Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Texas Republican Congressman Will Hurd announced last night he won't seek re-election. Why would he? The guy who represents the longest border district in the nation barely won last time, and he can see the anti-Trump turnout simply destroying him next year. (Texas Monthly just had him on the cover.)
  • The worst thing about being a member of the House would be running every two years -- which translates to running "all the time." 
  • Saw this "controversy" yesterday. The answers were either 16 or 1. I didn't see which one was correct, but I'm going with 1.  It depends, of course, on the rules regarding the order of the math equations. Rules that I barely remember.
  • It's not the best photo, but I made a friend on the courthouse lawn the other day. (It's a Husky puppy.) 
  • Mark Pittman, a Fort Worth appellate judge (who was first a district judge because of an appointment and not an election, and then a state appellate judge by appointment as well) is now a federal judge (which, of course, is by appointment.) For his judicial confirmation hearing, he had to prepare a 42 page questionnaire.  Here's an interesting note: He had to list his 10 "most significant litigated matters" (beginning on p. 32). None involved appearing before a jury. They all involved assisting other lawyers before trial. So in this day in time, you can be a state district judge, a state appellate judge, and a federal district judge and never appear before a jury? (Hey, he might be a nice and competent guy, and his story isn't unique, but I still think it's amazing.)
  • I mentioned The Ticket's Jake Kemp yesterday and a faithful reader pointed out a Wise County connection: His mom runs a high tone bedding place in downtown Bridgeport named Reilly Chance. 
  • Oh, Texas, our Texas
  • Former Channel 5 anchor Mike Snyder now works for the Tarrant County DA and has produced a propaganda film in hopes of increasing the office's budget. It's odd. I'm not sure who would watch it or buy into it, and the only person they could find who says that more money will be needed is some economist from SMU. And there was a weird (and not-so-subtle) moment where news footage was lifted, oddly, from Compton in LA where the economist says in a voice-over, "If we become like them . . . . " 
  • You might have to be an old-timer to appreciate this, but watch this old WFAA footage of Verne Lundquist at Cowboys' training camp in Thousand Oaks talking about the trade of Duane Thomas. It's exactly like a Dale Hanson Unplugged segment. Listen for the cadence. The pauses. The short repetitive sentences.
  • Someone one pointed out a random federal government publication entitled "Contracts for July 31, 2019." It's amazing. Thirty-nine contracts are listed and the first one begins: "Medico Industries Inc.,* Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, was awarded an $891,165,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract to manufacture and deliver 155mm M795 projectile metal parts and 120mm mortar shell bodies. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received."  Good lord. They are all mind-numbing numbers. The waste has to be beyond belief. 
  • He's just a vile and evil person. From this morning . . . 
  • A grandchild of Bobby Kennedy died from an overdose yesterday.  (That was a pretty quick announcement on the cause of death considering there hasn't been an autopsy.)  I was wondering how many children Kennedy, who was assassinated while running for President, had. He had eleven. He was 42 when he was killed. 
  • This seems significant: The Texas Tribune has discovered a DPS internal memo that instructs troopers to no longer arrest people for misdemeanor marijuana. But it's odd. They aren't simply letting people go but instead issuing a citation to appear to appear in county court at a later date. People still face criminal charges, they just don't have to go to jail and post bond. It's the implementation of a "cite and release" law that was passed in 2007 ago but was never really used. (The law only applies if the person resides in the county where the offense occurs, but no one ever mentions that part.)
  • That story implies the policy is a result of the new hemp law (making weed legal if it has less than .3% THC), but I'm not sure about that. Nevertheless, there was this great tidbit about the Tarrant County DA's office which has recently sent three marijuana cases to a private lab to determine the amount of THC in the weed. Two turned out to contain 13% and 15% THC while one turned out to be legal weed with a THC concentration of .2%.  That's a bad start with a very small sample: One out of every three weed criminal cases are bad. 
  • Absolutely amazing. Everyone knows Russia has, and is, trying to interfere. This was yesterday.
  • I watched the first half of the fantastic HBO documentary, I Love You, Now Die, on Michelle Carter -- the teenager convicted of manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide. It's fascinating and haunting. And I'm torn. I've said before I've got a huge problem with a person being prosecuted for homicide because of simply the words they say. Then the doc showed oral arguments in the Massachusetts appellate court where the judge asks, "You can be guilty of murder for hire by uttering mere words, right? We see that all the time."  Ugh. It's really good stuff.