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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Hey, look what the guy who Trump called as "dumb as a rock" bought. It's 16,000-square-foot home was listed for sale at $8.5 million. 
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be gone. I'll miss her because I knew she would lie which made her consistent. The only acceptable replacements are . . . 
    The Mooch
    Constitutional scholars Diamond and Silk
  • That was then. This is now. 

  • Well, the legislature let the requirement that all plumbers be licensed lapse so Gov. Abbott took Trump's playbook and used an executive order to keep it alive.  Right wingers are mad:
  • Sheriff Joe. Birthdays. Death during childbirth. And a rattlesnake reference. Lots to unpack here.
  • How much does it cost to remove a tree? I had one die and paid around $600 to have a couple of guys chop it up, grind the stump, and haul it off. Maybe I got a deal because they were already in the neighborhood cutting one down. Anyway, because of the tree damage in Dallas, that topic of cost has come up on the radio.  I've heard several people say to cut down this radio host's tree and remove it would cost in the thousands. 
  • Watch Jordan Speith call out his caddy yesterday."Two perfect shots, Michael. You got me one in the water and one over the green."   Speith is a media and DFW darling, but I've always thought he was a brat putting on an act. 
  • The Fort-Worth-hiker-lost-in-Arkansas guy gave an interview to WFAA. From the story: On Monday, June 3, there was the sound of hope. "I heard people call my name: 'Josh! Joshua!''' he said. "That type of thing. So, of course, I yelled back. The next thing I heard the rescuer say, ‘Where the hell is he?’” I don't think he explained how he was not found at that point. And I don't think WFAA asked about the GoFundMe page which raised $11,256.
  • Conservative icon George Will is on a book tour. 
  • In what might be the most protracted litigation in Wise County history, I present Joseph Palazzolo vs. Fort Worth Independent School District -- a whistle blower suit by a former assistant principal at Arlington Heights High School. It all began when he was fired in 2010. In 2016, a Wise County jury (don't ask how it ended up here) awarded him $2.4 million in damages but that verdict was reversed in 2016, and the case was sent back to Decatur. Because of the screwy rules involving the government and this type of lawsuit, the school can appeal pre-trial rulings. They did so again last year. Yesterday, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals said the lawsuit can continue in Wise County. Opinion is here. (Footnote no.1 basically says, "This is such a cluster of a lawsuit.") For lawyers: Do you think the ISD's lawyers billed for a Reply Brief that was denied as untimely to which the lawyers agreed because of an "internal calendaring mistake"?


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Here's a followup to Texas banning smoking for people under 21.  We join these conservative states:
  • Johnny Armstrong was found guilty of murder yesterday in Wise County. (I told you there would be no surprises.) You know what his first criminal charge ever was? Possession of tobacco in 1998. (Cause no. JP4-12052) Spin that anyway you want. 
  • I learned this yesterday: You'll need a federal government imposed gold star on your driver's license in order to commercially fly after October 1, 2020.  Obviously this is the beginning of the Mark of the Beast or something like it. 
  • Stooges in Texas in 1936. I didn't think they were big until around 1950, but I was wrong. 
  • Legal stuff: Do you think there would be a judge who thought he could revoke someone's probation by just calling the probation officer up to the bench, not swearing her in, allowing her to say the defendant failed drugs tests (with no proof that the statement is true), and not letting the defendant's attorney to cross-examine her or allowing the defendant to present any evidence at all? Well, one judge in Bexar County saw nothing wrong with that procedure: Judge Wayne A. Christian. Yesterday, the San Antonio appellate court, with complete agreement from the State, slapped him down. (But not hard enough.)
    "Do I look like a judge who doesn't understand Law For Dummies 101?"
  • This is the lawyer who bought the Robert E. Lee statue from Dallas for $1.4 million. He is real estate attorney who graduated from LSU law school in 1973. (It's not clear if he bought it for himself or for some third person.)
  • The town of Waskom, Texas, population 2,200,  became the first municipality in Texas to ban abortion by city ordinance. This gives rise to two questions -- one interesting and one simple. The interesting one: May cities legally zone out abortion clinics? The simple one: Does the Waskom City Council look like you would expect them to?

  • A current judge of the Texas Supreme Court running for re-election had a campaign event at lunch yesterday in Houston and posed with a placard of all the law firms and lawyers, many with current and future cases headed to his court, who were sponsoring the event (and him).  This isn't new or shocking. It's just proof we have a broken system. 

  • If he said these things in a grainy video with low quality audio, he'd be impeached in a week. 
  • Whales.
  • This is the International Space Station passing in between Earth and the Sun (in a rapid fire time lapse photo since it took a fraction of a second for the Space Station to pass).  Side note: In that moment, if you were to travel to the Sun, you would pass the Space Station when you reached mile 250 of your 93,000,000 mile journey. 
  • "Sources tell me the 'working theory' is that Jaquavion Slaton shot himself around the same time officers fatally shot him." - Fox 4's Brandon Todd on the man who was shot by police in Fort Worth earlier this week. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • A UFC fighter is the first to file a lawsuit over the crane accident in Dallas. Was a loved one killed? Was she permanently disabled? Will she never be able to fight again? Did her dog die? Nope. She cut her foot and has some property damage. She wants $1 million. 
  • I spent a couple of years in the Tarrant County DA's office back in the day. Another new hire (slightly after me) and I were sitting around talking one day, and he told me that his sister was the victim in the Central Park Jogger case. I was stunned. I don't remember his name, and I don't think he stayed with the office very long. I don't even know if he was telling the truth. (This would have been around 1992, and I'm not sure the victim had even been publicly identified yet so I couldn't even verify it.)
  • Prediction: This DFW lawyer, former cop, and sometimes Fox 4 commentator is going to run for office. (He announced he was going to run for Dallas County Sheriff a couple of years back then suddenly backed out.) He's now becoming visible as the PR person for DeSoto PD, and has suddenly taken on a very hard line "law and order" persona. This is a very bizarre tweet from a defense lawyer about the recent police shooting in Forth Worth when the body cams haven't been released. (And putting "activists" in quotes becomes perilously close to being interpreted as "those people.") The whole thing is very Trumpian.

  • When did monster rectangular (not circular) hay bales become a thing?  As a hay hauler from the mean fields of Wise County from way back, I notice things like this.
    Exclusive photo of Wise County hay field. 
  • Gov. Abbott is just killing it these days with his signature.
  • Call of the dogs. Run out the clock. And don't celebrate if you do score. 
  • Mute? I'm not sure I've ever seen a press release like this.
  • Kevin Durant just blew out his Achilles days before becoming a free agent.  You feel sorry for him? Don't. If he was healthy, he was going to get either 5 years and $220 million from his current team, the Warriors, or 4 years and $160 million from some other team. It was going to be his choice. But now he's hurt. Will he get those offers? It really doesn't matter. They'll be there next year: He doesn't have to declare as a free agent since he has a player option for one more year with the Warriors and, if exercised, he gets $31.5 million simply rehab and then can become a free agent. 
  • Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered 25 years ago today.
  • The lost Fort Worth hiker I wrote about yesterday has a cover story in the Star-Telegram today. "McClatchy, 38, has not publicly described the experience. He was not ready to be interviewed, his family said." That's him front and center below.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • I told you this was coming. Bills become law in Texas without his signature yet he signed a few in front of the camera for publicity only. But then he goes over the top with these pictures. To say he signed all of those is a lie. "Hey, Jim Bob, put a bunch of piles of paper on my desk. Let's snap a pic. And then lets clean off the desk. It'll look great!" 

  • As of September 1st, if you are 20 years of age and vape in Texas, the government has the right to arrest you and fine you. But you can vote, drive a car, and be drafted.
  • I knew the winds were big in Dallas but didn't know about the rain. Look at these two videos: The street looks like a river, and I can't believe this house didn't give way
  • Power outages continue in Dallas. This pic was taking looking west towards downtown Dallas this morning (you can see the neon green building.)
  • This picture was floating around showing the rain over downtown on Sunday. One problem: It was taken in 2017.
  • Heard on the radio: Isn't it true that big construction cranes are to be left untethered before a big storm so they can swing in the wind like a weather vane? I've actually heard that before, but I have no idea if it is correct. 
  • The Messenger noted that a former (and current?) Rhome resident and Northwest High graduate won the NCAA discuss this weekend. Here's video of the toss. (The discus and the javelin make me nervous because I fear someone isn't paying attention to the death coming at them from the sky.) 
  • I would give you an update on the murder trial going on in Wise County, but I looked through the glass door yesterday, saw a photo of what looked like bullet fragments on the big screen, and noticed it had "State Exhibit 154" on it. I immediately got Tired Head and didn't go in. 
  • The capital murder trial in Dallas that started last week involving the killing of the dentist in a murder for hire trial was over by Friday morning. 
  • There's no easy way to summarize a story of Jerry Jones gaining controlling interest in some natural gas company named Comstock last year for $630 million, it just acquired a company called Covey Park Energy for $2.2 billion --- largely with a new investment from Jones of $700 million, and Comstock has the weird stock price history:
  • The Random Thought Girl last week was indeed on a beach in Dubai. (Thanks emailer.)  My other guess was Qatar whose skyline is shown here:
  • Wise County housed an alleged serial killer last year and the Morning News has an update where authorities continue to link him to more murders. I was skeptical at first, but I've had conversations with folks who are beginning to convince me.  Wise County's own and Texas Ranger James Holland is credited in the story. 
  • Legal news.
  • Let's check in on the Toddler In Chief this morning. Yep, still at it. 
  • I'm reading The General vs. The President about Douglas MacArthur and Truman. Like most things, I'm stunned by what I didn't know, but one little fun fact I picked up: Presidents used to meet with the press outside of the cameras. If they wanted to quote Truman, the common practice was for the press to ask him permission to do so. If they didn't get it, they didn't print it. 
  • CNN referred to the situation after the crash yesterday as "pandemonium" and now the headline below would make you think there were mass casualties.  You think everything is bigger in Texas? 


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • That was a heck of a storm that went through Dallas yesterday afternoon, but we also learned that every local television station is ill-prepared to cover any major local news on a Sunday afternoon when they only have a skeleton crew.  I'm not sure Fox 4 had a producer on a staff. Here's a tip: When a massive crane falls on an apartment complex, show shots of the damage.

  • And there was amazing footage on Twitter immediately after it happened. Since I'm the hardest working man in news, here's a compilation:
    • Panes of glass from a skyscraper under construction crashed into an existing high rise.
    • Great footage of the velocity of the wind taken from inside a building in Addison.
    • Video of the crane collapsing in the distance
    • People scrambling to get off a boat ramp on Lake Grapevine.
    • Billboard crashing on car. (With a bad narrator.)
    • Photo of windows broken out in Fountain Place in downtown.
  • There was a hiker in Fort Worth who got lost in Arkansas but was found late Friday. When I see a story written like this, I wonder if the reporter is trying to say something without saying it. Can text but can't make calls. Most hikers lost in the area are found quickly. Roommate set up a GoFundMe account.
  • There was a Lamborghini wreck in Dallas over the weekend where the driver was killed. Speaking of GoFundMe, his family already has over $100,000.
  • Southlake Carroll's baseball team won a state title with a 17-0 victory this weekend. But the other team had, uh, issues.
  • The City of Dallas will settle the Exxxotica lawsuit which started a few years back when the City denied them use of the convention center.   Do you know which simple country lawyer from Decatur said that the legal position of the City of Dallas was on "shaky ground" way back in 2015 when all this began? This guy. My free legal advice would have saved Dallas not only the $650,000 settlement but also legal fees which had already reached $675,000 way back in 2017
  • Eric and Don Jr., who took a side trip to Ireland last week at your expense so daddy could look at his hotel, went on a "pub crawl' and ordered a round of drinks for everyone at one bar. They left without paying. But the owner said she was OK because "I don’t think we’ve to worry about getting paid for that." She doesn't know the Trumps.
  • Fort Worth police shot and killed a guy last night. This is in addition to the fatal shooting on June 1st by the SWAT team and a June 5th shooting where a cop fired at a guy but didn't hit anyone.
  • Tech won the men's NCAA Men's Track Championship this weekend and punched their ticket to the World Series. This is after playing in the NCAA Basketball Championship a couple of months back. (And I note a way-too-early death of a woman from Runaway Bay who has "Guns Up" in her obituary.)
  • Guess which world "leader" signed this D-Day Proclamation at the top?
  • The Texas Tribune has a story on the abuses of civil forfeitures by DA offices across the state. Here is the way the Texas County and District Attorney's Association read it: 

  • Trump continues to let us know he's not mentally well: 
    "of which the Moon is a part"

    Less than one month ago
  • More proof of instability as he was watching Fox News on Saturday afternoon. He misspelled basketball and referenced the wrong Rick Barry.
  • A former NFL player is on trial and this is the note the jury sent out on Friday. 
  • Messenger: Above The Fold