These days the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals can generally be counted on for issuing decisions that are so far right they're practically left. They've made headlines in the last three months alone for their decisions on abortion law alone. There are conservative courts in the United States, but the ... More >>
Fish swim and birds fly and politicians run for political office - these truths are pretty self-evident. But it still comes as a faint shock that Gov. Rick Perry popped up in Iowa this week lambasting President Obama. He's been sharing his views on troops in Iraq, he's been spouting off opinions on ... More >>
As I predicted, some form of immigration reform is getting closer to passing. It likely won't be comprehensive, but the establishment GOP is feeling like they aren't beholden to the crazies in the Tea Party who only know one thing about "illegals": let's build a big fence and kick them all out. Thi ... More >>
Last week, the major political story was Bridgegate, shorthand for the revelation that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's top political aides, along with his high school buddy at the Port Authority, intentionally created traffic interruptions for commuters from Fort Lee, New Jersey because their m ... More >>
On Tuesday, the Harris County Republican Party decided to give an early Christmas gift to a bunch of attorneys and drop a giant lump of coal into the stockings of legally married same-sex couples by suing the city to prevent the enacting of a policy that would extend health and live insurance benefi ... More >>
The Tea Party is best understood as the latest reactionary lurch to the right of the Republican Party during the past 60 years: the Birchers who saw the civil rights movement as a vehicle for communism, the Goldwater supporters who thought the 1964 Civil Rights Act was verboten, the election of the ... 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 is, after all, almost 2014. And we know that the beginnings of what political scientists call the "invisible primary" are well underway -- i.e., the GOP (and the Dems, but more on that in another post) elites are already deciding who is a viable presidential candidate and ideologically trustworth ... 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 >>
Wendy Davis hasn't even announced she's running yet (that will come tomorrow), but she is already lagging behind GOP candidate Greg Abbott by 8 points according to a Texas Lyceum poll reported in the Houston Chronicle. The feisty, filibustering Davis trails 21 percent to Abbot's 29 percent in the po ... More >>
One thing that has been a staple of congressional compromise over the past three decades or so was the farm bill. The Democrats would -- generally speaking -- hold their nose and vote for the bill, which included agricultural subsidies to "farmers" ( the policy actually largely benefits Big Agricult ... More >>
Billboards in Austin proclaiming that Martin Luther King Kr. was a Republican are raising more than a few eyebrows. The billboard campaign was funded by Houston conservative activist Claver Kamau-Imani, who told Hair Balls that, despite many people's assumptions to the contrary, King was a GOP man, ... More >>
It seems like several lifetimes ago, but in fact it was exactly one year ago today that the world got its first full day of Rick Perry, presidential candidate. With all the pomp, not to mention circumstance, attendant on such an august occasion, the governor of Texas deigned to allow voters to elev ... More >>
As the 2012 presidential race begins to heat up in earnest, Rocks Off can't help but feel that the front-runners for the Republican nomination are lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. Call it star power. Call it sex appeal. Whatever it is, these guys ain't got it. If the GOP is serious about wresti ... More >>
The political career of UH's Carl Lewis has, so far, proven to be as successful as his "Star-Spangled Banner"-singing sideline. In other words, not very successful at all. Lewis, who is trying to run for the state senate from his hometown New Jersey district, has been thrown off the ballot for no ... More >>
Many predicted it would happen, either this election cycle or next, but it was a close-run thing. In the end, though, Harris County turned Democratic. For the first time since LBJ, the county did not go for the Republican presidential candidate. Democrats pretty much swept the judicial races, alth ... More >>
A new Republican challenger steps forth to take on Tom DeLay
District 137 state Representative Scott Hochberg
A Hispanic GOP confab leaves delegates yelling foul
Party veterans sound alarms at the proposed GOP political-purity rules
The Texas Ethics Commission lacks eyes, ears and teeth
Paul Bettencourt, Harris County tax assessor-collector
West U rejected them, so how will they ever win Houston's City Hall?
He wants to castrate pedophiles and purge the courts of politics. He has assailed fellow jurists, lawyers and lawmakers. He's maverick Mike McSpadden, a tennis ace with a tomahawk tongue.
Refusing to switch, Andell fights for his bench
A legislative panel summons local GOP leaders to a show-and-tell
How "Scary" Gary Polland turned his party apparatus into a political slot machine
Learning to love the one-party state
A shot of Texas Shrub with a Budweiser chaser
Prayer Lunch Indigestion. A conservative kingmaker meets his match in "Mama Bear"
Guess who's embracing GOP family values?
The Talented Mr. Stockman. A defeated politician resurrects himself in Seventh District heaven with a stash of campaign cash
An early GOP force could be savoring party triumphs -- from prison
GOP chair's super slush fund helps sink arena deal
Will the next house DeLay fumigates be that big White one or his own?
Republicans complete Texas political reconstruction
Log Cabin Republicans want to be part of the GOP, which wants no part of them
Enron fuels Republican soft money machine
Dolly McKenna is the GOP candidate for the 25th District. But will Republicans vote for her?
Money may be the root of all evil, but it's fueled Steven Hotze's rise from a fringe player on the religious right to kingmaker in the local Republican Party. Now he's trying to stretch his influence further afield.
Why the House majority whip got involved in the Fort Bend sheriff's race
Tom DeLay, the bug man from Sugar Land, has always despised environmental regulation. Now, as House majority whip, he's in a position to do something about it.
Quick! It's almost Election Day!! Do you know who your candidates are? Check this guide to the mother of all ballots!
Gay caucus endorsements draw out profiles in political courage -- and cowardice