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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

Yep, the GM bailout in the financial crisis resulted in the federal government becoming an owner of the auto maker. Here is an update from December 9, 2013 which now answers my question:   "U.S. taxpayers no longer own any of automaker General Motors. The Treasury sold the last of its remaining 31.1 million GM shares today. It started with 500 million shares in 2010. The taxpayer loss on the GM bailout is $10.5 billion."

  • This is like a reverse A Time To Kill movie.  Video here. You can see the blonde attorney to his left die a little inside when he says it. Note to lawyer: It's a constitutionally protected public trial.

    • Trying more than one defendant at the same time can be really hard on the State, but it can also be a nightmare for a defense lawyer when the lawyer for the other defendant is a moron. 
  • Another courtroom head scratcher: The judge in the Rittenhouse trial had the jury give a round of applause for the defense's expert witness who was about to testify next. (Video.) I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn't know he was the only veteran in the room. 

  • Look out.

  • Netflix has a documentary on Travis Scott which was released a couple of years ago.  Mrs. LL stumbled upon it last night and, after about 15 minutes, I got locked in as well even though I didn't even intend to watch it. It's fantastic.  The footage of his insane crowds (including the need for EMTs to come to their aid) is really incredible in light of what just happened. 

    • And what happened got worse yesterday.

  • This is from the Denton Record Chronicle crime blotter, and is very weird in several respects. 

  • She's not wrong. 

  • Very limited interest bullet point: (1) I'm still not over a freshman quarterback at TCU acting like the second coming of Roger Staubach against Baylor last weekend, and (2) Here's an aerial shot of Baylor's campus taken this week. I've heard about the horrible traffic on I-35 through Waco, and it's easy to spot why. You can see the ongoing construction and the planned expansion by the arrow in the bottom photo. Should be able to click to enlarge.

  • Fun fact: Did you know that the New York Giants played the 1973 and 1974 home games at Yale? The Cowboys (and Roger) played them in New Haven, Connecticut during this week in 1973.

  • A growing trend of work-from-home employees is the requirement that they install facial recognition software so the employer can verify they are actually working at their computer.  The red notice below accompanies an attorney job posting (which, by the way, pays $27 an hour for 50 hours a week.)  

    • Here's an example of the software:

  • Very legal nerd stuff: I've been thinking about how it's odd that Rittenhouse can arm himself with an AR-15 and travel across state lines to insert himself into a situation where violence was likely to occur, but still get self-defense protection just like he was an average innocent Joe walking down the street. Texas, at least, would give the State the benefit of having the jury instructed on "provoking the difficulty." 
    • That law basically says you forfeit self-defense protection if you bait someone into a situation where you can kill them in self-defense. 
    • To be specific, it says, "If a person by his own willful and wrongful act bring about the necessity of taking the life of another to prevent being killed himself, he cannot say or claim that such killing was in his own necessary self-defense, for the law then imputes to him his own wrong and its consequences." Smith v. State, 965 S.W.2d 509 (Tex.Crim.App. 1998)
    • The "willful or wrongful" act would be carrying the AR-15 as a minor in violation of Wisconsin law. Or it could even be breaking the curfew. 
  • Another mystery solved by forensic genetic genealogy DNA.  The group which cracked the DNA mystery is based in The Woodlands. Interestingly, it is the same group that solved the DNA mystery of "The Girl In The Pool" in Pecos, Texas, and the Carla Walker murder in Fort Worth. 

  • 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: 861 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

That was actually from February 2011 after the investment banks were bailed out after the mortgage crisis. But, somehow, I ended up being wrong. Inflation turned out to be only a brief blip in 2011. But I stand by my general theory that the government dumping free money into the economy will bring on inflation. Now inflation is today's lead headline, and it comes after 18 months of the government throwing out free money via PPP forgivable loans and COVID stimulus checks. 

  • Rittenhouse observations:
    • I think it was a very smart thing to let the kid testify. Even if a juror or two thought they were crocodile tears, there's at least one which loved him. And one is all you need. (And he may have 12.)

    • Couldn't agree more:

    • The prosecutor is very good, but his cross-exam was awful for one big reason: It was too long.  You get in. Do what damage you can. And get out. 
    • Don't get me wrong: I think Rittenhouse is a punk and dumb arse. But I think he'll be found not guilty because the State cannot prove it wasn't self-defense. It is their burden. 
    • I've been chewed out by a judge before but never like that. Video.
      "Don't you get brazen with me!"

    • The other day I said it was helpful for the defense that Rittenhouse "looks good."  And then I heard someone say yesterday that, "If he had been a black kid with dreadlocks shooting people with an AR-15, he would be found guilty in seconds flat."   I've been doing some soul searching about my earlier statement ever since. What exactly did I mean by he "looks good"?  
    • This really happened. Video.

    • If you think the New York Times is liberal, look at the way they are describing the case yesterday: 

  • I'm not 100% sure, but I think there is a "sexually violent predator" case being tried in Decatur right now. That's a crazy law, passed in 2015, which allows the State to "civilly commit" someone even after they have served every single day of their criminal sentence. The cause number is  CV21-03-136.  Records show that in 1994 the defendant received a 30 year sentence in CR-10291(which is troublesome for me because I would have been the D.A. then, and I don't remember it.) 
  • That's an eventful week:
    • He quits the Fort Worth City Council to run for state rep.

    • Not so fast. (And good job to the Star-Telegram for embedding a pdf of the actual Motion to Revoke within the story. More news stories should do that - or at least provide a link to the actual document discussed.)

  • Look at these indictment figures from yesterday in Wise County:
    • 61 total indictments.
    • 47 of those were for drugs.
    • Of those 47 cases, 41 were for possession.
    • Of those 41 cases, over half were for possession of less than one gram. 
  • A little scare in Bridgeport overnight. Bridgeport PD reported she was found safe at 4 a.m. 

  • His constant announcements of forming a "task force" is always lipstick on a pig. He did the same thing after the El Paso mass shooting and the Big Freeze of 2021. It means nothing.  

  • Finally some teeth. 

  • This statement in the initial press conference in Houston turned out to be absolutely not true, and it was reckless for him to say it. 

    • TMZ was way off. 

  • I don't know who Continental Carbonic Products, Inc is but they announced yesterday they have "decided to build a new liquefied carbon dioxide plant and dry ice production facility in Bridgeport, Texas, with  . . . [a] completion scheduled for early 2024."
  • If you know a veteran from Iraq or Afghanistan, they are probably struggling even more than you know. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

It was briefly a big deal which got a news helicopter up here. The fire was actually between Boyd and Paradise just north of 114. 

  • The Kyle Rittenhouse trial took a little bit of a twist when prosecutors unveiled a "high definition" footage of the first shooting. See it here.  "A Kenosha detective, Ben Antaramian, testified that authorities learned [earlier that] someone had recorded drone video, which played on Fox News, but were not given a high-definition version until Friday." I didn't hear an explanation for that. (I still don't think Rittenhouse will get convicted of the most serious charges. The State has to eliminate all reasonable doubt that it wasn't self-defense, and I've got that doubt. ) 

  •  QAnon Shaman news from yesterday.
    • What the prosecutors want:

    • The response by the lawyer of the Insurrectionist:

  • This ruling late yesterday giving the National Archives the right to release Trump documents probably doesn't immediately mean much because Trump has already appealed it. But it is interesting because the National Archives has revealed exactly what it is willing to give up unless a court orders otherwise: "White House call logs, video logs and schedules related to January 6 as well as three pages of handwritten notes from Trump's then-chief of staff." Trump is nervous about that. 

  • A secret audio recording of a UT Defensive Line coach Bo Davis going on a profane laced rant directed at the team after the loss to ISU on Saturday was released yesterday afternoon.  I'm guessing that fans of the Longhorns agree with him 100%.

  • If we elect the Dumbest Man in East Texas to be the Texas AG, we deserve everything we get. 

    • And this is great: His website, which was launched exclusively to explore an AG run, has a math problem (as pointed out by the Texas Tribune.)
      Texas Tribune excerpt

      Louie' website

  • Oh, my.

  • He's not kidding. The QAnon people are still there. And they are singing

  • I'm still waiting for a ruling on this case which is on appeal. I wished the court would have released the briefs that were filed, but it didn't.  From December 2020: 

  • But Rodgers added, “But in the end, I have to stay true to who I am and what I’m about and I stand behind the things that I said."  Side note: Why do Rodgers and Pat McAfee look like they both are homeless under a bridge when they get together for every interview?

  • I'm stunned he actually got an interview. This would be a disaster. 

  • I'm a little surprised by this. 

  • Messenger: Above the Fold