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The Evening Brief: Jan. 21, 2013

Your evening reading: Texas lawmakers set politics aside for inauguration; Cornyn calls Obama's speech "aspirational"; Mexico drawn into gun control debate

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•    Texas lawmakers (mostly) avoid partisanship during inaugural festivities (Houston Chronicle): "Partisanship was (mostly) absent today as members of the Texas congressional delegation — both Democrat and Republican — celebrated the second inauguration of President Barack Obama."

•    Sen. John Cornyn calls Obama’s speech "aspirational" (The Dallas Morning News): "Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the deputy GOP leader in the Senate, emerged from the Inaugural luncheon with his wife, Sandy, fairly noncommittal about President Obama’s message today. 'It was aspirational,' he said, walking a gauntlet of reporters on his way to the Republican Whip’s office a few steps from the Senate floor. 'Gives us something to shoot for.'"

•    A close-up view to history, but where’s the Tweet, senator? (The Dallas Morning News): "There are a lots of ways to get a really great view at inauguration: Get a job as a Secret Service sharp shooter. Go to law school, become a judge, get picked for the Supreme Court. Marry a future president. Be a former president. Or, get elected to Congress. Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, like scores of Republican and Democratic colleagues up there on the platform, snapped pictures of the president and, in particular, of Beyonce."

•    Budget process is about as clear as mud (San Antonio Express-News): "State leaders are proclaiming their dedication to a clearer, more honest budgeting process, but their starting-point spending plans show they've got a long way to go."

New in The Texas Tribune

•    In Gun Control Debate, Potential Impact on Mexico is Addressed: "Some Mexican and American officials hope that the gun control debate might spur laws that curb the flow of illegal weapons over the United States' southern border. But others say that changing gun laws in the U.S. would not change gun behavior in Mexico."

•    For Rick Perry, No Binders Necessary: "Gov. Rick Perry’s opponents say his tenure hasn't been kind to Texas women — but they can't argue about his hiring practices. Among Perry’s most senior staff, two-thirds are women."

•    Time to Take a Look at Cutting Ethical Corners: "It's been a long time since the Legislature took a good, hard look at its ethics laws and its own practices. They rewrote some laws after scandals in the early 1990s, and trimmed a lawyer/lawmaker perk 12 years later. With the Texas Ethics Commission up for review, a restive electorate and a herd of new lawmakers, they have a golden opportunity to do more."

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