"The Binders" - Inside The Tarrant County DA's Office

Unrelated Poster Boy

I'm copyrighting that title in the event this becomes a documentary or a horror film.

I told you last week that the story wasn't "how the DA was handling it" but the fact there existed  binders in the Tarrant County DA's office documenting cops lying on the witness stand -- information which may have never been disclosed.  The Star-Telegram finally gets it with this new story

FORT WORTH - One prosecutor wrote “this guy is a chump” in accusing a Willow Park officer of lying on the stand.

“Don’t trust anything he says,” wrote another prosecutor about a Bedford lieutenant.

Regarding a Watauga officer’s testimony, a prosecutor noted that “I thought he was making stuff up or just winging it.”

The comments are among the opinions written by Tarrant County prosecutors and filed in binders in past years in the district attorney’s office, where thousands of forms called “DA Office Updates” are now under the review of District Attorney Sharen Wilson

"Tell me lies. Tell me sweet little lies" - Fleetwood Mac (1987)

My head is spinning. The big issue is that this information existed but may not have been disclosed in later cases when the same officer was involved. The underlying issue, which is equally shocking, is that we have cops lying and prosecutors "boldly" documenting it. But that's it? You don't stand up in the middle of the trial and tell the judge you have serious doubts about the trustworthiness of a witness and dismiss the case? Not to mention those officers were allowed to testify in subsequent cases.

And when you think it can't get any worse for cops and prosecutors, look at this weekly legal  update on the law from the official Texas prosecutors' association about the disbarment of a former DA: 

A "sobering moment for prosecutors" indeed.  By the way, a "significant portion of his life" means 18 years. On death row. That's the equivalent of you walking into a cage right now and being released in 2033.

This Is The Day The Confederate Flag Finally Dies

Newly discovered photos of the Charleston Church Shooter:

That "it's all about heritage" defense has been dealt a fatal blow.

Ads? Or Whataburger Genius?

So are all of these tweets from news outlets really just paid ads? Or does someone at Whataburger needs a massive promotion and a raise for coming up with the greatest free publicity campaign ever? (And the following tweets are just a tiny fraction of what has been published over the last 24 hours.) 


Taking You Into The Weekend

Current Events: The Red River

Or a dog shocked when that rock moved.

Or random girl at the U.S. Open

Those Water Park Life Guards Are Just Mailing It In

Whoa! Maybe not. That was impressive. That went from kid in trouble to lifeguard whistling the wave pool to be shut down and in the water in about two seconds.

Did Pamela Anderson ever do that?

Texas Supreme Court Rules On Same Sex Marriage (Not Really)

It will make news, but it is really no big deal.  A Massachusetts gay couple sought divorce in Texas. The judge granted one and the Texas Attorney General decided to jump into the fray because, it's Texas, and he will get his name out there for a possible future election. Today the court ruled that the Attorney General's attempt to intervene in the case was not proper. Basically, he did it too late.

Our Tweeting Texas Judge Willett, in a dissent, described it this way:

Our Attorney General blundered? Who was that at the time? Oh . . . .

Jon Stewart On Charleston

I haven't watched this yet, but I've never heard so much buzz about his opening monologue. He apparently decided to go comedy free.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • I watched a little of the U.S. Open last night on Fox.  How can the grass on a course in the very wet Pacific Northeast look like West Texas?
  • The Charleston Church Shooting hits a lot of hot button issues. Race. Guns. Faith. Heck, even the Confederate flag.
  • TCU stayed alive last night in the College World Series. It's an eight team double elimination which I've only become familiar with in detail over the last few years.  One thing I learned: You win the first two, you are in good shape. You lose one of your first two, it's a long road. (There are only four teams remaining but TCU conceivably has to win four in a row to win it all.)
  • Update on my Poor Man's Softball Backstop Project: Yep, it's still going on. I changed the size of the my PVC telescopic pipes last night for more stability. This weekend should be the first full strength test. I'll be as tense as the guy in charge of Mission Control for Apollo 13 as the first softball blast hits it. 
  • Has the DA figured out he's in over his head with the Twin Peaks cases yet? Let's check the Waco papers: "McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna filed forfeiture notices for more than two dozen motorcycles and vehicles owned by bikers arrested in the Twin Peaks shootings." He has all the sense of a guy doubling down at a blackjack table with his past due rent payment on the line. Check that. The blackjack guy has better odds.
  • I wasn't surprised the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas could refuse to issue confederate license plates. I am surprised that Texas has a policy of not issuing confederate license plates. 
  • President Obama was accused of politicising the Charleston Church Shooting when he pointed out again that no civilized society has the amount of gun violence in the U.S.  Meanwhile, out in Arizona, Sheriff Joe announced that he is sending out his armed posse to protect black churches on Sunday. 
  • I have a court appearance today and I was just informed my client brought his dog by and wants us to babysit it until its over. We will. This, my friends, is what the glamours life of a modern day lawyer is all about. 
  • More lies by the top brass of DPS to the legislature. This time about the number of arrests some million dollar surveillance program has led to. They previously said 44. The real answer is zero. The DPS Director is Steven McCraw who, for some reason, still has a job. 


What Road Is That And Which Direction Are We Looking?

New spillway footage:

A look at the water being discharged from the Lake Bridgeport Spillway.
Posted by TRWD - Tarrant Regional Water District on Thursday, June 18, 2015

Looks Like We Have A Theft Of My Intellectual Property

Everyone knows I invented and own the concept of the Random Thought Girl.  A brilliant yet simple idea which will one day be mentioned in the same breath as fire, the wheel, electricity, and the printing press.

But it appears that the BagOfNothing guy (who I have never met or spoken with, by the way) tried to sneak one past me. He, too, does a blog of thoughts in bullet points which happened to be random, and I respect that. But he never has a Random Thought girl. He uses comedy or bacon or Star Wars. He knows I own that concept.

But then he posted a video today about a waterpark in Waco.  Something seemed amiss.

I constantly yell about ads being disguised as news on TV and radio, but could this be a Random Thought Girl post disguised as a water park post? So I sent the video to a lab at great expense and the results are back. This is what was found.

Guilty!!!  And what's up with the dog??? What's next? Is he going to steal my "Get Me That Dog" intellectual property, too!!??

This could get ugly. I'll see you in Marshall, buddy.

Breaking News Within Minutes Of One Another

#1: Suspect in church murders identified:
Edit: Uh, oh
Edit: Now arrested.

#2: And the Supreme Court just ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that Texas can reject a person's request for a specialty license plate bearing the Confederate battle flag.

Oddly, the court said that the license plate is not an individual's "speech" but instead "government speech". So denying a person's request for the plate isn't violating his individual free speech rights. But this is a pretty good dissent from Alito:

#2A Edit: We might as well tie the first two together . . . 

#3: And in news that once again demonstrates I'm a legal genius, one month after I questioned the laws on synthetic drugs because there is no way you can know what it illegal, the Supreme Court agrees with my blog post . . . 

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Lake Bridgeport has risen 2.5 feet in the last 24 hours. The National Weather Service said this morning that Wise County had mostly five to six inches of rain with up to seven inches up near Montague County. And it felt like it. 
  • Nothing like be awakened at midnight by the 17 Year Old In The House who says, "My car is dead and it's in the middle of the street in front of the house."  As the problem was being solved, I remember asking a lot of questions that began with "why". She fielded all of them flawlessly. She's either a good kid or has a job as a presidential press secretary in her future.
  • When the South Carolina church shooting news broke last night, it was shocking how the major network news stations were so slow to cover it. (The grumpiest man on Twitter, TV critic Ed Bark, was not pleased.) 
  • Mark Davis opened his radio show this morning speaking about the shooting and sounding like a pastor at funeral. And it may in fact be a funeral for the There Is No Racism crowd. But I shook my head when he said, "We don't need to focus or even care about the motive of the shooter." Why not? Something uncomfortable about that? 
  • ATT was hit with a $100 million fine for misleading wireless customers. I wonder where they will get the money to pay for that? Oh . . . .
  • The University of Texas will sell beer and wine at football games this year. (West Virginia is the only current Big 12 team to already do so).  Corby Davidson of The Ticket said that it will discourage people from leaving the game during halftime to drink in the parking lot.  People may do that at TCU but going from your seat to go a tailgate/car is like a hike up Everest when you are at Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium/Joe Jamail Field/W. A. "Tex" Moncrief, Jr.–V. F. "Doc" Neuhaus Athletic Center.
  • I applaud Wise County's initiative to "reduce the number of people in jail with mental illness and to make sure they get the help" but, practically, I don't know how it is going to work. If someone is sitting in jail for Agg Assault with a $25,000 bond they can't make yet they are legally competent (but suffering some degree of mental illness), how is that going to change? 
  • I noticed that there was a murder conviction yesterday in the Wise County trial. A few years back, the legislature took away a jury's option to grant probation in a murder case. Sound good? Now tell me you cannot envision one single situation where the taking the life of another would not be probation worthy. 
  • For the first time ever in Texas, a law has been passed requiring all police agencies to report to the state information about any police involved shooting.  And it's 2015.

Pre Random Thought For Thursday

That Time magazine cover from a few weeks ago seems spot on. It does feel like the 1960s.


This Photo Was A Big Player On Fox 4 News Tonight

Dateline Decatur: Be Careful Out There

This truck hit another vehicle on top of 287 and he came crashing down front first onto the underpass as I was streaming...
Posted by North Texas Weather - Jason McLaughlin on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Breaking: Liberally Lean Flash Flood Warning

Edit: Extended until 10:00. What a mess.

Update On That White Gal Who Ran A NAACP Chapter And Claimed To Be Black


Update:  She once did a photoshoot. (This news actually came out yesterday but, as an expert on race relations, I feel obligated to post the photo with a link to more.)

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • The radar looked like a hurricane over us this morning. And then I had Mick Jagger stuck in my head singing, "I was born in a crossfire hurricane."
  • WBAP's talk radio host Ben Ferguson, who replaced Mark Davis, is gone. He is replaced by Chris Salcedo who I know nothing about. Yesterday, as the morning crew announced Salcedo's hiring, Hal Jay said he didn't know much about him but hoped "he could teach me Spanish." What followed was dead air and then a commercial. 
  • For Ticket fans only: Gordon Keith missed Monday's show to "sickness" and was late for work this morning. 
  • From the Star-Telegram's home page this morning: 
    • Uh, that's the country of Georgia that used to be part of the Soviet Union. (They changed the headline within 30 minutes.) It reminded me of seeing a quick local TV news blip a few years back which showed about five seconds of a massive snowstorm in "Georgia" which caused the female anchor to say, "I didn't know it snowed that much there." 
  • With Donald Trump all over the news yesterday after his publicity based presidential candidacy announcement, it made me think that Mark Cuban wants to position himself to be Trump in the future. Both are known for being rich, both have written books, both have silly TV shows, both like the camera. (It's kind of like Kenny Chesney positioning himself to follow Jimmy Buffett.)
  • I really hadn't paid much attention to the "white woman" involved in the McKinney Pool Incident who was caught on tape in a mild skirmish and was accused of yelling racial slurs. But the fact that she is now a "client" of Gloria Allred and is being used as her pawn makes me seriously question her judgment.
  • There are law firms which advertise on the radio which basically say they represent only men in divorce.  I know nothing about employment law, but can a law firm refuse to represent women? I restaurant, hotel, or retail store couldn't refuse service to women under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • "A group of Dallas County judges called for more security in family law courtrooms after a weekend shooting at Dallas police headquarters by a gunman angered about losing custody of his child." What's the phrase? "Never let a crisis go to waste"? 
  • You never hear much about the six DPS gunboats which cost $580,000 each when purchased in 2011. 
  • The NBA season finally ended last night. It began on October 28, 2014. That is 232 days. 


It's Lake Time In Texas! [Stops. Does Double Take].

I'm Firing Up The Liberally Lean Tropical Storm Bill Flood Watch Command Center

Man, that thing hit the coast this morning and is already giving us the business. I've worked all day to enlarge my radar to capture more than what it normally does.

And here's the latest path projection (caveat: This is from Delkus).

Tropical Storm Bill needs a mascot.

 Angry Storm
 Don't Underestimate Me Storm
 Unpredictably Shocking Storm
 Ridiculous Yet Beatable Storm

 A Storm That Will Always Win 
Old School Storm