• Oklahoma rancher: Protectionist policy will cost consumers

    BY HOPE PJESKY | Published: Wed, Nov 19, 2014

    Nobody ever wins a trade war. Yet a protectionist act of stubbornness will force American consumers to pay more at the grocery store and make it harder for American farmers to export what we grow — unless the federal government finally corrects a mistake that it keeps on making. For the third time, the World Trade Organization has ruled against country-of-origin labeling (COOL). It said that although the United States may permit these labels in principle, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rules in practice have unfairly blocked Canadian and Mexican products from the American market. This is no surprise: Ranchers like me have been saying this for years.

  • Clarence Page: Obama's new attitude: Don't back down

    By Clarence Page | Published: Tue, Nov 18, 2014

    With only two years left in his final term — and after a stinging rebuke to his party in the midterm elections, the president is showing a new attitude: No more Mr. Nice Guy. First he threw down a challenge on the immigration issue. After years of setbacks and delays, Obama boldly vowed to take executive action to protect as many as 6 million undocumented immigrants from fear of deportation. He welcomed Congress to replace his unilateral action with more comprehensive legislation of its own. But he’s moving ahead, he vowed, whether Congress does or not. With that, Obama brought to center stage an issue that deeply divides Republicans — and at a time when Republicans hoped to push issues like trade agreements that

  • Paul Greenberg: The dream of American isolation

    By Paul Greenberg | Published: Sun, Nov 16, 2014

    Call it the Case of the Not So Innocent Bystander, for how can anyone who witnesses evil but does nothing to stop it be called innocent? To quote an observation attributed to that great British statesman Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Even now the evil besetting the Middle East sends out ripples spread far and wide — even to peaceful Ottawa, where a terrorist begins attacking Canadian soldiers and then Parliament itself. Until finally a sergeant-at-arms with good sense and a handy weapon lays down his ceremonial mace long enough to shoot the invader dead. The best response to evil is too often the last. Not till enough of the innocent have paid the price may

  • George Will: A murderer's warped idealism

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Nov 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Western reflection about human nature and the politics of the human condition began with the sunburst of ancient Greece 2,500 years ago, but lurched into a new phase 70 years ago with the liberation of the Nazi extermination camps. The Holocaust is the dark sun into which humanity should stare, lest troubling lessons be lost through an intellectual shrug about “the unfathomable.” Now comes an English translation of a 2011 German book that refutes a 1963 book and rebukes those who refuse to see the Holocaust as proof of the power of the most dangerous things — ideas that denigrate reason.

  • Jules Witcover: Lincoln's vice-presidential switch changed history

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sun, Nov 16, 2014

    CHICAGO — The other day I found myself at the famous Abraham Lincoln Bookshop here, talking about my latest effort, a history on the evolution of the American vice presidency. The visit brought to mind a little-discussed Lincoln story in the book that I will convey here in necessarily abbreviated form. In 1864, as Lincoln faced the challenge of re-election and the Civil War still raged, he decided unbeknownst to his first-term vice president, Hannibal Hamlin of Maine, to replace him for his second term with a Southern War Democrat — that is, a Democrat who had opposed secession from the Union. Lincoln feared that without Southern support, he would lose the election before he could see the war through to victory and save

  • Oklahoma Space Alliance president: Spaceport has substantial value for state

    BY STEPHEN T. SWIFT | Published: Sat, Nov 15, 2014

    Regarding “Market forces should guide future of state spaceport” (Our Views, Nov. 6): The U.S. military developed the spaceport site during World War II. The Strategic Air Command used it later. The site acquired by Oklahoma for $1 is valued today at more than $900 million. The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority (OSIDA) negotiated an agreement with the Department of Defense, which uses the facilities jointly with general aviation. Defense pays 90 percent of airport maintenance and operations. Approximately 35,000 operations occurred last year. The site is a full-function airport with active FAA tower and fire and rescue facilities. With the support from the Department of Defense, OSIDA’s funding is far less

  • E.J. Dionne: Obamacare vs. Scaliacare

    By E.J. Dionne Jr. | Published: Sat, Nov 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Republican leaders in the House and Senate have made clear that they’ll deploy every weapon in the legislative arsenal to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They’ll try to chip away at the taxes that support it and abolish the mandates that make its insurance markets work. They might even stand on their heads and stop breathing if that would do the trick. It’s a shame they are approaching matters this way. Various provisions of the ACA have helped well over 100 million Americans, including about 20 million who gained coverage or got new insurance under the law. In a rational republic, both parties might try to figure out how to improve the law. Why wreck it? But elections have consequences.

  • Charles Krauthammer: The Gruber confession

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Nov 14, 2014

    WASHINGTON — It’s not exactly the Ems Dispatch (the diplomatic cable Bismarck doctored to provoke the 1870 Franco-Prussian War). But what the just-resurfaced Gruber Confession lacks in world-historical consequence, it makes up for in world-class cynicism. This October 2013 video shows MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, a principal architect of Obamacare, admitting that, in order to get it passed, the law was made deliberately obscure and deceptive. It constitutes the ultimate vindication of the charge that Obamacare was sold on a pack of lies. “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” said Gruber. “Basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to

  • Washington Examiner: Deal with Iran keeps getting worse

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Fri, Nov 14, 2014

    WHEN dealing with the Soviets and their nuclear aggression, President Ronald Reagan famously cited an old Russian proverb: “Trust, but verify.” In his current dealings with Iran and its nuclear ambitions, President Obama seems to be forgetting about that second part. He’s asking Americans to trust a negotiating adversary who keeps trying to remind the world that it remains the same bad actor it was during the 1979 hostage crisis. Nearly a year into the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran, it becomes more and more apparent that the American people are watching a bad deal unfold as it gets hatched in their name. Several new and alarming hints have emerged in just the last few days that should make

  • Clarence Page: Democrats need more diversity, too

    By Clarence Page | Published: Fri, Nov 14, 2014

    Here we go again. Big election defeats inevitably are followed by major rounds of teeth-gnashing, shirt-rending, soul-searching, finger pointing, self-flagellating and circular firing squad shooting. Now it’s the Democrats’ turn. Again. After their recent thrashing in midterm congressional elections, the Democratic National Committee is launching a “top-to-bottom review,” DNC chair and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced. Let me guess: I bet they’re going to reach conclusions very similar to the “autopsy” that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus launched after Mitch Romney’s 2012 defeat. In short, they need, as the RNC says, “more outreach.

  • Kathleen Parker: Obama's spiteful legacy

    By Kathleen Parker | Published: Fri, Nov 14, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Post-election analysis falls somewhere between amusing and clueless. In the amusing camp are Democratic strategists who intone that more Democrats would have won if only more people had voted. The gods surely blush with envy. And of course, there’s the conventional wisdom that Democrats always suffer in midterms because they lack “intensity,” meaning they don’t care, and that presidents are always unpopular in their sixth year in office. So much for insight. Next we visit the clueless camp where professional pundits gather. The consensus here is that the election wasn’t a mandate for Republicans to overhaul government. I confess that I was one of these, but (mark your calendars) I was

  • George F. Will: Rethinking U.S. foreign policy

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Nov 13, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Barack Obama’s coming request for Congress to “right-size and update” the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against terrorism will be constitutionally fastidious and will catalyze a debate that will illuminate Republican fissures. They, however, are signs of a healthy development — the reappearance of foreign policy heterodoxy in Republican ranks. Many events (U.S. military misadventures since 2001, the Syrian civil war, the rise of the Islamic State, the spinning centrifuges of Iran’s nuclear weapons program) and one senator (Rand Paul) have reopened a Republican debate that essentially closed when Dwight Eisenhower won the 1952 Republican presidential nomination. One reason he sought it was

  • Michael Gerson: Kasich in the spotlight

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Wed, Nov 12, 2014

    WASHINGTON — A week after the midterm elections, Republicans are still browsing through the jewelry store of their victories, admiring this bauble and that. Most of their Senate wins were predicted by the electoral map. The victories of many Republican governors, however, were impressive for extending the map, holding hard-earned territory or crossing demographic barriers. There were Republican wins in Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois — which amounted to dancing in President Obama’s end zone. Greg Abbott got back to George W. Bush levels of support with Hispanic voters in Texas. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin won his third election in four years. But it is Gov. John Kasich of Ohio who deserves the award for best

  • Ruth Marcus: Blurred lines on campus

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, Nov 12, 2014

    Dealing with sexual assaults

  • Sen. Jim Inhofe: EPA should withdraw proposed water rule

    BY U.S. SEN. JIM INHOFE | Published: Wed, Nov 12, 2014

    Ron Curry, the assistant administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency region that includes Oklahoma, has said the EPA’s newly proposed Waters of the United States rule will provide slam-dunk benefits to Oklahomans that would come without a cost. Nothing could be further from the truth. The EPA claims significant powers under the Clean Water Act to regulate pollution discharges into federally protected waterways. But when Congress passed this law in 1972, it limited the application to EPA’s authority to “navigable” waterways. In the decades since, it’s become clear why Congress did this. Permits under the Clean Water Act can take months of bureaucratic wrangling and an average of $270,000 in expenses

  • Cal Thomas: Iran nuke talks like bargaining with the devil

    By Cal Thomas | Published: Mon, Nov 10, 2014

    Having missed a July deadline for reaching an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, the six world powers party to the talks — the United States, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom and Germany — have set November 24 as their new deadline. Iran says there will be no extension if a deal isn’t reached. Given the Obama administration’s horrible record in the Middle East — treating Israel as an enemy and Islamic dictatorships as potential friends — things don’t look good for an agreement that will curtail or reverse Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon. An indication of what the Obama administration hopes to achieve in these talks came from Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.

  • George Will: Rethinking Hillary 2016

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Nov 9, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Now that two of the last three Democratic presidencies have been emphatically judged to have been failures, the world’s oldest political party — the primary architect of this nation’s administrative state — has some thinking to do. The accumulating evidence that the Democratic Party is an exhausted volcano includes its fixation with stale ideas, such as the supreme importance of a 23rd increase in the minimum wage. Can this party be so blinkered by the modest success of its third recent presidency, Bill Clinton’s, that it will sleepwalk into the next election behind Hillary Clinton? In 2016, she will have won just two elections in her 69 years, the last one 10 years previously.

  • Leonard Pitts: The year of no ideas

    By Leonard Pitts Jr. | Published: Sun, Nov 9, 2014

    The first time he said it was 10 years ago. Back then, it seemed a brisk wind in a stuffy room, a reclamation of defining verities somehow lost in the smoke and haze of political expedience. He said it again last week and the effect was starkly different — somehow forlorn, like birthday cake after the party, or a Christmas tree set out on the curb on Jan. 2. “I continue to believe,” said President Obama, “we are simply more than a collection of red and blue states. We are the United States.” The first time he said this, it brought the Democratic National Convention to its feet and made him a rock star.

  • Michael Gerson: Obama's 'gifts' to the nation

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Sun, Nov 9, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Barack Obama is a gifted politician. But a president is judged by the gifts he leaves behind. Following his fourth national election as party leader, Democrats are taking stock of what they have received. For Obama, there have been two convincing presidential victories; for the Democratic Party, electoral ruin at every other level. On Tuesday (assuming the most likely final outcome), the largest Democratic Senate losses since 1980. The ranks of moderate Democrats — Mark Pryor, Mark Begich, Kay Hagan, and (probably) Mary Landrieu — decimated. During Obama’s presidency, the loss of nearly 70 House seats, producing the largest Republican House majority since 1931.

  • 'Immediate action' needed against federal highway safety agency

    BY CLAYTON T. HASBROOK | Published: Sat, Nov 8, 2014

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has urged millions of vehicle owners “to take immediate action” to replace defective airbags. The airbags inflate with too much force and may explode, hurling pieces of metal and plastic shrapnel. Four people have been killed and more than 100 injured by airbag shrapnel. The airbags, manufactured by Takata Inc. of Tokyo, have been the target of several recalls involving nearly 8 million vehicles over the past 18 months. However, the recalls apply only to certain high-humidity regions, including the Gulf Coast states from Texas to Florida. Oklahoma is excluded from the recall, yet the first reported death caused by airbag shrapnel occurred in Midwest City, in 2009.