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Obama’s approval rating hits record low

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US President Barack Obama’s job approval rating has sunk below 40 percent for the first time, according to a new Gallup daily tracking poll.

The survey, made public late Sunday, shows that 39 percent of Americans approve of the president’s job performance, while 54 percent disapprove.

Both figures are the worst numbers of his presidency, according to US media reports.

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Obama’s approval rating peaked at 53 percent in the weeks following the death of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US special forces in Pakistan in May.

But it has been steadily declining in the wake of economic reports showing anemic growth and Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade the US credit rating.

The three-day tracking poll of approximately 1,500 adults was conducted by telephone between August 11-13. It had a margin of error of three percentage points


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Donald Trumps needs a coronavirus scapegoat — and right now it’s China

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"If we are at war, who is the enemy?" asks Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor for The Washington Post in a smart piece that examines the question of who constitutes a target for a self-declared "wartime president."

While it is obvious that the enemy, in this case, is a tiny, sticky, invisible microbe that stubbornly gloms onto surfaces or leaps through the air to weaponize subway cars or shared gym equipment or a touch to the face.

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Some Trump supporters ‘delight’ in defying pandemic protocols to stick it to liberals: report

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A new report from The Atlantic's McKay Coppins reveals that some conservative Trump supporters are intentionally defying recommended social distancing protocols as a way to stick it to their political foes.

In his article, Coppins interviews Georgia resident Geoff Frost, who says that older conservatives who play at his local country club have made a habit of blowing off recommendations against shaking hands and sharing golf carts during the worst public health crisis the United States has faced in decades.

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Alternet 2020

Pandemic modelers warn that Trump’s lies may increase the spread of COVID-19

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

Epidemiologists model how an infectious disease outbreak may spread within and between communities. The computer models are based on research into past epidemics, the virulence of a pathogen,the  severity of the illness it causes and various other factors. But these scientists assume that leaders will offer a coherent response to the crisis, and that people will modify their behavior appropriately. Trump, the conservative press and the Republican base are upending those assumptions.

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