Random Friday Morning Thoughts

The last day of the regular season in 2011. The Rangers would end up facing those same Cardinals in the World Series where they would end up "one strike away." Twice.   

  • We have a new Texas House redistricting map released. Oh, my!  I thought we would go to David Spiller's 68th but we've almost got our own in the 64th. Once again, stay with me here. 

    • So the question is, who will control it? Denton voters or Wise County voters?
    • Below is what the 64th used to look like and for which data is readily available. It was all in Denton County. The new map cuts out a lot of that Denton County population that had been in it.   So how many voters will it have out of Denton now? And did redistricting cut out Denton Republicans or Denton Democrats? The less Denton voters, and the more Democratic they are, the more that helps the Wise County GOP power.   It looks like the old district, as it was then constructed, had 88,000 voters with 48,000 voting Republican. For comparison, Wise County had 32,000 voters in that last election.

      Old lines of the 64th which were all in Denton County

    • Here's my "Graphics Department - Political Division" attempt to compare the new parts of Denton County (which joins us) with the old lines of the district in Denton County. I think the new district lines follow Loop 288 around Denton.  (My red line tries to track the new boundary.) Corinth is cut out. Lake Dallas is cut out. The retirement community of Robson Ranch is cut out. A ton of the population is cut out. If I'm right, the universities and inner Denton, which probably votes heavily Democratic, go with us. I think the new map gives Wise County Republicans enormous power in picking the GOP nominee (and eventual winner). 
      Old District / New portion in Denton County

    • Edit: The Denton Record Chronicle kindly did this morning what I just tried to do. New lines on left. Old lines on right. 

    • And this lady (who is a Democrat who ran against Beth Van Duyne for Congress) agrees that the new district lines will make the remaining Denton County voters irrelevant:

    • This number-crunching guy and this guy put our new district as 60.2% Republican  - which means Denton's part of the newly drawn district is indeed filled with Dirty Libs. (By the way, they also say David Spiller's district is the very most conservative in the entire state at 85.6%.)
    • So why did I spend so much time on this?: If any Wise County Republicans ever wanted to be a state rep, now's the time to try. It is the first time in history you can win. Heck, the last Wise Countian standing will win. 
  • Just hit the news wires:

  • Also just breaking. (That's not going to help with trying get a huge infrastructure spending bill passed today.)  

  • This sanction was because of hiding evidence during the discovery phase of the lawsuit against him. You have to be really, really bad to get hammered in this way by a judge.  Now the jury just gets to fill in a blank after a dollar sign. But he deserves every bad thing that can happen to him. 

  • Mavericks fans have no freedom!

  • I've never heard of this guy, but the story says he is known as the "Hips Whisperer."

  • I've noticed this on my Twitter timeline on multiple occasions lately and saw it again last night. If Delkus posts something that begins with "Severe Thunderstorm Warning . . . " then the Fox 4 weather guy immediately tweets the same thing. Notice how the wording is the same including the spacing of "8:15pm". It would be easy to have it automated by Fox 4's IT guys to instantaneously copy Delkus tweets that begin with certain key words and add "Stay tuned to FOX4" after it.  Heck, I could program that. 

  • Per the Washington Post this morning, there is a new drug for treating COVID on the horizon.  But unless it is safe for horses, some people won't use it. 

  • Very, very legal nerd stuff: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeal released one of the dumbest opinions I have ever read on Wednesday. Feel free to skip this and not stay with me here. 
    • The State charged someone with first time DWI but added the language that the guy had a blood-alcohol concentration greater than 0.15 to make it a Class A misdemeanor (up to a year in jail) instead of a the typical Class B misdemeanor for a DWI charge (up to 180 days in jail.) So far, so good. 
    • But at trial, the State started it, as required, by reading the charge, but they didn't read the 0.15 language, the defendant didn't enter a plea to the 0.15 allegation, and the jury was ultimately only asked if he guilty of DWI with no reference to whether his BAC was 0.15. or more.
    • So the jury found him guilty of the Class B misdemeanor -- the only thing that was asked of them. 
    • But when it came time for the judge to assess punishment, the prosecutor asked the judge to find that his alcohol concentration of 0.15 to be true beyond a reasonable doubt, the judge did, and found him guilty, and punished him, with a Class A misdemeanor! Say what?!
    • Held: Defendant should have objected to the charge to the jury that didn't ask about the 0.15 part of the charge (What??!!!!!!) , and it was harmless error that the judge found the 0.15 allegation to be true although the defendant had an absolute constitutional right to have the jury determine that issue. Good lord. 
    • The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals might has well have "A Division of Every Local District Attorney's Office" on its door. 
  • 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: 821 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold.  (Once again, I can only get a thumbnail.  Hey, Messenger IT guys! This is what I'm seeing. I am 100% logged in, but I can't get paper access nor can I access online stories behind the paywall.)