Top Stories

  • David Ignatius: The hooded face of evil

    Published: Sun, Aug 24, 2014

    WASHINGTON — The propagandists of the Islamic State must have imagined that their brutal video of the beheading of journalist James Foley would intimidate and terrorize the world. But people aren’t built that way, not in Muslim countries or anywhere else. When they see sadistic, uncivilized behavior, they are disgusted — and angry. President Obama spoke with special precision and moral clarity in reacting to the video’s release Wednesday. The Islamic State, he said, “speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day.” The videotaped beheading was a sign of the

  • Oklahoma oil-gas industry official: This isn't your grandmother's well — it's much better

    BY KIM HATFIELD | Published: Sat, Aug 23, 2014

    At a recent public meeting in Norman, New York attorney David Slottje encouraged Oklahoma communities to ban hydraulic fracturing. Slottje, executive director of the Community Environmental Defense Fund, told the audience that the oil and natural gas industry must prove hydraulic fracturing is safe to the environment. His comment came just months after marking the 65th year in which the well completion process has been used in Oklahoma, with no evidence to show hydraulic fracturing has impacted the state’s ground water resources.

  • Michael Gerson: No time to lead from behind

    Published: Sat, Aug 23, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Responding to the horrifying murder of photojournalist James Foley, Secretary of State John Kerry declared, “ISIL (the Islamic State) and the wickedness it represents must be destroyed.” President Obama said, “people like this ultimately fail.” The first is a pledge; the second an observation. Obama remains a rhetorical spectator to events in Iraq and Syria he does not want to own, and that he believes America has a limited ability to influence. Obama called the Islamic State a “cancer.” But the actual pledge found in his remarks was consistent with earlier pledges: “The United States of America will continue to do what we must to protect our people.

  • Oklahoma mom: Vaccinations a key piece of public health

    BY SHANNON BAIR | Published: Sat, Aug 23, 2014

    In August, parents are rushing around trying to get their children prepared for school. My children were always up-to-date on their school vaccinations, but I’d never really thought about how state immunization laws protect my children and our community until the summer of 2012. That summer our daughters attended a sleep-away camp. Upon their return, the 10-year-old had a terrible cough and was diagnosed with bronchitis. A few days later, while on vacation, we learned that she’d been exposed to pertussis (whooping cough) from a fellow camper. “Whooping cough! Great!” I thought. My husband and I made the quick decision to get a second hotel room, and I stayed in the hotel room with my daughter.

  • Leonard Pitts Jr.: What's next in Ferguson? Let's try a little education

    Published: Sat, Aug 23, 2014

    What next? That’s what should concern us now. When the nightly dance of angry protesters, opportunistic criminals, and inept police clashing over the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown finally ends, what steps should civic-minded people take to address the ongoing abuse of African Americans by the criminal injustice system? Not just in Ferguson, Mo., but in America? There will be no shortage of good ideas: dashboard cameras, community policing, the hiring of more black cops, the removal of military hardware from police arsenals, sensitivity training. To these, I would add a suggestion that is admittedly less ”sexy” than any of those, but which I think has greater potential to make fundamental change in the

  • Charles Krauthammer: Stopping the worst people on earth

    Published: Fri, Aug 22, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Baghdad called President Obama’s bluff and he came through. He had refused to provide air support to Iraqi government forces until the Iraqis got rid of their divisive sectarian prime minister. They did. He responded. With the support of U.S. air strikes, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have retaken the Mosul dam. Previous strikes had relieved the siege of Mount Sinjar and helped the Kurds retake two strategic towns that had opened the road to a possible Islamic State assault on Irbil, the capital of Kurdistan. In following through, Obama demonstrated three things: the effectiveness of even limited U.S. power, the vulnerability of the Islamic State and, crucially, his own seriousness, however

  • Washington Examiner: Regarding ISIS, decision for Obama should be clear

    Published: Fri, Aug 22, 2014

    WHEN the book is closed on the Middle Eastern caliphate established this summer by the ISIS terrorist group, historians may view Aug. 19, 2014, as the turning point in this monster’s existence. That was the day ISIS disseminated its video of the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley. Foley had spent years as a freelancer, bravely documenting wars for Western audiences. He was kidnapped by loyalist forces during the Libyan civil war and lived to tell the tale. Sadly, he fell into the merciless hands of ISIS, the self-styled “knights of Islam,” two years ago in Syria. ISIS hoped that its latest atrocity would intimidate Americans, especially this nation’s president, from taking further military action

  • Clarence Page: Even Obama seems trapped by racial divide

    Published: Fri, Aug 22, 2014

    Some of President Barack Obama’s supporters sound notably disappointed by his third speech on the Ferguson, Mo., crisis. Too timid, they say. Here are some representative tweets. Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic: “Feel like he is utterly exhausted. Actually feel bad for him. Not sarcastic pity. Like really feel bad.” Jamelle Bouie of the Daily Beast: “Barack Obama is either very tired, doesn’t believe a single word he’s saying re: Michael Brown, or both.” Saeed Jones, editor of BuzzFeedLGBT: “He does know he’s not running for a third term, right?” Tepid reviews from three of the brightest young African-American lights in punditry doesn’t make the best day for Obama.

  • Ed Apple: An effort to produce better public servants

    BY ED APPLE | Published: Fri, Aug 22, 2014

    Few callings offer a better chance to help citizens than serving the public in an elected or an appointed position. Many dedicated citizens in Oklahoma are doing just that. However, there are times when officeholders have failed to properly carry out their duties or to maintain the public trust. Too often, the law and job specifications have been ignored or misunderstood. What can we do to better prepare people for public duty? Below are some recommendations that have been discussed by a nonpartison, nonpolicy group of former office holders and educators. First, we want to create an online database to list and describe every elected and appointed position in Oklahoma.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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