• Paul Greenberg: What's the alternative?

    Paul Greenberg Tribune Content Agency | Published: Mon, Aug 3, 2015

    Anyone who criticizes our president's nuclear deal with Iran is bound to be asked: What's the alternative? With the clear implication that there isn't one — not an acceptable one, anyway. It's either war or peace. A simple, black-and-white, all-or-none choice: It's the president's way or no way — except war — to prevent Iran from joining the nuclear club. A nuclearized Iran, one with its own Bomb and the missiles to deliver it, could mean The End for our allies in the Arab world. The Saudis are already on edge. Not to mention the always threatened Israelis, who don't noise it about but have their own nuclear arsenal at the ready.

  • Michael Gerson: A GOP led by Trump will fail, and deserve it

    MICHAEL GERSON The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sun, Aug 2, 2015

    WASHINGTON — At this point in the 2016 presidential campaign, the noble, elusive stag of political rhetoric is pretty much road kill. This judgment is unfair to a few candidates — Rick Perry, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio come to mind — delivering thoughtful speeches. But in portions of the Republican field, the normal limits of civility have been crossed and recrossed in the relentless search for viral attention. Mike Huckabee compared the sitting president to a Nazi prison camp guard. Ted Cruz accused the Senate majority leader of being a liar. Donald Trump, well, opens his mouth. His opponents are invariably "clowns" and "stupid" and physically ugly. He mocks a war hero and reveals the

  • Think tank reps: Oklahoma’s forfeiture laws are in need of reform

    BY TRENT ENGLAND AND GENE PERRY | Published: Sun, Aug 2, 2015

    The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures, while the Fifth Amendment requires due process and just compensation for property taken by the government for public use. So, how did we get to a point in history where government is seizing personal property with no compensation and little to no evidence of a crime? This upside-down process is called “civil asset forfeiture” and it certainly does not line up with our nation’s constitutional ideals. Property is seized by government officials supposedly because it’s connected to criminal activity. Yet many seizures are not accompanied by a conviction, or even the filing of charges.

  • George Will: The barbarity of a nation

    GEORGE F. WILL The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sun, Aug 2, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Executives of Planned Parenthood's federally subsidized meat markets — your tax dollars at work — lack the courage of their convictions. They should drop the pretense of conducting a complex moral calculus about the organs they harvest from the babies they kill. First came the video showing a salad-nibbling, wine-sipping Planned Parenthood official explaining how "I'm going to basically crush below, I'm gonna crush above" whatever organ ("heart, lung, liver") is being harvested.

  • Mental health worker: Effort to help those with this disease

    BY AUGUSTA COX | Published: Sat, Aug 1, 2015

    When the stock market crashed in 2008, I was working as a financial adviser for a defined contribution retirement plan. All my clients were worried about their money. I never in my life thought that I would see the day when a certificate of deposit fund would freeze redemptions, but the mortgage crisis brought the AAA bond market into trouble. I was traveling the state and dealing with distraught clients for as much as 16 hours a day. Along the way, I developed paranoid schizophrenia. I began experiencing hallucinations, paranoia and depression. The mental illness cost me my job and my husband in a two-week period of time. Seven years, and a myriad of odd jobs later, I have finally found my new calling in life.

  • Jules Witcover: Dictatorial polls determine fate of GOP candidates

    Jules Witcover Tribune Content Agency | Published: Sat, Aug 1, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Public-opinion polls, once employed by political consultants to gauge the concerns of voters as a means to shape their candidates' campaigns more effectively, have become the tail that wags the dog. No longer limited to that informational function, the polls have been used virtually to usurp the process. They will determine who deserves to be listened to, and who not, in next week's first televised debate among the top 10 of 16 declared Republicans for the 2016 presidential nomination.

  • Oklahoma Safety Council director: Don't wait to break texting-driving habit

    BY DAVID KOENEKE | Published: Sat, Aug 1, 2015

    Bad habits are hard to break. It takes repeated attempts to change negative behavior and establish a new pattern. That’s why the Oklahoma Safety Council (OSC) is encouraging young and old to immediately stop texting and driving in conjunction with the start of the new school year Monday. By law, Oklahomans have until Nov. 1 to adhere to the new anti-texting law that makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while using a hand-held device to compose, send or read electronic messages. The fine for breaking the law is $100 — a small price to pay, considering the loss of life or limb that is often the case. Despite education about the new law, thousands of Oklahomans are still using their cellphones while driving.

  • Charles Krauthammer: Among the ruins, a case of righteousness

    CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Christianity, whose presence in the Middle East predates Islam's by 600 years, is about to be cleansed from the Middle East. Egyptian Copts may have found some respite under Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, but after their persecution under the previous Muslim Brotherhood government, they know how precarious their existence in 90 percent Muslim Egypt remains. Elsewhere, it's much worse. Twenty-one Copts were beheaded by the Islamic State affiliate in Libya for the crime of being Christian. In those large swaths of Syria and Iraq where the Islamic State rules, the consequences for Christians are terrible — enslavement, exile, torture, massacre, crucifixion.

  • Cal Thomas: Debates vs. debates

    Cal Thomas Tribune Content Agency | Published: Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    WARWICK, England — When it comes to debates the Oxford Union, which bills itself as the "world's most prestigious debating society," remains the gold standard. Begun in 1823, The Union, in modern times, has hosted debates that have included such luminaries as Ronald Reagan and the Dalai Lama. Oxford Union debates produce useful information. The same cannot be said for U.S. presidential debates. Next week, 10 Republican presidential candidates will gather on a stage in Cleveland, Ohio, behind podiums like "Jeopardy" contestants. With so many candidates having so little time, little useful information will be dispensed.

  • Washington Examiner: With Reid idled, Congress is getting some things done

    Washington Examiner Editorial | Published: Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    WHEN voters pulled the lever for Republicans in 2014, they probably didn’t have high expectations for the Congress they were creating. With two years left in President Obama’s term, divided government and further gridlock seemed the best possible outcome. Yet the 114th Congress has been surprisingly productive — and more importantly, it holds forth great promise on such major issues as free trade, criminal justice reform and tax reform. And although not all of the developments are or will be positive, none of the problems stem from the kind of institutional dysfunction that plagued the previous Senate, especially. The classic but misleading metric for a Congress is the number of laws it enacts.

  • Frank Keating: Oklahoma needs to repeal blot in its constitution

    BY FRANK KEATING | Published: Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    Three years after Oklahoma became a state in 1907 and elected its first black member of the Legislature, Republican Rep. A.C. Hamlin, his House colleagues conspired to rid themselves of him by proposing and passing a constitutional amendment that insidiously provided that if you or your relatives couldn’t vote in 1866, then you could not vote. Since no black could vote in 1866, then blacks were disenfranchised. Hamlin was defeated. Mercifully, the federal courts intervened and the “grandfather clause” was declared unconstitutional. Talented blacks returned to the Legislature, culminating in the selection of Republican T.W. Shannon as House speaker in 2013. A second suspect minority that came into the sights of our early

  • Ruth Marcus: Clinton's new email fuss is no scandal

    RUTH MARCUS The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The latest controversy over Hillary Clinton's emails — the allegation that classified information was improperly transmitted on her private email server — is, or should be, a non-scandal. Clinton has only herself to blame for a lot of the email mess. She should have behaved like other government officials and used an official account, however cumbersome the multiple device consequences might have been. If she insisted on using a private server, she should have been exceedingly careful to make certain that information was properly designated for archiving at the time — not long after the fact.

  • George Will: With Iran deal, Obama makes bad history

    GEORGE F. WILL The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Thu, Jul 30, 2015

    WASHINGTON — It came two days after the announcement of the nuclear agreement with Iran, yet little mention was made on July 16 of the 70th anniversary of the first nuclear explosion, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The anniversary underscored that the agreement attempts to thwart proliferation of technology seven decades old. Nuclear-weapons technology has become markedly more sophisticated since 1945. But not so sophisticated that nations with sufficient money and determination cannot master or acquire it. Iran's determination is probably related to America's demonstration, in Iraq and Libya, of the perils of not having nuclear weapons.

  • Paul Greenberg: The casualness of it

    Paul Greenberg Tribune Content Agency | Published: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    There she is, the chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood having lunch at a nice restaurant and, between sips of wine, setting the going rate for various fetal body parts. She's a real pro, this Deborah Nucatola, so competent, so relaxed, so chatty. She betrays about as much emotion as someone putting together the next Neiman Marcus catalogue. "A lot of people want intact hearts these days," she notes, "because they are looking for specific nodes." Then she adds: "Yesterday was the first time she said people wanted lungs. And then, like I said, always as many intact livers as possible." Oh, yes, and "some people want lower extremities, too. I mean that's easy. I don't know what they're doing

  • Oklahoma CPA: To improve IRS service, Congress must help

    BY LUCIA PERRI | Published: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    Regarding “More tales of woe from dealings with the tax man” (Our Views, July 21): If you or your tax preparer have ever tried to call IRS taxpayer services, or think you might, this is a good time to ask Congress to earmark additional funds to improve IRS assistance. Last month, a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee approved a 7.7 percent cut to the Internal Revenue Service budget, which is the lowest since 2004. I might not care so much if they punish Lois Lerner, but there is no reason to punish innocent taxpayers and tax practitioners.  Invariably, whenever funds to the IRS are cut, the agency cuts services to taxpayers and tax practitioners first.

  • Michael Gerson: Coronating a wounded queen?

    MICHAEL GERSON The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The most surprising revelation in recent presidential polling is not that Donald Trump has low favorability in key states — a welcome indicator of national sanity — but rather that Hillary Clinton's numbers are almost as bad. Put another way: A vacuous, gaffe-prone, xenophobic, conspiracy-minded reality television star whose nomination, by most accounts, would destroy the GOP has about the same approval ratings in Colorado and Iowa as the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic nomination. A recognition begins to dawn: Democrats may be coronating a wounded queen.

  • David Prater: Demonstrate our faith through deeds, not words

    BY DAVID PRATER | Published: Sun, Jul 26, 2015

    The irony of the argument by those who advocate for the continued display of the Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol grounds is too stark to ignore. The monument itself seems to have some inordinate importance to those who advocate its current placement. The slab of stone on which some man chiseled a replica of God’s holy words has itself become a graven image; an idol. Arguably, the “Stone Worshipers” are breaking one of the very commandments that they claim to be the tenets of their religion. I’m a believer in the Living God and a follower of Jesus Christ. I take no issue with the Ten Commandments monument being removed from the Capitol grounds. The Oklahoma Supreme Court got it right. Justices correctly

  • Kathleen Parker: Before we lose our minds

    KATHLEEN PARKER The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sun, Jul 26, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Current quibbling over what Jeb Bush meant when he said it's time to phase out and replace Medicare — as opposed to "attacking the seniors," as one woman at a recent event bellowed out — will soon seem quaint against the realities of our future. Never mind projections that the program will only be able to finance 86 percent of its obligations by 2030. Or that by 2050, the number declines to 80 percent, according to a recently released Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees report. These are relatively comforting numbers compared to new projections from the Alzheimer's Association. By 2050, the group says, 16 million Americans will have

  • Ruth Marcus: President should revoke Bill Cosby's Medal of Freedom

    RUTH MARCUS The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sun, Jul 26, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The more I read about comedian/sexual predator Bill Cosby's behavior, the more I question President Obama's my-hands-are-tied response to the matter of taking back Cosby's Presidential Medal of Freedom. "There's no precedent for revoking a medal," Obama said. "We don't have that mechanism." Time to get creative. If the president can be innovative, aggressive even, in his use of executive authority on immigration, surely he can find a way to undo the honor, the nation's highest civilian award. President George W. Bush bestowed it in 2002, describing Cosby as "a gifted comedian who has used the power of laughter to heal wounds and to build

  • Administrator: Medicare, Medicaid have helped keep us healthy for 50 years

    BY DAVID WRIGHT | Published: Sat, Jul 25, 2015

    It’s easy to forget that before 1966, roughly half of all seniors were uninsured, living in fear that the high cost of health care could propel not only them, but their families, into poverty.  Not that long ago, far too many disabled people, families with children, pregnant women and low-income working Americans couldn’t afford the medical care they needed to stay healthy and productive. Fifty years ago, on July 30, 1965, the landscape of health care in America changed forever when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the landmark amendment to the Social Security Act, giving life to the Medicare and Medicaid programs.