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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

So 10 years later, is Apple still doing well? Yep, the quarterly report released yesterday
showed net income of $34.6 billion. That's "net" income.  And that's incredible. (Exxon's record was $14.8 billion set in 2008. In the last 10 years, Apple has now surpassed that in seven different quarters.)

  • Told ya.

  • Three cops were shot in Houston yesterday afternoon, but their injuries somehow seem to be minor. Here is probably the best video of the incident. 

  • Man, that's a lot of money donated in the Tarrant County DA's race.

    • Matt Krause: $545,900. Phil Sorrells: $495,000. Mollee Westfall: $137,000.
    • But get this: One guy makes up 62% ($308,500) of all of Matt Krause's donations. That would be Mayes Middleton -- a Texas legislator out of the Galveston area. That's very weird. 

    • The Republican nominee will almost certainly win the November election despite all the hubbub of "Tarrant County has turned blue." It's getting close, but it's not there yet when it comes to county-wide offices. 
    • But Krause is the only one of the three who could possibly be beaten by a Democratic opponent. First, he's 100% unqualified in that he's never tried a criminal case to a jury. And, more importantly, he is the guy who started the current Book Banning craze across the state. Once the Tarrant County populace figures this out, a Democratic opponent would give him a run for "his money." 

  • I just realized they still haven't caught the kid. Headline from today:

  • Anyone watch Fox 4 News last night at 9:00? Steve Eager announced they were having "really bad technical issues" -- so bad that they had to go completely off the air for at least five minutes. They couldn't even go to a commercial. They had to show the Internet feed of something called "Livenow" from the national Fox. 

  • Ten were injured in a bridge collapse this morning in Pittsburgh.  Coincidentally, President Biden is scheduled to be in the city later today to talk about, you guessed it, infrastructure. 

  • Basically all we know is what is in the headline yesterday afternoon. 

  • We've got enough problems without having to make 'em up.

  • Was the call "perfect"?

  • Now another group has bought a bunch of small papers. What's going on out there?

  • Jacksboro's head coach and AD is leaving for Sundown, Texas (pop. 1,397).

  • Let me tell you, for a private school where the school paper does not have First Amendment rights, this is pretty bold for the Baylor Lariat. That's even the president's name at the top of the report card graphic. The actual opinion piece is harsher: "Baylor administration, your message is clear . . . you have demonstrated an utter disregard for the health and academic success of your students and faculty."

    • Old-timers will remember when the same school paper criticized the Baylor administration for threatening to expel any student who appeared in Playboy's "The Girls of the Southwest Conference" issue. The president, in response to the paper's editorial, shut down the paper for three weeks and revoked journalism scholarships. The staff then resigned in protest. 

  • This was a  pretty amazing marketing strategy back in the day. "Call us from anywhere in the world and we'll help you find something to watch." 

  • 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: 938 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

And I was able to find out what happened to the girls. Both got 20 year prison sentences and both are still locked up. (Here and here.) Oddly, both girls just showed up at the Dallas PD the next day to tell the cops what happened. If they tried to justify their actions, they must not have done a 
very good job of it.  

  • I'm now interested in the speed of the fall. 

  • Justice Breyer will retire from the Supreme Court. One of these ladies will replace him. 

    • What? Limiting your choice to a black female? Last night Sean Hannity said that was "divisive" and "illegal." 

    • Flashback 1980: Ronald Reagan, while a candidate, also promised to make his first pick a woman. And it wasn't some off-handed comment. He even called a special press conference less than one month before the election to announce it. (He was afraid he wasn't appealing enough to women voters.)

  • If this Facebook post is correct, we've got a big brouhaha in Paradise ISD about the resignation of a long-time Ag teacher. (Thanks to the faithful reader for the tip.)
  • Clay County seems fun. You may remember its Sheriff, who was affiliated with the Oath Keepers, was indicted for keeping a couple in jail too long.  The Sheriff, in a tortured and convoluted press conference, tried to blame the Justice of the Peace. Now some guy in Clay County decided to haul off and file his own lawsuit to have the JP removed.  District Judge Jack McGaughey killed the lawsuit on the spot without the JP even having to do a thing. 

  • The most prominent appellate lawyer in the Dallas D.A.'s office announced his resignation yesterday on Twitter and highlighted his career by pointing out cases he handled, including the Amber Guyger appeal.  He's a smart guy. But you know where he is going? He's joining the Barbieri Law Firm in Plano. That's the firm which allegedly charged the lottery winning mother in Wichita Falls the amount of $400,000 to represent her son, and then made the decision to do absolutely nothing at trial -- and I mean nothing -- resulting in two life sentences. 

    • The plan of getting the case reversed on appeal didn't work. The convictions were affirmed on appeal by the Fort Worth Court of Appeals. An appeal to the court of last resort, which doesn't have to take it, was due yesterday. (A different lawyer is handling the appeal.)
  • KingdomLife Church in Frisco got my attention last year when it made national news when its pastor, Brandon Burden, went into Christian White Nationalist mode and prepared his congregation for a civil war. And this occurred on the first Sunday after the January 6th Insurrection.

    • Well, he's back in the news and on the front page of the Denton Record Chronicle. He's become a Republican Precinct Chair and led an attempted ouster of the Denton County Republican Chair who just happens to be female. 

    • Church sure has changed. He preached to his congregation, in Christian love no doubt, that she was a "Jezebel": 

  • Legal nerdy stuff: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has three times released opinions which concerned video evidence admitted at trial where the court actually uploaded the video files in question for all to see. One of those times was yesterday when they considered the appropriateness of the State's computer animation of vehicle running over another person. The exhibits, three of them, can be seen here.

    • You think criminal defense is hard? It is. And one of the reasons is that you are going up against the State which has all the money in the world to hire someone to create things like computer animation.  The person they are after normally does not. 
  • I think this is interesting: Some company called CherryRoad Media is buying up smaller town newspapers in Texas. It just bought the papers in Sherman, Waxahachie, Stephenville, Brownwood and Alice. 

  • Funny.

  • It was announced yesterday "that the I-35 project through Waco is set to be completed early next year -- two years ahead of schedule!" I've heard getting through Waco is beat down. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

The natural gas bust was crippling Chesapeake Energy in 2012. I was curious what happened to the company which built a fancy building in downtown Fort Worth, had a former CEO mysteriously die in a car crash they day after he was indicted, hired another CEO during the crisis and paid him $23 million a year by 2018, and then ended up in bankruptcy.  Well, they emerged and are doing just fine. This is a story in today's Dallas Morning News

  • If you saw lots of ambulances this morning in Wise County, there's a reason. There were at least three big wrecks between 7 and 8 a.m. First responders were scrambling. 
  • Ok, I'm calling it. Texas has officially peaked. And now watch how quickly the numbers are going to plummet. In a little over a week, I predict we will be under 20,000. 

  • Oh, my. This happened at home just off the Davis Boulevard and the Highway 26 split.

  • According to the story, she just opened the door and the dogs attacked her,  and there was a sign by the door that said "crazy dogs."

  • I mentioned yesterday that I thought former Bridgeport resident and current Lake Worth Police Chief J.T. Manoushagian was good at speaking with the press. It's a good thing. He's doing lots of press conferences lately. 

  • Interim campaign reports were due January 18th. AG Ken Paxton filed one a day late. But it was flawed. It listed $2.8 million in donations but, for $2.1 million of that amount, he failed to list who the money was from. He said he would file an "amended report" to fix the problem, but failed to do so yesterday. But we'll just blindly keep electing this guy. 

  • Don Huffines, who was on with Fox News' Tucker Carlson last night, speaks in code. "Culture." "Virtue to the public square." "Promise of our founding."  Either that, or even he has no idea what he is babbling about. 

  • Ok, this is dark

  • Elton John had to postpone both his Dallas concerts scheduled this week due to COVID. I saw him as a teenager at Moody's Coliseum on the SMU campus, and I was so close to the stage that I caught one of the dozens of roses that he threw out at the end of the show. It feels weird to admit I caught a rose thrown by Elton John. 

  • Official Liberally Lean forecast: Zero chance of snow. 
  • Legal nerdy stuff. This new policy really makes no sense. 

    • The D.A. says that his office, like all prosecutor offices, routinely make a recommendation to the grand jury as to whether a case presented to them should be indicted. But for some reason, his office was not in the habit of making a recommendation when the case involved a police officer who was a potential defendant.
    • He wanted to eliminate that double standard. Ok, I'm on board.
    • But instead of changing to policy to begin making a recommendation for police-as-defendants cases, his office now won't make a recommendation on any of the case. They will leave it completely up to the grand jury as to whether a case makes it to court.
    • That's weird.
    • First, 99% of the time the mere fact that a case is presented to a grand jury is because the prosecutor wants an indictment. If they didn't want to indict it, the D.A. could just kill it without even bothering the grand jury.  So the mere presentment of a case to them is a tacit recommendation to indict even if a prosecutor doesn't utter the words, "I recommend an indictment in this case."
    • Secondly, are they not even going to make a suggestion as to what the charge could be? Say they present a case of one guy firing a gun at another and missing by 30 feet, but don't make a recommendation. What's the charge if the grand jury wants to indict? Attempted murder? Aggravated assault? Deadly Conduct? Disorderly Conduct? Is there some other crime buried in the Penal Code that fits? Is the prosecutor not going to even recommend possible charges? 
  • Westlake resident Sean Payton has retired from the Saints, so it's almost a done deal that he'll end up with the Cowboys, right? Dallas will either be booted from the playoffs early next year or not make them at all, and then the Sean Payton will be named coach. And if that's basically a certainty, why not just do it right now? I think the problem is that the Saints could demand draft picks to let Peyton out of his four year contract despite his "retirement", and they would want a fortune right now. (Flashback: Jon Gruden was sold by Raiders owner Al Davis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for two first round draft picks, two second round draft picks, plus $8 million. And that was 20 years ago.) 

  • Extremely random thought: This is a pretty good little invention. Pretty, pretty good.

  • Messenger: Above the Fold