The Wrap by Ron Judd

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It’s sort of charming to see the annual spring rite play itself out.

Somewhere in a dusty burrow beneath National Basketball Association headquarters in New York City, the weasel poked its head out and saw its own shadow.

We all know what that means: Six more months of extortion.

It’s already under way, with weasel-king NBA Commissioner David Stern barely able to contain himself over the possibility that once burned Seattle might actually be naive enough to reopen its coffers — public, private, whatever — for the bankrupt enterprise known as pro hoops.

Surely there are differences between needy Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s discomforting embrace of known slime merchants and a battered partner’s sad return to an abusive spouse.

And just as soon as we think of one, we’ll get back to you.

More fantasy-league fodder:

Robbing Peter to Pay David: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player, vowed to cobble together public financing for an arena that might keep the Sacramento Kings safe from the clutches of Seattle. Sound familiar? Been there, done that. And on the third try, finally got it right.

He Has Glimpsed Hell — And We Are in It: Johnson told reporters he wants to keep his city from becoming like pathetic, self-doubting, NBA-less Seattle. “That city has not recovered,” he said. OK, which one of you Judases gave him a glimpse under the curtain at the daily self-flagellations in Westlake Center and those weekly mass weepings at KeyArena?

All of This, Remember: From the mayor of Sacramento. Has Johnson ever been to Sacramento?

The Bad News: Boeing has discovered delamination in the carbon-fiber material that forms the fuselage of its 787 Dreamliner.

The Good: It’s only a safety concern if the plane should experience changes in atmospheric pressure on frequent occasions over an extended period of time.

He Can’t Come to the Phone; He’s Sleeping on It: All of you frothing at the mouth over KING-5’s unveiling of large numbers of state employees being paid to sit home and read are looking at it the wrong way: It might be the highest and best use for some people. Surely, only a bit of paperwork stands in the way of making Mariners futility player Chone Figgins a state employee?

Hmm: “A 2.5 high-school grade-point average and a tendency to distort the truth.” Two more disturbing matching traits found in the FBI files of both Steve Jobs and Mr. Wrap.

The Week’s Ode to Ari Fleischer: We’re starting to embrace the concept of American Exceptionalism. Where else could you work for the better part of a decade as a paid liar to the American public, and then get paid even more by CNN to feign indignation as you decry rampant “doublespeak” coming from the Obama White House?

And Finally: We realize local place names can be a death knell to news anchors. But by the time you’re almost five years in to a gig at a Seattle TV station (not to mention any names, David Rose of KCPQ), you really should know that “Pend Oreille” — as in the river, lake, Washington county and Seattle road where a crime took place — is not pronounced “Penned Oriole.” Please consult your French-Canadian dictionary. It’s “Pond-O-Ray.”

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

or 206-464-8280.