• E.J. Dionne: Is democracy unraveling?

    By E.J. Dionne Jr. | Published: Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The world’s democracies, perhaps especially our own, face a peculiar set of contradictions that are undermining faith in public endeavor and unraveling old loyalties. There is a decline of trust in traditional political parties but also a rise in partisanship. A broad desire for governments to reduce the levels of economic insecurity and expand opportunity is constrained by a loss of confidence in the capacity of government to succeed. Intense demands for change are accompanied by fears that much of the change that is occurring will make life worse for individuals and families. These crosscurrents are undercutting political leaders and decimating political parties with long histories.

  • Oklahoma Bar Association president: Law Day offers opportunity for reflection, service

    BY DAVID A. POARCH | Published: Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    The Oklahoma Bar Association’s celebration of Law Day on Thursday allows us to annually celebrate our legal heritage — the laws and documents that have governed us since our nation’s founding. In 2015 we’re looking back even further. This year marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the document that cemented the concept that no person is above the law. Many of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans were directly inspired by Magna Carta, including our basic concept of civil rights promised in the first 10 amendments to our Constitution. Indeed, the Magna Carta has become one of the world’s most enduring symbols of liberty under law. It continues to be a source of inspiration in the international struggle to advance

  • Paul Greenberg: The Huckabee Show hits the road — again

    By Paul Greenberg | Published: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    Hail, hail, the gang’s all here, but to what purpose? Mike Huckabee is showing symptoms of still another presidential campaign, and all the old familiar faces are back — his daughter Sarah, his spokesflack Alice Stewart … and they’re not getting any younger. Is this going to be a presidential campaign? Or a way for Brother Huckabee to continue his Fox News show under a different name? Maybe he’s just moving his revival tent from television to the campaign trail in the spirit of William Jennings Bryan, who was as much evangelist as politician. What can the Rev./Gov.

  • Washington Examiner: The Clintons' money dealings: what impropriety looks like

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    THE deck, Hillary Clinton declared in her much-hyped campaign announcement video, is too often stacked in favor of the wealthy and powerful. How true this is. The average middle-class American, for instance, can hardly hope to sit in judgment over the business affairs of corporations that can pay his family or his family foundations millions of dollars. Clinton, on the other hand, did just that while serving as President Obama’s secretary of state. Several examples of this are set to appear in Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash,” which is to be released May 5.

  • Oklahoma senator, rep: It's time to expand transparency involving federal funds

    BY STATE REP. TOM NEWELL, AND STATE SEN. GREG TREAT | Published: Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    It’s no secret that the federal government’s debt is now more than $18 trillion. A bipartisan chorus of policymakers and policy analysts agrees that the current spending patterns of the federal government are unsustainable. One of the significant drivers in federal debt has been the acceptance and expense of federal funds by state agencies. According to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) prepared by the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services, total federal funds used by state agencies in Oklahoma has risen dramatically. Just 10 years ago, in fiscal year 2004, federal funds totaled $4.3 billion. Now federal funds total $6.7 billion, meaning our dependence on federal spending is

  • George Will: A Graham candidacy's fun factor

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    WASHINGTON — In 1994, Lindsey Graham, then a 39-year-old South Carolina legislator, ran for Congress in a district that he said had not elected a Republican since Union guns made it do so during Reconstruction. He promised that in Washington he would be “one less vote for an agenda that makes you want to throw up.” He was elected to the Senate in 2002 and soon almost certainly will join the Republican presidential scramble, enlivening it with his quick intelligence, policy fluency, mordant wit and provocative agenda. He has the normal senatorial tendency to see a president in the mirror, and an ebullient enjoyment of campaigning’s rhetorical calisthenics. Another reason for him to run resembles one of Dwight Eisenhower’s

  • Ruth Marcus: Donations leave Hillary in a cloud

    By Ruth Marcus | Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    WASHINGTON — In thinking about donations to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments and interests, an adage attributed to Benjamin Franklin and a Yiddish word come to mind. From Franklin — actually, from Franklin’s alter ego, Poor Richard — comes the saying, “He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.” In foreign policy, as in fundraising, lying down with dogs goes with the territory. Combine the two, and fleas become an occupational hazard. Foreign interests, like their U.S. counterparts, may give to the Clinton Global Initiative out of the goodness of their hearts and their commitment to the foundation’s many important works.

  • OCAST director: Students gain from robotics competition

    BY MICHEAL CAROLINA | Published: Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    I saw March madness played out at Cox Convention Center on the last weekend of March. This wasn’t basketball, but 1,400 high school students from five states full of enthusiasm and passion as they commanded their student-designed robots to pick up litter. This was the FIRST Robotics Oklahoma Regional competition, where 61 high school student teams designed a robot from a kit of parts they had received six weeks earlier. There were cheerleaders, mascots, a pit area for last-minute tune-ups, and the actual competition floor. The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST)was but one of many sponsors that helped make the regional event a reality for the competing teams and their crews. Gov.

  • Michael Gerson: 'The road to character'

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Most of us have an image of the counterculture, shaped by memory or mythmaking, that involves Haight-Ashbury, flea-market clothing, free love and a haze of pot smoke. But as the counterculture has consumed the culture — with hipsterism marketed at Urban Outfitters, pre-, non- and extra-marital sex a firmly established social expectation and a haze of pot smoke covering entire states — countering the culture takes on a different meaning. With his new book, “The Road to Character,” David Brooks — New York Times columnist, PBS “NewsHour” commentator, and serial mensch — emerges as a countercultural leader.

  • Kourlis: Progress being made in civil justice system

    BY REBECCA LOVE KOURLIS | Published: Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    Changes being worked on nationwide

  • Jules Witcover: The endless campaign marathon is out of hand

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Now that Hillary Clinton has finally declared her presidential candidacy for 2016, the country can look forward to another interminable stretch of pre-election shadow boxing, until the first voting in the Iowa caucuses early next year. The lineup of contestants for the slog is a curious one. In the Republican Party, 20 or more aspirants have already burst out of the starting gate in a number of meaningless trial heats and straw polls. An army of print, radio, television and Internet analysts is already reading the skimpy tea leaves to discern who’s ahead and who’s behind.

  • Freedom From Religion Foundation attorney: In Oklahoma, working to set the biblical record straight

    BY ANDREW L. SEIDEL | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s priorities out of order

  • Charles Krauthammer: Obama's Nixon doctrine: anointing Iran

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    WASHINGTON — In December, President Obama said that he wished to see Iran ultimately become a “very successful regional power.” His wish — a nightmare for the Western-oriented Arab states — is becoming a reality. Consider: Gulf of Aden: Iran sends a flotilla of warships and weapons-carrying freighters to reinforce the rebels in Yemen — a noncontiguous, non-Persian, nonthreatening (to Iran) Arabian state — asserting its new status as regional bully and arbiter. The Obama administration sends an aircraft carrier group, apparently to prevent this gross breach of the U.N. weapons embargo on Yemen. Instead, the administration announces that it has no intention of doing anything.

  • OU outreach official: Getting older isn't as scary as you think

    BY JAMES P. PAPPAS | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Lifelong learning opportunities are available

  • Paul Greenberg: April 19, a scar on the calendar

    By Paul Greenberg | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    April 19th has come again this year, but it never quite goes. How can it? It stands out like a scar. It may no longer be the bleeding wound it was on that first April 19th — except to those who were there and in a way still are. And can never leave. Their lives, their families, even their memories will never be whole again. The explosion that tore through the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, reducing it to a burned-out hulk, left more than an unforgettable stench in the air. It left a gaping hole in the American consciousness. It was a spiritual blow, which is why rituals like Sunday’s in Oklahoma City are necessary and will be necessary — like lighting a candle for the dead or saying the kaddish on the

  • George Will: When bootleggers and Baptists converge

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Smoking, said King James I in 1604, is “loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs.” Three years later he planted a colony in Jamestown. Its tobacco enhanced the royal treasury until Virginia produced a bumper crop of revolutionaries, including the tobacco farmer George Washington. King James might have been less censorious about “vaping,” which almost certainly is less harmful than inhaling chemicals produced by the combustion of tobacco. Users of e-cigarettes inhale vapors from electronic sticks containing a liquid with nicotine, which is addictive and perhaps particularly unhealthy for adolescent brains.

  • Cal Thomas: Flunking civics should no longer be an option

    By Cal Thomas | Published: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    “Don’t know much about history” — Sam Cooke It’s an old joke, but one that is a commentary on our times. A pollster asks: “What do you think about the level of ignorance and apathy in the country?” The person replies: “I don’t know and I don’t care.” Each week, Jesse Watters of Fox News interviews mostly young people about politics, government, current events and history. He claims their displays of ignorance are not edited. The worst part is that the interviewees don’t seem to care that they know little about their government and country. In a recent episode, interviewees couldn’t name President Obama’s accomplishments or any of the Republican presidential hopefuls.

  • Americans For Prosperity official: Oklahoma anti-EPA bill is a stand for justice

    BY JOHN TIDWELL | Published: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    In a complete disregard of the overall economic impact in individual states, the Obama administration is pushing forward with a policy to regulate greenhouse gas emissions that would be detrimental to consumers and businesses. The Environmental Protection Agency has dubbed this scheme the “Clean Power Plan,” requiring a reduction to the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by one-third by 2031. In Oklahoma, it’s estimated that energy producers will be forced to reduce their emissions 6 percent more than other states, cutting greenhouse gas emissions up to 36 percent. But Oklahomans will lose more than just greenhouse gas emissions with the EPA’s power grab, which will greatly restrict fossil fuels that account for more than

  • Right on Crime director: Efforts to make Oklahoma laws fit the crime

    BY ADAM LUCK | Published: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    Oklahoma imprisons a larger percentage of its population that 47 other states. The state’s prison population grew 7.4 percent, or close to 2,000 inmates in the last 12 months. This growth rate will likely mean Oklahoma is now one of the top three fastest-growing prison systems in the country. While much of this growth can be attributed to the shift in policy initiated by Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton to move offenders from county jails into DOC facilities, the fact remains the Oklahoma justice system relies on imprisonment far more than the rest of the country. Our already overcrowded prison system is now at 111.

  • Ruth Marcus: Does Boston Marathon bomber deserve to die?

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    Compelling arguments either way