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The Evening Brief: Aug. 23, 2012

Your evening reading: Democrats call for judge's resignation over Obama civil war comment; national GOP platform backs "self-deportation"; Texas judge's ruling hands victory to Keystone pipeline

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Culled:

•   Texas Democrats: Judge who said Obama could trigger civil war should resign (CNN): "Texas Democrats are calling for the resignation of a Republican elected county judge who warned this week that the nation could descend into civil war if President Barack Obama is re-elected. 'It's really up to Judge Tom Head to do the right thing and resign and stop embarrassing Lubbock County,' said Kenny Ketner, who became the county Democratic Party's chief Monday."

•   Republican Immigration Platform Backs ‘Self-Deportation’ (The New York Times): "Republicans have adopted a party platform on immigration that would require employers nationwide to verify workers’ legal status and deny federal financing to universities that allow illegal immigrant students to enroll at lower in-state tuition rates. In their debates this week in Tampa, Fla., over the party platform, Republican delegates hammered out an immigration plank calling for tough border enforcement and opposing 'any forms of amnesty' for illegal immigrants, instead endorsing 'humane procedures to encourage illegal aliens to return home voluntarily,' a policy of self-deportation."

•   Judge clears way for northeast Texas pipeline (The Associated Press): "The ruling came down in a brief, late-night email, 15 words that slammed the yearslong effort of a Texas landowner to prevent a Canadian company from occupying part of her family's 65-year-old farm to run an oil pipeline from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries. As shocking as the ruling was, Julia Trigg Crawford, the third-generation manager of the Red'Arc farm in Direct, Texas, vowed Thursday to fight on, just hours after Lamar County Court-at-Law Judge Bill Harris ruled TransCanada could be considered a 'common carrier' and use eminent domain to condemn a section of her land for the Keystone XL pipeline."

•   PR man Chuck McDonald joining Sadler team (The Dallas Morning News): "Chuck McDonald, who’s public relations firm has GOP mega-donor Harold Simmons and his low-level nuclear waste dump as one of its biggest clients, is spinning off time and effort for Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Paul Sadler. Before hanging out his PR shingle, McDonald was a spokesman for statewide Democrats, including Gov. Ann Richards and Railroad Commissioner Lena Guerrero."

•   Land commissioner lashes out at ‘slacktivists’ (Houston Chronicle): "Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and a progressive citizen’s action committee traded verbal barbs Wednesday in a dispute over public school funding. The often candid and colorful land commissioner called 'Progress Texas' 'slacktivists' for triggering some 3,200 emails complaining that Patterson was sitting on $300 million meant for Texas school children."

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Phil Wilson: The TT Interview: "Ten months into his tenure, the executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation talks about funding the state's transportation needs, the prospects for high-speed rail and what the expansion of the Panama Canal means for Texas ports."

•   Interactive: Healthy Food Scarcity and Obesity: "Nearly a third of Texans are obese. Limited access to healthy food options is part of the problem, particularly in low-income communities. This map shows the percentage of food retailers that offer healthy options by census tract, as calculated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

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