Part one in a series for gay pride week. With the 36th annual Pride Week Festival and Parade upon us, the largest city in a leading Tea Party state finds itself on the cutting edge of gay politics, culture, and history. With a three-term, recently-married, openly-lesbian mayor, a brand new city e ... More >>
Political fights can get ugly, but the grappling over who will get the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor got particularly unsightly last Friday. Up until then, both the remaining candidates, State Sen. Dan Patrick and current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, had done their best to embarrass and ... More >>
Religious liberty is at the very heart of what it means to be an American, yet Texas conservatives and our state's activist pastors have conveniently forgotten that.
Wendy Davis and Texas Primary Results: What We Know Now.
Wendy Davis v. Greg Abbott. Let me take the suspense out of this race: Abbott will win in convincing fashion. As I've noted before, there are simply not enough women and minority voters in Texas who will support Davis such that she can win. Indeed, setting aside gender, there aren't enough white D ... More >>
As recently as 25 years ago, an openly gay mayor would have seemed inconceivable to most people in Houston. A lot can change and we are now in the third term of Mayor Annise Parker, the only openly gay mayor in America. Last week, it was announced Parker and her longtime partner, Kathy Hubbard, were ... More >>
Race: Houston City Council District A Name of candidates: Helena Brown (incumbent); Brenda Stardig (who Brown unseated two years ago), real estate broker; Ron Hale, business owner; Mike Knox, business owner; Amy Peck, district director for Sen. Dan Patrick. Key issues in the race: Helena Brown, he ... More >>
If you were anywhere near a computer, a phone, or the Hill Country over the past 24 hours, you'll know that Texas witnessed one of the most memorable, remarkable displays of political will it's ever known. In lieu of allowing nearly 90 percent of the abortion clinics across the state to shutter, Sen ... More >>
Attorney General Greg Abbott, in an ironic twist of timing, has struck down the ability of cities, counties and school districts to offer domestic partner benefits. By almost any measure, today was a landmark day for the GLBT community, with all eyes focused on basketball player Jason Collins, the ... More >>
As if there weren't already enough public voices coming out against Sen. Dan Patrick's neo-voucher scheme -- Republican Rep. Joe Strauss, the Speaker of the House, already noted that a bill diverting public dollars to private education would never make it pass his chamber -- there's another prominen ... More >>
The current legislative session has been, as far as we can tell at Hair Balls, a series of marginal victories for the state's education system. The voucher system State Sen. Dan Patrick attempted to instill -- the same kind that's beset Georgia in corrupt conflicts; the same sort that's hollowed Lou ... More >>
For those who've forgotten, our recent profile subject Zack Kopplin, the 19-year-old pro-science/anti-creationism advocate we're fortunate enough to have living in Texas, was once a meek-mannered boy who could barely stand eye contact and direct speech. His path from his shell has continued, and las ... More >>
Last week, Democratic Sen. Eddie Lucio apparently reneged on his commitment to file a school voucher bill. Lucio's flip-flop not only killed any pretense of bipartisanship with this controversial measure, but it left Sen. Dan Patrick, head of the Senate Eduction Committee, scrambling to find someone ... More >>
After months of preaches and promises on a potential voucher proposal during this legislative session, it appeared Sen. Dan Patrick had finally found a mark willing to sponsor a bill relating to his "Business Tax Scholarships." As reported in The Rio Grande Guardian last Wednesday, Sen. Eddie Lucio, ... More >>
Despite our best efforts, it seems Islamism has finally managed to worm its way into East Texas. These small towns dotting the eastern forests, lands heretofore known simply for Friday Night Lights and Christian piety -- the kinds of places that comprise Real America, don'tcha know -- have finally t ... More >>
People have been talking about it for years, but the idea came one step closer to reality this week when a bipartisan group of legislators filed bills to help create hike-and-bike paths along Houston's utility easements. Those easements -- the property surrounding, say, those large electricity towe ... More >>
Conservative Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) probably wasn't expecting broad accolades from the education community when he was named chair of the Senate Education Committee on Thursday, and the quick negative reaction from mainline education groups did not disappoint. The dean of Harris County conser ... More >>
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the temporary injunction on Texas's so-called sonogram law, clearing the way for abortion providers to enforce the new mandate. The law, championed by Senator Dan Patrick, requires a sonogram whenever a woman seeks an abortion. The law requires the wom ... More >>
Novel arguments from abortion-rights supporters, judge says.Opponents trying to block the state's new so-called sonogram bill may have a tougher road in Texas than they've had in other states. This morning's hearing in Austin, before U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, did not produce an immedia ... More >>
Houston's strip malls increase heat, pollution.
Sid Miller knows best.Texas, you may now consider yourself even more safe when it comes to women abortin' babies just `cause they feel like it. Governor Rick Perry, in a big ceremonial show, signed into law the bill that mandates women seeking abortions must undergo sonograms. His official ... More >>
Readers rant about strict Texas food laws.
We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>
Sam Houston said no to thisOn this day 150 years ago, the Texas legislature voted to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy. Nowadays, of course, we have a governor who daydreams about the seceding, if not (necessarily) the Confederacy part. So it makes sense to look at how things w ... More >>
How did class size limits become the symbol of an unnecessary luxury in our schools?
Tom DeLay: A conviction to go with the mugshotThere are still a couple days left for earthshaking stories to take place in 2010. But since most news is bad news, let's hope the worst is over. What were the top 10 news stories in Houston in 2010? We're so glad you asked, since we've worked up ... More >>
Photo by Marc BrubakerThe noise leading into the November election is only getting louder, as the dissent on the right side of the nation grows deafening. Yesterday on Discovery Green, a group of at least 1,000 Houston Tea Party supporters and some from other spaces in Texas converged to hold a T ... More >>
The Texans go nationwide tonight with a Monday Night Football match-up against the Tennessee Titans. MNF isn't what it used to be since moving to ESPN, but it's still a big deal.Houston, of course, has had some memorable moments on Monday night. Mostly involving the Oilers -- who are now the Titans ... More >>
Is one of the myriad sports-talk radio stations in town beginning to blink in their eyeball-to-eyeball-to-eyeball-to-eyeball battle?Clear Channel, the communications giant, swung the layoff ax across the country today, and it hit notably in Houston.The biggest names: Brad Davies and Craig Roberts of ... More >>
Highlights from the Blog at HOUSTONPRESS.COM
Giff Nielsen, the sports anchor at KHOU who's been at the station 25 years, is leaving.And, ummm, there's not much to say because Nielsen might be the single most boring television personality in Houston history.Not that's a bad thing -- Nielsen capably delivered the news, conducted interviews and a ... More >>
Photo through wikimedia commonsHouston has always been a big Rush Limbaugh town -- it was one of the first to sign on to his show, when a small Tomball station run by Dan Patrick picked it up. (Patrick rode that rocket to KPRC and eventually a state-senator gig, much to the chagrin of people who don ... More >>
Every now and then I like to step away from the snark and write about something good that's going on. Today is one of those days. On May 1, 2009, Literacy Advance of Houston will be honoring ESPN SportsCenter anchor Hannah Storm as its Champion of Literacy as part of the organization's Champion ... More >>
Our own Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, cut quite a swashbuckling image in the wee hours of last night and this morning in the Texas Senate. As deftly recounted by a number of media outlets, including Robert T. Garrett of the Dallas Morning News, Patrick broke all sort of club rules: the conservative f ... More >>
This photo would look great on his MySpace profile. Our favorite former right-wing radio host/testicle-flasher is back in the news again. Seems former KSEV host Jon Matthews tested positive for alcohol and got caught discussing sexual fantasies on the Internet. This violates the probation he rec ... More >>
Stuffed animals ignite more than the crowd at this event
Ringer's Ways, Dark Side Demons
Overkill, Saint Joe, Pick of the Litter
That credibility gap may be too wide for Proposition One backers to traverse