• OCAST director: An opportunity for Oklahoma

    BY MICHAEL CAROLINA | Published: Wed, Feb 4, 2015

    Oklahomans have watched the dramatic decline of energy prices over the past few months with a sense of uncertainty. How low will oil prices go? When will the free fall end? And how will it affect Oklahoma’s economy? Whatever impact the decline of energy prices has on the fiscal 2016 budget, it just might present an opportunity for Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) and its strategic partners, the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, i2E Inc., and OSU’s New Product Development Center, are working to create high-paying, STEM-based jobs in diverse areas such as aerospace, biotechnology, software, agriculture and support services for Oklahoma’s energy industry.

  • George F. Will: A season of wretched excess

    By George Will | Published: Sun, Feb 1, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Beer, Benjamin Franklin supposedly said but almost certainly didn’t, is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Without cannonballing into deep theological waters, perhaps Deflategate proves the same thing. This scrumptious NFL pratfall — think of someone insufferably self-important stepping on a banana peel; hello, Donald Trump — has come to lighten the mood of America’s annual Wretched Excess Season. It consists of the days — this year, 12 of them — between the State of the Union address and the final merciful tick of the clock of the Super Bowl. The State of the Union has become, under presidents of both parties, a political pep rally degrading to everyone. The judiciary and uniformed

  • Steven Schroeder: Good stewardship of tobacco settlement funds paying off for Oklahoma

    BY STEVEN A. SCHROEDER, M.D. | Published: Sun, Feb 1, 2015

    Oklahoma has become a national model for using tobacco settlement funds to reduce tobacco use and improve public health. While most states’ settlement funds have fallen prey to shortsighted fiscal schemes, unrelated diversions and political whims, Oklahoma has quietly and steadily taken a wiser course. Extensive, peer-reviewed research findings published in this month’s American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) are a strong testament to that wisdom. Oklahoma offers two distinct lessons in good stewardship of tobacco settlement funds. First, Oklahoma voters chose to permanently protect most of the state’s annual payments in a constitutionally established endowment — the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust

  • Ruth Marcus: Dartmouth's college try

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Sun, Feb 1, 2015

    University aims to curb binge practices

  • Richard Berman: Labor's 'rebirth' not going as planned

    BY RICHARD BERMAN | Published: Sat, Jan 31, 2015

    Toward the end of 2014, a handful of wishful members of the labor press “discovered” a new trend — the rebirth of labor unions. Bolstered by a series of new regulations and edicts designed to push more Americans to become dues-paying members, Big Labor had supposedly caught its second wind. This is less a trend than a temporary boost thanks to a National Labor Relations Board that’s operating as the legal wing of the AFL-CIO. Underlying interest in voluntarily joining or paying dues is in fact historically low. And new data on the union participation rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics gives the lie to a 21st-century labor resurgence before it takes its first mandatory coffee break. In all, only 11.1 percent of

  • Clarence Page: Republicans discover income inequality, just in time for campaign season

    By Clarence Page | Published: Sat, Jan 31, 2015

    Politics sometimes leads to poetic justice. Sarah Palin can no longer mock President Barack Obama’s use of a teleprompter after her own teleprompter froze mid-speech. The calamity occurred at Republican Rep. Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Summit in Iowa last weekend, leaving her to ad-lib a word salad of red-meat applause lines for her conservative audience, such as this: ”The man can only ride you when your back is bent. So strengthen it! Then the man can’t ride you, America won’t get taken for a ride, because so much is at stake.” And this: ”Now the press asks, the press asks, ‘Can anyone stop Hillary?’ ” she said of Democrat Hillary Clinton who is widely expected to run in 2016.

  • Budig, Heaps: Important bond between two- and four-year colleges

    BY GENE BUDIG, AND ALAN HEAPS | Published: Fri, Jan 30, 2015

    Not surprisingly, public college and university presidents look at the new year with pangs of trepidation, realizing the possibility of increased tax support is remote, at best, knowing that further recessions in budgets are possible and that a heavy load of greater fund raising will land on their collective backs. And they will face a heated national debate on whether to keep the historical college experience much as it has been for generations or shift to a more practical and affordable curriculum that takes into account the knowledge and technical skills that lead to early and employable skills. They expect no early consensus on the prickly subject and a lot of divisive and hardened statements.

  • Charles Krauthammer: Auschwitz, today

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Jan 30, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Amid the ritual expressions of regret and the pledges of “never again” on Tuesday’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a bitter irony was noted: Anti-Semitism has returned to Europe. With a vengeance. It has become routine. If the kosher-grocery massacre in Paris hadn’t happened in conjunction with Charlie Hebdo, how much worldwide notice would it have received? As little as did the murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse. As little as did the terror attack that killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. The rise of European anti-Semitism is in reality just a return to the norm.

  • Institute CEO Bradley: EPA's methane rules would cut jobs, reduce security

    BY ROBERT L. BRADLEY JR. | Published: Fri, Jan 30, 2015

    Energy policy reforms are usually about improving U.S. energy security, creating jobs or lowering energy prices. But the Obama administration’s methane regulations are centered on amorphous concerns about climate change. Ostensibly to lower the amount of methane that es-capes from oil and natural gas drilling, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing regulations that would reduce security, cut jobs and increase prices. Drilling companies have no incentive to waste methane; they have every incentive to capture it for sale. Methane is one of the commodities produced from underground rock formations that fuels heating, cooking and manufacturing. EPA’s new regulations are badly timed. Natural gas prices are low,

  • Washington Examiner: U.S. has time to avoid Greek tragedy

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    SUNDAY’S election in Greece saw the rise of political extremism in the birthplace of democracy. The far-leftists of Syriza and the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party will now control two of the three largest blocs in the Greek parliament. The mainstream parties, left and right, were obliterated. Thus opens a new and worrying chapter in that nation’s modern story. Greece’s experience this decade demonstrates what can happen when nations allow latent fiscal crises to fester — when they avoid addressing the problem until there are no good options remaining. Perhaps this story sounds familiar. In better times, when the course could have been corrected with far less pain, they ignored their growing structural deficits.

  • George F. Will: Bud Selig's winning legacy

    By George Will | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The business of baseball and the nation’s business used to be conducted in Washington with similar skill. The Washington Senators were run by Clark Griffith, who said: “Fans like home runs, and we have assembled a pitching staff to please our fans.” Today, however, Washington’s team is a model of best practices. The government? Less so. The nation had what historians have called a “critical period,” and so has the national pastime. The nation’s was in the 1780s, after the Revolution but before the Constitutional Convention, when the 13 states were linked, barely, by the Articles of Confederation, which George Washington called “a rope of sand.

  • Michael Gerson: Republicans in the immigration minefield

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Any Republican event convened by Rep. Steven King — he of “calves the size of cantaloupes” fame — could easily have degenerated into a festival of immigrant bashing. It is to the credit of the serious GOP presidential prospects in attendance that the Iowa Freedom Summit generally was not. Yes, Donald Trump emerged from his stretch clown car to say that “half of them are criminals.” And King declared that protesting Dream Act supporters were from “the other planet.” But the Republican script in Iowa was mainly focused on criticizing President Obama’s immigration executive actions rather than negatively characterizing illegal immigrants themselves. Avoiding offensive language is admittedly a low bar.

  • Ruth Marcus: Green shots of sanity?

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Are we witnessing the emergence of what might be called a new “sanity caucus” among House Republicans? Earlier this month, 26 of them voted against an amendment to undo President Obama’s program to shield so-called dreamers from deportation. Last week, House leaders were forced to pull an anti-abortion bill after a different but similarly sized group balked at provisions in a measure to ban late-term abortions. To be sure, this is, to rephrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan, defining sanity down. On the immigration bill, despite the moderates’ revolt, the amendment to repeal Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program passed, albeit by the narrowest possible margin.

  • Renzi Stone: Energy downturn provides opportunity to better educate the public

    BY RENZI STONE | Published: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    Like all of you, I’m curious about what the bottom is for sliding oil prices. As any Oklahoman knows, low energy prices trickle down to everyone, even marketing communication agencies. My firm has based an entire practice group on the idea that energy companies, both exploration and production as well as the entire supply chain, long ago lost the public opinion battle and have been attempting to catch up ever since. We’ve been helping clients determine how to better communicate and interact with their stakeholders — from shareholders to the general public. In Oklahoma, an estimated one out of every five jobs is supported (directly or indirectly) through operations in this industry.

  • Ervin Yen, Jonathan Small: Let's protect Oklahoma patients' rights

    BY JONATHAN SMALL AND, STATE SEN. ERVIN YEN | Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    Many policy issues will be considered by the Legislature during the 2015 session. No doubt health care will be a topic of discussion. As health care costs continue to grow and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) changes how people get medical care, everyone’s looking for policy reforms and innovations that can make acquiring high-quality health care a reality for more people. While opinions on health care and the ACA differ, common-sense solutions should be supported. Health care policy reforms must be pursued. Many patients, doctors, employers and providers feel overwhelmed by the current system. Doctors and patients often express that they feel as if they’re just a number and not a name.

  • Michael Gerson: The fight for the middle class

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Sun, Jan 25, 2015

    Republicans have their own case to make

  • George F. Will: Vermont's Sanders has mountains to climb

    By George Will | Published: Sun, Jan 25, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The young man who answered the phone in the Senate office of Vermont’s Bernie Sanders told the caller, a would-be campaign contributor, that it is illegal for funds to be accepted on federal property. He advised the person to contact Sanders’ political operation, which might become a presidential campaign. Sanders, 73, does not smile promiscuously, as befits someone who thinks the republic is being ruined by the government’s parsimony regarding social programs, its obsequiousness toward Wall Street, and its tolerance of billionaires influencing electoral politics. If, however, he wants to seek the Democratic nomination, he should soften his starchy disapproval of rich donors. Without them, Minnesota Sen.

  • Jules Witcover: President Obama faces reality

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sat, Jan 24, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Perhaps six years too late, President Obama gave strong indications in his State of the Union address that he’s finally bought into Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over against and expecting different results. Putting aside any optimism that the Republicans in Congress would somehow be afflicted with sweet reasonableness now that they hold the majority in both houses, he has signaled that in his last two years in office he will more fully embrace the liberal Democratic agenda. While this attitude will almost certainly guarantee more head-knocking legislative stalemate, it will have the virtue of restoring much of the good will within his own party that put him in the

  • Oklahoma State professor: Quality college at a low cost

    BY VANCE H. FRIED | Published: Sat, Jan 24, 2015

    In “School provides great value for Oklahomans” (Point of View, Jan. 16), University of Central Oklahoma business school dean Mickey Hepner took issue with a column in which Brandon Dutcher and Frank Keating made the case for high-quality, low-cost education at places like Western Governors University. Hepner said Dutcher and Keating (Point of View, Jan. 4) used “erroneous and misleading information,” specifically, that they “understated the cost of a business degree from WGU and overstated the cost of a degree from the University of Central Oklahoma.” Since it was my cost information that Dutcher and Keating relied upon, allow me to say that the information is neither erroneous nor misleading.

  • Cal Thomas: Winston Churchill, a man for all time

    By Cal Thomas | Published: Sat, Jan 24, 2015

    Anniversary of his death is Saturday