• Group president: Working in defense of the Second Amendment in Oklahoma

    BY TIM GILLESPIE | Published: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    Many gun-related bills in play

  • Charles Krauthammer: The fatal flaw in the Iran deal

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    WASHINGTON — A sunset clause? The news from the nuclear talks with Iran was already troubling. Iran was being granted the “right to enrich.” It would be allowed to retain and spin thousands of centrifuges. It could continue construction of the Arak plutonium reactor. Yet so thoroughly was Iran stonewalling International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors that just last Thursday the IAEA reported its concern “about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed … development of a nuclear payload for a missile.” Bad enough. Then it got worse: News leaked Monday of the “sunset clause.” President Obama had accepted the Iranian demand that any restrictions on its program be time-limited.

  • Clarence Page: Rudy Giuliani's gaffe puts GOP to a new test

    By Clarence Page | Published: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    Was Rudy Giuliani playing a race card when he accused President Obama of not loving America? No way, the former New York mayor said later, but his litmus test sounded like he needs an eye test. Giuliani’s remarks last week at a New York fundraiser for Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin set off a national uproar — and became a new question for presidential hopefuls like Walker to answer: Do you think Giuliani is right or what? “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Mr. Giuliani said at the event. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up, through love of this

  • George Will: Reversing course in Illinois

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    CHICAGO — The most portentous election of 2014, which gave the worst-governed state its first Republican governor in 12 years, has initiated this century’s most intriguing political experiment. Illinois has favored Democratic presidential candidates by an average of 16 points in the last six elections. But by electing businessman Bruce Rauner, it initiated a process that might dismantle a form of governance that afflicts many states and municipalities. Rauner, 58, won his first elective office by promising to change Illinois’ political culture of one-party rule by entrenched politicians subservient to public-sector unions.

  • Michael Gerson: The fragility of life's greatist gift

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania — At a health center here, a young woman is in the recovery room after a cesarean section. A nurse takes the newborn to a table for cleanup. We (a group organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies) are allowed to enter and see the child. But the newborn girl starts struggling for breath. Three more nurses enter. One briefly applies bag-and-mask ventilation. Yet her breathing grows weaker and weaker, as she turns a horrible shade of gray. The suddenness of this little girl’s death, so soon after her welcome to the world, made it seem particularly cruel. To the nurses, however, it was hardly unusual.

  • Humane Society member: Bill dealing with exotic pets merits approval

    BY KELLY PLACE | Published: Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    Keeping exotic animals as pets has had devastating and heartbreaking results. In 2009 in Connecticut, Charla Nash went to assist her neighbor when her 200-pound pet chimpanzee escaped. The chimp attacked Nash. She lost her hands and face — including her nose, eyes, lips and cheekbones — along with suffering significant brain trauma. This was a preventable tragedy. Connecticut moved swiftly to enact legislation restricting the private possession of exotic animals. It’s time for Oklahoma to do the same. Senate Bill 776, by Sen. Randy Bass, D-Lawton, would place restrictions on the ownership, sale and breeding of big cats, bears and nonhuman primates.

  • Oklahoma state Rep. Doug Cox: Raising tobacco tax could help education

    BY STATE REP. DOUG COX | Published: Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    It’s about time that we raised the tobacco tax again in Oklahoma. Not only would it discourage young people from taking up a bad habit, but it could be a source of additional funding for education. I have proposed House Bill 1719, which would raise the tobacco tax by about $1 a pack along with an increase in the tax on other tobacco products, except for e-cigarettes. Research shows that each 10 percent increase in the retail price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by 6.5 percent, adult prevalence by 2 percent and total cigarette consumption by about 4 percent. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a $1 increase to cigarette packs would likely lead to a decrease in youth smoking by

  • Cal Thomas: Who loves America?

    By Cal Thomas | Published: Tue, Feb 24, 2015

    Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, is taking some heat — and winning praise in some quarters — for remarks he made at a private dinner last week at which he questioned President Obama’s love for America. Speaking at Manhattan’s upscale “21 Club” at a gathering of economic conservatives hosting potential Republican presidential candidates (Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker attended this one), Giuliani said: “I do not believe — and I know this is a horrible thing to say — but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.

  • Washington Examiner: Ideological fervor isn't an alternative energy source

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    AT a Thursday conference of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, utility companies and state regulators urged officials to intervene and slow down the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan (CPP). President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory proposal is designed to achieve 30 percent cuts in carbon emissions from power plants below 2005 levels by 2030. As currently written, it demands most of the cuts be front-loaded, with a 2020 deadline that utility companies and state regulators say is unreasonable. They argued Thursday that the need for planning and state-level legislation would delay any efforts at compliance until mid-2017 at the very earliest. And the plan under consideration will not even be

  • George Will: Tweeting against terrorism

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Feb 22, 2015

    “We’re here today because we all understand that in dealing with violent extremism, that we need answers that go beyond a military answer. We need answers that go beyond force.” — Vice President Joe Biden at the Countering Violent Extremism Summit, Feb. 17 WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s semantic somersaults to avoid attaching the adjective “Islamic” to the noun “extremism” are as indicative as they are entertaining. Progressives who believe that dialogues, conversations, engagements, conferences and summits are keys to pacifying the world have a peculiar solemnity about using certain words that are potentially insensitive.

  • Agency directors: Exploring ways to better manage Oklahoma's water

    BY J.D. STRONG AND, SCOTT THOMPSON | Published: Sun, Feb 22, 2015

    Oklahoma’s five-year drought is affecting 2,043,212 Oklahomans, or more than half of the state’s population, in some manner. The drought’s impacts are starkly, sometimes alarmingly, visible at many of Oklahoma’s western reservoirs, yet some lakes and streams in the eastern half of the state are increasingly showing the effects. The drought’s impacts also are being felt in a multitude of ways, some perhaps less visible, from stressed public water supplies and infrastructure to agriculture production losses, industrial costs and limits on recreational use, to name a few. The reality is that while some regions in Oklahoma are naturally blessed with abundant water supplies, other areas of the state are not.

  • Kathleen Parker: Wordsmithing war

    By Kathleen Parker | Updated: Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Channel-surfing the nightly cable news, one is reminded that certitude is the enemy of sanity. On both Fox News and MSNBC, conversation has centered lately on the proposed war against the Islamic State and President Obama’s related summit with religious leaders. On Fox, the summit was viewed as an exercise in “community organizing” that was divorced from reality. The right is also insistent that Obama call the war something other than a war against extremists who distort Islam, though I’m not sure what this would be. For clarification, when I wrote recently that we were finally able to admit that we’re fighting a religious war, it was in the context of recognizing that our enemy is fighting a

  • OKC schools superintendent Rob Neu: Lawmakers showed courage in defeating ESA bill

    BY ROB NEU | Published: Sat, Feb 21, 2015

    Pride fills my heart when I visit with our students in Oklahoma City Public Schools. For many students, walking through the schoolhouse door every day is a show of great courage. They persevere through greater challenges than many adults in our city will ever know. What a great example our students are for Oklahoma lawmakers. Legislators must display serious political courage to say they support public education and then follow the courage of their convictions. Nine members of the House of Representatives did so this week in voting against House Bill 2003 to create school vouchers. Even with a fancy name like education savings accounts, they’re still vouchers. Five representatives did so even though it put them at odds

  • Oklahoma City doctor: Some cancer patients made to battle more than their illness

    BY ANDREW L. CHANG, M.D. | Published: Sat, Feb 21, 2015

    As a physician, it is my duty to give the best treatment I can to my patients. Unfortunately, insurance companies cause harm to my patients when they deny coverage for treatments that I may recommend. Too often, patients are denied coverage for the best treatment option available to them because someone with the insurance company — who has never met them — has decided what is and isn’t necessary for their health. Patients with cancer don’t have the luxury of time to fight with insurance companies to get treatments that may be recommended. Oklahomans should have access to the best treatment and care recommended to them by their physician, which may include proton therapy. Proton therapy was approved for cancer

  • Jules Witcover: The GOP's unchanging game plan

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sat, Feb 21, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The determination of conservative Republicans to thwart Barack Obama at every turn was clear from the first days after his election in 2008, as their Senate leader Mitch McConnell publicly vowed to make him “a one-term president.” That goal got a significant boost in the 2010 midterm elections, in which the Grand Old Party won control of the House of Representatives. It failed, however, in Obama’s 2012 re-election, but the campaign to derail his liberal agenda was resurrected in 2014 as the GOP took charge of the Senate as well, making McConnell the majority leader.

  • Charles Krauthammer: Abolish the filibuster

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    WASHINGTON — I’ve been radicalized. By Harry Reid and Barack Obama. Goodbye moderation and sweet reason. No more clinging to constitutional and procedural restraint. It’s time to go nuclear. In the fourth quarter of his presidency, Obama unbound is abusing presidential authority at will to secure a legacy on everything from environmental regulation to immigration, the laws of which he would unilaterally suspend. Republicans find themselves on the sidelines bleating plaintively about violations of the separation of powers. They thought they found an instrument of resistance in funding for the Department of Homeland Security. The House has funded the whole department except for the immigration service, which was denied

  • Insurance lobbyist: Innovation is great, but not at the cost of safety

    BY JOE WOODS | Published: Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    With the touch of an application on your smartphone, transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber-X and Lyft have brought an innovative way of helping passengers connect with drivers to virtually every major city in the state. However, this trendy way of getting around town doesn’t come without some controversy. As an example, the Oklahoma City Traffic Commission recently voted to allow TNC drivers to receive business licenses, with proof of insurance. Sounds simple, but that’s where the controversy comes in. These TNC drivers are just ordinary people who use their personal vehicles for a commercial service. However, personal auto policies contain a specific exclusion that bars coverage if the car is made available to

  • E.J. Dionne: The GOP's Freudian moment

    By E.J. Dionne Jr. | Published: Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    WASHINGTON — After he won re-election in November, soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made two sets of comments reflecting the dueling impulses of the Republican Mind. Freud fans might refer to the superego, aka the conscience, and the id. The Kentucky Republican got the most attention for gracious words to reporters the day after the election. “When the American people choose divided government, I don’t think it means they don’t want us to do anything,” he said, promising no government shutdowns and debt-ceiling disasters on his watch. “I think it means they want us to look for areas of agreement.” But his victory speech the night before was, well, not as gracious.

  • George Will: War authorization's difficult debate

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Feb 19, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Americans, a litigious people, believe that rules for coping with messy reality can be written in tidy legal language. This belief will be tested by the debate that will resume when Congress returns from a recess it should not have taken, with a war to authorize. The debate concerns an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic State and also against … Well. The debate’s difficulty defines its urgency: It is hard to say precisely against what (does the Islamic State’s name make it a state?), and therefore where, force should be authorized. This debate will demonstrate the limits of legalistic precision in war. Which is why, once war begins, limiting presidential war-making power is like

  • Ruth Marcus: Obama opponents got the judge they wanted

    By Ruth Marcus | Updated: Wed, Feb 18, 2015

    WASHINGTON — One thing that is certain about Monday’s ruling by a federal judge in Texas blocking implementation of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration reform — it won’t be the last word. Nonetheless, the opinion is worth noting for three reasons: first, what it says about the depressing politicization of the federal judiciary; second, and related, what it suggests about the conservative face of judicial activism; third, what its implications may be for the coming showdown on funding for the Department of Homeland Security. The New York Times report on the ruling contained a jarring phrase, describing its author, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, as “an outspoken critic of the administration on