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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Highway 287 was shut down both way outside of Rhome this morning. From the map, it looks to be at the location where more than one death has occurred in the past. (Cars and trucks are trying to enter 287 from the east. And, compared to 10 to 20 years ago, 287 looks like Central Expressway in the mornings.)
  • Let me tell you something, I've changed many a car battery in my life and last night I had to flex my skills again as I came to the rescue of Mrs. LL. As I excitedly prepped like a NASCAR pit crew and/or the dad in A Christmas Story, I ran into a complication I had never seen before: I had to take the driver's side front tire off to get to the battery.  You kidding me? Who is the engineering genius who designed that? I'm writing a stern letter to Chrysler. 
  • Trump's day:
    • He cut a "deal" with Turkey telling them they could continue to drive the Kurds out the land they occupy and that the sanctions that we just imposed would be reversed.  There's supposed to be a temporary cease fire, but even it's not happening. 
    • Said Turkey would now not "have to kill millions of people." Huh?
    • Went all Hitler by saying about the Kurds living along the border: "[T]hey had to have it cleaned out." Good lord. 
    • His acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, specifically said that there was a quid pro quo to withhold millions of dollars from the Ukraine in order to get them to investigate the "DNC Server" (which is based upon a crazy and debunked conspiracy theory that Giuliani is chasing to exonerate Russia from its election interference), told us to "get over it",  and then three hours later had to put out a statement to say he didn't say what he said. Trump's going to fire him.
    • "Mad dog" Mattis had enough of Trump and said last night, “I earned my spurs on the battlefield. Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor.” And there's more: 
    • Retired Admiral William H. McRaven (he led the team that killed Bin Laden, former Chancellor of the University of Texas System, and author of the great "Make Your Bed" speech), wrote a New York Times opinion piece saying Trump is destroying the U.S., has caused our Republic to be under attack, and that it's time for Trump to go. 
    • Told an audience at the AAC in Dallas that there were "30,000 people outside." 
    • Announced that the G7 Summit will be held at his private golf course -- a mind-boggling theft of taxpayer dollars. (A Texas county commissioner would get indicted if he brought donuts to a county meeting from his donut shop and then submitted a bill to the county auditor. Seriously.)
  • I don't know what to make of the Trump Rally in Dallas. I can't deny that he has his 43% base, and there is nothing he can do that will prevent them from worshiping him. It's a cult the likes of which I have never seen before.  (Here's a great thread of photos of people who showed at the AAC.)
  • Here's an oddity: That Tarrant County DA's office tried two people this week for the misdemeanor offense of prostitution. Both people were found not guilty. I'm guessing the verdict form could have had "and we don't care" next to "Not guilty."
  •  I think I want to marry this woman. Yes, I'd think she's crazy but I'd spend all my time walking around the house thinking about what she just said. Take for example this tweet from her yesterday. There's a lot to unpack in this statement, but I'd spend an hour in silence trying to figure out why she threw in "home repair" at the end of it. Then I'd end up hugging her for acknowledging that, yes, yes I do have home repair needs that the federal government doesn't care about.   
  • Christmas falls on Wednesday this year. How's this for a Wise County government calendar: They will be closed on Monday, open a half day on Tuesday, and then closed on Wednesday.
  • This Dallas lawyer got held in contempt yesterday, handcuffed, and thrown in the hoosegow. (Here's the ruling and the story. ) He actually missed the afternoon session of court because he was in jail. I don't think I've ever heard of that before. But I like his fire:  “Put a black man in jail, huh? That’s the only way to shut him up.”
  • Trump ordered all flags flown at half staff today because of the death of Elijah Cummings. I presume local government will follow suit, but I haven't looked out the window yet.  


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Trump decided to attempt to mock Nancy Pelosi by releasing a photo of yesterday's meeting. Somehow, most likely because of the way he views women, he thought it showed her to be "unhinged" and having a "meltdown." It immediately backfired as she made it her Twitter header. This will live forever. Frame it. 
    "All roads with you lead to Putin."
  • And as Trump comes to Dallas, it is hard to describe what a disastrous day it was for him yesterday. To name a few (which don't even have anything to do with the Ukraine scandal):
    • He justified the slaughter of the Kurds by saying "they're no angels" and called them "worse than ISIS."
    • Democrats and Republicans rebuked his cut and run policy in northern Turkey by a vote of 354 to 60.
    • Said "there's a lot of sand in Syria."
    • Rambled like a madman in front of the Italian prime minister much to the horror of the interpreter behind him. 
    • Trump, once again miscalculating as to what looks good, released a letter he had "written" to the Turkish president which, if you didn't know better, would swear was written by a Fourth Grader. "I will call you later." If it is dated correctly and it was actually sent, it was completely ignored by Turkey.
    • U.S. forces bombed our own abandoned bases in Turkey because the Russians, who now control a piece of the Middle East for the first time in decades, were snooping around in them. 
    • Called his ex-defense secretary James Mattis, a four star general with 40 years of service, “the world’s most overrated general” and that “He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years. I captured them in one month.”
  • The Texas Conference on Urban Counties issued a statement regarding the Bonnen Tape where the he made fun of city and county governments. I had no idea that Wise County's own Kevin Burns was the chairman of the organization. Wise County is urban? (The statement was too nice by the way.) 
  • Texas Tech's athletic director whined (per Baylor fans) or justly expressed outrage (if you're a Tech fan) about a call in the Baylor game. The Big 12 fined him $25,000 for his efforts.
  • Tickets were sold to watch this. This is the aftermath. Let's just take him out in a stretcher and have the next two come in. 
  • Vanity Fair has an article on how there is a pattern of a person(s) who have a pattern of buying shares of the S&P in the last few minutes of a day's trading, then Trump makes an economic announcement which normally turns out not to be true but causes the markets to then predictably react up or down, and then that person(s) cashes in. They have made billions. Coincidence? Really? 
  • A 17 year old was arrested in Denton because he allegedly stabbed a guy to death with a bayonet during a "marijuana deal gone bad."  What the heck is going on? The Amber Guyger witness was killed during a marijuana deal. You can be smoking that stuff legally this afternoon if you want to just hop in your car. 
  • Wait a second. Bayonet?!
  • The new Dickies Arena in Fort Worth is about to open. I have more than one question about this report yesterday from a Star-Telegram reporter.
  • I haven't watched any of the baseball playoffs, but I did see this photo. I love sports photographs which have clear images of the crowd. My favorite is the guy with his head on his palm.
  • This guy is unbelievable
  • Cowboys conspiracy theory: Anyone else think its weird that Cowboys' center Travis Frederick, who was so suddenly struck last year by a disease (we had never heard of) that he couldn't play a single down, now comes back like nothing's wrong? I'm not exactly sure what the purpose of the conspiracy is, but I'm working on it. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • I'm not 100% sure because of my vantage point yesterday, but I think we have an all male jury hearing a felony case in Decatur right now. The case involves a shooting in Alvord during some cluster of an alleged robbery where everyone knew each other. I'm paraphrasing, but the defense lawyer in opening statements yesterday afternoon said something like, "This case involves someone young and stupid, and then others who I'll call dumb, dumber, and the dumbest." Brian Knox of the Messenger had his pad and pen out, so I hope he got it down.
  • This news is yet another reason for everyone to slow down. It may end up not making one bit of difference, but it is very important.   
  • That Jefferson case is sure being treated differently than those which came before it. Not too long ago, every government official would take a "let's just let the justice system do its job and takes its course" approach. In this case everyone -- from the mayor to the chief of police -- seems to default to, "He's guilty." 
  • Here's your friendly reminder than no one is giving away their expensive marijuana edibles to your kid during trick-or-treating.  Not in Denver. Not anywhere. There's a greater chance that someone will throw a $20 bill into their basket. 
  • The Bonnen/Sullivan tapes had some nuggets other than Republican backstabbing led by Empower Texans. Here's one where the Speaker of the House tells us what Austin thinks about local government:
  • A person who no one would want to hire (or hang around with) but for his last name warned us yesterday of the dangers of nepotism: 
  • Random volleyball thought: Decatur won a five set nail-bitter last night against Krum, but I was amazed how there was only about two seconds of celebration before the handshakes. Watch the final point here.  
  • Side note: I'm kind of surprised that the term "kills" is still used in high school volleyball stories. 
  • I've yet to dive into this story (warning: It's beyond complicated), but my head was spinning once I realized the headline concerned the "DWI Dude" out of Austin. 
  • A bunch of lawyers in Wichita Falls are trying to get a governor's appointment to a district judgeship which has become open. Frankly, I'm not sure why anyone should be appointed at all because the position will be on the ballot next March in the primary. Why wouldn't the governor's office just wait for the election and then appoint whoever wins so he/she could immediately take office?  Applicants include Ben Hoover (who graduated from Paradise High School), Meredith Kennedy, Tom Key, Greg King, and Dobie Kosub. The Wichita Falls paper got all of their application packets by an Open Records request. In any event, I'm getting old since I realized I've been licensed longer than every single one of them. 
  • I'm so old that yesterday I googled "Whatever happened to University of Texas running back Edwin Simmons?" (I did find out that there might be more to the story of being found naked in a backyard in Austin than just being "disoriented.") 
    Their jerseys didn't match back then?
  • For some reason, Trump is sending VP Pence to Turkey to try and get Turkey to stop the bloodshed which Trump gave them permission to create. In yet another embarrassment, Turkey's president this morning said that he won't meet with Pence and wants Trump to come instead.  We are now at a point where MAGA means that a low rate country can dupe an American president in a phone call and then order him around the next week. 
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • The Atatiana Jefferson Case:
    • The officer was arrested on murder charges yesterday evening. That's shockingly quick. And I think it is odd that the Fort Worth PD was the arresting agency. Outside agencies are normally brought in when there is the appearance of the conflict of interest in that the default agency might be biased and be too easy on someone. In this case, should they have brought someone in so as not to appear too harsh? That is, is there a bias in trying to come off as the "good guys" simply to protect an agency reputation as a whole? 
    • Hey, I agree this case looks very, very bad for the officer, but everyone just needs to slow down. 
    • Any competent investigator would have consulted with the DA's office before making an arrest in a high profile case like this. You are just begging to be embarrassed or screw up a case if you don't. 
    • But the Tarrant County DA's office is in uncharted waters with this case. I've heard the case should go to the "Law Enforcement Integrity Unit" which is currently staffed by two assistant DA's. Both are ex-cops. One has never tried a case a prosecutor (and maybe never tried a case at all).  That could be a problem. 
    • Noteworthy even before there was an arrest:
    • Compare and Contrast: Anyone remember that a Denton deputy shot a guy in the back a month or so ago and the Denton County Sheriff's Office won't even release his name?
  • Impeachment bombshell: John Bolton -- of all people, John Bolton -- saw what was going on with Rudy Giuliani and the Ukraine and called it a "drug deal", wanted no part of it, called Giuliani a "hand grenade", and instructed Fiona Hill (who testified for nine hours yesterday in the Impeachment Inquiry) to notify the chief lawyer for the National Security Council about the Ukraine scheme. 
  • Remember in early September that John Bolton abruptly quit Trump with Trump claiming he was fired? Something was obviously amiss. Now we know. 
  • Will Hannity-Levin-Dobbs-Limbaugh et. al. say Bolton is part of the "Deep State," too? Even Dirty Liberals can't believe that Bolton will end up being an American Hero.
  • I don't know anything about a hazing incident in at Montgomery (TX) high school, but this lady looked like one mad momma after a school board meeting. I can't get this image out of my mind since I've seen it. (Video) Maybe it just reminds me of Mrs. LL's reaction to most of my life decisions.
  • The cold front across Texas late last week caused a lot of tire "air pressure low" lights to go on. I saw the following from a reporter out of Austin on Friday morning. People are so cheap they won't spend a buck (max) to fill up their own tire? Not to mention the time waste.  
  • With the world burning, Trump tweeted this yesterday morning. (He didn't tweet the photo, but that's Spicer from last night): 

  • What is going on here?
  • A company is liable for the negligence of its employees for incidents that occur within the course and scope of that employment. That's why Uber and Lfyt want their driver's to be considered independent contractors. And they aren't budging. (Every plaintiffs' lawyer is now banging his desk and yelling, "Just because they say it's so doesn't make it so!")
  • Troy Aikman says "at the end of the day" more often than I type "random . . . morning thoughts."
  • The cold front will begin in Wise County around 5:25 p.m.