• Washington Examiner: Apparently the dog keeps eating IRS hard drives

    Washington Examiner Editorial | Published: Fri, Jan 22, 2016

    In Oscar Wilde's comedy, "The Importance of Being Earnest," Lady Bracknell is indignant to hear that Jack Worthing is an orphan. "To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness." If only one could enjoy a similar belly laugh over President Obama's IRS repeatedly losing hard drives loaded with data related to scandals at the agency. To lose one might be regarded as suspicious happenstance; to lose two looks like conspiracy. The most famous case is that of Lois Lerner, whose division became notorious for targeting conservative groups applying for nonprofit status.

  • Neal McCaleb: Sitting idle no option for Oklahoma's future

    By Neal McCaleb | Published: Fri, Jan 22, 2016

    In October, I had the exciting privilege of standing with Gov. Mary Fallin as she announced the future of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. This initiative, “Driving Forward: Investing in Oklahoma's Future,” will be transformative for the state. The initiative introduced six large projects, including new turnpike roadways in the heart of Tulsa and eastern Oklahoma County that provide needed safety upgrades, alleviation of current traffic congestion and expanded economic opportunity and workforce development. One of our most famous Oklahomans, Will Rogers, once said, “Even though you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” These are wise words given the status of transportation in our state.

  • George Will: China's flawed ascent

    GEORGE F. WILL Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Thu, Jan 21, 2016

    WASHINGTON — China produces an astonishing number of astonishing numbers, including this: In the 20th century, America made automobiles mass-consumption items, requiring prodigious road building. China, however, poured more concrete for roads and other construction between 2011 and 2013 than America did in the 20th century. This fact is emblematic of China's remarkable success. And is related to its current difficulties, including its 2015 growth rate (6.9 percent), its slowest in 25 years. The regime's contract with its 1.4 billion subjects is that it will deliver prosperity and they will be obedient. Now the bill is coming due for the measures taken to produce prosperity.

  • Ruth Marcus: Cruz outshines Trump on the trail

    RUTH MARCUS Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Wed, Jan 20, 2016

    CONCORD, N.H. — Donald Trump says Ted Cruz is a "nasty guy." The Texan's Senate colleagues agree. Yet here's the surprise from watching Cruz on the campaign trail: Ideology aside, he comes off as ... rather likable. To watch Trump and Cruz campaign here is to witness the difference between a reality TV performer and a disciplined politician. With apologies to the artists, Trump is Jackson Pollock to Cruz's Rembrandt. One splatters paint with no coherent pattern, the other dabs with evident skill, albeit in notably dark tones. Trump's riff of a stump speech is all poll numbers (terrific) and crowd sizes (record), interspersed with millimeter-deep detours into policy. Common Core is terrible; the border wall will be great;

  • Michael Thompson: A call for no more 'boots on the ground'

    By Michael Thompson | Published: Wed, Jan 20, 2016

    I have noticed the increased use of the phrase “boots on the ground.” As in boots on the ground are our best option, or conversely, boots on the ground will do nothing to fix this problem. Oddly enough, this phrase is used by supporters of the military, and frequently by those who have little regard for the men and women who make up our country's volunteer military.  Hopefully people who feel the need to discuss the virtues of boots on the ground will pause long enough to realize that regardless of their intent, “boots on the ground” is a woefully inadequate description for military members and our family members who serve and have served our great nation so faithfully.

  • Michael Gerson: GOP needs Trump and Cruz to fall

    MICHAEL GERSON Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Wed, Jan 20, 2016

    WASHINGTON — The outbreak of hostilities between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz may not be edifying, but it is clarifying. Cruz represents the arrival of tea party ideology at the presidential level. He espouses a "constitutionalism" that would disqualify much of modern government, and a belief that Republican elites are badly, even mainly, at fault for accommodating cultural and economic liberalism. Trump has adopted an ethno-nationalism in which the constraints of "political correctness" are lifted to express frankly nativist sentiments: that many illegal immigrants are criminals and rapists who threaten American jobs, and that Muslims are foreign, suspicious and potentially dangerous. These approaches can overlap, but they

  • Cal Thomas: Too big to fail: The sequel?

    Cal Thomas Tribune Content Agency | Published: Tue, Jan 19, 2016

    Movie sequels are rarely as good as the original films on which they're based. The same dictum, it appears, holds for finance. The 2008 housing market collapse was bad enough, but it appears now that we're on the verge of experiencing it all again. And the financial sequel, working from a similar script as its original version, could prove to be just as devastating to the American taxpayer. The Federal National Mortgage Association (commonly referred to as Fannie Mae) plans a mortgage loan reboot, which could produce the same insane and predictable results as when the mortgage agency loaned so much money to people who had neither the income, nor credit history, to qualify for a traditional loan.

  • Washington Examiner: Sixth debate highlights strength of top three GOP contenders

    Washington Examiner Editorial | Published: Mon, Jan 18, 2016

    TED Cruz is the son of a Cuban immigrant and an American mother, born in Canada in 1970. Is he a natural-born citizen, eligible for the presidency? Yes, of course he is. No serious person living outside the fever swamps or praying for a Hillary Clinton presidency would dispute it. Yet somehow, the question took up several minutes of Thursday night's GOP debate on the Fox Business Network. The reason? Donald Trump has been playing with the issue, attempting to raise doubts about whether his nearest rival in the polls and possibly his most effective challenger for the nomination would even be allowed to take office as president.

  • George Will: Keep an eye on Chris Christie

    GEORGE F. WILL Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sun, Jan 17, 2016

    WASHINGTON — Iowa and New Hampshire together have just 1.4 percent of the U.S. population, which is actually why it is fine for them to begin the presidential selection process: Small states reward an underdog's retail politics. Chris Christie relishes such politics and has fresh evidence that voters are enjoying his enjoyment. Speaking last Wednesday by phone from his home away from home, New Hampshire, he said: "People have remembered why they liked me in the first place." His saturation campaigning there has produced a 55-point reversal of his favorable/unfavorable rating in the Granite State, from 16 points more unfavorable than favorable to 39 points more favorable than unfavorable.

  • Point of View: 1-cent education tax plan is investment in children's future

    By Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci | Published: Sun, Jan 17, 2016

    Every parent understands that, each morning when our kids head off to school, we take a huge leap of faith as we hand off our most our cherished blessings to the teachers, coaches and mentors at their school. We all need to feel confident that we have entrusted our children to talented, motivated, ethical and inspired teachers who feel valued and supported by their schools and the education system as a whole. To us, great teachers are like great coaches who provide the proper foundation for their students to thrive. As Olympic champions, my wife and I owe much of our success to the outstanding teachers and coaches who helped build the foundation necessary for us to achieve the highest levels.

  • University officials: 1-cent tax isn’t best education solution

    By Steven Agee and Russell Evans | Published: Sun, Jan 17, 2016

    The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled last week that a 1-cent state sales tax initiative to help fund public education can move forward. This ruling, coupled with the looming reality of budget shortfalls as we head into the second half of the fiscal year, will be commanding the attention of state leaders. The consequent cuts in state funding of education and other services will surely move the conversation from the halls of the Capitol to dinner tables and water coolers across the state. Given the court's ruling, these conversations will revolve around the plan proposed by University of Oklahoma President David Boren to institute a 1-cent sales tax earmarked for a set of education initiatives.

  • Retired colonel: Modern U.S. Air Force is needed to meet demands

    By Mark Tarpley | Published: Sat, Jan 16, 2016

    As the clock approached 5 p.m. in Oklahoma on Jan. 16, 1991, millions of eyes across the country watched on their televisions as America unleashed its air power might with the opening salvo of strikes against the heart of defenses in Iraq. This attack came from the most powerful force assembled in decades and was the beginning of what was named Desert Storm, the operation to expel Iraq from the nation of Kuwait. For the next 37 days, air power carried the attack relentlessly to assure the success of the follow-on ground campaign achieving the objectives of Desert Storm. Tinker Air Force Base was instrumental in Desert Storm's success. The E-3 AWACS maintained 24-hour control of airborne operations.

  • Michael Gerson: Obama promised hope; he brought rage

    MICHAEL GERSON Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sat, Jan 16, 2016

    WASHINGTON — Now let us praise laundry lists. Every year at State of the Union time, the president and his staff say the speech will not include them. But the laundry won't keep track of itself. The union is varied and expansive, and so are the responsibilities of its chief executive. Enumerating accomplishments and objectives amounts to lists, which Obama had in plenty Tuesday night. The interesting thing is why this particular laundry was chosen. By what principle does the president want personalized medical treatments, paid leave, pre-K for all, the cure for cancer, a transition away from dirty energy, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Obama advanced no ideological claim of what government should do; no technocratic

  • Clarence Page: Reporting on Mexican drug war is hazardous to press freedom

    Clarence Page Tribune Content Agency | Published: Fri, Jan 15, 2016

    There's a lot that is worth criticizing about actor Sean Penn's rambling Rolling Stone article about his friendly meeting with cutthroat fugitive drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. But if Guzman's desire to be in the movies led to the recapture of this hemisphere's biggest trafficker of heroin, cocaine and other illicit commodities, then justice has been served. That, at least, is how Mexican authorities are spinning the story, hoping everyone will stop asking how Guzman escaped their custody in the first place — twice. Penn's interview led police to the drug lord's hiding place, an unnamed official told The Associated Press after the magazine published Penn's story Saturday.

  • Charles Krauthammer: The state of the presidency: spent

    CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Fri, Jan 15, 2016

    WASHINGTON — President Obama's Tuesday night address to Congress was less about the state of the union than the state of the presidency. And the state of this presidency is spent. The signs of intellectual exhaustion were everywhere. Consider just three. After taking credit for success in Syria, raising American stature abroad and prevailing against the Islamic State — one claim more surreal than the next — Obama was forced to repair to his most well-worn talking point: "If you doubt America's commitment — or mine — to see that justice is done, just ask Osama bin Laden." Really? Five years later, that's all you've got? Indeed, it is.

  • OIPA chairman: Ending oil export ban will benefit Oklahoma

    By Jeffrey McDougall | Published: Fri, Jan 15, 2016

    The end of the country's ban on crude oil exports has paid an immediate dividend and will have long-term benefits for Oklahoma. The two most-used pricing markers for crude oil are Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI). The price of almost 75 percent of worldwide crude contracts is set on the Brent benchmark. The WTI price is set at Cushing, the pipeline crossroads of America, and determines the price of crude oil in Oklahoma and across much of the United States. For more than 20 years, WTI prices were equal to or higher than crude oil prices from around the world.

  • Oklahoma legislators: One-size-fits-all doesn’t work in education

    By Sen. Clark Jolley and Rep. Jason Nelson | Published: Fri, Jan 15, 2016

    Education is crucial to a happy, productive life. Ideologies vary, but there is widespread agreement that a well-educated public benefits all, especially the most vulnerable among us. Children deserve an education that meets their unique needs. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work. By increasing the educational options available to Oklahomans, we're able to empower those who have never been given the opportunity to choose — many times the most vulnerable among us. State-funded education savings accounts are empowering thousands of children in other states, but many of the children in Oklahoma are still waiting for access to an education that provides them the best opportunity for success.

  • George Will: Marco Rubio's record of misjudgment

    GEORGE F. WILL Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Thu, Jan 14, 2016

    WASHINGTON — What boxer Sonny Liston's manager said of him (Sonny had his good points, the trouble was his bad points) is true of Marco Rubio. His strengths include intelligence, articulateness and, usually, cheerfulness. His misjudgments involve, in ascending order of importance, the Senate immigration bill of 2013, sugar, Libya and S-590. Together these reveal a recurring penchant for ill-considered undertakings. Rubio's retreat, under withering political heat, from the immigration bill was undignified but not reprehensible. The bill had 1,197 pages because the 906-page Affordable Care Act had not slaked the congressional appetite for "comprehensive" solutions to complex problems.

  • OU student: On a mission to change world through teaching

    By Madison Johnson | Published: Wed, Jan 13, 2016

    When I was a high school student, friends, family and teachers would always ask me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As a 15-year-old freshman, I'd had no idea. I was new to the Tulsa Engineering Academy at Memorial High School, and was taking higher math, science and engineering courses. I even participated on a FIRST Robotics team that competed in the world championship — eight years in a row. I dreamed of a future career in which I could make an impact, but like most of my classmates, becoming a teacher didn't occur to me. Then everything changed. One semester into my high school career, I picked up my spring schedule to find that I had a free period, an uncommon privilege for a freshman.

  • Michael Gerson: Harsh judgment of Obama from his inner circle

    MICHAEL GERSON Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Wed, Jan 13, 2016

    WASHINGTON — In the eighth year of a presidency, who is qualified to begin delivering a historical judgment? President Obama and those who serve at his pleasure are naturally biased. His critics are too engaged in the battles of the moment. Journalists and commentators tend to go after darting, shiny, plastic lures of narrative. But events are still too fresh and wriggling for historians to do their mortuary work. A more promising source of assessment is the opinions of high-level officials who actually participated in recent events. Here, there is already a small library of reluctant but harsh judgments. The most recent comes from Chuck Hagel.