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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Everything is shut down today for a holiday, but guess who's here? #THWMISB
  • Texas. I'm running out of things to say about this trajectory:

    New daily cases
  • Wise County: Active cases at 36.
  • Listen up, Wise County. Since we've got more than 20 active cases, we have to put on a mask as of noon today. (Although I expect to see half the county gather at the Big Sandy to throw their masks into the water in protest.) 
    • But I am kind of surprised that Gov. Abbott mandated it. Just a few days ago  . . . 
    • But Abbott is a follower. And once Pence signaled on Sunday we should all wear masks, and even Trump signaled it was OK (so long as you look cool like the Lone Ranger), he thought he had his political cover to do it. 
    • But, man, he is taking it in the shorts from the right . . . 
    • Empower Texans is mad:
    • The renegade Collin County Judge immediately slapped back utilizing a loophole on gatherings of groups of more than 10: 
    • The Denton Sheriff, who has always struck me as simpleton, said he won't enforce the mask order.  (If we want to be consistent, wouldn't right wingers go absolutely nuts if he said he was "too busy" to enforce ICE detainers?)
    • If you ever find yourself agreeing with Ag Commissioner Sid Miller, you need to re-evaluate your entire belief system. 
    • The executive committee of Texas Republicans voted last night to move forward with their in person convention in Houston from July 13th through 18th.
    • Another sign of the Apocalypse: Decatur shut down Reunion 2020. 
  • And we are to believe the USC Trojans are going to fly into Texas to play Alabama at Jerry World two months from now?
  • I present to you the Two Weeks In The Life of Herman Cain in Three Acts:
    • Act I: June 20th
    • Act II: July 1st
    • Act III: Yesterday
  • I understand where he got his genes, but how dumb is Eric Trump? He posted this yesterday and then deleted it once he got bombarded with tons of photos showing his dad yukking it up with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Did he seriously not know Trump ran with that guy? Birds of a feather? 

  • I don't do any federal criminal practice, and I'm going to need someone to explain the Ghislaine Maxwell indictment to me. Is it now the the norm to put in an indictment a scandalous "Factual background" where they throw in some photos like a tabloid?  In state court, indictments just charge an offense with as little information as legally possible. The State's only obligation (which is exactly the same obligation as the feds in federal court) is to put the defendant on fair notice as to what crime it is the government says you committed and how. Nothing else.  Otherwise, prosecutors find themselves in the sometimes complicated fight of "If you plead it, you have to prove it."

  • Random things I think: How much did that graphic -- which is 100% needless -- cost the taxpayers to produce? 
  • It's the Fourth of July. Be careful out there:
  • Trouble on the 40 Acres.
  • Random facts I stole from someone else: (1) At this time last year, Dallas had 209 murders. The count right now is 37. That's astonishing. (2) We've not heard Jerry Jones speak in 70 days which is an all time record. Makes you think there might be more to it than the current Black Lives Matter resurgence which we think he is avoiding.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold. (I bet they had to scramble yesterday to get the mask mandate and other changing stories on the front page.)


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Quite the scene in Bridgeport the other night. Messenger story here. (Subscribe to the Messenger. Give them your money.)
  • Good lord. Texas, oh, Texas.

    New cases per day
  • Wise County Active Cases: 41. We have a new record. (And continue to take those numbers with a grain of salt.)
  • Fun fact: To take something with a "grain of salt" originates from ancient Rome where a naturalist/philosopher believed that one of the ingredients of an antidote to poison was a grain of salt. Ergo, to take something with a "grain of salt" would prevent you from being killed. 
  • Prediction: Both Major League Baseball and the NBA will try to resume their seasons and then both will immediately be shut down.  The NBA will be the greatest test case because they are going to try the insulated "bubble" concept in Orlando. But did you see that Dallas' Major League Soccer team flew to Florida last week to start the exact same bubble concept and, as of yesterday, they've already had nine players and one coach test positive? This will not work.
  • The UIL is recommending that the voluntary workouts be shut down until July 13th. "Recommending"?!?! (I think this is just doing the groundwork before they completely shut it down this fall. They'll be able to say "Hey, we tried to get you to do it voluntarily but you wouldn't" or "We tried voluntary measures at first but that didn't pan out.") 
  • It's been a while since I've thrown out the national chart:
  • Don't worry, Trump said the coronaviurus is "just going to disappear" yesterday. (Yep, he said that yesterday.) And his press secretary, who truly is America's Baghdad Bob, said the explosion in cases in the various states were just "embers".

  • The shortest and most savage attack ad ever.
  • Breaking: Jeffrey Epstein's former gal pal just got arrested. I've always wondered how she's been able to avoid that. (And I suggest they might want to issue a triple "suicide watch" on her.)
  • The Washington Post opinion section finally says something I've been saying for well over a decade. (Idiocracy came out in 2006 with a tongue-in-cheek prediction of what America would be like in 500 years. They were a little off.)
  • The first reference I can find that I made to Idiocracy was on July 21, 2008.
  • Man, the Star-Telegram collecting screenshots and more of "allegedly" racist posts of this well connected TCU family is worth the cost of a subscription. What a wheels off story. From daddy to son to daughter, there's some crazy gold coming from all of them. 
  • I got a flyer in the mail yesterday as part of the Congressional seat run-off between Dr. Ronny Jackson and Josh Winegarner (where both guys are trying to out-conservative the other.) Without mentioning which one was supported by the flyer, I noticed it was from a PAC named "AG Together". It had racists overtones by attacking one of the guys by saying he's "not from here" (implying foreigner), he was part of "Obama's inner circle" (implying friends with a black man), "ties to Hong Kong investor" (implying he's tight with an Asian), and a "Candyman" (which I thought implied pedophile but actually was meant to imply he was a drug dealer.)  In any event, I looked up the PAC and it has spent $323,613 on behalf of one of the guys. All that just to get one seat in Congress for rural Texas. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Texas is setting records left and right: 

    New Daily Cases
  • Wise County: Active cases at 32. *Dramatic voice*: "At least that's what the government wants you to believe." 
  • Since some people thought that the summer heat would help kill the virus but just the opposite appears to be happening, here's an interesting question: Does air-conditioning increase the spread of the virus? It certainly worth exploring. 
  • It's July 1st which means the year 2020 is only halfway done with us. And it sure doesn't feel like a regular 4th of July week.
  • I haven't followed this bizarre Idaho case involving the deceased children but, based upon watching a certain movie, I have a working theory. 
  • Date line Austin: Silly looking "Bar Lives Matter" protesters met with silly looking DPS troopers dressed like storm troopers.

  • I visited a couple of Wise County groups on Facebook because a couple of people told me I'd be interested. Verdict: Those are some very scary and disconcerting places. 
  • Speaking of, the only Trump seems to care about lately is protecting statues honoring the Confederacy. Chalk it up to another weird thing relating to his bizarre campaign strategy. 
  • I'm so glad they have resumed press briefings by the Press Secretary. She was firing off some gold yesterday.
  • I've dogged Mark Cuban for years because I think he's got a lot of con man in him. But I loved to study how he is con man. One way he does it is to manipulate conversations.  An example is, when being interviewed, he ends his answer with a question which presupposes what he (Cuban) just said was true. It catches the host off guard every time.  He did it the other day:
  • Fox News just fired Ed Henry due to sexual misconduct allegations.
  • Benjamin Franklin Plumbing runs a commercial on The Ticket where one of the owners oddly announces with glee that during these "trying times" their technicians will bring a free roll of toilet paper on his service call. A single roll. (And I keep wondering if it is packaged. I've never seen a single roll package. Do they just hand you one while the end of it flaps in the wind?)
  • No popcorn shrimp in Wichita Falls: Red Lobster got locked out of it's location for failing to pay rent. Hot opinion: There's nothing wrong with Red Lobster.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold
  • The story below is about the body of the missing female soldier from Fort Hood perhaps being found. And there was just this breaking news alert that might be related: "A suspect in a Fort Hood Criminal Investigation Division case died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound as officers attempted to make contact with him early Wednesday morning."  We've got a movie plot unfolding here. 


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Wise County ramping up with 'Rona:
    • Justice of the Peace #2 office is shut down due to positive case "exposure" by an employee.
    • Casa Torres in Decatur has voluntarily shut down due as well. (Man, the person who told me this better be right.) 
    • The City of Bridgeport pool has shut down for the summer and rentals of the Community Center have been indefinitely suspended due to "extra precautions due to COVID-19."
    • The County Clerk's office remains shut down after positive tests. Edit: It has now reopened.
    • Wise County finally has official new numbers: 33 active cases. (The old record for active cases, I think, was 17 or 18 a couple of months ago. And I'd bet 33 is way too low. Here is the county's long disclaimer about the numbers since the State still isn't being very helpful.)
    • All jury trials are delayed until at least September 1. (This applies to the entire state as of late last night.)
  • Texas (hospitalizations set a new record yesterday; total new cases had the typical delayed weekend reporting down-tick.)

  • I still have extreme doubts that we'll see UIL sports this fall.  But what about college/pro football? Greed and money will certainly push for it to be played, but one thing that hasn't been factored in is George Floyd. "Come again?" you say. Stay with me here. You are telling me that a football game will be played while a predominately white crowd is protected by limiting fans to 50% capacity or less as they watch predominately young black athletes roll around in piles on the ground? What happens when that optic finally dawns on everyone?
    (Looks like they had social distancing in the upper deck)
  • And can you imagine the headaches and scandals if they do try and play? Say, for example, UT quarterback Sam Ehlinger tests positive for the COVID right before the OU game, but says he feels 100% fine. Does the Evil Empire quarantine him for two weeks? How big is the temptation to try to cover up the test and pray no one finds out? Would some other team in a similar situation try to cover the test results up even from their star quarterback? You don't think a team in the SEC wouldn't do that?
    Eyes closed.
    He completed that, by the way, and it was amazing.
  • Breaking: The great Carl Reiner has died. 
  • Either he didn't care that Russia was paying for U.S. soldiers to be murdered ("No puppet!") or, at the very least, he didn't read his security briefing because he was watching Fox and Friends and tweeting. This is not going away. 
  • He's just trolling us and doing a bit, right? 
  • Yesterday's abortion decision is pretty interesting for this reason: 
    • The Louisiana law before the court which restricted abortion was exactly like a Texas law that the Supreme Court struck down in 2016. But the Supreme Court's makeup had changed since then. 
    • Because of that change, there were now enough votes to uphold the abortion restrictions, but something went wrong -- Chief Justice Roberts changed sides. He was in the dissent in 2016 and, if he would have had his way back then, would have ruled that the Texas law was constitutional. 
    • But yesterday he wrote that he would follow the majority in that Texas case and would now vote to strike down the Louisiana law which was currently before the court. Had he changed his mind? Nope. He still thinks the way he did in the Texas case. And that means he thinks the Louisiana law is constitutional. 
    • So why change sides? He voted to strike it down because, in his view, the Supreme Court can't be overruling itself left and right simply because its members change. He considers, as Chief Justice, for it to be his court and his legacy.

  • Always, always, keep Hitler out of it
  • s
  • Legal stuff: I was thinking of what it would be like to try to "pick a jury"/conduct voir dire if everyone on the entire jury panel was wearing a mask. It would be impossible. I've always depended just as much on someone's facial expressions as their answers to questions. (This isn't rocket science. Have you tried talking to someone wearing a mask lately?)  Along those same lines, a witness who were to testify while wearing a mask would probably violate the Confrontation Clause. (Quick research reveals one Texas case where it was error to allow a witness to testify "wearing dark sunglasses, a baseball cap pulled down over his forehead, and a long-sleeved jacket with its collar turned up and fastened so as to obscure [his] mouth, jaw, and the lower half of his nose.")
  • More legal stuff: I can't imagine trying to prepare for the bar exam right now. If it were to be cancelled at the last minute, it would be devastating. But I'm also not sure about every Texas law school dean supporting the possible option of allowing, for this one time only, a law degree taking the place of the need to pass the bar exam. 
  • The inmate population at the Wise County Jail has now hovered in 130s for a few months since the COVID crisis hit. It used to normally average in the 190s. The world hasn't ended just because there are less people in jail, has it?