Life at the Capitol is set to pick up now that committees have been assigned and hearings get underway. I trust that you’re precisely as excited about that as I am.

Or maybe a little less.

» WSJ: Eric Schmidt Unloads on China in New Book
I guess it’s official that everyone hates China now. The GOP just ran a Presidential nominee who liked to ‘sound tough‘ on China. GOP free traders are convinced that Obama is the most protectionist President on earth – with regard to China or anyone else. And yet … how much has really changed with economic policy toward China? Not a great deal. That might be a fair part what irritates someone like Schmidt. Well, that and the hacking.

» NY Times: As Extremists Invaded, Timbuktu Hid Artifacts of a Golden Age
A continuation of the Times’ Timbuktu/al Qaeda reporting. Good stuff.

» NOLA: Officials blame Super Bowl 2013 blackout on ‘abnormality’ in system
Do blackouts ever happen from a ‘normality’?

» Star-Telegram: New Tarrant lawmaker is a conciliatory conservative
The political transformation in the Metroplex area is pretty amazing. Not good way, mind you. I already miss Burt Solomons.

» NY Times: Postal Service to End Delivery of Letters on Saturdays
I look forward to getting my attack mailers several days earlier when campaign season returns.

» Chron: City lists rules for payday lenders but wants lawmakers to act
No sooner than I point out to someone in Austin that our fair city does not have any significant regulation of payday/auto title/whatever loan industry than the City releases this news … thereby proving to me that it never will. At the Capitol, the odd couple have already begun reworking this issue.

Other Worthwhile Reading from Last Week:
» Chron: NASA cuts leave void in Clear Lake
» NY Times: Young, Liberal and Open to Big Government
» Dallas MN: UT Austin will offer not-for-credit online courses starting in August
» San Antonio E-N: UT plans ‘massive’ offerings on Internet
» Economix: Earned-Income Ironies
» Washington Post: Tech, telecom giants take sides as FCC proposes large public WiFi networks
» Washington Post: Why much-praised KIPP D.C. expels kids
» Texas Tribune: Texas Ethics Reform: A Long, Tortured History

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