Monday, February 15, 2016

Austin County Republican Forum & National Geographic Pictures

Some think the candidates have now gone too far questioning the whereabouts of Obama at the time of Scalia's death.

Nominate Anita Hill for Supreme Court Justice

Congress. It's getting so frustrating with all our politicians.  If the present slate, of both parties, is the best America can do, maybe we should amend the constitution allowing us  look around the rest of the world and see if we could get better, more democratic leaders that have the interest of ordinary American people foremost.

In America it's legal for cops to lie to suspects during interrogation.  Britain quit doing this as it produces false confessions. Initially English cops fought this but in time crime solving got better without this interrogation. .  There no one can be interviewed longer than 2 hours.  Here cops can do it until the interviewee drops to the ground in a near like trance, deprived of sleep and medication.





Battle Begins Over Naming Next Justice


The death of Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday immediately set off a partisan battle over a vacancy that could reshape the Supreme Court for years to come, as Senate Republicans called on President Obama to let his successor fill the seat.



by jonathanturley
scaliaThe Washington Post posted my column on Sundaydiscussing the passing of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, a towering figure on the United States Supreme Court and an icon for conservative jurists. It is regrettable that people today often demonize those with whom they disagree. Scalia was personally a warm and engaging person. Indeed, liberal justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan appeared quite close to Scalia as not just a colleague but a friend. I expect that Scalia has left a lasting legacy that will withstand the test of time, as I discuss below. He was a man of principle. One could certainly disagree with those principles, as I sometimes did. However, he left 30 years of opinions that challenged and often changed doctrines in a wide array of areas. These opinions show a depth and scope that sets them apart in the annals of the Court. Liberals and conservatives alike should be able to recognize the impactful and brilliant life of Nino Scalia. Here is the column:
Years ago, I attended a small gathering honoring a leading Sicilian politician in Washington. Since I was raised in a Sicilian family, I relished the opportunity to talk about Italian culture and food with an animated paisan. As we drank and toasted with Italian wine, one voice constantly boomed above the rest with a “Cent’Anni” toast for everyone to “live 100 years.” It was Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who regaled the group with his tales and jokes. We all chatted away near an open bay window when security guards approached and explained that the Italian politician had been the subject of Mafia threats and that they were worried about a hit team in Washington. Scalia would momentarily acquiesce, then quickly gravitate back to the window so he could continue to joke and laugh with the group. He was in his element; a possible hit team was not going to interrupt a good story.
Throughout his 30 years on the court, many tried to move Scalia, with equally limited success. As the court shifted to the left and constitutional analysis became more fluid, Scalia remained planted in his spot.
The Supreme Court is known to change people. Some justices, such as Byron White, came to the court as liberals and moved sharply right. Others, like William Brennan, John Paul Stevens and Harry Blackmun, were appointed as conservatives and moved sharply to the left. Scalia stood still. He came to the court with a well-defined jurisprudence that remained remarkably consistent throughout his tenure.
What made Scalia an icon for the right was the clarity and passion that he brought to the court. Like Louis Brandeis and Oliver Wendell Holmes, he was a “great dissenter” who refused to compromise on his core beliefs. He was entirely comfortable being a dissent of one. And he was greatly discomfited by the idea of exchanging principle for some plurality of votes on a decision. In oral argument as well as in his opinions, Scalia was direct and transparent. He was, in a word, genuine.
Ironically, Scalia’s passing comes at a time when the public is craving precisely the type of authenticity that he personified. The rejection of establishment candidates in both the Republican and Democratic races reflects this desire for leaders who are not beholden to others and unyielding in their principles. That was Nino Scalia. Love him or hate him, he was the genuine article. At times, as in the decision in Kyllo v. United States barring the warrantless use of thermal imagery devices by the police, Scalia would break from his colleagues on the right of the court. While many disagreed with his principles, he at least had principles and remained faithful to them from his first to his last day as a justice.
Scalia clearly relished a debate and often seemed to court controversy. It was a tendency familiar for anyone who grew up in a large Italian family: If you really cared for others, you argued with passion. Fights around the table were a sign of love and respect. Perhaps it was this upbringing that made it so hard for Scalia to resist a good argument inside or outside the court. He sometimes spoke on issues involved in cases coming before him, which was ill-advised. He was the arguably first celebrity justice. Ironically, his close friend on the court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has maintained the same type of following from the left side of the bench.
It was an irresistible impulse that likely cost Scalia the chance to become chief justice. That position went to a jurist of a different cut: John G. Roberts Jr. Where Scalia felt compelled to speak his mind, Roberts spent a career avoiding controversial comments or associations. There is no question that restraint can make for a great chief justice. But the directness can make a great justice, too. Indeed, Scalia’s opinions are likely to withstand the test of time because they espouse a consistent and clear jurisprudential view. He was not one to compromise. Instead Scalia waited for the court to form around his position rather than tailor a position to fit the court.
Of course, Scalia’s comments could border on the brutal. At American University, he told law students that he saw little point in selecting students from outside the top schools because “you can’t make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse.” I strongly disagreed with this statement, but I also knew that Scalia was (once again) voicing a view that other justices privately hold yet do not publicly admit. Scalia did not evade such issues; he embraced them. He believed convictions should be tested and defended if they are to be maintained.
What made Scalia persona non grata with many legal intellectuals made him an icon for millions of average citizens. In a city that seems to overflow with doublespeak and guile, Scalia spoke clearly and passionately about the law. He often chastised his colleagues for assuming the position of a super-legislature and denying the public the right to solve difficult social and political issues. He railed against inconsistency in legal theory and the proliferation of different tests by the court to justify its conclusions. He often hit his mark with these critiques: While I disagreed with Scalia about privacy and gay rights, his critique of Justice Kennedy’s new “liberty interest” in Obergefell v. Hodges correctly challenged the majority on a new and undefined right. One could disagree with Scalia and still recognize the extraordinary depth and scope of his analysis. When he had a majority, that depth gave his opinions lasting quality, as with his foundational work on the meaning and purpose of the Takings Clause in Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council.
Scalia resisted the legal indeterminacy and intellectual dishonesty that he saw as a corruption of modern constitutional analysis. He believed that the law was not something that should be moved for convenience or popularity. Neither was he. He finished in the very same place he began in 1986. In the end, he is one of the few justices who can claim that he changed the Supreme Court more than the court changed him.
Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University where he teaches a course on the Constitution and the Supreme Court.
Washington Post, Sunday, February 13, 2016

Pope Francis on his way to the National Palace in Mexico City's central square on Saturday, the first full day of his Mexico visit.
Francis Admonishes Bishops in Mexico to 'Begin Anew'


Speaking at Mexico City's majestic Metropolitan Cathedral, the pope spared no criticism as he painted an almost biblical picture of a church seduced by power and money.


Here is video from the first GOP candidate forum at Tony’s Jan 7th in case you want to watch it again.

·         Opening Prayer and Candidate Introductions
·         County Commissioner Precinct One Race
·         Tax Assessor Collector Race
·         Constable Precinct 4 Race
·         Republican Party County Chair Race
·         Candidate Question And Answer Session
·         Closing Statements

H W Buddy Koenig for County Chairman
Austin County Republican Party
7902 Hoppe Sister Rd, New Ulm, TX 78950
Home: 979-357-2716 Cell 713-582-8384 
VOTE FOR GRANDAD County Chair letterhead copy

Austin County Candidate Forum 1-7-2016
All the candidates were present (except for one) at the Republican Party of Austin County’s Meet The Candidate forum Thursday Night in the backroom of Tony’s.  Michael J Skrivanek, the current Republican Chair for Austin County, was the MC for the night.  After an explanation of how the evening would commence the event was started with an opening prayer.  The first up were the Commissioner Precinct One Candidates who had a chance to introduce themselves and give a 3 to 5 minute introductory speech.  The candidates for Austin County Tax Assessor Collector were next and they as well were allowed a 3 to 5-minute introduction and speech.  Constable Precinct 4 was the next up but, only one of the two candidates was on hand. Finally, to round out the night, the two candidates running for Austin County Republican Party Chair were allowed their introductions and speech.  After introductory speeches were given the floor was opened up for a question and answer session with the candidates. 
For ease of watching, we have broken the night’s video up into its respective sections to allow you to find the part of the video that interests you.  We hope you find the video(s) helpful in picking your candidate(s).  
(Each video picks up directly where the previous video leaves off)
·        Opening Prayer and Candidate Introductions
·        County Commissioner Precinct One Race
·        Tax Assessor Collector Race
·        Constable Precinct 4 Race
·        Republican Party County Chair Race
·        Candidate Question And Answer Session
·        Closing Statements

Chinese Start to Lose Confidence in Their Currency


An exodus of capital, in which companies and individuals are moving money outside China, is casting doubt on the nation's economic prospects.

Ideo's offices in Chicago. Ford has worked with the company since 2005, on software for its hybrids and on the Ford Fusion's console. Ford has now tapped Ideo to develop products not focused solely on driving.
The Commute of the Future? Ford Is Working on It


The design firm Ideo, which helped design the computer mouse, has been enlisted by Ford to shadow commuters and see how they get where they're going: by car, bus, foot or Uber.

It's ok with me if people quit sending me this picture





150,000 Penguins Perish After Massive Iceberg Collides With Feeding Grounds

by jonathanturley
Hope_Bay-2016-Trinity_Peninsula–Adélie_penguin_(Pygoscelis_adeliae)_04There is a truly shocking story out of Antartica after 150,000 Adelie penguins died after an iceberg the size of Rome converged with their traditional feeding grounds. The addition of the iceberg (B09B) required the penguins to make an 120km round trip to feed.


Report: Pollution Kills 5.5 Million People Worldwide Each Year

by jonathanturley
220px-AlfedPalmersmokestacksThere is a disturbing report from the Global Burden of Disease project that more than 5.5 million people worldwide are dying prematurely every year as a result of air pollution. It is likely to be no surprise that the greatest lethality is found in China and India. Ironically, those are the countries that have opposed efforts to curtail greenhouse gases and combat climate change.
jonathanturley | 1, February 15, 2016 at 12:03 am | Categories: Environ

Immigration supporters rallied outside the Supreme Court in January. A case challenging President Obama's plan to defer deportations is among those on the court's docket this term.
Scalia's Absence Is Likely to Alter Court's Major Decisions This Term


Antonin Scalia's death will complicate the work of the remaining justices, as some cases could result in 4-to-4 deadlocks, and strengthen the Supreme Court's liberal wing.

Posing for photographs on my front porch has obviously made her famous and talented.

Celebrate a beautiful Valentine's Day tonight with us at Bistecca Ristorante, 224 Westheimer. 832-804-8064 for reservations, (or sit at the bar). Guy Ben Murphrey on piano, Bill Lucas on upright bass, and the amazingly talented Aija Izaks on violin. Absolutely beautiful music for your enjoyment!

Hunter Hudson in Needville.

At the end of each year, National Geographic
rounds up its best photos - and here we will take a look at some  of them. 

1. Cracking the Surface, Lake 

Photographer Alexey Trofimov, captured quite
an unusual picture of the ice, here. He writes that the 'ice on Lake
Baikal is a very interesting phenomenon.'
At the end of each year, National Geographic
rounds up its best photos - and here we will take a look at 20 of them.
Every day throughout the year, National Geographic releases a Photo of the
Day - some classic, others quirky, but they always select an image with a
story to tell. In their pick for 20 of the best photos, this year, they
selected photographs with the most shares, likes and comments from the
social sphere. Let's take a look, and in the comments below, let us know
which photo you loved most.
1. Cracking the Surface, Lake 
National                                                            Geographic                                                            2015
Photographer Alexey Trofimov, captured quite
an unusual picture of the ice, here. He writes that the 'ice on Lake
Baikal is a very interesting phenomenon.'
2. The Village,
This photograph was taken by Gabor Dvornik,
who lives half a mile from The Village, which is set on a natural reserve
in Sződliget Hungary. While the air in this place is special every season,
it is especially rare to have a nice, mist day. 'It was utterly ghostly
and very moody out there' he writes.

3. When Penguins Attack,

Captured with a GoPro on Antarctica's sea
ice. The photographer, Clinton Berry had studied the movements of the
penguins for weeks. The day that this shot was taken, there were over 60
penguins and Berry says that there was a bit of luck involved
4. Against the Wind,

In this shot, photographed by Domnic Roy, a
snowy owl appears to be fighting against the elements during extreme
weather conditions near Quebec City, Canada.
6. Who's There?

While taking this photo, Cezary Wyszynski
imagined this mouse thinking 'Who was knocking at my
13. Big Baby, 

This young humpback whale was captured in
the waters off Tonga. Karim Iliya writes that she 'could not help but wave
and smile at the newborn whale almost three times my length' Curiosity got
the better of it and emerging from under its mother's fin, it swam toward
me, approaching less than 30 centimeters (11

Supreme Folly: The Senate Should Consider A Nomination By President Obama And President Obama Should Forego Any Use of a Recess Appointment

by jonathanturley
ScaliaBelow is my column today in USA Today on the prospect of a recess appointment fight in the filling of the vacancy left on the Court by the passing of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. The White House could well use any refusal to consider a nominee as a license to use a recess appointment while the Senate could move to stay in session to preempt such a recess appointment. In my view, the Senate should consider any nominee submitted by the President and, for his part, the President should forego any recess appointment if the nomination is not successful. Here is the opinion:




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