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Jason Rantz


Rantz: Confused Jay Inslee uses awful puns to tie fires to carbon tax

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee poses for a photo at his home on Bainbridge Island, Wash. July 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

How many truly bad and embarrassing puns can Washington Governor Jay Inslee fit into one press conference exploiting fires and kids for political gain? A lot. Seriously: there were so many bad puns with a bad metaphor or two mixed in.

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With child props standing behind him — some looking like they were promised candy if only they could stand still for four darn minutes while the Governor drones on and on and on — Inslee used the bad air quality we’re experiencing to promote his carbon tax.

“I came here today because the health of our children are at risk across the state of Washington,” Inslee said while standing outside, in hazy, smoky air, which, somewhat ironically, puts these kids’ health at risk. “Unless we act, they will continue to be covered by this pall of smoke on their futures.”

Oh the imagery! And so the poorly-written speech begins.

Much of us are experiencing haze and smoke thanks to fires from Washington, Oregon, California, and British Columbia. Still, Inslee took advantage of this to promote the unrelated tax, which would hit businesses with a $15 fee per ton of carbon emissions, plus an increase of about $0.14 gas tax per gallon. Who knew our carbon emissions were so bad, it’s causing fires in the areas around Washington (it definitely wasn’t a downed power line hanging over dry brush).

“What these children represent is an effort in the State of Washington to give them what they deserve, which is clean air,” Inslee heroically declared, before diving head first into the most poorly-written speech ever. “They deserve better than a smoky future. They deserve lungs that breathe clean Washington air, not smoke from hundreds of forest fires.”

Get it? A “smoky” future. Because there’s smoke in the sky from fires.

“Today, this smoke may be opaque. But when it comes to children’s health, it has made something very clear, and that is the State of Washington needs to pass this clean air initiative, so these children can breathe clean air,” he continued. “They deserve that. The significance of this is profound.”

Get it? The smoke is “opaque,” but our commitment to children is “very clear!” Can someone hire him a comedy writer to punch up his material?

Inslee then went on to tell an irrelevant story of a friend’s child and it’s one of those stories that 1) sounds fake and 2) tries to cram a little too much concern-trolling into one story.

“Three days ago, a good friend of mine was taking her 4-year-old daughter to school, who just learned to ride a bike. And her 4-year-old said, ‘Mama, my ears, my eyes are teary. Why is there so much smoke? Where did it come from? And is my school gonna burn down?”

Okay, where do we begin? If it’s smoky out, why are you riding your bike to school? That’s unfortunate parenting. I have bad asthma, so I’ve been skipping my walk to and from work and taking a Car2Go to cut down on how much of the air I have to breathe. I recommend the mom do the same with her daughter. Also, is this pre-school? She’s four. Is school in session in mid-August now? Yeesh. Summer break is getting shorter!

Next, ears don’t tear up, so let’s hope we get that looked at, since it’s a medical issue unrelated to the fires. Maybe the kid heard an Inslee speech and her eyes started to cry?

Finally, all the kid’s questions can be answered rather easily, even if they stump Inslee. First, there’s so much smoke because of the fires here and in California, Oregon, and British Columbia.

Second, the smoke comes from the fire burning things. At this point, I’m hoping the kid isn’t asking because of pyromaniac tendencies, but because she’s a precocious whippersnapper. I suppose, you can get much more specific, but it’s a 4-year-old, so let’s not overwhelm her with details she’ll end up forgetting anyway.

Third, your school will burn down if it catches fire but, unless we live near a fire, it won’t burn down and even if we did live near a fire, the likelihood of that happening is very slim. Plus, why would I be riding with you to school if the fire was so close that your school would burn down? Now stop asking so many questions and bore your teacher with your curiosities.

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