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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • In a nice performance, Decatur won its second playoff game last night, 69-0. But that doesn't do the game justice: 
  • For decades. a lot of us have speculated when the Vinson property in the Rhome area would be sold for development.  Now, after months of speculation, it has happened. And the group that bought it, who are experts in development, say there will be 10,000 homes built on the land. This is not hyperbole: This is the biggest real estate deal in Wise County history and a watershed moment (assuming Rhome and Newark government doesn't screw it up.)

  • My only Impeachment bullet point today: Sometimes even the smartest lawyers know when they've met their match and simply leave a witness alone. You leave this woman alone. 
  • I don't know if you've ever watched OANN  (Trump as praised the fledgling "news" network before) but it makes Fox News look fair and balanced. It also employs people who fire off thoughts like these yesterday.

  • Sheesh. That Home Depot was actually scammed by two officers.
  • And remember that cop who was seen carrying full liquor bottles out of the store on the night of the tornado? The Department continues to say he was not stealing, and no charges were filed.
  • It was not a good day for Dallas law enforcement. 
  • Since I was so impeachment crazy yesterday, I didn't comment on the Oncor worker in Wise County who was electrocuted.  I'm surprised. Back in March I got to watch those guys repair a downed power line right by the house, and I was fascinated about how careful they were. Although he had probably done it a thousand times, the guy who was about to go up in the boom put all his gear on, turned to another worker, and they went though a checklist of every piece of safety gear he had on. It was just a series of speechless gestures -- pointing and touching every protective piece. 
  • Cringe-worthy Houston lawyer website: Scroll to the bottom and click on the animated video. (Speaking of, whatever happened to the Fort Worth Law Hawk?) 
  • This was from yesterday taken from the southbound service road along I-35 looking towards the Western Center. The RV fire was causing people to turn around and go the wrong way (although I'm not sure why that was necessary.)
  • This is the wildest "official statement" from a university in the history of ever is here. The University of Indiana explains why the can't fire a professor.
  • Tesla unveiled a "Cybertruck" last night. The shatterproof glass demonstration did not go well. Watch

  • Nothing to see here. Trump's fixer says Epstein did in fact kill himself. (Insert narrator's voice with the obvious.) 
  • It's 11/22 and this forgotten guy was mentioned on the radio this morning. I thought this bullet point is worth re-posting:
  • They didn't think this one through. (Ok, make that two Impeachment bullet points)
  • This is LBJ's note that his press secretary drafted and he edited while aboard Air Force One on the way back to Washington from Dallas.  There used to be a time where every single word spoken by a president was critically important. Statements were labored over.
  • Trump apparently made an unplanned call into Fox and Friends this morning and went into a stream of consciousnesses rant for 53 minutes.  People are still trying to digest it. They couldn't get him off the phone. 


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Warning: This is Impeachment intensive because I'm stunned at how Trump and Fox News are spinning what happened yesterday. 
  • It all involves around the testimony of Gordon Sondland -- who also gave us the greatest picture so far. Sondland, you may recall, was named Ambassador to the EU after giving Trump $1 million.
  • Understand the allegations are that Trump wanted two things from Ukraine and had two things to bribe the country with. What was wanted: (A) An announcement that the country was investigating Burisma/Biden, and (B) An announcement they were investigating itself, and not Russia, as being the source of the election interference in the 2016 presidential race. What would could be used as a bribe: (C) $400 million in aid and (D) A face to face between the new president of Ukraine with Trump.
  • The bombshell: Sondland, completely and without reservation, said Trump ordered all those involved to work with, whether they wanted to or not, Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani, in turn, orchestrated all of them working together to obtain announcements of "A" and "B" in exchange for "D", the meeting. He called it a quid pro quo. He said everyone knew about it: Pence, Pompeo , Mulvaney, and Perry. Giuliani could strong arm Ukraine by telling them that he controlled "D", the meeting. (Giuliani, of course, couldn't tell the Ukrainians that he controlled "C", the aid.)  They all worked together and even went so far as to work on the wording of the "announcements" and even began arrangements to book the Ukraine president on CNN. Sondland confirmed he talked to Trump at a restaurant about how the "investigations" were going. Sondland will specifically tell the Ukrainians on July 10th that the meeting, "D", is conditioned on "A" and "B". The Republicans on the panel were completely taken aback. There's no way around it. This, in the words of none other than Ken Starr, is a bombshell. 
  • A note about "C", the aid: Sondland wasn't as bold in saying Trump ordered "A" and "B" for "C". He presumed it to be the case  but wouldn't say it to be a fact.  (His wording that he could only "presume" it to be part of a quid pro quo did Trump a solid. But the presumption is well founded. Hell, even the "transcript" had Trump saying he wanted a "favor" for the Javelins, "C", in exchanged for an investigation into the DNC server being in the Ukraine's hands (conspiracy) theory, "A", and an investigation of Burisma, "B".)
  • But let me tell you about an all out fraud that Trump and Fox News are running with. Here's how it went down and is going down at this moment: 
    • Sondland talked to Trump on September 9th. Before that call, the Whistleblower had already filed his complaint. Congress knew about it. The White House knew about it. Everyone was on notice that trouble is brewing.
    • On that day and before the call, Sondland received a text from Bill Taylor saying,  "As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance ['C'] for help with a political campaign ['A' and 'B']." Everyone knows the jig is up. 
    • Sondland, who once again is Trump's appointee, called Trump after the text. Trump, now having been advised about the Whistleblower complaint and with time to come up with a defense, gets his on-the-record denial and ridiculously, for the first time, uses the words quid pro quo in his favor: ""I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky to do the right thing."  This is nothing different than denying a crime after you committed it.  It is exactly the "Crank call! Crank call!" from Pulp Fiction.
    • But they now have their talking point for Fox News: "Donald Trump specifically told Sondland no quid pro quo for monetary aid!" They act like Trump said this from the very beginning. That's ain't true. That's trying to pull off a fraud.
      From this morning on Fox and Friends
    • And then, yesterday morning, Trump walks out on the White House lawn and goes into a, "Did you hear him!? Did you hear what he said I said!?" performance. And he has even brought big notes to read.
    • How does everyone else handle it this morning? With the truth about the big bombshell from Sondland: Trump ordered them to get "A" and "B" for "D". 
  • Drives me nuts.
  • And, of all things, Giuliani was on with Glenn Beck yesterday saying he's not done in the Ukraine. Good, lord. Even Fox News can't believe it:
  • Messenger: Above the Fold (I forgot again yesterday.)
  • Extra front pages today . . .


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Butterfly Effect:
  • I can't tell you how ridiculous this is. There's no reason an assistant DA could represent the DA in the contempt proceeding (a visiting judge ruled so just last week), and the amount of $30,000 is robbery.  There's no way the DA is going to jail in this contempt proceeding -- a fine is the worst thing that will happen and even that's unlikely -- but the county is writing a check with taxpayer money like he's a family member accused of capital murder. And get this: The lawyer that the DA has chosen to represent him is the same one in the stalled Ken Paxton prosecution -- the one that is now in a black hole because the county doesn't want to pay him $300 an hour.   He's charging the DA in the contempt case $400 an hour!
  • Trump explained his trip to the hospital. So his wife didn't know about a planned physical and when she thought he was having a heart attack she had no way to get in contact with him? (The biggest lie is that she would ever refer to him as, "Darling.")
  • In District Court in Wise County, some of the inmate court appearances are handled by video conferencing. The gallery can't see the inmate but can hear him. Some of the most awkward moments occur when one of them is brave enough to go off on his court appointed attorney for not coming to see him. In related news:
  • Note to a Wise County trooper who during a traffic stop told a former marine that "You are a disgrace to your country!": That's a bad look. 
  • Impeachment Hearings: I don't understand the Republican strategy. Why not just admit the obvious, that Trump pressured Ukraine to make an announcement on CNN that the country was investigating a political opponent, but say it was no big deal.   That's where this is headed. Why spend all this energy bashing good people who everyone knows are telling the truth?
  • Heck, that proposed strategy is the one used in 99% of the DWI cases that result in an acquittal: Yes, the man was drinking and driving. Yes, that wasn't the best decision to make. But, no, he wasn't intoxicated so it wasn't a crime. And, yes, he's learned his lesson and won't put himself in that position again. So, by analogy: Yes, the man made the call and put a little pressure on the Ukraine. Yes, that wasn't the best decision to make. But, no, that's not a high crime or misdemeanor so it's not impeachable. (Forget the "learned his lesson" part. Trump will never learn.)
  • Big Edit: Based upon Gordon Sondland's testimony at this very moment, they better adopt that strategy now. Any other defense is now over. He's flipping. He says it's a quid pro quo, Trump ordered it, "everyone is in the loop" and, if I heard that right, he has brought documents and emails.  Opening statement here.
  • I ended up in a brief Twitter war yesterday over whether a "good guy with a gun" stopped the Duncan Walmart shooting. Recall, one guy shot two people in the parking lot and then killed himself. But USA Today was the only paper to have a quote from a guy. Aaron Helton, who said another man pulled his gun and pointed it at the shooter's head.   I thought that was suspicious and my patented Skepticism Radar went off. I finally found the on-the-scene interview with Helton. He said that the bystander put the gun to the shooter's head, he stopped shooting, and, at that moment, "there were three bodies on the ground beside the shooter." (At thirty seconds into the video.)  Nope. That didn't happen. The three bodies including the shooter. That's why no one ran with the story, and I'm at loss to understand why USA Today included it.
  • Here's the year-to-date number of cases filed in Justice of the Peace courts in Wise County. (They are punishable by fine only. Speeding tickets comprise 1,855 of those cases.)
  • Welcome to the neighborhood. I've been licensed for over thirty years, and I can't recall a single time I've played the I'm-A-Lawyer-Card outside of work. (And that guy is the worst writer in the history of ever.)
  • This last bullet point is being written as I'm listening to Sondland giving his opening statement. Holy cow. It's over. 


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Well, we've got us a Full Blown Christian Yardbird controversy on our hands! In a press release, Chick-fil-A announced it would no longer provide donations to the Salvation Army or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (although the press release doesn't technically mention those organizations at all.) The company has the gall to want to focus on feeding the homeless! This, of course, creates a great deal of questions. 
    • How will the Texas Legislature react after protecting the company's religious freedom with a a specific Chick-fil-A Bill last session?  They didn't plan on that freedom being exercised like this.
    • Will Gov. Abbott receive blow-back for at one time supporting chicken tenders which were in reality deep fried by the devil? 
    • What's that nice lady over at the Messenger -- the one who always has a count of days Wise County has gone without Chik-fil-A -- going to do?  Will she be considered a Dirty Lib who supports a non-God-fearing fast food restaurant if she continues with that bit?  And what about that suspicious looking guy? Did he know all along? 
  • The law practice over in Denton went a little Wild West last week.
  • This is a crazy story out of Waco. These two women were arrested after a traffic stop and are now linked to a double murder of an elderly couple in Plano.  Get this: They were driving two separate cars both registered to one of the dead. So did cops just happen to stop both cars at the same time? Nope. "As deputies were dealing with the first driver, a second car pulled up on the shoulder and a woman . . .  who was covered in blood got out and told them she needed to get something from the woman who was driving the first car."
  • I thought last week that 10-1 Decatur having to travel to Childress to playoff game seemed unfair. Well, this week put it to shame. The Eagles travel to Odessa on Friday. That's 330 miles away!
  • North Dakota has unveiled an anti-meth campaign to much Internet scorn and mocking. I'll admit that I thought it was a joke at first, but it's real: OnMeth.com   Honestly, after about five minutes of being taken aback, I did a 180 degree turn on this. I think it's great. A campaign like this is to get attention, create awareness, and get people talking. It's a home run in that area. 

  • There were 90 indictments handed down in Wise County last Thursday. By my count, 56 of them were for drugs.
  • I'm not saying a family member is dating, but I heard she "had a DTR with him the other night."  Yes, that stopped me down in a state of confusion.  From the best I can tell, they talked about "defining the relationship." Sheesh. They better do that while they get off my lawn. 
  • Compare and contrast. Today's Impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman with a 1st Lieutenant Pardoned By Trump: 

  • A student photographer was knocked unconscious on the sideline at the Georgia/Auburn game on Saturday. She's fine and gives us this update. (Watch the event here.)
  • Well, certainly someone mentioned it over the last three years. No? Well then someone certainly took a picture. What? No?  In the world of lies, she gives Sarah Sanders a run for her money -- even if she is scared to hold press conferences.
    "Every office"
  • Does this happen more often than we know? There sure are a ton of "missing teen" posters in Walmart. 
  • Messenger: Above the Fold (I forgot yesterday)