Top Stories

  • George F. Will: Mississippi votes its appetite

    Published: Thu, Jun 26, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Chris McDaniel, 41, the flawed paladin of the tea party persuasion who in Mississippi’s Republican Senate primary failed to wrest the nomination from the faltering hands of six-term incumbent Thad Cochran, 76, came into politics after a stint in talk radio. There practitioners do not live by the axiom that you don’t have to explain something you never said, and McDaniel had some explaining to do about some of his more colorful broadcast opinions and phrases, which may have given a number of voters pause about whether he is quite senatorial, whatever that means nowadays. Also, Democrats and independents who had not voted in the Democrat’s primary could vote in the Republican’s.

  • Michael Gerson: An arrogant and lawless IRS

    Published: Wed, Jun 25, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Noted management expert and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was apparently called out of retirement — like the Ted Williams of evasive, unapologetic bureaucrats — to destroy what is left of his agency’s credibility. At immediate issue is two years of subpoenaed emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner to outside agencies, lost in a convenient computer crash. The possible involvement of other agencies is one focus of a congressional investigation into the heightened IRS scrutiny of conservative nonprofit groups before the 2012 election.

  • U.S. Chamber official: Thoughts with Oklahoma students following rejection of Common Core

    BY CHERYL OLDHAM | Published: Wed, Jun 25, 2014

    Oklahoma recently scrapped the Common Core standards after a storm of political pressure from a small but vocal anti-Common Core movement that calls the standards “a federal overreach.” Now, despite strong objection from educators, military families, institutions of higher learning, the civil rights community and the business community, Oklahoma will revert to its old standards, known as Oklahoma Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS). This is troubling because the PASS standards don’t have the best track record when it comes to effectiveness in Oklahoma’s classrooms. According to the Nation’s Report Card, only 30 percent of fourth-graders in Oklahoma are proficient in reading, while just 36 percent are proficient

  • Jules Witcover: A black hole in U.S. history

    Published: Wed, Jun 25, 2014

    WASHINGTON — When historians get around to appraising the start of the new century, what will they say about it? If circumstances continue as they have been, the period may well be deemed a deep black hole in the political life of this country. From the disputatious presidential election of 2000, in which the supposedly nonpolitical Supreme Court stepped in to decide the winner, to the brutal terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, to the unwarranted U.S. invasion of Iraq and its disastrous aftermath, to the Great Recession at home and now the of the disintegration of the American-backed regime in Iraq, the last nearly 14 years have witnessed a woeful stall in the American dream. At the very least, the two

  • Paul Greenberg: Will we ever learn?

    Published: Tue, Jun 24, 2014

    Call it deja vu, the feeling that we’ve been here before, that events in the news are happening again, only with a new cast. This flashback could be titled Iraq Agonistes, except it’s no play. It is all too real. For those are real people suffering and dying, and real diplomats and generals, presidents and pundits, senators and senior advisers ... all proudly displaying their gobsmacked ineptitude. There is something eerily, depressingly familiar about the latest news from the state formerly known as Iraq as this all too familiar tragedy is re-enacted in a different setting with a different suffering people. It’s been almost a decade now since peace was restored after an earlier crisis in Iraq and then maintained at the

  • George F. Will: Stopping a lawless president

    Published: Sun, Jun 22, 2014

    WASHINGTON — What philosopher Harvey Mansfield calls “taming the prince” — making executive power compatible with democracy’s abhorrence of arbitrary power — has been a perennial problem of modern politics. It is now more urgent in America than at any time since the Founders, having rebelled against George III’s unfettered exercise of “royal prerogative,” stipulated that presidents “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Serious as are the policy disagreements roiling Washington, none is as important as the structural distortion threatening constitutional equilibrium.

  • Ruth Marcus: Elizabeth Warren, outsider on a mission

    Published: Sun, Jun 22, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Some politicians know they want to be in public office and scramble to come up with the reason why. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is an accidental, improbable politician — a self-described “outsider” — who knows exactly what she wants to accomplish on the inside. The Massachusetts Democrat insists that she’s not running for president, and there’s little reason to doubt her — although, interestingly, Warren sticks doggedly to the present tense to describe her intentions. I asked Warren about this phrasing the other afternoon over iced tea mixed with lemonade at a restaurant near her Capitol Hill office.

  • Gene Budig, Alan Heaps: Universities need greater commitment to intellectual freedom

    BY GENE BUDIG AND ALAN HEAPS | Published: Sun, Jun 22, 2014

    Based on our conversations with 12 university and college presidents, a continuation of liberal intolerance on campus appears likely in the 2014-15 school year. Such unfortunate acts were carried out last spring at Brandeis, Haverford, Rutgers and Smith. In each case, liberals silenced invited guests to commencements because they found them to be politically objectionable. One such invitee was former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, now a distinguished professor at Stanford University. While one may or may not agree with her politics, her integrity and commitment to public service are unquestioned. The leaders we contacted fear that continuance of such activities will undermine the fundamentals of academic freedom, a

  • Realtor: New Oklahoma law properly addresses abandoned property

    BY LISA NOON | Published: Sat, Jun 21, 2014

    Oklahoma municipalities must address the serious issue of abandoned and neglected properties. However, the solution isn’t more government regulation. The notion of expecting owners to pay a fee to “register” residential or commercial property they’ve abandoned doesn’t make sense. Nor does it solve any problem. By enacting House Bill 2620, the Legislature clearly stated that local governments have the authority and duty to deal with neglected property, but they have no business charging fees to create registries of property or making criminals of citizens for merely owning real estate, regardless of its condition.

  • Clarence Page: A new 'Freedom Summer,' 50 years later

    Published: Sat, Jun 21, 2014

    Civil rights veterans plan to honor the 50th anniversary of Mississippi’s Freedom Summer project by taking on an even bigger challenge: Turning the South’s red states blue. Actually, they don’t express it in terms that are quite that partisan. Whether the states turn Democratic blue or stay Republican red is less important than how much black voters and other voters of color are able to participate in the decision. Fifty years ago this month, a coalition of major civil rights organizations launched Freedom Summer, also known as the Mississippi Summer Project, to register black voters in Mississippi. The event is sadly stained by a great tragedy.

  • Washington Examiner: Substantial benefits from hydraulic fracturing

    Published: Fri, Jun 20, 2014

    WITH little and at times fabricated evidence, Big Green activists and their supporters in government have worked hard to undermine the energy revolution underway in the U.S. Exploiting fear and ignorance, they seek to convince Americans that the current natural gas boom propping up the country’s sagging economy is despoiling the earth, polluting water supplies and even causing earthquakes. So periodically, it’s a good idea to review the substantial concrete benefits from hydraulic fracturing — aka “fracking” — not just the direct benefit to the employers and employees in the industry, but to everyone.

  • Leonard Pitts Jr.: Casey Kasem, hip to be square

    Published: Fri, Jun 20, 2014

    He remembered everything about that night. He remembered the song they slow danced to — “You Are My Lady.” He remembered the play of the lights in her hair as he held her. He remembered her eyes as she looked up at him. He remembered wanting to spend the rest of his life with her. But it wasn’t to be. Before they made it to forever, she died of cancer. So would Casey please play “You Are My Lady” in memory of that angel who was lost too soon? I may have rolled my eyes as I edited that listener’s letter to be read on the air by Casey Kasem, who died on Father’s Day at age 82 after suffering from dementia. We rolled our eyes a lot in the offices of Casey’s Top 40, the radio show he hosted after leaving

  • Charles Krauthammer: Abdication has a price

    Published: Fri, Jun 20, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Yes, it is true that there was no al-Qaida in Iraq when George W. Bush took office. But it is equally true that there was essentially no al-Qaida in Iraq remaining when Barack Obama took office. Which makes Bush responsible for the terrible costs incurred to defeat the 2003-09 jihadist war engendered by his invasion. We can debate forever whether those costs were worth it, but what is not debatable is Obama’s responsibility for the return of the Islamist insurgency that had been routed by the time he became president. By 2009, al-Qaida in Iraq had not just been decimated but humiliated by the American surge and the Anbar Awakening.

  • Michael Bloomberg's misguided, disingenuous adventure

    BY ALAN GOTTLIEB, AND DAVE WORKMAN | Published: Fri, Jun 20, 2014

    When Michael Bloomberg recently suggested that his pathway to heaven was already paved with his own golden “gun control” deeds, he overlooked one of the Ten Commandments, the one about bearing false witness. The ex-mayor’s long-running gun prohibition campaign is built around falsehoods; a pattern of deceit that has included counting a slain terrorism suspect as a victim of gun violence, the persistent use of a bogus claim about gun sales and background checks, and grossly inflating the number of school shootings. Bloomberg is spending $50 million, a far tidier sum than 30 pieces of silver, even with today’s inflation rate, on the “Everytown for Gun Safety” campaign to perpetuate these myths.

  • Michael Gerson: The reality conservatives must face

    Published: Thu, Jun 19, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Various factions of the GOP continue to rummage through House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s astonishing primary loss for confirmation of their pre-existing views. The entire enterprise of turning 36,000 votes in the Richmond suburbs into received political wisdom is suspect. But many Republicans have declared immigration reform to be really, honestly, finally dead. According to the talk radio right, Cantor lost for supporting “amnesty,” which he had actually rejected. But some of the best thinkers of the reform conservative movement -- pushing Republicans toward a more populist, pro-family, pro-middle-class agenda -- have posited a more sophisticated connection between immigration and Cantor’s loss.

  • George F. Will: Obama's foreign policy of retreat

    Updated: Wed, Jun 18, 2014

    “From the halls of Montezuma To the shores of Tripoli … ” — The Marines’ Hymn WASHINGTON — Two hundred and nine years after Marines visited those shores, dispatched by President Jefferson to punish Barbary pirates for attacking U.S. vessels in the Mediterranean, Marines are again in that sea, poised to return. If they are sent ashore, their mission will be to rescue U.S. citizens from the consequences of U.S. policy. Then they might have to do the same thing in Baghdad. The House Select Committee on Benghazi should not consider the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi its sole or even primary topic. Rather, it should begin at the beginning, with the U.S. military intervention in Libya’s civil war

  • Ruth Marcus: A cautious Obama misreads history

    Published: Wed, Jun 18, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Two instincts — one predictable, the other surprising — help explain the arc of Barack Obama’s presidency. The predictable instinct is Obama’s tendency to overlearn the lessons of history. The second, more surprising but related to the first, is Obama’s frequent audacity deficit. Every capable leader learns from history. But key moments of the Obama presidency demonstrate that he has erred in precisely the opposite direction, by being overly reluctant to repeat the mistakes of his predecessors. On the domestic front, the signal episode in this regard involves his hands-off shepherding of the health care debate through Congress.

  • Discovery Institute fellow: EPA war on coal is unconstitutional

    BY SCOTT S. POWELL | Published: Wed, Jun 18, 2014

    Just when you expect President Obama to moderate his domestic economic policies that have stifled job growth and fostered an anemic recovery following the passage of his two signature pieces of legislation — the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Affordable Care Act — it gets worse. Now, after bringing banking and healthcare — about 31 percent of the U.S. economy — under the heel of government, Obama wants to further control and transform the energy sector, which represents another 10.5 percent of the economy. Blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, which could help bust OPEC by transporting abundant Canadian oil into the United States, was the opening salvo of Obama’s war against fossil fuels.

  • Washington Examiner: More surprising election results likely between now and November

    Published: Tue, Jun 17, 2014

    THAT nobody saw it coming may be the biggest surprise among the many prompted by Dave Brat’s 12-point blowout of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The experts didn’t see the signs because they had decided beforehand what the outcome would be and then failed to look for any contrary evidence. In other words, as is so often the case in American political commentary, the experts were blinded by a conventional wisdom of their own making. Conventional wisdom is usually sufficient because relatively few electoral contests are “wave elections” like that of 2010, in which widespread and deep dissatisfaction with incumbents was the defining context for most voters.

  • Paul Greenberg: Quality education — for all

    Published: Tue, Jun 17, 2014

    A trial judge in California has now delivered a resounding decision in the great tradition of Brown v. Board of Education — yes, the case that sounded the death knell for Jim Crow in public schools after half a century of legally established and maintained racial segregation. This case is styled Vergara v. State of California, but it might as well be named Poor Kids v. Teachers’ Unions, and this time the kids won one. In a blow for equality of opportunity in his state, and maybe in this country, His Honor Rolf M. Treu of the Los Angeles County Superior Court struck down California’s ridiculous laws governing teacher tenure.