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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • This is an abbreviated edition.
  • The Board:
    Total cases: 1,292,623

    Total deaths: 76,928
  • Texas (any time now):
  • Wise County: 28 total, 4 active.
  • Gov. Abbott proved to a weak and ineffective leader yesterday as he caved to  the pressure of the angry far right.  Lock up a white suburban mom and all of a sudden laws mean nothing. I had no idea it was so easy.  With the stroke of a pen just banish a criminal penalty, make it retroactive, and you can add a group to the retroactivity. Law-making without the lawmakers getting involved is so easy and fun!
  • Hey Gov. Abbott, what other laws that are in effect right now that might not be in effect tomorrow depending on who gets charged with breaking it? Asking for a lot of friends. 
  • And William Barr's Justice Department was equally political yesterday.  They announced that lying about a call with the Russian ambassador isn't material to an investigation about whether or not you are a Russian agent. And that's true even if you've already pled guilty that it was both a lie and material. Got it. 
  • That law and order crowd is really hard to figure out these days. 
  • America!
  • Now this should win a Pulitzer:
  • Breaking: The unemployment rate just hit 14.7%
  • I haven't posted any Dennis Prager news in a while. Watch.
  • Speaking of race relations, meet these two:
  • A Wise County drug conviction and a 50 year sentence was affirmed yesterday by the Fort Worth Court of Appeals. (A claim of ineffective assistance of counsel never works on direct appeal.)


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board
    Total cases: 1,263,092

    Total deaths: 74,799
  • Texas ("Move along. Nothing to see here."):
  • Metro (lots of upticks):
  • Wise County: 28 total. 4 active.  (An official at the highest super secret level of county government, speaking under the condition of anonymity, told me that none of the numbers are based on antibody testing like I speculated about yesterday.)
  • A couple of months ago I declared my official position on how to handle the coronavirus is: I have no idea.  But, as someone said, we are kind of treating it like the Vietnam War. We just got tired of it, declared victory, and just pretended it never happened. 
  • Both our Governor and our Texas Attorney General, who is still under indictment by the way, decided to stick their necks out for jailed salon owner Shelley Luther yesterday.  AG Paxton even wrote the judge directly.  Hey, I happen to personally know a few people who have been subject to abuse due to government overreach. How can I get those boys to intervene at the trial court level for them? (After Paxton wrote his letter, the twelve civil district judges in Dallas County wrote him back telling him he had violated ethics rules regarding ex parte communications.)
  • These three Texas women are all beauticians which have been jailed in Texas. Two of them were arrested after offering their professional services in their respective homes and then getting busted in an undercover sting operation*. One flaunted her defiance in the media. Even without knowing any background, guess which one Paxton and Abbott decided to support? Take a wild guess. 
  • (*Too many cops?)
  • Luther apparently is available to sing at your next corporate event! (Youtube clip here.)  And she's pretty, pretty good. 
  • They had revenues of $22.4 billion last year but somehow didn't have a rainy day fund.
  • The Supreme Court has been audibly broadcasting its oral arguments live this week for the first time ever. Yesterday, a toilet could be heard flushing while one attorney addressed the Court.(Listen.) I'm guessing this will probably be the last week of live hearings.  Interestingly, the official audio posted on the court's website edited out the flushing sound.
  • I think I like chubby Adele over anorexic Adele. Hello?
  • Correction from yesterday: It was not Wings' original version of Live and Let Die that was playing while Trump was stumbling around without a mask but instead a cover version by Guns N' Roses.  I apologize for that error and for Axl Rose thinking he can improve on the great Paul McCartney.
  • Speaking of, anyone have Axl Rose and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin getting into a Twitter fight yesterday on your bingo board? (To make it even more wheels off, Munchin originally mistakenly included a Liberian flag instead of U.S. flag in his first attack tweet.)
  • Hey, look, a right wing former prosecutor doing a Wrongful Conviction standup routine. 
  • There are more bad employment numbers released this morning (another 3.2 million sought unemployment benefits), and the photo below accompanied the story I saw.  That's a very clever callback during this moment of social-distancing.

  • I was on to the Proud Boys almost from the beginning, but the highlighted portion of this story took me back a little. That development kind of snuck up on me.
  • Fox 4 has very quietly gone to the top of the ranks of hot girls on newscasts. (The two on the right. I don't think the two on the left are on TV, but I'm sure someone will set me straight if I'm wrong.)
  • Cascade has a commercial out now which tells us we can "save water" by running our dishwashers every single night even when the dishwasher isn't full. For the life of me, I don't understand that. 
  • I still think the Blue Angels fly over was a waste of money, but if we are going to do it why not do it every year on the Fourth of July? That'd be more entertaining than being spared to death by fireworks. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • The Board:
    Total cases: 1,237,633

    Total deaths: 72,271
  • Texas (If you could go back in time and were then forced to guess where along the timeline we would begin to "open up", would you have guessed right now?)
  • Metroplex (Dallas: Blue + New daily record / Tarrant: Red / Collins: Yellow / Denton: Purple.): 
  • Wise County: 28 cases, 4 active. (Our number of total cases keeps going up but our active cases mysteriously stay low. It's almost like antibody tests results are coming in: You had it, but you don't now -- so let's add a number to the total cases column and the total recoveries column. That's just a wild and reckless guess on my part.) 
  • The big news yesterday was Shelley Luther of Salon A la Mode was sentenced to seven days in jail and $7,000 fine for violating the order to not open her hair salon. Ok, there's a lot to unpack here.
    • First, the judge would have let her go without a fine or incarceration if she agreed to shut down and apologize.  Heck, she can get out of jail right now if she'll agree to that. 
    • Listen to him give her that ultimatum here. Listen to her defiant response here.
    • To ask for an apology from her is ridiculous. The judge even wanted her to apologize to government officials who imposed the order. Heck, I wouldn't have demanded it, but it wouldn't have surprised me if she would have acknowledged she violated the Order and expected to be punished. But even I'd say "screw that" if a judge told me to apologize to Clay Jenkins and Greg Abbott. No way. That's a whole lot of bow-before-me attitude from the judge.
    • On the other hand, she asked for this. She wanted to be a martyr and now she gets to be a martyr. If she had just opened her shop up without appearing at rallies and tearing up the tickets, going on TV, and going on radio shows, she would have been under the radar and the government would have left her alone. 
    • Her attorney could have helped her out a little bit if he wasn't so concerned about showboating. 
    • This is a gut check for the "law and order" crowd out there. Do you get to pick and choose which laws you want to follow? Haven't you scoffed at those who have yelled about marijuana laws being unfair? Supported cops shoving a black man face down in the pavement because "he didn't follow orders"? Is this somehow different because it infringes on your unique definition of "freedom"? 
    • The usual suspects came to her defense.

    • I've got a question: Why were the lawyers and Luther holding up a cell phone to their mouths when they were talking? Although the hearing was in person, was that done so the audio could be picked up on the simultaneous Zoom broadcast?
    • When the judge came out wearing a mask, Shelley Luther had to feel like Nathan R. Johnson in The Jerk when he noticed the judge was cross-eyed from wearing his Optigrab™ glasses. (Obscure reference, but funny to handful of you out there.)
  • Unrelated to the hearing, we had two far-right winger Texas legislators showing their respect for the law as well: 
    It should be a crime to have that mustache.
  • And just when those guys caused me roll my eyes, law enforcement in Ector County decided to lose their minds and go into Full Nazi Mode. Incredible. And what's up with that ridiculous vehicle of war? Watch it

  • And throw in the Wisconsin Supreme Court acting like children as they heard oral arguments on the legality of some stay at home laws. This one minute clip is not a good look.
  • He's not joking. Paul McCartney and Wings was blaring in the background
  • I'm still trying to figure out what's going on here. It looks like some DA was dragging his feet but at least has been shamed enough to get the case to a grand jury. 
  • More (but mundane) legal stuff: I've complained before about license plate readers being used by cops to track a car coming from Colorado and then coming up with a pretext reason to stop the vehicle to see if it contains legally purchased weed.  There are now legal challenges beginning which are pretty creative. 
  • There is no greater train wreck of county government and law enforcement than Williamson County. That place is always making the news
  • I stumbled upon this article from an Oklahoma State news site about a recent Bridgeport High School valedictorian who attempted suicide.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold