The Campaign For DA


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Texas Hospitalizations: We cracked 9,000.

  • WFAA's Rebecca Lopez's mother passed away from COVID, as did the mayor-pro-tem in Grand Prairie, as did a Denton County deputy constable. 

  • Gov. Abbott endorsed Drew Springer over Shelley Luther yesterday. Luther was then passive-aggressive on Twitter. 

  • Even Bill Barr can't bring himself to stoop to the level of Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

  • Sean Hannity was pondering a question last night. And to think they were obsessed with the conduct of President-Elect Joe Biden's son for months. 

  • The Ticket's Dan McDowell posted this picture of a Grapevine fitness center and their very odd COVID prevention measures for the exercise bikes.

  • Having my outdoor Christmas lights on a timer makes me feel like a technological wizard. 
  • I feel old because every time there is any news story about any social media "influencer" I have no idea who they are talking about. 

  • Hey, we all get to ride dirty for a few months. Good. Mine expires this month. 

  • I had almost forgotten about Chris Faulkner after he was in my cross-hairs for years because of being an absolute fraud and huckster. Here's the update. He used to be a sponsor of the 660AM's podcast of the Mark Davis Show. 

  • Domestic violence is way up in Tarrant County which just goes to show you that fancy PR campaigns are just for show. In 2017, the D.A.'s office started a "Not In My County" promotion where elected officials from across the county posed with signs proclaiming that abuse won't be tolerated in the county. 

  • In other Tarrant County crime news, murders overall have surpassed 100 for the year, the most in 25 years.
  • Shout out to the past Wise County elected official who just causally dropped off John Grisham's latest novel, A Time of Mercy, and then simply left. From the cover notes, it looks like Southern lawyer Jake Brigance makes his first appearance since A Time to Kill.
  • Also, shout out to a stranger who dropped off for me a series of Bridgeport Index's from 1973.  People just give me stuff!?
  • The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today on whether last term's ruling that jury verdicts must be unanimous should apply retroactively. That is, if you are sitting in prison because of a non-unanimous verdict, can you get a new trial because of that recent decision? You would think the obvious answer is "yes", but that's not so.  It's a tough standard and "[t]he landmark 1963 right-to-counsel decision in Gideon v. Wainwright is the only one the court has ever indicated could achieve this . . . status." (The test is whether the right at issue implicates "fundamental fairness that is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty." I've said it before: Constitutional Law is just trying to keep up with what the Supreme Court just makes up along the way.)
  • Sports: The very last two games of the Southwest Conference were played 25 years ago today. Texas beat Aggie, 16-6, followed by Houston over Rice, 18-17.  Fun fact: Houston and Rice, who weren't invited to the Big 12, moved their game in order to be the final game of the conference instead of the bluebloods. 
    (Yes, I know Arkansas left before the conference disbanded.)
  • Speaking of Aggie, the band tried to pull a fast one last weekend: 

  • Messenger: Above the Fold (with a great picture of Judge Cude.)


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts


  • Texas hospitalizations: +266.  Tarrant County set a record yesterday.

  • National hospitalizations put this Third Wave into perspective:

  • Bridgeport High School reported "2 staff members and 12 students tested positive for COVID-19 over the Thanksgiving Break."
  • I'm still rocked by the death of Judge Cude. And it was a kick in the stomach to realize that his death actually substracted one number from the Texas hospitalization numbers I post daily. 
    • Flowers were left on the judge's bench yesterday. 

    • That seal in the background was handmade by an inmate of the Wise County Jail circa 2004. The guy, my client at the time, had about eight DWIs and was headed to prison for another one. But we managed to let him serve a lot of his time in the county jail in exchange for letting him redo the courtroom because he was a skilled woodsman and artist. Every piece of wood in the courtroom was his handiwork.
    • One other thing about the seal: The inmate told me that Judge Cude whipped him so much during the remodeling project about being a Texas Aggie that had secretly carved a longhorn into the seal. I was never able to definitively find it, and I never told the judge about it. (As I looked at it today, it seems possible that it might, ironically, be a set of upside down horns at the 6:00 o'clock position. If that's it, I'm now regretting not telling him.)
    • The governor's office was responsive yesterday. And kudos to County Judge J.D. Clark for quickly taking the initiative to get this done. The county would have probably flown the flags at half-staff regardless of permission, but this was a nice touch.  

  • In case you haven't heard, the Cowboys are playing Thursday night. Edit: No, it's now Monday afternoon. Double edit: No, now it's Tuesday at 7:05. 

  • I've had my second iPhone in a row crap out on me after a very short life span. This used to never happen. 
  • Sean Hannity last night had a moment of honesty: "I don't vet the information on this program." And it wasn't a misspeak. He intended to say it. 
  • Various bills are being filed in the Texas legislature. Here may be my favorite proposal so far: A Texas constitutional amendment to prevent any governor from limiting the sale of booze, guns, and explosives during an emergency. There are some things we just hold sacred. 

  • In Senate District 30, If you care about who defeated candidate Andy Hopper (he got 3.6% of the vote) thinks should win the run-off between Shelly Luther and Drew Springer, here you go. (Warning: That person, he says, "has solid core principles and is connected to solid conservatives such as Jonathan Stickland.")

  • This was supposed to be news yesterday because somehow in the bizarro world we live in it's a big deal when a Republican states that Biden won the election. I was more surprised to learn she has actually been ambassador to the U.N. all this time. 

  • The Wichita Falls paper during casually mocking the poor during the holiday season.

  • I actually have no idea what happens. The responses were funny. 

  • I meant to post yesterday the link to the video of the F1 driver emerging from the flaming wreckage. It's like a scene from the Terminator

  • Legal stuff: A guy who got kicked out of a Texas law school for bad grades is suing the school, and it has made its way all the way to the Texas Supreme Court.  His claim isn't as crazy as it sounds (a professor, who graded on the curve, leaked exam questions to students who attended extra-study sessions which weren't authorized), but, let me tell you something, you have to be incredibly dumb to have a GPA 1.98 at Thurgood Marshall School of Law even if you did get screwed in one class.

  • If I have to see one more reference to Undoing I'm going to have to break down and watch it. I had never heard of it until yesterday. 
  • At the Thanksgiving table, during a lull, I just abruptly blurted out, "I think Home Alone is a bad movie." Instead of getting a reaction of, "Where in the world did that come from?", a conversation began -- without me -- of the merits of Home Alone. 


Judge Melton Cude


There are other, more formal pictures of him out there, but I liked this one. That smile is Judge Cude. His life ended in a series of bad days after a life of never seeming to have one. He would always greet you with a smile. A real smile. And then he would talk. And talk. More about that in a second. 

If courtrooms could be a joy, his was as close as it came. Whether you be a lawyer, a party or a juror, you felt, well, comfortable.  He knew he could run a court without being some kind of tyrant overlord. No, he knew it was our court, and he was just its caretaker  -- even though he took care of it for 30 years. He believed that everyone deserved to be heard. That everyone deserved respect. He knew being there could already be a bad experience for many, and he didn't need to make it worse when he walked through the courtroom door. 

He granted and denied my motions. Sustained and overruled my objections. But he listened -- oftentimes with a sly smile as he appreciated a subtlety of an argument.

But as much as he liked to listen, like I said, he liked to talk. Let's all admit it, sometimes you had to be somewhere else, but he wasn't going to let you go. He had more, and still more, to tell you.  And oftentimes you felt like you couldn't get away, but it was so crazily entertaining you also wanted to stay and see when it would end. It never really occurred to me that voice would be silenced. We are all invincible, right?

I wish I could hear that voice this morning. Godspeed, my friend.  

Random Monday Morning Thoughts


  • I thought about not doing this at all because of Judge Cude's passing, but he loved Liberally Lean. As his court administrator told me, "I never have to read it because he's already told me everything that was in it." 
  • Texas Hospitalizations. Those numbers aren't dramatic over the last four days but that can be attributable to the holidays and spotty reporting. But Tarrant County reported a record high of hospitalizations on Saturday. And the U.S. recorded record hospitalizations yesterday.

  • Ice-T has a message

  • Trump finally took the boys golfing. (They used Marine One to fly the 60 miles from Camp David.)

  • Trump was still "fighting" until the end on Sunday. Uh, who talks like this? (He also said the Justice Department and the FBI "might" have "rigged" the election. Sheesh.)

  • I case you missed it, he lost his federal case late last week in Pennsylvania when a judge he appointed, along with two other Republican appointed judges, started out the opinion with this: 

  • A top nuclear scientist of Iran was assassinated last week in an event right out of a Tom Clancy novel.  Get this: It might have been done by remote controlled machine guns (just like in Breaking Bad).  Who was be responsible? Ted Cruz might have inadvertently admitted that Israel was behind it in a tweet where he was condemning someone else's reaction -- someone  who hadn't mentioned Israel. 

  • Last week, a former Bridgeport High School basketball star was signed by the Dallas Mavericks.  Here's an article on the signing, and here's an old Dallas Morning News article, called "Gaming the System" which focused heavily on Bridgeport's championship back then.

  • I always watch Fox 4 News but it seems to me they are doing less and less news coverage. I'll get 10 minutes of Shaun Rabb doing a boring 10 minute Zoom meeting, but I'll never hear about a wild shooting in Fort Worth. 
  • I feel like I've been living under a rock because I swear I had never heard of Diego Maradona. Seriously, not one single time. I've heard of Pele, but never Maradona. 
  • I read this every year, and I laugh every year.

  • I think it's more than 50/50 that UT fires Tom Herman and money whips Urban Meyer. 


It's Friday - Let's Get Out Of Here

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • It's Friday after Thanksgiving, most everyone has the day off, there is no Wise County Messenger Update, but you know who's here? That's right: THWMISB™.
  • Texas Hospitalizations

    • Wise County:
    • I'm getting reports that COVID has run amuck at the Wise County Jail. If that's true, it needs to be formally reported to the Wise County Commissioners. 
    • Number of people at Cowboy game during worst period of the North Texas pandemic: 30,048.
  • Someone told him this look would be a good idea yesterday. Yes, it's real:

  • And as he was behind that miniature desk, he barked:" “Don’t talk to me that way! You’re just a lightweight. I’m the President of the United States!” (Really.)
  • Sidney Powell, who might actually be dumber that Rudy Giuliani, finally "released the Kraken" in Georgia where she filed a lawsuit in federal district court riddled with typos. The following are real, too.  Embarrassing.  Edit: Looks like they scrambled and cleaned up the typos before it actually got docketed.

  • In case you are confused about what "Release the Kraken" means, Trump has explained it to us. It was actually a secret code word that Sidney Powell used in a press conference directed to the Department of Defense to unleash a computer program against the Deep State. Trump is crazy. And we don't even blink an eye. 

  • See that building? When the inside of the Wise County Courthouse gets renovated to make it look like the days of yore, the DA's office, the District Clerk's Office, and District Judge's office will be relocated there.  Where's court going to be held? I have no idea. (We are talking years away.) Edit: The County Judge wants it to be clear this is a temporary holding place during the restoration. And the location includes the building next to it -- 6,400 total square feet. 

  • Here's Dallas' crazy fake punt yesterday.  Was that a run from the get go? Was he supposed to throw it? If so, to who? The punter? Assuming he's capable of catching it, he's getting crushed at the 30. And there is a guy open way down filed, but that's an improbable long throw and catch proposition. Or is it?

  • Does this happen very often? There was a high school playoff game on Thanksgiving afternoon between Dumas and Springtown. Springtown won. Not-so-fun-fact for Springtown other than playing on a holiday: Through four games they have traveled a shocking 1,940 playoff miles.

  • A faithful reader sent this photo to me from Houston yesterday. The day, of course, is "one of the busiest travel days of the year." 

  • In a very weird move, the Supreme Court got into the arena of the legality of government imposed church capacity limitations by issuing a 5-4 ruling near midnight on Thanksgiving Eve.  I don't have any hot sports opinion about the ruling other than to say (1) man, they will get involved in anything, and (2) I still like the way Gorsuch writes. 

  • Time which has passed since the Wise County Sheriff's Office has failed to solve the murder of Lauren Whitener at Lake Bridgeport: 511 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold