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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Breaking: Labor Secretary Acosta has resigned. (I was wrong on that prediction.)
  • Anyone else have a lot of questions about that Coast Guard video that's hitting all of the news? My alarm is seriously going off again. A guy just jumps on a sub without the proper gear, bangs on the hatch like it's the front door of a house, and the guys inside just open it up and give up without taking any evasive maneuvers? All with two camera rolling? 
  • Ok, you think I'm crazy about being suspicious about that? Follow the links which are all from Coast Guard. When you finally get to a description of this video, this following is all they say which could be a sneaky way of saying, "We train using what we call self-propelled semi-submersible suspected drug smuggling vessels (SPSS)." And that second sentence is exactly what you would say if this was a training video.  Find me something from the Coast Guard, not vague news reports, which says this was an actual drug bust.
  • The video of the Angry Bagel Guy is also going around, and I don't get why everyone thinks it is funny. Videoing and uploading someone's worst moment  -- especially someone who has issues -- so the rest of us can laugh and mock is not a good look. 
  • This is the case that got the whole Baylor scandal started. (To be clear, the reversal wasn't because of insufficient evidence but because the DA's office under the old administration screwed up. That, of course, is totally expected. He could be re-tried.)
    That's a really good photo.
  • Trump on Free Speech at his Right Wing Social Summit yesterday: "To me when you see something good and then you purposely write bad. To me that's very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it. But that's not free speech."  At least President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho made sense.
  • After Trump caved on the Citizenship Question on the census questionnaire yesterday, a skirmish occurred between Sebastian Gorrrrrrrrrrka and a Playboy reporter in the Rose Garden.  The whole scene was an embarrassment to us all. There are a couple of angles of the confrontation: Here and here
  • I'm not sure the proper term is that she "escaped" from a foster home. 
  • LBJ is really a fascinating character. I stumbled across this photo yesterday which fits with his personality. He was really devoted to his family but worked all the time. 
  • Speaking of presidents and working, let's check in on Trump this morning. He spends all his time watching and promoting State TV and the worst propagandists among us. 
  • Trump has tweeted or retweeted at least 57 times in the last 24 hours. That's weird even for him. He's triggered or nervous about something. 
  • Hal Jay on WBAP this morning on Tropical Storm Barry preparations: "I saw them stacking sandbags all the way to waist high, but if only 20" of rain is coming, don't you just have to stack them 20" high?"


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • A double rainbow was visible all over North Texas yesterday evening. This was from Haslet. 
  • Two men were seriously injured after being shot at Buck's Caberet in north Fort Worth last night. Police were called at around 2:30 a.m. That mid-week strip club run never seems to work out for folks.  
    I've got questions for a couple of these folks.  
  • We've got a new Mike Pence. Yesterday a candidate for Governor of Mississippi (yep, Mississippi) wouldn't let a female reporter shadow him because he will not be alone with a woman other than his wife. He's seriously scared he can't control himself when he's alone with a woman, but calls it Christian values and blames the dirty libs for the fact he's mocked. 

  • No one laughed more yesterday at Alex Acosta's defense of his Epstein plea deal than prosecutors. Everything he said was a cover-up and a lie. There were four major red flags: 
    • He referred to a case with multiple victims with same common scheme as being like  “rolling the dice” at trial. Hey, a case with no witness other than the victim with one incident of abuse is a "roll of the dice." Multiple victims is an unfortunate prosecutorial gift that rarely happens.  
    • He said that prosecution of sex offenders is much different and easier now than back in 2008 because "We now have 12 years of knowledge and hindsight, and we live in a very different world." Dude. You're talking about 2008 like it was 1950. Prosecutions are exactly the same today as they were in 2008.
    • He defended meeting with Epstein's lawyer for breakfast at a hotel because, "We live in a city where people have breakfast meetings all the time" while at the same time saying the deal had already been brokered by that point.  
    •  Blaming the state prosecutors for not being aggressive enough. The feds never care about a state prosecution. They either take a case and make it federal or they don't. And he was in charge of making that decision.
  • This Texas state rep is right to criticize a dumb lady, but his alternative isn't exactly a genius plan.
  • My one and only faithful administrative assistant has the worst luck. A couple of years ago she went to Vegas to see the Rolling Stones. Once there, it was cancelled because Jagger had developed voice issues. She now has tickets to the Stones again this weekend: In New Orleans. 
  • I don't even know what he's babbling about this morning. All of this doesn't makes sense, and it's weird even for him. He's not well. (And he even randomly tagged an account of someone who is a retired teacher in Florida who, when I just looked, had 157 followers.)
    And what's that last sentence mean?
  • Then again, that's should be an expected followup from his remarks yesterday: "You've worked so hard on the kidney. Very special -- the kidney has a very special place in the heart. It's an incredible thing."
  • There's a reason a buddy of mine always called it the "Mel Cooley School of Law."
  • Fox News for some reason had Kristy Swanson on to talk about the women's soccer team and Megan Rapinoe, and, I have to say, "That's Buffy the Vampire Slayer?"
  • 84-year-old Norma Allbritton has been arrested for shooting death of husband, Johnnie Allbritton, who died in 1984 near his home in Leon County, Texas. There are no details about this "new evidence" but the background on the case is pretty wild. I'm skeptical.
  • Shoutout to BagOfNothing this morning for (1) A bullet point on religious indoctrination of children -- I can see his hands sweating as he typed and retyped it, and (2) an absolute must see gif of Jim Carrey being deep-faked into The Shining.


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Odd drowning locations: Two people at Turner Falls in Oklahoma in the last week, and a teenager in a pond at Stonebridge Ranch Country Club in McKinney last night. 
  • Trump can't block people on Twitter, a federal appeals court has ruled. It's really pretty simple: It's the equivalent of the county commissioner's having 30 minutes for an "open forum" from the public but with a rule of, "You can't speak if you are going to hurt our feelings."  The ruling applies to any government official who has an official social media account: From President to sheriff to school board member. 
  • Ross Perot's passing is being acknowledged as it should be. But I had forgotten how he was mocked ruthlessly for using charts and graphs in his presidential campaigns. That was considered unconventional for a candidate. (Compare and contrast: "Little Rubio", "Lyin' Ted", etc.)
  • That's a weird case of the Olney teacher being found dead by Lake Cooper where "foul play" is suspected. Side note: That's one small lake.   
  • Pressure is mounting for Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to resign. He's the federal prosecutor who signed off on the "no prosecution" deal of Jeffrey Epstein when Epstein was accused of child trafficking in Florida. Prediction: He won't quit. It's a new political world out there, and the new rule is simply to ride it out and you'll survive. Memories are short. (Heck, the black faced Virginia governor survived.)
  • A strip club, Shadow Cabaret, will host a golf tournament at Trump's Doral County Club in Florida where you get the "caddie girl of your choice."   Don't worry, "There would be no nudity at the resort . . . [since] the caddies would wear pink miniskirts and . . .  'a sexy white polo.' Afterward, however, the golfers and the dancers would return to another venue — the cabaret itself — for what [was] described as a 'very tasteful' burlesque show, which could involve nudity."
  • Followup of interest to only a few: The dispute between former Wise County Attorney Todd Durden, now serving in that capacity for Kinney County, and that County Judge is getting nastier. But it looks like the judge knows that Durden will win so he's trying to kill a pending case by simply conceding and telling the appellate court the case is moot. (But the most interesting thing to me is that Durden now goes by a nickname.)
  • I follow a ton of criminal lawyer accounts on Twitter, and I'm not even sure they are all real. But they are entertaining. 
  • I can never remember what "Dew Point" means, and I've googled it more times than I also can't remember. 
  • That's pretty big news out of Austin where UT says it will provide tuition and books for students coming from families who have a combined income of less than $65,000. But two things are certain: (1) Families will manipulate their incomes to fall under the $65,000 threshold, and (2) No right winger family will call this "socialism" if they are getting the benefit. 
  • I don't think I've ever heard of this: One of the mini-Aggie schools is playing a team from Mexico in football. If they played it in El Paso they could promote it as The Brawl at The Wall.™ 
  • Breaking! Local weather icon David Finfrock must be a Dirty Lib!
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • I referred to the substance you put on your skin to prevent sunburn as "suntan lotion" yesterday, and the Kids-In-The-House for some reason thought that was hilarious. 
  • There was a time when I would monitor motorcycle deaths on here because it seemed like they were happening all the time. I still think they are death machines. 
  • I thought this pic was staged from a movie or something yet it actually was taken yesterday morning when a flash flood hit D.C.
    "Uh, I'm gonna be a little late."
  • The new UIL marching band rules might catch some people by surprise. "Anyone entering the first and third years of high school is required to see a doctor [for a physical], along with any seventh- or eighth-grade students who march in a band. In the second and fourth years of high school, a medical history form is required. All paperwork is due by Aug. 1."
  • Greg Abbott drives me insane. No politician panders more to the masses than him. "Despicable criminal"? First, the girl is legally a child. Secondly, she hasn't even been convicted and a former judge and Texas AG should know something about the presumption of innocence. (Heck, as far as any of us know she pulled the ice cream back out and bought it. Unlikely? Yes. But none of us know what actually happened.) Thirdly, he was silent when people died from listeria from Blue Bell in 2015 even though the company knew about the bacteria in one of its plants two years beforehand. 
  • Pete Delkus didn't predict Jack County and western Wise County being soaked yesterday morning. 
  • I don't have anything against the Jeffrey Epstein prosecution. But I've always had a huge problem with prosecutors grandstanding. This is grandstanding. 
  • It seems like in high profile criminal cases you often hear of the defendant as being a "flight risk" when the government is advocating no bond or a high bond. Name the last high profile case where the defendant did not show up for court. 
  • I like the story (stats like that never cease to amaze me), and I also like the illustrations. 
  • The Fifth Circuit today will hear oral arguments in a widely watched Obamacare case. As background, a federal judge in Fort Worth, who you've never heard of and whose only prior experience was five years as an assistant DA in Tarrant County, struck down the law. Why (especially since the Supreme Court had already upheld the law)? Because Trump's Congress repealed the penalty you have to pay on your income taxes if you choose not to obtain insurance. Since the Supreme Court only upheld Obamacare because the penalty was a "tax" and, because Congress has the authority to impose taxes, the court said Congress had authority to impose Obamacare. Ergo, if there is no longer a penalty/tax then Congress didn't have the authority to pass the health care law. I can't believe I'm saying this, but the federal judge might be right. 
  • I had no idea this happened two years ago. 
  • "See! Constitutional scholar Steve Doocy thinks I'm right!" We live in Idiocracy
  • The average rent in Dallas is $1,153.  And apartments are 94.9% full. 
  • We might have Tropical Storm Barry form in the gulf. At this point, it doesn't appear that it will become a devastating hurricane and thereby ruining my name forever. (I.e. Katrina.)
  • There is a 100% chance that the Change of Venue motion in the Amber Guyger case will be denied. And, despite their assertion, the defense team doesn't want it moved because of "media hysteria." They propose even moving the trial to Collin County. (For some reason I picture Seinfeld's Jackie Chiles saying, "This media hysteria is as bad as Blue Bell listeria!")


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Decatur ISD's school superintendent resigned on Friday. One thing I've learned in life: I would never want to be a school superintendent or a member of a school board. 
  • I thought about this way too long. 
  • Based upon the other shots, they weren't trying to re-create Anchorman -- just trying to be "wacky news people" who love working on the 4th of July outdoors.

  • You've got to love the Arizona governor getting all high and mighty and withdrawing incentives for Nike's move into a city because of the Betsy Ross Flag controversy only to be out in public at a function a few days later wearing Nikes
  • Last Friday: Seinfeld debuted 30 years ago.  Last Saturday: It was 25th anniversary of  the release of Forrest Gump. And, by the way, the 2010s are over in six months. 
  • Keller PD did a bit about Blue Bell, Fox 4 posts this, and people became outraged because the didn't know it was a bit.  (Yet another reason why I'm against cops doing bits on the taxpayer dime.)
  • The New York U.S. attorney's office indicting Jeffrey Epstein on child sex trafficking between 2002-2008 sure got everyone's attention starting on Saturday night. (You either know about the case or will never care about the case.) Man, the stuff he knows and the people who he could inculpate. Side note: I didn't know Ken Starr was on his defense team when he ran into problems in Miami. 
  • Trump about Epstein in 2002:
  • Something I was surprised to see in James Michner's Texas that I'm reading: Texas was given approval by Congress to break into five different states whenever it wants. I knew about it and wrote about it last year, but I acted like I had discovered a golden nugget. Yet, it's thrown out in the book, written in 1985, with an "everyone knows that" feel.  
  • The Rangers' Angels' catcher was run over at the plate yesterday. From this angle, it looks like the runner clearly went out of the baseline to go get him (watch his left foot.) This other angle makes me not so sure. 
  • I tried to diagnosis a water sprinkler system problem where a zone was stuck in the "on" position (and I have no experience in water sprinklers.)  Having some indication (read "youtube told me") that it might be a valve, I looked for the protective box in the ground. The first picture is what the Internet told me it was supposed to look like.  The second is what I finally found and unearthed. Yep, no box. Just completely buried. Spliced wires everywhere. Two different manufacturers of the first two valves I found. And that was the way it was "professionally" installed. 
    Not mine.
  • That's kind of like the fast food pics of what it's supposed to look like in the ad vs. what you get. 
  • I was able to clean it up a bit more and identify the valve controlling the offending zone, disassemble it, and take a look at the diaphragm which, I'm told, can be the problem.  At this point in the pic below, I was like, "Well, so that's a diaphragm, huh?" I pulled it out, and it looked fine while realizing that I wouldn't know if it didn't look fine.   Did you know you can get a replacement for one of those valves -- the complete thing -- for about $20.00? That's the easiest way to get replacement parts, too -- buy the whole thing. I'll also re-splice those wires to clean up the connections. Oh, and buy a valve box. But Vegas money is rolling in on me calling in someone. 
  • Stuff I read that sounds incredibly dull yet incredibly bad: For the last full quarter, long term bonds are paying less interest than short term bonds. So what? For the last 50 years, every time that has happened for a quarter - every single time - a recession happened.
  • "Britain's ambassador to the U.S. described President Trump as an 'insecure' and 'incompetent' leader of an administration marred by 'vicious infighting' and 'false claims' in a series of leaked diplomatic memos published by the Daily Mail."
  • Messenger: Above The Fold.