Random Monday Morning Thoughts

Civil War veterans - from the Confederate side - pose in front of the still-in-use Wise County Courthouse in 1906. Source with background info.

  • Updated standings in the Liberally Lean Pick 'Em Tourney. Trey and Paul might be able to catch John even with my tricked up scoring system.  

  • If you haven't seen it, here is the video, unedited, of the footage of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock last night. (The American audience saw this as ABC was hitting the mute button.)  Here is slow motion video of the slap. Man, this is wild. 

    • All of this was instigated when Rock jokingly addressed Will Smith's wife from the stage: “Jada, I love you: G.I. Jane 2 -- can’t wait to see it.”  Quality humor, by the way, but we have to factor in that Smith's wife has suffered from alopecia, a condition of hair loss. She has a buzz cut because of it. 

    • The odd part is that Will Smith initially laughed at the joke. I think this is a big deal that he didn't take offense at all about it.
    • I'm siding big time with Chris Rock on this one. Will Smith was way out of line. 
    • Prediction I heard this morning: Next year Rock and Smith will be joint presenters at the Oscars. I bet that happens. 
  • The White House walked back Biden's off-script comment which I think is something they absolutely shouldn't have done. Then again, if they didn't subsequently tone it down, President Biden would be asked about exactly what he meant every time he comes in front of reporters for weeks to come. 

  • There are continuing to be reports of Russia being willing to settle the "conflict" if Ukraine were to be cut in half as was done with Korea. Little known fact: This isn't a new plan.  Stay with me here. 
    • You probably don't recall Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, oddly shared campaigning polling data to to a Russian named Konstantin Kilimnik.  Why he was doing that was never known.
    • Kilimnik, during the campaign in 2016, flew all the way to the U.S. just to meet with Manafort to get the data and to discuss something which he believed to be very important. The meeting occurred at Grand Havana Room in Manhattan. 
    • Kilmnik, during the meeting, was actually trying to persuade Manafort to get on board with the divided Ukraine plan. (They wanted that part of Ukraine because that's were the oil and the coastline is.) He later told Manafort in an email,  “[A]ll that is required to start the process is a very minor ‘wink’ (or slight push) from" Donald Trump. 
    • This was all buried in the Mueller Report, and the only way I found out about it was when just finishing this book written in 2020. The prosecutor/author only spent a few pages on it, but my ears perked up because those pages dealt with Russia and Ukraine.   

  • There is security footage of the tornado hitting the gym at Jacksboro elementary. Here

  • A guy sent a drone up to take a look at the windmill damage in Jack County as well. It seems like a handful of them were damaged (but it's also a great way to see the number of them that have gone up over recent years. 

  • The only way this is true is if Columbia has far greater drug screening techniques than the U.S.  

  • I'll say it again, for such a high town area, there are sure a lot of shootings in Uptown. And they have this weird shared characteristic of occurring on Sunday evenings. 

  • What's up with hookah lounges? You'd think they'd be a pretty laid back place. We first had a shooting at one in Las Vegas, then I noticed we had one in Dallas, and then I saw this story from the weekend.

  • A faithful reader sent me this pic of  a T-shirt for sale in, of all places, a thrift store in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  • The Tech - UT rivalry bled over into baseball this weekend when Tech won Friday's game via a player stealing home. Video

  • The Clarence Thomas failure-to-recuse scandal has already become yesterday's news. Now we can expect Ginni Thomas to be the featured speaker at CPAC. That's the way things work these days.