The Campaign For DA

1.10.2020

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











Random Friday Morning Thoughts



  • Obviously you are here for a Wise County weather forecast because you can't trust those snake-oil salesmen in the big city.  I'm you man. I've been in the lab all night. 
    • First, the temperature: This weirdly warm temperature we have right now will last all day. Around 9:10 p.m., you'll begin to feel the winds shift to the north and then temperatures will plummet. You wake up at tomorrow morning with temperatures at or below freezing, it'll be cloudy, and winds will be gusting. It'll crack into the low 40s tomorrow afternoon but, with the high winds, basically all of tomorrow is miserable. But winds will almost completely disappear tomorrow evening.
    • Now the rain. I think it'll start before noon today, but then hard stuff will come down all afternoon. It will begin to taper off around 5:00, but it'll still rain somewhat into the early evening.
    • Largemouth bass are good near boat docks using spinners, rattletraps, and Alabama rigs.
  • Five people just "happened" to call on the same day? He didn't name them last night. (And this is possibly in response to the Lincoln Project's first commercial which is a little NSFW.)
  • Mike Leach coaching at Mississippi State is fantastic. I don't wan't him coaching my team, but I like him coaching a team I can root for.  (I think I finally became fascinated with him when he went on the insane "fat little girlfriends" rant while at Tech.)
    Video here.
  • This map is fascinating. I'm not saying I could point out the exact location of Iran, but I at least would put a pin in the Middle East.  But who are those people who thought Iran was in Australia, near Memphis, or in the middle of the ocean?
  • It's a little weird: On Tuesday morning I mentioned, for no reason at all, that the U.S. shot down an Iranian civilian airliner in 1988.  Then twelve hours later Iran shoots down a civilian airliner. 
  • A Boyd assistant principal has been arrested for Intoxication Manslaughter. (As an extreme side note: This is the first week on the job for Boyd's new superintendent Tamara Vardy. Think she expected to deal with something like this?)
  • On my D.C. trip, I located and walked by Jeff Bezo's new house he bought for $23 million and then renovated. (You pay $23 million for a fixer-upper?) Anyway, I found this shot of it from a story yesterday. It's a view from the house across the street which he also just bought for $5 million.
    I think he actually first bought that one and one of those beside it.
  • "And I promise you Mexico is going to pay for it" in 2016 really meant, "I'm going to declare a fake State of Emergency and steal from the Department of Defense and then declare it a victory in 2020."
  • Random Vanna White trivia: "White dated Playgirl centerfold/Chippendales-dancer-turned-actor John Gibson in the 1980s, and they eventually became engaged. In 1986, Gibson was killed in a plane crash."


1.09.2020

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts



  • It was weird seeing Republican senators standing up to Trump yesterday after getting a very poor military briefing.  But they forgot that they don't question The Party and that The Party is now Donald Trump. (Mike Pence was doing damage control on Fox and Friends this morning with the "just trust us" defense.)
  • Oh, my.
  • The Tarrant County DA is taking a leave of absence for an unknown length because of an unknown medical condition.
  • Speaking of, 2020 didn't start off too well for the Tarrant County DA Misdemeanor section.
  • TCU's basketball program has received a Notice of Infractions from the NCAA which is weird because the program hasn't been very good.
  • I'm want this former Bridgeport gal's press agent. Story.
  • Who would have thought that a totally unqualified politician would be appointed to the head the Department of Energy, would then do nothing at that job for two years, then resign, and then start profiting off of the gig?
  • That Houston drug raid, where cops made up information to get a search warrant and then murdered an innocent couple and their dog while executing it, continues to break new ground. I have never heard of a grand jury visiting a crime scene. 
  • The Southlake twitter feed is doing bits again this year.  I'll say it again: It's funny and clever, but one of these days they are going to get it wrong and simply slapping "allegedly" in one tweet isn't going to cost their ampletaxpayer base a pretty penny. Complete thread here. (But I'll agree those are good security cameras, though.) 

  • In more serious Southlake news, a high school senior was struck and killed by a car last night. 
  • Puerto Rico has been rocked by earthquakes that have left 2/3 of the island without electricity. Trump has tweeted about it once. I don't have to state the obvious reason why.  
  • I always dog the Texas criminal defense organization's "Trial Tip Thursday" and they didn't disappoint today. Sure, your guy has just been found guilty and the victim is now testifying about the impact of the crime as the jury is about to decide punishment, but, go ahead, tell her she's not "healing" the right way. That couldn't possibly backfire, right? 
  • A New York Times columnist raised some eyebrows yesterday when he tweeted the following. He later deleted it, but the Internet didn't seem to believe his claim.
  • This license plate was issued to a Fort Worth man and then revoked
  • I didn't mention that the contempt proceeding against the Dallas DA for allegedly violating the "gag order" in the Amber Guyger trial was dismissed because, quite frankly, I don't understand any of it. I don't understand why it has to be prosecuted by outside counsel, and I don't understand why the DA's office couldn't fight it themselves but had to bring in a ridiculously high priced lawyer at taxpayer's expense. And I don't understand how "gag orders" are constitutional -- an issue currently before the Texas Supreme Court, by the way. 


1.08.2020

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts



  • Well, Iran launched missiles at American bases in Iraq that either were poorly aimed or intentionally slightly off target or we had warning they were coming and got everyone outof harm's way. In any event, everyone needs to take a deep breath. 
  • Then again, when both sides are battling like children on Twitter, we probably have something to worry about. 
    After the killing of Soleimani

    After last night's strike
  • It's ih-RAHN, not eye-RAN. It's ih-RAHK, not eye-RACK.
  • Ten thousand a minute? Just from Iran? The governor is lying again. (But the Texas Agricultural site was briefly "hacked" with an image referencing Iran, but a child could hack any site headed by Sid Miller.)
  • Ok, the case below is proof positive that the recent unintentional revision to Texas' marijuana law is a game changer.
    From the Texas Tribune (They get mad at me when I don't reference them.)
    • To recap, before the law changed law May, any usable amount of marijuana was a crime.  Well, the law changed to say it's only marijuana if there is over 0.3% THC in it. But you can't just look at the weed and readily determine whether its illegal weed (greater than 0.3%) or not (less than 0.3%). Yep, now it is turning out that any given marijuana case might not involve any marijuana at all.  And the government put this guy in jail for a month on a hunch. A hunch that was wrong. 
    • And that story just involves the problems with even deciding to arrest someone. Practically speaking, the next step of prosecuting the cases has become a nightmare as well because every misdemeanor weed case will now absolutely need a lab report. There's no more, "Oh, come on. We all know weed on the street has over 0.3% of THC in it so just have your guy admit it and take my generous plea bargain." Nope. We absolutely don't know if it has over 0.3% THC in it. Heck, how can a defendant even know the chemical make-up of his weed? Nope. Get a lab report. And that costs money. No, that costs your tax-payer money, and that expense can't be justified.  It's now a law which is impossible to enforce and de facto legalization in Texas has occurred as soon as everyone realizes it. 
    • Think I'm wrong? This is from earlier this week: 
  • I referenced the DPS troopers shooting the guy in South Dallas 16 times yesterday. Now the Dallas Morning News has obtained the dashcam and bodycam videos. It's on YouTube here. The guy jumped out of his car in a driveway and was running to a home, and he did in fact have a gun.  But look how this all started: The soon-to-be dead man didn't signal on a quiet residential street. There is no way a Dallas Police officer even thinks about making a traffic stop in the first place. 
  • This story is even crazier than the headline. And the victim's name was Kevin Bacon. 

  • Baylor's Matt Rhule is headed to the Carolina Panthers. It's amazing what he did for Baylor, and I'll always be thankful, but he started looking to leave for greener pastures after his very first season. There was always something unsettling of having a coach who made it clear he was looking to get out. But it amazingly never impacted recruiting or the effort on the field. 
  • I love wheels off election stories, and we have one out of Houston where a sitting district judge got kicked off the ballot because he paid a $1,500 filing fee instead of the required $2,500.
  • I love this new rule for the XFL.  I truly don't know which one I'd choose. The risk v. reward all seem to even out to me. 
  • There is no greater waste of money whenever any sizable government entity awards a big contract. This headline alone got my attention -- paying almost $2 million just to get people interested in the census? You kidding me? But then I saw this paragraph!: "As part of the deal, [Sophia Johnson 's] Alpha Business Images will pay nearly $400,000 to a subcontractor, JBJ Management, for outreach to the Asian American and African American communities. JBJ Management is owned by Johnson’s husband, Willis Johnson."
  • There's an "And Another" out of out own little Paradise, Texas which might involve the most underwhelming facts as far as "And Anothers" go. It is on . . . 
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


1.07.2020

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts



  • A faithful reader quickly advised me yesterday that the RTG was a repeat. My staff regrets that error. I've ordered them to submit TPS reports to explain this error.
  • The Ticket's founder Mike Rhyner announced his retirement yesterday causing an earthquake among a few of us. Non-Ticket fans can skip ahead. Heck, I encourage you to skip ahead.
    • It's really not about Rhyner at all. It's something bigger. 
    • Many people say the are a Ticket "day one, P1" but I really am.  Back in the day, The Hardline's Rhyner and Greg Williams (Boyd's own, by the way) might have been the most entertaining sports radio ever. It was ground-breaking as they transformed the format and soon all the other personalities on the station followed suit. 
    • The Station didn't talk about a cover two defense and take endless callers telling us who they thought would win the Super Bowl and by what score. Nope. It became a station of bits and comedy and personal stories mixed in with a some sports.
    • The station gained a cult following. Just last year I had a new client in my office who noticed a paperback book behind me, "The Ticket - Full Disclosure" and, after he excitedly pointed it out, we went down a 15 minute rabbit trail of Ticket Talk. And we both enjoyed the heck out of it. 
    • But it is the stability of the station which was shaken yesterday. There are thousands of people out there who have a tremendous comfort level in waking up in the morning and hearing the Musers, catching Norm going on and on about some inane point, and listening to Bob and Dan between noon and 3:00 hoping for another Cornelius, the moron dog, moment,  and the Hardline during drive time. 
    • And we love the station in a weird, weird way.  My head is full of "drops" all day long. Heck, Mrs. LL and I talk in drops.  I began to use the jargon so much that one time my elderly mother told me once that I was giving her "Tired Head" -- a term she had only heard from me.  
    • The point is: They are always there, and we feel like we know them. In a medium of TV/Radio where turnover is the norm, the station's exact same line-up has been in place for 20 years. That's unheard of. Bu that changed yesterday.
    • And although I'll admit Rhyner isn't one of my favorites (that OK to say - he's retired, not dead), he has been the cornerstone. And there's been a weird feeling over the last five years that change is coming to the station. All those guys are getting older. They reference things that an audience of 40 or 50 year olds relate to, but the 20 or 30 something won't. That's not a sustainable business model. So here's why the retirement is significant at the risk of being accused of hyperbole: For many of us, it's about our own mortality. Yep, it's that meaningful.  Everything must change. Everything must end.
    • Heck, I kind of want to cue Landslide at this moment. Yep, time does make you bolder  even children get older, and I'm getting older, too. 
  • John Bolton, who called Trump's withholding aid to Ukraine for personal political gain a "drug deal", has said he will testify before the Senate in Trump's impeachment trial if asked. Why wouldn't you want to hear from this conservative icon if you care about the facts? If they refuse to call him, it truly will be a sham trial.
  • In case you don't think Iran wasn't going to be pissed that Trump ordered the assassination of Soleimani. The sheer size of the crowd has caused deaths: 
  • Oh, by the way. The U.S. military sent Iraq a letter telling them that we were withdrawing all troops as they had requested. Then the Pentagon suddenly backtracked and said the letter was only a "draft" and shouldn't have been sent.  Do we have any idea what we are doing? Is your confidence level pretty high? 
  • Everyone is familiar with Tony Dorsett's 99 yard run, and many also know that the Cowboys only had 10 men on the field on the play. But the famous video clip made me wonder something: Is it a penalty for a player to be in the huddle and then run off the field as the huddle breaks and cross the line of scrimmage?  Watch Ron Springs bolt from the huddle. Something seems illegal about that. 
  • I had completely forgotten that the U.S. shot down an Iranian civilian airliner in 1988.  (Five years earlier, the Soviets had shot down a civilian South Korean plane - an act which Reagan called "an act of barbarism, born of a society which wantonly disregards individual rights and the value of human life and seeks constantly to expand and dominate other nations.")
  • It has been 302 days since there has been a White House press briefing. Sarah Sanders replacement, Stephanie Grisham, is paid $183,000 of your tax money per year. 
  • Missed this last week. 
  • UT's Sam Ehlinger announced he will return for his senior year. Hey, he's a very good college quarterback, but where else did he think he was going? 
  • Every four years, one or both of the American political parties choose their presidential nominee in the blink of an eye. The Iowa Caucuses are on February 3rd. Super Tuesday is March 3rd.  By that time, it'll be Biden or Warren. The point is, it gets narrowed down to one person very, very fast. 


1.06.2020

Random Monday Morning Thoughts



  • Let's see, over the weekend the Iraq Parliament voted to kick U.S. troops out of the country, Iran says it now has no restraints on its nuclear program, and a eulogist, during Qassem Soleimani in Iran broadcast on State TV, placed an $80 million bounty on Trump's head. 
  • Don't ask me about how the Cowboys handled the Jason Garrett firing. I'm as confused as you are. The only thing I can think of is that Jerry tried to wait out January 14th when Garrett's contract ends so he wouldn't have to "fire" him. It just turned out to be an eternity. 
  • Ethan Couch, the affluenza teen, was released from jail after his Motion to Revoke was voluntarily dismissed by the Tarrant County DA's office. The Motion had been filed because of an allegation that his drug patch tested positive for THC.  So why was it dismissed? His probation terms require him to not break the law. However, since THC in CBD products is legal in Texas since last May (so long as it is just a slight amount), there's no way at this point to tell whether Couch violated the law simply by having THC in his system. Here's the weird part: The DA's office signed the Motion to Revoke in the first place. They knew they couldn't prove he broke the law when it was signed.
  • Dear War Powers Act: "I don't even know you exist. But if you do, my Twitter feed should be enough."  

  • Dear Geneva Convention (Protocol 1, Article 53): "I don't know even know if you exist. But if you do, I'll ignore you."
  • O.J. Simpson tweets that he abandoned the Bills games early, and our governor makes a double murder joke. 
  • Iran claims to have hacked the Federal Depository Library Program website. (As we all tried to figure out what that Program is.)
  • Remember when DPS was putting troopers accustomed to rural Texas highways in South Dallas in order to help Dallas PD, but two of them ended up shooting a guy during a traffic stop? Well, they shot him 16 times
  • There's a crazy story out of Japan where the former head on Nissan was accused of financial crimes and forbidden to leave the country. Despite Japan having some of the tightest security in the world, he managed to sneak out of the country in a private plane by getting in this thing with holes drilled for air. He's 5'6".
  • Someone listed the Texas high school football districts in 1966 and 1967.  Decatur and Bridgeport were 2A. But look at this district which was in 1A.
  • Salma Hayek made an appearance at the Golden Globes last night. She's 53. (Oh, here's Ricky Gervais' full opening monologue.)
  • Buried in all of the Iran news (as planned) is the discovery of the existence of emails which are critical to Trump's impeachment.  If we finally get a trial in the Senate, let's have a real trial and see these emails.
  • Random movie: Somehow I ended up watching The Man Who Knew Too Much over the weekend, and I've been bugged by plot holes ever since. Yep, a 1956 movie bothered me. (And I had already forgotten that Doris Day died in 2019.)
  • Messenger: Above the Fold.