Budget season is upon us: And Marcus Harrison Green is practically begging you to live in the real world rather than get sucked into pointless (and false) debates over whether the Seattle Police Department was defunded (it wasn't). We've got limited dollars and lots of problems, so we really can't afford to waste any resources on policies we know don't address the root causes of crime. Will that keep Mayor Harrell from needlessly backing up a Brinks truck to SPD instead of investing in anti-poverty programs and more affordable housing? Only time will tell.

Get ready to replace that furnace: If you rely on a furnace that burns fossil fuels to heat your home, the Seattle Times reports that a new King County program may help you replace that ancient, planet-killing tech with a clean electric heat pump. Assuming the County Council approves the proposal, King County would use part of the money it received through the federal infrastructure law to back low-interest loans to help homeowners offset the sticker price of upgrading their HVAC systems. 

Solidarity Budget coalition rejects funding for "soft cops": KUOW reports that the coalition of progressive organizers who lobby for more efficient public safety spending is opposed to the Mayor's proposal to fund 26 more park rangers. While the rangers don't carry guns, the advocates say they would "act to funnel people into jail or into other coercive settings." And here I was just hoping that we had found a new way to revive the old joke about cops and donuts.

Let me recap the last few blurbs for our Gen Z readers: I keep reading that people mostly consume news through TikToks and memes. Acknowledging that reality, here's the upcoming budget debate presented in an easier-to-digest format:

Give us a four-day work week: Shocking only the bosses, early results from a new study out of England show no loss of productivity for nearly 3,300 employees across a wide range of industries in the largest trial of a four-day work week to date. Some firms even reported an increase in productivity. Who could have thought that giving workers "more time to exercise, cook, spend time with their families and take up hobbies" would result in people being happier and more energized when they're on the clock?

I'm not crying, you're crying: Maybe it's just because I've also lost a parent to cancer, but this raw and honest editorial from NBA player John Wall about his struggles with depression after breast cancer took his mom really hit home. It's long, but I can't recommend reading it to the end highly enough. Just have some tissues on hand, or embrace the rejection of toxic masculinity Wall implicitly argues for and weep openly at your desk.

OK, now I'm actually crying: Are they tears of rage? Frustration? Relief that I no longer live in Florida? Who can say, but the sheer stupidity of this video has left me speechless. I'm pretty sure the people forcibly removed from their homes, separated from their families, and told they were property questioned slavery from the very first day.

In other wannabe dictator news: Putin seems to have overplayed his hand in Ukraine, as his recent announcements that Russia will institute a draft, consider using nuclear weapons, and hold sham elections in captured territory drew condemnation at the UN this week. Non-aligned countries such as India and China had been staying out of the war of words over Russia's actions until recently, when Putin's latest aggression seemed to push them into denouncing the war in remarks before the UN Security Council. 

Ginni Thomas agrees to testify to Jan. 6 commission: The wife of one of our worst Supreme Court justices says she's eager to "clear up any misconceptions" about her involvement in the insurrection. I'm not a religious person, but please join me in pleading with whatever higher power you believe in that her testimony is livestreamed.

Wonder if Ginni knows this guy: A member of the Navy who was on active duty when he participated in the Jan 6 insurrection was sentenced to four years in prison yesterday. The part of this story I find truly ridiculous is that this dude wore a Hitler-style mustache for years while employed by the Navy. The Navy even investigated his obvious ties to extremism, but the man still held a government security clearance on the day he decided to riot at the Capitol.

America's worst person defends his title: Alex Jones testified in court yesterday, offering a series of his trademark offensive comments to the audience of people who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook shooting while refusing to apologize for defaming them or encouraging his followers in their harassment of the families. Prior court proceedings already found Jones liable for defamation, with this current hearing focused on how much he'll owe the plaintiffs in damages. Hopefully "all of it" is an option on their verdict forms.

Good news on the fight against cancer? I know, I know, we should wait for more data and not get overly excited about early results from clinical trials. But the hope that a newly modified herpes simplex virus could lead to total remission for cancer patients in the advanced stages of their illness is too intoxicating to keep to myself. 

In honor of that ray of hope for people struggling to stay alive until science comes up with a better idea than pumping radioactive poison through their veins, here's a cheerful track from my dad's favorite album: