• Michael Gerson: On immigration, leaving the harder path

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Sat, Nov 22, 2014

    WASHINGTON — There are any number of marvelous things one might do as president, if Congress were not such a checked and balanced mess. But future presidents now have a new method at their disposal: Declare a long-running debate to be a national emergency. Challenge Congress, under threat of unilateral executive action, to legislate on the topic before your term runs out. And when lawmakers refuse, act with the most expansive definition of presidential power. The supporting arguments for this approach come down to the claim that the American political system is broken — incapable of action on urgent matters because of obstructionism, bad faith and the abuse of legislative procedure. It is the political philosophy of

  • Charles Krauthammer: The climate pact swindle

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Historic. Such is the ubiquitous description of the climate agreement recently announced in Beijing between Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in which China promised for the first time to cap carbon emissions. If this were a real breakthrough, I’d be an enthusiastic supporter. I have long advocated for a tangible global agreement to curb carbon. I do remain skeptical about the arrogant, ignorant claim that climate science is “settled,” that it can predict with accuracy future “global warming” effects and that therefore we must cut emissions radically, immediately and unilaterally if necessary, even at potentially ruinous economic and social cost.

  • General contractor rep: Oklahoma's roads, bridges must continue as a priority

    BY BOBBY STEM | Published: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    Oklahoma teacher unions are at the state Capitol all too often lobbying for measures that take away funding from the very roads and bridges that got them there in the first place. These unions are undermining the significance of Oklahoma’s infrastructure by insisting that the funds that are paving the future of Oklahoma’s roads and bridges go instead to our broken public education system. The results of the 2014 Oklahoma elections show that voters and the transportation industry are fed up with these demands. While the Oklahoma Education Association was able to recruit 25,000 teachers to a rally at the Capitol last session, it was unsuccessful in rallying enough voters to elect Kevin Black, an OEA member, to the

  • Former OKC Chamber official: State's two biggest cities both going strong

    BY DEAN SCHIRF | Published: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    Steve Lackmeyer’s “Which is better: OKC or Tulsa?” (Business, Nov. 15) was interesting. Tulsans for decades referred to Oklahoma City as a cowtown spread over the flat plains and served by a river that needed mowing all too often. Meanwhile, Tulsa was considered the cosmopolitan city on the banks of the Arkansas River, surrounded by natural beauty of tree-covered rolling hills. For decades it was known as the “Oil Capital of the World” with the most impressive skyline of any city its size in the country. But time and events can change things. In 1978, Oklahoma City had the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.8 percent with Tulsa a close second.

  • Kathleen Parker: Pope calls for family resurrection

    By Kathleen Parker | Published: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    WASHINGTON — News that Pope Francis will visit the U.S. next year for the triennial World Meeting of Families brings elation to Catholics, excitement to pope watchers — and perhaps a little chagrin to some who too soon interpreted Francis’ broad compassion as a precursor to doctrinal changes related to marriage. Nothing could be further from the truth. In recent comments in a variety of forums — from the bishops’ synod last month to the international, interreligious “Humanum” colloquium this week in Rome — Francis has delivered a pastoral message that is consistent with the church’s long-held beliefs on marriage. What’s different is his language. He has sought fresh ways to see and think about things.

  • George Will: Using a bludgeon in Wisconsin

    By George Will | Published: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    MILWAUKEE — It is as remarkable as it is repulsive, the ingenuity with which the Obama administration uses the regulatory state’s intricacies to advance progressivism’s project of breaking nongovernmental institutions to government’s saddle. Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers unions, the Department of Justice wants to destroy Wisconsin’s school choice program. Feigning concern about access for handicapped children, DOJ’s aim is to handicap all disadvantaged children by denying their parents access to school choices of the sort enjoyed by affluent DOJ lawyers. DOJ’s perverse but impeccably progressive theory can be called “osmotic transfer.

  • Paul Greenberg: It happens every time

    By Paul Greenberg | Published: Wed, Nov 19, 2014

    Here’s the most predictable news bulletin of the day and maybe the year. It came from Reuters the day after the president and lame-duck-in-chief of the United States threw still another of his monkey wrenches into the economy, particularly investment in it: REUTERS — AT&T will pause investments to bring fiber connections to 100 cities until U.S. regulators iron out rules to regulate how Internet service providers manage their Web traffic, the company’s chief executive told investors Wednesday. “We can’t go out and invest that kind of money deploying fiber to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed,” CEO Randall Stephenson said. Well, sure.

  • Washington Examiner: GOP should approach immigration challenge calmly

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Wed, Nov 19, 2014

    REPUBLICANS look forward with some apprehension to President Obama’s threat to act unilaterally on immigration. Obama has already violated the clear letter of his own health care law in order to make it less painful to Americans during an election year, and he also tried to make two illegal executive appointments, only to be repudiated by a unanimous Supreme Court. There is little to suggest he won’t follow through on this new threat. Republicans will not find it easy to challenge his actions. It’s often difficult to gain standing in court when an executive simply refuses to enforce the law. Impeachment would be an overreaction — and a politically damaging one for anyone who has bigger goals in mind, like seeing Obamacare

  • Oklahoma rancher: Protectionist policy will cost consumers

    BY HOPE PJESKY | Published: Wed, Nov 19, 2014

    Nobody ever wins a trade war. Yet a protectionist act of stubbornness will force American consumers to pay more at the grocery store and make it harder for American farmers to export what we grow — unless the federal government finally corrects a mistake that it keeps on making. For the third time, the World Trade Organization has ruled against country-of-origin labeling (COOL). It said that although the United States may permit these labels in principle, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rules in practice have unfairly blocked Canadian and Mexican products from the American market. This is no surprise: Ranchers like me have been saying this for years.

  • Ruth Marcus: A slippery slope on immigration

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, Nov 19, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Every Democrat should be nervous about President Obama’s plan for unilateral action on immigration reform. Not because of the impact on an already gridlocked Congress, or because it risks inflaming an increasingly hostile public. Democrats should be nervous about the implications for presidential power, and the ability of a future Republican president to act on his or her own. Note that I said nervous, not opposed. In this situation, the executive power devil is in the details of what the executive actually does, both the scope of his actions and the legal justifications for them.

  • Clarence Page: Obama's new attitude: Don't back down

    By Clarence Page | Published: Tue, Nov 18, 2014

    With only two years left in his final term — and after a stinging rebuke to his party in the midterm elections, the president is showing a new attitude: No more Mr. Nice Guy. First he threw down a challenge on the immigration issue. After years of setbacks and delays, Obama boldly vowed to take executive action to protect as many as 6 million undocumented immigrants from fear of deportation. He welcomed Congress to replace his unilateral action with more comprehensive legislation of its own. But he’s moving ahead, he vowed, whether Congress does or not. With that, Obama brought to center stage an issue that deeply divides Republicans — and at a time when Republicans hoped to push issues like trade agreements that

  • George Will: A murderer's warped idealism

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Nov 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Western reflection about human nature and the politics of the human condition began with the sunburst of ancient Greece 2,500 years ago, but lurched into a new phase 70 years ago with the liberation of the Nazi extermination camps. The Holocaust is the dark sun into which humanity should stare, lest troubling lessons be lost through an intellectual shrug about “the unfathomable.” Now comes an English translation of a 2011 German book that refutes a 1963 book and rebukes those who refuse to see the Holocaust as proof of the power of the most dangerous things — ideas that denigrate reason.

  • Jules Witcover: Lincoln's vice-presidential switch changed history

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sun, Nov 16, 2014

    CHICAGO — The other day I found myself at the famous Abraham Lincoln Bookshop here, talking about my latest effort, a history on the evolution of the American vice presidency. The visit brought to mind a little-discussed Lincoln story in the book that I will convey here in necessarily abbreviated form. In 1864, as Lincoln faced the challenge of re-election and the Civil War still raged, he decided unbeknownst to his first-term vice president, Hannibal Hamlin of Maine, to replace him for his second term with a Southern War Democrat — that is, a Democrat who had opposed secession from the Union. Lincoln feared that without Southern support, he would lose the election before he could see the war through to victory and save

  • Paul Greenberg: The dream of American isolation

    By Paul Greenberg | Published: Sun, Nov 16, 2014

    Call it the Case of the Not So Innocent Bystander, for how can anyone who witnesses evil but does nothing to stop it be called innocent? To quote an observation attributed to that great British statesman Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Even now the evil besetting the Middle East sends out ripples spread far and wide — even to peaceful Ottawa, where a terrorist begins attacking Canadian soldiers and then Parliament itself. Until finally a sergeant-at-arms with good sense and a handy weapon lays down his ceremonial mace long enough to shoot the invader dead. The best response to evil is too often the last. Not till enough of the innocent have paid the price may

  • Oklahoma Space Alliance president: Spaceport has substantial value for state

    BY STEPHEN T. SWIFT | Published: Sat, Nov 15, 2014

    Regarding “Market forces should guide future of state spaceport” (Our Views, Nov. 6): The U.S. military developed the spaceport site during World War II. The Strategic Air Command used it later. The site acquired by Oklahoma for $1 is valued today at more than $900 million. The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority (OSIDA) negotiated an agreement with the Department of Defense, which uses the facilities jointly with general aviation. Defense pays 90 percent of airport maintenance and operations. Approximately 35,000 operations occurred last year. The site is a full-function airport with active FAA tower and fire and rescue facilities. With the support from the Department of Defense, OSIDA’s funding is far less

  • E.J. Dionne: Obamacare vs. Scaliacare

    By E.J. Dionne Jr. | Published: Sat, Nov 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Republican leaders in the House and Senate have made clear that they’ll deploy every weapon in the legislative arsenal to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They’ll try to chip away at the taxes that support it and abolish the mandates that make its insurance markets work. They might even stand on their heads and stop breathing if that would do the trick. It’s a shame they are approaching matters this way. Various provisions of the ACA have helped well over 100 million Americans, including about 20 million who gained coverage or got new insurance under the law. In a rational republic, both parties might try to figure out how to improve the law. Why wreck it? But elections have consequences.

  • Washington Examiner: Deal with Iran keeps getting worse

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Fri, Nov 14, 2014

    WHEN dealing with the Soviets and their nuclear aggression, President Ronald Reagan famously cited an old Russian proverb: “Trust, but verify.” In his current dealings with Iran and its nuclear ambitions, President Obama seems to be forgetting about that second part. He’s asking Americans to trust a negotiating adversary who keeps trying to remind the world that it remains the same bad actor it was during the 1979 hostage crisis. Nearly a year into the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran, it becomes more and more apparent that the American people are watching a bad deal unfold as it gets hatched in their name. Several new and alarming hints have emerged in just the last few days that should make

  • Charles Krauthammer: The Gruber confession

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Nov 14, 2014

    WASHINGTON — It’s not exactly the Ems Dispatch (the diplomatic cable Bismarck doctored to provoke the 1870 Franco-Prussian War). But what the just-resurfaced Gruber Confession lacks in world-historical consequence, it makes up for in world-class cynicism. This October 2013 video shows MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, a principal architect of Obamacare, admitting that, in order to get it passed, the law was made deliberately obscure and deceptive. It constitutes the ultimate vindication of the charge that Obamacare was sold on a pack of lies. “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” said Gruber. “Basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to

  • Clarence Page: Democrats need more diversity, too

    By Clarence Page | Published: Fri, Nov 14, 2014

    Here we go again. Big election defeats inevitably are followed by major rounds of teeth-gnashing, shirt-rending, soul-searching, finger pointing, self-flagellating and circular firing squad shooting. Now it’s the Democrats’ turn. Again. After their recent thrashing in midterm congressional elections, the Democratic National Committee is launching a “top-to-bottom review,” DNC chair and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced. Let me guess: I bet they’re going to reach conclusions very similar to the “autopsy” that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus launched after Mitch Romney’s 2012 defeat. In short, they need, as the RNC says, “more outreach.

  • Kathleen Parker: Obama's spiteful legacy

    By Kathleen Parker | Published: Fri, Nov 14, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Post-election analysis falls somewhere between amusing and clueless. In the amusing camp are Democratic strategists who intone that more Democrats would have won if only more people had voted. The gods surely blush with envy. And of course, there’s the conventional wisdom that Democrats always suffer in midterms because they lack “intensity,” meaning they don’t care, and that presidents are always unpopular in their sixth year in office. So much for insight. Next we visit the clueless camp where professional pundits gather. The consensus here is that the election wasn’t a mandate for Republicans to overhaul government. I confess that I was one of these, but (mark your calendars) I was