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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

From the 9/20/13 issue of Dallas Morning News. Patrick was running for Lt. Governor for the first time. 

  • Breaking minutes ago: U.S. Senator indicted. Background. It appears to be a bribery charge involving gold bars.  

  • The strategy was to plead guilty and go to the jury for punishment hoping for a little mercy. With a punishment range from  probation to up to 40 years, he received the maximum

  • This was horrible yesterday

    • And the video of the body from the hospital to the funeral home was quite the moving scene. Video.

  • ProPublica has yet another piece on the sleazy dealings of Justice Clarence Thomas this morning. Somehow I'm more bothered that the picture they ran with the story shows the great documentarian Ken Burns in a photo taken at one of those weird and mysterious Bohemian Grove gathering. 

  • Notes from the campaign trail: Trump signing the chest of a gal. Video.

  • Rudy has had a bad week. In addition to failing to comply with a judge's order in libel case, he also allegedly groped Cassidy  Hutchinson on January 6th -- an act consistent with his jaw-dropping appearance in the last Borat movie. 
  • If this is real, I'm not sure why it hasn't at least received some publicity. It is purportedly of the indicted Nate Paul (of Ken Paxton fame) using some very salty language at a courthouse auction. In the impeachment trial, there were allegations that Paul had Paxton write an AG Opinion to stop foreclosure auctions during COVID.
  • Man, this is unnerving. Three men get out in broad daylight, two with guns. Video.
  • The Business Second Not Warehouse Related™: Does it bug anyone else that there's so much money out there that some software company we've never heard of can be sold for $28 billion in cash?
  • It just feels worse when stuff like this happens in a non-contact practice drill. 
  • 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 78 days.


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


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

The shooter was a Navy veteran. Mass shootings are so common that they are quickly lost to time. 

  • A fan had died after a fight in the stands at a New England game.  After ever weekend, there are always a slew of videos of people just beating the crap out of each other at NFL games. I avoid them.  People, in general, are nuts.

  • This guy was a serial killer. But think about this the next time you see someone given a prison sentence to TDC, even a very short one, for drugs or theft or an intoxication offense. 

  • We are going to have a federal government shut down on October 1st, aren't we? The House even had to pull a stop-gap funding measure from having a vote yesterday because there weren't enough votes from the hard-liners.

  • Yes, there was a naked man walking through DFW Airport yesterday. Video.
  • The Wise County Messenger's Facebook page has been shut down by Meta, and the paper doesn't know why. Thread.

  • A faithful reader tipped me off to a new business in Chico. Uh, say what?

  • You remember seeing those slot machines in the Las Vegas airport. Well on Tuesday one hit for $643,435 for a Texas woman. 

  • We are quickly becoming the dumbest U.S. state.  Fun Fact: Keller ISD took the same book, as well as the Bible, off the shelves last year in response to the crazies. 

  • Speaking of. Various new laws passed by the most recent general Texas legislative session are being challenged in the courts. One already in the Fifth Circuit concerns legal porn web sites which are now required to display this warning that it "weakens brain function" among other things:

  • The blockbuster film based upon anti-trafficker Tim Ballard, Sound of Freedom, made everyone think a child was being trafficked at every moment in every place in every town.   Always be leery of those who doth protest too much.  

  • Funny: I saw this live and couldn't believe it. The quarterback for Long Island University threw the the craziest side arm pass for a 43 yard completion on Saturday. It really was like an Uncle Rico throw.  Video.  

  • The Business Second - Kind Of Warehouse Related:

  • I'm into the fifth season of Mad Men, and I'm putting this show in my top five of all time. I love it. 


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

Imprisoned for years because of prosecutors intentionally hiding evidence that would have set him free, Michael Morton appeared at the annual convention of Texas D.A.s and county attorneys.

  • The wreckage of the $80 million F-35, manufactured by Lockheed-Martin, was found in South Carolina. There are a lot of issues with that jet.

  • Baylor finally settled the lawsuits arising from the sexual assault scandal.  And  . . . 

    • Terms were not disclosed. I think only three of the plaintiffs alleged assault by football team members and the rest had other "cover up" claims. 
    • Kenneth Starr was president of the school at the time. He was eventually let go but was paid $4.5 million at the time of his exit. He died last year.
    • People forget that Baylor also settled with fired coach Art Briles. He was paid $15.1 million
    • The "Pepper Hamilton report", the document from the private law firm hired by Baylor to investigate the scandal, was never made public. But it was finally turned over to the Plaintiffs' lawyers in the women's lawsuit. 
  • Well this explains it. (Sarcasm.) 

  • There are scant facts about this. We know it wasn't her client so how did she know him? Did they have a relationship before? 

  • This sounds very weird. Texas principal arrested for paddling a student and - get this - the parent was a witness to the punishment and encouraged it.


  • We should have know that a dirty Lib was behind her corruption

  • Is everyone trying to get famous by acting like a nut on a plane? Here's the latest one. (Language warning.)

  • The Rolling Stone picked up the conviction of the Clay County sheriff. The DA who tried the case was promoting the article on Twitter this morning. 

  • My Business Second™ which is not warehouse related: This project along 114 will be an additional 257,000 square feet at a cost of $300 million.

  • I've had an iPhone for years but finally bought a Mac laptop last year. I should have done that 30 years ago. Love it.