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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • We had something happen in Wise County yesterday which I've never heard of in our fair county: It looks like we had a federal drug raid the DEA. By 5:00, we had nine folks booked into and transferred out of the Wise County Jail.  Four were from Bridgeport, two from Paradise, one Rhome and, oddly, one Euless and one Springtown. 
  • I've pointed out the Proud Boys for quite some time, and noted when one of them, a lawyer, made an appearance in the Wise County courthouse in November, 2017.  Uh, we have a development on him
  • There's a shirtless Lincoln statue at a federal courthouse in Los Angles? 
  • You might remember the lawyer in Dallas who was apparently murdered via fire in his home in the Park Cities. No arrest has been made and now the Dallas police won't release reports despite an order from a district judge. They are appealing the order. Trivia #1: The district judge who signed the order is now on the appellate court which will rule on the appropriateness of the order. (He'll recuse himself.) Trivia #2: I met Ira Tobolowsky once in the 1980s at a deposition at his office and afterwards a gave him a lift to the Mansion for dinner with his wife. 
  • Lawyer gets punched by client after 47 year sentence handed down. Video.
  • Stranded at Donner Pass!!!
  • Random Trivia: Was Chester Arthur a U.S. President? True or False. (That was on Last Week Tonight, and I was completely wrong.)
  • Man, there's a lot of new coverage of the Jussie Smollett false report. It's news but not that big of news.  But I can't believe he still claims the attack is true after the last two days. It's time to fall on the proverbial sword.
  • Meanwhile, the White Nationalist who was arrested two days ago is already out of the news. 
  • Michael Cohen will testify before a Congressional hearing next week. That will be a circus of biblical proportions. "In connection with the President instructing you to pay the National Enquirer to kill the Stormy Daniels story, what did Mr. Trump say exactly transpired between he and Stormy Daniels that he wished to cover up? Please give details." "And when Mr. Trump engaged in the acts of [describing them], his third wife was pregnant with Barron, is that correct?"
  • One of the Smartest Guys in The Room is free. In 2001, he was paid $132 million. 
  • I didn't know that in Texas if you get appointed to a high ranking position (district judge and above), you sometimes have to be confirmed by the Senate. Most of the time this never happens because the appointments occur while the legislature is out of session and the appointed person wins an election before they meet again. (That's not the case of the recently appointed Texas Secretary of State who concocted the voter purge attempt and who may not get confirmed. Question: Did we ever find out how many on the "list" for Wise County were actually not citizens? Eight counties aren't even going to check.)
  • Funny: https://www.hasrogerstoneviolatedhisgagorderyet.com/
  • If I'm Zion Williamson, I'm not playing another second for Duke. The school makes millions, the coach makes millions, ESPN makes millions broadcasting college sports, and Nike makes millions. I think it's his turn without risking blowing out a knee. 
Abilene? He makes the front page in Abilene?


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • A Coast Guard Lieutenant, who just happens to be a White Supremacist, was arrested with a ton of weapons (unless you're in Texas where it would just be a normal stash). Law enforcement believed he was about to go on a killing spree, and he did sound a little nuts: "Much blood will have to be spilled to get whitey off the couch . . . . " But this is a heck of a way to start a Motion filed by the U.S. Attorney: 

  • Provocative cover. (But, to be honest, I don't know who "we" are which has the right to "sell" the airport. Dallas?)
  • Sheriff Joe is coming to Arlington after all! "Arpaio will speak April 8 at the Howell Family Farms event venue in an event hosted by mayoral challenger Ashton Stauffer, a promoter said Tuesday." This is Ms. Stauffer:
  • Dad: "We are obviously conservative so we have certain news stations on." Kid: "Some people are mad and call me 'Little Hitler'".  Mom: "Somehow it's gotten skewed where we are teaching our son to hate, and I don't understand where that comes from." Link.
  • Zion Williamson, the freshman from Duke who is probably the #1 pick in the draft, almost blew out his ACL last night when his Nike disintegrated. Here's a slow motion video of it. Here is President Obama in the background simultaneously saying, "His shoe broke!" 
  • There was news earlier this week that the "Trump administration launches global effort to end criminalization of homosexuality." Yesterday, the press asked Trump about it and apparently someone forgot to tell him
    "We have many reports"?
  • Houston raid-gone-wrong fallout announced yesterday:
  • This lady was arrested for filming a school fight in Louisiana and posting it online. That's a great Free Speech question right there. (Although the law does require the person also be a "principal or accessory" to the crime they filmed and posted. Side note: Don't we want stupid people posting videos of their crimes?)

  • Law school time (feel free to drop this class): Yesterday the Supreme Court held that the Excessive Fine Clause in the Bill of Rights applies to the states in civil forfeiture cases. Got Tired Head already? Here's a break down:
    • The good and practical news is that State governments now have limits on how much they can take from people. A felony carries with it a maximum fine of $10,000 and they want to seize a car worth $40,000? Good luck with that.
    • What's this "applies to the States" stuff? Don't constitutional rights apply to all of government? Nope. Each of the Bill of Rights were written with only Congress, who makes federal law, in mind. If the State of New York or the Commonwealth of Virginia wanted to make it illegal to be a Catholic, ban all guns, or shut down any paper, they could. Why? Because the Bill of Rights limits what federal laws Congress could pass. States were free to do what the wanted. Ergo, "State's Rights."
    • Really? The States could ban stuff like that? Well, they could until the Supreme Court made up something called the Incorporation Doctrine. That court made up a "law" that said, in essence, the Supreme Court could look at each and every right in the Bill of Rights and decide if it "applies" to the individual states "through the Due Process Clause" of the 14th Amendment. Confused? Feel free. Like I said, they made it up.
    • So what test is used to decide what right in the Bill of Rights applies to the states? Here you go: Is the right “fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty,” or “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.” Got it? Did I mention they made it up?
    • So when, say, Freedom of Speech was held to "apply" to the states, that meant the Texas legislature can't legally pass a law preventing flag burning on your own property. That's speech. And now that's protected by the First Amendment even though the First Amendment specifically says it only applies to Congress.
    • So yesterday the Court decided that the Excessive Fines Clause in the Bill of Rights keeps the states from enacting crazy forfeiture laws because that Clause is  “fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty,” or “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.” 
    • Hey, I'm not saying the Incorporation Doctrine is a bad thing, I am saying is that everyone needs to tap the brakes before the say "The Constitution is the greatest document ever written" because the Supreme Court has to go through mental gymnastics to keep citizens from getting screwed over by State governments.
  • This guy is the Editor-in- Chief for D Magazine. I'm telling you, I'm hearing more and more about this.
  • The Wifi must be down in the White House this morning. (There is no 6G, by the way.) And now I'm thinking about There's Something About Mary and can hear Ben Stiller say, "6G? That sounds great but what if someone invents 7G?"
  • I said from Day One this story was fishy. I'm just not sure I understand why some people so giddy that he was caught in a lie. (Well, I actually do understand it.):


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Another day. Another scandal: Trump asked his self-picked cronie, acting AG Whitaker, to try to get the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York to "unrecuse" himself in the Michael Cohen prosecution so he would have a buddy in charge of the case. That alone is 100 times worse than anything Nixon ever did. And he's upset this morning . . .
    (This is how you know the story is true.)
  • That's the very first time Joseph Goebbels Trump has named a specific media outlet as the "Enemy of the People" in one tweet. Here is as close as he came before:
  • It looks like public officials in Wise County are in Austin for "Wise County Day." (Translated: Our rep and senator makes appearances to tell us how much they care about Wise County before going back to not caring about Wise County.) Here's the official resolution for Wise County Day. (If you are a rodeo cowboy or bull rider with any big wins, you got named. Other than that, you were shut out.)
  • "He’s now hoping others will learn from his near-death experience." Buddy, that's a lesson that shouldn't need to be taught.
  • Don't make a federal judge mad at you. 
  • The statue of the "Kissing Sailor" in Sarasota, Florida has been defaced with #MeToo graffiti. (Want to know what the statute's actual name was? "Unconditional Surrender.")
  • Manny Machado will now get paid a guaranteed $30 million a year for 10 years by the San Diego Padres. And Kyler Murray wants to play football?
  • The Supreme Court slapped down Texas' highest criminal court yesterday for the second time by reversing a death penalty case. The issue was the definition of "intellectual disability" which, if it exists, prevents the government from killing a citizen. The decision was 6-3 (with Roberts and Kavanaugh in the majority.) Background on the case here -- even the prosecutor and the trial judge thought the guy shouldn't be executed!  I loved this dissent in the Texas case where now former judge Alcala correctly opined that the  majority on the Texas court were standing alone and were wrong: “There is only one outlier in this group that concludes that applicant is ineligible for execution due to his intellectual disability, but unfortunately for applicant, at this juncture, it is the only one that matters.”
  • The kid who stared down an American Indian at the Lincoln Memorial wants $250 million from the Washington Post. The lawsuit reads like a PR release, and there is a 100% chance that the federal judge will toss it (as soon as he calms down from being offended.)
  • I think I hate Junior more than his daddy.  Buddy, you left your wife and five kids to run off with another woman. You are in no position to give any opinion on parenting. 
  • Messenger: Above The Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • WFAA has him located on a map at this very second!
  • If she is just a witness to prove up that the video she shot is a true and accurate depiction of the events, the answer is 100% "no." (She videoed the officer after the shooting innocuously walking back and forth on the balcony. She created a GoFundMe page -- heck, who doesn't these day? -- after saying she was fired from her job.) 
  • Fire in Newark yesterday afternoon
  • I'm declaring the real estate boom officially over
  • Remind me never to park in the Victory Park Garage in Dallas on a Monday. This guy was there a little over four hours and snapped the pic yesterday.
  • How many of you will be doing your taxes on a postcard this year?
  •  (The tweet above was actually in December of 2017 but she and Fox News didn't understand that the "tax cuts", which went into effect in 2018, would impact the 2019 tax returns.)
  • A hiker was trapped in freezing cold overnight at Zion National Park in Arizona after stepping in quicksand. When's the last time you heard the term "quicksand?"
  • Roger Stone posted a picture on Instagram yesterday of his judge with cross-hairs in the background. This caused his lawyers to scramble and file an an odd pleading of a "Notice of Apology."  That guy, like all of these guys caught by Mueller (i.e. Cohen, Manafort, Flynn) are incredibly stupid. And I'm not so sure about his lawyers either  -- the "Notice" is weird to start with, and the last page purportedly signed by Stone should have been notarized at least for appearance's sake if nothing else. 
    Looks like he stole the pic from a Russia propaganda site.
  • I saw this online yesterday and it jogged a major, yet vague, memory. I used to stare at this painting when I was a kid because of those vivid horses faces, but I'm not sure where I was. My best guess is that a print was hanging on the wall of Bridgeport Elementary cafeteria back in the day.  
  • In maybe the weirdest Trump tweet of all, last night at 10:00 p.m. EST he posted a video of a woman with soccer skills.  This was on Day Four of the National Emergency. (And there's no way he understands the caption on the video.)
  • I finally watched Abducted in Plain Sight on Netflix. I kept seeing people say, "Those were the dumbest parents in America" and that's probably true. But one of the aspects of the documentary that was left untouched is the hardcore beliefs of some fringe Mormons back then. 
    And, yes, there's this guy. 
  • I see that former Wise County Fire Marshal Mike Bement has passed away. Back in the 1990s, we got into a verbal war that made front page of the Messenger in back to back issues.  But I liked the guy and was always highly entertained by him. 


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • It's Day Four of a National Emergency. How is everyone holding up?
  • Trump said a lot of crazy stuff in the press conference on Friday. For example, he admires Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and doesn't know Ann Coulter (even though he talked to her a little over a year ago.) And then here's a throw away line that isn't even getting any attention:  "In the bill, by the way, they didn't even fight us on most of the stuff...We have so much money, we don't know what to do with it. I don't know what to do with all the money they're giving us. It's crazy."  We have a debt of $22 trillion. 
  • Trump hunkered down on Day #2 of the National Emergency by visiting the omelet bar at his resort before golfing. For the life of me I didn't think it was him, but it was.
  • The last 20 laps of the Daytona 500 took an hour and a half? No thanks. (That's the last thing a dying "sport" needed.)
    But there was this.
  • Houston, we have a scandal.  I've been mentioning for weeks the police raid which left a married couple with no criminal record dead. It was based on a search warrant affidavit where the cop swore that a confidential informant had gone into the house, purchased heroin, gave the heroin to him, and told him there was a lot more heroin in the house. They go in, no heroin found, shoot the couple dead, and even kill a dog. Now we learn: The cop lied about the existence of the confidential informant. Cop(s) are going to go to prison for this. 
  • And the Twitter feed of the president of the Houston Police Officer's Union is a goldmine of tweets that "didn't age well."

    He retweeted a meme about himself in the beginning.

    This was right after raid.
  • I love Aerial America and was rewatching one on Texas over the weekend. I perked up when I heard this line from the narrator as the helicopter flew over the border. "Today the Texas border is one of the most secure in the world" It was filmed in 2013.
  • A lady on a Jet Blue flight had a tantrum.
  • An Austin-American Statesman story about a not guilty verdict in murder case in Austin had this bizarre paragraph "[The Defendant, Charity Ellis], 50, was expressionless when visiting Judge Wilford Flowers read the verdict to a nearly empty courtroom. Her parents, who had attended the weeklong trial, were not present. Neither was [the alleged victim's] family. Also missing was Ellis’ defense attorney, Brian Erskine, who was traveling."
  • The Decatur and Bridgeport girls basketball teams meeting in the Region I quarterfinals is great. It will be tomorrow in Azle. Thought: Could the gym at Northwest Eaton High School off 287 been used?
  • Any shootings are unacceptable. Shootings at my namesake's Dairy Queen are double unacceptable. (This was about a mile from the Alliance shopping area). Edit: A Dairy Queen owner, and faithful reader, from the 817 emailed me to point out that the shooting did not occur at the restaurant per a clarifying article.
  • This was in the Dallas Morning News yesterday (page 2B). A paid ad looking for people who worked with this man 60 years ago?  (I found his obit from a month ago. And he wrote this about himself in 2016 where he mentioned Texas Instruments in passing -- but he worked there 20 years, not 10.) I have questions.
  • The Bridgeport Index had a child porn story.  
  • We had a mass shooting in America on Friday, and I bet most people don't even know it. 
  • Gov. Abbott is now against electing judges in Texas using party affiliations. Democrats sweeping judicial elections in Houston and Dallas now have his attention. 
  • He woke up mad Sunday morning. Since then, he has fired off ten "no collusion!" tweets. More than being mad, he's scared.
  • After the Kids-In-Cages story last week (they are still in jail, by the way), a faithful reader pointed out this 2003 tongue-in--cheek column by Dallas Observer's Jim Shultz calling for the elimination of Wise County.
  • Messenger: Above The Fold.