• Michael Gerson: Republicans' harsh tone toward Islam

    MICHAEL GERSON The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sun, Sep 13, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Fourteen grim anniversaries separated from Sept. 11, 2001, some memories still come in high definition, like flashes of a strobe light. An email from my deputy I read at home, five minutes before the first plane struck in New York: "Very little of note happening." Headed in to the White House and seeing American Airlines Flight 77 on a low trajectory toward the Pentagon. Meeting with President Bush a day later and hearing him say, for the first time, "We are at war." All of official Washington rising to sing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the National Cathedral.

  • Oklahoma House speaker: Facts, new ideas must be part of teacher pay discussion

    BY STATE REP. JEFF HICKMAN | Published: Sun, Sep 13, 2015

    Recent claims that Oklahoma schools can't fill 1,000 teaching positions have education proponents again demanding the Legislature provide more taxpayer dollars to increase teacher salaries. Education organizations argue that schools are unable to find quality applicants because Oklahoma's best teachers move to neighboring states to earn more money. Yet Oklahoma's starting minimum wage for first-year teachers is higher than Texas, Missouri, Arkansas and New Mexico. The truth is, there is a national teacher shortage. Every state except Pennsylvania is experiencing teacher shortages. Some teachers do earn more in surrounding states, primarily because local school boards in those states choose to pay more than Oklahoma's local school

  • Jules Witcover: Do wide-open primary contests signal a breakdown of the political order?

    Jules Witcover Tribune Content Agency | Published: Sat, Sep 12, 2015

    WASHINGTON — You'd never think it from the present chaos in American presidential politics, but over most of the last century, relative stability has been the byword. Of the 12 elected presidents who ran for a second term in that period, eight were given it by the voters. Only four — William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter and the first George Bush — failed to win re-election. Taft might have been re-elected too, had not former President Theodore Roosevelt, disappointed in him, jumped in as an independent Bull Moose candidate and delivered the election of 1912 to Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Through all the ups and downs, though, there has been a general willingness to give the incumbent a second four years,

  • Richard Glossip case: We can't be cavalier about death penalty

    BY CHRISTY SHEPPARD | Updated: Fri, Sep 11, 2015

    National attention is focused on the pending execution of Richard Glossip, and on his potential innocence. As a murder victim's family member, it has always bothered me that the victim and family seem to be a side note. Barry Van Treese, the victim in Glossip's case, was a victim of an awful crime. My heart, and that of my family, aches for his family. And while I cannot speak for how his family feels, I certainly have every blessing to speak for mine. My cousin was Debbie Carter, who in 1982 was raped and murdered. Five years later, Dennis Fritz and Ron Williamson were convicted of the crime. Williamson received the death penalty. We had every reason to believe in the convictions. Over the years we suffered through numerous

  • J.C. Watts: Collaboration needed in criminal justice reform

    BY J.C. WATTS | Published: Sat, Sep 12, 2015

    On Monday, I am honored to discuss the importance of criminal justice reform with the outstanding group of local, state and federal legislators at the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) conference in Oklahoma City. Our country's unparalleled incarceration rates have come at a significant cost to public safety and fiscal health, and they've had a devastating impact on individuals, families, and communities across Oklahoma and the entire country. As chairman of the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections, a congressionally mandated blue-ribbon task force on federal corrections reform, I have spent this past year focusing on reforms to our federal system by examining states that have achieved success.

  • Paul Greenberg: The first Americans to fight back on 9/11

    Paul Greenberg Tribune Content Agency | Published: Fri, Sep 11, 2015

    It was one of those morning flights. Routine. The ETD went up on the computer screens along with all the others. The airport didn't even have a familiar name like LaGuardia or Kennedy, Logan or O'Hare, but was lesser known Newark. Just a footnote to New York, like so much of grimy North Jersey across the Hudson. The passengers on United Flight 93, the regularly scheduled morning flight to San Francisco, drifted down the aisle at their own pace. Or they rushed on board just in time if they'd waited till the last minute to board. Some settled in to call home, others the office.

  • Charles Krauthammer: The Iran charade on Capitol Hill

    CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Fri, Sep 11, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Congress is finally having its say on the Iran deal. It will be an elaborate charade, however, because, having first gone to the U.N., President Obama has largely drained congressional action of relevance. At the Security Council, he pushed through a resolution ratifying the deal, thus officially committing the United States as a nation to its implementation — in advance of any congressional action. The resolution abolishes the entire legal framework, built over a decade, underlying the international sanctions against Iran. A few months from now, they will be gone. The script is already written: The International Atomic Energy Agency, relying on Iran's self-inspection (!) of its most sensitive nuclear

  • David Cid: Some lessons from 9/11

    BY DAVID CID | Published: Fri, Sep 11, 2015

    There are lessons to be learned from 9/11 that go beyond the immediate security and intelligence concerns that have consumed our national government for more than a decade. Perhaps now, as we mark another anniversary, is an appropriate time to reflect on them. Lesson one: The world is, was and will be a hostile place to freedom and democracy, and no amount of wishful thinking will change it. Make no mistake about it, militant Islam demands obedience and puts unbelievers to the sword. The pluralist, tolerant society we value is anathema to them; but they are simply the latest manifestation of tyranny. Who will come after is unclear, but it's certain some new hazard will be faced by our children, one that will require courage and

  • Oklahoma AG: Seeking to right a hostile ruling on Ten Commandments

    BY SCOTT PRUITT | Published: Fri, Sep 11, 2015

    The U.S. Supreme Court has long recognized that, when it comes to religion and public life, the Constitution requires us to strike a delicate balance. On the one hand, government cannot use its power to establish a particular sect or denomination as the state church. On the other hand, the state cannot be hostile toward religion, discriminate against faith, mandate total secularism or refuse to recognize its own history merely because that history contemplates the divine. Recently, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the removal of a Ten Commandments monument because it interpreted the state constitution to forbid anything “religious in nature” on state property, regardless of that item's historical significance.

  • E.J. Dionne: A pollster's moral core

    E.J. DIONNE JR. The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Fri, Sep 11, 2015

    WASHINGTON — On election night, 2004, George W. Bush seemed headed for re-election by a small but clear majority, and Andy Kohut was excited. He and I were working that evening at NPR. Andy was then president of the Pew Research Center and his organization's final poll had Bush winning by three points over John Kerry. Watching Andy's obvious pleasure, I said: "Andy, I didn't know you were rooting for Bush." To which he replied: "I'm not rooting for Bush. I'm rooting for my number." And in the end, Bush defeated John Kerry in the popular vote by 2.4 percent. Andy's number had done well. His numbers almost always did.

  • George Will: Trump is a malleable mess

    GEORGE F. WILL The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Thu, Sep 10, 2015

    "I remember, when I was a child, being taken to the celebrated Barnum's Circus, which contained an exhibition of freaks and monstrosities, but the exhibit on the program which I most desired to see was the one described as 'The Boneless Wonder.' My parents judged that that spectacle would be too revolting and demoralizing for my youthful eyes, and I have waited fifty years to see The Boneless Wonder sitting on the Treasury Bench." — Winston Churchill in the House of Commons, referring to Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, 1931 WASHINGTON — Donald Trump, whose promises are probably as malleable as his principles, promises to support the Republican nominee.

  • Ruth Marcus: The Donald's dangerous brew

    RUTH MARCUS The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Wed, Sep 9, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Donald Trump's boastful ignorance in his interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt reminded me of a story that my late colleague David Broder told about former Sen. Bill Bradley. The two were talking about whether Bradley would run for president. Bradley demurred. He wasn't ready to run, he told Broder, because he didn't feel that he had a good enough grip on the Soviet Union. The basketball star who famously practiced making baskets from every conceivable point on the court hadn't quite mastered the Soviet shot. Your first thought on hearing that story, and comparing it to Trump's unapologetic know-nothing-ism, may be the same as mine: Those were the days. Oh, for a candidate disciplined enough to prepare for the

  • Washington Examiner: Civil disobedience comes at a price

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Wed, Sep 9, 2015

    Saint Thomas More gave up his life rather than disobey God in his service to England and its king. Even so, he believed that man's laws cannot be cast aside, not even in the pursuit of righteousness, without terrible consequences. The famous speech that author Robert Bolt put in his mouth in A Man for All Seasons — about the error of cutting down human laws to catch the devil — reflects More's real-life commitment to the rule of law, which Americans have since inherited. "This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man's laws, not God's," the fictional More remarks. "And if you cut them down ... do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?" More's words echo amid

  • Kathleen Parker: Ode to joy

    KATHLEEN PARKER The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Wed, Sep 9, 2015

    WASHINGTON — It's no longer enough to be a happy warrior; now our candidates must be joyful! Oh, joie. Jeb Bush started the joy bender last week when he told a New Hampshire audience that a conservative could win the White House by "campaigning with his arms wide open, with joy in his heart, speaking about the hopes and aspirations of the people, being on the side of the people that right now don't see their lives in the future being better than what they have today." Next came Hillary Clinton's response on Saturday to a reporter's question about whether she, too, considers herself "joyful"? "I do," she said. "Off we go, joyfully," she added as she stepped away from the podium.

  • Rep. Markwayne Mullin: Federal health law remains a burden to business

    BY REP. MARKWAYNE MULLIN | Published: Wed, Sep 9, 2015

    Recently, I talked with manufacturers from northeast Oklahoma about the ways federal regulations impact their ability to do business on a daily basis. Our conversation quickly turned to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. One panelist summed up the law perfectly: “It's not making health insurance more affordable. It is hurting the employees.” Obamacare is bad for Oklahoma families and businesses, and at the end of this year, we will face even more costly mandates from this broken law. Beginning Jan. 1, Obamacare's employer mandate will go into full effect. Businesses with 100 or more full-time employees will be required to provide health insurance that covers at least 60

  • Cal Thomas: The point of no return

    Cal Thomas Tribune Content Agency | Published: Tue, Sep 8, 2015

    In aviation it's called the point of no return. That point in a flight when catastrophe strikes and the airplane, because of low fuel or mechanical impairment, cannot make it safely back to its take-off point. That's where we are with the dangerous Iran nuclear deal, the theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran and the 34 shameless Senate Democrats who bowed to pressure and announced their support for the flawed pact, thereby guaranteeing that the president's veto of any measure of disapproval cannot be overridden. While that still leaves, as of now, 66 senators opposed to the deal and a large majority in the House likely opposed to it as well, the way things work, or don't work in Washington, the Iran Nuke Deal will likely stand.

  • Michael Gerson: The largest failure of the Obama era

    MICHAEL GERSON The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sun, Sep 6, 2015

    WASHINGTON — One little boy in a red T-shirt, lying face down, drowned, on a Turkish beach, is a tragedy. More than 200,000 dead in Syria, 4 million fleeing refugees and 7.6 million displaced from their homes are statistics. But they represent a collective failure of massive proportions. For four years, the Obama administration has engaged in what Frederic Hof, former special adviser for transition in Syria, calls a "pantomime of outrage." Four years of strongly worded protests, and urgent meetings and calls for negotiation — the whole drama a sickening substitute for useful action. People talking and talking to drown out the voice of their own conscience. And blaming.

  • Clarence Page: How a modest Chicago mogul built schools for Southern blacks

    Clarence Page Tribune Content Agency | Published: Sun, Sep 6, 2015

    In an age that exalts politicians and entertainers who can't stop telling us how wonderful they are, it is refreshing to honor a man who accomplished a lot without wanting his name on all of it. Julius Rosenwald, who never finished high school but rose to become president and co-owner of Sears, Roebuck and Co., didn't want his name on the store that he led to worldwide success. Rosenwald, who died in 1932, didn't want his name on Chicago's magnificent Museum of Science and Industry, although he funded and promoted it so much that many Chicagoans called it "the Rosenwald museum" anyway He didn't want his name on his other edifices, including more than 5,000 schools that he helped fund for black schoolchildren across the

  • George Will: Out with 'Redskins' -- and everything else!

    GEORGE F. WILL The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sun, Sep 6, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Autumn, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, also is the time for The Washington Post and other sensitivity auditors to get back on — if they will pardon the expression — the warpath against the name of the Washington Redskins. The niceness police at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have won court approval of their decision that the team's name "may disparage" Native Americans. We have a new national passion for moral and historical hygiene, a determination to scrub away remembrances of unpleasant things, such as the name Oklahoma, which is a compound of two Choctaw words meaning "red" and "people.

  • E.J. Dionne: Healing the nation's wounds

    E.J. DIONNE JR. The Washington Post Writers Group | Published: Sat, Sep 5, 2015

    SAN FRANCISCO — We have a choice to make. We can look at both violence and racism as scourges that all of us must join together to fight. Or we can turn the issues of crime and policing into fodder for racial and political division. In principle, it shouldn't be hard to recognize two truths. Too many young African-Americans have been killed in confrontations with police when lethal force should not have been used. We should mourn their deaths and demand justice. Black Lives Matter turned into a social movement because there is legitimate anger over the reality that — to be very personal about it — I do not have to worry about my son being shot by the police in the way an African-American parent does.