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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • We've got our second Wise County coronavirus death. I wonder if that'll make us tap the brakes on the re-opening sentiment. 
  • The nationwide Board: Wednesday's new cases: 30,342. Thursday: 29,567
  • Deaths on Wednesday: 2,618. Thursday: 2,174. (The seven day average is still ticking upwards)
  • Texas: Wednesday's new cases: 945. Thursday: 973.  (The average still trends down.)
  • Wise County total cases: 7 (2 deaths, as noted.)
  • Jack County total cases: 3. Clay County: 3. Montague County: 5.
  • Tarrant County new cases on Wednesday: 61. Thursday: 103.
  • Politico stole my Rural Uprising™ theory yesterday.
  • I have no idea about when we should "re-open" or how it should be done. 
  • If you're interested in a series of photos of an empty Broadway at night, here ya go
  • Facebook (the company) has cancelled any gathering involving greater than 50 people through June 2021.
  • A new Gallop poll shows that the Rural Uprising™ sentiment is not widespread. At all. 
  • Decatur's gas is cheap. I never thought I'd see those prices again. (Photo from yesterday.) Bridgeport was still at $1.65 yesterday evening. 
  • So it's going to be like this? Sheesh.  
  • I'm always confused how sometimes I'm in total agreement with a far right wing Empower Texans Republican. Especially him. 
  • If you had an appointment with Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, or Dr. Drew you might want to rethink that. 
  • Wichita Falls County deputy news. Legal stuff: That statute is getting complicated.
  • Brian Dennehy died yesterday. I felt like I saw him in everything, but looking at his filmography makes me second guess myself. But one of my favorite rolls of his was a pretty small one: The D.A. in Presumed Innocent
  • He was also in Cocoon, but I didn't remember that (which probably means I've not seen Cocoon in over twenty years). Speaking of, we have an impressive Brimley/Cocoon line this morning. Remember the Super Bowl halftime?
  • Andrew Cuomo always has a slick powerpoint presentation running while he speaks at his daily press conferences. This made me laugh. 
  • I had a college geology teacher who told the class that midnight and noon were neither a.m. or p.m.  There are few things which have stuck with like that. (Fun fact: A current candidate for the Bridgeport City Council School Board was sitting next to me when he said that, and we both looked at each other with "That can't possibly be right" expressions.) 
  • Today's cold front will hit Wise County in about 15 minutes. 


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Wise County now has a coronavirus death. No details were provided. I suppose we can look at the Update funeral service notices and speculate. 
  • The Board. New cases on Tuesday: 26,942. Wednesday: 30,206
  • Deaths on Tuesday: 2,407. Wednesday: 2,482. 
  • Texas:
  • Wise County: 7 cases total. 1 death.
  • Tarrant: 61 new cases yesterday.
  • Yesterday I said I thought Wise County would open up no earlier than May 1st and no later than May 15th.  Like I've done throughout the pandemic, I've rethought that -- primarily because I considered the Wise County Courthouse. You ever been in there on docket days? It's packed. There is no room, and you're inevitably standing shoulder to shoulder with someone. Everyone is touching the same doorknobs, step rails, pens and paper.  And then I thought about juries being called in where you have 75 people sitting shoulder to shoulder.  Yep, I'm not so sure about my window any longer. 
  • I guess there could be some type of "gradual opening", but I don't know how you could pull it off. 
  • Am I going to win some type of award for predicting the Rural Uprising™ drawn along political lines? 

    Museum worthy.  
  • New Hampshire is next. What's keeping the South from doing this? That's where you would think these protests would be the most likely to occur.
  • Per The Wall Street Journal, in Trump's conference call with business leaders yesterday about reopening the country, they told him "that his administration needed to dramatically increase the availability of coronavirus testing before the public would be confident enough to return to work, eat at restaurants or shop in retail establishments." I think that's also code for "we've got liability out the arse unless there some way we can prove we took steps to insure our employees on the floor didn't have the coronavirus." 
  • Are the political conventions going to happen this summer? 
  • There was a hearing yesterday in the 353rd District Court in Travis County where the issue was whether Texas voters should be allowed to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic. The Zoom conference was broadcast on Youtube so I tuned in just to see the logistical cluster. Amazingly, it went off very well. (That's the court reporter's hands you see there. The oldest guy on the screen did a bit with a background of a snowy mountain.)
  • The position of Ken Paxton was that the government should be able to lock you up for even applying for a mail-in ballot. The district court ruled against them so, for now, mail-in balloting is a legal way to go. 
  • The Republicans always use the fear of "fraud" as the reason they are against mail-in ballots although there's no proof of that whatsoever. Somehow we can send a $1,200 check to everyone in the country but we fear fraud for mail-in voting? 
  • "A Crowley woman has sued Princess Cruise Lines this week, alleging the company knowingly exposed her and her husband to the novel coronavirus in February, which resulted in his death." I found it interesting that her attorney is Houston's Rusty Hardin. He's most famous for representing Roger Clemens who was accused of obstructed justice and lying to Congress during the steroid hysteria. I didn't know he did PI work.
  • As I continue to watch The Staircase -- which is absolutely fantastic -- I was reminded of how much I truly despise Nancy Grace. I love how her Wikipedia page breaks down into sections all the crazy things she's said. 
  • I didn't know someone named Big Mama Thornton was the first to record Hound Dog. (Youtube.) That's a better version than Elvis'. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board. New cases Monday: 26,641. New cases Tuesday: 26,945. 
    (That chart doesn't seem to line up with my numbers.)
  • Deaths: I'm going to skip it today because the numbers would look skewed because New York revised its number with some tricked up accounting yesterday
  • A good Texas chart was right under my nose the entire time:
  • Wise County cases: 7. (+2).
  • Tarrant County cases (which is probably what we should be watching now): 929 (+53 yesterday)
  • Barring a big uptick in numbers, I'd guess we'll "open up" no earlier than May 1st and no later than May 15th. I'd be stunned if schools open back up at all. 
  • He's a born showman
  • Speaking of, the IRS has set up a website where you can check on the status of your Trump 'rona Check. It's a bit overloaded at the moment.  I also want to warn you that they'll treat you like your trying to access the nuclear codes. 
  • President Obama endorsed Biden yesterday after Biden became the de facto nominee last week. And he took a shot at Fox News while he did it. 

  • The Raleigh Police Department in North Carolina stepped in it yesterday. The replies became a massive dog-pile. 
  • I told you from the start that the Rural Uprising would also be drawn along political lines. The right wingers in the Texas Legislature proved me right yesterday. 
  • There would seem to be lots of liability issues with employers in opening up their business too soon when you think about reasonable care to protect employees and customers. 
  • Why did we have the head of Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Target standing on stage with Trump a month ago promising drive through testing that are still almost non existent? It's been a free advertising bonanza, and Trump did it again yesterday when he read off a list of companies for no real reason other than to make a press briefing look like NASCAR. It took over 10 minutes
  • Business news breaking this morning: 8.7% seems way, way too low to me. 
  • March was the first time we haven't had a school shooting since 2002.
  • Trump yesterday: "In sports, we want to get our sports back so importantly. . . . But we have to get our sports back. I'm tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old." Fourteen years is oddly specific. A Twitter sleuth found this photo from fourteen years ago when the New York Mets were eliminated from the playoffs. 
  • For district court criminal cases, the judges better be aware of Art. V, § 7 of the Texas Constitution which requires that a district court "conduct its proceedings at the county seat of the county in which the case is pending" unless there is a statute to the contrary. There is no statute to the contrary. And it means what it says. You can't even do it by agreement. 
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board. New cases Sunday: 27,421. New cases Monday:26,641. Yep, the country as a whole is plateauing. I suppose it's time to start focusing on North Texas. 
  • Nationwide deaths Sunday: 1,528. Deaths on Monday: 1,535.
  • Wise County cases: Still 5. (The Update says a Chico ISD employee has tested positive, but it doesn't say that's a new case.)
  • Texas Deaths.  Sunday: 17. Monday: 26. (Those number are still bouncing up and down.) 
  • Wise County has conducted 587 tests with only 5 positive results so far (obviously less than 1%). I wonder what the threshold criteria is to get tested in the first place. 
  • Rural Uprising humor:
  • For all of you State's Rights and 10 Amendment folks out there, Trump yesterday declared himself a Federal King. He couldn't possibly be more wrong about this. If Obama had said that, the right wing would be in marching in the streets this morning.
  • This was a great moment from  Kaitlan Collins of CNN.  The question accurately implies he's not possibly smart enough to understand the constitutional authority of a president so he must have gotten the crazy idea from somewhere, yet Trump doesn't even pick up on that. 
  • The press conference was already weird when Trump replayed a video produced and previously  shown on Hannity thereby forcing the doctors in charge of fighting the coronavirus and the press corps to watch. (Once you get past the Joseph Goebbels propaganda feel to all of this, you then realize Trump even lied when he said his staff had "put it together in a couple of hours.") 
  • Trump's day got worse when his chosen candidate in Wisconsin, a critical swing state, was defeated by "liberal-leaning" Jill Karofsky.
  • Williamson County (again): "A lawyer has filed a complaint against Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell alleging that he violated the county’s shelter-in-place order by getting an off-duty sheriff’s deputy to drive him to a fire department, borrowing a firefighter’s outfit and wearing it to his grandson’s birthday party." The bigger problem might be using a sheriff's deputy as a personal chauffeur. But he certainly went all out in getting into character: 
  • The Dallas Morning News is trying to entice me this morning. The COBOL language wasn't that hard for me -- it was the logistical process of learning COBOL that made me want to jump out of a window. I had to learn the language by using punch cards. Yep, I had to type out every line of code by putting a blank punch card into a massive machine and typing that single line of code. If I made a typo (What? Me make a typo?), I wouldn't know it until I submitted the stack of cards to a guy behind a counter who would then, 10 minutes later if I was lucky, hand me a printout of the results of my program --  program which failed to run because of a typo on a card. And get this: The program would fail and stop the moment it got to the typo. So I'd go back and fix that offending card, submit the program again, and then learn there was yet another typo on another card further down. Now consider an assignment might have 500 to 1,000 lines of code.  Talk about a beating. 

  • And if you think that makes me sound old, image how I felt when I was in the Smithsonian Museum of American History last December and came across this display of a punch card next to some kind of COBOL storage tape. It stopped me down so much that I took a picture. (Although it was a little hard to explain to the Family Unit why I was excited to see a punch card next to the word "COBOL.")
  • Legal stuff: The Fifth Circuit has gone nuts. It issued this Order to the parties at 12:06 p.m. yesterday. I can't imagine the wild scramble that ensued. 
  • Zeke Elliott is no longer the highest paid running back in the NFL.  Flashback: You guys remember when everyone freaked out because McCaffrey skipped the Sun Bowl his final year of college to avoid a career ending injury? I think he might have been the first high profile player to ever do that. 
  • Cinemark laid off 17,500 employees. This shut down might outright kill movie theaters altogether.