• Tulsa truck exec: Expansion of tolling program a bad idea

    BY BOB PETERSON | Published: Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    The Senate Environment and Public Works committee, chaired by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, is considering an expansion of an interstate tolling pilot program that opens the door to troubling revenue collection schemes and economic manipulation. This would clearly violate the spirit of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, if not the law itself, and could lead to border tolls of $10, $50, $100 or more. The interstate highway system is essential for commerce and therefore it is the federal government’s constitutional responsibility to fund and maintain it. Any argument for foisting that obligation onto the states is a dereliction of duty.

  • The pope, the saint and the climate

    BY E.J. DIONNE JR. | Updated: Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    WASHINGTON — "He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable is the bond between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace." At the beginning of his encyclical on climate change that will shake up environmental politics around the world, this is how Pope Francis describes St. Francis of Assisi, the saint who inspired the name he chose. It's worth focusing first on the pope's tribute to the holy man who revered animals and all of nature. St. Francis' worldview, the pope insisted, should not be "written off as naive

  • Clarence Page: A fake black woman's 'passing' fancy

    By Clarence Page | Published: Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    Perhaps we African-Americans should feel flattered that Rachel Dolezal wanted so desperately to be one of us. Or maybe we should feel insulted, as some of her critics say, by her demonstration of white privilege even as she boldly lived a life of opposition to it. You know who I'm talking about. Everybody's been talking about Dolezal, the 37-year-old president of the Spokane, Wash., NAACP chapter who resigned Monday after she was outed by her own parents as a white woman who had been masquerading as black for 10 years. Obviously there are a lot of complicated issues going on between Dolezal and her parents, who quite clearly are white.

  • Charles Krauthammer: A new strategy for Iraq and Syria

    CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER | Published: Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    WASHINGTON — It's time for a new strategy in Iraq and Syria. It begins by admitting that the old borders are gone, that a unified Syria or Iraq will never be reconstituted, that the Sykes-Picot map is defunct. We may not want to enunciate that policy officially. After all, it does contradict the principle that colonial borders be maintained no matter how insanely drawn, the alternative being almost universally worse. Nonetheless, in Mesopotamia, balkanization is the only way to go. Because it has already happened and will not be reversed.

  • The Golden Arches gets progressive

    By George Will | Updated: Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    WASHINGTON — In January, McDonald’s, leaning against the winds of fashion, said kale would never replace lettuce on its burgers. In May, however, it said it will test kale in a breakfast meal. Kale might or might not cause construction workers to turn at 6 a.m. into McDonald’s drive-through lines, where approximately two-thirds of McDonald’s customers place their orders. McDonald’s also says its milk will soon be without artificial growth hormones, and chicken will be free of human antibiotics. All these might be good business decisions and as socially responsible as can be. They certainly pertain to McDonald’s new mantra about being a “modern, progressive burger company,” whatever that means.

  • China's big hack attack

    By Cal Thomas | Updated: Wed, Jun 17, 2015

    Upon hearing of the massive data breach of employee information from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) — allegedly by hackers working for the Chinese government — Kay Coles James, the former director of OPM under George W. Bush, told me she was "aghast," adding, "I can't think about the national security implications of a foreign government knowing every single federal employee, where they work, where they live, all of their significant data. Think about what that information can do in the hands of people who want to do us harm." Joel Brenner, a former top counterintelligence official for the U.S. government, has thought about it. He called the hack attack "potentially devastating.

  • Union official: OKC teachers, staff need cultural relevance training

    BY DAVID GRAY | Updated: Wed, Jun 17, 2015

    As documented in “Some teachers at Roosevelt say they have had enough” (News, May 30), there has been pushback against the calls from our community and school district to reform the racially biased discipline system in Oklahoma City schools. The situation described in the article reflected an old assumption in this city: Students of color must somehow be controlled and harshly disciplined, or disorder will run rampant in our schools. However, the story cited statistics that make the case for a new approach — one rooted in understanding the cultures our students come from, one that helps teachers and administrators transcend biases and find strategies to help all students succeed.

  • Clinton's two-step on trade

    BY RUTH MARCUS   | Published: Wed, Jun 17, 2015

    Ruth Marcus says the campaign trail will lead over familiar territory.

  • OK County commissioner: Two-party system works just fine

    BY BRIAN MAUGHAN | Published: Sun, Jun 14, 2015

    Some Oklahomans have proposed opening party primary elections to independent voters. They suggest that allowing those who are affiliated with neither party to vote in partisan primaries would increase voter participation. Unfortunately, it also would have at least three negative outcomes, none of which would be good for Oklahoma or either major party. The American two-party system evolved early in our history as the Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties emerged from the followers of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, respectively. Those parties later evolved into Democrats and Whigs, the latter of which ultimately merged with the new anti-slavery Republican Party in the years before the Civil War.

  • George Will: Our long path to limited government

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Jun 14, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Americans should light 800 candles for the birthday of the document that began paving the meandering path to limited government. Magna Carta laid down the law about “fish weirs” on English rivers, “assizes of darrein presentment,” people being “distrained to make bridges,” and other “liberties … to hold in our realm of England in perpetuity.” But what King John accepted at Runnymede meadow on June 15, 1215, matters to Americans because of something that happened 588 years later in the living room of Stelle’s Hotel in Washington, where the Library of Congress now sits. Although the “great charter” purported to establish certain rights in “perpetuity,” almost everything in it has been

  • Paul Greenberg: Hillary's scary ghost tales

    By Paul Greenberg | Published: Sun, Jun 14, 2015

    Is it the first sign of desperation or just force of habit on her part? Or maybe even clever strategy, however unprincipled or untruthful. For whatever reason, Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to accuse a slew of Republican governors and presidential candidates of “systematically and deliberately” trying to deny millions of Americans, mainly the poor and black, of their right to vote. Now some of her Republican rivals, unimaginative but ever-hopeful types that they are, have begun to fight back by reciting the facts, little as those may matter to Ms., Mrs., Sen., Secretary, First Lady, Presidential Candidate Clinton, or whichever title she’s going by at the moment. (What she needs is a single noun of address that will

  • Wind association director: Renewal of Production Tax Credit important to Oklahoma, nation

    BY TOM KIERNAN | Published: Sun, Jun 14, 2015

    The winds of change are blowing in Oklahoma. Within two decades, wind energy here could power the equivalent of almost 2 million homes. That’s according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy. According to this report, wind energy could comprise one-fifth of the domestic electricity market by 2030. Advanced turbines will be able to reach higher and stronger winds, bringing wind energy development to every state in the nation. That rise promises to generate huge economic benefits here in Oklahoma and all across the country. Unfortunately, federal policymakers are putting this future in jeopardy. Congress has failed to renew the federal Production Tax Credit, which provides a key incentive for wind energy

  • OKC resident: Citizens relucant to fund a new county jail

    BY MICHAEL J. MILLIGAN | Published: Sat, Jun 13, 2015

    There have been numerous articles in recent months concerning the construction of a new jail in Oklahoma County. It’s apparent from the articles that the politicians have no comprehension of the reluctance of the citizens to fund a new jail. The people won’t hesitate to fund projects that will benefit the city and county. We approved taxes for all three of the MAPS projects, which have been a blessing to the city. The problem with the jail, and any tax increases necessary to build the jail, has to do with the original construction in 1991. To date no one has provided an in-depth analysis on the construction of the existing jail. We all know there were problems with the design, construction and oversight. This has led to

  • E.J. Dionne: Valuing the family

    By E.J. Dionne | Published: Sat, Jun 13, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Between now and the 2016 election, we need to have a searching national debate over family values. It will not be about whether we as a country are for them. We are. What’s required is a grounded and candid discussion about what those words actually mean. Note that I did not follow the convention of putting quotation marks around family values. That punctuation is appropriate only when the phrase is defined in a narrow, partisan way, aimed at claiming that some large number of Americans don’t believe in family responsibility or love. I will be haunted for a long time by last Saturday’s funeral for Beau Biden, the vice president’s son, who died of cancer at the age of 46.

  • Charles Krauthammer: The Racing Form for GOP hopefuls, second edition

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Jun 12, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The Republican nominating race is a mess: a strong field, but with 10 declared candidates and a half-dozen more to come, we need a bouncer to keep order. I’ve given myself the job. Rope lines separate the four categories. (A) Top tier: 1. Jeb Bush. Solid, no sizzle. Sizzle may be in less demand than eight years ago, but his inability to separate from the pack, his recent campaign shakeup and his four-day stumble over Megyn Kelly’s “knowing what we know now” Iraq question have given even his supporters pause. Nonetheless, a bulging war chest, a fine gubernatorial record and a wide knowledge of domestic issues guarantee top-tier staying power. Chances: 25 percent. 2. Scott Walker.

  • American Petroleum Institute VP: Country wins if bans on fracking, exports are lifted

    By Kyle Isakower | Published: Fri, Jun 12, 2015

    If Texas were a nation, it would be the No. 3 dry natural gas producer in the world — ahead of Iran, China and Saudi Arabia. Eight individual states now each produce more than 3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, which would rank them among the world’s top 30 producing countries. In oil production, two U.S. states — Texas and North Dakota — would rank among the top 20 nations in the world. Four additional states — Alaska, California, New Mexico and Oklahoma — make the top 35. In other words, the United States is now a global energy superpower, and even individual states are global leaders in their own right. This growth is paying off for American families and businesses.

  • University professor: New federal fracking rules may not be tough enough

    BY MICHAEL E. KRAFT | Published: Fri, Jun 12, 2015

    The Obama administration recently announced the first major federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, to take effect this month. Fracking has been praised for contributing to a massive increase in production of oil and natural gas, reducing the nation’s reliance on imported oil and fostering increased use of cleaner natural gas over other fossil fuels, particularly coal. Critics, however, have long faulted fracking’s impact on the environment and public health from contaminated wastewater and release of toxic chemicals. In some states, the injection of wastewater in deep underground wells also has led to an increase in earthquakes.

  • David Cid: Resolve is critical in combating terrorism

    BY DAVID CID | Published: Fri, Jun 12, 2015

    Another attack inevitable

  • George Will: A vote for TPA is not a vote for Obama

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Jun 11, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Before presidential politics — the game of getting to 270 electoral votes — completely eclipses governing, there is the urgent task of getting to 217 votes in the House of Representatives to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). This would guarantee a vote without amendments on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Without TPA, any trade agreement will be nibbled to death in Congress by persons eager to do organized labor’s bidding. So, Republicans who oppose TPA are collaborating with those who oppose increasing the velocity and rationality of economic life. TPA touches two challenging problems: one economic, one constitutional. Regarding both, conservatives have special responsibilities.

  • Ruth Marcus: Hillary Clinton's illusory lurch to the left

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, Jun 10, 2015

    Policy details will tell more