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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

That's a little blurry, but that's the first part of a Messenger story showing total county property values had declined. Remember those days?  The total valuation in 2011 was $7.1 billion. To update the story, the valuation for 2021 is $8.7 billion. 

  • The Messenger today publishes the contents the text messages between Decatur School Board President Thomas Houchin and former Superintendent Joseph Coburn.  There's no bombshell yet, but they are still pretty juicy. Most of the gold, however, is being withheld by the school district because of what their lawyers call "highly embarrassing information."  They have sought an Attorney General's request for permission to forever withhold the information.  This is an excerpt from the School District's request to what the embarrassing information is about: 

    • Kudos to the Messenger for holding the school board accountable. That's what journalism, and not Facebook, can do. And good job on printing the actual district's AG request letter as well as the newspaper's reply letter.  Go buy a paper. 
  • COVID in Texas update:
    • The headline:

    • Governor Abbott's statement:

    • The data on "mastered" (and note that the July 28th number just came in at 5,662 and we've probably cracked 6,000 as of this morning):

  • This never works, does it?

  • Uh oh, The QAnon MyPillow guy and Fox News are fighting

  • I don't know the story behind this picture, but I love it. 

  • Prediction: No one gets indicted in the Fort Worth "stoning" case

  • Very legal nerd stuff: If you are interested in browsing appellate documents in a $6 million verdict case out of Wise County which was just affirmed on appeal, here you go
  • In looking at the criminal cases filed in the JP courts in Wise County yesterday, it looks like we've got a crime spree. 

  • A Trump appointee to the Fifth Circuit proved yesterday he watches Fox News. 

  • I still remember Mark Cuban telling The Ticket that acquiring players from other teams is difficult because "you guys don't understand the collective bargaining agreement." 

  • 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: 756 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold

It wasn't their intention, but this cover 
is advocating vaccines much more than their "no mask" battle cry.


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

Someone alert Freezing Cold Takes. 

  •  That's a pretty big brawl in broad daylight, and I'd like to know what happened between the cop and the guy before the cop delivered the beat down. 

  • Holy cow.  This kid from Southlake is an impressive prospect (I once featured him in a bullet point after his sophomore year), but if this turns out to be true, the new NIL rule by the NCAA has changed the landscape of football far more than we realized.

  • This guy pled guilty and went to the judge instead of a jury for punishment. The probated sentence seems fair -- he was stupid in his actions but no drugs or alcohol were involved and there was no criminal history. But my question is: During the sentencing hearing (once again, without a jury), who was it that positioned that photo of the victim right there? Someone in the courtroom knew it would be captured from by the News photographer and placed it where the judge would be caught in the background. I'm guessing it was a prosecutor trying to pressure a judge into a harsh sentence -- although the judge might have been oblivious to the fact the photo had even been placed there. 

  • From yesterday, I present to you a U.S. Senator:

  • I present to you a U.S. Representative:

  • It may not even make the news, but overnight the Alaskan coast had an 8.2 magnitude earthquake. It was in a remote area, but it is noteworthy because 8.2 is massive. 
  • The Big 12 accused ESPN of tampering with its contracts by trying to get another conference to poach one of its remaining teams, yet everyone can only talk about the commissioner's signature.

  • After the death of Dusty Hill of ZZ Top, I checked out how much the band were touring these days.  Answer: A ton. Here's the schedule. They might be (have been) the hardest working men in show business. 

  • Random news anniversary about an event I can't remember hearing about. 

  • The Texas Rangers have chosen not to sign fan favorite Joey Gallo and have traded him to the Yankees instead. Here are the bottom payrolls for MLB teams for the 2021 season:

  • And, seriously, Saturday night is Joey Gallo bobble-head night at the Rangers' ballpark. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

That's the picture of a bike hit by a car in Runaway Bay this week 10 years ago. The rider was a Texas Tech student who was, fascinatingly, riding from Lubbock to the metroplex. And that is all we ever learned about it. Never learned his name. Never learned his condition. 

  •  This cabin at the Wise County Reunion has raised some eyebrows.

  • One of the weirdest storms pop-up storms ever hit Lake Bridgeport yesterday afternoon. 101 degrees one moment followed by dark skies, pouring rain, and straight line winds toppling trees and throwing around carports. Then back to clear skies. Power was knocked out for six hours as Oncor repaired downed lines. 

  • Texas State Rep. Jake Ellzey on Tuesday defeated Republican Susan Wright to replace Wright’s late husband, Ron Wright, in Congress.  Trump backed Wright but Rick Perry was probably right about something for once: 

  • That's misleading. It's either get vaccinated or submit to regular testing.  

  • The reason hospital numbers are a better judge than the "new cases" numbers for tracking COVID is that the number of people being tested now as compared to last year is night and day. There are no drive-through centers to be tested if you have a hunch you might have it. Plus, I've always though hospitalizations were a better barometer. 
    • We are right at 5,000 hospitalizations in Texas and rising. Last summer's wave peaked at 11,000. The peak last January was at 14,000. I'm clueless and to what it will hit this time.
  • There should be a rule that only people who can do a cartwheel should have an opinion on this. 

  • That's pricey even for the Park Cities.

  • Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby makes close to $3 million. Why? What exactly did he do? And even if you can identify what that is, he has failed miserably at it. 

  • I finally finished Lonesome Dove. I've got lots of hot opinions about it and most of them aren't positive. I'm debating going on a multi-bullet pointed rant.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

This was on July 25, 2011.   

  • New this morning. Yesterday she posted “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times." 
    Update #1: So a physical injury?
    Update #2: "Medical issue" is vague.
    Update #3: From a UPI reporter. Others have confirmed.

  • The Russians (who are confusingly not officially the Russians) won the team competition after her withdrawal. 

  • It's just for show since it's not on the agenda for the Special Session, but here's the bill to keep UT from leaving the Big 12 without permission from the legislature. I note that Jacksboro's David Spiller is one of the very many sponsors of it. Sic 'em. 

    • And state rep Jeff Leach (who, unlike Spiller, oozes "politician") decided to try and be funny and take a shot at the Longhorns. That's odd because he barely won his election last time. He can't afford to alienate anyone. 

  • I think the media got a little too excited about someone being "stoned" to death. 

  • In kind of a weird coincidence, two Saturdays ago I took the time to re-read The Lottery which I had found online.  Man, that's a haunting short story. I also watched the 18 minute short film on it produced by Encyclopedia Britannica from 1969 which is true to the story, and has a very young Ed Begley Jr. in it.

  • It's perfect: Yesterday Trump endorsed the most corrupt AG in Texas history in his re-election campaign. In doing so, Trump turned his back on George P. Bush who sold out his family in seeking Trump's endorsement. If you want, you can probably get these (real) George P koozies on the cheap:

  • The QAnon Republican congressman is going all Old Testament this morning. Praise God and pass the ammunition. 

  • Civil jury trials have been "paused" for at least one week in Dallas County because of COVID upticks. I saw this quote in the story, and I'm not sure that is true at all. As a comparison, jury questionnaires ask you what religion you associate with. And, arguably, potential jurors are asked much more personal questions than that all the time. 

  • Hadn't seen much about this: Sul Ross' offensive coordinator, who was just 37 years old, has died of COVID. And with over a dozen cases, the team has suspended any summer practice.

  • Texas COVID hospitalization update: My usual go-to chart from the Texas Tribune is being revised more slowly than it was a few months back. The official numbers show 4,626 for July 25th. I bet we've cracked 5,000 in the hospital by now. This is officially Surge #3. 

  • Texas "vaccine passport" support and lack thereof. Think link breaks it down by political affiliation as well.

  • I'm no business guy, but it seems like the cost of foreign goods is about to skyrocket when we see the shipping cost for just one of those forty foot containers skyrocket like this. $10,000? 

  • As the Big 12 disintegrates in front of our eyes, what was wrong with this in the first place?

  • In that capital murder case highlighted below, the guy elbowed a bailiff in the face after the guilty verdict.  (Video.) His timing wasn't great. Today the jury comes back to deliberate his punishment of life or death.