Perry Isn't Giving National Guard Troops Arresting Power, and That's for the Best

Photo by Bryan Williams

As we continue to follow Gov. Rick Perry's quest to stay viable as GOP 2016 White House contender, we have to wonder how he has actually convinced himself that putting a whole bunch of armed people on the border is in any way a good idea.

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Ridiculous, Tired Responses to Appeals Court Blow to Virginia Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Photo by Richard Hartog
Houston Mayor Annise Parker (right) at her recent wedding to her long time partner.
In what has become a "second verse, same as the first" kind of response, another appeals court upheld challenges to a states's ban on same-sex unions on Tuesday. In this case, it was Virginia's voter-approved ban that was shot down on pretty much the same grounds many others (Utah, Oklahoma) have been rejected recently: They unfairly discriminate against Americans.

All of this is heading for a showdown in the Supreme Court, which last year killed the U.S. governments Defense of Marriage Act and will likely shatter the hopes of conservatives later this year by striking down state bans as well. With now a majority of Americans, according to polls, agreeing that same-gender unions should be allowed, the die has clearly been cast in this fight.

Still, some of the same tired arguments emerge at every defeat. The Virginia ruling was no different and, in a couple cases, ridiculous.

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Dog's Owners Still Want to Know Why Officer Allegedly Left Their Dog to Die

Courtesy Josie Garcia
Did a Houston police officer leave a couple's dog, pictured here as a pup, on the side of the road?
An internal Houston Police Department investigation into a complaint that an officer left a dog on the side of the road to die after arresting the dog's owner could take up to six months, according to an HPD spokesman.

First reported by ABC-13, the complaint stems from the July 14, 2014 arrest of two men stopped near U.S. 59 and Collingsworth, for failure to use a turn signal. The officer found a controlled substance (identified in court records as phencyclidine) on the vehicle's passenger. Both men were arrested, and the 14-year-old Chihuahua (who suffered from cataracts) was left on the road despite the driver's pleas to call his wife so she could get the dog, according to the wife, Josie Garcia.

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Is Ted Cruz Ever Going to Learn New Tricks?

Sen. Ted Cruz, he does what he does.

We must give credit where credit is due: Sen. Ted Cruz is the best politician around when it comes to getting himself into the news cycle. You want an opinion on the Ukrainian mess? He's got one! You want a soundbite on Israel? Well, he's got one of those too! He'll talk about the border crisis and he'll talk about pretty much whatever you need as long as it will get his name out there. He seemingly has an opinion on everything and he knows how to ask questions and express said opinion in such a way to get himself folded into the story itself. He's been at this game now since 2012, but it never ceases to amaze us how he pulls this stuff off.

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Guns, Fine. But Why Do You Need a Silencer?

You need this thing? Seriously?
The Texas International Firearms Festival is coming to Austin the weekend of August November 8. Of course, we are no strangers to gun shows round here. There is one in the Houston area practically every weekend. There, dealers and manufacturers ply their wares and provide educational programs for fellow enthusiasts.

While gun control remains a hot button issue in American politics, these gun shows are mostly made for collectors and hunters. They also tend to be cautious of the laws governing the use and sale of firearms in Texas.

But one thing has always confused me about these events. There are tons of gun accessories available at these shows. For the most part, they make sense. If you are a hunter, for example, you might want a good scope for your rifle. But there is one accessory I do not get: the silencer.

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Perry Sends 1,000 Troops to Border, But Not Because of Flood of Children, Apparently

Photo by Gage Skidmore
Rick Perry and many of his GOP brethren support the idea of beefed up security along the Texas-Mexico border. Because the Obama administration has failed to act, Perry says, he must do it himself. On Monday, he ordered 1,000 National Guard troops to deploy along the border in something he is calling "Operation Strong Safety," a slogan his predecessor in the governor's mansion no doubt would have loved. What exactly is strong safety anyway?

While those who have been clamoring for a greater response to cross-border incursions by criminals, cartels and plain old immigrants are applauding Perry's response -- nevermind his sticking it to Obama approach -- most experts wonder if it will do much good given the vast size of the Texas border, and whether or not resources like the National Guard should be used to further what many believe is simply a political agenda.

But, the more interesting question is one of timing.

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Tony Dungy, Michael Sam and the Complicated Relationship Between Sports, Faith and Rights

Photo by Marcus Qwertyus
Former coach Tony Dungy thinks Michael Sam will be a distraction.
Former coach and all around good guy Tony Dungy said he would not have drafted Michael Sam, the All-American linebacker taken by the St. Louis Rams who is openly gay.In and interview with the Tampa Tribune, Dungy explained he believes Sam's sexual orientation will be a distraction, "Not because I don't believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn't want to deal with all of it. It's not going to be totally smooth...things will happen."

As some have pointed out, Dungy has been a fervent advocate of players like Michael Vick and Tim Tebow, both players who have caused massive distractions -- Vick for his jail time after his involvement with a dog fighting ring and Tebow for his outspoken views on Christianity combined with his natural charisma as a Heisman Trophy winner. The former coach has also been behind the move to provide equal opportunity for African American coaches who have historically been under represented in the NFL.

Some might call this hypocrisy, but a more apt descriptor might be "complicated."

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5 Houston Places Where Rick Perry Could Send Those 1,000 Border Troops

Occupy this!
Today, it is expected Governor Rick Perry will announce that he is sending 1,000 National Guard troops to the border in an effort to assist police in handling the recent surge of immigrants into the U.S., mostly unaccompanied minors from Central America. The surge has grabbed national headlines and spurred all kinds of rhetoric from both sides of the political aisle. Hair Balls isn't taking a position on that, but we do think that, if Governor Perry were so inclined, he might consider sending some troops to Houston.

We may not have a massive swell of immigrant children walking the streets, but we have our problems and sometimes police just aren't enough. Could the military be the answer? We have no idea, but it's always fun to think about it.

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Fox News Gender-Neutral-Bathrooms Segment Goes Painfully Awry

Whatever will they say?
Man on the street interviews can run the gamut from insightful to awkward to downright disturbing. On that scale, a recent Fox News segment measured right around facepalm. As part of an apparently reoccurring portion of the Fox and Friends program called "PC Police" in which our fearless hosts call out over the top societal trends designed to offend the fewest people possible, they took on the topic of gender neutral bathrooms. In this case, it was a new sign for bathrooms at Illinois State University depicting a blue and pink character with a man's upper torso and a woman's lower torso. The folks at Fox were flummoxed. They just could not figure out what the hell it meant. Out to the man in the street for confirmation!

In Houston, we've been fighting our own little battle over protection for the transgendered. After Houston City Council passed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) in May, it didn't take long for those opposed to such a concept to gather enough petitions to force a ballot referendum on the issue this fall. Predictably, the biggest concern is men wantonly relieving themselves in the women's bathrooms or something.

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Rand Paul, So Mad at Rick Perry, He Defends President

Sen. Rand Paul, so irritated with Perry he's sided with Obama.

He was doing so well for a minute there. Last week Gov. Rick Perry managed to appear on the national political stage and not make an ass of himself over the immigration problem, and boy were we proud. Or maybe "relieved" is more accurate, but we were some kind of positive feeling wrapped up in the fact that he at least managed to do his politicking without completely embarrassing Texas for once.

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