To all readers: Welcome back. We are on the cusp of what is likely to be the most difficult legislative session of our lifetimes. The state’s economic situation is perilous, and the poisonous political climate is even worse. There is little support for the things that government is supposed to do. It is my privilege to be able to write about Texas politics and to share the thoughts of readers and commenters. My longtime colleague in covering the Legislature, Patricia Kilday Hart, will also be posting in this space. We look forward to reporting on the session and in engaging in a dialogue with readers. Here is how I hope to manage the blog and my relationship with readers: 1. What I post under my name (and this applies to Patti as well) reflects solely our own opinions. It does not reflect the policies or opinions of TEXAS MONTHLY or of Emmis Publishing. 2. Readers are invited to comment. Comments are posted automatically. I do not censor them prior to publication. I do not look up IP addresses. However, I do try to keep up with the comments, and those that violate basic proprieties are subject to being removed. 3. Please show respect for people who hold public office. It is certainly acceptable to criticize them within the founds of propriety. It is not acceptable to discuss their private lives. 4. Remember, this space belongs to TEXAS MONTHLY. Please observe the boundaries of proper behavior. Vulgarity and libelous statements will be removed. 5. When registering a comment, readers should refrain from using the names of real people (other than themselves). This includes my name. Finally, I want to thank all of you who read and comment on the blog. A successful blog depends as much on its readers and commenters as on the work of the blogger. I look forward to spending the next 140 days (and perhaps more!) with you. Sincerely, paul