• Cal Thomas: Repeating myself on Iran nuke deal

    CAL THOMAS Tribune Content Agency | Published: Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    Am I allowed to repeat myself when it comes to the negotiations over the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal? Why not, since that is what Iran's leaders are doing. They are repeating themselves by refusing inspections of some of their facilities where only a fool would believe nuclear weapons are not under construction. They are repeating themselves when they demand all sanctions be lifted on the day any deal is signed. And let's not forget Iran's weekly "Death to America" chants at Friday prayer services, though publicly politicians in Tehran are said to denounce them.

  • Noble Foundation, AGree officials: Looking for solutions to agriculture's problems

    BY BILL BUCKNER AND JIM MOSELEY | Published: Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    Today, our world faces agricultural dilemmas that dwarf the days of the Dust Bowl. Significant population growth, water quality challenges, weather variability, diet-related diseases, socioeconomic issues and resource scarcity are intersecting in this generation to set the stage for a series of unparalleled global agriculture challenges. These aren’t doomsday hypotheticals but foreseeable situations that require immediate attention and action. Much like the Southern Great Plains experienced more than 80 years ago, we find ourselves at a crossroads.

  • George Will: Some GOP candidates becoming unhinged

    GEORGE F. WILL   | Published: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    WASHINGTON — In 1824, in retirement 37 years after serving as the Constitutional Convention's prime mover, James Madison, 73, noted that the 1787 "language of our Constitution is already undergoing interpretations unknown to its founders." He knew that the purport of the text would evolve "with the changeable meaning of the words composing it." Now, 147 years since ratification of the 14th Amendment, its guarantee of "equal protection of the laws" means that states, which hitherto controlled marriage law, must recognize same-sex marriages.

  • Paul Greenberg: Who won, who lost? The Supremes redefine marriage

    Paul Greenberg   | Published: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    The hopes and fears of all the years met last week in Obergefell v. Hodges, the narrow but sweeping decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that proclaims homosexual couples have a right to marry anywhere in the country. Congratulations to them. At first glance, they've scored a significant victory, even if the score was just 5-4. On equally cursory reading, the states have been handed a significant defeat. The whole, general idea of federalism — that states get to determine their own laws when it comes to a variety of intimate issues, like marriage and divorce — has been undermined.

  • School advisory board head: OKC schools deserve the attention of all

    BY JENNIFER MONIES | Published: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    I didn’t grow up in Oklahoma City. I don’t have memories of a desolate downtown after business hours or neighborhood whispers about brothels that apparently once existed walking distance from my house in the Gatewood Historic District. I only know an Oklahoma City with an NBA franchise, a bustling downtown park and a diverse local restaurant scene. Oklahoma City rivals any place I would want to raise my family. Almost nowhere else in the nation could I live within the urban core for the price and space we have. I live, work and play largely within a 5-mile radius. But everything Oklahoma City has going for it is at risk. There is one more critical piece to Oklahoma City’s renaissance and our continued success and growth

  • Kathleen Parker: Michelle Obama's evolution

    KATHLEEN PARKER The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    WASHINGTON — First-term first ladies are often shadows to their more-important husbands, dabbling in lite fare to avoid criticism and picking safe projects to shield them and their families from the inevitable slings and arrows. The safest bet has been to keep interests close to hearth and home — the universally approved place and role of women. Thus, first lady Laura Bush, who had been a librarian, focused on reading programs and, with the Library of Congress, created the first National Book Festival. Who, after all, could find fault with reading and books? Similarly, Michelle Obama focused on subjects close to home.

  • Michael Gerson: Religious and gay rights must coexist

    MICHAEL GERSON | Published: Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    WASHINGTON — It is often the fate of conservatives to be concerned about the fire code and occupancy limit at someone else's party. Never more conspicuously than concerning the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges. With many friends and relatives celebrating the outcome, judicial conservatives are generally anxious about the process.

  • Washington Examiner: Emails reveal Gruber had big role in shaping Obamacare

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    Shortly after last fall’s election, tapes surfaced of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber smugly describing how deception, “lack of transparency” and “the stupidity of the American voter” had been “critical” in allowing Democrats who controlled Congress to ram Obamacare through in 2010. This was important because the law Gruber helped write restructured nearly a fifth of the national economy and upended many people’s health care arrangements. The Obama administration paid him some $400,000 for his efforts, and he also managed to snag millions more dollars for consulting gigs with various state Obamacare exchanges.

  • George Will: The damaging doctrine of John Roberts

    GEORGE F. WILL | Published: Sun, Jun 28, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Conservatives are dismayed about the Supreme Court's complicity in rewriting the Affordable Care Act — its ratification of the IRS' disregard of the statute's plain and purposeful language. But they have contributed to this outcome. Their decades of populist praise of judicial deference to the political branches has borne this sour fruit. The court says the ACA's stipulation that subsidies are to be administered by the IRS using exchanges "established by the state" should not be construed to mean what it says. Otherwise the law will not reach as far as it will if federal exchanges can administer subsidies in states that choose not to establish exchanges.

  • Ruth Marcus: Justice Roberts' constitutional consistency

    RUTH MARCUS | Published: Sun, Jun 28, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John Roberts knew a torrent of conservative invective was headed his way, so perhaps praise from a left-of-center columnist is the last thing he needs. Sorry, chief, here goes. Roberts saved the Affordable Care Act, a second time, for the man who voted against confirming him. It was the right decision, a wise one, for the law, the court and the country. For this, predictably, Roberts has been branded David Souter-lite. "He stands revealed as a most political justice," thundered The Wall Street Journal editorial board, accusing Roberts of "volunteering as Nancy Pelosi's copy editor." That was among the

  • Sen. James Lankford: TPA is good for U.S. and for Oklahoma

    BY U.S. SEN. JAMES LANKFORD | Published: Sun, Jun 28, 2015

    When we were 13 colonies, in a document we now call the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson penned a long list of grievances against King George III that included, “cutting off our trade with all parts of the world.” Before we were an official nation, we were international traders. Trade has always been a pillar of the American economy. The conversation around trade recently has often been confusing because of the acronyms and “Washington speak” used to explain it. Names like Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and words like “tariff adjustment,” “countervailing duties” and “mutual recognition agreements” sound like convoluted

  • Paul Greenberg: America in 2015: The age of nobody

    Tribune Content Agency | Published: Sat, Jun 27, 2015

    Nothing is clear yet — this is, after all, your federal government in ever ham-handed operation — but as of this writing, Alexander Hamilton's portrait is to be airbrushed off the $10 bill. Maybe. First it was just a rumor, then a news story that looked like the real thing, but by now it's just the typical haze of contradictions out of Washington. And idle speculation has set in like the fog rolling into San Francisco Bay. Somewhere in this cloudy mix there's even been mention that a reference to Col. Hamilton and his innumerable services to the republic he molded into a nation may be retained on the currency even if his picture isn't.

  • OU professor: Restrictive gun laws don't keep people safe

    BY DAVID DEMING | Published: Sat, Jun 27, 2015

    The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association created a bit of a brouhaha recently when it sued the city of Norman over a gun ban at Norman's annual music festival. Not surprisingly, the judge issued a restraining order against the city. What was surprising were reactions on social media to the lawsuit and the realization that people might be carrying guns at the festival. A segment of our population seems to be unaware that guns are now commonplace in Oklahoma. In 1996, Oklahoma joined a long list of states that have passed "shall issue" laws which mandate the issuance of carry permits for law-abiding citizens. Today, the vast majority of states have adopted similar laws with spectacular success. More than 11 million adults in the

  • Oklahoma attorney: End mandatory arbitration

    BY KENT MCGUIRE | Published: Sat, Jun 27, 2015

    The right to a jury trial must have been tremendously important to the framers of our Constitution. They mention it three separate times just in the Bill of Rights. So it might surprise you to know that we unknowingly, and often unwillingly, sign away that fundamental constitutional right on a regular basis. When do we do this? Each time you use your credit or debit card, each time you pay your cell phone bill, and each day you go to work, just to name a few. More and more corporations are making mandatory arbitration agreements a prerequisite for doing business with them. As this idea catches on with even more companies, your constitutional right to a jury trial dwindles away.

  • Charles Krauthammer: On lowering the Confederate flag

    CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    WASHINGTON — After a massacre like the one at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, our immediate reaction is to do something. Something, for politicians, means legislation. And for Democratic politicians, this means gun control. It's the all-purpose, go-to, knee-jerk solution. Within hours of the massacre, President Obama was lamenting the absence of progress on gun control. A particular Democratic (and media) lament was Congress' failure to pass anything after Sandy Hook. But the unfortunate fact is that the post-Sandy Hook legislation would have had zero effect on the events in Charleston. Its main provisions had to do with assault weapons; Dylann Roof was using a

  • E.J.Dionne: The right to be free from guns

    E.J. DIONNE JR. | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Advocates of a saner approach to guns need a new strategy. We cannot go on like this, wringing our hands in frustration after every tragedy involving firearms. We said "Enough" after Sandy Hook. We thought the moment for action had come. Yet nothing happened. We are saying "Enough" after Charleston. But this time, we don't even expect anything to happen. What's needed is a long-term national effort to change popular attitudes toward handgun ownership. And we need to insist on protecting the rights of Americans who do not want to be anywhere near guns. None of this should mean letting Congress off the hook or giving up on what might be done now. So kudos to

  • OSSBA director: Creating a new vision for Oklahoma public education

    BY SHAWN HIME | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Too often in the past decade, the education and business communities have operated at odds. We’ve elevated what philosophically separates us instead of what unites us. The result hasn't been good for the children of Oklahoma. Almost three years ago, several dozen Oklahoma school leaders began talking about what it would look like to create a new vision for public education in Oklahoma. We wanted to know what it would take to make sure every child leaves school prepared for a future beyond their dreams. The result was "For the People: A Vision for Oklahoma Public Education," an initiative with research-based recommendations for state policy and local school communities to embark on a transformative effort to improve public

  • George Will: Questions for candidate Clinton

    Published: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton's reticence is drowning out her message, which is that she is the cure for the many ailments that afflict America during a second Democratic presidential term. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has called her "the most opaque person you'll ever meet in your life," but when opacity yields to the necessity of answering questions, here are a few: Your first leadership adventure was when your husband entrusted you with health care reform. Using a process as complex as it was secretive, you produced a proposal so implausible that a Democratic-controlled Congress would not even vote on it. Your legislation was one reason that in 1994 Democrats lost control of the House for the

  • Kathleen Parker: Take down that flag

    KATHLEEN PARKER | Published: Wed, Jun 24, 2015

    WASHINGTON — In a historic moment, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called Monday for removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the Statehouse grounds. It was the right thing to do and, to many of us, long overdue. Whatever arguments have been offered in the past for its prominent placement on government property, the massacre of nine people at Charleston's Mother Emanuel Church nullified them. The pro-heritage argument can no longer hold. I say this as a South Carolinian who joined others in 2000 in calling for the flag's removal from the Capitol Dome. I say this today as a human being who, along with millions of others, insist that removal of the

  • ACA restricts patient access to low-cost care

    BY DOUG BEALL, M.D. | Published: Wed, Jun 24, 2015

    The highest-profile problems with the Affordable Care Act are well documented. Deficit spending and ever-increasing insurance premiums are among them. However, Obamacare’s most damaging side effects lie beneath the sexier headlines. They wreak havoc on physicians’ ability to deliver care in the private practice setting and restrict the ability of our neediest patients to access that care in places most convenient to them and at the lowest cost possible. One example is the little-known 340B prescription drug program. When created by Congress in 1992, 340B intended to give vulnerable and uninsured patients affordable medicine by requiring drug companies to sell prescriptions to hospitals and other providers at deep discounts