• Richard Berman: Worried about money in politics? Look for the union label

    BY RICHARD BERMAN | Published: Wed, Oct 1, 2014

    As the November elections near, voters in Oklahoma will be bombarded with candidate advertisements. Throw in issue advocacy ads and you’d be forgiven for wishing that political money would just evaporate. Labor unions, which have denounced the U.S. Supreme Court for expanding the rights of nonprofit organizations to make public statements on election matters, would seem to be the bedraggled swing voter’s ally in taking back his television. Don’t be fooled: Unions are among the biggest spenders in national elections. They employ the same “social welfare” group tactics they decry and they use forced dues money in addition to political funds to push a left-wing agenda that a significant bloc of their membership doesn't

  • Washington Examiner: Remembering Eric Holder's political justice

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    UPON Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation last week, NBC’s Chuck Todd made an odd comment: “What’s interesting about him, he is a very nonpolitical person.” There may be merit to saying Holder has been more ideological than political, but it still seems like a strange thing to say about him. After all, his most famous act before his tenure as attorney general had been to help arrange President Bill Clinton’s highly unusual and controversial last-minute pardon of a wanted fugitive — mega-donor and billionaire Marc Rich. Holder not only recommended the pardon (calling himself “neutral leaning favorable”) but was also careful not to inform his colleagues at the Clinton Justice Department until it was too late to

  • Paul Greenberg: Who is this man, Gao Zhisheng?

    By Paul Greenberg | Published: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    If you don’t know who Gao Zhisheng is, welcome to the vast club. It may take a moment, maybe a fleeting reference in the paper, to call up his name and dossier. He’s just one of the anonymous masses toiling away in Communist China’s empire of slave labor camps. Or at least he was till he was released sometime last month. Which is about the only occasion on which an inmate may get a moment’s notice from the comfortable rest of us. Then he makes the news. Otherwise, the only release is provided by death. If, like me, you didn’t recognize the name, at least not for a moment, that’s just the way The Authorities on the Chinese mainland want it.

  • George F. Will: Battle royal in Iowa

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Sep 28, 2014

    URBANDALE, Iowa — The Machine Shed restaurant, where the waitresses wear bib overalls and suggest a cinnamon roll the size of a loaf of bread as a breakfast appetizer, sells a root beer called Dang!, bandages made to look like bacon strips, and signs that proclaim “I love you more than bacon.” For Joni Ernst, however, the apposite sign reads “No one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side.” She, nourished by a cinnamon roll, is preparing for a bus tour taking her Senate candidacy to all of Iowa’s 99 counties, and she seems to love campaigning even more than bacon, not that any proper Iowa farm girl — her description of herself — would publicly rank bacon second to anything.

  • Oklahoma higher ed chancellor: No better investment for state

    BY GLEN D. JOHNSON | Published: Sun, Sep 28, 2014

    Oklahoma’s Complete College America (CCA) goal is to increase the number of degrees and certificates earned in this state by an average of 1,700 per year, resulting in a 67 percent increase by 2023. Gov. Mary Fallin recently announced that in year two of the CCA degree completion initiative, Oklahoma’s public and private institutions and career technology centers surpassed the annual goal, conferring 3,577 additional degrees and certificates. This achievement follows resounding success in the first year of CCA deployment, during which the number of degrees and certificates earned in Oklahoma increased by 2,945. Oklahoma has been named the national model for CCA.

  • Leonard Pitts Jr.: 'A tale of two countries' — Jefferson County's assault on U.S. history

    By Leonard Pitts Jr. | Published: Sun, Sep 28, 2014

    This is a tale of two countries. The first country was built on a radical new promise of human equality and a guarantee of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That country made it possible for even those born in the humblest and most meager circumstances to climb to the pinnacle of prosperity and achievement. It helped save the world in a great global conflagration, fed and rebuilt the devastated nations of Europe, planted the first footprints on another world. The second country was built on the uncompensated labor of human beings owned from birth till death by other human beings.

  • Oklahoma science-tech secretary: State needs to remain at forefront of movement connecting academia, industry

    BY STEPHEN MCKEEVER | Published: Sat, Sep 27, 2014

    In the not-so-distant past, knowledge creation from universities was supported almost entirely by federal and/or state budgets. Industry R&D (research and development) was done internally where the emphasis was on the “D” rather than the “R.” Thus, fundamental knowledge creation, although leading eventually to product development and societal benefit, had to be funded by governments. This funding model, which has served the nation so well, is changing. Smaller federal and state research budgets and a decline in the number of industry research labs has required industry to engage more with universities. Federal agencies now require “transformational” research and encourage public-private partnerships.

  • Oklahoma City FOP presdident: Don't prejudge city's police officers

    BY JOHN GEORGE | Published: Sat, Sep 27, 2014

    Once again, the issue of racial discrimination is in the headlines. And once again, people are pointing fingers at the Oklahoma City Police Department along with law enforcement across the country. Police officers are often the primary target when accusations of racial prejudice are thrown around carelessly. Yes, there was a time when racial discrimination was a systemic problem in Oklahoma City but that time has long been over. The fact is, officers are among the least racially biased people because they deal with everyone from every walk of life. We know there is good and bad in every group. In addition, officers receive sensitivity training, diversity training and mental health training, as well as training on how to

  • Jules Witcover: U.N. speech may indicate a tougher Obama

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sat, Sep 27, 2014

    WASHINGTON — The President Obama many fellow Democrats have been looking for ever since his 2008 election may have shown up this week at the United Nations. His tough and direct call on the rest of the international community to step up to the challenge of global terrorism displayed a spine they have long felt missing in action. Words, to be sure, are not action. But his demand that the rest of the world community put muscle behind its anti-terrorism rhetoric had a pointed intensity too often lacking in his previous preachings. Backed this time by vigorous air strikes by American-led assaults on Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria, Obama stood on more credible ground, bolstered by at least the token participation of

  • Charles Krauthammer: Our real Syria strategy — containment-plus

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Sep 26, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Late, hesitant and reluctant as he is, President Obama has begun effecting a workable strategy against the Islamic State. True, he’s been driven there by public opinion. Does anyone imagine that without the broadcast beheadings we’d be doing anything more than pinprick strikes within Iraq? If Obama can remain steady through future fluctuations in public opinion, his strategy might succeed. But success will not be what he’s articulating publicly. The strategy will not destroy the Islamic State. It’s more containment-plus: Expel the Islamic State from Iraq, contain it in Syria. Because you can’t win from the air. In Iraq, we have potential ground allies. In Syria, we don’t. The order of battle in Iraq

  • Former Boeing exec: These fundamentals are needed in refining Oklahoma's education system

    BY BEN T. ROBINSON | Published: Fri, Sep 26, 2014

    As individuals, we prioritize our children. We care deeply about their individual achievements and successes. As a state, we must understand that Oklahoma’s future is determined by the cumulative success of today’s students. If we want to improve education in Oklahoma, we first must define what this success looks like, then actively seek ways to attain it. Below are fundamentals that can help this state to further refine its education system: Understand that workforce is the product of education — then build the process. If we first understand the product, the process of education and training becomes focused not solely on achieving standards, matching metrics and meeting requirements but on preparing students to

  • E.J. Dionne: The pope's American messenger

    By E.J. Dionne Jr. | Published: Fri, Sep 26, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Leaders can make decisions that signal big changes in the political, religious and ethical landscape. In naming Bishop Blase Cupich as the new archbishop of Chicago, Pope Francis did just that. Cupich, now the bishop of Spokane, has been described in media accounts as a “moderate” within the Catholic Church. Temperamentally, this is exactly what he is, an advocate of dialogue and civility. He’s also wise about rejecting labels. Parrying at his first news conference after his appointment was announced on Saturday, he offered this response when asked if the moderate tag fit him: “I am going to try to be attentive to what the Lord wants. Maybe if there is moderation in that, then maybe I’m a moderate.

  • George F. Will: High stakes in Kansas

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Sep 25, 2014

    SHAWNEE, Kan. — Tacked to the wall of Greg Orman’s campaign office is a print of a John Steuart Curry painting, “Tragic Prelude,” that hangs in the capitol in Topeka. It depicts John Brown of Osawatomie, 39 miles south of here, as what he was, a deranged product of “bleeding Kansas,” the Civil War’s overture. Today, Orman, who is as calm as Brown was crazed, is emblematic of fascinating Kansas. Orman wants to deny Pat Roberts a fourth Senate term, thereby ending a congressional career that began in 1981 with 16 years in the House. Orman, who favors term limits and pledges to serve only two terms, is running as an independent. The Democrats’ nominee has dropped out of the race, so Orman, 45, or Roberts, 78, will be a

  • Washington Examiner: Why Wisconsin won't become Illinois

    The Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    WISCONSIN Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, faces a difficult re-election in six weeks. Under normal circumstances, he would probably be coasting to victory. He just beat a recall attempt in 2012, Wisconsin’s economy is improving, and he put in place reforms that have already saved the state $3 billion. But of course, this is the issue. His now-famous union bargaining reforms of 2011 have incurred the wrath of America’s big labor unions, which are now eager to defeat him. But anyone who doubts the wisdom of Walker’s reforms — and the self-interested short-sightedness of the public union bosses — need only look southward to neighboring Illinois. Public-sector unions’ robust political influence in Illinois has

  • Michael Gerson: Tall order for GOP in 2016

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    WASHINGTON — It is the most important development so far in the 2016 presidential race, at least on the Republican side: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is evidently not a total meathead. Which he would have needed to be to have anything to do with the politically motivated lane closures of the George Washington Bridge — a dirty trick oddly and aimlessly directed at the public. According to recent reports, nine months of federal investigation into emails and text messages have produced nothing implicating Christie. The Ford Gran Torino of GOP politics — a bit ungainly, but a V-8 under the hood — emerges with some dents. The proof Christie offers that he is not a bully is an admission that he surrounded himself with bullies.

  • Mike Fogarty: Good reasons to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma

    BY MIKE FOGARTY | Published: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    The American Cancer Society recently expressed concern for impoverished Americans who live in states that haven’t extended Medicaid coverage. The ACS suggests such coverage offers “to help detect cancers early, when treatment is more effective and less costly, and to save lives by preventing some cancers from occurring in the first place.” “Cancer group misses mark in critiquing state efforts” (Our Views, Aug. 27) counters with an Oregon study finding that, after only 18 months of coverage, newly enrolled Medicaid beneficiaries had no “statistically significant health improvement” in blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes control.

  • Ruth Marcus: A chance for Generation Unbound

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    Unwanted pregnancies increasing

  • Jules Witcover: Obama's wartime nightmare

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Tue, Sep 23, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Congress has now temporarily bought into what has become President Obama’s war against the terrorist Islamic State. Both the House and Senate have voted limited funds to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight, not against their country’s dictator, but against this new brutal peril from the region. As in Obama’s inherited wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the president has accepted self-styled limitations on American power. While, removing U.S. combat forces from the first two battlefields, he now insists they will be withheld from the latest one, in both Iraq and Syria. The latest congressional votes reluctantly buy into Obama’s edict of “no (American) boots on the ground.” This is so in the face of

  • Americans for Prosperity official: Obamacare attacks Oklahoma again

    BY JOHN M. TIDWELL | Published: Sun, Sep 21, 2014

    Washington politicians will make any promise to get their way. Take the president's promise in 2010 that Obamacare would save families up to $2,500 a year in premiums. This promise was central to the law’s passage. Washington just broke that promise. The Oklahoma Insurance Department announced recently that nearly every health care plan will have higher premiums in 2015. Two of the smallest insurers, which have less than 1 percent of the market share, will see slight decreases. The second-largest insurer in the state will have average premium increases of 27 percent. The state’s largest insurer, through which 97 percent of Oklahomans gets their health insurance, will boost premiums by an average of 12 percent.

  • George F. Will: Cashing in on voting

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Sep 21, 2014

    WASHINGTON — The pursuit of perfection is usually foredoomed, but the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, which has a latitudinarian understanding of ethical behavior, has a perfectly awful idea. It is urging the City Council to consider ways of paying — starchier ethicists might call it bribing — people to vote. Some ideas are so loopy that they could only be conceived by governments, which are insulated from marketplace competition that is a constant reminder of reality. And governments are generally confident that their constituents need to be improved by spending the constituents’ money. The supposed problem for which the “pay the voters” idea purports to be a solution is this: Few Los Angeles residents are voting.