• The Syrian immigration cul-de-sac

    Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The Syrian refugee debate has become a national embarrassment. It begins with a president, desperate to deflect attention from the collapse of his foreign policy, retreating to his one safe zone — ad hominem attacks on critics, this time for lack of compassion toward Syrian widows and orphans. This, without a glimmer of acknowledgment of his own responsibility for these unfortunate souls becoming widowed and orphaned, displaced and homeless, in the first place. A quarter-million deaths ago, when Bashar al-Assad began making war on his own people, he unleashed his air force and helicopters. They dropped high explosives, nail-filled barrel bombs and even chemical weapons on helpless civilians. President Obama

  • VA is finding new ways to make life tough for vets

    Washington Examiner Editorial | Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    IF you thought you had seen the full extent of perfidy at the Department of Veterans Affairs, think again. This week, the Washington Examiner reported that the agency is once again stalling veterans who seek to claim the benefits they were promised, once again in an effort to game the metrics by which agency performance is measured. The agency is now refusing to answer Congress' questions about its backlog of benefit applications from military veterans. It is unclear at this point how extensive this new problem is, but in just one office in Atlanta, the agency has put 1,833 applications from combat veterans in limbo. Veterans Affairs is claiming that these applications are incomplete because they do not include the applicants'

  • Media bias is evident in campaign coverage

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    AMONG the national media, journalists routinely deride suggestions of liberal bias and slanted news coverage. People might take those denials more seriously if national outlets stopped providing evidence to the contrary. The latest example comes from news coverage regarding GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson's comments on the Syrian refugee issue. Several outlets implied that Carson equated all Syrians to rabid dogs. But any credible reading of his comments, in context, simply shows Carson was noting the importance of preventing violent jihadists from being granted refugee status. At a campaign event in Alabama, Carson said the United States needed leaders who “are not only smart but who care about other people.

  • House call: 'The Scent of Rain and Lightning' invades a Guthrie home for a chilling day of filming

    By Nathan Poppe Entertainment Writer npoppe@oklahoman.com | Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    About 50 mostly Oklahoma-based cast and crew members were inside a Guthrie house, filming scenes of "The Scent of Rain and Lightening," by Okies screenwriters and producers Casey Twenter and Jeff Robison. The film is a spiritual sequel to 2014's "Rudderless," which the duo collaborated on and managed to capture the attention of director/actor William H. Macy.

  • Head in the 'Clouds': Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne celebrates Miley Cyrus' birthday and revisits critical 1995 favorite 'Clouds Taste Metallic'

    By Gene Triplett For The Oklahoman | Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    Wayne Coyne was sitting in the guest house of the Cyrus family’s Nashville home doing phone interviews to promote Friday’s release of “Heady Nuggs 20 Years After Clouds Taste Metallic 1994-1997.”

  • Entertainment highlights in and around Oklahoma City

    From Staff Reports | Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    Entertainment highlights in and around Oklahoma City

  • Downtown Oklahoma City gets into the holiday spirit with an array of special offerings

    By Brandy McDonnell Features Writer bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    Officially launching Friday, the 14th annual Downtown in December in Oklahoma City is a series of holiday events coordinated and produced in part by Downtown OKC Inc. staff, in collaboration with several partner organizations.

  • Holiday road projects

    From Staff Reports | Updated: 12 hr ago

    OKLAHOMA CITY METRO area Interstate 35 lanes shifted, speed limit reduced in Norman. Drivers can expect lane shifts and a reduced speed limit on I-35 between Main Street and the South Canadian River for ongoing interchange reconstruction at State Highway 9 East and Lindsey Street. Drivers should expect delays on I-35, especially during peak travel periods. Plan extra time or consider an alternate route such as SH 77H (Sooner Road). SH 9 lanes shifted, speed limit reduced at 36th Avenue SE in Norman. Expect lane shifts and a reduced speed limit on SH 9 between 36th Avenue SE and 72nd Avenue SE for highway reconstruction and widening. U.S. 77 (Broadway) narrowed, lanes shifted at 33rd Street in Edmond. The southbound U.S.

  • Your Views

    Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    Hold them accountable In college, I had a good friend named “Navid” with whom I shared dorm life and many classes. Navid was Iranian, Muslim and a person to whom I would entrust my life. His sister was also a student there. She was gorgeous, personable and as sweet as anyone I had met. I always thought Navid and his sister must have had wonderful parents. Also at my school were several of the “Death to America” types who never attempted to make an American friend and, while allowed to attend my university, participated in on-campus protests denouncing the U.S.  I question whether I would survive a day living among this group. Children tend to believe what they're taught. Even when they grow older, the effects of what

  • 'Polar Express' Train Ride builds steam in its second Oklahoma trek

    By Brandy McDonnell BAM bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    After a strong Oklahoma debut in 2014, “The Polar Express” Train Ride, a whimsical hourlong trek based on the 1985 children's book and the 2004 computer-animated movie keeps chugging along, already becoming a holiday tradition for many families. It takes place aboard the Eastern Flyer, departing from Bristow.

  • 30th anniversary of ‘Dark Knight’ celebrated; comics retail events set

    By Matthew Price  Features Editor  mprice@oklahoman.com  | Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    The first issue of "Dark Knight III" will have a limited-edition cover released Saturday as part of "Local Comic Shop Day," a first-year event from retailer organization ComicsPRO.

  • Balloons, heavy security seen in NYC

    By KAREN MATTHEWS Associated Press | Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    NEW YORK  — Americans paused Thursday to celebrate their blessings despite terrorism fears and racial tensions. A record number of police officers patrolled the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, while St. Louis resumed its annual parade, canceled last year amid protests over Michael Brown's death. At the White House, President Barack Obama spent a quiet holiday with a traditional meal. Here's a look at how other Americans celebrated: Tight security Spectators at the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York noted a stepped-up police presence, with officers perched on buildings like Radio City Music Hall and watching from helicopters hovering overhead.

  • How OU strength coach Jerry Schmidt’s daughter, Aubrey, became Washington’s best kicker

    By Jacob Unruh Staff Writer junruh@oklahoman.com | Updated: 9 hr ago

    WASHINGTON — Aubrey Schmidt needed to find a way to pass the time. Kicking did that. Schmidt first started kicking into practice nets to help entertain her younger brother Sam during Oklahoma football workouts as a child while their father Jerry was working. “She'd go down there just to get him to shut up,” said Schmidt, OU's longtime strength and conditioning coach. A dedicated soccer player and runner, Aubrey was a natural. Yet nobody saw her ability translating to the football field, even her father. Jerry likes to remind people, though, that Aubrey is his daughter — a competitor. That's why he was openly excited when she approached with the idea of joining the Washington High School football team as

  • Catching up with ex-Thunder player Jackson

    By Erik Horne Staff Writer ehorne@oklahoman.com | Updated: 9 hr ago

    Last week during a timeout against New Orleans, the Chesapeake Energy Arena big screen showed the face of one of the Thunder's most beloved former players. When Kendrick Perkins' unmistakable scowl appeared above high above the court, the crowd erupted into a chorus of cheers. When former Thunder players Jeff Green and James Harden made their first returns to Oklahoma City, their welcomes were similar — warm, raucous, appreciative. Will Thunder fans show the same love to Reggie Jackson? Now the Detroit Pistons point guard, he didn't leave Oklahoma City on the same terms. Now he's back to face his former team for the first time on Friday. Jackson told the Detroit media Wednesday he knows what to expect. "I

  • First love: Emory Cohen steps out of his comfort zone for acclaimed drama 'Brooklyn'

    By Gene Triplett For The Oklahoman | Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    Emory Cohen had started feeling like his acting chops were getting dulled by too many bad-boy roles when he was offered a part as one of Saoirse Ronan's two love interests in director John Crowley's ocean-spanning love triangle, "Brooklyn."

  • Turkey, Russia escalate spat over downed jet

    By SUZAN FRASER and VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV Associated Press | Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    TURKEY | ANKARA — A tug-of-war over a Russian warplane downed by a Turkish fighter jet at the border with Syria escalated Thursday, with Moscow drafting a slew of economic sanctions against Turkey and the Turkish president defiantly declaring that his military will shoot down any new intruder. Turkey shot down the Russian Su-24 military jet on Tuesday, insisting it had violated its airspace despite repeated warnings.  Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the Turkish action as a "treacherous stab in the back," and insisted that the plane was downed over Syrian territory in violation of international law.

  • Trump called out for appearing to mock reporter's disability

    AP | Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Donald Trump denied Thursday that he mocked a reporter with a disability in a South Carolina speech, despite appearing to imitate mannerisms of the “poor guy” and make fun of him. A statement posted on his Twitter account said Trump doesn't know the reporter personally or what he looks like and was only mocking his journalism. The New York Times reporter, Serge Kovaleski, “should stop using his disability to grandstand,” the statement quoted Trump as saying. Kovaleski has a congenital condition that affects joint movement. In a speech Tuesday in South Carolina, Trump said, “Poor guy, you oughta see this guy,” and gestured in a jerky

  • Berry Tramel's national pregame

    Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    Notre Dame's Kelly can politick, too The eyes of the College Football Playoff committee won't be glued to Bedlam on Saturday night. Watching? Yes. Glued? No. The attention of those 12 decision-makers will be divided. There's another game, kicking off 30 minutes before Bedlam, that will weigh heavily on the College Football Playoff rankings. Notre Dame at Stanford provides a fabulous matchup of divergent factors in the eternal bracket debate.

  • Evaluating the Bedlam special teams matchups

    By Jason Kersey and John Helsley | Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    When OU kicks off Senior Nick Hodgson has kicked off 88 times this season, with 47 of those (53.4 percent) becoming touchbacks. Opponents are averaging 21.3 yards per return on the OU kickoff team. The Cowboys are averaging 20.41 yards per kick return this season and haven't returned a kickoff for a touchdown. When OU is kicking off, expect the Cowboys to start most drives from their own 25-yard line. Edge: OU When OU punts True freshman Austin Seibert has been mostly solid in the punting game, and has sometimes been spectacular. Ten of his 48 punts this season have gone more than 50 yards, and he's averaging 42.2 yards per punt. The Cowboys are averaging 7.14 yards per punt return as a team and have

  • Okafor reportedly involved in fight

    By Mike Sielski The Philadelphia Inquirer | Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia 76ers rookie center Jahlil Okafor was involved in a fight outside a Boston nightclub early Thursday morning, according to a video obtained and published by the website TMZ.com. In the video, Okafor — who stands 6-foot-11, weighs 271 pounds, and turns 20 on Dec. 15 — is seen shouting at several individuals, then shoving a man to the ground. After at least one person tries to restrain him, Okafor punches a man who appears to be the same individual he had pushed, knocking him to the pavement again. At the start of the video, Okafor can be heard shouting to someone, “We got money, you broke a-- …” He utters a racial slur.