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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • The Wise County former deputy who just got arrested for child solicitation in Denton was booked into the Wise County jail yesterday on a "prohibited weapon" charge. I don't know anything about it other than it was based upon a warrant issued by JP#2. He was released on a $20,000 bond. 
  • It's weird that Texas law allows JPs, who are normally not attorneys and have no criminal law experience, to get stuck with the task of reviewing an arrest affidavit, determining if there is a crime alleged, whether the affiant set forth facts to establish every element of the crime, and whether, as a whole, the affidavit meets the standard of probable cause.  How would you like to do that your first day on the job when a cop asks you to issue a warrant for a felony?
  • That may be the first time I've ever screwed up a Random Thoughts post (see yesterday's). I had a previous skeleton draft with about five words on it still up on my laptop at home and somehow hit "publish" last night wiping out the one that was up all day. Anyway, here's the link to Tarrant County prosecutions which is about the only memorable thing about it. 
  • Watch the Tarrant County DA, Sharen Wilson, get mad at the Commissioners' Court for not letting her use a Power Point presentation because of security concerns. (Go here. Under the video scroll down to "Criminal District Attorney Updates . . . ." and click on it. It works best on a desktop.) I love it when she passively-aggressively says, "I understand that I don't report to you . . . ."
  • That's pretty impressive they Tarrant County government posts video of meetings with hyperlinks so you can jump to the part you want. Let's do that for Wise County -- that's probably cheap and easy technology.
  • There's a lot going on with Jeff Bezo's going public with the emails of how the National Enquirer tried to blackmail him with racy photos. And make no mistake, Bezo's specifically mentioning the company, Trump, and the Saudis before he got to the reprinting of the threatening emails is not by accident. The National Enquirer specific blackmail threat was that they didn't want any reporting by Bezo's Washington Post about the Enquirer or its parent company being involved in "reporting" that was "politically motivated or influenced by political forces". Translated: Don't investigate any further about our ties to the Saudis and/or Trump or what they paid us to do.
  • Three side notes to the Bezos story: (1) That deputy general counsel for the Enquirer compnay who was dumb enough to blackmail someone in an email will probably get disbarred, (2) The Enquirer has an immunity deal with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in the Cohen/Trump/Stormy crime which specifically is contingent upon them not breaking the law, and (3) How dumb are you to blackmail, in writing no less, the richest man in the world who owns the Washington Post?
  • I'm seeing people complaining about paying more taxes this year. I'm no expert, but I've read that about 1 in 5 employees didn't have enough payroll taxes withheld during the year under new rules and regs. If that's the case with you, you aren't paying higher taxes -- you just got a loan piece by piece last year that is now due.
  • I'm a Texas history idiot so I'm working on this book. I struggle to wrap my brain around how in the very early 1800s there was basically no one in the Texas area, sans a few Mexicans and Indians, until Stephen F. Austin started his colony. (I think Wise County first got settled around 1850 with around 300 people or so.) And in the grand scheme of things, that wasn't that long ago. 
  • I didn't believe this at first but, yes, Gucci sold this until recently. Like real recently. (Probably was a big seller in Virginia.)

  • The video of it is of horrible quality, but that's a heck of a story no one is talking about.
  • Yeah, she says a lot of nutty things, but at one of her first hearings, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was superb. Simple "yes" or "no" questions which she already knew the answer to. It's Cross-Exam 101. Watch it and more here
  • Trump, on the other hand, in giving a prepared speech at the Prayer Breakfast yesterday, said that "people of faith" had led the "abolition of civil rights." The man can't even read a teleprompter.
  • We've got more Virginia politician racism news. Is it any wonder that the Blood and Soil boys showed up in that state a couple of years ago?
  • As I write this, I noticed Trump's last five tweets are "NO COLLUSION" tweets, and he's gone into that weird bit where he refers to himself in the third person. 
  • The Huffington Post outed a prominent neo-Nazi online propagandist and he happens to live in Granbury. 
  • The Supreme Court refused to stop the government from executing someone last night when he, a Muslim, complained that the State of Lousiana wouldn't let him have an imam with him at the time of execution. The State of Louisiana always allows Christian clergy in the room. That's a clear First Amendment problem as Justice Kagan wrote in her dissent. (Side note: Last year, the Supreme Court went out of its way to allow a Christian to sue the cops because she complained they wouldn't let her pray when cops came to visit her about a noise complaint.)
  • The Wells Fargo banking online system went down yesterday. Wait until it happens to every major bank at the same time for an extended period of time. The country will shut down. 

Sleet and snow? No way.


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Once again, Pete Delkus has failed us. Below was his prediction at 2:00 p.m. yesterday for this morning. Is it 55 this morning? No, I don't think it's 55 this morning. Later he said that Thursday morning would be "much warmer" than the afternoon. (Seriously, how much trouble is it to check the National Weather Service web site every now and then? You've got one job.)
  • I won't name it, but there's a small store selling stuff off the square in Decatur that charges a 50 cent admission fee. (It counts as a credit against any purchase.) I've never heard of a cover charge for a retail store, and that placed doesn't appear to have a lot of foot traffic to start with.
  • NYPD has demanded that Google not allow Waze to identify DWI checkpoints (which it does based upon user submitted information.)  Sorry, it doesn't work that way. That is the very definition of free speech that the government cannot censor. 
  • This may only entertain lawyers who have been on the bottom of the totem pole in a law firm, but look what this newbie did to get suspended by the bar for six months.  
  • Hypothetical on the radio yesterday: Would you take $1 billion if it meant you no longer had your sense of taste? That's a no brainer. I'd do it for a million and probably far less than that.
  • There was a very active online thread yesterday saying the lady which (amazingly) was sent to prison for illegal voting in Tarrant County couldn't get released to a residential facility because the DA had filed  a "sewage charge" against her three days ago. (I can't verify this primarily because of the gawd awful online search system of criminal records they have.)
  • Speaking of the Tarrant County DA's office, a law firm in Fort Worth just released an amazing data analysis of prosecutions in the county. It is top notch work, and I urge you to take a look at it. Prosecutions are up at a greater rate than population increases, case resolutions are down, the budget is up, and conviction rates in trials are shockingly low. Then there are crazy gems like this: Marijuana has somehow become Public Enemy #1 in Tarrant County compared to the rest of the state. 
  • I had never heard of this "conservative talk show host" but he was killed after apparently jogging so close to a train in Haltom City that he was struck. Who jogs that close to a track? Plus, if your not between the rails it's not exactly the smoothest surface to jog upon. 
  • The Tarrant County District Clerk's office is imaging old records and last week found Clyde Barrow's indictment for murder of the cop in Southlake off 114. The case was later dismissed because "Defendant deceased."
  • Bob Stoops becoming the head coach of the Dallas XFL team is one of the weirdest sports stories I've heard. I would have never guessed that. (Side note: The team doesn't appear to have a president or even a mascot.)
  • I saw that kicker Matt Bryant was released by the Falcons yesterday, and it got my attention since he had been with the league for 17 years. (He went 20 of 21 on field goals last year so I'm not sure why they fired him.) But this is why it gets a bullet point: The Dallas Cowboys signed him on August 17, 2004, and cut him two weeks later. 
  • From a North Carolina reporter: "Randomly flipped through the 1979 UNC-Chapel Hill yearbook today just to kill some time, and found this photo on one of the fraternities' pages. Holy [crap]."
  • That was quite the sight of a construction worker dangling in downtown Fort Worth. (He had a safety harness on which is the best PSA for wearing them ever.)
  • Here's a thought about another racist video showing up in Southlake: Aren't there probably at least a hundred of those things created in the metroplex every week that we never hear about?


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • We've got a new DA in Waco, but the old one's legacy continues: "McLennan County prosecutors have dismissed a child sexual assault case after discovering that they indicted the wrong man [last year]."  The prosecutor, who also handled the controversial Baylor frat guy's reduced charge in a sexual assault case, passed the buck by blaming a paralegal. That tells me all I need to know about her. 
  • I'm not sure why someone posted a picture of the Federal Fifth Circuit Appeals Court in Houston yesterday, but I had never seen it. That is one spare courtroom for having such a lofty title. (This isn't their primary courtroom -- it's in New Orleans -- but still.)
  • Trump didn't do that bad in the State of the Union. Of course, his bar is lower than anyone else. It's basically: Don't embarrass the country. He managed not to do that by sticking to a script.
    "Good job. Good effort"
  • It's no big deal, but Trump either forgot or intentionally broke with tradition last night. Every President always gets introduced by the Sergeant at Arms and then walks to the podium shaking hands while everyone applauds. Once at the podium, the crowd quiets, and the Speaker of the House formally introduces him and we all get beaten down as the applause begins all over again. Last night, Trump just started talking without waiting for the introduction. 
  • Trump invited the kid to the SOTU who, because he has the same last name, has been bullied. But, unless I missed it, he was not introduced as a human prop like others.  And the kid also did not appear to be impressed. (I'm not going to mention the irony that Trump loves to bully people by giving them nicknames.)

  • "Tryouts begin for the Texettes, the mostly forgotten ushers and attendants that were a part of the Dallas Cowboys’ organization. WFAA Collection. July 1975." Quick loading clip here where the cameraman occasionally pans down to see their legs before #MeToo. (Bonus footage at the beginning of Staubach being flushed out of the pocket that looks really cool from the end zone.)
  • When I first saw this I was skeptical, but the facts in the story are shocking. And as a callback to yesterday: The Plaintiff's lawyer is with Tony Buzbee's law firm.
  • Random college football I was not aware of in the not so distant future. UT and Alabama will have a home and home starting in 2022. I'll give the Evil Empire credit, they are under no obligation to do that. 
  • In 1994, Texas changed its parole laws to make them significantly more strict for offenses committed from that time forward. And we are now seeing the results with an aging prison population: 
  • I don't know anything about the NBA or John Wall, but I did hear that the guy, who was already out for the year for injury, will now miss all of next year because he fell in his home and blew out his Achilles. Here is his upcoming guaranteed salary:
  •  Nixon and Trump have another thing in common: They both said during the State of the Union that their investigations should stop.
  • The "designated survivor" for the country, in case everyone died last night, was Rick Perry.
  • Here is Sean Spicer drunk on BlazeTV after the State of the Union. 
  • "America will never be a socialist country." - Trump with applause from everyone. That reminded me I'll soon get a letter delivered by a government employee who drove over public roads, and in that letter I'll learn when my Medicare and social security income will kick in. But I may get the Kid in the House who attends public schools go get it, and I'm not worried about her safety because of public police. 
  • The Patriots have bits:
  • Speaking of, the Patriots had their parade yesterday. Here is tight end Rob Gronkowski sexually assaulting an SI swimsuit model. 
  • Bases in baseball and softball should be shaped like a stop sign so that runners advancing more than one base will have a side to brace their foot against as they round the base. Think about it. 
  • Fox Business: "Who can we get on the air who is an expert on health care?" Staff: "I know just the person! Not only is he folksy, but he kind of specializes in healthcare after you're dead."
  • It's (the second) National Signing Day for college football and Miami kicked it off yesterday, due to the time difference, by signing this . . . uh . . . kid from Australia.
  • Messenger: Above The Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • We've got a rare exploding vape pen death in Fort Worth. I've heard that malfunctions occur when someone tries to modify/trick up the pen and/or battery, but we don't know what happened here. Something doesn't sound right for one of the millions of those things out there just to "explode." Sad deal, though.
  • Hey, Phil, you might want to separate the two issues next time:
  • Super Bowl halftime pic vs. Guy doing a bit. 
  • Junior was at the stock show in Fort Worth with this girlfriend and former Fox News host. (No word on whether any of his five kids were with him.) And get off the phone!
  • The New York Times had a glowing article on the Permian Basin yesterday with not even a hint that oil production will slow down. 
  • Super Bowl Expert Analysis: Since when does an inept offense automatically mean it was a great defensive performance? The Rams offense, #1 for the season, was horrible. And the Pats offense, #4 for the season, was also horrible. The Patriots were simply less horrible than the Rams. 
  • Who could have been surprised by the Axios story that Trump spends 60% of his time in "Executive Time" which basically means watching cable news? We all knew that.
  • Dear Morning News and Star-Telegram: Why does it take forever for any page to load, and why does it never seem to stop downloading crap even when the text finally shows up?
  • Houston, Texas lawyer Tony Buzbee claims that he chased a burglar out of his home with a gun (which "misfired") around 6:00 a.m. Monday morning. "The thief made off with valuables worth millions of dollars, including art and jewelry, according to police." That's odd. Buzbee is also running for the mayor of Houston, claims a girlfriend destroyed $300,000 of art last year (including a painting by Andy Warhol), once parked a World War II tank outside of house and, as a regent for aTm, fired off a lengthy Facebook post after a football game which was the beginning of the end for coach Kevin Sumlin.
  • Troy Aikman said this morning that he wasn't in the NFL 100 commercial because he didn't "want to stay in Los Angeles" for another 48 hours to film his part. Sheesh.  But at least he now regrets turning it down. (Side note: Scroll down this article to see a list of everyone in the commercial and how it came together.)
  • This is from Queens, New York. That graffiti is so white that I'm offended as a white person. 
  • How's the investigation going on the "voter fraud" list in Wise County? We have full time employees in the voter office so we should have an answer soon. And if a person does not respond to the letter sent, that's not enough to "confirm" they are an illegal alien who ended up on the voter list. That's accusing a person of a crime, and you'll need more than that. That should simply go down as "not confirmed."  (And it would be interesting to know the last time a person who did not respond voted. That's readily available information which is public.)
  • "If I could ask Nancy Pelosi one thing it would be: 'If you die, do you believe you will go to Heaven?'" - Hal Jay on WBAP, and out of the blue, this morning.
  • Trump is going to have some kid in the audience at the State of the Union has been bullied by schoolmates because he has the last name of "Trump".  If I'm that kid's parent, there is no way I would subject him to that. 
  • I hadn't heard anything about this attack on the cover of the newspaper below, but it brought back to mind a story I had completely forgotten about: A girl who attended college in Waxahachie and moved to New York became a nationally known when she was the victim of a similar but much worse attack in 1986. Wikipedia entry and Texas Monthly story (from 1993.) 


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Had someone at the courthouse tell me they were just talking to someone about a product and ads started showing up on the Internet for it. Believable? He pointed out that he had his phone with him at the time of the conversation.   He then demonstrated that his screen can be blank, his phone be in the equivalent of sleep-mode, but if he asks Siri a question it wakes up and responds. So isn't the phone listening all the time? 
  • Lots of of people online were dogging illegal aliens crossing the border after seeing the following news. She was accidentally killed by a passing motorist on a traffic stop. In Abilene.
  • Black History Month got off to a crazy start when it was revealed on Friday that the Governor of Virginia's medical school yearbook page had the photo below on the page dedicated to him. On Friday he apologized by saying "I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo."  (He didn't say if he was black-face-guy or Klan-guy). Then he did a 180 on Saturday saying it wasn't him. How is he so sure now? He spent Friday night thinking about it and was able to remember when he was in black face as Michael Jackson in San Antonio around that same time, so he knows he remembers those sort of things. My head is spinning. (Buddy, just resign.) 
  • And when asked at the news conference about the Michael Jackson incident and whether he could still moonwalk, he almost did it on on stage until his wife told him it would be inappropriate. Watch the moment.  
  • I saw a commercial for the Jeff Foxworthy brand of furniture at Nebraska Furniture Mart, and I've never been so confused. 
  • "If you do something nice, thou shalt publicize it for all to see." Social Media Bible, Chapter 1. Verse 1. 
  • Don't discount him. Remember when we all laughed when he wrote a book saying steroids were rampant in baseball and we mocked him?
  • See how this works: Robert Jeffress uses the power of FBC Dallas to get Huckabee to the church who spent his time plugging his book, and now Huckabee invites Jeffress on his TV show so Jeffress can plug his own book. Modern day money-changers.
  • This guy looks like the G.I. Joe I had as a kid.
  • Eleven unanswered questions in the botched Houston police raid that left two people dead. If you are following that case, I question whether there was an undercover buy by the CI at all in order to justify the search warrant.
  • Any chance anyone in the House invites Stormy Daniels to the State of the Union tomorrow?
  • Random Super Bowl commercial thoughts: (1) I learned Andy Warhol ate a hamburger upside down back in the day -- something  Mrs. LL, oddly, does as well, (2) The NFL 100 commercial was great -- especially the re-creation of the Immaculate Reception -- but who was the girl?, (3) I learned about ASMR because of a beer commercial. (The Sophomore In The House had to explain to us that ASMR was an "internet sensation" and "really, really annoying".)
  • Uh, that's basically the way the NFL draft order works. (Not to mention those great free enterprise concepts of "revenue sharing" and "salary cap".)
  • The Denton County Sheriff is now on Twitter, and apparently feels unloved. (Cue Maroon 5.)

  • "A [new] Harris County judge is under investigation by Houston police for allegedly assaulting the legal assistant of a defense attorney in his courtroom."