• Alliance Defending Freedom attorney: ACA mandate places costly burden on freedom

    By Gregory S. Baylor | Published: Fri, Nov 13, 2015

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court elevated the Affordable Care Act to the national stage once again when it agreed to hear seven cases related to the Obama administration's abortion-pill mandate. This is the fourth time in the past five years that the nation's final judicial arbiters have considered the legality of Obamacare and related regulations. This particular trip to the court is one of great significance for religious freedom, and four Oklahoma universities are among those making that point strongly. The mandate forces many employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide health plans that create access to abortion- inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception under threat of heavy penalties.

  • George Will: Bill O'Reilly makes a mess of history

    GEORGE F. WILL The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Thu, Nov 12, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Were the lungs the seat of wisdom, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly would be wise, but they are not and he is not. So it is not astonishing that he is doubling down on his wager that the truth cannot catch up with him. It has, however, already done so. The prolific O'Reilly has, with his collaborator Martin Dugard, produced five "history" books in five years: "Killing Lincoln," "Killing Kennedy, "Killing Jesus," "Killing Patton" and now the best-selling "Killing Reagan." Because no one actually killed Reagan, O'Reilly keeps his lucrative series going by postulating that the bullet that struck Reagan in March 1981 kind of, sort of killed him, although he lived 23 more years.

  • School board member: Discipline strategies are designed to help all OKC students

    By Bob Hammack | Published: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

    Oklahoma City Public School discipline policies have historically failed many of our students. For too long, we have relied on an unproductive yet convenient culture of routinely kicking students out of school. This is acutely true with students of color. Minorities are being expelled, suspended or referred to police at rates up to four times that of their white counterparts. The troubling practice led to recent Office of Civil Rights investigations of the district's disciplinary practices. Compounding our challenge is the Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers. Recently, its leadership paraded out a survey purporting to show “anonymous” negative comments from teachers regarding new district

  • Union president: High-level work needed to face OKC discipline problem

    By Ed Allen | Published: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

    An Oklahoma City teacher commented, “The behaviors I see from them (students) daily are yelling across the room, cussing at other students, interrupting my instruction, bullying other students.  I need help. Not just some broad program geared toward general teaching efficacy... I need help with the specific students and issues I have right now.” This statement, really a plea, is typical of comments given by Oklahoma City teachers in response to an Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers survey of all 2,800 district teachers. Eight hundred thirty-six teachers responded and 355 gave powerful testimony on what is happening in many of our schools.

  • McInerney: Crisis continues over health care for veterans

    By Gen. Thomas McInerney | Published: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

    Veterans Day is a chance to honor the 338,000 Oklahoma men and women who put their lives on the line for your freedom. It's also a chance to reflect on the challenges they face here at home. Chief among them is the ongoing crisis at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which in many respects has only worsened since it made national headlines last year. Unfortunately, the leading Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, refuses to admit such a crisis exists. Two weeks ago, she claimed the VA's problems haven't been “as widespread as they've been made out to be.” She even tried to speak for the veteran community, claiming most of us are satisfied with the VA.

  • Michael Gerson: GOP voters' love of the unserious

    MICHAEL GERSON The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Welcome to the vetting season, in which presidential candidate resumes are pumped full of air, submerged in water, and tested for bubbles like an inner tube. None of the Republican candidates, even the few with actual governing experience, has ever suffered the level of scrutiny given to a top-tier presidential prospect. It is part journalism, part tax audit, part fraternity hazing and part, especially when it comes to Republicans, ideological hit job. (The last, consulting Aristotelian logic and CNBC, does not need to be true of every journalist to be true nonetheless.) Only Democrat Hillary Clinton has made a career of sailing in this hurricane. And even she is taking on water with an ongoing FBI investigation.

  • Kurdistan thanks Oklahoma, U.S. veterans for their service

    By Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman | Published: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

    On this Veterans Day, I would like to take the opportunity to express the gratitude of the people of the Kurdistan Region to American veterans of combat and humanitarian operations in Kurdistan and throughout Iraq. It pained me on Oct. 22 to learn that an American had paid the ultimate price standing up to tyranny and terrorism in Iraq. During a Kurdish-led mission that rescued 69 people who faced daily torture and certain execution at the hands of ISIS, when our Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers came under fire, Army Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler of Roland, Okla., valiantly engaged the enemy, tipping the balance back into their favor. Wheeler was wounded and later died. In Kurdistan we grieve his loss as one of our own. The

  • Kathleen Parker: Bushes unleashed

    KATHLEEN PARKER The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Tue, Nov 10, 2015

    WASHINGTON — If the truth sets us free, then Bush family members should be warbling from rooftops. At least one Bush, patriarch George H.W. Bush, has been singing his heart out with author Jon Meacham, whose biography of the 41st president will soon be released. Early excerpts and reviews already have wags talking and tails wagging for more morsels from the well-stocked pantry of Bush Sr.'s mind. Among other nuggets, we've learned that his favorite term for Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld is "iron ass," a phrase one can't resist saying as much as possible. Cheney, who was secretary of defense under the first Bush, has responded that he considers the description a compliment, while Rumsfeld replied that Bush is

  • Washington Examiner: Stance on eminent domain puts Trump at odds with conservatism

    Washington Examiner | Published: Mon, Nov 9, 2015

    DONALD Trump, the second-place candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, tried to use eminent domain in 1994 to expel an elderly widow, Vera Coking, from her home in Atlantic City, N.J. He wanted to build a limousine parking lot for one of his casinos on that spot, so he convinced a government agency to force her to sell her home for just 25 percent of what she had previously been offered for it. The agency was then to transfer ownership of the land to Trump. Coking won her case in court, as it was a clear example of abuse of government's eminent domain power, by which it can compel the sale of property for “public use.

  • Sen. James Lankford: Fact-checking the president's Keystone decision

    By U.S. Sen. James Lankford | Published: Sun, Nov 8, 2015

    President Obama on Friday announced his rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Since the beginning of this debate, seven years ago, everyone generally knew of the president's opposition to oil, gas and coal, but no one dreamed he would hold a pipeline permit for over 2,000 days, then reject it with no data-based conclusions. When any president can hold a private construction permit for years, after it has been approved by every affected state, then reject the permit for political reasons, we have truly lost basic constitutional federalism. A closer look at the president's justification for the rejection demonstrates how much this administration thinks the American people will only listen to the platitudes, not check the

  • George Will: Slandering Ronald Reagan

    GEORGE F. WILL The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sun, Nov 8, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Donald Trump is just one symptom of today's cultural pathology of self-validating vehemence with blustery certitudes substituting for evidence. Another is the fact that the book atop the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list is a tissue of unsubstantiated assertions. Because of its vast readership, "Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency" by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and his collaborator Martin Dugard will distort public understanding of Ronald Reagan's presidency more than hostile but conscientious scholars could. Styling himself an "investigative historian," O'Reilly purports to have discovered amazing facts that have escaped the notice of real historians.

  • OCCC president: More guns won't make college life more safe

    By Jerry Steward | Published: Sun, Nov 8, 2015

    The tragic shootings on college campuses like those recently experienced at Umpqua Community College in Oregon and Northern Arizona State University are rightfully followed by a group of people demanding to understand why these senseless acts of violence occur and what can be done to prevent them. Often what follows is the overly simplistic “solution” that guns should be allowed on college campuses. All 25 public institutions in the state of Oklahoma unanimously agree this would create a more dangerous environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors. The primary argument in support of allowing firearms on college campuses is that a “good guy” with a gun will be on the scene and can immediately stop the threat if a

  • OU professor: Time to remove restrictions to guns on campus

    By David Deming | Published: Sun, Nov 8, 2015

    In July, an Islamic terrorist attacked a U.S. military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tenn., killing four Marines. An ironic icon that emerged from the tragedy was a photograph of a “no guns” sign affixed to a window riddled with bullet holes. Terrorists and madmen deliberately seek out areas where people are unarmed and defenseless. Immediately following the Chattanooga shooting, Gov. Mary Fallin authorized the arming of Oklahoma National Guardsmen. It was the right thing to do. But wouldn't it be better if we were smart enough to shut the barn door before the horse escapes? We have a chance to do this in the upcoming session of the Legislature by removing restrictions that prohibit otherwise legal guns on college campuses.

  • E.J. Dionne: Tuesday's election and the two Americas

    E.J. DIONNE JR. The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sat, Nov 7, 2015

    WASHINGTON — To understand the disappointment of Democrats with Tuesday's off-off-year election results, consider what they might have said had two key states, Kentucky and Virginia, voted differently. Kentucky, a deeply red state in presidential years, has a habit of electing Democratic governors, including Steve Beshear, the popular incumbent who was term-limited. Polls gave Attorney General Jack Conway a strong chance of beating Republican Matt Bevin, a staunch tea party supporter not much liked by the GOP establishment. A Conway victory would have been heralded by Democrats as a sign of the dangers of right-wing extremism to the Republican Party. Instead, Bevin won, and won big.

  • OBA president: No need to change Oklahoma judicial selection

    By David Poarch | Published: Sat, Nov 7, 2015

    Members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives were invited Monday to participate in a legislative interim “study” that was ostensibly held to explore the idea of judicial “reform” in our state. The study's author, Rep. Kevin Calvey, has stated that he hoped to demonstrate how the state Supreme Court abuses its power. He also hoped to demonstrate that our state's method of choosing judges is tilted in favor of members of the Oklahoma Bar Association, which he terms a “special interest group.” I chuckle a bit at the notion of members of our association representing one unified “interest.” Our membership, which includes Calvey, runs the broad gamut of the political spectrum.

  • Kathleen Parker: Channeling Cassandra

    KATHLEEN PARKER The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Fri, Nov 6, 2015

    WASHINGTON — As Republican presidential candidates debate the debates, roiling and railing against the unfairness of it all, campaigns have been busy rebooting candidates and crafting fresh slogans. But whether Jeb can fix it, or Trump can build it, or Ben can cure it matters little in the global scheme of things. For globally we must think forevermore, whether we want to or not. Yet, to follow our presidential debates, you might think we're nominating a senior class officer. Doesn't Jeb Bush think fantasy football is really gambling? Really? "Wait a second!" shouts Chris Christie from the far end of the dais. "We have $19 trillion in debt. We have people out of work. We have ISIS and al-Qaeda attacking us.

  • Sen. Jim Inhofe: No choice but to vote against budget

    By Sen. Jim Inhofe | Published: Fri, Nov 6, 2015

    Soon after President Obama proposed his fiscal year 2016 budget to fund our nation's defense, then-Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey testified before Congress stating the budget places our military at the “lower ragged edge of manageable risk in our ability to execute our defense strategy; we have no slack.” Since this warning, the president has sent our troops on more contingency missions than his budget forecasted. To include his most recent announcement to put boots on the ground in Syria, the president has also added troop rotations to Eastern Europe in response to Russian aggression, deployed additional forces to Iraq, announced he would keep 9,800 U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and deployed forces to Cameroon to

  • Charles Krauthammer: Take the winnings and run

    CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Fri, Nov 6, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Where do Republicans get that special talent for turning gold to dross? They score an electoral "massacre" (The Economist) in 2014 and, a year later, what do they have to show for it other than another threat to shut down the government? Hillary Clinton is caught in email flagrante and Benghazi mendacity and yet, with one Kevin McCarthy gaffe and a singularly ineffective 11-hour Benghazi hearing, Republicans render her sanitized. And now their latest feat. They win a stunning victory over their perennial nemesis, the mainstream media — a slam-dunk rim-rattling exposure of the media bias they have been complaining about for a half-century — and within a week they so overplayed their hand as to dissipate

  • George Will: Supreme Court tackles sinister trends

    GEORGE F. WILL The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Thu, Nov 5, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The IRS scandal — the denial of essential tax-exempt status to conservative advocacy groups, thereby effectively suppressing the groups' activities — demonstrates this: When government is empowered to regulate advocacy, it will be tempted to suppress some of it. And sometimes government will think like Oscar Wilde: "The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it." These truths should be on the Supreme Court's nine fine minds on Friday when they consider whether to hear a challenge to a lower court's decision that disregards some clear Supreme Court pronouncements pertaining to the First Amendment.

  • Michael Gerson: The gay marriage ruling isn't the apocalypse

    MICHAEL GERSON The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Wed, Nov 4, 2015

    WASHINGTON — "Today," said Ted Cruz when the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision came down, "is some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation's history." Which is quite a claim, as that history includes the Battle of Antietam. Some evangelical leaders pronounced it "the downfall of America" (Tony Perkins) and a "nose dive off of the moral diving board into the cesspool of humanity" (Franklin Graham) — a mental image I wish I could unthink. Suffice it to say that conservative Christians have been lately pondering their relationship to American culture. And not just those who are hysterical for a living. When the court rejected traditional sexual ethics as a permissible basis for laws defining marriage, many conservative