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Bill Linneman

July 16 2015

The Shark Bites
The frequent shark attacks have reminded me of an afternoon at Delaware Beach in 1980. Beautiful day in August, thousands of people enjoying the beach. At three o’clock three large dorsal fins were spotted 100 yards off shore. They swam steadily, south toward Ocean City, Maryland, not molesting anyone.
The lifeguard at our section blew his whistle furiously and waved us ashore. Then he picked up his semaphore flags and began signaling the life guard at the next section. The people there were called in and their lifeguard signaled the station farther south. This signaling went on for several miles.
As soon as the sharks were half mile away, our lifeguard let us return to our splashing, and other guards did too. But apparently the sharks turned around at Ocean City and headed back north. Now the performance was repeated only the movement went from south to north. People were called in, patiently watched the fins head north, and went back into the surf. The sharks disappeared around Rehoboth Day.
The sharks did not seem malevolent but like they were out for an enjoyable swim. And the next day about the same time, they appeared again and the scenario was repeated. The people left the ocean for the security of sand, then re-entered the waves. No one was surprised when the sharks turned around and came back.
People referred to the “shark patrol” and comparisons were made with lifeguards who each hour made everyone get out of the pool and be accounted for. And these fusiform fish were more effective than our bipedal guards in keeping us from going deep.
In humankind’s long interaction with the salty seas, infinitely more people have perished by drowning than by shark bite. I know I stopped swimming out to where waves crashed over sandbars, hoping to ride one into shore.
Sharks make me think of Sam Fleming who fifty years ago was president of the Third National Bank of Nashville. Not that he was a loan shark or anything.  But one year he was given an honorary degree at Florida Southern. Betsy and I were selected to join his table at the banquet. Betsy looked great in a long gown and I had the requisite white jacket.
Later that spring we were at Daytona Beach. I was body surfing with a young guy, who asked me to go out deeper with him. He thought the two of us formed more protection against sharks. I went for 15 minutes or so, then said I was going in.  He asked if Betsy and I would join his wife and him for dinner. I wasn’t hot for the idea, and he added an advertisement for himself. He said he was with the Third National Bank of Nashville.
“Sam Fleming’s Bank”! I exclaimed. “We had a great time when he was at Lakeland. When you get home, tell him that Bill from Lakeland sends his regards. And say that I’ll write him one of these days.”
The fact that I seemed intimate with his big boss, startled him, and he made no more talk of dinner. In leaving, I yelled, “Remember, Bill from Lakeland.”

Capitol Facts
by Rich Miller

July 16 2015
Another very weird day in Illinois government
After staring at my computer screen for over an hour, I realized that my goal of providing you a succinct and thoughtful analysis of what happened on a very weird day last week in Illinois government was impossible.
Instead, we’re going to have to take this in pieces.
The Court Case - CJ Baricevic was one of the lawyers representing a host of unions in their successful St. Clair County lawsuit last Thursday to force the state to pay its employees without a budget. The victory came just two days after a Cook County judge ruled that paying employees without an official state budget was a clear and total violation of the Illinois Constitution.
Why was St. Clair County’s ruling so different?
Well, Baricevic happens to be the son of the county’s chief judge, John Baricevic, who was once the county board chairman and is regarded as one of the most powerful Democrats in the region. The younger Baricevic is the local Democratic choice for Congress against freshman Republican Congressman Mike Bost. According to Ballotpedia, the judge in Thursday’s case also appears to be up for retention next year in the heavily unionized county.
Hey, I’m not saying nothing bad about no judges. I visit that fine county every now and then. I’m even told the judge in the case isn’t the type to be sensitive to such pressures. “He’s just a pro labor guy at heart,” explained one area politico, who added that I was “reading too much” into the local political angle.
I’m just saying, is all.
Anyway, it appears that the legal issue of whether state workers get paid without a budget may have to go all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court - if, that is, Attorney General Lisa Madigan is willing to endure the political flagellation she’ll most certainly receive for her almost Ahabian pursuit of this great white whale. The Democrat could’ve easily stepped aside and let the paychecks be processed. But, she’s convinced this is a constitutional violation, so onward and upward.
The Bill - House Republicans filed legislation last week to pay state employees for the rest of the fiscal year even if no budget is approved. That bill was bottled up because the majority House Democrats didn’t want to give them credit and also wanted to use the worker pay issue to put Gov. Bruce Rauner in a trick bag.
In an e-mail to state employees earlier last week, Gov. Rauner pledged that his administration was “doing everything in our power” to make sure workers got paid. So, the Democrats decided to make him eat his words by tacking a one-month appropriation for state worker salaries onto an existing bill to fund some “essential” state services for a month – the same bill that Gov. Rauner already warned he would not sign. No Republicans voted to pay the employees, even though they had their own bill, but it passed anyway.
Madigan’s amendment even took the Senate Democrats by surprise. It was classic Madigan. He put literally everybody in the building except his own caucus on the spot - and further complicated an already extremely difficult overtime session.
The Governor’s Response - Gov. Rauner’s spokesman started out with his response to the vote. “Today, Speaker Madigan and the legislators he controls irresponsibly voted for yet another unbalanced budget plan.”
That’s standard Rauner World language.
But then the response took an unusual twist.
“We also saw the Speaker’s unwillingness to hold a vote on a tax increase that, absent reform, would suffer bipartisan defeat. The Speaker’s failure to take up an accompanying revenue plan is a clear signal that rank-and-file members of the General Assembly understand that reform is necessary.”
In one breath he totally controls them, but in the very next they’re rebelling?
Um, OK.
What’s happening here is that Rauner and his people are attempting to make it look like everyone is against Madigan.
Earlier last week, Rauner suggested that Senate President John Cullerton, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle were all working with him and against Madigan (they weren’t). And then Thursday the governor went to the absurd length of claiming that Madigan’s own members were on Rauner’s side when it comes to “reform.”
In reality, many of Madigan’s Democratic members would like to vote for some reforms to help the economy, just not the harsh anti-union reforms the governor wants.
This overtime session has been very much like a political campaign, with constantly dueling versions of reality.
Hey, wait. That’s the succinct analysis I was originally looking for. Sorry it took so long.
Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and thecapitolfaxblog.com

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The Spectator
by Jim Bennet

July 16 2015

Sarah Palin Decides Not to Run  
SARAH PALIN’S enthusiastic base of Republican followers was vastly disappointed recently when the former Alaska governor and U.S. vice presidential candidate announced during an interview with PBS newswoman Gwen Ifill that she has chosen not to join the GOP field of 2016 presidential candidates.
The interview was a short one and has disappeared from the Internet, but I was lucky enough to find it on the PBS Web site before it was pulled. PBS executives removed the interview, saying it “lacked substance.” 
Ifill, of course, was furious.  As managing editor of “Washington Week,” she is widely known for her in-depth, dispassionate interviews of leading political figures.  She reportedly fired back at her superiors, “Well look what I had to work with!” but this retort has not been confirmed.
Since so many viewers missed the interview, I decided to reprint it here as a public service.
Ifill:  “Was there anything specific that caused you to step back from entering the Republican primary race?”
Palin:  “Well, when Phil Robertson and Chuck Norris announced their candidacy, I felt like all the bases were covered.  We’re a big tent party you know.  I didn’t feel like I had anything unique to offer.  Besides that (laughing) Chuck Norris is an expert in karate and kung fu, as you know.  Who would want to cross swords with him in a debate?”

IFILL:  “You recently took a fact-finding trip to the Middle East.  I think many people saw that as your prelude to a presidential run.”
Palin:  “Me too, at least at first.  But we sort of got sidetracked in Libya.  By the way I could see Africa from the balcony of my hotel room!”
Ifill:  “But Libya is in Africa.”
Palin:  “There you go; see what I’m sayin’?”
Ifill:  (Pause)  “I guess not exactly.  What were you hoping to find in Libya?”
Palin:  “I wanted to visit Benghazi, to try and get to the bottom of that whole mess, but we had to stay in Darnah.”
Ifill:  “As you know, at least seven congressional committees have examined the tragedy in Benghazi and determined nothing misleading or irresponsible occurred there.”
Palin:  “But I needed to find out for myself.  Where there’s so much smoke there’s got to be fire somewhere. I still think Hillary got away with something there.  Unfortunately, Benghazi is a restricted area, so I couldn’t go there; but luckily for me, there were several people at the hotel who knew a lot about it.”
Ifill:  “Who were these people?”
Palin:  “Mostly tourists, but you betcha a lot of them had been around the block.”

IFILL:  “Now that 36 GOP candidates have announced their official presidential run, did it seem like that was too many?”
Palin:  “No, not really.  We’re a big tent party you know.  Besides, it gives American voters a huge range of attractive, qualified candidates.”
Ifill:  “Even Donald Trump?
Palin:  “Oh yes of course.  He’s such a successful businessman and straight shooter, which is what American voters want.  Besides, (laughing) Donald and I have a lot in common; we’ve both been reality TV stars!”
Ifill:  “But how can you have a functional debate format with so many candidates?”
Palin:  “Not to worry, Fox News has that figured out.  They’re very smart over there you know.  They’re planning on pushing back the date of the first debate until the Labor Day weekend and have a debateathon ‘round the clock, five candidates at a time.”
Ifill:  “But there would be candidates debating past midnight into the wee hours of the morning.”
Palin:  “True, but Fox doesn’t see that as a problem.  All the candidates are so well qualified and profound.  Besides, who wouldn’t stay up late to watch Phil Robertson lock horns with Carly Fiorina?  It would be irresistible!”

IFILL:  “Now that you’ve decided not to run, are you at all disappointed?”
Palin:  “A little, but to tell you the truth, if I got elected I only planned to serve the first two years of my term, then turn everything over to my vice president.”
Ifill:  “Why would you do that?”
Palin:  “Well, it just worked out so well for me when I was governor of Alaska, I thought it probably would have been the best way to go.  Besides, I’d like to do another reality TV show.  Now, since I’m not running, I can get started on that project right away.”
Ifill:  “Do you have any specific plans for such a show now?”
Palin:  “Not exactly.  I’m working with my team on possibilities.  The one thing I know for sure is it will involve guns and shooting things.”
Ifill:  (frowning) “Guns and shooting things?”
Palin:  “You betcha!  Remember, they don’t call me Mama Grizzly for nothing!”

Helen Leake's Gardeners Tips
by Helen J. Leake

July 16 2015

Too much wet weather is hampering the plants

With all the rain we have been getting, the plants are beginning to show they have had enough. The lower leaves on some plants are turning yellow. The roots of the plants need to be able to get air and oxygen to breathe, the ground is so full of water that they can’t breathe and the roots will rot if it lasts too long. If possible, try to drain the water away. If the pot has a saucer under it, be sure to empty it right after the rain stops If needed, you could pull the mulch back from the plant, so the soil can dry faster.
 One good thing about the rain, it is easier to pull the weeds. Creeping Charlie has been sending out runners, some 2-3 feet long. It is time for it to start developing roots. At each place there is a leaf, the plant will send a bunch of roots down into the ground. If it is creeping into your flower bed, now is a good time to pull a lot of it out. Each plant could have 4 or 5 runners and a lot of leaves.
 The Garden Centers are having sales now, it is a good time to go shopping. Sometimes the plants in containers don’t look the best, broken stems, etc, but once you get them out of the pot and into the ground, they will perk up and start to grow.

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Classic Colcalsure
The Rest is Still Unrwritten
by John Colclasure of Lexington

July 16 2015
Garden Fresh
There is something special about that first batch of produce from the family garden. What had begun as a challenge back in April to remove the sod; till the soil; adding compost and peat moss; followed by a gentle raking and smoothing out the surface, turns to a “garden fresh’ harvest in mid-summer. After all harvesting is what it is all about, isn’t it?. Row after row of maturing vegetables, basking in the sunshine await this anxious gardener.
Anxious seems more applicable this year than perhaps any of the previous ones. Especially with the tremendous amount or rain that has fallen upon our garden and adjacent flowers. I’ve read somewhere that we have only had two rains this year with one totaling 45 inches and the second somewhat less at 35 inches.
The fellow must have been joking of course, but we have had an enormous amount of rain and a short drive on Dameron Road in rural Lexington will support that claim. There was so much water, that the river running just under the bridge appears to have reconfigured its path and width. Standing water forced the black angus cattle to seek higher ground, but later were seen enjoying a refreshing dip in their own lake.
As for our garden, the weeds temporarily overtook our $2.00 tomato plants, along with the onions and green beans. But what seemed to be a simple task of weeding with gloved hands and a garden hoe was simply no match for those mosquitoes! Why they were so thick that I swear that I saw two of them carrying a ground hog along the railroad tracks. I know that this year the mosquitoes are particularly aggressive because I have at least 31 bites. They must have gotten that way from inhaling all of the “Off” that I sprayed all over my body.
Try as I might I cannot figure out how those pesky insects can crawl inside of your drawers; penetrate your skin, draw out blood; (Now I know that they are full of it, because I smacked one of them on the garage wall and splattered blood all over) and then escape without me knowing they had been there.
You could wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, duct tape your waist band and the cuffs on your pants and they would still crawl inside of your clothes and bite you! Then crawl out the same way they had gotten in and without you feeling them. If it weren’t for Noah taking two of them, well who knows?
But back to the garden. Once we ridded the raised beds of weeds, we found that very little damage had been done. There were two delicious sun-warmed red tomatoes and two yellow cherry tomatoes ripe for the picking. Mrs. C also harvested a bowl full of green beans along with several green onions and one six inch cucumber. Yep, it was these moments that we will remember for years to come. Nothing better than “garden fresh” produce.

Till next time…john
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