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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

 It opened the next year with the hiring of 3,000. And in 2016, it expanded with a second center next door that added 1,000 more positions.

  • Delkus warned us last night about this. I'm not sure it happened, but the roads are much worse than I expected. 

  • Our ice storm was very weird. But Austin got a brief rain storm that hit at the worst possible time to create ice. These types of photos were everywhere. That's kind of what I expected to happen here.

    • And Fox 4 has been showing the footage of this worker down there on a loop. It's driving me crazy that he's not wearing gloves as he chainsaws limbs and removes them.

  • China launched a spy balloon over us? Anyone else think this is an extremely little low-tech way to spy?

  • Yesterday, the Republican majority booted Rep. Ilhan Omar off of the Foreign Affairs Committee because either (1) she made anti-American statements, or (2) she's a Muslim and the vote was the result of the deal that Kevin McCarthy made with the right-wing crazies in order to become Speaker. Anyway, there were some notable sideshows:
    • Serial liar George Santos thinks AOC was being inauthentic in her passionate support of Rep. Omar.

    • American flag lapel pins somehow got replaced with AR-15 pens.

    • Kevin McCarthy, speaking to the press after the vote, fielded a question and gave an answer that the the MAGA Insurrectionists won't like.
  • This seems to be a under-the-radar development which seems significant.
  • The 5th Circuit yesterday struck down a federal law that prevents a person from possessing firearms if the are subject to a protective order issued because of a domestic violence allegation. More and more cases are jumping on a Supreme Court case from last term and striking down any gun regulation laws.  Opinion here. The Attorney General immediately issued a statement promising an appeal.
    • Legal nerdy background: If someone gets accused of domestic violence in Texas, they can apply to the local DA or CA to apply to a judge for a protective order. The order can be issued immediately based upon only an affidavit. After that, the person subject to the order is entitled to hearing before it can remain in effect. After the hearing, the order can stay in place for up to two years.  Notice that (1) this order is not permanent. and (2) it is a civil proceeding and not a criminal one. And it is certainly not a permanent criminal conviction. 
    • One thing which is sometimes done, is that a person agrees to the Order. That's what the defendant had done in that case in Tarrant County. The he got hit with a federal crime by possessing a gun while the protective order was still valid.
    • Extremely legal nerdy point: There's a way to agree to the protective order but still have the court not make the normally required finding that family violence had occurred or will occur. See Family Code §85.005. I don't think that such an agreed order would trigger the federal firearms prohibition -- although that is a moot point if the 5th Circuit decision stands.
  • In Ohio,  "aggravated menacing" apparently means pointing a gun at someone. Honestly, I don't know how the former OU star ever survived the shocking video of him slugging the girl in a bar in Norman while he was in college.

  • Kind of weird. Theater students at the University of Houston were rehearsing a "violent scene" outdoors when an officer saw them and mistakenly drew down on them. So then the Administration decided that the theater students should wear neon vests so they won't be accidentally shot.  
  • Legal nerdy stuff: The defense lawyer defending South Carolina Alex Murdaugh made a mistake all criminal defense lawyers fear when he either "opened the door" to what would have been inadmissible financial crimes and/or failed to properly object to it. Stay with me here.
    • He asked a state's witness, who otherwise didn't add all that much,  “Can you think of any circumstance that you can envision, knowing them as you do, where Alex would brutally murder Paul and Maggie?” He answered, "No."
    • The defense lawyer was probably feeling pretty good at that point. However, on re-direct, the prosecutor asked the witness, “Did you know anything about him being confronted on the morning of June 7, 2021, about $792,000 of missing fees from his law firm?” 
    • Hey, that's normally a question that is off limits. If he stole money from his law firm, that's an inadmissible extraneous crime in a murder case. But if the confrontation about the theft was a "circumstance . . . where" the murder could be "envisioned", it's fair game because of the defense lawyer's prior question. That's called "opening the door" to normally inadmissible evidence. 
    • I'm don't 100% follow how the confrontation was a "circumstance" that would lead to murder which necessarily "opened the door", but it doesn't really matter now because . . . 
    • The defense lawyer then screwed up again. He objected, but the objection was that the prosecutor's question was "totally inappropriate." That may be true, but that's not the right objection. He needed to say something about Rule 404 which makes such extraneous evidence inadmissible.  If you don't make the right objection, you waive any error.  That's what the judge tells him the next day outside the presence of the jury. Side note: The judge didn't need to say so much.
    • And then, to add insult to injury, the defense attorney gets wronged by the press! Look how this headline is misleading. It makes it sound like the defense lawyer, himself, acted inappropriately. And "scold" is an unfair word.

  • Being able to watch that trial live and then instantly read articles about evidence and procedure was unheard of when I was in law school. It would be invaluable today (if you had the time to watch it -- which I didn't.) But speaking of law school, I had a wild flashback last night when someone posted the following. That's the bathroom of the old Baylor law school. It looks exactly the same today. 
  • Breaking Big 12 News. OU and UT are stuck for two more years:

  • You guessed it: "Then in 2022, officials said they partnered with the DNA company Othram to look into the woman’s family history and shared their findings with the FBI for 'genealogical research.”'
  • 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, 213 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold. (They were delayed yesterday due to the weather.)


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

I was curious if he was still in prison and, yes, he still is. But not for that! He actually paroled out and picked up yet another drug offense in Clay County last year.  Sheesh, buddy.

  • Weather quick hits:
    • I think the roads will be OK tomorrow. Heck, they'll probably be fine this afternoon. Wise County will have 12 hours above freezing (11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.) 
    • Evaporation > "Freezing back over."
    • This storm pretty much panned out as predicted, but it sure wasn't much to look at while it was happening. 
    • Pete Delkus seems to be a guy who "pretends to be a jerk" who is probably really a jerk.

  • Here's the video. It looks like a typical stupid brawl.  The story just says the 60 year old was "taken by ambulance" to the hospital where he was "pronounced dead."

  • I don't understand why Abbott is going so hard on school vouchers. He's never had much an interest in them in the past, and now he seems hell bent on hurting public schools and teachers. And if you needed any confirmation that school vouchers are just a way for the government to fund certain religions, look at where he gave this speech: Annapolis Christian Academy in Corpus Christi.

  • Random stuff found while cooped up: I think this is an example of fantastic writing. It's just a short article in the New Yorker, and it had me sucked in about a subject I really didn't care about. This guy is really good. And I'm jealous. 

  • We've got a monkey theft epidemic. 

  • I was curious who was behind those giant warehouses going up at 287 and I-35 on the right as you head into Fort Worth. They are finishing up three and are going to build four more for a total of 880,000 square feet. Have I ever mentioned people are getting rich investing in those things? Two of the uncompleted buildings are already "fully leased to four tenants."

  • There's 100% chance she would have been part of the Klan back in the day.

  • Hot Sports Opinion: I think Deion Sanders will fail hugely at Colorado.
  • Cowboys quick hits:
    • Jerry was sporting some deer-chic attire yesterday.

    • Zeke note:

  • I really don't care that Tom Brady retired again, but I still can't get over that he gets to walk into this deal which has been waiting on him since last year:  

  • Messenger: Above the Fold? I don't see one online. The new schedule was supposed to have it "on newsstands and in your mailboxes each Thursday starting in February."


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

That's not a bad idea at all. The last 30 seconds of a close college basketball game is painfully unsatisfying. 

  • The National Weather Service has changed its forecast once again. 
    • Yesterday afternoon, an Ice Storm Warning was added on top of the Winter Storm Warning for Wise County and a handful of other counties.  The previously announced ending time of 6:00 a.m. Thursday remained the same. 

    • Then, in the middle of the night, that ending time was extended to 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. And the coverage of the purple Ice Storm Warning was expanded to included Dallas and Collin counties and others.

    • But I'm here to help: My Official Liberally Lean Weather Team tells me that Wise County will be hit hard today beginning at around 10:45 a.m., and that when it comes in, it will come in very strong. And it also won't let up until late into the night.  This will be nasty. 

    • Austin got hit with a different storm front a few hours ago. More than 100,000 customers are without power this morning, and that number keeps climbing. 

  • Let me tell you, this wouldn't have happened when I was a kid! Nothing stopped them. Looking at the list, the only Wise County office mentioned was in Slidell.

  • If you want to watch about a minute and half of cars sliding when going over a bridge in Dallas, here ya go.

  • Then you see this and realize it's not all fun and games. Getting out their and working wrecks in these conditions is when they really earn their paychecks. And money doesn't seem adequate in some cases.

  • The missing monkeys from the Dallas Zoo were found in a closet in an "abandoned" house.
Actual photo of one of the monkeys when located.

What I wish the photo had looked like. 
  • Trump has competition. 

  • Speaking of Trump, he reminded us yesterday of his payout to Stormy Daniels. This statement amounts to an admission not to mention its comedic value. "The very publicly known."

  • A little legal news from our friends in Montague County.

  • Exxon announced earnings yesterday and provided further proof that the gas price "inflation" surge was nothing but a big con. 

  • Big 12 schedules released. It's weird not playing everyone.

  • No Messenger today. This week starts the new Thursday-only cycle.