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Originally published Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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The Wrap | Ron Judd

It's Lawmaking 101, Washington-state style

Somewhere in a dark room in Olympia, a state printing office employee is setting new type for late-2007 revisions to the educational pamphlet...

Seattle Times staff columnist

Somewhere in a dark room in Olympia, a state printing office employee is setting new type for late-2007 revisions to the educational pamphlet "How a Bill Becomes a Law in Washington State." We got an early look:

1) Unemployed Mukilteo watch salesman turned professional initiative huckster consults Magic-8 Ball, dreams up ill-conceived, penny-wise, pound-foolish tax initiative. 2) (Poorly) paid signature gatherers hired and deployed.

3) Public, endlessly harassed outside Wal-Mart, signs initiative to get annoying signature gatherers to go away. Measure qualifies for ballot.

4) Initiative passes with 60 percent approval, drawing highest "yes" percentage in counties whose logos incorporate lentils.

5) Measure ruled unconstitutional by state Supreme Court.

6) Demagogue talk-radio gasbags throw orchestrated hissy-fit.

7) State legislators stampede like frightened herd of wildebeests to Olympia to make the original measure into law — calling the huckster a coward on their way out the doors.

Sort of makes you proud to live here, doesn't it?

Other civics lessons:

Alphabet Soup: KOMO-TV reporter Marlee Ginter was standing somewhere, LIVE, in the rain, with more juicy details of the Richard McIver domestic-dispute arrest. "I'm holding the documents just released today," she reported breathlessly. "In them, McIver's wife says he came into the house, yelling at her — calling her the B-word!"

Logical First Guess: Barista?

Meanwhile, In A Galaxy Not Far Away: Scientists are learning more and more about Venus, where it can be 457 degrees Celsius in the summer, with winds up to 225 mph. In other words: Basically like Ellensburg, without the Arby's.

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Guess Again: Beelzebub?

Attention, David Stern: It's been almost a month since you publicly trashed the city of Seattle and state of Washington and all residents therein. Not feeling well?

An Ice Honor: A United Nations study lists Iceland as the world's most desirable country to live in — mostly because it's too far away for Comcast to string cable to. Iceland moved ahead of Norway, which judges deemed "too much like Finland."

And Again: Babaganoush? Awright, we give.

Too Cute For Words: Amid much pageantry, organizers of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics unveiled their new mascots: Quatchi, a hockey-playing Sasquatch; Miga, a snowboarding sun bear; and Sumi, a dope-smoking Tim Horton's cashier with a peace-sign tattoo.

What Happens In Vegas ... O.J. Simpson, unconvicted double murderer, entered his plea to charges of kidnapping and armed robbery: "Absolutely, 100 per... OK, who am I kidding, make that 50 percent, not guilty."

Speaking Of The Juice: Defense attorneys, in an attempt to get all the charges dismissed, argued that all the witnesses against O.J. were "crackheads, groupies, pimps, con artists and crooks." Wait'll they see the jury pool.

OK, Just One More: Beetlejuice?

Dot-com Detectives: Federal prosecutors have withdrawn a subpoena seeking records of thousands of people who purchased books at Amazon.com. Thank God. We don't need Dick Cheney poring over evidence of our Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew mysteries habit.

And Besides: The only thing criminal they're likely to find in those Amazon receipts are the shipping charges.

And Finally: Proving once and for all that some people will do anything to avoid an interview with Michael Moore, former General Motors head Roger Smith has died.

Ron Judd's columns appear in Sunday's

A section and Thursday's Northwest Weekend section. Email: rjudd@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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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