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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Mount McKinley is now officially Mount Denali, thanks to President Obama

President Barack Obama has given Interior Secretary Sally Jewell the go-ahead to officially rename Mount McKinley to Mount Denali. With the name change official at the federal level, we should start to see mapmakers, encyclopedia publishers, and others honor the mountain’s true name.

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Fisherman on the dock at Lake Sammamish

Fisherman on the dock at Lake Sammamish

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The Flooding of America

The New Republic offers a chronology of major floods in America going back to the publication’s founding, complete with stories from its archives chronicling the wake of each.

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Lake Sammamish on a slightly blustery day

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Radar mosaic of late August rainstorm

This radar mosaic from the National Weather Service documents a powerful rainstorm moving through the heart of the Pacific Northwest last night. The loop begins at 11:18 PM Pacific Time on August 29th, and ends at 12:28 AM Pacific on August 30th. Communities around Puget Sound experienced significant precipitation, as did the Cascades, the Olympics, the Oregon Coast Range, and the Willamette Valley.

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Bernie Sanders within striking distance of Hillary Clinton in Iowa

“The latest Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows concerns about Clinton, enthusiasm for Sanders and the possibility of Biden roiling the Democratic field,” Bloomberg’s Margaret Talev reports.

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Union-owned Amalgamated Bank boosts Democratic and progressive campaigns

The New York Times profiles the labor-owned Amalgamated Bank, ninety-two years old and still going. Amalgamated has become increasingly helpful to Democratic and progressive campaigns, providing, in the words of the Times, a “lift to the left”.

Quotation

And I know the NRA, I know what their position is going to be. I can hear it now. They’re going to say, ‘Oh, gee, well, if they were carrying, this never would’ve happened.’ Well, I got news for you: If Alison or Adam had been carrying an AK-47 strapped around their waist, it wouldn’t have made any difference. They couldn’t have seen this thing coming. I don’t want to hear that argument from the NRA — and you know that’s going to happen.

— Andy Parker, the father of murdered journalist Alison Parker, blasting the extremist right wing National Rifle Association after vowing to make the enactment of sensible gun laws his new mission in life (via ThinkProgress).

Video Clip

The Seattle-based hip hop duo are back with a new music video that pairs a catchy tune with scenes of moped riding and choreographed dancing in downtown Spokane. Seattle Mariners legend Ken Griffey, Jr. makes multiple cameo appearances. The song is called “Downtown“. Watch it, and then watch it again.

The Inlander has a rundown of all the Spokane locations that are in the video.

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Major business group stops fundraising for Republicans due to Ex-Im Bank charter expiration

Republicans are starting to suffer some political repercussions from the business community over their failure to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. The Hill reports: “The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is indefinitely postponing a slate of political fundraisers for Republican candidates this fall, saying the influential business group must instead focus its resources on reauthorizing the embattled Export-Import Bank.”

 

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Aside

Time for a change in the weather! Rain is on its way to the Pacific Northwest

And we certainly do need it! From the National Weather Service:

A change to wet and cooler weather is in store for Western
Washington… Today will be the last day of dry weather with above normal temperatures. Tonight…a change in the weather pattern will begin. The dome of high pressure that has prevailed over the region will give way… allowing wet and cooler conditions to become established over the area.

Friday through this weekend will be wet across Western Washington. Rain will become locally heavy at times…especially in the mountains… on Saturday. Rainfall amounts during the two day period ending at 5 AM PDT Sunday are forecast to be in the 1 to 2.5 inch range for most areas but the south facing slopes of the Olympics and Cascades could receive 3 to 5 inches of rain. This amount of rain will likely end or help reduce the size of the ongoing wildfires in the mountains.

Daytime temperatures will be below normal Friday through this weekend. It is likely that most lowland sites will fail to reach 70 degrees this weekend…especially on Sunday.

It will also become locally windy on Saturday due to a strong front moving across the area. some southerly wind prone places on the coast and in the Northwest interior could have gusts in the 45 to 50 mph range. Those planning outdoor activities in the mountains this weekend
should pay close attention to the latest forecasts from the
National Weather Service.

Let it rain! Precipitation is what keeps the Evergreen State and its neighbors evergreen. Time to replenish our reservoirs and curb those wildfires.

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Canada’s NDP in reach of majority, new poll suggests

Fresh new polling for the Toronto Star suggests that Canada’s most progressive political party could be on the verge of winning a majority and being able to form a government in Ottawa for the first time in its history. As The Star reports in its lede: “The New Democratic Party has the backing of an unprecedented forty percent of Canadians, a level of support that could secure Thomas Mulcair a majority in the House of Commons.”

Quotation

As we reflect with heavy hearts on this tragedy, it is appropriate to begin to ask questions about how we can prevent these senseless events in the future. Keeping guns out of the hands of people who would use them to harm our family, friends and loved ones is not a political issue; it is a matter of ensuring that more people can come home safely at the end of the day. We cannot rest until we have done whatever it takes to rid our society of preventable gun violence that results in tragedies like the one we are enduring today

— Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s statement on the conclusion of the search for Smith Mountain Lake shooting suspect, who had earlier murdered WDBJ7 journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward.

Quotation

It should not be normal in this country that people are shot and killed while doing their job, or studying in class, or watching a movie. Leaders in the Commonwealth and in our country can no longer sit idly by while more Americans are gunned down. It is time that they act to protect Americans and do more to keep guns out of dangerous hands. We deserve better.

— Colin Goddard, Virginia Tech shooting survivor and Senior Policy Advocate for Everytown for Gun Safety, condemning today’s on-air murder of WDBJ7 journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward on behalf of Everytown and Moms Demand Action.

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Sorry, Republicans: I’m an anchor baby, and I’m not going anywhere

“The party’s presidential candidates want to deny birthright citizenship to people like me because they know we’ll vote them out of office,” writes Gustavo Arellano for The Guardian (Comment is free).

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Canada’s Conservatives have lost edge they had on the economy, polls suggest

“The trump card that has decided elections in the Conservatives’ favour is no longer so useful,” writes Éric Grenier for CBC News. Those previous elections were the 2007 and 2011 Canadian federal elections, which Stephen Harper’s Conservatives won.

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Stakes too high to delay action on Iran nuclear deal

Writing for The Seattle Times, Northwest Progressive Institute Vice President-Secretary and 36th District State Representative Gael Tarleton explains why we need to implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Quotation

Look, this is, in fact, manufactured partly by a press that’s bored and partly by the Republicans. Here’s the deal. She did not break any rules, she did not break any policy, she may have sent stuff that was classified that wasn’t labeled classified, and it is well known that the State Department and others are trying to get stuff classified after the fact. She can’t be blamed for this. So I look at this as the usual press frenzy, the pack journalism, and I think it’ll go away, because there’s no sense to it.

— Governor Howard Dean, speaking to NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press (Transcript from the August 23rd, 2015 show).

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California’s Jerry Brown takes aim at oil companies over ‘highly destructive’ product

Speaking at a conference near Lake Tahoe, California Governor Jerry Brown denounced oil companies for putting their profits ahead of the well-being of people and the planet.

 

 

Aside

King County Sheriff John Urquhart fires another dishonest deputy

The housecleaning of the King County Sheriff’s Department continues:

King County Sheriff John Urquhart has fired a sergeant who, according to an internal investigation, falsely accused a bus driver of using a profanity during an argument.

In a termination letter sent last week to Sgt. Lou Caballero, Urquhart cited video evidence captured on a personal body camera worn by the King County Metro Transit driver, which showed no profanity was used during the Nov. 14 argument.

Caballero’s firing was effective Aug. 20.

Since taking office in 2012, Sheriff Urquhart has earned high marks for his willingness to purge the ranks of the county’s police force of corrupt, dishonest, and incompetent officers. He ran on a platform of accountability in 2012, defeating incumbent Steve Strachan. After the election, he quickly got to work.

To date, he has now fired the following deputies:

Urquhart has also fired a weapons screener who used to work at the King County Courthouse for parking in the courthouse garage for free dozens of times without permission, and a deputy who had lied about writing tickets.

It’s pretty refreshing that we have a sheriff who is willing to get rid of bad cops. Discarding the rotten apples sends an important message: Lying, thieving, and slacking off on the job will not be tolerated. The above deputies were, in many cases, given second and even third chances earlier in their careers, and continued to exercise poor judgment. It’s for the best that they find a new line of work.

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This summer camp just churned out eighty young progressive activists

The Los Angeles Times profiles Dream Summer, which it neatly describes as “an annual program that brings young immigrants from across the country to Los Angeles for a 10-week crash course designed to produce the next generation of immigrant rights leaders.”