Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

Three bodies in each car. All found this week ten years ago in Oklahoma. Positive IDs of all the persons would occur the next year. 

  • Breaking: Things about to get even more right wing at Fox News. But his last big act will always be known as that of settling a libel suit for Fox News' election lies for $787 million. 

  • We now have responses filed by the judge (here) and the prospective new defense lawyers (here) in the Tanner Horner case. Background: Private lawyers were appointed by the court to represent Horner but were then removed when it was discovered that Wise County had contracted with a group called RPDO to represent all capital murder defendants. 

    • Highlights from the documents:
      • The judge says that the previous court appointed lawyers he removed had already billed the county $36,029.00 in attorney fees. 
      • That if the private lawyers were left on the case that the bills will eventually be "between $500,000.00 to $700,000.00 in additional court appointed attorney fees and related expenses."
      • We find out how the judge learned about Wise County was part of a previous contract which should have led to the appointment of RPDO over the private lawyers. 

      • The new prospective lawyers attached an "unsworn declaration" from Horner saying he wants the new lawyers. 
    • Legal nerdy stuff: I'm curious as to why they made the declaration "unsworn." That was a calculated decision. Certainly they had access to a notary public and, even if they didn't, they could have added special language at the bottom of the form which serves as the functional equivalent of a sworn declaration. So why make it intentionally unsworn? 
      • Was it Fifth Amendment concerns? I don't think you waive your Fifth Amendment right forever by simply signing an affidavit.  But I guess you could be concerned about it. 
      • The whole reason the D.A. filed the writ with the Court of Criminal Appeals objecting to the new lawyers was to prevent Horner from coming back years later on a post conviction appeal and saying he didn't want his private lawyers removed. The D.A. wants the issue resolved now. A "sworn declaration" would have solved that problem if Horner would have said under oath that he likes his new lawyers and the court kept them on. But the one filed is legally insignificant and means nothing.  
    • So how will the court rule? The unsworn declaration is a distraction, but it shouldn't play a role in the decision. I think the court will disregard it since it is unsworn and try to decide the case on whether the law required the new lawyers to be appointed or not. So long as the issue is put to bed, I don't think the D.A. really cares. 
  • Writer's strike close to being resolved?

  • Even Michael Scott didn't think about suing when he had a similar problem in The Office.

  • So the ultra-MAGA extremist Republicans, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, want to shut down the government on October 1st because they want to save Trump?  Oh, my! It's more proof the next election is about the heart of democracy.

  • I said from the very first day that NFTs were the dumbest thing I had ever seen and were the equivalent of 1990s Beanie Babies.  I was right: "95 percent of NFTs wouldn’t fetch a penny today . . . . The study estimates that some 23 million investors own these tokens of no practical use or value."

  • Greg Abbott is appealing to Christian pastors to get behind "school vouchers." I'll say it for the millionth time: This is nothing more than funneling your tax dollars away from your local public school to supplement some kid's tuition to a private Christian school which can use your money any way it see fit with no rules or restrictions. 

  • Although I can't say tax dollars are always used wisely  . . . 

  • Messenger - Above the Fold