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

The TPP is ‘disastrous for working families’ and central to the 2016 campaign

“The popular fury over trade policies that have devastated American communities is rarely taken seriously by the political and media elites that keep trying to narrow the national political discourse into an endless loop of empty discussions about personalities and tactics. But trade is a huge issue on the ground in states where Americans actually vote,” writes The Nation’s John Nichols.

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At around 11:05 PM Pacific Time (Sunday, May 22nd on the Left Coast; Monday, May 23rd in Asia), President Barack Obama is scheduled to hold a press conference with President Quang of Vietnam at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam. The press conference will be livestreamed and may be watched using the player above.

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Tribal member Barbara Lewis explains why she'd make a good National Convention delegate to the 1st CD's Bernie Sanders subcaucus

Tribal member Barbara Lewis explains why she'd make a good National Convention delegate to the 1st CD's Bernie Sanders subcaucus

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Varisha Khan and Richard Marshall, the chosen Democratic Elector and Democratic Alternate from the 1st Congressional District

Varisha Khan and Richard Marshall, the chosen Democratic Elector and Democratic Alternate from the 1st Congressional District

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New 564 area code coming to western Washington; 10 digit dialing will be required

It’s official: Washington State will soon be getting a new area code (number 564). The Utilities and Transportation Commission has signed off on a plan to make the new area code available to the western half of the state, “including the 360, 206, 253, and 425 area codes as numbers in those areas become exhausted,” the agency said in a press release.

 

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Recommended Link

Earth’s relentless climate crisis just hit a terrible new threshold

“The number of climate records broken in the last few years is stunning. But here’s a new measure of misery: Not only did we just experience the hottest April in 137 years of record keeping, but it was the 12th consecutive month to set a new record,” Bloomberg reports.

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Downtown Seattle at sunset from Beacon Hill

Downtown Seattle at sunset from Beacon Hill

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Five councilwomen in Seattle have been receiving a lot of hate for the insidious crime of doing their jobs. Samantha Bee noticed, and created a must-watch segment for her show mocking the angry misogynist horde for its nastiness.

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National Park Service calls on visitors to respect wildlife and safety regulations

The National Park Service is asking Americans and visitors to the United States to do their part to keep themselves and wildlife safe. In a press release, authorities cited several examples of how good intentions gone awry can cause problems.

For instance:

Last week in Yellowstone National Park, visitors were cited for placing a newborn bison calf in their vehicle and transporting it to a park facility because of their misplaced concern for the animal’s welfare.

In terms of human safety, this was a dangerous activity because adult animals are very protective of their young and will act aggressively to defend them. In addition, interference by people can cause mothers to reject their offspring. In this case, park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the newborn bison calf with the herd.

These efforts failed. The bison calf was later euthanized because it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway.

Visitors to America’s national parks should respect wildlife by observing from a distance. Take nothing but photos, and leave the animals alone.

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UW had ‘Fight Club’ rule of secrecy about KPLU deal

“Emails and records show UW and KUOW officials worked to keep details secret about the Seattle public radio station’s intentions to buy its competitor KPLU until the day university regents approved the plan. PLU, meanwhile, insisted on not revealing that it initiated the deal,” The Seattle Times reports.

Quotation

The industry looks at Disney with envy… It is a highly successful and unique strategy, well-executed and hard to duplicate.

— Reif Cohen, speaking to Bloomberg’s Anousha Sakoui (Disney’s buying spree will reshape Hollywood for years to come)

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On May 9th, 2016, the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics (IOP) welcomed former Daily Show host Jon Stewart for a special live taping of “The Axe Files” podcast, hosted by IOP Director David Axelrod, during which Stewart weighed in with his thoughts on the 2016 presidential election and related topics.

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Retired Congresswoman Gabby Giffords greets supporters at the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility's fourth annual luncheon

Retired Congresswoman Gabby Giffords greets supporters at the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility's fourth annual luncheon

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Flanked by Matt Smith, I-1491 sponsor Marilyn Balcerak explains why we need extreme risk protection orders

Flanked by Matt Smith, I-1491 sponsor Marilyn Balcerak explains why we need extreme risk protection orders

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Retired astronaut Mark Kelly speaks at the Washington Alliance for Responsibility's fourth annual luncheon

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly speaks at the Washington Alliance for Responsibility's fourth annual luncheon

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North Carolina Republicans, U.S. Department of Justice file dueling lawsuits over HB 2

The fight over HB 2 North Carolina’s discriminatory new law targeting transgender individuals, has escalated after Republican Governor Pat McCrory and his legislative cohorts filed a lawsuit against the federal government seeking a determination that HB 2 does not violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Department of Justice promptly responded with its own lawsuit asserting that HB 2 *does* violate the Civil Rights Act. Justice is asking for an injunction to block HB 2 from being enforced.

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Right wing white supremacists hail the ascension of ‘Emperor Trump’ as Republican nominee

“White supremacists, nationalists and antigovernment conspiracists feverishly embrace the Republican candidate as their Great White Hope, not to mention a ‘Patriot sleeper cell’,” David Neiwert reports.

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Horrific Fort McMurray fire spreads to 85,000 hectares; thousands stranded to be airlifted

“Authorities prepared to airlift thousands of people stranded in camps north of Fort McMurray as officials warned that the fire engulfing the region will continue to grow amid strong winds,” The Globe and Mail reported Thursday.

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Fleeing Fort McMurray

This striking image depicts the evacuation of Fort McMurray, Alberta, a community of more than 80,000 people. The entire municipality was ordered to empty as one of the worst fires in Canadian history threatened to consume the city and its environs. Fleeing residents passed very close to the fire on their way out of danger on Highway 63.

Quotation

If Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, here in Arizona, with over 30 percent of the vote being the Hispanic vote, no doubt that this may be the race of my life… If you listen or watch Hispanic media in the state and in the country, you will see that it is all anti-Trump. The Hispanic community is roused and angry in a way that I’ve never seen in thirty years.

—  John McCain on tape: Trump damages my reelection hopes

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Video Clip

“Just a few days before the SR 99 tunneling machine started tunneling under the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the Washington State Department of Transportation flew a video-equipped drone through the SR 99 tunnel to show Seattle Tunnel Partners’ construction progress. On an average day, the tunnel is bustling with construction. To avoid disrupting crews, this video was recorded in between regular work shifts.”