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Sunday, September 2, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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The Wrap | Ron Judd

Taking a "wide stance" on the issues of the day

Seattle Times staff columnist

The scorecard is in, and the numbers are not pretty.

A new report to Congress says the Iraqi government, when it comes to meeting key nation-building goals, is only 3-for-18.

This confirms our worst fears: The entire operation is being run by Mariners first baseman Richie Sexson.

Other 0-fers:

Not-That-There's-Anything-Wrong-With-That News Quiz: Identify the actual explanations given by Sen. Larry Craig, R-ClosetsToGo.com, for playing footsie with an undercover cop in an airport restroom stall:

A) In Boise, sticking your foot under the partition means you're interested in acquiring the guy's sheep.

B) Just trying to demonstrate his broad grasp of contemporary social issues.

C) Has an unusually "wide stance" while doing his business.

D) "Ah, your foot came toward mine, mine came toward yours, was that natural? I don't know. Did we bump? Yes. I think we did."

The Answers: C and D, of course. Although we're assigning even odds to A and B making the rounds before the book is closed.

Suggested Larry Craig Memorial Idaho License Plate Slogans: "The Spare-A-Square State." "10,000 Excuses." "(Please, Please, Please) Show-Me State." "The (Over-Eager) Volunteer State." "The Lone Stall State." "Famous Peccadilloes."

The 2-Gig Rack-and-Pinion Hard Drive is Optional: Volkswagen and Apple are discussing a possible joint-venture auto called the iCar. Only one minor drawback: You have to throw it away and buy a new one when the battery dies.

iCar II: Federal antitrust investigators will determine whether the AppleWagen joint venture is a blatant attempt to corner the entire market on unjustifiably smug.

"Tumbleweed Junction" Was Already Taken: Moses Lake, an Eastern Washington town surrounded by desert, has a new slogan: "Water sports capital of the United States." A Moses Lake spokesman told The Associated Press that the "Water Sports" logo, signs and marketing campaign "would be phased in slowly to allow time for development of water activities and businesses."

Hold On To Your Rubles, Folks: Starbucks is expanding into Russia. Just wait'll those Muscovites get their first taste of a Quadruple Vodkaccino.

Elsewhere "Over There:" Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is close to a power-sharing deal with former Prime Minister Benazhir Bhutto: He'll continue to not look for Osama bin Laden, and she'll assure the world they're doing everything they can to find him.

Speaking of Power Vacuums: President Bush, speaking in still-flood-ravaged New Orleans, said: "This town is better today than it was yesterday, and it's going to be better tomorrow than it was today." After that, all bets are off.

Important Health News: A new salmonella scare prompted recalls of massive amounts of spinach in California. It's causing spotty local shortages and widespread rejoicing by children.

Driving, 101: Seattle cops are reminding people it's illegal to use the horn in your car for any purpose other than avoiding a collision. Big deal. It's just as illegal to camp in the left lane while traffic piles up behind you on the freeway. When's the last time you saw someone ticketed for that?

Not Again: A Colorado Springs grade school has banned "tag" from recess because some children are "chased against their will." We hate to break it to their folks, but sooner or later in life, everyone will take a turn at being "it."

And Finally: The city of Wenatchee led the nation for climbing home prices in the past year, with values soaring a staggering 23.54 percent. It raises all sorts of questions, including: Have the people paying these prices ever actually been to Wenatchee?

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

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