• Oklahoma State University professor: Bills would help increase voter turnout

    BY REBEKAH HERRICK | Published: Sat, Apr 4, 2015

    Did you vote last fall? If so, give yourself a pat on the back. If not, don’t worry — you’re not alone. For the past few elections, turnout in Oklahoma has been among the worst in the nation. In the 2014 midterms, with no presidential race to bring out the vote, just three in 10 eligible voters cast ballots. That was Oklahoma’s lowest rate in at least 50 years, and only six states did worse. Sadly, the 2014 midterm election was not unique. In the 2012 presidential election, turnout was 52 percent and only two states had lower rates. These low voting rates are problematic. We cannot be certain that all Oklahomans’ voices are heard and the public interest will be served when most Oklahomans stay home on Election

  • Kathleen Parker: Freedom is a two-way street

    By Kathleen Parker | Published: Fri, Apr 3, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Excited protests against Indiana’s recently passed religious freedom law have highlighted both America’s growing support for same-sex marriage and our apparent incapacity to entertain more than one idea at a time. The law in question is a version of the 1993 federal Religious Freedom and Restoration Act signed by President Clinton. Nineteen states have versions of the law and another 11 have interpreted their state constitutions as already providing these protections. Without diving into the weeds, RFRA aims to protect religious freedom against government action that abridges deeply held convictions.

  • Oklahoma state representative: Use Article V powers to address federal debt

    BY STATE REP. GARY BANZ | Published: Fri, Apr 3, 2015

    Federalism is defined as the division of power between a strong central government and equally strong regional governments called states. Nowhere is that principle displayed more prominently than in the language of Article V of the U.S. Constitution. Article V gives Congress and the states the authority to propose amendments. The ideal balance between central and regional governments has been replaced with an overbearing, out-of-control, runaway national government at the expense of the states. It’s the state of affairs that George Mason and other Framers of the Constitution feared might happen.

  • Wind energy advocate: Oklahoma should look to expand wind industry

    BY JEFF CLARK | Published: Fri, Apr 3, 2015

    Pending legislation would harm industry

  • Leonard Pitts Jr.: Thankfully, faith of exclusion not the only faith their is

    By Leonard Pitts Jr. | Published: Fri, Apr 3, 2015

    “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away.” — The Beatles “Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.” — Fleetwood Mac On Sunday, people all over the world will commemorate the morning an itinerant rabbi, falsely convicted and cruelly executed, stood up and walked out of his own tomb. It is the foundation act for the world’s largest faith, a touchstone of hope for over 2 billion people. But that faith has, in turn, been a source of ongoing friction between those adherents who feel it compels them to redeem tomorrow and those who feel it obligates them to restore yesterday. Last week, the latter made headlines — again.

  • George Will: The rough math facing Ted Cruz

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Apr 2, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was born in 1970, six years after events refuted a theory on which he is wagering his candidacy. The 1964 theory was that many millions of conservatives abstained from voting because the GOP did not nominate sufficiently deep-dyed conservatives. So if in 1964 the party would choose someone like Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, hitherto dormant conservatives would join the electorate in numbers sufficient for victory. This theory was slain by a fact — actually, 15,951,378 facts. That was the difference between the 43,129,566 votes President Lyndon Johnson received and the 27,178,188 that Goldwater got in winning six states.

  • Michael Gerson: The virtues of the smoke-filled room

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The John Boehner/Nancy Pelosi agreement on Medicare doctors’ payments — permanently easing up on scheduled cuts, funded (partially) by means testing — has been praised as an incremental gain and criticized as a small backward step. In either case, it is a rare bird: the result of a March 4 meeting between leaders in a metaphorical smoke-filled room (and, given Boehner’s smoking habit, perhaps an actual one). The broad acceptance of the compromise by House Republicans and Democrats is rooted in a shared interest. Both sides hate being nagged by doctors. This is not a motivation easily transferable to other issues. But the Medicare deal is a reminder of the way strong party leaders once regularly made

  • QuikTrip official: Time for a change in Oklahoma liquor laws

    BY MIKE THORNBRUGH | Published: Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    Did we really repeal the 18th Amendment? Legally, the answer is yes. The 21st Amendment, which repealed prohibition, was ratified on Dec. 5, 1933. Although it dealt with the repeal of the nationwide mandate, Oklahoma still has laws on the books that were written to get around prohibition and do not reflect today’s society. I assure you that any company in Oklahoma that is licensed by the state to sell off-premise 3.2 beer is most likely satisfied with the status quo. This is because convenience stores, grocery outlets, big box retailers, etc., have an 80 percent to 85 percent market share. Forty-five states have laws that allow for the sale of same-strength beer. Only Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Utah and Oklahoma

  • Business community wants best for Oklahoma kids

    BY JENNIFER MONIES | Published: Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    Our state’s education system is in desperate need of change. Our kids deserve the best chance of having a successful life with a good-paying job to help them support a family here in Oklahoma. Those jobs are out there, but they sit empty because too often we are graduating students without the skills needed in a modern workforce. They can’t read a ruler or write a complete sentence on a job application. They can’t show up for work on time and don’t realize that most manufacturing jobs today involve computers more than dark, dirty assembly lines. The business community understands Oklahoma’s potential. We are parents, community members, mentors and simply concerned citizens.

  • Ruth Marcus: Sharp elbows jab both ways

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    WASHINGTON — If you looked in my Washington Post personnel file, you would find an ancient evaluation that describes me as having “sharp elbows.” More precisely, being perceived as having “sharp elbows.” At the time, I thought this assessment was unfair. In retrospect, it was probably more accurate than I realized. Either way, it prompted me to recalibrate my behavior, to overcompensate in the direction of collegiality. Wanna share a byline? It wasn’t until years later that it occurred to me how much this critique had to do with gender. After all, journalism is a competitive business. We value the aggressive reporter who hustles to get the story — to own it. Somehow, I doubt that a man behaving similarly would

  • Colorado Springs Gazette: Employee Rights Act is long overdue

    Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial | Published: Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    THE Employee Rights Act (www.employeerightsact.com) is a common-sense solution to provide an array of protections in the workplace. Imagine an act of Congress that empowers individuals over big business and unions that no longer earn the support of dues-paying members. The proposal is long overdue and may be introduced as a bill within the next month. The concept of employee rights over entrenched unions has more than 80 percent support across all major voter demographics, including union members and their families. Here’s what the Employee Rights Act might do: •Guarantee the right to federally supervised secret paper ballot elections to counter union pressure on employers to deny privacy in votes on company

  • Paul Greenberg: Who is this Scott Walker?

    By Paul Greenberg | Published: Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    Who is this Scott Walker, and why has he taken off like a house afire in the race for next year’s Republican presidential nomination even before it’s really begun? He’s the governor of Wisconsin who’s electrified his party and maybe American taxpayers in general by winning election after election in his state over the last four years, including an attempt to recall him, despite every trick the usual, unholy alliance of Democrats, union bosses and vested interests have pulled against him. That included a mass occupation of the state Capitol in Madison — and now he’s supposed to be ahead by double digits in the bellwether Iowa caucuses, whatever that kind of early polling result means, if anything. Gov.

  • Oklahoma schools superintendent: Bold leadership sought to tackle teacher shortage

    BY JOY HOFMEISTER | Published: Sun, Mar 29, 2015

    More than 1,000 positions vacant in the state

  • George Will: Remembrance of Clintons past

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Mar 29, 2015

    WASHINGTON — An abscess of anger seems to gnaw at Hillary Clinton, but the reasons for her resentments remain unclear. The world’s oldest party, which governed the nation during two world wars and is the primary architect of America’s regulatory and redistributive state, is eager to give her its presidential nomination, in recognition of … what? The party, adrift in identity politics, clings, as shipwrecked sailors do to floating debris, to this odd feminist heroine. Wafted into the upper reaches of American politics by stolid participation in her eventful marriage to a serial philanderer, her performance in governance has been defined by three failures.

  • Leonard Pitts Jr.: Before a 'conversation on race,' we need education on race

    By Leonard Pitts Jr. | Published: Sun, Mar 29, 2015

    Am I the only person in America not making fun of Howard Schultz? The Starbucks CEO bought himself a ton of ridicule recently when he attempted to jumpstart a national dialogue on race by having baristas write the words “Race Together” on customers’ cups of Cinnamon Dolce Light Frappuccino Grande or Caffe Misto Venti with extra coconut. On Twitter, the campaign was dubbed “patronizing,” “absurd” and “a load of crap.” On “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore,” Rosie Perez said, “I don’t want to be forced to have a conversation. Especially early in the f-----g morning.” Some folks questioned the wisdom of calling for racial dialogue when your executive team has all the rich cultural diversity of a GOP

  • Oklahoma Senate leader: Change would keep focus on how tax dollars are spent

    BY STATE SEN., BRIAN BINGMAN | Published: Sat, Mar 28, 2015

    When new lawmakers get started at the Capitol, it usually doesn’t take them long to learn an important lesson — nearly everything we do in the Legislature revolves around the budget. The tax contributions of Oklahomans make state government possible, and we’re obligated to carefully and judiciously allocate those dollars in a way that maximizes their value to the entire state. When we devote more time and attention to these decisions, we’re able to make better choices. This year the Senate has undertaken several initiatives to put the focus back on the issue of state spending. All 48 members of the Senate, Republican and Democrat, are now members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

  • Bob Funk: Jobs are plentiful in Oklahoma

    BY BOB FUNK | Published: Sat, Mar 28, 2015

    But too few skilled workers

  • Jules Witcover: Netanyahu casts a pall over U.S.-Israeli relations

    By Juesl Witcover | Published: Sat, Mar 28, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The recent series of events involving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the U.S. Congress, his election-eve disavowal of a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israel dilemma and his subsequent election backtracking on it have brought a new low to U.S.-Israeli relations. They have produced an uncommon rebuke from President Obama of Netanyahu as an instrument of the disintegration of that longtime objective to achieve peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. They have also dealt a blow to the historic and solid alliance between the United States and Israel. The American president’s celebrated coolness was tested in his latest news conference with visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, but

  • Charles Krauthammer: The GOP racing form, first edition

    By Charles Krauthammer | Updated: Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    WASHINGTON — With Ted Cruz announcing and Rand Paul and Marco Rubio soon to follow, it’s time to start handicapping the horses and making enemies. No point in wasting time on the Democratic field. There is none. The only thing that can stop Hillary Clinton is an act of God, and he seems otherwise occupied. As does Elizabeth Warren, the only Democrat who could conceivably defeat her. On to the GOP. First Tier: 1. Marco Rubio. Trails badly in current polls, ranking seventh at 5 percent, but high upside potential. Assets: Foreign policy looms uncharacteristically large in the current cycle, and Rubio is the most knowledgeable and fluent current contender on everything from Russia to Cuba to the Middle East.

  • Clarence Page: Feeling that post-Lewinsky remorse

    By Clarence Page | Updated: Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    A surprising contriteness has taken hold of Bill Maher and David Letterman about one of their favorite high-value targets: Monica Lewinsky. After reading Lewinsky’s first-person essay in last June’s issue of Vanity Fair, Maher said on his HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher” that, “I was moved by it. I gotta tell you, I literally felt guilty.” Letterman responded similarly on his “The Late Show” on CBS: “I feel bad about my role in helping push the humiliation to the point of suffocation.” To which his guest Barbara Walters replied, “Good. Then we can stop.” Indeed? If late night comedians are suffering post-Monica remorse, what about the rest of us? I feel my own version of the