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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Here's a new one. Did you know that you can receive a "federal ticket" on the LBJ Grasslands for weed possession? And it will command you to pay a pre-set, yet arbitrary, "forfeiture amount" or appear in federal court? A ticket which says "United States District Court" at the top of it? It's so crazy that I want to believe it's a scam that someone cooked up. But this website seems to indicate it's true. This is weird, and I can't believe I've never heard of it. 
  • I mentioned the other day about a guy who fired up a joint in front of a judge. There's video!
  • Everyone knew Trump wouldn't be convicted, but there was a sliver of hope that we would get to hear witnesses. That went down in flames last night when Sen. Lamar Alexander, who was a critical swing vote, said he would vote no on calling witnesses. But he also said that the House Managers had proved the Article I of the Articles of Impeachment. But then he said he wouldn't vote to convict.  

  • The halftime score in a women's SEC basketball game last night was 32-2. But for a shot with less than a minute left in the first half, it would have been 32-0. Ole Miss did not score on its first 31 possessions. And that's your women's college basketball update.
  • One thing I should have added yesterday when I posted a pic of Jerry Jones' yacht docking in Miami for the Super Bowl: "Have I mentioned that NFL owners have imposed a player salary cap?"
  • New: U.S. farm bankruptcies jumped 20% to hit an eight year high last year. Flashback from two weeks ago:
  • Coronavirus death count to date: 170. Shooting deaths in the US last year: 15,381
  • Runaway Bay, you're on deck. 
  • One thing I've never done is hide on the Internet with a fake name. I don't know what @TheLillyLawyer prosecutor tweeted to cause someone to out her, but the dog pile then began with her being outed and then everyone researching everything she ever said. She then deleted her account.  The last one might turn out to be problematic.

  • “My girls love to drink. Ain’t no telling what’s going to happen there. They are a hoot now. Good-looking, too.” - Terry Bradshaw.  It's The Bradshaw Bunch.  Remember when former Cowboys linebacker Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson said during Super Bowl week in 1979 that Bradshaw was so dumb that "he couldn't spell 'cat' if you spotted him the c-a." He was right then, and he's right now.  
  • The boys from The Ticket road in this boat in Miami yesterday as they were in town for the Super Bowl. If I heard correctly, it sells for over $1 million and can hit 155 mph.  I'm serious when I say, "What's the point?" You can't fish. You can't ski or tube. You can't walk around.

  • For you criminal law practitioners out there, the lead story below sounds like a really wild case. I don't know if the story is available online because the site kept crashing my browser. 


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • I focused on this guy on Monday. He needed to be suspended. ABC didn't disclose the length of the suspension, however.
  • The Iowa Caucasus are in four days and winning has been far more important to the Democrat  than the Republican.  The last four individual Democrats who won Iowa also won the nomination (Gore, Kerry, Obama, Clinton). The last three Republicans to win it did not (Huckabee, Santorum, Cruz.)
  • I'm not issuing a Wise County Coronavirus Warning, but I am issuing There's A Lot Of Wise County Folks Who Are Sick With Something Warning. 
  • A lady who tries to provoke government officials into doing something stupid on camera made a visit to Boyd City Hall the County Annex recently and just posted the video on YouTube. Two cops who were called out remained calm. (There are two other Boyd officers who I would have love to have seen called out to the scene instead.) I understand what she is trying to do, but she sure has a caustic way of going about it.
  • Everyone is entitled to grieve in any way they wish, but it's refreshing to see Kobe Bryant's wife acting like a real human being. Being silent for days. Finally issuing a statement in writing. And keeping away from the cameras.
  • The Bravo Eugenia has landed
  • For most of my life I've thought Alan Dershowitz was a liberal nut. Then he became a right wing nut. Now I think he's just a nut. He got to trend yesterday when he defended Trump at the Impeachment Trial by saying: “If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”
  • Chief Justice Roberts having to read questions from Senators is a little bizarre. Kamala Harris made him to quote some of Trump's Access Hollywood leaked tape (no, not the "grab 'em" part) while Rand Paul tried to get him to name the Whistleblower (Roberts refused.) But Mitt Romney actually asked a legitimate question:
  • This college football hypothetical question and answer made me laugh yesterday just thinking about the visual:

  • Shout out to someone who left a magazine for me in my foyer with the message "He'll like a couple of things." The magazine, The Cattleman, had an article about Ladybird Deeds and another one about the Comanches. Now that's what you call a very faithful, and careful, reader.
  • A coach for a small college has been making the news this week after naming Hitler as someone he would want to have dinner with because of his "leadership" skills. I've been racking my brain trying to remember when I had heard that exact same controversy before. Someone reminded me that then Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott got in trouble in 1996 for saying that Hitler "was good in the beginning, but went too far", but I still think I'm missing another story from the past.
  • Yesterday Ted Cruz just made this up. Parnas never got close to the gallery.
  • Legal stuff: I was a little surprised last year when a Texas appellate court reversed a guy's conviction for Evading Arrest With A Vehicle simply because the jury, while deliberating, heard a police siren in the distance. Yesterday, Texas's highest criminal court said, "Uh, we want to take a look at that." 
  • Random history. I can't say I was familiar with this story.  The exact number of those who died is not known, but most put it at around 9,600 with and estimated 5,000 of those being children. Good lord. That dwarfs the Titanic. It was sunk 75 years ago today. 
  • Random Baseball Contract Nugget: Prince Fielder will be paid $24 million dollars this year -- the third year in a row at that amount since he was placed on the disabled list in 2016. (He didn't "retire" because he wouldn't get the money.) Each year the Rangers pay $9 million, the Tigers pay $6 million, and insurance pays the remaining $9 million.  But this is the last year. Question: Is Fielder then eligible for Social Security disability?


Random Wednesday Morning Thought

  • Someone ask me what I thought about Bridgeport ISD's proposed $90 million bond election and my response was, "With schools building $60 million stadiums, I don't even know what's reasonable anymore."  But then I see that the Messenger is reporting that Northwest ISD is going to try and pass one that is almost one billion dollars.  I remember when the entire school was out on the prairie along Highway 114.
  • That's a little chilling
  • I know Trump won't be convicted in the Senate so the only possible interesting moment could be this: If three Republican senators defect and vote for hearing witnesses (Romney and Collins are leaning that way but don't hold your breath), then it appears Chief Justice John Roberts would have to break the tie. That would be delicious. 
    "Who? Me?" 
  • Trump has John Bolton, one of his "best people", in his cross-hairs this morning. Someone want to explain "World War Six" to me? World Wars III, IV and V sure would have been quick and non-destructive. 
  • I know nothing about this case, but it had to be a wild ride this week in Tarrant County. A guy charged with a first degree felony decided to represent himself, is appointed stand-by counsel (just to get help if he asked for it), and then negotiated himself a six year plea bargain. (For an entertaining memo I found where a bunch of Texas lawyers candidly chimed in on the experience of being stand-by counsel, see this.)
  • Coronavirus death count as of this morning: 132. The number of people who died in the U.S. by accidents in 2017: 169,936. By the flu/pneumonia: 55,672. By suicide: 47,173.  It's much ado about nothing. The only people who are panicking are those who are paid to panic. 
  • In related news: The Dallas homicide rate for 2020 reached 16 last night. 
  • Shoot your best shot. Story.
  • Very random person for Super Bowl week: Tommy Brooker. The Kansas Chiefs, for three seasons, played as the Dallas Texans. Their last game for Dallas was the AFL Championship game which went to double overtime and was won on a field goal by Mr. Brooker. Here's the post game pic. He died last September. 
  • Former Dallas Stars Eddie Belfour is in the news for being arrested for public intoxication. There's a lot of recalling when he was arrested in Dallas twenty years ago for the same thing and tried to bribe the officer for "$1 billion dollars." If I remember correctly, he actually started with a reasonable amount so he actually taught us how make a bribe while creating an "I was just kidding" defense at the same time in the event the officer happens to take offense. It would go something like this: "I'll give you $100 to let me go? No? How about $500 cash? No? Make it a $1,000. No? Really? $50,000? $100,000? How about a billion?!" And since your being arrested for being intoxicated anyway, it'll probably work.
  • Name a time your heart was broken when you didn't have any expectations. 
  • Legal stuff: In the world's worst magazine, the Texas Bar Journal, I just saw an article that began with this: "Can authorities compel a suspect to surrender the password to a protected device?" Three thoughts: (1) To my surprise, I learned something because I had never heard of the "foregone conclusion" exception to the Fifth Amendment before. But that simply reinforced my belief that appellate courts simply make stuff up, labeling them "exceptions", to help the State. (2) Let's get practical: How exactly is the government going to "compel" someone to give up their password? I guess you could threaten them with jail for contempt of a court order, but what if they are already in jail because they couldn't make bond?  (3) The article had to struggle to find any cases to even discuss the issue and had to resort to a Florida state court case and a Massachusetts state court case to fill out one single page in the magazine. One quick Google search revealed an uncited Pennsylvania Supreme Court case from November of last year which, in a 4-3 vote, discussed the issue extensively (and it even had an amicus brief which was available online.) The Bar Journal is the worst.
  • I tried to watch The Irishman and, while it was fun to see all those stars, it had the same feel and pace of every other mobster movie. I've never been a fan of the genre. I feel like I'm in the minority. 
  • I saw that BagOfNothing has "Kobe fatigue." I promise you I have a family member who said, "I think we're going to get tired of this." And that was said at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold.


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • The fog lasted a long time yesterday and heard some horror stories. One of them concerned the I-35 tollway near Basswood. And I heard 114 into the metroplex was a white knuckle ride.
  • Here's my expert driving tip: Your automatic headlights very likely don't come on in foggy conditions during the day.  (Actually, Mrs. LL told me that, but I told her I'd steal it.)
  • How right wing darling John Bolton has suddenly become Enemy #1 of State TV is something to behold.
  • Shout out to the boys at Karl Klement's Body Shop. It's always weird to walk into a room of strangers and hear, "Don't put me on that Liberally Lean!" (Seriously, the process of getting an estimate from them was about as smooth as can possibly be imagined.)
  • Hey, do you teachers feel pretty good about those who are running your retirement plan? The Austin American Statesman uncovered that the administrators of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas have leased three floors of a new Austin high rise called Indeed Tower at a cost of at least $326,000 a month.
  • Two a week.
  • I've mentioned before that a Decatur law firm won a $98 million dollar verdict several months back in a Dallas banking/lending case, and it is on appeal. Today, January 28, 2020, oral arguments will be held in the case before the Dallas Court of Appeals.  I don't want to pick on anyone, but just glancing at the documents recently filed in the appeal, I think I see an error from one of the parties.
  • Ken Starr made his presentation against impeachment yesterday while somehow forgotting he was Ken Starr.  And how did he think this was a good look? I actually had that same overcoat in 1989. When I entered a room once at the law firm I was with, one of the firm's partners actually pulled me aside and said, "Lose the coat." I never wore it again. And I've never forgotten the moment.
  • Uh, oh. Trump got mad at CNN's Don Lemon last night once he found out Lemon got tickled by a guest saying that "Donald Trump couldn't find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter 'U' and a picture of an actual physical crane next to it." 
  • I was watching MSNBC moments after the Kobe Bryant news broke. I heard what she is talking about, and it certainly caused me to have a "Whoa!" moment. (Video.) I feel sorry for her for getting tongue-tied, but I'm not sure it was "Nakers" that she said. 
  • An ironic malpractice tip this morning.
  • There's a lot of talk about the utility of the iPad on it's 10 year anniversary. I'm a huge, huge fan. And a few months back I broke down and bought and Apple Pencil. I may never use a legal pad again. 
  • Craig Miller on The Ticket had a segment about Jim Lehrer's quote below. He, like most folks it seems, interprets it to mean "A reporter should never publish information unless he also sites the person from whom he obtained it." I don't think that's what Lehrer meant at all. Confidential sources are a critical aspect of journalism. "Anonymous" means "of unknown name or origin." So isn't he admonishing the reporter about using information from an unknown person to that reporter instead of using information whose source is an unknown person to the reader? (A quick search didn't give me an answer.) And, as support of my position, isn't admonishing about using a "blind quote" mean using a quote that the reporter himself doesn't even know the source of?
  • I think Decatur has an inordinate amount of hotels (many built during the natural gas boom.) And although I'm not sure how all of them are going, the parking lot of the Marriott based hotel out by the Decatur Convention Center is always packed.