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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • The temperature in Wise County will begin to drop at 2:15 p.m. this afternoon when winds change to the north. Book it. 
  • Someone posted this last night, and I don't know where in Fort Worth it was, but those rates-which-change-by-demand are getting out of hand. 
  • Trump caved on the Wall and, in an effort to safe face, will declare a national emergency this morning (which everyone will soon forget about and move on to other things.) The Wall will never be built. Make no mistake about it, this is a complete and total defeat for Trump.  And he will forever be mocked with his promise of: "And Mexico is going to pay for it!"
  • And Trump, after declaring the national emergency, will do what every past president has done in such a situation: Take off to go golfing at Mar-a-Lago for the weekend. Really 
  • Words of wisdom (and he didn't even mention the taking of private property):
  • And there's an old tweet for everything:
  • I seriously doubt this verdict will hold up. And although it's been a long time since I've practiced personal injury defense law, this sentence jumped out at me: "The jury also found that regulations governing seat belts didn't do enough to protect the public from harm . . . . " If that's a hurdle that the Plaintiff will have to clear on appeal, could luck with all that. 
  • A random sports Valentine poem from yesterday made me laugh. (And I had completely forgotten about how a team ended up third and goal from its own seven.)
  • Am I the only person in America who is skeptical about the story of the jogger who claims to have choked a mountain lion to death who attacked him?
  • I'm not sure the last time I've seen someone riding in the back of a pickup -- especially on I-35 in Fort Worth at night. Good lord. 
  • I reconfigured an old wifi router to create a new "access point" the other day, and I've never felt so brilliant. 
  • I had completely forgot about 30 years ago that Alliance Airport got very close to landing a Saturn (the car) manufacturing plant. It was like Amazon before Amazon. The plant went to Tennessee.


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • The Wise County Kids In Dog Kennel Case is still in the news. The CBS affiliate in Amarillo ran the black and white photo below. At first I didn't think it was her, but I guess mug shots truly are never flattering. 
  • And anyone else confused about the cuts/scrapes on his face? The reports lead us to believe it was part of the assault charge they put on her, but the book in photo shows what looks like old stitches under one nostril and there are even some marks in the black and white photo.
  • "Uh, sir, I hate to interrupt you during this meeting about removing monuments to those who led the South in a revolution against the United States, but something is going on with your car outside." (Side note: Towing the car as part on an investigation where no one was hurt seems a little heavy handed. Eye-witnesses ID'ing the councilman had already been found. Just take some photos of the damage.)
  • Very random term which I heard all the time as a teenager: Catalytic converter. (That thought popped into my head because I was somehow recalling that more than once I had to replace the muffler on my car because of corrosion -- something I haven't had to do in decades.)
  • Robert Jeffress is out there retweeting his own quotes in Christian love again. 
  • Some still wonder if President Coulter and President Hannity will allow Trump to approve the new budget deal. I think they'll let him.  
  • The best part of this was that not only was the Springtown PD involved in the chase but the Reno PD joined in as well. I envision that PD being very similar to that of Reno 911. (Very underrated show, by the way.)
  • Me with unintended excitement to Mrs. LL: "Hey, did you Amazon owns Ring?" Her: "Ummmkaaaay."
  • Paul Manafort is either really dumb or has a really good personal reason to lie to the Special Counsel about his contact with the Russians. (But the fact he teamed up with Roger Stone back in the day to create a lobbying firm makes both options real possibilities.) 
  • Hey! That's my "go to" line if someone asks me about the race of a particular person. But I do it for very, very quality comedy. This guy, who might have had the worst possible presidential run roll-out in the history of ever, is serious.
  • It's the one year anniversary of our modern day Valentine's Day Massacre.  And we all know another one is coming because all we do is shrug our shoulders when it happens. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • "Whenever we hear about news from Wise County it always seems to be wheels off" - Gordon Keith on KTCK 1310 The Ticket this morning. He's so right. Are we that backwoods or do we just have an inordinate amount of backwood stories? 
  • And the Rhome story has gone national.
  • There was a Paige Harkings from Paradise who was a passenger in a car wreck in 2012 where the driver was killed. I don't know if it is the same Paige Harkings but that person was eighteen at the time so that matches up. So we either have the same person or an unfortunate name.
  • Ever heard of Moore's Ford Lynchings? Me neither. But a federal appellate court ruled yesterday that we will get to see transcripts of the grand jury testimony in 1946 which led to (surprise!) no indictments. I'm interested because I want to see how a federal grand jury and its prosecutor did business at that time. I just wish it was a state grand jury instead of a federal one because I bet that proceeding would have been shockingly a sham. 
  • Wise County taxing entities will have to return almost $3 million because of a Texas Supreme Court decision last year. That's not exciting reading but it sure is a big deal. 
  • Hey, I was called out on Facebook for my bullet point about a business in Decatur charging 50 cents admission. The question arose yesterday up at he courthouse whether this sign outside the establishment was just an "antique" for sell or are they truly charging admission. What would you think if you walked towards the place? And, yes, the business is called "Cowgirl Crap."
  • Below is Ted Cruz complaining about the national debt in 2011.  It passed $22 trillion yesterday. 
  • Sheriff Joe, who has been convicted of contempt of court, pardoned by Trump, defeated for re-election for Sheriff, and crushed in a Senate campaign, was going to speak in Arlington in April. That is, until the appearance was cancelled since no one was buying tickets. So sad. 
  • There are no judges more insufferable than federal judges. Story. (This case involved
    "the same prosecutor [which was] involved in a 2017 court session in which Judge Hughes made remarks characterized by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as 'demeaning, inappropriate and beneath the dignity of a federal judge.'")
  • I've been saying something is going on out there: "A record 7 million Americans are 90 days or more behind on their auto loan payments."
  • El Chapo was convicted yesterday in New York.  They actually had a juror read the verdict? Really? I thought that was only in the movies. 
  • Well, actually they found no "direct" evidence. So, yes, a committee of politicians in the Republican controlled Senate who do not have the benefit of a grand jury did not find a signed contract agreeing to collusion. So he has that going for him. 
  • And Trump is about to cave on the Wall and the Budget again as the Friday deadline approaches. And how his base doesn't crucify him for the lie of "And Mexico is going to pay for it!",  will always be a mystery to me. 
  • Some trials can be so boring and tedious that the jury will acquit the defendant because they didn't pay attention and because the facts don't appear to be that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. (See U.S. vs. John Wiley Price.)  Then again, sometimes a different defense strategy is used:
    "That's a bold strategy, Cotton."
  • And people wonder how a tax-the-rich theme actually gains political traction:
  • Messenger: Above The Fold (They must have put the "Wednesday" edition to bed early because the Children-In-Kennels story didn't make the cut.)


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Edit at 10:45 a.m. We've got some breaking news catching the eyes of DFW Media. Channel 5 had the first big write up. after WFAA seemed to be the first to post pictures.
  • We have some of the dumbest lawmakers in Texas. Aren't you boys promising something about school funding reform and increasing teacher pay? 
  • I watched a little bit of Jennifer Lopez at the Grammy's. I didn't know she was 49. Hey, now. And I'll say it again: She was a better Selena than Selena was.

  • OU's Kyler Murray said yesterday that he is 100% committed to the NFL. Hot sports opinion: That's dumb. You can be an average player in baseball and make a lot more money for many, many years.  In the NFL, you better be a top ten pick (he's not) to get that first big contract, or be great during your first four years and hit it big with the second contract (he won't.)  And then there's this:
  • A new Houston misdemeanor judge who just took office on January 1st has died of "health related" reasons. She was 57. 
  • Another government shutdown is scheduled for Friday (with some murmuring about a proposed deal) and Trump isn't getting $5 billion for the silly Wall. And I don't think Trump will declare a "national emergency" to build it. At least he doesn't sound like the country is in a state of emergency. 
  • Yesterday Trump jumped all over the report that his favorable rating was 52%. What he forgot to mention was that it was a Rasmussen poll -- the one poll which always has him outperforming every other poll. (The aggregate favorability rating of Trump based on all polls was 40.4% yesterday.)
  • I was reminded yesterday that it was the ninth anniversary of 10 inches of snow in North Texas. That was insane and insanely fun. Here's a list of the top metroplex snowstorms.  
  • We've got a not guilty verdict in Tarrant County for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child. If convicted, he was facing a minimum of 25 years in prison (and up to life) without parole.
  • Serious question about that verdict: What is your initial reaction? (1) He's actually innocent, (2) He's guilty and got away with it, or (3) He might have been guilty but the jury had a reasonable doubt about it.  (And isn't it interesting that we all have a gut reaction without knowing any of the facts?)
  • Random high school football news about a small town to the north:
  • Trump is now mad at fact checkers. He even made reference to this at his white nationalist rally in El Paso last night.  So not only does he constantly lie, he now tells his base not to believe those who point out his lies. And, of course, they believe his "final, most essential command." 
  • And his Enemy of the People rants caused one of his Base to go into the media area last night and attack a BBC cameraman. It even interrupted Trump. It's a small example, but that's the reaction he wants.
  • I had a faithful reader send me the text (and photos) of the blog post I accidentally deleted last week. Sir, your dedication is admirable. (I just need to fix recreate it now.)
  • I think the Star-Telegram got disrespected. All in the news this week is this Houston Chronicle/San Antonio Express report on sexual abuse in Southern Baptist churches. The Star-Telegram did a multi-part investigation in December on the same subject about "fundamental Baptists" and it didn't get any traction. 
  • Mrs. LL had some hesitation when I told her she would love the style and content of Dan Carlin of Hardcore History fame. She loved him. He's almost hypnotic. 


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • The Houston PD case where cops raided a house for heroin, found no heroin, and shot and killed a couple, is getting weirder. One of the cops has been suspended, and the Chief of Police acknowledges there are “questions regarding the circumstances surrounding the search warrant.” Oh, my. I asked the other day if it were possible there was no Confidential Informant and no undercover drug buy which was used as a basis for the search warrant. Great recap of the case here
  • This isn't good.
  • Here's  a pic from CNN of DPS and others "waiting" on the next "caravan". The whole involvement of DPS doing nothing but wasting taxpayers dollars there is embarrassing. First, that's a just a photo-op because no one on God's green earth believes anyone is crossing the border right there. Secondly, DPS shouldn't be involved in border security.
  • With little fan fare, the Morning News' long time sports writer Rick Gosselin retired over the weekend. He was on The Ticket last week and didn't even give a hint about it.
  • This was a huge loss by the Tarrant DA's office last week. They tried a woman for Capital Murder of Child, which carries with it an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted, and ended up with a conviction for the lowest level felony and a sentence of two years. 
  • The Star-Telegram had a tremendous story about Alliance Baptist Church (off of North Tarrant Parkway in North Fort Worth) where a youth pastor was allowed to continue to be a member of the church after being indicted for a sex offense against a teenager, and the pastor didn't notify anyone in the congregation about the charges. And there were other instances of failure-to-tell.  As much culpability as the pastor may or may not have in not disclosing what he knew, I thought it was very odd that a judge chastised him when he testified at the sentencing hearing of the youth pastor. It is never the role of a judge to condemn a witness when someone else is on trial. Plus, the judge, Scott Wisch, was basically unintelligible based upon the transcript: 
  • I can't believe I've waited this long to finally watch all of Season Five of The Wire. Cops. Prosecutors. Politics. The Media. It's perfect for me. 
  • The Messenger's weekend edition had a front page story of over "100 pounds" of edibles seize by the Sheriff's Department. Thoughts: (1) It's a weird world when that can be purchased in Colorado legally over time but magically becomes a felony by traveling over a state line, (2) The drug dog hit on the weed which will 100% give rise to the legal question of: You didn't have probable cause to search but you called in the drug dog. Why? What's your reasonable suspicion to detain them for the dog?  Helpful hint: Out of state plates and being "nervous" isn't going to cut it. (3) The Sheriff expressed concern that some of the edibles were in the form of candy and are “prone to [accidentally] being abused by our children.” That ain't a problem
  • The greatest block in NCAA basketball history might have occurred Saturday.
  • Trump had a normal weekend: He expressed love for a ruthless dictator who continues to expand his nuclear program, and made a genocide Trail of Tears joke. 

  • Elizabeth Warren fired back at a rally on Sunday: 
  • Dude, you inherited a great economy, seven years of falling unemployment, and a country not at war. And you don't work hard. You spend over half of your "work day" in "Executive Time" watching Fox News and rarely get to the Oval Office by 11:00 a.m. (And, heaven forbid, you read a book about LBJ and hard work.)
  • Grammy outfit of the night:
  • I won't mention the insane Matthew Whitaker hearings on Friday, but there was a random observation by the CEO Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune, while Louie Gohmert was doing the "questioning", that both Gohmert and Texas Rep. Jeff Leach were both student body president at Baylor. (Good, lord.) Leach replied that he thought it must be a slow news day, and Evans fired back with a Twitter Assault (especially if you know the number of ridiculous resolutions introduced in the Texas legislature.)

  • Messenger: Above The Fold