"We're heading into nut country today," President John F. Kennedy said to Jackie on the morning of November 22, 1963 -- 50 years ago today. Nut country was Dallas, Texas. The city had gained a reputation as "nut country" because of incidents like: In the years and months before Kennedy was assassi ... 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 >>
American exceptionalism, for being an abstract idea, is a real aspect of American politics. Especially among those on the right -- see, e.g., Sarah Palin -- there is a belief that we are a blessed, unique nation (note the underlying theological tones). Part and parcel of American exceptionalism is a ... 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 >>
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 >>
Remember back in 2008 when then-candidate Obama said this at a fund-raiser in San Francisco: You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administr ... 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 >>
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 >>
To say the United States' relationship with North Korea is less than cordial would be a bit of an understatement. A draconian cesspool of a society with nuclear weapons perpetually aimed our way, North Korea and its leadership (Kim Jong-un, yo!) represent the antithesis of everything the United Stat ... More >>
Puffed up, plucked and ready for roasting, here's this year's best of the worst.
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 >>
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 involving wit ... More >>
See lots more pics of the protest in our slideshow. Joining a movement of protests across the country, several hundred Houstonians gathered at Market Square Park this morning to march to Hermann Square in front of City Hall, which they plan to occupy indefinitely in solidarity with the Occupy Wall ... More >>
Controlling negative publicity is tough business in the modern world. Virtually everything is caught on tape -- good and bad -- and the Internet provides the ideal place for opposition. From anonymous commenters to bloggers to people on social networking sites, it is impossible to prevent negative c ... More >>
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 >>
How did class size limits become the symbol of an unnecessary luxury in our schools?
Come for the budget-cutting, stay for the insanityWe regret to inform you that 2011 is one of those godforsaken years when the Texas Legislature will be in session. We further regret to inform you that Republicans have a supermajority in the House, and almost half of those GOPers are proud m ... More >>
What Would Comprehensive Immigration Reform Look Like If the Feds Got Off Their Duffs?
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 >>
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 >>
Unlike refugees from other troubled countries, only a fraction of Mexicans seeking U.S. asylum are accepted no matter how horrible their wounds or their stories.
Inside the brutal world of America's kidnapping capital
From Ground Zero of the immigration crisis along the Mexican border
Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison are locked in a pitched battle over the soul of the GOP. They are also running for governor.
After Guevara destroyed his family and his fortune, Gustavo Villoldo hunted the revolutionary leader to his grave.
Continental Airlines is having a tough stretch -- its CEO quit, its recently announced earnings are dismaying Wall Street (What do those two things have in common? Hmmm....), its laying off a bunch of workers, and now it's got the parliament of India all in an uproar.Indian politicians are shocked, ... More >>
They are American in everything but name. They can go to college in Texas and improve themselves. Doesn't matter. At the end of the day, they're just illegal immigrants without social security numbers or futures.
UH student Mariyah Moten put on a two-piece and became (in)famous in Pakistan
Haven't heard of Junoon? They've sold 20 million albums, and they're at the Meridian this week.
Zumm Escudier has put the Angelika Cafe back on track, but her path has been long and winding
Plus: Driving Us Nuts, Cheap Thrills, Gong Wrongs
One year ago, the Lost Boys of Sudan came to Houston in search of America, a future, safety and an education simple things that got somewhat complicated in the translation
There's more than just the Gulf of Mexico between musicians in Cuba and those from Cuba
Evita boils down the complexity of its title character to a series of impressive leg kicks
There's a hole carved out of the earth 32 feet deep, 210 feet wide, and 400 feet long near the Texas-Mexico border.
With her frenetic grandstanding, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has irritated her staff, her colleagues, and even the president. she says she speaks for her constituents. But will anyone listen?
A "gas leak" in a Matamoros chemical plant wafts a poison and paper cloud toward a corporate office in Houston