• Kathleen Parker: Wordsmithing war

    By Kathleen Parker | Updated: Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Channel-surfing the nightly cable news, one is reminded that certitude is the enemy of sanity. On both Fox News and MSNBC, conversation has centered lately on the proposed war against the Islamic State and President Obama’s related summit with religious leaders. On Fox, the summit was viewed as an exercise in “community organizing” that was divorced from reality. The right is also insistent that Obama call the war something other than a war against extremists who distort Islam, though I’m not sure what this would be. For clarification, when I wrote recently that we were finally able to admit that we’re fighting a religious war, it was in the context of recognizing that our enemy is fighting a

  • Oklahoma City doctor: Some cancer patients made to battle more than their illness

    BY ANDREW L. CHANG, M.D. | Published: Sat, Feb 21, 2015

    As a physician, it is my duty to give the best treatment I can to my patients. Unfortunately, insurance companies cause harm to my patients when they deny coverage for treatments that I may recommend. Too often, patients are denied coverage for the best treatment option available to them because someone with the insurance company — who has never met them — has decided what is and isn’t necessary for their health. Patients with cancer don’t have the luxury of time to fight with insurance companies to get treatments that may be recommended. Oklahomans should have access to the best treatment and care recommended to them by their physician, which may include proton therapy. Proton therapy was approved for cancer

  • OKC schools superintendent Rob Neu: Lawmakers showed courage in defeating ESA bill

    BY ROB NEU | Published: Sat, Feb 21, 2015

    Pride fills my heart when I visit with our students in Oklahoma City Public Schools. For many students, walking through the schoolhouse door every day is a show of great courage. They persevere through greater challenges than many adults in our city will ever know. What a great example our students are for Oklahoma lawmakers. Legislators must display serious political courage to say they support public education and then follow the courage of their convictions. Nine members of the House of Representatives did so this week in voting against House Bill 2003 to create school vouchers. Even with a fancy name like education savings accounts, they’re still vouchers. Five representatives did so even though it put them at odds

  • Jules Witcover: The GOP's unchanging game plan

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sat, Feb 21, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The determination of conservative Republicans to thwart Barack Obama at every turn was clear from the first days after his election in 2008, as their Senate leader Mitch McConnell publicly vowed to make him “a one-term president.” That goal got a significant boost in the 2010 midterm elections, in which the Grand Old Party won control of the House of Representatives. It failed, however, in Obama’s 2012 re-election, but the campaign to derail his liberal agenda was resurrected in 2014 as the GOP took charge of the Senate as well, making McConnell the majority leader.

  • Charles Krauthammer: Abolish the filibuster

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    WASHINGTON — I’ve been radicalized. By Harry Reid and Barack Obama. Goodbye moderation and sweet reason. No more clinging to constitutional and procedural restraint. It’s time to go nuclear. In the fourth quarter of his presidency, Obama unbound is abusing presidential authority at will to secure a legacy on everything from environmental regulation to immigration, the laws of which he would unilaterally suspend. Republicans find themselves on the sidelines bleating plaintively about violations of the separation of powers. They thought they found an instrument of resistance in funding for the Department of Homeland Security. The House has funded the whole department except for the immigration service, which was denied

  • Insurance lobbyist: Innovation is great, but not at the cost of safety

    BY JOE WOODS | Published: Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    With the touch of an application on your smartphone, transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber-X and Lyft have brought an innovative way of helping passengers connect with drivers to virtually every major city in the state. However, this trendy way of getting around town doesn’t come without some controversy. As an example, the Oklahoma City Traffic Commission recently voted to allow TNC drivers to receive business licenses, with proof of insurance. Sounds simple, but that’s where the controversy comes in. These TNC drivers are just ordinary people who use their personal vehicles for a commercial service. However, personal auto policies contain a specific exclusion that bars coverage if the car is made available to

  • E.J. Dionne: The GOP's Freudian moment

    By E.J. Dionne Jr. | Published: Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    WASHINGTON — After he won re-election in November, soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made two sets of comments reflecting the dueling impulses of the Republican Mind. Freud fans might refer to the superego, aka the conscience, and the id. The Kentucky Republican got the most attention for gracious words to reporters the day after the election. “When the American people choose divided government, I don’t think it means they don’t want us to do anything,” he said, promising no government shutdowns and debt-ceiling disasters on his watch. “I think it means they want us to look for areas of agreement.” But his victory speech the night before was, well, not as gracious.

  • George Will: War authorization's difficult debate

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Feb 19, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Americans, a litigious people, believe that rules for coping with messy reality can be written in tidy legal language. This belief will be tested by the debate that will resume when Congress returns from a recess it should not have taken, with a war to authorize. The debate concerns an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic State and also against … Well. The debate’s difficulty defines its urgency: It is hard to say precisely against what (does the Islamic State’s name make it a state?), and therefore where, force should be authorized. This debate will demonstrate the limits of legalistic precision in war. Which is why, once war begins, limiting presidential war-making power is like

  • Ruth Marcus: Obama opponents got the judge they wanted

    By Ruth Marcus | Updated: Wed, Feb 18, 2015

    WASHINGTON — One thing that is certain about Monday’s ruling by a federal judge in Texas blocking implementation of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration reform — it won’t be the last word. Nonetheless, the opinion is worth noting for three reasons: first, what it says about the depressing politicization of the federal judiciary; second, and related, what it suggests about the conservative face of judicial activism; third, what its implications may be for the coming showdown on funding for the Department of Homeland Security. The New York Times report on the ruling contained a jarring phrase, describing its author, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, as “an outspoken critic of the administration on

  • Michael Gerson: Taming the government 'Leviathan by proxy'

    By Michael Gerson | Updated: Tue, Feb 17, 2015

    WASHINGTON — For the six years of the Obama presidency, or perhaps the last 35 years since Ronald Reagan’s election, American politics has been dominated by a debate on the size and role of the federal government. This argument, while intense and consequential, has often lacked one element: actual knowledge about the size and role of the federal government. Into this gap, political scientist John DiIulio has thrown a slim volume titled “Bring Back the Bureaucrats.” It is a reproof to everyone who hates government or loves government without understanding what it does — which covers most of the American ideological spectrum. DiIulio describes two, seemingly contradictory trends. Since the 1960s, federal spending has

  • Oklahoma state senator: Glimmer of hope for insurance buyers

    BY STATE SEN., MARTY QUINN | Published: Wed, Feb 18, 2015

    As an insurance agent for 32 years, I’ve witnessed an evolution of health care coverage that’s unsettling. It culminated with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Now, with the leadership of Oklahoma’s two U.S. senators, the pendulum may be swinging, however slowly, back in the direction of the people. Like most Oklahomans, I’m offended by the anti-free market, anti-personal choice and redistribution of wealth aspects of the Affordable Care Act. Hidden in the hurriedly passed law that wasn’t even read by members of Congress are details that cause even more market disruptions. For example, the ACA picks winners and losers when it comes to the type of health coverage you receive.

  • Washington Examiner: U.S. foreign policy will need rescuing post-Obama

    Washington Examiner Editorial | Published: Tue, Feb 17, 2015

    THE final collapse of Yemen’s pro-American government at the hands of Iranian-backed rebels chanting “Death to America” marks another major failure of the Obama administration’s antiterrorism policy. The extent of this failure was highlighted by the disorderly evacuation that civilian and military staff were forced to make from the American Embassy in Sana’a. Despite reassurances from the State Department that it was all planned in advance, embassy staff appear to have fled in fear and without much notice. They destroyed classified documents and caught a civilian flight out of a country that once welcomed our military aircraft. The Marines on site took the last-ditch measure of destroying weapons so they wouldn't become

  • Cal Thomas: President Obama, America's Nero

    By Cal Thomas | Published: Tue, Feb 17, 2015

    President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.” More than a century later, President Barack Obama speaks loudly (and incessantly) and carries a twig. Like Nero of ancient Rome, Obama fiddles, takes selfies and does Internet interviews while the world burns. Is he trying to distract himself, or us? To use a sports analogy, is he trying to “run out the clock” and leave office before terrorist fires consume us? We have a president who is mismatched to the times in which we live. He is unserious when seriousness is required. The tyrants of the world have taken notice and rightly calculated they can pretty much do what they want without paying a heavy penalty.

  • George Will: Curb your pessimism

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Feb 15, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Barack Obama’s tone of mild exasperation when tutoring the public often makes his pronouncements grating even when they are sensible. As was his recent suggestion that Americans, misled by media, are exaggerating the threat of terrorism. The world might currently seem unusually disorderly, but it can be so without being unusually dangerous. If we measure danger by the risk of violence, the world is unusually safe. For this and other reasons, Americans should curb their pessimism. The Washington Post’s Anne Applebaum recently reminded readers that in three decades of terror the Irish Republican Army murdered more than 2,000. And Italy’s Red Brigades committed many attacks, killings and kidnappings. Both

  • Ruth Marcus: A war authority that both parties dislike

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Sun, Feb 15, 2015

    WASHINGTON — It may be the triumph of hope over headlines to imagine that a Congress currently incapable of funding the Department of Homeland Security could pass a new war authorization. Funding DHS should be a no-brainer. Crafting a new authorization for the use of military force is fraught with bipartisan disagreements over scope, and further complicated by Republican distrust of President Obama. But the coming crackup over DHS will damage only the Republicans who painted themselves into this legislative corner — and you know how this movie ends. (Spoiler alert: They surrender.) By contrast, failure to approve a war authorization would represent an abdication of constitutional responsibility, with implications far

  • Gene Perry: Those released from Oklahoma prisons need help, too

    BY GENE PERRY | Published: Sun, Feb 15, 2015

    For years, experts have warned that Oklahoma’s overcrowded prisons were creating huge costs for taxpayers while, perversely, possibly increasing crime. These warnings were mostly ignored, but the situation may have finally gotten so bad that lawmakers will pay attention. House Speaker Jeff Hickman recently commented that Oklahoma risks losing control of its prison system to the federal government if we don’t manage the system more responsibly. As we consider the best reforms to reduce the number in prison, we should also look at what happens after inmates return home. In numerous ways, Oklahoma puts up obstacles that can make it difficult just to survive out of prison, much less make a positive contribution to society.

  • J.E. McReynolds: After 4,000-plus editorials, it's off to retirement

    By J.E. McReynolds | Published: Sat, Feb 14, 2015

    Do you know me? Starting in the 1970s, American Express used that tagline for a series of TV spots featuring people who were successful but not necessarily recognizable. Garfield creator Jim Davis was one. Los Angeles Rams owner Georgia Frontiere was another. Do you know me? Editorial writers sometimes ask the same question. Unlike most other journalists, their names don’t appear on what they write. In the age of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, selfies and countless ways to get people to know you — by name and face — the time-honored tradition of unsigned editorials carries on. A joke I’ve told often enough to make my co-workers groan every time they hear it is that if you agree with an editorial in

  • Oklahoma Oil & Gas Association president: Domestic energy translates into security for United States

    BY CHAD WARMINGTON | Published: Sat, Feb 14, 2015

    The Muslim world seems united in condemning the barbaric slaying of a Jordanian pilot, but such unity is unlikely to result in increased stability in the region. The Middle East, home to some of the most productive members of OPEC, has traditionally been a major source of the millions of barrels of oil consumed in the United States every day. Oil is the lifeblood of our society, providing fuel and feedstock for nearly every facet of our lives. Surging domestic oil production has allowed U.S. refiners, manufacturers and consumers to get that crude from their own backyard, while shielding them from the drastic price spikes that accompanied the nation's reliance on OPEC.

  • Renewable energy executive: Congress should extend wind production credit

    BY JAMES WALKER | Published: Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    America leads the world in wind power — and it’s effectively doing so with one arm behind its back. Today, 39 states (including Oklahoma) have utility-scale wind turbines. Oklahoma ranks fourth in the nation in wind power installed. Combined, these 39 states generate more wind energy than any other country in the world. The federal Production Tax Credit, first signed into law by President George H.W. Bush, has spurred the growth of wind power, generating billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs. The credit expired at the end of 2014. Congress must act quickly to extend it. Doing so would accelerate America’s shift to clean energy and foster economic growth across the country.

  • Property rights official: It's time for wind industry to stand on its own in Oklahoma

    BY FRANK ROBSON | Published: Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    Oklahoma faces a budget shortfall of at least $300 million that could easily exceed $500 million. Yet we’re blowing up to $193 million annually on subsidies for industrial wind companies. That money would be better spent funding core government services such as education. The Legislature is considering several bills to address the way this state subsidizes and regulates industrial wind companies. Key proposals would: Gradually reduce the amount of zero-emissions tax subsidies for new industrial wind facilities and require approval by the Legislature to reauthorize in 2020. Establish a $6 million statewide cap for the zero-emissions tax subsidy. Prevent industrial wind facilities from double-dipping on