Brittany Maynard's suicide: The right to choose death

Brittany Maynard's reflections on why she was ending her life:

I made my decisions based on my wishes, clinical research, choices, discussions with physicians, and logic.  I am not depressed or suicidal or on a ‘slippery slope.’ I have been in charge of this choice, gaining control of a terrifying terminal disease through the application of my own humane logic.

Daily dose: Democrats lost because (fill in the blank) version

ELECTION 2014
Chastened Republicans Beat Democrats at Their Own Ground Game (New York Times) -- The Republican Party took hard lessons from 2012 and built a formidable turnout and digital strategy for the midterm elections — one it hopes will serve it well in 2016.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/08/us/politics/republicans-beat-democrats-at-their-own-ground-game.html

Invitation-only offshore drilling meeting cluttered with industry lobbyists

Membership has its pricks:

Among the groups that had representatives in attendance were the Consumer Energy Alliance, the Center for Offshore Safety and the Institute for Energy Research. These groups include members of the petroleum and related industries.

Reporters were allowed to attend Gov. Pat McCrory's closing remarks, after most of the other participants had left.

His staff told reporters and representatives of environmental groups that they couldn't come in because of concerns that their attendance might arouse allegations of conflict of interest in the permit process. And attendance by special-interest groups funded by the petroleum industry would not?

It's no big surprise McCrory's bungling staff would interpret "conflict of interest" in such an ass-backwards manner. The only conflict of interest that would have arisen by having reporters and environmentalists in attendance would be a conflict between the public's best interests and the greed of the industry and its Republican puppets.

My view from the edge of my seat

Yesterday, while sitting amongst a room full of waiting patients and requisite drivers, I couldn't help noticing how riveted most were to the drivel offered on TV shows like "Good Morning America" and "Live with Kelly and Michael". Like the zombies depicted on "The Walking Dead", they croaked and grumbled their elation as they ignorantly gorged on the diversions du jour hyped gleefully by ratings crazed blond ladies and well dressed men on behalf of their corporate sponsors. The dreaded Colonoscopy I was waiting for, couldn't come soon enough!

Arrogant defiance earns charter school sub-contractor probation

When it should have closed them down:

Multiple media outlets reported that Charter Day School Inc. was placed on probationary status Thursday for failing to turn over salary information about employees from a private management company who work at its schools.

At issue is whether salaries of Roger Bacon Academy employees should be public or private information. Charter Day hired Roger Bacon Academy to operate the schools. Charter Day says it doesn't have the salary information on the employees, including school headmasters and assistant headmasters.

Possibly a stupid question, but I'm going to ask it anyway: How does a charter school get awarded its "charter" if they don't even have any staff to run the school(s)? If DPI granted said charters on a lick and a promise the schools would deal with staffing later, DPI might as well just hand out the charters like lollipops at the doctor's office.

The media assault on Obama ignored, scorned

Here is a great article by Tom Hartmann pointing out that the GOP strategy was to make Obama THE ISSUE, and it worked thanks to Democrat leaders and others who did not counter and point out the billions spent since 2008 on that single effort with the media. It is clear that the down ballot Teabillies and echo-chamber media on the right did get the word. This was one massive unforced error over six years on part of Democratic Party.

Daily dose

ELECTIONS 2014
Republicans Beat Democrats at Their Own Ground Game (New York Times) -- Republicans — determined not to repeat the mistakes of 2012, when their ground game and digital strategy became a political punch line — were well on their way to overhauling their operation this election cycle when the Democrats announced their “Bannock Street project,” an ambitious voter mobilization program. Though the Republicans were already building a national ground game — spanning both House and Senate races, as well as a few governors’ contests — they decided to leverage the Democrats’ $60 million get-out-the-vote effort to their own advantage. They devoured news media reports about the project and scoured Federal Election Commission filings to learn as much as they could about how their rivals were structuring their turnout operations in battleground states. … in states where Senate Democrats invested heavily in targeting and turnout operations, like Colorado and North Carolina, they succeeded in their original goal of making the electorate more favorable for them than it was in 2010. It simply was not enough to win. … In North Carolina, where Senator Kay Hagan, the Democratic incumbent, needed to turn out African-American voters to have a shot at victory, black voters represented a larger share of the electorate than they did in 2010, according to an analysis of exit polls and voter turnout data available from the State Board of Elections.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/08/us/politics/republicans-beat-democrats-at-their-own-ground-game.html

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