Ari Phillips

By Ari Phillips:


In a Do-Nothing Congress, Blake Farenthold is Enjoying the View

by Ari Phillips | Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 11:31 CST
Blake Farenthold, the tea party congressman from Corpus Christi, has settled into a routine where distraction is just part of the job.

Senate Puts Brakes on ‘Pork Chopper’ Bill

Texans will have to wait another day to kill feral hogs from helicopters

Having already passed the House by a huge margin, the “Pork Chopper” bill, House Bill 716, lost some momentum today when it arrived in the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. Witnesses and committee members alike voiced concerns over the bill, … Read More


The Wages of Climate-Change Denial

With most other states on board with climate-adaptation plans, Texas walks the plank.

The American Goldfinch can’t get out of Texas fast enough. Not because real estate is cheaper elsewhere, or birdseed more readily available, but because the climate it thrives in has been shifting north at an alarming pace. According to a … Read More


The Convoluted Path of Natural Gas Pipelines

Municipalities fight for the right to have a final say in where pipelines are placed

It’s an axiom: A straight line is the shortest, most efficient way to get from point A to point B. But where natural gas pipelines are concerned, the most direct route may not the best. There may be homes, schools, … Read More


The High Cost of Tax Exemptions

Here’s a bold idea for fixing Texas’ $23 billion budget deficit: repeal sweetheart tax loopholes for Big Business. While this Legislature is unlikely to fiddle with the state’s myriad tax breaks, some lawmakers are at least trying to jumpstart the … Read More


Trying to Save TEXAS Grants

With terrible cuts looming to the financial aid program, Sen. Zaffirini wants to prioritize the pain.

Like many important lifelines for poor and middle class Texans, the TEXAS grant program is on the chopping block at the Capitol. Established by the Legislature in 1999, the fund helps students pay for the skyrocketing costs of getting a … Read More

Health Care

Walking the Fence Line

Suzie Canales is one cafeteria worker you don’t want to mess with. Attendees at last December’s first-ever White House Forum on Environmental Justice learned this the hard way. The forum was meant to illustrate the Obama administration’s commitment to protecting … Read More


Underfunded Public Ed: Cyclical or Structural?

In case you haven’t heard, Texas public education system is facing a $9.3 billion shortfall over the next biennium. That’s not including funding needed for textbooks, about $400 million according to Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano. But lawmakers are debating how … Read More