It occurred Monday evening at a South Side Chicago fundraiser for about 50 supporters who shelled out $10G's apiece to meet him in a private home not far from Obama's own Hyde Park residence.
Obama rarely returns to the Windy City anymore for anything but political money harvests. But when he does, he still talks with apparent fondness about how good it is to be back home, as long as the weather is nice, and to see so many familiar faces from his early days in machine politics there.
According to the official White House transcript distributed to news media nationally, Obama said:
"When we think back to when I first took office, one of the nice things about being home is actually that it's a little bit like a time capsule because Michelle and I and the kids, we left so quickly that there's still junk on my desk, including some -- newspapers and all kinds of stuff."
Unfortunately, that's not the exact official transcription of Obama's words that it's supposed to be. According to a pool reporter at the event, Obama actually said:
"One of the nice things about being home is actually that it's a little bit like a time capsule. Because Michelle and I and the kids, we left so quickly that there's still junk on my desk, including some unpaid bills -- I think eventually they got paid -- but they're sort of stacked up. And messages, newspapers and all kinds of stuff."First, many politicians regularly concoct apocryphal stump stories in............
What if the president of the United States came to speak at your campaign rally and no one cared? In fact, a lot of his party loyalists walked out as soon as the nation's chief executive stepped to the podium.
That's just what happened to the one-time golden-tongued Barack Obama Sunday in Maryland when he joined Democrat gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown.
Hard to believe -- right? -- because Obama always seems to be campaigning. But it was actually his first real campaign appearance this cycle. With his current high disapproval ratings on so many issues including credibility, Obama's not exactly this fall's Homecoming King in political popularity.
The 100 other Obama appearances were party fundraisers. It reportedly takes a bit more selling, but some folks are still willing to shell out up to $100,000 to hear Obama's canned 15-minute funder. They all sound like political speeches, to be sure, because he's always bragging on how robust he's made the economy.
And how so many of the nation's problems that have worsened during his endless watch would be solved if only Republicans weren't blocking even more government spending. Obama took a brief break from his partisan attacks in his weekly remarks, which he devoted to promising Americans that "Ebola is actually a difficult disease to catch."
Here are some of the more inspirational excerpts from Obama's 25 minutes of Sunday remarks:
"You've got to vote.....There are no excuses. The future is up to us. Go find your friends to vote. Get your cousin to vote. Get your uncle to vote.....Maryland, we have made progress. Don't let folks say otherwise."
Speaking of broken records, Obama added: "Now, look I believe that Republicans are patriots. I think they love their country. They love their family. But they are a broken record."
By the time Obama finished, the crowd was considerably smaller, a far cry from the days when audience members would shout: "We love you, Barack!" There was one heckler, but he didn't yell: "You're boring, Barack!"
In fact, Brown may not need much Obama "help." Polls give him a seven-point lead over his Republican opponent, Larry Hogan. Obama's next campaign stop, however, was different.
From Maryland, the president took Air Force One to Chicago for another appearance with Illinois' embattled Democrat incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn.
Quinn, you'll remember, was the nobody lieutenant governor who..............