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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • This miraculous recovery of NASCAR's Ryan Newman, going from "serious but not life-threatening condition" to walking out of a hospital less than 72 hours later, almost makes my conspiracy theory detector go off. I'm not exactly sure how, but it's softly beeping. 
  • The Aggies beat Prairie View A&M last night 30-2. In baseball. It was 27-0 after the second inning. 
  • The NFL Player's Union distributed a "fact sheet" about the proposed new collective bargaining agreement. Here's an excerpt from page 3 where the less significant aspects of the proposal are set out. But part of it got my attention. For reference, in Colorado the legal limit for DWI under the influence of marijuana is five nanograms.
  • The jail sentence: Four days in jail with credit for one day. Not mentioned: How much good conduct time the Sheriff gives in Collin County.
    • So how much good conduct time can you get when sentenced to the local county jail for a misdemeanor? I was thrown for a little of a loop this morning. I had always thought the maximum was 3 days credit for one day served  But the statute, unless I'm reading it wrong, says that the maximum is one day extra credit for one day served (that's 2 days credit for 1 day served), and the total credit can't be more than 1/3 of the sentence. Someone tell me what I'm missing.
    • The Wise County Sheriff's office has always had a weird policy of 2 for 1 credit after 30 real days. 
    • One oddity is that any Texas sheriff controls the time credit for his jail. A judge can't sentence someone to jail and order it be served "day for day." 
  • "What the hell was that all about? . . . Can we get like Gone with the Wind back, please?" - Donald Trump ranting last night about Parasite winning Best Picture because it was made in South Korea. 
  • Whatever happened to Tiffani Amber Thiessen?
  • I watched the very short documentary, Long Shot, on Netflix about how an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm filmed at a Dodgers game ended up freeing a man accused of murder. Two things that pleasantly surprised me: (1) California procedure allows a judge to simply throw out a case that the State was foolish enough to bring, and (2) the guy sued the cops for conducting a crappy investigation and settled for six figures. 
  • The Supreme Court is about to decide whether a 1964 Civil Rights law protects transgendered people because it prohibits discrimination on the bases of "sex."  Rumors were floated by right wingers yesterday that Justice Gorsuch would be the swing vote and it might go different than one would think. 
  • Regarding that case, I wrote the bullet point below earlier this year. When I went to the National Archives in December, they actually had a display of the handwritten alteration of the bill in Congress where "sex" was inserted. I felt pretty good about the fact I was one of the few walking by it who knew why it was on display. (There was no signage about the pending Supreme Court case.)
  • As everyone celebrates the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Hockey team beating the Russians in the Olympics, remember (1) the game was shown on TV after it concluded on tape delay  -- it was actually played at 4:00 p.m. CST and not during the evening when most people watched it, (2) the game wasn't for the gold medal. The U.S. still had to play Finland. Personal note: I watched a portion of it in Cundiff, Jack County, Texas. 


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • I would like to withdraw my prediction that Michael Bloomberg would make a surge for the Democratic nomination. Elizabeth Warren murdered him last night. 
  • New prediction: Now watch Trump start the attacks on Warren this week and start throwing veiled support at Bernie or Pete. He wants no part of Warren on a debate stage. 
  • Today Roger Stone will be sentenced -- and possibly pardoned -- all in the same morning.
  • Side note about the location of Stone's sentencing: I walked right past that federal courthouse in December and didn't really realize it. It's right there between the Capitol and the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue. I remember looking at the statue in front of it, though. I've talked to one Wise County attorney who has actually been in one of the courtrooms. "They take themselves very seriously in there," he told me. 
  • Legal nerd stuff I thought about while in D.C.: Who prosecutes things like DWI and shoplifting? D.C. isn't a state with counties, so is every little crime a federal crime? The U.S. Attorney can't be in charge of those minor prosecutions, right? The answer turned out to be pretty interesting and kind of wild
  • I saw this photo of LBJ yesterday leaning in towards Kennedy while at the breakfast in Fort Worth on November 22, 1963.  I'm not sure I'd seen it before. Compare it to the photo of him leaning into Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas (which I have framed in my office.) 

  • As expected, Brandon McCall was convicted of capital murder in Collin County yesterday. Is it politically incorrect to admit that I wonder if he was normal based upon the same of his skull? 
  • The NFL Player's Union and owners are about to reach a new deal on their collective bargaining contract. The weakest union in America is about to become weaker. And as soon as it is signed, the owners will turn around and put the screws to the networks for new TV deals which are already earning them $5 billion a year. 
  • I previously offered a shout out to the boys at Karl Klement's body shop, but I failed to mention a very sweet lady at the counter. She pointed that out to me yesterday as she told me she had also been reading Liberally Lean for years. I apologize. For both. (Although she did laugh a little too hard when I said, "Oh, I write it all in good fun. That's until, as my mom used to say, 'Someone's gonna whip you one of these days, boy'.") 
  • Other than gas isn't that cheap anywhere, property taxes are killings me, straw decisions aren't a big player in my life, I don't want to carry a 45, Whataburger is owned by a Chicago investment firm, and our governor is a shameless panderer to the masses, I'm good.
  • Heard a branch banking discussion this morning: "Since the peak of more than 1,800 North Texas branches in 2010, almost 200 local banking outlets have closed their doors."  Trivia: Most people don't realize that branch banking in Texas was illegal up until around 1986.
  • Random Helen Hunt note:
  • In watching any TV or or movie drama made before 2000, it just jumps out at you that a character's problem-of-the-moment could be solved today by just pulling out their phone. (I thought about this yesterday when watching a simple scene in The West Wing where Josh was on a pay phone trying to convince the operator to look up the name of a big law firm in a city which he couldn't remember.) 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • The Messenger has a story today about a bad wreck at FM 2123 and FM 51. That should sound familiar. Here's a random bullet point from 2011: 
  • Trump cared so much about the corruption in the Ukraine that yesterday he pardoned or commuted the sentences of a bunch of rich white guys convicted of corruption.
  • Here's a hot sports opinion: The Texas UIL trophy for winning bi-district is too large. 
  • The Houston Astros scandal almost got put on the back burner because of an Alvord basketball controversy. Actually, I have no idea what this is about.  But the word "speculation" instead of "not true" is kind of weird. Someone contact "Cooke County SportsTalk" to get to the bottom of this. 
  • A guy shoots me a photo of every big money Super PAC mailer he receives going after Kay Granger.  They just keep coming. 
  • President Obama's State of the Union speech in 2010 all makes sense now: "During the address, Obama condemned the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, stating, 'Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections.' Justice Samuel Alito was seen frowning and mouthing the words 'not true' when Obama criticized the Supreme Court." 
  • Speaking of
  • I've said it before, I want this former Bridgeport gal's press agent. She made Fox 4 again last night. 
  • Good grief. A 46 year old skier in Vail died this way: "Bettis said the chairlift’s folding seat was left in the upright position which created a gap when Varnish went to sit down and his coat got caught around his head and neck area, cutting off his airway. Eyewitnesses told local news outlets ski patrol performed CPR on the 46-year-old skier who was pronounced dead at the hospital." That's the eighth skiing death this year in Colorado, but short of the 22 deaths last season from skiing and snowboarding. 
  • I got a slick 30 page brochure in the mail yesterday wanting me to attend a $1,500 mass tort legal seminar at The Wynn in Las Vegas. Buddy, you got the wrong guy. But just look at day three: Pick what possible scam litigation you are interested in!  And you can get liquored up at 10:30 a.m. before you go. 
  • People are dogging me to watch the McMillions documentary. I read the long article about the scandal two years ago but go lost midway through it. But this HBO series must be much better and right in my wheelhouse. 
  • Former Baylor coach Matt Rhule's home is for sale
  • Hot sports opinion #2: Jason Witten wants to come back for another season. No thanks. He unjustifiably forced Blake Jarwin to the bench last year because Jason Garrett likes his buddy.
  • I almost let Delkus out of the dog-house for this but, since I hold an honorary doctorate from the American Meteorological Society, I cannot sanction this low-brow humor.

  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • An odd story from overnight. It's off Seminary Drive in south Fort Worth in a Alamo storage facility. (Very random side note: The Star-Telegram story linked to a map for the location and it sent me to MapQuest. I had completely forgotten about MapQuest.)
  • The Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to get a handle of a mountain of sexual assault claims. I wonder what that means to the massive amount of acreage out at Lake Bridgeport that the Scouts own. (I thought about the when I saw this sentence from the story which indicates its major assets are land: "Amid the crush of lawsuits, the Scouts recently mortgaged the major properties owned by the national leadership, including the headquarters in Irving, Texas, and the 140,000-acre Philmont Ranch in New Mexico, to help secure a line of credit.") Edit: A faithful reader corrects me: "Sid Richardson is owned by your local scout area council, not the national BSA organization, and is unaffected by the bankruptcy."
  • Dale Earnhardt, Sr. died 19 years ago at Daytona. NASCAR almost had another death last night. 
  • A lady has been arrested on charges of Intoxication Manslaughter after allegations she hit a pedestrian in Uptown Dallas. And the case gets took a weird twist when it was reported she was driving a Polaris "Slingshot."
  • Run vs. Pass percentage in the NFL. I'm no statistician, but this seems to qualify as a sustained trend. And the Cowboys paid Zeke Elliott how much? 
  • A guy tweeted "I have some questions about this sports bar steakhouse mural, which features the Ohio State Buckeyes vs the San Francisco Rams", and I can't stop thinking about it. (Not to mention the odd ball carrier and the Van Gogh like swirls in the background.
  • I watched a great documentary on Netflix about Ruby Ridge. It's titled "Every Knee Shall Bow" and is produced by PBS's American Experience. Three thumbs up.  
  • I was looking at the Wise County Jail list and noticed that last night a 63 year old was arrested for possession of marijuana for less than two ounces. Think about that. In the year 2020, a man was taken off the street by the government and placed in a cage for holding a little bit of a plant. (And at 10:00 a.m. this morning you can legally go by a bottle of vodka.)
  • Stay with me here: A former conservative state lawmaker (and faithful Liberally Lean reader) has asked me to make you aware this op-ed being distributed regarding a proposed voting rule in the Texas Senate which will change the threshold vote of when a bill can be considered. If I read it correctly, the change would require only a majority vote for bill consideration down from 60% which is the current rule. Don't care? "In our heavily urban state, rural areas could be more easily outvoted under a rule change." Translated: That majority rule ain't gonna look so good when the Democrats take a slim majority in the Senate -- something which is on the verge of happening. 
  • BagOfNothing posted a picture yesterday of his son being tested for a possible concussion. I had no idea that part of the concussion protocol was the DWI "Walk and Turn" test.
    "Hey, doc, I can't do this sober!"
  • This is a little in the weeds, but I've been following the Dallas appeal of a multi-million jury verdict award to a guy in an alleged bank fraud case in a real estate deal where he is represented in part by Decatur lawyers. I noticed that the same name of the guy who won the award showed up in a different appeal out of Fort Worth last Thursday but this time he is the defendant. The court summarized the case as "The Bagwells, who are husband and wife, served as directors of the nonprofit HOAs. During the time that the Bagwells were directors of the HOAs, loans were obtained from Sister Initiative, an entity owned by the Bagwells’ daughters, on terms that made the HOAs liable for the loans’ repayment. The Bagwells were subsequently ousted as directors of the HOAs, and litigation involving the loans ensued . . . . In essence, the trial court found that the Bagwells used the Sister Initiative loans as a means of funneling money to themselves while leaving the HOAs liable for the loans’ repayment." Opinion.
  • I really don't follow girls basketball much, but you had to like the name of last night's matchup between the Bridgeport Sissies and the Stephenville Honey Bees.


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • The implosion of the building in Dallas over the weekend left the core of it, mostly composed of elevator shafts, still standing. But it was pretty crazy because that core dropped about 30 feet, planted, and then just leaned. Watch it
  • Clayton Williams died over the weekend. Back in the day he challenged, but lost to, Ann Richards.  Political experts far smarter than I am said over the weekend that he lost because he admitted that he didn't pay taxes four years earlier. I have no memory of that whatsoever. I always thought it was the sexual assault joke that killed him. 
  • As I continue to poo poo the Coronavirus Fear Train, I'd like to point out that the U.S. is going through the worst flu season in years. So bad, in fact, that the CDC estimates the number of deaths so far is at 14,000. 
  • Another reason to side with the annoying guy who kept bumping the lady's reclined airplane seat: “I want to know who he is. I would like to press charges against this man. Because, I was assaulted on this plane,” Wendy Williams said in an interview with TMZ. “And American Airlines, I would like the flight attendant Loretta fired.”
  • The President of the United States retweeted a flatulence video on Saturday morning. That's something that President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho would have done in Idiocracy. We're almost there, people. 
  • Kay Granger continues to get pummeled by big bags of cash. (I feel sorry for the postal carrier for those in her district. They are delivering a ton of mailers.)
  • Trump courted the NASCAR vote by showing up at the Daytona 500 yesterday.  I'm no political expert, but I don't think he had anything to worry about with that particular demographic.
  • Ok, this is funny:
  • The Messenger has been doing some flashback articles to the era of pre- and post-Prohibition and reproduced a beer ad in 1933 for a case at $3.35.  Using a handy calculator, that's $66.48 in today's dollars. 
  • On Friday, there were 42 Class C citations (fine only) filed in JP#2 in Wise County against one guy all for one event which happened on February 9th. That seems to be a bit of overkill. 
  • The late night shows could have a field day with some man-on-the-street segments about this:
  • Being able to send a text on an iPad that doesn't have a cellular plan (only a Wifi capabilities) to only other Apple devices (iPhones and iPads) but not to someone who has an Android device is a little hard to explain. 
  • In the 1990s, Texas went Tough-on-Crime by requiring certain felons to serve a greater percentage of their sentences. Now we are seeing the aging of the prison population. It'll continue to get worse over the next decade. 
  • Speaking of incarceration, I finally watched 13th. Big thumbs up. It starts out with an excerpt from a Barack Obama speech in July, 2015 when he said, "So let’s look at the statistics.  The United States is home to 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.  Think about that." Seriously. Think about that. 
  • As I thought and hoped, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ran a story about the Wise County case I'm involved in that has also grabbed the attention of NBC's Dateline. In an effort not to be outdone, the Wise County Messenger ran a front page story about it as well. (This is the reason you should support local journalism. With no newspapers, you would be left in the dark.  Subscribe to the Messenger here. Subscribe to the Star-Telegram here.) And if you want to take a deep dive of the twenty-two page detailed Motion I filed which prompted these stories, you can read it here. Multiple arrest and search warrant affidavits are included as attachments as well. Look, I'm court appointed on this deal. And although it's not the point of the Motion, it does explain why Dateline is interested which, it should go without saying, it normally not a good thing for someone. 
  • Messenger: Above the Fold.