Standing there in the TV lights, Sen. Patty Murray couldn’t help but smile.

Murray was proclaiming victory, of sorts — a modest deal forged with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Eddie Munster, to pay the nation’s bills and avoid yet another government shutdown. Some people are calling it a highlight of her political career.

A proud moment. It must have made the senator feel 4 feet tall.

Bad short jokes aside: Mr. Wrap many moons ago called out Murray for emerging from a similar negotiation without a budget deal, and feels obligated to offer the state’s senior senator credit where it’s due for getting one from the Party of “No” this time around.

It seems odd to single out for praise a politician succeeding at what once was, and still should be, a routine matter of governing. But that’s where we are, so that’s what we’ll do. Who’s with us?

That’s what we thought.

More smatterings of applause:

Speaking of which: Perhaps most proud were the countless former Murray staffers now working just down the street as lobbyists. Now that they have a budget, they can get back to making the sorts of raids on the public till that create the need for emergency budget deals in the first place.

Note to Breathless Media: We’re happy to see Boise State’s Chris Petersen arrive at Montlake, too. But to clear up some obvious confusion, he’s a football coach, not Jesus.

And Since Someone Just Had to Ask: Yes, he’s grotesquely overpaid. But if he wins, the Husky athletic budget continues to balloon, and the U-Dub follows through with Mr. Wrap’s 10-percent–for-academics plan, everyone’s a winner. The logic is unassailable.

Hmm: It sez here that a number of affluent Seattle neighborhoods swung for socialist candidate Kshama Sawant in the recent City Council election. We think it was her clever updating of an old battle cry: “From each according to means, to each according to daddy’s hedge-fund manager.”

At Least They’re Consistent:
After the foibles of the last two weeks, the only real question is whether the leadership of the local Machinists’ union is a full one step behind its own membership, or two.

Speaking of Clowns Driving the Bus: If your office doesn’t already have a pool predicting the 2014 date upon which the performance stats of newly signed Seattle Mariners superstar second baseman Robinson Cano plummets to the Chone Figgins level, you’re well behind the times.

Bertha-Nometry: We keep waiting for the state Transportation people to get a camera or live bodies down the hole to bring us pictures of the infamous tunnel-borer obstruction that inevitably will prove to be a deftly placed Ivar’s billboard.

Attention, KCTS: Did you really think that carving out endless pledge-break space by taking the video-editing version of a chain saw to a documentary feature (Bud Greenspan’s Vancouver 2010 Olympics film) was going to put anyone in a giving mood?

And Finally: Former City Councilmember Judy Nicastro
joined the growing chorus of voices calling for Woodland Park Zoo to let its captive elephants live out their lives in peace at a warm-climate sanctuary. It’s time for current members to recognize the same clear logic and do the right thing.

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