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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • While on vacation, Trump ordered the assassination of the second most powerful person in Iran without Congressional notification. Get ready. That whole Peace-On-Earth thing really didn't stick this year. 
  • I'm not sure why it is necessary to threaten to kill Iranian civilians and immediately bring up oil. 
  • So far, all we've gotten is a blurry flag. But he does have a campaign rally at a megachurch in Florida today. 
  • Edit: He's given us an update but no one understands it. 
  • He knows what he's doing.
  • Let's check in on Tehran this morning.
  • I'm not sure what "harsh" means, but I keep seeing people warn of cyber attacks in addition to strategic strikes throughout the Middle East. Israel is probably nervous. Don't think that Iran doesn't have a few old fashioned Scud missiles laying around.
  • Someone should tell these kids they now have their chance to MAGA. Every military recruiting office opens this morning at 9:00 a.m.  
  • Here's the problem. An Administration which constantly lies has no credibility. They haven't earned the right to just say, "Trust me."
  • I've got to quick hit the other news:
    • The Affluenza Teen (who is now 22) was arrested for allegedly testing positive for THC which could violate his probation.
    • As he flashes a "horns down" sign, the quarterback for Highland Park announced he will sign with OU with his dad, who is the offensive coordinator for Auburn, looking on like a defeated parent in the background. (Video.)
    • The Illinois Lt. Gov. went out and bought edibles in front of the press since they are now legal in that state.
    • Thirty-nine Republican senators, including Cruz and Cornyn, signed a "friend of the court" brief supporting the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
    • An employee was told she can't wear her hijab at a Chicken Express in Saginaw.  They've since backtracked. 
    • Dr. Phil's house is for sale, and it has a staircase of snakes. (Side note: I had completely forgotten that we first learned of Dr. Phil when he was a jury consultant for Oprah when she was sued by the beef industry in Texas.)
    • Hustler sent a somewhat shocking Christmas Card to members of Congress (but the magazine is pretty much an expert of free speech.)
    • An unexpectedly cool gift I received over Christmas was a pair of Blink security cameras. They're great. Made by Amazon, the best part is that they run on two AA batteries and there's no monthly fee. They say the battery life is two years. #NotAnAd


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • We now resume our regularly scheduled program. 
    Photo courtesy of Mrs. LL (Copyright. Trademarked. Patent Pending. All Rights Reserved. 2020)
  • Thanks to all those who messaged me tips while I was in Washington. I greatly appreciate it. 
  • I don't know why it stuck with me, but on Tuesday I was standing next to a young couple looking at a row of presidential portraits and she asked her husband, "Who is the most unpopular one?"  Now that's a great question. But he quickly responded, "That one. Andrew Jackson."  I did a silent, "Whoa! Whoa! Hold on there, buddy." She then immediately asked him why and he said, "The Trail of Tears."  I almost wanted to start up a conversation, but it would be kind of hard to start with, "Sure that was bad but . . . . "
    Jackson has a statue in Lafayette Square
  • Christmas and New Year's on a Wednesday isn't that bad. Depending on where you work, you might get more time off than if it were on a Monday or a Friday. 
  • I absolutely do not understand the Winter Classic hockey game.  When it was first announced, I didn't think it would be half full. There were over 85,000 at the Cotton Bowl. I don't get it. 
  • How in the world do we celebrate a war criminal having a clothing line? 
  • At least you didn't have to start your year off by dressing up as a Blooming Onion. 
  • It drives me nuts how politicians rush to get in front of the cameras after every high profile shooting. After the White Settlement incident, Lt. Dan Patrick had no business rushing up here. 
  • And the Tarrant County Sheriff had no business rushing to the cameras either. He didn't even have jurisdiction. It was a White Settlement PD case (which really wasn't a "case" since the would-be defendant was dead.)
  • I kept waiting for the national press to ask, "There's really a place named White Settlement?"
  • I saw where Lindsey Graham golfed with Trump on December 29th. Before my next trial, can I golf with one of my upcoming jurors?
  • This happened while I was away. (If you aren't following the "Brimley/Cocoon Line" on Twitter, you're missing one of life's little joys.)
  • How was there not more outrage about this?
  • This would be a great tradition if you have a young kid.
  • This got my attention from the Update's funeral announcement. "SERVICES for Oleta Nix, 95, and Joseph Nix, 100, both formerly of Bridgeport . . . are pending at Hawkins-Bridgeport."
  • I'm not a baseball guy, but I knew Don Larsen, who died yesterday, pitched a perfect game in the World Series. Did you know for his career he went 81-91 and in 1954 went 3-21? 
  • I used to watch the first 30 minutes of The Today Show religiously, but I haven't seen it in years. But this week I got to see some of it including a highlight reel of the "fun" they've had in 2019.  Long time readers will recall I used to have Ann Curry in my proverbial cross-hairs.  But I think I'd take her over Hoda. That lady's Fake Excitement Face needs to reeled in. I had that same Unexplained Abnormal Visceral Reaction Syndrome that used to come with watching Curry. 
  • Being a D.C. expert, I have the credentials to tell you that Texas gaining three house seats is a big deal. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • It's a travel day. It's a holiday. It's the HWMISB.
  • I've got a D.C. travel tip. If you want to visit any memorial, any significant site, then do it early. Set your alarm and get there at the crack of dawn. Without the crowds, the experience is exponentionally better. Heck, at times it can be glorious. 
  • The Holocaust Museum is incredible and so well done. It's a history lesson of Hitler's rise and the World War II time line told around the European Jews.  It's four stories tall and they tell you to start at the top. 
    • As you step off the elevator, you are hit in the face with "Americans Encounter The Camps."
    • Hitler's rise to power, which was described as "the people" being sick of political parties and longing for an authoritarian ruler who thought Germany belonged to the "true" Germans, made me very uncomfortable going into 2020.

    • Like so many things about this trip, I'm not doing this museum justice.  How about an exhibit of a pile of shoes forcibly abandoned by those who had entered a Death Camp?
  • The Vietnam War Memorial may be my favorite. Here's an example of being there alone. 
    • All those names. All. Those. Names. 
    • It occurred to me that I didn't know any Wise County names to look up. And that bothered me. There has to be some on the wall, yet how do I not know them?  I decided to find the name of a man who I learned about in Ken Burns' documentary. A guy who ran away from home at 17 and wouldn't come back until his parents agreed to allow him to enlist. He was killed on June 4, 1966 at age 19.
  • There are also a lot of side statues which might miss. This sign got my attention since it told tourists to stay out of the bushes. We have to be told to not voluntarily go into the bushes. We sent these guys into the jungle
  • The Korean Memorial is so well done. I was struck by the guy in the last row. He's the only one with a face of alarm -- as if he hears something off ot his left. 

  • Arlington Cemetary is a must see (and there's a subway stop that takes you right to it.) I'm not sure I knew all those graves were decorated with a wreath for the holidays. 
    • JFK's flame is still going. I always forget that Jackie was buried beside him. (Aristotle Onassis is buried on an island in Greece.)
    • Right by JFK's grave is a gathering of famous Supreme Court justices. You would miss this if you weren't looking for it. (Earl Warren's is also buried in the cemetary but it was a long way away.)

    • I had some time so I roamed around, and  I saw the tomb below and walked over to it. I'll be, it was Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln. Here's a little trivia: He lived long enough to be at the actual dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922. And he had one son, named Abraham Lincoln II, who died at age 16 after infection from a minor surgery. His name is on the tomb as well. There are no direct heirs of Abraham Lincoln alive today. 
    • I caught a view looking back at the Lincoln Memorial over the Potomac. But I couldn't help but notice another protrusion into the skyline. That's Trump hotel. I had no idea that thing was so prominent. 
  • I went back to the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Here's some things which I just ran across.
    • Here's Melania Trump's dress from inauguration night.
    • Everyone knows about Nixon's coverup of the Watergate burglary, but I don't think as many people know he ordered a break in of a doctor's office to get dirt on a reporter. Here's the filing cabinent that they pried open. 
    • Lincoln's hat that he wore to Ford's Theater.
    • Just the actual chairs and table used at the Surrender at Appomattox. 
  • The original looks better, but I managed to take a panoramic shot at the mall (Capitol far left, Washington Memorial far right) as the sun was going down on 2019.
  • I don't know if I'll ever make it back here. But it was good to spend enought time not to be rushed. "I wish I had more time there," is a common complaint. 


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Let me reach down and pull out this other box of slides I've got right here. 
  • Seriously, I try not to post things you've seen a million times. Here's an example: You enter the Trump Hotel in the back. It has two main entrances on the street, but they seem to be blocked off. Here is where you check in. 
  • I found out the Supreme Court is open to the public at 9:00 so I got over the at 8:30 in case there was a line. There was none. In fact I couldn't find the entrance so I asked a cop who told me, "It's not open yet but you can use that entrance right now until it is." Huh? But I go through it, go past security, roam about 30 feet to take a look at a portrait, and a security guard tells me I'm restricted to the cafeteria or the restroom until 9:00. So I hung out with some courthouse employees -- in the cafeteria -- for a bit.  
    • That building is is fantastic. Right behind that Christmas tree (which I was a little surprised to see) is the door to the actual courtroom.
    • Here it is. That's as close as you can get. 
    • Check out its marble staircase with handrails carved (?) into the stone. 
  • The Newseum is closing, and I'll give it a little love because it's fantastic. The reason for its closing are explained in a ton of articles dedicated to it over the past year but it is primarily financial.  In can't seem to exist in a city of free museums while it charges $25.00. Anyway . . . 
    • The entrance has our own KXAS Channel 5 helicopter hanging above. I'm not sure I knew that before I got there. I certainly don't know why it was chosen. 
    • They (meaning the museum) prints out the front page of over a 100 daily papers and displays them on the front sidewalk. They put one out for each state in addition to national and international papers. The two times I saw them they put out the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio paper. It was interesting to see the number of papers giving front page coverage to the White Settlement shooting.
    • They had an FBI exhibit where they shoehorned in the journalistic aspect. It had some very cool things . . . 
    • Here's the actual car from the thwarted Times Square bombing a few years back. 
    • For those who know about Silk Road, here's his actual laptop which was seized while he was in a San Franscisco library.
    • Remember the shoe bomber? Here's what he was wearing and the belts used to tie him up.
    • Where did they get this stuff? All exhibits say it was "On loan from FBI." I'll take them at their word.
    • They had a great exhibit of Pulitizer Prize winning photos. Here were a couple I didn't think I had seen. James Meredith of Old Miss fame on the ground after being shot and a famine stricken child with a buzzard in the background. 

    • They had the actual "Bong Hits for Jesus" banner from the Supreme Court case!  I bet I've mentioned it a half-dozen times before. 
    • In addition to parts of the Berlin Wall, there was a section of one of the World Trade Center towers with front pages from 9/12 on a wall next to it. 
  • I went by the National Archives where the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are on display.  Man, they are so faded that you can hardly make out a single word. But I loved it. 
    • Of he many other things the Archives had on display were just random objects they decided to put in a temporary exhibit. Right next to one other I saw . . . 
      • A typed judgment from a federal district court (complete with errors and strike-throughs) convicting a Japanese man who refused to go to an American internment camp, 
      • The actual signed order (not the opinion) from the Supreme Court in Brown vs. Board of Education directing all school to inteorated with "all deliberate speed", 
      • The handwritten petition to the Supreme Court written by Clarance Gideon saying it was unconstitutional to try him for an alleged criminal offense without a lawyer when he was too poor to afford one (he was right),  and
      • The actual police offense report after the arrest of Rosa Parks. 
      • Why no pictures? It's one of the few places in D.C. where photography is not allowed.
  • And with all the majesty of the National Archives, you know we have to soil it by putting a gift shop in it selling this crap: 
  • On Sunday, Mrs. LL and I went on a quick day trip to Baltimore primarily for me to add another stadium to my award winning list. The Baltimore Ravens were in town and RG3 was starting at quarterback so I went -- briefly. 
    • You know the most amazing thing about that trip? It was all via rail. The DC subway has a station right on the block of our hotel, it took us to Union Station near the Capitol, from there we took a train to Baltimore's Union Station, and from there we took a light rail that dumped us off at the stadium. 
    • Hey, I only saw a part of Baltimore which was the trip via light rail to the game and a journey to the nearby harbor. The harbor is great. The rest of Baltimore looked exactly like The Wire. And that ain't good. 
    • The Ravens' stadium is right by Camden Yards. The only thing I realy knew about Camden Yards was you could see what looked like a huge warehouse behind the right field stands.  Well, it ain't a warehouse. It was part of the construction project (like the offices in the now old Rangers' ballpark.) 
      That's a Camden ballpark entrance at gametime. The top of the right field stands would be to your
      left after you go through the gate. There's another fence behind the stands so they can use that passageway as a pedestrian walkway in the off-season. 
  • With the exception of Sunday, the weather has been fantastic. We walked from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial last night (no small walk, by the way) at dusk.  Us being us, we decided to walk to the back of the Memorial. Along the way we saw this guy shooting a great shot back up to the mall from the side of the Memorial. It's a little hard to see, but the top of the Washington Monument is covered in fog and that's the Captiol in the background at the base of it. 
  • I also went to the back of the Supreme Court. Here's the actual entrance every Justice has to drive/ride though to get to the underground garage. (I wanted a pic straight on of it, but I was a little hesitant to take pictures of security features right in front of security personnel.)
  • This is for all old school Cowboy fans: Once I found out the subway would drop me off at the old RFK Stadium, I had to take a look. Uh, it's not doing well, buddy.
  • I had heard about the homeless problem in DC but I haven't seen it. The city is very clean.