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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • I told you that Texas Monthly cover story on Robert Jeffress wasn't very good. And here's huge confirmation: Jeffress is promoting it. (And, dude, you want to at least make a little bit of an effort on your appearance if you're going to appear on TV?)
  • I used to rattle of "Oh, my!" quite a bit but I haven't used it lately. It officially needs to come out retirement based upon this photo that somehow made it to print in the Austin American Statesman. (Or, on second thought, maybe it needed to make it to print as a commentary on society.)
  • State Rep. Dan Crenshaw promoted that he'll "run his district" but inadvertently revealed how he's only elected due to gerrymandering. 
  • There was a motorcycle death in Grand Prairie last night after a collision with car. The car looks maybe worse
  • Greg Abbott did a photo op yesterday for the new "task force" in light of the El Paso Massacre. Make no mistake about it -- they'll do absolutely nothing. This is only for show. He did the exact same thing after the Santa Fe School Massacre.
  • And it was discovered Abbott sent out an anti-immigration fundraising letter days before the El Paso mass shooting urging people to "DEFEND TEXAS NOW" and to "take matters into your own hands."
  • This is the actual opening paragraph in an opinion released yesterday out of the 11th federal circuit court of appeals. That's just a super-casual judge. 
  • Luke Wilson will star in the film adaption of 12 Mighty Orphans which is a fantastic book if, for anything, a lot of Fort Worth history.  
  • The good: The public will now have online access to every piece of paper electronically filed in every civil case in Texas. The bad news is that it costs 10 cents a page just to see any individual filing with a cap of $6 per document filed. That's robbery. Lawyers are already paying ridiculous fees for the "convenience" of e-filing. And now the public has to pay to see those e-filings? And, according to the story, "that money goes to the court clerk where the document originated." Why? 
  • The alleged murderer of the girl whose body was found in a burning SUV on lower Greenville is so fat that he can't fit into a jail jumpsuit.
  • That case is disturbing but a dismissed misdemeanor assault case involving a shove isn't exactly a predictor of capital murder. This tweet is a reach. (I don't think Fox 4 even aired anything about it.)
  • My desire to immediately walk away and retire to a humble jungle shack in Costa Rica was revived yesterday with the news of the death of 21 year old Luke Laufenburg: "The family’s statement said that Luke had been declared cancer-free on May 3, 2018. In January 2019 he was awarded a scholarship by UTEP, and was expected to start at tight end for the school’s football team this fall. But the cancer recurred on April 5 of this year, and on July 12th his condition was diagnosed as terminal."  
  • I absolutely hate Google's new search results layout under its news tab. They completely destroyed it. 
  • While it was no surprise that it was announced yesterday that Sarah Sanders was joining Fox News (what's changed?), it dawned on me we've heard nothing from her replacement. 
  • Last night the media gathered around New York Giants rookie quarterback. To the right is Eli Manning putting on his shoes.
  • In one of the weirder stories yesterday was the CEO of Overstock.com being fired for revealing a relationship with Russian agent turned convict Maria Butina and for oddly talking about the "deep state." And then it got even more bizarre as he appeared on Fox News and CNN last night claiming the affair and "political espionage" was ordered by FBI agent Peter Strzok. (He was so crazy and confrontational on Fox Business that one of the panel of reporters taunted him with, "Hows it feel to see the stock of Overstock climbing since you got fired?" That's in the link.) 
  • This morning: A Koch brother has died.


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • I don't know how an unnamed fast food restaurant's chicken sandwich has become an online national sensation, but it is the greatest marketing schemes/scams I've seen in over a decade. 
  • What going on here? "She was part of a prominent Dallas family and had recently graduated from the University of Arkansas." Update: A 49 year old has been arrested.
  • It sounds ghoulish, but I'm surprised more people don't kill themselves if they've committed a that kind of crime, finally get caught, and then absolutely believe they are going to prison for a long time. But it's pretty bizarre to do it in the Sheriff's office parking lot. (I remember about ten years ago Wise County guy killed himself in his driveway after learning of similar charges out of Tarrant County.)
  • Speaking of ghoulish, Texas executed another person last night. 
  • There's an article about a Wood County judge and his "quick temper" going around. He's not perfect or particularly likable, but I've seen a lot worse. For example, he got in trouble for calling a lawyer a liar after he didn't show up for a court. And he's probably justified.  Ask any court staff member if there aren't a certain number of lawyers who are known liars about "not getting notice". 
  • I guess I wasn't the only one to think "anti-Christ" after Trump's comments yesterday. Here's  Twitter's "trending" in the afternoon:
  • I may just play this nonstop: 
  • I wrote this last Friday. Coincidence? 
  • Yesterday I pointed out that the Dallas Police Chief has been off the job for almost two months, and later in the day she announced she's coming back to work. Coincidence?
  • On Monday, I wrote about how Love Field used to have a skating rink and movie theater. Yesterday, the Ticket's Hardline dedicated a whole segment to that subject. Coincidence?
  • If you notice the lack of troopers on the roads of Wise County, I've been told there is a reason: A bunch of them have been assigned to patrol South Dallas to help out Dallas P.D. 
  • For the life of me, I do not understand why Bob Stoops came out of retirement to coach an XFL team.  Sheesh, even Kliff Kingsbury could get an NFL head coaching job. 
  • This is so clever it could almost be a cover on the now defunct Mad Magazine:


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Bridgeport Police are visibly guarding school campuses before 6:00 a.m. 
  • The arrest of a Wise County resident for allegedly embezzling from a little league made the metroplex news. 
  • So, after receiving millions in tax breaks from Dallas, Uber officially announced yesterday it will move a major part of its headquarters to the city. And, yes, they are still claiming they'll bring 3,000 jobs with a salary of at least $100,000. (WBAP reported it would be an "average of $130,000", but I don't see anyone else saying that.) Let me tell you something: There is something seriously not right -- not only with this deal but with that company as a whole. I smell a fraud and a house of cards . . . 
  • Hey, we've got some blasphemy for breakfast!: After insulting the Jewish people yesterday, Trump went bizarro this morning by quoting a conspiracy theory radio host who said Trump is perceived by the Jewish people as being equivalent to the "second coming" and the "King of Israel." Let that sink in. Back in the day, if Evangelicals would have had an official Anti-Christ Warning Signal, they would be pushing that button hard right now.
  • That tweet is just so stunning I almost missed the incredible irony of, "They [the Jews] love him like he is the second coming . . . ." Maybe I missed that part of Jewish beliefs in Two Corinthians. 
  • With this mornings tweet storm, he managed to surpass this incredible parody of a president tweet last night:
  • Greenland should announced that it is selling itself to Mexico and America is going to pay for it.
  • Just an average day last Sunday at a Universal amusement park in Florida. (That's the ol' combo Hitler salute with one hand and a white power symbol with the other.)
  • Something you never hear about any longer: Variable rate mortgages.
  • There is something oddly impressive about your seventh marriage lasting 22 years. 
  • A Houston lawyer, Jeffrey Stern, and four others were charged with ambulance chasing but, wait, there's more. Not only did he allegedly illegally hire people to solicit personal injury cases he was even more greedy. According to the report, he tried to write off the kickbacks to the runners as legitimate expenses on his taxes. 
  • How about this tidbit about Stern: "Stern achieved infamy when his wife was shot in May 2010. Stern’s mistress was soon charged with conspiring to hire a hitman to kill his wife. The mistress reached a plea deal and was sentenced to 20 years. However, charges against Stern were dropped in 2012 and Stern and his wife reconciled."
  • I'm not particularly interested in Joshua but its new mayor took office in June after beating a three time incumbent. Now he's quit because he butted heads with the council over policy. No scandal. No personal attacks. No embarrassing scenes. Just policy. And he quit. After two months. 
  • I keep seeing reports of Bridgeport police Officer Gianni Capozziello being involved in an attack of a black man. But it's in that other Bridgeport.
  • Rick Perry, who someone is the head of the Department of Energy, is dumb enough to believe that posting something on Instagram provides you legal protection against them. (Posting the warning/disclaimer is based upon an Urban Legend that comes around every few months.) 
  • Messenger: Above The Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • The attendance rate yesterday at Bridgeport High was dismal after the threat. 
  • A guy on The Ticket posted this pic from his neighbor in the Lake Highlands of Dallas. That almost looks too big for a bobcat. 
  • That Cedric Benson motorcycle/van wreck had to have been bad when even TMZ pulls back: "The raw footage is graphic so we're not publishing it -- instead, we've cut screen grabs showing the efforts to save Cedric and his female passenger ... with one person even using a fire extinguisher to put out flames on the former running back."
  • I have no idea how I stumbled upon this on Saturday evening: A women's fantasy football draft involving some DFW radio/TVpersonalities from someone's home. You talk about some of them being drinkin' and cussin' and cringe-inducing gals, it is almost painful to watch. And it goes on for two hours. 

  • Remember the proposed Uber Dallas office filled with 3,000 employees making over $100,000 a year? We have yet another chapter of "How does Uber waste so much money": 
  • The Chief of Police of Dallas has been gone and out of sight for almost two months and no one really knows why she's gone or when she'll come back.
  • In light of rising crime, DPS was called in to patrol South Dallas. Everyone is now learning how different DPS is than your regular PD. A trooper (or troopers) shot and killed a man during a traffic stop on Saturday night. DPS won't release the bodycam and won't even reveal the name of the two officers involved or whether one, or both, fired and killed the guy. 
  • Legal nerd stuff: This "friend of the court" brief filed with the Supreme Court by five Democrat senators which basically attacks the Court as being a political pawn has received some attention
  • She is just so "out there" that I find myself oddly attracted to her.
  • Texas attorney on attorney crime:
  • If you read this about Zeke Elliott's holdout, you'll know more than 99% of the sportswriters.
    • He is on year four of his four year contract and is scheduled to earn $3 million. The $3 million is set in stone. It can't be renegotiated.
    • The Cowboys have already picked up his "fifth year" option meaning they have him under contract for 2020 for a little over $9 million. 
    • The Cowboys could put the "franchise tag" on Zeke in 2021 which would probably be around the $15 million.
    • So if the Cowboys don't want to give him a long term deal (they don't), the smart thing for Zeke to do would be to hold out and forfeit the $3 million but save his legs because the Cowboys would run him to death this year. Running backs have a short shelf life -- saving those legs is critical. Then he could play for $9 million next year  -- it's too much to pass up. After that, the Cowboys would be so pissed at him (or so scared of another holdout) that they wouldn't use the franchise tag on him on 2021 and he becomes a free agent. 
    • But here is a big kicker: Zeke must come back and be on the active roster by week 10 of this year or his contract tolls. If he holds out the entire year, it's would be like this contract year never happened. Everything would be pushed back meaning he would then be under contract for 2020 for $3 million and 2021 for $9 million. He would lose a year and gain absolutely nothing.
    • There is no question he will show up by week 10 with or without an extension. He might not be motivated if there is no new extension, but he has to show up. 
    • Zeke wants a Todd Gurley deal: That would be after his fifth year of 2020 at $9 million, he wants a new 4 year deal for $60 million with $45 million guaranteed. That ain't gonna happen. And history, as evidenced by Gurley just fading away down the stretch last year, is why.
  • There was a pre-trial hearing yesterday in the Amber Guyger case and, if the press reports are correct, something pretty unusual happened: "[The judge] allowed prosecutors to admit several items into evidence, including the firearm Guyger used in the shooting, bullet casings, photographs and an unspecified 'projectile' that was recovered through Jean's autopsy." The only thing that I can possibly think of is that this means the State and Defense had agreed to stipulate to the admissibility of certain items, and that agreement was formalized yesterday with the items being "admitted" pre-trial. If everyone agrees to that procedure, that's fine. And it would save a ton of time in front of the jury -- you just never see it happen in criminal cases. 
  • The AP preseason football poll came out. The good news for aTm is that they are #12. The bad news is that they play #1 (Clemson) #2 (Alabama) #3 (Georgia) and #6 (LSU)


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • A threat has caused Bridgeport ISD to be justifiably a little nervous this morning. As I understand it, an (innocent) Bridgeport High student posted a link to her "Yolo" account on Snapchat. Then an unknown third person posted a threat on her Yolo account. (For some reason, you can post on someone's Yolo account "anonymously.") The post didn't reference a specific school, but for now there is at least that Bridgeport connection. Every parent deserves to know the exact threat if they don't already: 
  • Welcome to America 2019. 
  • None of the cases were particularly exciting, but late last week the Fort Worth Court of Appeals released two Wise County opinions and one Jack County opinion on the same day. That has never happened before.
  • A cocky federal judge accidentally hit "reply all" in response to an email inviting him to a global warning event. I think the best part is the learned jurist whose job is in the use of words doesn't understand the definition of "hubris". 
  • Antifa and the Proud Boys confronted each other in Portland over the weekend and, unfortunately, both survived. One video clip showed the Antifa boys throwing a hammer into a Proud Boy bus, but it was the Proud Boys who brought the hammer. Both sides are fools.  (Here's the Proud Boys arriving and flashing their "white power" hand symbol with MAGA hats being the head-wear of choice.)
  • But I had no idea that Ben Stiller's teenage character from Something About Mary was politically active by joining that confrontation in Portland. 

  • I was told ISIS had been defeated.
  • The article in Texas Monthly about Robert Jeffress was disappointingly boring, but there was a different article in this month's issue about yet another travesty of justice out of Smith County -- a guy was very likely wrongfully imprisoned for over 20 years. The author tracked down the former prosecutor, David Dobbs, to justify the way the case was handled and these comments made me scream. (He was also behind the wrongful prosecution of Kerry Max Cook.)
  • Zeke was photographed heading back to Dallas from Cabo, but shout out to the lady who enjoyed the moment. 
  • The Cowboys had two new receivers on Saturday night in Hawaii.
  • I was reminded that Love Field, when it suffered a setback by the opening of DFW Airport, briefly had an ice skating rink and movie theater in it. I went there once as a teenage and specifically remember watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It was a church trip. There seemed to be a lot of church trips back then. 
  • UT's Cedric Benson died in a motorcycle crash over the weekend. It was really weird because I had planned on posting the following that I had seen less than 24 hours before. (No evidence alcohol was involved in the motorcycle crash.) 
  • I can confidentially say I've never filed a Motion in favor of, or in opposition to, the government playing a scene from The Godfather Part II in a criminal case. That's what's going down in the Roger Stone case. 
  • Messenger: Above the Fold.