Top Stories

  • Washington Examiner: Slow recovery leads to retrograde economy

    Published: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    ADJUSTED for inflation, the wages of U.S. workers are down 3 percent since 2005. U.S. median income has fallen 5.5 percent. The reason is simple: Although the total number of jobs in the United States has finally returned to its prerecession level, positions now being created in the never-ending recovery pay wages 23 percent lower than those that disappeared in the Great Recession. Low-wage — often part-time — jobs are replacing high-wage, full-time jobs. This finding, from a 44-page report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, comes as little surprise. It confirms what others have demonstrated elsewhere.

  • Leonard Pitts Jr.: Riots in Ferguson, and what they mean

    Published: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    A riot can be many things. It can be an act of communal madness, reflecting the emotional imbecility of those who believe the best way to express joy at their ball team’s win is to overturn a car. It can be an act of opportunism, a chance, under cover of darkness, influence of chaos, suspension of order, to smash and grab and run away, arms heavy with loot. And it can be an act of outcry, a scream of inchoate rage. That’s what happened this week in Ferguson, Mo. The people screamed. To believe that this carnage — the windows smashed, the buildings torched, the tear gas wafting — is all about the killing of Michael Brown is to miss the point.

  • Jules Witcover: A darker cloud falls over Nixon

    Published: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON — In the flurry of new books on the Nixon tapes, another allegation worse than Watergate against the late president has been revisited by a researcher at the Miller Center of the University of Virginia, reviving charges of a possible treasonous act by Richard Nixon during the Vietnam war. Ken Hughes, in “Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair and the Origins of Watergate,” makes the case that a planned break-in of the Brookings Institution in Washington, which Nixon urged as a blatant “thievery,” sought to find and get rid of such evidence.

  • George F. Will: Into a new void?

    Published: Thu, Aug 14, 2014

    WASHINGTON — This far into the human story, only the historically uninstructed are startled by what they think are new permutations of evil. So, when Russia sliced Crimea off Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry was nonplussed: “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.” If, however, Vladimir Putin is out of step with the march of progress, where exactly on history’s inevitably ascending path (as progressives like Kerry evidently think) does Kerry, our innocent abroad, locate the Islamic State? The Islamic State uses crucifixions to express piety and decapitations to encourage cooperation.

  • Michael Gerson: Smacked by reality in the Middle East

    Published: Wed, Aug 13, 2014

    WASHINGTON — So ends a foreign policy experiment that began with two choices in 2011. In that hinge year, President Obama decided to stay out of the Syrian conflict and to passively accept the withdrawal of all U.S. ground forces from Iraq (which he later claimed as a personal achievement during his re-election campaign). I’m not sure the motivation behind these acts can be termed a strategy. They seemed rooted in a perception of the public’s war-weariness (which Obama fed through his own rhetoric), a firm determination to be the anti-Bush, and a vague belief that a U.S. presence in the Middle East creates more problems than it solves.

  • Washington Examiner: With ISIS, Obama should heed former ambassador's warning

    Published: Wed, Aug 13, 2014

    SEVEN months ago, in an interview with The New Yorker’s David Remnick, President Obama said he thought little of the threat posed by hardcore Islamic rebels in Syria. “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is, if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” he said. But having made huge gains in Iraq this summer, this JV squad is now looking nearly unbeatable. Islamic State fighters have easily repelled attempts by Iraq’s basket-case central government to push them back to Syria where they began their murderous existence.

  • Clarence Page: 'War on whites'? No way

    Published: Wed, Aug 13, 2014

    Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., claims that liberals are waging a “war on whites.” If so, Barack Obama must be at war with himself. That’s how goofy Brooks’ logic sounds. But he’s not nuts. It is an old reflex, when cornered in politics, to lash back with the same charge that others have leveled at you — or, put another way, to project your own flaws onto other people. What’s sad about Brooks’ claim is his feeble attempt to play the white victim card, plucking the strings of white nationalism, just to have his way with the nation’s immigration policy. That debate cuts across racial and political lines, distancing him from such other conservative voices as The Wall Street Journal’s pro-business editorial

  • David Ignatius: Confronting a new enemy

    Published: Wed, Aug 13, 2014

    WASHINGTON — When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his terrorist Islamic State, he ignored a warning from Osama bin Laden that jihadists should be cautious about establishing a caliphate too quickly. In torching a firestorm in Iraq and Syria, Baghdadi has united his enemies and given them a target to attack, just as bin Laden predicted. Baghdadi’s bloodbath has achieved the impossible: He has provided a common adversary for Saudis and Iranians, Turks and Kurds. He has united many of Iraq’s Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish politicians behind an inclusive new government. He has forced a reluctant President Obama to come halfway off the bench in authorizing airstrikes for “limited military objectives” in Iraq.

  • OU professor: Loss of terrorism prevention institute regrettable

    BY STEPHEN SLOAN | Published: Wed, Aug 13, 2014

    It was with great regret that I read of the closing of the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. Under the leadership of its director, David Cid, MIPT did outstanding work in training local law enforcement from around the country to identify and respond to threats of terrorism. The training recognized the fact that ultimately “all terrorism is local” and those on the front line will be local law enforcement and other first responders who must act before national support is forthcoming. MIPT also recognized the importance of the intelligence function in meeting threats; hence the institute program to train law enforcement in analyzing potential threats in their respective jurisdictions.

  • George F. Will: Nature's creative danger

    Published: Sun, Aug 10, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Although the Ebola virus might remain mostly confined to West Africa, it has infected the Western imagination. This eruption of uncontrolled nature into what developed nations consider serene modernity is more disturbing to the emotional serenity of multitudes than it is threatening to their physical health. Perhaps the world periodically needs an equivalent of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, a chastening reminder that nature still has something to say about what human beings proudly, and prematurely, call “the conquest of nature.” The earthquake disturbed Europe’s Enlightenment serenity: Perhaps God has not really ordained a benevolently ordered universe.

  • David Ignatius: Helping Africa become more secure

    Published: Sun, Aug 10, 2014

    WASHINGTON — President Obama touted last week’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit as “an extraordinary event.” That may sound like hype, but the gathering featured some innovative new ideas to prevent terrorism and lawlessness from spreading in Africa as it has in the Middle East. Obama announced two new programs that will help African nations combat internal disorder and the drift toward violent extremism. One is a partnership to assist countries in building rapid-deployment forces that can intervene when crises happen on the continent. The second will help endangered nations develop better security and governance to fight al-Qaeda affiliates and other threats to stability.

  • Oil-gas provider: Colorado compromise means thoughtful approach to fracking

    BY DAN K. EBERHART | Published: Sun, Aug 10, 2014

    Colorado has narrowly escaped legislation that would have cost thousands of jobs and struck a crippling blow to the energy industry. What happened in Colorado should be of interest to Oklahoma, since shale energy greatly impacts the economy. U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, who represents four Colorado cities that declared moratoriums on hydraulic fracking, originally backed two statewide anti-fracking ballot measures. The measures that Polis, D-Boulder, backed would have been detrimental to Colorado. One would have required a 2,000-foot setback from occupied structures. That doesn't sound like a huge increase to the 500-foot buffer already in place. However, increasing the radius to 2,000 feet increases the undrillable acreage around

  • Stroud cafe owner: Clear benefits from having a diverse workforce

    BY DAWN WELCH | Published: Sat, Aug 9, 2014

    Recent publicity given to high-powered female tech executives such as Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer masks a deeper problem. Unfortunately, these women are an exception in Silicon Valley, not a rule. Indeed, the tech industry as a whole has consistently lagged with regard to integrating women into the workforce. From Google down to the lowest startup, women find themselves excluded from too many opportunities. In every facet of the workforce, the breadth of the gender gap in Silicon Valley is striking. The statistics speak for themselves. Only 30 percent of Google’s workforce is female. Twitter’s proportions are identical. Yahoo and Facebook are equally weak at 37 and 31 percent, respectively.

  • E.J. Dionne: Plain vanilla bipartisanship

    Published: Sat, Aug 9, 2014

    WASHINGTON — When does Congress become so embarrassed by its laughably low approval ratings that its leaders decide to pass laws to make our country a modestly better place? Is there a plain vanilla agenda that might pass muster across party lines? If you thought attitudes about Congress couldn’t get any worse, consider the Washington Post/ABC News poll’s finding this week that 51 percent of Americans disapproved of their own House member. This was the first time in the 25 years the poll has been asking the question that a majority disapproved of their representative. Usually, people hate the body as a whole but like their own guy or woman. Congress in the abstract does fare much worse. The Real Clear Politics average

  • Charles Krauthammer: Amnesty as impeachment bait

    Published: Fri, Aug 8, 2014

    WASHINGTON — President Obama is impatient. Congress won’t act on immigration, he says, and therefore he will. The White House is coy as to exactly what the president will do. But the leaks point to an executive order essentially legalizing an enormous new class of illegal immigrants, perhaps up to 5 million people. One doesn’t usually respond to rumors. But this is an idea so bad and so persistently peddled by the White House that it has already been pre-emptively criticized by such unusual suspects as (liberal) constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley, concerned about yet another usurpation of legislative power by the “uber presidency,” and The Washington Post editorial page, which warned that such a move would

  • George F. Will: The reason for Watergate?

    Published: Fri, Aug 8, 2014

    WASHINGTON — At about 5:15 p.m. on June 17, 1971, in the Oval Office, the president ordered a crime: “I want it implemented on a thievery basis. Goddamn it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.” The burglary he demanded was not the one that would occur exactly one year later at the Democratic National Committee’s office in the Watergate complex. Richard Nixon was ordering a break-in at the Brookings Institution, a think tank, to seize material concerning U.S. diplomacy regarding North Vietnam during the closing weeks of the 1968 presidential campaign. As they sometimes did regarding his intemperate commands, Nixon’s aides disregarded the one concerning Brookings.

  • Think tank analyst: Leave minimum wage alone

    BY MICHAEL SALTSMAN | Published: Fri, Aug 8, 2014

    July 24 marked the five-year anniversary of the last increase in the federal minimum wage. President Obama used the occasion to call for another pay hike of nearly 40 percent. But that’s not all: The president has been encouraged by labor union-backed advocacy groups to raise the base wage of tipped employees (e.g. servers and bartenders) by as much as 232 percent. If that sounds like a radical idea, it’s because it is — and employees and their customers are worried about the consequences. Federal law says tipped employees must earn at least the full minimum in combined wages and tip income. If these don’t add up to the minimum, the employer must make up the difference.

  • Washington Examiner: Liberals' interesting quest to smite First Amendment

    Published: Fri, Aug 8, 2014

    AMONG the most distressing distempers on the liberal side of the American public policy debate is the mushrooming pressure to repeal the First Amendment and put officials in charge of censoring political speech. How things have changed. Liberals like former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once were the stoutest defenders of the right of every American to speak his mind. When the right was misused for speech on behalf of abhorrent ideas like racism and fascism, Brandeis famously said “if there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.

  • Ruth Marcus: Richard Nixon's ghost, 40 years on

    Updated: Wed, Aug 6, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Forty years after he slunk out of office, Richard M. Nixon retains the capacity to astonish and disgust. Just when you thought you could no longer be shocked by Nixon’s willingness to abuse power, his seething resentments and paranoia, and his florid anti-Semitism, another round of tapes emerges. To listen to them — I highly recommend HBO’s new “Nixon by Nixon: In His Own Words” — is to be reminded, again, of the 37th president’s unrelenting self-absorption. The question is always about what is best for Nixon, never what is best for the country; his willingness to hijack the machinery of government to assure his success shows no bounds. In Watergate, the crime, it turns out, was even worse

  • Michael Gerson: Bet on Africa rising

    Published: Wed, Aug 6, 2014

    WASHINGTON — As more than 40 African leaders gather in Washington for an unprecedented summit, Africa’s brand problem in America has grown significantly worse. Two events — the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls by Boko Haram and a currently uncontrolled Ebola outbreak in West Africa — have tuned in clearly through the news and social media static. And they have reinforced existing public impressions of disorder and disease. From this perspective, the timing of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit could hardly be worse. (Not to mention the questionable choice of scheduling the meeting during August, when members of Congress, and much of official Washington, have fled the capital as though the British were back to burn