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Originally published Sunday, June 16, 2013 at 5:30 AM

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Government shutdown, and other redundancies

The Wrap by Ron Judd

Seattle Times staff columnist

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In a clear attempt to prepare themselves for future careers in the Other Washington — and ultimately a plush K Street office, next to the one occasionally manned by Norm Dicks, D-Hot Tub — state legislators have now resorted to mimicking Congress.

The big buzzwords in Olympia are “government shutdown.” And this has Mr. Wrap tied in knots with worry.

If state government shut down, who would maintain and improve state parks? Patrol the waterways for fisheries violators? Effectively manage state trust lands? Run a respectable K-12 schools and public university system? Maintain a seaworthy ferry fleet? Keep state highways from crumbling to dust? Build a functional bridge over the Columbia River? And, most pressing of all, take minimal measures to prevent clueless truck drivers from knocking down vital interstate bridges?

OK, seven or eight bad examples. Surely someone can come up with a good one.

Failing that, let’s call a complete state government shutdown what it really would be: a formality.

More empty threats:

Paging Cliff Clavin: Seriously, though, a government shutdown truly would rob us of some vital public services, such as this actual tweet on Friday from the secretary of state’s office: “Postal trivia: LaPush, WA is westernmost post office in Lower 48.”

Speaking of Shutdowns: Subcompact-vehicle drivers will appreciate the delicious irony of the Canadian truck driver who deep-sixed the Skagit I-5 bridge telling federal investigators that he “felt crowded” in his city-block-sized truck.

Budding Industry: Seattle officials hope to boost “pot tourism” by establishing private dope-smoking clubs. Still unclear: In which part of the city would the clubs be most appropriate (Fremont), most welcomed (Fremont) and most in keeping with the neighborhood character (Fremont)?

Thirty Seconds Or It’s Free: In an obvious publicity stunt to help push their low-quality pizzas, Domino’s reportedly has experimented with delivering pizza by drones. Not a very nice way to refer to those poor college-student drivers, if you ask us.

Refusing Toulouse, Cont.: Airbus has flown its first A350. Expert engineering opinion: Looks like they copied the 787 Dreamsmoker’s wing design. But we’re guessing not the battery system.

This Week’s Pavlov’s Dog Award: To KING 5 News, which snapped obediently to action last week with rehashed Seattle arena hype after NHL honchos employed the time-honored tactic of mentioning the possibility of relocating the Phoenix franchise unless taxpayers there pony up further.

Meanwhile, in a Special Anal-Retention Lab Deep Beneath Redmond: Microsoft has finally concocted a version of MS Office suitable for the iPhone. The ability to edit Excel spread sheets on a 4-inch screen has long been sought by Verizon customers driven to the edge of, but not fully into, insanity after attempting to watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs on their smartphones.

And Finally: Several alert Wrap readers on Mr. Wrap’s favorite island, Whidbey, passed along a Whidbey News-Times account of a debate among Island County Commissioners about whether to open meetings with a prayer. The idea was scuttled when Commissioner Jill Johnson announced she personally only supported prayers made to Jesus Christ, not some “watered-down god.” It’s not every day you hear a county commissioner speak openly of Poseidon.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at or 206-464-8280

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About The Wrap / Ron Judd

"The Wrap" appears on Sundays, highlighting the absurd and providing the punch line to the week's news headlines.


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