One of the more lamentable features of national political coverage is that journalists emphasize conflict and "horse race" coverage rather than policy. This is because many journalists -- e.g., David Gregory, George Stephanopolous, Major Garrett and many lesser known names that make up the D.C. pre ... More >>
Gerrymandering is always tossed around by lazy national media types as a reason for why our politics are so polarized. As I've noted before, this is not the case. Some of the alternative explanations are the urban/rural divide and people self-selecting to live (or move to) cities where they feel at ... More >>
Beset by federal budget cuts, no written history and a general lack of recognition, the Alabama-Coushatta try to learn a different way of being indian.
What celebrities and industries contributed to Obama's re-election campaign in 2012? We'll eat dessert first, then get to the vegetables later. The fun stuff: which celebrities donated a bunch of money to Obama's reelection campaign? Among the biggest donors -- the ones who gave the $61,600 maximum ... More >>
Investigators are nowhere near declaring what caused the explosion of the fertilizer factory in West April 17. Other investigators, however, have come to their own conclusions, or raised their own questions. Their own nutty, farcical, inane conclusions and questions. They are the West Truthers on ... More >>
Back in the day, when I used to have oodles and oodles of idle time on my hands during prime game-show watching hours (that's code for "back in college"), Wheel of Fortune was a staple of my game-show dance card. (For the record, Tic Tac Dough, Joker's Wild and Price is Right -- the Sopranos of game ... More >>
There are few Senatorial chapters more infamous than Joe McCarthy's months-long screed against the purported communists infiltrating the American government during the 1950s. The man's grating, acidic line of questions and insinuations have long stood as the apogee of paranoia within Washington. In ... More >>
Despite being sick and hacking up more different colors of phlegm than there are Power Rangers, I needed to certify that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wasn't completely mad for its incoming inductees. Rewind: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Set To Induct Rush, Heart, Donna Summer, and Public Enemy Y ... More >>
Killing Them Softly argues crime is just business.
Today is the Girl Scouts of America's annual World Thinking Day, which they celebrate each year by dedicating 24 hours of contemplation on the world and the people in it. Now, Rocks Off isn't a Girl Scout, but we keep a close eye on them because we've proven in the past they are in fact our o ... More >>
And why the American Immigration Council is Great!
Mason Lankford said, "There will come a day when we forget the Rapture ever even happened," but Rocks Off is keeping an eye out for signs of our impending Armageddon. We were wrong last time, but we're totally right this time! Rebecca Black shot into... fame? Notoriety? Is there even a word ... More >>
The fashion police are everywhereShirts are fast becoming the new weapon of choice in Harris County's 2010 polling places.One woman told KHOU she was not allowed to vote because she was wearing an Obama shirt. The county issued an official warning against people wearing Obama shirts (or, if anyon ... More >>
The national political website Wonkette has got ahold of the story of Dan Patrick's new independent-ish party. And the commenters are sparing little in roasting our favorite state senator.There's lots of stuff about Texans, conservatives, etc. -- Wonkette is not generally a tea-partyin' place -- ... More >>
We've bailed out the banks. When do we go after the crooks behind our financial collapse?
Photos by Craig Hlavaty This past weekend, Rocks Off took a respite from sweltering H-Town to visit family in our equallly sweltering, ball-sweat-inducing neighbor to the south. Corpus Christi is rather small compared the teeming ant farm we have here, topping just over a quarter of a million beachi ... More >>
Old Crow Medicine Show's new CD of original material as rough-edged as their traditional covers
Photo by MyEyeSeesWe wrote after the election about King County, the Texas county that gave John McCain his biggest percentage margin in the presidential race.Fully 93 percent of King County's voters went for the Republican, even though the county clerk told us the county is "pretty Democratic."Eigh ... More >>
The count is in, and the number of hate groups in the U.S. exploded to 926 in 2008, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center's totally non-fearmongerishly titled "Year in Hate" issue of the Intelligence Report. And Texas can proudly boast the second-highest hate group count, at 66, right behind ... More >>
When contestants on romantic/superficial reality shows are sent packing - when Flav withholds a clock, Tila Tequila declares that you've lost your shot at "love," or whatever - it's tough to empathize with the teary-eyed rejects, because by now the audience recognizes their exile as temporary, a ste ... More >>
In the Name of Love
You don't need a half-wit music critic to tell you it's been a remarkable year for America, one historians will be discussing and researching for centuries to come. War, financial collapse, politics, technology: All have been dinner-table topics for many Americans. Racial barriers in 2008 were demol ... More >>
"Every Day Is Like Sunday" If you haven't read "Songs from the Heart of a Marketing Plan," Jon Pareles' essay outlining how, basically, the only way for artists to sell their music these days is by licensing it to sell something else, in the New York Times, go ahead and check it out. Ballz detects ... More >>
"Every Day Is Like Sunday" If you haven't read "Songs from the Heart of a Marketing Plan," Jon Pareles' essay outlining how, basically, the only way for artists to sell their music these days is by licensing it to sell something else, in the New York Times, go ahead and check it out. Ballz detects a ... More >>
"Every Day Is Like Sunday" If you haven't read "Songs from the Heart of a Marketing Plan," Jon Pareles' essay outlining how, basically, the only way for artists to sell their music these days is by licensing it to sell something else, in yesterday's New York Times, go ahead and check it out. Rocks O ... More >>
Little Jimmy Dickens As the Willie Nelson-quoting Don Merideth used to sing on Monday Night Football, turn out the lights, the party's over. While last night's electoral bloodbath isn't the end of the Republican Party - particularly way down Texas way - the GOP is in shambles, and Barack Obama's ho ... More >>
Canadians Jeff Collins and Rick Erickson At the official Harris County GOP election party in the Westin Galleria hotel, the Republican faithful were celebrating what they could. As live national news feeds on one of two big-screen TVs rattled off state after state going for Obama, revelers maintaine ... More >>
If you haven't heard of Ashley Todd, she's the 20-year-old girl who was campaigning for McCain in Pittsburgh and made up a story about an Obama supporter carving a "B" in the side of her face. You'd think that she would take that story straight to the police, but she didn't. Her first stop was the ... More >>
In her introduction to the morbidly entertaining Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends from Cleopatra to Princess Di, author Kris Waldherr asserts that there are still “doomed queens among us.” “Whatever your opinion of [Hillary] Clinton or [assassinated Pakistani Benazir] Bhutto, ther ... More >>
Election season brings crazy e-mail time, and we don't just mean all those Obama-worships-the-Koran things your grandmother forwards. This year a big trend locally seems to involve straight-ticket voting. The assumption seems to be that a lot of first-time voters (read: blacks) will want to cast an ... More >>
The Sealy Times gets today's award for most-Onion like headline: "Local Man Joins Presidential Race" That big-dreamin' local man is a Houston native -- Thaddaus Hill, who heads the Madisonian-Federalist Party. Hill is a political science professor at Blinn College. He admits he's not measuring th ... More >>
It's been a big day for Joe Wurzelbacher, better known as "Joe the Plumber." After John McCain mentioned his name about 12,000 times in last night's debate, the media descended on the guy's house in Ohio to learn about "the common man's" thoughts. Thoughts which sounded pretty much like GOP talkin ... More >>
Over at Deadline Hollywood Daily (which just so happens to be affiliated with our sister rag LA Weekly), Nikki Finke cites an interesting Fandango poll of moviegoers who plan on seeing W., Oliver Stone’s upcoming biopic that features the infamous night when George W. drunkenly crashed a car onto t ... More >>
Photos by Kris Ex It's impossibly hard to talk about Citizen Cope. His allure is rooted to his ability to remain a closed cipher. His music - old-timey folk, modern-day blues and gully street tales full of the uncounted and forgotten - is at once about nothing and everything; allegory open to inter ... More >>
Few musicians polarize critics like Neil Diamond, but, love him or hate him, you can’t deny his ability to write unforgettable pop numbers. Just consider how many of Diamond’s songs have become standards and then, as covers, became standards again. While trying to catalogue such a list, we disco ... More >>
Students at UT have learned a powerful political lesson: Supporting Obama will get you in trouble with The Man. We're sure UT officials would say supporting McCain would get you in trouble, too, but apparently sure-as-shootin' mavericks are not as prevalent on the 40 Acres as Obama fans. Two UT st ... More >>
Sad news has come in over the wires from Bloom County. Houston boy Berkeley Breathed has announced “Opus” will be no more come November 2. “With the crisis in Wall Street and Washington, I’m suspending my comic strip to assist the nation,” Breathed said in a press release from the Washi ... More >>
What it do, Bill? In June, we posited that Southern hip hop and Fox News share much in common. Possessing both anti-intellectual and populist streaks, each is beloved by red-staters and hated on by the coastal elites, be they liberals, hipsters, Ghostface or Nas. The piece concluded: If you're st ... More >>
Wack's here to tell you: more than you might expect
Like a disgustingly rich, misanthropic cancer-ridden nonagenarian clinging on his hospital bed to what few remaining brain cells haven’t atrophied, just to spite all his would-be heirs, Ron Paul’s presidential campaign just won’t freaking die already. Apparently unfamiliar with the terms “g ... More >>
With billboards of windmills promising gentle, nonpolluting energy, Green Mountain offers Texans a new power avenue. Will they take it? Should they?