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Finally, it all makes sense.

For weeks, calls to friends and sources around Spokane have gone unanswered. UPS packages have sat, undelivered, at Spokane International Airport. Garbage has piled up deeper than usual in back alleys in Pullman, Metaline Falls and Walla Walla. Burgers — and this is tragic — have gone un-flipped at countless Zip’s Drive-ins.

The source of this regional malaise finally became clear midweek, when U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Stepford, explained in USA Today that her constituents have, understandably, been huddled in weeping masses:

“No matter where I go when I’m home in Eastern Washington — the grocery store, the local coffee shop, the county fair — the concern is the same: Obamacare is making life harder for everyday Americans. At the doctor’s office, the dinner table and in the job market.”

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And this was before the reviled health-care act went into effect. We hesitate to imagine the reign of horror in the Inland Empire post-implementation.

Stay strong, dry-siders! You’ve been through worse (remember Paul Wulff?). And this Godforsaken plague of health-insurance availability surely shall pass.

More heaving sobs:

Truer Words Rarely Spoken: “This isn’t some damn game.” — Speaker John Boehner, R-Dice In Hand, whose position as speaker of the House, understandably, is more important than the general well-being of America.

Seriously, Folks: You could look far and deep in U.S. history and not likely find a national crisis precipitated and maintained so exclusively by a single politician’s pathetic, unbreakable suction to the teat of titular grandeur.

Conversely: Make room on the Dumb Medal Stand for the unnamed Obama administration official who, in the midst of broad public angst, precipitated Boehner’s hollow rant by telling The Wall Street Journal, “We’re winning.”

Speaking of that Popular New American Black-Is-White Ethos: Alex Rodriguez is suing Major League Baseball for ruining his career. Nice to see someone has finally offered up a retainer to the Law Offices of Lance Edward Armstrong.

Speaking of Foul Odors: The state Department of Ecology has announced updates to statewide rules for woodstoves and fireplaces. The DOE says the aim is to reduce levels of stuff in the air statewide — and also to “support efforts to help the city of Tacoma and a portion of Pierce County continue to meet national clean air standards.” Did they not get the memo that The Aroma has passed?

Taking a Bow: The University of Washington has been ranked 25th best university in the world by the International Overpaid College Football Coaches Association. A televised ceremony honoring the U-Dub was seen by only 127 local residents because it was aired exclusively on the Pac-12 Networks.

Nosebleeders, Unite: The Seahawks are talking about adding a couple thousand new seats to CenturyLink Field. Does this mean there might be a face-paint-free adult section?

Tweet of the Week: “Sinead O’Connor criticizing Miley Cyrus is like Sinead O’Connor criticizing Miley Cyrus.” — @AlbertBrooks.

And Finally: A Beaverton, Ore., woman led deputies on a 35-mile chase
— 27 of those on only three tires. She was charged with attempting to elude, reckless driving and felony disregard for free flat repairs, fresh popcorn and free beef at three or more Les Schwabs along her route.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at

or 206-464-8280. Twitter: @roncjudd.

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