Country music has an interesting relationship with current events. Unlike other forms of pop that deal with one form of fantasy or another -- starlets forever falling in love with that guy who is just out of reach; aspiring rappers' dreams of a ghetto-fabulous lifestyle, for example -- country draw ... More >>
A debate on Houston transit was settled Tuesday, mostly by people who don't live here. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a transportation spending bill for fiscal 2015 Tuesday, 229-192, cutting off funding for METRO's proposed University Line in the process. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston ... More >>
Welcome to a life of mooching, meetings and trying not to get caught making out with your aides.
The National Journal's newest rankings are out. What the NJ does is determine who the most conservative/liberal/moderate senators and representatives are (it's a non-partisan D.C. magazine). Let's see where Texas's elected officials rank. We'll start with the two esteemed senators: Cruz and Cornyn ... 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 >>
Despite glitches, Houstonians flock to sign up to be covered by the new insurance plans.
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 >>
After all of the hubbub that surrounded the passing of the state water plan, Gov. Rick Perry signed some water conservation legislation into law last Friday with nary a ripple in the political waters. Water companies will have to audit water lines to check for leaks that could be losing water, and ... 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 >>
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 >>
Governor Rick Perry will honor six Houston police officers tomorrow for the service they gave the public, service that left them wounded from gunshots or other actions. The officers will receive the Star of Texas Award, which "were created to honor and commemorate selected first responders who made ... More >>
Let me preface what I am about to say by noting that I love the State of Louisiana. I don't think I've ever had a bad trip to the state. It's one of my favorite places to visit, complete with otherworldly cuisine, ultra-accessible alcohol and gambling, and unintentional comedy galore. In short, I a ... 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 >>
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 >>
Ron, we hardly knew ye.Will the U.S. be able to survive without Ron Paul in the House of Representatives? We're about to find out. Paul's district newspaper, the Brazosport Facts, reports today that Paul will not seek re-election after almost a quarter-century in Congress. Instead, the 75-y ... 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 >>
naylandhouse.comFuture ordained minister MC Hammer wasn't kidding on his 1990 hit single "Pray."Let's face it. Not everyone is cut out for - or interested in - being a sixtysomething rock star. But what type of careers awaits a retired musician? Many rock stars stay in the music industry real ... 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 >>
kMatherlyCheers indeed. Local breweries celebrate a win in the House of Representatives.Just as we were bemoaning the huge, wet bite the IRS took out of our savings account, along comes an example of tax dollars being put to good use. On April 21 the office of State Representative Jessica Farrar (D, ... 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 >>
The Hammer gets the slammerTom DeLay's sentence has been handed out, and it's not a slap on the wrist: He's going to prison for three years with no probation on the conspiracy charges. DeLay was also sentenced by judge Pat Priest to 10 years' probation on a money-laundering charge, according ... 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?
Texas is a big winnerRepublicans in the Texas Legislature have already been salivating over the opportunity to redraw Congressional districts with little to no interference from those annoying Democrats. The U.S. Census just handed them another gift: Four more seats to mess with. A 20 perce ... More >>
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 >>
HISD might close cosmetology program.
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 >>
In a highly competitive 2009 field, Governor Rick Perry is the biggest gobbler of them all.
Dancing With the Stars announced the pairings for its upcoming season Monday - like you care - and while some out there are no doubt crunching the odds of Debi Mazar and that Russian guy squaring off with Chuck Liddell and...that Russian chick in the finals, local interest is still focused on fo ... More >>
News is leaking out of Hollywood that former U.S. House Majority Leader and mugshot model Tom DeLay will be part of the cast of next season's ABC hoofer ratings smash Dancing With the Stars. What hasn't come out yet is DeLay's plans to debut a new dance called the "Bitch Slap," an arm-movement-heav ... More >>
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 >>
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 >>
Can Christian hip-hop save Enock from his demons?
Chris Bell finds it's lonely being white on this campaign trail
State Representative John Culberson, winner of the GOP nomination in the Seventh Congressional District
Wendy Gramm's all-American success story is a centerpiece of her husband's fledgling presidential bid. But there's more to the story than what's being packaged and sold by the Phil Gramm campaign.
Are We Having Fun Yet? Or is it just the jangly buzz of advanced urban stress syndrome?