There are just some people in this world that I have a weird negative obsession with. Troy Dungan, believe or not, is one. Nancy Grace, Sean Hannity, and David Dewhurst also come to mind.
But there's another guy as well: Williamson County DA John Bradley. I've never met the guy, but he speaks at seminars and is always posting on the TDCAA message board. He's smart - I'll give him that, but he's arrogant, condescending, and a right wing nutcase. My guess is that he lives in his own distorted reality due to the fact he prosecutes in a county that is basically affluent and white. That demographic makes it easy picking from a prosecutor's standpoint. Heck, a monkey could win cases there.
Edit: I completely screwed everything else up. A commenter is correct. My following rant concerned a sentence not written by Bradley. He'd probably have said it, but I can't dog him for this. But I'll leave my error up sentence I deserve the grief. I feel like an idiot.
But as I was browsing through the Texas Prosecutor magazine, I noticed that he had contributed to a column about how important it is for prosecutors to assist each other. I read it as part of my obsession - certain he'd say something that would drive me insane. After suffering through the boring part (did you know he has a degree in English and managed an ice cream store after college?), he mentioned an occasion when he had been assisted by an out of state prosecutor:
My first real dose of prosecutorial hospitality came at the hands of an assistant district attorney from Milwaukee—it was so long ago I can’t even recall his name. A man accused of capital murder [a death penalty case] in Brazos County had an extensive criminal background in Wisconsin. The Milwaukee prosecutor assisted us in a number of legal battles in Wisconsin. After working tirelessly on the case and after completing his work, he felt obligated to ask me to spare the defendant’s life if I could. Even though he was morally opposed to the death penalty, he did not hesitate to help a Texas prosecutor do his job. His attitude left a lasting impression.I was struck by the "ask me" phrase. The man asked "me" not to cause the execution of the defendant. Yeah, that's a man whose full of himself but, technically, he's right. An elected DA does make the decision whether or not to seek the death penalty. It's a crazy system and completely arbitrary.
But then it dawned on me: Bradley has never been the elected DA in Brazos County. If he was involved at all in a death penalty case there, it would have been as an assistant or in some other manner where he worked only in a supporting role. But, apparently, he had the power over life and death. Even back then.
Ok, obsession satisfied. For the moment.
at 12:08 PM
- I got stuck outside my office this morning because I forgot my keys. So I sat outside for about 45 minutes. It might have been my best 45 minutes of the week.
- Except the part when a big old wet dog came up and tried to lick me.
- 14 songs you should never play in a bar.
- I wonder if any family actually sits down together at the breakfast table?
- I once got in trouble at the breakfast table for "swallowing too loudly."
- Get Smart was a horrible TV show and the new movie by the same name is getting horrible reviews. Is Steve Carell really that funny?
- Went back to Hulu yesterday. Amazing.
- I've been thinking about the fictional Spider Monkey Park all week, too.
- Once I heard that two guys had been killed outside of a Garland music studio, I figured it was some Tupac wannabees. Turned out to be Christian artists. (And three guys have been stopped in the car of one of the dead guy's in East Texas.)
- On most evenings, I never say a word out loud.
- Souped up golf cart face plant. Good times.
- Parent fight at Pop Warner football game. Not good times. Edit: Link fixed.
- I have this weird fear that some day the world will stop rotating.
- I think I could put in a sprinkler system with a little practice. Except that part of hooking it up to the water supply - which would be kind of important.
- Last week John McCain said he was "very angry" over the "obscene profits" the oil companies were making. Whose team is he on?
- The Hollywood Walk of Fame has a ton of people on it. And it just got 25 more. I was going to object to some of them, but I really couldn't. Except for Tinkerbell.
at 7:57 AM
Everybody has been emailing me a story about some lady suing Victoria's Secret after she was wounded by a thong. Although the word "thong" immediately got my attention, I just couldn't get too excited about it. I've always been a T-Back fan. But now we get to take a look at the gal since she has appeared on The Today Show. I figured I'd be guilty of the sin of picturing her in a thong but that didn't happen. And that, my friends, is a good day ruined. Instead, the lawyer stole the show because he said the lawsuit is "not about money." I think my head exploded when he said that.
at 2:13 PM
- I don't know about the legal significance of it, but convicted killer Darlie Routier is going to have some evidence tested for DNA. I've always had a reasonable doubt about her guilt. And she's kind of hot - which pretty much is reasonable doubt in my eyes.
- Politics #1: Somebody needs to tell John Cornyn that the cowboys in Brokeback Mountain looked more manly than he did in this silly video played for the state republican convention. I can't stand that guy. (Thanks emailer.)
- Politics #2: Kudos to Fox 4 for calling out Joe Barton, Pete Sessions, Kay Granger, and Michael Burgess for showing up at a closed Tom Thumb in Arlington for a photo-op of "we feel your economic" pain. Segment worth watching here. It was a clear message: That media outlet will not be your lap dog.
- WBAP just made a reference to "Boonesville" when talking about the weather. You think those folks in the metroplex giggle a little over that name?
- KLIF in the early morning hours is insane. Caller this morning: "Everything started going downhill as soon as they took prayer out of our schools" and "What we need to do is get rid of that Democratic congress." It's a regular Think Tank over there.
- Nothing powers me down more than Wheel Of Fortune or Deal or No Deal.
- Watch a little of Jon Stewart last night. I'd forgotten how funny his monologue can be.
- I like the Blue Mesa restaurant in Fort Worth but I haven't been in a long time. (There's also one in Southlake.)
- If you flip through the premium movie channels, odds are you'll see Nicolas Cage.
- Almost all super hero movies bore me (with the exception of the last Batman move.)
- How can your average mall CD store stay in business?
- Whenever you see an ad for a prescription drug in a magazine, you'll find another page describing it's side effects (I assume that's some FDA requirement.) But over the last six months I've noted that the typeface of the warnings has become significantly larger.
- I just downloaded Scott McClellan's What Really Happened. It's a little over 11 hours long.
- While I wasn't paying attention, the State of Iowa became submerged.
- Yesterday The Ticket played the youtube clip I created about Ron Jackson needing an engineer. It's great when I can change the course of history like that.
- Barbara Haddox resigned yesterday as "Case Supervisor" for the Wise and Jack County CASA unit. Not sure what that means, but I think it's a little chaotic over there.
- There's still one machine in Decatur where you can get a Dallas Morning News for 50 cents even though the face value is 75 cents.
- Someone's hatin' on me. (And I'll get around to explaining that "Abuse of Discretion" thing.) Edit: Ok, you guy's be nice to Kevin. You think I'm going to print that stuff when I've got to work with the guy?
- TXU has introduced a thermostat you can control via the Internet. I'm sure it's easy to set up.
- I've never understood why we are offered a chance to "leave a page" on a cell phone.
- I've used the Firefox browser for a couple of years. Love it. And the third version was "officially" released yesterday.
- It's official: America will not survive.
at 7:49 AM
. . . I got this email tonight that slipped past my fortress of Gmail filters. It's fairly creative, making me think there's a shocking video of me (get in line, buddy), but that .exe at the end of it means it's a program. (And, yes, I hovered over it to confirm that was the destination.)
The dumb part is that the link didn't have to have to reveal it's true destination. It could have looked like a youtube address instead of ending in .exe. I would hope I would have been smart enough not to click on it (and, if I did, I hope my browser and virus protection would fire off a warning.)
at 9:39 PM
Well, it's a pretty big night for yours truly. This is 29 year old Anna from Cheboksary, Russia who just sent me an unsolicited email. Let's just say that she paid 1000 "roubles" to get my email address because - yep - she be looking for a husband in the good old USA. She's a self-described "gentle and the fragile girl which demands love and respect." What a coincidence! That's perfect for me!!
And she engages in "fitness and volleyball." Man, I've hit the motherlode.
One downside: Her English and grammar (which you guys know
I'm a stickler for for which I am a stickler), ain't that good. But what do you expect from a Russkie? I'll work with her.
Let's just say I might not make it to work tomorrow. Ya know, to each according to his need - or something like that.
And she engages in "fitness and volleyball." Man, I've hit the motherlode.
One downside: Her English and grammar (which you guys know
Let's just say I might not make it to work tomorrow. Ya know, to each according to his need - or something like that.
at 9:17 PM
- The "hey, now" above might be a teacher who ran off with a 14 year old student. Maybe.
- I wonder how many people at ExxonMobile actually set the wholesale price of gas? Three? Ten? One?
- Man, someone went off on me about my Decatur Assault In Front Of Marine Office post yesterday. I never understand why people go so nuts over words.
- I started watching AFI's top 10 movies in 10 categories last night. It started out great, but it was slanted towards some very old and very obscure movies. (All lists here.)
- WBAP's Mark Davis says that Obama is 100% "unelectable"
- Sixty three people were blown to bits in Baghdad yesterday. John McCain doesn't mind if we are there for another 100 years. And, uh, Obama is "unelectable?"
- Bud Kennedy of the Star Telegram points out today that a company that provides food for Wise and Tarrant County jails was involved in an ugly bribery case in Potter County. Wise County might be rethinking that relationship.
- That expanding ad at the top of the Star Telegram home page is driving me insane.
- There was a DWI trial in the Wise County Court at Law on Monday which was weird because I wasn't involved in it. But I heard it ended in a 4-2 hung jury. And from what I also heard, it looked like a "horrible" defense jury because a probation officer and a cop from Grapevine were on it.
- Began watching the first 30 minutes of the first episode of the first season of The Wire last night on DVD. Oh, man -- It's great. I love stuff that feels "authentic" and this feels that way big time.
- Latest crazy dream from last night: Cops wanted me to sell drugs to a buddy and laid their guns on the table as they explained it would be in "my best interest." I didn't and the next thing I know there was gunfire busting out in a hotel lobby. (I wonder if that had anything to do with The Wire?)
- From what I can tell, there was a crazy attempt to execute Charles Dean Hood out of Collin County. Stay with me here: Around 5:00 p.m., a district judge in Collin County "withdrew" the death warrant. Prosecutors immediately appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeals who overturned that ruling (they stayed open past 5:00?) and then the Supreme Court got involved and, less than an hour before midnight, cleared the way for the execution. But the "death warrant" was set to expire at midnight (huh?) and the guy holding all the death chemicals for Texas didn't have time to follow all the "protocol." So Gov. Perry granted a 30 day reprieve so the execution could be done correctly. Incredible.
- That case has received a lot of media attention lately when the condemned killer's lawyers accused the district judge who presided over his case, Sue Holland, of sleeping with the elected DA at the time of the trial. (The second trial case I was ever involved in was a civil suit tried in front of Holland - I don't think she was sleeping with anyone back then.)
- Pin sold at Texas Republican Convention: "If Obama is President ... will we still call it The White House?" Picture. The vendor has been banned and the Republican Party has expressed "shock." Riiiiggggghhhhhttttt.
- I'd visit a Spider Monkey Park.
- That crazy midget Mexican who dresses up as Hilary Clinton has released another youtube video. (Language warning.) But the guy in the "Machine mask" doesn't make an appearance which limits its typical family appeal.
- We'd all be a lot smarter if we watched the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, etc.
- Texas Justice: Dallas County is having a budget shortage so county commissioners are asking misdemeanor judges to get more fines in the criminal cases. Incredible, again.
- I keep forgetting about that gal rowing across the Pacific Ocean. She's on day 24.
- Tim Russert's son was interviewed by Matt Lauer on Monday on The Today Show. The son, a recent college graduate, seemed oddly composed. And Matt Lauer is the best in the business.
at 9:18 PM
I've been thinking about this story all morning, and then it hit me: We've got a freakin' Charles Manson type on the loose. How else can you explain a robbery in front of an office occupied by the United States Marine Corp? I've seen Full Metal Jacket. Those guys are nuts. And with all this post traumatic stress disorder going on, it doesn't take much to set them off these days. They would have loved to opened up a can of vigilante justice on whomever committed this heinous crime (a person, by the way, who probably had a bad childhood, but I digress.) Anyway, the alleged robber is either MHMR certifiable crazy or a member of the Taliban. Either way, we're screwed.
I'm raising the Terror Level in Wise County to burnt orange. Be on double triple alert as of noon.
But I'm a little disturbed by the lack of sensitivity from the Messenger on this deal. "Only" his wallet was taken?. "Only?" Unless the victim was left with a Rolex watch and a two carat stud earring, I'd say losing a wallet is a pretty big deal. Probably a bunch of liberal weenies over there that don't understand how hard it is to make a buck in the good ol' U S of A.
at 12:21 PM
- Some new traffic study report is here (one page pdf file.)
- Not sure why that red color is in Decatur. I've never seen traffic slow to a crawl on 287 like in the other "red areas"
- Loop 820 from I-35 to North East Mall has been confirmed by the study to be "a beating."
at 11:32 AM
- John McCain canceled an appearance with oilman Clayton Williams yesterday after someone finally told McCain about Williams "just lay back and take it" joke from almost 20 years ago. I remembered the incident but I had forgotten the video footage of Williams not shaking Ann Richards hand that I saw on Fox 4. That did not look good.
- For a moment this morning, there was a yellow tint over the sky and landscape that made me think of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
- "We appreciate the fact that you chose to set fire to an unoccupied building at night when the risk was lower, and we will not forget that." - Paul Maldonado, State Fire Marshal, in a news conference yesterday speaking to the unknown arsonist of the Governor's mansion.
- A reporter, after hearing the above comment, said that it appeared that a plea bargain would "be on the table." Note to arsonist: Cops don't plea bargain nor do they have the authority to.
- Looks like some prosecutor in Dallas County got a DWI. It will be interesting to see how DA Craig Watkins handles this. His predecessors would always fire them on the spot. But, as you may have noticed, he's a bit kinder and gentler. (And Tarrant County always gives second chances.) Edit: FrontBurner has pictures. Extra edit: He has resigned.
- I think Arab convenience store workers in Wise County are more likely to ask you small talk questions than other clerks.
- I've never been in that Boston's Pizza (or whatever it is) off I-35 near Western Center Boulevard in Fort Worth.
- I think I constantly make a reference to "Western Center Boulevard."
- And in Richardson, it looks like some lady was chopped to pieces in a possible "drug deal gone bad." When the local news won't exactly describe what was done to her because it's "too gruesome", it probably is.
- This is the 14th anniversary of the O.J. Simpson car chase. I remember it being a Friday night and I had just came in from water skiing on Lake Bridgeport. That was surreal. And I think the NBA Championship was going on and that network went with "picture in a picture" technology.
- Speaking of, you never see "picture in a picture" advertised much, if at all, any more.
- I received a new wallet as a gift. Now I have to get rid of my 15 year old wallet - which I gladly did.
- It drives me nuts that the Feds are prosecuting Lori Drew in the cyber bullying case, and it drives me nuts every time I see the suicide victim's mother on TV. Does she want to take some responsibility for raising a 13 year old daughter that decided to kill herself simply because of what someone wrote to her?
- Still haven't watched Recount.
- I remember playing golf with a group of guys (at, of all place Tenison Park in Dallas) the year before Tiger Woods turned pro. All three of them proclaimed, "Wait until he has to play with the big boys." I figured they were right.
- I bet it's easier writing "Random Thoughts" than it is the Wise County Messenger Update.
- I hate smoking as much as the next guy, but why does the public idly sit by as the government in Dallas tells a private bar on private land that it cannot let private citizen smoke on a cigarette which is a legal product?
- I don't know who WordKyle is. (People ask me that a lot.)
- Hey, I'm as frustrated as you that Britney Spears has cut back on her crazy clothes wearing paparazzi pics.
- Ok, the newly opened 380 between Bridgeport and Decatur is great. But when are they going to raise the speed limit to something above 55?
- I've gone over a year without back pain, but I felt a twinge this morning. Makes me nervous.
- Everybody is still moaning about the Guantanamo Bay Supreme Court decision but all the complaints all have the same theme: "I can't believe we are giving rights to terrorists." That's the problem: We are assuming they are terrorists and the Court is just asking the government to come forward with some proof to back that up. Seems reasonable to me.
at 7:09 AM
It's time for the Feds to arrest a group of goofballs on some crazy terrorist plot that could never be accomplished. Every 12 months or so, the Administration has to remind us to be scared. About one year ago, I posted this. I'm still proud of it. (But looking through the comments, I note that Wordkyle was in full swing even back then, TxSharon used to post, and I had completely forgotten about the guy that used to post under the moniker of "The Devil." He could be funny.)
at 10:31 PM
Hey, I like Fox 4 News. I give them props all the time. But this was a moment of Broadcast Gold this afternoon. And I've always said that the local anchors would endear themselves to the public if they would just lighten up a bit. If Clarice had simply looked in the camera and said, "Our wheels are flying off right now", I'd never change the channel.
at 9:00 PM
I drive down Boat Club Road every now and then. It's kind of fun to see the Copeland Complex and then go through that very north end of Eagle Mountain Lake that looks very much like a scene from Deliverance. But, if you would have kept on going this morning, you would have seen the fire above. More here. Not-a-good.
And WBAP said the owners were vacationing in Hawaii.
at 1:02 PM
- Rush Limbaugh is criticizing all the coverage of Tim Russert. He's trying to make is some "liberal media" thing but, as always, I'm only half listening. - I almost hit a deer this morning. - Between Jacksboro and Runaway Bay, it looks like someone has taken a cross laid out in rocks and created a word that the local Chambers of Commerce would not be happy with. - The Star Telegram is raising its prices, making the paper smaller, and cutting it's staff by 10%. That isn't a good sign. - Time magazine, which always shows up on Monday, has a picture of a fat kid on the cover with the title "Our Super-sized Kids." - A "live blog" of the 18 hole playoff of the U.S. Open? Why are sporting events in the middle of the weekday seem more interesting than they actually are? - Saw "The Hammer" last night on Fox 4 with Steve Doocey. Looked good. Although his rant that T.O. should be drug tested was a little ironic. - Oil hit a record $140 a barrel this morning. I paid $3.99 a gallon for the first time this weekend. - Forgot to mention about Empire of the Sun: Oddest part is a young Ben Stiller playing a bit part as a prisoner in a war camp. - "A college student who branded a former lover's body with a scalding piece of metal as payback for never calling her after they had sex was sentenced to five years in prison Friday."
at 11:22 AM
Stolen from the usual places. For the politically minded: Longest question in history of ever (and I love that reporter from CNN) For those who like carnage: Tricked up gymnastic overshoot (nice job by the 11 spotters) For the relationship folks: Evolution of wedding dance (supposed to get good at around 1:30 mark) Edit: I actually posted this before I watched it. I'd like to apologize. That was a beating.
at 10:58 AM
- If I can find the Tru Channel, there's suppossed to be a documentary/reality show on drilling rigs in Texas called "Black Gold" starting Wednesday. Sounds pretty good.
- I normally don't sit around and watch golf, but I was standing in front of the TV on Saturday at the end of the third round of the U.S. Open. You'll have to be a golf fan, but somebody's spliced the last two holes of Tiger Woods on youtube here.
- It's not summer yet.
- I don't have sprinkler system, and I got real close to leaving a lone sprinkler on all last night. Remembered it at the last moment. I'll do that about once a year.
- Crazy wreck on 635 yesteday in Dallas that had the freeway shut down for hours. One oddity: Last night most news outlets were saying a lady got killed when she got out of her car to take a picture of the crash. This morning, I'm hearing that she got out of her car to "possibly help."
- The Tony Awards were last night. I've never cared about them.
- You've got to see the Rangers turn Shea Stadium into a Slip N Slide on Saturday.
- I rarely watched Meet The Press but I TIVO'd it this weekend to see how they handled the Tim Russert death. It opened with an empty chair behind the desk on an empty and quiet set.
- Saw something advertised on Fox nationally about "credit card addiction." Addiction? Puhleeze.
- A teenager, a shotgun, a fat man, a Hummer, and an F-Bomb. Good times.
- Do presidential and vice-presidential candidates have to be from different states? I could have sworn the answer was yes because I recall some controversy eight years ago as to whether Dick Cheney was a resident of Texas or Wyoming. But, the answer is "no".
- The Whataburger on Western Center Blvd was robbed last night.
- The Texas Bar Journal published the four winners of their amateur short story contest. (I promise myself every year I'm going to enter it.) The first one bored me to tears in that it was about a lawyer helping out a high school girl that had been denied a chance to try out for the cheerleading the squad. The second one, written by a new law clerk, was about a depressed lawyer in a bar waiting for a hooker to show up. Diversity rules. (Still haven't read the other two.)
- R. Kelly quietyly won an acquittal on child porn charges last Friday. I can't remember which awards show it was a couple of years ago, but I remember the host asking the audience to be sure that Kelly was seated far away from the Olsen twins.
- One of the WBAP traffic helicopters wouldn't start this morning. Seriously. But they did make a funny ball-bearing reference from Fletch.
- I saw my niece yesterday. When she was born, I remember an Hispanic man in the waiting room who appeared to be grieving after receiving some bad news. I've always felt guilty about not saying something to him that day.
- Finished the Pat Tillman book. I feel sorry for her (his mom, the author) because she's filled with so much hatred and bitterness.
- I'm almost through with Empire of The Sun. Good but nothing great. And I can't believe the DVD I have next to watch: Coming To America. I've never seen it.
- I'm going to attempt to watch the DVD series of the HBO show, The Wire. I've never seen an episode but everyone raves about it.
- You would think a prison break in Afghanistan were at least 400 Taliban members were freed would be pretty big news. Any of you hear about it happening last Thursday?
at 5:44 AM
My law partner, who has been active in the Boy Scouts for years, emailed me this photo on Friday, He wrote that i had been taken in Iowa during the tragedy that killed for young scouts. I thought it was amazing, believed it was true, but I was slow to post it because I figured everyone would scream "photoshopped". Then I looked at BagOfNothing's blog today and saw that the photo was actually being run by the AP.
at 10:23 PM