Is Ted Cruz, born in Canada, eligible to be president?

Experts mostly agree that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, satisfies the constitutional provision that the president be a “natural born” citizen even though he was born in Canada.

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaks during a campaign stop, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in Windham, N.H. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaks during a campaign stop, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in Windham, N.H. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Cruz’s mother, born in Delaware, already was an American, making Cruz a citizen at birth. In May 2014, too, Cruz renounced his dual Canadian citizenship.

But there’s also speculation that a legal challenge brought by a state or fellow presidential candidate might cause the issue of his eligibility to be reviewed by courts – even the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read the full story at PolitiFact. (It was the site’s most-clicked story in January.)

Willie Nelson met the Muppets, and their group photo is our new favorite thing

Willie Nelson is known for collaborations with artists like Waylon Jennings and Snoop Dogg. Now, it looks like he’s making beautiful music with the Muppets.

(Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman)
(Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman)


The country music king and Austin icon posted a photo to Instagram on Sunday of him posing with some felt friends, The Electric Mayhem. Animal looks particularly happy to meet the “On the Road Again” singer.

View this post on Instagram

Willie jammed with The Electric Mayhem Band yesterday!

A post shared by Willie Nelson (@willienelsonofficial) on

We couldn’t find any details on the official websites for either the Muppets or Nelson, but smart money would bet that the singer is set for an upcoming guest spot on ABC’s “The Muppets.” At least one Muppet fan site seems to think so.

This isn’t Nelson’s first time to rub elbows with Jim Henson’s crew. He famously recorded a cover of Kermit the Frog’s “The Rainbow Connection” in 2001, released on the Grammy-nominated album of the same name.

Also, if you need this fact for bar trivia: Nelson has his own page on the Muppet Wiki.

In other recent Willie news, the marijuana advocate revealed last year that, yes, he would smoke a bowl with Donald Trump if asked. Also be on the lookout for the red-headed stranger on this big screen in the upcoming “Zoolander 2.”

Alamo Drafthouse gets big honor from … PETA?

Whether you’re taking in some grindhouse schlock on Terror Tuesday or marking the latest Oscar contender off your watchlist, one thing (besides silence) unites all Alamo Drafthouse movie screenings: food. Oh, that food.

(Photo by Nick Simonite)
(Photo by Nick Simonite)

Click here to see more photos of Alamo Drafthouse’s South Lamar remodel

Austin’s signature cinema is known for its award-winning, carefully curated menu, including its queso, about which the theater has solicited customer feedback in the past. (Their chefs have also been known to think outside the box, like with their special “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”-inspired menu.) Drafthouse can now add another honor to its trophy case, but this one doesn’t come from a prestigious food publication. It comes from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

PETA recently ranked Alamo Drafthouse No. 4 on its list of the most vegan-friendly movie theaters in the U.S., according to a news release. The controversial animal rights organization points to meatless, dairy-free Drafthouse dishes like the Mexican tofu quinoa bowl, crispy buffalo cauliflower and spaghetti squash marinara as reasons for vegans to feel at home.

One thing that might ruffle your filmgoer feathers: The No. 1 theater, Sun-Ray Cinema in Jacksonville, Fla., serves vegan queso, which is not something even the Drafthouse can boast.

So if you’re vegan and you haven’t been to an ’80s singalong yet, check out some the movie theater’s non-animal-based dining options using this guide (last updated in 2015). For the carnivores among us, let us recommend the Brussels sprouts, goat cheese and smoked bacon pizza.

Follow live at 9 a.m.: Testimony on Texas gun laws

A Senate committee will hear testimony Tuesday morning to monitor two high-profile gun laws – open carry and college campus carry – that were passed last year. Follow the Statesman’s live coverage.


Steampunk Saloon Facebook post overtaken by trolls

via Steampunk Saloon Facebook

All the recently opened Steampunk Saloon on West Sixth Street was looking for when it posted a recruiting event on Facebook was “extraordinary individuals to join our team.” Instead what it got was a rib to the corset by way of hundreds of comments poking fun at the establishment and its bronze-and-brown-clad following. Here’s the original posting although, as many users have pointed out, the bar has deleted many of the original comments. Take a moment to rejoice in a modern technology — screen grabbing — and check out some of the post’s best comments below.

The posting, and the Steampunk Saloon in general, raised many a question. Most importantly:


The scoundrels of Austin need to know! One user created a helpful poll. Or just a poll.


Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction and Victorian-era alternate history that re-imagines modern technologies and designs if they were heavily influenced by 19th century industrial steam powered machinery. It is not “egg.”

Other questions users needed answered?





In these users’ defense the post does encourage questions. After confusions were cleared up …


Some users (many of whom can be assumed new to the world of steampunk) got behind the idea of an event at the Steampunk Saloon and planned on attending.




As the comment thread grew and continued to rack up jesting comments, some users spoke out in defense of the steampunk movement, although it became increasingly less obvious who was kidding and who was punking.



Steampunk Saloon’s post had us wondering: Can’t we meet halfway and share a beer to celebrate either the brilliance or absurdity of the steampunk movement? Goggles optional?

See you there. The American west in the 19th century, that is.

Remember UT’s albino squirrels on this #SquirrelAppreciationDay

If you’ve gotten anywhere near Twitter on Thursday, you’ve seen that it’s #SquirrelAppreciationDay, according to the shadowy cabal that determines such Internet-only holidays. (According to Animal Planet, the day is said to have been started way back in 2001 by wildlife rehabilitator Christy Hargrove of the Western North Carolina Nature Center.)

A true albino squirrel (unlike this blond one) will have red eyes. (Photo by Carolyn Lindell)
A true albino squirrel (unlike this blond one) will have red eyes. (Photo by Carolyn Lindell)

We can think of no better way to observe this most auspicious of days than by honoring Austin’s own bushy-tailed icon, the “albino” squirrel. According to a 2014 American-Statesman report (as well as the common knowledge of any local college student), the pale rodents have been spoken of as legends at the University of Texas for quite some time, “considered good luck charms for stressed students.”

“The legend on campus was that if you saw the albino squirrel on the way to a test that you would get an A on your test,” said Tim Taliaferro, editor-in-chief of Alcalde, the alumni magazine. (While Taliaferro acknowledges that the adored squirrels are not truly albino, many at UT still refer to them that way.)

That’s right: Some squirrels lacking pigment do exist in nature, but the rodents seen around Central Austin are more likely just blond.

As anyone on the Forty Acres can tell you, trying to scope one of the critters is a must-do before a big exam. That is, if you can find one.

Taliaferro said these squirrels have regular places on campus where they like to hang out, including by the Harry Ransom Center and the East Mall.

“Our understanding is that there are little families of them,” he said.

Before you go out looking for your own streak of fair-colored fortune, prep your defense against the animals’ agility by watching this squirrel course.

Buc-ee’s reportedly sues its brisket supplier for raising barbecue prices

To paraphrase Harper Lee: It’s a sin to gouge the price of delicious smoked meats. That seems to be the belief of Texas convenience store juggernaut Buc-ee’s, who is suing its brisket supplier for price increases costing the store $550,000 according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Lupe Gonzales arranges barbeque sandwiches at the new Bastrop location of Buc-ee's on Highway 71 on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. (Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman)
Lupe Gonzales arranges barbeque sandwiches at the Bastrop location of Buc-ee’s on Highway 71 on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. (Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman)

The chain, touted as one of the nation’s best gas stations in the past, is more than a roadside fill-‘er-up of course — it’s a sprawling megastore offering kolaches, souvenirs, snacks, notoriously clean bathrooms and delicious yet woefully named “beaver nuggets.” The Lake Jackson-based company filed a lawsuit against Sadler’s Smokehouse in Brazoria Country earlier this month, the Express-News reports:

“The two companies made an agreement in 2013 on how they’d buy and price select smoked brisket, according to the lawsuit, which included a copy of the pact. The deal included a provision that the price could not change unless Sadler’s sent a written notice to Buc-ee’s if it had a ‘significant change in circumstances’ such as higher freight costs, according to the lawsuit.”

According to the report, the Buc-ee’s lawsuit states that the chain never received such a notice, resulting in the current beef over unanticipated price increases. Think about that the next time you bite into a barbecue sandwich on the highway between here in San Antonio.

The Bastrop location of Buc-ee's on Highway 71 on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. (Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman)
The Bastrop location of Buc-ee’s on Highway 71 on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. (Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman)

If you’re from Texas, you’ve likely sought refuge, refueling or refreshment in a Buc-ee’s at some point. As American-Statesman columnist Ken Herman wrote in 2012, “If you haven’t been to a Buc-ee’s your life is hollow and incomplete.”

Oh, and the cleanest bathrooms thing? That’s, like, an actual award that the company won, apparently.

Ranking: For students seeking a sugar daddy, UT is No. 3 among colleges

College students, do student loans have you feeling down? Got a full course load but no time to get a job that requires a W-4? Predisposed toward an intergenerational relationship dynamic? Heartbroken when Netflix stopped streaming “Harold and Maude”?

OK, we’ll get to the point. According to a new list, Central Texas is one of the hottest places to matriculate, providing you have a laissez-faire definition of “work your way through college.”

(Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman)
(Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman)

The self-professed “world’s largest sugar daddy dating site,” Seeking Arrangement, touts the type of “sugar daddy”/”sugar baby” relationship it facilitates as “an alternative method of financial aid.” According to a news release, 1.9 million college students use the site.

While New York University tops the site’s list of “Fastest Growing Sugar Baby Schools” with 225 new sign-ups in 2015, the Austin area put up a strong, slightly unsettling showing. The University of Texas at Austin ranks third, with 163 new Mays seeking a December benefactor. Texas State University, meanwhile, came in at No. 6, with 138 students looking for a Donald to their Melania.

In 2014, Texas State cracked the top ten of Seeking Arrangement’s list of schools with the most members.

And now you know.