The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for Dec 28, 2009

Your afternoon reading:

• “In the video, Hutchison's message is conveyed solely through still photos and chyrons, as soft music plays in the background.” — Hutchison: Perry all talk, no action vs. ObamaCareTrail Blazers

• “Barrientos, 67, was a driving force behind the city’s Mexican American Cultural Center and served on the boards of the Austin Museum of Art and Mexic-Arte Museum.” — Emma Barrientos, wife of retired senator, diesPostcards

• “Just before the holiday, Governor Rick Perry appointed three new members to the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission. Two of them seem routine enough: A lawyer who serves on a county juvenile board and a county commissioner with connections to CASA. But this description of the third appointee caught my eye.” — An odd appointment to the Juvenile Probation CommissionGrits for Breakfast

• “When an openly gay woman won the mayor’s race here this month, it was the latest in a string of victories by gay candidates across the country, a trend that seems to contradict the bans on same-sex marriage that have been passed in most states in recent years.” — Gay Candidates Get Support That Causes May NotThe New York Times

• “If you don't like gasoline taxes, here's an alternative: a tax on the number of miles you drive in a year.” — Miles-traveled tax being scrutinized — San Antonio Express-News

• “Long the state's leader in sending convicts to death row, Harris County has fallen behind both Bexar and Tarrant counties in the number of death sentences it imposes, an analysis of eight years of records shows.” — Harris County loses state lead in executionsHouston Chronicle

• “In many ways, Irving is the poster child for the issues typical to inner-ring suburbs over the past decade. Its growing pains come not from population booms, but from shifting demographics and attempts at reinvention.” — Irving exemplifies the troubles faced by inner-ring suburbsThe Dallas Morning News

• “Legislative and regulatory moves on the federal, state and even local level surrounded the oil and gas industry as 2009 began. “ — Legislative, regulatory issues, price collapse color energy industry's yearMidland Reporter-Telegram

New in The Texas Tribune:

• “As a holiday gift to Tribune readers, I'm pleased to present Last Man Standing, my documentary about the 2002 Texas House race between Republican incumbent Rick Green and challenger Patrick Rose, a young Democrat who mounted his campaign while attending law school at UT-Austin.” — Last Man Standing, Part One — The Texas Tribune

• As Rick Perry says, “Texas is a unique place.” We rounded up the year's most fantastic (and sometimes funny) video clips that prove it. —2009's Best Political Moments on Video — The Texas Tribune

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