Top Stories

  • George F. Will: Fed up with cupcake cops

    Published: Thu, Aug 21, 2014

    WASHINGTON — In physics, a unified field theory is an attempt to explain with a single hypothesis the behavior of several fields. Its political corollary is the Cupcake Postulate, which explains everything, from Missouri to Iraq, concerning Americans’ comprehensive withdrawal of confidence from government at all levels and all areas of activity. Washington’s response to the menace of school bake sales illustrates progressivism’s ratchet: The federal government subsidizes school lunches, so it must control the lunches’ contents, which validates regulation of what it calls “competitive foods,” such as vending machine snacks.

  • Michael Gerson: Rand Paul's bogus outreach

    Published: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Why should Republicans engage in outreach to African-Americans, even though the level of suspicion is so high and the yield in votes is likely to be so low? Even among some reform-oriented conservatives, what might be called the Kemp project — after the late Rep. Jack Kemp, who spent a career engaged in minority outreach — is viewed as a secondary concern. They consistently pitch their approach toward the middle class — in part to distinguish it from previous iterations of compassionate or “bleeding heart” (Kemp’s phrase) conservatism. The cover of the reform conservative manifesto — “Room to Grow: Conservative Reforms for a Limited Government and a Thriving Middle Class” — features a lawn mower

  • Renzi Stone: Gov. Fallin's call offers hope for children with epilepsy

    BY RENZI STONE | Published: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    Seizures are scary. I witnessed my first seizure when my son, Isaiah, was 4 months old. My wife, Lee Anne, held Isaiah, his eyes fluttering, legs uncontrollably jerking in rhythmic fashion and his lips turning blue. That first seizure lasted 10 minutes. Subsequent seizures were longer. There are 30 kinds of epilepsy and more than 40 varieties of drugs to treat people who have seizures. For one in three people who have epilepsy, seizures are uncontrollable, even with medication. Surprisingly, no cure is in sight. Watching Isaiah’s seizure, I never felt so powerless. Later, as medication after medication failed, and his seizures continued, that feeling turned to hopelessness. We never found a medicine to control his baffling

  • Ruth Marcus: When to police political behavior

    Published: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    WASHINGTON — The headlines bring the accidentally colliding tale of two governors and, with it, a valuable debate about the proper role — and proper limits — of criminal law in policing political behavior. Exhibit A is the questionable — “sketchy” was the apt word used by, of all people, Democratic strategist David Axelrod — indictment of Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry. Exhibit B, a responsible contrast to the Perry mess, is the ongoing federal trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, also a Republican.

  • Washington Examiner: Judge's ruling should help shed light on IRS activities

    Published: Tue, Aug 19, 2014

    IRS officials should have known better than to trifle with U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan. Thanks to his ruling last week, Americans may soon learn much more on why a key IRS employee’s emails remain beyond the reach of Congress. After IRS employees were caught in 2013 systematically delaying and harassing tea party and conservative groups seeking nonprofit status, Lois Lerner, former head of the agency's tax-exempt organizations division, pleaded the Fifth before Congress. Since then, it has emerged that many of Lerner’s emails from the key period in question were conveniently lost in June 2011.

  • George F. Will: In a stew over inversions

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Barack Obama, presiding over an unusually dismal post-recession economy, might make matters worse with a distracting crusade against the minor and sensible business practice called “inversion,” more about which anon. So, consider his credentials as an economic thinker. Obama, who thinks ATMs and airport ticket kiosks cost America jobs, gave a 2013 speech regretting that Maytag workers in Illinois lost their jobs when the plant moved to Mexico, but rejoicing that more Honda cars “are made in America than anyplace else” and that Airbus is “building new planes in Alabama.” Maytag moved partly because in Illinois, which is not a right-to-work state, the price of unionized workers made Mexico a sensible

  • Paul Greenberg: The Buddha in the TV room

    Published: Sun, Aug 17, 2014

    It was just a snippet of conversation overheard in a crowded restaurant: “… and we put the Buddha in the TV room.” At that point I stopped eavesdropping, lost somewhere between contemplation and amusement, fascination and puzzlement. They all have a way of mixing on hearing some comment that, from the moment it’s made, I know will remain stuck in the little gray cells, like a roadblock, stopping all other traffic. Yes, this one’s definitely a keeper, I thought at the time, a stray comment sure to be called up again and again whatever state of confusion the news has reduced me to at the moment. For the news is too much with us early and late, and watching and listening, we waste our powers of concentration.

  • Environmental Policy Alliance analyst: On 'Waters of the U.S., beware of camouflaged advocacy

    BY WILL COGGIN | Published: Sun, Aug 17, 2014

    The EPA’s proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule has caused consternation across rural America. EPA claims its proposed water rule “clarifies” the definition of “Waters of the U.S.” and will actually help rural Americans. But farmers fear the proposal expands EPA’s regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act, giving federal regulators more control over how farmers and ranchers use their private property. Despite the pushback, the EPA rule has gotten significant backing from one community: Sportsmen. Or so it seems. But things aren’t as they appear.

  • Michael Gerson: The paradox of American diversity

    Published: Sat, Aug 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON — While I was growing up in an overwhelmingly white, resolutely middle-class neighborhood west of St. Louis, the city of Ferguson — about 20 minutes north around I-270, past the airport — was never an intended destination. It was a working-class area that did not figure or matter much in my world. For all I knew, it was a foreign country. In those days, St. Louis was a city segregated by suspicion and class affinity. And sometimes by race. I remember an African-American friend of my older brother being denied entry to the pool at my father’s golf club. Membership information had been misplaced. Better to come back later. When I asked my wife, who is Korean and also from the St.

  • Clarence Page: Don't shame the president's vacation

    Published: Sat, Aug 16, 2014

    Sitting on a deck chair on the family friendly boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach, Del., typing into my digital tablet, I am wondering why people are giving President Obama such a hard time for taking a vacation. I can understand why citizens would be upset if, say, a big-city mayor didn’t rush home from a tropical paradise to oversee reaction to a mid-winter blizzard. I fully understand why a governor is expected to hurry home after a major flood has swept away half of a town. But the president? I mean, it’s not like he’s got a real job, or anything. Seriously, most of us who have jobs don’t have jobs that come with us when we go on vacation. Or at least, they shouldn’t. The president’s job

  • Charles Krauthammer: Why Hillary got it right

    Published: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.” — Hillary Clinton, The Atlantic, Aug. 10 WASHINGTON — Leave it to Barack Obama’s own former secretary of state to acknowledge the fatal flaw of his foreign policy: a total absence of strategic thinking. Mind you, Obama does deploy grand words proclaiming grand ideas: the “new beginning” with Islam declared in Cairo, the reset with Russia announced in Geneva, global nuclear disarmament proclaimed in Prague (and playacted in a Washington summit). Untethered from reality, they all disappeared without a trace. When carrying out policies in the real world, however, it’s nothing but tactics and

  • Washington Examiner: Slow recovery leads to retrograde economy

    Published: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    ADJUSTED for inflation, the wages of U.S. workers are down 3 percent since 2005. U.S. median income has fallen 5.5 percent. The reason is simple: Although the total number of jobs in the United States has finally returned to its prerecession level, positions now being created in the never-ending recovery pay wages 23 percent lower than those that disappeared in the Great Recession. Low-wage — often part-time — jobs are replacing high-wage, full-time jobs. This finding, from a 44-page report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, comes as little surprise. It confirms what others have demonstrated elsewhere.

  • Jules Witcover: A darker cloud falls over Nixon

    Published: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON — In the flurry of new books on the Nixon tapes, another allegation worse than Watergate against the late president has been revisited by a researcher at the Miller Center of the University of Virginia, reviving charges of a possible treasonous act by Richard Nixon during the Vietnam war. Ken Hughes, in “Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair and the Origins of Watergate,” makes the case that a planned break-in of the Brookings Institution in Washington, which Nixon urged as a blatant “thievery,” sought to find and get rid of such evidence.

  • Leonard Pitts Jr.: Riots in Ferguson, and what they mean

    Published: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    A riot can be many things. It can be an act of communal madness, reflecting the emotional imbecility of those who believe the best way to express joy at their ball team’s win is to overturn a car. It can be an act of opportunism, a chance, under cover of darkness, influence of chaos, suspension of order, to smash and grab and run away, arms heavy with loot. And it can be an act of outcry, a scream of inchoate rage. That’s what happened this week in Ferguson, Mo. The people screamed. To believe that this carnage — the windows smashed, the buildings torched, the tear gas wafting — is all about the killing of Michael Brown is to miss the point.

  • George F. Will: Into a new void?

    Published: Thu, Aug 14, 2014

    WASHINGTON — This far into the human story, only the historically uninstructed are startled by what they think are new permutations of evil. So, when Russia sliced Crimea off Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry was nonplussed: “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.” If, however, Vladimir Putin is out of step with the march of progress, where exactly on history’s inevitably ascending path (as progressives like Kerry evidently think) does Kerry, our innocent abroad, locate the Islamic State? The Islamic State uses crucifixions to express piety and decapitations to encourage cooperation.

  • Michael Gerson: Smacked by reality in the Middle East

    Published: Wed, Aug 13, 2014

    WASHINGTON — So ends a foreign policy experiment that began with two choices in 2011. In that hinge year, President Obama decided to stay out of the Syrian conflict and to passively accept the withdrawal of all U.S. ground forces from Iraq (which he later claimed as a personal achievement during his re-election campaign). I’m not sure the motivation behind these acts can be termed a strategy. They seemed rooted in a perception of the public’s war-weariness (which Obama fed through his own rhetoric), a firm determination to be the anti-Bush, and a vague belief that a U.S. presence in the Middle East creates more problems than it solves.

  • Washington Examiner: With ISIS, Obama should heed former ambassador's warning

    Published: Wed, Aug 13, 2014

    SEVEN months ago, in an interview with The New Yorker’s David Remnick, President Obama said he thought little of the threat posed by hardcore Islamic rebels in Syria. “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is, if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” he said. But having made huge gains in Iraq this summer, this JV squad is now looking nearly unbeatable. Islamic State fighters have easily repelled attempts by Iraq’s basket-case central government to push them back to Syria where they began their murderous existence.

  • David Ignatius: Confronting a new enemy

    Published: Wed, Aug 13, 2014

    WASHINGTON — When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his terrorist Islamic State, he ignored a warning from Osama bin Laden that jihadists should be cautious about establishing a caliphate too quickly. In torching a firestorm in Iraq and Syria, Baghdadi has united his enemies and given them a target to attack, just as bin Laden predicted. Baghdadi’s bloodbath has achieved the impossible: He has provided a common adversary for Saudis and Iranians, Turks and Kurds. He has united many of Iraq’s Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish politicians behind an inclusive new government. He has forced a reluctant President Obama to come halfway off the bench in authorizing airstrikes for “limited military objectives” in Iraq.

  • Clarence Page: 'War on whites'? No way

    Published: Wed, Aug 13, 2014

    Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., claims that liberals are waging a “war on whites.” If so, Barack Obama must be at war with himself. That’s how goofy Brooks’ logic sounds. But he’s not nuts. It is an old reflex, when cornered in politics, to lash back with the same charge that others have leveled at you — or, put another way, to project your own flaws onto other people. What’s sad about Brooks’ claim is his feeble attempt to play the white victim card, plucking the strings of white nationalism, just to have his way with the nation’s immigration policy. That debate cuts across racial and political lines, distancing him from such other conservative voices as The Wall Street Journal’s pro-business editorial

  • OU professor: Loss of terrorism prevention institute regrettable

    BY STEPHEN SLOAN | Published: Wed, Aug 13, 2014

    It was with great regret that I read of the closing of the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. Under the leadership of its director, David Cid, MIPT did outstanding work in training local law enforcement from around the country to identify and respond to threats of terrorism. The training recognized the fact that ultimately “all terrorism is local” and those on the front line will be local law enforcement and other first responders who must act before national support is forthcoming. MIPT also recognized the importance of the intelligence function in meeting threats; hence the institute program to train law enforcement in analyzing potential threats in their respective jurisdictions.