• Charles Krauthammer: A travesty of a report

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Dec 12, 2014

    WASHINGTON — The report by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding CIA interrogation essentially accuses the agency under George W. Bush of war criminality. Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein appears to offer some extenuation when she reminds us in the report’s preamble of the shock and “pervasive fear” felt after 9/11. It’s a common theme (often echoed by President Obama): Amid panic and disorientation, we lost our moral compass and made awful judgments. The results are documented in the committee report. They must never happen again. It’s a kind of temporary-insanity defense for the Bush administration. And it is not just unctuous condescension but hypocritical nonsense.

  • Oklahoma science-tech secretary: Congress needs to help get drones off the ground

    BY STEPHEN MCKEEVER | Published: Fri, Dec 12, 2014

    Current rules don’t work

  • Ruth Marcus: Exposing the CIA's stain on America

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Fri, Dec 12, 2014

    Release of torture report was badly needed

  • Kathleen Parker: Feminism sees the right

    By Kathleen Parker | Updated: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    WASHINGTON — It is probably too soon to declare a feminist reformation, but a few signs here and there give one hope. Hold it, sirs, don’t stop reading yet. I realize that seeing the F-word in the first paragraph is like discovering that your bride is wearing pantyhose, but bear with me. This week in the nation’s capital, female leaders in government, business and media gathered for the second annual “Women Rule” summit, sponsored by Politico, the Tory Burch Foundation and Google. One panel (moderated by yours truly) was composed entirely of conservative women under the title “Conservative Feminists: Why It’s Not an Oxymoron.

  • Washington Examiner: Tough day for the principle of noncontradiction

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    TUESDAY was a difficult day on Capitol Hill for the Aristotelian principle of noncontradiction — the simple idea in logic that the same thing cannot be both true and untrue at the same time. The occasion of this philosophical crisis was testimony to the House Oversight Committee by Obamacare architect and MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. Gruber, who was deeply involved in developing the Affordable Care Act, is now best known for praising its lack of transparency as “a political asset” and cheerfully attributing the law’s passage to “the stupidity of the American voter.” But his problems in Tuesday’s hearing went far beyond unpopular opinions or bad word choices.

  • George Will: The plague of overcriminalization

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    WASHINGTON — By history’s frequently brutal dialectic, the good that we call progress often comes spasmodically, in lurches propelled by tragedies caused by callousness, folly or ignorance. With the grand jury’s as yet inexplicable and probably inexcusable refusal to find criminal culpability in Eric Garner’s death on a Staten Island sidewalk, the nation might have experienced sufficient affronts to its sense of decency. It might at long last be ready to stare into the abyss of its criminal justice system. It will stare back, balefully. Furthermore, the radiating ripples from the nation’s overdue reconsideration of present practices may reach beyond matters of crime and punishment, to basic truths about governance.

  • Cal Thomas: Paul Ryan's hope for a Congress that works

    By Cal Thomas | Published: Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    Like two predatory animals circling each other, Republicans and Democrats are trying to sort out the meaning of last month’s election and plan strategies for the remaining days of the current Congress and the new one in which Republicans will hold majorities in both houses. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., soon to be chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, spoke with me about the election and his party’s strategy going forward. “I think they (voters) want to see government respect taxpayers again and respect (government’s) limits. And they don’t want to see an executive go unchecked … people want to see a rebalancing of power because they feel theirs is being sapped away.

  • Clarence Page: Cop cameras are good tools, but not a cure

    By Clarence Page | Published: Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    As the tragic chokehold case of Eric Garner illustrates, police body cameras are not the solution to all police brutality complaints. But they can bring a much-needed clarity to what we’re arguing about. Unlike the recent death by police shooting of unarmed18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the police assault on unarmed Eric Garner, an asthmatic and diabetic, had a single narrative provided by the video. “The grand jury kept interviewing witnesses but you didn’t need witnesses,” Garner’s widow said of the video to the New York Daily News. “You can be a witness for yourself.

  • Michael Gerson: An act of exceptional recklessness

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Tue, Dec 9, 2014

    WASHINGTON — With the apparently imminent release of the Feinstein report on CIA interrogations of high-value terrorists a decade ago, let’s consider the situation of intelligence personnel who have been involved, not in that program but in drone strikes against terrorists, conducted in a variety of countries around the world. They have four sources of direction and protection: Their strikes are authorized by the president, briefed to Congress, deemed lawful by the attorney general and determined useful by the CIA director. Yet people in the drone program know that co-workers involved in enhanced interrogation had these assurances as well. And the drone program has some distinctive characteristics.

  • Washington Examiner: Squeezing stones for water

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Mon, Dec 8, 2014

    PRESIDENT Obama has another crackdown in store for employers. His Labor Department will soon propose new rules tightening the definition of “manager” in the workplace, possibly even doubling the salary threshold for this distinction to $46,000. This would mean that more managerial employees could claim overtime pay under a 1938 federal law. The chief effect would be for employers to closely monitor and possibly reduce allowable overtime hours across the board. It is absurd to force millions of white-collar workers back into a largely obsolete compensation regime developed for factory workers during the Great Depression.

  • George F. Will: Government for the strongest

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Dec 7, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Intellectually undemanding progressives, excited by the likes of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — advocate of the downtrodden and the Export-Import Bank — have at last noticed something obvious: Big government, which has become gargantuan in response to progressives’ promptings, serves the strong. It is responsive to factions sufficiently sophisticated and moneyed to understand and manipulate its complexity. Hence Democrats, the principal creators of this complexity, receive more than 70 percent of lawyers’ political contributions. Yet progressives, refusing to see this defect — big government captured by big interests — as systemic, want to make government an ever-more muscular engine of regulation and

  • Paul Greenberg: Provocations galore

    By Paul Greenberg | Published: Sun, Dec 7, 2014

    Here we go again. Just in time for the season of peace on earth and good will toward men, a judge in New Jersey is hearing arguments over whether the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance represents an unconstitutional infringement on some students’ First Amendment right to the free exercise of their religion, namely atheism. Who says atheists aren’t religious, at least about their rights, God bless ’em. No student in that school district in New Jersey is obliged to recite the pledge, but may simply remain silent. Though a note from the student’s parents explaining the kid’s decision is required — just as a note from mom or dad asking that little Noah or Khalilah be excused for Yom Kippur or Eid may be

  • Oklahoma state rep: Time to shine the light on 'dark money' efforts

    BY STATE REP. DAVID DANK | Published: Sun, Dec 7, 2014

    In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that campaign contributions are a legitimate form of free speech, regardless of the source. The Citizens United ruling opened the door to new players in campaigns, including corporations and labor unions — not a bad thing as long as those privileges aren’t abused. Unfortunately, that’s precisely what’s happened as so-called “dark money” efforts began to appear in this year’s elections. This will only get worse unless and until we move to turn on the lights and reveal who is contributing to these shadowy groups. We saw dark money expenditures in the Oklahoma U.S. Senate primary and in the primary for state schools superintendent. It even showed up in at least one state

  • University of Minnesota professor: Debate over Affordable Care Act far from over

    BY STEPHEN PARENTE | Published: Sat, Dec 6, 2014

    Oklahomans are now knee deep in the Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment period. Many are finding what appears to be a pleasant surprise: Average premiums for the cheap “bronze” plans have increased by 3.9 percent, while premiums for the middle-of-the-road “silver” plans are rising by 4.1 percent. The ACA’s naysayers predicted double-digit spikes, or worse. Those naysayers should have read the law more carefully. The real premium spikes won’t occur until January 2017 — conveniently after the next presidential election. The Medical Industry Leadership Institute, where I’m director, recently released an analysis predicting how the ACA will affect prices over the next few years.

  • Jules Witcover: Taxes still fund 'perpetual war footing' at home and abroad

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sat, Dec 6, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Two disparate news items caught my eye recently that demonstrate how our government can act in ways that mystify and anger the taxpayers who support it with their hard-earned money. The first was the report from the new prime minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, that about 50,000 Iraqi men were on his broken military’s payroll who weren’t even in the army, but were drawing as much as $600 a month in salary. These so-called “ghost soldiers” were among the padded military of departed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for which Uncle Sam paid about $25 billion over the last decade, retraining an Iraqi army that crumbled in the Islamic State takeover of parts of Iraq and Syria.

  • Charles Krauthammer: The real civil war

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Dec 5, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Old habits die hard. The media are so enamored of the continuing (and largely contrived) story about the great Republican civil war that they fail to appreciate that the real internecine fight is being waged on the other side of the aisle. I grant that there’s a lot of shouting today among Republicans. But it’s a ritual skirmish over whether a government shutdown would force the president to withdraw a signature measure — last time, Obamacare; this time, executive amnesty. And it will likely be resolved with the obvious expedient of funding the government through next year, except for a more short-term extension for homeland security.

  • Oklahoma County has a reform program that's working well

    BY BRIAN MAUGHAN | Published: Fri, Dec 5, 2014

    State leaders are again seeking ways to implement an initiative that would trim incarceration and its associated costs. More nonviolent offenders would be sent to addiction treatment and highly supervised probation instead of prisons. As this discussion continues, Oklahoma should recognize that we already have an effective, cost-saving initiative in place: Oklahoma County’s SHINE program. SHINE (Start Helping Impacted Neighborhoods Everywhere) was created four years ago in conjunction with judges, District Attorney David Prater, Public Defender Bob Ravitz and myself. Under SHINE, low-level nonviolent offenders who previously got jail time are instead mandated to complete a specific number of community service hours.

  • E.J. Dionne: Talking past each other on race

    By E.J. Dionne Jr. | Published: Fri, Dec 5, 2014

    Something is badly broken

  • Cal Thomas: David Cameron gets it on immigration

    By Cal Thomas | Published: Fri, Dec 5, 2014

    There is nothing like a little heat from a third political party to get the attention of career politicians who wish to stay in office. Nigel Farage, leader of the upstart UK Independent Party (UKIP), has been turning up the heat on British Prime Minister David Cameron over the issue of migrants who come to the UK without jobs and immediately sign up for government benefits. The debate in Britain mirrors the one in the United States with one important exception: A treaty with the European Union requires Britain to accept migrants from all EU countries, no matter their employment status or health condition.

  • George F. Will: Another case for term limits

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Dec 4, 2014

    WASHINGTON — In 2010, Plymouth, Conn., was awarded $430,000 for widening sidewalks and related matters near two schools. This money was a portion of the $612 million Congress authorized for five years of the federal Safe Routes to School program intended to fight childhood obesity by encouraging children to burn calories by walking or biking to school. Really. Fortunately, Plymouth is near Sharon, Conn., home of the Buckley family, whose members, when their gimlet eyes notice nonsense, become elegantly polemical. So, Congress’ Safe Routes silliness inadvertently did something excellent. It helped to provoke James Buckley to write a slender book that, if heeded, would substantially improve American governance.