As tear gas and rubber bullets flew on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, this week, I couldn't help but be thankful for the relatively peaceful streets of Houston. Sure, we have crime like most big cities and racial tensions do, at times, rise. For instance, when protesters took to the streets of R ... More >>
There's an online map that lets you look at countries with the most Visa applications to live and work in Houston. The You Are Here project from MIT's media lab looked at 1775 permanent visa applications in Houston in 2012 and 2013. Software developers and computer engineers were among the bigges ... More >>
Part four in a series for Houston Pride Week. Once formed, "The Caucus" as the Houston LGBT Political Caucus became known quickly organized a series of actions that would see the political power of the LGBT community expand exponentially. By the end of the decade, even straight candidates would see ... More >>
Update: The mayor's office released the following information this morning about today's planned announcement: Supporters of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance will make an announcement regarding an agreed upon change in the proposed ordinance and release a letter of support signed by clergy. Expect ... More >>
Robert Dejean came to yesterday's City Council meeting to express his frustration at not being able to carry out the remainder of the Little League season with proper lights at Smokey Jasper ball field. See vandals, he said, ripped the copper out of the light poles some time ago and the city has yet ... More >>
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 >>
White conservatives who tweaked an election in The Woodlands were just what Greg Abbott needed to prove he doesn’t prosecute only minorities for voter fraud.
Today, on the 23rd anniversary of the start of their lives together, Mayor Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard got married in Palm Springs, California. The marriage had been anticipated for several days, but it wasn't known exactly when it would happen. In a statement released by the mayor's office, ... More >>
Liberal activists are calling on Justice Ginsburg, at least, and, hopefully, Justice Breyer to resign. Not because they're incompetent and unable to do their job, but because they are worried that if the 80-year old two-time cancer survivor Ginsburg and the 75-year-old Breyer cannot make through a h ... More >>
The George W. Bush DOJ went after voter fraud hard. It became a mantra in right-wing talking circles that voter fraud was rampant, perhaps swinging elections. The problem with this narrative was that there simply wasn't much evidence to support it. Undeterred by the lack of evidence, right-wing acti ... More >>
Early voting for the Houston city council run-off races starts Wednesday. Two years ago, this was the arena where Helena Brown managed to unseat her incumbent rival, and the upcoming run-off is pretty much a blast from the past when it comes to the District A seat. The turnout for the run-off elect ... More >>
Political gadfly Kinky Friedman thinks winning the Agriculture Commissioner race is the key to legalizing marijuana in Texas.
Painting with broad brush strokes, liberals tend to favor stricter regulation of guns (although I do think conservatives tend to go out of their way to demonize anyone who dares "tread" on the newly found constitutional right to bear arms). At all events, concealed carry laws (i.e., you can walk aro ... More >>
It is a commonplace that politicians will spin facts to their benefit. Indeed, politicians have been known to stretch the truth so far that it reaches into "that is simply false" territory. "Truthiness" it's called. And it is not limited solely to politicians. Even more disconcerting is that social ... More >>
As you are doubtlessly aware, "active shooter" incidents -- for example, the LAX TSA shooting -- seem to have become commonplace in America; indeed, they "spiked sharply" over the past few years. (Yet, the violent crime rate continues to fall). After Newtown, it seemed sure that the political winds ... More >>
The spate of voter ID laws that have been churning out of conservative controlled legislatures and governors' mansions over the past number of years -- and especially since the Supreme Court's ruling in Shelby County -- are nakedly partisan in nature. Indeed, when the Bush DOJ spent five years tryin ... More >>
The GOP's ill-fated strategy to defund Obamacare via a government shutdown ended in a political defeat for the Republicans. But the Libertarian Party was happy: "Elected Republicans in the House can stimulate the productive private sector by slowing down Big Government," said Geoffrey J. Neale, cha ... More >>
It is unremarkable to say that politicians, both Democratic and Republican, shade the truth, tell half-truths, spin any topic, or, their favorite, simply refuse to answer the question asked and reiterate a talking point. Indeed, some commentators said that 2012 was the first "post-truth" campaign ... More >>
Whatever else you might want to say about the tea party folks -- both the elected representatives and their citizen-supporters -- you cannot say that they are in hock to Wall Street the same way the establishment GOP and (much of) the Democrats are. (Including, yes, President Obama. It's true). If ... More >>
As the referendum on the Astrodome gets closer, I thought it might be worth taking a look back at the last 20 years of stadium history in Houston. Thought 20 years isn't a lot of time in the grand scheme of things, a lot has happened. Would you believe that, at one point, there was a better-than-ave ... More >>
Gov. Rick Perry has a hatred for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) that comes as natural as breathing to him, but it seems hate only goes so far when there's $100 million in federal funding on the table. When U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius came to Texas a few weeks ... More >>
You might be able to find someone who hates the Affordable Care Act more than Gov. Rick Perry, but you'll have to look hard, especially now that U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius came all the way to Houston on Monday to announce a video contest promoting the federal healthc ... More >>
If you've never been to Farmers Branch, you haven't missed much. It's a neighborhood/suburban bubble/town engulfed by Dallas's urban sprawl, and it's such a bland place you'd probably never have noticed or heard tell of it until the city government enacted a controversial housing law back in May 2 ... More >>
Last week, Gladys House had every reason to think she was about to see her property auctioned off for failure to pay her taxes, before someone swooped in to loan her the money. "I always felt like it was going to be all right. I just didn't know how it would happen," House said. Linebarger Gogga ... More >>
Death and taxes are the only certainties in life, but in the case of Gladys House, the actual tax bill has been a question she's been wrestling with since the late 1990s. House is a longtime Fourth Ward activist and head of the Freedmen's Town Association who has fought for years to preserve the ... More >>
In 2012, the Harris County Appraisal District valued Robert Mandala's modest Spring home at $59,500. The property-tax agent who represented Mandala said HCAD, while establishing a value, purposely ignored the lower priced homes in the neighborhood and grabbed sales numbers from the most expensive pr ... More >>
We've known for some time that the American Constitution, that yellowed document containing all our inalienable and God-given rights, was a special slip of parchment. The first of its kind, we've been told. The example. The lodestar. The exceptional. But recent research, publicized last week in Blo ... More >>
To say the United States' relationship with North Korea is less than cordial would be a bit of an understatement. A draconian cesspool of a society with nuclear weapons perpetually aimed our way, North Korea and its leadership (Kim Jong-un, yo!) represent the antithesis of everything the United Stat ... More >>
Hey, we all know Texans like their guns. We just didn't realize how much they love them. (Well, to be honest, we did if we gave it much thought, but we hadn't, and now there's new evidence showing it.) For most of those interested, the key finding of the new University of Texas / Texas Tribune poll ... More >>
Having fought his battles in Louisiana, the Rice University student is now ready for Texas and any move to put faux science in the public schools here.
Honestly, I thought George Foreman had a lot of Georges in his family, but now I'm beginning to wonder if the Bush clan doesn't have him beat. First there was George H.W. Bush, then George W. Bush. Now, there's George P. Bush (maybe even P.G. if you count his second middle name), son to Jeb and gran ... More >>
In response to President Barack Obama's executive orders mostly relating to the sale and possession of firearms, Governor Rick Perry issued a release that sounds like it was pulled directly from the talking points of the National Rifle Association, which isn't all that surprising considering his sup ... More >>
To the media outed by the gun owner: You had it coming.
To the Staff of the Journal News, When I read recently about how a gun owner published the names and addresses of many of you on a Web site in retaliation for you publishing the names and addresses of gun owners in your area, I have to admit my first reaction was, "Sucks to be you." I should note ... More >>
New Chair Dan Patrick is making his mark on the Senate Education Committee early, putting his goals for school choice front and center on his agenda. The clamor over school choice will likely drown out many of Patrick's other goals for the session: expanding career and technology courses; dropping ... More >>
On any given Sunday during football season, there are 70,000 people sitting in the stands watching the game. Imagine just over one percent of those people, probably the number of combined fans standing in the beer and bathroom lines at halftime at one corner of the upper level, and you just imagined ... More >>
Thanks a lot Christians, for not showing up.You disgust me.— Victoria Jackson (@vicjackshow) November 7, 2012 Amidst the pundits and the graphics and the touch screen monitors and the iPads strapped to the arms of The Daily Show's John Oliver, probably the most watched network on election ni ... More >>
Voters in Harris and Fort Bend counties will get an extra treat on Election Day: Federal poll watchers. As a result of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (now 47 years old!), the federal government attempts to make sure every registered voter regardless of race, color "or membership in a minority langua ... More >>
If Mitt Romney won't tell you which need to be closed, we will.
It's a fact of life that bears repeating: The IRS does not fuck around, no matter who you are. Legendary musician Chuck Berry received a reminder of this universal truth the hard way 33 years ago this month. Only three days after playing a gig on the White House lawn for President Jimmy Carter, the ... More >>
It was a pretty safe bet that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney would face what Rodney Dangerfield called a "tough crowd" at the NAACP annual convention being held at the George R. Brown Convention Center this week. Romney's platform of repealing Obamacare and tax cuts for the "job creators" ar ... More >>
The 2012 Texas Republican Platform has been released, and reading briefly through it there is an interesting mixture of solid conservative thought, some common sense points, and at least two of what appears to be a complete and utter disconnect from even manufactured reality. As Houston Press's resi ... More >>
The deadline is looming for the next round of the Race to the Top, a program federal education department officials all but admit was drafted for Houston Independent School District after Texas refused to compete for federal grants. When Education Secretary Arne Duncan hinted such a district-based ... More >>
Things at a Houston City Council meeting can get pretty dull. And by dull, we mean crushingly boring. As in, it was so lifeless today that matters got desperate for several reporters listening to the council members drone on and on. And on. One TV reporter -- an exceedingly friendly fellow -- took ... More >>
New laws in dozens of states could take out Barack Obama this fall.
A hostile Supreme Court. A feckless Obama administration. America's war on Mexicans has gone too far.
A nationwide sweep of convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and "egregious" immigration violators resulted in almost 100 arrests out of the Houston field office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE took in 3,100 people nationwide in its six-day "Cross Check" operation, with 74 com ... More >>