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The Midday Brief: February 4, 2010

Your afternoon reading.

Your afternoon reading:

• “So it appears that more people over the age of 14 than I, or perhaps Sarah Palin, knew, use the word "retarded" in everyday speech, and Sarah Palin's heated denunciation of Rahm Emanuel is inflicting some collateral damage on her friends.” — Let him who is without friends who use the word 'retarded' cast the first stone — Politico  

• “Hank Gilbert has snagged his weightiest endorsement yet in the race for agriculture commissioner. National Farmer's Union president Roger Johnson has agreed to support the Democratic candidate.” — Gilbert ropes in national endorsement for ag. commissioner race Trail Blazers  

Update: “National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said he didn't endorse Hank Gilbert for Texas agriculture commissioner as a recent Gilbert campaign release stated.” — Gilbert mistakes state endorsement for national oneTrail Blazers

• “The Rio Grande Valley economy will be transformed in future years because of the investment the government is making in education now, says U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa.” — Focus on education will help transform the Valley, say Hinojosa and ReedRio Grande Guardian  

• “Robert O'Donnell stands rigidly in the courthouse hallway, his arms folded across his chest, trying to keep his rage in check. Like some Americans, O'Donnell is fed up with big government, but his simmering anger has nothing to do with Wall Street bailouts or health-care plans.” — In the War of Attrition Waged by the Texas Attorney General Against Robert O'Donnell, There Were Unintended Consequences — The Dallas Observer

• “The Texas Ethics Commission fined state Rep. Abel Herrero $2,800 for improperly reporting his political spending in filings made between 2006 and 2008. The Robstown Democrat was the last of seven people fined for violations of campaign finance laws by the commission in January after hearing complaints at its Dec. 2 meeting in Austin.” — Ethics commission fines state Reps. Abel Herrero, Phil King, five othersTexas Watchdog

• “In 2008, independents frustrated with establishment politics found a hero in Texas Republican Ron Paul. Warning voters about the dangers of an overstretched and overcommitted government, Paul provided today's Tea Partiers with a blueprint for grassroots success.” — Ron Paul On The Tea Party PhenomenonNational Journal

New in The Texas Tribune:

• “State lawmakers have their own special vocabulary for describing the Texas Department of Transportation: Intractable. Defensive. Secretive. Broken.” — A Hard Road — The Texas Tribune

• “This is going to be a hell of a Super Bowl party.” — 2010: C'mon, Nuge, Tell Us What You Really Think! — The Texas Tribune  

• “Kay Bailey Hutchison's newest ad — coming on the heels of polls showing an increase in Gov. Rick Perry's lead and a slide in Hutchison's support — attacks the incumbent for ties to lobbyists.” — Ads Infinitum: KBH Goes Negative — The Texas Tribune

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