When state Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, was elected House speaker this week, House Democratic leader Scott Inman said he hoped Shannon could quiet the fringe elements of the GOP caucus and focus on policies benefiting the state. That statement took some gall since Inman routinely allied House Democrats with Republican fringe elements over the past two sessions. At some points, it even appeared that now-former state Rep. Randy Terrill (R-indicted for felony bribery) was de facto leader of House Democrats. Although Inman, D-Del City, said he would be Shannon's “willing ally” to promote issues important to the state, that same day the Inman-led Democrats voted against a basic procedural motion authorizing postage and office supplies. So much for big-picture focus. As has typically been the case, Inman fails to back his bipartisan words with action.
Hooping it up for a cause
Next Friday and Saturday, the basketball teams from the state's four Catholic high schools will play a benefit event for Catholic Charities. Called “Hoops 4 Hope,” it involves the boys' and girls' teams from Mount St. Mary and Bishop McGuinness, and Tulsa's Bishop Kelley and Cascia Hall. The inaugural was last year at Cascia Hall. This year's games are at the Mount, they return to Tulsa in 2014, and will be back here in 2015 when McGuinness hosts. The players are gathering clothing, food and other items to give to Catholic Charities, and all proceeds from the games (which are at 1, 3, 5 and 7 each day) will also go to Catholic Charities. It's a nice way to support an outstanding organization, one that for a century in Oklahoma City has provided social services to people of all faiths.
What a coincidence!
For the eighth consecutive month, Oklahoma City has recorded the lowest jobless rate among the nation's 49 largest cities. Our unemployment rate was just 4.5 percent in November. Gosh, who would have thought the capital city of Oklahoma — reddest state in the nation, dominated by political leaders who expressly reject the “tax and spend” economic philosophy touted by the current occupant of the White House, whose state leaders openly advocate and advance policies actually running the opposite direction — would somehow achieve an unemployment rate far, far below what President Barack Obama claimed was achievable only if lawmakers passed his “stimulus” measure in 2009? Thanks mostly to people leaving the workforce, Obama was finally able to lower national unemployment below 8 percent. In Oklahoma, we've lowered the rate the old-fashioned way: job creation. Sadly, we doubt Obama will take note.