Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Impeachment Hearings:
    • Jim Jordan's lack of jacket drives me insane.
    • Ambassador William B Taylor's voice sounded familiar. The closest I can get is that of actor Donald Moffat who was the president in Clear and Present Danger. (Great movie by the way.)
    • Taylor was impressive. He's nothing but a patriot who graduated fifth in his class from West Point and then volunteered to seek combat in Vietnam. He was there voluntarily because he cares about his country.
    • The biggest news was that there will be a witness who will testify on Friday who heard Trump and Ambassador Gordon Sondland, on an unsecured cell phone call in a Ukranian restaurant, talking about whether Ukraine was caving to the pressure to investigate Biden's son. It will be very interesting to see if Sondland will admit to that. And if he'll admit to this shocker from Taylor: 
    • You'll recall Sondland is already on shaky ground because he had to "amend" his testimony to the Congressional impeachment inquiry committee. He's already worried about being caught in a lie again.
    • Trump denied that call yesterday when a reporter hit him with the question after meeting with the Turkish president. No one had time to prep him. 
    • I thought it was amazing that the counsel for the Republicans just casually and continuously referred to Rudy Giuliani rooting around in Ukraine  as an "irregular channel."  It certainly was, but I didn't expect them to admit it so freely.
    • He even incorporated the "irregular channel" into one of the hearing's funniest moments:
    • Or maybe this one was funnier. “If they impeach President Trump . . . then they have to call President Trump a liar to do it. [Insert awkward pause.] I yield back.”
    • Trump's third favorite child had a great defense yesterday morning.
    • All this (very irrelevant) talk about "hearsay" reminds me that almost everyone, including the vast majority of lawyers, don't understand the Hearsay Rule.  And, even when the rules of evidence apply, you can get almost any out of court statement into evidence if you know what you're doing. The chances of any statement not meeting the legal definition of hearsay (or some exception applying even when it does) are greatly in your favor. 
    • I don't understand this defense of: "Trump was just trying to crack down on general corruption in the Ukraine." Do you think Trump would give one flying flip about Joe Biden's son making money for being on the board of directors if he wasn't Joe Biden's son?
  • We had an increasingly rare death penalty handed down in Tarrant County yesterday.  Little known fact: Two of his victims, one of which was found beheaded, were stopped by Decatur PD for a traffic violations not long before their murders. They just happened to be passing through Wise County.
  • The Texas high school playoffs begin tonight. Chico made the playoffs with only a 3-10 record, but that's nothing compared to Iraan. The Braves from their 2A division finished 0-10 (all four teams in its four team district made the playoffs.)  In a playoff game which will probably be played somewhere in the Middle East, they will face Sudan who went 10-0. 
  • Wow: TCU raised tuition to $51,570 per year yesterday. 
    Raise your hand if you aren't the one paying for it.
  • It's just delaying the inevitable, but the lawyers for one of the Texas Seven have had his execution stopped by the Fifth Circuit again. For some reason Texas thinks it's proper to provide a chaplain to pray with a Christian before his execution but not a Muslim.  The very conservative court said
  • I continue to think this is a funny bit.
    And the "Magnifying Lens"
  • On this day in 1960, Ruby Bridges becomes the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in Louisiana. 1960. Heck, she's only 65 today.
  • I mentioned Judge Fostel yesterday, and I'm not sure how many people knew he had Norman Rockwell's painting of Ruby Bridges on his office wall at the courthouse.  One of my great joys as DA in the 1990s was occasionally getting to walk into his chambers with an out-of-town defense lawyer who I just knew was expecting to see a Redneck/Bubba/Country judge.  They'd glance at the painting and try to keep a poker face as I got to think, "This isn't exactly what you anticipated, is it, hoss?" (It eventually made them feel at ease. It just took a while for it to sink in.)
    "The Problem We All Live With"
  • In response to the Astros-stealing-signs scandal, this made me laugh.
  • I just randomly posted her pic yesterday as a bullet point. I didn't know I could be the cover editor of a New York newpaper.