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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

You can't find Nazi stuff at gun shows now, right? Or can you?

  • Yesterday's January 6th hearing was stunning. Mike Pence almost got killed because Donald Trump almost got him killed. And it was all because Trump wanted to overturn an election and decided Pence was the weak link to make it happen. 

  • It was all so simple. John Eastman came up with a plan that Mike Pence could single handedly overturn the election by not counting the electoral votes on January 6th as required by the Constitution.    Target one man. The weakest man in the administration. A man who is a true Trump sycophant. And when it didn't work, you let the mob be your last "Hail Mary."
    Front page of the New York Times today

    Eastman on January 6th.

  • The timeline as laid out yesterday by the Committee:
    • Twenty minutes before Trump speaks to the mob he had called to Washington (because it will be "wild"), he calls Mike Pence in front of his inner circle to make one final attempt to strong arm Pence to not count the electoral votes.  He calls Pence the "P-word" during the "heated" conversation. These are actual photos from that moment.

    • Trump then speaks to the mob and, as we learned yesterday, changes his prepared remarks to include references to Mike Pence and what he wants him to do. 

      From the transcript.

    • At the same time as Trump is riling up the crowd, Pence announces via Twitter that he won't follow Trump and Eastman's illegal scheme.

    • The mob then moved to the Capitol as directed by Trump and, once they breach it, Trump sends this tweet at 2:24 p.m. It might be the closest act to attempted murder a president has ever done. It is hard to think of a worse thing that any president has ever done. Seriously. Come up with a different one.

    • The crowd acknowledges that tweet, it gets read on megaphones, and then the insurrectionists really get ramped up. "Hang Mike Pence!" is screamed as the Capitol is invaded. (Watch this new minute and half video shown yesterday of how the crowd kept referencing Pence.)

    • With the mob getting close, the Secret Service moves Pence down to a loading dock for safety. The mob gets within 40 feet of him along the way. 40 feet. 

    • Pence, once in the loading dock area, refuses to get in a car and leave. As he told his Secret Service agent, "Tim, I know you, I trust you, but you’re not the one behind the wheel." Wow. But who can blame him?  He doesn't know to what lengths Trump would go to stop the certification. The new photos are haunting. 

    • Finally, at 3:42 a.m., not to let Trump get away with his plan, the electoral votes are finally counted and Joe Biden is certified as President Elect of the United States.
  • How John Eastman does note end up in prison over all of this is beyond me. He came up with the legal "theory" that the U.S. Vice-President had unilateral authority to reject certified State electors -- a plan he knew was illegal. And if Eastman deserves to go to prison for trying to overthrow the United States, how does Trump not go with him? And, if not, what the hell does it take if this attempted coup doesn't get you there? Even Eastman knows he's in trouble because he put in for a pardon.
    It's like he is ordering a pizza.

  • Fittingly, last night was the 50 year anniversary of the Watergate break in. 

  • Last thought on the hearings yesterday.  Retired federal judge, and darling of conservatives everywhere, J. Michael Luttig, had some great things to say ---  Trump poses a “clear and present danger to American democracy” for example.  That's spot on.  But, otherwise, he was a disastrous witness simply because of his presentation. He spoke slowly, with long pauses, and then wouldn't shut up.  (Just look at how long his "opening statement" was. Good gawd.  Talk about an ego.)

  • A guy climbed the outside of the Devon building in downtown Oklahoma City yesterday. Here's a video from someone in an office as he goes by. 

  • A plane crashed into Lady Bird Lake yesterday. 

  • The SMU Jones film collection released silent footage yesterday of "A day at Camp Soroptimist in Paradise, Texas. KERA Collection. Early 1970s." I had never heard of that.
  • Family/Genealogical  DNA followed by police footwork solves another case.

  • Time which has passed since the Wise County Sheriff's Office, despite having a full male DNA profile, has failed to solve the murder of Lauren Whitener in her home at Lake Bridgeport: 1,080 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold (we have a new unsolved murder and an unrelated story about how genealogical  DNA led to a lost father for a Wise County man)


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

By executive order, DACA was born. 

  •  January 6th/Attempted Coup big news for those who care about Democracy:
    • We have a wife of a Supreme Court justice who, it now seems clear based upon a new Washington Post story, was a full blown Insurrectionist and who was in it very, very deep. (We already knew she had exchanged text messages with Trump's chief of staff during the coup planning period.)

    • And the New York Times, in an unrelated story just released, reports that Eastman was engaged in email correspondence before January 6th with Trump lawyers saying he had information that the Supreme Court justices were in a "heated fight" over the election. How do you think he knew that? Fun fact: Eastman was actually a law clerk to Clarence Thomas.

    • Rep. Barry Loudermilk once denied giving any tours on January 5th. Now we know not only that he spent hours doing so when no tours were allowed due to COVID, but that one man in the group was taking pictures of underground tunnels, security areas, and stairwells. The next day that same man would walk towards the Capitol and record himself saying, “There’s no escape Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler. We’re coming for you.”  Thread of all info

  • In Midland, a guy who was found not guilty of killing a police officer has filed a petition requesting the the DA be removed from office for incompetence and misconduct.  (The actual criminal case was nuts: The acquitted man shot and killed an officer after a malfunctioning silent alarm caused police to enter his home, allegedly without warning.)  This is all pretty interesting. The petition and its exhibits are very detailed (and even includes a grand jury transcript and, oddly, a still photo from inside the grand jury room.)   And this removal case could get really dicey because, if the case goes forwards, it is the elected County Attorney's duty to prosecute the removal petition under a wonky Texas law.  Side note: A Fort Worth lawyer is one of the lawyers filing the petition on the man's behalf. 
    D.A. in the grand jury room

  • I've been ignoring poor Odessa. A pipe broke on Monday completely shutting off water to the city. It should slowly start being restored throughout the day today. 

  • This is a dumb warningIt's Tennessee. I'd be disappointed if every dollar didn't test positive for drugs. 

  • The "artist" who created a series of wacky Trump paintings has released a new one. Of the many things about it which short circuits my brain, one of them is definitely the Confederate belt buckle being worn by a man who just happens to be black. 

  • Uh, yes. 100% yes.

  • I'm not sure I had ever heard of an "immaculate inning" before yesterday's Ranger game. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

The victim was 81.  Here's the WCSO's initial press release. Ultimately, there were a lot of guilty pleas: Roger Hammons (40 years - eligible for parole in 2032), Jimmy Murrell (50 years - eligible for parole in 2037), Michael Cordova (10 years - out of prison), and Sheri White (7 months to Theft of Firearm).

  •  In an effort to halt inflation, the Fed will probably raise interest rates by .75% today.

  • Here's a hot political opinion. There is no way the incumbent party wins a presidential election when inflation is this high. (I saw first hand what happened to Jimmy Carter,) But that's not the hot opinion, this is: I think Donald Trump is the only Republican who could possibly lose the next presidential election. Anyone other Republican, right now, looks like a shoo-in. 
  • We've got another Munchausen Syndrome arrest in Tarrant County.

    • Flashback to two stories from March of last year: 

  • I love this former lawyer of Trump, Eric Herschmann, who tried to stop Insurrectionist nutcase John Eastman in his tracks by giving him "the greatest free legal advice" he had ever given:

    • His testimony regarding the January 6th investigation is today. And he is no Dirty Lib. He "testified in Trump’s defense during his Senate impeachment trial, discussing in detail former Vice President Joe Biden’s work in Ukraine and his son’s membership on the board of a scandal-dogged energy firm there."
  • Dueling stories from yesterday:
  • DPS disputes that 13 troopers were in the hallway in Uvalde.  You believe them?

  • The story didn't disclose where exactly it was or what it cost, but it did tell us it was "on a 0.228-acre lot." Seems odd.

  • Republicans "flipped" a Congressional seat on the Texas border last night in a special election. But the seat is weird, because it will contested again in November when the race will appear on the regular ballot (and where the turnout will be heavier.)

  • Sheesh. Bonds Ranch Road is already about to implode due to traffic as they all try to get to 287 (which is the only feasible way out of all those residential developments along it.) Now there will be more. 


  • Signs we are doomed:
    • Although the majority of people still think Trump bears "significant responsibility" for January 6th, the a new poll actually shows that number going down

    • And Republicans who have won the party's nomination in the primaries so far have been by and large promoting The Big Lie. And these numbers don't even include the winners from last night. This is a really good Washington Post graphic:

  • Book reviews:
    • Not bad. It is heavy on Texas death penalty history:

    • Meh. After the first 75 pages about early militias, I learned nothing: 

  • You know what has become really bad? Local newscasts. 4, 8, and 11 have basically no news stories other than a couple of headlines we already know about. After that, it's just a meandering hodgepodge of nothingness. 
  • Messenger: Above the Fold