Welcome to a life of mooching, meetings and trying not to get caught making out with your aides.
For a full week, mainstream news has seized upon a single story and effectively beat it to death; the soap-opera saga of an impotent 80 year old who supports a mistress who looks like Mr. Ed in drag. It's trashy, gossipy, and titillating. It holds great popular appeal for the incredibly stupid and c ... More >>
If you liked -- or at least couldn't stop watching -- Sen. Ted Cruz read Dr. Seuss in the U.S. Senate, have we got a video treat for you. Before he was influencing the Texas primary without even being on the ballot, he was already irritating his fellow Republicans with a fake filibuster that allowed ... More >>
Senator John Cornyn is no one's idea of a liberal. Senator Cornyn is no one's idea of a RINO or a squish. Indeed, the non-partisan Nation Journal ranked Cornyn the second most conservative member of the U.S. Senate. As Talking Points Memo reports on Cornyn's conservative bona fides: He has an "A" r ... More >>
It's long been known by political scientists that the longer a party has been out of power -- that is, has not held the presidency -- the more likely it is to nominate a moderate. This is one reason, out of many, that we can expect Chris Christie to emerge as the Republican standard bearer in 2016. ... More >>
Judge Richard Posner, the leading judicial-scholar of our generation (think Oliver Wendell Holmes and Learned Hand), recently said in an interview: "Well, I don't like the Supreme Court. I don't think it's a real court. I think of it as basically . . . it's like a House of Lords. It's a quasi-polit ... More >>
We know that most people don't watch partisan political cable TV news. But that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about the effect of Fox News on elected representatives, both Republican and Democratic. There has been some research that Fox News made GOP voters more conservative, but th ... More >>
Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson wants to "normalize the sight of an armed citizen."
Remember when the Houston Chronicle endorsed Ted Cruz for the U.S. Senate instead of "establishment" conservative David Dewhurst? You don't? Well, they want us to forget it too. They also told us Ted Cruz was "thoughtful." But they don't want you to remember that either. Yesterday, the editors pe ... More >>
With the Affordable Care Act tied to the federal budget, and the Senate and House of Representatives about as cooperative as a herd of sugared-up, nap-free toddlers, it seemed inevitable that the government would shut down at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday...and it did. A government shutdown hasn't happene ... More >>
It's pretty darn well known around here that most Texans love their guns. If you're from Texas, it's a fair bet that you can boast at least one relative who basically owns an arsenal that would be enough firepower to defend a small country, if the need arose. Earlier this year a University of Texas ... More >>
It's been more than two months since the explosion at the West, Texas fertilizer factory left the little town looking like a nuclear bomb had been dropped on it. Since then, the hits have kept on coming. The townspeople have gone about trying to rebuild their home without the help of disaster reli ... More >>
In one of the worst-kept secrets in Texas, State Sen. Dan Patrick announced Thursday that he was throwing his hat in the ring for the 2014 election for Texas lieutenant governor. Patrick, the current Senate Education Chair, announced yesterday that he would be aiming for David Dewhurst's current pos ... More >>
The Keystone Pipeline people just can't seem to win. First there are the landowners and environmentalists down this way objecting to the pipeline hauling the sticky black tar sands through their property. Then the Native Americans are furious because they feel the federal government isn't negotiatin ... More >>
If you're the leader of a sovereign nation meeting with another sovereign nation to discuss a pipeline that will tote thick, sticky tar sands oil through your land if the project is approved, you might be just a little put out when the head of the other nation doesn't make time to sit down and talk ... More >>
Rick Perry has adopted a more behind-the-scenes approach this time around. That doesn't mean he hasn't been busy.
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 >>
Figuring that the pen is mightier than the, uh, firearm, the National Rifle Association's legislative director has sent an open letter to the U.S. Senate, stating the association's stance against a Senate bill that would regulate private gun transfers and expand background checks. Senate Bill 649, ... More >>
Texas Republican voters finally jumped to their senses Tuesday and followed the clarion call of Sarah Palin by electing Ted Cruz to the U.S. Senate over pallid insider David Dewhurst. The upset was the latest bit of rebellion from the Tea Party, adding to the footnotes that will be written in poli ... More >>
Last week, after it came out that Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is worth an astonishing $177 million and would become the third-richest member of the U.S. Senate if elected to a body that has at least 54 millionaires, there was one word local media employed to describe his competitor Ted Cruz's fina ... More >>
Being the parent of someone fighting in a war is no picnic, even if you're a president. In the modern era, several future or incumbent presidents had sons in the military in wartime. Some of those sons did much, some very little, one paid the ultimate price. Let's look, building up to that ultimat ... More >>
Cornbreadd - make that Maurice Duhon Jr. - is, to use a term of the trade, good copy. He's articulate, opinionated and effervescent, a tireless self-promoter with a genuine concern for and interest in the welfare of others - first his fans as the rapping front man of Houston Press Music Award winne ... More >>
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It does Rocks Off's heart good to see that our Music Award nominations have stirred up so much debate. As we mentioned Tuesday, according to our Web people, there were some 9,000 nominations submitted across our 43 categories. Of course there's no way for us to really know, but as far as we ... More >>
Qui-Gon in your room?Today, it was announced that the House of Representatives Page Program, a program both steeped in history and marred by scandal, is coming to an end. According to USA Today, House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi cited the $5 million annual expenditu ... More >>
In keeping with Rocks Off's latest obsession, compiling soundtracks for oddball holidays, we were tickled pink as a chorus girl's nipple to learn that this Friday is Pi Approximation Day. The holiday was first in 1988 by a physicist named Larry Shaw, who made everyone march in a circle then ... More >>
Dan Patrick inches closer to US Senate raceTomball's favorite state senator, Dan Patrick (R-Tea Party), has weighed in on the polling landscape for his possible run for the United States Senate. And he likes what he sees. Patrick says the recent Texas Lyceum poll (the one that showed Presid ... More >>
If you've ever had any curiosity about how photogenic Anthony Weiner's crotch is, you're having a great week or so. (The answer, by the way, is "Not one-on hundredth as photogenic as he seems to think it is.") Weiner, who's taken a leave of absence from the U.S. House of Representatives to deal wit ... More >>
God is on line two, with a campaign contribution.If you take as a given -- which you should -- that it's going to be awhile before a moderate ever gets elected to the U.S. Senate from Texas, then you want your troglodyte senatorial candidates to be as entertainingly fringe as possible. So lo ... More >>
News Flash: Hank Williams still not a Texan nodepression.comBob "Willis" & His Texas PlayboysIt appears Rocks Off's efforts of a few weeks ago were all for naught. Despite presenting what we thought was a fairly persuasive San Jacinto Day argument to the contrary, earlier today the Texas L ... More >>
Scott Hochberg has a target on his backA marathon session in the state House of Representatives has produced a proposed redistricting map, and it's bad news for two Houston Democrats: Scott Hochberg and Hubert Vo. Houston loses one district under the map, and in the game of musical chairs, i ... More >>
The U.S. House's bizarre hearings on Muslims (sorry, "radical" Muslims) included a noteworthy speech by Rep. Keith Ellison, the only Muslim member of Congress, who teared up while remembering a Muslim first responder who died on 9/11. And then there was Sheila Jackson Lee. Love her or hate her, she ... More >>
"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 >>
Sooooooo.... Thursday, the U.S. Constitution was read aloud on the floor of the House of Representatives, an act that Rocks Off views as the government equivalent of doing your homework on the morning bus, but whatever. Just as Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. was reading the bit about the eligibi ... More >>
Harry: What does this song mean? My whole life, I don't know what this song means. "Should old acquaintance be forgot" - does that mean we should forget old acquaintances, or if we happen to forget them, that we should remember them, which is not possible because we've already forgotten them? ... More >>
What Would Comprehensive Immigration Reform Look Like If the Feds Got Off Their Duffs?
The plant was filthy and infested with vermin, with holes as large as 2 ½ feet in the ceilings leaking water and runoff from the air conditioner units onto the finished product stored below. Records posted on the web by attorney Bill Marler show that executives at Peanut Corporation of Ameri ... More >>
From Ted Nugent to Bruce Springsteen to those adorable Dixie Chicks, "Masters of War" to "George Bush doesn't care about black people," musicians have never been shy about voicing their political opinions. But when it comes to putting their money where their mouths are and filing the necessary pape ... More >>
The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Mayor Bill White is about to switch his future plans from not being elected to the U.S. Senate to not being elected Texas governor.White's move comes as Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's laughably inept run for the governorship continues to implode. Sooner or ... More >>
Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison are locked in a pitched battle over the soul of the GOP. They are also running for governor.
Of all the Republicans in the US House of Representatives, who do you think has the most earmarks in the omnibus spending bill? Some RINO from up north?Nah. It's our own Ron Paul, stalwart criticizer of government spending (that's not in his district.)Fox News is touting the story of Paul's $73 mill ... More >>
Don't forget, Election Day is a great day for freebies. If you need a cab ride to the polls, it's free. Or at least the first $25 of the ride is. (Contrary to rumors, riding the bus or train is not free today, unless you live in Dallas or Austin or some other hippie town.) Then you can get a free ... More >>
In the midst of rising gas prices, a mounting energy crisis and global warming, it’s comforting to know at least one elected official is fighting for our right to...watch TV and be lazy. A month ago on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican Congressman Ted Poe of Texas argued ... More >>
I used to talk to Barack Obama on a regular basis back when he was a rank-and-file state legislator in Illinois and I worked for a pair of community newspapers there. I lived two blocks away from him and worked in the same building that housed his favorite barbershop. Obama’s rise from political ... More >>
Yesterday, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that would authorize the U.S. Mint to begin making gold and silver coins commemorating NASA's 50th anniversary. The Mint would make 50,000 gold coins worth $50 each and another 300,000 silver coins worth a $1 each.
Oil is slick stuff. The oil business can be even slicker. And within the industry, Houston-based Weatherford International may be the slipperiest of all. Yep, that Sudan. According to Fortune Magazine, the oil giant is drilling in Sudan, despite the fact that the US Congress has prohibited Ame ... More >>
Joe's Roadhouse pays homage to the melancholy side of the season