The Campaign For DA


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board. Monday's new cases: 20,353. Yesterday's new cases: 24,742 (a new record). Total Wise County cases: 3.
  • Deaths. Monday's deaths: 573. Yesterday: 912 (a new record - by far). Total: 4,053.
  • But this big news came from the White House briefing yesterday afternoon, and it was shocking: 100,000 to 240,000 people are projected to die even if social distancing occurs. That should stop everyone in their tracks. The death total for the entire world stands at 43,000 this morning. How does this happen to the "Greatest Country in the World"? How did we screw this up so badly? 
  • Trump seemed like a different guy yesterday in that he seemed genuinely concerned. And he should feel differently if he's now listening to the medical experts giving those dire predictions. Just look at this from earlier in the month:
  • Even before Trump's announcement, the Collin County judge backed down to public pressure. 
  • Gov. Abbott continued to being wishy-washy yesterday by handing down a Shelter-In-Place edict but didn't want to call it that. In what might be the most confusing word salad sentence of all time, Abbott said that his order does not "have top, side or bottom any relationship whatsoever to the concept" of the orders of others which  are being labeled "shelter-in-place." Huh? 
  • I noticed the gas price at Brookshire's dropped to $1.59 a gallon yesterday, and when I got home Mrs. LL provided proof that she filled up with a $1.00 discount off of that amount because of her shopping points. I think this means we spent a fortune buying groceries last month. Nevertheless, I never thought I'd see gas purchased at 59 cents a gallon. Yep, this is real and its spectacular:
  • Noticed this little discussed blurb in the Messenger this weekend. A lot is going on here:
  • Let's check in on some responsible students from the University of Texas: 
  • I wonder how the oil patch bust will impact the SuperPAC Empower Texans which is funded by the West Texas Wilks Brothers. The answer is probably not much since they still have their money -- it's the guys who have busting their arse in the field who are out of a job.
  • And everything kind of fell into place for me yesterday when I learned the Wilks Brothers are big donors or the PragerU. I came upon that tidbit in a great thread explaining how Diamond and Silk went from supporting Black Lives Matters to Trump sycophants. Everything is a circle.
  • Legal stuff: The Texas Supreme Court mistook itself as the Texas legislature a couple of weeks ago and issued an order that said, "All courts in Texas may extend the statute of limitations in any civil case for a stated period ending no later than 30 days after the governor’s state of disaster has been lifted.” See a problem there? That word "may." So every Texas county can have a different law regarding the deadline for filing a lawsuit? And an individual judge could do it for one case but not another? Lawyers see a problem. Heck, a high school Junior could see a problem. 
  • Other legal stuff: We might have the cockiest new federal judge in the history of federal judges in the Northern District of Texas. For those interested in this kind of stuff, look at this opinion from yesterday, described by others as"unnecessarily snarky", from 41 year old Judge Brantley Starr as he slapped down the federal government over bump stocks. (There might be a reason he's a big "state's rights" guy: Before being appointed last year by Trump, he had never held a private legal job and had always been paid by the State of Texas as a lawyer.)
  • More Tiger King news below. Pet Safari was apparently some kind of pet store (which I momentarily confused with the old Lion Country Safari that I remember hearing about as a kid.) Other fun facts: Mr. Exotic graduated from Pilot Point High School in 1982 and immediately "became a police officer in nearby Eastvale. At age nineteen, he was promoted to chief of police."
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board. Sunday's new cases: 18,882. Yesterday: 20,353 (a daily record). Total 163,844.
  • Deaths. Sunday's new cases: 363. Yesterday: 573 (a daily record). Total: 3,156
  • Will someone frame this for me? 
  • If my information is correct, the lone Wise County coronavirus case is a long-time resident from the Bridgeport area. 
  • It's getting awkward in Collin County. Recall that the Collin County Judge won't impose shelter-in-place and then the McKinney mayor, perhaps illegally - perhaps not, tried to impose greater restrictions on the city than the judge wanted. 
  • Macy's won't survive this. And they are just the tip of the iceberg of companies that won't make it. 
  • If the Coronavirus Pandamic didn't exist at all, what is happening in the oil patch would cause Texas to be in full scale panic right now.   As the Midland mayor said in The Washington Post this weekend, "It was like a switch flipped.We woke up to the industry shutting down, and that’s not exaggeration." And here's this morning's Wall Street Journal as oil closed at $20.09: 

  • So we had a My Pillow commercial during the coronavirus press conference yesterday? 
    It's like a Good Contractor's List radio commercial.
  • Make no mistake about it, the My Pillow guy is nothing more than a guy who runs a SuperPAC who takes a cut.  He floods right wing media with money via ads to spread the pro-Trump message, those who listen to that echo chamber buy My Pillows, and then My Pillow turns around and dumps more money with more ads into the right wing media all the while legally skimming money off the top as a for profit company. The product doesn't matter. See e.g. Relief Factor.
  • That "God gave us grace on November 8, 2016"? 
  • So we shut down everything but won't do testing because of a little rain?
  • Call me crazy, but unless we are under martial law with troops in the streets and all hell breaking loose, arresting a pastor for holding a church service is one of the most shocking things I've ever seen. And a Sheriff bragging about it on social media is downright disturbing. The way Americans have just cowered down like scared children to any government edict, issued oftentimes on what seems to be a whim, is really surprising to me. But I feel like I'm in a tiny minority with this view.

    "If he had just opened up a liquor store, we wouldn't mess with him."
  • Bag of Nothing said something yesterday I agree with 100% : We throw the term "hero" around was too loosely these days.  It does mean "doing your job." 
  • For those who have seen Netflix's Tiger King, here's a shot of the Official Liberally Lean Girl with Doc Antle of South Carolina in the background.  Here's the performance on YouTube.
  • With almost all of the local news anchors broadcasting at home, I've noticed how they all try to get a background shot to make their home seem as opulent as possible. Come on, show me a recliner with cords strung every which way. 
  • Good question I heard this morning: How did Skype lose out to Zoom in the videoconferencing world?
  • Wise County Jail population this morning: 119. That's about as low as I've seen in the last several years. 


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Wise County reported its first case of coronavirus, but I haven't seen anything about the age or sex of the individual. The official Texas website doesn't acknowledge it which doesn't give us much faith in the numbers being reported.
  • The Board
    • New cases on Saturday: 19,452. New cases yesterday: 18,882. Increase/Decrease %: -3.5%. Yep, we actually had a decrease from Saturday to Sunday, but don't get excited since that's probably an anomaly. 
    • Deaths. Saturday: 525. Yesterday: 264.  Increase/Decrease %: -49.7%. That's a little surprising.
  • Despite the positive numbers, the rest of the news from yesterday was pretty shocking. The day began with Dr. Anthony Fauci, who I think everyone trusts, saying on CNN that based on modeling of the current pace of the coronavirus' spread in the U.S. that "between 100,000 and 200,000" people may die. Good lord. (I mentioned that to Mrs. LL last night who asked me, "You gonna do another 180?")
  • Trump actually listened and yesterday afternoon, in his own Trumpian way, said that if the death toll stays at or below 100,000, "we all together have done a very good job."  Sheesh. As for his let's-pack-the-churches at Easter hopes, he said that was no longer possible as we were all now shut down for at least all of April.
  • I'm no scientist, but Trump's proclamation of 100,000 deaths being a "good job" is a long way from when he said on February 26th that "the 15 [cases which have been diagnosed], within a couple of days, is going to be down to close to zero."  (Watching it now makes it even more bizarre.)
  • He is getting real testy about people literally quoting him. Yesterday, he got bent out of shape at a PBS reporter telling her that "you people" need to be "nice." (She wanted to ask him about him encouraging Vice President Mike Pence to avoid calling governors if they're not appreciative of the work being done by the federal government. "If they don't treat you right, I don't call," he had said.)
  • Gov. Greg Abbott lost his mind yesterday suspending various statutes which mandate that people in jail be released on a personal recognizance bond when the government drops the ball and misses easily met deadlines. Those laws have worked for decades but with the stroke of a pen he thinks he can change them. Anyone want to tell him about art. I, § 28 of the Texas Constitution? 
  • Oh, I forgot to mention that Trump is very pleased with his ratings while people are dying. 
  • And you guys think I'm the one who needs a proofreader?
  • Out near southern Wise County, Kenneth Copeland was doing some serious casting out of the coronavirus. This is really amazing to watch. (And I can't get over his sidekick who serves as the Silk to Copeland's Diamond. "Oh, yeah, that's right.")
  • Jerry Falwell Jr. could use Copeland's prayers right now.
  • Never thought I'd see this in America. It's like an old Czechoslovakian checkpoint. 
  • That's a wild picture. The Pope in an empty St. Peter's Square.
  • Mrs. LL was talking on the phone with the Senior-In-College-Not-In-The-House on Saturday when I saw this happening live. "You might want to tell her there's a tornado not very far away." She's in Searcy, Arkansas. Video.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board. Beginning: 68,211 Added: 17,224 New Total: 85,435
  • Deaths. Beginning: 1,027 Added: 268 New Total: 1,295
  • Man, I got buried in emails yesterday for taking the Devil's Advocate position. There are lots of hots sports opinions out there, on both sides, about how bad, or not, this thing is.
  • On Monday, in a soon to be awarding winning edition of Random Thoughts, I conceived of the topic of the Rural Uprising™. I also said the resistance to social distancing will be drawn along political lines. Anyone notice how the current coronavirus map looks a lot like the Red vs. Blue counties map? 

  • Here's a wild stat: As of this yesterday in Texas, there have been 21,424  people tested with only 1,396 testing positive. That 6.5%  (Remember that you have to show signs to even get tested in the first place.)
  • Hot prediction: There is no way Wise County doesn't go 100% back to normal by May 1st, and I'm not sure we can even hold out that long. Second hot opinion (which might cause the county judge to walk across the street and hit me over the head with his guitar): Until then, there's also no way Wise County ever becomes a Shelter-In-Place county.  As with everything else related to the virus, I might feel 100% different in a week. 
    Wise County churches back in business by Easter?
  • Then again, maybe I need to rethink that. (From New Braunfels.)
  • What ever happened to that Google website we were promised that would direct us to the nearest testing station and "is going to be very quickly done, unlike websites of the past"?
  • Followup from yesterday: A faithful reader, who also is a researching fool, sent me the latest tax return for Wise County's W.A.R.M. food bank. Another faithful reader advised me that two other food banks in the county also receive contributions from people on probation, and that the exchange rate is $6.25 to satisfy one hour of imposed community service. (I had thought it was $8.)
  • The Ticket, since there are no sports, was reviewing the 1980 playoff game between the Cowboys and the Falcons yesterday which is available in its entirety on YouTube.  I watched part of it last night because I had never seen it. It's great. You know why I've never seen it? Because the game was played on a Saturday afternoon during Christmas season which means I was working in my dad's department store. I've been the hardest working man in show business since I was a teenager. 
    Now you know why the current Cowboys' doctor
    wears a cowboy hat. It's a throwback look. 
  • The great Curly Neal died yesterday. For those wondering, Meadowlark Lemon passed away in 2015.  
  • Last night at midnight Neil Young Bob Dylan released a 17 minute song about the JFK assassination, and I might be insane now. 
  • An editorial in the Dallas Morning News yesterday began, "On Monday, a cadre of law enforcement — a prosecutor, two Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents, at least five deputy U.S. marshals, and a U.S. magistrate judge — showed up to court to hold a detention hearing for a convicted felon who had been arrested with a handgun concealed inside his jacket." Oh my gosh! What's the back story?! What did he really do to get all of this attention? Is the gun charge just a way to get to him just like tax evasion got us Al Capone? Nope. We never even got an explanation about that guy. The whole piece was just the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District getting space in a major daily to promote how here office is still hard at work. But the lede told us about eight law enforcement officials showing up for a routine hearing? Too many cops. Too many prosecutors. 
  • As I write this, not a single person was arrested in Wise County in the last 24 hours. The  average is around eight to ten. 
  • The news about the shocking rise in unemployment claims was disturbing, but The New York Times had a great way of reporting it this morning. (Yep, that graph is accurate.)