Top Stories

  • General contractor: For Oklahoma roads and bridges, create a fair funding solution for all

    BY BOBBY STEM | Published: Fri, Mar 28, 2014

    Oklahoma’s roads aren’t what they used to be. Neither are the cars using them. Recently the Oklahoma Academy said it wants to change the way Oklahoma taxes consumers of gasoline. It wants the tax to move over the next few years from a static price per gallon to adjust for inflation and the rising fuel economy of most vehicles. I appreciate the academy bringing this issue to the forefront. However, the Association of Oklahoma General Contractors has a different opinion of how new transportation projects should be funded. The state’s eight-year construction plan touches every county in Oklahoma. It uses the current funding mechanism to build and maintain roads and bridges.

  • George F. Will: When geography matters

    Published: Thu, Mar 27, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Igor Stravinsky, the Russian composer, said of Poland, perilously positioned between Russia and Germany: “If you pitch your tent in the middle of Fifth Avenue, it is quite likely you will be run over by a bus.” Poland has been run over hard and often; indeed, between 1795 and 1918 it disappeared from the map of Europe. Geography need not be destiny, but it matters, as Ukraine is being reminded. During its hazardous path to the present, all or bits of it have been parts of Poland, the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Ottoman empire, the Russian empire, the Soviet Union and now another Russian empire. Czarist Russia, which Lenin called “the prison of the peoples,” is re-emerging and has in Vladimir Putin an

  • i2E president: It doesn't make sense to turn back on Common Core in Oklahoma

    BY SCOTT MEACHAM | Published: Wed, Mar 26, 2014

    Sometimes I just don’t get politics. It may seem odd to hear that from a guy who spent eight years at the state Capitol, but it’s the truth. The latest thing that has me scratching my head is the debate over Common Core education standards. Education is critically important to the future of this state. The attempts to pull away from Common Core in Oklahoma have been well reported. What I don’t understand is the opposition. Instead of being another bad edict coming down from Washington, Common Core was developed by the states under the leadership of the National Governor’s Association and Council of Chief School Officers.

  • Kathleen Parker: For Dershowitz and Starr, it's a matter of principle

    Published: Wed, Mar 26, 2014

    Both defend religious liberty

  • Washington Examiner: As enemy forces expand, U.S. Navy tracks parking tickets

    Published: Tue, Mar 25, 2014

    IT was just a few weeks ago that Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu announced, according to The Guardian, that his country “planned to increase its military projection abroad, including in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.” The next day, Russia’s Viktor Leonov docked in Havana. The Guardian described the Leonov as having been “commissioned by the Soviet Union in 1988 near the end of the Cold War. It is outfitted with electronic surveillance equipment and missile defense systems and is a signals-intelligence asset of the Russian navy, according to the Russian government.” Not long before Vladimir Putin dispatched the Viktor Leonov to Cuba, China began making threatening noises about Japanese-controlled islands in the

  • Kathleen Parker: Photo-opping salvation

    Published: Tue, Mar 25, 2014

    WASHINGTON — This week’s meeting between Pope Francis and President Obama holds great promise in a time of turmoil, though not necessarily in the ways some may hope. In anticipation of the meeting, everyone seems to want a piece of the pope. The head of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good has posted a petition on the White House’s “We the People” website that makes a religious case for action on climate change. Activists pushing for immigration reform are seeking an audience with Pope Francis the day before he meets with Obama. The president has said he wants to discuss his own agenda of tackling poverty and income inequality, the focus of the pope’s ministry.

  • George F. Will: A half-century in denial

    Published: Sun, Mar 23, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Critics of Rep. Paul Ryan’s remarks about cultural factors in the persistence of poverty are simultaneously shrill and boring. Their predictable minuet of synthetic indignation demonstrates how little liberals have learned about poverty or changed their rhetorical repertoire in the last 49 years. Ryan spoke of a “tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work,” adding: “There’s a real culture problem here.” This brought down upon Ryan the usual acid rain of accusations — racism, blaming the victims, etc.

  • Leonard Pitts Jr.: The wasted life of Fred Phelps

    Leonard Pitts Jr. | Published: Sun, Mar 23, 2014

    And what shall we say now that the monster has died? His estranged sons Mark and Nate told the world just a few days ago that their 84-year old father, Fred Phelps, was in the care of a hospice and “on the edge of death.” Thursday morning, he went over the edge. The senior Phelps, of course, was the founder of Westboro Baptist “Church” in Topeka, Kan. He was the “God hates” guy.

  • Oklahoma lawmaker: Religious viewpoints are under attack

    BY STATE REP. JOHN BENNETT | Published: Sun, Mar 23, 2014

    Opponents of a bill I authored to protect students’ religious expression in schools have claimed that freedom of expression isn’t a problem in Oklahoma schools. I beg to differ. A school in my district was sued over a Ten Commandments display and threatened with a lawsuit over the use of the word “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. This has led to an atmosphere in which religiously tolerant schools are afraid to allow any expression of faith, even the constitutionally protected and Supreme Court-supported expression of faith by students. Recently, an Oklahoma City newscast covered a story about the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association disallowing kids to pray before games. I and other lawmakers questioned

  • Michael Gerson: The GOP's need for creative policy

    Published: Sat, Mar 22, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Of all the signs of Democratic midterm trouble, it is fitting that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius — who has already contributed so much — should make another important offering. She recently assured the House Ways and Means Committee that health insurance premium increases this coming year would be “far less significant than what they were prior to the Affordable Care Act.” Over the past several years, increases in insurance premiums have averaged nearly 6 percent. Because of the rocky launch, age distribution and delayed provisions of Obamacare exchanges, insurance company officials expect far larger premium increases in the spring — in the double digits, if not the triple digits,

  • Energy producer: Where fracking is concerned, regulate us!

    BY CHRIS FAULKNER | Published: Sat, Mar 22, 2014

    California recently established the most stringent energy-extraction restrictions in the nation. As the CEO of a natural gas firm, you probably think I opposed these rules. You’d be wrong. In fact, California's new law is a welcome step in the evolution of the American energy market. The state’s smart rules are eliminating regulatory uncertainty and establishing a legal foundation for future exploration and extraction. Other energy-rich states should follow suit. Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” has enabled access to vast oil and gas reserves. The Energy Information Administration estimates California's 1,750-square-mile shale formation could bear up to 64 percent of our nation’s shale oil reserves.

  • Boeing official: Oklahoma policymakers should leave Common Core alone

    BY STEVE HENDRICKSON | Published: Sat, Mar 22, 2014

    Head overline: It’s important to businesses

  • Arthur Laffer: Marketplace Fairness Act merits approval from Congress

    BY ARTHUR LAFFER | Updated: Fri, Mar 21, 2014

    Oklahoma has an opportunity to lower in-state tax rates, but first Congress should take action to close a pre-Internet era tax loophole that stifles local businesses, weakens job creation and undermines the state’s economy. The Supreme Court’s Quill decision of 1992 essentially handed out-of-state Internet retailers a free pass to avoid collecting and remitting sales taxes — a luxury that in-state retailers don’t have. Enacting federal legislation could reverse this disparity and return power back to the states, allowing states to require online retailers to collect sales taxes like every other business and spur real economic growth in the Sooner State and nationwide. Congress should pass e-fairness legislation —

  • Charles Krauthammer: Invasion of Ukraine will be catered by the United States

    Published: Fri, Mar 21, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Early in the Ukraine crisis, when the Europeans were working on bringing Ukraine into the EU system and Vladimir Putin was countering with threats and bribes, one British analyst lamented that “we went to a knife fight with a baguette.” That was three months ago. Life overtakes parody. During the Ukrainian prime minister’s visit to Washington last week, his government urgently requested military assistance. The Pentagon refused. It offered instead military ration kits. Putin mobilizes thousands of troops, artillery and attack helicopters on Ukraine’s borders and Washington counters with baguettes, American-style. One thing we can say for sure in these uncertain times: The invasion of Ukraine will be

  • Washington Examiner: Obama could use a primer on bio of Palestinian leader

    Published: Fri, Mar 21, 2014

    WHEN Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington earlier this month, he was greeted by blistering criticism from President Obama, who gave an interview to Bloomberg's Jeffrey Goldberg. Obama warned Israelis of international isolation if Netanyahu didn't “seize the moment” by striking a peace deal with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Obama greeted Abbas differently this week: “He has been somebody who has consistently renounced violence (and) has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security ...” Obama apparently is unfamiliar with the Palestinian leader’s bio.

  • Former Oklahoma lawmaker: Common Core repeal would be step backward

    BY KATHLEEN WILCOXSON | Published: Fri, Mar 21, 2014

    I congratulate the Oklahoma Senate on courageously doing what was absolutely right in rejecting efforts to repeal Common Core by placing it on hold. Throughout my 12 years of service in the Senate and as co-chair of the education committee, my fellow Republicans and I worked tirelessly to improve the quality of education in Oklahoma. Republican legislators championed education reform from its infancy; Republicans continue to advocate for higher standards. In fact, that was the Republicans’ loud and clear call to the citizens of Oklahoma.

  • Clarence Page: Don't ban 'bossy,' own it

    Message shouldn’t be just for girls | Published: Fri, Mar 21, 2014

    Sometimes a clever catchphrase can work too well. Backlash against the name of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” campaign threatens to overwhelm its girl-empowering message. At least Sandberg knows how to get people talking. A year ago she popularized “Lean in” with a best-selling advice book — “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” — and a nonprofit national Lean In network to build women leaders. Now she’s unveiled Ban Bossy, a campaign that enlists power women as diverse as Condoleezza Rice, Jennifer Garner, Beyonci and the Girl Scouts to beat back the negative thinking that squelches budding take-charge attitudes in girls. “When a little boy asserts himself, hess called a

  • Kathleen Parker: Being Vladimir Putin

    Published: Thu, Mar 20, 2014

    WASHINGTON — “Once an agent, always an agent.” This was the terse response of Nina Khrushcheva on New Year’s Eve 1999 when her mother commented favorably about the new president, Vladimir Putin, who was then speaking on TV. Khrushcheva, great-granddaughter of former Premier Nikita Khrushchev, was prescient then and feels no need to revise those comments now. Instead, her mother’s early reviews were symptomatic of what Khrushcheva calls the “gulag of the Russian mind,” part of the title of her just-published book, “The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind.” This particular gulag refers to a mindset that includes, as her mother’s optimism implied, the hope that the next czar

  • Hobby Lobby attorney: Current policy bad for families and for America

    BY PETER DOBELBOWER | Updated: Wed, Mar 19, 2014

    An Oklahoma City company pays nearly double the minimum wage for entry-level, full-time workers. It offers great benefits and has family friendly working hours. Yet some people say the company is treating its employees wrong. Why? Because its excellent health plan doesn’t include four drugs and devices that can take a human life. I’m talking about Hobby Lobby, a family owned business that employs nearly 6,500 people in Oklahoma and 28,000 nationwide. Hobby Lobby was founded and is still run by David and Barbara Green and their family. They are deeply committed Christians who live out their faith through their business by treating employees well, closing on Sundays, and staying true to their beliefs about the protection of life.

  • Michael Gerson: Can Obama rise to Carter's level?

    Updated: Wed, Mar 19, 2014

    WASHINGTON — As Winston Churchill might have said, the battle for Crimea is over. The battle for the idea of Europe is about to begin. Russia — as one might expect from an espiocracy, ruled by a Soviet-era spy — practices a particularly sophisticated form of aggression. Its military buildup near Ukraine — perhaps 80,000 troops — both intimidates Kiev and allows Russia to “adjust” the border in strategically important places such as the natural gas pumping station near Strilkove. At the same time, Russian special operations forces are at work throughout eastern Ukraine, inciting the anger of Russian-speakers and organizing provocations.