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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

Ted Cruz was not a Texas senator ten years ago. He was running against Craig James and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert. The rest of that exchange is here.

  • 287 in Rhome seemed to be a dicey proposition yesterday morning. 

  • Russia/Ukraine:
    • For about a week now I've been thinking that "Keeve" in Ukraine must be somewhere different than the city of "Kee-EV" that I had heard about all my life.  Nope. One and the same. I just didn't get the memo that the pronunciation of Kyiv had changed.
    • There were a ton of videos yesterday from the Russian invasion, but the one that stuck with me the most is this one.  Sound up - that's important. That's an incoming plane firing a missile.

    • Wise County has a couple of zip codes which have the highest percentage of Ukrainians in Texas. If my math is correct -- and that's always a crapshoot -- we've got around 80 people in and around Decatur and Bridgeport. I think technically this is people who identified their ancestry as being from the Ukraine in the Census

    • The last couple of days feels like my teen years when we all feared the Russians all the time. They were the threat back in the day. 
    • Pop culture shows that are relevant right now: 
      • The Americans - Russia embedding spies in the U.S. by having them live as a suburban family (and actually loosely based on a true story). I really liked it. 

      • House of Cards - It had a fantastic character who played a big role as Putin, and now that's who I think about whenever I see the real Putin speak.  And I actually felt like I learned something about U.S.-Russian relations.

  • Yeah, you shouldn't be saying that, but take a look at the video. These are just three teachers bs'ing in the hallway while someone records them from at least 30 feet away. It doesn't justify the remarks, but I'd hate to be a teacher where every kid might be a spy.  (Story.)

  • This is the way so many things work. Spot a crisis. Hype it up. And then capitalize on it with the sole intention of just increasing your budget. After all, what legislator is going to vote against fighting, say, "human trafficking" when it is in the news every day?

  • This is funny to watch. "Raise your hand if you believe Joe Biden won the election." George P is not a moron. Louie, as we know, is. And Eva Guzman had to check out both of them before she decided how to answer. (Paxton didn't attend.)

  • Confirmed moments ago, President Biden will announce his Supreme Court nominee to be Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, who is currently on the federal appellate court in D.C. She was confirmed for her current position by this very Senate just last year (on a vote of 13–9 in committee and 52-46 overall.)

  • Former Baylor coach Art Briles has been hired as the offensive coordinator at Grambling State, and he's looking like LBJ in his later years. 

  • 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: 967 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

This was a  big story which just quietly went away. A young lady from Frisco claimed she was abducted after a basketball game by a "stranger [who] put a gun in her face, forced her into a car, and drove her to Muskogee, Oklahoma." She described him as "a  black male in his 20s who is about 5-8 to 5-9." She was found 24 hours later after she called 911 (listen to it) from a Braum’s in Muskogee where she told cops she got away from her abductor -- but couldn't tell them the road she was on when she escaped. Cops quietly closed the case oddly calling it, oddly, an "isolated incident", and the girl's father stopped talking to the press calling it a "private issue." 

  • I don't know if Russia invading Ukraine last night is the equivalent of Germany rolling into Poland, but it ain't good. 

    • It was pretty wild a couple of hours ago when CNN cameras captured rocket launches into Ukraine in real time. Video

    • Second to the invasion, the other troubling thing is that Putin seems to acting irrationally and talking a little like a madman. He appeared to threaten nuclear retaliation if anyone interferers with Russia's movements.

    • And what's up with Putin calling Ukraine's President a "Nazi"?  President Zelenskyy is  democratically elected and just happens to be Jewish. 

    • I'll say it again, the U.S. would never, ever involve our own troops in this conflict. Not a chance. Heck, no country in NATO  is going to send troops. In the end, Ukraine would probably be better off acting like Austria instead of Poland and just give up in order to avoid loss of life and destruction. It's already over. 
    • And that's about everything I know about this whole mess. 
  • It's not exactly a Winter Blizzard outside, but you'd be nuts to get on the roads.
  • The morphing of Greg Abbott continues.  Back in the day (like 12 months ago), he would never comment on a pending case regardless of the subject matter  

  • I think paying big money for color commentary guys is a total waste of money for the networks. If you put some spare in that job, ratings would not change one iota. (Hot sports opinion: And what exactly is so great about Aikman? In addition to having no personality, concentrate on just his words next fall, and tell me exactly what incredible insight he's providing.)

  • The Denton County Sheriff's Office is giving all the tell-tale signs that they are involved in a cover-up. After two years, they still refuse to release bodycams and more related to an incident where a deputy shot a man in the back. No charges were filed, there is no potential criminal case, no potential civil case, but they still won't turn over the records. The Denton Record Chronicle has also been stone-walled and Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree won't return their calls about their own Open Records request. 
    Front page of Record Chronicle today

  • Legal nerdy stuff: I don't quite understand it, but Justice Breyer accidentally let slip during oral arguments yesterday how the Court will decide a case which hasn't been released yet. Transcript.
  • Of all the homes listed for sale in Austin right now, only eleven are under $400,000. Edit: Maybe.


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

This turned out to be a bad deal when this truck hit the criminal courts building in downtown Fort Worth  The couple was from Wise County, and the female passenger died afterwards. And the end result the following year was a little surprising . . . 

  • Wise County schools are closed.  From a review of Twitter, Bridgeport ISD called school off seven minutes before Decatur, and also had a fancy graphic ready to go. 

  • It is chaos out there.

  • Someone email me or message me with an answer to this: Where can you watch live video of TxDOT traffic cameras? I've been to their website, and even navigated to the "traffic cams" for a particular city (like Fort Worth here), but if you click on any of the camera on the map, I just get a still picture which is updated every minute or two.  But all the local stations seem to have access to live video feeds. 
    Video for this 

  • The Little Ball of Insurrection was on The Ticket yesterday. She came across as dumb as a box of rocks, maintained her innocence, and claimed she was only prosecuted for her "protected speech." Listener blowback online for the station giving her a forum was great. Highlights of her interview:
    •  She said she would do it all again, but not in Washington D.C. (?) because she felt like "the Christians being fed to the lions" in court.
    • “They didn’t give me coffee” -- On one of the ways in which prison was “torture”
    • “My best friend was a black girl”— While discussing that she was in a pod with “drug dealers” 
    • “But I got to watch the Cowboys game!” - a form of torture?
    • “I wasn’t allowed to call to check on my dogs.”
    • She considers herself a "social media expert" who "trains others",  and couldn't understand how doing a live feed of entering the Capitol with the mob and posing for a photo with a broken window was misinterpreted.   (I had forgotten that the video had her yelling "In the name of Jesus!" when she entered the building.)
    • Audio of complete interview.

    • Side note: The most entertaining part of the mid-day show was, while waiting for the Jenna Ryan segment, co-hosts Dan and Jake suddenly talked about how confused they were that the Bridgeport girls team is named the "Sissies."
  • Remember how this former Ranger great was crucified after he was indicted (!) for the felony (!) offense of Injury to a Child (!)?   It was, in the end, a situation where the facts were overblown. It was reduced to a misdemeanor, and he received one year deferred adjudication. 

  • Whose side are they on?

  • Oklahoma is booming.

    • And if he were smart, he would make this a major campaign issue. 

  • The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case yesterday, and their ruling can already be safely predicted. Can a Colorado law which prevents discrimination against gay people be enforced against a company which designs wedding websites but refuses to offer its services to gay couples?  When it gets framed as as a free speech issue with the web designer positioned as the victim and an "artist", as the Court did yesterday, you know how it will end: 

  • With all the campaign filing rules, it's easy to miss a deadline and get fined the typical $100 -- it happened to me once. But I have no idea how you owe $33,000. That amount is owed by Theresa Hawthorne who owes it, pictured in the middle.

  • For DFW sports talk radio fans only: Former FAN show hosts reunited briefly yesterday when Richie Whitt ran into Greg "The Hammer" Williams (also formerly of The Ticket as well as being Boyd's own).  I would think this might be a bit awkward, because Whitt released a multi-part detailed tell-all story of their brutal break up and firing about 10 years ago. 

  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

Before there was Fuzzy's on the square in Decatur, we had South Beach. This is the anniversary when things did not go well for it. 

  • Post publish edit: The Little Ball of Insurrection™ is going to be live in studio on The Ticket at 1:45 today for half an hour.  
  • We had hail!
    • WFAA: Hail tracking across Wise County last night: 

    • I think this video refers to Heritage Creek North subdivision which is actually about six miles or so southeast of Decatur. 

    • Channel 11 with a couple of photos. This one would be from the same general area:

    • Balsora:

  • Now for the cold. Delkus says we are smack dad in the middle of a Winter Storm Warning.  

    • Official Prediction: Wednesday morning is a coin flip. Thursday is a problem. At this point, I think Thursday morning will leave us with icy roads. Wednesday morning? Sheesh. That's a tough one, pal. At 7:00 a.m. tomorrow, chances of precipitation are around 30% to 45% with temperatures in the upper 20s but we won't crack freezing all day.  Thursday morning we are looking at 80% chance with temps in the low 20s. Plan accordingly.
  • Not exactly. Mexico got screwed over when the Texas territory was taken away from them by force. The Soviet Union voluntarily cut Ukraine loose in 1991.  

  • If people need this explained to them, we've got big trouble. 

  • "Led the fight." 

  • We've now reached the stage of politics where (1) the truth doesn't matter, and (2) common decency doesn't matter. There has to be a fancy word for that, right?
  • It's 2-22-22. 
  • Not nerdy legal stuff:

  • If The Graduate were rewritten today, I would replace "plastics" with "warehouses." (Does anyone understand that reference?)

  • Speaking of dated movies, the Ticket had been running some kind of promo where the voice-over guy said, "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"  One show mentioned that the station had received a ton of messages complaining that the statement was factually inaccurate. But can you really blame them? Animal House is now 44 years old. 

  • I don't know if it is any good, but the Messenger has released an app for Apple and Android devices.