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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • I don't know what to think about the lady who approached a Wise County residential gate and said, "“I’m really scared. Could you please open your gate? Please?”  I'm not ready to conclude she actually was in danger, nor can I rule that out. It's just weird -- especially the part about being described as 25 years old and 80 pounds. (It made all the metroplex news stations last night.)
  • The Dallas DA announced new and bold prosecutions guidelines which are incredibly smart. Instead of a robotic, "You broke the law so you're going to be prosecuted because I'm too dumb to understand how life works", they make perfect sense. The only one which seems very problematic is not prosecuting someone for theft of property under $750 unless the crime was for "economic gain." (It's the old "If a lady shoplifts baby formula then you might want to treat her differently that someone stealing video games" school of thought.) That's a murky standard, though. 
  • A primer on the concept of truth:
    • Trump (10/2016): "WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks." 
    • Trump (10/2016): “This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove,” 
    • Trump (11/2016): "Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks."
    • Trump (Yesterday) “I know nothing about Wikileaks. It’s not my thing."
    • Heck, he mentioned Wikileaks 145 times during the final month campaign. 
  • To paraphrase a radio guy, I don't care about space, but there is nothing cooler than the rocket boosters of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy coming back to earth and landing. It just happened again. Do yourself a favor and watch this fast loading 17 second video of it. 
    There was actually another one that landed on
    a platform in the ocean. 
  • You may have heard of it and, yes, it's true: There is currently pending in the Texas legislature a bill which would make available the death penalty for women who have legal abortions under Roe v. Wade. You know, like right after conception. Below is the genius (and his fifth wife) who filed the bill. And to make Texas crazier, some guys who got elected by pandering to a right wing base now have to have security from that base because they aren't supporting the bill.
    "Every life is precious but sometimes you've go to
    upgrade that life with a new smokin' hot wife."
  • Trump got this graphic from Lou Dobbs (who watches Lou Dobbs?) and posted it yesterday morning. One problem: It's wrong. Fox News then had to issue a correction to point out that the 55% figure should have been an unfavorable rating. 
  • I'll say it again: One of the most important classes I ever took was Typing at Bridgeport High School (where I learned on an IBM Selectric.)  I can easily do 50 words per minute. (Test yourself.)
  • I've got my Master's pick: Shooter McGavin.
  • Trump wants this guy on the Federal Reserve. This is funny
  • The last picture of the Titanic as it heads out to sea. I don't think I had seen this. 
  • A Houston woman has sued 24 Hour Fitness because she claims she saw someone holding a camera recording her in the shower. She also claims she then saw a person "wearing clothes similar to how 24 Hour Fitness employees dress run out the back of the women's locker room." She wants $200,000. She was so embarrassed that she held a press conference so everyone would know that someone maybe saw her naked.  (There sure are lots of lawyers in Houston.)
  • In 1838 Georgetown University sold 272 slaves to get the school out of debt. This week the student body voted by a winning percentage of 66% to assess each student $27.20 a semester to go to a reparations fund for the descendants of the slaves.  (It's not binding on the school.) You think that would fly in Texas?
  • Storms arrive in force at 3:15 a.m. tonight. 


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • We had news yesterday that a black hole was finally photographed. It needs exploring so this is a job for Space Force!
    Not a Soundgarden Album Cover
  • From Uncle Barky on Dallas TV ratings for Dirk's last home game: "In the total viewers measurement, the game (which ended just before 10 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest), drew an audience of 112,469. From 7 to 10 p.m., CBS”s trio of NCIS (309,289 viewers), the premiere of The Code (231,967) and NCIS: New Orleans (203,850) all scored higher while also winning their time slots."
  • Kim Kardashian announced yesterday that she plans to be a lawyer and sit for the California bar exam. The more shocking news to me was that you don't have to go to law school to take the bar exam in that state. 
    Thinking about the Rule Against Perpetuities
  • Random fascinating historical figure: Edwin Walker. decorated World War II vet, hard line right winger, Texas governor candidate, promoted riots in Mississippi protesting admission of James Meredith to Ole Miss, detained in a mental institution briefly by order of AG Robert Kennedy, plaintiff in a libel case against the AP that went all the way to the Supreme Court, was on the cover of Newsweek, and. later in life, arrested for public lewdness in Dallas and served thirty days in jail. Oh, one other thing: He was the target of an assassination attempt by Lee Harvey Oswald!  How's there not been a movie made about this guy? 
  • Well, Gov. Greg Abbott lied during his recent campaign. That's an exact quote below. Now he's changed it from two ounces to two grams. (Personal use is under two ounces. No one has under two grams  -- it's 1/14th of one ounce.) He's the Texas Trump with the Truth.™ 
  • And Abbott and his gang came up with a bizarre plan yesterday: They want to raise taxes in order to cut taxes. Specifically, he wants the sales tax rate to go up a full 1% from 6.25% to 7.25% -- that would tie us for the largest sales tax in the nation. Why? The ruse of lowering property taxes. He hasn't explained how, though, and nothing proposed so far remedies the problem of property taxes being tied to skyrocketing tax appraisals. (It's not the property tax rate that's the problem, it's the assessed value.)  Rest assured, five years from now your property tax bill will still be going up and you'll be paying the new sales tax rate. (And I didn't even rant about how a higher sales tax hurts the poor the most.)
    "Hey Curly and Larry, dupin' Texans out their
    money is fun, ain't it!"
  • More crazy Texas politics: Remember the "constitutional carry" guy who was intercepted in front of the home of House Speaker Dennis Bonnen carrying literature? Well, in a bizarre story, he was invited to last night's annual closed door annual spring fundraising dinner for Bonnen, Abbott and Dan Patrick (photo above), and he was seated right behind Bonnen. They got into a "confrontation" and Bonnen left in a huff.
  • More food establishments coming to the the the area in north Fort Worth off I-35 including Twisted Root Burger Co., Tiff’s Treats Cookie Delivery, Blaze Pizza, Blue Goose Cantina, Yogurtland, Salata and Outback Steakhouse. 
  • Julian Assange of WikiLeaks was arrested overnight. It will be very interesting to see how Trump ("I love Wikileaks!") and his new puppet at the head of the Justice Department handle this.
    "I'm Randy Quaid you idiots!"
  • In maybe my greatest DIY accomplishment, I removed a leaking Backflow Preventer with a cutting tool. I just followed this video. Seriously, how did we fix things before the Internet? 
  • Huge giggle: Listen to Big and Rich introduced as "gender-bending" superstars at last night's Stars playoff game before the National Anthem.  


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • It's probably a good idea for Wise County to buy the Wells Fargo building for a courthouse annex, but its more proof that government is big business. There hasn't been a private entity interested in that building for years but our little rural county can write a check for $2.5 million for it and improvements. 
  • "He held up a 2 inch thick stack of white paper and said, 'This is the Texas Constitution. It’s got 496 amendments. It’s over 87,000 words. It’s the second-largest state Constitution in our union, and I’m sorry I didn’t have it down.'" - Harris County ex-Judge Bill McLeod, who accidentally resigned on Facebook, to County Commissioners as they considered whether to keep him in office until a special election could be called. The commissioners voted to name a replacement.
  • Hey, I just thought up a theme for today: Are taxpayer/government dollars significantly involved in the subject of a bullet point? The answer so far is "yes" to the first two. I'll go the rest of the way with [yes] or [no] in brackets at the end of each.
  • Well we learned that AG Barr (1) Won't release and unredacted Mueller Report to Congress, (2) Won't ask a judge to allow permission to release grand jury information, and (3) Won't say whether he has discussed the report with the White House.  [Yes]
  • Thieves never tire. [Yes.]
  • Let's check in on "Mr. I Like People Who Weren't Captured" from yesterday. Does he enjoy people spiking on him with stuff like this? Or is he just oblivious? [Yes.]
  • For all the hoopla around Dirk's last game last night, tickets yesterday were still relatively cheap: [No. Unless you consider the AAC was partially publicly funded.]
  • Phrases that need to be retired from social media: "I'm not crying, you're crying", "Who is cutting onions in here?", and "It must be dusty in here." [No.] 
  • Of course, racism in America is a myth. [Yes. Police involvement and it is on taxpayer purchased land.]
  • OU and Alabama football have scheduled a home and home for 2032 and 2033. Nick Saban, if on the sideline, would be 80 years old. [Yes.]
  • I'm now convinced that for the rest of my life I'll have an unexpected $400 repair bill for something every month. (I'm on a four month streak.) [No. But indirectly "yes" since I don't have a job without taxpayer paid police/courts/prosecutors/probation departments/jails.]
  • Congressional hearings are becoming high entertainment. Yesterday we had Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin getting schooled  and outsmarted by Maxine Waters (this is almost a 'must see' especially when Mnuchin gets so frustrated he says, “I believe you’re supposed to take the gravel and bang it.” ). Then we had Rep. Ted Lieu, in a hearing on hate crimes,  confronting Candace Owens (she's a black Ann Coulter who the the Republicans thought it would be a great idea to trot out ) by playing a recording of her previous gleeful legitimizing of Hitler: “If Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine." [Yes.]
  • The big skyscraper in Dallas with the green outline is for sale. This paragraph from the Morning News had me track down the identify of the "German family." It's from the estate of a guy named Hugo Mann who wasn't nearly as interesting as I had hoped for. [No.]
  • Everything is fine. [Yes.]

  • "She needs to be abducted, kidnapped and sent out of the country." -WBAP's Hal Jay, around 6:15 a.m. this morning, about Rep. Ilhan Omar after she criticized the scapegoating all Muslims for the actions of a few on 9/11. (Even his crazy right wing co-hosts stepped back from their mics on that one.) You might remember Rep. Omar was shockingly the subject of the poster below in the West Virginia state capital, and was the victim of a death threat just in the past few days by a now-arrested New York man.  [Yes - significant involvement.]
  • Did you know there's a law preventing the IRS from developing its own online tax preparation program for you to use to prepare your taxes (like TurboTax)? [Yes]
  • Messenger: Above The Fold. [No.]


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Soooo close for Tech last night. If Virginia taught us anything, it's about the importance of free throws. Not only did they hit three in a row with less than a second left to win the semi-final, they hit 12 of 12 down the stretch last night. 
    Artist Unknown. The Curse Of Ted Cruz (2019) 
  • The Liberally Lean Pick 'Em Tourney comes to a close. I've learned that "Lynette" is actually Logan, an 11 year old boy who made the picks all by himself and with the one goal of beating his dad. (Logan, just tell your dad that you would prefer to be referred to as "sports genius" instead of "son" from here on out.)
  • Insurance Claim Update: Allstate was very slow in getting an adjuster with authority out there. But once he showed up on a Monday, he had the estimate to me on Friday, and a draft arrived on Monday. (There's over $30,000 worth of damage according to them.) Now I'm working with my guys to see if the amount is fair. 
  • From yesterday: "Officer Cummins would like to remind everyone that snakes come out this time of year, especially after rain. Please be on the lookout! You can call 9-1-1 if you find one and our snake-handler trained officers will do everything they can to safely relocate the snake. #AustinPD."
  • There's something that makes me feel human when I look at local high school district golf scores. At least some of the scores. (Source.)
  • The projected results of the upcoming census says 10 House seats will be reallocated.  This is why you hear about "gerrymandering" so much. If Texas Republicans had their way, they'd divvy it up where all three new seats would go to Republicans. (But they'll probably go for two safe districts and make the other 50/50 in hopes of avoiding a court challenge.) 
  • According to the Update, Wise County bought the old Fargo Bank building and will be moving County Court at Law #1 (the misdemeanor court) and the County Attorney's office there. I'm going to have to walk a block further!? You kidding me!?
  • There was a heck of a fire in a nice subdivision in Benbrook this weekend -- a subdivision without fire hydrants. Here's a quick loading few second video of it. 
  • This morning in lawyer ethics. (There's more.)

  • I'll have to ask you to go somewhere else for your sports, sir.: 
  • Sheriff Joe was in Arlington last night. He called Trump's immigration policies "illegal" and encouraged protesters in their exercise of free speech. (I'm stunned Trump hasn't put this goofball in charge of DHS.)
  • A reminder of who Ashton Staufer is:
  • No way I'll look. You're on your own. 
  • Johnny Football has had a rough year. He got kicked out the Canadian Football League, joined the AAF which promptly folded, announced he is splitting with his wife of 12 months, and now announces he will henceforth be known as "John Manziel." He's 26.


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Texas Tech playing for the National Championship tonight? You bet. So the school, win or lose, cancels all classes tomorrow. (But why does the game start at 8:20 p.m.?)
  • DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who famously had no idea how many people had died in the custody of her department, is leaving. The Washington Post, who I was told was "Fake News", was dead right almost a year ago with their reporting about her relationship with Trump.  (Now he'll look to appoint someone "tougher" which, translated, means someone willing to break amnesty laws which he calls "loopholes.")
  • Nielsen learned a valuable lesson: If you work for an bad person, you will forever be known as a bad person as well.  
  • Do these things still exist? I'm guessing no. They set rotational speed records back in the day while launching kids to and fro.
  • What a great gig: You're the CEO of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau and make $700,000 a year. You just happen to be a triathlete as well so you schedule business trips at the same time of triathlons to San Diego, Canada, Norway and Paris.  
  • There was a 17 foot python caught in Florida -- those things are taking over the Everglades because a few of them, which had been kept as pets, were released around 20 or so years ago.  But I almost want to go into conspiracy theory mode on this python because a Google image search of the story shows several photos of this python with reverse images. There's so many that I don't know which one is the original. 
  • The Baylor women won the National Championship by one point last night. What had been a cakewalk turned into a nail-biter when their best player went down with an injured knee and was taken off the court in a wheelchair.
  • The subject on my lengthy bullet point on Friday about our state senator Pat Fallon's bill is also the subject of the scorn of teacher organizations.
  • I saved $59.99 on Wrestlemania 35 last night because I'm an adult. 
  • The Liberally Lean Pick 'Em status. "Lynette" has Virginia in the final. Mystery Person has Texas Tech (that was a bold move). One of them will win it. 
  • Below is just some random guy on Twitter bragging about his new home purchase. I hope he posts five years from now so we can learn how this all worked out with his new bride. (Side note: "DA BAY" isn't Runaway Bay but a serious contender for a nickname nonetheless.)

  • "Open carry" legislation is dead in Austin after a "an activist went to the home of Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen."  That was the headline at least. I was expecting some crazed nutcase who went banging on the door with an AR-15 on his shoulder. It wasn't. It was this guy, Chris McNutt.  He was unarmed and had a flier with him. "Texas Department of Public Safety troopers intercepted him and carried the flier to the door."  Hey, I might not agree with the guy, but trying to peaceably persuade an elected official to vote a certain way requires DPS intervention and headlines across the state? 

  • There was a drowning in Lake Bridgeport last week. I was trying to remember how many times it's happened, and research didn't help me put a list together. There was a 16 year old in 2012, and a 17 year old in 2017.  I also learned that two people drowned in 1953. (Here's, amazingly, the KXAS typewritten script of the new story.) There has to be a bunch more. 
  • The Dallas Morning News published their "best of" photos for March in Sunday's paper. (Yep, I subscribe.) This one was great. The paper said it had more are on Instagram at dallasnews. (Nope, I don't do Instagram.)
  • Random school bond election amount: Voters in Prosper ISD will vote next month on a $1.3 billion proposal.
  • Trump weirdest claim, made multiple times over the last four days, is that the United States is "full."  That's just bizarre. And less than two months ago he proclaimed, "I want people to come into our country, in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.”
  • Messenger: Above The Fold