6.30.2012

Random Chico Facebook Post


I truncated her name and photo.  The Secret Service might not be as kind.

Uh, six "likes"?

Off Prescott Preskitt Road This Morning In Decatur


Sorry, kid. Where you were going you still needed roads.

(Thanks, Angela)

6.29.2012

Remember Kids, It's Snow Monkey Night At The Ballpark

I'm Insane Now


Stay Classy, Glenn Beck


Link.

Good Grief


                                   




A horrified court room looked on today as a man who had just been convicted of burning down his $3.5 million mansion collapsed and died in front of them. 

Michael Marin, 53, was found guilty of arson by a jury in Maricopa County Superior Court. He appeared shocked and closed his eyes as the verdict was read before appearing to put something in his mouth and wash it down with liquid in a plastic water bottle.  

In the shocking court room video, he then fell to the floor a few minutes later in convulsions. Mr Marin was taken to a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, where he was pronounced dead.

Link.

If he took his life, he might have wanted to wait around for the punishment verdict.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts


  • Back to normal: Parked Dallas police car crashed into last night. 
  • The only thing more boring than the NBA is the NBA Draft. Unless you are drafting in the top five to ten (depending on the year), the chances of finding a starter are almost nil.
  • There's a show on the Ticket that has a great summer bit: They try to book a bizarre set of guests who aren't A-list stars, not sports related, but who we all know. Yesterday they had on William Zabka. Who's he? He's the actor who was told to "sweep the leg" in the Karate Kid. Amazingly entertaining stuff. (Oddest part yesterday: "I never got into the drug scene. I've never even tried cocaine." Host: "Why not?")
  • Both Cruz and Dewhurst oppose abortion even in the case of rape and incest.  I've you are pro-life, I've never understood how you could make any exceptions. 
  • One thing the Obamacare ruling will do is give the President an opportunity to sell the program to the public in response to Romney's attacks. The Democrats did a horrible PR job the first time around.
  • After the ruling yesterday, it seemed like Facebook had been taken over by the Klan. People are crazy. 
  • January Jones stops me down. 
  • When I first mentioned my Mormon book that I'm reading, someone commented about how incredible it is that the Haun's Mill Massacre is not taught in history class. I got to that chapter yesterday. Holy cow. (And that attack was far more government sanctioned that the link describes.)
  • And I had forgotten how the "Book of Mormon" mentions Jesus traveling to North America after the Resurrection to stop a battle between two groups. I guess that would explain why the Bible is relatively silent as to Jesus' actions post crucifixion. 
  • For obvious reasons I can't talk about the removal petition filed yesterday in Wise County, but can someone tell me if that "Lane Akin" is the former Texas Ranger or his son. I'm guessing the latter. 
  • Texas AG Attorney General Greg Abbott this morning said one bright lining about the Obamacare decision was that it was the first time since FDR that the Commerce Clause has been reigned in. Not true. The court invalidated a federal law prohibiting guns in schools in 1995 on that basis. 
  • I hate having the cruise control on, slowly approach a vehicle in front of me, and then having to hit the brakes and disengage the cruise control because I'm slowly being passed on the left. (First World Problem.)



6.28.2012

Claudia Romania For Those That Have Tired Head After Obamacare Discussion

"Insurance not needed. This body cannot be touched by sickness."

A "Tax": Roberts, Obama, and The Lawyers


Regarding today's Obamacare opinion, it appears (at least based upon the talking heads) that the key to the decision was the Court calling the individual mandate, forcing people to buy insurance or pay a penalty, to be a "tax". More specifically, the breakdown is as follows. Four of the justices held the Act to be unconstitutional. Four justices held that the individual mandate was constitutional under Congress's powers under the "Commerce Clause".  At this point, we've got a 4 to 4 tie, and we've got one judge left, Chief Justice Roberts. And he doesn't believe that the individual mandate was valid under the Commerce Clause. Unless he found another reason to find it constitutional, the law was going to be declared dead.

Roberts, however (and to the shock of conservatives everywhere), found the individual mandate to be a "tax" and, since Congress had the power to tax in the  Constitution, the law was constitutional. Thus, Obamacare survived. (For the record, the four other judges who would have upheld the law under the Commerce Clause also went along and said it could be upheld as a tax as well. But everyone is focusing on Roberts.)

Now the right wing is going nuts because President Obama specifically told George Stephanopoulos in 2009 that the individual mandate wasn't a tax.  My initial thought: What's the big deal? If the President doesn't believe it to be a tax but Justice Roberts does, that doesn't make Obama a liar. (Sorry, Sarah Palin.) From the President's perspective, he won but for the wrong reason.

However, here's where it gets interesting. There is no question that the "Government" in its brief and in oral arguments made the tax argument before the Court. That is, they called it a tax. The opinion today said so: "It is therefore necessary to turn to the Government’s alternative argument: that the mandate may be upheld as within Congress’s power to “lay and collect Taxes.”  I may need some help here because I haven't research this: I'm guessing that the "Government" means the "United States" which would have been represented by the Attorney General.  I guess that is the equivalent of President Obama calling it a tax before the Court. Maybe.  However, the President is actually represented before the Court by the Solicitor General -- a lawyer who expresses the specific opinion of the White House.  If that office urged the Court to call the individual mandate a "tax", the Right Wing might have a point. Heck, they do have a point. (Although they could have made it months ago when the case was argued -- the fact that Justice Roberts agreed really is irrelevant.

So I wonder what the Solicitor General said before the Court? Release the hounds . . . .

Edit: I got curious. Here's the transcript of the Solicitor General's oral argument. He definitely advocated that it was a tax. And now it's kind of funny when I see that Justice Scalia reminded him that the President had said it wasn't a tax.

CNN Maybe, Just Maybe, Screwed Up The Headlines Earlier



Edit: Funny photoshop.

(If you are too young to get it.)

Boom!



Edit: Legal scholar roundup reaction:



And this isn't political at all:


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts




  • I'll be up at the courthouse when the Obamacare decision comes down shortly after 9:00, but if you want to find out the results from the Supreme Court first there is no better place than here
  • Conservative talk show hosts are going into hyperbole mode this morning claiming that the Supreme Court not striking down the law will mean our "liberties are gone" as we know them. Note: They've been gone a long time.
  • Here's analyst Jeffrey Toobin's ticket to the Supreme Court today. Really.
  • An addendum to my story yesterday about the court decision allowing cops to detain you simply for pulling over on the shoulder of the road: I don't think many of you understood that the motorist would not be free to leave, if the cop so desires, once the cop hits his emergency lights and pulls in behind you. 
  • Mrs. LL is in some softball conditioning clinic twice a week. She was describing it last night and said, "It's hard. I'm not sure you could do it."  Think that caused a stop down moment in the house?
  • Well, after the country has gone crazy fearing that "bath salts" will make you turn into a face-eating-zombie, it turns out the Florida face-eating-zombie didn't have bath salts in his system. How in the world did that rumor get started in the first place?
  • Those are Hooters waitresses up there.
  • I heard Josh Hamilton threw his bat into the stands again last night. I don't think he cares if he hurts someone -- at least that is his attitude. 
  • I'm not sure how I feel about this: Tarrant County Deputy placed on leave after Facebook rants about the Sheriff. Government punishing for speech?
  • Ann Curry emotionally announced her departure from The Today Show this morning. I almost feel bad that some higher up placed her in a position for which she was destined to fail. I mean she drives me nuts but she drove me nuts before they named her co-anchor.
  • I love Jon Stewart for stuff like this: Taking news footage of New Jersey governor Chris Christie voicing why he is for legalized gambling but against legalized marijuana. Genius
  • The Family Pup and The Family Cat will sometimes face off with both of them on their hind legs. It's like an animal Gladiator. (And the Cat throwing fast right hooks into the stunned Yorkie's face makes me laugh.)
  • I was one of the first to mention the jogger who died after being the victim in a hit and run off of 287 and Blue Mound Road a week or so ago. Now the suspected driver was found dead of apparent suicide in Duncanville. There has to be more to this than just the hit and run. Could it be that he was leaving some place he wasn't supposed to be? Do you kill yourself because you fled from an accident?



6.27.2012

Fire Close To Newark Tonight


Off of FM 718.

Cheating From Last Night



I didn't see this until today because watching ESPN Sportscenter is mindnumbing. Heck, if you can even get to see a highlight on that show you're doing good because they have to have 80% of the time dedicated to "analysis."

Anyway, why aren't sports self-policing? If some player can get away with something or if he knows the wrong call has been made in his favor, he just keeps his mouth shut. That's the way it has always been. (Golf is different. Golf is like a game played in Heaven with God watching your every move.)

News From The Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals This Morning



The highest criminal court in Texas has refused to hear the appeal of the murder conviction of Jose Angel Sarmiento in the death of Bettie Walker in Wise County, Texas.

Also, the court decided not to hear the Wise County case of Michael Anthony Almendarez who was convicted of Indecency With a Child and Sexual Assault of a Child.

Both cases had previously been affirmed by the lower court of appeals in Fort Worth.

Orders.

On a note unrelated to Wise County, the all Republican and coservative court held that police may detain a person for simply pulling off to the side of the road on the basis they may need assistance. Think about that for a moment. Talk about a police state! Talk about big government! As the dissent said, "The officer was investigating to see what Appellant was doing, without any reason to think that there was something wrong. That, quite obviously, is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The majority sets a dangerous precedent here by basically saying that an officer may investigate a person's harmless activities without observing any danger or distress." Preach on. 

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts


  • Anyone who writes they have a source as to how the Supreme Court will rule on Obamacare cannot be believed.  That's one institution which never has leaks. 
  • TCU offered Texas Wesleyan $60 million for its law school 10 years ago and now it gets sold to the Aggies for $25 million?
  • Dear Facebook People: I really don't need to be beat over the head with inspirational sayings that you love to post. I'm good. 
  • HBO is replaying Hard Knocks with the 2008 Dallas Cowboys. Good grief: Pacman Jones, Roy Williams, Tank Johnson, Terrell Owens, Bobby Carpenter, and Martellus Bennett. Poster children for under-achievers.
  • They are still working on the Fuzzy Tacos location on the square in Decatur.
  • Mrs. LL drove back and forth from Texarkana yesterday  and then walks in the house after getting back during rush hour with two kids in tow and with a smile on her face.  What? No beat down?
  • Saw a little bit of Mitt Romney's speech at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Every time I think there's a chance he might win, I just have to watch him speak for those thoughts to evaporate.
  • The announcement yesterday that college football will have a four team college football playoff was monumental.  But I'm curious as to which of the bowls make up the six that will rotate the two semi-final games. You'd think Rose, Sugar, Orange, Fiesta, Cotton and . . . . the last one I'm lost about. 
  • Cowboys Stadium will undoubtedly hold the Championship Game which means in some years it will get the semi-final (in the Cotton Bowl game - not to be confused with the actual Cotton Bowl stadium) and the championship game. Delicious. 
  • How can you get so worked up over the rainbow/gay Oreo? How can there be so much hate out there?
  • I ignored a lawyer the other day at an administrative hearing who probably wanted to engage in banter. Loud. Oblivious to his surroundings and the process. Dressed like a slob (jeans).  
  • I wonder what happened to the kid who was "carrying" the cross to Washington D.C.? 
  • I think it is odd that Rangers play-by-play man Dave Barnett is still off the air after talking gibberish the other day. It's not like doing another broadcast would cause a recurrence. 
  • I'd pay big money to see Ann Curry going on a burn-all-bridges rant on The Today Show.


6.26.2012

Colorado City[*] Might Be In Trouble Right Now


Air Force Stadium in foreground.

* Ok, Ok, Colorado Springs. "Colorado City" has been featured prominently in the Mormon book I'm reading.

Fox News Afternoon Pick Me Up



Oreo Posts Gay Cookie* On Facebook


Generates a krillion comments.

__________________
*Technically, I don't know if the cookie is actually gay. 

An Aggie Lawyer?


Link.

I wonder what this does to tuition rates? Is this now a "public" law school? And wasn't the absence of a public law school in DFW the reason for the scheduled opening on UNT's Law School in August of 2014.

Good grief. If you think there are too many lawyers now . . . .

Another angle

One car rollover east of Alvord

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts


  • The body count continues: Fort Worth police killed a man this morning
  • David Dewhurst has fired off the Chinese Ads against Ted Cruz again. Incredible. 
  • The run off election on July 31st should be a call to arms for the Texas Tea Party. There is no question that they want Cruz over Dewhurst. There is no question that voter turnout will be miserable so it won't take many votes to win. If the Tea Party doesn't mobilize and take advantage of this opportunity, they never will.
  • Josh Hamilton threw his bat in the stands last night and barely missed doing it again during the same at bat. Someone is going to get hurt, and he needs to figure out a way to do what a little leaguer can do: Hang on to the bat. 
  • Is college football popular? The Cotton Bowl, which is scheduled to be played on January 4th at Jerry World between two teams yet to be determined, is now sold out. The earliest sell out in history.
  • Let's be clear: The Supreme Court did not "uphold" the show-me-your-papers provision of Arizona law. It expressly passed on making a decision until they see how the Arizona cops are going to use it. They could strike it down if the a specific case ever makes it back to them. 
  • The Supreme Court waiting until the last day to release the decision on Obamacare is consistent with its need for drama and the spotlight. If memory serves me correctly, the key ruling on the Second Amendment a few years back was released on the last day.  Hey, release the opinions when they are ready instead of waiting for the equivalent of a legal sweeps week. 
  • The official temperature at the Wildwood Naturists Resort in Decatur was 102.5 yesterday. I was close. (Close to being correct in my temperature prediction. Not close to being nude.)
  • Did KXAS ever make a decision on Jane McGarry?
  • My mormon book has a chapter on the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart. The book plays it straight, but if there was ever a story that is subject to a conspiracy theory, that is it. 
  • I'm an expert on marriage. (Make that two years as of today. Two years!!! I'm smashing records left and right.) But if Mrs. LL had walked down the aisle singing Christina Aguilera like this chick, I'd of left her at the Little White Chapel and headed towards the penny slots.
  • I had to resort to jogging in the mornings -- that heat was unbearable yesterday evening.


6.25.2012

Remember The Prosecutor In The "No Body" Denton Murder Case?



He was fired today after a racial discrimination lawsuit.

He actually worked as an assistant DA in Wise County on a temporary basis a few years back.

I bet this story has the chance of going national on Tuesday.

Get Me This Puppy And This Crab!

Oldest Known Joe T. Garcia's Menu

Per Bud Kennedy.

Crazy Mugshot Of The Day


But he can do that tongue roll trick.

Story.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts



  • Warren Buffett over the last month has bought the newspapers that cover Waco and College Station. That makes no sense. 
  • The internet was abuzz with "Mark Cuban destroys Skip Bayless" on Friday.  I think the headline should have been "Skip Bayless Doesn't Know How To Debate."  Cuban's position that no player "wants it more" than any other player is nonsensical. Case in point: Lamar Odom (who Cuban was in denial about for months.)
  • 106 degrees today? (The Update says 100 but I've been in the weather lab.)
  • And who in their right mind scheduled a Rangers game for last Saturday afternoon? And who in their right mind would have gone? 
  • New York Post: Ann Curry will get $10 million when booted from The Today Show.
  • I've had this weird wart appear on my hand (and I never get warts). And it hurts. It has me so creeped out I think I'll go to the doctor.  
  • Over the weekend Dallas police shot their thirteen person this year. Good grief.
  • A year ago there was a sexual assault on the streets of Dallas after a young lady watched a Mavs game with friends.  I remember The Ticket mentioning it and it sounded like a host or co-worker knew the girl.  Today the Morning News profiles her after she has gone public with a description of the attack.
  • The people on the courthouse steps cheering after the Sandusky verdict haven't been around many criminal trials. Neither side celebrates very often.
  • And Sandusky's lawyer doesn't quite understand what his job is. 
  • A male Nocona teacher received probation for Improper Relationship.
  • Two women vying for a place on the U.S. Olympic Track Team in the 100 meters tied for third place over the weekend with a time of  11.068 seconds. Now they will flip a coin
  • I would tell you how many episodes of Lost Mrs. LL has watched but you'd think she was certifiable.