Still safer than . . .
That time you got stuck on the Shockwave at Six Flags over Texas https://t.co/7N0BzUYjRE pic.twitter.com/ekeyxCu8Yz— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) July 1, 2016
Still safer than . . .
at 12:36 PM
- "Over the past 18 months, more than 40 percent of the 450 participants in DPS' grueling six-month trooper academies identified themselves as Hispanic."
- CBS 11 did a spot on the Aurora alien. It's about time we have some evidence of the alien kingdom coming back to get the body. Someone get on that. We need some new life in that story. (And there was a hot opinion given in the piece by a resident indicating that some local folks in our Bible Nelt didn't like the legend because it couldn't be explained.)
- Nancy Grace is out at CNN's Headline News. No one deserves to be unemployed more than her. She is the poster child of how a prosecutor could wrongfully convict someone. (And I miss the days when Headline News was headline news.)
- The bribery case in the Dallas DA's office now is focused on the dismissal signed by a prosecutor. But even if the prosecutor was corrupt (no one has said that yet), any investigation will probably go no where. The case that was dismissed was Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. No area of criminal law is more screwed up than that area. Residency. Intent. Travel. Grace Periods. Registerable Offense. I could see how a run of the mill prosecutor would accept the case and how a run of the mill grand jury attorney would get it indicted only for another run of the mill prosecutor, rightly or wrongly, believe the facts didn't support a prosecution at all. (The irony is that some defendant paid $50,000 to make a charge "go away" when it might not have been guilty in the first place.)
- I'll be dang. You can get behind the Dallas Morning News paywall by opening up the page in Chrome's incognito mode. And it works on the Star-Telegram website as well. (I don't know if I feel like a trespasser or going in a secret entrance that they know exists.)
- As I was fishing in my kayak yesterday (slaying them like Jimmy Houston, by the way), a guy comes by in a boat and says, "Hey, Barry. How you doing?" Second time that has happened in as many weeks.
- And a faithful reader sent me this link: "‘Alarming’ number of kayak-related deaths reported in Texas."
- Walked out this morning and discovered I had a low tire. One of my best investments ever was the the electric/cigarette lighter powered air pump. When you need it you need it.
- Matthew McConaughey will teach a class at UT. You know, I bet he might be able to teach you something. I'd rather listen to him than some spare marketing professor who has never had a job marketing anything.
- Fox 4's Clarice Tinsley the other night said she had "always liked Pat Summitt's last name" because she reached the summit. [Groan.] I'd bet money Clarice didn't know who Pat Summitt was before she read the teleprompter that night.
- For some reason I picked one random recent oral argument at the Fort Worth Court of Appeals to listen to since it involved a State appeal. The defense lawyer didn't have a grasp of the central issue: If a cop makes an arrest for DWI but didn't have probable cause to arrest, is the arrest still justified if there was another objective reason to arrest him (for example, expired tags.) And even the assistant DA didn't jump on that theory until one of the judge's asked a question to tip her off.
- Donald Trump is considering Chris Christie as VP. Good lord. What a bombastic combo. I hope it happens.
- Me on the couch is more exciting than Mav's free agency. And more productive.
at 8:36 AM
Most of Decatur's Internet service has been out all day today.
When you have an office that is paperless, phones that are VOIP, and most courts require e-filiing, it kind of makes it tough to get things done.
Not to mention the millions deprived of Liberally Lean entertainment and cutting edge insights.
at 5:20 PM
- More Texas county judge problems: "A state panel suspended Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal without pay Tuesday after he was charged with violating Texas' open meetings law while developing a bond measure for new and improved roads.The move by the State Commission on Judicial Review came four days after a grand jury indicted Doyal, two county commissioners and an adviser, alleging that they circumvented the Texas Open Meetings Act by talking in private about . . . a $280 million [bond] proposal . . . . " I didn't know that Judicial Review panel had jurisdiction over a county administrative judge. (By the way, he makes over $170,000 a year.)
- Add that to the Rockwall County judge getting a DWI and it looks like our own Wise County Judge J.D. Clark needs to step up his game.
- Johnny Football says he will start sobriety on July 1st once he is through partying in Cabo. I have full confidence that he will stop drinking on July 1st. I also have full confidence he will start drinking again later on July 1st.
- The great Fivethirtyeight.com has come out with its first prediction for the presidential election. They give Hillary and 80% chance and Trump a 20% chance. It's over. (And the data on that site is amazing.)
- "A Democratic candidate for Dallas district attorney signed a dismissal motion in a criminal case that has led to allegations of bribery [and a soon-to-be-conviction of a DA investigator who took the money], WFAA-TV (Channel 8) reported Wednesday." The prosecutor isn't accused of wrongdoing but that's a headache he didn't need.
- "Clock boy" Ahmed Mohamed is back in the U.S. after being in Qatar. Trump's response:
- Heisman runner-up and number one overall NFL pick Andrew Luck signed a new contract with the Colts with $87 million guaranteed. Heisman winner and second overall pick Robert Griffin III's contract signed a few months back has $6.75 million guaranteed.
- DPS has issued their annual Fourth of July press release that has this safety tip: "Do not use personal fireworks." Explain to me why they are telling me I should not engage in legal activity?
- The Chico High School principal resigned after one year?
- The High School Graduate In The House (sheesh) and I ran into each other in the kitchen this morning at 5:15 a.m. I pointed out she was all decked out and ready to go (as to where I had no idea). She replied, "Ya gotta get up early if you're gonna rob a bank."
- Crazy legal opinion of the day: Two Texas lawyers are married. Man cheats. Wife "purportedly" sets up fake online profile to bait him. Other men respond instead. She has sex with four of them. Man finds out and then extorts a ton of cash out of the men. Both end up being convicted for "theft by coercion." Interestingly, the two have quite the history which includes a bankruptcy and big cash being tossed around.
- I have been of the belief for quite some time that people of of all ages and backgrounds are being shaken down in elaborate schemes after trysts involving online meetings.
- Thirty years ago I took a bus ride from Dallas to Waco. I was young and stupid and a cheapskate. Never again.
at 8:39 AM
Story by Richie Whitt.
at 9:06 AM
- WOW: An investigator in the Dallas County DA's office took a $50,000 bribe from a defendant in 2013 to persuade a prosecutor to drop a case.
- BagOfNothing posted an old clip of Buddy Ryan running up the score on the Cowboys in 1987. That truly gave me "good old day syndrome" -- the NFL was much more authentic back in the day. (And that's Lindsey Nelson on the play by play, right?)
- I was in Brookshire's and looked for a college football magazine. There were none. But there was one on Doomsday Prepping and one on self preservation via guns (with a pretty kick arse cover photo of a guy with a hand cannon defending himself against car-jackers.)
- Someone asked yesterday if you can leave the county/area/country if you are out of jail on bond (the Johnny Football trip to Cabo brought it up.) Answer: As for Wise County -- and I bet almost every other Texas jurisdiction -- 99% of the time there are no travel restrictions. The only limit is the private contract between you and your bonding company which might have limitations. But normally if you call them and say, "I'm want to go to Cabo for a week. Is that OK?" they will say, "Sure." (The 1% are the unusual/high profile cases which is why they make news. That's when you'll hear about someone having an ankle monitor or surrendering their passport.)
- Former TCU star QB Trevone Boykin was indicted yesterday for assault which allegedly occurred while on the team. A few months earlier "TCU senior defensive end Mike Tuaua and redshirt freshman wide receiver Andres Petties-Wilson was arrested . . . for allegedly kicking and punching a student in the face on Friday night and stealing 'a case of thirty Keystone Light beers'." In 2011, TCU "came to a confidential settlement with a former female student who was allegedly sexually assaulted by two members of the men’s basketball team and a member of the football team." There were at least seven sexual assaults on the TCU campus last year. There were 18 drug busts involving TCU in 2012 causing several football players to be kicked off campus. It's a culture of crime! Fire coach Gary Patterson! Fire the university President! Or you can just realize that TCU is like every other campus.
- "HOUSTON - A chase ended with a Houston police helicopter crew member taking down a burglary suspect in north Houston right after he was run over by a police vehicle." I personally liked the "put up your dukes" move.
- Did I miss this epic "And Another" out of Houston (or am I going senile)?:
- Note to Republicans: I don't think this Benghazi angle is going to be the political sledgehammer that you want.
- I forgot to mention that conservative columnist/commentator George Will has left the Republican Party because of Trump.
- "AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings has affirmed its 'AA-' underlying rating for Bridgeport Independent School District, Texas' $23.8 million unlimited tax bonds outstanding." I got Tired Head when I got to "AA-" and stopped reading.
- I saw Baylor coach Kim Mulkey on Fox 4 last night talking about Pat Summitt. I love the gal but she's looking a little rough these days. (It will be of little interest to most, but here's a pic of Summitt coaching Mulkey in the Olympics.)
Here's three paragraphs lifted from the story of the murder of a guy who spent 16 years in prison for robbery, got out, fathered a child, and helped the mom of that child shoot up heroin:
[The prosecutor] had a difficult case: no witnesses to the 4 a.m. shooting that awoke many in the Arbor apartments, no recovery of the weapon and no forensic evidence that could place [the defendant] at [the victim's] window.
Critical prosecution witnesses either admitted they lied to police or had such credibility problems some in the courtroom laughed.
On the stand, [a prosecution witness who was] a young construction worker from Dallas, addressed [the prosecutor] as “bro,” referred to the victim with a racial slur, and used a vulgar expression several dozen times as he talked about buying meth and marijuana from [the defendant], who he called “homeboy” and who sat expressionless at the defense table.
And that's just the beginning.
It's understandable that the jury had a reasonable doubt. Who wouldn't? My question is how didn't the prosecutor have that same doubt? How does he know the defendant was guilty? Why use questionable evidence to try and convict a man in the first place?
at 11:16 AM
- The Ranger game ended at 2:45 a.m. New York time last night.
- For years I've loved to identify the "Oh, yeah? What about you?" rebuttal to any argument. It sure seems to be in fine form these days because it appears that any of Trump's well deserved criticism is hit with a retort of, "Oh, yeah? What about Hillary?"
- The South Texas College of Law announced it would change its name to Houston College of Law and then was promptly sued by the University of Houston for trademark infringement. Maybe they'll just go with Law Hawk School Of Law.
- I joked yesterday that WFAA would go to 11 day weather forecasts to one up KXAS. Well, Pete Delkus tweeted last night to promote their new 10 day forecasts. It's just a matter of time.
- I think I control the weather. Every time Lake Bridgeport is still and I take a long kayak journey, the wind will eventually kick up in a violent fashion and blow into me on the way back. (Last night I had to take cover behind an island for a while).
- I guy up at the courthouse yesterday was complaining that his son didn't know how to address a letter. That could be a common problem.
- The bird who keeps flying into the window because he sees his reflection is still at it. Dumbest. Bird. Ever.
- The Red Cross had to apologize for this safety poster. (Click here for larger version).
- The Tweeting Texas Supreme Court judge yesterday pointed out that his court has never had a decision reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court since he's been in Austin. That's not an accomplishment. The Texas Supreme Court doesn't have criminal jurisdiction and in only the rarest of circumstances deal with federal questions. Bottom line: They don't issue any decisions that the U.S. Supreme Court would typically have jurisdiction over or interest in. (Even yesterday's Texas abortion case didn't go through the Texas Supreme Court.)
- Donald Trump, who has a hot political opinion about everything, was strangely silent yesterday about the abortion decision.
- The Texas Republicans cannot with a straight face say the abortion restrictions were all about women's health. That's a lie but they had to say it to even have a snowball chance in hell of fighting off any court challenge. But former Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who didn't get the memo, tweeted on the night of passage that the purpose of the restrictions were for the purpose of essentially banning abortion.
- I don't know if it is true about smartphones but I wouldn't doubt it: "The study found that the average person swipes, taps and pinches their display about 2,617 times a day."
- The murder by Fort Bend mom of her two daughters on Friday evening is beyond disturbing. The current information is that she reloaded, was set to get married on Monday, and the sheriff's office had been called to the home 12 times in 2012.
- Buddy Ryan, father of the crazy Ryan Brothers and known for the "Bounty Bowl" and slugging another coach on the Houston sideline, has died.
- Legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, 64, has died after a battle with dementia. I loved her fire. (On Saturday, at around 12:15, I was listening to ESPN radio where a couple of hosts were talking about her. There was an awkward moment after the female host praised Summitt when the male host replied with, "When anyone battles cancer . . . .". The female host quickly corrected him with, "She suffers from dementia!" He tried to recover by talking about the profound things people say on their deathbeds when their priorities are finally in order. At that point I yelled, "Dude, she has dementia!!!")
- In 2012, I had a Random Thought about Summitt after Baylor beat Tennessee. She was still the coach but was in such bad shape that she didn't speak in huddles and an assistant handled the post game press conference.
- John Wiley Price's trial is delayed again. What happened to the days when if the feds indicted you there would be a trial within three months?
- I'm beginning to think I should always wear some type of glasses, safety or otherwise, while fishing. I've had a couple of close calls with a lure flying past my head.
- The Supreme Court will issue a Texas abortion ruling this morning. Prediction: They'll find that the restrictions imposed by House Bill 2 are unconstitutional and they'll take a shot at Texas for even trying to assert that the restrictions were all about "women's health".
- The tweeting Texas Supreme Court judge (yep, still goofy) bragged on Friday that the court had wrapped up its work two months early. That's nothing to brag about. The court decides which cases it wants to hear. They don't have to take everything that walks through the door. So not only do they control their own workload, they control their vacation time.
- The Rockwall County judge was arrested for DWI.
- Former Bridgeport star point guard Caleb Smith signed with Texas aTm. The Dallas Morning News headline said that he signed "from controversial Bridgeport team."
- I was stalked by a drone while fishing on Lake Bridgeport this weekend. (It was so bizarre I'll probably make it a separate post.) And I'm not saying it is related, but I noticed someone posted some pretty cool drone footage from Lake Bridgeport -- including following a skier -- this weekend on Twitter.
- A bird drove me crazy all yesterday afternoon. It was in a tree within feet of a window, would see its reflection, and then would crash into the window to get the "other" bird. Over and over and over again.
- I take great pride in this: Since 2014 I have mentioned here no less than five times that I thought there was something suspicious about the company Breitling Energy and its CEO Chris Faulkner. And then this happened on Friday: "The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission . . . charged Breitling Energy Corp, its chief executive and seven other people with defrauding investors out of around $80 million by misleading them about the value of oil and gas assets."
- Faulkner first got my attention when he would by ad time as a lead-in to the Mark Davis Show podcast. The ads made no sense, and he had the air of a snake oil salesman. Faulkner was also a frequent contributor to Fox Business News appearing as recently as March.
- I hated Independence Day. Its sequel debuted this weekend and made less money than its original.
- I'm seven episodes into Game of Thrones. I can't tell you the number of times I have thought, "Oh, my!"
- I noticed KXAS has gone to 10 day weather forecasts. How long before WFAA goes to an 11 day forecast? (It's like from Something About Mary: "That's - that's good. That's good. Unless, of course, somebody comes up with 6-Minute Abs. Then you're in trouble, huh?")
- Trouble in Trump Land: "A new Washington Post/ABC poll published on Sunday found Trump trailing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by double digits in head-to-head matchups nationally among adults. Support for Trump fell from 46% in May to 39% in June, while Clinton's support jumped from 44% to 51% - a 14-point month-to-month swing."
- On my death bed I might ask to be moved to the Decatur Lowe's checkout line in the home and garden section. It will feel like time is standing still.
- With Brexit happening, there were a ton of stories that Texas needed to secede from the U.S. And, once again, there were the stories which yelled, "That can't happen because it would be illegal." I've ranted about this before, if Texas chose to do it (it will never happen) they could do it. It might be the equivalent of an act of war, but no law of a country can stop a section of that country from leaving.
at 8:35 AM