Saturday, May 27, 2017

Ethics


Meaningful life.  Turns out if I had all my social media time back spent defending Obama and denigrating Trump, I could have built us the wall all by myself.
Presidents can be very inspirational.  Woke  up this morning and a little part of me wanted to be mean to someone.  Thanks Trump.

"Staying alive".  The older I get the more I hum this song.



This Holiday it's time to reflect on what others have done for our country.  Even Donald took a second to reflect on HIS many sacrifices....not.

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When I went there I shot this picture. Pretty sure that guy under his breath called me a hillbilly. That doorman is NOT like the guards at Windsor Castle.


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Naomi


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Rachel


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DEATH PENALTY

Alabama inmate is executed; Sotomayor dissent criticizes midazolam and lawyer phone ban

Alabama inmate Thomas “Tommy” Arthur was executed early Friday, the eighth time an execution had been scheduled for him.
Arthur, 75, was put to death for the 1982 murder of his lover’s husband after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay of execution, spurring a dissent by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, report the Washington PostAL.com and the Montgomery Advertiser.
According to AL.com, the execution began at about 11:50 p.m. when Arthur received the first of three execution drugs. Arthur “slowly drifted off,” AL.com says, “and his breathing became more shallow.” He was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m.
Before the execution started, Arthur apologized to his children in a final statement. “I’m sorry I failed you as a father,” he said. “I love you more than anything on Earth.”
The U.S. Supreme Court had initially stayed Arthur’s execution on Thursday, then allowed it to proceed.
Sotomayor expressed concern about use of the execution sedative midazolam in her dissent (PDF). “I continue to doubt whether midazolam is capable of rendering prisoners insensate to the excruciating pain of lethal injection and thus whether midazolam may be constitutionally used in lethal injection protocols,” she wrote.
“Here, the state has—with the blessing of the courts below—compounded the risks inherent in the use of midazolam by denying Arthur’s counsel access to a phone through which to seek legal relief if the execution fails to proceed as planned.”
Sotomayor said there was no legitimate reason to bar Arthur’s counsel from possessing a phone during the execution.
“The state’s refusal serves only to frustrate any effort by Arthur’s attorneys to petition the courts in the event of yet another botched execution,” she said. “Its action means that when Thomas Arthur enters the execution chamber tonight, he will leave his constitutional rights at the door.”
Hat tip to the Marshall Project.

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BREAKING NEWS

Houston-area teacher disciplined for giving student 'most likely to be a terrorist' award

A spokesperson for the district confirmed the incident took place and apologized for the "insensitive and offensive fake mock awards that were given to students in a classroom."
Read more 

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Session Countdown
Monday marks the final day of the 140-day 85th legislative session. With the exception of today’s House deadline to act on Senate amendments, the remaining deadlines pertain to conference committee reports. Click here for the deadlines calendar.
Sunset Bills 
The Senate and House have appointed conference committee members on SB 302 by Watson (D-Austin), relating to the continuation and functions of the State Bar, and SB 303 by Watson (D-Austin), relating to the continuation and functions of the Board of Law Examiners.
2018-2019 Budget
The conference committee on SB 1, the budget bill for the next biennium, met May 20 and adopted funding recommendations for the next two-year budget cycle. Click here to access the decision documents on the Legislative Budget Board’s website. The conference committee report was filed and distributed on Thursday, May 25. If the conference committee report is adopted by the Senate and House of Representatives, the budget will then be sent to the Governor.
Bills of Interest 

  • HB 25 by Simmons (R-Carrollton), relating to the elimination of straight-party voting, was sent to the Governor on Wednesday, May 24.
  • HB 34 by Smithee (R-Amarillo), relating to measures to prevent wrongful convictions, passed the Senate on Tuesday, May 23 and the House concurred in Senate amendments on Friday, May 26.
  • HB 45 by Flynn (R-Van), relating to requiring the Texas Supreme Court to adopt rules and provide judicial instruction regarding the application of foreign laws in certain family law cases, passed the Senate on Monday, May 22 without amendment.
  • HB 62 by Craddick (R-Midland), relating to the use of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle, creating a criminal offense, modifying existing criminal penalties, was sent to the Governor on Thursday, May 25.
  • HB 214 by Canales (D-Edinburg), relating to a recording of certain proceedings of the Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals and the publication of the recordings, passed the Senate on Tuesday, May 23, and the House concurred in Senate amendments on Thursday, May 25.
  • HB 351 by Canales (D-Edinburg), relating to the administrative, civil, and criminal consequences, including fines, fees, and costs, imposed on persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of certain criminal offenses, passed the Senate on Wednesday, May 24 with amendments. The bill was returned to the House for concurrence in the amendments or appointment of a conference committee on Friday, May 25.
  • HB 1217 by Parker (R-Flower Mound), relating to appointment of and performance of notarial acts by an online notary public and online acknowledgment and proof of written instruments; authorizing a fee and creating a criminal offense, passed the Senate on Monday, May 22 without amendment.
  • HB 1761 by Smithee (R-Amarillo), relating to jurisdiction of the Texas Supreme Court, was sent to the Governor on Monday, May 22.
  • HB 2776 by Smithee (R-Amarillo), relating to the right of certain appellants to supersede a judgment or order on appeal, passed the Senate on Tuesday, May 23 and the House concurred in Senate amendments on Wednesday, May 24.
  • HB 2927 by Schofield (R-Katy), relating to certain powers of an associate judge under the Family Code, was sent to the Governor on Wednesday, May 24.
  • HB 3903 by Burkett (R-Sunnyvale), relating to certain political contributions by judicial candidates and officeholders and certain political committees, was sent to the Governor on Wednesday, May 24.  
  • HB 4032 by Phillips (R-Sherman), relating to annual limitations on the reimbursement of expenses incurred by district court reporters, was sent to the Governor on Monday, May 22.
  • SB 5 by Huffman (R-Houston), relating to requiring a voter to present proof of identification; providing a criminal penalty, passed the House on Wednesday, May 24. The Senate refused to concur in House amendments and requested a conference committee on Thursday, May 25.
  • SB 36 by Zaffirini (D-Laredo), relating to the regulation of certain guardianship programs, passed the House on Monday, May 22, and the Senate concurred in House amendments on Thursday, May 25.
  • SB 42 by Zaffirini (D-Laredo), relating to the security of courts and judges in the state; establishing a fee, was sent to the Governor on Wednesday, May 24.  
  • SB 46 by Zaffirini (D-Laredo), relating to allowing judges to use juror identification numbers when polling the jury, was sent to the Governor on Friday, May 19.
  • SB 47 by Zaffirini (D-Laredo), relating to a study on the availability of information regarding convictions and deferred dispositions for certain misdemeanors punishable by fine only, was sent to the Governor on Tuesday, May 23.
  • SB 259 by Huffines (R-Dallas), relating to jury summons questionnaires, was signed by the Governor on Thursday, May 18, and takes effect September 1, 2017.
  • SB 291 by Whitmire (D-Houston), relating to the issuance of a writ of attachment for certain witnesses, was sent to the Governor on Wednesday, May 24.
  • SB 499 by West (D-Dallas), relating to the adoption of the Uniform Partition of Heirs' Property Act, was sent to the Governor on Tuesday, May 23.
  • SB 667 by Zaffirini (D-Laredo), relating to establishing a guardianship compliance program, was sent to the Governor on Friday, May 19.
  • SB 813 by Hughes (R-Mineola), relating to recovery of damages, attorney’s fees, and costs related to frivolous regulatory actions by state agencies, passed the House on Sunday, May 21. The Senate refused to concur in House amendments and requested a conference committee. The conference committee report was filed Friday, May 26.
  • SB 944 by Hughes (R-Mineola), relating to the adoption of the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act, was sent to the Governor on Wednesday, May 24.
  • SB 1124 by Hinojosa (D-McAllen), relating to the administrative attachment of the Texas Forensic Science Commission to the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System, was sent to the Governor on Tuesday, May 23.
  • SB 1264 by Huffman (R-Houston), relating to psychological counseling for certain grand jurors, was sent to the Governor on Tuesday, May 23.
  • SB 1329 by Huffman (R-Houston), relating to the operation and administration of and practice in courts in the judicial branch of state government, passed the House on Friday, May 19. The Senate refused to concur in House amendments and requested a conference committee on Thursday, May 25.
  • SB 1444 by West (D-Dallas), relating to de novo hearings in child protection cases, passed the House on Monday, May 22 as amended.
  • SB 1893 by Birdwell (R-Granbury), relating to the administrative judicial regions in this state, passed the House on Monday, May 22, as amended.
  • SB 1911 by Zaffirini (D-Laredo), relating to posting notice of self-help resources on the Internet website of a state court and in the office of the court clerk, passed the house on Tuesday, May 23, as amended, and the Senate concurred in House amendments on Friday, May 26.
  • SB 2053 by West (D-Dallas), relating to the distribution of the consolidated court cost, was sent to the Governor on Friday, May 19.
State Bar Legislative Program
The following bills, included in the State Bar’s 2017 legislative program, changed status this week:
Construction Law: 

  • SB 807 by Creighton (R-Conroe), relating to choice of law and venue for certain construction contracts, passed the House on Wednesday, May 24, as amended. 
Family Law: 

  • HB 1480 by Thompson (D-Houston), relating to a writ of mandamus by a court of appeals against an associate judge in certain cases, passed the Senate on Wednesday, May 24 without amendments.
  • HB 1495 by Thompson (D-Houston), relating to the rendition of certain temporary orders during the pendency of a suit for modification of an order that provides for the conservatorship, support, or possession of or access to a child, was signed by the Governor on Tuesday and goes into effect September 1, 2017.  
  • HB 1501 by Thompson (D-Houston), relating to child custody evaluations, was sent to the Governor on Friday, May 19.
  • SB 1233 by Rodriguez (D-El Paso), relating to a writ of mandamus by a court of appeals against an associate judge in certain cases, passed the House on Tuesday, May 23, and the Senate concurred in House amendments on Friday, May 26. 
  • SB 1237 by Rodriguez (D-El Paso), relating to procedures in a suit for dissolution of a marriage or a suit affecting the parent-child relationship, was sent to the Governor on Tuesday, May 23. 
Poverty Law: 

  • HB 1020 by Smithee (R-Amarillo), relating to volunteer practice by an inactive member of the State Bar of Texas, was signed by the Governor on Tuesday and goes into effect September 1, 2017. 
Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law: 

  • HB 995 by Wray (R-Waxahachie), relating to the form and revocation of medical powers of attorney, passed the Senate on Wednesday, May 24 without amendments.
  • HB 1787 by Wray (R-Waxahachie), relating to the execution of a declaration for mental health treatment, passed the Senate on Tuesday, May 23 without amendments.
  • HB 1974 by Wray (R-Waxahachie), relating to durable powers of attorney, passed the Senate on Wednesday, May 24, and the House concurred in Senate amendments on Friday, May 26.
  • HB 2271 by Wray (R-Waxahachie), relating to decedents’ estates and certain posthumous gifts, passed the Senate on Friday, May 19 without amendments
  • SB 39 by Zaffirini (D-Laredo), relating to guardianships for persons who have physical disability or who are incapacitated, passed the House on Monday, May 22, and the Senate concurred in House amendments on Thursday, May 25.
  • SB 511 by Rodriguez (D-El Paso), relating to a written declaration to designate a guardian before the need for a guardian arises, was sent to the Governor on Friday, May 19.
  • SB 617 by Rodriguez (D-El Paso), relating to trusts, was signed by the Governor on Monday and goes into effect September 1, 2017.
  • SB 1193 by Taylor (R-Plano), relating to the adoption of the Texas Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, was sent to the Governor on Tuesday, May 23. 
State Bar: 

  • SB 302 by Watson (D-Austin), relating to the continuation and functions of the State Bar, has been sent to conference committee. The Senate conferees are: Senators Watson (D-Austin), Hughes (R-Mineola), Nichols (R-Jacksonville), Schwertner (R-Georgetown), and Van Taylor (R-Plano.) The House conferees are: Representatives Thompson (D-Houston), Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock), Raymond, (D-Laredo), Smithee (R-Amarillo), and Minarez (D-San Antonio).
  • SB 416 by Watson (D-Austin), relating to the composition of the board of directors of the State Bar of Texas, has been sent to conference committee. The Senate conferees are: Senators Watson(D-Austin), Hughes (R-Mineola), Nichols (R-Jacksonville), Schwertner (R-Georgetown), and Van Taylor (R-Plano.) The House conferees are: Representatives Smithee (R-Amarillo), Farrar (D-Houston), Thompson (D-Houston), Laubenberg (R-Parker), and Murr (R-Junction). 
Calendar
The Senate and the House of Representatives are currently in session, and are expected to be in session throughout the weekend, adjourning on Monday, Sine Die. Several bills included in this update will likely change status throughout the weekend, but bill links are provided for most recent status.

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President Trump at the White House last week. His administration on Friday avoided a confrontation with the government's top ethics officer over waivers issued to former lobbyists.
White House Backs Down on Keeping Ethics Waivers Secret

By ERIC LIPTON

In a reversal, the White House said it would publicly disclose waivers allowing former lobbyists to work in the administration.


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Washington Post: Kushner Tried To Set Up Secret Communications Channel With Russians

by jonathanturley
Hotline_VHS_coverThe Washington Post released a bombshell story on Friday that alleges that senior White House aide (and presidential son-in-law) Jared Kushner met withSergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington to set up a private communications channel with the Kremlin.  The channel reportedly was sought for secret and secure and direct communications with the Russians.  Once again, there is nothing on its face unlawful about either the meeting or the desire for a secure communications line. However, the allegation (if true) would deepen the unease over the associations between the Trump camp and the Russians.  The increasing number of meetings has raised questions over why Trump officials were so solicitous to the Russians -- a concern that reached its apex with Trump's bizarre decision to entertain Kislyak and the Russian Foreign Minister in the Oval Office the day after firing former FBI Director James Comey.
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