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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

They have changed the site somewhat from the way it appeared when I found it 10 years ago, but it's still an amazing collection of television broadcasts on 9/11.  

  • One thing this chart doesn't accurately reflect is how the virus is running rampant right now without putting people in the hospital.  If what I'm hearing correctly, the schools are being decimated. 

  • This excerpt from the Update is from January 5th.  The teenage driver, Aaron Fite, was arrested yesterday on two charges of Criminally Negligent Homicide. He bonded out. 

  • Here are the biggest points from Biden's new vaccine "mandate" (although he didn't use the word "mandate".)
    • All private employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly (probably 80 million people.)
    • All workers at health care facilities that   receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated (probably 17 million people).
  • Back in December, President Biden said, “I don't think [the vaccine] should be mandatory, I wouldn't demand it be mandatory.” I'm giving him in a pass on that. In his (and my) wildest dreams, I never believed so many people would be irresponsible and not get vaccinated.

  • I spotted some inconsistencies in Gov. Abbott's Twitter account yesterday.
    • Point.

    • Counter-point. (Side note: That's another Texas bill which is obviously unconstitutional.)

  • Update on DPS' response to the Haslet incident detailed yesterday.

  • The Justice Department sued the State of Texas yesterday challenging the Abortion Bounty Bill. Since the law was drafted where private individuals, and not the government, enforce it by seeking $10,000, one legal problem is who do you to sue to stop it? Normally, you would sue whichever government arm was going to to try and enforce an unconstitutional abortion ban. But that doesn't work here. Or does it? The Justice Department alleged that by incentivizing private citizens, Texas has created a bunch of state agents to do its dirty work. 

  • It would be in record time, but Decatur's Bryce Elder might be called up to the Atlanta Braves next year. This kid has a chance to be a major league star. 

  • The Fort Worth Court of Appeals issued an opinion on a Jacksboro DWI case yesterday. You want to know how small Jacksboro is? The opinion starts off by pointing out that the District Clerk was a witness who saw the guy possibly drunk at a funeral home. (Side note: Shout out to Tracy.) And the actual Sheriff was also at the funeral home at the same time who noticed the defendant acting a little loopy on his own. 
    • Legal nerd stuff: I was surprised to see that retired Judge Lee Ann Dauphinot authored the opinion.  And although I'm not sure I agree that the case involves a "consensual encounter" instead of a detention, if she says it then it's good enough for me. 
  • Relevant to Gov. Abbott's proclamation that he will "eliminate" all rapists. 

  • Funniest image by a ref last night when he realized he was going to have to be the first guy to flag the new "taunting" violation in the NFL.

  • The Ticket's Bob Sturm tweeted this out this morning and questioned it. Those are fascinating numbers. When the Cowboys were facing 4th and 6th late in the game and down by 2 points, it seemed obvious to kick the field goal. But according to this, if you they made it (and they did), the chance of winning the game was only 46%. If they went for it and converted, their chance of winning the game increased to 57%. However, the chances of converting the fourth down was only 42%. You know, I think these numbers seem about right. 

  • 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: 800 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

I tried to find a quick reference to get an updated list, but I had no luck. All I could piece together was data for 2015 (3 people), 2016 (3), 2017 (4) and 2018 (7), 2019 (4), and 2020 (2).    

  • -249 from yesterday.

  • This story is wild and has a Wise County connection. The officer who was shot last April in Haslet used to be stationed in Decatur as a DPS Trooper. He now is working "undercover" but is lucky he's not dead. And it's completely understandable how an innocent man who was scared to death will not face charges for shooting at him.

    • And DPS is acting like DPS: "The Texas Department of Public Safety did not immediately respond Tuesday to a request for comment about Wallace’s status and whether he was ever disciplined. The department declined to provide a copy of the Texas Ranger’s report under the open records law, even after King was no-billed by the grand jury, claiming the case was still under investigation."
  • Elizabeth Holmes is now on trial for her crazy blood screening scam as the head of Theranos (allegedly), but it's a wild seen when she shows up for court as fans dress up to look like her

  • The U.S. Supreme Court stopped a Texas execution last night, but it will only be a few months delay until Texas is forced, or not forced, to change its religious protocol. The defendant's application explaining it all is here. (In a kind of related noted, the official spokesman for TDC suddenly no longer has that job. No explanation by TDC was given.)

  • "A Grayson County Sheriff's deputy died in the line of duty overnight. Investigators say the deputy may have suffered a heart attack after a chase and altercation with several suspects following a traffic stop in Sherman."
  • To the winner goes the spoils.

  • The (very large) statute of Robert E. Lee finally came down in Richmond, Virginia, and Trump thought it would be a great time to issue a statement not concerned about "erasing history", but instead actually praising a man who led an army in an uprising against the United States in support of slavery.  Trump is who he tells you who he is and who he has always been. 

  • There's a growing Texas teacher shortage. Since 2014, Texas has seen about a 27% decrease in the number of newly certified teachers, according to the Texas Education Agency data.
  • I don't know what's happened to WBAP. It's now a borderline QAnon station. In the last two days I heard their morning host, Chris Salcedo, casually call President Biden a "lawless bastard" and afternoon host Rick Roberts say that any government issued proof of a COVID vaccination would be the literal biblical "Mark of the Beast" and told a caller, who said, the current administration is run by the Illuminati who want one world government, that he was a "good call." It's nuts.

  • I'm halfway through Season 2 of Billions, and that show is ridiculously bad. But it's so bad, that I'm entertained.  I went into it expecting the realism of The Wire on Wall Street and got a parody that makes me cringe. It's the dialogue. The stupid dialogue when a character tries to fire off a zinger. And I bet there are a billion attempted zingers. "I'm like Earl Anthony bagging the 7-10 split" is just one that I just heard last night. The writers have to be doing a bit. Plus, I hate every single morally deprived character on that show -- and that's everyone. 
  • I thought the Rangers would hit 100 losses for the first time since 1973, but they are on a hot streak. They have 21 games left to lose 12. 

  • I'm really surprised the remaining eight schools in the Big 12 hung together and immediately issued invitations to BYU, Houston, UCF, and Cincinnati.  That's the best possibly outcome after OU and the Evil Empire announced they were leaving to join the Deep South. But I wouldn't stop there. I'd add Boise State and Memphis, too.  


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

It's the 10 year anniversary of the fire in Bastrop which brought us some amazing photos.

  • The seven day average is now officially trending downwards.  And the last four days have all shown declines.  

  • But there's another variant out there, and it's in DFW

  • Greg Abbott never takes questions from reporters. But it happened yesterday with embarrassing consequences. Let's break it down. (Video is here.)

    • The question: "Regarding the Heartbeat Bill, why force a rape or incest victim to carry a pregnancy to term?" Oh, my. That's quite the haymaker. How'd that guy get in the room? 
    • But Abbott seemed ready. If you watch the video, he starts nodding once the reporter says "rape or incest." He knew this was coming. He's prepared. He's got an answer at the ready. So he's knocking this one out of the park, right?
    • First part of Abbott's answer: “It doesn’t require that at all, because obviously it provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion. So, for one, it doesn’t provide that."
    • Wait a second. First, he knows the new Bounty Bill, for all intents and purposes, bans abortion in Texas. And there is no exception for rape of incest. But what's with this "at least" six weeks bull? If by some miracle a woman did know she was pregnant at the moment of conception -- which is impossible -- she has a maximum of six weeks to terminate the pregnancy. "At least" implies she has six weeks and more. 
    • But then his answer got worse.
    • Abbott continued: "That said, however, let’s make something very clear: rape is a crime and Texas will work tirelessly  to make sure we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas by aggressively going after and arresting them and prosecuting them. And getting them off the streets. So goal number one in the state of Texas is to eliminate rape, so that no woman, no person, will be a victim of rape.”
    • The people serving as props behind him applauded wildly. Well, except these two who kept their hands clasped. 

    • Ok, the concept of eliminating all rapists is just dumb. That'll never happen. You know it. I know it. The two people not clapping know it. We all know it. That couldn't have been part of pre-planned answer, right? He was actually just winging it, right? And winging it badly at that point. 
    • But what does that nonsense have to be with a Heartbeat Bill? Even if you could magically "eliminate all rapists", they still have to rape first in order to be a rapist. And if they rape first, there's the chance of the pregnancy which is the basis for the reporters question.  So Abbott is telling us the Bounty Bill doesn't impact the pregnant victim because her rapist is in jail? 
    • There's a reason Abbott doesn't take questions in public. 
  • Remember Texas voter ID law? The first version was so harshly written that Texas got sued. In response, the legislature softened it so as to make it constitutional. But that first version and the lawsuit cost taxpayers $67 million. That was affirmed yesterday by the conservative Fifth Circuit.

  • Jerry's found a new way to make money, and the Jones Family day drank yesterday in celebration. 

  • How Trump is respecting 9/11:

  • Fox News does a better job of marketing for Democrats than the Democrats do.

  • "The median rent price for a one-bedroom apartment in Plano is $1,221."

  • Wild legal stuff out of Georgia: A District Attorney has been indicted for, among other things, offering an assistant $1,000 if she could obtain a murder conviction in a case. And one assistant had a better offer because she was offered the same amount to just announce "ready." Yikes.

  • Hot grocery store opinion: Whole Foods might be a scam. 
  • When I drove back from Nacogdoches through Jacksonville the other day I saw the Tomato Bowl, the town's high school stadium, and I can't stop thinking about it.


  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

It's been 10 years, and I still haven't heard to it referred to as a "Mansfield bar."   

  • Yesterday was -218. 

  • But, on a dark note, some of the plateauing over the last week is based upon the number of hospital deaths. 

  • The federal government's announcement yesterday that it would "protect" those who seek constitutionally protected abortions doesn't mean much. The law the Justice Department cited, the "FACE Act", does nothing to prevent those from taking action via attempting to collect a $10,000 bounty.  

  • With no hint of irony, the voter bill will be signed in Deep East Texas today. (Side note. So Sen. Bryan Hughes was behind the voter bill and the Abortion Bounty bill?)

  • "Hey, Bob, you got any ideas for a theme to use at one of our government run county parks?" Bob: "Uh, yeah. Let's have people pretend they've been falsely convicted and sentenced to life in prison."

  • A six year old girl died on an amusement ride in Colorado on Sunday night. "The Haunted Mine Drop, which opened in July 2017, is billed as the first drop ride to go underground, plunging riders 110 feet inside of Iron Mountain."  A video of the ride is here. I'm not sure how that accident could happen.

  • Update from yesterday's weird case in South Carolina. 

  • Wall Street Journal: The number of women vs. men in college is getting way out of whack

  • Michael K. Williams, Omar from The Wire, was found dead in his New York City apartment yesterday.  He gave us one of the all-time great courtroom scenes. "I got the shotgun. You got the briefcase."

  • Random sports #1: This is real from Saturday.

  • Random Sports # 2: I watched the fourth quarter of the 1987 Texas/Arkansas game on the Longhorn Network yesterday and it was wildly entertaining Here is the end of it. Wikipedia says it was "the first time in Longhorn history that a game was won on the last play of the game." The two teams play this week. 

  • Uh, you might want to get on that.

  • Random High School football note:  Allen High School lost on Friday to Atascocita High (near Houston) by a score of 41-20. Get this: That loss snapped Allen's 84 game winning streak and was the first loss ever in their $60 million stadium.  They are now 122-1 at home.