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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People try out the First Hill Streetcar on its second day of operation

People try out the First Hill Streetcar on its second day of operation

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The new First Hill Streetcar at Broadway & Denny

The new First Hill Streetcar at Broadway & Denny

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Cat on the prowl during Snowzilla 2016

Cat on the prowl during Snowzilla 2016 (Photo: Joe Newman, using an Olympus OM-D E-M1, reproduced under a Creative Commons license)

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Quotation

“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?” Trump said to laughter at a rally he held at a Christian college in northwest Iowa. “It’s like, incredible.”

Donald Trump jokes he could ‘shoot somebody’ and not lose any voters.

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Quotation

Were my grandfather alive today, he’d be excited about how far we have come as a nation since 1963, he would feel a sense of urgency about the challenges that lie ahead and he most certainly would not be a Republican.

— Jack Kennedy Schlossberg: Ted Cruz is no Jack Kennedy

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Quotation

[Judge Downing’s decision] respects the integrity of the Constitution and it puts that integrity above any partisan politics, any one issue or any personality… Protecting the integrity of the Constitution matters. It’s not always popular, but it matters.

— State Senator Reuven Carlyle, one of the plaintiffs in Lee v. State, applauding Judge William Downing’s decision striking down Tim Eyman’s 1-1366.

Video Clip

In a Senate floor speech on the sixth anniversary of Citizens United, Senator Elizabeth Warren laid out steps that Congress and the Administration can take to root out the influence of money in politics.

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Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? Republicans argue over who is greater threat

“With Donald J. Trump and Senator Ted Cruz battling for the Republican nomination, two powerful factions of their party are now clashing over the question: Which man is more dangerous?” reports The New York Times‘ Jonathan Martin.

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Video Clip

“They’ve all come to look for America…” | Above is the latest TV spot created and released by Bernie Sanders for President.

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Flint water crisis: emails reveal Governor Snyder informed of problems a year ago

“According to newly released emails concerns over the water were dismissed by officials who blamed mayor for exploiting public panic,” The Guardian reports.

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Judge William Downing listens to oral arguments in Lee v. State, the legal challenge to Tim Eyman's I-1366

Judge William Downing listens to oral arguments in Lee v. State, the legal challenge to Tim Eyman's I-1366

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Paul Lawrence presents arguments against Tim Eyman's I-1366 in King County Superior Court

Paul Lawrence presents arguments against Tim Eyman's I-1366 in King County Superior Court

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Oxfam says wealth of richest 1% equal to other 99%

A new report from Oxfam, based on data from Credit Suisse, finds that one percent of humanity as much wealth as the remaining 99% of the population. Oxfam also found that the richest sixty-two people in the world had as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

Aside

Donald Trump aggressively goes after Ted Cruz in series of tweets

The so-called Donald Trump/Ted Cruz “bromance” seems to officially over, now that Trump and Cruz are taking shots at each other. Today, it was Trump who escalated the feud, using his favorite medium of choice: Twitter.

Wow. Pass the popcorn…

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The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment

Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn explains in detail why the ecosystem that has developed around the experimental virtual currency is falling apart.

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Aside

Within a few years, Easter may stop moving around on the calendar… imagine that!

Within a few years, Christianity’s most important holy day may begin falling on the same predictable Sunday every year. That’s if leaders of the world’s largest Christian denominations can agree to adjust their liturgical calendars in unison.

The UK’s Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England and a top figure in the Anglican Communion, revealed today he is in discussions with Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church, Patriarch Bartholomew of the Orthodox Church, and Tawadros II of the Coptic Church on adopting a fixed date for Easter.

Most likely, this would be a date in mid-April.

“Pope Tawadros has put forward the idea to churches in the eastern tradition and the western tradition that it be fixed somewhere around the second or third Sunday of April and we will certainly be joining in. We have agreed that we support that,” Archbishop Justin Welby told journalists.

Attempts to get Christian churches to unify around a common date for Easter have been unsuccessful in the past, but perhaps this time will be different.

If the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Coptic faith communities all switch to a common date for Easter, most of the world’s Christians would be celebrating the Resurrection at the same time. Other Protestant churches would also have the option of aligning their liturgical calendars with those churches if they wished.

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Recommended Link

Flint lead poisoning crisis: a cautionary tale about America’s water supply

The Christian Science Monitor explains why people are getting sick (and dying) from drinking the tap water in Flint, Michigan. The problems started after the City of Flint, at the behest of the Republican-controlled state government, switched its source of drinking water in an attempt to cut costs.

 

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Construction continues at Sound Transit's future Roosevelt light rail station

Construction continues at Sound Transit's future Roosevelt light rail station

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Ted Cruz failed to disclose loan from Goldman Sachs for his first Senate campaign

Four years ago, when radical right wing demagogue Ted Cruz was running for U.S. Senate, he financed his campaign with a large loan from Goldman Sachs — coincidentally his wife’s employer and one of the big Wall Street banks he likes to rail against as being too influential in the nation’s capital. Cruz conveniently failed to disclose the loan at the time he was seeking to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison. The New York Times has more.

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Workers arrive at the Roosevelt Station construction site via one of the twin tunnels from U District Station

Workers arrive at the Roosevelt Station construction site via one of the twin tunnels from U District Station

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King County Executive Dow Constantine speaks at a news conference previewing what's ahead for Sound Transit in 2016

King County Executive Dow Constantine speaks at a news conference previewing what's ahead for Sound Transit in 2016