Fret, not. Mr. Wrap offers a word to Olympia's finest, and their lobbyist dining buddies, who find themselves in a pickle.
Joining with the esteemed state lawmakers who guide us, we turn our gaze now to the pressing issue of our times. Namely: Is soup a meal?
Seriously, the sticky issue of what constitutes a “meal,” as in, payola consumables for state legislators, arose again last week, with some representatives grousing that an annual limit of 12 freebies left them exposed to unjust charges of unseemly glad-handing, if not corruption.
Quoting now Rep. Brandon Vick, R-Felida, Clark County: “I think you got 147 members [of the Legislature] and more members of the lobby community who are just kind of running around scared. Because all the press and all the news is about this 12-meal limit.”
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Well, good. Scared lobbyists — dare to dream — would be a boon to representative democracy. But forgive us for doubting that waves of panic are sweeping through the Lexus-driving slime merchants besieging Olympia.
Given that, we offer a couple legislative-ethics-mealtime user tips for hapless solons:
• If your host is a lobbyist for a corporation seeking multiyear, multi-billion-dollar tax breaks, anything offered up — Lobster Thermidor, prime Angus beef, Mexi-Fries, a gluten-free baloney sandwich, or a pocket-lint-coated Tic Tac — is a meal.
• “Bubble tea” and other snot-based liquids: Not a meal.
• Most sticky ethical questions can be quickly solved by simply asking, “What would Gov. nonelect Tim Eyman do?” — and then doing the opposite.
If none of the above achieves the desired result, we propose a new pork rule: Legislators get unfettered access to free meals from any and all buyers — under an exclusive, no-bid, permanent contract to be awarded to Dick’s Drive-In.
Drop That Stalk: A recall from an E. coli scare at Costco has now been expanded to major grocery chains in more than a dozen states, with tainted celery emerging as a prime suspect. As if we needed an excuse to eat even less of that nasty, exoskeleton-based peanut-butter trowel masquerading as a vegetable.
Stop Making Sense: Note to the climate-change activists who protested fossil-fuel investments of the Gates Foundation (which already is quietly divesting most of it) on the very same day Bill Gates was announcing a $7 billion, privately financed initiative to develop new clean-energy sources: Brilliant timing.
Just Thinking Out Loud Here: Any reason Washington state government can’t track the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines at least as aggressively as it tracks the sale of cold-medication pseudoephedrine?
Note to CNN / MSNBC: Wow. Even by lax cable-news standards, your Friday-morning live-televised ransacking of the apartment of the San Bernardino mass-shooting suspects — including the unedited broadcast of photos, driver’s licenses and other identifying materials of unidentified, surely uninvolved acquaintances — was truly pathetic. A full step beyond sifting through someone’s garbage.
This Week’s Big Corporate Gulp: Seattle’s Group Health Cooperative will be acquired by California’s Kaiser Permanente, forming a new conglomerate that surely will become fondly known to locals as KGDP, or Kaiser Group Death Permanente.
And Finally: Y’all go ahead and laugh at candidate Ben Carson, R-Right Hand of God, and his inventive views of world history. It won’t be so funny when they open up those secret chambers in King Tut’s tomb, and all that grain flows out.