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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Texas hospitalizations: 3,204 (+9)

  • Due to the crazy rescheduling, Bridgeport will now have a Monday and a Wednesday football game this season. Add that to the list of things you would have never predicted in 2020.
  • When I was a kid, no extra-curricular activities of any kind were ever scheduled on Wednesday nights because that was a "church night."  The devoted/hard-core church goers always had a Wednesday evening "bible study" to go to in the main church sanctuary which was led by the pastor. You didn't mess with that. 
  • Watch a lady get tased for not wearing a mask at an 8th grade football game in Ohio. What is it you guys always say? "If an officer tells you do something then you do it. That way nothing bad will happen."

  • Uh, oh. Trump has competition for a major award.

  • A former Playboy model sued Fox News' Tucker Carlson for defamation. She lost yesterday because her lawyer's successfully argued that no one could possibly take him seriously. Really. Yet old white guys watch him every night and think what he is saying is gospel.

  • They stole my idea! I suggested it this week! (I said 20 years, but I'm still claiming it.)

  • Gov. Abbott, trying to calm down the Trump base who hates him because he won't declare COVID a hoax, proposed new penalties for rioting yesterday. Since I've never seen a rioting criminal case in Wise County, I had to look up the definition. What a mess. After reading the definition below, does anyone feel comfortable knowing what's a crime and what's not? The only thing clear is the "seven or more persons" part. And what about the requirement that it's an offense only if you "knowingly" participate in the riot. Does that mean you just knowingly engage in an assemblage of seven or more people where someone then suddenly goes off half-cocked on someone or does the State have to also prove you knew someone would go off half-cocked?

  • The following news story makes more sense now. Flashback: 

  • Legal technical stuff: Hey, it's none of my business and this has to be a mistake, but in looking at the Wise County district court's docket entries for a case set for hearing today (CR-16509), that "Satisfactory Order of Termination" of probation being filed before the State's Motion was filed would seem to be a problem. 

  • Below is a very obscure and random fun fact after last night's NFL game.  And I just like posting his picture:

  • My award winning appearance on the Messenger's podcast is now up on Facebook in video form. 
    Is that Brad Pitt?
  • It has now been announced that the DNA which solved the 46 year old Fort Worth cold case was actually extracted from sperm cells found on the victim's bra. Imagine that. Law enforcement in Tarrant County believes that sperm cell DNA found on the victim in a capital murder cases belongs to the killer. The Wise County Sheriff still won't admit that in the unsolved Lauren Whitener case. 
  • MessengerAbove the Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts


  • Texas hospitalizations: 3,195 (-12)  I think we now have leveled off.  But if it has, will we see the crazy rise again? And, man, that late June to July rise was incredibly steep. 

  • There have quietly been some small school districts in Texas which have announced they will completely end remote learning. I saw a notice from Edna ISD and Roosevelt ISD as a couple of examples. 
  • Democracy doesn't die in darkness after all. It's in the process of being be murdered right on Fifth Avenue.  This is chilling. But it also is an admission of how terrified he is about election day. 

  • From absentee voting to extended early voting, why are they so scared of making voting more convenient?

  • I'm fascinated with the ransomware attack. Fort Worth ISD just paid $337,000 to hackers in order to get them to release their servers. I guess before you would pay it you would check with other governmental entities/previous victims who paid the ransom who could confirm the hackers kept their word. And, as odd at is sounds, the more "credibility" the hackers get with keeping a track record of keeping their word, the greater the ransom they can demand from the next victim.

  • The lack of indictments in the Breonna Taylor case are not surprising. In America, we have a system in place where cops can do half-assed search warrants, complete with lies and omissions, which are then often half-assed reviewed by rubber-stamping judges who are supposed to be  "detached and neutal magistrates". And then armed with that warrant, the cops can explode into your home in the middle of the night and, while confused with fear, you're suppose to cower down and take no action in the midst of mass confusion.  And if you don't, you die. And it's all legal. 

  • My favorite photos as Justice Ginsburg's casket arrived at the Supreme Court.

  • This made me laugh when the news came out that the Los Angeles Chargers team doctor had accidentally punctured the lung of the starting quarterback.

  • Around Lake Bridgeport in the Twin Hills area, I saw an ADT Security Services van yesterday. I'd bet big money that is 100% related to the realization that the killer of Lauren Whitener has not been caught. 
  • Speaking of Lauren Whitener murder and the Aric Maxwell fiasco, the Wise County Messenger was gracious enough to invite me onto their podcast to talk about the case. The audio is here. The video isn't up yet which is sad because I'm pretty good-looking. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Wise County active (as of yesterday): 17.  All school districts across the state should have their COVID data published here sometime today. 
  • Texas hospitalizations: 3,207 (+75).  Have I mentioned I've got my eye on this? 

  • I've got some pretty wild Wise County real estate news fed to me by a faithful reader. In June, 7-Eleven became the proud owner of tract of land in Chico, Texas. I've got the receipts. 

  • Just saw that Gayle Sayers has died. It's been 50 years since Brian Piccolo died. (I wonder how many readers have no idea who I'm talking about.)
  • In Senate District 30 race (the one that Empower Texans is trying to buy for Shelley Luther), Wise County's share of registered voters is only a measly 3%. But so far we have 9% of the total of early votes cast. (Source.)

  • You know what's really wild about that chart? Look at the two columns for the total number of voters registered now vs. the total number of votes cast in 2018. Wise County is 51% (44,341/22,718) as are almost all the counties. But look at those percentages for the two big counties: Collin is only 9%. Denton is only 8.5%.  That seems so out of whack that is seems wrong. 
  • Trump, over the last year, has finally overtly revealed himself to be an all-out racist because he simply quit hiding it. What turns my stomach is this all-white crowd cheering to stuff like this that happened last night. Rep. Ilhan Omar is a United States citizen.  Over the next decade and beyond the Republicans are going to pay dearly for letting Trump get away with moments like this.

  • Whenever Trump tells a "Sir story" at one of his rallies (as in "And the general turned to me and said, 'Sir, I've never heard . . . . '") he's lying. Everyone knows that.  Whenever he makes up a story with Melania, he always uses the term "Darling" (as in, "And she turned to me and said, 'Darling, why don't . . . . '" Last night, he mixed them together. 

  • The 46 year old "cold case" out of Tarrant County is pretty wild (assuming everything the cops are saying is legit.) They solved it by DNA but by using "familial DNA" tracing. As I understand it, you can have a complete DNA profile extracted from the evidence but you might hit a dead end when it doesn't match anyone in the CODIS criminal database. (i.e. the Wise County Lauren Whitener murder case.) You can still send that profile through an expensive (?) genealogical database known as GEDmatch -- the same tool California police used to identify the Golden State Killer -- which might get you in the area of a particular family. It's all based on looking at the male Y chromosome. From there it takes footwork to track down the one individual who will then match the DNA definitively. 

  • Extra thought: CODIS is the national criminal database. I had always thought that it only contained samples of the DNA of convicted felons. But I was shocked to learn from representing Rodney "Aric" Maxwell that if you voluntarily provide your DNA via a cheek swab to police because you wanted to be excluded as a suspect, the lab will test your DNA and then upload it to CODIS even if you didn't match who they were looking for! So, even though you are completely innocent, your DNA is now in CODIS. Here's proof where the lab said they'd do it with Aric's DNA and three other poor saps:

  • Mitt Romney has decided to turn on Trump and will vote on his Supreme Court nominee before the election. You could see that coming. Mormon. Abortion. No brainer. (Or is he just tricking Trump and will actually vote "no" on the actual nominee to really screw him over?)

  • The Wise County District Attorney's office is now sending out a "Brady notice" -- notice of evidence which might benefit a defendant -- about a particular former officer if he was involved in the case. I've never seen them do that before. But I applaud it. 
  • I'm late to the party on this one, but I'm not going to let Williamson County criminal justice news get by without pointing it out

  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts


  • Texas hospitalizations: 3,132 (+51). I've still got my eye on this.

  • Look at this spreadsheet showing how PAC Empower Texans (Wilks and Dunn) is trying to buy Shelley Luther a seat in our State Senate District 30. It's amazing. (Source: Texas Tribune.)

  • Speaking of Senate District 30, one of the candidates brought the COVID to Decatur. That ain't no way to campaign! "According to Springer, he and his wife Lydia went to a campaign event in Decatur on Sept.14. Lydia was taken to the hospital later that night for unrelated symptoms and was eventually tested and diagnosed with COVID-19." 
  • Did you guys see Dak's get-up on Sunday? Serious question: Is it now fashionable to have jeans that come to above the ankle when wearing cowboy boots? I've seen this on the TV box a couple of times in the last week. 

  • I keep hearing anecdotal evidence that young males really don't watch sports on TV and can't imagine, even when adults, of ever paying to watch them. (And to think I watched the network broadcast of Super Bowl XIII on Youtube over the weekend between the Cowboys and Steelers and was overcome with teenage nostalgia. I remember the friend's house I was in when I watched it, who all was there, and where I sat on the couch.)
  • Supreme Court thoughts:
    • Will the Senate never again approve a justice appointed by a President from a different party? That used to be routine. Thanks have changed so dramatically that I'm not sure it will happen now. 
    • Supreme Constitutional Amendment Proposal: Have Supreme Court justices limited to 20 year terms and have it so that every two years a judge's 20 year term expires. If a judge dies before his 20 years, the appointment would be only for the unexpired term.  I just don't know how to get it started from scratch. 
  • What would you have thought if you had seen this photo one year ago?: The Raiders celebrate a touchdown by mimicking using hand sanitizer all while in an empty NFL stadium during a real game.

  • I don't follow video game news but yesterday Microsoft paid $8.5 billion to buy a company which is in that business. This sentence got my attention about the purchase: "To put that in perspective, that’s almost as much as Disney paid for both Marvel and LucasFilm combined."
  • "I'd like to use this forum to spread the Gospel, but first I'd like to promote my lord and savior as well as the only personality left in the Fox family who will have me on TV." Man, I despise Jeffress so much. 

  • I can't tell you how many kind emails and messages I've received from both friends and complete strangers in response to my posts about the Aric Maxwell case. Many have made me tear up a little. Of special note was a fancy handwritten thank you card from a lawyer in little Hamilton, Texas who I have never met. And then yesterday I got this. No return address. Not signed. (Please don't do this. But I'm keeping all it and and framing it.) 

  • It's Tony Basil's birthday. Fun fact: She was 37 when she recorded the video to Mickey.

  • Fox, by itself, currently pay $1.08 billion a year for it's Sunday NFL package. The contract expires next year. Bloomberg reported last night that the new number will be around $2 billion a year.  It seems like a good time to remind you that the 32 team owners' cartel have for years agreed to a salary cap on players. 


Random Monday Morning Thoughts


  • Texas hospitalizations: 3,081 (-165 since Friday)
  • Trump will now try to fill the Supreme Court seat of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. 
    • To ram it through before the election, he can't afford four Republican defections in the Senate. Two (Collins and Murkowski) have already done so and have said the next President should make the pick. Mitt Romney is a definite wild card. 
    • Lindsey Graham had previously committed that he would be one of the four, but we already knew he is a liar and hypocrite. He had said: "If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump's term we'll wait to the next election . . .  Hold the tape." And that was even after the Kavanaugh confirmation. He said he was just kidding about that over the weekend. 

    • Trump will want it done right away and won't gamble with a post-election confirmation because (1) If he's a lame duck, he won't care one iota, (2) We know that he'll lose at least one senator when one of Arizona's seat switches from McSally to Kelly and he'll be seated by Arizona law before November 30th. He can't risk that. 
    • This just hit me.  Why doesn't Trump refuse to nominate anyone and instead use it as election bait? "If I win, I will immediately give you another Supreme Court justice. But if I lose, you also lose that seat." Of course, no other president would ever do that because it would be an obvious and a blatant effort to put self over the importance of the court. But this is Trump. His base wouldn't care if he used that trick.
    • But, in the end, I bet he nominates someone right now and gets it confirmed before the election.
  • He keeps saying the quiet stuff out loud

  • Uh . . . 

  • Look out. Big West Texas oil money from Empower Texans is bankrolling Shelly Luther. They say it is, uh, a "loan." You know, I bet she makes the run-off and might win the dang thing. North Texans are suckers for people like her. 

  • Legal stuff. One technically boring but eye-opening. One about political incorrectness:
    • Hey, criminal law practitioners, look at this under-the-radar opinion out of Amarillo which came out last week where the court held that the lack of a trial due to COVID-19 entitles and incarcerated defendant to a PR bond. It's seems pretty broad and all-encompassing. (In-the-weeds stuff: (1) It is somehow designated "Do Not Publish", (2) The court didn't find a 17.151 violation but a constitutional speedy trial violation. If that's true, isn't the remedy dismissal instead of a PR bond?))
    • From the "Oh-My!" Department: Want to hear a lawyer last week during oral arguments before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals utter the words "technological retard" as he was referring to himself. Here you go. It sure be cued up at the right place at the 14:40 mark. 
  • Cowboys:
    • In trying to figure out what the special teams coach told the Atlanta players before the onside kick. I'm guessing it was something like, "They can't touch it before 10 yards and if they do, it is our ball. So don't worry about anything before 10 yards." That's all true but you might want to add a couple of things. 
    • Everyone was dogging Mike McCarthy for deciding to go for two when down nine points. I absolutely would go for it there. You're going to have to get it then or after the next touchdown. If you miss it now, at least you know what you have to do -- which is exactly what happened. 
    • Fun fact:

  • I watched Richard Jewell over the weekend. It is, of course, the story of the security guard who was wrongfully accused of planting the bomb at the Olympics in Atlanta. 

    • Its theme sounded very familiar to me. A solo-lawyer who some thought was in over his head representing an innocent and downtrodden guy against the government who jumped the gun by accusing him of a capital crime.
    • I thought it was a little over-the-top and had to be loose with facts (especially since it is a Clint Eastwood film), but once you read the fantastic Vanity Fair article upon which the movie is based, it's pretty spot on. 
    • The biggest cheap shot that Eastwood took was accusing an Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter of blatantly exchanging sex for an FBI tip. She's died a few years back. That was indeed a cheap shot.
    • Richard Jewell is also dead. (Side note: We are all here for just a blink of an eye, aren't we?) 
    • After I watched the movie, I was very confused why the Atlanta Journal ended up paying Jewel in his libel suit. What they wrote was technically true. He was the target of the FBI. When I looked it up I learned  refused to settle and the case against them was ultimately dismissed.
    • I would have named the film "The Profile of Richard Jewell."
  • Yes, I'm still all torqued up about you know what, but I thought I'd give it a rest today.