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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts


  • Texas Hospitalizations: +146. The wildfire continues. 

  • Just a reminder that the time I spent on the above bullet point about COVID is more time and effort than Trump has expended on the virus over the last week. 
  • Remember when I mentioned yesterday that, as for now, jury trials can resume in Texas state courts beginning on December 1st? The feds tried to get a jump on us and . . . 

  • Edit: Just like clockwork, Texas jury trials have just been postponed until at least February 1st.
  • Warning: The following bullet point was going to just be a quick hit and then I really got sucked into it. 
  • The Fort Worth Court of Appeals issued an opinion late yesterday arising out of a Class C offense that occurred in the Grandy's parking lot in Rhome after a traffic stop. It was an appeal from an actual jury trial in the Rhome municipal court. The charge? "Disregarding a police officer’s lawful order."  Oh, my. 
    • The facts are pretty wild for a Class C case.  This is what the female defendant got arrested for after being stopped for speeding. (Pickler is the name of the officer.)

    • If you wonder how a the equivalent of a traffic ticket ends up in the appellate court, I may have an answer: I think the defendant in the case is this lady

    • Those facts + "activist" = You knew where this case was headed.  Spoiler: Her conviction was affirmed. 
    • The Defendant's twitter feed is here and Facebook page is here. If I'm reading it right, she recently "stepped into the race" for the Texas GOP chair against Allen West. 
    • The appellate opinion says she recorded her encounter with the Rhome police officer on her cell phone. Someone find that video for me! She had to have posted it. 
    • Legal nerd alert: The case really has some really great legal issues.
      • Is that statute unconstitutionally vague? Answer: No. (I'm so so sure about that. What's a "lawful order", and how is the common man supposed to know what is and what is not a "lawful"? What about the order of "Stop talking and put your hand over your mouth!"? Is that a lawful order?)
      • Was the length of her detention in the Grandy's parking lot before the order was issued an illegal "prolonged detention" because the officer deviated from the purpose of the traffic stop by confronting the son? Answer: The court says "no" because the evidence (the video) is unclear as to what exactly the officer was doing when he confronted the son. (Very technical legal point: This could have turned into a disaster if the court had addressed this issue on a really crappy record. But this issue is legit and could have been addressed: What does talking to and patting the son down have to do with a stop which is based on speeding?) 
      • Is that statute of complying with "lawful orders" only applicable to orders associated with traffic offenses since the statute is located in the Transportation Code? Answer: No (but that's not a bad argument.)
    • Here's a quirk about the case: The appellate court ordered that no briefs be filed by either side before it issued it's order. Why? This has some really great and complicated issues. 
    • Another quirk: There were four lawyers involved in the appeal who didn't get to do much. 
    • Kind of a side note: Did the officer have a legal right to stop the passenger/son from going in Grandy's? I don't think so. It was his mom who who was lawfully detained for speeding, not him. Assuming it is an illegal detention of the son, does that fact effect the "lawfulness" of the officer's order telling the defendant to get back in the vehicle? Probably not, but that's a great question. Is it a "lawful order" to tell someone to step back when they are questioning the illegal detention and pat down of her son?
    • Heck, now I wished I had this case from the start. 
  • I need to check and see if North Dallas came back last night:

  • The next episode:

  • What happened in Texas a couple of years ago happened in Florida this month: A mystery candidate with a name similar to someone who is running gets placed on the ballot but makes no effort to campaign. And, due to the name confusion, the candidate ends up getting a handful of votes just by chance but it's enough to tip the election. In this case, it looks like a PAC who supported Garcia went and recruited some spare guy named Alex Rodriguez to get him on the ballot. It worked:

  • I know that exact same thing happened in Texas, but I can't find a link even though I know I wrote about it when it happened. But that's a tough Google search if you don't know names or counties. I couldn't locate it. 
  • This was just got posted and I can't vouch for it, but if it is true wouldn't that make the third rapper murdered in Dallas in like a month? There was a wild one earlier this week where a guy was murdered on I-35.

  • Time that has passed since the Wise County Sheriff's Office has failed to solve the murder of Lauren Whitener at Lake Bridgeport: 1 year, 4 months, 8 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold (Includes a story on the first Wise County teacher to pass away due to COVID-19.)


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts


  • Texas hospitalizations: +609! Boom! There it is. I warned you that that the hospital numbers were about to skyrocket.

    • New Texas cases: Winter's coming. Hard. 

    • We've got a full blown crisis breaking out just like those "silly experts" told us would happen. And with Thanksgiving just two weeks, is there any consideration to reverting all schools to online learning until then? Or through Christmas? 
    • Remember when Gov. Abbott expanded the capacity of bars on October 7th? That, in itself, may not have much to do with this surge, but it sure didn't help by sending a message that we were "rounding the corner." 
    • Jury trials across Texas are set to resume on December 1st. That ain't going to happen, but for the life of me I don't understand what the the State is waiting on before they amend the date of the current ban. They've not issued an order since September 18th. 
    • Just a minor note: I blew by WBAP this morning and heard Steve Lamb say he was going to be in trouble with his wife tonight because "I didn't know the situation with our building"  because "I didn't see the email" before he came in to work. He followed that up by saying  he'd "probably have to get tested" before he could go home. WBAP is a Cumulus station as is The Ticket,  99.5 The Wolf, KLIF, and KCSC. I think they all broadcast out of the same offices in Victory Park in Dallas hard by the AAC where there must have been some crazy outbreak.
  • I haven't cried this hard about the ending of a relationship since the final scene of The Notebook. Trump has lost the blind faith of his boo. 

  • Once the states start certifying their election results (which is beginning now), all others will begin to fall in line like "Pastor" Jeffress. Certifications = Game Over. And it may be behind a paywall, but this story makes you cringe for the lawyers who have been dumb enough to take on the baseless challenges. Here's an example the story shares: Trump's legal teams don't even know how to follow state rules for appeals. 

  • "[H]ow hungry people are to consume lies." I'm going to put that on a throw pillow. 

  • I'm confused? Why no allegation of fraud? Why are we allowing a media outlet to "decide" an election? 

  • Texas Sheriffs are having a bad year. And the one in Tarrant County continues to prove he doesn't know how to run a jail. Or, more accurately, doesn't seem to care about how to run a jail. 

  • "This week. On The Bachelor.

  • Along with Lucille Bridges, I'm also remembering the late Judge Fostel this morning since he had that print of Ruby Bridges hanging on his office wall in the Wise County courthouse. (Ruby herself, if you were wondering, is now 66.)

  • Very apropos since this meme was floating around on Saturday night. 

  • I saw this photo of this memorial in Arizona yesterday which I wasn't aware of.  "On Veterans Day – November 11 – the design allows the sun's rays to spotlight the Great Seal at 11:11 AM Mountain Standard Time."  (If that photo was taken at exactly that time, that circle of light doesn't exactly line up with the circular seal, right?)

  • One thing we definitively learned in the election is that no school bond package can pass in a November election when voter turnout is high. The month of May is much more friendly to those propositions.
  • I was listening to KXT this morning and heard a cool version of "that song" song from the Blues Brothers film which played as Jake and Elwood were walking on stage for the Fabulous Rhythm and Blues Review at the Palace Hotel Ballroom. Then I looked down and saw it was "Time is Tight" by Booker T and the MGs.  Yep, forty years after I saw the Blues Brothers movie, I finally hear and learn of the origin of the song that came out twelve years before the 1980 movie.  

  • Every day I realize how little I know. Maybe I'll put that on a throw pillow, too. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts


  • Texas Hospitalizations: +67.  I've preferred using this chart over the last few months, but for the first time I don't think it gives us an accurate picture of what's going on close to home. Wise County hit 135 active cases this week with 200 tests still pending. 

  • I've shied away from posting the statewide "new cases reported" chart because those numbers have seemed to fluctuate wildly. But here it is. We better hope yesterday's number was a statistical fluke.

  • The college football season is falling apart. The SEC postponed or cancelled three games for this weekend: Auburn/Mississippi State, Tennessee v. aTm, and Alabama/LSU. And over in the PAC-12, it looks like California/Arizona State is about to go down. 
  • Whatever happened to Trump's Coronavirus Task Force led by Mike Pence? Spoiler alert: They never cared at all. 
  • Imagine my surprise when I go this in the mail yesterday with no note or card.  My faithful readers, who might be just a tad unstable, love bits! 
    (It's about 8 inches tall but not made out of pure gold.)

  • I case you don't understand it, I wrote this last Friday.

  • You guys realize that the lawsuits challenging the election are just for show and going nowhere, right? But, go ahead, question Democracy as he we know it. You can't possibly do any damage. Oh, and you might want to buy tickets to the next Frye Festival because I've heard it's going to be great. 

  • I love this. Voter fraud is so rampant and widespread that he has to offer $1 million to find it. 

  • Fun fact: Everyone seems to think all of Texas' ballots were counted within 24 hours. It's not that simple.  Military ballots were allowed to be received up to 5:00 p.m. on Monday.  And yesterday was the deadline to review provisional ballots as well. 
  • Holy crap! I forgot about this! What are we going to do now!?  (But, technically speaking, you will only receive this punishment if you actually voted for Biden -- so 83% of Wise County gets to celebrate the holidays, get married, and keep their kids in school.) 

  • You want to talk about injustice? I'll show you injustice! What they are doing to the Official Liberally Lean Girl is an injustice!

  • The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday on Obamacare, and I think my prediction that they would strike it down was 100% wrong. And I'll also admit that I really don't understand the legal arguments involved in it. I thought the argument was pretty simple: The Supreme Court had found in 2012 that the Act was constitutional only because of "X" where "X" was the existence of the Act's "individual mandate" (you either buy insurance or you or hit with a personal income tax penatly). Thus, when Congress repealed the individual mandate in 2017, the Act must no longer be constitutional.  It apparently isn't that simple, but it would take me a day to go into a deep dive to figure it out. Ain't nobody got time for that. (I think the words "only because" in my prior sentence is where I go wrong.)

  • It's Veteran's Day. When those guys held up a Nazi flag, you didn't have to think twice about why they were doing it. 

  • Hillary beat Trump by 3 million. As of this morning, Biden is on the cusp of reaching a 5 million margin.  But, Alaska was just called for Trump so he's got that going for him. 
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts


  • Texas hospitalizations: +23. 

    • Despite the mild increases in state hospitalizations, I have an announcement: As the most trusted man in COVID monitoring, I'm officially moving Wise County up a DEFCON level. It's worse right now in our area than at any other time this year. 
    • Chico had to forfeit their bi-district game yesterday, and Boyd High and Alvord ISD have been hit hard forcing online learning edicts.
    • Unlike the last two waves, I think those in the county all know someone who has contracted COVID this time around. It's anecdotal evidence, but it is good evidence. 
    • Nearby Tarrant County set a record high for new cases yesterday.
  • Back in April, every day I would post the national chart of new cases.  So from a national perspective, compare then to right now: 

  • Wise County's new congressional representative is no rocket scientist, is he? 

  • There's no way Trump goes to the inauguration of President-Elect Biden, does he? I think there is absolutely no chance of it, but I have had a couple of people I respect tell me I'm wrong. Heck, I think there is a good possibility he goes to Mara-a-Lago for Christmas and never comes back. (Or sooner. He has nothing on his schedule today which is the seventh day in a row -- his second longest stretch.)
  • Despite all the screaming about "the polls were wrong!", they really weren't. 538.com, the great poll aggregator and weighting site, missed on only two states: Florida and North Carolina. And even those weren't exactly earth-shaking misses. They only gave Biden a 50.9% chance of winning Florida and a 50.5% of winning North Carolina. That's pretty darn good. 

  • The greatest gift of Facebook is how it has revealed the shocking percentage of dumb people there are out there. I mean, folks who are just utterly gullible morons. P. T. Barnum, who realized that very thing decades ago, needs a memorial built to him in D.C. alongside those to Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson. He knew America better than anyone else.  
  • I've got to check with my family, but back in the day I think we had one of those turkeys for Thanksgiving every year. We always had two: A regular turkey and a smoked turkey. (Put that on my bragging montage.)

  • Speaking of, my immediate family unit had turkey and dressing about a month ago on a weekday. I'm not sure what type of witchcraft Mrs. LL was practicing that day, but it was very unnerving. 
  • Nothing like a lame duck President firing the Secretary of Defense via Twitter to make you feel secure. 

  • Fox News cut away from a Kayley McEnany's press conference yesterday because of her lying. Now the carnival barkers during the evening will parrot those lies, but at least the network takes a stand in the afternoon.

  • I've never had a good feel for the politics of the Texas legislature because it just seems to be various factions of hard line conservatives stabbing each other. Case in point, they are now attacking each other over who will be the next House Speaker. Here's very right wing conservative Jeff Leach going after the very nutty Texas Republican Party Chief Allen West.

  • COVID in sports: The Aggies have put practice on hold, the Cowboys have done the same after a Steeler player tested positive, LSU/Alabama might be cancelled, and Arkansas head coach has the COVID.  It's all beginning to unravel.  
  • This just got posted. I have questions. 

  • Trump running again in 2024 would be delicious. Just think about the insanity of the Republican presidential primary debates. 
  • Twenty-three death notices in the Update. That has to be a record. 


Random Monday Morning Thoughts


  • Texas Hospitalizations: We've cracked 6,000 and, with as many new cases that we've heard about over the last week, I think we're about to see a big jump (since hospitalizations are a lagging indicator.) 

  • Breaking COVID news this morning: Pfizer basically says they may have developed a vaccine that is 90% effective. They are on track to see an emergency use application later this month for the distribution of 1.3 billion vaccine does next year. (And every seems to believe them -- the Dow is expected to open 1,500 points higher and oil has jumped up to 15%.)

  • I'm not going to do a lot of score-boarding on Trump's loss, but I'll share this. It was never about policy with me. It was about character. Every single thing I had been taught as a boy was on the line: From honesty and truthfulness to empathy for the less fortunate. It was always as simple as that. And the fact that he didn't care to hide his contempt for the values, and how his groupies simply turned a blind eye to it,  is never something I will never understand. 
  • Van Jones had me literally on tears as he his voice cracked moments after CNN made the call on Saturday. "It's easier to be a parent this morning. It's easier to be a dad. It's easier to tell your kids character matters. It matters. Telling the truth matters. Being a good person matters." Watch it

  • And the author of Bloom County (my all time favorite) is right there with me

  • Ok, now I feel like I'm score-boarding. 

  • Of everything crazy over the last four years, nothing sums it up better than, as the election was being called, Rudy Giuliani standing in the parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping which is situated next to Fantasy Island Adult Books and Novelties and across the street from the Delaware Valley Cremation Center. Here's the link for best summary I've found of what happened, but there is no way I'm believing the Trump Campaign's explanation of "We meant to do that all along." 

  • You can get Four Seasons Total Landscaping merchandise here or Zoom backgrounds here.

  • If you think the election was "stolen", just look at that press conference photo again. That's his legal team leading the charge.  Oh, and this Texas legislator wanted to join in:

  • If you think Trump's silly claim that the election was stolen sounds familiar, you're right. It's in his playbook of deceit. 

  • I'm officially making a retraction. This man no longer holds Nemeses Status. 

  • When Trump was announced the winner in 2016, Obama invited him to the White House. It's the way things ought to be. 

  • If you haven't seen Copeland's moment of being possessed, you need to.

  • I think I'm the only one amazed of the video presentation by drones after Biden's speech on Saturday. Watch. On another note, those things are going to kill us all one day just like an episode of Black Mirror.

  • In case you missed it, this guy, Rep. Matt Gaetz, had to announce that he contracted COVID

  • Cancer is so frightening. A person can fight if for months and look like they are doing well, and then, within a matter of two weeks, it just overcomes them with a vengeance. Of all of the Alex Trebek tributes, my favorite is this clip and especially the part of his reaction. 

  • I'm a big fan of Texas criminal justice policy wonk Scott Henson and was aware that he hadn't done many blog posts over the last few months, but I didn't know this. 

  • With everything going on so much news got buried, the story of this Fort Worth couple needs to be told. Fox 4 had photos of the wreckage.  He has ties to Weatherford College and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

  • There are 21 death notices in the Update