• Kathleen Parker: The people's race

    KATHLEEN PARKER Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Wed, Apr 6, 2016

    WASHINGTON — The spectacular strangeness of this presidential election may require a new display in Ripley's Odditorium of believe-it-or-nots. Among the exhibits, curators might place the History of Conventional Wisdom, wherein the page titled "Populists Never Win in America" has a large, red X drawn through the word "never." Like all things status quo, this bit of wisdom seems aimed for retirement. Indeed, no one wins this year by promising to keep things just the way they are. From the candidacies of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump to the many thousands of fans who stand in line to catch a glimpse of these two, the letters in "unbelievable" are being worn off the keyboards of political commentators these days.

  • Michael Gerson: The 2016 election's nasty spirit

    MICHAEL GERSON Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Wed, Apr 6, 2016

    WASHINGTON — In a campaign that has involved talk of revisiting the Geneva Conventions, rewriting the 14th Amendment and rounding up and expelling 11 million people, failures of politeness, violations of manners, would seem a secondary concern. But in this political cycle, insults, invective and coarseness have been charged with a political significance. They are intended to indicate authenticity and a fighting spirit — the liberation of politics from political correctness and elite sensibilities. Some find this invigorating; others offensive. But it is one of the ways that the election of 2016 will be remembered — for playground taunts, for attacks on candidates' families, for vulgar bodily references and for a nasty,

  • Barbara Bush Foundation CEO: Effort seeks to close academic success gap in Oklahoma

    By Liza McFadden | Published: Wed, Apr 6, 2016

    Education is once again one of the dominant topics of discussion in the Legislature, specifically ways to improve academic performance. We know without a doubt a student's success in the classroom is directly correlated to his or her ability to read at grade level. In Oklahoma, only 33 percent of fourth-grade students meet these criteria. If elementary students are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade, they are four times more likely to drop out of high school, which negatively impacts local communities and stagnates an individual's economic and social mobility. The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy has expanded its efforts in the state this year, in hopes of closing the gap and ensuring academic

  • Pediatrician: Vaccinations must be encouraged in Oklahoma

    By Stan E. Grogg, D.O. | Published: Wed, Apr 6, 2016

    Vaccines are among the greatest medical and scientific advances in history. They have led to the decreased incidence of many life-threatening diseases. However, a lack of immunizations is leading to the recurrence of diseases we once thought were eliminated. Vaccines are extremely important to children and adults who for medical or age reasons are unable to be vaccinated. There are several vaccine bills being debated by the Legislature at this time. Legislators should be thoughtful in their discussions surrounding vaccines to ensure that information being provided to parents is factual and based on broadly accepted medical and scientifically proven information.

  • Washington Examiner: A good message can beat big money

    Washington Examiner Editorial | Published: Tue, Apr 5, 2016

    If you use Twitter and follow politics, you're probably used to seeing candidates tweet. Sometimes they are fun. Most are deadly dull. And every now and then, Twitter becomes a politician's downfall. Only a bureaucrat could see this and decide it's not heavily regulated enough. Sure enough, that's what the three Democrats on the Federal Election Commission decided last week. They are exasperated that Republicans on the six-member commission wouldn't go along with them and insist that accounts in these and other social media include the same tedious disclaimers that you see and hear on political television ads and websites.

  • Point of View: Fight for education choice in Oklahoma must continue

    By Lindsey M. Burke and Robert C. Enlow | Published: Tue, Apr 5, 2016

    Should Oklahomans care that proposals designed to created education savings accounts won't advance in the Legislature this year? Ask Susan Agel. Agel is president of Positive Tomorrows, Oklahoma's only private school for homeless children. Because her school relies on the generosity of donors to remain tuition-free for students, she is able to enroll only about 58 students each year due to limited resources. Agel says she is “forced to turn away children constantly.” With an ESA option, however, she could enroll many additional children and better serve the needs of the poor. ESAs are a critically needed refinement of the public education model.

  • Cal Thomas: Can't we do better?

    Cal Thomas Tribune Content Agency | Published: Tue, Apr 5, 2016

    Occasionally I am asked if I ever considered running for political office. My response: "I did once, but I took two aspirin, lay down for a while and the feeling went away." Besides not wanting to accept a pay cut, why would I want to put myself through the agony of exposing the smallest misdeed and bad decision to political opponents and a ravenous media who could turn my public image into something no family member would recognize? Not to mention the amount of money I would have to raise that would go up exponentially the higher the office sought. With each donated dollar a little piece of my soul, character and integrity must ultimately be exchanged.

  • Washington Examiner: Bad union rule pursued by administration

    Washington Examiner Editorial | Updated: Mon, Apr 4, 2016

    The late Justice Antonin Scalia's absence was felt acutely on the Supreme Court last week. The remaining eight judges deadlocked 4-4, thus sparing public-sector unions the fate they feared most — being stopped from plundering government workers' paychecks against their will. Because the court lacked Scalia's vote, state and local governments elected with union money and union backing can continue to give unions a sweetheart deal at the expense of unwilling workers. They can let unions compel financial contributions from government workers who just want to do their jobs and would rather have no part of a union. This high-profile victory for the labor bosses preserves an unjust status quo.

  • Medical officials: Tanning bill would help guard against melanoma

    By Thomas Stasko, M.D. and Jeffrey Gershenwald, M.D. | Published: Sun, Apr 3, 2016

    Springtime is officially here. This time of year we often begin making plans for the end of school and summertime. For some of our children, those plans may include visiting local indoor tanning salons before a vacation or even their high school prom. As clinicians, we have seen the heartbreaking impacts of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and urge parents to be cautious of your teens and young adults using tanning beds. A proposed law currently moving through the Legislature, House Bill 1471, would go a long way to reduce teens' risk of melanoma and other skin cancers by prohibiting the use of indoor tanning devices by minors younger than 18.

  • George Will: How well do you know your baseball?

    GEORGE F. WILL Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sun, Apr 3, 2016

    WASHINGTON — Pitcher Jim Bouton said: "Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?" To show how smart you are, identify: (1) The team that won a record 26 consecutive games (but finished fourth). (2) Among those with 3,000 hits, the player with the fewest home runs. (3) The player who led both leagues in homers and triples (not in the same season). (4) Who hit the only game seven World Series walk-off home run. (5) The four players who hit World Series homers in three different decades. (6) The first manager to lead three teams to pennants. (7) The manager who, after Connie Mack and John McGraw, had the most

  • Michael Gerson: Trump is the liberal stereotype of Republicans

    MICHAEL GERSON Washington Post Writers Group | Updated: Fri, Apr 1, 2016

    WASHINGTON — This campaign season has offered an unexpected form of reality television entertainment: Watching the light of discovery and calculation in Donald Trump's eyes when he is presented with difficult policy issues, apparently for the first time. Abortion is the current case in point. In the late 1990s, Trump supported the legality of partial-birth abortion. For a few hours on Wednesday, he endorsed criminal sanctions against women who have abortions. On this issue, Trump has been to the left of Harry Reid (who voted for a partial-birth abortion ban) and to the right of Mike Huckabee (who has consistently rejected punishment for women who have had abortions). And Trump is utterly incapable of defending either

  • Clarence Page: House speaker takes on You-Know-Who

    Clarence Page Tribune Content Agency | Published: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling strongly objects to those who compare Lord Voldemort, the "Dark Lord" who is Potter's archenemy in Rowling's novels, to Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump. As Potter fans know, Voldemort strikes so much fear into the hearts of other wizards that they refer to him only as "You-Know-Who" or "He Who Must Not Be Named." Some Twitter users compared Trump to Voldemort in December after the billionaire developer and TV reality show star proposed a ban on Muslims entering the United States. "How horrible," Rowling responded in a tweet of her own. "Voldemort was nowhere near as bad." Grant this much to Ms. Rowling: She has standards.

  • Crisis services director: Investing in babies’ nutrition is smart bet

    By Miki Farris | Published: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    For decades, I have said if we invest in the future of today's babies and toddlers that tomorrow's leaders will be better equipped to handle society's problems and concerns. And now it seems some of the world's top economists agree. According to a recent article on Freakanomics.com, the nation's leading economics blog, feeding children who are malnourished or at risk of becoming malnourished is one of the best ways we can invest in our future. In 2015, a panel of 32 of the world's top economists was tasked with helping the United Nations determine the best areas in which to invest developmental aid dollars — finding out what would provide the best bang for their buck. Not surprisingly, world hunger was of top concern