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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board:
    Total: 1,095,023

    Total deaths: 63,856
  • Texas (That doesn't exactly look like a chart for a state which "opens up" today. And it doesn't show that we set a daily record with 50 new deaths reported on Thursday.):
  • Tarrant County (and throwing in Dallas since they had a record high for new cases reported): 
  • Wise County: Oh, my! Right after 10:00 p.m last night we were updated to six active cases. (20 total. 12 recovered. 2 deaths.) Remember that the threshold for 50% opening vs. 25% opening is five active cases. As of last night, per KXAS, we haven't been cleared for the 50% number and the numbers are in a state of flux: 
  • I noticed that Brandi's Country Kitchen on the square in Decatur was open for business this morning at 6:00 a.m. There weren't many people there yet so I don't know how they are going to handle the restrictions. 
  • Every time I even remotely consider that it might be time to "completely open up" I change my mind by simply at looking at the people which strongly support it. Michigan was bizarro world yesterday.

  • They are, in fact, his people. Very good people. Not to be confused with "very fine people." 
  • Trump said yesterday at his press conference that he seen "convincing evidence" that the coronavirus was created in a Wuhan lab. So what is it that proof? “I can't tell you that. I'm not allowed to tell you that."  He just makes stuff up on the fly every day -- especially when it comes to blaming others. (Moments earlier, his own Office of the Director of National Intelligence had issued a statement saying the intelligence community “concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the Covid-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified”.)
  • I have no idea how they are going to handle fall sports. And that's not the most optimistic projection from the Big 12 commissioner. 
  • One thing is certain: There is no portion of I-35 that isn't under construction at any date in history. And this project from Round Rock to South Austin will be a nightmare. (But at least there is that tollway to loop around it if you aren't headed into downtown Austin.)
  • Amber Guyger has awakened in a cage for the last 213 days since this happened. 
  • Cities, towns and the State are bracing themselves for a shocker today: "Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said on a Thursday call with the Texas GOP that his office will release on Friday state sales tax revenues for the past month. Hegar said his office would have normally held off on releasing the total until next week, but, as he noted on the call, 'they are unprecedented numbers — how quick they have gone down.'”


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board (quite a few deaths over the last two days):
    Total cases: 1,064,194

    Total deaths: 61,656 
  • Texas (not exactly a downward trend). And one other thing about this chart: You see that huge unnatural spike on April 10? "That's the date [Gov. Abbott] picked in order to claim 'the COVID-19 infection rate has been on the decline over the past 17 days' and Texas is safe to reopen."

  • Tarrant County:
  • Wise County (holding steady): 17 total, 5 active.
  • Trump had a moment of quiet contemplation late last night as he reflected on more people dying in two months than in the entire Vietnam War:
  • But he's in a bad mood because his poll numbers are awful. That'll happen when you don't act like an adult during a crisis. But he did give us a great quote:
  • Trump has tweeted or retweeted 45 times this morning! And he retweeted this guy six times. (Not this particular tweet, but this guy.)
  • The rebel salon owner in Dallas had some supporters show up yesterday:
  • GDP numbers were announced yesterday which were, as expected, down. But someone went into the weeds to find this surprising nugget about the healthcare industry. I'm beginning to see articles saying the same thing. 
  • New this morning: Add 3.8 million more who sought unemployment last week. That brings the total to 30.3 million in the last six weeks. That's a staggering 1 out of every 5 American workers since February. 
  • Watching the apology is almost as good as the headline. 
  • Random Thought: I've been preaching that Uber is a "house of cards" for about a year. I wonder how they are doing?
  • Some people get under my skin and drive me crazy to a degree I can't really explain. One of them is State Rep. Jeff Leach who comes across as the most phony and stereotypical politician in the history of ever. As proof, just look at the way he begins his letter to Gov. Abbott asking that salons be allowed to open at half capacity like everyone else. (I don't have an opinion on his position, it's just his suck up attitude which is embarrassing.)
  • The Official Liberally Lean Girl just casually mentioned that she burned down her gym. 
  • I'm no doctor but . . . 
  • A faithful reader near Knoxville, Tennessee saw my post yesterday regarding the book Dirty Dealings about the assassination of federal judge John Wood. Recall I mentioned that so far its a great story of drug dealing lawyers in El Paso. He said one of those lawyers appears in this book despite the fact its based in Kentucky. The reader needs to be a writer because he began the description this way: "Sometime in the mid 1980s a man in Powell, Tennessee (Knoxville TN for all practical purposes) woke up one morning and went outside to get the newspaper. There in his driveway was a dead man attached to an obviously defective parachute and a bulging duffel bag full of money." I'm in. 
  • Look below at the facility McLennan County is considering for jury selection once jury trials return. Let me tell you something. Jury trials are going to be one of the last things to return. And even if a county tried to pull it off prematurely, the number of no-shows would be justifiably astronomical. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board:
    Total cases: 1,035,765

    Total deaths: 59,266
  • That New York Times site tricked it up today with a grouping of states that are still going up and states which are plateauing. They put Texas in the plateauing group.: 

  • Texas (that's a pretty extended plateau, though):
  • Tarrant (still weird reporting):
  • We have some Wise County movement: 17 total with 5 active cases. With one more active case by Friday and we fall under the "25% Rule" instead of the "50% Rule" (assuming any percentage is going to be honored.)
  • And when one case can get your attention more than the numbers: 
  • I mentioned on Monday that I heard on the radio that failed congressional candidate Chris Putnam was sponsoring a "bar crawl" in the Stockyards this weekend, but couldn't confirm it. Now he's announced it. But he wants you to know, "To be clear, I absolutely believe in the rule of law." Uh, no he doesn't. He just thinks his reasoning for which laws to violate is superior to yours. Just say it. 
    He "owns several houses" and a cowboy hat. 
  • I suspect he's one of those guys who over the years has had the attitude of "Just follow the law and you won't get shot" whenever there's a story of a an officer wrongfully shooting a traffic offender or a story like Sandra Bland. 
  • Pence made headlines yesterday for refusing to wear a mask at the Mayo Clinic. Even simple rules can't be followed. 
  • The only person who is actually getting in trouble for violating any "order" is the salon owner in North Dallas who keeps drawing attention to herself. (Here's a criminal tip: Stay off everyone's radar and you can get away with a lot of stuff.)  Dallas County up the ante yesterday by getting a temporary restraining order against her. I'll need the civil lawyers to tell me what happens when someone violates a TRO.
  • That man forgot his pants.
  • This silly blog is hard to write once you get past pandemic news because every newscast is 90% pandemic news. And it ain't that interesting. But, remember, "we are all in this together during these trying times." Or so I've heard. 
  • I don't know what to expect the Fall (which will be here before we know it.)  What are we going to do when it becomes cold, flu, and coronavirus "season" and we don't have a vaccine. And that scenario will happen. 
  • I picked up this book because it involved the assassination of federal judge John Wood -- something I was aware of but didn't know any details about. But so far it is a fascinating story of some full throttle drug dealing lawyers in El Paso who kept ending up in his court.  It's great. The only thing I knew about the assassination is that the judge was killed by Woody Harrelson's father, but I'm 25% of the way through and Harrelson hasn't even made an appearance yet. And I'm fine with that. 
  • The passing rate for the February Texas Bar Exam was 45.9%. Baylor's pass rate was 88%.
  • Anyone remember the 900 phone business? Or Netscape Navigator? Here's a twofer:
  • The Update lists seven deaths notices in Wise County. Five of them are for people age 59 and younger. I used not to pay attention to things like that. 
  • Messenger: Above the Fold
  • I still think this was an incredible waste of money the government doesn't have:


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board:
    Total cases: 1,010,356

    Total deaths: 56,797
  • Texas:
  • Tarrant County:
  • Wise County: 15 total cases, 10 have recovered, 2 have died, and 3 active.
  • Greg Abbott's unusual "we can open at 25% capacity" order yesterday was was actually for 50% for rural counties with "five or fewer cases."  I presumed that meant "active" cases and the fine print confirmed it. Wise County qualifies so long as it holds the line on Friday.
  • Whether it be an imaginary 25% or 50%, everything can go back to normal on Friday - or, practically, even right now. With 254 counties and thousands of towns and cities, there will not be any compliance police looking at every restaurant for being over capacity. Like all of these "orders" from the start, it will be based upon voluntary compliance. Now the question is: What will the public reaction be? Will the public flock to restaurants? I don't think so. 
  • I heard a rumor that there was a restaurant on the courthouse square in Decatur was already open for business. I haven't confirmed it, and I didn't see anything open for early breakfast this morning.
  • The real wild card: Wise County churches.
  • The 25% number is dumb. A restaurant can't survive at 25% capacity. Heck, it wouldn't be worth opening up. And getting employees to come back is a little tricky. Coming back means you forego an unemployment check for the risk of living on tips from a half empty restaurant. 
  • Baylor says it will resume classes and open dorms in the fall. 
  • That's what moved in from the northwest at 3:00 a.m. last night:
  • I don't understand why any company returns a PPP loan -- the kind you don't have to pay back -- which they legally qualified for. Blame Congress for writing a stupid law. Don't blame a company for taking advantage of a stupid law.   Should a company avoid taking advantage of a tax loophole, too?  (That being said, here is an amazing list of publicly trades companies who have received a PPP loan and the amount received.)
  • A moment of silence for Diamond and Silk. When you are too crazy for Fox News, you're just too flat out crazy.  But can I place a bet somewhere of them ending up on OAN? 
  • Every year after the NFL Draft I think the same thing: How in the world do we accept that? A bunch of white rich owners "drafting" predominately African-Americans who will be obligated to work for them for a minimum of four years at a contract rate which they can no longer negotiate. It's insane. For a sport which caters to the common man, that's about as un-American of a system that you can get. (Post 1865, at least.) Why not just have every player go to the highest bidder?
  • Little did I know that back in the day Tucker Carson interviewed the Official Liberally Lean Girl about the Iraq War. (16 second clip here.)
  • I've heard a few people reference the "new" Netflix miniseries Waco. It's not new at all. I watched it in January and February of 2018 when it was on the Paramount Network. (It's pretty good.) 
  • Once you get your $1,200 check from the government (a concept I still can't wrap my head around), you'll also get a letter from Trump in addition to having his name on that check. 
  • I've smiled about this since I saw it:
  • It's peak 2020 when the Pentagon can release a video of a UFO and no one cares. 
  • A Jerry Jones interview from the 1960s. He was born in 1942. Do the math. And I'm smiling when I say that. 
  • I finally finished The Staircase -- all 13 episodes -- and I cannot recommend it enough. It  might be the best criminal law documentary I've ever seen. And I was jumping up and down with glee when one episode focused on, and even showed a witness testifying about, my long time pet peeve: Medical examiners guessing at the manner of death instead of limiting their testimony to the area of their expertise -- the cause of death.  In that case, an ME could say a lady died from blows to her head. Whether those blows came from falling down a staircase or due to a blunt instrument is something that a doctor cannot possibly know by simply looking at a body.