The Campaign For DA


Random Friday Morning Thoughts

This was just a blurb on one of my random front pages for that week. That's been going on a long time. 

  • Holy cow. Unless something changes dramatically, we've got a combination of government incompetence, possible cowardice,  and abusiveness all contributing to the murder of 19 children. And it gets topped off by DPS and Gov. Abbott lying to you while conducting the most disastrous public information campaign in Texas history.

    • The incompetence. 
      • Despite 911 calls that came in after the soon-to-be-killer had shot his grandmother, wrecked his vehicle and fired at people at a nearby funeral home, no law enforcement arrived at the site of the wreck in the following 12 minutes. After which time he entered the school. 
      • From the Wall Street Journal: 

      • Once he reached the school, the door was open and unlocked. He walked right in. Incredible. 
    • The possible cowardice.
      • An 18 year old kid, admittedly armed with a weapon of war, frightened off the first police who arrived four minutes later who then "took cover" as the murderer went into a classroom full of kids and locked the door. 
      • And here's the big headline: Law enforcement waited an hour before entering the room. An hour. In the meantime, kids were being slaughtered. 
      • Why? According to DPS in a press conference yesterday, first responders were “Calling for additional resources. Everybody in the area. Tactical teams. We need equipment. We need specialty equipment. We need body armor. We need precision riflemen, negotiators.” No you didn't. 
      • (I thought a long time about using the words "possible cowardice" because it's harsh, and we still don't know all the facts. But it is your job to "run towards the danger." You signed up for it. By doing so you found yourself in the position to protect children from a man on a rampage, and parents relied upon you to do just that, in a life or death situation. It takes a special person to do that. I am not one of them. But if you can't do it either, get out of the business before we need you.)
    • Gov. Abbott lies about the "quick response."
      • In describing law enforcement's response at the massive press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Abbott said:  "It could’ve been worse. The reason it could have been worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do. They showed amazing courage by running toward gunfire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives. And it is a fact that, because of their quick response getting on the scene being able to respond to the gunman and being able to eliminate the gunman, they were able to save lives."

      • Abbott flat out lied to you by omission: "The gunman . . .  went down two short hallways and then into a classroom on the left-hand side. The gunroom [sic] entering into that classroom, and the classroom was connecting internally to another classroom. Border patrol, consolidated ISD officers, police, sheriffs, DPS officers, converged on that classroom and a border patrol officer killed the gunman." He just conveniently left out that the convergence didn't take place for an hour. 
    • The amazing multiple lies about the officer "engaging" with the gunman before entering the school:

      • #1: The night of the shooting, DPS Sgt. Erick Estrada told CNN's Anderson Cooper,  "That’s where [the gunman] exited his vehicle with what I believe was a rifle and that’s when he attempted to enter the school where he was engaged by law enforcement. Unfortunately, he was able to enter the premises and then from there that’s when he entered several classrooms and started shooting his firearm.” 
      • #2 and #3: The Washington Post then talked to two other DPS officials who confirmed the shooter was first confronted outside the school by an officer. 

      • #4: Then came the massive nationally televised press conference. The $300K Man, DPS Director Steve McCraw, confirmed there was an officer outside of the school by telling us that the gunman "went towards the west side of the campus which which is a back door. As he was approaching, as the governor mentioned earlier, there was a brave consolidated independent school district resource officer who then approached him, engaged him, and at that time gunfire was not exchanged. But the subject was able to make it into school." 

      • BUT YESTERDAY, DPS called a press conference and rolled out yet another spokesman, Victor Escalon, who said that there was no officer outside of or in the the school when the gunman arrived.  (Video.) He even condescendingly said he wanted to "clear that up" because "it had been reported" as if it was the media's fault. Dude! 

      • How in the world did DPS eff this up? And it is inconceivable that they have a structure that allows so many spokesmen to get in front of the cameras with full permission to attempt to rattle off facts that they have no idea about. 
    • The abusiveness
      • Parents begged law enforcement to enter during the hour. Some of them were handcuffed and pepper-sprayed. Also from the WSJ
      • This seems to be one of the videos of that chaos or, at least, similar chaos.

      • Meanwhile, DPS Spokesman Olivarez  confirmed to a local reporter during a live shot "that police officers went into Robb Elementary School to get their own children during the massacre." Video.

      • By the way, Olivarez has been a PR train wreck. He went on CNN last night and stepped in it again. Video

  • I cannot get over the disaster that this has been for DPS. Other than the Kennedy assassination, they knew that this would be the most examined and talked about case in the history of Texas. But yet, they embarrassed themselves by conducting the most half-assed investigation and an even more half-assed public information campaign for all the world to see. Every spokesperson they rolled out -- and they should have had no more than two at most -- had no business being in front of the camera. They were all gawd-awful.  DPS has a budget of $2.3 billion to get things right. This guy, DPS Director Steven McCraw, who has always cared more about gun boats and being Gov. Abbott's lapdog, needs to be fired. Today.

  • Breaking: Oh, my! He's feeling the heat. And he better be ready. That national media won't put up with his b.s. that he has gotten away with in Texas for years.  

  • Abbott is also scrambling and in damage control mode now. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is backing out as well.

  • About that hour delay . . . . 

  • Good grief.

  • Think people. Think!!

  • I present to you the Republican nominee for Senator from the great State of Georgia. Video. This isn't a one-off. He's a cluster every time he gets on camera. 
  • If you are a teacher, and even if you are not, you should listen to Gordon Keith on The Ticket read on the air a teacher's email he was sent. Link. It's just under three minutes long. His voice cracking as he read how she said was handling the day after the Uvalde Shooting with her class of elementary students brought me to tears. The text of the email is here
  • Hey, is the escaped TDC inmate still on the loose? I think he is. 
  • 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: 1,057 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold (Wednesday)
  • Messenger: Above the Fold (Today)