Yuuuuge in Houston — It’s fitting that last Republican presidential debate before the Super Tuesday primaries went down like a Texas shootout. Perhaps it’s because the race lost some dead weight (Sorry, Jeb!), or the realization that Donald Trump could actually come out on top— but regardless, Marco Rubio and hometown boy Ted Cruz came out swingin’. Just about every news organization highlighted Cruz’s Trump-aimed zinger: “I think it’s amazing that Donald believes that he’s the one who discovered the issue of illegal immigration,” Cruz said, remarking that he was fighting against immigration reform while Trump “was firing Dennis Rodman on Celebrity Apprentice.” That’s what qualifies as a burn these days (all of which the Houston Chronicle collected in an easy to digest slideshow). Cruz had to have a major showing last night for many reasons, but, mainly because, you know, Texas. As an example of how little of a clue any “professional” has, one Texas poll has Cruz ahead of Trump by a whopping 15 percent. Another by one percent. Leading up to the debate, the New York Times got into the “Importance of Being Texan” game with a story on how much Cruz needs a home-state win (with an eye-rolling Alamo reference in the headline). Politics aside, the debate was a great experience for the University of Houston, with the student newspaper, according to the Texas Tribune, going so far as to call it the “party of the year,” which is kind of sweet, in a very sad way.
Shrouded in Robes, Secrecy — As if the conspiracy theorists didn’t have enough on their plate with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia at a West Texas ranch, the Supreme Court Justice was apparently part of some sort of camo-clad Illuminati, or something. Turns out, Scalia was “among high-ranking members of an exclusive fraternity for hunters called the International Order of St. Hubertus, an Austrian society that dates back to the 1600s,” details the Washington Post. “After Scalia’s death Feb. 13, the names of the 35 other guests at the remote resort, along with details about Scalia’s connection to the hunters, have remained largely unknown. A review of public records shows that some of the men who were with Scalia at the ranch are connected through the International Order of St. Hubertus, whose members gathered at least once before at the same ranch for a celebratory weekend.” Oh, it gets better. “Members of the worldwide, male-only society wear dark-green robes emblazoned with a large cross,” with a Latin motto, and “some hold titles, such as Grand Master, Prior and Knight Grand Officer.” The story’s details of the group are kinda fascinating, so either the society isn’t as “secret” as it likes to pretend to be, or the Washington Post has another deep throat-level story on its hands. Adding fuel to the conspiracy fire is the report from Tuesday that the local sheriff was basically told there was “nothing to see here,” and actually said that he had “no authority in the matter.” Technically, that’s true, since the real authority belongs to that race of giant, shape-shifting lizards.
Texas: Civil War —It’s brother against brother as various writers, with clearly nothing else to do, keep lobbing molotov cocktails at one another in the Great I-35 War of 2016. The latest salvo comes from an Austin American-Statesman writer who described San Antonio as “London circa World War II but with more crumbling buildings,” then noted the “stretch of waist-deep garbage water running through the town like a dysenteric artery, dotted with chain restaurants and tacky tchotchke shops; and a tourism economy built on an old adobe shed that takes 10 minutes to stroll through.” The whole piece is bonkers insulting, and tonally, a pitch-perfect Austiny response, i.e. a condescending and smug comment from the whitest city you know. Not that it was unprovoked. The day prior, the San Antonio Express-News trolled Austin hard with its click-bait slideshow, “10 reasons to hate Austin beyond its breakfast taco arrogance.” And, of course, all of this started with an Eater article that pretty foolishly (it was written by a New Yorker) claimed the capital city had a lock on all Texas breakfast tacos everywhere. So far, only a few cheeky articles and a petition have been launched, but at this rate, someone’s bound to pull out the taco cannon and ignite the most devastating fight since the Battle of the Brisket, or the numerous chili campaigns that have ravaged our families.