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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Well, since it's "All Coronavirus, All The Time", I'll just spend the weekend alone with my new friends. 
  • I suppose the stock market crash is due to the "fears of the coronavirus impact on the global economy", but I've been waiting for this mini-crash for five years. And it really needs to fall another 15% to get the entire needed "correction" out of its system. 
  • But let's check in on Trump during yesterday's steep stock market drop:
    Diamond and Silk spittin' pearls of wisdom.

    Hey, that's the new crazy Spiritual Advisor who is kinda hot. If I were
    Melania, I'd keep my eye on her. 
  • Let's randomly check in on Oklahoma State alum Garth Brooks performing in Detroit. I always knew he was a bleeding heart, snowflake commie. 

  • Can we put this photo in the Smithsonian to document how America went crazy during these years?
  • I've never seen the Netflix docuseries The Staircase, and I'm not sure why. I love crime documentaries. 
  • Prager University didn't like how it was being treated by YouTube so its lawyers, who apparently are about as smart as the fake University's founder, decided to argue that the First Amendment applied to a private entity like YouTube.  They were thrown out of court yesterday. You are basically being called a horrible lawyer when an appellate court says: "PragerU runs headfirst into two insurmountable barriers—the First Amendment and Supreme Court precedent."
  • Speaking of the First Amendment, who ya got in Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick vs. Gun Violence Protester?  This is actually a fantastic legal question which was probably settled in Cohen vs. California (1971). Patrick posted this yesterday, but I'm having trouble finding where he got the photo. 
  • Very legal nerd stuff that makes my head spin because of some spare case out of Waco two days ago:
    • The State of Texas charged a guy with possessing prescription medication without a prescription. (Yep, that's a crime even though most of you have borrowed a hydrocodone from a friend or spouse from time to to time. It's a misdemeanor.) 
    • The State told the Defendant in the formal charge what the drug was that he illegal possessed:  Acetaminophen. (Remember that.)
    • The Defendant then entered into a plea bargain and agreed to do 180 days in the Hill County Jail. (Good lord. Is he being prosecuted by Hill County Nazis? And why is he agreeing to do 180 days?)
    • Despite the plea bargain, he was allowed to appeal because he had filed a Motion to Suppress claiming the search of his car was illegal.  (But this is weird in its own right. Yes, he has that right but normally the State requires you to waive any right to appeal in order to get the plea bargain. It's a, "Hey, we'll offer you x but only if you agree to give up your right to appeal on the Motion to Suppress." That didn't happen here.)
    • Then it gets weirder. The appellate lawyer actually reads the charge against the Defendant and found out that Acetaminophen is nothing other than Tylenol. Yep, the State screwed up. And the Defendant didn't catch it and agreed to do 180 days in jail for possessing simple Tylenol.
    • So now the Defendant, who planned on appealing the ruling on the Motion to Suppress, has a whole new ground to pursue on appeal: "They charged me with possessing over the counter medicine! That ain't right!"
    • Now the State's lawyer on appeal, who also discovers for the first time they had charged the guy with possessing Tylenol,  just gives up and "confesses error." They admit the screwed up, and tell the appellate court they should have charged him with possessing the prescription type of Tylenol which has codeine in it. But their falling on the sword comes with a catch: They are going to go after the Defendant again once the court of appeals reverses this case.
    • So the Court reverses but, with little fanfare, orders an out-right acquittal.  (They really didn't spend any time on denying the State's request to just reverse the case and let the re-plead it and prosecute the defendant again.)

    • (I'll admit, this case in the future now gets even more complicated. Is it double jeopardy? Can they prosecute him again with the corrected charge? If I wanted a day researching it, I'd give you and answer.)
    • But, wait! There's more! There is even a dissent in this case. It basically says, "Hey, State, why the heck are you confessing error? The law in this area is really complicated, and I can save your arse by ruling that the Defendant should have objected to being charged with just possessing Tylenol. And since he didn't catch that you screwed up the charge, he needs to spend that 180 days in jail he agreed to do!" Really. That's what the dissent really means. And just check out how crazy the dissent starts:
    • All this over allegedly possessing prescription Tylenol without a prescription.
    • Let me repeat again what I now want engraved on my tombstone: "Too many cops. Too many prosecutors."
  • So how do I know about a Waco appellate case that got reversed yesterday? You want to know what a legal nerd I am? I've got some computer programming skills* so I designed an online program that, once you enter a date, searches every appellate court in Texas and let's you know if a case was been reversed on appeal that day. (Once you enter the date and hit "Run", you've got to wait about 20 seconds until every court is searched and then the results appear.)  *Cue the Napoleon Dynamite voice.
  • A faithful reader tipped me off to this: A Pilot Point police officer was arrested yesterday on assault charges. That's not that big of a deal in itself, but the reader noticed this: The arrest was made by Denton PD and, once arrested, Denton PD released the guy's mugshot to the media.  But two years ago, Denton PD arrested one of their own for assault and refused to release the mug shot: "Denton police spokesman Bryan Cose said the department would not release Beckwith's jail booking photograph until an indictment was made by a grand jury. Unless Beckwith gives written consent, Cose said they're not allowed to release the photo under section Sec. 143.090 of the local government code." 


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • I wonder how many of you have no idea there was a mass shooting late yesterday. You aren't to be blamed. It was easy to miss. 
  • I continue to stand by my position that the "Coronavirus is no big deal." But I'm concerned in that Trump is now using my exact same logic and, again, I don't like the people in the room with me. 

  • "Johns Hopkins, I guess, is a highly respected great place. They did a study, comprehensive. The countries best and worst prepared for an epidemic, and the United States is now… We’re rated number one. We’re rated number one for being prepared. This is a list of different countries."
  • But we learned yesterday that Mike Pence is now in charge of fighting the coronavirus. Flashback:
  • And I don't understand why everyone freaked out two days ago at Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, saying: "It's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness." Yes, it's guaranteed that people will get sick from the coronavirus. That's not the same thing as saying Instant Death is lapping at our shores. 
  • Of course he did. I was going to make a joke that he invoked "State's Rights" -- the justification that Southern civil war supporters use to this day -- but that's exactly what he did.
  • I had forgotten about this lady, but I made fun of her for the Uncle Rico pose months ago
  • He's thinks he is being unfairly discriminated against. 
  • I just happened to be listening to WBAP's Rick Roberts yesterday afternoon where a caller told him that people needed to know if they vote in either the Democrat or Republican primary then their card will be stamped "and you can't vote the other way in the general election later." Roberts agreed and moved on to the next caller.  That station is a blowtorch of misinformation.
  • The Ticket had a Criminal Defense Lawyer round-table this morning, and one of them was lawyer from the Wichita Falls/Lottery/Sexual Assault/No Defense case.  (She said she didn't like have to conduct a "blistering" cross-examination. Sheesh.)    The wildest thing they all said was that 25% of their clients were actually innocent. Not that "I don't know, but I earnestly believe the government can't prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt 25% of the time." Nope, they said 25% were actually innocent.  Side note: I thought host Gordon Keith had a better grasp of the role of the criminal defense lawyer than they did.
  • I used the phrase "Split the Baby" last night and Mrs. LL went from not knowing what that meant to correctly telling me that it was Biblically based within 10 seconds. I don't know how her mind works. 
  • Fun political fact: In 1960, LBJ entered the presidential race one week before the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles and came in second with the delegate count after the one and only vote. (Kennedy got 53% almost causing a second round of voting.) The move caused Kennedy to name LBJ his Vice-President, and the rest is history.  
  • I-35 will always be under construction. 


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 . . . 


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • The resiliency of the Leaning Tower of Dallas is great entertainment. But of all the questions (i.e. The size of the wrecking ball, hitting at the top instead of the bottom, etc.), I'm most intrigued that the company uses the high tech equipment of a tire to connect the wrecking ball to the crane.
  • Kind of fun facts: I kept hearing that building was the former Affiliated Computer Services building so I wondered what that company did. It got started in the late 1980s and hit the big time by providing "data services" to 7-11 stores.  It then looks like the company became the pioneers in creating electronic tolls for tollways. Xerox bought the company for $6.4 billion in 2010.
  • A better fun fact: Here's the guy who founded it, Darwin Deason.
  • Guy in the courthouse hallway yesterday: "Could you get me a cup of water from that room over there? I'm sick." Me: "Sure." (I'm probably going to get the Medal of Freedom based upon my many years of public acts of kindness I've done in that place.) Same guy to me a few minutes later: "I've got the flu and quarantined out here. You might not want to stand by me." At least he warned me. 
  • I might need to rethink my position that the coronavirus is no big deal. I'm now uncomfortable with people on my side of the room. 
  • Trump on the Harvey Weinstein verdict this morning: 
  • I said yesterday the Messenger should check to see if they had any history on the building of the Wise County courthouse. And now someone has put it on a T-shirt. (Or, maybe, just maybe, the T-shirt came first.)
  • I've heard a lot about Tyson Fury, the "Gypsy King" and the winner of the heavyweight boxing match on Saturday, coming from a family of Irish Travelers who had a lineage of bare knuckle boxing. Man, this is right out of one of my favorite movies, Snatch, and one of Brad Pitt's greatest (and under-appreciated) characters.
  • Trump, while in India, watched a Laura Ingraham segment on Fox News and then went on a rant about Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg. That's how this works. This is the new normal.

  • Outside of basketball, Kobe Bryant wasn't an exceptionally better human than millions of Americans, right? I mean, every eulogy is pretty much what you would hear at any funeral in America.
  • I was reading this story about a Dallas case and was thinking, "I bet this guy is going to be found 'not guilty'" -- that is, right up until the point I got to the "tearful confession" part. 
  • I don't know who she is, but I'm sure this is big news to some. I'll be honest, I didn't think that show would survive after Kraddick's death in 2013.
  • "Christian Nationalism" is a term that I really wasn't all that familiar with. But it explains a lot. 
  • The Decatur Lady Eagles and Bridgeport Sissies meeting in the basketball playoffs is delicious. But can we find somewhere closer than Chisholm Trail High School? It's not that far, but it's a pain to get to.