It's Friday. Let's Get Out Of Here.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • What a day. Just when you think we couldn't have any more chaos from the Trump Administration, we had three major stories that had to be crammed into one afternoon graphic.
  • Make no mistake about it, Defense Secretary James Mattis quitting one day after Trump announced he is cut and running in Syria (with Russia's express backing) is a big deal. And that resignation letter, saying Trump shouldn't be sucking up to Russia while alienating our allies, without one kind word for Trump, tells you all you need to know. There are no more adults in the room, and you need to be afraid.
  • Pretty soon its just going to be Trump, Melania, and Ivanka, in the White House, and it'll feel just like The Shining.
  • There will be a government shutdown today because Trump can't get Congress to use taxpayer money for a wall that he promised time and time again that Mexico would pay for. Wrap your head around that.
  • If I'm the owners of Alamo Drafthouse, I'd be asking, "Just how many movie tickets and food do we have to sell to just cover construction costs?"
  • The GoFundMe page for the wall is another step toward Idiocracy.  I'm waiting to see a homeless person holding a sign which says, "Lost It All Ballin' For The Wall!"
  • Did you know in Texas and you are involved in a civil lawsuit and a judge shows up who has "visiting" status, you have an absolute right to object to him, but if you are a criminal defendant you don't? 

  • Stubie Doak, a spare WBAP personality and radio commercial voice over guy, has never, ever been funny.
  • Did you catch the lady of Fox 4 who suffered minor wounds after being bitten by a coyote in Frisco?  She was quite dramatic in describing the look in the coyote's eyes. But my favorite part was that "Now her parents are with her to help her recover."
  • Well, I'll be
  • Life comes at you fast . . . 
  • It's the "shortest" day of the year. Or the "darkest."


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • You'll see news headlines all over the place today about "The Girl In The Closet", now 25, accused of the sexual assault of a 14 year old girl. Translated: A girl who was locked in a closet for years, starved and sexually abused, had consensual sex with a 14 year old. (It's called "assault" because a 14 year old can't legally consent.)   The abuse was so bad that the Dallas Morning News did an eight part series on her. Anyone have any easy answers for this new criminal case?
  • We had a guy declared "actually innocent" yesterday by Texas' highest criminal court after receiving a life sentence based upon a prosecutor using "bite mark" evidence. (Being found
    "actually innocent" triggers compensation.) For your future voting reference, Judge Sharen Keller wouldn't have found him innocent: “Should a convicted person be declared 'actually innocent' merely because the state’s case has completely fallen apart?” Yes, Sharen. Yes.
  • I don't care all that much about national signing day, but we had one notable name going to Mack Brown's North Carolina team: Storm Duck.
  • The two Six Man high school championship games yesterday at Jerry World were quite the scene: (1) McLean beat Milford 100-70 where one kid scored nine touchdowns and rushed for 377 yards. And it was just 56-48 after three quarters; and (2) Strawn beat Follett 48-0 in a game which had to stop at halftime due to the "mercy rule." It was 40-0 after the first quarter.
    Love the conversion to an 80 yard field with
    narrower width. Even new goalposts.
  • Oh, my!!: A guy was set to plead guilty to sexual assault but that didn't happen when the prosecutor showed up at the courthouse drunk and was arrested. She got arrested again on a later date after someone called 911 on her after dropping her kid off at daycare before heading to work. The judge then dismissed the sexual assault case, as he could, because the defendant hadn't been tried within one year of arraignment per Iowa law.  
  • Fox News' graphics department never fails.
  • Trump took a beating yesterday and this morning from his base by backing down on THE WALL and, stunning everyone -- including the military brass,  by announcing we will leave Syria. 
  • Trump cried "Fake News!" this morning about the reaction to his Syria decision but somehow forgot that yesterday he said the withdrawal was because ISIS had been defeated. 
  • And now he just said the border was "tight" without The Wall. The man is crazy. Just days ago he said The Wall was so important that he would shut down the government if there was not funding for it. 
  • The Official Liberally Lean girl sends us all a Christmas message.
  • Breaking NFL News (because he's a Baylor guy who has had suspensions and voluntary leaves): Josh Gordon is gone


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • I had no idea you could rip off  Crowley ISD for $2 million by just emailing them pretending to be a contractor and changing a bank account number for future payments. (News recently broke that the Save the Children charity got hit for $1 million in a similar scam.)
  • Oil dropped 8% yesterday to less than $46 a barrel. It was at $74 less than three months ago. Texas, brace yourself.
  • This photo of downtown Houston in the fog yesterday morning was making the rounds. Pretty cool. Edit: This was shot by a plane passenger with a cellphone and made the cover of the Houston Chronicle.
  • Second Amendment warning? The Trump Administration has banned bump stocks. Here's an interesting twist: You have 90 days to turn them in to the government or destroy them or you are no longer a "law abiding gun owner." 
  • Trump had a banner two hours yesterday.
    • 10:43 - Reverses course and announces that he won't shut down the government over lack of funding from the taxpayers for "The Wall" and might have to use "other ways" (whatever that means.)
    • 10:59 - The Trump Foundation shuts down during a corruption probe
    • 11:06 - Angers the NRA over bump stocks
    • 11:59 - Trump's former NSA, Michael Flynn, is told by the judge at a sentencing hearing  that "Arguably, you sold your country out", a few hours after Trump wished him luck.
  • My continuing rant about "news disguised as ads" has a twist. Remember how Saturday Night Live used to do fake commercials as a comedy sketch. Now they are doing them again, but they are real ads.
  • Well, they captured the coyote in Frisco but now questions arise as to whether it is the same one responsible for the attacks. As a callback to yesterday's post, there's only one way to find out:
  • He is magical. (From the Update.)
  • Sarah Sanders Huckabee, who you pay $180,000 a year, held her first news briefing in over a month and a half yesterday and it lasted less than 10 minutes.  The press corp, justifiably so, told her to "do your job" as she walked away. 
  • The best Texas Monthly articles of 2018 are here. One that looks good that I haven't read is "The Cartel Next Door" about the killing in Southlake in the Town Square. A couple of my favorites on the list, with links, are "The Doting Boyfriend Who Robbed Armored Cars" (he really was a criminal mastermind) and "How Houston Lost Its Mind Over A Trump Shirt" (how social media can destroy you.) 
  • Along those same lines, Longform has released its "best list". A Texas story by a great writer is on it. 
  • Messenger: Above The Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • I forgot to mention that John Gray, "who leads Relentless Church [in South Carolina] and is an associate pastor at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church", bought his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini. In a a now deleted Instagram video, he presented it to her saying,  "You light my fire, let this Lamborghini light your fire, baby." He completely defends his decision. I've leaned a new term: "Pulpit Pimp." And there are more and more of them these days.
  • UPS thought they would be funny yesterday. They quickly changed their mind and deleted this tweet:
  • Anyone else noticed that DPS troopers seem to be non-existent over the last couple of months in Wise County? I'm not complaining. I went to Denton last week and their Sheriff's office had three deputies in high priced SUVs protecting their border. 
  • This is great: Watch highlights of North Texas playing Florida State in the snow at Fouts Field on November 13, 1976. (I don't know what's more amazing: The snow or that there was a time when Florida State would come to Denton.) Here's more about the day. FSU won despite turning the ball over six times.
  • There was another coyote attack in Frisco yesterday. They've hired a man to go get him. Hmm, a town hires one guy to go after a predator to protect its citizens? I think I know the man for the job. 

  • Grandview will play in the 3A State Championship on Thursday. They will bring with them the most terrifying inflatable in Texas. 
  • Over the weekend Trump's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned (surrounded by rumors of a criminal investigation.) I forgot that the guy was such a nut that he had the practice of  having a
    security staffer go up to the roof and hoist a special 'secretarial flag,' which is emblazoned with the agency’s seal whenever he entered the building.
  • Now this is a War on Christmas:
  • Trump, during another incredible paranoid Tweet Storm this morning about the "Witch Hunt", threw in a message to the Fed regarding its intent to raise interest rates: "Feel the market, don’t just go by meaningless numbers." Incredible. (And now I've just had a flashback to Caddyshack where Ty tries to teach Danny better golf by mentioning Russia and, in essence, going on feel.)
  • Yep.
  • This is Times Square about 120 years ago. Wouldn't you love to be able to go back and show them what it looks like now? They would freak out. Scary thought: What if someone could come back from 120 years in the future and show you what it looks like then? With the speed of change now, we would freak out exponentially. (Assuming it's still there.)
  • Rush Limbaugh was at Trump's festive Christmas party. 
  • It looks like F-35s set off some sonic booms over Wise County over the weekend. I remember hearing them as a kid all the time until they suddenly stopped when civil supersonic passenger travel was banned.


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • I looked up and saw the Miss Universe pageant was on TV last night, and this morning I realized I missed this: 
  • This is our world today. CNN screws up and is called out by James Wood who also screws up and is called out by Yashar Ali of New York Magazine.
  • "A former federal prosecutor has been disbarred for posting anonymous online comments about cases being handled by himself or by his office . . . . [He] had posted more than 2,600 comments on nola.com, the website of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, between November 2007 and March 2012. Between 100 and 200 comments related to matters being prosecuted by [his] office."
  • Quick loading sports videos: (1) Decatur's QB getting killed on Friday, (2) The ol' I-Can't-Make-The-Interception-On-The-Sideline-So-I'll-Knock-It-To-A-Teammate-Trick gone wrong, and (3) Funny turnover from last night's Eagles win.
  • Of all the football games on TV this weekend the most entertaining was Allen vs. Duncanville at Jerry World. (All of the Texas high school finals are on Channel 21 this week starting on Wednesday.)
  • Trump, who is having trouble finding a Chief of Staff, picked Mick Mulvaney as an "acting" Chief of Staff. Within hours, a video surfaced of him calling Trump "a terrible human being." 
  • Who could have predicted all of this could have gone so wrong?
  • We've got another case now being decided by Texas highest criminal court where a trial judge shocked a defendant with a 50,000 volt stun belt, not for being a threat, but because he wouldn't show respect. I love this quote from Judge Elsa Alcala during oral arguments: "Believe me, I was a trial judge, I had all kinds of crazy people in front of me. And I was as frustrated as all get out. But, the remedy is not to put a shock device on him and shock him when they don't stand up. That is just, they even know of black and white, you don't do that." The judge was Jack Skeen out of back woods Smith County who has a pathetic history of injustice.
  • I'm finally getting around to watching Ken Burn's The Vietnam War. I'm about three hours into the seventeen hour documentary, and it's fascinating. And it makes me realize how little I know.  
  • Sometimes Christmas decorations make you do a double take.
  • The Weekly Standard , the very conservative and intellectually driven publication (and, thus, not surprisingly, anti-Trump), has gone out of business. "They were trying to get it to hire AM radio jocks to be the writers because they wanted sensational dumbness."
  • I'm seeing lots of stories this morning that Texas has a law requiring contractors with the state to sign contracts which  basically have a "promise not to do or say anything which hurts Israel" provision. Yep, it's a state law introduced by Rep. Phil King. It's unconstitutional and stupid. 
  • He just misspelled border again:
  • Messenger: Above The Fold