• Charles Krauthammer: The Racing Form for GOP hopefuls, second edition

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Jun 12, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The Republican nominating race is a mess: a strong field, but with 10 declared candidates and a half-dozen more to come, we need a bouncer to keep order. I’ve given myself the job. Rope lines separate the four categories. (A) Top tier: 1. Jeb Bush. Solid, no sizzle. Sizzle may be in less demand than eight years ago, but his inability to separate from the pack, his recent campaign shakeup and his four-day stumble over Megyn Kelly’s “knowing what we know now” Iraq question have given even his supporters pause. Nonetheless, a bulging war chest, a fine gubernatorial record and a wide knowledge of domestic issues guarantee top-tier staying power. Chances: 25 percent. 2. Scott Walker.

  • University professor: New federal fracking rules may not be tough enough

    BY MICHAEL E. KRAFT | Published: Fri, Jun 12, 2015

    The Obama administration recently announced the first major federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, to take effect this month. Fracking has been praised for contributing to a massive increase in production of oil and natural gas, reducing the nation’s reliance on imported oil and fostering increased use of cleaner natural gas over other fossil fuels, particularly coal. Critics, however, have long faulted fracking’s impact on the environment and public health from contaminated wastewater and release of toxic chemicals. In some states, the injection of wastewater in deep underground wells also has led to an increase in earthquakes.

  • George Will: A vote for TPA is not a vote for Obama

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Jun 11, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Before presidential politics — the game of getting to 270 electoral votes — completely eclipses governing, there is the urgent task of getting to 217 votes in the House of Representatives to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). This would guarantee a vote without amendments on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Without TPA, any trade agreement will be nibbled to death in Congress by persons eager to do organized labor’s bidding. So, Republicans who oppose TPA are collaborating with those who oppose increasing the velocity and rationality of economic life. TPA touches two challenging problems: one economic, one constitutional. Regarding both, conservatives have special responsibilities.

  • Washington Examiner: 10 months later, still no ISIS strategy

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Wed, Jun 10, 2015

    SPEAKING Monday at a news conference in Germany, President Obama acknowledged that the United States does not yet have a “complete strategy” for training Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State militants in Iraq. If that admission sounds familiar it’s because Obama said almost the same thing last August when he told White House reporters “We don't have a strategy yet” for defeating the Islamic State. So, what exactly has the administration been doing for the last 10 months? We know that the U.S. has been conducting air strikes over both Syria and Iraq. The main result, according to a top State Department official, has been more than 10,000 dead Islamic State fighters. But that’s a dubious claim.

  • Michael Gerson: Rand Paul's recklessness

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Wed, Jun 10, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Rand Paul’s presidential campaign, by many recent accounts, is sputtering. The candidate, according to The Atlantic’s Molly Ball, is “flailing.” His campaign, reports National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar, has been called a “disaster.” These judgments, even if true, are provisional. Pretty much any candidate in the Republican pack is one killer debate performance, one strong poll result, one especially good fundraising report away from a narrative of resurgence. But there is little question that the initial, ineffable appeal of the Paul campaign has faded.

  • Ruth Marcus: Hillary Clinton's illusory lurch to the left

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, Jun 10, 2015

    Policy details will tell more

  • Oil-field services company owner: A new game of thrones

    BY DAN K. EBERHART | Published: Wed, Jun 10, 2015

    Tense relations with Saudi Arabia

  • Kathleen Parker: Caitlyn Jenner's politics

    By Kathleen Parker | Published: Tue, Jun 9, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Barring a terror strike or an Ebola outbreak to distract us, the 2016 presidential election seems headed for a gender identity showdown. Within days of Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover photo, Republican presidential candidates were being asked to comment, while conservative pundits were warning of a political apocalypse. Leading the charge was Rush Limbaugh, who has advised the GOP to reject Caitlyn Jenner, even if she is a Republican. Big Tent Sign: Transgenders Not Welcome Here. While some GOP candidates have avoided inquiry thus far, others have tread carefully around the murky issues surrounding gender identity. Rick Santorum initially gave the correct answer to a reporter, saying, “If

  • Paul Greenberg: Boy, that brings it all back

    By Paul Greenberg | Published: Sun, Jun 7, 2015

    LITTLE ROCK — The news story was big in these parts and should have been. It came with a full cast of characters, details a-plenty, illustrations galore and historical resonance. This saga about an unexploded Civil War artillery shell seems to have involved just about every official in a whole section of the state — military and civil, from a local bomb squad to the staff of a national park. But after a day or two of wrangling that must have seemed like weeks, the unexploded shell was exploded. As it should have been. By experts, not by some amateur drilling into it and killing himself. As has happened. This was one news story that ended happily. Also quickly, definitively and explosively. (Whew.) Give me a happy ending every

  • Oklahoma Health Care Authority official: Investing in Oklahoma's future

    BY BECKY PASTERNIK-IKARD | Published: Sun, Jun 7, 2015

    The Oklahoma Health Care Authority has a proud 20-year tradition of transforming the delivery of health care in our state, and continues to set the standard for the nation in many areas of managed care. Innovation and performance are at the center of the agency’s reform efforts. The OHCA administers SoonerCare (Oklahoma Medicaid) and Insure Oklahoma, the state’s premium assistance program for small businesses and low-income, working adults. Most Oklahomans have had family members, friends, co-workers or neighbors who have had access to health care during their time of need through one of these programs. While Insure Oklahoma is perhaps most associated with support of the workforce and the state’s economy, SoonerCare

  • George Will: The super PAC minuet

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Jun 7, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Campaign finance “reformers” think America would be better governed if the government could thoroughly regulate campaign speech, which is speech about the composition and comportment of the government. Reformers scold the Supreme Court for construing the First Amendment as though it says “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” Reformers say government can limit campaign money without limiting what most such money funds — political speech. And since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, reformers have been lamenting a predictable consequence of their success in imposing limits on contributions to candidates and campaigns. The consequence is the rise of super

  • Food bank director: Oklahomans came through in annual drive

    BY RODNEY BIVENS | Published: Sat, Jun 6, 2015

    It has been my honor and privilege for more than 20 years to witness a most amazing phenomenon every May. On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, people all across Oklahoma fill plastic bags with donated food and place them by their mailboxes; letter carriers pick up the food and carry it with the mail before returning it to the post office, where hundreds of volunteers sort it and load it on Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma trucks. They do all of this and more, because they are Oklahomans — whether born and raised here, or transplanted here for a variety of reasons. It is, as they say, the “Oklahoma Standard” and it is never more evident to me than during the annual Feeding Hope and Letter Carriers’ Food Drive.

  • Jules Witcover: Bob Schieffer: Teaching, all his life, through journalism

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sat, Jun 6, 2015

    WASHINGTON — When Bob Schieffer bowed out last Sunday after 24 years as moderator of CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” he observed that from the start “I tried to remember that the news is not about the newscaster. It’s about the people who make it and those who are affected by it.” In the current climate in which some other on-air deliverers of news and analysis have come a cropper for not always buying into that view, Schieffer’s comment might have come off as a reference to them. But Schieffer, characteristically never one to criticize others, was describing his own deep and well-established commitment to the story, to the credibility of it and to always presenting it without personal bias.

  • Business owner: General aviation a boon to Oklahoma's rural communities, oil-gas industry

    BY DANNY MORGAN | Published: Sat, Jun 6, 2015

    In the oil and gas industry, providing fast and effective service is essential. I own Morgan Well Service, a family run business that provides well service rigs to oil and gas wells across Oklahoma and in areas of Texas. When we need to reach our clients at a moment’s notice, the use of our own aircraft is critical. I have been around aviation most of my life. My father was a pilot and inspired me at a young age to take an interest in flying. Aviation has been a key tool since we founded our business 53 years ago and it continues to be a valuable asset for my company. Through the use of our plane, my employees and I are able to quickly reach job sites and respond to any issues, transport specialized equipment and conduct many

  • Discovery Institute fellow: TPP is about more than trade

    BY SCOTT S. POWELL | Published: Fri, Jun 5, 2015

    Most common-sense people rightly assume that reducing trade barriers is good in and of itself. But it’s a mistake to think the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) involving 11 countries plus the U.S. — that is close to being concluded after six plus years of negotiation under the Obama administration — is primarily a free-trade pact. It’s also a misstep to grant the Obama administration with fast-track authority and the attendant secrecy on all details of this trade pact. The experience with Obama’s Affordable Care Act, his executive order on iImmigration, and his ongoing nuclear agreement negotiations with Iran remind us that the devil in the details once passed and implemented can be harmful and problematic to correct.

  • Charles Krauthammer: Why doctors quit, Chapter 2

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Jun 5, 2015

    WASHINGTON — I rarely do follow-up columns. I’m averaging one every 10 years. And while my last such exercise resulted in a written apology from the White House (for accusing me of making up facts over its removal of Churchill’s bust), today’s is not a complaint. It’s merely a recognition that the huge response elicited by last week’s column, “Why Doctors Quit,” warrants both rebuttal and clarification. Physicians who responded tended to agree with my claim that doctors are being driven out of the profession by the intrusions, interferences, regulations, mandates, constraints and sundry other degradations of their vocation that are the result of the bureaucratization of medicine. Chief among them is the imposition

  • E.J. Dionne: The paradox of fundamentalism

    BY E.J. DIONNE JR. | Published: Fri, Jun 5, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The rise of fundamentalism and religious ultra-orthodoxy has taken much of the West by surprise. But the shock is not limited to the world's well-off democracies. For most of the 20th century, secular and usually left-leaning advocates of national liberation in the Third World fought twin battles: against Western colonialism, and against what they saw as the “backward” and “passive” religious traditionalists among their own people. Suddenly, those supposedly backward believers are no longer passive. They are fighting to reimpose the faiths of their forebears. And in its most extreme forms, the religious pushback is genuinely frightening. That the Islamic State is, in certain respects, even more extreme

  • Passage of TPA would help Oklahoma's agriculture economy

    BY TERRY DETRICK, AND TOM BUCHANAN | Published: Fri, Jun 5, 2015

    Trade is vital to the U.S. economy, and especially important to Oklahoma’s agricultural economy. After our state’s farmers fill our tables and help clothe us, they still have much bounty to share with the world. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that Oklahoma’s agriculture exports reached $1.9 billion in 2013, up from $1.2 billion in 2009, and supported 14,700 jobs both on the farm and in related industries. Wheat led the way with exports valued at $511 million. Oklahoma’s farmers are eager to sell more of their high-quality products throughout the world, but artificial trade barriers often stand in their way. Trade agreements, like the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the U.S.

  • George Will: Bernie Sanders' socialist charade

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Does any stricture of journalistic propriety or social etiquette require us to participate in Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ charade? Is it obligatory to take seriously his pose of being an “independent” and a “socialist”? It gives excitable Democratic activists a frisson of naughtiness to pretend that he is both. Actually, he is neither. “Independent”? He caucuses with Senate Democrats and attends their policy lunches, his committee assignments count against the Democrats’ quotas, he reliably votes with Democrats and he is seeking the Democrats’ presidential nomination. He is a Democrat.

  • Oklahoma lawmakers: Flood-control investments must be a priority


    Earthen dams work well