• Michael Gerson: The Trump effect, still 'understated'

    MICHAEL GERSON The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The presidential candidate who has consistently led the Republican field for four months, Donald Trump, has proposed: forcibly expel 11 million people from the country, requiring a massive apparatus of enforcement, courts and concentration camps; rewrite or reinterpret the 14th Amendment to end the Civil War-era Republican principle of birthright citizenship; build a 2,000-mile wall on our southern border while forcing Mexico to pay the cost. He has characterized undocumented Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers, and opposed the speaking of Spanish in America.

  • Potts, Delaney: Early childhood a key in Oklahoma workforce pipeline

    By Pat Potts and Pete Delaney | Published: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    We are pleased to observe recent focus in The Oklahoman on the importance of education as the vehicle to advance the prospects of our workforce and economic development. It's hard to attract high-paying jobs to Oklahoma when we aren't producing enough highly educated and trained prospective employees. Perhaps, as never before, we are recognizing the need for a continuum of learning including partnership among common education, CareerTech, higher education and the working world. This workforce pipeline, however, ignores the dramatic impact on school, work and life readiness that early childhood experiences produce. We know that 85 percent of the brain develops by age 3.

  • Shawnee business owner: Now is the time to revive Export-Import Bank

    By Chuck Mills | Published: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    It's estimated that only one-half of 1 percent of U.S. companies have survived 100 years.  And among the millions of U.S. family owned businesses, fewer than 1,200 are now 100 years old and still under the same family ownership and operation. One of those companies is Mills Machine Company, which my grandfather started in 1908 as a repair shop in Shawnee. What began as a small repair shop has grown into a multimillion-dollar company. Today, we sell our bits, augers and other products across the United States and have exported to more than 70 countries. And while our export business started out as little more than a hobby, it quickly grew into a large part of what we do. Thanks to the hard work of our employees and support

  • Kathleen Parker: Crazy is as crazy does

    KATHLEEN PARKER The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Tue, Nov 24, 2015

    WASHINGTON — One week, Beirut and Paris; the next week, Mali. The nightmare is young. Where next? The pace and threat of terror seem to have picked up, each incident feeding on the previous. Fear takes hold, momentum builds. Rhetoric flies in the face of reason, until all reason abandons the field. But then, how do you solve a problem like crazy? And how do you prevent becoming crazed yourself? It's contagious, you know. Besides, what's more crazy-making than trying to deal rationally with the irrational? What leverage does an army have against an enemy that welcomes death? We say: If you don't stop murdering innocent people, we're going to bomb you into oblivion. They say: Bring it on. No, wait, we'll do

  • Tulsa World Editorial: Leave your phone alone and drive

    Published: Mon, Nov 23, 2015

    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol issued 56 citations in 12 days to drivers who were texting while driving. That’s a good start for the new law, and a good warning to everyone to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road or face a $100 citation. What has emerged as a possible problem, at least in Tulsa, is officers’ inability to determine if drivers are illegally texting or dialing a number, which is legal. That is an enforcement challenge faced in every other state with a ban. Some states have gone to requiring hand-free devices or to a total ban on use of cell phones while driving. The Legislature might need to address the issue of dialing while driving in the coming session.

  • OCPA Impact CEO: No tax hike needed to bump Oklahoma teacher pay

    By Dave Bond | Published: Sun, Nov 22, 2015

    Oklahoma families need classroom teachers to receive pay increases. Average raises of $5,000 are a fine start for the discussion. Good teachers are a valuable commodity. Parents of school-age children need quality teachers to continue teaching, not leave in frustration. However, Oklahomans don't need to have their sales taxes increased to the highest in the nation in order to retain and reward good teachers. They also don't need this 1-cent tax increase shoved on them via an unconstitutionally logrolled ballot measure, as proposed by a coalition led by University of Oklahoma President David Boren. Teacher salaries can be increased without increasing taxes. It will involve moving funds from lower priorities to higher

  • George Will: Freedom of speech includes talking about pets

    GEORGE F. WILL The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sun, Nov 22, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Never has American freedom of speech been attacked so flagrantly, promiscuously and on so many fronts. The most egregious examples come from campuses and Congress. On campuses, censorship proliferates as political advocacy is confined to designated spaces. In Congress, 54 Democratic senators voted last year to amend the First Amendment to empower Congress to regulate the quantity, content and timing of political campaign speech. There are, however, smaller, less visible and hence especially insidious abridgements of the right to make oneself heard. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will decide whether to hear such a case from Texas, where it is a crime for a retired veterinarian to share his advice with people seeking

  • Michael Gerson: Barack Obama, speaking from the ruins

    MICHAEL GERSON The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sun, Nov 22, 2015

    WASHINGTON — An event that invokes widespread fear and confusion, such as the Paris attacks, is also an occasion for leadership. The resulting intense public focus opens a brief window for explanation and inspiration. In moments of crisis or challenge, a leader can figuratively speak from the ruins. The president I served, George W. Bush, did so literally after 9/11: "The people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon." At the 2005 Gleneagles G-8 meeting, I saw Prime Minister Tony Blair, ashen and subdued, just after receiving news of the London bombings. Returning to London, his public response was steady and unifying.

  • Paul Greenberg: Dems still debating, not that it matters

    Paul Greenberg Tribune Content Agency | Published: Sat, Nov 21, 2015

    Talk about an exercise in futility and irony: The three remaining contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination next year, if you count a former governor of Maryland named Martin O'Malley, held their own "debate" last Saturday night. You have to wonder if anybody but the candidates and their partisans bothered to tune in — or anybody at all who wasn't duty-bound to listen, like the press. Poor, ever embarrassed and always embarrassing Hillary Clinton was there to make excuses for her years of inaction as a secretary of state. Call her one of the architects of the disaster that has swept the world on her sleepy watch, and had just erupted again on the streets of Paris. Once again her timing was perfect

  • Retired Air Force colonel: U.S. badly needs to upgrade its air power

    By Mark Tarpley | Published: Sat, Nov 21, 2015

    The funding of our Defense Department and Air Force took a fortunate, if temporary, step back from the abyss with the recent passage of a two-year budget deal finalized by the president's signature. While this is good news for Tinker Air Force Base and the rest of the Air Force, it is only a brief respite from a dangerous trend that has been unfolding for decades. The pace of modernization for our Air Force has lagged far behind the need. In our current geostrategic environment, with each year both the need and risk increase. Our Air Force is aging and getting older. That is clearly visible at Tinker, which is home to the E-3 AWACS and KC-135 air refueling tanker.

  • Royalty owner exec: Protecting royalty owners also protects Oklahomans

    By Jerry Simmons | Published: Sat, Nov 21, 2015

    Perhaps David Guest said it best, earlier this year at a city council meeting in Stillwater, when the governing body discussed whether to restrict oil and natural gas drilling in and near the city limits. “Mineral rights are an asset owned by families,” Guest said. “We have a right to develop our minerals.” He would know. Guest, a resident of Edmond, owns mineral rights in and around Stillwater. For years, it's given his family a better life, even a sense of identity. Other royalty owners in Oklahoma can relate, many of whom lean on their payments to feed and provide for their families, support local businesses, improve farming and forestry practices, build farming facilities, and provide more to their

  • OGE official: Is solar power the next energy chapter for Oklahoma?

    By Paul Renfrow | Published: Fri, Nov 20, 2015

    Oklahoma is widely recognized for its leadership in the field of energy. While many across the country talk about an “all of the above” approach to our energy future, Oklahoma is leading the way. Through smart energy policies and innovative implementation of technology, Oklahoma is using many forms of energy to meet the needs of our growing economy and the everyday needs of the people who live here. As the state's largest electric utility, OG&E uses natural gas, coal, wind and now solar energy to provide electricity that is reliable, affordable and produced in an environmentally responsible way.

  • Clarence Page: The Islamic State wants us to reject refugees

    By Clarence Page Tribune Content Agency | Published: Fri, Nov 20, 2015

    Remember how news photos of a drowned 3-year-old Syrian boy in September put new pressure on the West to welcome more refugees? That was then. Last week's attacks in Paris have sparked the opposite response after a Syrian passport was found near the body of one of the Paris suicide bombers. A shamefully robust chorus of American politicians is falling over themselves to show how hostile they can be to refugees of a war that America played a major role in creating. This is especially true of Republican presidential candidates, as the issue quickly took on a sharply partisan divide.

  • Oklahoma state superintendent: Schools need accurate, reliable grading system

    By Joy Hofmeister | Published: Fri, Nov 20, 2015

    Accountability is important to help ensure high quality — particularly when it comes to something as critical as education — but accountability must itself be held accountable. Oklahoma's A-F school grading system is deeply flawed in its current form. But its overarching aim, to provide reliable and easy-to-understand information about how our schools are doing, is not. If you believe, as I do, that a struggling school can become successful and a successful school can become even stronger, then why can't that same logic apply to a school accountability system?  A good school accountability system should motivate progress. It should give schools and communities insight into what works or what needs

  • Washington Examiner: Time to further thin the GOP field

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Fri, Nov 20, 2015

    Bobby Jindal was right: It just wasn't his time. Many things could be said about the Louisiana governor's campaign, which he chose to end on Monday. He was the first candidate to present a detailed plan to replace Obamacare. His desire to be president was obvious and had been long before he announced he was running. At one point, his campaign even seemed to be gaining some traction in Iowa. But Jindal faced several obstacles that proved insurmountable. His approval ratings in his conservative home state had plunged to levels low enough that it might elect Democratic Louisiana governor this Saturday. In the presidential primary race, Jindal was squaring off against better-known and better-liked governors from bigger states,

  • Charles Krauthammer: President Obama's phony war

    CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Fri, Nov 20, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Tell me: What's a suicide bomber doing with a passport? He's not going anywhere. And, though I'm not a religious scholar, I doubt that a passport is required in paradise for a martyr to access his 72 black-eyed virgins. A Syrian passport was found near the body of one of the terrorists. Why was it there? Undoubtedly, to back up the Islamic State boast that it is infiltrating operatives amid the refugees flooding Europe. The passport may have been fake, but the terrorist's fingerprints were not. They match those of a man who just a month earlier had come through Greece on his way to kill Frenchmen in Paris.

  • George Will: Chris Christie's serious political talent

    GEORGE F. WILL The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Thu, Nov 19, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Paris was for all Americans, but especially for Republicans, a summons to seriousness that should have two immediate impacts on the Republican presidential contest. It should awaken the party's nominating electorate from its reveries about treating the presidency as an entry-level job. And it should cause Republicans to take another look at Chris Christie, beginning with his speech in Florida the day after the Paris attacks. Until now, many Republicans have been treating the nominating process as a mechanism for sending a message to Washington. The eruption of war in the capital of a NATO ally is a reminder that the nominating process will potentially send a commander in chief to Washington.

  • Ruth Marcus: The great Democratic divide

    RUTH MARCUS The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Wed, Nov 18, 2015

    AMES, Iowa — Watching the Democratic primary contest can feel like reading a bad murder mystery. You may encounter some plot twists and surprises, but the end seems obvious. The butler did it. Hillary Clinton will win the nomination. On a deeper level, though, the contest is more subtle and more interesting — more Jane Austen than John Grisham. Indeed, dear reader, the day after the Democratic debate, Austen herself was invoked by Princeton philosopher Cornel West, standing in for Bernie Sanders and jabbing at the woman he called "sister Hillary," with her "lip service" to progressive causes. "My question for Hillary Clinton is what I would call the Jane Austen challenge," West said.

  • OCAST director: Industry diversity helps create brighter future for Oklahoma

    By Michael Carolina | Published: Wed, Nov 18, 2015

    Without a doubt, the current energy downturn is having a substantial impact on Oklahoma's economy and somewhat mirrors the downturn we experienced in 1985. However, I think there is a rainbow of promise. Today, we are witnessing a growing diversity in industries and jobs across our state that put us in a stronger position to weather economic swings in any one business sector. Oklahoma will always be a leader in energy and energy still represents 12 percent of the state's GSP. Fortunately — and by design — we have broadened our economic base in areas such as bioscience and biotechnology, aerospace and defense, agricultural science, health care, manufacturing, information technology, and supply chain and logistics.

  • Michael Gerson: Don't feed the Islamic State narrative

    MICHAEL GERSON The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Tue, Nov 17, 2015

    WASHINGTON — As careful as we should be in drawing lessons from tragedy — and there is something particularly disgraceful in mounting a political soapbox at a funeral — the horrors experienced in Paris demand a renewed dedication to the prevention of future horrors. Islamic State terrorists have goals beyond a blood-drunk love of carnage: to discredit the Syrian refugees (whom they hate) and to encourage the perception of a civilizational struggle between Islam and the West. They are currently succeeding in both. Among other things, the terrorists hope to reverse the narrative of Muslim defeat in Europe that began in 732 or 1571 or 1683.