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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Another Wise County law enforcement tidbit: There has not been a single case filed this year in any Justice of the Peace court for speeding 5 mph or less over the speed limit. (But that doesn't mean you won't be stopped for that as a pretext to try and search your car and just given a warning.)
  • News this morning that the one time Internet sensation "Grump Cat", 7, is dead. I had to research if I ever referenced him back in the day, and I did so in January of 2013. Someone had compared Tommy Lee Jones at the Golden Globes to the cat, and it made me laugh. 
  • Dear Alabama: If this crazy girl says you screwed up, you really screwed up. (And here's a hot legal prediction about the Alabama abortion law: A federal district court will have to strike the abortion law down, the Fifth Circuit will even have to agree to hold it unconstitutional, and then the Supreme Court will simply refuse to hear it. Why? The Supreme Court won't want to be used as an obvious political pawn in this charade but will pick another case to reconsider Roe v. Wade in the future.)
  • The Texas High School track meet was last week and one of my greatest memories was going to it while in high school (as a spectator, obviously). On Saturday, they would have the high school finals during the day and the finals for the Southwest Conference at night. There was nothing cooler than seeing a relay and watching the colorful jerseys of  UT, Aggie, Baylor, TCU, SMU, etc. round the corner. The most famous athlete I remember seeing: aTm's Curtis Dickey -- a sprinter as well as the Aggie starting tailback.
  • Remember former Judge Roy Moore from Alabama? He had to be removed as a judge once he refused to follow a federal court order to remove the 10 Commandments from an Alabama state house. He also was defeated in his Senate bid even though endorsed by Trump after allegations that he hit on teenagers at the mall and may have molested a 14 year old when he was a 32 year old assistant district attorney. Oh, and remember he sued Sacha Baron Cohen for defamation once Moore was dumb enough to appear on Cohen's Showtime show where Cohen put him through a pedophile detector test? Well, Moore lost a hearing in that lawsuit, and was not happy. So he filed a pleading this week telling the judge he should reconsider the ruling because at the hearing the judge appeared to "disrespect and disparage" him. Sheesh. Alabama has had a heck of the week. 
    From Who Is America?
    The ol' You Hurt My Feelings legal doctrine. 
  • It's still way too early, but this is the latest poll from State TV.
  • Interesting (?) fact about Biden: He’s older than each of the last five Democratic nominees for president is now (Bill Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama, Hillary Clinton).
  • The Messenger had an unintentionally awkward picture of the Bridgeport mayor and members of the Texas Denton Heathens motorcycle club. (And I like the name "heathens.")
  • An F-16 crashes into a warehouse in California but doesn't catch fire. Let the conspiracy theories begin.

  • The legislature isn't doing anything about bail reform for the poor, allowing police to arrest you for a traffic violation (i.e. Sandra Bland), will continue allow incarceration for a plant (weed), as well as allow you to be buried in surcharges even after you've paid your ticket, but they will protect Chick-Fil-A. Are we living in a cartoon?
  • Answer: Yes. Yes, we are living in a cartoon.
  • After mass dismissals, the new DA in Waco has reduced the misdemeanor backlog from over 9,000 to 4,600 cases.   A large number of dismissals, frankly, is something that needs to be done when any new prosecutor takes office.  Filing cabinets are always filled with junk cases -- more so if the prior prosecutor was scared of the police and wouldn't kill bad cases.
  • Trump's on a roll this morning. 
  • There's nothing more painful than former Dallas Morning News media writers Ed Bark and Barry Horn engage in humor on Twitter.
  • Looks like the storm will hit at 8:35 a.m. tomorrow. Plan accordingly. 


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Has what will be the most notorious serial killer in metroplex history been flying under the radar and the story still isn't getting big press? A guy has been indicted for killing twelve elderly women, seven in Dallas County and six in Collin County, as well as indicted on two attempted murder of elderly women in Collin County. And we still don't know anything about the details. The only facts are from this Dallas Morning News story where we learn this about one of the attempted murders: A 93-year-old woman at the Parkview Elderly Assisted Living facility in Frisco said he tried to smother her with a pillow after claiming to be a maintenance man. This is the thing of books and movies.
  • The great futuristic Black Mirror is coming back for three episodes. And Miley Cyrus will star in one of them. I've said it before: Every episode of  that I've watched I've end up saying, "That will happen one of these days." 
  • I was at a seminar last week and saw the coolest thing. These little gadgets were handed out which allowed you to respond to multiple choice questions and the group's answers (by percentage) would be projected up on a slide in seconds.  And the devices felt and looked amazingly cheap -- light weight plastic that was the equivalent of holding five credit cards stacked on top of each other. They wanted them back but didn't seem to particularly care if a few got lost. (Oh, I slayed those questions by the way.)
  • Random discovery by a faithful reader: Someone did a thesis at Texas Tech in the mid-1980s about restoration of the Wise County courthouse. And he built a model. (Alas, no historical picture of the district courtroom with a balcony from back in the day.)
  • I mentioned a while back I've gone on criminal data discovery analysis for Wise County this year. Here's an example: This is a break down of Class C criminal cases (fine only) filed in the four JP courts this year. One third of the cases, 732, are speeding tickets: 
    • JP#1:(Greenwood/Decatur/Rhome and east) 591 (25.65%)
    • JP#2 (Decatur/Bridgeport/Alvord and to the north): 851 (36.94%)
    • JP#3 (Rhome/Boyd/Cottondale and to the south): 639 (27.73%)
    • JP#4 (Bridgeport/Runaway Bay and south): 223 (9.68%) 
  • Note those numbers do not take into account the Class C tickets written by local police departments (Bridgeport, Boyd, Decatur, Rhome, etc.) which go to municipal courts.
  • I won't reveal the guy's name but the record holder this year for a speeding citation goes to a man who was clocked at 115 mph in a 70 on May 6, 2019 in JP#3. On the other end of the spectrum, only one person has been written up all year long for going 5 mph over the speed limit or less.
  • These are the lawmakers who voted for the Alabama abortion law with no exception for rape or incest. I'm trying to put my finger on the common denominator.
  • A new first assistant DA has been named in Harris County.  He is the leader of a band named . . . and I am not making this up . . . Death By Injection.
  • Trump has issued a pardon for Conrad Black. Who's he? Some white collar criminal who convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice and spent three years in prison and fined $125,000. Oh, he also wrote this last year: 
  • Can we just call a war with Iran stupid right now instead of waiting to do so after thousands of American are dead? (Side note: Is there any reason why we haven't had a Secretary of Defense since last year?)
  • After all these years, I'm finally reading Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.  With three years of hearing about The Wall to protect "our land", I'm sure this won't work me up into a tizzy at all. 
  • Before I write "tariffs" and you zone out, did you know that one of the classroom questions of the famous Ferris Bueller scene where Ben Stein, as the teacher, asks, "Anyone? Anyone?" is about, yep, tariffs. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Oh, my! At 8:00 a.m., this was happening in Oklahoma City. 
  • I told someone the other day that I thought Bonnie and Clyde had a connection to Decatur. There are reports of it, but the line in that link of there being "no firm evidence to support this story" makes me rethink my position. 
  • Elizabeth Warren ain't going on any "town hall" hosted by Fox News. 
  • Osama Bin Laden in the news in 1993 didn't quite pan out. 
  • That Peggy Lipton, Doris Day, and Tim Conway combo was quite the trifecta. An odd Doris Day reference that comes to mind is my fourth grade teacher in Bridgeport telling the class (for some unknown reason) that "Doris Day is all old and wrinkled now." Day probably would have been just over 50. I remember telling my mom about it when I got home and she got mad. I'm guessing mom was a big fan. Or maybe she was a defender of middle aged women. 
  • Alabama gonna Alabama as they outlawed abortion yesterday. (There's not even an exception for rape or incest which is odd even for Alabama.)  I'm trying to remember the last time a state passed a law with full knowledge that is is unconstitutional for the sole purpose of testing its "current" constitutionality. 
  • But these are strange times. The Supreme Court overruled forty-one year old precedent on Monday in a case no one cares about but this dissent was telling. Translated: "We normally have a good reason for overturning a past decision, but now it looks like the new majority will do it just because they can. And there is more on the horizon."
  • One of my life's little joys is a Twitter account of quick loading 1970s NFL clips. They had a great one yesterday: Lynn Swann attempting to catch a potential TD pass but then having to jump over a parked car.
  • I may be the only guy in the world who thinks the viral video of the karate kid breaking the board is a set up deal. That is, the instructor was waiting for the first decent blow/ first decent form before he put hand pressure on the board to make sure it would snap. (If the kid didn't get the satisfaction of breaking it, that would have been one devastating scene.)
  • The Harris County DA's office seems to be in a constant state of Screw Up. She fired her first assistant yesterday without any stated reason. 
    "Welp, see ya later."
  • I had forgotten about this. Police dropping a bomb on a modern city in 1985 is about as proportional as using a dragon on King's Landing. 
  • Messenger: Above The Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Big thumbs up to the incredibly well done Netflix movie The Highwaymen. Former Texas Rangers track down Bonnie and Clyde. It's one of those movies which makes you immediately start researching the whole story. 
  • When the news broke yesterday in the Robert Kraft massage case that "a judge had granted a Motion to Suppress the video", people on my favorite radio station interpreted it to mean that the judge had ruled the video couldn't be made public. Nope, separate issue. It meant the video was ruled to have been illegally obtained and couldn't be used against Kraft in the trial. That basically kills the prosecution because they used it to identify Kraft -- evidence that also couldn't be used.
    • I haven't read the exact reason for the judge's ruling, but I always thought it was odd that a search warrant could be used to install cameras in a private business to try to catch future crimes. 
    • I bet the prosecutors are secretly thanking their lucky stars that this little misdemeanor case which is nothing but a headache for them is going away.
    • The publicity of the case is far worse than any potential criminal punishment.
  • This scorecard of a girl from Carrollton Ranchview competing in the state golf tournament truly had me think we had a serious cheating scandal on our hands. Nope. She's a phenom
  • I saw this headline in today's Dallas Morning News so I thought I'd remind you that DPS spends your money on gun boats on the Rio Grande with twin 250 horsepower engines. 
  • Now the U.S. Attorneys in the Justice Department are doing bits. Go back to work boys and at least try to be professional on Twitter.
  • In the mid-1950s, my grandfather had a clothing store on the square in Decatur. Dad told me that one of the biggest sales he had as a salesman was when Sheriff Rook Ramsey came over one late afternoon and said he needed 12 sets of sheets. Why? A jury was being sequestered at the courthouse and was staying overnight. That used to happen. Until recently, there was an old shower on the third floor which had been used for that purpose. 
  • I've made this request for 25 years: Does anyone have a picture of the Wise County district courtroom when the balcony was still in place? 
  • There was another big verdict against Roundup's manufacturer yesterday - this time a ridiculous $2 billion dollars based upon a paid "expert" claiming the stuff causes cancer. Prediction: All of these verdicts will be thrown out and the term Daubert will be cited in every single one. (Bias: I love that stuff and use it all the time.) 
  • With all these talks about tariffs, one thing that jumped out at me when I read Bob Woodward's book Fear was how Trump's former chief economic adviser and former COO of Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn, tried desperately to explain to Trump how they worked. In addition to trying to have him understand that it's nothing but a tax on Americans, he also tried to explain in childlike terms that a trade deficit isn't a bad thing: The U.S. economy is now service based and not manufacturing based. If we can buy a cheap washing machine from China we have more money to spend on a lawn sprinkler system, the gym, entertainment TV packages, etc.  - services that are the basis for American jobs.  Trump didn't get it and Cohn quit.  (Here's Cohn on the Freakonomics podcast explaining this.)
  • From "financial mismanagement and sloppy bookkeeping" to a state championship football team that had it's coaching staff turned upside down in a strange controversy, Desoto ISD is a train wreck. When's the last time you heard of a massive teacher layoff?
  • A jury trial is beginning today in Wise County for a murder trial where the defendant is a juvenile who has been certified as an adult. It will be the first trial of a certified juvenile in the county since one I prosecuted as DA in the fall of 1993. (I'm old.) Edit: Trial rescheduled.


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Breaking: Doris Day has died at age 97. Que será, será.
  • The story about the guy who threw the puppy out of the fleeing car last week in Wise County has made it all the way to the Chicago Tribune via Star-Telegram. (The guy got away.)
    Puppy obviously milking the situation for all
    its worth in front of the camera.
  • Edit: We've got a combo good puppy dog and Doris Day picture:
  • I remember when I was a kid at Mother's Day at FBC in Bridgeport that the pastor would recognize the oldest mom, the mom with the most kids, and the (very awkward moment of) youngest mom. Churches don't still do that, do they? 
  • UT has scheduled a home and home with Florida in 1930 and 1931. I'll tell you one thing, they don't shy away from non-conference games. Edit: Off by one hundred years.
  • Decatur's own John Bradshaw made the Dallas Morning News yesterday.  That's always been a bit of an odd set-up to me: the Texas Southwest Cattle Raisers Association have their own police agency -- and a big one. 
  • The current round of fighting over Obamacare is now in the Fifth Circuit after a fairly novice federal judge in Fort Worth struck it down last year. Below is an excerpt of a brief filed at the appellate court. This is truly a  Lawyers, Guns and Money moment combined with  a "they cling to guns or religion" moment. And it's bizarre for a legal brief.:

  • So true.
  • I'm no business genius, but that fast food Mexican restaurant over in Bridgeport on 380 needs to fix both of their signs which were the only signs that had its name on it. They've been busted out for months. That's a bad look. 
  • An Aggie beat an Aggie in the SEC track meet. (Twitter video). I think it's when your torso crosses the finish line -- it worked although that leap might have been a little premature.
  • More track: That Texas white boy (at least I think he's white because I don't see color) set the 100 meter national high school record in Austin. Video.
  • I don't care about the NBA but couldn't keep away from Kawhi Leonard's crazy game winning shot for Toronto last night. Someone overlayed the video with Verne Lundquist's call of Tiger's famous shot in the 2005 Masters. That's good stuff. (And here's a cool slow motion of the play.)
  • From Forbes
  • I still haven't seen any definitive reports on the success or failure of Kaaboo at JerryWorld other than one article about Friday saying less that 10,000 were in attendance. A faithful reader sent me this pic of that night:
  • I had no idea that the Peggy Lipton from The Mod Squad, who died over the weekend, had been married to Quincy Jones and their daughter is Rashida Jones of The Office and Parks and Recreation fame.
  • For a very limited audience: Old Town Road and a scene from Games of Thrones last night combined. 
  • Messenger: Above The Fold