Top Stories

  • Ruth Marcus: Impeaching the president

    Published: Wed, Jul 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Sarah Palin is right about impeaching President Obama. No, not that the president should be impeached. But Palin is correct in arguing that, for those who assert that Obama has grievously abused his executive authority, impeachment is the proper course of action. Of course this won’t happen, for the obvious reason that this tactic didn’t go so well for Republicans last time. Hence House Speaker John Boehner’s curt dismissal of Palin’s call for impeachment: “I disagree.” Boehner’s alternative — a lawsuit — offers the political benefits of draining impeachment fever from the more rabid Republican precincts while rallying the base against Obama-as-evil-overlord, sans electoral downside.

  • Jules Witcover: 'Photo op' gaffe reveals Obama's tin ear

    Published: Tue, Jul 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON — President Obama’s comment that “I’m not interested in photo ops” about the border crisis during last week’s visit to Texas was akin to your neighborhood pup not being interested in chasing squirrels. Particularly in today’s social-media madness of “selfies” and endless Internet traffic of other self-aggrandizing photo opportunities, cameras are catnip to politicians at all levels, and certainly the presidential. So Obama’s brush-off that the humanitarian plight of thousands of Central American children traveling on their own across the U.S.-Mexican border “is not theater” was a pretty lame excuse for not going down to eyeball it while he was in the state.

  • Ruth Marcus: Yousef's story

    Published: Mon, Jul 14, 2014

    WASHINGTON — The Israeli soldier shot Yousef Bashir in the back in the front yard of his father’s house in Gaza. It was Feb. 18, 2004, a week after Yousef’s 15th birthday. The bullet splintered into three fragments, severing nerves near the teenager’s spine. Ten years later, Yousef describes the episode — he learned to walk again, after months of rehabilitation in an Israeli hospital — as life-changing, which makes sense, and a blessing, which astonishes. “I feel very thankful to this horrible experience because it spared me from a lot of hatred I would be growing up with towards the Israelis,” he told me. “I was shot by one Israeli but saved by many Israeli people.

  • Michael Gerson: Needed: A conservative temperament

    Published: Sun, Jul 13, 2014

    WASHINGTON — A few recent developments have revealed the tea party temperament in its most distilled, potent form. Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin called for the impeachment of President Obama on the theory that his border policies are “the last straw that makes the battered wife say, ‘no mas.’” Excavating the layers of mixed metaphor — the straw that broke the camel’s back is somehow causing an abused woman to surrender in Spanish — Palin demands the ousting of an American president on the constitutional theory that “enough is enough.

  • Jim Inhofe, Tom Cole: Obama must address surge in young immigrants

    BY SEN. JIM INHOFE, AND REP. TOM COLE | Published: Sun, Jul 13, 2014

    As one of America’s premier military installations, Fort Sill continuously accepts and trains hundreds of new U.S. Army recruits. After graduating from Fort Sill’s 10-week basic training course, these soldiers go on to help keep the nation safe and freedoms secure — all with skills they learned in Oklahoma. But in June, new neighbors arrived on the post. Due to an alarming spike in unaccompanied alien children (UAC) crossing the border illegally, the Obama administration saw an opportunity to use empty barracks at Fort Sill slated for renovations and turn them into UAC housing. While the contract between the Department of Health and Human Services and Fort Sill states that the stay is temporary, the administration has a poor

  • David Ignatius: Obama's global challenge

    Published: Sun, Jul 13, 2014

    WASHINGTON — In President Obama’s sometimes maddeningly cautious foreign policy, you can see him struggling to answer what may be the hardest question of his presidency: How should the United States project power in a disorderly world without making the same mistakes it did in Iraq and Afghanistan? Obama, whose deliberative approach often resembles that of a Supreme Court justice rather than a politician, has developed a conceptual framework for combating terrorism and instability. It looks good, on paper. But the problem is that he hasn’t yet applied this framework successfully in dealing with the challenges that have arisen on his watch: civil wars in Libya, Yemen and Syria, and the emergence in Iraq of the Islamic State.

  • Officials: Oklahoma Blood Institute is a trustworthy, effective partner

    Submitted by Dr. John Armitage, CEO and president of OBI; board Chairwoman Phyllis Worley; former board Chairman Gerald R. Marshall, and incoming Chairman Dr. Richard Boatsman | Published: Sat, Jul 12, 2014

    On behalf of the Oklahoma Blood Institute, we offer some additional context to “Blood money: Legal tussle between institute, out-of-state broker exposes the business behind donations” (News, July 5). The lives of patients depend on the generosity of donors willing to give their blood. This selflessness is especially remarkable because the recipients and their loved ones cannot, due to confidentiality protections, directly express their gratitude. OBI and other blood centers constantly try to inspire people to fill this need. No substitutes or alternative sources are available. It’s important for people to associate giving blood with the life-affirming, spiritually uplifting rewards that we facilitate through our mission as

  • Jules Witcover: At last, Cleveland gets another turn in the limelight

    Published: Sat, Jul 12, 2014

    WASHINGTON — After 80 years, the city of Cleveland, much maligned in lore as “the mistake on the lake,” has been selected to host a national political convention in 2016. Famous Ohioans President William McKinley and Mark Hanna, the Karl Rove of his day, might well be turning in their graves. Cleveland has long been a bastion of latter-day Democratic politics in the state. In the late 19th century, Republicans McKinley and Hanna were principal champions of the Gilded Age, in which business and Wall Street dominated the nation’s economic life. In the last few decades, the city has fallen on leaner times. Its physical plant and environs, once a bustling center of blue-collar manufacturing industries before the

  • Washington Examiner: On immigration, Obama needs to do his job and get to work

    Published: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    PHOTOGRAPHS of President Obama shooting pool and drinking beer in Denver on Tuesday evening with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper were a bit much for Rep. Henry Cuellar, a moderate Democrat who represents the Laredo area in South Texas. “When I saw that, it just really floored me,” Cuellar said on Andrea Mitchell’s MSNBC program. “If he’s saying he’s too busy to go down to the border, but you have time to drink a beer, play pool — the optics and the appearance just mean he’s not paying attention to this humanitarian crisis.” The crisis Cuellar referred to, of course, is the mass migration of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children, some younger than 8 years old, across Mexico and into Texas.

  • Charles Krauthammer: The immigration no-brainer

    Published: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    WASHINGTON — As is his wont, President Obama is treating the border crisis — more than 50,000 unaccompanied children crossing illegally — as a public relations problem. Where to photo op and where not. He still hasn’t enunciated a policy. He may not even have one. Will these immigrants be allowed to stay? Seven times was Obama’s homeland security secretary asked this on “Meet the Press.” Seven times he danced around the question. Presidential press secretary Josh Earnest was ostensibly more forthcoming: “It’s unlikely that most of those kids will qualify for humanitarian relief. … They will be sent back.” This was characterized in the media as a harder line. Not at all. Yes, those kids who go through the

  • Clarence Page: New border politics: Blame Obama first

    Published: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    As thousands of unaccompanied Central American children stream across his state’s southern border, Texas Gov. Rick Perry took a paranoid turn. In an interview Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Perry repeated sentiments that he expressed earlier on Fox News that, as the number of detained children has surged past 60,000 in recent months, President Barack Obama might be “in on this somehow.” “I have to believe,” he said, “that when you don’t respond in any way that you are either inept or you have some ulterior motive….” Oh? And what might that motive be? The governor did not say. But his speculations follow a familiar partisan smear in this midterm election year that Obama “breaks laws” and

  • Nonprofit founder: Lack of immigration reform a disservice to U.S., talented foreigners

    BY AKASH PATEL | Published: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    The word “immigrant” conjures the image of the guy mowing our lawns, the cleaner who cares for our offices or the service worker at McDonald’s. While some of these archetypes happen to be true, it would be a rejection of reality to think that this nation’s immigrants offer no more than these modest, yet significant contributions. The federal government set up the H-1B guest worker visa program in 1965 to augment the workforce. This has been a boon for the economy and a blessing for migrating families. One estimate shows that 70 percent of graduate and Ph.D. students in electrical engineering programs in this country are international students. In 2012, 41 percent of H-1B visas were for those with master’s degrees and 61

  • Michael Gerson: The divided states of Obama

    Published: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    WASHINGTON — The headline — “Poll: Obama Worst President Since World War II” — was both provocative and misleading. The Quinnipiac survey did, indeed, place President Obama at the top of the worst since FDR. But this was largely a measure of partisan concentration. Republicans were united in their unfavorable historical judgment of Obama. Democrats divided their votes (and would insist, I’d imagine, that they have more options to choose from). We already know that Obama is a highly polarizing figure. But beneath the headline, the poll identified serious problems for the president. Fifty-four percent of respondents said the Obama administration is “not competent running the government.” (Shout-out to

  • Positive Tomorrows president: Third-grade retention won't solve the reading problem in Oklahoma

    BY SUSAN AGEL | Published: Wed, Jul 9, 2014

    According to “OKC district to promote 514 third-graders who failed test” (News, July 2), Oklahoma City Public Schools will retain 636 third-graders next year because they failed the state reading test and don’t qualify for exemptions. Statistics reported in April show that 31 percent of third-graders in Oklahoma failed the test. When you look at how individual school districts did, it’s clear that districts with the highest numbers of poor children are those with the highest failure rates. To be fair, some poor households raise children who are well-prepared for academic success. However, strong families in poverty are rare due to problems such as little family support, addiction and mental health issues.

  • Ruth Marcus: Hillary Clinton's lawyerly past

    Published: Wed, Jul 9, 2014

    WASHINGTON — It should not be necessary to write this column. Lawyers represent clients. Criminal defense lawyers represent clients accused of crimes — sometimes horrible, evil clients accused of heinous crimes. It is the ethical and professional responsibility of these lawyers to defend those clients as vigorously as possible. Sometimes such representation results in less than perfectly just results. As Justice Benjamin Cardozo famously put it, the criminal goes free because the constable has blundered. That is the way — the only way — an adversary system of criminal justice can function. End of story, or it would be, except that the decades-old criminal case at issue here involves Hillary Clinton.

  • AARP Oklahoma president: New law will help older Oklahomans, family caregivers

    BY MARJORIE LYONS | Published: Wed, Jul 9, 2014

    By signing Senate Bill 1536, informally known as the CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record & Enable) Act, Gov. Mary Fallin has helped thousands of older Oklahomans and family caregivers. And for that, I want to say “thank you.” SB 1536, which will become law in November, is one of the most important accomplishments of this legislative session. It’s a simple idea that patients should be allowed to designate a caregiver when they’re admitted to the hospital and those caregivers should be notified and consulted on how to care for patients after they go home. As a retired nurse and a former caregiver, I know firsthand how this new law will help many older Oklahomans continue to live independently in their own homes.

  • Washington Examiner: Part-time job growth one constant in U.S. economy

    Published: Tue, Jul 8, 2014

    LAST month, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy sharply contracted during the first quarter of 2014. Then on July 3, Commerce reported a gain of 288,000 jobs for June, the fifth-largest monthly increase of President Obama’s tenure. Perhaps things are finally improving. Or perhaps there’s something ugly beneath the surface. The Labor Department’s household survey reveals that the economy lost 523,000 full-time jobs in June. At the same time, it gained an astounding 799,000 part-time jobs — the largest such monthly jump in two decades. Part-time jobs now top 28 million for the first time since last July. This shift to part-time labor is an echo from June 2013, when the economy added 360,000 part-time

  • Jules Witcover: On Iraq, Obama damned if he does, damned if he doesn't

    Published: Tue, Jul 8, 2014

    WASHINGTON — President Obama’s decision to send another 200 U.S. troops to Baghdad to secure the American Embassy and the airport there could be called a victory of reality over wishful thinking — the notion that the Iraq crisis could be resolved without more U.S. boots on the ground. The term usually refers to soldiers in combat, but any American military in uniform is at risk, so the distinction isn’t likely to mean much to critics of the war at home. The action raises the total to a reported 775, plus another 300 sent as trainers for Iraqi military striving to turn back the Islamist insurgents controlling cities north of Baghdad. This subsidiary role is carefully stipulated; their mission is not to join the

  • Oklahoma treasurer: More common sense needed in fiscal policymaking

    BY KEN MILLER | Published: Sun, Jul 6, 2014

    Two years ago I penned a column titled “Stop the Madness.” I called on the Legislature to inject common sense into the budget process by replacing short-term tactics with long-term strategies. By that measure, this year’s budget is still a bit mad. Sure, there were sound financial accomplishments, such as creating a defined contribution plan for new state employees, funding needed repairs to the state Capitol and better prioritization.

  • Ruth Marcus: Driven to independence

    Published: Sun, Jul 6, 2014

    WASHINGTON — This was a bittersweet Independence Day for me. Not the Fourth of July. In our family, the weekend ushered in a different sort of independence: our second, and last, child received her driver’s license. After almost 20 years, my husband and I are free at last — from the childhood schlepping to playdates and religious school and violin lessons, the teenagers’ treks to friends’ houses and the mall. Now what do we do? Now how will we know what they are thinking? The relationship between child and car is both a microcosm of and metaphor for the experience of parenthood.