DJEERS ... to Washington State University football coach Nick Rolovich.
WSU’s best-known and highest paid role model for the unvaccinated insists he’s no anti-vaxxer. Then why does Rolovich refuse to explain why he won’t get the COVID-19 shot?
Being coy in the middle of an emerging COVID-19 surge because of the highly contagious delta variant doesn’t cut it. Whitman County’s numbers aren’t good to begin with. About 38 percent are fully vaccinated, well below what it would take to achieve herd immunity.
About 6.6 percent of COVID-19 tests are coming back positive.
All of which is about a month before WSU welcomes students back to campus.
Both WSU President Kirk Schulz and Gov. Jay Inslee are requiring students and staff to get vaccinated:
l “Washington State University, as the state’s land-grant university, has an obligation to serve the public good and promote the health and safety of the communities it serves,” Schulz said.
l In his order, the governor pointed out that college students “are largely in the age demographic with the highest rate of COVID-19 cases and the lowest rate of vaccinations of those over the age of 18. ...”
Who are students — and student-athletes — going to take after? The president? The governor? Or the guy with a $3 million-a-year megaphone?
If it’s Rolovich’s lead they follow, this could be a catastrophe in the making.
Even without in-person instruction last year, caseloads soared when students opted to return to Pullman and live in their off-campus housing. Another caseload surge could further undermine a business community that’s getting back on its feet.
And what about hopes for this fall’s football season, with fans back in the stands?
Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff has told ESPN he’s “leaning towards” forcing schools to forfeit games if positive COVID-19 test results sideline their teams.
Rolovich can do better than this.
DJEERS ... to Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin.
It’s bad enough that she insists on subsidizing the Idaho Freedom Foundation by throwing part-time work to one of its contractors, Parrish Miller, at about $800 a month. According to William Bredderman of the Daily Beast, that has added up to $26,785 from the Idaho taxpayer — not to mention the $9,425 her 2018 campaign paid Miller.
But as Bredderman noted this week, McGeachin’s employment of Miller implies a tolerance of dangerous rhetoric.
Bryan Clark of the Idaho Falls Post Register first pointed out last summer that on his Facebook page, Miller was attacking police officers. The incident involved the arrest of a Meridian woman who insisted on entering a public park closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: “Just remember, shooting someone who is attempting to kidnap you is always justified,” Millerwrote. By kidnappers, he was referring to law enforcement. “There is nothing wrong with hunting down active kidnappers to bring them to justice.”
Bredderman went back further to document the pattern.
Some examples include:
l Jan. 27, 2016 — “How many innocent lives have to be snuffed out by this insane government before you’ll open your f******* eyes to the reality we’re already at war? It’s long past time to give up on politics and start shooting tyrants.”
l Sept. 5, 2016 — “ ‘Stop resisting!’ demands the state and its enforcers as they plunder, detain, kidnap, chain, cage, brutalize, enslave, and murder individuals. ... ‘Never! cry the freedom fighters who will soon be demonized as ‘cop killers,’ ‘insurgents,’ and ‘terrorists.’ ”
l July 27, 2019 — “... Can you imagine how quickly things would change if politicians, judges, prosecutors, and enforcers found themselves being shot and killed every time they aggressed against individuals? The victims of the system outnumber its perpetrators by at least 50:1. ...”
l July 1 — “As we approach ‘Independence Day,’ I would remind you of an important and valuable lesson from history: Independence was achieved by unleashing many tons of explosives to kill tyrants and those who fought on their behalf. This is, quite literally, what fireworks celebrate.”
McGeachin, who cuddles up with members of the anti-government militia movement known as the 3 Percenters, wants to become Idaho’s next governor. Given her association with Miller, you have to wonder what kind of people Gov. McGeachin would put in charge of the Idaho State Police, who she would appoint as judges — and how many state police officers would want to work for her.
CCHEERS ... to U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, both R-Idaho.
They were among 17 Republicans who on Wednesday joined Senate Democrats in passing a key procedural vote toward enacting a bipartisan, $1 trillion infrastructure bill, putting it on par with construction of the interstate highway system.
What a pleasant surprise.
It meant standing apart from most of their fellow Senate Republicans.
It meant standing up to an obviously jealous former President Donald Trump, who urged its defeat: “Republican voters will never forget their name, nor will the people of our Country.”
And it meant stepping outside their political comfort zone of voting no and then taking the dough.
But this effort offers two things the country badly needs: investment in crumbling highways, bridges, airports and electric grid as well as proof that the nation’s frayed democracy can still deliver bipartisan results for its citizens.
Somebody has to make that happen. Good for Crapo and Risch.
DJEERS ... to Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman.
Remember the libertarian think tank leader’s annoyance at being called out for accepting nearly $130,000 in federal Paycheck Protection Program money last year?
Then, he said the Lewiston Tribune got it wrong: “Here’s what (Marty) Trillhaase and Co. failed to tell you in his Cheers and Jeers column from Dec. 4: The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan, not a ‘handout.’ ”
The next month, Hoffman’s loan was forgiven.
That’s according to the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which provides oversight of the PPP program as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
In any other universe — other than Wayne’s world — what would you call a forgiven loan?
A handout? — M.T.