• Oklahoma senator, rep: It's time to expand transparency involving federal funds

    BY STATE REP. TOM NEWELL, AND STATE SEN. GREG TREAT | Published: Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    It’s no secret that the federal government’s debt is now more than $18 trillion. A bipartisan chorus of policymakers and policy analysts agrees that the current spending patterns of the federal government are unsustainable. One of the significant drivers in federal debt has been the acceptance and expense of federal funds by state agencies. According to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) prepared by the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services, total federal funds used by state agencies in Oklahoma has risen dramatically. Just 10 years ago, in fiscal year 2004, federal funds totaled $4.3 billion. Now federal funds total $6.7 billion, meaning our dependence on federal spending is

  • Ruth Marcus: Donations leave Hillary in a cloud

    By Ruth Marcus | Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    WASHINGTON — In thinking about donations to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments and interests, an adage attributed to Benjamin Franklin and a Yiddish word come to mind. From Franklin — actually, from Franklin’s alter ego, Poor Richard — comes the saying, “He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.” In foreign policy, as in fundraising, lying down with dogs goes with the territory. Combine the two, and fleas become an occupational hazard. Foreign interests, like their U.S. counterparts, may give to the Clinton Global Initiative out of the goodness of their hearts and their commitment to the foundation’s many important works.

  • OCAST director: Students gain from robotics competition

    BY MICHEAL CAROLINA | Published: Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    I saw March madness played out at Cox Convention Center on the last weekend of March. This wasn’t basketball, but 1,400 high school students from five states full of enthusiasm and passion as they commanded their student-designed robots to pick up litter. This was the FIRST Robotics Oklahoma Regional competition, where 61 high school student teams designed a robot from a kit of parts they had received six weeks earlier. There were cheerleaders, mascots, a pit area for last-minute tune-ups, and the actual competition floor. The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST)was but one of many sponsors that helped make the regional event a reality for the competing teams and their crews. Gov.

  • Michael Gerson: 'The road to character'

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Most of us have an image of the counterculture, shaped by memory or mythmaking, that involves Haight-Ashbury, flea-market clothing, free love and a haze of pot smoke. But as the counterculture has consumed the culture — with hipsterism marketed at Urban Outfitters, pre-, non- and extra-marital sex a firmly established social expectation and a haze of pot smoke covering entire states — countering the culture takes on a different meaning. With his new book, “The Road to Character,” David Brooks — New York Times columnist, PBS “NewsHour” commentator, and serial mensch — emerges as a countercultural leader.

  • Kourlis: Progress being made in civil justice system

    BY REBECCA LOVE KOURLIS | Published: Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    Changes being worked on nationwide

  • Jules Witcover: The endless campaign marathon is out of hand

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Now that Hillary Clinton has finally declared her presidential candidacy for 2016, the country can look forward to another interminable stretch of pre-election shadow boxing, until the first voting in the Iowa caucuses early next year. The lineup of contestants for the slog is a curious one. In the Republican Party, 20 or more aspirants have already burst out of the starting gate in a number of meaningless trial heats and straw polls. An army of print, radio, television and Internet analysts is already reading the skimpy tea leaves to discern who’s ahead and who’s behind.

  • Freedom From Religion Foundation attorney: In Oklahoma, working to set the biblical record straight

    BY ANDREW L. SEIDEL | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s priorities out of order

  • Charles Krauthammer: Obama's Nixon doctrine: anointing Iran

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    WASHINGTON — In December, President Obama said that he wished to see Iran ultimately become a “very successful regional power.” His wish — a nightmare for the Western-oriented Arab states — is becoming a reality. Consider: Gulf of Aden: Iran sends a flotilla of warships and weapons-carrying freighters to reinforce the rebels in Yemen — a noncontiguous, non-Persian, nonthreatening (to Iran) Arabian state — asserting its new status as regional bully and arbiter. The Obama administration sends an aircraft carrier group, apparently to prevent this gross breach of the U.N. weapons embargo on Yemen. Instead, the administration announces that it has no intention of doing anything.

  • OU outreach official: Getting older isn't as scary as you think

    BY JAMES P. PAPPAS | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Lifelong learning opportunities are available

  • Paul Greenberg: April 19, a scar on the calendar

    By Paul Greenberg | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    April 19th has come again this year, but it never quite goes. How can it? It stands out like a scar. It may no longer be the bleeding wound it was on that first April 19th — except to those who were there and in a way still are. And can never leave. Their lives, their families, even their memories will never be whole again. The explosion that tore through the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, reducing it to a burned-out hulk, left more than an unforgettable stench in the air. It left a gaping hole in the American consciousness. It was a spiritual blow, which is why rituals like Sunday’s in Oklahoma City are necessary and will be necessary — like lighting a candle for the dead or saying the kaddish on the

  • George Will: When bootleggers and Baptists converge

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Smoking, said King James I in 1604, is “loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs.” Three years later he planted a colony in Jamestown. Its tobacco enhanced the royal treasury until Virginia produced a bumper crop of revolutionaries, including the tobacco farmer George Washington. King James might have been less censorious about “vaping,” which almost certainly is less harmful than inhaling chemicals produced by the combustion of tobacco. Users of e-cigarettes inhale vapors from electronic sticks containing a liquid with nicotine, which is addictive and perhaps particularly unhealthy for adolescent brains.

  • Cal Thomas: Flunking civics should no longer be an option

    By Cal Thomas | Published: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    “Don’t know much about history” — Sam Cooke It’s an old joke, but one that is a commentary on our times. A pollster asks: “What do you think about the level of ignorance and apathy in the country?” The person replies: “I don’t know and I don’t care.” Each week, Jesse Watters of Fox News interviews mostly young people about politics, government, current events and history. He claims their displays of ignorance are not edited. The worst part is that the interviewees don’t seem to care that they know little about their government and country. In a recent episode, interviewees couldn’t name President Obama’s accomplishments or any of the Republican presidential hopefuls.

  • Americans For Prosperity official: Oklahoma anti-EPA bill is a stand for justice

    BY JOHN TIDWELL | Published: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    In a complete disregard of the overall economic impact in individual states, the Obama administration is pushing forward with a policy to regulate greenhouse gas emissions that would be detrimental to consumers and businesses. The Environmental Protection Agency has dubbed this scheme the “Clean Power Plan,” requiring a reduction to the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by one-third by 2031. In Oklahoma, it’s estimated that energy producers will be forced to reduce their emissions 6 percent more than other states, cutting greenhouse gas emissions up to 36 percent. But Oklahomans will lose more than just greenhouse gas emissions with the EPA’s power grab, which will greatly restrict fossil fuels that account for more than

  • Right on Crime director: Efforts to make Oklahoma laws fit the crime

    BY ADAM LUCK | Published: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    Oklahoma imprisons a larger percentage of its population that 47 other states. The state’s prison population grew 7.4 percent, or close to 2,000 inmates in the last 12 months. This growth rate will likely mean Oklahoma is now one of the top three fastest-growing prison systems in the country. While much of this growth can be attributed to the shift in policy initiated by Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton to move offenders from county jails into DOC facilities, the fact remains the Oklahoma justice system relies on imprisonment far more than the rest of the country. Our already overcrowded prison system is now at 111.

  • Ruth Marcus: Does Boston Marathon bomber deserve to die?

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    Compelling arguments either way

  • Consumer Energy Alliance president: Increased setbacks can hurt Oklahoma's economic growth

    BY DAVID HOLT | Published: Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    Even in the Great Recession’s darkest of days, the energy revolution kept America’s down-in-the-dumps economy afloat, spearheading a resurgence that put millions of Americans back to work and changed the landscape of global energy politics. This is especially true in Oklahoma, where renewed growth in the state’s oil and gas industry has boosted the strength, competitiveness and stability of the state’s economy in recent years. Nevertheless, some continue to push certain communities to pass ill-conceived setbacks that, if enacted, will create “business-free zones” that could have a detrimental impact on consumer spending, land use, and economic growth in municipalities across Oklahoma.

  • 20 years later, some of the lessons learned from Oklahoma City bombing

    Published: Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    The Oklahoman asked several people this question: With 20 years’ hindsight, what is the biggest lesson learned from the Oklahoma City bombing, either personally or from a state perspective?

  • George Will: Don't seize the raisins

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    WASHINGTON — In oral arguments Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear the government defend its kleptocratic behavior while administering an indefensible law. The Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 is among the measures by which New Dealers tried and failed to regulate and mandate America back to prosperity. Seventy-eight years later, it is the government’s reason for stealing Marvin and Laura Horne’s raisins. New Dealers had bushels of theories, including this: In a depression, prices fall, so a recovery will occur when government compels prices to stabilize above where a free market would put them. So FDR’s “brains trust” produced “price stabilization” programs by which the government would fine-tune the

  • Junior Achievemnt official: Parents, teens should talk about financial literacy

    BY CHAD HOLEMAN | Published: Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    A new, national study from Junior Achievement and The Allstate Foundation reveals some startling findings. The Teens and Personal Finance Survey, now in its 16th year, gauges teens’ attitudes and behaviors around money. For the first time in the survey’s history, parents were also surveyed to compare and contrast their responses to those of teens. The study found that 48 percent of teens think their parents will help pay for college. However, only 16 percent of parents report that they plan to pay for their child’s post-secondary education. This finding emphasizes the need for parents and their children to have regular, age-appropriate conversations about money, especially when planning for major expenses such as college.

  • E.J. Dionne: Rubio's fountain of youth

    By E.J. Dionne Jr. | Published: Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    WASHINGTON — In all of rock ‘n’ roll history, one of the most misguided if entirely memorable refrains came in an otherwise excellent 1965 song by The Who. “I hope I die before I get old,” they declared in “My Generation.” I doubt that many people who joyfully sang along with those lyrics 50 years ago really believed them, except perhaps metaphorically. But the song captured something that was in the air then and has never fully left us. Every generation considers itself special, but the post-World War II period saw the rise of a particularly powerful brand of generational consciousness and it permeated American politics. John F. Kennedy built his career on the theme.