• George F. Will: The mushrooming welfare state

    By George Will | Published: Thu, Jan 22, 2015

    WASHINGTON — America’s national character will have to be changed if progressives are going to implement their agenda. So, changing social norms is the progressive agenda. To understand how far this has advanced, and how difficult it will be to reverse the inculcation of dependency, consider the data Nicholas Eberstadt deploys in National Affairs quarterly: America’s welfare state transfers more than 14 percent of GDP to recipients, with more than a third of Americans taking “need-based” payments. In our wealthy society, the government officially treats an unprecedented portion of the population as “needy.

  • RecruitMilitary CEO: Hiring Oklahoma's veterans as employees, not charity cases

    BY PETER A. GUDMUNDSSON | Updated: Wed, Jan 21, 2015

    Based on last year’s media coverage, Oklahomans would be shocked to learn that there is no veterans’ unemployment crisis. But the numbers don’t lie. The 2014 national unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans was 7.2 percent, the lowest rate recorded in the metric’s seven-year history. The overall veteran unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent, lower than the national workforce unemployment rate. We can do more to put veterans in good jobs, but the solution is not additional government or philanthropic support. While government programs may have had value when the economy was in the doldrums and market forces were weakened, veterans are not dependent on employment handouts or assistance programs with mixed records.

  • Ruth Marcus: A tale of two policies

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, Jan 21, 2015

    WASHINGTON — This is a tale of two policies promoted by President Obama: one to make community college free, the other to provide for paid sick leave and parental leave. Both are well-intentioned efforts to address fundamental, economic-based inequities. Only one — the leave policy — should be adopted. It’s worth examining the two proposals, not just because they are important on their own, but because they reflect a continuing tension between the allure of programs that provide a universal benefit and those that are more targeted toward a specific population in need. The president’s community college proposal sounds great. A high school diploma alone no longer suffices; the income gap between those with a college

  • Oklahoma corporation commissioner: EPA plan could hinder reliable electric service

    BY DANA MURPHY | Published: Wed, Jan 21, 2015

    The good news is the Environmental Protection Agency has managed to do the unthinkable: bring about broad agreement among the utility industry and many utility regulators. The bad news is that what’s getting broad support is the very real concern that the reliable electric service we count on may become a casualty of the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” (CPP). There is much to be worried about when it comes to the proposal, including its massive costs that would be forced onto ratepayers and its usurping of local control over your electric service. Much has already been written about those concerns. Less publicized is the CPP’s potential impact on the reliability of electric service.

  • Washington Examiner: Obama can put an end to Putin's mischief

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Tue, Jan 20, 2015

    MITT Romney was pilloried mercilessly during the 2012 presidential campaign for pointing out that Russia was America’s No. 1 geopolitical foe. President Obama went so far as to ridicule him in one presidential debate, declaring, “The 1980s are calling, they want their foreign policy back.” But no one is laughing now. Russian President Vladimir Putin has since kidnapped officials from neighboring countries, invaded Ukraine, annexed Crimea and mobilized his military in large war games operations designed to cause panic in the west. He’s also interfered in U.S. efforts to bring calm to other regions, as when he cleverly helped rescue Syrian dictator Bashar Assad from any consequences for the war crime of using chemical weapons

  • Michael Gerson: Obama can't wish away terrorism

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Tue, Jan 20, 2015

    WASHINGTON — President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address is remembered today mainly for this bit of rhetorical irony: “America must move off a permanent war footing.” It was the triumph of speechwriting over experience. Obama’s pledge came about three weeks after the fall of Fallujah to the Islamic State. By June, Mosul would be overrun. Global jihadism now has a cause — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s sham caliphate — around which to rally. It controls unprecedented territory and resources. It has a stream of thousands of Western recruits cycling in and out of the Middle East. And it encompasses a dangerous competition between the Islamic State and al-Qaida, in which acts of terrorism are a source of street

  • Paul Greenberg: Destination Mars

    By Paul Greenberg | Published: Mon, Jan 19, 2015

    Fasten your seat belts, or rather Orion’s belt. That’s the name used for the three stars that may be the most prominent feature of the constellation Orion in the night sky. Orion also appeared in headlines across the country and around the world the other day when an American spacecraft by that name ventured farther from Mother Earth than any other made for human flight since the golden age of space exploration decades ago. It was a reminder that America — and man — isn’t finished exploring yet. … Not since Apollo 17 in 1972 has the American space program broken free of the surly bonds of near-Earth orbit. Not with a vehicle designed to carry that remarkable species of lab animal — Homo sapiens — ever deeper

  • Leonard Pitts: Pope wrong on limiting freedom of expression

    By Leonard Pitts Jr. | Published: Sun, Jan 18, 2015

    No way to appease the unappeasable

  • Retired USAF colonel: America's 'stick' is growing smaller

    BY MARK TARPLEY | Published: Sun, Jan 18, 2015

    Military might is a necessity

  • E.J. Dionne: How government helps the 1 percent

    By E.J. Dionne Jr. | Published: Sat, Jan 17, 2015

    WASHINGTON — You may think that government takes a lot of money from the wealthy and gives it to poor people. You might also assume that the rich pay a lot to support government while the poor pay a pittance. There is nothing wrong with you if you believe this. Our public discourse is dominated by these ideas, and you’d probably feel foolish challenging them. After Mitt Romney’s comments on the 47 percent blew up on him, conservatives have largely given up talking publicly about their “makers versus takers” distinction. But much of the right’s rhetoric and many of its policies are still based on such notions.

  • Jules Witcover: Is a Bush-Romney faceoff ahead?

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sat, Jan 17, 2015

    WASHINGTON — If Jeb Bush’s early disclosure that he’s clearing the decks for a 2016 presidential bid was meant to scare off all Republican opposition, it appears to have backfired on him. The party’s 2012 losing nominee, Mitt Romney, seems to have aroused himself from declared retirement to rally his old faithful for a possible third try after all. But he also has aroused more skepticism than encouragement from the Grand Old Party, which already has a bumper crop of fresh faces approaching the starting line.

  • University of Central Oklahoma dean: School provides unmatched value

    BY MICKEY HEPNER | Published: Fri, Jan 16, 2015

    In “High-quality, low-cost college for Oklahomans” (Point of View, Jan. 4), Brandon Dutcher and Frank Keating urged lawmakers “to consider innovative and more efficient ways to deliver basic services.” While I applaud this general principle, unfortunately the example they used contained erroneous and misleading information that could actually lead lawmakers down a less efficient path. The column praised Western Governors University (WGU), a private, low-cost, online university, as an alternative to Oklahoma’s public higher education institutions. But the authors significantly understated the cost of a business degree from WGU and overstated the cost of a degree from the University of Central Oklahoma.

  • Charles Krauthammer: Obama: Charlie who?

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Jan 16, 2015

    WASHINGTON — On Sunday, at the great Paris rally, the whole world was Charlie. By Tuesday, the veneer of solidarity was exposed as tissue thin. It began dissolving as soon as the real, remaining Charlie Hebdo put out its post-massacre issue featuring a Muhammad cover that, as The New York Times put it, “reignited the debate pitting free speech against religious sensitivities.

  • Clarence Page: France needs a better 'melting pot'

    By Clarence Page | Published: Fri, Jan 16, 2015

    In the language of headline writers, he is “Muslim Man,” hailed as a hero for hiding hostages during last week’s terrorist attacks by Muslim fanatics in France. When the kosher supermarket where he works in eastern Paris came under siege, Lassana Bathily put his own life at risk to hide a half-dozen terrified customers in a walk-in refrigerator. But when the 24-year-old shop assistant managed to escape through a back exit, police immediately forced him to the ground, handcuffed him and took him into custody. That’s because Bathily, an immigrant from Mali in West Africa, fit the description of Amedy Coulibaly, one of the terrorists — young black male with a dark complexion.

  • George Will: The Keystone catechism

    By George Will | Published: Thu, Jan 15, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Not since the multiplication of the loaves and fishes near the Sea of Galilee has there been creativity as miraculous as that of the Keystone XL pipeline. It has not yet been built but already is perhaps the most constructive infrastructure project since the Interstate Highway System. It has accomplished an astonishing trifecta: It has made mincemeat of Barack Obama’s pose of thoughtfulness. It has demonstrated that he lacks even a rudimentary understanding of the most basic economic realities. It has dramatized environmentalism’s descent into infantilism. Obama entered the presidency trailing clouds of intellectual self-regard.

  • University of Texas professor: What threats to free speech exist in United States?

    BY JOHN W. TRAPHAGAN | Published: Wed, Jan 14, 2015

    Recent events in Paris have been rightly interpreted not simply as an act of terrorism, but as an attack on the most fundamental value in a free society — the right of free speech and free expression of ideas. Freedom is grounded in the idea that unfettered expression is essential to maintaining freedom and avoiding the onset of tyranny, even when it might be offensive to many segments of a society. As we condemn the events in France, we should also ask what sorts of threats to freedom of expression exist in this country. During the past few years, the freedom to express ideas publically has been threatened or even shut down.

  • Cal Thomas: Is Paris burning?

    By Cal Thomas | Updated: Tue, Jan 13, 2015

    The late Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times, Paul Conrad, frequently used religious symbols to illustrate his point of view. Conrad drew the ire of some readers whenever he used the Star of David or a cross in his drawings. Letters to the editor denounced him, but to my knowledge no one showed up at the newspaper to kill him. This is the difference between radical Islam and other faiths. Jews and Christians have been targets of persecution, but with rare exceptions in modern times those faiths do not encourage, or tolerate, murder in the name of God. Were he alive today, I wonder if Conrad would draw a cartoon that depicts the Prophet Mohammed in a bad light — or any light — following

  • Kathleen Parker: Hyping Obama's Paris fail

    By Kathleen Parker | Published: Wed, Jan 14, 2015

    WASHINGTON — If we can be serious for a moment: The president made an error in judgment by not sending someone with a higher profile than our ambassador to join world leaders Sunday at a solidarity rally in Paris. The White House has admitted the error. This more or less sums up the news of the past two days, but you wouldn’t guess it from the coverage and commentary. Based on the nearly 24-hour rehashing of the administration’s failure to assume a more important role at the rally, you’d think the U.S. had dropped out of NATO. I’m not usually mistaken for an Obama advocate, but I’m finding it difficult to embrace the direness of his uncharacteristic disobedience to stagecraft.

  • Ruth Marcus: Politics of symbolism over substance

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, Jan 14, 2015

    Arguments go nowhere

  • Michael Gerson: Washington's psychological polarization

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Tue, Jan 13, 2015

    WASHINGTON — As the 114th Congress begins in earnest, there are a number of things — such as tax and immigration reform and trade agreements — that political adults would like to get done for the good of the country. A commitment to incrementalism and compromise can be found, with sufficient diligence, among individual lawmakers in both parties. But these scattered good intentions are as unlikely to cohere as dry sand. This is not just a function of policy disagreement. President Obama and congressional Republicans hold fundamentally different views of recent political history, particularly the outcome of the November midterm election.