After remaining silent about the political violence conducted by liberal activists in Seattle last summer, Governor Inslee says Republicans (who already condemn the violence that occurred in Washington D.C.) must do some “soul searching” over political violence.
Governor Inslee and the Democrats want to cut funding for classroom education and the Washington Education Association is not happy. Despite Washington State voters shooting down the renewal of state-sponsored racial quota policies in 2019 (with their “reject” vote on Referendum 88), Governor Inslee has included over $30 million ondubious equity and diversity programs at the state’s community colleges and universities in his budget proposal. He proposes stealing money for these new programs form the state’s budget for classroom education. (Shift Article and Secretary of State 2019 election results)
Today we provide Part II in Shift’s presentation of former Congressman Rod Chandler’s Top 21 photographs of 2020. We posted Part I on Tuesday. Today we have Rod’s Top 10 pictures (plus an additional “Honorable Mention”) which vividly reveal the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. If you like what you see, please visit Rod’s website at RodChandlerPhotography.com. We thank Rod for his excellent work, and we look forward to more of his art in 2021. (Shift Feature and Rod Chandler’s webpage)
As expected, Governor Jay Inslee condemned the violence that occurred in Washington, D.C. and Olympia yesterday. Nearly all elected Republican leaders in our state (as well as all of us here at Shift) have joined in denouncing this violence. Regrettably, the governor attempted to make this unified response into a partisan issue when he stated, “I especially encourage the Republican Party to do some soul searching,” regarding the violence. Yet the Republicans had already done this “soul searching” and had condemned the violence long before Inslee’s office had responded. The governor should have known that Republicans (including Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Congressman Dan Newhouse, House Republican Leader JT Wilcox, and Washington State Republican Party Chair Caleb Heimlich) had condemned the violence conducted by those on the fringe of the far-Right, even while it was taking place. It is interesting that the governor was demanding Republicans to do some “soul searching” regarding political violence, when he (and nearly all Democrat officials) failed to do the same “soul searching” when the flames of violence were being fanned by those on the far-Left last summer in Seattle. In fact, Governor Inslee famously acted as if he had never heard of the Seattle violence and occupation of a police precinct (which was the top headline in all local and much of the national media) when he was questioned about it by a reporter. Inslee and the Democrats, by their silence last summer, made political violence more acceptable and more “normal.” Republican leaders clearly demonstrated yesterday that they do not want political violence to be considered acceptable regardless of the political agenda of the criminals involved, when they immediately denounced the actions by some of President Donald Trump’s supporters. Political violence should not be a partisan issue. Leaders on both the Right and the Left need to rebuke political violence, no matter who perpetuates it. It is hypocrisy to condemn violence only when it comes from your political opposition. (Governor Inslee’s address, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers Twitter, Congressman Dan Newhouse Twitter, House Republican Leader JT Wilcox Twitter, GOP Chair Caleb Heimlich Twitter, and Rebecca Perry Twitter)
And, rather than take our word for it, here are the perspectives from Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R – Colville) and Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R – Camas) on what took place in the nation’s capital yesterday. Normally, Shift’s focus is on state and local issues, for there are plenty of publications where our readers can obtain a rational perspective on national issues. Yet, both of the Congresswomen’s comments are worthwhile to understand what important issues Congress was debating during the failure of security, and why they voted as they did on Electoral College issues. (Cathy McMorris Rodgers in the Spokesman-Review and Jaime Herrera Beutler in the Vancouver Columbian)
We wonder if the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association cleared with Washington Education Association (WEA) that “Fall sports” will begin February 1st and run through March 20th. The WEA had previously stated that all school activities should not resume until all its union members had been vaccinated (which will be late March at the earliest). Fall sports include football, girls’ soccer, volleyball, cross country, girls’ swimming and diving, and others. No word on when “Winter sports” (like basketball, wrestling, and competitive cheer) will begin. (Seattle Times)
House Republican Leader JT Wilcox and Senate Republican Leader John Braun criticized Governor Inslee’s management during the coronavirus pandemic and said the governor needs to take more responsibilities for the many failures of his state agencies. In a joint statement, the Republican leaders were critical of Inslee’s management of much of the state’s response to the pandemic. They specifically mentioned the multiple failures of the Employment Security Department in allowing hundreds of millions of dollars to be stolen by foreign criminals, and then slowly providing unemployment benefits to those thrown out of work by Inslee’s orders, and the Department of Health’s incredibly slow disbursement of the COVID-19 vaccine. Wilcox and Braun said that Governor Inslee has required “no accountability from important state agencies involved in the pandemic response.” Regarding the poor allocation of the vaccine from Inslee’s Department of Health, Wilcox stated, “Think of the vulnerable infected this week, who should have been vaccinated already.” (Centralia Chronicle)
Governor Inslee’s new Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah shows he is learning quickly from his new boss, providing rather pathetic excuses for the extremely slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Washington State. The Secretary stated, “I know that for some it feels like it’s taking a long time to get vaccines into arms. You aren’t alone in feeling that urgency. Like many aspects of the Covid-19 response, vaccination at this scale and speed is a first. It involves a lot of planning and logistics.” Yes, it does require planning, but for over nine months state health officials have known that a massive vaccination program was going to be needed to end this health crisis. Were there no state employees, all of whom have continued receiving paychecks during the pandemic, who could have been working on those “logistics”? Shouldn’t the governor have made it a priority to develop methods to quickly and safely get the vaccine out to the public? (Puget Sound Business Journal)
It’s official: Senator June Robinson (D – Everett) has filed the Democrats’ unconstitutional state income tax on capital gains bill! Democrat lawmakers have been trying to pry open the locks keeping them from implementing a state income tax for decades, to fund their desire for a larger and more powerful government. Unfortunately for them, it is unconstitutional in Washington State to tax income, and the IRS and all other 49 states categorize a capital gains tax as a tax on income. So, Jay Inslee is calling this an “excise tax”, since it has the same number of letters as an “income tax” and excise taxes are not necessarily unconstitutional in Washington. (Washington State Bill Summary)
A Burlington employer received conflicting information as to what is considered outdoor dining, and he now faces closing his business and laying off many long-term employees. The owner of the Railroad Pub and Pizza had first been told by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board that it would be considered outdoor dining (and thus OK to operate under Governor Inslee’s latest random restrictions) if the restaurant opened up five large garage doors that encompass the dining area. Then, a couple of weeks later, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries bureaucrats told him they still consider this indoor dining, and that the restaurant must immediately close. The owner, who mortgaged his home and maxed out all his credit options to open the bar, his now facing financial ruin, thanks to the helpful (and conflicting) advice he received from these public servants. (MyNorthwest)
In a year when the number of homeless individuals is expected to be at record levels, there will not be a count conducted in King County. Ever since 1980, there has been an annual count conducted every January of homeless individuals in Seattle. Because Washington State has failed to test for COVID-19 enough of those who are homeless, officials are worried about sending workers into encampments to conduct the counts. (Seattle Times)
The Vitrification Plant has finally been completed at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. After 18 years, billions of dollars, and 2.3 million “craft hours,” the site can now start to process some of Hanford’s nuclear waste and turn it into glass for storage. (YakTriNews)
The Spokane School Board approved a tentative schedule that will return all public-school students to their classrooms by March 1st. The plan is for the students to return to a hybrid schedule, where they are in the classroom for at least two days a week. Starting on January 20th, 3rd graders will be joining K-2nd grades in the schools, and then a gradual increase of students will be added every couple of weeks, with middle and high school students returning by March 1st. (Spokesman Review)
You did not see this in his campaign ads: Governor Jay Inslee’s Administration has failed at nearly every task required of it during the COVID-19 pandemic. From numerous failures at the Employment Security Department to catastrophically failing to conduct contract tracing, the Inslee Administration has been a major disappointment, especially to those who are suffering. Now we find out that, despite have nine months to prepare, the Inslee Administration is failing to dispense the vaccines it has received to front-line health workers. These administrative and management breakdowns have been compounded by the partisan and divisive decisions made by the governor. Instead of being a unifying leader during this crisis, many Washington residents have lost confidence in Governor Inslee’s random decisions, and his failures have resulted in prolonged financial insecurity for many Washington residents. (Shift Article)
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