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The Midday Brief: July 15, 2010

Your afternoon reading.

Your afternoon reading:

"Campaign contributions to Texas Rep. Joe Barton appeared to slow in June, the same month the Ennis Republican made his controversial apology to BP's embattled CEO Tony Hayward, financial disclosure reports released Thursday reveal." — Barton's campaign contributions decline in second quarter, Texas on the Potomac

"BP said Thursday it had fixed an equipment leak on a new cap for the well in the gulf, allowing it to move ahead on a test that could halt the gusher of oil." — BP Says Cap Is Repaired and Cutoff Test Can Proceed, The New York Times

"Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison celebrated the clearance of a major hurdle in maintaining America's manned spaceflight capabilities today after a Senate committee unanimously passed a bill outlining NASA's future." — Hutchison champions new NASA plan, Trail Blazers

"Plano Republican Sam Johnson joined a growing number of prominent lawmakers today pushing for changes to Social Security in light of the nation's exploding financial problems." — Plano Rep. Sam Johnson pushes for Social Security changes at House hearing, The Dallas Morning News

New in The Texas Tribune:

"Democrat Bill White hit the mid-year mark with more than $9 million in the bank for his November challenge to Gov. Rick Perry." — Bill White Reports $9 Million On Hand at Mid-Year

"The University of Texas System Board of Regents voted unanimously this morning to rename an all-male dorm Creekside Residence Hall after weeks of debate about the man the building was originally named for: William Stewart Simkins, a dead UT law professor and Ku Klux Klan organizer." — UT Regents Remove KKK Leader's Name from Dorm

"Gov. Rick Perry leads Democrat Bill White 50-41 in the latest poll from Rasmussen Reports." — Rasmussen Governor's Poll: Perry 50, White 41

"State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, says he's talking to the Texas A&M University System about a vice chancellor's job there, but says the issue is 'unresolved' and that the public conversation about his intentions 'is really premature.'" — Sen. Jeff Wentworth in Job Talks with Texas A&M

"T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire Texas oilman, updated the presentation today for his Pickens Plan to get the country off of foreign oil. He focuses almost entirely on natural gas, and makes no mention of the wind power he also peddled two years ago." — No Wind, Plenty of Gas in Updated Pickens Plan

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