Saturday, March 11, 2017

U S Attorney refuses to resign.

Quick, free wall.  They must be working on it at night, in secret. We are all impressed in the tunnel job creation.

Trump asks Habitat for Humanity to build Mexican wall.

Each deported Mexican is required to purchase and place one brick on Trump's wall.  So in a sense....Mexico IS paying for it.

Last night's breach of White House fence bodes ill for Trump Mexican Wall.  Trump bubble over U.S. now being considered.


Kind of disappointing that it took me 50 days to see this picture.


Blinn student killed by train during photo shoot in Navasota

NAVASOTA, Tex. (KBTX) - A Blinn student died Friday afternoon during a photo shoot along train tracks in Navasota.
The victim has been identified as Fredzania Thompson, 19, of College Station. She's a Navasota native and 2015 graduate of Navasota High School. She studied Kinesiology at Blinn.
Investigators say Thompson was with a photographer when, for an unknown reason, she stepped into the path of a Union Pacific train and was hit.
It happened around 12:45 p.m. Friday, on the train tracks near Hollister and Lee Street.
Witnesses say she was given CPR until emergency responders arrived on the scene. She was taken to a hospital where she later passed away from her injuries.
News 3's Clay Falls spoke with members of her family at the scene of the accident. They are in shock to learn what happened.
Joe McNeal, Sr. is a close family friend and he says this is a tragic event that's stunned everyone.
"She was a beautiful young lady. I love her mother and grandmother and I just hate to hear this happened," he said.The train was hauling 101 grain cars from Oklahoma and is now on its way its final stop in Beaumont.

A spokesman for Union Pacific says train typically go an estimated 50 miles-per-hour in the area of downtown Navasota. 


Special Prosecutors, Citing Lack of Pay, Seek Delay of Paxton Trial

, Texas Lawyer

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Special prosecutors asked for postponement of the criminal trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, citing lack of compensation as reason for the delay.
"Everyone in the courtroom is being paid to be there except us. No one expected us to work for free when we accepted our appointment as special prosecutors. It's only fair to compensate us for the hours we've already spent and will continue to spend to adequately prepare to try this case on behalf of the citizens of the State of Texas," special prosecutor Brian Wice, whose team includes Kent Schaffer and Nicole DeBorde.
In a continuance motion, the special prosecutors said they have not been paid since January 2016 and are "owed significant amounts of money for the work they have performed."
They would like to delay the trial until as late as September 2017.

In their motion, the special prosecutors explained how a suit initiated by a political contributor to Paxton has resulted in an appeals court issuing a stay barring enforcement of the criminal trial court's order compensating them for work they performed in 2016.
Until that stay is lifted and they get paid, the prosecutors are asking to delay the criminal trial, which had been scheduled to start early May.
Paxton, a Republican, was indicted eight months after winning his 2014 election in a landslide.
He has denied the prosecutors' allegations that he misled investors he personally recruited in 2011 for a high-tech startup called Servergy Inc., which allegedly paid Paxton with 100,000 shares.
A federal judge dismissed a civil suit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against Paxton on related allegations.


AUSTIN — Prosecutors pursuing criminal charges against Attorney General Ken Paxton have asked to delay his trial until they are paid more than a year's worth of back wages.
"Everyone in the courtroom is being paid to be there except us. No one expected us to work for free when we accepted our appointment as special prosecutors," Brian Wice, one of three criminal defense attorneys asked to prosecute the case, said in a prepared statement. "It's only fair to compensate us for the hours we've already spent and will continue to spend to adequately prepare to try this case on behalf of the citizens of the State of Texas."
The prosecutors haven't been paid for hundreds of hours of work on the case they performed in 2016. In January, they submitted a $205,000 invoice for those efforts. But Jeffory Blackard, a local taxpayer and past donor to Paxton, sued to block them from getting that money, claiming their hourly fees violated a local cap on prosecutors' pay.
The 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas will make the final call; judges have previously ruled in the prosecutors' favor. But since it's unclear when the judges might issue their decision, the prosecutors are asking to delay Paxton's first trial, scheduled for May 1, until they do.
"Set this matter for trial 60 days from the date the court of appeals issues a ruling ordering commissioner's court to pay the Court's order compensating the Special Prosecutors for the work they performed in 2016 and the work they will perform in 2017," the prosecutors asked Thursday in their filing. "If the past is prologue, this case could be tried sooner rather than later, certainly no later than September 1, 2017."
"Because no individual in a free society —prosecutors, defense lawyer, or truck driver — should be expected or ordered to work for free."
Taxpayers in Collin County are on the hook to pay for Paxton's prosecution because he is accused of committing fraud in McKinney, where he lives and works. In the case's early days, the local district attorney recused himself because of his close personal friendship with Paxton. Three criminal defense attorneys from Houston were chosen to take over and guaranteed an hourly rate of $300.
Local rules usually cap these fees at a lower amount, but judges are given discretion to set them higher in extraordinary circumstances. Blackard challenged the rate, citing the rules, but the $300-an-hour fees were upheld by the judge presiding over Paxton's case, and the county was ordered to paythe prosecutors more than $250,000 in January 2016. 
Blackard again challenged their fees this year, citing the same rules. This time, his case went before the Dallas court. 

The prosecutors have submitted bills totaling $510,726 since the case began in 2015. Blackard's suit, which targets the prosecutors and the county commissioners, is also being paid for by the taxpayers of Collin County. Costs associated with his suit now top $106,000, bringing the grand total of Paxton-related costs to $617,159, according to the Collin County auditor.
The prosecutors accuse Blackard of trying to halt the criminal case against Paxton simply by stopping them from getting paid. They said Blackard — a real estate developer who has encouraged national political figures like former presidential hopeful Rick Santorum to challenge the allegations against Paxton — "hopes that he will be able to ultimately derail this prosecution by defunding it."
Asked for comment, Paxton's trial lawyer Dan Cogdell said he planned to file a formal response to the court: "Unlike the Special Prosecutors, we choose to try our case in the Courtroom and intend on so doing."
Paxton was a state representative at the time of his alleged crimes. He is accused of duping Rep. Byron Cook, a fellow Republican and committee chairman, and wealthy Florida businessman Joel Hochberg into investing in a McKinney technology startup by not telling them he was making a commission off their investments. He faces two first-degree felony fraud securities charges for these allegations and a separate third-degree felony fraud charge for failing to tell state securities officials he was making a commission off clients he funneled to a friend's investment firm.
Until recently, Paxton also faced civil charges based on the same first-degree felony allegations. A federal judge threw out that case last week.
Paxton has pleaded not guilty to all the allegations, saying they are part of a politically motivated witch hunt perpetrated by opponents within his own party.
The prosecutors, too, have alleged this same treatment. Citing Blackard's lawsuit and other attempts, they said there is a "crusade" meant to derail their case in Collin County and asked the presiding judge to move Paxton's trial elsewhere. The judge has not yet ruled.


he Darkroom Social is a bi-annual event bringing together photography, local music, and the community. Our upcoming Darkroom Social will celebrate HCP's current exhibition, Her Feet Planted Firmly on the Ground, and the Spring 2017 issue of spot magazine. 
MARCH 24, 2017
 6:00pm - 8:00pm 

This party is FREE for members!

$10 at the door for non-members

Become a member by clicking here!

Membership will also be available to purchase at the door

Houston Center 
for Photography
1441 West Alabama 
Houston, TX 77006
Gallery Hours

Mon & Tues: Closed
Wed & Thurs: 11 am to 9 pm
Friday: 11 am to 5 pm
Sat & Sun: 11 am to 7 pm



Impeachable Tweets: A Response To Professor Tribe

by jonathanturley
120406010959-laurence-tribe-headshot-story-bodyTurley-600x287I have great respect for Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe, who remains one of the iconic figures in constitutional law and someone with whom I have had exchanges for years on legal controversies affecting this country.  While I was not surprised to see that we disagreed on a constitutional issue related to President Donald Trump, I was surprised to see that he took literally a comment that I made as a joke about impeachable tweets on Morning Joe recently.  Tribe ironically responded in a series of tweets to the comment.  The more serious problem is that I considered the suggestions of impeachment over Tribe's criticism of President Obama to be laughable. They clearly are not to Professor Tribe.  It is something of a reversal of roles since both Tribe and I testified during the Clinton impeachment where he suggested a narrower definition of the constitutional standard while I argued that Clinton could be impeached for an act of perjury.





Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Steady U.S. Job Growth Sets Stage for Fed to Raise Interest Rates


The economy added 235,000 jobs and unemployment fell to 4.7 percent in the first full month of President Trump's term, continuing an upturn in the labor market.


Trump Abruptly Orders 46 Obama-Era Prosecutors to Resign


The president told the holdover United States attorneys to tender their resignations immediately, including - surprisingly - Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan.

Pope Francis has pointed out that an element of married clergy already exists within the church, notably Eastern Rite Catholics.
Pope Francis Signals Openness to Ordaining Married Men in Some Cases


The pope said he was not advocating an end to celibacy, and sees little possibility for allowing women to be priests. But his openness about ordaining married men was unusually explicit.



Scott Gottlieb is a partner at the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates.
F.D.A. Official Under Bush Is Trump's Choice to Lead Agency


Scott Gottlieb, a partner at a venture capital fund, has longstanding ties to the drug and biotech industries.

A blood pressure test. House Republicans are proposing legislation aimed at making it easier for companies to gather health and genetic data from workers and their families, including information such as weight, blood pressure and cancer risk.
How Healthy Are You? G.O.P. Bill Would Help Employers Find Out


The bill would also significantly increase the financial penalties for employees who do not join workplace wellness programs.

Hawaiian_AirlinesThere was a news story this week about a Hawaiian Airlines flight that was diverted to Los Angeles because of an unruly passenger.  Frankly, the most important aspect of the story was not the diversion but the reason:  the airline charges $12 for a passenger to have a simple blanket.  We have been discussing how airlines are stripping away basic human comforts and turning flights into cattle calls.  On top of that, the airlines are charging fees for every possible comfort, including reducing leg space to virtually zero and then charging for more space in coach.  However, a $12 blanket truly represents a new low -- particularly on a long flight to Hawaii.

In Sealy, it rained today while the sun was shining.


Fire Me: U.S. Attorney In Manhattan Refuses To Resign

by jonathanturley
Bharara,_Preet_HeadshotThe United States Attorney for Manhattan, Preet Bharara, appears to believe that he is working for a different branch of government.  After Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked for the resignations of all U.S. Attorneys, a standard change of political appointees in a new Administration, Bharara announced that President Donald Trump would have to fire him.  Just as with the bizarre conduct of Sally Yates as Acting Attorney General, Bharara has shown a curious understanding of this position and his obligations as a federal officer.  President Trump should immediately accommodate him and Bharara will have to explain to future employers how he justifies such an unfounded stance.


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