Social Policy

  • Blogs

    November 21, 2014

    Obama's Immigration Speech Was A Bittersweet Moment for "Dreamers"

    A tinge of disappointment hung in the air at the MECA cultural arts center before the live-stream of President Obama's immigration speech began Thursday night. A small group of undocumented students and families had gathered to hear the long-awaited announcement that Obama would halt the deportation ... More >>

  • News

    April 17, 2014

    For Many Refugees, the Journey to America Ends in a Cold Jail Cell

    While the United States decides their fate, asylum seekers sit in immigration detention.

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2014

    Ted Cruz Goes Obamacare Trolling and Fails

    As we rolled up to the fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, Sen. Ted Cruz couldn't help but take a shot at the program -- which has had plenty of administrative problems since it was kicked off last fall. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 19, 2014

    Human Trafficking in Houston Is More Likely Than You Think

    It's the face of everyday Houston. The local nail salon worker, the guy toiling every afternoon on a construction site, the server at a local cantina, there's a possibility they could all be victims of human trafficking. At least that was part of the message being delivered at Rice University's immi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2014

    Cover Story: Obamacare Still Lacking For Some Local Musicians

    January 1, 2014 saw most of the final stages of President Barack Obama's signature legislation, the health-care reform initiative known as both the official title of the Affordable Care Act and more derisively as Obamacare, start to be implemented. The individual mandate that requires every able per ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2013

    Pass/Fail: The Education Lobby Begins to Flex Its Muscles

    We need to improve our education system. Every politician, from dog catcher to president, from socialist Bernie Sanders to Ted Cruz, would support this statement. What they really mean though is that we need to improve our nation's inner-city schools; the children of the wealthy are doing just fine. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 29, 2013

    Sebelius Says Texas Politics Screwed Up Obamacare

    The Affordable Care Act has been rolled out, the insurance enrollment website went live and it's had a lot of snags in the process. Hair Balls will bet no one knows that better than U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. She's been out on tour, promoting Obamacare while simulta ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2013

    From Santelli's Rant to Shutdown: A Short History of the Tea Party

    In popular "lore", Rick Santelli's infamous rant on the free-market schill network that is CNBC, was the spark that lit the fire creating the tea party. There is something to this, indeed there is a lot to this ("tea party" became the perfect rallying cry for disgruntled coservatives), but it is fai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 21, 2013

    Perry Hates Obamacare, But He Still Wants Obamacare Money

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2013

    Sebelius Announces Obamacare Video Contest From Houston, Perry Probably Isn't Entering

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2013

    Perry Goes Old School Mexican Bandito On Health Secretary About Affordable Care Act

    As has been made clear, Gov. Rick Perry isn't a fan of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), and it seems the guy with the perfect mop of hair is even less of a fan of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius after her swing through the state Thursday. Sebelius was in Austin to try ... More >>

  • News

    May 2, 2013

    Rick Perry: Mum's The Word

    Rick Perry has adopted a more behind-the-scenes approach this time around. That doesn't mean he hasn't been busy.

  • Blogs

    January 22, 2013

    Roe v. Wade, 40 Years On: Rick Perry Still Carries The Battle Flag

    The 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade is not so much a time of celebration, Rep. Donna Howard told a small crowd on the south steps of the Capitol this morning, as it was a look at the progress towards healthy women and healthy communities. Some of that, liberal lawmakers predict, is likely to erode t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2012

    Sen. Dan Patrick Named Senate Education Chair, Re-dedicates Himself to Private School Vouchers

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    July 9, 2012

    Rick Perry Stands Tall Against Socialism, Obamacare and Godless Federal Dollars

    Governor Rick Perry has confirmed in a letter today to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that he's no pal of socialism and as such, must reject two key measures of Obamacare - a state insurance exchange and expanding Medicaid. To embrace a state exchange would mean playing ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 27, 2012

    Will HISD Thumb Its Nose at Rick Perry & Go for the Race to the Top?

    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 >>

  • News

    June 7, 2012

    Crossing The Line: Days of Rage

    The U.S. Supreme Court and President Obama leave the undocumented and their allies no choice but to escalate civil disobedience.

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2012

    ICE Sweep Nets 74, Including Child Molesters, in Houston Area

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2011

    More Than 20,000 Deported from South Texas in 2011, Feds Say

    La Migra piles up the numbers.​The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced its deportation numbers today for fiscal 2011, which ended in September. Nationwide almost 400,000 were deported -- an ICE record -- and more than 20,000 were deported from South Texas, the agency ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 18, 2011

    Texas: Immigration Detention Capital of the Country

    In Texas, illegal immigration is often extremely lucrative.​Texas is number one again today. To our trophy case of great honors, we add Most Beholden To Private Corporations, When It Comes To Illegal Immigration. The Detention Watch Network recently released aggregated data about the big busi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 2, 2011

    May Day Immigration Rally Draws Thousands (and Opponents) in Houston

    Photos by Christopher Patronella, Jr.​Some three thousand people joined together in Houston on Sunday to take part in May Day rallies held all across the nation as the battle over immigration laws has taken center stage. Demonstrators blanketed the streets around Burnett Bayland Park as they flow ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2011

    Planned Parenthood: Punched in the Uterus by Misguided Texas Senate

    More bad news for women who rely on Planned Parenthood.​A Texas Senate subcommittee wrangled the vulvas of Texas women into a chokehold yesterday with its latest assault on Planned Parenthood. Republican Senator Robert Deuell, who is a physician, introduced a bill to a three-member subcommitte ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2011

    Lack Of Social Safety Net Tying Many Musicians To Day Jobs

    "I fantasize sometimes that my musical career would hit gold and help us escape these grim realities, but it's not something I really expect to happen." ​There are few issues in the current political climate more fraught with contention than whether or not the U.S. government will take a more ... More >>

  • News

    December 23, 2010

    Return to Sender

    What Would Comprehensive Immigration Reform Look Like If the Feds Got Off Their Duffs?

  • News

    December 2, 2010

    FAIR-y Tales

    Russell Pearce and Other Illegal-Immigration Populists Rely on Misleading, Right-Wing Reports to Scapegoat Immigrants and Terrify Penny-Pinched Americans.

  • News

    December 2, 2010
  • Blogs

    November 19, 2010

    State Rep Leo Berman: A "Birther" Bill And Oh, So Much More

    Leo Berman: Probably not a big Jon Stewart fan​Texas, we have our birther bill!! Thanks to Rep. Leo Berman of the Panhandle Tyler, the Texas legislature will take up a bill saying no one can be on the ballot in Texas for president (or vice-president! All bases covered!!) unless they present t ... More >>

  • News

    August 12, 2010


    Inside the brutal world of America's kidnapping capital

  • Music

    July 29, 2010
  • News

    July 15, 2010

    Welcome to Mi Pueblito, Washington

    The small-town, family-farm lifestyle that we love to celebrate is being preserved — thanks to Mexican immigrants.

  • News

    June 3, 2010


    From Ground Zero of the immigration crisis along the Mexican border

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2010

    Even Rick Perry Can't Support Arizona's Immigration Law

    Rick Perry appeals to Move On, ACORN and Daily Kos​People, if there is one rule in life, it's this: If Rick Friggin' Perry thinks you've gone too far to the right, it's time to check yourself before you wreck yourself.Perry's office has just issued a statement saying the controversial new Arizona ... More >>

  • Culture

    April 1, 2010
  • Blogs

    October 20, 2009

    If Halloween Is Coming, So Are Offensive Costumes

    ​The "Illegal Alien" costume causing uproar amongst immigrant rights activists, anti-immigrant supporters and free speech advocates is the first major faux pas of this Halloween season. While anti-immigrant supporters are scrambling to find the costume, immigrant rights activists are calling for ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 7, 2009

    Shipley Do-Nuts Pays Up For Using Illegal Immigrants

    ​Shipley Do-Nuts, the oddly spelled longtime Houston morning favorite, will be forking over a ton of cash to the feds for using illegal immigrants in the workplace.The U.S. Attorney's office has announced the company will pay a $250,000 fine and forfeit $1.3 million to the government for harboring ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 11, 2008

    ICE Won't Be Nabbing Illegals At Hurricane Shelters

    Safety first. That’s the message from federal immigration authorities this morning who say illegal immigrants needing to evacuate or use public shelters during Hurricane Ike should feel safe to do so without fear of being detained and possibly deported. “It shows the nature of the business,” ... More >>

  • Culture

    July 3, 2008
  • News

    June 19, 2008

    The DREAM Act Might Be Dead, But These Kids' Hopes Are Not

    They are American in everything but name. They can go to college in Texas and improve themselves. Doesn't matter. At the end of the day, they're just illegal immigrants without social security numbers or futures.

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2007

    Virtual Vouchers

    The Texas Senate Committee on Education has been busy today meeting on Sen. Kyle Janek's (R- Houston) bill which would allow school vouchers for low-income students in some of the more urban areas of the state including Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth and San Antonio. Oh and the much-troubled No ... More >>

  • Culture

    February 23, 2006

    Back to the Future

    Andrea Bowers presents life before Roe v. Wade

  • News

    February 23, 2006
  • Best of Houston

    September 26, 2002

    Best Democrat

    District 147 State Representative Garnet Coleman

  • News

    June 27, 2002

    Million-Dollar Babies

    Some CEP students have been locked in for years

  • News

    April 25, 2002

    Needling the Mayor

    Former drug czar Lee Brown has trouble negotiating a question about why there's no needle-exchange program for addicts in Houston

  • News

    October 11, 2001

    Paying the Price

    Hospital district officials wanted a simple one-sentence policy on immigrant health care. What they got instead was a criminal probe and plenty of politics.

  • News

    May 31, 2001

    Learning How to Survive (at) CEP

    HISD and a paid trustee get entangled in the spreading empire of a private firm touting safe alternative schools for troubled kids. So why are some students and parents so scared?

  • News

    March 2, 2000

    See George Educate

    A Texas journalist gives George W. Bush his due

  • News

    April 2, 1998

    All in a Day's Work

    Lockheed Martin's welfare-reform efforts have cost taxpayers across the country millions. So naturally, Lockheed Martin has been hired to train and find jobs for the poor in Houston and Harris County.

  • News

    July 10, 1997

    Cozy Ties

    In the battle to privatize welfare services in Texas, corporate bidders have enlisted some inside help

  • News

    December 16, 1993

    Old and In The Way

    How slow turnings of tiny bureaucratic gears grind up real Texans

  • More >>