The Campaign For DA


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

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)


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

Still true. 

  • I don't know how you could drop your kids off at school yesterday without crying. 
  • No one wants to say it, but it is becoming clear that the police response in Uvalde may have left something to be desired.  It didn't help that DPS Director Steve McCraw stammered and contradicted prior DPS spokesmen yesterday at the massive press conference.

    • After crashing the truck, the shooter made his way onto the school property and "encountered" an officer. That officer was "wounded" but did not return fire. We know the shooter dropped a backpack at this point. I keep seeing this overhead shot of what looks like blood on the sidewalk and a backpack nearby. I have no idea if that is the scene of the first encounter. 

    • We've got some footage of the shooter outside of the school all dressed in black and carrying the rifle. That's a man clearly with bad intentions. 

    • He then entered the school and encountered two more officers. They fired and were possibly wounded in an exchange of gunfire. (But even this isn't 100% confirmed.)
    • The shooter then makes his way into a classroom, which was connected by an inner door to another classroom, and barricades himself. There he massacres 19 kids and two teachers while police, contrary to what DPS had reported, waited a very, very long time (40 to 60 minutes) to enter the classroom. It sounds like they were gathering and assembling a "swat" like team during that time -- a team which probably was composed primarily of border agents. 

    • Outside, parents yelled at police to enter.  Fox 4 News was even showing video of this this morning.   Edit: Here it is
    • The small Uvalde PD somehow has its own SWAT team. I have no idea where it was.

    • Look, this is tough. It might have been split second decisions with split second mistakes. But if there is security footage of all of this, I bet it won't be good. 
  • Greg Abbott was horrible in his press conference yesterday in his attempt to try to relay facts. He shocked everyone by saying the shooter "posted on Facebook" (video cued up) 30 minutes before the murders that "I'm going to shoot my grandmother", then had a "second post" of "I shot my grandmother",  and then another one less than 15 minutes before the mass murder of "I'm going to shoot an elementary school."  And while the shooter did say that, it is false that he posted the messages on Facebook. They weren't public posts on Facebook for all to see -- and potentially react to -- but instead were private messages sent to a 15 year old girl in Germany.  All major news agencies ran with the "posted on Facebook" story before Facebook itself issued a press notice that it wasn't true. (The girl in Germany had already come forward with the texts.)

  • Abbott also had two other questionable statements during his dog and pony show.
    • "It could have been worse."
      • What a horrible thing to say and, at this point, I'm not sure that's even true.
    • As to whether he will attend the NRA convention, he said he hadn't decided because “I’m living moment to moment right now.”
      • Good god. I know 21 people that aren't living moment to moment. 
  • Beto interrupted Abbott's press conference after Abbott had concluded his remarks.

    • Some critics call it a publicity stunt, and it may very well have been, but he was interrupting a publicity stunt. Every single guy on that stage is clowning us. They know they will never do anything about dead children, but they do this grandiose press conference to create the illusion that they care.

    • And they seemed to be more upset and have a greater reaction to Beto than the slaughter of babies. 
    • Based upon their deer-in-headlights reaction to an unexpected speaker, I don't think they would handle an active shooter situation very well.
    • My favorite part was Abbott's DPS lapdog Steve McCraw sitting on his hands and oddly smacking his lips when it went down. Have I mentioned he makes $299,813 a year?

    • After two years of nutcases screaming at school boards over masks and CRT, Beto looked downright reasonable. 
  • Ted Cruz has a plan! Have just "one door"!

  • Follow the money.  And he's still on the NRA's schedule this weekend.  

  • I've always had an interest in front pages. 

  • Four days, three purchases. Two AR-15 rifles and 375 rounds of ammo. All right after turning 18 years old.

  • From Uvalde Police Department's Facebook page:

    • Yep. She was one of the victims.

  • Before the Miami Heat game last night and after the moment of silence, the PA Announcer urged voters to call the Senate switchboard and to vote to "make changes at the ballot box." (Video) The crowd roared.

  • I'm on the verge of conceding the United States is not on a sustainable path. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

Sandy Hook was not exactly 10 years ago. December 14, 2012 to be exact. But you get the point. 

  • Again, indeed.

  • At least 19 dead children. 2 dead teachers. And nothing will change.  I've said it before: If 20 dead children at Sandy Hook didn't give America a wake up call, nothing will. And, sadly, this won't either. 
  • DPS said this morning the dead children were all in the same 4th grade classroom. I'm sick. 
  • DPS also said this morning that it was an AR-15 "style" weapon used by the 18 year old shooter. He bought two of them on his 18th birthday according to his now deleted Instagram account. It was easy. That weapon of death should sound familiar. It's always an AR-15.

  • Well armed, the teenage killer fought his way into the school.  Credit to the DPS spokesman for being so candid with Anderson Cooper last night. 
  • Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, and Greg Abbott are scheduled to be there, too.

  • They should be playing and laughing today. Instead their parents are shopping for little coffins.  
    • Xavier Lopez, 10

    • Oh, there's more. Many more. Don't look away.
    • Mekenna Lee Elrod, 10.

    • Uziyah Garcia, 10

    • Nevaeh Bravo, 4th grader

    • Amerie Jo Garza, 10

    • Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, 10

    • Ellie Garcia, 4th Grader

    • Tess Mata, 4th Grader

    • Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10

    • Alithia Ramirez, 10

    • Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10

    • Jailah Nicole Silguero, 11

    • Miranda Mathis, 11

    • Elijah Cruz Torres, 10

    • Alexandria “Lexi” Aniyah Rubio, 10

    • Jose Flores, 10

    • Rogelio Torres, 10. Difference maker.

    • Eva Mireles, 4th grade teacher

    • Irma Garcia, 4th grade teacher

  • Nothing else matters today.