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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Texas Hospitalizations: Steady.

  • COVID has crushed football for this weekend. Texas vs. Kansas State is off. Oklahoma vs. West Virginia has been cancelled. And Baylor/Oklahoma State is on the brink. At least five high school bi-district football games have been forfeited. 
  • Medical Examiner Controversy Alert: At the request of prosecutors in Tarrant County, they are going to have to dig up a body in Tarrant County because they believe a bullet is still in a victim's body that the coroner overlooked. This seems like a really big deal. 

  • The federal government was in the business of death last night as it executed a man. The Supreme Court denied a last minute stay, with three members dissenting. I'm glad Sotomayor dissented but I don't like the way she worded it. It kind of sounds like, "We should at least listen to him before we kill him." 

  • Texas Republican infighting over the Drew Springer and Shelly Luther SD30 race is crazy.  Now Allen West is mad about this mailer from Luther. It'll be interesting to see if Luther, funded almost exclusively by far right wing West Texas oil money, pulls this off. 
  • Yesterday, 106 members of Congress signed off on Ken Paxton's pandering for a pardon lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court in his effort to overthrow democracy. That's the equivalent of signing the Southern Manifesto back in the day.  There were only 12 Texans willing to go along with it but they include: Michael Burgess, Dan Crenshaw, Louie Gohmert,  Kenny Marchant, Roger Williams, and Ron Wright.  

  • Some Texas Republicans have not lost their minds:

  • Prediction: The Supreme Court kills Paxton's lawsuit today. That will make it 56 court cases lost. It's all a farce. A dangerous farce, but just a farce. 
  • Another prediction but one which doesn't involve the fate of Democracy: A cold front comes through today. My charts tell me that at 2:50 p.m. in Decatur,  you'll notice the winds begin to blow from the north. It's nothing dramatic, but temperatures will then drop 10 degrees by 6:00 p.m. From the most trusted source in weather, me, bet on it. 
  • It's a weird world when you think about it. The government is going to take away money from a homeless man for killing a wild turkey. (In addition to a fine, the game warden will also seek "restitution" for the value of the turkey which also goes directly to the government.) You think the founding fathers would understand all of that?

  • ESPN has stolen the SEC away from CBS in a 10 year deal estimated to be $300 million a year.  But the players, which will all be predominantly black and from the South, won't be paid. 

  • If this is the best shot the cameraman could find, that project seems to be off to a slow start this year.  And, besides, I don't even see a single tot in there. 

  • A 13th person has now died in the Tarrant County Jail this year.  Sheriff Bill Waybourn does not know how to run a jail, but no one seems to care. 
  • Incredibly nerdy legal stuff that (truly) only I care about: Yesterday, there was a very rare en banc opinion out of Houston's 14th court of appeals which affirmed, in a crazy 4-1-4 breakdown, the trial court throwing out cell phone evidence because the search warrant affidavit did not establish probable cause. 
  • Time which has passed since the Wise County Sheriff's Office has failed to solve the murder of Lauren Whitener in her home at Lake Bridgeport: 525 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold
I think we've got a Blink 182 fan who wrote that COVID headline


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Texas hospitalizations: Slight uptick again. (But we also had 273 deaths in Texas logged yesterday.)

  • And the national numbers, including hospitalizations, are crazy.  At least the Pfizer vaccine gets approved today. 

  • Oh, my. 

  • Translated: "Even though I've been a complete Trump suck-up, the lawsuit is stupid and even I'm embarrassed for Texas."

  • Ken Paxton's attempt to overthrow the election, and the fact that 18 other state attorneys general joined in, is mind-boggling.  If you think the United States survives for another 50 years, you are out of of your mind. We are more than ripe for coup and a third of the population would readily support it right now if they could get away with it. (Can you imagine if 19 Democratic states had agreed to sue Texas to have Al Gore awarded our electors?)

  • But while contemplating the demise of the U.S., at least I saw this at the Decatur Visitor's Center. The shadow effect is what got my attention. I like it. 

  • If you think there could ever be Zoom criminal trials, think again. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a case yesterday where a nurse testified by video. 
  • I wonder if we have any Wise County officials or law enforcement officers who are members of "Oath Keepers." Here's a story of how it is true in Hood County.

  • Federal district court judges have too much time on their hands if they can start a legal opinion with this wind-up:

  • Gov. Abbott is now sending in state troopers to Houston to help with road rage.  I keep telling you, those boys in DPS didn't sign up for deployments as if they are in some kind of special forces. 
  • Random property hearing in Wise County JP#2 today over the ownership of some big boots and shoes:

  • Random Fox and Friends screenshot from this morning: She's such a good American that she has an American Flag in her kitchen.

  • A beloved turkey from Argyle makes front page news after he was killed by a motorist. He might have hit the bird with his car before he wrung its neck -- we don't know. But rest easy because at least two investigators from the Argyle police department (who conducted "multiple interviews" and "obtain video footage") are on the case which is also be investigated by at least one game warden. The incident even got a press release from Argyle PD.  Raise your hand if you've eaten a turkey in the last 14 days.


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Texas Hospitalizations: Back over 9,000.

  • The Wise County dashboard had its weekly COVID update yesterday. This, if accurate, would be a record: 

  • I told you the Supreme Court wouldn't sniff any of those silly election challenge lawsuits, and yesterday it summarily killed Trump's major case challenge in a unanimous one line Order. Then again, maybe it's just because the Court, with three Trump appointees, is actually part of the Deep State. 
    Those trying to overturn an election
    are very bad at their jobs. 

  • Prediction: Ken Paxton's dumb lawsuit filed directly in the Supreme Court yesterday will suffer the same fate very quickly. The states who were sued have until 3:00 p.m. today tomorrow to respond, so it won't be before then. But Trump remains delusional this morning: 

  • So what happens when the next Trump shows up but in a more-polished and charismatic package? 
  • Bits aren't always fun. "HARTFORD, Conn — A text message sent to 19 co-workers, involving a bet on where Hartford's first homicide in 2021 would be, has a Hartford Police detective in very hot water." But I'll give him credit for coming up with some well thought out rules to avoid ties or controversies. Well, at least some controversies. 

  • Dez Bryant was diagnosed with COVID minutes before kick-off last night. Uh . . . 

  • I'm no linebacker expert, but everyone seems to be rightfully dogging Jaylon Smith for being just gawd-awful this year (and last.)  Every remember that press conference during training camp just two years ago when the Cowboys hit him over the head with a big bag of money?:

  • Excuse me while my Civil Liberties Warning System goes berserk: In an effort to stop prostitution, the Dallas city council is considering a "no-cruising" ordinance which would make it a crime to drive on certain city streets if you do it three times or more. That's it. Just drive on a public street.

  • We've got confirmation of a bullet point from yesterday regarding political ads in the Peach State:

  • A random Fifth Circuit opinion yesterday demonstrated that the Court quotes Dr. Seuss when it gets angry. 

  • I don't know how this works, but I'm all for it. 

  • Random Robert Jeffress timeline review: (1) Bible tells us not to love money, but (2) Send me $1.2 million. 

  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts


  • Texas hospitalizations - a tick up from yesterday. 

  • Alvord ISD is opening up its bank account.

  • Here's the first person in the world to get the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine (outside of those in the test group.) That's Margaret Keenan, 90, getting the injection in England a few hours ago.

  • I'm confused as to how the Law and Order crowd are now defending an anti-lockdown guy after he drove into a deputy. 

  • Oh, come on. (But to think the social media person up at the Wichita Falls didn't get a single comment in response to this headline.)

  • Trump is catching grief for walking out of the Oval Office and leaving a new Medal of Freedom recipient awkwardly addressing the crowd. (Video.) I don't think that's his fault. There should have been a staff member immediately say, "Thanks everyone. Guests, please make your way to [x room] for refreshments. Media, please exit through [certain door.]" (I actually saw that exact scene happen on House of Cards the other day.)

  • This is real. There's even a trailer for it. "Mario Lopez as Colonel Sanders." I don't know how much KFC paid to pull this off, but it's a great advertising bit. 

  • Ted Cruz knows the Supreme Court isn't going to sniff any case coming out of Pennsylvania or anywhere else. The election lawsuits were trash, and he's perfectly aware of that. This stunt is no different than KFC doing a bit on Lifetime. Look at me! Look at me! And so much for being a State's rights guy.  (Edit: I just noticed that the Texas AG did something nuttier this morning.)

  • Hey, more power to them. But who would have ever thought that a residential lot would cost twice as much as the Louisiana Purchase?  Here's the Google Maps link to the island which is a stone's throw from Miami Beach.  Here's the real estate listing for "Lot 4."

  • Second Amendment Alert! 
    • I've got lots of questions over this story by Dave "The Watchdog" Lieber in last weekend's Dallas Morning News. It's about a guy from Aledo who brandished a weapon in the back of a truck during the Parker County marches this summer. 

    • The story says he was charged with a misdemeanor offense after-the-fact because of it. Really? Was his conduct any different than the run-of-the-mill "open carry" guy? And the charge arose out of a complaint that some lady sent in from Ohio. The cops on the scene didn't even say a word to him at the time. You kidding me?  
    • Wouldn't the Second Amendment boys in Parker County (and across the nation for that matter) go nuts over this? Wouldn't the office of the prosecutor, Parker County Attorney John Forrest, be flooded with phone calls? Why haven't we heard about of this? 
    • But the article is crappy.  It doesn't even call into question the legality of the charge. And we don't get to learn of the status of the criminal case. 
    • So I searched the Parker County's county criminal records are online. Curiously, he actually was arrested for the alleged offense, but I don't see a criminal case against him. (If it got filed in Weatherford Municipal court instead of a JP court, it wouldn't show up online. It could have been filed in either court.) Edit: I'm wrong about that. It would have to be filed in the County Court at Law since it is a Class B. See Penal Code 42.01(a)(8) and 42.01(d). Thus, it has not been filed according to online records.

    • The article didn't even mention what he thought about the arrest or whether he is fighting the charge. Did I mention the article was crappy? 
    • Legal nerd note: To those curious as to whether it is actually crime, the statute technically says it is against the law if you "intentionally and knowingly, in a manner calculated to alarm, display a firearm in a public place." Your guess as to what that means is as good as mine. Texas highest criminal court actually had to deal with that issue involving that part of the statute in 2019.
  • Sheesh. Mugshots as Christmas ornaments. 

  • Remember how beaten down we were from all the political TV ads a month ago? Well, can you imagine what it is like in Georgia right now with the control of the U.S. Senate hanging in the balance? TV ad spending already has hit $280 million and should reach a half billion by election day. Those poor TV watchers.