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The Evening Brief: Aug. 7, 2012

Your evening reading: Cruz, teaming with Romney, says Obama wants to keep poor people "trapped in dependency"; Steinbeck's son jumps into Texas death penalty debate; family physicians group endorses Davis

Ted Cruz at the JW Marriott hotel in Houston on May 29, 2012.

Culled:

•   Ted Cruz, as Romney attack dog, says Obama prefers to keep welfare recipients jobless (The Dallas Morning News): "Tea party darling Ted Cruz, serving as attack dog for Mitt Romney a week after scoring the nomination for U.S. Senate in Texas, joined Romney operatives today in denouncing President Barack Obama’s welfare policies. Romney is hitting Obama for allegedly trying to undo a longstanding bipartisan approach requiring most welfare recipients to seek work. 'The president is gutting that reform not because it doesn’t work but precisely because it does work,' Cruz said on a Romney campaign call with reporters in which he asserted that Obama prefers to keep poor people 'trapped in dependency' to gain some sort of political advantage."

•   Cruz, with Romney team, accuses Obama of ‘executive arrogance’ (Houston Chronicle): "Former Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz moved into high gear Tuesday with the Romney campaign, accusing President Obama of 'executive arrogance' in seeking to allow changes in how states meet work requirements for low-income people receiving federal assistance. Cruz took part in a conference call in which Mitt Romney’s campaign team said Obama’s administration has moved to gut welfare reforms aimed requiring recipients to work."

•   Wendy Davis picks up Texas Academy of Family Physicians endorsement (Fort Worth Star-Telegram): State Sen. Wendy Davis gained a new endorsement Tuesday from the Texas Academy of Family Physicians. Davis, D-Fort Worth, faces a challenge from Republican state Rep. Mark Shelton of Fort Worth, a Fort Worth pediatrician, in her bid to win a second term representing Texas Senate District 10.

•   Insurance commissioner reponds to consumers on rejected emails (Austin American-Statesman): "Texas’ Insurance Commissioner responded today to questions submitted last month by angry members of consumer advocacy group, many of whom had their emails rejected by the department’s computer system. Texas Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman, who heads the Texas Department of Insurance, offered answers to questions on the department’s website and individually to several consumers whose email addresses were provided to her by Texas Watch, the advocacy group that organized a mass email campaign."

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Steinbeck's Son Says Fictional "Lennie" Shouldn't Be Used to Support Execution: "Thomas Steinbeck said his father would be troubled by Texas' use of a fictional character from one of his books to develop a standard that some say allows the state to circumvent a ban on the execution of mentally retarded inmates."

•   Michael Brick: The TT Interview: The author of a new book that investigates what communities lose when schools are shuttered talks about standardized testing, the role of the arts and sports in schools, and how students, teachers and parents cope with testing pressures.

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