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

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.)


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

You know, this use to happen all the time, but now it has just stopped. The FBI would find some stooge online incapable of pulling off anything, give him some fake packages and tell him they were bombs, and then arrest him and claim they had stopped another 9/11.     

  • The Fort Worth Dumpster Murder Guy confessed to killing his girlfriend in New Mexico (not Arizona as previously reported.) She had been missing since 2017, and the following from this "missing person" web page about her makes you think that he would have been a suspect, right? I mean, we've gone nuts over the Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie story. 

    • Also we have Star-Telegram excerpt from updated story. Wise County Sheriff's Office?

  • This guy tried to burn down the Travis County Democratic Headquarters in Austin and was caught on video.


  • I think Texas House redistricting maps come out today.
  • Debt ceiling crisis? If you are my age, you don't even pay attention to this kabuki dance because we've seen it a million times before. 

  • If you are confused about the current standoff in Congress over the "Infrastructure Bill" (the "Build Better Act"), you are not alone. If I understand it (and I'm not sure that I do), the $3.5 billion bill still needs approval in the Senate but moderate Democrat Senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia are balking - and they are needed to pass it.  But what does this have to do with all the stories of Nancy Pelosi in the House possibly having to pull a critical different vote today off the table because she "doesn't have the votes?" I think that vote has to do with a separate $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill that liberal House Democrats are threatening to vote down (even though they love it) unless the Senate finally agrees to the $3.5 billion bill. Confusing, no? 

  • Fort Worth PD doesn't even go to the trouble of saying "allegedly."  But how suspicious looking are these folks with that cart full of high dollar items?

  • I've said it before, I want this attorney's (who is Bridgeport's own) press agent. Story from last night.

  • After the arrest of governor candidate Allen West's wife for DWI, the Dallas PD, on its own, released an edited portion of the bodycam to try and justify the arrest. After the blood results came back clear, however, all charges were dropped. Now various news organizations want the full unedited video. Dallas PD is now fighting them. Sheesh. 
  • Have I said we live in the dumbest times?

  • Despite an explosion in population in Texas, there has been an amazing drop in criminal cases in Texas over the past 10 years: While felonies have just been stagnant, misdemeanors filed in court went from 585,000 in 2010 to 324,000 in 2020 (that's a shocking 45% decline.)

    • Here are DWIs over the last 20 years in Texas. Misdemeanors (green line) have been dropping. Felony DWIs (red) are constant overall.  

  • The United States of America asked to do oral arguments in the Fifth Circuit remotely since COVID is still around. Yesterday the conservative court simply said, "Denied."

  • It happened last night. 

  • Legal nerd stuff: I think this is a funny deposition excerpt of a rambling witness and a lawyer who is a good sport.
  • I'm now well into the third season of Billions.  It's ridiculous. Flat out ridiculous. The dialogue, the acting, and the plot are all scream-at-the-TV silly. It's nothing but a soap opera. A well down and slick soap opera -- but a soap opera nonetheless. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

I went looking for an update on this and found out it was Clint Markham, 40. For a detailed summary of the event from his wife, see this summary of her lawsuit against the cruise lines for getting her husband liquored up.  Ugh. 

  •  There was an arrest in the Three-Bodies-in-a-Dumpster case, and this is wild. Stay with me here. 

    • First, there was no child involved. The bodies were now confirmed to be two women and one man.
    • He claims he killed them at different times. This gets us in the serial killer orbit.
    • He said "he had an in-depth knowledge of the Bible" and believed he was being "called to commit sacrifices." Yep, serial killer stuff.
    • He killed both women by stabbing them with and knife, dismembered them with a knife, and then burned them after they were dead. (Hang on to that thought for a second.)
    • He claims to have killed others including a former roommate and a "girlfriend" in Arizona. He was arrested there in 2014 for trying to carjack a female, and a stranger, at a stoplight. 
    • According to Fox 4, "Fort Worth police are also reviewing all of their unsolved murder cases . . . and are asking all other jurisdictions to do the same."
    • Do I need to remind everyone that Lauren Whitener was murdered with a knife and then set on fire after she was dead in Wise County on July 5, 2019 and the case is unsolved?
    • What if I told you that the guy arrested in the dumpster case has a connection to Wise County in that he was arrested in 2018 for Evading Arrest by Rhome PD?  The stop was because of a "broken tail light" with no known reason to flee. He got a two year sentence in cause no. CR-20753, and was released from prison on May 16, 2019 - a month and a half before Whitener's death.
    • Hey, I'm not saying the guy killed Whitener but you guys want to at least take a look at it? You have the killer's DNA. 
  • Boyd ISD having issues?  Below is from my tip line.  There is also an online petition to "reinstate" the principal. If all of this is true, it seems like a pretty big deal in Yellowjacket land. 

  • We had a hung jury in the Tarrant County "improper relationship" case yesterday. The jury revealed they were hung 10-2 for not guilty.  The fact that the State can retry her despite the Double Jeopardy clause is something I will never understand. 

  • I don't know anything about it, but Decatur ISD was sued yesterday by a lawyer who "who represents employees in lawsuits involving claims for sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation." Cause no. CV21-09-682.
  • Decatur's own. 

  • For the media to be so liberal, they sure did spend a lot of time yesterday on the story that President Biden was in fact told to leave 2,500 troops in Afghanistan to avoid a Taliban takeover. As they should. 

  • There's another wild tell-all book on Trump -- this one by a former press secretary and long time inner circle friend.  He's not the best at picking loyal people. 

  • I don't know anything about this story, but how exactly do you collect enough bear urine to boil?

  • Random sports fun fact: We had a record 66 yard field goal in the NFL this weekend, but one time Lane Kiffen, while coaching the Raiders, sent his kicker out to try a 76 yarder.

  • Messenger: Above the Fold. (Sorry, that's just a link to a tiny thumbnail. I can't get the full paper to load despite my premium platinum membership with the paper.)