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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • It is time. 
  • Over the last few weeks I have, half-jokingly, upgraded Wise County's DEFCON level in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. I make no such light-hearted remarks today. I do not consider myself to be an alarmist. If anything, I'm much too slow to act by nature. But I now believe -- no, I know -- we are watching a disaster unfold in this place we love and call home.  
  • We are now at DEFCON 1 in Wise County.
  • Over the last three weeks, you all have a friend or a relative who has contracted the disease. It can kill. It has killed. And it will kill again.  I realize I bring no credentials to the table, and no one has selected me to be a county spokesman. But I have a bullhorn and with that bullhorn I make an appeal to you for the greater good.  It is an appeal to those who care about the place that we call home, who care about their friends, their family, and strangers. But it is also a desperate appeal to those who don't seem to care at all.
  • We've all heard it: "If I get it, I get it. I've got to live my life." Can I stop you right there for a second?   The disease is not about you because it does not stop with you.  Judge Melton Cude  is clinging to life because someone gave him the virus. It took a ride on that someone and then looked for other carriers and victims at the quickest and earliest opportunity -- duplicating itself silently and in the blink of an eye with horrifying success.  It found him. And the next person it finds, and it is finding someone at this very moment, may or may not be you, but it will most certainly be someone who is loved by others. And it might, just might, go through you to get there.
  • Wise County is more susceptible to spreading the disease than others.  Even in large communities where the virus has actively spread, people have their work circle and then their social circle, but those circles do not interact. Not here. We go to work with one another and then go socialize with one another. The two groups intersect everywhere and anywhere and at all times. It is a perfect storm for the spread of the virus. We remained virtually unscathed in the first wave in the spring and the second wave in the summer. Not now. It is everywhere, and it is on the move. From schools, to the courthouse, to a car dealership, and everywhere in between -- we are in a state of emergency. 
  • I received the following message earlier this week, and I cannot stop thinking about it. The individual took issue with my disdain for those who I had seen not wear a mask in Brookshires. I'll just leave it here: "I don’t consistently wear my mask but I promise I will when we see society as concerned about other issues that claim more lives than Covid has or will. DUI, tobacco, abortion, domestic violence, the list can go on forever." 
  • My appeal ends with a very uncharacteristic harsh plea from me. It is time for the bullshit attitudes to stop. Put on a mask. Take precautions. Treat yourself as an active carrier. 
  • <Deep breath. A cautious, frightening deep breath.>
  • From the local hospital: 

  • Brian Hand out of Chico reached out to me yesterday with his own personal experience. It's moving and carries with it an admission we should all be willing to make: "I was wrong."

  • Texas hospitalizations: +24. A misleading number for what we are about to see. 

  • Tarrant County hospitalization numbers which are more applicable: 

  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts


  • Texas Hospitalizations: +117.

  • I'm going to address an elephant in the room: It is no secret that Wise County Judge Melton Cude is in the hospital because of COVID and is in pretty bad shape. The news has rocked us all pretty hard. The judge has been a fixture of honest and integrity in the courthouse for over 30 years, and I'm proud to call him my friend. Heck, he might be my most Faithful Reader of all.  Whether it be prayers or simply a good thought towards him and his family, he deserves it today. 
  • Of all the words and charts and debate about COVID that have been expended over 2020, they all mean nothing when you face the cold hard reality that this virus has the power to kill you. And it doesn't care who you are. 
  • But, go ahead, by all means, endanger others by not wearing a mask. If you think they don't do any good, I simply believe you're making a judgment you are probably not qualified to make. Why note err on the side of caution?  But if you aren't wearing a mask because you want to make some petty political statement because you need some sense of self-worth, I'm dumbfounded and horrified and a little more than pissed off right now. 
  • Tarrant County set a record in new cases and hospitalizations yesterday, and Mayor Betsy Price and her husband have contracted the disease.  Cook's Children's Hospital announced it had 20 COVID patients -- its highest number ever. 

  • It's not going to get any better through the end of the year. The new Time cover:

  • Rudy's legal filing in Pennsylvania to try and "fix" their allegations did not go well yesterday.
    • Why had they dropped some of the earlier claims from their Petition? Uh, they have an explanation . . . .

    • We know you love the Second Amendment, but it doesn't have anything to do with this case, Rudy. 

    • Never -- and I mean never -- submit a proposed Order with the judge's signature already affixed. 

  • If you want to go down a rabbit hole, research attorney L. Lin Wood Jr. and how he gets involved in every high profile case in America.  Examples include Richard Jewell, JonBenet Ramsey, Nicholas Sandmann (the kid who smirked at the native American), and Kyle Rittenhouse (the kid who killed two people during a protest in Wisconsin.)  I'm not sure why he is the actual plaintiff in this silly election challenge in Georgia, and it looks like the federal judge might want to know the same thing as well. 

  • Not the "easy way?" She was literally given her Senate seat by appointment and then lost in the next election. 

  • I don't know anything about Florida A&M University, but they now have the coolest mascot statue in the nation. 

  • In discussing the fired superintendent of Lancaster ISD suing for $2 million after he was let go early into his five year contract, the Musers on The Ticket got it horribly wrong this morning.  They got way off base by calling it a "golden parachute" and that the payout must have been  written into his contract.   This is completely wrong. All he is suing for is what he would have been paid on his contract had he not been fired  - something the school board even put in writing when they let him go. (It's the same thing with South Carolina coach Lane Kiffen Muschamp this week who was fired and will received $13.2 million which is the balance left of his contract.)  It's not a "golden parachute" at all. You just get the balance of your contract if the other side breaches the contract by firing you.  (Lancaster ISD is now backtracking because they found out that the State penalizes a school district by withholding funds when they fire a superintendent with more than a year left on their contract.)  
  • If I write about criminal law, I'm 100% confident in what I say. The above bullet point did not deal with criminal law. 
  • It may feel like it sometimes, but DPS "Troopers" are not DPS "Troops." You shouldn't just "send 'em in" when you want.  No word on whether they'll bring in their gun boats currently on the Rio Grande. 

  • Oh, my! The Star-Telegram has a great story on how Ellis County is treating an African-American constable.  His now shares a room with two deputies in the basement of the courthouse and has to walk by a particular old sign to get there. 

  • Countdown: Within the past couple of days, TxDOT repaired the guardrail at the exit of westbound 380 to to northbound 287 in Decatur.  Because the exit is so horribly designed, it has been knocked down literally dozens of times. I predict it will be destroyed within two weeks and that's a pretty easy prediction to make. 

  • If you're a judge, you probably shouldn't refer to a black female juror who has just voted to acquit a defendant, as "Aunt Jemima," or speculate that her “baby daddy” was probably “slinging heroin himself.” (It's in Pennsylvania.)


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts


  • Texas Hospitalizations: +373.   

  • Closer to home, Wise County has a record 27 people in the hospital. And we aren't alone in setting records. Our neighbors are right there with us: 

  • More on Wise County:  The state dashboard says we have an "active case" count at 97 but that is probably a ridiculous undercount. It also shows only 11 deaths which I know is incorrect. Meanwhile, four Bridgeport police officers have contracted the COVID. I have a friend in the hospital. 
  • When the Cowboys play at Minnesota this weekend, the Vikings won't allow any fans. Meanwhile . . .  

  • Shot from Decatur's volleyball win last night in Aledo: 

  • Hey, I was exactly right about comparing the COVID vaccine competition to Something About Mary's scene about the "7 minute abs." First, Pfizer came out and said its vaccine was 90% effective. Then Moderna came out on Monday and said it has a vaccine that is 94.5% effective. So guess what the breaking news is this morning?: 

  • I can't believe Rudy Giuliani showed up to argue in a Pennsylvania federal court yesterday. It was, as could be expected, a disaster.  The judge is expected to throw the silly challenge out on Friday.
    • When the judge wanted to know whether Rudy's constitutional challenge should be reviewed under the "strict scrutiny" test or the "rational basis" test (without using those words because it is Constitutional Law 101 and it shouldn't have to be explained in federal court), here was Rudy's answer:

    • This is some serious legal nerd comedy:

    • Fox News' Sean Hannity said last night that he heard Rudy Giuliani was “absolutely brilliant in his arguments today.” This is getting sadder and sadder. (Watch.)

    • If you were delusional enough to contribute to the Trump Campaign you get the satisfaction of knowing your money is going to pay Rudy $20,000 a day.  There is no angle where they won't work a con. 

  • Remember the Boeing 737 which has been grounded for 20 months after it fell out of the sky twice -- one time killing 189 in Indonesia and another time  killing 157 in Ethiopia? The FAA will officially "unground" it today. 

  • Random close election result in Wise County: Ken Kilpatrick won over Janice Sivley for a Runaway Bay council seat, 281 to 280.  Now that's close. What are the odds that she has a very close friend who didn't take the time to vote and now has to keep that a secret from her forever? (Last January, Sivley was level-headed enough not to vote for a silly and needless Second Amendment resolution, and I'm guessing that also probably cost her at least one vote.)
  • I don't know how Texas AG Ken Paxton survives this latest scandal.  He released a statement yesterday to defend himself but in the second sentence he went off the rails and bragged about child support collection by the Texas AG's office. That might be called "deflection."

  • Hold on! Hold on! Who is this guy weaseling in on my official Liberally Lean girl? 

  • This morning: When the most pathetic man in America accepts and uses the election results to argue that the those same election results can't be believed. So sad. He never was the sharpest guy in the room. 

  • The fact he won't concede would be seen as absolutely crazy and unthinkable only a handful of years ago. But then somewhere along the way America lost its mind. 
  • Messenger: Above the Fold.


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Texas hospitalizations: +194. 

  • I have concerns about what I'm hearing about the impact on one particular person at the courthouse. 
  • Here's the national "new cases" map. Remember when we freaked out in April? Also remember that the government was handing out free money back then? 

  • aTm has postponed another game this weekend. That's the seventh game overall taken off the college football scheduled for Saturday. (And it's just Tuesday.)  About four weeks ago I decided this season "doesn't count" and that belief is becoming fortified. 
  • Got quite a few comments about my hot opinion yesterday about the anti-mask crowd, but conservative Bill Kristol says it pretty eloquently this morning. If I were to have written that, I would have simply have said that "I feel a certain 'screw you' attitude coming from the guy who doesn't wear a mask in the grocery store." 

  • Trump's lawsuits challenging the election are all just a show for the audience of his most-gullible disciples. And the results will get uglier today. In the Pennsylvania lawsuit, the three Trump lawyers tried to quit very late yesterday. Two of them were allowed to and one was not. A motion for continuance for today's hearing was then denied with the judge noting the lateness of the hour and issuing a warning. 

  • That federal jury trial in Sherman that had to be put on hold last week after a lawyer and a juror got the COVID turned out to be a little worse than that: "The infected court participants include two jurors, two people from the plaintiff’s side and three on the defense side . . . "

  • Things I would risk in exchange for the chance to engage in "socializing": Nothing.  In fact, I think I've paid money in order to avoid socializing before. 

  • You Wise County folks think you are conservative? I'll show you conservative!

  • I've said this before and it makes me real nervous to even utter it, but do all of these people really need the food? And certainly those who can afford vehicles and gas money aren't the most destitute among us, right? 

  • Is this a big deal? It kind of feels like a big deal. 

  • I have questions about Ted Cruz's ability to calculate distance.  He didn't like Sherrod Brown calling out Dan Sullivan for not wearing a mask  "when nobody" was clearly within 50 feet of him. (The blonde female would like to protest this assertion.) 

  • I rarely post a picture simply because it came from the "Isn't this funny?" department, but this photo of a dog who got into an ink cartridge I saw yesterday qualifies. 

  • Sad to see the passing of former County Judge L.B. McDonald. He was a truly good guy. 
  • The soccer complex that is the subject of the story below -- which includes an 8,000 seat stadium for a "professional" soccer team -- would be at the northeast corner of Basswood and I-35 in north Fort Worth.


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Texas Hospitalizations: 7,151. We didn't get an update yesterday for some reason. 

    • A national snapshot with data for the last 14 days: 

    • We've got another outbreak it the Wise County Courthouse and this time it has hit the judicial branch. The building, and other county officers, are closed today for cleaning. All of us in the county now know of someone who had died recently from the virus. It's as bad as we've seen it. 
    • States are now beginning to shut down or impose restrictions with the most stringent edict coming from Michigan. Trump's coronavirus "advisor", in response, wants Michigan residents to "rise up" against those safety measure. I suppose he is mindful of the arrests of the men who planned to attack and kidnap Michigan's governor last month.

    • I still think Texas schools will go exclusively online after Thanksgiving if not before. 
    • I went to Brookshires in Bridgeport over the weekend when it wasn't crowded yet still saw two different couples without masks. That happened despite a clear sign out front mandating their use before heading indoors. Do those kind of people simply not care? Is it some failed political statement? Are they just dumb?
    • Breaking news this morning: On the heels of Pfizer,  Moderna claims to have a vaccine that proved to be 94.5% effective in the first round of tests. Plus, it doesn't have to be stored in super-freezing temperatures like the drug from Pfizer. 
      • Am I supposed to have heard of Moderna? 
      • Moderna using the number 94.5%, when Pfizer had said its vaccine was 90% effective, makes be think of the "seven minute abs" bit from There's Something About Mary
  • Trump is sliding off the cliff to irrelevancy in record time, but I couldn't help but notice that he announced on Friday he was putting Rudy (!) in charge of his frivolous election challenges. Putting that guy in charge is the functional equivalent of announcing "I Give Up!"

  • The only other thing I paid attention to about Trump was his hair on Friday. 

  • Here's a quick loading super-cut of Tiger putting up a 10 yesterday at the Master's.
  • The newly elected QAnon following Republican from Georgia will prove to everyone that she is, in fact, a nutcase. 

  • Those rallies for Trump in D.C. went well apparently. 

  • This impromptu Proud Boy initiation is worth your time. (As with all my links to videos, they load right away.)

  • A much different kind of group showed up in Decatur over the weekend pledging to stand with Trump until the end. They've got a stick-to-it quality you just have to admire: 
    That's the same courthouse which is shut down today. 

  • Wise County economic stimulus news

  • I actually watched this remastered clip of the original news story on Youtube this weekend and was greatly entertained.  The line of "no respectable seagull" at the end of it deserves to be in some kind of journalism hall of fame. 

  • Remember when Muschamp was the defensive coordinator at the Evil Empire and was the head-coach-in-waiting behind Mack Brown? 

  • Funniest college football clip from the weekend: Lane Kiffin throwing his clipboard in disgust as he sees a wide open receiver. (Runner-up, but not funny to some of us, Baylor's Charlie Brewer getting killed as he thought he had an easy path into the end zone. He didn't.)

  • Fun facts.

  • President Abbott? The right wingers in Texas may not let him win another term as governor.