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

Recommended Link

Thoughtful, caring Frontier pilot buys pizza for his stranded passengers

The hungry passengers of a Frontier flight that was diverted to Cheyenne, Wyoming due to severe weather were treated to free pizza by the plane’s pilot, who placed a call to Domino’s and ordered several dozen boxes of pizza to feed everyone on board. Asked why he treated everyone to pizza out of his own pocket, the pilot said, “If the need arises you need to take care of your family; you need to take care of your passengers. They are my responsibility the moment they step on the aircraft until they get off the aircraft.”

Quotation

The Germans were merciless, playing with grace and unity and a raw power that saw them rip open the Brazilian defense as if it were a can of soup.

— Excerpt from the New York Times’ recap of the 2014 World Cup semifinal game between Germany and Brazil, which was a rout for Deutschland.

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Amazon quietly rolls out Sunday delivery in Seattle and Portland

In partnership with the United States Postal Service, Amazon has inaugurated Sunday parcel delivery to homes in the greater Seattle and Portland metro areas. The agreement, announced earlier this year, gives Amazon a competitive advantage and USPS much-needed business.

Chat Transcript

Jay Carney talks with the New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg about being a press secretary

JIM RUTENBERG: You came to the administration from TIME Magazine, where, for a while, you covered the White House. How did your view of journalists change when you switched sides?

JAY CARNEY: I’m proud of a lot of my work. But if I had known then what I know now, I would have succumbed less often to chasing the same soccer ball down the field that everybody else was.

JIM RUTENBERG: Are you saying they’re shallow?

JAY CARNEY: I think the format reinforces a shallow approach.

JIM RUTENBERG: Were you surprised at times how tense things could get with your former colleagues?

JAY CARNEY: Sure. It can be surreal at the podium when you go down that front row and you have an exchange with one of the reporters in which there’s very emotional — maybe even theatrical — presentation and back and forth, and then you go to the next reporter and you have the same thing, as if the first one didn’t happen at all. You begin to wonder how valuable a service to the nation that is in the end.

JIM RUTENBERG: Do people in the first row like to showboat?

JAY CARNEY: If you look at the difference in tenor between the on-camera briefings and the on-the-record-but-off-camera gaggles, it’s night and day.

Excerpt from the interview: Jay Carney: ‘A Little Perspective Is Useful’

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Fireworks explode over the Kirkland waterfront

A glimpse of the Fourth of July fireworks show in Kirkland, Washington, over the city’s central waterfront. (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

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Roger Goodman waves to onlookers at Kirkland's Fourth of July celebration

State Representative Roger Goodman (D-45th District: Redmond, Kirkland, Woodinville, Sammamish) waves to onlookers as he marches in the annual parade that takes place along the waterfront as part of Kirkland’s Fourth of July celebration (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Quotation

Our success is only possible because we have never treated those self-evident truths as self-executing. Generations of Americans have marched, organized, petitioned, fought and even died to extend those rights to others; to widen the circle of opportunity for others; and to perfect this union we love so much.

— Excerpt from President Obama’s weekly address celebrating Independence Day.

Recommended Link

The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro

Courtesy of PBS, read a transcript of a speech given by Frederick Douglass in July of 1852, almost a decade before the Civil War broke out.

Quotation

Whether or not he gets a bump in the polls, Rob Ford’s return won’t be the start of his comeback run. He’s still himself. Rob Ford went away to rehab, and Rob Ford came back.

— Ivor Tossell: That Rob Ford-shaped hole? Toronto is not eager to fill it

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Video Clip

Quite a few people seem to have been taken in by this YouTube video that purports to show scenes from the filming of the next Star Wars film in Germany. Diehard Star Wars fans, however, know that Episode VII is actually being filmed in the United Kingdom and is set after the demise of the Empire. (All the spacecraft featured in this clip are operated by the Empire in Episodes V and VI, including the Lambda Shuttle, TIE fighter, AT-AT walker, and AT-ST walker. )

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Recommended Link

Consumer Reports: McDonald’s burger ranked worst in the U.S.

Signature items offered by McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Kentucky Fried Chicken are the worst in their categories, according to a new survey by Consumer Reports, which gathered feedback from more than 30,000 subscribers. Topping the list of preferred alternatives to the likes of McDonald’s were fast casual chains Chipotle, Firehouse Subs, and Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

Quotation

Like the Netherlands or not, I think you can legally claim victory in any case if we win. Your grandparents freed our grandparents seventy years ago, so without you guys there would be no Dutch team. We won’t forget that.

— Wall Street Journal executive editor Almar Latour: Why the U.S. should support the Netherlands for the rest of the World Cup.

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Recommended Link

Elizabeth Warren’s rally with Alison Grimes is a huge smash

Daily Kos’ David Nir recaps Alison Lundergan Grimes’ hugely successful event with Senator Elizabeth Warren in Kentucky, which drew an overflow crowd. Grimes is challenging Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican. Warren had previously promised to travel to the Bluegrass State to campaign for Grimes, after McConnell and his caucus filibustered Warren’s bill to reform student loan debt.

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Quotation

Republicans have to be careful about not appearing as though they’re anti-contraception. This is a constitutional issue… We have to be very, very cautious as a party.

— Katie Packer Gage, a Republican operative who advises candidates on how to avoid sounding offensive to women, reacting to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. Is Gage truly aware of the company she keeps? The Republican Party has made no secret of its opposition to reproductive rights and women’s health.

Recommended Link

The monarchy hurts Canada’s standing in the world – it’s time to let go

Former Canadian diplomat Paul Heinbecker argues that Canada should sever ties with the British monarchy and strike out on its own. Canada has no need for a king or a queen, he says.

Recommended Link

Liquor privatization hasn’t made spirits cheaper, Seattle Times finds

As a new report from the Seattle Times makes clear, liquor privatization, brought to Washington by Costco Wholesale, has not lived up to its billing. Liquor is being sold in more places, but it hasn’t become any cheaper. What’s more, selection is worse. State-run liquor stores used to stock a wide variety, but big stores like Costco tend to only carry a few brands on a rack. NPI strongly opposed Costco’s I-1185 in 2011.

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Vancouver skyline at night

The skyline of downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, is seen at night from Jericho Beach Park. (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Quotation

This bridge is the last thing of this kind we will do for a while unless the Legislature gets off its butt.

King County Executive Dow Constantine, speaking at the reopening of the South Park Bridge in South Park, Seattle. Constantine and other local leaders have been pushing the Legislature for years to craft a transportation package to improve mobility. The new South Park Bridge was financed with federal money, local money, and some funds from Boeing and the Port of Seattle.

Recommended Link

Past road’s end, Democrats dig for Native votes

The New York Times explains how Democrats are working hard to reach out to Native American tribes in the 2014 midterms. Tribal voters could be the deciding factor in several races, including Mark Begich’s in Alaska and Mark Walsh’s in Montana.

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Recommended Link

Golden Gate Bridge board OKs $76 million for suicide barrier

After decades of debate, the board of directors responsible for managing the Golden Gate Bridge across the entrance to San Francisco Bay have approved the construction of a safety net that will catch people who attempt to jump to their deaths from the bridge deck’s pedestrian walkways.

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EFF, Greenpeace fly blimp over NSA datacenter to protest spying

A blimp sponsored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Greenpeace flies above an NSA datacenter in Utah. The blimp reads “NSA Illegal Spying Below”; its flight coincided with the launch of StandAgainstSpying.org. (Photo courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, reproduced with permission)

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