The Bay Area, the capital of the NIMBY race.
The Bay Area, the capital of the NIMBY race. Charles Mudede

What is this? Only 34 Republicans in the House voted with Dems to pass a bill that would offer assistance to veterans "exposed to toxic chemicals during their military service." Yes, 174 Republicans voted against those who served their country with courage and honor. The Dems just can't believe it. All of this talk about patriotism is empty to them.

Vote Vets tweeted: "174 Republicans voted AGAINST Veterans — remember that — because we will." Sad to say, but voters on the right will not bother to remember this bill and the Dems' obvious support for vets. Nothing in all of this, no matter how anti-patriotic, will hurt Republicans in 2022, because patriotism has little to nothing to do with the core of their political program, which, presently, is about being as mean as possible. The presentation of meanness, the manufacturing of mean statements, the circus of being mean to people (blacks, browns, gays, liberals, intellectuals, survivors of mass shooting) deemed as being worthy of being mean to. The question that must be examined like a diseased wasp under a microscope is not patriotism (the left can take care of the vets for the patriotic right) but American meanness. And the sting on this peculiar insect only hurts the poor and the working classes.

Don't be shocked or even moved by the meanness:

Keep on keeping mean:

Come on, Texas Tribune. Tell it like it is. It's not: "U.S. Rep. Van Taylor ends reelection campaign after he admits to affair," but "U.S. Rep. Van Taylor, a Republican, ends reelection campaign after he admits to affair with a former jihadist who was once married to a commander for the Islamic State." Now that's what I call juicy.

Please do not share this story with Annie Wagner, a former Stranger critic and current lawyer. Do everything you can to keep it away from her. If she gets her hands on it, we will never hear the end of it.

And now for a word from Rich Smith:

Western States Center is raising the alarm about a large anti-democratic “March for Our Rights” protest in Olympia this Saturday from noon to 3 pm, organized by Washington 3%ers and ft. the Proud Boys. Five “convoys” from Bothell, Oak Harbor, Lakewood, and elsewhere will fuel the protest. Joey Gibson encouraged people on social media to come, as did the 3%er’s Matt Marshall. They’ll be protesting all kinds of stuff — gun safety bills in the legislature, covid protections, etc. Online, organizers are billing the protest as a GRIT Freedom Festival, with musical performances and speeches from far-right politicians.

So, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is in some hot soup for being a bit of a tongue-lasher in his office. He is accused of verbally abusing his staff and cutting no slack. In response to these allegations, Kreidler, who is 78 and a Democrat, said this in a public statement: "I deeply regret that some of my behavior and actions have taken attention away from the good work we do on behalf of insurance consumers. We hold each other to high standards, and I am not above those. Clearly, I have work to do."

Meanwhile, Kreidler's attempt to "ban insurers in Washington state from considering a person’s credit score when setting rates" has been put on hold, according to Seattle Times. And so insurance companies will continue to exploit the poor for no good reason by the concentration of capital in fewer and fewer hands.

The Seattle-area lost four of its citizens in a crash that happened on "Interstate 5 near Fresno." I will leave KOMO to tell this sad, sad, super-sad story.

Something like 3,000 students will not attended Berkeley, a major American education institution, this fall because of NIMBYs gone wild in the Bay Area. East Bay Times: "The university has to freeze its enrollment at 42,347 after the Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s order that sided with a group of Berkeley residents who argued the university did not adequately plan enough housing for its growing campus and violated the California Environmental Quality Act. The decision reduces the number of new undergraduate students by about one-third." Holy shit! Bay Area homeowners have got that kind of power. And we are not talking about homeless people, or working-class people, or people who look kind of funny. We are talking about students paying through the nose to be in Berkeley. Those who see some value in the "compassionate" Seattle nonsense, be warned. NIMBYs are like the devil. Give them an inch, and they will take a mile.

What does this look like? The kind of primitive cop art Brandi Kruse is a super-fan of.

The only good news to come out of Russia's invasion of Ukraine: "Washington gas prices climb amid uncertainty with Russia." Gas is too cheap as it is. We need its price to go through the roof. Recall that voters in Seattle came knocking on public transportation's door when, during the Bush years, gas prices got too real.

A 90-minute conversation with Putin convinced the French President Macron that we have not seen the worst of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has entered its second week. Putin told Macron that everything was "going according to plan." And the tone of the phone call was described as "pessimistic" and "not-so-friendly."

Maybe this is why we should not embrace the peaceful use of nuclear power. Humans, and particularly European ones, are not exactly peaceful. Reuters: "The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the largest of its kind in Europe, was on fire early on Friday after an attack by Russian troops, the mayor of the nearby town of Energodar said."

Can capitalism defeat the Russians? This Russian says: Hell No. And: Fuck You, Apple.

Who is also feeling this war? Ukraine's only gorilla. He, and other animals, are stuck in a zoo hearing their guns and their bombs.

For the kings and queens of the jungle in Ukraine's zoo, I can only give you Ryuichi Sakamoto's "Mpata":