* Kaci Hickox, the non-Ebola-having nurse who was essentially imprisoned by the state of New Jersey, pretty much just kicked Chris Christie’s butt:

Even as New Jersey officials on Monday released a nurse they had kept quarantined in a tent since her return from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, an unapologetic Gov.Chris Christie dismissed those who questioned his handling of the case and denied that he had reversed himself.

The nurse, Kaci Hickox, 33, who had been working with Doctors Without Borders, became the first public test case for a mandatory quarantine that both Mr. Christie and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York announced on Friday.

Ms. Hickox’s lawyer, Steven Hyman, said she had been released midday on Monday from University Hospital in Newark. A hospital spokeswoman said that two black S.U.V.s with tinted windows were headed to Maine, with the patient as a passenger in one. The spokeswoman, Stacie Newton, declined to say where in Maine the convoy was going, or whose vehicles they were.

The nurse’s departure, enshrouded in secrecy, capped a whirlwind four days in which Ms. Hickox criticized Mr. Christie’s quarantine policy, hired a legal team to defend her civil rights and had the governor defending a policy that he announced in association with Mr.. Cuomo.

If Chris Christie can’t stand up to a nurse, can we be sure he’ll stand up for America?

* An editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine goes after certain unnamed governors for the quarantine policy:

A cynic would say that all these “facts” are derived from observation and that it pays to be 100% safe and to isolate anyone with a remote chance of carrying the virus. What harm can that approach do besides inconveniencing a few health care workers? We strongly disagree. Hundreds of years of experience show that to stop an epidemic of this type requires controlling it at its source. Médecins sans Frontières, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and many other organizations say we need tens of thousands of additional volunteers to control the epidemic. We are far short of that goal, so the need for workers on the ground is great. These responsible, skilled health care workers who are risking their lives to help others are also helping by stemming the epidemic at its source. If we add barriers making it harder for volunteers to return to their community, we are hurting ourselves.

But when irrational fears and political opportunism meet, it’s like magic.

* A new CNN poll shows some results that both parties can point to. Democrats lead by one in the generic House ballot, which raises questions about where that GOP wave is. On the other hand, 36 percent of Republicans are “extremely enthusiastic” or “very enthusiastic” about voting this year, compared to only 26 percent of Democrats.

* A new Suffolk poll of Louisiana shows neither Senator Mary Landrieu nor challenger Bill Cassidy will get to 50 percent, but in the runoff that will result, Cassidy leads by 48-41. It’s worth remembering runoffs are unpredictable, but it looks like we’re heading for one here.

* A new internal poll from Mark Pryor’s campaign showing him leading Tom Cotton by one point. This is out of sync with the average putting Cotton up four, but note that the NBC poll over the weekend had Pryor down only two, so perhaps Pryor isn’t quite dead yet.

* A DSCC poll of Colorado shows Mark Udall leading Cory Gardner by one point. More skepticism is in order, but here again, the NBC weekend poll showed the race closer than previous polls had.

* Many Republicans and some commentators have scoffed that Democrats have given up on attacking Republicans over “Personhood,” because the strategy has supposedly failed, but you wouldn’t know that from this DSCC ad hitting Cory Gardner in Colorado over the issue.

* And here’s an ad from the Mark Udall campaign doing the same thing.

* Republicans have crowed that Thom Tillis is closing the gap in North Carolina. A new Monmouth University poll shows Senator Kay Hagan up by 2, and a SurveyUSA poll shows a tie, both of which are consistent with the average showing Hagan retains a small edge, though the race may be tightening.

* Meanwhile, Thomas Mills explains why it’s clear the race has been stable for some time, with Hagan holding a small lead, and Democrats now dominating the early voting.

* Environmental groups are spending an unprecedented $85 million trying to influence this year’s election, another sign their issues may be getting a bit more traction this cycle.

* Remember Mitch McConnell’s ridiculous dissembling about the Kentucky Kynect website, which he claimed could remain even after Obamacare were repealed? After endless evasions from McConnell’s staff, Sam Stein finally got an answer to the question of what McConnell thinks should happen to the hundreds of thousands of newly insured:

A spokesman for the minority leader confirmed that he wants to repeal the full health care law, including not just the federal subsidies for people purchasing on exchanges like Kynect, but also the mandates and taxes on high-cost plans and other features of the legislation.

So there you go, Kentucky.

* Let’s say you’re a corporate CEO-turned-candidate who’s being accused of being insensitive to the lives and concerns of those who worked for you. How do you handle it? Not like this, that’s for sure:

David Perdue, Georgia’s Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, defended himself Sunday night against charges that he paid female managers less than male ones when he was CEO of Dollar General, saying “it was less than 2,000 people” who brought the lawsuit against the company.

“There was no wrongdoing there,” Perdue said in a debate Sunday night against Democrat Michelle Nunn. “That lawsuit or that claim or that complaint was settled five years after I was there. She knows that. And it was less than 2,000 people. We had upwards of 70,000 employees at that company.”

Maybe he should turn this into a slogan: “David Purdue: The majority of people who worked for me didn’t sue for discrimination.”

* Meanwhile, Ed Kilgore takes a look at Perdue’s latest efforts to explain his role in outsourcing, and suggests he isn’t doing himself any favors by continuing to talk about it.

* Non-gaffe of the day: Brian Beutler takes a look at the latest Hillary gaffe-to-end-all-gaffes and finds the hyping of it says more about Republicans than it does about Hillary herself. — gs

* At the American Prospect I looked at criticism of Barack Obama from the right and left, and argued that political legacies are just fine.

* And Jonathan Bernstein has a good, quick reminder as to why it’s a bit silly to take GOP promises of future constructive governing seriously at this point.