Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

Still a crazy story. The head football coach in Arkansas appeared in front of the cameras to explain that his injuries were from a motorcycle accident. But what he failed to disclose was that he had a 25 year old employee on the back of it. It cost him his job. 

  •  Abbott continued his transformation into Trump yesterday with "tough on the border" rhetoric which is making the news this morning. The headline is that "Abbott Will Ship Illegal Immigrants to D.C." which is exactly what he said in his press conference.

    • But there's a little sentence in the follow-up press release which is being ignored. The press conference, it turns out, was nothing more than a campaign commercial ruse.

    • I noticed, once again, that the head of DPS was right there by his side at the press conference serving as his de facto role of campaign manager and personal servant. All these guys are on the taxpayer payroll including the four troopers serving as props in the background . . . 

  • This is a wild story and no one knows the answer as to "why." Two men, posing as agents from the Department of Homeland Security, started to befriend Secret Service agents and, more disturbingly, "lavished them with penthouses, iPhones, drones, and even a $2,000 rifle."

  • This is a big, and pretty rare, malpractice verdict out of Tarrant County.  "The anesthesiologist injected tranexamic acid — a medication used to control bleeding — into her spine instead of a spinal anesthetic, attorneys said."  And it sounds like no one disputes this. In a statement after the verdict, the hospital's press release said: “We acknowledge Ms. Davis has suffered a significant and devastating injury as the result of preventable human error. We are so sorry for her suffering." Oh, my. 

  • The University of Texas has authorized living in sin within its own dorms!

  • In general, Hood County seems to be more wheels off that Wise County. (This story, involving a 37 year old middle school teacher, made it all the way to CNN, CBS, and the New York Post.

  • Montana legalized weed sales on January 1st.  We now have the first quarter numbers. Have I ever mentioned Texas, instead of collecting tax money, still puts people in cages for possession of less than 2 ounces?  

  • You don't see this very often. Stay with me here (if you like political stuff).
    • Democratic State Senator Beverly Powell had been an incumbent in Texas ever since she beat Republican (nutcase) Konni Burton.  Yep, in North Texas a Democrat beat a Republican. So what did the Republican legislature do last term? They gerrymandered her district to politically kill her. 
    • The District went from encompassing only southern Tarrant County to a sprawling seven counties which now included conservative rural counties. Parker, Palo Pinto, Stephens, and Johnson were all added to her district.

    • Immediately after the lines were changed, State Rep. Phil King, who has always been part of the committee to redraw the lines, saw his opportunity to move from the Texas House to the Texas Senate. 

    • Powell countered by suing with an allegation that the redrawn lines were unconstitutional. She did that in November. But with the Supreme Court having gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, that was now a long shot. 

    • The next step was to have the primary election last month where Powell won on the Democratic side and Phil King's master plan worked out with him winning on the Republican side. 

    • But the third step was a little surprising: Powell simply gave up this week and withdrew from the November election because, once her lawsuit failed, she knew that redistricting had screwed her and there was no way to win. 

    • The Pro-Life group immediately celebrated the orchestrated gerrymandered victory:

    • I'll say it again. The most important political story is one that happens every 10 years and which is is basically ignored by the public: What political party is in power in any given state when the Census number are released because that party gets to redraw that state's voting lines.  It decides everything for the next decade. 
  • Legal nerdy (and political) stuff out of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals yesterday as one judge takes an out-of-the-blue shot at AG Ken Paxton's recent verbal attack on the court: 

  • Random federal legal opinion leads off with a paragraph right out of Better Call Saul. If you're going to go bad, go all out.  

  • The long beat down of a seven month baseball season begins today at 1:20 p.m. in Chicago. Forecast: "50 percent chance of rain and temperatures in the mid-40s."