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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

Groundbreaking on the expansion of 380 from two lanes to four lanes on the way to Denton began this week. The projected was prompted by an accident in 2010 which took the lives of two Alvord teens, Samantha Rogers, 17, and Delaney Mancil, 15.

  • Normal Republican, conservative star, and former VP Dick Cheney appeared in a political ad for his daughter where he didn't mince words about Trump: "In our nation’s 246-year history, there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our republic than Donald Trump. He tried to steal the last election using lies and violence to keep himself in power after the voters had rejected him. He is a coward. A real man wouldn't lie to his supporters."

  • Moments ago. So is this a recession or not? 

  • The video of the wreck yesterday in Los Angeles that killed four and injured eight is one of the craziest things you'll see.  The speed of the car blowing through an intersection was off the charts. 

  • Alex Jones trial notes:
    • Jones was hit with a $4.1 million verdict yesterday. But the trial is not over. Today the jury returns to assess "punitive damages" -- damages to punish Jones over and above what they chose to compensate the plaintiffs. 

    • I really hate to say this, but I'm not unsympathetic to Jones' free speech argument. What he said was despicable, but was it really defaming? (But liability was imposed because of discovery sanctions, so that defense may not even exist on appeal.) 
    • The wild aspect of the Alex Jones trial is, of course, his lawyer mistakenly sending the plaintiffs' lawyer the two years of text messages of Jones' phone. Well, yesterday we learned how it went down. Jones' lawyer, during discovery, sent the wrong link to the plaintiffs' lawyer. The plaintiffs' lawyer calls the mistake to the attention of Jones' lawyer. He then thanks the plaintiffs' lawyer and tells him to "disregard" that link.  But that wasn't enough to keep the plaintiffs' lawyer from using it. Jones' lawyer had 10 days to seek protection from the court to keep the texts private. He didn't do it. Here's the email exchange:

  • Have you seen your most recent electric bill yet? Have I said before that we are all suckers? Dallas-based "Oncor’s quarterly profit soared to $229 million — up from $169 million during the same months last year . . . . The quarterly results didn’t even include July, which was one of the region’s hottest months on record."

  • Less than three months after the slaughter of nineteen children in Uvalde, Wise County's crazy congressman thought it would be a good idea to post this photo. And he's standing next to QAnon supporter Lauren Boebert.

  • This is still a wild story. It actually took two trials before this sentence was imposed because the first one was overturned after the judge learned "that a court security officer had discussed the case with a juror."

  • I was anxious to see if Sheriff Joe, 90, would lose his race to become mayor of a small town in Arizona, but they still don't know results despite the election being on Tuesday.  The last update I could find is from yesterday.

  • Speaking of Arizona, remember these faces. These are all election denying, Insurrection supporting, and Trump disciples. I mean, they are certifiable crazy.  They will all be on the general election ballot in November. 

    • On a related note, I'm re-reading my Hitler book on his unlikely rise to power in Germany. Take a look at this excerpt when, in the earliest days of the Nazi party (1926), he dispatched new buddy Joseph Goebel's to Berlin to try and rouse up support.  Less than three years after Hitler's first failed coup -- the equivalent of our January 6th -- that specific day had already become a "holy day of martyrdom in the Nazi calendar."  So keep an eye out for this: Does January 6th become a "holy day" for the Trump disciples?

  • 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: 3 years, 31 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

I had to go down my own rabbit hole to figure out what I was talking about. It caused a little bit of hubbub in the county when a guy decided to run for County Surveyor so the commissioner's court, in response, decided to put a proposition on the ballot to abolish the position. The ultimate result from later in the year  . . . 

  • There was a pretty big fire near Rhome last night. This video clip gives a pretty good indication of it's size. Those little red and blue lights seen in the screenshot are emergency vehicles.

  • The Alex Jones video clip of him being confronted with the news that his lawyer inadvertently turned over two years of text messages to the lawyer who was cross-examining him went viral yesterday. But . . .

    • As attention-grabbing as that moment was, there really weren't any texts from those two years that were all that relevant for impeachment. The set-up was great, but the payoff was underwhelming. 
    • But how Jones' lawyer just sat on his hands during that entire exchange is amazing. Buddy, do something. Just make up an objection if you can't think of one.  

    • "You know what perjury is?" is an amateur question and makes you sound like you learned trial work from watching Law and Order.  But everyone else out there seemed to eat it up.
    • Don't get me wrong. I still hope Alex Jones gets hit with a billion dollar verdict. 
  • The Brittney Griner trial is concluding this morning. It has to be a long sentence, right? I mean, a short sentence just hurts Russia's negotiating rights in a prisoner exchange. 

  • Indiana Congresswoman, two young aides, killed in car crash.

    • That made me curious as to how often a member of Congress dies while in office.  Answer: All the time (although normally it's from natural causes or sudden illness.)
  • Oh, my. "The gas station clerk told officers [she] walked into the store and bought 50 cents worth of gasoline . . . .  Another witness told police they saw [her then] pump the gas into the back seat of the Jeep before walking around to the driver’s side and igniting it. The affidavit says witnesses saw the [victim] get out of the Jeep engulfed in flames and run through the parking lot before someone used a fire extinguisher on him."  There's probably video of that in the hands of police and prosecutors.

  • John Eastman, who should be one of the first to be indicted, not only was committing treason but also trying to get rich while doing it. 

  • The Senate voted 95-1 yesterday to allow Sweden and Finland to enter NATO. The one Senator who voted against it did so to get attention. Guess which station and host obliged him last night.

  • How other states would have voted if the Kansas abortion law were put to a vote (according to an analysis of the New York Times.) I think this is spot on. 

  • If you want to watch a weird 22 second clip of Congressman Madison Cawthorn play commando, here you go

  • Former OU great and current Cardinal wide receiver Marquis "Hollywood" Brown was arrested for "criminal speeding" yesterday -- a crime I had never heard of. Apparently Arizona upgrades a speeding charge if you go faster than 20 miles over the speed limit. But that deserves an arrest? That's dumb.

  • And another. I had to double-check to make sure this is different than the 1.7 million project that Hillwood just announced and which I referenced on Monday. It is. 

  • Britney has an issue with you Catholics out there. 

  • Very, very legal nerd stuff: If a judge dismissed a DWI case seven months after the arrest on the basis of a defense Speedy Trial claim, do you think it would stand up on appeal? Nope. (Opinion handed down yesterday.) I can't believe it was ever granted, but I'd love to practice in front of that judge. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

Basically the last old-fashioned gas station in the county shut down 10 years ago.  Dennis Hudson had just won back his long-time side gig as constable, and decided to close his place in Decatur.

  • Since Dobbs, we had the first state-wide vote in the country over the right to choose last night. And in one of the most conservative states in the land, the right to abortion won in a landslide

    • Trump beat Biden there by 15 points. But even there, the abortion vote wasn't close. This is a big deal. 

    • Every Texas state politician should be asked this question: Do you support letting the people decide the abortion issue by allowing a state-wide vote on whether the Texas Constitution should be amended to reflect the will of the people regardless of the result?
  • Dallas County seems to one of the few jurisdictions where judges allow the prosecutor to display the victim's photograph in a prominent location in the courtroom throughout the trial. The cynic in me says the judges allow it because they get name recognition points from photos like this. 

  • It's the one year anniversary of the escaped Grand Prairie cobra being on the run. His owner, who looked like you expected him to look, was arrested on a misdemeanor, but I don't know whatever happened to that case. 

  • The city of Wichita Falls and Wichita County are making news for high government salaries.
    • A city councilman in Wichita Falls was shut down after he tried to speak at the "public forum" part of the agenda. He was arguing against salary increases for the top city earners, and argued that the money should be distributed to "the workers bees -- the people that are out there on the streets and deserve it." 

    • And the county was under scrutiny over the weekend. Look at this excerpt which lists some salaries.  (As always, click to enlarge.)

  • Jon Stewart single handily shamed the Republicans into passing the Burn Pit Bill yesterday. They quickly caved last night with only 11 holding out.  Ted Cruz, as he tends to do, took a beating in this fiasco.

  • Parker County has done a Parker County thing by declaring its residents "under and imminent threat of disaster" due to the "invasion" of illegal immigrants. Even a representative of the small band on Wise County Conservatives, who meet in a church, showed up to support it.  

  • Random things I learned at the courthouse yesterday:
    • Normally, at this time of year, crickets are overwhelming the place. But this year there isn't a single one to be seen.  Speculation by an elected official: A drought is bad for crickets.
    • Someone drinks this stuff:

  • Vin Scully passed away last night. My earliest memories of him are of his play-by-play calls of the Cotton Bowl game.  He was also the TV voice of Dwight Clark's "The Catch" against the Cowboys (video) as well as Kirk Gibson's home run in the World Series in 1988 (video.)

  • I suppose there was a reason six Porsches were lined up in a parking lot behind Sweetie Pie's in Decatur on Friday. 

  • Did you know there's a public database of you, your address, and whether you've voted in the general election over the years?
  • Messenger: Above the Fold