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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • So what the heck is going on with Iran? They shoot a drone down (which may or may not have been in their air space), and Trump then ominously tweets that "Iran made a very big mistake!" Uh, oh. Is a war coming over a drone? But he then turns right around and tells the press hours later that it was a mistake because "a general or somebody" did something they "shouldn't have been doing" and the move was "loose and stupid." So that's what you meant? 
  • Edit: Trump said he called off the strike (we were "cocked and loaded") with "10 minutes" to spare because a general told him "150 people" would die. (Side note: The New York Times was absolutely right on its scoop this morning.)
  • But wait, there's more. Overnight he then decides to bomb Iran over that "mistake" and then changes his mind.  
  • I watched When They See Us, the Netflix film on the Central Park Five. It's pretty good, but I'm sure there was a great deal of poetic license taken with the truth. I expected that. But one thing I believe: The portrayal of prosecutor Linda Fairstein. I've known prosecutors like that. It's this weird mindset where they convince themselves someone is guilty when no rationale person would believe it. At the very least, they should have a reasonable doubt about it. I used to think they were just guided by their own blind arrogance, but I'm not so sure now. Prosecutors like Fairstein want to see the world as black and white. That there is no gray. That from the moment they pick up a new file they just know it must contain the facts of good versus evil.   
  • The Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells is (finally) getting restored at a cost of $65 million.  Man, that seems risky.  And I wonder what the cost would be to tear it down and recreate it versus renovating it. Look at that mess . . . 
  • That Houston drug raid where the cops lied to get a search warrant and then went in and killed two innocent people in their home (and their dog) keeps getting messier
  • I think I'm becoming a Justice Gorsuch fan. Yesterday he dissented to a decision allowing Congress to basically let the Attorney General create federal sexual offender registration laws. It began: 
  • I don't feel strongly about whether the Supreme Court's other significant ruling that a World War I memorial consisting of a giant cross doesn't violate the Establishment Clause, but I am concerned that the basis of whether or not something is Constitutional is based upon whether some Americans will get their feelings hurt. I didn't know that was the standard. 
  • The Navy SEAL who might get pardoned by Trump if convicted for the alleged war crime of stabbing a prisoner to death made the news yesterday with sensational headlines like the one below.  I'd tapped the brakes on that. The testimony came from a medic who testified that "he himself held his thumb over a breathing tube that had been inserted into the militant's mouth" and that's what killed him. Is that a big deal in this military court? I doubt it. Why did he do it?: “Because I knew he was going to die anyway,” Scott answered. “I wanted to save him from what was going to happen next to him."  
  • Roy Moore from Alabama has announced that he will again run for the U.S. Senate. (Someone quipped that "At least there's a big mall in Washington for him.")  The video link for the flashback from below is here
  • Even Trump Jr. is distancing from Roy Moore. But in doing so he shows how the Trump family has dishonestly bastardized the term "Fake News."  He may question Moore's intentions, but it is not fake news to accurately report that he said, "I'm not going against President Trump." 
  • "LEGISLATIVE UPDATE – State Senator Pat Fallon will give a legislative update at 4 p.m. today at the RB Golf Club and Resort in Runaway Bay." On a Friday at 4:00? Doesn't he know we'll be out of here?


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • A former Bridgeport cop who was briefly, and I do mean briefly, with the department has been arrested on Indecency with a Child allegations in Grayson County. 
  • This story has been going around for months and the Miami Herald took a deep dive into it yesterday. There's a lot going on here (and lots more, I suspect, that hasn't been revealed.)

  • Some faithful readers who just happen to be federal employees have been denied access to Liberally Lean! Now this is censorship!
  • There are 150 Fuzzy Taco restaurants? The Decatur one doesn't have the vibes of a big chain at all. 
  • Is it wrong to wonder who to believe?
  • The city of Riviera Beach, Florida has agreed to pay $600,000 to hackers who used ransomware to lock down its computers.  This happens all the time, and happened to the Wise County Sheriff's Office a few years back. However, the ransom paid by Wise County didn't unlock the computers, but the good news is that they only paid one bitcoin which was then worth about $500
  • The Messenger unveiled a new website look last weekend, but I wonder if there might be a problem with old stories. I did a Google search for the sheriff's office ransomware story and these links showed up. The first one was a hit, but it was dead and redirected me to the Messenger's home page. (The Google cache link still had the story.) I clicked on the other two just to see if they worked, and they also redirected me to the home page. Are the old links gone?
  • Of course, not every Hispanic votes Democratic, but this Texas Tribune story just released about the Census data indicates the question now should be "When will Texas turn Blue?" and not "Will Texas turn Blue?" And the answer is sooner than you think. These are shocking numbers showing Hispanics will out number whites in Texas in three years
  • Is "little" Marco Rubio OK? First, he shows up at Trump's rally in Orlando after hating the guy during the last Republican Primary, and this morning he's quoting Bible verses. And regarding his recitation of the Lord's prayer, the King James version says "debts"/"debtors" instead on "trespasses"/"trespass against us" so he's good on that. But where does this "final test, but deliver us from the evil one" come from? I had to look it up. It's the New American Bible Revised Edition released in 2011.  In his defense, it's probably the one Jesus used. 
    From 2/26/16
  • I think I've found the highest court appointed lawyer bill for a case in Wise County history: $42,000. (It was a long murder case last year, and it possibly included two lawyers. I knew it would be big when I saw about a dozen banker's boxes lined up by the defense table.) 
  • Two very important points: (1) I can't believe she can simply refuse to answer questions and can get away with it, and (2) Man, is she good looking. That's a Hollywood starlet walk she is throwing down there. 
  • Yesterday I wrote that the prosecution of Texas AG Ken Paxton had "stalled." because the special prosecutors weren't getting paid what they wanted. Thirty minutes later the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied a rehearing in the case confirming they won't get their big pay day. Coincidence? 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • On May 8th, I wrote that I had finally read the Texas Monthly article on the in-house theft of millions of dollars at the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana. The story wasn't recent, and I'm not sure why it had got my attention. But the story also caught the attention of someone else: Last weekend it was announced a movie about it, Fruitcake, will be made starring Will Ferrell and Laura Dern. Another weird coincidence: I told Mrs. LL as I was reading the article that the story reminded me of Bernie. Then my dad told me three days later the story reminded him of, uh, Bernie. And this morning, Craig Miller on The Ticket said the story sounds a little like . . . Bernie.
  • The Acting Secretary of Defense is gone hours after a USA Today story broke about a domestic violence incident.  We've not had a Secretary of Defense in months. #BestPeople
  • I saw this story but couldn't read it because it's behind a paywall. But I did notice in the sub-headline that the County Attorney's name was Todd Durden. Wait a second. Wise County had a County Attorney named Todd Durden in the 1990s. Same guy? Yep. (Regarding the "Pay-to-Plea" system, Durden requested for an AG opinion on the practice. PDF here.)
  • Durden won the County Attorney job in 1996 when he ran as a Republican and unseated incumbent and pro-weed Democrat Stephen Hale. And he barely won. (I think it was by about 500 votes, but I can't find the results right now.) The Dallas Observer story from back then is as if it was written about a different world. Here's an excerpt: 
  • Oklahoma government IT guys aren't messing around. Is this a thing for government workers? You mess around to much on the Internet and your overlords are automatically tipped off?
  • You've shared an office with a guy since 1988, and he is now $5,417 delinquent on this month's rent, so you sue him and make the Texas Lawyer. (The lawyer doing the suing is one of the  special prosecutors of Ken Paxton -- a prosecution which has stalled due to Collin County commissioners refusing to pay the prosecutors' submitted six-figure fee.)
  • Former Ranger Michael Young will get his number retired. Must not take much. (I remember him whining when he had to move to second when Elvis took over shortstop and when Beltre was acquired.)
  • The "lost hiker from Fort Worth in the Arkansas park" was on the Ticket this morning. He said he considered suicide by "bashing his head on the rocks" but he heard God say, "Where do you want to go, heaven or hell?" and then "I stood up and that's when I heard" those looking for him. He wasn't found then despite him shouting back. He blamed it on the echos.  I have no evidence that the guy is lying and I'm not saying he is, but something feels wrong about this whole story. (They didn't ask him about the GoFundMe page.)
  • Yesterday Trump said he didn't regret calling for the death penalty of the now exonerated  Central Park Five.  It's not amazing that he wouldn't admit he was wrong -- he never does -- but it is interesting/bizarre that he said, "There are people on both sides of this."  Those are the same words he used to defend the Unite The Right neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. 
  • The Proud Boys showed up at Trump's Orlando re-election rally yesterday flashing the White Power hand symbol. More.
  • The probation department in Wichita Falls is in chaos. (It made the front page below)
  • Messenger: Above the Fold.


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • We've all seen this picture by Tom Fox of the Dallas Morning News of the shooter yesterday. It's great. It might win a Pulitzer. But one of the little talked about aspects of the photo is the reflection of the shooter on the right in some mirror-like panel on a column. That has to be a reflection off a similar mirror  facing the shooter which is then projected onto an opposite mirror which is then capture in the photo. Captured in a moment of what would have been a once in a lifetime photo even without it. Edit: Getting some emails that the reflection is actually from the granite -- not mirrors.
  • But I'm not sure when that photo was taken. The crazy footage of the shooter in action shows the photographer hiding being a column. But the picture couldn't have been taken from that vantage point because the photo shows two protective cylinders behind the shooter, the absence of multiple big planters in the background, as well as the street with the pickup in the background. It doesn't add up.  (And the street view from two years ago doesn't show any reflective mirrors on the columns.) Edit: One Faithful Reader says the photo was taken a block away and the photographer then moved closer. 
    As shooter approaches
    Shooter fleeing to run across the street
    Street view from 2017. (Those trees in the planters must be now gone.)
  • And we learned that the shooter was a vet, a gun nut, and a Civil War fan. And this caused my head to hurt: "One meme he shared [on social media] referred to a 'Chad rampage' vs. a 'virgin shooting' — the Chad vs. virgin trope is a common 'incel' meme, which is short for 'involuntary celibate.' The meme contrasted how two men — a 'Chad' and a 'virgin' — would go about carrying out a shooting."
  • Gloria Vanderbilt has died. You don't know fashion chaos until you lived through the late 1970s where teenage girls were paying for overpriced Vanderbilt jeans while other girls went with equally overpriced Jordache.
  • As predicted, the Supreme Court amazingly says it's OK for the state and the feds to prosecute a guy for the same crime in two separate prosecutions. But Trump appointee Gorsuch sounds like a dirty lib in his dissent. And he writes like me. He starts sentences with "And" and "But" and used my trademarked one word sentence of, "Really?"

  • Really?
  • Job opening. (Side note: There was a time in this county where everyone called the town "Alvoyd." Now you never hear it.)
  • Right wing Williamson County is going to do this? 
  • Millions? This is just another red meat lie to his base. 
  • He got mad a Fox News again. "Something weird."
  • The 21 Year Old Going To Lithuania Update from yesterday: It took her 20 hours to fly from Dallas to Houston.  She's now delayed four hours in Frankfurt airport. But she is happy to report that she got a food voucher for "10 Euros!" I sent her a message to not make any Hitler jokes. 


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Target had a cash register/computer malfunction on the Saturday before Father's Day that shut down their operation for about two hours.  Can you image the money they lost? But most of the focus was on customer inconvenience. I'm not familiar with this "lifestyle guru" who was upset with Target, but the following didn't work out for her. She deleted it.

  • Count the confusing parts: The 21-Year-Old-College-Senior-Home-From-School was on her way from DFW to Lithuania yesterday but, due to the storms that came through, ended up in an Austin hotel room overnight with a 16 year old female traveler who was also flight delayed. Confusing enough? How about if I told you Mrs. LL was waiting at Houston International to help rescue her.
  • This is great: Trump gets all grumpy when his Chief of Staff coughs during his answer to one of George Stephanopoulos questions. (But you can tell he understands TV by resetting his answer.) 
  • O.J. Simpson is now on Twitter and tells us "you'll get to read all my thoughts and opinions on just about everything."  He and I have something in common: Why would you guys out there even care? 
  • I'd rather they show the background at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach than the actual golf. 
  • A few pretentious gems in this story about a couple who live in the Arts District of downtown Dallas. (Ticket fans: That's the father of former board op Grubes.)
  • She had been around forever but apparently she got fired on the spot on Friday after an office argument with the new DA. I'd love to know what that was about. 
  • All the news media freaked out on Friday as reports broke that a Fort Worth deputy had been gunned down in his car in downtown Fort Worth. It turned out that he fell and hit his head and then pasted away. Tragic either way, but that wasn't the best news filtering by the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office. 
  • There was a car fire on the North Dallas Tollway this morning. Watch this (quick loading) video for a "small" explosion as a firefighter walks up to the front of it. 
  • The New York Times reported that the  U.S. has been planting malware into Russia's power grid but officials don't trust Trump enough to tell him. (Trump confusingly said it was "treason" for the Times to release the information about the hack but then turned around and said it was false story.)
  • Here's why Greg Abbott has signing ceremonies for bills which would become law even if he didn't sign them: Far, far right stations like OAN report that he is responsible for all the bills. (By the way, Liz Wheeler of OAN might be a Stepford wife.)
  • I watched HBO's Chernobyl. Verdict: Two big thumbs up. (It's a great drama, and you get to learn the basics of how a nuclear reactor works.)
  • This was wilder than I expected:
  • Messenger: Above The Fold.