• Jules Witcover: If Hillary falters, Dems have a weak bench

    By Jules Witcover | Updated: Fri, Mar 20, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The furor over Hillary Clinton’s private email account has brought undesired attention to her pre-candidacy for president. It resurrects old questions not only about her penchant for privacy but also about her political skills and those of the chief advisers around her.

  • Oklahoma City teacher: Empower the future: teach

    BY ASHTON STEWART | Published: Sat, Mar 21, 2015

    I grew up in a low-income community in rural southeast Arkansas. I didn’t grow up with many positive black male examples to emulate, and I often encountered not-so-positive “role models” in my hometown. But I was determined not to become a product of my environment. Education was key in my life. Two teachers who truly opened my eyes to opportunity, regardless of my circumstances, were Sara Merwin and John Selph. They were educators from Teach For America who helped me chart a pathway to college and exposed me to the vast world that existed outside of my small community. I entered college with dreams of becoming a politician, but after volunteering in schools near my campus, I found that I too was able to have an impact

  • Charles Krauthammer: No peace in our time

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

    WASHINGTON — Of all the idiocies uttered in reaction to Benjamin Netanyahu’s stunning election victory, none is more ubiquitous than the idea that peace prospects are now dead because Netanyahu has declared that there will be no Palestinian state while he is Israel’s prime minister. I have news for the lowing herds: There would be no peace and no Palestinian state if Isaac Herzog were prime minister either. Or Ehud Barak or Ehud Olmert for that matter. The latter two were (non-Likud) prime ministers who offered the Palestinians their own state — with its capital in Jerusalem and every Israeli settlement in the new Palestine uprooted — only to be rudely rejected. This is not ancient history.

  • Humanities Council director: Time to end racism in Oklahoma

    BY ANN THOMPSON | Published: Fri, Mar 20, 2015

    Two recent out-of-state visitors remarked to me that Oklahoma is a friendly state. Oklahomans pride themselves on hospitality, but the news about the University of Oklahoma fraternity’s racist song should make us all question how welcoming we really are. It’s wrong to paint this negative situation with a broad brush; there are many good people living in this state who exemplify those “Oklahoma values” our politicians often refer to when embarrassing, disgraceful behavior makes it to the national news. The “Oklahoma Standard” was real during the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. At that time, the national news portrayed us in the best light, and rightly so. Some people live those values of tolerance and stand up when they see

  • E.J. Dionne: The high cost of Netanyahu's comeback

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

    WASHINGTON — Wednesday was a hard day for pro-Israel liberals. Some of the dejection arose from sheer surprise over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory, and especially the size of his margin. The pre-election polling — by law, polls can’t be published within five days of voting — showed Netanyahu’s Likud Party trailing Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Union, the main opposition that allies Israel’s historic center-left Labor Party with the smaller centrist party of former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. On Tuesday, the exit polling found Likud essentially tied with the Zionist Union.

  • State Rep. Lee Denney: Oklahoma conservatives support education funding

    BY STATE REP. LEE DENNEY | Published: Fri, Mar 20, 2015

    Education can be a difficult topic in conservative circles. School funding is the largest part of the Oklahoma state budget and conservatives would like to contain the growth of that budget as we cut state taxes. “Both parties now appear reluctant to push tax cut” (Our Views, March 16) noted that a measure I authored to increase education funding could lead to the delay of the implementation of an income tax reduction from 5 percent to 4.85 percent. While I agree that my legislation could lead to the delay of the tax cut, that delay is by no means certain. Tax credits, off-the-top funding for roads and bridges, off-the-top funding for higher education and our economy will all affect the implementation of the tax cut.

  • George Will: Kasich waits in the wings

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

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ideas fly from Gov. John Kasich like sparks from a flint. While explaining his prison reforms, he interrupts himself midsentence — his sentences, like some E. E. Cummings poems, are unpunctuated — to praise a Delaware church that buys prom dresses for low-income high school girls. His spirit would add spice and his policies would add substance to the Republican presidential contest. But only if Jeb Bush fails to gain momentum commensurate with his fundraising. In 1999, then-Rep. Kasich, chairman of the Budget Committee, tried to become the first person since Ohioan James Garfield to go directly from the House to the White House.

  • Michael Gerson: Inequality's effects on kids

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Wed, Mar 18, 2015

    WASHINGTON — It is rare for a work of sociology to leave readers choking back emotion. Max Weber and Emile Durkheim were not known for writing tearjerkers. But Robert Putnam’s “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis” is sociology as story, as tragedy and as an act of social solidarity. It is the culminating work of an academic career characterized by sound judgment and bigheartedness. And the more influence this book gains, the more just and generous our country will become. Putnam’s goal is to reveal the consequences of inequality on kids. This unfairness is rooted in various, interrelated trends: family instability, community dysfunction and the collapse of the blue-collar economy. The result is a growing, class-related

  • Paul Greenberg: Of pens and swords

    By Paul Greenberg | Published: Wed, Mar 18, 2015

    The pen may be mightier than the sword, but perhaps only if it comes with a fully automatic assault rifle with RPG attached. As the staff of Charlie Hebdo discovered when just two assassins took out most of it with only a couple of Kalashnikovs. That’s all they needed to make their statement. So much for eloquent principles in the face of ruthless fire power.

  • Oklahoma legislators: End the state's penalty on work for teachers

    BY A.J. GRIFFIN, AND LESLIE OSBORN | Published: Wed, Mar 18, 2015

    Eliminate income tax for pre-K to 12th-grade teachers

  • Cal Thomas: The power of forgiveness

    By Cal Thomas | Published: Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    Turn on the news and you expect to see people of different races and politics denouncing each other. That’s why what happened last week on “The Kelly File,” Megyn Kelly’s Fox News program, was so remarkable. Following the expulsion of Parker Rice and Levi Pettit, two Sigma Alpha Epsilon members at the University of Oklahoma, upon the video release of a racist sing-a-long they led, Isaac Hill, the president of the university’s Black Student Association, told Kelly the students should be forgiven. Kelly, who is normally in complete control, was stunned and nearly speechless. It was not what she — or any of us — expected.

  • Washington Examiner: Ferguson proof that big government is not a victimless crime

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Mon, Mar 16, 2015

    “WHAT happened last night was a pure ambush,” Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday, the day after two police officers were shot at a demonstration in Ferguson, Mo. “This wasn’t someone trying to bring healing to Ferguson.” That’s putting it mildly. The shootings are just the latest violent act in the Ferguson saga, which began last year when Michael Brown was shot by a police officer. Holder’s Justice Department has pretty much exonerated the officer who shot Brown in the violent confrontation. The “hands up, don’t shoot” version of Brown’s story was always a lie — one exploited by hucksters such as Al Sharpton and amplified by the media, with tragic results.

  • Bill Minick: Don't cut workers' compensation options in Oklahoma

    BY BILL MINICK | Updated: Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    Currently, the Oklahoma Option, a significant part of landmark workers’ compensation reforms, is being litigated in the highest court in Oklahoma. The option is under attack by so-called “workers’ rights” advocates and others who would prefer to return to the old, one-size-fits-all workers’ compensation system that only trial lawyers could navigate. The Oklahoma Option law requires payment of the same types of benefits as workers’ compensation. And many of the local and national employers electing the option pay higher wage replacement benefits than workers’ compensation, starting temporary disability benefits on the first day of lost time.

  • George Will: The prescience of Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    WASHINGTON — In the mid-1960s, a social scientist noted something ominous that came to be called “Moynihan’s Scissors”: Two lines on a graph crossed, replicating a scissors’ blades. The descending line charted the decline in the minority male unemployment rate. The ascending line charted the simultaneous rise of new welfare cases. The broken correlation of improvements in unemployment and decreased welfare dependency shattered confidence in social salvation through economic growth and reduced barriers to individual striving. Perhaps the decisive factors in combating poverty and enabling upward mobility were not economic but cultural — the habits, mores and dispositions that equip individuals to take advantage of

  • Ruth Marcus: Seeking the seal of academic approval

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    WASHINGTON — College acceptance letters go out — actually, college admissions web portals go live — in a few weeks. This column was originally intended to help calm anxious high school seniors, and their anxious parents, about the whole crazy-making process. Then, in the course of a single day this past week, one friend emailed to fret about her son’s college essay — he’s a junior; it’s not due until next fall — and wonder if he should take the Advanced Placement chemistry exam, even though his prestigious private school does not offer AP courses. Another friend worried about whether her daughter, a freshman — a freshman! — should use the summer to accelerate in math. So I am broadening my intended

  • Tom Coburn: Oklahoma should use its Article V authority

    BY TOM COBURN | Published: Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    Help rein in Washington

  • OKC school counselor: End of instruction tests can be a burden for schools

    BY RHONDA MCGUIRE | Published: Sat, Mar 14, 2015

    In “Flaws in effort to nix end of instruction tests” (Our Views, March 1), you failed to speak to the worker bees on the ground level. As a school counselor at Capitol Hill High School, I’m excited to report that we have a testing coordinator this year. She’s doing an outstanding job. However, seven tests are too many. Capitol Hill has a 59 percent mobility rate. We have a large special education population and ELL (English Language Learner) population as well. To test these students requires additional accommodations. Many of our ELL students are eligible to take a paper-and-pencil test with accommodations. The editorial states that over four years of high school, seven exams is hardly excessive. I beg to differ.

  • Michael Clingman: Oklahoma Supreme Court should restore workers' basic rights

    BY MICHAEL CLINGMAN | Published: Sat, Mar 14, 2015

    A recent request asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to strike down a new law allowing employers to “opt out” of the workers’ compensation system has left many confused and wondering how such a plan can be constitutional in Texas but not in Oklahoma. The answer to that question is that these two states treat workers’ compensation very differently. Texas is the only state in the nation where workers’ compensation coverage for employers is not required by law. Many employers have no coverage at all. Others purchase occupational accident and health insurance coverage for injuries. The majority of Texas employers, even though they are not required by law to do so, purchase workers’ compensation insurance.

  • Digital Learning Day: Point, click and educate

    BY REBECCA L. WILKINSON | Published: Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    Friday, March 13, is designated as the fourth annual Digital Learning Day across the United States. While that’s the official day to recognize digital learning awareness, Digital Learning Day is intended as an ongoing campaign to ensure every child has access to the best education in today’s world. In the 21st century, best education practices include the integration of successful elements of digital learning experiences. The term “digital learning” covers any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen learning. That could include online courses, blended learning, digital content and a multitude of other technology resources. The Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board supports

  • Charles Krauthammer: Early Onset Clinton Fatigue

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    WASHINGTON — She burned the tapes. Had Richard Nixon burned his tapes, he would have survived Watergate. Sure, there would have been a major firestorm, but no smoking gun. Hillary Rodham was a young staffer on the House Judiciary Committee investigating Nixon. She saw. She learned. Today you don’t burn tapes. You delete emails. Hillary Clinton deleted 30,000, dismissing their destruction with the brilliantly casual: “I didn’t see any reason to keep them.” After all, they were private and personal, she assured everyone. How do we know that? She says so. Were, say, Clinton Foundation contributions considered personal? No one asked. It’s unlikely we’ll ever know. We have to trust her. That’s not easy.