Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Yep, that was real last night. 
  • These are the early voting totals for the first five days in the ten most populated counties in Texas. Knowing that most of those counties are the most likely to be blue (and turning bluer), it all makes sense. Except for one thing: that 279,255 number in 2008 in the Democratic Primary seems ridiculously high. The Obama effect was that great? Seriously, if that number were only 90,000 the trends would still make sense. 
  • I don't know it it actually happened, but yesterday morning the plans were to move a jury (and the entire courtroom) to the basement of the Wise County courthouse to accommodate a witness in a wheelchair -- a wheelchair which was too big to get in the tiny elevator. 
  • You know the craziest thing about the legal smoking age being raised to 21 last year? The statute has an exception for those who turned 18 years of age before the day the law took effect, 9/1/19.  What a headache for cops. That didn't happen when they changed the drinking age from 18 to 21 back in the mid-1980s. (At least, I don't think there was an exception back then.) 
  • I'm interested in following the appeal of the Lottery Winner/No Defense Strategy Sexual Assault case out of Wichita Falls. The current status is below. It may come as a very big surprise to some of you, but unless you are indigent with a court appointed lawyer, you have to pay the court reporter to prepared the transcript (and it ain't cheap). But this is the case where the lawyers were reportedly paid $600,000:
  • Speaking of, I'm watching the Amber Guyger appeal, too. I didn't realize she got a court appointed appellate lawyer. 
  • We had big brouhaha break out yesterday when the Trump Administration said the coronavirus was no big deal while the CDC caused the beginning of a minor panic by saying that the spread of the virus in the U.S. is "inevitable." Mark this day down: I agree with the Trump Administration. 
  •  But, uh, oh. He's talking science today. He does not like the stock market plunge which is reportedly tied to the spread of the disease: 
  • But he did, oddly, freak out about Ebola a few years back.
  • Republican Senator John Kennedy made the news yesterday as he grilled the of Acting Secretary of Homeland Security for not knowing much about the coronavirus. But I paused when Kennedy asked him, "Do we have enough respirators for every American?" Respirators? 320 million of them? Of course not. That's a big and clunky apparatus, right? Nope. Did you know these little thing is called a "particulate respirator."
  • A guy in Kay Granger's district sent me a couple of more fliers sent from the Super PAC out to get the incumbent congressman.  As he said, there is an "obscene amount of money" being spent. It's truly a Republican on Republican political-murder-for-hire.
  • Junior In The House last night: "How long is this debate going to last long?" Me: "I don't know. I'm really not watching it. You an change the channel." Her: "No. That's fine. I was just curious how long they were going to yell at each other." 
  • I'm not any good at it, but I try to look at old photos from the early 1910s to 1950s in Texas and try to figure out what decade they were taken in based upon the cars and landscape. Here's a photo from downtown Childress. Yesterday a guy on Twitter could peg the photo not only in a decade but in a specific year: 1930. How? He knew that the latest model vehicle in the photo was either 1930 or 1931. But since all license plates dramatically changed in 1931 and none of the cars had the new plates, he could deduce the photo was definitively taken in 1930.
  • Sometimes you'll find yourself in an expensive neighborhood in Dallas or Fort Worth and think, "Who are all these people and what do they do?" I thought of that yesterday when I saw the headline below, clicked on the story, and saw this sentence: "Exact Diagnostics was cofounded in 2015 by Richie Petronis and Jerry Boonyaratanakornkit, who met while working at a pharmaceuticals company. They grew their startup without investors, according to a 2018 article in Fort Worth magazine."
  • Messenger: Above the Fold
  • These days a fight in a middle school which causes only "minor injuries" will cause a bunch of  kids to get arrested and becomes a front page story . . .