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The Midday Brief: December 16, 2009

Your afternoon reading.

Your afternoon reading:

• “The coming election for governor of Texas could be a surprisingly tight race with the real possibility of a Democratic upset. The result could determine whether a future Congress is controlled by Democrats or Republicans, with a reapportionment that will give Texas a number of new seats and a potential gerrymandering swing that could move from five to seven seats from one party to the other.” — Eyes turn to TexasThe Hill

• “The news that a lesbian had been elected mayor of Houston, deep in the heart of the conservative South, was greeted with surprise this week.” — What Houston's Gay Mayor Means for TexasTime

• “Of course, Mary and Joseph were also heading to Bethlehem so Mary could give birth to Jesus and so “O Little Town of Bethlehem” could be added to the long list of America’s least-favorite Christmas carols.” — Census and SensibilityIn The Pink

• “Tony Russell, sworn in this morning at FEMA regional headquarters in Denton, Texas, told reporters in a conference call that he will ‘look at things from the ground up’ to make sure FEMA takes ‘common sense’ steps to help advance individuals' recovery.” — Texas gets a new "go-to-guy" for hurricane relief — Texas on the Potomac

• “Entertainer-author Kinky Friedman runs an animal rescue program and has lived on his family's Hill Country ranch, which has an ag exemption on property taxes, according to an aide.” — Does the Kinkster qualify for ag commissioner?Trail Blazers

• “Whether further study will actually lead to enforcement – something that might cost the gas producers money – is another question.” — Inspectors Without NosesForrest For The Trees

• “This is not another story about Houston electing a gay mayor, something that seems to have astonished much of the rest of the world.” — Electing gays is as Texas as oilHouston Chronicle

New in The Texas Tribune:

• “A Florida judicial ethics panel ruled that judges and lawyers who might appear before them in court may not ethically ‘friend’ each other on social networking sites like Facebook. Texas has no such recommendations — and there's no real consensus here on how social networking should or should not be used.” — With Friends Like These... — The Texas Tribune

• “In the down economy, more public school systems are paying their superintendents bonuses rather than raises, a trend similar to newer merit pay schemes for teachers.” — TribBlog: Superintendents as Bonus Babies — The Texas Tribune

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