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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • I haven't mention much about the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 this week, but I am old enough to remember it. Sorta. I don't remember the launch at all, but I do remember hurrying home from Vacation Bible School commencement to watch the moon walk. (But it's all a little fuzzy.) One memory is clear: Staring up at the moon that week and trying to wrap my head around how we were there
  • As Michael Collins watched Armstrong and Aldrin leave to go to the moon's surface, you know it crossed his mind multiple times that he might have to go home alone. He had to have been trained for such an event since every scenario had been considered. Even Nixon had a speech written in case all three men died on the journey. It's here
  • It looks like Wendy Davis will run for Chip Roy's congressional seat which covers an area near Austin. She'll beat him. Each of the last three Republican vs. Democrat race in that district has gone to the Republican but the margin has been shrinking each year. Roy won last time by a margin of 50.3% to 47.5%. She has name recognition and will benefit from the anti-Trump wave. 
  • How do you get away from a storm of controversy of being a racist and news that you used to party with Jeffrey Epstein? Start a war with Iran.  
  • There was a shooting at Fort Worth Buck's Cabaret in north Fort Worth last week. Now police have made some public lewdness arrests (names and ages in link.) 
  • When you've lost The Mooch, you've lost America.
  • Sports or Sports-like: (1) Former Aggie coach Jackie Sherrill has settled a lawsuit against the NCAA that he filed in 2004. (2) David Duval shot a 15 on one hole at the British Open. Then it was changed to a 13. Nope. They changed it to a 14. Explained. (3) The open weekend of college football season has College GameDay coming back to Sundance Square. 
  • Here's a followup on The Washington Post's opiod/pain pill analysis of DEA data because I can't believe it is this detailed: "From 2006 to 2012 there were 14,175,520 prescription pain pills supplied to Wise County, Tex." Below are the top five pharmacies, ranked. (For any county in the U.S. go here and scroll down until you see "Find the data for where you live.")
  • More proof of Idiocracy.  (For those who aren't has hip as me, A$AP Rocky is a rapper who got in a brawl in Stockholm.)
  • So you  think "Go back home!" or "Send her back!" yelled by a white crowd in North Carolina isn't racist?  Or Lindsey Graham using the shortcut code word of "communist" isn't racist? The Klan in North Carolina would like a word with you.   
  • He lied. Again. He let it go for 13 seconds and never told them to stop. Watch the exchange here (it has a split screen of the 13 seconds with a timer which makes you realize 13 seconds is a long time in that context.) 
  • This is fascinating. Bob Sturm of the Ticket was watching the 1977 NFC Championship Game of the Cowboys/Vikings played at Texas Stadium because he's a nerd. Out of the blue, the broadcast cut to a guy on fire in the stands. (Watch that portion here.) Sturm posted it on Twitter and the Irving Fire Department saw it. Yesterday, two guys from the department who had researched the case went up to the studio for a couple of segments. They explained that the guy who caught on fire was in a snowman outfit which the department still has (photo below of the snowman head.) The guy caught on fire when a sixteen year old high school student, who was involved in a concession fund raiser but was walking up the aisle carrying a lit container of Sterno to keep warm on the very cold day, bumped the snowman. 
  • That Cowboys' clip begins with Tony Dorsett being run out of bounds. Dorsett, who might be my favorite running back of all time, could look cool even on a play like that. (The Cowboys won that game which was actually played on January 1, 1978.)
  • Also on The Ticket yesterday, this guy called in. 
  • Former left winger and now Fox News golden boy Alan Dershowitz has been linked to Jeffrey Esptein and he's fighting back in the weirdest of ways. (David Boies is a famous lawyer who is representing one of the victims in a civil case): 
  • A 24 year old inmate in Bexar County has died after two weeks in jail. He was incarcerated on a possession under a gram charge which requires mandatory probation for first time offenders. But he didn't have the money to make bail. 
  • Greg Abbott, who doesn't know the first thing about criminal law, instructed locally elected prosecutors to go ahead and file marijuana cases without a lab report even thought proving the case requires a lab report. Incredible. He will be ignored by DAs and CAs. Stay in your lane, bro.


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • In a disturbing scene last night in North Carolina, Trump stood back, soak in, and relished in his base screaming "Send her back!" after he attacked Rep. Ihlan Omar. And make no mistake, "send her back" (forcible removal of an American citizen) is a big step from the simply racist "go back home" (voluntarily leave).  Watch it. 
  • I'm one of those who are very reluctant to compare Trump to Hitler but this is getting seriously disturbing. We've all seen the footage of Hitler going on rants in front of rambunctious all white crowds and then staring out at them as the Smug and Angry Leader as they applaud. But name the last time an American president whipped an all white crowd into a frenzy as they screamed for the forced removal of a minority from the country? It's never been close to this.
  • Exactly.
  • And he also dropped two GD bombs last night in his speech to the Family Values crowd.  I'm sure Robert Jeffress and Franklin Graham will be on with Lou Dobbs later to say, again, that God has anointed Trump. 
  • Doing a 180: It seems the very wheels off Facebook page of "Wise County Rant and Rave" has been "archived" and will no longer accept new posts or comments.  From people parking in handicapped spaces, to the outing of alleged infidelity, to a neighbor's cow eating a person's trees, it's was bizarrely entertaining.
  • Shout out again to West Wise Special Utility District. The guys showed up bright and early, found the leak, and fixed it. It took a backhoe, but they were as careful as they could be. (I don't think I would have found this thing with a shovel -- assuming I could have gotten past a couple of gallon sized rocks.) 
  • Someone brought up Dakota Fanning yesterday, and I wondered what she had been up to. Well, I'll be: She is playing former Manson Family member and attempted assassin of Gerald Ford, Squeaky Fromme, in Quentin Tarantino's upcoming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
  • There's been a lot of discussion of the DWI history of Jonathan Moore who is in jail for two counts of Intoxication Manslaughter in the death of a former Dallas city councilman and her daughter. Amazingly, both Dallas PD and the Dallas DA haven't figured out they could charge the guy with first degree murder. It's a creative legal theory to get there, but it's been around since at least 2006.
  • It appears that The Ticket's Junior Miller is dating (and possibly engaged to) Fox 4's Natalie Solis. 
  • This "property hearing" is going on in Wise County's Justice of the Peace #3 this afternoon. Those are weird proceedings where the government gets to forfeit and keep property if the property was acquired by theft and the rightful owner doesn't make a claim for it. Of course, when no one knows who the rightful owner is, the State gets to win these proceedings almost all the time. 
  • Hey, the Wise County judge has his picture in the Wichita Falls paper. I hope he brings a load of that broadband home with him. (I'm trying to remember Wise County's first Internet provider. Was it Webfire or something like that?)


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • In covering the opioid crisis, The Washington Post analyzed DEA data tracking the location of every prescribed pain pill and created a graphic ranking the highest per person prescription rate by county. For Texas, Young County (Graham) is on top of the leader board with 88.4 pills per person. Wise County had 34.9 pills per person. For the county, the hills of West Virginia and Kentucky have a problem. 
  • This is cool: A video of Apollo 11's rocket pre-launch was projected onto the Washington Monument last night. Video here.
  • Uh . . . 
  • Shout out to West Wise Special Utility District. After spending two days being unable to diagnosis the source of a leak in the yard, I finally broke down and called them in the belief that it was possibly a leak between the street and the meter. An incredibly friendly lady named Dorothy answered (without first having to go through a phone tree), listened to my problem, confirmed I had all the water shut off, and directed me to the water meter (and to look for a tiny rotating star which, we learned, wasn't rotating) and said, "That's good news for you. It sounds like our problem." She said she would send someone out and the guy arrived in under 15 minutes. He, too, diagnosed it as their problem and began making arrangements to repair it.   
  • Someone explain to me how the best customer service experience I've ever had comes from a governmental entity which doesn't even have a competitor in the product they offer (water)? 
  • CNN had White Nationalist Richard Spencer on to say Trump isn't racist enough. To give him a forum is shameful. 
  • I spoke with someone who had to go into the Decatur DPS office to get his license renewed. The wait was around two hours despite arriving before 8:30 a.m. I didn't know this: Those working the counter also have to administer the actual driving tests. So with people in line, they have to get up and go outside and spend time doing that. How many troopers do we have out there? 
  • Idiocracy.
  • Here's Trump and Jeffrey Epstein looking at women on the dance floor at Mar-a-Lago. “Look at her, back there. … She’s hot.” (It's from 1992 when he was between marriages to Ivanka and Marla Maples. But I don't remember Trump having such tricked up eyebrows.) 

  • Channel 8 decided to show the footage of the crash that killed 10 people at the Addison airport. I noticed last night that Fox 4 stopped the footage before impact "in respect for the families."
    The plane is at a 45 degree angle. A big explosion follows.
  • Papa Johns has a big color ad in the Messenger seeking people who wish to open a franchise. 
  • Also in the Messenger, I learned that the the Decatur Hospital (yes, it's Wise Health Systems, but I'll never get used to it) was hacked where around 100 direct deposits were actually compromised and changed. But the hospital has a system requiring paper checks for two pay periods after any change so the hack was noticed and no money was stolen. (Support local journalism.) 
  • Yesterday, the House of Representative voted  240-to-187  to condemn Trump's racist tweets. Texas Republican Will Hurd joined them. (The vote was delayed while the crowd who is normally sick of political correctness didn't think it was appropriate.)
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Zeke Elliott might hold out if he doesn't get a new contract with the Cowboys. I would, too. He's at the end of his rookie contract and the Cowboys will simply run him to death and then replace him. And he'll never be the same. It has happened before. I give you DeMarco Murray in 2017:
  • Trump doubled down on his "go back where you came from" demand to Congresswomen of color yesterday. This exchange with the press cements his place in history as a White Nationalist. He is their man. 
  • An it comes as a surprise to no one that he can't spell Al-Qaeda.
  • On a serious note, he wrote down "Alcaida" because he used it to make a claim multiple times that Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has been a U.S. citizen six years longer than Melania Trump, praised the terrorist group. That's a lie. He's going to get her killed. 
  • Below, "Smith's counsel" in the transcript is the lawyer for a defendant in a breach of contract case in Houston. It was a trial before a judge which ended, uh, abruptly. (Smith's lawyer did ultimately find the court of appeals which just reversed the judge's quick draw on the judgment.) I've thrown in a picture of judge for good measure. He says he "treats every litigant with respect and dignity" on this campaign site which consists of one page.
  • With e-filing, lawyers can now file documents online up until midnight on the day that something is due. In a medical malpractice case, some poor associate in Texas got stuck with making a filing hours before a critical deadline but managed to cut it beyond close by getting the necessary document filed right on the nose at midnight.  He then realized minutes later that he didn't file all of it, and got the complete document e-filed at 12:19 a.m. The case has been dismissed because of the tardiness.  
  • I got a package delivered  yesterday from some place called Your Girlfriend's Closet which caused a huge question mark to form over my head. Upon learning about my girlfriend, I didn't know whether to be defensive, guilty, impressed, or concerned about my memory. (Turns out someone in the Family Unit bought it and sent it to my office for delivery.)
  • A faithful reader told me I sounded like Alex Jones in connection with my Coast Guard/Submarine Conspiracy. Perhaps. 
  • Motorcycle death: A guy hit a cow in Grayson County outside of Whitesboro last Friday.
  • These are new photos hanging in the West Wing. Nothing like having a picture of you and a murderous dictator on your wall. 
  • Let me tell you something: One of the best thing about the Messenger which seems to have been created out of thin air and with little fanfare is the column of Joy Burgess-Carrico on tidbits of Wise County history. Last week's story of a guy who got shot on the courthouse square in 1894 after hiding out in a lawyer's office is good stuff. 
  • Netflix has edited the suicide scene in the controversial 13 Reasons Why. 
  • Speaking of teens and social media and bizarre tragedy, how in the world did I miss this that happened near Utica, New York. Good lord: "Police arrived at the gruesome scene Sunday morning, alerted by frantic calls from users on the messaging app Discord. What police heard in those calls was horrifying:Someone had uploaded an image of a bloodied, lifeless young woman to the server, her throat marred by a deep gash. 'Police located 21-year-old Brandon Clark after he called 911. They found him at the end of a dead-end road, on the ground next to a black SUV, officials said. He stabbed himself in the neck with a knife as an officer approached him. Then, police say, Clark moved to a tarp where a teen’s bloodied body was located. He then took a selfie while lying across her body as the officer watched, police say." 
  • "CBS News is currently livestreaming its original broadcast from fifty years ago, when the original Apollo 11 crew launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to put the first humans on the Moon." It's here on youtube. Hurry. Liftoff is at 8:32 a.m. CST.


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • The Denton County Sheriff's Office won't release records to the Denton Record Chronicle in a police involved shooting that, according to the agency, should be straight forward: On June 29th, a "61-year-old man entered the home [in the upscale Lantana neighborhood] uninvited and threatened the three people inside. When deputies arrived on scene, the man allegedly leveled a shotgun at them before being shot and killed by law enforcement." Turn everything over. You look corrupt when you don't. 
  • I'm not sure what's more disturbing. That someone thought it would be a good look for Mike Pence to go down to the border to look at people in cages or that's exactly the look they wanted to project to Trump's base. 
  • We've seen this before.
  • You think those Republicans (especially Pence, Graham, and Cornyn) really wanted to be on camera at that moment? One time, Pence stormed out of Colts game once because players took a knee during the National Anthem. But he was fine with this.
  • And with the Pence controversy brewing on Saturday, Trump drops a bomb on Sunday confirming what he's made clear since the beginning: He's a racist. He told four duly elected female Congressman of color to "go back" to their home countries. (Side note: Three of the four were born in America.)
  • As usual, Republicans are scared to condemn the Klansman-In-Chief, although Fox News' Geraldo Rivera did call him out. (Note to Geraldo: No, he's not better than that.)
  • And to think I was just going to make fun of Trump supporting disgraced Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta on Friday morning by saying, "He's a Hispanic man."  That was just the beginning of Hispanic Weekend for this administration. (Which including a lie about ICE doing a "roundup" which didn't happen.)
  • Moving on. Yesterday morning: 
  • Update on the sprinkler system: I fixed it! Works like a charm. I found the replacement parts for the solenoid and valve for the one that just happens to be black. And I redid all the electrical connections, cleaned all this up, and put a valve box on top of it. But look at that installation mess. 
  • Well, almost like a charm. The bad news is that after turning the water supply back on to the irrigation system for the first time in a long time, after 24 hours a different section of the yard was flooded from the ground up. I'm now digging to try and find the leak. 
  • TCU is renovating its stadium again, and this time they are making their video screen bigger than Baylor's by 1'4" in width and 1'6" in height. (It will be 180'4" by 48'6" high.) I support construction bits. 
  • If you haven't seen the "Woody Harrelson at Wimbledon", it's pretty funny.
  • After spending the weekend thinking about my Jump-On-The-Drug-Carrying-Submarine Conspiracy Theory. I think I'll double down on it with a slight revision. The whole thing is just so ridiculous including the guy yelling, "That’s going to be hard to get on!”  Further research reveals that the Coast Guard has one spokesman who says that submarine was carrying drugs. I'll reluctantly take the government at their word. But if you read everything he says about it we have this: On June 18 the Coast Guard Cutter Munro intercepted that submarine carrying cocaine. But he never gets down and says the video depicts the exact moment of the seizure. Revised theory: That's the sub they captured. Yep, it had cocaine on it.  Days later they examine then sub and operate it. (Why wouldn't they?) And then they film a guy jumping on the sub to go along with the self-promoting report of the seizure of the cocaine. Thus, the words of, "We seized 16,000 pounds of cocaine from this submarine" being said while the after-the-fact video is playing is technically accurate.  Not spoken: "We didn't seize the sub exactly like that, but we never said we did." 
    Photo Coast Guard released of the inspection of the seized sub.
  • The Washington Post has a front page article about tigers in cages, and it reminded me of a really good recent Texas Monthly article about "Joe Exotic". The sub-headline: "He called himself the Tiger King and plastered his face on highway billboards in Texas and Oklahoma. He bred big cats, bears, baboons, and more. He lived, with a parade of partners, on the grounds of his private zoo. He threatened a rival with murder—repeatedly, on YouTube—and tried to hire a hit man to do the deed."