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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

It was never even close to being a slam-dunk case for the State. 

  • In what is probably already the most famous criminal case in Wise County history, a small speedbump has been hit.   Tanner Horner's attorneys have been removed because of an existing  agreement that Wise County had entered into with some entity called the Regional Public Defender Office which, according to that agreement, is solely responsible for defending any death penalty case in the county. It will now take over the case for Horner. 

    • As a consequence, Fort Worth lawyer Bill Ray, who had been appointed to represent Horner,  is out. 

    • The organization has now been listed as attorney of record in the Wise County records..
    • As I understand this, the agreement was signed as a type of "capital murder insurance" to protect small counties, which rarely have death penalty cases, from having to foot the defense bill which can be exorbitant. The following counties in blue have signed similar agreements:

    • Of course, the big question is how no one realized that the agreement would apply to this case from the start. In everyone's defense, I had no idea about it either. The agreement was signed on January 10, 2022.  The murder of Athena Strand occurred in December of 2022. Bill Ray was appointed within two weeks. The State announced it was seeking the death penalty in late February, 2023.

  • We have another Trump Insurrection defendant sentenced. Not enough.

  • While the angst-of-the-day is the elimination of DEI (Diversity/Equity/Inclusion) training everywhere, yesterday afternoon a House Republican referred to African-Americans as "colored people" on the House floor. Once again, this happened in the year of our Lord, 2023. Video.

  • Oh, my.

  • Old timers like me will remember him fondly: Long-time WFAA anchor John Criswell has died. 

  • The silly floating balls on the Rio Grande were being installed yesterday.

  • Former NFL great and future Hall of Famer Phillip Rivers must really love kids.

  • One of the Fort Worth road rage incidents made it into The Washington Post this morning. 

  • Let's check in on Fox News.  I had been wondering what "Scotty Potty" and "Princess Lili's gender fluid bike" had been thinking. 

  • Very, very nerdy legal stuff: On Wednesday, we had a court of appeals affirm a trial court's decision to throw out a breath test in a DWI case. After the defendant had agreed to provide a sample, he began to reconsider a bit and start asking questions/advice from the officer. The following responses of the officer resulted in the judge finding that the consent was voluntary. 

  • Business note: I saw this headline so I took a quick look to try and figure out who was going to get rich off this deal.  Basically I learned that Denbury is primarily owned by well known mutual funds. But I really got sidetracked when I learned that Denbury was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy three years ago where they "shedded" $2.1 billion in debt under a court-supervised reorganization. So people got shafted out of $2.1 billion and now it gets sold for $5 billion? We are all suckers.

  • 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: 4 years and 10 days.


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

Texas Senate protests were pretty ramped up back in the day. (And on the same week, another lady was forcibly removed while she was speaking at hearing -- probably illegally so. I did a post about it with the video.)

  • Here's the video of the incident which got a Sanger (and former Wise County) police officer fired and indicted. It's bad, but not as bad as I expected. But the fact that his report of the incident contradicted what actually went down did not help matters.

  • Moments ago, the FDA approved over-the-counter birth control pills for the first time.

  • Ukraine's President Zelenskyy backed off his comments criticizing NATO for not immediate letting Ukraine into the alliance. Side note: He is a really small guy.

  • President Biden "will be just 120 miles from Russia’s border when he stops in Helsinki on Thursday to celebrate Finland’s newly-minted membership in NATO." This is also the five year anniversary of Trump standing on stage with Putin in Helsinki and telling the world that he believes Putin over law-enforcement intelligence that Russia had invaded social media with bots to try an influence the American election. It was a jaw-dropping moment
  • The amount of disrespect and contempt that the Ultra-MAGA Extremists have for the FBI and law enforcement is shocking. That was evident yesterday in a House hearing involving FBI Director Christopher Wray -- a man who was appointed by Trump to the position. 

  • Local quick hits:
    • Think I powered down when I read the announcement of a new Sheriff candidate? And the rest of it comes off the same talking point list. 

    • This is part of an ad for the Bridgeport Christmas in July Festival and Toy Drive. I can't say I'm familiar with the Vandoliers' presumably fine work, but what's the deal with the shirtless guy?

    • I meant to post this late last week.  Elaine Hays is the former Elaine Taylor who grew up in Bridgeport. She is the daughter of the late Gordon Taylor

  • On the heels of Fox News agreeing to a $787.5 million settlement with Dominion,  Ray Epps has finally sued Fox News and Sean Hannity for defamation for the January 6th lies saying he was a planted federal agent. I was waiting on this. The Petition is here -- it's an amazing collection of screenshots and quotes.

  • I'm not sure what's going on here. It was a trial before a judge and not a jury, and the facts were stipulated to. I'm pretty sure there wasn't even live testimony. 
    • From the story: "What made Beeks’ acquittal more remarkable was that it came after he largely stipulated to the actions the government accused him of taking, a negotiated set of facts that typically is the equivalent of a guilty plea. But [Judge] Mehta, after reviewing the facts, said the evidence simply wasn’t sufficient to sustain a conviction."
    • He also represented himself!
    • When arrested, he was playing Judas in a traveling show of Jesus Christ, Superstar.
    • And he's a self-proclaimed "Sovereign Citizen."
    • There's a lot going on here. 

  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

But I really wasn't sure how it would turn out. 

  • Inflation Numbers were released moments ago: It's down to 3%. This is the 12th consecutive month of decline. 

    • These stickers don't quite have their intended impact now.

  • I assume everyone around me on the road is a nut. I'm probably right. 
    • This road rage incident happened on 820 at Hurst Avenue in Fort Worth.  

    • And then there was another one on I-35 south of downtown yesterday afternoon.

    • And this one was at 5:30 a.m. yesterday morning. 

  • Driving in the metroplex is enough to make you crazy, but you shouldn't actually go crazy. I saw this come across my timeline this morning -- what a beating: 

  • Get me that hearse. Story.

  • The Fort Worth PD released the bodycam video of the police shooting that left two dead, but you have to get past propaganda editing and multiple interruptions and narration by the police chief  to see it.  I suffered through it in order to finally get to the moment of the shooting at 3:20 of the video (cued up). That's a long way away to be firing into a crowd unannounced. 

    Officer's view while firing at man on other side of car

  • The NATO summit is going on in Lithuania, but I got distracted by the plane that that the Luxembourg Prime Minister and Foreign Minister arrived in.

  • The New York Times has a feature today on how conservative news outlets, especially Fox, are giving up on the DeSantis campaign.  It's over for him, right? I mean we should have known it the moment he had the disastrous campaign rollout that he decided to do on Twitter "Spaces" with Elon. 

  • The Official Liberally Lean Girl has made two quick videos promoting the release of her new book. Here and here. I'm a little concerned she might be nuts.  

  • The Liberally Lean Business Minute: 
    • So there will be a Walgreen's in Bridgeport inside Brookshire's?

    • "Warehouses, people! See ya next week!™" (Story from today's Dallas Morning News.)

  • The Rangers in the All-Star game last night went 0-9 at the plate. That's 1/3 of all American League outs.