Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • This will get your attention at 8:01 a.m. (Still no update. I'm guessing it's nothing.)
  • But that reminded me of this from just four years ago.
  • The Fort Worth teacher who was fired because of multiple tweets complaining about the "illegals" at her school has been reinstated. I can't disagree with that. If you work for the government you have free speech rights -- especially if you aren't on the clock when you're firing off your hot opinions. If she had worked for a private organization, she could legally be kicked to the curb. (The reinstatement ruling was also based on a procedural matter but that's not as fun to talk about.)
  • I haven't mentioned it in a while (after I was first all over it in the beginning), but the Houston cops who lied about having a confidential informant to get a search warrant and then busted in the house and murdered the innocent couple inside, have been indicted by a federal grand jury.
    Actual courtroom sketch included in a story about the case. The story also says
    they entered the courtroom "wearing scowls and shackles." Everyone is doing bits.
  • And reporters down there have been taking a deep dive into all of the data on the background of those cops since the cluster went down. Here's a fascinating one: The lead cop in that fiasco, who just happens to be black, had made 258 arrests for Possession of a Controlled Substance < 1 gram (the lowest level felony there is.) Of those arrests, 248 were African-Americans.  Houston is 23% African-American.
  • Decatur has had to travel all over God's green Earth for the playoffs, so what about Springtown which is of comparable size and location? They have gone to Snyder (219 miles), Andrews (320 miles), and this week to Brownwood (135 miles).
  • When it's too early to fight the War on Christmas:
  • Pylon Talk: We all know that if the ball "touches the pylon" then it's a touchdown, right? Well, I'm here to tell you it's much more complicated than that. Look at the pylon below. It is positioned, as it always is, out of bounds. That is, it's not inside the playing field. This OU player scored (don't worry about his body -- he never touches the ground because he's on top of the other player) by having the ball touch the pylon. But what if he just touched the outside of the pylon -- that portion is technically out of bounds. Or is it? What if, from his vantage point, the ball had gone just past the very right of the pylon but missed it simply because it wasn't wide enough?  I once heard John Madden say that the "goal line extends all the way around the world." It confused me then, I don't know if it's true, and confuses me now. I don't know the answers to all of this.
  • As a kid, the hour long NFL review show, hosted Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshier, was must-see TV.  It was the only way to see extended highlights, and it introduced us all to the now classic NFL background music.  Here is the less than five minute review they had of the Cowboys' Thanksgiving win over the Redskins in the unlikely Clint Longley game of 1974. It's broken down in short parts: One, Two, and Three. As always, they are quick loading.  Here is something I had no memory of and which you old-timers will appreciate: Duane Thomas scored two touchdowns  . . .  for the Redskins.
  • Yesterday Trump showed off the dog involved in the raid that killed the leader of ISIS. But look who was off to the side at the White House: It was "judge" Jeanine of State TV. What's she up to?
  • And moment's later, Conan mauled to death the turkey on the courthouse lawn who was set to be pardoned in a ceremony.
    Just kidding. He's a good boy. Or girl.
  • With an announcement yesterday, three of TCU's top four quarterbacks have left the team this season. But the one still there, Max Duggan, is going to be great. 
    Clearly out. Clearly. 
  • A fuel truck hit two planes at DFW Airport yesterday. 

  • You hear stuff like this from the government and you nod your head in agreement. That is, until someone retorts: "Why stop there? Let's do away with safes, vaults, and sturdy locked doors, too." Then someone fires back: "All those things can be entered with a lawful search warrant."  Then you hear, "Well, why can't I have some safe place from the government? You can't get a warrant for things I've memorized and don't want to tell you, can you?"
  • I constantly pull my very ample hair out because of the guy who runs the Twitter account for the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association. And he caused me to do it again this morning. Hey, I'm 100% on board with treating courthouse staff nicely (which is really pretty easy to do unless you are a miserable human being), but in giving that advice you don't need to insult every courthouse worker in Texas:
  • Yesterday, a federal district court called the Trump Administration's (through his de facto personal lawyers, the Department of Justice) attempt to prevent Don McGahn from testifying before Congress because of a "claim to absolute testimonial immunity", which they believe gives "unassailable Executive branch authority" over the other branches of government, "baseless." So let's hear from him! Nope: They appealed moments ago. 
  • "Why do I care what’s going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? And I’m serious, why do I care? And why shouldn’t I root for Russia, which I am." - Tucker Carlson on Fox News last night.
    Comrade Carlson
  • Messenger: Above The Fold (a day early)