• Ruth Marcus: Lessons from Patient Zero

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Monica Lewinsky is trying to make lemonade out of 16-year-old lemons. Good for her, and good, ultimately, for us. Not so good, of course, for Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign, but not fatal either. Lewinsky’s decision to re-emerge as a public figure, this time committed to alleviating the scourge of cyber-bullying, is awkward. Still, it is inevitable, even without Lewinsky front and center, that Bill Clinton’s deplorable conduct in office will come up as a topic during his wife’s campaign, assuming she gets to the general election this time. The earlier it’s talked about, the more old-newsy the whole mess will seem by the time Clinton’s opponents try to make it relevant.

  • Vedder, Hennen: Enhanced productivity would make higher ed more affordable

    BY RICHARD VEDDER, AND ANTHONY HENNEN | Published: Sun, Oct 19, 2014

    In higher education, the key to containing and reducing costs is improved productivity, meaning doing more with less. Yet in a new report published by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, we found that Oklahoma has done the opposite. While productivity in the entire economy has risen (and possibly even somewhat in higher education), Oklahoma has avoided this trend. Oklahoma higher education has become increasingly costly; staff overload has led to less productivity than a decade ago. Oklahoma’s nonfaculty staff, adjusted for enrollments, is more than 10 percent above the national average. Nationally, staffing per student declined about 10 percent from 1999 to 2011, suggesting probable productivity improvements.

  • George F. Will: The fictitious 'war on women'

    By George F. Will | Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    DENVER — One of the wonders of this political moment is feminist contentment about the infantilization of women in the name of progressive politics. Government, encouraging academic administrations to micromanage campus sexual interactions, now assumes that, absent a script, women cannot cope. And the Democrats’ trope about the Republicans’ “war on women” clearly assumes that women are civic illiterates. Access to contraception has been a constitutional right for 49 years (Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965). The judiciary has controlled abortion policy for 41 years (Roe v. Wade, 1973). Yet the Democratic Party thinks women can be panicked into voting about mythical menaces to these things. One Democrat whose gallantry

  • Ruth Marcus: A most forgettable election

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Sun, Oct 19, 2014

    Both parties share some blame

  • Low-income advocate: Solar subsidies bring concerns about costs

    BY ARLEY JOHNSON | Published: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    Most Americans support measures to promote cleaner energy such as solar or wind power. In order to stimulate the use of these forms of energy, the federal government — and often state and local governments as well — subsidize their use. In the case of solar energy, homeowners are given subsidies to purchase and install solar panels to supplement or offset their own energy use. While these subsidies do encourage placement of solar panels, there are greater costs that most bureaucrats don’t consider: Who is ultimately footing the bill? In this case, the money used to help pay for the solar panels comes from taxes and the electricity rates paid by all, including low-income residents.

  • Jules Witcover: Bush administration's chemical weapons cover-up reignites old argument

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    WASHINGTON — The New York Times report that the George W. Bush administration discovered old chemical bombs and rockets in Iraq and withheld the knowledge ”from troops it sent into harm’s way” is an echo of the discussion over alleged new weapons of mass destruction that triggered its 2003 invasion of Iraq. The report, based on Times interviews with wounded American soldiers and on intelligence obtained through Freedom of Information Act inquiries, does not challenge Bush’s old acknowledgment that no evidence was found of new chemical weapons being made there. But it does accuse his administration of covering up the fact that at least 17 U.S.

  • Charles Krauthammer: Ebola vs. civil liberties

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Unnervingly, the U.S. public health services remain steps behind the Ebola virus. Contact tracing is what we do, Centers for Disease Control Director Tom Frieden assured the nation. It will stop the epidemic “in its tracks.” And yet nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, who developed Ebola, were not even among the 48 contacts that the CDC was initially following. Nor were any of the doctors and nurses who treated the “index patient,” Thomas Duncan. No one even had a full list of caregivers. The other reassurance was: Not to worry. We know what we’re doing. We have protocols. When, however, we got the first Ebola transmission in the U.S., it was blamed on a “breach in protocol.” Translation:

  • Kathleen Parker: A little panic might be helpful

    By Kathleen Parker | Published: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Now, now, let’s not panic. Yes, we have a second Ebola patient infected after treating the Liberian man who apparently concealed his exposure to this often-fatal disease, but this is no reason to panic. “It’s bad news that another person is sick,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Wednesday to MSNBC anchor Jose Diaz-Balart. Indeed. It’s actually terrible news to the other 75 health care workers who treated the forever infamous Thomas Eric Duncan before his death. Though there is some good news — the first nurse infected, Nina Pham, is in “good” condition — the bad news likely will continue as health officials anticipate that there will be more cases.

  • Clarence Page: Fear of new 'collard' people

    By Clarence Page | Published: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    Collard greens are “the new kale?” So say some chic eaters, even as some concerned cultural guardians fear a new socio-economic menace: “food gentrification.” Gentrification, simply defined, is when something that you used to buy because it was cheap suddenly turns so fashionable that it is too expensive for its original consumers to afford. We usually hear about this process as a good-news/bad-news urban story in recent decades. Depressed neighborhoods have found new vigor as less-fortunate low-income renters are sent packing like urban nomads. Now it’s happening among the people who talk about food in the way that Bill Hader’s Stefon on ”Saturday Night Live” reveals the latest ultrahip nightclub.

  • Oklahoma insurance commissioner: Affordable Care Act is raising costs for Oklahomans

    BY JOHN DOAK | Published: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    Traveling across the state I regularly hear the concerns of Oklahomans about Obamacare. Some oppose the federal government’s intrusion into the health care market, some have no confidence in the leadership in Washington, D.C., and almost all know that government is spending money it doesn’t have. But I’ve never heard an Oklahoman say they oppose increasing access and reducing the costs of health insurance coverage — two unrealized “goals” of the Affordable Care Act. The reality is that the ACA is rationing access and increasing the cost of health care. In a 2009 speech to the American Medical Association, President Obama infamously promised us: “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor.

  • George F. Will: Tackled by the language police

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Wretched excess by government can be beneficial if it startles people into wholesome disgust and deepened distrust, and prompts judicial rebukes that enlarge freedom. So let’s hope the Federal Communications Commission embraces the formal petition inciting it to deny licenses to broadcasters who use the word “Redskins” when reporting on the Washington Redskins. Using the FCC to break another private institution to the state’s saddle for the satisfaction of a clamorous faction illustrates how the government’s many tentacles give it many means of intimidating people who offend it. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, empowered to ban trademarks that “may” disparage persons, has already limited trademark

  • Washington Examiner: Democrats trying to blame Republicans for Ebola

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    They point to NIH, CDC budgets

  • Michael Gerson: Problems facing America require confrontation, not isolation

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON — The value of American foreign policy conducted by majority vote — which might have resulted in a Nazi-occupied London — is once again evident. In 2013, 52 percent of Americans agreed that their country should “mind its own business internationally.” (In 1964, the figure was 20 percent.) This robust consensus for disengagement was soon followed by the rapid expansion of the Islamic State in a vacuum left by American inattention. And then by an outbreak of Ebola in West Africa that should have been confronted months earlier with larger resources. In recent years, Americans have generally gotten what they wanted on foreign policy issues — and now ruthlessly punish those who implemented their will.

  • Ruth Marcus: The worry you can conquer

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON — If you are worried about contracting Ebola, I have two suggestions. First, stop. Second, get a flu shot. On the first: If you live in the United States, your chances of getting Ebola are vanishingly small — even if you are a health care worker, or a journalist who travels to Africa to report on the epidemic. That is not to diminish the significance of the problem. For Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the virus represents a public health catastrophe, one with dire implications for the continent and beyond. For the United States, it represents a serious challenge to public health protocols — a reminder about the interconnectedness of the planet in an age of jet travel and a wake-up call about the perils of

  • Retired Air Force colonel: A complex path toward stability and peace

    BY MARK TARPLEY | Published: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    The current state of U.S. geopolitical affairs is unsettling for both the near and far term. The issues and challenges confronting the United States range from sustained combat operations targeting a nonstate Islamic terror group, to Russian hegemony in Ukraine, to humanitarian support for a disease-ridden African, to a Pacific region coping with a growing China seeking dominance over wider parts of their sphere. The path toward stability and peace is complex. Two key elements are required to achieve this. First is the recognition worldwide that the United States possesses capabilities that can match and dominate threats in any arena where their interests are challenged.

  • George Will: Liberty opportunity for the Supreme Court

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Oct 12, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Come Tuesday, the national pastime will be the subject of oral arguments in a portentous Supreme Court case. This pastime is not baseball but rent seeking — the unseemly yet uninhibited scramble of private interests to bend government power for their benefit. If the court directs a judicial scowl at North Carolina’s State Board of Dental Examiners, the court will thereby advance a basic liberty — the right of Americans to earn a living without unreasonable government interference. The board, whose members are elected by licensed dentists and dental hygienists, regulates the practice of dentistry in North Carolina.

  • Lutheran bishop: Islam doesn't deserve the scorn it often receives

    BY MICHAEL K. GIRLINGHOUSE | Published: Sun, Oct 12, 2014

    In recent weeks, Oklahoma became the focus of the fight against anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States. State Rep. John Bennett’s condemnation of the Islamic faith and the anti-Muslim sentiments surging in the aftermath of Alton Nolen’s beheading of a woman in Moore have turned the nation’s eyes to the state’s treatment of this often misunderstood and misrepresented religion. Throughout the centuries, religion has been used to justify all manner of individual and collective atrocities. No religion is immune from this sad reality. However, religion has also motivated profound acts of compassion and reconciliation. As a motivation for human behavior, religion is almost always intertwined with other motivations, both base

  • Michael Gerson: A question of leadership

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Sun, Oct 12, 2014

    Obama’s approach has a bearing

  • University of Maryland economist: One Senate race looms particularly large

    BY PETER MORICI | Published: Sat, Oct 11, 2014

    Despite another seemingly good jobs report, President Obama’s approval rating is lower than a snake’s belly, and Republicans could retake the Senate. ISIS and the Ukraine weigh on voters’ minds but the economy isn’t what Obama cracks it up to be. Obama has increased employment by 5.5 million, about 4 percent, but measured against other presidents his performance is hardly stellar. Ronald Reagan was dealt a tough hand too. Early in his first term, unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent but he cut spending, taxes and meddlesome government regulations. Employment rose 8.4 million, more than 9 percent, his first 68 months. The 5.9 percent unemployment rate is a fraud. The percentage of adults working or seeking employment

  • Jules Witcover: Catalogue of woes puts Washington in the doldrums

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sat, Oct 11, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Baseball lore recalls that legendary manager Casey Stengel, when running the hapless 1962 New York Mets, forlornly asked his charges: “Can’t anybody here play this game?” It’s an appropriate question right now in the nation’s capital concerning not only baseball but also football and politics. On Tuesday night at their home ballpark, the Washington Nationals, the National League’s winningest team of 2014 and seemingly headed for the World Series, lost their third game out of four to the San Francisco Giants and were blown out of contention. The demise came the day after the Washington Redskins, the NFL team under increasing pressure to change its name, had lost the fourth of their first five games under