Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Quotation

I love watching Elizabeth give it to those who deserve to get it.

— Hillary Clinton, speaking at a rally for Martha Coakley alongside Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has become a strong and effective progressive leader in the Democratic Party.

Quotation

By not standing firmly for their own policies, Democrats send a message to voters that the unending Republican criticism of the president is legitimate. There is much that is going right in this country, and there is still time for Democrats to say so.

— The New York Times, suggesting in a strongly-worded editorial that Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kay Hagan, and other Democratic candidates stop trying to avoid being associated with President Barack Obama and Obama’s accomplishments.

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Quotation

Our belief is that people who are using violence to undermine democracy want us to be silenced and we refuse to be silenced.

— Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne, explaining why she and Ontario’s official opposition carried on with their question period following the shootings in Ottawa.

Recommended Link

New ruling allows candidates to campaign anonymously

Satirizing the Supreme Court’s rulings in Corporations United and McCutcheon, as well as toothless enforcement by the Federal Elections Commission, The Onion has filed a report joking that the FEC is now allowing candidates running for public office to remain completely anonymous for the duration of the campaign.

Video Clip

Watch how Rick Scott dodges the question on his most solemn duty as governor (video courtesy of the Florida Democratic Party).

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Recommended Link

Alabama’s Republican Speaker of the House arrested on corruption charges

The latest representative of the Republican culture of corruption is Michael G. Hubbard, Alabama’s Speaker of the House and the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, who was arrested today on twenty-three felony charges. Hubbard is the Republican who engineered the party’s takeover of the Alabama Legislature in 2010. He is seeking reelection.

Quotation

In short, two very distinct worldviews have both come to the same conclusion: we need to provide a basic universal income that allows people to live in dignity and unleash their creative potential toward their own interests. It’s a bipartisan view.

— David Atkins, writing for The Washington Monthly (Bipartisan consensus for universal basic income)

Quotation

The game is rigged, and the Republicans rigged it.

— Elizabeth Warren, speaking to an audience of progressive activists in Minnesota during a rally for Senator Al Franken and Governor Mark Dayton. 

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Quotation

The extent of and continuing increase in inequality in the United States greatly concern me… I think it is appropriate to ask whether this trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation’s history, among them the high value Americans have traditionally placed on equality of opportunity.

— Excerpt from Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s groundbreaking speech on income inequality, delivered earlier today in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Unanimous Arkansas Supreme Court rules voter ID unconstitutional

Progressives in Arkansas scored a big victory yesterday when the Supreme Court of Arkansas unanimously struck down a Republican voter suppression scheme for violating the state’s constitution. The decision means that the people of Arkansas won’t be prevented from voting for lack of photo identification.

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Royals head to World Series after sweeping Orioles in ALCS

The Kansas City Royals have done something remarkable: They have won eleven straight games – including four games that went to extra innings – to earn a trip to the World Series next week. The Royals defeated the Oakland Athletics in the sudden death, wild-card playoff round, then proceeded to sweep the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ALDS and the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS.

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Recommended Link

Private charities are no substitute for public services

Businessweek’s Charles Kenny explains why private charities aren’t in a position to tackle income inequality or address the needs of millions of Americans living in poverty. Part of the reason is that the super-wealthy simply aren’t voluntarily giving very much of their wealth to charity. It’s only by pooling our resources through taxes that we’ll be able to effectively combat poverty.

Quotation

I have to say to the government of Israel that if they are losing people like me, they will be losing a lot of people.

— Conservative MP (Member of Parliament) Richard Ottaway, the chairman of the House of Common’s Foreign Affairs Committee, explaining his decision not to oppose a symbolic motion recognizing the State of Palestine.

Quotation

Elected officials shouldn’t get to choose who gets to choose elected officials. Look: People marched and fought and died for the right to vote. And they want to legislate away that sacrifice to stay in power? Not on my watch, baby!

— Comedian Lewis Black, raging against Republican schemes to suppress the vote in a video for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Quotation

I wholeheartedly support programs at Microsoft and in the industry that bring more women into technology and close the pay gap. I believe men and women should get equal pay for equal work.

— Microsoft’s Satyar Nadella, in an email to Microsoft’s staff, taking back comments about women’s pay which he said were “inarticulate” and “wrong”.

Quotation

Most news organizations are covering the trial straight, as if it were a deadly serious affair. It is, in fact, an absurdist comedy, rich in ironies, worthy of the Marx Brothers or Mel Brooks. Rather than dispatching its legal correspondents to write about it, newspapers would do better to send their comic-strip artists.

— John Cassidy: The AIG trial is a comedy (The New Yorker)

Recommended Link

Interest in Peace Corps soars under simpler application process

The number of individuals applying to join the Peace Corps has soared compared to last year after the agency’s new chief executive succeeded in dramatically simplifying what was a cumbersome application process. More than 17,000 people applied, resulting in the largest field of candidates since 1992.

Quotation

I don’t care about the fact that Obama hasn’t lived up to the golden dreams of 2008, and I care even less about his approval rating. I do care that he has, when all is said and done, achieved a lot. That is, as Joe Biden didn’t quite say, a big deal.

— Paul Krugman: In defense of Obama (Rolling Stone)

Recommended Link

The plot against public education

In a lengthy piece for Politico Magazine, Bob Herbert explains how millionaires and billionaires, led by Bill Gates, are ruining public schools.

Quotation

I wouldn’t say I reject my identity as Chinese, because I’ve never felt Chinese in the first place…The younger generations don’t think they’re Chinese.

— Twenty-year old Yeung Hoi-kiu, a student protestor in Hong Kong, speaking to the New York Times about what he feels his identity is.

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What will be the narrative of the 2014 midterms?

Progressive strategist Mike Lux ponders the outcome of the 2014 midterms, noting that most elections there is a driving narrative that shapes how voters and nonvoters alike perceive the state of the union and their own well-being.