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

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.”

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As Trump clinches nomination, some Republican operatives refuse to get on board

The Republican Party is Donald Trump’s party now, and that has some Republican operatives vowing to vote for Hillary Clinton or stay out of the presidential contest altogether. One despairing operative told his Twitter followers “I’m drinking wine directly out of the bottle right now.”

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Quotation

Unlike the voices on the Republican side, Mr. Sanders’s has elevated this campaign. The Democratic Party should listen.

— The New York Times Editorial Board: Bernie Sanders’s gift to his party

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Recommended Link

NPI’s Gael Tarleton: Scale back U.S. nuclear weapons and stop a new arms race

The United States should reduce its nuclear force by a third to maintain an effective deterrent while making the world safer, writes NPI’s Gael Tarleton in a Seattle Times op-ed. “With that number, we could still keep 1,000 warheads at sea, more than enough for any conceivable military mission. Kitsap would continue to have a mission and the thousands of jobs that come with it.”

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Law enforcement upset with right wing over its attempts to allow and encourage people to carry guns everywhere

“In more than a dozen states with long traditions of robust support for gun ownership rights, and where legislatures have moved to relax gun laws during the past year, the local police have become increasingly vocal in denouncing the measures. They say the new laws expose officers to greater danger and prevent them from doing their jobs effectively,” The New York Times reports.

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Secretary of State hopeful Tina Podlodowski addresses the 2016 MLK County Convention

Secretary of State hopeful Tina Podlodowski addresses the 2016 MLK County Convention

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U.S. Senator Patty Murray speaks at the 2016 King County Democratic Convention

U.S. Senator Patty Murray speaks at the 2016 King County Democratic Convention

Video Clip

Courtesy of C-SPAN, here are President Obama’s remarks at the 2016 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, in which he skewered himself, the Republican Party, and Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Recommended Link

Six maps that will make you rethink the world

“We don’t often question the typical world map that hangs on the walls of classrooms — a patchwork of yellow, pink and green that separates the world into more than 200 nations. But Parag Khanna, a global strategist, says that this map is, essentially, obsolete,” writes Ana Swanson.

Aside

Tonight is Barack Obama’s last White House Correspondents’ Dinner as President

Tonight, the White House Correspondents’ Association is hosting its annual star-studded dinner, which is both affectionately and derisively referred to as #NerdProm on social media. The Dinner began many decades ago, in 1920, and is typically held on the last Saturday in April at the Washington [D.C.] Hilton.

At the WHCA Dinner, the President is expected to serve as the nation’s Comedian-in-Chief, delivering self-deprecating jokes as well as jabs at the opposition party. Barack Obama has been an especially good Comedian-in-Chief during his tenure as President of the United States, with routines that have been well-received, especially online, as Lloyd Grove noted in a recent piece for The Daily Beast.

The President is traditionally followed onstage by a comedian selected by the White House Correspondents’ Association to anchor the program. Last year, Cecily Strong of Saturday Night Live performed; this year, Larry Wilmore (host of the Comedy Central program The Nightly Show) was selected to follow the President.

Wilmore’s predecessor in the 11:30 PM half-hour, Stephen Colbert, headlined the Dinner ten years ago, and his blunt, no-holds-barred performance there in the character of a faux pundit helped propel him to greater fame and stardom. Today, he is the host of The Late Show on CBS, having succeeded David Letterman.

If you’d like to watch Obama and Wilmore’s remarks at the Dinner, but don’t have cable, C-SPAN has you covered: they’re streaming the whole thing online here.

Quotation

The chairman is the rare former lobbyist who is using his industry expertise to aggressively promote the broader public interest…. Neither the cable nor wireless companies can fool him since he knows exactly how they operate.

— Michael Calabrese of New America’s Open Technology Institute, sizing up Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler. Wheeler once lobbied on behalf of cable companies, but now they’re angry with him because he has vigorously championed — and implemented — progressive policies they oppose.

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Fired up to protect transgender rights and defeat I-1515

Fired up to protect transgender rights and defeat I-1515

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Bishop Kirby Unti of the Northwest Washington Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America speaks against I-1515

Bishop Kirby Unti of the Northwest Washington Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America speaks against I-1515

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Transgender rights *must* be protected: Progressive activists rally against I-1515

Transgender rights *must* be protected: Progressive activists rally against I-1515

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Seth Kirby speaks at the launch of Washington Won't Discriminate: NO on I-1515

Seth Kirby speaks at the launch of Washington Won't Discriminate: NO on I-1515

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John McCain fundraiser and Republican operative Emily Pitha arrested in Phoenix meth lab bust

“A Phoenix woman who has worked for top Arizona Republicans and as a consultant arranging fundraisers for John McCain is facing numerous felony drug charges after Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies raided her home,” CBS News reported today. A McCain spokesman announced that the campaign had cut all ties with Pitha.

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Desperate Ted Cruz unveils Carly Fiorina as his running mate

An increasingly desperate Ted Cruz, who was shut out on Tuesday as Donald Trump swept five Republican primary states, today named Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate, in a move that smacked of Joementum. Cruz has almost no chance now of going into the convention with more delegates than Trump, and so will be attempting to wrest the nomination away from Trump at the convention.

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Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff speaks at an #ST3 workshop in downtown Redmond

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff speaks at an #ST3 workshop in downtown Redmond