• Carson's showing at SRLC: What's it really mean?

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, May 27, 2015

    AFTER the 13 declared or potential Republican candidates for president had made their pitches to GOP activists in Oklahoma City, either in person or by videotape, Dr. Ben Carson emerged as the winner of a straw poll that capped the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. What does that mean exactly? Perhaps not much. One of those potential candidates who didn’t come to town, Donald Trump, dismissed the results Monday morning on Fox News, saying straw polls can easily be manipulated by any one candidate’s turn-out-the vote efforts. Indeed Bill Shapard, whose company conducted the Sooner Poll, said he had heard Carson bought a large number of tickets for the conference. On the other hand, Shapard said of Carson

  • Corporation Commission faces a tough decision

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, May 26, 2015

    THE three members of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission will earn their pay as they consider Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co.’s $1 billion environmental compliance and replacement generation plan. Their decision will have major implications. Due to federal Environmental Protection Agency rules for regional haze and mercury and air toxics standards, OG&E is being forced to make several changes. Those regulations will have little meaningful impact on the environment, and OG&E deserves praise for fighting them in court, although unsuccessfully. The problem facing Oklahoma now is that the regulations will impose dramatic new costs on those who use electricity.

  • Focus on high standards should help OKC police maintain public's support

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, May 26, 2015

    OKLAHOMA City Manager Jim Couch has authorized a study to determine the training needs of the police department. This is an important project — the city needs quality facilities to ensure that recruits and veteran officers have the best possible training available to them. This is especially true given the profile that police departments across the country have assumed since the fatal shooting last August in Ferguson, Mo., of a black 18-year-old by a white officer. Since then we’ve seen high-profile use-of-force deaths in New York and Baltimore, and a deadly shooting in Tulsa in April by a reserve sheriff’s deputy.

  • Oklahoma lawmakers' budgeting double standard is troubling

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, May 24, 2015

    THIS is becoming old news, but there’s a big gap between legislative Republicans’ talk about the need to right-size government and their willingness to actually cut their own spending. Despite facing a $611 million budget shortfall this year, lawmakers did not cut the budgets for the state House of Representatives, the Oklahoma Senate or the Legislative Service Bureau. At the same time, 49 other state entities experienced cuts of up to 7.25 percent. Yet this is hardly a one-year phenomenon. For several years legislators have been talking about the need for tough choices — for others — while exempting themselves. And they’ve actually padded their own budgets along the way.

  • Kentucky example shows perils of Obamacare

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, May 24, 2015

    IS Obamacare working? Proponents answer “yes” and point to the increased number of people who technically have health insurance. But evidence is growing that coverage is not translating into medical care, and that the Affordable Care Act has exacerbated the financial problems of health care providers. The latest evidence of such problems comes from Kentucky, the only Southern state to expand Medicaid under Obamcare and establish a state-based exchange for people to get subsidized insurance under the law.

  • Oklahoma ScissorTales: Oklahoma City teacher offers troubling testimony about classroom discipline

    The Oklahoman Editorials | Published: Sat, May 23, 2015

    AN Oklahoma City teacher’s troubling description of life inside the district’s elementary schools is one that district officials need to take seriously. Mackinley Cross works with first-year teachers in every elementary school to help them improve their performance and, hopefully, keep them on the job. The latter is a challenge here and in urban districts around the country. Cross came to tears Monday night in talking to the school board about the rampant lack of discipline. Several days earlier, she had been kicked and elbowed by a 10-year-old boy while trying to break up a fight. Cross said the threat of violence toward teachers is a constant. Students routinely curse at teachers or tell them to shut up; teachers have

  • Financial restraints reflected in Oklahoma state budget plan

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, May 22, 2015

    Lawmakers crafted a reasonable product, all things considered

  • Hillary Clinton has Citizens United, every liberal's favorite target, in her sights

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, May 22, 2015

    Hillary Clinton vows to undo Citizens United

  • Vision, strong leadership needed from eventual GOP nominee

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, May 21, 2015

    TODAY through Saturday, Oklahoma City will be the focal point of U.S. politics as host of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. Who would have thought such a thing possible just a few years ago? For one thing, the state has long been flyover country for presidential aspirants, because Oklahoma represents only seven Electoral College votes and because the state votes solidly Republican. The last Democratic presidential candidate to carry Oklahoma was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The GOP candidate for president has won every county in Oklahoma the past three elections. As for Oklahoma City, in years gone by it couldn’t have seriously vied for such an event. Indeed, “We wouldn’t have wanted to,” one Republican state

  • Third-grade reading results show Oklahoma law is working

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, May 20, 2015

    Policymakers should look to strengthen it

  • Washington Examiner: George Stephanopoulos threw himself to the wolves

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Wed, May 20, 2015

    “WHEN those donors give that money,” ABC host and commentator George Stephanopoulos said to Jon Stewart last month, “there’s a hope that that’s going to lead to something.” Stephanopoulos was impugning (or perhaps more accurately, describing) the motives of many people who had given money to the now-very-controversial Clinton Foundation. He failed to mention that he himself had given $75,000 — a fact he was forced to admit last week after Andrew Stiles of the Washington Free Beacon began asking questions about it. As author Peter Schweizer had pointed out in his book “Clinton Cash,” the large donors to the Clinton Foundation were very often seeking State Department favors during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as

  • Education important if Oklahoma poverty statistics are to improve

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, May 19, 2015

    Too many Oklahoma children are trapped

  • Foreign invaders taking root on Oklahoma soil

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, May 19, 2015

    Invasive plant species can be a problem

  • Rhetoric aside, discussion about civil asset forfeiture is worth having

    The Oklahoman editorial | Published: Mon, May 18, 2015

    Oklahoma lawmaker looking to protect citizens’ rights

  • PETA response to Oklahoma cat video overblown

    The Oklahoma Editorial | Published: Mon, May 18, 2015

    WE agree with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that it’s in poor taste to make a video of dead cats “dancing,” as some Oklahoma City high schoolers did. But it’s just as bad, if not worse, to demand a state investigation of and significant instructional changes at an award-winning school simply because some kids acted juvenile. At some point a video, made in an anatomy class at Harding Charter Preparatory High School in fall 2013, was posted recently on Facebook. It showed several Harding students using dead cats destined for dissection for a choreographed “dance” to a cat food jingle. PETA wrote to the school to object. By that time, most of the students involved had graduated.

  • Declining Christian numbers in Oklahoma, elsewhere no cause for celebration

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, May 17, 2015

    THE Pew Research Center reports that the share of Americans describing themselves as Christian is declining while the share of atheist/agnostics/“nones” is increasing. This is being touted as a sign of progress by those opposed to organized religion. In reality, it’s cause for concern. Obviously, not everyone who calls themselves a Christian is an ideal citizen, nor does professing atheism mean a person will be a bad neighbor. But there’s no denying that people genuinely devoted to a religion emphasizing love for others, denial of self, and belief that one answers to a higher power have generated far more societal improvement than what’s been rendered by those pursuing a self-directed “do whatever makes you feel good”

  • 'Small' Oklahoma budget items merit scrutiny

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, May 17, 2015

    WHILE working to address a $611 million shortfall, state budget writers would do well to consider the recommendations of the free-market Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. Many of its recommendations appear entirely sensible — which probably means most will be ignored. Nonetheless, OCPA has done a public service by identifying some state spending practices that should be reconsidered, particularly in a down year. To take just one example, the Oklahoma City Zoo is nationally recognized as among the best in the country. It has achieved that distinction without a state subsidy. The Tulsa Zoo also survives without a state subsidy.

  • Oklahoma ScissorTales: Well-deserved recognition for E. Melvin Porter, Oklahoma's first black state senator

    The Oklahoman Editorials | Published: Sat, May 16, 2015

    IT’S one thing to learn history from a textbook, and something else entirely to learn it from someone who lived through it. E. Melvin Porter is someone who can provide the latter. In 1956, Porter was a member of the first class at Vanderbilt University Law School that included black students. That was not the last time Porter was on hand for a major part of the civil rights struggle. After graduating, Porter went on to become president of the Oklahoma City chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1961. In that role, he provided legal services and also participated in sit-ins and boycotts with Clara Luper and other NAACP members.

  • No single solution to hospitals' financial, service challenges

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, May 15, 2015

    PASSAGE of the Affordable Care Act, combined with other longstanding trends, has left many hospitals on precarious financial footing. Some will almost certainly close, including in Oklahoma. The good news is this doesn’t necessarily mean worse overall health outcomes for people in surrounding communities, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. The Harvard study, which examined 195 hospital closures between 2003 and 2011, reviewed health experiences in the year before and the year after a hospital closed its doors. Researchers found death rates for those on Medicare were no different in areas where hospitals closed than in areas where hospital access was unchanged. This was true for those who were

  • Oklahoma Indian museum legislation making its way through Legislature

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, May 15, 2015

    IT’S not difficult to see why Oklahoma City Manager Jim Couch didn’t exactly turn cartwheels on learning the details of legislation to complete the long-delayed American Indian Cultural Center and Museum. Lawmakers are considering the bill, which was unveiled late last week by House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview. We appreciate Hickman’s attempt to get this project off high center and closer to completion, but share some of Couch’s concerns. Under House Bill 2237, the state would use $25 million in bonds as final payment on the museum. To date, the state has spent $64.7 million on the AICCM, which had a price tag of $110 million in 2003 but now is in the range of $170 million.