- The Waco DA has announced that he is pursing "child porn" prosecutions based upon images allegedly found on cell phones that were confiscated from a few of the bikers in the Twin Peaks Biker Incident. That office isn't smart enough to know how to prosecute images found on phones or the millions of problems associated with it. It's just a desperation effort since the Worst DA's Office In The State is finally figuring out they indicted 170 cases for murder and assault that they can't prove. They've realized it is CYA time.
- There is an interesting problem developing in Freestone County where a district judge is the mom and the newly elected DA is the son. What could go wrong?
- I've never driven down 380 by the Sheriff's Office where I haven't had to stop for the red light. Every. Single. Time.
- Trump referred to the intelligence agencies with "intelligence" in quotes again this morning -- once again demeaning them. And out of nowhere he referred to Hillary as "guilty as hell" but didn't elaborate.
- The Tweeting Texas Supreme Court Judge gave a big speech yesterday, and in his opening remarks said his aunt was friends with Elvis Presley but he never asked her about it because it would make her "all shook up." Kill me. He's like the nerd at the party who tells the same bad joke over and over again.
- I'm not sure there has ever been a seven story apartment complex in Tarrant County.
- "On Thursday afternoon, C-SPAN's online live video coverage of Congress abruptly switched to a live feed of the Kremlin-backed news channel Russia Today." C-SPAN is investigating. (See it here.) Does Russia have college football? I'm trying to plan for next Fall.
- If you didn't almost tear up at the President surprising Joe Biden with the Medal of Honor then you have a very hard heart.
- Did I see that Rudy Guliani will be Trump's cyber security adviser? Him? I bet he has an AOL email account.
- Nominee for HUD Secretary Ben Carson yesterday couldn't promise the Senate Committee that none of HUD's $30+ billion wouldn't in some way end up in the hands of Trump's businesses. The brain surgeon couldn't say that would not happen. How could he? He doesn't know. We all don't know.
- Ok, boys. You've got your wish. Repeal Obamacare and replace it. All of you should write down on a piece of paper what your current premium is and what your deductible is. And then check back with me after four years. My list of investment opportunities is increasing: Legal edible weed, drones, virtual reality, and now, medical insurance companies. This is going to be a cluster.
- "SPIRIT CHAMPIONSHIPS – Several [Wise County] high school cheerleading squads competed in the University Interscholastic League spirit championship Wednesday and Thursday in Fort Worth." I bet that scene is a real life Bring It On.
at 8:44 AM
YouTube – Two news anchors have at it off air before a live ‘chat’ on Nine Network Daytime TV Show ‘9 News Now’. News reporter Julie Snook is attacked by anchor Amber Sherlock for not putting on a blue jacket – as the three women set to go on air were all in white.
Anchors are on the left and middle. The guest is on the right. (The catfight goes on for about half the video before the segment begins.)
at 11:09 AM
- I don't mind people who are smart and who disagree with me. In fact, I love it. Heck, I live for it. I've got friends up at the courthouse and we go at it all the time. And I don't mind people who just don't care and go on their merry way. What I cannot stand are those people who inject themselves into conversations who (1) are willfully dishonest or (2) willfully ignorant.
- The greatest redneck fight ever. Both drunk and fighting over the last beer.
- Most of you don't get to hear it, but The Ticket will do a segment every few weeks about the idiocy of Fox 4's Viewer's Voice where either Clarice Tinsley or Steve Eagar will read Facebook/Twitter comments and then retort. Pure gold.
- Why did Trump yesterday blame our intelligence agencies for releasing the salacious details of his alleged romp in Russia in the 35 page report? They didn't release it. Buzzfeed did. Does he not know that? Why attack the CIA and FBI? Why does he hate those agencies?
- Why did he refuse to take a question from a CNN reporter (which even caused Fox News to come to CNN's defense) claiming CNN released "fake news"? They didn't release the 35 page report. Buzzfeed did. CNN reported the security briefing included a two page document that Russia might have compromising information about Trump. That is actual legitimate news that the security officers thought Obama and Trump needed to be aware of it.
- But Trump was in propaganda mode again this morning:
- And the existence of the 35 page report is not even "fake news." (The New York Times has a great story of how it came into existence, even naming the former British spy who authored it, and and The Guardian has an equally great story of how John McCain sent an envoy overseas to get a copy of it and how the spy met with Mother Jones back in October.)
- But I'm excited about Trump's news conferences in the future. They will be absolute train wrecks.
- TCU beat UT in Austin last night. The last time it happened was 30 years ago and the Star-Telegram ran a photo on the cover which depicted then player and now current coach of TCU, Jamie Dixon. (h/t Bud Kennedy.)
- Let's see what Trump is up to this morning. Ummmkaaaay:
- There's a lawyer advertising on The Ticket about an upcoming "warrant round-up" offering a 25% discount off his fee. (I have, for years, said there are no "warrant round-ups" for traffic tickets. I believe it's a scare tactic by the government to get you to pay your tickets.) I went to the lawyer's website and in his short bio he brags that he passed the bar on the first try. That's the standard now?
at 8:41 AM
The most bizarre moment of the press conference was when he bragged he just turned down a $2 billion private deal from a man in Dubai a couple of weeks ago - "a friend of mine. Great guy . . . . I didn’t have to turn it down.”Trump: “Does anyone really believe that story? I’m also very much of a 'germaphobe' by the way, believe me.” https://t.co/3UuEclMz3Y— CNN (@CNN) January 11, 2017
You basically turned down a bribe and are proud of it? And what deals has he accepted? He stressed time and time again that the conflict of interest laws do not apply to him.
He just created a clear mechanism for foreign entities to curry favor with him— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) January 11, 2017
I went through Baylor Law School and have now cracked 30 years in law. And now this man is making me study the Emoluments Clause in the Constitution for the very first time.
at 10:42 AM
- Ok, let's get this Trump "controversy" straight: (1) There is no question that both Trump and Obama were briefed by U.S. intelligence agencies that the Russians claim to have compromising financial and personal info on Trump. It was included in their last security briefing in a two page memo. That is uncontested. (2) That two page memo has not been made public and no one, other than those briefed, knows the details in it. (3) Late yesterday, Buzzfeed released a 35 page report allegedly created by a retired British intelligence officer who had been hired by the anti-Trump people during the election to investigate Trump for dirt. That's the report that has everyone talking and are assuming that's the basis for the two page memo. (4) So we have two different documents. A two page memo provided to Trump and Obama summarizing the claim that the Russians having dirt on Trump, and a 35 page report which is getting all the headlines because of the seediness contained therein. (5) That 35 page report has been circulating for a while and had been forwarded to the CIA by John McCain after he learned about it. The details had not been made public until yesterday by Buzzfeed. Every agrees that at this point the report is "unsubstantiated." (6)The Trump people deny that the Buzzfeed report is true. And Reince Priebus said this morning on MSNBC the same thing and went further by implying that the two page memo provided to Trump and Obama wasn't based upon the Buzzfeed released report. (7) Rumors started this morning by well known fake news sites that the 35 page report was not created by a retired British Intelligence Officer but was a scam created by 4Chan. (8) The identity of the British guy has not been revealed.
- All that said, if the 35 page is in any way true (and that is a HUGE if), we've got a problem. If the escort allegations against Trump are real it's a major problem not because he used escorts in a seedy way (the American public won't care -- heck, it's Trump), but it's a major problem because the Russians have a tape which they could use to blackmail the President of the U.S. But if the following excerpt of the report is true, all hell is about to break loose. It's one thing to have a sex party. It's another thing to conspire with the Russians to manipulate a U.S. election. That would be treason.
- Who knows what is true. First, Trump should demand the CIA, FBI, NSA and White House dog catcher to get to the bottom of this and find out the truth. But the worst thing you can do is to throw up your hands and say, "Aw, shucks. I don't know what to believe anymore so I'm not going to pay attention to it." If at this very moment you assume the 35 page report is true, you are doing yourself a disservice. If you believe the 35 page report was a ruse by 4chan, that's equally lazy.
- And the fact Trump is having a press conference today -- which means take questions -- will be beyond fascinating.
- "FORT WORTH - Devon Energy is being sued for allegedly using sham transactions to underpay thousands of property owners in North Texas millions of dollars in royalties from natural gas processed through a Bridgeport plant." This is serious. A federal judge has granted a class action status for the lawsuit. (Side note: The judge is the brother of a former pastor of The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport.)
- A Harris County deputy is accused of an act even worse than what was in the 35 page Trump report.
- Fox News had to settle a sexual harassment claim brought against Bill O'Reilly (who has to be thanking Buzzfeed this morning for taking the focus of the news off of him.)
- No, you moron. President Obama's mother-in-law will not receive $160,000 pension. That was fake news during the election. And the fact that you aren't smart enough to realize it is fake news is why we are in the mess we are in.
- I remember Trump loving radio guy Mark Davis saying during the campaign that, "Trump is playing Putin like a fiddle." Good lord.
- "Johnny Manziel signing autographs in Texas during Super Bowl week. $99 for an autograph, $50 for selfies!" Johnny Football has had a rough couple of years.
- Baylor reached #1 and then got absolutely throttled at West Virginia last night. And I do mean throttled.
- The Charleston Church killer was sentenced to death yesterday. If you are against the death penalty, you have to be against this verdict, too.
at 8:32 AM
FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Or we are about to see one of the biggest storms in the history of this country.
It won't be about a sex show. It will be about Treason because of coordinating with Russia because you were possibly being blackmailed.
Everyone might want to find their most trusted source of news right now.
It's so bad that I don't want it to be true. Hopefully, it is not. The country can't take it.
Edit: This is the best summary of the craziness of the night. That is truly fair an balanced and explains the crazy political storm earlier in the evening. But it is not "fake news" as Trump claims There are allegations in a memo, prepared by a third party which may or may not be true, presented to both Obama and Trump by the head of every security agency . But they felt it was so shocking that both needed to be aware of it. (But Kellyanne Conway earlier today said, to Seth Myers believe it or not, that Trump was "unaware" of the allegations.) Nevertheless, that is news.
But Trump has promised a news conference tomorrow. If he cancels, he looks guilty. If he goes through with it, he'll be asked questions and he'll be on the record for the press to investigate.
Edit: Another good summary.
at 7:32 PM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A local pastor is taking heat on social media after posting a video to Facebook that gained more than one million views. Sunday night, Pastor Lamond Rushing is apologizing to the handicapped woman it offended. FOX 4’s Molly Balkenbush spoke to that woman and the pastor. That video had more than 11,000 shares before Pastor Lamond removed it from Facebook, after our interview with him. Hundreds of people in the comments mercilessly mocked the woman in the video, while hundreds of others shamed the pastor for posting it. Becky Kittrell said the battery died on her power wheelchair Saturday and she was left freezing in Kansas City’s dangerously cold weather. “If I get stuck for a period of time and stuff, I get so cold I’ll be like, ‘I have to get home,” Becky explained.
at 1:08 PM
Driver ticketed for warming car in his own driveway https://t.co/xLJcJpq0n8— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 10, 2017
But I struggle to find a constitutional argument against them despite it is your personal property parked on your own real estate.
However, is it an offense regardless of the amount of time the car is running? Is thirty seconds a crime? What is "unattended"? If I can see the car out the window does that meet the definition? And notice the "keys in ignition" part of the ticket. Is a car with a remote starter OK? If so, it's not the wasted emissions that the ordinance is designed to fight but theft. So why isn't it a crime to leave my keys in my car if it is not running?
So many questions on the day the Texas legislature goes back into session to screw some more things up.
at 12:18 PM
- Great. I go to bed right after halftime and maybe missed the second greatest national championship game in the history of ever. (But when a game is scheduled to start at 7:00, halftime doesn't begin until after 9:30, and the game ends after 11:30, something is wrong.)
- Somebody needed to check the head ref for steroids. (Here's a very funny GIF of him.)
- I had to block the Prime Minister of India on Twitter because he kept mistakenly putting my twitter name in his tweets. (I'm not making that up.)
- I thought the Fort Worth "Why Don't You Teach Your Kid Not To Litter" Officer would be fired. I didn't necessarily think that would be deserved, but I thought they would bring down the hammer hard on him. Nope. Just a 10 day suspension.
- Trump has named his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as one of his senior White House advisers. Sheesh. One bright spot: The 35 year old will now be subject to conflict of interest laws and that's a minefield he'll either walk away from or be blown up in.
- Cabinet confirmation hearings begin today. Since 1977, only one presidential nominee has been rejected. That was Texas' John Tower for defense secretary.
- "Democratic lawmakers plan to rehang a controversial painting on Capitol Hill that angered law enforcement groups with its depiction of police officers as pigs, after Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter personally took down the picture last week."
- If you think the NFL cares about concussions, think again. If you haven't seen the viscous hit on Dolphin's quarterback Matt Moore over the weekend, please look at it. And then after a 10 second examination he was cleared to play.
- Anyone know anything about the Alvord teen death mentioned in the Update yesterday?
- Baylor officially reached #1 yesterday and then was made an underdog at West Virginia tonight.
at 8:37 AM
"But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose."
Trump's response (which is amazing that he even responded):
- The Golden Globes award show is the best award show ever. (I'll probably do a Meryl Streep post later and Trump's ridiculous response. It is worthy of that.)
- I updated the Property Values link on wisecounty.com thanks to a reader who let me know the old link was dead and provided me with a better one. (By the way, I registered that domain name 20 years ago when I stumbled upon something called "the Internet." I'll sell it some day.)
- I saw on Fox 4 they had a 5K run on the very cold Saturday morning at UTA combating domestic violence called the Jiggle Butt Run. That's funny.
- Pete Delkus, you need to step up your game (he's insufferable on Twitter by the way). First, KXAS has a Thunder Truck and a new fangled "S Band" satellite which proves they can do bits. And then we get this out of Atlanta on Friday:
- If you saw the scenes at the Fort Lauderdale Airport on Friday you know that it was absolute chaos. But any talk of moving the security border all the way outside the baggage claim area is silly and makes no sense. If done, you could carry a gun in your luggage and then retrieve it inside the secured area. Heck, at that point you could go back and hijack a plane.
- And should we ban people like the shooter? He is an American citizen, a veteran who served in the Middle East, and had a concealed handgun license.
- In the last three days, Fort Worth PD has sent out three tweets. Two of them were about a guy who didn't pay a cab fare. Really? That's the biggest thing you got?
- Baylor is now the #1 basketball team in the country but this screenshot and caption from Saturday's game is funny:
- Instead of building mega-churches, why not build mega-homeless shelters?
- Saturday afternoon near Rhome there appeared to be a major police intervention/traffic stop. DPS was involved. I saw a crazy dark purple unmarked Charger with so many lights that it would make people at a rave go insane. And there was also an undercover truck. Let me guess: A bust based upon edible weed that was bought legally in Colorado. Folks, it's not cocaine. It's not heroin. It's not meth. But Texas classifies THC the same way. If the legislature doesn't reclassify it this session, then I'm living in the dumbest state in the country.
- Trump said the hacking had no effect on the election. But he mentioned "Wikileaks" 164 times during the last month of his campaign.
- I'll post it sometime this week, but I amazingly stumbled upon FBC's Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress appearing on a game show a couple of decades ago. I've got it recorded. It is beyond gold. He refers to strip clubs and is asked how many of 10 college coeds in front of him would prefer their husband be a virgin. (I thought I found an undiscovered treasure but D Magazine already knew about it.)
- Trump's cozying up to Russia should make all of us uncomfortable. I liked it better when Reagan referred to them as the "Evil Empire."
- Great moment with my dad this weekend after talking about Costa Rica and he asks "Have you ever thought about just walking away and opening up a T-shirt shop on the beach?" Hey, I've got responsibilities, a family still to protect and raise, current clients to protect and fight for, promises to keep, but I'm beginning to develop a plan to get to the jungle.
- After I told Mrs. LL that, she came up with this plan (paraphrased): "Don't just retire down there. Let's create the equivalent of a Jungle Bed and Breakfast for your crazy blog readers. If they can get down there, we'll take care of them for a week. Show them where to go. What to do. Drive them around. Continue to do your goofy Random Thoughts but advertise the Bed and Breakfast every day." That's a pretty genius idea.
- You want to know who won the election? The very smart Republicans who were "Never Trumpers." Talk about holding the "I Told You So" card.
at 8:35 AM