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LARRY PHILLIPS: House committee examines parks

Interim charges are the issues that the Speaker asks committees to study during the time between regular legislative sessions in order to make recommendations for legislation for the following legislative session. This week I will discuss the interim charges recently issued to the House Committee on Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. Often referred to as the “Bubbas and Ballet” committee, it has oversight of Texas Parks & Wildlife, the Historical Commission, and the Texas Commission on the Arts. The committee also will study issues pertaining state parks, such as the Eisenhower State Park, the Bonham State Park, and the Cooper Lake State Park.

MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: Understanding your anger

Recently someone was talking about the question, “What Would Jesus Do?” and said, “Grabbing a whip and turning over tables is within the realm of possibility.” This comes from the cleansing of the temple, when Jesus was angry that they had corrupted true worship by making the temple a market place (Matthew 21:12-13). Jesus was also angry with the unbelief and “stubborn hearts” of the Jewish leaders (Mark 3:5).

HAROON MOGHUL: President Obama’s visit to a mosque: long overdue — and vital

It’s not like American Presidents haven’t been to mosques before. George W. Bush not only went to one shortly after the September 11 attacks, but he used his platform to tell America that Islam was “a religion of peace.” But while Barack Obama has been to mosques, and of course spent part of his childhood in a Muslim-majority country, he’s never visited to an American mosque.

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Good Morning: Full-time journalist, part-time babysitter

In the last two weekends, my boyfriend, Justin, and I have had the pleasure of babysitting two little cousins who just moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Cecilia, who is 7, and Madison, who is 4, already adore us so we wanted to live up to their high expectations of us being the best adult supervisors on the planet. So far, the plan has worked.

An inequality in well-being matters more than an income gap

The hot topic in economic policy discussions is inequality. Lots of kinds of inequality have been increasing in the U.S. — income, wealth, housing, longevity and almost everything else. New data has caused economists and the public to become more alarmed about the extent of the rise, and has allowed people to start having a productive discussion about causes and solutions.

Cruz’s win also exposes 2 weak spots

Journalists have an unfortunate tendency, when it comes to big political stories, to prove their savvy by going counterintuitive. A lot of them are saying that the “real winner” of the Iowa caucuses is Sen. Marco Rubio, even though he came in third. And Rubio did have a good night. But it’s worth dwelling on the possibility that the real winner might instead be the guy who won, Sen. Ted Cruz.

GOOD MORNING: Frederick Douglass’ impact on Sherman ISD education

To kick off the first day of Black History Month, Google’s homepage devoted its doodle to Frederick Douglass, an African-American who escaped slavery and became one of the most influential abolitionists in the 19th century. Douglass was also known for his eloquence as an orator and openly shared his belief that all humans, regardless of race, gender and nationality, were created equal.

CHARLES G. THOMAS: The US can’t fight terrorists in Africa directly

Boko Haram kidnaps hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls to be used as sex slaves. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb guns down dozens of victims at the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Still other terrorists attack the Radisson Blu in Mali, just one week after the Islamic State attacked Paris. Africa has been suffering from still more terrorist shootings, bombings and suicide attacks, regularly.

JOHN M. CRISP: An interesting hypothetical political matchup

Almost a year ago I wrote a column imagining an improbable contest for the presidency between Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. This was a thought experiment that played with the idea that such a stark choice would tell us a lot about whether our essential tendencies as a nation trend more toward the political left or the right.