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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board: We started the day with 9,259 total cases and added a whopping 4,530 cases to bring the total to 13,789.  
  • The total death numbers went from 150 to 207.
  • While the rest of us are about to take a financial hit unlike anything we've seen, some members of Congress were focusing on becoming rich(er) instead of protecting us. The following should piss you off to no end. Let me introduce Senators Richard Burr and Kelley Loeffler. I'll break this down seperately for both of them: 
    • Rep. Richard Burr (R-NC) 
      • First, he is Chairman of the Senate Intellegence Committee making him a member of the "Gang of 8" allowing him to have access to secrets and get a heads up to information only a handful of people in country know. In any event, even that Committee was receiving daily closed door briefings on the coronavirus beginning in January.
      • But there was nothing to worry about, he told us. On February 7, he wrote an opinion piece for Fox News saying  the U.S. is “is better prepared than ever before” to deal with a potential health crisis like the coronavirus. 
      • However, on February 13th, he dumped over $1 million in stock. His timing was impecable. And it took 33 transactions to get it done. 
      • Based upon his secret information, did he believe something he wasn't saying publically? Of course. Behind closed doors, and secretly recorded, he told his donors on February 27th:  “There’s one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history. It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.”
      • How bad is all this? Even Fox News Tucker Carlson went after him last night saying he better have an "honest explanation" or resign. 
    • Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA)
      • She seems innocent enough. And she's a newbie. She was just sworn in on January 6th after being appointed to become a senator after the incumbent in her state of Georgia, Sen. Johnny Isakson, resigned.
      • Loeffler immediately became a member of a committee who received a closed door private briefing on the coronavirus on January 24th. Here's her tweet about it. 
      • Since you know what's coming, let's make this even juicier: She is married to Jeffrey Sprecher, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, and the chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, which is NYSE's parent company.
      • Here comes the payoff: After receiving the closed door briefing and over the next three weeks, through February 14th, Loeffler made 27 sales of stock worth between $1,275,000 and $3,100,000. Once again, all coming before the market crashed. 
      • But she did buy some stock: One purchase was worth between $100,000 and $250,000 in Citrix, a technology company that offers teleworking software. It has gone up just the stock market crash.
    • Let me wrap this up with a nice little drawing. On January 22nd, Sen. Burr changed his Twitter profile pic to the one below. Who's that lady in the drawing with him?  Amazingly, it is Sen. Loeffler.  It's from the impeachment trial where they were being asked to judge whether Trump acted corruptly in his dealings with the Ukraine. 
  • This looks like the opening scene of Vanilla Sky where Tom Cruise is very confused about the emptiness.

  • Trump made sure to get the important points out yesterday. Sheesh. 

  • I've said before that Fox News is the equivalent of State TV. Let me revise that: The little watched OANN (the One America News Network) is actually State TV. Get a load of these two questions asked to Trump yesterday during the latest coronavirus briefing by OANN's Chanel Rion: 
    • “Mr. President, do you consider the term ‘Chinese food’ to be racist because it is food that originated from China?” Trump: "I don’t think that’s racist at all.”
    • After Trump paused to let her continue (as if he knew what was coming), the following question was asked that she read from notes: “On that note, major left-wing media, even in this room, have teamed up with Chinese communist party narratives, and they are claiming you are racist for making these claims about ‘Chinese virus.’ Is it alarming that major media players, just to oppose you, are siding with foreign state propaganda, Islamic radicals, and Latin gangs and cartels and they work right here out of the White House with direct access to you and your team?” Good lord. Video.
    • Uh, Rion previously reported that the coronavirus was created in a lab in North Carolina. But go ahead and give her White House press credentials. 
  • Denton County has nine reported cases with the City of Denton getting its first yesterday.  You know, it's a really good question as to when Wise County officially reports its first case. I'm placing a bet sometime next week. And I'll go with Thursday.
  • There was a double rainbow over Dallas yesterday evening. So we've got that going for us. 
  • The Cowboys signed HaHa Clinton-Dix so that's another positive. 


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Alvord had quite the storm last night. This is the graphic from Fox 4 showing unusually high winds with Alvord right in the cross-hairs. Shout out to fellow weatherman Dan Henry who pronounced the town's name the old school way: "Alvoid."  Channel 5's Rick Mitchell had a weird pronounciation of "AL-verd." 
  • The storm first passed by Chico where a tornado on the ground was confirmed. I don't know "Aaron Jayjack" but he posted a great video on Twitter where you could clearly see the tornado when lightning caused it to be visible.  That's a big time twister.
  • And now to the board. Oh, my! We closed out yesterday with 2,548 new cases bringing the total to 9,259. Yep, 27% of that total came from yesterday alone. And get ready. It's only going to get worse. Much worse.
  • The district court in Wise County announced yesterday that it is shutting down until May 4th. That's probably an optomistic date. As for inmates with pending charges, I think, but I'm not sure, that if a deal can be worked out to get inmates out that they'll still be processed.
  • Gov. Abbott is just tearing up laws left and right whether or not he has the authority to do so. And no one complains. Expecially about this. 
  • And another law by Abbott: Your expiring driver's license remains valid. This was done because DPS is closing its offices. That makes sense: If there is any place in Texas where a large mass of people gather due to a complete disregard for efficiency and concern for the public, it is a DPS driver's license office. 
  • The Permian Basin has been rocked: Oil dropped below $20 a barrel yesterday before ending at $21.10. It was $51 a month ago. (And this isn't all coronavirus related. Our friends in Saudi Arabia, when they are not cutting up American journalists and producing the 9/11 terrorists, is in a price war with Russia.)
  • Incompetency Update. (A Pandemic Team, if it had been allowed to remain in existence, would have corrected this.)

  • Have a seat, grandpa. MERS and the Swine Flu had nothing to do with China. Google is your friend although it's not as much fun as bashing the Chinese. And I wonder if he knows anyone who has eaten a frog, snake, deer, squirrel, turtle, alligator, rabbit, or "rocky mountain oysters."
  • This video has been everywhere, but it is a must see. I think my favorite is the gal -- and her voice -- who says, "We're just trying to get drunk before everything cloooooooosssseeeeessssss."
    If that looks like the mark from a punch
    on ol' Brady, it would be understandable.
  • Is the Fort Worth PD rightfully no longer arresting anyone for Class C offenses (punishable by fine only)? Yes. Is this the worst denial in the history of ever about the new policy? Yes. Seriously, I don't understand this. Just admit you're not willing to do something stupid that might infect an entire jail. It's OK to be smart and reasonable instead of Tough on Crime all the time. 
  • And on to other things ever so briefly . . . 
  • Lake Bridgeport is now a full and rising. Keep a watch on this. With the ground saturated and more rains to come over the next couple of months, you could see unusual flooding. Remember the time the 380 bridge at Runaway Bay had to be shut down? 
  • If you want to become mega-rich in the NFL, be either a great quarterback or a quarterback who is slightly under average but can throw in a brief stretch of "very good" from time to time. If you are the latter, you only sign short term big deals because no team trusts you despite wanting you, and there will always another team waiting in line when they give up on you. Cousins and Foles are exhibits A and B.  Phillip Rivers, who because of age is now average, might be able to pull this off again next year -- his $25 million deal with the Colts is only for one year.
  • Sports talk radio news: The ESPN affilliate in Waco which employs DFW's Matt Mosley and local fav David Smoak fired everyone and announced they would just air the national feed. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Before we get to the daily update of coronavirus cases, you must first be aware of something a faithful reader has shared with me. It shall be remembered as the greatest Wise County Coronavirus Pic of All Time. This was allegedly in Boyd yesterday. Frame it. Put it in the Wise County Historical Museum. Heck, put it in the Smithsonian.  
  • Now to the board. There were 1,748 new cases reported yesterday. When I first started posting this graph on March 5th, the most recent bar represented 63 new cases.

  • For a Republican anti-big government, no socialism, no bail out, Administration, we are about to see government handouts of Biblical proportions.  The dirty words of "government assistance" doesn't sound like that bad of an idea now, right? This ain't Oprah (although it is wild everyone might just get a check for $1,000.) But this is going to be brutal for all of us. 
  • I don't like this: Greg Abbott has suspended critical portions of the Open Meetings Act. (Which he can't legally do, but no one particularly cares about the legalities anymore.)
  • If today's Wise County court docket is any indication, Justice of the Peace #3 is the only one going full steam ahead. That's a big 2:30 p.m. docket. 
  • I can't believe I turned on Dennis Prager yesterday, but he didn't disappoint. He's against the shutting down of America. Yes, he knows people will die but the number is, in his opinion, relatively few.  "At what number of deaths is it not worth shutting down the economy?" he asked.  In other news, I thought "every life is precious." 
  • That looks like some real suffering right there. 
  • His ability to lie knows no bounds. This tweet is from this morning. (He must have seen the new, and already viral, video from yesterday.)
  • It looks like it was Jared Kushner who steered Trump down the It's-Just-The-Flu path and to treat it like a PR problem. The New York TimesVanity Fair and The Washington Post all have independent stories on it today. Let that be a lesson to you: Never listen to a son-in-law.
    ****Nine Days Ago****
  • A buddy told me yesterday that my new attitude about the coronavirus on this, the most read blog in the southwest proper, is very Trumpesque. I told him that's true but with one major exception: I put in writing that I had been completely wrong.
  • Speaking of 180 degree turns, this video split-screening what Fox News hosts were saying one week ago and what they are saying now is fantastic. It's 1:42 long. 
  • Breaking news. Heck, it might be End of Days. 
  • Changing gears . . . 
  • I saw this pic yesterday. Man, what a flashback. 
  • Speaking of flashbacks, Lyle Waggoner, famous for The Carol Burnett Show, died yesterday. Fun fact: He once did a screen test for the 1960s Batman TV series. (If he had won the role, Adam West would have been absolutely fantastic in the Carol Burnett gig if he got it.)
  • I know nothing about art, but I cannot get this painting I stumbled across three months ago in the National Portrait Museum in D.C. out of my head.  It's called The Recital depicting Denyce Graves -- an opera singer who I had never heard of but is actually even famous in pop culture circles. (She's been a guest on 60 Minutes, Larry King Live, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.) This photo, as can be expected, does not do it justice. First, even without the frame, it's a massive 7.5' x 4.5' work of art. It's also an oil on canvas with the detail -- especially of her expression which is mysteriously haunting -- is incredible. And the vibrant red dress contrasted with the drab background just exploded across the room when I saw it. 
  • Messenger: Above the Fold.


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • The board:
  • A faithful reader directed me to this coronavirus site which has a great layout with reliable data. It even has a total aggregate graph. We are at the very beginning of the "curve's" upward trend.  
  • The only state to report zero cases of the coronavirus is West Virginia. That's right. That backwoods state in the heart of Appalachia and the home of The Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, no less, doesn't have a single case. Is there anyone in their right mind who thinks that's due to a mysterious state-wide great immune system instead of perhaps, just perhaps, a lack of testing? Let's see: 
    Yes, I'm burying the lede: "Chinese Virus." He always shows his true colors.
  • As in Dallas, can a county judge legally "shut down" private businesses across the board? No. And, practically, what can you do to them if they, and their customers, ignored the ban? The only real hammer the government has is at the state level with its liquor license authority. That's something a business would want to lose going forward.
  • What percentage of people in the U.S. have never heard of the coronavirus? 1%? 1/10th or 1%? There has to be someone. 
  • Something seems wrong with the announcement yesterday is compared to the visual of how it was presented.
  • At the risk of stating the obvious, hasn't this been the craziest past week we've ever seen? Go back to last Wednesday and try to predict what was about to happen. 
  • Clever.
  • I thought about this place this weekend. If there was ever a location to contract a virus, that seems like a pretty good place. Lots of people touching lots of things.
  • I wouldn't watch it, but I agree with this guy. And what if the movie producers try it? Heck, they could sell it at $20 a pop and might gross more than a theatrical release. Going forward, these strange times might change the way things have always been done
  • Side note: I can't begin to describe how long some of those escalators are. It's like you are traveling to the center of the Earth to get to the subway platform.
  • Of all things being closed or suspended, the postponing of primary elections (I'm looking at you, Ohio)  makes me very, very uncomfortable. 
  • And just like a movie, we are about to have weather befitting for an end-of-days feel. It'll begin in earnest later this evening.
  • I re-watched the 1995 film Outbreak this weekend. With the exception of the camera work of the virus spreading in the theater and going through the air ducts in the hospital (after which Dustin Hoffman shouts, "It's airborne!"), that is a horrible, horrible movie. The script is insult to all scripts. 
  • A good Black Mirror plot: In the future you can digitized your dreams and then go back and watch them.