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The Midday Brief: April 20, 2010

Your afternoon reading.

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Your afternoon reading:

“Once a separate nation, Texas has recently been behaving more like an independent economic republic than a regular state. While it hasn't been immune to the problems plaguing the nation, the Texas housing market, employment rate, and overall economic growth are relatively strong. Chalk some of this up to accidents of geology and geography. But Texan prosperity also reflects the conscious efforts of a once-parochial place to embrace globalization.” — Lone Star — Slate

“After his defeat in this year's Democratic agriculture commissioner primary, Dems may be glad to see Kinky Friedman is raising campaign cash for other candidates. Oh, hang on, he's fundraising for Republican Congressman Lamar Smith's Longhorn PAC.” — Kinky CashAustin Chronicle

“Two Dallas men trying to end their Massachusetts marriage in Texas will be the subject of an appellate hearing Wednesday in a downtown courtroom. The appeal pits Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott against family court Judge Tena Callahan, who accepted the case last fall and ruled that the state's ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.” — Texas AG's appeal in gay divorce case to be heard in Dallas courtroomDallas Morning News

“That Green ran so well despite losing heavily in North Texas and the I-35 corridor indicates that there are still a lot of votes in rural Texas. He lost the race by only 12,300+ votes out of 333,385. But the real problem was Green’s stronghold of Harris County. If the Harris County turnout had equaled the statewide average (2.55%), instead of languishing at 2.15%, Green would have picked up another 13,000 or so votes—enough to win the race.” — How Lehrmann Won — Burkablog

“Bobby Ray Inman now seems to be blaming labor unions for the West Virginia mining disaster that killed 29 people at the non-union Upper Big Branch mine. Inman, as we wrote on Wednesday is an Austin mover-and-shaker who's served on the Massey Energy board since 1985.” — Bobby Inman Blames the UnionsTexas Observer

New in The Texas Tribune:

State lawmakers are looking at several options to cover a $10 billion-plus biennial shortfall. One way is to raise more money — but that's never simple in tax-averse Texas. — The Ditch: Tax Our Way Out?

Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell visited Austin to talk with the Texas Public Policy Foundation and agreed to an interview on net neutrality (whether people who use more internet bandwidth should pay more for the service, like they do now for greater speed), the recent court decision preventing FCC restrictions on "information service" providers like Comcast, and other issues before his agency and the industries it regulates. — Net Neutrality Neutralized

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