The Campaign For DA

6.26.2015

And The Day Ends

Now That's Some Leadership Right There: "Gimme Money"


So Let's Check In On Texas County Clerks In Light Of Supreme Court Ruling



The only reports of feet dragging:


Denton County Clerk Juli Luke said she would not issue a marriage license to a same sex couple until she heard from the DA.  She was somehow confused because now our "state law contradicts with federal law". The DA (and I love this) told her it was her call. She now isn't issuing them because she needs "changes" from her "vendor".  Hmmm.

In Williamson County, the clerk won't issue them because the County Attorney is reviewing the decision. (Maybe he is a slow reader.) 

Collin County is still waiting for legal advice.  

So we have Denton, Williamson, and Collin? You kind of expect that. Harris County is a holdout and that's a huge surprise. The County Attorney told the County Clerk to comply with law and is now seeking a court order to force his to so. The village is getting restless down there.  Edit: Harris County will now issue licenses at 3:00 p.m. 

Dallas, Tarrant and Travis counties are full speed ahead. Even McLennan County didn't bat an eye. 

Exactly What Does Our Governor Mean?




The Supreme Court says there is a constitutional right that requires state governments to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. I agree it was a long and complicated opinion, and this constitutional law stuff is hard, but someone explained it this way:


Oh, My!



And, it looks like I am once again a legal genius. I call your attention to this Random Thought from April 29th:

Kennedy wrote the opinion released today and check out how he ended it: Dignity.

But we must interrupt this historic moment for comedy:


Baby News


Flashback from 2011:

Flashback to January of this year:

Edit: Baylor Too commenter pointed out that he couldn't find proof that she said that. As I quickly put this post together, I questioned it myself and put half the quote in Google this morning along with "Palin" and a ton of headlines came up about her being crazy at CPAC. I thought that was good enough.  But upon further review, I'm not sure she said it. It's certainly something she would say, but it's certainly not fair to attribute the quote to her if she actually didn't say it.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts






  • I'm not going to mention the DPS Trooper's car which was parked the wrong way in front of Sweetie Pies restaurant during lunch yesterday in Decatur.
  • Tim O’Hare, who was the mayor of Farmers Branch when the city passed a ton of silly anti-immigration ordinances - all of which were struck down at a cost to the city of well over $7 million -- filled in as host for Mark Davis' radio show this week.  He's found something he's worse at than mayor. 
  • After the Supreme Court decision yesterday, many pointed out that Republican appointments to the court will sometimes start off as conservative but then later trend left. However, Democrat appointees never appoint a left leaning judge who later starts leaning right. If you get wiser as you get older, doesn't that "speak volumes"?  
  • A reporter for the Austin American Statesman said this morning that "Lt Gov Dan Patrick seeks AG opinion on if county clerks/employees can deny same-sex marriage license on religious grounds." Really? Putting aside how this is premature (maybe for 30 more minutes), didn't he take an oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God." Then again, the oath does have the qualifier of "to the best of my abilities". Edit: Here's the actual letter.
  • After watching recent Decatur PD videos in my DWI cases, I've noticed more and more body cams. And they are of really good quality.  Rhome PD actually has a couple but the resulting videos have been horrible. 
  • Some of you didn't understand my question about less paper money being printed referred to none of us caring cash anymore. (But I loved the guy who said the plant in Fort Worth was printing money as fast as it could because of the rising debt under President Obama.) 
  • The NBA draft is over so at least now I won't have the life forced sucked out of my by the radio boys talking about it. 
  • There is an event Saturday in Wise County to "raise awareness for hydrocephalus." You know, those "raise awareness" events need to be about things like that. I'm aware of breast cancer, muscular dystrophy, etc. but I had no idea what hydrocephalus is. 
  • There was a bomb threat this morning in Fort Worth at the "city hall & courts building." Evacuations ongoing. 



6.25.2015

Nothing Like Giving A Guy The Business Who Has His Head Stuck In A Trash Can



There might be a language warning needed, but the accents tricked me up.

And I'm almost embarrassed to admit it made me think of an old Leave It To Beaver episode.

"You've really done it now, Beav!"

Ugh





Breaking: Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare (Again)

And we have instant comedy:



And some unintended media comedy: The opinion was announced from the court's bench at 9:09 a.m. It was released online in PDF form at 9:14.  But those media outlets still do this.



Random Thursday Morning Thoughts





  • President Obama had a heckler in the White House yesterday. The rabble rouser was identified as "an undocumented immigrant named Jennicet GutiĆ©rrez, who is transgender [and] founder of FAMILIA TQLM, established to advocate for LGBTQ immigrants who the group says are often excluded in the immigration debate." Wow. There's a lot going on there.
  • Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar came up with a brilliant idea for PR two weeks ago. He would pay Twitter to promote a tweet of his that read, "Follow if you agree: Hillary's not right for the White House! #StopHillary". He sat back and waited for his number of his followers to explode. I can't tell how many he received but only three retweets gives me a pretty good idea. His total Twitter followers sits at 111. Edit: Oops. Actually 2,314. Still a meager number but not ridiculous.
  • Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury hung out with a couple of Random Thought Girls in evening wear.
  • There is something really weird about the case where the 20 year old girl was found dead in a burning car in Dallas one morning last weekend. She sent texts in the middle of the night that she was at a guy's house and had concerns for her safety.  Police know who the guy is but can't find him. The most recent story even inserts prostitution into the equation.
  • according to the Update, there's a fundraiser at a local restaurant in Decatur today where a "percentage of your total" bill will be donated to the Rotary Club. I'm no math guy, but just saying "percentage" doesn't tell me much. 
  • I wonder if the amount of bills printed by the Engraving and Printing plant in Fort Worth has plummeted to less than half of what they used to print ten years ago.  
  • And I do fear the widespread terrorist cyber attack. Talk about stopping America down. Can you imagine what it would be like if half the country couldn't access their phone, Internet, and electronic cards right now? 
  • Man, the Supreme Court likes drama. They have held off releasing a decision on Obamacare and Same Sex Marriage until the very end. 
  • I missed the news that Wise County had purchased the old Guardian Title building not far off the courthouse square. Anyone know how much they paid?
  • The Ticket spent a full segment yesterday talking about the ATT U-verse commercial about the fictitious female pitcher in the majors. You know what I'm thinking, right? If I'm ATT, I'd pay them to talk about the commercial. Rip it. Point out errors. Talk about if a female could really make the majors. I don't care. Just throw in ATT at least six times during the segment. I don't know if that happened here, but that would be the way to do it because the segment was entertaining and not forced. (And before the "I don't care!" commenter jumps me, the concept of the hidden ad has received a ton of press recently and even has a name: "Native Advertising.")



6.24.2015

A MADD Lie: A New Texas Law Requires Ignition Interlock Device For All First Time DWI Offenders?



So much misinformation. Everyone is patting themselves on the back for a new law they say requires those convicted* of DWI for the very first time to have an ignition interlock installed in their cars if they wish to legally drive.

Nope.

This new law says that if your license is suspended for a first time conviction and you want an occupational licensean ignition interlock can be a condition of the license.  (I say "can" because the judge can waive it in the interest of justice.) But the point is: If there is no suspension, there is no interlock requirement under the new law.

The practical matter is that hardly anyone's license is suspended for a first time DWI conviction. Why? If you are convicted and placed on probation, state law mandates that you take an alcohol education program. If you complete it within 180 days, state law mandates there will not be a license suspension for the first time conviction.  See Texas Transportation Code 521.344(d) 

So if there is no suspension, there is no interlock requirement. (Edit: The Dallas Morning News had an article about the law the day after I wrote this which said that people convicted of first time DWI will now "be able to drive as long as they have an ignition interlock system installed in their car . . . .
Previously, those drivers had to accept a license suspension." That is absolutely wrong. If the information in that article came from Jason Derscheid, MADD’s North Texas executive director, he should be embarrassed.)

A license suspension for a first time DWI conviction typically only happens if you were too poor to bond out of jail and just "sat it out"  and eventually received a conviction without a probation.  Those poor people are not entitled to take an alcohol education course to avoid a suspension.  So congratulations. MADD. Even if those folks took the initiative to get an occupational license once they got out of jail, they may not now because of the cost of the interlock. They'll just drive without it.

MADD will eventually get what they want, but they didn't get it this time.  In the meantime, I'd like to learn about MADD's "relationship" with interlock companies.
__________
*(For Legal DWI Gurus Only Who Still Might Get Bored: Yes, I know you can get an ALR suspension prior to conviction for giving breath or blood which is over .08 or for refusing to provide a sample, but I don't think the new law applies to occupational licenses in those situations. It deals with suspensions because of a conviction only, right? The official House research paper only references convictions. And sponsor Rep. Jason Villalba in a press release only referenced convictions.   The text of the new law, which amends multiple sections and can be a bit mind numbing, is here. If it applies to ALR suspensions, it doesn't jump out at me. Amendments to 521.246 seem to be the heart of the new law and they only concern convictions and not ALR suspensions. The only part that concerns me is the amendment of the horribly constructed "waiting period" statute of 521.251, but I think that amendment actually allows the judge to waive waiting periods for occupational licenses which are required in some cases - even in some rare ALR cases under subsection b  - so long as there is an interlock involved. That's helpful. Nevertheless, MADD sent out a press release in late May that said the new law applies to all ALR suspensions and reasserts it now. I think that's a lie. But I'll admit sometimes it takes years before the courts figure out what amendments have done to a law.)

The New Liberally Lean Weather Center Employee

For A Guy Who Allegedly Shot Eight People



That was one calm arrest scene.

Others were quick to recall the arrest of the guy for selling single cigarettes without a permit:




Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts



  • I saw a couple of stories about how the once-structurally impaired multi-million dollar stadium in Allen was repaired in time for graduation, but I don't think I saw any stories about the actual graduation. You would think that would be worth some news filler. (Fun fact: The graduating class size was 1,403). 
  • Do we make too much of high school graduation in general? I mean, it's hard not to graduate so long as you show up. 
  • We had another guy-holds-baby-and-catches-ball at a major league baseball game yesterday. As Deadspin said, "One day this will not end well." 
  • When the South Carolina governor announced her desire to remove the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds, she added, ""For those who wish to show their respect for the flag on their private property, no one will stand in your way." At this point I was prepared to write, "No kidding. No government entity has the right to prevent that" and then I began to wonder if there are any cases where city ordinances governing signage could legally impede on that right. (I'm not talking about private entities like home owner's associations, I'm talking about government.) 
  • And that caused me to remember the stunning case where the Supreme Court said it is OK for government to bar a Texas lawyer's billboard on his own property which said, "Just Say No To Searches." Since the law banning it was "content neutral" and the law was based upon highway beautification, it was OK.  
  • A man with a knife was shot and killed by police at David's Western Wear. In Weatherford. (I think the deceased's Facebook page is here. Last August he wrote: "Going to see the shrink tamarow been off meds amonth.")
  • I had a buddy go to The Masters in Augusta, Georgia in the 1990s. In describing the area and the multiple confederate flags on display in the South, he later told me, "Man, they won't give that war up."
  • BagOfNothing had a note of Billy Graham's grandson resigning as pastor of a megachurch after it was revealed he had an affair. I don't know what got my attention more: (1) The fact the grandson pretty much blamed his affair on his wife having an affair first, or (2) that his name was Tullian Tchividjian.
  • Moody's has rated the bonds about to be issued by Decatur ISD and refers to the district as having an "above average socioeconomic profile".
  • Amazon announced yesterday it will no longer sell the Confederate Flag. But if you want a Nazi flag, you can get one for $22.10 plus shipping


6.23.2015

Snake vs. Rabbit



That was a pretty impressive fight. I think the snake would have tapped out if he could tap.

The Proverbial Last Straw


Oh, Internet




Ok, maybe that is true. But with no other proof, it's very possible that the picture has nothing to do with flag burning and may not even be a confrontation.  Heck, I'll assume that it is Charleston but I'd want proof of that, too.

Along those lines, there was a guy from around here who was all worked up over Hillary yesterday because of this photo --- which, it turns out, was doctored to put Hillary in it.


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts



  • Reports this morning say that Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles will resign. He lasted much longer than I thought he would. After he brought with him a 31 year old "communications director" at a salary of $185,000 (who just happened to be very attractive) but who would quit almost immediately once the press got wind of her hire, I didn't think he would make it through 2013. And I felt pretty good about my prediction when his wife and son "moved back" to Colorado in August on 2013.  Prediction: Get ready for a huge severance package to be announced as well. 
  • Speaking of schools and tax dollars,  Highland Park ISD hired a new superintendent at a salary of $325,000 a year (not to mention a $1,000 a month car allowance.)
  • I had the pleasure of cutting one of those pieces of green metal edging with a hacksaw last night. I don't think those guys who broke out of prison in New York worked that hard. 
  • There was a major melt down at the beginning of Fox 4 News last night as the camera got stuck on an their empty weather center as they tried to throw it to remote.  It got so bad they just cut straight to commercial without even the obligatory, "We're having technical problems . . . . "
  • And an odd ending to the that newscast as well as they showed a "news segment" on a "Buc-ee's" opening in Terrell. Afterwards, Heather Hays said Buc-ee's is great because "the employees always greet you" and the "always make sure their bathrooms are so clean."  Steve Eager had a defeated look of "can't we disguise this ad just a little bit better?" (Or maybe it was a look of, "Girl, you've never been in a Buc-ee's in your life.")
  • You guys are correct, I do say "beyond" too much.
  • An "officer working for the Texas attorney general's office shot at an alleged carjacker in Dallas" about a week ago. I never thought about the Texas AG having "officers". (The crux of the story, however, is that the new Texas AG won't release even the most basic of information about the incident.) 
  • Piece of trivia from the rather overblown Texas Supreme Court opinion last week on "same sex divorce" in Texas: "Several lawyers from the Texas Attorney General’s Office were present during the hearing" in the district courtroom when the divorce was granted. Several? And they were monitoring that?  (Ok, I had to look: The budget of the Texas AG was over a half billion dollars in 2013). 
  • Very Random Observation: The "teacher" from Van Halen's Hot For Teacher video turns 64 this year. 
  • I posted last Saturday that it was the day of the death of the Confederate Flag. And, man, was I right. Even conservative politicians are flocking to ban it from government displays. Not to mention Walmart no longer offering it for sale. (Although the CEO of Walmart saying "We don't want any of the merchandise we sell to be offensive" is about to get him torched once the masses start posting pictures from the T-shirt sections.) 


6.22.2015

Just Your Average Mountain Lion* Checking Out A Family Cat



(And ol' dad has his own little comedy routine.)
________
*In a previous version of this post, "Lion" was spelled "Line".  I regret this egregious error. For some reason I was thinking about the  public transit system for the community of Missoula, Montana and the University of Montana as well as the public bus service for the Flagstaff area of Coconino County, Arizona.

From My Email Bag

It had a subject of "Important britney breaking news" with a link to . . .


Yep, it's Britney in a boat. (Exclusive photo below of a nearby fisherman.)


(If I do say so myself, that was one finally crafted segue in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Jaws.) 

He Thought It Was A Good Idea At The Time






"I never thought I'd regret it."

Buddy, don't regret it. The Internet is full of inspirational sayings at a moment like this.




Random Monday Morning Thoughts


  • I've dogged Dallas Morning News columnist Jacquielynn Floyd for years because she normally writes drivel. But big kudos to her for her column on FBC Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress over the weekend as she took on "the gay-baiting, Obama-bashing, Islamophobic, end-times-a’-comin’ politico-theological extremism" pastor. 
  • Backstop project: Initial softball blasts into the net at half speed were beyond successful, but I wasn't going to press my luck so I abandoned the test. There was no way I wasn't going to ruin the greatest day of my life. Background: It's a ridiculous homemade backstop using PVC pipes -- attached to steel poles of a privacy fence -- which can be raised telescopically about six feet in the air to catch the (hopefully) rare errant softball pitch.
  • The Dylann Roof, the Charleston Church Shooter, appeared via camera on Friday for a bond hearing. For some reason, the family members of those killed were allowed to address him. That was odd. It was a bond hearing not a post guilty verdict victim impact statement. News reports said that was allowed by South Carolina law but a cursory search couldn't back that up. 
  • A Mabank, Texas volunteer firefighter thought it would be a good idea to post that Roof "needs to be praised for the good deed he has done."
  • The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina is within five miles of Fort Sumter. (And on a more lighthearted note, when's the last time you've seen "Methodist" and "Episcopal" in a church's name?)
  • Someone pointed this out from Friday's Update: "JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION – The annual Juneteenth Celebration begins 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown Decatur with face painting . . . . " Yeah, we know what they meant but still
  • The U.S. Open was shown in prime time this weekend. What a great idea. Put it on the west coast during the longest days of the year. Good stuff. 
  • An Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer shot and killed a former client at his home after a "confrontation". The deceased was released from prison last year after two decades.  There aren't a lot of details but this sure seems reminiscent of Cape Fear.
  • I saw an odd commercial for the Texas Veterans Land Board with Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush in it. It had a very campaign ad feel to it.  Probably genius on his part. Lawfully spend taxpayer dollars to promote himself. 
  • "Dallas - One man was killed and another was wounded after a robbery and shootout outside a popular North Dallas restaurant. Police said just after 10 p.m. Sunday two men tried to rob two people as they were leaving Benihana on Banner Drive." Two points: (1) One of the victims had his own gun. (2) There are still Behihanas?
  • After two hours of yard work and seeing a bird hang around on the ground since it obviously couldn't fly, I couldn't stand it and rounded it up. The Evil Neighbor Cat was lurking nearby.  From there, I turned it over to Mrs. LL. Not sure what happened after that. 


6.21.2015

Taking You Into Monday Morning




Short and sweet with a big payoff. I nominate this for Best Documentary and Best Editing.

Father's Day