Political gadfly Kinky Friedman thinks winning the Agriculture Commissioner race is the key to legalizing marijuana in Texas.
He's vacating the governor's office after this term is up in January 2015, but it looks like Gov. Rick Perry has no intention of letting that perfect mop of political hair languish in retirement. Judging by the smoke signals from his most recent forays into media, Perry is looking at another preside ... 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 >>
Days after U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel issued an injunction blocking parts of the new Texas abortion law, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has reinstated the portion of the law requiring abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the clinic. The le ... More >>
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 >>
As you can see from this chart, since the 2010 mid-term elections there has been a significant uptick in abortion restrictions. State legislatures in Texas, Ohio, North Dakota (overturned in Court), Wisconsin (also blocked in court) and Pennsylvania (among others) have all enacted restrictions on ab ... More >>
It's was unofficially official last week that Sen. Wendy Davis would run for governor, but Davis will make the official announcement today and the race is really on. Ever since Davis donned her hot pink running shoes and proceeded to stand on the floor of the Texas Senate in a filibuster to block s ... More >>
State Attorney General Greg Abbott, who threw his hat in the ring for the governor's seat last month, has gone and insulted Wendy Davis on Twitter. Sort of. It turns out, as Abbott learned this weekend, a thank you tweet can also be an endorsement, and thus an insult. Abbott has drawn the ire of t ... More >>
There's a saying, often attributed to novelist Sinclair Lewis, that can sum certain strains on the American right: "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and waving a cross." And while the phrase always comes across as a bit screechy -- we've spent 237 years swearing in on a B ... 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 >>
If you were anywhere near a computer, a phone, or the Hill Country over the past 24 hours, you'll know that Texas witnessed one of the most memorable, remarkable displays of political will it's ever known. In lieu of allowing nearly 90 percent of the abortion clinics across the state to shutter, Sen ... More >>
Rick Perry has adopted a more behind-the-scenes approach this time around. That doesn't mean he hasn't been busy.
The excitement was palpable as Governor Rick Perry strode into the House chamber just over two years ago to make his State of the State speech. Months before the four-term Republican governor declared his run for president, Capitol observers were parsing his every phrase and praising his uncanny po ... More >>
Having fought his battles in Louisiana, the Rice University student is now ready for Texas and any move to put faux science in the public schools here.
Honestly, I thought George Foreman had a lot of Georges in his family, but now I'm beginning to wonder if the Bush clan doesn't have him beat. First there was George H.W. Bush, then George W. Bush. Now, there's George P. Bush (maybe even P.G. if you count his second middle name), son to Jeb and gran ... More >>
Don't worry, Jesus: You will not be fighting Your epic battle against Satan on the battlefields of Kountze High School alone. By Your side will be Governor Rick Perry and state Attorney General Greg Abbott, both of whom have somehow decided to intervene in a red-meat, hot-button issue sure to pleas ... More >>
The Texas GOP's lengthy effort to create redistricting maps that federal judges say don't discriminate against minorities hit another snag today when a three-judge panel in D.C. threw out the latest plan. The judges said the proposed maps failed to meet fairness standards using various tests and an ... More >>
Since Gov. Rick Perry abandoned the fetid remains of his failed presidential bid last January, he has socked away $1.94 million in political contributions, bringing the total amount of ching deposited with Texans for Rick Perry, his political action committee, to $3.4 million, according to recent ca ... More >>
Last night, as we watched Sarah Palin bloviate on Fox News -- yes, doubtful reader, we do under highly unusual circumstances tune in to Fox News -- we were struck by something. Ted Cruz, compared to virtually every single Tea Party member on this green earth like Palin, is really damn articulate. Li ... More >>
For people who've been losing Texas elections pretty consistently since the `80s, Democrats at the Democratic State Convention officially kicking off today in downtown Houston are surprisingly upbeat. That's because many of them are expecting the tide to turn in Texas politics, maybe not today or to ... More >>
Texas's strict new voter ID law, put in place by this past session's Tea Party legislature to stem the tidal wave of voter fraud that is actually not happening at all, has been blocked by the U.S. Department of Justice. The new law unfairly targets Hispanic voters, the feds said. "[T]he state has ... More >>
The Texas primary is allegedly a little more than two months away, but some people still don't know what congressional or state-legislature district they're in, and the people running for those seats don't know who to court. The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected a redistricting map drawn up by a pa ... More >>
The Texas Attorney General's Office says a drugmaker lied in order to push an antipsychotic on foster children. So why are kids as young as three still taking the drug?
Rick Perry is right: America can learn from Texas. He's just wrong about what the lesson is.
That word you keep using...There was an advance screening last night of The Undefeated, the new film by Stephen K. Bannon that traces the rise of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin from her early years as mayor of Wasilla to John McCain's 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate to her new status as ... More >>
This weekend saw another thrilling right-wing rally in Austin, and in this one Rebecca Forest, a co-founder of an immigration group called Women on the Wall, offered a unique take on why Texas can't get hard-core legislation passed like Arizona and Alabama. If you want to know why we can't pass leg ... More >>
Time to fight back
Sid Miller knows best.Texas, you may now consider yourself even more safe when it comes to women abortin' babies just `cause they feel like it. Governor Rick Perry, in a big ceremonial show, signed into law the bill that mandates women seeking abortions must undergo sonograms. His official ... More >>
The Texas Senate has sent to the governor's desk a bill allowing 75 mph speed limits in semi-deserted parts of Texas. Assuming that the Tea Party is not against, Rick Perry is expected to sign it. So get ready to put the pedal to the metal, Texas, and try to imagine what it must have been like in t ... 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 >>
We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>
How did class size limits become the symbol of an unnecessary luxury in our schools?
It's a stampede!!The upcoming legislative session in Austin might get pretty wild and entertaining -- if not beneficial to anyone who fears the GOP/Tea Party agenda -- thanks to a move today. State Rep. Aaron Pena, a Democrat from Edinburg, is about to announce he is now Aaron Pena, Republic ... More >>
Russell Pearce and Other Illegal-Immigration Populists Rely on Misleading, Right-Wing Reports to Scapegoat Immigrants and Terrify Penny-Pinched Americans.
The King Street Patriots have plans. Big plans. At a King Street Patriots meeting Monday night, the group proved, at least for one week, that it's doing what Democrats and liberals couldn't after riding a wave of emotion to Election Day victories in 2008: still showing up. The group's founder, Ca ... More >>
Time to governSecond-day opening paragraphs on stories about disasters such as air crashes always include something about "picking through the charred wreackage." And that's what Democrats are doing now in Texas, where the state legislature races were, well, a disaster.No other state in the count ... More >>
It's nolo contendre in Texas legislative racesNot much action so far on this election day, although we have folks checking out the polling places (and feel free, readers, to pass on any reports of your own).We guess the quiet shouldn't be so surprising because, according to a new study, Texas has ... More >>
Dan Patrick: FINALLY the Tea Party will be heard in TexasRight-wing radio guru Dan Patrick has announced the creation of a Tea Party Caucusfor the upcoming Texas legislative session.And no, "Tea Party Caucus" is not necessarily a synonym for "Texas Legislature," at least not yet."The Tea Party ha ... More >>
Voter intimidation: everyone wants to shift the blame.No one seems to want to play nice at the voting polls this year. And new names and organizations keep getting involved in the already over-crowded, controversial fray.King Street Patriots/The Tea Party. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. The Te ... More >>
Debates over debates are so funThe finger-pointing continued Wednesday as the great gubernatorial debate over who's at fault for not having a gubernatorial debate came to Houston.Republican Governor Rick Perry has given Democrat candidate Bill White until midnight tonight to release tax returns f ... More >>
Roger Clemens: Texas does not have your backPublic Policy Polling is a respected firm that recently did a survey on the governor's race and other political matters.They threw in some other questions, too, and found some intriguing results. A full 21 percent of Texas Republicans support secession, ... More >>
Subtle.Back to Basics, a PAC supporting Texas gubernatorial candidate Bill White, has unleashed a new anti-Rick Perry ad. We're not sure, but we think they're questioning the current governor's manhood. Tell Rick Perry to stop cowering and face Texans like a man. White's supporters are cont ... More >>
Coming together vs. TCEQThe Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, made up of 12 state legislators who evaluate state agencies every dozen years, is examining the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and will make a recommendation during the next legislative session whether to renew, tweak, or ab ... More >>
Here at Hair Balls, we like to scientifically sift through mountains of poll data, do extensive focus-group interviews, and examine voting trends dating back to the 1960s before making any bold predictions.This one time, as Michael Corleone would say, we are willing to make an exception.Our bold ... More >>
Bringing casinos to Texas would require a state constitutional amendment
It was the year 2000 and I was a young hungry reporter in Chicago covering a young hungry state legislator