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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

Ten years ago the Tea Party was a big player (and still is, I suppose, since the Republican Party seems to have morphed into the Tea Party.) And ten years later, JPs still can't issue search warrants for blood. The reference to "Wise County ties" refers to a local prosecutor testifying in favor of the bill in Austin.   

  • According to today's Messenger, the Bridgeport High School principal has called it quits because of an "offensive comment" made during a "meeting", but for some reason she won't disclose what it was. If it is that big of deal, tell us. We need to know. 

  • Breaking: Allen West just resigned as Texas GOP Chairman. 
  • All lanes of LBJ freeway in Dallas were shut down this morning because of a wreck involving a police car and a Maserati. What was the Edgewood police officer doing there some 60 miles away from that town? He's "working off duty" but using an Edgewood police car?

  • George P. Bush campaign giveaways demonstrate he is kneeling hard at the Alter of Trump. Enlarge here.

  • So it's not a good idea to give a Black employee an award during a Christmas party for being the “Least likely to be seen in the dark”? Yep, that's what happened.

  • Under the new Texas budget, Game Wardens with only 4 years of experience are getting a 12% raise to a salary of $73,000.
  • Here are salaries for DPS troopers: 

  • Legal nerd stuff with Wise County relevance: Yesterday evening, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals affirmed a local drug conviction. The entire appeal was based on whether a Wise County Sheriff's Deputy had the right to "frisk" the defendant who was simply detained -- a right which is dependent upon whether the deputy feared for his safety. During the frisk, the deputy found the dope, so if the frisk was illegal because he didn't fear for his safety, the dope couldn't be used against the defendant. Deputy Chad Lanier, this is your big day since the court ruled on your side. (For legal practitioners in the area, it's a good summary on "stop and frisk" law from our local appellate court -- a legal subject which I know for a fact has been pounded into the heads of local officers by a particular Wise County prosecutor.)
    • Very legal nerd stuff and kind of interesting: The appellate court, on its own, noticed that the judgement said that the enhancement paragraph were "Not True." Without a written finding of "True" by the trial judge, the defendant's sentence of 40 years would be illegal. However, the appellate court, again, on its own, just hauled off and changed it to "True" (page 29) even though the Reporter's Record of the proceedings did not reveal what the defendant's plea was to the enhancement allegations (footnote 14 at page 10.)  
  • Come again? He has videos on YouTube, you say? 

  • Random sinkhole in Mexico.

  • Hot sports opinion: The College World Series of softball began yesterday, and it is easily a Top Five sporting event of the year. The double elimination format needs to be used in pro sports. (And unranked James Madison beating #1 OU was as good as any MLB game you'll see all year.) Current bracket.
  • It's the birthday of the Mayor of Decatur -- something I've always remembered because it's on 6/4 and he is 6'4" tall. 
  • 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: 700 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

 This case was out of Oklahoma and was quite the scandal because it also involved a judge and an affair with an assistant DA.  But, after a hung jury, she finally ended up with a plea agreement of only one year deferred adjudication probation. The whole mess is pretty well summarized here in a story five years later.   And the term "boss" in the headline meant "court administrator" (which is actually a pretty accurate term for any court administrator.)

  •  We've got the identification I complained about yesterday. In an updated story from the Morning News, the only person not yet identified allegedly yelled, "Give me my boy. Give me that boy."
    Excerpt from GoFundMe page

  • I failed to mention that this lady from the bullet point yesterday worked in Decatur on the courthouse square for about a year a while back.  Irrelevant side note: I was told she was Star Wars obsessed. I mean, really obsessed. As in had a Star Wars themed wedding obsessed.

  • I don't know what is more surprising. That employees just let the guy freely take the bike out for a "test ride" or that bikes that cost $6,300 exist in you local sports store. In case you want to run out and buy one, it's a "Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 129."

  • It's not the easy is it, buddy? It lasted 29 days. 

  • I keep hearing about an incident at the Jacksboro Country Club involving a Wise County elected official. 
  • The weaponization of drones.

  • Oops, I forgot one:

  • Paxton is as corrupt as the day is long, but I don't know if a grifter off a family name can take him down. Yesterday, George P touted that he was the only Bush family member to support Trump. You might remember Trump crucified his father in the Republican primaries. 

  • For years, I've dogged Garth Brooks for his fake and over-the-top reaction to the crowds which have come to see him. You know, the wild eyed false look of astonishment as he pretends he didn't expect his audience to be full.  Well, this weekend you'll get to see it on full display as he will be honored by the Kennedy Center in a ceremony -- an event which is historically littered with a ton of clips of the honoree watching other artists perform his or her songs.   This weekend's broadcast has already been recorded and produced, and we have proof that Garth will be prime form from someone who got to witness the filming:

  • Shot.

  • Nate Paul, in the headline below, is the guy behind the story which will ultimately bring down Ken Paxton on "bribery and abuse-of-office allegations."  Here's a great (and pretty wild) profile about him. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

This was crazy conduct out of administrators at Brownsville ISD: All the boys did was to write on windows with shoe polish and toilet paper some trees, yet they were arrested for criminal trespass because, you know, "Zero Tolerance." Although the arrests were ridiculed in the press, I can't find out what happened with the cases. I suspect the prosecutor declined prosecution, but I don't know for sure. 

  • I couldn't even find anything on the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's page either (which is normally the place to find out info if the cops go all tight lipped).

  • If things go as planned, Wise County will have its first jury trial next week -- the first since March of last year.
  • I've been watching the Tarrant County jury criminal trial page, and it is kind of strange. It looks like the misdemeanor County Criminal Court #1 has been in business for the past four weeks, but the rest of them have been quiet. 
  • Gov. Abbott announced plans to force undocumented kids to become homeless, and Ticket host Bob Sturm went after him from the top rope. 

  • Speaking of hot opinions, her text is here

  • A wild case out of Waco came to a sudden end a couple of days ago. One thing about criminal cases: Once a defendant dies, it's completely over. 

  • Those two females from the last two bullet points look alike, don't they?
  • Smith County, Texas has over 200,000 people, but their Elections Administrator must be 12 years old
  • If you haven't seen the California teenager pushing a bear away from her yappy, moron dogs, here ya go

  • Best quote I've seen about all the voter restriction laws: "Some people don't want some people to vote."
  • The Rangers PR department might need a little help in the "What's current?" department. (A funny reply on Twitter asked, "When is Three's Company night?") 

  • There was an arrest last night by Rhome PD for DWI-Accident-Serious Bodily Injury. 
  • I've lauded the 10+ hour documentary, The Staircase, before. From a criminal defense standpoint, I thought it was absolutely fantastic.  Now HBOMax will release a docudrama about the case. It's lineup sounds good so far: Colin Firth, Toni Collette. and, just announced yesterday, Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark from the aforementioned Game of Thrones.)  Fun fact: The scene of the crime(?) -- the home in Durham, NC -- went up for sale for $1.7 million last year.

  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

Weiner-gate was 10 years ago. He would resign from Congress in less than 30 days.  I had forgotten that the incriminating photos were sent through his public Twitter account -- it wasn't even a DM -- to some 21 year old who just happened to be following that account.    Weiner stayed in the public view afterwards even running for the Mayor of New York a couple of times. The best I can tell, he's been out of the news since 2016. 

  •  Overnight: We have another situation identical to the Arlington triple death case from last week (that everyone has already forgotten about.) It sounds like a murder-suicide at an apartment complex on the west side for Fort Worth around loop 820 and I-30.

  • A lot of Republicans in Texas are blaming House Speaker Dade Phelan for conspiring with Democrats to allow them to run out the clock on the legislative session on Sunday.

  • I'll be honest, when I see headlines like this I feel completely like an old man.

  • This was a weird headline from the Morning News. That was a QAnon themed convention which had already been kicked out of one venue, and where Michael Flynn (pictured) called for an armed insurrection against the U.S. 

  • Any chance that's a Dunkin' Donuts ad disguised as a segment this morning? I'd put the odds at 100%

  • Here's a video of a guy running onto the court at an NBA game last night. Nice tackle by the guy who is circled.

  • I missed the mugshot of the lady-who-got-in-the-monkey-exhibit-to-feed-them-hot-Cheetos.

  • Rep. Matt Gaetz and others got duped into retweeting a picture of Lee Harvey Oswald yesterday. He deleted it. 

  • Kept seeing this headline everywhere this morning. I'm not sure what the big deal is. Every night his show was a Trump commercial.

  • I installed a Wi-Fi thermostat and (1) I amazingly didn't screw it up, and (2) it may be the greatest invention ever. To control your a/c remotely is hard for me to get my head around.  Honeywell for $69.00.

  • I'm reading this book on the history of the Texas Rangers. Big two thumbs up. 

  • I'm now 200 pages into Lonesome Dove as well. Let me tell you one thing: Larry McMurtry writes at a pace where he presumes you've got nothing else to do for the rest of your life. It's not bad book and I enjoy it, but, for the sake of all things holy, just get on with it! 
  • Around midnight, Lake Bridgeport became officially full