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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As neocon John Bolton tries to instigate a conflict with Iran, here’s a reminder that MADtv saw this move coming back in 2007. Watch and laugh… if you can.

This sketch is from the sixteenth episode of MADtv’s twelfth season.

Aside

We’re number one! U.S. News & World Report ranks Washington best state in the country

The State of Washington has been ranked the top state in the United States of America for 2019 by U.S. News & World Report, which looked at seventy different indicators to measure how well each state is delivering for its citizens.

“Cheap, climate-friendly electricity drives Washington’s economy, the nation’s fastest growing, according to the U.S. News’ Best States ranking of economic growth,” writes Levi Pulkkinen in a commentary explaining why Washington got the top spot.

“The tech-heavy state’s expectedly strong broadband network sits atop one of the nation’s best electrical systems, one well-positioned as the country shifts away from coal- and natural gas-generated electricity. The state expects to be coal-free by 2025, while still charging rates among the nation’s lowest.”

Governor Jay Inslee, a 2020 presidential candidate, is quoted in Pulkkinen’s piece as touting the value that clean energy projects have to a state’s economy.

“Renewable energy projects create significant new revenues for rural communities where most of these projects are sited,” Inslee told U.S. News & World Report. “New wind development projects in Washington generate millions of dollars in annual lease payments; much of it goes to small rural landowners.”

The other states in the top five were New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah, and Vermont. All but Utah are blue states that vote Democratic for President.

Meanwhile, four of the bottom five states are red states, most utterly dominated by Republicans. The bottom five states are New Mexico (which only just became a Democratic trifecta after electing a Democratic governor), West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Louisiana currently has a Democratic governor and Republican legislature; the other three states are under Republican rule.

California was ranked nineteenth out of fifty, while Oregon was ranked twenty-seventh and Idaho was ranked sixteenth. Alaska ranked forty-fourth, Hawaii ranked twenty-fourth, and Montana ranked twenty-ninth.

See the complete rankings here.

Recommended Link

What if “electability” is more about authenticity than moderation? (It is.)

“It may well be that the same candidates who appeal authentically to progressive emotional sensibilities will also appeal to the voters Democrats most need to persuade in the purple districts and states they need to win–as well as bring out people who otherwise just wouldn’t vote at all,” writes David Atkins. (He’s correct.)

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Below are a collection of highlights from the twentieth episode of Saturday Night Live’s forty-fourth season, hosted by Emma Thompson:

The not-to-be-missed cold open: Chuck Todd (Kyle Mooney) interviews Senators Lindsey Grahm (Kate Mckinnon), Susan Collins (Cecily Strong) and Mitch McConnell (Beck Bennett) about supporting President Trump.

Read More »

Quotation

The West Coast is crushing it against Trump. Using the law to fight a bully, the Constitution to challenge an authoritarian, and facts against Fox News-driven fantasy, California, Oregon and Washington have stalled some of the most despicable of Trump’s retrograde policies.

— New York Times opinion columnist Timothy Egan opines that the Left Coast is doing pretty darn well in its battle to keep the Trump regime in check.

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Kim Schrier presides over the U.S. House

Congresswoman Kim Schrier (D-WA-08) presides over the United States House of Representatives on May 9th, 2019. It’s the first time Schrier has served as Speaker Pro Tem, a privilege afforded to members of the majority party.

Recommended Link

Facebook co-founder: It’s time to break up Facebook

“We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American,” Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes writes, referring to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “It is time to break up Facebook.”

 

Recommended Link

Cambodians who fled to Seattle ‘shocked’ as details emerge of Republican Doug Ericksen’s $500K deal with regime

Donald Trump booster and Tim Eyman pal Doug Ericksen has teamed up with disgraced former State Representative Jay Rodne to promote the interests of Cambodia’s authoritarian Hun Sen regime in the United States. The pair have a deal with the regime worth half a million dollars.

Quotation

[A]s much as they loathe one another, they are also codependent: Hamas uses its defiance of Israel to portray itself as the true voice of Palestinian resistance, and Israel’s right-wing government exploits Gaza’s unruliness to argue that it lacks a partner for peace talks.

—   David M. Halbfinger and Isabel Kershner: As Gaza fighting intensifies, Israelis and Palestinians bury their dead (The New York Times)

Video Clip

Below are a collection of highlights from the nineteenth episode of Saturday Night Live’s forty-fourth season, hosted by Adam Sandler:

Sketch of the night: Host Adam Sandler sings a tribute to his friend and Saturday Night Live alum Chris Farley.

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Crosscut Fest 2019 in Pictures: Atlas Obscura CEO David Plotz discuss socialism's role in American politics with Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and Sarah Smith (pictured), plus Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski (not pictured)

Crosscut Fest 2019 in Pictures: Atlas Obscura CEO David Plotz discuss socialism's role in American politics with Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and Sarah Smith (pictured), plus Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski (not pictured)

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Crosscut Fest 2019 in Pictures: Author and journalist Emily Bazelon hosts a fireside chat with Attorney General Bob Ferguson

Crosscut Fest 2019 in Pictures: Author and journalist Emily Bazelon hosts a fireside chat with Attorney General Bob Ferguson

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Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: The winning Dessert Dash table (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: The winning Dessert Dash table (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

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Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: Author and strategist Mike Lux offers closing remarks (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: Author and strategist Mike Lux offers closing remarks (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

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Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz offers opening remarks (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz offers opening remarks (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

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Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: Supporters participate in the annual gala book sale (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: Supporters participate in the annual gala book sale (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

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Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: Master of Ceremonies Lindsay Church welcomes attendees (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: Master of Ceremonies Lindsay Church welcomes attendees (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

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Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: NPI boardmember Mario Brown with Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: NPI boardmember Mario Brown with Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

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Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: Renton Mayoral Candidate Marcie Maxwell and Bellevue City Council hopeful Jeremy Barksdale with Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz

Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: Renton Mayoral Candidate Marcie Maxwell and Bellevue City Council hopeful Jeremy Barksdale with Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz

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Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: This year's speakers gave guests plenty of reasons to applaud (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: This year's speakers gave guests plenty of reasons to applaud (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

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Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: King County Democratic Chair Shasti Conrad offers remarks (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

Scenes from NPI's 2019 Spring Gala: King County Democratic Chair Shasti Conrad offers remarks (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)