Random Friday Morning Thoughts

Rick Perry was going hard after Mitt Romney as we were a year out from the election. It would be a couple of weeks later when Perry will have his infamous "oops" debate moment.   

  • That's simply awful: Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of Rust in New Mexico and it killed a film crew member, Halyna Hutchins, 42. The only other time I remember this happening was with Brandon Lee in 1993.

    • Thank God we don't have a certain president with a Twitter account who almost certainly would say something cringe-worthy offensive this morning. 
  • The cause of death of a UT linebacker was released yesterday.

    • A Texas lawmaker was able to somehow blame brown people. 

    • And to be clear, the quoted portion was from the Ehlinger family attorney. To call it "prescription anti-anxiety medication" is a little misleading.  That simply means that Xanax -- the unlaced kind -- can be obtained via a prescription. 
  • So the official cause of death of these three people found dead after hiking was revealed yesterday to be "hyperthermia and probable dehydration." And we are supposed to believe that's what killed all three of them and their dog? I suppose that's possible, but it is weird. They were found last August on the Hite Cove Trail in California. 
    Picture from an earlier date. 

    • But I will admit the most dehydrated I ever got -- to the point of being very concerned -- was a simple five mile flat hike in Palo Duro Canyon about 10 years ago. It caught me me completely off guard. And this was in the middle of my half marathon days when I was in very good shape. I still don't know what happened, but when your body needs water it really needs water. 
  • The Supreme Court denied a stay of execution last night in a case where, get this, the guy missed the deadline of choosing how he wanted to die. The State wanted to kill him in an alternative way. Good lord. 

    • I feel this in my bones:

  • This is really a screwed up process with this Steven Bannon subpoena situation.
    • With a normal subpoena issued in a court case, someone like Bannon files a Motion to Quash the subpoena. The court then holds a hearing to determine if there is any basis for the subpoena to be declared invalid (here, the Executive Privilege claim), and the whole matter is summarily dealt with. Simple and sweet. 
    • But here, the process is (1) Have the full House vote to pursue criminal contempt, (2) The Attorney General then decides if he wants to file a criminal case, (3) he gets an indictment if he does, (4) Bannon gets to argue the actual defense of a "good faith basis" (his Executive Privilege argument) to the criminal charge, and (5) he's either convicted or not. That will take forever.  And even then whether there actually is an Executive Privilege in this situation has not been decided -- just whether he had a good faith basis to believe it. 

    • As to the merits, I despise Steve Bannon but he probably has a "good faith basis" when he's hired a lawyer who tells him he has a good faith basis. And the lawyer's argument of Executive Privilege is far-fetched, but doesn't fall in the category of ridiculous. 
  • This is so legally nerdy that you have to be in the business to appreciate just how bizarre it is: The Dallas Court of Appeals just had to reverse a case because at trial the defense lawyer, prosecutor, and the judge all believed someone who is convicted of a basic State Jail Felony is not eligible for probation. Incredible. 
  • I ignored the first video I saw of this teacher doing an "Indian dance" in class because I figured there had to be an explanation. Now there's another one. She's a mess. Story.

  • Here's a random silly felony criminal case I saw out of Houston yesterday. Yep, a prosecutor managed to get an indictment from a grand jury for assault by bananas. It was later dismissed because the prosecutor magically decided he couldn't prove that being hit with bananas caused pain -- a necessary element. That's probably something he needed to think about beforehand. Put it on my tombstone: "Too many cops. Too many prosecutors." 

  • And another. My continuing bullet point of people-getting-rich-in-the-warehouse-industry.

  • What you saw in the Mavericks game last night is exactly what you are about to get. That was no fluke. 
  • 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: 842 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold