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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

It's been ten years? The days are long, but the years are short.

  • This morning, Congress will vote on a big spending bill (actual photo of all 1,012 pages of it below) to keep the government open.   Side note: What type of printing office does Congress have and what is its budget to be able to produce multiple copies of every bill for every congressman? There's no way they use PDFs. It would be too logical. 

  • Someone brought up a great point to me yesterday on a story I posted: How did he get past security where you have to a boarding pass that matches your ID?

  • Another follow-up to a story yesterday.

  • The U.S. sued Apple claiming its iPhone has a monopoly.

    • This has me confused. As antidotal evidence, last week I was in the County Attorney's Office and suddenly was in need of an iPhone charger. I put out a friendly request to everyone in the always-accommodating office, and only one of the seven people present used an iPhone. All the rest were Android users.
    • So yesterday I looked up the actual data on the market share of iPhone vs. Android.  So how is this a monopoly?

  • All trial judges will schedule many trials for the same day -- it's a way to force settlements.  Generally, however, you have a good idea as to the the way the cases are ordered. For example, if you are #5, you know that your chances are pretty good about being "reached" because the top four cases will likely settle or be continued at the last minute.  It's only a problem when you have no idea what order the cases are in because you have to prepare like you are #1 even when there is actually no chance of being called to trial. This story really doesn't tell you if the prosecutors and defense lawyers are aware of that order.

  • This story is different not only because it involves a pastor, but because (1) that's a higher sum than most cheap people pay in murder-for-hire, and (2) the hitman actually went and shot the guy -- but didn't kill him. 

  • I thought that prison sentence sounded a little harsh, but then I noticed a discrepancy between the story and the headline.

  • Why did they treat that quail that way?

  • The Business Second™: "The company’s founder and CEO, Merrilee Kick, started the company in 2010 when she was a teacher at Plano West Senior High School. Since then, the company’s value has skyrocketed and is reportedly worth at least $1 billion and reels in approximately $100 million in annual revenue." But exact terms of the sale were not released.

  • Extremely nerdy legal stuff for criminal law practitioners only: In DWI cases, it's well settled that the State cannot have an expert give an opinion about a person's BAC at the time of driving based upon the time of the test unless they have other Mata-mandated facts. But can the State, when they don't have Mata facts, do an end-around and ask about the generic elimination rate (0.02 an hour) and try to back door it? An appellate court said no yesterday (with a dissent.)
  • Liberally Lean leaderboard:

  • 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 270 days.


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

I wrote this on 3/19/14 so call me psychic. It turned out to be Trump who replaced three of the four but in only one term. Breyer retired once Trump lost the election.  

  • Sad to see the name of Vicky Barnes in the Update's funeral notices. The long-time restaurant figure was a mainstay in Decatur - from Matties to the Courthouse Cafe to the Whistle Stop Cafe. 
  • It's the absolute last chance to sign up for the LL Pick 'Em Tournament. Games start later this morning. Get down on it!

  • "The Los Angeles Dodgers have fired Ippei Mizuhara, the interpreter for Shohei Ohtani, after Ohtani’s representatives accused Mizuhara of engaging in a 'massive theft,' using the player’s money to place bets with an allegedly illegal bookmaker under federal investigation." There's something a little suspicious about this story involving the best player in baseball. Ohtani gambling cover-up?

  • I don't know why I'm surprised that worked, but I am.   

  • There's no explanation as to what this raid was about but this seems very, very odd.

  • DPS guy transformed his own picture in that of a 14 year old girl. 

  • She was the sister-in-law of  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and was the "CEO of a global shipping company." She was also "married to to Jim Breyer, a billionaire venture capitalist and chief executive of Austin-based Breyer Capital." Story.

  • I want to know more about this. A guy is kidnapped from Smith County in East Texas at gunpoint while in his driveway. He claims he didn't know his kidnappers (and no one disputes that) who then drove him to Fort Worth while they demanded money from his wife by phone. And this is all we know as to what happened next: "The Ft. Worth Police Department was notified that the most recent ping showed the suspects' car to be a gas station. Ft. Worth officers found the Honda and the victim was located in the backseat. Both Cordova and Cordova-Rascon, who were found in possession of two guns, were detained and later arrested." Come on! We need more than that. 

  • Here we go again. 

  • From his smaller rolls of a doctor in Fletch, a machine shop co-worker, in Raising Arizona, to an expert witness with a criminal history in A Time to Kill, I absolutely loved this guy. 
    "No, not that mother-scratcher. Bill Parker!"

  • Former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells sighting yesterday. We hadn't heard anything about him in a long time. 

  • The Business Second™. Jerry Jones was already heavily invested in natural gas before this move.

  • Messenger - Above the Fold


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

Just google some Westboro Baptist Church photos if you want to remember what this guy was famous for. Sadly, he might have felt right at home in today's America. 

  • I got an up close and personal look at the new copper "crown" that will go on top of the Wise County Courthouse. They actually just "made it" using the best estimate of what the original one looked like based upon drawings and images. (I had a desire to put my initials on it.) 

  • If went to bed last night thinking you were up to the date with the latest status of Texas' new immigration law, think again. You might have thought that the Supreme Court "allows Texas immigration law to go into effect." You would be wrong. These morning headlines are also now wrong.

    • Why wrong? Late last night the Fifth Circuit put the law on hold again.

    • So what's going down?  You have every right to be confused. Stay with me here. 
      • Texas passed an (unconstitutional) immigration bill, Senate Bill 4,  allowing Texas peace officers to enforce immigration laws. This is the law co-sponsored by Rep. David Spiller who is on your TV all the time about this story. 
      • A federal judge struck it down and "enjoined" the law -- preventing Texas from enforcing it - in late February.
      • Texas then appealed to the Fifth Circuit and asked two things: (1) to declare the law constitutional and (2) to stay/stop the lower district court from enforcing it's order that the law can't go into effect. Normally, this formal Stay Application is decided within a week while the bigger constitutional question can take months or even years.
      • Important: The Fifth Circuit didn't rule on the Stay Application but did something increasingly weird: It ordered an Administrative Stay of the district court's ruling until they could decide that formal Stay Application. It was just a stopgap measure. This meant that Texas could enforce the law unless the Supreme Court got involved with the Administrative Stay.
      • The Supreme Court then did get involved and stayed the Administrative Stay twice in the last couple of weeks. (Confused yet? It's like a double negative. That meant the immigration law could not be enforced.) They figured that the Fifth Circuit would just rule on the formal Stay Application and then this whole Administrative Stay mess would become moot.
      • Well, yesterday everyone went crazy when the Supreme Court let the Administrative Stay go into effect (which meant Texas officers could start arresting "illegals")  but, reading between the lines, they basically said: We are kind of frustrated with this whole process so the Fifth Circuit needs to get off their butts and rule on the formal Stay Application. That's what the concurrence said:

      • Then the Fifth Circuit, feeling the wrath of the Supreme Court and within hours of the Supreme Court ruling yesterday, ordered a hearing on the Stay Application for this morning.

      • Then, to make everyone's head spin, the Fifth Circuit, yesterday evening, dissolved its own Administrative Stay meaning the law remains enjoined by the district court. 

    • It's important to note that NONE of this has anything to do with whether the law is constitutional or not. It all is about whether the law will or will not go into effect while that issue is decided. And in the meantime, the Fifth Circuit might to decide grant the Stay Application, and then that will go back to the Supreme Court. 
  • In less high brow litigation, this happened in an Atlanta courtroom yesterday. Video.

    • And in that same case, an equally jaw-dropping pleading was filed yesterday. 

  • I would love to tell you what this is all about, but the brief article is almost impossible to follow.

  • This guy is a moron. All he had to do is show up and assert the Fifth Amendment. Instead, he is such a Trump MAGA worshiper that he's going to prison. 

  • President Biden is going to Dallas today for fundraisers with one of them in the home of Russell Budd.  Budd is a partner in Baron & Budd the big plaintiffs firm which got rich off asbestos litigation.  (The Baron of Baron & Budd is the late Fred Baron who was involved in the scandal that took down presidential candidate John Edwards back in the day.)

  • Good grief. Police say it looks like murder-suicide in this San Antonio case. An Amber Alert had gone out a couple of days ago. 

  • Sports: NIT woes updated.

  • You are running out of time: Sign of for the Liberally Lean Pick 'Em Tourney