• 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

  • Gruesome killing likely to hurt corrections reform efforts in Oklahoma

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Oct 1, 2014

    Man was released after short stint in prison

  • Poor pay the price for Obama's environmentalism

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Oct 1, 2014

    War on coal hurts low-income Americans

  • No quiet departure for Oklahoma schools superintendent

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    WITH a questionable hiring earlier this month, Janet Barresi has disabused any notion that she might quietly finish her time as Oklahoma’s superintendent of public instruction. Barresi, a Republican, has been a lightning rod since winning election in 2010. Indeed her first state Board of Education meeting was a donnybrook, with two (now former) board members questioning Barresi’s proposed hiring of three new staffers. The GOP-controlled Legislature subsequently empowered the superintendent by stripping the board of its ability to approve agency hirings and firings, and by doing away with a requirement that state education jobs be posted.

  • War far from over in Oklahoma's fight against meth use

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Sep 29, 2014

    WHEN government closes a window, the market opens a door. Sadly, this describes the methamphetamine problem in Oklahoma. This state has been a national leader in the meth manufacturing crackdown, finding ways to restrict the purchase of ingredients used to cook meth. But as fewer meth “labs” are being found and shut down by state authorities, the number of meth-related overdose deaths continues to rise. The reason is that the domestic supply disruption has been met with a foreign supply influx. This isn’t a new development, but the latest numbers are startling. Meth demand isn’t going down, but the supply chain has added more links to Mexico.