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The right wing continues to act like all Utahns are responsible for the defense costs of convicted trespasser Phil Lyman, with Gov. Gary Herbert pledging $10,000 from his campaign funds in light of an expected challenge from the right to his re-election bid next year.

That came after a failed attempt by some legislators to make taxpayers foot Lyman's defense bill.

And now, the San Juan County commissioner's defense team is trying a new avenue to get him out of the mess he is in for orchestrating an ATV ride into a protected canyon closed to motorized ve- hicles.

The latest: a motion asking that U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby recuse himself before the sentencing date because he is friends with a Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance staffer and his family. SUWA is a green group pushing to protect wilderness in Utah and the West. According to the motion, Shelby shouldn't be presiding because he has a friend who is — gasp — an environmentalist.

In response, Tribune editorial cartoonist Pat Bagley joked on his Facebook page that he has filed a motion asking Utah legislators to recuse themselves from making laws, contending that "their close relationships with flimflam artists, MLM pyramid schemers, herbal snake-oil salesmen, fossil-fuel lobbyists and politically active billionaire sociopaths renders them legally, spiritually and cognitively incapable of making just and fair laws for the welfare of the people of Utah."

Celebrating the drought? • Sen. Mike Lee's latest email to constituents, with the heading: "Keep the Feds Out of Early Education," explains why he voted against the "Every Child Achieves Act."

He says it is just another federal program for early- childhood education, expanding the bureaucracy that taxpayers fund and, as conservatives believe, child care can be better achieved by strengthening families while limiting government's involvement.

There's nothing wrong, of course, with Lee extolling that conservative philosophy to his constituents. But what got the attention of some readers was the logo at the top of the newsletter. It shows Lee next to a photo of a pristine Utah scene with grasslands in the forefront and mountains in the back.

The grasslands are being heavily watered by a large array of sprinklers covering a large expanse, in the middle of the day.

Aren't we in a drought?

It's reminiscent of June 2002, when then-Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, in collaboration with KUTV's "Slow the Flow" conservation campaign, was featured in a public service ad urging folks to conserve water because of Utah's drought.

He stood in front of a park with sprinklers running in the background. As he talked, the sprinklers, for effect, were shut off.

But, like most TV ad shoots, it took many takes to get everything right.

So the crew would turn the sprinklers on, shoot the ad, turn them off, then turn them on again for another take.

That took all day.

By the time they were through, the park was basically flooded, and much water had been wasted.

It's a multiple-use day • As we all know, July 24 is a commemorative day for many Utahns, and folks will celebrate in various ways.

So as you enjoy Friday's festivities, I just wanted to extend my greetings: Happy National Tequila Day, everybody.

Higher (ahem) ed • Social media posts have been rife the past few days with photos of a Brigham Young University float for Friday's Days of '47 Parade.

Under the blue BYU banner, in gold letters on the side — at least until they were corrected — were the words: "Freedom Faith Family Through Educaton [sic]."

In response, I just want to say: Go Utes.