• Not much buzz related to this year's midterm elections

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Oct 13, 2014

    No ‘animating political issues’ in play

  • Proposed marijuana legislation carries a considerable downside

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Oct 13, 2014

    MARIJUANA legalization was highlighted in a recent debate between Oklahoma candidates for a U.S. Senate seat. This issue continues to bubble up in political discussions, so it’s important that associated policy decisions be based on facts. Research continues to identify significant consequences to recreational marijuana use. The Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, state Sen. Connie Johnson of Oklahoma City, supports decriminalizing marijuana use. She defended that stance in the debate. Her opponent, U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, isn’t a fan of that idea. “I just have a hard time with anyone saying, ‘The best thing we can do for our kids is to get their parents to smoke more marijuana,’” Lankford said.

  • Secondary statewide races in Oklahoma still important

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Oct 12, 2014

    GUBERNATORIAL and congressional races are getting the most attention during this election cycle, but three secondary statewide offices are also on the Nov. 4 ballot. Two of the races feature an incument who, under state law, can serve only one additional term. In the race for lieutenant governor, Republican incumbent Todd Lamb faces Democratic nominee Cathy Cummings, a restaurant owner. The position is largely ceremonial, but Lamb has ably used the job to advocate for policies that will grow Oklahoma’s economy and create more jobs. Lamb makes a point of visiting all 77 Oklahoma counties each year, and he routinely meets with local business leaders. These meetings inform a report that Lamb issues annually to recommend a wide range

  • Switching Oklahoma budget practices would involve challenges

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Oct 12, 2014

    Gubernatorial candidates like the idea

  • ScissorTales: Buzz is mostly about debates that aren't happening

    The Oklahoman Editorials | Published: Sat, Oct 11, 2014

    ’TIS the season for political debates and the buzz this year is mostly about the debates that aren’t happening. Supporters of U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe’s unknown Democratic opponent have been burning up their Facebook pages with orchestrated outrage about Inhofe’s refusal to debate. USA Today, in an editorial, laments the lack of debates in the Ohio governor’s race and several contests for U.S. Senate seats. In a countering view next to the editorial, political scientist Robert G. Boatright says he’s “skeptical that debates in this year’s midterm elections will serve a useful function” in light of the “unprecedented level of polarization” in Congress. Waxing nostalgic about great debates such as

  • Little reason to battle against voter ID laws

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Oct 10, 2014

    WHEN they go to the polls in a few weeks, voters in many states, including Oklahoma, will be asked to show some form of identification. This is no thanks to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who made it his mission during six years on the job to undo a number of voter ID laws. Holder, who is stepping aside soon, went so far as to compare voter ID laws to bygone Jim Crow-inspired laws designed to tamp down minority participation. The comparisons were beyond ridiculous, particularly given that in state after state, voter ID laws have withstood legal challenges from liberal interests. Writing recently for the Washington Examiner, John Fund of National Review and former Justice Department official Hans von Spakovsky touched on

  • Agency control, accountability should go hand in hand

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Oct 10, 2014

    Education Department proposal is a bad idea

  • Blame is misplaced over Oklahoma early release program

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Updated: Wed, Oct 8, 2014

    EARLY release policies have returned roughly 1,500 inmates to Oklahoma streets, including some with a history of violence and others who have since committed violent crimes. One state lawmaker says those policies are budget driven and blames the director of the Department of Corrections. That analysis is correct in citing money woes as a contributor, but wrong in assigning blame. The Oklahoman’s Andrew Knittle recently reported that Antonio Ray Mason, convicted of second-degree murder in 1994, is among those released from prison under a policy allowing the restoration of good-behavior credits. Desmond La’don Campbell was also released under that policy. Campbell is believed to have subsequently committed multiple rapes in

  • Obama administration policies harming rural areas

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Oct 8, 2014

    Dodd-Frank, Obamacare offer examples

  • Perhaps high court's action on same-sex marriage shouldn't have been surprising

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Oct 8, 2014

    Gay marriage expands to Oklahoma, elsewhere

  • With energy, U.S. has much to gain from low net import rate

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, Oct 7, 2014

    THE net U.S. energy import ratio (imports minus exports) was 30 percent at its peak just nine years ago. In 2012, the figure was 16 percent; by 2040 it could be as low as 4 percent. John Manzella, writing in his Manzella Report, says this trend has profound implications on global relationships. Some major sources of energy exports to the United States — Russia, Venezuela and Saudia Arabia — will be hurt economically. With falling U.S. dependency on Middle Eastern oil, the world’s largest consumer of energy will have increasing influence in the Mideast. That consumer is China. The net import changes have enormous potential to help the U.S. economy.

  • Debate shows some similarities between Oklahoma gubernatorial candidates

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, Oct 7, 2014

    Common ground on corrections, splitting legislative sessions

  • Numbers tell the story: Democratic Party in freefall in Oklahoma

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Oct 6, 2014

    WE wrote recently about how the number of people who actually cast ballots in Oklahoma has dropped through years, which is cause for concern. State Democrats have another concern altogether — attracting folks who want to register with the party and support its candidates in primary elections and beyond. The latest figures from the Oklahoma State Election Board underscore the gravity of this problem for Democrats. From mid-January to the end of September, the state recorded a net increase of more than 35,000 registered voters. But Democratic registration decreased by about 2,800. Meantime, the Republican Party gained 23,349 registered voters; the number of registered independents increased by 15,019.

  • Obamacare ruling in Oklahoma federal court gives reason for optimism

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Oct 5, 2014

    IT’S ironic, but Obamacare opponents have won an important victory in a Muskogee U.S. district court because a judge upheld the federal law. U.S. District Judge Ronald A. White ruled that the Affordable Care Act allows tax credits to be provided only to citizens who buy health care policies through state-run health exchanges, not federally administered exchanges. Obamacare authorizes monthly tax credits for certain taxpayers who obtain insurance through an exchange. The law defines “coverage month” as any month a taxpayer is “covered by a qualified health plan ... that was enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under section 1311” (emphasis added).

  • Guns-at-work question best left to employers

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Oct 5, 2014

    Government shouldn’t undermine property rights

  • ScissorTales: Some tests mean a whole lot

    The Oklahoman Editorials | Published: Sat, Oct 4, 2014

    OPPONENTS of standardized testing often claim that “one test on one day” should have little bearing on student advancement. Yet as we’ve noted before, those same students will find test results carry enormous weight once they leave the K-12 system. Those wanting to attend college had better do well on the ACT or SAT. Those wishing to join the military must do well on the ASVAB test to enlist. Those wishing to become lawyers must pass the bar exam. Those wishing to clerk at a retail store often need to pass a math test. Now The Wall Street Journal reports that up to 70 percent of prospective workers must take an online personality test, which screens out up to 30 percent of applicants (meaning those applicants never get a job

  • Oklahoma education board's inaction fuels mistrust

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Oct 3, 2014

    DEVELOPMENT of new Oklahoma academic standards limped ahead at the latest meeting of the state Board of Education, although progress is occurring at the rate of maple syrup in wintertime. Perhaps board members thought a plodding pace would increase public support. If so, it appears they were wrong. This year, lawmakers repealed the Common Core academic standards they previously approved in 2010. Under the new law, the Board of Education must effectively unveil new standards in math and language by the February start of the 2016 legislative session. The repeal law was signed on June 5, but standards development has yet to begin.

  • Politicians show poor taste in playing off tragedies

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Oct 3, 2014

    Members of both parties are guilty

  • Oklahoma aerospace industry continues to soar

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Oct 2, 2014

    OKLAHOMA’S aerospace industry is flying high. News that Boeing could add another 900 jobs in the not-too-distant future is further evidence of this. The oil and gas industry and agriculture are the primary drivers of the state’s economic engine and perhaps always will be. Yet work around airplanes, in the private and government sectors, also packs a mighty economic wallop. According to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, about 6.3 percent of the state’s economy involves the aerospace and defense-related industries. More than 120,000 workers make their living in this sector; more than 500 aerospace-related companies do business in Oklahoma. Annual industrial output from the industry exceeds $12 billion.

  • True religious persecution common outside the United States

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Oct 2, 2014

    War of words has escalated locally