In the meantime, while I'm focused away from the blog today, here are several unrelated items which deserve Grits readers attention.
- Rolling Stone has a feature story on a corrupt drug task force in South Texas that routinely stole drugs and money while on the job.
- State Rep. David Simpson from Longview offered strongly supportive comments about medical marijuana at a local constituent forum.
- Sen. John Cornyn tried and failed last fall to remove penalties for non-compliance with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), with which readers will recall Rick Perry said Texas won't comply. For the record, the original PREA passed unanimously and Cornyn voted for the penalties he now wants removed.
- The State Commission on Judicial Conduct has launched an investigation into Judge Michael Seiler in Montgomery County who hears all the sex-offender civil commitment cases statewide. He's now been recused eleven times by four different judges for public demagoguery about defendants who appear before his court. The Legislature must pull the plug on this arrangement in 2015.
- Mark Bennett explained why a proposed Texas bill (HB 101) outlawing revenge porn is unconstitutional.
- Shocking, I tell you: Surveillance drones on the border are tactically useless and cost five times as much to operate as originally suggested. MORE: From the Star-Telegram editorial board.
- The Obama Administration says the FBI does not need a warrant to use fake cell-phone towers (popularly known by the trade name "Stingrays") for surveillance in public places where, presumably, they think phone users have no reasonable expectation of privacy. As far as they're concerned, if the door to the phone booth is open they get to listen in.
- Graffiti: Beyond good and evil.