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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

Former Bridgeport and TCU great became lighter in the pocket book. I couldn't find video of the hit back then, and I still can't. 

  • SMU just got invited to the Atlantic Coast Conference. That's was something I wouldn't have believed just three decades ago or even three months ago. 
    Previous version of ACC (Notre Dame is basketball only.)

  • Who knows if this will ever become law, but it's wild you can just buy an AR-15 at a gun show just like you are at a garage sale. 

  • An play in three acts yesterday:
    • Act I: Proud Boys Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl, who had earlier been convicted of Seditious Conspiracy for their roles on January 6th, cried in open court and said that the they were just following their leader, Donald Trump. As Rehl said in open court:  “It’s my fault . . . I’m done peddling lies for other people that don’t care about me.” 
      Rehl, left. Bigg, right. 

    • Act II: Sentences were then handed down by the federal court.
      Biggs in happier times

    • Act III: Trump, who did in fact not care about them, was simultaneously grifting off of the Big Lie  in a new video -- a lie which had motivated Biggs and Rehl. 

  • RIP Cowboys legend Gil Brandt. Now to turn on him: It's always driven me nuts about how everyone talks about how Brandt "used computers!" back in the day to evaluate draft picks. A while back, I finally found a book that explained it: He graded a player subjectively from 1 to 9 in 16 categories and then (1) added the total and (2) sorted the totals highest to lowest. That's it. But he had to bring in a guy from India to do simple math on a spreadsheet. 

  • What a statesman! So big of you!

  • The cake reference, although monetarily insignificant, is funny because it was sent over by H-E-B grocery as a gift for the whole office, but Paxton barred anyone else from eating it and took it home: 

  • Does this count as a warehouse for my business show?

  • There might be a double jeopardy question here (it's complicated.) Although the jury had deliberated 21 hours, they had never told the judge they were deadlocked and neither the State or the defense had requested a mistrial. She just hauled off and did it on her own. 

  • Remember this weird reversal of a marijuana possession case from the Fifth Circuit? Yesterday the entire court announced it will rehear the case en banc (the whole court instead of just the three judge panel that made the decision.) From the original decision:

  • 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 57 days.


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

It was very Breaking Bad-like when a Taurus caught fire in Lake Worth and burned five occupants, but no charges were ever filed.

  • Incredible. I don't know the exact reason for this man's resignation, but it should be noted that we have seen a mass exodus of great superintendents across North Texas because they weren't going to put up with school boards, heavily funded by big money outsiders, who were obsessed with culture wars. Once again, I don't know if the two are related. But this isn't good for Decatur ISD. He started the job in November 2021.

  • The Messenger has a very good story today about a very unusual legal development in the Tanner Horner capital murder case in Wise County.  (Link not up yet but it is in the PDF of the paper.)

    • Recall that the judge, after discovering Wise County had signed a contract to farm out representation of capital murder defendants to an agency in Lubbock, removed Horner's court appointed lawyers of Bill Ray and Steven Gordon.
    • Now the D.A. is taking the very unusual step of immediately appealing that ruling and asking that all proceedings in the district court be stopped until the appellate court rules. 
    • So what's going on? As I understand it, the D.A. fears that the judge might have been wrong. So the last thing he wants is to have the case go to trial and then get reversed on appeal years down the way.  He wants to get a ruling on that issue now. 
    • I'm not sure he actually cares whether the judge was right or wrong, he just wants to find out now instead of years later. If he gets a ruling that the judge was wrong, the problem can be fixed ASAP.
    • The legal question here is: Can the D.A. do this? That is, can he file the appeal now? He's gone about it through the only arguable vehicle that exists: A a "writ of mandamus" directly to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals who has jurisdiction of death penalty appeals.  Will this work, or will the court tell him to go away? I don't know. I doubt he's 100% sure. But there is no harm, in his view, of trying. The best case scenario is that he gets  a ruling. The worst case is that his efforts get dismissed for want of jurisdiction and he's right back to where he is now. 
    •  But we did get a bonus insight in to the case. Attached to the D.A.'s motion (available here when state website isn't down) is a transcript of the hearing on the removal of the court appointed lawyers. They talk about the case at length before getting to the removal issue. 

  • If you haven't see Sen. Mitch McConnell freeze in front of reporters due to a health issue - again - here you go. I'm worried about the guy. 

  • Let me tell you, a jury is going to absolutely financially crush Rudy Giuliani for lying about two ladies tampering with the election count in Georgia by falsely claiming they were "quite obviously . . . passing around USB ports as if they are vials of heroin or cocaine."  And I do mean crush. After yesterday's ruling (pdf), the only thing the jury will be asked to do is to fill in a dollar figure of actual and punitive damages. 

    • And look at this jury instruction they will get!

  • The Justice Department just keeps coming. Good. 

  • For the life of me I don't understand the ultra-MAGA extremists support of Paxton. Do not character, truth, and crime by their own matter to these people? I'll say it again: The normal Republicans need to take their party back. 

  • Uvalde continues to be a cluster long after they buried 19 children. 

  • Nebraska says the attendance at last night's volleyball game was 92,003. I don't doubt it based upon the photos. But when rabid Nebraska fans, once the word went that the goal was to set an attendance record, would have shown up to watch a card game. 

  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

I probably should look up what happened to these three

  • I didn't know that part of Florida was (1) known as the "Big Ben" and (2) was swamp area. Side note: Is way too much being made of this storm?

  • Sentencing was supposed to happen this morning for the lead Proud Boys, including Enrique Tarrio, who were actually convicted of Seditious Conspiracy. It was called off moments ago "due to an emergency" per U.S. Attorney's office. Developing . . . ,

  • The crime of failure to report child abuse is a little messy and two softball coaches just got swept up in it in Prosper. The law is triggered by "having reasonable cause to believe."  Any statute with "reasonable" in it -- something that a prosecutor must prove -- is an almost impossible hill to climb.  And in the teachers' defense, what if they simply didn't believe the reports of an incident based upon who it was coming from?

  • I posted yesterday about the murder-suicide of a family of four on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and now the exact same thing has happened in Allen. 

  • Ultra extremist MAGA candidates, with the help of outside money, took over the Southlake ISD board. Now they've banded together to endorse the author of the book banning list for an unrelated Tarrant county commissioner position. See how this works?

  • Is this kind of like travel warnings for Jews about Germany in the early 1930s?

  • I honestly don't know how the Atlanta DA's office can handle all the Trump election stealing cases. Look at the time they are spending on just keeping one defendant, Mark Meadows, in state court. And this is all very complicated. 

  • Hot business opinion: Home prices may end up being flat for the next 5 to 10 years, but we won't see a big dip.

  • Here's the story about his death, and the later ME ruling. Side note: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is in the law firm of Loncar, Lyon, and Jenkins.  

  • The Matt Rhule football ear in Nebraska is off to a tough start as a tight end "allegedly" burglarized a vape shop and was arrested this week when caught in the act. If that wasn't proof enough, his case gets worse since it was all caught, with multiple angles, on video.

  • More Nebraska stuff: They are playing a volleyball game today at the football stadium. 

  • Obscure legal nerdy stuff that got my attention: 
    • Did you know that the Library of Congress requires you to give them, for free, a hard copy of any work you "publish"? Well, the D.C. federal appellate court just held that is an "unlawful taking" without compensation. 
    • A sheriff's office in Louisiana arrested someone for posting what is below during COVID. The Fifth Circuit said yesterday it is clearly free speech (he was joking) and it wasn't even close.  Opinion

    • This FBI agent is very proud of his degrees:

  • The actual and unedited front page from today's edition of the campus newspaper at the University of North Carolina -- it's the reproduction of actual text messages exchanged during Monday's shooting  . . .