Top Stories

  • Arthur Laffer: Marketplace Fairness Act merits approval from Congress

    BY ARTHUR LAFFER | Updated: Fri, Mar 21, 2014

    Oklahoma has an opportunity to lower in-state tax rates, but first Congress should take action to close a pre-Internet era tax loophole that stifles local businesses, weakens job creation and undermines the state’s economy. The Supreme Court’s Quill decision of 1992 essentially handed out-of-state Internet retailers a free pass to avoid collecting and remitting sales taxes — a luxury that in-state retailers don’t have. Enacting federal legislation could reverse this disparity and return power back to the states, allowing states to require online retailers to collect sales taxes like every other business and spur real economic growth in the Sooner State and nationwide. Congress should pass e-fairness legislation —

  • Washington Examiner: Obama could use a primer on bio of Palestinian leader

    Published: Fri, Mar 21, 2014

    WHEN Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington earlier this month, he was greeted by blistering criticism from President Obama, who gave an interview to Bloomberg's Jeffrey Goldberg. Obama warned Israelis of international isolation if Netanyahu didn't “seize the moment” by striking a peace deal with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Obama greeted Abbas differently this week: “He has been somebody who has consistently renounced violence (and) has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security ...” Obama apparently is unfamiliar with the Palestinian leader’s bio.

  • Charles Krauthammer: Invasion of Ukraine will be catered by the United States

    Published: Fri, Mar 21, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Early in the Ukraine crisis, when the Europeans were working on bringing Ukraine into the EU system and Vladimir Putin was countering with threats and bribes, one British analyst lamented that “we went to a knife fight with a baguette.” That was three months ago. Life overtakes parody. During the Ukrainian prime minister’s visit to Washington last week, his government urgently requested military assistance. The Pentagon refused. It offered instead military ration kits. Putin mobilizes thousands of troops, artillery and attack helicopters on Ukraine’s borders and Washington counters with baguettes, American-style. One thing we can say for sure in these uncertain times: The invasion of Ukraine will be

  • Former Oklahoma lawmaker: Common Core repeal would be step backward

    BY KATHLEEN WILCOXSON | Published: Fri, Mar 21, 2014

    I congratulate the Oklahoma Senate on courageously doing what was absolutely right in rejecting efforts to repeal Common Core by placing it on hold. Throughout my 12 years of service in the Senate and as co-chair of the education committee, my fellow Republicans and I worked tirelessly to improve the quality of education in Oklahoma. Republican legislators championed education reform from its infancy; Republicans continue to advocate for higher standards. In fact, that was the Republicans’ loud and clear call to the citizens of Oklahoma.

  • Clarence Page: Don't ban 'bossy,' own it

    Message shouldn’t be just for girls | Published: Fri, Mar 21, 2014

    Sometimes a clever catchphrase can work too well. Backlash against the name of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” campaign threatens to overwhelm its girl-empowering message. At least Sandberg knows how to get people talking. A year ago she popularized “Lean in” with a best-selling advice book — “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” — and a nonprofit national Lean In network to build women leaders. Now she’s unveiled Ban Bossy, a campaign that enlists power women as diverse as Condoleezza Rice, Jennifer Garner, Beyonci and the Girl Scouts to beat back the negative thinking that squelches budding take-charge attitudes in girls. “When a little boy asserts himself, hess called a

  • Kathleen Parker: Being Vladimir Putin

    Published: Thu, Mar 20, 2014

    WASHINGTON — “Once an agent, always an agent.” This was the terse response of Nina Khrushcheva on New Year’s Eve 1999 when her mother commented favorably about the new president, Vladimir Putin, who was then speaking on TV. Khrushcheva, great-granddaughter of former Premier Nikita Khrushchev, was prescient then and feels no need to revise those comments now. Instead, her mother’s early reviews were symptomatic of what Khrushcheva calls the “gulag of the Russian mind,” part of the title of her just-published book, “The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind.” This particular gulag refers to a mindset that includes, as her mother’s optimism implied, the hope that the next czar

  • Hobby Lobby attorney: Current policy bad for families and for America

    BY PETER DOBELBOWER | Updated: Wed, Mar 19, 2014

    An Oklahoma City company pays nearly double the minimum wage for entry-level, full-time workers. It offers great benefits and has family friendly working hours. Yet some people say the company is treating its employees wrong. Why? Because its excellent health plan doesn’t include four drugs and devices that can take a human life. I’m talking about Hobby Lobby, a family owned business that employs nearly 6,500 people in Oklahoma and 28,000 nationwide. Hobby Lobby was founded and is still run by David and Barbara Green and their family. They are deeply committed Christians who live out their faith through their business by treating employees well, closing on Sundays, and staying true to their beliefs about the protection of life.

  • Michael Gerson: Can Obama rise to Carter's level?

    Updated: Wed, Mar 19, 2014

    WASHINGTON — As Winston Churchill might have said, the battle for Crimea is over. The battle for the idea of Europe is about to begin. Russia — as one might expect from an espiocracy, ruled by a Soviet-era spy — practices a particularly sophisticated form of aggression. Its military buildup near Ukraine — perhaps 80,000 troops — both intimidates Kiev and allows Russia to “adjust” the border in strategically important places such as the natural gas pumping station near Strilkove. At the same time, Russian special operations forces are at work throughout eastern Ukraine, inciting the anger of Russian-speakers and organizing provocations.

  • OKC attorney: Proposal represents common-sense approach to legislating

    BY RYAN LEONARD | Published: Wed, Mar 19, 2014

    State Rep. Randy Grau, R-Edmond, should be applauded for advancing common-sense reform to bring restraint to the state’s legislative process. If enacted, Grau’s House Joint Resolution 1003 provides for the Legislature to continue to perform its important budgetary and oversight functions each year, while restricting consideration of substantive legislation to every other year. With more than 2,000 new bills introduced every session, even the most well-intentioned of which define or restrict Oklahomans’ freedoms, the current legislative frenzy is excessive by any measure. Grau’s legislation harkens back to a time of more focused, less intrusive state government. As recently as the 1960s, 31 of 50 state legislatures

  • George F. Will: Buds of the socialist spring

    Published: Tue, Mar 18, 2014

    “Boys from another school pulled out the severed head of a classmate while fishing in a pond. His whole family had died. Had they eaten him first? Or had he survived the deaths of his parents only to be killed by a cannibal? No one knew; but such questions were commonplace for the children of Ukraine in 1933. … Yet cannibalism was, sometimes, a victimless crime. Some mothers and fathers killed their children and ate them. … But other parents asked their children to make use of their own bodies if they passed away. More than one Ukrainian child had to tell a brother or sister: ‘Mother says that we should eat her if she dies.

  • Washington Examiner: Federal oil-gas permitting process is far too long

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Mar 17, 2014

    REMEMBER last October when President Obama incessantly blasted congressional Republicans for the government shutdown? Among the lengthy litany of evils he claimed would result from the shutdown were delays in issuing leasing permits for energy exploration and development on federal lands. But, as the Institute for Energy Research pointed out in a letter last week to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., federal permit applications under this administration require 228 days to be processed on average. The 16-day shutdown delay pales by comparison to the chronically glacial pace maintained by the federal government under Obama. “This ‘permatorium’ has led to a 15 percent drop in oil and natural gas production on

  • George F. Will: How to keep them down on the farm

    Published: Sun, Mar 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Someone who is determined to disbelieve something can manage to disregard an Everest of evidence for it. So Barack Obama will not temper his enthusiasm for increased equality with lucidity about the government’s role in exacerbating inequality. In the movie “Animal House,” Otter, incensed by the expulsion of his fraternity, says: “I think this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture.” Such thinking gives us minimum wage increases that do very little for very few. Meanwhile, there are farm bills, like the one Obama signed last month at Michigan State University. MSU was one of the models for the land-grant colleges created under the 1862 Morrill Act, whose primary purpose was

  • Center for Union Facts director: On political spending, unions get a pass

    BY RICHARD BERMAN | Published: Sun, Mar 16, 2014

    With the 2014 elections just around the corner, opponents of political spending are kicking into high gear. The left blames industrialists like Charles and David Koch for degrading democracy. The right blames shadowy foundations and financiers like George Soros for the same. Still others rip the Supreme Court for allowing runaway political spending in the first place via its decision in Citizens United. But all of this fuss obscures one of the largest funders of American politics, one that — unlike the Kochs or Soros — can force people to contribute to candidates and causes with which they disagree. I’m talking about labor unions.

  • Paul Greenberg: Back by popular demand: tyranny

    Published: Sat, Mar 15, 2014

    Ham and eggs, dictators and plebiscites, tyranny and sham elections, they all go together. So it was wholly to be expected, which means it was wholly a surprise to our ever-alert administration, when the latest tsar decided Crimea was ripe for the picking and sent in the Cossacks (sans identifying insignia for now). As usual in these matters, the local bullyboys, formally known in press reports as militias, backed up the not very well disguised Russian troops. With that little formality out of the way, Vlad the Annexer ordered a plebiscite (and its usual result) for immediate delivery, specifically this Sunday.

  • Jules Witcover: Are Democrats looking beyond Obama?

    Published: Sat, Mar 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Democratic strategists were particularly dismayed at the loss of their congressional candidate, Alex Sink, in Tuesday’s special election in Florida’s 13th congressional district, fearing it might be seen as foretelling doom for the Obama presidency, with nearly three years still to run. This is despite the fact that special election results can be a poor harbinger of the next general election to come. Among other reasons, voter turnout is usually very low. And in a congressional race, local issues may play an inordinate role in the outcome.

  • OKC businessman: Why the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum matters

    BY PHIL G. BUSEY | Published: Sat, Mar 15, 2014

    We can fulfill an obligation to our Native American brethren, cultures, histories and ourselves by completing the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City. The AICCM is a needed statement recognizing Oklahoma's American Indian heritage. I commend state Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, for his passionate fight in the Senate for the passage of a bill earmarking $40 million for the center, to be matched by private-sector funds. With passage by the House, the project can be opened by 2017. It’s past time for such a center. Building the AICCM is important. It would benefit Oklahoma economically and stand as a living monument for our Indian tribes and peoples. Telling their stories is a powerful testament to their

  • OG&E official: Oklahoma can no longer ignore the problem of texting at the wheel

    BY PAUL RENFROW | Published: Sat, Mar 15, 2014

    Many OG&E employees put themselves in harm’s way each day, working in conditions and around equipment that can be dangerous as they labor to provide a plentiful and reliable supply of electricity. The company takes the safety of its employees seriously. OG&E works hard to supply the training, equipment, policies and programs that help them stay safe in those potentially unsafe conditions. Ironically, the most dangerous place for them isn’t around power lines or in a power plant but on the roadways of Oklahoma and Arkansas, where they collectively log more than 16.3 million miles each year and log numerous hours in work zones on the side of the roadways.

  • Charles Krauthammer: How to stop Putin

    Updated: Fri, Mar 14, 2014

    WASHINGTON — The president of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council challenges critics of President Obama’s Ukraine policy by saying “What are you going to do, send the 101st Airborne into Crimea?” Not exactly subtle. And rather silly, considering that no one has proposed such a thing. The alternative to passivity is not war but a serious foreign policy. For the last five years, Obama’s fruitless accommodationism has invited the kind of aggressiveness demonstrated by Iran in Syria, China in the East China Sea and Russia in Ukraine. But what’s done is done. Put that aside. What is to be done now? We have three objectives. In ascending order of difficulty: Reassure NATO. Deter further Russian incursion into Ukraine.

  • Leonard Pitts Jr.: A pointed comment on guns

    By Leonard Pitts Jr. | Published: Fri, Mar 14, 2014

    A few words about Nathan Entingh’s hand gun. Meaning, you should understand, not a gun you hold in your hand, but rather, the hand itself, thumb cocked and index finger extended to resemble a pistol. One afternoon late last month, Entingh, who goes to school in Columbus, Ohio, was goofing off in science class when he raised such a “hand gun,” pointed it at another kid’s head, and said, “Boom.” Not a good thing to do and Entingh, who is 10, should certainly have been reprimanded. Instead, he was suspended for three days. His father, Paul, says he’s been told that if it happens again, the next suspension may be permanent.

  • OKC teacher: Why I like Common Core

    BY JONETTA S. JONTE’ | Published: Fri, Mar 14, 2014

    As a high school English teacher who integrated Common Core State Standards into the classroom several years ago, I’ve seen firsthand how students have benefited from this type of learning. With Common Core, we’re asking students to be creators and thinkers. Students are looking at all kinds of texts at a deeper, more insightful level, with more creativity. Although students still have to memorize and learn the basics, we’re letting them take the material and build their own knowledge through assignments that are a long way from the “skill and drill” of the past. It’s made a world of difference in what they’re doing. Along the way, teachers have had to learn about the Common Core standards and how working toward