Hair Balls has always believed there are two kinds of people in the world: those who like to gnaw on a delicious slab of bull-cock (aka "pizzle"), and those who believe bull penis only belongs in dog treats. The Texas Attorney General is suing an Austin supermarket, alleging that the manager and em ... More >>
Across the state, private companies are able to slash their property-tax assessments, but homeowners aren’t as lucky with their county appraisal districts.
Will Texas be Detroit 2.0 complete with village idiots?
The cruel world the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act is trying to shut down.
Just as we predicted in our cover story on the Texas Agriculture Commissioner race last November, it has turned into one of the best political circuses since Claytie Williams went on his dove hunt, opened his arrogant, chauvinistic pie-hole, and handed Ann Richards the last statewide Democratic vict ... More >>
When Texas kicked off primary season on Tuesday, the most powerful guy involved wasn't on the ballot. Yep, we're talking about Sen. Ted Cruz. Since taking office two years ago, the freshman Tea Party senator has made a name for himself with Dr. Seuss-ian pseudo-filibusters and a habit of bucking ag ... More >>
Fox Business talk show host Don Imus has come out in support of Richard "Kinky" Friedman's campaign for Texas Agriculture Commissioner. He's also having some fun with it. Imus had a phone conversation with Friedman on his show Wednesday morning. Here's a transcript the show put on it's blog: 8:40: ... More >>
White conservatives who tweaked an election in The Woodlands were just what Greg Abbott needed to prove he doesn’t prosecute only minorities for voter fraud.
Last week, Greg Abbott sent out an email to his supporters claiming that "Sen. Wendy Davis has raised $8.7 million from liberals in New York, California and Washington." Try as I might, I could not verify this claim. Indeed, the venerable conservative magazine National Review did not bother to fact ... More >>
The George W. Bush DOJ went after voter fraud hard. It became a mantra in right-wing talking circles that voter fraud was rampant, perhaps swinging elections. The problem with this narrative was that there simply wasn't much evidence to support it. Undeterred by the lack of evidence, right-wing acti ... 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 >>
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 >>
You may not have the foggiest notion what Proposition 6 is -- and/or you may not care -- but the proposition to change the state constitution to allow funding of the state water plan has got a few fancy supporters, including Attorney Gen. Greg Abbott and Sen. Wendy Davis, the two frontrunners for th ... More >>
Texas has chosen the worst possible way to select the state's judiciary: partisan judicial elections. It has resulted in a Court of Criminal Appeals (the state's highest appeals court for criminal appeals) that is stacked with ex-prosecutors who rarely, if ever, meet a conviction they can't find so ... More >>
Members of Greg Abbott's campaign have confirmed that the attorney general, widely considered to be a favorite as Texas's next governor, is set for a "major announcement regarding his political future" on Sunday. The announcement will take place on Plaza Juarez in San Antonio at 1 p.m. -- one week a ... 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 >>
A state district judge ruled today the method Texas uses to fund its schools is unconstitutional and unfair and must be overhauled. Ruling in a suit brought by the Houston school district and other districts, Judge John Dietz said the state has not met the basic requirements of fairness in funding ... More >>
Texas Senate Bill 11 aims to make drug-testing mandatory for all applicants to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. If applicants pee dirty, they would be ineligible to reapply for one year, unless they enroll in a treatment program. The bill would also require that parents who flunk ... 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 >>
It's been a bizarre few weeks for the Gov. The madness began in late August when Perry said he would "absolutely" consider another run at the presidency, adding that 2016 is a long ways off and "a lot of good things can happen." Oh, Rick. What "good things" are those? Did you mean the impending Ch ... 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 >>
The quixotically optimistic Texas Democrats -- who haven't won a statewide election since 1994 -- bellowed a lot of things at the Texas Democratic Convention last weekend, but, really, most of it seemed to translate to one refrain. All together now: The Hispanics are going to save us! The Hispan ... 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 >>
When Republican state senators attack!!!! (Things get extremely passive-aggressive.) Texas state senators Dan Patrick, Tomball's Own, and Dallas's John Carona got in a nasty e-mail fight first discovered by the Quorum Report. QR is behind a paywall, but some subscribers have posted highlights of t ... 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?
Photo by Mandy OaklanderReverend Barry Lynn and Terri Burke are protesting The ResponseDiversity-minded, Constitution-abiding folks are pissed at tomorrow's one-day Jesus camp called "The Response." Governor Rick Perry, of course, is the belle of the ball. It's a little complicated since he' ... More >>
Settlement helps, a little.Financial giant JPMorgan has agreed to pay $228 million to settle charges that it manipulated deals involving the government bond market, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says the state's portion of it will be about $3.5 million. The money will go to Texas mu ... More >>
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 >>
There shall be no groping in the Republic of TexasThe federal Transportation Securty Administration has announced policy changes that mean children under 12 will no longer undergo pat-down searches. In case you were thinking that might be enough for Governor Rick Perry to end his bizarre ant ... More >>
Time to fight back
Meeting of the titansThe NBA Finals start tonight (the Rockets are not involved, if you haven't been keeping up). It's the Dallas Mavericks against the Miami Heat, and that means a silly little bet between Governor Rick Perry and Florida Governor Rick Scott, two of the more Tea Party-esque go ... More >>
Gary Elkins: State Rep, payday lender.Payday lending, where lower-income, lesser-educated, financially strapped people get some instant cash but sometimes end up paying 500 percent interest, is an industry ripe for some regulating, you would think. But that's why you're not a member of the T ... More >>
Kristi Thibaut: Running for council.Kristi Thibaut, the Democrat who rode the 2008 Obama surge into a single term in the state legislature representing Memorial and the west side of town, has announced she is running for the at-large City Council seat being vacated by term-limited Sue Lovell. ... More >>
Dan Patrick has reason to smile; women, not so much.Any woman seeking an abortion in Texas will be forced to undergo a sonogram and be asked if they want to view it or listen to the fetal heartbeat, thanks to a bill that passed today and that Governor Rick Perry says he can't wait to sign. P ... More >>
Holier than thou, person stuck behind me in trafficState Senator Dan Patrick is proudly reporting that the Texas Senate has passed by a 21-10 vote his bill creating license plates that say "Choose Life," thereby, we guess, breaking off the crippling shackles of all those Texans who have been ... More >>
Rhode Island: Almost as many square miles as Harris CountyLincoln Chafee, the former senator from Rhode Island who is now the (barely a) state's governor, announced today he wants to build a presumably mini-version of the Texas Medical Center. A "knowledge center" would be developed on land ... More >>
Rick Perry: It's a red-meat special in Austin todayRemember that vast tsunami of voter fraud that swept across Texas, coming close to throwing into chaos the very concept of democracy? Neither do we. Even Karl Rove, using every bit of the federal government he could get his hands on, couldn ... More >>
Texas goes to courtAs expected, Texas state officials are not just going to roll over and accept the Obama administration's taking away their right to rubber-stamp every application to let companies pour greenhouses gases into the air. Texas AG Greg Abbott went to court today, filing a petit ... More >>
What Would Comprehensive Immigration Reform Look Like If the Feds Got Off Their Duffs?
The Texas Tribune: Mistakes were madeThe Texas Tribune, the semi-new non-profit journalistic outfit, has been partnering with The New York Times. On Sundays, Times readers in the Lone Star State get two pages in their print edition with stories from Tribune writers. The partnership is relati ... 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 >>
Photo by Chasen MarshallIf the signs don't sway you, the poll watchers might.Polling stations around Houston have turned into bastions of controversy this week: Fourteen reported incidents Monday and another that Hair Balls heard about on Wednesday in south Houston near Gulfgate. There are few d ... 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 >>
Actress Holland Taylor plays the late Texas governor
The American Beverage Institute is still keeping up its noble fight to stop the Texas legislature from passing a bill that would allow sobriety checkpoints on the roads.SB298 has been passed by the Senate and now goes to the House."By calling for sobriety checkpoints, this proposal ignores the root ... More >>
News flash -- Texas is getting into the gaming industry!!!Unfortunately for poker junkies, we're not using "gaming" in the euphemistic sense that gambling boosters use it. Instead it's in the video-gaming sense, of young people wasting and warping their lives by holing up in darkened rooms playing f ... More >>
$800 million is a ton of money to settle a civil suit, but two Houston attorneys helped win a settlement of that size this morning.Joel Androphy, who specializes in whistleblower suits, worked with Sarah Frazier and won a big one as the drug giant Eli Lilly agreed to pay that whopping amount to sett ... More >>
La Grange has been heretofore known mostly as the home of the fabled "Chicken Ranch" immortalized by ZZ Top and The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. Now it can be known as the home of The Most Heartless, Coldest Bastard of a Motel In Texas (Allegedly). Texas AG Greg Abbott charged the Cottonwood I ... More >>
Harris County, be proud -- you're a leader in...well, in human trafficking. Maybe you shouldn't be so proud, on second thought. Texas AG Greg Abbott released a lengthy report today on human trafficking in Texas, and the news isn't too good. Up to 17,500 people are brought into the US as victims of ... More >>