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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Breaking Wise County coronavirus news. (And I'm serious.) 
    • We've got a full blown mini-coronavirus outbreak in Decatur. 
    • Over the last three days, there have been four new confirmed cases all in close proximity to the courthouse. These cases have yet to show up in the "official numbers" but they are real. (I'm not writing this otherwise.)
    • Three of the individuals worked together and at least one of the three would have crossed paths with the fourth. This thing moved quickly and easily among them.
    • My hard-hitting investigation revealed this:  Those who contracted the virus were asymptomatic for about seven days, and they had absolutely no idea that anything was wrong. Then it hit them -- and they knew it. One went from "feeling kinda funny" in the morning to "I've got to get home" by noon.  
    • That period of being asymptomatic led to this: At the minimum, the Wise County Courthouse was exposed. 
    • In highly technical medical terms, those in proximity to all of this and who may have been also been exposed are "freaking out." 
    • Wise County official stats are showing 9 active cases this morning. That's one less than yesterday. Like I said, you can definitely add four to that. And we are waiting to see where it went from those four. 
    • There's another aspect to this story which, if true, is shocking, But I can't confirm it. 
  • Texas: We set a new record in hospitalizations yesterday. And it was the third highest day ever in new confirmed cases. Think about this: The four people in Decatur I wrote about in the first bullet point are not in the hospital. You only do that if you're having trouble staying alive. Otherwise, you just ride it out. And how many people without insurance never go to a doctor, never get tested, and are just try to handle it on their own?

  • Also notable Wise County news: We had an attempted suicide by hanging in the jail. 
  • Someone asked me if the courthouse was shut down because of the coronavirus exposure. I don't think it is. Then that person reminded me it was shut down for cleaning in 2007 when the The Great Wise County Courthouse STD Crab Scare occurred. 
  • "That's a bold statement." Story.
  • Thirteen UT football players have the 'Rona. 
  • A couple of people asked me to explain to the Supreme Court's DACA decision yesterday. I don't think I'm smart enough. The best I can tell is that the Court said Trump had the authority to shut down DACA but he had to do it through the Department of Homeland Security which originated the program. He did. But since DHS must do it, they must follow the Administrative Procedures Act which requires an agency to at least make a minimal effort to explain why it is doing what it is doing. Those reasons don't have to be much. Just say something that makes the decision anything other than "arbitrary and capricious" (that's easy to do), then the decision will stand. Trump's DHS failed to do so here. So basically, DHS was so bad at its job and made so little effort in trying to boot 700,000 innocent people out of the country, that this effort was declared invalid. Can they try again? Sure. Will they? I bet they don't with an election of the horizon. Killing a program which is popular with most Americans probably wasn't that good of an idea to start with.
  • It ain't always about you, hoss.
  • But since you are curious about how many people like you, we have a new Fox News poll.
  • I'm no "data integrity" expert, but these multiple ways to enter the same charge in the Wise County court database doesn't seem to be it if consistency is a desired goal. All were filed yesterday.
  • There was a weird and funny moment in the White House yesterday when a reporter was able to hold up John Bolton's book and ask Trump about why he was trying to block its publication. You see, if she's holding up the book then that means . . . . (Unrelated: Trump would later be caught playing with his phone while guests were speaking. Video.)
  • This was so weird yesterday that I almost think it is some kind of trap Gaetz is setting. He isn't married. His "son" is 19.

  • With all the Confederate statues going down, I was reminded that I wrote this five years ago.
  • I'm still working my way through Watchmen on HBO, and I can't look away. It won't be every one's cup of tea, but there's something about it which I just love. All episodes are being aired for free this weekend by HBO. The Tulsa Massacre inspired series will be shown as Trump is speaking in Tulsa. 
  • Sports: Alabama added a future home-and-home against Ohio State yesterday. Say what you want about Alabama, their voluntary upcoming non-conference schedules are crazy impressive.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Coronavirus Texas: The explosion in hospitalizations -- the gold standard for monitoring the severity of the virus -- continues. And the rate of the daily increases (275 added yesterday alone) has taken off as well. It's about time to face a painful truth: All those snooty experts and their school-book learnin' opinions about the need to social distance and stay at home were exactly right. And when we abandoned those rules in late April we are now seeing the consequences. 
    Total cases. (The spike two days ago included
    some new prison numbers. Yesterday's numbers do not.)
  • Remember Sen. John Cornyn's initial response to those experts? Let's just all yuk it up. 
  • Wise County: Active cases are at 10. (+3 from the last report). The Texas dashboard of estimated cases has us a 11.  
  • Saginaw ISD and Southlake ISD are the newest schools to shut down summer workouts after a positive test of a student/athlete. That brings the number of metroplex schools to halt their programs to nine.  SMU reported yesterday that five athletes have tested positive. UT reported six cases. Those schools are still going forward with workouts. 
  • Everyone still think we are going to have full school classes in the fall? It's already mid-June. Fort Worth ISD has begun to hedge its bets by offering the option of in person or virtual learning. That alone seems to be a logistical nightmare.
  • Gov. Greg Abbott continues to botch this, and his actions yesterday were mind boggling. After previously taking full charge of the coronavirus and proclaiming his orders trumped any edict by any county judge or mayor, he said the following during a interview to a Waco TV station about masks: A county judge can't mandate that citizens wear masks, but the county can order private businesses to order its customers to wear masks. Huh? What? He said that was in his order all along and that one county judge "finally figured it out." So his order was some kind of mysterious board game? Far right wingers weren't happy.  Look at this word salad from our inept governor during the interview:
  • Proof of Abbott's incompetence: On April 27th, he used the outlier date of April 19 (a day with unusually high numbers) as a bench mark in order to proclaim “the COVID-19 infection rate has been on the decline over the past 17 days" and Texas was safe to reopen that weekend. (Look at those paltry numbers back then. Yesterday we had 3,511 new cases.)
  • I don't want to believe the McMuffin Cop video is real. But it is. She's a deputy with a Georgia county sheriff's office. Yes, a deputy who will emotionally break down over a slow McMuffin order by McDonald's (and immediately begin to speculate that it might be being tampered with) gets to carry a gun and make a split second decision as to whether her life is in danger before she kills you. 
  • Aunt Jemima got the axe yesterday. That would have been a timely decision -- in 1980. Heck, I cringed at the image on the product when I was a kid. They updated it in 1989, but the inspiration for the original imagine is definitely an "Oh, my!" 
  • This sheriff also made news earlier this year "when he said he wouldn't enforce Gov. Doug Ducey's stay-at-home order." 
  • Trump's press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked about the wisdom of having a campaign rally in Tulsa this weekend. If she is talking about the spread of the virus, someone want to tell her there won't be baseball games with fans in the stands this year? If she is talking about the chance of being killed by a foul ball, some want to tell her there are nets? 
  • Art work in the new NFL stadium in Las Vegas is better than at Jerry World (save and except Star Sky Mirror. I love Star Sky Mirror.) 

  • John Bolton's new book has enough information to get Trump arrested in a civilized country. I'm sure all his stories are true, but Bolton is traitor to his country who put potential book sales over service to the nation when he declined to voluntarily testify in the impeachment trial. He deserves to be ignored. 
  • Have you ever had a timing belt on your car snap? Ever learn for the first time that you also have something called an "interference engine"? Ever learn the hard way what happens when a timing belt breaks on that interference engine? I have. 
  • When bad stuff like that happens I'll spend a day trying to convince myself that "Well, it could be worse." 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Texas Coronavirus update: We have a problem. But Gov. Abbott said yesterday that we don't need to worry because there are "abundant numbers" of hospital beds. (No word on the abundance of  grave sites still available.) The mayors of Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, El Paso, Arlington, Plano and Grand Prairie wrote the governor yesterday asking him to at least mandate masks. He won't. But he blamed 20-somethings and protesters for the surge. Is this going to turn into a disaster? Did the Shelley Luthers of the world screw this up?
  • And how are we feeling about fall sports? Or school for that matter? Arlington Martin, Krum, and Frisco Lebanon have already shutdown their summer conditioning programs that just started due to positive 'Rona.  Baylor reported three athletes testing positive yesterday. 
  • Wise County: 60 total, and 7 active. Expect that to change. 
  • The fact Trump is going to have an indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday is unfathomable.  He tried to pretend the coronavirus was just going to go away -- those White House task force briefings suddenly stopped on April 27th -- but it has come back with a fury. But he doesn't care about the health consequences of having the rally so long as he gets to appear in front of a roaring crowd. The demands of his ego will cause the sacrifice of the health and lives of those who will attend that rally. Then again, that group is willing to die for him. 
  • And let's not forget the Republican convention in Jacksonville, Florida.  And the NBA plans to resume the schedule their in a self contained "bubble?" They might want to tap the brakes on that. Florida is exploding. 
    Remember this? 
  • There were a lot of these videos appearing (and dissappearing) yesterday on social media in regards to the Decatur protest. I have no idea of the identity of the voice that can be heard.
  • If you watched 13th, you'd know exactly why Trump constantly tweets "Law and Order." He knows what he is doing. It's code. 
  • Trump announced yesterday that he was banning the choke hold by law enforcement unless they fear for their lives which means absolutely nothing has changed.  And he offered no words of unity. We went through the greatest amount of civil unrest since the 1960s (and maybe worse) and the President of the United States never gave us a unifying address from the Oval Office. Instead, we got this yesterday: 

    I don't know why a blatant lie on an unrelated subject was uttered.
  • The Justice Department, acting as Trump's personal law firm, sued John Bolton yesterday to try and stop the release of his new book. (Which only gives the book more publicity.) Shockingly, they put Bolton's home address in the caption of the lawsuit. That’s bush league. There's no better barometer of Trump's competency than the number of the "best people", all who were considered Republican right wing golden children, who worked for him but then turned on him once they got an inside look.
  • Just when I had my head wrapped around the Proud Boys, now I've got to learn about the Boogaloos. (Fox News' Tucker Carlson blamed the officer's death on "rioters" which is, of course, code for angry black people.) 
  • You might remember this case. He is the former deputy city manager of Wichita Falls whose  30-year-long career with the city, and salary of $177,220, were destroyed when cops raided his home looking for weed. (Too many cops?™) They found a tiny amount of weed.  He was sentenced to one day in jail (time served) and a $1,000 fine via a plea bargain.  Note: It's not mentioned in the story but a little known Texas law will kick in which will require his driver's license to be suspended and he'll have to go through an arse whip of a "Drug Education Course" in order to get it back. And the case has nothing to do with driving. 
    Is this Pablo Escobar? No, that's
    not Pablo Escobar.
  • I heard from a few people yesterday as to whether other states teach its own state's history. Yes: New Mexico, Colorado, and Mississippi. No: California.
  • Interesting radio question this morning: In addition to the no questionable mascot of the Washington Redskins, how do we feel about the Texas Rangers and the Oklahoma Sooners -- two groups with a questionable history.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Coronavirus: Texas. From Dallas to Wichita Falls, there were several restaurants close down because employees have contracted the 'rona, Zeke Elliott has it, and Dallas County and the state reported a record number of hospitalizations yesterday. All is well. The charts:

    New daily cases reported 
  • Wise County remains low: Total 58. Active 7.   
  • But we have Wise County breaking rumor news: I've got a very unconfirmed report that we have a coronavirus case in a Decatur law office which was then potentially transmitted to the courthouse. (Let me say it again: This is a rumor which wouldn't make it past any editor.)
  • The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the the 1964 Civil Rights Act covered discrimination against gays and transgendered people. Thoughts:
    • Everyone needs to understand this is not a constitutional decision at all. This is simply a case of looking at a federal law passed by Congress and then deciding what it means.  Since I'm a recognized legal genius (at least in western Wise County) with the gift to explain esoteric concepts into the simplest of terms, here's the way I characterized the case late last year. Compare it to the opening paragraph of yesterday's decision.
    My explanation
    Judge Gorsuch
    • And another tidbit my faithful readers were tipped off on: Late last year, I began seeing a rumor floated around about the case by people who don't deal in rumors. I thought it was worthy of a bullet point. And it was dead on: 
    • I think I officially like Trump appointee Judge Gorsuch. I've already mentioned before how he has, thus far, been a huge Fourth Amendment proponent, and he dissented in the case holding it was not double jeopardy to be prosecuted by the State and the Federal government for the exact same crime. Plus, I like the way he writes. 
    • Lost in the decision is how groundbreaking the Civil Rights Act was.  It was a federal law which mandated to a private business on private property who it could hire and fire and who it could open its doors to. (It was JFK's brainchild which was passed with the strong-arming of LBJ.)
      • The first question is how does Congress have the power to do that? The answer is the "commerce clause" which has been interpreted to let Congress do anything they want.
      • The next question is how can there still be entities which can legally not allow blacks to be members or not allow blacks to work there (like the Dallas Country Club did for years even after the passage of the Act)? The answer is that it's OK so long as you are a truly private club and don't open up the facilities as a "public accommodation." 
    • Empower Texans (the oil money SuperPAC) is a weird group. They somehow managed to take the Title VII decision and use it to attack the company which got the huge contract for coronavirus "contract tracing." Hey, it's one thing to justifiably question the size of the contract to a possibly unqualified firm, but it's quite another to say, "Oh, and by the way, that company also supports the gays!!!"
    • Trump, who had to be angered by the decision since he has undercut gay rights left and right, said it was a "powerful decision." It wasn't "powerful" at all. The Obergefell decision which interpreted the constitution as preventing states from outlawing gay marriage was powerful. This was a case which just interpreted a statute. 
  • The graphic below shows the  2019 Wise County racial profiling stats which are required to be  kept by law pursuant to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §2.132. Source of the data is here. Honestly, these numbers don't make much sense because the Hispanic detentions greatly exceed detentions of whites (except in Bridgeport.) The data is supposed to be collected "relating to motor vehicle stops in which a ticket, citation, or warning is issued and to arrests made as a result of those stops." I'll have to get some clarification from my law enforcement friends as to why the numbers seem jacked up. 
  • Oklahoma State football went into a tail-spin yesterday after there was a player revolt upon seeing coach Mike Gundy in an OAN shirt. (He's made it no secret that the watches the conspiracy/white supremacist network saying the OAN was a "refreshing" news station that "just report the news" with "no opinions." ). His star runningback, Chuba Hubbard, attacked him and then other current and former players joined in.  OSU scrambled and hastily arranged to get the two to put together a joint video message which was wildly critized. Reacting, Hubbard then tweeted, "It's not over." It isn't over. And there is more going on that just an OAN shirt.
    • Gundy is the homeless guy on the right

      Hubbard's reaction

      Hubbard after the joint video was released and panned
  • A bunch of gun toting nutcases finally shot a protester last night who was trying to help tear down a statue in Albuquerque, NM. Here is a massive thread with tons of photos and videos, and here is a link to a post where the shots can be heard being fired. The statue was of Spanish conquistador Juan de OΓ±ate which makes me realize I didn't pay enough attention in history. (Although I doubt Juan came up.) 
  • It's hard to wrap your brain around how almost everyone is walking around with high definition video cameras in their pockets which we can be activated in seconds and then distributed, without geographical limitations, within a minute. 
  • Speaking of history, the Senior in the House asked a good question the other day:  Texas obviously mandates a "Texas History" class in high school, but do other states have classes dedicate to their state's history? Or is Texas so cocky that we are a rarity in that regard?
  • Why didn't I think of this? Of course the Official Liberally Lean Girl can bring us together! (I'm committing voter fraud as we speak as I'm trying to stuff the petition ballot box with mail-in ballots from dead people.)
  • The Fort Worth PD issued a statement last night calling Fox News' Tucker Carlson a liar. It wasn't so much as he was a liar in general (we all know that), it was that he lied specifically about them