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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board. Wednesday's new cases: 31,935. Yesterday's new cases: 33,536. 
  • Deaths. Wednesday's deaths: 1,940. Yesterday's deaths: 1,900.
  • Wise County confirmed cases: Still at 4.  (Some guy finally officially got counted.) Side note: If I got the coronavirus, I wouldn't keep it a secret. I'd tell everybody. 
  • Texas Deaths on Wednesday: 28. Texas deaths yesterday: 27
  • If we are entering the peak of the curve and you feel pretty good, this footage will be a bit disturbing. (I even initially thought it might be fake. It's not.)
  • Let's pause for a moment of silence.
  • TCU has announced it will conduct online classes only for the summer semester. That may be the first definitive plans I've heard about summer changes. 
  • Trump has completely abandoned calling it the "Chinese virus." I wonder who got to him? 
  • If you listen to any right wing radio, it takes only about 30 seconds to realize the vast majority of its callers absolutely believe the coronavirus pandemic is completely overblown. Most of the hosts won't go there, but they are having a hard time controlling what is normally an echo chamber. (But, man, the nutcases and conspiracy theorists on the coronavirus are out there big time. Death counts are fake. Dr. Fauci is a Hillary plant. There was even a "have you noticed that gold fringe on  the American flag in our courtrooms?" caller on Dennis Prager yesterday.)
  • If Trump does want to "open the country" on a particular day for some type of glorious event, he needs to absolutely have a MAGA rally in a packed house on that on date. No masks. No social distancing. 
  • "Wreckless"
  • Mrs. LL found an authentic mask and told me, "I know you probably won't wear it, but I want you to promise me you'll take it with you tomorrow."  I think that's a "hey, if you die it ain't on me" sort of thing, but I'm not sure. 
  • There's something not right about this mask worn by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) this morning. It's like something out of the old West during a bank robbery yet made out of panty hose. 
  • Both New Jersey and Kansas are looking for programmers who know the old language of COBOL. You know who has in storage in Bridgeport a massive binder of computer programs he wrote in COBOL in the 1980s? That's right. The hardest working man in show business: Me.
  • I saw this picture of people lining up for food from a food bank in San Antonio, and I've got a lot of questions regarding the organization of the distribution here. And if you look closely, those lines go from neatly organized to chaos. I also wonder how the human phenomenon of being willing to wait forever for anything free, regardless of need, comes into play here. 

  • Yesterday, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals allowed a lawsuit in Wise County to continue. It's not remarkable other than you learned a family who owned an oil field service trucking company in Paradise sold it for $11 million a few years back. Here's a brief in the case that outlines the facts. (And, regarding the sale, that looks like perfect timing in retrospect.)


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board. New cases Tuesday: 33,436. New cases yesterday: 31,395.
  • Deaths. On Tuesday: 1,971. Yesterday: 1,941.
  • Wise County: 4 cases (although state records still show 3.) One of those has fully recovered. Question: Were any of them ever hospitalized?
  • Texas Deaths. On Tuesday: Tuesday: 16. Yesterday: 28.
  • Hannity was promoting the Rural Uprising™ last night. 
  • Coronavirus image of the day:
  • Last week's unemployment claims were just announced
  • How does any restaurant survive this shutdown? They all seem to live by a thread to start with.
  • No one is gonna cry for criminal defense lawyers, but new clients come in for two reasons: Recent arrests and court dates. And neither of those are happening. (I just looked at the Wise County Jail list and no one was arrested in the last 24 hours. That's becoming routine. I'd guess five to ten new arrests is the number you would normally see before the shutdown.) 
  • Linda Tripp has died. Politics aside, recording a private conversation of a young person who believes you to be their friend is the definition of sorriness. 
  • Since 2011, Texas law has allowed you to use certain specified words in order to bypass a notary public altogether. I thought that law was a "bombshell" when it was passed back then, but that turned out not to be the case because no one knows about it. Like the Governor. Or a judge on the Texas Supreme Court. So instead we hear about how the governor just changed a different portion of the law to allow notarization by video. 
  • Texas Monthly has taken down it's paywall during the pandemic.  If you've got some time, this may be the best article I've ever read.
  • I think I could win a competition for speed in the self-check out line. I'm great. But for some reason I always get behind a person who, after taking each item out of his basket and holding it with both hands, stares at the machine for three seconds each time as if has never scanned anything before. 
  • I took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program, and obtained a loan I don't have to pay back. I submitted the application and documentation online (took less than an hour) and had a banker call me in less than 48 hours to tell me it had been submitted. I never left the office.  I can't believe the program is real. And it confounded a person in my family who has preached to me all my life that "There ain't no free lunch."
  • Legal stuff: The Supreme Court on Tuesday continued to erode the 4th Amendment when it held that an officer can stop you if a computer check shows the registered owner of the vehicle you are driving has a revoked license. (They called it a "limited holding" but it never is.) Remember how I mentioned yesterday that constitutional law is 100% making stuff up? They made up a rule that a detention requires a "reasonable suspicion" in 1968  and now "reasonable" is defined by whatever particular judges are on the court. 
  • The Texas Supreme Court held oral arguments by Zoom yesterday which reminded me that in every oral argument I've watched or participated in that most of the judges act like they haven't even read the briefs. And I'm not sure that's an act.
  • CenturyLink catches some heat in Wise County but the three times I've had them send a tech to my home or office over the last decade they've been fantastic. Here's something wild I learned yesterday: A few versions of a school issued Chromebook, when it tries to update itself when you don't even know it, can destroy bandwidth for a house in some limited situations. I was skeptical, but I saw with my own two eyes the bandwidth get wiped out by 80% by simply turning its wifi connection on and off. It's rare, but it can happen. 
  • I missed that the Carolina Panthers released Bridgeport great Colin Jones after signing him to a two year contract last year. The Athletic says that Jones asked for the release which seems odd. (Baylor's Matt Rhule became the new coach earlier this year.) 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board. Monday new cases: 30,311.Yesterday's new cases: 33,331
    They added a 7 day average
  • Deaths. Monday: 1,55.  Tuesday: 1,970. (That's a pretty big jump.)
  • Wise County cases: 3 (unofficially it is 4 because some how it takes a "few days" for it to be officially included.) Our population was just estimated to be 70,000. So what do you think our final total will be? Under 20? Under 15? Under 10? That stagnant and low number is more ammo for the Rural Uprising crowd. 
  • Texas Deaths: 167 total. New yesterday: 16.  The State's new peak day for new cases is now projected to be April 22nd. 
  • It's about time some commissioner courts stood up
  • Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy got in hot water yesterday saying he wanted his players back on campus by May 1st.  But here's the quote that actually proves he's a nutcase: 
  • All my life I been told to be worried about the national debt. Have I been lied to? Or can the government just print $2 trillion in the blink of an eye and there will be no repercussions? 
  • Doc needs to chill. (Video here.) Side note: I wouldn't confront a group of high school girls about anything. 
  • The Fifth Circuit held yesterday that Texas' temporary ban on abortions because of the coronavirus was legal. Constitutional law is 100% making things up. During emergencies (which are defined as anyone wants to define it), any constitutional right can be "reasonably restricted" as safety "demands." That's such a murky standard that the law is whatever a particular panel of judges says it is.   But you are cheering the ruling? The court threw in that banning churches during an emergency is probably fair game, too:
  • Lawyers only: Would you want these deadlines? 
  • One thing I know nothing about is music: I had no idea who John Prine was. (Ticket fans only: George Dunham makes me cry every time he tears up, and it doesn't matter what the subject is.)
  • The police in Wichita Falls need to be put back in their place by some competent judges or prosecutors. It's bad enough they issued a shelter-in-place ticket to this homeless guy, but they also arrested him for stealing a police vehicle. What he do? As he was going back to his homeless shelter "he approached the police car and lifted on the driver’s side door handle." That's it. #TooManyCops. 
  • Yesterday Trump got rid of his press secretary after nine months who never even had one single press conference. (At least Sarah Sanders would give us the time of day by lying to our face every once in a while.) She is replaced with Kayleigh McEnany, a Fox News contributor, who said on February 25th that the coronavirus would "never come here."
  • No, I won't pick three. In fact, I won't pick any at all. 
  • This is a big feature in The Dallas Morning News today. The answer, after you stop laughing, should be an emphatic "NO!"
  • Messenger: Above the Fold 


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board. New cases Sunday: 25,316 . New cases Monday: 30,311.
  • Deaths. Sunday: 1,165. Monday: 1,255. Total: 10,871. Question: Is there anyway we are going to get close to that 100,000 number?
  • Wise County cases: 4 (3 officially)
  • I'm adding Texas deaths: Sunday: 23. Monday: 25. This Texas Projection chart says we will top out at 72 people a day on April 22nd. I was expecting much worse. 
  • Fox News was supporting the Rural Uprising last night. 
  • Everything is open in Wise County by May 1st, right? That might be too quick right after the Texas "peak", but I bet it happens.  And I also bet Gov. Abbott leaves it completely up to the counties by that time. (Yesterday, Wise County extended the bans through April.)
  • This banner graphic was from Fox and Friends this morning. The number is actually $50,000,000,000. They issued a correction. (By the way, those SBA loans are insane. One Wise County bank told me yesterday that they have paperwork ready for 21 people to close today. The program started Friday.)
  • A loyal reader asked yesterday whether the upcoming budget crunch that the State of Texas is about to have will finally be the crack in the wall that is needed to legalize weed and gambling in Texas.  It might very well be. 
  • The Dallas Morning News cut salaries yesterday. The Dallas Observer did the same in mid-March. Here's a comprehensive (and depressing) list how the coronavirus has hit the media across America. 
  • Trump had a hair trigger yesterday as he told a Fox News reporter that she needed to bow down to him. Watch it. "You should say, ‘congratulations, great job’ instead of being so horrid in the way you ask a question."
  • Is every politician a child? (Chris Hill is the Collin County Judge who first balked at shelter-in-place.) 
  • In Bridgeport early this morning, I almost hit a dumpster. A dumpster in the middle of 380.  I'm not sure how it happened, and the cops weren't even there yet, but it looks like a full sized dumpster was being carried down the highway for some reason by a trash truck, and it got knocked off when it went under the railroads tracks. (Did they forget to put it back after emptying it? That's just a guess.) An 18 wheeler had smashed into it right before I barely missed it. It was just east of Pronto's. 
  • If I had to chose one of the two, which one would I go with?
  • Faked!? Faked!? You take it back! (I've been saying for years that Aurora needs to promote that spaceship story like nobody's business.)
  • The Texas Supreme Court just made up a law yesterday extending the ban on residential evictions through April. 


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board. New Cases on Saturday: 34,196 .New cases on Sunday: 25,316. That's a significant one day drop, but the weekend numbers are always lower than the weekdays because, you know, it's the weekend! And "they" tell us to look at three day trends anyway. 
  • Deaths. Saturday: 1,330. Sunday: 1,165. Total U.S. deaths to date: 9,620
  • Wise County Cases: 4.
  • So what's in store for this week? Our Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who instills about as much confidence of the doctor on the Geico commercial, said yesterday: “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized; it’s going to be happening all over the country.” That's a horrible comparison on many levels. But his additional comments don't lead me to believe he understands that words have meanings :"This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives.”  Really?
  • So what's my feeling on the current state of "Rural Uprising"? I think the "Let's get back to work -- this is beyond silly" is gaining steam. And those who feel that way really feel that way, and they are frustrated because they don't have anyone to lead them.
  • The Uprising is showing its face in other rural counties
  • And it's strange bedfellows when the most conservative Wise Countians complaining about the shut down are on the same page as John Wiley Price's dissent to the Dallas County shelter-in-place order. 
  • And, of course, "let's not make it political." From the hitman of Empower Texans:
  • A faithful reader pointed out to me that the property assessment/appraisal of your real property for taxes is set on January 1st so the economic impact, and the unintended collateral tax relief, of the coronavirus won't be felt for until next year and beyond. But another faithful reader said I did overlook one governmental entity that will be crushed due to the reduction of sales tax revenue: The State of Texas. The massive day to day business of Texas is funded by sales taxes, not property taxes. That's going to get ugly. (I wonder if I will be able to pick up a Rio Grande DPS Gun Boat on the cheap?) 
  • Trump was stranger than usual during his press conference yesterday. He (1) still continues to push for hydroxychloroquine for no reason whatsoever, (2) blocked Dr. Fauci from answering a question about the safety of the drug, (3) told an AP reporter, who asked a legitimate question about, ventilators, that it was a "wise guy" question, and (4) went on for a couple of minutes of how he doesn't like the way roads are repaved.  On Saturday he somehow confused "ventilators" with, uh, "whistleblowers."
  • That wasn't as bad a Friday where he joked about sleeping with models. 
  • Here's an Oklahoma Sheriff who will lose the next election. Bubba won't cotton to a threat of "its [sic] fixing to get real." 
  • Of all the crap the brass assigns DPS troopers to do, I wonder how many times your average trooper mumbles to himself, "I did not sign up for this."
  • Changing gears.
  • I can't believe it took me two years to see it, but the Netflix true-crime doc The Staircase is fantastic. 
  • Random thing I watched over the weekend: Most of the UT vs. aTm 1986 Thanksgiving game. Those were two really good teams, and both offenses look like they had never picked up a football before. 
  • This lady died over the weekend. A small role of slapping a Chief of Police Brody always had a big impact on me for some reason.
  • Bill Withers died, too. I'll take Lovely Day over Lean on Me
  • Not big Ed!
  • Messenger: Above the Fold