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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • No new Insurance Saga updates, but thanks to all the folks who have reached out to me who have expertise in this area. "Presheateya, pal." 
  • I love the WFAA archives twitter account which will fire off five minute clips from time to time. Yesterday they had a news segment from 1969 which depicted a past drug user who wanted to hide his identify. No shadowy figures or tricked up voices back then:
    Let's face it. It definitely works.
  • Most small towns have volunteer and/or modest fire departments. Westlake ain't having none of that with their new fire hall. 
  • Man, that was a heck of beating that woman took in Deep Ellum by a now-arrested and since-fired bartender.

  • Remember, kids, the NCAA says no gambling. Oh, here are the very early Liberally Lean standings. (And now I learn there were quite a few people that had trouble signing up. I may go to ESPN next year.)
  • I forgot to mention that the "Money Doctor" on local radio 660 The Answer, and the author of the book, "Jesus Christ, Money Master", has been arrested on allegations of defrauding senior citizens out of more than $19 million. 
  • An absolutely fun way to monitor NCAA games is the FiveThirtyEight.com web site. They have percentage odds in real time among other fun projection tools. Late games from last night, once finished, looked like this: 
  • DPS gunboat! (Posted on Twitter yesterday.) Look closely. That's two 300 HP motors. There's no reason in the world for that -- especially on that size of boat. I bet they push $30,000 a piece. Remember this the next time you stand in line in an under-staffed DPS office. 
  • The "Affluenza Teen" has had his ankle-monitor removed. The revisionist history of that case is getting worse and worse. I heard on KRLD this morning that "Ethan Couch was given probation in a drunk driving crash where a judge agreed with his defense lawyer that he lived such an affluent life that he suffered from Affluenza and was not able to tell right from wrong." That's not even close to the actual facts. 
  • What?!!! Oh, now I understand.
  • I watched a Netflix documentary from last year called Alt-Right: Age of Rage. It had a ton of white supremacist Richard Spencer in it who, I note, was documented as saying, "I think Trump can build the wall without the authorization of Congress."  Little did he know that Mr. Fine People On Both Sides would end up agreeing with him.
  • We should all chant "Lock him up!" over this news, right? Isn't that the way this works?
  • Texas criminal lawyers only: The Fort Worth Court of Appeals reversed a DWI case yesterday (an incredible rarity) because the search warrant affidavit for blood wasn't sworn to. The DA's office said it didn't matter. The trial judge amazingly agreed. The appellate court said no. Saying you swear to something when that's not true has consequences. (For you ALR lawyers, I bet you can think of a theory where the Court of Criminal Appeals could reverse this. I may give up if they do.)
  • Trump's off to Mar-A-Lago this morning. 
  • There's a case going on in Tarrant County which is head-spinning. It's about shooting of an officer, but you have to wade through a myriad of facts (including a murder days before) to get there. And throw in for good measure the text message from the defendant of, “The liberals fight so hard to keep guns out of the hands of the people . . .  . But what keeps the law dogs in check?” (The defense lawyer is out of Collin County and represented Warren Jeffs.)


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Liberally Lean Pick 'Em Tourney. Last Chance. Join 75 of your closet friends.
  • Storm damage/Allstate Claim saga: Missed a call from the adjuster and called her back. Still no appointment scheduled. We are now eight days post-storm. But we do have an interesting development which may be of interest to all of you for future reference: I'm bringing in a point guy who consults on stuff like this for a living. Knows home insurance. Knows the rules, regs, and deadlines. Has damage appraisers (who know construction standards and will prepare a "Proof of Claim" using those standards -- heck, I need my own damage estimate anyway.)   Knows contractors. Knows dispute resolution measures. (Did you guys know about the right to an oddly named "Appraisal Process" built into every homeowners policy when you disagree with what they are wanting to pay?)
  • And Another. (Yep.)
  • Can you imagine being so dumb as to pick a fight with a dead body and then even be so incompetent as to lose the fight?:
  • This may be common knowledge, but dispatchers at the Wise County Sheriff's Office can track a location of a cell phone used on a 911 call even if the phone is moving. I've listened to several 911 calls over the last year where I can hear the dispatcher say things like, "I see that you just passed county road 4421."
  • I'm not sure why Mrs. LL and the Sophomore In The House are babysitting the random infant in our home these days, but we had another one last night. I at least entertained myself by picking her up and doing my best, "Lookee here, young sportsman. That there's the kitchen area, where Ma and Pa chow down. This here's the TV. Two hours a day maximum, either educational or football." The kid loved it. The others, no so much.
  • You want this job every morning?
  • "A Fort Worth police officer has been fired for falsifying time sheets — seeking almost $4,500 for hours she did not work— and failing to submit a corrected time sheet once she’d been caught." 
  • I saw this Houston Chronicle headline yesterday ("Alleged lookout man in ATM heist dragged from federal courtroom following outburst"), and realized it was associated with this Texas Monthly story about the bizarre case: 
  • WFAA's Ron Corning announced on  March 11th that he’d be leaving the morning show at an undetermined time to “pursue some exciting new opportunities.” Three days later he was gone with no good-byes.
  • My dad read  John Carreyrou’s Bad Blood and told me about this story, and I watched the beginning of HBO's documentary  The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. The whole story is insane.  (There is supposed to be a movie in the works starring Jennifer Lawrence but there haven't been a lot of updates.)
  • I'll always be old-school because it drives me nuts that justices on the Texas Supreme Court don't have enough respect for the office to wear a tie to work. 
  • I'm an incredible tight-wad by nature, but one of the smartest things I've ever done is to splurge by outsourcing my lawn care. They do it far better than me, and I don't have to jack around with lawnmower or weed-eater maintenance. It's the feeling of being in the hot sun and looking down and seeing that your weed-eater just broke off its last line vs. Pulling in the drive-way to be surprised your lawn has become manicured while you were at work. 
  • As of this morning, Wise County Jail has 32 people who have been in jail for less than five days. That's a ton of recent arrests. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Liberally Lean Pick 'Em Tourney sign up. Time is running out. 
  • Allstate insurance claim update: I finally got an adjuster to come out yesterday. He was an  independent contractor, worked for about 45 minutes, said the damage was more than expected, had contacted Allstate, and that an Allstate adjuster will be calling. I checked with Allstate six hours later and they had no record of the guy being there for the inspection. Let me say this: If this insurance claim was a car going down the highway, I'm beginning to feel the wheels wobble quite a bit. 
  • We've had another death at Redneck's With Paychecks in Montague County. 
  • On a related note, Honey Boo Boo's mom was arrested in Alabama.
    "The next President of the United States!"
  • I thought that marijuana reform in Texas was picking up steam until I saw this yesterday. 
  • Mike Trout signed a contact with the Los Angeles Angels for 10 years and $430 million. All guaranteed. That's $222,220 per game regardless of whether he plays a single game. And Kyler Murray wants to play football. 
  • Kinda funny: Who wins the tournament based upon mascots. (But how do you measure, say, a  Sun Devil vs. a Seminole?)
  • The Governor tweeted yesterday and some Decatur guys made the picture. (Pretty spiffy outfits.)
  • The NCAA tweeted last night and a former Bridgeport basketball star was the feature of the video. (But they lost.)
  • There is a resolution in the Texas Legislature honoring late Judge John Fostel.
  • Well, the FBC of Dallas is now conducting "interviews" of made-for-tv cartoon characters at their morning services. I'm pretty sure this is what Jesus envisioned for The Church.
  • But that's to be expected when we live in a day and time where the President is retweeting, at midnight no less, a two year old video posted by Larry The Cable Guy. We are in full throttle Idiocracy mode in this country. 
  • Uh, he's not well this morning:
  • Random Law Enforcement History: The first Fort Worth PD sergeant who also happened to be female (and perhaps a member of the B-52s.)
  • The guy who embezzled $17 million from the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana has died in federal prison in Fort Worth. (Texas Monthly story about the case.)
  • Robert Kraft has been offered a plea deal in the prostitution sting case where he won't be found guilty if he pleads guilty. He'll have to do community service and pay a $10,000 fine. The boys on right wing WBAP this morning were shocked that a misdemeanor would be handled this way. "This sounds like something right out of the Soviet Union!" one of them said. Hey, radio boys, it's harsher than any Texas county would do.  (Then Brian Estridge, at around 6:15 a.m., specifically and shockingly said Kraft was going to that particular massage parlor because the girls were "underage." This is the exact opposite of what Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said.) 
  • Messenger: Above The Fold
The fire was put out at 3:00 a.m. 


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Here's an incredible photo from the under card at Jerry World on Saturday. (And then you next think about CTE.)
  • Liberally Lean Pick 'Em sign up continues. 
  • "Myspace has lost all photos, videos, and music its users uploaded between 2003 and 2015." Like Yahoo!, how did Myspace screw up Internet domination?
  • I never listen to right-winger Mike Gallagher on the radio, but yesterday I heard him casually say he will buy, because of "I'm a big guy", an extra seat on an airplane next to him if the price is "fairly cheap - like $300."  The party of the common man?
  • Abilene Christian made the NCAA tourney and, as a result, the coach gets a bonus of $1,000.  The coach of Kentucky, who they meet in the first game, makes $21,918 -- every day of the year. 
  • The Supreme Court will hear another Incorporation Doctrine case. The question is this: Does the requirement of the Sixth Amendment on the federal government that its criminal courts require a unanimous verdict apply to state criminal courts? Amazingly, Oregon doesn't require unanimous verdicts.  Louisiana used to and that's the case to be heard. A man was convicted of murder on a 10-2 vote which was allowed by Louisiana law.  Prediction: 9-0 to the answer is yes.
  • If you want to hear the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals tell a partner in a major silk-suited law firm that "I'd be embarrassed to take the position that you are taking in this case. I'd be absolutely embarrassed for you and your law firm that you think it's appropriate to retry this case after you agreed to arbitration" then go to around the 11:30 mark of this mp3 file.  That's what happens when you agree to binding arbitration, get hit for $16 million, and then try to say it's not binding by appealing it. (When the opposing counsel got up for his turn, one judge said, "You know counsel, I'll tell you one thing, one of my heroes Coach Bryant used to say, 'You don't put the ball in the air when you're winning the game' but go ahead." 15:30 mark. Sheesh. I truly think I would have considered saying, "Unless the Court has any questions, I'll waive oral argument.")
  • Prosecutors in the Amber Guyger case got a subpoena for cruise records for any trips she might have taken after the shooting. My best guess is that they are looking for "punishment evidence". My other guess is that you have prosecutors who aren't keeping their eye on the ball. 
  • Remember the Baylor player, Shawn Oakman, who was found not guilty a couple of weeks back of sexual assault? He turned down a plea bargain of deferred adjudication probation. Gutsy move.  (I found that tidbit in the bizarre story about Kenneth Starr raising money for Oakman's defense.)
  •  Kinda fun: "All-Star Inflatables March Madness Contest" -- which includes pictures of 64 inflatable tunnels of Texas high school football teams. Some are bizarre. (The closest school that made the cut was Bowie.)
  • He's mad again this morning: 
    George Conway did not work there briefly and then get "fired/quit."
  • I'm always worried about Mrs. LL's obsession with spousal murder shows on 20/20 or Dateline or Lifetime.  Then I walked by this weekend and saw her watching a Lorena Bobbitt documentary. 
  • The site where I get newspaper covers, www.newseum.org , is down this morning. I'm not sure the site will even exist once its Washington museum shuts down at the end of the year. 


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Our relationship with Allstate is off to a rocky start as we try to get the roof fixed from the storm damage last week. A no-show from an adjuster on Saturday, a reschedule for noon on Sunday, followed by a reschedule for late afternoon on Sunday, and then a late reschedule for Tuesday. 
  • Breaking.
  • Crazy, crazy ending to a high school playoff game in Minnesota. (We have a storming of the court by the winning team only to find out, after a weird delay, they didn't win after all. Then the other fans storm the court.)
  • UT great Johnny "Lam" Jones has died. His performance at the 1976 state track meet as the anchor leg on the mile relay is something of legends. (I think this might be a benchmark for me getting old. I'm not sure how many people even know who he is.)
  • I need this look.
  • Trump was borderline nuts this weekend with a Twitter storm which was bizarre even for him.
    • He started out by randomly posting video clips from State TV (which would be unthinkable by a President before he came along.)
    • And he got mad that Jeanine Pirro's show was suspended by Fox News because of her anti-Muslim comments. Comments which were too crazy even by Fox News standards. Note that Trump supports her two days after 50 Muslims were murdered by a White Supremacist.
    • Continuing to be a Fox News program director, he got mad at two anchors who he thinks were mean to him.
    • And he twice attacked the recently passed John McCain calling him "last in his class" and having a "very dark stain" on his record (as he makes a Ken Starr joke.) McCain's daughter put the hate monger in his place. 
    • Then he went after comedians and Saturday Night Live wanting the government to censor them because they hurt his feelings. #IsThisRussiaDanny?
    • And he got mad at Google and General Motors
    • And, being the good Christian that he is, he went to church on St. Patrick's Day in between tweets. Any chance the "Saint" in the name confused him into thinking it was a religious holiday?
      "They didn't read from Two Timothy. So sad."
  • And he's at it again this morning. He's not right. (We should check with "Tim Apple" about the accuracy of this comment.)
  • I'm hearing a rumor about an odd shake up in Chico ISD sports. 
  • New Zealand has banned AR-15s and guns like them. It just took one mass shooting for them to do it. (Did you know that per capita, the Christchurch shooting was the equivalent of that country's 9/11?)
    Notice the hand symbol. 
  • Johnny Football is now in the new AAF football league with Memphis. San Antonio, whose general manager is Daryl "Moose" Johnson, had the rights to him but gave them up because the signing could be a "distraction." You kidding me? You're an AAF team! You need all the publicity you can get. 
  • I finally read that Texas Monthly story on "crime or accident." It's fantastic and spot on. And, surprise, surprise it has a hidden evidence angle by the Smith County D.A. and another probable unfair trial by Judge Jack Skeen, Jr.  The result was stunning, and the case is on appeal. I found the Defendant's brief and liked it with the exception of the glaring error on the cover page. 
  • A six episode Netflix show I watched which I highly recommend: Ricky Gervais' Afterlife. I'm not sure I've ever watched anything which goes from so funny to so very dark so fast.
  • I bet you missed it this weekend: The University of Michigan issued an active shooter alert which caused momentary panic. It turned out to be a bunch of girls popping balloons outside the library.  This is the country we live in. 
  • Abilene Christian as made the NCAA Tourney along with Praire View A&M (led by a former Bridgeport star from their still odd basketball championship from 2015.)
  • Speaking of: Enter the 2019 Liberally Lean Pick-Em Tournament. (I think we've done this over 10 years, and I've got a list of winners in the archives somewhere. I'll track them down.)
  • Messenger: Above the Fold.