• Ted Cruz: Gun push has 2014 political price (Politico): "Sen. Ted Cruz said Thursday he believes President Barack Obama’s gun control efforts not only won’t work, but will backfire and kick off a conservative resurgence. The Texas Republican stopped by 'The Laura Ingraham Show' to discuss the president’s 'extreme anti-gun agenda.' He blasted Obama for 'exploiting the murder of children' in order to push for gun control in the wake of Newtown."
• Sens. Cornyn and Cruz explore private accounts as Social Security alternative (The Dallas Morning News): "Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are spending this afternoon learning about alternatives to Social Security — a likely prelude to a push to create investment accounts for younger workers."
• Over-exuberant judge posts about Johnny Manziel's ticket on Facebook (CBS News): "In yet another example of how every action by Johnny Manziel has suddenly become grist for the public mill, a Texas judge took to posting this status update on Facebook (hat tip:@fieldhousemedia) after the Heisman Trophy winner received a speeding ticket while driving in the vicinity of Ennis, Texas."
New in The Texas Tribune
• Variety of Gun-Related Bills on Table for Session: "At least 20 bills have been filed or proposed by Texas lawmakers on the subject of guns, with most of the legislation aiming to widen access to guns. Here's a roundup of the proposals."
• Democrats Raise Questions About Texas WHP Provider List: "Democratic legislators are questioning whether the Texas Women’s Health Program has an adequate network of health care providers in light of a state agency’s decision to pull the list of providers from a state website."
• For Ethics Commission, Big Hurdles to Reform: "The Texas Ethics Commission, responsible for the accuracy of the more than 30,000 financial statements, campaign reports and lobbyist activity records filed annually in the state, stands poised for change this session. But any efforts to reform it will face a challenge, because the lawmakers the commission was set up to regulate are the ones setting the rules."
• Death Row Inmate Seeking New DNA Testing: "After Texas courts rejected a litany of scientific testimony that Larry Swearingen’s lawyers say proves that he was in jail at the time of the 1998 murder he was convicted of, his lawyers are seeking new DNA testing and asking the state’s highest criminal court to reconsider its latest rejection."
• Legislating Goes Social: Lawmakers File Bills Addressing Web Postings: "Legislators concerned about online privacy and safety have filed bills that could change the way some Texans use social media. Such regulations are becoming more widespread as states take on questions of online privacy."