Are We Going To See Lake Bridgeport Not Only Full But Over The Banks?

Now just about 2 1/2 feet low on Saturday morning. Amazing.

Here's the rain forecast from National Weather Service (Note: The Liberally Lean Weather Center has not confirmed these projections. We've still got some maps to look at and some animals to consult.)

I hate the labels on that thing. "Bowie" is a dot probably where the "w" is in its name. Wise County is below it and Jack County is to the left of Wise County. That's important because . . . 

This is the often mentioned but rarely understood "watershed" for the lake:

So if the watershed sweet spot is above Jacksboro, that rainfall map has it in its cross hairs.

That's all for now. I'll throw it to the very dramatic Clarice Tinsley so she can read some inane comments from Facebook and her phone that she is currently holding.

Clarice: "Thank you Liberally Lean. The comments on the rain are just on fire on our Fox 4 Facebook page. Jim Bob from Cundiff writes, 'We been praying for rain but I think we need to stop praying.'  That's so right Jim Bob. You nailed it. So true. You're spot on. Couldn't have said it better myself.  And Dakota from Cottondale says, 'If I had known this was gonna happen, I'd built an ark like that Noah guy."  Absolutely! We should have all thought of that!  You might want to get to work on that ark, Dakota and [Production note: Clarice becomes serious as she looks at the camera] don't forget to gather up those animals. They need our love and protection during these trying times. We'll be back after this."


Getting Off Barstools In A Creative Manner Taking You Into The Weekend

Speaking Of Wise County Park

Today's View From The Boat Ramp

Aerial View from April, 2014

That Guy Is Still Showing Up On The Front Row Of The NBA Playoffs

I wrote a post about him four years ago.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Lake Bridgeport this morning is only 4.72 feet low.  I predicted at 6:00 a.m. this morning to a faithful reader that it would be full by Thursday. I would like to revise that prediction to Tuesday. And you might want to take the under. 
  • Being a past Lake Bridgeport homeowner with a boat dock (not a bad life, by the way), I can safely say that we have Boat Dock Chaos going on out there. Floating docks have old cables now breaking, and stationary docks have motors and cables that are malfunctioning. 
  • Never doubt the Liberally Lean Storm Center. The following was a Random Thought from nine days ago (Hey, Delkus, I'm gunning for your job.): 
  • "Waco, Texas (CNN) Texas law enforcement officials are investigating what they say are new threats against officers from biker gangs in the wake of a recent shootout in Waco. Members of the Bandidos biker gang who are in the military 'are supplying the gang with grenades and C4 explosives,' according to a bulletin issued Thursday by the Texas Department of Public Safety and reviewed by CNN. The bulletin warns of plots targeting high-ranking law enforcement officials and their families with car bombs."  The Bandidos have disputed this. In light of how t DPS has recently had its credibility severally damaged under the leadership of Steve McCraw and seems to be operating based upon the Politics of Fear, I think I'll believe the Bandidos on this one. 
  • Nothing stuns me more than conservatives, in connection with the Waco shootings, saying "Lock 'em all up and figure it out later." 
  • The Texas House has tentatively approved a bill to protect ministers from lawsuits if they refuse to preside over a same sex marriage. I had heard that was a major problem in Texas much like the invasion of chupacabras.  Side note: This bill, as we spiral towards Idiocracy, was offer by Wise County representative Sen. Craig Estes.
  • In March of 2010 Texas Monthly published a story encouraging people to complete our “Bucket List”— “63 Things That All Texans Should Do Before They Die”. A Baylor law student did them all in one year.  As much as admire the guy, I'm worried Baylor Law School isn't as tough as it used to be. 
  • David Letterman has been doing his show since 1982, and his finale had 13.9 million viewers. The finale of TV's Breaking Bad, which had only 62 episodes on a cable channel you had to search for, had 10.3 million. 
  • Back in my DA days in the 1990s, the Wise County Sheriff and I drove past the entrance to Wise County Park. There was a sign for the park which read, "By order of Sheriff: No alcohol allowed."  I looked at him and asked, "Can you that?" He said, "I don't know, can I?" I replied, "I have no idea."  Those were the good old days. 
  • MADD and some Texas legislators will soon be holding a news conference announcing that a bill has been sent to the governor requiring Ignition Interlock devices for all people convicted of first time DWIs. And then I'll explain how they are completely wrong.


A Selfie Stick, Driving, Singing, And .... We Could Have Died

(Delayed edit: Oops. Language warning.)

Side note: I'm very confused by the appearance of this group of friends. And how old is the guy who looks like Forest Gump after he ran across the country?

Side note #2:  A group called Player sang Baby, Come Back but don't you dare question the Internet which seems to have a strong belief it is Hall & Oates.

I Told You The DA In Waco Was A Goofball

From his first interview:

  • "McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna defended the $1 million bonds keeping most of the arrested bikers in jail, and said the ones claiming to be victims need to start acting like victims and cooperating with police investigators."  That is beyond moronic. The government arrested them. The government accused them. The government is keeping them in cages. The government has the burden of proving their guilt. If you can't do it, figure that out immediately and release those people who deserve to be released. And you want them to cooperate after this law enforcement fiasco? Do you think those people believe they are going to be treated fairly if they do? No way. How about this: Get to work, do your job, and stop being a politician for the camera.
  • "'As many weapons as were found out there, they weren't out there just to eat lunch, they weren't out there to just have their little meeting, they meant business,' Reyna explained with a serious look." Oh, you're looking "serious"? Kind of reminds me of A Few Good Men: "Oh, you strenuously object?"
  • "We need to see what that evidence reveals, but I can tell you this - we're gonna get to the bottom of it and law enforcement is all working together as a team, and I'll [bet] on our own gang before I bet on their gang," Reyna promised.   Will they have patches that say, "A Gang Who Doesn't Know What The Evidence Reveals"? And, buddy, I wouldn't go to Vegas just yet. 
  • "Nobody's going to come into McLennan County and do something like that.  Not on my watch."  Oh, my. It looks like we have us a regular Charlie Bronson here. (With apologies to Drexl Spivey from True Romance.)

Stop A Legal Gathering On Private Property By Shutting Down Public Road?


Amazing. I'm going to guess that the commissioners and sheriff of Palo Pinto County are very conservative.  I'm also guessing they aren't very bright.

The Sheriff actually said, "We will be on both ends of it with armed security, We will have other contingency plans ready in the event a large number of them do show up."

Freedom Of Assembly? What's That Mean?

Edit: And I would tap the brakes on the reports that the biker club "agreed" to cancel the event. It's that Sheriff who said that and in other reports he was quite as definitive: "I believe I have prevailed upon their national leadership to call this rally off."

Edit: And I thought the Sheriff had been in the news before . . .

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Lots more damage in Runaway Bay from the toronado than what we initially thought. It was all over the local TV news last night. But it did lead to this educational fact: The ranking of tornadoes (F1 to F5) is based upon damage caused and not by size or wind speed. (They said that on Fox 4 and I didn't verify it). Edit: Fox affiliate in Austin says this: "A tornado's strength cannot be determined by just looking at it. Examining the damage will give you a better idea of the strength of the tornado. This is where the Enhanced Fujita Scale comes in." So I guess that's saying you can determine speed by the damage. Something not very scientific about that. 
  • Police in Waco initially said "thousands" of weapons were seized from the gunfight on Sunday. They have now revised that to 318 "and counting" (huh?) with only 118 handguns found.
  • Doesn't Memorial Day seem early this year? (And the weather over the next four days is going to a beatdown for the Colonial golf tournament.)
  • A Northwest ISD school bus ends up in ditch because of rain this morning along 114. (No injuries but pretty eye opening photo.)
  • Hey, I haven't dogged Dennis Prager in a while. Turned him on yesterday and heard him say if "You have no hope or opportunity, it is your fault." What type of elitist hole does he live in?
  • I've said it before, that new Northwest Eaton High School right passed past the Wise County line on 287 is a massive. (And it already looks like they've got four or more athletic fields installed around it. Is that artificial turf?)
  • Lake Bridgeport this morning is at 828.77 which is -7.23 feet low. Now we're talking.  I think that's a sixteen feet increase this month. 
  • Someone clarify this for me. The Messenger has been reporting that Denton County spends $40,000 on indigent burials while much smaller Wise County spends $30,000. Someone at the courthouse pointed out to me that there isn't much unincorporated area in Denton (meaning not part of a municipality) compared to what Wise County has so that explains the stat. But that gives rise to this question: If someone dies within a city and is indigent, does the city pay for the burial? Is a county only responsible for indigent deaths occurring in unincorporated areas?
  • I've often dogged Plaintiff's lawyer Tony Buzbee (who a big Aggie who brags about multi-million dollar verdicts). But, I'll be, he has done it again.  After coming in late to a business dispute lawsuit, he got a $35 million verdict.  The story is behind a paywall, but he said he looked at some of the video depositions that had already taken place before he was hired and considered the lead defense lawyer's "sidebar comments as gratuitously ungracious." Ok, that's a shot, but he went on: "Rarely in the law practice do we have the opportunity to teach [an opposing lawyer] a lesson." Oh, my. 
  • I didn't watch David Letterman's last show but I'm sure the highlights will be all over the place. For some reason I'm recalling an HBO movie about the Letterman and Leno battle to replace Carson. I remember reading that Letterman mocked the scene which showed his character in his backyard throwing baseballs at an archery target as he became angry over negotiations. "Like I would do something like that," is what I thought he said. 
  • Wait. I just heard that Letterman didn't end the show addressing the audience? They did a photographic montage? You kidding me? 
  • Houston District judge Ryan Patrick, son of Tea Party favorite Texas AG Dan Patrick, posted a graphic showing a pretty incredible increase in the "caseload" increase of dockets in Harris County  over the last year. But what really got my attention is that he (?) thought he had to overlay the graphic with "Increase noted in this area here" in order to explain it. 
  • The great Skip Hollandsworth wrote a long read in Texas Monthly in 2007 about bikers gangs in Texas.


Helicopter View


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • As violent storms were hitting Wise County last night at 10:00 p.m., every local news channel decided to go to its pre-planned package about the earlier storm that hit Mineral Wells. Pete Delkus turned his back on us. We will not forget.
  • I saw Sheriff David Walker on Channel 8 this morning with the caption  underneath of "Dave Walker". 
  • Noticed a car being towed in Decatur this morning by a tow truck with Wise Credit LLC on the side. Uh, oh.
  • Ok, I'll back off my rant against the Waco Police because of the way they handled Sunday's gang fight, but finally I'm hearing folks in the media begin to ask, "Did all those people need to be arrested? Should all of them be in jail right now?" 
  • As much as I'm supporting those wrongfully accused Bandidos and Cossacks, what do you think the chances are of me becoming an honorary member of either of the two? (The thought of a ceremony where one of the gangs hand me a jacket and starts applauding is comedy gold.) 
  • Have we ever seen all  for president of one party (over six months from even the first primary, by the way) all focus their attention on one candidate from the other party? The GOP may be the greatest ad campaign for Hillary that ever existed.
  • Heard TCU head coach Gary Patterson on The Ticket yesterday and he was so passive aggressive towards Baylor's Art Briles. Man, those two guys hate each other and it is so fun. (And we should have known something was going on when Briles stared down Patterson in 2011 instead of watching a game winning field goal. And it all got ramped up with Patterson's rant after the loss to Baylor in 2013.) 
  • After all this talk over the season finale of Mad Men, it was pointed out yesterday that its 3.3 million viewers were equal to the number of people who watched the Bitcoin/St. Petersburg college bowl game last year.
  • NFL: Man, the reason they print money is because they know how to entertain. They are now moving the extra point line of scrimmage to the 15 yard line which will mean the equivalent of a 32 yard field goal.  They have a rule that's part of the tradition and the fabric of the game, but if it is stupid and boring, they'll change it.  (Baseball? You listening?)
  • I think the Update website is down this morning. (Everyone take cover over there.)

Last Night In Pictures (aka You Gotta Have A Montage)


Recapping The Storm: Radar Timeline

Begins at 8:48 p.m. 

Ends at 11:02 pm

Firing It Up! (As A Precaution)

Tornado warning in Jack County at 5:45 p.m.


Edit: Tornado warning  by NWS for Runaway Bay and Lake Bridgeport

Waco Police Press Conference Today

 Ok, I'll give them that.

Huh? We don't know how many officers fired their weapon? I'm 99% sure that any police agency requires a report to be immediately filed if an officer fires his weapon while in the performance of his duties. And even if not, how about asking them?  But. Ok. Let's give them an extreme (and silly) benefit of the doubt and assume they haven't ID'd all the officers.
Ok, scratch that. 

This from the same guy, Sgt. Patrick Swanton, who said less than 24 hours ago: “There was a green light put out on law enforcement [by the gangs], is our understanding from last night. We are aware of that threat . . . . We are on high alert.”

Whoa!!! Uninvited? Meaning unexpected?  So the cause of the violence was potentially something Twin Peaks did not anticipate (even assuming you can ever anticipate a gun fight in Waco). ? Had the other group not shown up, everything might have been fine? 

Texas Counties Can Form Militias? What Are We Waiting For!


I just did a very quick glance at the law, and I think this is the relevant portion of the Texas Government Code:

Sec. 431.072.  COUNTY EMERGENCY BOARD.  The county emergency board of each county consists of the county judge, sheriff, and tax assessor-collector.  If one of those officers is unable to act, the governor shall designate another public official to serve on the board.

Sec. 431.073.  DRAFT.  (a)  The governor, by order to the county emergency board, shall apportion the number of members of the reserve militia called into service among the counties by draft according to each county's population or by other means the governor directs.  The county emergency board shall establish fair and equitable procedures for selection of persons to fill the draft according to regulations adopted by the governor.  On completion of the selection, the board shall deliver a list of the persons selected to the governor and notify each person selected of the time and place to appear and report.

A Different Angle From Yet Another Press Conference By The Waco PD Public Information Officer

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • From 12/11/14 Random Thoughts: "I attended a retirement reception at the courthouse yesterday and met the guest of honor's mother. 'You make me so mad because of what you write!!'" she told me in equal amounts of authentic anger and sweetness."  Ruth Cleveland Salyer, 73, will be buried today after a shockingly brief, yet courageous, battle with cancer.
  • Let me tell you something, we've got a cluster going on in Waco with this gang gun battle. Things that jump out at me: (1) 170 of the gang members have been charged with a crime. That's beyond ridiculous and a great clue that police have no idea what they are doing. Prepare to learn of tons of cases being dismissed. Then again, the DA down there is a goofball. (2) In the meantime, gang members who were simply present (which isn't a crime and kind of a protected constitutional right) will sit in jail on a $1 million bond because there's a Justice of the Peace in Waco who also does not know what he's doing. (3) Note to media: There must be a "probable cause affidavit" prepared for every warrantless arrest in Texas. Demand to see all of them. And then do some comparison to determine how much copying and pasting was done. (4) Did the shooting begin in the restaurant of the parking lot? Waco PD Public Information Officer  Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton doesn't know and said, “It will all come out in the wash at some point." (5) Swanton is way in over his head and seems to not understand that his title includes the word "information" and not "spin" or "propaganda". (6) Eighteen Waco officers in addition to state troopers were outside the restaurant when the fight began? You kidding me? This is right out of Minority Report where an army of cops were always at the scene of a "pre-crime" but in this case it still happened. No wonder Waco PD went on the defensive and blamed the restaurant while the blood was still wet on the pavement. (7) News cames out yesterday that maybe four or more of the dead were killed by cops but no one will confirm. It's probably not confirmed because it was a cluster and no one knows. (8). Going back to prosecuting 170 of the gang members, good luck: Gangs testifying against gangs? Eyewitness testimony when all the participants (and non-participants) are dressed alike? Chaos beyond comprehension? Yeah, good luck. (9) And here's a question every defense lawyer involved in this case needs to be prepared to ask: Did law enforcement officers on the scene prepare their reports after the fact independently or did they all huddle together to get a nice and cohesive description of the facts.
  • Tell me what you think about this. A Texas Supreme Court Justice last night tweets a picture of his young son and himself video chatting on the Facetime app and informing us that his son had just recited Ephesians 4 "from memory". (The judge is in bed).
  • In light of the Grapevine officer's no-bill for killing the motorist, I've heard more and more of this "Obey the cops and you won't get shot" nonsense.  Hey, obey the cops or suffer the reasonable legal consequences makes sense. Obey the cops or die does not. 
  • Between the conservatives and Fox News already beating up Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. this GOP primary is going to be insane. And yesterday Lindsey Graham announced that he will, uh, announce that he will run for President.  Prediction: He will be one of the first ones to quit. I've said Ted Cruz will get crushed but at least Cruz is smart and has a personality -- two traits that Graham does not possess.
  • The Ticket has been playing the "mom shaming 13 year old for posting on Facebook" video.  I suspect a seed of resentment has been planted in the 13 year old which will grow for decades.
  • It has to be sweeps week. Fox 4's Becky Oliver had the most confusing and nonsensical and poorly written expose on some probate/guardianship matter last night which could only cause Steve Eager to say, "What a mess."  Well, it was a mess of a report.
  • I watched David Letterman for the first time in forever last night because I learned Eddie Vedder was going to perform "Better Man".  But I was stunned to see that Letterman's monologue was even worse than I remembered -- it was cringe worthy --  and this is at a time when the best joke writers in the world should be involved. (But Vedder was kick arse. Video here.)


Waco Gang Shooting Linked To Wise County

Edit: Link to story.

And the Messenger covered it at the time. 

Random Thought at the time about the Toy Run:

Get Me This Real Life Bobblehead Puppy!

(Edit: Not sure about the first comment telling me I linked to the "wrong" video and it "makes [me] look bad."  But it did cause me to scramble thinking I had posted a different video. Nope.)

No Charges Against Grapevine Cop Who Shot Motorist


Edit: Here's the video (package in a PR piece from Grapevine PD.)  Hey, I'm not saying the officer deserves to be indicted because obtaining a conviction would be next to impossible (once you have a jury who will apply the reasonable doubt standard.) But was the only option to shoot and kill the guy?

Lindsay Lohan Performing Court Ordered Community Service

At the TLC Women's Shelter in New York City over the weekend.  She has 125 hours to get in before the end of the month.