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

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Former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell accepts the Joan Thomas Award from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition after being honored by Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Chair Brian Cladoosby (Spee pots)

Former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell accepts the Joan Thomas Award from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition after being honored by Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Chair Brian Cladoosby (Spee pots)

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Attorney General Bob Ferguson announces a new lawsuit against the Trump regime, this time over the theft of Bangor funds for Trump's vanity wall

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announces a new lawsuit against the Trump regime, this time over the theft of Bangor funds for Trump's vanity wall

Aside

John Bolton leaves the Trump regime

There goes another one.

[Donald] Trump on Tuesday pushed out John R. Bolton, his third national security adviser, amid fundamental disputes over how to handle major foreign policy challenges like Iran, North Korea and most recently Afghanistan.

The departure ended a 17-month partnership that had grown so tense that the two men even disagreed over how they parted ways, as Mr. Trump announced on Twitter that he had fired the adviser only to be rebutted by Mr. Bolton, who insisted he had resigned of his own accord.

Calling it a partnership seems like a stretch. It was more like an arrangement.

Few people can last long doing the bidding of neofascist Donald Trump, except for perhaps his children and a few other soulless sidekicks.

The Trump regime has been characterized by turnover since its very first days, when Michael Flynn was forced out as National Security Advisor.

And there’s an even bigger problem that goes beyond turnover. The regime has neglected to nominate people to key posts, leaving lots of holes in the country’s executive branch. As National Security Action noted:

“The senior echelons of our national security institutions may be hollower than ever. The administration has no National Security Advisor, no Secretary or Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, no Director or Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and features acting officials in nearly twenty top positions at the Pentagon and several key ambassadorial posts.”

Yikes!

Recommended Link

The lowdown on the “Texodus”

Christopher Hooks, a journalist who writes about politics for Texas Monthly and The Texas Observer, explains why Republican members of the United States House of Representatives from the Lone Star State are retiring en masse, and what’s going wrong for the Republican Party in one of the country’s biggest states, which is a must-win for Donald Trump in 2020.

Quotation

Our new Cabinet has no majority and no mandate … It is not a Cabinet of all available talents. It is a faction of a faction, with no counter-balance of opinion to hold it back. Upon Brexit, the Cabinet non–believers are mere window dressing. They will not be listened to, and will always be out-voted.

— Sir John Major, delivering a withering indictment of Boris Johnson’s government.

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Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom? Nah! Try Prime Spectator!

If you aren’t paying attention to what’s happening on the other side of the Atlantic, you should tune in. British politics has entered a moment of incredibly high drama.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was battered again on Wednesday as lawmakers from his own party and the opposition pressed ahead to stop his plan for leaving the European Union without an agreement — and then turned down his call for an election.

By the end of another tumultuous day in Parliament, Mr. Johnson’s government had been shredded by no fewer than three defeats.

After opposition and rebel Tory lawmakers seized control of the Brexit process from Mr. Johnson on Tuesday, they doubled down on Wednesday by advancing a bill to block a withdrawal from the European Union without a deal. Then, just hours later, they rejected Mr. Johnson’s request for a snap election, at least until their no-deal Brexit measure becomes the law of the land.

It serves Johnson right.

The hard-charging former Mayor of London — who wants to crash out of the European Union with no deal on Halloween — has adopted a position of “my way or the highway”, splitting apart the Tory Party in gruesome fashion. More than two dozen Conservative MPs have been kicked out of the party for refusing to follow Johnson off a metaphorical cliff, including Sir Winston Churchill’s grandson.

Johnson has yet to win a major vote in Parliament since taking over from Theresa May. He holds the position of Prime Minister, but neither he nor his government command a majority in the House. And he’s certainly not ministering to the people he’s supposed to be looking after in the United Kingdom.

So perhaps the more realistic title for Johnson would be “Prime Spectator”.

Here’s a video showing one of Johnson’s Conservative colleagues getting up and walking across the floor of the House to defect to another political party yesterday, while Johnson was trying to deliver a speech extolling his greatness:

And here’s a video announcing the results of the first vote that went against him:

The Guardian has more on Johnson’s very bad, no good, pretty awful day.

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Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich speaks at a Labor Day event for Seattle City Council candidate Andrew Lewis

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich speaks at a Labor Day event for Seattle City Council candidate Andrew Lewis

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Amy McGrath’s campaign has unveiled a new ad excoriating Mitch McConnell. The synopsis: “A group of coal miners with black lung disease rode ten hours to Washington to see Mitch McConnell — he only gave them one minute of his time.”

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Quotation

Given the fine margins Trump is dealing with in his reelection campaign, Fox News could help sink him. Fox can lose some viewers and win the ratings wars; Trump basically cannot lose any supporters and win reelection. You could even make an argument that Trump needs Fox more than Fox needs Trump.

— Aaron Blake: Trump had better be careful about hate-tweeting Fox

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Podium placement for the third Democratic debate

The graphic above shows the podium placement for the third Democratic debate. “The candidates will appear on the stage in the following order, from left to right. Polling averages determined the podium order based on the last 10 polls certified for qualification by the DNC with the highest polling candidates near the center:” (Courtesy of ABC News)

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Above: Tsunami wave simulation for Washington State from a hypothetical magnitude 9.0 earthquake (L1) scenario on the Cascadia subduction zone. Developed by Washington Geological Survey hazard geologists.

Increasing funding for geologic hazards research is a top NPI legislative priority.

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Fabulous crowd today at the Elizabeth Warren rally. Great to see progressives turn out in numbers!

Fabulous crowd today at the Elizabeth Warren rally. Great to see progressives turn out in numbers!

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Senator Elizabeth Warren at today's campaign event in Seattle.

Senator Elizabeth Warren at today's campaign event in Seattle.

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U.S Representative Kim Schrier takes questions at NPI's Sixteenth Anniversary Picnic

U.S Representative Kim Schrier takes questions at NPI's Sixteenth Anniversary Picnic

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These summer days won't last! Join us tomorrow evening as we commemorate our sixteenth anniversary with a grand summer picnic at Redmond's Perrigo Park! U.S. Representative Kim Schrier will speak. RSVP: https://npi.li/picnic/

These summer days won't last! Join us tomorrow evening as we commemorate our sixteenth anniversary with a grand summer picnic at Redmond's Perrigo Park! U.S. Representative Kim Schrier will speak. RSVP: https://npi.li/picnic/

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On Saturday, August 24th, we will present the family of @Al_Garman with NPI's highest honor: a Lynn Allen Award. Join us at Redmond's Perrigo Park as we recognize Al's incredible legacy! https://npi.li/picnic

On Saturday, August 24th, we will present the family of @Al_Garman with NPI's highest honor: a Lynn Allen Award. Join us at Redmond's Perrigo Park as we recognize Al's incredible legacy! https://npi.li/picnic

Recommended Link

Federal judge orders Georgia to switch to paper ballots for 2020 elections

Via Ars Technica: “Election security advocates scored a major victory on Thursday as a federal judge issued a one hundred and fifty-three page ruling ordering Georgia officials to stop using its outdated electronic voting machines by the end of the year.”

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Revealed: Matt Shea aided group training young men for ‘biblical warfare’

Archconservative Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told The Guardian that“it almost sounds like going back to the Hitler Youth concept”.

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‘It’s gonna kill this community’: Seattle Times covers right wing governor’s war on Alaska’s public services

Imagine if Tim Eyman became governor and began taking an axe to Washington’s public services. That’s what is happening in Alaska, where right wing extremist Mike Dunleavy is using his line item veto power to force through a 41% cut to the University of Alaska system, plus gut Medicaid, behavioral health, and the Alaska State Ferry system.

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Washingtonians! Top Two Election Night is just one week away! Have *you* voted? What about your family and friends?

Washingtonians! Top Two Election Night is just one week away! Have *you* voted? What about your family and friends?

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East Link on track: This video shows a welder installing tie rods on the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge

East Link on track: This video shows a welder installing tie rods on the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge