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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Want to see a cop beat a guy in a hospital bed? The cop is now going to prison. 
  • Not that I care, but why are Rangers off today? And why will they play a day game in August in 110 heat?
  • We've learned the Mueller Report is over 300 pages. (Barr's summary quoted 101 words of it.) Within the Report will be evidence that caused Mueller to say that he could not exonerate Trump from an Obstruction allegation. Let's see it. Why not?
  • The Liberally Lean Leader Board.  (For you Red Raider fans, you've got a 37% chance to win tomorrow against Gonzaga and get to the Final Four. I'd take that every single year.)
  • My well placed sources tell me the hung jury in the Tarrant County murder trial this week was 10-2 for not guilty.
  • The Chico AD/Coach situation got messy yesterday with the coach issuing a statement and a school board member firing off his own -- with one sentence standing out. (Side note: I've learned that the guy from Dave Campbell's Texas Football is buddies with the coach which kind of explains why he decided to sound off on the whole situation on Sunday.)
  • I mentioned yesterday that Texas was going to kill a guy and deny his request to have a Buddhist clergy be with him. The U.S. Supreme Court shut it down last night to review the issue. However, all Texas had to do to go forward with the execution was get a Buddhist reverend to be present and Texas could have even chosen who it was. Nope. We're going to take up this ridiculous fight. 
  • I've always wondered about the history of this house that sits south of Decatur all by its lonesome.
  • The guy who punched the woman in Deep Ellum will now have the proposed charge upgraded to Aggravated Assault, a second degree felony. Why? He committed regular misdemeanor assault (he struck her causing pain) with the aggravating element of "uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault" (he had a gun in his hand.)
  • You're probably sitting there thinking that the Aggravated Assault definition is a good law because it's broadly worded enough to encompass an incident like in Deep Ellum. But what if a guy is out bird hunting in mixed company and gently slaps a female on the rear end but she is offended by his actions? That's felony Agg Assault. He committed an assault (a Class C assault of "offensive touching"), and he exhibited a deadly weapon (he's holding a shotgun) while he slapped her on the butt. 
  • "I am shocked—shocked—to find that . . . . " 
  • 2010 Flashback: A lot of people wanted the Justice of the Peace job back then.  I had forgotten Chad Hightower made the runoff but lost 684-557.
  • This is an actual screen shot from yesterday. I'm insane now.
  • More proof this Administration is a daily train wreck of incompetence. These tweets were six hours apart. I thought it was a joke. They both even list Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador in the same sequence.

  • Wait. There's more. Yesterday Trump reversed the decision to cut funding for Special Olympics saying he had "just heard" of the cuts "this [Thursday] morning." This came the day after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos lashed out defending the cuts. (Bonus coverage of DeVos refusing to answer questions for two long and awkward minutes as she seeks protection via elevator.)
  • I still don't know understand how being able to deposit a check via your phone doesn't give rise to a ton of fraud. 


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Fox 4 had another story of a marijuana bust in Wise County of folks who legally bought the vast majority of it in the United States. (By the way, Clarice Tinsley, who everyone loves but I can't stand, referred to our sheriff as "Lane Atkins.") 
    And another stolen highway sign!
  • It's a weird story out of Chico where the AD/Head Coach resigned but instead has a status of "suspended with pay" by the school board. Regardless, Matt Stepp from Dave Campbell's Texas Football doesn't like what's going on:
  • Here's a new one for me: Yesterday the Court of Appeals in Texarkana reversed a case out of Lamar County because the defendant's court appointed lawyer submitted billing records with detailed, damaging, and confidential information that became a public record (you kidding me?) and the prosecutor was then dumb enough to use the records at trial against the defendant. Some of the billing records:
  • A guy named William Green (no relation) slugged his public defender in Florida.
  • Why I love Twitter: 
  • Texas is killing a Buddhist tonight who is given a choice of a Christian chaplain or no clergy at all. Incredible. 
  • Liberty University (think Jerry Falwell, Jr.) has a company that sells jet fuel. Really. Weird, huh? There's more: After the election of Trump, the company got a $900,000 contract to sell fuel to the federal government. (I don't know if Falwell's pool boy is involved. Probably not.)
  • Do. Your. Job.

  • Tarrant County had two felony cases this week: (1) A hung jury on a murder trial, and (2) a four year sentence on a case which carried with it 5 year to 99 years/Life.
  • It's Rangers' Opening Day. Enjoy it. It's all downhill from here. 
  • He's clueless. (And all those workers in the Permian Basin will certainly thank him for trying to kill their jobs.)
    Who is he thanking by the way?
    He's probably too young to remember oil
    at $111 a barrel in 2014.

  • Just an NFL quarterback trying to get special treatment with regular people problems. (And a guy who doesn't understand the difference between a "direct flight" and a "nonstop flight".)
  • I've found the ugliest building housing an appellate court in Texas: The Tyler Court of Appeals. (Still thinking about the Accident or Crime case pending there.)
  • The fake cowboys at the Evil Empire (who fire the cannon after a TD) have been suspended for six years due to hazing the night before a traffic accident which led to a death. "During the retreat, the members were coerced to chug a gallon of milk and eat cat food, Spam, Tabasco sauce, minced garlic and whole onions, the document said. One member was coerced into biting the head off of a live hamster." Never understood hazing. Never will. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Well, even though there was some evidence of a crime, the prosecutors decided not to prosecute him, but they took special care to announce that he was not exonerated.  This made some people very, very angry who thought it called into question the very fabric of our justice system. To create even more skepticism, the investigative reports which the prosecutors based their decision upon were not be made public. Then the man, happy with the decision, announced he had been telling the truth all along, was guilty of nothing, and in fact it was he who was the victim.  Who is it? (A) Jussie Smollett. (B) Donald Trump. (C) Hey, they both work!
  • She left out the part about blonde hair and a curvy figure. 

  • The Waco ISD superintendent resigned for misdemeanor weed possession. That seems harsh. It was revealed he was caught while driving back from an interview for Houston ISD, and we all know interviews are stressful. Cut the man a break.
  • OU and Clemson have scheduled a home and home! When? 2035 and 2036.  Any true freshman playing in that game is currently two years old. 
  • The Supreme Court takes up some some odd cases. Yesterday, it ruled a guy has the right to hunt moose in Alaska by using a hovercraft on the National River. And random opinions like that teach us such things as: "For 90 years after buying Alaska, the Federal Government owned all its land. At first, those living in Alaska—a few settlers and some 30,000 Natives—were hardly aware of that fact." 
  • Mrs. LL confessed to me that she just heard part of a segment on The Ticket where they were mocking a person's tie breaker score for their NCAA bracket.  For some reason, she feared her score must be too low so she changed it to . . . 
  • Things you didn't know: The lynching of Henry Smith in Paris, Texas, 1893. (It wasn't a hanging. It was torture followed by fire.)  And just look at that turnout. Some people argue about whether Texas is truly considered part of the "South." There's no question East Texas was, and still is, not only the South but the Deep South. 
  • There is nothing this Administration can't screw up.  Special Olympics and Autism? Really? But let's get excited about things like Space Force as if we are 10 year old boys.
  • Michael Irvin announced on Instagram that he has had a biopsy which is being tested for throat cancer -- and he included a photo of him in the hospital bed. Does it make me a jerk to think it's a little odd to seek sympathy before the results come back?
  • Mike Lee on the floor of Congress yesterday. Idiocracy. (Although that poster looks vaguely familiar to long time readers.)
  • Boeing has a public relations nightmare going on.
  • Valid point: If Kenneth Starr thought it was necessary for us to know the details about Clinton's sexual acts with Lewinsky, aren't we entitled to know what evidence of Obstruction exists that keeps Trump from being exonerated? 
  • Still one of the weirdest laws on the books. In New Jersey, you can't pump your own gas. Mrs. LL and I saw it first hand when we passengers with friends. We were very confused when he pulled up to a pump and just sat there waiting. 
  • Messenger: Above The Fold.


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • With Michael Avenatti being arrested, this might be the greatest week in Trump's life.
  • Well, it begins: You want to see the Mueller Report? You've been McBlocked
  • I wanted to hate this guy for "bragging" on Twitter by posting a video of him walking up to a piano player and singing at a hotel at Disney World. But I can't. 
  • Maybe one of the best things about Twitter is that any video posted on it runs quickly, flawlessly and without ads. 
  • If you have a vague recollection of a brief cartoon that freaked you but which ran only one time in the mid-1970s on Sesame Street which featured a "Crack Monster," NPR has tracked it down
  • Speaking of memory, something that has stuck with me was a podcast from Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History last year called "Free Brian Williams." It's is a fascinating look, with examples, of how we don't even realize how our memories fail us. That is, you just know that something happened in your life in a particular way when it didn't.  (Audio / Transcript.)
  • He's out there spreading Christian Love again. 
  • According to the Dallas Morning News, the House Bill 63 which lowers the penalty for minor marijuana possession in Texas to a civil fine only passed out of committee late yesterday. Phil King, who is on the committee, was absent for the vote. 
  • I started the new season of Arrested Development. It's may be the most clever show ever written. 
  • The New York Times and Washington Post won the Pulitzer Prize for their investigations into "Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration." Trump has already started his Fake News rant about it. Here is a list of the stories that were honored (partial list below). Every one of them was spot on accurate reporting. His base, like their leader, won't care about this fact.
  • I told you last week I heard a rumor about Chico ISD athletics. The agenda was posted and on Wednesday the school board will consider the resignation of the the AD and head football coach. 
  • One thing I said in a room full of smart people that still haunts me, "If we do that then we'll open up a can of Pandora's boxes."
  • He ain't wrong.
  • And he's not the only one who thinks so . . . . 


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Let's get it out of the way -- The Mueller Report:
    • Trump and his campaign did not collude with the Russians. That's clear cut. (Apparently you can meet with the Russians in Trump Tower to get dirt on Hillary but that doesn't count.)
    • Trump was not exonerated on Obstruction but won't be prosecuted because the standard is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
    • It's not a good look if the complete report isn't released. AG's Barr's summary of it was the best possible pro-Trump interpretation. 
    • The future: Trump will now proclaim he was the victim of a two year Democrat witch hunt when this was actually a self-inflicted error by a Republican president causing the Republican justice department to investigate him. The Democrats had nothing to do with it.
  • If an assistant prosecutor in Texas wants to turn over exculpatory evidence to the defense lawyer, which is required by law, but his elected boss didn't like it and fires the assistant for doing so, can the assistant sue the county? We learned last week that the Texas Supreme Court says, "No." Incredible.
  • There were lots of crazy pictures from the hail storm in Collin County last night but this might be one of the craziest of them all.
  • Kamala Harris made a presidential campaign visit to Tarrant County over the weekend. 
  • Legal nerd stuff: Supreme Court oral arguments are pretty dry, but a case heard last week about whether a prosecutor systematically struck African-American potential jurors is pretty entertaining. Audio / Transcript. (Side note: When I first started out, getting the transcript or audio from the Supreme Court was literally impossible. Now they are immediately online for free.)
  • Insurance claim update: An second adjuster will finally come out one week from today. That's a little slow but progress nevertheless. Having a point man has been a great comfort: He and a contractor have spent hours at the house looking for any signs of extended structural damage, and he brought in a mitigation guy due to the water damage.  
  • And Another -- or at least a solid attempt. (Katy, Texas).
  • UCF took Duke to the wire, but this is the highlight:  Tacko Fall, 7’6, and  CBS’s Tracy Woodson.
  • The Liberally Lean Pick 'Em leaders below. (And it has been brought to my attention that any difficulty in signing up was due to commissioner error. He'll get a good talking to.)
  • "Because I'm a pothole."  On LBJ  and near Jupiter on Friday. Nothing like a cross-section of rebar keeping your wheel from getting ripped off. 
  • You might have missed #1: Two (!!) Parkland mass shooting survivors have committed suicide in the last week. 
  • You might have missed #2: A lady goes to visit her two put bulls at a nice vet hospital in Irving and is mauled to death by them in an adjacent walking area. Cops had to shoot the dogs just to get to the her. 
  • You might have missed it #3: On a lighter note, the Rangers' Opening Day is Thursday. They are already one game out of first place in their division. 
  • The Notebook question that needs to be answered: Why didn't the guy just call her instead of writing her every day?