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

Video Clip

A highlight of last night’s SNL was this sketch, which paired Larry David and Bernie Sanders together as emigrants coming to America’s shores.

David also reprised his parody of Sanders for this brilliant spoof of Curb Your Enthusiasm — naturally titled, Bern Your Enthusiasm.

Aside

Smooth move, Democrats! Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to debate in Flint, Michigan

Having yielded to the Democratic presidential candidates’ desire for more debates, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced today that the party is officially sanctioning an eighth debate, which will appropriately be held in the city of Flint, Michigan, which is suffering from a lead poisoning crisis resulting from Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s takeover of the city.

The debate will be carried by CNN.

“Our Democratic candidates have run spirited campaigns focused on how to best move our country forward, and our upcoming debate in Flint, Michigan is a critical setting to highlight what’s at stake in these elections,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a CNN-distributed statement. “This debate is an opportunity to elevate the very serious issues facing the residents of Flint, and it’s also an opportunity to remind voters what Democratic leadership can do for the economy — so that everyone in America has a fair shot.”

Recommended Link

Bernie Sanders to appear on Saturday Night Live

Via MSNBC: “Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders plans to take a break from the campaign trail in New Hampshire to appear on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, a campaign aide told NBC News. Details of the appearance are still being worked out, but the show has not confirmed the senator’s cameo.”

Quotation

I have to say, I find it a little beyond comprehension that Lloyd Blankfein would lecture our campaign about “dangerous moments” after Wall Street received huge bailouts from the working families of this country, when their greed and recklessness caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, livelihoods, and homes just a few years ago. His arrogance has no end.

— Bernie Sanders’ response to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Bankfein’s comment that his candidacy “has the potential to be a dangerous moment… not just for Wall Street not just for the people who are particularly targeted but for anybody who is a little bit out of line.” Blankfein is a billionaire, with a net worth of $1 billion.

Recommended Link

President Obama at Maryland mosque: ‘You fit in here’

The Baltimore Sun reports: “President Barack Obama, speaking in Baltimore County during his first visit to a U.S. mosque, urged voters to reject the ‘inexcusable political rhetoric’ he said is emanating from the presidential campaign trail as he called on Americans to embrace a common humanity.”

Recommended Link

Countries sign the TPP… Whatever happened to the ‘debate’ we were promised before signing?

TechDirect’s Mike Masnick reacts to the news that the twelve nations involved in the gargantuan Trans-Pacific Partnership have “signed” the pact. The TPP has been called a trade deal, but most of the TPP’s provisions actually have more to do with creating rules favorable to multinational corporations that could trump national laws intended to protect important things like individual privacy and manufacturing jobs than lowering barriers to trade.

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Video Clip

On Wednesday, February 3rd, President Barack Obama delivered a landmark speech on religious freedom and tolerance to the Islamic Society of Baltimore.

Watch his speech above in high definition. Read the transcript here.

Recommended Link

FBI joins Flint drinking water investigation

The Detroit Free Press reports: “The FBI is now investigating the contamination of Flint’s drinking water, a man-made public health catastrophe, which has left an unknown number of Flint children and other residents poisoned by lead and resulted in state and federal emergency declarations.”

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Iowa Republican caucus results as of 7:44 PM

Courtesy of Microsoft and Interknowingly, these are the results from the Iowa 2016 Republican precinct caucuses as of 7:44 PM Pacific.

News networks are projecting that Texas Senator Ted Cruz has won the Iowa Republican caucuses. Cruz is trailed by Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.

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6:07 PM Iowa Democratic caucus results

Courtesy of Microsoft and Interknowingly, these are the results from the Iowa 2016 Democratic precinct caucuses as of 7:07 PM Pacific.

Republican precinct caucus results are currently unavailable.

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Aside

Martin O’Malley will suspend his campaign tonight, news reports suggest

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley plans to drop out of the Democratic presidential race after faring poorly in the Iowa Democratic caucuses, multiple mass media outlets are reporting. O’Malley, who trailed far behind Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in polling, was hoping to get a boost out of Iowa, but in most caucus locations, he isn’t even surpassing the viability threshold.

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6:07 PM Iowa Democratic caucus results

Courtesy of Microsoft and Interknowingly, these are the results from the Iowa 2016 Democratic precinct caucuses as of 6:07 PM Pacific.

6:07 PM Iowa Republican caucus results

Courtesy of Microsoft and Interknowingly, these are the results from the Republican precinct caucuses as of 6:07 PM Pacific.

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Recommended Link

Bernie’s campaign says it raised a whopping $20 million in January

The campaign of Bernie Sanders for President announced today that it succeeded in raising $20 million during the first month of 2016, an impressive sum that suggests Bernie will have staying power beyond the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

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Governor Jay Inslee addresses the winter meeting of the Washington State Democrats

Governor Jay Inslee addresses the winter meeting of the Washington State Democrats

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Sinkhole in Harbor, Oregon

U.S. Highway 101 has become impassable through the town of Harbor, Oregon, because the road has disappeared into a giant sinkhole. Drivers will have to detour around for some time to come while ODOT figures out a fix for the highway. (Photos courtesy of the Oregon Department of Transportation).

Sinkhole in Harbor, Oregon (alternate view)

Quotation

People are telling us, whether it’s the Washington Post editorial board or anybody else, our ideas are too ambitious — can’t happen. Too bold — really? Well, here’s something which is really bold. In the last 30 years, there has been a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class and working families of this country… Where was The Washington Post talking about this radical transformation of America?

— Bernie Sanders, unloading on The Washington Post in response to its ridiculous editorials harshly denouncing his candidacy.

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Recommended Link

Seattle seeks millions from Monsanto to clean up PCBs from Duwamish

The City of Seattle is suing megacorporation Monsanto for damages over the contamination of the Duwamish River, which became polluted with toxic chemicals due to the company’s manufacture of PCBs. Monsanto’s predictable response to the lawsuit has been to deny that it is responsible. In Monstanto’s world, accountability simply doesn’t exist.

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Recommended Link

One Oregon militant dead, several others taken into custody by police after traffic stop

Several of the ringleaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation were taken into custody and one was killed after they were stopped by police near Burns, Oregon, authorities have acknowledged. The deceased man is said to be Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, who acted as a spokesman for the group and reportedly resisted arrest. Among those taken into custody were the Bundy brothers, Ammon and Ryan.

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Five Democratic candidates so far are vying to succeed Jim McDermott: Pramila Jayapal, Joe McDermott, Brady Walkinshaw, Jeff Stilwell, and Donovan Rivers

Five Democratic candidates so far are vying to succeed Jim McDermott: Pramila Jayapal, Joe McDermott, Brady Walkinshaw, Jeff Stilwell, and Donovan Rivers

Quotation

[T]he victories Republicans have won over the decades have produced neither the lasting electoral realignment that conservative prophets keep predicting nor the broad policy changes that the faithful hope for. For the rank-and-file right, the sense that their leaders have failed them and the political system shortchanged them has created a cycle of radicalization.

— E.J. Dionne: Republican self-destruction is fun to watch, but bad for us all

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King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announce the launch date for Sound Transit's University Link light rail extension! March 19th, 2016!

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announce the launch date for Sound Transit's University Link light rail extension! March 19th, 2016!