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Political commentary from David Horsey
Tea party legislators oppose teaching complexities of U.S. history

The burgeoning ranks of tea party “patriots” who have gotten themselves elected to Congress and state legislatures have identified yet another threat to the soul of America: Advanced Placement U.S. history guidelines.

Republican legislators in Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina and Tennessee are raising an alarm about a new framework for teaching AP U.S. history to American high school students. They say it fails to instill patriotism and an appreciation for American exceptionalism and, instead, puts too much emphasis on race, gender and class. A resolution approved by the Republican National Committee last summer declared that the framework “reflects a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects while omitting or minimizing the positive.”

The College Board came up with the revised outline to guide teachers who are preparing students for the AP history test that will earn them college credits before they leave high school. According...

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Texans fighting a losing battle against same-sex marriage

In Texas, grandstanding politicians are picking on a couple of middle-aged women because those two long-time partners want to get married before one of them dies of cancer. Apparently, this is how Texans prove they are big and tough.

On Tuesday in Austin, Republican elected officials joined with representatives of the conservative Texas Values coalition to slice into a symbolic wedding cake. They were celebrating the 10-year anniversary of a state constitutional amendment that defines marriage as solely the union of a man and a woman.

This little party followed last week’s marriage celebration of Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, an Austin couple with two adopted daughters. The lesbian pair have been together for three decades but were unable to make their bond official until a federal court declared the Texas marriage amendment unconstitutional. The same court put a stay on the ruling, pending appeal, but a state court took the opportunity to compel the Travis County clerk to issue...

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Islamic State's holy war is mostly aimed at Muslims

Here are two things that are true that, to the ranters on conservative talk radio, might seem contradictory: 1) The Islamic State terrorists are fanatical about their Muslim identity and 2) the United States is not fighting a holy war against Muslims.

Republican politicians, Fox News chatterboxes and all the rest of the loud crowd on the right have been excoriating President Obama for the careful way in which he characterizes Islamic State -- a.k.a. ISIS. When the president employs the rather generic term “violent extremism” to describe the nature of ISIS, conservatives are appalled. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz gets all red in the face and calls Obama “an apologist for radical Islamic terrorism.” When the president echoes the words of his predecessor, George W. Bush, and says Islam is a religion of peace and the ISIS philosophy is a distortion of the faith, commentators such as Bill O’Reilly declare he is denying the reality that a holy war against Christianity is under way.

There are...

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'American Sniper' shoots blanks at Oscars

Political statements were more numerous than good jokes on the stage of the 2015 Academy Awards. Equal pay for women, protection of voting rights, encouragement for young gay people, acceptance of new immigrants and even a better government in Mexico all got shout outs from Oscar winners, but the movie that has made the biggest political stir got only an award for sound editing.

FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2015

That movie, "American Sniper," was the people's choice for Best Picture, according to a fan poll noted by ABC, and Clint Eastwood's Iraq War film took in more money at the box office than all the other top nominees combined. When it came to gold on Oscar night, though, "Birdman" beat it out for Best Picture and "Sniper" star Bradley Cooper had to stay put in his front row seat when the Best Actor envelope was opened and his name was not called.

Conservative pundits are sure to take this as further proof that Hollywood is out of step with real America. Eastwood, the special guest star...

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A couple more Oscars that should have been awarded

Yes, people complained that the Oscar ceremony dragged on and on -- and I was miffed that it made me tune in to "Downton Abbey" eight minutes late -- but, still, there could have been a few more awards.

FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2015

I offer two additional possibilities in this cartoon and, if you'd like to see more, click right here.

OSCARS 2015: Complete list | Top nomineesRed carpet blogLive updates |Red carpet photos

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Oscars 2015: Some of the awards they forgot to give

As I write this, the 2015 Oscars are still glamming along, but it's not to early to note the awards that could have been given if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were just a touch more creative.

Oscars 2015: Fashion live blog | Men’s fashion | Top nominees | Complete coverage

I came up with a whole page of alternative Oscars that was published in today's LA Times. This cartoon is an excerpt from that page. You can get a look at the full image by clicking right here.



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