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Updated Monday, February 18, 2013 at 10:56 AM

787 nightmare: Will anyone pay the price for soaring fiasco?

By Ron Judd
Seattle Times staff columnist

The ugly facts of life at Boeing, formerly of Seattle:

Daily global press accounts about the grounded 787 “Dreamliner” link the once-great manufacturer with new terms that take “public-relations nightmare” to an entirely new level:

“Spewing molten electrolytes.” “Thermal runaway.” “Highly flammable.” “Easily ignites.” “Potentially explosive.”

The question: Who in upper management will lose their job(s) over the debacle, and how much cash will they take on their way out?

Mr. Wrap will be sitting right here holding his breath.

More institutional malaise:

Possible Source Material for Antonin Scalia’s Inaugural Hat: Nutria. Beaver. Musk ox. Recycled Ken Behring woolly-mammoth bedspread. Fresh Squatch.

Spaced Mountain: The big buzz at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was the surreptitiously filmed “Escape From Tomorrow,” which the Disney Company might quash because it offers up Disney World as a dystopian hellscape where visitors gradually descend into madness. Hey, the truth hurts.

Speaking of Dumbo: The revelation that a Notre Dame star footballer — and now perhaps other big-time athletes — was “catfished” by people posing as online girlfriends doesn’t do much to combat the popular notion that few of these guys qualify as the sharpest knives in the drawer.

This Week’s Cue-the-Violins Award Winner: You gotta feel for golfer Phil Mickelson, so besieged by egregious state and federal taxes that he’s barely able to scrape by on $60 million to $80 million per year, and currently is mulling moving out of California just to keep himself in up-to-date plaid pants. Surely you .05 percenters on billionaire’s row in Medina could scooch over a bit to take in a fellow overtaxed traveler, and set him up with a charity country-club membership and complimentary first bucket of balls?

Seriously, People: Medina is pretty full, but surely there’s lakefront somewhere suitable for making Phil feel welcome and important. Fake it if you must — like you did with Rick Neuheisel and Steve Sarkisian.

Speaking of Phloundering Phil: Anyone out there scoffing at the notion that people like Mickelson deserve tax relief to maintain their role as job creators has clearly never witnessed the diverse pool of two people he hires to lug his clubs around and clean his spikes.

Just Passing This Along Without Comment: Rising GOP star Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, told fellow Republicans last week that their party “must stop being the stupid party.”

OK, Too Easy: Asked to comment on CNN, fellow GOP standard-bearer Mike Huckabee, R-Talking Snake, drooled and stared, transfixed, at a whirling overhead ceiling fan above the set.

Meanwhile, Up on the Hill: A coalition of Democratic representatives appeared before cameras in the Capitol Rotunda to proclaim defiantly that the “stupid party” label was already taken.

And Finally: Nothing but ominous silence these days from the cadre of Lycra-fetish members of Congress — led by rejected Mensa candidate U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Framed Yellow Jersey — which only a couple weeks ago was gleefully attacking the mission and funding of the U.S. Anti-Doping Association in the wake of its charges against lying fraud Lance Armstrong. Does this mean the critically needed “Athlete Due Process Protection Act” is dead?

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


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