Follow the Republican presidential debate live

And then there were five.

Days before Super Tuesday, when 12 states including Texas vote in primaries, the five remaining Republican candidates for president square off in Houston on Thursday night. They are: New York business mogul Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

The debate will be broadcast on CNN at 7:30 p.m. It will be moderated by Wolf Blitzer. Also asking questions will be Telemundo News anchor Maria Celeste Arras, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt and CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash.

Live coverage of Pope Francis’ Mass at the U.S.-Mexico border

Pope Francis’ will conclude his visit to the Mexican city of Juárez with a massive ceremony at the edge of the border with Texas. An estimated half a million people are expected to attend to the Mass, which will also be broadcast live at the University of Texas at El Paso’s Sun Bowl stadium. The Mass is scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. Central Time.

Members of the media record the airport arrival of Pope Francis to Juarez, Mexico, from the media center on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. (RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Members of the media record the airport arrival of Pope Francis to Juarez, Mexico, from the media center on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. (RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Follow Statesman reporters Nicole Chavez and Marlon Sorto, who are in Juárez covering the pope’s historic visit to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Follow the New Hampshire primary live

First place didn’t seem in doubt on the Republican and Democratic sides: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders held commanding leads in recent polling. But as New Hampshire voters headed to the polls Tuesday in the nation’s second round of presidential nominating contests, questions abounded:

Who would finish second, third, fourth and fifth in the Republican voting? The answers could reshuffle the Republican race heading to South Carolina. For Ted Cruz, second place could make him the man to beat in the next race. If he slides to fourth or fifth, he’ll have his work cut out.

Among the Democrats, a closer-than-expected second place finish for Hillary Clinton would give her a boost heading to South Carolina. On the other hand, Sanders could parlay a blowout into a formidable national campaign.

It had to happen: ‘Portlandia’ spoofs Austin

Update: You can now watch all of Fred Armisen’s trip to Austin online (provided you have the proper cable provider). If you’re living off the cable grid and still need to know how else “Portlandia” poked fun at the City of the Violet Crown, the A.V. Club’s review can fill you in.

On a related note, IFC put together their own list of “10 Things You Need To Know Before Moving To Austin.” It’s full of the usual suspects — bats, Whole Foods, Alamo Drafthouse — but also kind of hits the nail on the head about our city being “packed to the gills with artists, musicians, hipsters, freaks, and oddballs” that keep Austin weird.

Earlier: Portland: the Austin of the West Coast. They love coffee, they love beer, they love bikes, they stole our weird slogan. Since the world can’t stop comparing our two cities, it was only a matter of time before Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein of “Portlandia” set their satirical sights on our humble burg.

(Courtesy of IFC)
(Courtesy of IFC)

The IFC comedy, which recently returned for its sixth season, takes Armisen to Texas in the third episode, “Shville.” From the episode’s summary: “Fred wants to do something big with his life so he moves to Austin.”

Let’s just say that in the “Portlandia” version of Austin, the mayor doesn’t quite look like Steve Adler. Watch a clip called “Welcome to Austin” below.

In the clip, Austin’s fictional mayor — who looks an awful lot like Kinky Friedman had a baby with Kyle MacLachlan, the fictional mayor of Portland — helps Armisen tell the difference between an uncool neighborhood (strollers, intimidating cats) and a cool neighborhood. A cool neighborhood, the mayor explains, features cameos from local businesses like Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors; record stores End of an Ear and Waterloo Records; and bars Barton Springs Saloon, Gibson Street Bar and G&S Lounge, whose owner apparently went to high school with Iggy Pop.

If being cool is wrong, we don’t want to be right. Tune in Thursday at 9 p.m. to find out how else the show deflates our citywide ego.

Correction: An earlier version of this post referred to the actor who plays the mayor of Austin as Kyle Chandler. It’s Kyle McLachlan. We had “Friday Night Lights” on the brain, as usual.

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.